Friday, December 31, 2010

VaEra – The Source of Prophesy

God spoke to Moses and said him, 'Now you will begin to see what I will do to Pharaoh.“

In order to receive prophecy, one needs to engage in contemplative meditation and to become a good and righteous person. There were schools of prophecy in Israel, and there has been a total of one-and-a-half million of prophets. Only the prophecies of the 24 prophets that were relevant to all times became canonized in the Writings.

When prophecy does come to a person, it comes from the “sapphire brick” under the feet of God. The Throne of Glory was seen as made of sapphire. The sapphire is blue, and it may be that they saw a vision of the sky as being below God. This stone is related to wisdom, and the Hebrew word sappir is related to sefer, a book. Some say that this 'sapphire' is like a 'third eye,' through which mystical vision is attained, and indeed, this third eye is associated with a sapphire blue color. It involves meditating on a single point and complete quietness of mind.

However, this is not the ultimate prophecy, since another name of the sapphire is “Glass that is not completely transparent.” The prophecy of Moses was from a higher world of Beriyah, the Word of Creation. The Sages say about Moses that he deserved to get Understanding, which is connected to the World of Beriyah, and to the Holy of Holies in the Temple.

The Torah phrase above hints to the different levels of God's communication with Moses. “God spoke to Moses” - Understanding. “And He said to him” - hints to the secrets of the highest Sefirah of Crown, or Will.

Art: John Singer Sargent - Blue Gentians

Monday, December 27, 2010

Shemot - Going Down to Egypt as a Soul Going Down into the World

These are the names of Israel's sons coming to Egypt with Jacob, each man came with his house.”

There are seventy ways to learn the Torah, the four most well known being "simple meaning," "hint," "moral lesson," and "secret." Here we have learning by the way of "hint." The story of the sons of Jacob going down to Egypt is a hint to the story of a baby who is still in his mother's tummy, limited by its walls. The word Egypt, Mitzraim, literally means “borders,” or “limits.”

Just as a body has 248 main members and 365 connecting tissues, the same are present in the soul itself, and they represent various strengths of the soul, which is going down into the world with its limitations.

“With Jacob” means that the strengths of the soul come into the body while it is yet unborn, and
"with Jacob" means "with the Good Inclination." "Coming" (and not "came") means that all the time that a man grows and develops, his souls keeps coming to him. Even though a man is holy, it is God who makes him holy. This is hinted to by the phrase “There is no one as holy as God, and there is nobody but Him.” Thus the strengths of the soul keeps coming to the baby as it develops, until he is born, when he becomes “man came with his house.”

And then “A new king who did not know of Joseph came into power over Egypt.” That is the Evil Inclination, an old and stupid king “over Egypt” - that is, while still unborn and limited by the tummy. “Who did not know of Joseph” means that he did not know God. Then the new stupid king says to his people – who represent the forces of impurity - “Look at the Children of Israel” - who represent the strengths of the soul - “They are stronger than us!” What does he do? He says, “Let's build cities” - body, and the name of one city is “Pithom” - “Pi tehom” - a mouth without end to its desires. The name of the other city is “Ramses” - “Ra” - bad, “Mses” - desires.

However, “the more they oppressed them, the more they grew” - just as man is given more desires that serve the Evil Inclination, at the same time he is supplied with more soul, allowing him to reach ever higher spiritual potential.

Art: Salomon de Bray - Joseph Receives His Father and Brothers in Egypt

Friday, December 17, 2010

Vayechi - The Good Years of Jacob

"And Jacob lived in Egypt for 17 years..."

Jacob was a reincarnation of Adam. Adam was created on a Friday, sinned the same day, and was exiled from Gan Eden together with Eve. He then separated from his wife for 130 years, and these are his bad years, until the wives of Lemech told him to reunite with Eve - when he was trying to convince them to reunite with their husband Lemech.

These are the first 130 years of Jacob's life. When Jacob came to Egypt and met Pharaoh, he said that he was 130, and that his years were short and bad. That is what Jacob meant, that they corresponded to the 130 bad years of Adam.

Having fixed, through his life, the bad years of Adam, Jacob now had his own life, as the Torah says, "And he lived." These years were his good years. The Gematria of "tov" - good - is 17.

There is another hint to this relationship in the words of Lavan, when he said, "Good if I give her to you (Jacob), rather than to another man (Esau)." The two sisters whom Jacob married are the two large drops that fell away from Adam, and now Jacob has brought them back through his marriage.

Art: Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Dante's Vision of Rachel and Leah

Friday, December 10, 2010

Vayigash – Yehudah's Hints

Judah walked up to Joseph and said, "Please, your highness, let me say something to you personally."

Judah represents Kingship. He was appointed king among his brothers, and in the future King David and all the Jewish kings, David's descendants, will come from him. Joseph, on the other hand, represents Rulership (Foundation). He was the viceroy of Egypt. He was also Joseph the Righteous, which is Foundation, according to the phrase “The righteous one is the foundation of the world.

Thus their meeting is the meeting of these two spiritual entities. As the Zohar states, the verse in the Psalms, “Look, here are kings united together” refers to this meeting. When those two entities unite, there is no room for anybody else – which explains why the brothers commented “Let them fight, we don't care.”

The first thing that Judah said was “Please, your highness” - bi, adoni (בי אדני). The word bi (בי) has the gematria of 12, hinting at the 12 possible permutations of the name of God (יהוה). The first letter can be one of 4, the next – one of three, and so on. This is called factorial, denoted as 4!, and 4! = 24. However, two of the letters are the same, so the correct formula is 4!/2! = 12.

Judah continues, “I am your slave” - because the Kingship is nobler than Rulership but is subservient to it. The first letters of his speech (ואיובאי) have the gematria of 36, hinting at the fact that he was righteous. The second letters, third, fourth, and fifth also carry hidden messages.

Art: Franz Anton Maulbertsch Joseph And His Brothers

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Miketz – At The End of Two Years

"Two full years passed. Then Pharaoh had a dream. He was standing near the Nile"

There are 365 days in a year, which in gematria is (שסה). Two years are 730 days, that is (שסה+שסה) . Together with the 6 letters of these gematrias, we get 736, which is the gematria of God's name Adonai - 65 - (אדני), together with the full spelling of this name – 671 - (אלפ דלת נונ יוד) and 65 + 671 = 736. That is the true meaning of “two years,” which is also called “end of days” both below and above.

The Pharaoh was standing literally “on the river” - since he can only stand through the power of the river, and the river is Joseph, who is also called “lion” by the prophet Amos, and “lion” (יאור) is transposed into river (אריה).

The seven healthy (briyot) cows are a hint to the seven qualities of the world of Beriah (Creation), so the word “briyot” should be understood literally. The seven thin cows are a hint to the word of Yetzirah (Formation). The same is true of the next dream about stalks of grain. All sustenance of the world of Yetzira comes from the world of Beriah, and that is the meaning of eating in the dreams.

Art: Aelbert Cuyp - Cows In A River

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vayeshev – Zeir Anpin Goes to Egypt

These are the chronicles of Jacob: Joseph was 17 years old.

The Sages said, “Everything that happened to Jacob happened also to Joseph.” This is also true in the spiritual worlds, where Jacob represents the process of Zeir Anpin's maturing, and becoming wise and kind.

Jacob went down to Egypt with 70 souls. By then his part in Zeir Anpin amounted to Kindness, Strength, and two-thirds of Beauty, the hidden qualities of Zeir Anpin. The gematria of the name of God, יהוה, taken two times is 26 * 2 = 52. Add to this two-thirds, roughly 18, and you get 70.

The number of year that they were going to spend in Egypt is 430. This number is the gematria of the name of God אלהים, taken 5 times. These years were necessary for Zeir Anpin's maturing. The Understanding that Zeir Anpin was going to achieve there is represented by all possible permutations of this name of God, אלהים. Since one can take any of the 5 letters as the first one, this gives 5 possibilities to start. The next letter is one of 4, and this leads to 5 * 4 = 20 permutations. Then comes 3, then 2, and the result is 5*4*3*2*1=120, or 5 factorial (denoted as 5!). This is hinted to in the phase, “You placed him a little lower (מעט) than the angels (אלהים)”. The gematria of "a little lower" (מעט) is 119.

The growth of Zeir Anpin's Understanding begins to control his whole body, by going down through his neck, and pushes the non-rectified parts to the lowest areas of Victory, Glory, and Foundation, which are represented by Pharaoh's three Princes: the Prince of Wine, the Prince of Bread, and the Prince of Meat (Potifar). At the same time the lower levels reflect the higher ones, and the Prince of Wine (Wisdom) was returned to his place – since Wisdom is internal and is not directly under the control of man. However, the Prince of Bread was hung (תלה), literally, “brought up” - since Understanding and Judgment require more perfection and are brought about through man's work.

Art: Leonardo Da Vinci - Muscles of the neck and shoulders

Zeir Anpin

But what is Zeir Anpin? It is a spiritual entity roughly equivalent to how humanity interacts with God.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Vayetze - Early Life of Zeir Anpin

"Jacob left Beer-sheba and headed toward Charan."

At first, Zeir Anpin, or the Cosmic Man, has immature intelligence, or "small brain." But what is Zeir Anpin? It is a spiritual entity roughly equivalent to how humanity interacts with God. The brain of Zeir Anpin is represented by the name of God - Elohim - repeated three times. The gematria of Elohim is 86, and three times that is 258, and this is exactly the gematria of Charan. Thus Jacob's going to Charan represents the progressing maturity of the Cosmic Man.

Jacob himself comes from a higher level, the Supernal Father, who is the father of Zeir Anpin. In fact, Jacob derives from the qualities of Victory, Glory, and Foundation of the Supernal Father, and this is the secret meaning of the phrase, "Jacob came out of Be'er-sheba," since Foundation is called "Be'er" - the well.

The last letters of the phrase, "And Jacob left," ו'צא 'עקב מבאר, constitute the word "Be'er," but they can also be read as אבר - organ - or foundation. Jacob leaving Be'er-sheba and going to Charan thus represents a progressive stage of the Cosmic Man's maturity, leading to his acquiring a "big brain," a process in which Jacob is instrumental.

We thus see that the physical Jacob represents spiritual changes in the world which occur through him and are hidden in him. In the same way, higher levels of spirituality hide inside lower levels and pretend that they are not there. Their relationship to the lower levels are that of the soul to the body, and in fact they are called the soul of the previous level.

Art: Eugene Delacroix - Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

Friday, November 5, 2010

Toldot - The Beard of the Long Face

These are the chronicles of Isaac son of Abraham: Abraham was Isaac's father.

Why is the fact that Abraham was Isaac's father repeated? Why, regarding Isaac's prayer for children, it says that he "turned over God's will," and not that "he prayed?" And why do the Sages insist that "Children, life, and sustenance depend upon luck and not merit," and why are "children, life, and sustenance" mentioned in this order? To all these questions Arizal gives answers, but to begin to understand them, we need to know about the Beard of the Long Face.

The Long Face, or Erech Anpin, is the spiritual entity that is higher than Supernal Father and Mother, and he hides in such a way that only the Father and Mother are seen, and they, in turn, hide in the spiritual entities of the Cosmic Man - also called Small Face - and his Female.

The structure of the beard of the Long Face reflects the secret nature of the world, and it was described by Rabbi Shimon to his students assembled in the glade, as related in the book "Edra Raba" - "Big Glade."

There are two kinds of "Luck," one consisting of thirteen parts, and another of eight, and both are found in the beard of the Long Face.

Isaac represents the eight-part luck, Understanding, and Judgement, and Rebecca is the thirteen-part luck and Rulership. When the two, having great love, combine, their love is on the level of a "Thousand," and it is higher than most other spiritual entities just mentioned. The hair of the Long Face represents light. The number "thousand" is born by the permutations of the Divine names in this hair. When the two lucks combine, they form "Merit," and when their lights combine, they form "Luck."

Thus, when Isaac prayed for Rebecca to have children, he combined the two lucks, 8-part and 13-part, overturned them, and by introducing Wisdom, caused their fusion and created Mercy.

Art: Jean Baptiste Camille Corot - Rebecca

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chayei Sarah – The Balance of Good and Evil

Why was Sarah not allowed to give birth until she was 90? It has to do with the balance of good and evil in the world. In the course of the explanation, we will find out about the meaning of the A-T,B-SH. We will not reach a complete explanation yet, but will find out something very important instead.

To arrive at a hidden meaning of words, the Kabbalah sometimes uses the reflection where the first letter of the alphabet becomes the last, the second letter become the one before the last, and so on. Therefore, א becomes ת, and ב becomes ש, and so on. This method is called את-בש.

The first three letters of the alphabet, aleph (א), bet (ב), gimel (ג) have the combined gematria of 6, vav (ו). This hints at the six directions (winds) of the world (space), which were kneaded together with the heaven and earth. After that, the earth (physical matter) was formed, which corresponds to the letter dalet (ד), and dalet includes the four principal elements - fire, wind, water, dust (ארמע).

Then comes the letter hey (
ה), which is found in the word "He created them" (בהבראם), which can also be understood as "With hey He created them" - this is the second letter hey in the name of God, the "small hey."

These are the five letters of holiness, standing at the beginning of creation. Then come the four letters of the evil forces (תשרק), hinted at by "empty and void". Thus, with the letter aleph came the letter tav (
ת), the evil deceiving husk. This is the rule: when holiness ends, evil, or concealment, begins.

Then came the three letters representing falsehood, sheker (שקר), the next letters at the end of the alphabet. In the letter kuf (ק), there is a long hanging vav (ו), which represents the snake, who spoke falsehood and walks on his belly. It also hints at Haman, who is a snake, and who prepared for Mordechai a gallows of 50 amot high.

Since the evil has no power to act on its own, at the beginning of "falsehood" (שקר) stands the letter shin (ש), which is also a letter of holiness.

Art: Paul Gauguin - Fire By The Water

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vayera – Some Practical Magic

God appeared to Abraham in the Plains of Mamre...” 

In contrast to his own rules, Arizal here gives a few pieces of advice that relate to practical Kabbalah.

The first words of this Torah portion have a holy name of Ariel encoded in them: ויר"א אלי"ו = אריא"ל, and the extra letter vav, ו, corresponds to the name of God called “Av” - with the Gematria of 72 - יוד הי ויו הי.

There are many omens that one can performed based on this name. If one feels that his evil inclination is getting the better of him against his will, he should concentrate on the letter vav, corresponding to the name of God “Av”, and say to himself the name Ariel eleven times.

Second: if one has an enemy, he should write the name Ariel on a clay vessel twenty-one times, together with the name of his enemy, and throw it with force, so that it breaks, at the door of his enemy or at a place where he passes, and he will see miracles.

Third: after one immerses himself into a mikvah, he should repeat this name 242 times, as the gematria of Ariel, and this is very good for his soul.

Fourth: when one wakes up and arises from his bed in the morning, he should repeat this name 242 times, and fortified by this, he will understand everything that his eyes are going to see this day.

Fifth: when one wakes up in the middle of the night to say his midnight prayers, called Tikkun Chatzot, after he finishes his prayers and says the confession, he should mention the name 11 names, then 23 times in the “Who hears prayer,” - and that will help in the correction of his soul.

Sixth: saying this name 242 times helps to enlighten his eyes, and it also has many other beneficial effect – “Only I have not seen them all” - adds Rabbi Chaim Vital - “And may the Blessed God enlighten our eyes with His Torah!”

Art: Gustave Caillebotte - Bathers

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mysticism Explained by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's knowledge was encyclopedic, he has written 111 books on all areas of Judaism, from popular booklets to Torah translation to Kabbalah. His photographic memory held thousands of pages, some from rare unpublished manuscripts from various libraries of the world. In his TV interview he gives an introductory overview of Jewish mysticism, and his every word is fresh.

Part 1

Part 2


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lech-Lecha – “The Land Which I Will Show You”

The spiritual entity Zeir Anpin – Small Countenance - is one of the five spiritual entities that exist in the Cosmic Worlds. After God has created the world for the first time, the souls, not being able to resemble their Creator in His ability of giving, did burst, or break. God reconstructed five entities from the shards, and now they could give to each other. Zeir Anpin is one of them.

Abraham, Rachel, and Leah are not only personalities, but are also physical representations of the spiritual regions in Zeir Anpin. Initially Abraham was lower in Zeir Anpin than Rachel. Now God is telling Abraham that he should leave the lower land and direct himself to the upper Land, Israel, represented by Leah.

That is why God called this land “which I will show you.” At the time of Abraham, Zeir Anpin did not have fully developed brain, or capacity to understand, and the area of Leah in Zeir Anpin was not revealed nor seen – because it can only be understood with a fully developed capacity for understanding. That is what God meant when he told Abraham, “I will make you a great nation” - that Abraham will develop the brain of Zeir Anpin, and through this development all will be able to see and understand the spiritual quality represented in the world by Leah, who in turn represents the Land of Israel.

Art: Henry Mosler - The Broken Sabot

Monday, October 4, 2010

Anna Karenina as a Fight Between Morality and Mysticism

The first words of the novel, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way “ can be alternatively interpreted as an attention-catcher, a banality, or a plainly wrong statement of the writer whose life does not fulfill his ideals.

However, based on the assumption that the work of a genius touches us to the core because it itself touches on the ideas which serve as a foundation of the world, we can interpret it as complete and absolute truth. Accordingly, it should be read as, “(Seemingly) happy families are all alike; every unhappy family (author trying to resolve the question in a real, deep, way) is unhappy in its own way (requires an individual approach, which can be worked out only through sufferings required to obtain knowledge)”. Don't get scared, not necessarily physical suffering, but in the sense of "more wisdom - more sorrow; more knowledge - more grief."

Every person can give an obvious answer about what is right and what is wrong. Anna is her husband's wife, given to him by God, and it should stay that way. This is wrong, however, too obvious to be true. Every time a person brings in God to support his stance against others, he is prejudiced and is therefore wrong.

Vronsky is obviously Anna's true love, and true partner, if only because they are indeed lovers. The conflict here, one might say, is that Vronsky has not completed his correction, he is not perfect, whereas Anna is. The only reason she is reincarnated is for him – and he blows this chance, probably again and again.

Tolstoy is probing the veracity of this answer from many points of view, represented by the others in the novel. Will he get it? Let's wait for the next 50 pages.

Art: Heinrich Matvejevich Maniser - Anna Karenina

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Why did God create the world?


To contemplate Glenn is to ask why God had to make the world, and why in just six days. And was He too but the victim of, the sacrifice to, a yet greater power, for if nothing can be totally self-generating, if God and Glenn are/were celibate, is it not reasonable to believe in the constant, greater creative element which permeates our universe and of which we, in our ordinary lives, recognize only the expected and accepted, in the usual acts of living and dying but which in rare individuals takes over completely and in which the creative is revealed in all its awesome purity and power.”

Yehudi Menuhin

Monday, September 27, 2010

Supernal Mother - Understanding - Becomes King

After one says the first four words of a blessing, and the Kindness, Strength, and Beauty return to their source, the Supernal Mother, then she is called King. That happens because her children are now with her, and they are blessed to an extent where they can in turn bless the lower worlds.

For this is the quality of Kingship - it is manifest when the king is accompanied by nobles who are endowed with riches, when they have everything that they need, without anything lacking.

Since another name of the Supernal Mother is Understanding, then it is by Kindness, Strength, and Beauty being endowed with Understanding that they become rich with the Brains of the Supernal Mother, and can in turn perfect the lower spheres.

All that is the result of a properly pronounced blessing on food and other pleasures.

Art: Allan Ramsey - Queen Charlotte with her Two Children

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Secret Meaning of Blessings, the Result of Saying the First Four Words

After the first four words of the blessing have been said, Kindness, Strength, and Beauty are blessed. They take that blessing as a source of strength, unite themselves together, and return to their source, the Foundation of the Supernal Mother.

Without the blessing, they lack the strength to go back. However, with the blessing, they become cleansed of the external influences and receive additional blessings, true blessings, three blessings, since now the three of them are united. They then take these blessings back to the lower spheres. This is hinted to in the verse “You will not see My Face empty-handed.”

Art: Jozef Israels - Three Women Knitting By The Sea

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Haazinu – Secrets Are Not For Everyone

"Listen heaven! I will speak! Earth! Hear the words of my mouth!"

Why is it that heaven should “listen” while the the earth should “hear?” Arizal asks fourteen more such questions about word usage before he begins his answer.

In the Torah there are revealed and hidden parts, that is, simple meaning and secrets, and the secret is not for everybody, but only for people who are themselves like angels. The simple meaning, however, is for common people. It is about this secret meaning that the angels objected when God wanted to give the Torah to Israel. They said, “What greatness will it be for Your Name?” - that is, for the Torah, which is all the names of God - “Why are its secrets given to men on earth?”

The paradox that the angels did not comprehend was that since the simple meaning of the Torah was not fitting for them, since they are not mortal, the Torah had to be given to men, to whom the simple meaning applies, and the secrets were given with it.

This is the meaning of “Listen, heaven!” Moses is talking to those special righteous people who, while on earth, are similar to angels in heaven. “Listen” implies that these things are not said out loud, but from mouth to ear. And “I will speak,” (“Adabeira,”) implies things which are hard to understand. In contrast, the simple meaning can be heard by common people, that is why they can “hear the words.” To the secrets, however, the following principles apply: "not every brain can sustain them," and "not everyone who wants to occupy himself with the names of God should do so".

Art: Karl Witkowski - Secrets

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Secret Meaning of Blessings, fourth word, אלהינו

This word, אלהינו, represents the Strength, or strict judgment. However, when we say the blessing, the strictness of this word becomes mixed with יהוה, Mercy, and Mercy, in turn, is intertwined with Strictness, until they become one.

The influence of the blessing that we pronounce reaches down up to Mercy, Strictness, and Beauty of the Cosmic Man. Once it has reached here, the lower Sefirot – Victory, Splendor, and Righteousness, are blessed with them, and receive the flow of blessings that is due to them.

Art: Rembrandt Van Rijn - Jacob Blessing the Children of Joseph

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Nitzavim – The Revealed Things Belong to Us

Hidden things may pertain to God our Lord, but that which has been revealed applies to us and our children forever. [We must therefore] keep all the words of this Torah.

The hidden things are fear and love of God, because these things are in the heart of man. The revealed things are Torah and mitzvot, which can be observed by all.

In addition, the hidden things hint at the five Strengths, represented by letters מנצפך, which are found in the spiritual entity called Supernal Mother, and, being that she is hidden and removed, they are also called hidden. The spiritual entities of Zeir Anpin (Cosmic Man, or Small Countenance) and his Female are related to the totality of all Jews, and thus can be in some way observed in the world. But the Supernal Mother pretends that she is not there, and is thus called hidden. However, there is yet a spiritual entity even more hidden than she.

There also five other Strengths in the Cosmic Woman, a spiritual image that is closer to our world, and these are thus called “revealed.”

Art: William Merritt Chase - Hide And Seek

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Secret Meaning of Blessings, third word, יהוה

The word יהוה represents synthesis, harmony, and beauty. Its source is kindness. It also implies all aspects of faith, since the essence of the belief of the Jewish people is in the name of God, יהוה.

Thus, when pronouncing this word, one should concentrate on the meaning above, and on all the additional names of God that are derived from יהוה.

Art: Odilon Redon - Meditation

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ki Tavo - The Female Lights and the Kohen

"The priest shall then take the basket (with the first fruit) from your hand and place it before the altar of God your Lord."

The mitzvah of the first fruit contains in it the secret of the return of the lights of the Female to kindness - represented by the Kohen - so that evil forces cannot cling to her. The gematria of הטנא - the basket - is the same as אדני - My Master, the name of God.

Rabbeinu Bechai explains this further. The first fruit remind us of God, who is First, and of the first three letters in God's name giving power to the fourth one. The Kohen taking the basket and waving it is symbolic of God setting the world in motion, for God is also called Kohen. The world is created for the sake of two "firsts" - Torah (which is called the beginning of His way) and Israel (called the beginning of God's harvest). In the same way, the basket is a container serving to receive the first fruit.

Furthermore, God not only directs the world from the outside, while being removed from it, but also penetrates every aspect of the world. The hint to this is in the basket being made of twigs, with a number of holes in between. God is described in the Song of Songs as "peering through the lattices."

Art: Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Girl At A Lattice

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Secret Meaning of Blessings, second word, אתה

The major intention of this word is Kindness. After the blessing starts to come down into the world from the Foundation of the Supernal Mother, it begins to be revealed. The Foundation of the Supernal Father, called “baruch,” is closed and hidden. That is why it is expressed in the form of “baruch” - blessed, and not “titbarach” - may He be blessed. The source of this blessing is always hidden, never revealed, and is constantly flowing.

The second word, “atah” - you – is the beginning of revelation and connection with the outside world. Accordingly, the world “atah” is connected to Kindness and expresses Openness. And who is this “You?” - This is the secret of Kindness, and it is called “Kohen.” The hint to this is in the phrase “You are a Kohen (priest) forever”, which has been said about Abraham. It is connected to the right hand of the Cosmic Man (Zeir Anpin), where Kindness begins to be revealed into the world.

Art: Vincent Van Gogh - Two Hands

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ki Teitze – Beautiful Captive

"When you wage war against your enemies, God will give you victory over them, so that you will take captives. If you see a beautiful woman among the prisoners and desire her, you may take her as a wife."

According to the view that the first intimacy is allowed right away, the Torah saw that man will not be able to control his Evil Inclination, and allowed this act. If so, then anything prohibited by the Torah, once a person can't control himself, should be allowed!

Additionally, why did the Torah promise a punishment of being taken back to Egypt, where nobody will want to buy you, and did not mentioned the other three exiles?

The four exiles correspond to the four letters in God's name. Egypt corresponds to the point at the end of the letter yud, which is special and most important of all the elements in God's name. In Egypt, the Jews have already selected all sparks of holiness. Although in any exile God's presence is with them, to find out the sparks of holiness in the converts, in Egypt there are none left, and thus “there will be no buyers.”

Back to the beautiful captive, this law applies only to voluntary, not defensive wars. And to such wars only completely righteous people could go. Anybody who had any fear of having transgressed any Torah law, such as talking between two prayer sections, was required to leave the army and go back. If so, the evil inclination overpowering them could only be a sign that this woman had unrectified sparks of holiness in her.

By allowing first intimacy right away, the Torah hoped that these sparks will re-connect to their source, and the woman will join the Jewish people. Still, a wayward and rebellious son was likely to come out of this union, because of the unrectified parts in their souls.

Art: Boreas - John William Waterhouse - Boreas

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Secret Meaning of Blessings, first word, ברוך

By “secret meaning” the Faithful Shepherd, or Moses, means the intentions that one needs to have in mind when pronouncing them, to arouse the source of blessings above, and to make it pour below. It applies when enjoying something in this world, or when performing a mitzvah.

Thus, ברוך, Blessed, represents the highest source of all blessings, the Foundation of the Supernal Father, called, “The Way,” through which the blessing directs itself into the Foundation of the Supernal Mother, the flow that never stops. It lights all the lights of the Cosmic Man, and through him – that of the Cosmic Woman.

Art: Kings Fairy Tale - Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

Friday, August 13, 2010

Shoftim – Appoint for Yourself Judges and Guardians in All Your Gates

Appoint for yourself” is in singular (תתן לך), as if one can appoint judges all by himself. Obviously, that is not true, so why was this language used?

As Rav Chaim Vital explained, this is a hint. Everyone in the Nation of Israel has many Gates: Gates of Seeing, eyes; Gates of Hearing, ears; Gates of Speech, mouth; Gates of Smell, nose; Gates of Feeling, hands and feet.

Therefore, everyone needs to appoint judges and guardians at his own Gates: guard himself from seeing unseemly things; from hearing improper things; not to say foul words or bad things about others; not to smell the perfume from someone he should not; not to touch prohibited things, and not to go to wrong places.

What is the reward? - “Open the gates, and let the righteous enter!

One also becomes deserving of the 310 worlds, reserved for every one who is righteous, and the gates of these worlds become open for him, since each world has a gate.

Art: Sebastien Stoskopff - Summer or the Five Senses

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Don Quixote as an Allegory of the Four Spiritual Worlds

The Faithful Shepherd (Moses) said to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in the Zohar:

"Too bad for those Sages who only eat the straw of the Torah and do not learn its secrets. For they rely only on their intellect and logic, eating from the Tree of Good and Bad, that is, wheat (חטה). But חטה consists of error (חט) and good (ה), and thus they inevitably have an admixture of falsehood in their learning."

"For the King and the Queen (Cosmic Man Zeir Anpin and his companion Nukva) in the World of Nearness do not ride on a donkey but on a horse. It is their servant, the angel Metatron, who rides on a donkey."

We thus see that the Knight on a Horse (Don Quixote) and the Servant on a Donkey (Sancho Panza) are parallel to the four spiritual worlds: Nearness and Creation on the one hand, and Formation and Action on the other.

"And if you tell me" - continues the Zohar – "that the Messiah should also arrive on a donkey, and that the Messiah is called poor (עני), hinting at the three hardest tractates of the Talmud (ערובין, נדה, יבמות), thus including all Talmud – that is only the beginning of his arrival, for he is not called King until he rides on a horse."

Many works of literature, fairy tales and myths contain hints to spiritual truths known to all mystics, and they resonate within the human soul.

Art: Salvador Dali - The Impossible Dream

Friday, August 6, 2010

Re'eh – Animal Slaughter as a Step in Reincarnation

When ... your natural desire to eat meat asserts itself, so that you say, 'I wish to eat meat,' you may eat as much meat as you wish.”

All that is created in this world contains in itself a mixture of good and bad. Therefore, the purpose of each creation is to improve on its physical nature and to progress spiritually. Human souls may be reincarnated in the bodies of domestic animals, wild animals, and birds. The kosher slaughterer, or the shochet, needs to have these two intentions in mind: to improve the physical nature of the world by sweetening the judgments found in it, and to complete the punishment of this reincarnation, preparing the soul to come into the body of a human at the time of birth, as other human souls born to proper people.

When the shochet sharpens his knife on the sharpening block, to remove a dent, and at the time when he examines his knife for dents, he should have in mind that dent (פגם) has the value of 123, or 3 times the word מא, and the value of this word, 41, corresponds to the number of letters in the name of God, its expansion, and the expansion of the expansion. All these names have the aspects of judgment in them, and the shochet should have the intention to sweeten these judgments. He then converts them into the names of 42 letters, which are all mercy.

Art: Jacopo Bassano - Animals Entering the Ark

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ekev – The Blessings Are From Balaam

God will love you, bless you and make you numerous.

All benefits that Israel enjoys in this world come from the blessings of the evil Balaam. Any merits that they accrue, however, are preserved and wait for them in the World to Come. That is the meaning of what the Torah said, “God will preserve you” - meaning, preserve your merits for you.

The Sages have learned this teaching about Balaam from the use of the same word "love." Here it says, “God will love you and bless you” and about Balaam it says “And God overturned the curses of Balaam and made them into blessings, since God loves you.” We do not find anywhere else in the Torah blessings next to love, except in describing the incident of Balaam and this “God will love you and bless you.”

Art: William Brassey Hole - Balaam blessing Israel

Friday, July 23, 2010

Vaetchanan – The Way of Prayer

At that time I pleaded with God, saying...”

There is an angel appointed to watch over prayers, and he brings them up from the Earth to the Heaven, in a spiritual journey of 500 years. The angel does this with the power of two letters in God's name, yud and hey, and it was with these letters that God created the world. The 500 years plus the letters yud and hey gives 515.

These angels are described as “their legs were straight (ישרה),” which has a numerical value of 515. This is why Moses said, “I pleaded (ואתחנן)” - which also has the numerical value of 515 – that Moses pleaded with the angels to bring up his prayer (תפלה) - which again has a numerical value of 515. “At this time” means at the time when the prayers go up with the help of the angels, who do this with the letters yud and hey.

Art: Salomon de Bray - Jacob's Ladder

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dvarim – The Secret of Eleven Days

Moses began to review the Torah when he was an “...eleven day journey from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by way of the Seir highlands.

In this phrase, Moses hints at the initial breaking of the vessels. When the original souls, out of their desire to give and to emulate their Creator, burst, this good intention created Evil. There are eleven kinds of this Evil: seven are hinted to at the beginning of the Torah by the account of seven kings who died, and four more correspond to the other side of the Supernal Father and the Supernal Mother. The word “Horeb” has a connotation of desolation, thus “eleven days journey from Horeb.”

The “way of Seir” is a hint to Esav, who represents the chief evil. The word “way” always means a female, and together this is a hint concerning the angel of Esav (Samael), his female companion, and their cohorts. Here Arizal directs the reader to meditate on these concepts, to gain more understanding. This agrees with the way of the Kabbalah, which is taught only to “those who have initial knowledge of it, and even to them – only as hints.”

The Destruction (Horeb, Hurba) was needed so that “the day would give its light after the night,” that is, so that Good would exist on the background of Evil. This is the meaning of the teaching that God was occupied with creating worlds and destroying them, before He created this one.

The word “Kadesh” hints at the secret of the final redemption. As is known, Messiah will come when “all souls in the body (of Evil) are reincarnated and sanctified” - “until Kadesh” means “until they are sanctified.”

“Barnea” is a hint to multiple exiles: “Bar na v'nad” means constant uprooting and replanting – until the end of the exile, which should also be a subject of one's meditation.

Art: George Inness - Sunset at Etretat

Monday, July 5, 2010

Matot - The Secret of Oath

"If a man makes a vow to God, or makes an oath to obligate himself, he must not break his word." However, a Sage can annul his word. If a woman makes a vow, a Sage, her father, or her husband can annul it.

In the relationship between the Cosmic Man and Cosmic Woman, the Man represents Wisdom, and the Woman – Understanding. Thus, any vow or oath is expressed through Understanding, on the condition that it agrees with Wisdom. If it does not, the Sage can annul it.

The seven breaths that emanate from the mouth of the Cosmic Man turn into an all-encompassing light between him and the Cosmic Woman. These are the seven breaths that are mentioned by King Solomon, and they are the secret meaning of an oath, “shevuah” - seven. Thus there is a mitzvah to swear in the name of God.

One who swears falsely takes himself away from the seven breaths of holiness, and as if clothes the Truth in the seven garments belonging to Forces of Evil, about which King Solomon said, “That, too, is vanity (breath) and evil of spirit.

Art: Gabriel Metsu - Man and Woman Sitting at the Virginal

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pinchas – The Name of God is Jealous

Pinchas (a son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest) was the one who zealously (jealously) took up My (jealous) cause among the Israelites and turned My anger away from them, so that I did not destroy them in My demand for exclusive worship (jealousy)."

The word “jealousy” (קנא) is mentioned three times in this verse. That indeed is the name of God in the Torah. The Gematria of jealousy (קנא) is 151. It can be found in the names of God in the three following ways.

The name of God “I will be” (אהיה) spelled out by its letters (אלפ הה יוד הה) has the Gematria of 151.

The name “I will be” (אהיה) spelled according to the value of each letter (א ההההה יייייייייי ההההה), equals 151.

The same Gematria 151=86+65 is obtained if one combines the two names of God representing strict justice (אלהים=86), and mercy (אדני=65).

The sign by which to remember this is from the Song of Songs, “I went down to the garden of nut trees”. The word “garden” (גנת) has the Gematria of 453, or three times קנא = 151.

Art: Vincent Van Gogh - Memory Of The Garden At Etten

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Balak – The Three Haters of Israel

When Balak son of Tzippor saw all that Israel has done to the Amorites... he sent emissaries to Balaam

Balak and Balaam were exceptional wizards and wise men. They also hated the Jewish Nation without reason. The only one who exceeded their hatred was Amalek. This is reflected in their names. Amalek can by understood as Am Lak – nation that attacked us. Balak – Ba Lak, meaning, he came and attacked us. Balaam – Bal Am – he who confused the people.

Their nature can be explained if we look at the reincarnations of their souls. That of Amalek was the worst part of Cain, and in addition he had an admixture of the five different types of the mixed multitude, which included Amalekim, Refaim, etc., making Amalek the greatest hater of Israel. Balaam hinted to this in his prophesy, “And the Kenites removed themselves from Amalek” - that the best part of Cain was reincarnated in Yitro, while the worst went to Amalek.

Both Balak and Balaam got the bad part of Cain and the bad part of Abel, and that is why both have the letters “B” and “L” from Abel. Balak the son of Tzippor was a grandson of Yitro, about whom a Psalm says “Even the sparrow (Tzippor) found a home”, Yitro took the good part of Cain, connected to Tzipporah, wife of Moses, and left the bad part to his progeny Balak.

Balaam's soul came from the root of Abel. When the Torah says that “There never arose in Israel a prophet like Moses”, it also hints that outside of Israel there did arise a prophet of similar power, and that was Balaam. The letters of the phrase, “she (Milcah) bore sons” to Nachor constitute the name Abel, to hint that the family of Nachor came from Abel and Lavan her grandson was later reincarnated as Balaam.

Art: Lady and her Sparrow - Sir Edward John Poynter

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chukat – The Secret of the Red Heifer

"Speak to the Israelites and have them bring you a completely red cow."

The five special letters of the Hebrew alphabet are מנצפכ. They look different if they occur at the end of a word: םןץףך. Spiritually, they represent the Five Strong Judgments, corresponding in a human to feet, legs and the body. Their numeric value is 280, פר, or a Bull. Together with the five letters themselves, represented by ה, we get פרה, or a Heifer.

The word for Red, אדמה , is spelled without a letter Vav, and its numerical value is 50, which corresponds to the Fifty Gates of Wisdom. King Solomon, who wanted to understand the secret of the Red Heifer, did not succeed, and told about this in his words, “I said, I will become wise, but it is far from me.”

The Five Strict Judgments went out into the world before the Cosmic Man and Female joined together, and this corresponds to sending out from the camp those who were impure through contact with a dead body. To correct this, the Heifer had to be burned in strong fire. After it is burned, all that is left of her is the Secret of Holiness, one-fiftieth of what it was before. The word ash, אפר, consists of פר, Bull, and א. The Heifer, פרה, thus becomes Ashes, אפר.

Art: Flemish School - The Judgement Of King Solomon

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Korach: Moses – Abel = Korach

And Korach undertook (literally, took) … and began a rebellion against Moses

Abel had in him 37 sparks of goodness (הבל=5+2+30) and 308 bad sparks. Moses, who was a reincarnation of Abel, corrected all of Abel's sparks. The 308 bad sparks that were initially connected to Abel, are the secret meaning of the reincarnation of Korach, the gematria of whose name is also 308:

ק=100
ר=200
ח=8

The hint that Moses corrected all of Abel's sparks is in the phrase “and his mother saw that the boy was good,” and in addition the value of Moses' name 345 is 37 (Abel) plus 308 (Korach).

Thus the essence of Korach's soul also comes from Abel. However, at the beginning of the events described in this Torah portion, the bad part of the soul of Cain connected itself to Korach, and this is the meaning of “and Korach took” on which the Sages commented that Korach took, or acquired, a bad purchase for himself. At first, Korach realized that although he comes from the bad sparks of Abel, he is still subjugated to Moses. However, when the soul of Cain connected to him, he decided that he does not have to be subservient anymore, and started a rebellion, repeating the conflict between Cain and Abel. As a result, Korach was removed from the world.

Art: Pietro Novelli - Cain and Abel

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Shlach – Spies, an Aborted Attempt

God spoke to Moses, saying, "Send out men for yourself to explore the Canaanite territory..."

Out of love for the Land of Israel - which represents the spiritual essence of Rachel – Moses sent out the spies from the Generation of the Desert, who represented the spiritual essence of Leah. He wanted to connect the two. The spies were not successful in their mission, and only by their death they achieved the correction Moses had intended.

When Joseph told his brothers, “You are spies!”, he was hinting at this episode. The brothers' souls have connected themselves to the spies, in order to help them not to go completely bad. That is why the Torah calls the spies “Princes of the sons of Israel” - to hint that this is who they were. A soul can reincarnate in a person, and that connection is permanent, or it can attach itself to someone for a specific mission, and that connection depends on the person's deeds. When the spies gave bad report about the Land of Israel, the souls of Joseph's brothers departed from them.

The two spies who said only good things about Israel were Joshuah and Caleb.

Moses sent Joshuah in his own place, and the soul of Levy was attached to him. Moses himself could not go, because he was from the tribe of Levy, who anyway did not have a portion the Land, and thus had no need to spy it out.

Caleb was the reincarnation of Eliezer the servant of Abraham. Eliezer was from the cursed nation of Canaan, but when he arrived to the house of Rebecca and was told “Come, blessed of God,” he corrected his origin and became blessed. The soul of Judah attached itself to Caleb for this trip, and it did not leave him, that is why Caleb and Joshuah are called “Those who remained alive.”

Art: Aert De Gelder - Joseph weeping in his room, his brothers beyond

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pekudei - 100

The 100 talents were used to cast the bases ("adanim") for the sanctuary and the cloth partition. There were a total of 100 bases made out of the 100 talents, one talent for each base.

The name of God, Adonai (אדני), has the numerical value of 65:

1=א
ד=4
נ=50
י=10

and spelling out the name Adonai,

אלפ דלת נונ יוד

then spelling out that spelling,

אלפ למד פא דלת למד תיו נונ ואו נונ יוד ואו דלת

you get 35 letters. Altogether 65 and 35 make up a 100.

The 100 bases, or sockets, represent Kingship, or Malchut, which is the secret of the phrase, "And now let the strength of God (Adonai) increase". The sockets also represent the Female, while the upright beams in them represent the Male.

Currently, however, the spelling of Adonai lacks the letter י in תיו, and the 34 letters that result are the numerical equivalent of דל, poor.

Art: Thomas Benjamin Kennington - The Pinch of Poverty

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Vayakhel – Fixing the Sin of the Golden Calf

Moses assembled the entire Israelite community and said to them, 'These are the words that God has commanded for you to do... build the Temple.” 

Both Moses and his generation were spiritual representations of the Foundation of the spiritual entity called Supernal Father (Aba). Since they assembled (ויקהלו) against Aaron, Moses had to assemble (ויקהל) them, to return them to their spiritual source by bringing them closer to himself.

Moses had to assemble the whole congregation (קל עדת), because the essence of this generation was knowledge (הדעת). However, the mixed multitude (ערב רב) also had its strength in knowledge, because their gematria is the same as knowledge (ערב רב=דעת=474), and only by bringing them close to himself could Moses separate knowledge from knowledge.

Since they sinned with the word “these,” saying “These are your gods, O Israel,” Moses had to correct this with the word “these,” saying “These are the words.” Since, by worshiping the Golden Calf, they denied the whole Torah, Moses had to correct it with two things which are also considered as the whole Torah – Shabbat (for one who observes Shabbat is considered to observe the whole Torah) and the building of the Temple.

Therefore Moses told them, “Six days shall you work” as a commandment, not as a permission “work can be done” and promised to them that since for six days of the week they are sanctified by building the Temple, on the seventh day they will surely be sanctified with extra holiness and will receive an additional soul.

Art: Alexander Johnston - The Sabbath Eve

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ki Tisa - Lifting Up the Head with the Hair

God spoke to Moses saying: When you take a census of the Israelites - literally, "when you lift the heads of the sons of Israel."

Why is counting referred to as "lifting of the head"? This has to do with the spiritual concepts that are represented by the hair of the head.

The upper Sefira of Keter, or Crown, has all ten Sefirot in it. Keter represents the Will. Before God created the world, He had to desire to do it. In order to have the desire to do it, He needed to have the desire for that, and so on. This includes an infinite loop and is a meditation device in itself.

Of the ten Sefirot, or ways in which God conducts the world, only Netsach and Hod - Victory and Glory, represented by the right and left legs in man's body, have the self-restricting judgment in them. The other eight continue to expand with kindness, and only these two can thus be made to come back as "Returning Light," bringing back with them the sparks of holiness that fell down. This is achieved by sweetening their judgments, by the power of Keter.

The hairs are like pipes that contain light, as in the letter Vav. The scalp of the head is analogous to the heavenly sphere, and the hairs, which make holes in the scalp, are analogous to the pipes, or letter Vav, transmitting spiritual influences below.

That is why the expression used is "when you lift the head of the sons of Israel" - to lift their head with the hair, to clear up the spiritual pathways from Heaven. This is achieved by counting, to which the hair is connected, by giving charity with the coin called Shekel - Weight, and by the various permutations of the Name of God. The hair also prevents the Evil forces from viewing the back of the head.

Art: Albrecht Dürer - Self Portrait in a Fur-Lined Coat

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tetzaveh – Clear Oil from Crushed Olives

"You, [Moses], must command the Israelites to bring you clear illuminating oil, made from hand crushed olives, to keep the lamp constantly burning."

The Rulership, or the Cosmic Female, is represented by the pure Menorah, and her companion is Zeir Anpin, the Cosmic Male. The Victory (Netzach) and Glory (Hod) of the Male, which correspond to his right and left thighs, build the Female up.

Victory and Glory speedily fall into the Foundation of the Male, and having stricken it, come back up. The Light of the Female is not direct, but all encompassing Reflected, or Returning, Light. She receives this light when Victory and Glory are returning after having hit the Foundation, and that is the only way how she can receive it.

The olives thus represent Victory and Glory, which the Foundation strikes. Foundation is another name for the Righteous. Olives are crushes into small pieces, and produce olive oil, fit for the Menorah, which is the Female.

Art: Luigi Ademollo - The Menorah

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Terumah - The Source of Blessing

"...And you will take an offering for Me..."

The Trumah (offering) represents the Female secret in the world. There are two Female spiritual entities, Leah and Rachel, and they correspond to the two letters Hei in the name of God. The value of Hei is 5.


Each of the Females receives 10 aspects, because she is connected to the Foundation of the Male, letter Yud, whose value is 10. Thus, each female has fifty different aspects, and together the two of them have one hundred aspects.

Man (Adam) has the numerical value of 45, corresponding to the word Mah (What), as in “...What does God your Lord want of you but to recognize His presence...” However, the Sages interpreted it as not Mah (What) but Meah (Hundred). And in fact any blessing that comes to this world is connected to the number 100, or the two Females, Leah and Rachel, as in “...a hundredfold, because God has blessed him.”

For this reason we give the Trumah (offering) – to return the blessing to its source, so that the Evil Forces will have no hold on it. Thus the word Trumah (offering) is related to Harama (uplifting).

Art: Ignace Henri Jean Fantin-Latour - Two Young Women, Embroidering and Reading

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mishpatim – Killing the Killer

If one strikes a man so that he dies, the one who killed must also be killed.” - Literally “killed, he must be killed.”

This is a hint to Cain who killed Abel - for when Abel was later reincarnated as Moses, he was called “a man,” as in “...this man Moses...” First time Cain was reincarnated as an Egyptian, whom Moses killed, and the second time Cain was reincarnated as Korah, and again Moses killed him.

But if he did not lie in wait, only God caused this to happen through him, then you will separate for yourself a place of refuge.”

God told Moses to separate three cities of refuge - literally for Moses himself. Angel Samael was acting as an avenger of blood for the Egyptian. The angel's claim was that Moses did it intentionally, and therefore he should be killed. But in truth Moses' purpose was to help the Egyptian's soul and to correct it, and that is why Moses killed him by pronouncing the explicit name of God, which made his killing unintentional. This is why “he did not lie in wait” - talking about Moses, but “God caused this to happen” - still talking about Moses, and thus “you will separate for yourself a place of refuge to run there (שמה) ” for Moses (משה).

Art: Frederick Arthur Bridgman - By the City Gate


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yitro - Further Transmigrations of Cain and Abel

"And Yitro, the Priest of Midian, the father-in-law of Moses, heard..."

The Priest of Midian is the name of a high spiritual force of Evil. Every force of Good in the Kingdom of Holiness has a force corresponding to it in the Kingdom of Evil. The force corresponding to the Priest of Midian is the Foundation of the spiritual entity called the Father of the Cosmic Man. The earthly Yitro had a connection to this power, which is the source of jealousy and struggle. The opposite of it is Love.

Yitro took with him his daughter Tzipora, Moses' wife, and brought her to Moses. Yitro was the reincarnation of Cain. After he abandoned his connection to the power of Evil, he began correcting his killing of Abel in the previous life. Moses was the reincarnation of Abel, and Cain killed him because of an extra twin sister that was born together with Abel. Tzipora was the reincarnation of this sister. In the previous life Cain took her away from Abel, and in this life Yitro brought her to Moses.

When Yitro came to Moses, he said "I am your father-in-law Yitro." The first letters of this phrase constitute, "achi" - (your brother), hinting to Moses that he is Moses' brother from before. As Cain, he denied that there is judgment in the world. As Yitro, he added to Torah laws dealing with judgments. Later he was reincarnated as Korach, and this was the “and Korach got a bad deal for himself,” that is, he took the soul of Yitro. Korach then arose against Moses, and this corresponds to Cain who arose against Abel. Once under ground, Korach was forced to proclaim that his judgment was true.

Art: Sebastano Ricci - Moses Defending the Daughters of Jethro

Beshalach - The People of Israel

And it was when Pharaoh sent the people of Israel, and God did not want to lead them through the land of the Philistines...”

Every "and it was" (vayihi) sounds like a sigh and denotes some pain. Here the pain came about because Pharaoh sent “the People of Israel,” which are the “mixed multitude” together with the nation.

When the Torah mentions "Bnei Israel," the Sons of Israel, it means the earnest part of the Jews. When, however, it calls them “Am Israel,” the People of Israel, it means the people who do good for their own honor and as a means to achieve power. The People of Israel were those that could turn back to Egypt, and it was because of them that God did not lead the nation directly to Israel. The mixed multitude is called “Erev Rav,” because through their desire for power they achieve the positions of importance (Rav) throughout history.

When Moses saw that, he understood that he needs to take the remains of Joseph with him – because now Moses knew that it will be necessary to split the Red Sea, and it will happen in the merit of Joseph, "The sea saw and fled...”

Art: Antonio Fillol Granell - The glory of the people

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bo – For Seven Days You Will Eat Matzot

For seven days nothing leavened should be found in your houses, and anybody who eats leavened food, his soul will be cut off from the congregation of Israel...”

What does the concept of “cut off” entail? It is known that when a righteous person dies, his soul immediately goes up at the time of his departure, making waves of desire emanate from the Cosmic Female (Nukva) toward the Cosmic Male (Zeir Anpin), and causes them to unite.

This is discussed in the Book of Zohar in the following way. When the Righteous One (Cosmic Male) dresses himself with Jealosy and unites with the Female, this is connected to the qualities of Joseph, since the numerical values of Joseph and Jealousy are identical. That is why the Sages said, “A man may be jealous of his wife, because a special spirit of purity entered him.” A man who especially loves his wife causes himself to be jealous,and this jealousy comes because of the great love between them. We find then that jealousy can be a virtue and a sign of completeness, not a defect. The result of this is the complete union between the Cosmic Male and Female, which encompasses all the worlds. This love transcends physical love, and their souls are in constant union.

In contrast, those who are not righteous cannot ascend after their death and cannot create waves of pleasure, and this is the secret of being “cut off,” since they do not return to Heaven from which they were formed, and remain below.

Art: Paul Hermann - The Lovers

Sunday, January 24, 2010

VaEra - Reincarnations of Haran


The reincarnations of Abel continued in the family of Abraham - in Lot, his nephew, and in Haran, his brother. The first letters of “Lot the son of Haran” (לוט בן הרן) constitute the name of Abel (הבל). Haran was burned by Nimrod when he refused to bow down to idols, and was later reincarnated as Aharon. The letters of the name of Aharon contain the letters of the name of Haran.

When Haran was burned, it was not of his own choosing. Abraham was the first one to refuse to bow down to idols, and for this he was thrown into the oven. Haran was waiting to see what would happen to Abraham. When he saw that Abraham was saved, he decided to be on the side of Abraham. They threw him in the oven, and he was burned. Therefore, this burning was not counted a completely meritorious deed for him.

When Haran came back as Aharon, an extra letter Aleph was added to his name. His test was repeated when the people told him, “Come and make a god for us,” and Aharon made an idol, a golden calf. Aharon should have refused and allow himself to be killed, but he did not do it. Instead, his nephew, Hur the son of Miriam, tried to stop the people from worshiping the calf and was killed by them. Hur's soul was from a different root, but a part of Haran was added to him.

Aharon then built (ויבן) the alter. The word ויבן can be translated as “understood”. Aharon understood that Hur had already corrected that part of Haran and reasoned that he did not have to give up his life anymore. However, he was mistaken in this. Therefore his two sons had to die by burning in front of Aharon, just as Haran died in front of his father.

Art: Nicolas Poussin - Adoration of the Golden Calf

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shemot – Cain and Abel Through Generations


After Abel was born, Adam separated from Eve. For 130 years he met with she-demons and was creating souls stemming from Abel, until they were all completed. Abel had a mixture of Good and Bad in him, with Good being prevalent, and so did all souls stemming from him. Then Adam returned to his wife Eve, and she bore Seth, who was the reincarnation of the good side of Abel.

These souls kept being rectified in mixed multitude and in Jew in Egypt for 130 years, until the rectification process was complete, and after that Moses could be born. Moses “was good”, being the reincarnation of the good side of Abel. In parallel, Amram, the father of Moses, had to separate from his wife until she was 130, to repeat Adam's separation from Eve.

Jethro was the reincarnation of Cain. His other name was Keini, because he was jealous (Kana) of the twin sister of Abel. The Gematria of “Priest of Midian” is the same as “This is Cain”. He used to get into fights like the Kohahim do and like Cain did.

The Egyptian whom Moses killed was the reincarnation of the bad part of Cain. His soul went to connect to Jethro, and this is when Jethro became complete and stopped worshipping idols. Then Jethro gave to Moses his daughter Tzipporah in marriage, thus rectifying the previous fight between Cain and Abel on account of Abel's twin sister.

Art: Titian - Cain and Abel

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Vayechi – Firstborn Reuven Correcting Firstborn Cain


“...And the days of Jacob, the years of his life...”

King Solomon said, “Fear of God adds days, but the years of the bad people are cut off.” A righteous person re-thinks his deeds every day, as if tomorrow he will die. It happens then that every next day of his life is a present, and this is the “Fear of God adds days.” The bad people, however, never think about their death, and it is always unexpected for them; thus their “years are cut off.” Jacob lived every day of his life as a present.

Reuven was a reincarnation of Cain. This is why his mother called him “Reu” (see), “ben” (son) – see my firstborn son, who is going to correct the deeds of another firstborn, Cain. Indeed, instead of killing his brother Joseph, Reuven intended to save him.

However, the fight between Cain and Abel was on account of Abel's twin sister, and that Reuven did not fix. Instead, he removed his father's bed from its tent. As a result, the right of the firstborn was taken away from him, and the next reincarnation of Cain was Jethro.

Art: Vincent Van Gogh - The Bedroom

Friday, January 1, 2010

Vayigash – Jacob's 130 Bad Years


And Jacob said to Pharaoh, - The days of my life were a hundred and thirty years, and they were few and bad...”. Why did Jacob call his years that way?

Adam was reincarnated in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and this is why they are called “Fathers” - after the first father of mankind. The Lower Soul (Nefesh) of Adam was reincarnated in Abraham, the Spirit (Ruach) in Isaac, and the Higher Soul (Neshama) in Jacob.

Abraham corrected idol worship. Isaac corrected murder. Jacob's task was to correct sexual improprieties, committed by Adam in the 130 years of separation from his wife - with Lilith and Naamah.

The word “bad” mentioned by Jacob is a hint to the following: “Er, Judah's firstborn, was bad...”, “...every thought of man was bad...”. Thus, Jacob's years, being bad, corrected for the previous bad.

After Jacob corrected that, the Higher Soul of Adam entered him, and his life was good, “...and Jacob lived...” for another 17 years, the numerical value of “good.” This is why he went down to Egypt, where the souls created by Adam were reborn.

Art: Peder Severin Krøyer - Three Fishermen Pulling a Boat