A gitten erev Shabbos everyone! This week’s parsha is Parshas Naso, at least in Chutz La’Aretz.
One interesting thing about this week’s parsha is the Birkas Kohanim. The last brocho from the series of brochos basically states that Hashem should turn His “face” towards us and grant us peace. It says in the gemoro in Sotah that the reason we are bentsht with sholom is because there is no vessel strong for receiving brocho like sholom. The Baal Shem Tov explains in the way of a moshol (parable). Houses have windows in order to keep the things inside the house safe from either the elements or intruders. If a house doesn’t have windows, then there’s nothing to protect the possessions or people inside from the outside forces. Sholom corresponds to the windows of the house, without peace there’s no way that the brochos, which correpsond to the nice things in the house, can possibly be protected and remain effective in the face of the Chitzonim and the Sitra Achra. This is why the Kohanim bless Klal Yisroel with peace, in order that all the brochos Hashem wants to give us should remain with us and manifest properly.
It says in the gemoro in Maseches Avodah Zarah, daf 5b that when Klal Yisroel is involved with learning Torah the yetzer hara is placed within their hand, meaning under their control, rather than Klal Yisroel being in the hand of the yetzer hara; when they are involved with Gemilus Chasodim (acts of kindness) the yetzer hara is in their hand rather than the reverse. At the end Eliyahu HaNavi that a person must bear words of Torah like an ox bears its yoke, and a donkey its load. This is all derived from two pesukim there, in which the word for “throwing” is interpreted to mean giving tzedakah; “water” is considered Torah; and the reference in those pesukim to oxen and donkeys is used as a metaphor for how we should conduct ourselves in regards to learning Torah.
It says in the Zohar that the Torah and Hashem are totally one. Sholom is a name of Hashem. Therefore, through investing ourselves in Torah to the best capacity that we each individually can, we can tap into this aspect of Hashem’s name of Sholom, His manifest aspect of peace. Hashem makes peace constantly, as we say after Sh’moneh Esreh, “עושה שלום במרומיו הוא יעשה שלום עלינו ועל כל ישראל”, He who makes peace in His Heights, He should make peace for us and all of Yisroel. The peace made in Shomayim is that between the malochim of fire and snow, according to the gemoro, without which the world wouldn’t be able to exist in ecological harmony. We ask for Hashem to do this for us down below in this world as well. The way to accomplish this is through learning Torah and earnestly seeking communion with Hashem though learning Torah and doing mitzvos, and once this level is attained, seeking to experience Hashem at all times and through all ways; as it says בכל דרכיך דעהו, in all your ways know Him. Through learning Torah and seeking to cleave to Hashem, especially if we focus on that name of שלום, we can b’ezras Hashem bring more peace into our own lives as well as the world around us, which means that more of Hashem’s Light and brochos will be able to manifest for us.