Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kedoshim – What to Do on Shabbat

"Every person must respect his mother and father, and keep My Sabbaths. I am God your Lord."

One who learns Torah on Shabbat, understands new things, says new insights, and perhaps even learns Kabbalah on that day, causes great respect for his mother and father.

Everyone is given an additional soul on Shabbat. It is this soul that makes his Shabbat learning special. When Shabbat ends, the additional soul returns to Heaven, and the righteous there ask it, “What did you learn? What new thoughts and insights have you suggested?” The soul retells everything it did, and its words bring this extra honor to the person's parents.

That is why the two subjects are connected in the Torah: one shows great respect to his mother and father by observing Shabbat, that is, by learning Torah on that day.

Art: John Frederick Peto - Still Life With Candlestick And Book

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Kabbalah of Sefirah

There are fifty days from going out of Egypt till receiving the Torah on Sinai, and one counts them as he counts the days to his birthday, for on that day the world was created, at least according to one view.

There are two reasons for this counting (sefirah): to arouse in oneself the love for Torah, and to purify and prepare oneself for the receiving of the Torah. In each of these days one can reach a completely new spiritual level, since each of these days has the power of eight. Thus they are are a blueprint for the year. Everyone may encounter in these days difficulties corresponding to his spiritual nature.

The key to each day is in the Sefirot that it represents. For example, today is the fifth day of the counting, Hod in Chesed, or Praise in Love. On it one should concentrate on praising God, making up for others who do not do so, and this will bring him to love God. Thus he is correcting Love through Praise.

Art: Louis Charles Moeller - The Appraiser

Friday, April 15, 2011

Acharei Mot – The Torah Spoke of the Four Sons

"God spoke to Moses right after the death of Aaron's two sons, who brought an [unauthorized] offering before God and died."

The letters of the name of the son who died, Nadav, constitute the words “four sons” - “dalet,” four, and “ben” - son. The Torah spoke about four sons, that is, Adam and his three sons, and their souls were all collected in Nadav and Avihu. The name of Avihu is also a hint at Adam, because it can be read “avi hu” - he is the father.

Whatever Adam did wrong, these also did wrong. And what was it? - Strange fire, the other woman, that is, the first Eve, called Lilith. Adam was united with Lilith before Eve, and that is why he said about Eve, “She will be called a woman” - she, but not the other, Lilith.

The Sages called Adam “restoring his circumcision” because of his prior connection to Lilith, with whom he gave birth to multiple demons. A man (ish) and his wife (ishah) constitute real fire of love together – if God puts his name between them. But without God's name, it constitutes just fire, “ash,” and this is the strange fire of Adam.

Naduv and Avihu were the greatest people of their generation, but they repeated Adam's mistake, and did not get married. In addition, they were drunk with wine – and that again was the sin of Adam, on the opinion that Eve gave him grapes from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad, having made it into wine. Wine has a dual nature, but Adam leaned on the physical side of it.

Additionally, Adam tried to bring everyone, good and bad, into God's presence, and this was a mistake which caused his own exile, and later also other exiles. In this he was not alone, for Moses and King Solomon also tried to bring too many people to God.

Art: Adriaen Jansz. Van Ostade - An Elderly Man Seated Holding A Wineglass

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Nissan as the Month that Has It All

This month will be to you the head of all months...”

Just as the head has in it the image of the complete body and controls it, so too the month of Nissan has in it all other months. Each month has a “key phrase
 that corresponds to one of the 12 permutations of the Name of God. This is reflected by the Gematria of the Nissan key phrase and the Gematria of the names of all other months combined being one and the same, 1952.

This was the gist of the complete exposition that came to me from Rabbi Menachem Kranz, whose lectures on Kabbalah can be found at the Jewish Heritage Foundation site. So here it is.

Mark, I thought you would enjoy this דבר תורה, I am amazed by how well it fits so I have said it by my Shiur before פרשת החדש for a number of years already, so enjoy.

We read on this שבת the פרשה of ראש חדש and the תורה says as follows, החדש הזה לכם ראש חדשים ראשון היא לכם לחדשי השנה I saw in the ספר אור מלא a beautiful רמז to how we can see that this month of ניסן is the ראש, head of all the months, the head has inside of it all the of the of the rest of the body inside of it, but only on the potential level, so somehow we have to be able to see in the month of ניסן a hint to all of the rest of the months.

If you look in a lot of סידורים in נוסח ספרד, like the Artscroll all hebrew siddur, by מוסף for ראש חדש you will see that it brings down to have in mind a different one of the 12 permutation for the שם הוי"ה by every month, (a 4 lettered word should have 24 permutations but since there are 2 of the same letters so it cuts the amount in half, and that's why there is only 12 permutations for the שם הוי"ה)  and they come from different פסוקים from their acronym. The first three all start with the letter י, the next three ה, the next three the letter ו, and the last three permutations start with the letter ה.

The month of ניסן it says comes from the acronym of the פסוק: ישמחו השמים ותגל הארץ ירעם הים ומלאו, the first letters of the first four word spells out השם's name in order, but yet in here is a רמז for all of the rest. As follows, if you start from the second letter and count the first letters it comes out in the order of הוהי and from the set that begins with the letter ה which corresponds to the month of תמוז that's the order of its permutation. Now if we start counting from the third letter we get a permutation in the order of והיה which is the permutation that is for the month of תשרי which is the first of the ones that start with a ו, and lastly if we start from the fourth letter we have the order of היהו which is for the month of טבת the first of the last three which start with the letter ה.  So all in all we have seen the a רמז here for the four main month, they are also the four month that the seasons are called by like תקופת ניסן and so on, as they are the heads of the permutations that begins with the different letters. Now if we would add up the גימטריא (numerical equivalence) of the those four months they equal to 1944, add to it another 8 to represent the other 8 months that aren't the main ones, it all equals up to 1952 which is the גימטריא of the   whole פסוק.  ישמחו השמים ותגל הארץ ירעם הים ומלאו. So we see here how the month of ניסן is the ראש of all the חדשים and they are all hinted in the פסוק that represents the month of ניסן.

We'll go word for word,


Together they equal 1952

Now let's count the four main month ניסן=170

Altogether it equals 1944, now add 8 to it which represent the other 8 month, and you have exactly 1952.

For someone to come up with this it had to be with רוח הקדש. It amazes me every time I go through it, it just fits so perfectly. May we finally see the גאולה as it says בניסן נגאלו ובניסן עתידין לגאול!

Art: Alfred Sisley - The Small Meadow In Spring

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tazria - Seven and Eight - Originals

Here are the pages of the original for reference, click on them to see full-size.

Tazria - Seven and Eight

When a woman conceives and gives birth to a boy, she shall be ritually unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during the time of separation when she has her period.”

Adam was created from the earth outside of the Garden of Eden, and later God brought him in. Why is this so? Would it not be better to create Adam from the earth of the Garden, which was obviously of better quality? However, the reason for this is that Adam was destined to make a mistake that would cause him to be exiled from the Garden. Had Adam been created from the earth of the Garden of Eden, then later, after his mistake and exile, he would not be able to repair the damage he has done.

When the Snake seduced Eve, he injected in her bad spiritual qualities that led to a mixture of good and evil. Now she would give birth not only to righteous individuals, like she and Adam, but also to evil people. There are connections between the seventy nations of the world, the seventy members of Sanhedrin, the seventy years of exile, the seventy years of the “spiritual sleep” of the exiles, and seventy or eighty years of a man's life, hinted to in the psalms, “the life of a man is seventy years, and with strength – eighty.” They deal with the mixture of good and bad, and that explains why circumcision happens on the eight day, which is free from the influence of seven/seventy.

Art: Francesco Curradi - The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise