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Friday, January 16, 2009

Sheep and Shepherd

Am Yisrael is compared to sheep, as it says וַאֲנַחְנוּ עַמְּךָ, וְצֹאן מַרְעִיתֶךָ.
Moshe Rabbeinu is called רעיא מהימנא - the trusted shepherd. We also know it from the verse in this week's Perasha:

וּמֹשֶׁה, הָיָה רֹעֶה אֶת-צֹאן יִתְרוֹ חֹתְנוֹ--כֹּהֵן מִדְיָן; וַיִּנְהַג אֶת-הַצֹּאן אַחַר הַמִּדְבָּר, וַיָּבֹא אֶל-הַר הָאֱלֹהִים חֹרֵבָה.


I read in צהר לתיבה that if you take the letters that immediately follow מדבר, (i.e. "אחר המדבר") you get נהגש - the same letters on the dreidel, and the gematria of משיח.

Moshe Rabbeinu led us out of Egypt, but could not enter Eretz Yisrael. This time, however, he will be able to enter Eretz Yisrael. The Zohar Hakadosh holds that the גואל ראשון is the גואל אחרון. See אור החיים הקדוש on the verse אסרי לגפן עירה below (click to enlarge).

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