Friday, January 11, 2008

the big letter "yud" (III)

Now that we have the building blocks (see parts I and II), we can get to the punch line. Every Jew soul is a letter written on the parchment of Jewish destiny (sounds poetic, no? My wife would call it purple prose). How that letter appears is subject to our bechira. If a Jew chooses lives according to pnimiyus, the letter within him is revealed clearly and distinctly. But if a Jew c”v acts according to hi/her own machshava, taking pen in hand and scrawling his/her own message, than the ratzon Hashem of his/her neshoma remains hidden, that potential letter in the destiny of Klal Yisrael that he/she could contribute is erased. Every decision we face really boils down to one question: what’s my letter and where does it come from, machshavos b’lev ish or Toras emes?

The Sefas Emes explains: Had Reuvain realized that the urge to save Yosef came from within his pnimiyus, that it is letters of Torah, he would have seized the opportunity. But it’s not so easy to see to distinguish our own thoughts from the letters of Torah within, and even the shivtei K-h can err (compare with the Shem m’Shmuel discussed once before).

Shlomo haMelech thought that he could take as many wives as he liked – the “yud” of “yarbeh” was just not his letter, it did not radiate in his neshoma, it was erased from his book. But Hashem does not let letters get erased, his ratzon will come to fruition, even if we choose to ignore the message.

And to return to the starting line again, “Netei es yadcha al Eretz Mitzrayim” now also makes a bit more sense. Yad-cha – your "yud". "Yud" (as we explained) is the aspect of machshava; Moshe, the transmitter of Torah, represented the highest level of da’as and machshava a human can attain. The “yud” was Moshe’s letter. That “yud”, which we can all attach to, can either be constrained and confined in the meitzar, the narrow straits of galus, or it can transcend the highest Heavens.

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