Israel Are Organs of the Shechina

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491) It is written, “For the Leader on Shushan Edut; Michtam of David to teach.” David was shown a sign in the lily—that he would win the war, when he sent Yoav [Joab] to Aram Naharaim and to Aram Tzova to wage war against them.

Moses said, “Shushan Edut,” the Edut [testimony] of the Shechina, who is called “Shushan Edut” because it is a testimony standing over us and testifying about us before the king, and high and holy degrees are with it, and it is holy help for us to praise in praises. This is why it is called “Shushan Edut.”

It is called “Shushan Edut,” meaning that the Shechina is a testimony to Israel, who are her organs, and she is a soul upon them. She is help from heaven, as it is written about her, “And you will hear the heaven.” She is holy assistance of which it is said, “It is an opening that supports you,” since the Shechina is called Tania [Aramaic: opening].

492) It is written, “Your dwelling place is strong, and set your nest in the rock.” Eitan [strong] has the letters of Tania, which are Mishnah and Braita, since in the Mishnah and in the Braita it is the nest of the high eagle of the Shechina. It is written about her, “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its nestlings,” who are those who study laws and rules, called “her nestlings.”

Any word that comes out of the mouth of a Tania, of one who studies the Mishnah, who elicits whether for HaVaYaH or in the Torah or in a prayer, a blessing, or in any Mitzva, it is written about him, “Will spread his wings,” meaning that eagle, who is speech. The Shechina is called “speech,” in whom there is HaVaYaHZA, voice. That eagle will spread its wings.

493) It is written, “He spreads His wings and takes them, He carries them on His pinions.” “His pinions” are that organ of the man on which he performs the Mitzva of HaVaYaH. It is called, “the organ of the Shechina.” For this reason, “He carries them on His pinions.” “Carries him” is as it is written, “The Lord will lift up [Yissa means both “carry” and “raise”] His face to you.”

494) What is, “And set your nest in the rock”? David said about the Shechina, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress.” So is the Tanah, one who studies the Mishnah: there is a law in him that is as strong as a rock that a hammer cannot shatter with all the questions in the world. This is where the eagle, the Shechina, nests. All the Tanaim [sages/teachers of the Mishnah] are called “nests of the Shechina.” This is why it is written, “If you happen to come upon a bird’s nest.” The Shechina is called a “bird,” by chance, once, as a guest, and one who comes to a motel, who stays temporarily at a motel.

495) There are sages who study the Mishnah, who are a permanent abode to the Shechina in their Mishnah, as it is written, “And the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations.” “Generations” is written without a Vav [in Hebrew], making it “abode.” There are teachers of the Mishnah whose teaching is their craft. The Shechina does not move from them their whole lives, but they are the ones of whom it is written, “If you happen to come upon a bird’s nest.” In them the Shechina is incidental: at one time she is over them and with them, and another time she is not with them.

496) At times when the Shechina is with them, it is written, “And the mother sitting on the nestlings on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the nestlings.” But he does not let the mother go, meaning the Shechina. And at times when she is not with them, it is written, “You shall certainly let the mother go,” for he is not worthy of being with her.

Nestlings are the sages of the Mishnah. Eggs are sages of the Bible [Old Testament]. It is written about those who do not study regularly, “You shall certainly let the mother go.” But for those who study regularly, it is written, “You shall not take the mother with the nestlings,” but he does not let her go.

There are those who study laws who are akin to stars, as it is written, “And those who lead the many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.” But they are not as stars of which it is written, “And all their hosts will wither.” Rather, they are as those stars of the next world, who always stand, forever. This is why it is written, “as the stars forever and ever.”

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