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The significance of the "Feast of Moshiach"


What is the spiritual significance of the "Feast of Moshiach" with Leviathan and Shor Habar?


The Leviathan and the Shor Habar represent two types of divine service.

Our sages in the Talmud describe an encounter between the Leviathan and the Shor Habar, the "wild ox." The wild ox will gore the Leviathan with its horns, and the Leviathan will slaughter the wild ox with its fins. Although this passage in the Talmud has deep symbolic meaning, Maharsha writes in his commentary on the Talmud that the Feast of Moshiach will also take place literally.

The Leviathan and the Shor Habar (wild ox) symbolize two types of divine service. The Leviathan, which lives in the sea, represents spirituality, which is hidden. There are righteous people whose main form of divine service is to separate themselves from this world in order to engage in strictly spiritual pursuits.

The "wild ox" which lives on land, represents the physical realm. There are righteous people who struggle to infuse the physical with holiness. The term "bar," which literally means "wild," shares a root with the Hebrew word "Birur" - refinement. The task of these righteous people is to refine the physicality of the world.

The righteous symbolized by the Leviathan reach superior levels of spirituality. However, the second type, who purify the physical, complete the purpose of creation, which is to refine the physical world.

When the redemption will come, the two classes of tzadikim will influence one another, and each will absorb the special qualities of the other.  In spiritual terms, "slaughter" means to elevate. This is the spiritual meaning of the mutual "slaughter" of the Leviathan and wild ox: Each type will elevate the other to its own stature. Thus, through the combined efforts of the two types of tzadikim, the highest levels of spirituality will be drawn down into the physical world.



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