23 October 2015

Lech Lecha ... Go to ...

Lech Lecha ... Go ... to yourself!

The Parsha speaks of G–d telling Avraham to "Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you."

Why does it say Lecha, to yourself?

The Chassidic Masters explain:

"From your land" – from your will (eretz, the Hebrew word for land, is etymologically related to the word ratzon–will).

"From your birthplace"–from your emotional and behavioral self  (which is the product of a person's environment).

"From your father's house"–from your intellect (In the terminology of Kabbalah, the intellect is referred to as the father within man, since it is the progenitor of and authority over his feelings and behavior patterns).

[I interject here to bring attention to Avraham's Aliya, such as what many Olim experience nowadays when they change countries, and go thru the above mental and emotional changes, if it is a successful aliya]

"Everything that happened to the Patriarchs is a signpost for their children. This is why the Torah elaborates its account of their journeys, their well-digging and the other events [of their lives]... These all come as an instruction for the future: for when something happens to one of the three Patriarchs, one understands from it what is decreed to occur to his descendants."

Rabbi Pinchas Winston upon hearing that the Liberals took over Canada in their election declares this "Another Sign":

"Some Jews will not identify with their people until the gentiles make them. Others will not consider leaving the Diaspora until it looks better elsewhere. Some won’t even leave then, only once it becomes intolerable where they are living. The Final Redemption has been ready for years, but the Jewish people have not, still enjoying the party that has gone on for decades now. The winds have changed direction.

"North American Jews, be forewarned. (...) If history and hashkofah are correct, however, the situation may reverse itself in the not-so-distant future."

And now we are being squeezed into an unbearable corner by the world so-called powers. UNESCO wants to declare not just the Temple Mount but the Kotel under arab control. But they fail to remember and realize:

"The Canaanites [the so-called palestinians today] were then in the land (12:6). The Torah itself attests that the Canaanites than ruled the Promised Land. Yet G-d granted it to Abraham, pledging "To your offspring I shall give this land"; later in our Parshah (15:18), G-d goes a step further, saying "To your offspring I have given this land"– already given, in the past tense."

"Therein lies a lesson for all generations of Jews. Although we may find ourselves in galut, under the dominion of nations more powerful than ourselves, this does not in the least affect our ownership of the Holy Land. The land of Israel is ours by Divine bequest, and no force on earth can take it from us."
The Lubavitcher Rebbe

The Parsha also says:

"Your descendents shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved to them, and they will afflict them, four hundred years (15:13)"

The "four hundred years" refer to the period from the birth of Isaac (in the year 2048 from creation--1713 bce), to the Exodus from Egypt (in 2448), during which time Abraham's descendents were "strangers in a land that is not theirs." The actual sojourn in Egypt was for 210 years, of which the final eighty-six were a time when the children of Israel were enslaved and afflicted.

But what happened to the remaining 190 years of the 400?

Rabbi Pinchas Winston explains, "the Final Redemption will not depend upon our teshuvah, but is a date that is coming at us whether we are ready or not, because it is built into Creation. (...) this keitz is a very special one, because it marks the completion of the missing 190 years we were supposed to have spent in Egypt to merit the Final Redemption. (...) Hence, the Final Redemption is not only a keitz, but keitz HaYomim - the end of THE days. Which days? The days we owed from Egyptian servitude."

One that after a time, times-and-half and when there shall be an end to the crushing of the power of the holy nation, all this will be over." (Daniel 12:7). (...) as per the explanation of the Ziv HaZohar, a commentary on the Zohar itself. He writes:

". . . What he means is that the gematria of the word "moed" is 120 . . . half of moed is 60. The idea of chetzi-moed is in Daniel (12:7), when the angel swears that the life of the world will be a "moed, moadim vacheitzi." In general, there are three "moadim" (literally, appointed times) each year: Matzos, Shavuos, and Succos, the total gematria of which is 1,800. This means that, only after the 1800th year [after the destruction of the Second Temple] – according to the counting from creation – will the year of the number "sixty" arrive, at which time the redemption will begin. Since there is a difference of opinion as to when the Bais HaMikdosh was destroyed, it could be that it lasted for three years, beginning in the year 3828 and ending in the year 3830. Eighteen hundred years henceforth would be the year 5630 (1870 CE). Half of a moed, which is 60, would make the year 5660 (1900 CE), which is when Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai said the "remembrance" of the redemption would be . . . Now, in our days, the truth of his words is evident, since the chevlei Moshiach have begun – they are persecuting the Holy Nation, murdering Jews in every place they are found. As well, major wars are beginning to occur ... (Ziv HaZohar, Zohar, 1:119a)

The Ziv HaZohar's calculation is more complex than presented here, but the main point of bringing his words is to hear his testimony of the state of Jewish security in his days. And he didn't live to witness the Holocaust. If his explanation of the Zohar is correct, then what WE are witnessing is not the beginning of the redemption process, but perhaps the end of it. And everything that has occurred since that time has been all part of that process, both the happy and the sad events. Thus, Yechezkel prophecised:

"It shall come to pass on that day, on the day that Gog shall come against the Land of Israel," says the L-rd, G-d, "My fury shall rise up . . . And in My jealousy, in the fire of My anger, I have spoken-surely on that day there will be a great shaking in Eretz Yisroel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field, and all the creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the people who are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at My Presence; the mountains shall be destroyed, the steep places shall fall, and every wall will fall to the ground."(Yechezkel 38:18-20)



yaak said...

If we keep the Hurban at 3828 and we add the word "Mo'ed" itself, that adds 120 to the total, which brings us to 5778.

yaak said...

Actually, sorry. My calculation is off.

I'm wondering why the Ziv Hazohar only added 30 years from 1870 to get to 1900 if we earlier said that half a Mo'ed is 60?

Neshama said...

You've raised a good question. I'll ask Rabbi Winston about that and post his reply. Thanks Yaak.