Parashat Beha'alotecha contains the instructions relating to Pesach Sheni - enabling a person to perform the Pesach offering later if he was unable to perform it at its proper time. The inner meaning of the following verse explains it as referring to a person who has sullied his pure soul and moved far away from her holy source.

"Speak to the people of Israel, saying: If any man [in Hebrew, "ish, ish"] of you shall be become impure because of contact with a dead body, or because he is on a trip far away, whether you or your distant descendants, he shall keep the [Second] Pesach before G‑d." (Num. 9:10)

Now what does the repetition of the words "ish, ish"in our verse come to teach us? The reason for the repetition is that the verse alludes to a man who is truly a man [i.e. an important person].

The word "ish" in the Torah often refers to a person of great importance, such as a king. An example in modern parlance is reflected in the word "British", so called because the "ish", or King of England, is circumcised - i.e. he has a "brit" (the Hebrew word for "covenant", referring to circumcision). Hence, the name "Brit Ish" can mean "man who has the sign of the brit".

He is still worthy to receive the light from the source of his holy soul if only he can regain his true spiritual level….

This man was worthy to receive a Neshama from a very high spiritual level, but he sullied himself through his bad deeds and gross physicality, until he was no longer pure enough to receive the subtle spirituality emitted from his holy soul. It is entirely his own fault that he cannot receive this holy emanation. Despite this, the repetition of the word "ish" comes to teach us that he is still worthy to receive the light from the source of his holy soul if only he can regain his true spiritual level.

This is further hinted at by the words stating that he is "on a trip far away [in Hebrew, 'rechoka']". The word "rechoka" is one of only 10 words in the entire Torah that has a dot above it. [In this instance, the dot is above the final letter hei.] Every time a dot appears above a word or letter it signifies that there is a special hidden meaning which is being emphasized. The reason [the dot appears above the final letter of the word for "far away" is to show that a person who made himself unworthy by his acts below in the physical world has also been sullied in the higher spiritual worlds. Since he has been sullied in the spiritual world, he is on a path taking him far away from the holy source that the people of Israel cleave to.]

The holy source is the final hei of the name Havayah, which signifies the holy Shechinah. It is the source of the awareness of Divine Providence affecting the world and each person every instant.

Every person who sincerely makes an effort to purify himself is purified….

This man instead of cleaving to the final hei in the name Havayah of HaShem is given to cleave to the final hei of the word "far away". Hence, he is sent out on a faraway route to make sure he is distant from his holy brethren at the time of Pesach.

Rabbi Yitzchak said that the verse seemingly alludes to two different things. Either the person has sullied himself or he is far away. Rabbi Yosi replied that in the first instance, he has sullied himself, but not completely; therefore, he is not yet at the stage of being removed faraway. In the second instance, his acts have become so outlandish in respect to his spiritual source, that he is removed far away.

It could not be that he brings his Pesach offering in the second month, even though he hasn't done teshuva or returned to his spiritual roots. Only after he has purified himself and repaired the spiritual damage he caused, he is given a second month in which he may bring the Pesach offering. From here, we learn that every person who sincerely makes an effort to purify himself is purified.

It is interesting to note that the name of the Torah reading also refers to the Menorah being lit in such a manner that the flame ascends on its own. Here too, the message is that a person has to make the initial effort, and then he is assisted from On High.

Zohar p. 152b; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister

Copyright 2003 by All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Kabbala Online.