|Week of May 3, 2009 Shabbat Behar,Iyar 15, 5769|
This week there is a Holiday that almost no one celebrates. Rabbi Ashlag teaches "If you want to know which rituals are important to do watch the people. If Most of the people are not doing the ritual than it is an important ritual."
The Holiday is Pesach Sheinei - the Second Pesach. What is the source of this Holiday - the Chumash. When the Pesach offering was being given in the desert there were people who were Tamay (impure) due to connecting with death. (They were carrying Joseph's bones to be buried in Schem in Israel). They have such a strong desire to be close to God, which is the purpose of every sacrifice, they went to Moshe and asked him what to do since they were Tamay (impure) but not through a sin of their own. They were doing a Mitzvah and yet they were limited in what they could do to get closer to HaShem. The solution from HaShem was to declare the 14th of Iyar a second Pesach so that those who could not participate dueto being Tamay (impure) would be able to participate during Iyar. This also applies to someone who is traveling during Pesach itself. Coincidentally (there is no coincindence) the Omer count for this day is Chesed S'B' Hod. This connects to a more Modern "Holiday" which many people celebrate but not as many as do Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur.
This is the Holiday of Lag B'Omer. There are 3 Midrashim told about why this day is a Holiday. 1) On this day the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who were being killed by the Romans for "Teaching Torah" which had been outlawed by the Romans stopped being killed and thus it is made a mini Holiday of celebration. 2) That this is the day that Rabbi Akiva chose to teach Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai the "Wisdom of Kabbalah". 3) The Zohar says that this is the day that Rabbi Shimon chose to leave the world after the Satan complained to HaShem that he could no longer do his job since Rabbi Shimon was pursuing the Satan and not allowing him to do his job. HaShem told Rabbi Shimon that he must change dimensions and leave this physical world. Rabbi Shimon chose the 18th day of Iyar which is the day of Hod S'B' Hod within the counting of the Omer. For Your Information Lag is Lamed Gimmel which means the number 33.
All 3 of these stories and the idea of Pesach Sheinii give hints to our understanding of the energy involved with these two Holidays. One aspect of Hod is "Malchut" in a Spiritual sense. Chesed S'B' Hod represents the Begining of the Manifestation of Malchut while Hod S'B'Hod represents the Manifestation of Malchut in the spiritual sense. Another way to understand this is it represents the revelation of the Torah in the spiritual sense. Or the energy of the Torah in a potential way. Or it represents the manifestation of all of the Light of HaShem without the limitation of the physical environment. This is what we can connect to by doing some simple rituals.
On Pesach Sheinii we eat Matzah and meditate on the counting of the Omer Chesed S'B'Hod. On Lag B'Omer we read the Zohar and connect to the energy of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. In Israel thousands of people go to Meron the Grave of Rabbi Shimon and build lots and lots of bonfires representing the energy of the Zohar which is sweetening (codeword for Mercy) the judgement (fire) of our world during the period of the Omer.
I wish you Chag Sameach for both Holidays.
This week's portion is Emor spelled ???. Emor is spelled as a Shoresh or Root and is translated as "Say" or the imperative conjugation.
There are 124 verses this week. The code word is Ooziel spelled ??????. The translation of this code word is "Kel is my power". The word power spelled ??? can be looked at as "seeing 13" which means "seeing unity." Therefore this code word can be seen as "See the unity of God".
When we look at the subjects described in this portion we see how this applies and teaches us the essences of this Parasha. We have the laws of the Kohen (priest), All of the major Holidays, the description of the Menorah and the Showbread and finally a story of a Blasphemer who was killed by the Nation while in the desert.
Also written in this portion is the famous verse of an Eye for an Eye, Tooth for a Tooth. etc. One spiritual lesson we learn from this is to not read the Tanach literally. It needs to be understood metaphorically. Otherwise we would still be cutting off hands of people who steal, and removing teeth of people who get into physical fights and knock out someone's tooth. Each word of the Tanach is meant for us to understand it in our lives today not as a story but as a metaphor to assist us in our spiritual growth today.
Thus the Kohen represents Mercy, The Menorah represents the Light of Wisdom, the Showbread represents all of the Astrological and Cosmological influences. All of the Holidays represents our replenishment stations through out the year. (By reading about a Holiday we receive the rejuvenation that that Holiday represents), and the Blasphemer represents our own wrong actions that separate us from HaShem. Thus we can see that all of creation is being unified in this Parasha of Emor.
Emor is always read during the Omer. The Mekubalim teach us that the word Emor spelled with an Aleph can be changed thru Notariken substitution of an Ayin for an Aleph into the (Shoresh) word Omer which is the Shoresh for binding.
When we do this we read the first verse of the portion as HaShem said to Moshe Bind the Cohenim (Priests) the Sons of Aaron, etc. When we understand the meaning of the Word Moshe as a chariot for Knowledge. This verse with this connection and understanding is teaching us to always connect Mercy and Knowledge. Knowledge is a balance between Chochma and Binah. Between Wisdom and Understanding. This middle point or balance point must be connected to the energy of Mercy or we have the potential to be unemotional in our actions. When we connect Mercy with Knowledge we bring emotion to the Head which allows us to manifest balance in our lives.
In what ways are you doing this in your life?
Enjoy the REading!
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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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