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KABBALAH – May He give us something from the secret of life

03. Februar 2012 geschrieben von   Freigegeben in Articles in English
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ב"ה

" 20 Now whence does wisdom come, and where is the place of understanding? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living things, and is concealed from the winged creatures of the heavens. 22 Death and Destruction say, "With our ears we have heard its report." 23 [Only], G-d understood its way, and He knows its place. 24 For He peers to the ends of the universe, He sees what is under the entire heavens, 25 when He makes a prescribed weight for the wind, apportioning water with a measure, 26 making a set decree for the rain and a path for clouds of thunder. 27 Then He looked and recorded it; prepared it, yea, and perfected it. 28And He said to Adam [man], “Behold, the fear of HaShem is wisdom and refraining from evil is understanding.”

Iyov 28, 20-28

 

Kabbalah[2] is essentially the transmission of the Oral Torah in the Jewish Tradition – known as TORAH-SHE’BE’AL-PE. Everything that follows thereof is based on that tradition, including most Bible translations of the original text. Hence, anyone who is in doubt of the revelation given at Sinai as their source, will also be faced with difficulty in accepting my elaborations and work. On the other hand – this article is aimed precisely at the one who is seeking for more. At this point I would like to tie in the words:[3]:

שַׁאֲלוּ וְיִנָּתֵן לָכֶם

דִּרְשׁוּ וְתִמְצָאוּ

דִּפְקוּ וְיִפָּתַח לָכֶם׃

כִּי כָּל-הַשֹּׁאֵל יִקַּח

וְהַדֹּרֵשׁ יִמְצָא

וְהַדֹּפֵק יִפָּתַח לוֹ׃

7Ask, and it [the answer] will be given unto you;

search, and you will find;

knock, and it will be opened to you:

8For every one who asks will receive;

and the one who seeks will find;

and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

Moshe Rabbeinu received the Torah in its entirety at Sinai, both the Written and the Oral, which enables us to turn to the Holy Scriptures again and again as our source of divine revelation. The Oral Torah instructs us to ask questions and to delve deeply in research. It teaches us humility and patience in an endeavour to give us understanding, for we will not find admittance into the Hallways of Wisdom without His assistance. Accordingly Joseph the Righteous, [HaTzaddik] tells Pharaoh who is desperate for the interpretation to his dreams: “That is beyond me; it is G-d who will respond to Pharaoh’s welfare [and peace of mind].”[4] However, blessedness and eternal life, everlasting joy and rejoicing are the rewards that well out of the world by God, for those who are loyal towards these teachings.

The Oral Torah is the revelation given through the Spirit of the Holy One, blessed is He, [Ruach HaKodesh, Baruch Hu,] by means of whom Moshe Rabbeinu received understanding of the Scriptures, thus enabling him to transmit the Word of G-D from the world above (Olam Haba) to the children of Israel in the world below (Olam Haze). This is primarily and precisely what is taught in the Talmud, Pirkei Avos 1, 1: “MOSHE KIBEL THORA MI’SSINAI U’MASSRA LEYEHOSHUA”, "Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua.” Here the key words are KIBBEL and MASSRA - “received” and “transmitted it”, which by definition of the Jewish Tradition will remain until the end of time and whoever desires to acquire wisdom needs heavenly revelation from above and the Tradition on earth, duly handed down and transmitted by a teacher, as is written[5]:

וְיֵשׁוּעַ הֹלֵךְ וְגָדֵל בְּחָכְמָה וּבְקוֹמָה וּבְחֵן עִם-אֱלֹקִים וְעִם-אֲנָשִׁים׃

“And Yeshua increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with G-d and men.”     

Needless to say, this verse signifies that Yeshua HaMashiach also had teachers who taught him in the tradition of the fathers. If, however, someone objects to this obvious necessity, King Shlomo has clearly stated [6]:

אַל-תְּהִי חָכָם בְּעֵינֶיךָ יְרָא אֶת-ה' וְסוּר מֵרָע

“Do not be wise in your own sight; fear HaShem and turn away from evil!”

Would the TZADDIK (the Righteous One) disregard the fathers, in any way? God forbid!

Tradition bears the name “Kabbalah” Thus, during the course of the history of the Jewish People, [Am Israel] the spiritual edifice of the holy science of Wisdom came to be structured and arranged in great accuracy. Tradition [Kabbalah] is often compared to a rosebush which blossoms again and again in splendour and ones whole life should be interwoven into its holiness. Not just the pillars of society and state, i.e. jurisdiction, legislation, goverment, divine service (during the period that the temple existed and thereafter), national und agrarian economics, business administration and much more; but even man’s personal relationships at all levels (to G-D, to his fellow men and to his surroundings) were founded, formed and executed on the basis of the will of G-D. The Torah of Moshe Rabbeinu led to a cultivated and cultured lifestyle and still continues to do so. Life is supposed to be in harmony with the kingdom of heaven. Our deeds, our words and our thoughts are supposed to be bearers and intermediaries of holiness and tools of divine peace (Shalom). However, our ancestors chanced across a certain phenomenon, and we continue to follow them likewise: in that the achievement of the goal ultimately falls short of the sublimity of man’s resolutions; for the main adversary in the first instance is not found outside of, but within man himself. This inner enemy is known as YETZER HA’RA in Israel, better known as the evil inclination of man, as is written[7]:

כִּי יֵצֶר לֵב הָאָדָם רַע מִנְּעֻרָיו

“...for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth;“

The evil inclination is also referred to as “sin”, “the snake” and “Satan”. Rabbi Pa’ul writes thereof[8]:

כִּי אֵינֶנִּי עֹשֶׂה אֶת-הַדָּבָר הַטּוֹב כַּאֲשֶׁר חָפָצְתִּי אַךְ אֶת-הָרָע אֲשֶׁר לֹא חָפַצְתִּי יָדַי תְּבַצַּעְנָה׃

“For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

Kabbalah - THORAT HA’PNIMIYUT – The teaching of the inner man

Overcoming the evil inclination within man himself is the main object of the most important subject within the curriculum of the teaching on the inner man, which is called “THORAT HA’PNIMIYUT” in Hebrew. It is obvious that the “inner man” refers to a man’s soul and that we are dealing with spiritual matters here which neither have corporeality, materiality or form in this world nor are subject to the laws of time as we know them.

A key we are supposed to use in this context assists in dealing with spiritual matters and was given to us in Kohelet by Shlomo HaMelech[9]:

אֶת-זֶה לְעֻמַּת-זֶה עָשָֹה הָאֱלקִים

“G-d has made one corresponding to the other”

Thus we have received a vocabulary in the Torah by means of which we can talk about the cosmos of the soul, one which enables us to “ask, seek and knock”. Although no human being can seriously claim to possess the ability to see the soul with his or her naked eye, it is nevertheless essential to comprehend the subject linguistically; namely in such a manner so that it is not only confined to a small group of experts who are able to relate to this subject intrinsically, but also to every scholar or student, and for that matter throughout all generations until the end of time.

Strictly speaking the Torah in Israel has always been viewed from a dual aspect or dual levels: inside and outside, small and large, general and specific, visible and invisible, lenient and strict [light and heavy], good and evil[10].

A key scripture regarding the “inner man” is Kohelet 9, 14-15:

יד   עִיר קְטַנָּה וַאֲנָשִׁים בָּהּ מְעָט וּבָא-אֵלֶיהָ מֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל וְסָבַב אֹתָהּ וּבָנָה עָלֶיהָ מְצוֹדִים גְּדֹלִים: טו   וּמָצָא בָהּ אִישׁ מִסְכֵּן חָכָם וּמִלַּט-הוּא אֶת-הָעִיר בְּחָכְמָתוֹ וְאָדָם לֹא זָכַר אֶת-הָאִישׁ הַמִּסְכֵּן הַהוּא:

14There was a small town with only a few inhabitants; and a mighty king came upon it and surrounded it, and built great siege works against it: 15Present in the city was a poor wise man who by his wisdom saved the town; yet no one remembered that poor man.”

We always learn of one aspect from another aspect, therefore, to give an example in conjunction with the concept of “the small town” in Kohelet 9, 14 which has a wealth of meaning, as bequeathed in Midrash[11] Rabbah Kohelet, we learn among other things that the “small town” is a man’s body[12] and the “mighty king” refers to the evil inclination. The “poor wise man” (verse 15) depicts the good inclination which is man’s divine soul, his NESHAMA[13] whose root is in ADAM ELYON - the upper man; the one whom the Prophet Ezekiel saw in his vision of the heavently throne[14], that is the Mashiach.

TESHUVAH –Returning to G-D

Should someone endeavour to become a better person, he would have to deal with the root of evil withinhis own inner being. How would he do that? The principle is called TESHUVAH “turning back to G-d”, or penitence. The beginning of Teshuvah is considered to be a process wherein the person seeking to return to G-d, professes HaShem as the one and only G-d, the creator of heaven and earth, as his sole king and sovereign and he accepts His will as the binding guideline for his own life, in short: one assumes “the yoke of heaven”. Willingness to turn back must resolve in a conscious effort to refrain from everything that G-d calls “evil” and to do what G-d refers to as “good”. Teshuvah in Judaism is always connected to ritual purification in the waters of the MIKVAH known as the purification bath; this contains a minimum of 40 SE’AH of water (approx. 330 liters). Why 40? Because the waters of the great flood covered the earth for 40 days. The perfection of Teshuvah is reached when man repents out of love for G-d and his fellow human beings – TESHUVAH ME’AHAVA, which represents the core essence of the teachings of the inner man. Yochanan HaMetabel, called the Baptist[15], did precisely that when he exhorted men to purify themselves ritually in the waters of the Jordan, by calling out: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand etc.”, as it is written in Mattityahu 3, 2:

שׁוּבוּ כִּי-מַלְכוּת הַשָּׁמַיִם קָרְבָה לָבֹא׃

“Do Teshuvah, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Therefore, the first concept the Mashiach teaches is Teshuvah. The aspect of altruism as a crucial part of Teshuvah reaches perfection through his teachings – that which is really new in Thorat HaMashiach, as I have understood it. However, I would like to deal with this subject more specifically elsewhere.

Our Sages teach that Moshe Rabbeinu first had to persuade the childern of Israel to do Teshuvah and only then were they worthy of salvation. Hence, the fulfillment of two Mitzvot (commandments), as a sign of Teshuvah was decisive:

  1. Circumcision which was not performed outside the tribe of Levi,
  2. The Shechita of Korban Pesach (Paschal Lamb) and its corresponding statutes or by-laws.

Circumcision is Israel’s sign of the covenant and is intended for all generations[16] and reverence to Avraham’s covenant with HaShem is binding. The sacrifice of the Pesach/Paschal Lamb was established as a new commandment or Mitzvah in remembrance of the redemption from death of the Firstborn, and the liberation from Egypt (Mitzrayim).

The teachings on circumcision and Pesach are complex and multi-layered, but both have the shed blood in common which has been considered atonement for sin ever since Adam was expelled from the Garden of Eden, as is written, “for man’s soul lives therein”[17]. The first Adam (Adam HaRishon) however forfeited this soul so that he was permitted to live for 930 years - that was his life-span; this was based exclusively on HaShem’s mercy and grace. Thus, all his descendants received an extension on their life only by grace; however evil-doing assumed catastrophic proportions ain the span of just ten generations. Noach and his family were saved from the flood, the fall of deluge[18] and with him mankind began anew under the sign of Teshuvah[19]:

וַתָּבֹא אֵלָיו הַיּוֹנָה לְעֵת עֶרֶב וְהִנֵּה עֲלֵה-זַיִת טָרָף בְּפִיהָ וַיֵּדַע נֹחַ כִּי-קַלּוּ הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ:

“And the dove returned to him in the evening; and, Hinei, in her beak was an olive leaf freshly plucked;”

The dove stands for the divine soul, the NESHAMA, to which man regains a living relationship only after having performed Teshuvah. The Olive branch is the sign of Teshuvah and Olive oil signifies the fruit of repentance[20] – according to the tradition. Yochanan the Baptist refers to it in this context, with his words[21]:

לָכֵן עֲשׂוּ פְרִי טוֹב לִתְשׁוּבָה׃

“Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance.”

CHOCHMAH – Wisdom

כִּי נֵר מִצְוָה

וְתוֹרָה אוֹר

וְדֶרֶךְ חַיִּים תּוֹכְחוֹת מוּסָר:

“For the commandment [Mitzvah] is a lamp; and the law [Torah] is light; and reproofs of discipline [Tokhekhot Mussar] are the path of life.”[22]

Yeshua, anointed with the oil of wisdom teaches in his famous parable of the ten virgins[23] that all of them had lamps but only five of them had oil.

It is not too difficult to recognize that this parable is an exegesis of King Shlomo’s passage on wisdom: The virgins are the Talmidim or scholars, the lamps are the Mitzvoth or commandments, the oil is Chochmah or wisdom in terms of the fruit of Teshuvah or repentance. The rebuke indicates they should go to the vendors and buy oil from them, for the vendors are the Rabbis who teach Teshuvah.

Just as the term “Torah” signifies several related meanings concerning the precise denotation of the Five Books of Moses, inclusive of the law; obviously so does the concept of Kabbalah. We have already explained the meaning of “tradition” but this word could just as well mean - and I hope that this concept has become clearer – the teaching of the inner man intended to lead one to penitence and divine wisdom.

G-d, Creation and the Soul – the secret of creation

We cannot comprehend creation only through four but “five” dimensions – three dimensions define space, one dimension defines time and one dimension defines the soul. One can also determine dimensions through directions: Space is defined by six directions – left and right, in front and behind, above and below; time is defined by two - past and future; and the soul is “outlined” by two directions as well – good and evil. There are a total of ten directions by means of which man is able to fathom creation and the cosmos.

Hence, the number ten is of concise importance for divine service particularly when it comes to the sanctification of the Name of G-d[24]. Even this is Kabbalah.

The existing conflict is a matter of Weltanschauung. Man has the choice: either his universe is made up of only time and space or he acknowledges the existence of eternity as an additional factor which can not be contained by these two dimensions. Accordingly, whoever admits the existence of G-d and the soul has already commenced talking in terms of “secrets”, since both G-d and the soul are concealed from the eyes of this world.

That is the significance of the “mysterious” parable of the eye and the light that Yeshua HaMashiach taught[25], [26]:

34 נֵר הַגּוּף הוּא הָעָיִן אִם-עֵינְךָ תְמִימָה בְּכָל-חַדְרֵי בִטְנְךָ יִהְיֶה אוֹר וְאִם-עֵינְךָ רָעָב חֹשֶׁךְ בְּכָל-חַדְרֵי בִטְנֶךָ׃ 35 עַל-כֵּן הִשָּׁמֵר-לְךָ לְבִלְתִּי יֶחְשַׁךְ הָאוֹר אֲשֶׁר בְּקִרְבֶּךָ׃ 36 אִם כָּל-גּוּפְךָ מָלֵא אוֹר וְאֵין חֹשֶׁךְ בְּכָל-חֲדָרָיו אָז יַגִּיהַּ לְךָ כְּלַפִּיד בָּהִיר בִּמְלֹא אוֹרוֹ׃

34 The light of the body is the eye; when your eye is sound, then your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, then your body is full of darkness. 35See to it, then, that the light in you is not darkness.36If therefore, your whole body is full of light and not having any part of darkness, it will be all full of light as when the lamp with the light shines on you.”

As we already know “the lamp” is the commandment, the mitzvah i.e. the will of G-d. “The eye” in this context is the concentration of the will which resides within man’s heart, as is written[27]:

21 כִּי מִתּוֹךְ הָאָדָם מִתּוֹךְ לִבּוֹ יֵצְאוּ יִצְרֵי מַחֲשָׁבוֹת רָעוֹת זְנוּנִים גְּנֵבָה וָרָצַח׃ 22 נִאֻפִים אַהֲבַת בֶּצַע וָרֶשַׁע רְמִיָּה וְזִמָּה וְרָעַת-עַיִן גִּדּוּפִים גֵּאוּת וּנְבָלָה׃ 23 כָּל-הָרָעוֹת הָאֵלֶּה מִתּוֹךְ הָאָדָם הֵן יֹצְאוֹת וּמְטַמְּאוֹת אֹתוֹ׃

21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, folly: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.“

If man is led to follow his temptation, his “[whole] body [will be] full of darkness”. The body in this context is the luminary body of the inner man before the Fall. Thereafter mankind was clothed in flesh and blood, as it is written[28]:

עוֹר וּבָשָֹר תַּלְבִּישֵׁנִי וּבַעֲצָמוֹת וְגִידִים תְּשֹכְכֵנִי:

“You have clothed me with skin and flesh, and have fenced me with bones and sinews.”

In the event that man masters’ temptation, overcomes and eventually defeats it and turns his attention to doing the will of G-d, this word would then apply[29]:

עַיִןלֹא-רָאָתָה אֱלֹקִים זוּלָתְךָ

“No eye had ever seen a God besides You.”

The wages of the annihilation of “reluctance” are eternal life i.e. whereby the perishable body is transformed into an imperishable one implying that “it [the body] will be completely full of light”, [the corpereal will be transformed into a luminary body]. To which David also sings[30]:

מָה רַב טוּבְךָ אֲשֶׁר-צָפַנְתָּ לִּירֵאֶיךָ פָּעַלְתָּ לַחוֹסִים בָּךְ נֶגֶד בְּנֵי אָדָם:

“How great is Your goodness that You have laid away for those who fear You, that You have worked for those who take refuge in You, in the presence of the sons of men!”

Rabbi Pa’ul also elaborates and says[31]:

כִּי לֹא לִדְבָרִים הַנִּרְאִים אָנוּ מְצַפִּים כִּי אִם-לַאֲשֶׁר אֵינָם נִרְאִים כִּי הַנִּרְאִים לְיָמִים חֲרוּצִים וַאֲשֶׁר אֵינָם נִרְאִים עַד-עוֹלְמֵי עַד׃

“...for we are not looking at the visible but the invisible; for the things visible are temporary but the things invisible are eternal.”

How can one envisage the “invisible”?

This form of “seeing” is called LEHITBONEN in Hebrew which also means “to recognize & comprehend understanding”. The root of this word is BNH. Since the “inner eye” is the seat of the “spirit of understanding”, known as BINAH in Hebrew, where & what does this “eye” look into? Into Wisdom, CHOCHMAH.

Is man able to force admittance into the wisdom of G-d? Of course not – he can simply “knock”. Admittance will only be granted to someone who is lowly in heart and of a broken spirit, to him who is “poor and suffering”[32]. Yeshua HaMashiach also says that not everyone is given the ability to penetrate the word of G-d mentally, as is written[33]:

11 וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם לֹא כָל-אִישׁ רַב-כֹּחַ הוּא לִסְבֹּל הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה כִּי-אִם רַק אֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר נִתַּן לָהֶם׃ 12 כִּי יֵשׁ סָרִיסִים אֲשֶׁר נוֹלְדוּ כֵן מֵרֶחֶם אִמָּם וְיֵשׁ אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשׂוּ סָרִיסִים בִּידֵי אָדָם וְיֵשׁ אֲשֶׁר מִנַּפְשָׁם נִהְיוּ לְסָרִיסִים לְמַעַן מַלְכוּת הַשָּׁמָיִם מִי אֲשֶׁר כֹּחוֹ רַב לוֹ לִסְבֹּל יִסְבֹּל׃

11 He said to them, Not everyone is able to comprehend this word, but rather those to whom it has been given.12For there are Eunuchs who from the womb of their mother were born thus, and there are Eunuchs who were made Eunuchs by men, and there are Eunuchs who make Eunuchs of themselves for the sake of the kingdom of the heavens . The one able to comprehend this, let him comprehend.”

That is precisely the point. The teaching of the wisdom of G-d is not given to everyone ad hoc. yet one is expected not to begrudge his neighbor of the best! Here is where I see the test that the holy Rabbi Peter was given at the first coming of Mashiach – he, the one who did not in anyway begrude Yeshua his election is the first one to whom the Ruach HaKodesh revealed the truth. Understanding will only be given to the one who is humble, but from the one who is not humble whatever knowledge he has gained through his own experience will also be taken from him [34]; for this experiential knowledge is nothing more than “eating of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil”. Iyov writes the following[35]:

וַיֹּאמֶר | לָאָדָם הֵן יִרְאַת אֲדֹנָי הִיא חָכְמָה וְסוּר מֵרָע בִּינָה:

“And He said to Adam, 'Behold, the fear of HaShem is wisdom [CHOCHMAH] and shunning evil is understanding [BINAH]!' "

Hence, Kabbalah in terms of “wisdom and understanding” is a gift of G-d. It is the narrow gate that the “rich man” can not pass through, as is written[36]:

וּמַה-צַּר הַשַּׁעַר וְהַדֶּרֶךְ מַה-צָּרָה הַמּוֹלִיכָה אֶל-הַחַיִּים וּמֹצְאֶיהָ מְתֵי מִסְפָּר הֵם׃

“But narrow is the Gate and constricted is the Way that leads to Life and few are the ones that find it.”

Resting in G-d’s presence, MENUCHAH is the goal of redemption

The ability to pass through this narrow gate is a gift to those whom it is given, assuming they desire to do so! Which by no means connotes that a person who does not find the way or makes a wrong decision (however, grave), is damned. Heaven forbid! But the consequence is that uncertainty and doubt of the purpose of one’s own existence substitute the secured place of the knowledge of G-d’s love. No longer does THE ANSWER - TESHUVAH, shine in that person’s life but rather THE QUESTION burns - SHE’ELAH. When man becomes desperate and starts questioning, then even the very reason for asking draws him closer to the place of hopelessness - SHE’OL. However, at this point I would like to extend some comfort: At death the very latest, all the questions that one has will be answered and he who did not find the answer on earth will certainly find it thereafter, for physical death is followed by the resurrection of the dead and after the last trial there will be the restoration into a spiritual “luminary” body of light without any wrinkles – and I believe that very many people will make it!

May HaMashiach arrive soon and in our day! Amen. Amen.

Prophecy and its Students

As I had already mentioned above it is a question of “Weltanschauung” whether man lives in a “four-“ or “five-dimensional” realm. Since I count myself among those of them who are convinced of the latter, the question then arises for us all, just as for our ancestors, just how can we learn more about eternal life?

In Israel it is no secret that the Torah has many levels of knowledge and that not everyone is given to aspire to it. In principle nobody should be upset over the fact for after all almost everybody can speak, but only a can few sing, even fewer are born to be opera singers, only a selected few become famous in their generation and just a mere handful retain their fame over generations – who has not heard of Enrico Caruso? This principle is called election.

Our Sages have defined the canon of holy books in order to conserve the memory of revelation for succeeding generations. It is said that there were 2.000.000 Prophets in Israel, for purposes of the canonization of the Holy Scriptures however, only those of them whose prophecy has been of significance for all generations were chosen.

It was during the period that Yerushalayim was besieged by the troops of Titus that Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai founded the Yeshivah of Yavne. Yavne was the city in which the Synhedrin met after the destruction of the temple in 70 BCE and many famous masters and sages (of Torah) taught and studied there. One of the most famous of them was Rabbi Akiva of whom it is told that he exceeded Moshe Rabbeinu in knowledge and understanding[37]. According to the Talmud[38] Rabbi Akiva endeavored a spiritual ascent together with three friends of his from which he was the only one to return in sound health. Hence the sages’ have advised us against “independent” immature spiritual experiments which have led to the undoing of many, demanding that students may only ascend to spiritual heights under the guidance and with the permission of experienced teachers. No wonder, for which prospective mountaineer would dare to climb a mountain without a skilled and experienced guide?

Man’s soul has been bestowed upon him by G-d as an invaluable property. Whoever deals with spiritual matters always touches himself as well as his neighbor and that, at the most sensitive place. Would we allow a surgeon with unclean hands to treat our child’s bleeding wound? Would we allow an inexperienced medical student to perform cardiac surgery?

The knowledge of the wisdom of G-d combines unimaginable power for with it G-d created everything, as is written[39]:

ה' בְּחָכְמָה יָסַד-אָרֶץ כּוֹנֵן שָׁמַיִם בִּתְבוּנָה:

“HaShem founded the earth with wisdom, established the heavens with discernment.”

Since mankind has been striving to gain this treasure since the onset of time, our sages have defined the primary saying of wisdom as follows:[40]:

“Be deliberate in judgement, raise many students, and place a protective fence around the Torah [wisdom]."

This scripture has very often been interpreted in Israel in many different ways giving every interpretation its validity. But it remains a fact that only a person of composed and sober mind, equipped with extraordinary spiritual abilities and attributes is able to stand the challenges of such a spiritual ascent. The fence is not necessarily for the defence of men but as a guard against the evil inclination which seeks to creep into the vineyards of Torah, like a fox. Needless to say it is impossibile for the fox to reach the source but it can destroy many tender shoots on the way.

Thus some have learned through hearsay and others from books that Kabbalah “avails itself” to a “numerical mysticism”, called Gematria. Of course, this subject exists as an elementary part of the whole – every child in Israel learns the numerical value of his or her name at elementary school and from the Rabbi at Cheder, but needless to say a scholar has to learn much more than the basics, for without the knowledge of the Oral Torah this would be a futile exercise, nothing more than a waste of time and a mere groping in the dark.

At this point I would like to give a well-known example (the Ark)[41] of the use of Gematria by subsequently interpreting the line of genealogy of our Lord as in Mattityahu 1, applying the same rules:   

The Ark

HaShem ordered Noach to build the Ark using the prescribed measurements of 300 cubits in length, 50 cubits in breadth and 30 cubits in height[42]. The Ark is called TEVAH in Hebrew which also means “box”, “the reed basket” (in which Moshe was placed in and put on the Nile) and last but not least it means “word”.

As is known every letter of the Hebrew alphabet numerically corresponds to a number. If we assign the letters of the word “Ark” to the measurements we would arrive at a word, because 300 is SHIN (ש); 50 is NUN (נ) and 30 is LAMED (ל). These three consonants go to form the word LASHON – which means “language” We are now able to rephrase G-d’s task for Noach whose name means “Comforter” in the following interpretation: The comforter is supposed to form the word with the measurements of the language. Everthing alive should find its place there – in the word . I certainly would not recommend anyone to look for this ark on some montain....

The lineage and genealogy of Yeshua HaMashiach in Mattityahu 1

The report emphasizes the arrangement of the lineage in three generational groups of 14 generations each[43]:

וְהִנֵּה כָּל-הַדֹּרוֹת מֵאַבָרָהָם עַד-דָּוִד אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר דֹּרוֹת

וּמִדָּוִד עַד-גָּלוּת בָּבֶל אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר דֹּרוֹת

וּמִגָּלוּת בָּבֶל עַד-הַמַּשִׁיחַ אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר דֹּרוֹת׃

“Thus all the generations from Avraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations and from the deportation to Babylon to the Mashiach fourteen generations.”

Why is this so important? The number fourteen coresponds to the numerical value of the name DAVID: 4-6-4. But what is really noteworthy is the connection of David with G-d’s name during the proclamation of Shema,[44] which is formed with 14 letters in three groups. (HASHEM ELOKEINU HASHEM)

The aim of Gematria among other things is to point out connections. In this case it is obvious that the name David (“the beloved”) highlights his wholeness and perfection and that the birth of Mashiach ben David indicates the providence of G-d.

The Name of Yeshua – ANA HOSHIAH NA

1. Question: What does the threefold arrangement of the line of descendants mean?

2. Question: Is there an interconnection between the arrangement and the name of the Lord?

The rules of Gematria teach of the formation of so called Notaricon’s, a word whose letters are arranged out of the respective initial and final letters of other words. Following these rules one finds the famous cry “ANA HOSHIAH NA” in the tripartite arrangement of the line of succession of Yeshua HaMelech HaMashiach[45].

Regarding 1. What does the threefold arrangement of the line of descendants mean?

The restoration of all things (Tikkun Olam) is the aim of our Father in Heaven and goal of the endeavours of His servants, as is written[46]:

19 עַל-כֵּן שׁוּבוּ סוּרוּ מִדַּרְכֵיכֶם לְמַעַן תִּמָּחֶינָה חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם וְתָבֹאנָה עִתּוֹת מְשִׁיבוֹת נֶפֶשׁ מִלִּפְנֵי ה'׃ 20 וְיִשְׁלַח אֶת-יֵשׁוּעַ מְשִׁיחוֹ אֲשֶׁר מְבֻשָׂר לָכֶם מִקֶּדֶם׃ 21 אֲשֶׁר יְקַבְּלֵהוּ זְבוּל הַשָּׁמַיִם עַד-אֲשֶׁר יָשׁוּב הַכֹּל עַל-מְכוֹנוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֱלֹקִים בְּיַד-נְבִיאָיו הַקְּדוֹשִׁים מִימוֹת עוֹלָם׃

19 Therefore repent, and be converted, in order that your sins may be blotted out, 20in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of HaShem and that He may send Yeshua HaMashiach, the one having been proclaimed beforehand to you, 21 whom the heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things of which G-d had spoken through the mouth of his holy prophets since the world began.“

HaShem promised our fathers to accompany Israel in all its distress and to eventually redeem it, for Israel is the beginning of restoration (Tikkun)[47] which was summarized by our fathers into three categories:

I. The edifice of creation, the universe - OLAMעולם;

II. Time, SHANAHשנה;

III. The Soul, NEPHESHנפש;

The foundation was laid with Avraham for the restoration of all things on earth, viz the restoration of the universe, of time and of the soul. From Avraham to David 14 generations passed which means that the Kingdom of G-d on earth, namely Israel, had been established. For even though it was Shlomo the son of David who built the Temple, HaShem attributed the construction firstly to David (for he had worked on the idea and the construction plan, and he had procured all the material prerequisites as well), as is written[48]:

מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר חֲנֻכַּת הַבַּיִת לְדָוִד:

“A song, sung at the dedication of the House [Temple] for David”

The letter AYINעrefers to the word OLAMעולם- world, universe, cosmos.

The destruction of the 1st Temple and the expatriation to Babylon occurred at the point of intersection during the second and the third era of 14 generations. Therefore, the shift of time between the 1st to the 2nd Temple lays the foundation to the times of restoration.

The letter SHINשof the word SHANAHשנהconnotestime.

The 2nd Temple was built by repentant men during the period known as the third era of 14 generations.

The well-known story of Esther made it possible for Esra, Nechemiah, Mordechai and numerous other great men to return home and rededicate the House of G-d at the cost of great privation.

Equally well known is the festival of Chanukah[49] which was introduced in remembrance of the rededication of the Temple by the Chashmonaiym also known as the Maccabees.

Teshuvah is indeed the foundation of the restoration of the soul.

The letter NUNנin the word NEPHESHנפשSoul.

Hence the threefold arrangement of the line of descendants’ points towards the path of restoration of the three components of creation, world, time and soul.This tripartition is formed by the name of G-d in the Shema whose effect was in alignment with the birth of the redeemer.

Regarding 2.Is there a connection between the tripartite grouping and the name of the Lord?

אָנָּא ה' הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא אָנָּא ה' הַצְלִיחָה נָּא

“Please, HaShem, save now! Please, HaShem, make prosperous now!”[50]

The famous cry Hosianna is better rendered as HOSHIA’H NAהוֹשִׁיעָה נָּאand means “save us please”. The climax of the invocation ANA HOSHIAH NA “please save us” is proclaimed at Succoth.

In the word HOSHIAH NA three more letters are added in addition to the three aforementioned onesע, ש, נ: י, ה, ו,those are the three consonants which form the Tetragrammaton, the name of our Heavently Father. Thus, one derives that HaShem will redeem creation through their divine connection to His name. The letter ALEPH in the wordנָּאNA points to the unity of G-d. – ECHAD One. That is the goal of redemption as is written[51]:

בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִהְיֶה ה' אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹ אֶחָד

“On that day shall He be one, and His name one.”

The wordאנא  ANA “please” points to three special men: Adam, Noach and Avraham.

The initial letters of these names form the Notarikon ANA. The constuction of the spiritual/universal edifice was completed with Adam. Noach is associated with the turning point in history from the ante- to post-diluvian era. Avraham marks the recommencement of the soul’s journey. Thus the cry ANA HOSHIAH NA outlines the beginning and the end of both creation and redemption.

This results with the understanding of the name Yeshua which becomes obvious why the letter ה HE is “missing” therein, because the full name is Yehoshua יהושע. This second HE[52] in the name of HASHEM (YH-VH) remains concealed at his first coming because Yeshua’s influence was as if concealed[53].

At his second coming the Lord will appear in all of his power. May it happen now and in our time!

All in all we are able to detect that both the beginning of creation ard its completion are accomplished through His word, as is written[54]:

1 בְּרֵאשִׁית הָיָה הַדָּבָר וְהַדָּבָר הָיָה אֶת-הָאֱלֹקִים וְהוּא הַדָּבָר הָיָה אֱלֹקִים׃ 2 הוּא הָיָה מֵרֹאשׁ אֶת-הָאֱלֹקִים׃ 3 כָּל-הַמַּעֲשִׂים נִהְיוּ עַל-יָדוֹ וְאֵין דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשָׂה מִבַּלְעָדָיו׃

1 In the beginnig was the word and the word was with G-d and the word was G-d. 2 This one was in the beginning with G-d. 3 All things were made through the same and without the same was not any thing made that was made.“

(Yochanan 1:1-3)

In conclusion I would like to express my hope that this article may strengthen the understanding, encourage the searching one to delve deeply and prompt the sceptic to reflect reverently.

Berlin, 13. Nisan 5766 / 3. Kislev 5767

 

[1] Please send possible corrections or proposals to: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!
[2]Kabbalah means „given or transmitted by” in the Jewish Tradition
[3] Mattityahu 7:7-8
[4] Bereshit 41:16
[5] Luke 2:52; see also 1. Shmuel 2:26, Midrash Tanchuma, ZAW 13.
[6] Mishle 3:7
[7] Bereshit 8:21
[8] Romans 7:19
[9] Kohelet 7:14
[10] This is one of the thirteen rules of interpretation of Rabbi Yishmael.
[11] The Midrash is the classical commentary of the Torah. Together with the Mishnah it is the core of the oral tradition.
[12] Midrash Rabba Kohelet 9:25.
[13] Bereshit 2:7
[14] Ezekiel 1:26
[15] „The Baptist“ is called המטבל HAMETABEL in Hebrew – “the one who purifies ritually”.
[16] Bereshit 17
[17] Wayikra 17:11
[18] The Deluge
[19] Bereshit 8:11
[20] The deluge is also seen as TVILAH, ritual purification, of the depraved earth through water.
[21] Mattityahu 3:8
[22] Mishle 6:23
[23] Mattityahu 25:1-13
[24] Regarding the meaning of the number ten see for example: Midrash Chupat Eliyahu.
[25] This interpretation follows among others the Midrash Rabba Shemot 56:6 and the SHE’LAH HA’KADOSH, BeAssara Ma’amarot, Ma’amar Sheni, 18. Short biography of SHE’LA see appendix.
[26] Luke 11:34-36, see also Mattityahu 6:22-23
[27] Mark 7:21-23
[28] Iyov 10:11
[29] Yeshayahu 64:3
[30] Tehillim 31:20
[31] 2. Corinthians 4:18
[32] Luke 16:19-21 (the story of El’asar, i.e. Lazarus. El’asar means “G-d helps”)
[33] Mattityahu 19:11-12
[34] Markos 4:25
[35] Iyov 28:28
[36] Mattityahu 7:14
[37] Midrash Rabba Bemidbar 19:6
[38] bChagiga 14b
[39] Mishle 3:19
[40] Pirke Avot 1:1
[41] This example can also be read in Friedrich Weinreb’s book: “Roots of the Bible” (“De Bijbel als Schepping”) which I can only recommend.
[42] Bereshit 6:15
[43] Mattityahu 1:17
[44] Devarim 6:4
[45] The following is based on She’la HaKadosh’s commentary of Wayikra, Torah Or 1.
[46]Acts 3:19-21
[47]Yirmiyahu 2:3
[48]Tehillim 30:1
[49] Yochanan 10:22
[50] Tehillim 118:25
[51] Zecharia 14:9
[52]The first HE stands for the spirit of understanding BINAH. HaShem formed creation though it. The second He stands for the KINGDOM, MALKUT, thus the unfolding of the fullness of power. Space does not permit us to have a closer look at the many facets of the NAME.
[53] Yochanan 7:10
[54] Yochanan 1:1-3