Thoughts from Kollel KLAL


The passuk states about Yaakov, “ויעל מעליו אלוקים, and G-d left by ascending from being over him.” The Ramban explains that this is like it states about Avraham, “ויעל אלוקים מעל אברהם, and G-d left by ascending from being over Avraham.” In both of these places the Torah is coming to teach that it wasn’t just an appearance and a dream of prophecy; rather, the Shechina rested in the place where Avraham and Yaakov were. This hints that the Avos are the chariot for the Shechina. This means that they carry around the Shechina here in this world.

Rashi explains that the passuk which states, “ויעל אלוקים מעל אברהם, and G-d left by ascending from being over Avraham,” uses a nice lashon in reference to the Shechina. The Maharal says this is inferred, as it doesn’t say that the Shechina stood next to Avraham, rather over him, which is a nicer way of speaking about Hashem. Rashi says we derive from here that the tzaddikim are the chariot for Hashem. The Maharal explains that through them the Shechina rests on the land. The Sifsei Chachamim says each and every tzaddik who follows after Hashem’s midos, holds onto the chariot in that midah. For example, Avraham with chesed, Yitzchak with mishpat, Yaakov by learning and going with temimus, and other people and their midos similar to them. Beraishis Raba explains that the tzadikim bring the Shechina down to the world, whereas the reshaim cause the Shechina to leave the world.

The Ramban is bothered: Beraishis Raba mentions that the Avos are the chariot of the Shechina. This implies that the Avos alone are the chariot of the Shechina, and not other tzaddikim. The Maharal suggests for Rashi that the Avos are the complete chariot of the Shechina, meaning, they worked on and acquired a midah to its completeness. Whereas other tzadikim are not the complete chariot of the Shechina; they only have a part in a specific area that they are a chariot for the Shechina.

The Midrash Shochar Tov brings that the Avos are the chariot for the Shechina as it states “ויעל מעליו אלוקים,” and “והנה ה’ נצב עליו, and behold Hashem stood over him.” When the angels were ascending and descending the ladder, Hashem stood over Yaakov to guard him. Praiseworthy are the tzaddikim that the Shechina rests above their heads. From here Rabboseinu drive that it is assur for a person to walk upright, because the Shechina is above his head. And it is assur for a person to walk four amos with his head exposed because it states, “מלא כל הארץ כבודו, His honor fills the world.”

The Gemara brings a story: the stargazers told the mother of Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak: “your son will be a thief,” so she made sure to not leave his head uncovered. Rav Nachman’s mother told him, “Cover your head so that you should fear Hashem, and daven so that the yeitzer hara doesn’t rule over you.” The Maharsha points out, although everything is in the hands of Hashem aside for fear of Hashem, still, since he wants to go in that path, Hashem will help him. One day he was sitting and learning underneath a palm-tree, and his kippa fell off, and he saw a palm-tree with a cluster of dates that weren’t his. He ascended and took a bite to sever the cluster. We see from this story that while he was wearing his kippa he was guarded from the inclination of thievery, because he was reminded about the Shechina which is above his head. Once his kippah blew off, the reminder left, and he immediately returned to his inclination to steal. If a person doesn’t remember Hashem, he is in danger of giving in to the challenges of the yeitzer hara. The more often one wears a kippah the more protection he will have, by being reminded about fearing Hashem and guarding His mitzvos.

May we merit to be the chariots of Hashem to carry the Shechina, and may our kippa constantly remind us to fear Hashem.


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