The Kedushas Levi explains (Shemos, Parshas Bo 14) that if the Jewish people sunk one more rung in impurity, they would have been beyond redemption:

‎When the Jewish people left Egypt in great haste, ‎בחפזון‎, as stated by the Torah, (Deuteronomy 16,3) they ‎were not in the frame of mind to appreciate such lofty ‎concepts, seeing that according to all our sources they ‎had descended to the 49th level of impurity, and if they ‎had descended one more rung they would have been ‎beyond redemption. (emphasis mine)

The Shvilei Pinches (Parshas Vayechi, 5774) explains that, and quotes the Rabbi of Ruzhin, that only G-d Himself could rescue someone who descended to the 50th level of impurity.

So, according to this: how can it be understoond that if the Jewish people would have been in Mitzrayim one second extra, they would have not been able to be redeemed, because they sunk to the 50th level of tumah (impurity)? Sure, Moshe Rabbeinu would not have been able to rescue them, as Moshe Rabbeinu got to the 49th level of kedusha, but G-d (50th level) would have been able to rescue them. So how to reconcile this and to explain this?

  • That's a very loose translation of the Kedushas Levi. The original just says והנה הישראל היו במצרים בנו"ן שערי וכו', והיה להם תענוג מדברים מאוסים.
    – shmosel
    Commented Mar 27 at 21:37
  • @shmosel not my translation, that of Sefaria. But does it change the matter?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Mar 27 at 21:43
  • It does not change the matter in the sense that what the translator has added is still a legitimate point of the Arizal, that they would not have been able to leave Mitzrayim if they had hit the 50th level of tuma ch'v. There is an answer to this, but worth pointing out that in theory the question might just be answered by answering "why did Hashem need Moshe to take the Jews out of Egypt, why didn't He do it Himself?"
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Mar 27 at 21:48
  • @RabbiKaii Where does the Arizal say that?
    – shmosel
    Commented Mar 27 at 21:53
  • @shmosel in the Shvilei Pinches attached, p3
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Mar 27 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


A question should be asked why did Hashem redeem the Jewish people through a messenger, Moshe, rather than doing it Himself, as that would be the full answer to this. A few points raised in the Shvilei Pinches that seem relevant (sources there):

  1. The 50th gate of Tumah can only be escaped by someone who has achieved the 50th gate of Kedusha.
  2. Nobody is allowed (or able) to achieve the 50th gate of Kedusha, because one's soul would leave their body.
  3. Only Moshiach will abolish the 50th gate. Even if Hashem could do it Himself, He won't because that's not His plan - it's our job to build Him a holy world and doing it Himself defeats that purpose.
  4. In order for Shimshon to defeat the stronghold of the 50th gate in the Pelishtim's temple, he had to lose his free will, and have his eyes gouged out, and he still died.
  5. Hashem is the only one who can clarify and collect the sparks from the 50th gate, at least, at the time of the Exodus.

There is also the point made by the Ohr Hachaim on Shemot 3:8 that adds and ties the above together that in order for us to fix the 50th gate of Binah, and destroy the 50th gate of Tumah, we need Torah, and we didn't have that at the time of the Exodus.

  • does not 2 contradict 3,4? unless acheivment & escapement is at moment of death? ben yoseph?
    – user32609
    Commented Mar 29 at 3:17
  • Thansk reb Kaii. @Eliezer does seem to have some valid points. And what you wrote at the beginning, yes, that would be exactly what would answer the question. Why did Hashem redeem us through a human being and what if we had sunked to the 50th level?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Mar 29 at 16:59
  • I suggest @eliezer and Shmuel, read the full Shvilei Pinches
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Mar 29 at 17:00
  • 1) So, according to the Shvilei Pinches: This passuk alludes to the time of the geulah, when HKB”H himself will descend to His garden; תוערל“ ”םינשוש טוקללו םינגב — to graze in the gardens of exile and gather up roses — to gather up the neshamos that fell deep into the realm of the klipos. The question why, if they had sunken to the 50th level in Mitzrayim and the redemption through Moshe wasn't possible anymore, G-d could not redeem them, because "for no human can see My face and live" - is this true? Is this why they needed to come out of Mitzrayim at that point?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Mar 30 at 19:46
  • 1
    bn I will start a chat next week and we will probe these excellent questions Reb @shmuel! shavua tov
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 1 at 21:07

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