Magnetic attraction

The Zohar (end of parashat shemot) asks how Moshe rabbeinu knew that Har Sinai was Har ha-elokim? In answer it explains that both Har Sinai and Moshe rabbeinu were waiting since he creation of the world to fulfill their purpose, matan Torah. So that when Har Sinai sensed Moshe rabbeinu nearby, it jumped closer to him just as an iron filing jumps towards a magnet. When Moshe saw the mountain jump to him, he also jumped to the mountain when he recognized it was Har ha Elokim. The rest is history.


everybody put your hands in the air!

Sometimes, for a person to pray to HaShem, they need to pick themselves up. It's not enough to know you are insignificant and powerless. Sometimes you need to appreciate how much power you actually have. You need to remember that you are a descendant of the Holy forefathers, Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov. You need to remember that you carry within you an infinite Godly soul.

If we pray, HaShem will listen, because He cares about us.

This is the lesson of Mosheh's hands in the battle with Amalek - if we lower our hands, if we think we are insignificant, Amalek will win. But, when we raise up our hands and recognize our divine origins, then we shall overcome.

The trick is where our focus lies, if we are focused on our physical side, then we are truly limited and no amount of raised hands will help. If we raise our spiritual hands in supplication to our Heavenly Father, we will not be denied.

[Menorat HaZahav, BeShalah]

Second Skin

The Snake was the most cunning of all the animals in the garden of Eden.

Literally in hebrew the word meaning cunning and the word meaning naked are interchangeable. 

According to the Tikkunei Zohar, (Tikkunim #57-63 approx.) when HaShem created the forces of darkness, He didn't leave time to create clothing for them, so hence the Snake was naked.

It was the Snake's nakedness that made him jealous of Man, because, as the Zohar explains, at the time when HaShem would have been creating the clothes for the forces of darkness, He was instead creating Adam.

Adam was originally clothed in clothing of light. The Snake was jealous of these beautiful vestments. The result was that he tricked Hava and Adam into losing their clothes of light.

The irony that I noticed this time around is that HaShem then clothes Adam and Hava in clothes of leather. (or literally 'skin') The Zohar explains that these physical bodies we inhabit now are called "The Skin of the Snake."

The Snake's treachery leads HaShem to create the Snake's Garments which He hadn't made previously, but instead of the Snake getting to wear them, Man got them instead. Either way the Snake is still naked. 


I've been out of it for a little while [and everyone's having delusions of grandeur]

Sorry for the delay in posting for a while. My learning seder was lacking that crucial Hasidic component that allows me to synthesize my thoughts, so my thoughts in general have been somewhat blurry of late. As I, b'Ezrat HaShem, pick up some new directions in Hassidut, and more importantly, return to some old ones, I hope to incorporate all the other new material I have been consuming but which less lends itself to simple exposition.

May all who read this (and those many more who don't) share a wonderfully sweet year full of health, happiness, and family!

Sukkot: The Yom Kippur After-Party!

I happened across the opening paragraph of Rabbanit Yamimah Mizrahi's Yom Kippur lesson and the Rabbanit quotes a great Ye'arot Dvash. (which I didn't see inside) He says that since the Yetzer HaRa has no control on the day of Yom Kippur, he puts everyone into a deep depression (Marah Shchorah) prior to Yom Kippur since the essence of Teshuvah is Simchah, happiness.

Interesting. Going into Yom Kippur with the express goal of being happy, is really actually a nice way to experience Yom Kippur. Also, we know that Mosheh Rabbeinu tells us that all the bad things we have coming to us are because we didn't serve HaShem in happiness!

In the eyes of this new Torah we can look at Sukkot, called "The Chag" by Chazal, in a new light. A Chag is different from Shabbat in that we need to celebrate a Chag by being happy. That's why we say Chag Sameach, but not Shabbat Sameach.

We go almost straight into Sukkot after Yom Kippur as a means of showing HaShem: "See? I really internalized the teshuvah of Yom Kippur, I'm serving You through Simcha!"

So by all means, may have have a great big party this Sukkot!!

[Now all of a sudden the question "Why does simchat beit haShoeva happen on Sukkot?" (something I've always asked myself) doesn't seem like a question at all.]

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