THEMES of Featured Mystical Classics Articles

Under the Yoke of the Oral Torah
How holy was the Red Heifer?
The Red Cow is an allusion to the Oral Torah, the attribute of Justice in its most severe form and the source of ritual impurity. Purity is derived from an influence exerted by the attribute of Mercy, an emanation higher than that of gevura, the attribute of Justice responsible for every impurity.
Paradoxical Laws
Via irony we can approach an understanding of the Divine.
The Maharam from Padua comments how contradictory many phenomena of nature are and that we fail to comprehend their mysteries. It may likewise appear to us that G‑d legislated illogical laws. Nonetheless, it must be that they are beneficial for us, though we do not understand how, due only to the limitation of our perceptive faculties.
Honor of the Heavenly Serpent
G-d cares more for the honor of the righteous that of His own.
G-d dispatched serpents against the people because of their having criticized Him and venomous snakes because of their having criticized Moses. After the people repented, G-d told Moses to make a "seraph" for himself and put it on a pole, etc. Moses however, did not make a seraph; he rather made a snake, for he considered restoring G-d's honor as more important than restoring his own.
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