|Week of April 18, 2010 Shabbat Acherai Mot Kedushim ,Iyar 10, 5770
Last week in the email for Tazria Metzora i misinformed you about the definition of tazria. It means conceiving or inseminating. It is not the disease called Leprosy. The majority of the Parasha is about the disease and the message in the email is quite valid and i hope you will take it to heart. I apologize for any confusion from this error.
The name of this weeks Parasha is Acharai Mot Kedoshim. It is a double Parasha. We read two Parashiot which have similar energy. Acharai Mot translates as "After Death". Kedoshim Translates as Holyness. Holyness is a level of consciousness. The Torah teaches that HaShem is Holy so we can be Holy. Let's understand this a little bit more.
There is 3 terms in the Torah in Hebrew that are confusing when translated into English. Tamay, Tahor, Kadosh. The English translations are impure, pure, and Holy. Pure and Impure we find are opposites of each other. Can we define them without using the opposite concept? One will find that a difficult concept usually. The best way i am able to do this is the concept of purity of precious metals like Gold and Silver which uses a scale of measure called a Karet. Gold is said to be pure when it is 24 Karet Gold. At 22 Karet Gold it is less pure but it is not pure Gold any longer, therefore it has an element of impurity. All things in our world have elements of impurity and purity mixed together. This is why the Torah refers to it as the Tree of Life Good and Evil. Is Good Pure? Is Evil impure?
Kabbalah speaks about the Tree of Life which has 3 columns. Right which is sharing, or Good. Left which is Receiving or Evil. Central or Balance which is a mixture of both. We are taught to strive for balance, which by definition is impure but with a higher level of Good than Evil.
Are you confused yet? Reread the above sentences with out the morality that we ususally view the world. Torah is not a book of Morals contrary to the teachings of other religions. The Torah is a list of suggested rules that teach us how to live in a world of mixture.
Now how to we understand Holyness. One teaching explains that Holyness is actually Wholeness. (For those who do not understand the English Idiom of Wholeness. Holyness is a hard word to define and understand. It is not purity. It is the relationship between Sharing and receiving that defines Holyness. This means that it involves HaShem. One person can not be Holy. When one shares and another receives - there is no affinity between them other than the action that they do. When one shares while thinking of the person receiving (showing his love for the receiver) and the receiver only receives to give pleasure to the sharer then they both are demonstrating their love. they both are in unity. this is Holyness.)
Wholeness is like a circuit of energy where Sharing is Received with the consciousness that the only reason the receiver receives this item of sharing is to give pleasure to the sharing person. In doing this it is considered sharing to actually receive and it is not reception (receiving). Let me give you a story to help you understand this.
My mother has passed many years ago and i tell you this story to honor her and i thus hope you will see it in that light.
Even as a child i did not like my Mother's cooking. As i grew into adulthood i went to her house to eat less and less until i stopped eating there at all. Why i did this is because my mother always burned the meal.
My mother knew that i liked Apple PIe from when i was a boy. Have you ever eaten burned Apple PIe?
When my mother became ill i visited her quite frequently. She would always offer me something to eat and i would decline with a "valid" excuse. I was not hungry. i was going to eat with the kids or something like this.
Finally my mother, even while ill, cooked/burned an Apple Pie. She offered it to me. i gave her an excuse. This day i was a little more sensitive to her body language and could sense her disappointment. She said "I made it especially for you as i know it is your favorite." i again declined. and again noticed her disappointed body language. She asked a third time and a fourth and maybe if memory serves a fifth time until i finally said ok.
The look of pleasure and joy that came over my Mother will remain with me forever. I was not enjoying the Pie only the pleasure it gave my Mother to see me eat it. This was Sharing not Receiving. This was an action that appeared as receiving (the pie) with a consciousness of desire to receive in order to share. This i considered sharing and not receiving by the Kabbalists.
This is what we need to do with all things we receive in this world. When we do this, we transform our selfish desires into desires to receive in order to share. This is how we remove chaos from our life. Please try it. Say Yes to someone today when your first inclination is to say No. Enjoy the result.
There are 19 Spaces in the parasha of Acherai Mot and 4 in the Parasha of Kedoshim. In Acarai Mot we have the famous "do not's of sexuality. Many of these have spaces before and after each verse. These same "do not's" occur in Kedoshim with the effects of these actions (In Kedoshim it says people will die from these actions), yet there is no spaces before or after these verses.
WE learn from this a very important spiritual law. Never understand the Torah in its literal sense. The Light of God is in the stories and in the Mitzvoth yet only a "fool" interprets the Torah literally. This is a paraphrased quote from the Zohar.
19 is the Gematria of the Name Chava (Eve). It is also the number of Sepherot within a marriage of a man and a women. The women has 10 sepherot; The Man only 9 as the women is his tenth - His Malchut. There is much to be learned from this but this email is too short to truly understand it in depth. Ponder this to learn things in your life.
The 4 spaces in Kedoshim represents the 4 Worlds and the 4 steps in the creative process. Please see my recordings (which are free), on my website www.yeshshem.com, about the 4 phases (steps in the creative process).
Warning: The following discussion can be uncomfortable for people. I am not teaching this to support the subject but to learn about how we view the world and need to change that view to bring more mercy into the world.
Lets address the thorny issue of Homosexuality which comes in this double reading twice. The first time is Chapter 18 Verse 22. It says (translated): You shall not lie with a Man as you would lie with a women; It is an abomination. The words before this are "I am HaShem. The words after this are: Do not lie with an animal and become impure. 2 Verse later it says "Do not become impure (contaminated) through any of these (referring to these sexual no no's.
The next time it is addressed is Chapter 20 Verse 13 where The Torah says "a man who lies with another man as one lies with a women, they have both done an abomination. They shall both be put to death, their blood is upon Themselves."
In Verse 22 it says that the Land (Of Israel) will not disgorge (actually vomit you out) you if you refrain from these sexual no no's.
The word in Hebrew that is being translated as abomination has a different connotation in Hebrew. It indicates an idea of detesting as well as the stronger word abomination. The Gematria of this word is 483 which indicates a connection to the Spherah of Chochma (Wisdom). It also is equal to the phrase "do not Covet". The last of the Esser Debrot.
For approximately 2000 years Homosexuality has been suppressed, lied about, taught to be a horrible thing to do, and people have been executed for this etc. Is this the message in and from the Torah? I do not think so.
The Talmud teaches that there are 70 ways to understand the Torah. Here is another way (my personal understanding) of understanding these verses. What does it mean to say the way a man lies with a women? There are many different sexual positions. The missionary position is face to face not face to back as in what most people consider the position in a homosexual relationship . Why else would the Torah use additional letters to teach us this particular sexual No NO. There is much discussion in the Talmud about this action (face to back) in respect to Virgins and there is an opinion that it is better to Chas V Shalom sleep in this manner with a Virgin rather than have the partner loose her virginity. While i don't recommend it, If you want to study this in more detail ask yourself why does the Talmud deal with this issue and arrive at this conclusion?
Now all of these sexual no no's are done usually behind closed doors. No one except HaShem and the participants should know about their actions. What business is it of ours? Except when i point my finger at someone else i can feel that i am better than them. When i point my finger at someone else i have an excuse (not a valid excuse) not to be working on myself to improve myself as i am better than they already. Hogwash. Be busy with improving yourself! Do not be busy with improving someone else unless YOU ARE A TZADIK! Are you a Tzadik (righteous).
Lets do our spiritual work and not worry about someone else and their spiritual work.
One way to understand the Torah is to realize that every word is describing the way the Sepherot relate to each other. Know that all of these NO NO's are meant to be dealing with the spiritual relationships between Sepherot and not necessarily only Human beings.
We are instructed in the Torah "Do not do actions out of vengeance or anger". HaShem has told us that he uses 4 different methods of Killing a human being. He is telling us that our own actions will cause us to die and by which method the universe will cause someone to die based on their actions. If one uses his true sight one can see the Hand of HaShem in all of the actions of the universe. Let HaShem bring someone their own chaos. We do not have to be the channel to bring chaos to another human being. In fact, the Zohar says that a Jewish person, comes from the right column, will have to die rather than be a channel for someone else to die. This teaching says that a Jewish person, when being a channel for chaos into another Jewish persons life is not being a channel for HaShem. He is actually creating more chaos in his own life. Is this what you want for yourself?
Please learn the spiritual lessons from these Parashiot. Do not judge another, Let Elohim and nature, or using another term, the universe manifest the effect of someone's actions into their life. We do not have to be the cause of pain and suffering for another person. We already cause enough pain and suffering in our own lives.
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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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