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Rav Ahron Rapps on Parshas Pinchos
by Rav Ahron Rapps

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Parshas Pinchos: The Third Partner

By: Rav Ahron Rapps

The posuk in parshas Pinchos states, “Reuvein, Yisroel’s firstborn; the descendants of Reuvein are: Chanoch from the family ha’Chanochi- of Chanoch, Palu from the family ha’Palui – of Palu.” When referring to the names of the families of the shevautim, the Torah adds the letter “Heh” before the name and the letter “Yud” after. Rashi explains that this forms the Name of Hashem of “Kuh” (the letter yud with the letter heh). In what way could we somewhat understand what this implies and why it was specifically this Name of Hashem was added?

Rashi explains that the reason why Hashem placed His Name upon the names of the families of the shevautim was because the nations of the world were disparaging the Jewish nation and mocking their lineage. They claimed that if the Egyptians had control over them in terms of backbreaking work, for sure they had control over their wives and therefore, there was immorality. Thus, the children of the Bnos Yisroel weren’t truly from the shevautim but rather from the Mitzriyim. Therefore, Hashem placed His Name on the families to show that He bears witness that the lineage is legitimate. They truly are the children of the shevautim. This would seem to answer why Hashem placed His Name, but the question is still present, why was it this Name specifically? The Maharal in Gur Aryeh deals with this question.

The posuk in Yeshiya (26:4) states, “In G-d (b’Kuh) Hashem, is the strength of the worlds.” Hashem created the worlds of Olam Hazeh and of Olam Habah with the two letters of the Name Kuh. Olam Hazeh is created with the letter heh, while Olam Habah is with the letter yud. As was explained before in the name of the Maharal the physical world represents a place where theoretically the Source- Hashem is not totally revealed and as such, exists the ability to stray from Him. The world of Olam Habah is a realm where the Truth of Hashem is clearly evident and all that will exist then bears the common thread of recognition of Hashem. The letter yudalthough portraying a large group, unites the group into a sense of unity. Nine are separate and distinct individuals; ten is one group of ten. Therefore the ultimate world of unity- Olam Habah was created with the letter yud. Although Truth is hidden in our physical domain it is still possible to be perceived. Thus, Olam Hazeh was created with the letter heh, which is formed with a dalet and yud. The daletportraying the capacity to deviate from a source in the basic four directions, but also can be eventually united through the yud. To that end Hashem created the ish and his isha. Man was created to exist in the world of heh of Olam Habah, and through his avodah would lead him to his ultimate existence in the world of yud- Olam Habah. As the posuk in parshas Bereishis states, “He created them male and female. He blessed them and called their name Man.” Thus, Man is a composite of an ish and isha, to live in Olam Hazeh and create through it Olam Habah.

Seforim discuss the fact that the basic letters of ishand isha are alef and shin, with the letters of yud added to ish and heh added to isha. This reveals to us that in the merger that occurs in Adam, the isha relates more to the heh of Olam Hazeh while the ish represents the yudof Olam Habah. This unit lives here but creates the ultimate “There”. The third partner in the relationship of this holy unit is the Name of Hashem of Kuh When Hashem is present in the bond, the capacity truly exists to create from Olam Hazeh the ideal Olam Habah. The Name of Hashem represents that this unit is living in a framework of spirituality according to the holy ideals established by the Creator. Any situation which tarnishes the kedusha – holiness and sanctity of the unit, in a sense banishes the capacity for Hashem to dwell within the unit. Therefore the Torah says, “Reuvein, Yisroel’s firstborn; the descendants of Reuvein are: Chanoch from the family ha’Chanochi- of Chanoch, Palu from the family ha’Palui – of Palu.”

It isn’t any of the other Names of Hashem which are bearing testimony as to the kedusha of Jewish lineage, but rather the Name of Kuh This Name is present in the names of the families because it is the Name of Kuh that exists in the bond between the ish and isha. The presence of the Name of Kuh bears witness that these children are indeed the generations of the holy shevautim, for the Presence of Hashem is proof that the ultimate state of sanctity and kedusha exists.

An Adam Gadol once said that good children are a function of tefila- prayer to Hashem as well as sholom bayis- peace and harmony in the home. It would seem that there are two vital ingredients necessary to establish children as true Bnei Torah and Yirei Shamayim. But perhaps we could consider both reasons actually one. Through tefila we beseech Hashem for the gift of spiritually productive children, and through sholom bayis we allow the Name of Kuh to exist within the unit of the couple. True harmony represents that each element of the bond is performing in terms of their ultimate purpose, to take Olam Hazeh and transform it into Olam Habah. When all the parts are in sync there is a spiritual harmony and the Sheim Hashem could be present. May we be zoche to create just such a Jewish home, thus enabling the participation of the Third Partner- Hashem.

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