Erev Shabbos Parshas Shoftim 5780

A gitten erev Shabbos and a git choidesh!

This weeks parsha is Parshas Shoftim.There’s a posuk in this parsha that has various different ways of understanding: “Tamim tihyeh im Hashem Elokecho” “You should be simple with Hashem your God.” Rashi says this means to serve Hashem with simplicity, and not attempt to divine the future, to contrast this posuk to the prohibitions against various forms of divination. Ramban brings the other meaning of “Tam,” which means perfect, from Onkelos “שלים”, meaning “Whole.” Ramban goes a step further than Rashi and states that the mitzvah here is referring to seeking only Hashem’s word. Ramban brings the example of astrology, saying that if one hears something from an astrologer he should simply say “Everything is in Hashem’s hands,” and not to go investigate those things heavily.

To understand what going simply with Hashem and being perfect means, we have to look another instance in the Torah where the word “Tam” is used. The main other place this word is used is in relation to Yaakov Avinu, where he is described as “Ish Tam,” a man who is simple/perfect. Yaakov according to Kabbalah is associated with the Sefira of Tiferes. Tiferes is associated with the concept of Emes, of Truth. So we can say from here that to walk simply with Hashem means to be perfect, which means to serve Him according to our true nature. For someone who knows how to cook, per example, such a person could serve Hashem through making good food for seudas mitzvah or Shabbos; someone who likes to talk can direct that towards talking in Torah and teaching others Yiddishkeit. Ultimately our truest nature is the Yechidah, that incorruptible part of the soul that cleaves always to the Ain Sof. This is the truest purpose for a Yid is to remove the external layers of Atzmus, Self, until reaching that Divine spark and living according to that, meaning to cleave to Hashem at all times and recognize His constant manifestation and control of all Creation.

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