Ha’azinu

Ha'azinu by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron                                                           בס"ד

לשכנו תדרשו

Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land

Contemplate the Years of Generations

This parsha asks us to “remember the days of yore, contemplate the years of generations.” One of the ways to do this is to contemplate how the events of history correspond with the spiritual system of years specified by our Sages and by the Kabbalah. According to our Sages, each millennium corresponds to a different day of the Creation. Therefore, the first millennium corresponds to the first day, the second millennium to the second day, etc. This concept is taken further by the Kabbalists who say that just as each day corresponds to a different Kabbalistic sefira, e.g the first day – hesed/kindness, second – gevura/might, so to each millennium corresponds to a different sefira. Not only this, but the famous Kabbalist the Rashash makes a Kabbalistic parallelism not only for each millennium, but also for each century, decade, year, month, day, hour, etc. Obviously, contemplating this matter throughout the annals of history would take many books, but here we would like to take a short glimpse into this matter in a ‘nutshell.’ We will examine Jewish history, since the verse in this parsha hints to the fact that the People of Israel are a primary/”soul-source” factor in the changes of world history – “He makes the borders of the nations according to the numbers of Israel. For Hashem’s Lot is His People…”

The First Millenium, according to Jewish history, begins with the creation of the First Man – “Adam Harishon” – and ends shortly after this Man’s death. We may say that this millennium signifies the attribute of hesed/kindness, since First Man who lived throughout (almost all) this millenium is considered the “direct creation of Hashem,” signifying direct Divine kindness. The attribute of kindness represents the Divine source of giving and benevolence. Based on this we also understand why during this millennium First Man was supposed to live forever, and even after his sin, he and his descendants lived close to a thousand years, according to the Torah. This longevity expresses the “Divine state of kindness” during this millennium, when the Divine soul could live for relatively very long expands of time, for the Divine aspects are eternal, and therefore man was relatively not limited to the finite and limiting aspects of the earthly.

The Second Millenium represents the attribute of “judgment”/might/gevura. This attribute, in contrast to the attribute of kindness just mentioned, is meant to limit matters and is also more closely related to the earthly. Therefore, we see during this Millenium the generations that involved themselves greatly with their earthly desires and sinned before Hashem. Here we also see God’s “judgment” upon them through the events of the Deluge. Nevertheless, people continued to sin in the events of the Tower of Babylon, and God’s judgment was also enacted upon them. Man’s life was also severely reduced and limited during this millennium.’

The Third Millenium represents the attribute of tiferet/beauty. This attribute, which is considered the connection, or “middle path” between the two previous “opposing” attributes, represents the “beauty” or harmony between these attributes. This attribute also represents “rectification,” since the first attribute of kindness represents the Divine ideal, the second attribute of might represents the earthly differing from the Divine ideal, while this third attribute of beauty represents the return and “rectification” towards the “Divine ideal” albeit harmonized with the confines of the “earthly.” This Millenium contains the period of our Patriarchs till Moshe Rabeinu, who, according to our Sages, “rectified” the world spiritually after the spiritual turmoil of the Second Millenium. “Divine ideals” were “solidified” through a righteous family and nation, through the systemized teachings of the Torah that became binding upon this nation, through bringing the Holy Presence upon earth via the Mishkan and later the First Temple, Israel became a world power and leader, and prophecy, according to our Sages, was manifest among Israel during this period.

The Fourth Millenium represents the attribute of netzach/”everlasting.” The spiritual light of rectification found in the Third Millenium continues to persist in the “everlasting” nature of this Millenium. However, this attribute lies “under” the previous, representing a closer connection with the earthly. Therefore, the “grandeur” found in the previous Millenium begins to wane, and through the sins of Israel, the First Temple is destroyed and Israel enters the Babylonian Exile. Nevertheless, Israel “persist” and return to the Land of Israel to build the Second Temple in the era of Ezra. Here the grandeur of Israel wanes again, and through the sins of Israel, the Second Temple is also destroyed. The Tannaic period manages to allow some of Israel’s spiritual stature to “persevere.” However, upon the end of this period Rambam writes that Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi saw that “[Torah] scholars were lessened, new troubles were constantly rising [against Israel], the wicked [Roman] empire was increasing its power, and Israel were becoming ever more scattered,” and therefore he wrote the Mishna, so there would be a clear codified law to help the People. Indeed, the “signing” of the Mishna ends the Fourth Millenium and begins the “dark” ages of the Fifth Millenium, called by the Zohar “a thousand years of [decreed] Exile (commentators explain: the Sixth Millenium is not a “decreed” exile but has taken on an elongated exile due to sins, unfortunately).”

The Fifth Millenium represents the attribute of hod/majestic splendor. “Majestic Splendor” is close, Kabbalistically speaking, to the attribute of majesty/malchut, and both are associated with what is called the “left-side” or the “side of judgment” similar to the Second Millenium, which was also a period of spiritual turmoil as mentioned above. Nevertheless, during this period there were also great spiritual luminaries and achievements, many of which are also related to the attribute of “majesty/majestic splendor” which exhibits the spiritual light upon the “earthly” (see this concept above in Second Millenium) in a more manifest. Therefore, during this period we see important works in responsa, connecting Torah to the questions of the masses, important commentaries on the Written and Oral Torah, and halachic works that also elucidate the Torah to the masses.

The Sixth Millenium, within which we live today, represents the attribute of yesod/”foundation.” A foundation connects the “lofty/heavenly” house to the earth. This “connection” is also identified as being part of the “middle path” explained in the Third Millenium and is also similar to the spiritual “rectification” or “renewal” mentioned there. It is also not surprising that throughout the world has become ever more “inter-connected” and global. This Millenium began with the dissemination of the holy Zohar and continued with more systemized halachic works (see above systemized Torah teaching of the Third Millenium) such as the dissemination of the Mishneh Torah and Shulhan Aruch. Here there has also been the “renewal” of Divine inspiration amongst the righteous and the dissemination of the Kabbalah to “connect” all earth to its Divine origin. There have also been tragic events of Exile during this Millenium, such as the Inquisition and Expulsion from Spain and the Holocaust. However, in perplexing ways, in ways only Hashem really knows their depth and direction, these events also triggered the “renewal” of our People’s connection and foundation in the Holy Land. Therefore, Hebron, the City of Unity (“hibur”) plays a crucial role in the foundation of Israel in our Land, our People’s spiritual renewal, and ultimately our future redemption. Within the Sixth Millenium, this past year 5780 was the tenth year (malchut sefira, the ninth year is yesod etc.) of the eighth decade of the eighth century, associated according to the Rashash with the sefirot of hod and malchut, sefirot related to harsh judgment. This year 5781 we begin a new decade associated with yesod (within the Millenium of yesod). Therefore, we raise our prayers that this year and decade be years of great spiritual renewal for our People and for the whole world, that our People be founded firmly in our Holy Land, and that the Holy Presence returns to Its proper Abode in the Beit Hamikdash, along with Mashiach, speedily in our days!


Real Miracles (continuation from last week):

Sharon (a man) Nachshoni continues to tell the story of what he saw during the period of 17 minutes he was considered clinically dead: Sharon heard the “good voice” (which would talk positively about him) in the Heavenly Court saying that he supports yeshivot, and that is a great mitzvah. However, the “bad voice” (which would talk negatively about him) said that Sharon is arrogant about the good things he does, placing a placard of recognition on the wall of his home. The “bad voice” also accused Sharon of not having intent on Hashem’s Name when saying everyday blessings. He accused him of saying lashon hara, accused him of hatred in his heart, accused him of not keeping vows, and not honoring his parents. He also accused Sharon of stealing from his grandmother by using he phone without permission. Nevertheless, there were righteous figures that were still living (!) that intervened on Sharon’s behalf. Sharon said: “People do not know the power and greatness of the righteous… they can intervene for the good there (in Heaven). Even the righteous that are still living are involved with what happens in the Upper Worlds… People need to know the greatness of the righteous!!”

To be continued…

Source: “Hahayim Sheleachar Hamavet” R. Yitzhak Halamish pp. 53-56