Lesson 8 Excerpt from Basic Essence Journey Course

Song of Songs 5:13

His cheeks are like beds of spices, banks of perfume, his lips are like lilies.

שיר השרים ה:יג

לְחָיָו כַּעֲרוּגַת הַבֹּשֶׂם מִגְדְּלוֹת מֶרְקָחִים שִׂפְתוֹתָיו שׁוֹשַׁנִּים נֹטְפוֹת מוֹר עֹבֵר:

BT Shabbat 88b

Rabbi Yehoshuah ben Levi said: What does it mean:  “His cheeks are beds of spices?” (Song of Songs 5:13) With every single utterance that came from the mouth of the Holy Blessed One, the whole world was filled with [the fragrance of] spices. And since the first utterance filled it, where did the second utterance go? The Holy Blessed One took the wind from God’s storehouse and brought around each [fragrance], one by one, as it is stated: “His lips are like lilies. They drip flowing myrrh.” (ibid.) Do not read “shoshanim

A Sand Lily (Pancratium maritimum) in Netanya


, rather “sheshonim” [repeat].

תלמוד בבלי שבת פח ב

ואמר רבי יהושע בן לוי: מאי דכתיב לחיו כערוגת הבשם – כל דבור ודבור שיצא מפי הקדוש ברוך הוא נתמלא כל העולם כולו בשמים. וכיון שמדיבור ראשון נתמלא, – דיבור שני להיכן הלך? – הוציא הקדוש ברוך הוא הרוח מאוצרותיו, והיה מעביר ראשון ראשון, שנאמר שפתותיו שושנים נוטפות מור עבר, אל תקרי שושנים אלא ששונים.

Sefat Emet on Bemidbar / Shavuot

In any case, every creature can sense the frangrance of Torah, just like in: “the whole world was filled with [the fragrance of] spices” (BT Shabbat 88b). This means that even those who were unable to receive the core of Torah could absorb its good fragrance, as is the case with “one who enters a spice store” [with many spices and is required to say the blessing on smelling spice (Shulhan Arukh OH 217:1)]. So too, when the Holy Blessed One descended to give Torah to Israel, everyone received the fragrance of Torah.