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King David asked the question “Who am I?” The Bible describes him as “reddish with beautiful eyes and goodly appearance.”

Each of us has a soul-root. Ultimately, order we all descend from Adam, and as such we each are rooted in one of his (spiritual) limbs. The soul of Adam is the origin of the middle line of the Tree of Life. His first two sons, Cain and Abel, represent the two primary branches of his soul, the left branch and the right branch, respectively. Later in history, the two twins, Esau (from the root of Cain) and Jacob (from the root of Abel), correspond to the archetypal souls of the left and the right.

The word “reddish” (??????) appears only twice in the Bible, first describing Esau at birth (“The first one came out reddish”; he was later named Edom, “red one”) and thereafter describing David, when he first appears in the Biblical narration of his anointment by the prophet Samuel.

The sages relate that when Samuel first saw the reddish youth brought before him, he was taken aback in fear lest he resemble Esau, a shedder of blood. But God told him, albeit he is reddish he will only shed blood in war to protect the Jewish People and sanctify the Name of God – indeed he is reddish (for a king must possess an affinity to red, the color of might, embodied in the blood) but with (not and, as the normal syntax of the phrase would suggest) beautiful eyes, i.e., with a beautiful, Torah-correct sense of judgment (based upon the teachings of the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court of Israel, the “eyes” of the congregation).

The gematria of “reddish” (??????) is equal to that of the question “Who am I” (?? ???, 111). Also, the first three letters of the word (its grammatical root) spell Adam, ???, the first man and all-inclusive soul-root of mankind. In Kabbalah, the three letters of Adam stand for Adam David Moshiach.

David knew that he was reddish and asked himself the question “Who am I?” Am I (from) Esau, God forbid?! The story of his life is the answer to his question. God sent you to the world in order to rectify and elevate the Divine sparks trapped in the soul-root of Esau. But from the outset there is a great, essential difference between him and you. He “lives by the sword.” He enjoys killing. But not you! You use your innate attribute of might (your innate reddishness) only to do justice and bring peace. You long for the day that the swords will be beaten into plowshares. You are the perfect blend (the middle – “… and goodly appearance”) of left (“reddish”) and right (“… with beautiful eyes”). That’s who you are.

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