18 Тамуза 5784 г., четвертый день недели, гл. Пинхас

Of Stones and Letters or How to Watch Your Head

The question arises: what action can we take, similar to what Yaakov did, to avoid being subject to bad influences around us?

05.12.2022 677 (0)
Of Stones and Letters or How to  Watch Your Head
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In the Torah chapter of “Vayetse”, we read about how our forefather Jacob (Yaakov) went from Beersheba to Haran. On the way, he spent a night on the road.

It is said that before going to sleep in the desert, Jacob had taken stones and placed them around his head. He did this in order to protect himself from wild animals. When a person is sitting or standing, there is a noticeable difference between the head and the lower parts of the body, between the spiritual (intellect) and the physical (body) levels. When a person lies down, his head and legs end up at the same level.

When Yaakov was getting ready to go to sleep, the Essence of the Most High where there is no difference between the spiritual and the material, was revealed in him.

It should be noted that during the fourteen years he spent in the house of Ever, Yaakov did not go to bed at night, but was engaged in the Torah. Following that, when Yaakov came to Laban and began to tend to his sheep, he never closed his eyes. This does not mean that Jacob refused to sleep at all, he just did not go to bed and dozed while sitting or standing. So how can it be that in the most holy place (and commentators say that this was the place of the Temple) he lay down and fell asleep?

The answer lies in the fact that it was just such a holy place where it was possible to become a “receptacle” for revealing the Essence of G-d. To accomplish this, Jacob had to unite his spiritual and his physical. And at such a level wild beasts could not harm him.

In our time, in every Jew there is a revelation of the Essence of the Most High. We can be said to be in the same position as Yaakov was when he went to bed. We are in the first period of the Days of Moshiach, when there is still evil on earth, while in the second period, wild animals will no longer harm humans. Then the Essence of G-d will be revealed throughout the world, not only in Jews but in everyone, including even animals.

The question arises: what action can we take, similar to what Yaakov did, to avoid being subject to bad influences around us?

The teachings of Hasidism explain that stones are the spiritual prototypes of letters. Just like a house is built with stones, so are words are made from letters. Therefore, it seems to me that there is a connection between the process of placing stones on the head and writing letters around the head on a kippah.

What letters are you talking about? Those that are the phrase “Yehi Adoneinu Moreinu veRabbeinu Melech HaMeshiach LeOlam vaEd” (In the original יחי אדוננו מורנו ורבינו מלך המשיח לעולם ועד), because it's known that the essence of these words is the revelation of the King of Moshiach, whose essence is united with the Essence of the Supreme...

In the book “Torah Or”, the Alter Rebbe explains that the holy language is the stones created by G-d, and the languages of the peoples of the world are the bricks created by human hands. By using these languages for positive purposes, and specifically for Torah study, we can build a “Torah wall” out of these “bricks”. Therefore, it makes sense to also make an inscription in other languages: “Long live our master, teacher and Rebbe King Moshiach forever and ever!”

Translated by Yosef Vinisky From Камни и буквы или Как защитить голову?

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