Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#216 - Going from STRENGTH 2 STRENGTH

A few days ago, something that went virtually unnoticed took place.  Shortly after Passover, on 23 Nissan, the 8th worldwide cycle of the Daf Yomi of the Jerusalem Talmud ended, and on the following day - 24 Nissan - the 9th worldwide cycle of the Daf Yomi of the Jerusalem Talmud began.  To be honest, I found absolutely nothing in the internet about this, as it far pales in stark comtrast to the Daf Yomi of the Babylonian Talmud.  The reason for this is quite simple - relatively few people study the Jerusalem Talmud, except for seasoned scholars and some Gerrer Chasidim, as the fifth Gerrer Rebbe, Rabbi Simcha Bunim Alter ZT'L is the one who proposed this idea of learning Daf Yomi of the Jerusalem Talmud, which began on Tu B'Shevat (15 Shevat) 5740 (1980).

In this instance, the significance of the timing of the conclusion of the 8th cycle of this Daf Yomi and the commencement of the 9th cycle of this Daf Yomi is strikingly amazing in terms of this Sephirat HaOmer (counting of the days from the day after the first day of Passover at which an Omer offering was brought in the Temple until the holiday of Shavuot), for the conclusion of the 8th cycle took place on the 8th day of the Sephira, and so the commencement of the 9th cycle took place on the 9th day of the Sephira.  And if this was not enough, the date of this commencement took place on 24 Nissan, the birthdate of the founder of the learning of this Daf Yomi of the Jerusalem Talmud - Grand Rabbi Simcha Bunim Alter of the Gerrer Hasidic dynasty!

Now first, in terms of the conclusion of this EIGHTH cycle, it ended off with Tractate Nidah, which is about the woman who had a period who needs a period of non-physical contact with her husband which includes first a period of usually 5-6 days until no more blood appears, followed by seven "clean" days on which no blood has been seen, following which the woman goes to a Mikva (ritualarium), then rendering her pure to resume physical contact with her husband.  In any case, we see that it is only following these seven clean days that on the night of the EIGHTH that she becomes spiritually pure once again.

To note, in the Jerusalem Talmud, there are 13 Dafim on this tractate, which includes material only on the first four out of ten chapters of this tractate.   And as we see, there are approximately 13 days from the beginning of a woman's period until she is ready for the Mikva. (Technically, it could happen as early as 12 days, but oftentimes, since we count the period of time as to when day begins which is nighttime, rather than hours; and so, it often happens that at least six days, including the day that blood was first seen, are counted before no more blood is seen, and is only at that point that the seven clean days begin).  Corresponding, we see an amazing thing with the Shlosh Esrei Middot HaRachamim (the Thirteen Divine Attributes of Mercy), in which the final one of these 13 is V'Nakeh "and will be clean (from sin)", which in the context of when the woman goes to the Mikva, it could happen at times on the 13th day from when the period began, or this 13th day could be the conclusion of the seven clean days.

And now, in terms of the commencement of this NINTH cycle, it begins with Tractate Berachot, which consists of NINE chapters.  And as we know, various conduct in how we say the main Shemoneh Esrei prayer is based on the conduct of Chana, mother of Shmuel HaNavi (Samuel the Prophet) when she prayed, as we see in the beginning of Sefer Shmuel that we read on the first day of Rosh Hashana, following which, we pray the Mussaf Shemoneh Esrei which consists of NINE blessings, the ONLY day(s, being that we now observe two days of Rosh Hashana) of the year that the Shemoneh Esrei consists of particularly nine blessings.  And as related to a birthday, the birthday of a person is technically his Rosh Hashana, for indeed, it is the beginning, or as literally translated, the head of one's year, just as Adam and Eve, the ancestors of all mankind, were created on Rosh Hashana, which was also their personal Rosh Hashana.  And as we see pertaining to the Gematria of Adam's name - 45, the Mispar Katan (small Gematria) is NINE (4+5).

And as for the new cycle of the Daf Yomi of the Jerusalem Talmud beginning on the birthday of the one who proposed this idea, his birth took place 116 years ago in 5658 (1898).  And as we know, there were 116 years of slavery of the Jews in Egypt until their freedom with Yetziat Mitzrayim (Exodus), and one's birth is in essence, leaving the Meitzarim (straights) of the womb, being freed from the womb and let out into the world at large.  And though ironically, we are speaking of 116 years since the birth of Rabbi Simcha Bunim Alter, the ultimate freedom of a Jew is Torah, as we see in the sixth chapter of Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers). In any case, the first chapter of the Mishna/Talmud is very connected with the concept of the Exodus, for the subject matter of this chapter is about the Shema, which concludes with the verse that mentions the Exodus, and as the last Mishna of the chapter deals with as to how we know that the third paragraph of the Shema, which includes mention of the Exodus, is recited even at night (even though the first topic which is about the Mitzva of Tzitzit is technically a daytime Mitzva), which is quoted in the Haggada.

Now, for more emphasis on the concept of nine, as especially related to the concept of the Sephira of this date (24 Nissan) as Gevurah She'B'Gevurah (Strength within Strength), which has to do with strict justice, the number nine is especially related to the concept of darkness, such as darkness being the ninth plague that struck the Egyptians, and in terms of us - it is the ninth of Av, the month that is represented by the letter Teit, the ninth of the Aleph Beit with a numerical value of nine, which is the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, commemorating the destruction of both Temples, along with other numerous unfortunate events for Jews that took place on this date.  In fact, the phrase of  "in darkness, you have placed me", which is mentioned in the Talmudic tractates of Sanhedrin and Avoda Zara as referring to the Babylonian Talmud, the product of the learning that took place in the exile of Babylonia, the country which destroyed our first Temple, comes from the book of Eicha (Lamentations) that is read specifically on Tisha B'Av.  And so, it is quite ironic that it is the NINTH cycle of the Daf Yomi of the corresponding Jerusalem Talmud that commenced on the NINTH day of the Sephira that represents the ultimate harshness and darkness.

On this note, it must be remembered that we just passed the first of four red moons, which I wrote about in my previous post.  Technically, the sign of a red moon is, G-d forbid, a bad sign for Jews.  True, we are soon going to usher into the Messianic era; however, this will not occur without a major challenge to the Jewish people.  However, one of the main ways, though not the only way, that will help us as a nation pass through these rough times, is the study of Torah, which has been recently challenged by the Knesset in which some viciously attempted to pass rules which will, G-d forbid, punish the very group of Jews who learn Torah the most.

This vicious effort was superheaded in part by the evil Naftali Bennett, whose last name in Hebrew, which is spelled as Beit-Noon-Teit, reads the word Satan (letters Sin-Teit-Noon) in the Gematria form of Atbash (the first Aleph being substituted with the last letter Tav, the second letter Beit being substituted with the next to the last letter Shin, and so on), using the pretext that this was part of a serious of bills being in benefit of the Hareidi (Ultra-Orthodox) to give work incentives for them, as though he couldn't pass this work incentive bill alone.  Indeed, this is the very way how Satan operates, for an observant Jew doesn't necessarily think of sinning by itself, but is sometimes fooled by the Yetzer Hara (Evil Inclination), which is Satan, to think that one could be doing a Mitzva, when in fact, it is an Aveira (sin), or leads to an Aveira, which in this case, is "defending" the State of Israel.  Moreover, this last name can be read as B'Noon-Teit (with Noon-Teit), for the letters Noon and Teit begin the names of Nebuchadnezzar and Titus, the respective heads of the Temple destruction operations of the Babylonian and Roman empires. And while in Bennett's video of him talking in English, he spoke about his ancestors in Europe not having had the chance to defend themselves; there would be NO NEED to defend ourselves in our country if we would only do what Hashem wants.  In fact, quite contrary, it is due in part, in fact, a large part, of Jews learning Torah especially in Israel, that helps so many miracles of Jews not being attacked, as especially evident with the amount of missiles that our Arab enemies throw at us these days.  And so, for an observant Jew who is devoted to learning Torah to be thrown in a non-friendly observant environment of the army is not going to help matters in the long run; aside from the fact that this is an army that is basically trained to be "moral" and not be so quick to attack our enemies, and unless openly attacked first, to at most shoot in the air, something that is not done in ANY other army in the world.

And as I am writing this post which is based on the study of the Daf Yomi of the Jerusalem Talmud, it was in Jerusalem that the gathering and protest of the Hereidi community took place a couple of months ago, in response to the Knesset attempt to get Jews learning Torah in Yeshivot to learn a little less by "defending" our country.  Perhaps for others, such as in the Zionist or Dati Leumi (National Religious) camp, and for anyone else who wants on his own to serve in the army, it is a Mitzva for them to be in the army, if their sole intent is truly to defend our country, rather than follow orders that could be detrimental to the safety of Israel. However, for those who are truly intent in learning Torah, so long as this army is dictated by the policies of an anti-Torah/religious government, there is NO Mitzva to serve in the army, since as it states in the Talmudic tractate of Megilla, learning Torah is GREATER than saving lives.  Yes, you read correctly, though of course, if G-d forbid, a situation occurs where there is no else or there is  insufficient manpower to save lives, then we need to stop our Torah learning to tend to the emergency situation, since after all, "learning Torah leads to action", and that is why we have Taryag Mitzvot (613 Commandments).

However, in our situation, since the Israeli army is an army that is based on mandatory recruitment of its citizens, rather than voluntary enrollment such as in the United States; numbers is not an issue.  And as seen in the history of Israel's wars in the last 65 some years, Hashem has done all kinds of miracles to save us from our Arab enemies.  However, it was particularly when Israel practiced restraint to fulfill the wishes of the United States not to attack the Arabs first, that caused THOUSANDS of Jews to be killed in war, which could and would have been avoided for the most part had Israel attacked first.  And so, before Jews who hate our Torah tell followers of the Torah what to do, let them at least first get their own act in order and show the type of true strength needed in fighting our enemies as every other sane country does in fighting its enemies, in lieu of releasing terrorists - who deserve execution - from prison; and then perhaps, the evil Bennett, whose beanie on his head is just a Jewish uniform in disguise, can start lecturing Torah Jews on the benefits of  "defending" our country.

And so indeed, even in Israel, we are living in a period of darkness, just as in the period of the Syrian Greeks who attempted to get the Jews to stop observing the Torah, which is hinted to by the Torah with the mention of the word Choshech (darkness), in which even some in the guise of observant Jews, including some Zionist rabbis, tell truly observant Jews who are devoted to the Torah, that they are sinners by not wishing to "fulfill" what the Torah says, to be part of army that "fights" our enemies, as we see in numerous stories in the Tanach (Jewish Bible).  However, the difference is that at least in those days, there was virtually no political interest controlling how we fought our enemies, and quite often, they had no choice but to fight to the bitter end, and were indeed in the midst of getting rid of our enemies, as the Torah mandates.  However, with all the talks and concessions happening from the Israeli government, not only is its interest is NOT in annihilating our enemies, but it even causes further attacks from our neighboring Arabs, proving statistically in an increase in terror when "peace" concessions are taking place, along with of course, releasing thousands of Arab terrorists from Israeli prisons.  And so, a larger army is definitely NOT the answer to the present crisis that is happening in Israel.  The ONLY answer to our present crisis is if anything, to beef up our Torah observance, and then, in the merit of these good Jews, Hashem will continue performing miracles on our behalf.

With this said, if the Israeli government is truly worried about upcoming wars, it should start worrying about the upcoming Gog U'Magog war, which will be headed by none other than its "ally" country, the good U.S. of A., which is still keeping Jewish and American hero Jonathan Pollard in prison to rot away, even as he is presently in poor health.  And with his recent refusal to attend the parole board in the midst of the United States to be pressured to release him with conditional further releases of terrorists in Israel, it just comes to show who is the hero and villians here.  Of course we didn't see any fuss in press releases in the States of how Jonathan Pollard could be such a fool to take a chance of not being released after being stuck in prison for nearly three decades, because this would make him look real good, the LAST thing that the United States as headed by the evil Obama wants; and so, life goes on as though it is Israel who didn't want the "peace" concessions to continue, still being blamed by the evil John Kerry when he knows damn well it is the Arabs who have been cry babies for the longest time, having the Chutzpa to do so when Israel, on his demands, already released scores of terrorists.  


MIDDLE SEPHIRA-MIDDLE DAY-MIDDLE TRACTATE

The truth is that the focus of this post is on Torah learning.  With this said, moving along the Sephira calendar as this year's posts is following, the 25th or the MIDDLE of the 49 Kabbalistic Sephirot is Netzach She'B'Netzach, and as related to our post, I will translate as Victory within Victory, for indeed, it is the learning of Torah that will be the ultimate cause of our victory over our enemies.

Lo and behold, the MIDDLE day of this Hebrew Year 5774, having the maximum of 385 days as allowed in our present Jewish calendar, is 14 Adar II, the date of Purim!  And as we see from the Vilna Gaon pertaining to the relationship of the various holidays with the Sephirot, it is the holiday of Purim that corresponds to the Sephira of Netzach!  For as clearly shown in the Megilla that we read on Purim, it was following our VICTORY over our enemies that we celebrated.

The truth is that it is a little funny here, because the number of this post - 216, is the Gematria of the Sephira that is called Gevurah (Strength), but in a way, there is a connection here, because it is with strength that an army has VICTORY in war.  Actually, the title of this post is actually based on a verse in Psalm 84, where it states "they will go from strength to strength", though the actual Hebrew word used for strength in this instance is not Gevurah but Chayil, which in at least modern Hebrew, is based on the wording that means soldier.  And in the Talmudic sense, the context refers to one who has completed a course of Torah study or has done a Mitzva, and is wished continued strength in learning more Torah or doing Mitzvot.

And amazingly, the Gematria of the name of the MIDDLE tractate of the Mishnayot - Bava Metzia - is 216, which in this year, in the NINTH cycle of the study of one chapter of Mishnayot a day, was learnt in the MIDDLE 10 days of the month of Nissan, the month of miracles, as it consists of 10 chapters.  And the MIDDLE two days of Nissan - the 15th and 16th - are both especially related to miracles, as the 15th is the miracle of the Exodus, and the 16th marks the date of hanging Haman, the villian in the Purim story who attempted to have all the Jews murdered on one day.  The miracle in this instance is that one day, Haman was second to King Achashveirosh, and then the next thing we know, King Achashveirosh orders his execution, leading to the war of the Jews fighting victoriously over our enemies.

Aside from this reason, noting that in this Hebrew leap year, there were two months of Adar, the Talmud in Tractate Megilla discusses as to which of these months is appropriate to have the holiday of Purim.  The conclusion is that Purim should be celebrated in the second month of Adar, as it is appropriate to have a holiday of miracles in the month closest to the month in which we have another holiday of Passover celebrating miracles.

With this said, the name of Sephira called Netzach, the FOURTH and MIDDLE of the seven Sephirot, is the Gematria of the name of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov - greatgrandson of the Ba'al Shem Tov, founder of the Hasidic movement - who was born on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, who was especially connected with the number FOUR.  And noting that both his name and the name of the month of Nissan both start and end with the letter NOON (as well as the name of Nachshon Ben-Aminadav, leader of the Tribe of Judah the FOURTH son of Jacob and Leah, who brought special offerings in the Tabernacle on behalf of his tribe on Rosh Chodesh Nissan), it is precisely in this year that the study of the first three tractates of the FOURTH of the six volumes of the Mishnayot, called Nezikin (Damages) was learnt in this program of one chapter of Mishna a day, noting that the name Nezikin also begins and ends with the letter NOON!  This is also to note that at one time, these three tractates - Bava Kama (First Gate), Bava Metzia (Middle Gate), and Bava Basra (Last Gate) - was at one time one large tractate also called Nezikin. but in time, was divided into three separate tractates.  To note, Bava Metzia is called the Middle Gate because it is the middle of these three tractates in Nezikin, but it is ALSO the MIDDLE of the 63 tractates of the Mishnayot.  In any case, the very first chapter of Nezikin, the first chapter of Bava Kama, which was learnt on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, starts off stating Arba'ah Avot Nezikin... "There are FOUR classifications of damages - the ox, the pit, the tooth, and the fire", noting the number FOUR beginning the FOURTH volume of the Mishnayot.

And having written in this post about Jewish armies and fighting, it was Yehoshua Bin-NOON (Joshua son of Noon) who led the Jews people to Israel and faught various nations for seven years before dividing the land for the various tribes.  And in this year, aside from the learning of the first chapter of Nezikin/Bava Kama that starts off with mentioning the word Avot, it is the very name of the tractate that we learn on Shabbat starting from the Shabbat after Passover (until Shavuot or Rosh Hashana depending on custom) which fell out this year on 26 Nissan, the Yahrzeit of Yehoshua, beginning with stating "Moses received the Torah from Mt. Sinai, and handed it over to Joshua, Joshua to the prophets...".  In fact, some of Joshua's main accomplishments took place in this very month of Nissan, including on the 10th of Nissan in which he led the Jews to Israel, and his first victory mission that took place in Jericho on the 28th of Nissan.  Indeed, it is hardly surprising that we mention Joshua on the first day of Passover, both in the Haggada and the Haftara, for it was Joshua, as Moses' successor, who followed in his footsteps in TRUE Jewish leadership and fighting our enemies, realizing that ultimately, if we do our part, then Hashem will do His part and help us with His miracles, a point that was made clear to Joshua when an angel appeared to him early on to reprimand him for not learning Torah one day in the midst of a fighting expidition, keeping him in track of what is the ultimate weapon in the midst of fighting our enemies, not using a lack of time as an excuse for not learning Torah, an event that is mentioned in the Haftara for the first day of Passover (Note: Though this is not clear from the text of the Tanach/Haftara, this is how our rabbis in the Talmud interpret this story).

And as our rabbis tell us "The face of Joshua resembles the moon" (Talmud Bava Batra 75a), and as per my previous post on the four red moons phenomenon, two of the four times occur in the middle of the month of Nissan at the full moon point.  And having mentioned the concept of damages here and that the red moon is, G-d forbid, a bad sign for Jews, it is the number four, that is most associated with the concept of damages, is also the number that is most associated to the concept of the moon, as I go into detail about in my previous post.

There is one more thing here that I want to mention pertaining to the concept of MIDDLE that relates especially to this Hebrew year.  As we know, there is what is called Shirat Ha'azinu, the Song that is mentioned in the first 43 verses of Parshat Ha'azinu, in which Moses exhorts us to follow in Hashem's ways, or G-d forbid, bad things will happen.  Now, while this was not the first time that he spoke on this issue, this was the very last time in his life that he did so.  But also significantly, this is marked in the Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll) by how this is written - not as regular reading text, but written in poetry form, leaving more space between phrases, rather than just between verses, to make the design that it looks, just as it is written for Shirat HaYam (Song of the Sea) that is read on the seventh day of Passover.  Anyways, the 5774th verse of the Torah, corresponding to this Hebrew Year 5774, is the MIDDLE verse of Shirat Ha'azinu!

Now, let us take a look at this verse "For fire burned in My nostrils, and blazed until the lowest depths, it shall consume the land and its produce, and set aflame what is founded on mountains" (Deutronomy 32:22). Now, to quote Rashi, "the land" refers to Israel and "founded on mountains" refers to Jerusalem, quoting a verse from Tehilim (Psalms 125:2) where it states that Jerusalem is surrounded by mountains.

Technically, this verse was already fulfilled with not one, but two destructions of the Temple.  In today's terms, we know that it is just a matter of time until Gog U'Magog sets afoot in Israel, particularly in Jerusalem, which even the Israeli government which bows to our enemies, for the most, insists on being our eternal capitol of Israel, but soon, even this will not be agreeable to the United States government.  In fact, the United States never actually acknowledged that Jerusalem is the capitol of Jerusalem, maintaining its main embassy rather in Tel Aviv, and in natural citizenship documentation, a child of an American parent born in Jerusalem is listed as born in Jerusalem WITHOUT THE MENTION OF THE NAME ISRAEL.  As far as the government of the United States is concerned, Jerusalem - as long as East Jerusalem is inhabitated by the Arabs - is part of the "West Bank", regardless of what the Bible has to say on the subject.  In fact, as far as President Obama, who is Moslem, is concerned, he is more worried about what he calls the "holy Koran" has to say on the subject, since in fact, Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Koran, in stark contrast to the 669 times that the name Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible.

In my previous post, I mentioned how the four red moons hints to Dam (bloodshed), this word being the Gematria of 44, all taking place literally within the MIDDLE part of the 44th U.S. President Obama's second term.  But one more thing that I want to add today is that being that the number 44 is a composite of 4*11, the number 11 also is related to the concept of damages.  For first, the name of the 11th of the 14 volumes of the main work of the Rambam (Maimondies) called Mishne Torah, which encompasses all the laws of the Torah, is called Nezikin.  Moreover, the 44th Parsha of the Torah is called Devarim, whose word begins with the letter Dalet, the FOURTH letter and is the numerical value of FOUR, and is the first Parsha of 11 Parshiyot in the fifth and final book of the Chumash (Penteteuch), and is always read on the Shabbat before Tisha B'Av, or in some years, on the date of the 9th of Av itself, except that we fast the day after since we don't fast on Shabbat (the only exception being Yom Kippur).  And as especially related to Tisha B'Av, he was politically born on Tisha B'Av in the year Two Thousand and FOUR, first becoming a public figure when he spoke endorsing then the anti-Semitic Democratic candidate John Kerry when he spoke on this very day (this fact coming from the ones who are behind the website www.redemption5768.com).

And just like Hashem showed His strength when it came to the Exodus, so may Hashem show His strength shortly in sanctification of His name, showing that it is only when we follow in Hashem's ways that we will achieve the ultimate victory, including in Jerusalem being ablaze with the Torah learning of the ones who put themselves on the line despite the threats of the Erev Rav, which includes most members of the Knesset, who will soon vanish into eternal damnation, as the verse promises, "Not with infantry, nor with power, but with My spirit, says the L-rd o Hosts".  May this be fulfilled speedily in our days.  Amen!


End of Nissan, 5774

1 comment:

jac davic said...

Các biểu hiện bệnh tim mạch ở người cao tuổiBệnh tim mạch là một trong những căn bệnh mà người cao tuổi thường hay gặp phải và gây ra nhiều biến chứng nguy hiểm tới tính mạng.
Những biểu hiện và cách phòng ngừa bệnh tim mạchTim mạch là một bệnh vô cùng nguy hiểm, đặc biệt bệnh tim mạch thường gặp ở người cao tuổi.
Người bị bệnh tim mạch nên kiêng ăn gì?Có lẽ bạn đã biết rằng ăn một số loại thực phẩm nhất định có thể làm tăng nguy cơ bệnh tim mạch, tuy vậy thật khó để thay đổi thói quen ăn uống
Trẻ sơ sinh bị sôi bụng phải làm sao?Nếu các biện pháp trên không cải thiện được tình trạng này, các chị em nên đến tham khảo ý kiến từ bác sĩ để có thể chữa trị tốt nhất.
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Buồng trứng đa nang là gì?Để giúp chị em hiểu rõ hơn về vấn đề này, bài viết sau đây sẽ mang đến cho mọi người những thông tin hay hữu ích, hãy cùng đón xem nhé!
Buồng trứng đa nang có chữa được không?Hội chứng buồng trứng đa nang (PCOS) là tình trạng đặc trưng của sự mất cân bằng nội tiết tố, u nang buồng trứng, hoặc rối loạn chức năng buồng trứng
Bị buồng trứng đa nang nên ăn gì?Phụ nữ bị đa nang buồng trứng có nguy cơ dẫn tới vô sinh. Vì vậy, điều trị đa nang buồng trứng là việc rất cần thiết.
Miếng dán nâng ngực là gì?Vòng một luôn là mối quan tâm hàng đầu của chị em phụ nữ. Khi còn trẻ, hầu hết chị em đều có đôi gò bồng đào săn chắc và quyến rũ
Củ cải đường là gì - nấu gì ngon?Ngoài ra nó còn có chứa kali, natri, phốt pho, magiê, sắt, canxi, kẽm, mangan, đồng và các khoáng chất khác.
Đau dạ dày nên ăn gì buổi sáng?Tuy nhiên, hoàn toàn có thể giúp cho dạ dày hoạt động tốt nếu như người bệnh có một chế độ ăn uống hợp lý, kiêng cữ các thức ăn gây hại cho dạ dày