Maharal, Derekh Chaim 4:13 (part 3) – Relationship ep. 11
The Beyond Meaningful Relationships – Relationshipful Meaning series at the kloiz meets on Wednesday nights at 8pm EDT.
(If you missed our discussion so far, there is always the posts in The Kloiz Aspaqlaria category.)
Last Wednesday night (May 31st, 2022) we completed our study of the Maharal’s Derekh Chaim on Avos 4:13. The Maharal closes by discussing the three crowns as perfections of parts of a person — body, mind and soul, or the aspects of the soul that addresses each — nefesh, ruach and neshamah. Which the Maharal likens to the roots, branches and leaves of a tree. Parts.
Whereas the keser sheim tov is more like the essence of the tree itself. And yet also, how a person’s relationship to others is reflected back in their perceptions of that person. (Or maybe it is how they ought to be reflected back, such that the Maharal is not praising someone who hoodwinks the masses into thinking they are great, nor denigrating the person who is unfairly overlooked.)
What this identification of the essence of personhood and how others relate to them says about what it means to be a person is left as an exercise to the reader.
Next week we look at the Maharal on 4:21. That and a piece from Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch’s discussion of symbolism in mitzvos will close our discussion of threes.
Go to http://thekloiz.aishdas.org for links to the Zoom room, a link to join the WhatsApp group, to recordings of past shiurim, and the other posts like this one.
The resource sheet for the Maharal on Avos 4:13 is on Sefaria at https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/405402
The story so far:
Relationship to Soul
|Relationship to Hashem||Relationship to Others|
|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|
|Micha’s Miqdash Speculation|
|Crowns (simple take)||Torah||Kehunah||Kingship|
|Crowns (according to Maharal 4:13)||Torah||Kingship – in the soul’s ability to rule mind and body||Kehunah as the sanctification of the physical|
(see the Maharal, Avos 1:2)
(deducing from the Gra)