Sunday, January 11, 2009

On Zohar Vayechi

See the translation here.

The Zohar lists 3 exiles:

  • Galut Mitzraim
  • Galut Shoftim
  • The "Current" Galut, which started at the time of the cessation of the Tamid.
This of course raises questions:
  • Why is the time of the Shoftim listed as being Exile?
  • Why is Galut Bavel not listed separately from Galut Edom?
Indeed the Sulam solves these problems by changing the girsah altogether: He moves mention of the Tamid to the prior ma'amar, and changes the word Shoftim to Bavel.  For him, problem solved.

Alternatively, let's consider the following:

  • The time of the Shoftim (2489-2929) was a time of Katnut, which is the same basic idea of Galut Bavel and Galut Edom.  Therefore this time can be referred to as Galut.
  • The time of the cessation of the Tamid does in fact refer to the end of Bayit Rishon (3157 or 3321, depending on how we count), as I have written before, and that signals the beginning even of our Galut (though there was a cessation of Galut at the time of Bayit Sheini).  For there is a major defect of Galut Bavel that has still not been fixed: The majority of Am Yisrael has not lived in Eretz Yisrael since the generation that saw the cessation of the Tamid.
The text is rather cryptic, and as such I do not feel comfortable presenting a solid thesis as to the meaning of the calculations (the 7, the 40, and the 100 years).

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