|Week of April 25, 2010 Shabbat Emor, Iyar 17, 5770|
Emor is the name of the Parasha this week. This word is translated as word or saying. Included in this word (using Hebrew Letter Substitution) is also the word Omer. This teaches that there is a direct connection between the 2 similar sounding words. In what way is an Omer (the barley crop that was brought to the Temple as a sacrifice and which was "waved" by the Cohanim) connected to word (the word Emor)? One way to understand this is to look at the Gematria. Omer is 316 and Emor is 241. The difference is 75. 75 relates to the Sefirah of Chochma or wisdom. When our words lack wisdom we act like animals and we need to bring the Omer sacrifice to be waved which is metaphorically erasing our words.
The Parasha of Emor has an essence of thought or consciousness and of certainty. Let's take the time to understand certainty and how it differs from the modern spiritual teaching called "Power of Positive Thinking".
The way to understand this is from a story that is told about a Father and Son. This story takes place about 250 years ago in Eastern Europe. The Father was a successful business man who studied Torah every day from his Rabbi in his town. This Rabbi constantly spoke against Kabbalah and the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. The son attended Yeshiva and became enthralled by the teachings of Kabbalah. He asked his father if he could travel even further from home (to another Yeshiva) to learn at the hands of a student of the Baal Shem Tov.
After much discussion and argument, the boy was given permission to go and study far from Home. During the summer break he came home and his father asked him what did you learn at the feet of this wonderful teacher with his wonderful knowledge? What was the most important thing you learned?
The son answered: Dad, the most important thing i learned is that HaShem is everywhere even when i don't see him and having certainty in HaShem doing the best possible outcome for all concerned!
The Father was stunned. He started to laugh. He said this is the most important thing you learned from this Teacher? Let me call your little sister and you will then realize that you did not have to go so far to learn these things.
So the father called the sister and asked her, while in front of her brother. Where is God? The sister answered, I believe that God is everywhere. The Father than asked How do i know that God does Good in the World? The Sister answered, I believe that God does the best outcome possible for people even if i can not see it at the time.
The son then answered the father. Father, i must go and return to my teacher because here the Rabbi teaches everyone including women to believe in God. My Teacher teaches us to know HaShem. My teacher teaches us to know that God will do the best outcome possible for all concerned. My teacher teaches us to have certainty. When one believes the best that one can do is have positive thinking. Certainty is much more than positive thinking. The father allowed his son to return to the teacher and even became a student himself.
If you want to become a student of Certainty, here is a tool to utilize in your daily prayers and rituals. Write out the Aramaic word for Certainty which is Vaday spelled Vav Dalet Aleph Yood. Leave plenty of space between each letter. Than write the letters of your name (in Hebrew) between the Letters of Vaday. Do this letter by letter. The first letter of your name between the Vav and Dalet. The second letter of your name between the Dalet and Aleph. The Third Letter of your name between the Aleph and the Yood. Finally all of the rest of your letters after the Yood. Do not try to pronounce this combination name. Visualize it as many times a day as you can. This will feel silly. Yet this will cause your level of Certainty to rise until you come to know HaShem and his goodness. You will finally reach a level of Certainty where you can manifest the verse from Psalms: Taste and see that HaShem is good. This is a teaching of Rabbi Ashlag. Remember, Certainty is much stronger than Positive Thinking, because belief has an element of doubt and certainty has no doubt.
In this week's Parasha there is a story about a Blasphemer who is killed. This story is about Certainty but most people do not see it that way. They see a story with no connection to the rest of the Parasha. Let's try and understand the spiritual laws built into this story. The story is at Chapter 24 Verse 10 to 16.
There is a space in the Torah Scroll before Verse 10:
The English Translation is : Verse 10 - And the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel; and the son of the Israelite woman and a man of Israel argued or fought together in the camp.
Verse 11 - And the son of the Israelitish woman blasphemed the Name, and cursed; and they brought him unto Moses. And his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.
Verse 12 - And they put him in ward, that it might be declared unto them at the mouth of the LORD.
There is a space in the Scroll after Verse 12 and before Verse 13.
Verse 13 - And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:
Verse 14 - 'Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.
Verse 15 - And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying: Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.
Verse 16 - And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him; as well the stranger, as the home-born, when he blasphemeth the Name, shall be put to death.
The story is actually only in the verses 10 to 12. Some of the questions we can ask are why is the Blasphemer not mentioned by name? Why is his mother named? What do we learn by knowing his mother? Why does it matter that his father is Egyptian? What does it mean to Blaspheme the Name and why does it also say curse in addition to Blaspheme? What is the difference?
The Midrash teaches that the Blasphemer was the son of the Egyptian that Moses killed that caused him to flee Egypt and eventually arrive in Midian and marry Tzipporah.
The name Shelomith is the female form of Shlomo which connects to Peace or complete. In this case the word is spelled incomplete (which means without the Vav after the Lamed). This allows us to see the word/name as "belonging to My Dead"(Shelli Met in Hebrew).
The name Dibri comes from the word that would translate as My Word.
The Tribe of Dan connects to Din (same Hebrew Letters) which means judgment.
Therefore we can see this person's name from the Torah as a man who is complete and the judgment of My word is death.
How does this all relate to Certainty? We must understand what is Certainty! In these verses there is no uncertainty expressed. There is no wiggle room.
Frequently, in the Torah it will not be exact. Like when Moshe told Pharoh that the Killing of the First Born will take place around Midnight. This is so that people do not have the opportunity to say that the prophecy is wrong because of this small detail. In these verses they are exact.
The judgment expressed in Verse 14 is specific. People who heard the Blasphemer say what he said are to lay their hands on his head and everyone is to stone him to death. The only question is why is there a space in the scroll between the story and the effect of the man's action? We know that wherever there is a space in the Torah scroll there is the light of God. There is room for Teshuvah. In this case, God renders judgment in verse 15 for this specific case and then gives us the general rule of all cases of Blaspheming and cursing for all time.
The general and specific cases are slightly different. In the specific case of the blasphemer, each person who heard must lay his hands on the blasphemer's head.
This is similar to the Cohen Gadol laying his hands on the head of the Goat destined for Azazel on Yom Kippur. In the situation on Yom Kippur the laying of hands was transfering the energy of negative actions, words, and thoughts from the People to the Goat. The same is true in this story. All Those who heard are connected to this desire to receive for oneself alone expressed by the Blasphemer. Otherwise they would have not heard it. By transferring this negativity of theirs to the Blasphemer and then participating in his death by stoning they sweeten their own negativity. This means they elevated the judgment with mercy.
We are not trained and educated to perceive the world properly. In order to understand why each person who heard the Blasphemer is connected to the desire to receive for oneself alone, we need to ask the question. Why did not every person in the camp hear the words of the blasphemer? The physical answer is that they were not close enought to hear. Yet the spiritual truth is they did not hear because it is not part of their correction (Tikune). Those who heard it are connected to the Tikune of the Blasphemer and by participating in his death transform their desire to receive to be more balanced.
This is what certainty is all about. Transforming a harsh judgment to an elevated sweetened judgment (a term dealing with mercy being associated with judgment). The natural course of events in the spiritual world is to receive the goodness from HaShem. It is only in the physical world that we need to have Certainty to manifest the goodness of HaShem. Without Certainty we are robots to the Tree of Knowledge good and evil process of ups and downs in our life. With Certainty, everything that happens to us is perceived as only good. Which way do you want to live your life?
Please understand this well! We are the cause of everything that happens to us. This story from the Torah is teaching us this spiritual law of Certainty. Our words have power! Our thoughts have power for good or ill! When we do not consciously create good (mercy) then the physical world manifests judgment. Please utilize the tool of Certainty in your life. Please for your own sake or for the sake of the universe!
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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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