|Week of Februay 27, 2011 Shabbat Shekalim and Pekudai, 29 Adar Aleph 5771
This week the Parasha of Pekudai פקודי is read. In a non leap year this is read with Vayakhel as well. This year being a leap year it is read by itself.
This year the reading coincides with Shabbat Shekalim. We will explain this below.
Please note that i will be starting to teach in the Phoenix Tucson area on March 6. If you know anyone who lives in that area who might be interested in learning Kabbalah have them check out http://www.meetup.com/Phoenix-Kabbalah-Study-Group
Here is a link for a cartoon summary of the Parasha. We hope you enjoy it.
Exodus Chapter 38 Verse 21 to Chapter 40 Verse 38. There are 92 Verses which, by gematria, is צב. This word can be translated as covered wagon, turtle or tortise. There are no code words from the sages as they generally do not provide a code word for the last Parasha in one of the Books of Moshe. Parasha Pekudai is the last Parasha in the Book of Shmot - the book of Exodus. By permuting the word צב into בץ one can translate this word as House of a Tzadik.
There are 1181 אקפא words in the Parasha. The word קפא means to be frozen or congealed. Does being counted (the meaning of the word Pekudai) freeze you a thousand times (the meaning of the additional Aleph which is a word that means a thousand)? or does being counted unify you with all other people being counted in that instance of counting? The choice is yours to make. The spiritual law says when you count something especially people you limit the thing or the people being counted and a Blessing can not rest on something limited. It is horrible to limit a person and expose them to a plague. (see below). It is also horrible but not as bad as counting people when we count things.
Maftir: Exodus Chapter 30 Verses 11 to 160. There are 6 verses and 1 space. We read these verses less than 2 weeks ago during the reading of Ki Tisa. These are the first verses read in Ki Tisa and therefore have all of the essence of Ki Tisa within them. (This comes from the Kabbalistic teachings about the Tree of Life - that all of the energy or essence is in the Keter. The first word and the first verse is the Keter of a Parasha). The essence of Ki Tisa as expressed in my email from that Parasha is to get closer to HaShem. That is the idea of the donation of the 1/2 Shekel to the Temple. That is the idea of reading this Maftir on the Shabbat prior to Rosh Chodesh Adar.
Spaces: There are 20 spaces in the Parasha. 20 is the Hebrew Gematria of the letter Caf. The word Caf means Palm (of the hand) and Kabbalistically represents the lowest Sephira of Malchut or manifestation. "Coincidentally" there are 20 Gerar in a Holy Shekel. Please see below for more information.
Sephardim and Ashkenazim read similar but different Haftarot.
The Ashkenazim read Kings Bet Chapter 12 Verses 1 to 17. Since this Shabbat is Erev Rosh Chodesh many Minyanim add 2 additional verses from Samual 1 chapter 20. They add Verse 18 and 42. Therefore there are 19 verses and 3 spaces. There are 21 verses when the additional Erev Rosh Chodesh verses are added. Please see below for information about these 2 additional verses.
While the Sephardim read Kings Bet Chapter 11 Verses 17 to Chapter 12 Verse 17. They also add the same additional verses as the effect of the Shabbat being Erev Rosh Chodesh. The Sephardim add an additional 4 verses making it a total of 21 or 23 (when the Erev Rosh Chodesh Verses are added).
19 is a number representing life or unity. 21 represents the name of God אהיה. This name is part of the name HaShem called himself which he told Moshe at the burning bush.
Written and Spoken Verses:
There is one word written one way and spoken another way in the Parasha. In the Askkenazim Haftara there are two words written and spoken differently. In the Sephardi Haftara there are 4 words written and spoken differently. These include the 2 words from the Ashkenazim Haftara.
The word in the Parasha is in Chapter 39 Verse 4. The word is written קצוותו and spoken קצותיו. Both words mean the same thing "end". One is translated as ends (plural) and the other is translated as end (singular). In the Talmud there is a difference of opinion as to how the straps of the Urimm were fastened. Some say they were straps that came above the shoulder from the back and then attached by a hook. Some say they were sewn together covering most of the back of the Cohen Gadol. This is the reason for this word being written one way and spoken another. It answers the Machlochet by implying the hook like look of the Vav is correct and that they were not sewn together.
The 4 words from the Sefardi Haftara are as follows:
1. In chapter 11 Verse 18 the word is written מזבחתו and spoken מזבחתיו. Both words mean Alters. The additional Yood indicates the approval of HaShem in this destruction of the Alters of Baal the idol.
2. In chapter 11 verse 20 the word is written מלך and spoken המלך. HaMelech means the King, while Melech means King. This is a hint to the Megillah Esther and the Holiday of Purim. The Kabbalists explain that in the Megillah Esther the word Melech refers to Achverosh while The King or HaMelech refers to HaShem. This may change your understanding of what you read during the Holiday of Purim. Also it is a Mitzvah even today (according to the Kabbalists) to donate a 1/2 Shekel towards the building of the 3rd Temple. Making a donation to any organization like Yeshshem or others who are working to spread the wisdom of Kabblah and help to build the 3rd Temple meets the requirements of the Mitzvah. A donation of $7 today meets the requirements of the Mitzvah.
3. In Chapter 12 Verse 10 the word is written בימין and is spoken מימין. One word means "on the right" and the other means "from the right". I have not read the answer to this issue but i think there must be or there will be (for the 3rd Temple) a Machlochet that this answers about the location of the box for the donations of the 1/2 Shekel during the Times of the Temple.
4. In Chapter 12 Verse 12 the word is written יד and spoken ידי. This word is written Hand and spoken either Hands or my hand. The Talmud teaches that the money was given directly into the hands of each workman in the presence of the "overseers". The yood confirms that HaShem agrees with the change instituted by the Cohenim (Priests).
In the Temple times prior to this story that we read in the Haftara, people would bring their 1/2 shekel donation to the Temple and give it diretly into the hands of the Priests. Sometimes the priest would put it into the Temple treasury and it would be used for the physical repair of the Temple. Yet sometimes, being human, the Priest "forgot" to put these coins into the Treasury. The result was their was not enough funds to repair the Temple and keep it in good condition. That is what is described in the Haftara when it talks about the box being put to the right of the entrance. This physical box and the right side (column) are code words for the Temple and its eternal message of God's mercy. When each person brought his 1/2 Shekel donation he was connecting to God's mercy and he was participating in both the physical repair of the Temple and the spiritual connection of the Temple. No one could bring more meant no one could have ego by putting his name on the Temple walls as is done in synagogues today. No one could bring less meant that all participated and no one was left out. Everyone is included, no one is excluded. Everyone is in unity in the Temple.
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 the reading of the Parasha or either Haftara.
Columns: All columns start with a Vav. There are 2 full columns and 2 partial columns.
As promised, this year i will give some insights into the Haftarot. Actually i will do this after i give you the essence of the Parasha below.
Parasha Tetzaveh and Pekudai appear to be similar. Yet just as Terumah and Vayakhel are not similar in their essence the same is true of Pekudai and Tetzaveh. Pekudai is dealing with the essence of donations and other forms of charity. That is why Shabbat Shekalim occurs on the weekly reading of Pekudai most years.
As explained in our basic class no 8 (recordings available at Basic Class No 8). There is a contribution called Terumah that refers to tithing and a contribution called tzedakah that "can save you from death". In this parasha the donations that went into the building of the components of the Mishkan are being accounted for. There is an important spiritual law: ANYTIME SOMETHING IS COUNTED IT BECOMES LIMITED. This applies to the House of God (Mishkan or Temple), possessions of people, other material things, as well as HUMAN BEINGS. When we must count people it is better to count a donation that the person gave as a "redemption" than to count people. When we must count material things we must realize that Blessings can no longer rest on those things.
This is the essence of this Parasha. It is a vaccine for all the times in the past year that you became limited by being counted. Each time someone counts you to "see" if there is enough people for a minyan. Even when they use a verse from Tanach that has 10 words. While this is better than direct counting, the consciousness of counting implies an aspect of limitation that rests on the people.
To explain this law a little more, The Creator is unlimited. The Creator can not be counted, because the Creator is infinite (endless) and also infinitely small (endlessly small) and can not be defined. It is also part of our spiritual tasks to emulate as much as possible all of these aspects and traits of the Creator. This is the cause behind not allowing ourselves to be counted and also to understand that when we do become limited by being counted we open a hole in our protection shield which gives the negative system an opportunity to cause a plague among all who are counted.
We learn in the book of Kings that King David counted the people during his rein. He did not ask them to redeem themselves with a donation that he could count. The people were counted directly. The result was a plague descended on the people. What was the Plague? 100 people (exactly 100 people) died each day. After a few days this became noticeable even to people who see coincidence in everything. They had to redo the census. This time including the donation that allows people to avoid plague when being counted.
When the Temple existed, it was customary to announce in the Temple and other public readings of the Torah that the 1/2 Shekel donation to the Temple was needed prior to the month of Nissan. Every citizen was responsible for the maintenance of the Temple. Each person would donate the 1/2 Shekel and no one was able to give more or less than 1/2 Shekel as a donation. The result of this "tax" was that each person participated equally in the Avodah (Spiritual Work) of the Creator.
Another spiritual law that is taught by the 1/2 Shekel donation is that we always need someone else to make up our other 1/2. Sometimes we might think that is our wives or significant others. Other times that might be our higher selves which are not as unified with us as we would like. Ultimately it refers to our relationship to the creator as revealed below.
It is our custom to announce the donation of the 1/2 Shekel in our synagogues and Temples on the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Adar (In a leap year before Adar Bet). The Kabbalists teach that this Mitzvah still is active and it is a good thing to donate $7 to your synagogue or other charity as mentioned above. $7 is the value of the Temple Silver 1/2 Shekel today.
A Shekel is 20 Gerah (a unit of measure for precious metals). Why is it 20? 20 represents the 10 Sephirot of direct light and the 10 Sephirot of returrning light. These terms relate to the unity of the Light and the Vessel. The unity between the Creator and ourselves. Direct Light is a Kabbalistic Concept that represents the flow of God's Beneficence (Goodness) that comes (flows down) from the Upper Worlds to the physical worlds. Retuning Light represents the Kabbalistic Concept of our physical actions returning back up to the spiritual worlds. Both types of Light follow the creative process of the Tree of Life. To learn more see our recordings on the 4 phases at the Yeshshem web site.
This is just some of the revelations coming from the 6 Verses of the Maftir and the 92 verses of the Parasha of Pekudai. 92 plus 6 is 98 which is the same number of curses in the Torah. Remember a curse is a form of cleansing. The donation of the 1/2 Shekel is a form of cleansing of being counted.
The Haftara, (both Ashkenazi and Sephardi), connects on the physical level as it refers to the counting of the 1/2 Shekels as a redemption for the people and a dedication of the Temple after a period where the people were involved with Idol worship. The spiritual aspects of the Haftara refers to repair of the spiritual aspects of the Temple by utilizing all of the 1/2 Shekels for the repair of the physical Temple. This is a very deep secret.
If you take 1 lesson from this weeks reading home with you, I hope you WILL REMEMBER TO COUNT THINGS INSTEAD OF PEOPLE, but truly the message is to realize when we count anything we limit that thing and Blessings no longer can rest upon that thing. How horrible that is when it is something we value. How much more horrible that is when we count people! Chas V'Shalom.
The creator caused the Chidren of Israel to be counted 3 times while in the desert so it is important for the nation to count. Is it important or necessary for individuals to count? The question is why do you count people? When we look at our motivation for counting we will find them associated with our ego and not our sharing consciousness. We need to change that consciousness. One way of doing that is to count coins and give them to Charity as a contribution rather than use a verse from Tanach.
I hope you enjoy your Torah study this week. It is truly awe inspiring!
P. S. We are seeking donations to automate the return of Tikune information based on your English Birth Date. This will include What your Tikune relating to the Day of the Week of your Birth; What happened in History on that day; The Tzadim that celebrate their Hilula on that day; The Verses from the Torah that have your Tikune hints in them; and many other items relating to your individual Tikunes. If you can, Please contribute and share in the revelation of light associated with the spreading of this information. Go to www.Paypal.com and click on the send money link. Type in email@example.com and give what you can afford or if you want to truly understand Tzedakah more than you think You can afford. After all, Yeshshem is a truly poor person! We know that these funds will be forthcoming. It is up to you if you want to be part of this Light revelation. HaShem will replace this money 10 fold when you need it.
P.S.S. I am looking for volunteers to translate our recordings into many other languages. Come share in the revelation of wisdom. Use your native language skills. All you need is a cell phone that has unlimited long distance and approx 3 hours a week. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. You will be amazed how your life improves by this sharing!
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Kabbalah teaches that 10% of the money you earn belongs to someone else. There is no fulfillment from this money for you. This is why you get traffic tickets and major car repairs and other unexpected expenses. Instead of having those expenses why not donate to www.yeshshem.com where your money will be used to eliminate chaos in the world. Don't believe me but see if it works for you.
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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