No Filler

Like our DNA and the Torah, there is no filler in the Zohar, everything has a purpose. Ever since discovering DNA our biologists and geneticists have assumed that large chunks of our genetic coding were just junk taking up space to keep the important stuff apart. We now know that not to be true, and while we don’t yet know the full extent of its importance we do know that much of it, like the telomeres at the ends of our DNA strands, control our aging process, and that many other such chucks have hidden genetic encoding that sustains many of the functions necessary for life itself. So in their pursuit to play G-d it’s a good idea for them not to ignore the junk. And by the way, if you add up the initials in the 4 basic building blocks of our DNA (A,C,T and G), they add up to 424, the same numerical value as Moshiach Ben David.

We alone on our site have shown that the Torah is a highly complex mathematical matrix of interlocking algorithms and that changing one letter can and will change everything, which is why the deformation of a single letter by a scribe invalidates the entire Torah.

As for the Zohar, the highly cryptic esoteric passages are often stated as conversations hung on a loose scaffolding of the chance meetings of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s students, yet seeing as we know there are no coincidences in life, these chance meetings are not to be overlooked either. They are more than just filler thrown in to make the book read easier; they are powerful lessons in themselves.

A case in point is found in Shemini 10, which corresponds to this week’s Torah portion.

“Rabbi Elazar was traveling along a road, where he met Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair and his whinnying donkey….When he emerged from under the brow of a hill, he saw Rabbi Elazar coming towards him and said: Assuredly, the omen of the [donkey’s] rejoicing has been fulfilled. Rabbi Elazar then came up to him and kissed him. He said to him: If you would like [to join me] and go the same way, let us go together and if not, go on your way. He replied: Indeed, I was going towards you and since I have found you, I will follow you and we can go together.”

So what just happened here and why is it so important that I’m writing a whole article about it?

Most of us come across friends and acquaintances in our daily journeying, greet them, maybe exchange a little gossip and go on our way. Many of us, even say to ourselves afterwards, “Funny I ran into so and so today; I wonder what it means.” But what Rabbi Elazar did, without thinking twice, was change the direction he was traveling in to join his friend in his journey.

This profound difference in the way he thinks is the message we have to learn. While we perceive a chance encounter as a something to move through and past, he realized that he was traveling (cosmically drawn) to it; it was the true end point (object) of his journey, even though not when he originally had set out. He immediately realized, aided by the sign of his whinnying donkey, that the universe had just opened up a window of opportunity for him. Obviously, (since traveling wasn’t so easy back then) he was originally on a mission of some personal significance to himself, but he unquestionably accepted the new path the universe laid out for him and moved on.

We need to view, as Rabbi Elazar did,  the chance encounters we have as the objectives of our journeys, and not as interruptions (pleasant or otherwise).

To be truly spiritual, we too must view life that way if we want to maximize what the universe wants to give us.  We need to stop telling ourselves that our personally set out paths take precedence over the ones the universe is showing us. Even as we overlook all the encounters of our lives, we so often say to ourselves, “if only G-d would show me the way!”.

Well, thanks to the filler in the Zohar, we now understand that all those chance encounters are there to show us those paths; they are the turning points in our journey, not the pit stops. So if the omens are good, take advantage and walk with your friends and new acquaintances and see what awaits you. Opportunities can only open for us. We don’t make them ourselves, but we can and should take advantage of them when they’re presented to us. And by the same token, we don’t find them sitting at home, but on the road of life, traveling through it.

There’s no such thing as filler in the Torah, our DNA, the Zohar, or life, so don’t treat any aspect of it as such, as junk to be ignored, for that would be selling G-d and ourselves short.

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Complete the Process

Most people think the cleaning ends with the searching and the burning of the chametz erev Pesach, but that’s on the physical plain. During the 8 days of Pesach is when the real cleansing takes place. We are no longer cleaning our homes, but our souls.

Think of the process as the preparations for  a marriage. After the courtship and the engagement and the fasting and the mikve–all processes of readying ourselves and cleansing our bodies, minds, and emotions–we’re ready for the true binding of the souls that only happens with the 7 encirclings under the chuppah and the 7 days of 7 blessings (Sheva Brachot). On the 8th, the two souls are fully joined. Just like after the 7 weeks of 7 days of the Omer, after which we’re ready to receive (be joined with) the Torah on Shavuot (more on the Omer in coming articles).  The process prior to the spiritual binding takes a lot of work and effort and the spiritual consciousness must be there as well.

It’s also akin to the process of birth. There’s the process of conception and 9+ months of gestation during which the parents and especially the mother must keep her body (the fetus’ home) as clean an environment as possible.   It takes a lot of work and effort and the spiritual consciousness must be there as well. Then there’s all the effort and pain in the birthing, but it still takes another 8 (7 +1 ) days before the soul is set in the infant, and the circumcision and/or baby naming can take place.  This is the spiritual time.

We’ve done a lot of work and effort and put the spiritual consciousness into our Pesach (Passover) cleaning and preparation, but it’s only during the 8 days of Pesach that our souls are cleansed. Right now, our souls are being shown their spiritual homes and all the chametz in them that was missed, and back on the physical plain more challenges will come up accordingly. How we deal with them, gives support to our souls’ efforts to cleanse away the last vestiges of chametz (blockages) from our lives. And how our souls deal with what’s put in front of them determines what our lives will look like after Pesach.

So support your local soul and make all your Pesach connections with the right consciousness, with your heart in them.  And eat only Pesadichah food and lots of matzah (MZH); this not only affords your soul the physical restriction that it needs to achieve freedom (the main purpose of Pesach) but connects it to Moshe (MShH), the redeemer.

G-d willing (B”H) on the 8th day, the purification of your soul will be complete and your life will be in a new and better place.

Chag Sameach

Pesach Sameach

Shabbat Shalom

With Love,

Ezra

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Aaron, the Hero

My daughter’s kindergarten class reenacted the Passover story and one of the questions asked of the kids was who was the hero? My daughter answer Aaron, “because he went with Moses to see Pharaoh,” while most of the kids said Moses. Now, my daughter usually right on most matters so I put some addition thought into it, and of course as I’ve mentioned multiple times, Aaron is the only person in the Torah whose name is associated with he word “Moshiach.”

And while neither Moses, nor Aaron, nor Abraham have parshot (portions) named after them, Moses’ name is mentioned 616 times,which is the numerical value of “H’Torah” (The Torah), representing all 5 Books of Moses. The numerical value of Aaron’s name is 256, which is the same as Devarim, the last of the 5 Books, and Abraham’s numerical value of 248 is the same as Bamidbar, the 4th of the 5 Books. Moreover the sum of the names of the 5 Books is 2480 or 10 x 248 (Abraham), which is fitting since the Zohar tells us we were given the 10 sefirot (dimensions( in the merit of Abraham. And is we add Aaron and Abraham together plus the kolel of the letters in the 3 Names (Aaron, Abraham, and Moses), which is 12 for the 12 tribes, we get 256 + 248 + 12 = 616, (H’Torah).

But getting back to my daughters point, G-d spoke to Moses directly, so how hard was it for him obey and visit pharaoh? Not to downplay Moses role, but Aaron, had to take it on faith that Moses was talking to G-d and stand before pharaoh–that takes real courage and convictions. So I guess Aaron was the real hero.

And like Abraham and Moshe, while they don’t have one of the 54 portions named after them, they have Books and the entire Torah feeding off their energy.  That Aaron’s is the last Book (Devarim) is interesting because we know that the full cycle of the 27 letters in the alef-bet, or 54, as in 54 x 107 = 5778, the 107th triangular number and the year prophesied by the tzaddikim for the arrival of Mashiach and the numerical value for Aaron’s name, 256 + 107 = 363, the value of H’Moshiach (The Messiah).

While both brothers Moshe and Aaron are the 26th generation in the lineage of Adam, both are also of the soul root of Moshiach, and while we work to bring the great redeemer, let us not forget that both men stood before pharaoh and that like Moses, Aaron will be there at the end of the 107 cycles of 54.  And that to be the hero of the story, we must summon up our own great courage and faith.

Chag Sameach and Happy Pesach!

Cleansing Part III

Still cleaning and cleansing…

In the last installment in my personal pursuit to clean out my home and life and thus my soul, I mentioned the connection to Tzav and the last line of the 42-Letter Name (Ana B’koach), which is ShKVZYT.
What I neglected to point out was that the middle two letters (ShKVZYT) of that last line spell Tzav, of gematria 96, and the Torah portion of Tzav begins with the phrase Vydaber Adonai El Moshe Lemor Tzav. And while in previous articles we’ve discussed in length that the phrase Vydaber Adonai El Moshe Lemor is found 70 times in the Torah connecting to Da’at, and the shorter phrase Vydaber Adonai El Moshe is found 91 times, connecting to the unification of the YHVH with Adonai, we can now mention that the still shorter phrase Vydaber Adonai (G-d Speaks) is found 96 times, connecting to Tzav, “Commands” and this portion that deals with the purification of the soul and of the high priest, Aaron and his sons.

So when G-d speaks, the universe commands.  It doesn’t sound as if we have much free will in the matter. And while we are free to choose not to listen to G-d, eventually the universe will bring us around, and the longer it takes, the tougher the road will be.   This is why we need to cleanse our souls. This is why we should take this amazing opportunity of Pesach and Pesach preparation to do just that.

Now, the part about the cleansing that I haven’t mentioned yet is that when we clean out the gook and garbage from from our minds, souls and consciousness, it first rises to the surface before we can wipe it away. And what that means is that things can get really tough for us in these days of cleansing, and that we must grab hold of these opportunities to overcome our dark blemishes or they’ll sink back down and block us for another year.  I can tell you first hand, it’s not easy; the universe will throw everything it can at us because earlier in our lives and in earlier lifetimes when G-d spoke to us we didn’t take it as a command, and we’ve been paying the price ever since.

And if we’re cleansing and cleansing with the right consciousness, the universe (and a multitude of angels) are saying “He’s ready to listen now, so all those commands get repeated and we’re given new opportunities to follow them.  Only this time, there may be many of them coming at once, and it can be really difficult to see the light in all them. But know this, if you weren’t capable in overcoming and dealing with them, you wouldn’t be receiving these opportunities.  Try really hard to listen to the messages coming your way in this period because G-d will be speaking to you. He wants you to succeed.  The more garbage you get rid of, the more holy you become.