Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hishtavut & Pirkei Avot 1:7

One who comes to purify herself, heaven helps her ... the Sages

On Ethics Of Our Fathers, from Evil Friend, Holy Foe:

Nitai the Arbelite would say: Distance yourself from a bad neighbor, and do not cleave to a wicked person. - Ethics of our Fathers, 1:7

On the surface, Nitai the Arbelite appears to be conveying a simple, if redundant, message: Stay away from bad people. In truth, however, a much deeper lesson is implicit in his words. In fact, a close examination of his phraseology yields an altogether different sentiment.

What is the difference between a "bad neighbor'' and a "wicked person''? And why must one go so far as to "distance oneself'' from the former, while, concerning the latter it is enough to avoid "cleaving'' to him?

A "bad neighbor'' means just that: not a bad person, but one whose proximity to yourself is detrimental to you. It may be that he is a righteous person, and that his path in life is, for him, most suitable and desirable; but if for you it is wrong and destructive, keep your distance.

On the other hand, a "wicked person'' is not necessarily a bad neighbor if he is not in the position to influence you. From him you need not, and must not, distance yourself: on the contrary, befriend him, draw him close and help him improve himself, all the while taking care not to cleave to him and emulate his ways.

In other words: The evil in another is never cause for your rejection of him---only your susceptibility to what is evil for you. On the contrary, the "wickedness'' of your fellow it is all the more a reason to become involved with him, and prevail upon him to cleave to the positive in yourself.

The keyword here is susceptibility. The keyphrase is susceptibility to what is evil for you.

Not everyone is a "blank slate" or a completely permeable membrane, able to be equally influenced by all "idea sets" without any discretionary power at all. We are naturally and easily influenced by that to which our souls align. This "natural influence" becomes more evident as we correct ourselves, and less evident when our emotions and mind are corrupted by error.

We can be unnaturally influenced and further corrupted by "that which is evil for us" through "bad" or "good" methods. In other words, we can be influenced toward accepting falsehood through both painful and pleasurable means. Two respective examples would be social rejection and social acceptance.

Against this, human beings are able to establish emotional and intellectual boundaries for themselves, which when fully developed, leads to acquisition of the quality of hishtavut (equanimity). In my understanding, hishtavut is that quality through which one allows herself to be selectively influenced by truth, despite the presence of both truth and untruth in the environment.

In other words, one with hishtavut is easily influenced by what is true, and with equal ease is able to reject the influence of untruth, whether it (untruth) is in a "good" or "bad" package. This is hishtavut. The emunah of one with hishtavut can stand up unshakable against the untruth in any environment.

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Pachad Laylah: Identifying A Terror Cell Leader

I dreamt.

From somewhere in Israel, I flew to the USA back to where I am currently living.

I was on the run from a terrorist mafia-like family of American-Muslims who lived in the area under the guise of being a quiet family of professionals. For some reason, they were after me.

At one point, I hid between the stone pillars of a large city building. It was dusk time. The terrorists found me hiding there between the stone pillars, kidnapped me, and forced me into their car. Two or three men sat in the front seat and I and an American-Muslim woman sat in the back seat. She was the mafia-mom, the true power leading and directing the group. She sat behind the driver, on the left. I sat behind the front passenger, on the right.

It was getting darker outside. They were discussing what to do with me, and whether or not to execute me. They would allow me to live as long as I was "an embarrassment" to the Jewish community. When I stopped being "an embarrassment" to the Jewish community, they would execute me.

In the course of the conversation amongst themselves, they led me to believe that they were going to release me because I was "an embarrassment" to the Jewish community. But, I didn't trust that it was the truth. They also demanded that I hand over my cell phone to them, but I refused to do so.

They stopped the car, leading me to believe they were going to let me live. It was now fully nighttime. The American-Muslim lead terrorist woman in the back seat of the car was now somehow sitting behind the front passenger, on the right, while I was sitting behind the driver, on the left. I was to exit the car from the left back seat door, with the woman following me out.

The terrorist woman, just as the car came to a stop, pulled out a bag with what appeared to be a folded-up "head-hood" in it. She said "I need you to put this on." I knew immediately then, without a doubt, that they intended to execute me. I refused to put it on.

The terrorist woman then yelled out an order to the others to "pull out the guns!". She knew for sure when I had refused to put on the head-hood that I hadn't been fooled by all the talk meant to lull me toward being an "easy target". All the talk about letting me live had been done with the same psychological purpose as that of Nazis playing violins at the train stations during the holocaust. She no longer saw any reason to continue the charade. I hadn't been fooled.

I jumped out of the car and ran. One of the American-Muslim men in the front seat was ordered by the terrorist woman to follow and execute me. He chased me, shooting at me as I fled.

The night was very black now. I came upon an open department store, with many people shopping and lights on inside. I turned toward entering it. The terrorist man chasing me shot at me three times with a gun equipped with a silencer. Two of the bullets hit me, one in the leg and one in an arm, I think. I didn't feel the bullets penetrate, but I knew I had been hit by two of them. I wasn't bleeding either or I just didn't see the blood because I was too involved in trying to escape.

I ran through the glass doors and entered into the department store crowded with stuff, many shoppers and light. I saw the terrorist man hesitate to enter the doors of the department store. He feared to do it.

He knew that when he entered the department store, his cover as a quiet American-Muslim professional family man would be forever blown. It was a suicidal mission for him to further chase after me to execute me.

Even wounded, I ran deep into the light of the department store crowded with people. His command was to execute me, no one else. He could not "turn from that command" to execute anyone else other than me. I knew that. Those in the store were safe. And, if he entered the store to execute me (which he HAD to do or be executed himself by his fellow-terrorists for refusing to obey a direct order of the terrorist woman-leader), his cover would be forever blown.
I knew it. I saw him hesitate only momentarily, realizing his mission had become suicidal at this point, before he took the next step and entered the doors into the department store. His gun with the silencer was clearly visible for all to see. His cover was forever uncovered.

And importantly, I knew I was alive to report that the American-Muslim terror cell leader is a woman, not a man.

I woke up.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Place In Israel

I dreamt.

I was someplace in the settler territories of Israel. My feeling was that it may have been Hevron, but it also may not have been. The exact location was a secret, classified (something mosheshmeal wrote yesterday about a secret "google earth location" on It was definitely in an area rather isolated from the main Jewish portion of Israel. The community was small and surrounded by enemies. A militarily defensive feeling was also in the environment.

I was being taken to a community meeting there. To get to the meeting, I walked down a long narrow hall within some kind of community building complex. The hall reminded me of "moshiach's alley" in Tzfat posted by Akiva at Mystical Paths.

I was walking down the narrow hall to the community meeting with a group of people being led by a man who seemed to be a military commander of some sort. As we were walking through the window-lined hall, through a window in the middle of it, a guard looked in on us as we passed by and spoke greetings to us. The guard was standing watch right outside the hall, guarding it as we passed through. This guard reminded me of the mezuzah which guards the doorway to Kever David HaMelech, also posted by Akiva at Mystical Paths this past Monday.

I felt emotionally connected to the guard, like he was family even, even though I didn't know him personally. He is part of my soul family. I think he felt it too because I could feel that he was pleased to be able to speak to us as we passed within the hall as he stood watch outside. I felt an overhwelming compassion for and connection to this guard, who wanted so much to go with us to the meeting, but had been assigned guard duty at that time. I wanted to hug him for making this sacrifice to guard us as we passed, and as we attended the meeting. This part of the dream reminded me of Covenant's post yesterday about Gene Simmons blowing a wounded IDF soldier a kiss of loving appreciation.

At the meeting, I don't remember the specifics of what was discussed, except for that there was something said about something like a Bar-B-Que (discussed by many posters in this kabbalah thread started by Gabbe also on yesterday). We sat in folding chairs together as a community while the elders discussed strategic business. I contributed something as well, but I don't recall what it was exactly. Two teenage girls sat together in the row behind me, to my left. For some reason, I noticed the straw hat with a flower on it one of the girls was wearing.

I woke up.

Wow, alot in this dream relates directly to things posted by people I read and converse with on the Jewish internet regularly. Very mystical psychology going on here. Ohmygawd! I'm infected with the ideas of other people! (Just kidding :)

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Aleppo Codex, Serach & Hanhaga

Fred MacDowell at On The Main Line writes regarding the Aleppo Codex:

The Aleppo Codex (כתר ארם צובא) was the possession of the Jewish community of Aleppo, Syria for centuries. It was regarded as a treasure, which is why it was called by them The Crown; הכתר or 'el-Taj. By tradition it was regarded as having been written (or rather vocalized) by the greatest Masorete, 'Aharon (ben Moshe) ben 'Asher, which is what a colophon page in the book claimed. Furthermore, it was believed that this was the very book which the Rambam consulted in writing his own sepher Torah, as recounted in Mishne Torah Hilkhot Sepher Torah 8:5.

Fred also points out in his article:

1) In the Mishne Torah the Rambam says that the shirah of parashat ha'azinu must be written on 70 lines in a Torah (fully in accord with massekhet sopherim, I believe, sorry no cite at the moment).

2) In the Aleppo Codex this is written on 67 lines.

This would seem reason enough to conclude that this wasn't then the codex used by the Rambam, even with the long tradition. However, pointed out eagle-eyed Goshen-Gottstein, there is a mistake. It says 70 lines in all printed editions of the Rambam. What about old manuscripts? Sure enough, in the most authoritative manuscript of the Mishne Torah (in Oxford's Bodleian Library, the Huntington 80 mss) it says 67 lines, not 70. (Why is this the most authoritative manuscript? Because this appears in it.

This 67/70 ambiguity regarding the lines distinguishing the codex/mesorah used by Rambam to write his sefer Torah reminds me of parashat Vayigash. In this Torah portion, there is also an ambiguity involving the 69 (or is it 70) souls who went down into mitzrayim with Yaakov.

Interestingly, Serach figures significantly to both the 69/70 "discrepancy" of souls in parashat Vayigash, and to the 67/70 "discrepancy" of lines in the codex/mesorah consulted by Rambam to write his sefer Torah. Serach is both one of the "souls" listed in Vayigash, and she is the soul to whom the mesorah was given according to Yalkut Shim'oni 64.

For some odd reason (probably because I just learned this word today on Yitz' blog, Israel At War), I am connecting the double x/70 discrepancies [1] with the concept of hanhaga הנהגה as well. Perhaps it's the 3 feminine letters hey ה in the word hanhaga הנהגה and the 3 seemingly "missing" or hidden lines of the mesorah which are aligning together in my mind.

Even more oddly, I am also connecting the whole x/70 dilemma with the double kaf כ of the cooper scroll of Qumran. The seemingly "missing (or hidden) 3" may correlate to the "hidden" intellectual attributes of chochmah, binah and da'at/keter, where the hebrew letter kaf כ likewise correlates to the sefirah keter - and to its 2 distinct partzufim (the double kaf כ) and 3 "heads" (the 3 letters hey ה). Significantly, hey ה is the hebrew letter representing actualized expression in the 3 forms of thought, speech and action. Kaf כ is the hebrew letter "able" to actualize "potential" expression.

Further following this "hanhaga, head and expression thread", Yitz writes of hanhaga:

The answer is that while God Himself is Ein Sof, He has created a place of interaction between Himself and humanity that is, for our sakes, bounded and defined. This place is called hanhaga -- and this is the realm within which we can make use of our understanding and knowledge.

Moreover, hanhaga is from the root nahag נהג meaning to vocalize directions for movement [2], to lead and to conduct [3]. Important to the meaning of providing direction through vocalization, Serach is she, who through her voice, sang the words "Yosef is alive", which revived the spirit of Yaakov. In other words, Serach vocalized to direct the movement of Yaakov's spirit toward revival.

Taking all this together, Serach is critically linked to the meaning of nahag נהג , the root to the realm of Divine-human interaction, as well as to the x/70 ambiguity involving the Aleppo Codex (the mesorah) used by the Rambam. Moreover, the mystical voice of Serach holds the key to the mystery (כ) and expression (ה-ה-ה) of the mesorah; each corresponding to the discrepancies of 69/70 and 67/70 respectively. Serach is the connection between them all. Additionally, the combined gematria of the letters representing "mystery" (כ) and "expression" (ה-ה-ה) is לה 35, meaning "to her". In other words, to her (Serach) the mesorah was given.

I realize this entry is a bit chaotically put together at this point. Nevertheless, the thread of connection has been established. The idea remains to be more fully developed with further study.


[1] where x = 1 kaf (כ) and/or x = 3 letters hey (ה-ה-ה)
[2] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark
[3] YitzD, Israel At War, Kabbalah 2: A Glimpse Of G-d

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Sunday, August 27, 2006


when facts tell lies and confusion reigns
when knowledge and ignorance with futility dance
when hope is dying and faith is failing
truth remains

when pain is endless and pleasure empty
when will lies heavy like stone and clarity is obscured
when wisdom reeks and reason flees
truth remains

when the heart staggers broken
with shattered strength and love drowns lost in the abyss
truth remains

when darkness reverberates blindly
and eternity is filled with hell
truth remains

when life is crushing and all is torn, when hiding cannot conceal
and wretching waters burn the naked dust
truth remains

when the pause is pregnant like a rock of hate against us
truth remains

the divine torch

only the torch is found by itself ... Klach Pischey Chochmah 55

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Livyatan Unchained - Mishmeret

I used to sing to G-d. At night. In the candlelight. Wrapped in a white sheet. Swaying to the sounds of the eternal flame.

Not anymore. I stopped about a decade ago. I stopped praying a few years after that.

When I was in 8th grade, in middle school, I got a full back brace and had to wear it for over 4 years. I used to lay in my bed during those years at night thinking - if I can only make it through this, things will be alright.

Well, I made it through those years, but things have never become alright. The suffering has only changed form through the years, year after year. I used to say, with each new trial - if I can just make it through this, things will be alright. I stopped saying that last year.

Things will never be alright.

I'm 45 years old now, but the suffering hasn't stopped yet. And I know now that it never will.

Right now, I am sitting in the same room where I spent so many nights so many years ago in my back brace, thinking now - it doesn't matter anymore if I make it through this.

with nothing, only pain
thrown down through time
a shattering prism through ages and worlds
torn, battered, beaten and abused
curled in the corner, step away, stand back
horror flies with the ark within the skies
of desolation and ice
made with years of tears
a prayer dies, forever

the words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls and tenement halls,
and whispered in the sounds of silence ...

Simon & Garfunkel, Sounds of Silence

do not abandon the levi'im, the cost of doing so may be land

the levitical - feminine mystique

6 mishmarot & the temple:

In the Babylonian Talmud (Taanit 29a) we are told that exactly the same events occurred at the destruction of both the First and Second Temple. The First Temple was destroyed during the mishmeret [guard] of Yehoyariv from which we could deduce that the Second Temple was also destroyed during the mishmeret of this family. But the sources are not all concurrent on Yehoyariv. In Taanit 27a-b, it is even suggested that this family did not come back at first from Babylon (see Rashi there). Only four priestly families, among the 24 who were charged with mishmarot of the First Temple, returned at first to Palestine. Each of these families was divided in six and was in charge six mishmarot. In the Babylonian Talmud (Arakhin 12b), it is stated that if and when Yehoyariv will return to Israel from Babylon, that family will be included in the group of Yedayah. Rabbi Adin Steinzaltz’s commentary on Taanit 27b suggests that the four families who came back from Babylon were divided in six and the name of a family who did not come back was given to the five groups from their clan. If that is the case, the mishmarot from the Second Temple were not the same as the one in the first Temple even if they had the same name. Rabbi Monique Susskind Goldberg

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LiorahChanah on AIM is NOT ME

Well, I just downloaded AIM and when I went to sign up for a screen name, I found there's already a LiorahChanah on AIM. I didn't realize that combination Hebrew name was common. Anyway, please don't confuse ME with this LiorahChanah, whoever she is. While liorahchanah has been my yahoo ID for several years, I do not know nor have I ever been the LiorahChanah on AIM. I have never had AIM before today.

My new and first AIM screen name will be LiorahChanah1. With so many enemies who have sought to besmirch me in the past, I think I need to make that perfectly clear. I am not whoever this "LiorahChanah" on AIM is.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lilith, Night Light & Shalom Zachar

From AskMoses:

Several different explanations are offered for the custom of shalom zachar:

1) It is a thanksgiving meal. We are offering thanks to G-d that the baby was born safe and sound. Birth (especially in the past) was a very dangerous time for the(mother and) baby, so we thank G-d that the baby survived this ordeal.1

2) We come to console the child who has just forgotten all the Torah he studied while in his mother's womb (see Niddah 30b). For this reason many people serve beans or chickpeas at the Sholom Zochor, since these are foods served at the house of a mourner.

3) According to Kabbalah, a child is not ready to be circumcised until he has gone through a Shabbat, for the Shabbat provides the infant with the spiritual power necessary to enter into a lasting covenant with Hashem. (This is (one of) the inner reasons why the Brit is on the eight day, to ensure that a Shabbat passes). For this reason we make a special celebration on the Shabbat after the baby is born.2 [The advantage of this reason is that we can also understand why shalom zachars are only done for boys.]

Reason 1 would pertain to Lilith as Lilith is commonly understood through fallen natural consciousness as a "baby-killer".

Reason 2 would pertain to Lilith as Lilith is commonly understood to be a male's "first true wife" which fled Gan Eden and fallen natural consciousness; the male child is mourning her loss.

Reason 3 would pertain to Lilith as Lilith is understood through shabbat consciousness and the promise of finding and reuniting with her again.

Lilith, Lilith, Lilith, light of the Night divine (niddah 30b, Sefer Yetzirah 4:6, Niddah 16b [3,4,5]) ... all shalom zochor is filled with thoughts of Lilith.


1. Terumat Hadeshen, vol. 1, s. 269.
2. Based on the Zohar, beginning of Parshas Tazria.
[3] Sefer Yetzirah 4:6 - "The Talmud (niddah 16b) teaches that there is an angel called Laylah that oversees birth."
[4] Dr. Ellen Frankel on an ancient midrash on Laylah:
“When a baby is conceived, Laylah, the Angel of Night, brings the fertilized egg before God who decides its fate: whether it will be a boy or a girl, rich or poor, strongor weak, beautiful or ugly, fat or thin, wise or foolish. Only one decision does God leave in the hands of the unborn soul: whether it will be righteous or wicked. Between morning and night on that same day, another angel reveals to the unborn soul its future life: where it will live and where it will die and where it will be buried. And then at the end of nine months, the angel announces to the soul that it is time to be born, but the soul protests. The angel silences it: 'So God has decreed. Against your will you were formed, and against your will you will be born. And against your will you will one day die. Such is your fate.' Just before the baby is born, the angel taps it right under its nose, leaving a small cleft there. Then the angel extinguishes the light shining above the baby's head and it forgets everything it has learned during the previous nine months. And then the baby emerges into the world, crying and afraid. Each soul spends the rest of its time on earth recovering what it once knew.” (Ellen Frankel, The Classic Tales, 17-18).
[5] "You shall not fear from the pachad Laylah ..." Tehilim 91:5; Sha'are Orah, R' Yosef Gikatilla (fifth sphere, sixth gate)

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Kol Isha, Kol Itta & Aur Chayah

At, Gretchen generally asked the question:

Does the issur of kol isha apply to gay men?

Many of the responses revolved around the assumption that the prohibition of kol isha (males hearing the voice of a woman) was founded on the idea of the potential of kol isha קול אשה to arouse sexual desire. However, I really don't think this is the case.

I think it is more founded on the idea that "all blessings flow from the mothers" (Sefer Yetzirah). In other words, the concern has to do with the mystical power to bless or curse inherent in the "mystical voice-kol קול (which is the aur chayah) of a woman".

As I've written previously about the isha/itta distinction; isha אשה is of Canaanite origin and represents a soul level unbound to the mitzvot. Consequently, the mystical "voice" קול of isha אשה can introduce "multiplicity disconnected from its source" (in opposition to unity in multiplicity) into reality. This is what the prohibition of kol isha is trying to avoid by forbidding men (as primary representatives of the collective vav in the Divine Name) to hear the voice of isha.

Importantly as well, the level of aur chayah associated with kol is tied to the two mitzvot of tithes and offerings. Isha (as elucidated in ish, isha, adam, itta & obligation) is not bound to the mitzvot. Consequently, the voice of isha represents a junction of disconnection from aur chayah.

In contradistinction, itta אתתא is bound to the mitzvot. Consequently, kol itta קול אתתא is doubly connected to aur chayah through both categories of mitzvot, tithes and offerings. Moreover and significantly, aur chayah is associated with shabbat consciousness. Shabbat consciousness is the condition associated with the Tree of Life and rectified natural consciousness, as opposed to fallen natural consciousness and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Matir Assurim, A Tapestry Of Beauty

In a previous post, I described a dream about meercat-like creatures and luminescent elephants, writing (of the meercat-like creatures):

Focus changed. I saw a meercat-like creature. It was half visible. The rest of it was dark and/or invisible. At times it appeared dark, but it was really just invisible. It was and I saw both somehow. Only part of it was visible to normal vision. The dark part seemed to be in another dimension, yet the darkness of its "invisible" part I could nevertheless see. The dark part was reverse "inside out" also.

(and of the luminescent elephants):

Focus changed. There was a large white elephant. Time was primordial. The elephant was like the meercat-like creature - part of it was reverse inside out - dark, yet at the same time, invisible. It was in a dense forest. It had a baby elephant as it walked. Immediately after the baby elephant was born, it shrank in size and the mother elephant put it in her mouth to protect it until it grew a little bit. The mother elephant "tucked" the baby elephant with its tongue like a mother tucks a child into bed at night.

The meercat-like creatures and the luminescent elephants are symbols related to the dynamic complexity which powers the ultimately permitted klipat nogah and the intrinsically bound “evil” klipot. The dark invisible portions represent that which is bound (assur, prohibited), while the visible portion represents that which is unbound (mutar, permitted).

Moreover, the bound/unbound portions were dynamic [1] and changing, turning inside out. In other words, the bound portion of the meercat-like creature in the first frame of reference, was the unbound portion of the elephant in the second frame of reference, and vice versa –> the unbound part of the meercat-like creature was the bound part of the elephant in the forest. These two paragraphs of the dream represent the realm of avodah (service), where in the realm of the klipat nogah, one is charged to unbind and redeem the holy sparks that have fallen and become trapped within the realm of the klipot.

(and on the gathering of clearly luminescent elephants):

The mother elephant proceeded on its journey [2] through the forest and came to a huge primoridal field full of many white elephants. All the white elephants were luminescent with beautiful pearly [3] skin. The field was full of thick tall beautiful, holy even, green grass which grew nearly as high as the elephants' backs. A beautiful field full of pearly white elephants as far as the eye could see.

I felt it was a significant gathering of elephants. They had all migrated to this beautiful, pristine place. The mother elephants all had a baby elephant in their mouths.

These two paragraphs of the dream represent the condition where all that was assur becomes mutar, where evil has been transformed to good. There are no dark, invisible parts – only a pristine luminescent tapestry of beauty. In other words, the sparks redeemed through the avodah processed through the first two paragraphs are here, in the latter two paragraphs from the dream, elevated and returned to their source in complete kedushah (holiness).

Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu melech ha’olam, matir assurim.

ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העלם מתיר אסורים


[1] Inner Space, R' Aryeh Kaplan
[2] see tabernacle (mishkan)
[3] see also birkat kohanim

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Attitudes Toward Baalei Teshuvah

Yoniqua of Inspiration writes in defense of BTs regarding FFB (frum from birth) attitudes toward baalei teshuvah (BTs):

She may not even HAVE much of a past. On the contrary, she may have a past that she not only regrets so completely, but that she works extra hard for the rest of her life to be the very very best she can be! She’s worked so hard, and her only wish is to marry a good “mentch” of a guy so that her children have whom to emulate. She might love to marry a BT, but would also welcome a husband who was always frum. She may not want reminders of her previous life. She may want to move only forward. (Again, he/she.)

From this I see, all BTs are assumed to have wild exotic "pasts" from which they are running, even when, in fact, many if not most may have been quite righteous in his or her secular life. Not only is it an errant assumption on the part of FFBs (that no one but those of their kind can be chaste, righteous and good), but it is a hateful, yes hateful, misjudgment of BTs.

Secondly, why is it automatically assumed that a BT's past is something one needs to "forget" as if a previous secular life is something to be ashamed of? BTs really are viewed as "trashy" people - all of us must surely have led trashy secular lives.

It seems that some FFBs really need to grow up in the reality department and give up prejudices and messed up ideas of what life is typically like in the secular world. Normal everyday joes and janes in the secular world are not the wild ethic-less animals many FFBs seem to think they are.

And personally as a BT, I was a much nicer, kinder, gentler person when I was secular. I have not had a good experience with FFBs. It's a good thing they're family because I really don't like them mostly. Honestly (not).

I'm in a really bad mood today. Can you tell?

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Elephants In The Field Of A Dream

the Land is full of pearls ...

I dreamt.

I was in university. We were in groups. Each group was to write a paper. My partner and I began from the point of an immune cell, and discussed where to proceed from there. In our paper, we would cover the dynamics of immunity. Class was over for the day, so I went out into the hall looking for my next class.

Focus changed. I saw a meercat-like creature. It was half visible. The rest of it was dark and/or invisible. At times it appeared dark, but it was really just invisible. It was and I saw both somehow. Only part of it was visible to normal vision. The dark part seemed to be in another dimension, yet the darkness of its "invisible" part I could nevertheless see. The dark part was reverse reverse "inside out" also.

Focus changed. There was a large white elephant. Time was primordial. The elephant was like the meercat-like creature - part of it was reverse inside out - dark, yet at the same time, invisible. It was in a dense forest. It had a baby elephant as it walked. Immediately after the baby elephant was born, it shrank in size and the mother elephant put it in her mouth to protect it until it grew a little bit. The mother elephant "tucked" the baby elephant with its tongue like a mother tucks a child into bed at night.

The mother elephant proceeded on its journey [1] through the forest and came to a huge primoridal field full of many white elephants. All the white elephants were luminescent with beautiful pearly [2] skin. The field was full of thick tall beautiful, holy even, green grass which grew nearly as high as the elephants' backs. A beautiful field full of pearly white elephants as far as the eye could see.

I felt it was a significant gathering of elephants. They had all migrated to this beautiful, pristine place. The mother elephants all had a baby elephant in their mouths.

I woke up.

I wish I could describe how exquisitely beautiful and pristine the place and the elephants were. It is just beyond words. The sight of it left me awed.

When every stone, every blade of grass becomes holy, then you will begin to understand ...
from a story told by the Rebbe


[1] see tabernacle (mishkan)
[2] see also birkat kohanim

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Future Yet Unmade

Joe Settler asks us where we will be on August 22, writing:

You have to be living in a cave (or not reading Debka, listening to your local Kabbalist/Astrologer, or paying attention to the Madman in Iran) to not know what is going down. ... Debka keeps implying a possible nuclear attack or mega-attack on Israel particularly in the Old City of Jerusalem, and the Kabbalists/astrologers keep saying stay away from Jerusalem.

Nava of Dreaming communicates to us a fix in time from kabbalist Rav Menachem Menashe:

He writes that 40 days is the equivalency of 6 1/2 seconds from Zohar Vayera 119a. 40 days prior to Rosh Hashana 5767 will be great din (judgment). When counting backwards on the solar calendar, the date is August 21/22, on the lunar calendar the date is Av 28, 5766. The moment of Din is specifically tied to very major catastrophic events.

What is wrong with everybody? Haven't we learned anything from history about the consequences of calculating exact dates pertaining to end-times events? Av 28 is also אב-כח Av Koach. Choose your future.

PEOPLE! The future is not yet made. Stop with this madness. We don't have to go down the road that leads to massive destruction. IMPORTANTLY, all the apocalyptic prophecies littered with visions of massive destruction are instructing us as to what nevuah is UNWORTHY (in terms of consciousness preparation by Hashem) to usher in messianic consciousness. Do we STILL not get it?!

Those who do not forthsee!!!!!!!! massive destruction, those prepared by Hashem for the task of forthseeing messianic consciousness, are the voices we need to hear and whose messages we need to thoughtfully consider.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bal Tashchit & The Waste Of Human Potential

The mitzvah of bal tashchit is introduced in parashat Shoftim. Here is an interesting excerpt I found on it at Yeshivat Hamivtar Orot Lev on the mitzvah:

Jews today should have little difficulty appreciating the importance of bal tashchit. The recycling revolution has even made it politically correct. The problem is that preventing waste is so incredibly inconvenient. This may be the best argument for its revival. Inconvenience means we have to go out of our way, be self-sacrificing, sweat. To uphold bal tashchit, we have to do nothing less than raise our consciousness about how we treat our world. If we achieve this, and learn to preserve the priceless jewels around us, we stand a greater chance of realizing our potential as righteous partners in creation.

Yes, recycling is a big deal in the Jewish community, as well as in the community at large. It's a terrible thing not to recycle paper. On the other hand, human potential is not such a terrible thing to waste. Used paper and glass bottles are more important - they increase political leverage because it looks good to be a recycler.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Breastplate Of Judgment

Interpreting this morning's lion's den dream, I related various aspects of it to the concepts of ben Issachar, the Name of 72, and collective judgment. These ideas are further supported by the fact that the gematria of aryeh אריה (lion) is 216, where the first value of the gematria, 200 is the letter reish ר, representing the 200 heads of the Sanhedrin from the tribe of Issachar.

The Sanhedrin was a council comprised of 71 of the generation's wisest sages. Consequently, the aryeh אריה represents the realm of judgment deliverable through this council.

Nevertheless, in the dream, I escaped the lions. Likewise, sometimes clear judgment may escape the Sanhedrin.

R' Yitzchak Ginsburgh of The Inner Dimension writes of times which called for insight greater than that of the 71 wise members of the Sanhedrin. In these times, the Sanhedrin sought Divine counsel through the kohen gadol's choshen mishpat (breastplate of judgment):

Most such decisions were made by the Sanhedrin, a council composed of seventy-one wisest sages of the generation. Each sage was distinguished for having achieved a superior degree of Torah knowledge, such that even his instinctive responses to questions and life experiences were consistent with the Torah's truths. Even so, personal prejudice was further minimized through the requirement of majority rule. Nevertheless, for certain questions such as whether or not to go to war, Divine counsel was sought through the breastplate.

The breastplate of judgment is represented by the letter tet ט, the reduced gematria of the entire word for lion, aryeh אריה. Seventy-two represents the im hakolel of aryeh (in terms of its relationship to 71) and the level of judgment "one more" than the judgment capacity of 71, the Sanhedrin. In other words, it represents Divine judgment through the choshen mishpat.

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Hardest Hit In The Nation

Noelle Knox of USA Today, reported Wednesday:

Job losses lead to drop in home prices.

The loss of manufacturing jobs helped drive down home prices in 26 metro areas between April and June compared with the same period last year, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

That's 10 more areas than in the first quarter, and it spotlights how joblessness in industrial states such as Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana is rippling through housing markets.

The hardest-hit this year: Danville, IL, where prices at which existing homes were sold fell 11% in the second quarter after a 12% drop in the first quarter.

read full article ...

Why am I not surprised?

Tehillim 105:15-16:

Touch not mine anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm.
טו: אל-תגעו במשיחי; ולנביאי, אל-תרעו

And He called a famine upon the land; He broke the whole staff of bread.
טז: ויקרא רעב, על-הארץ; כל-מטה-לחם שבר

Interestingly, my mother received this bit of news via email today (the day of my lion's den dream). The gematria of aryeh אריה (lion) is 216. The reduced value of 216 is 9, where 9 is the first value ט of the referenced pasuk of Tehillim 105. The last number of the unreduced gematria is 6 , where 6 is the second value ו of the referenced pasuk of Tehillim 105.

hitkalelut & holographic reality

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Ben Issachar, Iyov & The Soul Of Mashiach


kadkode + 24 = 72

Significantly, I had the dream this morning of the lion's den the 24th of Av. Av is the month of the letter tet ט; tet as described last night by Dave at Balashon here.

Av is also the mazal of aryeh, the lion. Two holy days occur in Av, on the 9th and the 15th. Today, the 24th of Av, the day of the lion's den dream, is the sum of them both (9 + 15).

Twenty-four is the gematria of "and Iob" (ויוב, Bereshit 46:13). "And Iob" [1] is Iyov איוב spelled with a vav ו as opposed to an aleph א. According to Sabbatean kabbalah [2], Iyov symbolizes the soul of mashiach in bondage, trapped. Like in a hospital.

Twenty-four is also the value that completes kadkode (3 X 24 =72). Like the light of the morning in which I walked down the road at the end of the lion's den dream.


[1] v'Iob, third son of Issachar's 4 sons listed in Bereshit 46:13
[2] Sabbatai Tsevi: The Mystical Messiah, Gershom Scholem

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Barefoot In The Lions' Den

I dreamt.

I was in a hospital which consisted of several of my past places of employment combined. One of my former female bosses from a small community hospital was there. She was my boss, and although my experience as her employee had not been good, in the dream, I didn't feel that she was my enemy. On the contrary, I felt she was trying to do teshuvah for what had she had done. Oddly though, as she crossed her legs at a staff meeting (in the dream), I saw she was wearing sandals and had hair on her toes.

The workday was over. I was trying to go home, and to leave the hospital, which was now mostly the hospital in town. I went out one of the doors leading outside, and stepped into a den of lions. I saw I was barefoot.

There were a few other people also in the den. Some were petting the lions, but they were all going to end up as lunch. Crazily, they thought they wouldn't, but I knew they had been lulled into thinking they had power over the lions. One lion was eating a person down below where I stood. The other people in the den dismissed the person who had become lion food, thinking it was only because that person had shown fear. Idiots.

I tried to back away from the place, back toward the hospital doors from where I stood on top of the rocks that comprised the roof of lions' den. But, one lion had eyed me. For dinner. Barefoot, I saw I had stubbed a toe somehow. It was bleeding only a teeny bit, not even enough for a drop really, but enough for the lion to smell the blood and to stake me out.

It jumped up on the rocks and licked at my foot. It was just waiting for me to run so it could pounce and eat me. But, I just stood there, thinking what to do.

I kept backing away toward the door, inching closer and closer. The lion stayed with me, licking at my foot. I was now on the platform right before the door. The lion was momentarily distracted by something in the den, and I lept into action, making a break for the doors.

The lion was in hot pursuit behind me when it discovered I had made a run for the doors. I made it through the doors and slammed them shut. The lion slammed itself against the closed doors. It was enraged.

Now there were 3 layers between the lion and I: two clear thick plastic-like wall barriers (with a room-like space between them) and the heavy hospital doors. The enraged lion backed up and charged the plastic barriers, breaking through. It couldn't immediately break through the thick primary doors though, so I had time to escape into the innards of the hospital.

But, the lion would eventually be able to break through, and when it did, the whole lot of lions from the lions' den and other dangerous zoo animals would invade the hospital. I tried to warn the people inside. Some listened. Some didn't. Some followed me looking for a safe place inside the hospital. Some were out in the halls when the dangerous animals began to stampede through.

The one lion who had smelled and licked the blood on my foot, was hunting me down. But I and a few others were inside a big inner locked room, like a conference room, safe. I could sense the lion outside the big huge wall that formed the barrier door, sniffing me beyond its grasp. Chaos and hungry dangerous animals were roaming the hospital, but I and the few who had followed me to the protected room were safe.

Then, somehow I snaked my way outside of the hospital, past the legions of roaming dangerous animals in it, and past the den-zoo which surrounded the hospital. I found myself on a road outside of the deadly whole setup, walking home in the light of the morning.

I woke up.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Autism & Rectifying The Will

A question was recently asked of me regarding autism, and part of my reply pertained to autism's link to the will (ratzon). This source in will distinguishes the angry outbursts of autistics from those who have bipolar disorder, who are primarily struggling with emotional balance. This was my reply, in part, to the question asked of me on the matter:

In bipolar disorder, the way I understand it, emotional balance is the issue. In autism, the battle isn't "sourced" in the emotions, it is sourced in the "will" of the person. Autism is a totally different ballgame than bipolar disorder. Bipolars are battling with emotions. Autistics are battling with will, which sometimes has fallout into the emotions. I also think that's why - particularly if one looks at an autistic who is not high functioning - the angry outbursts are very forceful -> this is because of the force of its origin is in the will (ratzon) rather than the middot.

In my mind then, the issue of autism is sourced in keter. In contradistinction, the issue of bipolar disorder is sourced in the middot.

Autism & Rectifying The Middot

Autism / Tzav Letzav

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Monday, August 14, 2006

True Vision Soul To Soul

Exploring the etymology of the word shazif שזיף, from the root שזף, with respect to distinguishing an original meaning as either "to look" or "to burn", Dave at Balashon writes:

In the other two instances where the root שזף appears, in Iyov 20:9 and 28:7, it clearly means "to look". Amos Chacham on Shir HaShirim writes that the meaning, even in our verse, means "to gaze". Kaddari also writes that the sense of "burned" in Shir HaShirim is "borrowed" from the meaning "to gaze".

However, the Even Shoshan dictionary says the borrowing is in the other direction - first the root meant "to burn", then later "to look". Steinberg takes the same approach, and says the later sense means "a sharp burning stare".

In my mind, the concepts of "burning" and "intense gaze" are related in the idea that an intense gaze into the eyes of another can "burn" an impression into the soul. That may also account for the connection between "burn/scorch" and "gaze". By "intense gaze", I'm not referring to "staring", but to some attribute of soul sight - an intense gaze capable of impressing the soul of another (or even of oneself through the act of truly looking) need not necessarily be more than a glance. It is the quality of looking that matters in this kind of "gaze". Perhaps it is this quality of looking that the root שזף is referring to.

Moreover and in other words, it is the ability to establish a soul to soul connection through eye contact. Consequently, there is no "which came first" original meaning - as both meanings are original - as both meanings are implied simultaneously in the idea of the gaze that burns an impression into another's soul, soul to soul.

the House of Yaakov is a fire, and the House of Yosef is a flame
Ovadiah 1:18

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Ish, Isha, Adam, Itta & Obligation

There are 4 names for man: adam, ish, enosh and gever. Adam is the loftiest name and refers to a man of wisdom and understanding (centered in the intellectual faculties), while ish pertains to a man centered in the middot or emotive faculties. Enosh suggests weakness, while a gever overcomes and masters obstacles.

The latter two names (enosh and gever) denote struggle and overcoming struggle (in the realms of physical and emotional drives). The former two names (ish and adam) denote achievement - mastery over emotions and mastery over intellect (respectively).

Significantly, the names adam and ish are relevant to the idea of being obligated by the mitzvot. R' Nissan Dovid Dubov (Yalkut Bar Mitzvah) writes regarding this:

The age of bar mitzvah the boy attains the level of "ish," nonetheles, in order to fulfill the mitzvos properly one must also be under the influence of the level of "adam," [... and] the level of "ish" does not suffice for mitzvah performance ... [and] not only does a bar mitzvah have to be an "ish" but that the verse also hints at a level of "adam," [to be obligated with respect to the mitzvot].

From this we can see, that neither an ish (man) nor an isha(woman) can be obligated with respect to the mitzvot. In terms of a masculine obligation to the mitzvot, only an adam (man) can be obligated. Chassidut teaches regarding an adam:

Adam is the loftiest adjective, that of intellectual capacity. Through this trait a person, striving with mind and heart, achieves superiority over all Creation, not only over terrestrial creatures, but even over spiritual ones, such as the ministering angels and emanations. Though the angels (on high) are Abstract Intellects (despite their bodily existence)-since their conceptions are non-spatial and non-temporal, while those of humans are circumscribed by the limitations of time and space-still man is superior. For only man has been given the mission and ability to illumine the darkness of this physical world with the light of Torah and mitzvot, to make it a G-dly abode.

From this we can see that what distinguishes ish and adam is the ability to illumine the darkness. It is only this ability - to illumine the darkness - of an adam (in contradistinction to an ish) which establishes the obligation toward the mitzvot.

An ish cannot bear obligation toward timebound mitzvot. Likewise, neither can an isha be obligated toward timebound mitzvot.

Similarly, as an adam has the ability to illumine the darkness, so too does an itta have the ability to illumine the darkness as elucidated in previous articles. Consequently, just as an adam is obligated toward the time bound mitzvot, so too, is an itta obligated.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Karmelis, Eliyahu Versus Armilus

Da'at Torah & More On Making The Torah Personal

Then fire from Hashem (אש-יי) descended and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the earth; and it licked up water that was in the trench ... I Malachim 18:38

In a previous post, My Seat Among The Companions, I discussed a dream where in it I wrote:

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.

In a follow-up post, A Secret Material Girl, I discussed the hotel symbolism, writing in part regarding a hotel's connections to an unrectified malchut and to a reshut harabim:

Given this first association (see link) 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.

There is signifcantly more here to the distinction of attaining one's seat (a reshut hayachid, private domain) and being sent to a hotel (a reshut harabim, public domain) to wait out approaching judgment than its association with the rectification-state of malchut. There is a connection to 1) true/false nevuah and 2) the apocalyptic figures of Armilus and the moshiach (messianic consciousness anointed by a prophet) as well.

One point to be made is that the dream begins in neither a reshut hayachid nor a reshut harabim, but somewhere between them. In other words, in a karmelis; that is, a state of being "between" one "set" state and another "set" state. A karmelis is both "a little bit private, and a little bit public" and neither fully private nor fully public.

A ba'alat teshuvah is like a karmelis when it comes to observance - she is somewhere between liberal and orthodox in observance, but neither really because she was not raised in a religiously Jewish environment. She's just a Jew. A little bit liberal. A little bit orthodox. In between the historically "set" states of religiously observant identity.

Why is the concept of karmelis important to understand? It is important to understand because the word karmelis is from the same 4-letter root כרמל as Carmel (Haifa). Mount Carmel is the location of the showdown between Eliyahu and the false prophets of Ba'al, where fire descends from heaven and consumes the acceptable offering. Similarly, the unique aleph made of two "fire" letters shin came down and consumed the life I had prior to my return to Torah.

Taking all this together, karmelis also describes an in-between time during the life of a ba'alat teshuvah where a previous foundation has (or has not) been consumed by אש-יי, and like the city of Haifa, which has recently been consumed by rocket fire. The seat in my dream, therefore, distinguishes a case of true nevuah - a move from uncertainty to certainty in the direction of truth (reshut hayachid). In contradistinction, the hotel distinguishes a case of false prophecy - a move from uncertainty to certainty in the direction of incomplete truth or falsehood (reshut harabim).

Interestingly, for Eruvin 7a we find this commentary regarding karmelis:

The Rambam (in Perush ha'Mishnayos to Shabbos) explains that the word "Karmelis" means "k'Armelis".

The word construct k'Armelis also sheds light on the apocalyptic prophetic teaching regarding Armilus and "the battle in between" (of distinguishing truth and falsehood). Armilus lacks the letter kaf כ (as does the hebrew word for hotel, see above), the power to actualize potential and the good desire to be utilized by the Divine Will to influence historical events. The apocalyptic battle of moshiach with Armilus is like the battle of Eliyahu with the false prophets of Ba'al. In other words, it is a battle which distinguishes true from false nevuah.

We can now also understand why the "battle between the prophets" is so important. It is also a battle between Armilus and messianic consciousness.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Daat Torah & Reverse Vision

More on daat Torah and making the Torah personal for parashat Re'eh:

Analyzing with reverse vision, my anglicized english 4-letter [1] name Lori transliterated into hebrew letters לורי

לורי using atbach substitution (the reflective - aur chozer - transformation) is:

ל -> ע
ו -> ד
ר -> ש
י -> צ

In other words, Lori can be transformed via two permutations [2] (transliteration and atbach transformation) into עד ש"ץ, where עד means witness and embodies the complete shema, and where ש"ץ refers to שליחה ציבורה, a shliachah tziburah (emissary of the congregation, mystical cantor).

From wiki, on chazzanah, a shliachah tziburah:

In the Talmud the term is used to denote the "overseer": (1) of a city; (2) of a court of justice; (3) of the Temple; (4) of the synagogue. It also comes from the word Hazzon, denoting a "visionary." The early hazzanim (the plural of hazzan) were most likely prophets.

In summary, for parashat Re'eh, using reverse vision, I see that "prophetic Torah (service) visionary" is hidden in my anglicized (english) name, Lori.

dalet, hitkalelut & doing The Work


[1] 4 is associated with the letters dalet ד and ע ayin (as discussed above, עד) and the soul power, shiflut

[2] reflecting the two vavim of the 4-headed shin of binah into two by two - letters/words

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Dare to be true to yourself.