9th of Av: the Seer of Lublin’s Yahrzeit « Wonders from Your Torah
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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.
Questions come from doubt. Doubt comes from sin. Sin comes from illusion. The Torah was given to save us from false illusions.

Illusion is in the mind. The primordial sin, ed a physical act, page was perpetrated from hand to mouth (taking and eating the forbidden fruit). Doubt is in the heart. From the heart doubt enters our minds as thoughts, which then find expression in our mouths as questions.

But illusion itself begins with a question. The very first question that appears in the Torah is that of the primordial snake to Eve in the Garden of Eden (the beginning of the snake's cunning persuasion that Eve partake of the forbidden fruit):

"Verily, has God said that you shall not eat of all the trees of the garden?" ("??? ???? ????? ??-?????? ??? ???????? ?????? ??? ??????").

Not all of the commentaries read the words of the snake as a question; some interpret the words to be a statement. So these words themselves present a question, are they really a question that the snake is asking Eve or are they simply a statement reflecting the "belief-system" of the snake himself (to which Eve responds accordingly)? Are they a question or simply an illusion (the mind-set of the snake).

The primordial snake symbolizes our subconscious evil inclination. In Hebrew, the root "snake" (?.?.?) means "to guess," an allusion to illusion.

The questionable word itself (whether a question or a statement), the first word spoken by the snake (??, translated above as, "Verily, has…?"), as a noun means "anger." The snake speaks – projects his mentality – from anger. That's where he's coming from, just like the shepherds that Jacob met at the well, as we saw above.

Immediately after the sin (a few verses later), God asks Adam and Eve four explicit questions, one after the other, from which we learn that not only do our questions come from our doubts-sins-illusions, but when we sin God questions/interrogates us . Indeed, our sins give rise to a doubt in the mind of God so to speak whether it was worth it to create us in the way He did, with an evil inclination; He Himself experiences regret and doubt which then give rise to His questions to man (would only man respond properly that itself would atone for the sin):

"And God called unto Adam and said to him 'Where are you?' And Adam said, 'I heard Your voice in the garden and was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.' And He said, 'Who told you that you are naked?'; 'Have you eaten of the tree whereof I commanded you not to eat?... And God said to the woman, 'What is this that you have done?...".

After God accepted Abel's offering and not Cain's, Cain became angered (he was polluted with the venom of the snake that had cohabited with his mother Eve) and his countenance fell. God asked him (two questions, two "why's?"), "Why are you angry and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well you will be accepted…."

The next question in the Torah is that which God poses to Cain after killing his brother Abel: "Where is Abel your brother?"

Cain answers God with a question (in good Jewish tradition!): "I don't know, am I my brother's keeper?" This is the first question in the Torah to be asked by man (to God, coming from an existential state of doubt with regard to God's omnipresence and omniscience).

God responds to Cain with another question (a shortened version of the same question He had asked his mother; the first question God asked Cain, "Where…? is the same question that He first asked Adam), "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries to Me from the ground."

These then are the first ten questions in the Torah, which can be seen to correspond to the ten sefirot, all in the context of sin (which gives rise to doubt), beginning in the illusion of the snake. The Ten Commandments are the answers to these ten questions.
"Give not your strength [i.e., this your seed] to women, nor your ways to that which destroys kings" ("??? ??????? ?????????? ??????? ??????????? ???????? ????????"). This is the Biblical source for the relation between sex and politics.

Maimonides quotes this verse (from the last chapter of Proverbs, the ethics of King Solomon, the wisest of men; in this verse in particular he speaks out of his own personal experience, reiterating his mother's exhortation to him as a youth) in teaching that one should be moderate (not over-indulgent) in sex if one wants to live a healthy life. He quotes the entire verse (for the subject at hand it would have been sufficient for him to quote only the beginning of the verse) without explaining the relationship of the first part to the second.

It appears from this verse that the desire for sex and the desire for political power – to destroy and overthrow kings in order to usurp their position and power (or perhaps in order to promote anarchy, to become a leading figure in an anarchistic movement) – go together.

Apparently, our generation is not the only one where political figures find themselves engulfed in sex scandals.

From the syntax of the verse (and the fact that Maimonides quotes the end of the verse without explaining its relation to the beginning) it is clear that it all (i.e., politics) begins with and derives from the libido, the sex drive. The greater the libido the greater the drive to enter and grasp control in the political arena.

On a more spiritual plane (reading the second half of the verse as being totally dependant on the first half), too much sex will ultimately destroy one's own leadership potential.

But on an even deeper spiritual plane (reading the second half of the verse as a rectification for the first half - in the original Hebrew the word "nor" and the words "that which" do not appear in the text, so the verse can read, "Give not your strength to women, and your ways to destroy kings," alluding that "your ways to destroy kings" is what to do if you have given your strength, too much of your seed, to women), if you fell in your lifetime into too much sex, don't despair – become totally involved in replacing the contemporary, corrupt and anti-Torah political system, and establishing a rectified one. That's the way to repair the damage you've done to yourself and others by misusing your sex drive. In Kabbalah we are taught that rectification must come from the very same psychological drive that brought about the damage.

So rectify sex with politics...
Bat Sheva prayed that her son, sildenafil Solomon, prostate be wise and fitting for prophecy. David's other wives prayed that their sons be fitting to rule.

King Solomon begins the last chapter of Proverbs with his mother's exhortation to him as a young man.

She begins by saying to him, help "What, my son? And what, the son of my womb? And what, the son of my vows?" The following verse, "Give not your strength to women…," we discussed above.

She begins with three questions, what? and what? and what? What have you done to yourself, to your soul (as vested in your body)? What have you done to the origin of your soul (your soul as vested in your mother's womb, in your soul-root above)? What have you done to God, to whom your mother vowed?

Rashi explains that Bat Sheva spoke these words of chastisement to her son Solomon on the day of the inauguration of Temple he had built for God (thus fulfilling the deepest desire of his father David, who did not himself merit to build the Temple in Jerusalem). On that same day he sinned by marrying the daughter of Pharaoh, which brought him to neglect the Temple service on its very first day (for which reason God decreed that the Temple would be destroyed).

Rashi explains the three questions as follows:

"What, my son?" – don't follow your evil inclination (with regard to women), for if you do it will cause people to hold me, your mother, responsible.

"And what, the son of my womb?" – in the last six months of my pregnancy with you I – unlike the custom of your father David's other wives while pregnant – maintained marital relations with your father  for your sake (that you be born agile and alert; marital relations in the last six months of pregnancy are good for the fetus). I had special concern for you when you were in my womb (and my relations with your father were for your sake, not for my physical pleasure).

"And what, the son of my vows?" – all your father's other wives while pregnant vowed (to God, pledging charity or making an oath to abstain from some worldly pleasure in order to merit Divine intervention that they be given their heart's desire) that their sons be fitting for kingship, but I vowed that my son be learned in Torah.

What your father's other wives prayed for was not given them, but what I prayed for – says Bat Sheva in her exhortation to Solomon – was given me, together with what I did not pray for, that you reign after your father.

The lesson: if one desires and pursues power (kingship) it is not given him, but if one desires and pursues the service of his Creator (which begins with understanding God's Torah) then not only is that given him but worldly power and kingship as well.
First put on your right shoe, purchase then your left shoe, try then bind your left shoe, and finally bind your right shoe. That's the way Jews do it.

The Torah was given to sanctify the mundane.

Shoes allow us to walk the face of the earth, to contact physicality and move around as we wish freely. More than any other material artifact that we possess and utilize daily, shoes symbolize our involvement with the mundane. As we walk forward to acheive our goals in life they protect our feet from the stones and thorns that cover the ground upon which we tread.

In the Temple the priests served barefoot, so as not to separate their bodies from the sanctity of the Temple floor. Similarly, Moses at the Burning Bush was told by God to take off his shoes, "for the place upon which you stand is holy ground." The gematria of the phrase, "is holy ground" (???? ??? ???, 861), is the same as that of "the Holy Temple" (??? ?????).

But so long as we have not sanctified the earth in its entirety to be a sanctuary for God we need shoes to protect our feet, while continuously on the move, doing our utmost to make this world a better place – a meeting ground for us and our Creator.

In the Song of Songs the bride is described with the words, "How beautiful are your feet in shoes, daughter of the benevolent one" ("??? ?????? ?????????? ???????????? ???? ??????"). "The benevolent one" refers to Abraham, the first Jew, who was outstanding for his unsurpassed benevolence to all. He needed shoes to take him to the place of those in need of support and to fill the world with the consciousness of one God. Every Jewish soul is called "daughter of the benevolent one."

In Kabbalah, the name of the archangel of the World of Action, Sandalfon, is from the word "sandal" (the same as in English). One needs sandals/shoes to function optimally in the World of Action.

The two feet symbolize (and on the spiritual level, embody) two types of trust innate to our souls – active trust (the right foot) and passive trust (the left foot). Active trust is relatively male while passive trust is relatively female. Active trust manifests as the self-confidence necessary to take initiative, to get up and accomplish what we need to accomplish in our lives. Passive trust is the simple and earnest trust in the Almighty who will surely provide for us and sustain us in all situations.

We begin putting on our shoes with right-foot consciousness – we're putting on shoes to become fit to transcend the limitations imposed upon us by our immediate surroundings, to enter the outside world and pursue there our worldly occupation and realize our goals. But then, before binding our right shoe, we put on our left shoe – augmenting our awareness that all our needs in life, and surely all our success, depend upon the Almighty, in whom alone we trust. We then immediately bind and fasten this passive trust in the Almighty and only thereafter bind our determination to affect reality in the way we desire (for the sake of the Almighty).

We begin by working on the male side of our character (our active trust, ready and wanting to rise to our call in life) but cannot complete its rectification (in Kabbalah, "rectification" means "clothing," in our context, the clothing of the feet) before we first complete the rectification of the female side of our character (our passive trust, our total reliance on God).
Each month of the year is associated with a sense. The sense of the month of Tamuz is sight.

The month of Tamuz is the time of the year to rectify our sense of sight.

The rectification of sight (on the spiritual plane, more about which manifests on the physical plane as good eyesight) entails two complementary poles: Seeing Divine providence in our lives and seeing the good in each other.

"I shall see God [in the land of the living]" ([???? ?? [???? ?????) is interpreted to mean that I shall express thanksgiving to God for His providence over me.

Providence (in contrast to what appears to be pure chance and deterministic causality) is often alluded to by the term "synchronicity." There is more to what happens to us in our lives than what meets the (external) eye. There is involvement from the outside. If there is involvement then someone cares, what is ed and that someone is God. He cares for our wellbeing, both physically and spiritually. He is always working miracles in our lives, which for the most part we do not see. Tamuz is the month to begin to see.

Every human being has both good and bad. Tamuz is the month to nurture the inner sense to concentrate solely on the good in the other (of God it is said that although He sees our iniquity He doesn't concentrate on it, but rather concentrates on our good. We must learn from God.) This is referred to a possessing a "good eye" (which is the source of both receiving blessing and blessing others). The more we observe the good in others (and repress the bad) the more we bring out in them their latent good.

It is said that God created us with two eyes to see the good in others (with the right eye) and to be critical of ourselves, to see what requires rectification (with the left eye). This is a necessary state of balance, for without recognizing the bad in ourselves we cannot appreciate the good in others.

With regard to Divine providence we also need two eyes, one (the right eye) to see the revealed wonders that God does with us and one (the left eye) to see that things that happen to us which do not appear good are also for our eternal good (they actually derive from a higher level of good than do the revealed wonders).

Our faith that all that befalls us is for our eternal good (for all comes from God who is the essence of good) transforms the apparent bad into revealed good. Ultimately, both eyes become one. In Kabbalah, this phenomenon is referred to as reaching the level of "the Ancient One" (?????) of whom is said, "there is no left in the Ancient One, all [both right and left, as they evolve in lower levels] are right." What appeared bad now manifests as the greatest good – "all is right."

And so with regard to observing ourselves and others. Ultimately, all becomes right – upon rectifying our bad we no longer need to look at ourselves at all. We only see the good in everything (the right eye), including ourselves as an inseparable part of everything (the left eye), for everything reflects God, the Creator.

In Hebrew, cialis 40mg the idiom "to see someone's face" can mean either to appease him or to fight him.

After winning the wrestling bout with Esau's archangel, approved Jacob says, "for I have seen the angel of God face to face and my soul has been saved." Several of the traditional commentaries explain that seeing face to face in this context means engaging in physical combat. (This meaning of the idiom "to see one's face" is explicit in another place in the Bible where the king of Judah invites the king of Israel to see one another's face, i.e., to wage war.) Later, when Jacob meets Esau he says to him "for I have seen your face as the face of the angel of God and you have desired me." Rashi in his commentary to this verse alludes to the idiom's meaning of making war while explicitly stating the meaning to appease.

Our sense of sight is our ability to assess a situation at hand, to see what is before us. It is our ability to discern between friend and foe. By the power of love projected by our right eye we appease those that we have offended and reestablish our bond of brotherhood with them. By the power of might projected by our left eye we express our determination to stand up to and live by the precepts of our faith and fight the enemies of truth and justice.

Rectified eyes see not only the superficial reality before them but penetrate into the inner essence of the reality they observe. "Face" in Hebrew means "innerness." To see another's face is to see the spiritual reality within him.

Tamuz, the month of sight, is the month to find and make new friends as well as the month to fight and be victorious over our spiritual enemies, beginning with our own evil inclination (who sets his eyes - projects his impure energies - to destroy our spiritual Temple).

Tamuz is the month to fall in love (at first sight) with true beauty, as expressed in the garb of modesty, and to reject false, immodest beauty. In the book of Proverbs the truly beautiful woman symbolizes the wisdom of the Torah. Tamuz is the month to find and fall in love with her.

The Torah lists by name the non-kosher birds. One of them is the ra'ah, hospital literally "the seer." The sages explain: It stands in Babylonia and sees a corpse in the Land of Israel.

Babylonia (???) means "confusion" (?????). There God confused the tongues of the builders of the Tower of Babel. The Ba'al Shem Tov explains that Babylonia represents a mindset  in a state of confusion. Often Babylonia symbolizes the entirety of the Diaspora, health where the Jewish soul, exiled from its homeland (because of its sins), resides in a state of confusion, among 70 existentially confused non-Jewish (non-kosher) mindsets, the 70 nations that oppress the Jewish people. The gematria of "confusion" (?????) is 70.

The Ba'al Shem Tov continues to explain that a confused soul standing in Babylonia may very well possess extremely keen eyesight (the sense of the month of Tamuz). He may be able to see, from a great distance, a corpse (a potential prey) in the Land of Israel.

The Land of Israel is called "the land of the living," the land of righteous souls who are connoted "living." The impure ra'ah, "seer," sees faults and flaws in the character and behavior of the righteous from afar (he sees their "corpse" so to speak).

A true tzadik (righteous individual) is like a mirror; whoever looks at him sees a reflection of himself. The sages say that there were those who suspected Moses of committing adultery with their wives. They themselves were adulterers (in thought or in deed) and saw themselves reflected in Moses, the all-inclusive soul of the Jewish people.

A keen sense of sight is not necessarily a rectified sense of sight. Often the very opposite is the case. Balaam possessed the keenest sense of sight, which indeed was the most potent "evil eye" (the antithesis of Abraham's "goodly eye"; the sages contrast the two in the Ethics of the Fathers).

Tamuz is the month that confused souls (who of course do not recognize and acknowledge that they are confused) are most critical of the righteous of the generation. The true tzadik, as stated, is a mirror. He is an all-inclusive soul. When we see our own faults looking at him, he in his humility (like Moses, the humblest of men) also looks hard at himself in order to find a fine root of our faults within him, in order to establish affinity with us (and help rectify us by first rectifying the source of the fault within himself). His own self-criticism is inspired and directed by his infinite love for Israel. And so he sweetens the essence of the left (critical) eye, including left in right.

"Good in bad" (??? ???) = "bad in good" (?? ????) equals  289 = "good" (??? , thumb 17) squared.

The phrases "good in bad" (??? ???) and "bad in good" (?? ????) appear only once in the Bible, visit juxtaposed in the same verse – "good in bad or bad in good" (Leviticus 27:10). In the context of the verse – the prohibition of substituting a "good" sacrifice for a "bad" one or vice versa – "good in bad or bad in good" translates as "good for bad or bad for good." From this we may infer that if one sees good in bad or bad in good in a certain sense he is substituting good for bad or bad for good.

But from the above gematria we learn that ultimately by seeing good in bad and bad in good, rx and being able thereby to substitute one for the another, it becomes apparent that all is (for the) good. This seeming paradox reflects itself in the continuation of the verse that says that if one does substitute good for bad or bad for good (thereby committing a transgression) both become sacred – all becomes (turns into) good!

Relatively, the bad is on the surface of the good, it is the "shell" of the good (whose ultimate purpose in creation is to protect the good, the "fruit," and allow it to grow to fruition). The good, on the other hand, is hidden within the bad. That's why it's harder to see the good in the bad than to see the bad in the good. The sages teach that even the wicked of Israel are full of mitzvot (good deeds) as a pomegranate is full of seeds (its fruit).

In Kabbalah, the "clarification process" (????? ????????) is separating the good from the bad, which of course can only be accomplished if one is able to see, to identify, the good in the bad and the bad in the good. The rectified right eye is able to identify the good in the bad and extract it in order to keep it. The rectified left eye is able to identify the bad in the good and extract it in order to discard it. The actual extraction, of both good from bad and bad from good, is performed primarily by the right hand (the "controlling" limb of the month of Tamuz, as explained in the Book of Formation), the hand of loving-kindness.

Shabbat in relation to the weekdays is as sight to hearing. Throughout the week Divine vibrations fill my heart. On Shabbat I see Godliness.

In the Zohar we learn that the word Shabbat (???) depicts the secret of the eye. The three branches of its first letter, viagra 60mg  shin (?), allude to the three Patriarchs and to the three colors associated with their spiritual attributes (loving-kindness, might, and beauty) which appear in the eye – the white of the eye (???), the red blood vessels visible within the white "sea" of the eye (????), and the individual color of each person's eye (referred to generically as "yellow-green," ????). The letters bet tav (??) of Shabbat spell the word bat, literally "daughter" (corresponding in Kabbalah to the sefirah of kingdom, personified by King David, the fourth "leg" of the Divine Chariot, as here symbolized in the four colors of the eye), referring to the black (????) pupil of the eye (?? ???).

The numerical values of the four colors present in the eye (as alluded to in the word Shabbat), the Divine Chariot of the eye (revealed on the day of Shabbat) – white (???, 82), red (????, 51), yellow-green (????, 316), black (????, 514) – add to 963, the gematria of the phrase in which "sight" appears for the first time in the Torah: "And God saw the light to be good" (???? ????? ?? ???? ?? ???).

After the primordial sin, Adam and Eve heard "the voice of God" walking through the garden. They heard God, He spoke to them, and they answered. This is the consciousness of "hearing," the height of our consciousness of Godliness (God and His Divine Providence) is our lives subsequent to the primordial sin, the consciousness of the weekdays, the workdays ("By the sweat of your brow…").

But on Shabbat we return to the pristine state of consciousness of God as it was prior to the primordial sin (and as it will be universally in the future). In the terminology of Kabbalah, during the weekdays our consciousness is at the level of understanding ("hearing" in Hebrew means also "understanding") whereas on Shabbat our consciousness rises to the level of wisdom (direct insight into the mysteries of creation hidden within reality, and into the "mystery of mysteries," the Creator of reality, the true and absolute Reality).

Throughout the week everything that happens around us, all that we see and hear, "tells" us about God and His Providence. On Shabbat we don't have to be told about God, we experience Him directly.

There are two exceptions to the above distinction between Shabbat and the weekdays, two times that we rise to the consciousness of Shabbat during the otherwise mundane time of the week. The Arizal teaches that our consciousness in the times of prayer, every day of the week three times a day, is at the level of Shabbat. The times of prayer, when we turn to God and address Him directly, are the Shabbat as its light shines into and permeates the week.

Also, a true Torah scholar is referred to in the Zohar as Shabbat. Continuously in communion with God through the means of His Torah (which ultimately in one with Himself) he experiences Shabbat-consciousness the entire week.

"Keep My days of Shabbat and stand in awe of My Temple." What do Shabbat and the Temple have in common? Both relate to the sense of sight.

The verse "Keep My days of Shabbat and stand in awe of My Temple, more about I am God" ('?? ????? ????? ?????? ????? ??? ???) appears identically twice in the Torah. The initial letters of the verse's 7 words (? ? ? ? ? ? ?) equals 1118 = "Hear O Israel, cost  Havayah is our God Havayah is one" (??? ????? ???' ?????? ???' ???), treatment our declaration of faith, which we are commanded to repeat twice daily – morning and evening, whether in a (physical as well as psychological) state of light or in a state of darkness. 1118 is the lowest common multiple of 26, Havayah, and 86,Elokim, the two Names of God (the first corresponding to His transcendence and the second to His immanence) that we unite in the Shema. The remaining letters of the verse (? ???? ???? ????? ???? ?? ???) equals 2505 = 15 (God's Name Kah?-?) times 167, the value of "Havayah is our God Havayah is one" (???' ?????? ???' ???).

In Chassidut we are taught to contemplate that the first word of the Shema, "Hear [O Israel…]" ([??? [?????...) stands for the phrase in Isaiah, "Lift up your eyes [and see who has created these]" ([??? ???? ?????? [???? ?? ??? ???). By so doing we bring the sense of sight into our sense of hearing (understanding).

We explained previously the relation of Shabbat to sight. On each of the three annual festivals we are commanded to come to the Holy Temple in order to be seen by God and to see Him, as it were. This is one of the 613 commandments of the Torah, the commandment of "seeing" (???? ????). The awe of the Temple is the awe of the experience of witnessing Godliness directly and feeling ourselves being seen by His very essence.

Let us now take every third letter in the above verse:

?? ????? ????? ?????? ????? ??? ?-?-?-?

The last four of the ten emphasized letters spell the word "sight" (????), beginning with the reish of "[stand in] awe" (note that "awe" and "sight" derive from the same two-letter sub-root, reish alef??) and concluding with the first and last letter of the final word of the verse, God's essential Name, Havayah. The gematria of all ten emphasized letters, 1332, is that of the verse that precedes the Ten Commandments, when we experienced the union of the two senses of seeing and hearing ("And all the people saw the voices", ??? ??? ???? ?? ?????): "And God spoke all of these things saying" (????? ?-???? ?? ?? ?????? ???? ????).

Both the mind and the heart possess an "inner eye." On Shabbat the inner eye of the mind opens to see Godliness in contemplative meditation. In the Temple the inner eye of the heart opens to see Godliness in heartfelt prayer.

The verse says, capsule "And they shall make for Me a sanctuary and I shall dwell in their midst," and the sages interpret, "It does not say 'in its midst' [implying that the Divine Presence shall dwell in the midst of the physical sanctuary alone] but rather 'in their midst' – in the innermost point of the heart of every Jew."

Although a non-Jew is forbidden to keep (observe all the laws of) Shabbat, the Temple is meant to be "a house of prayer for all nations." When a non-Jew comes to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to pour out his heart to the God of Israel in prayer, he experiences the Divine Presence residing in the Temple. The awesome experience of entering God's sanctuary brought many non-Jews (even those who just came to 'pay a visit' to the Jewish Temple) to convert to Judaism.

The time of exile, subsequent to the destruction of the physical Temple (due to our sins), is a time when "we no longer see our signs [of revealed Divinity]." In the Song of Songs it is described as a time when "I am asleep, yet my heart is awake." In sleep the eyes close, and so in exile the inner eye of the heart closes on the conscious plane of the soul ("I am asleep"), but it nonetheless remains open and awake on the unconscious plane ("yet my heart is awake"). The unconscious experience of the heart's inner eye is what inspires and motivates us, while still in exile, to devote our lives to Torah and good deeds.

In Kabbalah, Shabbat is wisdom (corresponding to the yud of God's essential Name Havayah), and "wisdom is the [primary experience of the] mind." The Temple is understanding (corresponding to the first hei of Havayah), and "understanding is [i.e., permeates] the [experience of the] heart." Wisdom is above time, and so Shabbat remains with us for eternity (for the essence of the mind and the experience of its inner eye is changeless). Now the visible Temple-site (understanding is associated with "place") is desolate (severe judgments manifest from understanding, not from wisdom; and the experience of the heart and its inner eye fluctuates, sometimes revealed and sometimes concealed), but it will soon be rebuilt with the coming of Mashiach. Then we will witness Godliness with the inner eye of our heart at a higher, more essential level than can be witnessed by the inner eye of the mind.
An important Talmudic rule says, patient "'We didn't see it' is no proof [that it doesn't exist or that it didn't happen]".

In Hebrew, generic "sight" (???????) and "proof" (???????) – both from the root "to see" (???) – are spelled the same but vocalized differently.

When two qualified (kosher) witnesses see an event and testify to it in court it serves as sufficient proof that the event did in deed occur. But as a rule, pharmacy if they testify "we didn't see it" – e.g., that the girl next door, whom we see daily, got married – it serves as no proof that it didn't occur.

The reason behind this rule is that not all that exists and takes place (even on the macroscopic level) is readably and necessarily visible to the human eye. Maybe the girl did get married, but in private, in secret.

Extending this rule teaches us that there exists a hidden world (???? ???????) behind the revealed world (???? ???????) in which we live and that we see.

So we might conclude that sight and proof are the same only in one direction: Seeing something is proof of its existence, but not seeing it is no proof of its non-existence.

But one may argue that this is not satisfactory. If the two words are the same in Hebrew, the language of creation, then on a certain plane sight must be a necessary condition (i.e., an antecedent whose denial entails the denial of the consequent) for proof of existence. In other words, on that plane, if you don't see something it is proof it doesn't exist!

This indeed is the ideal of the future, the level of sight (of everything) that we will reach in the third, eternal Temple, where we will come to see and be seen by God (who is one and everything). Coming closer to this ideal – rebuilding in our consciousness the Holy Temple – is the spiritual service of the month of Tamuz, the month associated in Kabbalah with the sense of sight.

The name of this month, cialis 40mg Av, means "father." This is the month to connect to our parents (father and mother) and honor them.

"Honor your father and your mother…" is the fifth of the Ten Commandments. The sages teach that God placed the honor of one's parents even before His own honor.

Why is honoring one's parents such a great mitzvah? Three different reasons are given:

  1. They did so much for me…. Without them I wouldn't be here, not to mention the endless effort and investment of resources that they put into my upbringing.
  2. To honor my parents is to acknowledge, strengthen, and deeply enroot in my consciousness the Jewish tradition that they passed down to me, as that tradition descends and unfolds itself from generation to generation.
  3. To honor my parents is in essence to honor God, for His Infinite Light – the power of procreation – enclothed itself in them when they conceived me. They reflect for me the presence of the Almighty Creator.

In the Zohar we find that "Israel, the Torah, and the Holy One blessed be He are one." The three reasons to honor one's parents, in the above order, correspond to Israel, the Torah, and God, respectively.

The first reason is that my parents deserve my honor as does any person who has bestowed goodness and loving-kindness to me. By honoring my parents I express my heartfelt thanks to them. They represent for me the ideal of devotion of one soul to another. And so they reflect in my consciousness the essence of my people, Israel, of whom it is said, "All Israel are friends." In this sense, to honor my parents is to honor Israel, the people to whom they belong. According to this reason the mitzvah to honor one's parents is a mitzvah "between man and man."

The second reason clearly corresponds to the Torah. According to this reason I see my parents as a link (the most proximate link to me) in the chain of tradition of the Torah from our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to the present day. In Hebrew, the word "parent" (????) and Torah (????) are cognate. A parent is thus one who hands down the Torah to me.

The third reason corresponds to God Himself, who enclothed His Infinite Light in my parents when they conceived me and can still be seen as present in them. According to this reason the mitzvah of honoring one's parents is a mitzvah "between man and God." I look at my parents and see the Divine reflected in them. And so, by honoring my parents on the physical plane in a sense I worship my Creator, my Father in Heaven, on the spiritual plane. Only a Jewish soul is able to make this fine distinction without falling into what would be equivalent to idolatry, to worship one's physical parents, God forbid. That's why, according to this opinion, honoring one's parents is not one of the seven commandments of the children of Noah, given to all of humanity, though it is certainly a most praiseworthy attribute for all human beings. Indeed, the sages bring as the greatest example of honoring one's parents the story of Dama ben Natina, a non-Jew (but who in the end took a stone from his father's grave and erected it as an idol).

The two elements of fire and water unite in the Temple. The two elements of air and earth unite in the Land of Israel.

In the Temple we offer sacrifices to God. The sacrifices ascend in flame on the altar. The Torah calls the sacrifices "fires." When offering a sacrifice we experience ourselves burning up and being consumed by God (the sacrifices are also referred to as God's "bread"). The experience is one of loving God with all our might – not just ready to die for God (would He so desire) but actually being consumed by Him, clinic becoming a part of His very essence (as food becomes part of the body) – the highest level of loving God.

The Temple service reaches its apex on the festival of Sukot, prescription "the time of our joy." Sacrifices are offered in abundance, clinic including 70 cows, one for each nation on earth (making Sukot a universal festival). The joy of Sukot reaches its highpoint however not in animal sacrifice on the altar but with the pouring of living (i.e., spring) waters on the altar. These waters are described as being drawn in joy from "the fountains of salvation."

In the Temple of the future (described by Ezekiel, and which we contemplate and pray for daily) a tiny fountain of water issues from the Holy of Holies. As it passes through the Temple confines and exits the Temple Mount it grows wider and deeper until it becomes a mighty river that enters the sea and sweetens all the waters on earth, bringing healing and prosperity to all mankind.

In the idiom of Chasidut, the Temple fire is the experience that "God is all" (there is nothing but God, nothing else exists but Him) while the Temple water is the experience that "all is God" (all of reality is in essence Divine, and if "all is God" then all is good and sweet – there exist no more bitter waters on the face of the earth).

Of the Land of Israel it is said, "The air of the Land of Israel makes one wise." The air of Israel is conducive to one becoming wise in the wisdom of Torah, as it is said, "There is no Torah like the Torah of the Land of Israel." Wisdom is insight into the depths of reality (the secrets of creation) and a profound sense of intuition as to cause and effect in one's life.

The earth of the Land of Israel is holy. The sages ask, "Why was it called 'earth' [???]? They answer, "Because it desired [????] to do the will [????] of its Creator." "Earth" outside Israel also alludes to "will," but will which is not essentially aligned to God's will, as is the innate will of the Land of Israel.

And so, the air of Israel is the source of wisdom while the earth of Israel is the source of rectified will. Will and wisdom are the two most fundamental properties of the soul (corresponding to the first two sefirot). The Land of Israel nurtures both, as a mother breastfeeds her child. In contrast, the Temple experience is the truly "mature" experience of God Himself (beyond the rectification of our own soul).

We "grow up" in the Land of Israel, breathing its air and treading its earth, and then come to the Temple to see God (fire) and be seen by Him (water).

The Seer of Lublin passed away, diagnosis at the age of 70, sick on the 9th of Av 5575 (1815), a day of national mourning, but also, according to the sages, the birthday of the Mashiach. Long before his passing he hinted to his followers that he would pass away on the 9th of Av.

The Seer of Lublin, the mentor of almost all the leaders of the major Chasidic dynasties in Poland in the beginning of the 19th century (according to tradition, 120 Chasidic Rebbes were his disciples), was one of those great tzadikim who, like the Lubavitcher Rebbe in our generation, out of infinite love and compassion for the Jewish people, devoted his life, with total self-sacrifice (to the extent of becoming physically ill…), to bringing the Mashiach – now!

In Kabbalah, the passing of a tzadik is understood as the elevation of "feminine waters" (the existential longing of the tzadik's soul to leave the confines of the physical body, to return to and become part of God) that arouses from on high the descent of "masculine waters" (God's arousal, as it were, to impregnate reality with a "new soul" of a great tzadik who will shine "new light" to the world).

And so, it is most appropriate that on the very day of the passing of the Seer of Lublin (the saddest day of the year) the soul of the Mashiach (the happiest of all souls; the letters of Mashiach [????] permute to spell "he will be happy" [???????] and "he will make others happy" [???????]) is born, or perhaps better put, conceived on the spiritual plane.

According to the sages, from conception to "the formation of the fetus" (when the major features of the fetus become well defined in the womb) takes 40 days. 40 days beginning from the 9th of Av brings us to the 18th of Elul.

On the 18th of Elul 5369 (1609), the Maharal of Prague passed away. On that very same day, 89 years later (the 18th of Elul 5458), the Ba'al Shem Tov was born. 47 years later, on the same day (the 18th of Elul 5505), Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the first Lubavitcher Rebbe, was born.

Similarly, on the 7th of Adar Moses passed away, on his own birthday, at the age of 120. We are taught that not only was he born 120 years before his passing, but that in fact every year he is born anew on that very same day, the 7th of Adar.

So we see that the passing of a tzadik and the birth (or conception) of a new tzadik go together. The new tzadik mirrors the essence of the first tzadik's deepest devotion in life. And so, if the first tzadik sacrificed his life to bring Mashiach, as did the Seer of Lublin, then indeed the Mashiach is born (conceived) on the day of his ascent to heaven (as in the conception that takes place in marital union).

The passing of the Seer of Lublin joins together with the "passing" of the Divine Presence from the Holy Temple in Jerusalem on the 9th of Av (the day of the destruction of the Temple – only its physical body "died" but its soul ascended to heaven) to arouse God to bring the Mashiach (who will permeate reality with Divine revelation, bringing redemption, peace and goodness to all) – now!

One Response to “9th of Av: the Seer of Lublin’s Yahrzeit”

  1. Words and Drawn Swords | Morning Meditations says:

    […] for the sake of an ascent, and so we have this Kabbalistic interpretation of Tisha b’Av from Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh: The Seer of Lublin passed away, at the age of 70, on the 9th of Av 5575 (1815), a day of national […]