Shemot: Chapter 21

"And his sister stood afar off"


Initially, a discussion of the title verse identifies "his sister" as the children of Yisrael, from whom Zeir Anpin is concealed at a distance. The discussion then turns to reinforce the idea that the righteous, and especially Moses, are known above before they descend to this world, and their souls are drawn from a high place. We learn that just as the body has both a mother and father, the soul also has a mother and father. Indeed, everything above and below is produced by a male and a female. Finally, a further interpretation of the title verse reveals that, "And his sister stood," is lower Wisdom, which would stand "afar off" when Judgment accused Yisrael of their sins. Then the Shechinah distanced Herself from them too.


Each of us contains a spark of divinity, a portion of our soul that is truly Righteous. Here we connect to the ultimate root of our soul, to the innermost depth and highest grade. All the souls of the Righteous above, and those among us, impregnate us in this moment, to elevate us to the highest possible level. We become one.

We learn that the Shechinah, the Divine Presence, distances itself from this world each time we behave with any form of reactivity, including intolerance, anger, envy, impatience, greed, selfishness, and the like. These verses reconnect us to this Divine Light so that it is no longer far off, but rather near to us, one with us, at all times and without end.