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Shir ha-Shirim XV Part Two: Sefirah 19

Rabbi Nechemiah said: When Israel heard the Statement, “You shall not have,” the Evil Inclination was plucked from their heart. They came to Moshe and said, “Our master, Moshe, you become an intermediary between us, as it says, “You speak with us, and we will hear, why should we die (Exodus 20:16; Devarim 5:22).” What would be gained if we were to die? At that moment the Evil Inclination returned to its place.


They came a second time to Moshe and said, “Our master, Moshe, would that God might be revealed to us a second time! Would that He would kiss us, “with the kisses of His lips.”

He replied to them: This cannot be now, but it won’t be in the days to come, as it says, “And I will take away the stone heart out of your flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).” (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 1.2:4, Part Two)

Rabbi Nechemiah does not see our Torah study as our request to learn Torah directly from God because we wanted permanently fixed in our hearts, without any forgetting; he sees our Torah study as our request to be able to use Torah to destroy our Evil Inclination.

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