Monday, July 31, 2006

Reishit / Learning To Understand

In my previous post, I addressed an experience of essential unknowable knowledge, sharing my understanding that 1) this type of experience is one that cannot be prepared for, and 2) it enables the Divine Will to enter into history to shape the world of human events. This is true. Nevertheless, our purpose as human beings is, as Yaacov Branfman and Akiva Tatz (Jewish Mysticism: Questions & Secrets) have written:

The purpose of all learning of Torah is to prepare the intelligence to be able to come close to “hasagas haBorei” (understanding the Creator).

I agree. The purpose of our existence is to learn to understand. This idea also perfectly reflects my pre-verbal thought expression following physical incarnation, at the first point (which was rather immediate*) when I realized that incarnating actually entailed some things I didn't particularly like. I wrote about this in my description of my experience of the candle in the womb:

But words as I had spoken with You would not form in my mouth of edges. Realizing that for as much as definition was desirable, for the first time, i felt limit. Turning around to speak ... but i could not turn around in remembering edges! i turned my head instead.

Ohhh! no! i can feel and hear You, but i cannot see You!

I am here.

i did not understand!

This was my lack. I had no clue what it meant to be a physical creature. I did not understand. And this is what I was sent into the world to do - to learn to understand. We come to learn to understand everything that we may ever understand through coming to understand creation.

And that is exactly what I am doing and what my entire life has been and is constituted of - learning to understand. My life is, therefore, reishit.

*The very first experience of physical life was a vision of a perfect world which included the physical world (a messianic vision of existence) - a true שבת חזון (shabbat of vision). The reaction against the physical world came after the vision faded when confronted with the realization that I was stuck in a physical reality I did not understand and that my consciousness wasn't going to be allowed to just flit back and forth between worlds at will. I wasn't happy about it. I definitely understood then that I wasn't happy about it too.

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Pure Acting Intelligence

Yaakov Branfman and Akiva Tatz (Jewish Mysticism: Questions & Secrets) write:

Maimonidies explains that Talmud is a mind-grinding tool. The entire function of it is to grind, to sharpen, and to develop the mind to be so refined that we will be able to understand the questions and the answers. While we are learning, our intelligence is being shaped, refined, and trained in handling abstractions. It is being led towards the abstract parts of Torah. He writes in the Introduction to the Talmud that the purpose of all learning of Torah is to prepare the intelligence to be able to come close to “hasagas haBorei” (understanding the Creator). Some things are hidden because we are not prepared. They are too fine to be handled with the normal tools of our unprepared intelligence.

Somehow, in 1967, I innately knew this. I wrote about it as an adult in my description of the epiphany in the closet in 1967, writing:

The second instance where letting go by the mind was required was when coming down from kadmon consciousness, returning to a katnut state, and becoming recentered with the body. Again, the mind was tempted to retain within its borders all that it had been able to apprehend with kadmon consciousness. Again, letting go enabled the mind to safely cross the barrier which marked the transition between states of consciousness.

Why is it important to let go? I think that the act of letting go is the mechanism through which the Divine Will penetrates into and is enabled to itself act within the mundane physical world directly. It is not so much "going up", nor even all that one can apprehend there in that state (kadmon), that is important. Letting go releases the essential energy which drives unfolding of Divine Will into and within this lowest world. Also, holding on to great knowledge and bringing it down into the rational mind prior to preparation of the mind to receive it (shabbat consciousness) would have been catastrophic to an unprepared mind, which mine was, in 1967. This "letting go" of knowledge prior to its time represents rectification of the sin of the tree of knowlege.

There is a "knowing" for which we cannot prepare. This kind of knowing is associated with the mitzvah of the bird's nest. It's an essential mitzvah of the moment. One happens upon it. One is struck by it, entirely unprepared. Importantly, the mitzvah of the bird's nest can only be correctly performed when one is unprepared for it. As I wrote in the epiphany:

In 1967, I was six years old, entirely unprepared and unlearned. Yet, I let go. There was no time to think. There was nothing for me to understand in that time. There was only a promise and a question of trust. Yes or no?

Essential bitachon. An essential mitzvah. A mitzvah of the moment. No time to think. Only to react. That reaction comes from atzmut, the essence. As it must.

A mind must be prepared to acquire "knowable knowledge". But, there is a higher level of "essential knowledge" that the mind can never "acquire", but can only dance in wonder and awe with it. This latter paradoxical yet perfectly complete unknowable knowledge can never be "prepared for".

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Sitra Achra & Shem Hameyuchad

I dreamt.

I was moving into a community house (בית כנסת בית אל). A big flat spider the size of a small plate lived among those of the house. It roamed about at will. I thought this was gross - to have a big flat spider living there roaming about at will. First of all, it was ugly. Harmless enough, but ugly. Second, what if it decided to crawl over me at times when I slept? I'd never know it. Yuck. Or what if I stepped on it if I got up during the night? Yuck again.

I thought to "contain" the ugly spider in a box, so I put a cardboard box over it. Only, I found that the box was open on one side. The open side was shaped like the letter ב in 2 dimensions, and the box itself like the letter מ in 3 dimensions. Of course, the spider couldn't be contained by a box with an open side. And now, the spider noticed me.

Now I was in a house classroom for the first lesson - about the spider of the house. It was in the center of the classroom. We all sat around it for the lesson. Now that the spider had noticed me, it started to walk towards me. Yuck!

I put my pencil between me and the spider as it approached, hoping to "steer" it to turn around when it met the barrier of my pencil. But it didn't turn around. It started to climb up my pencil toward my bare hand. I thought better of flicking it away - that would likely enrage it, making it attack me mindlessly. So, I just removed my pencil as a barrier, thinking maybe that my actions against the spider only drew it closer to me. It stopped advancing once I had removed my pencil as a barrier to contemplate it, as it had nothing to draw it to me. But, it didn't move away because my attention was still on it.

So, I woke up.

Like the snake is associated with a masculine yetzer hara, so is a spider associated with a feminine yetzer hara, the sitra achra. A spider has eight legs (binah) and a middle round body (malchut). The reason a spider is seen as "ugly" is because it lacks the "beauty" of an emotive force. A spider is all mind and matter and no heart - the perfect machine. Whatever is in a woman's heart becomes the "heart" of the spider. The spider itself has no inclination to attack or to not attack. Any action of the spider's beyond random wandering at will is the result of the heart of the woman.

Next, if one's emotional attention is focused on it, to fill its lack, the spider is drawn to likewise focus on the emotive force which is focused on it. As the spider lacks an emotive force of its own, it will be drawn to one focused on it. In contrast, the spider has eight legs and is full of its own mind. Consequently, when one's focus is likewise intellectually contemplative (as opposed to emotively contemplative), the spider is not drawn toward that kind of focus or attention.

Neither ב nor מ can contain the spider. This means that the consciousness of a spider, like that of a human being, originates beyond the three "spiritual" dimensions of space, time and soul (Sefer Yetzirah 3:7). As a spider's web is unique, so too is the essence of a spider unique to the feminine essence of a woman, as an individual and likewise, to the essential tapestry of women who comprise a community.

Beit Knesset Beit El, Mercaz HaMekubalim

School of the Kabbalists
The Holy Congregation of the Pious House of G-d

And Your eyes will look upon us when You return to Zion with mercy

It shows 6 of the gates of Jerusalem:
Gate of Zion, Gate of Yafo (Jaffa), Gate of Shehem (Nablus), Lion's Gate, Dung Gate, Flower Gate

photo @ Mytical Paths

a spider is purely an instrument of the Divine, completely without "a heart" of its own, and perfectly reflects the heart of an individual or collective

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Kabbalah On The Edge

Since I have never discussed fad kabbalah here, I'll post my response to Akiva's response to my comment (whew!) regarding - drumrollllll - The Organization:

First, The yetzer hara, the evil inclination, comes to us all.

That's my point exactly. It's not even fair to try and judge the community of the "specific organization" (which I know little about other than through heresay or from what's written on the internet) by the same standards as an entirely different community - the orthodox community, for example (which I am only marginally more knowledgeable about by first hand experience). Each has its unique weaknesses which the accuser exploits. Just because my friend's weakness may not be mine doesn't mean that I don't have another weakness equally as serious as the weakness of my friend.

Second, the specific organization that was discussed does not have a good reputation for what they do ...

This may be true. Nevertheless, that doesn't justify throwing out the good that it does do for its followers. At some point, one could envision that those followers will want more. No good can come from alienating those who are part of that community who are learning for the right reasons.

Third, The Zohar and Kabbalah can be learned as an indepdendent wisdom of it's own. But it isn't, just as the Torah She'bic'tav, the Written Torah, neither stands on it's own or makes sense without the Torah She'pal'be, the Oral Torah (as now recorded as the Mishnah and Gemorah, aka Talmud).

Everyone has to start somewhere and I'm sure it isn't with the Talmud.

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Flame Of The Future World

This unique aleph of emunah represents a synthesis of the worlds of tohu (chaos) and tikun (rectification), and is a complete shin - a shinan tam (Devarim 6:7) With 4 heads, 3 tails and 6 extremities, it integrates the coming world (olam haba) with this world (olam hazeh) to draw the future to come (of Imma Ila'ah) into revelation, expression and actualization sublimated within the unity of echad. This acts to raise reality back into the realm of the holy.


Baruch shem kevod malchuto le'olam va'ed.

reposted from 12.13.05

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Weed Out Un-Refined Zealotry

The spiritual root of the mis-intelligence which led to fiasco in Qana is simply this: zealotry not truly leshem shamayim.

If we want to prevent these kinds errors from recurring, we need to root out the unrefined zealotry from among us. If we do not do it, this kind of thing will happen again. We cannot afford that.

Rav Kook on genuine zealotry:

From Shmuel Hakatan we see that zealotry is not a simple, straightforward trait. Zeal must be refined to ensure that it is pure and truly for the sake of heaven. read more ...

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Chaval! An Unintelligent Move In Qana

Balashon told us the story in Gittin 57b about the mother of 7 martyred sons, where the seventh son replies to Ceaser, "Woe (chaval) to you, Caesar, woe (chaval) to you, Caesar! If your own honor is so important to you, how much more so the honor due the Holy One, Blessed is He!".

Today, we must say woe! to ourselves as we read the story of the mis-intelligence information which led to the fiasco in Qana where many children were killed. This is not a "good" mistake to make. חבל! What a public relations disaster.*

Qana קנא
envy, protect ownership, being jealous, demanding exclusive rights, being zealous [1]

[1] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark

*see comments for more detail: The casulties resulting from the airstrike in Qana are human beings indeed (and we won't forget this), but this is war, and it can be psychologically incapacitating to go beyond seeing it as more than that, at this point.

In parallel consideration, we cannot also just forget that the parents of these children were warned to leave the area.

Israel cannot be blamed for the children's deaths. Nevertheless, the mis-intelligence and spiritual source of this "error" must be addressed. Now.

UPDATE: Qana Fraud Exposed Staged Photos

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Cause To Investigate

In follow-up to my post (on a Jewish forum) regarding the Seattle shooter's connections to the Hanford nuclear facility, the discussion turned to whether or not an investigation was appropriate of the Seattle muslim community where many in that community work at the nuclear facility. Some of the selected comments and my responses:

If the only danger of doing so [an investigation] is offending Muslims, but ensuring they do not constitute a national security threat is a potential gain, then I think it's worth the risk. (gaffybopper)

That's exactly the problem! We all know what happens when muslims are OFFENDED - they tend to blow things and people up. And this community of muslims has access to one big blast.

I'm saying that if there was already an appropriately high security standard in place then there shouldn't be a witch-hunt against Muslim employees without cause. If this is not the case, then obviously the standards need to be enforced, possibly even increased. But there's a limit as to how far one can go, not because of offending Muslims, but because the government shouldn't be allowed to ban or harass people because of their religion or ethnic background. The background and Nat. Security checks are supposed to help weed out potential threats. Once you're past that point, there has to be some cause given in order to go further, you don't just get to start making up lists of Muslim citizens and firing them. (hairsute)

True. And when one member of the community with ties to the nuclear facility has committed a terrorist act, I say that the fact of the act constitutes CAUSE to go further.

We aren't talking about tickets to the ballgame here. We are talking about the security of our nuclear facilities! An investigative witch-hunt is in order.

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Seattle Shooter & The Hanford Nuclear Facility

Well, well, well. Isn't this a curious bit-o-information regarding the community of Naveed Haq, the shooter involved in the murder at the Seattle Jewish Federation? Foxnews reports:

Yousef Shehadeb, 46, a member of the Islamic Center of the Tri-Cities, recalled Haq as quiet and something of a loner. Shehadeb said he and Haq's father, Mian Haq, both work at the Hanford nuclear reservation, as do many members of the area's Muslim community.


June 13, 2006, reported:

Hanford workers warned of security breach.



The U.S. Energy Department has warned about 4,000 current and former workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation that their personal information may have been compromised, after police found a 1996 list with workers' names and other information in a home during an unrelated investigation.

The discovery marks the second time in less than a week that the Energy Department has warned employees and its contractors' employees that their personal information may have been compromised.

read more ...


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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Worldwide Tefilot For Israel, IDF & Kidnapped Soldiers

Until this moment, 23363 jews from 137 countries have joined this prayer.

The names of those who have joined will be printed and put in The Kotel by the chief rabbi of Israel with his blessing. Join here.

Scheduled for Tuesday at 1900 (Israel time). Time of prayer by countries.

Maybe we should include a prayer in there for the American soldiers in Iraq and the USA as well. We are all in the trying-to-survive terrorism boat together. The good and those who are with us in the battle against terrorism also need to be strengthened by our prayers.

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Beit HaBechirah

Today, on an old livejournal post Soul Of A Bat Kohen, a comment was left by "r from Jers.", writing in part:

Something I learned recently, before we come to this world we have NO FREE CHOICE. Free choice is a garment called tzelem given to the neshama. The INTERESTING part is that after this world we WEAR the tzelem & it basically testifies our accomplishments in this world. Also, nefesh is PHYSICAL, ruach is EMOTION & neshama is INTELLECT. WE are our RUACH which means we have to have the "right" emotions about the "right" things (as directed by our neshamoth/INTELLECT). Therefore, INTELLECTUALLY discover Truth, THEN get excited about it. We are our RUACH (NOT our neshama) & THAT is wear our growth must occur.

There are two points I need to make with respect to this kind of thinking:

1. In my case, what "r from Jers." writes about free choice is not true. I did indeed have free choice before coming into this world, and had to be convinced that coming into the world was the right thing to do and that the objective purpose for doing so could be accomplished. Then I agreed to be born.

2. I am neither my ruach nor my neshamah - both of them are garments "I" wear.

Though I disagree with the commenter on these points, I still appreciate the comment. Such disagreements are the stuff achieving clarity is made of.

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The Empty Force Of Zero

Given zero's link to life in my dream, I decided to investigate this enigma of zero a bit. I found this about zero in a review (Jeremy Carr) of the book Zero, The Biography Of A Dangerous Idea (Charles Seife):

People today do not think much about zero, we see it as just another number no different than the rest, but zero hides limitless power behind its innocent appearance. Throughout history zero has shaped the world and minds of mankind. Zero is the basis of mathematics and logic, yet it holds the power to render them useless. Zero has always been at the center of philosophical debate and has been used to both prove and disprove the existence of God. It is zero that consistently unlocks the secrets of the universe, and it can even be used to foresee the universe’s end.

lin kong jing

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Curious Numbers

Since I don't believe in coincidence and do believe that everything is ultimately connected, I need to point out an interesting correlation I found linking my hospital dream yesterday morning and the terrorist shooting at the Jewish Federation in Seattle yesterday afternoon.

In a follow-up post to the hospital dream, I analyzed the hebrew word-phrase for hospital as follows:

The hospital בית חולים in this dream is symbolic of the unification of ze'ir anpin and nukvah, both operating with harmony, sharing Divine Delight between them. We arrive at this understanding by assessing the data (like in the dream) associated with the hebrew letters which comprise the word-phrase.

The normative gematria (pertaining to the world of atzilut) of בית חולים is 506. The digits of this value are 5, 0 and 6. In other words, the data terms are five ה, zero ע and six ו. Each digit also corresponds respectively to nukvah ה, resha d'ayin ע, and ze'ir anpin ו.

Curiously, the numbers associated with the Seattle shooting are 5, 1 and 6 (wounded, dead, and total struck by the shooter, respectively). These numbers are similar to the numbers of my dream, with the exception that, in the shooting, 1 was killed. In my dream, 0 were killed.

Another curiosity is how the hospital where I was working in the dream can even be associated with Divine Delight, given that I hate staff nursing (what I have done for the past several years part-time in a nursing home, as my research-clinical management career was systematically destroyed after "coming out" as a Jew). The hospital is associated with Divine Delight and resha d'ayin precisely because I hate doing it (staff nursing, in the dream and in real life), yet do it against my nature similarly to the situation of the akeidah. It other words, my actions are leshem shamayim and demonstrate the presence of yirat shamayim (specifically yir'a elyona). This gives G-d delight.

It's an awful thought, but one I'm thinking nevertheless. And given that I highly value truth and honesty, I'm going to articulate what I'm wondering, as unpleasant as it is: Do these correlations imply that the shooting is somehow associated with the ram of the akeidah?

One more thing, I have worked for my seat among the companions and I am sitting in it. Like it or not.

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Seattle Hate Crime

Others have posted on their blogs the primary story, so I won't reiterate it. However, one thing I picked up in the CNN report struck me as ominous:

Robert Jacobs, Pacific Northwest Regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, told CNN the group has been warning Jewish institutions to be wary and ensure they have adequate security because of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. If they cannot, he said, it would be better for Jews "not to congregate in one location that might be an obvious site."

Did I read that right? He's telling us not to obviously congregate? That echos the rhetoric of pre-WWII Europe.

UPDATE: profile of the victim

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Hospital Of Divine Delight

The hospital בית חולים in this dream is symbolic of the unification of ze'ir anpin and nukvah, both operating with harmony, sharing Divine Delight between them. We arrive at this understanding by assessing the data (like in the dream) associated with the hebrew letters which comprise the word-phrase.

The normative gematria (pertaining to the world of atzilut) of בית חולים is 506. The digits of this value are 5, 0 and 6. In other words, the data terms are five ה, zero ע and six ו. Each digit also corresponds respectively to nukvah ה, resha d'ayin ע and ze'ir anpin ו.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

A Secret Material Girl

A hotel מלון is typically associated with leisure and luxury. People who go to fancy hotels (like the one in my dream in this post) tend to overwhelmingly be people who are accustomed to a certain level of material comfort. This is in contrast to those who, when they travel, go to budget motels, for example. Consequently, the first idea connected to the symbol of the hotel in my dream pertains to sheltering those accustomed to a certain level of material comfort and ease.

Given this first association with material comfort and ease, coupled with the fact that the first two letters מל of מלון are the same as those of malchut מלכות, it is reasonable to suggest that the hotel is likewise symbolic for malchut. Extrapolating from this correlation further, we can see that the hotel symbolizes an incomplete and unrectified malchut in some manner.

In the word malchut, the letter lamed ל is followed by the letter kaf כ which is able to "actualize potential" and/or suppress the forces of nature according to the Divine Will. In contrast, the lamed ל of hotel (a reshut harabim) is followed by the letter vav ו symbolizing a tzimtzum, judgment and harsh strictness. From the two letters which follow the letters lamed ל, we can see that the word malchut is beyond the dinim associated with an unrectified configuration of malchut (through the letter ל which symbolizes malchut) while a hotel מלון is not. Importantly, the ו of the word malchut follows the letter כ (of keter), where the ו here signifies the strength and power to suppress nature according to the Divine Will through keter. Consequently, we can see that the hotel specifically symbolizes the situation where the dinim of malchut have not been rectified, transformed and elevated to kedushah.

Taking this all together, it is clear that the hotel represents an area lacking kedushah. On the contrary, the protected seats represent an area where kedushah is present. Additionally, the configuration of the seats is a sefirotic configuration.

In conclusion, the hotel (in the dream, made into a bomb shelter for the coming event) represents a place for those primarily inclined toward material comfort and lacks kedushah. The seats represent an area for those who are dis-inclined to seek material comfort over kedushah.

Importantly, the hotel-bomb shelter is incomplete in that, while it offers some protection in the midst of war, it does not remove the proximity of the war itself.

And perhaps even more importantly, we should note that מלון ends with a nun-sofit ן. This implies a perpetuation of the judgment implicit in the letter ו until some action is taken to rectify the situation which establishes and gives birth to it (the judgment).

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Houseshoes For The Healer

I dreamt.

I was working in a hospital. It was early in the shift. A male patient on another unit was having chest pain. He called me, not the nurse on the unit where he was. I told him what the nurses needed to do after assessing the clinical data. He hung up the phone, comforted.

It was near the end of my shift. The man on the other unit (which I now realized was in another hospital across town) was having chest pain again. He called the paramedics to come and get me. He needed me to survive this cardiac episode - he wasn't pleased with the actions of the nurses there. They weren't doing the things I told him needed to be done.

The paramedics arrived where I was working. It was very late in the shift, but I agreed to go with them. Then, I realized that I had been working in very raggedy pajama-like clothes and a light blue night robe - barefoot too. I couldn't believe I had worked all shift like this. I didn't want to go to the nice new hospital like this, but the man was having a heart attack and needed me, so I agreed to go anyway.

In the paramedic truck, there were two pair of houseshoes on the floorboards that the driver kindly said I could put on so that I at least wouldn't have to be barefoot. I hadn't asked, but he saw me eyeing them. I initially put on the light blue pair of "flip-flop" house shoes (that are open at the heel) - they were easy to slip into. But, when I emerged from the truck, walking in them, they flip-flopped too much to be good walking shoes. I turned back to the truck to change the light blue flip-flops for the dark blue pair of houseshoes that covered my whole foot.

I woke up.

UPDATE 08.04.06 on shoelessness

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My Seat Among The Companions

I dreamt.

Something historical was about to go down. We were all taking our places in some kind of community configuration. Those without a reserved seat in the configuration had to go to the hotel for the homeless to wait out and hopefully survive the coming storm.

I took my seat. The man to my left and the woman to my right were upset with me because I wouldn't give up my seat to their woman friend. It was my seat, not hers. She would have to find her own seat or go to the hotel. That was the rule. I refused to give up my seat to their friend.

The woman went to the hotel. The two who had wanted me to give up my seat went with her to the hotel to comfort her. But, they couldn't stay with her - the event was coming and they needed to get back to their own seats. The seats were the safest place to be. They were protected. The hotel was merely a shelter offering minimum protection (like a bomb shelter).

They were upset with me. They wanted their friend to have my seat and for me to go to the hotel for the homeless.

It's my seat. I worked hard against many barriers to find it. It is not my fault she couldn't find her seat. My seat is not hers.

I woke up.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lahat-Light / The Hod Connection

In brief follow-up to my previous post regarding deliverance from a burning house, it is interesting to note that the etymology of the word lahat להט (from Bereshit 3:24 which refers to the fiery ever-turning sword that guards the way to the Tree of Life) is also the root from which the English word light is derived [1]. The path by which we arrive at the word light is:

להט to old English leoht to middle English liht to modern English light. It makes more sense phonetically that the word "light" is originally and directly derived from this Hebrew root as opposed to the Indo-European root leuk as some authorities have suggested.

It is possible however, that the root להט (meaning to burn intensely) did indirectly evolve in parallel into leuk by way of acquiring the additional transformative etymon להק, which means to "gather together for (intense) study". Naturally, intense study transforms darkness into light [2], "lights up the mind", and brings illumination. This connection is supported also by the fact that the letter hey ה (in the center of להק) is the origin of the English vowel e [3], which can carry the short sound eh. Vowelized with a kubbutz (associated significantly with the feminine sefirah Hod [4]) under the ק, the pronunciation of the root להק would be leuk.

Given this association of the word light and the roots להט and להק with Hod, we can see that reconstructing light's pathway into existence via Hod may offer us insights pertaining to reconstructing Hod on a national level. Baruch Hashem.


[1] The Word, Isaac Elchanan Mozeson
[2] אתהפכא חשוכא לנהורא, ithapcha chashocha lenehora
[3] Mysteries Of The Alphabet, R' Marc-Alain Ouaknin
[4] Meditation & Kabbalah, R' Aryeh Kaplan

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Lahat HaCherev / Gemulit Chassidim

The post today in Vos Iz Neias regarding an ongoing investigation into a fast-moving house fire that apparently occurred this past Monday afternoon in Monsey brought to mind a dream I had many many years ago. It has probably been close to a decade since I had this dream:

I was in a burning house. It was completely engulfed in flames, except for the small space where I stood in the center of it. All around me was fire. The house was burning down, with me dwelling in it. I was trapped by fiery flames.

Suddenly, an opening appeared through the flames above me. HaSatan was looking down through the flames directly at me. He was completely red (אדמה תמימה, Bamidbar 19:1) and had two little horns (יי) on his head like the classic Moses sculpture by Michelangelo. Oddly, even though I wasn't religious at the time, I wasn't afraid of him at all. He symbolized hope (התקווה) to me - my chance of escaping being burned alive in a burning house. His face was kind. His silent expression elicited in me hope, not hate or fear.

I looked up. He reached down through the flames and plucked me up [Zecharyah 3:1-4] out of the burning house. And then I woke up.

The instrument of Hashem's deliverance was HaSatan - who would've thunk it?

Clarifying with respect to Tisha B'av, which is fast approaching, like there are 2 vavim in the word התקווה, there were two families affected by this conflagration. Together, they had 9 children. No one in either family was killed, even though the entire house burnt down. Baruch Hashem.

The One over death loves me ... Shir Hashirim 1:3

The fiery ever-turning sword guards the way to the Tree of Life ... Bereshit 3:24

When one Jew chooses the proper path, he brings goodness to all other Jews, and ultimately to the entire world. R' Yitzchak Ginsburgh

regarding cheshbon hanefesh & my 6th great uncle:
Benjamin Franklin & The Mussar Movement

v'ahavta et adonai elohecha
b'chol l'vavcha uvchol nafsh'cha uvchol m'odecha

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Anakim / Original Intention Gone Wrong

Exploring the origin of the word anak ענק, as found in Devarim 1:28 regarding the bnei Anakim (giants), Balashon writes:

In modern Hebrew, a ma'anak מענק is a grant.

One of the cognate meanings [1] of the root [2] ענן is grant/bestow (חנן) . So, perhaps it is possible that a primary root of anakim is not ענק at all, but rather is ענן, and then even more primary than that root, would be the original root חנן. This would mean maybe that the one נ was absorbed by the other נ (somewhat similarly to the concept of chasrei peh-nun) and that in doing this, the "k" sound fell from the beginning (ח) of the word to the end (ק) of the word.

I don't know if this makes grammatical sense, but it certainly makes sense in terms of meaning. The anakim were seen as giants or noblemen, yet "skewed" in some manner. The de-evolution of purpose (to bestow, חנן) in this manner (חנן to ענן to ענק) hints at an "original intention" gone wrong.

Importantly, this also hints as to the tikkun of the bnei Anakim.


[1] "Cognate roots generally share consonants which originate in a common vocal organ. Each of the 3 consonants of a cognate must have its 'partner' in the other roots in order to be part of the cognate family. Cognate roots share a general meaning." Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark.

[2] The root ענן carries the meaning to 'fructify through rain clouds'. Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Aur La'Goyim

Nava is dreaming of moshiach when she writes:

HaShem showed me images of the world being destroyed. I am flying safely with HKB'H on His wing. I'm not falling off even though it's very windy. I'm scared and I'm calm. The wind is very strong. HaShem is protecting me. I look around and see roads opening its mouth and cars falling inside. I see the world breaking apart, only the Goyim... The Jews are safe.

Ohmygawd. If this wasn't so sick, it'd be funny.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Microwave Sang This Morning

Wow. The microwave sang as it heated my pancakes - through the entire time. It normally doesn't do that (sing at all), like any ordinary microwave wouldn't. But, today, it sang. Not in a monotone either - many different musical notes with a "quality of sound" like the singing ship in the movie Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.

I thought the unusual singing microwave event was worth posting given this week's posts, In Five Days (posted 5 days past, inclusive, today in preparation for shabbat) and Suddenly Moshiach (when all creation sings).

What a memory - the microwave that leins.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Chazan / Guardian Of The City

Interestingly, in my dream this morning (pertaining to kedushah and karet) I wrote of guarding and of assassins, both of these specific ideas mentioned also in Balashon's later post on the etymology of the word machsan through exploring (among others) the words chazan חזן and hassan חסן.

With respect to the idea of guarding, I wrote:

The little girl protectively and instinctively clutched her belly. I had the impression the little girl (either herself or members of her family) had been murdered by one of the secret assassins in a past life.

In the quote, I linked an essay to the word "protectively" (e.g. chazan) pertaining to the idea of guarding (shamor through rectified binah) against secret assassins (e.g. hassan) who, in my dream where I oversaw all, are complexes one meets along the path into keter. In other words, the assassins serve to prevent one with impure intent from advancing spiritually - much like the kruvim (cherubim, Bereshit 3:24) guard the gate to Gan Eden. Only one whose mind has been sanctified and made taharah is permitted to "enter into" keter.

This idea of advancing into keter, guarding and assassins is further indirectly elucidated through Balashon's post on the etymology of machsan, where he writes (quotes):

Kutscher finds a number of examples in the Talmud where a chazan meant a guard - for example Bava Metzia 93b, where it mentions חזני מתא, which Rashi explains as "guards of the city".

like in my dream where the little girl protectively "guards" her belly ...

He (Kutscher) continues by saying that the origin of chazan may be from חזה - he saw, making a chazan an overseer.

like in my dream where I oversaw all ...

In the end, he writes that we simply don't know if there is a connection between חזן and חסן - and provides a Rashi (Makkot 22b), where Rashi admits he also doesn't know the origin: ולא שמעתי שום משמעות "I have not heard any explanation (for the word חזן)."

Rashi is a man. In addition to Rashi's hint toward the unknowable head of keter, the central letter of the word chazan is a zayin ז, the letter which epitomizes female nevuah (zeh זה), the prophecy of Sarah Imenu, and with expression through the letter ה, the prophecy of Moshe Rabbeinu and Chavah's shield of protection.

What of the name Hasan (Hassan)? This is a very common Arabic name, and we also find the similar names Hosni and Hussein. All of these derive from the Arabic hasuna - "was beautiful" and husn - "beauty". I don't know if this Arabic root is related to any of the previously mentioned meanings of חסן.

There is one theory that the origin of the English word "assassin" comes from the name Hassan - the leader of a Muslim sect known as al-Hassan ibn-al-Sabbah. Another theory is that it derives from the word "hashish" - read more about that here and here.

Taking all this together, we can see that chazan, hassan and keter are all connecting to the idea of guarding. Perhaps dreaming as I have of these matters makes me somewhat one of the mystical Neturei Karta (Guardians Of The City) myself.

Tying it all together, regarding sanctification of the mind as it pertains to keter, Rabbi Nathan Schapira writes (translated by Rabbi David Slavin):

She is then called Eretz HaKedosha, for she subsequently contains within her the Kodesh HaKedoshim (the Holy of Holies).

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Kedushah & Karet, The Difference

I dreamt.

There was a history among our group of little girls being targeted for assassination by an underground secret mercenary group. They would be stabbed in the belly as children and murdered when caught alone. I was observing all this as a historic issue, yet I also then zeroed in and identified with one of the targeted little girls.

Her parents were discussing to which school they should send her. She was old enough to go to school now and they had to make a decision. The parents were completely secular, but they were Jewish. They didn't want her to learn all the religious stuff and wanted her to be safe in the world, but they did want her to be able to "remember" who she is as she grew up. If she went to a religious school, the parents feared that the little girl was more apt to be targeted by the "secret assassins".

The parents decided to send her to a Jewish school, but one that was mostly secular, where the only thing she would really be taught about her Jewishness was that she was "set apart" (like the other students at the school). They would teach the least amount needed to maintain a Jewish identity - doing this with the hope of avoiding being noticed by the secret assassins.

The parents told the little girl what school they had decided to send her to. The little girl protectively and instinctively clutched her belly. I had the impression the little girl (either herself or members of her family) had been murdered by one of the secret assassins in a past life.

She was at the school now with other children in a gymnasium. They were learning a Jewish dance. Teenagers (like summer camp counselors) came in to assist the teacher. But, I knew that they were secret assassins. I caused some sort of chaos and the class was cancelled. No assassinations today.

The dream changed. I was a man who was a member of a scuba diving team in a southern beach community. The secret assassins were picking targets off as they swam in the water. One had targeted the scuba man. I, as the man, had poison in a water gun and shot the "shark" (כריש ,who was a secret assassin). The shark (even shot once with poison) followed the man out of the water and to his car where the little girl sat in the front passenger seat. The shark jumped into the car and was on the front passenger floorboard. It was relentless in its attempt to murder. I repeatedly shot it with poison from the water gun until it died. Then we ejected it from the car onto the side of the road on which we were driving.

I woke up.

This dream is exploring and assaying for the presence of transgressions carrying the penalty of karet. In Hebrew the word for shark is כריש. This word is from the shoresh כרש meaning to break up, like in digesting food. In other words, the dream is "digesting" one's life on the way, to determine whether a soul will proceed to karet or to keter.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Eka Power & Uberspace / The Real Red Thread

I don't wear a "red string" on my wrist. I did dream of a thin red thread this morning:

We were all in a mystic room. The kohen wouldn't ritually bury the live children who would destroy the community if allowed to continue living. Our survival depended upon doing it. I put the children in the pit to bury them in the place of the recalcitrant kohen.

We were outside among the general community in which we lived in an unsteady state of peace. We weren't really members of the community, we just lived among them. Our welcome was tenuous and we lived with a feeling that we could become unwelcome at even a tiny misstep. We hadn't been protected historically, so we lived in tension most of the time.

But, one of our sub-community members suspected and hypothesized that I had power - he put his right index finger out pointing toward me and I put my right index finger out pointing toward him. In doing that, a very very thin (tighty coiled like dimensions that are normally unviewable) red "thread of power" came out of the end of my finger and connected to the end of his finger. I had a secret power! he said. It could protect us like a secret uber-weapon of protection.

The man, a teacher among our sub-community, wondered ... maybe it was part of the ancient "lost power". He took a piece of the red thread and it became a tiny shard of a vessel in his hand. He went down into a forgotten archeological-like cave where the broken pieces of an ancient vessel of the ancient forgotten power lay. My tiny piece fit perfectly into one corner of one of the pieces! It was true! I had the ancient power! No other in the world had it. I had a ruach acheret.

I didn't know what to do with it, so I kept it hidden like he suggested. We were in a car, driving. It was very windy. I "knew" that I should put my head out of the car window and speak "into the wind". So, I did. I didn't say anything particular, but just let my voice itself flow into the wind as yet unformed (eka).

Immediately, a huge upside down mountain shaped like a tornado dropped on a northern city waging war with our sub-community. For our protection.

I woke up.

Exploring the meaning of this dream, of the broken shards I am thinking ...

Is not my word like fire? and like a hammer that breaks rock into pieces?
Yirmeyau 23:29

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Katyusha & Ekateros

In investigating the word katyusha, Balashon ends with writing:

And to give this some Hebrew connection, we see that in the Septuagint the word ekateros appears often as a translation for שניהם - "both" as in Bereshit 40:5. There are even those (if I understand correctly) who translate ekateros as "one and another", which connects it to the Sanskrit eka meaning one, and the Hebrew אחד echad.

It is interesting that he links rockets, the phrase "both" and the word "echad". So does my dream In Five Days.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Yeshibah (Sitting) - As Above, So Below

In my previous post, I wrote:

One flaming spark came through the roof and landed in my mother's bed with her sitting up in it.

What symbolism can be revealed in the phrase “sitting up”? I asked myself. Rambam discusses the word sitting (yeshibah) in The Guide Of The Perplexed (Moreh Nevuchim, vol. I, chap.11). Shlomo Pines translates this discussion as follows (with some additional footnotes added by me*):

Sitting (yeshibah). The first meaning given to this term in our language was that of being seated. Thus: Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat [1]. But in view of the fact that a sitting individual is in a state of the most perfect stability and steadiness [2], this term is used figuratively to denote all steady, stable, and changeless states [3]. Thus, when promising Jerusalem permanence and stability while she is in possession of the highest ranks, scripture says: She will rise and sit in her place [4]. And it also says: He maketh the barren woman to sit in her house [5]; which means that He makes her firm and steady [6]. In the latter sense it is said of G-d, may He be exalted: Thou, O L-rd, sitteth for all eternity [7, 8]; O Thou who sittest in the heaven [9]; He that sitteth in the heaven [10]. That is, the stable One [11] who undergoes no manner of change, neither a change in His essence – as He has no modes [12] besides His essence with respect to which He might change – nor a change in His relation to what is other than Himself – since, as shall be explained later, there does not exist a relation with respect to which He could change.

The passage goes on, but this portion will suffice at the moment. It is significant to note the phrase in red as it pertains to sitting -> in my dream, my mother [13] is sitting, existing as a relation with respect to which He could change.

tzav letzav, kav lakav, ze’er sham, ze’er sham ... Kabbalah & Telepathy

see marzipan here and here


[1] I Shmuel 1:9

[2]* hishtavut, equanimity, shiviti

[3]* atzmut

[4] Zecharyah 14:10

[5] Tehilim 113:9 – *in her house in her bed, hitkalelut (dream/torah)

[6] steadfast*, Tehilim 25:10

[7] Eicah 5:19

[8]* Netzach, victory, Reconstructing Rachel

[9] Tehilim 123:1

[10] Tehilim 2:4

[11]* Echad

[12] khal, Modes were attributed to G-d by some of the latter Mutazilites, notably by Abu Hisham (d. 933) and his followers.

[13]* partzuf imma

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In Five Days

I dreamt.

It was nighttime. I was in my parents' house. Something was going on outside, all in the house were awakened by some commotion.

The sky was lit up by falling rockets which were also fireballs. They were showering the town and falling all around the house as well. One flaming spark came through the roof and landed in my mother's bed with her sitting up in it. It was just an outer spark of a fireball, so it just evaporated into nothing and didn't burn her or anything.

We heard the news. California was waging war with the town we lived in. The town wouldn't acquiesce to California's dictates, so California had declared war on it, showering the town with fireball rockets.

I woke up. "In 5 days" (ה) and/or "5 days" (ה), I heard both phrases (י) simultaneously in one (א) phrase.

Sigh. Gelaw.

ithapcha chashocha lenehora, transforming the pulsa denura:
from night to day

in my parents' house -> abba & imma in olam ha'atzilut
something -> love the "revealed something"
all were awakened -> the pinteleh yid was aroused
the sky -> in which the messianic reality flies
lit up by fireballs -> lashes of fire
showering -> messianic sparks
one flaming spark -> the messianic soul spark
through the roof -> fenced, the messianic spark didn't "fall off it"
the bed -> revealing the good in the apparent bad
fire - > din transformed to gevurah
nothing - > bitul bimtzuit mamash
California -> west coast, ateret hayesod, the source of malchut
a state of war -> a state of extroversion, the "run" in ratzo v'shov
dictates -> beit din, convert
5 -> the power of expression ה
both phrases -> tzimtzum י; nekudah tovah, the pinteleh yid א
one phrase -> fusing the stones into achdut
woke up -> complete teshuvah, the "return" in ratzo v'shov
gelaw, malchut is the law - > baalat teshuvah

creating a messianic reality through transforming the pulsa denura

What is the power (gelaw) of teshuvah? R' Yitzchak Ginsburgh writes:

Teshuvah has the ability to avert God's punishment and subdue His anger.
Talmud Brachot 7a:
May it be Your will in front of You that Your mercy should conquer Your anger and that Your mercy should be revealed amongst Your attributes, and that You shall act with Your children using the attribute of mercy, and You should treat them to a greater extent than their judgment.

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Dare to be true to yourself.