Friday, January 28, 2011

Mishpatim – The Jewish Slave

"These are the laws that you must set before [the Israelites]: If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years, but in the seventh year, he is to be set free without liability."

The slave who works for six years is a hint to one who learns the Mishnah, which consists of Six Orders. Learning the Mishnah can be called necessary but ungrateful labor, because it is only a preparation for future study of the Talmud and Kabbalah. One cannot decide the final law from it, nor does one know the various situations in which a particular Mishna is applicable.

The “six-year slave” is also a hint to a soul that was part of the Cosmic Man (Zeir Anpin, the spiritual entity comprising all souls), but then, due the soul's ruining the six attributes – Kindness, Judgment, Beauty, Victory, Splendor, Foundation – it had to come down into this world. Working for six years represents the soul working on each of the aspects of the world, and correcting every one of them.

But if the slaves refuses to leave his owner - that is, if the soul refuses to uplift itself and work on improving itself - then the master brings it to judgment and takes it to the door to make a hole in the slave's ear and keeps the soul in the cycle of reincarnations. The soul is destined to be reborn again and again, repeating its own mistakes.

Still, the soul of this Jewish slave has connection to holiness – to the source where it came from. Therefore, its efforts, even unwilling, are finally rewarded – and that is why the Jewish slave goes out to freedom in the Jubilee year. It may seem like an eternity – and that is what the Torah has actually said, “the slaves serves his master forever.” But this “forever” is not to be taken literally. Later on, describing the Jubelee year, the Torah says that “every man returns to his family.”

Art: Bartolome Esteban Murillo - Return of the Prodigal Son

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yitro – Who is Yitro?

"Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, sheik (priest) of Midian, heard about all that God had done for Moses and His people Israel when He brought Israel out of Egypt."

The Other Side has as one of its servants someone called “Priest of Midian.” The general rule is that every element of holiness has a corresponding element on the Other Side, and in this hierarchy the “Priest of Median” corresponds to the Foundation of the Supernal Father. The name of the Foundation of the Supernal Father on the side of holiness is “Love,” but on the other side his name is “Jealousy and Strife.”

Yitro also had the title “The Priest of On.” Similar to the opposing positions of Good and Evil above, the “Priest of On” has as its counterpart on the side of Holiness the Foundation of the Cosmic Man. Accordingly, the Foundation of the Cosmic Man is characterized by the phrase from the Torah “Beginning of my strength (oni),” whereas the Priest of On has his expression in the verse from the Psalms “Those who do evil (spelled in the same way as 'on', but pronounced 'avon').

The Forces of Good always want to be together, and the righteous have a part in that with their actions, which brings about the supernal union. Corresponding to this, the Forces of Evil also want to cling together, but are not successful in this, since they do not have the light of love. For they only imitate the good, but lack its inner qualities, and are compared to a monkey imitating a man. Therefore they remain separated, as the verse in the Psalms indicates, “they will be separated and spread out, all those who do evil.” This is all hinted to in the name “Priest of Midian.”

Art: Petrus Renier Hubertus Knarren - Jealousy

Friday, January 14, 2011

Beshalach – The Way to Get to Israel

"When Pharaoh let the people leave, God did not lead them along the Philistine Highway, although it was the shorter route. God's consideration was that if the people encountered armed resistance, they would lose heart and return to Egypt."

It was bad for the Jews that Pharaoh let the “people” - meaning the mixed multitude of slave nations – go with them, since it was because of them that God did not pity the Jews and did not bring them directly into Israel. Rather, God considered that “people” - that is, the mixed multitude - would change their minds and return to Egypt.

When Moshe saw that they would be forced to go through the desert, in the direction of the Sea of Reeds, and will have to cross it, he took the remains of Joseph with him, so that Joseph would help him split the sea, as the verse “the sea saw and ran away” implies.

The Philistines are spiritually compared to hair, and their verse is “hanging hair locks,” with the accompanying spiritual affinity to Leah. The Jews now needed to go to Israel, which is connected to the qualities of Rachel, and the danger was that when going through the land of Leah, they would get stuck and go back to Egypt. Moses, who represents the Foundation of the Supernal Father, was on a level that is too high and abstract. He could get to Israel only through the Foundation of the Cosmic Man, which is represented by Joseph. He thus took the remains (literally, the essence) of Joseph, clothed himself in the Foundation of the Cosmic Man, and thus was able to direct toward Rachel – Israel.

Art: (Jacopo Carucci) Pontormo - Joseph in Egypt

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Page of the original relevant to the previous post

The page of the original, as supplied by Rabbi Kranz, with this explanation:

Dear Yudy

I'm attaching a pic of the Sefer ליקוטי תורה from the אריז"ל which is the source of where Mark took the פרשת שמות Dvar Torah from. In big bolder letters ( I don't think my pic is clear so here is what it says there: להיות כי ע' פנים לתורה וא' מהם היא רמז והנה ירידת ישראל למצרים היא רומז אל הולד בעודו תוך בטו אמו ביו המצרים ההמה וע"ז נפרש מ"ש) it says explicitly like Mark said that there are 70 ways to דרשן and this is one of them. In other words the אריז"ל is using it as a משל to describe growth of a baby in his mothers womb,  but what Mark wrote by פרשת בא is talking about were פרעה and the מצרים had their grasp on קדושה so they were able to control כלל ישראל.

But to explain it a little more, when there are a lower level of מוחין to the פרצוף ז"א then the other side can have a grip on ז"א. But only on his neck, but that's the area where the 3 parts of the מוחין which is the חב"ד pass through  when they go through the neck, whether its going up or down (why it goes each way I'm going to leave alone for now) the most vunerable place is by the neck just like a chain is as strong as its weakest link, so the weakest place is the neck, its the most narrow place on the body were all the vital messages and so on have to pass through so פרעה represents הער"ף the neck, and his 3 שרים represent the 3 most vital parts that pass through there which is from the מוחין דקטנות which are made up of שמות of אלהים.

But even if we take it on the משל level I think it could be bringing us an important lesson, of how the יצר הרע works, he wants to cut off our connection that we have between our mind and heart, so we just listen to our desires and not our mind, but that can only happen when we only have מוחין דקטנות but when were on a higher state of מוחין דגדלות then its much harder fro them so the key is to be on a higher state of mind as much as we can, and not to lose our constant שותי ה' לנגדי תמיד!

May we be זוכה to attain that level.

I hope I brought some clarity to what's bothering you.

Menachem Sholom Kranz

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bo – The Source of Pharaoh's Power

"God said to Moses, 'Go to Pharaoh' "

Pharaoh did not know the name of God denoted as Y-H-V-H (יהוה) and denied its power, since he said “I do not recognize God (יהוה).”  He did, however, recognize the name of God Elohim (אלהים), since his magicians told him, “This is the finger of God (Elohim).”

This is because Pharaoh was drawing his sustenance from the Cosmic Man, but only from his youthful, unrefined mind, which consists of three parts, called meat steward, wine steward, and bread steward. All of them represent the name of God Elohim, the name that denotes the natural course of events, cause and effect, and crime and punishment. Even when through the plagues Pharaoh was ready to accept the name of God Y-H-V-H – which denotes God's presence in everyday affairs – he was only ready to accept the judgment and punishment parts of this involvement, since he said “God (Y-H-V-H) is correct, and I am a sinner” - and the first letters of this phrase spell out Y-H-V-H (יהוה).

Thus even in his defeat Pharaoh was insisting on his understanding of God as a Vengeful Judge. To counteract this, God said “I will bring my signs (אותותי), which should be read as "signs of the letter yud" (אותות - י), and the gematria of yud is 10, corresponding to the spelling of the name Y-H-V-H (יוד הי ויו הי), which has 10 letters. This is also hinted to by the frogs that went into “your midst” - literally into the midst of Pharaoh.

Art: Alois Stoff - In Search Of The Pharaohs