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Fleeing from God

There are three ways to deal with enemies: surrender, information pills fight, or make peace by neutralizing the root of their animosity.

The Ba'al Shem Tov told it as a story. Once a king called one of his officers and sent him on a secret mission, saying: I desire to test the loyalty of my subjects. Dress yourself as a king and go from state to state throughout my dominion; try your hardest to persuade and win over the people to rebel against me and accept you as king.

The officer followed the king's orders to the best of his ability. The various states in the dominion of the king reacted in different ways. Some were persuaded that it is for their benefit to rebel against their king and to accept the new figure as king. Some fought the new figure, in loyalty to their king. But there was one state of wise men who possessed the insight to realize that it is all a hoax, and that this new "king" is no more than a servant of the true king, who was sent by him to test their loyalty. They revealed to the officer his true motivation and intentions, which he immediately acknowledged, thus neutralizing his apparent antagonism to the king and making peace with him.

Thus we learn that there are two levels of loyalty to the king, portrayed in this story by the two types of negative reaction to the officer. One is referred to by the prophet as "I [God, the King] love the youth [the youthful spirit] of Israel" ("??? ????? ??????"). The youth of Israel fight back against the temptation of evil (the deceptive king) to rebel against God, putting themselves in danger, ready to die for God, their King. The second is loyalty together with a deep, mature sense of wisdom, the insight necessary to reveal the hoax at the root of the plot and end the story in peace with a joyous lechai'im!

In our day there are some who confuse peace with surrender, who call surrender together with a "peace accord" making peace. Not only has the antagonism of the enemy not been neutralized but it even becomes enhanced in this false version of "peace" (which is no more than submission to evil out of lack of faith in God and the eternal truth of His Word, the Torah).

Israel needs a strong youth (a strong, courageous heart) directed by a mature, adult leadership (a wise, insightful head). The leadership that we are lacking is one that believes in God (and His Torah) and recognizes that all is from God, often intended to test us and thereby strengthen us, for our ultimate good and for the good of all mankind.
Never give up. It's never too late. Apparent irreversible damage is also reversible. Even when it's all over it's not over. Life goes on.

Maybe it will be through messianic genetic engineering. But however it be, more about we believe that the dead will come back to life.

Regarding our present world order, this Rebbe Nachman said that if you believe that you can damage yourself (spiritually, through sin) then believe that you can rectify yourself (through teshuvah, return to God). It's all a function of faith. The original, relatively superficial faith in our ability to cause spiritual damage (to ourselves and others influenced by us) is balanced and overridden by the more profound faith that it is always possible to rectify. In the words of the previous Rebbe of Chabad, "it's never a lost case."

The original faith in our ability to damage derives from the sefirah of hod (acknowledgment), represented in the body by the left kidney and left leg. Our greater faith in our ability to rectify, no matter what, derives from the sefirah of netzach (victory and eternity), represented by the right kidney and right leg. These two sefirot always operate as a pair, and are symbolized in Kabbalah as the two palms of a scale.

If consciousness begins from the left palm of the scale, the faith in our ability to damage, then first we must balance it with the faith in our ability to rectify, and continue to deepen our consciousness of this faith until it weighs down the scale to the right, to our eternal merit, overriding (being victorious over) the initial left.

In this world it's all a challenge of faith. But in the messianic era the faith becomes knowledge; it becomes tangible. In this world, if the damage is physical and irreversible, like loosing a limb of one's body, God forbid, then at best one must accept it as a heavenly decree (a tikun, rectification, on the spiritual plane) and learn how to live and serve God best with it. But perhaps soon with advances in stem cell research it will be able to replace a lost limb (indeed, it's already beginning).
There are three levels of life: Living a healthy life in this world; life after spiritual death (sin); life after physical death.

To live a healthy life in this world means to consciously pursue a good life on both the physical and spiritual planes.

rasha (evil person) is considered dead in this world. The spiritual senses to perceive Divinity with which he was gifted from birth have become dumb, more about silent and inanimate. His heart has become a "heart of stone." But by teshuvah (return to God) he can revive himself. He can experience the word of God speaking to him, erectile "I forgive you, capsule " and thus return to life.

All humans are mortal. They live and they die. But death is not the end. Indeed, it is the beginning of a new, purely spiritual life, the life of the soul in paradise. Ultimately, the soul will return to reunite with the body. The body will resurrect and together with the soul that rectified it in this world experience eternal life in a physical world, whose nature we cannot at present fathom.

These three levels of life correspond to three levels of consciousness: the natural consciousness of the tzadik (righteous person) in this world, the rectified self-consciousness of the rasha who has succeeded in refocusing his consciousness on the Divine, and the natural consciousness of the future (the natural consciousness of the soul in a resurrected body, following the purely Divine consciousness of the soul in paradise).

Three times "life" (68, ????), equals tzadik (204, ????). The complete life cycle of the tzadik includes the intermediate stage of the rasha who has returned to God, "For man cannot be a tzadik on earth who does good and never sins."

The gematria of "life after death" (???? ??? ???? ,728) equals 28 times 26, i.e. "long live" (???) times God ('???)! This surprising gematria teaches us that the phenomenon of life after death reflects the truth that God lives forever, for the Divine soul is "an actual part of God above." "Actual" in relation to the soul means that it is simultaneously a real part of God above and also that it possesses the power to actualize itself by entering and living in a physical body.
There are six things that one must clarify: Who am I? Where am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? Who put me here? Why?

The six letters of the first word of the Torah, "In the beginning" (??????), purchase divide into two three-letter words which read, "He created six" (???, created, ???, six [in Aramaic]). The root "to create" in Hebrew (???) means also "to clarify." Thus, the Torah's first word, its first instruction to man (Torah means instruction, each of its words is an instruction to man), can be read, "Clarify six" (the first three-letter word can be read either "He clarified" in the past tense or simply "Clarify" in the imperative). This is the "In the beginning" of our Divine service. The first thing we must do, to best serve our Creator and be productive in life, is to clarify the six fundamental queries stated above.

The complete clarification process takes a whole lifetime, but the kernel ideas, the answers to the six queries, can be stated in short:

Who am I? If you are Jewish, the answer is "I am a Jew." A Jew is one of God's chosen people, chosen to bring light to the world. If you are not Jewish, the answer is "I am an intelligent human being." All humans are created and given the intelligence necessary to do their part in the rectification of reality. In defining the function of a Jew and a non-Jew in the world order we already begin to touch on the last query, why? Cleary, the answer given here is generic. What takes a lifetime is to answer the query for the individual (and so for the following queries).

Where am I? In the lowest of created worlds, the world referred to as "a world of deceit," a world blind to Divine reality, full of sin and corruption, estranged from God.

Where did I come from? From nothing (the primordial nothing, before creation).

Where am I going? To everything (the World to Come).

Who put me here? The Creator, the one and only God.

Why? In order that I know and unite with Him, by fulfilling His will, in this lowest of worlds. Thus I create a dwelling place for Him below. But why does He need me to know Him and why does He need a dwelling place below? Only God knows.

The astute student of Kabbalah will note that each of these six queries and answers addresses, in particular, one of the supernal sefirot: Who am I? – foundation (????). Where am I? – kingdom (?????). Where did I come from? – wisdom (????). Where am I going? – understanding (????). Who put me here? – crown (???). Why? – knowledge (???).
King David asked the question "Who am I?" The Bible describes him as "reddish with beautiful eyes and goodly appearance."

Each of us has a soul-root. Ultimately, we all descend from Adam, and as such we each are rooted in one of his (spiritual) limbs. The soul of Adam is the origin of the middle line of the Tree of Life. His first two sons, Cain and Abel, represent the two primary branches of his soul, the left branch and the right branch, respectively. Later in history, the two twins, Esau (from the root of Cain) and Jacob (from the root of Abel), correspond to the archetypal souls of the left and the right.

The word "reddish" (??????) appears only twice in the Bible, first describing Esau at birth ("The first one came out reddish"; he was later named Edom, "red one") and thereafter describing David, when he first appears in the Biblical narration of his anointment by the prophet Samuel.

The sages relate that when Samuel first saw the reddish youth brought before him, he was taken aback in fear lest he resemble Esau, a shedder of blood. But God told him, albeit he is reddish he will only shed blood in war to protect the Jewish People and sanctify the Name of God – indeed he is reddish (for a king must possess an affinity to red, the color of might, embodied in the blood) but with (not and, as the normal syntax of the phrase would suggest) beautiful eyes, i.e., with a beautiful, Torah-correct sense of judgment (based upon the teachings of the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court of Israel, the "eyes" of the congregation).

The gematria of "reddish" (??????) is equal to that of the question "Who am I" (?? ???, 111). Also, the first three letters of the word (its grammatical root) spell Adam, ???, the first man and all-inclusive soul-root of mankind. In Kabbalah, the three letters of Adam stand for Adam David Moshiach.

David knew that he was reddish and asked himself the question "Who am I?" Am I (from) Esau, God forbid?! The story of his life is the answer to his question. God sent you to the world in order to rectify and elevate the Divine sparks trapped in the soul-root of Esau. But from the outset there is a great, essential difference between him and you. He "lives by the sword." He enjoys killing. But not you! You use your innate attribute of might (your innate reddishness) only to do justice and bring peace. You long for the day that the swords will be beaten into plowshares. You are the perfect blend (the middle – "… and goodly appearance") of left ("reddish") and right ("… with beautiful eyes"). That's who you are.
The description of David, information pills "reddish with beautiful eyes" ("?????????? ??? ????? ????????") equals "kingdom" (malchut, information pills ?????, pill 496). That's what it takes to be a king and rule over a kingdom.

The entire verse, "And he sent and brought him, and he was reddish with beautiful eyes and goodly appearance, and God said, Arise anoint him for this is he" ("??????????? ???????????? ?????? ?????????? ??? ????? ???????? ?????? ????? ????????? ?-??? ???? ?????????? ???? ??? ????") equals 4 times kingdom, 4 times "reddish with beautiful eyes" (corresponding, in Kabbalah, to the manifestation of the sefirah of kingdom in each of the four worlds, Emanation, Creation, Formation, Action).

Another indication that the phrase "reddish with beautiful eyes" is the kernel essence of the entire verse is that the verse comprises 16 words while the phrase "reddish with beautiful eyes" comprises 16 letters. 16 = 42. The phrase "reddish with beautiful eyes" comprises 4 words (22, the root of 16). These are striking examples of self-reference.

The "seal" of the verse is "for this is he!" (?? ?? ???). This (??) = he (???). The commentaries explain this to mean that David's revealed appearance, his manifestation in This World ("this") exactly reflects his hidden essence, his manifestation in the World to Come ("he"). Indeed, "this is he" (?? ???) equals "David" as his name appears often in the Bible: ????. David's reddishness derives from his "this" while his beautiful eyes derive from his "he." First Samuel only saw his "this" but not the inner-inclusion of his "he" with his "this."

Previously God had chastised Samuel, who mistakenly thought that David's older brother was the one to be anointed, saying "look not at his countenance… for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart" ("??? ??????? ??? ?????????... ???? ??????? ??????? ?????????? ???' ??????? ????????").

But Samuel was unable to fully internalize God's chastisement (thus demonstrating God's very assessment of the difference between Him and man). Once again his initial impression of David was mistaken; he saw only his "this" but not his "he."

"Reddish with beautiful eyes [= kingdom] and goodly appearance" (?????? ?? ??? ????? ???? ???, 730) together with "this is he" (24) = 754 = 13 times 58. 13 = "one" (???) and 58 = "grace" (??), symmetric beauty. In small numbering, "grace" itself equals "one." "But God looks at the heart" (???-??? ??????? ????????) equals 312 = 13 (one) times 24. 24 = "this is he" (?? ???) or David (????).

"Reddish with beautiful eyes and goodly appearance" together with "for this is he" (?? ?? ???) equals 784 = 282 (28 = 2 times 14, David, ???).

Skipping every other letter in the phrase "reddish with beautiful eyes" divides kingdom, 496, into 196, 142 (David squared) and 300, the triangle of 24 (= "this is he")! The full value, 496, is itself the triangle of 31 (God's Name El, ?-?). Thus, we arrive at the mathematical expression: 142 plus triangle 24 = triangle 31, which generalizes to:

(4n plus 2)2 plus triangle (7n plus 3) = triangle (9n plus 4)

This, then, is a kingly mathematical expression!
After his sin God asked Adam, ambulance "Where are you?" Do you know to what depth you have fallen?

Adam ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. He pursued knowledge (God wants us to be knowledgeable, doesn't He?). And he got it – the knowledge of the depth to which he had fallen by disobeying the word of God.

The answer to the query "Where am I" has both an objective and a subjective side to it. Objectively, I'm here in this lowest of worlds, a world of deceit, etc. Subjectively, I myself am responsible for having entered this psychological state of being.

"Where am I?" is the second of our six existential queries. The second last is "Who put me here?", and the answer we presented above was – God!

So on the one hand (the right hand, so to speak) God put me here, but on the other hand (the left hand) I'm responsible for getting myself here. From the objective point of view God put me here (no other has the power to put me anywhere), but from the subjective point of view I sinned and so fell into this estranged psychological state.

As stated, the question "Where am I?" and its answer "In this lowest of worlds" is the question of kingdom (malchut), the lowest of the Divine sefirot, of which is said, "Her feet descend into death." In Hebrew, "feet" means "habits." Sin is no more than getting into bad habits. And look where it takes us (with its/our feet)!

"Who put me here?" is the question of crown (keter), the highest of the Divine sefirot, the super-conscious origin of faith, pleasure, and will. "The end is wedged into the beginning and the beginning into the end." If you fall, the higher you were the lower you fall.

God asked Adam "Where are you?" (????). Squaring each of the four letters of this word (12+102+202+52) gives 526 = ??????, "consciousness." That's what Adam wanted, and that's what he got. The product of the four letters (1×10×20×5) is 1000, alluding to the 1000 lights that were given to Moses at Sinai – perfect, rectified Divine consciousness. The rectification of Adam's sin is by acquiring Torah knowledge, which itself is inherent in the sin, the quest for knowledge.
After killing Abel God asked Cain, information pills "Where is Abel your brother?" He answered, "I know not, am I my brother's keeper?"

God responded: "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries to Me from the ground…."

The first question God posed Cain after his sin was "where…?" – the same question He posed Adam after his sin. The second question He posed was "what…?"

To know what you have done is a consequence, a derivative, of knowing where you and your brother are.

The truth is that each of us is intended to be our brother's keeper. We are responsible for one another, for we are part of one another – our souls are connected. Just like one must ask himself the question "Where am I?" so must he ask the question "Where is my brother?"

To sin is to displace reality, to displace souls. And so, after man sins God asks him "where?" The sages say, "Who is wise? He who recognizes his place." The wise man recognizes his place and stays in his proper place, the place that God intended for him in creation.

The Ba'al Shem Tov did not like to move things for no good reason. The sages say, "There is no thing that has no place." Everything, not just everyone, in creation has its proper place.

To stay in your place is not to be static. Just the opposite: only when you recognize and stay in your place can you become dynamic, always on the move. First you have to be grounded, you have to identify your base, remain rooted in your place, and then no matter how high you ascend you remain connected to your place.

This appears to be a paradox. To understand it let's return to Genesis. In the beginning (of time, the very first creation) God created two places, a higher, spiritual place and a lower, physical place – heavens and earth. Man's soul is from heaven and his body is from earth. His soul descends from on high to enter his earthly body. But his soul's root remains above and remains connected to the soul in the body.

To know our place in creation (to be wise) is to know that we are in two places simultaneously. Although our bodies are below, our souls are from heaven and that's where all souls unite. To know this is to know that (here, on earth) I am my brother's keeper. To assume responsibility for my brother, in his place below ("Where is Abel your brother?"), gives me the power to move freely in all directions, up (to heaven) and down (to earth) and to all four earthly directions.
There are three forms of the question "where?" in Biblical Hebrew. They first appear in the Torah in evolving order, buy more about both grammatically and numerically.

The first form, purchase ey (??), order comprises only two letters (perhaps the simplest syllable in the Hebrew language) and first appears in the question we contemplated above, "Where is Abel your brother" (?? ??? ????). Previously God had asked Adam, "Where are you?" (????), a word that unites "where?" (??) with "[are] you" (??).

The second form, ayeh (???), comprises three letters (the original two letters and an additional hei) and first appears in the question the angels (who appeared as guests) asked Abraham (before blessing him to bear a son), "Where is Sarah your wife?" (??? ??? ????).

The third form, eyfoh (???? [note that the variant form ???? does not mean "where?" in the normal sense of the word, see commentaries]) comprises four letters (adding a pei before the last letter of the previous form and literally reading "where-here?" [note that in English here is part of where]) and first appears in the question that Joseph asked the man (who really was an angel, according to the sages), "[I am seeking my brothers, tell me please] where are they feeding their flocks?" (???? ?? ????).

The logic behind the conceptual evolution of these three forms of the question "where?" is that as the forms progress the place asked for becomes more and more tangible, definite and identifiable (the three forms relate to the concept "place" from the perspective of the three descending worlds of Creation, Formation, Action).

  • When God asked Adam "Where are you?" He was alluding primarily to Adam's spiritual condition, not to his physical location. Similarly, when God asked Cain "Where is Abel your brother" He meant in what world is he, is he alive or dead? This is a "quantum" question, like the puzzle of Schrödinger's cat (a question pertaining to the World of Creation, as explained elsewhere).
  • The angels knew that Sarah was "in the tent," and their question was simply to arouse Abraham's love for his modest and righteous wife, as explained by the sages (a question pertaining to the World of Formation, the world of emotion).
  • Joseph was sent by his father Jacob to physically locate his brothers and bring back news of their wellbeing (his question pertained to the World of Action).

Ironically, Joseph was seeking his brothers' love while they were planning to kill him, as Cain had killed his brother Abel. After the perpetration of his sin God asked Cain "Where is Abel your brother?" Here, Joseph intended to prevent (on a spiritual plane, by means of telepathy, as it were) his brothers from killing him (in the World of Action) by first asking, out of love (the primary emotion of the World of Formation), "I am seeking my brothers, where are they feeding their flocks?" (a shepherd feeds his flocks out of love for his flocks, and so Joseph imagined that his brothers were in a mood of love which would reflect itself towards him).

The sum of the numerical values of the three forms of "where?" (11, 16, and 96, respectively) equals 123, the value of the first two questions posed by God to mankind: "Where are you?" (36) and "Where is Abel your brother?" (87). The three values also begin a quadratic series whose base is 75 = "why?" (???). All three forms derive from the first (??) whose two letters together with the three letter of "why?" (???) permute to spell God's Name Elokim (?????), the Name with which God created the world. He asks the world "where?" and the world asks Him "why?"
In Hebrew, viagra sale the question "where [am I/are you] from?" (????) contains the answer. "Where from?" literally reads "from nothing."

The first appearance in the Torah of the question "where from?" is in the story of Jacob on his way to Haran, help about to meet and fall in love (at first sight) with Rachel. (He was 77 years old at the time.) He came to a well and found there a group of shepherds whom he asked, "My brothers, where are you from?" They answered, "We are from Haran."

The conversation continues: "And he said to them, 'Do you know Laban the son of Nachor?', and they said, 'We know him.' And he said to them, 'Is he well?', and they said, 'He is well, and behold Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep.'"

When a tzadik asks someone else a question, he asks himself the same question simultaneously. When Jacob asked the shepherds, "Where are you from?" he asked himself the same question, "Where am I from?" This is alluded to by the fact that he preceded his question with the word "My brothers," thereby connecting to their soul-root (in Hebrew, "brother" means "sewed together"). Jacob was coming from Israel (then the Land of Canaan). The spiritual origin of Israel (both the souls of Israel and the Land of Israel) is the Divine nothing (as the Ba'al Shem Tov read the dictum of the sages that "nothing is the soul-root of Israel"). The shepherds, on the other hand, were coming from Haran, which in Hebrew means a place of anger (the opposite of feeling oneself to be nothing).

In the shepherd's answer to his question Jacob heard the answer to the question he asked himself – they are from anger and I am from nothing. This was the necessary preparation for him to encounter his soul-mate, Rachel. They both came from a common source – the Divine nothing (the origin of all Jewish souls).

As soon as he heard the shepherds say, "Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep" (this is the first time that Rachel's name is mentioned in the Torah) he knew that she was his predestined soul-mate (beshert, in Yiddish). He heard Divine Providence speaking through their words. The average value of the five words (in Hebrew), "Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep" (??? ??? ??? ?? ????) is 182 (7 times 26, God's essential Name Havayah), which equals Jacob (????). Hearing these words Jacob sensed that he and Rachel and the sheep – in Kabbalah we learn that all the souls of Israel were present in the sheep – are one. Combining Jacob (????, 182), Rachel (???, 238), and sheep (???, 141) gives 561 = "My brothers, where are you from?" (??? ???? ???).
Our origin is in the Divine nothing. Our goal is to understand everything, stuff as it says, "Those that seek God shall understand everything."

We come from wisdom, the father principle, and we go to understanding, the mother principle. Father, "the depth of the beginning," is "nothing" ("wisdom appears from nothing"; the "nothing," the source of every new insight, of every new flash of revealed wisdom, is the very essence of wisdom). Mother, "the depth of the end," is "everything" or "all" (the secret of the World to Come). Everything/all refers to the entirety of the 50 gates of understanding, including the 50th gate, the understanding of God and His ways. The word "everything/all" (??) equals 50.

The Festival of Shavuot, commemorating the Giving of the Torah, is on the 50th day of the Omer, which begins on the second day of Passover. The first day of Passover, the day of the Exodus from Egypt (the birth of a new national entity, Israel, from a psychological state of servitude – the birth of something from nothing), is coming from nothing. The culmination, receiving the Torah at Sinai, is reaching our goal – everything.

Indeed, in the Giving of the Torah on Shavuot there is both the coming from nothing (wisdom) and the going to everything (understanding). The Torah is the primary manifestation in reality of God's infinite wisdom, as it is said, "The Torah comes from wisdom." God gives us the Torah from His wisdom, from Divine nothingness. We receive and internalize God's Torah with our faculty of understanding. This is an ongoing process that begins on Shavuot, proceeding to the ultimate understanding of everything (the "sense" of the month of Sivan is the sense of proceeding onward).

The process from nothing, wisdom, to everything, understanding, repeats itself several times throughout the year. After Shavuot there is a negative manifestation (which in the future will be transformed to ultimate good), the "Three Weeks" from the 17th of Tamuz to the 9th of Av. This is a period of mourning over the destruction of the Temple. It begins on the day that Moses broke the Tablets of the Covenant to the eyes of the people after the sin of the Golden Calf and culminates on the day that the people cried over the report of the spies that the inhabitants of the Land of Canaan (the Promised Land) were too strong to be conquered. These two events correspond to the (blemish of the) sense of sight (the sense of Tamuz) and the sense of hearing (the sense of Av), which in turn correspond to wisdom and understanding.

Then come the Ten Days of Repentance, beginning on Rosh Hashanah, corresponding to wisdom in the soul, and culmination on Yom Kippur, corresponding to understanding in the soul.

Then come the two festivals of Chanukah and Purim, the festival of oil, wisdom, and the festival of wine, understanding.

These four transitional periods, from wisdom to understanding, from nothing to everything (which themselves correspond to the four letters of God's essential Name, Havayah) comprise a total of 162 days in the year. In a normal year of 354 days (12 lunar months, alternating from 30 to 29 days) there remain 192 days, the value of "'in all', 'from all', 'all'" (??? ??? ??), the three forms of "everything/all" that appear in reference to the three Patriarchs, from which the sages learn that they tasted in this world the taste of the World to Come, the ultimate experience of "everything/all," the place that we're going.
In English one may ask "where are you headed?" instead of "where are you going?" The parallel Hebrew idiom is, medical "where is your face set?" (??? ???? ??????)

"Where are you headed?" suggests consciousness (vector-like consciousness; the "head" in the idiom is like the head of an arrow), that you have in mind the objective of where you're going. It may well imply that you're going towards a conscious goal, to achieve a specific purpose in life. You're "headed" towards an "end," ultimately towards "the depth of the end," understanding (rectified consciousness), the World to Come.

In the Bible, the idiom "to where your face is set" appears only once. The king of Babylon speaks to his sword (in sorcery), "Go one way, either right [towards Jerusalem] or left [towards Rabat Amon], to where your face is set" ("??????????? ???????? ????????? ??????????? ????? ????????? ????????").

From this evil context we can learn for the good. We have to choose one way in life and follow that way, the way that takes us to the destination to which we are headed. The verse begins with the root "one" in the reflexive form – "become one" (??????). To choose one way in life is to fully identify with that way, to become one with that way. We, the Jewish people, are called "one people on earth." We were sent here by God to bring the consciousness of true and absolute oneness to all mankind. We do so by becoming one with our way, the way of the Torah.

The unconscious inclination of the Divine soul is towards the right, to choose (to prefer, all other conscious factors being equal) to go right (and to do right; in English right is right, going right is making the right choice, doing the right thing – if you were on the wrong path in life then going right is repairing your ways, doing teshuvah).

To go right is to head (set your face; in Hebrew, "face" means "inner intention") towards Jerusalem, the city of peace, the true destination of every Jew and of all mankind.

The king of Babylon (who in the end went right, but for the wrong purpose, from which we may infer that there are absolutely wrong "rightists") was out, with his pointed sword, to destroy Jerusalem. Our destination is to rebuild Jerusalem and the Holy Temple at its center, to reach our goal, which is also God's goal – "My house shall be the house of prayer for all nations."
An angel asked Hagar, sildenafil Sarai's maid, "where are you coming from and where are you going?" She answered, "I'm fleeing from Sarai my mistress" ("??? ?????? ???? ??????? ??????? ????????? ???????? ?????? ??????????? ??????? ????????"). This is the first appearance in the Torah of the question "where [are you going]?"

(Note that the form of the question, "where [are you coming from]?" ("??? ??????") is not the normal form of "where from?" (????), a word that reads "from nothing," as explained above, but a two-word idiom, literally, "where from this [place]?", as though to say "from what specific place are you coming?", thus emphasizing the place of origin more than the destination.)

The story occurs before our first Matriarch's name was changed from Sarai (with a yud) to Sarah (with a hei). She was barren and gave her maid Hagar to her husband Abraham (at that time, Abram) hoping that in that merit she herself would conceive. When Hagar immediately became pregnant she began to despise her mistress Sarai who reacted by dealing hardly with her, upon which Hagar fled. The angel found Hagar in the wilderness by a fountain of water – in the middle of nowhere.

After her response to his question the angel (a new angel, according to the sages) said to her, "Return to your mistress and submit yourself under her hands."

The first appearance of a word or a concept in the Torah sets the scene for all additional appearances. The first "where are you going?" addresses a woman running away from her Divinely ordained place in the world, from the place in which she can fulfill her mission in life.

Indeed, her fleeing from Sarai entailed a premonition of the future. After bearing Ishmael and after Sarah bearing Isaac, Sarah told Abraham to drive away Hagar and her son from their household (Ishmael had threatened Isaac's life and his first and foremost right to inherit Abraham), which Abraham reluctantly did by the command of God to heed the words of his wife (this was the ninth of Abraham's ten trials in life, the ten steps that made him the first Jew; the last was his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac, the trial of the Akeidah).

In Psalms we find, "Where can I go from Your Spirit and where can I flee from Your Face?" ("????? ?????? ????????? ??????? ?????????? ???????", the same form of the question "where to?" as in the story of Hagar) Most often we, like Hagar, run away from our mission in life (because we feel that our 'mistress' is treating us hardly; we don't know who Sarah our mistress really is, that her holy spirit exceeds even that of Abraham), we run away from God and His Torah, His teachings for mankind (Sarah here symbolizes God's Torah, as it says, "the Torah of your mother").

Adam and Eve, after the primordial sin hid from God. To hide is a form of running away. The prophet Jonah literally ran away from God, not willing to endanger (so he thought) the spiritual security of Israel by assuming the responsibility that God had given him to become a prophet to the nations.

But God knows better. So don't run away from God. Turn to Him in submission and recognize your true place in the world.

One Response to “Fleeing from God”

  1. Ron says:

    Thank you for this article. Can we look at this story, and others in the bible, like our internal world? What if Sarai is our emotion and love to god, and Abraham is our mind, than it would seem our emotion is running away from our Internal God. (and where to if not to the other side). Can we look at this story as one describing a moment in our daily life were we are trying to connect to God with in us and outside us, and than comes an emotion which distract us and causes us to run away. Maybe because of this God is asking Adam ‘where are you ?’ Did you follow the emotion which fell for the apple offered by the snake ? Did your mind follow the wrong emotion, even if it is a beautiful one but still not the one to connect Adam to God, to keep the Garden of Eden for few seconds more before another emotion comes ?

    If yes than we can use these stories to better learn our internal world and to better understand how to work with it, so we could better connect to God and remain their for a longer time.

    Can I please ask a question, what would the 6X4 square in the blog home page represents ? Is it the prayer of Shma’ containing 6 words and the letter Dalet at its end which represents the four. Are these together 6+4=10 the ten commandments Abraham had to fulfill to become a true Hebrew ?

    Thank you very much