Friday, June 3, 2011

#107 - Jerusalem From The Beginning of Time

Beginning this post today - which is Rosh Chodesh Sivan, my focus will also be on the fact that today is the 45th day of the Sephira. You see, two days ago, Yom Yerushalayim/Jerusalem Day began the 45th year since Jerusalem's Liberation. I certainly was not able to write everything in one day, or even in one post for that matter, for that would have taken too long. But most importantly, we need a separate post for today's topic because while there will be some connections of the contents in this post with the previous one, this deserves its separate attention.

The number 45 is a most special number. Well for one thing, it is the Gematria of one of the formats of Hashem's name when the letters of the names of the four letters of YKVK is spelled out. But for today's purposes, it is also the Gematria of the name of the first human being - Adam. And what makes the 45th day of the Sephira in this year be most significant, besides being in the beginning of Jerusalem's 45 year, but this also falls out on the sixth day of the week - the day of the week that Adam, whose name is the Gematria of 45, was created! Moreover, as it has been pointed out, there are exactly 45 words for the Shir Shel Yom/Song of the Day (Psalm 93) that was sung by the Levites in the Temple on Friday, corresponding to Adam, whose name is the Gematria of 45, who was created on this day.

To note for a minute, the kabbalistic Sephira for the 45th day of the Sephira is Tiferet She'B'Malchut - Beauty within Kingship. Indeed, this psalm for Friday begins with YKVK (Hashem) Malach Geiut Laveish - "Hashem has reigned, dressed with pride", symbolizing the very concept of the beauty of clothes, especially as it pertains to a king, as noted in the following words of this first verse. Now, looking at the first letters of these first four words in Hebrew, these spell the word Gimel, the name of the third letter of the Alef Beit. Accordingly, today's Sephira is the third day of this week of Malchut/kingship.

Now, as to how kingship relates to Adam, the first person, who was created on Friday, we know that the head is called "the king of the limbs" since it is on top of the body and its brain inside directs the bodily activities. Accordingly, Adam was in essence the king of the human beings since he is the ancestor of all mankind, and the whole world belonged to him, since at first, it was only Adam & Eve. Also, when there is an event for which the king shows up, everything else is prepared for that final moment when the king finally shows his face. Accordingly, Hashem created everything else in this world until they were completed; and then and only then when everything was ready for Adam, did Hashem create him and fed him the breath of life.

Now, the word Rosh/head is also used to describe the first day of the month - Rosh Chodesh - as well as the first day of the year - Rosh Hashanah. Now, the truth is that nowadays, Rosh Chodesh can sometimes be two days - the last day of the first month and the first day of the second month which occurs around every other month, and Rosh Hashanah is celebrated on the first two days of Tishrei. The reason why we celebrate these days like this is because of the early times when the new month was determined upon witnessing the new moon, but the day in question was not called Rosh Chodesh until the Jewish court officially declared it as such, and at that, it took time for people - even just in Israel - to find out the Jewish court's decision. Hence, when a Jewish month consists of 30 days, two days of Rosh Chodesh are celebrated, since theoretically, if we were to have the new month declared with the witnessing of the moon and all, the 30th day would possibly be the first day of the coming month. Likewise, since Rosh Hashanah - the only holiday of the Torah to occur on Rosh Chodesh (of Tishrei) - faces the same issue, when the Jewish calendar was set up in lieu of the sanctification of the moon, it was arranged that the first two days of Tishrei would be Rosh Hashanah, though in the Torah, Rosh Hashanah is only on the first day of Tishrei.

Traditionally, the 1st of Tishrei - which we today observe as Rosh Hashanah - was the date of the creation of mankind. Hence, it was on the date of what is now ROSH Hashanah, that the ROSH of mankind was created - which in effect includes both Adam & Eve, since they were the ancestor - the head(s) - of all human beings. And in the Jewish calendar, bearing in mind that the name Adam is the Gematria of 45, the 45th day of the Sephirah falls out on ROSH Chodesh Sivan! Hence, we see that the concept of Rosh/head is especially highlighted on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. And as it falls out in some years, including this year, this date falls out on the sixth day of the week (Friday), the same day of the week as Adam was created (Note: In today's Jewish calendar, the 1st of Tishrei never falls out on the sixth day of the week due to Halachic technicalities). AND IN THIS YEAR, Rosh Chodesh Sivan - the 45th day of the Sephira - falling out on the day of the week that Adam, whose name is the Gematria of 45, was created, OCCURS IN THE 45th YEAR FROM THE LIBERATION OF THE HOLIEST AREA IN THE WORLD!

As we know, this holiest area in the world is the grounds of the Beit HaMikdash/Holy Temple, may it be speedily rebuilt in our days. With this being said, both the Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 14) and the Zohar (Volume 1, page 34) state that Adam was created from the earth from where the Beit HaMikdash would be built. This is to note that is was Adam specifically - not Eve who was later created from Adam's rib - who was created from the Holy Temple grounds.

Being that this year, the third day from this Yom Yerushalayim which began the 45th day of the Holy Temple grounds is the 45th day of the Sephira, I am reminded of a verse in the Tanach/Bible "He (Hashem) will revive us in two days, ON THE THIRD DAY He will raise us up and we will live in front of Him" (Hosea 6:2). To be sure, there are various interpretations on this verse. Rashi, considered the best commentary on the Torah, writes that the two days refers to the first two Temples which were destroyed, and THE THIRD DAY refers to the future THIRD TEMPLE. According to Targum Yonatan (an Aramaic translation of the Prophets written by Yonatan Ben Uziel from around 2,000 years ago), the two days refers to the future Redemption and THE THIRD DAY refers to Techiyat HaMeitim/Resurrection of the Dead.

Hence, in a figurative sense, we have three days here, in this year beginning and ending with the number 45 - Yom Yerushalayim which is 28 Iyar, 29 Iyar - the end of the month of Iyar, and Rosh Chodesh Sivan which is 1 Sivan. Just like in the verse, the first two days are in one category and the third day is in another category, so too in this case, the first two days are the end days of Iyar and the third day is the beginning of a new month.

Now, taking the interpretions of both Rashi & the Targum of THE THIRD DAY - the Third Temple and the Resurrection of the Dead, we already mentioned that Adam was created from the earth of the future grounds of the Temple. And just as Hashem had the ability from the beginning of time to create a human being from the earth - and to note by the way that the name Adam is based on the word Adamah/earth - and instill life into him; so too in the End of Days, people will be resurrected back to life, being created anew from the earth to be instilled with life once more.

As we mentioned from the Targum about both the Redemption and the Resurrection, these two concepts are the last two of the 13 Principles of Faith as laid out by the Rambam/Maimonides. One who does not believe in these concepts is considered by the rabbis as a disbeliever in the Torah, since these are fundamental beliefs of Judaism. In fact, one who does not believe in the Resurrection, among other categories of sinners, will not merit to be revived in the Resurrection.

Now, making the connection between the beginning of days and the end of days of this 6,000 year period of this world's existance, the letters of the name Adam begin the names of Adam, David, and Moshiach. The significance of this is that since Adam sinned with the eating of the forbidden fruit, it would take his descendants - his fruit being what descended from him as fruit are descended or grows from a tree - to rectify his sin. As it turns out, from his originally alloted 1,000 years, he granted 70 years from this to King David, who was destined to live for only three hours - as Hashem showed Adam the future of his descendants, hence having lived for 930 years as written in the Chumash/Penteteuch, and in turn, the Messiah is supposed to be a descendant of King David.

We see with these three characters that Adam lived in the beginning of time, King David lived close to the middle point of the alloted 6,000 years of the world's existance (2855-2925), and the Messiah will be arriving shortly - in the End of Days - G-d willing, as we have only 230 years left, and a lot needs to take place before the end of the 6,000 years (Note: King David first was annointed to be king around the year 2885 when he was 30 years old. This number 2885 times two is 5770, the number of last year. Hence, it could very well be that the Moshiach (which means anointed in Hebrew) will reveal himself in exactly twice the amount of years as when King David was first annointed, which is just around the corner if that time hasn't passed yet! Do bear in mind that it took seven years until King David relocated his kingdom to Jerusalem when he became king over all of Israel, so don't dispair if G-d forbid, Moshiach doesn't come in this coming year or so).

As Rosh Chodesh Sivan relates to King David, he was both born and passed away on the holiday of Shavuot, which occurs in this month of Sivan. With this being said, not only is Rosh Chodesh Sivan the head of this month which spiritually includes the whole month, but it was on this date that the Jewish people arrived at Mt. Sinai following their victory over Amalek on the 28th of Iyar (see my previous post), which by the way also highlights the concept of "THREE DAYS", which was the place that the Torah was going to be given on Shavuot. In fact, where the Torah speaks of the Creation of the world concluding on the sixth day - Yom HaShishi - unlike the other days of the week, the Torah writes the letter Hei - "the" - in front of the number of the day of the week for the sixth day, the day on which Adam was created. As Rashi points out from the Talmud of Tractate Shabbat 88a, this hints to the sixth day of Sivan, the destined date of the Giving of the Torah (though in fact, the Torah was given on the following day - 7 Sivan - as detailed in the Talmud of Tractate Shabbat, pages 87-88), as Rabbi Shimon Ben Lakish states, Hashem made a condition with the newly created world that it would only continue exist pending the future acceptance of the Torah by the Jewish people.

And as I have mentioned the concept of three days in more than one context, this is certainly most applicable when it comes to Shavuot, the holiday of Matan Torah/Giving of the Torah. As the Talmud (Shabbat 87a) writes on the verse "They shall be ready for THE THIRD DAY", Hashem's command to Moses to spiritually prepare the Jewish people to receive the Torah, this third day was referring to the day that Hashem was planning on giving the Torah. However, Moses wishing to give the Jews an extra day to prepare, Hashem consented to this, and it wound up that the Torah was given only after three days. It should be noted that in fact, in today's Jewish calendar, the third through the fifth days of Sivan are called the Sheloshet Y'mei Hagbalah, reflecting this extra day of preparation given. Though in fact, the preparatory days began on the fourth of Sivan - and not the third of Sivan - it is the concept of three days preparation that is represented here, since in today's Jewish calendar, Shavuot is set to always begin on the sixth of Sivan, rather than the seventh of Sivan (Note: The fact that outside of Israel, the sixth and seventh days of Sivan are both celebrated as Shavuot has nothing to do with the fact that the Torah was given on the seventh of Sivan, but rather having to do with the concept of two days of Yom Tov/Jewish holiday based on the doubt as to when Rosh Chodesh began during earlier times when it took time to inform the Jews living outside of Israel as to what day was Rosh Chodesh declared, necessitating them as times to refrain from work for two days instead of one, not knowing the true date of the month).

And as noted in this part of the Talmud, there are a string of threes here - "THE THIRD DAY" which was the name of the sloted date of the Giving of the Torah until Moses changed it, in the THIRD month, on which the threefold Torah - Bible, Mishna, Talmud (Note: The teachings of the Mishna & Talmud weren't written down for some 1,500 plus years, but were transmitted orally from one generation to the next) handed down from the third born (Moses being born after his sister Miriam and his brother Aaron) to the threefold people (Jews consisting of Cohanim, Levites, and the rest of the Jews).

And just as we know that the existance of the world was contingent on the Jews accepting the Torah; in a similar vein, Adam was warned not to eat of the forbidden fruit for "on the day that you eat of it, you will die". Nevertheless, Adam fell for Eve's pleadings to eat of it, since Eve ate of it already, and she was jealous of Adam that for all that she knew, she would die for the sin while he would live, so he gave in to Eve's pleadings. In fact, while Hashem would have been perfectly just in literally keeping his promise of having Adam (and Eve) that very day, since in a spiritual sense, a 1,000 years of this world's existance is considered one day in
"G-d's eyes", Hashem granted Adam a 1,000 years of life. But more than this, as the Attribute of Justice demanded Adam's immediate death, it was the Sabbath, which was to begin shortly after the sixth day was nearly ending, that pleaded for Adam to remain alive, so it would not be alone as the first Sabbath of the world's existance. Hence, as the Sabbath, as the first lawyer of the world, victoriously defended Adam's chance to live, he praised the Sabbath "A hymn song for the day of Sabbath..." the beginning of the words of Psalm 92.

Accordingly, the Torah, based on which the world was allowed to continue living, was given to the Jewish people on the Sabbath. In fact, if it would have been left up to Hashem, it would have been on Friday, but as once of Moses' reasonings for delaying the Giving of the Torah by one day was in order for it to be given on the Holy Day of the week, Hashem agreed to this. After all, in the Ten Commandments that Hashem declared on that momentous day, it states "Remember the day of Sabbath to sanctify it..." In fact, this was not the first time that Moses showed a special affinity towards the Sabbath. When the Jews were slaves in Egypt, he reasoned with Pharoah that if he wanted his Jewish slaves not to be burned out totally, then he would need to give them one day of the week for them to rest (and recuperate from the hard brick braking work!) which would be the Sabbath, to which Pharoah agreed until near the end when Moses came to him with orders from Hashem to let the Jews leave Egypt when Pharoah became spiteful and took away this resting privilege. In any case, the Midrash notes that it was during the Sabbath that the hard working Jews had a chance to learn Torah from the scrolls that they had, even though the Torah had yet to be officially given to them.

Then we see that with King David, something that we see with no other person in history, Hashem told him straight out as to what day of the week he would die - the Sabbath. While King David's pleadings with Hashem not to let him die on this holy day of the week fell on "deaf ears", we know in the Kabbala that when a righteous person passes away, there is in fact a holy force that is released in the world, and then the righteous are able to do more to help Jews after their passing than before, being that they are not limited in their earthly body. Moreover, just as the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, so too, King David is the seventh of the "Seven Shepherds" (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, David) as are displaced as Ushpizin/Heavenly Guests in the seven days of Succot in the Succah. Similarly, the Torah was given not only on the seventh day of the week - Shabbat, but it was also the seventh of Sivan, due to which we celebrate Shavuot, the holiday on which King David was both born and passed away on. Hence, both the Giving of the Torah and the passing of King David took place on Shabbat Shavuot (Note - In earlier times, Shavuot could have fallen out on either the fifth, sixth or seventh of Sivan, as Shavuot is actually mentioned in the Torah as the 50th day from the beginning of the count from the day that the Omer offering was brought in the Temple on the 16th of Nissan. Hence, we do not know for sure as to what date of the month that King David passed away, but it is very clear that this took place on Shavuot).

And while the eternal bliss of when it will be all rest, as enumerated in the end of Tractate Tamid of the Mishna, will take place after the 6,000 years of the world's existance, the beginning of the true "New World Order" when life will truly change for the better - both spiritually and physically - will begin with the coming of the Messiah while it is still with the sixth millenium, this millenium corresponds to the sixth day of the week, the same day of the week that Adam was created, and it is Adam/mankind who will fulfill the ultimate purpose of this world's existance which is serving Hashem, it is the sixth millenium, in which the Messiah will appear, which will end on the good note of the ultimate purpose of the Redemption, which is the observance of Hashem's Commandments the way that is was originally meant to be kept in the beautiful utopian world which was forfeited with the first sin. Hence, the Messiah will come to finish the rectification of Adam's sin, and the time will come that there will be no more death with the Resurrection, the final topic of the 13 principles of the Jewish faith, at which time, the world will be in its ultimate state of perfection before the End of Days of the 6,000 years of the world's existance.

Along these lines, it seems that there was a little debate between Hashem and Moses.
Hashem wanted the Torah to be given on the sixth of Sivan, which fell out on the sixth day of the week, and as we see, this was in fact hinted to where it states in the Torah about the completion of creation on this day "THE SIXTH DAY", hinted to this day that Hashem intended on giving the Torah. In another words, the Torah would be given to the Jews as something that would help them maintain the level of not being tempted by the world's pleasures "turn away from evil", but it would be the Torah as we know it only in this world, without so much holiness to ensure that the Jews would always remain faithful to it. Thus came Moses, who realized that as Adam, who was newly created, despite Hashem's direct orders to him, find himself sinning in no time, he pleaded with Hashem to give the Jews one extra day.

If one would just read the words of the Talmud, one would ask, why did Moses ask for one extra day? After all, if Hashem felt it was only necessary for the Jews to have two days to prepare, why contradict what Hashem intended, especially to delay the Giving of the Torah, the raison d'etre of the world's existance? For that matter, why not a few days, a week, etc.?

But as I mentioned earlier, by granting this one extra day, it would be on the Holy Sabbath that the Torah would be given. You see, Moses would the Jews, unlike Adam, to have a good shot at it. Indeed, it states that the impurity that came to mankind as a result of the first sin was removed from the Jews who would have lived forever as Adam would have had he not sinned, except that they messed up 40 days later with the sin of the Golden Calf when that impurity returned to allow death for them once more. Morever, the earthly Sabbath represents the ultimate Sabbath when the world after 6,000 years will cease to exist, and then the righteous will live forever in the eternal world of rest and bliss. It was in THIS state that Moses wanted the Torah to be given, not just the concept of constantly fighting temptations, but also "doing good", not just as a means of fighting tempation, but doing good for the sake of doing good. It was to this that Hashem agreed, being that Moses fought for the rights of the Jewish people, just as the Sabbath spoke up for the right of Adam to live despite his sin at least for a while, and as Moses spoke up for the right of the Jews to observe the Sabbath while yet slaves in Egypt.

Indeed, as we know in Kabbala, each of the Jewish months are represented by one of the letters of the Alef Beit. The letter Vav, the numerical value of six, represents the month of Iyar, virtually near the end of the month which still had the challenge of fighting Amalek as a result of the Jews' lack of faith in Hashem. And it is the letter Zayin, the numerical value of seven, that represents the month of Sivan, the beginning of this month when the Jews came to Mt. Sinai "as one person, with one heart" (Rashi). And just as the Torah would be given in the month represented by the number seven, so too would the Torah be given on the seventh of this month represented by the number seven, on the seventh day of the week, the sanctified day of Sabbath.

It is interesting to note that in this particular year, unlike in most years, Shavuot falls out in the week of Parshat Naso; in this year, it fell out in the week of Parshat B'Ha'alotcha. Why I mention this here is because there is a two verse section (Numbers 10:35-36) in this coming week of Parshat B'Ha'alotcha that is seperated in the Sefer Torah/Torah scroll each in the beginning and at the end of this section with an upside down letter Noon. Without getting into all kinds of explanation as to why it is like this, and why the Noon is upside down, it is true that the letter Noon is the numerical value of 50, just as Shavuot is called "The Fiftieth Day" in the Torah. Our rabbis note that in once sense, as this two verse section in the Torah - the two verses recited upon taking out the Sefer Torah and returning the Sefer Torah to the Ark in the synagogue, respectively - that separates the earlier part of the Book of Numbers and the later part of the Book of Numbers, the Chumash - while is known to be five books of the Chumash - is considered in this sense to be SEVEN books of the Chumash. Hence, we see that it is the number seven, representing the eternal rest and bliss, that is most associated with the Giving of the Torah, for the Torah is the ultimate rest, as opposed to the physical work that we do to make money - anywhere from hard breaking work to making ends meet to spending hours on end making fortunes, but with little enjoyment from the money at the end without the disciplines of the Torah which tells us that the money is not an end of itself, but rather, to be used in serving Hashem, which includes supporting Torah scholars.

And having said this, the months of the Torah are kabbalistically also represented by the Tribes of Israel. According to Kabbala, Iyar is represented by Yissaschar, the brother or tribe who learned Torah all day, while Sivan - the month in which the Torah was given - is represented by Zevulun, the one who worked to support Yissaschar. Of course, the question can be asked (as I have mentioned this in the past in my Gematriot blogspot), how come the month of Sivan in which the Torah was given is represented specifically by the brother or tribe who worked to support Torah learning, rather than the one who actually learned the Torah all day?

In this post, I will answer this question from another perspective, or in a little different way from how I answered this the previous time. You see, following the Exodus, the entire month of Iyar was devoted to preparing the Jewish people to receive the Torah. Towards this end, they received the manna - spiritual food that got totally absorbed in the body with no waste material, fresh water, and learning the lesson of Emunah/faith in Hashem, via the manna and the war from Amalek which happened because the Jews questioned Hashem about His providence over them. If they were to receive the Torah, they had to believe 100% in not only in Hashem's existance, but in His abilities of controlling the world as the King of Kings; otherwise, they would not take His Wisdom - the Torah - and His commandments seriously. And so, we see that the Jews had to be prepared to receive the Torah - spiritually and physically. Thus, the fact that the month of Iyar is represented by the Tribe of Yissaschar tell us that yes, the Torah is of paramount importance, but we must have basic tools in order to be able to learn it. Accordingly, in order that Yissaschar would be able to learn and teach Torah all day is if they got supported by the brother/tribe Zevulun.

And for the month of Sivan, the month of the giving of the Torah being represented by the working man Zevulun, rather than the Torah scholar par excellence Yissaschar, tells us that the whole reason why we work to begin with, or do other physical matters when not learning Torah, is to support and help with learning the Torah. But even more than just this, noting that we received the 613 Commandments in the Torah package deal, we have to also realize that learning Torah without fulfilling its commandments does not have any more meaning than a lecture given by a professor who is talking about theoretical concepts that lead to no practical solutions at the end. It is Zevulun who represents this concept of following Hashem's commandments, the tribe who showed non-Jews by way of example of how Jewish life is supposed to be, convincing their non-Jewish business partners to convert to Judaism (see Rashi on the blessing of Zevulun in Deutronomy 33).

Learning and even teaching Torah doesn't always convince everyone - some only learn looking at how scholarly, righteous people live their lives, indeed proving the dictum "Monkey see, monkey do". Otherwise, the Torah would be no better than any other philosophy, whose early Greek teachers slept with prostitutes declaring "Yesterday I was a philosopher, today I am only a man". However, the Torah teaches quite the opposite, indeed the rabbis declaring Derech Eretz Kadma L'Torah - "Manners come before the Torah". This is not to say that one should not learn to live an observant Jewish life before being perfect in manners; however, one needs to bear in mind that learning Torah without behaving like a man, rather than an animal, will G-d forbid lead to disastrous results, including G-d turning people away from the Torah. Hence, it is Zevulun who is the man par excellence who is not just a savvy businessman, but is an honest businessman realizing that it is Hashem Who gives him his livelihood, for certainly, if he is in a position to be supporting Torah scholars, then he doesn't have to try to crook others making money; Hashem will give him what he needs to fulfill Hashem's mission. Ultimately, it is Zevulun being in the outside world - while perhaps not so deep in Torah learning as Yissaschar is - can set a prime example of how a Torah way of life is supposed to appear, being the one to do outreach to other Jews, as well as making a positive impression on non-Jews, having the eternal merit of having other people coming close to Hashem, just as Abraham the first Jew did.

With this being said, the name of the fourth Sefer of the Torah - Bamidbar - which means "in the wilderness", the Sefer that we are in the midst of reading and learning during which the holiday of Shavuot which marks the giving of the Torah, is the same Gematria as Abraham (248); for indeed, it was Abraham, both in a physical wilderness and in a spiritual wilderness, spread the believe in one G-d to other people, which included inviting guests to his sumptuous meals in the middle of the desert where such food was scarce, convincing his satisfied guests that indeed it was Hashem who ultimately was the One who provided them with food. It was Abraham's actions that led to the Torah to be given to his descendants some 400 plus years later, for it would be his descendants who would continue to carry on the tradition of both learning the Torah, and teaching the Torah both in words and in action, the latter being the primary factor of the tribe of Zevulun, who came back with his non-Jewish business partners to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, where they got convinced with the truth of the Torah, and subsequently converted.

The difference between Adam - the first working man, and Zevulun - the working tribe is represented by the difference of the Gematriot between their two names. Adam is the Gematria of 45. Adding 50 to this number, representing the "Fiftieth Day" when we received the Torah during the month of Sivan which begins with the 45th day of the Sephira, the total is 95, the Gematria of Zevulun, who didn't just work to survive as Adam - who was created from the dust of the grounds of the future Holy Temple - had to do following his sin, but showed the beauty of Judaism via the Temple to others, to help with the physical and spiritual survival of his brother Yissaschar, and the ultimate survival of the Jewish people with the learning of Torah and observing its commandments.


Before I tell you something about this subtitle, I want to mention something about Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook (1865-1935), may the memory of the righteous be for a blessing. While few in the ultra-Orthodox world will have good words to say about him if not malign him, this is because they did like his stance on the newly Zionistic movement, about which he was very much in favor of Jews moving to Israel. Of course had many more listened to him, many would have been spared of perishing in the Holocaust, but the fact that Jews moving to Israel turned away from Judaism had nothing to do with his activities, but with the secular Jewish "leaders" who did tricks, including promising poor observant Jewish families that they would take "good care" of their children, which meant cutting off the Jewish look of skullcap (Kipa in Hebrew, Yarmulke in Yiddish) and side curls (Peyot in Hebrew), and throwing them into an anti-religious Kibbutz, forcing them to eat ham and work on the Sabbath.

It is most unfortunate that most if not all of the ultra-Orthodox sources that lists dates of Jewish events, especially the passing of righteous Jews, does not include Rabbi Kook's name and date of passing, partly due of fear of being labeled "Zionist", a label which very unfortunately has been associated with secular Jews attempting to wipe out Judaism in Israel. Of course if these self proclaimed ultra-Orthodox Jews would meet up with the Chofetz Chaim, who refused to meet with people who started maligning Rabbi Kook when he was serving as the first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Israel, perhaps some of them would wake up and repent for their baseless hatred of a rabbi who totally ignored his own honor in his great love for all Jews, even the ones who acted as zealots throwing sewage water on him, refusing to take any action against them.

With this being said, Rabbi Kook's ultimate dream was that Israel should be a Torah state. Towards this end, he composed a poem which he hoped would be the future national anthem of Israel, but instead, the secular homeland song of HaTikva "the hope" got to be the national anthem. It's a bit ironic that Jerusalem is actually mentioned as the very last word of HaTikva, while this name is not used in Rabbi Kook's HaEmunah "The Faith" However, he refers to Jerusalem as the "City of David", which reminds us of King David who conquered Jerusalem, paving the way for the Holy Temple which would be consecrated by his son King Solomon.

The following is Rabbi Kook's "The Faith". Yes, in this poem, unlike the HaTikva, he mentions serving G-d and the Torah, ending with this theme.

Eternally there lives in our hearts,
The steadfast faith
That we will return to our holy land,
The city in which David settled.
There we shall fulfill our destiny,
[which the] Father of many [nations] acquired,
There we shall live our life
The life of the nation of multitudes.
There we shall serve our G-d
With joy, happiness and song
There we shall pilgrimage
Three times each year.
The Torah of life is our desire,
Given by a Heavenly voice,
Forever it is our heritage,
A gift acquired in the desert.

The name of HaEmunah "The Faith" is the Gematria of 107, and this is my 107th Post. But as related to Rabbi Kook, this year marks another instance of 107. You see, Rabbi Kook made Aliyah in 5664/1904, which was 107 years ago - on 28 Iyar, the future date of Yom Yerushalayim! In fact, he used to celebrate his Aliyah annually on this date, little knowing that 63 years later, this date would become another major reason to celebrate.

And on a final note, the connection between Yerushalayim and Torah, aside from where it says in the Book of Isaiah "the word of Hashem (the Torah) from Jerusalem", is that Yom Yerushalayim begins the seventh and final week of the Sephirah, this week corresponding to the seventh day, which is the Sabbath. Accordingly, the Giving of the Torah happened on a Sabbath, and the holiday Shavuot marking this event is based on the words Shavua/week and Sheva/seven, for a week consists of seven days; the name of the holiday also including the letters spelling Shabbat. And so just as the Torah is the holiest of Hashem's wisdom (which includes mathematics, science, etc.), and the Sabbath is the holiest day of the week, Jerusalem is the holiest city in the world, destined to be such from the day that Adam was created from the dust of the grounds of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, from THE BEGINNING OF TIME.

Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 5771 - The 45th day of the Sephira

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