|Week of August 2, 2009 Shabbat Av 18, 5769|
This weeks reading is called Eikev. This word means either Reward or Heel! which way should we translate it?
There are 111 verses in the reading. This is the fully spelled out Letter Aleph which represents both unity and multiplicity. Is there a connection? The code words are- קיא which means to Vomit or throw up, in Aramaic it means "to spit; יעלא which means "wild or mountain goat" in Aramaic.
Generally the Sages say that the essence of this Parasha is Humbleness as that is the essence of the Heal of the foot. While this is obviously true there is a deeper essence to this Parasha as well.
3 times in this Parasha it refers to A Mitzvah - A commandment (is the usual translation). Many of the Sages explain this as the following: There are 613 Mitzvoth but they are all related to one Mitzvah which is to study Torah. All the others assist us in our Torah Study and that is one of their purposes. Other Sages explain that the 1 Mitzvah is to learn to "Love our Neighbor as Ourself" and all of the others including Torah Study support that goal.
Lets take a close look at the word Mitzvah. Since not all people are receiving the Hebrew Letters in these emails do to the limitations of their machines i am going to spell out all of this in English. Take your time and read through it. It is important information to understand.
To begin there are certain rules of grammer in Hebrew it is important for us to understand. One is there must be a match between nouns verbs and direct objects in Hebrew for both singular an plural as well as male and female. When this is not true in the Torah Scroll it means there is a spiritual law being reflected in this change.
In these 3 verses the grammer says the word Mitzvah (singular) should be Mitzvoth (Plural) - yet it is Mitzvah (singular). Mitzvah is spelled Mem Tzadi Vav Hay. The shoresh (root) of this word is Tzadi Vav Hay. the Mem in front of the word indicates a prefix as "from". There fore the word Mitzvah is "from Tzadi Vav Hay". There are a few meanings to the root Tzadi Vav Hay. One is command, one is join or connect; Another is to attend; another is to be hot or burn; another is to shout.
Lets look at some of the methods of letter substitution in this word as well. We know when we say a Hebrew word we are also saying other Hebrew words that have the same gematria or have letters that can be substitued for other letters which then form other words. All of that in being expressed each time we say a Hebrew word which is why it is imporssible to translate Hebrew into other languages completely. So lets look at what else we are saying when we say Mitzvah. In the AT Bash Letter substitution (Aleph for Taf; Bet for Shin Gimmel for Resh etc) the Mem becomes a Yood; and the Tzadi becomes a Hay. Therefore we are also saying the 4 Letter Name of HaShem. Yood Hay Vav Hay. Did you follow this? if not ask your neighbor or write me for a clarification but truly think this one through.
The question remains as to why the Sages only did the first two letters and not the last two letters with this substitution. The answer is about the spiritual law that a thing must first be concealed before it is revealed. Our upper spiritual worlds (Yood Hay Methaphor) are concealed while our lower spiritual worlds (Vav Hay Metaphor) are revealed.
We can also substitute the letter to the right of each letter; therefore the Mem becvomes a Lamed (teacher) and the Tzadi becomes a Pey(mouth). Therefore Mitzvah becomes a Teacher using his mouth to unite the lower worlds.
We can also substitute the letter to the left which means the Mem becomes a Nun and the Tzadi becomes a Koof. This word then becomes to hope or gather; or to be collected.
What all of this comes to explain about this weeks Parasha is doing a Mitzvah can be done as as Command of God (which the Zohar says is Idol Worship because we give over our free will) or as a joining HaShem in unity.
This is what leads one to Holiness. Being in Unity with HaShem and that is what one has the opportunity to do when one does a Mitzvah!
Being human we all ask - so what is the important Mitzvah so that i will do that and not have to worry about the others. My friends the most important Mitzvah is "ALL of THEM". Not to be rewarded --- but to give pleasure to our parent Hashem. When HaShem sees us doing a Mitzvah for no reason except to give him pleasure - that is the nature of being Humble. That is our true reward in the world to come which is here now. Join the Tzadikim in the world to come NOW! Do a Mitzvah. Study a little more. Did you read a verse in the Chumash before you go to Temple for Shabbat. Did you assist someone less fortunate than you today? Did you say no to that extra high caloric non kosher dessert?
Join the Tzadikim - do another Mitzvah - any one of them because they all give pleasure to HaShem. Avinu Malkeinu - Our Father Our King!
Enjoy the Reading!
Enjoy the Reading!
P.S. I am looking for volunteers to translate our recordings into many other languages. Come share in the revelation of wisdom. Use your native language skills. All you need is a cell phone that has unlimited long distance and approx 3 hours a week. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. You will be amazed how your life improves by this sharing!
One of the main purposes of the Mitzvah of Hearing the Torah on Shabbat Morning is to receive the Metaphysical Energy we will need during the next week. Please strive to hear the Torah Reading each week for this benefit.
Chanoch Ben Yaacov
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