Eve of the 5th of Menachem Av – After Maariv, 5751

1. Tonight is the yahrzeit of the AriZal. When the Ramak (Rav Moshe Cordovero) passed away, the AriZal eulogized him, quoting the verse (Devarim 21:22), “When there is a death sentence against a person and he was slain; and you shall hang him on a tree.”

The AriZal noted that the word חטא can also mean “lacking” and gave the following interpretation, “When a person is found “slain” and the reason to which his death can be attributed is apparently “lacking,” we can assume it comes as a result of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge”; [i.e., he died for no fault of his own, only as a result of Adam’s sin].

Many people have also associated this eulogy with the AriZal’s passing as well. Indeed, there is a connection between the two, for the concepts brought out by the Ramak were explained and amplified by the AriZal. In particular, the Ramak’s primary work was the text Pardes Rimonim (“The Pomegranate Orchard”) and the concepts he explained there were developed by the AriZal and his students in his text Eitz Chayim (“The Tree of Life”).

The connection between the above will be further emphasized by the distribution of money to be given to tzedakah, for tzedakah develops bonds between all holy matters, in particular, matters of Pnimiyus HaTorah (“Torah’s inner mystic dimension”), and especially, the innermost aspects of Pnimiyus HaTorah which are reflected in the teachings of the Ramak and the AriZal.

This is further emphasized by the fact that “tzedakah brings close the Redemption,” for the Redemption is connected with the spreading of Pnimiyus HaTorah. For it is when “the wellsprings [of Chassidus] spread outward, that Mashiach will come.”

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