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(5747) The remembrance to the deliverance of Jacob from the angel (which shows the deliverance of Bnei Yisroel from the afflictions of Galut - Chinuch Mitzvah 3) is fixed in the (prohibition of) eating the Gid HaNasheh (sciatic nerve) which is only a part of the episode.

Explanation of the advantage in the specifics of Hashgacha Pratis (Divine Providence) of the Jewish people compared to the Divine Providence of other creations.  


1. In the prohibition of the Gid HaNasheh (displaced tendon/nerve), the Torah also explains the reason for the prohibition:

“Therefore, the children of Israel must not eat the Gid HaNasheh which is on the hip joint to this very day; because he struck Yaakov's hip joint on the displaced tendon.”

And this reason also establishes the particulars of the manner of the prohibition. :

“the prohibition is only on the tendon of the hip joint: (concerning) fowl – who do not possess a hip joint - their tendon is permissible”

There is a dispute between R’ Yehudah and the Sages whether the prohibition of the gid is observed just on the gid of right hip or also on the gid of the left hip. And the reason for this dispute is that according to R’ Yehudah, the angel just struck Yaakov's right hip joint whereas the Sages hold that “he displaced both of them” (“He struck both of them until they were both displaced, and then he rose”. Therefore both of them are prohibited.

One must understand:

In the explanation of the reason in the verse:

“Therefore, the children of Israel must not eat the Gid HaNasheh etc. because he struck etc.”

the commentators explain that it is:

 “to remember the strength of Jacob and also that G-d performed (a miracle) etc.”

In other words, this is not just a remembrance of Esau‘s angel striking Jacob‘s hip but also on the entire episode of Jacob‘s struggle (milchama) and deliverance from the angel.

And the reason that we make a remembrance specifically on this deliverance –

even though we find , explicitly in the biblical verses, many miracles and deliverances with Avraham, and also with Jacob himself, yet, notwithstanding this, did not have everlasting - remembrances established for them -

is understood by the Chinuch’s (and other commentators’) explanation that:

“in the roots of this Mitzvah, which is a ‘remembrance’ for Yisroel that even though many pains (tzarot) have been endured in galut from the hand of the nations, and from the hands of the children of Esau , we are confident that we will not be destroyed but that our children will forever endure”..

In other words, this deliverance is connected with an aspect of major significance (Klali b’yoteir) regarding the life of Am Yisroel.

Therefore, one can understand:

When one makes a “remembrance” to an event or specific thing, the remembrance must resemble the aspect that is being remembered – like, for example:

  • The remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt on Chag HaPesach, during which we enact that “all the deeds of this night are in a manner of freedom” or
  • The remembrance for the act of Creation on Shabbat which is through resting from work etc.

Therefore, why is the remembrance for such a significant and fundamental event as this,

(the deliverance of Jacob which is a remembrance for the deliverance of Klal Yisroel from the hands of the children of Esau)

just in the specific detail of the Gid HaNasheh -

(which is just a minute Prat in his manner and particulars regarding the details of the episode of striking Jacob ‘s hip, as aforementioned. (even though these details do not seemingly have a relevance to the general episode and deliverance) -

this is not a proper “remembrance” to (the general) deliverance etc.

Additionally , one could say:

Since the Torah endeavors to write the reason of the Parsha

 (so much so that, according to the view of the Sages, this verse (of: ““Therefore, the children of Israel must not eat” etc) was said at Sinai , but was inserted in its place (here) to show why this was prohibited to them. In other words, it was so important to know the reason “why it was prohibited “ that the verse was immediately written, not where it was said)

It is reasonable to say that both of these extremes of the details of Gid HaNasheh

  • ( the extremely fundamental episode (klali) ,
  • and to its “focus” (tzimtzumo) on the minutiae of the episode)

are not Gezeirat HaKatuv (inference from the juxtaposition of biblical verses), where the reason is not stated explicitly, but there is a (logical) “reason/ta’am” .

2, This can be understood by prefacing an understanding in one of the qualities of G-d’s providence (hashgacha) over Bnei Yistoel,

(for this is the subject of the M of Gid HaNasheh, as aforementioned – to remember G-d’s watchfulness and providence over His people Yisroel , that they not be destroyed, G-d forbid, in the galut of the nations)

compared to the providence over other created beings.

To preface:

The Baal Shem Tov’s explanation and innovation regarding G-d’s providence over His world, is known, namely that:

G-d’s specific providence (hasgacha prratis) does not just extend to the human species, but rather over all creations – even over the animal, vegetable and mineral (kingdoms).

Many Jewish Sages, however, until the advent of the Baal Shem Tov, held that Specific Providence extended to individuals of just the human species, but that for the other levels: animal, vegetable and mineral there is only a general providence over the species, as a whole. The Baal Shem Tov, however, explained and innovated that even the specifics (the actions) of the animal, vegetable and mineral are conducted with Divine providence.

(And has been explained many times – all of the aspects that are explained in Torat HaChassidut, have their source in the revealed exoteric Torah (nigleh d’Torah), (whether it is overtly mentioned or, at the least, inferred according to the method of allusion (derech remez)) -

The same, therefore, is this aspect:

There is a clear proof from the revealed Torah that specific providence (hasgacha prratis) extends to even the animal, vegetable and mineral (kingdoms). And the source for this (as the Alter Rebbe, the honoree of the happiness and redemption (baal simcha v’geulah) of Yud-tes Kislev cites:) is from the words of the Sages in tractate Chulin:

"Whenever R’' Yochanan used to see the Shalach (a bird that ‘catches fish out of the sea’) he would exclaim: 'Thy judgments are like the great deep'. “

And as Rashi explains:

“for the Shalach was appointed to judge and take Your revenge from the fish of the sea to kill those that are selected to be killed” –

Thus it is expressly explained that, that there is a law and judgment that applies even to specific fish of the sea, So much so that G-d appoints a specific bird to kill this specific fish which has been selected to die.)

The Baal Shem Tov explains that the boundary of this Hashgacha Protis is that:

“Not only are all the particular movements of the members (creations) of each species dictated with Hashgacha Protis from G-d etc.” But “also a specific movement of a specific creation has a general connection to the entire intent of Creation. For even a single movement of a specific blade of grass completes the Supernal intent in the aspect of Creation”

(This has been explained many times by the simple example in one’s life:

The manner of a Eishes chayil (an exemplary wife), the mainstay of the home, is successful because,

 in addition to her careful supervision over all the specific things that are found in the house, that each one is found in its proper place and that everything is conducted with a specific order –

it is also because each specific article of her house has a general purpose that contributes to the running of the home. So much so that everything is accounted for and exact, no more and no less. There is nothing lacking that is necessary for running the house and there is nothing extra (that does not serve this purpose).

And if this is the case with the life of a simple Eishes chayil, how much more so it is with, to contrast at the utmost (l’havdil), G-d - the Creator and Conductor of the world. For not only are all the specific deeds of each and every creation of G-d's world according to His providence, in addition, all of them are necessary to the completion of the Supernal intent of Creation.

3. It is understood, that even according to the view of the Baal Shem Tov (that there is specific providence over all creation) there is a fundamental difference between the Hashgacha Protis of all the creation to that of Bnei Yisroel.

And as the Rebbe Rayatz cites in the name of the Baal Shem Tov that:

“Even though Hashgacha Protis is over all creation and even on the smallest particular – nevertheless the aspect of Hashgacha Protis over Yisroel, the nation related to Him (am k'rovo), is impossible to describe and impossible to understand” (Yiddish follows)

From the simple wording it is understood that this quality extends even to the minutiae (pratiuseha) of the providence. In other words, in whatever measure, each particular aspect is guided by G-d and completes the Supernal intent.

As is known, there are many different levels and forms in providence:

Some of them are from Scripture, such as:

  •  The eye of G-d is to those that fear Him
  • The eyes of G-d are to the Tzaddikim (with one or two eyes).

Where, one could (seemingly) say the difference is not in the “minutiae” of the Hashgacha but rather just in its manifestation.

For example, whether the Hashgacha is enclothed and hidden in the ways of nature, or whether it is a revealed Hashgacha, to all (so much so that it brings with it a miraculous manifestation etc.

However, from the aforementioned general wording of the Rebbe Rayatz (in the name of the Baal Shem Tov) is appears, that the advantage of the Hashgacha over Yisroel, the nation related to Him (am k'rovo),, is not just in its manner of manifestation but also in its details (pratiuseha).

For even though Specific providence is over all creation,

and so much so that each particular affects the completion of the whole intent in the aspect of Creation –

 nevertheless, there is a tremendous advantage in the Hashgacha over each  detail of His nation (which is of a quality that is above understanding).

4. One could say the explanation in this is:

Even though: “All the beings etc. came into existence only from the truth of His being”, and are directed from Him - nevertheless, the (primary) will and choice of G-d is only for Yisroel. For it is as it states:

He “chose us among all the nations” and “I have loved you, said the L-rd etc.. Was not Esau Jacob's brother? Yet I loved Jacob"

And one could say that this is the objective of the statement of the Sages (that the world was created): “because of the Torah and because of Yisroel”. For Yisroel and Torah are the intent of Creation (as the Sages state: “I was (not) created (except) to serve my Master”) – the will and choice of G-d is in them, themselves.

However, the other creations are not an objective and purpose of themselves, but rather just an “intermediary” for which, through them, G-d’s intent is completed regarding Torah and Yisroel. As it states: “They were only created to serve Me (l’shamshuni)”. For G-d's will is not for them of their own accord – they are just servants (meshamshim) (“intermediaries/emtza) for Torah and Yisroel.

The nature of the aspect of will (and choice) is, that when one desires (and chooses) a certain object, it is possible that the desire is in all the sections and parts of the thing, equally (with the same force),

notwithstanding the quality and importance of the parts (of their properties).

Thus if one of the parts is missing from the thing,(even if it is small and seemingly insignificant), (the desire) is lost for the entire object, since his desire has not been fulfilled)

We find this regarding the aspect of Mitzvot, which are the Supernal Will of G-d (the King’s mandates). For even though there are differences in the Mitzvot, from one extreme to the other, as the Sages state that there are: “The lightest of the light” and there are “the severest of the stringent”, nevertheless, they state that: “one should not sit and weigh the Mitzvot of the Torah”. But rather, there must be the “same diligence in all the Mitzvot, equally”. For notwithstanding the differences between the Mitzvot, in their nature,

(or as the Chinuch states: “the roots/shorshei of the Mitzvot” etc. –

they are all the Will of G-d, who “sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us”.

And this aspect is really (mamosh) equal in all the Mitzvot. For just as G-d desires the stringent (Mitzvot) so too does He desires the light (Mitzvot), with the same desire.

(And one could say that because of this aspect of Mitzvot, we sometimes find that when one part is missing – the entire object is missing. For example: if a Convert (Ger) accepts upon himself the entire Torah except for one thing, (even if it Rabbinic) he is not accepted”. Similarly, if “one says that the Torah is not from G-d, even if he refers to one verse or even one word . . he is a heretic (kofer baTorah). And there is no difference (in this regard) whether he is referring to (the verse): “And the sons of Ham are Kush and Mitzraim” or “and his wife's name was Mehetabel” or “ I am the L-rd your G-d'”).

5. According to this, one can understand the quality of Hashgacha Protis over Yisroel, G-d’s nation related to Him (am k'rovo) versus the Hashgacha Protis over other aspects of Creation:

With other creations, even though each part affects the completeness of the general intent (as aforementioned), nevertheless, since the importance of the parts is dependent on the their quality,

(This is similar to the body of a person. For even though one’s completeness is when all of the limbs are intact (even one’s hair and nails), nevertheless, it is impossible to equate the general importance of the organs that one’s soul (life) is dependent upon with the other parts of the body (and how much more so with the hair and nails which are very insignificant parts)

therefore, the Hashgacha over each part is “according to each one’s importance” (to the degree that it “serves” Torah and Yisroel)

However, with G-d’s nation related to Him (am k'rovo), since His Hashgacha over them is a result of his desire and choice of them – therefore, in addition to that which there is Hashgacha over each detail,

 (in a manner that each detail completes the general intent in the aspect of Creation) –

the manner of the Hashgacha over the parts is not just according to the specific importance of each part,

(for in this there are differences according to the importance of the part),

but rather, the Hashgacha is an a manner that is equal for all of them. For from the perspective of G-d’s desire and choice of Yisroel, each part of them “matters” equally.

6. According to all this, one can explain the reason that the “remembrance” of the deliverance of Jacob was established specifically in one part of the episode. And in this itself, precisely in the detail of the detail (whether it is the right hip or even the left hip etc. -) for through this the boundary and manner of G-d’s Hashgacha over Jacob (and therefore – also over Am Yisroel, the children of Jacob) is emphasized.

G-d’s Hashgacha is in a manner that, not only each part is directed by Him,

(and even more so - that each part affects the completeness of the general intent),

but also that, in the aspect of the fulfilment of G-d’s will, the most important parts, or the parts that appear to be secondary and insignificant, are all directed by Him in an equal manner.

And this aspect is emphasized in the Mitzvah of Gid HaNasheh.

For the remembrance over the entire episode of the deliverance of Jacob was specifically established on the detail of a detail of the episode - to teach us that even a secondary detail etc. is relevant to the entire deliverance.

7. However, it is not yet sufficiently clear:

For although by establishing the remembrance on a detail of a detail of the episode, it alludes to the quality of G-d’s Hashgacha over Bnei Yisroel, in a manner of Hashgacha over each detail, as aforementioned –

Nevertheless, at the end of it all, it, seemingly, would have been better to establish the remembrance in a general manner. In other words, through establishing the remembrance in this (detailed) manner, it is, seemingly, lacking the remembrance of the general deliverance – for at the very end, the Gid HaNasheh is just a part pf the episode?

One could say that the clarification of this can be explained by prefacing another aspect related to the connection between Bnei Yisroel and G-d.

Concerning Bnei Yisroel, it is written: “For the L-rd's portion is his people”. For they are like a “portion of the essence/etzem”. This is similar to a son who is a portion of the essence of his father.

In other words, in addition to that which G-d chose His people Yisroel, and loves then,

(for in this (level) there is still felt ‘two’, the chooser and the chosen. Lover and beloved) –

they are one essence/etzem, as it were.

(This is like the parable of the Maharam: “that even before the Jewish people were created, their image was engraved in (G-d’s) thought as it states: “Yisroel arose in thought” (Yisroel alah b’machashavah) – In other words, even before Yisroel was created as a separate entity, “their image was engraved in thought”. And one could say that this is why the precise wording ‘engraved/nechkak” is used. For engraving is throughout (the material, for Yisroel and G-d are all One!)

The dictum: “when you grasp a part of the essence you grasp all of it”, is known. For the “essence/etzem” is found in all its essence, in all its parts.

We find a similar example in the aspect of Mitzvot – “when one is occupied with a Mitzvah, he is exempt from (another) Mitzvah”. The explanation of this is, is that it “as if he is also fulfilling this (the second Mitzvah). For each Mitzvah has all the other Mitzvot included within it. For the Supernal Will in the 613 Mitzvot is an essential Will. Therefore through grasping “part” of the Will (i.e. by fulfilling one Mitzvah) one grasps it all, and it is as if he fulfilled even the other Mitzvah.

The same is regarding Bnei Yisroel – for even “one Jewish person” (Nefesh achas mYisroel) is “a complete world” (olam malei). So much so that (in the laws of Pikuach Nefesh -the preservation of human life) we sometimes find that “one Jewish person” has the same importance as many (people) and as of the whole. So much so that if a non-Jew demands from a group of Bnei Yisroel: “Give us one of you so that we may kill him; and if not we will kill all of you – that they should (subject themselves) all be killed and refuse to hand over to them one Jewish person”. One of the explanations in this is that in every “portion/chelek” of Klal Yisroel, “one grasps it all”, meaning that in the “essesnce/atmiyus” of each Jewish person, the essence of the entire whole is grasped.

8. With this one can understand on a deeper level, the Hashgacha Protis over Yisroel, the nation related to Him (am k'rovo)

In these aspects, which come to express and reveal the unity between Yisroel and G-d (who are “a portion of the Essence”) - the Hashgacha over them is in a manner that,

(not only does G-d direct their every detail, and in a manner that in many of the details, each one equally affects the fulfillment of the intent of Creation, but additionally)

in each detail of this Hashgacha over His people – “one grasps all of it” – the entire essential connection between them.

And this was also (reflected) in the episode of the deliverance of Jacob from the Esau‘s angel. For this was a very significant aspect in Jacob’s life. So much so that it affected his essence.

And therefore the remembrance for the deliverance of Jacob was established (not on a general aspect, but rather) specifically on a detail of a detail (as aforementioned) – to teach that – on an aspect so critical to G-d’s Hashgacha and watching over Yisroel, where this Hashgacha,

(the way it expressed itself by Jacob, who is the essence of Klal Yisroel, and whose soul had “included within it all the souls of Yisroel forever) –

is in a manner that with every detail, even until the smallest and insignificant detail – we grasp “it All” (kulo).

m’Sichas Erev Chag HaShavuot 5746

              Simchas Torah 5718


Gutnick Chumash pp. 201
http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/chassidic-dimension-5/08.htm pp. 148-153
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