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The blessed kingdom

The Zohar on parashat Eikev discusses the verse, information pills “You will eat and be satisfied and you shall bless Havayah, ampoule your God for the good land that He has given you” (????? ????? ????? ?? ???’ ????? ?? ???? ????? ??? ??? ??). The Zohar reveals the importance of making blessings, with particular reference to the blessing formula established by the sages, “Blessed are You Havayah, our God, King [of the universe]” (???? ??? ???’ ?-????? ???). In the Talmud, Rabbi Meir teaches that this verse not only commands us to make a blessing after eating but that we learn the injunction to make all blessings before and after eating, including even the blessing before Torah study, from this verse.

We need to eat in order to be healthy, as the Rebbe’s father commanded his son to stop his habit of fasting until Minchah every day. But before a Jew eats he needs to bless God for the food he is about to eat and he also needs to bless God after he has eaten. This order of blessing-eating-blessing is similar to the order of the words in the Shema, “Havayah, our God, Havayah [is one]” (???’ ?-????? ???’). God bestows His sustenance upon us between two blessings.

The Zohar reveals that the first words of the customary blessing formula, “Blessed are You, Havayah our God, King [of the universe]” relate to the essence of drawing down blessing from Above. The first word, “Blessed” (????) is the source of blessing, while the next four words (??? ???’ ?-????? ???) correspond to the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to King David. We connect to the source of blessing with the word “Blessed” (????), and fill all worlds with God’s Divine light via these four archetypal souls.

The first word following “Blessed” (????) is ”You” (???), which corresponds to Abraham, who was the first to reveal God’s light in the world through his loving-kindness. Loving-kindness is the first emotive sefirah and it lies on the right axis of the “Tree of Life.” The next word in the blessing, “Havayah” (???’), corresponds to Jacob and to the sefirah of beauty, which lies on the middle axis. “Our God” (?-?????) corresponds to Isaac and to the sefirah of might, on the left axis. Finally, “King [of the universe]” (???), corresponds to the sefirah of kingdom, which contains the Divine blessing from above.

According to the regular Kabbalistic order, we would expect the axes to be represented in the order of right-left-center. However, the normal order applies to a state in which the right and left represent opposite extremes, while the center can only be reached by each side compromising its original position to a certain degree. Examples of such a state can be found in society and in politics. This is also how Maimonides teaches us to refine our character; if one’s natural inclination tends to one extreme, he should refine it by forcefully adopting the other extreme, until after time, his nature will settle at the middle. For example, if an individual is naturally miserly, he should begin giving profusely without any limits for a period of time and then gradually his nature will approach the middle ground, called the Golden Path, where his tightfisted inclination is tempered by his willingness to give without regard. In these cases, the center can only be defined after the extreme left and the extreme right have been identified.

However, in the case of the blessing formula, the order right-center-left assumes that the center axis exists independently of right and left. It is not merely a compromise between them, and can be located even before the left has been defined as the extreme opposite to the right. Such a situation implies that the left is not opposed to the right at all, but rather both represent valid paths in serving God’s will, the right path representing a path of loving-kindness, the left path representing a path of might and strength. In such a case, in order to reach a state of inter-inclusion of left and right, we move from the right to the center where God’s Essential Name of compassion (???’) lies, making it possible to sweeten the harsh judgments of the left, where God’s Name of judgment (?-?????) lies. In this way, when we make a blessing with the correct intentions in mind, we perfect the flow of abundance brought down into the lowest world, the sefirah of kingdom, represented by the word “King” (???).

The Zohar on parashat Eikev discusses the verse, more about “You will eat and be satisfied and you shall bless Havayah, your God for the good land that He has given you” (????? ????? ????? ?? ???’ ????? ?? ???? ????? ??? ??? ??). The Zohar reveals the importance of making blessings, with particular reference to the blessing formula established by the sages, “Blessed are You Havayah, our God, King [of the universe]” (???? ??? ???’ ?-????? ???). In the Talmud, Rabbi Meir teaches that this verse not only commands us to make a blessing after eating but that we learn the injunction to make all blessings before and after eating, including even the blessing before Torah study, from this verse.

We need to eat in order to be healthy, as the Rebbe’s father commanded his son to stop his habit of fasting until Minchah every day. But before a Jew eats he needs to bless God for the food he is about to eat and he also needs to bless God after he has eaten. This order of blessing-eating-blessing is similar to the order of the words in the Shema, “Havayah, our God, Havayah [is one]” (???’ ?-????? ???’). God bestows His sustenance upon us between two blessings.

The Zohar reveals that the first words of the customary blessing formula, “Blessed are You, Havayah our God, King [of the universe]” relate to the essence of drawing down blessing from Above. The first word, “Blessed” (????) is the source of blessing, while the next four words (??? ???’ ?-????? ???) correspond to the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to King David. We connect to the source of blessing with the word “Blessed” (????), and fill all worlds with God’s Divine light via these four archetypal souls.

The first word following “Blessed” (????) is ”You” (???), which corresponds to Abraham, who was the first to reveal God’s light in the world through his loving-kindness. Loving-kindness is the first emotive sefirah and it lies on the right axis of the “Tree of Life.” The next word in the blessing, “Havayah” (???’), corresponds to Jacob and to the sefirah of beauty, which lies on the middle axis. “Our God” (?-?????) corresponds to Isaac and to the sefirah of might, on the left axis. Finally, “King [of the universe]” (???), corresponds to the sefirah of kingdom, which contains the Divine blessing from above.

According to the regular Kabbalistic order, we would expect the axes to be represented in the order of right-left-center. However, the normal order applies to a state in which the right and left represent opposite extremes, while the center can only be reached by each side compromising its original position to a certain degree. Examples of such a state can be found in society and in politics. This is also how Maimonides teaches us to refine our character; if one’s natural inclination tends to one extreme, he should refine it by forcefully adopting the other extreme, until after time, his nature will settle at the middle. For example, if an individual is naturally miserly, he should begin giving profusely without any limits for a period of time and then gradually his nature will approach the middle ground, called the Golden Path, where his tightfisted inclination is tempered by his willingness to give without regard. In these cases, the center can only be defined after the extreme left and the extreme right have been identified.

However, in the case of the blessing formula, the order right-center-left assumes that the center axis exists independently of right and left. It is not merely a compromise between them, and can be located even before the left has been defined as the extreme opposite to the right. Such a situation implies that the left is not opposed to the right at all, but rather both represent valid paths in serving God’s will, the right path representing a path of loving-kindness, the left path representing a path of might and strength. In such a case, in order to reach a state of inter-inclusion of left and right, we move from the right to the center where God’s Essential Name of compassion (???’) lies, making it possible to sweeten the harsh judgments of the left, where God’s Name of judgment (?-?????) lies. In this way, when we make a blessing with the correct intentions in mind, we perfect the flow of abundance brought down into the lowest world, the sefirah of kingdom, represented by the word “King” (???).

The Zohar on parashat Eikev discusses the verse, advice “You will eat and be satisfied and you shall bless Havayah, viagra dosage your God for the good land that He has given you” (????? ????? ????? ?? ???’ ????? ?? ???? ????? ??? ??? ??). The Zohar reveals the importance of making blessings, page with particular reference to the blessing formula established by the sages, “Blessed are You Havayah, our God, King [of the universe]” (???? ??? ???’ ?-????? ???). In the Talmud, Rabbi Meir teaches that this verse not only commands us to make a blessing after eating but that we learn the injunction to make all blessings before and after eating, including even the blessing before Torah study, from this verse.

We need to eat in order to be healthy, as the Rebbe’s father commanded his son to stop his habit of fasting until Minchah every day. But before a Jew eats he needs to bless God for the food he is about to eat and he also needs to bless God after he has eaten. This order of blessing-eating-blessing is similar to the order of the words in the Shema, “Havayah, our God, Havayah [is one]” (???’ ?-????? ???’). God bestows His sustenance upon us between two blessings.

The Zohar reveals that the first words of the customary blessing formula, “Blessed are You, Havayah our God, King [of the universe]” relate to the essence of drawing down blessing from Above. The first word, “Blessed” (????) is the source of blessing, while the next four words (??? ???’ ?-????? ???) correspond to the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to King David. We connect to the source of blessing with the word “Blessed” (????), and fill all worlds with God’s Divine light via these four archetypal souls.

The first word following “Blessed” (????) is ”You” (???), which corresponds to Abraham, who was the first to reveal God’s light in the world through his loving-kindness. Loving-kindness is the first emotive sefirah and it lies on the right axis of the “Tree of Life.” The next word in the blessing, “Havayah” (???’), corresponds to Jacob and to the sefirah of beauty, which lies on the middle axis. “Our God” (?-?????) corresponds to Isaac and to the sefirah of might, on the left axis. Finally, “King [of the universe]” (???), corresponds to the sefirah of kingdom, which contains the Divine blessing from above.

According to the regular Kabbalistic order, we would expect the axes to be represented in the order of right-left-center. However, the normal order applies to a state in which the right and left represent opposite extremes, while the center can only be reached by each side compromising its original position to a certain degree. Examples of such a state can be found in society and in politics. This is also how Maimonides teaches us to refine our character; if one’s natural inclination tends to one extreme, he should refine it by forcefully adopting the other extreme, until after time, his nature will settle at the middle. For example, if an individual is naturally miserly, he should begin giving profusely without any limits for a period of time and then gradually his nature will approach the middle ground, called the Golden Path, where his tightfisted inclination is tempered by his willingness to give without regard. In these cases, the center can only be defined after the extreme left and the extreme right have been identified.

However, in the case of the blessing formula, the order right-center-left assumes that the center axis exists independently of right and left. It is not merely a compromise between them, and can be located even before the left has been defined as the extreme opposite to the right. Such a situation implies that the left is not opposed to the right at all, but rather both represent valid paths in serving God’s will, the right path representing a path of loving-kindness, the left path representing a path of might and strength. In such a case, in order to reach a state of inter-inclusion of left and right, we move from the right to the center where God’s Essential Name of compassion (???’) lies, making it possible to sweeten the harsh judgments of the left, where God’s Name of judgment (?-?????) lies. In this way, when we make a blessing with the correct intentions in mind, we perfect the flow of abundance brought down into the lowest world, the sefirah of kingdom, represented by the word “King” (???).

Parashat Re’eh begins with a seven-word verse, pill “Behold, I give before you today blessing and curse” (????? ??????? ????? ?????????? ??????? ???????? ?????????). As with other opening verses of seven words, such as the opening verse of the entire Torah, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (??????????? ?????? ???????? ??? ??????????? ????? ???????), each word corresponds to one of the seven lower sefirot. The word of most interest to us is the word “blessing” (????), which is the sixth word of the verse and corresponds to the sefirah of foundation, the sefirah associated with the righteous Joseph and with every righteous individual (tzadik), the conduit of Divine blessing in every generation.

Every Torah portion is divided into seven sections (aliyot) for reading in synagogue and for every section a different member of the congregation is called up to make the blessing over the reading. These seven sections also correspond to the seven sefirot. With this in mind, we will contemplate the sixth section of Parashat Re’eh to discover how the tzadik’s blessings take hold.

Shmittah, charity and worker’s benefits

There are three topics in the sixth section: the commandment to forfeit all financial loans in the Sabbatical year (shmittah), charity, and the endowment that must be given to a Hebrew servant on his release.

Forfeiting a loan is a great loving-kindness, but it is such a difficult mitzvah to observe that Hillel the Elder made an edict (???????) that allows for loans to be given and held on to through the seventh year, by transferring the loan to the Beit Din, and thus relieving the individual of the obligation to forfeit the loan. To actually forfeit a loan, one must have a very high soul. Appropriately, this topic contains six verses, corresponding to the sixth sefirah, foundation.

The second topic is the most basic mitzvah of giving charity. The Torah teaches us to open our hearts and hands to needy people. Charity is one of the ten mitzvah campaigns launched by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and it is the campaign that corresponds to the sefirah of foundation. In fact, each of these three topics is a form of charity (????) and we certainly see here the relevance of their location in the section that corresponds to the tzadik (????).

The third and final topic is the Hebrew servant (??? ????), whose release should be accompanied by a large endowment by his master. The verse states, “Endow, you shall endow him from your livestock and from your barn and from your winery that God blessed you with you shall give him” (???????? ????????? ??? ?????????? ????????????? ????????????? ?????? ????????? ???’ ?????????? ??????? ???). This is called the mitzvah of ?????, of endowment. All of the items mentioned in this verse are either animal or vegetable and are able to reproduce, which is the essence of all blessings, as God’s first blessing to man, “Be fruitful and multiply.” This also relates to the sefirah of foundation, which in human physiology corresponds to the reproductive system. Furthermore, the first Jewish servant was Joseph, the archetypal soul of the sefirah of foundation.

We see here that like the sixth word of the parashah, the three mitzvot that appear in the sixth aliyah also pertain to the blessing that is paramount in the sefirah of foundation.
Parashat Re’eh begins with a seven-word verse, capsule “Behold, I give before you today blessing and curse” (????? ??????? ????? ?????????? ??????? ???????? ?????????). As with other opening verses of seven words, such as the opening verse of the entire Torah, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (??????????? ?????? ???????? ??? ??????????? ????? ???????), each word corresponds to one of the seven lower sefirot. The word of most interest to us is the word “blessing” (????), which is the sixth word of the verse and corresponds to the sefirah of foundation, the sefirah associated with the righteous Joseph and with every righteous individual (tzadik), the conduit of Divine blessing in every generation.

Every Torah portion is divided into seven sections (aliyot) for reading in synagogue and for every section a different member of the congregation is called up to make the blessing over the reading. These seven sections also correspond to the seven sefirot. With this in mind, we will contemplate the sixth section of Parashat Re’eh to discover how the tzadik’s blessings take hold.

Shmittah, charity and worker’s benefits

There are three topics in the sixth section: the commandment to forfeit all financial loans in the Sabbatical year (shemitah), charity, and the endowment that must be given to a Hebrew servant on his release.

Forfeiting a loan is a great loving-kindness, but it is such a difficult mitzvah to observe that Hillel the Elder made an edict (???????) that allows for loans to be given and held on to through the seventh year, by transferring the loan to the Beit Din, and thus relieving the individual of the obligation to forfeit the loan. To actually forfeit a loan, one must have a very high soul. Appropriately, this topic contains six verses, corresponding to the sixth sefirah, foundation.

The second topic is the most basic mitzvah of giving charity. The Torah teaches us to open our hearts and hands to needy people. Charity is one of the ten mitzvah campaigns launched by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and it is the campaign that corresponds to the sefirah of foundation. In fact, each of these three topics is a form of charity (????) and we certainly see here the relevance of their location in the section that corresponds to the tzadik (????).

The third and final topic is the Hebrew servant (??? ????), whose release should be accompanied by a large endowment by his master. The verse states, “Endow, you shall endow him from your livestock and from your barn and from your winery that God blessed you with you shall give him” (???????? ????????? ??? ?????????? ????????????? ????????????? ?????? ????????? ???’ ?????????? ??????? ???). This is called the mitzvah of ?????, of endowment. All of the items mentioned in this verse are either animal or vegetable and are able to reproduce, which is the essence of all blessings, as God’s first blessing to man, “Be fruitful and multiply.” This also relates to the sefirah of foundation, which in human physiology corresponds to the reproductive system. Furthermore, the first Jewish servant was Joseph, the archetypal soul of the sefirah of foundation.

We see here that like the sixth word of the parashah, the three mitzvot that appear in the sixth aliyah also pertain to the blessing that is paramount in the sefirah of foundation.
Parashat Re’eh begins with a seven-word verse, help “Behold, capsule I give before you today blessing and curse” (????? ??????? ????? ?????????? ??????? ???????? ?????????). As with other opening verses of seven words, order such as the opening verse of the entire Torah, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (??????????? ?????? ???????? ??? ??????????? ????? ???????), each word corresponds to one of the seven lower sefirot. The word of most interest to us is the word “blessing” (????), which is the sixth word of the verse and corresponds to the sefirah of foundation, the sefirah associated with the righteous Joseph and with every righteous individual (tzadik), the conduit of Divine blessing in every generation.

Every Torah portion is divided into seven sections (aliyot) for reading in synagogue and for every section a different member of the congregation is called up to make the blessing over the reading. These seven sections also correspond to the seven sefirot. With this in mind, we will contemplate the sixth section of Parashat Re’eh to discover how the tzadik’s blessings take hold.

Shmittah, charity and worker’s benefits

There are three topics in the sixth section: the commandment to forfeit all financial loans in the Sabbatical year (shemitah), charity, and the endowment that must be given to a Hebrew servant on his release.

Forfeiting a loan is a great loving-kindness, but it is such a difficult mitzvah to observe that Hillel the Elder made an edict (???????) that allows for loans to be given and held on to through the seventh year, by transferring the loan to the Beit Din, and thus relieving the individual of the obligation to forfeit the loan. To actually forfeit a loan, one must have a very high soul. Appropriately, this topic contains six verses, corresponding to the sixth sefirah, foundation.

The second topic is the most basic mitzvah of giving charity. The Torah teaches us to open our hearts and hands to needy people. Charity is one of the ten mitzvah campaigns launched by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and it is the campaign that corresponds to the sefirah of foundation. In fact, each of these three topics is a form of charity (????) and we certainly see here the relevance of their location in the section that corresponds to the tzadik (????).

The third and final topic is the Hebrew servant (??? ????), whose release should be accompanied by a large endowment by his master. The verse states, “Endow, you shall endow him from your livestock and from your barn and from your winery that God blessed you with you shall give him” (???????? ????????? ??? ?????????? ????????????? ????????????? ?????? ????????? ???’ ?????????? ??????? ???). This is called the mitzvah of ?????, of endowment. All of the items mentioned in this verse are either animal or vegetable and are able to reproduce, which is the essence of all blessings, as God’s first blessing to man, “Be fruitful and multiply.” This also relates to the sefirah of foundation, which in human physiology corresponds to the reproductive system. Furthermore, the first Jewish servant was Joseph, the archetypal soul of the sefirah of foundation.

We see here that like the sixth word of the parashah, the three mitzvot that appear in the sixth aliyah also pertain to the blessing that is paramount in the sefirah of foundation.
The cursed kingdoms

The first verse in Parashat Re’eh contains seven words, order which correspond to the seven emotive sefirot (from loving-kindness to kingdom). The seventh word is “curse” (????) and it corresponds to the seventh sefirah, salve the sefirah of kingdom. The reason why kingdom is liable to be cursed stems from the seven primordial kings of the World of Chaos who preceded the World of Rectification. Each king ruled momentarily but then died, help to be followed by the next of the seven kings. Each primordial king represents a different political system that rises to power and then falls: socialism, communism, totalitarianism, democracy, etc. The final kingdom will be the rectifiedkingdom ofMashiach and the eternal kingdom of the Almighty, the King of all Kings.

Since Adam’s sin, mortality, the fate of the primordial kings, has been the ultimate fate of every human being. King David, who should naturally have been a miscarriage, was the first to begin rectifying this fallen state through his humble acknowledgment of his own miraculous survival at every moment of his life.

The curse of death that resides in the sefirah of kingdom is transformed into blessing by the power of the abundance that is in the sefirah of foundation. This is alluded to in the phrase that begins the second verse of the parashah, “the blessing” (??? ??????????), which can be rendered, “you [kingdom] are a blessing” (???? ??????????). In this way, the meaning of the word “curse” (????) transforms into “bright” (???) as in the phrase “shiny copper”[1] (???? ???) that Ezekiel and Daniel saw in their prophetic visions. The blessing of kingdom at this level is even greater than the original blessing conveyed by the sefirah of foundation.

The kingdom of Joseph and the kingdom of David

This phenomenon is alluded to in the final meeting between King Saul’s son, Jonathan, and David, in the words, “until David became great”[2] (??? ?????? ?????????). The literal meaning of this is that David wept profusely,[3] but in Chassidut it is explained that this alludes to the rectification of King David’s kingdom through Mashiach ben David, when his rule is complete and rises above Jonathan’s, who represents Mashiach ben Yosef.

In our previous article we referred to three aspects of charity in Parashat Re’eh that characterize the profuse blessing that the righteous individual draws down from above. Referring to the third aspect of charity, the mitzvah of endowing a Hebrew servant upon his release, Sefer Hachinuch teaches that this mitzvah applies in any work situation. When an employee is dismissed, his employer should endow him with a significant reward for his work, beyond his regular salary. Nowadays, this has become the norm in any civilized society, with pension plans and national insurance schemes that actually remove most of the responsibility from the employer to the state. Although this indicates a certain elevation towards rectifying the sefirah of kingdom in general, the Torah expects each employer to take personal responsibility for each of his employees, like a king who is responsible for each of his subjects.

The numerical value of “a Hebrew servant” (??? ????) is equal to the numerical value of Mashiach (????), and although as an employee, the servant represents Joseph, the first Hebrew servant, when he leaves his employer for personal freedom, his employer should lavish upon him blessings until he grows to be greater than his employer and rises to the level of Mashiach ben David, “until David became great.”



[1] Ezekiel 1:7; Daniel 10:6.

[2] Samuel 1, 20:41.

[3] Rashi, ibid.

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