Friday, June 17, 2011

#108 - "Take the Levites...and Purify them"

In this fourth Sefer of the Torah - Bamidbar, the Book of Numbers, we see a unique thing. Every single one of the 10 Parshiyot of this book either mentions the Tribe of Levi, or highlights the Cohanim. Though the basis of this post is actually based on last week's Parshat Be'Ha'alotcha as I will begin momentarily, this week's Parshat Shlach, though it does not mention this explicitly, but unlike the cry babies of all the other tribes who fell for the evil report about Israel from the Spies, who consequently died in the desert before reaching the age of 60, the Levites were spared from this decree, because all of them had faith in Hashem, all of the younger ones living for nearly 40 years to enter the Promised Land.

The very beginning of Parshat B'Ha'alotcha is the commandment for Aaron the Cohen Gadol/High Priest to light the Menorah daily. Following this, is a whole long section (Numbers 8:4-26) about the consecration of the Levites, from whom incidentally I am descended by parental line, making me a Levite, as this status is strictly from the father's side.

Kach Et HaLevi'im "Take the Levites" (Numbers 8:5) - Hashem's orders to Moses. First to note, the first word of Hashem's set of instructions for the one-time consecration of the Levites is Kach - "Take". This also spells the number 108, and this is my 108th post on

What does it mean by "Take"? Did Hashem really mean that Moshe should take them physically by the hand and lead them to their consecration? Indeed, we see that it was Aaron himself, in his mid-eighties, who physically lifted 22,300 Levites as part of this consecration! Moses' job was a little different. The first thing that needed to be done was to "take" them, as Rashi notes, using words, telling them "How fortunate are you to be serving the Omnipresent!"

Now, the question can be asked, we know that this unique tribe of Levi was always faithful to Hashem. They were also learning Torah in Egypt, didn't fall for Pharaoh's scheme of working the bricks himself to convince the rest of the Jews to work as well, and not only did not even a single member of this tribe worship the Golden Calf, but went out on Moses' orders with no questions asked to even kill relatives (who were not Levites) if need be if they worshipped the idol. So, why would they need convincing about this consecration ceremony if this is what would lead to them serving in the Tabernacle? They already demonstrated their eagerness to do what Hashem wanted in the past, so what was new in telling them this?

The truth is that originally, the ones to serve in the Tabernacle/Temple were supposed to be the firstborn males. We see that Jacob, the younger brother of Esau, realizing what his older brother was really like, convinced him to sell him the "birthright" which means the special privileges associated with serving Hashem as the firstborn. And right before the Torah was given, we see in Parshat Mishpatim that the firstborn offered sacrifices on the altar. So in fact, it was really the right of the firstborn up until this point to be the "Cohanim".

With the worship of the Golden Calf, this would change. As the Levites followed Moses' orders as per the Golden Calf, they now earned the right to be the ones to serve Hashem in His inner sanctuary. However, this was not due to them to begin with, but only because others had failed to live up to their mission - which included some of the firstborn Jews. So, it wasn't like the Levites were meant to be part of the "Inner Circle" from day one. With this said, they would now be benefiting from the failure of others. Hence, there was room that perhaps, some of the Levites would feel rather uncomfortable to be in this new position.

Hence, it was crucial that Moses would address them accordingly, telling them how fortunate they are to be servants of Hashem in His holy Sanctuary (Note - this would explain why Rashi used the word Makom "Omnipresent" which literally means "place", as serving Hashem in the capacity of Levites involved being in the most Holy Place). In other words, the reason why they are now in this position is because indeed, they were worthy of it, and not to worry about others who failed to maintain their high spiritual level. After all, they were to serve Hashem, so if Hashem is asking them to be consecrated for this, then this was Hashem's will and orders, not just because the Levites would be taking someone else's position away for their own personal gain. If anything, it was about time that Hashem had the right set of people to serve Him; and hence, they should consider themselves fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

We see another rather interesting observation here. It is not entirely new - but in verse 19, where the mention of "Children of Israel" is written five times in the same verse, Rashi notes from the Midrash (Bereshit Rabba 3:5) that this shows Hashem's affection for the Jewish people, mentioning them as the amount of books in the Chumash.

This is all very nice, but why specifically in this section of the Torah about the big day of the Levites being consecrated, which really happened as a result of the failings of the other Tribes of Israel. Couldn't Hashem have picked another place in the Torah to show His special love for the Jewish people?

Yes, the Jews had faults. Yes, some of the Jews partook of the worship of the Golden Calf. Yes, adjustments had to be made, and now it would be the Levites instead of the firstborn who would assume the role of serving Hashem in His holy abode on earth. However, Hashem still loved His people very much. The rest of them deserved to feel special, even as the firstborn were clearly traded with the Levites physically one-by-one, leaving an excess of 273 Jews about whom we see in Parshat Bamidbar that they had to give five coins to redeem themselves, because now the firstborn were now unworthy of continuing their special spritual privileges from the past. However, this was a technicality that did not have to define or change Hashem's relationship with the Jews "My son, My firstborn Israel", as Hashem had Moses tell Pharaoh. Hashem still cared for them so much that it was in this very verse that Hashem made sure that the non-Levitical Jews would be careful not to touch or be on sanctified property that they were forbidden to tread in order that they would not die.

Speaking of the five books of the Chumash, we know that there are a total of 24 books of the Tanach/Bible. It is the first five books of the Tanach that are the holiest books of them all, as this is what was directly from Hashem, dictated to Moses to be written into the holiest article - the Sefer Torah/Torah Scroll. Accordingly, let's divide the 12 months of the Jewish calendar, which we begin counting from the month of Nissan, into two, to make 24 even parts of half months each. What comes out is that today - 15 Sivan - marks the end of the fifth period of the 24 half months of the year, corresponding to the first five books of the Chumash of the total of 24 books of the Tanach.

And the month of Sivan isn't just another month in the Jewish calendar. This was the month that the Torah was given to the Jewish people. And as we know, the moon appears bigger until the middle of the month, from which point is waxes and wanes. So is it with the Torah. We have to increase our excitement and love for the Torah, the same way that the Levites were to be filled with excitement of their new spiritual post and Hashem's continued love for the Jewish people. Yes, there would be waxing and waning spiritual periods that the Jews would go through. However, Hashem wanted to remind them that despite their failings and His need to punish them and redirect them, He still loves them very much, and they just need to follow the example of others living the right type of spiritual life, and then they will have everything good for themselves. Hashem is willing and wanting to give the Jews everything that they need and want that is not to their disadvantage; but the Jews have to merely live up to the standards that Hashem expects from them in serving Hashem with the commandments that they were given; irrespective if they are Cohanim/Levites or not, because at the end of the day, we are ALL part of the "Children of Israel".


A recent scandal has shook the greater New York area, and in a sense, the United States, as well as the World Wide Web.

Before getting into details and my comments on this - which is all based on the Torah's way of thinking - I wish to begin with the word V'Tiharta - "and purify".
In Hebrew, when this word is rearranged, it spelled the word Taharot, plural for purities, the name of the sixth and final order or volume of the Mishnayot. This part of the Mishnayot deals with the various spiritual impurities that people and items are able to be contaminated with or not. Kabbalistically, this part of the Mishnayot corresponds to the Sephirah called Yesod/Foundation which is related to sexual purity.

While some people on the web got a bit obsessed with what happened with now ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner, there are in fact a number of things involved in his case which have revelations of what is going behind this in the spiritual world as evidenced through Gematria.

First things first, some people think that Weiner is not Jewish because some claim that his mother is not Jewish. Well, in checking this out, I saw a video on youtube where his mother said outright that she is Jewish. So, unless someone wants to claim that she is lying about being Weiner's mother or being Jewish herself, I don't think that anything else needs to be said and nothing can be attempted to prove otherwise.

With this said, what happened here caused tremendous shame to the Jewish people in the eyes of non-Jews, as well as increased anti-Semitism, which in Torah terms is called a Chillul Hashem/desecration of Hashem's name. Of course, had the same things been done by a congregational rabbi, it would have been far, far worse. However, being that Weiner was in the public eye, and being that his Jewish family name is a slang word for the part of the body that the world has a field day with, the whole incident with him spun way out of control.

In Weiner's case, the number six, a word which is most similar to the word sex, really shined out (didn't anyone notice?). It was on June 6, which is when abbreviated in numbers as 6/6, that he made his public confession, which included the fact that he had online "sexting" with SIX women.

Actually, the word six, being similar to the word sex, is also similar to the word SICK. Yes, someone who is not behaving in terms of sexual purity is definitely spiritually sick, which is represented by the spiritual impurity that one receives until one purifies himself. During Temple times, when these laws had to be practiced because entering the Temple while impure incurred being liable to death by Heaven, becoming spiritually pure was for the most part practiced by dunking oneself in a Mikva/ritualarium. However, this alone will not in an inner sense purify oneself without the proper spiritual preparation and resolution not to repeat the sin that brought oneself to be spiritually contaminated.

As I mentioned a little earlier, the name of the sixth order of Mishnayot is Taharot, and as connected with spiritual purity. It seems that the words six and sex are related to one another etymologically. Whether this is so, or pure "coincidence", we see that such coincidences no doubt have G-d's hand in this. Now, the word for pure in the singular in Hebrew is Tahor. Lo and behold, the word Tahor and the word for sex in Hebrew - spelled Samech, Koof, Samech - have the same Gematria (220)! Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that sex is a bad thing; on the contrary, it could be a very good thing, and is a Mitzvah when having in mind that one is performing it in order to have Jewish children - the very first Mitzvah of the Torah. It is only in this way of thinking and performing accordingly that sex is being done after being spiritually purified, not diluted with thinking about other women, but only with the woman that one is with.

In Weiner's case, the number 220 is shown in another dimension. One of these six women that he was "sexting" with is in fact a Jewish woman. I'll will not mention her name not because there is a sin about talking bad about other Jews, since after all, her name was already released in the public, and she deserves to have her name disgraced for the great shame that she caused the Jewish people. In fact, her whole living, being a blackjack dealer, is forbidden according to the Torah, because being involved in a living that causes others to loose money is forbidden, and so much so, that such a person is invalidated from giving testimony in a Jewish court, as being in the category of a Rasha/wicked person. However, for spiritual reasons, I will not mention her name here.

Anyways, bearing in mind that the word for sex in Hebrew is the Gematria of 220, it was noted that there were exactly 220 text messages between this Jewish woman and Weiner! No, it didn't have to be actual sex, but the conversations between the two was certainly largely based on this concept, using very foul language. And the ironic thing here is that it was the Jewish lady that began writing to Weiner, her last message stating that Weiner should thank her for not spilling the beans on him. Well, the next thing you know, she ratted on him, which is the henious sin of Lashon Hara/evil speech about another. Of course, this is typical of women dates, even in the observant Jewish sector, where they are not honest with their man date, making up lies about her not wishing to meet with him, or not any more, or lying about why she is not, or no longer, interested in him, while slandering him by telling all her girlfriends the real reason, leaving him in the dark not knowing why he may be accidentally turning women off from himself.

Now, in case anyone will exclaim "Well, she is not religious, so she doesn't know much better about writing foul language about sex or the laws of forbidden speech", I have news. You see, if someone who is not and was not raised as an observant Jew will claim one day upstairs after one's time on earth that he/she didn't know about certain Jewish rituals, perhaps Hashem will cut slack for such a person. However, just about everyone knows that the type of activities that this evil lady (and yes, she is an evil person, believe it or not, as evidenced by what she did!) performed, as she knew damn well that this is not proper behavior, but that she was following her animalistic instincts. And so, this evil lady will one day be held liable for EVERYTHING that she did or didn't do that went against the Torah.

Now, while Weiner and this Jewish lady never actually met, this was OK with the Yetzer Hara/evil inclination. You see, if they would have actually met which would have meant that Weiner would have cheated on his wife, that could have turned out to be a good spiritual thing for him. You see, if these two would have gotten together and all, this could have ended his marriage with the Moslem woman that he married, and hence, this would have stopped him from sleeping all the time with his shiktza (which literally means, a disgusting person, and is indeed true, because here, a non-Jew(ess) is causing a Jew to sin by sleeping together, and so is a very spiritually disgusting person) wife.

Yes, there are claims about Weiner being an outspoken Congressman on behalf of Israel, bearing in mind his representation of a good sizable community of Jews in part of the Brooklyn and Queens areas. In fact, there are even claims that he has a rabbi that he refers to and has gone to Torah classes of his. So, even if it were to be true that he isn't such a bad "Jewish boy", but it's just that he has some weaknesses which cost him his annual $174,000 job, then certainly, what is his excuse, to not only marry just any shiktza, but a Moslem one at that?! Even if she herself is obviously not a very practicing Moslem because she doesn't cover her hair, her parents are not only Moslem but also have ties to the Muslem Brotherhood. This is not to mention that she serves as an aid and "body woman" for the anti-Semitic Hillary Clinton, who seethes with anti-Semitism against Israel for the troubles that Israel gives the "poor Palestinians" in her perspective.

As further related to the concept of spiritual impurity, we see that there is a pattern here in relationship to the Clinton family, especially to the former Democratic President Bill Clinton. Of course all the liberal Democratic Jews want to claim that Clinton loves Jews. Perhaps he has his Jewish "friends" in the Democratic party who have been there for him. But in reality, his anti-Semitism for Jews, is perhaps even more evident that his past anti-Semitic policies towards Israel - just like his senator wife, when it comes to causing Jews to sin. It may be a subconscious thing, but the reason he is doing this is because deep down inside, he hates Jews, and he knows that by causing Jews to sin, that they will, G-d forbid, be worthy of spiritual and physical destruction, as evidenced in the arena of causing Jews to be contaminated with sexual impurity.

Now, it is noteworthy to note that both the evil Jewish lady intern whose performed sexual actions on Clinton and Weiner's wife (who is certainly evil and anti-Semitic, because she is causing Weiner to sin by being married to her and having sex with her) became White House interns the same time. As it takes two to tango, Clinton was causing the Jewish lady intern to sin with her lewd behavior. Then, it was thanks to the evil Clinton couple who did the "Shidduch" for Weiner and his now Moslem wife, and on top of this, Bill Clinton performed the ceremony for this couple. And then in the midst of last summer, the Clintons' only child, their daughter, married a Jew. Now normally, almost every country leader would not dare allow a Jew to marry into his high profile and important family, because most country leaders hate Jews. However, Bill Clinton (as well as his wife of course) though was the former U.S. president, bearing in mind that the United States is the world leader, didn't mind his only child marrying a Jew, even though he actually hates Jews, and is only friendly to them for his selfish purposes. But deep down inside, he doesn't mind his own family being associated with Jews, and the only explanation for this is that in his subconscious, he knows that he is causing a Jew to sin, so much so, that he was even willing for his only child to marry a Jew. This is very similar to the king of Midian, in the times of Moses, willing to allow his daughter Cozbi Bat-Zur to sleep with the leader of the Jews (Moses, but it wound up that Zimri Ben-Salu, leader of the tribe of Shimon whom she started mating with until these two evil people were killed by Pinchas), in order to make the Jews sin to be liable to destruction.

So, now that Bill Clinton directly caused at least three Jews to be contaminated with sexual impurity - the Jewish lady intern who perform lewd sexual acts on him, Weiner who married the Moslem lady intern, and the liberal Democraric self-hating Jew who married his daughter, we see that this is no mere coincidence about Clinton. In fact, since he left office, in a future election, he endorsed Democratic candidate John Kerry, whose last name in Hebrew, spelled (and pronounce with the same vowels) Koof, Reish, Yud, is the very word associated with sexual impurity!

Just a brief word on politics in the United States as it relates to Judaism, the Democratic party believes in abortion rights and gay rights, while the Republican party is against these rights that cause unborn babies to be murdered or people to be sinning sexually, but believing much more instead in family values. Hence, a good percentage if not most Jews who belong to a political party in the States are Republicans, who look to vote for the presidential candidate who will most represent the values of the Torah.

Now, getting back to Weiner, we see that it was on the (first) day of Shavuot, the holiday marking the Giving of the Torah, that the first member of Democratic leadership who called upon Weiner to resign, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, is a Jew(ess). Yes, it was one Jew asking another Jew to resign from his post following his sexual impedes. It didn't have to be someone who is "religious", because all Jews are supposed to be this way anyways. Also to note, Weiner's middle name is David. Now, whether his Hebrew name is David (as Dovid) or not, it is true that King David was both born and passed away on Shavuot, on the very holiday that Weiner was first asked to resign. As we know about King David, he had some sexual challenges in his life, but through repentence and fasting, he totally conquered his evil inclination. Not that Weiner could care less or even if he ever got to make these connections as I just made, that this would make any practical difference to him or become an Orthodox Jew as a result, but Hashem has His ways of shaking people, and if Weiner would do repentance by first of all shagging his Moslem wife - and not if she shags him - if he has true remorse for the sins that he did, this would certainly be a major step of walking on the right path. Let's certainly hope that he will not continue his sexual impedes by taking up the recent offer of a job related to sinning sexually.

There is one more aspect here about the number six as it relates to Weiner. You see, what really got him into the big trouble that faced him was his lying in his attempt to cover up what he did. Indeed, the word for six in Hebrew, Sheish, has the same Gematria as Sheker/falsehood - SIX HUNDRED! And so, it was on the date of 6/6 (though this is the secular date and not the Hebrew date, but since Weiner has lived a secular life, this would mean much more to him than the Jewish date) that he confessed, admitting to not only being involved with his online sexual activities with six women, but that he lied about what he had done. So as you can see, there is a whole patter of the number six as related to everything that Weiner has done wrong here. Though this confession in itself is not Teshuva since he certainly did not have in mind that he is doing repentance because Hashem commands to do so in the Torah, and even at that, this was only because he felt that he did not have a choice and hoped that now all the distractions would go away, but if he were to do some serious spiritual arousing and awakening, he would think about what it means to be a Jew, which he certainly has connections with, especially living in the largest Jewish populated area in the United States.

And so, of all people, and of all Jews, these news shaking events happened to someone whose very Jewish family name is slang for the organ that is responsible for the life of all creation, though this word being used in a slang sense as related to sexual impurity. However, what we can learn from here, aside from not repeating the types of mistakes that Weiner did, is that we can give meaning to our Jewish names by our performance of the right way of life, beginning with purifying our thoughts and thinking of the proper way to serve Hashem. As the moment of truth faced Weiner when he confessed and was first asked to resign on Shavuot, both things happening in the week of Parshat B'Ha'alotcha when we read about the Levites being purified and consecrated for Hashem's service, Shavuot - the day of Matan Torah/Giving of the Torah also fell out this year during this Parsha.

To note, the word for impurity in Hebrew is Tamei which is the Gematria of 50. When the Jews left Egypt, they had 49 levels of impurity to shed; hence counting the days from after the Exodus until they would receive the Torah on the "Fifitieth Day", on which the Torah - which combats spiritual impurity - was given to the Jewish people. This is reminiscent of a Jewish woman who after her days of menstruation, counts seven days - as the Jews counted seven weeks - after which she goes into a Mikva to be spiritually pure for her husband, which is followed by the sexual action that is part of Hashem's first Mitzva in the Torah to bring Jewish children into the world (unlike when a Jewish man marries a Shiktza, bringing non-Jewish children into the world also brings spiritual contamination to the world).

On a final note, mentioning about King David in this post, he was in the parental line a descendant of Judah, who was born on today's date - 15 Sivan.

15 Sivan, 5771

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