|Week of April 4, 2010 Shabbat Shemini 26 Nissan, 5770|
The name of this weeks Parasha is Shemini which translates as the 8th of something. In this case, it relates to the 8th day of the Mishkan being utilized. It also means the First Day of Nissan.
The Midrash teaches that Moshe assembled the Mishkan for 7 days prior to the First of Nissan and then disassembled it at the end of the day. Moshe did this for 7 days, then, on the First of Nissan the eighth day, he invested Aaron as the High Priest and his 4 children as Cohanim or Priests. This started the continuous fire on the Alter and many other Mitzvot including animal sacrifices and lighting of the Menorah and the burning of Incense by the Cohanim. After all of Israel saw the acceptance of Aaron's sacrifices by Hashem in a miraculous manner, Nadav and Avihu, unmarried adult children of Aaron, while intoxicated, brought strange fire as a sacrifice in the Holy of Holies. The effect of this was the burning of their souls and the start of the Minhag (custom) to tie a rope around the ankle of the Cohen Gadol when he went into the Holy of Holies in case he also died during the day of Yom Kippur.
What can be learned from the name of this Parasha and about the number 8. In the Hebrew Aleph Bet 8 is the letter Chet. This is spelled Chet Yood Taf. The Shoresh for this word/letter is Chet Yood Hay and means "to live", "to exist", "to recover". It also has the meaning of "animal or beast".
The number 8 relates to the Sephira of Binah (understanding) counting from bottom to top and Hod (Beauty) counting from top to bottom.
An essence of the number 8 is "Opposites are the effect of a single cause". Does this sound / look like a paradox?
Pythagoras of Samoa called the Number 8 - Harmonica (Greek for Harmony). His meaning and a true revelation of the meaning of this Parasha is "Balanced reciprocal action and reaction among opposites is Harmony".
Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher who made important developments in mathematics, astronomy, and the theory of music. The theorem now known as Pythagoras's theorem was not created by him. It was known several thousand years prior to his life. It is thought that he is the one who developed the First mathematical proof of this Theorem. Pythagora studied Kabbala with the Sages of the First Temple during his lifetime.
Brit Mila is done on the 8th day, certain animals may not be sacrificed prior to their 8th day. The physical and spiritual reason for this is that it insures that these animals and the Baby goes through 1 complete Shabbat receiving the energy of Malchut and rising above it.
The Song of the Sea (which is a manifestation of the 72 Names of God as well as the 72 Names from the Tzadikim) starts with the word Az spelled Aleph Zion (Gematria 8). Kabbala teaches that the start of something (like the first word) has all of the energy of what follows (all of the words of the Song of the Sea). Therefore Az (which means "then") has all of the energy of the manifestation of the 72 Names of God and the 72 Names of the Tzadikim.
The Shoresh (root) for the Hebrew word Ahava (love) has a gematria of 8 as it is spelled Aleph Hay Bet.
During this Parasha, there are two occasions for connection to balance. It is recommended that the Reader stop and allow the Congregation to meditate on Balance at these points. One is Chapter 8 Verse 16 which has the Center of the Torah in words. At this location, unusual in the Torah the word which is "Drash" repeats. The word Drash means the following: Interpretation, Demand, request, investigate, search, and/or study. Do you understand how all of these meanings relate to balance and Central Column? All of these words are relating to increasing ones information. This is the first step in reaching the path of balance.
The other is Chapter 11 Verse 42 which has the Center of the Torah in Letters. This Central Letter is a large Vav in the word Gachon which means Belly - The center of our bodies.
From the explanation above, this Parasha has the appearance of Good and Bad. The building and utilizing of the Mishkan is the Good.The death of the sons of Aaron,who the Nation expected to be their future leaders is the Bad. All of this has 1 source HaShem. This is balance, This is Harmony (in the words of Pythagoras).
Balance is the Path recommended by Maimonides and most other Jewish Sages. The Path of Balance is how one knows what to do in any moment of ones life! How does one know what is the Path of Balance? How does one bring balance into ones life?
Recently, someone became a student of mine. This person has learned Kabbalah approx 20 years ago and has spent the past 20 years following one spiritual path after another. We all know people who have this experience in life. They, like we, are searchers. Their search is to be closer to HaShem has taken them to many different Teachers, Philosophers, groups that present themselves has having THE ANSWER to LIFE. This is the Path followed by Yitro, the Father in Law of Moshe, the reincarnation of Cain. Yitro was always searching and in this process he learned many different spiritual paths until finally he learned the ultimate true path taught by Moshe. The Torah! Yitro became very wise. This student has become very wise.
Yet this student asked me the question. What gives you the serenity that you display? Why do I continue to be reactive in all areas of my life? This student asked me What can i do to stop my reaction?
My answer, to all of the above questions. When you start a reactive chain of events (you react to something someone else does and the end result will be chaos in your life), STOP IT by saying the Ana Bekoach. If you can not remember all of it. Say the First Verse only. If you can not remember the first verse say the 6 Letters of the First Verse - Aleph Bet Gimmel Yood Taf Tzadi. If you can not remember these 6 Letters. Say the First three - Aleph Bet Gimmel. If you can not remember these 3 Say the letter Aleph until you can remember the First 3 Letters. Say the First 3 Letters until you can Say the 6 Letters of the First Verse etc.
The Hebrew Aleph Bet will cause your soul to change. The Hebrew Aleph Bet will bring you closer to HaShem. The Hebrew Aleph Bet will bring you to be Closer to HaShem today than you were Yesterday.
This student was taught by me, Do not believe anything i say to you. Please try what i suggest to you to try, for yourself, Lech Lecha - go for yourself, as HaShem said to Avraham. Now this student is saying - Aleph Bet Gimmel and is also saying THIS WORKS in my life. Do you want it to work for you? This can be the beginning of Torah Study.
The essence of Shemini (8) is to bring you to balance. Remember, balance is the essence of the Central Column. Balance is the Path to be closer to Hashem for yourself!
This week i will leave you with a question for you to answer yourself. In what ways, with what tools do you strive for balance in your life?
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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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