Beha'alot'cha: Chapter 3

"And the ark rested in the seventh month"


Rabbi Elazar tells Rabbi Yosi and Rabbi Yitzchak that every word of the Torah has secrets; even though it may be telling a simple story, the Torah demonstrates the highest matters and the utmost secrets. He uses the story of the landing of the Ark on Mount Ararat as an example, saying that it is to teach us about a universal truth, (the time of judgment). Rabbi Elazar says that God would not have limited Himself to just writing down what various people like Esau and Hagar and Laban and Bilaam said; if He had it would not be called the Torah of Truth, as it is. Every individual word comes to designate the highest things. We learn that "and the Ark rested" refers to the time when judgment hangs upon the world and judgments prevail, the time when God sits on the Throne of Justice to put the world on trial. That throne is only ready during the seventh month, during which is the Day of Judgment. Rabbi Elazar says that Ararat is derived from the Hebrew word for 'cursed,' alluding to the Adversaries of Judgment. On that day the children of Yisrael send up their prayers and blow the Shofar so that God reverses justice to mercy; it is therefore required that whoever blows the Shofar should be familiar with the deeper secrets of the matters.