Download Living waters : the Mei HaShiloach : a commentary on the Torah PDF

TitleLiving waters : the Mei HaShiloach : a commentary on the Torah
File Size2.3 MB
Total Pages490
Table of Contents
Half title
Translator’s Introduction
A Note on Hebrew Names
Sefer Bereshit
	Parshat Bereshit
	Parshat Noach
	Parshat Lech L’cha
	Parshat Vayeira
	Parshat Chayei Sarah
	Parshat Toldot
	Parshat Vayeitse
	Parshat Vayishlach
	Parshat Vayeisheiv
	Parshat Miqets
	Parshat Vayigash
	Parshat Vayechi
Sefer Shemot
	Parshat Shemot
	Parshat Vaeira
	Parshat Bo
	Parshat B’shalach
	Parshat Yitro
	Parshat Mishpatim
	Parshat Truma
	Parshat Tetsave
	Parshat Ki Tissa
	Parshat Vayaqhel
	Parshat Pekudei
Sefer Vayikra
	Parshat Vayikra
	Parshat Tsav
	Parshat Shmini
	Parshat Ta’azria
	Parshat Metsora
	Parshat Acharai Mot
	Parshat Kedoshim
	Parshat Emor
	Parshat Behar
	Parshat Bechukotai
Sefer Bamidbar
	Parshat Bamidbar
	Parshat Nasso
	Parshat Beha’alotcha
	Parshat Sh’lach L’cha
	Parshat Korach
	Parshat Chukat
	Parshat Balak
	Parshat Pinchas
	Parshat Mattot
	Parshat Mas’ei
Sefer Devarim
	Parshat Devarim
	Parshat Vaetchanan
	Parshat Ekev
	Parshat Re’e
	Parshat Shoftim
	Parshat Ki Teitsei
	Parshat Ki Tavo
	Parshat Nitsavim
	Parshat Vayeilech
	Rosh Hashanah
	Parshat Ha’azinu
	Parshat VeZot HaBracha
	Megillat Ruth
	Megillat Kohellet
	Sefer Yehoshua
	Sefer Shmuel One
	Sefer Shmuel Two
	Melachim One
	Melachim Two
	Sefer Tehillim
	Sefer Mishlei
Document Text Contents
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Page 245

beings, and perhaps he understood this element to have more power than it really
had. He answered them that there is no one who can do this today as Shmuel did,
meaning that he did not understand that the Cohen Gadol possessed any greater
power than that which existed within him. Neither would he be overly stringent
against him than necessary, “for there is no one like Shmuel,” who could have
impregnated her, so therefore she is permitted.40 The real mistake that Ben Zoma
made was in his understanding of the great difference between the waters of the
lower firmament and the waters of the upper firmament.41 This is as Ben Zoma
said in the Gemara (Chagiga, 15a), “between the upper and lower waters there is
the distance of three finger widths, and they said, ‘Ben Zoma is still on the
outside.’ ”42 Ben Zoma had understood that there was a great difference between
good desire and evil desire.43

”An ox, or lamb, or goat which is born, shall remain seven days
under its mother, and from the eighth day on it will be acceptable as

an offering of fire to Hashem.” (Vayikra, 22:27)

The holy Zohar (Vayikra, 91a) explains that this is in order for the animal to
pass one Shabbat. If so, then it should be acceptable as an offering immediately
after Shabbat, even if it was born just prior to Shabbat. Why then does the Torah
stipulate that it should pass seven complete days? We find that the blessed God
created seven forces of goodness in the world, “Yours, Hashem is the greatness,
and the strength, and the splendor . . .” (Divrei haYamim 1, 29:11), and each of
the seven days of creation contains one of these forces of goodness, as is known.
Shabbat is the foundation and principle of all of the forces of goodness, for
Shabbat teaches of the glory of Heaven, and Kedusha spreads forth from
Shabbat to the six days of creation, and the goodness of the six days are included
in Shabbat. This is why the Torah stipulates seven days, for a man must offer
something complete before the Holy One, blessed be He.
This means offering the sacrifice after it has passed the six days of creation,

which include in them all the forces of goodness, and also the day of Shabbat
meaning, to acknowledge the Holy One, blessed be He, as sovereign over all the
goodness that He instilled into the six days. Then he may offer it before God. If
it had not passed through the six days of creation, then it would not have
received all the forms of goodness from the blessed God, and how then could a
man offer to God something that is not complete? Even if it experienced the
Shabbat it still would not have received the completeness of the creation. Yet,

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when it experienced the six days of creation and also the Shabbat, meaning that
it drew within it all the forms of goodness and crowned the Creator over all of
them, then the offering is acceptable. Therefore it is written, “and you shall give
it to Me on the eighth day.”

”An ox or a ewe, do not slaughter it and its young in the same day.”
(Vayikra, 22:28)

The Targum of Yonatan ben Uziel44 renders this verse, “Just as your Father is
merciful, so too shall you be merciful in the land. An ox or a ewe, do not
slaughter it and its young in the same day.” In explaining this same verse, the
holy Zohar writes (Vayikra, 92b), “We have learned that actions below arouse
corresponding actions from above. If a man acts properly below, it arouses a
similar power from above. If a man acts with kindness in the world, it arouses
kindness from above, etc. It is like this also for the opposite. If a man acts with
cruelty in the world, cruelty is aroused on that same day, and strikes him.45 In
the same way that a man deals with the world, so too is he dealt with.” This
explanation is in order to teach the children of Israel the attribute of kindness.
We find in the Gemara (Megillah, 25a), “one was leading the prayer before

Rava and said, ‘You who were merciful with the bird’s nest [and commanded
that the mother be driven away before taking her eggs], be merciful with us! You
who were merciful in saying, ‘do not slaughter it and its young on the same day,
so too be merciful with us!’ Rava said, ‘this student really knows how to appease
his teacher [God].’ Abaye answered, ‘but we are taught that one who prays in
this way should be silenced!’ [And this is the Halacha.].” For he is only falsely
making all the attributes of God into mercy [when there is also judgment].46
To truly understand the meaning of this law of “it and its young,” as translated

by Yonatan ben Uziel and as explained in the holy Zohar, we must understand
that it is only in order to teach the children of Israel the way of kindness. The
holy Zohar calls all of the mitzvot “advices” (Shemot, 82b) meaning advice that
teaches the children of Israel good behavior.
However, in the Gemara of Megillah we find a man praying, “just as You

were merciful,” and still we are told that he is to be silenced. In prayer, we are
forbidden from ascribing any attributes of man’s limited understanding to the
blessed God. This is because the function of prayer is to allow the blessed God
to enlighten the eyes of man to a place that he otherwise could not have reached.
Attributes of behavior are something that man has the power to comprehend.

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and wife of Potiphar
Yosef, tribe of
Yosef, R.
Yossi, R.
Yossi ben Zimra, R.

Zechariya ben Edo
Zeira, R.
Zevulun, tribe of
sin of

ten levels in

Page 490


Betsalel Philip Edwards was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1968. A graduate
of Boston University, he studied music composition, and then religion under Elie
Wiesel and Herbert Mason. Moving to Israel in 1994, he attended Bar-Ilan
University, studying music composition and Jewish ethnomusicology. His first
taste of the depth and wisdom of Hasidism came from the late great Rabbi
Shlomo Carlebach, of blessed memory. He feels that he has no merits or awards
of any consequence other than the privilege of raising a family and studying the
Torah in Jerusalem. The translation of the is his first

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