Emor: The Nature of Reality (May 18, 2019)

All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

1) It’s Bible Study Coffee Time! 
2) This week we are reading 
Primary reading – Emor: Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23
Supplemental reading – Ezekiel 44:15-31 

3) Baruch Dayan Emet.
In Memory of Isaac Kappy (1977-2019), who passed away this week.

Born: February 17, 1977 (29 Sh’vat 5737), Albuquerque, NM
Died: English date: May 14, 2019 (Iyar 9, 5779), Bellemont, AZ 
4) The website that shows the Bible reading also contains a thought specifically for today. It seems so appropriate: “Help From The Past.”

(Source: Maamar Bila Hamavet – I don’t have a link)
5) “All the souls of these generations have been here before. & they come with their baggage—both good & not so good. But there is a distinction:
The good the soul has collected is eternal. It can never be uprooted, it can never fade away, for it is G‑dly, & G‑d does not change.”
6) “But the bad is not a thing of substance. It is an emptiness, a vacancy of light. As the soul makes its journey, through trials and travails, through growth and renewal, that darkness falls away, never to return.”
7) “Know yourself only as you are here in this life, and the challenges of our times are beyond perseverance. Tap into the reservoir of your soul from the past, and find there the unimaginable powers of millennia.”
9) What we are really after is the nature of reality itself. Underneath the words, the Bible connects us to that essence.

All of life is soul-life, and soul-life is all about getting to reality and permanence (good) through shedding untruth (unholiness–>evil).
10) You cannot really understand the Torah unless you understand the deeper levels of meaning, and this is still controversial among mainstream Orthodox Jews who know that mysticism can be distorted – they stay away from it.

11) Here, a Kabbalah expert (left) urges the Lubavitcher Rebbe (right) to issue a proclamation endorsing teaching Jewish mysticism. The Rebbe says simply studying Chabad Chassidus (a certain way of explaining Torah) gets it across. ~3 min, worth watching.
12) So I’m going to bring you a couple of Kabbalistic understandings of this portion today.
13) …except i have to go to synagogue now and not be late like always…

more soon, please God. 
14) OK, we took a break. Bible Study Coffee Time resumes now. 
16) Of course being someone who likes the mysterious stuff I’d like to jump ahead and just talk about that, but first let’s get a grounding in the text of the portion itself. 
17) The 1st part of the reading (Leviticus 21:1-5) prohibits Kohanim (priests) from contact with the dead. See this article.

“Not only are they forbidden to enter cemeteries, but they may not even be in the same room or under the same roof as a corpse.”

18) Leviticus 21:5 directly prohibits the priests and by extension all Jews, from mimicking the Egyptian practices concerning death (shaving the head, shaving the bears w/ razor, cutting flesh in mourning).

–>This article has more on Egyptian practices.

20) .@christian.life.org.uk writes: “The most complete list of occult practices in the Bible is found in the Tanakh….All were practised in Canaan, and all were condemned & prohibited by the LORD. God’s people are not to resort to such sources for info, guidance or revelation.”
22) “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations.”
23) “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens…”

so on and so forth. Here the author is citing from Deut. 18:10–14.
24) I think a major problem for contemporary Jews, and anyone studying the Torah, is that we’ve lost touch with the historical context within which it was given. 

At the time, it was well-known that the surrounding nations were mired in occult practices.
25) If you read the text, and you don’t understand the context, it doesn’t connect to anything in your brain. 
26) Not to go on a scenic side trip…but yeah we are…let me tell you what happened in synagogue 
27) So we’re talking to this lady after services and after a long and entertaining interchange about superficial stuff she’s like, “So! Who ya gonna vote for!”

And I’m like 
28) So she ANSWERS HER OWN QUESTION and says something like, well of course, Sanders is horrible so it’s gotta be Biden 

and I’m trying to just. stay. calm 
29) and I’m thinking, it’s not worth it to get into it with everyone. I already have a very fine line that separates my Twitter life from real life, and you have to choose your battles.
30) …but then she goes “definitely not Trump! Trump is immoral!”

And that was when 
31) Just like with Torah study, if you don’t understand the context you don’t understand the text, I knew she was speaking from typical Jewish ignorance, and most Jews are Democrats, and I was content to simply let that go. 

I could have.
32) But then my husband (who is very fact-based and rational) let her have it 
33) Anyway by the time he was done, she was like…wow, ok, I can’t really say anything to that.

And we’re all like, yeah…ok, she’s never gonna sit with us again 😬

But she actually walked us out. She was pretty cool.
34) You see that’s the thing with @realDonaldTrump @POTUS, although not everything can be perfect (of course), his fundamental actions, strategies and policies are fact-based and make a lot of common sense. 

But most people just don’t know, and they are brainwashed by #fakenews
35) Alright, back to the Bible portion. Let’s just make a couple other key points and then go to some mystical interpretations, which are fun and interesting. 
36) Leviticus 21:7 sort of smacks you in the face, saying that the Kohanim (priests) “shall not marry a woman who is a harlot or has been desecrated, and they shall not marry a woman who has been divorced by her husband.”

This is one of those verses that can get you upset.
37) Because no matter what the words mean in a technical sense, they still convey to the reader a sense of unfair guilt. In some cases the woman may play a part in her status, but in many cases she does not. 

Why punish her?
38) The question is compounded when you go to Leviticus 21:16, and you find out that certain people cannot bring a ritual sacrifices to God.

“Any man among Aaron the kohen’s offspring who has a defect shall not draw near to offer up the Lord’s fire offerings.”
39) When you look at some of these “blemish categories,” so to speak, it is REALLY hard to understand. “A man who is blind or lame”….”or who has one limb longer than the other”(Lev. 21:18)

Can you imagine the lawsuits if we tried to keep people out of synagogue for this stuff? 
40) Without consulting a million links, the basic answer is that religious law does not work like a secular democracy based on a contract between men.

That’s just the fact. 

You can’t “make” God see things YOUR limited way.
41) This is why secular debates about religious law make absolutely zero sense. 
42) This is why when you say things like “no sharia law,” it makes absolutely no sense.

That would be like saying “no halacha” (Jewish law).

It’s Communism.
43) When you find that religions go off the rails (and we Jewish people have our horrendous Krazy Kults) — it’s typically because a power-hungry psychopath has twisted everything around to suit their own aims.
44) Similarly when you find that people are very intelligent haters, they will use the text of a religion to make the religion sound Kruel Krazy.

And I don’t want to get into all the examples now; time consuming and distracting.
45) So looking at the end of the portion, we have a situation that bears precisely on this point.
46) The famous “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” passage (Lev. 24:20). 
47) וְאִ֕ישׁ כִּֽי־יִתֵּ֥ן מ֖וּם בַּֽעֲמִית֑וֹ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֔ה כֵּ֖ן יֵעָ֥שֶׂה לּֽו
שֶׁ֚בֶר תַּ֣חַת שֶׁ֔בֶר עַ֚יִן תַּ֣חַת עַ֔יִן שֵׁ֖ן תַּ֣חַת שֵׁ֑ן כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֨ר יִתֵּ֥ן מוּם֙ בָּֽאָדָ֔ם כֵּ֖ן יִנָּ֥תֶן בּֽוֹ (actually this is Lev. 24:19-20)
48) “And a man who inflicts an injury upon his fellow man just as he did, so shall be done to him [namely,] fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Just as he inflicted an injury upon a person, so shall it be inflicted upon him.”
49) Many people read this and think it’s literal.
50) But it actually is not. Because you have to go back 2 verses to understand these.
51) Lev. 24:17- “And if a man strikes down any human being he shall be put to death.” 

— this is the source for capital punishment, physical punishment as retribution for murder.

18 – “And one who slays an animal shall pay for it [the value of] a life for the life [he took].”
52) So the Bible TRANSITIONS us from violence as retribution to money as retribution. Picking up in verse 19, which starts with the word “AND.”

19 – “AND a man who inflicts an injury upon his fellow man just as he did, so shall be done to him.”

and then we get “eye for an eye”
53) But you can see how the Bible can be perverted in the hands of the evil.
54) Last part of today’s study, let’s go beneath the surface a bit. Let me look for a couple of minutes for some good stuff.
56) To condense the backstory. We learn of an episode where a man blasphemes God.

(I am not sure exactly how he blasphemed and think it will take too long to research this right now. The simple meaning is that he cursed God.)
57) According to this article, which is based on Jewish teachings, the blasphemer was a child of rape. His father, an Egyptian, raped his mother, a Jewish woman, who had a tendency to be overly friendly to all. 

(Yes, this is victim-blaming; I’m just telling you what it says.)
58) Again according to this article, this Egyptian is the man Moses famously killed in the Bible.

What happened was that the Egyptian impersonated his victim’s husband in order to rape her. 

The Egyptian was beating her actual husband.

After the incident, Moses of course fled.
59) The blasphemer was angry because although he was considered Jewish (bloodline goes through the mom), the tribe of Dan rejected him (tribal identity goes through the dad).

So as we discussed, he had a “blemish” not his fault, and he got mad and lost it, cursing God.
60) God commands that the Jews who witnessed this crime should stone the man to death. Lev. 24:14:

“Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and all who heard [his blasphemy] shall lean their hands on his head. And the entire community shall stone him.”

And they did.
61) Really think about this. Biblically, blasphemy is a capital crime.

There is no financial restitution possible.

Why? Is God so insecure, so jealous that He needs the kovod? (honor)
62) Obviously, the answer to that one is no. The answer is that the entirety of the Torah is about correcting our consciousness, to see past the untruths of this world which take us down the path of evil. 

Blaspheming God is the beginning of all the other sins.
64) Baron Benjamin de Rothschild: “I am accountable to the people I employ. I am accountable to my wife and my children. I do not believe in God – I do not report to him.”

65) They even assume the position of God.

“Lord Rothschild: My Family Created Israel”
“said in a recent interview that his ancestors ‘helped pave the way for the creation of Israel,’ forcing the British government to sign the Balfour Declaration in 1917”

66) If you ask a Muslim why they object to the State of Israel as a State, inevitably this religious issue will come up. 

They will say: If you claim that Israel is the Jewish birthright, how can you also say in the same sentence that Israel is not governed by Jewish law?
67) And in fact, if you go back in history, this objection was precisely the one that the rabbis levied against the formation of Israel, because they wanted to wait for the Messiah to come, and certainly not let atheists force it.
68) But the hard fact is that the Jews were being massacred, well before the Holocaust, and someone had to make the decision to survive, and it was the secular Jews, not the religious, who wanted to stay in Eastern Europe, in the shtetl.
69) Miraculously, what started out as a project rife with impurity, has given birth to a state that is increasingly taking on the flavor of authentic Judaism. 

(But still, not without conflict, struggle, name-calling, hatred….)

70) Back to the article. 
Lev. 22:32, the Jewish people are told not to “desecrate” God’s name.

Hebrew word: תְחַלְּלוּ֙
Root: חלל

Lev. 24:15, the prohibition against “blaspheming” – but a diff. word.

Hebrew word: יְקַלֵּ֥ל 
Root: קַלֵּ֥ל

71) So we’re looking for the connection between 2 similar words: 
“The Hebrew root of “blaspheme” is קלל. (blaspheme – curse)
The Hebrew root of “desecrate” is חלל.” (also means vaccuum, or void)

Lit. – cursing leads to your soul being vaccuumed from your body.
72) Let’s keep going with this.

Both words have the double-lamed – looks like this 
73) If you reverse one of the “lameds” you get what looks like a heart. 
74) Let’s fill in the heart. 
75) Now I am going away from that article to tell you why I think the root word of “blaspheme” (curse) and “desecrate” (which also means “void”) shares the image of a heart.

Curse + desecrate/void = heart

Heart = curse + desecrate

Stay with me.
76) How do we make most mistakes in life?

Right. We go with our emotions.

We are led by our “hearts.” 
77) Remember when @POTUS@realDonaldTrump read the poem about the lady and the snake? And the snake bit the “tender hearted woman” and killed her? Because she didn’t stop to think that she was DEALING WITH A SNAKE?
79) Genesis 1:2

“Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.”

Void = vacuum = חלל

The result of cursing god is חלל

The Hebrew used here to mean “void” = תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ 
80) Gematria of תהו ובהו (“unformed and void”) = 430

Gematria of לנשים (“to the women” – as in “leave it to the women”) = 430

When you leave the world to the women, they make decisions emotionally, which leads to the Word of God being desecrated.

Sorry if this sounds sexist. 
81) But the fact of the matter is that the chief “bad guy” of the Bible never actually appears there – b/c it is Lilith herself – who only embarked on a life of sin, because Adam rejected her.

Which made her angry, and so she spent the rest of human existence keying his car. 
82) The Bible tells us truths that we don’t want to hear.
83) Men tend to be overly rational. Women tend to be overly emotional.
What God asked us to do is get together and find harmony.
In that harmony, which is the union of man and wife, we find holiness.
And that is how we join with Him to re-make the world constantly.
84) Where there is life there is always hope, and that is why @POTUS and his lovely family (the men and the women TOGETHER) are intensely focused on doing one thing: saving the children.