The prayers of the Daughters of Israel

PINCHAS Numbers 25:10–30:1 The modest and powerful place of prayer must be open and inviting to those women who truly understand prayer.

Rabbi Moshe Kempinski ,

Moshe Kempinski
Moshe Kempinski
צילום: PR

The Western Wall-the Kotel as we know it, is but a very small section of the full western supporting wall of the Temple Mount .That wall runs 488 meters until the North West corner of the Mount.

Interestingly the topography of the Old City reveals a hint or REMEZ of Hashem’s eternal Presence in Jerusalem. The valleys intersecting the old city create an image of the letter SHIN, a Hebrew letter that begins three of Hashem's names .That letter Shin is created by the Hinnom valley on one side, the Kidron valley on the other, and between them runs what became known as the Tyropoeon valley. All these creating the image of the letter SHIN.

That middle valley runs alongside the western wall of the Temple Mount and a visit into the Western Wall Tunnels reveal the arches, bridges and stairwells that connected the Lower city, over that valley with the gates into the Temple Mount.

In the midst of that western wall tunnel, there is a modest but much loved spot. It is the spot that sits right across from the location of the Holy of Holies. There are many that make every effort to join a tour to walk those tunnels just for the opportunity to pray at that very special spot.

What is less known is the fact that the men who desire to experience that place of prayer or to sit in the synagogue of Rav Getz (ztz’l) situated above it, need to either book a tour or wait to join some existing tour group.

Yet if a Jewish woman wants to come and pray at that spot she is allowed immediate entry, as long as there is still room.

Why would that be?

There is something about the prayers of women that is not only deep and powerful, but is actually critical for the survival of the people of Israel. They have the power to bring new Torah into the world.

The five daughters of Tzelaphchad, Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah demanded a share in G-d's promise. In their intuitive passion for a part in the land of Promise, new Torah understanding is drawn into the earth and becomes actualized.

"Our father died in the desert, … Give us a portion along with our father's brothers. So Moshe brought their case before Hashem."( Numbers 27:3-5)

The Midrash Rabba teaches that “In that generation the women repaired what the men broke down”

We see the same intuitive phenomenon earlier when Aaron told the men, "Break off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives" (to make the Golden Calf--Exodus 32: 2). Yet the women refused and held back their husbands and the jewelry had to be broken off; "And all the people broke off the golden rings which were in their ears." ( ibid;3) .That is to say ,the women did not participate with them in making the Calf.

We see this intuitive ability again in the case of the spies, who uttered an evil report: "And the men... when they returned, made all the congregation to murmur against him" (Numbers 14:36), and against this congregation the decree not to enter the Land was issued, because they had said: "We are not able to go up" (ibid. : 31).

The women, however, were not with them in their counsel, as may be inferred from the words written in an another passage; "For G-d had said of them: They shall surely die in the desert. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Yefuneh" (ibid. v. 65).

The men had been unwilling to enter the Land, frightened of the challenge of bringing the spiritual into the physical. Yet “In that generation the women repaired what the men broke down.” These five Daughters of Israel petitioned, asked, and demanded to receive an inheritance in that Land even though it had not yet been allocated to them from above.

In the beginning the wholeness of Humanity was ensconced within the first Man that was created. Then that wholeness was divided into equal but different parts.

“And Hashem G-d built ( VaYiven) the side that He had taken from man into a woman, and He brought her to man.” (Genesis 2:22)

The word used in that new forming was VaYiven-He built. That word is rooted in the word BINAH or spiritual intuition and discernment. That BINAH was to be an inherent characteristic of women probably because of their ability to create life within them. Men would have to learn and acquire that same attribute and talent.

As a result women sense G-d and spirituality from the inside out (BINAH) .

Men sense G-d and spirituality from the outside in (CHOCHMA) .

While it is true that there are many men and women who have acquired and maybe evn perfected each other’s attributes and talents, those two separated approaches are seen as critical to and for each other.

Binah more than Chochma has become the critical tool in intuiting the power and spiritual fire that is ensconced in the land of Israel.

Throughout history it has given the people of Israel the courage to persevere and the vision to move forward.

As the sages teach;

"Bizchut nashim tzadkaniot nigalu avotenu" ..ubizchutan nigael!

In the merit of the righteous women we were redeemed and in their merit we will be redeemed again.

That is the reason that the modest and powerful place of prayer needs to be left open and inviting to those women who truly understand the soul changing power of prayer

In the merit of the righteous women we were redeemed and in their merit we will be redeemed again.

LeRefuat Yehudit Bat Golda Yocheved and LeRefuat Yehudit bat Chaya Esther .Lerefuat Kol HaPtzuim ve Hacholim

Rabbi Moshe Kempinski, author of "The Teacher and the Preacher", is the editor of the Jerusalem Insights weekly email journal and co-owner of Shorashim, a Biblical shop and learning center in the Old City of Jerusalem. www.shorashimshop.com




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