|Week of May 2 (Lag B'Omer), 2010 Shabbat Behar Bechukotai,Iyar 24, 5770
Again we have a double portion. This week it is titled Behar and Bechukotai. Behar means On a mountain. The sages teach that it is referring to the specific mountain of Sinai and the gift of the Torah called Matan Torah in Hebrew. Bechukotai means " "you will follow". Usually when we have a double portion we can understand how the 2 portions have similar "energy". This is difficult with these 2 parashiot. Actually they do have similar energy and essence but it is difficult to understand this truth.
In Behar the Peshat - simple story level discusses the Shemita and Jubilee aspects and Mitzvoth. In Bechukotai the cause and effect relationships are laid out for us on the Peshat level.
Both of these two portions actually relate to certainty. Just as last week's Parasha Emor related to certainty. Let us continue to discuss certainty and understanding the "natural" spiritual laws.
There are 7 spaces (naturally) in the Parasha of Behar. Are you able to know why intuitively? The Parasha discusses Shemita which is a 7 year cycle for the Land. It also relates the laws of the Jubilee year which is 7 shemita cycles or the year after 49 years. One can probably understand why there are 7 spaces in this Parasha.
There are 5 spaces in the Parasha of Bechukotai. One of the methods of classifying the "curses" is by 5 categories. Each category worse than the Last. They are 1)dealing with individuals; 2) effects on the Land; 3) destruction of animals; 4)Plagues which effect significant numbers of people; 5) the effect of Hatred which manifests the worst destruction - things like the Showa (holocaust). When ever we see the number 5 we know we are dealing with the level of worlds or souls as their are 5 levels of souls and 5 worlds.
Together there are 12 spaces read this week. 12 relates to the physical world and or months of the year and or number of Tribes etc.
Let discuss cause and effect. It is important to understand cause and effect and it is necessary to read the email from last year to truly start to understand this issue.
In all of the worlds there is a natural law. The natural law in the higher world is the cause for the natural law in the lower world. This natural law in turn can be "seen" as the effect of the natural law in the higher world and also the cause of the natural law in the next lower world. There is a direct one to one correlation between each specific natural law of one world and the next world. This is the teaching of the Kabbalah.
What this teaches us, among other things, is that everything that happens in our physical world has a spiritual cause. To change the phsyical we have to change the spiritual cause. If we try to change the physical by changing what we perceive as the cause (what we see is an illusion - see example below) the physical world must revert to what it was because the physical effect is in sync with the natural law of the spiritual world. Therefore no physical change can remain permanently unless the change is first completed in the spiritual world above it.
Example: In our physical world, a boy throws a rock at the window and causes the window to break. We see the cause of the window breaking is the rock. In actuality the window starts to break before the rock hits the window. (This is documented by science and video technology today). So why does the window start to break. There must be another cause. Kabbalah teaches that the cause is always spiritual. The window breaks because there is a tikune (correction) between the boy (or his family) and the owner of the window that must be balanced by the window breaking. Therefore the universe is balanced by this broken window and the correction (tikune) is achieved.
We also learn that the natural laws at each level applies to both the general and to the specific. This means that the more pain i cause on the quantum level the more pain i will feel on the specific level (in my own life). If you want to remove chaos from your life the only way is to remove chaos from the spiritual cause (law). Since our world is a mixture of good and bad (the Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil), we must affect the spiritual level to separate between good and bad. This is easier than you think.
Lets use the metaphor of a television and the remote control. How do i change stations on my television while sitting on the couch? I can get up, walk to the TV, and hit the switch to change the channel. Or i can use the remote control and shorten the process to just use the switch on the remote control to just change channels. Thereby avoiding all the effort of getting off the couch etc.
In both cases it helps if i know what channel to go to, but it is not necessary. I can switch one channel at a time or use the switch to jump to the channel i want to go to.
Kabbalah teaches that the remote control equivalent in the physical world are the Hebrew Letters. Yes there is a natural process that occurs when we say the Ana Bekoach. This natural process follows the spiritual laws of cause and effect. When we say the Ana Bekoach which is the cause of creation of the universe we are using this tool to impact and change our personal creation (which we call our life). This is done on either the conscious level (if we understand it) or the unconscious level (using the remote control). The same applies when we hear the Torah read on Shabbat morning. The same applies when we read or scan the Zohar. The same applies when we do any of the Positve Mitzvot or when we refrain from doing any of the negative Mitzvot.
The spiritual laws teach that the natural process of using the Hebrew Letters in the appropriate way causes creation to be modified to be what our consciousness decides it should be. Our consciousness can be positive (desire to receive for the sake of sharing) or negative (desire to receive for oneself alone). The remote control of the Ana Bekoach, the Listening to the Shabbat morning Torah reading, reading / scanning /studying the Zohar causes the TV to change channels to be a movie of my life with less chaos. It is that simple! It is that difficult!
Kabbalah teaches that you have free choice. We will all become Tzadikim. We will all change to automatically think about sharing rather than receiving eventually. This will happen through the path of Pain and suffering (almost everyone in this physical world right now) or through the Path of Torah (without the religious aspect). It is your choice. The Path can be long or short. It is your free choice. Please choose the shorter path by starting to hear the Torah each week. Please choose the shorter path by scanning / reading / studying the Zohar each day. (There is a daily email that takes 2 minutes a day) Please choose the shorter path by learning to say and then saying the Ana Bekoach at least once per day but hopefully many times per day.
I will "see" you at the goal. The world called "endless". Please choose the shorter path, it hurts me and others when you choose the longer path of pain and suffering for yourself.
There is one additional aspect to discuss. One can learn to build a remote control or one can just accept that it exists and learn to use it properly. When one learns to build a remote control one is learning how to control the physical world. This is called Sitra Torah (secrets of the Torah). These are people who can "bring rain out of season", change the course of a river, Remove pagues and other illness, and Resurrect the dead. Most of us just use the remote control. The choice is yours. It is not necessary to know how to build the remote control in order to have a chaos free life. It is necessary to learn how to use the remote control properly.
I want to discuss a section of this Parasha that most modern Rabbi's find difficult to reconcile with Modern feminist accusations that the "old time religion" of Judaism is chauvinist. This section is Chapter 27 Verse 1 to 8. Lets look at the English translation.
And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When a man shall clearly utter a vow of persons unto the LORD, according to thy valuation,
then thy valuation shall be for the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary.
And if it be a female, then thy valuation shall be thirty shekels.
And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy valuation shall be for the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels.
And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy valuation shall be for the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy valuation shall be three shekels of silver.
And if it be from sixty years old and upward: if it be a male, then thy valuation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels.
But if he be too poor for thy valuation, then he shall be set before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to the means of him that vowed shall the priest value him.
When one reads these verses on its simple Pshat (story) level, it appears extremely unfair and not equitable. Yet, we know from the Zohar that anyone who understands the Tanach on its surface level is a fool. So how else can we understand this on a Remez (hints) Level.
There is one word that appears 21 times in these 8 verses. Both numbers refer to the level of consciousness known as the Sphera of Binah (Eternal Mother; Understanding). The word is "valuation" spelled Ayin Resh Caf Caf Sofit. This word can be permuted (as all Hebrew words are supposed to be permuted as directed by Rabbi Bag Bag in Pirkei Avot (a Talmud Tractate translated as Ethics of the Fathers)).
The Shoresh of the word is Ayin Resh Caf Sofit. This word is translated as arrange, organize, to draw up, to set, to array, to edit, to set out a table, as well as the word value or valuation.
The first 2 Letters spell the name Er. This is the eldest son of Judah Ben Yaacov the progenitor of the tribe of Judah which is the ancestor of the Jewish people today. Er died for doing masturbation rather than impregnate his wife Tamar. In reverse order these letters spell the word RA which means evil.
The last 2 letters of the word valuation spell a word (Caf Caf Sofit) that is translated "so', thus, in this way, at so much (price, cost)".
Thus this section is dealing with the price of evil. So a man has more negativity within himself than a women. This is consistently true throughout ones own life, at also during all generations. This is why the valuation of a man is higher than that of women. It is because he is filled with more of a desire to receive for oneself alone than is a women.
This section is not chauvinistic but actually praises the feminine. Please Learn to read the Torah as it is meant to be read. Metaphorically and not in its literal sense. The only way to do this is to follow the advice of Rabbi Bag Bag. Turn it, Turn it, for everything is within it.
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Announcement 3: This is a weekly e-letter about the Parasha. Sometimes there will be all of the links - sometimes due to time limitations there will not be be all of the links.
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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