Shemot: Chapter 19

"And there went a man of the house of Levi"


Rabbi Yosi begins the discussion with an interpretation of the verse, "My beloved has gone down to His garden..." We learn that this is a reference to the children of Yisrael, who are filled with the fragrance of the World to Come. The righteous souls that inhabit the lower Garden of Eden, which emit a fragrance when God descends into this place, belong to those who lived in this world or who will someday descend to dwell here. These souls have the outward form that was or will be their likeness on earth, and the impression of the spirit is engraved within. When the spirit leaves the body, it returns to the Garden in the form of the body it wore in this world, because the spirit is like a seal, an inward engraving that produces an outward protrusion.

The discussion then turns to the meaning of the title verse. This, we are told, is a reference to Gabriel, who is also called 'Night,' and his relationship to the souls of the righteous. Gabriel takes the soul from the Garden and delivers it to the body of the righteous at the time of birth, and he guards it. Another explanation of the title verse interprets it as a reference to Amram, who was told by a celestial voice to marry Jochebed because their son would bring the time of the redemption of Yisrael closer. When they united, the Shechinah was with them and She never ceased to cleave to their son, Moses. Jochebed saw that "he was a goodly son," because when he was born he was marked with the sign of the Covenant (he was born circumcised), and the house was filled with light.


The Light of Binah, known as the World to Come, now illuminates our souls. Binah's Light represents immortality and infinite joy. Thus, the power of this passage triggers the demise of the Angel of Death, generating a reality of deathlessness in a world of peace and contentment. The fragrances of the Garden of Eden emanate from our soul and all the righteous souls in history join with us in eternal unification.

The power of Moses ignites to commence and seal our final Redemption, unifying this world with the Divine Presence called Shechinah. This wondrous effect is achieved through the purifying Light that is aroused through the ritual known as circumcision. All negative forces are hereby cut off eternally from our world.