Friday, April 27, 2018

Saving A Life Is Keeping Shabbos

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In parshas Acharei it says, "And you should keep my rules and ordinances, which a person must do and live by them, I Am Hashem."

This verse is quoted by the Talmud, as proof that one should save a life , even if it means desecrating Shabbos. The Talmud asks, "How do we know that saving a life pushes off Shabbos?" The Talmud tries several different ways to prove it, but they all are not concrete. Then it brings the proof from our verse, which stands up to the test and is not disproven. It says "And you should keep my rules and ordinances, which a person must do and live by them, you should live by them and not die by them."

There is a general rule in all of Torah, "There is nothing that stands before saving a life, other than idolatry, adultery and murder." So why do we need a separate proof to teach us that you can break Shabbos to save a life? Isn't Shabbos already included in this rule?

It is brought down in several places, that the law of "(It is better to) break the law, rather than be killed," is also learned from this same verse, "You should live by them and not die by them." So being that the Talmud says this teaching specifically by Shabbos, we must conclude that there is something unique about this teaching, "You should live by them and not die by them," that has specifically to do with Shabbos, different than any other mitzvah. What is the unique aspect of this teaching that pertains to Shabbos? The verse itself, "And you should keep my rules and my ordinances... And live by them," is talking about all mitzvahs. So why does the Talmud specify Shabbos?

The Rambam also says this teaching twice. When speaking about the general rules of the Torah, he says, "For example, if an idol worshipper were to threaten a Jew, that he should break one of the mitzvahs of the Torah or he will kill him, he should break the mitzvah and not be killed. As it says with regards to mitzvahs, 'Which a person does and lives by them,' you should live by them and not die by them." And then again by the laws of Shabbos he says, "It is forbidden to hesitate to break Shabbos for a sick person who is in danger, as it says, 'Which a person does and lives by them,' and not die by them." Why the specific mention by Shabbos?

By Shabbos the Rambam continues, "This teaches you that the rules of the Torah are not a revenge on the world, but rather compassion, kindness and peace for the world." It seems that this should have been written by the general rules, because it talks about all the rules of the Torah. Being that he mentions all the rules of the Torah, we must conclude that there is something that we will learn from Shabbos, that will give us a deeper understanding of this teaching, and that will also apply to the rest of the mitzvahs. What are we meant to learn from Shabbos?

There is a difference between all the mitzvahs and keeping Shabbos. When it comes to mitzvahs in general, the rule is, "There is nothing that stands before saving a life." Meaning, that saving a life "pushes away" the obligation of doing the mitzvah. You are still obligated, but saving a life trumps the obligation. However by Shabbos, the Rambam says, "When it comes to a sick person, Shabbos is like a week day, for all the things that he needs." In other words, when it comes to saving a life, it is not Shabbos, there isn't any obligation to begin with.

Similarly, Rashi on the Talmud, when explaining why saving a life trumps mitzvahs, he says, "The reason for this, is because the souls of Israel are more dear to Hashem than the mitzvahs, Hashem says, 'Nullify the mitzvah and he should live.'" Meaning, that when it comes to all mitzvahs, we nullify the mitzvah. The mitzvah is still obligated, but we nullify it. However, when it comes to saving a life on Shabbos, he says, "The person should do the mitzvahs in a way that he will certainly live, and not to come to a possibility of death by doing it, so we break Shabbos when in doubt." In other words, when it comes to Shabbos, we don't nullify the mitzvah, rather, part of keeping Shabbos, is that it should be done "in a way that he will certainly live, and not come to a possibility of death." So saving a life is part of keeping Shabbos.

When it comes to saving a life on Shabbos, the Talmud says, "One who hurries is praised, one who asks a question is shedding blood." But the Rambam doesn't use these terms, instead he says, "It is forbidden to hesitate." In other words, the Talmud is telling us how to save a life , "hurry and don't question." The Rambam, on the other hand, uses the term "It is forbidden," in the laws of Shabbos, he is telling us a law of keeping Shabbos, "It is forbidden to hesitate." He is saying, that saving a life is part of keeping Shabbos.

There is another Talmudic passage about saving a life on Shabbos, "Desecrate one Shabbos, in order to keep many Shabbosim." This is saying, to break Shabbos for Shabbos' sake, but it is not saying that saving a life is part of keeping Shabbos. On the other hand, "You should live by them and not die by them," is saying that living is part of keeping mitzvahs, and in our case, saving a life is part of the mitzvah of keeping Shabbos.

Why is saving a life part of keeping Shabbos?

Regarding Shabbos, the Torah says, "You should keep My Shabbosim, for it is a sign between Me and you for generations, to know that I Am Hashem Who makes you holy." Rashi explains, "It is a great sign between us, that I chose you, when I bequeathed to you my rest day, to rest."

In order to have Shabbos, there is the necessity of both Hashem and us, if there is no us, there is no Shabbos. So when a person's life is in danger, the existence of Shabbos is under threat. Therefore, his life must be saved in order to have Shabbos.

It is not just that he is being saved, but the act of breaking Shabbos in this case is how you keep the Shabbos. In other words, Shabbos itself is saying, that you have to do the act of breaking Shabbos, for its own sake. So there could be "a sign between Me and you," if there is no you, there is no Shabbos, and the sign doesn't exist.

In truth, every mitzvah is a sign between Hashem and us, but the Torah only says it openly by the mitzvah of Shabbos. That is why the Talmud and the Rambam repeat the teaching of "You should live by them and not die by them." by Shabbos. So that we apply to all the mitzvahs what we learn from Shabbos, that saving a life is part of keeping the mitzvah.

As you can imagine, writing this article was very meaningful to me, as I am in a constant state of being "a sick person who is in danger." There were countless times that I had to be saved on Shabbos, and I am grateful that I am so important to Hashem and to His Shabbos.

We are so precious and dear to Hashem, He chose each and every one of us, and He shared with us His most prized possession, Shabbos. He made it so, that without us, it is nothing.

May we soon merit to see the coming of Moshiach, and experience the era that is called "The day that is entirely Shabbos," the era of Moshiach. The time has come.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

If It All Turned White It Is Pure

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Most of the parsha of Tazria tells us the laws of diagnosing and quarantining a Metzora. It begins to say that if a person notices a white patch develop on his skin, he should be brought before a Kohen, only a Kohen can pronounce a person ritually impure on account of Tzaraas. If the Kohen sees that hair inside the patch changed from its color to white or the white patch appears deeper than the skin around it, it is definitely Tzaraas and the Kohen pronounces him ritually impure. If however he doesn't see one of these signs, the Kohen will quarantine the person for seven days. On the seventh day, the Kohen reexamines the person. If he sees one of the signs or if the patch became bigger, he is pronounced impure. If it becomes smaller or darker than the usual shades of Tzaraas, it is not Tzaraas. If it is the same as it was the first time he was examined, the Kohen quarantines him for another seven days. 

On the seventh day, the Kohen reexamines him as before, and the same rules apply, except that this time, if the patch remains the same, it is not Tzaraas, and he is pronounced ritually pure of Tzaraas. 

In a case that the Kohen determined that it was indeed not Tzaraas, the person must wash his clothes and go to the mikvah and he is pure. In other words, even though he is not a Metzora, he was considered impure, but at a lower level of impurity. 

Then the Torah seems to continue with these laws, but for some reason, it starts with a verse, as if it is beginning a new subject. "If a person has a patch of (what appears to be) Tzaraas, he is brought to the Kohen." Then the Torah continues with more details about diagnosing a Metzora. It adds that if some skin within the white patch appears fresh, like normal skin, it is another sign that it is definitely Tzaraas. It is just an old patch of Tzaraas that fresh skin started to grow on. Then it says that if the patch spread over the entire person's body, meaning everywhere the Kohen can see, he is pronounced ritually pure. Later, if fresh skin appears somewhere on his body, the Kohen will pronounce him impure, because his whole body isn't completely covered. 

Why does the Torah start this as if it is a new subject? Why didn't it continue with something like, "And if the Kohen sees fresh skin...?" As it does in the following verse, "And if the Tzaraas erupts on the skin, that the Tzaraas covers all the skin with the patch, from his head until his feet, wherever the eyes of the Kohen can see. The Kohen examines it, if it covers all his skin, he pronounces the patch ritually pure, if it all turned white, he is pure." There is even a break in the Torah before and after these laws, indicating that it is a separate subject. If it is just adding more details about Tzaraas, it is not a new subject. So there must be something very unique here that the Torah deems it necessary to start it as a new subject. What is the new idea that we learn from here? 

To understand this, let us look at another difficulty in this passage. 

The verse says, "If it all turned white, he is ritually pure." The Torahs Kohanim and the Rambam say, that this only applies when the Kohen first pronounced him ritually impure, and then it spread all over. But if the person appears before the Kohen to begin with and it's all over his body, or after he was already pronounced ritually pure, it then spread all over, he is impure. 

However, Rashi, who explains the simple meaning of the verse, doesn't say anything, leading us to believe, that it doesn't matter what the circumstance is, "If it all turned white," he is pure. 

Torahs Kohanim and the Rambam tell us the law, Rashi, on the other hand, doesn't come to teach us the final law, rather, to teach us the simple meaning of the verse. It is common that the law is different from the simple meaning. The Torah has many levels of interpretation, there is the simple meaning, the legal, the esoteric, and more. They each teach us different things, they connect to different aspects of our lives. So it is okay if they disagree with each other. However, when we see this kind of disagreement, we have to ask: What is the underlying factors of this disagreement? And what can we learn from them? 

The Torahs Kohanim and the Rambam are looking at the legal aspect of the verse. All of the laws of purity and impurity are biblical decrees. That means that they are what they are, we don't use logic to infer anything else from them, and we apply the law to that specific case and no other scenario. 

Being that the law of, "If it all turned white," comes right after the law, that when fresh skin appears within a white patch, the Kohen pronounces him ritually impure, we must conclude, that only after he is pronounced impure, and then it spreads all over, is he pure. 

Rashi on the other hand, is explaining the simple meaning. According to the simple meaning, the reason that, "If it all turned white," is pure, is because of logical reasoning. Because, now that it spread all over his body, we recognize that it is not Tzaraas, rather the natural condition of his skin, and that is why he is pure, it was never Tzaraas to begin with. 

Now we can understand why it is a new subject. Because it is teaching us about a case that was never Tzaraas to begin with. Being that it has nothing to do with Tzaraas, it is a new subject. 

This will help us understand something that the Talmud says. 

The Talmud says, "The son of David (Moshiach) won't come until all the kingdoms will turn over to heresy. Rava asks: What is the verse (that proves this point)? 'if it all turned white, he is ritually pure.'" And Rashi explains, "Just as with a patch that spread all over the skin, when all the kingdoms will turn over to heresy, redemption will come." 

This Talmudic passage is also found where the Talmud tells us signs that we are in "ikvisa d'mishicha," the time just before the coming of Moshiach. 

Why will Moshiach come when the whole world will become heretical? There are two ways to understand this, in line with the two approaches to "If it all turned white," that it is either a biblical decree or a logical reasoning. 

The first way of looking at it, is that things will be so bad that there will be no choice but for Hashem to send Moshiach. Just like a biblical decree, it is from the top down, directly from Hashem, without our input. 

The second way of looking at it, is that the whole world becoming heretical is a point of clarity, when they will all recognize that they have nothing to do with Hashem, and it will become clear that only we do. Then Moshiach will come and they will want to learn from us, therefore, we will have a tremendous effect on the world, and we will all serve Hashem together, as it says, "For then I will convert the nations to a pure language that all of them call in the name of Hashem, to worship Him of one accord." This is from the bottom up, like logical reasoning it will come from the world's understanding.

This is similar to what the Talmud says about the Jewish people, "The son of David (Moshiach) won't come but in a generation that everybody is deserving or that everybody is undeserving. In a generation that everybody is deserving, as it says, 'And your nation are all righteous, they will forever inherit the land.' In a generation that everybody is undeserving, as it says, 'And He saw that there was no (righteous) man, and He was astounded that there was no one to intercede.' And it says, 'For My sake, for My sake I will do.'" 

Since the Rambam rules that, "The Torah assures us, that in the end Yisrael will do teshuva at the end of their exile and they will be redeemed immediately." Meaning, that we will do teshuva because we want to, and we will be deserving. We can conclude that the nations of the world, because of our influence, being a light on to them, teaching them what Hashem wants from them, to keep the Seven Mitzvahs that were given to the Children of Noah, they will deserve it too. 

By being a light on to the nation, they will become a help to us in completing our mission. This will surely hasten the coming of Moshiach. May he come soon. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Split Hooves & Chewing The Cud

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In this week's parsha, Shemini, there are the laws of kosher animals. When it comes to land animals, there are two signs that tell us that they are kosher, cloven hooves or in the common vernacular, split hooves, and that it is a ruminant, it chews its cud.

The common domesticated animals that we eat are cattle, sheep and goats, but a lot of animals in the wild are kosher, including all kinds of deer, antelope, moose, buffalo, bison, wildebeest, giraffe, and many more. All of them are herbivores, and none of them are animals of prey. These animals don't have upper teeth and chew their food in a side to side motion.

There is a discussion about these signs. The question is: Are they what causes the animal to be kosher or are these animals kosher for other reasons, just that Hashem gave them these signs so we can identify them as kosher?

It seems from the verse, "because it chews its cud," that it is what causes the animal to be kosher. But even if it's not, the fact that Hashem gave us these signs to differentiate between kosher and non-kosher animals, it means that we can learn from them how to know if the animal part of us, the body and the animal soul, is acting in a kosher manner or not.

Being that the Torah tells us about both kosher and non-kosher animals, it is a message to us that the animal part of us could possibly be acting in a non-kosher way. And even if we go through the motions of keeping the Torah, we could still be acting in a non-kosher way. As we see when it comes to law, sometimes using the law, one can do terrible things and make people's lives miserable, but it is legal. The same is possible with Torah, one can follow the letter of the law and at the same time, not be a good person, and that is not kosher.

Let us see what we can learn from the kosher signs, that will act as a litmus test, as to whether the animal part of us is kosher or not.

Animals, like humans, have their heads and hearts separated from the ground, it is only their legs that touch the ground and even they are separated from the ground by hooves. This means that we should not have our higher faculties, our heads and hearts, our thoughts and emotions, invested in earthly pursuits, just the lower faculties of action, our arms and legs, and even they should have a separation, meaning, only as much as necessary.

The hooves have to be split, meaning that even in our earthly pursuits, Hashem should be able to come through and permeate them, making the physical G-dly.

The law is that the hooves have to be split through and through. This means that when they walk, with every step, they connect to the ground with both a right and left hoof. Meaning, that when we deal with earthly matters, we should always have the balance of drawing good closer with the right, and pushing bad away with the left. Good is what is in line with the Torah, bad is what is not. There has to be a constant effort to keep on the right path, not to veer to the right or the left.

This is especially important when making an effort to bring someone closer to Hashem. Some, with their kind hearts, make the mistake of watering down Judaism, in the hope that this will get them involved. This is wrong, because it is a slippery slope, and eventually it is not Judaism anymore. The right way, is to keep Torah what it is and bring them closer to it, however, one shouldn't change the Torah to fit another's lifestyle.

Others, in their zealousness, make the mistake of being too strict when it is uncalled for, pushing people away from Judaism.

The same is true for every one of us. There is a fine line that has to be held, veering left or right just a small amount, can get us totally lost.

Nobody ever got lost all of a sudden. First he was on the correct path, then he veered just a little bit off the path, then a bit more and a bit more. Until he found himself totally lost.

There is one more thing to do to keep the animal part of us kosher and that is learned from chewing the cud. After the animal swallows its food, it regurgitates it and chews on it again. This means that all that was mentioned above, is not enough. Even with all those strategies in place, when it comes to earthly pursuits, we have to constantly reevaluate our situation and make certain that we are on the right path.

We can also learn if we are serving Hashem properly, by applying these kosher signs to evaluate it.

Generally love and fear are opposites, but when it comes to serving Hashem both work together. It is a split hoof, love on the right and fear on the left, and with each step they go together.

Most of us by nature, serve Hashem in one of these two ways. Some of us through love and others through fear. For example, some of us might love to do acts of kindness, but when it comes to things that take discipline we are not so involved, others love discipline, but are not so involved in doing acts of kindness. But if we only do what comes naturally to us, how do we know that it is truly for Hashem? Maybe we are doing it because it is our nature. When we serve Hashem through only one of these two ways, it is like one solid hoof, it's not kosher. When we go against our nature and serve with both love and fear, a split hoof, then we know that it is kosher.

It has to be split through and through. Meaning, that you shouldn't just be going through the motions of love and fear superficially, but it should truly affect you through and through. You have to be real.

And again, one must "chew his cud," constantly reevaluating himself to see if he is on the right path.

May we learn to be real and true through and through and serve Hashem with both love and fear. This will surely keep us on the right path, the path that leads us to the coming of Moshiach. May he come soon.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Acharon Shel Pesach Haftora Part I: Moshiach & His Effect On The World

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The Haftora for Acharon Shel Pesach is from the book of Yeshayahu. It begins with a prophecy about the destruction of Sennacherib and the Assyrians, who already captured the Ten Northern Tribes and were now threatening the kingdom of Yehuda. It continues with prophecy of Moshiach, what he will be like and what the world will be like when he comes. Followed by the ingathering of the exiles, and the joy we will experience.

The whole Haftora is about the time of Moshiach. Even the beginning, which speaks of the destruction of Sennacherib, is a message about the coming of Moshiach. First, because the king of Yehuda at that time was Chizkiyahu, of whom the Talmud says, that "Hashem wanted to make Chizkiyahu Moshiach." And second, to Chizkiyahu and Yehuda, it seemed impossible to overcome Sennacherib and his powerful army, who exiled the Ten Northern Tribes, who were much stronger than Yehuda. Yehuda was gripped with fear and the futility of their situation. Hashem destroyed Sennacherib and his army, and the kingdom of Yehuda had a miraculous salvation. Same is true about the times of Moshiach, although we are suffering and it seems impossible, our salvation will come quickly and in a miraculous way.

Why do we read about Moshiach on Acharon Shel Pesach?

The first days of Pesach are about the Exodus from Egypt. The last days of Pesach are about the future redemption. Because of this, we read the Song of David on Shevii Shel Pesach, instead of the Song of Devorah. Because David is the father of Moshiach.

The light of Moshiach shines bright on the last days of Pesach, but even stronger on Acharon Shel Pesach, which is only celebrated outside of Israel. This is because, we transform the day from mundane to holy, as we take a plain weekday and turn it into Yom Tov. And that is what the coming of Moshiach is all about, the total transformation of the world from mundane to holy.

The Haftora now tells us about King Moshiach, and what he will be like.

"And a staff will come out from the shoot of Yishai and a branch will sprout from his roots. The spirit of Hashem will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of Hashem."

What is this spirit of Hashem that will rest upon him? It is a very high level of G-dliness, where the neshama and Hashem's Essence are one. It is beyond the world, it is a place of total unity and it is not subject to any kind of division that is found in the world, even in the most sublime spiritual realms.

Moshiach will therefore be a unifier of opposites. First the unification of above and below, the spiritual realms and our physical world. We experienced this at the splitting of the sea, a brief taste of Moshiach, in preparation of receiving the Torah. At Mount Sinai we again experienced this in a more powerful way, as we were given the power to connect heaven and earth, to imbue the physical with G-dliness through the study of Torah and the performance of mitzvahs. However this will only be complete when Moshiach comes, and the essence of Hashem will dwell openly in this physical world, there will be a total unification of opposites.

We see this in the Haftora, first with Moshiach himself, he will have a spirit of "wisdom (chochma) and understanding (bina)," chochma is the opposite of bina. Chochma is the ability to conceive a new idea. In order to do this, you must totally not exist, it is only the idea, that is why, when a new idea comes to you, all of a sudden you recognize where you are and that you were thinking, because at the time that you conceived the new idea, it was like you weren't there. Bina is contemplation, it is you thinking about the idea and its details, you are totally there.

Then it says that he will have "a spirit of counsel and strength," which are opposites. Counsel is from the mind, strength is from the body and emotions. He will have a spirit of "knowledge and fear of Hashem," again opposites. Knowledge of Hashem, brings you to love Him, the opposite of fear.

This uniting of opposites continues with the world. First the animals as it says, "And the wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat, and the calf, the lion, and the fattened ox together, and a young boy will lead them. The cow and the bear will graze Together," all opposites. Then even the earth will know Hashem, and earth doesn't have the ability to think, as it says, "for the land will be full of the knowledge of Hashem like the waters cover the sea." The earth, which is the opposite of the ability to think, will be full of the knowledge of Hashem.

Are these expressions to be taken literally or metaphorically? The Rambam in Hilchos Melachim says, that they are a metaphor for how the Jewish people and the nations of the world will act towards one another. However, in his Igeres Techiyas Hameisim he says, that what he wrote in Hilchos Melachim (about taking it metaphorically), is not to be taken as the law, rather, that it could be understood that way. In other words, even according to him, it is possible that it will be literally. There is a rule that, "a verse shouldn't be taken out of its simple meaning," Then perhaps it should be taken liberally, and accordingly some do take it literally. So it is a sure thing that the nations of the world, even those that are vicious like snakes, will become tame and friendly.

The Haftora says about Moshiach, "He will smell the fear of Hashem, He won't judge by the sight of his eyes, nor by the hearing of his ears." Meaning, that he will judge by his ability to smell. The Talmud tells a story of how the rabbis used this as a test to see if Bar Kuziba (Bar Kochba) was Moshiach. They saw that he could not judge by smell and they knew that he wasn't. According to the Zohar, this sense of smell is higher than wisdom and understanding. But didn't it say, that he will have " a spirit of wisdom and understanding?" What is the point of the wisdom and understanding, if he will be judging people by his ability to smell? Here again you have opposites, smell is higher and on the outside, wisdom and understanding are lower and on the inside, but by Moshiach these abilities will unite, the higher and lower, the inside and outside will also be one.

How will he be able to judge without witnesses? Doesn't the Torah require witnesses? Some suggest that he will only confirm that the judgements are accurate. But the indication of the Talmud, that he will "smell and judge," is that he will actually judge cases, and not merely confirm. So how can he do that?

The law is, that a king can judge without witnesses in certain cases. For example, to maintain order. This kind of judgment he will do by scent. The difference between a regular king and Moshiach, is that a regular king would do it as a one time thing, however, with Moshiach it will be a regular occurrence.

Then it says, "with the utterance of his lips he will slay the wicked." This is difficult to understand, because as we mentioned above, Moshiach will bring with him such a great level of awareness of Hashem, and the Torah that he will teach will be deeper than that of Moshe Rabbeinu. So how is it possible that any wickedness will exist? What wicked will he slay?

The reason that Moshiach will have such a profound effect on the world, is because his neshama is from the highest place, higher than any other. The rule is, that what ever is higher falls down lower, so that things that seem low to us, like wickedness and evil, originate from a very high spiritual source, just they fall so low, that we can't see the good in them. Since Moshiach comes from even a higher source, he will be able to reveal the good in the lowest of things. "He will slay the wicked," means that we won't see them as wicked anymore, rather as good. We will see that everything Hashem created is truly good.

It also works the other way around. If we raise the lowest and most mundane parts of our lives to Hashem, we draw Moshiach closer.

It is interesting to note, that there is a special prayer that we add on Yom Tov, when the Holy Ark is opened before Torah reading, it begins "Ribono Shel Olam," In it, we ask that the words of the verse, "The spirit of Hashem will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of Hashem," should be actualized in us. This verse is clearly talking about Moshiach, on what basis do we ask that we should be like Moshiach?

The highest level of our soul, the "yechidah," is equal in every one of us. That is the part of us that is one with Moshiach, so in our essence, we all have a bit of Moshiach. Even though we don't feel it, it effects us, and we are blessed one way or another with this blessing. When we see miraculous things happening in our lives, and tremendous success, out of the normal, we know that these blessings are coming true.

In addition to the wolf, the leopard, the lion and the bear, the Haftora says, "A baby will play at a vipers hole and an infant will stretch out his hand over an adder's den. (These snakes) will not damage nor harm anywhere on My Holy Mountain, for the knowledge of Hashem will fill the earth like the waters cover the sea." What does the knowledge of Hashem have to do with snakes and wild animals and not damaging?

Another question. It seems that all the people with the dangerous animals, are little children. First a young boy, then a baby and finally an infant. Why children?

These wild animals will remain the same, and yet not damage, because if they become tame, then what is the big deal saying that they won't damage? The amazing thing that will occur is that they will remain wild and still not damage. And this will be because "The knowledge of Hashem will fill the earth." How will this work?

Another question. Why isn't it enough that the world should become filled with the knowledge of Hashem? Why is it necessary to be filled, so much so, that it will be like the waters cover the sea?

The people in the world have a direct effect on it. The world will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem because there will be a broadening of the minds of humanity. And because they will have a profoundly deeper understanding, they will recognize the truth of Hashem. This will cause a transformation in humanity. And being that humanity will be affected, the animals will as well.

However, if the world will only be filled with the knowledge of Hashem, that would mean that every part of the world will be filled according to its ability to understand. That would mean that a smart person would know more than someone who is less smart, and that can breed different opinions, which can lead to arguments and strife.

That is why it will be, like the waters cover the sea. In the sea there are mountains and valleys, there are also all different types of creatures and plants, but when you look from above the water, all you see is the water. The same will be when Moshiach comes, there will still be smart people and less smart, but because they will be totally engulfed by the knowledge of Hashem, everybody will be equally nullified before Hashem, in other words, there will be no clashing egos, it will only be about Hashem. This is the ultimate unity that is possible, therefore there will be peace, the ultimate level of peace that can possibly be achieved.

When you speak about children, especially babies, it automatically includes everybody, but if it would have said adults, we would think that children are excluded.

Symbolically the child is the Jewish people, as it says, "Israel is a young child and I love him," it symbolizes all that is innocent and pure, and all that is good and holy in the world. The snakes symbolize the first snake that instigated the first sin with the tree of knowledge and it symbolizes all that is bad in the world. Since the world will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem, and the source of the evil will be revealed, that it is really good, there will be true peace and harmony between them.

May we merit to see the coming of Moshiach today, on Acharon Shel Pesach, when the light of Moshiach shines brightest. We surely deserve it. The time has come.

Dedicated to my son Eli Chaim who celebrates his birthday on Acharon Shel Pesach. We are so proud of you, may Hashem give you a successful year.