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Beit Midrash Series Ein Ayah

condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 12:31-33

Stable Truth, Volatile Falsehood

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Gemara: [The gemara continues learning lessons from the letters of the aleph bet, now based on the "At Bash" system – there is a connection between the letters that are equidistant from the middle of the aleph bet. In other words, aleph is connected to tav because they are at the edges, bet is connected to shin, gimmel to reish, etc.] Oti ta’ev – etaveh lo? (He despises Me, will I desire him?) … Dalet kuf – daltotai na’al, karnav lo agade’ah? (My doors he locked – will I not cut off his horns (=sign of power and kingdom; Rav Kook explains it as beams of light, based on Shemot 34:29)?).

Ein Ayah: The far-away edges, which draw closer as they continue on (i.e., in the At Bash system) demonstrate the suitability of the connection between human life and the influence of higher powers. These powers take hold on a person according to the character of his life, when he keeps his actions pure and remains in his status of sanctity. The more he distances himself from the paths of righteousness, the more he distances himself from these positive influences.

Although the love of the Creator of all for His creations is limitless, as is His kindness to all of them, still everything is judged by the manner of a person’s way of life. One who detests Hashem and does not desire to follow His paths will not be able to receive the holy light or the flow of His lofty love. This is hinted at by the letters aleph and tav at the edges of the aleph bet, which prompt the gemara to exclaim, "Oti ta’ev – etaveh lo?"

A door is made in a manner that all who are supposed to enter a home will do so and those who must not enter will be kept out by a closed door. A person is engulfed in his thick materialism, but still his soul yearns to reach distant spiritual places and draw close to goodness, sanctity, and the grandeur of upper worlds, which flow from the aura of the mercy of Hashem, the source of good. This sanctity arouses a person to elevate himself above the coarse, materialistic world, to the level of the lofty light to the extent that even his material side can reach the level of the shining forth of sanctity. This is what happened to Moshe Rabbeinu, about whom it says: "the skin of his face shone (karan)" (Shemot 34:29). While not everyone can reach this level of unique radiance of the face, every person possesses a certain element of it, as all are made in Hashem’s image.

When all the twists and turns of life occur, each person and the world as a whole reach a place of good spiritual fortune, which is the desire of Hashem, from Whom mercy and kindness flow. This is because Hashem is the source of good, as the pasuk says: "Praise Hashem for He is good" (Tehillim 106:1).

However, some people go so far that they lock the doors that Hashem placed with the intention that they should be opened at times of good will. Such a person darkens the light to the point that his spirit can never reach spiritual thoughts that bring sanctity and spiritual elevation; the beams of light totally elude him. They are considered severed and unusable in reaching their secret role, to light up the dark places. This was man’s own doing, as Hashem kept the doors in a position that they are open for those who knock on them through the process of repentance. But if a person locks them, he receives what he deserves, and his ability to have light is severed by force. This is what is meant by "My doors he locked – will I not cut off his light?" Indeed, a person is paid according to his actions, and his path shall find him (see Iyov 34:11).
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