Leviah, Transforming Anger Into Clarity

‘ומפני מה התחיל התורה בב
Sefer HaBahir, verse 3 excerpt

Traditional translation: “Why does the Torah begin with the letter beit?”

Liorah’s translation: “Particularly focusing, ‘more than’ my attention (with clarity), which develops power and ability in its appointed time, to explore (ideas), arrange (the ideas) and cover a focused point (topic) …”

I wrote in my previous entry regarding hitbonenut:

The hebrew word ומפני is traditionally translated here as part of the “why does”? From the word’s 2-gate פנ, is derived 2 roots פנה and פנן. Both of these roots can be considered equal roots from which the word ומפני itself is derived. פנה means “turn to and focus attention”, “readying for a purpose”, “leader”, “face”, “hostility”, “expression”, “interior” and “inside”. פנן means “clarify”. The prefix ו can mean “particularly”. The מ prefix can mean “more than”.

Considering the many meanings in the root of the word ומפני, we can see that to achieve the clarity and quality of kavanah being brought down here in verse 3, one must must first confront and deal with the “more than hostility” – that is, the Divine Dark Anger and hatred (as did Tzipporah, Shemot 4:24-26) – that inhabits the hidden recesses of his or her own soul. Only by successfully doing this can one legitimately develop the power of clear kavanah.


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