Vol 36.33 - Vayakhel-Pekudei - Parshat HaChodesh Spanish French Audio Video
(5751) "Since the day that I brought forth My people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house etc but I chose David to be over My people Israel."(Melachim 1 8:16,17; Haftorah Parshat Pekudei)
The connection between the choosing of Yerushalayim and the choosing of David (According to Zohar Vayakhel 198b);
The difference in the words of Rambam concerning the eternity of Yerushalayim (Pirush HaMishnayot Zevachim 14:8, Hil Beis Habechirah 1:3);
Explanation of the wording of Midrash (Shemot Rabbah 15:11) "Since G-d chose in His world etc and since He chose Yaakov and his children, He fixed Rosh Chodesh of Geulah.
1. After the completion of the building of the first Temple by Shlomo, it states in the Ketuvim, that Shlomo said:
“And he said, "Blessed (be) the L-rd, . .Who spoke with His mouth . . saying. Since the day that I brought forth My people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house, that My name might be therein; but I chose David to be over My people Israel”.
וַיֹּאמֶר בָּרוּךְ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר בְּפִיו אֵת דָּוִד אָבִי וּבְיָדוֹ מִלֵּא לֵאמֹר
מִן הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִי אֶת עַמִּי אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרַיִם לֹא בָחַרְתִּי בְעִיר מִכֹּל שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִבְנוֹת בַּיִת לִהְיוֹת שְׁמִי שָׁם וָאֶבְחַר בְּדָוִד לִהְיוֹת עַל עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל
In explaining the reason why the verse begins with the choice of Yerushalayim and ends with the choice of David (“I chose no city etc. “) the Radak states:
“And I chose David: Why did it preface ‘I chose no city’? It should have said ‘and I chose Yerushalayim’? However the explanation is that (G-d said) ‘I did not make known My choice of Yerushalayim until I chose David (to be king) over My people Yisroel, and I showed him the chosen place in Yerushalayim, when I acceded to him in the threshing floor of Aravnah with fire from heaven’”.
However, this seemingly is not a sufficient answer.
For from the simple meaning of the verse: “I chose David (to be king) over My people Yisroel” it appears that the choice of David was just an intermediary (אמצעי). In other words, through David, the “chosen place of Yerushalayim” became revealed and known.
However, the choice of David as king of Yisroel, is connected with the choice of Yerushalayim.
(And this is also proven, seemingly, from what is written in Divrei Hayamim (for even there, it cites Shlomo’s words. But there the words are);
“Since the day . . I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a House . . neither did I choose a man to be prince over My people Israel. And I chose Yerushalayim that My name might be there, and I chose David to be over My people Israel.”
מִן הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִי אֶת עַמִּי מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לֹא בָחַרְתִּי בְעִיר מִכֹּל שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִבְנוֹת בַּיִת לִהְיוֹת שְׁמִי שָׁם וְלֹא בָחַרְתִּי בְאִישׁ לִהְיוֹת נָגִיד עַל עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל
וָאֶבְחַר בִּירוּשָׁלִַם לִהְיוֹת שְׁמִי שָׁם וָאֶבְחַר בְּדָוִיד לִהְיוֹת עַל עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל
Thus it is clear that the intent of that verse is (also) to emphasize the choice of David as a king in Yisroel, but that here (in Sefer Melachim) it emphasizes another detail, namely that these two choices are connected to each other).
The Zohar (in our Parsha) states:
“This verse does not have its beginning as the end, nor its end as its beginning, (Note: meaning that the topics do not match). For the verse states ‘I chose no city .. and I chose David’. What do they have to do with another? It should have said ‘and I chose Yerushalayim’. But the answer is that when G-d has a desire to build a city, he looks first at its head, (the one) who leads the people of the city. And then He builds the city, and brings in it, the people. And this is what is meant by ‘I chose no city’ until I looked at David, who was the leader of Yisroel.“
Thus according to the Zohar, the choice of Yerushalayim was dependent on the choice of David as a king over Yisroel. For before he chose David as “the shepherd over Yisroel” (רעיא על ישראל) – the king of Yisroel – the choice of Yerushalayim was not complete.
One should examine the reasoning of the matter, namely that G-d’s choice of Yerushalayim is dependent on the choice of David.
The Zohar there continues:
“Since the city and all its inhabitants, all exist due to the shepherd who leads the people. If the leader is good, it is good for him, good for the city, and good for the people. And if the leader is bad etc. then woe to him, woe to the city and woe to the people etc.”
In other words, the choice of David effected that it was “good for the city” – Yerushalayim.
However, one must examine this:
For even if the choice of David would have been after the choice of Yerushalayim, his merit still would have been able to protect Yerushalayim, that it would be “good for the city etc.”
Since the verse concludes just regarding the choice of David,
(And does not, at all, mention the choice of Yerushalayim)
it appears that the choice of David is not a side issue (and detail) in the choice of Yerushalayim,
(That if he would not be a good leader then “woe to the city etc.“,
but rather that it concerns the actual choice of Yerushalayim, namely that the choice of Yerushalayim is effected through the choice of David, so much so that the primary aspect is that of David.
2. This can be understood by prefacing an additional explanation in the nature of the choice of Yerushalayim, which is an eternal choice (בחירה נצחית), as is explained in Rambam’s Pirush HaMishnayot, which states:
“Yerushalayim is called an inheritance due to the establishment of its eternal sanctity and existence. And on this the prophet stated: ‘neither will He forsake His inheritance’. For he already stated in the beginning of the matter that G-d chose Yerushalayim for His resting place (לשכינתו) and he chose Yisroel for Him, may He be a segulah. And he said after this: ‘For He will not cast off this people who He chose for His inheritance and neither that place that he chose . . And he already explained the eternality of its sanctity and said ‘this is the place of My resting for eternity” -
Thus from the flow of his words it is understood that the eternity of Yerushalayim is because of G-d’s choice of it.
Regarding the eternality of Yerushalayim there are two laws:
“Once the Temple was built in Yerushalayim, it became forbidden to build a sanctuary for G-d or to offer sacrifices in any other place. There is no Sanctuary for all generations except in Yerushalayim . .as it states: ‘This is My resting place forever’”.
Thus, for eternity, Yerushalayim is the only place in the world to build there a “house for G-d”.
“With the first consecration . . he consecrated the Temple Courtyard and Yerushalayim for that time and for eternity. Therefore, we may offer all the sacrifices (on the Temple site), even though the Temple itself is not built”.
This is like the aforementioned Pirush HaMishnayot which states:
“Its eternal sanctity and existence . . He chose Yerushalayim for His resting place“.
Therefore from these words it is understood that even the “eternality of its holiness” (נצחיות קדושתה) is an outcome of the choice of Yerushalayim.
However in Hil. Beit Habechirah there (in sefer Yad Hachazakah) he adds (in the continuation of the matter – Halacha 15) a reason for the eternality of Yerushalayim – “since the sanctity of the Mikdash and Yerushalayim is due to the Shechinah and the Shechinah is not nullified”.
One should examine the reason why regarding the sanctity of Yerushalayim, Rambam does not cite the verse “This is My resting place forever“,
(For, seemingly, (also) from this verse, it is a proof that the Shechinah rests there forever - “until eternity” (עדי עד). And as he cites in the Pirush HaMishnayot there regarding the “eternality of its sanctity”)
yet, instead writes that the reason and explanation is: “since the sanctity of the Mikdash and Yerushalayim is due to the Shechinah and the Shechinah is not nullified“?
One must also examine the explanation of the reason: “since the sanctity of the Mikdash and Yerushalayim is due to the Shechinah and the Shechinah is not nullified“:
For from this it is understood that this is not a Gezeirat HaKatuv,
(meaning an inference from the juxtaposition of Biblical verses) (That G-d decreed: “This is My resting place forever“, which is the place of the Shechinah forever and all eternal)
but rather that this is dictated by logic. For just as it is impossible for the Shechinah to be nullified, so too it is impossible to nullify the sanctity of the Temple and Yerushalayim (which is “because of the Shechinah”).
This is not understood:
Even the sanctity of the Mishkan in the desert was due to the Shechinah that rested there. Yet nevertheless, sanctity did not remain in the places where the Mishkan was erected, and we do not say that since it is “due to the Shechinah and the Shechinah is not nullified“, therefore even the sanctity of the place is not nullified?
Plainly one could say that this is because the Mishkan did not have the law of the ‘sanctity of its place’. This is because it was not established in (one) place (קבוע במקום), but rather they carried it from place to place. Therefore the resting of the Shechinah in the Mishkan was not relevant to the ‘place’.
However, one must also examine (עוד צ״ע =עצ״ע) this answer with regard to the Mishkan of Shiloh, where “they built there a house of stones . . and it stood for three hundred and sixty-nine years”.
For this did, indeed, have the establishment of place (קביעות מקום). So much so that the Mishnah states regarding it: “that was the ‘Menucha/resting place’” (הַמְּנוּחָה – referring to the verse: (Deut. 12:9): “For you have not yet come to the resting place”).
(As it is written in the Pirush HaMishnayot that it is called “Menucha“, since “they were settled there and there was no travel“).
Moreover: - it is explained in the Sifri on the verse “the place that the L-rd, your G-d, chooses“ that: “this is Shiloh”.
Thus G-d’s choice was for this place. If so why does this reason of: “due to the Shechinah and the Shechinah is not nullified” not (also) apply to the Mishkan of Shiloh?
3. One could say that the explanation of this is:
G-d’s choice of a specific place can be in two ways:
And this is the difference between the choice of Shiloh and the choice of Yerushalayim, as is emphasized in the difference of the wordings of the verses regarding Shiloh and Yerushalayim:
According to the aforementioned, one can explain the reason for the matter:
And this is Rambam’s intent in stating: “due to the Shechinah and the Shechinah is not nullified”.
For he is not coming to bring a proof for the eternality of the sanctity, but rather to explain, that since G-d’s choice of Yerushalayim (and the Temple) was in a manner of “your G-d, will choose it“(יִבְחַר ה' בּוֹ), actually ‘there’, therefore this place is connected and united with the Shechinah, so much so that this is the set place (מקומה הקבוע) of the Shechinah. Therefore just as the “the Shechinah is not nullified“ so too, the sanctity of this place (קדושת מקום) will not be nullified.
(Whereas in Shiloh, even though it was the “place that G-d chose”, nevertheless, one cannot say that this place was made the actual place (עצם מקומה) of the Shechinah. For the choice was for the purpose of “to set His Name there“. (לָשׂוּם אֶת שְׁמוֹ שָׁם), a choice that was dependent on a thing. And when the thing became nullified (the purpose was completed) the choice was nullified, as aforementioned).
4. According to the aforementioned, one can explain the words of the Zohar, that the choice of Yerushalayim was dependent on the choice of David:
A choice such as this, being an eternal choice, is impossible, of its own accord, to be applied to a physical place. For physicality, due to its nature and essence - exists and erodes, the opposite of eternality. Therefore the place is not fitting (מסוגל), of its own accord, to contain this eternal aspect.
In other words, even though the choice is an eternal choice, and therefore the drawing down of sanctity that is due to this choice is eternal – nevertheless this is just from the perspective of the Chooser (G-d) (מצד הבוחר). For just as change is not applicable to G-d, so too there is no change in His choice.
(As it states, many times, that true choice (בחירה אמתית) is not because (of the quality) of the chosen, but due to the (desire of) the chooser),
Notwithstanding this, one should not attribute this eternality to the place itself, meaning that the sanctity of the place is eternal sanctity.
And this is the reason that this choice of Yerushalayim is dependent on G-d’s choice of king David “since he is the shepherd over Yisroel”, “the head who leads the people of the city“.
The choice of David as king, is an eternal choice, as it states in Rambam:
“Once David was anointed king . . the kingship belonged to him and to his male descendants forever, as II Samuel 7:16 states: 'Your throne shall be established forever’. Nevertheless, his acquisition of the monarchy was conditional, applying only to the righteous among his descendants. . Despite this condition, G-d assured David that the monarchy would never be taken from his descendants forever, as Psalms 89:31-38 states: "lf his children will forsake My Torah and cease walking in My statutes ... I will punish their transgressions with the rod and their sins with plagues. Nevertheless, I will not utterly remove My grace from him.... (His throne shall be ... established forever).”
(For this is due to the choice of David, as it states in the beginning of the Psalm “I formed a covenant with My chosen one; I swore to David My servant. Until eternity, I shall establish your seed, and I shall build your throne for all generations forever“).
And this eternality is applicable to the entity and soul of David (למציאותו ונשמתו של דוד), who was G-d’s servant and utterly nullified to G-d (בטל לה׳ בתכלית). Therefore G-d’s power, which is above change, was drawn down and revealed within him (like the saying of the Sages that “the deeds of David are eternal” (שמעשה ידי דוד נצחיים).
And since the place of the kingdom of the house of David is in Yerushalayim,
(so much so that Yerushalayim is called the “city of David”, and the completeness of the king of David (as a king over all Yisroel) was just when he came to Yerushalayim)
therefore, with this power, the physical place of Yerushalayim was also made proper and fitting (a receptacle) to receive the eternal “choice” of Yerushalayim (as will be explained in par. 6).
(And one could say that this aspect is also alluded to in the elaboration of Rambam’s word in the aforementioned Pirush HaMishnayot (the beginning of par. 2) concerning the eternality of Yerushalayim:
“And on this the prophet stated: ‘neither will He forsake His inheritance’. For he already stated in the beginning of the matter that G-d chose Yerushalayim for His resting place (לשכינתו) and he chose Yisroel for Him, may He be a segulah. And he said after this: ‘For He will not cast off this people who He chose for His inheritance and neither that place that he chose for His inheritance and not that place that He chose. And he states: ‘For the L-rd has chosen Zion; He desired it for His habitation’ and ‘For G-d chose Jacob for Himself, Israel for His treasure’, ‘For the L-rd will not forsake His people, nor will He desert His inheritance’” -
For with this he emphasizes that the choice of Yerushalayim is related to the choice of the Jewish people.
In other words, since the eternality of (the choice of) Yerushalayim is dependent on the choice of the Jewish people -
For one should not attribute the aspect of eternality to the entity of a physical thing, in and of itself. However, since Yerushalayim was chosen to be the place of Yisroel, who are an “eternal entity” (מציאות נצחית), (“a scion of My planting, the work of My hands in which I will glory” (נצר מטעי מעשה ידי להתפאר)) -
therefore, through this, an eternal choice is (also) drawn down into Yerushalayim).
5. This can be understood with additional explanation, by prefacing the words of the Midrash on the verse:
“This month shall be to you the head of the months; to you it shall be the first of the months of the year“ (הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים רִאשׁוֹן הוּא לָכֶם לְחָדְשֵׁי הַשָּׁנָה).
The Midrash states:
“Since G-d chose His world, He set in it New Months and years (ראשי חדשים ושנים), and when He chose Yaakov and his descendants He established Rosh Chodesh of Geulah” (ר"ח של גאולה).
Thus even in the sayings of the Sages, it speaks of these two levels:
And one should note the precision of the wording of the Midrash, for it states:
The explanation of the aspect is:
The intent of “G-d chose His world“ is that G-d chose that this would be the place of Bnei Yisroel and where they would perform their Avodah through fulfilling Torah and Mitzvot. As the Sages state that the world was created “for the sake of Torah and for the sake of Yisroel”. And this is what is meant by “Since G-d chose His world, He set in it New Months and years“ – namely that this applies to the preparation of the world for the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvot through Yisroel.
Nevertheless, even after the world was made proper for the Avodah of Yisroel, this is not a condition of “Geulah”. For “Geulah” depicts the going out of all aspects of constraint and boundary. And since the world is a bounded creation (נברא מוגבל), this is so, even when it is felt that it is G-d’s “world”. Moreover, even though it is a world that G-d chose (and was made proper for Torah and Yisroel) nevertheless, since it is a ‘world’, it is in the state of boundedness, and not “Geulah”.
And this is the innovation of “He chose Yaakov and his descendants“. For Bnei Yisroel are above the world. For their souls are a “veritable part of G-d Above“ (חלק אלקה ממעל ממש). Therefore they have within them the power of “Geulah”, to rise above the dictates of the world.
(And this correlates with the words of the Baal HaAkeidah in the explanation of the difference between “G-d chose His world “ and “He chose Yaakov and his descendants“:
6. According to this the Midrash precisely states “When He chose Yaakov and his descendants He established Rosh Chodesh of Geulah“.
(Meaning that the Geulah is not just in Bnei Yisroel themselves, but that this is set “in it” – in the world itself).
“Choosing Yaakov and his descendants“ does not just refer to the essential entity of Yisroel (עצם מציאותם של ישראל) (which is above the world, as aforementioned), but rather in that which G-d chose them to complete His intent in the Creation of the world, through their fulfilling Torah and Mitzvot. For because of this, Jewish souls came down to this world and were enclothed in bodies.
And since, even when the soul descends into the boundaries of the world, they remain a “veritable part of G-d Above“, therefore, not only does this descent not detract, at all, from their essential virtue (ממעלתה העצמית) (which is a portion of G-d) but on the contrary, through their Avodah, below, the aspect of “Geulah” itself, which is above the world - is established in the world.
And this is not a contradiction to what was previously explained, namely that the world, being a bounded creation (נברא מוגבל), is not applicable to have within it the aspect of Geulah (which refers to the infinite – Bli Gevul – and elevation from the dictates of the world) –
For this is due to the dictates of the world itself. However, through Yisroel being in the world and performing their Avodah, while they are in it, and even more than this – that their Avodah is with the world and in the world itself – in order to make it an abode for G-d (through drawing down holiness into the physical things of the world) it establishes, even in the world, the boundary of Geulah, which is above the world.
For when we reveal in each and every detail in the world, that its entire existence is only “for the sake of Yisroel“, in other words that the entire existence of the world is just a detail of the existence of Yisroel, in order to complete this intent that G-d chose that Bnei Yisroel exist below in this world below (שבנ"י יהיו נמצאים למטה), and that their Avodah should be in this world – then, just as Yisroel themselves are in the level of “Geulah” (above the dictates of the world), so to it effects in the world (in it, and in the aspects that Yisroel utilize to serve G-d) - the boundary of Geulah.
And the same is in our case regarding G-d’s choice of Yerushalayim. For even though Yerushalayim, of its own accord, is not applicable to the realm of eternality, nevertheless, after the choice of David, which is an eternal choice, the aspect of eternality is automatically drawn down even into Yerushalayim, the city of David.
MSichas Shabbat Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei
Parshat HaChodesh, 5740, 5742
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