Friday, December 25, 2009

Mikeitz - 130 years of hard labor


And the Egyptians came to Pharaoh, and he told them to do as Joseph tells them

Joseph told the Egyptians to be  circumcised. Those 130 years of Jewish subjugation in Egypt correspond to the 130 years that Adam was separated from his wife Eve. For all those years, Adam was  causing the birth of souls that needed correction.  


These souls came back at the time of the Flood and later, at the time Dispersion, but instead of correction they kept repeating the same mistake. Now Joseph saw that they were reborn as Egyptians, and started their correction process. It was these people whom he later moved from city to city, for the same purpose. They are called “people of the sons of Israel.” They lived in their cities, and there behaved as Jews. Jacob, too, was accepting converts, and all these lived as Jews.

It is for these souls that Jews had to go down to Egypt, in order to bring them back. They constituted the mixed multitude.

In the next generation, the sparks of these souls came back as Jews. Now their correction process involved hard labor for 130 years.

Art: Hans Holbein - Adam and Eve. 1517

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vayeshev


The three princes, Prince of Wine, Prince of Bread,  and Prince of Flesh hint to the Supernal Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge.

Wine is connected to Wisdom, and to the study of Truth, as in “...drink the Truth and become drunk on it, dear friends.” Bread, with its multiple processes of preparation, is indicative of the hard work required for understanding.

When the Prince of Wine and the Prince of Bread told their dreams to Yosef, he used the rule that “dreams are fulfilled according to their interpretation” as in “...just as he told us, so it was...” Yosef returned Wisdom to its proper place in the Supernal Man, since Wisdom never harms. However, Understanding required additional improvement, and thus the words “...and the Prince of Bread was hanged” or better translated as “uplifted” hint to the additional improvement needed by Understanding, because of strict judgment found in it.

Art: Eduard Von Grutzner - A Good Drink

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Vayishlach


After Jacob took his family across the river, he came back alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. Jacob came back because he forgot some small vessels. 

The soul of a righteous consists of 248 parts, each part of his soul containing numerous sparks of many other righteous souls. Anything that comes to a righteous in this world comes not only for him, but also for the numerous sparks of other souls that are contained in him. This is why righteous love their possessions. And this is why Jacob came back for the small vessels, for if he did not, it would look as if he does not want them – but instead he needed to show that he loved them too. It was this cup with oil that the Maccabees found on Hanukkah.

Dina was a reincarnation of Eve, both representing the Supernal Kingdom. For this reason Eve was so much desired by the Primeval Snake. In parallel, Dina was abducted by Shechem, a Hivite prince – Hivia meaning snake in Aramaic. Shechem also had in him a spark of Adam the first man, after the Good fell into the kingdom of Evil. This is another reason why Shechem's soul “...cleaved to Dina...”. After Shechem was circumcised, his correction was achieved, the purpose in life completed, and he was killed.

Art: Rembrandt Van Rijn - Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vayetze


Yakov's going away from Beer Sheva is symbolic of later going out of Egypt and receiving the Torah. His encounter with the large stone at the mouth of the well is symbolic of the difficulties that people have in understanding the Truth, and his removal of the stone represents his coming back at the time of the Footsteps (Ikvey) of the Mashiach and resolving all the difficulties. The Stone Tablets in this connection, having the size of 6x6 hand-breadths, with the total size of 36+36=72 represent the secret of “I come to you in the thickness (עב=72) of the smoke.” The wise will understand further.

A matron asked Rabbi Yossi ben Halafta, “For how many days did God make the world?” He replied “For six.” She said, “And what is He doing after that?” He replied “He sits and brings people together.” She said, “I can do that!” She married 300 pairs of slaves, but in the morning there were multiple discords in the new families. What is the meaning of this?

The matron asked, “If God could create the world in six days, surely he can keep maintaining it now and have time to spare. Moreover, how many days (thousands of years) are in the plan?” He answered, “Six thousand years. Each Day is a separate entity, taking care of itself, and Metatron, the Ruler of the World angel, represents them all with the six letters of his name. They can last of 6,000 years. So you are right, God has nothing to do. However, bringing people together is extremely hard.”

When the soul is reborn for the first time, the man's and the woman's souls separate from the same place and easily come back together. But the next times around, all depends on their deeds, and their soulmate may not even be born at the time of either one's reincarnation. Keeping the families together then requires God's intervention at all times. This is the meaning of the verse “...God keeps individuals home...”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Toldot


The Sages said, “Children, life, and sustenance don't depend upon one's merits, but upon one's luck – Mazal.” Mazal, however, is not chance or luck, but rather a spiritual force. In fact, there are two kinds of Mazal: Mazal-8, called Isaac, and Mazal-13, called Rebecca. When the two unite, they represent complete Mazal. There is a strict aspect of Mazal, and the union of Isaac and Rebecca was fruitless. It is this strict Mazal that Isaac overturned with his prayer, and Rebecca became pregnant.

Rebecca came as a reincarnation of Eve. Her children fought in her womb, and Esau, who was a reincarnation of Cain, wanted to break his brother's skull. Rebecca therefore asked “Why am I?”


Rebecca's sons were fighting, just like Eve's sons were fighting. Esau wanted to kill his brother, only this time he started doing this earlier than in his previous life as Cain. This did not seem an improvement of Eve's problem.

She was told by the prophet that her two children will “separate” - that is, they will always fight, one of them drawing all the holiness to himself, and that in the end “...the big one will serve the small one...” This represented precisely the rectification of what Adam had done by mixing the good and evil together.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Chayei Sarah


Sarah represents Understanding, and the Judgments that are found in her represent Intelligence. What does this cryptic statement mean?

The name of Sarah שרה is completely composed of the transformations of the name of God Elohim אלהימ:

ש=300

אלפ=1+30+80=111
74=4+40+30=למד
15=10+5=הי
20=4+6+10=יוד
80=40+40=ממ

300=111+74+15+20+80
300=300

200=ר
1=א
31=30+1=אל
36=5+30+1=אלה
46=10+5+30+1=אלהי
86=40+10+5+30+1=אלהימ

200=1+31+36+46+86
200=200

ה=5=five letters of אלהימ

Earthly Sarah thus represents the Supernal Mother (Ima), while Abraham – the Supernal Father (Aba). The Supernal Mother, which represents Understanding, is divided into two kinds of Understanding, Upper and Lower. The Upper Understanding connects with Upper Wisdom of the Supernal Father, and this is their Kiss, which connects their Spirits together. This Kiss was enough to sustain the world, until Evil was mixed up with Good. The mix is reflected in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, whereas the antidote is the Tree of Life – the study of Truth.

The Supernal Union of the Father and Mother continues with the connection between Lower Understanding and Lower Wisdom, which leads to the birth of the Supernal Man, Zeir Anpin.
 

The practical way to enhance this relationship is to imagine the letter combinations representing the facts described above.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Vayera


The first letters of Vayera form the word Job (Iyov): “Vayera elav Adonai Be'elonei” (and God appeared to Abraham in the Valley). The next words, “Adonai Be'elonei Mamre” (God in the Valley of Mamre) give “Yabam” - Levirate marriage. What is this a hint to?

Terach, the father of Abraham, was later reincarnated as Job. Terach's father married a “Yebama,” a woman destined by levirate marriage to someone else, and Terach was born from a passion that had a prohibition involved. This is reflected in his name, Terach, for “Reticha” means “boiling.”

Because of this, Abraham's first son had to be Ishmael, who was also blemished in his behavior, and only after that Abraham had Isaac as a son.


Abraham sits at the door of the Gehinnom (Purgatory) and saves those that deserve to be saved. This is hinted at by the phrase "...he sat at the door in the heat of the day...".


On his going out of Gehinnom, Abraham took with him his father Terach, so that Terach would be reincarnated as Job. This is why the last words of Job are: “Therefore, I renounce my words and relent, for I am but dust and ashes,” meaning “I relent because of that one who called himself dust and ashes – Abraham.”

Later on Abraham was told that his father already started his reincarnation, “...and Abraham was told that...Milcah has given birth to ...Uz...”, and Uz is another name of Job, who was from the land of Uz.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lech-Lecha


The Righteous, through their study of wisdom and through good deeds, cause Supernal Union between the Cosmic Man, called Zeir Anpin (Small Face) and the Cosmic Woman, called Nukva (Female). The union produces rejoicing in the spiritual worlds and leads to the creation of souls. Was this union possible before the Torah, specifically, in the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
 

Unlike spiritual entities which never change, such as Truth, Beauty, and Righteousness, the Supernal Man undergoes transformations. Until the time of Abraham, his body was fully developed, but not his mind. Since the cause of the Union is the Mind, the Union could not take place.

That is why God told Abraham, “Lech-Lecha” - go to the Land of Israel, the land of Love, where you will arouse Love for the purpose of the Union. “...And I will make you into a great person...” speaks about the Cosmic Man, who will acquire the three mental capacities: Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge.

The name of Abraham is a hint that the Union started in his days. The letters A, B, R of Abraham form “Ever”, or the member. The letter M at the end of the word, which looks like a closed circle, hints at the connection between the Foundation (Ever) and the Female, represented by the closed letter Mem.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Noah


Before Adam sinned, he was a completely spiritual, rather than a physical, being. His garment consisted of light, and he encompassed all worlds. After he sinned, his size was diminished, and his body became physical. The soul of Adam included many souls that were to come after him. In blemishing his soul, he blemished all of these souls.

After Adam separated from Eve for 130 years, he was visited by she-demons. The generation of the Flood consisted of souls that were created by Adam from his unions with the she-demons. These souls needed to correct the blemish of the way they came to earth, and they all came back at the time of the flood. However, instead of correcting themselves, they ruined themselves even further, and thus the Flood was needed to erase their bodies and the Earth three hand-breadths deep.

While Adam was commanded to be a vegetarian, Noach and subsequent generations after him were allowed to eat meat. Nevertheless, since every living creature was created for a purpose, it is forbidden to kill it without a need.

The Arizal himself was careful not to kill any living creature, however small or primitive, such as mosquitoes, fleas, and flies, even if they caused him pain. In fact, those flees that annoy a man are for his correction and benefit, and one will do good not to kill them.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

B'Reishit


The word “B'Reishit” (In the beginning) – the first word of the Torah - is a hint that the world was created in the month of Tishrei. B'Reishit and B'Tishrei are composed of the same Hebrew letters.

It is also a hint to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the author of the Kabbalah -  Zohar – because the letters of his name are included in the word “B'Reishit.”

In starting with the second letter of the alphabet, Bet, and not the first letter, Aleph, the Torah tells us that it is coming from the world second in closeness to God, “Briah,” or the World of Creation, and not the first in closeness, “Atzilut,” which starts with Aleph. That is why the second word of the Torah is “Bara” - Created.

The first letter Beit together with the last letter of the Torah, Lamed, is a hint to 32 (Bet=2, Lamed=30) paths of wisdom, hidden mysterious ways, different for each individual, by which wisdom can be acquired.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

V'Zot HaBrachah

Giving the Torah, God “...came with the myriads of the holy angels...”  - the word “came,” however, is in Aramaic. The reason for using Aramaic is to hide from the holy angels, so that they would not accuse the Jews and thus prevent the giving of the Torah.

By the same token, when God “...appeared to Abraham...”,  the word “appeared” is in Aramaic. The reason for using Aramaic is that Abraham was not yet circumcised, and God wanted to conceal His appearance to Abraham from angels, so that they would not accuse him.

So too, in Isaiah, when God calls to repentance, saying “...Return, and return again...” - this phrase is in Aramaic. The repentant gets forgiveness from the hidden place under the throne of God, and the Aramaic hides this, so that the angels do not prevent his acceptance.