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Geshmack Dvar Torah of the Week: United We Stand

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

United We Stand

This week features a gem from R' Shamshon Ostropolier, but this is a contentious point, and has also been attributed to the Vilna Gaon and various Sephardic Baalei Drasha.

The Pasuk says " וַיִּיקַץ יַעֲקֹב, מִשְּׁנָתוֹ, וַיֹּאמֶר, אָכֵן יֵשׁ יְהוָה בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה; וְאָנֹכִי, לֹא יָדָעְתִּי - And Yakov awakened from his sleep, and he said, "I now know the Lord is in this place, and I did not know before." (28:16)

Clearly this means something else, and R' Shamshon Ostropolier obliges us. He explains that we know from Sefer Yechezkel there are 4 images on the Kisei HaKavod(G-d's Holy Throne), a lion, an eagle, a cherub and a man.

He then explains that אָכֵן is Roshei Teivos Aryeh (lion), Cruv (cherub, the angel that appeared on the Aron) and Nesher (eagle), and אָנֹכִי is Roshei Teivos Aryeh, Nesher, Cruv, and Yakov. This is what he was really saying; ""אָכֵן" I already knew were on the Kisei HaKavod, but after I saw the Kisei Hakavod in my dream, I saw "אָנֹכִי" with the additional yud, for Yakov ie that my face was the fourth, fitting enough to be on the Kisei HaKavod, לֹא יָדָעְתִּי".

I heard a very interesting explanation on how he saw himself as fitting from when he woke up and not before. There is machlokes how many stones Yakov took as the pasuk does not say how many. Pirkei D'Rebi Eliezer says that Yakov took 12 stones to put around his head. Before, all the stones were seperate and individual, and Yakov/Yisroel was not fit to be on the Kisei HaKavod. But once he woke up and saw they had combined to make 1 stone, then he was fitting to be on the Kisei Hakavod, and that's why he didn't know before. We can apply this to ourselves by saying that the 12 stones is a metaphor for the 12 Tribes, and clearly from this we can see that divided we are not fit to be on the Kisei HaKavod, but united, we are.

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