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Morning Blessings-Moshe and The Tefillin Knot of Attachment

It is written that God told Moses, “I will take away My hand, and you will see My back, but My face shall not be seen (Exodus 33:23).” Our sages teach us that this alludes to the fact that God showed Moses the knot of His head tefillin (Berachot 7a).


God hides Himself in the Infinite Splendor. The place in which God hides Himself is the brilliant concealed Light, which cannot be perceived at all. The Infinite Light of God’s Essence is all the more certainly hidden and incomprehensible.

It is written, “From my flesh I shall see God (Job 19:26).” We know that when a person wants to hide himself, he places his hand over his head or face. When God covers Himself, we therefore also say that He does so with His “hand.” [We act this out when we cover our eyes while saying Shema]

God’s hand is alluded to by the letter Kaf, which means, “palm of the hand.” This letter Kaf, however, also alludes to the Crown [Keter] (Zohar 3:274b). This is the highest of all of the Emanations, and, in this, the Infinite Light is concealed.

The concept of the Crown cannot be perceived by any mortal human or any other created thing. It is therefore called Nothingness (Zohar 3:256a).

God had the greatest possible love for Moses and wanted to fulfill his request to “see” God’s “face.” He therefore told Moses, “I will remove My hand.” He was telling Moses that He would reveal the Crown to him.

We cannot speak of this further, for “God’s glory is to conceal a thing (Proverbs 25:2).” The words stand, hidden and sealed, and the wise man and one understand by himself.

Our sages alluded to all these concepts in very concise words when they taught, “We learn that God showed Moses the knot of the tefillin.” God revealed to Moses the knot of attachment which is called “Tefillin.” This alludes to the Divine Mentality, as is known (Zohar 3:263a).

This is enough for the one who understands. (Ohev Yisrael, Ki Tissa)

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