Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tetzaveh – Clear Illuminating Oil For Menorah

The letters of the Name of God, which means, “I will be”, alef-hey-yud-hey (אהיה) can be expanded, that is, spelled out, in this way: alef = alef-lamed-pei (אלף), yud=yud-vav-dalet (יוד), and so on. Thus we get the expansion that consists of ten letters (אלף הי יוד הי).

In its turn, this expansion can be further expanded, and we will get a Name that consists of twenty-seven letters (אלף למד פי - הי יוד - יוד ויו דלת - הי יוד). Note that when given a choice of how to spell a vav, we spelled it with a yud, that it is vav-yud-vav (ויו). However, we could also spell it with alef, vav-alef-vav (ואו). If we do that, we will arrive at a different expansion of the Name of God, with alef (אלף למד פי - הי אלפ - יוד ואו דלת - הי יוד), and it, too, will have twenty-seven letters.

These twenty-seven are the same gematria as the word “clear”, “zach” (זך). The two-thirds division is found in many places. It indicates to us that we are dealing with an entity that has three parts. For example, the Jewish people are composed of three groups, Kohanim, Levites, and Israelites. The Tanach is composed of the Torah, Prophets (Neviim), and Writings (Ketuvim). The Kohanim give people a three-fold blessing. And every week one should repeat the Torah portion of the week three times: two in the original Hebrew, and one in the Aramaic translation of Onkelos.

The two-thirds here, represented by the two expansion of the Name of God, and also by the words “clear,” hint to the two-thirds of the Beauty of the Cosmic Man, Zeir Anpin, which are revealed to his female counterpart, the Cosmic Woman. When they are made known to the Cosmic Woman through his Foundation, which acts as a seal of their union, the purpose of the oil, “to bring out the light” becomes known, and “Light” is the Cosmic Woman. The phrase “clear illuminating oil to bring up the light (in the Menorah)” is thus a hint to their supernal union.

Art: John Frederick Kensett - New England Sunrise

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yitro – “I Am Your Brother!”

Yitro said to Moses, 'I am your father-in-law Yitro, come out and greet me'...”

We can ask, if Yitro is talking to Moses face to face, why does he need to say, “I am your father-in-law?” Moses can see who he is! In the words “I am your father-in-law”, in Hebrew “ani chotencha” the first letters constitute “ach” - “brother”. Yitro was a reincarnation of Cain, and Moses was a reincarnation of Abel, and Yitro was telling to Moses “I am your brother!”

In his previous life, Cain denied logic and judgment, when he said “Am I my brother's keeper?” In this life as Yitro he came to correct this, and this is why he said, “Come out and greet me” - to fix my previous lifetime. Fittingly, his contribution was to teach Moses about judgment, when he taught Moses how to select and appoint judges. The words “Cain” and “Din” – judgment – are also hinted to in the title Yitro, “Priest of Midian” - “Kohen MiDin.”

Soul's travels are more complex than the pattern of death and re-birth. A soul may be taken away from one and given over to another. The soul of a righteous may come and join one who is trying to do good. That is the meaning of the words “One who is trying to purify himself is being helped from Heaven.” Cain later came back as Korach. That is the meaning of the words “And Korach took.” What did he take? A bad purchase – the soul of Cain. That is why he “rose up against Moses” - just like he rose up against Abel in his previous life, and that is why he descended alive to Gehennom, from where he is brought up monthly to proclaim, “Moses is right, and his Torah is true, and we are deceivers.”

Art: Johann Anton Alban Ramboux - The Eberhard Brothers

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beshalach – Jews Leaving Egypt As Soul Leaving the Body

A nice way to understand the story of Exodus is to see in it a lesson about soul leaving the body. “When Pharaoh sent the people away” is setting the stage, it means “When the soul (the people) is leaving the body”. Egypt – Mitzraim – means “boundaries,” and Pharaoh – Oreph (neck) – means body that is stubborn and stiff-necked. At this time, the Evil forces (the people's tormentors) are pursuing the soul (which is spiritual and thus never gets sullied), and want to harm it. These are the same materialistic evil inclinations that seduce the soul, they are the ones that cause its demise, and they are the ones that accuse it later on.

And God strengthened the heart of Pharaoh, and he pursued the people and overcame them, encamped at the sea, “chonim al ha yam” - means Gehinnom, and that is the “sea,” or the stream, by the name of Dinor. Now when the Pharaoh approached them, they “were very afraid of suffering and cried out to God.” They then said to Moses, “Why did you have to take us out of Egypt? Wasn't there enough graves there?” This means, “We don't want to die. We had enough trouble in this earthly existence, and now we are subjected to the cleansing in the grave! We were better off with in our known troubles during lifetime, than flying to others, that we know not of.”

On the contrary, the righteous always desire to die (that is, in this world, and to live in the next one, the world of Truth). With this, one can understand the three days of darkness, which correspond to the travel from “Migdol” to “Pi Chirot” - from “Tower” to “Freedom.”

Moses, who represents man's good potential, told them, “Do not be afraid (of the punishment), because it is for your own good.” Moses continued “You will not see your tormentors ever again” – they will stay in the sea – which is the stream of Dinor. After you are cleansed in Gehinnom, you will not see your bad part again.

Art: Ferdinand Hodler - A Troubled Soul