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May 25, 2020

Archive for November, 2013

Glossary – Miketz (At the End) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Years of Abundance and Years of Hunger

Years of abundance and years of hunger are the ups and downs that we must go through, which divide into years. The number seven represents the Sephirot Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut.

These years connect Zeir Anpin, which contains six Sephirot, with Malchut. This connection creates a new Kli between the qualities of the Creator and the qualities of the creature.

The wisdom of Kabbalah refers to the six qualities as “the Holy One blessed be He.” The seventh quality is the Shechina (Divinity), which is currently Pharaoh, also known as “Divinity in exile.” After the correction, Pharaoh becomes a holy place—in order to bestow—the place of our souls, the place of connection between us.

The Sages of Egypt

The sagacity of Egypt is called “external wisdom.” It maintains that you need not change within in order to obtain all the good in this life and in the spiritual life, that you can settle for the intellect. Study without changing; don’t think about the correction of the heart, about your ego, that you need to change; study a couple of pages and you will be happy. This, in essence, is the wisdom of Egypt, as it is written, “there is wisdom in the nations—believe.”[5]

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VaYeshev (And Jacob Sat) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

VaYeshev

Genesis, 37:1-40:23

This Week’s Torah Portion | November 17 – November 23, 2013 – Kislev 14 – Kislev 20, 5774

In A Nutshell

In the portion, VaYeshev (And Jacob Sat), Jacob dwells in the land of Canaan. The protagonist of this portion is Joseph, Jacob’s youngest son. Joseph was gifted with a knack for prophetic dreams. In one of them, he sees himself ruling over his brothers. He tells them about it and turns their envy against him.

His brothers lead the cattle to Shechem to graze there, and his father sends him to them. On his way he meets a man and asks him about his brothers: “I seek my brethren” (Genesis 37:16). By the time Joseph finds his brothers they are already conspiring to kill him because of their envy. Reuben manages to prevent them from committing the murder and the brothers decide to throw Joseph in a pit, instead, in order to sell him to the Ishmaelites. A convoy of Midianites that passes by takes Joseph with them down to Egypt.

When Joseph arrives in Egypt, he hides in the home of Pharaoh’s captain of the guard, Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph but he refuses. She avenges by saying that Joseph tried to force himself on her, and he is thrown to the dungeon.

In the pit, Joseph meets Pharaoh’s two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. He also discloses his gift for prophetic dreams. He predicts that within three weeks the chief cupbearer will be released, and the chief baker will be hanged. Joseph asks the chief cupbearer that upon his release he will go to Pharaoh and tell him that he, Joseph, is jailed for no reason and that he should be released.

 Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

This portion contains a profound spiritual message. It narrates the correction of the soul, which is man’s purpose in life, and the reason why the Torah was given. Initially, the evil inclination appears, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created for it the Torah as a spice,” for “the light in it reforms it.” “Reforming” means returning to a state of “love your neighbor as yourself.” That is, it brings a person back to the quality of bestowal, similarity with the Creator. This is what we should achieve, as it is written, “Return, Oh Israel unto the Lord your God” (Hosea 14:2).

The Torah demonstrates how the ego, the will to receive, keeps changing until it is corrected. In the example shown in this portion we see how all our qualities connect, then separate, manifesting imbalance among them until they beget more advanced qualities, closer to bestowal.

Jacob is the beginning of the quality of bestowal within us. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are the three patriarchs. Jacob is actually the senior, containing both the desire to receive and the desire to bestow within us, as it is only possible to elicit the middle line using both. The middle line, Jacob, is still not attributed to the level of execution in us, but to the level of decision making.

The expression of Jacob’s execution level is his sons, from Reuben, the eldest, to Joseph, the youngest. And precisely in this hierarchy do the qualities within us hang down. This is how our ego, in all its (still incorrect) forms, is corrected. The one who completes them is Joseph, the righteous. He gathers all the previous qualities into the quality of Yesod (foundation), which is called “the righteous Joseph,” or “a righteous, the foundation of the world” (Proverbs 10:25).

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Glossary – VaYishlach VaYeshev (And Jacob Sat) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Joseph

Joseph is Yesod, a quality that summarizes all the good qualities in us, the qualities of bestowal. It is a collection of all the qualities of bestowal, and because it has nothing of its own but the collection of prior qualities, it can connect with the quality of reception.

This quality can connect within it all the qualities of bestowal in its higher part, and all the qualities of reception in its lower part. It is Joseph because it collects all the qualities within it.

Joseph is also called “the foundation of the world” because the world truly appears in this quality, which is a collection of two forces—bestowal and reception—where the Creator and the creature meet.

The Striped Tunic

The striped tunic is three stripes, which are actually two, seemingly black and white, because it is made of wool, which is both black and white. However, out of the black and the white emerges a middle line that does not really exist. It does not exist in the tunic, but it is the human who makes it. When wearing the striped tunic, a person becomes the middle line between the two stripes.

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Win Prizes by Sharing Your Experiences with Kabbalah

Win Prizes by Sharing Your Experiences with Kabbalah

If you’ve been through any of the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education Center courses and would like to share your impressions to help people decide whether or not it’s worthwhile for them, then we welcome your input… moreover, you can win prizes doing so!

Kabbalah is a very misunderstood and misused term, and often people who would otherwise very much enjoy and find a lot of meaning in the Kabbalah courses and materials Bnei Baruch offers, are turned off from the beginning by the word “Kabbalah” – with all the commercialism and other misunderstandings connected to the term.

Therefore, if you’ve been through any of the courses and would like to help people decide to take the course, those who are thinking whether or not to attend the next course, we’d love to hear from you.

You can write a testimonial here of your experience with the EducationCenter that covers:

  • How did you feel before you found the EducationCenter?
  • How did you find the EducationCenter?
  • How do you feel now that you’ve been through the EducationCenter?

Write Your Testimonial Here & Win Prizes! »

 

Win Prizes by Sharing Your Experiences!

We would like to offer 3 people who submit their entries this week $50 gift vouchers at the KabbalahBooks.info online store.

Write Your Testimonial Here & Win Prizes! »

Contest conditions:

  • The 3 winning entries will be chosen at random out of all the complete entries sent in this week.
  • A complete entry is one which is at least 100 words in length, and includes first and last name, location and headshot photo, and is submitted through the entry form at this link: Write Your Testimonial Here & Win Prizes! »
  • By submitting your entry, you agree to have it placed on this Testimonials page.
  • In order for the contest to be effective, there needs to be a minimum of 25 complete entries. If there are not 25 complete entries within the next week, the contest will continue another week until that number is reached.
  • If the minimum number of complete entries will be met by Sunday, November 23, then the winners will be announced on the Kabbalah.info Newsletter of that same week, and also in Kabbalahblog.info that week. If the minimum number of complete entries will not be met, then there will be an announcement mentioning so in the newsletter and in Kabbalahblog.info.

Write Your Testimonial Here & Win Prizes! »

 

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Image: CollegeDegrees360. “Student.” Flickr. Yahoo!, 30 Oct. 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.

  

VaYishlach (And Jacob Sent) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

VaYishlach2

Genesis, 32:4-36:43
This Week’s Torah Portion | November 10 – November 16, 2013 – Kislev 7 – Kislev 13, 5774

In A Nutshell

In the portion, VaYishlach (And Jacob Sent), Jacob wants to make peace with Esau after running away from him and being with Laban for many years. Esau sends angels to Jacob, and they inform him that Esau is headed toward him with four hundred men.

Jacob is alarmed by the looming encounter, and at night, an angel appears before him. Jacob struggles with it and defeats it, but is hurt in the thigh sinew. The angels alert Jacob that his name has changed as of that moment from Jacob to Israel. When Esau comes, they embrace and make peace, and Jacob moves to the area of Shechem.

Later, the portion speaks of Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, who is abducted by Shechem—the son of Hamor, the Hivite—who wants to marry her. Jacob’s sons allow the marriage on condition that all the men in the city perform circumcision. Once they perform the circumcision, Jacob’s sons kill all the men, bring Dinah back, and loot the city.

The Creator instructs Jacob to move to Beit El, where the Creator blesses Jacob with many descendants and the inheritance of the land. At the end of the portion Rachel dies when she delivers her second son, Benjamin. Isaac also dies and is buried by his sons, Esau and Jacob.

 Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

This portion deals with very deep scrutinies that one makes within the soul in order to correct it from the intention to receive, from its egotistical form. We need these scrutinies for the soul because it was broken in a process known as “the breaking of the vessels,” the ruin.

Once a person achieves the degree of Jacob, which is still a degree of Katnut (infancy), a person discovers that it is impossible to move forward. Having risen above the ego, above the will to receive, and having reached a state of Katnut, called Galgalta and Eynaim, leaves one nothing with which to advance. In order to advance, one must find within oneself additional inclinations, additional broken Kelim (vessels). Upon their correction, the person will be able to rise along with them. In other words, whenever we are in a certain state, we must first descend, mingle with the negative, and only then rise to the positive.

The portion speaks of precisely that state. That is, a person who reaches Jacob’s state and cannot advance further must reconnect with the Esau within—the evil inclination that is still not corrected. Such a person heads toward it despite fearing that the egotistical desire might suddenly overpower, that perhaps he or she will not be able to come out of that state.

This calls for a special preparation. The text narrates that Jacob divides everything, the women, the children, and all the people with him. In other words, one sets one’s desires straight, arranging all of one’s qualities in an internal preparation for the disclosure of the flaws within, in order to properly cope with them.

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