In the early days of the stage of Pekidah, there was a strong sense of nationalism; personal sacrifice to return to the Land and rebuild it, to erect the world that had been destroyed. In truth, these feelings were – at their root – awesomely elevated, for the flowed forth from the future stages of the unfolding redemption. Indeed, the nature of these emotions aligns exactly with how the Ramchal explains the mystery of Pekidah. The mystery of Pekidah is a spiritual energy that shines into our souls, but without any revelation within the layer of perceptibility. This energy is rooted in the secret of “binyan haguf”, the construction of the physical structure. Therefore, all emotions and desires revolved around the desire to develop a national presence, an aspect of the externality of the redemption.

Now, because this light shone within their souls but was not perceived, there was a chasm between the inner root of these desires and emotions and their actual revelation within the realm of human perception and recognition. Therefore, even though the inner root was completely holy, flowing forth from Hashem’s recalling His nation, it became externally enclothed within the minds of people and their interpretations, as we have mentioned above, and was therefore riddled with blemishes and twisted perspectives.

The inner point of these feelings which brought the Jewish nation to a state of an elevated inspiration and lofty awakening of unity which was harnessed for the development of the Land – this was truly a point of elevated holiness. However, it was faint; concealed in a hidden place, covered over and hidden away in the inner recesses of the soul, and did not become manifest with a revealed clarity for people to recognize that all of this was a holy redemption for the rebuilding of am Yisrael in their Land with holiness and purity, with renewed connection to their forefathers, the root from which they had derived.

This concept, that every stage of the redemption is rooted in a point that is incredible holy is referred to by the Ramchal as the mystery of the root of Zechirah that appears even before the stage of Pekidah. For, in truth, even though in the revealed world, Pekidah precedes Zechirah – the mystery of the rectification of the physical before the rectification of the spiritual, even so, the elevated root of Zechirah begins to glow first. It is specifically from the power of this illumination that the stage of Pekidah awakens to rectify the “body”. In the words of the Ramchal (ibid):

In truth, with a desire will arise before the Singular Ruler to redeem the Shechinah and am Yisrael, an energy will go forth from before Him and descend throughout the levels, proceeding from level to level. In truth, the first place where this power will appear and flourish, demonstrating its power and strength, will be the two great and elevated lights to which are attributed all processes of this world and from which all processes come to light… which stand at the apex of the world, and the numerical value of their names… equal that of the word “Zachor”. About them, the verse states, “And Hashem remembered (vayizkor) His covenant” (Shemos 2:24). It emerges that when the capacities of these lights are entirely revealed, the stage of Zechirah will appear, but this is preceded by the stage of Pekidah. But in truth, Pekidah is first only below, but not above. For above, Zechirah manifests first, and from it, Pekidah emerges.

The Ramchal explains that while, in the realm of revelation, Pekidah comes before Zechirah, in their supernal source, it is just the opposite. The secret of this concept is that, in truth, “the final action is first in thought.” The ultimate objective of the physical development of am Yisrael within their Land is not merely for the purpose of the “body”, but rather for the appearance of the “soul” within it. Without the revelation of this holiness, there is no value to the development of physical element at all. For the foundation of am Yisrael’s life-force is nothing other than holiness, and without it, we have no life – not even in the realm of physicality.

Therefore, the foundation and source for the entire process of redemption is Zechirah, in its awesome and supernal source. It alone is what abides within the interiority of each stage of the redemption – first in the form of Pekidah, and then afterwards in the revelation of Zechirah in the realm of actuality.

This model is alluded to within the redemption from Mitzrayim, which began at Hashem’s revelation to Moshe on Har Chorev, the place of the Torah. It was only from this that the Pekidah came – the secret of yetziyas Mitzrayim, and the process then culminated when am Yisrael received the Torah in actuality, the mystery of the revelation of Zechirah.[1]

[1] This concept is also alluded to in the mystery of Yehudah descending from his brothers to father Peretz and Zarach, the mystery of the light of Moshiach Ben David – the aspect of Zechirah, before the episode of “And Yosef was taken down to Egypt” which outlines the process of Moshiach Ben Yosef – the aspect of Pekidah. Then, in actuality, Yehudah began to manifest his process in Mitzrayim after Yosef, “Yehuda was sent before him to Yosef”, as is discussed in the seforim hakedoshim. For more on this topic, see Maamrei HaRaayah, p. 309.

Rav Reuven Sasson
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