900.20b Evil and Hester (pps.142-143)
hard cover page 142
Evil and Hester are interlinked. The Midrash notes:
As long as the seed of Amalek exists in the world, it is as though a cover hides the face of the Divine.
Moses Hayyim Luzzatto directly interlinks kabbalistic Divine contraction (tsimtsum) and evil, although from a different perspective than ours. As Scholem notes in commenting on this point, “The metaphysical root of evil is inherent in the very act of privation that the act of zimzum [tsim-tsum] involves.” 555
But is the contracted Divine consciousness impervious to the travail of Israel?
There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush: he [Moses] looked, and there was the bush burning with fire-yet the bush was not consumed.
Among the several Midrashim on the burning bush which Nehama Leibowitz cites is the following:
Don’t you feel that I suffer anguish when Israel does? Know, therefore, from the character of the place from which I am speaking to you, out of the thornbush, that I, as it were, share their suffering. 556
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554 See Pesikta deRav Kahana, Zochor: Tanhuma (Buber) Ki Etze 18; Tanhuma, Ki Tetze 11; Midrash Hagodol, Exodus 17:16. As cited in Luban. “The Kaddish,” p. 207, 555. See Encyclopaedia Judaica. S.V. “Kabbalah,” vol. 10, col. 594.
556 Shemot Rabbah 2:7.
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