THE KABBALAH OF TIME:
Kahane and Wainer explain that the calendar is the master key to unlock the hidden rationale behind the formal structure of ancient sacred texts, as well as to understand basic mystical concepts. When comprehended within the context of the Jewish calendar, these works reveal the spiritual energy of each week, serving as a practical guide for self-analysis and development.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Week 11 (Book 4a): Creating a Kosher Environment
STORY OF CHANNAH:11. And she vowed a vow, and said: to
Lord of Hosts, if You will look upon the affliction of Your bondswoman, and You
will remember me, and You will not forget Your bondswoman and You will give
Your bondswoman a man-child, and I shall give him to the Lord all the days of
his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.
QUALITY OF THOSE THAT STUDY TORAH FOR
ITS OWN SAKE: makes him fit to be righteous
PROVERBS: Chapter 11
TZADIKKIM: Rabbi Israel Taub, the
Divrei Israel, founder of the Modzitz Chassidic dynasty (13th of Kislev), and
his son, Rabbi Shaul Yedidya Elazer Taub (16th of Kislev)
On Week 11, the week of Yud Kislev,
the verse from the story of Hannah recounts the vow she took if Hashem would
grant her a son. Yud Kislev is also about a son - Rabbi Dovber of Lubavitch -
the son of the Alter Rebbe, who followed in his father’s footsteps. The Alter
Rebbe was very meticulous about his upbringing and education, raising him in
great sanctity, much like Samuel the Prophet himself.
The Pirkei Avot adjective of this
week is that Torah “makes him fit to be righteous.” The Hebrew words used can
be more literally translated as “makes him kosher to be a Tzadik.” It is very
much related to Hannah’s words above, and the need to give children a kosher
environment, one that will make it possible for them to live the holy lifestyle
of a Tzadik. Equally important are the prayers of the parents. Rebbe Nachman
said about himself that he reached the heights that he did in the merit of his
mother’s prayers. About Rabbi Chanina, the Pirkei Avot states, “Ashrei Yoladtoh,”
praiseworthy is the one that gave birth to him.
Chapter 11 of the Book of Proverbs
contains many of the above themes. It continues the trend of the previous
chapter, contrasting the righteous with the wicked:
1. Deceitful scales are an abomination of the Lord, but a
perfect weight is His will.
2. When willful wickedness comes, then comes disgrace, but
with the modest is wisdom.
3. The innocence of the upright leads them, but the
distortion of the treacherous robs them.
4. Riches will not avail on the day of wrath, but charity
will save from death.
5. The righteousness of the innocent will straighten his way,
but the wicked will fall in his wickedness.
6. The righteousness of the upright will save them, but in
the destruction, the treacherous will be caught.
7. When a wicked man dies, hope is lost, and the expectation
of his children is lost.
8. A righteous man is extricated from trouble, and a wicked
man comes in his stead.
9. With his mouth, the flatterer destroys his neighbor; but
with knowledge, righteous men are extricated.
10. When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
and when the wicked perish, there is song.
11. With the blessing of the upright, the ceiling is raised,
but with the mouth of the wicked it is demolished.
As mentioned last week, the contrast
between the righteous and the wicked is also one of the themes of Chanukah, in
which the “righteous few” overcame the “wicked many.” It also seems related to
the righteousness of the Mitteler Rebbe.
This week includes many yahrzeits,
often including two of the Rebbes of Modzitz. Rabbi Yisrael Taub (13thof Kislev)
was the founder of the dynasty. He is known for composing more than two hundred
songs, many of which are still sung today by various Chassidic groups. His most
famous song was composed during the amputation of his leg, which was done
without anesthesia. He is also known as the Divrei Yisrael, the title of his
commentary on the three first books of the Torah.
This week (often) includes the yahrzeit
of Rabbi Israel Taub’s son, Rabbi Shaul Yedidya Elazer Taub (16th of Kislev),
the second Modzitzer Rebbe. He composed over 1000 melodies. He passed away in
Israel in 1947. He had arrived there only recently, and it was his intent to
remain in Israel and settle there.
Other yahrzeits this week include
Rabbi Yitzchak ben Rabbi Yisroel Friedman of Sadiger (11th of Kislev),
Rabbi Avraham Dov Auerbach of Avritch (12th of Kislev), Rabbi Yisroel Friedman,
the second Chortkover Rebbe (13th of Kislev), Rabbi David Abuchatzeira (14th of
Kislev), Rabbi David Twersky of Skver (15th of Kislev), and Rabbi Menachem son
of Rabbi Yaakov David Kalisch, the second Amshinover Rebbe.