“And a river exits Eden…” (Breisheet 2:10)
To explain this verse we must first recall the words of the Midrash (actually the Zohar: רע”מ פנחס רנ”ז ע”ב) that God’s purpose in creating the world was to be considered merciful. God desired to improve the life of mankind by revealing to them his worthy merits. He thus created man last, after all else, so that man could see all the good that had been prepared for him as well as counter the complaints of the angels, that they too were part of the created world. For man himself is a world in miniature. And everyday, God provides all with good and grace in creating anew, daily, the world which receives its life-force from the prayers and the good deeds of the Children of Israel so that even the angels are dependent of them.
This renewal comes from an awakening. And this awakening has four faces. The first is caused by the fear of punishment in this world which directs man to return to the path of good. The second is due to the love of this world in which he can achieve much pleasure. The third is the fear of punishment in the next world, the fear of Geheinom. The fourth and last awakening is the love of the pleasures of the next world. Each form is what man receives from God in accordance with his personal requirements. This is hinted in the four changes of clothes (Yoma 71b) of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur.
This verse refers to this paradigm described above for the word Eden can mean in Hebrew, עדן, pleasure, and the act of irrigating the garden is to keep the world alive and to do so, it can be accomplished through the four paths mentioned.
Each person can achieve his return to observance through four alternatives paths, the one that appeals to him most. That is the good provided us.
Gedaliah ben Yitzchak Rabinowitz of Linitz in Tshu’ot Chen.
First printed in 1816
His yahrtzeit is 29 Kislev. Recorded: The Baal Shem Tov, who he saw several times, regarded him very highly. Talmid of the Toldos Yaakov Yosef and the Mochiach of Polonya. R’ Nachman Breslover held of him very highly as can be seen from Likutei Moharan 14, which was originally given over after R’ Gedalia’s passing.
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