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, August 18, 2014
Week 46 (Book 4b): Enduring Through Vulnerable Times
SONG OF SONGS: 8. We have a little sister who has no
breasts; what shall we do for our sister on the day she is spoken for?
Week 46 in
the Jewish calendar is the last week of Av.
It is also the week of the yahrzeit of
the Rebbe’s father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson. In the verse of ShirHaShirim
for this week, Hashem refers to the Jewish people as a “little sister who has no breasts.” Rashi explains that its time for redemption
has not yet arrived - a vulnerable situation, which makes us susceptible to
attacks by others. This is similar to the Jewish experience in Av, and to the difficulties the Rebbe’s
father endured. Eventually, our situation will improve and we will be redeemed.
seventy souls of the Jewish people that descended to Egypt, the forty-sixth
mentioned is Briah. The name Briah means “cut down, cropped.” (Jastrow) This
week is also connected to Dan, whose name comes from the word Din, judgement. We are getting close to
the end of the period of stern judgement, in which we have been cut down and
DafMem Vav (Folio 46) of Shvuot continues the discussion of oaths
taken by a worker. Again, there’s discussion relating to someone enters someone
else’s house without permission, as well as someone who was injured. The general
theme seems to be still related to the tragic events that took place in Av. The Daf ends with a new discussion about people who are disqualified
from taking oaths, such as those that have sworn falsely in the past. This
appear to introduce the theme of Teshuvah
and our need to change, which is the central theme of the month of Elul.
Chapter 46 of the Book of Jeremiah
contains a similar theme to the above. The chapter speaks of the downfall of
Egypt – how it will be cut down. Egypt also will be paid back for its sins, and
the Jewish people, long susceptible to attacks by others, will no longer need
to live in fear. Overall, there is a switch to focusing on the other nations
and their faults. Rebbe Nachman teaches that each gentile nation is associated
with a specific impurity (See Likutei
Moharan Torah Kuf Alef, Lesson 101) As we approach Elul and begin working on correcting our ways, we focus on one
source of impurity at a time:
22. Its voice shall go like [that of] the snake, for
they will march with an army and will come against her with axes as if they
were hewers of wood.
23. They will cut down her forest, says the Lord, for
they are innumerable, for they are more numerous than locusts and they are
24. The daughter of Egypt has been put to shame; she
has been delivered into the hand[s] of the people of the north.
25. The Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel has said: Lo
I will visit upon Amon of No and upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt, and upon their
gods and upon their kings, both upon Pharaoh and upon those who put their trust
26. And I will deliver them into the hand[s] of those
who seek their lives and into the hand[s] of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon,
and into the hand[s] of his servants-and after that it will be inhabited again
as in the days of old, says the Lord.
27. You fear not, O Jacob My servant, and be not
dismayed, O Israel! for behold, I will redeem you from afar and your children
from the land of their captivity, and Jacob shall return and be quiet and at
ease, and there shall be none who disturb his rest.
28. You fear not, My servant Jacob, says the Lord, for
I am with you, for I will make a full end of all the nations where I have
driven you, but of you I will not make a full end, but I will chastise you
justly, and I will not completely destroy you.