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Bechukotai: Degel Machane Ephraim: Clarifying the Sparks

The 17th of Iyar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Moshe Chaim Ephraim of Sadlikov, grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, author of Degel Machaneh Ephraim: “Your threshing – Dayish – will last until the vintage – Batzir, and the vintage will last until the sowing; you will eat your bread to satiety and you will dwell securely in your land (Vayikra 26:5).”


We can read this verse with Dayish meaning to walk (Bava Kamah 9a, Bava Metziah 14b) and Batzir meaning little, or small (Pesachim 33b). “Lachem,” to you, refering to what relates to you: the sparks of Sanctity that relate to your Spiritual Roots, will be yours with Batzir, minimal effort, and will Dayish, move forward on its own. In this way, “the Batzir, will last until Zerah, sowing,” meaning the small effort will plant seeds for more growth. Understand this.

(The Peri Eitz Chaim, Sha’ar Kriat Shema, Chapter 3, explains how the Sparks “fell into shells, Kelipot” as a result of Adam’s sin, and our job in exile is to collect and rectify all the Sparks.)

This relates to what I heard from my grandfather on the verse, “When God favors a man’s ways, even his foes will make peace with him (Proverbs 16:7).” Why does it say “his foes” rather than “foes”?

He explained that there are two types of enemies. Those who hate Israel in general, and those whose hate derives from our sins. When a person repairs his ways, and clarifies the Sparks that are spread in the Shells, they are automatically released from their Shells. Thus, “When God favors a man’s ways,” when the man is repairing his ways and returning to God, even his enemies, those caused by his sins, will naturally assist him in achieving perfection. The Sparks, released from their Shells become his allies, and he becomes a Shalaim.

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