Shemot: Chapter 32

"I went down into the garden of nuts"


Rabbi Eliezer begins by explaining and expounding upon the meaning of the title verse to Rabbi Akiva. The "garden," we learn, is the garden that comes out of Eden, and it signifies the Shechinah. The "nut," which has four sections, signifies the holy Chariot, and the phrase "I went down" signifies a penetration to the inner meaning. In answer to Rabbi Chiya's question regarding the symbolic significance of the (dirt of the) nut's shell, Rabbi Eliezer reveals its meaning through its connection with the almonds. Although the two types of almond, bitter and sweet, imply an allusion to severe Judgment and Holiness, every open allusion to almonds in the Torah describes only their aspect of Judgment. He then draws a comparison between the Hebrew words for 'almonds,' 'watched' and 'hasten,' which reinforces their aspect of Judgment.


Much good is accomplished through our visual embrace of this passage. We draw the Shechinah into our lives. We crack open the shells known as Klipah that conceal sparks of Light. This action reveals the Divine Energy that has been concealed since the time of Creation. This revelation removes all manner of judgment, from the smallest to the most severe. In addition, our efforts illumine all the supernal secrets concealed inside the Torah so that the ultimate truth of the Creator is revealed to all humanity.