|Week of October 31, 2010 Shabbat Toldot Cheshvan 29, 5771|
This week the Parasha of Toldot is read. It is always read at the beginning of the month of Kislev as it has to do with the energy of miracles as well as the battle between good and evil. Do you wonder what the relationship is between Toldot and Kislev?
Genesis Chapter 25 Verse 19 to Chapter 28 Verse 9. There are 106 Verses and the code word is עלו. There are 3 Spaces in the Parasha. Please see the last two years email for an explanation of the code words and Spaces in the Parasha.
Maftir: Chapter 28 Verse 7 to 9. This is 3 Verses with 0 spaces.
Sephardim and Ashkenazim are the same:
Malachi Chapter 1 Verse 1 to Chapter 2 Verse 7. This is 21 Verses and 0 Spaces. There are no places where the word is pronounced differently than it is written.
Dots: There are no Dots in this Parasha.
Large or Small Letters: There is a small Koof in the word קצתי in Chapter 24 Verse 46. This is usually translated as loathe or wail. The Koof is called the double agent because it normally goes below the line which is a metaphor for feeding the other side. The Koof feeds the other side but not too much. This is why it is called a double agent. The small koof does not feed the other side because it is written between the lines within the Torah Scroll.
Another teaching from this word קצתי and the small letter koof comes from the fact that these letters spell the phrase Ketz 410 which is 1 way the word can be read and understood. Ketz means end; 410 is the Gematria of Kadosh (Holy). If the letter koof had been written the regular way this would have fed too much energy to the other side because the word would have implied an end to Holyness. With the small Koof we learn that this reading or understanding is incorrect, of course.
As promised, this year i will give some insights into the Haftarot.
The Haftara is a difficult one for most people to relate to the Parasha. The Haftara is coming from Malachi the last of the Prophets who prophetized during the beginning of the Second Temple. The Prophecy is basically teaching the people (which is us today) that they (we) have not been doing their (our) spiritual work. The essence of the Parasha is talking about the Blessing that "are stolen by Jacob from the First Born Esau". What does 1 have to do with the other?
To truly understand the connection between the Haftara and the Parasha we need to learn that the name Malachi means "My Messenger". The sages teach that Malachi was either Ezra the Prophet (who is the person most responsible for building the second Temple) or Mordechai of Purim Fame. As such the Haftara is talking about the End of Days and the coming of the Mashiach. That is why 21 verses are read. There are no spaces and it would have been just as easy to read 20 or 22 verses. The idea of Zero spaces teaches that the light no longer needs to be concealed and is present through out the verses we read.
As we have explained in previous emails, Issac is a metaphor for the soul after the coming of Mashiach. This is why the sages put this Haftara with this Parasha.
Lets turn our attention to the Parasha and the lessons we are too learn. We have 3 Forefathers Abraham who goes to Egypt almost immediately upon his arrival in the land. Jacob who goes to Egypt at the end of his life. And Issac who is told not to go to Egypt. The question is why can Issac not go to Egypt? The answer is that there are no narrow places (Egypt) after Mashiach. So it is unnecessary for Issac to go to Egypt during this phase of his life. Another explanation of the Sages is that Issac is too holy as he repesents a burnt offering having died during the Binding incident and been resurrected.
Lets look at the difference between the Blessing given to Jacob and the Blessing given to Esau. Jacob's blessing is at Chapter 27 Verses 28 and 29 while Esaus blessing is at Chapter 27 Verses 39 and 40. Here they are for you to look at:
Verse 28: ויתן-לך האלהים מטל השמים ומשמני הארץ ורב דגן ותירש
Verse 29: יעבדוך עמים וישתחו לך לאמים הוה גביר לאחיך וישתחוו לך בני ארריך ארור ומברכיך ברוך
Verse 28 English: So God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fat places of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine.
Verse 29 English: Let peoples serve thee, and nations bow down to thee. Be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee. Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be every one that blesseth thee.
Verse 39: ויען יצחק אביו ויאמר אליו הנה משמני הארץ יהיה מושבך ומטל השמים מעל
Verse 40: ועל-חרבך תחיה ואת-אחיך תעבד והיה כאשר תריד ופרקת עלו מעל צוארך
Verse 39 English: And Isaac his father answered and said unto him: Behold, of the fat places of the earth shall be thy dwelling, and of the dew of heaven from above;
Verse 40 English : And by thy sword shalt thou live, and thou shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt break loose, that thou shalt shake his yoke from off thy neck.
Esau is promised the fat places of the earth and then the dew of heaven; while Jacob is promised the dew of heaven; and then the fat places of the earth. Jacob's spiritual work is to bring the dew of heaven to earth and Esau's spiritual work is to spread this essence from heaven around the earth and then return to the heaven. Is there really a significant difference?
Another difference between the Blessings is that Jacob will be served by many Nations including his mother's sons. Yet Even in the Blessing to serve his brother Esau is able to shake the burden of serving Jacob.
Of course we are looking at these words in the context of their physical meaning and not their spiritual level. The major issue of spiritual meaning is in the word Taved which comes from the root Aved עבד This root is usually translated as Service. Yet it also translates as Slave and Work. This makes the spiritual understanding difficult until one breaks the letters apart. עב has a Gematria of 72 and represents the 72 Names of God which Moshe utilized to control the physical World in the crossing of the Yam Suf. The Dalet is both a letter and the word that means door. In essence this word is saying by serving Issac one opens the door to the control of the physical world using the 72 Names of God and Tzadikim.
The sages perceive the two brothers as totally evil and totally good. They perceive this conflict between the brothers which still goes on today to be between good and evil. The Kabbalists define evil as the desire for one self alone; while good is the desire to receive in order to share. Ultimately there is no distinction between good and evil their is only good and its absence. This is a major spiritual lesson from the above verses. When we read that Esau got married from the people around them (daughters of the Caanite), he was only following what his father had done. Issac married at age 40 and so did Esau. Jacob has to go to Haran to find a wife. He does his spiritual work on many levels while Esau does his spiritual work on the easy level, indicating his unwillingness to do the whole work but he is only willing to do the work on the easy level. When Esau learns by hearing what Rebeca says to Issac,that he should marry from his relatives he goes to Ishmael for his daughter to marry. He is always doing the external part of his spiritual work but never the internal. This is the true meaning of the difference between good and evil. Are you doing both the internal and external spiritual work or just the easy external part? Are you Jacob or are you Esau. Remember just because your mother is Jewish does not make you a Jewish soul who is doing his spiritual work. For that you must make the effort of going outside of yourself and traveling to Haran to find your wife!
Another question arises from earlier in the Parasha. Why does Rebecca help Jacob and not Esau? We are told that Issac favors Esau and Rebecca Jacob but is that sufficient for a mother to treat each child differently? The ARI and the Zohar help us understand this action. Rebecca is a reincarnation of Eve. As Eve she assisted Adam in receiving a curse. Now by helping Jacob who is a reincarnation of Adam and saying unto him "The curse will be upon me" she corrects the wrong action of Eve. Without the study of Gilgulim (reincanation) we can never truly understand the Torah!
I asked the question, in the subject line of the email, why the Torah used Toldot rather than Dor דור to describe the relationship between Abraham and Issac. Dor דור is a word that translates as generation but also as forever; to dwell; from time immemorial. Toldot has the meaning of offspring as well as generation. Dor דור has the inner essence of falling down thru the generations which is what the Jewish world knows to be true. Each generation is fallen spiritually from the generations before it. This comes from the Kabbalistic analysis of Dor דור The dalet means door and the Gematria of Vav and Resh is 206. this is one less than 207 the Gematria of the word Light which is Ohr. Dor represents the door to something less than the light or something less than the generation before it.
For Abraham and Issac this is not true; Issac and Jacob are not less than Abraham. They are not falling from the previous generations and that is why the Torah could not use Dor in this situation.
The spiritual lesson we learn is what are you doing to raise your children - your dor דור back to your level. This is a struggle and a spriitual goal of the Jewish people through out the generations. While we might not succeed we should not give up trying!
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.
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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