Intellect [Sechel]: A Ger In This World
Rabbi David Katz
In this week’s Parsha, one can open the doors of perception as in every Parsha, once the Ger component is plugged into the mainframe. Whether one seeks to learn about the SEVEN branched menorah and how it is the primary vessel that manifests open light, out of the Temple, for the World. This serves as a defined metaphor of Noahide Law amongst God’s countless commandments [as the basis of Hanuka and its implications to Noahide Torah that resonates with Messiah], along with potent flavors within the Parsha such as Gerim in relation to The Second Passover [when Jews are impure], Jethro and his eyes for the Nation [i.e. The Ger who sees Mazal], and ultimately, as the basis of this article: Miriam, her Tzaaras [“leprosy”], and its relationship with “Miriam the [third] Redeemer, i.e. Redemption and its Ger [Sechel – Tzaaras] attributes.
With all of the Ger inspired revelations in the Parsha, that seemingly lift the Parsha into a multi dimension high-rise of Torah based reality, it is still the story of Miriam that best expresses the Pshat [simple meaning] such that its content contains all levels of Pa’’R’’De’’S [four levels of understanding that take into account the non-verse elements as to arrive at a clear intent of the verse(s) and onwards into the Parsha] and we gain insight to Redemption’s story through Miriam’s [the third redeemer; feminine aspect] plight. Miriam represents the Spiritual World/reality out of this World, which when one considers all of the other elements in the Parsha fully realized [along with the whole Torah as such], they will resonate from beyond this World as well. This is simply called the World of the Ger, as it is said, “Sechel [Torah intellect] is a Ger out of this World, and is/has been removed from the camp; such is the fate of the Tzaaras ridden Messiah, who is named and identified [ironically, per force then, by none] as such. [As it is said, “Messiah waits alone (“with the lepers) at the gates of Rome]
The saga that we encounter Miriam in is one of family dispute, such that it’s true intent is to delve into the deepest most reality where life is simply understood by terms of a reality we all know, i.e. the reality that we know, the reality of the Ger. The nature of Man is to bury this reality, the World of truth, and to pretend that it does not exist. For this our Torah is a beacon from this mysterious place that we all fancy to keep quiet, and it is therefore branded with the nomenclature of the “Ger” – a true alien in this World, for this World is known as the World of lies [and cover-ups] of inconvenient truths and antithetical true Torah concepts. Miriam, Aaron, and Moses deal with these very issues amongst themselves, and this will have ramifications for all future study of Torah. What we have received in writing is a terse account of a family squabble that ends with loshon hara [evil speech] and Miriam banished from the camp due to her affliction.
To get into the specific account of what their individual claims are/were, is something of a kabbalistic mystery, and such that with the integrity of the Torah [and its magical romance] at stake, is best left for the Messiah and his generation to deal with. Just as life went on for those three, the Torah holds no reservation of moving on for the sake of moving on, and not to dwell on speculation and personal reservations about matters that either we may never know, or are simply not prepared to hear/handle.
However, the truth of the matter is, the Talmud stresses that through Miriam’s lengthy quarantine, we clearly see how upset Hashem was with Miriam, and this was in regard to the being fruitful and multiply commandment, of which she spoke out of character with Moses her brother, seeing as she bore guilt in her soul, causing her to speak loshon hara. The exegesis of these principles in both the revealed and concealed matters of Torah are some the richest learning devices amidst the entire Torah [for Torah logic is rooted and deduced from Miriam and her punishment], and rather than to increase accusations against some of the Holiest People the World ever saw, despite their humanity [Moses, Aaron, and Miriam all received the sacred kiss of death, and their bodies knew not of worms and the way of the grave], the hidden light was actually sewn as to better know the Messiah and the era of the Redemption [in relation to the Ger on the highest level].
The Maharal of Prague, and his explanation of the Talmud Sanhedrin explains the deeper connection to Miriam’s Tzaaras on a positive note in relation to the Ger, and by reflecting upon Miriam’s inner voice from with the Torah’s verses, he offers a realistic account of the Messiah, who modestly embodies Miriam’s mission of soul, metabolizing the feminine quality of it into a masculine redeemer [of which the Maharal explains per force must be a masculine job, for neither Miriam nor Esther succeeded in their roles as Redeemer]. The properties that the Maharal works exclusively with in depicting the Messianic qualities, are that of the Tzaaras along with its deeper meaning and in relation to the Ger, his intellect, and how they all tie together into a common fabric that garments the Messiah, who like Miriam, sits outside the camp [to which the Midrash bemoans, “Messiah sits among the lepers of Rome.”]
The Talmud Sanhedrin states [98b] that Messiah suffers from Tzaaras/Metzora – “skin maladies” to which the Commentators have entertained the depths of this enigma since its inception. The Maharal perhaps was the most elected sent to explain the depths of this passage, as he explains it in terms of Miriam [the] Redeemer.
Just as Miriam [was a redeemer] was sent from the camp due to a condition [as a product of intellect] so too is the Messiah banished outside of the camp due to his intellectual malady. The Maharal couples this with the concept, that the intellect [sechel] is a Ger in this World, i.e. alien, and swims against the non-intellectual [non – sechel; counter-Torah] capacity of normative society. Under these terms we can identify the nature of Messiah, The Ger, Torah, Redemption, etc., portraying Olam HaZeh [this world] pitted against its transition into the Days of the Messiah, and onwards into the World to Come.
Society “thinks” one way [even quite literally, a “way”/”direction”] while God’s agents [Messiah, Gerim, Baalei Sechel, Torah scholars, etc.] swim against grain going upstream, in a proverbial shofar blast that we can see, much like the thunder that was seen at Sinai [all counter-logical]. This produces in the end is a society that partakes in small matters of life, and are indigenous to this World. The Ger on the other hand, along with the Messiah, etc., are like Miriam – placed outside of the camp, as if stricken in their very being. All of these concepts are the positive blend of repair that reflects the same efforts and condition of Miriam, who acted from the same principles, but in a harsher blend of [real] life. Miriam highlights from her personal life a truth that is often not told or looked over, a staple concept in Torah becoming realistically revealed before our eyes.
The Ger, intellect, and certainly, the Messiah, all work harmoniously to synchronize their message from beyond the boundary, and into a “World to Come” transition from this World. To this extent, Miriam portrays the Messiah equipped with his mind while being the Ger that he is [as King David on this point said, “I am a Ger”], for the Messianic World is spiritual, and thus in constant conflict with the mundane physical existence that we all dwell in. The task of the Torah and the manner of Creation by the Creator has been to impregnate our World with all of these variant Gerim, so as to promote Messianic growth into an otherwise stagnant society. Thus in our Parsha [even if only in the most negative [literally and figuratively], Miriam is the Ger figure that delivers at the end of the Parsha, opening a realization tunnel that spans the length of the Parsha of the Ger potential that lays latent amidst the entire Torah. It should be on record that as King David said, “I am a Ger” – King David is said to be of the offspring of Miriam specifically.
Parashas Beha’Aloscha delivers another fantastic view of the rich quality of Ger affiliation that is latent in each and every Parsha, once again showing the equality of the Ger-Jew relationship when understanding the Torah on a Pilpul level. To suggest that the Torah is only Jewish, on any terms, is to deny the usage and properties of Ger vessels to understand the Torah that exists in a World most accurately lived by none other than the Gerim. He knows his World, and it is his sacred point of view that brings a resounding Shalom to the Torah.
Miriam and her brothers encompass the essence of real life, and therefore real Torah. In today’s World, the populace has chosen to bury and ignore Truth to matters, and in a truly idolatrous universe, all hope would indeed be lost. To this extent we can thank God for keeping his minyan of Holiness, i.e. the Ger and, the Gerim – who on every level shape and form, personify the concept of Ger. The Ger is something alien to this World, for it/they serve(s) a much higher purpose of operation than the average bear and for this the Torah came into our existence. A true Ger [Torah – Sechel – other worldly descending into our world] is the Torah, a story of Gerim, redeemed by Gerim, etc. and we are commanded to know the Torah on every level to always know which aspect of Ger we are in fact in the presence of. To this extent God has stated the basic premise, “I love the Ger, so you should too.” It just happens God wasn’t kidding, and Messiah will be like Miriam; to know the End will prove to have known and loved the Ger, for at the very least, your understanding of Torah depends on it.
Parasha Class: 11 P.M. Motzie Shabbat -all classes Tzfat Time
[and every Wed 11 P.M. - Ger series]
Click The NEW link to sign up, keep, or enter virtual classroom:
Take note - that the LINK IS NEW and must be re-entered into browser to access your account.