|Week of December 6, 2008 Shabbat Vayishlach Kislev 16, 5769|
The reading of the Torah this week of Parasha Vayishlach will provide a vaccine against hatred. Please hear it!
Vayishlach means "will send". The portion starts Yaacov will send Malachim to Esav. The translation follows the change of tense due to the preceding Vav. So it is translated Yaacov sent Malachim to Esav.
There are 2 unusual items in the scroll this week. One is in verse 4 of Chapter 33. On the word VaYeShaKaHu there are 6 dots over the 6 letters in that word. This word is also missing a yood to be spelled properly.The word translates as "and he kissed him". The missing yood is a hint that this nation Esav/Edom will be given permission to destroy one of the two Temples (the second). Whenever there are dots in the scroll over the majority of the letters in the word our tradition teaches that there is something unique happening with this spiritual truth. Also this is one of the ten portions of the Torah that has dots and we know dots connect us to the Ten days of Awe between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur - the days considered good days for Tshuvah.
The midrashim and the sages generally tell us that Esav Hates Yaacov (Rashi even says it is a Halacha - a law for Esav to Hate Yaacov). That when Esav went to kiss Yaacov he wanted to tear out his juggler vein but his teeth grew miraculously two large and he could not do so. Other Midrashim tells us that he only kissed Yaacov because Issac was still alive and he wept that he could not kill him yet.
One truly inspiring spiritual teaching our sages have given us relates to the word Face(s) in Hebrew which is Panim. This Hebrew word is Plural and there is no singlular word in Hebrew for face. This teaches that there are always at least two faces that we have in our bodies. One is external - the one we show the world and the other is internal - what we feel while we show the external to the world. The spiritual truth our sages teach is to constantly try and unify the two. If i don't like something show it - say it - don't hide behind the lie of my smile. If i do like something then show that - say that - make the inside and outside the same. Esav could not unify his Panim but Yaacov can. This is a spiritual truth that will hold us in good stead. But always remember the other truth. Even though i can unify my two faces by telling it like it is to the other people, i need to remember that if i do tell them in order to feel superior to them or any other selfish reason i am not doing my spiritual work. I must remember that i must feel the pain of the other person that hears my words that hurt him. While i unify my faces i also have to unify with my friends.
The other anomoly in this portion is in Chapter 35 Verse 22. There is a break in the verse. This means that there is a space of "New Line" in the scroll when it is not a new subject. It would be similar to starting a new paragraph in the middle of a sentence. it is rarely done in Torah. It comes to teach something as well. On the Pshat (story) level the Torah tells us that Reuven committed adultery with Bilhah - his fathers concubine. The next part of the verse says "the sons of Yaacov were twelve". Our sages teach that Reuven really did not commit adultery but made a mistake in how he treated both Bilhah and Yaacov - yet still retained the purity that was/is necessary to be part of the Tribes of Israel. There are deeper lessens and laws taught from this space as well. A space in the Torah represents an opportunity to let HaShem or the Light into our life. This space reinforces the spiritual law that when we act (our external Panim) as we feel (our internal Panim) - Hashem is with us! Yes i know most RAbbi's will disagree with this assesment since it can be an excuse to justify Hatred. KNOW that hatred of a person is never justified. Only Hatred of a persons actions.
I am going to give you a personal story from this past Friday - while shopping for Shabbat foods. The purpose of this story is to help explain what it means to have a vaccine against Hatred and how to unify your internal and external Panim.
While i was shopping someone i did not know came dancing up to me and wished me a Shabbat Shalom and other blessings. I answered AMEN and said "for the whole world". He said "for the whole world but not those in India". I said NO even for those in India as we are not Esav we do not return Hate with Hate. We are Yaacov becoming Israel - we return Hate with Love for the person and Hatred toward their actions. The man stopped - - - Looked hard at me --- and said i am not at that level. i said to him - when you are the terror will stop. so please try harder. i say to all of you please try harder. Because while this is hard to hear and even harder to accept our responsibility WE JEWS CAUSE THE TERROR in the WORLD. This weeks portion comes to help us change ourselves and thus remove terror from the world completely. Yes i do know that this is a very harsh statment. Yet it is the truth. If one wants to discuss this in more detail please write me about it.
There are 154 verses in the Parasha and the code word is Koof Lamed Yood Tet Hay. One of this words translation is "striking roots". It comes to teach us that this is the root of Hatred between nations. Another translation of this word is comprehension and a third is absorption. When we absorb Hatred we can comprehend the damage it does to ourselves and remove it at its root - so that it never returns to our life or the life of the world.
I am sorry for the length of this weeks message but i feel it is a message that needs to be shared and heard over and over.
In this weeks Parasha In Chapter 32 Verse 23 there is a word Yabok as in Yaacov crossed the river Yabok. It is spelled Yood Bet Koof. Its Gematria is 112. This is equal to 86 plus 26 and also 21+26+65.
These numbers represent the names of God (Elokim=86; 65=Adonai - Aleph Dalet Nun Yood; 26= Yood Hay Vav Hay - the Tetragramaton; 21 = Aleph Hay Yood Hay). This name Yabok represents a spiritual unification of the spiritual and physical worlds in two aspects Internal and external. By reading this name we receive the energy to unify our two Panim.
Enjoy the Reading!
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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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