Weekly Cycle

Monday, December 26, 2016

Introduction to Book 4


Book 4

In the first part of the Book of Numbers, Bamidbar, things are still going smoothly in the desert. The Tribes are counted, and a special focus on the “prince” of each tribe, the Nassi. The Princes bring offerings, Aharon lights the Menorah, the Second Passover takes place, and the formation is set in which the Jews will journey in the desert. Overall, it’s a general sense of feeling beloved and the eminent entrance into the Land of Israel.

Book 4a is also about realizing that we are spiritual in essence, connecting to the Tzadik (the righteous one) within each one of us, as well as the Tzadik Yesod Olam, the leader of the generation, who is also known as the Nassi. It is also about being on the level of being able to be confronted with ideologies and ideas that run counter to Judaism, and being able to reject the bad but yet elevate the kernel of truth found within them. As mentioned above, that is also what Bamidbar is about.

Much of these themes are reflected in the life of King Solomon, the consummate Tzadik, who lays everything before us in his writings, our spiritual encampment so to speak. As the King of Israel, along with King David, he is also the ultimate Nassi.

The sets of 52 explored in this book are as follows:

Hanna’s story and song is about the making of a Tzadik and Nassi: Shmuel. It is also about Elkanah and Eli, who were the leaders of the generation at the time.

Chapter 6 of Pirkei Avot lays out the characteristics connected to those who study Torah for its own sake, a stage of perfection associated with the Tzadik.

The book also explores the lives of more recent Tzadikim. Each Tzadik is particularly connected with the date of his/her passing, in which the soul of the Tzadik reached ultimate completion.

Finally, we delve into each of the writings of King Solomon, starting with the Book of Proverbs, followed by Ecclesiastes, Psalm 72 and the Song of Songs. There are 52 chapters in total. An attempt will also be made to describe the Thirteen Tales of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, which contain similar themes.

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