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Shekalim: Restricted Light



“Who measured the waters in His palm, gauged the Heavens with a span, measured in a huge vessel the dust of the earth, and weighed mountains with a scale and hills with a balance (Isaiah 40:12)?”

Why does this verse have so many different forms of measuring: “measuring the waters in His palm,” “gauged the Heavens with a span,” “measured in a huge vessel the dust of the earth,” “weighed mountains with a scale,” and “hills with a balance?”

When it rose in the Thought of the Blessed One the desire to create the world, so that He could be King over all, for there is, “no King without a nation,” He examined with His wisdom, how could created beings receive His Blessed Light, the source of their life? Is not God, Blessed is He, Infinite, and His creations, limited?

Therefore, He measured,  weighed and calculated with His Wisdom all the creations, each one according to the level of light they could receive. Each created being can only receive a certain amount of God’s Infinite Light.

The Light we do receive, is Light that has been restricted and withdrawn; limited so that we, finite beings, can receive it.

The “Shokail,” the Measurer of Light, restricted His Light so that we, limited beings, can receive it in measure. The “Half” of the Half Shekel is our acknowledgement that even the Light we receive is restricted. The “Shekel” of the Half Shekel, is a reminder that we have been designed according to a specific measure, to receive the Divine Light we do.

(Ohaiv Yisrael: Four Parshiot)

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