Mitzvah Lamps- Ketores

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    • Michal 3 months ago

      I am so grateful for a sefer I received called “Bi’ikvos Derech Hashem” in which the author shares his approach in serving Hashem based on Ramchal’s work of Derech Hashem.  It is a beautiful Sefer and in the chapter “Maamar Zayin” he explains the following concept.

      One who performs Mitzvos in such a way that is eternal; and who is watchful of the negative mitzvos brings himself to a status of “Haaras Panim”,  Hashem’s Face Shining, kavyachol on such a person.

      By performing Mitzvos in such a way he is purifying himself so that he can attach to Hashem.

      The reason being is that when one performs Mitzvos and is watchful of the negative commandments he is doing a process of cleansing of the deficiencies, and  things that impede closeness with Hashem.

      He says that the Ramchal explains in Derech Hashem how each Mitzvah is designed with a specific assignment for each person’s needs and actually directed specifically to remove targeted darkness or deficiencies found in the human being and in the world.[1]

      “Bi’ikvos Derech Hashem” cites the Zohar as saying that each limb of a human being correlates to a specific candle of a Mitzvah, and therefore a person needs to do a process of accepting Hashem as King, and to fix, or acquire each limb so Hashem can dwell there. He explains how each limb, or candle needs to serve as one that burns away the limited thoughts that sulley a human and the world.

      I was thinking that this is perhaps the process we can aspire for with the “Ketores” portion of our prayers.

      Perhaps one of the ideas of the Ketores is to be a candle lighter as described in the sefer “Bi-ikvos Derech Hashem” to achieve a status of  “זַכָּה”, clear[2], טָהוֹר קֹֽדֶשׁ, purified and sanctified[3].

      Meaning once one uses his Mitzvos to address the imposed and self-imposed limitations, or destructive energies, his limbs serve as a menorah, like candles that shine, so the Shechina can dwell and with such a human being.  This attachment to Hashem allows for the person to experience and absorb Hashem’s face shining on him Kavyachol, to be a receiver of the “good” or the light of Hashem.

      This process of performing such Mitzvos , meaning as a candle, with intention, to use to fix and elevate oneself, seems to be the process of Aharon with the ketores offering when the verse says: בְּהֵיטִיבוֹ אֶת־הַנֵּרֹת, When Aharon lights the lamps[4]..

      May we all be Zoche to light the lamps for a world cleansed and protected from misdirected energies, and destruction, and rather a world in which our candles shine, making room for the Shechina to dwell in Hashem’s City of Yerushalayim built with such candles Biezras Hashem.





      [1] Derech Hashem, Chelek Aleph, Chapter 2:3

      [2] וַיֹּֽאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־משֶׁה קַח־לְךָ סַמִּים נָטָף וּשְׁחֵֽלֶת וְחֶלְבְּ֒נָה סַמִּים וּלְבֹנָה זַכָּה בַּד בְּבַד יִהְיֶה

      [3]  וְעָשִֽׂיתָ אֹתָהּ קְטֹֽרֶת רֹֽקַח מַעֲשֵׂה רוֹקֵֽחַ מְמֻלָּח טָהוֹר קֹֽדֶשׁ

      [4] וְהִקְטִיר עָלָיו אַהֲרֹן קְטֹֽרֶת סַמִּים בַּבֹּֽקֶר בַּבֹּֽקֶר בְּהֵיטִיבוֹ אֶת־הַנֵּרֹת יַקְטִירֶֽנָּה: וּבְהַעֲלֹת אַהֲרֹן אֶת־הַנֵּרֹת בֵּין הָֽעַרְבַּֽיִם יַקְטִירֶֽנָּה קְטֹֽרֶת תָּמִיד לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם

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