Lekavod Pesach – Genack/Genechovsky Torah

Rabbi Genack

*Maror In These Times

The Rambam (Hilkhot Hamez u-Mazzah 7:11) says that eating maror on its own is not a mizvah min haTorah, but rather it is dependent on the eating of the korban Pesah, because there’s one mizvah to eat the korban Pesah with mazzah and maror. These days it’s a mere mitzvah mi-divrei sofrim to eat the maror on its own on the night of the Seder even without the korban Pesah. The Rambam (Hilkhot Korban Pesah, 8:1) enunciates the same idea that maror without the korban Pesah is not a mizvah mi-de-oraita as he says, the eating of the korban Pesah on the 15th is a Positive commandment as the Torah says, “Eat this meat on this night roasted, and with matzos and maror it should be eaten.” However, mazzah and maror are not necessary for the fulfillment if they could not be found, for it is the eating of the meat of the Pesah alone that brings fulfillment of the commandment. The Rambam concludes that eating maror without the Pesah is not a mizvah mi-de-oraita for it only says that maror and mazzah you shall eat together.

Rabbi Genack asks on the Rambam that when he mentions maror in Hilkhot Hamez u-Mazzah, he does not bring it until the end of chapter 7, that discusses topics relating to sipur Yezi’at Mizrayim such as arba kosot and the eating of the haroset. Logically, however it should have been mentioned at the end of chapter 6, after he discusses the mizvah of the eating of the mazzah.

It must be that according to the Rambam the eating of maror in these times is not a mizvah onto itself in terms of eating maror but rather mederabanan it’s a part of sipur Yezi’at Mizrayim, similar to the arba kosot of wine which is a fulfillment as well of sipur Yezi’at Mizrayim.

(Rabbi Genack then brings a proof to this suggestion).

The Rosh (Arvei Pesahim Chapter 25) writes that maror needs a ka-zayit because we say in the nusach of the bracha “al achilat maror” and an eating cannot be less than a ka-zayit.  The Shagat Aryeh (Chapter 100) asks on this Rosh that the reason maror mi-de-oraita, should need a ka-zayit is because it is hukush to mazzah. Rabbi Genack further asks on the Rosh, why in fact was a nusach of akhilah attached to maror at all? The bracha should be “al mizvah’s maror” and then an eating of a ka-zayit wouldn’t be required.

Rabbi Genack wants to explain in the Rosh that mi-de-oraita, surely a ka-zayit is required, however regarding the mizvah derabanan of maror (in our days) that’s not dependent on the eating of the korban Pesah, it may be said that there is no mizvah of akhilah because it is a kiyum of sipur Yezi’at Mizrayim alone similar to haroset that doesn’t need a shiur of ka-zayit, since its sole purpose is to be a remembrance to the bricks and mortar. This explains the Rosh when he says from the fact that a bracha is necessary we see that even though maror is a kiyum of sipur Yezi’at Mizrayim, nevertheless the rabbis required a shiur of akhilah because through the akhilah the mizvah of sipur is fulfilled. So the requirement of the ka-zayit is not because of the bracha, it’s only that the bracha shows that even though maror is mederabanan it requires a shiur of akhilah, and therefore even in a case where a bracha is not said like by Korekh, nevertheless a ka-zayit of maror is required.

(Rabbi Genack provides another way to interpret the Rosh as well.)

*Sefer Gan Shoshanim Chelek Beit/ Sefer Chazun Nachum – Siman 27 page 72


Rav Avraham Genachawski zt”l 

*Korekh and Sefekos Medarabanan

(Rav Avraham discusses Korekh under the umbrella of sefekot mederabanan, namely when we say safek derabanana lekula, does that mean if you are not sure whether you made a bracha we are mekal and there’s a petur legamrei deeming a new blessing a bracha levatala or that we are unsure whether there is a petur or a chiyuv and based on that we are mekal and say there is a petur. Numerous differences emerge. (In the first footnote of Bar Almugim, Rav Avraham brings a proof from an inference Rabbi Genack makes on the Rambam that it’s a petur legamrei.)

The halakhah says that if one didn’t recline when he ate mazzah, he must do it over (and recline). The Maharsham (Section 6 Siman 38) asks that this seems unnecessary; for let the reclining by Korekh be enough for reclining is only mederabanan. The answer would be that in these days whether reclining is in fact meakev is an argument. The Ravya says that in these days reclining is not necessary and therefore even if one didn’t recline by mazzah he would be yotze. Therefore if one did recline by Korekhmazzah as a reshut would be mevatel the maror.

This answer, however, is not sufficient because if we look at the opinion of the Mechaber who doesn’t take the Ravya’s opinion into consideration, the question resurfaces. The Mechaber says that if one didn’t recline for the second or third cup he must drink again and recline and the Mechaber is not concerned about adding onto the arba kosot. Therefore, in our said case if one didn’t recline during the eating of mazzah, let him do it by Korekh and be yotze his maror and mazzah (both according to the opinions of Hillel and the Rabbanan).

However, it’s not so simple that one would be yotze in this scenario. Because even according to those who argue on the Ravya it would be a safek and with a safek we go lekula, and then the mazzah as a reshut would be mevatel the maror.

Now Rav Avraham proposes that this exact point might enter the question of sefekot mederabanan, whether it’s a petur legamrei or there’s a safek chiyuv; safek petur and we go lekula. For if it’s a petur legamri then it will be a reshut and mevatel the other, but if it’s a safek derababnan is in a state of talia, then it can be judged as half lechiyuv and half le’petur thus remaining a safek and it wouldn’t be mevatel the other be’torat vadai, but only be’torat safek and then we would say there would be a kiyum of mazzah and maror.

So the fundamental question of the Mahrsham is answered based on the Ravya, but not according to the Mechaber, and there’s no proof from this case to answer whether a safek derabanan lekula is talia or a haphkaha legamrei.

(Rav Avraham brings one last point from the Tshuvos of Rabbi Shlomo Eiger that seems to mirror the question of the Maharsham.)

*Sefer Bar Almugim – Siman 1 Page 42

Rav Avraham 

*A verified Ladder

The story is told that one day in Yerushalayim there was a noise of loud crying coming from an above ground apartment. Many people on the sidewalk heard the crying. Rav Avraham was walking by at the time. Upon hearing the crying, he immediately started asking people to borrow a ladder for the apartment was above ground level. After a long search he finally retuned with a ladder and climbed to the window where the crying was coming from. It turned out the parents of these children went out for a walk and the kids were alone, awake and crying. From the window Rav Avraham spoke to the children and calmed them down and remained until the parents returned. Later Rav Avraham would deny the story until a picture surfaced. He said one of the lessons from this story is that one should never think they are alone. G-d is always watching and is always there to give comfort.

*A Touch of Chizuk – Stories of Strength – to Lift, Build and Encourage (Artscroll Series), By Rabbi Yechiel Spero – Page 138

Rav Eliyahu Moshe Levine zt”l

*Kiddush and Zechirat Yezi’at Mizrayim

The Magen Avraham (Siman 271 Seif Aleph) says that we are yotze Kiddush mi-de-oraita by Arvit of tefillah Shabbat. The Minchat Chinuch (Mizvah 31) asks on this Magen Avraham that this doesn’t seem feasible because there’s no mention in tefillah Arvit of Yezi’at Mizrayim and Rav Acha bar Yaakov (Pesahim 117b) learns through a gezera shava that you must mention Yezi’at Mizrayimin in Kiddush, so it would seem that min haTorah Yezi’at Mizrayim must be mentioned.

Rav Levine answers that the gezera shava is really an asmachta alone and the real reason the chachamim placed Yezi’at Mizrayim in the Kiddush of Shabbat is based on a Tur in Orach Chaim (Siman 271) in the name of the Rambam that says we mention Yezi’at Mizrayim in Kiddush as it is a direct proof to Maase Bereshit; for the miracles of Egypt were seen by human eyes as opposed to the miracles of creation which were not, and therefore should one need testimony that G-d created the world, he may look upon the miracles of Egypt as substantiation.

The nafka mina now is that if one were mesupek whether he mentioned Yezi’at Mizrayim in Kiddush he would not have to go back as it is only mederabanan.

Rav Nachum Genachawski zt”l was very fond of this peshat and almost without fail told me this every Shabbat I went to him.

Rabbi Yonason Sacks, Rav of Agudas Yisroel Bircas Yaakov in Passaic, NJ and Rosh Hayeshiva of Beis Medrash L’Talmud at Lander college for Men (LCM) noted one Shabbat in discussing this matter that in mizvos of amera (such as Kiddush) it could be that the nusach is not meakav.

*Sefer Yad Eliyahu – Siman 6 Page 19

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen/Genack

*Hamez and Mazzah

For over two centuries the Jews were waiting to be redeemed from their bondage and when the day came, they were ordered to leave “immediately” at that exact moment for if they tarried one more second, the opportunity would pass and the Egyptians would overcome them and the moment would yuchmatz (be elongated and lost).

The lesson of the story of Egypt is not to push off the moment but act with immediacy. Immediate change is perhaps the greatest challenge we face. We are often caught up in the day to day conundrums of life and any change, however small, seems overwhelming. This over-occupation with our lives and failure to engage in change often results in lost opportunities.

Hamez speaks to this idea of the weakness of man to act. Bnei Yisrael left Mizrayim in haste but there were those that wanted to leave with bread, with full provisions, but by taking this approach they were left alone in Mizrayim and the gates of freedom closed upon them.

The rabbis have compared hamez to the yetzer hara. Often we imagine the yetzer hara as an evil force that is overtly pushing us to sin. However, this doesn’t match the Talmud’s comparison here, for hamez is something that enhances, that tastes good.

The Talmud (Berakhot 17a) comments on the tefillah, “Master of the universe, it is known before you that we want to perform your will, and who prevents this? The leaven in the bread.”  Rashi explains the leaven in the bread to be the yetzer hara that holds our heart back. The way of the yetzer hara is not to convince us to do bad things but instead to choose the easier route thus stripping from us the desire to effectuate real change, leaving us in a predicament of the status quo or less (to hold back and lehachmitz).

(Rabbi Nagan relates this idea to Shir Hashirim and discusses two more points.)

*Awaking to a New Day: Stories and Insights from Life – Parsha Bo – Page 119

Notes from the Editor

I once called Rav Avraham before Pesah and asked if he could share a d’var Torah. He told me that if you take the words hamez and mazzah as they are spelled in the Torah, they practically share the same letters except that the hey of mazzah and chet of hamez have a slight difference. The hey (ה) doesn’t quite connect to the top whereas the chet (ח) fully connects. Therefore the difference between hamez and mazzah is a miniscule protrusion of space. He said that in life the difference between living a life of hamez or mazzah is comparable to the minuscule opening that exists between the letters; teaching that through miniscule action one can transform his existence.

As a chiddush relating to this time of year, I once thought that a drash could be offered on the words of Shlomo, “Ein chadash takhat ha-shemesh, There is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  In essence, based on drash, it may be said that the meaning is “Ein chadash” it is not “chadash” (new grain) under the sun (in the season of the sun) for then it would be “yashan.” By then the 16th of Nissan passed and the korban omer would be a matir (assuming we are talking about wheat from before that year’s 16th of Nissan for otherwise the issur of “chadash” can materialize at any moment on this post 16th grain).


Lekavod Purim – Genack/Genechovsky Torah

Rabbi Menachem Genack

Megillat Esther is not Batul

The Rambam (Hilchos Megillah 5:18) says that all of the books of Nevi’im and Ketuvim will be batul when Mashiach comes except Megillat Esther and it will remain intact like the 5 books of the Torah and the Halachos of Torah She’bal Pe which are never batul. And even though all the remembrances of tragedies will be forgotten …Purim will not be batul..as it says..the days of Purim will pass from the Jews and its remembrance won’t. The Raavad, in his hasagot, comments that none of the Nevi’im and Ketuvim will be batul as they all have limud in them, and the only exception relating to the Megillah is that should the other sefarim be deemed not to be read from anymore amidst the tzibur the Megillah will still be read betzibur.

The source for the Rambam is a Yerushalmi (Megillah: Perek1 Halacha 5) relating to an argument between Rav Yochanan and Reish Lakish. Rav Yochahnan says the Nevi’im and Ketuvim will be batul in the future but not the 5 books of the Torah while Reish Lakish says even Megillat Esther and its halachos won’t be batul.

It needs explanation in the Rambam why he says Megillat Esther will remain like the 5 books of the Torah and like the Halachos of Torah She’bal Pe that are never batel. What’s the connection between the Halachos Torah She’bal Pe and Megilla?

The link has been alluded to in the Yerushalmi where it says the halachos of Megillah won’t be batul just like the Torah won’t. The essence of the Torah to which the Yerushalmi compares the Megillah and the Torah is regarding it’s halachos that will never be batul. This is unlike all other Nevi’im and Ketuvim that don’t stand to teach halachos. A Navi isn’t allowed to mechadesh (teach anything new) rather he offers words of mussar and reproof. In stark contrast, we see in the beginning of Gemara Megilla that all of the laws of Purim are extrapolated from the Megillah itself. The Megillah stands as a manifestation of Torah that stands to be darshened from.

This explains why the Megilla needs Sirtut. For the Griz proves from the Rambam that the reason the Torah needs Sirtut is not because it’s a book of Torah but because it’s a source of Divrei Torah, and Divrei Torah needs Sirtut. And we find this explicitly written in the Yerushalmi (Megillah: Perek 1 Halacha 1) where a gezera shava is made to say the Torah and the Megillah both need Sirtut.

The Raavad understood that the mussar and illustrations of how to walk with G-d are also considered Torah and therefore would never be batul, whereas the Rambam holds it’s all dependent on whether you can learn halachos and whether it is given to be doresh from.

Purim was a time for acceptance of Torah as the Gemara in Shabbas (88a) enunciates. It was a time when, Kemu ma she keblu kvar (we upheld anew what we already received from before), an acceptance out of love. And this can be another reason why Megillat Esther is considered like the Torah itself and was given to be darshened halachos from.

The Zohar compares Purim to Yom Kippur and darshens on the words Yom Kippurim, that it is a day like Purim. They were both days of giving of the Torah, for the second luchos were given on Yom Kippur, and the Gemara Taanis (30b) says there were no better days for Bnei Yisrael than Yom Kippur and Tu B’Av. Thus on Yom Kippur the Torah was given to Bnei Yisrael and on Purim we received the Torah anew.

Rav Avrohom Zt”l

Can a Rabbinic Obligation Excempt a Torah-Based One

Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Shulchan Aruch Siman 186 Seif 2) writes that in a case when a katan (child before bringing simanim) washes and has bread and reaches a point of sevia (satiation, the trigger that necessitates birchat hamazon) and then blesses on a derabanan level he’s not yotze his deorita level when he turns a gadol, as long as he is still within the shiur ikul (digestion time that determines when still obligated to say birchat hamazon). Therefore he must bentch a second time as a gadol to fulfill his deorita obligation.

Similarly, the Kapot Temarim (in his Sefer Yom Teruah on Rosh Hashanah, Page 27) says a katan that hears the shofar and then that day shows simanim and becomes a gadol will have to hear shofar again as his derabanan obligation earlier in the day is not able to exempt his deorita obligation as a gadol.

The Teshuvat Meishev Davar (Chelek Aleph, Siman 18) argues on both Rabbi Akiva Eiger and the Kapot Temarim and says that a derabanan will help a deorita.

According to Rabbi Akiva Eiger and the Kapot Temarim, a katan who shows simanim and becomes a gadol on shabbas, if he made kiddush mebeod yom, he would have to make kiddush again.

It may be proffered that we see the words of Rabbi Akiva Eiger in the Biur Halacha (Siman 184 s.v. be’kzayit) that says if one ate a kzayit and bentched then continued eating to a point of satiation, even though the second eating itself wouldn’t bring on a deorita obligation, however he is still chayav from the Torah since the first eating was not exempted by the derabanan bentching.

The Chazon Ish (Siman 34 Seif Katan 4), however, differentiates the above case, saying since there was no casual connection between the 2 eating’s you wouldn’t be chayav to bentch again on a deorita level, however, if one did have in mind to continue eating after he says birchat hamazon, such as on Erev Pesach that falls on Shabbas, then he would have to bentch again.

We see again that a birchat hamazon mederabanan will not help for a deorita.

The Mordechai in Megilla (Siman 798) brings a differing opinion, that of Rav Tuvia who holds a that a kiddush made during Tosephet Shabbas (a Rabbinic time period) fulfills one’s deorita obligation, exhibiting that a derabanan does help for a deoriata.

There seems, however, to be an explicit Gemara in opposition to Rav Tuvia. The Magen Avraham (Siman 267 Seif Katan 1) asks from a Gemara in Brachot (20b) that says a katan can’t be yotze a gadol because he is only chayav mederabanan and the gadol is chayav medeorita. One must therefore answer for Rabbi Tuvia that it depends on whether we are discussing one’s own obligation versus 2 people’s obligations. So when a person for himself, on Tosephet Shabbas, makes kiddush it helps, but a derabanan won’t help for a deorita if two people are involved as in the case of Gemara Brachot, where one katan is trying to be yotze another gadol.

However, there’s still a difficulty because Rav Tuvia seems to apply his concept with 2 people as well. He says a blind man (who has a Rabbinic obligation) can be yotze his family (who are under a deorita obligation) for kiddush, indicating that even in the case of 2 separate obligations the derabanan helps for the deorita. Therefore, we must say either Rav Tuvia is not Gores the Gemara in Brachos, as many nussach’s don’t have it or he holds like the Ramban who understands the Gemara to be saying that even medarabanan the katan can’t be yotze the gadol because the mitzvah of chinuch is on the father and not the katan.

Based on the major holdings of the achronim that a derabanan can’t help a deorita even with one person, the Birkat Hatorah of a katan (Rabbinic) that he says in the morning should not help his deorita obligation at night.

The Teshuvat Eretz Tzvi (Siman 16) answers that the katan can be yotze with ahavat olam if he says it after tzeit hakochavim. Therefore if the katan davened Maariv while still day or he doesn’t daven at night then he can’t learn. The Eretz Tzvi brings the opinion of Rav Tuvia and says that his reasoning will not help for Birkat Hatorah. Only by Kiddush made on Tosephet Shabbas can it help, in concordance with the Rambam, as it’s Samuch Le’Shabbas and the reasoning can only be applied when its “memela ka ati la” unlike from katnut to gadlut where your missing the maase of simanim. (Regarding the blind person who made kiddush one can say it’s not mechusar maase because he can be healed).

We know women are chayav in Birkat Hatorah because they must learn about the mitzvos they are obligated in. And after they say Birkat Hatorah it helps when they then say yivarechech. There are numerous opinions whether women are obligated Min Ha Torah or not in Birkat Hatorah, however if they are obligated Min Ha Torah then according to the Eretz Tzvi, every girl should be taught when she becomes Bat Mitzvah to have kavana in ahavas olam and we don’t find as such. The Rav leaves this as a Tzarich Iyun.

Finally, a proof is brought against the Eretz Tzvi because the Rama (Siman 53 Seif 10) writes that a katan shouldn’t be the shliach tzibur for Maariv if the minyan takes place before shekiah. It can be inferred from the Rama that if the katan is not the shliach tzibur his davening helps, even though he’s saying ahavas olam while he’s still a katan. What will then be with his Birkat Hatorah at night for there an obligation to learn at night (even more so according to the opinions that kriyat shema needs Birkat Hatorah).

We find according to Rabbi Akiva Eiger, the Mishnah Berurah, the Magen Avraham and the Chazon Ish a deraban won’t help for a deorita.

Stories of Rav Avrohom Zt”l

A Shirt Exchange

Rav Avrohom encountered a young man on the bus in Yerushalayim and asked him where he was going. The young man replied he was going to see the Western Wall. Rav Avraham asked him how he planned to rip as he would be at the makom hamikdash and the young man was not sure. Rav Avraham told the young man to come back to yeshiva with him where they could exchange shirts, for the halacha is that you need not rip if the shirt does not belong to you. It was noticed in shiur that day that Rav Avraham took all safeguards to keep the shirt in its original condition.

Rabbi Menachem Genack



1:1 “And He called to Moses, and the Lord spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying.”

Rabba said: Whence do we know that if a man had said something to his neighbor the latter must not spread the news without the informant’s telling him ‘Go and say it’? From the scriptural text: The Lord spoke to him out of the tent of meeting, lemor [saying] (Yoma 4:2).

We see these words were specifically spoken to Moshe and if not for the fact that Hashem gave him permission to share them with Bnei Yisrael they would be just for him. This was a personal dialogue of love as further evidenced by Rashi on the word “Vayikra” – “that G-d spoke in a language of love, using language that the malachai hasheret use.” This idea is further bolstered by the Gemara Nedarim (38a) where it says the Torah was given to Moshe as a present and he treated it with favor and gave it over to Bnei Yisrael. The original giving over was personal and just for Moshe but he chose to share it with Klal Yisrael. This relationship of love is further personified by the fact that Hashem speaks to Moshe in the voice of his father, Amram.

1:2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When a man brings a sacrifice from [among] you to the Lord; from animals, from cattle or from the flock you shall bring your sacrifice.”

There is a famous diyuk on the pasuk that by its specific order of wording, the verse is telling man that when he brings a sacrifice he should in fact view himself as the one being sacrificed (as the verse says a man when he brings himself…whereas it could’ve said…when a man amidst yourself brings). This idea that a person should view himself as the karban is premised on Akeidut Yitzchak, where Yitzckak himself was bound to the altar. Yitzchak’s binding set the precedent for the understanding of all future sacrifices. This explains why we have the minhag in the morning davening to say the Parsha of Akeidah before the saying of the karbanos. The Rambam (Hilchos Beit Ha’bechirah 1:3) says the altar is specific in nature and its place can never change, as it says this is the altar to go up for Israel. And in the mikdash Yitzchak was sacrificed as it says go up to Har Hamoria and it says in Divrei Hayamim Shlomo began to build the House of G-d in Yerushalayim in Har Hamoria. It’s clear from the Rambam that the sacrifice of Yitzchak was the sino qua non for understanding all future offerings

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen (Genack)

“The Animal from Within”

Man tends to take offense when compared to animals. Even non-Darwinists that don’t believe in ape lineage cringe at the comparison. However, it is in the nature of things that we all have an animal side, a positive phenomenon.

The Zohar in his work, Safra de Tzniuta, believes man has divine basics and fundamentals bestial. This idea is known to many of us through the teachings of Tanya. However, the Tanya and Zohar disagree on how to understand this phenomenon.

The Tanya is of the belief that man is an a continual struggle between these two forces, of human versus bestial, as opposed to the Zohar who believes it’s as a bridal relationship, accentuating the necessity of both the human and bestial elements to exist in harmony.

The Zohar brings the verse that equates beast to man. “And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kind, cattle and creeping things and the beasts of the earth according to their kind, and it was so” (Genesis 1:24). The verse specifically identified the beasts as “living creatures” (nefesh chaya – a living soul), just as man himself was a living creature (nefesh chaya). This explains, says the Zohar, the verse in Tehillim (36:7), “Save O’ G-d, man and beast.” With clarity the verse is saying that within man exists animal.

As has been discussed (See the Divrei Torah of Rabbi Menachem Genack above), Vayikra is the Parsha of karbonos. A man who sacrifices an animal should feel as if he, himself, is being sacrificed. It’s no coincidence that the word “karban” (sacrifice) and “kerevah” (close) have the same root. By sacrificing to G-d one becomes closer to Him.

However, says the Zohar, the aforementioned idea contradicts the next verse. “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When a man from [among] you brings a sacrifice to G-d; from animals, from cattle or from flock you shall bring your sacrifice” (Leviticus 1:2). The first part of the pasuk says it must come from “among” you (from you) yet when the pasuk continues it says the karban is from the animal. The Zohar answers this contradiction in saying the “animal is in you.” In other words the animal that man is sacrificing is the animal within him. Man must dedicate his brute and animalistic tendencies towards G-d as well, for these tendencies have inherent Kedusha if utilized properly. The sacrificing in the mikdash was not a wholly spiritual manifestation, but also a physical one, as one had to physically rise up and travel to the mikdash, purify his body and eat the karbanos.

These 2 sides that exist within us were placed inside of us by G-d at the time of creation. According to the Safra de Tzniuta, when man comes down to this world he has two sides to him, the right and left. On the right side is the neshama and on the left side is the soul of the animal. Man was created in the image of G-d and as such we have two sides. Not only were we imbued with the neshama that has its roots with G-d but also with the animalistic side.

If the animal soul is part of the natural essence of man, how does sin arise? Safra de Tzniuta further explains that “the sin of Adam spread left.” Sin is the violation of the balance, when the animal side spreads across borders. Rav Kook echoes this sentiment for he doesn’t see material desires as such a calamity. Desire to sample the material world and attain mental tendency is originated in holiness. But when this desire becomes all the rage, with all powers pledged to achieve material desires, the balance is disturbed and the person loses the power of self control and falls into the depths of darkness.

But according to Safra de Tzniuta when they work in harmony, they can give birth to and breathe life into new creations. To bring a new neshama into the world we need our physical body. This concept holds true in the arts; in dance, sculpture and painting; in the Torah and literary works. In all of them there is a combination, a partnership, between the two forces of man, the spiritual and bestial.

When analyzing a pivotal pasuk in Lech Lecha we see the above mentioned interpretations come to light. The famous verse says about Avraham, “Lech Lecha Me’artzhecha” (Go from your land) (Genesis 12:1). The Maggid of Mazrich darshens the pasuk to mean, in order to reach yourself (licha), you must go (lech) and leave the land to free yourself. This interpretation would follow the understanding of the Tanya that within man there always exists an existential battle between man’s soul and animalistic tendencies. Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz says just the opposite. He darshens it to mean – go out with your earthliness (Artzecha) and use your human and bestial side to conquer the world in balance and harmony. This is in tune with the Zohar who views our earthliness as an asset and a phenomenon that exists within all of us.