What To Do About The Erev Rav [#1962]


One of the most difficult issues seems to be that the “Erev Rav” can really be Jews. What can be done about this, especially since there is a big “price” to pay, physically and spiritually?


The word “erev” (evening) is from the word taaruvos (mixture), and in terms of halachah, we find that there are things which can be nullified within a mixture: a dry substance within a dry substance, a moist substance within a moist substance, anything which gives taste, anything which can become permitted, etc. This is a mixture which is mikreh/“happenstance” which is on a level of a “branch” of mixture [and therefore it can be sorted]. But the very root concept of mixtures is represented by “Erev Rav”, which means “taaruvos rabah”, “a great mixture”, and it cannot be sorted like other mixtures. For it is the very root of all mixtures. The root of this is Amalek, who “met” the Jewish people in the desert – “met” is from the word mikreh, happenstance. They are a mikreh that is connected with the very irreparable mixture.

The word “erev” means “evening”, and Hashem separated the day from the evening, therefore the day and the evening exist independently. But there is also a point where day meets the evening: the twilight. There is also a point where evening meets day: dawn. But the “Erev Rav” is like an evening mixed with the day, meaning that it obscures the light of the day. In order to sort out this “mikreh”, this “happenstance” which is so connected to the root of all mixtures, a great spiritual light is needed, and it would have to be a light which is above the possibility of mixture. Such a light would have the power to sort out the mikreh\happenstance. This light is the “light of Mashiach”, and it is the illumination of the Torah which is above “the mixture of light and darkness that serve together”.

These are essentially the inner workings behind the final generations, where there are equally warring forces of good and evil against each other. On the side of evil is the power of the “Erev Rav”, and on the side of good is the “light of Mashiach”, a pure light which is above all mixture (rooted in the illumination of Torah). That is why those who learn Torah are able to access a light of clarity: clarity of the words of the Torah. The external part of this – the “vessel” – is through the means of technology that gather together all of the sefarim that we have, into one place. The inner part of this – the “light” – is that it has become easier to reach a “world of clarity” within every sugya.

Therefore, the main sorting process of the Erev Rav takes place through involvement in Torah study. For it is written in the name of the Arizal that “daas” [knowledge of Torah] has the same gematria (numerical value) as the words “Erev Rav” – and therefore, the main way to sort the Erev Rav is through daas, to clarify very well each sugya. This is the main part of sorting out the Erev Rav.

However, in order to sort the Erev Rav at the root, and in order to reveal this clarity in our world of action, one needs the illumination of mesirus nefesh (self-sacrifice) which penetrates to the very essence of the neshamah (Divine soul), of which it is said, “My G-d, the soul You have to me is pure”, meaning that the neshamah is completely pure and it contains no mixtures. One who does this becomes attached with the “illumination of Moshiach” that is available in the world, and with the “illumination of Moshiach” that is in the soul. This is how one can have a part in sorting out the Erev Rav – which is the main avodah of the final generation.