|Week of January 2, 2011 Shabbat Bo שבט Shevat 3, בא 5771|
This week the Parasha of Bo בא is read. It is the third week of the period of Shovavim שובבים!. Please read the discussion about Shovavim from a previous weeks email about Shemot. Also For additional informaton about Tshuvah please listen to recordings about Tshuvah.
Rosh Chodesh is on Wednesday night at Sundown until Thursday at Sundown. Please read our discussion about the month of Shevat HERE
Here is a link for a cartoon summary of the Parasha. We hope you enjoy it.
Exodus Chapter 10 Verse 1 to Chapter 13 Verse 16. There are 105 Verses which, by gematria, is Hay Koof הק. This can be translated as the monkey.
The code word is ימנה. ֓This can be translated as to enumerate or active counting. It can also be translated as preparing the physical world. There are 1655 words in the Parasha. This number can be viewed as either of these two Hebrew Words אתרנה or אנהם. The First word can be translated as "locate the 50 (Gates of Binah)" and the second can be translated as "A thousand groans".
These memonic devices (tools for remembering, that the Sages gave us) can truly only be understood when we understand the spiritual essence of a Parasha. When we understand the spiritual essence of each Parasha we can understand why the Sages gave us these memonic devices and also how to manifest the energy of the Parasha to defend ourselves during the coming week. The Essence of Bo is Certainty which is the Hebrew word Vaday ודאי.
How do we manifest increased certainty in our life? It is through preparation. Let me explain this a little more.
There is a Halacha (recommended path to follow) that says one must have a suitcase packed and ready to go to Israel when the Redemption is announced. Without your suitcase you are not prepared for the Redemption. You do not have certainty that the redemption will manifest. Without your certainty redemption can not manifest in your life - at least without pain and suffering. With Certainty the Redemption will come in your life with peace, tranquility, and serenity.
How do we know? Look at the Jews who left Egypt with Moshe. What does the Torah tell us - they brought Matzah! Why did they bring Matzah and not wait till the wheat rose to become Bread. They were prepared to leave their ego's behind (bread rises from Yeast which represents the ego) to get closer to the creator. Are you prepared to leave your Ego behind to get closer to the creator? Do you have your baggage packed? Is it hidden in your closet so that you think about it only when you open that closet? Or is it in the middle of your living room so that you must face your preparation each time you bring the negative system into your home (through the news or some other physical connection). The only way to strengthen certainty is through preparation. That is what we can acheive during the reading of this Parasha.
Maftir: Chapter 13 Verses 14, 15, and 16. There are 3 verses and is 1 space in the Maftir.
Spaces: There are 14 spaces in the Parasha. 14 is the number value of the word hand (Yad in Hebrew). Our hands represent manifestation. That is what we are being shown in this Parasha. Prepare for Redemption through Certainty that the Redemption will manifest.
Sephardim and Ashkenazim read the same Haftara:
Jeremiah Chapter 46 Verse 13 to 28. This is a total of 16 verses and 3 spaces.
Written and Spoken Verses:
In the parasha and the Haftara, there are no words spelled differently than they are spoken.
Dots: There are no Dots over any letters in this Parasha or Haftara.
Large or Small Letters: There are no large or small letters in either reading.
Columns: All columns start with a Vav. There are a total of 6 columns in this reading 4 full columns and 2 partial columns.
As promised, this year i will give some insights into the Haftarot.
On the physical level it is easy to see the connection between the Haftara and the Parasha. They are both about the destruction of Egypt. They both have negative people. The Parasha has Pharoh and the Haftara has Nebuchanezzer.
On the spiritual level it is a bit harder to make the connection to Certainty and preparedness. Please look at Verse 27 and 28. These prophetic promises are about certainty and also preparedness.
In the Parasha, we read about the last 3 plagues. The Mitzvah of Blessing the New Moon. The Pesach Sacrifice, the Pidyon HaBen (Redemption of the First Born), and Tephilin.
Torah is speaking to us today in our current lives. So let us look at a verse that is sometimes difficult to understand how does it speak to me today. I am speaking about Chapter 13 Verse 2.
Hebrew: קדש-לי כל-בכור פטר כל-רחם בבני ישראל באדם ובבהמה לי הוא
English: 'Sanctify unto Me all the first-born, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast, it is Mine.'
Bechor (First Born): I am not a first born so how does this impact me in my life today. Yet each verse in the Torah is speaking to each of us about our lives today. Lets study a bit about the Bechor.
According to Jewish law:
The male Bechor (first born) receives a double portion of his fathers estate. That is why Joseph who ultimately is the first born based on the consciousness of the parents received double inheritance in the Land of Israel. There are 2 Tribes that are descendant from Joseph and are counted as sons of Jacob. Menashe and Efraim. This is the double portion that goes to Joseph as first born.
The midrash teaches us that the only Mitzvah that Moshe did not teach to the Erev Rav is the Mitzvah of Pidyon HaBen. The redemption of the first born. Why did he conceal this from the negativity of the Erev Rav (mixed multitudes)? Lets look into this a bit further.
The verse says (paraphrasing) what opens the womb, belongs to Hashem. Even the first born of animals.
Let us understand a few Hebrew relationships.
Bechor בכור has the same letters as Blessing ברוך.
Womb רחם has a gematria of 248 which is the number of our body parts and the positive mitzvoth. The same letters spell the word remach רמח which means sword. Concealed in the word womb is the Satan (The negative force that gives us free will). If we substitute the letter after each of the letters of rachem (which is a normal letter substituion in Hebrew) we get Shin for Resh; Tet for Chet; and Nun for Mem. This spells שטן Satan.
Satan waits at every opening for his share of energy. Every thing that opens the womb must pass through the energy of Satan and share some of its energy. There is no disappearance in spirituality. When you pass through Satan - Satan attaches to you.
To remove that energy of End or death represented by Satan we must redeem the first born. This is why we redeem all of the first born of Israel both Human and animal.
Also concealed within the letters of Bechor is Blessing. We do not want to strengthen the Satan with Blessing. This is why we use the sword of the womb to cut our way out past Satan without giving up our energy. Remember, womb is spelled with the same letters as the word sword in Hebrew.
The above reasons is why Moshe did not teach the Erev Rav (usually translated as Mixed Multitudes) about the Redemption of the First Born.
It is important to understand what actually is the Erev Rav. The literal translation is "Big Evening". The Zohar explains that there were people in Egypt who were not Jewish but who had Jewish souls. They saw the Miracles and Wonders performed by HaShem and Moshe and Aaron in Egypt. They came to Moshe and asked him if they could convert. Moshe asked Hashem who told Moshe it was not a good idea (according to the Midrash). Moshe decided to allow these people (some estimate it was approximately 4 million people) to come with the Jews into the desert and to eventually be able to convert even though they were not able to at this moment.
Among them were 2 grandchildren of Lavan who were experts in magic and Egyptian occult arts. They had a personal agenda according to the Zohar to assist their grandfather to elevate and reincarnate from the plant life (where he had reincarnated) to the animal level (the next level up). These 2 people were called Erev Rav referring to the time they did their magic. After 9 PM the large part of the evening or Erev Rav. The Torah refers to all of the potential converts who followed Moshe and the Children of Israel into the desert as the Erev Rav.
Over the centuries the souls of the Erev Rav have converted to the Jewish path. The Erev Rav are still among us. The Zohar tells us there are 5 types of Erev Rav. One type of Erev Rav gets pleasure out of creating separation between people. The Zohar stresses that we are to keep away from this type of person. We must be careful who we choose for our teachers. Both for ourselves and our children.
Returning to our earlier discussion.
So how does the Redemption of the First Born of Animals and people help us in our life today if we are not a first born. Every new thing goes through a womb of some sort. Every new thing of ours; weather it is a thought or an initial manifestation in our life represents the idea of Bechor with its concealed Blessing. When one learns Kabbalah one is able to keep the energy of new things away from the negativity and keep our egos under control.
One final thought for you to consider. The Zohar teaches that the word animal refers to people who choose not to study Torah. What Torah did you study today?
Have a beautiful month of Shevat! Utilize your new found knowledge from Kabbalah to remove the Satan from your first born things, weather they are ideas, or objects, or people, or animals!
Enjoy the Reading!
P. S. I really suggest you read last years email to help you understand this years. The link is on the left near the top. It will help you to understand what is written here.
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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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