This past Shabbot, Oro Shel Adam hosted a group of Bar Ilan guys in our yishuv. The group saw the sights, delighted in Rebbetzin Miller’s famous Shabbot food and enjoyed their encounter with Adam’s warm community. It was inspiring for us to hear their stories and plans as they build a life for themselves in Israel. The students are invited back to our dorm facility and to participate in our program for Olim and Lone Soldiers. We look forward to keeping in touch.
When I spoke to the Muss group a few weeks ago, part of the message that I tried to convey to them is the value and significance of the “Inner Dimensions of Torah.” (Before I continue it is important to note that every part of Torah, every pasuk and every letter of our Torah has within it Ein Sof, endless holiness and revelation of the Divine.) By “Inner Dimensions of Torah” I am referring to Kabbala and Pnimiut HaTorah. Close relationships, I explained, are built on sharing secrets and personal information. If a person feels closed out from their friend, the growth of that relationship will be stunted. On the other hand, if there is trust between the confidants and private information is disclosed, how much more so can the friendship grow and flourish. We have no doubt survived as a people because Hashem conferred with us “hidden secrets.” These secrets reflect the enduring and intimate relationship that we have with the Ribono Shel Olam. Kabbala aside, how tragic is it that most Jews in the world have no concept of the depth and inner dimensions of the Torah. If they would only know the depth of it, the Jewish world would be a different reality. I encouraged the Muss students to seek a stronger connection to Torah and Judaism by delving into and uncovering the inner dimensions of Torah and not waiting until they are forty and over the hill.
In honor of Lag B’Omer and the Hillula of Rabi Simon Bar Yochia, I share with you some teachings from the Zohar Hakadosh in Parshat Emor, as explained by the Matok Mi’Dvash commentary.
The Omer is brought to the Cohen and he shakes it in the four directions. This offering, signified by the shaking up and down, enables the complete Dvakut between the Shechina Hakedosha above and Bnai Yisrael below. After the impurity of Mitzrayim, Bnai Yisrael embark on a 49 day process in order to purify themselves for Shavuot, our wedding day with the Shechina. (One who does not count the Omer is not worthy of having their “portion in Torah” because they are lacking in this purity created by the Omer).
This Omer is taken from barley – שעורה. Interestingly, the word שעורה reflects a סערה or storm. The sacrifice itself indicates that at this point the relationship between the Shechina and Knesset Yisrael is “stormy” and needs purification. Just like the Isha Sotah brings a sacrifice from barley, ultimately, in order to gain purity to reunite with her husband, so too Yisrael bring a Korban from שעורה to Hashem to restore the ahava (love) between us.
After the 49 day purity process of the Omer is completed and we are no longer in contact with the “filth” of the nachash (snake) from Gan Eden, we must protect this purity by staying up all night the night of Shavuot and study Torah. This learning, inclusive of תורה שבכתבand תורה שבעל פה, תורת הנגלה ותורת הנסתר, is the proper way to adorn the Schechina Hakedosha before the moment of Yichud, which takes place during Tefillat Musaf.
Rebbi Chiya once remarked to Rebbi Aba about the inner dimensions of Torah, “If all I merited in this world was to hear these things, it would be enough for me! Praised are those that study the secrets of the Torah, know the commandments of the Holy King al pi sod (in the way of the inner dimensions of Torah) and have proper intention when learning Torah and performing the Mitzvot. About these it is written, ‘(because they desire Hashem) Hashem will save them from every disaster and give them great honor!”