The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review

Yaacov Dovid Shulman

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Volume V, Issue 22

Mishpatim 5761 Febuary 2001

Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2000 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (


* Supernal Holiness
-by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

* In All My House, He Is Trustworthy
-by Avraham Stern

* The Kvittel (Part V)
-by Menashe Unger

-by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

* The Information of this Body
-by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

Supernal Holiness
by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

When supernal holiness rests upon an individual and upon the community, it places them upon the level of the supernal Will that manifests within all being.

And thus it also causes the primal light that vivifies that holy and elevated Will to shine within them.

Then one's specific will is not constricted and darkened, closed within the straits of an awareness and desire determined by the constricted conditions of existence.

Instead, it bursts upward, and it shines ever more strongly, beyond understanding.

It unites with the very innermost being of Supernal Pleasantness, [also known as] Divine Freshness, in all its fullness and goodness, which descends to all existence with its stream of light.

When one's will rises to these supernal heights, it renews the entire mold of existence in an elevated state.

The laws of life, the laws of heaven and earth, shine with that supernal light: a light of greatness; a light of the manifestation of life in all existence in a supernal form, in a broad and full form; a light of the Light of universes, the Source of true life.

Arpelei Tohar, pp. 2-3

by Avraham Stern

The first Rabbi Aharon of Karlin (Hasidim call him "the great Rebbe Aharon") once entered the study of his rebbe, Rabbi Dov Ber (the Maggid of Mezeritch), to take his leave, for he wished to go home. The rebbe parted with him. But as soon as Rabbi Aharon left the room, the rebbe sent a few of his "holy company" to stop Rabbi Aharon from leaving. They stopped him, and so Rabbi Aharon returned to R. Dov Ber to again ask permission to leave. And so again the rebbe saw him off, and again he sent a few of his students to prevent him from leaving.

And this took place a few more times. Finally, Rabbi Aharon ignored what the students were telling him. He said to them, "If the rebbe didn't want me to go home, he would have told me himself." And he went home.

And there, he immediately passed away.

Greatly pained by Rabbi Aharon's death, the students took courage and went to ask Rabbi Dov Ber why he had given Rabbi Aharon permission to leave.

In response, the rebbe sent them to his oven stoker [grube heitzer]--who would later be known as Rabbi Zushe of Anipole.

Rabbi Zushe answered them as follows:

"The Torah praises Moshe by saying that ‘in all My house he is trustworthy.' But what does it mean that someone is trustworthy in God's house? Is there anything there that could be stolen? The answer is that Moshe would not tell what he had seen in heaven unless he was given permission to reveal it. The Midrash teaches that ‘Moshe knew with certainty from heaven that if all the people prayed for him, the decree that he cannot enter the Holy Land would be nullified. He hinted at this many times.

But since they did not understand, he did not openly tell them this secret, even though it was for his own sake' (Devorim 3). And so you must understand that although the rebbe knew everything in advance and looked for ways to keep Rabbi Aharon from going home, he could not say anything openly."

Chasidishe Maasiyos, p. 77

by Menashe Unger

There were rebbes who requested money from Hasidim. Some took a sum of coins equaling twice the numerical value of chai ("life"): 36. Some took a sum equal to the numerical value of the name of the Hasid or his wife.

Horodetzki tells (Hachasidus V'hachasidim III 3, p. 92) that the Hornosteipler rebbe, Rabbi Yaacov Yisroel Twerski (third son of Rabbi Motele Tshernobler) used to receive money in this way. Sometimes he would ask for an amount equal to the numerical value of the Hasid's wife's name. It is told that there was a Hasid whose wife's name was Chayah. When the rebbe asked for an exchange equal to his wife's name, the Hasid was happy, because "Chayah" only adds up to 23. But the rebbe told him, "Sometimes people call your wife Chayeleh, and I want a sum equal to that name"--namely, 132.

In the court of the Rizhiner rebbe, the protocol for taking one's leave was as follows. Rabbi Israel would sit in his ceremonial room. At his side stood his servant, holding a kerchief. When the Hasid came before the rebbe, he put his kvittel on the rebbe's desk and furtively threw his pidyon into the servant's kerchief, as though he were ashamed to do so. The Rizhiner rebbe never took an interest in whether or not a Hasid gave a pidyon or, if he did, in what amount (cf. Horodetzki, ibid. IV, p. 169).

And in the court of Ger, it was not the custom to give the rebbe a pidyon. Instead, wealthy Hasidim took the Gerer rebbe as a partner in their business. And from this income, the rebbe was able to support his great court.

R. Baal Shem Tov, p. 374

by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Why did Yaacov give the first-born status to Yosef? This, the Sages teach, is comparable to a man who raised an orphan. Eventually, the orphan grew wealthy, and he decided to share his wealth with his stepfather.

The stepfather represents Yosef, and the orphan represents Yaacov. (Yaacov grew wealthy, for after Reuven desecrated Yaacov's bed, Reuven's first-born possessions came to him, and he was able to give them--and the first-born status--to whomever he wished.)

Yaacov decided to give his wealth to Yosef. Why? Because Yosef had imparted food to him. As the verse states, "Yosef imparted to his father and his brothers...bread, according to the children'" (Bereishit 47:12). What does "bread according to the children" mean? The word for "children" is taf.

And the prophet Yechezkel uses the phrase, "Speak toward the south" (Yechezkel 21:2), in which the word for "speak" is hateif--which is related to taf.

"According to the taf" [can also be translated as "according to the mouth of the taf"]. Yosef's prayerful speech was fluent in his mouth. First Yosef gave charitably to Yaacov, his father. As a result, Yaacov (corresponding to "justice") gave the first-born status, which corresponds to prayer, to Yosef. "I have given you a portion"--emphasizing that "I," Yaacov, who is "justice," have given Yosef the first-born portion.

In essence, "foreign thoughts" come when justice (or judgement) has been damaged.

Justice corresponds to the eyes. "He came to Ein Mishpat"--the Well of Judgement, which can also be translated as "the Eye of Judgement" (Bereishit 14:7).

[As mention above, Yaacov corresponds to judgement.] The phrase, "the Well of Yaacov," in Devorim (33:28) can be translated as "the Eye of Yaacov."

When justice is damaged, the eyes are damaged. "Bribery blinds the eyes of the wise" (Devorim 16).

And this corresponds to the "foreign thoughts" that one may have while praying, because these thoughts are like clouds that cover the eyes (Zohar, Bamidbar 252). "You have covered Yourself with a cloud" [in order not to let prayer reach You] (Eichah 3:44). In future days, when justice will be rectified--as the verse states, "Zion will be redeemed with justice" (Isaiah 1: 27)--the clouds covering [God's] eye will be removed. Then "eye to eye will they see as Hashem returns to Zion" (ibid. 52:8). And Yosef is called "a fruitful branch upon the well"--upon the Eye. [He gave food and fruitfulness to Yaacov.] Likutei Moharan 2

by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

Your cave of ice transmutes
and becomes
the Aegean-green highway
and the hidden cornfield
of hay scents
and petal sky.

--The transmigration of feet,
the blossoming of snow footsteps,
the migration of elephants
across a slow plain,
the dried water hole whispering toads,
the branch before an iron-rim horizon,

the information of this body
and the gold of this desire
to eat the invisible air
around the haloed ordinary
and the dog-bark sheen,--

again we will meet
and these glistening images
these pheasant memories
bursting from the brown grass,
this explosion of oval sound
will never disappear

and be glad, therefore,
draw in the cape
about this jade globe
and weep
the scarlet river springs
and enter the crevices
and be the many voices
that you watch
and the snake coiling upon the branch
and the green child below.

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