The solution of the mystery of “Mei-Meriveh” according to the Tikunei Zohar
In this week’s parsha, parshas Chukas, we discuss the complex and profound subject of the “mei-meriveh” — the waters of conflict. As a result of Moshe and Aharon’s involvement in this matter, it was decreed that they would not enter Eretz Yisroel. According to Rashi, their failure was in hitting the rock rather than speaking to it; for, HKB”H had commanded them: “Vedibartem el hasalah” – and you shall speak to the rock. But as the Torah describes, Moshe Rabeinu struck the rock twice and, thus, failed to sanctify Hashem. In the words of Rashi: “Had you spoken to the rock and it had produced, I would have been sanctified before the assembly, and they would have said: Now, if this rock which neither speaks nor hears nor requires sustenance obeys the word of the Omnipresent, how much more so should we obey His word”!
We stand bewildered and puzzled: How is it possible that Moshe Rabeinu who HKB”H, Himself, already testified to his trustworthiness (Bamidbor 12, 7): “Bechol beisi namon hu” – in My entire house, he is the most trusted. If so, how can we even imagine that he did not fulfill HKB”H’s command precisely?
we try to unravel the puzzle based on the words of the Tikunei Zohar (Tikun 21, 44.) which illuminate this mystery in a very clear manner. He explains that aside from the simple, straightforward understanding of HKB”H’s directive to Moshe: “Vedibartem el hasela leineihem venosan maimov” – “And you shall speak to the rock before their eyes and it shall give its waters”. there was also a spiritual intent inherent in this command. The entire scenario was intended as a symbolic gesture to provide the people with an abundant source of Torah — which is compared to water. As the Gemoreh states (Bava Kamma 17.): “Ein mayim elo torah” – water inevitably refers to Torah; this is derived from the possuk in Yeshayah (55, 1). The Tikunei Zohar states that the rock represents Torah she’b’al peh, and that the entire and unfortunate sequence of events was triggered by the assembly’s rebellious and contentious nature — wishing to force Moshe and Aharon’s hand.
Had Moshe spoken to the rock, he would have released a wealth of Torah knowledge with unusual clarity, free of doubts and disputes — akin to the situation in the World to Come. The Novie describes the World to Come as follows (Yirmiyah 31, 33): From the lowliest to the greatest, all will possess an inherent knowledge and awareness of Hashem. As a consequence of Moshe striking the rock, however, only a scarce amount of Torah knowledge emerged; furthermore, this led to numerous doubts and disputes amongst Torah scholars concerning haloche.
But as we explain: This entire scenario was arranged by HKB”H for klal Yisroel’s benefit. Disputes among Torah scholars guarantee the perpetuation of Torah during periods of exile. For, it is impossible to clarify the truth and depth of halochehs without debates between Torah scholars. We have learned in the Gemoreh (Taanis 7.): “Just as one iron blade is used to sharpen another, so too, two Torah scholars sharpen each other’s minds by means of their halachic debates”.
This is only a small taste of the mamar. The rest of it you can learn in the mamar itself.
Have a wonderful Shabbos.
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