|Week of October 5, 2008 Shabbat Chukat HaAzinu Tishrai 12 5769
The portion this week - The week after Yom Kipur is Ha'Azinu. This is usually translated as Give Ear or listin. Yet one must ask what is the difference between Shma which means listen and Ha'Azinu which means listen because in the Hebrew Language no word is a synanym for another. One explanation is Ha'Azinu means listen in a spiritual sense or in a sense of balance while Shma means listen in a sense of understanding. Ha'Azinu means listen in a sense of intuition or spiritual while Shma means listen in the sense of understanding or physical sense.
The numerical value of Ha'Azinu is 79. Other words with that same Gematria are the words Gan HaShem - Garden of God (Tetragramaton) and Sameck Yood Tet which is the third of the 72 names of God and relates to Miracle Making. This subject is too long to bring in a weekly email.
There are 52 verses in this portion and the memonic device from the Sages is Caf Lamed Bet which spells the word dog. This would be misleading until one looks at the specific details of the letters in the word. The letter Caf also is the name of the Palm of a hand and the letters Lamed and Bet spell the word Heart. So perhaps the Sages are hinting at the food known as Hearts of Palm (one of my favorite foods in a salad). Or it could mean the idea of manifesting the heart. this comes from understanding that there are many ways to spell out the Tetragramaton - one of which is spelled Yood Vav Dalet, Hay Hay, Vav Vav, Hay Hay. When spelled this way the Kabbalists teach us that its Gematria is 52 and is the level of Malchut or manifestation.
There are some unusal items in the scroll in this portion as well. There is a large Hay in Chapter 32 verse 6 and there is a small Yood in verse 18 in the word Taf Shin Yood. Actually the large Hay is almost a letter that has no meaning as it appears attached to the word Lamed Tetragramaton in verse 6. So the Kabbalists teach us the The large Hay represents expanding our desires and the small Yood representing lowering our egos.
If one looks at the scroll the format of the verses is unusual. This portion of Ha'Azinu takes up almost 2 full columns in the scroll. The first column forms a shape of the letter Chet and the second column forms an upside down Chet. The Chet is a wonderful letter. There is a word Chet in Hebrew which is usually translated as "Sin" - but we must remember that Chet is spelled as a word it has an Aleph on the end of the word - so the letter Chet is not a sin. The Letter Chet is made by putting a Vav on the right and a Zion on the left and connecting them with a small carrot shape that looks like a house roof. The gematria of vav and zion is 13, the Gematria of Chet is 8. In Kabbalah 8 represents being above the physical. 13 represents unity.
The essense of this portions lesson is to Lower our Ego - Expand our desire to receive (because HaShem wants to give us more good than we can imagine) and the tools we are to use to accomplish this is to open our ears (the root of Ha'Azinu) to listen - which helps us come back to balance. The way to bring miracles in our life is to transform ourselves by listening for what mistakes we have made last year and changing our behaviour to be a better person - a more sharing person - this year. This is what will allow us to utilize the consciousness of Yom Kipurrim and Sukkot to manifest miracles in our lives this year of Taf Shin Sameach Tet.
The letters that form the name of the Year Taf Shin Samach Tet are an Acronym for the phrase Tehei Shenat Siman Tov. This means "May this be a year of Good fortune!". The Gematria of this year also is the Gematria of Eliyahu HaTishbi who is Elijah the Prophet (the guy who comes for the Fifth glass of wine on Pesach). It is also taught that he will herald the arrival of Mashiach. May this be the year that we manifest the global Mashiach.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!
Enjoy the Reading!
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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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