THE SWORD

And it is written: אם-שנותי ברק חרבי ותאחז במשפט ידי אשיב נקם לצרי ולמשנאי אשלם Im-shanoti barak charbi vetochez bemishpat yadi ashiv nakam letsarai velimsanai ashalem, “If I sharpen my glittering sword, and My hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine adversaries, and will recompense them that hate Me” (Devarim 32:41, Ha’azinu). I was meditating in this pasuk/verse, when my thoughts took me to מתושלח Metushalach/Methuselah (Bereshit 5:21). On these ancient pre-diluvian times, the forces of evil were totally revealed, and the earth was amply populated by Nefilim/Fallen Angels, giants and shedim/demons. Metushalach was a righteous and holy man who knew the secrets of the universe passed onto him by his father חנוך Enoch: an extremely holy and singular man who “walked with G-d” (Bereshit 5:22) and kept the secrets of the world passed onto him since Adam. In fact, we see the great blessing of Metushalach in the gematria atbash of his name, with the numerical value of 173, the same as the verse אנכי ה’ אלקיך Anochi Hashem Elokecha, “I am the L-rd your G-d” (Shemot 20:2). In time, Metushalach transmitted the spiritual realities of the Torah to his grandson Noach (Bamidbar Rabah 4:8). Truly, Metushalach was an agent of G-d used to subjugate the revealed evil on earth. His own name announced his holy function: מתו Metu/Death ושלח Shalach/Messenger – he was the “Messenger of Death” for the wicked, like an angel. See, the gematria albam of מתושלח Metushalach plus one for the kolel equals 214, the numerical value of the word ruach/spirit (reish-vav-chet, 200 + 6 + 8 = 214). The ancient Midrashim relate that he possessed a sword with the Divine Name of G-d (the “Tetragram“) inscribed in it on both sides of the sword’s blade. In his great kedusha/holiness, he used this blessed weapon to slaughter millions of demons, only stopping with the killing after a long time and destruction of these plagues. This happened when the king of the shedim himself (a name I will not reveal) implored to be spared from being killed, promising that the shedim would hide far away from the cities, in the seas, rivers and caves. At last, in respect of Metushalach‘s mourning, who passed away at 969 years of age, Hashem delayed for seven days the Mabul/Deluge in the generation of Noach (Bereshit Rabah 3:6; Talmud, Sanhedrin 108b).

Now, the rashei tevot/acrostic of Im-shanoti barak charbi, “If I sharpen my glittering sword” (alef-shin-bet-chet, 1 + 300 + 2 + 8) has gematria absolute 311, the same as איש ish/man and האשה ha-ishah/the woman. And the sofeit tevot/end letters (mem-yud-kuf-yud, 40 + 10 + 100 + 10) have gematria 160, the same as צלם tzelem/shadow (tzadik-lamed-mem, 90 + 30 + 40 = 160). The Ari”zal explains that “The feminine tzelem is the force – meaning the states of gevurah – that guard the soul from damage. However, opposite to this shadow there is the shadow of evil” (Sefer HaLikutim, Bo). Thus, I understand this: the reference to the feminine shadow of evil means the forces that seek to abduct the vital energy from the “seeds” of men, as they may be spilled inappropriately, in vain. We see that the “glittering sword” that is guarded represents to the Jew, the zeal with his Brit Kodesh (and to the Nations, although in a lesser degree, the keeping of the mitzva of “not having illicit relations”). Thus as the masters teach, “Be ye afraid of the sword… that ye may know there is a judgment” (Shemot Rabah 30:24 citing Iyov 19:29), where the sword – here pronounced shadun/judgement, but written shedim/demon – is a symbol for decrees. The sword with the Tetragram possesses the Brit Kodesh spiritual power, in this way slaughtering the shedim with its shadun. Thus, when this shechita, the Torah‘s ritual slaughter is mystically performed on the shedim, their “blood” – to wit, their vital energy – are also shedim; in the same way and manner that in the Makah/Plague of the Tzefardeah/Frogs in Mitzrayim/Egypt – when someone would hit them, they in turn multiplied (Rashi on Shemot 8:2). However, metaphorically, if the sword is “sharp” (that is, is there is zeal with the Brit, again, a subject strictly Jewish), all of these “sons of the demoniacal plague” die as well. Now, if there is a mistake in the shechita, because the sword had flaws in the blade (for the Torah ritual slaughter blade must be perfect in order to validate the shechita*) or in the kavanot/mystical intentions at the time of the act, this can bring tza’arot/problems with the shedim that survive in the vital force from the minute drops spilled in vain. This is so, because as it is known, a wounded animal is always more dangerous. See, the sword is glittering and deadly to the evil forces, because the sparkling lights of holiness annul and destroy the inferior light of evil. This barak/glitter from the sword is like a “flash of light” (ref. Ezequiel 21:15; see Rashi on Devarim 32:41, Ha’azinu). In the same manner, the demons are a flash of light for those who unfortunately come to glimpse at them. Therefore, it is written in this parsha,  מזי רעב ולחמי רשף וקטב מרירי Mezei raav ulechumei reshef veketev meriri, “They will sprout hair from famine, attacked by demons [reshef] excised by Meriri, etc.” (Devarim 32:24, Ha’azinu). In fact, another translation for רשף reshef is “fiery bolt [of light]”. These plagues fly upwards (see Iyov 5:7) in the appearance of rays, but the glittering sword voids them completely. As such, we see that the barak charvi which is the Brit Kodesh proper, can be used for good – through the appropriate marital relations that care for the procreating organ – or to evil, if it is profaned (and in the case of the Nations, although there is no Brit, the illicit sexual relations, profane the person). Incredibly, the gematria atbash of חרב cherev/sword is 363, that being the same numerical value as HaMashiach/The Messiah, or the world’s “nemesis”, HaNachash/The Serpent. All in the world depends on orientation: if to evil, delaying Mashiach and giving strength to the side of the Serpent, chaz v’shalom, or to good – speeding up the coming of the true Mashiach, very soon in our days amen.

 

*  The actual knife used for shechita is called a חלף hallaf by Ashkenazim or a סכין sakin by all other Jews. Mystically, we see the power of judgement in the essence of the knife, as the gematria atbash of חלף is 86, the same as the Elokim, the Divine Name associated with judgement. Moreover, this knife is the tool for kosher ritual slaughter for Torah all permited animals (such as cattle etc.). A hint to that, the gematria albam of hallaf is 107, the same as for כל הבהמה kol habehema, “all the cattle”. The sakin also has inner meaning and secrets, for its gematria albam is 707, the same numerical value as ‘תרומה לה teruma la-Hashem, “The L-rd’s offerings”, referring to the ritually slaughtered sacrifices brought to the altar.

 

SPIRITUAL WINTERS

Sometimes a person feels a lesser connection with the Torah. Indeed, there are “spiritual winters”. It is as if the inner fire for Torah has diminished somewhat, creating confused feelings of guilt and sadness, chaz v’shalom. Now, it is a spiritual law that kedusha/sanctity and tumah/impurity cannot occupy the same place. If in the heart of the yid the fire for Torah has lessened, chaz v’shalom, this means that a “strange fire” of tumah – of low self-esteem, secular ideas, heretical thoughts etc. – is burning therein. Therefore, it is imperative to quickly extinguish and annul the impure fire which depresses the person. Sometimes, a segulah/spiritual remedy can help. Truly, there are countless segulot. Now, it is written: ואשריהם תשרפון באש Vaashereihem tisrefun baesh, “And burn their Asherim with fire” (Devarim 12:3, Re’eh). Truly, holy fire is needed to burn away the negative energy – the Asherim/idolatrous trees – that afflicted your own fire, in order to strengthen again your resolve for kedusha. Now, to help reignite this inner fire for Torah one can meditate on this pasuk: ידעתי ה’ כי-צדק משפטיך ואמונה עניתני Yadati Hashem ki-tsedek mishpateicha veemuna initani, “I know, O L-rd, that Thy judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness Thou hast afflicted me” (Tehillim 119:75). Behold, both ואשריהם תשרפון באש and ידעתי ה’ כי-צדק משפטיך ואמונה עניתני have the same gematria 1901. There is a powerful hint to the effectiveness of this segulah. The sofei tavot (“end lettes”, which semantically means “at the end of matters”) of this Psalm is יהיקךהי, with gematria atbash plus the kolel of 335. This is the same numerical value of parah adumah, “red heifer” (pei-reish-hei alef-dalet-mem-hei, or [80 + 200 + 5] + [1 + 4 + 40 + 5] = 335), whose purifying ashes completly remove all tumah.

 

HOW DOES THE KOSHER SEXUAL ACT HELP RECTIFY THE WORLD (TIKKUN HAOLAM)?

It is important to understand the basic spiritual law that, ‘actions establish connection between the spiritual and the physical domains’. This is very pertinent insofar as (kosher) sexual acts are concerned. First, due to the act’s intrinsic ‘creative force’; next to it’s active spiritual component, and finally, in the Torah’s great emphasis on sexual purity as a true path to kedusha. When properly united in the sexual act – in accordance to the halachot, and thus using the physical energies correctly for they are the physical form of the ‘spiritual energies’ – the married couple realizes its potential for great spiritual connection and ascension. Through the couple’s holy union with the kavanah (intention) of connecting to Hashem (dvekut) in a manner of ‘altruistically returning joy to Him’ in their fulfillment of the mitzvah of union and procreation, then an answer of ‘light above’ in the celestial levels is truly elicited. In Kabbalah, this is a metaphor for subject of Ohr Hozer (Returning Light) – something of great importance in the celestial dynamics of the diffusion of the Ohr Ayin Sof (Hashem’s light) throughout the Olamot (worlds), in particular as it relates to the Malchut of Olam HaAsiyah (our physical universe). Basically, the sefirot lights are diffused from above to below, and return from below to above. All of this “spiritual system” of illumination converges onto our physical world. The (positive) cycle of illumination depends on the actions and intentions of man. Without the union of the appropriate actions (the mitzvot) with correct intentions (the kavanot), the “reverberation” of spiritual energy, the part of this cycle that emanates from the Creation towards theHashem is damaged and hindered chaz v’shalom. As the Tikkun HaOlam actually depends on this “spiritual process”, it is then essential for man to ‘correct his behaviors and intentions’ in order to do his part in returning light to G-d, as this causes tikkunim to occur, elevating thus the physical and spiritual olamot. In this manner, a “partnership” is established between G-d and man, helping with the purpose of Creation: to sanctify and reveal Hashem’s glory in the inferior world, where He is naturally negated. Truly, without these desires for the “returning spiritual light” and the spiritual ascensions of the world, humanity is destined to moral degeneration and an unilluminated existence.

 

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE PRACTICE OF NON-KOSHER SEX (GALUEI IRVAH)?

In order to provide further clarification, I want to address non-kosher unions in light of both the subject ofarayot and of zera levatalah.

The pronouncement of the living G-d Himself regarding the Torah law dealing with all aspects of sexuality – and the ill consequences of transgressions in these matters – is clear and decisive (see Vayikra 18:24-30). The sexuality declared by G-d as being impure and abominable, to wit, all prohibited sexual unions (arayot) which are known are galuei irvah (“the uncovering of nakedness”, implying on an exclusively physical relationship and spiritually frivolous) is summarily forbidden and it is verily a hindrance to the person’s ascension in kedusha. This also means that such nakedness should literally be covered. And as it is written, “When the yetzer hara grows stronger in man, it only does so through his immoral sexual conduct. All sins are connected to the ‘uncovering of nakedness’” (Zohar 15b, Vayikra). This is true even is the person is considered in all other aspects of his life, as good, decent, and honored. However, the sexual unions called “knowledge” (which recognize the intimate physical-spiritual nature of the sexual union and its consequences) are not only approved, but allow great spiritual ascensions! The ones named galuei irvah are actual transgressions of spiritual law and bring upon people and the world great physical and spiritual devastation. As it is known, if the union through sexual intimacy is ‘abused and wasted’ (i.e., the act is not fulfilled leshem mitzva of procreation, as it is the case of a sanctified union), not only the potential of spiritual ascension fails to be realized, but the sexual energy in its ‘physical form’ (the involved fluids) vitalizes the chitzonim. This has the effect of subjugating the side of kedushachaz v’shalom. Moreover, the spiritual energy, vis-à-vis, the sexual energy used only for self-gratification becomes an instrument of disconnection and spiritual exile of the soul, assertively thrusting the person toward the domain of the klipot – where extraneous and impure spiritual elements negate the unity of G-d. This degradation implies on the loss of the person’s spiritual stature, for in only privileging the ‘animal aspect’ of an intimate union, he sustains only the level of an animal – below his complete experience of humanity.

 

HOW DOES THE SITRA ACHRA BENEFIT FROM THIS SPIRITUAL ENERGY?

As it is brought in Kabbalah, “For during all those [130] years that Adam kept away from his wife [Chava, to ‘know her’], unclean spirits came and conceived from him, and bore offspring, which are called ‘plagues of the offspring of Adam’ (Zohar I:169b, Vayishlach). The ‘unclean spirits’, known as sexual shedim (demons), are called Lilim yemach shemo, and have origen in the feminine shed Lilit, yemach shemo. These are “impregnated” (see Avot d’Rebbi Natan 37:3) from the spiritual energy of semen (spilled in vain) which was ‘not’ used inkedusha (and in this manner, impurify man) and give birth to the ‘plagues’ – another class of shedim – which flit about in the world ‘filling the atmosphere’ together with the other hordes, such as the mekatrigim (see Zohar 190a, Vayeshev; 196b, BalakR’ Chayim Palachi, Kaf HaChayim 240). Moreover, this progeny of shedim is very “special”, being that they are hybrid creatures of demoniac-souls (i.e., human neshamot that have no guf to be connected to, plus the Lilim, yemach shemo), which steal and so ‘starve these poor souls of their great vital energy’ (see Bamidbar Rabbah 16:25) since each neshama that is brought down from its source above receive spiritual sustenance.

Now, by Divine law, this plagues are as much considered the person’s children – for he was responsible for their fathering – as are their own children of flesh and blood in the world! These demoniac-souls then hunt their ‘causers of suffering’ (not the Lilim yemach shemo, but their human parents that initiated all these sufferings for them), staying close to them and seeking to siphon their spiritual energy. And as it is written, “When a man goes to the side of the Left and walks in impurity, he draws to himself all kinds of impure spirits, and an unclean spirit clings to him and refuses to leave him, since these spirits cling only to those that cling to them first” (Zohar 55a, Bereshit). This connection causes man great mental confusion and the machshavot zarot in his life, and vengeance from these plagues on the afterlife! Human beings are forbidden to father these “children”, for they profane the world and man, and seek to dominate humanity. This is contrary to G-d’s Law, which affirms: “Be fruitful, and multiply… and have dominion over the birds of the air” (Bereshit 1:28), to wit, all celestial creatures, for only “man was created in His image” (ibid. 27). It is good that man remembers in the image of Who he was created, so he can be one who is happy walking the straight path, “For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the innocent shall remain in it” (Mishlei 2:21), amen.