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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"All that crawls on the stomach (GACHON - Stomach, in Hebrew) ..............(11:42)

In Kiddushin 30a., it states that the letter "vav" in the word Gachon (stomach) is the very middle letter of the entire Torah. Why was it so essential for the Sages to inform us of this fact? I would like to propose the following original answer, Bezrat Hashem:In kabalistic thought, the letter "vav" is known as "ASVATA DIKISHAT" (the letter of truth) since it stands perfectly straight, namely unbent.One animal that crawls is the snake which used deceit to entice Eve to sin .

(Please refer to Genesis 3:4-5) This caused Adam to have a tremendous downfall for which the world still needs to rectify. In actuality "falsehood" is the cause of much evil. Yet the very middle letter of the entire Torah is the Letter of Truth, namely the "VAV". This is primarily teaching us that the very foundation of the Torah is the pursuit of truth which is strongly emphasized by the very location of the "vav" in the center of the Torah. Actually, it seems as if both halves of the Torah are hinging on the "vav". This seems to be a formidable task for the "vav", yet the Torah has full and unyielding confidence in its ability to keep the Torah whole. Similarly, we must also keep the Torah whole by being truthful with ourselves and others. This is a mighty task that we must struggle with daily ever since the snake tried to pervert us towards falsehood. Have a good Shabbos


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