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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…)

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The Lesson of Beh’alotcha

Menorah- Kabbalah

The Secret of the Menorah 

The energy of the Sfirot, the ability to move between the upper and lower worlds. and the power of healing all residde in the Menorah. But the chapter of Beh’alotcha reveals another secret about the Menorah. After Moses told Aaron to light the Menorah, it is written: ” and Aaron said so”, as if, after Moses has asked him to do something for the creator, Aaron might have decided on his own to do something else instead. Why does the Bible have to tell us that Aaron, who was such a high spiritual level, did as he was commanded? If Moses were to come down and tell us to do something it is unlikely that we would change his order to do something else, so someone who was on Aaron’s spiritual level definitely wouldn’t counterman any of Moses’ instructions.  (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 Tazria- Metzorah

Lashon hara

Lashon hara

 

Tazria

The Chapter of Tazria describes afflictions of the skin and reveals the cause of these afflictions  Most people are very careful about what goes into their mouths, but how many are careful about what emerges from their mouths.? what we say can be as negative and destructive as bad food is for our bodies. In Aramaic, the word for leprosy (tzara’at) correlates to the verbal negativity, as in evil speech ( lashon hara). But negativity in speech isn’t limited to what we actually say; it can also relate to what we don’t say, what we hear, what we don’t hear. The fact is, most of the time we talk and talk and talk, but we don’t listen to what other people are telling us.

The importance of listening to others is something that people on high spiritual level have always understood. Regardless of whether people are right or wrong, we have a responsibility to listen to them. If we don’t fulfill responsibility, how can we expect others to listen to us?  (more…)

The Lesson of Shemot

exodus

The Story of Exodus is not really about an exodus, but rather, it deals with the matters leading to the exodus- that of entering into the land of Egypt. The sages have taught us that the word Egypt (Mitzrayim) does not refer to the physical land of Egypt but is in fact a code for “exile” (galut). In other words, Mitzrayim refers to our personal “galut” – to the slavery of illness, pain, and suffering that we have to undergo; to those aspects of life that cause us distress and chaos.

So when Jacob enters Egypt, we understand this to mean that when we consciously choose to enter our exile- our chaos- with the understanding that this is  a process, it is not an end in itself, and the chaos we experience exists because of a correction ( tikkun) made necessary from from our prior choices  we have made and actions we have taken. Once we understand this exile- this chaos- for what it is, we ca immediately get out of it.  (more…)

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