Monday, January 16

Secrets of Chevron – The Cave of Machpelah - Part I

בס"ד
Article for the Month of Kislev - The Key to  Jewish Survival
The acronym for  מקוה (Mikveh): "ואותנו קדשת מכל העמים - And You Have Sanctified Us of All the Nations”.
Secrets of Chevron – The Cave of Machpelah - Its Importance and Connection to Every Jew
Chapter 1: In the Holy Temple, the day begins with the mention of Chevron.
In order to notify of the dawn’s rising, and the time of the eternal sacrifice’s arrival, הכהנים (the priests) announce: “The entire east has lit up even to Chevron”. (Yoma 3:1) And this, in spite of Chevron not being in the East, but South of Jerusalem, why?
Adam said: If in the case of the tablets (of stone)[1], where in the future they will be written by the finger of G-d, and the waters of the Jordan are destined to flee from them; ' how much more so will this be the case with my body, kneaded by His two hands, and because He breathed into my nostrils the breath of the spirit of His mouth, after my death they will take me and my bones, and make them into an image for idolatry; thus I will place my coffin deep down beneath the cave and within the cave, and there he is buried: Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rivkah, Jacob and Leah. Therefore, it is called " Kiryat Arba (4) " because 4 couples were buried there.. It is stated about them: (Isaiah 57:2) “He entereth into peace, they rest in their beds” (Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer)
Adam was created from dust that the Creator gathered from all corners of the Earth so that at the time of his demise, wherever he would be, the land could not refuse to absorb him[2]. The dust for the creation of Adam’s head, the shelter of the brain and thought was taken from the future Holy Site in Jerusalem, where he lived most of his life after he was banned from the Garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve did not merit remaining in the Garden of Eden for even one night. On the sixth day, the Shabbat eve when they were created: in the first hour – his dust was gathered. In the second – he was made a Golem. Third – his limbs were stretched. Fourth – a soul was thrown in. Fifth – he stood on his legs. Sixth – he gave all the animals names. Seventh – Eve was created. Eighth – Cane and Abel were born. Ninth – he was commanded not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Tenth – he transgressed the command. Eleventh – He was judged. Twelfth – he was banned from the Garden of Eden (Sanhedrin 38)
Man is in his glory but he does not understand” (Psalms 49) – they were in the Garden of Eden and did not merit staying there. The Shabbat protected them for 24 hours of peace and light of the Divine and eased for them the difficult passage from the elite life in the Garden of Eden to life on Earth. In their honor the sun did not set and they had day and night full of light, happiness and Shabbat rest. Adam opened his mouth in song: “A song, for the Shabbat day. It is good to give thanks to G-d, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most  High." (Psalms 92)
At sundown following the Holy Shabbat, darkness enveloped them and for the first time they felt the shadow of death and the difficult feeling of failure due to the dizzying fall from the Divine light. With G-d’s mercy on his creation, “G-d called upon two tiles –flint stones, Adam banged them together and light came out”. Thus G-d revealed to them the secret of creating fire, Adam felt comforted and sang to G-d regarding the light and the fire: “And if I say: Surely the darkness shall envelop me, and the light around me shall be night” (Psalms 139:11) Therefore, we kindle and renew the fire every Saturday night following the Shabbat at the same time that it was revealed to Adam. we thank and bless with Havdalah: “Blessed are thou…..blessed is the creator of the light of the fire”. (According to Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer)
On Sunday, Adam noticed his new location, where all the forest animals were roaring hungrily and he is standing before them alone with no means of defense. This bitter reality deepened his sense of failure and fear that he would not be able to survive without the help of G-d. He regretted the past and accepted upon himself to strictly adhere to the commandments of the Creator. He entered the upper waters of the Gichon, and immersed in the mikveh [3] in the waters of the Shiloah spring: “These waters are known for their elevated virtues of sanctification and holiness because its source comes from beneath the Holy of Holies”. In order to be alone and stand in prayer and supplication to the Creator, regarding his wife, Eve, and all of his future offspring until the end of time.
Submerged in the mikveh, body and soul, he immersed and cried many times, he fasted and prayed days and nights with hopes to sweeten his decree. He drew his inner strength to continue the rest of his life from the message he received from the -  מקוה(mikveh,) that there was still תקוה - (hope.)
Adam sat and cried for 49 days in the waters of the mikveh, 5776 years ago. “Even though the Gates of Prayer locked, the Gates of Tears did not lock” (Brachot 32). “May it be your will, who hears the sound of crying, that you place our tears in your sack and save us from all evil, difficult decrees because we depend on you solely.
In the merit of the immersion and the repentance and the tears, G-d sweetened the decree and the warning “the day you eat it, you will surely die” man’s 24-hour day became a 1000 year day of the Creator, as it is written, “For a thousand years are in Your eyes like yesterday” (Psalms 90:4).
Seventy years of the thousand that Adam received as a gift, he set aside for David, King of Israel. “This is the book of the generations of Adam” (Genesis 5:1) “G-d passed all the generations before him, he showed him David, a life which only had a three-hour allotment. He said to him (Adam to G-d) is there a present in the heavens? He answered, yes. He said to Him, 70 years of my life will be set aside for on his behalf (David).
David the King, the Moshiach[4] - is intended to repair the world resulting from the sin of Adam. Therefore, he gifted him from his life, a natural life span: “The days of our years among them are 70 years” (Psalms 90:10).
Adam lived for 930 years and David lived 70 years.- "מות תמות"  “You will surely die” this form of language is used with Adam after 930 years and with David after 70 years, together, they equal 1,000 years, with which Adam was blessed (According to the AriZal).
Adam said I will build a hotel for my remains” and to prevent his grave from becoming a source for idolatry, he secretly built his burial place. Adam saw a light in the same place that he left the Garden of Eden (Zohar Breishis 57:2) there Adam secretly carved the Me’Arat HaMachpelah – a deeper inner cave under the existing cave in Chevron. And on their 930th birthday, Adam and Eve secretly entered the cave, they laid in their resting place and died with the kiss of death, while a permanent candle burns in their memory. Immediately afterwards, a miraculous earthquake moved cliffs and rocks and blocked the opening.
Adam and Eve disappeared without any remains, and the unfruitful searches in every generation afterwards for their burial place was for naught.
The push for the desperate searches stemmed from the desire to see, up close the only man in the world who was the creation and the handiwork of the Creator of the world, and his unique characteristics. Likewise, his clothes – the leather garment – the unnatural makings that caused the animals to give in to the hunt. 1241 years after the death of Adam, they still used his delightful clothing. Esav murdered Nimrod in order to steal the clothes from him. Jacob used some of the fabric in order to sew Joseph’s coat. He therefore refused to be comforted and to believe that Joseph was killed by a wild beast.[5]
The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge: One of the ideas encompassed in the prohibition of eating the fruit: In order to test the power of self-control in Adam and Eve, they were forbidden this fruit for only three hours prior to sunset on Friday, until the coming of the Shabbat. Had they withstood the prohibition for those three hours, the Creator would have given them the coveted fruit to bless and sanctify the Shabbat and afterwards to eat it to their heart’s desire (According to the AriZal). According to this, Adam and Eve’s sin was not in eating the fruit, but in eating it at the forbidden time – before it was permitted, and without making a blessing on it first.
Measure for measure, the observance of the mitzvah of family purity is an exercise in complete self-control, among others, in order to bring children into the world at a spiritual level which is most coveted. Parents who observe this mitzvah carefully, grant their child a precious gift awarded only once in a lifetime and this elevated holiness is granted to the fetus by the Creator Himself at the moment of conception, and our sages teach us that this holiness shines over the child and remains with him his whole life.
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[1]The world was created by 10 utterances of the Creator, but the tablets were written by G-d’s finger. The power of a contract is limited to the value of the signatory. And in the tablets – the infinite glory and Holiness of G-d were concentrated in one limited space as the actual letter from G-d.
The tablets are the only object where one can see the handiwork and writing of the Creator, but the right and the strength to see them given only to those who rose to a high spiritual level at Mount Sinai. Therefore, immediately following the giving of the Torah, they were placed in the Holy Ark in the Holy of Holies and were never again seen by man. The Rambam in Mishne Torah, Chapter 4 adds: when Shlomo built the Holy Temple and knew that it would in the end be destroyed, he built a hidden burial place, an inaccessible cache deep down, and Yosheahu, the king (400 years later – 10 years prior to the destruction) commanded and the tablets were buried it in the location that Shlomo built along side with Aaron’s staff and the jar and the anointing oil, as well.
[2] As the sea does not absorb the body of a human, but spits it out.
[3] Men’s immersion in the mikveh (we have no intention to expound on this subject) is totally different in its essence than women’s immersion. Women’s immersion in the mikveh is the basic and most important mitzvah in the Torah for family life. In establishing a community, building a mikveh for women takes priority over building a synagogue or buying a Sefer Torah. It is permissible to sell a synagogue or Sefer Torah in order to build a mikveh.
[4] - אדם = אדם דוד משיח(Adam) The acronym of the word Adam in Hebrew stands for Adam – David - Moshiach

[5] The brothers also knew that the coat had unnatural protective qualities. They, therefore, removed the coat from Joseph when they threw him in the pit.
Published in Memory of R’ Meir ben R’ Mordechai Zvi HaCohen zt”l, compiled and edited from articles of Rav Emanuel Ravad, ©All the rights are protected, October 26, 2016
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