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Moshaich in the Parsha

The Bond Restored

This week's portion describes the Sotaha woman accused of being unfaithful to her husband. After a series of humiliations, she is forced to drink a bitter potion in which a parchment inscribed with G-d's name has been dissolved. If she is guilty, the potion will kill her. If she is innocent, the potion is transformed into an elixir of blessing.

The Sotah episode is an allegory of our relationship with G-d. The Jewish people are compared to a bride, and G-d the groom.

The Torah's description begins: "A man whose wife strays." The Hebrew word for stray, tishteh, has the same root as shtus, foolishness. On this play of words, the Talmud remarks: "One does not sin unless a spirit of folly enters him." Were it not for this spirit of folly, one would remain constantly connected to G-d and fulfill His will, as an expression of our very own will.

The Sotah is forbidden to her husband until she is cleared. After that, however, she may return to him and they are even blessed with more children. The same is true spiritually. Any split between us and G-d caused by our sins is only temporary. We have the ability to return and reconnect with G-d, and even to enjoy greater heights of love and fear of G-d, which are analogous to children.

This renewed relationship comes as a result of the revelation of the innermost aspect of the soul, which overcomes the "spirit of folly." This is a personal liberation experienced by every Jew when he does teshuvah. Each individual redemption will add up until we experience the full collective redemption with the coming of Moshiach.

(Likutei Sichos vol. 2, p. 312)



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