Trumah: Chapter 1

"Who is she that looks out like the dawn"


This section opens with the verse, "And the Creator spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Yisrael that they bring Me an offering, of every man whose heart prompts him..." Rabbi Chiya points out that the Creator put all other nations under His ministers but chose to oversee Yisrael Himself, having a wish to be specially connected to them.

Rabbi Shimon then explains that in the text, "Who is she that looks out like the dawn, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners," "she" is the secret of the lower world joined to the higher world. He goes on to say that the upper worlds were united in Leah and the lower worlds were united in Rachel, yet that it was Jacob who united the two worlds in his love for and marriage to them both. When it is written, "Rachel envied her sister," the meaning was that the whole longing and desire of the lower world is to be like the upper world and to inherit its position. Between the worlds, those who sought to lust after them both would perish, having found neither Understanding nor Faith. And when we read, "For Yah has chosen Jacob to himself," we see that God has completed Yisrael above and below in perfection.


In a true offering to God ('Speak to the children of Yisrael that they bring Me an offering'"), a man sacrifices an aspect of his innate negative nature, for this is how we connect to the Light of the Creator. This passage uproots our selfish tendencies so that we join ourselves to the Divine Radiance.

Jacob also cautions us to recognize the dangers of lusting after the fleeting pleasures of the material world. A desire for eternal fulfillment - the love of family, of friends, and of God - is thus wakened in our souls. Our consciousness is raised by virtue of the Light that shines through the story of Jacob and his love for Leah and Rachel. This love elevates the entire world, connecting us to the source of all Light.