Sunday, January 24, 2010

6 Days of Hoshech

Paraphrased from the Ben Ish Hai Sephardic Haggada, which quotes the Ben Ish Hayyil, vol. 3, derushim on Shabbat Hagadol, Derush 3 (which I don't own and unfortunately only has the first 2 volumes, so I couldn't verify)

The midrash says that first 3 days of darkness were dark, but the next 3 days of darkness contained palpable darkness, where no one could even move.

As we know, one of Hashem's days correspond to 1000 years. The Ben Ish Hai writes that the first 2 millennia were full of palpable darkness. Then, in the third millenium, Avraham Avinu taught the world monotheism, and the darkness wasn't as thick and palpable. Hashem's presence was felt throughout this period - the darkness was no longer felt. This not-so-thick darkness lasted throughout the third millennium (which contained the giving of the Torah and the building of the first Beit Hamikdash), the fourth millennium (which contained both Batei Mikdash and the Tannaic era) and the fifth millennium (which contained the Amoraim, Geonim, and early Rishonim, including Rashi and Rambam). In the sixth millennium, however, the darkness became thick again, as only few (like the Ariza"l and others) had the divine inspiration that made Hashem's presence felt constantly. So, millennia 1,2, and 6 have the thick darkness, while millennia 3,4, and 5 had not-such-thick darkness.

In the darkness, we are blinded to think that material possessions have value. When Mashiah comes, however, ולכל בני ישראל היה אור במושבותם - to the Jewish people, there was light in their dwellings - we will be guided by Hashem's light to know what we should truly be valuing.

I remember a devar torah I heard as a kid that the letters that come before the letters that comprise the word וימש (from וימש חשך) spell out הטלר Hitler, ימ"ש. With the Ben Ish Hai's derasha in mind, we can see how the Holocaust was the epitome of palpable darkness of the sixth millenium. It's taken 65 years for the sun to rise. Let's hope that the full sunrise occurs soon.


At Sun Jan 24, 01:06:00 PM 2010, Blogger Neshama said...

Very nice post. May I add from The Rebbe:
The days of darkness were 6. The first three were opaque darkness (this was when those who didn't want to leave, died). This process purified the Jewish people. [This was when the were under the 'natural' relationship with Hashem.]

The next 3 days, the darkness was palpable that no Egyptian could rise, sit nor see. (this was when the Israelites only ascertained where the valuable were hidden).

The Rebbe says: In contrast, in the future redemption from the present and final exile, even those Jews who do not consciously want to be redeemed will be taken out of exile! [With the giving of the Torah, we Jews transcended the 'natural', and we are now 'bound' to Hashem as parent to child. We are now routed in G-d's essence.]

Can't find it now, but I think that the 7th day of darkness will occur at the final redemption.

All this and more is in the Interpolated Translation for Parshah Bo, in the download which is the 'complete' from the sefer.

At Mon Jan 25, 09:34:00 AM 2010, Anonymous navon@israel said...

some of comments says that darness was not just int he meaning we know it -no light, it was much more concentrated, it was difficult to move and breethe there, and jews who did not want to leave egipt also had this in their houses- and that time there were banch of rich jewish families in egipt who did not want to leave...


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