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Shabbat Parashat Behar Bechukotai 5780

Ein Ayah: Ostensibly Intellectual Mistakes that Come from Within

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 11:11-12)

Gemara: Reish Lakish said: One who suspects those who are innocent suffers bodily afflictions, as it says: “[Moshe said of Bnei Yisrael:] They will not believe me” (Shemot 4:1), and it was clear before Hashem that Israel would believe.   

 

Ein Ayah: It is true that sometimes the factors that cause one to make a cognitive mistake are only based on emotional/spiritual lackings, and these lackings bring on a less sensitive constitution in the physical realm. This in turn clouds matters to the point that one does not see things clearly from an intellectual perspective. Still, when these inaccuracies apply to how a physical person evaluates other physical people, they come from a tendency in the perceiver toward lack of purity, which he applies to others. It is his own lack of clarity and purity that is behind the negative perception.

It is not possible to remove this physically based characteristic by emotional/spiritual means alone, as the physical constitution must be scrubbed clean of this characteristic that caused false perceptions of others. When this is remedied, the intellect will be freed of its subservience to the person’s physical side, and he will be able to perceive others in a true manner, so that he will stop casting false aspersions. The way to fix the light of the soul is therefore by those who suspect others to be bodily afflicted.

Hashem, not Moshe, was aware of Bnei Yisrael’s ability to believe the tidings of liberation. The holy sense of belief in that which is holy in the purest way (i.e., Hashem) is the source of satisfaction and eternal life. It is a wonderful treasure house, hidden away and sealed. It is deeper than anything that the human spirit can recognize. A person cannot even appreciate the depths of his belief in Hashem within his own soul. It is even clearer that one cannot reveal this power as found in the soul of another person who possesses true belief. Only to the Divine Eye, which views all hidden things, is this secret clear.

This is true even in cases in which all indications are that the last spark of the light of life, i.e., the light of belief, has already been extinguished. This is the special internal characteristic of Israel, as it is an eternal heritage that never ceases – “Great waters are unable to extinguish [them]” (see Shir Hashirim 8:7). Moshe Rabbeinu’s eyes, which were able to penetrate to the depths of sanctity, were not able to discern this belief in the hearts of the people. After all, external indications were that this belief did not exist, as the people were in a lowly state during this time that they were a nation within another nation (see Devarim 4:34), like a fetus enveloped in its mother’s stomach. That is the reason that Moshe feared that the people would not believe him, but it was clear to Hashem that they would.     

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