Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The Torah, the oldest book in the world (although "Sefer Hayetzira" is purportedly authored by Abraham), authored by Moses mostly under dictation by G-d over a 40-year span, if analyzed for chronology, yields the age of the universe to be 5,770 years old.
Scientists cannot agree about the age of the universe by a factor of billions of years, but hardly any of them concur with the Torah view of the world's age to be a "mere" 5,770 years old.
So why has history of man been recorded for only a few millennia, if we've been around for so much longer? Did we suddenly gain wisdom only a few millennia ago? Why does everything before that time draw a blank? Even if evolutionary theory were to be true (but it's not), surely 5,000 years is a mere pittance of time in which nothing significant could have happened to render the wisdom of people prior to this time incompetent of writing, or history-taking.
The leap of faith taken by believers of a billions-year-old universe derives from scientific assessment of rock age, astronomical mathematics, or the like. These findings offer enough comfort for them to stake their ancient primordial claim.
The Talmud, on the other hand, dismisses this billions-year-old claim rather simply. When G-d created the universe, it was created with its embedded particulars already with a given age attributable to them. Every physical element or configuration did not need to undergo an entire ontogenesis when it made its existential debut. For example, as the Torah relates, Adam, the first man, was created as an adult of profound intelligence.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Biblical Hebrew, the language created by G-d, tells us much about its Creator. Most Hebrew words derive from a 3-letter "root". Let's look at a few.
Take the root for "world", עולם. It means "to conceal", as in Melachim B, 4, 27 - " … and G-d concealed it from me and did not tell me". This root, conjugated in another way, means "to disappear", also a concealment.
It doesn't take much reflection to realize that G-d wants for us to search and reveal His Presence in this world - the best we can.
How does G-d hide? He makes it look as if the world runs on its own, as if a flawless, eternal engine runs the world. G-d hides behind the veil of Nature. The root of "Nature", טבע, means "to submerge", as in, Shmot 15, 4: "Pharoah's chariots and … his very best officers were submerged in the Red Sea". The word itself implies Nature is but a facade that covers the hidden, controlling power.
Another conjugation of טבע yields "a ring" (טבעת), as in a wedding ring. Its meaning is similar to submerge, in the following way. Draw a circle on a paper, to form a ring. Imagine how - if you were living as a dot on that paper's two-dimensional surface, and you were "outside" the ring, you'd not be able to see "inside" the ring, because the ring in effect is the defined boundary. Similarly, all dots living outside the circle are kept from seeing inside of the ring.
Let's take the dot parable one step further. To enable the dot living outside the ring to see the goings on inside the ring, we could "create" for the dots an extra dimension to live in; Instead of allowing it only a two-dimensional living space, let's allow it to live in 3-dimensional space. Now the dot can simply be "lifted" a little off the paper, and presto, it will immediately be able to see beyond the boundary of the ring that until now had blocked its "sight".
Similarly it will be for us, humans, living presently within the confines of a 4-dimensional space/time framework. Sometime during the Messianic era we too will be "lifted" out of our present 4-dimensional confines to be able to "see" well beyond what we see today. We'll have more dimensions within which to explore and be enlightened. Just as sure as the dot could see so much more once it was lifted off its 2-dimensional world, we too will see much more when we're lifted beyond the Natural world.
Another telling word is "exile", גולה, the present era devoid of the Temple of G-d situated in Jerusalem, the 2nd of which was destroyed some 2,000 years ago. The 3rd Temple will be built soon during the Messianic era. The root word for exile means "to reveal". That is to say, it's destined to reveal. And what will be revealed? The word for "redemption" is גאולה, the same word as "exile", only with the addition of the letter א inserted into it. For that's when the revelation of G-d will happen, when the uplifting of our senses will enable us to see beyond its present confines. The "supernatural" of today will become the "natural" of tomorrow.
What has been concealed will in the very near future be revealed. But for now, as long as we're under the guidelines and control of Nature, we are still expected to play the game G-d has set up for us in exile, "Hide and Seek" - He hides and we need seek Him out.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Man's anatomy comprises a physical body and a spiritual factor.
The Jew's spiritual factor itself is dichotomous; One component is his Animal Soul; The second one is his G-dly Soul. This last component, according to the 1st Lubavitcher Rebbe, "... is an actual, veritable part of G-d" [notwithstanding our inability to comprehend this fact].
Despite the lowly statuses of the Body and Animal Soul, they have, surprisingly, a significant redeeming value. This can manifest by recognizing their inferior attributes. The Body and Animal Soul give rise to the differences between people. These two constituents contribute to the features that distinguish people one from another. The G-dly Soul, in contrast, remains equivalent among Jews.
It follows, therefore, if a Jew can rise above his lowly essence, i.e., above the contributors of his identity, he elevates himself into a realm wherein all G-dly components are hewn from the same Rock. If a Jew can bring himself to reach this perspective and live with it, he will have attained the level of loving his fellow Jew as he loves himself.
This tremendous effort, this immense shift in mindset, by definition, requires rejecting the Body and Animal Soul that keep tugging him to lesser states. These detractors, like gravity, constantly flash before him his uniqueness and individuality to draw his psyche "downward"; Like a woman of ill repute who keeps trying to seduce a noble character to succumb.
But the proud Jew, keenly aware of his noble soul, resists its competitors that seek to lower him, as sure as the brain, perched high above his heart, with applied wisdom can overrule the lust emoting from below, to stay the high ground.
In this transcendant state a Jew can love and appreciate the spiritual stature of his fellow Jew, as well as love his G-d, which really amounts to the same thing.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
There are leaders and there is a leader.
When Moses and his brother Aaron first went to see Pharoah, they were accompanied by 70 Jewish dignitaries. By the time they got to Pharoah, only Moses and Aaron were left. The elders, out of fear, dropped away one by one until none of them remained.
Then there was the time during the Ten Commandments event. It happened that the Jewish elders took this sacred phenomenon light-heartedly. Later they were punished for their nonchalance.
Remember the 12 leaders of the Jewish tribes that went to spy out The Holy Land? Ten of them were killed for lack of faith and unwillingness to enter Israel.
Then there's the story of Korach and the 250 sages who were heads of Sanhedriot and leaders of Jews. They too died a horrible death for doubting and opposing Moses.
How about the story of the leader of the tribe of Shimon, Zimri, who antagonized Moses and fell prey to Bilaam's wicked plot for Jews to sin. He too suffered a miserable death, at the hands of the righteous Pinchas.
The lesson we simpletons must learn from this is that so-called leaders of the Jews - are one thing. But the "head of all the Jews" (in Hebrew the acronym spells "Rebbe"), the Moses of the generation - why he's a whole other realm of sanctity and leadership. He's the only one we can rely on wholeheartedly.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Got this email from a friend. See how every president - but this usurper of the White House - has an American flag in the background. This is a deliberate omission. The silence of the mainstream media regarding this snub at America the great - is deafening.
Monday, June 07, 2010
Now that an illegitimate or Muslim candidate has been planted in the White House to commandeer the presidency of the United States; Now that irresponsible dictators have their itchy fingers on a nuclear trigger; Now that most nations on the globe wish evil for the Jewish people and the Holy Land; Now that a farcical nation of "Palestinian people" has been sanctioned to exist by all these nations; That is, now that the world suffers social and economic chaos, and Israel is marginalized and made to appear as a wicked entity, even by some of its own people within and without Israel, it seems we are quickly approaching a watershed era in world history. It is nothing less significant than the pre-Messianic era when two sides of the "Jewish issue" are clearly being delineated, when people clearly must embrace one side or the other.
Never before has the fate of so many lives across continents been made vulnerable to a split-second annihilation; Never before have so many media in so many lands synchronized their propaganda to slander Israel for aggression; Never before have so many nations silently legitimized Islamic terror or succumbed to Islamic infiltration, deflecting the heat on Jews and Israel; And never before has Israel been so overhauled systemically to dismember itself from within.
Please read my previous post regarding the prophecy in the last several verses in the Book of Daniel where it speaks about a collective separation into two distinct camps, one aligned with good, the other with the bad, as the Messianic era dawns.
It is a critical time. The spiritual forces of evil sense the imminent utopia. So they're determined to make their last stand now at all costs. If the world is to be cured of iniquity, then iniquity will put up the fight of its life to resist the makeover. Ideological differences among the wicked will be put aside as long as they find common ground to coalesce in their final do or die struggle against the Jewish cause.
The Jewish camp and their supporters, on the other hand, will react differently. Those aware of the transcendental providence, realizing the supernatural course of events and having faith in G-d, will observe the oncoming confrontation with more vigor in their commitments to G-d. Others, who still see these events dressed over by the veil of Nature, may well fret, unnecessarily upsetting themselves. But for these too, sooner or later, it will become evident they belong in the camp of good, in the camp of G-d, and will therefore come out victorious in this last war against evil.