|Week of January 30, 2011 Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Terumah Adar אדר, 5771|
This week the Parasha of Terumah תרומה is read.
Here is a link for a cartoon summary of the Parasha. We hope you enjoy it.
Exodus Chapter 25 Verse 1 to Chapter 27 Verse 19. There are 96 Verses which, by gematria, is צו Tzav. Tzav is a Hebrew word that means Command. Of course this means that God commands us to build a Mishcan, does it not? If you believe the above statement and many people do, you have not read the Zohar. The Zohar is quite clear Tzav is idol worship and idol worship is a no no. So why did the Sages separate the verses into 96 for this 19th reading of the year? We will answer this question below. Please read on.
There are 1145 אקמה words in the Parasha. ֓This is an Aramaic word meaning "standing corn". This Aramaic word has the same gematria as 1145 words which is the number of words in the Parasha. This number/word also is a Hebrew word from the root נקם which means "to revenge". The word that represents the number of words can be interpreted as "a 1000 revenges". How does that relate to the essence of the Parasha?
There is a machlochet (an argument for the sake of heaven) in the Talmud over the following question. Were the Children of Israel going to be told to build the Mishkan even if there was no Golden Calf. The answer is hinted in the number 1145 which can be understood as 800 + 345. 800 represents as the Sephirah of Binah also called the World to Come. 345 is the Gematria of the Name Moshe as well as the name Hashem which uses the same letters. In my opinion, the hint is teaching the following: The path to the world to come is to follow Moshe. The 1000 revenges is the extra effort to reach Binah that we need to do since we all participated in the Sin of the Golden Calf.
Maftir: Numbers Chapter 28 Verses 9 to 16. Maftir for Shabbat Rosh Chodesh. There are 8 verses and 2 spaces in the Maftir.
Spaces: There are 9 spaces in the Parasha. 9 is the number associated with both Wisdom and also the connection to the spiritual physical interface.
Haftara:Sephardim and Ashkenazim read the same Haftara:
The Haftara for Rosh Chodesh is Isaiah Chapter 66 verse 1 to 24 plus Chapter 66 verse 23. This is a total of 25 verses and 4 spaces.
Written and Spoken Verses:
In the Parasha there are no words that are spoken differently than they are spelled.
In the Haftara there is 1 word that is spoken differently than spelled.It is in Isaiah Chapter 66 Verse 17. The word is pronounced Echat אחת while it is written Echad אחד. Both words mean one or oneness or unity. The spoken word is one in the female form while the written word is one in the male form. In the Hebrew language the rules of grammar say that the words must match in number and gender. So why the change? It is too make sure that people understand this prophecy of pain and destruction will apply to both men and women. Of course it does not have to manifest because it is a prophecy of pain and suffering. We can change this prophecy except for verse no 23 which is repeated as the last verse in the prophecy. Please see below:
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 either reading.
Columns: All columns start with a Vav. There are 2 complete columns and 2 partial columns.
There is one unusual differences in minhagim or customs about the reading. Some communities read the third Aliya starting with the verse in Chapter 26 Verse 1 and others read the third Aliya starting at Chapter 25 verse 31. The reason for this difference, is dealing with an the issue of the Menorah. Is the Menorah connected to the Sepherah of Tiferet (when started at Chapter 25 Verse 31) or is it connected to Gevurah (when started at Chapter 26 Verse 1). Both Minhagim are correct.
As promised, this year i will give some insights into the Haftarot.
It is easy to see the physical reason that this Parasha is read on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh. The sages added a second reading of verse 23 which is a Prophecy that all flesh will come to Jerusalem and bow to HaShem on each Rosh Chodesh. Yet the spiritual connection is truly built into the rest of the Prophecy which is truly about pain and suffering. It is a wake up call to understand what we can do with Rosh Chodesh when we understand its true significance as taught by Kabbalah. Rosh Chodesh means "Head of the Newness". What is New when there is "Nothing new under the Sun" as spoken by King Solomon. It is too teach us that by using our tool of Mind over Matter we can elevate the month (called Chodesh or Newness) to a level above the Sun; to a level of being in Binah. Binah is known as the world to come called Olam HaBah! Please see last weeks email for a discussion of Olam HaBah.
To understand the essence of the Parasha, we must discuss briefly the next 5 Parashiot. Terumah and Tetzaveh appear prior to Ki Tisa and then Vayakel and Pekudai follow after Ki Tisa. Ki Tisa is the story of the Golden Calf and the mistake that the nation made bringing death back into existence. With the revelation at Mt Sinai and the giving of the Esser Debrot Death was removed from the world. Yet there is a spiritual law that it takes 40 days to manifest something permanently. We built the Golden Calf on the 39th day. This brought death back into manifestation. The 2 Parashiot before Ki Tisa and the 2 Parashiot after Ki Tisa are almost mirror images of each other. Terumah is about the building of the Mishkan and Tetzaveh is about the clothing of the Cohen Gadol. Vayakhel is similar to Terumah while Pekudai is duplicating the clothing of the High Priest. Of course there is no additional letters in the Torah so these are not truly duplicates of each other. They teach different spiritual aspects.
So what is the essence of the Parasha of Terumah? Torah is the blueprint (plan) of creation. Terumah is the blueprint (plan) of Torah. All of the letters in this Parasha are teaching us about the underlying theme of creation. What is the big deal about creation?
The physical world is an illusion. Yet the physical world is a reflection of a higher world that we call spiritual. When HaShem told us to build the Mishkan he was giving us a tool to cleanse the physical world of the negativity created by the Golden Calf. To do that, all of creation must be cleansed because the effect of the Golden Calf is to infest all of creation with the negativity called Idol Worship.
The essence of the Torah is to assist us in cleaning our Bread of Shame. The essence of Terumah is Cleansing. We need to cleanse the physical world. To do that we must cleanse ourselves. To do that we must sacrifice the animal aspect of ourselves. Once that is accomplished we can utilize the Ketoret the incense offering to get closer to the Creator eventually becoming the Creator for ourselves. In essence becoming a new creation. This new creation will strive to become a creator of who we are!
With this in mind, know that the 96 verses in Terumah is a vaccine against doing things because someone, even God, commands us to do them. When we do things because someone else says to do them we are the effect of this other entity, be it another human being or another entity like HaShem. When we do things by our own free will and decision than we are a cause and this action removes bread of shame. Not all of it but some of it and eventually all of this illusionary feeling that exists in the endless world will be removed and we can return to the Endless free of this illusionary feeling called Bread of Shame. Bread of Shame is a feeling that we did not earn what we receive. In the endless world it is a very powerful and uncomfortable feeling. In this world it manifests as hatred and lack of appreciation.
An aspect of removing bread of shame is to be able to see past or through the illusion to know what is the actual cause of an action. To this end, this Parasha describes the Children of Israel bringing a free offering of 15 items including wood from trees. In the desert? Where did they get wood? Before i answer that question lets review a comment that Rashi made about these 15 items. Rashi is the formost Biblical commentator. He has commented on every verse in the Tanach and the Talmud. The only reason he did not comment on the Zohar is that he lived prior to its public publishing in Spain, but there are many sages who comment that he is/was aware of the Zohar and it helps to know the Zohar to understand some of his commentary.
The 15 items are listed in Chapter 25 Verse 3 to 7. The list is: 1)Gold; 2)Silver; 3) Copper; 4)Turquoise (wool); 5)purple (wool); 6)Scarlet Wool; 7)Linen; 8) Goat Hair; 9)Ram Skins dyed Red; 10)Tachash Skins (See below for a discussion on what is Tachash Skins); 11)Acacia; 12) Oil for illumination; 13)Spices for the anointment oil; 14) Aromatic Incense; 15)Shoham Stones and other stones forr the settings for the Ephod and Breastplate.
Rashi says that the people brought 13 items not 15. What is the difference? To us? Since the Parasha is a blue print for the Torah which is a blue print for creation this difference is important to understand. The number 15 relates to the higher worlds. This is due to the Gematria of the Yood Hay Name of God. Remember the Tetragramaton is a metaphor for creation. The number 13 relates to unity and is discussing a connection to all the 4 levels of the Tetragramaton.
To understand this illusionary inconsistancy, look at the list of items. There are 3 different color wools. This is how 13 is actually 15. This is a hint that the four levels of the Tetragramaton will become the 2 levels of Creation after the Mashiach manifests as described by the Sages in the Talmud. This is another understanding of how incredibly deep is our Torah.
The Mishkan is a cleansing mechanism. It cleans the negativity of the Golden Calf. The size numbers of each component relate to a different aspect of creation that needs to be cleansed of the negativity from the Golden Calf. Ultimately, a physical Temple will not be necessary to cleanse people. They will build a Makom (Place) in their Heart for the creator to rest and be in unity with them. Makom is the Hebrew word that means place but it is also a name of God. What are you doing to build a place in your heart for the Creator to rest? What are you doing to create unity between you and the Creator? What are you doing to create unity between you and your Neighbor? As this is what the sages teach is the true meaning of Vayahavta Lereocha Camocha, the ultimate goal of creation. Vayahavta Lereocha Camocha means "Love Your Neighbor as Yourself". Rabbi Ashlag teaches that this is the meaning of being part of the nation of the Children of Israel. Be concerned with the needs of all of the other members of the Nation. Do not worry or be busy with your own needs, after all there are many millions of people who will be busy with your needs! This is the goal of creation. This is the purpose of cleansing so that we can reach the goal of creation!
I hope you enjoy your Torah study this week. It is truly awe inspiring!
Enjoy the Reading!
P. S. I really suggest you read last years email to help you understand this years. The link is on the left near the top. It will help you to understand what is written here.
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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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