Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dvarim – The Limited Blessing Of Moses

When Moses said, “May God, Lord of your fathers, increase your numbers a thousandfold, and bless you as He promised”, the Jews objected, “Are you putting a limit (admittedly large) on the blessing?” To this Moses answered, “It is in my possession, a thousandfold blessing, and that I am giving to you. Beyond that, the blessings should come from the level of Aba Ilaa, Supernal Father."

Moses himself is on the level of El Shaddai. This is the name of God Who gives blessings until your lips begin to say “Dai,” or “Enough.” The gematria of Moses (םשה) is 40+300+5=345, and the gematria of El Shaddai (אל שדי) is 1+30+300+4+10=345.

If you spell out the name of El Shaddai (אלפ למד שין דלת יוד), you will get 1000 (1+30+80+30+40+4+300+10+50+4+30+400+10+6+4=999, plus 1 for the complete word). A thousand in Hebrew is Aleph, and the Hebrew alphabet, which starts from Aleph-Beth is a different way of saying Aleph-Binah, Beginning of Understanding, or Learn to Understand. That is how far the power of Moses reached – to the level of Ima Ilaa, or the Supernal Mother, who represents Understanding. Beyond this is the level of the Supernal Father, and that is where Moses asked that the blessing will continue.

Art: Franz Marc - Portrait Of The Artists Mother

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pinchas – Jealousy

As learned earlier, the word Jealousy appears three times in the introductory verse of the Pinchas Torah portion, and there is a meditation from Baal Shem Tov, closely connected to the name of God “Jealous”. In principle, it works like this.

It is known that Evil exists only in the lower spiritual worlds, but that in the upper one, called Atzilut, or the World of Nearness, all is Good. By taking the subject of prayer and lifting oneself together with it into the World of Nearness, one comes to the state where Good and Bad are indistinguishable, because the Bad there is also Good. Then on his spiritual descent into the physical world, one finds that the necessary changes have been accomplished.

Even the meditation itself, without the use of a mikvah, is beneficial to the person, and even without accomplishing any other results. Some say, even no meditation is beneficial.

Art: Claude Oscar Monet - Meditation - Madame Monet On The Sofa

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Meditation of Baal Shem Tov

Taken from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's "Meditation and Kabbalah" - with gratitude

Arizal's Meditation for Friday Afternoon, Requires Immersion in a Mikvah

Taken from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's "Meditation and Kabbalah" - with gratitude

Monday, July 11, 2011

Balaam – Why is Evil Given So Much Power?

Previously we learned the story of reincarnations of Cain, Abel, Jethro, and the family of Abraham, leading to Balaam and Balak. They had great powers, Balaam being a prophet equal to Moses, and Balak – a magician who exceeded even Balaam. Why were they granted such powers?

Balak is called the son of Tzipor, and Jethro's daughter, whom Moses married, is called Tziporah. In some spiritual sense, Jethro is the father of Balak. Jethro's place in the spiritual hierarchy is very high: he is in the foundation of the Supernal Mother, and he is also the spiritual essence of Cain. The Foundation of the Supernal Mother is the name of God “Ehyeh” (אהיה). If you spell this name four times: two times with the letter yud 161 + 161 (אלפ הי יוד הי, אלפ הי יוד הי), once with aleph, 143 (אלפ הא יוד הא), and once with hei, 151 (אלפ הה יוד הה), you get the gematria of Jethro, 616 (יתרו).

Balak, who was in a sense Jethro's son, is thus also derived from Supernal Mother. Next to him (and in the spiritual universes "next" means in some way similar) is Leah, who represents the Rulership coming out of the Supernal Mother, extending until her feet. The lights that extend from the Supernal Mother to Leah, rooted in Zeir Anpin, Cosmic Man, are four, all expansions of the name of God Adonai(יהוה), and the numerical values of the expansions are 72, 63, 45, and 52, which together constitute 232, the gematria of Balak (בלק).

Leah, whose daughter was called Dinah, which means "Judge", represents the harshest judgements. Her feet (symbolizing the final purpose) push against the head of Rachel. The word "push" is (בולקים), and this is the root of Balak. Thus, because of their need for making spiritual progress, the spiritual forces give birth and prominence to evil, which is granted big powers on the way to final good.

Art: Jacopo Tintoretto - Two Prophets

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chukat - You have to make the good out of the bad

“You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of” from “All King's Men” by Robert Penn Warren seems to ring true, but it is hard to understand how the good can come out of the bad. In fact, Warren's book is a proof that this is not possible. However, mystics are all talking about the same things, and it must be true in some other worlds.

In many respects the Red Heifer features the opposite side, “the back” of the good. This is not the complete bad, only second best, but compared to the real thing, it is the “back” of it.

The Red Heifer is burned not in the Temple, but on the Mount of Olives, opposite the Temple. The person supervising the burning is not the High Priest but the one next to him; in the original formulation in the times of Aharon, it is not him, but his son Elazar.

As we learned before, the Red Heifer is the “back” of holiness, and as such it can lead to complete purity – provided that it itself is completely annihilated, and only its ashes remain.

The “Malchut,” or Rulership is the lowest Sefirah, and it represents the “back” of the highest expansion of the name of God (יהוה), when it is spelled with the letter yud, thus forming the name whose gematria is 72 (יוד הי ויו הי). If we then take the “back” of that name, substituting each letter with the previous one (טהג דט הטה דט), we get the name whose gematria is 62. If we continue and take the back of the other three expansions, with gematrias of 63, 52, and 45, then their “back” expansions, totaled, give the gematria of “parah adumah,” Red Heifer.

Thus the Red Heifer is all composed of the secrets of the “back,” or second best, and perhaps for that reason it escaped the understanding of the first among the Sages, King Solomon. The reverse order of things is reflected in the description of the cow, as follows, “cow” is Rulership, “red” is Glory, “pure” is Foundation, “without a blemish” is Strength, and “which never had a yoke on it” is Understanding.

Art: John Frederick Herring, Jnr. - A Bull And Cows In A Wooded Landscape