Sunday, October 16, 2016

His Name Will Be One

On the first day of Sukkos we read the last chapter of Zachariah, because it mentions that when Moshiach comes, after the great war of Gog and Magog, the remainder of gentiles in the world, will be obligated to celebrate the holiday of Sukkos. It makes a lot of sense that they should celebrate Sukkos, because during Sukkos, seventy sacrifices were brought for the nations of the world.

The Haftora opens with a description of the war, at first, half the city will go into exile.  But then, Hashem will do the fighting, and He will take care of business.

The Haftora then says, "On that day His feet will stand on Mount Olives." What is the meaning of this metaphor, of feet standing on Mount Olives?

One explanation is that it refers to Moshiach, that he will stand on Mount Olives and teach the nations of the world about Hashem.

Another explanation is that olive oil is symbolic of intelligence, as our sages tell us, that the residence of Tekoa were known to be wise, because of their  consumption of olive oil. Olives, the source of olive oil, being the source of the intellect,  and Mount Olives being the place where the source of intellect comes from. So Mount Olives is symbolic of serving Hashem based on our understanding. Feet symbolize accepting His will with unquestioning faith. In other words, serving Hashem not based on understanding, but rather an acceptance of the Heavenly yoke.

In our verse, the feet are standing on Mount Olives. Meaning, that the service of Hashem through unquestioning faith, is above or greater than the service based on intellect.

One would think, that serving Hashem through intellect, would be greater and more meaningful than blind faith. What puts unquestioning faith above intellect? 

When serving Hashem through your understanding, it may seem more meaningful to you, but it is limited to your intellectual capacity, which is small compared to the infinite levels that could be attained. However, serving Hashem through accepting His will, not being based on understanding, is unlimited, and therefore, what it can accomplish is unlimited.

Our generation, the generation that will bring Moshiach, main service, is through unquestioning faith, and it is this mode of service, being unlimited, that will draw down Hashem's unlimited revelation, and by definition, the era of Moshiach.

Now you see how these two definition are really one. It is us who bring Moshiach through our unquestioning faith, and that is why, Moshiach will be able to stand on Mount Olives and teach the nations of the world about Hashem.

This idea is also seen later in the Haftora. The famous verse we say several times a day. That when Moshiach comes, "Hashem will be King over the entire earth, on that day Hashem will be one and His Name will be one.

When Moshiach comes the whole world will recognize Hashem. But what does it mean, that His Name will be one?

Hashem's Name is made up of four letters, Yud, Hey, Vav and Hey. The first two letters, Yud and Hey, also known as the Holy One Blessed Be He, is Hashem's presence which surrounds the world. This presence, if revealed, would be too much for existence to handle. The last two letters, Vav and Hey, are the Shechina, Hashem's presence which fills the world, and fills every part of existence according to its needs. Through our service and performance of mitzvahs, we draw down the surrounding presence, and raise up the filling presence, and the goal is to unite the them as one. When we do, Moshiach will be here, His Name will be one, both the first and second halves of His Name will have the higher level of holiness, and the world will be prepared to handle this great revelation.

This is the meaning of the line we say at the beginning of the morning prayers. That we are doing this, "For the purpose of uniting the Holy One Blessed Be He and His Shechina. To unite Yud Hey and Vav Hey, with a complete unification... "

The greats of past generations served Hashem through intellect, but it is we who will bring Moshiach through our amazing unquestioning faith. May he come soon.

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