Parashat Vayakhel: Shabbat ֠Kegavna (I)

  • Rav Itamar Eldar
The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash

CHASSIDUT
by Rav Itamar Eldar

Yeshivat Har Etzion

 

ParAshat Vayakhel

 

Shabbat – Kegavna (I)

 

 

            The parashiyot of Vayakhel and Pikudei bring us to the execution of the instructions that Moshe had received from God in connection with the construction of the Mishkan.

 

            Vayakhel begins with Moshe's repetition of God's command concerning the observance of Shabbat that was attached to the command concerning the Mishkan.[1]

 

            In this lecture we wish to "touch" upon Shabbat from a Chassidic perspective. The window through which we shall try to penetrate this amazing world is the Chassidic interpretation of the wonderful words of the Zohar, recited between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv according to some rites – the "Kegavna" passage.[2] The passage reads as follows:

 

As they are united above in One, so she is unified below in the mystery of One, to correspond to them above. The Holy One, blessed be He, who is One above, does not take His seat upon the Throne of Glory, until She has entered within the mystery of the One in accordance with His very essence of Oneness, to be the One in One. This, as we have said, is the significance of the words: "The Lord is One, and His Name is One."

It is the mystery of Shabbat, which is united with the mystery of the One so that it may be the organ of this Oneness. In the prayer before the entrance of Shabbat the Throne of Glory is prepared for the Holy Heavenly King. And when Shabbat arrives the Shekhina is in perfect union with Him and is separated from the "other side," and all the potencies of severe judgment are severed from Her, She being in closest union with the Holy Light and crowned with many crowns by the Holy King, and all the principalities of severity and all the lords of judgment flee from Her, and no other domination reigns in any of the worlds, and her countenance is illumined by the supernal light, and she is crowned here below by the holy people, all of whom are invested with new souls. Then is the time for the commencement of prayer, when the worshippers bless Her with joy and gladness. (Zohar, Teruma)

"THE SECRET OF GOD IS ONE AND HISNAME IS ONE"

            The Zohar opens with the full correspondence between the "lower" world and the "upper" world. Just as above there is striving for all-embracing unity, here too there is such striving. More than this! The Zohar establishes that until the full unity of Shabbat makes its appearance here below, God will not sit upon His celestial throne, and He will wait for unity to appear below. When Shabbat is observed with the secret of One, the corresponding unity will appear also above, and then the prophetic vision of "God is One and His Name is One" will be realized.

 

            A distinction is made here between God and His Name: God expresses His essence itself – the Holy One, blessed be He – whereas His Name expresses God's appearance and revelation as it appears in this world. Until this appearance of "His Name" is perfect and unified, in the sense of "His Name is One," the aspect of "God is One" will also not be realized. The first half of the vision, according to the Zohar, depends on the realization of the second half.

 

            Shabbat is the key and the vessel through which unity can be achieved "below," and in its wake unity will appear also above. Regarding the manner in which it unifies, we can learn from the following teaching of R. Nachman of Breslov:

 

For weekdays are the aspect of sadness. Even the mitzvot that are performed on weekdays are the aspect of sadness, for Metat rules over the days of the week (Tikkunei Zohar, tikkun 18, 33b), and Metat is the aspect of slave, the aspect of sadness. But Shabbat is the aspect of son, and then it is pleasing for those above and for those below, and joy is aroused, and then all the mitzvot of the six workdays are elevated and raised up from the sadness, and rest and joy are drawn to them, having the aspect of (Bereishit 5:28-29): "And he begot a son. And he called his name Noach, saying, This one shall comfort us for our work and the toil of our hands." That is, the aspect of Shabbat which is the aspect of son, the aspect of Noach, which is pleasing to those above and to those below (see tikkun 70, end, and Zohar, Bereishit 58, 59), for it comforts and gladdens everything from the sadness, having the aspect of "This one shall comfort us." (Likkutei Moharan Batra 2, 5)

 

            R. Nachman asserts that the weekdays are accompanied by the aspect of "sadness," and even the mitzvot performed on those days are accompanied by that same sadness. The reason for this lies in Metat's[3] control over the weekdays. Shabbat, according to R. Nachman, draws joy to the weekdays, offering comfort for their sadness.

 

            In the next passage, R. Nachman explains how this transpires:

 

By drawing the holiness of Shabbat to the six days of the week, the simple unity of the Blessed One is revealed. For on the six days of the week the actions are different, for on each day a different action was created. It is against human reason, to understand this with human intellect, that different actions should result from the simple One, blessed and elevated be He. For the human intellect is unable to understand this. It is only through Shabbat, which God, blessed be He, gave us as a great gift, as our Rabbis of blessed memory have said (Shabbat 10b): "I have a good gift in my treasure house, called Shabbat" – through this the simple unity is revealed. For Shabbat teaches faith in unity, that we should believe that all the different actions follow from the simple One, blessed be He, who created them all in the six days of the week and rested on Shabbat. Thus, it is through Shabbat that the simple unity of the Blessed One is revealed. The revelation of this simple Unity is a very precious aspect, even for Him, blessed be He, as we find: "[The view of] a single [authority] and [the view of] many [authorities], the law is in accordance with the majority opinion" (Berakhot 9 and 37). For since they are many, each one having a different mind, the aspect of different actions - when they all agree to a single opinion, the aspect of different actions becomes the aspect of simple unity, which is very precious in His eyes, blessed be He, and so the law is in accordance with them. For were this not so, each individual would state his own opinion, and there would be no end to this, and disputes would multiply in Israel (see Bava Metzi'a 59b). This is not His will, blessed be He, for He only wants the aspect of simple unity, for when the aspect of simple unity is revealed below, simple unity of the Blessed One is revealed also above, having the aspect of: "You are One, and Your Name is One, and who is like Your nation, Israel, one nation on earth." For through the unity that is revealed in Israel below, the simple unity of the Blessed One is revealed above. (Ibid. 6)

 

            First of all, these words explain the sadness of the days of the week: "For on the six days of the week the actions are different." The world in which we live all week is a world of multiplicity. Multiplicity was already implanted in the creation itself which lasted six days, on each of which different things were created. The days of creation were primarily marked by differentiation. Light was separated from darkness, the upper waters were separated from the lower waters, the moon and the stars rule over a different time-period than does the sun.

 

            The absence of unity in the physical world also gives rise to sadness in the interaction that man maintains with it. Man is flooded by many details, each one making demands of its own. He has to eat, he has to sleep, he has to work in order to make a living, and he has to repair those things that have gone wrong. These needs do not leave him in peace until they are satisfied. Thus, a person finds himself running from one need to the next, from one obligation to another, like a puppet on strings each of which pull him in a different direction. He is torn apart and loses his way and direction,  and most importantly, he is left without meaning.

 

            This is the sadness about which R. Nachman is talking, the sadness for which even mitzvot do not offer consolation, because they too appear each one in its particular form, each one placing demands upon man's time, energy, and attention.

 

            Now, on Friday afternoon, in a single moment and in a sharp transition, man desists from all actions, he sits back and reflects. Thus, he imitates that first Friday afternoon in history, when God desisted from all His work. God's completion of His work on the sixth day and His resting on the seventh gave retroactive meaning to all the days of creation.

 

            In a world comprised exclusively of the six days of the week, each day receives meaning from that which was created on that day. The first day is the day of light, the second the day of heaven. The third day is the day of land and water, the fourth the day of the celestial luminaries. From the perspective of the six days of creation, the Doer and the Creator who stands behind the doing loses His importance, and the doing itself is what gives the creation meaning. According to this understanding, the day is as long as the doing; when the doing is completed, we must go back to the beginning and count a new day. These doings were marked by a week of six days, a week comprised of six units of time, lacking any connection, for each day marked a different doing.

 

            When the Torah "surprises" us and tells us about the seventh day on which no work was done, it suddenly shifts the  focus from the doing to the Doer. From now on we can say that the six days mark the actions of the Doer, whereas the seventh day marks His rest.

 

            The fact that we count the day on which nothing was done teaches that our primary interest is not in the doing but in the Doer, and therefore we must also count the time during which He did nothing as a separate day. For with respect to the doing, the seventh day was void of meaning, whereas with respect to the Doer and our interest in His state, there is meaning to non-doing just as there is meaning to doing. The precise content of the doing is pushed aside, and all a sudden the six days of creation join together to form one common meaning: the time during which God engaged in action and doing.

 

            Shifting the focus from the doing to the Doer takes place only on Shabbat which focuses entirely on the condition of the Doer: "And by the seventh day God ended His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done" (Bereishit 2:2). The seventh day is marked by the blessing arising from the fact that "in it He rested from all His work which God had created and performed."

 

            Remembering on Shabbat that God is the Creator bestows unified meaning upon all of creation. "For Shabbat teaches faith in unity, that we should believe that all the different actions follow from the simple One, blessed be He, who created them all in the six days of the week and rested on Shabbat."

 

            R. Nachman argues that just as this is true regarding the acts of creation during the six days of creation, so is this also true regarding our mundane actions during the six days of the week. The arbitrary interruption, as it were, of all the actions of the weekdays, retroactively gives new content and meaning to those days themselves. This transpires in the same manner that we saw regarding the days of creation. The prohibition to work on the seventh day shifts the focus of the six days from the acts themselves to the permission, or perhaps we should say, to the Divine imperative that we were given to work for six days. "Six days shall you labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God" (Shemot 20:9-10).[4] The prohibition to work on Shabbat does not "prevent" us from continuing the routine of our lives, but rather it revolutionizes our consciousness and gives new meaning to that routine. From the prohibition of work on the seventh day, from the rest that we observe, we learn about the positive meaning of work on the other days of the week, as part of the Divine will to sanctify all of creation. Thus, the sadness is removed, and all the days of the week are included in the Divine unity of allowance and prohibition to engage in work.

 

            Shabbat, according to R. Nachman, exposes the meaning of the workdays, and retroactively provides a person with a new understanding of all the days of the week. Shabbat, according to R. Nachman, turns to the week that has passed, and provides a person with a retrospective that can gather all the actions of the weekdays into the new all-embracing unity arising from the consciousness of Shabbat. The days of creation and what was done in them fashion the content of Shabbat that gathers all those actions within it.

 

            The following passage seems to bestow additional meaning, beyond that of R. Nachman, upon the unifying power of Shabbat. The Sefat Emet writes:

 

So too on Shabbat there is no concealment, only revelation of the inner point, as stated above. But during the weak, the inner point is concealed by work. This is the service that the doer should cleave to the inner aspect of the act as stated above. And it is written regarding Shabbat: "In order to know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you." This means, that Shabbat provides da'at (knowledge). Da'at means connection and cleaving to the inner aspect. It is written: "In everything a prudent man act with knowledge" (Mishlei 12:16). And we have explained, as stated above, that whatever the wise man does is connected and cleaves to the root of the matter. But a fool, since he withdraws from the matter and cuts himself off from his root becomes folly. [This is true] even if they perform the same act. For the ways of God are upright and the righteous walk along them. And the Sages of blessed memory wrote: "I have a good gift in my treasure house, called Shabbat; go tell them." This means: In everything in the world there is hidden supreme illumination and holiness. And through Shabbat this becomes known. And through the observance of Shabbat a person can find the illumination of Shabbat during the week. This is what it says: "To do Shabbat" (Shemot 31:16) that is, to find the aspect of Shabbat even in actions through its observance. This is like, "And his father kept it in mind" (Bereishit 37:11). He keeps in mind and waits for Shabbat all week long. And it is written: "Remember" (Shemot 20:8). Our Sages of blessed memory have explained: "A nice portion – designate it for Shabbat." This means, to leave in every act an inner point for God alone. This is remembering Shabbat which is accomplished by the people of Israel attesting that everything is for God, blessed be He. This is what is written: "In order to know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you." This means, the acts of Israel have a point of vitality from God, blessed be He. And through Shabbat this becomes known. This aspect is holy, for the vitality of God, blessed be He, is holy and separate, even though it is found among the affairs of this world. And also according to the plain sense, that which a person finds the illumination of the aforementioned point is also from God, blessed be He. And on Shabbat this becomes known, as it is written, "In order to know." (Sefat Emet, Ki Tisa, 5631) 

 

            The Sefat Emet, at the beginning of this teaching,[5] notes that the Divine vitality to which one should conjoin is concealed throughout the physical world. During the week, that Divine vitality is concealed within man's actions and is hidden in matter. The deed constitutes the garment of that vitality and conceals it within it.

 

            The prohibition of work on Shabbat reflects the removal of the garments and exposure of the "nakedness" of the Divine vitality so that it is no longer concealed. The encounter with the Shekhina on Shabbat is an unmediated encounter that is not distracted by any deed or action. This encounter, according to the Sefat Emet, bestows upon man "da'at." The word da'at  reflects true "knowledge" that involves connection and conjunction: "And the man knew his wife, Chava." Man learns to identify Divine vitality in an unmediated manner, after having merited to conjoin with it as is on Shabbat, and from here man acquires the ability to go back to the weekdays and identify that same vitality within them. No distraction, no garment or concealment, can prevent a person who has experienced intimacy with something from knowing it – from identifying it in every state and situation.

 

            The Sefat Emet distinguishes between one who is naked ("arum") of da'at and one who is wise ("chakham") with da'at, that is to say, between one who has experienced connection and communion and one who has not. Both, explains the Sefat Emet, may do the same thing, but he who is naked, void of the da'at that conjoins, performs an act of separation and differentiation, whereas he who is wise performs an act of conjoining and connection.

 

            Resting on Shabbat enables the wise man to perform deeds during the days of the week and raise them to their source, by connecting to that vitality that lies hidden in those deeds, which he encounters in an unmediated manner on Shabbat which is void of deeds. R. Elimelekh of Lyzhansk writes in a similar vein:

 

"When you light the lamps." Rashi explains: "Over against the face of the menora" – this is the western lamp, the middle lamp, from which he would begin and with which he would end. It would seem that it should have written: "The six lamps shall give light." Rather, the middle lamp is an allusion to the Shekhina, for the Shekhina is in the west, and the righteous man must always be in great conjunction. This is the meaning of "from which he would begin,' that is, that he is always in conjunction. This is the level of Shabbat, and therefore a Torah scholar is always called Shabbat, because his conjunction during the days of the week is like that on Shabbat. This is "when you light the lamps" – an allusion to conjunction. "Over against the face of the menora" – which is the western lamp, an allusion to the Shekhina. "The seven lights shall give light" – it will also repair the weekdays, so that they should give light together with Shabbat as one light. (No'am Elimelekh, Beha'alotekha)

 

            When a person merits the aspect of "against the face of the menora," which is conjunction, all the candles illuminate in the same direction with a single light.

 

            One who is naked of da'at performs a deed of separation since he relates only to the world of deeds - the world of sadness, according to R. Nachman. According to the Sefat Emet and R. Elimelekh, we are not dealing merely with retroactive understanding, as we saw with R. Nachman, but rather with the acquisition of a tool and amassing of closeness that gives a person strength and bestows meaning upon all the deeds that he will perform over the course of the coming week. The face of Shabbat, according to this passage in the Sefat Emet, is directed towards the coming week, and a person who experiences Divine closeness on Shabbat, learns how to redeem the physical world and raise it to perfect unity.[6]

 

            Shabbat unifies, according to the Sefat Emet, by providing man with da'at of connection. From now on the entire world upon which he sets his eyes carries within it Divine vitality, which he sees and which is the only thing he sees.

 

This is the way we can understand the first part of the psalm for Shabbat:[7]

 

A psalm, a poem for the Sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praise to Your name, O most High: to relate Your steadfast love in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night, upon an instrument of ten strings and upon the harp; to the melody of the lyre. For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work: I will triumph in the works of Your hands. O Lord, how great are Your works! And Your thoughts are very deep. A brutish man does not know; nor does a fool understand this. (Tehilim 92:1-7)

 

            Shabbat enables man to thank and praise God for every day and every hour. Everything is understood as the work of God which is very great. This is not understood by the brutish man, who has no da'at of the aspect of Shabbat. Such a person is unable to conceive of the physical world as "the work of God." The psalm of Shabbat is the da'at to see and understand the work of God in their full unity, morning, afternoon, and night, six days a week, and then, "It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praise to Your name."

 

            Shabbat, then, has a two-fold effect. On the one hand, it provides man with a new understanding, that allows him to reflect upon the mundane actions of the previous week, to gather them within him and contain them within the full unity of God's work and actions. Thus, it is those actions that fashion Shabbat and build the unity.

 

            On the other hand, Shabbat enables man to step towards the future, the coming week, out of that same recognition, and perform actions out of communion with the vitality concealed within them, out of constant aspiration for communion and without any confusion caused by the distractions of the material world, that can cause a person to veer from the target – conjunction with God. This is the way R. Tzadok summarizes the two unifying aspects of Shabbat – to the past and to the future:

 

We have said that in the evening service we say veyanuchu va ("may they rest on it") in the feminine[8], it receiving the blessing from all the work of the six workdays that have passed. And in the Shemone Esre of the morning service we say veyanuchu vo ("may they rest on it") in the masculine, that is, that the holiness of Shabbat bestows bounteous blessing on all the upcoming six workdays, this being how it is blessed of all days. (Peri Tzadik, Vayetze, 3)

 

            This is the unity of Shabbat that unifies within it all the workdays that have passed and all the workdays that will come in the future.

 

YOU, O KING, ARE SEATED UPON A HIGH LOFTY THRONE

 

            R. Nachman concludes his words saying that this aspect of unity that Shabbat fashions is very precious to God and He waits for it to happen, and only when this happens, does this unity of the Divine essence reveal itself as well: "For through the unity that is revealed in Israel below, the simple unity of the Blessed One is revealed above." And as we saw in the wording of the Zohar: "The Holy One, blessed be He, who is One above, does not take His seat upon the Throne of Glory, until She has entered within the mystery of the One in accordance with His very essence of Oneness, to be the One in One."

 

            God's "sitting on the throne" which He delays until the unity stemming from Shabbat is perfected below may be understood in two ways. Thus writes R. Tzadok ha-Kohen of Lublin:

 

"Your throne was established [from az]" (Tehilim 93:2) – From when You stood in the sea, and we sang a song before You with the word az ("then"), then Your kingdom was founded and your throne was established. Your throne was established from az – from az yashir ("then he sang"). That is, when Israel accepted the yoke of His kingship. As they said (Vayikra Rabba 2): "They first crowned me as king at the sea, saying, 'The Lord will reign forever' (Shemot 15:18)," and then He became the King who sits on His throne. (Peri Tzadik, Ki Tavo, 8)

 

And similarly:

 

When You stood in the sea and we sang a song before You with the word az ("then"), Your kingdom was founded. This is like what they expounded (Vayikra Rabba 2): "They first crowned me as king at the sea, saying, 'The Lord will reign forever' (Shemot 15:18)." Then His kingship was founded, for an entire nation accepted the yoke of His kingship. And similarly on Shabbat when the nation of Israel accepts the yoke of His kingship, He sits on His Throne of Glory. Then the mida of Malkhut is perfected.[9]

 

            With these words R. Tzadok wishes to say that God's throne is the manner through which His kingship appears in the world. The royal throne, its size, and its power follow from the nation's acceptance of the King and their recognition of His greatness. Sitting on the throne is an expression of the nation's acceptance of the yoke of the King's kingship.

 

            When Israel laud and praise the great name of the King, God's kingdom is constructed and He, as it were, sits on His throne.

 

At the end of the Pesukei de-Zimra of Shabbat, following the Song of the Sea, which, according to R. Tzadok, brought God to sit on His throne, we add another piyyut: Nishmat kol chai. A psalm of praise to God, which from beginning to end tries with the limited tools of man to praise and glorify, elevate and revere God. And thus it concludes:

 

Who is like You, who is equal to You, who can be compared to You, O great, mighty, and revered God, supreme God, master of heaven and earth? We will praise, laud and glorify You and bless Your holy Name, as it is said by David: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let my whole being bless His holy Name." You are God in Your tremendous power, great in Your glorious Name, mighty forever and revered for Your awe-inspiring acts; You, O king, are seated upon a high and lofty throne. (Nishmat Kol Chai)

 

            The praise, laudation, glory and blessing of God's holy name bring in the end to God's being seated on a high and lofty throne. We bless God, not only to thank Him for all the good that He has bestowed upon us, but also to crown him as king over the entire world and firmly establish His throne.

 

            It seems, however, that the King's sitting on a throne has additional significance. R. Nachman of Breslov relates to the midrash regarding Moshe Rabbenu who went up to receive the Torah, and the ministering angels said: "What is the son of a woman doing among us?" God answered: "Take hold of My Throne of Glory." R. Nachman sees this midrash as a symbol of man – any man – drawing near to God, and the natural denunciation of the fact that a man of flesh and blood is drawing close to God. Like the midrash and Moshe Rabbenu, R. Nachman proposes how a person who wishes to draw near to God can "take hold of the Throne of Glory":

 

And the advice regarding this is that a person should bind himself to the souls of Israel, and through this binding he will be saved from them. This is the aspect of (Iyyov 26:9): "He takes hold of the face of the throne." A person must take hold of the roots of the souls, hewn under the Throne of Glory, which is the aspect of (Bereishit 3:20): "Mother of all living." This is the aspect of what our Rabbis of blessed memory said (Shabbat 88b): "When Moshe went up to heaven, the ministering angels said: 'What is the son of a woman doing among us?' He said to them: 'He came to receive the Torah.' They said: 'Who have set Your glory above the heavens (Tehilim 8:2).' The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moshe: 'Answer them.' He said: 'I am afraid, lest they burn me with the breath of their mouths.' He said to him: 'Take hold of My Throne of Glory.'" That is, God, blessed be He, advised him to take hold of and bind himself to the roots of the souls, that are the aspect of the Throne of Glory, mother of all living, as stated above. Through that he would be saved from the jealousy of the angels, as stated above. (Likutei Moharan Batra 1, 2)

 

            When a person stands by himself, the denunciation is great, but when he takes hold of "the souls of Israel," he is already not alone.[10] R. Nachman identifies the Throne of Glory with the roots of the souls of Israel.[11] According to this, God's sitting on His throne refers to the resting of His Shekhina amidst Israel who are the roots of the souls.

 

            When the people of Israel will be turned into God's throne, then God will sit on His throne. According to this, we are talking about much more that praise and lauding, for these are external, and they come to publicize and glorify God's Name in the world. When we understand the people of Israel as God's throne, we are talking about an inner, spiritual process, in which all the souls must recognize their role and gather together in order to realize this role. This is the unity about which the Zohar speaks.

 

            Every soul that is repaired, every person that is elevated, adds another level to the throne of glory upon which God wishes to sit. This understanding allows us to understand the words of the Zohar, regarding the correspondence between what transpires below, by the power of Shabbat, and the unity that exists above: "One against One" – as the Zohar puts it. God will not be seated on His Throne of Glory until the aspect of unity exists in the world, and this can be done only through Shabbat: "To God who rested from all the work of creation on the seventh day, and ascended to sit upon His Throne of Glory." The observance of Shabbat brings the Jewish people, both on the cognitive level and on the practical level, to a unifying understanding of the world, and every soul that adorns itself with this unity on Shabbat becomes a part of the throne which continues to be built.[12]

 

            This is the secret, continues the Zohar, of "God is One, and His Name is One." "Israel" is the name of God, and when they are one, in conception, in cognition, and in action, as we saw above, then God too will be one. According to the Zohar, God, as it were, waits all week for Shabbat that it should have its unifying effect upon the cognition of Israel, and from now on provide them with the unity out of which they will work throughout the week. This unity which comes into the world and spreads within it is what fashions God's throne, and exposes the simple unity of the Divine essence, without any concealments and without any barriers belonging to the world of separation. Then will the lofty prophetic vision be fulfilled: "On that day, God will be One, and His Name is One."[13]

 

FOOTNOTES:

 

[1] Attention should be paid to the fact that whereas in the command, Shabbat appears after the commands regarding the Mishkan and its vessels, in the execution, Moshe opens with Shabbat. The Rishonim and Acharonim have noted this point. 

 

[2] We emphasize the Chassidic interpretation, and not the kabbalistic interpretation, for it is possible to understand the passage cited from the Zohar from a kabbalistic perspective, and in the framework of the context in which the passage appears. The Chassidic perspective does not necessarily make use of kabbalistic terminology, though there is no question that it draws upon and accepts it.

 

[3] We will not go in to a lengthy explanation of this concept found in the Zohar. We merely note that the rule of Metat marks God's concealment in the natural governance during the week. We shall deal with idea more fully in the next lecture.

 

[4] The first verse may be understood not as an allowance, but as an imperative.

 

[5] This teaching is long and touches upon a number of topics. We have, therefore, brought only the section relevant to our discussion.

 

[6] Rav Kook expresses a similar idea. See Orot ha-Kodesh III, 258).

 

[7] We shall deal with the rest of the psalm in the next lecture.

 

[8] The "feminine" aspect will be explained in the next lecture.

 

[9] R. Tzadok alludes here to the sefira of Malkhut. We shall deal with this point in the next lecture.

 

[10] There is much to be said on this point, but not in the framework of this lecture.

 

[11] And similarly R. Tzadok: "The throne of God is the Throne of Glory and the world of the throne which is the roots of all the souls of Israel who are themselves the Throne of His Glory, blessed be He" (Takkanat ha-Shavin, 2).

 

[12] According to this, as long as there are Jews who do not observe Shabbat, the wholeness of God's throne is flawed, and God's sitting on His throne is imperfect: "R. Levi said: Were Israel to properly observe a single Shabbat, the son of David would immediately come" (Yerushalmi, Ta'anit 3, 2). The distance of Jews from the observance of Shabbat and from the observance of mitzvot in general pertains not only to them, but rather it constitutes a blemish in God's kingdom which every God-fearing person must grieve and aspire to repair.

 

[13] In the next lecture, we shall discuss the next section of the Kegavna passage which deals with the unity of God, Shabbat and Israel.

 

(Translated by David Strauss)