Sunday, October 11, 2009

#47 - Happy NEW Torah Year

I am thinking of Simchat Torah - means happiness of the Torah - as it is being celebrated taking place back in my hometown in South Florida at this very time as I am writing this, considering the fact that in Israel, it is six hours ahead on the clock. But unlike here in Israel where only one day of the Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah holiday is celebrated the way that the Torah says it is observed on the 22nd of Tishrei; outside of Israel, it is celebrated for an additional day. While I used to enjoy two day holidays, the only such time that this happens in Israel is Rosh Hashanah where it is observed for two days even though the Torah says it is observed only for one day.

The basic premise behind this has to do with when the New Moon was sighted and how soon word spread. Without modern technology, the old fashioned way was lighting torches on top of mountains in Israel, and within a short time, everyone knew when the New Moon was cited - on the 30th or 31st day from the last Rosh Chodesh - New Moon Day, and thus any holidays occuring during that coming month was already known to be on what day of the week, without having a calendar beforehand. However, outside of Israel, word of when the moon was sighted took time to spread, even to the Jewish community in Babylonia, which at one time was full of Torah scholars. In light of this, two days of any given holiday had to be celebrated without performing work like on the Sabbath (with the exception of certain things related to cooking) as at times they did not know when on which of two days that the New Moon was cited. In time, it was decreed that outside of Israel, two days of any given holiday (except for Yom Kippur because fasting would be almost impossible for two days) would be observed even with the current Jewish calendar. And hence, as Rosh Hashanah is at the beginning of the month of Tishrei, even in Israel it was not always known on the 30th day of the month from Rosh Chodesh Elul as to whether that day was the 1st of Tishrei - the biblical date of Rosh Hashanah - or the following 31st day, based on when the moon would be sighted; and thus, even in Israel, we observe two days of Rosh Hashanah.

I have more to write about the moon, particularly of an event that took place pertaining to it on Hoshana Rabba. But first, I would like to note that today - 23 Tishrei - the day following Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah as observed in Israel, marks my one year anniversary of I did not know at the time how it would lead, but it seems that I wrote a post almost once a week on average. In the beginning, I had quite a few things that I wanted to write about immediately, which I wrote as seperate posts; but as time went on, I had planned in advance of the next piece that I would write. Sometimes, it really helped to think of things in advance, and then quite often, I think of additional things to write on the spot, proving my original points that I had in mind before writing.

Actually, there is a connection between the moon and writing my Gematriot blogspot. You see, every month, the moon RENEWS itself, and hence a month is called Chodesh which is based on the word Chadash/New. This is music to my ear, because I was born on a Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of a Jewish month when usually, the moon is not able to be sighted as it is "reborn".
And when we write NEW thoughts pertaining to Torah that we think of, they are called Chiddushim (Chidush in singular), bearing the same basic root word.

There is a Sefer called Chok L'Yisrael that has a portion of Torah for daily learning, which includes the three parts of the T'nach/Bible - Chumash, Prophets & Writings, Mishna, Gemara & Zohar, as there is an obligation for a man (women do not have the Mitzva of learning Torah like men do, though they also have an obligation to learn the parts of Torah that tells us how to observe Judaism, including the Halachot/Jewish laws) to learn Torah every day (technically both in the daytime & nightime). The more the better of course, but there is a minimum amount of time that we are supposed to set aside every day for learning Torah.

In view of this, the very first piece of Zohar in this Chok L'Yisrael that is apportioned for the first day of the week of Parshat Bereishit - which is today - is on this very theme of composing Chiddushim (also called Chidushei Torah) of Torah. As it starts of with: "Bereishit - Rabbi Shimon open his discourse (with the following words): "And I will put My words in your mouth" (Isaiah 51:16)". Hence, especially if we learn Torah for the right reason, which means because Hashem told us to do so, rather than for reasons of money, fame, power, etc., then Hashem will give us Divine Assistance in our Torah learning, which will result in us coming up with Chiddushim.

I am not going to start going through this whole piece of Zohar. But I do want to mention that in reference to this theme, it talks about SEVENTY crowns, SEVENTY thousand worlds, and that "No EYE has seen it besides You G-d" (Isaiah 64:3), as the Hebrew word for eye is Ayin which is the word for the letter Ayin which is the Gematria of SEVENTY. And as we know, we are presently in the Hebrew year which is the number Hei Tav Shin AYIN - 5770 - Five Thousand Seven Hundred SEVENTY.

Perhaps the number SEVENTY is the Zohar's best number friend. You see, the holiest part of the Zohar is called Tikunei HaZohar, which explains the first word of the Torah - Bereishit - in SEVENTY ways. As Kabbalah, whose main book of the Zohar is called the "Secrets of the Torah", the word Sod/Secret is the Gematria of SEVENTY. And if this would not be enough, the Aramaic word for SEVENTY, the language of the Zohar, is Shav'in, the last three letters of which spells the word Ayin, the same word for the letter Ayin that equals SEVENTY!

Indeed, the very last words of the Torah or Chumash are L'Einei Kol Yisrael - "Before the EYES of all Israel". Bearing in mind that Hashem went around to the 70 nations of the world before giving the Torah to the Jews to give them a chance to accept the Torah who all refused the offer, they instead have claims in various religions where one person, whether Jesus, Mohammed, or whatever other nothing who claimed that G-d or whatever Supernal Being appeared to him, and based on this, a whole new religion was invented. It is true that at first, Moses had to convince the Jews that G-d appeared to him promising them redemption from Egypt, but when He actually gave the Torah to them, it was indeed "before the EYES of all Israel" (the original context actually refers to Moses doing the different miracles as G-d's messenger). Ultimately, the Jews are supposed to be the EYES for the SEVENTY nations, leading and showing the way of living a moral and humanistic life, the way that the Torah says.

Also as related to this year, we are now in the 312th year from the birth of the legendary Ba'al Shem Tov, founder of the Chasidic movement, whose name is Yisrael, which is also the very last word of the Chumash and the word Chodesh/month or Chadash/new is the Gematria of 312. But also to note, the name Yisrael itself is related to the Torah, because the letters of this name spell the words Yesh Shishim Reebo Otiyot L'Torah - "There are 60 myriad (600,000) letters
to the Torah". Now mind you, there are in fact only 304,805 letters in the Chumash, making up just a little over half of the 600,000 amount. There are explanations given to this, but the bottom line is that just like if one letter is missing or defective in the Sefer Torah/Torah Scroll and that scroll is then invalid for public reading until corrected; so too, if one Jew is missing, especially defective, it is a loss to the Jewish community at large, as we Jews are considered all as one soul or body.

Hence, we can learn from this a great lesson of unity and love among Jews, and regardless of our varied backgrounds, we need to feel the pain of a Jew suffering, even and especially if there is technically nothing we can physically do to help. This is in fact what the Ba'al Shem Tov wanted to instill in the Jewish people, and the ultimate goal of the Chasidic movement is to bring Jews closer to Judaism without judging others based on their background, culture or how they look. Hence, even those who have a limited knowledge of Judaism can also come up with Chidushei Torah - NEW Torah thoughts that have occured to them as they may look at Judaism at an angle based on their life experience that almost no one else can relate to. Hence, we ultimately all need each other - the seasoned Torah scholar with the one who knows only how to dance on Simchat Torah only because he knows that he is a Jew who also teaches us a lesson in being happy as a Jew who has the unique privilege of serving Hashem that most other people in this universe who are not Jewish do not have.

While many more know about the Zohar, and some will know about the 70 explanations of the Zohar on the first word/first verse of Bereishit, few will know that there is a similar type of work composed in the 1700s by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (Ramchal), called Tikunim Chadashim
which means NEW Tikunim. This body of work consists of 70 kabbalistic explanations based on the last verse of the Chumash - "By all the strong hand and awesome power that MOSHE performed before the EYES of all Israel". Like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, Rabbi Luzzato was visited by Heavenly Beings from which resulted this work.

Speaking of the last verse of the Chumash, this verse consists of 47 letters. As this is my 47th Gematriot post, there is another very significant thing about the number 47 relating to Gematria. In fact, I had mentioned the source in relationship to this in my 45th post, as I mentioned the verse from which we learn the concept of Gematriot. "For it is not an empty thing for you, for it is your life", is the beginning of the 47th verse of Parshat Ha'azinu, Moshe's final message to the Jewish people before blessing them, these words in Hebrew being the Gematria of the word Gematriot, which is 679.

Now, while I had mentioned in my previous post that there are 54 Parshiyot in the Torah, there are times when we read two Parshiyot on one Shabbat in order that the Torah can be completed by Simchat Torah, especially when the Jewish year consists of only 50 weeks and a few days. In total, you can have up to seven Shabbatot of reading two Parshiyot. Hence, the least amount of Torah readings in a year that make up the annual Torah reading cycle are 47, the last of which is Parshat V'Zot HaBeracha, the last verse of which consists of 47 letters!

The following will connect the above concepts of Bereishit, the New Moon, Jews vs nations of the world, land of Israel, and the Mitzva of learning Torah. This can be found in the very first Rashi of the Torah - on Bereishit. Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki) quotes as follows: Rabbi Yitzchak said: The Torah should have really begun from the first Mitzva given to the Jewish nation - the Mitzva of sanctifying the New Moon based on sighting the moon (since the ultimate purpose of the Torah is that we follow its commandments). If so, then why does it start instead from Bereishit - the accounting of creation? This is to show the nations of the world that should they contest the Jews' rights to the land of Israel, that the Jews can reply back that it is Hashem who runs the show, and it is He who gives the land to whom He sees fit to give it to.

It's interesting to note that the Gematria of Rabbi Yitzchak, the very first rabbi whom Rashi mentions in his commentary on the Torah, is the number 420, and the Mitzvah of Talmud
Torah - learning/teaching Torah is the 420 Mitzvah/Commandment of the Torah! Maybe then the question can be asked - how come the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah is not the first Mitzvah of the Torah?

In the same vein, the question has been asked? How come Hashem did not give the Torah to mankind right from the start? It took close to 2,450 years of the slated 6,000 years of this world's existance to give the Torah to a small percentage of the world's population. In fact, had Adam & Eve been given the Torah before being told not to eat from the tempting tree, maybe they would not have sinned?

It seems that Hashem had a plan. True, Adam & Eve did have free choice, but so was the temptation great. Hashem knew beforehand exactly what was going to occur, and perhaps had it been a different couple with perhaps souls of a higher spiritual source, maybe they would not have sinned. But Hashem in fact wanted a world that would have all sorts of pitfalls, troubles, and temptations. He just wanted to give a chance to a couple of people who could have avoided all this, so that later no one can say that Hashem was not fair. And the truth is that we do all kinds of sins, and Hashem still is relatively kind to us not only providing for all of our needs, but that He constantly gives us a chance to repent, as long as we are conscious and breathing.

With this being said, Hashem wanted to give the Torah under circumstances that would separate the men from the boys. It is not just another nice piece of wisdom - it is a special gift that only the few deserved for which much preparation was needed towards this goal. As it was, there were individuals right from the beginning of time who learned Torah, beginning with Adam to the Jews, especially the Levites, in Egypt. But spiritually, it wasn't given in a way that bound the person to Hashem, that was strictly a voluntary thing. It only became official, it only became obligatory, it only infused sanctity into a physical object only when Hashem finally gave the Torah to the Jewish people on Mt. Sinai.

And so the same seems to apply to the order of the Mitzvot in which the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah is not taught as an official Mitzvah in the Torah until the midst of Moshe's discourse in his final days, consisting of the last 199 Mitzvot of the Torah. It was only after Moshe teaching the Jews for nearly 40 years that they were truly able to appreciate Torah for what it is. And so, the Mitzvah of sanctifying the new moon, which in effect is giving the Jewish people power over time to determine when the new month begins, instead of Hashem so to speak, should have been the first thing mentioned in the Torah, since the Jewish people are in fact the sole purpose of the world's existance, as the Torah was doing fine in Heaven until it had to be given to the Jewish people. And so, it would only make sense for the Torah to start off with a Mitzvah that shows that it is only thanks to us that the world was even created.

However, there is something even more important than this. The first thing we have to remember is that Hashem is the Creator of the world; and hence, the only reason we live in a certain place is because this is what Hashem wills, regardless of how logical or illogical it may seem to anyone else. And not only do we need to be a fitting receptacle to receive the Torah, of which part of this process was our slavery and redemption from Egypt, so too do we need a land that would be a fitting place for us Jews to live in - a tiny country about which not everyone can agree as to what it should be called, and is picked on at a daily basis by the Christian believing world media who read one thing in the Bible about our rights to the Holy Land, but present how they feel it should be inhabited in a very different way. Thus, it is through these types of challenges that we received the Torah and we presently observe the Torah. And even if it seems to some that it is easier to observe Judaism in the United States where first of all there is supposed to be freedom of religion and be in a good financial position to keep its commandments, yet one cannot be a complete observing Jew without living in the land that Hashem to live in it.

True, Hashem created the whole world, but so did he create so many more people than Jews. Ultimately, if we do Hashem's part, then Hashem will do His part, and have the non-Jews in their own lands to help support us. Even if it seems that it is harder to observe Judaism in Israel because of let's say, financial reasons, we have to remember that Hashem put us in this world originally to observe His Mitzvot in the midst of a troublesome, confusing, and challenging world.
Otherwise, we could just learn Torah in Heaven, but in order that we should not feel ashamed of basking in Hashem's Divine Presence without earning it, we were put in a situation that will test us and if we overcome our tempations and challenges in doing His Mitzvot, then this is our whole purpose of living in this world.

Yes, there will always be those nay sayers - non-Jews or non-observant Jews - who will tell us that we are not living with reality, and that today, things are different in a newly constructed world, but if anything, this is all the more reason to be able to do what Hashem tells us to do, as we now have modern technology that help us observe Judaism at a whole new level, using modern technology teaching Torah to other Jews, as I am attempting to do so here.


1) Chevlei Moshiach/Birthpangs of the Messiah

For those who have been following my blogs, you will recall that I made a forcast based on the Hidden Codes of the Torah to be showing that this frightening time would begin during Sukkot of this year 5770. Yet, it seems that nothing terrible happened to us Jews during this time, at least openly, thank G-d. Unlike others who may make predictions because they may seem to have some sort of prophecy, ESP, or whatever else you call it, all I did what to reveal what I saw in the matrix of the Hidden Codes. In fact, I fearlessly specified the 6th day of Succot, without worry about whether or not anything would occur on this particular day.

I must say without apology that in fact, there is supporting evidence to what I wrote - regardless or not if anything seemed to have occured on this day, which I did not realize offhand myself. During the holiday, I came across a Sefer of mine that is a collection of sources talking about the events that will occur at the end of days. Among these sources is what is called the Midrash Eliyahu which details these events that will occur, including specific dates in the year. Lo and behold, the very first date mentioned is the 20th of Tishrei, which is the 6th day of Succot! In reference to this, it mentions a king who is described as the least distinguished of the kings, the "son of a handmaid" with detailed descriptions of how he looks, "and is destined to send his hand on that day against the faithful nation (Jews)".

My friends, I think that this king is best described as Obama, who is without any substantial credentials other than the fact that he is a licensed lawyer, but for the legal qualification of being a U.S. president, has yet to prove that he is even American born by showing his genuine birth certificate. In fact, until a few years ago at best, he was hardly known to the American public, and all of a sudden, boom! He was given all green lights to march right into the White House, winning more votes for the Democratic candidacy than Hillary Clinton, wife of a former U.S. President, a NY Senator, and a seasoned lawyer.

I want to thank Devorah from http://www.shiratdevorah.blogspot/ who before Succot publicized my piece of Chevlei Moshiach as I saw in the Hidden Codes of the Torah. And now, she quoted from someone else who brings this very Midrash that I just quoted from. While we may not know what is happening behind closed doors, you will see the quotes from this Midrash as to things that have already occured as alluded to in this Midrash, and it will just be a matter of time until everything is revealed to us as to how everything occured as quoted.

2) Obama won Nobel Peace Prize on the morning of Hoshana Rabba

This is perhaps the most significant thing that has happened with Obama since his ascendancy to the United States presidency. It's not that he is just the president of the country that is looked up to or looked down upon in jealousy by some Moslem Arab groups as the world power, he now won a peace prize that was voted for by various nations - not just the American public who want a certain president - to be THE ONE to be the peace winner of 2009, the year that he became U.S. president. Now tell me folks, name me one U.S. president who won a Nobel Peace Prize, or at least within the first year of presidency. My friends, he has barely accomplished anything in the way of peace, at least in terms of the Middle East, except to halt construction in "settlements" in Israel, and helping to push give at least the eastern part of Jerusalem to the Arabs. But Obama winning the peace prize is itself not the big tragedy - it's that first of all, the ones from other ountries who voted him for the peace prize look up to him, and that now, he will be looked up to by the world - especially the Anti-Semitic world - as the world leader, the results of which can be FAR MORE DISASTEROUS than just being a U.S. president. Yes my friends, 6th day of Succot or 7th day of Succot - what has happened now is what can lead, G-d forbid, to Obama fulfilling the role of Gog U'Magog to be the one to fight Israel, leading the other nations in doing so.

To come to think of it, it was exactly eight years ago on the night of Hoshana Rabba when the United States began battle in Afghanistan following the events of 9/11, which is considered to be the Gog U'Magog war according to Kabbalists. At that time, President Bush was looked up to as a hero fighting for the United States' rights. I guess you can't win a peace prize for fighting a war, unless your name is Barack Hussein Obama. I wonder what Obama would have done with Saddam Hussein who was captured under the direction of President Bush had Saddam still been alive today. But don't worry, as long as Obama is fighting Israel while embracing Netanyahu, he doesn't look so terrible. You see, he will have others do the actual dirty work, while he will sit back in his office pretending that he is working in the best interest of Israel as long as it complies with the "peace" agreement.

3) Bombing the moon on Hoshana Rabba

While in the news, it has nothing to do with Jews or Israel, in fact, this event has EVERYTHING to do with Jews. The Talmud tells us that the Jews are compared to the moon (Succah 29a) and that in the future, we will be renewed like the moon which renews itself every month (Sanhedrin 42a). The very first Mitzvah that Moses commanded the Jews while yet in Egypt was that of the sanctification of the month based on sighting the New Moon.

Hitting the moon to extract water from the moon's frozen surface can be looked upon in one of two ways in reference to us Jews. It can either signify, G-d forbid, about coming events in the near future, or that the moon took the hit instead of us, the same way that a sin-offering sacrifice was brought in the Temple to atone for one's sins, signifying that it is the animal who is being killed instead of the sinner, who in fact deserved automatic death for his sin, but Hashem gives us all a chance to repent as long as we are conscious and breathing. Today, there is a custom of performing what is called Kapparot on Erev Yom Kippur, ritually slaughtering a fowl in lieu of us being killed by G-d for our sins.

The significance of this event taking place on Hoshana Rabba goes way beyond this. You see, on Succot, we invite seven Heavenly guests, called Ushpizin in Aramaic, in our Succah - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph & David. On each of these seven days of Succot, one of these guests, respectively, is highlighted as the guest of the day. Hence, the guest of the 7th day of Succot, Hoshana Rabba, is King David. The famous phrase David Melech Yisrael Chai V'Kayam - "David King of Israel lives on and exists" was originally used as a password to note the sighting of the New Moon, as recounted in the Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 25a). In fact, this phrase is the Gematria of Rosh Chodesh/New Moon (819). (Note: In this instance, Chodesh is spelled with a Vav to come to the total of this Gematria, though in the entire T'nach, this word is always spelled without a Vav). Also to note, King David was the 14th generation from Abraham, the patriarch of the Jewish race. The 30th generation from Abraham was the last king of Judea of Davidic descent - King Zedekiah - whose kingship ended around the time of the destruction of the first Temple. Thus, King David's reign signifies the moon which is virtually a full moon on the 14th of the month while the ending of the Davidic kingship for the time being signified the waning of the moon at the end of the month. Hence, as the Jews are compared to the moon, it only makes sense to compare the reign of the king of the Jewish nation to the moon.

Now, the purpose of bombing the moon was to extract water from the moon's frozen surface. During the seven days of Succot, Hashem judges the world for its annual water supply. Towards this end, we have special prayers that we recite especially on Hoshana Rabba, which means the "big salvation" that are called Hoshanot/salvation prayers in which we mention Hashem as providing water to Jews in past history. While we also say Hoshanot prayers during the first six days of Succot, we don't mention about water for the most part, and are short prayers compared to the prayers that we recite on Hoshana Rabba.

The Talmud tells us (Ta'anit 7a) that the Torah is compared to water. It's interesting to note that while Christians have a Bible that says straight out that Israel was given to the Jews, many of them get swept away with saying biased statements against Israel in the media, making us Jews sound like the aggressors who are giving problems to the Palestinians - who are not Christians by the way but Moslem Arabs some of whom are outright terrorists who could care less about Christians either - not allowing them to live in "their" land, which happens to be within the midst of our G-d given territory. Hence, these non-Jews are in essence capsizing our Torah, and using it as a basis for their beliefs claiming that we are the ones who are not following the Torah, or that it is not relevant to us Jews unless we accept their "savior". But as we know, the only real Savior is Hashem, who will send us Moshiach as His messenger, who is going to be a descendant of King David.

It is also most significant that this moon event took place in this Hebrew year of 5770. You see, the word Hoshanot includes the letters of this Hebrew year - Hei, Tav, Shin, Ayin. In fact, the Hebrew year itself can be read, in addition to what I wrote in the 45th post that it can read "THE NINE", it can also be read as Teshua/victory or salvation, which is quoted in (Samuel II 19:3) in reference to King David of all people, saying that the victory that King David had in not being chased by his rebel son Absalom's guys anymore turned into mourning when he found out that his son Absalom was killed. We now await the upcoming salvation as mentioned in the verse that is quoted as phrases near the end of the Hoshanot prayers on Hoshana Rabba, "He (Hashem) is a tower of His king's salvations, and does kindness to His anointed one, to David and his offspring, forever" (Samuel II 22:51). Note that this verse is the 51th and last verse of the chapter of King David's song to Hashem in thanks for saving him in battle. The name of this day of Hoshana Rabba includes the syllable Na, which means please or now, asking Hashem to please save us now. It also signifies the Gematria of 51, because it is the 51st day from Rosh Chodesh Elul when Hashem revealed to Moses the 13 Attributes of Mercy which we used in our prayers to invoke Hashem's mercies for us.


Preparing for the Succot holiday involves work of labor building a Succah in the midst of picking out a Kosher Lulav & Etrog. Though it would seem a simple thing to build a booth - there are 17 chapters in the Shulchan Aruch/Code of Jewish Law, pertaining to this. In building the main part of the Succah what is known as the Schach - the branches on the roof of the Succah, it must be something that is presently detached from the tree. Thus, if the branches that are on the Succah are still attached to the tree, the Succah is invalid for the Mitzvah of dwelling in a Succah. Now let's say that in such an instance, the branches are then cut off, and now it looks like any other Succah with its branches on the roof. It is now a kosher Succah, right? I'm sorry
my friend, but the Succah is not kosher at this point. The Shulchan Aruch tells us that these branches have to be taken off the roof, and then placed once again to render the Succah valid. This is learned out from the verse Chag HaSuccot Ta'aseh Lecha - "The holiday of Succot you shall make for yourself" (Deutronomy 16:13). The rabbis learn from here that Ta'aseh - "You shall make" that YOU shall make the branches for the roof of the Succah, and not that it is something that is already made.

While Succot is now over, the lessons of it are applicable throughout the year. In today's push button society, everything is instantaneous, using electricity or battery controlled items to give us instant usage and gratification without having to wait for long. Who would have thought like a hundred years ago that you can get money from your bank account 24/7 minus the boogeyman waiting to attack someone with cash? And so, we expect everything these days to be made, to be all prepared without hardly lifting more than a finger.

However, when it comes to real work, genuine effort has to be made to accomplish thing, the good 'ol fashioned way. While microwave cooking can seem to save time, produce are more robbed of its nutrients than when cooked more like the natural way. And the same applies to spiritual matters. We have to make the effort to accomplish the Mitzvah ourselves, and not take an easy route of just snipping off a branch and presto. We have to physically take the fallen branch following severance from the tree and place it ourselves on the Succah.

The above phrase from which we learn this out is found as the end, which is also the Maftir, for Parshat Re'eh (the 47th Parsha of the Torah, and this is my 47th post). This Parsha is always read either on Shabbat Mevarchim Elul - the Shabbat preceding Rosh Chodesh Elul, or on Rosh Chodesh Elul itself. However, this is never read on Sukkot itself. Outside of Israel where two day holidays are observed, part of the latter portion of this Parsha speaking of the holidays is read on the first day of Shemini Atzeret, which is technically no longer Succot, which proves my point that the lessons we learn out from Succot are applicable throughout the year. And while in Israel, this section of the Torah is never read except as part of the weekly Torah reading right at the dawn of the month of Elul when we better prepare ourselves for the New Year when Hashem starts judging us; outside of Israel, this is also read on Pesach, Shavuot & Shemini Atzeret, where the holiness of Israel is missing and thus more preparation is needed and more holy days are needed to be in the same frame of mind as of those who live in the Holy Land.

I had mentioned in the "THE NINE" post which focuses on the significance on the number of this Hebrew year of 5770, that the word Ta'aseh has the same letters as the letters of this Hebrew year in reference to working on the six days of the week in preparation for Shabbat. There is a similar wording to the word Ta'aseh written in the Torah in reference to Shabbat where the word is read as Tei'a'seh. In the beginning of Parshat Vayakhel where the rabbis tell us that Hashem told Moshe to have public gatherings on Shabbat to teach them the Torah, which began with the laws of Shabbat, it says Sheishet Yomim Tei'a'seh Melacha - "You shall work for six days" and then rest on Shabbat. This same phrase can be found in the Torah reading for the 2nd day of Passover and the 1st day of Succot (first two days outside of Israel). This year, I was fortunate to receive the 2nd Aliyah, the portion read for the Levi, which includes this phrase in which is included the word Tei'a'seh, whose letters are the same as the number of this Hebrew year - Hei, Tav, Shin, Ayin - 5770.

In a similar vein, these same letters make up the word "nine" or "the nine", depending on how these letters are arranged. The nine months of pregnancy are the preparatory stage for the baby to be born, and the birthpangs of Moshiach are compared to the final labor stages of the woman giving birth. Thus, we have to prepare ourselves now for the coming of Moshiach which will be happening very shortly if not today, and what is happening in this world which may not always be painful free is for our good in spiritually preparing us for this moment in time. On an individual basis, we hope that Hashem will spare us the worst of what is foretold in the prophecies.

But the main thing is that if we want Hashem to be good to us, we have to do our part and not simply rely on Hashem because we are part of the "Chosen Nation". If anything, as the Chosen Nation, we have to choose to be good and set an example for the rest of the world. The problem in the past is that Jews thought that by hiding their Jewishness, it would solve problems, but quite the contrary happened, especially when non-Jews saw that Jews were more like the non-Jews than the non-Jews themselves, thus arousing their jealousy, especially when it came to money. As it says right prior to the slavery of the Jews in Egypt - Vayakam Melech Chadash - "A NEW king arose who did not know Joseph" who could care less about the accomplishments of Joseph from the Hebrews who saved the present generation's parents and grandparents from starvation of a famine. He could care less that the Jews followed in his suit when Pharaoh himself began building and then the Jews fell into the booby trap of working on the building as well, and then this was used against them, when the taskmasters counted the amount of bricks that any particular Jew eagerly built on that first fateful day, and that was the same amount of bricks that that Jew had to build every single day.

Hence, on Succot, we leave our permanent structures and live in the temporary booth, relying on Hashem's protection, showing that we have full faith and trust only in Hashem, - the real IN G-D WE TRUST - and not in the money on which these words are written and certainly not in some leader who promises changes and the only changes he makes are for the worse, and then is awarded a peace prize. As we say in our Shabbat prayers - HaPoreis Sukkat Shalom Aleinu V'Al Kol Yisrael V'Al Yeushalayim - "The One (Hashem) who spreads the Succah/booth of PEACE over us and all of Israel and Jerusalem". May we see this happening as reality very soon. Amen.

23 Tishrei 5770

1 comment:

Devorah said...

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