Filed under: Spirituality versus Secularism
The parsha begins describing how Yaakov when he was born came out holding on to Asev’s Heel. Becouse of this he was called Yaakov, which comes from the world “akev” heel.
Yaacov saw the big picture. Esav saw a bowl of beans.
In this world Yaakov who is the Jewish people only emulate or appear similar to the people of Asev, the western world which is represented by asev’s heel. This being only a small part of their physical actions. Yaakov like Asev may work in jobs, eat food and reproduce yet only in the outward physical appearance does he do these functions like Asev. The foot represents Malchut. The physical manifestation yet even of this Yaacov only grasps only Asev’s heel, not his entire foot. Only in appearance sometimes does Yaakov perform physical functions like Asev. But in the realm of emotions, thought and needless to say spiritual motivation there is no compare.
This was what the God intended for all the descendants of Yaakov (The Jewish people), that they all should be “spiritualists” as it says in the Bible “ you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.“ (exodus 19). Rather unfortunately this has not been accomplished by the nation as a whole. Many Jews through out the generations have fell into the pit of materialism and have even dug a few more.
Spiritually is awareness and participation in the return of the Divine energy to its source, and the flow of this energy outward giving life animating our world, whether for healing, renewal or just finding a better taste in your food as all good comes from God. All happiness in life is there. The process of returning is also called repentance. such is the nature of the universe. Every thing returns to its root . Which is directly attached to its source. It is to be attached to the Infinite. The Eternal essence of the universe. Which is as a unfailing fountain of life that flows forever.
As to Yaakov the only purpose of being in this world and the underlying cause of all his actions is to serve The God. Thus it says ” And I will make your seed multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give to your seed all these countries; and in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” (26:4-5) Thus we must follow in The God’s ways to hasten this blessing.
It says in the Zohar that the world is as a living body. This is evident when we see that when Asev showed complete disregard for his birthright and sold it there was immediately after a famine in the land. It says in Pesicta that it is the job of Edom who is Asev to try to push Yisrael off the Torah path. When Edom disregards natural law founded on the love of their fellow men and makes the world a place of vicious competition “ a dog eat dog world” none can stand. This is why Yisrael must be a light to the nations. As the complete negation by Asev of his source of spiritual inspiration reveals Edom which represents his blood thirsty nature, The God should help us.
In this parsha is described how the Palestinians envied Yitzchak’s prosperity so they blocked up Yaakov’s wells. This envy finally resulted in the king of the Palestinians asking Yitzchak to leave his country. So it has been in our exile. The properity of the Hebrew people is often followed by their persecution. Yitchak dug out the well’s of his father Avraham that the Palestinians had blocked up. He named the first well “Esek” which means contention. This well is said to correspond to the first Temple. The first temple was destroyed primarily because of idolatry which resulted in contention and division among the Jewish people. This contention eventually split Yisrael to 2 kingdoms. Finally all this resulted in the nations having contention with us and destroying the Temple. The first well corresponds to the lowest level of the soul, the animal soul called Nefesh. Its evil inclination is ’the desire to receive for one self alone”, to not have regard for others this results in contention. Primarily over materialistic concerns. The 2nd well he dug out he called ”Sitnah” which means hatred. Because he had to fight much with the Palestinians as they hated him over it. This well corresponds to the 2nd temple which was destroyed because of baseless hatred. The influence of Hellenism divided the people and they developed baseless hatred which is still with us today. This well cooresponds to the emotional soul called “ruach”, if emotions are not directed from the love of God caos can result in the form of “hatred”, the name of the 2ndwell. The next well he called ’”rachavot” meaning wideness as in this place there was no strife. The sages say this corresponds to the 3rd Temple. This reminds us that we need to give each other a little breathing room, space for individuality. As in this ”wideness” we can all live together without fighting. Concerning this its written ”they strove not; and he called the name of it Wideness; and he said, For now Yhv”h has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” The 3rdwell corresponds to the 3rdlevel of soul called “Nashama”, the soul of Divine intellect. This is a High level. It comes after one learns first to do the God’s will with the animal soul, their body, their emotional soul by feeling their Divine service in their heart and Finally involving their intellectual soul called “Nashama”. This involves when one makes a concerted effort to learn the depth in the ways of doing God’s will. By this one come to a wideness of consciousness. So the 3rd well is called “rachovot”. The Sni Luchot ha Brit says that it says “now” in the verse because that the building of the 3rd Temple is in our hands to accomplish. Over the third well they did not quarrel, for the Third Temple will be built by the king Messiah of whom it is said (Isaiah 9:6): ”for the increase of the realm and for peace without end,” for there will be only peace and truth in his time. Thus was it called Rehovot, for then will the GOD expand (yarhiv) their borders. So may we see this accomplished now with the end to baseless hatred and the building of the Temple with the arrival of out righteous mashiach quickly in our days.
Filed under: Chanukah, ethics, Spirituality versus Secularism, Torah Politics
Chanukah is about revolution. It is a reminder to stand up against the oppression of the
nations, especially when gentile values and politics have overcome the government of the
Jewish people living in the land of Isreal. It is a time to establish a truely Torah government. Chanukah is a
time of ever increasing light. This is seen and accomplished through the service of
Chanukah which includes lighting of the “Menorah”. The main service of
Chanukah is the illumination of the darkness of night with the manorah in increasing
intensity from 1 to 9 lights including the “shamash”. It was on the first night of Chanukah the 25th of kislev
that Antiocos made the temple into a shrine for idolatry. This was the darkest
moment when the house of Hashem became a place unfit for his dwelling .This
was the climax of the decent of the Jewish people led by their “high society” as they slid down to the
depth of spiritual depravity being absorbed in the “upper class” (Greek) values of their day, which was called HELLenism. The enemy may have stimulated the decline of Yisrael from outside yet the real enemy was within, it was ourselves. We allowed non-Torah values to
infect us to the point that a Cohen Gadol (High Priest) was placed in the temple who had values opposite that of the Torah.
The enemy was within but salvation came from without and within as only a small
group of Cohaniem who were living in the hills were able to bring about the
spiritual redemption of our people. Reclaiming the Holy Temple, with the miracle of
the oil, and the physical miraculous victory where our enemies were concurred. On
Chanukah we went from the darkest darkness of our souls, spiritually and physically
captured under the dominion of strangers, yet we came to witness miracles and
salvation. We came to witness oil that burned miraculously. That which had the
physical potential to burn for one day burned for eight. This infinite quality of oil represents the permutation of the
spiritual quality of oil, which from kabalah we learn is ” chuchmah ” (creative inspiration), right into this