In the last Parasha we learned about comfort. There is a spiritual law that one must receive a taste of the goal - then loose it - in order to develop a true desire for this pleasure. The Parasha of Noach is the goal. The Parasha of Lech Lecha is the process. The lesson to learn is there is no difference between process and goal in this physical world.
There is always a deeper level of consciousness to reach. As one goes deeper step by step we follow the pattern Taste the pleasure, fall spiritually, yearn for the pleasure to return, rise spiritually so the pleasure returns on its own. THIS IS PROCESS AND GOAL IN UNITY. This is how Avram becomes Avraham!
Look at the terms Lech and Lecha above. Both words have the same consonants and yet different vowels. With one set of vowels the word means Yourself (Lecha). With another set of vowels the word means Go (Lech) as a directive. Free choice is implied by this phrase - Go for Yourself. One must decide what is required of oneself. To desire pleasure of this world or forego pleasure of this world in order to receive the pleasure of the world that is coming. Ultimately we need to learn to bring the pleasure of the world that is coming into this world. How do we do this? By choosing effort over rest. Effort over Comfort. Process over Goal. This is what is learned from the Tree of Life Glyff and from the Torah.
Effort means going outside of the comfort zone. The energy to go outside of our comfort zone is what we can receive from the hearing of the Torah on Shabbat Lech Lecha.
The Parasha of Lech Lecha starts in column 13 of the Torah and ends in column 18. As we know 13 is the gematria of Echad meaning unity and 18 is the gematria of the word Chai meaning life. These are definitely hints to the essence of "going into yourself" or Lech Lecha. We know that going into ourselves in order to effect change within ourselves - remove negative actions and negative emotions is what creates unity among the living.
The Parasha has 7 spaces - 3 that cause the words to start on a new line and 4 that are considered short spaces. This is teaching us that the Parasha is connected to the physical world.
Lech Lecha has a gematria of 100. We know the story from the Book of Kings regarding the plague in the time of King David based on the recommendation to say 100 Blessings every day in order to avoid the plague when one has limited themselves by being counted. In our generation everyone is constantly being counted directly and thus is subject to potentially coming in contact with plagues of one type or another Chas V'Shalom. Most people do not say 100 Blessings each day. Most people do not even say and do a combination of 100 good deeds and Blessings each day. What can we do for protection against plagues? Do we only have modern medical technology and science for this protection? Or is there another tool in the Arsenal of the Torah?
The verse in Genesis 12:10 has the word RaAv רעב. RaAv translates as famine in the story of Avram going down to Egypt. The modern Kabbalists indicate that this word is a plague in the Language of Branches. As such the hearing of the word from the Torah Scroll this Shabbat Lech Lecha will provide a protection shield from any and all plagues in our physical world. Of course you have to have this in your consciousness when you hear the word.
RaAv has another aspect. It is not limited to be only a protection against plagues. The word RaAvcan also be translated as Reish Ayin Bet. All students of Kabbalah should be able to put these words into meaning in our lives. This is the "Head (Rosh) of the 72 Names". It includes all of the control of the physical world. When we hear this word on Shabbat Lech Lecha from the reading of the Torah Scroll we receive the potential control of all aspects of physicality. How will you use your new found control?
To understand the lessons of the war of 5 kings against 4 kings we need the Zohar. The Zohar explains that Avram represents our soul in the physical world. It also explains that Lot in the Language of Branches is our evil inclination. That is why Avram went after Lot even though Avram earlier told Lot to separate from himself. In the physical world the evil inclination is necessary for a person to grow spiritually.
Here is a Zohar that hints to the purpose of the war. It is Zohar Sulam Parasha Lech Lecha Section 24 Verse 234:
"So come and behold, When all those kings joined to make war against Abraham, they consulted one another about how to destroy him. But as soon as they took control over Lot, Abraham's nephew, they immediately left. As it is written, "And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, and his possessions and departed. (Beraisheet 14:12 What was the reason? Lot's image was similar to that of Abraham. As a result, they "departed" AS THEY BELIEVED THEY HAD CAPTURED ABRAHAM, which was the purpose of the war. (Capital letters are the Sulam commentary)".
Please notice that the Zohar speaks of Avraham even when the war may have happened prior to the change of Name from Avram to Avraham.
There is also a unique anomaly in the Parasha of Lech Lecha. It is the first time there is a dot over a letter. This occurs in Chapter 16 Verse 5 of Genesis. It is the story of the relationship of Sarah and Hagar relating to pregnancy. On its surface this story is a protection against our developing the trait of jealousy which is the method of protecting ourselves from all negative character traits.
This verse is very strange. Here is the verse in Hebrew and English.
ותאמר שרי אל-אברם חמסי עליך אנכי נתתי שפחתי בחיקך ותרא כי הרתה ואקל בעיניה ישפט יהוה ביני וביניך
And Sarai said unto Abram: 'My wrong be upon thee: I gave my handmaid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: HaShem judge between me and thee.'
Rabbi Avraham Azulai in the 1600's teaches that the dots occur in 10 Parashiot in the Torah Scroll. Each Parasha and dot then represents one of the 10 days of Teshuvah between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Next week in Vayera the dots represent the one long day of Rosh HaShana (2 days). In Lech Lecha this dot over the Yood represents the third day of Tishrai which this year was a Shabbat.
What was your first Shabbat of the year like? Did you keep it properly? Did you do additional study? Did you allow your anger and jealousy to overcome your good intentions? This dot and the hearing of the word gives you an opportunity to change the actions you did on that Shabbat that were negative and correct them so that all of the Shabbats of the year will be more positive for you. This is HaShem's mercy and loving kindness manifesting the energy of the Torah as a second chance to do it over.
The dot occurs over the last Yood in the last word. The Kabbalists have given us suggested methods of discerning the meaning of these dots. When a dot is over a letter and there are other letters in that word we are to remove the letter with the dot to understand the message. The word with the dot means "between me". The Caf at the end adds the word you so the whole word translates as "between me and you". When we remove the final Yood the word becomes "and understand yourself".
What is strange about this verse is the beginning and the end. The Beginning Sarah is transferring her error (in giving Hagar to Avram to procreate a child) to Avram. This is not the teachings of Kabbalah which teaches us to accept the responsibility for our own actions. How can we understand this? The Zohar says Avram is the soul and Sarah is the body. The Arizal teaches in the laws of reincarnation that the consciousness of the two participants is what draws the soul to the womb. The women gives us the Inner Light and the man gives us the Surrounding Light. These are Kabbalistic terms that a Kabbalah student can easily understand. If you need assistance in that please send me an email.
We know that Ismael started out as a negative person from his Inner Light that came from Hagar. We also know that Ishmael did Teshuvah which was caused by his Surrounding Light that came from Avram. We also know that what happens to the children follow the pattern of the Father. This is how we know that the hatred that comes from the Palestinians, Hezbollah, and the other factions in the Moslem world will be changed when we change ourselves and accept our responsibility and recognize that these nations represent the mirror for the Children of Israel.
While i do not speak or understand Hebrew well, please notice that the last phrase in the above verse when we remove the Yood with the dot actually can be read as "HaShem assists us in understanding ourselves". I am also asking any Hebrew speaker to help translate this verse for us.
This Parasha of Lech Lecha has a few additional teachings for us. Sarai changed her Name to Sarah. The effect of this change is that she is able to bear her own child. In our generation many women have delayed bringing children. Now they are having difficulty in getting pregnant. For many of these women a simple change of name will remove the blockages that prevents a women from becoming pregnant.
As we implement the message of Lech Lecha -going into myself to transform myself many people find this process difficult and depressing. It is not. A method to use to remain balanced as one rips out of ourselves these negative character traits try smiling when you feel low. It will elevate your mood as well as help the other person that sees your smile. Hugging someone when you are angry at them (In an appropriate way) as a substitute for yourself will also elevate both of your moods. Thinking what the other person in your life needs at this exact moment will give you an opportunity to go inside yourself as you make judgments about yourself. When one goes inside themselves and decides to change themselves that is the moment that process needs to transform into a goal. This is the deeper meaning of Lech Lecha "going for yourself".
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