THE DANGER OF STRESS

It is written: ולא שמעו אל-משה מקצר רוח Velo shamu el-Moshe mikotser ruach, “But they hearkened not unto Moshe for impatience of spirit” (Shemot 6:9, Va’era). The Rashi here says, “But they did not listened to Moshe. They did not accept the consolation. That is, they [the people] got completely desperate over being redeemed at any time due to their shortness of breath. Anyone who is under stress, his wind and breath are short, and he cannot breathe deeply”. The lack of air to breathe is what a person feels when drowning. She can only have a few short respirations, not enough to sustain her. This is what the moment of stress causes in the individual. Behold, the gematria katan of this pasuk is 78, the same as Mabul (the “Deluge”): mem-bet-vav-lamed = 40 + 2 + 6 + 30 = 78. Mystically, the word mabul alludes to the removal of the vital Divine force. This is why the sense of desperation occurs, because the “turbulent waters” from stress rise and “flood” the person’s mind, so to speak. And when we calculate the “regression” (the vision of the posterior/achorayim) of the 3 Divine Names (the manner in which the Tetragram/YKVK is spelled) – the 72-letter Name (Shem Ayn Bet), the 63-letter Name (Shem SaG), and finally the 45-letter Name (Shem MaH) – we have a total of 78 letters, indicating (by the regression of these iterations of the Divine Names) a “withdrawal” of the Shem Havaya (YKVK) from the world, signifying in the global scale the earth’s “drowning” and its demise. Now, we can understand why stress is so dangerous!

 

INTENSE COLORS

On a certain night during the week of parashat Bo, in the month of Tevet 5774, I was meditating as I always do, expanding my conscious with the millennia old mental exercises from the Torah. And it was them that suddenly I felt as if I had entered into something – it was another environment. When I realize that this dimensional translation took place, I immediately began feeling a great primal anxiety, generated by the biological instinct that sharpen the senses when we find ourselves in an unknown habitat. My heart accelerated. And with the eyes of the mind, there I saw and all dark environment, not like the darkness of the night but rather as if in some manner the sunlight was absent during the day. In this great region, different things and objects shined with intense colors. The colors were strong, almost saturated. The only light there were the one coming from these things and objects, for all the rest was the purest of darkness. There were no bright stars shining, nor visible heavenly bodies, nothing. Only the intense darkness and the things and objects with their strong and gleaming colors that shined the path in that place. I thought I was in another dimension, being allowed to see another physical location in the universe. I even prepared myself for a possible encounter with some being. However, at that moment, I lost focus and came back to the state I was before the meditation. But, a few seconds later, I returned to that place and the same anxiety came back to ravage me. I did not see anything different in this second experience, but only confirmed the vision of the first one: full darkness and objects of varied sizes with intense colors that were the only light source in the place. Moreover, I could see everything as if standing somewhat above ground, or on top of a mount. Both experiences did not last much, perhaps a minute, but it seemed like an eternity… And it was when I started to meditate again and soon after I heard what I heard: “That what you saw was truly the singular darkness from the Makat Choshech [‘the plague of darkness’]. The colorful lights were the divine sparks exceedingly revealed from the objects and treasures that the Jews got during the three days of this plague. And this is why it is written, ולכל בני ישראל היה אור במושבתם Ulechol-bnei Yisrael haya or bemoshvotam, ‘All the children of Israel had light in their dwellings’ [Shemot 10:23]”. I then finished my meditation. After this once more incredible experience, I investigated and found that the gematria atbash of this pasuk is 2370, that is, 10 times 237, that being the gematria of Zichri, (“My Remembrance”, spelled: zayin-chaf-reish-yud = 7 + 20 + 200 + 10 = 237) – this being the expression used by Hashem in His revelation to Moshe (Shemot 3:15) and to refer Himself to the Shem Havaya (YKVK) saying, “This is My Name forever, and this is My Remembrance [zichri] for all generations”. I understood that the relation here to my experience is that everything Hashem does is eternal and can be remembered, that is, “accessed” and truly experienced. The Torah all in of itself are made of infinite portals of space-time. When a person studies, meditates and understand Torah as alive and dynamic, the light shine in his “dwellings”: his mind and life.

 

THE PLAGUE OF RATIONAL IMMATURITY

“Consider a rasha/evil person that in some manner finds himself in Gan Eden, going and coming amongst the tzaddikim/just people that sear in the splendor of their crowns of glory, bathing themselves in the light of the Shechina. The tzaddikim experience there indescribable pleasures, while he suffers incommensurably. Completely unaccustomed to spirituality, for the rasha, this Gan Eden is an incomparable discomfort. As such, this is the essence of the makat choshech [‘the plague of darkness’]. And thus Moshe brought the darkness below, for he ‘extended his hand above the Heavens’ [Shemot 10:21] and Egypt fell in a darkness like never seen before” (the Slonimer Rebbe, Netivot Shalom, Parashat Bo).

The makat choshech meant a tzimtzum (“contraction and restriction”) of the light of Hashem and its physical manifestation. Truly, first a tzimtzum occurred at the spiritual level, in the degree of נטה ידך על-השמים Nete yadecha al’hashamayim, “Extend your hand to the Heaven” (Shemot 10:21), which was the command Hashem gave to Moshe to begin this plague on Egypt. And the ordinal gematria (mispar siduri, in the sofit version) of this pasuk is 166. This is the numerical value for the “regression” (i.e., the posterior/achorayim vision) of the Shem SaG (Name of Hashem spelled with 63 letters, being that the gematria of SaG equals 63). The Shem SaG is associated to Binah, and in man, it means the power of rational intellect. When the Holy Name is “regressed”, this indicates a diminishing or immaturity in the rational understanding – a state of contraction and restriction of the consciousness. In a level, the darkness indicates exactly the incapacity to see, hence rationally understand, resulting from the withdrawal of Divine light. Now, in the physical level, the material darkness is the actual result of this spiritual regression. This is the reason that immediately following the verse says, “That there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt”. Now we can understand something more. For the talmid/student still distant from Torah, everything is strange, uncomfortable and devoid of meaning. The light of Torah, through the words of the rebbe/master, is so strong that the students close their eyes and hid themselves with fear from the great intensity of this Divine irradiation. Then, in this period, they still exist against a thick darkness, in a state of rational immaturity. With the eyes completed closed, they fear opening them to then experience the restrictive reality of their own (private) Egypt. In time and great patience from the master, as they begin opening their eyes so unaccustomed to see the spiritual truths, the light finally begins to enter them, at least to some degree. Finally, they begin perceiving that there is אור במושבתם Or bemoshvotam, “Light in their dwellings” (Shemot 10:23). In fact, the gematria of the millui/spelling of this pasuk is 997, with two for the kollel for each one of the two words we have 999 – the same numerical value of the Holy Name Kel Shakai (“G-d Almighty”), which refers to the level of “Creator of the world”*. Now, more illuminated, they can be cured and redeemed, and in this way begin revealing the aspect of Mashiach that exists in each and every one, G-d willing.

* The Sages note that the word shakai can be interpreted as meaning “He who [sha-] said ‘enough’ [-dai] for the expansion of the world, at the end of the week of creation” (Talmud, Chagigah 12a).

 

THE PEOPLE ARE THE LAND

It is necessary always to remember that Hashem gave to the Jewish People the Land of Israel, as it is written: ראה נתתי לפניכם את-הארץ Ree natati lifneichem et-haArets etc., “Behold, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the L-rd swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them and to their seed after them” (Devarim 1:8). This land é the blessing for this people: Ree natati lifneichem et-haArets is ordinal gematria 238, the same as ויברך Vayevarech (“And Hashem blessed”, Bereshit 1:22). The Land/Shechina is the People and the People are the Land. Israel is the name of the People, Israel is the name of the Land. The People are the Land, the Land is the People. Never can the two be separated, ever. For the Jew, the mitzvot are the “spiritual/energetic tentacles” that directly connect him to the Holy Land – a real and true connection. If we had the technological apparatus to see these connections, in fact they would be seen clearly. And this will occur in the future, when “And the glory of the Hashem shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the L-rd has spoken it” (Isaiah 40:5). And this is the reason that Jews are instructed by the Torah that warns us not to eat foods that are not kosher, not to connect or reside near people who are not kosher, etc., not to do this or that etc., because the impurities “glue” to people, so to speak, affecting the body, the mind and the individual’s soul – the heart and the thoughts. When the Jew disconnects himself from the teaching of his holy people and soul, he then causes unbalance in all of his being. And since Kol Yisrael Aruvim Zeh BaZeh, “All Israel is interconnected one with another” (Talmud, Shevuot 39a), if a part of the body is ill and sick, then all of the body is thus affected. Moreover, as the “Body of Israel” é the Holy Land, the unbalance caused by those that neglect the Torah affects all of the Holy Land, which suffers with wars and all sorts of problems, just as a body that gets sick. Behold, נתתי לפניכם את-הארץ Ree natati lifneichem et-haArets has absolute gematria of 1993, the same as the whole pasuk/verse: “They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, the L-rd, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land” (Isaiah 13:5). However, know that the Messianic Age represents a time of total internal e external transformation that will cause the “realignment” of all these unbalances – in the Land of Israel and in the world as well – that gravely offended the Natural Laws of Hashem, by which He directs all universes. And when the time comes, then it will be the יום יהוה הגדול והנורא Yom Hashem HaGadol Ve’HaNorah, “The great and terrible day of the L-rd” (Malachi 3:23), when His true and only Mashiach will cure the world, imposing the return of the Natural Law – bringing us to how and where we should be. In addition, the absolute gematria of this prophet’s pasuk is 398, the same as for משחים meshuchim, “anointed”. Moreover, the land will again be raised to the natural stage of the Gan Eden‘s peace and order, amen.

 

VERY DIFFERENT INTELLECTS

It is written: “Just as all of the holy partzufim [‘groups of sefirot’]” have intellect; the same is true with all of the impure partzufim, both masculine and feminine. However, the difference is this: the evil masculine and feminine partzufim only have two mochin/brains [chochmah and binah], while the masculine holy partzufim have three: chochmah, binah and da’at. The feminine holy partzufim also have only two mochin [chochmah and binah], because as we are taught, ‘The da’at from women is light’ [Talmud, Shabbat 33b]” (the Ari”zal, Etz Chayim 48:2). Chochmah is the flash of insight that penetrates through the veil of the subconscious in the conscious mind. It is an ephemeral experience, since by its own nature, the insight is foreign to the mental structure in which it is introduced. As a foreign entity, if it is not integrated in the mind in some manner, it simply vanishes and it is forgotten. Hence, it is the job of binah (the rational mind) to integrate this new insight in the mental structures and thinking patterns that the individual already has. This is a process of “translation and evaluation”: translating the insight in familiar terms and evaluating the existing mental structures and ideas in terms of the new insight. This new insight confirms or contradicts that which the person already knows and believes, and if there is a “confirmation”, what is its extension? And so forth and so on. As such, binah “distinguishes” (from the Hebrew bein, the root of binah) between reality as it is now reflected in the insight and how it was conceived before the insight; thus rebuilding (from the Hebrew boneh) the person’s mentality in the “dawn of the insight”. Even so, all is mental abstract activity. It is the third intellectual component’s function, da’at, to bring relevance and significance to this new mental construct of reality in the person’s daily understanding: Now that I understand reality in a new and more elevated manner, what can this understanding say about the way in which I have lived my life? How should I live it thereafter? Now we can begin to see the essential difference between good and evil, or more precisely, holiness and the mundane. The drive of the holy intellect is a focus on seeking the insight’s relevance, comprehension and knowledge. The evil intellect does not possess this drive. It is completely content to focus solely in the insight’s experience – in the “wow” or “momentary dazzling”, without being “polluted” with its moral preoccupations or relevance. For this kind of intellect, life is just a progression of sterile experiences, exciting in it of itself, but that do not produce any durable fruit or changes in the person’s life or society. This is the reason, thousands study Torah, in particular Kabbalah, and yet nothing truly significant happens, to wit, there is no real transformation, implying on a needed growth in halachic observance. This is what matter if the individual wishes to calibrate himself to Hashem. What happens is that all is mostly treated as a new form of entertainment, and the mindless “wow” experience from listening to the lofty concepts. There are further conclusions, for another time and place.

 

ALL ISRAEL IS INTERCONNECTED ONE WITH ANOTHER

Our Sages of blessed memory have taught us that כל ישראל ערבים זה בזה Kol Israel Aruvim Zeh BaZeh, ‘All Israel is interconnected one with another’ (TalmudShevuot 39a). What this interconnection means is that we all originate from the same source, that being a Source of benevolence associated with the glory of the Name Kel, which is the Shechina (Zohar 8a, Prologue). Moreover, the Ari”zal (Sha’ar HaPesukim, Lech Lecha), explains that: “Avraham personifies the attribute of chesed, which is signified by the Divine Name Kel, this being the mystical meaning of the verse, ‘The chesed of G-d [Kel] is all day long’ [Tehilim 52:3]”. This means that, the fact that the Name of G-d used in this verse is Kel indicates the association of this Name with chesed.

Now, it is interesting to note that the gematria ordinal (sofit version) of Kol Israel Aruvim Zeh BaZeh is 185. This is the same numeric value of the millui of the Name Kel: (alef-lamed- pei lamed-mem-dalet = [1 + 30 + 80] + [30 + 40 + 4] = 185).

The connection of Name Kel and Avraham, is further seem since “There are 8 Names Kel in the supernal faces of Arich Anpin [which is Keter, and corresponds to the psychological power of will]. All of these are contained within the name Avraham, whose numerical value is 248, the numerical value of these 8 Names” (Sha’ar HaPesukim, Chaye Sarah).

Kel: alef-lamed = 31. 31 x 8 = 248.
Avraham: alef-beit-reish-hei-mem = 1 + 2 + 200 + 5 + 40 = 248.

In this “face” of Arich Anpin, the source of the five states of chesed, are expressed 8 Names Kel whose numerical value is the same as that of Avraham, who personifies this level.

Furthermore, I noticed that the mispar Siduri/ordinal (174) + mispar Katan/reduced (57) + 17 letters (from Kol Israel Aruvim Zeh BaZeh) = 248. This is a poweful connection. And that the gematria atbash is 1495. This is the sum of all values from alef to tav. Alef-tav spells “Et“, the Zohar’s codename for the Shechina. And the complete span of the alef-beit indicating Her divine speech that vitalizes all of creation. In fact, the Shechina is the root of all neshamot, as it is known.

As chazal teachs us, the Jewish People are rooted in chesed, which we see is a direct link to Avraham avinu and mystically, the inner realms of the Shechina. Our people’s interconnections have enormous significance for our own and for the world at large, whereas the most important is the way each and every jew does affect the other spiritually. Hence, the need for Ahavat Israel as the means to preserve the “body” of Israel whole and intact, holy e focused on its evolutionary path culminating on Mashiach, speedily in our days.

On Sushan Purim 5774