Section: Daas Torah   Category: Rav Shimshon
Rav Shimshon Pincus - Why Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai?
In the piyut Bar Yochai that we sing on Lag BaOmer we say “Naaseh Adam Ne’emar Bavurecha”; when Hashem said, “let’s make Man” it referred to Rebbi Shimon.  Why him out of all people?  Was his great Rebbe Rebbi Akiva not as great as his Talmid?  What about all those before him?  Hillel, Yirmiyahu, Dovid, Moshe?  Why is there a personality cult around Rebbi Shimon that we do not find among any other great Gedolim?  Furthermore asks Rav Shimshon Pincus, why do we call Rebbi Shimon “Adam” this refers to a person’s physical and material side from the word “Adama” earth, as opposed to his spiritual side.  The word “Ish” is considered the highest accolade for a human.

Rav Shimshon explains that the miracle of the creation of man was the marvel of mixing two polar opposites that cannot, through any logic or explanation, go together; the Neshama and the Body.  A body cannot hold within it a Neshama.  It is simply not possible.  Can fire be stored in water?  Can air be stored in a punctured vessel?  The Neshama is pure holiness and the body is pure materialism by what means can these specks of dirt trap this tremendous spiritual element within it?  This is the “Peleh” of Hashem’s bri’a, the wonder of creation.  This is the meaning in the end of the Bracha of Asher Yatzar  “U’Mafli Laasos”, Hashem has made a marvel creating a body that can contain a Neshama.

This combination is called “Adam”.  The letters Dalet and Men spell the word “Dam”, blood.  It is our physical side.  The letter Aleph, spelled Aleph, Lamed, Pey spells the word “Peleh” or wonder.   A man is put on this world to work out this dichotomy and use his Neshama to tame his body and transform it into a Holy vessel.  In this epic battle the losers end up contaminating their Neshamos and living their lives as “Dam” constantly catering to their material callings.  The winners use their Neshama to cleanse their body and transform it into a physical body that is pure and holy, doing only the calling of its creator.

The first tool to enable this process is the Torah.  This is the blueprint to connect ourselves to Shamayim.  The torah provides us a way to purify ourselves and make ourselves “Adam”.  Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai revealed to us the “Penimiyus” the inside of the torah, it’s heart and soul.  The Zohar contains the secrets of the Torah enabling us to reach incredible levels of Kedusha far beyond what we can accomplish by just following the rules of the Torah on a superficial level.  He takes us inside the Torah’s “Kishkes” allowing us to soar to unprecedented heights.

The Zohar was hidden from the masses for many generations.  It is written that b’zchus the Zohar Moshiach will come.  We were promised that in the end of the days there will be a special revelation and ability for everyone who wants to learn these Sodos, secrets of the Torah to successfully absorb them.  In these days immediately preceding the coming of Moshiach the Tumah in the world will also reach unprecedented heights.  Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai with the Zohar is the one who can take these two ends of the spectrum and tie them together to serve Hashem.  More so than any other human being in the history of the world this is what Hashem had in mind when he created man.  By grabbing on to Rebbi Shimon even in these trying times, we can make ourselves into the quintessential A-Dam. (see Sichos Rebbi Shimshon - "Na'aseh Adam Neemar Bavurecha")