Friday, October 31, 2008

No'ach 5631 Third Ma'amar (first half)

Chazal teach us that the generation of the Flood transgressed three sins, idolatry, illicit relations and thievery. Surprisingly, of the three, the decree of the Flood was sealed because of thievery. Idolatry and illicit relations are two of the cardinal sins. We are required to forfeit our lives rather than transgress them. Why was the decree of the Flood sealed specifically for thievery? What is it about thievery that makes it even worse than idolatry and illicit relations?

The fundamental reason that a person can permit himself to steal is that he does not recognize the owner’s rights. Chazal apply this concept to our relationship with God. They teach us that a person who eats without making a brachah first is considered to have stolen from God. The reason is that he is not acknowledging God’s ownership of the bread he eats.

The Sfas Emes expands this concept and applies it to all of life. He says that being in this world while not recognizing that God is the force underlying everything constitutes theft. For this reason the Chiddushei HaRim says that the Torah requires confession when a thief returns a stolen object, “וְהִתְוַדּוּ אֶת־חַטָאתָם אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ וְהֵשִׁיב אֶת־אֲשָׁמוֹ בְּרֹאשׁוֹ .../They will confess their sin that they committed and return the principal amount of his guilt …” Confession is required when repenting from any sin. Why does the Torah mention it specifically by repentance from the sin of theft?

The Chiddushei HaRim explains that confession here actually alludes to repentance for anything because every sin contains an aspect of theft. At the moment of the sinful act, there is always a denial of God. If the sinner recognized God before him, he would be unable to sin. As the Sfas Emes teaches, not acknowledging that God is the motive power underlying our actions constitutes theft.

The generation of the Flood did more than simply steal from their fellow man. They stole from God by not recognizing Him in the Creation. The Sfas Emes teaches us that to the extent that we recognize God in the world, God is revealed in the world. During the generation of the Flood, because they did not recognize God in the world, there was no divine revelation. Life is dependent upon divine revelation. When there is no divine revelation, we learn from the generation of the Flood that life ends. This is the meaning of the pasuk, “... קֵץ כָּל־בָּשָׂר בָּא לְפָנַי כִּי־מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ חָמָס .../… The end of all flesh has come before Me, because the earth was filled with thievery …” This is the exact opposite of the pasuk, “... מְלֹא כָל־הָאָרֶץ כְּבוֹדוֹ/… the world is filled with His glory.” When we recognize God, the world is filled with His glory. When we do not, it is the end of life. This is the reason the decree of the Flood was sealed specifically because of thievery; thievery representing not acknowledging God in the Creation.

The Zohar states this concept as well. The Zohar says that the ark is a metaphor for the Shechinah. ... וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת־הַתֵּבָה וַתָּרָם .../… They lifted the ark and it was raised …,” is an allusion to the Shechinah leaving the world. The Zohar says that once the Shechinah is no longer with us, there is no one to watch over the world and judgment rules. The Sfas Emes understands that the Shechinah leaving means the source of life has left.

This understanding sheds light on an enigmatic Midrash in this week’s parsha. The Midrash cites a pasuk in Yechezkeil, “הֶחָמָס קָם לְמַטֵּה־רֶשַׁע לֹא מֵהֶם ... וְלֹא־נֹהַּ בָּהֶם/Violence has arisen and become a rod against evil; it is not from them … there is no sobbing for them.” The prophet is referring to Nebuchadnezer. He is telling us that even though Nebuchadnezer destroyed evil, it was only God’s help that enabled him to succeed. The Midrash understands this pasuk homiletically as referring to the generation of the Flood. Thievery stood up before God like a rod and said that he is not of them and has no rest in them. This last is a play on words, changing נֹהַּ/sob to נֹחַ/rest.

What does, “he has no rest in them” mean? Elsewhere, the Sfas Emes explains that on the first Shabbos, the culmination of the Creation resulted in a revelation of God. Each part of the Creation was fulfilling its unique task such that the entire Creation acted as one harmonious system. A system in which all the parts operate smoothly can be considered to be at rest because there is no noise in the system. This is the reason that there is an elevation of the entire Creation towards God on Shabbos. He is more revealed. When “thievery” said that it has no rest in them, it means to say that the generation of the Flood was lacking a connection to God. God was hidden because the generation did not acknowledge Him.

This also explains another Midrash which says that No’ach was not worthy of being saved. He was only saved because Moshe Rabbeinu was to come from him. This seems to fly in the face of the pesukim which state clearly that he was righteous. However, according to the Sfas Emes, since No’ach was part of the generation that did not recognize God, there could be no rest for God in this generation, meaning that the generation was not connected to Him. True, No’ach was righteous in his own right, but the generation had a fatal flaw. It could not continue to exist. No’ach’s saving grace was his progeny.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Breishis 5631 Second Ma'amar

The Torah essentially is a book that describes the mitzvos. Why then, did the Torah not begin from the first mitzvah that was given to us – mitzvas hachodesh? What is the purpose of the entire Sefer Breishis? The first Rashi in Breishis quotes Chazal who address this question. The answer, Chazal teach us, is to give us a response to the nations of the world. As we find in Tehillim, “כֹּחַ מַעֲשָׂיו הִגִּיד לְעַמּוֹ לָתֵת לָהֶם נַחֲלַת גּוֹיִם/He declared the power of His works to His people, to give them the heritage of the nations.” If the nations accuse us of being usurpers, that we stole the land of Israel, we can answer that the world belongs to God. He took Israel away from its original inhabitants and gave it to us.

The Sfas Emes asks, however, that this answer explains only the first chapter of the Torah that describes the Creation. What is the purpose of the rest of the book of Breishis? Why is it necessary for the Torah to include the story of Noach and the Flood, all the trials and tribulations of the patriarchs, Yosef and his brothers and the exile in Egypt?

To answer this question we need to understand that the Torah is more than a scroll containing words. This Torah is also the spiritual entity through which God created the world. The entire world is therefore imbued with the power of the Torah. It is only because of this power in the Creation that the world continues to exist. Regarding this Chazal taught that God looked into the Torah and created the world.

This power is generally not apparent. Through our actions, though, we have the ability to reveal the power of the Torah which inheres in the Creation. This, the Sfas Emes teaches us, is an aspect of the oral Torah. It is that component of the Torah in which each of us has the ability to make a unique imprint. The written Torah is apparent for all to see. The oral Torah is not. It is up to us to reveal it through our actions. When we intend to fulfill God’s will with our actions, then our actions reveal the Torah’s hidden light within nature.

This is the reason for all the stories in Breishis. God wanted to show us that our actions, like the actions our forefathers, can become Torah. This is the meaning of the beginning of the pasuk quoted above, “כֹּחַ מַעֲשָׂיו הִגִּיד לְעַמּוֹ .../He declared the power of His works to His people …” His works are the מַעֲשֵׂה בְּרֵאשִׁית/workings of the Creation. The power of His works is the power of the Torah inherent in the world. God taught us that the Creation owes its continuing existence to the power of the Torah within it.

Our purpose is to effect a revelation of this power. In fact, the purpose of the Creation is to reveal God through it. By revealing the spirituality underlying the Creation we become partners with God in the workings of the Creation.

The Zohar actually says this explaining the pasuk in Yeshaya, “וָאָשִׂים דְּבָרַי בְּפִיךָ ... לִנְטֹעַ שָׁמַיִם וְלִיסֹד אָרֶץ וְלֵאמֹר לְצִיּוֹן עַמִּי־אָתָּה/And I have placed My words in your mouth … to implant the heavens and to establish the foundation of the earth and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.” The word עַמִּי/My people can also be read as עִמִי/with Me. God is telling the prophet that just like He created the world through words, so too, we are partners with Him when we study Torah. However, the Sfas Emes broadens this to include recognizing the point of spirituality within each thing. The word צִיוֹן/Zion, can be read צִיוּן/indicator. The pasuk then is teaching us that one who attaches himself to this point recognizing God’s life-force in everything and every action, becomes a partner with God in the workings of the Creation.

One who lives in this way merits the end of the pasuk from Tehillim, “... לָתֵת לָהֶם נַחֲלַת גּוֹיִם/… to give them the heritage of the nations.” By connecting the natural world with the motive force behind it, nature cannot hide the power of the inherent holiness. As a result, that person is not bound by the physical world’s restrictions. That person merits an inheritance with no boundaries, the inheritance of all the nations.

Monday, October 20, 2008

VeZos HaBrachah 5653 Second Ma'amar

The Sfas Emes teaches us that the last few words of the Torah and the first few words are connected by a common theme. The Torah begins, “בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא .../In the beginning He created …” Chazal teach us that everything was created in order to glorify God. In Koheles we find, “... וְהָאֱ-לֹהִים עָשָׂה שֶׁיִרְאוּ מִלְּפָנָיו/… and God acted so that they would be in awe before Him.” According to Chazal, Koheles is teaching us that God created the world for us to use to cultivate a sense of awe before Him.

The Hebrew word for fear – יִרְאָה – also connotes awe. People fear punishment, be it earthly or Gehenom. They are afraid of it. But when we speak of fearing God Himself, we are speaking of an awe that comes as a result of contemplating His exaltedness.

Standing in awe before God is a much higher level than fearing punishment. The reason is, the Sfas Emes explains, because punishment and the mechanisms for punishing are creations. Fearing punishment is fearing a creation of God. This is obviously a lower level than standing in awe before God Himself.

When Koheles says, “שֶׁיִרְאוּ מִלְּפָנָיו/that they should stand in awe before Him,” he is clearly referring to the second type of fear – the awe that comes as a result of contemplating God’s greatness. It is this awe that the last pasuk of the Torah is referring to, “... לְכֹל הַמּוֹרָא הַגָּדוֹל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה מֹשֶׁה לְעֵינֵי כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל/… concerning the great awe that Moshe inspired before the eyes of all Israel.” Moshe inspired this great awe at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. At that time he said, “... לְבַעֲבוּר נַסּוֹת אֶתְכֶם בָּא הָאֱ-לֹהִים וּבַעֲבוּר תִּהְיֶה יִרְאָתוֹ עַל־פְּנֵיכֶם .../… For God has come in order to test you and in order that His awe be upon you …”

God wants His awe to be upon us rather than fear of His creations. What can we do to achieve this awe? The Sfas Emes teaches that this of awe of God comes through Torah. One who learns and occupies himself with Torah merits the enlightenment that enlightened the nation of Israel at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. It is this enlightenment which leads to an appreciation of God’s greatness and awe of Him.

This awe is hinted at in the very first word of the Torah, בְּרֵאשִׁית/In the beginning. The Tikunei Zohar[1] switches the letters so that they read, “יָרֵא בֹּשֶׁת/fear from shame”. Contemplating God’s greatness and comparing it with our own lowliness results in a certain self-shame and we cannot help but stand in awe before God.

The Tikunei Zohar continues with yet another hint from the first word of the Torah, “יָרֵא שַׁבָּת/fear Shabbos”. The Sfas Emes explains that this hint is exhorting us to “rest” from all our activities and thoughts in favor of standing in awe before God. A certain hisbatlus – self deprecation, is a prerequisite for standing in awe before God.

The world was created for this person. This is the reason that this awe is alluded to in the first word of the Torah describing the Creation. The wise person who contemplates all the frightening creations that exist in the world, realizes that they are only creations and against God they are nothing. This contemplation, as well, brings him to an awe of God’s exaltedness. May we merit it!

[1] The Tikunei Zohar, a book comprising seventy chapters in 296 pages, was written to explain the first word of the Torah – Breishis.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Succos 5634 Second Ma'amar

The two primary mitzvos of the holiday of Succos are dwelling in the succah and taking the lulav. What is the connection and the relationship between these two mitzvos?

The Sfas Emes explains that the succah represents God protecting us. God spreads His canopy over us, “הַפּוֹרֵס סוּכַּת שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ/He spreads His canopy of peace upon us.” We leave our “secure” homes to live for a week in a temporary dwelling in order to show that it is God who protects us, not our secure home. Whether we deserve it or not, God wants to protect us just as a father wants to protect his son. In fact, God relates to us as His children, “בָּנִים אַתֶּם לַה׳ אֱ־לֹהֵיכֶם .../You are children of God, your Lord …” This is obviously a great kindness that God shows us.

For our part, the children of Israel also want to connect with God and come close to Him. We want to accomplish His will so that we deserve His protection rather than being the beneficiaries of God’s total kindness. Taking the lulav represents our accepting God’s benevolence. וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם ... פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים .../Take for yourselves … the fruit of the citrus tree, branches of palms …” The extra word לָכֶם/for yourselves implies that we take God’s benevolence to ourselves.

Why does the lulav particularly represent God’s benevolence? The word לוּלָב/lulav has the same gematria – numerical value – as the word חַיִים/life. By taking the lulav we are showing God that we want to receive true life from Him. In Tehillim we find, “תּוֹדִיעֵנִי אֹרַח חַיִּים שֹׂבַע שְׂמָחוֹת .../Make known to me the path of life, the satiating joys …” Recognizing that true life comes from God filled David HaMelech with joy and satiates us as well.

The succah represents more than God’s protection, though. It also represents da’as/knowledge as we find regarding the mitzvah of succah, “לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ ... כִּי בַסֻּכּוֹת הוֹשַׁבְתִּי אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל .../In order that they may know … that I settled the children of Israel in huts …” The pasuk uses the word “knowledge” in order to hint that God gives each Jew knowledge through the mitzvah of succah. The Sfas Emes takes this concept a step further and declares that the knowledge of the entire year stems from Succos. Succos is the last holiday of three major holidays, the shalosh regalim. The word for holiday that is used here is regel which literally means foot implying that the entire year stands upon the base of these holidays.

The Sfas Emes explains elsewhere that da’as/knowledge represents applying our spiritual wisdom and understanding in our everyday lives.[1] By taking the lulav we accept this attribute of da’as/knowledge into the depths of our hearts.

The mitzvah of succah represents God’s protection, enlightenment and gift of da’as/knowledge. The mitzvah of taking the lulav represents our internalizing these gifts. May we merit it!

[1] The Sfas Emes may be alluding to chochma/wisdom, bina/understanding and da’as/knowledge. Each of the shalosh regalim would then represent one of these midos with Succos representing the last midah of da’as/knowledge. See Sfas Emes Naso 5631 First Ma’amar.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Succos 5634 First Ma'amar

There is a famous allegory mentioned by Chazal[1] comparing the relationship between the nation of Israel and God to that between a bride and bridegroom. The Sfas Emes elaborates and relates it to Succos. The Exodus is considered the marriage as the pasuk states, “אֲנִי ה' מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם: הַמּוֹצִיא אֶתְכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם .../I am God who sanctifies you, who takes you out of the land of Egypt.” (VaYikra 22:33:34) The Hebrew word for marriage – kidushin – is the same as the word for sanctify. The underlying meaning of both is to become dedicated. A married woman is “dedicated” to her husband in the sense that her marriage permits her to him and prohibits her to all others. In the same sense, when God sanctifies us, He makes us dedicated to Him alone.

A Jewish marriage transaction, though, comprises two parts. The first part is the marriage/kidushin by which the husband makes his wife dedicated to him alone. The second part is the chupah by which he takes her into his house. The canopy – chupah – under which a couple marries, symbolizes the husband’s act of taking his wife into his house. When the nation of Israel left Egypt, God took us to live in huts in the desert, “... בַסֻּכּוֹת הוֹשַׁבְתִּי אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּהוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם .../… I settled the children of Israel in huts when I took them out of the land of Egypt …” (VaYikra 23:43) The Sfas Emes teaches that these huts symbolize the completion of the marriage transaction – the chupah – as it were, between us and God.

That God separated us from among the nations to be dedicated to Him alone causes a certain vulnerability. Separateness draws attention. The huts of the desert symbolize God’s protection over us. We find another pasuk which hints at this as well, “ ... וּלְמִקְנֵהוּ עָשָׂה סֻכֹּת .../… and for his livestock he made huts …” (Breishis 33:17) The word for livestock has the same root as the word for acquisition. The pasuk can therefore be translated as, “… and for His acquisition He made huts …”, implying the nation of Israel whom God “acquired” by taking us out of Egypt and over whom He spread his protective canopy. Along the same lines we say in Ma’ariv, “הַפּוֹרֵס סוּכַּת שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ/He spreads a canopy of peace on us.” The word poreis/spread, also implies a portion (as in אֲַכִילַת פְּרַס/eating a piece.) hinting, as well, that God separated us.

Clearly God chose us to be His nation from among the nations. The pasuk states explicitly, “ ... חֵלֶק ה' עַמּוֹ .../… God’s portion is His people …” (Devarim 32:9) The Sfas Emes asks, though, that since God is the ultimate completeness, why would He choose only a portion? A portion seems to contradict wholeness. Should God not have chosen all the nations?

When we think about this, though, we realize that the question really does not start. The reason is that wherever God reveals Himself, there is completeness. Where does God reveal Himself? Where does He dwell, as it were? The prophet Yeshayah stated, that God dwells specifically with “broken vessels”, “אֶשְׁכּוֹן וְאֶת־דַּכָּא וּשְׁפַל־רוּח/I will dwell with the despondent and lowly of spirit.” (Yeshayah 57:15) These are the righteous whose hearts are broken in their service to God. The Zohar[2] explains that although they are “broken vessels” they are really more complete than any other place. God Himself, chooses to dwell within the righteous and makes them whole. This is a deeper meaning of, “הַפּוֹרֵס סוּכַּת שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ/He spreads a canopy of peace on us.” As we’ve said, poreis/spread, also means a portion. Shalom/Peace has the same root as the word for whole – shalem. This brachah, then, is saying that God separated us from the nations of the world but then protected us with His canopy of peace, making us whole.

It is our duty to spread an awareness of God to the rest of world. God structured the physical world so that there is a spiritual life force inherent in every creation. This spiritual life force, actually a revelation of God in a sense, is a point of completeness within the physical. So too, the nation of Israel is the point of wholeness among all the nations.

This idea relates particularly well to the holiday of Succos. Chazal[3] teach us that Succos is for the nations of the world as well as for us. Seventy cows, representing the seventy nations, were sacrificed. The water libation, unique to Succos, represents the nations of the world as well.[4] The point of this is that Godly abundance comes to the nations through us, the nation of Israel. It is our duty not to keep God, as it were, to ourselves. Rather we are required to request that the kingdom of God spread throughout the Creation. We find a hint to this in Avos (1:3), אַל תִּהְיוּ כַּעֲבָדִים הַמְשַׁמְשִׁים אֶת הָרַב עַל מְנַת לְקַבֵּל פְּרַס/Do not be like servants who serve the master in order to receive a reward.” Rather we should serve God altruistically. The Tanna uses the word pras for reward. As we’ve seen, pras also means a portion. Therefore, the Tanna is hinting that we should not serve God only for ourselves but rather we should seek to spread awareness of Him throughout the world.

Succos, then, is a culmination of the process by which God established the nation of Israel as the point from which completeness and abundance spreads to the rest of the world. It is also the beginning of the process of spreading the abundance to the rest of the world. Succos represents the culmination of the “marriage” between the nation of Israel and God, God’s protection and making us whole. It also represents our spreading an awareness of God and His abundance to the entire world. May we merit being God’s channel.

[1] See Mechilta BaChodesh 3

[2] Zohar 3:90b

[3] Succah 55b

[4] See Gur Aryeh on Rashi, Bamidbar 29:18, remez lenisuch hamayim

Friday, October 10, 2008

VaYeilech 5631 First Ma'amar

... וְאָעִידָה בָּם אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ/… And I will call upon the heavens and the earth to testify about them (i.e. the nation of Israel).” (Devarim 31:28) The heavens and the earth represent the entire Creation. How does the Creation testify? The Chiddushei HaRim explains that the entire Creation is affected by the actions of the nation of Israel. When we do good, the Creation responds positively. When, God forbid, the opposite is the case, the Creation responds accordingly. By its response the Creation testifies regarding our actions. When we think about this we come to the realization that it is actually we who are clarifying the inner workings of the Creation. If the Creation responds to our actions then it is as if we are testifying, through our actions, that God is the force that directs everything.

The concept that we are witnesses to the Godly force that underlies the Creation is an aspect of Shabbos. How so? The Zohar says that Shabbos is called a testimony.[1] When we say the pesukim of VaYechulu we are giving testimony that God created the world. Shabbos is the testimony that we give. Chazal say, in fact, that when we say the pesukim of VaYechulu we become partners with God in the Creation.[2] This is because Shabbos as the culmination of Creation represents the entire Creation.

Although generally, nature hides God, nature hides nothing from those who know without doubt that God is the force underlying the Creation. The Sfas Emes goes further and explains that nature does not have the power to hide God from us. The reason is because the source of our souls is above the physical Creation. Chazal tell us that all the souls of the nation of Israel have a single source which is a very high spiritual place, so to speak. In fact, it is such a high place that there is nothing that stands between God, as it were, and the soul of Israel. This is the meaning of the first pasuk of parshas Nitzavim, “אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם כֻּלְּכֶם לִפְנֵי ה' אֱ-לֹהֵיכֶם .../This day you are all standing before God, your Lord …” (Devarim 29:9) The Sfas Emes explains that standing before God implies that there is nothing separating us from Him. There is nothing between us. The implication is that we are between God and the rest of the Creation, so to speak. Anything that comes to the Creation must necessarily come through us.

Rashi[3] alludes to this idea with the following Midrash: Why does the parsha of Nitzavim directly follow the curses of parshas Tavo? The Midrash answers that after the nation heard the curses they became quite upset and complained, “Who can possibly withstand these?!” Moshe Rabbeinu, upon hearing this consoled them with parshas Nitzavim where it states, “לְמַעַן הָקִים־אֹתְךָ הַיּוֹם לוֹ לְעָם .../In order to establish you this day as a nation unto Him …” (Devarim 29:12) The Midrash explains that the pasuk is comparing the nation to “this day” which exists, is dark at night and light during the day.

The Midrash points out the obvious that the day comprises a period of darkness and a period of light. The Sfas Emes explains that darkness and light come through the nation of Israel. As we explained, this is because the nation of Israel is first in the spiritual structure of the Creation. Because of this, through our actions we have the ability to turn things around.

אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים ... לִפְנֵי ה' .../You are standing … before God …” also suggests prayer. Standing before God connotes acceptance of and submission to Him. We accept God’s yoke and submit to Him by identifying with the nation of Israel whose collective soul is always before God.

[1] Zohar 2:90a

[2] Shabbos 119b

[3] Rashi on Devarim 29:12

Friday, October 03, 2008

Shabbos Teshuvah 5634 Third Ma'amar

In this week’s parsha God tells Moshe Rabbeinu that after he dies the nation will violate God’s covenant. As a result, God’s anger will flare up and calamities will befall us. When this happens we will say, “... הֲלֹא עַל כִּי־אֵין אֱ־לֹהַי בְּקִרְבִּי מְצָאוּנִי הָרָעוֹת הָאֵלֶּה/… Is it not because God is not within me that these evils have befallen me?”

The simple meaning of these words is that we recognize that evils befall us because God is not protecting us. However the Chiddushei HaRim, quoting the Rav of Parshischa teaches that not recognizing that God is within us is itself the sin whose consequence is that calamities befall us.

The Sfas Emes explains that when we believe and recognize that God is within us, the Shechina rests upon us. When there is an indwelling of the Shechina, we are protected from the nations of the world. Moshe Rabbeinu taught us this in parshas Tavo, “וְרָאוּ כָּל־עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ כִּי שֵׁם ה׳ נִקְרָא עָלֶיךָ וְיָרְאוּ מִמֶּךָּ/All the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the Name of God and they will fear you.”

However, when a person’s level of faith in God falls and he does not believe that God is within him, then the Shechina does not dwell in him. He is not protected and calamities befall him. This is the reason for these pesukim. They encourage us and strengthen our faith. As a result of our faith that God dwells within us, God reveals Himself and we are protected from all evil (God forbid.)