|Week of September 21, 2008 Shabbat Nitzavim Elul 27, 5768|
We read the portion of Nitzavim this week. There are 40 verses in the portion. The third shortest in the whole Chumash. The Kabbalists teach us that in our physical world, in things spiritual, Less is More! And this adage is true for this ParaSha.
Nitzavim is translated as "you are standing in front of". Many Kabbalists teach that what is unwritten but implied is "You are standing in front of Rosh HaShana". This is because Nitzavim is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh HaShana. Some of the Kabbalists also teach that we are standing with the Geulah - the Redemption. This is because one year is all we need to complete our spiritual work. If we do our work properly day by day than we bring our personal Mashiach. If sufficient number of us accomplish this than we can bring the Global Redemption as well. Let us pray that we accomplish this NOW in the year 5769 which takes place on Tishrai Aleph - September 30, 2008.
In Nitzavim there are 2 unusual items in the scroll of the Torah. They are a large Lamed, followed by 11 dots in the next verse. The Large Lamed occurs in the word VaYSHLiCHeM, which means removed or threw away. This word can be permuted Kabbalistically as "and Teach existence to the lowly." The 11 dots appear over the letters that form the words "us and our children + an Ayin (which means eye and Kabbalistically refers to vision and/or wisdom"). Therefore these 2 unique items can be seen as a message that says: Teach: existence comes from the lowly - us and our children." Historically the verse that contains the dots, which is translated "What is Hidden belongs to HaShem and what is revealed belongs to us and our children forever", has been used as the reason not to study Kabbalah. The Zohar has always been clear that this Pshat level of understanding is not correct. In our generation Kabbalah must be taught to everyone who has interest. B'EzRat HaShem this is beginning to manifest.
To truly realize the truth of the Zohar, there is a teaching by one of the members of the Abuzaria Family - The family of Baba Sali. He asks What is hidden - and answers the Silence that praises God which are the walls of our heart. What is revealed - the words we use to teach our children Torah. Truly what is hidden belongs to God - our hearts and what is revealed - the Torah teaching we speak/give to our children. This is the learning of Kabbalah.
Another understanding of the large Lamed is to realize that in each month we announce the new moon on the Shabbat before the new moon except for the new moon of Tishrai. This announcement gives us an opportunity to connect with the energy of the new moon for its positive benefits, by meditating on the Letters that created the Planet and Constellation/month of the year. This merciful benefit is given to us this month during the reading of Nitzavim which is always read on the Shabbat before the month of Tishrai. By connecting to the large Lamed (it is reccomended that the reader pause and give the congregation the opportunity to meditate of the Lamed that created the constellation Libra or Scales and the Pey which created the planet Venus) we can teach the mouth to speak only LaShon Tov. Good talk and not evil speach.
Another understanding of the 11 dots comes from Rabbi Avraham Azulai the author of the Kabbalistic work Chesed Avraham. He explains that there are 10 weeks during the year where dots appear in the scroll. Each of those weeks allows us to connect to the energy of one of the ten days of Awe - the days between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippurim. By connecting to the 11 dots this week (11 represents the removal of death associated with the Ketoret and the 11 coverings of the Mishkan) We can connect to the energy of Yom Kippurim - the day that is like Purim. Purim is the Holiday of redemption. Purim is the Holiday that defeats doubt. Purim is the Holiday of removing our masks and connecting to joy and Happiness. Use this energy to go into the New Year with joy and Happiness and that will be the Tikune that brings you a year filled with joy and happiness. A year filled with Simcha and Blessings.
Shabbat Shalom and Le Shana Tovah!
Finally, to truly understand the essence of Nitzavim we need to look at the code word the sages gave us for the 40 verses. They did not give us the Mem which has a numerical value of 40 and which represents the energy of Chesed. They gave us the word Lamed Bet Bet Vav. The Vav at the end of a Hebrew word means "his". Lamed Bet spells Heart. Lamed Bet Bet is used in the Shma and we are told that it represents our two hearts. The good inclination and the evil inclination which when we restrict it becomes our ally also. May you have a year filled with restriction so that you only have Tov in you life. Learn to Restrict so that you remove chaos form your life and the life of the world - then you can see "ourselves and our children" as the perfect beings we trruly are.
Remember to use the energy of the Hebrew Aleph Bet along with the 13 Midot (attributes) of Mercy to cleanse ourselves - in order to bring redemption. That is what Slichot is all about!
Shabbat Shalom, Chodesh Tov and LeShana Tovah.
Enjoy the Reading!
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Chanoch Ben Yaacov
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