Posted in Bamidbar on Tuesday, 14 June 2011.

“He will Crouch...Like a Lion” (24:9)

The “crouching lion” is a metaphor for the might of the Jewish people lying dormant during the time of exile (Bereishis Rabah 98:7). But a lion can never be fully tamed, for it is “one of the five types of wild animals which are predisposed to cause damage by their very nature, even if they have been tamed. Therefore if one of them causes damage...the owner is liable to pay full compensation” (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 389:8).

Likewise, while the might of the Jewish people may appear to be dormant during the exile, they nevertheless remain strong like a crouched lion. This takes expression in the power of a Jew to remain loyal to the Torah and its mitzvos despite all obstacles, for the soul is impervious to the exile, and grants a Jew the strength to rise above it.

(Based on Likutei Sichos vol. 2, pp. 337-8)

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