Vol 22.07 - Shemini 2 Spanish French Audio Video
Dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel regarding Chalos Devash (honeycombs)-(end of Tal. Uktzin) and the connection to the saying of R' Yehoshua ben Levi (ibid) that "in the future G-d will bequeath each and every Tzaddik 310 worlds."
1. The last Tractate of the Six Orders of the Mishnah – Tractate Uktzin – speaks about the detailed laws of the impurity of foods and the impurity of liquids (which are stated in our Parsha).
The last Halacha of the Tractate is:
“When do honeycombs become susceptible to being rendered impure on account of their being regarded as liquids?
Beit Shammai maintain that once the person contemplates “scraping out the honey” it receives the law of liquid and it becomes impure due to impurity of liquids.
Whereas Beit Hillel maintains that it becomes impure due to impurity of liquids only once it is “broken”, for then it becomes an actual liquid.
Further on, in the following Mishnah (the last Mishnah of the six orders of the Mishnah) it states:
“R’ Yehoshua ben Levi said: In the world to come the Holy One, Blessed be He, will make each righteous person inherit three hundred and ten worlds, for it is written: ‘That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance (yesh- the numerical value of 310); and that I may fill their treasuries’" (Prov 8:21)
Rabbi Shimon ben Chalafta said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, found no vessel that could contain blessing for Yisroel save that of peace, as it is written: "The L-rd will give strength unto his people; the L-rd will bless his people with peace" (Ps. 29:11)”.
One must understand:
What is the connection between the last Mishnah – the statement of R’ Yehoshua ben Levi and R’ Shimon ben Chalafta – to the previous Mishnah (the dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, regarding honeycombs?)
Rambam (and other commentators) explain:
“Since we have completed all the laws of the Halacha . . the matters are concluded with recompense (בגמול)”.
This means that indeed, the Mishnah does not have a contextual connection to the previous Mishnah. Rather it is a conclusion on the entire Six Orders of the Mishnah, in order to “inform, at the conclusion of the Mishnah, the reward for Tzadikim that learn and fulfill all what is written in the Mishnah”.
However, according to what we find in the Talmud, in many places, that one explains the reason for the juxtaposition of the Mishnayot, even when they are stated (one after another) in different Tractates, and certainly when they are stated in the same chapter – there is seemingly a place to look and explain even the relation of the these two Mishnayot – (even though Rambam’s explanation stands in force – albeit to sweeten the reason etc.“.
One could say that the context of the juxtaposed Mishnah to the conclusion of the Mishnayot (regarding the reward of the Mitzvot) – the dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel regarding honeycombs, has a connection to the aspect of the reward of the Mitzvah, which is spoken about in the conclusion of the Mishnayot.
2. To preface, the explanation in the words of the aforementioned commentors - that the conclusion of the Six Orders of the Mishnah with the aforementioned statements - is in order to inform the aspect of the reward of Tzadikim – is seemingly, not understood:
It speaks here regarding Tzadikim, and moreover, as they are already at the “conclusion” of the Six Orders of the Mishnah – which represents the completeness of Torah study - the entire Oral Torah. Moreover, the way a Tzadik learns it. Therefore, it is indeed simple and understood, that they are already certainly standing at the manner of Avodah according to the command of the Mishnah that is after the order of damages (נזיקין) –
“Be like servants who serve the master without the expectation of receiving a reward”,
not for the sake of reward, but rather for the sake of Heaven (Lishmah- לשמה).
This and more:
The verse, which is cited in the Mishnah itself, states:
"That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance”,
referring to those that serve G-d out of love. This means (as Rambam explains, at length) that they perform their Avodah for the sake of Heaven, not for the sake of reward, but rather “he does what is true because it is true” (עושה האמת מפני שהוא אמת).
(It is indeed true that one who “does what is true because it is true” is promised (as Rambam states there) that “ultimately, good will come because of it”. However, this is not the completeness which he strives (שטרעבט) to achieve with his Avodah).
For one who serves G-d out of love, the aspect of “ultimately, good will come because of it” is only a secondary and supplemental thing. The main aspect for him is that he merits to serve G-d – Lishmah.
Since the main aspect and purpose in the Avodah of Torah and Mitzvah is for the sake of Heaven and not to receive reward – how is it fitting, that at the conclusion of all the Six Orders of the Mishnah, which means that one is at a state of the quintessence of the lofty purpose and completeness of Avodat HaShem etc., that the conclusion should be
(not that “his soul is bound with the love of G-d etc.”, but rather)
that he will attain “three hundred and ten worlds” etc. – as a recompence and reward for the Avodah of Torah and Mitzvot?!
One must therefore say that the aspect of,
"That I may cause to inherit . . three hundred and ten worlds”
which is stated in the Mishnah here, is not an aspect of reward for fulfilling Mitzvot, in the conventional understanding - a recompense of worlds for serving G-d. Rather it is a higher completeness in Avodah, namely an elevation (עלי׳) which the one serving G-d, out of love, attains through his Avodah.
3. This is the seminal point of the connection between this Mishnah with the previous Mishnah – the dispute of Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel in the matter of honeycombs.
Among the reasons (according to allusion – Remez) why the last Halachot (in the Mishnah) – the conclusion of the Mishnah –
where the maxim is that, “everything follows the conclusion” (הכל הילד אחר החיתום) –
is regarding “bees” and honey”, is because “bees”, like the explanation of the Sages, allude to the completeness of Avodah – Avodah Lishmah (as will be explained in Par. 7).
This Avodah is a preparation and preface to,
“In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will make each righteous person inherit etc.” –
the completeness which one attains through Avodah, comparable to the work of bees.
The reasonings in the dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, in this very dispute (of honeycombs) - is (as has been mentioned many times) connected with the general difference between their opinions, namely, whether “one follows potential” (אזלינן בתר בכח) or whether “one follows actuality” (אזלינן בתר בפועל):
(For in potential, it is already liquid, even though it is far from being actual liquid).
This brings out a ramification in the general aspect of the purpose of man’s creation on earth, where it states, “I was created to serve my Master” (as will be explained in Par. 8 and onward).
Therefore, it is (also) a ramification regarding a person’s completeness through his Avodah. Therefore, specifically after the aforementioned dispute of Beit Shammai and Beit Shammai, can one better understand the conclusion of the Mishnayot,
“In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will make each righteous person inherit etc.”.
4. The wording of the Mishnah, which is a concise wording and the epitome of precision is:
“In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will make each righteous person inherit . . three hundred and ten worlds”.
Seemingly, how is the word “to inherit” (להנחיל), which is an expression of inheritance, fitting?
Inheritance is not connected with the Avodah of the heir (יורש)
(for if one was merely born as a relation to an heir, he automatically is an heir).
Since it is speaking about the reward of the Tzadikim, it should have stated:
“G-d will give” (ליתן) (or some other similar wording)?
This puzzlement is even greater:
The same statement is cited in Tractate Sanhedrin and there it indeed states,
“In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will give each and every Tzadik three hundred and ten worlds”.
One could say that the explanation of this is that this is indeed the reason (היא הנותנת):
The statement in Tractate Sanhedrin which was stated by an Amora – Rava bar Meri - indeed speaks about the reward for the Mitzvot, and therefore states,
“In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will give”.
However, in this Mishnah – which comes as a conclusion and end of the Mishnayot – it does not speak about the reward for the Mitzvot (plainly), but rather (as aforementioned) regarding the completeness which the Tzadik attains through his Avodah out of love. Therefore, R’ Yehoshua ben Levi precisely states:
“In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will make each righteous person inherit”.
For this very completeness is similar and in the scope of inheritance.
5. Regarding inheritance, it is known that the Rogatchover Gaon explains, that an heir is not a separate (צווייטע) entity that receives articles from the bequeathed (מוריש).
Rather (in the words of Scripture) it is:
“Instead of your forefathers will be your sons”.
The heir stands in place of the bequeathed (מוריש). An heir is one thing together with the bequeathed (מוריש) (the “essence of the father”, in his words).
Similarly, this is the same regarding Yidden:
The completeness which is attained by a Yid studying Torah and fulfilling Mitzvot, is because Yisroel, the Torah and G-d are completely one (“ישראל אורייתא וקוב״ה כולא חד”); (Three . . are interconnected, G-d, the Torah and Yisroel”, they are all one).
Similarly, through the fulfilment of Mitzvot – which is an expression denoting connection and attachment (צוותא וחיבור) - a Yid becomes, as it were, one thing with the Giver of Torah and the Commander of the Mitzvot – G-d Himself.
This is the simple understanding (Pshat) of,
“That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance”:
Rambam explains that the word, “substance/yesh” depicts,
“The perpetual Being which has no end” (מציאות התמידית אשר אין לה תכלית)
And, “That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance” means:
“For those that love me, I will cause them to inherit the absolute Being” (לאוהבי אנחיל את היש המוחלט)
For, “all souls that merit the life in the World to Come, will not perish forever”.
How is it possible for a created being, a finite being (בעל גבול) - to “take” the “absolute Being”, the “perpetual Being”- an aspect of everlasting and infinity?
To answer this, the verse explains and emphasizes,
“That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance”.
Yidden attain this, not as the recipient from a giver, a second entity which takes from the “giver”. Rather Yidden inherit this (נוחל) as an heir (יורש) which is one thing with the bequeathed (מוריש).
Yidden are “children” of G-d. Therefore, when a Yid studies Torah and fulfills Mitzvot, it reveals how he is one entity with the true “absolute Being” (the “perpetual Being”), as it states, “You are taking Me” (אותי אתם לוקחים)).
6. From this it is understood regarding the delight (Oneg) which comes from this to Tzadikim.
For this is the explanation in the words of R’ Yehoshua ben Levi,
“In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will make each righteous person inherit three hundred and ten worlds.”
As Rambam explains, that this means that the pleasure of the World to Come is “three hundred and ten times” more than “all the pleasures of this world”.
This is not the pleasure of the Tzadikim that they are for themselves (ווי זיי זיינען פאר זיך).
(as in the words of Chassidut – the “pleasure of the created being” – the pleasure that will be with Yidden as a reward for his fulfilling G-d’s will)
Rather this is G-d’s pleasure, as it were (the Creator’s pleasure) as the Sages state,
“Satisfaction before Me, for I said (that this be done), and My will was carried out.”
Since Yidden are one thing with the “bequeathed” (מוריש), they “inherit” (נוחל), as it were, G-d’s pleasure.
(As Rambam immediately explains, that the reason that R’ Yehoshua ben Levi uses the number “three hundred and ten” is, just an illustration, However, in reality, it is an infinite pleasure).
This is the difference between the reward of Mitzvot and “That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance”:
The pleasure that a person receives as a reward for his Avodah –
where the receiving of reward depicts that the receiver of the reward is an independent entity (whom one must reward (באלוינען) for his labor) –
is the pleasure corresponding to the amount a person, as a created being, can take.
Whereas, the aspect of,
“In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will make each righteous person inherit substance”
is G-d’s pleasure (and aspect of “absolute Being”) which is not the aspect of reward for a Mitzvah.
Rather this is the “essence of the Mitzvah” (עצם המצוה) and this comes to the person in the manner of an inheritance – for he is one thing, as it were, with G-d.
7. This is the reason why, “That I may cause to inherit substance” is specifically to “those that love Me”. For when can a person attain the aspect of, “That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance”? – This is when his Avodah is in such a manner, that he does not think about himself, but rather he does this purely for the sake of heaven – for G-d’s sake.
As long as a person thinks about an aspect of reward, or regarding himself, in general (his elevation) - it is not applicable that he should be one thing with the “absolute Being”, and the “perpetual Being”, which is completely higher than the scope of created beings.
Specifically, when his Avodah is completely for the sake of heaven - Lishmah – then he is not an independent entity. He only thinks about the actual of the Mitzvah.
(from which comes the “Satisfaction before Me, for I said (that this be done), and My will was carried out.”),
This causes, “You are taking Me”, and automatically “that I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance”.
(This is similar to what we find in Halacha – that a true “servant” (עבד), a servant according to the Torah of Truth, is not an Independent entity. His entire being is “the entity of the Master”).
This is also the allusion in that which the previous Mishnah speaks about a “bee-hive” and “honeycombs”. For the Avodah of a Yid, in the manner of being for the sake of heaven -Lishmah - is expressed in that which Yidden are compared to “bees”, as it states in the Midrash:
“The Holy One, Blessed be He said: My children are like bees . .Just as the bee, everything it treasures, it treasures for its master, so too all that Yisroel treasures - Mitzvot and good deeds - all of this they treasure for their Father in heaven.”
As is explained in Likkutei Torah, the Avodah in this manner comes from the recognition that the,
“The whole intent of man’s creation is not solely for man’s purpose, even though his elevation is very wondrous. Nevertheless, this is not solely, the entire intent. Rather it is for G-d’s glory”.
8. According to this, one can also explain the relation of this Mishnah to the dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel regarding honeycombs.
In the aforementioned wording (of Likkutei Torah), it emphasizes that, in actuality, through a person’s Avodah, here below, one attains a very wondrous elevation.
It is just that, “this is not solely, the entire intent”.
In this, there is a difference between,
over how much this aspect (this elevation) matters:
For the main aspect – the “potential” for carrying out the Avodah here below – already exists in the soul even before it descended below.
Moreover, in our case, one does not even require the “actual” as a “step” for the “potential” of the soul to carry out its Avodah below. For it is a certainty that in the end, every soul will carry out its mission in this world, as it states,
“One that is banished will not be cast from Him”. (לבלתי ידח ממנו נדח)
Moreover, and this is also the primary - It is revealed before Heaven that the soul will fulfill this.
Therefore, it comes out that according to Beit Shammai there is no place to say that this wondrous elevation of the person is an innovation and novelty for which the soul must actually come down below.
That which the soul does indeed come down is (completely not due to the elevation which will be accomplished within the soul, but rather) solely, “as a treasure for its owner” (לסגל לבעלי׳) – namely, in order carry out G-d’s intent that “G-d desired an abode in the lower realms”.
For this aspect, it is not sufficient that the soul has the “potential” to make the dwelling. Rather the “below” must actually be changed to become an abode for G-d. There must be an effect in the below. Therefore, there is the descent of the soul in actuality.
Therefore, according to Beit Hillel, even though the main aspect of the descent of the soul below is “for G-d’s glory” – “I was created to serve my Master”. In order to carry out the intent of making “an abode below”. And this must be a person’s intent in his Avodah. Nevertheless, his Avodah below is an aspect which accomplishes an innovation, also within himself.
9. This aforementioned difference between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel also gives a reasoning to their dispute:
“These say (Beit Shammai): It would have been preferable (נוח לו) had man not been created than to have been created. And those said (Beit Hillel): It is preferable for man to have been created than had he not been created. Ultimately, they were counted and concluded: It would have been preferable had man not been created than to have been created. However, now that he has been created, he should examine his actions (and seek to correct them)”.
In Likkutei Torah there, the Pshat of the statement of the Sages is explained:
“They do not say “It would have been good (טוב) had man not been created”. For it is certainly a benefit to the soul through its descent below. For it attains “an immeasurable great and wondrous elevation”.
Rather the explanation is:
“It would have been preferable and easy (נוח וקל) for him if he had not been created”
For the “entire intent of man’s creation” is that, “he should not serve for his own regard and to receive reward”. Rather, solely in order to “serve his Master”. For this is an extremely difficult Avodah. Therefore, it would have been “preferable and easy for him” if he did not have to do this.
According to this, the question arises:
What is the supposition of Beit Hillel to say that,
“It is preferable (וקל) for man to have been created than had he not been created”
The explanation of this is:
(not for the purpose of the (elevation of) the soul, rather)
solely “for G-d’s glory”. As aforementioned, for the purpose of the elevation of the soul, one need not have the descent, in actuality. the “potential” is sufficient.
Therefore, it is simple that, “It would have been preferable had man not been created” for the person himself (לו) there is no innovation through his descent below. The descent is just for G-d’s glory.
“It is preferable for man to have been created than had he not been created”.
For if he had not been “created”, he would have no relation to the, “immeasurable great and wondrous elevation”.
Since this is so, the pleasure that the soul has from the elevation is much greater than the pain of the soul in its descent below. So much so that it is “preferable for man to have been created”
(feeling that this will bring a wondrous elevation (a tremendous pleasure) despite the present pain),
than “had he not been created”, and would not have any relation to the “great and wondrous elevation”.
However, they “counted and concluded: It would have been preferable had man not been created than to have been created”:
For although the soul will, in actually, attain through the descent below - the “immeasurable great and wondrous elevation”. However, this must not be thought of a person during his Avodah. He must perform his Avodah, entirely “not for his own sake and for the purpose of reward”. Rather, solely “to serve his Master”, completely, not thinking about himself and his elevations.
Therefore, “It would have been preferable had man not been created than to have been created”.
10. This is also the connection between this Mishnah of “honeycombs” to last Mishnah, “In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will make each righteous person inherit etc.”:
Beforehand, the Mishnah cites the dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel whether “one follows potential” or "one follows actuality" - which accordingly would have been a place to say that according to the view of Beit Hillel, the elevation (and reward) of the person is the main reason (or at the least, an equal reason) for the descent of the soul.
The Mishnah therefore continues – similar to the aforementioned “they counted and concluded”
“R' Yehoshua ben Levi said: In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will cause those that love me to inherit substance”.
According to all (from the previously Mishnah), even according to the view of Beit Hillel, the purpose and epitome of the Avodah of the soul below is
(not its reward and elevation, but rather)
like the honey of bees, “as a treasure for its owner” – to carry out G-d’s Will and Intent, which manifests in that which the soul becomes one thing, as it were, with the “absolute Being”, the “perpetual Being”.
Nevertheless, it does not mean that there will completely not be any reward and elevation for the soul. This will also be. Therefore, R’ Yehoshua ben Levi also cites the continuation of the verse
(which comes after the words “That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance”)
“that I may fill their treasuries”.
This refers to the treasuries of the Tzadikim (in this world).
Since G-d does not “withhold the reward that is due to any creature”, therefore the soul also receives an aspect of reward (as a created being).
However, the aspect of “that I may fill their treasuries”, is not cited by R’ Yehoshua ben Levi in the essence of his statement,
(“In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will make each righteous person inherit . . and that I may fill their treasuries”),
but rather just as an aside, citing the verse “That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance”.
For in his main statement, he is speaking about the main completeness of the Future.
However, in order to also emphasize the reward (plainly, of) the soul, which is attained, in a secondary manner (טפל), and is insignificant compared to the “absolute Being”, he also cites the conclusion of the verse “that I may fill their treasuries”.
11. One can additionally say in this:
It is known, that in the Future, the Halacha will be according to Beit Shammai. One of the explanations that one can say regarding this (according to the aforementioned) is:
In this time, when a person feels his being, the Halacha is like Beit Hillel; and one tells a person that his Avodah also accomplishes an elevation within himself.
Whereas, in the Future, when the
“The glory of G‑d will be revealed and all flesh will see as one that the mouth of G‑d has spoken”,
and Yidden will actually be one with “absolute Being” and “perpetual Being”. Then the person’s being will completely not matter, and the entire innovation will be solely manifest in “That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance”.
Therefore, R’ Yehoshua ben Levi himself, who speaks about the time of the Future, and in that time itself
– in the conclusion of the Mishnayot (as one stands after the completeness of the Avodah) – in the state of the completeness of the Tzadik –
he also says: “In the Future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will make each righteous person inherit etc.” etc.
However, since the study of the Mishnah is indeed in this world, he also cites the conclusion of the verse, “that I may fill their treasuries”, that G-d will also fill the treasuries of the Tzadikim.
M’Sichas Yud-Tes Kislev and Motzai Shabbat Parshat Vayeshev and Miketz 5738
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