|Week of July 12, 2009 Shabbat Tamuuz 26, 5769
This week there is a double reading of the Portions of Matot and Masei. Well they both start with a Mem but they must have some reason to be read together. What do you think it is?
These two portions are always read in the three week period between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av. They must have a spiritual benefit and vaccine to help us during this very difficult period. So what is it?
Matot which means Tribes has 112 Verses. We have spoken about 112 before. It is the word Yabok, the river Jacob crossed to wrestle with the Angel of Esav otherwise known as Satan. The code words given to us are בקי and, יקב ,עיבל . These words mean winepress wine celler or winery (יקב); my ruin (בקי); The name of the mountain Ebal - which relates to two different ideas. These ideas are "see the celebration of the Jubilee" and "see one become callous".
The major question that is asked about the Parasha of Matot is "why is this directed to the "heads of the Tribes of Israel" and what is the meaning to me in my lifetime today?
I am going to leave this question to others to answer this year.
Masei means Journies. This Parasha lists the journeys of the Nation in the 40 years in the desert. Most people do not think about this question but much can be learned by analyzing the names of each place and also how long they stayed in that place. One of the interesting aspects of this learning is that the Nation essentially were supplied with all that they needed. Their/Our food was Mana which tasted as everything one wanted.Their/Our Shelter were the Clouds of Glory which kept the insects out, the snakes and scorpions not in our sight, rain only during the hours of sleep. Of course there were tents to provide concealment for married couples.
So what did they/we do each day. It must have been boring don't you think. Actually they studied Torah every day they did not celebrate a Holiday. What a wonderful existence. To study with Moshe, Aaron, the Sanhedrin - all Prophets, and what is the downside of this. Each day when you woke up you did not know weather it was moving day. The Clouds could move any time. What was a mother to do - get the kids ready or keep them ready. Nothing could be packed into the wardrobes or closets - there wasn't any. there was no Party Dresses or Tuxedoes for the husbands. There was just one set of clothes that never wore out. How boring can you get? Did you know that one place they stayed over 19 years. It was not moving every day but it was anticipating a move every day. In fact they did not circumcize the New Borns on the eight day just in case they had to move and they would not have time to heal. Are you ready for Mashiach? Are you ready to give up your status that you have worked so hard to attain. Are you ready to realize that your status is only about 1 thing - HOw much Torah do you KNOW? Did you study Torah today?
There are 132 verses in this Parasha. The code word is a phrase מחלה חולה. This means "the illness of a sick person". This is indicating to you that we are ill and need this medicine called Torah. Are you interested? I will be starting a new "Beginning Kabbalah Class" on Tu B'Av - the evening of August 4. You may join Physically if you are in Los Angeles. You may join Live on conference call; or you may participate by recieving the recording the next day the class will last approx 15 weeks and will go through the High Holiday period of Tishrai and will be well worth learning about the Torah of the Holidays. Write me an email for more information.
The total number of verses is 244 which is spelled in Hebrew רמד which translates as "a sleeping pill or narcotic". Will you go to sleep or will you start/continue to study Torah? This is the goal of these readings during this negative 3 weeks. Your plans are going to be interferred with by the negative side so you might as well start to Learn Torah and prepare for the 7 weeks of Tshuvah!
There is another item that needs to be revealed about these Parashiot. The Land of Israel is spoken about in both of them. IN Matot the Tribes of Reuben and Gad asked to remain in the "west bank" and not cross over the Jordan River. Since the settlements are in the news recently lets learn from the Torah what this is all about.
Moshe decides that the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and 1/2 the Tribe of Menashe are not to cross into the Land as long as they participate in the Holy War of settling the Land. I have chosen these modern words on purpose. Please realize they are paraphrasing the written Torah.
The question is why did these Tribes not merit the Land and more importantly for us; Do we merit the Land?
To answer this question about Reuben which means "See a son" and which is connected to the month we are in called Tammuz, we return to the book of Genesis describing Jacob love for Rachel and working 7 years for Father/ Uncle Lavan to marry her and being "tricked" into marrying Leah. Our midrashim tells us that Jacob was thinking about his love for Rachel when he was having intimate relations with Leah the first night. This caused the soul of Reuben to be drawn.
The Zohar teaches that the soul that is drawn is based on the consciousness of the two people making love or having sex.
Many of us have seen the pictures of sperm racing to get to the egg and then when the first sperm is fighting to get in the other sperm support that battle. The scientists don't understand this and have no explanation for it. The explanation is above. The consciousness of the parents attract the soul and all of lthe other portential souls (based on what their consciousness could have been) are helping to bring that soul into manifestation. Learn what sharing truly means from this.
So since Jacob and Leah were not in unity. Reuben starts with a Tikune to acheive. One associated with unity. This is the reason that the Tribe of Reuben could not live in the Land and has yet to return after the destruction of the first Temple...unless the souls of the settlers are reincarnated from the Tribes of Reuben Gad or Menashe.
This same is true for the Tribe of Gad. Gad is the first born of the handmaid/1/2 sister of Leah. She sent her sister into Jacob but did not tell him about the exchange.
Both Reuben and Gad was not able to live in the land yet until they correct the issue of their beginning. Both of them made big mistakes we call a Sin (don't mistake this as the Western civilization word for Sin - study Torah to learn the difference). Reuben disarranged the bed of Bilha after Rachel passed. Gad did something that caused the Mashiach to change his manifestation into the month of Shvat instead of the month of Tevet. Nowhere is it written what this action is so it obviously relates to concealed things.
So what did Menashe do that caused 1/2 the Tribe to not merit going into the Land. Actually Moshe says he wants Menashe to be there so that Reuben and Gad will be brought into the consciouness of unity (paraphrasing). Menashe and Efraim are receiving the Blessing from Jacob. they are really Jacob's sons and they were to be brought into the physical world on that night when Reuben disarranged Bilha's bed. That night Jacob did not have relations with Bilha and so it was necessary for Menashe and Efraim to be brought into the world by Joseph and Osnat (the daughter of Potifar and the grandchild of Dinah).
As Jacob changes his hands to give the First Born Blessing to Efraim even though actually it belonged to Menashe in the physical illusion - Menashe is quiet-He does not speak to correct his father/grandfather. This is a correction which is only one sided and it only acheives half of the correction. This is the reason 1/2 the Tribe of Menashe stayed on the otherside of the Jordan.
So what can we learn form the spiritual message today? When one brings children be in unity with your partner. It will give you more pleasure as we all know from the adage about sex being good even when its bad. It will also draw children from a higher level of soul.
The Zohar teaches that we can even do Tshuvah about this consciousness to help our children correct their dificiencies.
There are many other spiritual lessons from these Parshiot. I hope your interest is piqued sufficiently to start to learn Torah from a Kabbalistic perspective.
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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