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Oneg Yom Tov: Bo: As Children

The 6th of Shevat is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Raphael Yom Tov Lipman Halpern (Heilperin) of Bialystock, the Oneg Yom Tov (1816-1879)

Why does the Midrash describe the angels as speaking of us as “born from a woman,” rather than focusing on our souls, which come from God?

When the Angels saw us standing at Sinai, perfected and existing “among us,” the angels, as pure spiritual beings, they asked God how a human being can achieve such status.

God responded that when we act as children, without thought, but are willing to do, we begin to transform our physical being into spiritual existence. We can then complete the process through our study of Torah.

When we followed God into the desert after witnessing the destruction of all the physical lives of the Egyptians, we began the journey to Sinai as children, willing to let go of the boundaries of life – Mitzrayim – and willing to live as spiritual beings.

We are taught that Satan appeared in the physical form of a snake. His approach is always to mask things in their physical forms in order to distract us from our spiritual lives. When we use the physical for holiness, performing the Mitzvot, we can overcome the physical veils that the Evil Inclination uses to tempt us away from our spiritual lives.

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