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Mouth to Mouth

Both Purim and Pesach commemorate the redemption of the Jewish People. Both begin with the letter pei (?), try which means “mouth.”

Informing Miriam and Aaron of the unique level of their brother Moses’ prophecy, God says: “I speak to him mouth to mouth.” The phrase “mouth to mouth” alludes to the two redemptions of Purim and Pesach.

The first redemption, chronologically, the redemption from Egypt (commemorated by the festival of Pesach) was through Moses himself. The second redemption, the redemption of Purim from the decree of Haman to annihilate the Jewish People, God forbid, was through Mordechai, the primary reincarnation of Moses in the Bible.

There are several interpretations as to the literal meaning of “mouth to mouth” in reference to the prophecy of Moses:

  1. “Mouth to mouth” means that God communicated with Moses directly, not through the means of an intermediate (an angel). This interpretation corresponds to the sefirah of wisdom.
  2. “Mouth to mouth” means that God’s word/instruction to Moses was explicit, not implicit or allegorical. This interpretation corresponds to the sefirah of understanding.
  3. “Mouth to mouth” means that Moses received his prophecy fully awake, in full control of all his natural senses. This interpretation corresponds to the sefirah of knowledge.
  4. “Mouth to mouth” means that Moses was allowed to examine the contents of God’s house “from end to end” (the previous verse concludes, “in all My house he is trustworthy”). The idiom “mouth to mouth” appears several times in the Bible in the sense of “from end to end.” This interpretation corresponds to the sefirah of beauty.
  5. “Mouth to mouth” means that God healed Moses’ mouth (prior to the Giving of the Torah his speech had been “heavy”) by the power of His own mouth, as it were. This interpretation corresponds to the sefirah of kingdom.

All of these readings relate to the redemptions of Purim and Pesach. Redemption is a direct/explicit/awake (corresponding to the three intellectual faculties of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge) revelation of God to Israel. The Jewish years begins with Nisan, the month of Pesach, and ends with Adar, the month of Purim – “from end to end” (and “the end is wedged into the beginning,” Adar into Nisan). Redemption heals the dumb, giving us the freedom to fully and clearly express the innermost feelings of our hearts.

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