Back to Main Page

Bringing Down Hashem's Bracha

By: Rav Yaakov Yisroel Wenglin

The Nefesh haChaim (1:3) notes that the verse (Bereishis 1:27) describing the creation of Adam,

ויברא אלקים את האדם בצלמו, בצלם אלקים ברא אותו, (“And Elokim created the ‘Adam’ in His form, in the

form of Elokim He created him.”) refers to Hashem with the name Elokim, which is a plural noun. That name is plural because it means to convey the idea that even as Hashem is Infinite Oneness, He manifests Himself in this physical world and all of the spiritual “worlds” via multiple and diverse – plural -- powers. And since the Torah reveals to us that it is Elokim doing the creating of Adam, the Torah reveals to us that Elokim bestowed upon this creation multiple and diverse powers that can influence all the spiritual worlds. To clarify the point, the Nefesh HaChaim brings a Midrash that states that when the Jews do the will of Hashem, they add strength to the Power Above, and at the time that the Jews do not do the will of Hashem (ch”v), then, as it were, they weaken tremendously the Power Above. In other words, through a Jew’s thoughts, words, and actions, that Jew affects the spiritual reality of the world, which in turn affects the physical reality of the world.

The Nefesh HaChaim continues to drive home the point by citing the Zohar haKadosh, which several times explains the verse (Tehillim 68:35) תנו עוז לאלקים (“Give strength to Elokim”). How can we give strength to Hashem?! The Zohar answers that when the prosecutors Above want to register their complaints regarding the actions of the Jews, in effect the prosecutors are attacking Hashem; therefore, when the Jews do actions that are not appropriate, they weaken the strength of Hashem to vanquish the prosecution to be able to bestow blessing upon the Jews, and when the Jews do good things, they end up giving strength and power to Hashem to be able to overcome the prosecution and bestow blessing on them.

The Kiddushas Levi, zy”a, brings this awesome idea – that we Jews affect Hashem’s ability to bring down shefa and brocha to our lives in this physical world – into this week’s parsha and also adds a key emotional component to the discussion. On the verse that begins the parsha, אשה כי תזריע וילדה זכר

(“when a women will conceive and give birth to a male”), the Zohar HaKadosh says that as soon as a woman is pregnant until the day she gives birth (or, in today’s world, until the 25-week ultrasound), the only thing that she talks about is whether the child will be a boy or a girl. A little background in the way the deeper sefarim use certain terms: “man,” “male,” and other masculine terms embody the concept of bestowing energy – being a mashpiya – whereas “woman,” “female,” and other feminine terms embody the idea of receiving and developing energy – being a mekabel. Echoing the Nefesh haChaim, the Kiddushas Levi explains that when the Jewish People do mitzvos and ma’asim tovim, they cause Hashem to experience ta’anug (“pleasure”). Think about that for a moment: every time you do a mitzva, you are bringing nachas, joy, pleasure – ta’anug – to your Father in Heaven!

And note what happens in the process. Normally it is Hashem who acts as the masculine force, bestowing life and blessing on us while we act as the feminine force, receiving from Hashem and developing what He gives us. But now, the Kiddushas Levi points out, it is us Jews who are taking on the masculine form to bestow pleasure on Hashem, and He is playing the feminine role to receive that pleasure. Wow! Here’s a hook for you to remember this idea at least once a month: the Kiddushas Levi cites his rebbe, the Maggid of Mezeritch, zy”a, who finds this glorious idea in the verse from Hallel מאת ד' היתה זאת, היא נפלאת בעינינו (“This (fem.) was from Hashem; it is a wonder in our eyes.”). According to the deeper understanding of that verse, Hashem becomes a זאת, a female, a mekabel, a receiver. And that the ultimate – the Infinite – giver can change roles and instead let us be the givers while He becomes the receiver is astounding in our eyes.

To close, we can learn from another idea that the Kiddushas Levi expresses on that Zohar about a woman’s thoughts about whether it’s a boy or a girl. A Jew must always work for and grow for and serve Hashem, and that Jew must know that his or her neshama is always contemplating (and these “thoughts” manifest themselves in the Jew’s conscious mind as thinking) and worrying whether its service of Hashem is for ulterior motives or whether it is altruistically for the sake of Heaven. That is to say, a Jew has to always check to see whether his or her “offspring” – i.e., his or her thoughts, words, and actions – are feminine in concept, motivated to receive reward from Hashem, or whether they are masculine in concept, designed to bestow pleasure on Hashem. We must always ask ourselves if our relationship towards our Father in Heaven is one of only taking, or if we are also striving in addition to give Him nachas.

May we merit to be able to give pleasure to Hashem Above, and may He in turn be strengthened, so

to speak, by our mitzva observance to be able to bring down lots of blessings for the Jewish People.




Back to top