Haggadah Perspectives - Part 5

Dr. Joseph Frager,

Pete Hegseth holds a Torah scroll with Dr. Joe Frager in Hevron
Pete Hegseth holds a Torah scroll with Dr. Joe Frager in Hevron
Eliran Aharon

As was stated previously, The Shechina (Hashem's Presence) can only reside in this world when there are 22,000 Jews doing Hashem's bidding to correspond to Hashem's entourage of 22,000 angels (Tehillim 111:6) as alluded to in the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

The 4 Chayot of the Merkava (Hashem's Chariot) are included in the 22,000 angels. The Merkava controls the world as the Laws of Nature in a graduated, downward, stepwise fashion which is seen by us as the Physical Laws of the Universe. And the Creator, Blessed be He, rules over them from above. The four letters of the name of Hashem (Aleph, Dalet, Nun, Yud) as "Master of the Universe" are inserted into the 4 Chayot of the Merkava to run the world.

When Hashem came down to Mount Sinai to give the Torah to Israel He brought down with Him His host of angels as well to give over to the Children of Israel the key to the entire creation through the Torah and the Commandments and directly instill the power of His presence into them-without any screens of filters-a direct open revelation. This represents- running the world above and beyond the Laws of Nature (LeMaaleh Min HaTeva).

The revelation that the world can be directly run by Hashem bypassing Nature was made clear to the Children of Israel at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Therefore, the Medrash states (Shir HaShirim Raba 2:9) "that the Heavens were split wide open"-implying that Hashem's "Light" shone without any step-down filters ("Histalshelut"). It is by this direct intervention by Hashem that all miracles occur for His Holy Nation Israel. This idea is further elucidated in the words of the Mechilta. One verse says, "And Hashem went down on Mount Sinai" (Shemot 19:20) and later on another verse states, "Behold from the Heavens I spoke with you."(Shemot 20:19).

This is an apparent contradiction. How does one resolve this? A third verse comes later to resolve this apparent contradiction according to the Mechilta. The 3rd verse (Devarim 4:36) states, "From the Heavens He let you hear his voice to instruct you and upon earth He showed you His great Fire." (So there is no contradiction at all.

The end of the verse (Devarim 4:36) actually combines the two actions-"And you heard His Words out of the midst of the fire.") The Mechilta fits well with what has been said previously that the Creator, Blessed be He, revealed to Israel that he runs and controls the world in two ways. The first is in a step-wise, filtered way as a King who sits on his throne inside his palace where his people never see him, but only hear his laws and proclamations through his officers and officials. This is called running the world from the heavens.

In this way Hashem's essence is only revealed in the heavens and not on earth. The second way Hashem runs the world is as we mentioned "beyond and above nature"-directly without angels or intermediaries (as He did in the Exodus from Egypt and the revelation of the Torah at Mount Sinai) as a king who travels through his kingdom to see his people up close, personally, and directly. Chag Sameach.