Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Body and Soul

Audio Version

This week's parsha, Devarim, is always read right before Tisha B'Av, or on Tisha B'Av. The Haftora we read, is the third for The Three Weeks. The Haftora starts with the words Chazon Yishayahu (The vision of Isaiah), we therefore call this Shabbos, Shabbos Chazon.

The Haftora ends with "Zion (Tzion) will be redeemed with justice, and its captives (v'shaveha), with righteousness (b'tzedaka).

The question is, who or what is Tzion? And who is v'shaveha?

Some simply translate Tzion as Jerusalem and v'shaveha as the Jewish people.

Others translate Tzion as the Jewish people. But if so, who are v'shaveha? The answer is, that Tzion refers to Jews who study Torah and do the mitzvahs, and v'shaveha refers to Jews who are not involved in Torah and mitzvas. They are called v'shaveha, captives, because they have surrendered their will, to their bodies and animal souls. Tzion Jews are redeemed with justice, because they earned it. However, v'shaveha Jews are redeemed with Tzedaka, which is beyond the letter of the law, because otherwise they can't be redeemed.

And though we are told that in the end all Jews will repent, and immediately be redeemed. The fact that Hashem accepts our penitence, is a kindness (tzedaka) as well.

If I may, please allow me to take you to a deeper place.

As Jews, we know, that our bodies could be subjected to the exile, however, our Neshamas (G-dly souls) cannot. While the Neshama is sent into the body to influence the body, the animal soul and the physical world, being an actual part of Hashem, it is not effected by the dark exile. On the contrary, the darkness and the exile cause  the Neshama to bring out hidden strength, which was lying dormant, strengthening its connection with Hashem.

The body, on the other hand, is subject to the harsh conditions and darkness of the exile. It is Hashem Who put us in this great darkness, to transform the darkness into light.

While the Neshama is strengthened because the darkness, it doesn't effect the darkness. However, the body, through fulfilling Hashem's will in the exile, changes the darkness into light, and this light is greater than the light of the Neshama, it is Hashem's essence, Hashem's will, which is the greatest light possible.

This brings us, to yet a third explanation of our verse. Tzion, referring to our bodies and v'shaveha (here being translated as returnees) refers to our Neshamas.

The Neshama, which is not subject to the exile, rather, because being in the body, which is in exile, is merely in the wrong place and doesn't need redemption, all it needs is to return.

The body will be redeemed with justice, because it suffered in exile and did the work, it rightfully earned its redemption.

The Neshama, which did not suffer in exile, returns as a kindness, a Tzedaka. It did influence the body, and so it comes along, and receives the greatest revelation through the body, the body's reward for its physical work in the dark exile, the revelation of Hashem's essence.

Now we can understand the first words of the Haftora  "Chazon Yishayahu." Chazon means the vision, and the name Yishayahu comes from the word yeshua, which means redemption. Our Haftora is telling us, that specifically during times of darkness, which The Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av are symbolic of, is where you can accomplish the vision of the redemption.

We will experience this great revelation  with the coming of Moshiach. May he come soon.


  1. Amein! I am glad I was brought to this blogspot! A gutten Shabbos

  2. Inspiring message. I have a distressed friend for whom your insight might bring some solace. Thank you for your wisdom, and best wishes to you and your family for a peaceful, joy-filled Shabbat.

  3. Rav Yitzi, It is so deep and so sweet! You bring tears to my eyes with each message you write!
    May we all merit seeing the coming of Mashiach soon in our days and Hashem's relief to all our hardships!
    Shabbat Shalom!

  4. Great that you gave added the audio馃槉

  5. Recognize a woman for the person for who she is, IS the most deeply act of love you can give. It strenghts her selfacceptance, her values and acceptance, and it is a proof that you don't see her as your decoration of your manhood...... but as a unique person who shares your hart

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