Gra, Peirush al Kamah Agados #14 (part 2) – Relationship ep. 7
IMPORTANT ADMINISTRIVIA: Starting this week, May 4th 2022, we will be learning on Wednesday nights at 8pm EDT.
(If you missed our discussion so far, there is always the posts in The Kloiz Aspaqlaria category.)
Thursday night (Apr 28th, 2022) 7pm EDT we continued our study of the Vilna Gaon’s Peirush al Kama Agados, agadah #14. In it, the Vilna Gaon unpacks the metaphor of an aggadita on Bekhoros 8b, where the Elders of Athens challenge Rabbi Yehoshua ben Channania to build them a “house in the air of the world”.
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The resource sheet for the Vilna Gaon is on Sefaria at https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/386936
Our first weeks at Zelmele’s Kloiz had lots of wonderful give and take, and many of us stayed on afterward for exciting discussions. (Which personally, I found quite informative.)
In this meeting we detoured to look at one chapter of Rav Dessler’s Qunterus haBechirah, as it relates to how ego and thought (such as Torah study) are associated with conflict, the dialectic in the middle of Heaven and Earth. And then returned to the Gra’s Peirush al Kamah Agaddos, aggadita #14.
The story so far:
Relationship to Soul
|Relationship to Hashem||Relationship to Others|
|Micha’s Miqdash Speculation|
|Crowned Kelim||Aron||Mizbeiach haZahav||Shulchan|
|Uncrowned Keilim||Menorah||Mizbeiach Nekhoshes||Kiyor|
|Uprooting Sin||Gilui Arayos||Avodah Zara||Shefichas Damim|
|Sustains the world||… gives the world value.||… for it was created liKhvodi||… causes Hashem’s Chessed to the world|
|Yaaqov/Yisrael as Synthesis||Yaaqov
Rivqa’s two bracelets of 5 gold each
|Sefer haYetzirah “Mother Letters”||א||ש||מ|
|Non-Intert Elements||Air/Wind (אוויר)||Fire (אש)||Water (מים)|
|Element as Middah||Thought
|Passion / “Hislahavus“
|Calm / Unity
in relating to other people
|Protecting Torah / Anshei Keneses haGdolah||Establishing many students||Diligence in Law||Making a siyag laTorah
(i.e. morality rather than precise Law)
(Synthesis or Dialectic)
|Truth / Law||Peace / Lovingkindness|
|Aspect of Soul||Ruach||Neshamah||Nefesh|
|Time of Life (paired with desires)||Adulthood||Old Age||Youth|
|Time of Night||Middle – the dog barks (demanding “hav hav!”)||Near Dawn –
The baby nurses, the wife talks with her husband
|Near Sunset –
The Donkey Brays
|Children of Adam & Chavah||Hevel||Qayin||Sheis (bidmuso betzalmo)|
|World||“In the Air” /
the world between our ears*
|Organ||Heart||Head||Liver / Groin|
- We detoured into Rav Dessler’s Qunterus haBechira ch. 2 to show that free will and consciousness are born of conflict — it exists in “the Middle”. Notice the middle world is where we learn Torah, paralleling the Maharal’s take on the Shimon haTzaddiq’s first pillar.