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Likkutei Levi Yitzchok  

(5739) Zohar (and Likkutei Levi Yitzchok) on the verse (Num.14:17): "Now, please, let the strength of the L-rd be increased"

The Spies claimed G-d was limited by the constraints of nature; Moshe requested G-d to increase His Name revealing His full control over nature

Yidden add greatness to the Shechina; that is why HaShem Himself takes pride in them


"And now, I pray you, let the strength of the Lord be increased" (Bamidbar 14:17). Rabbi Acha and Rabbi Yosi say, Praised are the children of Yisrael over all the nations in the world that the Holy One, blessed be He, was desirous of them, called them by His name and was glorified by them. The world was only created for the sake of the children of Yisrael, so they could study the Torah, since One and one are united through it. The children of Yisrael below in this world are His existence, They are the cause of endurance of all the nations. When is this? It is when they do the wishes of their Master.

Likkutei Levi Yitzhok (partial translation)
The three phrases: was desirous of them, called them by His name and was
glorified by them.
  refer to Kohanim, Leviim and Yisroel which refer to Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet.

desirous (chosen) refers to Kohanim, Chesed
(Bacharta b'Avrohom - Chesed)

called them by His name refers to Leviim - Gevurah ( "kinui" is the gematria of Elokim which is Din and also the gematria of Levim)

glorified by them refers to Yisroel - Tiferet

And these three rays (Kav), Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet, are the level of the heart, for the residence of the Middot is in the heart. And this is Yisroel who are the heart of the world.

And in the name Yisroel these three levels are hinted: Shir from the left (gevurah), E-l from the right (Chesed) and Tiferet that incorporates and binds them into one word.

See Arachei HaKinnuim - [by the author of] Seder HaDorot z"l zy"a in the name of the Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer section c.f. Yisroel that G-d is called Israel]


  1. On the verse (Num.14:17): "Now, please, let the strength of the L-rd be increased", the Zohar states: “Rabbi Acha and Rabbi Yosi say, Praised are the children of Yisroel over all the nations in the world. For the Holy One, blessed be He, is desirous of them, calls them by His name and is glorified by them. For the world was only created for the sake of Yisroel etc and Yisroel etc [below in this world] are His existence (from “this world”) and the existence of all the nations.”
The reason that Zohar brings three qualities about Yidden, and specifically these three – that G-d’s desire ( and choice) is in them, His name is the moniker Yisroel , and He is glorified with them – and not with other – and seemingly higher – qualities of Yidden – for example “They are called children of G-d” –
My father explains in his notes on Zohar, that this in conjunction to that which is stated further in Zohar, that the Yidden are the “heart of the entire world”
 [Like the continuation of the very statement of Zohar, that Yidden are the “cause of existance of all the nations”]
And therefore Zohar mentions the three qualities which correspond to the three pathways of Middos (attributes) – Chesed (kindness) , Gevurah (Severity) and Tifferes (beauty/mercy) – since the “ residence of the Middos is in the heart
[And as he explains that:
·         “is desirous of them” – [[which] is the aspect of desire and choice – “is the level of Chesed”;
·         “calls them by His name is Gevurah” just as the name Elokim is the gematria of the word “Kinui”
·         “Is glorified by them” is the level of Tifferes ]
And therefore it is understood why it is not fitting to bring the quality that Yidden are “called children of G-d” etc, because this quality depicts how Yidden are completely higher than Creation. As the Sages phrase it: “The thought concerning Yisroel preceded all things”;
But here in Zohar, it is [important] to stress how Yidden are in the world, which is the purpose and epitome of Creation ( The world was only created for the sake of Yisroel) and the existence of the world – Therefore, Zohar speaks about Yidden that they are the “heart” of the world, as explained above.
2.     One must understand
a)     What is the connection of the basis of the statement concerning the three qualities etc, of Yidden, to the verse on which Zohar comments - “Now, please, let the strength of the L-rd be increased”?
b)      Before Zohar mentions these three qualities , he prefaces [by stating}; “Praised are the children of Yisroel over all the nations in the world that the Holy One, blessed be He,was desirous of them etc” , which from the style and continuation of the wording indicates that Zohar has an innovation. – But it is puzzling: How could there be a suggestion that Yidden are not “meritorious etc over all the nations in the world”?
Therefore it is difficult to understand that the intent of : “Yisroel is meritorious over all the nations in the world” – is that the quality of Yisroel is measured and compared to the nations in the world - when Yidden are completely from a different category, Yidden are higher and separate from non-Jews?
  1. One can understand by prefacing the explanation of the verse: "Now, please, let the strength of the L-rd be increased”
In simplicity, Moshe Rabbeinu wanted with this prayer to beseech G-d for forgiveness on the sin of the Spies. Like the Midrash translates the words: Now, please, let the strength of the L-rd be increased" – that the characteristic of mercy should be victorious over the characteristic of Judgment (Din) –
Yet it is not understood:
a)     Since Moshe wanted to arouse the attribute of mercy, his prayer should have used the appellation [[of G-d] Havaye – the attribute of mercy. Why did he ask “Now, please, let the strength of the L-rd (Adnoy) be increased" which means (simply) the increase, as it were, in the power of the name Adnoy, [taken] from theword lordship (which has a connection to the attribute of Judgment (Din)
b)     Why do we find the request “Now, please, let the strength of the L-rd be increased" specifically at the forgiveness of the sin of the Spies, and not when Moshe Rabbeinu wanted to effect the forgiveness of G-d at the sin of the Calf (and at other sins)?
The explanation is:
The reason that the Spies did not want the Yidden to enter Eretz Yisroel, is not because they questioned the ability, G-d forbid, of G-d to perform miracles etc, but because they were lacking in the feeling that G-d is “Adnoy”, [namely] that G-d is the Master of all creation, as will be explained in paragraph four.
And since with their sin they blemished the name of G-d (Adnoy), the rectification of this is through “let the strength of the L-rd (Adnoy) be increased
  1. On the verse: “They are more powerful than we”, the Sages say that the Spies claimed that: “As if it were possible, even the Master (of the house) cannot remove his vessels from there”.
The explanation in this is that (as has been spoken about, at length):
The Spies claimed that G-d’s miraculous conducting of the Yidden is only possible in the desert, where Yidden are separated from inhabiting the world and removed from dealing with the events of this world. There [in a place [[where they are not subjected to the confines of nature.
However, when one comes into a settled land, where there is a mandate in Torah: “When you enter into the Land etc six years you should sow etc” where one must plow, and sow (a man that sows) etc, and the daily order of living is, according to Torah, regulated according to the confines and dictates of nature – [[in that situation] one cannot immediately function with a conduct that is the opposite of nature. And since, naturally, those who settle the land are stronger than the Yidden, one cannot rely on a miracle and [therefore] Yidden should stay in the desert.
And that is what is meant by: “As if it were possible, even the Master (of the house) cannot remove his vessels from there”.
They certainly knew that G-d could perform miracles,
And more so, -that even natural providence is [in actuality] Divine providence
 – which is emphasized in their claim itself, that this is “His vessels - His (G-d’s) “vessels” [thus recognizing G-d]
 Nevertheless they claimed that since the Master of the house (G-d) established the house (the world)  with an order of natural providence, He wants that we should conduct ourselves according to that order. [Therefore] He “cannot remove his vessels from there” - there cannot be a conduct of “removing” oneself from the boundaries of nature.
The truth however is that even though G-d established that the world conducts itself according to natural tendencies, nevertheless it is inconceivable to say that “He is not able” (or bound) to this conduct. For G-d is omnipotent (all able). G-d can always change nature –
and moreover – because if this, all Yidden,
who are “a portion of G-d from Above “ and “G-d’s portion is with him” and they are not bound to the confines of nature
have the ability where it is appropriate to raise themselves above the confines of nature
And this is what Moshe Rabbeinu begged: “Now, please, let the strength of the L-rd be increased". The name Adnus (G-d) is the source of natural providence
(as the Alter Rebbe explains , that from “this attribute and this name” the world was created in a manner that it, appears to be, a “tangible reality and separate object of itself” )
Yet in conjunction, this name shows that G-d is “master of all Your Creation”. He is the Ruler and Master of the house (Baal HaBayis) over all Creation (and can change (the worlds properties) etc according to His will)
The Spies, however, with their claim: “even the Master (of the house) cannot remove etc” blemished the name of G-d (Adnoy), in the lordship of G-d over the world -
and therefore, as above, Moshe Rabbeinu begged: “Now, please, let the strength of the L-rd be increased". –
The power of G-d (Adnoy), should be increased and revealed (to show) that G-d is a full-standing master of the conduct of nature.
5.     That, which the Spies lacked the recognition that “You are the Master over all of your Creation”
– That G-d’s mastery over the worlds is completely unlimited, G-d forbid, in the ways of nature –
Is connected to that which they lacked the recognition of the quality of Yidden. For they also, existing in the world – are not bound with the confines of nature.
According to their opinion, the quality of a Yid in his connection to G-d, which is higher than the world – [is] specifically when they occupy the Beis HaMidrash and Beis HaKnesses and deal with Torah and keeping Mitzvot.
However, when a Yid deals with natural things, which externally show that he is conducting himself in the same manner (lehavdil) as a non-Jew – then there is no advantage to him than over other nations.
Therefore, since they did not recognize the quality of being above nature while being in nature, in the souls of Yisroel, in the “portion of G-d from Above, they also lacked the recognition that G-d is “Master over all of your Creation”. That, in nature itself, G-d is above nature.
And this is also the explanation of the statement of Zohar: “Praised are the children of Yisroel etc”
The increase of the “power of G-d (Adnoy)” which is manifested in Yidden brings out their quality in connection and comparison to “all the nations (Akum) in the world”. Even when Yidden are in the cloaking and concealment of the world and their quality and advantage is not apparent over the “nations” –
so much so that there could be a suggestion that they, G-d forbid, are no different from the “nations of the world” -
the truth is that even then they are: “Praised are the children of Yisroel over all the nations in the world” . Yidden are, even in that situation, completely different from them.
And in conjunction with this, Zohar brings three qualifies: , He is “desirous of them, calls them by His name and is glorified by them”. These qualities are also resembled in Creation (as will be explained) - That even in these things, Yidden are completely different from all creation.
6.     The Sages say that: “Of everything that G-d created in His world, nothing was created in vain”. From this it is understood, that in everything in Creation, there is a intent and will of G-d – Nevertheless, the quality of is desirous” has a connection only to Yidden.
The reason is:
Since Yidden are the reason and purpose of Creation, it automatically follows, that [G-d’s] desire for this world and its aspects is because of another desire. [the desire of the world is] a secondary (and intermediary) aspect to the primary intent –Yisroel. There is no desire in the aspects of Creation, in and of themselves. The true ( and innermost) desire is only specifically in Yidden - The desire (is desirous”) is only in them and it is self-understood that desire for something that is lower than oneself is a form of Chesed.
7.     The reason for : “calls them by His name” - that Yidden are G-d’s appellation (“Kinui” = nickname/pseudonym ) is:
Just as a nickname conceals the name –
It could be that the nickname is not an explanation or shortening of the name (which through this it is also connected to the object which is calls by the name) –
And conversely, together with this, the nickname has a relevance to the name. For through the nickname, one can approximate the name
So too, is it with the Yidden with G-d:
Since Yidden are “an actual portion of G-d from Above”, one can detect and recognize this in a Yid.
But in this there are two ways:
When one is occupied with aspects of the portion of G-d (the soul), with Torah and Avodah, everyone can recognize that this is a Yid who possesses “an actual portion of G-d from Above”. And as the verse states: - “And all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by G-d’s Name and they will fear you”.
[However] when a Yid goes in the street and is occupied with aspects of the body and the world, then the G-dly holiness on him is oftentimes not recognizable –
a non-Jew , and (lehavdil) sometimes also a Yid, does not perceive this –
in this situation a Yid is a “Kinui” (nickname) ( a garment and cloak) on his “portion of G-d.
[Gevurah” from which the concealments come]
Even then, a Yid hints to and shows a G-dliness. But it is not apparent to everyone. For this one must be a “maven”
-       Once, hearing these words, the Chosid Reb Monia Monenson, objected to the Rebbe: “"I don't see it". Reb Monia Monenson had a small package of diamonds on him (he was a big diamond merchant).
Later, the Rebbe asked if he could show him the package of diamonds. Reb Monia laid out his diamonds before the Rebbe and then showed him one particular diamond saying that the diamond was a wonder of wonders (exceedingly beautiful). The Rebbe said: "I don't see it," Reb Monia, answered: "one must be a maven [a knowledgeable or experienced person]." The Rebbe countered, "a Jew is a wonder of wonders, but one must be a maven."
8.     And this is the innovation of the statement of Zohar, that Yidden are “meritorious” over the nations of the world also in the aspect of “called by them”.  The quality of “The name of G-d will be called on you”, on Yidden, in a revealed manner.
But the quality of “called by them” (in which one can also discern the non-apparent bond with G-dliness) has similarities in other aspects of Creation.
For since the entire existence of every created object is [due to] the word of G-d that enlivens it, if one is just a “maven”, one can, from this object, discern the word of G-d that enlivens it.
And this is a fortiori (kal v’Chomer) from what is stated about the Maggid [of Mezeritch] that he was able to recognize the worker’s (human) effort in the object, with  tangible sight. (Which is why he was able to discern, that in a specific utensil, the craftsman that made it was blind in one eye)
However, the true quality of “called” is specifically “in them” - in Yidden. – Because on the whole of Creation one cannot state that it is a nickname for G-d. On the contrary, the created object appears to be a distinct entity in itself, because its creation was made in a manner of effort (peulah).
However Yidden, are “an actual portion of G-d from Above”.  Thus, even when present in this world, in a situation of cloaking and concealment, they remain united with G-dliness. Which is why they are also then (at the very minimum) a nickname of G-d
9.     The reason for “was glorified by them” – where G-d praises Himself with Yidden – is because, since the Shechina (Divine Presence) rests upon them [in this world] below, there is, as it were, an advantage to the way they were Above [in the Supernal world]
(Which is why the “main Divine Presence is specifically [in this world] below”. The primary (and essential) [resting of the] Divine Presence is found in the lower worlds).  
Therefore, “the Holy One, blessed be He . . . was glorified by them”. Because through Yidden and their Avodah in this world, there creates an advantage and greatness as it were, in the Shechina.
Even from this aspect there is resemblance and similarity to other aspects of Creation. For all worlds and objects that G-d created and enlivened brings out His greatness, blessed be He. Therefore Chazal state: “Of everything that G-d created in His world, nothing was created in vain”, that every created object adds to G-d’s honor and brings out the sovereignty of G-d (As the Beraita cites on this the verse: “G-d will rule forever”)
Nevertheless, this has no comparison at all to the aspect of “Yisroel in which You take pride”. And as the Sages state: “G-d made you (Yisroel) unique in the world” – For Yidden are the purpose of the entire Creation, as above.
This is like, for example, a king who builds a palace for his daughter and son-in-law. It is simple to understand that the palace adds honor to the king (for only a great king could build such a large and wonderfully beautiful abode)
However, what is this whole beautiful abode with all of its beautiful accoutrements therein worth, compared to that (his daughter and son-in-law), which because of them he built the house!
And so too in our case:
 “Of everything that G-d created in His world, nothing was created in vain”. However, who is it that brings out the true greatness of G-d, in whom G-d takes pride in him (“takes pride in them”) – this is only “Your people Yisroel, one nation on Earth”
M’Sichas Shabbat Parshat Shlach
5731 and 5732


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