|Week of November 8, 2009 Shabbat Toldot Cheshvan 27, 5770|
There are 4 spaces in this week's Parasha called Toldot. This word means Generations but there are other words that mean generations so there is a message in this word as well. The word itself is missing a Vav. Please review the last years email to understand what this teaches us.
The essence of the Parasha is about Good and Bad which have the code names Jacob and Esav. Esav, which comes from the Shoresh connecting to actions like doing or making, changes to the nation of Edom later in the book of Genesis. Jacob comes from the Shoresh which connects to deceiving, following, tracing, or shadowing. This name changes to Israel later in the book of Genesis.
These name changes relate to the spiritual teaching of this Parasha. Let's look at what is good and what is bad to understand the spiritual lesson.
A man arrives late to the airport and misses his flight. Missing this flight is important to him because it means that he will miss out on a billion dollar business meeting. He reacts by screaming at the airport flight attendant at the door. He is screaming "how could they - call the plane backt etc." While he is screaming they see the airplane that is the one he missed crashing on take off. For him, what is good and what is bad? Does his opinion change or not? What about the door attendant. What is good or bad to that person?
A man asks a women to marry him - she says no! Is it good or bad? for the man or for the women? Another man is answered yes and they marry and divorce within a year. Was the marriage good or bad? how do they each percieve it and how does their attitudes change over time?
Someone looses ones' job and then finds that they are evicted and become homeless due to the inability to pay his rent on time. Is this good or bad to the landlord? to the person? A year later the man is living in a mansion because he met his soul mate, who was a wealthy women, working at a soup kitchen-homeless shelter? (She is a sharing person who helps people with both her time and money) Is it good or bad?
The spiritual lesson is to realize that every thing that happens to us is good. The perception of something being bad is an opportunity to grow spiritually. Our life process is to be put into situations that give us an opportunity to correct past errors or mistakes. Each thing that we perceive as bad is the negative side sending us a message to wake up our consciousness to cause us to change.
There are two states of consciousness in the spiritual worlds. It is sharing or right column. or it is receiving and left column. In our physical world these two states can be mixed and that is why we perceive something as bad. Actually we will eventually reach a level of consciousness where we understand that the "bad" is really an opportunity to cleanse and grow. Therefore it is really "good". When we can be certain about this truth we no longer have to experience "bad" and ultimately we are shortening our life process and reaching the level of consciousness called personal Mashiach.
Learning about Good and Bad is what these 4 spaces within this Parasha is all about. These 4 spaces relate to four levels of consciousness - "All good", All Bad; More bad than Good; and A more good than bad." Our consciousness determines if something is good or bad. Just as their are 4 levels of Torah - Pshat, Remez, Drash, and Sod, there are 4 levels of consciousness that determines if something is good or bad. Actually there are many more levels of Torah and many more levels of consciousness determining good or bad. Our Sages use these 4 levels of Torah and perceptions of consciousness as metaphors for our understanding.
Lets look at some of the other names mentioned in this Parasha. Review Chapter 26 Verse 34. and ask the questions: Why do we need to know the names of Esav's wives? and the names of their fathers?
Judith connects to praise. Beeri connects to "well of water" which connects to Chesed or mercy. This is because Torah and water have a connection. Beeri also connects to explanation and making clear.
Basemath connects to perfume, or to make pleasant, or to be scented. Elon connects to Tree usually a fruit tree. The Gematria of Elon is 91 which is the same as Amen which is a unification of the Spiritual and Physical Worlds.
Always remember that Esav is a mirror image or twin of Jacob. This will help you to understand the message in these names of the wives and father in law of Esav.
For further information their is a sage spoken and written about in the Talmud. His name is Gamzu LeTovah - "And this is also good". There are many stories about this Sage. He always had horrible bad things happen to him and he would then say Gamzu LeTovah - "And this is also for good." Infact at the end of his life, he had lost his arms and legs and his vision and in each of these stories he would say Gamzu LeTovah.
One of the stories about him describe how he was given the task of transporting a large payment of gold and jewels to the King for the annual tax payment from his community. On the road to the King he stopped at an inn and the trunk of gold and jewels was stolen and replaced with dirt. When he arrived at the King's palace he was sentenced to death by the King. He said "Gamzu LeTovah". Eliahu the Profit came to the King and told him this dirt was magic dirt used by Abraham to defeat the 5 Kings. The King freed Gamzu LeTovah and returned the value of the payment because he was so happy with his special magical dirt. Needless to say the story ends with the theif from the Inn trying to do the same thing and the King killing him. So what is good and what is bad? You will get the chance during Cheshvan and during the rest of this Year of 5770 to decide. I suggest you read the stories about this sage to further understand this spiritual message from this weeks Parasha.
Enjoy the Reading!
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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.
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Chanoch Ben Yaacov
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