Na’aseh v’Nishma

שנאמר ומלא ברכת ב’ ים ודרום ירשה
Sefer HaBahir, verse 3 excerpt

Traditional interpretation: “Because it is written (Devarim 33:23): The filling is G-d’s blessing possessing the Sea and the South.”

The 3 words meaning “possessing the sea and the south” – ים ודרום ירשה – have a combined gematria of 821, the same gematria as the word והשקית meaning “and you shall give her to drink” as found in Bamidbar 20:8.

The verse in Bamidbar which contains the word והשקית is speaking to the incident where Moshe alone produced “water from the rock” by striking it. But, Hashem had commanded that Moshe and Aaron do this together. Herein lies the failure – Moshe acted without the participation of Aaron in the actual drawing of water from the rock. Consequently, the waters brought forth quarreling and strife, as opposed to bringing forth waters of chasidim (generally of the south), specifically those of chasdei David hane’emanim.

The word for rock in Bamidbar is from the root סלע which means an “elevated rock”. What is an “elevated rock”? It is a state of being “humanly” silent. In other words, it is a human being unable to express him or herself as an Image of the Divine.

Tradition teaches that there are 4 “states of being“: sela, eitz, tzvi, ben-adam.

Domem, Nefesh, Chai, Medaber
Silent, Living, Animated, Speaking
a rock, a tree, a deer, a human being

Consequently, Moshe and Aaron (the north-left and south-right powers) were to act in harmony (from the middle column) to “give her” (the congregation and its animals) water to drink. In other words, had they done this correctly, the “rocks” (those unable to express themselves) would have been “opened” and placed upon the way to becoming “speaking spirits” (medaberim) in a spiritually expressive sense. The paths (netivot) to individuation and actualizating uniqueness while maintaining achdut would have been revealed and opened to all.

Thus, the 3 words of this phrase – ים ודרום ירשה – are referring to “opening souls to Divine expression”.

A woman by design is “of the north”. To become opened properly she must become elevated to “possess the sea and the south”. In other words, she must come to the position of malchut in atzilut, which unifies the gevurot and chasidim in the place where no evil exists.

I once wrote a poem called “Shmuel” (G-d hears and understands) about the caveman “David”, who by tapping and banging on the rock all around with two sticks, produced coherent “human” speech from a cavewoman (me). It was the first human speech heard on the face on the earth. And when the first words flew through, we were both struck dumb! (with wonder at the idea of communicating and understanding one another, of course) And of course, I knew he was thinking, “are you talking to me?” It was a really cool dream.

And the first human words uttered were …

what! are you trying to do?

Puts a whole new spin to the words – na’aseh v’nishma – “we will do and understand”, doesn’t it?


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