Saturday, December 31, 2005

Light Of Mashiach

Torah Of Mashiach ... Kohelet Rabba 11:12
Beyond Holy Folly … more precious than wisdom, than honor, is a little folly … Kohelet 10:1

on Kohelet 1:1-3

Divrey Kohelet ben-David melech b'Yerushalayim ... Kohelet 1:1

Words of Kohelet, son of David, king in Yerushalayim.

Words דברי

Divrey. Expressions like DiBuR, vayeDaBeR, DeVaRim and DiBeR all refer to the attribute of Gevurah in Torah [1]. Most particularly, they refer to that which comes from study of the Written Torah. Gevurah cannot "exist" apart from Malchut, and Oral Torah. The Oral Torah is represented by the expressions AMiRah, lAyMoR and AMaRta and refer to Malchut [1]. Consequently, the two roots (DBR and AMR) are usually found together in Torah, in a pasuk (verse) structured like:

"Elokim DiBuR (spoke) to Moshe, vayoAMaR (saying), I am Hashem" (Shemot 6:2).

In contradistinction to the pasuk structured as found above in Shemot 6:2, in Kohelet 1:1, we see only an expressive act of Gevurah (DiVRey) and of the Written Torah. The completing companion expression of Malchut and of Oral Torah are not overtly apparent in the entire pasuk. What does this mean? How are we to understand this? One can suggest that the pasuk is hinting to us, by the absence the completing companion AMR expression in the verse, that we, as individuals and as a collective, are to provide and be the Malchut of Sefer Kohelet.

Kohelet ק הלת

Kohelet. The 3-letter Hebrew root, kuf-hey-lamed, of kohelet carries the general meaning "gather to implement a plan" [2]. The specific word, kohelet, in this pasuk [2] implies a "collector of ideas". Other meanings implicit in the root from which the word kohelet is derived are:

"coming together" - Bereshit 49:6
"gathering in organized opposition" - Shemot 32:1
"congregation" - Devarim 33:4
"group representative" - Shemot 12:6

Collecting together the ideas that:

a) kohelet represents a "gathering of ideas in opposition to" (like vayoAMaR opposes DiBuR),
b) the word divrey represents an expressive act of Gevurah, and
c) we ourselves are to function as the Malchut (the collector of that expressed through Gevurah, specifically through
sod ha-tzimtzum),

we can see that the first two words of Sefer Kohelet are setting us up to receive within ourselves (as individuals and as a collective) the teaching and shefa attached to this sefer (book). In other words, with the phrase, divrey Kohelet, we are set up to receive the Divine Essence riding the words of light (from Aur Ein Sof) in Kohelet from the Written Torah. Importantly, we are to become vehicles for the expression of Oral Torah.

Ben-David בן-דוד

Ben-David. Here are the doors through which the Divine Will runs and returns through the "heart of the mind" (chasdei David hane'emanim [1, 3]) to deliver undistorted knowledge from the highest levels of Unity into Malchut. The word "ben" represents Malchut and active reception of "light" into, and then from Adam Kadmon and Atzilut. The word "David" represents the Divine method of action. The letter vav in the word David represents a "collapsed" form of the 4-letter Divine Name, the tetragrammaton.

Door 1. The otiot (Hebrew letters) are the "ben" (Malchut) of the TaNTA expansion of the tetragrammaton (YH-VH). The TaNTA expansion consists of the ta'amim (cantillations), nekudot (vowel points), tagim (crowns) and otiot (letters). The is a pre-conceptual level of light and precedes thinking. It is the abstract pre-cognitive essence of the letters (stones) combining into words (houses of meaning) [5]. This is at the level of Will within Adam Kadmon and the sefirah Keter [4].

Door 2. "Ben" is also the Malchut of the ASMaB expansion of the tetragrammaton. This expansion is represented by the numerical values designated by the letters AB (72), SaG (63), MaH (45) and BeN (52). These correspond to the level of Atzilut and the sefirah Chochmah (Wisdom). This is a level of thought axioms [4].

Taking the first four words of Kohelet (divrey Kohelet ben-David) together, we can see that the Divine Will (and all associated with that) is being directed through Adam Kadmon and Atzilut down to us. We then function to gather and express it, to thereby distribute it throughout creation.

King in Yershalayim מלך בירושל ם

King in Yerushalayim. Melech clearly refers to the sefirah Malchut. Importantly, the word b'Yerushalayim decribes Malchut in a way that suggests synthesis and unity of the gevurot and chasidim in a manner similar to that of the akeidah.

In other words, here is a situation "raised above the wood" [6] where the profound energy delivered into and received by Malchut does not "raise other gods". Here, the Oneness and Divine Unity spoken of in the Shema is actualized and brought into full harmony with reality.

Now, taking the pasuk in its entirety - divrey Kohelet ben-David melech b'Yerushalayim - we can see that it pertains to "bringing down" Divine Unity from the Ein Sof (infinite light generated by the Malchut of Echad) through Adam Kadmon and Atzilut to us (interfacing Atzilut and Beriyah), who gather and distribute it without distortion to all creation. Clearly, we can also see that Sefer Kohelet is much more than "wisdom literature". We are talking about bringing the Light of Mashiach into revelation. We are talking about making real the phrase "on that day Hashem will be One, and His Name One" (Zecharyah 14:9).

1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith kohelet; vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים אָמַר קֹהֶלֶת הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים הַכֹּל הָבֶל

Vanity of vanities ... here, we bring Divine Unity down and distribute it throughout the first level of creation [7], Beriyah (the world of the mind).

amar (saith) kohelet ... here now is AMR, in the second pasuk, where we split the shin of Chochmah (the 3-headed shin of apprehension) into a shin of Binah (the 4-headed shin of wise understanding). Doing this together in complete unity with the Divine Will, we say ...

vanity of vanities; all is vanity ... and bring Divine Unity into the next and last levels of creation, Yetzirah (the world of the middot) and Assiyah (the world of action). All creation is hereby sanctified and made One.

1:3 What profit has man in all his toil that he toils under the sun?

מַה-יִּתְרוֹן, לָאָדָם: בְּכָל-עֲמָלוֹ--שֶׁיַּעֲמֹל, תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ

Answer: Divine Unity and the Light of Mashiach (including our individual sparks and the collective) among all creation is the profit from all our toil.

The goal is to integrate the Lights of Tohu and Tikun and to make from them a third order of existence much greater than either Tohu or Tikun of itself … Divrey Torah

[1] Gates Of Light, Avi Weinstein translation of Sha'are Orah, R. Yosef Gikatilla
[2] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R. Matityahu Clark (based on the commentaries of R. Samson Raphael Hirsch)
[3] Fifty Gates Of Understanding, audio shiur, R. Yitzchak Ginsburgh
[4] Inner Space, R. AryeH Kaplan
[5] The Alef-Beit, R. Yitzchak Ginsburgh, The Inner Dimension
[6] In The Beginning, R. Adin Steinsaltz
[7] Rashi explains that the phrase "vanity of vanities" refers to the creation of the 7 days of creation.
[8] Kohelet online, Hebrew-English text

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