Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Faith and the Sin of the Spies

The beginning of the book of Devarim has a recounting of the Sin of the Spies from a slightly different perspective, it makes certain implied ideas more explicit.

Moshe says:

דברים א:לב - ובדבר הזה, אינכם מאמינם בה' אלקיכם

Devarim 1:32 - And on this matter, you do not believe in Hashem your G-d.

The basic format of the discussion between Yehoshua & Calev and the 10 tribes is as follows:

  • The 10 spies describe how great the Land of Israel is.
  • They describe how the people are much bigger and stronger than Am Yisrael.
  • Calev ben Yefuneh stresses that we can inherit the land.
  • The 10 spies say that we cannot inherit the land, stressing further how insignificant Am Yisrael is in comparison to the nations currently inhabiting the Land of Israel.
  • The nation sides with the 10 spies.
  • Calev ben Yefuneh and Yehoshua bin Nun stress how good the Land of Israel is, and that our inheriting it is dependent on Hashem being with us, which He is.
  • The nation still sides with the 10 spies.
  • Divine intervention.

The 10 spies and Calev/Yehoshua argument can be simplified to this:

  • The 10 spies say we can't inherit the land because we are weak.
  • Calev/Yehoshua say we can inherit the land because Hashem is with us.

Calev/Yehoshua do not address the base claim of the 10 spies. They didn't contradict a single claim of theirs, for that matter. They don't dispute the fact that the fruit brought back was abnormally large, that the cities were well fortified, that huge people inhabited the land.

Their only response was "Their protection has left them, Hashem is with us, do not fear them" (Bamidbar 14:9).

  • The 10 spies saw realpolitik
  • Calev/Yehoshua saw Divine Providence

Our forefathers sinned in that they didn't believe in the Divine Providence involved in settling Eretz Yisrael. They did not believe that they would be made successful by the Hand of Hashem. So they decided to give up on the mitzvah settling the land.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Ma'apilim - Context

One thing interesting to note regarding the parshah of the Ma'apilim is what surrounds it.

  • We start with the Meraglim
  • Hashem sentences us to 40 years in the desert
  • The Maapilim go up against Hashem's command.
  • A parshah on how to bring certain korbanot
  • The mitzvah of Challah - (See Pirkei Avot, search for the word Challah)
  • A parshah on unintentional communal sin, the leadership being led astray and making mistakes
  • A parshah on unintentional and intentional personal sin
  • The story of the sabbath-desecrator and his sentence
  • The mitzvah of Tzitzit

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dor HaMidbar Then and Now

The period of time that Am Yisrael spent in the desert was parallel to the time of Yenikah (suckling) in the upper realms. The manifestation of this on earth was that there was a high level of intimate contact between Hashem and Am Yisrael. When there was sin, punishment was many time in the form of open miracles and a departure from the natural order.

In our day, at the end of the period preceding Yemot HaMoshiach (Katnut Beit), it is not proper to expect this level of direct intervention, for we are at a more advanced stage in human history.

As a result, when studying the lessons from Dor HaMidbar to apply to our life today, we should not just say "and then Hashem smites them!" or anything else simplistic. That does not mean write Hashem out of the lesson, chas v'shalom. It means care must be taken with this analysis.

The Ma'apilim

After the Sin of the Spies, the Torah records that there were a group of people that decided to try to make up for their part in the sin.

במדבר יד:מ - וישכמו בבקר, ויעלו אל ראש-ההר לאמר: הננו ועלינו אל המקום אשר אמר ה' כי חטאנו
במדבר יד:מא - ויאמר משה, למה זה אתם עברים את פי ה', והוא לא תצלח
במדבר יד:מב - אל תעלו, כי אין ה' בקרבכם, ולא תנגפו לפני איביכם
במדבר יד:מג - כי העמלקי והכנעני שם לפניכם ונפלתם בחרב, כי על כן שבתם מאחרי ה', ולא יהיה ה' עמכם
במדבר יד:מד - ויעפלו לעלות אל ראש-ההר, וארון ברית ה' ומשה לא משו מקרב המחנה
במדבר יד:מה - וירד העמלקי והכנעני הישב בהר ההוא, ויכום ויכתום עד החרמה
Bamidbar 14:40 - And they arose in the morning and went up to the head of the mountain saying: Behold we have come up to the place that Hashem said, for we have sinned.
Bamidbar 14:41 - And Moshe said, why are you violating the word of Hashem, it will not be successful.
Bamidbar 14:42 - Don't go up, for Hashem is not in your midst, and (if you don't go up) you won't be smitten in front of your enemies.
Bamidbar 14:42 - For the Amelekite and Canaanite are there before you and you will fall by the sword, for this is the very reason that you turned from following Hashem, and Hashem will not be with you.
Bamidbar 14:43 - But they acted presumptuously and went up to the head of the mountain, and the Ark of Hashem and Moshe did not leave the camp
Bamidbar 14:44 - And the Amalekite and the Canaanite that dwell on that mountain came down and hit them and beat them until Chormah.

Points to notice in the story of the Ma'apilim.

  • Hashem wanted Am Yisrael to go up to Eretz Yisrael and inherit the land for all generations, to fulfill the Divine Will that we be a Holy Nation. The Spies caused the nation to not want to inherit the land. Due to the punishment, and the guilt over the sin, the Ma'apilim were willing to fight. They wanted a do-over without actually fixing the base problem. Their intentions were simply impure.
  • Moshe points out, essentially, that the Spies were right on one point. The nations that Am Yisrael feared indeed were stronger than Am Yisrael and would beat them, if Hashem were not on our side. Therefore when Hashem decreed that we stay in the desert for 40 years, it was not just a commandment that we could listen to or not. Hashem stated that He was unwilling to suspend the laws of nature for this generation.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mourning after Lag Ba'Omer

(For more on the subject of Yovel, click here to return to the Table of Contents.)

In continuation of the last post:

It should be noted that there are those that cease mourning for the day of Lag Ba'Omer, and then resume the restrictions of the Omer until Shavuot.

This perhaps hints at Jewish history as well. The years of the 33rd Yovel not only brought the Zohar, but the beginning of the 6th Millenium (the 6th Day, with 1000 years divided in to 12 hours of 83.33 years). From this time onwards, we must see Am Yisrael as following the story of Adam HaRishon, correcting it as needed on the way to perfection.

Despite all this, there are those among Am Yisrael that don't see our situation as qualitatively different, and don't see the 33rd Yovel as reason to change the way they see things as we approach the Yovel of Yovels. So the mourning continues in exactly the same way.

Significant Days in the Omer & Yovel

(For more on the subject of Yovel, click here to return to the Table of Contents.)

In our times, there are a few significant dates* during the Omer period:

  • The 7 days of Pesach
  • The 7th day of the Omer, Isru Chag Pesach
  • The 8th day of the Omer, the beginning of full mourning**
  • The 20th Day of the Omer, Yom HaAtzmaut
  • The 33rd Day of the Omer, Lag Ba'Omer, the revelation of Kabbalah
  • The 43rd Day of the Omer, Yom Yerushalayim

* I haven't listed them all, there is still Rosh Chodesh and Pesach Sheini, but these are less than their full status at this time: Rosh Chodesh during the mourning is diminished in relation to the other Rashei Chodashim, and Pesach Sheini doesn't take place without the Beit HaMikdash.

** There is a machloket as to if there is any significance to Isru Chag after Pesach. See the Rama on Orach Chaim 429:2 and the Mishneh Berurah there for the opinion that one shouldn't fast on Isru Chag.

The 8th Yovel: 3766 - 3816 (6CE - 56CE)

This period brought the beginnings of the religion of Edom.

The 20th Yovel: 4355 - 4404 (595CE - 644CE)

This period brought the beginnings of the religion of Yishmael. This was the end of the "Evening Morning" of Daniel 8, starting the period of Yishmael being repaid for his circumcision. The 2300 days, however, would finish on the 20th of the Omer 5708.

The 33rd Yovel: 4992 - 5041 (1232CE - 1281CE)

This period brought the Zohar to the world, containing the secrets of the Torah. This is the Torah that brings the Geulah.

The 43rd Yovel: 5482 - 5531 (1742CE - 1771CE)

This period saw the beginning of the morning of the 6th Day, per Kol HaTor, when the GR"A started the work towards the building of Yerushalayim.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Per the Ramchal, there is a bit of conflict. In one place, he brings that the world is ruled by Z"A during the entire beginning of the world up to Yetziat Mitzraim, and in another he says that up until Avraham Avinu, it is under A"A. This can be resolved by saying that things were in such concealment that it is as if Z"A weren't year visible in any way.

The period of Ibbur and Yenikah together or referred to in the Ariza"l by the name of Katnut.

Here's the quote from the Ariza"l:

וביאור הענין דע כי בימי עיבור ויניקה אשר עדיין אז נקראים הקטנות של ז"א

Avraham Avinu's Birth to Yetziat Mitzraim: 1948 - 2448 = 500 Years

  • The Year After Yetziat Mitzraim until Bayit Rishon: 2449 - 2928 = 479 Years
  • Churban Bayit Rishon to Binyan Bayit Sheini: 3338 - 3408 = 70 Years
  • Churban Bayit Sheini to Yemot HaMoshiach: 3829 - 5783 = 1954 Years

Total years of Katnut = 3003 Years

Total years without the Ibbur = 3003 - 500 = 2503 Years

Interesting that this number comes up, so close to a multiple of 500 like the years of the Ibbur, but also because the year 2503 (2504 if you add 1) came up in the discussion regarding Yovel from before, as the first year that Am Yisrael counted Shmitah.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Yetziat Mitzraim - The Birth

According to Kabbalah, the development of Z"A is broken up in to stages:

  • Ibbur (Pregnancy)
  • Yenikah (Suckling/Nursing)
  • Katnut (Childhood)
  • Gadlut (Adulthood)

In Shiur Yemot HaMoshiach, I mentioned the idea of Gadlut. I'd like to look at Ibbur.

It is brought in Pitchei She'arim (part 2, page 56) that the period of Ibbur started with the birth of Avraham Avinu (1948), and ended with Yetziat Mitzraim (2448).

Specifically, there are:

  • The first 3 days, corresponding to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov.
  • The next 37 days, corresponding to the 12 tribes and the 70 souls that went in to Mitzraim
  • The remaining 7 months of pregnancy, corresponding to the 210 years in Mitzraim. (This time period is explicit in the text)

I would propose that the first 3 days were from the birth of Avraham until just after the birth of Yosef, when Yaakov decides to leave Lavan and go back to Eretz Yisrael. This would leave 84 years per "day". By mathematical default, that would also leave 1 year per "day" for the the 37 days. This (at this point) is my hypothesis.

Regardless, it was after 500 years that the birth occurred, both in the upper and lower worlds. This is what we celebrated last night.

מועדים לשמחה

Thursday, April 17, 2008

1050 - Mechirat Yosef

On the ratio between Bayit Rishon and Sheini against Yemot HaMoshiach.

The division is based on two numbers: 830 years and 220 years, which add up to 1050.

(For this drash I am only using round numbers.)

If we look at the numbers, they both end in 0, so let's divide by 10.

83 years and 22 years.

Both of these years are in the Chumash.

  • Aharon was 83 years in the year 2448, when he became the first Cohen.
  • Yosef didn't see Yaakov Avinu or his brothers for 22 years, due to being sold by his brothers (Mechirat Yosef).

The Zohar Chadash, in Maamar Mechirat Yosef (first couple of sentences), mentions these 22 years as an explanation as to why Am Yisrael spent 210 years in Mitzraim.

22 years * 10 tribes = 220 years. Subtract 10 years, 1 per the actual heads of the tribes that received a portion of Din in that they perished in Mitzraim, and you get 210 years.

Nonetheless, we know that the sin of Mechirat Yosef was not completely atoned for, see the matter of the Asarah Harugei Malchut. There is also a relation between Mechirat Yosef and the Sin of the Spies. For, as Midrash Tanchuma states, whatever happens to Yosef happens to Tzion, and thus they are equal in gematria (156).

I propose that Am Yisrael as a whole will have a final opportunity to fix the collective sin of Mechirat Yosef starting at the beginning of Yemot HaMoshiach. One of the main errors that caused Mechirat Yosef? It is hinted at during the brothers encounter with Yosef at the end of 22 years.

בראשית מב:ח - ויכר יוסף את אחיו, והם לא הכרהו

Breishit 42:8 - And Yosef recognized his brothers, but they didn't recognize him.

May our success come soon, let us all recognize Yosef at the beginning of these "22 years" and thereby repair the split between Yosef and Yehudah.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chipazon - Ours or Theirs?

שמות יב:יא - וככה תאכלו אתו, מתניכם חגרים, נעליכם ברגליכם, ומקלכם בידכם, ואכלתם אתו בחפזון, פסח הוא לה' י

Shemot 12:11 - Thus shall you eat it, your waists with belts, your shoes on your feet, your cains in your hands, and you shall eat it in haste, it is a Pesach for Hashem.

It seems from here that we had to be ready to leave Mitzraim in a hurry. But elsewhere we see that we actually didn't leave the night of the 15th of Nisan, but rather during the day.

במדבר לג:ג - ויסעו מרעמסס בחדש הראשון, בחמשה עשר יום לחדש הראשון, ממחרת הפסח יצאו בני ישראל ביד רמה לעיני כל מצרים

Bamidbar 33:3 - And they traveled from Raamses in the 1st month, on the 15th day of the 1st month, the day after the Passover, Bnei Yisrael went out of Mitzraim with a high hand, in front of the eyes of all Mitzraim.

So on the one hand we are told that Am Yisrael left in Chipazon. The other hand, we didn't leave until the next day, in a triumphant fashion.

So what is the Chipazon then?

At the end of Parshat Shemot, Moshe complains that only bad has happened to Am Yisrael since he started his mission. Hashem's response is as follows:

שמות ו:א - ויאמר ה', עתה תראה, אשר אעשה לפרעה, כי ביד חזקה ישלחם, וביד חזקה, יגרשם מארצו

Shemot 6:1 - And Hashem said: Now you will see what I will do to Par'oh, for with a strong hand he will send them, and with a strong hand he will expell them from his land.

So here we have the Hashem replying to Moshe that the appointed time has come, and the direct intervention from Heaven will cause Par'oh to expell Am Yisrael from Mitzraim. Ponder that verse for a moment.

There is an argument in the first chapter of the Talmud Bavli Brachot as to whether or not the Chipazon is Am Yisrael's or Mitzraim's. Rashi brings, on the word Chipazon in Devarim, that the Chipazon is Mitzraim's. On a certain level, we celebrate/commemorate the fact that they couldn't get rid of us fast enough. This is not a negative occurance, but rather a positive promise from Hashem that was fulfilled in the unfolding of the Exodus.

We are at the end of the Final Galus, and we are told that this Chipazon will not exist. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

The pasuk in Yeshayahu makes it sound like a positive development, "for Hashem will go before us". This could make one think that the Chipazon in Yetziat Mitzraim was Am Yisrael's, despite the opinion brought by Rashi. Nonetheless, just like there are two ways to think about the Chipazon in Yetziat Mitzraim, so too I cannot help but think that there is more than 1 side to the pasuk in Yeshayahu.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Chipazon - Haste

דברים טז:ב - וזבחת פסח לה' אלקיך, צאן ובקר, במקום אשר יבחר ה', לשכן שמו שם.

דברים טז:ג - לא תאכל עליו חמץ, שבעת ימים תאכל עליו מצות לחם עני, כי בחפזון יצאת מארץ מצרים, למען תזכר את יום צאתך מארץ מצרים כל ימי חייך

Devarim 16:2 - And you shall offer the Passover to Hashem your G-d, from the flock and herd, in the place that Hashem will choose to dwell His Name there.

Devarim 16:3 - And you shall not on it Chametz, 7 days you shall eat upon it Matzot, bread of the poor, for with haste you went out of the land of Mitzraim, so that you shall remember the day of your going out of the land of Mitzraim all the days of your life.

In Yeshayahu, we find a contrast between Yetziat Mitzraim and the final Geulah:

ישעיהו נב:יב - כי לא בחפזון תצאו, ובמנוסה תלכון, כי הלך לפניכם ה', ומאספכם אלקי ישראל

Yeshayahu 52:12 - For not in haste will you go out, and not in flight will you go, for Hashem goes before you, and the G-d of Israel is your gatherer.

The Geulah from Mitzraim stemmed from a certain need to escape immediately. We soon would have reached a point of no return, the 50th Gate of Tum'ah. So Hashem in His infinite mercy, took us out of Mitzraim all at once.

The Final Geulah, however, is based on the Keitz Meguleh, which has levels, steps.

For the Final Geulah, we know that if it were to occur all at once, there would be a tremendous amount of harsh judgement if we were not to be worthy, therefore the long Steps of Moshiach are in fact a Chesed.

The question, however, is why Yetziat Mitzraim took place so quickly.

There are possible explanations for this. In preparation for Pesach, we should consider these differences in circumstance, between then, with Chipazon Mitzraim, and our situation today.

חג כשר ושמח

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Shiur Yemot HaMoshiach

It appears that my prior post, based on my intellectual curiousity of the numbers brought at the beginning of Parshat Tazria, contains a deep sod. It contains within it the number of years called "Gadlut Beit".

Gadlut Beit is a Kabbalistic term, but the Ramchal brings it down to simple terms that it covers 2 time periods:

  1. Matan Torah
  2. Yemot HaMoshiach

We start at 1050 (21 * 50) years.

The years of the first two Batei Mikdash:

410 + 420 = 830, but Bayit Sheini, according to 1 opinion, stood 421 years.

So 831 years.

1050 - 831 = 219

But Matan Torah counts as a year. So that makes 218.

And we should really start at 6001, since the implication of Tazria is 6000 years for mankind to repair these 1050 years, and Adam HaRishon was born in year 2.

So 6001 - 218 = 5783.

So 5783 to the end of the 6th millenium is Yemot HaMoshiach, per this sod and the definition provided by the Ramchal.

So too this is the sod of what the GR"A wrote in chapter 1 of his commentary on Sifra DiTzniuta that the Shiur (length) of Yemot HaMoshiach is the Shiur of Ateret HaYesod.

Background: Yesod is divided in to 3 equal parts (See Etz Chaim). The first 2 are called Yesod, and the last 3rd is called Ateret HaYesod.

The Pshat from the GR"A seems to be that Yemot HaMoshiach will be (if we do not merit earlier, i.e. B'Itah) in the last third of the 6th millenium, i.e. 5666.66-6000. One could explain (as I had thought) that the GR"A was simply stating that the Keitz B'Itah would not be before the year 5666. But rather the GR"A was referring to the exact beginning of Yemot HaMoshiach, 2/3 the way through the Steps of Moshiach, which is the same year.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More on Tazria and Yovel

I just think this is interesting, so I am examining it a bit further.

  • For a baby boy, there are 7 days of tumah, and then 33 days of dam tohar, total of 40 days.
  • For a baby girl, there are 14 days of tumah, and then 66 days of dam tohar, a total of 80 days.
  • Grand total 21 days of tumah, 99 days of dam tohar, 120 days total.

Why add them together? Because history also brings perfection to the male and the female sides.

If the 6000 years of history is divided up in to 120 days total, each day is 50 years.

  • 21 * 50 = 1050 years of tumah
  • 99 * 50 = 4950 years of dam tohar

We therefore have 1050 years to "fix", so to speak. This Tikkun is done by the Beit HaMikdash in Yerushalayim.

  • Bayit Rishon stood 410 years.
  • Bayit Sheini stood 420 years.
  • 410 + 420 = 830 years total.
  • 1050 - 830 = 220.

We have 220 years remaining that need to be fixed.

  • 6000 - 220 = 5780

According to 1 opinion (I believe in the Rishonim, see the mefarshim to Rambam Hilchot Shemitah v'Yovel chapter 10), the 2nd Beit HaMikdash stood for 421 years.

  • 6000 - 219 = 5781

But really, Adam HaRishon, who marks the beginning of the Era of Tikkun, was born in year 2, so we should add another year, since we should have 6000 years to make the Tikkun.

  • 6001 - 219 = 5782

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tefillat Od Yosef Chai

In chapter 5 of Kol HaTor, there is a nusach of a Tefillah entitled Od Yosef Chai (Yosef still lives). It was a tradition in the Old Yishuv to daven this Tefillah at the place entitled Pitcha D'Karta (Aramaic for the Opening of the City). How the placing of this was determined is an interesting topic. The bottom line is that the this location was determined, back in the 19th century, to be at the top of Rechov Shtraus in downtown Yerushalayim, where the old Histadrut building is.

In the weeks prior to the Hitnatkut in 5765, there was a gathering at this location to say this prayer.

Rav Yosef Rivlin, one of the editors of the 5754 edition of Kol HaTor, and a direct descendent of Rav Shlomo Zalman Rivlin who published Kol HaTor originally in the period between the 2 World Wars, was there. He recounted how they would come back in his youth to this location to daven this tefillah. He told us that they would say that the Histadrut building was built davka there in order to keep them from praying at the spot (the prayer was then moved to the backyard of the building).

Within the last few years, a set of books was published by the name of Torat HaGeulah. If I recall correctly, the publisher is on Yehudah HaMaccabi street near Lishkat HaGiyus. With this set of 3 books, they also have a tiny paperback copy of this Tefillah.

For Everything There Is a Time

Translation from pages 113-114 of Kol HaTor chapter 5 part 1
For everything there is a time and a season for every desire, hiddin hints in the ways of the Atchalta in the secret of Tzafnat Pa'aneach, End times of the Moadim in the secret of "עת הזמיר" and "עת לחננה", within the 7 Pekidot from the 1st hour of the light of morning for the 6th millenium in the period of the End of Days in the Final Generation until the Final Keitz, the Keitz of Wonders of Daniel 9.
עת הזמיר הגיע, this time comes in 7 Pekidot of the Atchalta, and each Pekidah has 7 levels, and every level has 7 sub-levels. The first Pekidah began at the beginning of the light of morning of the 6th century (500) of the 6th millenium, and in it (the Pekidah) came the great role of the GR"A in the pasuk אבן שלמה וצדק (Parshat Ki Tetzei) in which he saw his name and his role. For immediately after that is the destruction of Amalek and after that is "for you will come to the land" at the beginning of the 7th century in the 6th millenium. That is the beginning of the year 5601, that from that point begins the revelation of messiahship in the secret of upper wisdom, and together with it the lower wisdom that comes in the Awakening from Below together with the development of the wisdom of the sciences that comes in a natural way according to what is brought in the Holy Zohar parshat Vayera (117) that at 600 years to the 6th millenium the gates of upper wisdom will open and the wellsprings of lower wisdom, etc. And from this year, that is 5600, and onwards, Kol HaTor begins in the light of the GR"A which continues through the day. And this matter is hinted at in the secret of the letter of the GR"A which is closed with his order not to open it until 100 years (after his death), i.e. the year of עת לחננה לפ"ק.
From the beginning of our arrival, the students of the GR"A, to Eretz Yisrael in the year 5569 (אפרים בכורי לפ"ק), the first actual Atchalta began of Ayelet HaShachar of Chaza"l, and the Atchalta of עת לחננה in the role of the first Moshiach, the Moshiach of the Atchalta, Moshiach ben Yosef in the role of Ezra and Nechemiah like in the days of Koresh in the days of Bayit Sheini, which is the meaning of what the GR"A spoke about much in his holy writings on the Torah of Kabbalah, and in the role of the GR"A which is the light of Moshiach ben Yosef on the level of טוב. And when we set our dwelling in the Holy City of Yerushalayim (may it speedily be rebuilt) in the year 5572 "מעונתו" בציון לפ"ק, the beginning of the 3rd Pekidah of the Atchalta of עת הזמיר in the secret of Kol HaTor. And in one of the days in that year, 5572, in which they laid the foundation for the Beit Midrash Eliyahu, in the name of the GR"A. Together with the preparations for this important act of building Yerushalayim, it appeared to us, the students of the GR"A, in lightened ways, that at that hour, the first window opened up in the iron divider, to join the merit of Brit Avot (the Chibur which is Yesod of Tiferet by way of Malchut), which was stopped since the time of the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash. And that day was the "יום העשרים בעמר" (the 20th day of the Omer) which is Yesod of Tiferet as is known to those that know Kabbalah.
The note at the bottom brings from Midrash Shlomo that יום העשרים בעמר is equal to 999 in Gematria.
The 20th day of the Omer, 5708, is the date that the State of Israel was declared.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Four Cups

The Talmud Yerushalmi, Pesachim chapter 10:1, gives many reasons why the Mishnah states we must drink 4 cups the night of the Seder.

  • The "4 expressions of Geulah" from Shemot 6:6-6:7
  • The 4 times the word cup is used in the dream (Breishit chapter 40)
  • The 4 kingdoms (i.e. from Daniel) which rule over Am Yisrael
  • The 4 cups of wrath that Hashem will pour out on the nations
  • The 4 cups of consolation that Hashem will pour out for Am Yisrael

See the Gemara here for the exact verses.

The GR"A says (though I am unable to find the exact source in my Haggadah this year) that the 4 cups correspond to 4 periods of time.

  1. This World
  2. The Days of Moshiach
  3. The Resurrection of the Dead
  4. The World to Come

I would propose that this corresponds to what is written here in the Raya Mehemna.

  1. This World - From the time of Exile through the time 1st Geulah of 5708, up to the 2nd Geulah.
  2. The Days of Moshiach - From the time of the 2nd Geulah of 5727 until the 3rd Geulah
  3. The Resurrection of the Dead - The start of which is between the time of the 3rd Geulah and the time of the 4th Geulah. On another level of understanding, Am Yisrael will reach the level of "days of old" in this era, as if Am Yisrael of old is the dead that is resurrected
  4. The World to Come - As mankind reaches higher and higher after the end of the Geulah, it will be akin to Olam HaBa here on earth, the 7th millenium, etc.

May we all be zocheh to eat from the Zevachim and the Pesachim in the final Beit HaMikdash.

Chag Sameach

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The First Geulah

This is a continuation/correction on this post.

The First Geulah of the Geulah Shleimah is referred to as רנו. This is, in Gematria, 256.

There seem to be 2 ways to read this. I was referring to one of those ways in the prior post. The sevarah behind it is rather solid, but does not match 100%.

Let's look at the 2nd way, which was mentioned in the comments to that post.

Earlier in the Raya Mehemna there, the count of 72 after 1200 is referred to as רע"ב, meaning drop the 1000, but keep the 200. Therefore it would mean that the 256 here refers to 56 after 1200. Furthermore, the Zohar on Pinchas 3:230b refers to this Geulah as being HaKadosh Baruch Hu taking revenge on those that hate him. I have to conclude that this second way of understanding this is the correct understanding, and therefore make this correction to myself:

  • 1st Geulah of (2)56 - The Israeli War of Independence in 5708
  • 2nd Geulah of 60 - The Six-Day War of 5727

Zohar Pinchas 3:230b


And because of this, Chayot of fire above speak like the branches of the tree, that they come together in the happiness of the bridegroom and the bride. And in what place? In Kriat Shma which there is "and I heard the voice of their wings" which are the 64 for 4 wings, 4 times 64 is 256, which is רנו ליעקב שמחה (Be glad, Yaakov, happiness) (Yirmiyahu 31). When? After he takes vengance on those that hate him and burn their gods, and that is what is written ובאבוד רשעים רנה (And in the destruction of the wicked, happiness) (Mishlei 11)

Yahel Ohr of the GR"A:

"Ronu", etc, until "When?": That is to say that the time of Ronu is a Keitz as is written in Tikkunei Zohar Chadash.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Tazria and Yovel

(For more on the subject of Yovel, click here to return to the Table of Contents.)

Please see here for context. There are 33 "days" after birth before a "woman" can go to the Beit HaMikdash / the place of the Beit HaMikdash if the child is a boy. It is a 66 day wait if the child is female.

According to the shitah that I have brought before, the 66th Yovel year that Am Yisrael will have ever been through, starting from the time of Yehoshua bin-Nun, is 5776.

The details of the list:

2555 is Yovel year 1. Continue every 50 years, last Yovel being 3305. For the next two Yovels, count forward 49 years. We have counted up to 18.

3465 is Yovel year 19. Continue every 50 years, last being 3865. For the remaining Yovels up until 5776, count every 49 years.

Shabbat Shalom