Beha’alotcha | ??????? | When you set up
–Melchizedek, who will deliver them from the power of Belial and dominion returns to the Sons of LIGHT.
– Israel/Chosen One’s/Elected One’s : A LIGHT to the Nations
–You are the light of the world, Let your light shine before all men, that they may see your deeds and glorify your ABBA in heaven.
The Third reading from the book of Numbers and the thirty-sixth reading from the Torah is called Beha’alot’cha (???????), means “When you ascend.” “When you ascend the lamps” – Numbers 8:2, a reference to the fact that the priest had to step up to clean and light the lamps of the menorah. And it describes the story of the consecration of the Levites, the first Passover in the wilderness, the silver trumpets, the cloud of glory, the departure from Sinai, the Sanhedrin and the punishment of Miriam.
The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you mount the lamps, let the seven lamps give light at the front of the lampstand.‘” – Numbers 8:1-2
- G-d speaks to Moses, describing the menorah for the Tent of Meeting and the Levitates are appointed to serve as assistants under Aaron and his sons. ( Numbers 8:1-26 )
- A time in the month of Sivan to observe a “Second Passover.” ( Numbers 9:1-14 )
- A cloud by day and fire by night show G-d’s Presence over the Tabernacle. ( Numbers 9:15-10:36 )
- G-d provides the people with meat and then strikes them with a very severe plague. ( Numbers 11:1-34 )
- Miriam and Aaron talk about the “Cushite woman” whom Moses has married. Miriam is struck with leprosy, and Moses begs G-d to heal her. ( Numbers 12:1-16 )
The Seven Lamps of Menorah:
“Speak to Aaron, and say to him, ‘When you arrange the lamps, the Seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand.’” -Numbers 8:2
It is about the erecting, the lighting, and “lifting up” of the Menorah in the Mish’kan ( Tabernacle ) . The seven lamps are the only earthly light that is to be found in the Mish’kan. It point’s that the seven lamps of the Menorah give light “in front of the lampstand.”
The number seven is significant in Hebrew culture and faith, having come to symbolize both a number of completion, as well as an incomplete structure that is representative of a greater truth.
Examples of the use of the number seven include:
- Above Attributes : G-d as eternal (who was and is to come) = Keter or Ain Sof, G-d as Abba (“His” throne) = Sefirah of Chokmah, The actual ‘Throne of G-d” = Sefirah of Binah and Daat ( Knowldege of Elohim) and followed by below the Seven Attributes – Image of Elohim
- The Seven “lower” Sefirot (“middot”)
- The Seven spirits ( seven lower Sefirot )
- Seven days of creation – Genesis 2
- Seven Feasts of the HaShem- Leviticus 23:8
- Seven pair of clean animals went on the ark with Noah -Genesis 7
- Abraham made a covenant with Avimelech using seven ewes – Genesis 21:28-30
- The time period to be made clean from tzarat, was seven days -Leviticus 14:9
- Seven pipes on the Menorah – Zechariah 4:2
- Sprinkling of blood seven times -Leviticus 4:6
- The Omer is counted for seven weeks
- The bride and groom rejoice for seven days according to Jewish law
- The bride circles her husband seven times and says seven blessings at their wedding
- Tefillin are wrapped seven times around the arm
- Seven assemblies
- “From G-d, who is, and who was and who is to come … and from the seven spirits who are before His throne … “
- The Torah has five books. But in a secret level, there are actually Seven Books. They are as follows: Genesis ; Exodus ;Leviticus ;The Beginning of Numbers ; These Two Verses; The Remainder of Numbers ;Deuteronomy
Light of the World :
The Temple and the Menorah itself were known in Yeshua’s earthly time as the “Light of the World.” Then Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” -John 8:12
The presence of the Shekinah, represented by the Menorah, is said to exist within the presence of people. Just find the reference in the book of new testament refers to the Shekinah (the presence of G-d) being present when three or more mediate the Torah Study . Yeshua saying He is present ( Presence of Shekinah) when two or three are gathered in His name -Matthew 18:20.
Qumran Writings: This scripture`s interpretation: he is to instruct them about all the periods of history for eternity and in the statutes of the truth. (…. dominion) that passes from Belial and returns to the Sons of Light … by the judgement of G-d, just as t is written concerning him; “who says to Zion “Your divine being reigns” ( Isaiah 52: 7) “Zion” is the congregation of all the sons of righteousness, who uphold the covenant and turn from walking in the way of the people. “Your divine being” is Melchizedek, who will deliver them from the power of Belial. Concerning what scripture says, “Then you shall have the trumpet sounded loud; in the seventh month …” – ( i.e dominion returns to sons of Light) – Leviticus 25: 9
We can find more interesting scriptures in the Book of New Testament:
“While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become Sons of Light.” -John 12:36
Yeshua taught his disciples : Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:16
Yeshua explains and relates to the light as it is doing of righteous deeds within the framework of Torah and he is the light who commands us to shine forth his light. As it is mentioned in Exodus 27:20 to provide the crushed, pure oil.
Yes, we have the prophetic Word made very certain. You will do well to pay attention to it as to a light shining in a dark, murky place, until the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts. -2 Peter 1:19
But those who can discern will shine like the brightness of heaven’s dome, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. – Daniel 12:3
For the mitzvah ( commandment ) is a lamp, and the Torah a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life. -Proverbs 6:23
My Beloved Ones, you are the light of the world. We reflect and imitate our Master Rabbi Yeshua HaMashiach, Who is seen in the Menorah. Lift Him up. Let your righteous deeds shine under the divine mandate of Mashiach ben Yosef.
Construction of the Menorah relates to the Eye
G-d’s instructions for making the Menorah: Three bowls shall be made like almond blossoms on one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower – and so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand. -Exodus 25:33
The Menorah had seven branches, and on each branch there was a golden almond blossom. The word for “almond” is sh’kad. This word comes from the root shakad, which means “to watch.” The shape of the almond nut is also the shape of the eye. The seven almond blossoms on the Menorah represent the “Eyes of Most High” which scan to and fro throughout the earth.” Even we can find in the new testament about Seven Lamps in Revelation 4:5. ( i.e Menorah as “the Seven Spirits of G-d”) .
And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of G-d. -Revelation 4:5
So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?” Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” So he answered and said to me:… “For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel (i.e rebuilding the temple ). They are the eyes of HaShem, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.” -Zechariah 4:4-5, 10
Peter quotes from the book of Psalms about the “Eyes of Most High”:
…Turn from evil, and do good; seek peace, go after it! – Psalm 34:15 ; – For He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of Most High are on the righteous...
-1 Peter 3:10-12
The Seven Lamps of the Menorah relates to the “Eyes of Most Holy One of Israel” and the “Seven Spirits of G-d.” They are watching men and their ways. Those eyes of the Righteous Judge are watching the deeds of righteous men and women, and the evil deeds of the wicked. They are watching as His “righteous ones” (believers) are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Those “Eyes” are watching as we “witness” by our faith living in the spirit of Yeshua and to follow the footsteps of him.
For we are His workmanship, created in Yeshua haMashiach for good works, which G-d prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:10
This is when perseverance is needed on the part of G-d’s people, those who observe his commands ( i.e Mitzvot of HaShem) and exercise Yeshua’s faithfulness. – Revelation 14:12
Rebbe Nachman says, “…the principle is that the tzaddik has the power to exercise rule as he sees fit. As our Sages taught: “a tzaddik rules…” (2 Samuel 23:3) – Who rules over me? The tzaddik (Moed Katan 16b). This corresponds to “Yosef was the ruler” (Genesis 42:6). He is the encompassing root of all Jewish souls, and they are the extensions that receive from him.” -Rebbe Nachman, Likutey Moharan 34:2, Volume V, Breslov Research Institute, pg. 51
The Breslov commentary : “We find in the writings of the Ari that all souls are rooted in the soul of the tzaddik, with the tzaddik being like the trunk of a large tree and all his followers its different branches, twigs and leaves – Shaar HaGilgulim p 83-88).
Yeshua revealed himself as the Trunk of Souls, and likened himself to the Vine, which is a title for Israel: “I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” -John 15:5
Throne of Solomon that connects it to the Menorah: “…rising over the throne stood an exquisite menorah of pure gold decorated with golden cups, knobs, flowers, blossoms and petals. On each side of the Menorah seven branches turned upwards. On the branches of one side were engraved the names of the seven fathers of the World: Adam, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, with Iyov (Job) in the center. On the other seven branches of the Menorah the names of the most pious men were engraved: Levi, Kehot and Amram, Moshe and Aaron,Eldad and Medad, with Chur in the center.” -King Solomon’s Throne, Nissan Mindel, Chabad
Like the Menorah, the vine has a trunk whose branches spread out and bear fruit/light.
In this weekly Parsha studies, we find the command : Speak to Aaron, and say to him, When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the Lampstand. (Numbers 8:2) The verse says “when you light the lamps,”(Behaalos’cha es haneiros), literally means, “When you raise up the lamps.” Our Souls should raise up in service to Most Holy one of Israel.
Like the Menorah, Chazal explains that the Spirit that was upon Moshe Kindled the flame of the 70 elders of Israel.
Adonai said to Moshe, “Bring me Seventy of the leaders of Isra’el, people you recognize as leaders of the people and officers of theirs. Bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them stand there with you – Numbers 11:16
In The book of Numbers we can find with numerous secrets:
Two nunim hafuchim, inverted nuns. The scroll is written like this:
The 85 letter text found between the nuns . It also suggests that the inverted nuns may suggest the Hebrew word ??? ner, meaning ‘a light’
The tractate Shabbat in the Talmud says regarding the inverted nuns:
It is taught in a baraita: “???? ????? ????? ????? ???” – The Holy One, blessed be He, placed signs above and below this portion, to say that this is not its place. Rabbi [Judah haNasi] said: It was not for this reason, but rather because it is an important book in and of itself. –?Shabbat 115b–116a
Sifrei explains these “signs”: It was marked with points above and below. –?Sifrei
The Talmud continues, stating that as this section is a separate book, the portions of Numbers before and after it also count as books and thus the Torah contains seven books in total: For R. Shemuel bar Nahmani said in the name of R. Yohanan: “She hath hewn out her seven pillars” (Proverbs 9,1) – these are the seven books of the Pentateuch; according to whom? According to Rabbi [Judah Hanasi] –Shabbat 115b–116a
Bar Kappara is known to have considered our Torah as composed of 7 volumes in the Gemara “The seven pillars with which Wisdom built her house (Prov. 9:1) are the seven Books of Moses”. Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus and Deuteronomy as we know them but Numbers was really 3 separate volumes Num 1:1 to Num 10:35 followed by Number 10:35–36 and the third text from there to the end of Numbers.
R. Shimon Ben Gamliel says: This section will be uprooted from its place and written in its rightful place in the future (but for now it is in its correct location). Why is it written here? So as to separate between first and second retribution Second retribution is “and the people grumbled”. First retribution is “and they traveled from the mountain of G-d (i.e., they eagerly run away from G-d’s presence)”. Where is it its appropriate place? Rav Ashi says: “In the section dealing with the disposition of the Israelites according to their banners and their travelling arrangements” -Numbers 1:52-2:34, Shabbath 116a.
The Mishnah, in tractate Yadayim, states: A book that became erased and there remain in it 85 letters, like the section:and it was when the Ark was carried”, renders hands impure –Yadaim 3,5
According to Midrash: These verses were incorporated in to the Torah from the prophecy of Eldad and Meidad. Their prophecy so remained and was explained by the Ezekiel: “So says the Lord, G-d. Are you the one of whom I have spoken in the days of yore through prophets of Israel. And some say that there was a hidden book (of prophecy). –Midrash Chaseiros V’Yoseiros
They were among the men chosen to join Moses to hear G-d’s words in the tent of meeting. Nevertheless, they declined to go! They chose to stay in their own tents and they prophesied, i.e. they had a divine experience.
The JPS translation of verse 26 says “they were among those recorded” to join Moses, but the Hebrew (“hem b’kituvim”) literally says “they are in the writings”. A Midrash explains that there once was a book called the Prophecy of Eldad and Medad. Rabbi explains that this book was suppressed and only these two verses remain of it. That is why they are marked by the inverted nuns.
The two nuns are similar to khaf and reish – to say that they are Ach and Rak (Only and however). Ach and Rak always exclude – to say that this is not the place of this section. Rebbi says because it is a book of its own. –?(Lekach Tov)
The word prophet (NAVI) itself begins with the letter Nun. The Book of Numbers says,
“Moses went out, and told the people the words of HaShem; and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them around the Tent. HaShem came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was on him, and put it on the seventy elders: and it happened that when the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did so no more. But two men remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the Spirit rested on them; and they were of those who were written, but had not gone out to the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp. A young man ran, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp! Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his chosen men, answered, My lord Moses, forbid them! Moses said to him, Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all HaShem’s people were prophets, that HaShem would put his Spirit on them! Moses went into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.” -Numbers 11:24-30
What did they prophesy? The Targum says: “And both of them prophesied together, and said: ‘Behold, a king will arise from the land of Magog, at the end of the days, and will assemble kings crowned with crowns, and captains wearing armor, and all nations will obey him. And they will set battle in array in the land of Israel against the children of the captivity; but already is it provided that in the hour of distresses all of them shall perish by the burning blast of the flame that comes forth from beneath the Throne of Glory; and their carcasses shall fall upon the mountains of the land of Israel, and the wild, and Yehoshua bar Nun, his disciple, minister of the camps, will succeed.” -Targum Pseudo-Jonathan to Numbers 11
According to Chazal, the two prophets were alluded to in Ezekiel: “R. Nahman said: They prophesied concerning Gog and Magog. as it is said, Thus saith the Lord G-d: Art thou he of whom I spoke in old time by My servants the prophets of Israel, that prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring thee against them? etc. Read not ?shanim? [years] but ?shenayim? [two]. And which two prophets prophesied the same thing at the same time? ? Say, they are Eldad and Medad.” -Sanhedrin 17a, Soncino Press Edition
The gematria of Gog u’Magog is seventy. The Talmud says: “R. Simeon said: They remained in the Camp. For when the Holy One, blessed be He, ordered Moses: “Gather unto me seventy of the elders of Israel,” Eldad and Medad observed, “?We are not worthy of that dignity.?” Thereupon the Holy One, blessed be He, said, “?Because you have humbled yourselves, I will add to your greatness yet more greatness.”? And how did He add to their dignity? ? In that all [the other prophets] prophesied and ceased, but their prophesying did not cease. And what did they prophesy? ? They said, ?”Moses shall die and Joshua shall bring Israel into the land.? . . They prophesied concerning the matter of the quails. . . They prophesied concerning Gog and Magog. . . The Master said: ?All the other prophets prophesied and ceased, but they prophesied and did not cease.?” -Sanhedrin 17a, Soncino Press Edition
One view is that Eldad and Medad held a superior level of prophecy. Zechariah seems to speak of a future Eldad and Medad; “What are those two olive trees on the right and left sides of the menorah?” … “Those are the two who have been anointed with oil, they are standing with the Lord of all the land.” -Zechariah 4:11-14
In the book of Revelation about the Two Witnesses : “Also I will give power to my two witnesses; and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two menorahs standing before the Lord of the earth.” -Revelation 11:3-4
R’ Ari Kahn states: “This book-within-a-book, only two verses long, is distinguished from everything that comes before and after it, alerting us to the fact that here is something quite extraordinary. These are not simply a pair of innocuous verses; they indicate that something monumental happened, or to be more accurate, that something monumental did not happen – and therein lies the key to this unique, truncated book. What do these two verses actually tell us? The Holy Ark of the Covenant moves, for the first time since its creation, and Moshe calls out to G-d to scatter His enemies. What enemies are these? Quite simply, the nations occupying the Land of Israel: The time had come for the Israelites to come home and reclaim their birthright.” -R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Be’halot’cha;
The Jerusalem Targum says: “Gog and Magog and his host come up against Jerusalem; but by the hand of the King Messiah they will fall, and seven years of days will the children of Israel kindle their fire with their weapons of war.” –Jerusalem Targum to Numbers 11
Talmud – Mas. Sanhedrin 98a – R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua b. Levi pointed out a contradiction. it is written, in its time [will the Messiah come], whilst it is also written, I [the Lord] will hasten it! — if they are worthy, I will hasten it: if not, [he will come] at the due time. R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua opposed two verses: it is written, And behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven whilst [elsewhere] it is written, [behold, thy king cometh unto thee . . .] lowly, and riding upon an ass! — if they are meritorious, [he will come] with the clouds of heaven; if not, lowly and riding upon an ass.
Messiah will come regardless of whether His people merit it or not. As stated by Rabbi Pinchas Winston: Hence, if the Jewish people do not warrant the arrival of Moshiach and redemption in a positive way, they will be forced to cross a historical threshold to Yemos HaMoshiach of a far more destructive nature. In General terms, it is called the “War of Gog and Magog.”
Clouds of Glory:
“The cloud of HaShem was over them by day, when they set forward from the camp. It happened, when the ark went forward, that Moses said, “Rise up, HaShem, and let your enemies be scattered! Let those who hate you flee before you!” When it rested, he said, “Return, HaShem, to the ten thousands of the thousands of Israel. –Numbers 10:34-36
Behold, he comes with the clouds, and every eye shall see him whom they have pierced , and all the tribes of the land wail because of him shall. -Revelation 1: 7
The Clouds of Glory are associated with the Feast of Sukkot ( Feast of Tabernacles), which holds enormous Messianic significance. For instance, in Matthew 17:4, Peter wanted to build “tabernacles” when he saw Yeshua our Mashiach, Moses and Elijah.
The Tenakh says us about Sukkot will be celebrated by all of the nations in the Millennial Kingdom – Zechariah 14:16-19.
The Book of Job says: “Yes, can any understand the Spreading of the clouds, and the thunderings of his sukkah?” -Job 36:29
Psalms links the Sukkah of HaShem to the Clouds: “He rode on a cherub, and flew. Yes, he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his hiding place, his Sukkah around him, darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.”
We can find in the book of Mathew about Sukkot: the people laid down “branches” in front of Yeshua, welcoming Him as Messiah. (Branches called “the Lulav” are indication of Sukkot.) – Matthew 21:8
Heavenly Clouds and Sukkot:
The 18th century kabbalist, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, wrote the following about the link between the Heavenly Clouds and Sukkot
Sukkos observances in general are related to the Clouds of Glory. Besides the physical benefit of providing shelter and protection, these Clouds also provided an important spiritual benefit. Just as these Clouds caused Israel to be set apart, and elevated physically, they likewise were responsible for the transmission of the Essence of illumination that made them unique. As a result, they were differentiated from all peoples and literally elevated and removed from the physical world itself … This is the Light of holiness, transmitted by G-d which surrounds every righteous man of Israel, distinguishing him from all other individuals, and raising and elevating him above them all. This is the concept that is renewed every Sukkos through the sukkah itself
Rashi notes that the Clouds protected Israel: “The cloud of the L-rd was above them: Seven clouds are recorded in the account of their travels: Four from the four sides, one above, one below, and one in front of them which would flatten the high land, raise the hollows and destroy snakes and scorpions – [from Sifrei].” -Rashi on Numbers 10:34
So as the Cloud moved forward, as the Ark traveled, there is a connection to Sukkot, the Two Witnesses, and the War of Gog and Magog. According to Jewish tradition, the War of Gog and Magog occurs on Sukkot. This war leads to the ultimate victory of Mashiach ben David, who will come on the “clouds of heaven.”
Relation betwwen Cloud ad a Great Tzaddik
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 51b – AND THE PILLAR OF THE CLOUD REMOVED FROM BEFORE THEM AND STOOD BEHIND THEM. What was this pillar of cloud? R. Jose said that it was the cloud which is always seen with the Shekinah, the cloud into which Moses entered (Ex. XXIV, 18). R. Abba said that it was that which supports the Zaddik.
Heavanly Tzaddik – Messiah
As Messiah has the Spirit of G-d (Gn 41:38), and the Spirit of God hovers over the face of the waters (Gn 1:2), ‘He to whom mysteries are revealed’ – ‘Tzafnat-Paneakh’ also means that he will bring a new level of understanding the Torah. He will bring the: “Torah of Messiah”. Because the Wisdom of the Torah is compared to water, as Moses stated: “May my teaching drop like the rain” (Dt 32:2) and also: “all who are thirsty, come for water” (Is 55:1; cf. Baba Kama 82a), and Messiah brings a new revelation as stated: “A [new] Torah will come forth from me” (Is 51:4; cf. Vayikra Rabbah 13:3), and also: “G-d will reveal newness to the world” (Jer 31:21). The Torah of Messiah comes from the higher level of revelation possible, from Atika Kadisha as stated in the verse: ‘With the clouds of Heaven came one like a son of man and he approached Atik Yomaya’ (Dn 7:13). Messiah is to reveal all things. This Torah of Messiah not only reveals mysteries, but also brings people to reach unity with their Creator, as stated: “I will place my Torah within them and inscribe it upon their hearts” (Jer 31:32).
There is a tradition in a text called the Secrets of R’ Shimon bar Yochai, that Mashiach will be concealed and rejected,
“The Messiah of the lineage of Ephraim shall die there, and Israel shall mourn for him. After this the Holy One blessed be He will reveal to them the Messiah of the lineage of David, but Israel will wish to stone him, and they will say to him: ‘You speak a lie, for the Messiah has already been slain, and there is no other Messiah destined to arise.’ They will scorn him, as Scripture says: ‘despised and abandoned (by) men’ (Isa 53:3). He shall withdraw and be hidden from them, as Scripture continues: ‘like one hiding faces from us’ (ibid.). But in Israel’s great distress, they will turn and cry out from (their) hunger and thirst, and the Holy One, blessed be He, will be revealed to them in His glory, as Scripture promises: ‘together all flesh will see’ (Isa 40:5). And the King Messiah will sprout up there, as Scripture says: ‘and behold with the clouds of heaven etc.’ (Dan 7:13), and it is written after it ‘and authority was given to him’ (Dan 7:14). He shall blow (his breath) at that wicked Armilos and kill him, as Scripture forecasts: ‘he will slay the wicked one with the breath of his lips’ (Isa 11:4).” Nistarot ben Shimon bar Yochai, translated by John C. Reeves
The concept of relation between a “cloud” and a great Tzaddik, might shed new light in the book of New Testament:
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” -Matthew 17:5
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. -Matthew 24:30
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. -Acts 1:9
Man Flied with Clouds of Heaven:
Talmud – Mas. Sanhedrin 96b – R. Nahman said to R. Isaac: ‘Have you heard when Bar Nafle [son of the clouds] will come?’ ‘Who is Bar Nafle?’ he asked. ‘Messiah,’ he answered, ‘Do you call Messiah Bar Nafle?’ — ‘Even so,’ he rejoined, ‘as it is written, in that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David ha-nofeleth [that is fallen].’ He replied, ‘Thus hath R. Johanan said: in the generation when the son of David [i.e., Messiah] will come, scholars will be few in number, and as for the rest, their eyes will fail through sorrow and grief. Multitudes of trouble and evil decrees will be promulgated anew, each new evil coming with haste before the other has ended.’ Our Rabbis taught: in the seven year cycle at the end of which the son of David will come-in the first year, this verse will be fulfilled: And I will cause it to rain upon one city and cause it not to rain upon another city; in the second, the arrows of hunger will be sent forth; in the third, a great famine, in the course of which men, women, and children, pious men and saints will die, and the Torah will be forgotten by its students; in the fourth, partial plenty; in the fifth, great plenty, when men will eat, drink and rejoice, and the Torah will return to its disciples; in the sixth, [Heavenly] sounds; in the seventh, wars; and at the conclusion of the septennate the son of David will come.
This man flies with the clouds of heaven:
And it came to pass after seven days that I dreamed a dream by night: and I beheld, and lo! there arose a violent wind from the sea, and stirred all its waves. And the wind caused the likeness of a form of a man to come out of the heart of the seas. And this Man flew with the clouds of heaven. And wherever he turned his countenance to look, everything seen by him trembled; and whithersoever the voice went out of his mouth, all that heard his voice melted away, as the wax melts when it feels the fire. And after this I beheld that there were gathered from the four winds of heaven an innumerable multitude of men to make war against that Man who came up out of the sea ( supernal sea from spiritual realm) … And I saw that he cut out for himself a great mountain and flew upon it … And when he saw the assult of the multitude as they came, he neither lifted his hand, nor held spear nor any warlike weapon; but I saw only how he sent out of his mouth as it were a fiery stream, and out of his lips a flaming breath, and out of his tongue he shot forth a storm of sparks … And these fell upon the assault of the multitude … and burned them all up … -4 Ezra 13:1-9; 25,26,35,36
These are the interpretations of the vision: Whereas you did see a man coming up from the heart of the sea: this is he whom the Most High is keeping many ages and through whom He will deliver His creation, and the same shall order the survivors .
But he shall stand upon the summit of Mount Zion. And Zion shall come and shall be made manifest to all men, prepared and built, even as you did see the mountain cut out without hands. But he, My Son, shall reprove the nations that are come for their ungodliness .
The Menorah and the Shekinah:
To the angel of the assembly in Ephesus write: He who holds the seven stars in his right hand, he who walks among the seven golden menorahs says these things: – Revelation 2:1
Yeshua is referred to in the same terms seen earlier in Revelation 1:12-19. His being the one with the seven stars in the midst of the seven menorahs reinforces the theme of groom and bride, as the Menorah is symbolic of the Shekinah, which is always with the faithful remnant of Israel through their exile.
I turned around to see who was speaking to me; and when I had turned, I saw seven gold menorahs; and among the menorahs was someone like a Son of Man, wearing a robe down to his feet and a gold band around his chest. His head and hair were as white as snow-white wool, his eyes like a fiery flame, his feet like burnished brass refined in a furnace, and his voice like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, out of his mouth went a sharp double-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. -Revelation 1:12-19
Further, the concept of the one with seven (stars) walking among the seven (assemblies) is reminiscent of the Omer Count, where seven aspects of the seven lower Sefirot (middot) are examined within each other , leading us to the fiftieth day – Shavuot and giving of the Torah. Further, the ‘fiftieth’ is associated with the Sefirah of Binah, which relates to the idea of “Jerusalem above” or New Jerusalem.
The fact that there are seven Menorahs, each with seven branches is also significant. This is a full representation of the seven “lower” Sephirot, as each of them contains within itself, aspects of all seven. These 49 lights, leading to and including Yeshua, correspond to, “The Fifty Gates of Understanding.” This concept is linked to the Feast of Shavuot, which in turn is associated with the Jubilee, representing the coming Kingdom.
The Zohar links the concept of the Fifty Gates of Understanding to the Shema and to the Holy One, blessed be (Tipheret), in the following way:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 139b – Corresponding to these twenty-five, Moses chiselled twenty-five letters in writing the mystery of the Shema (the twenty-five Hebrew letters contained in the verse, “hear, O Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is one”). Jacob wished to express the unity below and did so in the twenty-four letters of the response to the Shema: “Blessed be the Name of His glorious Kingdom for ever and ever.” He did not bring it up to twenty-five because the Tabernacle was not yet. But as soon as the Tabernacle was completed and the first Divine utterance was pronounced there, it contained twenty-five letters, to show that the Tabernacle was after the supernal pattern, as it is written, “And the Lord spake to him out of the tabernacle of the congregation” (Lev. 1, 1-twenty-five letters in Hebrew). Thus the twenty- five things for the Tabernacle show forth the Sanctuary as a perfect and harmonious whole in accordance with the mystery of the twenty-five letters, as thou, our Master, hast taught us. This is the mystery of the whole Tabernacle and of everything appertaining to its construction. The number twenty-five corresponds with the twenty-two letters of the Alphabet, along with the Law, the Prophets and the Writings, which all form one whole sum and one mystery. When the Israelites proclaim the Unity, expressed in the mystery of the twenty-five letters of the Shema and in the twenty-four letters of the response, and each person in the congregations is doing this with devoutness, then all those letters unite as one and ascend as one unity. Then the forty-nine gates are opened which signify the mystery of the Jubilee. And when the gates are opened, the Holy One, blessed be He, regards each of such persons as though he had fulfilled the whole Torah-the Torah which can be viewed from forty-nine aspects. So it is necessary to concentrate heart and mind on both the twenty-five and the twenty-four letters and to raise them with the whole force of intention to the forty-nine gates, as we have said. Through concentration on this, one will concentrate on the Unity, for our Master has taught us that the “Hear, O Israel” and the “Blessed be the Name” are the summary of the whole Torah.
We can now begin to understand the mystical significance of the Menorah as it relates to the Shekinah. The Menorah is a seven-branched candlestick, having three candles to each side of the main one in the center. Each Menorah has six candles surrounding one in the center, representing the angelic guardians of the Shekinah.
Menorah and Israel:
The relationship between the Menorah and Israel is established through several Zohar passages relating to this verse:
“Behold his bed, which is Solomon’s; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel.” -Song of Solomon 3:7
There is a relationship between the “sixty valiant men,” the Shekinah and the Menorah’s branches. Note also that these “accompany” Jacob (all of Israel) in his exile.
“R. Simeon here discoursed as follows: ‘In his going down into Egypt Jacob was accompanied by six angelic grades, each consisting of ten thousand myriads. Correspondingly Israel was made up of six grades, in correspondence to which again there are six steps to the supernal celestial Throne, and corresponding to them six steps to the lower celestial Throne. … Observe that each grade was an epitome of ten grades, so that altogether there were sixty, identical with the “threescore mighty men” that are round about the Shekinah. And these sixty, again, are the sixty myriads that accompanied Israel in their departure from exile and accompanied Jacob into exile.’ R. Hiya asked him: ‘But are there not seven grades, each an epitome of the ten grades, thus amounting to seventy?’ R. Simeon said in reply: ‘That number has no bearing on this matter, as we learn from the description of the candlestick, of which it says: “And there shall be six branches going out of the sides thereof: three branches of the candlestick out of the one side thereof, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side thereof… And thou shalt make the lamps thereof seven” (Exodus 25:32). The central branch is not counted with the rest, as it says, “and they shall light the lamps thereof over against it.’”
Zohar, Shemoth 14b
The following text from the Zohar explain that the couch of Solomon is a reference to the Shekinah. “R. Judah illustrated from the verse: “Behold, it is the couch of Solomon, threescore mighty men are about it, of the mighty men of Israel” (Song of Songs 3:7), which he expounded thus: ‘Six luminosities form a circle surrounding a seventh luminosity in the centre. The six on the circumference sustain the sixty valiant angels surrounding the “couch of Solomon”. The “couch” is an allusion to the Shekinah, and “Solomon” refers to the “King to whom peace (shalom) belongs”: “threescore mighty men are about it”-these are the sixty myriads of exalted angels, part of the army of the Shekinah which accompanied Jacob into Egypt.’” -Zohar, Shemoth 5a
Connection to gentiles through the sixty valiant men
There are on high seven firmaments, and seven zones of earth. Correspondingly, in the lower world there are seven graded firmaments and seven zones of earth. These, as the Companions have expounded, are arranged like the rungs of a ladder, rising one above the other, and each zone has ten divisions, so that there are seventy in all. Each one of these is presided over by a Chieftain, and these seventy Chieftains have under their charge the seventy nations of the earth. These seventy earth-divisions, again, border on and surround the Holy Land, as Scripture says: “Behold, it is the couch of Solomon; threescore mighty men are about, of the mighty men of Israel” (Song of Songs 3:7), there being, in addition to the threescore mentioned, ten concealed among their number. -Zohar, Shemoth 30b
The Soncino Zohar in Appendix III – If we ask, how does G-d manifest His presence in Israel, the answer is, through the Divine Light, the Shekinah. This light is the connecting link between the divine and the non-divine. For, according to the Zohar, G-d, the protector of Israel, is borne along by four Hayyoth or Holy Beasts, constituting His throne, and these are borne on other angelic beings, which again rest on higher firmaments, under which is the lowest heaven, to which belongs the earth and all its creatures. … Through this hierarchy an emanation of the Divine Presence is conveyed to earth, just as, on the other hand, the prayer of human beings is conveyed up to heaven. The Shekinah originally rested on the Tabernacle and Temple, but even now it accompanies the wise, especially when three study together. The ‘throne of God’, consisting of the Hayyoth, is the instrument of G-d’s providence on earth. For the Hayyoth are pictured as having each a human face, but with the aspect respectively of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle. According, therefore, to the aspect through which he is looked upon from on high will be the providential care which a man receives here on earth.
The following text is is about the function of the Incense Altar, here in association with the Menorah.
“R. Eleazar said: ‘This section, dealing with the ceremonies of the candlestick, is a repetition of another section dealing with the same. The reason for the repetition is as follows. Having recorded the offerings brought on the altar by the Princes, and all the ceremony of its dedication, Scripture records the service of the candlestick, which was a finishing touch ministered by Aaron, inasmuch as it was through Aaron that the supernal candlestick with all its lamps was lighted. Observe that the altar had to be dedicated and perfected by the twelve Princes, representing the twelve tribes, who were ranged on four sides carrying four standards. It was all on the supernal pattern, to wit, the candlestick with its seven lamps to be lighted by the hand of the priest. Candlestick and the inner altar together minister to the joy of the whole of existence, as Scripture says: “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart” (Proverbs 27:9). For of the two altars, the inner one [on which the incense was offered] radiated its force to the outer one, the one assigned for other offerings; and it is by meditating on the inner altar that one obtains a knowledge of the Supernal Wisdom, which is concealed within the words ADoNaY YHVH. Hence the incense had to be offered up only when the oil had been poured in the lamps. The following is found in the Book of King Solomon. The incense has the virtue of diffusing joy and putting away death. For whereas Judgement prevails on the exterior, joy and illumination, on the other hand, proceed from the interior, the seat of all happiness. So when this bestirs itself all judgement is removed and is powerless. The incense thus has the virtue of annulling death and binds all together, and was therefore offered on the interior altar.” -Zohar, Bemidbar 151b
The incense altar itself is said to play the role of the Tzaddik. The actions of the Tzaddik cause the Right Hand (merciful aspect) of G-d to intervene.
“For things done quietly are the province of the priests and not of the Levites, whose function it was to raise the voice in song. Hence, when judgements begin to assail the world from the side of the Left, the Right Hand must bring appeasement with the incense, which makes no sound. Observe that when that other altar commences to grow restive because there are no righteous, the inner altar intervenes with it and judgements are allayed. Hence AARON TOOK AS MOSES SPAKE, AND RAN INTO THE MIDST OF THE ASSEMBLY, AND HE PUT ON THE INCENSE, which belongs to the inner precinct symbolising the Priest, and so HE MADE ATONEMENT FOR THE PEOPLE AND HE STOOD BETWEEN THE DEAD AND THE LIVING, between the Tree of Life and the Tree of Death. Then the Right Hand drew them near one to another and the plague was stayed. Happy the lot of the priest who has power above and below and brings peace above and below!”
Zohar, Bemidbar 177b
Menorah – Shekinah – Tree of Life:
There is also found a relationship between the Shekinah (called the “Matrona”), the angels of Ezekiel’s vision and the “way of the tree of life” , as found in the book of Genesis:2:7
‘How many thousands, how many myriads, of celestial cohorts surround the Holy One and follow in His train! Princes of supernal countenances are there, and beings full of eyes; lords of the sharp weapons, lords of the piercing cry, lords of the heralding trumpet, lords of mercy, lords of judgment; and above them the Lord has appointed the Matrona to minister before Him in the Palace. She for her own bodyguard has armed hosts of sixty different degrees. Holding their swords, they stand around Her. They come and go, entering and departing again on the errands of their Master. Each with his six wings outspread they circle the world in swift and silent flight. Before each of them coals of fire burn. Their garments are woven of flames from a bright and burning fire. A sharp flaming sword also is at the shoulder of each to guard Her. Concerning these swords it is written: “The flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:23). Now, what is “the way of the Tree of Life”? This is the great Matrona who is the way to the great and mighty Tree of Life. Concerning this it is written: “Behold the bed which is Solomon’s; the three score valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel” (Song of Solomon 3:7), namely, the Supernal Israel. “They all hold swords” (Ibid. 8), and when the Matrona moves they all move with her, as it is written: “and the angel of G-d, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them” (Exodus 14:19). Is, then, the Shekinah called “the angel of the Lord”? Assuredly! -Zohar, Shemoth 50b,52a
The “Tree of Life” mentioned above is another term for the Matrona/Shekinah and the power of resurrection. Yeshua made claims of being the “resurrection and the life.”
Now Jacob is united with the Tree of Life, over which death has no dominion, since in it all life is contained, emanating from it unto all those who are in perfect union with it. For this reason Jacob did not really die. He died in a physical sense when “he gathered up his feet into the bed” (Genesis 49:33), which bed is mysteriously called “the bed of Solomon” (Song of Songs 3:7), the bed of the “strange woman” whose “feet go down to death” (Proverbs 5:5). -Zohar, Shemoth 48b
Removal of the Menorah – Separation from the Shekinah – Divine Presence
Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your menorah out of its place, unless you repent. -Revelation 2:5
The warning against the assembly at Ephesus is a very stern one — removal of their menorah from its place. Applying the principle of “midah k’neged midah,” this would be equivalent to the punishment of being “cut off” from the assembly of Israel, known as kareth, with the implication of premature death. As the Shekinah (Divine presence) is always with Israel, even in exile, there is a relationship between the menorah and shekinah. Removal of the menorah is equivalent to separation from the Shekinah.
The Menorah represents both the Shekinah and the people themselves, who have the Shekinah dwelling among them, while in exile. As the Shekinah can be withdrawn from the people ( the violation of G-d’s Torah), it can be said that the Menorah can be withdrawn from them. – Revelation 2:5
BEHA’ALOSCHA Parsha Studies – By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
After the dedication of the Sanctuary — the portable Temple and repository of the Torah — the Children of Israel were almost ready to start the journey to the Land of Israel. The purpose was to fulfill the mission of Abraham, the founding father: to take the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem so that the light of the Torah would shine from Mount Moriah to the entire world.
The opening sections of BEHA’ALOSCHA set forth some final details relating to the Sanctuary and its services (the lighting of the Menorah, the inauguration of the Levites and their service, the law of the Second Pesach). The Torah then relates the miraculous Divine providence visible in the encampment and journeyings of the Children of Israel in the wilderness. The sections dealing with the Sanctuary conclude with the command to Moses to make trumpets, after which the Torah relates the Children of Israel’s momentous first journey from Sinai towards the Promised Land.
UNTIL THE FLAME GOES UP BY ITSELF
Rashi explains the thematic connection between the opening verses of BEHA’ALOSCHA, about the Menorah, and the concluding section of last week’s parshah of NASO:
“When Aaron saw the dedication offering of the Princes of the Tribes, he became demoralized because neither he nor his tribe was with them. The Holy One blessed be He said to him: By your life, yours is greater than theirs, because you kindle and tend the lights” (Rashi on the opening verse of our Parshah).
The Consecration of the Sanctuary and the offerings of the Princes were events of cosmic significance containing the keys of creation — but they were one-time events. The service of Aaron and his tribe were daily.
The service of the Priest (Aaron, Chessed) is to light the Menorah. Each one of us is the Priest in charge of the lighting of our own Candelabrum: allowing the light of DA’AS, the understanding of G-d, to shine out from its source, in the Sanctuary, before the Holy of Holies, into our souls, minds and hearts. But how can we attain DA’AS?: “An amazing wonder is DA’AS, it is exalted far above me, I cannot reach it” (Psalms 139:6). How can a human being possibly attain the light of DA’AS, knowledge of the Infinite G-d? This is the work of the priest, whose task is to tend the lights and kindle them.
Rabbi Nachman explains that the lights of the Candelabrum that each one of us, as priest, must tend, are the seven lamps of the face: the two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and the mouth. We tend the eyes by not looking on evil (i.e. by not gazing at and lingering over evil temptations, and by seeing not the bad everywhere but the good). We tend the ears by heeding the words of the wise and their reproof. We tend the nostrils by breathing into ourselves the fear and awe of G-d, knowing that our very lives depend upon Him. We tend the mouth by not speaking falsehood — EVIL SPEECH.
The priest must light the lamps “until the flame goes up by itself”. Rabbi Nachman explains that when we do our work of tending the lamps, as detailed above, DA’AS will come upon us of itself, and we will be able to understand things that we could not understand before. DA’AS is obviously a spiritual understanding which we may not even be able to put into words. Spiritual understanding is metaphorically called “light”, and “shines” in the form of “Seven Clouds of Glory” (i.e. from all directions). These are a surrounding canopy of holiness. From this canopy — dark in relation to its Infinite Source, but a protective cloud radiating light to the camp below) shines the light of DAAS. The way to attain this light is by tending the lamps of the Menorah, as above. (Likutey Moharan I:21).
THE LABOR OF THE LEVITES
After the account of the daily service of the Priest (CHESSED) in each one of us, we come to the inauguration of the Levites (GEVURAH) and their service: the guarding of the Sanctuary/Temple and singing during the sacrificial services.
In the Generation of the Wilderness, the Levites carried the parts of the portable Sanctuary on the journeys. The highest service was that of carrying the golden Ark of the Covenant through the wilderness until it would reach its place in the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem. From there the light of the Torah would shine to all the world.
It is said of the carrying of the Ark of the Covenant that, while its bearers were apparently carrying it, in truth it was carrying its bearers. However, this was a one-time service of the Levites in the Generation of Wilderness. After the entry into the Land of Israel, the essential service of the Levites that remained for all times was that of singing during the Temple services.
Why does this require GEVURAH? It may seem that singing is a simple, pleasant task that should be associated with CHESSED. Yet we see with our own eyes how hard it is to sing. It’s not the singing itself that is so hard: in fact, once you start, like the Ark of the Covenant, which carried its bearers, the song carries you. What is hard is to START singing.
This is sadly apparent in today’s MIKDASH ME’AT, the “portable Temple” that should be the Sanctuary of the Children of Israel in all their habitations, the BEIS HAKNESSES, the House of Gathering of the Children of Israel — the SYNAGOGUE. There are some in which a good (or bad) Chazan is paid to sing, and occasionally a choir, and this may be inspiring. In many, however, there is an embarrassed prayer leader and a heavy congregation reluctant to get any form of SINGING.
It is this heavy, depressed reluctance to start singing (people start looking at their watches) that must be overcome with GEVURAH, forcing ourselves to sing. The act of “force” need not be brutish. Often all that is needed is just starting to lightly hum the NIGUN (melody), then keep going until the grace and beauty of the melody itself takes over, and the Ark of the Covenant carries its bearers.
The commandment of the Service of the Levites completes the account of the Sanctuary indicating the supreme importance of song in the Temple/Synagogue Service. Singing in prayer is a unique human ability that even the angels wait to hear. It is the crowning moment of the Service. We may want to hurry the prayers so we can get away from the Synagogue, but instead we “slaughter the animal”, “sacrifice ourselves” and stand there singing instead. The song is made up of air, RU’ACH, spirit. The song is GEVURAH, sifting the animal RU’ACH, the side that wants to run away and occupy ourselves with the secular world, from the uniquely human RU’ACH — the air of our songs. This air or RU’ACH is the vessel through which the even higher faculty of DA’AT is able to enter and dwell, and then everything is complete: the Meat is on the Table (the sacrifice), the Lights are kindled (the Menorah) and the Choir are singing.
THE SECOND PESACH
“The Second Pesach” has two senses in connection with our parshah. In the first sense, so far there had only been one Pesach: the night of the Exodus from Egypt. The celebration of the one-time Second Pesach, a year later, free in the Wilderness, recipients of the Torah, with the Sanctuary newly erected, was itself an event. It showed that the Exodus, as the foundational event of the People, was henceforth to be institutionalized as an annual experience with the slaughter of the lamb on Passover.
The sacrifice could only be offered by those in a state of ritual purity. So central to the attachment of the Individual to the Nation is this annual sacrifice (failure to bring the sacrifice makes one liable to excision) that some provision had to be made for those who were unable to bring it in its proper time on 14 Nissan. This might be because they were far away and unable to reach the Temple, or because of defilement for any one of a number of naturally recurrent reasons (contact with the dead, menstrual impurity, etc.) Accordingly they were given a “second chance” on the annual PESACH SHENI, Second Pesach (in the second sense of the term!) institutionalized now in Torah law.
The Torah narrates in our Parshah how this vital national law, integral to the annual functioning of the Temple as the central focus of the Children of Israel, came to be revealed because when G-d commanded them in the wilderness to observe the one-time “Second Pesach” on 14 Nissan, one year after the Exodus, a number of people in the camp were ritually impure.
Knowing there was no way they could participate in the celebration of this awesome one-time event — institutionalizing for all time the annual celebration of the anniversary of the Exodus with the eating of the Paschal Lamb, they felt they had LOST OUT. They felt denied this central act of communion with fellows because of extraneous natural reasons: they had to attend to the dead.
“Why should we be worse off, not to be able to offer the sacrifice of HaShem in its appointed time among the Children of Israel” (Numbers 9:7). (The offering of the Paschal Lamb in the Sanctuary Temple was accompanied by the full Levitical choir and orchestra singing the Hallel, an awesome experience.)
“Why should we be worse off?” There was no way that they could offer the Sacrifice but they longed to be able to. It was their longing that elicited the commandment of Pesach Sheni, the annual “Second Pesach” that gave a SECOND CHANCE to those who lost out the first time — a tremendous act of love and compassion.
Longing and yearning elicits love and compassion. It is our longing for the Second Pesach, the Pesach of GEULAH, when we too, now impure through contact with the dead etc., will have a SECOND CHANCE and won’t have to feel we lost out because we didn’t experience the Pesach in Jerusalem.
THE CLOUDS OF GLORY and MOSES’ TRUMPETS
As indicated above, the Clouds of Glory constitute an exalted state of consciousness in which a high DA’AS, knowledge of G-d, dwells, because we seek to sanctify ourselves and order our lives in the proper order (the Israelite camp). With DA’AS one can understand that everything that happens is under G-d’s control: there are times when you stay still for different periods, times when you have to venture and journey for different periods.
We may wonder when we will come to the end of the journey through the wilderness? When will we reach the Promised Land? We know when the Generation of the Wilderness reached the Promised Land, but when will OUR generation get there? When will we see the Ingathering of the Faithful to the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah, from which the Torah will shine to the world? When will WE sing the Hallel in Jerusalem?
The answer is given in our parshah, in the commandment given to Moses: “Make for yourself two trumpets of silver.” (Numbers 10:2).
Moses is the central NESHAMAH, the root soul of all the Children of Israel. Moses, who brings the TORAH to Israel, must be in command. In his hand are the trumpets to summon the Children of Israel and their leaders together. In addition, in the Temple, the Priests had trumpets which were sounded.
One of the occasions for sounding these Trumpets of Moses — Trumpeting the TORAH of Moses — is in times of war. “When you come to war in your land against the enemy oppressing you [such as now], and you shall BLAST ON THE TRUMPETS [the trumpets of the Torah of Moses] and you will be remembered before the Lord your G-d and you will be saved from your enemies” (Numbers 10:9). The verse speaks of war in the land against THE enemy. Asks the Midrash: “Who is THE enemy? This is in the war of Gog and Magog, after which there will no longer be any enslavement to the nations” (Sifrey).
It is in this war against Gog and Magog that we will be remembered before G-d when we hear the blast of the Trumpet of Moses, making us remember the Torah of Sinai.
THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS
The Torah account of the one-time journey of the Generation of the Wilderness is a paradigm of the entire history of the Children of Israel. Before we arrive at the trials and tribulations, the Torah sets forth the ideal form in which the Children of Israel advance through history, organized into tribes and families travelling in formation.
As the Children of Israel set off on their journey from their historical place of encampment at Sinai, where the Torah came into the world, Moses (root soul of the Children of Israel, HEVEL or ABEL) makes his eloquent appeal to Jethro, the archetypal GER TZEDEK, Righteous Proselyte (KAYIN or CAIN) to link and journey together (reconciled brothers: TIKUN).
Only when the Jew and the Righteous Gentile link together on this journey through time can the Torah dwell in the Promised Land and shine forth from Mount Moriah. [Yael, righteous proselyte wife of Hever HaKeini, Jethro’s descendent, delivered Israel from Sisera; Ruth (same letters as Jethro) was the great grandmother of David, who made the Torah rule in Israel. Shmayah and Avtalion, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Meir and many other important Israelites were from families of proselytes. Sometimes the proselytes shames the Israelite, because the proselyte exposes his weaknesses, having become tired after years on the road, while the proselyte is fresh with the clear vision of the beginning, the Exodus, which we have to re-experience each year at Pesach.
THE INVERTED NUNN’S
“And it was with the travelling of the Ark, and Moses said: Arise HaShem and let your enemies be scattered and those who hate you will flee from before you. And with its resting, he will say: Return HaShem to the tens of thousands of thousands of Israel” (Numbers 10:35-6).
In the Torah scroll, these two verses, the opening verses of the sixth Aliyah, are preceded and followed by an inverted letter NUNN. The two verses are thus set off apart, as a separate entity. (A scroll with 85 letters, corresponding to the number of letters in this parshah, halachically has the same status as a Torah scroll and must be treated with the proper respect.) The two verses are of central importance in the entire Torah. It is when Moses stands up, blasting forth the TORAH OF HASHEM, that G-d’s providence is shown in scattering the enemies of Israel and returning His indwelling Presence to the longing and yearning thousands and thousands.
The rabbis taught that although we normally speak of the Five Books of Moses, there are really Seven, because these two verses constitute a separate book by themselves. The two verses divide the Book Numbers into all that came before and all that comes afterwards. What came before is one book. What will come afterwards is another. And these two verses are a book in themselves, making Seven Books of the Torah. These are the Seven Clouds of Glory that accompany us on all our journeys, shining the light of DA’AS to us at all times.
Why was it necessary to make a separation between all of the book of Numbers that came before these two verses and all that comes afterwards? With the census of the people, erection of the Sanctuary and the ordering of the Camp of the Israelites in its proper order, the entire Order of Creation in its ideal form was complete.
From now on, the task was to actually take the Torah up to Zion. To go on the journey. Actually implementing and adhering to the Torah day to day on the arduous journey of life, amidst all the trials of the wilderness is an entirely different story.
The two verses separate between the Ideal and the Actual. One of the two verses speaks about a state of war. The other speaks about a state of peace. In each case it is Moses who must speak, to bring the Divine Presence upon Israel. “And Moses said.. And he will say.”
THE SCHOOLBOY RUNS AWAY
The rabbis said that they left Sinai like a schoolboy running from school (or like worshippers after the service). There is a side that simply rebels against the discipline of Torah and Mitzvos, the same dry diet of words and letters on a scroll, songs, prayers amore prayers, day after day. “MANNA”. Spiritual sustenance. Great! But what about some Coke?
As soon as the real, actual hardship of the wilderness become apparent during the first three days of the journey, the first complaints began to be heard about FLESH. Man is made of two sides, the Spiritual and the Physical: that is his entire challenge in life. Dinning out the Trumpets of Moses, Trumpets of the Torah, are the cries of our appetites and desires for physical comforts and pleasures like in Egypt, where they come HINNOM, “free” (free of the burdens of Torah and mitzvos, see Rashi on Numbers 11:5).
The admixture of yeast in the dough, the ERUV RAV (“Mixed Multitude”, the opposite of the Righteous Proselyte, the fallen HEVEL, Bilaam) raise their voices in LOSHON HORA, evil speech, about the dull, boring diet: the Manna. The source of all evil lies in evil speech. [Thus today, in the time of exile in the war of Gog and Magog, aspersions are cast upon the Diet of Moses, Manna, Torah, and upon Moses himself, in the form of the true Talmidey Chachamim, who are considered to smell putrid in the time of Mashiach. The aspersions are cast by the ERUV RAV, those who lust for the material world and those led astray by them.]
Moses could not take it. If his voice was not going to be heard, what was the point of living?
The only solution was to spread the spirit of Moses around among the people, kindling from Moses’ MENORAH of Prophecy and lighting up 70 other Prophets, making a Sanhedrin of 70 Elders with Moses, the root of the Tree, at the Center: the King. These would bring the prophetic spirit back to the people.
When Moses is King, order is restored, DA’AS reigns, and we learn that material lust is from the side of death and must be buried. That first stop on the journey through the wilderness was named “The Graves of Lust” — “for that is where they buried the people who had the lust” (Numbers 11:35). It is necessary to overthrow the ERUV RAV and to make Moses the king.
THE UNIQUENESS OF MOSES
Our parshah contains G-d’s own testimony about the uniqueness of “My servant Moses, who is faithful in all My House.” (Numbers 12:7). This too was occasioned by a one-time event, a nearly fatal sin of LASHON HARA that is to be inscribed daily in our memories: “Remember what the L-rd your G-d did to Miriam on the road when you went out of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 24:9). Miriam criticized Moses.
Even the saintliest are human. Sometimes even they may be tempted to cover over and disguise their own faint residue of pride under a veneer of piety. “Why is he any different?”
Only Moses is beyond all pride. “And the man Moses was very humble more than all man on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).
Evil speech kills. The punishment is “death” — leprosy, the withdrawal of life and vitality from the flesh.
Only Moses can bring healing. “G-d, please, heal — please — her”. The voice of Moses must be heard.
Shabbat Shalom!!! – Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
Haftarat Beha’alotcha – ‘When you set up’ – Zechariah 2:14-4:7
This week’s reading from the Prophets found in Zechariah 2:14-4:7 is also about the Menorah.
In our haftarah portion we are introduced to “seven eyes” immediately after we are introduced to a mysterious figure called “My Servant, the Branch.”
Hear, O Joshua, the High Priest, you and your companions who sit before you. For they are a wondrous sign; for behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the Branch. For behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua : Upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’ Says HaShem of hosts. -Zechariah 3:8-9
We know from Jeremiah 23:5 and Jeremiah 33:15, that “The Branch” is a title for Messiah. It is the word, tzemach, coming from the root verb which means to sprout, or shoot up.Zechariah introduces Messiah, “The Branch” to us, and then tells us about a stone with seven eyes upon it.
As our haftarah continues: Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, “What do you see?” So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.” So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?” Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of HaShem to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says HaShem of hosts. ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”‘ – Zechariah 4:1-7
Seven Eyes on the Stone and the Menorah
For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of HaShem, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.” -Zechariah 4:10
Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers. –Exodus 25:33-34
The word for these decorative almonds is the word m’shekadim, from the root verb shakad, which means, “to watch.” Yes, the Menorah is all about “eyes” and “watching.” So, it is the Messianic connection which speaks in Zechariah to bring up “The Branch”.
In the book of Revelation:
I was in the Spirit on the L-rd’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,”… Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. -Revelation 1:10, 12-15
That is Messiah standing in the midst of the seven lamps of the Menorah, which in this vision refers to seven assemblies in Asia. Later in the Revelation we read:
And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of G-d sent out into all the earth. -Revelation 5:6
Beloved, the Menorah represents the eyes of HaShem. It is those same eyes that are on the Stone, which caps the Temple. The Branch [Tzemach] is a wondrful sign. As our haftarah opens, it promises, that He will dwell with us.
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst.” says HaShem. “Many nations shall be joined to HaShem in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that HaShem of hosts has sent Me to you. -Zechariah 2:14-15
Blessed art Thou, HaShem, Who brings forth the Manifestation of Salvation. ( Baruch Atah HaShem, matzmiach keren Yeshuah )
We will see that the children of Israel return to Most High and Torah of Mashiach, And will hug in the Holy Land, and by obeying and listening the “VOICE of Most Ancient Holy One of Israel”, will bring offerings in a righteous way on the holy mountain and also bring the Ark of the covenant with pure heart in the right place ( i.e In Har HaBayit, on the foundation Stone) .
We will Welcome the son of David on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.
[ Ha Khadosh Baruch Hu – Baruch HaBa B’Shem Adonai ] – Gaddi, President, BeitYaaqov International.
Gaddi – President