Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev on the role of the shalsheles on וימאן

In a recent post on Vayeshev, I cited Birkas Avraham, who gave several reasons for a shalsheles. I added some ideas, from others. But while he mentioned the Kedushas Levi, Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, he only listed the first of the reasons the Kedushas Levi gave. In fact, there are quite a number of other reasons offered there. Here, without added commentary, I present the various reasons offered.

"And he refused, and he said to his master's wife: The trup on 'and he refused' is a shalshelet, which is the lifting of the voice, like a person who disdains something and lifts his voice in disdain of that thing.

Or, the shalsheles can be explained as a language of shlosha [three], see the Zohar in parasha Vayikra, page 10a, it is tied [אתקשר] with three knots, etc., and this is the yud of {?} three knots, and upon this is called shalsheles, see inside. And it also has three levels in both the writing of the trup symbol and in the lifting of the voice. That is to say that the merit of the three patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, stood for him in this, and he refused.

Or, the shalsheles can be explained as that all of Israel is nicknamed Yosef, as is stated in Micha {J: I think Amos 5:15}, 'perhaps the Lord God of Hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.' See Rashi there, that 'All Israel are called by his name [because he sustained them].' And Israel consists of three, namely kohanim, leviim, and yisre'elim, and Yosef remembered this, that all of Israel would be called after his name. Therefore, he refrained.

Or, the shalsheles can be explained as that the shalsheles is in the form of a lamed, and it has three levels, see the Zohar on parashat Vayishlach, page 168b, that the life of David is from Avraham, Yaakov, and Yosef; and most of his days are from Yosef, which is that from Yosef, there were 37 years, and from Avraham and Yaakov, 33 years. And behold, upon David is hinted by the letter lamed, as in the statement of Chazal that kingship is acquired in 30 (=lamed) steps. And so too the 'three' [שלשה] hints to David, in II Shmuel 23, 'These are the names of the mighty men who (served) David. He who sat in the assembly of the wise, the chief of the three-some', see Rashi there:
who sat in the assembly of the wise: Sat in the assembly of the Sanhedrin who are the wise. Now he was a three-fold head (ראש השלישי) , since he was leader in terms of beauty, in terms of wisdom and in terms of strength. Now in these three he was [indeed] a leader, as it is stated: “… and he is understanding, handsome, and a mighty warrior” (I Sam. 16:18).
And this is a reference to Yosef, who gave of his years to David, and he did not want, and he disdained from performing, chas veshalom, this sin.

Or, the shalsheles can be explained as that he needed to explain the dreams, about which was written {Bereshit 40:10} 'and on the vine were three shoots', see the gemara in Chullin 92b [for the positive explanation about Israel]. And because of this, 'and he refused'. And so it mentioned that he was called by three names -- Yosef, Yehosef [once in Tehillim 81:6], and Tzofnas Paneach. See Targum Onkelos [on the name Tzofnas Paneach in Miketz], גֻּבְרָא דְּמִטַּמְרָן גָּלְיָן לֵיהּ, a man to whom secrets are revealed. And because of this, 'and he refused'.

Or, it can be explained, see in the holy Ramban, parashat Beshalach on the verse ויאמר משה אל יהושע, these are his words: And behold, all that Moshe and Yehoshua did first, Eliyahu and Mashiach ben Yosef will do with their descendants. Therefore, Moshe strengthened himself in the matter, see there.

And behold, after Mashiach ben Yosef will come Mashiach ben David, and they are three: Eliyahu, Mashiach ben Yosef, and Mashiach ben David. And this is the chain [shalshelet] upon וימאן -- when Yosef remembered this, 'and he refused'. And this is {Bereishit 50:23, in Vaychi}

23. Joseph saw children of a third generation [born] to Ephraim; also the sons of Machir the son of Manasseh were born on Joseph's knees.כג. וַיַּרְא יוֹסֵף לְאֶפְרַיִם בְּנֵי שִׁלֵּשִׁים גַּם בְּנֵי מָכִיר בֶּן מְנַשֶּׁה יֻלְּדוּ עַל בִּרְכֵּי יוֹסֵף:

with the closed mem in the word 'Shileishim' as one of the enlarged letters, for that closed mem hints to the throne of David and to his kingdom, see Raza'l as regards the enlarging of the closed mem, that Mashiach ben Yosef is from Ephraim, see the Midrash Rabba parashat Naso. And Yosef hints to this, that after Mashiach ben Yosef will come Mashiach ben David, see in Zohar parashat Mishpatim, page 100a.

Or, the shalsheles can be explained based on Rashi in parashat Kedoshim that every place where you see a fencing off from ervah you find holiness. And Israel are מקדשין שלש קדושות לקדוש. And see the piyut for the first day of Rosh Hashanah, קודש קדושה ומידו ניתן שתי קדושות, see my commentary there, that we find two kedushot to Israel and one kedusha to Hashem. Place on His head one and on the heads of Israel two.

Or, the shalsheles can be explained as the secret of hitkashrut, for יוסף, if we reckon in gematria via מ"ק, it is the same as the Divine name of אהיה, for with this name is tied [קשור] all the Names of Hashem, see in Shaarei Orah. And so too, Yosef is the gematria of ציון, and it is stated אהיה כטל לישראל, and it is stated כטן חרמון שיורד על הררי ציון. And the name כוז"ו which is on the mezuzah has a gematria of טל. See the Zohar parashat Pekudei, page 261b. And via מ"ק, the gematria is אהיה. And this is the shalsheles, that he ties himself up with the Name אהיה, in which is encompassed all the Names of Hashem Yisbarach. And also with Tzion, for it is stated פחדו בציון, etc. And via this, 'and he refused'.

Or, the shalsheles can be explained as that, by a harlot is written רגליה יורדת מות, and Yosef recalled this, to separate from death and to cleave to life. And behold, the name י"ה is ties to the eretz hachaim (Yeshaya 38:11) in the prayer of Chizkiyahu, יה בארץ החיים. And this that they added to Yosef the letter heh to his name [forming Yehosef], see Sotah 36b
R. Hana15  b. Bizna said in the name of R. Simeon the Pious: Because Joseph sanctified the heavenly Name in private one letter was added to him from the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He; but because Judah sanctified the heavenly Name in public, the whole of his name was called after the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He.
That is, the letter heh upon the letter yud, which has in it the name of Hashem. And this is the shalsheles, to be tied to the name of יה in the land of the living."

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