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And he said, “When You Deliver the Hebrew Women”
Shemot Tav-Shin-Mem, January 1980
“And he said, ‘When you deliver the Hebrew women, see upon the birth-stool; if it is a boy, put him to death; and if it is a girl, she shall live.” “Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, ‘Every boy who is born, cast him in the Nile, and every girl, keep alive.’”
We should interpret this. When a person begins to walk on the path of the Creator, Pharaoh king of Egypt is the king who rules over the bodies, to keep those who work in order to bestow so that the bodies will resist and they will not be able to achieve the desired wholeness, which is that all his actions will be for the sake of the Creator.
For this reason, he said, meaning commanded that when the workers engage in Torah and Mitzvot[commandments], called “Hebrews,” when the work in Torah and Mitzvot belongs to servants of the Creator, while the Egyptians are when one engages in corporeal actions in which the Egyptians engage, as well. Only when they engage in Torah and Mitzvot, they are called “Hebrews.”
“See on the birth-stool” is the time when one says that he wants to understand what he is doing, for what purpose he engages in Torah and Mitzvot. “If he is a boy,” meaning his work is in order to bestow, and this is his desire when he engages in Torah and Mitzvot, “put him to death,” meaning do not give him any vitality or strength, so he will stop his work.
“If it is as girl,” meaning his intention has the quality of “female,” in order to receive, “she shall live,” meaning you can give him strength and vitality because that person does not wish to come out of Egypt and there is no reason to fear him. Hence, you may help him, let him do whatever he wants, even if he is meticulous in all kinds of manners, since in any case, he will remain with us in Egypt and it is not worthwhile to exert for no reason, for in any case, he is one of ours.
But if he is a boy, if his aim is to come to aim for the sake of the Creator and not for his own benefit, from this he can be rewarded with “the savior of Israel,” called “the quality of Moses,” as our sages said, “The expansion of Moses in each and every generation.”
If he is rewarded with the quality of Moses, called “the savior of Israel,” who will deliver them from Egypt, we must see beforehand so as to prevent him from reaching a state where he emerges from the exile in Egypt.
However, how can they know that he is going for the aim to bestow? After all, he is still in Egypt, which is working for self-benefit and not in order to bestow. However, now he wants to be rewarded with it, and for this, he gave them as sign: “A male, his face is downward; a female, her face is upward.”
He interprets face and back in the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” that when seeing a person from behind, we cannot know if this is truly the person of whom we are thinking. He might be another and we could be mistaken. But if we see the other’s face, there are no doubts.
Hence, when we want to imply that we understand something in utter certainty, that we have no mistakes, this is called “face.” Conversely, something that is not clear to the mind is called “back.”
For this reason, “face” is called “knowing,” that he is serving the Creator only in a manner of knowing. This is considered that his face is up in terms of importance, since what counts for him is the awareness. The “back,” which is faith, since in the mind, it could be either or, he regards this as below in its importance.
For this reason, he gave them the sign: If you want to know if he is going for the goal of achieving the aim to bestow, if his face is downward, if knowing is of little importance to him, and his back is upward, meaning that faith is of high importance to him, it is a sign that he wants to achieve the quality of “boy,” the aim to bestow.
Hence, “Put him to death,” disrupt him however you can because he will certainly be rewarded with the quality of Moses, who is the savior of Israel, and will deliver them from the exile in Egypt and will enter the land of Israel, the palace of Kedusha [holiness]. This is the meaning of “And you shall see My back,” meaning faith, “but My face shall not be seen,” namely you will not attain Me through knowledge.
“Pharaoh commanded all his people,” meaning he does not know from which nation the savior of Israel will be born, whether from Egypt or from Israel. Every person consists of corporeal actions, called “Egyptians,” for the Egyptians also engage in corporeal actions. Hence, man’s work in corporeal actions is called “Egypt,” and when he engages in Torah and Mitzvot, he is called “Israel.”
He says that he does not know from which discernment a person might be rewarded with the quality of Moses, called “the savior of Israel.” That is, it could be that while a person engages in corporeality while all his intentions are in order to bestow, even while doing corporeal actions, he might be rewarded with the quality of the savior of Israel.
For this reason, keep an eye while they engage in corporeal actions, that if they aim in order to bestow, which is called “a male,” “cast him in the Nile.” That is, do not let him aim for the sake of the Creator, called “a boy,” even with corporeal actions. “And every girl keep alive.” Only when his aim is to receive in order to receive, you can give him vitality and strength to do corporeal deeds.
But if it is a boy, he might be rewarded with the quality of Moses, called “the savior of Israel,” at that time, too, who will deliver him from the exile in Egypt and into the land of Kedusha [holiness].
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