31 December 2017

Aleph, Beis, Gimmel: EMUNA, BITACHON = GEULA

From Teshuvah to Redemption

A Generation of Seekers

Our generation is a generation of teshuvah. Teshuvah begins by seeking for the truth, searching for who I am, and why I am here. There are many people on the road, seeking answers to their questions. Together with teshuvah, many people search for natural healing alternatives. Both of these phenomena go hand-in-hand. The sages teach that there is a strong connection between teshuvah and healing, “teshuvah is great, for it brings healing to the world.”[2] God is the healer of all flesh who connects our souls to our bodies. If we want to be healthy, we need to be in touch with the Almighty who says, “I am God, your Healer.”[3]

People begin to search for something deeper when they feel a sense of emptiness in their lives, a lack of meaning. Many Israelis travel to the Far East after their military service and begin to search for something beyond. Sometimes a Jew out of his natural habitat thinks more freely and is more open to hear the truth. Many discover the connection to God when they are distant from the Holy Land, in the various Jewish homes that host them. There, they discover the meaning of their Jewish roots.

Just as teshuvah relates to healing, so redemption depends on teshuvah, “If the Jewish people do teshuvah, they will be redeemed.”[4] As the Previous Rebbe of Chabad said, “Immediate teshuvah, immediate redemption.”[5]

The origin of these three related concepts, teshuvah, healing and redemption, is a fourth concept, from which the process begins: faith. Belief in God is “the fundamental foundation and the pillar of wisdom.”[6] Sometimes, when people first set out on their quest, they believe in something undefined, which is difficult to call “God.” They search for purpose, which lies in the inaccessible, unconscious niches of the mind. They conclude that if life has purpose then someone, or something gave it purpose. That Someone expects something from me. They aspire to reach the unknown, and discover God.

Without faith, a Person Lives with Nothing Beyond his Natural Instincts.

These four concepts have a particular order: first we need faith. Faith is why people look for something that is missing in their life. They have a conviction that there is something beyond what meets the naked eye, maybe there is a God. If not, there would be nothing for them to look for. [. . .]

God’s purpose for redeeming us from Egypt was to give us the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Before the Giving of the Torah, all the Jews were healed. God gives us the Torah, which is the ultimate goal of redemption, when we are all healthy, strong and happy.

The advent of Mashiach and final redemption is the revelation of a new dimension of Torah, “[A new] Torah will exude from Me” – and in order that we can all receive this new revelation of Torah from Mashiach, we need to be healthy in mind and body. At Mt. Sinai there was no-one who was blind or deaf, everyone was at their peak state of health. To be healthy enough to receive the new Torah, the revelation of the great light of redemption, we need to do teshuvah. The beginning of teshuvah is to strengthen our faith in God, and our faith in His Torah, i.e., faith in the fact that God communicates with mankind. This leads naturally to the belief that life has purpose. First we believe and then we do teshuvah, which brings healing. Once we are healed, we are redeemed.

Four Types of Completeness

Faith, teshuvah, healing and redemption must all be “complete,” as we find in the siddur. After the morning prayers, many have the custom to read Maimonides’ 13 Principles of Faith, all of which begin with the phrase, “I believe with complete faith.” The most famous is “I believe with complete faith in the advent of Mashiach.” Regarding teshuvah, we say three times a day in the Amidah prayer, “Return us with complete teshuvah before You.” Further on in the Amidah we say “Heal us … with complete recovery” (רפואה שלמה). Regarding redemption, there are versions of the Amidah that state, “And redeem us a complete redemption soon and in our days” So we see that the sages added the word “complete” to each of these words.

[. . .]According to the sages, Tisha B’Av is the day on which Mashiach is born, the day on which faith in the coming of Mashiach is born in the collective Jewish heart. This is the profound meaning of the verse in Psalms that states, “When I plummet to the depths of the abyss, here You are!” Sometimes we discover God at the lowest moments of our lives, a discovery that activates the redemption process. “The end (the redemption) is wedged in the beginning (faith).” All four concepts, faith, teshuvah, healing and redemption are alluded to in the etrog. The most important law concerning the etrog is that it must be whole, that it should not be lacking. So too, each of these four concepts must be complete.

Emphasizing the word “complete” implies that there is a possibility that it could be incomplete. In Chassidut we learn that something that is whole always has two complementary dimensions, which seem to contradict one another; an inner dimension and an outer dimesnion. The idea of completeness (שְׁלֵמוּת) alludes to the fact that the two dimensions are at peace (שָׁלוֹם) with each other. If only one dimension manifests, it competes with the other dimension and the phenomenon is not complete. By understanding how faith, teshuvah, healing and redemption, each contain two dimensions we can understand how they should manifest completely.

In Chassidut, a most important concept is “innerness” (פְּנִימִיוּת). Chabad Chassidut in particular emphasizes that we should experience every event from its inner dimension. One important verse that describes the wrong attitude in Chassidut is, “the fool does not desire insight, but the revelation of his heart.” The fool does search for something, but his quest is to experience his own ego (“the revelation of his heart”). Many people travel to the east expecting to find that, but if God helps them, they realize that the external trappings of life and even the satisfaction gained by superficial mystical experiences are artificial, and they begin to search for true insight.

Everything needs to be complete with both dimensions, especially the four concepts that are explicitly coupled with completeness. We should not deny or ignore the external aspects of reality, because when both dimensions, internal and external, come together, reality becomes complete. External reality is significant only when it comes together with the inner dimension of reality and (in the present order of reality) is subordinate to it.

In this world, the body is subordinate to the soul, it receives its energy from the soul. However, in the future, the soul will be nourished by the body. Divine influx will flow from the body to the soul. Then, the advantage of the external dimension of reality will become revealed. In this world, the Infinite Light that fills all worlds shines first to the soul and through the soul to the body. But in the future, the Infinite Light that surrounds all worlds will become revealed. God’s surrounding light shines first to the outer dimension of reality, to the body, and from the body to the soul. So we see that each one of the two dimensions of reality has an advantage over the other and both must unite in order to manifest the completeness that God desires in His creation.

Defeating Amalek

The sages state that even God’s Divine Name Havayah (the essential Name of God) is at present not complete. They learn this from the phrase that relates to the ongoing war against the Amalekite people. Amalek is the essence of skepticism, which is the power that opposes faith. The numerical value of Amalek (עֲמָלֵק) is 240, which is equal to the numerical value of “doubt” (סָפֵק). Amalek aspires to sever the first two letters of the Divine Name of God, the yud and the hei, from the second two letters, the vav and the hei, as the sages interpret the phrase, “For a hand is upon the throne of Kah, a war of God with Amalek from generation to generation”[8] (כִּי יָד עַל כֵּס יָ־הּ מִלְחָמָה לַֽהוי’ בַּֽעֲמָלֵק מִדֹּר דֹּר). The Divine Name, Kah, is spelled only with a yud and a hei. It is the inner aspect of the Complete Name (which is why it is also one of the Names of God that it is forbidden to erase), but it has only half the letters of Havayah. The vav–hei, the other two letters of the Divine Name of God are the outer aspect, the body, as it were, of the Name. This is illustrated in the verse, “The concealed things are for Havayah your God, and the revealed things are for us and for our children.”[9] We need both yud–hei, the internal aspect, and vav–hei, the external aspect, in order that this Name of God be complete. Similarly, everything must be complete, with its inner dimension, the hidden part and with the outer dimesnion, the revealed part. God’s war against Amalek in every generation is to repair and unite the two halves of His Divine Name—the internal and the external aspects of reality—between which Amalek wishes to separate.

Complete Faith

Now that we understand the meaning of completeness, we can contemplate the inner and outer dimensions of each aspect within the four concepts mentioned above, beginning with faith.

The Jewish people are “believers the sons of believers.”[10] We inherit our inherent faith from the Patriarchs, especially Abraham, of whom the verse states, “And he believed in God and He considered it a charitable deed for him.”

After the Splitting of the Red Sea, the verse states, “And they believed in God, and in Moses, His servant.”[11] To be a believing Jew, we need to believe in God and in His true prophet. According to Maimonides, there are 13 principles of faith. Nonetheless, the main pillars of faith for the Jewish people are that there is a God who communicates with us through the Torah, which He gave to us via the true prophet, Moses, His faithful servant, as the verse states, “Moses commanded us the Torah…” (this is the first verse that a father teaches his young son to say in Hebrew).

Which is the revealed dimension and which is the hidden dimension of faith?

The obvious answer is that the inner dimension is believing in God’s existence and experiencing His providence throughout life, and sensing how “From God the steps of a man are directed and in His ways he desires.”[12] The external dimension of faith is that we are commanded to believe that God has a prophet with whom He communicates and we must accept his prophecy. This is an authentic possibility, which reflects one facet of the Torah. But, the Torah is a multi-faceted gem. Chassidut explains it from the opposite perspective. Our faith in God is the external aspect of faith. But, Moses was a not merely one prophet who taught us to walk in the way of God. In every generation there is a spark of Moses that appears in one individual who has the power to reveal a hidden and more profound dimension of our faith in God. In general, that spark of Moses is concealed. If it were to be uncovered in full, that individual would be revealed as the Mashiach, who will reveal the innermost secrets of the “new Torah,” which will bring us to a higher and deeper realization of our faith in God that will usher in the era of the ultimate redemption.

In order to penetrate this deeper level of faith, we need to connect to God’s messenger who teaches us the Torah in every generation, especially the innermost dimension of the “new Torah” (the Torah of Mashiach).

[. . .]

Complete Teshuvah

Some might ask, if we believe in God, why do we need the Torah? Is it not enough to believe in our hearts. They might even quote the Talmudic phrase, “The Almighty desires the heart.”[13] This thought leads to severing the two levels of belief in God, and in Moses, who transmitted the Torah to us. Contemplating the inner and outer dimensions of faith helps us understand that our faith must be expressed through loyalty to the Torah. This leads to a further understanding of the two levels of teshuvah.

Teshuvah can be either outward, or inward. The sages define these two types of teshuvah as teshuvah from fear and teshuvah from love. Fear of punishment stems from the kelipah (“husk”) of nogah (translucent light), which contains a mixture of good and evil. Nogah lies inbetween the impure husks and holiness. It can motivate good things, but it is not from the side of holiness. God is the essence of goodness and everything that is truly holy is “only for God Himself,” but nogah possesses egocentric motivations (fear of punishment and pursuit of reward), which vitalize the evil husks. Fear of punishment is an external motivation. But, there are other levels of fear that are completely holy, such as fear of sin (fear of being severed from God by sinning), awe of God’s exaltedness, fear from shame (i.e., feeling ashamed that I exist in a way that conceals God’s light). When we do teshuvah from fear, “deliberate sins become unintentional,”[14] but the sin does not turn into something good.

When we do teshuvah from love of God, it turns “deliberate sins into merits.”[15] After doing heartfelt teshuvah from love, the sin becomes a mitzvah. This is an incredible phenomenon. Doing teshuvah from love takes me back to the moment when I sinned deliberately, and turns what I did from evil to goodness, from darkness to light, from bitter to sweet.

In our generation we do not need to preach fear of punishment. There are people who may be motivated by it, but this is not the message that our generation requires. [. . .] God turns to our generation and gives us a wake-up call to do teshuvah. This could be teshuvah from fear that is completely from the side of holiness, or more specifically, teshuvah from love.

These two dimensions of teshuvah are a direct result of discovering our faith in God. Once we believe that there is a Creator to the world and that the Almighty has given us a mission, we need to conform to the rules. This is the lower level of teshuvah, which is teshuvah from positive types of fear. A ba’al teshuvah of this kind will begin doing what God expects him to do, i.e., the mitzvot. Conforming to God’s rules is very important, but it is the outer dimension of teshuvah.

The inner dimension of teshuvah is teshuvah from love. [. . .] The inner dimension of teshuvah, from love, does not involve only conforming to God’s rules. It is motivated by the desire to unite with God and cling to Him. The Zohar states that through love, we are drawn into God and God penetrates our being, so much so that we become completely unified and united as one essence. People who travel to India on a quest for the unknown, are not interested in conforming to the rules, quite the opposite. The visitor to the Far East is searching for God, like a young girl in search of her beloved. [. . .]  The purpose of finding one’s spouse is to come together through love, and to unite as one flesh. This is the inner essence of teshuvah.

We began by saying that our generation is a generation of teshuvah, and it is this inner level of teshuvah in particular that we are referring to, uniting with God. This must come together with the external expression of conforming to the rules. These are the two facets of complete teshuvah that will bring the complete redemption.

Complete Healing

It is clear that there are two dimensions to healing necessary for a complete recovery. We wish anyone who is sick that they should have “a complete recovery, of soul and of body.” It is common knowledge that there is a reciprocal, holistic relationship between body and soul. To be healthy, means to be healed, body and soul. Physical healing is the outer, revealed dimension of healing, but without healing the soul, the concealed inner dimension, physical health cannot suffice.

There are a number of methods for healing the body, and the same is true of the soul. By reaching the truth of God through complete faith, and uniting with Him in true love and keeping His commandments. These two types of union unlock the power of healing from the “Healer of all flesh,who works wonders.”[17] The sages explain that this is the wonder of unifying the soul and the body.

Complete Redemption

Redemption brings us to another set of concepts that also relates to teshuvah: the individual and the collective. Teshuvah can either be personal or national, similarly redemption is either individual or collective. We understand that if an individual does teshuvah, it will affect his behavior and his lifestyle. But, even if he becomes mitzvah-observant, it will not have a direct effect on the way the country is run. A pious individual may sit at home keeping all the mitzvot and living a comfortable life. The Shechinah (Divine Presence) will reside with him, and that is his personal redemption. But, “From the day the Temple was destroyed, the Almighty has no more in His world than the four cubits of halachah [Jewish law].”

This is a description of national exile. The state of “four cubits” in the collective is a state of exile. Collective, national teshuvah will be reflected in the way the state is run, in the public domain, not just in the private domain of every individual Jew.

A Chassidic expression states that on the day Mashiach comes, we will read about it in the papers. Everyone will know, because it will reach the dimensions of the collective, both the Jewish people and non-Jews.

The redemption of the collective is the inner, hidden dimension of redemption, and the principal one. The complete redemption is when collective redemption and individual redemption unite, as alluded to in the seventh (“all sevens are dear”) principle of Torah interpretation, “From a generalization that needs a detail and from a detail that needs a generalization.”[18] The goal is to reach the redemption of the collective, and within it, the redemption of every individual from his personal troubles in body and spirit. Complete redemption will be when these two dimensions unite as one. The union of the individual and the collective depends on the union of all with God, the revelation that “God is all and all is God.”

The concepts of individual and collective also refer to teshuvah. Until now, the principle type of teshuvah in our generation related to individuals. Someone became a ba’al teshuvah and another. But our aspiration is to reach the teshuvah of the collective. We need to arouse the Jewish people to do teshuvah and recognize that we are the people chosen by God to bring redemption to the world. This must become apparent in society and government. True and complete redemption for us, the Jewish people, and the entire world is the ultimate acheivement of mankind to unite with God.

[. . .]

We wish everyone that we merit this clinging, which is teshuvah from love, the teshuvah of the collective. This type of teshuvah includes all of the indivduals, but ultimately it is redemption of the Jewish nation as a whole indivisible entity and, together with the Jewish nation, the world at large. And, as mentioned above in the name of the Previous Rebbe, “Immediate teshuvah, immediate redemption.”

[. . .]

Finding the Key

When looking for a Kabbalistic system that parallels a particular process, we first look for the key that directs us to the appropriate model. This we do by finding a Torah thought that explicitly links one of the ideas to a Kabbalistic concept, finding an appropriate model (the 10 sefirot, the four letters of the Divine Name of God, the four Worlds etc.) and then finding relevant correspondences between the remaining ideas. By doing so, we can compare the correspondences. By perceiving the concepts through the prism of their Kabbalistic counterparts we often discover new insights into the subject at hand. In the case of the four concepts faith, teshuvah, healing, and redemption, we begin with teshuvah, which the Zohar exlicitly associates with binah (the sefirah of understanding).

However, the teshuvah associated with binah is specifically higher teshuvah, which relates to clinging to God in ultimate union. This level is the level of the complete teshuvah that will manifest specifically in the future, which is also associated with binah (in the Book of Formation, binah is referred to as “the depth of the future”). In general though, teshuvah includes both teshuvah from love and teshuvah from fear, which relate to chesed (the sefirah of loving-kindness) and gevurah (the sefirah of might), respectively. This brings us to the realization that our current state of teshuvah corresponds to love and fear, which are the first two emotive powers of the soul. Having discovered this, the next stage is to find the model that incorporates this correspondence.

In Chassidut, the sefirot, which correspond to the powers of the soul, are often divided into three levels: the intellectual, emotive, and behavioral powers of the soul. Each of these levels contain three sefirot: the intellectual level contains chochmah, binah and da’at (the sefirot of wisdom, knowledge and understanding), the emotive level contains chesed, gevurah and tiferet (loving-kindness, might and beauty) and the behavioral level contains netzach, hod and yesod (victory, acknowledgment and foundation). The tenth and final sefirah, malchut (the sefirah of kingdom) stands on its own. It corresponds to the end-result of our actions. In its rectified state, malchut is a complete reflection of keter (the sefirah of the super-conscious crown) that lies above the ten sefirot.

Super-conscious:  keter – crown

Intellectual:  binah = understanding – da’at = knowledge – chochmah = wisdom

Emotive:  gevurah = might – tiferet = beauty – chesed = loving-kindness

Behavioral:  hod = acknowledgment – yesod = foundation – netzach = victory

End-result:  malchut = kingdom

Emotive Teshuvah

As mentioned, teshuvah corresponds to love and fear, the two “wings” of the soul.[24] Without wings a bird cannot fly, which teaches us that without teshuvah, we cannot elevate ourselves beyond our present state of consciousness. Teshuvah manifests not in the mind but in the heart. Tiferet (the sefirah of beauty) is the final extention of binah (the sefirah of understanding), which is specifically called “the heart.”[25]

[. . .] Complete teshuvah effects both “your heart” and “the heart of your offspring,” which extends “to the end of all generations.” “Generation” (דוֹר) is an abbreviation for the Aramaic expression “fear and love” (דְּחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ), alluding to teshuvah from fear and teshuvah from love. The purpose of teshuvah is to circumcise the heart. From here we see that the place of teshuvah is in the emotive powers of the soul.

Intellectual Faith

Once we have decided that teshuvah is love and fear, the wings of the heart, and since we know that faith is above teshuvah, we can assign faith to the level above teshuvah in the intellectual powers of the soul. This is an innovation that requires contemplation. Usually, we teach that faith is beyond all reason, associated with the unknown and unknowable head in the super-conscious keter (the sefirah of crown). Yet, in the Tanya, the Alter Rebbe teaches that belief in God relates to the conscious power of chochmah (the sefirah of wisdom), i.e., the first of the intellectual powers of the soul.

Similarly, in Kabbalah, “faith” (אֶמוּנָה) is related to the mother principle, which corresponds to binah (the sefirah of understanding).[28] In Sefer Hamitzvot,[29] Maimonides uses the term “to believe” in God, whereas in the Mishneh Torah,[30] he uses the term “to know.” In order to keep the mitzvah of believing in God, we must “know” Him. First, one must believe, “Know the God of your father”[31] and then we can “serve Him.” Here we see that faith is closely related to all the intellectual faculties of the soul. Indeed, the only way to approach a non-believer is through rational discussion.

We are taught that Abraham, the first Jew, attained his belief by power of intellectual reasoning.[32] This is the meaning of Abraham’s original name, Avram (אַבְרָם), which divides into two syllables meaning “father” (אָב), referring to the father principle in Kabbalah, i.e., chochmah (the sefirah of wisdom), and “exalted” (רָם). Abraham used his exalted power of intellect to become the first true believer in God. From here we see that faith manifests in the intellectual level of the soul.

We know God with our intellectual power of da’at (the sefirah of knowledge), which is called “the key” to opening the six emotive powers of the soul. Once we succeed in revealing in our mind our super-rational faith in God, teshuvah comes naturally to the heart.

Instinctive Healing

Since faith manifests in the intellect and teshuvah in the heart, it follows that healing manifests in the instinctive powers of the soul. They are netzach, hod and yesod (the sefirot of victory, acknowledgment and foundation). These three sefirot correspond to three physiological systems, the endocrine system, which controls and moderates the hormones, the immune system, and the reproductive system, respectively. The immune system guards the body against foreign invaders, and is thus related to physical health, whereas dysfunction of the endocrine system often affects mental health. In Kabbalah, netzach (the endocrine system) and hod (the immune system) correspond to the two kidneys, which are called “consultant kidneys.” They offer advice for healing the soul and the body. Similarly, the reproductive system (i.e., yesod, the sefirah of foundation), which relates to self-actualization,[33] is an important aspect of healing.

At a deeper level, usually, when we speak of the bond between body and soul, we refer to the bond between the neshamah (soul, נְשָמָה) and the body (גוּף). However, with regard to healing we speak of “the healing of the soul (nefesh, psyche, not neshamah)” and “the healing of the body.” While the neshamah corresponds to the conscious powers of the soul, primarily to the intellect, the nefesh is the level of our soul that controls our unconscious, natural and habitual lifestyle.

When the soul (nefesh) is healthy, the body follows suit. Being healthy means acting naturally i.e., adopting a natural sense of sound psychological and physical well-being.

When a doctor gives a prescription for good health, he often prescribes walking (as an example of exercise), which we achieve with our legs, which like the kidneys, also correspond to netzach and hod. But, the simplest things are often the most difficult, because they require changing our habits. Once we get used to the new way of life, the habit becomes natural and then the person becomes well. Although it appears that we have no control over the workings of the immune and endocrine systems, with some effort, we can take control of bad habits that have become natural to us and form new habits that promote sound mental and physical health.

This is the foundation of the expresssion, “Great is teshuvah which brings healing to the world.” Doing sincere teshuvah in our hearts leads us to creating a new, positive lifestyle.

Redemption – Action that Reflects the Super-conscious

Having explained this, it remains that redemption corresponds to malchut (the sefirah of kingdom). In particular, this manifests as “the end (malchut) is wedged in the beginning (keter).”

The three-stage process of faith, teshuvah, and healing concludes with redemption, which in Kabbalah alludes to the redemption of the 288 sparks that fell into the lower realm when the vessels of the World of Chaos shattered. This is alluded to in the sum of the numerical values of these four words (אֶמוּנָה תְּשׁוּבָה רְפוּאָה גְּאוּלָה), which equals 1,152, which equals 4 times 288, i.e., the average value of the four words is 288.

When each of these levels is refined in the ultimate redemption, they will reflect complete faith in God. This is alluded to in the sum of the numerical values of all of these words when the word “complete” (שְׁלֵמָה) is added to them, which equals 2,652, which equals 102 (the numerical value of “faith” (אֶמוּנָה)] times 26 (the numerical value of God’s essential Name, Havayah).

[2] Yoma 86a.

[3] Exodus 15:26.

[4] Shir Hashirim Raba, 5. See also Sanhedrin 97b.

[5] Kol Koreh 1, 1st Sivan 5701 etc.

[6] Mishneh Torah, Introduction to Sefer Hamada.

[7] We hold the etrog in our left hand, which represents the service of might, “the left deters.” Now, through our service of joyful teshuvah, “the left hand brings near” even more than the “right hand brings near.”

[8] Exodus 17:16.

[9] Deuteronomy 29:28.

[10] Shabbat 97a.

[11] Exodus 14:31.

[12] Psalms 37:23.

[13] Sanhedrin 106b.

[14] Yoma 86b.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Song of Songs 6:6.

[17] Asher yatzar blessing.

[18] Safra, Vayikra 1.

[19] Mishnah Ta’anit 4:8.

[20] See Ecclesiastes 3:5.

[21] See Zohar Shemot 177a.

[22] Rebbe Schneur Zalman of Liadi, Likutei Torah, Parashat Re’eh, p. 32.

[23] The first two letters of Elul (אֶלוּל) spell the Divine Name pronounced Kel (א־ל), which has a numerical value of 31. The ordinal value of these two letters is 13, which is also the reduced numerical value of Elul (אֶלוּל). The sum of the numerical values of Elul (אֶלוּל) and “faith” (אֶמוּנָה) is 169, which equals 132.The Divine Name Kel is the Name associated with faith, as in the phrase “a God of faith without injustice” (Deuteronomy 32:4).

[24] Tanya Ch. 40.

[25] “Yesod imma ends in z”a of tiferet” (Etz Chaim, 331:3; 333:1) and “binah is the heart” (Patach Eliyahu, Tikunei Zohar 123a).

[26] Song of Songs 6:6.

[27] Deuteronomy 10:16.

[28] Introduction to Tikunei Zohar 2a.

[29] Sefer Hamitzvot, mitzvah 1.

[30] Mishneh Torah, Sefer Hamada, 1:1.

[31] I Chronicles 28:9.

[32] See for example, Midrash Hagadol Bereishit 12; Bereishit Rabbah 18:13.

[33] See Body, Mind, and Soul, p. 82-83.


The above comes from From Yeshiva to Redemption, the Secret of the Etrog.  [Translation from a radio broadcast with Rabbi Ginsburgh for Kan Moreshet. Elul 5777]. Portions are omitted within brackets [. . .] as they relate specifically to Rosh HaShana and Succot, in order to keep the focus mainly on TESHUVA.

From Rebuke to Blessing

From Rebuke to Blessing

The highest level of blessing is sometimes concealed within stern rebuke

In Parashat Vayechi, Jacob gathers his sons together to bless them before his death. Yet, his opening words do not sound like a blessing at all. In fact, the first three tribes suffer Jacob’s stern rebuke: he tells Reuben, “Reckless like water, you shall not be privileged,” i.e., because of your impetuous sin, you have lost all of the privileges that you were entitled to as a firstborn son. Jacob then addresses Shimon and Levi, saying, “Stolen instruments are their weapons. Let my soul not enter their counsel… Cursed be their wrath for it is mighty, and their anger, because it is harsh. I will separate them throughout Jacob, and I will scatter them throughout Israel.”

Hearing how his father chose to address his older brothers, it is understandable why Judah, Jacob’s fourth son, was hesitant to approach his father to receive his piece of Jacob’s mind. He was fully aware that there was good reason for Jacob to rebuke him like his brothers. As Rashi interprets, “Because [Jacob] reprimanded the first ones with his rebuke, Judah began to retreat until Jacob called him back with words of appeasement, ‘Judah, you are not like them,’” implying that from here on there is no more rebuke, only blessing.

Nonetheless, the sages teach us that in fact, Jacob blessed all of his sons, as the final verse of the blessings demonstrates, “All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them, and he blessed them; each man according to his own blessing did he bless them.”

Rashi too dwells on this point, “Could it be that he [Jacob] did not bless Reuben, Shimon and Levi?” he then replies, “The verse teaches us, ‘and he blessed them,’ implying all of them.” This is also apparent from Jacob’s special style of speech to all of his sons. From Reuben down to Benjamin his style is poetically celebratory. Jacob’s opening words to Reuben are words of praise, “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength and the first of my might; superior in rank and superior in power,” which, would the next verse not follow, would be a great blessing. When Jacob turns to Shimon and Levi, he refers to them as “brothers,” which is a positive point that signifies their fraternal love (which first came apparent when they rescued Dinah, “Shimon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers,” where Rashi explains, “Because they defended her they are called her brothers”).

What then is the blessing that these three sons received from their father?

One possible answer is that besides the rebuke that is explicitly mentioned in the text, Jacob added an undocumented blessing to the first three tribes. However, this explanation is somewhat implausible. A more likely scenario is that all of the blessings appear in the Torah verses. All we need to do is to read between the lines.

The Blessing of Rebuke

The truth is that the blessings are disguised within the rebuke itself. The inner motivation of true rebuke is “great love.” This is true of a loving father, and it is also true of the Almighty Himself, who rebukes us with love, as we find in Proverbs, “For he who God loves, He rebukes…” Malbim explains that “rebuke is a sign of love”; loving parents know that they must sometimes rebuke their child for his or her own benefit, in order to educate them and refine their ways. This means that rebuke is an expression of love, as in one literal rendering of the verse, “Better is revealed rebuke [when it comes] from hidden love.”[1] By contrast, parents who do not rebuke their children at all only cause them harm, as we see from King David’s negligence in rebuking his son, Adoniyah, “His father never upset him by saying, ‘Why did you do that?’” A certain measure of chastisement lends the personality a more solid “shape.” The sages similarly describe how God chastised the world to make it stand.

From a more profound perspective, Chassidut teaches us that there are two levels of blessing. Normal blessings are explicit and are communicated openly, but there are special blessings that must remain concealed, even within harsh words of criticism.

The source of a hidden blessing is higher than that of revealed blessings. What appears to us as an affliction is the result of abundance that emanates from the concealed world that cannot be revealed in our world in the form of a blessing. As such, any hardship is an even deeper expression of God’s closeness to us, “Happy is the man whom God afflicts.” When the Almighty afflicts an individual with difficulties, he should therefore accept it with equanimity. This idea is certainly not easy to swallow for the suffering individual, but from an objective point of view, the rebuke itself is a blessing, like a father who says, “I love this disobedient child so much that I have to scold him for his actions.” Rebuke has the power to sweeten the harsh judgments at their source, thus bringing down infinite blessing.

The Talmud relates that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai once sent his son, Elazar, to ask for a blessing from two sages. Elazar was shocked to hear their words, which sounded to him like the opposite of blessings. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai explained to him that their intention was to bless him profusely (for example: when they blessed him “You shall sow but not reap” their intention was, “you will have children and not see them die”). Similarly, chassidim know that if the Rebbe chastises you, it is a joyful occasion. There are many stories that relate how a chassid was saved from some evil because of such a rebuke from his rebbe.

In this context, it is appropriate to relate an extreme case about the righteous Rebbe Baruch of Mezhibuzh, the Ba’al Shem Tov’s oldest grandson, who was renowned for his severity:

It was Rebbe Baruch of Mezhbizh’s holy custom to make his students’ life a misery and to angrily scold anyone who came to learn Torah from him. He would interpret the phrase, “And the souls who he made in Charan” to refer to “those souls who one rectifies in one’s rage (charon af)… Once, as he sat down to a meal, a rich man entered his home and Rebbe Baruch began to rant and rave at him, and even commanded his helpers to push him out of the house. Rebbe Baruch’s son-in-law, Rebbe Abraham Dov of Chmelinik, who was present at the time, asked Rebbe Baruch how he justified such behavior in the light of the injunction, “Anyone who embarrasses his friend in public…”

Rebbe Baruch retorted, “Why don’t you complete the sentence? – ‘…he has no portion in the World to Come’? I saw that there were harsh judgments heading towards that man and by humiliating him I annulled all the judgments that were on him. How could I not forfeit my portion in the World to Come in order to save another Jew?”

Such a severe method can only be adopted by a choice few, and we simple folk cannot replicate it. But, we learn that chastisement and stern rebuke can stem from a profound form of love. When Rebbe Baruch passed away, they found the Zohar open at the page that states, “There is anger and there is anger. There is anger that is blessed above and below and it is called blessed” – teaching us that Rebbe Baruch, whose name means “Blessed” was true to his name, he was blessed and also gave blessing. His anger and rebuke were merely garments for the great blessing he bestowed upon the world.

This can be illustrated with a numerical allusion; the sum of the two words, “blessing” (בְּרָכָה) and “rebuke” (תּוֹכֵחָה) is 666, which equals 3 times the numerical value of the 3-letter root form of “blessing” (ב-ר-ך), which appears three times in the final verse of Jacob’s blessings to his sons: “and he blessed them; each man according to his own blessing he blessed them.” The sum of the numerical values of the three verbs that appear in the verse, “[their father] spoke… and he blessed them… he blessed them” (דִּבֶּר… וַיְבָרֶךְ… בֵּרַךְ) also equals 666, teaching us that it was all a blessing. The sum of the numerical values of the names of Reuben (רְאוּבֵן), Shimon (שִׁמְעוֹן) and Levi (לֵוִי), the three sons who merited a hidden blessing, is 777, which excedes 666 in all its integers. The average value of their names is 259, which is the numerical value of Reuben (רְאוּבֵן).

Judah, Dan and Asher

With reference to Jacob’s blessings of his sons, the Zohar relates:

One day, Rabbi Yehudah and Rabbi Yossi were sitting at the gates of Lod. Rabbi Yossi said to Rabbi Yehudah: “We have seen that Jacob blessed his sons from the words, ‘And he blessed them’, but where is their blessing? He [Rabbi Yehudah] replied: All these are the blessings that he blessed them, such as ‘Judah, now your brothers will acknowledge you,’ ‘Dan will judge his people,’ ‘From Asher rich bread,’ and so on with them all…”

The Zohar continues to explain the great blessing in Jacob’s words to Reuben, Shimon and Levi, as we have explained that the blessing is actually present in the words of rebuke, if we only know how to read the verses correctly.

Yet, we need to understand why Rabbi Yehudah chose the blessings of these three tribes in particular to illustrate that they are all blessings. He could have mentioned any of the other tribes who also received exceptional blessings.

We can explain Rabbi Yehudah’s choice simply according by noting the location of these three tribes on the stones of the High Priest’s breastplate. The breastplate consisted of four rows, each of which contained three gemstones, corresponding to the twelve tribes. The first row of three gems corresponded to Reuben, Shimon and Levi, the second row to Judah, Issachar and Zebulun, the third row, Dan, Naphtali and Gad, and the fourth row, Asher, Joseph and Benjamin. The reasoning behind this order follows the birthing order of Jacob’s four wives: first Leah’s sons according to their order of birth, followed by the maidservants’ sons according to their order of birth and lastly, Rachel’s sons who were born last.

We can now see that the three tribes who Rabbi Yehudah mentioned, Judah, Dan and Asher, are the first tribes in each of the last three rows of the breastplate representing all of the tribes who received Jacob’s explicit blessings from Jacob. Since the tribes in the first row did not receive explicit blessings, Rabbi Yehudah offered no example of an explicit blessing from those three tribes.

The Blessing Concealed in Atzilut (the World of Emanation)

This correspondence to the stones of the breastplate reveals another way of understanding the profound significance of blessings and rebukes. The four rows of the breastplate correspond to the four spiritual “Worlds”: Atzilut (Emanation), Beriyah (Creation), Yetzirah (Formation) and Asiyah (Action). The three lower Worlds of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah manifest blessing in a revealed way that is tangible to our intelligence and our senses. But, the highest World of Atzilut (the World of Emanation) is a Divine World of absolute goodness and unity. For that very reason, it is beyond our comprehension. The top row of the breastplate, representing Reuben, Shimon and Levi, is the row that corresponds to Atzilut. Those tribes who correspond to Atzilut are replete with such extraordinary blessing that when it descends to reach our level of physical reality, the blessing becomes manifests as harsh rebuke.

The goal is that all blessing should manifest in a way that is tangible to us and there should be no need to conceal it in a façade of rebuke. This objective will be realized at the final redemption, which Jacob wished to reveal to his sons as he said, “Gather and I will tell you what will happen to you at the end of days.” Rashi explains Jacob’s words to mean, “He desired to reveal them the course of the final redemption, but the Divine Presence left him and he began to say other things.” Had Jacob revealed the final redemption, there would have been no need to rebuke his three oldest sons. But, since the Divine Presence left him and the final redemption was hidden, we return to our present situation in which it is impossible to reveal the great blessing bestowed upon those souls from Atzilut. As long as we are in a state of exile, like in Egypt, which was the source of all exiles – the rebuke is revealed and the blessing is hidden. Indeed, the numerical value of “exile” (גָלוּת) is equal to the value of “rebuke” (תּוֹכֵחָה).

Once the redemption arrives, rebuke is completely sweetened and the hidden blessing becomes revealed. Reuben is the firstborn, Shimon and Levi are brothers and all of the brothers are blessed together with them, “Each man according to his own blessing, he blessed them.”

[1] In fact, this idea is alluded to in the word “rebuke” (תּוֹכָחָה), the first syllable means “within” (תּוֹךְ) and whose the second syllable (חָה) has a numerical value of 13, the same as “love” (אַהֲבָה).

From Rabbi Ginsburgh’s class, 7th Tevet 5772

30 December 2017

Hashem Is Crying ‘I Love You, But I Want You To Change’

Mother of Yosi Azan Writes Moving Open Letter; Hashem Is Crying ‘I Love You, But I Want You To Change’

Mrs. Ahuva Azan, beloved mother of Yosi Azan, wrote an open letter to her family about the pain she has been feeling since the horrific fire that killed her daughter-in-law and three grandchildren at their Flatbush home on Chanukah.

“Hello to all of you my beloved family. Until now I have not thought it wise to relay my thoughts to you or anyone else regarding how I feel about the tragedy that struck our family. Instead, I have been trapped within my own horrible feelings and attempting to figure out what my proper job is in response to what has happened.

Currently, it is still hidden from me, in spite of the pain, constriction, loss and great burden that we now all bear. When I returned from the unfathomable funeral in which I helped bury my daughter-in-law and three of my grandchildren, whom we will always miss dearly, I could not understand how I was supposed to sit opposite my brave and bold son and his children who are being kept alive by machines, unconscious and on respirators.”

My pain is too great to be real. I don’t wish this pain on any mother. I have chosen to focus on what God wants me to do at this time and therefore I am not collapsing in pain, I am struggling with it. Thank you father for the half-full glass. But this is not a simple thing to deal with. So what is to be done? I asked that I should receive a platform on which to shout a message to this beautiful nation of ours that it is time to awaken. Shall a shofar sound in the city and the people not shake with fear?

Hashem is screaming at us “I love you, but I want you to change.”
בַּצַּ֣ר לְךָ֔ וּמְצָא֕וּךָ כֹּ֖ל הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה בְּאַֽחֲרִית֙ הַיָּמִ֔ים וְשַׁבְתָּ֙ עַד־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ וְשָֽׁמַעְתָּ֖ בְּקֹלֽוֹ: When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him.” (Devarim 4:30) 
מִן־הַ֖מֵּצַֽר קָרָ֣אתִי יָּ֑הּ עָ֜נָ֗נִי בַּמֶּרְחָ֣ב יָֽהּ: When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place.” (Tehillim 118:5)
“There are times when our father in heaven brings us to the very rock bottom since it is only from down there that we can rise back up to where we need to be. There man will sit, there, where there is nowhere else to go down to. There, and only there, will he find the strength to rise back up.

“From the depths, I have called you oh Lord”. That is what David Hamelech said. So take me from here. It is not my job to sit in the hospital engrossed in the pain that I am feeling and to cry.

Thankfully I go out each night, to a different city in New York in order to try to straighten those who are bent of heart. To broadcast to the world how good Hashem is. Evil doesn’t come from heaven. Our father is good and kind to all. But we, who are flesh and blood, simply cannot fathom his goodness.

So what are we to do at this point? We need to wake up and recognize how to tell the difference between what is important and what is secondary and we need to strengthen ourselves. Our father wants us close to him. So please, continue to pray. Our salvation already exists and we will bring it even closer. I love you all from the bottom of my heart.”


Below (youtube video) is a heartbreaking video of Yosi Azan’s mother speaking shortly after the Kevura in Eretz Yisroel.

It should be noted that Yosi Azan opened his eyes for the first time since the fire and attempted to speak yesterday, but the sedatives brought him back to sleep. Yosi and his 15-year-old son Daniel were transferred from Staten Island Burn Center to Weill Cornell Hospital in Manhattan. His 16-year-old daughter Shilat remains hospitalized in Staten Island. All three remain on life support, although Shilat’s condition is the most critical of the family.

Meanwhile, community Rabbonim led by HaRav David Ozeri (who is the family Rov) are raising much needed funds for the family. There are staggering expenses that raised funds are being used for.

Please open your hearts and make a donation in the memory of the fire victims, Mrs. Aliza Azan A”H (39) – the mother of Moshe Azan Z”L (11), Yitzchak Azan Z”L (7), and Henrietta Azan A”H (3), and make a donation in the Zechus for Refuah Shelaima for the injured family members who need tremendous Rachamei Shomayim.

Please continue to say Tehillim for Shilat bas Louza Aliza (16), Daniel ben Louza Aliza (15), and Yosef ben Ahuva Masuda – the father.

The fund can be found on The Chesed Fund website, or by  or by clicking here to be redirected.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

28 December 2017


By Roy S. Neuberger


"The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our life-time."

In the summer of 1914, on the eve of World War I, British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey uttered these famous words. He was perceptive enough to understand that the coming conflict would change the world forever.

Today, over one hundred years later, the darkness is even more oppressive.

In two weeks we will read these words: “Hashem said to Moshe: Stretch forth your hand toward the heavens, and there shall be darkness upon the land of Egypt, and the darkness will be tangible.” (Shemos 10:21)

As I write, I have just heard the news of the petira of Hagaon Harav Aharon Leib Steinman, zt"l.
The lights are going out. The darkness is tangible.

I would like to point out the irony, my friends. In this week’s parsha we say “goodbye” to Yaakov Avinu. We say goodbye to the Shvatim. We say goodbye to Sefer Baraishis! I am choked up. How can we survive without our Fathers? How can we survive without Rav Steinman?

Let’s make no mistake: we do not have such people any more. We have brilliant and holy Jews; we have talmidei chachamim, but we do not have more than a handful left whose neshomas were nurtured in the kedusha of the Old World, the world of the shtetl, the world of grace, dignity and humility which existed before “the lights went out.”

I once read that someone asked a rosh yeshiva why we are no longer raising godolim of the stature of those who lived in Europe before the War. He answered: “Because there are public phones in the yeshivas!” That was before cell phones! Can you imagine the situation today? How far have we strayed? And Europe was a shadow of the days before the Churban! And that was a shadow of Bayis Rishon! And that was a shadow of Har Sinai!

As soon as the Avos and Imahos leave us, we enter Golus Mitzraim. Next week we read, “A new king arose who did not know Yosef.” Where are our shepherds?

My friends, I am going to remind you of a very dark period in my life. I have spoken about this tekufabefore, but, since that time of year is approaching, I would like to mention it again. Decades ago, when we were first married, my wife and I were students at the University of Michigan. We had not yet found Hashem. We whirled around and around on the carousel of gashmius, going nowhere. Although young, we were already “walking in the valley overshadowed by death.” (Tehillim 23)
Early in the morning of Monday, January 10, 1966, I awoke.

“I was desperate. I saw a chasm opening in front of me, a pit from which there was no escape. … I was twenty-three years old and we had been married just over two and a half years. The tensions were terrible. I felt as if my life were a long corridor, with many doors along each side. I had opened each door … [and] … each door … [led] nowhere … Was there no door that led to truth, to freedom, no door to sunshine and happiness? I began to cry. There was no future. I was dying. …There was nothing to live for. No hope.

“I was sliding: down, down, down…. falling through space. And then, as I fell, a thought brushed by me, a little thought … like a feather floating by in the midst of the void, a crazy little idea.... No, it couldn’t be true! But then … what else was there besides death? I ‘knew’ that G-d didn’t exist. The problem was that I felt I also didn’t exist…

“Suddenly, I began to turn the whole question around. I saw something I had never seen before. There was one unopened door …. Why had I never noticed that door before? It was the door to G-d. I had been sure G-d did not exist. But now that my own life seemed to be falling apart, I began to wonder.… When I was honest about my life, I saw that I did not exist – my life was empty – and at that time I was sure that G-d did not exist.

“But what if G-d did exist? Maybe then I could also exist! Maybe my existence depends on G-d! … I began to have this crazy thought. Could G-d exist? No, it’s crazy. … No normal person believed in G-d. And then I began to wonder if I had ever met any normal people!

“When you are drowning, you grab the life preserver; you don’t ask questions. I was drowning, and all of a sudden, out of the sky, came this life preserver. I grabbed it. What choice did I have? I wanted to live! G-d, do You exist? Could You exist? Dawn was beginning to break in Ann Arbor as a new light began to glow inside me. All of a sudden, I started to have this incredible feeling of hope, a new idea that would enable me to live!”(From Central Park to Sinai)

That day was January 10, 1966, fifty two years ago. I later found out that it corresponded to the 18thof Teves, which occurs next week. On that day in 1966, I feel that Hashem sent a malach to us in Ann Arbor, and saved the life of myself, my wife and our future family. Each year on that day, I make a seudas hadoah.

“Min ha maitzar … from the depths I cried out to Hashem, and He answered with expansiveness.” (Tehillim 118) Golus Mitzraim began when the Avos and Shvatim left us. But soon, Hashem sent a Redeemer named Moshe Rabbeinu, who took the Children of Israel to Har Sinai.

We can also expect a Redeemer soon, on the day Hashem will rescue us forever from darkness!

* * * *
Roy Neuberger, author and public speaker, can be reached at roy@2020vision.co.il.

© Copyright 2017 by Roy S. Neuberger

Parshar Vayechi – 2200 Years of Our History Comes to a Close

The Completion of the Last 2200 Year’s of Our History in Parshas Vayechi

We have two shiurim on Parshas Vayechi

A fascinating story about Rebi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, buried in Meron.

27 December 2017

Nes Rubashkin - The Real Story

Nes Rubashkin - The Real Story (I neglected to post this, late but hilarious)

Yesterday was a great day for Klal Yisroel. Most of us do not know that the news media is only telling us a fraction of the story. I found out from anonymous reliable sources that this wasn’t stam and that there was a lot that happened within the previous 24 hours that we weren’t told. I got the full scoop and so here I give you the actual story of R. Sholom Rubashkin’s miraculous release:

And it was, at the end of eight years of days, and PharTrump was dreaming and behold he was standing on the Iowa side of the Mississippi. And behold, from the river arose seven glatt kosher beef cattle of pleasant appearance and prime on the rib and they grazed in Postville. And behold another seven treifeh beef cattle arose after them from the river, of poor appearance and short on the rib and they stood next to the first cattle on the bank of the river. And the treifeh beef cattle that were poor in appearance and thin of flanken devoured the seven kosher cattle that were pleasant of appearance and hearty, and PharTrump awoke.

And it was in the morning and his spirit was troubled, and he Twittered and he summoned all his spin doctors and all his wise men and son in law and he told them over his dream and none could interpret it for PharTrump.  Then his bartender Papadopoulos spoke up and said, “I must acknowledge my sins today. Before PharTrump blew his top at me, I was hanging around Otisville to check it out in case things went South, me and Steve Bannon. There we met a Hebrew National from Iowa who was an [acquitted] slave[holder] known as the Chief of the Slaughterers. He said he was in because Linda R. Reade, the wife of his master PETAfar, Chief [anti] Executioner for Phara-Oh Bama the Last, had it in for him. We asked him what’s in store for us and he pulled out a book called Igros Kodesh and told us to stick a paper in any page. We did that and he checked the pages and said I would get busted and Steve would get canned. And it was as he predicted so it came to be, I was busted and Steve was hung out to dry.” 

And PharTrump sent for and summoned Sholom and they hurried him out of the slammer. He refused to shave but he changed his clothes and he came before PharTrump.

זה היום עשה ה' נגילה ונשמחה בו!

Achaslmaala:  This was sent to me as a comment on Zot Chanukah Miracle
Updated per author.

The BRACHOT For When Mashiach is Here


The BRACHOT For When Mashiach is Here

Rav Kanievsky Shlit"a said to be ready to say the blessings when Mashiach arrives (The Rav has periodically spoken about Mashiach). If Rav Kanievsky Shlit"a happens to be Eliyahu HaNavi, and he announces "who" Mashiach is, the following are the Brachot to be said IY"H  [written in a sequence depending what happens first, second, etc.]

When we first hear from a reliable source the good news of Moshiach’s arrival, we will recite 
“Baruch Attah Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam HaTov V’HaMeiteiv.”

When we see the huge throngs of Jews assembled to greet him, which will no doubt number at least 600,000 people, one recites 
"Baruch Attah Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam chacham harazim.”

When one sees the rebuilt Beis HaMikdash or rebuilt shullen or Batei Medrash, one recites, 
"Baruch Attah Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam matziv gvul almanah.”

When we actually see the Moshiach, we will recite
"Baruch Attah Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam She’chalak Mikevodo Li’rei’av."

Immediately after reciting this bracha, we will recite the bracha
"Baruch Attah Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam She’chalak Meichachmaso li’rei’av."

And the following Shehechiyanu and Go'el Yisrael: 

*For a deeper explanation of these Brachot, and about Mashiach, visit When Moshiach Comes at Yeshiva.org.il by Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff

26 December 2017

Parshat Vayechi: Message of Nir ben Artzi 12/24/2017 ENGLISH

There are portions of this that I have not been able to adjust. Please refer to the Hebrew should you have any questions

Message from Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi shlita
 Parashat Vayechi 5778,
It was reported on Sunday, 6 Tevet 5778

King of the Kings of the Holy One, blessed be He, created this world and all that is in it. Since Adam sinned, the world is in a difficult war between good and evil. Even after the Holy One, Blessed be He, brought a flood into the world and remained only Noah, his wife and children, the world continued the war between good and evil, even though evil was ninety percent lower than before the flood.

Until now, before Trump announced Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the world was once and again, once interfering with the Jewish people and once fighting the Jews. But now Trump announced the capital of Israel, because the Holy One, Blessed be He, wanted to start awakening the world that the holy Land of Israel, Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, had to come out in public and build the Third Temple.

This whole pure and holy move aroused a great storm all over the world, panic, complications and disturbances, because Trump announced Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In the past, they struck and killed Jews, especially bodily injuries, but when the Holy One, Blessed be He, decided that he would turn the world into good, eternal life for Jews who would never die, and the capital of Israel, Jerusalem - the whole world is a catastrophe, chaos and chaos. Apart from the conflicts between them and the blows of the elements, they also oppose the Holy Land of Israel.

Why does most of the world resist? Because they care about Jerusalem? Most of the world oppose that power of impurity, the sitra achra, serpent and evil angels are inside their bodies. Satan and the angels of sabotage know that if Jerusalem is the capital city and Mashiach is published in public - the ancient serpent is slaughtered and there will be no more crime in the world, there will be no adulterers, no greedy people, no devils or lepers. All of them will hold the Ten Commandments 100 percent, whether they are Jews, in spiritual directions, or if they are gentiles - in material.

The Holy One, blessed be He, can not wait much longer and decided in the seventieth year to the Holy Land, to awaken holiness and purity to infinity! In order to bring Moshiach to the world in public, Jerusalem must be the capital city, where the Temple will be. There must be infrastructure, a building. And now Moshiach will soon be published in public.  ועכשיו משיח בקרוב יוצא לאור בפרהסיה.

No one in the world can harm the Holy Land! Trump would never come back and it would get stronger every day. Trump won from the Holy One, blessed be He, to proclaim Jerusalem the capital city. Nothing will help - neither Hamas nor the Palestinians, they do not belong to the people of Israel, they are just people who connected and suddenly became 'Palestinians'. They do not want peace, they hate the Jews and want to hurt the people of Israel. The Creator says to them, 'Nothing will help you. In the end, purity will defeat the impurity, the evil power. ‘

A great miracle was when Trump declared Jerusalem the capital city. This is the way of the Holy One, Blessed is He, to give a seal on Jerusalem, giving a seal on our righteous Mashiach to be published. 

On Chanukah were great miracles for the Jewish people, the Holy One, blessed be He, reveals good things to the people of Israel. Every holiday the Holy One, blessed be He, gives a gift to the people of Israel. So the Holy One, blessed be He, says to the people of Israel: 

'Do not be beautiful [bashful] in the face of the world. Here I discovered, and all the scorpions and snakes come out of the caves, and come to attack you. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for thousands of years! ‘

Members of Knesset and Ministers, be vigilant and do not believe any country in the world. Only to countries that are truly [friends of] Israel.

The Creator says to the Jews abroad: 'Please, leave the golus and come to settle the Holy Land. Stop playing with me. One day I will be serious with you and nothing will help you. Like every child born - brings the blessing to home and family, so every new immigrant who comes to Israel - brings the blessing to the Holy Land.

Whoever invests and buys a house in the Holy Land will be blessed by the Supreme One, the Holy One, blessed be He, blesses him directly! Mitzvah to settle the Holy Land! Whoever buys a house outside the Holy Land has no blessing in it.

All the rich and the non-rich - to give tithes!

The elements of nature, fire, water and floods, harsh winds, volcanoes and earthquakes, accidents of aircraft, ships and trains - will continue strong.

In France a large part of the citizens are Muslims, so why should it vote for Israel? If she voted for Israel, the Muslims would kill everyone and be destroyed from the world.

Turkey, the Turks discovered that Erdogan is corrupt, he wants to devour everyone and cares only for himself and his family. Erdogan is talking against the people of Israel, he will fall in a big way and everyone will see him fall. Turkey is losing all direction in economy and trade, not knowing who is against whom.

Da'ash does not let go of Turkey, because his mother's base is there.

Iraq is dead.

Iran, 90 percent of its citizens love the Jews. Only twenty [percent of] members of her government hate the Jews free of hatred. The Creator says to Iran: 'You are out of credit. You will get beaten, earthquakes, more blows from the elements, and other complications and conflicts with yourselves that you have not yet dreamed of. “

Syria is killing each other. Hundreds of people continue to be killed there, some discover and others do not. They are very thankful to Assad that he is strong and successful - everything is a lie, he does not succeed in anything.

Hezbollah and Nasrallah, no one likes them, everyone hates them. They are running out.
Russia, Putin is looking at the world. He loves the Holy Land, Israel. Selling arms and ammunition to gentiles.

North Korea, the citizens hate Kim and want to kill him. Kim sees that a man has risen up against him-executes him to put fear in Korea, he wants to be king. The US has missiles against all of Kim's missiles.

Egypt is entangled in the economy, Sisi does not want the Palestinians and Hamas. Therefore, he is in favor of establishing a Palestinian state, so that they will leave him.

Hamas leaders are taking money into their pockets, millions. Five percent of the money is distributed to the residents and they accuse Israel of being "barely alive" …

All of Europe and the United States hate the Palestinians and Hamas, and everyone in the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem is the seed of Amalek, everyone hates them in the world.

In Israel everything is good. Rain will come and fill all that is missing.

All accidents in Israel are caused by illegal driving and by dealing with smartphones. The fires in Israel, ninety-nine percent, are arson. They are arson.

The IDF must be alert, there are plenty of tunnels, you have to be careful, they send missiles to Israel and as if Hamas does not agree to this, it's all one whole show, they want to heat the business, but they do not know that the IDF will not enter the Gaza Strip, 

Parents, Keep your children from assimilation. Try your best not to miss  [deprive] them money or other things so that the Gentiles will not convince them with money to deviate from Judaism and get them into drugs, alcohol and gambling.

All thieves, bribery and bribery, all of them, from the smallest to the largest, are religious and not religious. The Holy One, Blessed is He, cleans and purifies Israel and the entire world, prepares Him for the revelation of our righteous Mashiach.

All the righteous who died from the world pray in heaven. After the Holy One, Blessed be He, gave the Rabbis of Israel the vision of those who chose the Mashiach, he would put the Rabbis of Israel in order to speak and say who the Holy One, Blessed be He, chose to be the Mashiach. The Holy One, blessed be He, came to the four great men of Israel who left the world and revealed to them exactly who the Mashiach is. They alone could not do anything because they were afraid. They preferred to go upstairs and help from heaven. 

The name of the Mashiach and his place of residence were revealed to the four. When one did not succeed, two failed, the third and the fourth did not succeed, because they were afraid of making mockery of them, the Creator created a vision for more than 130 rabbis and greats of Israel. When there is a very large group of rabbis who received the vision - they will have the strength, the confidence and the courage to speak to whom the Holy One, Blessed be He, has chosen to be the man of Gd, the King Mashiach!

Dear Jews, do not be afraid that Moshiach will come out in public, as is his custom. כמנהגו נוהג

There will never be death for the Jews, there will be no diseases, there will be no shortage of money, there will be abundance in all! There will be a world of peace and quiet, no more wars, no more dead, no more dead! On the contrary - the Temple will be built and there will be the resurrection of the dead!

 Courtesy of "Tair Neri" Website

The Month of Tevet: Joseph’s Spark

The Month of Tevet: Joseph’s Body
Joseph’s Spark
By Rav Yitzchak Ginsburg

In the Torah portion of Vayigash (read during the month of Tevet), Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father yet live?”1 Joseph, the brother who was thought to have assimilated amongst the Gentiles (for a period of 22 years, from the age of 17), reveals himself suddenly to his brothers as a proud Jew, faithful to the traditions of his father, Jacob the Patriarch.

Joseph symbolizes the spark alive in the heart of each Jew, even one that appears to have assimilated amidst a foreign culture, estranged from the traditions of Israel. Though “I sleep” in exile, “my heart is awake”2—this is the spark of Joseph. “Every person has his day,”3 a time will come and the spark of Joseph will eventually be revealed for all to see: “I am Joseph, does my father yet live?”

Our matriarch Rachel called her first-born Joseph (Yosef), explaining that, “God shall add [yosef] to me another son.”4 In Chassidic writings it is explained that the special quality embodied by Joseph is the ability to favorably influence a Jew who has affiliated with those outside the fold (and thereby appears to be “an other”) to return to be a son to his Father in Heaven. Joseph is able to accomplish this because his spark has been burning in the heart of the estranged Jew all along (he who had appeared to be “an other”).

With Divine Providence, Joseph was sent to Egypt before his brothers in order to prepare the way—to implant in the land of Egypt the power of Jewish survival, which would become critical after the Jewish exile to Egypt. Thus, Joseph’s soul can be understood to hide in the recesses of the souls of his brothers—the children of Israel—in their exile, and it awakens them to go out of exile, since, as related by the sages, it was Joseph who gave over the password for redemption with his words, “God will surely remember you.”5

In the Zohar, it is stated that Joseph’s revelation to his brothers alludes to God’s own revelation to the Jewish People at Mount Sinai. God revealed Himself with the words, “I am Havayah your God who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”6 The awakening to depart from Egypt, which is the secret of Joseph’s revelation to his brothers, is really the manifestation of God’s essence amidst the Jewish People. With an awakening from below (with the initial desire from the Jewish People to be redeemed), a complementary desire is aroused from Above (from God to deliver His people). Essentially the two are really one and the same—“I am Havayah, Your God.”
“I Will Sing Praises to My God While I Exist”

When the brothers returned to Canaan they brought good tidings: “Joseph is still alive.” In turn, Jacob declared, “It is great; Joseph my son is still alive.”7 Significantly, in each of the three excited pronouncements—“I am Joseph; is my father still alive” (אֲנִי יוֹסֵף הַעוֹד אָבִי חָי) “Joseph is still alive” (עוֹד יוֹסֵף חַי) and “It is great; Joseph my son is still alive” (רַב עוֹד יוֹסֵף בְּנִי חָי)—the word “still” (עוֹד) is prominent.

There is an important verse in Psalms which also prominently stresses the word “still”: “I will praise God while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I still exist”8 (אָשִׁירָה לַ־יהוה בְּחַיָּי אֲזַמְּרָה לֵא־לֹהַי בְּעוֹדִי). About this verse, the first Rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, explains in Tanya9:

When it states, “I will praise God [Havayah] while I live; I will sing praises to my God [Elokim] while I still exist,” it indicates that life is drawn down from God’s name Havayah. But, the word “still” [“while I still exist”] refers to the body, which is secondary to the life-force of the soul, and therefore stems [only] from the Name Elokim.

From this statement in the Tanya, we learn that the word still (עוֹד) refers to the Jewish body, which is subordinate to the Jewish soul.

The Divine soul of a Jew is, “truly a part of God above.”10 Therefore, it is not surprising that the soul has eternal existence. However, regarding the body of a Jew, from the verses which contain the word “still” and quoted above, we surprisingly learn that in any situation—even when it goes down to Egypt, described as “the nakedness of the land,”11 the most impure state—it continues to live and thrive. In the Jewish body, there is an essential spark (in addition to the pure soul placed within) that enlivens and sustains it. Indeed, this spark is none other than Joseph’s spark, the secret of “God [Elokim] will surely remember you.”12 This is also the secret of Joseph’s first words to Pharaoh, “It is not me; God [Elokim] will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”13

The Power of Generation

The first expression of excitement (“when Joseph made himself known to his brothers”): “Is my father still alive?” refers Jacob, the elderly father’s body. Afterwards, the excitement concerns the Joseph, the son’s body, which also has been able to survive and thrive: “Joseph is still alive,” and “It is great; Joseph my son is still alive.”

Our patriarch Jacob is the archetypal soul of the sefirah of beauty, which in the supernal human form corresponds to the body itself, i.e., the trunk of the body.14 Joseph who is described as the tzadik, the righteous individual who is the foundation of the world,15 is the archetypal soul of the sefirah of “foundation,” which in the supernal human form corresponds to the sign of the holy covenant, the site of circumcision (in the introduction to Tikunei Zohar, it is referred to as “the body’s termination”). Thus, we find that both Jacob and Joseph allude to the body—to the main part of the body and to the body’s termination. That they are as one is referred to in the Zohar’s words, “the body and the site of the bond are considered one.”16

On the verse, “These are the generations of Jacob: Joseph…,”17 Chassidic writings explain that all the generations of Jacob were born via the power of Joseph (including those born before Joseph’s was born; as well as the generations yet to be born from then until the end of time). The living “still” (עוֹד) of Joseph refers to the “live organ,” the organ of procreation, in which is enclothed the power of generation, also called the power of the Infinite—in both physical and spiritual forms, as explained by the Ba’al Shem Tov. This reflects the essential vitality of Jewish bodies: that each form is able to generate an infinite variety of new forms.

The closing verse of the Torah portion of Vayigash is, “And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt in the territory of Goshen, and they took possession of it and grew and multiplied exceedingly.”18

The power to be fruitful and multiply (exceedingly, beyond all measurement and limitation) is Joseph’s special power. Joseph comes, as we saw above, from the Hebrew word meaning “addition” (תוֹסֶפֶת), as in the saying, “That which is God’s addition, exceeds greatly beyond the origin.” In the words of the first Lubavitcher Rebbe: “Every Jew should strive to make another Jew.”

The Month of Tevet and the Body

The sages express that the month of Tevet is the month in which one body enjoys another one.19 In the month of Tevet, one “still” (עוֹד)—one body—receives pleasure from another “still” (עוֹד), body; “Is my father still alive” receives pleasure from “Joseph is still alive.” The father (the body’s trunk) receives from the son (the body’s termination) and the son receives from his father. This is to enable the begetting of numerous Jewish progeny—called the hosts of God—until the time in which all the souls in the (supernal, heavenly) body (the source of all souls) will have been brought into bodily form.20 It is only then that the Mashiach will appear.

The anniversary of the passing of the first Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, known as the Alter Rebbe, author of the Tanya and the Shulchan Aruch, is on the 24th day of Tevet. The Alter Rebbe used to say that in the world to come, the soul will be nourished from the body. There will be a reversal of nature: the essential (the soul) will become incidental while what was once incidental (the body) will become essential. This is the deepest secret of “Joseph is still alive.” The spark of Joseph (which is in each Jew) will live eternally, while the soul (the aspect of “I will praise God [Havayah] while I live”) will receive its principal vitality from the body which will live forever.

1. Genesis 45:3.
2. Song of Songs 5:2.
3. Mishnah Avot 4:3.
4. Genesis 30:24.
5. Genesis 50:25. When Moshe Rabbeinu came to tell the people that the time of the redemption had come, they tested him as to his knowledge of this password.
6. Exodus 20:2.
7. Genesis 45:28.
8. Psalms 146:2.
9. Chapter 6.
10. Tanya, Chapter 2.
11. Genesis 42:9.
12. Genesis 50:24.
13. Genesis 4l:l6.
14. Introduction to Tikunei Zohar.
15. Proverbs 10:25.
16. Zohar III, 223b.
17. Genesis 37:2.
18. Genesis 47:27.
19. Megilah 13a.
20. Avodah Zarah 5a.