|Week of Februay 6, 2011 Shabbat Tetzaveh, 5771|
This week the Parasha of Tazria ????? is read. Also this year the Shabbat is known as Shabbat HaChodesh. There will be a special Maftir and Haftarah to coincide with the Shabbat prior to Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Why is Rosh Chodesh Nissan so significant that it has a unique Maftir and Haftarah? This will be discussed below. Briefly, Nissan is the first month of the year, and as such it has unique capabilities to control this month of Nissan and also all other months of the year. See the First Days of Nissan are Unique!
I am presently giving a series of classes explaining the unity of the Holiday of Purim, the first 13 days of Nissan, The Holiday of Pesach, The Counting of the Omer, The Holiday of the 7th day of Pesach, The Holidays of Iyar, and the Holiday of Shavuot or Pentecost (The Giving (Revelation) of the Torah). I strongly suggest that you listen to these classes which are on Sunday mornings at 10 AM and can be viewed on video conferencing with prior reservation and by conference call at 213-289-0500 with the code 911904#. You must agree to be recorded by pressing 1 as well. [Updated for 5775-time is 10:30 AM West Coast Time and by conference call at 1-712-832-8300 with the code 911904#.]
Here is a link for a cartoon summary of the Parasha. We hope you enjoy it.
This Parasha of Tazria is one of the shortest readings in the Torah. As we know from a Kabbalistic adage "Less is More." This is a very powerful reading.
Vayikra - Leviticus Chapter 12 Verse 1 to Chapter 13 Verse 59. There are 67 Verses which, by gematria, is the word ??. This word Samech Zion has no direct meaning but may be translated as an anachronim meaning Support Seven.
The code word is בניה which means "Son of Yah." This Hebrew word has the same letters as the word Binah בינה which is translated as "understanding" and is also the name of the Sefirah that is referred to both as "Mother" and as "the energy store."
When this word Ben Yah (Son of Yah) is read and understood on its surface level of understanding it leads to a separation between the sexes. Let me explain! Yah is spelled Yood Hey and represents a Name of God for the upper worlds in which both male and female is in unity. The Kabbalists teach us that these two levels of the upper worlds (Abba and Imma) never separate; they are always in zvug. Son of Yah (Ben Yah) is Zeir Anpin, the spiritual world without the physical world. This is a separation of male (spiritual world) from female (physical world).
When someone speaks Loshon Harah he creates a separation between the lower female world of our physical world and the spiritual world above it. Then there is a separation between male and female created just like the separation between the spiritual and physical worlds. Of course that separation is an illusion, just like the separation between male and female. This is why many people find it difficult to meet their future mates in this generation.
Please stop reading the Torah on its simple story level and become an adult who looks for the deeper meanings in the Torah.
Maftir: Exodus Chapter 12 Verses 1 to 20. There are 20 verses and 1 space. 20 verses relates to the gematria of the letter Caf. This letter is also a word that means Palm of the Hand. 20 also relates to completion of the 10 Sefirot of Direct Light and 10 Sefirot of returning Light. It also hints at the completion of the 1/2 Shekel donation. As we discussed everyone gives a 1/2 Shekel donation to support the Temple during the month of Adar. The Shekel consists of 20 Gerar. The 1/2 Shekel donation is 10 Gerar, yet when it is joined with all of the other 1/2 shekel donations, from all of the other Children of Israel, it becomes complete as a full Shekel.
These 20 verses are reminding all of us that we are united with all other people who identify themselves as Children of Israel. Please remember there are 10 Lost Tribes that have to be found. Maybe there is one in China, or America, or Europe, perhaps Tibet. The modern Rabbis have accepted a group within the country of India as one of 10 lost Tribes. It is said that they are descendant from the Lost Tribe of Menashe. They are in the process of making Aliyah to Israel. At present only 3000 of the 30 million have done so. Remember it is estimated that the Jewish People are approximately 14 million in the world. 6 million in America and Canada; 6 million in Israel; and the balance spread throughout the world. Now there are 30 million that will eventually make Aliyah. How soon and how fast? That is up to us. When will we cause Mashiach to manifest?
Just a quick note, the quality in life in India is not known to be that good. India has poverty, a lack of education, disease, and other problems. This applies to the Benai Menashe as well. So why have so few people chosen to move to Israel? Even when they know that it is where they are supposed to move eventually. Just as we know this too! I think the reason is it is difficult to change ourselves. A movement of changing where you live is an indication of spiritual change and that is very hard to do.
The discussion of these 20 verses is about the First Mitzvah given to the Jewish Nation even while slaves in Egypt. It is also announcing the redemption from Egypt and the Pesach offering. It announces the removal of Chametz and the eating of Matzah for 7 days. It also has concealed within it the idea of control of the 12 months of the year as taught by Rabbi Isaac Luria. Please see the link above!
Spaces: There are 9 spaces in the Parasha. 9 is the gematria of the Letter Tet. The shape of the Tet indicates a duality within it. Just as the Tet creates the male sex organ which both brings life through the ejaculation of sperm and removes waste products from the body through the elimination of urine. Within the portion of Tazria is the explanation of that duality in the discussion of having children which are not impure from the birthing process and also the mother becoming impure through that process of giving birth. This is a great Kabbalistic secret with not enough time or space to discuss in this email.
There are a number of Minhagim in the reading of the Haftara for Shabbat HaChodesh. The custom relates to the number of verses. When 28 verses are read by the community the reading starts at Ezekiel Chapter 45 Verse 16 and goes to Chapter 46 Verse 18. When the number of verses read is 25 the start point is verse 16 and the end point is also verse 15 in the next chapter. 25 relates to the Gematria of 5 worlds times 5 worlds while 28 relates to the word Coach which means power or strength.
The custom of the Haftara usually follows the pattern that Ashkenazim and Sephardim sometimes read different sections of the Prophets. A group of Ashkenazim called Chabad sometimes follows the Sephardic Minhag (custom). This week does not follow the normal pattern. There are groups of Askenazim that follow the Sephardic custom (25 Verses) and there are groups of Sephardim that follow the Ashkenazim pattern (28 Verses).
Written and Spoken Verses:
There are 2 words in the Haftara that are written one way and spoken another. The Parasha has no words that are written one way and spoken another although there are 2 times that the word "She" spelled ??? appears. In the Tanach this word appears 210 times. Only 11 of these (including our 2 times) do not have the words written and spelled differently. In essence the majority of the times the Torah is writing the word ??? which means "he" while reading it as ??? which means "she." These 11 times when this does not occur relates to getting close to HaShem since there are 11 components in the Ketoret (incense). This would indicate a connection to the Ketoret or getting closer to God whenever this does not appear in the Tanach.
The 2 words appear in the Haftara in Chapter 46 Verse 9, where it is written ???? and spoken ???, and in Verse 15, where it is written ???? and spoken ????. In Verse 15 the change connects the verse to the preceding verse with the written initial Vav. In verse 9 the Vav at the end of the word indicates a connection to Zeir Anpin.
Large or Small Letters: There are no large or small letters in the Haftara. There is a large Gimmel in the word Vehetgalach in verse 33 of chapter 13. This word means "Shave." One explanation is that the Gimmel is large to connect to its gematria of 3. There are 3 examples where the Torah tells us to shave. One is in this verse, two is the Levites when they are to be consecrated to service in the Temple, and 3 is the Nazir.
The Kabbalistic explanation is quite different. The Kabbalists tell us that the Gimmel is large to remind us to reduce (shave) our pride which is the Hebrew word Geavah.
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.
It is easy to see the relationship between the Haftara and the Maftir. They both speak about the new moons and the Pesach sacrifice. It is more difficult to make the connection to the Parasha and the Haftara. The connection is slightly concealed. The Haftara speaks about the prince or Nasi repeatedly. It states when the Nasi or Prince brings certain offerings. The term Nasi is used in Tanach to refer to heads of the Tribes and to the Head Priest (who will return with Mashiach) when the third temple is revealed. This Haftara is actually speaking about the future when the Temple is again revealed and the High Priest will bring his offering and the Heads of the Tribes will again bring their offerings. To be able to relate the Parasha to the Haftara can only be understood when one realizes that the women giving birth and becoming impure for 7 days and 33 days of purity of her blood is not actually referring to human women but is referring to the soul bringing forth seed which is actually connected to the energy of continuity. The soul bringing forth seed is actually the soul changing itself and the body so that it brings down new sparks of souls through the concept of reincarnation. With this understanding we can begin to see the relationship between the Parasha and the Haftara. Both are referring to spiritual events dealing with the end of days. These events are usually thought of as the Resurrection of the Dead; The ingathering of the Exiles; and Building of the 3rd Temple. Of course there are other events foretold in our prophecies, which we call Haftara as well. These prophecies include this Haftara and this Parasha which deals with the resurrection of the dead and the cleansing of all negativity from the world. That is what the plague of "leprosy" is about. This is what the Para Aduma is all about.
Our sages teach that "Leprosy" no longer appears in our physical world. Yet each verse in the Tanach is speaking to each person in each generation throughout all time. So what is "Leprosy" about? It is cleansing during the time of Mashiach (May he manifest soon in our time - and may all the Children of Israel say Amen).
The essence of this Parasha called Tazria is about purification and cleansing. Let me point out an item that is usually overlooked. When discussing the days of separation after the birth of a boy, the Parasha discusses 7 days of impurity and then another 33 days. This 33 days is dealing with the blood of PURITY. What does this mean? Blood usually relates to the left column of the Tree of Life. The column that deals with receiving. This discussion of purifying the blood for 33 days is dealing with the teaching of the Holiday of Lag B'Omer. Lag has a gematria of 33. Lag represents the Sefirah of Hod S'B'Hod. In another metaphor it means the manifestation of potential.
What is this teaching all about? The essence of this Parasha is about cleansing and purification. As discussed above briefly, the woman who gives birth is a reference to the soul. The soul works on purifying the body and changing itself by breaking out of the veils that hide its light. This change gives birth to a new soul. No, it is not truly a new soul but is considered a new soul because it is no longer the same person. By changing oneself, it is considered as if the soul has given birth to something new. As the soul cleanses, it becomes something new and this something new is called a process of purification. In essence it purifies its own desire to receive for oneself alone. As the Torah says the Nefesh is in the blood. The Nefesh is a code word for desire to receive for the self alone.
The balance of the Parasha deals with a disease called "leprosy." It is not the disease that we call leprosy. It is a spiritual disease that causes a physical manifestation initially on peoples' clothing. If there is no Teshuvah and cleansing, then the disease manifests on peoples bodies (parts that are hidden from other people sight). If there is still no Teshuvah for this spiritual mistake which is called Loshon Harah or evil speech, then the disease will manifest in our hands and face where it can be seen by others. There is another aspect to this disease that manifests in houses. We will discuss that next week.
Let's discuss Loshon Harah or evil speech. Please know that Loshon Harah is always TRUE. It is not a lie. Many people tell their spiritual teachers, "but Rabbi i did not do anything wrong, i told the truth"!
What can be evil about the truth? This is an amazing lesson that one should take to heart and learn so well that it never comes into their life again. It is also an aspect of Mind over Matter as we will discuss.
What can be evil about the truth? Your consciousness! That is what is evil. Here is an example, Moshe goes up to Shimon and says Isaac told me that you did not want to help me when i needed some money to be loaned into my business last winter.
Isaac told Moshe the truth because Isaac wanted to have Moshe and Shimon upset with each other for reasons known only to Isaac and his future business hopes. This is loshon Harah by Isaac but it is also Loshon Harah by Moshe. Why? He believed the story told by Isaac. He did not ask Shimon is this true? And if it is, why did you do that? Because people have an unconscious motivation to be thought of as better than other people. The laws of Loshon Harah were codified in a book by the Chofetz Chaim. There is an organization that sends a free daily email teaching these laws. I highly recommend you make the effort to find this email and sign up for it. You can write to me at www.yeshshem.com and i will forward the link.
Remember we all will tell stories that are true, sometimes even a little exaggerated, but essentially true. Yet this truth is actually harmful to 3 people according to our sages. The one telling the story. The one hearing the story and the one the story is about. YET IT IS ALL THE TRUTH RABBI! Learn about consciousness and how the spiritual worlds deal with it.
Learn this lesson about Loshon Harah because it is good practice for you to connect to your unconscious, which is a step in the process of learning Mind Over Matter. Learn this lesson well. Loshon Harah will always stop you from being able to perform MInd Over Matter!
There is a spiritual law that is revealed during this week's reading. It is a truly important rule that needs to be understood and utilized in your life. Who knows how you feel the best? Of course you do! Yet in this spiritual disease we must go to the Cohen (Priest) and HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO DETERMINES IF I AM ILL!
Why is that? It is because we do not judge ourselves in a just manner. We are either too lenient or too harsh. I can go into a lot of detail on this issue but think about how you judge yourself. You compare yourself to other people. You compare yourself to how you think what is the perfect action in that situation. Neither of these is the method that the spiritual system uses to judge you or your actions. That is why so many people think they are doing their spiritual work when they are not and vice versa.
Learn from the need to go to the Cohen to determine if you are ill. Go to a spiritual master or teacher at least once a year and have a spiritual accounting done by yourself with his/her guidance. Compare yourself to where you were last year at the same time on a specific list of spiritual issues that you want to work upon. You will find this the most meaningful spiritual growth tool you will ever use. What happens is you always compare yourself to yourself. What happens is you always compare yourself to what is the goal as determined in agreement to your spiritual teacher. The judgment each year will become fair and just and equitable. Not inconsistent as when we usually judge ourselves. Some people do it daily or weekly or monthly once they have done so with their teacher on an annual basis. It is a very imformative and useful tool. Try it please! Especially as we approach Pesach the holiday of Freedom! Remember, when you judge yourself the universe does not judge you. You are only judged by the universe when you judge others. Are you tired of the chaos in your life. This is a tool to change it.
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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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