Trumah: Chapter 45

"You shall make a table"


Rabbi Yitzchak begins here by explaining that as long as the children of Yisrael were in the Holy Land, they derived their sustenance from a high place, and all the leftovers were sufficient to nourish the rest of the world. But when they were sent into exile, they themselves received only the remnants. Leftovers are given only to dogs and servants, which is exactly what the children of Yisrael have come to resemble in their exile. Next, Rabbi Chiya, Rabbi Shimon, Rabbi Ya'akov (son of Idi) and Rabbi Yesa Junior are traveling, and while they travel they wonder about the meaning of, "But show loyal love to the sons of Barzillay the Giladite, and let them be of those that eat at your table." Rabbi Yesa Junior, the youngest of them, explains the meaning of, "Who gives bread to all flesh: for His steadfast love endures forever." He draws parallels between the brain, the heart and the liver, and Binah, Zeir Anpin and Malchut, and he goes on to speak of how nourishment is sent back and forth between them. Then he mentions the sources of the body as the three worlds Binah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. He explains that, "For he did eat continually at the table of the king" means that all his sustenance and food came from there. Finally, Rabbi Yesa blesses their small meal as they sit down to eat.


As we read this passage, we must ask ourselves, "At whose table are we sitting, and from whom are we deriving our spiritual sustenance?" If it is not from God, then it will never nourish our souls as they need and deserve. If our meals are not blessed with His presence, they are only fit for dogs. Yet if they do derive from God, we shall find ourselves ever-growing in the wisdom that can only come from the Creator. Awareness of this truth emerges in our consciousness. In turn, sustenance, livelihood, and spiritual nourishment flow to us in great abundance, bringing blessings to all mankind.