The Smallest Letter of the Aleph-Bet

Why does the Havayah (Tetragrammaton) begin with the Yud? Because the Yud, (representing HaSHEM, the Holy, [Merciful – Unique] One) is the smallest (humblest) letter of the Aleph-Bet! Here, in This Week’s Parshah, VaYiqra we find that HaShem, The CREATOR of the Universe) made His (Greatness) Divine Presence rest within a Small Space (“Between the Cherubim” – over or above the “THRONE of MERCY – Shmoth 3.15, 25.22, 34.6-7) and “Called to Moshe – ‘with a still, small voice’ [1 King’s 19.12] from within the Tent of Meeting.”

Havayah and One

The gematria of Havayah is 26 = 2 • 13, where 13 is the gematria of “one” (אֶחָד). Thus, when we recite the Shema, “Hear O Israel, Havayah is our God, Havayah is One,” we are also expressing the relationship between these two words. Their ratio of 2:1 symbolizes the absolute unity of God and creation, in accordance with the principle of unification called a whole and a half.

As the saying goes, “As Above, So Below” (HaSHEM, is the Same – Does Not Change, is Consistently Elo-im, [Judge] “G-D” of the Universe – The Aleph of Elo-im is made up of Two Yud’s and a Nun Sofit – One Yud Above and One Yud Below with the Nun Sofit separating the two and connecting the two as ONE…!

We find in Tehillim 119.105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. AND, 112 I have inclined my heart to perform Thy statutes, for ever, at every step. {P}

Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and signifies the number one. Aleph indicates the Oneness and Unity of the Creator. It hints that beyond the illusion of separation and duality is underlying Oneness – that nothing is separate and the Creator is the source of everything.

The shape of the Aleph is two Yods י , one above and one below, with a diagonal line, the Vav  ו , between them, representing the higher world and the lower world, with the Vav separating and connecting the two.

Aleph represents the creation of something from nothing. It is the essential symbol of beginnings and ultimate reality that cannot be talked about, timeless, spaceless, and present everywhere. It is the One that cannot be divided, representing perfection beyond human comprehension.

On the Other Hand, the Yud represents the Singular Essence of the Creator (which is why the Torah in Shmoth 3.15 states, “This is My Name Forever!” and Tehillim 119.89 states, “For ever, O L-RD, Thy word standeth fast in heaven.”); that INFINITE POINT of LIGHT – Yhi OrhB’rashith [Genesis] 1.3! It is that Light which encompasses and penetrates or fills all existence. SOVEV v’MEMALLE

The 10th Hebrew letter Yud is a dot or point. The Yud represents the Creator, the single point from which all of creation emerges, and the Unity within multiplicity. It is the foundation of all foundations, the hidden Divine spark which causes everything to be. It represents the power of the spirit to govern and guide the matter.

Yud is a symbol of the Holy One, the Creator, since the holy name starts with Yud. Small in form, the meaning of the Yud is great. According to kabbalistic tradition, all of creation came forth from a single point – a point which represents God’s infinite presence inside of the finite world.

Yud also represents the idea of Unity within Multiplicity, of one whole that is comprised of parts. Yud as we see is a single point, but its value is 10. It shows us that many grains of sand are used to make one pot, many pages make up one book, many drops of water make up the ocean. There are many occurrences in the world, but they all stem from One G-D, perfect and indivisible. It also represents the 10 Sefirot. In Yud, the multiplicity returns to unity.

The Yud is an infinite dot, the essence of all life. It is the foundation of all foundations. Everything comes from it and returns to it. It is a hidden dot beyond imagination – formless, the source of all thought, beyond all thoughts, beyond time and space. It is the secret hidden principle of the universe that we can’t perceive. It is the Divine spark of life that is in every single being. It cannot be grasped, but is in every cell of your body, causing you to exist. It has no mass or density, time or space. In it is the power of the spirit to govern and guide the matter of the material world.

****

This explanation of the Yud and Aleph is the essence of the phrase אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה “Eh-yeh Asher Eh-yeh“, [which literally means “I will be what I will be” and is often translated “What will be, will be”].

EH’YEH ASHER EH’YEH

Ehyeh asher ehyeh
retzeh al am’cha
ush’ma t’filati
mime’on kod’shecha

Hineh ani chosef leveit mik’dashecha
lir’ot ge’on uz’cha vehod hod’ratecha
(x2)

Rachem yechidati
asher hi negdecha
katzer legaluti
ani nish’an becha

Hineh ani chosef…

I AM THAT I AM

Hebrew words

 

LYRICS
Rabbi Shalom Shabazi
MUSIC
Avihu Medinah
SINGER
Daklon
Sadnat Sh’chunah Hatikvah
Tzlilei Hakerem
Uri Shevach
Ofra Haza
Words transliterated by George Jakubovits of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

 

What’s Bothering Rashi: “For the Sake of “This” “

Tzav (Leviticus 6-8)
For the Sake of “This”
by

This Shabbat (April 4, 2020) is Shabbat Hagadol, the Shabbat preceding the holiday of Pesach. In that spirit, we offer a Rashi – Ramban dispute regarding the verse in Parashas Bo that is the basis for our telling over- the haggadah – the Pesach story on Pesach night.

Exodus 13:8

“And you shall tell your son on that day saying: For the sake of this, Hashem acted on my behalf when I went out of Egypt.”

 

RASHI

For the sake of thisRASHI: For the sake that I should carry out His commandments, such as the Passover offering, the unleavened bread and these bitter herbs.

 

WHAT IS RASHI SAYING?

The verse says: The father is telling his son: “For the sake of “this,” (‘zeh,’) Hashem acted on my behalf when I went out of Egypt.” Rashi bases his comment on the meaning of the word “this.”. According to Rashi, the word zeh, “this,” always designates something visible (see Rashi’s comments on Exodus 12:2, “This month is for you the first of the months…” and Exodus 15:2, “This is my God and I will glorify Him…”).

Note that the beginning of this verse says, “And you will tell your son on that day…” Which day is referred to here?

Your Answer:

An Answer: “That day” is Passover when the Jew sits down with his children and recounts the story of the Exodus from Egypt. He does this at the Passover Seder when the matzah, bitter herbs and Pascal lamb are in front of him. Thus Rashi concludes that when the father tells his son: “It is for the sake of this…,” the word “this” refers to something visible, i.e., the matzah, bitter herbs and Pascal lamb.

In light of this, Rashi explains this verse: It tells us that we should tell our sons “it is because of ‘this’ (‘zeh’). i.e. the matzot (and associated commandments like bitter herbs and Passover offering) which we are commanded to eat on Passover, that God took us out of Egypt.”

Having understood what he said, we can now question Rashi.

Your Question:

 

QUESTIONING RASHI

A Question: Isn’t this a strange comment? How could the purpose of the Exodus and the attendant miracles done for the Israelites when they left Egypt be in order that they keep the commandments of bitter herbs, unleavened bread etc.? These mitzvot are symbolic of what happened to us in Egypt. Common sense would lead to the opposite conclusion – that we keep these mitzvot in order to commemorate the events in the Egypt. Rashi seems to have it all backwards!

What’s bothering Rashi?

Your Answer:

 

WHAT IS BOTHERING RASHI?

An Answer: The Hebrew word “ba’avur” means “in order to” or “for the sake of.” It does not mean, as we might have expected here, “because of.” The word “ba’avur” is used to tell us the goal of an action. If, on the other hand, the Torah wanted to tell us the cause that led to these mitzvot, it should have used the word “biglal,” which means “because of.” Then the verse would imply: I eat matzot, the Pascal lamb and bitter herbs, “because of what Hashem did for me when I left Egypt.”

A fine example of the difference between these two words can be found in Genesis 12:13, where Avram asks Sarai, his wife, to say she is his sister (and not his wife). There it says:

“Please say that you are my sister so that it will go well with me for your sake, (Hebrew: ‘ba’avureich’) and my life will be spared because of you (Hebrew: ‘biglaleich’).”

But our verse has “ba’avur” and not “biglal”; thus Rashi must interpret it as he does. With this understanding of the correct meaning of the word “ba’avur” we can understand Rashi’s unusual comment.

 

UNDERSTANDING RASHI

By translating this verse correctly, Rashi is forced to look for the purpose of the Exodus (and not the cause of the commandments of Passover). The word “this,” “zeh,” directs our attention to the mitzvot which are right in front of us as we speak these words.

Nevertheless it does seem strange to conclude that we were subjected to the bitter enslavement in Egypt in order that we may, one day, be commanded to eat bitter herbs! But if we look closely at Rashi’s words we can understand his intention more correctly. Rashi adds one word which clarifies the matter. Can you see which word he adds?

Your Answer:

 

An Answer: Rashi says “k’gon,”for example matzot, bitter herbs, etc.” We see that he means all the mitzvot; matzot, bitter herbs and the Pascal offering are just examples of all the commandments which Hashem gave us. Of course, these specific mitzvot are cited because these are what the father points to when he answers his son’s question at the Seder.

 

THE RAMBAN’S ARGUMENT WITH RASHI

The Ramban takes issue with Rashi’s view. He quotes the Ibn Ezra, whose interpretation is the same as Rashi’s. (For some reason the Ramban does not mention Rashi in his comment.) The Ramban offers his own interpretation of these words. He adds just one letter to this verse and in so doing he changes its whole meaning and avoids the awkwardness of Rashi’s interpretation. The Ramban writes:

It is because of this which Hashem did for me when I went out of Egypt…. The father is thus saying [to his son]: It is because of that which Hashem did for me when I came forth from Egypt that I observe this service…. The intent of the word “this,” “zeh,” is: “to tell him ‘that’ which you yourself see, i.e. what Hashem did for you when you went out of Egypt.

What letter did he add?

Your Answer:

 

Answer: He added the letter “shin” and placed it before the word “asa.” The translation then becomes: which Hashem did for me, etc.” The verse now means:

“And you shall tell your son on that day saying: [I do all these commandments] because of that which Hashem for me when I went out of Egypt.”

The Ramban goes on to say:

Rabbi Abraham [Ibn Ezra] said the meaning of the verse is : Because of that which I do and worship Him by eating the Passover-offering and the unleavened bread, Hashem did for me wonders until He brought me out of Egypt. But [says the Ramban] this is not correct.

The meaning of the Ibn Ezra’s interpretation, which is similar to Rashi’s,is: The only reason I was taken out of Egypt was in order to worship Hashem,with these (and other) mitzvot.

The difference between Rashi and Ibn Ezra, on the one hand, and the Ramban, on the other,is in the meaning they give to the word “this,” “zeh.”

(1) For Rashi and Ibn Ezra, “this,” “zeh,” refers to:

Your Answer:

(2) For the Ramban, “zeh,” “this,” refers to:

Your Answer:

 

Answer:

1) For Rashi, “zeh,” “this,” refers to the father’s mitzvot, the example being those in front of him, matzot, bitter herbs etc.

2) For the Ramban, “this,” “zeh,” refers to Hashem’s miracles.

 

IN SUMMARY

Rashi and Ibn Ezra say: We were taken out of Egypt in order to keep these mitzvot.

The Ramban says: We keep these mitzvot because of all which Hashem did for us when He took us out of Egypt.

These different interpretations reflect different attitudes towards the purpose of the mitzvot in general. What basic difference do you see between these two views?

Your Answer:

 

THE PURPOSE OF THE MITZVOT: RASHI (IBN EZRA) VS. RAMBAN

An Answer: It would seem that there is a fundamental difference in viewpoints regarding the philosophy of mitzvot.

If these mitzvot are done to remember the Exodus from Egypt, as the Ramban would have it, then this means that mitzvot have a purpose beyond themselves; they are a means either to commemorate (as here), to instruct or to improve one in some way.

If, on the other hand, fulfilling these (and all other mitzvot was the goal of the redemption from Egypt, as Rashi and Ibn Ezra would have it, this means that mitzvot are their own justification. Their performance is the ultimate goal of our existence. The fact that they may signify something beyond themselves (like remembering the Exodus) or may serve another purpose (such as self-improvement) is secondary to their own inherent value, of doing God’s will. In short, mitzvot are their own justification. This is a major difference in our understanding of the essential purpose of God’s commandments.

 

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Somayach,
Avigdor Bonchek

****

It seems to me that “the ultimate goal of our existence” is that “we will do and [then] we will understand” – That is, we don’t see the full picture now, but we will…. As Zechariah says, “In that day the L-RD shall be [Acknowledged as] One….” As Avigdor Bonchek writes, “The only reason I was taken out of Egypt was in order to worship Hashem, with these (and other) mitzvot.” For it says, “You shall tell your son on that day…;” and, “in order that you may remember the day you went out of Egypt all the days of your life.”

Habitually, Jews don tefillin in “order that the perfect [Tehillim 19.7] Law of the L-RD may be in your mouth, for with a strong hand HaShem brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

It seems to me that the telling (Haggadah) is what Rashi means when he says the purpose of the Haggadah is “for the Sake of this” – “THIS” is the telling “when your son is before you [on that day], just like he says when something tangible (the Paschal Lamb, matza, and bitter herbs) is in front of you. It is for the sake of your son and your son’s son and so on, ad infinitum – (as the passuk [verse] says, “This shall be the beginning of months for you; (for you, but not for them) ….” For you excludes them and comes to teach the Jewish Calendar taught to Moshe by HaShem!)

Thus we have the passuk (verse) Devarim (Deuteronomy) 7.2-4, “you shall not make a covenant with them … for he will turn away your son” (“and when the L-RD thy G-D shall deliver them up before thee, and thou shalt smite them; then thou shalt utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them; neither shalt thou make marriages with them: thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For he will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods;”)

Rashi says “k’gon,”for example matzot, bitter herbs, etc.” We see that he means all the mitzvot; matzot, bitter herbs and the Pascal offering are just examples of all the commandments which Hashem gave us. Of course, these specific mitzvot are cited because these are what the father points to when he answers his son’s question at the Seder.

The wise son what does he say? “What are the testimonies, decrees, and ordinances which HaShem, our G-D, has commanded you? Devarim 6.20 By including the phrase, Our G-D, he includes himself in the Community of Yisrael and hence his expression is wise…!

And what does the passuk (Zechariah 14:9) say? “In that day (during the Festival of Sukkot) the L-RD shall be [Acknowledged as] One and His Name [Expressed as] One.”

Rashi’s commentary reads,

*”shall the L-RD be one”: For all the nations shall abandon their vanities and acknowledge Him, that He is one, and [that] no strange deity is with Him, and His name one: That His name shall be mentioned by everyone. *

God is one, there have been many rivals to Him. Zechariah 13:2 says,

And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the L-RD of Hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.

The L-RD alone and His name will be mentioned, no other idol will be mentioned. This is the context of Zecharia 14:9.

And it shall come to pass in that day – that day could mean many things

YOCHANAN: For example, in that day could mean Sukkot – the Fall Harvest Festival (“at the turn of the year”) Shmoth (Exodus) 34.22; or in it’s simple meaning it refers to the Pesach (Passover) Festival.

Jeremiah 30.8, 9, And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the L-RD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bands; and strangers shall no more make him their bondman; But they shall serve the L-RD their G-D, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

Hoshea 2.21-23 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground; and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the land, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto Me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in justice, and in lovingkindness, and in compassion. And I will betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the L-RD.

Isaiah 10.20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and they that are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the L-RD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

What does it mean, “you shall have no other gods in My Presence?” Is this saying a negative prohibition or a prophetic (emphatic) statement?

I would like to think it is a prophetic (emphatic) statement of the future spiritual state of Bnai Yisrael… as they said, and as it (the Torah) says, Na’ase Venishma” (“we will do and [then] we will understand”). Furthermore, it says, “and thou shalt know the L-RD.”

Parsha Va’Yakhel-Pekudi – The Seven Pillars

B”H
Rabbi Rose:
Shalom.
Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs): “He made the pillars thereof of silver, the top thereof of gold, the seat of it of purple, the inside thereof being inlaid with love, from the daughters of Jerusalem.”
Reading this week’s parsha I can’t help but notice that
the Ten Curtains correspond to Aseret haDibrot (the Ten Sayings);
the Five Curtains joined together correspond to the Sefer Torah (The Five Books of Moshe [joined together as one sefer – one song, as in “Moshe Wrote Down This Song…”]; the “other” Five Curtains correspond to the Oral [Mishnah] Torah, as it says, 36.16 “And he coupled five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves.”; and see 36.27 “And for the western end of the Mishkan he made six planks.” The Western end, the setting of the sun; the furthest declension of the sun – the time for the Minchah Offering);
the Fifty Loops and Clasps correspond to the days between Pesach and Shavuoth and the Jubilee Year; the Fifty Amoth (Cubits) of the Courtyard correspond to the Year of Release (Cancellation of Debts) within the Jubilee Year;
and the phrase וַיְהִ֥י הַמִּשְׁכָּ֖ן אֶחָֽד “so the Mishkan became one” corresponds to the first (HaShem is Echad) and second (VeAhavtah … Bechal Levavcha…) paragraphs of the Shema, as it says, “on that day HaShem will be [known and understood universally as The Unique] One and His Name will be one;” and to the phrase [in relationship to Pesach] “you shall have one law.”
Forty Silver Sockets correspond to the first forty days and nights Moshe was on Har Sinai (silver represents the moon and thus the judgment of the beth din, from the witnesses whose testimony must agree and who sited the new moon, that the start of the year begins in Nissan [“this shall be the beginning of months for you”] with the Chag Pesach, when the month [moon] is full);
Mishlay (Proverbs) 9.1Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars;”
We might say that the Four Pillars of the Dividing Veil / Curtain correspond to: a) the Four Matriarchs; b) the “arba kanfoth (four cornered garment requiring [ritual] Tzitzith [fringes] and Tekheleth); and, c) to the four species taken on Chag Sukkot [the Festival of Booths]); while the Three Shittim Wood Walls of the Mishkan correspond to the Three Patriarchs (the planks of the walls [and pillars???] were overlaid with gold to signify purity of deeds).  (The Matriarchs were: a) Sarah, faithful to her husband; strict in demanding judgment (“The L-RD Judge between Me and Thee)” and morality in her house [cast out the bond-woman and her son]; b) Rivkah, honoring parents by industry/labor; she does not speak to strangers unless spoken to and she exhibits kindness to strangers and chattel (animals); is of an independent spirit (“I will go” [whether you wish or not]); c) Rachel, she hid the terafim from Laban as she saw the truth through idolatry – it’s emptiness and falsehood, for she disapproved of his idolatry; d) Le’ah, she was a devoted wife unafraid to speak the truth! The Patriarchs were: Avraham, Devoted to G-D, advocating righteousness and justice, drawing in those seeking truth/oneness – yichud with the Holy One; Yitzchaq, the paradigm of commitment; Ya’acov, the one who is SARGEL, straight [upright, honest] with G-D (“I am afraid of my brother Esauv.”) and with his fellow man [he, Ya’acov said to Laban and his company, “What is my sin? … Set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us two.”]!)
Talmud Berachoth 64aRabbi Elazar said on behalf of Rabbi Chanina: “Torah scholars increase peace in the world”, as it is said: ‘And all your children will be students of HaShem, and your children will have peace. (Isaiah 54.13) — do not read, banayich ‘your children,’ but bonayich ‘your builders’.”
Additionally, each curtain was 28 Amoth + 4 Amoth = 32 Amoth – 32 is lev (heart); as it says:
“Then all the wise hearted people of the performers of the work made the Mishkan out of ten curtains [consisting] of twisted fine linen, and blue, purple, and crimson wool. A cherubim design, the work of a master weaver he made them.”
Thirty Two [Amoth] times Ten [Curtains] Equals 320 – 320 =

ReshTzaddiLamed to keep or guard, as in, “make a fence about the Torah.”
 
This is to say that we can derive lessons from this weeks Torah portion:
a) the entire Torah is woven into the pattern of the Mishkan described in the Torah; and,
b) When all Israel work together with one heart the Will of the Creator is Completed; that is the significance of giving the half shekel – each person contributes on an equal basis – the half shekel was used to craft the adanim silver sockets which is, (as I stated in another email,) related to the words witness (Ayd), Garden (Eden) and  Judgment (Din)…. (All Yisrael stood as witness to the revelation of the Cloud of Glory and the Ten Sayings at Har Sinai; hence we were given the mitzvah of Shema while wearing Tefillin and Totafoth…. “that the Law of [perfection -tikkun- correction] HaShem will be in your mouth” for they judged “Na’ase Venishma”.
On another note, the Mishkan was a sort of replacement for Gan Eden which is implied by the phrase, “an altar of Adamah shall you make” Shmoth 20.24 – adama is connected to HaAdamah the place of Adam’s creation, which in turn is connected to Afar [dust] tshuva – B’rashith 3.19)
“The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when they give the offering of the L-RD, to make atonement for your souls.
The Will of the Creator is “Let them make Me a sanctuary and I shall dwell among them.”
 
Anyways,
Shavua Tov,
 
Yochanan Ezra ben Avraham

Parsha Ki Tisa

The half-shekel coins collected in the time of Moses were used to make the adanim, the silver sockets that formed the Tabernacle’s foundation.
“And a river went out of Eyden to water the Garden….” B’rashith 2.10
“You give them drink from Your river of Eydauneecha delights.” Tehillim 36.9
וְנַחַל עֲדָנֶיךָ תַשְׁקֵם.
Ezekiel 47 states, “a river went out from under the threshold of the House….”
In Nehemiah 9.25 the word Ve’YithEdenu וַיִּתְעַדְּנוּ means to luxuriate or delight and is connected to Eden, as in Gan Eden (Blessing or ABUNDANCE). The root is Ayden or Eyden and is further connected to, (as a contraction of) Eyd (witness) and Dan (Judge).
“From twenty years old and upwards ….” Thus, the half shekel comes to teach that the Tabernacle elevates and delights those who support it; for it’s supporters are (a never-ending, eternal) witness (Zechor remembrance) to the Cloud of Glory (Adonay Tzavayoth) and the Judgement of Mitzrayim (Egypt).
When Am Yisrael gives the Half Shekel, as a collective whole, Am Yisrael (the People of Israel) are a witness, (singular) to the Redemption (the Strong Hand) of HaShem. (Everyone whose heart is willing shall give My Offering Terumah)
The Adanim silver sockets are related to Adath Tzaddikim (Assemblies of the Righteous) for the Half-Shekel made atonement for the People of Israel….
Thus it is written, “With a Strong Hand HaShem brought you out of Mitzrayim. Therefore it shall be for a remembrance between your eyes … That the law of the L-RD shall be in your mouth.”
Tehillim 34.13 “Who is the man that delights in life, and loveth days, that he may see good therein?” He should dwell in the tents of Ya’acov – Adath Tzaddikim (Assemblies of the Righteous) from where the Book of the Law never departs: B’midbar 24.5 “How goodly are your tents O’Ya’acov, thy dwelling places O’Yisrael.”
Devarim 30.14 “It is very near you, in your mouth that you may do it.”
Y’hoshua 1.8 “This book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth but you shall meditate upon it day and night.”
Isaiah 59. “And as for Me, this is My covenant with them, saith the L-RD; My spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the L-RD, from henceforth and for ever.”
Tehillim 1.2 “And in His Law does he delight/meditate day and night.”

Parsha Tetzaveh “leShareth – To Serve”

Parshat Tetzaveh

Shabbat, 13 Adar, 5777

11 March, 2017

Shmoth 28.33 “And on its bottom hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson wool, on its bottom hem all around, and golden bells in their midst all around. 34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, on the bottom hem of the robe, all around. 35 It shall be on Aaron when he performs the service, and its sound shall be heard when he enters the Holy before the L-RD and when he leaves, so that he will not die. ”

A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, on the bottom hem of the robe, all around. פַּֽעֲמֹ֤ן זָהָב֙ וְרִמּ֔וֹן פַּֽעֲמֹ֥ן זָהָ֖ב וְרִמּ֑וֹן

It’s sound (pa’amon zahav v’rimon pa’amon zahav v’rimon) is essential and beneficial for the service going in and going out of the Holy of Holies.

This poses a question: Who shall hear the sound of the Golden Bells? HaShem or the Kohen HaGadol – (the High Priest)? Why not both? Why not those Chohanim / Leviim in attendance at the Mishkan/Baiyth HaMikhdash?

Exodus Chapter 39

26 “A bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, all around on the bottom hem of the robe, to serve as the L-RD had commanded Moses.” הַמְּעִ֖יל סָבִ֑יב לְשָׁרֵ֕ת כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה

to serve” – “it’s sound shall be heard” Exodus Chapter 28.35 “It shall be on Aaron when he performs the service, and its sound shall be heard when he enters the Holy before the L-RD and when he leaves, so that he will not die.”

Yochanan:

what does this come to teach? we must pay close attention to performance of every detail of the Torah even to it’s smallest sound – viz, “minutest detail” even the smallest thing provides a service, in this case, the sound of pa’amon zahav golden bells provides to the Kohen a focal point when he moves about in the Tabernacle/Temple so that he does not leave out any detail of the service. it’s sound serves to enhance or “beautify” the service. sharet (service) is related to shirot – songs (of the Levites, Shir Shel Yom).

a pomegranate (“Your lips are like a thread of scarlet, and your mouth is comely; your temple is like a piece of pomegranate within your locks”—ibid. 4:3). But while the apple represents Israel in a virtuous state, the pomegranate refers to the “hollow” or “empty ones amongst you.” As interpreted by the Talmud, the verse “your temple is like a piece of pomegranate” comes to say that “even the empty ones amongst you are full of good deeds as a pomegranate [is full of seeds].” (Rakah, the Hebrew word used by the verse for “temple,” is related to the word reik, “empty.” Thus, “your temple” is homiletically rendered “the empty ones amongst you.”)

kalta nafshi

my self is obliterated [Psalm 84:30]. This what our kabbalists called “bittul she-me’ever le-ta’am va-daat”, the ending of thought.

“to serve” – “it’s sound shall be heard” Exodus Chapter 39.26 Clarifies Parsha Tetzaveh (Exodus 28.35) :
what does this (shareth) come to teach? we must pay close attention to performance of every detail of the Torah even to it’s smallest sound – viz, “minutest detail” even the smallest thing provides a service, in this case, the sound of pa’amon zahav golden bells provides to the Kohen a focal point when he moves about, “to serve” in the Tabernacle/Temple so that he does not leave out any detail of the service. it’s sound serves to enhance or “beautify” the service. shareth (service) is related to shirot – songs (of the Levites, Shir Shel Yom).
This (“v’nishama kolo” it’s sound) implies that the Kohen should have a focus on the Oneness of the Holy One; as it says, “a Still Small Voice….” (Note: 28.35 is juxtaposed to 36 “And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and engrave upon it, like the engravings of a signet: HOLY TO THE L-RD.”
The Pa’amon Zahav were made of pure gold – 39.25 and pure, refined gold is a singular item used in the service of HaShem.) Like Tekeleth (the cord of blue) which teaches the Singularity or Oneness of HaShem’s Law, [as it says, “you shall have one law”]; Tahor Zahav teaches the Singularity or Oneness of the Holy One. (The Tzimzum – Smallness, Kalta Nafshi “Holiness” of HaShem….)

WATCH: Former Terrorist Speaks Out Against Palestinian State

WATCH: Former Terrorist Speaks Out Against Palestinian State

Masad was part of the infamous Fatah Black Panthers terror cell that carried out a number of terrorist attacks against Israel in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Mohammed Arif Masad, a former Palestinian terrorist turned peace activist, explains the dangers and hypocrisy of establishing a Palestinian Arab state in a new video released by the pro-Israel organizations Im Tirtzu and Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights.

In 1991, he was arrested by Israel and sentenced to jail after his terror cell conducted a failed mission to kidnap an IDF soldier.

He has since renounced terrorism and advocates for peace and against the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and all those who support it.

V’ahavta – “and you shall love…”

V’ahavta   וְאָהַבְתָּ

The following verses are commonly referred to as the V’ahavta according to the first word of the verse immediately following the Shema, or in Classical Hebrew V’ahav’ta meaning “and you shall love…”. They contain the command to love God with all one’s heart, soul, and might (Deuteronomy 6:5). The Talmud emphasizes that you will, at some point, whether you choose to or not, and therefore uses “shall” – future tense – love God.

Devarim 6.5 “And thou shalt love the L-RD thy G-D with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

Devarim 6.6 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; […]”.

Yochanan: upon thy heart: Meditate upon them continually; (as if they were a precious secret told between two lovers, as it says, “love is stronger than death.” Shir HaShirim 8.6) as the passuk (Y’hoshua 1.8) says, “And you shall meditate upon them day and night.” And as Melek David said,

“But his delight is in the law of the L-RD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” Tehillim 1.2 – וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ יֶהְגֶּה, יוֹמָם וָלָיְלָה. Yeehegeeh יֶהְגֶּה (to meditate) is related to the words Haggadah, Aggadah and Maggid מַגִּיד to tell or relate; to wit, to inspire, or even to “illuminate”. (a traditional Jewish religious itinerant preacher, skilled as a narrator of Torah and religious stories).

Y’hoshua 1.8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate וְהָגִיתָ (vehagitha) therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy ways prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” וְהָגִיתָ בּוֹ יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה

Shir HaShirim 8.6 Set me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thine arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave; the flashes thereof are flashes of fire, a very flame of the L-RD.

Shir HaShirim 8.7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, he would utterly be contemned.” {S}