Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tears Of Anguish


And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother ... Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. Bereshit 29:10-11

Jacob wept tears of anguish, not joy, "when it came to pass" that Jacob saw Rachel for the first time. We know this through the construct of the Hebrew phrase "and it came to pass" (וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר).

The word ויהי implies anguish [1]. Jacob is anguished at the sight of Rachel. Moreover, he is anguished to the measure that he should have been blissful.

One would expect Jacob to be joyful at the first sight of his beloved, at finding his bashert, but he is not. He is anguished. So anguished, in fact, is Jacob that he weeps.

Why this anguish? Why not joy?

I posit that Jacob couldn't truly see Rachel. Instead, he saw her as the daughter of Laban, as an extension of her father. Jacob failed to perceive Rachel's Divine Spark, which would have evoked tears of joy from him. Instead, he perceived her as less than she truly is, and wept tears of anguish.

Jacob's limited perception of Rachel has negatively affected history ever since.


[1] The Wisdom In The Hebrew Alphabet, Michael Munk

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Truth And Consequence

Toldot - Generations

וְאֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת יִצְחָק, בֶּן-אַבְרָהָם
And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son ... Bereshit 25:19

DovBear writes of another opinion in the Talmud, namely that:

one of the Rabbis argues that Abraham had everything, specifically he had no daughter, and therefore no worries about marring her off.

Why no daughter, did he refuse to acknowledge his daughter because she was a witch?

The Jerusalem Talmud also shares (Kiddushin 4, 11) that "the best among women practices witchcraft." Avraham's loss. She received the Torah straight away (a kefitzah haderekh) while Avraham's patriarchal line had to wait a several more generations.

Why is this important?

She received Torah straight away, while Avraham's patriarchal line of descendents had to wait several generations to receive it. The "shortening of the way" experienced by the daughter of Avraham is called a kefitzah haderekh. Alternatively, kefitzah haderekh or "shortening of the way" is called a kwisatz haderach.

Kwisatz Haderach" is the name of a prophesied messiah in Frank Herbert's fictional Dune universe. KWISATZ HADERACH: "Shortening of the Way." The origin of Kwisatz Haderach is most likely from the Hebrew language expression Kefitzat Haderech (קפיצת הדרך), which literally means "jumping of the path/road/way", and translates to "the great breakthrough" or "the big advancement." It is also similar in meaning to the Hebrew expression Kitzur Haderech (קיצור הדרך), which literally means "shortening of the path/road/way" and translates to "the short cut."

If Avraham refused to acknowledge his daughter because she is a witch, clearly, it was a big big mistake with cosmic consequences.

Related Entries:

Best Among Women
Bakol & Transmitting The Torah Of Atzilut

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bakol & Transmitting The Torah Of Atzilut

Chayyei Sarah

וְאַבְרָהָם זָקֵן, בָּא בַּיָּמִים; וַיהוָה בֵּרַךְ אֶת-אַבְרָהָם, בַּכֹּל
And Abraham was old, well stricken in age; and the Divine had blessed Abraham in all things (bakol, בַּכֹּל). Bereshit 24:1

The Talmud (Bava Batra 16) tells us "in all things" actually refers to the blessing of Avraham with a daughter named Bakol.

What happened to Bakol, the blessed daughter of Avraham?

Here she is in Shemot.

וַיֹּאמֶר, הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי כֹּרֵת בְּרִית, נֶגֶד כָּל-עַמְּךָ אֶעֱשֶׂה נִפְלָאֹת, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-נִבְרְאוּ בְכָל-הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל-הַגּוֹיִם; וְרָאָה כָל-הָעָם אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בְקִרְבּוֹ אֶת-מַעֲשֵׂה יְהוָה, כִּי-נוֹרָא הוּא, אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי, עֹשֶׂה עִמָּךְ.

And He said: 'Behold, I make a covenant; before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been created (לֹא-נִבְרְאוּ) in all the earth (בְכָל-הָאָרֶץ), nor in any nation; and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the Divine that I am about to do with thee, that it is tremendous. Shemot 34:10

The covenant-marvels (blessing) of Bakol (kol through chochmah) do not originate in Beriyah (mikol), rather they are emanated from the Keter-Malchut (הָאָרֶץ) of Atzilut and are All Present (כל זִמֵּן) at matan Torah, designated for transmitting the Torah of Atzilut.

Related Entry - Best Among Women

Friday, November 14, 2008

Deeds That Ought Not Be Done

Vayera - to fear, to stand in awe, to respect

Abimelech said to Avraham regarding his disrespect for Sarah (by putting her honor in danger by calling her his sister and disclaiming her as his wife) - "you have done deeds that ought not be done." Bereshit 20:9

מַעֲשִׂים אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יֵעָשׂוּ, עָשִׂיתָ עִמָּדִי

Did Avraham learn? Elohim comes to test.

In the next chapter (Bereshit 21:14), Avraham has disrespect for Hagar, by putting her life in danger. In fact, Avraham's "deeds that ought not be done" have escalated from endangering a woman's honor to endangering a woman's life (and additionally, the life of her son). Avraham has not learned respect.

Elohim comes to test again Avraham's respect for the lives entrusted to his care and asks Avraham to take Isaac's life by his own hand (Bereshit 22:2). Avraham hurries to comply. Avraham still has not learned, and this is the third time Avraham has been tested in this area. If the Divine had allowed Isaac to be sacrificed by Avraham, his disrespect for the lives and welfare of those in his household would have become a solid chazakah according to Jewish law and a permanent characteristic of Avraham.

Hospitality to angels means nothing if one fails to care for those in his or her own household.

The dynamics of a negative chazakah and the true merit of Avraham:

First time, Avraham has no concern at all for Sarah and is not aware that his action is wrong until Abimelech creates the awareness in him. Abimelech brings to the surface a conscience in Avraham. Now choice exists in Avraham between selfishness and selflessness, between strengthening the power of ulterior ego motivation or strengthening the ego's rectified power of chen.

Second time, Avraham is now aware that what he is about to do to Hagar and her son is wrong, yet he does it anyway despite that the deed felt "very grievous" to him. Avraham ignores his conscience.

Third time, having silenced the natural revulsion that he now has toward 'doing the wrong deed', Avraham hurries to do it. Avraham is killing his conscience and reverting to barbarism. The Divine steps in, preventing Avraham's complete reversion for the sake of humankind on account of the Divine oath given to Noah that there shall never again be a flood to destroy the earth with reversed chesed v'chen.

The Divine Oath inspired (chinuch) by Noah found a point in Avraham oriented toward integration (hadracha) into human consciousness despite his wrong deeds. This is Avraham's true merit.

Follow-Up: The Flaw Of Pure Selflessness

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Land Of Blissful Awe

Lech Lecha

Dare to be true to yourself, follow your bliss ...

אל-הארץ אשר אראך ... toward the Land of Blissful Awe
Bereshit 12:1

The total gematria for the phrase (אל-הארץ אשר אראך) "toward The Land of Blissful Awe" is 1050, reduces to a digit sum of 6, and corresponds to the pillar of Creation as it exists in rectified and elevated "messianic" consciousness (one's inner Divine Spark) independent of time. The Im HaKolel of the phrase is the value 1051, reduces to a digit sum of 7, and corresponds to shabbat consciousness. Shabbat consciousness brings messianic consciousness out into manifest time. This is The Land of Blissful Awe toward which the Divine calls every human being.

A related dream (Fire By Night, The Divine Torch) I had earlier this week during the Torah portion, Lech Lecha, on astrological Samhain, of traveling The Road To The Land Of Blissful Awe:

Witch's Shofar

I dreamt a dream of fire preceded by the idea of a "monopoly" game. Monopoly is a word which brings unity and multiplicity together into a singular word.

As the idea of a "monopoly" game ran with wings through my sleeping mind last night, the dream emerged.

I was traveling west toward town with my mother and other family members in a vehicle down the road which runs in front of the house. A few miles from the house, as we neared the bend in the road which swerves off toward the north, and exactly the moment before we entered the curve toward the north, the ground beneath the vehicle began rumbling mightily - indeed a major earthquake was in the making. The road buckled and upheaved like a wave, sending the vehicle in the opposite direction - sliding east back toward the house front first (and always I was primarily seeing through the vehicle's windshield - in other words, the vehicle was always facing the direction it was traveling).

As the vehicle slid down the road toward the east front first, the road began to glow red hot as if the core of the molten earth was coming to the surface. It glowed so brightly fire red that I wondered how the wheels and the bottom of the vehicle were remaining intact and not melting away. Surely, the road was turning into pure molten fire.

Yet, the vehicle remained intact somehow and I felt no heat at all sitting inside it, though I realized that the power of the fire was fully capable of dissolving all material substance into pure energy. The road was melting into firehot energy, and though I could clearly see it through the windshield, I felt no heat.

Then, as we arrived in front of the house, the upheaving wave of the earth shifted toward the opposite direction, sending the vehicle back again toward the west. The road glowed hotter and hotter and I felt we were surely going to be swallowed up by the molten earth, be dissolved as material beings, and die. I have never before in a dream felt the real possibility of actually dying, but last night, I did. Yet, even as I feared that I might actually die, I had no feelings of panic. My feelings and thinking were that I was facing some sort of finality, contained some wondering of what lay beyond death (would I dissolve or go on in some manner), and peace that I would die free of the heaviness of guilt, having lived an honorable life to the best of my ability. I was thinking - this is it, this is the end.

As we again neared the curve north, in front of me through the windshield I saw it - a wall of pure molten fire loomed up and we were going to plunge into it. I shut my eyes and prepared to die. As we plunged into the wall of molten fire, I woke up.

It was still night. I wrote a note of the dream down to remember and went back to sleep.

"Only the Torch is found by itself ..." Klach Pischey Chochmah 55