|Week of March 6, 2011 Shabbat Vayikra, 6 Adar Bet 5771|
This week the Parasha of Vayikra ויקרא is read. Vayikra means "And he called". It implies that he is called "with an aspect of love and fondness". This is the word that is used when a parent calls to his children. There are other words that mean call when the call is being made without the element of fondness within the relationship of the two people involved.
Please note that i will be starting to teach in the Phoenix area this week. If you know anyone who lives in that area who might be interested in learning Kabbalah have them check out http://www.meetup.com/Phoenix-Kabbalah-Study-Group
Here is a link for a cartoon summary of the Parasha. We hope you enjoy it.
Vayikra - Leviticus Chapter 1 Verse 1 to Chapter 5 Verse 26. There are 111 Verses which, by gematria, is קיא. This word can be translated as vomit or to throw up. Most religious people will find the above statement blasphemous. Yet, if one truly searches for truth, one may not run from what appears to be blasphemous in the illusion just because it will upset people. This Parasha discusses animal Karbanot (Sacrifices or offerings). Some modern people consider animal sacrifice as Blasphemouse. So who is right and who is wrong on this subject? Will animal sacrifices be continuing when the 3rd Temple is built. Read below to find an answer.
The code words are דעואל and ציוה. The first is a name and is pronounced Devuel and means "Knowledge of God". It actually it is used in the Torah in Numbers Chapter 1 verse 14 as the father of the Nasi (Prince or leader) of the Tribe of Gad. The second has no meaning directly. When permutated it can be seen as meaning a Righteous God, where the Tzadi is Righteous and Yood Vav Hay represents parts of the name of God we call the Tetragramaton.
There are 1674 אועד words in the Parasha. The word ועד means to summon or convene. The Aleph means unity as well as one thousand. This word is teaching the essence of the Parasha, which is to summon everyone to the consciousness of unity.
I have a question: the Sages bring code words that have the same gematria as the number of verses in the Parasha. They also try to bring words that relate to the essence of the Torah reading. The letter Aleph is also a word Aleph spelled אלף. The meaning of the word, in addition to the letter, is one thousand as well as to imply unity by its gematria of the letter Aleph which is "1". The Gematria of the word is 111 the same as the number of verses in the reading. The meaning of unity is the essence of the reading. So why did the Sages not use Aleph the word as a code word?
Maftir: Leviticus Chapter 5 Verses 24 to 26. There are 3 verses and 1 space.
Spaces: There are 21 spaces in the Parasha. 21 is 7 on the right, plus 7 on the left, and 7 in the middle. This is the Tree of Life. Sharing, Receiving , and Balance.
Sephardim and Ashkenazim read the same Haftarot. It is Isaiah Chapter 43 Verse 21 to Chapter 44 Verse 23. There are 29 Verses and 4 Spaces. I do not understand why there are 29 verses and not 28. Perhaps someone can suggest some reasons for this. Perhaps there are 2 verses that can be read as 1 verse within the Haftara. The 4 spaces represents the 4 worlds.
Written and Spoken Verses:
There is no words written one way and spoken another way in the Parasha. There is one word written one way and spoken another in the Haftara. It is in Chapter 44 Verse 17. The word is written יסגוד לא and spoken יסגד לא. Both words mean the same thing "not worshipping". The spoken word is implying that God is not with the person who this verse is describing but after redemption then God will be with the people who bring the proper kavenah in their offerings. This answers if it will be necessary to have animal sacrifices in the 3rd Temple. Yet it is only one verse saying so. Other verses imply otherwise. Read below to understand this.
Dots: There are no Dots over any letters in this Parasha or Haftara.
Large or Small Letters: In the first word of the reading Vayikra the last letter is an Aleph, it is a small Aleph. The sages explain in the midrash and Talmud that HaShem told Moshe to write Vayikra (and he called out of Love) but Moshe with his deep humility wrote Vayikar. (Vayikar is a much more formal word for calling. There is no love expressed in the word Vayikar. The word vayikar is used in the Torah when it says Elokim called to Bilamm. Vayikar is spelled without the letter Aleph at the end.) Hashem saw that Moshe did not write Vayikra but Vayikar and told him to add the Additional Aleph. Moshe did so but wrote it small and Hashem let it stay to teach us the path to unity with Hashem is through the attribute of Humility. Also to be careful to cultivate true humility and not false humility. This email is not long enough to explain this difference adequatly. I intend to explain it in another essay when i discuss the 13 attributes of mercy which truly depend on our level of humility.
There is a small nun in chapter 44 Verse 14 of the Haftara. It is in the word that means pine or a type of tree. The small Nun indicates that the rain that makes the tree grow is not coming from the idols described in this verse.
Columns: All columns start with a Vav. There are 5 full columns and 2 partial columns.
As promised, this year i will give some insights into the Haftarot.
It is easy to see the physical connection to this Haftara and the Parasha. The Parasha speaks about sacrifices and so does the Haftara. The spiritual connection is more difficult to "see". The Parasha speaks about the types of sacrifices and to some extent the ritual involved. The Haftara speaks (rebuking) about the people who do not make proper sacrifices. What is a proper sacrifice? What is an improper sacrifice? When the people or us (in our prayers) bring sacrifices we are trying to get closer to the Creator. To do this properly, we must have the proper Kavenah (intention). The ritual is not valid if the person bringing the sacrifice or the Priest do not have the proper Kavenah. The Prophet Isaiah is telling the people to repent (do Tshuvah) due to their improper sacrifices. To understand the connection between the Parasha and the Haftar one must understand the true meaning of the word Korban. Korban is translated as sacrifice or offering. Neither word is truly correct. Korban comes from the root Krov which means to draw closer. The purpose of a Korban which is described in both the Parasha and the Haftara is to draw closer to God. When we have that desire and do the proper Korban we are helped in drawing closer to God. When we go through the motions (robotic actions) or have the wrong Kavenah, we are not helped and eventually (if we don't do tshuvah) are moved farther away from Hashem. This is the connection to the inner essence of the Parasha Haftara connection.
The inner meaning of the Parasha is to draw closer to HaShem. That is the purpose of the Korban. When the Temple was destroyed our sages created a replacement for Korban. They are called Tefilah or prayer. The 3 daily prayers (4 on Shabbat and Holidays and 5 on Yom Kippur) are replacements for the Korban done during the Temple service. Lets understand this a little more.
The Temple service consisted of communal Korbanot and individual Korbonot. A communal Korban was a sacrifice purchased from the 1/2 Shekel donations as well as relating to a Mitzvah given by the Creator to the nation not to an individual. An example would be the Sacrifices for Rosh Chodesh or Sukkot.
An individual brought his individual Korbonot during the 3 Holiday periods when it was suggested (Mitzvah) that he appear before HaShem. The communal Korbonot was done daily by the Priests and the Levy's who were serving in the Temple during that watch period. A watch period was approximately 2 weeks long. They were established by King David who divided the Levy's and the Kohenim (Priests) population into 24 groups based on families. Each group of Levyim and Kohanim came to the Temple and served for a watch period and then returned to their homes and allowed another watch group to serve in the Temple. This made the Temple service not too onerous for each group as well as sharing the donations to the Levy and Kohenim equitably among the groups.
In essence by performing these communal Korbonot (Korban in plural), the nation and the world had the balance in the world restored. Individuals came 3 times a year to have their balance restored by bringing various offerings and Korbanot. Isn't this easier than praying 3 times a day?
This is just one thing we lost when the Temple was destroyed. There are other things we lost as well. We must learn to appreciate what it is we lost in order to due Tshuvah to restore the Temple.
The answer that someone gives to the question raised above will depend on their level of consciousness. Do they want it easier? or not? What is thier level of appreciation for the creator? What is the level of their relationship with the creator?
There is a verse in the Torah that says (paraphrase) The Children of Israel will be a Kingdom of Priests and a Light to the Other Nations. One of the implications of this verse relates to the coming of Mashiach.
Since all members of the Children of Israel will be Priests to the other nations and just as the Priests received their Parnasa from the Korbanot brought by the Children of Israel. The Children of Israel will receive their Parnassa in the time of Mashiach from the Korbanot brought by the nations. What will be easier for the other nations? To perceive their payment for service from bringing a sacrifice to the Temple or observing the Children of Israel pray? This answer applies today as well. When the other nations perceive the political leaders of the Children of Israel being accused of wrong doing like they are today (Taking bribes or extorting sexual favors and unfortunately many other wrong actions). Will they (the other nations) bring that perception to the question of Sacrifice my animal for me? or pray for me?
Where will our Parnasa come from during the "Birthpangs of Mashiach" which is the period usually described as the period leading upto the manifestation of the Mashiach including the Armagedden War?
Remember our sages teach that there will be no change when Mashiach comes except that we will not have the yoke of the other nations. The other nations will need to accept the idea of the Children of Israel being their Priests. When they do, The Parnasa of the children of Israel will come from the sacrifices brought to the Temple or payment for Prayers. There will be many levels of consciousness during this period until we reach that Prophecy of Jeremiah that says "Everyone will have the knowledge of God". Let it happen soon! Amen!
Please understand what i am teaching here. Our sages teach that one who does not prepare for Shabbat has nothing to eat on Shabbat. The questions i ask above, which need to be answered by our actions, will be our preparation for The Shabbat which is called the Time of Mashiach. Are you preparing for the Time of Mashiach? The time called Shabbat? or Has V'Shalom will you go hungry and depend on the largesse of your neighbors who did prepare for Shabbat? Have you started to study Kabbalah? That is the answer to the above questions!
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