Wednesday, July 09, 2008

ya'akov avinu lo meis - david melech yisrael chai v'kayam

R' Kook has a long explanation of this point which I won't have time to write any time soon, but I will at least pass on his interesting diyuk which had never struck me before. Why is it that with respect to Ya'akov Avinu's eternal existance we use the phrase "Ya'akov Avinu lo meis" to , but with respect to David haMelech we use the phrase "David Melech Yisrael chai v'kayam"?

I told this to my son who is already being corrupted with Brisker tendencies and tried to formulate a difference between being "lo meis" and being "chai v'kayam", but as my wife noted, unless you are thinking of vampires as undead, it is hard to see how that approach would work. So something to puzzle over...

1 comment:

  1. I just heard a vort from Rav Tzaddok that when the gemara says that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was not nehene from olam hazeh it refers to the fact that he was zocheh to be kulah kodesh and only spiritual. This is why we find that "Rebbi lo meis" and the rayah he didn't die is from a gemara in Kesuvos that he used to come home every Shabbos after his petirah and make kiddush for his wife. we see he could be motzei his wife so it must be he was mechyuv in mitzvos and he must not have died

    This fits with what the Arizal says that Rebbi was the neshama of Yaakov since Yaakov also "lo meis". In fact NASI=nishmas shel Ya'akov Avinu.