Missive to my Most Steadfast Friends
On Pesach, 5771,
The year of the ayin and alef
Ayin Iyyun Focus
Attentiveness attached to deep listening
Silent and whole –
I’ve been taught that we are transformed at the level of soul. I’ve been taught that we are broken most at the level of soul. At the level of soul is where we are most healed.
According to the Zohar, the exile to Egypt was an exile due to speech, as it says in the Haggadah “And he went down into Egypt — compelled by the speech, anus al pi ha-dibbur”).
When the secret that Moses had killed the Egyptian became known, Moses said “behold, the thing is known” and Rashi brings down a midrash that then and there the defilement of speech is clearly the cause for exile in Egypt. G*d demonstrates chesed, lovingkindness, particularly on this quality of our power of speech. Language — what a hurt what a healing that is.
That is why the Haggadah, the telling of the story, is the center of the Seder/Pesach, and the center of the Haggadah is the Maggid, the story, the tale, the words.
Pesach in mispar katan (a form of gematria known in D’etroit and other narrow places) is 22, the number of Hebrew letters. So — how did the Egyptians try to ruin us? Through our words. We are imprisoned by our words when our words have no lift. We entered an exile of words and likewise when we left we entered the redemption of words. Words are always foundational for us, words are the very mechanism of creation, as words are the creation of all mechanisms.
The letters of the Holy Tongue are engraved on the inner souls of Israel through Torah and prayer. That is our ultimate healing, the Holy letters engraved on our inner souls.
Use your words, I used to tell my kids — when you have words, you have it all.
A zissen Pesach