Ve’etchanan 2023



By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

At the beginning of this parsha Moshe Rabeinu pleads that he be let into the Land to see the “good mountain and the Lebanon.” Our Sages interpret this as a request to see the Temple on Mount Moriah. This painting quite clearly depicts the Temple on a mountain, expressing its goodness on all earth. This “goodness” may be depicted by the water drops, a symbol of blessing and kindness, seen coming from the heavens. We also see five fires, on each side, alongside these drops, and fire is associated to the attribute of judgment considered an opposite trait versus the attribute of kindness, according to the Kabbalists. The five fires may allude to a Kabbalistic concept called “the five aspects of judgment.”
Below these we see the Star of David, and around it are red and blue colors, which may allude to the themes of water and fire, kindness and judgment, we just discussed. This intermingling of water and fire, kindness and judgment in context of the Star of David, may allude to the seat of kingship of David uniting all Israel under a central leadership in the capital Jerusalem, where the Temple seen here is the spiritual center. It is important to remember that the beginning stage of this united kingdom of David began in Hebron according too Hashem’s direction. This is not surprising considering the unifying power of Hebron, whose name means unity – hibur, and also in its midst the common roots of our People are buried.
In this painting we also see a large harp, apparently signifying the harp of David. Notice also that the upper parts of the harp are colored in green similar to the landscape, suggesting connection between David and the earth. This is indeed so, since the Kabbalists attach both the earth and King David to the sefira of malchut. Also interesting is the fact that the throngs of the harp resemble arms and also that each “arm” is divided into three segments as can be seen by different coloration,
a matter clearly described in Kabbalah which divides the “arms” into three segments. Yet again, at the bottom of the painting we see an intermingling of six drops of water with a fire/pomegranate at the bottom of painting.

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