Ki Tisa – Sons of Israel , Stand Up and Lift up Yours Heads – Redemption ( Guelah) Draws Near! We May dwell in a place of Torah and which Most High Chooses of all tribes and to put his name there ( i.e Temple with the Ark of the Covenant from Yahweh)
Ki Tisa: The Twenty-first reading from the Torah, literally means “when you lift up.” As it is Written : “When you lift up the head of the sons of Israel to reckon them” (Exodus 30:12). The statement of “lift up the head” is an idiom for taking a head count. This study opens with G-d commanding Moses to take a Census of the Children of Israel by collecting a half-shekel coin from each adult. And dedicating these silver coins to the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, the Torah says: “And you shall take the atonement ( Kesef – Silver) money of the people of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the Tent of Meeting.” ( Exodus 30:16). The portion also concerned with the sin of the golden calf and finishes up the instructions for making tabernacle and finally it describes how the Moses restores the covenant relationship with G-d.
Below is the Summary of these Studies:
- Moses takes a census of the Israelites and collects a half-shekel from each person –Exodus 30:11-16
- G-d tells Moses to construct a water basin and to prepare anointing oil and incense for the ordination of the priests. Bezalel and Oholiab, skilled artisans, are assigned to make objects for the priests and the Tabernacle. -Exodus 30:17-31:11
- The Israelites are instructed to keep Shabbat as a sign of their covenant with G-d. G-d gives Moses the two tablets of the Pact. – Exodus 31:12-18
- The Israelites ask Aaron to build them a Golden Calf. G-d punishes the Israelites by means of a plague. -Exodus 32:1-35
- Moses goes up the mountain for another 40 days and comes down from the mountain with a radiant face. – Exodus 34:29-35
CENSUS of the Israelites:
When You Take a Census – The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: “When you take a census of the Israelite men according to their army enrollment, each shall pay the Eternal a ransom for himself on being enrolled, that no plague may come upon them through their being enrolled.” – Exodus 30:11-12
The Scripture Says: “When you take”? Here we need to understand about the verse is the half-shekel for the service of the Tabernacle – However there is a right way and a wrong way to take a “Census.” The wrong way leads to a “plague among them when you number them but right way leads to the blessings.
Zohar writings: Come and behold: it has been established that celestial blessing does not dwell on something that is numbered. And if you ask how Yisrael were counted, he took from them a ransom for themselves. And they did not count until all the ransom that was gathered was counted. Thus at first Yisrael are blessed WHEN THE RANSOM IS RECEIVED, afterwards, once they counted the ransom, Yisrael are blessed again. So we find that Yisrael is blessed at the beginning and at the end, and they did not suffer a plague. He asks: Why is a plague caused by counting? HE ANSWERS: Because the blessing does not dwell on anything numbered, and since the blessing has departed, the Other Side dwells on it and can harm.
David Census :
So the king ( David ) said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Now go throughout all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people, that I may know the number of the people.” And Joab said to the king, “Now may Most High your G-d add to the people a hundred times more than there are, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king desire this thing?” – 2 Samuel 24:2-3
And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to YHWH, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O L-rd, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”
Now when David arose in the morning, the word of HaShem came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and tell David, ‘Thus says HaShem: “I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you.”‘” So Gad came to David and told him; and he said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.” And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of YHWH, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”
So YHWH sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died. And when the angel stretched out His hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, HaShem relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of HaShem was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Then David spoke to HaShem when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, “Surely I have sinned, and I have done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, be against me and against my father’s house.” And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to HaShem on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite” So David, according to the word of Gad, went up as HaShem commanded. -2 Samuel 24:10-19
What stopped the plague in King David’s day? An altar erected on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. It was the same threshing floor that King David purchased – and his son Solomon later erected the Temple upon. Rather, you are to come to the place where Adonai your G-d will put his name. He will choose it from all your tribes; and you will seek out that place, which is where he will live, and go there. You will bring there your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tenths [that you set aside for Adonai, the offerings that you give, the offerings you have vowed, your voluntary offerings, and the firstborn of your cattle and sheep. There you will eat in the presence of Adonai your G-d; and you will rejoice over everything you set out to do, you and your households, in which Adonai your G-d has blessed you. -Deuteronomy 12:5-7
The same place where Most High declared that His Holy Name would always be there in Temple Mount – II Chronicles 7:12-16.
Adonai appeared to Shlomo by night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. If I shut up the sky, so that there is no rain; or if I order locusts to devour the land; or if I send an epidemic of sickness among my people; then, if my people, who bear my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears will pay attention to the prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house, so that my name can be there forever; my eyes and heart will always be there. -2 Chronicles 7:12-16
His (Yeshua) talmidim later recalled that the Tanakh says, “Zeal for your house will devour me.” – John 2:17
Half-Shekel for the Service of the Tabernacle:
When they came to K’far-Nachum, the collectors of the half-shekel came to Kefa and said, “Doesn’t your rabbi Pay the Temple tax?” “Of course he does,” said Kefa. – Matthew 17:24-27
According to Rashi, G-d showed Moses a half-shekel coin made of fire and said, “Like this one shall they give.” (Rashi on Exodus 30:13). The 18th century Polish Hasidic master, Noam Elimelech (Reb Elimelech of Lizensk) interprets this to mean that G-d showed Moses that money is like fire. Gold and silver mean nothing if the values of Torah are missing.
Everyone who is entered in the records, from the age of twenty years up, shall give the Lord’s offering: the rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than half a shekel when giving the Lord’s offering… –Exodus 30:14
In collecting the half a shekel, the rich paid not more and the poor no less. Every single person participated in and became an essential partner in the creating holy space and elevating the people who helped make it happen and the material wealth it took to create it. On the other hand, as Rashi tells us, there was no real plan for the Golden Calf. Aaron haphazardly threw the gold into a fire, out of which emerged the shape of the Calf (Rashi on Exodus 32:3), after which the people revealed in what turned into licentiousness, murder, and idolatry. -Rashi on Exodus 32:6
13 Attributes of Mercy:
In the book of Exodus 34:5-8, G-d proclaims His Name to Moses, by describing Himself. Beloved, this is the One True G-d, the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob. He and no other – no matter what one might call “G-d.” And the 13 Attributes of Mercy are based on the verses in exodus: “The Lord! The Lord! G-d, Compassionate and Gracious, Slow to anger and Abundant in Kindness and Truth, Preserver of kindness for thousands of generations, Forgiver of iniquity, willful sin, and error, and Who Cleanses , but does not cleanse completely, recalling the iniquity of parents upon children and grandchildren, to the third and fourth generations” – Exodus 34:6-7.
The 13 Attributes of Mercy, according to the generally accepted opinions of Rabbenu Tam and Abudraham, are as follows:
– The Lord! (Adonai)–G-d is merciful before a person sins! Even though aware that future evil lies dormant within him.
– The Lord! (Adonai)–G-d is merciful after the sinner has gone astray.
– G-d (El)–a name that denotes power as ruler over nature and humankind, indicating that God’s mercy sometimes surpasses even the degree indicated by this name.
– Compassionate (rahum)–G-d is filled with loving sympathy for human frailty does not put people into situations of extreme temptation, and eases the punishment of the guilty.
– Gracious (v’hanun)–G-d shows mercy even to those who do not deserve it consoling the afflicted and raising up the oppressed.
– Slow to anger (ereh apayim)–G-d gives the sinner ample time to reflect, improve, and repent.
– Abundant in Kindness (v’rav hesed)–G-d is kind toward those who lack personal merits, providing more gifts and blessings than they deserve; if one’s personal behavior is evenly balanced between virtue and sin, God tips the scales of justice toward the good.
– Truth (v’emet)–G-d never reneges on His word to reward those who serve Him.
– Preserver of kindness for thousands of generations (notzeir hesed la-alafim)–G-d remembers the deeds of the righteous for the benefit of their less virtuous generations of offspring (We constantly invoke the merit of the Patriarchs).
– Forgiver of iniquity (nosei avon)–G-d forgives intentional sin resulting from an evil disposition, as long as the sinner repents.
– Forgiver of willful sin (pesha)–G-d allows even those who commit a sin with the malicious intent of rebelling against and angering Him the opportunity to repent.
– Forgiver of error (v’hata’ah)–G-d forgives a sin committed out of carelessness, thoughtlessness, or apathy.
– Who cleanses (v’nakeh)–G-d is merciful, gracious, and forgiving, wiping away the sins of those who truly repent.
So our sages teach: “The Golden Calf (Egel haZahav) was made by the Erev Rav and they are the ones who said: These are your g-ds Israel. [Notice it says] ‘These are your g-ds’ and not ‘these are our g-ds’. And Aaron, his sons and the 70 elders who were left in charge, sinned by not rebuking them” (cf. Sefer Etz ha Daat Tov Shemini)
If the Golden Calf represents the fruit of the Erev Rav (the tree of Good and evil which brings death), and the Torah states that Three thousand people died (Exodus 32:28). The worshippers fell in Avodah Zara (false worship) and the rest of the nation failed to obey one of the laws of Noah:
In Judaism, the maaseh ha-aygel (literally, “the business with the calf”) ? at the very foot of Mount Sinai. . . And all the people took off their gold ear rings and brought them to Aaron. He took them and, with a graving tool, shaped a molten calf. Then they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” -Exodus 32:3-4
LAMB SLAUGHTERING :
According to Sh’mot Rabbah 16:2-3, we were idolaters even before we left Egypt. When we read in Exodus 12:21, “Draw out and take you lambs,” the midrash says it means, “Draw your hands away from idolatry and take for yourselves lambs, thereby slaying the [tangible] g-ds of Egypt. . . .”
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 39b – ON THE TENTH DAY OF THIS MONTH THEY SHALL TAKE TO THEM A LAMB. According to R. Abba, the tenth day was chosen because on this day the Jubilee illumines the Moon (i.e. Binah communicates light to Malkuth); for of the Jubilee it is written: “On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement” (Lev. XXIII, 27). “They shall take a lamb.” Why a lamb? Because it symbolized the power of the lowest “crown”, which the Holy One broke, the “crown” to which all the other inferior “crowns” cling, forming the unholy triad signified by the phrase, “lambs, menservants, and womenservants”, sent by Jacob to Esau, as a sop, as it were, to the evil powers which the latter represented. The Holy One said: “Do ye perform this act of slaughtering the Passover lamb, and I myself will nullify its power above. Do ye let it pass through fire (v. 8) here below, and I shall lead the impure principality which it represents through the fiery Stream.” And why was the lamb to be tied up on the tenth day and slaughtered on the fourteenth? Because, according to R. Abba, the four days corresponded to the four hundred years that Israel was subjected to the power of Egypt. And why was the slaughter performed in the evening? Because that is the time when judgement predominates above and below, and also because it was at this time (“between the evenings”) that Israel’s exiles were foretold to Abraham, as it is written: “And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abraham, and lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him” (Gen. xv, I 2). “Horror” signifies one supernal “crown” which represents Egypt; “darkness” is a second such, representing Babylon; and “great” refers to the Edomite (Roman) exile, which was to be the hardest of all. Thus it is seen that the Israelites did not go out of Egypt until all the supernal powers and principalities which were Israel’s enemies had been brought to nought; but when these things had come to pass the people were freed from their domination and brought under the holy and heavenly sway of the Holy One, blessed be He, and were joined to Him and to Him alone, as it is written: “For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt” (Lev. 25, 55).
Then I saw standing there with the throne and the four living beings, in the circle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been slaughtered. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the sevenfold Spirit of G-d sent out into all the earth. – Revelation 5:6
and they shouted out,“Worthy is the slaughtered Lamb to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength,honor, glory and praise!” – Revelation 5:12
The act of slaughtering the lamb ( i.e lowest crown) on earth below nullifies the powers of the evil realm above. Here we understand the lamb representing both good ( i.e sacrifice provided by Most High ; On seeing Yeshua walking by, he said, “Look! G-d’s lamb!” – John 1:36) and bad ( i.e stands for the Egyptian evil powers ). One principle established by the sages is that, “the creation of the cure always predates the introduction of the disease.” Thus we find both the Tabernacle and a further mention of the Sabbath precede the account of the “Golden Calf.”
Jeroboam’s Idolatry: Leads to Greek Italy
And [Jeroboam] the king . . . made two calves of gold, and said to the people, “You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough; behold here are your g-ds, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” -I Kings 12:28.
Talmud, Shabbath 56b – Rab Judah said in Samuel’s name: When Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, Gabriel descended and planted a reed in the sea, and it gathered a bank around it, on which the great city of Rome was built.24 In a Baraitha it was taught: On the day that Jeroboam brought the two golden calves, one into Bethel and the other into Dan, a hut was built, and this developed into Greek Italy.
Yaacov sees the idols of Jeroboam :
Soncino Zohar Volume I, p. 228b – When Jacob was about to bless Joseph’s sons, he saw by the Holy Spirit that Jeroboam the son of Nebat would issue from Ephraim, and he exclaimed, “Who are these?”, the word “these” (eleh) being an allusion to idols. The reason is that besides the evil serpent there is one that rides on it, and when they are joined together they are called “these”, and they visit the world with all their hosts. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is called “this”, and is symbolized by the covenant of the holy imprint which is ever on a man’s body. Hence we find written, “These also shall forget” (Is. XLIX, 15), and again, “For these I am weeping” (Ibid. 16), that sin being the cause to us of endless weeping; or alternatively, because this place was allowed to gain dominion over Israel and to destroy the Temple, the word “I” (ani) in this case referring to the Holy Spirit. It may be asked, on this hypothesis, what are we to make of the words “These are the words of the covenant”? The answer is that the word “these” is here also appropriate, because the words of the covenant are established by “these”, since they are the abode of all curses, which await all who transgress the covenant. Similarly it is written, “These are the precepts which the Lord commanded”, because the object of all the precepts is to purify man so that he should not stray from the right path and should keep far away from there. Hence, too, it is written, “These are the generations of Noah”, because they included Ham the father of Canaan, who was accursed. The spirit of eleh is the “dross of gold”. Aaron in the wilderness offered gold, which was his own affinity, since he was endowed with the strength of fire, and fire and gold are all one, but the unclean spirit which haunts the wilderness found at that time a place on which to fasten, and so Israel, after being freed at Mount Sinai from the primeval defilement which brought death into the world, afterwards incurred it again and brought death upon themselves and all their descendants. Hence, when Jacob saw in his mind’s eye Jeroboam son of Nebat, who made an idol and said, “These are thy gods, O Israel”, he trembled and said, “Who are these?”. Hence when he came afterwards to bless them, he first blessed Elohim and then blessed them from that source.
For you keep saying, ‘I am rich, I have gotten rich, I don’t need a thing!’ You don’t know that you are the one who is wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked! – Revelation 3:17
Soncino Zohar Volume II p. 67b – “And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out power”, namely, the celestial unholy power which presided over the act of idolatry committed by Jeroboam (I Kings XII, 28), without which he would not have been able to succeed. Now, when this king and this priest of the “other side” are subdued, and their power broken, all the “other sides” follow suit, and are also subdued and broken, and acknowledge the sovereignty of the Holy One, and in this way He alone rules above and below, as it is written: “And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (Isaiah. II, 11). In just the same way God broke here on earth the power of an “old and foolish king”, namely Pharaoh, who, when Moses said to him, “The G-d of the Hebrews hath met with us”, replied, “I know not the Lord,” but when the Holy One, desiring that His Name should be glorified on earth as it is in heaven, punished him and his people, he came and acknowledged the Holy One. Subsequently his priest also, namely Jethro, the priest of On, i.e. idolatry, was also humbled, so that he came and acknowledged the Holy One, saying: “Blessed be the Lord, who hath delivered you…. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods…” (Exodus XVIII, 10, 11). So when that king and that priest acknowledged the Holy One, blessed be He, and were humbled before Him, He was exalted above and below, and then, and then only did He give forth the Torah, as undisputed sovereign over all.
Ahab King Served Baal:
And Ahab the son of Omri . . . took for a wife Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshiped him. – I Kings 16:30-31
And G-d spoke to you from out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words but you saw no image, only a voice” – Deuteronomy 4:12.
“‘You are to have no other gods before me. You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline — you are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, Adonai your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents, also the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, – Deuteronomy 5:7-9
“In addition, the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice (disobeyed his voice ) or seen his shape; Moreover, his word does not stay in you, because you don’t trust the one he sent. -John 5:37-39
Instead, we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from fornication, from what is strangled and from blood. For from the earliest times, Moshe has had in every city those who proclaim him, with his words being read in the synagogues every Shabbat.” – Acts 15:20 -21
Three Thousand Souls:
Here We find interesting context about the number of people who do not listen to the words of Moses and lose their lives who are part of a wicked generation but in the book of new testament who did Teshuvah ( i.e repentance) who listen the words of Peter ( spirit of Torah) and separated themselves from a wicked generation.
So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day. -Exodus 32:28
Then those who gladly received his word were mikved; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. -Acts 2: 38 – 41
1 Kings 18:1-39
Psalms 91:1 -2
Isaiah 11 : 1 – 4
Acts 2: 38 – 41
1 Corinthians 1:24
While Moses is still up on Mount Sinai, G-d tells him about the image of a Golden Calf that the children of Israel have made in his absence. G-d goes on to say ‘Now leave me so that my anger will blaze forth against them and I may consume them ( eat them up), and make you into a great nation’ (Exodus 32:10). This is followed with pleaded by Moses which mirrors in its way Abraham’s pleaded over the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Unlike Abraham, however, Moses succeeds in changing G-d’s mind, in part because he appeals to His relationship with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
the Hebrew word with the alef chaf lamed root means both ‘to eat’ and ‘to consume’. Fire is said to eat up or consume those who have challenged G-d or who behaved in a manner seen as challenging the established order, as in the case of Nadav and Avihu ( Leviticus 10:2). And of course fire is essential for cooking, most specifically in this context the Paschal Lamb, which must not be eaten raw (Exodus 12:9). the word ‘consume’ is associated with a heavenly fire that consumes sacrifices, as at the end of Elijah’s context on Mount Carmel –1 Kings 19:38
As in relation to the Golden Calf in exodus; After Moses came down from Sinai he took hold of the Golden Calf and ‘ground it down until it was very fine, mixed it with water, and then made the children of Israel drink it -Exodus 32:20.
Betzallel and Messiah:
Betzalel the son of Uri (My Light) was a shadow (tzal) of things to come. Betzalel means “In the shadow of the Mighty one”. Betzalel walked the steps of G-d.
What did he do to be in the Shadow of G-d? He dwelled in the secret place of the Most High, as in the verse: “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide in the Shadow (Betzel) of Shaddai” -Psalms 91:1.
“Betzalel made the Ark…” -Exodus 31:1 : says that Betzalel built the Aron HaBrit, the Ark of the Covenant.
The Baal HaTurim comments: “The name Betzalel is not mentioned in conjunction with any of the furnishings [of the Mishkan], except regarding the Ark. This teaches us that he was [as his name implies] ??? ??, in G-d’s Shadow, i.e. he knew the secret of the Ark and of the Chariot, for the Ark corresponds to the Throne of Glory.” –Artscroll Baal HaTurim Chumash Exodus 37:1, pg 948
On earth, the Tabernacle was built by Betzalel just as the universe was built by G-d through the Torah. Betzalel was the tekton of the earthly Tabernacle, and he is the earthly shadow of the heavenly reality. The Zohar makes the fascinating statement commenting on “Betzalel”, “The son of Uri – the son of primeval light (ohr) . . . The son of Hur – the son of absolute freedom (herut); or the son of the whitest (havra) of all colors. And he is appropriately of the tribe of Judah.” -Zohar, Vol II:152a, Soncino Press Edition
In Exodus it introduces us to Betzallel, the son of Chur and grandson of Miriam. Torah identifies him as the chief artisan and architect of the Tabernacle. Betzalel was chosen to create the Sanctuary. Therefore he was filled with the three Upper Attributes of Creation (the Three Upper Sefirot – Chochmah, Binah and Daat)
“I have called by Name Betzalel son of Uri… and I have filled him with the spirit of G-d, with Wisdom, with Understanding and with Knowledge” -Exodus 31:3.
– Hokhma (wisdom) – “By Wisdom YHWH founded the Earth”
– Binah (understanding) – “By understanding he established heavens”
– Daat (knowledge) – “By his knowledge the depths were broken and the sky drop down the dew” (Proverbs 3:19-20).
Wisdom is not just knowledge, but “know how.” G-d’s Wisdom enables Him to “know how” to do anything ( 2 Peter 2:9). Wisdom entails the skillfulness to formulate a plan and to carry it out in the best and most effective manner. Bezalel was a craftsman, a man with incredible “Wisdom” in the art of making the furnishings for the Tabernacle ( Exodus 31:1-5 ). Joshua had been given wisdom to know how to lead the nation Israel (Deuteronomy 34:9 ). Solomon asked for and received the wisdom and knowledge needed to rule Israel (2 Chronicles 1:7-12).
The Queen of the South will stand up at the Judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Shlomo, but what is here now is greater than Shlomo. – Matthew 12:42
for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you..– Proverbs 2:10-11
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.- Proverbs 1:7
And he said to man,’Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’” – Job 28:28
He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings;he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; – Daniel 2:21
….. the glorious Father, to give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you will have full knowledge of him. – Ephesians 1:17
It is in him that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden. – Colossians 2:3
It is his doing that you are united with the Messiah Yeshua. He has become wisdom for us from G-d, and righteousness and holiness and redemption as well! -1 Corinthians 1:30
but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, this same Messiah is G-d’s power and G-d’s wisdom! -1 Corinthians 1:24
He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom, And by His understanding He stretched out the heavens. When He utters His voice, [there is] a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, And brings forth the wind from His storehouses -Jeremiah 51:15-16.
So keep and do [them], for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people’” – Deuteronomy 4:6.
By these three attributes with which G-d founded the Earth, Betzalel made the Tabernacle (Exodus 31:3). This is a pattern, because the Temple of Solomon was made too as it’s written: ‘Hiram… was filled with wisdom, understanding and knowledge’ (1 kings 7:14). By these three it will be rebuilt in the future as it’s said: ‘By wisdom a house is built, by understanding it is established, by knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures – ( Proverbs 24:3-4 ) (cf. Pirkei DRabbi Eliezer ch 3).
The Talmud makes the observation: “Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: Bezalel knew how to combine the letters by which the heavens and earth were created. It is written here, And He hath filled him with the spirit of G-d, in wisdom and in understanding, and in knowledge, and it is written elsewhere, HaShem by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens, and it is also written, By His knowledge the depths were broken up.” -Berakhot 55a, Soncino Press Edition
So there’s a secret here: the World was created with the letters of the Holy Tongue (cf. Sefer Yetzirah; Bereshit Rabbah 18:4) which is proven with the verse: ‘In the word of HaShem Heavens were made and in the spirit of his mouth all of their hosts’ (Psalms 33:6) (cf. Tanhuma Bereshit 11) and then we read in the Torah: “Yehi Ohr” (Let there be Light, in Hebrew, and if there would be a different set of letters, it would say something different); Therefore our sages say that “Betzalel knew how to combine the letters with which heaven and earth were created” (Berakhot 55a). Because he was gifted with the same attributes of Creation.
In another portion of the Tenakh, we find a similar description of Messiah: Isaiah 11:1-2 – And there shall come forth a rod from the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow from his roots; And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
It is interesting note that the Mashiach is called a “carpenter” in Judaism,
“And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these?” And he said to me, “These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.” Then HaShem showed me four craftsmen. And I said, “What are these coming to do?” He said, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one raised his head. And these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter it.”
Rashi comments: “four craftsmen: Carpenters who know how to saw the horns. And our Rabbis explained in Tractate Sukkah (52b) who they are.”
– Rashi on Zechariah 2
The Talmud comments on this unusual passage: “And the L-rd showed me four craftsmen. Who are these ‘four craftsmen’? — R. Hana b. Bizna citing R. Simeon Hasida replied: “The Messiah the son of David, the Messiah the son of Joseph, Elijah and the Righteous Priest.” – Sukkah 52b, Soncino Press Edition
We find the good information about carpenter in the book of New Testament:
“Isn’t he the carpenter’s son?” Yeshua is revealed to be the carpenter, the son of the carpenter. The Greek word for carpenter is the word tekton, which literally means ‘builder’, and is related to the word, “architecture” and “architect,” the ‘master builder.’ –Matthew 13:55
“Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Miriam, and brother of Yaakov, Yosi, Yehudah, and Shimon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” They were offended at him.” -Mark 6:3
Gematria of Betzalel is 153
The Gematria of Betzalel is 153. 153 is a proper value for someone who resembles his creator, for it’s the value of the sentence: “I am HaShem your G-d” (Isaiah 41:13). The numerical value (gematria) of Betzalel equals 153. The Artscroll Chumash comments on the Masoretic note: “This Masoretic note means: There are 153 verses in the Sidrah, numerically corresponding to mnemonics, ????? , Bezalel, and ??? ???? ???, father of Iscah and Lot. The name alludes to the Sidrah of Noach in two ways: (a) The name ????? compounded of ??? ??, in the protective shelter of God, an allusion to Noah and his family in the ark (R’ David Feinstein); and (b) just as Noah was ordered to build a ark, to house his family and thus preserve humanity from the ravages of the flood, so was Bezalel the son of Uri instructed to build a ??? ark, to house the Tablets of the Ten Commandments.” -The Stone Edition Chumash, Mesorah Publishers, pg. 52
Betzallel is closely associated with Messiah as both have something to do with the joining of the spiritual and physical worlds. There is an interesting connection between Betzallel and Yeshua at the hidden level of deeper Torah studies.
The numerical value (gemmatria) of “Betzallel” in Hebrew is 153. It is describing about the “connecting of above and below realms” : The number 10 represents : heavenly realm and number 7 represents: physical realm – Joining the two together ( Betzallel and Messiah ) equals 17 with sum of the numbers is 153.
John 21:11 – Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three …
The secret of the 153 fish is revealed in the Messiah, who is calling the fisherman (talmid; disciples) to cast the net to bring the fish (the exiled ones) back to the holy Land (Israel) to come up with “HaShem offerings” onto the holy mountain along with our brethren of Judah through reconciliation, out of the seas (nations), to be together on the seashore amidst the grains of sand (the sons of Abraham), to inherit the land, as it is written:
“…Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish. Now he didn’t say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Yeshua would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of G-d who are scattered abroad..” -John 11:49-54
In the book of John, the disciples are fishing on the “sea of Tiberius.” the disciples have been fishing in the darkness, as it says “That night, they caught nothing.” In the morning ( i.e Light) , Yeshua our Mashiach was revealed upon the seashore. In Rabbinic literature, ‘sea’ refers to the nations, or gentiles, as it is mentioned the book of Revelation . “He said to me, “The waters which you saw… are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.” -Revelation 17:15
Yeshua then told them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat.” Why the right side and not the left side? The “right side” in the Jewish thought represents mercy, while the left represents Judgment. In the Midrash, when Most High created the Garden of Eden it was on His right, while Gey-hinnom was on his left.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind, which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away. So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous. . .” -Matthew 13:47-51
The net represents the Kingdom of Heaven, drawing his people out of the nations to the land ( Israel ) – to Serve Most Holy Ancient One of Israel. Because everything has a Spark of the soul of Messiah that must be redeemed and turned to the Service of the Living G-d. One of the mission of Mashiach ben Yosef is to gather the exiles. Yeshua said to the disciples, “I will make you fishers of men.” –Matthew 4:19
We must be elevated as an offering for G-d; The Lower World must be refined in the likeness of Above”. It’s therefore taught concerning the Last days of the world [the Messianic era]: “the physical aspects of the commandments, as they are dressed in the physical matter, are signs… for the physical commands are shadows of their spiritual aspect within them” (Torah Ohr, Miketz 37b); “therefore in the days of Messiah we will experience a new level of obedience to the commands, as before the sin of Adam” (Hemshekh v’kakh 5637, ch 18, 19, 21).
Yeshua our Mashiach therefore is the Heavenly Betzalel, who is gathering the exiled souls of the Israel people, and inviting the lost ones with true repentance to grasp onto the tzitzit of true Jewish people and follow him to the holy Land. And He is calling us all up to His Holy Mountain, that every person who desires the Kingdom of Heaven will become a supernal stone within the Heavenly Temple, as He is the Tekton, the Architect, the Builder of the Tabernacle assembling all the stones to fit together whose purpose is to bringing down Heaven to earth. The exile is coming to an end, and redemption is about to be revealed. Redemption is at Hand! Repent! Inherit the kingdom of Most High!
“Putting away therefore all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisies, envies, and all evil speaking, as newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that HaShem is gracious: coming to him, a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by G-d, precious. You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to G-d through Yeshua the Messiah.” –1 Peter 2:1-5
When He calls us be the stones of the Heavenly Temple, this also means He calls to become His sons: “… as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become G-d’s children, to those who believe in his name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of G-d.” –John 1:12-13
About Betzalel it is written:
- I have filled him with the spirit of G-d, with wisdom, and with understanding, and with knowledge.
- The spirit of Elokim.
About Messiah it is written:
- the spirit of HaShem shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of HaShem -Isaiah 11:2.
- As it’s written: Spirit of Havaya
Here you can notice that the Name “Havaya” is greater than the name “Elokim”; as Yitro taught: “Havaya is greater than the whole Elokim” (Exodus 18:11).
For Messiah the three attributes are doubled measure:
- Wisdom is accompanied with Counsel
- Understanding is accompanied with might
- Knowledge is accompanied with Fear of HaShem.
Therefore, the three attributes of Betzalel will be given to King Messiah in a double measure (cf. Pirlei D’Rabbi Eliezer ch 3). But since the attributes of the Betzalel are given in double portion to Messiah, how do we know that the Temple is built by the Power of Messiah? By example, for the king Cyrus who permitted Ezra and Nehemiah to rebuild the Temple is called Messiah in the verse: “says HaShem to his Messiah, to Cyrus” (Is 45:1). “he [Cyrus, God’s Messiah and Shepherd] will say of Jerusalem: Let it be rebuilt and of the Temple: Let its foundations be laid” (Is 44:28). These things are mission of Messiah ben Yosef; ie. the Soul of Messiah. These people: Cyrus, Ezra and Nehemiah are embodiments of Messiah ben Yosef. Just as Yehoshua son of Nun of Ephraim, embodies “Messiah ben Yosef” and he made the nation enter the Holy Land (Dt 31:23), Ezra and Nehemiah also resemble this aspect of Messiah ben Yosef. In fact in the Jewish Bible, these two Books (Ezra and Nehemiah) are considered one. And it’s not coincidence that in Gematria these two names together equal: “Yehoshua” (cf. kol haTor 2: 70, 116). Their main mission was to gather the exiles and rebuild the Temple (Ezr 5:15). Therefore in the aspect of Betzalel who builds the Sanctuary, Messiah ben Yosef (the Soul of Messiah) is the force by which the Sanctuary is established.
G-d not only commands the construction of a physical things of stones or wood, etc. He wants each and every person to be a Holy Sanctuary for His Divine Presence. And this is also an aspect of Messiah ben Yosef; leading the war against Amalek so that our human body (which resembles the Tabernacle built by Betzalel – who is ‘Yesod’) will be purified and become a Holy Sanctuary for His Presence.
However the Blessed Holy One will give these three good gifts (Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge – by which the Sanctuary is made) to all Israel, as it is said: The Lord will give out of his mouth wisdom, knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). It’s not written: ‘He has given’, but ‘he will give’ (niten) (cf. Pirk. Eliezer ch 3); Implying that by Messiah ben Yosef the whole Earth has the potential to become a Sanctuary filled with the Holy Divine Presence.
May it be speedily in our days in the merit of our forefathers.
PROVIDING THE MEDICINE BEFORE THE ILLNESS -– Studies from By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
The lengthy first section of our parshah of KI TISA (the entire first Aliyah in the synagogue Torah reading, up to Ex. 31:18) starts with a number of commandments concluding the account of the Sanctuary, its vessels and the daily services of its ministering priests. Then, with a reiteration and amplification of the Fourth Commandment, the Sabbath, its seriousness (violation is punishable by death) and its holiness as an eternal sign between G-d and Israel, Moses’ Forty Days on Mt. Sinai after the giving of the Ten Commandments come to an end. G-d gives him Two Tablets of Testimony, but as he readies to go down the mountain back to the people, G-d tells him that the worst had just happened: the people had already violated the Covenant by making a molten idol.
Even before the sin occurred, the commandments with which KI TISA opens provide precisely the remedy for the coming illness, which was rooted within the dark depths of selfish material lust and craving. The Sanctuary as a whole is a remedy for material craving and the lust for wealth. This is particularly true in the case of the mitzvah with which the parshah opens, the HALF SHEKEL which each Israelite was required to contribute to the Sanctuary and for the purchase of the daily sacrifices so as to put food on the “table” of G-d’s House, the Altar. The HALF SHEKEL is symbolic of charity and the will to GIVE, as opposed to the selfish desire to acquire and consume. The HALF SHEKEL is the remedy for the appetite for material wealth in itself.
When G-d spoke to Moses, He “showed him a kind of coin of fire, the weight of a half shekel” and He said to him: “THIS shall all who pass through the count give — a half shekel” (Ex. 30:13 and Rashi there). This fiery HALF SHEKEL COIN, which made every single citizen an equal partner in the Sanctuary and its upkeep, was the remedy for material lust and the appetite for wealth. Everyone was to join and be a partner in an enterprise that elevates material wealth — the finest vessels of gold, silver and copper, the finest fabrics, choicest animals, flour, oil, wine and spices — by incorporating them in the worship of the One G-d. This is where the display of wealth is truly fitting, a place where each may take a just pride in having a share. Having a joint share with everyone else in the national treasure, the Temple, keeping one’s eyes focussed on its splendid golden vessels and their implicit messages — these are the medicine for the selfish lust for wealth for its own sake.
Differences in wealth and assets were of no significance in this annual half shekel tax that made each citizen an equal partner in the Temple enterprise. The rich could not give more nor the poor less. Souls cannot be quantified and counted — each soul has its own unique significance that would be violated by trying to quantify it or assign it a number. What counts is that each person adds his or her own SELF and WILL, and is willing to play his or her part by paying the “head tax” and “casting a vote”. Numbers and wealth do not count in the eyes of G-d. What counts is each person’s WILL to make a contribution — to have an equal share with everyone else, without pride and without shame, in being part of the whole, feeding the Altar and bringing the fire of G-d’s presence into the world.
THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE
To get a faint grasp of how, forty days after hearing G-d speak from heaven at Sinai, the people could worship a golden calf, it is necessary to understand that the ERUV RAV — the “mixed multitude” who went up with the Children of Israel out of Egypt — were by no means a mere rabble of fellow-travelers who jumped on the wagon together with a band of runaway slaves. The Exodus was far more than a slave breakout. It was a religious revolution, in which the entire idolatry-based worldview of Egypt together with its hierarchy of king, priests and wizards was publicly overthrown and defeated. According to the Zohar (beginning of KI TISA), the shattering of the existing culture and its assumptions caused some of Pharaoh’s leading magicians (the great scientists and philosophers of the time) to join Moses (who was “very great in the eyes of Pharaoh’s servants”, Ex. 11:3), on this new venture out into the wilderness in search of the One G-d. The Midrashim note that some of these magicians even brought their idols with them when they crossed the Red Sea.
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, commenting on the two golden calves made later on by Jeraboam, first king of the Northern Kingdom, asks how it is conceivable that he could have deceived a great multitude with such nonsense as worshiping cows. “Certainly this matter contained very deep and profound reasoning. And if a single page of the philosophical writings on which it was based had survived, it would distance many people from G-d and it would be impossible to come close to Him at all. And for this reason, it is a great benefit to the world that the works justifying this idolatry have been lost.” (Likutey Moharan II:32). [Likewise it is told in Sanhedrin 102b that the soul of King Menashe appeared to Rav Ashi, who asked him, “Since you were all so wise, why did you worship idols?” The king replied, “If you had been there, you would have picked up your robes and come running after us.” See also Taanis 25b, where the angel of the rains is compared to EGLA, a “calf”. The root EGLA is also related to IGUL, a circle or cycle, hinting at how the image of the golden calf was bound up with representing fundamental cosmic cycles.]
“They have turned aside quickly from the path that I commanded them, they have made for themselves a molten EGEL and they are prostrating to it and sacrificing to it and they said, These are your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 32:8).
KI TISA teaches that ultimately, atonement can come only through from the Sage, as epitomized in Moses (whose characteristic quality is NETZACH, “Victory” — as when he “argues” with G-d when pleading for forgiveness, see Likutey Moharan I:4). Moses alone “found favor” in G-d’s eyes, eliciting the revelation of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy (Ex. 34:6): Both before the sin and after the sin, G-d does not change. He is always the same: “loving and gracious, patient, and abundant in mercy and truth.” True atonement comes from practicing these same virtues: “And you shall go in His ways” (Deut. 28:9).
Repentance is not very glorious — it is hard to admit that one did wrong, to have to accept the consequences, atone and struggle to change while living with shame and contrition. In order to escape the ignominy of sin, practitioners of religion are sometimes tempted to present an outer face of sanctimony and irreproachability to others and even to themselves, thereby blinding themselves to their own flaws.
This is not the path of religion and repentance taught by the Torah, which gives naked exposure to people’s real flaws and shortcomings, including even the errors of an Aaron, a Moses or a David, none of whom were spared from criticism.
The Talmud states: “It was not really consistent with what David truly was that he should have sinned with Batsheva, and it was not really consistent with what the Children of Israel were that they sinned with the golden calf. Then why were they made to sin? It was a decree of the King in order to give penitents an excuse” (Avodah Zarah 4b and Rashi there). They were made to sin in order to teach others the ways of repentance (“I will teach sinners your ways”, Psalms 51:15). If they could sin, and still bear the pain and repent, then so can others.
– Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
Haftarat Ki Tisa – When you Take – 1 Kings 18:1-39
The connection between this week’s Torah portion and the haftarah is the subject of idolatry. The Golden Calf of Exodus becomes “Baal” of 1 Kings 18. With Ba’al (L-rd), And applied it to something other than Him. No one is “L-rd,” but our G-d! There is only One – and He is the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob. He is G-d of Israel. Beside Him, there is no g-d.
So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If HaShem is G-d, follow Him; but if Ba’al, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. -1 Kings 18:20
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of HaShem that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of HaShem had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.” Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of HaShem; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water. And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “HaShem G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are G-d in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O HaShem, hear me, that this people may know that You are HaShem G-d, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” Then the fire of HaShem fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “HaShem, He is G-d! HaShem, He is G-d.” -1 Kings 18:30-39
It was not Elijah who revealed G-d to us on Mount Carmel – it was HaShem Himself. People known that You are HaShem Most High and that you have turned their hearts to YOUR side.
How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel. As for me, through Your abundant kindness I will enter Your House; I will prostrate myself toward Your Holy Sanctuary in awe of You. O HaShem, I love the House where You dwell, and the place where Your glory resides. I shall prostrate myself and bow, I shall kneel before HaShem my Maker. As for me, may my prayer to You, HaShem, be at an opportune time; O G-d, in Your abundant kindness, answer me with the truth of Your salvation.
So keep and do [them], for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people’” - Deuteronomy 4:6.
Gaddi – President