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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 2 (Book 3): Casting our Ego into Water, Seth and Soulmates, connecting to our Father and preparing for Sukkot.

SONG OF THE SEA: a horse and its rider He cast into the sea. The Eternal's strength and His vengeance were my salvation;
HAFTORAH: When breaches are made in Israel, when the people offer themselves willingly, bless the Lord.
TALMUD SOTAH: Daf 2 - How couples are matched and brought together
GENERATIONS FROM ADAM TO THE LAST KING OF JUDAH: Seth
JOURNEYS IN THE DESERT: The children of Israel journeyed from Rameses and camped in Succoth.
 
The second week of the Jewish calendar is the week of Yom Kippur. The Song of the Sea’s verses are about Hashem casting “horse and rider” in the sea, and how Hashem is our strength and song, and the source of our salvation. This is the idea of Yom Kippur, we throw ourselves into the mikvah(here represented by the sea) and we are purified. As Rabbi Akiva states, Hashem Himself is our mikvah. He is our strength, song, and salvation – and we only fully realize this on Yom Kippur itself. (The theme of water and being rescued on Yom Kippur is found in Week 2 of Book 2 as well)
The verses of the Haftorahspeak of the “breaches made in Israel,” and interestingly enough "breaches" (phra'ot in Hebrew) has the same root as the word for “Pharaoh.” The verses speak of liberation from “Pharaoh,” who represents the idea of an oversized ego as well as of stubbornness. Once we recognize the damage of our ego, and nulify it by giving ourselves willingly to G-d, that is how to truly bless Hashem on Yom Kippur.
Daf Beit (Folio 2) of Sotah, which is in fact the first daf of the tractate, discusses how couples are predetermined at the time souls come down from Heaven. Two is about the concept of a mate. (See Book 1).
Seth served as a consolation to Adam and Eve for losing their son Abel. This theme ties in perfectly with the week of Yom Kippur, in which we do our best to undo past sins, or better yet transform our sins into merits.
In this second week, the Jews journey from Ramses and camped in Succoth. (“Ramses”means the G-d of the sun created him/it). The personal journey is to internalize the concept that Hashem is our Father and Creator, and now focus on the concept of Hashem as our protector. In the calendar year, after Yom Kippur, we literally prepare ourselves for Sukkot.
An important lesson we learn from Seth in our approach to prayer and Divine service is to truly understand that Hashem is the Source of all. Seth, Shet in Hebrew, means foundation and source, like the Even Shetiah, the Foundation Stone, from which the world was created. (This stone was located in the Holy of Holies, which would only be accessed once a year, on Yom Kippur) In prayer and Divine service, we do our utmost to bring down to earth G-d's blessings, bringing the spiritual down into the material.
 
 
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