Thursday, May 07, 2009

Letter Permutations

Degel Machaneh Ephraim, Parshas Emor:

The Divine Speech is made up of individual letters that can combine together to form words; words that can be received as good or sometimes as otherwise. The tzaddik has the power to change the letters from bad decrees and transform one word into another making Death (מת) into Perfection (תם) and Affliction (נגע) into Delight (עונג).

My grandfather [the Baal Shem Tov] told a story of a great fear (פחד גדול) that occured in the village Zaslav. He and Rabbi Dovid of Ostrog were in the faraway village of Kaminka and observed that very difficult events were about to transpire back in Zaslav.

These two tzaddikim were able to take the Divine letters and recombine them into good words and thereby save the village. An impression of the word fear (פחד) remained nevertheless, and it was this that was what was felt by the residents living in Zaslav.

More on this topic can be seen here.


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