The Soul of Moses Spreads To Every Jew

The author of Beth Israel cites the Talmud as stating that Moses, who greatly loved his people and literally sacrificed himself for them, was born and died on the 7th of Adar (Kiddushin 38a). During that month a person can connect himself to the soul of Moses because, as we have seen on several occasions, his soul embodies that of all the Jewish people (Shir Hashirim Rabba 1:64). He explains that the Talmud does not state mi sheva (“as soon as [Adar] comes,” we must double our joy), but rather mi shenichnas, (“as soon as [Adar] enters”) to indicate that a person should push himself to enter this month in joy. He will then remain filled with joy.

We may say that mi shenichnas, or Moshe nichnas, the strength of Moses comes in Adar, and his great merit arouses a spiritual awakening in this world. As we have seen, the month of Adar is one of unity, embodied by Moses who was born and who died on the same day of the month. Haman claimed, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples” (Esther 3:8), and this heathen knew that the death of our faithful shepherd occurred in the month of Adar. He therefore believed that because the Jewish people were not united (but rather “scattered”), the strength of Moses was not instilled in them. Furthermore, because they did not receive a spiritual awakening from on high, they could not serve Hashem by doubling their joy. However Haman had judged things incorrectly: The Jew who does Teshuvah is like a newborn baby that has never sinned (Yoma 86b). As soon as the Jews of that time repented, they were instilled with the power of Moses. Their spiritual awakening below generated one above, and they were able to double their joy, a joy that was granted to them from on high.

Moses did not experience any difficulties in the making of the two cherubim (both from a single piece), because the cherubim personify the love between man and his fellow, their faces being turned toward one another. Moses knew that the Torah only survives with a person when he builds a sanctuary for it and when he loves his fellow, just as the cherubim formed a single piece with the cover of the holy Ark. On the other hand, Moses experienced difficulties in the construction of the Menorah, which alludes to the spiritual abundance that comes from the Holy One, blessed be He. The cherubim were visible for the eyes of all to see, whereas the Tablets of the Law were hidden in the holy Ark. In other words, contrary to the knowledge of Torah that a person can hide, the love that he has for others should be visible and concrete. This is the only way to preserve the Torah that one studies.

As for the half-shekel of fire that G-d showed Moses (Tanhuma, Ki Tisa 9), we may ask why Moses experienced difficulties in picturing it. Who does not know what a coin looks like? The explanation is that Moses feared that the Children of Israel would have financial difficulties and not offer their gifts with a pure heart.

The Holy One, blessed be He, therefore showed him a coin of fire. As we know, fire is but Torah (Mechilta, Yitro 19:18), and when we engage in Torah study, “each man helps his fellow” (Isaiah 41:6). The two half-shekels form a whole, and if a half-shekel remains, G-d will personally complete it with His half-shekel of fire.

The term matbea (coin) indicates that it is miteva (in [man’s] nature) to jealously guard his money. However the study of Torah, which was given after mem (40) days, radically modifies his character and teva (nature), and he voluntarily devotes his silver and gold to the performance of mitzvot and good deeds.

As we have seen, the word adar has the same numerical value as the word har (mountain), which alludes to the evil inclination (Sukkah 52a), meaning that when we enter Adar to destroy the evil inclination, we are filled with joy. Furthermore, we know that the evil inclination is primarily kesef (money) and safek (doubt), whose numerical value (with the kuf replacing the caf) is equal to that of Amalek (240), which chills a person’s enthusiasm to serve his Creator. The terumah (offering) – which alludes to Torah and mem – enables a person to carry out the Divine precept of Tzeddakah to perfection. Tzeddakah and Torah study modifies man’s nature, and he is then capable of conquering the evil inclination (Amalek) by the merit of Moses, the servant of G-d.


The Torah is Acquired by Humility
Book of Shemot Index
Material Garments for the Body, Spiritual Garments for the Soul


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