Posts Tagged ‘Lava Cakes’

Parshat Bo: Night and Day Lava Cakes (Plus Chocolate Lava and Blondie Lava Cakes)

January 26, 2012

In Nesivos Shalom (pp. 73-74, based on the Toldos Yaacov Yosef)  Slonimer Rebbe offers an interesting explanation of choshet, the plague of darkness: what the Mitzrim and B’nei Yisroel was both experiencing was an overwhelming spiritual light. The Mitzrim experienced this as impenetrable darkness–they were blinded by the light. Similarly, the Jews that were not prepared to leave Mitzraim could not handle the light and it killed them. The Jews who were ready to leave Mitzraim experienced it positively and for them there was light.

The analogy is made to the experience of the righteous and the wicked in the afterlife. Heaven and hell can be the same place, but the righteous can appreciate its purely spiritual nature, while the wicked find it excruciating. Why is this so? The Rambam explains that just as a sick person can taste sweet as bitter, those who are spiritually deprived perceive good as bad.

Finally tasting water after being without it for three days, B’nei Yisroel found it bitter. The Toldos Yaacov Yosef says that Torah is the water; having gone three days without studying Torah, B’nei Yisroel had a hard time appreciating its sweetness.

Three in-depth discussions of this:
Rabbi Yitzchok Alderstein, “The Painful Darkness of Light,” Nesivos Shalom, Parshas Bo, Torah.org

Rabbi Moshe M. Wilner, “Blinding Light,” Parshas Bo, Parsha Encounters, Chicago Community Kollel

Rabbi Yisroel Ciner, “Bo,” Parsha Insights, Torah.org

Rabbi Alderstein adds to this discussion an insight from Rav Moshe Midner: “‘To all Bnei Yisroel there was light in their dwellings.’ Sometimes, the light is too much for any individual to bear. When Jews dwell together, when they band together as a group to bring down Hashem’s light, they are able to jointly receive it. This is why Jews gather and sit with each other in large groups on Shabbos.”

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