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December 6, 2022

Archive for August, 2013

Ki Tavo (When You Come) – Weekly Torah Portion

Ki Tavo2

Deuteronomy, 26:1-29:8
This Week’s Torah Portion | August 18 – August 24, 2013 – Elul 12 – Elul 18, 5773

In A Nutshell

The portion, Ki Tavo (When You Come), begins with the last part of Moses’ speech before the people prior to his death. Upon the entrance to the land of Israel, Moses orders the people to write the words on big, whitewashed stones, and to build from them an altar for the Creator.

Moses describes the blessing that will come to Israel if they keep the Mitzvot (commandments), and the cursing that will come to them if they do not. He describes the state of the blessing and the curse on Mount Eival, and on Mount Gerizim—who will stand on each side, what are curses and what are blessings, and how they should be said.

The portion also deals with the Mitzvot of the first fruit, and the tithing laws. At the end of the portion Moses summarizes the events through which the people went, the Creator’s help on every step, and the people’s commitment to keep the Mitzvot.

Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

Our soul consists of 613 Mitzvot (commandments). Initially, they are all as the evil inclination, meaning aiming to benefit ourselves. In each of our desires appears—in the best case scenario—concern for ourselves. In the worst case scenario appears how we lie, steal, and use others for our own benefit.

Even if we do not use others, we still feel that the worse off they are, the better off we are. By nature, we are built to compare ourselves to others.

And yet, there is no one to complain to about it because the Creator admits, “I have created the evil inclination.” It is a process that began in Egypt, where we received the big evil inclination, the will to receive.

We discovered it at Mount Sinai, where we agreed to be “as one man with one heart,” to bond. Although we were by a mountain of hate, we united around the mountain and expressed willingness to unite. Although we were unable to actualize it, we were prepared to go for it. That was enough to receive the force of correction called “Torah,” whose light reforms.

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Glossary – Ki Tavo (When You Come) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Glossary of Terms Used in the Ki Tavo (When You Come) Weekly Torah Portion

First Fruit

When the will to receive grows, we bring it to correction, to scrutiny. That desire is called “first fruit.”

Tithing

The tenth part, ten percent, which cannot be corrected. Malchut is the tenth Sefira in the structure of our soul. She cannot be corrected because it is the will to receive itself. She must instead be mingled with the first nine, the first nine qualities of bestowal, and this is how she becomes corrected.

Because it is impossible to correct the will to receive itself, we give a tithing instead. We simply do not work with the part that cannot be corrected. Rather, we hand it over to bestowal so it will be corrected by itself. Afterward, at the end of correction, it will be corrected.

Altar

An altar is the place where correction is made, the contact with the upper light.

Blessing

A blessing is the force that a person receives from above in order to perform acts of bestowal toward others. This force comes after one prepares for it, when one truly wants to perform acts of bestowal above, from whatever one will have. When that happens an upper force comes to that person, and this is called “receiving a blessing.” A blessing is the Ohr Hozer (Reflected Light) that the individual activates, a force from above.

Blessing vs. a curse: a curse, in its simple form, indicates that a person is not asking, and is also not receiving the upper force. On the other hand, a blessing is reception of power from above in order to perform an act with the aim to bestow upon others, in which a person discovers that he or she is similar to the Creator and feels as such.

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Ki Tetze (When You Go) – Weekly Torah Portion

Ki Tetze2

Deuteronomy, 21:10-25:19
This Week’s Torah Portion | August 11 – August 17, 2013 – Elul 5 – Elul 11, 5773

In A Nutshell

The portion, Ki Tetze (When You Go), details special and infrequent Mitzvot (commandments), such as the attitude toward a rebellious son, a firstborn son of the loved one or the hated one, and the commandment to send a bird from the nest and not harm it, when taking the bird’s eggs or nestlings.

The portion also details many Mitzvot that deal with everyday life, ethics, and social order, such as returning a loss, divorce, and the obligation to be considerate of others in vulnerable situations, such as poor, proselytes, orphans, and widows. Additionally, the portion mentions the importance of a just sentence. The last Mitzva (singular of Mitzvot) is to always remember what Amalek did to Israel when they came out of Egypt, when it jumped them when they were unprepared, and to blot out the memory of Amalek.

Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

The portion marks a stage in the spiritual development after the reception of the ego, the reception of the evil inclination from Egypt. First, the evil inclination in us should appear, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination.” That appearance happens when we try to achieve love of others, to come out of ourselves. When we attempt to do it, we discover how much we are actually immersed in self-love and hatred of others. At that time we determine that our hatred of others and our love for ourselves are what is called the “evil inclination.”

That revelation is profound inner work. It is no small task. There is a very good reason why it is written, “I have created the evil inclination.” “I have created” means that the Creator created. The recognition of the evil inclination in a person—that it is hatred of others and love of oneself—is precisely what brings us into contact with the Creator. From that recognition, a person marches on a path of hard work, trying to be good to others, as it is written, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Then a person discovers great internal obstacles, which actually come from above, from the Creator. This is man’s first contact with the Creator.

Following the initial contact with the Creator, a person begins to move along with Him, in partnership. This is when there is, “I have created the Torah as a spice,” and a person has someone to turn to, someone to help one correct oneself.

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Glossary – Ki Tetze (When You Go) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Glossary of Terms Used in the Ki Tetze (When You Go) Weekly Torah Portion

Son

A “son” is the next degree, or Ben (son), from the word Mevin (understanding). We can never understand what we are doing, both in corporeality and in spirituality. Only after we do, act, “By Your actions we know You” (Prayer Book, The Song of Unification on Sabbath). Through actions, we begin to understand. It is like children playing without understanding anything, but all of a sudden they grew smarter.
It is the same for us. This is why Ben, Mevin, is a degree that comes to us as a result of actions. It is also why it is written, “By Your actions we know You” (Megillah, 6b). Make an effort, act, and you will understand and see.

Beloved Woman and Hated Woman

A “beloved woman” is the will to receive with which a person can work in order to bestow. A “hated woman” is the will to receive with which one cannot work with the aim to bestow, which does not support a person because the person is weak. This is why there are prohibitions, to separate them and treat each of them differently.
It is the same with the sons, the firstborn sons from the loved woman and from the hated woman. It has to do with our desires, and it depends on how a person relates to it, how one can or cannot lift the will to receive toward correction.

Loss

In spirituality, a loss means that a person loses the ability to remain at a degree that one has already acquired. In other words, if a person loses something it deliberately comes from above. It is a kind of help to a person, and one needs to search. This is the root of the commandment to return a loss that has been found to its owner.

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What Is The Meaning Of ‘And God created man in His own image’ In The Bible?

What Is the Meaning of ‘And God created man in His own image’ in the Bible?

The Creator created only one desire—to enjoy. However, this desire is so all-encompassing that bringing us all to the end goal right away is impossible. After all, we’re talking about infinite bliss, which is precisely the goal of man’s creation. So instead, it is done in phases because the desire to enjoy within us divides into myriad smaller desires. By correcting them one at a time, progressing from “easy” to “difficult,” we will achieve infinite bliss, the absolute and everlasting fulfillment prepared for us by the Creator.

For those in whom the point in the heart (the striving for spiritual pleasure) has awakened, working with one’s desires becomes a fascinating journey into the Upper World.

 

Becoming the Ruler Over all Desires

“And God said: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”

In other words, inside of you, a “human” is born to rule over all other desires: “And let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” All these desires were created exclusively for man.

The “human” inside you is destined to walk a difficult path before he realizes that ruling over them doesn’t mean using them for his benefit, for it only harms him and the world. Quite the contrary, these desires must be used exclusively to others’ delight, because with respect to the desires of others, all of us are always free, able to clearly separate ourselves from each other.

 

The Inanimate, Vegetative and Animate Desires

Before “the birth of a human within you,” you were filled only with the inanimate, vegetative, and animate desires.

An inanimate desire is when you want only one thing—to be still and not think of anything, like a rock by the wayside, totally passive, with only a single thought: “Leave me alone.”

A vegetative desire is when you react to external stimuli, but are not yet able to move from your place, as if tied to the ground (by egoism).

You begin to ask yourself questions like, “Why do I suffer?” You aspire for the Light, wishing to be “watered.” You are concerned only with your own growth, you consume, you are no longer a rock—and that is progress.

An animate desire implies movement and searching for subsistence. At this stage you may connect with others like you, and band into a pack because together it will be easier to acquire food. You are concerned with breeding and raising your progeny.

And then, suddenly, inside of you emerges the most complex and exalted desire that comprises all the others, called the “Man within us.”

 

Man in the Image of the Creator

The word “man” in Hebrew is “Adam.”

Adam” derives from the word Domeh—similar, alike, similar to the Creator.

It follows that only one who aspires to be like the Creator, to take on His qualities and to be born spiritually, can be called Adam (“man,” similar to the Creator).

The Creator’s qualities are pure bestowal, absolute and unconditional love.

A certain point named “Adam” or “the point in the heart” has awakened within you. This point is one with the Creator and wants to be like Him because He is its root.

There exists an apparatus of the Upper Governance, in charge of all the souls, their paths and order of correction. This managing apparatus is directly connected to man’s point in the heart, the Adam in you.

What is the purpose of this apparatus? It will provide you with the information about the program of Creation, the path you must traverse. Without it you cannot know what to do, what your next step should be, or what is required of you.

In order for you to acquire the qualities necessary to advance, the Upper Degree must teach you exactly what you need to do and how to do it. For this reason it issues this auxiliary device called Tzelem (image).

This device is implanted in the soul, where it activates all the necessary corrections. This is why it is written that man (Adam) is made in the Creator’s image.

The Secrets of the Eternal Book“Eternal Life through the Middle Line by the Study of Kabbalah” is based on the book, The Secrets of the Eternal Book: The Meaning of the Stories of the Pentateuch by Semion Vinokur.

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