תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהילת יעקב (Devarim 33,4). Why does the passuk say מורשה קהילת יעקב  to the congregation of Yaakov and not simply to ישראל? We can answer this by first understanding Yaakov’s marriage to Rachel and Leah. Sarah Imeinu was the only wife to give birth to the future Am Yisrael. Rivka alone was the one wife of Yitzchak who also gave birth to the future AmYisrael. However, Yaakov had two wives who together gave birth to Am Yisrael. What was different with Yaakov and why did Yaakov’s first wife Leah become a partner in this heavenly mission through deception and trickery?  

The sefarim and Kabbalah relate that there are two interventions with which Hashem leads Am Yisrael towards their destiny  fulfillment in this world. One is called עלמא דאיתגליא the world of revelation and the other is עלמא דאיכסיא  the world of concealment. The revealed intervention is when Hashem acts openly to Am Yisrael and displays providence that seems rationale and does not interfere with Man’s free choice.

In contrast, there are interventions from Hashem and expectations from Man to act in accordance with Hashem’s will which does not make sense and can be easily misinterpreted. For instance, we find that Avraham was commanded to sacrifice Yitzchak when at the same time he was told by Hashem that Yitzchak is the future of Am Yisrael. How was one to process such a command? On such an intervention Chazal (Berachos 10 concerning Cizkiyahu Hamelech who stopped having children since he saw in ruach hakodesh that he will give birth to a son Menashe who will be חוטא ומחטיא Yisrael) use the termבהני כבשי דרחמנא למה לך  that concerning the interventions of Hashem, do not inquire but rather just have emunah. What meets the eyes is deceiving but from Hashem’s standpoint Man’s actions will bring about many desirable and beneficial outcomes of which we are unaware of. The same applies to the intervention of צדיק ורע לו ורשע וטוב לו. A salient characteristic of this intervention of עולם דאיתכסיא is that many times Hashem interferes with free choice and uses coercion to make His plan fulfilled.

Every beracha we recite is instituted in the nusach of נכח ונסתר. We first address Hashem with אתה  You as if one is communicating to a revealed Hashem, and then the beracha suddenly switches to address Hashem as being concealed and hidden from usהמוציא לחם  He who brings out, or אשר קדשנו במצוותיו He who sanctified us instead of קדשתנו. This is because Hashem reveals Himself to Man through both aspects as he runs and sustains the universe. The revealed aspect is made to be understandable somewhat and appreciated with gratitude but in contrast the concealed aspect was not given over to Man to fathom His deepest intent and purpose.

The Chasam Sofer wrote on the passuk (Shmos 33,23)וראית את אחורי ופני לא יראו  that Hashem told Moshe Rebbeinu that many times you will not understand my interventions as it happens .(פני) Only retroactively אחורי)) it might be possible for one to merit and see the incredible benefit that evolved from My interventions and interferences for which you will be forever grateful.

Am Yisrael must also possess these two interventions of Hashem in order to parallel their creator. This is manifested in the taking of two wives by Yaakov Avinu as we will now explain.

Many aspects of Leah’s life demonstrate how she symbolized the hidden intervention of Hashem. Leah was not Yaakov’s chosen wife for whom he worked for seven years. Yet she entered Am Yisrael against Yaakov’s bechirah. Her marriage was executed in secrecy and Yaakov’s unawareness. Such intervention from Hashem appears outwardly flawed and inappropriate by its recipient even though known to Hashem it was driven by an ultimate good and beneficial outcome. Leah’s eyes were withered and unattractive. However, Chazal uncover the noble and virtuous story behind those eyes. Since she feared as being the older daughter of Lavan that she was destined to become the wife of Aisav who was the older son, she constantly wept and davened to Hashem in order to be saved from this fate.

Leah gave birth to Yehudah who also manifested his mother’s symbolized heavenly intervention of עלמא דאיתכסיא. Through Yehuda the Moshiach dynasty was to be formed. However it happened in a way that appeared completely inappropriate and void of kedusha. Yehudah impregnated his daughter in law Tamar when she represented herself as a prostitute. To complicate the scenario even further the Medrash says that the malach appointed on lust pushed Yehudah to have relations with Tamar which he wouldn’t have done on his own. To the naked eye this almost seems unfair to Yehudah to undergo such embarrassment in which he confessed publicly to be the father of her twins that were born even though he did not was not responsible for what happened. This is just another instance of עלמא דאיתכסיא the hidden intervention of Hashem in Kllal Yisrael which by Hashem it will lead to a better you.

Similarly, the Ramban writes in his preface to Sefer Iyuv that when one finds a tzadik transgressing an obvious aveirah it is because Hashem removed his bechirah from him in order to cause a specific beneficial outcome. Rav Yaakov from Lisa writes this that Mordechai Hayehudi did not bow down to Haman and thereby placed Yisrael under a decree of annihilation, was not from his own choice. Rather Hashem removed his free choice in order that Am Yisrael would do teshuvah and receive the Torah anew with love.

In contrast to Leah’s role in Klal Yisrael Rachel symbolized the revealed intervention of Hashem. Rachel is beautiful on the outside. She enters the marriage of Yaakov Avinu without any concealment. Yosef her son also has a test with another woman the wife of Potifar. He passes it with his bechirah and is given by Hashem an extra letter ה in his name יהוסף  in order to advertise his righteousness. While Leah was buried in the Meoras Hamachpeilah hidden beneath the earth, Rachel is buried close to the surface for when Am Yisraelwill go down to Galus she will strengthen and daven for them as they pass her grave.  Rachel had the only Shevet Binyamin who was born in Eretz Yisraelupon which the Torah says עיני ה’ אלקיך בה  that the land is bestowed with a constant overt Hashgacha by Hashem.

The Zohar Hakadosh says that Hashem Torah and Yisrael are one ישראל ואורייתא וקב”ה חד הוא.  According to this, Torah must parallel Hashem and Am Yisrael with these two concepts of איתגליא ואיתכסיא . The Torah possesses the revealed part of mitzvos and the history of Am Yisrael but it also contains חוקים which don’t have a rational reason. The Torah possesses hidden secrets of the universe and creation, of which we are not privy to and which are beyond our bechirah and grasp.

Furthermore, Chazal say on the passuk ויתיצבו בתחתית ההר that at Matan Torahthe Yidden stood under the mountain which teaches that Hashem picked up the mountain and suspended it over their heads and gave them an ultimatum. If you desire to receive the Torah fine, and if not you will be buried under the mountain. Tosofos and other Rishonim ask why was coercion necessary when Am Yisrael already said נעשה ונשמע? We can give an answer based on the above. Keeping the Torah involves both interventions of Hashem with most times aligned with one’s bechirah. However, many times your free choice might be taken away from you like Modechai of Purim a fulfillment of the כפה עליהם הר כגגית coercion.

Let us now return to our original passuk of תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהילת יעקב . The Chazal explain that the wordמורשה  which means an inheritance can also be read מאורסה to be betrothed. The difference between the two is that marrying someone is with your bechirah and choice, in contrast to an inheritance which comes to you without your choice or effort. Chazal are describing here the two aspects of Torah, the revealed and the hidden, the part that is in one’s grasp and the other which is beyond human understanding and reason, the times when He can force us to keep the Torah whether we like it or not ).אם לא ביד חזקה אמלך עליכם Bamidbar 15,41 Rashi).

The reason why the Torah was given with these two levels is because it parallels קהילת יעקב When Yaakov’s name was only Yaakov without the added ישראל, he created Am Yisrael with “two” wives in order to portray the two הנהגות  of Hashem in His interventions in Am Yisrael איתגליא ואיתכסיא. This is hinted in the words קהילת יעקב  the making of the kehillah (12 Shevatim) when only possessing the name Yaakov. ישראל ואורייתא וקב”ה are one.

Next time when something undesirable beyond your control and bechirahoccurs to you, know that you are experiencing Hashem’s intervention of עלמא דאיתכסיא . The purpose is beneficial and it is for your tikkun. Try not to react with “it is not fair” Rather unknown to you this is your fare to attain the shelaimus that you were created for.   

Gut Shabbos

Rav Brazil