Sunday, June 24, 2012

Korach - Argument Between Heaven and Earth

Korach had a confrontation with Moses

To understand the argument between Korach and Aaron, we need to go back to the creation of the world. God created the sky, to separate between “Upper Waters” and “Lower Waters.”  The first represents Mercy, which the second – Judgment. Mercy wanted to justify everyone, even the bad. Strictness wanted to judge everyone, even the good, and be as exacting with them as a hair's breadth. God created a “firmament,” or the sky, to separate and to reason. The sky represents Beauty, the quality of proportionality and balance.

Shakespeare hints at this argument in his sonnet, “Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war.”  There, the heart represents Mercy, and is connected to Wisdom. Eye, on the other hand, represents Judgment, connected to Understanding. The argument is decided by “a quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart.” It would seem unfair, at first glance, that the mediator would live in the quarters of one of the contestants. However, Mercy must be superior to Judgment, for them to function well together.

As a result, Judgment agrees to spare the righteous, while Mercy has to give the bad ones over to punishment – on the condition, however, that it serves as correction. In the course of the disagreement, Judgment gets argumentative and angry, which manifests in the creation of the Gehinnom.

Korach represented argumentative Judgment, while Aharon, who never said a bad word to anybody, represented Mercy. Moses, who saw them argue, immediately recognized this as the argument that had already happened at the creation time, and decide to intervene, since he represented balance and Beauty, as his mother saw when he was born, “the boy was good,” meaning, “completely good, beautiful and balanced.”

However, it all depends on how people argue. If they are at war with each other, in order to find the higher truth, then they will see it, when it presents itself in the words of their counterpart. Such were the arguments between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, who respected each other, studied the other's point of view, and were at times convinced. Korach was not a perfect reflection of Judgment, but was in it for his own honor, and he did not heed to Moses at all. That is why he had to fall into that same Gehinnom that was created by Judgment. Still, there was some good intention on his part also, and he has a corresponding place in the Future World.

Art: François Brunery - A Delicate Balance

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kabbalistic Diet

Rav Avira said (sometimes he said it in the name of Rabbi Ami, and sometimes in the name of Rabbi Asi – because he heard it from both): Ministering angels said to the Holy One Blessed Is He, “Master of the World! In your own Torah you have written, 'Do not show favoritism, and do not take bribe,' but you show favoritism to Israel, as you yourself say in your Torah, 'May God show favor to you and turn His face to you.'”

God answered, “What can I do? How can I not show them favor! I told them in the Torah, 'You will eat and be satisfied and bless God.' I told them to eat their fill, and only then bless God, and they are exacting with themselves, and bless Me when they eat an olive volume, and an egg's volume. The person's body is not satisfied until he eats his fill. However, these righteous understood 'and be satisfied' as 'be a little satisfied,' and interpreted My words as in regards to the soul, not the body. Do you remember how we created the world? I was for it, and you were against, and really you, the angels, were right: I should not have created the world. However, I saw the souls of the righteous, fell in love with them, and created the world against logic. How can I not show favor to them now?”

We see from here that when a person eats little, and understands a minor satisfaction as being enough, this causes the awakening of God's favor for him.

Art: Jozef Israels - The Frugal Meal

Friday, June 8, 2012

Behaalotcha – Face to Face

God spoke to Moses, telling him to speak to Aaron and say to him, 'When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall illuminate the menorah.'”

The subject of the Menorah was started in the portion of Tetzaveh. There we said that the Menorah represents the Cosmic Female, and explained the meaning of the beating of the olives to prepare the oil. More specifically, the Menorah represents Rachel. This means that the spiritual qualities of the world that were embodied by the Matriarch Rachel, were later found in the Menorah. Rachel is the Female companion of the Cosmic Man, who is also called Zeir Anpin (Small Face).

At earlier times, the Cosmic Man and his Female were standing face to face with each other. Then the Menorah was not needed. However, later the Cosmic Female and the Cosmic Man stood back to back to each other, because they were afraid of the Evil Husks who would attack the Female. The Menorah in the time of the Temple rectified the situation.

The seven branches of the Menorah represent the lower seven Sefirot  (God's manifestations in the world) of the Female, from Kindness to Rulership. They are arranged in groups of right (Mercy), left ( Judgment), and center (Beauty, or balance and proportionality). The branches are endowed with the five aspects of Strength, characteristic of the Female, who limits and shapes the world.

The five attributes of Kindness from the Mind of the Cosmic Man likewise descend to his seven Sefirot, and are manifest in the lights of the Menorah. The seven lights, with their fire and flame, coming from the wick, represents the seven qualities of the Cosmic Man.

Today, when there is no Menorah, the union can still be accomplished by the Cosmic Man and his Female ascending to their supernal Mother and Father, who shade and protect them for the time of their visit. Those who know do this in the prayer, through a “unification” mediation in Shema and in the Tachanun, where they enact the actions of the spiritual entities (Partzufim) mentioned above.

Art: Joseph Ritter Von Führich - Jacob Encountering Rachel with her Father's Herds