|Week of October 23, 2011 Shabbat Noach, Rosh Chodesh Bet on Aleph Cheshvan, 5772|
Welcome to the new year of REVEALED WISDOM and also to the new format for our weekly emails. Please realize that there are many comments we have made which reveal wisdom in our previous emails. It is highly recommended that you click on the links at the end of this email to see our previous emails and our new section titled Parasha Stats. It is worth the look!
נח Noach (Noah) Summary
The Parasha of Noach is about the destruction of the Human Race (due to the Human not controlling the Animal within) by flood. The Parasha consists of 6 chapters covering the following subjects: Noach and his relationship with Elohim (God), the announcement of the flood, the flood itself, and the aftermath of the flood including the incident with Noach and his grandson Canaan, the listing of the generations of the 3 sons of Noach that are considered the founding of the 70 nations, (please see comment below), the Tower of Babel, and the listing of the 10 generations from Shem to Abraham.
For additional information about any of the above subjects see previous year's emails in the links below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The essence or energy of the Parasha
Many people overlook the aspect of Noach's name and the Torah reading's relationship to a vaccine against staying in our comfort zone.
All of us like our comfort zones. Our spiritual work is to move outside our comfort zone and do what is difficult for us. This Torah reading provides us the energy to go outside our comfort zone. It also helps us to see what is our comfort zone and assists us in pushing those limits.
Noach was named Noach which means comfort for two reasons. One is that he is the first human born with unwebbed fingers and toes which made it easier for him to deal with the planting and harvesting of food from the earth (remember Adam was cursed with this difficulty). According to the Midrash Noah's birth was prophecised to come at the end of that 1000 years curse. Noach was born after the year 1000 of creation (Hebrew Calendar). Another reason is that Noach was "world famous" as the inventor of the plow which also made the planting and harvesting of food easier.
Noach's technological invention, like the technology of our own generation gives people greater leisure time away from food production. What did they do with their extra time?
They used it to move away from their spiritual work and became enamored with the physical pleasures, one of which is theft.
What will we do with our extra time? If we read the news headlines in the last 10 years it appears that we are following their lead towards robbery or Ponzi Schemes as one aspect of robbery.
(Ponzi schemes are where someone promises to deliver something (oil or interest on money) and then uses the new sales or inflow of money to pay out to the older investors. Eventually the new money is insufficient for the promise to the older investors. This is fraud, even though the Capitalist System warns the buyer "Caveat Emptor" - Buyer Beware.)
Are you doing your spiritual work? Or are you following the lead of Noach generation towards physical pleasures?
A Deeper Kabbalistic Analysis of the Word Noach
Noach is translated as comfort. Since Noach has 2 letters Nun and Chet we only have to concern ourselves with one other word. It is the word Chein spelled Chet Nun Sofit (חן) and this word is translated as Grace. Do you know the meaning of Grace? In Hebrew, the sages teach us that Chein is an acronym for Chochmah (First Letter Chet) Nestar (First Letter Nun). This translates as "Hidden Wisdom". The real question that this raises is what will you do - move towards a pursuit of comfort or a pursuit of Hidden Wisdom? Look around our society and "see" these two pursuits competing in the market place. Who do you think is winning?
Please click below to read the previous year's emails on Noach. Each year builds on the previous one to enhance your understanding and connection to the Torah Reading on Shabbat morning.
The commentators are troubled by Noach's first verse. Here it is along with an English translation. This translation is somewhat corrupt and incomplete. The translation does not do justice to the many questions that the commentators ask. The translation causes confusion about the commentaries.
אלה תולדת נח נח איש צדיק תמים היה בדרתיו את-האלהים התהלך-נח
These are the generations of Noah. Noah was in his generations a man righteous and wholehearted; Noah walked with God.
The questions asked by the commentators are many and varied: Here are a few examples: Why does the name Noach duplicate after each other in the third and fourth word of the Hebrew Verse? This is not usual in the Torah. What does the duplication mean? What does the words Rigteous in his generation mean? What does it mean that Noah walked with God?
The final question about walking with God, Rashi answers that it means Noach was a prophet.
The Zohar answers all of the other questions referring to the Brit as the covenant of the Jewish People (contract with HaShem) and the covenant of the world being control of the male members desire for sexual intercourse. Noach was a Tzadik which means that he became perfected (wholehearted) through his process of being in the Ark during the destruction. No where else in the writings does this come about. The Zohar explains that Noach represented the Sefirah of Yesod (Foundation and is usually related to the sex organs in the human body.) In the physical world yet his process was not complete (He did not become perfected and complete) until he and his children went through a year plus in the Ark, without having intercourse with their wives. This is what it means to be a Tzadik. This is what it means to be wholehearted with God.
How far away from this level are you?
How does that help me in my life today?
This truly comes to teach us that most of our focus must be in controlling our desires for sexual release. If we truly look at our society, it is built on sex and the promotion of sex.
Most people accept this as normal and do not attempt to limit their sexual interactions in this world. This way it becomes very difficult to control our lusts.
While men have a desire for sex that is more easily stimulated the same mental lust applies to women as well. Do you want to become righteous? Then you must control your sight that brings into yourself these stimulating views which cause your mental lust to be aroused. The hearing of the Torah reading of Noach helps create a vaccine against these thoughts as well as help us fight our own natural proclivity to allow what is "normal" into our lives. I hope you make sure you hear the Torah of Noach this week.
A Deeper Look at the Tower of Babel story located at Chapter 11 Verse 1.
ויהי כל-הארץ שפה אחת ודברים אחדים:
The whole earth was one language and of a common purpose.
The Kabbalah teaches that the phrase שפה אחת (one language) in gematria = Loshon Hakodesh (לשון הקדש) with the colel. Kabbalah then teaches that this phrase Loshon Hakodesh means the Hebrew language. Therefore, everyone was speaking Hebrew which is the language of the spiritual worlds.
Let's take a look at some of the other Kabbalistic tools. The verse has 7 words and 27 letters.
7 represents the 7 lower sephirot and 27 represents all of the Hebrew letters including the final letters. 27 is 3 to the third power (3 x 3 x 3). Three is a number that represents balance and balance to the third power is an explanation of balanced power. This is the hint from the Hebrew Language.
The first letters of the words of the verse are: וכהשאוא. The gematria is 346 with the colel for each word. 346 is the gematria of Ratzon or desire.
The last letters of the words of the verse are: ילצהתמם.When permuted this can be translated as "the mocking of water." The building of the Tower has an aspect of mocking the flood which has just destroyed the world.
We begin to see the power of the Hebrew language both as desire and as balanced power. We also see how the human attitude can refuse to change even in the face of the huge pain of world wide destruction (the flood). We also experienced this at the end of WW2 when people refused to accept the chaos of the Showa (Holocaust). During the war people knew about the camps and the inhuman conditions and JUST FOUND IT TOO HORRIFYING TO ACCEPT. We are still doing this today in our daily life, even in small ways.
An example is when we tell a story about someone that is true, yet this story is told only to make the person in the story appear less than ourselves.
Do you know how this teaching applies to your daily life?
Enjoy the reading on Shabbat.
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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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