Monday, July 16, 2018

Cycles of 41 Days

B"H

9 cycles of 41 days. 7th cycle is from Shavuot (6th of Sivan) to the 17th of Tammuz. The 8th cycle from the 18th of Tammuz to the 29th of Av. The 9th, from Rosh Chodesh Elul to Yom Kippur.

A microcosm of the 41 days within the 7th cycle itself would be from Gimmel Tammuz, the 3rd to the 8th of Tammuz. The microcosm of the 8th cycle would be from 8 to 12.5. And the 9th from 12.5 to the 17th.

Within the period from 3rd to the 8th of Tammuz. The period representing 7/9s would fall within the 7th day of Tammuz, which is the birthday of Yosef HaTzadik.


More on these cycles, usually associated with 40 days:

https://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/2508/jewish/The-120-Day-Version.htm

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Tenth Set of 22 Days: Kuf and Reish, Wind and Lightning Bolts (the Priestly Family of Seorim)

The 18th of Nissan begins the tenth set of 22 days of the Jewish calendar, which parallels the letters Kuf and Reish, as well as the Wind and Lighting Bolts in Perek Shirah. This 22-day period comes in the middle of the Passover holiday, and extends until the 9th of Iyar, halfway through the counting of the Omer.

Kuf means "monkey," which is one of the primary symbols of impurity, Klippah, which itself begins with a Kuf. The Kuf is shaped like an imperfect Heh (which represents holiness), just like a monkey is an imperfect imitation of a human being. At the times that we behave properly, the Torah states that five (gematria of Heh) of us will chase one hundred (gematria of Kuf). 


On the other hand, Kuf can also stand for holiness itself, Kedushah, which also begins with the letter Kuf. We therefore see that the Kuf has potential for both holiness and unholiness, and represents the process of transformation from unholiness to holiness, just as during these days between Passover and Shavuot the Jews went from the 49th level of unholiness to the 49th level of holiness. Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh in his book, The Hebrew Letters, states that the Kuf represents the kabbalistic concept of "Redemption of Fallen Sparks." (p.280) In Kabbalah, redeeming the holy sparks is the very reason for our existence (Tikkun Olam, "fixing the world"), and the rationale behind our exile(s).


The next letter, the Reish, also represents a similar dual concept. It can stand for Rash (poor) or Rosh (head), just as the month of Nissan itself is both the head of all the months and yet a month of humility in which we eat the bread of poverty. Nissan represent Judah, the head of all the tribes, and yet someone who was humbly willing to accept his shortcomings and transform them. Similar to the Kuf, Rav Ginsburgh states that the Reish stands for Avodat HaBerurim (the service of clarification), which is also very much related to the redemption of the sparks mentioned above. Once the Avodat HaBerurim is completed, Mashiach (son of David, from Judah) will come and bring about the ingathering of the exiles and redemption.


Furthermore, the Zohar mentions that two letters Kuf and Reish together also have a connotation of poverty. They form part of the word Sheker, a lie. Kuf and Reish by themselves spell Kar, coldness, also associated with impurity (Raskin). Kuf and Reish are also the first two letters of the word Keri, a strong form of impurity associated with seminal emission, as well as with Amalek. Yet, when the last letter of the word Keri, the yud (which, like the Heh, stands for G-dliness) is placed in the beginning, in front of the Kuf and the Reish, it forms the word Yakar, which means "dear." Here too, we see that impurity can be transformed into a feeling of dearness and closeness to G-d.


A similar theme can be found in the Perek Shirah verses of the Wind and the Lightning Bolts:



The Wind is saying, “I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Do not withhold; bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:6)

The Lightning Bolts are saying, “He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain; He brings forth the wind from His storehouses." (Psalms 135:7)

The verses above are clearly related to the ingathering of the exiles. Both verses speak of the "ends of the earth." This is related to Passover, but also to Yom Ha'Atzma'ut. (See here, how theoretically Yom Ha'Atzma'ut could be celebrated as late as the 9th of Iyar, the 24th day of the Omer). 


Wind in Hebrew is "Ruach," which also means spirit. It is a word specifically connected to Mashiach, and the Haftorah we read for the last day of Passover. The miracle of the splitting of the sea, celebrated on the 7th days of Passover, also is connected to the wind.
The verse of the wind specifically addresses two kinds of exile, north (Assyria) and south (Egypt), telling the forces of impurity to "give up" and "not withhold," elevating the sparks and transforming them into holiness.

The Lightning Bolts also bring to mind the miracles of Egypt and the giving of the Torah at Sinai (marked by both thunder and lightning). The verse also speaks of the Lightning Bolts making "vapors" ascend, which seems very much parallel to the concept of elevating the fallen sparks back to their source. In fact, Rav Ginsburgh mentions "vapor" as an aspect of elevating fallen sparks, related to both the Reish itself and the form of the Reish within the Kuf itself (made of a Reish and Zayin). Interestingly, the verse of the Lightning Bolts also mentions the wind.


The Temple guard for these 22 days is connected to the priestly family of Seorim. Seorim means sheaves of barley, which is exactly the material used for the Omer offering. The Omer is referred to in the Torah as 'Minchat Seorim," an offering of barley. This is connected to the Counting of the Omer done at this time of year. 




Nachshon (S├ętimo dia de Pessach)

As vezes me sinto só
E não vejo solução

São nesses momentos então
Que sei que são passageiros

Que abraço o mundo inteiro
E nos lanço com as mãos

a D'us.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Tractates and 32 Paths (11-day cycles)


Brachot and Rosh Hashanah

Kriat Shemah (accepting the yoke of G-d's kingship)


Shabbat and Yom Kippur

Teshuvah is a two-way process. We are knocking on G-d's door as poor people bereft of mitzvot. If both us and Hashem participate in the Teshuva process (Hashiveinu Hashem Elecha veNashuva), then both are pturim.


Eruvim and Sukkot

- Gemara discussion compares it to Sukkah.
- Aravah; mixing, shaking together the arbah minim


Pesachim and Cheshvan

Or L'Arbah Asar Bodkim et HaChametz L'Or HaNer.
This is the beginning of Avodat HaBerurim. We move from G-d as Creator to G-d as redeemer. We redeem the chametz through engaging in mitzvot (Ner Mitzvah Torah Or)
We go from "Or" (light, the first act of Creation) to "the 14th" (gematria of Yad). And mitzvot elevate the chametz back to the Or, the source of Creation.
My revered father, [the Rebbe Rashab,] once told a chassid at yechidus: “From the time the Holy One, blessed be He, told Avraham, ‘Go forth from your land,’5 and thereafter ‘Avram journeyed on, continuing to travel southward,’6 the mystical mission of beirurim began. [This term signifies the task of sifting materiality, and elevating the Divine sparks that are embedded within all permissible entities and activities, by using them with spiritual purpose.] 


Shekalim and Cheshvan

Temple, elevating the physical (two halves - male and female - see Heh and Vav


Yoma and Cheshvan/Rosh Chodesh Kislev

Yahrzeit of Matisyahu Kohen Gadol
Chanukah


Sukkah and Kislev/Chanukah

8 days paralleling Sukkot; siyum is the story of Miriam bat Bilgah, at the time of Chanukah, who had assimilated and married a Greek guard, who kicked the altar.


Beitzah and  Kislev/Chanukah

Egg that was born on Yom Tov is something that was concealed that is now revealed


Rosh Hashanah and Chanukah/Teveth

- Rosh Chodesh was mitzvah Greeks wanted to abolish. The calendar is the source of Jewish wisdom in the eyes of the nation.
- Machloket regarding Nissan and Tishrei reflects Machloket Yehudah and Yosef


Ta'anit and Teveth/Fast of Teveth

Ta'anit is all about fasting (connection is pretty obvious). (In the division of the Mishna, it also falls here). Also, the Tractate begins with the time we begin to ask for rain in our prayers. This cycle falls around the time of the 4th of December, when outside of Israel we change our prayers to ask for rain


Megillah and Teveth

Law of Blessing before the Torah / Torah Sh'Bichtav


Moed Katan and Yud Shvat (day of Siyum)

Mourning for the Friediker Rebbe


Chagigah and Tu B'Shvat

Trees singing (Chagigah 14b)


Yevamot (and Seder Nashim) and 22nd Shvat

Yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka (she was childless, although all Chabad Chassidim were her children


Ketubot and Adar/Purim

Ketubot starts by speaking about a young virgin that is to get married, like the beginning of Megilat Esther.


Nedarim and Adar

Mitzvah of Half-Shekel/obligations to the Temple needed collecting by the end of Adar


Nazir and Nissan/Pessach preparations/Omer

We don't cut our hair during the Counting of the Omer; we also take on extra stringencies related to chametz (the Nazir is told to avoid "Chometz Yayin"; we also go to the mikvah and, in order to eat the Korban Pessach, we would have to avoid contact with the dead.

Sotah and Pessach/Omer

It is customary to study the tractate of Sotah during the Counting of the Omer, as it has 49 dapim (folios) and the sacrifice brought by the Sotah was of barley, like the omer.


Gittin and Pessach/Omer

Free oneself from Egypt/Ba'al


Kedushin and Iyar/Omer

Preparing for the Wedding with Hashem


Nezikin (Baba Kama, Baba Metzia, Baba Basra) and Lag Ba'Omer

Main laws of Bein Adam L'Chaveroh


Sanhedrin (Sanhedrin and Makkos) and Omer/Rosh Chodesh Sivan


Shvuot and Shavuot

Oaths


Avodah Zarah and Sivan 

Chet HaEgel


Horayos and Tammuz


Zevachim and Tammuz


Menachos and the Three Weeks


Chullin and Tisha B'Av


Bechoros and Av


Arachin-Temura and Av/Rosh Chodesh Elul

Arachin: Mesirat Nefesh - dedicating one's whole being in accordance to the Torah (Av). Making and accounting of one's worth (Elul).

Temura: Mistakenly "switching" a holy object/endeavor for something not holy, and by doing so ultimately making both of them holy - Teshuva, elevating the fallen sparks.


Kerisus and the first days of Elul

Cheshbon HaNefesh
Talmud starts with the enumerating of major major sins
Why give a number? To explain to you that each one has to be atoned for separately, even if it was all one big "forgetting." In Elul, there is a tendency to think, "You know, let me just do a "general" Teshuvah, that should be good enough." The Talmud comes to teach us, "No, each separate action requires its own atonement, even if it was all one great forgetting."


Meilah-Tamid and Elul

Two kinds of Teshuvah
1) for using holy instruments for non-sacred purposes (Meilah)
2) to implement consistency and constant dedication (Tamid)


Niddah and Rosh Hashanah

7-day and 11-day cycles

Week 28 (from the Book): To Recognize our Limits in order to Free Ourselves from Them

The pig [and rabbit] is saying:[1] "G-d is good to the good, and to the straight-hearted." (Psalms 128:2)

Rabbi Eliezer the son of Azariah would say: If there is no Torah, there is no common decency; if there is no common decency, there is no Torah. If there is no wisdom, there is no fear of G-d; if there is no fear of G-d, there is no wisdom. If there is no applied knowledge, there is no analytical knowledge; if there is no analytical knowledge, there is no applied knowledge. If there is no flour, there is no Torah; if there is no Torah, there is no flour.

He would also say: One whose wisdom is greater than his deeds, what is he comparable to? To a tree with many branches and few roots; comes a storm and uproots it, and turns it on its face. As is stated, "He shall be as a lone tree in a wasteland, and shall not see when good comes; he shall dwell parched in the desert, a salt land, uninhabited" (Jeremiah 17:6). But one whose deeds are greater than his wisdom, to what is he compared? To a tree with many roots and few branches, whom all the storms in the world cannot budge from its place. As is stated: "He shall be as a tree planted upon water, who spreads his roots by the river; who fears not when comes heat, whose leaf is ever lush; who worries not in a year of drought, and ceases not to yield fruit" (ibid., v. 8).

Malchut shebeNetzach (kingship within the context of victory and endurance)

On this twenty-eighth week, which includes the first night of Passover, in Perek Shirah, the small impure (non-kosher) domestic animal sings that, “G-d is good to those that are good, and to those that are upright of heart. (Psalm 125:4) Some translations believe this to be a reference to the pig, while others to the rabbit. This week also includes the yahrzeit of the Third Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel (the Tzemach Tzedek), and the birthday of the Seventh Rebbe, who carries the same name of the Third, his ancestor through direct patrilineal descent.[2]

The pig is considered by the sages to be a hypocrite, because it proudly displays the external characteristics of being kosher, split hooves, but internally, its intestines, make it a non-kosher animal. The physical makeup of the rabbit and other animals of its kind (such as the hare and the hyrax) is the exact opposite. These animals do not have split hooves, yet their intestines are that of a kosher animal. Internally, they are "upright of heart," but their actions and external characteristics are clearly not so.

Aside from the pig and the camel (Week Thirty), the hyrax and the hare are the only other two animals explicitly mentioned in the Torah as not being kosher. The Midrash in Vaikra Rabbah 13:5 explains that the hyrax represents the Persian exile, while the hare represents the Greek one. The pig represents the Roman exile, connected to Esau and his descendants. This is the exile we are currently in. The song these animals sing is a reference to the final redemption, when even the pig will be "upright of heart,” and all these animals will be kosher.

Alpha
The Tzemach Tzedek and the Rebbe represent the main thrust of the message of Passover: redemption. The name “Tzemach Tzedek” is actually one of the names of Mashiach, as is also the name “Menachem.” As we see from the animals above, redemption has two major aspects: internal traits (intellectual, emotional) and external ones (material, physical). In relation to “internal” redemption, both the Tzemach Tzedek and the Rebbe introduced very important new concepts in Chassidic thought and were finally able to publish and disseminate the works of previous Rebbes. At the same time, both were extremely successful externally, in the realm of action. The Tzemach Tzedek established agricultural settlements that saved many Jews from dire poverty, and also rescued thousands upon thousands of children forced to enlist in the Russian army. Similarly, the Rebbe was able to establish Jewish centers all over world, and helped save thousands of Jews trapped in the "iron curtain" of the Soviet Union.

The number twenty-eight represents twice the value of fourteen, yad, a reference to the strong and outstretched arm of G-d that took us out of Egypt. (See Week 14) Here, that concept is doubled, representing two outstretched arms. On Passover, we celebrate that Hashem saved us then, while fully believing that He will soon save us again, in a way that is even more miraculous than what took place in Egypt.

Twenty eight is formed by the letters kaf and chet, forming the word koach, which means strength. Koach also means potential energy, that which is yet to be revealed. The pig seems to have the possibility and potential to be kosher, but ultimately it is not – at least not yet. As mentioned earlier, the pig represents Esau, the brother of Jacob, who had enormous potential; that potential made Isaac believe that Esau would ultimately be worthy of the rights and blessings of the firstborn. Like the pig, Esau would also pretend to be a tzadik before his father, so much so that the Midrash relates that Esau would ask Isaac how to tithe salt and straw. Salt and straw do not need to be tithed, and therefore Esau’s request made him look like he was ready to go beyond the letter of the law. The Rebbe explains that salt is an example of potential energy. Salt by itself is just salt, but when combined with other food it can enhance its flavor, and even preserve it from spoiling.

This week, the lesson from Pirkei Avot comes from Rabbi Elazar the son of Azariah. Interestingly, rabbinical discussion in the Passover Haggadah begins with this rabbi’s remarks. In Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Elazar teaches us that without Torah there is no work (also translated as proper social conduct), and without work (or proper social conduct) there is no Torah. Without wisdom there is no fear of G-d, and without fear of G-d, there is no wisdom. Without knowledge, there is no understanding, and without understanding, there is no knowledge. Without flour (sustenance) there is no Torah, and without Torah there is no flour.  Rabbi Elazar also states that anyone whose knowledge exceeds his good deeds is like a tree with many branches and few roots, but one whose good deeds exceed his knowledge is like a tree that has few branches but many roots.

In Rabbi Elazar the son of Azariah’s words we also see the duality and relationship between required internal and external kosher characteristics. Knowledge requires action, and vice versa. Rabbi Elazar does make clear, however, that action must take priority. This was also something emphasized by the Rebbe, who stressed that the main thing is action, “HaMa’aseh Hu HaIkar.”

The flour mentioned here is perhaps also reference to matzah and also to the custom of providing flour to the poor (Maot Chitim, literally “wheat” money), so that they can also properly celebrate Passover. Furthermore, in order to prepare for Passover, we must rid ourselves of our own chametz, both the external leavened (self-inflated) bread, as well as our “internal” chametz, our inflated ego.

This week we complete one more cycle of seven weeks. This week’s sefirah combination is malchut shebenetzach. During the Passover Seder, we experience victory, humility, and redemption, all expressed openly in this physical world. Through the song of the pig and rabbit, we learn to aspire to a life of complete integrity and complete redemption.






[1] The Artscroll translation, by Rabbi Nosson Scherman, includes a picture of a rabbit, not a pig. The Hebrew term can be translated literally as “small/thin impure animal.”
[2] It is worth noting that their respective wives also carry the same name, Chayah Mushka.

Ninth Set of 22 Days: Peh and Tzaddik, Thick and Light Clouds

The 25th of Adar begins the ninth set of 22 days of the Jewish calendar, which parallels the letters Peh and Tzadik, as well as the Thick and Thin Clouds in Perek Shirah. This 22-day period begins during the time of Passover preparations, and runs through the first days of Passover.

Peh stands for Pedut, redemption. Peh literally means "mouth," which is one of the primary symbols of Passover itself. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev states that Pesach stands for Peh - Sach, a mouth converses, as it is a special mitzvah to recount the miracles of our liberation during the Passover Seder. The Megaleh Amukos states that Pharaoh stands for Peh Rah (evil mouth). (Raskin) 


The shape of the letter Peh is a combination of the Kaf and a YudThe Yud stands for G-dliness, and therefore the Peh symbolizes the revelation of G-dliness. Also, the Yud is like a tooth inside the mouth. In the Haggadah of Passover, we learn that the we must "break the teeth" of the evil son, so that he may become a Tzadik, revealing his potential. 


The next letter, the Tzadik, stands for righteousness. The Tzadik is also a combination of letters: a bent Nun and a Yud. The bent Nun symbolizes humility, the trait most associated with Moshe, of whom the Torah testifies that he was the most humble of men. Humility, destroying one's spiritual Chametz (leavened bread, ego) is certainly one of the main themes of this time as well. It is also through humility that we reveal the Yud, G-dliness.


A similar theme can be found in the Perek Shirah verses of the Thick and Thin Clouds:



The Thick Clouds are saying, “He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion around Him was dark with waters and thick clouds of the skies.” (Psalms 18:12)

The Light Clouds are saying, “Also He burdens the thick cloud with overflow; the [light] cloud scatters its light. (Job 37:11)

The thick, usually dark, clouds symbolize the potential for tremendous rain. This overflow of water (which is always a metaphor for the Torah itself) is very much connected to extensive recounting of the Passover story, as well as the potential the evil son has to bring tremendous good and blessing to the world.


The light clouds also spread the knowledge of G-d, "scattering His light." The clouds' lightness also appears to symbolize humility. It is their very lightness that allows them to have such strong reflective powers. The same is true for all Tzadikim and the Jewish people as a whole. They are a reflection of G-d's light.


In Hebrew, light clouds are called Ananei HaKavod, "Clouds of Glory," the term used for the clouds that protected the Jewish people during the the time of the Exodus from Egypt and the Passover story. The clouds were given to the Jewish people in the merit of Aharon's righteousness. After Aharon passed away, the clouds disappeared. They were later reinstated in the merit of another Tzadik, Moshe Rabbeinu. 







Thursday, March 22, 2018

Week 27 (From the Book): To Purify Ourselves in order to Change

The cow is saying, "Rejoice to the Lord over our strength, trumpet to the Lord of Jacob!" (Psalms 81:2)

Rabbi Akiva would say: Jesting and frivolity accustom a person to promiscuity. Tradition is a safety fence to Torah, tithing a safety fence to wealth, vows a safety fence for abstinence; a safety fence for wisdom is silence.

He would also say: Beloved is man, for he was created in the image [of G-d]; it is a sign of even greater love that it has been made known to him that he was created in the image, as it is says, "For in the image of G-d, He made man" (Genesis 9:6). Beloved are Israel, for they are called children of G-d; it is a sign of even greater love that it has been made known to them that they are called children of G-d, as it is stated: "You are children of the L-rd your G-d" (Deuteronomy 14:1). Beloved are Israel, for they were given a precious article; it is a sign of even greater love that it has been made known to them that they were given a precious article, as it is stated: "I have given you a good purchase; My Torah, do not forsake it" (Proverbs 4:2).

All is foreseen, and freedom of choice is granted. The world is judged with goodness, but in accordance with the amount of man's positive deeds.

He would also say: Everything is placed in pledge, and a net is spread over all the living. The store is open, the storekeeper extends credit, the account-book lies open, the hand writes, and all who wish to borrow may come and borrow. The collection-officers make their rounds every day and exact payment from man, with his knowledge and without his knowledge. Their case is well founded, the judgment is a judgment of truth, and ultimately, all is prepared for the feast.

Yesod shebeNetzach (foundation and firmness within the context of victory and endurance)

As we arrive at week twenty-seven, even closer to Passover, it is the turn of the large pure (kosher) domestic animal to proclaim that we rejoice to the G-d of Jacob, the source of our strength. (Psalm 81:2) The large pure domestic animal is seen as a reference to the cow. The Jewish people are called by the names Israel and Jacob. Jacob is usually the name used when we are in a more fragile, humble state. When we are feeling weak, we must rely even more on Hashem as the source of our strength. This is also the week of the yahrzeit of the Rebbe Rashab, on the 2nd of Nissan. The Rebbe Rashab’s leadership took place during a tumultuous time in Jewish history, when the Jewish people were in a particularly fragile state (like the song of the cow), and faced the harsh anti-religious oppression of the Bolsheviks in Russia.

The cow also represents the spiritual exile and impurity of Egypt, embodied by the golden calf. Conversely, the cow also represents the purification through the Parah Adumah, the Red Heifer. The Red Heifer had to be completely red, pure and complete/whole (tamim).[1] The Red Heifer's ashes were used for purification of the highest form of impurity - contact with the dead. This purification process had to be performed by every Jew that found himself in a state of impurity in order to bring the Passover offering during this month.  It is for this reason that we read a special Torah portion about the Red Heifer, known as Parashat Parah, in a few weeks before this holiday. The Rebbe Rashab also is a tremendous example of purity. He established Tomchei Tmimim yeshiva system – its students were known as tmimim, the pure, wholesome ones. The Rebbe Rashab’s last ma’amar was about the ultimate destruction of Amalek and the husks of impurity (kelipah).

The number twenty-seven is formed by the Hebrew letters kaf and zayin, which form the word zach, “pure.” In preparation for Passover, we must purify ourselves physically and spiritually, returning to G-d, and eagerly awaiting his redemption.

The Pirkei Avot for week twenty-seven is found in the lessons of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva is known for his many popular sayings, one of which is directly related to the purification of the people of Israel. Rabbi Akiva states how praiseworthy are the Jewish people, whose purification comes directly from our Father in Heaven.[2]  In the Pirkei Avot for this week, Rabbi Akiva first describes how to maintain one’s purity, by not engaging in jest. He also describes how dear is man, since he was created in the image of G-d, and how beloved are the People of Israel, who are called G-d’s children and were given the Torah. Rabbi Akiva’s section in Pirkei Avot includes several other fundamental and profound teachings that serve as the intellectual foundation of the Jewish religion. Similarly, the teachings of the Rebbe Rashab serve as intellectual foundation of Chabad philosophy.

Rabbi Akiva ends his words in Pirkei Avot stating that everything is prepared for the feast. In Nissan, too, everything is prepared for the feast of Passover. There is no one better than Rabbi Akiva to be sharing his lessons during the month of Nissan, given that he is one of the greatest examples of complete humility and self-sacrifice (qualities related to this month and to Passover). This sage began to study Torah at the age of 40, sitting silently and humbly alongside small children... and the result? Rabbi Akiva became one of the greatest Torah scholars of all time. Rabbi Akiva’s name also has the same root as the name Jacob. Both names come from the word eikev, which means heel. This is in contrast to the name Israel, which contains the same letters as Li Rosh, “mine is the head.” While the head is the highest part of the body, the heel is the lowest.

This week’s sefirot combination results in yesod shebenetzach, that is, foundation within determination, victory and redemption. This is perhaps the most prominent feature of Jewish education during our long exile. Nissan is when we were liberated from Egypt, physically and spiritually, and when we will be liberated from the current exile as well.

The lesson learned from the cow is that in the journey to make our tikkun - our spiritual correction, the very reason why we came into the world - G-d is the source of our strength. The cow sings about Jacob, who worked hard all his life to overcome the obstacles laid out before him along the way. Only after much perseverance and determination did Jacob manage to overcome these difficulties and become Israel. Each of us also undergoes changes and progress, even if we do not realize it. In this process, G-d is always by our side.






[1] The word tamim is related to the word tam, simple/pure, which is also connected to Jacob. In his early years, Jacob is called an “Ish Tam Yoshev Ohalim,” a pure/simple man who dwells in the tents (of study). (Genesis 25:27)
[2] Mishnah, Yoma 8:9
DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF PEREK SHIRAH HERE!