Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bechirah Chofshit, Unspellbound

I dreamt.

A witch was carrying me like a mother bird [1] in her arms, flying through the air, taking me someplace. She was trying to lull me to sleep with the peacefulness of the flight. But, I only pretended to fall asleep as she carried me to some mysterious place - to see where she was taking me and to see what her intention was.

When she thought I was asleep, she entered a big mansion of a house [2] and deposited me on a bed in an upstairs bedroom. It was daylight outside. She was going to steal a drop of my blood [3] via a finger pinprick while I slept unaware (she thought)! Like hell! I thought.

I stopped pretending to be asleep and asked her what she was doing. "Oh," she said, discombobulated by my sudden wakefulness, "I just want a little drop of blood," she faltered. "For tests," she lied. I knew what she was really thinking. She thought that by getting a drop of my blood, she could bind [4], control and put spells on me.

"No," I said, "I'm not going to give you a drop of blood."

She dropped her friendly facade and told me to get out of the house since I wouldn't give her any of my blood. She didn't think I'd make it back safely to civilization, as she had astrally flown me through the air to the magical place. Walking, the monsters outside on the house grounds would get me, she thought with unfounded certainty.

Ha! I made it back. And the only creature who dared approach me as I walked back to civilization fled from me when I made a snarling face at it.

There's a Jewitch on the loose! was the news I heard flying through town, when the witch realized I hadn't been "taken care of" by the estate's guard monsters.

I woke up.


[1] Tzaftzaf צפצף can be interpreted to mean "chirp like a bird" and in the context of meditation, has been likened to the forbidden practice of necromancy (Meditation & The Bible, R' Aryeh Kaplan) . In other words, through "repetition" of some sound or action, the witch sought to cast a sleep spell. צפצף is also related to prophetic vision and tzofeh צופה, meaning "seer". The midrash and Talmud speak of a person near death whose soul "presses" (tzaftzaf) to leave the body and ascend. Redemption is also written to "break forth" (tzaftzaf, Shir Hashirim Rabbah on 6:10).

[2] Pharaoh comes from the word per-aä, which literally means the big house, i.e. the palace.

[3] The witch in this dream, who initially acted "motherly" but ended up wanting to steal a drop of blood, represents the epitome of galut (spiritual exile). R' Yitzchak Ginsburgh teaches: "The blood relates to the sefirah of binah, the mother-principle--'the mother gives her child the red [the blood].' The final and most extended exile, that exile referred to by the prophet as 'the sick exile is the exile of Edom', from the word 'red' (adom) and 'blood' (dam)." In other words, a true "mother" gives her blood to her children, she does not take blood from them.

[4] She was trying to bind my lifeforce to her will through a drop of blood. This may be one reason why Torah law forbids tatoos.

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