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Lesson of Chukat

The Red Heifer, Kabbalah - Chukat

The lesson of Chukat opens with an explanations of how the impure and the unclean should be ritually cleansed with the ashes of a red heifer. Many commentators asks about the connection of the red heifer and the rest of the Bible. A surprising number of them conclude that we simply aren’t meant to understand what is being said here. But Kabalistically, not understanding what is being said here contradicts everything we know to be true, so obviously there is more to this than meets the eye. In a letter to Rav Berg, Rav Brandwein speaks about the two questions that Korach asked Moses: ” Must a talit ( prayer shawl) that is all blue have tzittzit ( fringes on the 4 corners) ? and ” Does a house that is full of only holy books need a Mezuzah?”  (more…)

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Lesson of Korach

The Punishment of Korah- by Sandro Botticelli (1480–1482) in the Sistine Chapel.

The Punishment of Korah- by Sandro Botticelli (1480–1482) in the Sistine Chapel.

In this story, we must ask ourselves a very hard question: Sine Korach was a great and righteous person, how could he have fallen so low and so quickly?

The Midrash says that it was all because of Korach’s Wife, who said to him something like, ” look, Moses has all the money. He says he’s building a tabernacle but actually he just wants the money for himself. Korach’s wife was constantly nagging him. It is written: ” A woman can build or a woman can destroy.”  (more…)

Lesson of Shlach Lecha

10spies

We know that the men who were sent to spy out the land of Canaan were not just the heads of the tribes. They were righteous souls or Moses would have not sent them. So why did they tell lies about the land in their reports to Moses? Both the Zohar and the Midrash explain that the spies were afraid of what would come and everyone would know the secrets of Creation, causing them to lose their power as the heads of their tribes since they would then be redundant.  (more…)

The Lesson of Naso

The 12 Tribes of Israel

The 12 Tribes of Israel

According to the Kabbalistic calender, the previous Story of Bamidbar is usually read on the Shabbat prior to the festival of Shavuot, while the story of Naso is usually read on Shabbat after the holiday. Why is this exact placement of Naso (around Shavuot) so important?

The sages have taught us that everything in the Bible has a deep but often hidden importance. For example, the placement of the large and small letters and the dots above the words and spaces are always significant, in every case revealing a special Light. The Bible is not a history book; the stories are not about what happened in Egypt or what happened in the desert. Rav Shimon, in the Zohar, warns us not to take these stories at face value. Thus there must be some significance to the timing of our reading of the story of Naso, In the Midrash, it is written that there is no “earlier’ or “later” in the Bible- everything has its exact time. Each Shabbat reading connects us with the unique power of the coming week. Because Naso is almost always read on the Shabbat after Shavuot, it has a certain power that connects to the energy of Shavuot- that if immortality, or the death of death itself- which we can then draw to ourselves for the entire year.  (more…)

The Lesson of Bamidbar

Desert- bamidbar- kabbalah

Bamidbar

Bamidbar in Aramaic means “in the desert”. We know that a desert is an abandoned place: anyone can go there and do whatever he or she desires. Throughout the generations, Kabbalists have gone into the desert for spiritual reasons. It was like going into the exile for a while – going to a place where there was nothing, so they could feel that they had nothing. Rav Berg says that one of the reasons Kabbalists went into the desert was because that is where Satan dwells, and so the desert is the place where we should build our Tabernacle. Our spiritual work is to bring Light to places where there is none.  (more…)

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