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Bechukotai: Zerah Kodesh: Illuminating the Root

The 11th of Iyar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz, author of Ayalah Sheluchah and Zera Kodesh. I have added personal source notes to the following comments so that you can appreciate the Ropshitzer’s vast knowledge and depth of wisdom:


“If you will follow My decrees and observe My commandments and perform them; then I will provide your rains in their time, and the land will give its produce and the tree of the field will give its fruit (Vayikra 26:3-4).” Why does it say, “in their time,” if as Rashi explains, “the blessings will be so conclusive that the rains will come at times when they will not inconvenience people, such as the evening of Shabbat, when people are not traveling,” it should say, “in your time,” as it describes the rains as, “yours”?

It appears that the verse is hinting that we fulfill the commandments in physical form; we use leather for Tefillin, and similarly with all Mitzvot. The Mitzvah needs us, for as we fulfill a Mitzvah we elevate the physical matter.

(The Sidduro shel Shabbat; Third Root, Page 1, Leaf 3, explains that we are called “Osei Mitzvah,” those who make the Mitzvah, because we “make” the physical thing into something else. See too, Zohar III, Tazria 50a on the ‘women whose hearts lifted them’ as explained by the Ohr haChamah in the name of the Remak; Reishit Chochmah, Gate of Love, Chapter 9, #38-43; Shelah haKodesh, Sha’ar haOtiot, Aleph: Emet v’Emunah)

However, in truth, the Mitzvah functions on a spiritual level, it directs and illuminate our souls, “For a Mitzvah is a candle (Proverbs 6:23).” We do not need to illuminate the Mitzvah, on the contrary, we need the Mitzvot, just as the one who carries the king’s seal; the seal is for the king alone and the carrier needs the seal for his position. So too, the Blessed One sanctified us with His Mitzvot, and through our performance we elevate and sanctify the physical matter, stirring the Spiritual root of the Mitzvah.

(See Reishit Chochmah, The Gate of Awe, Chapter 4, #35-36: The Mitzvot are in physical form only as a result of Adam’s sin, but are actually attached to the Tree of Life. While a Mitzvah may seem insignificant to us, it is a great matter in the eyes of God, Blessed be His Name. See too, The Gate of Sanctity, Chapter 6, #77)

In truth, the Sages taught: “The Mitzvot are destined to be annulled in the Future world (Nidah 61b),” although there will never be another Torah from Him, Blessed is He, but that the Mitzvot will be fulfilled in an entirely spiritual manner according to the way the Angels wanted to receive the Holy Torah (Shabbat 88b). They certainly did not seek to fulfill the Mitzvot in physical ways; they certainly desired to accomplish them in their spiritual form.

(See Maharsha, Chiddushei Aggadot; Responsa of Radvaz, Volume 3, #643; Likkutei Torah of the Ari haKadosh, Parshat Eikev, “Kol Mitzvah.”)

We have lost this spiritual form of the Mitzvot, but we aspire to the Future World when we can thus fulfill them.

“If you will follow My decrees and observe My commandments and perform them,” in their physical form, elevating the physical, “I will provide your rains – Gishmeichem in their time,” Gishmeichem as in your world of Gashmiut, physicality; the ability to elevate them, “in their times,” in the time of physical existence, this world, but in the Future World, you will have more.

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