The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home: Chapter 8 – Clouds of Glory, Miriam's Well, and Manna

G-d gave three gifts to the Jewish People in the desert. One was the manna, the second was the Well of Miriam, and the third was the ananay hakavod, "clouds of glory."The atmosphere of Mashiach in the home alludes to the ananay hakavod, in the desert. The holiday of Sukkot commemorates the ananay hakavod. The sukkah is the manifestation of the ananay hakavod. The clouds surrounded and sheltered us, as a home. Clearly the ananay hakavod were a miraculous and Divine state of consciousness which surrounded us all the time. This was in the merit of Aaron the High Priest. It descends from the air of keter to the home of malchut.

The Well of Miriam was for drinking and also for washing clothing. Water serves two purposes. One is for drinking, when it becomes part of the person's life force. The second purpose is for cleansing the body and clothing. The skin itself is also clothing of the inner dimensions of the body. The fact that water is necessary for washing, is the way to meditate on the Chotam Hamithapech. The water of the Well of Miriam, in addition to being used for drinking, comes to wash the clothing of the Jewish People.

Bread, whether it is from heaven, as the manna in the merit of Moses, or from the earth, as in the Land of Israel, is the pivot point, for it sustains the inner life force of man, as explained above.

One of the parameters that defines these five levels is that the higher one is on this ladder, the more necessary it is to have these items at closer proximity. Chiefly, the higher one is on the ladder, the less that item costs. Because it is more necessary, G-d has created society in such a way that it is more accessible. That which costs nothing is air. This is why keter is called "zero." Water generally does not cost anything. This is the relation between the yud and the kotzo shel yud. In modern society water also costs a minimal amount. What costs more than water is solid food. That which costs more than food is clothing. The greatest cost is that of a home. This is also the greatest joy, as it is the product of the greatest effort. The greatest source of joy is when one realizes that his achievement was not a product of his own might, but that G-d gives him the strength to reach these heights. This fills one with Joy in G-d.

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