Zermatt Pesach Top

The Mobility Of Speech

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Dec 9, 2022

לע"נ מורנו ורבינו הגאון רבי נתן בן רבי עמרם זצ"ל ביום השנה לפטירתו


1. The pasuk says about the creation of man "ויהי האדם לנפש חיה" "And man was a living soul" - which is translated by Unkelos as "רוח ממללא" - "a talking spirit". Since the Torah also calls the animal kingdom "נפש חיה" what then was unique about man? That is what compelled Unkelos to translate "רוח ממללא". Animals don't talk [and if they do then they don't have very much to say....].

2. The mehalech is as follows: The primary difference between animals, vegetation and inanimate objects is that animals are mobile, moving from place to place while vegetation stays and grows in one place while inanimate objects [דומם] don't move at all. On the words  "בצלמנו כדמותנו", Rashi explains that man is created in the image of G-d insofar as he has intellect. Without the power of speech the intellect of man would be immobile. Any idea would die in the place it germinated, namely in the mind of man. It emerges that through the כח השכל - power of speech, the intellect of man becomes mobile and can move from place to place. That is the meaning of "ויהי האדם" - i.e. man who was created in the image of G-d, בצלמנו כדמותנו, which is the כח השכל - the power of the intellect, was created a נפש חיה - רוח ממללא. In other words this נפש חיה has it's own unique type of mobility - speech.[דברי מו"ר ראש הישיבה זצ"ל]

3. However there are different levels in the movement of the intellect for the deeper ideas remain inside. Not only that, even Hashem who spoke to us at Sinai left the deeper secrets hidden and unrevealed. The pasuk says ישקני מנשיקות פיהו - kiss me with the kiss of your mouth, which is a promise that in the future Hashem will reveal His secrets to us [Rashi Shir Hashirim 1-2]. But in the meantime the words remain locked in His mouth and don't extend out. Similarly, when one teaches the secrets of Torah there is a condition that one should only teach with hints and to a wise person who can decipher the hidden codes - חכם ומבין מדעתו. If not for the רוח ממללא then all thought would essentially remain hidden. As it is Above with Hashem who reveals certain things and hides others, so with man. We use our רוח ממללא to share ideas and thoughts while the deeper ones remain hidden. 

4. On the night of the 15th of Nissan the highest expression of man emerged - "אתם קרויים אדם" [Yevamos 61a] - the Jewish people came out of Egypt armed with a new found ability to express themselves. That is why on the night of the 15th we eat לחם עוני - לחם שעונים עליו דברים הרבה - We speak a LOT over the Matza, סיפור יציאת מצרים, הלל and כל המרבה הרי זה משובח. That is all on the night of the 15th. At the time of Krias Yam Suf, Hashem revealed His deeper purpose when "ואכבדה לפרעה" - I will be honored through Paroh. אז ישיר - an allusion to תחיית המתים. Then תביאמו ותטעמו בהר נחתלך - meaning the building of the Beis Hamikdash all the way to ה' ימלוך לעולם ועד.      

5. Both the dots under the letters are the Trop on top of the letters are called "תנועות" - movements. Dots have what are called "תנועות קטנות" and "תנועות גדולות" and so too the various Trops are named after types of movements - "קדמא ואזלא" [moving forward], "פזר" [scattered] etc. etc. At the height of the Geula the sea was split and the highest level of speech was revealed - poetic song that revealed the deeper secrets of the heart.

6. That is the meaning of "תורי זהב נעשה לך עם נקודות הכסף" - the booty of the sea was תורי זהב, lines of gold, while the booty of Egypt was called נקודות הכסף, dots of silver [במדבר רבה יג כ]. The תורי זהב refer to the Trop and the נקודות הכסף to the dots [Chazal discussed in Nefesh HaChaim 2/16]. Both are movements. Both on the night of Yetzias Mitzraim and at Krias Yam Suf there was a movement of the thoughts and feelings of the Jews as expressed in speech and song. צלם א-להים. נפש חיה. אתם קרויים אדם

7. That is why the Torah makes places an emphasis on the chariots and riders of Paroh and that "ויסר את אופן מרכבותיו" - "The wheels of the chariots were removed." This is the "זה לעומת זה" - the contrast between Am Yisrael who evolved into the Ideal Man of Speech and movement vs. the Egytptians who did all they could to prevent this. So they lost their capacity to move. [In the world of Kedusha we also find מרכבה and אופנים who praise Hashem]. 

8. This movement of dots and Trop brings to the end of days - ה' ימלך לעולם ועד. That is the "שמחה רבה" of Shiras HaYam.

[עפ"י תורת מרן ראש הישיבה שליט"א]



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Learning on the Marcos and Adina Katz YUTorah site is sponsored today by Ruth Peyser Kestenbaum and Miriam & Alan Goldberg to mark the tenth yahrtzeit of their father, Irwin Peyser, Harav Yisroel Chaim ben R' Dovid V' Fraidah Raizel Peyser and by the Weinberg and Klepfish families l'ilui nishmas Zevy Weinberg, Refael Zev Avraham ben HaRav Moshe and for a refuah shleimah for חיים יצחק בן סימה זיסל