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Monday, September 2, 2013

Mirrors: Part II

 וְאִם-בְּאֵלֶּה לֹא תִוָּסְרוּ, לִי וַהֲלַכְתֶּם עִמִּי קֶרִי
 וְהָלַכְתִּי אַף-אֲנִי עִמָּכֶם בְּקֶרִי
 וְהִכֵּיתִי אֶתְכֶם גַּם-אָנִי שֶׁבַע עַל חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם
“If despite these you will not be chastised toward Me, and you behave casually with Me, then I, too, will behave toward you will casualness; and I will strike you, even I, seven ways for your sins.”
Vayikra 26:23-24

עִם-חָסִיד תִּתְחַסָּד  עִם-גְּבַר תָּמִים תִּתַּמָּם 
 עִם-נָבָר תִּתְבָּרָר וְעִם-עִקֵּשׁ תִּתְפַּתָּל
“With the devout You acted devoutly, with the wholehearted man You act wholeheartedly. With the pure you act purely, and with the crooked you acted perversely.”
Tehillim 18:26-27 (see also Mishlei 3:34)

 ה΄ שֹׁמְרֶךָ   ה΄ צִלְּךָ עַל-יַד יְמִינֶךָ
“God is your guardian; God is your shade/shadow at your right hand.”
Tehillim 121:5

אמר לו הק΄ למשה, משה אמור להן לישראל שמי אהיה אשר אהיה, ומהו אהיה אשר אהיה, כשם שאתה הווה עמי, כך אני הווה עמך, מסרתי להם שתי מידות טובות המשפט והצדק, אם עושין הן משפט, אין אני עושה משפט, ואני משפיע טובות, אם אינן עושין משפט, אני עושה משפט ומחריב העולם, וכן בצדקה, אם פותחין הן את ידיהן ונותנין, אף אני אפתח להן...

וכן אמר דוד ה΄ שומרך, ה΄ צלך על יד ימינך (תהילים קכ"א), כצלך, מה צלך, אם אתה משחוק לו הוא משחיק לך, אם אתה בוכה לו, הוא בוכה כנגדך, אם אתה נותן לו פנים זועפות, אף הוא נותן לך כך, ואם פנים מסוברות אתה נותן, אף הוא נותן לך...

“The Holy One said to Moshe: Moshe tell Israel that my name is ‘I will be as I will be.’ What is the meaning of “I will be as I will be? Just as you are with me, I will be with you. I gave you two good attributes – justice and charity. If you judge [appropriately], I will not judge; If you do not judge, I will judge and destroy the world. So too regarding charity: If you open up your hands and give, I too will open [my hands] to you…

“Similarly, David said ‘God is your guardian; God is your shadow at your right hand.’ As a shadow – if you play with your shadow, it plays as well, if you cry to it, it cries in response to you, if you give it an angry face, as such it will return to you, and if you give it a happy face, so will it give to you…”
מדרש השכם\ספר והזהיר על פרשת משפטים[i]  

כַּמַּיִם, הַפָּנִים לַפָּנִים כֵּן לֵב-הָאָדָם, לָאָדָם
“As a face is reflected in water, so the heart of man to man.”
Mishlei 27:19

וכמו שהאדם דבק להשי״ת כן הקב״ה מדבק בו
וכמ״ש ועל הכסא דמות כמראה אדם
וכן כל הנביאים ראו בדמות אדם לפי שהן אדם לכן מראה עצמו להם בדמות אדם
“As a person cleaves to God, so The Holy One cleaves to him. This is the meaning of the verse ‘And on the throne [of glory], an image like the face of Man.’ So too, all of the prophets saw in [their visions of the heavenly throne] the image of Man since they are men. Thus, He shows Himself to them in the image of Man”
Peirush ha’Gra on Mishlei 27:19

כל נביאים נסתכלו באספקלריא שאינה מאירה, משה רבינו נסתכל באספקלריא המאירה
“All the prophets looked through a poorly reflective mirror; Moshe looked through a highly shined mirror.”
Yevamot 49b (see Sukkah 45b)[ii]

בא ליטמא פותחין לו, בא ליטהר מסייעים אותו
“If one comes to defile himself, they [heaven] provide an opening for him. If one comes to purify himself, they help him."
Shabbat 104a[iii]

במדה שאדם מודד, בה מודדין לו
“In the measure that a person measures [his actions], so they [heaven] measure to him”
Sotah 8b[iv]

בדרך שאדם רוצה לילך, בה מוליכין אותו
“In the way a person wishes to go, in that way they [heaven] lead him.”
Makkot 10b



[i] See Ramban and Torah Shleimah on Shemot 3:13; Avodat haKodesh, Chapter 16; Midrash Shmuel on Avot 3:17; Sefer ha’Shelah, Toldot Adam, Sha’ar ha’Gadol; Kedushat Levi in many places in the name of the Ba’al Shem Tov (e.g. Derasha l’Chanukah); Nefesh ha’Chaim 1:6. For a discussion of this imagery see Moshe Idel, Kabbalah: New Perspectives, Chapter 8.

[ii] Regarding the meaning of “Aspaklaria” as “mirror,” see Keilim 30:2 (and commentaries there), Yerushalmi Berakhot 8:6 (and Mareh Pnim there) and Tikkunei Zohar 19 (#73).

[iii] See also Yoma 39b, which Torah Temimah quotes on Vayikra 11:43 and relates to Tehillim 121:5. 

[iv] For similar sources and applications, see Shabbat 105b, Pesachim 69a, Rosh Hashana 12b, Yevamot 107b, Nedarim 32a, Sanhedrin 90a and 108a, Chullin 127a, Arachin 16b, Bereshit Rabbah 9, Bamidbar Rabbah 11, Devarim Rabbah 11, Introduction to Eicha Rabbah, Mekhilta Beshalach 6.  

4 comments:

Nachum said...

The Or Meir says that this is pshat in why we are happy on Rosh Hashana. I think he quotes "Hashem tzilcha" from the Shlah.

Micha Berger said...

It is unclear whether an aspaqlaria is a mirror or a lens. In the title essay of my blog, I tied it (based on R Nachman Bulman) to a fundamental machloqes on the nature of serving G-d, and whether prophecy is reception of a message from the Almighty or being granted a vision of what's going on on a metaphysical level.

Yona said...

Thanks R' Micha for your comment. R. Hillel Goldberg in Illuminating the Generations has a long footnote on the machloqes.
The word seems to be derived from the Latin for mirror, speculum.

Micha Berger said...

I thought it was lapis specularis. Most windows were filled with this nearly-clear stone. Rich people had glass.

And that machloqes you refer to (which I got from RNBulman) is how I tied to prophecy. According to the Rambam, prophecy is seeing what is actually going on, but among the intellects. According to the Ramban, it's a message from G-d. (Which is why the Ramban couldn't understand how angels seen in prophesy could save Lot in reality.) The Ramban's navi uses a lens. The Rambam's, OTOH, requires he be able to connect to his own spiritual self