119. שֶֶׁאוֹתָם מוֹרֵי הַמִּשְׁנָה, הַתַּנִּינִים, הַתַּנִּין הַגָּדוֹל, נָחָשׁ בָּרִיחַ, כְּנֶגֶד וְהַבְּרִיחַ הַתִּיכֹן בְּתוֹךְ הַקְּרָשִׁים, בִּזְמַן שֶׁהַתַּנִּינִים, בַּעֲלֵי הַמִּשְׁנָה, יֵשׁ מַחֲלֹקֶת וּמַקְשִׁים זֶה עַל זֶה, בּוֹלֵעַ אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ, וְזֶה תַּלְמִיד קָטָן שֶׁלֹּא הִגִּיעַ לְהוֹרָאָה וּמוֹרֶה, חַיָּה מִיתָה. וְאִם הֵם שָׁוִים זֶה לָזֶה וְיֵשׁ בָּהֶם מַחֲלֹקֶת וְקֻשְׁיָה, נֶאֱמַר בָּהֶם (לְבַסּוֹף) (במדבר כא) אֶת וָהֵב בְּסוּפָה, וּפֵרְשׁוּהָ – אַהֲבָה בְּסוֹפָהּ. (עד כאן רעיא מהימנא).
Fish and grasshoppers and not slaughtered and just by gathering them they are permitted to be eaten. Similarly, the heads of the yeshiva do not need to be slaughtered at the time of their death, like other human beings who are slaughtered with the sword of the angel of death. It is said about them;
“וַיְכַל יַעֲקֹב לְצַוֹּת אֶת בָּנָיו וַיֶּאֱסֹף רַגְלָיו אֶל הַמִּטָּה וַיִּגְוַע וַיֵּאָסֶף אֶל עַמָּיו.”
“And when Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.”
Jacob “was gathered to his people”, meaning that he left the world without being slaughtered by the angel of death.
The fish receives life from the sea, and the wise Torah scholars draw life from the Torah that has the aspect of living waters. If they separate themselves from the Torah, they immediately lose the connection to life and die. If those on land go into the water and do not know how to swim, they die. But a man, who has the knowledge in the frame of Kabbalah, is above all, and it is said about him;
“וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ וְיִרְדּוּ בִדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ.”
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Those who connect spiritually higher are given dominion over the sea, air, and earth because the knowledge of the Torah is above all.
The top scholars have the aspect of big whales. Also, the secret of the middle bar in the Holy Temple that has the aspect of the middle column, Tiferet.
“וְהַבְּרִיחַ הַתִּיכֹן בְּתוֹךְ הַקְּרָשִׁים מַבְרִחַ מִן הַקָּצֶה אֶל הַקָּצֶה”
“The middle bar shall pass through the midst of the boards from end to end.”
If the ‘whales’ have disputes, they challenge each other and if one of them is a small student who didn’t reach the level of teaching, the bigger whale swallows him. If they are both equal and still have a dispute that cannot be resolved, they reach a level of love, as it is written;
“עַל כֵּן יֵאָמַר בְּסֵפֶר מִלְחֲמֹת יְהוָה אֶת וָהֵב בְּסוּפָה וְאֶת הַנְּחָלִים אַרְנוֹן.”
“For that reason, it is said in the Book of the Wars of YHVH, “Waheb in Suphah, And the wadis of the Arnon,”
The translation doesn’t explain the Zohar that says that at the end “ וָהֵב בְּסוּפָה” “Waheb in Suphah”, meaning that at the end they reach a state of love.
The Torah scholars seek challenges in the study of the Torah and look for answers. They sit together with other scholars to challenge each other with questions and answers. Reading the Torah on the literal level is like lighting a tiny candle. When a big candle comes to teach, the small one is ‘swallowed’ by the big one, meaning the small light disappears next to the big one.
The deeper study of the Torah is Zohar and Kabbalah. Those who reach this level can ‘survive’ any difficult situation, not just in the comfort of their ‘waters’.
Many of us feel the power of the Zohar study that elevates us to a point that enables us to take control rather than being reactive to situations that may ‘drown’ us.
When we study, we look for questions to ask and seek answers from ‘whales’. Even if we are still small candles, receiving from their Light, makes us grow from a ‘fish’ to a bigger fish, to a ‘Dolphin’ and later even reaching a level of whale, a state that feels love all around.
This is the last study of Zohar Shemini. The next would be from Zohar Tazria that is the portion of next week.