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Gur Aryeh Yehuda: Vayeitzei: The Foundation Stone

The seventh of Kislev is the Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yehuda Aryeh Leib ben David of Amsterdam, author of Gur Aryeh Yehuda. He died on November 10, 1709. The Yalkut Shimoni (Isaiah #478) says: “There was once a pious man who was traveling on the sea near Haifa and he wondered, “Perhaps the Holy One, Blessed is He, will make the Western Gate of the Beit Hamikdash, and its two smaller doors, into one gate of pure pearl.’ A Heavenly Voice immediately came out and said, ‘ Were you not a Chasid, the Divine Attribute of Justice would have struck against you. I created the world in six days, and it is impossible to make the Western Gate and its small doors into one!” The Chasid immediately repented and regretted his words. A Miracle happened and the sea split open, and the man saw the Ministering Angels working with walls, doors and precious stones. He asked them, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘We are remodeling the Western Gate and its two small doors into one of pure pearl!”

Jacob represents the Divine Attribute of Tiferet – Perfect Balance of all of creation. He combines the Chesed of Abraham and the Din of Isaac. The two doors, represent the two attributes of Chesed and Din. They can only be unified in Tiferet, which is not in this world, but in the perfect meeting point of the Upper and Lower World; Tiferet.

The Gate can only become one piece of solid pearl, not in heaven, nor in earth, which were created and completed in six days, but in the meeting point between both.

We must approach this portion with the idea of the ladder as the symbol of Jacob’s efforts to join the two worlds. (Gur Aryeh Yehuda: Vayeitzei)

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