Saturday, November 9, 2013

Vayetze - Growing up

"Jacob left Beer-sheba and headed toward Charan."

This Torah phrase is a code for many events that happened in the spiritual worlds. Here is how the Arizal explains the progression. God leads the world through ten Sefirot that combine and interact. The perfect world does not exist, and in our imperfect world the spirituality is not final and constant, but rather it grows. Zeir Anpin, the Cosmic Man, who represents this spiritual progress – which is achieved not by the whole humanity but by a few select individuals – starts his life with immature consciousness. At this stage, his mind consists of the name of God "Elohim" taken three times. The gematria, or numerical value of this mind is 86 * 3 = 258.

The next stage of the Zeir Anpin development is to grow. For this, he must make space in his head for the higher levels of Names of God to enter - these names representing the adult consciousness. The three "Elohim" have to descend through his throat and enter his body. Throat represents the narrow passage through which this development takes place. The gematria of the word throat ("garon") is also 258 (with 1 added for the word itself).

How is this all hinted to by the above phrase of the Torah? - Jacob leaving Beer-sheba is talking about the early conciseness of Zeir Anpin leaving his head and going into his body. Jacob is going to Charan - that is the hint, since the gematria of Charan is 258.

Jacob, who was able to combine conflicting opinions and balance them, originates from Wisdom. He was also righteous, which is connected to the Sefirah of Foundation. The last letters of the words "Jacob left Beer" are aleph-beth-resh, which represent "ever," or member, sexual organ. That is because controlling one's sexual urges is both a prerequisite and a means of obtaining righteousness.

Art: Landscape with Jacob, Rachel, and Leah by Nicolaes Berchem