Monday, May 25, 2015

Poem of the Parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus

Lazarus The Jew

A rich man and a beggar
lived and died together
When living
the rich man stepped over
Lazarus the beggar
who laid at his door
begging
while the dogs licked his sores
When they were dead
Abraham held Lazarus
to his chest
his hand holding his head
to his heart
like a father holds a child
while the rich man watched
from afar
unable to move
out of the flames
of fear and shame
that consumed him
Who was Lazarus?
And why was he a beggar?
Lazarus was the Jew
who heard Moses and the prophets
and so became a beggar
in this world
and a beloved child embraced by Abraham
in the next
Who were the dogs
who licked the sores
of Lazarus the Jew?
They were the true Sabbos Goys
who did all they could rightly do
to comfort Lazarus
in this world
And who was the rich man?
He was the soul without a source
whose emptiness is like a dragon
and whose pride is his god
who does not hear Moses and the prophets
For to the [hardened] sinner
God gives the labor 
of gathering up and accumulating things…

(Ecclesiastes 2:26)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

For Shavuot 5775


LIKUTEY MOHARAN #56
A teaching of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov for Shavuot

Download the complete text together with 2 Likutey Moharan #4 from the Breslov.org site, here.

U’veyom HaBikurim (On the Day of the First Fruits), when you bring an offering of new grain to God as part of your Shavuot festival, you shall observe a holy occasion: you shall not do any mundane work.”  (Numbers 28:26)

In every Jew there is an aspect of malkhut;  each person, commensurate rules in his home, and one whose rule is broader, and there is also one whose rule is over the entire world — each one commensurate with his aspect of malkhut, corresponding to “officers of thousands, and officers of hundreds, officers of fifties, and officers of tens” (Exodus 18:25).

This aspect of malkhut that each person possesses [manifests] in the revealed and in the hidden. In the revealed—this is the rule each person has commensurate with his aspect, so that he overtly rules these people in accordance with his aspect of malkhut, as explained above. In the hidden —each person, commensurate with his aspect, also has a hidden aspect of malkhut. That is, even though overtly it appears that he has no rule whatsoever over these people, covertly and in a most concealed manner, he nevertheless rules these people; their souls are <subordinate> and submit to his rule.  And for each person, this aspect of hidden malkhut is also commensurate with his aspect, corresponding to “officers of thousands, and officers of hundreds....”

There is one person who ostensibly has no rule whatsoever, but covertly and in a most concealed manner he rules the entire generation, and even over all the tzaddikim of the generation, because all their souls are entirely under his rule and malkhut. They all submit to his rule and are subordinate to him, only that it is in a most concealed manner, in the aspect of “In every place, offerings are burned and presented to My Name” (Malakhi 1:11)—even though they worship idolatry, in a most covert manner they nevertheless submit to God and worship Him, only that it is most concealed.  Likewise, the aspect of hidden malkhut: even though overtly he has no rule whatsoever, in a most concealed manner he nevertheless rules them, and they are all under him and submit to him.

2. A person should not make use of his aspect of malkhut for personal gratification and need; his aspect of malkhut should not be his slave, to satisfy his desires. Rather, the aspect of malkhut should be in the aspect of a “free man,” corresponding to “Happy are you, O land whose king is a free man” (Ecclesiastes 10:17). You should consider the malkhut a free man, not using it for personal gratification.

This is the aspect of MoRDekhai: MoR D’ror (Exodus 30:23) — the MoRut (rule), malkhut, has D’ror (independence) and freedom.  One should not use it for personal gratification and need, but only for God, in the aspect of “the malkhut will be God’s” (Obadiah 1:21) — i.e., he is to use malkhut for serving God.  That is, he should caution and admonish all the souls that submit to him — each and every person commensurate with his aspect of malkhut, both revealed and hidden.  Thus, if he rules in his home, he must caution and admonish the members of his household. And if he has a broader rule, it is his responsibility to caution more and more people, commensurate with his aspect of malkhut. 

3A. In addition, it is necessary to infuse malkhut with length-of- days, so that it is not in the aspect of “authority buries the one who possesses it” (Pesachim 87b).

Every person, commensurate with his aspect of malkhut, is the aspect of a watchman. He is responsible to caution and admonish people who are from his root, over whom he has the aspect of malkhut. If he cautions and admonishes them, he has then fulfilled his obligation and saved his soul, as it is written (Ezekiel 3:17, 19), “I have made you a watchman over the house of Israel. And because you cautioned the wicked man, and he has not repented of his wickedness...he will die as a consequence of his sin, yet you will have saved your soul.” However, if he does not caution and admonish them, then the punishment is upon him.  Thus, “authority buries the one who possesses it,” and a person must therefore be careful to infuse malkhut with length-of-days—i.e., he should make sure that he can caution and admonish them.

But how can he caution and admonish them, when he does not know what they require?  <And if he rules them covertly, he certainly does not know them or how to admonish them,>  and so he therefore requires daat to know how to admonish them.

And achieving this daat is also by means of length-of-days itself.  As people are wont to say, “For the life of him, he doesn’t know”—for the essence of knowing come from life, from length-of-days. 
3B. Now, the way to achieve length-of-days is through the study of Torah, because the Torah is the Name of God (Tikkuney Zohar #10, p.25b).   Just as when we have to summon someone, we summon him by his name, so too, when we have to summon the Life of life, in order to draw from Him life and length-of-days, we have to summon him by His Name, as it were. And His Name is the Torah, as explained above. Thus it is that by studying Torah, we summon length-of-days.

This is why more than the entire people, the king is cautioned regarding Torah study, because he has to summon length-of-days into malkhut, as explained above.  This is what is written in the Chapter of the Monarch: “[The Torah scroll] must be with him, and he shall read from it all the days of his life...thus lengthening the days of his rule” (Deuteronomy 17:19, 20) This is the meaning of “he shall kara (read) from it all the days of his life”—<it is not written “he shall learn,” but reference is made to KRiAh (reading),> for by studying the Torah he is KoRAy (summoning) life, as explained above.

And this is the meaning of “the days of his life”—specifically “the days of his life.” When he receives the life force, he must receive it in measure. Without measure and contraction it is impossible to receive life force from God, lest there be too much light. For an increase in oil causes the flame to be extinguished. Thus the life force has to be received with measure.

We merit this through Torah study. This is because the Torah is the Name of God,  and the name of a thing is its vessel; within this name is contained the life force of that thing. As it is written, “living soul that is its name” (Genesis 2:19)—contained in the name of each thing is its soul and life force.  This is why when we call a person by his name, we gain his attention immediately, because his total soul and life force are contained within his name.

Likewise, the Torah is the Name of God—i.e., the life force from the Life of life is contained there. This is because the Torah is the aspect of measures, for the Torah has letters, words, verses, chapters and portions, these being the aspect of measures within which the life force is contained with measure. Therefore, by means of the Torah, which is the Name of God, which is the aspect of measures, it is possible to receive the life force.

For through the Torah we summon life and infuse life force into the measures, which are the aspect of days. This is as it is written, “What is the measure of my days” (Psalms 39:5).  That is, the Torah—which is the aspect of “what,” as it is written, “What are the rituals, statutes and laws?” 
(Deuteronomy 6:20) — is the aspect of measure and days, as explained above.   Through her we summon the life force into the measures and the days, for without this it would not be possible to receive the life force lest there be too much light. This is “he shall kara (read) from it all the days of his life”—by means of the Torah, he koray (summons) the life force into the days and measures, as explained above.

Therefore, one’s Torah study must be specifically vocal. When calling someone by name, our calling has to be specifically with the mouth; it is impossible to call him by name in thought alone. Likewise, calling to the Life of life by His Name is only possible verbally, not in thought alone. This is as our Sages said: “For they are life lemotzA’eihem (to those who find them)” (Proverbs 4:22)—[read this:] lemotzI’eihem (to those who express them) vocally (Eruvin 54a). Specifically “to those who express them vocally,” because through this one merits life, as explained above.

Thus, by studying Torah, we draw length-of-days  and then merit daat,  for daat and intellect are themselves the life force, as it is written, “Wisdom gives life to those who possess it” (Ecclesiastes 7:12). Intellect is the essence of life force, and by means of daat it is possible to come close to and admonish those one needs to admonish. 

3C. There are two [levels of] concealment.  When God is hidden in a single concealment, then as well it is very difficult to find Him. Yet when He is hidden in a single concealment it is still possible for an individual to toil and strive until he finds Him, since he is aware that God is hidden from him. But when God is concealed in a concealment within a concealment, in other words the concealment itself is concealed from him so that he is completely oblivious to the fact that God is hidden from him—then it is entirely impossible to find Him, since he is not at all aware <that God is hidden there>.
This is analogous to “I will haster astir (thoroughly hide)” (Deuteronomy 31:18)—that is, “I will conceal the concealment,” so that they will be completely oblivious to the fact that God is hidden. As a result, he will certainly not be able to find Him, since he is completely unaware of the need to look for Him; he is completely oblivious to the fact that God is hidden from him, because the concealment itself is concealed from him, as explained above.

Yet, in truth, even in all the concealments—even in a concealment within a concealment—God is certainly enclothed there as well. Indeed, there is nothing that is without the life force of God, since without His life force it could not exist.  Therefore, God is certainly enclothed in all <words> and all deeds and all thoughts, as it were. And even if, Heaven forbid, a person is guilty of sin, which is a transgression of God’s will, God’s life force is certainly still there, albeit in a most hidden and contracted manner.

The Torah is the life force in all things.  Thus it is that in all things and in all thoughts—even a sinful thought, word or deed, Heaven forbid—the Torah is enclothed there as well,  albeit in a most hidden and concealed manner, in the aspect of concealments. 

3D. As our Sages, of blessed memory, said: Once a person repeats a sin, it appears to him permissible (Yoma 86b) That is, by means of the sins he <changes and> inverts the words of the Living God; he creates new letter-combinations in the Torah, until that which was forbidden becomes permitted,  as it is written, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).  Thus it is that even within the sins there is enclothed the life force of God—i.e., the letters of the Torah— though it is hidden. In other words, due to the sins the Torah’s letter- combinations were inverted, until that which was forbidden became permitted, as explained above: “Once a person repeats a sin, it appears to him permissible.”  This is the aspect of a single concealment.

Now, when God is hidden from a person in a single conceal- ment—i.e., the above mentioned aspect of “it appears to him per- missible”—then, too, it is very difficult to find Him, since it al- ready appears to him permissible.   Even so, it is still possible for an individual to toil and strive until he finds God, since at least he is aware that it [only] appears to him permissible. Therefore, even though God is hidden from him, and his sins appear permissible, it is nonetheless still possible that he himself will take it to heart—i.e., that he succumbed and reached the point where it appears to him permissible—so that he seeks and strives until he departs from this, since at least he is aware that it [only] appears to him permissible.

But know! there is also the level of a concealment within a concealment, that is, the concealment itself is concealed so that the individual is completely oblivious to the fact that God is hidden from him—i.e., he is totally unaware that for him the forbidden has become permissible. On the contrary, all evil things appear to him to be totally upright, Heaven forbid. That is, if after repeating his sin he commits further sins, Heaven forbid, so then even this awareness that it [only] appears to him permissible is hidden from him; rather, he then becomes completely unaware of any hint of a prohibition, because everything is upright in his eyes. This corresponds to a concealment within a concealment; the concealment is itself concealed, as explained above.

In truth, even in a concealment within the concealment, God— i.e., the letters of the Torah—is enclothed there, because nothing has life force without Him, as explained above. It is just that because of an overabundance of sin, the words of the Living God have been totally overturned to where the wisdom of Torah becomes foolishness for him, to the point that he is completely unaware even of this itself, so that it appears to him permissible, as explained above. This is the aspect of a concealment within a concealment, as explained above.

<The above mentioned malkhut must uncover the concealment within a concealment to the people under his rule, and to reveal it to them until they know that God is there as well.> This is done by infusing malkhut with length-of-days, which is the aspect of daat, as explained above.  And with this daat he can know that even within the concealment itself, and even within the concealment within a concealment, God—i.e., the Torah—is enclothed there as well. And once he knows that God is there even within the concealments, this itself causes the concealments to be uncovered and transformed into Torah.

Even the concealment within the concealment becomes Torah, for in truth, God —i.e., the Torah, as explained above—is enclothed there as well, just that it was not known that God is hidden there. This itself is the aspect of concealments. Thus, as soon as it becomes known that God is hidden there, this itself causes the concealment within the concealment to be transformed into daat. The Torah that is hidden here is returned to daat, since he knows that God is concealed there.

{“At the top of the noisiest places she calls out, at the entrance of the city’s gates she speaks her words. How long will you fools go on loving foolishness, you scoffers be fond of scoffing, you fools despise knowledge?” (Proverbs 1:21, 22).}

And once the concealment within a concealment is returned to daat and becomes Torah,68 then the Torah itself admonishes them, in the aspect of “The Torah proclaims to them: ‘How long will you fools go on loving foolishness?’” For in truth, the Torah is constantly proclaiming and shouting and admonishing, as in, “At the top of the noisiest places she calls out.... How long will you fools go on loving...,” just that he does not hear the call of the Torah’s proclamation because of the above mentioned concealments. But once the concealments are uncovered and replaced, and have become Torah by virtue of the daat, as explained above, then as soon as they become Torah, the Torah itself admonishes them: “How long will you fools...,” as explained above.

This is as it is written (Proverbs 31:26), “She opens her mouth with wisdom” — by virtue of the above mentioned wisdom and daat, through which we uncover the concealments and turn them into Torah, as explained above. As a result, “She opens her mouth”—that is, “the Torah proclaims to them.” The Torah itself opens its mouth and admonishes them, as explained above.

We find therefore that by means of Torah study, through which we infuse malkhut with length-of-days—because through her we infuse the days and measures with life force, and as a result we merit daat, as explained above—through this it is possible to admonish even those who are very removed from God, in the aspect of concealment within concealment, as explained above.

3E. This is the meaning of “Mordekhai would daily walk about in front of chatzar beit hanashim (the harem courtyard) to find out how Esther was faring and what was happening to her” (Esther 2:11).

Mordekhai — This is the aspect of malkhut, as explained above.  daily — This is the aspect of the Torah, through which we infuse the days and measures with life force, as explained above.

chatzar beit This is the aspect of external and internal, that is, thoughts and words. God is concealed there, in all of them, even in the thoughts and words of those who are removed from God.  And this is:

chatzar beit haNaShim [This is] etymologically similar to “sheNaShu (abandoned) and withdrew from the Omnipresent One”; they distanced themselves from God.  There are those who were once somewhat close to God but have since forgotten Him. This is “haNaShim”—it connotes forgetfulness, as it is written (Genesis 41:51), “because God has NaShani (made me forget) [my troubles].” They have since forgotten God.  And there are those who even now remember God, but their might has NaShtah (grown weak)” (Jeremiah 51:30), and they lack the ability to overpower their evil inclination.

This is why they are called nashim, because of the three aspects mentioned above: the aspect of “they abandoned and withdrew...”; and some are in the aspect of forgetfulness...; and others are in the aspect of weakened might, as explained above. Because of all this they are removed from God, and God is concealed from them in the aspect of the above mentioned concealments.

<And this is the meaning of> “Mordekhai,” the aspect of malkhut, <“would daily walk about in front of chatzar beit.” In other words, he would walk about and look into the external and into the internal, that is, the thoughts and words of the nashim—i.e., those who have forgotten or withdrawn or grown too weak to turn to God. He would go to admonish> and caution them by means of Torah study, which is the aspect of days and measures, as explained above. For through this we merit daat, and by means of this daat we uncover the concealment within a concealment and turn it into Torah, as explained above. Then “the Torah proclaims to them,” as explained above.  And this is: 

to find out how Esther was faring — Through this he creates daat from the concealment within a concealment, which is the aspect of ӔSTheR, the aspect of “haSTeR ASTiR (thoroughly hide).” And this is:

and what was happening to her — He turns the concealment into an aspect of “what”—i.e., Torah, as it is written, “What are the rituals...,” as explained above. From this itself that he knows that God is there even within the concealment within a concealment—from this itself daat is created, that is, Torah. And then “the Torah proclaims to them,” as explained above.

This itself is the aspect of rebuke, that he is obliged to caution and admonish, as explained above.  Through the daat he causes the Torah to admonish them, and by means of this rebuke he infuses malkhut with length-of-days so that it is not in the aspect of “authority buries the one who possesses it,” which is what happens when he does not admonish the people over whom he rules, as explained above.   But by studying Torah, through which he draws life and length-of-days, the aspect of daat, etc., such that “the Torah proclaims to them” and rebukes them—so that therefore he fulfills his obligation to issue rebuke—then authority and malkhut do not harm him, as explained above. This is because by means of the rebuke he infuses malkhut with length-of-days, as explained above.   We see therefore that by means of length-of-days, the aspect of daat, which we draw through the Torah—through this itself we infuse malkhut with the above mentioned length-of-days, as explained above.

4. Know, too, that the Torah enclothed in a concealment within a concealment is specifically elevated Torah—i.e., the hidden Torah. Because it has to be enclothed in such lowly places—i.e., with those who have sinned so extensively that it is hidden from them within a double concealment—God therefore arranged not to enclothe the revealed Torah there, so that the evil forces would not be able to nourish from there in abundance and the blemish be very great. He therefore hides and enclothes there specifically elevated Torah, the hidden Torah—this being God’s Torah itself—so that the evil forces cannot nourish in abundance from there.

This corresponds to (Exodus 12:12), “‘I will pass through the land of Egypt’—I, and not an angel; I, and not a messenger—’[for] I am God’—I, and no [other].”  For in the land of Egypt, where <the concealment was very great, Israel was submerged in forty-nine Gates of Impurity>, and so specifically there God Himself—i.e., <the Torah itself without garments,> the absolute Torah of God, the hidden Torah—is enclothed and concealed.  Therefore, specifically from the concealment within a concealment, when he reverts it to daat, it specifically becomes the absolute Torah of God; for the Torah of God, the hidden Torah, is concealed there, as explained above.

5. Antithetic to Malkhut of Holiness is Malkhut of Evil,  the malkhut of Haman <and> Amalek, as it is written, “First among the nations is Amalek” (Numbers 24:20) “<God made> one to contrast the other” (Ecclesiastes 7:14) for Malkhut of Holiness is the aspect of “the me’aSeF (gatherer) of all the camps” (Numbers 10:25) as it is written, “SoF davar (The sum of the matter), when all is considered: Fear the Lord” (Ecclesiastes 12:13) <“Fear the Lord”> is the aspect of malkhut, as <our Sages said>: “Were it not for the fear of the malkhut (government)...” (Avot 3:2).   In other words, Malkhut of Holiness is the aspect of “SoF davar,” the aspect of me’aSeF of all the camps of holiness. This is the aspect of the camp of DaN, who is “the gatherer of all the camps”— “DiNa (The law) of the malkhut is the law” (Gittin 10b).

However, Malkhut of the Other Side is a gatherer of money.   Since it is fearful lest they remove from its mouth that which it swallowed — i.e., the sparks of holiness that it has — it therefore fortifies itself and gathers money,  which are sparks of holiness because they are the aspect of the supernal colors within gold, silver and copper, which are [forms of] money.  This is the aspect of desiring wealth, which is the aspect of malkhut.

Therefore Amalek, which is Malkhut of Evil, pursues the camp of Dan, which is the aspect of Malkhut of Holiness, as explained above.  As it is written (Deuteronomy 25:18), “he cut down [all the vulnerable stragglers] ...undeterred by fear of God”— i.e., when they lack the power of Malkhut of Holiness, which is the aspect of “fear of God,” as explained above.

This is because the malkhut of Haman/Amalek is the antithesis of Malkhut of Holiness. Malkhut of Holiness is the aspect of a gatherer of all the camps of holiness, whereas malkhut of Haman/Amalek, which is Malkhut of Evil, is the aspect of a gatherer of money, as it fortifies itself through the desire for money in order to grab hold of all the sparks of holiness, as explained above. Nevertheless, this does not help it at all. For Malkhut of Holiness, which is the aspect of Mordekhai, has the power to extract from it all the money and all the sparks of holiness that it swallowed.

{“He has given wisdom, daat and joy to the man who pleases Him; but to the sinner He has given the need to gather and amass—that he then hand it over to one who is pleasing to God” (Ecclesiastes 2:26).109}

This is as our Sages, of blessed memory, said (Megillah 10b) “He has given wisdom, daat...to the man who pleases Him”—this is Mordekhai. In other words, Mordekhai, who is the aspect of Malkhut of Holiness, as explained above, was “given wisdom and daat.”   This is the meaning of “<who> pleases Him”—the aspect of Torah, “for ‘pleasing’ refers only to the Torah” (Avot 6:3).  “But to the sinner He has given the need to gather and amass”—this is Haman. In other words, Haman, who is the aspect of Malkhut of the Other Side, gathers money, as explained above.

This is the meaning of “that he then hand it over to one who is pleasing to God” — the aspect of Torah. Mordekhai, who is the aspect of Malkhut of Holiness, extracts from it all the money and all the sparks, and they become Torah, as explained above.  For Mordekhai extracts from it all the wealth, in the aspect of “He swallowed chayil (wealth) and will vomit it out” (Job 20:15) and he turns it into Torah, which is called “a woman of chayil (valor)” (Proverbs 31:10) <All this, by virtue of his daat: he uncovers all the concealments in which the hidden Torah is concealed, he removes the sparks of holiness from the evil forces, and he gets the wicked to repent.>

6. Now, the greater the daat, the easier it is to earn a living.  This is because effortless livelihood is dependent upon daat, as it is written (Numbers 11:8), “The people ShaTu (strolled about) and gathered it”— with ShTuta (foolishness) (Zohar II, 62b) For the more one is lacking in daat, the more he is harried and burdened in search of livelihood.

In addition, the greater the daat, the greater the peace. This is because peace is dependent upon daat, as it is written (Isaiah 11:6, 9), “The wolf will dwell with the lamb...for the earth will be filled with deah.” The peace in the world will be so amazing, that opposites will be capable of dwelling together because of the great daat that will prevail then.  Through the daat, peace is increased, because anger and cruelty are eliminated through daat. This is because anger and cruelty result from an absence of daat, as it is written (Ecclesiastes 7:9), “anger abides in the bosom of fools.”  But the more daat is increased, the more there is an increase of compassion and peace. As a result, <everyone’s> livelihood is earned effortlessly, in the aspect of “He makes your borders peaceful, and satiates you with choice wheat” (Psalms 147:14)

7. This is the aspect of Shavuot.  Shavuot is the aspect of very great and exalted intellect, which is supernal lovingkindness and great compassion, because the extent of the compassion is dependent upon the extent of the daat, as explained above. This is because <Shavuot is the Giving of the Torah, and> “at the Giving of the Torah, <God> appeared to them as an Elder with great compassion.”  “Elder” refers to one with composed daat,  which determines the extent of compassion, as explained above.   Shavuot is therefore supernal lovingkindness and great compassion.

This is also the aspect of the mikvah of Shavuot, which is the aspect of the mikvah of the fiftieth gate, the highest gate of the Fifty Gates of Understanding.  This is the aspect of supernal intellect and daat, the aspect of supernal lovingkindness and great compassion, as explained above.

The mikvah therefore saves from all troubles, as it is written (Jeremiah 14:8), “Mikveh (Hope) of Israel, Who saves her in times of trouble.” It is supernal lovingkindness, which saves from all troubles.   This is why the mikvah purifies from all impurities, as it is written (Ezekiel 36:25), “I will sprinkle pure water on you, and you will be purified [of your impurities].”  For there is no suffering without sin (Shabbat 55a).  Therefore, the mikvah, which saves from all troubles and all suffering, purifies from all impurities and all sin.

And this is the aspect of MaN (manna), corresponding to the Mikvah of gate Nun,  which is the aspect of great daat; for the manna is the aspect of daat.

This is the aspect of “an open statement...extended trustworthiness” (Shabbat 104a).  “An open statement” is the aspect of revealing daat, because speaking reveals daat, as it is written (Proverbs 2:6), “daat and discernment are from His mouth.”   In Egypt, where daat was in exile, as it is written (Exodus 6:3), “but I did not allow them to know Me by My Name YHVH, speech, too, was in exile, in the aspect of “difficult to speak and to find the right language” (ibid. 4:10).   But when they went out from Egypt, when daat went out of exile, speech emerged and was disclosed.  This is the aspect of “an open statement”— speech is opened and daat is revealed.

And through the revelation of daat, God’s trustworthiness is extended and it becomes apparent that He is trustworthy. He promises, and He carries out. This is the aspect of “extended trustworthiness”— His trustworthiness is extended, as explained above.  Yet in Egypt, where daat was in exile, His trustworthiness was not extended and revealed.  This is as Rashi explains: “but I did not allow them to know Me by My name YHVH”—I was not known by My true quality. Because daat was not revealed in Egypt, His trustworthiness was not apparent, for lovingkindness is dependent upon daat, as explained above.

This is the aspect of “ANoKhY(Exodus 20:2) — Yehiva (My giving) Ketiva (My writing) Ne’emanim (are trustworthy) Amoreha (her statements) (Shabbat 105a).  By giving the Torah, the statement was opened and daat was revealed, as explained above. And through this His trustworthiness is extended, as explained above. This is the aspect of “her statements are trustworthy,” the aspect of “extended trustworthiness...an open statement,” as explained above. 
This is also the aspect of MaN—an acrostic for Maamar Ne’eman (a trustworthy statement),  the aspect of “an open statement... extended trustworthiness,” as explained above. This is because the manna is an aspect of great daat, as explained above.   The Israelites therefore ate the manna for forty years (Exodus 16:35), because “at the age of forty one attains understanding” (Avot 5:21).

8. This is as our Sages, of blessed memory, said (Kiddushin 38a): “They ate the manna for forty years. Was it not forty years less thirty days? However, in the cake they took out from Egypt they could taste the taste of manna.”  In truth, it would have been fitting had they eaten the manna, which is the aspect of daat, for forty complete years, because forty is the aspect of understanding and daat, as explained above.  In other words, as soon as they went out of Egypt, and daat was revealed, it would have been fitting had they immediately eaten the manna.  In this regard our Sages, of blessed memory, answered: “In the cake they took out from Egypt”—namely, the matzot—”they could taste the taste of manna.”

<The point is> that peace is dependent upon daat, as has been explained, while dispute is <the absence of> daat.   Nevertheless, there is dispute that is for the sake of Heaven, which in truth is very great daat, even greater than the daat of peace.   For in fact, such dispute is great love and peace, as our Sages, of blessed memory, said (Kiddushin 30b): “et vaHeV be’Sufah(Numbers 21:14)—they do not move from there until they become oHaVim (lovers).   This is the meaning of what our Sages, of blessed memory, said: “Dispute that is for the sake of Heaven, will in SoFaH (the end) prove constructive” (Avot 5:17).  This is the aspect of love, as it is written, “et vaHeV be’SuFaH,” as explained above.

This corresponds to Moshe, because Moshe is the aspect of daat,  which is the aspect of machloket (dispute) for the sake of Heaven. Thus, MoSheH is an acrostic for Machloket Shamai Hillel, for they are the aspect of dispute for the sake of Heaven.

The redemption from Egypt therefore came through Moshe, because the essence of redemption is through daat (knowledge), as it is written, “and you will know that it was God Who took you out of Egypt” (Exodus 16:6) “so that they might know” (Leviticus 23:43).

And this is the aspect of “the cake”— i.e., the matzot — ”that they took out from Egypt.” MaTZah is the aspect of dispute, as it is written, “The men who MaTZutekha (contend with you) will be as naught” (Isaiah 41:12).

This is the meaning of “that they took out from Egypt.” Specifically, “that they took out,” because in Egypt, daat was in exile; there was certainly no dispute for the sake of Heaven, which is dependent upon daat, as explained above.

This is: “In the cake that they took out from Egypt”— i.e., the matzah, which is the aspect of dispute; “that they took out from Egypt”— for there the daat is in exile; “they could taste the taste of manna”— because after they took the aspect of dispute out of exile in Egypt, they had in them the taste of manna, which is the aspect of great daat, which is the aspect of dispute that is for the sake of Heaven, as explained above.

This is the aspect of “LeCheM (bread) from heaven” (Exodus 16:4), which refers to the manna. It connotes battle, as it is written (Psalms 35:1), “LeChaM et lochamai (battle my opponents),” the aspect of dispute. In other words, the manna, which is daat, is the aspect of dispute for the sake of Heaven, as explained above.

Therefore, Datan and Aviram, who took issue with Moshe, who is daat, blemished also the manna by leaving some over. This is because the manna is the aspect of daat, the aspect of Moshe, as explained above.

Thus it is written in the holy Zohar (II, 183b), that “matzah heals.”  For matzah, which is the aspect of dispute for the sake of Heaven/ daat/peace, as explained above, is a cure.   This is because peace is a cure, as it is written (Isaiah 57:19), “Peace, peace, to the far and the near — says God — and I will heal them.”  For in the main, illness, Heaven forbid, stems from an absence of peace — i.e., dispute among the elements, with one of the elements overpowering the other. But peace is a cure.

This is why matzah is called “poor man’s bread,” because poverty is but a lack of daat (Nedarim 41a). This is the aspect of a sick person, as it is written (2 Samuel 13:4), “Why are you in such poor spirits, O prince?”  But matzah, <which is dispute for the sake of Heaven,> heals <impoverished daat>, as explained above.  This is the meaning of “poor man’s bread”: it is a cure for poverty, as explained above.

9. To attain dispute for the sake of Heaven,  a person must refine and purify the heavens, so that they are not in the aspect of “I clothe the heavens in blackness” (Isaiah 50:3).

 The way to refine and purify the heavens is through sincere sighing <to God>.   For the heart contains the ruach of the pulse,  which exists from before birth, transporting on it all the fluids and all the blood and all the juices. This ruach of the pulse circulates and beats in all the limbs. By its circulating and blowing through them, it agitates, blusters and disperses the decay in them, so that they do not atrophy or waste away. This resembles the wind that blows in the sea, which disperses, blusters, overturns and stirs the waters, so that they do not grow stale or go bad.

Primarily, the circulation of the ruach of the pulse is found in the hands. Since the hands are always busy,  it is necessary to blow away and disperse [the decay in] them all the more. Therefore, when <an experienced> doctor puts his hand on the pulse, he knows all that is going on with the sick person, because the main circulation of the ruach of the pulse of the heart is there, in the hands. It transports everything on it, as explained above.

It is thus necessary that this ruach of the pulse circulate in an orderly fashion, correctly and steadily.  But there is a serpent that brings to a depressed ruach — i.e., the thirty-nine labors, which are the defilement of the serpent.  This brings to a depressed ruach, and because the ruach is depressed, it does not beat steadily. As a result, the limbs become heavy, because the ruach of the pulse does not blow inside them in a steady fashion.  The hands are then in the aspect of “Moshe’s hands were heavy” (Exodus 17:12) This is because the primary heaviness is in the hands, which is where the essential ruach of the pulse is located, as explained above.

This is the aspect of ‘the despair of the hands’ (see Genesis 5:29) because a depressed ruach primarily damages the hands, as explained above. For when the limbs are heavy, they then weigh more heavily on the ruach of the pulse, which grows even weaker. Because the ruach of the pulse grows weaker, the limbs become heavier still. And as a result of the limbs growing even heavier, the ruach of the pulse grows weaker and weaker. This goes back and forth, until his soul departs, Heaven forbid.

But by sighing, he revives and cures the ruach of the pulse and is saved from a depressed ruach. The ruach of the pulse returns and blows steadily in all the limbs, and particularly the hands.
Through this, he refines the heavens, because the hands correspond to ShAMaYiM (heavens)—AiSh and MaYiM,  which are the aspect of the right hand and the left hand. This is the meaning of “Let us lift up our hearts with our hands to God in heaven” (Lamentations 3:41) — a person must lift up the heart, namely the ruach of the pulse in the heart, to the hands, as explained above. And this is: “to God in heaven”—for through this the heavens are refined, as explained above.

And this is the meaning of “When I lift up My hand to heaven” (Deuteronomy 32:40) — one has to lift up the hands, so that they are transformed into the aspect of shamayim, as explained above.
When a person refines the hands, the aspect of the heavens, through sighing—by means of which he lifts up the ruach in the heart to the hands and thereby refines the hands/heavens, as explained above — then this is an aspect of dispute for the sake of Heaven.

This is because we receive all words from heaven, the place of all speech, as it is written (Psalms 119:89), “Forever, O God, Your word stands firm in the heavens”; <and as it is written, “I spoke to you from heaven” (Exodus 20:19)>.   And these words we receive from heaven are <the aspect of> thunder, in the aspect of “God thunders in heaven” (Psalms 18:14), the aspect of “God thunders amazingly with His voice” (Job 37:5).

Consequently, we receive the words from the hands, for they are the aspect of shamayim, the place of all words.   Primarily, the receiving is through the aspect of thunder—i.e., the aspect of the ruach of the pulse that is rectified through sighing, through which the hands are lifted up to heaven.207 This is because the ruach of the pulse that circulates and blows and disperses everything, especially in the hands, is the aspect of thunder—the aspect of “God thunders in heaven,” as explained above. For the hands are in the aspect of shamayim, the place of all words—the aspect of “Forever, O God, Your word stands firm in the heavens,” as explained above.

Consequently, we receive the words from the YaDayim (hands), which is the aspect of “as God spoke b’YaD (through)…,”  which was said in regard to Moshe and also other prophets.  This is because all words are there, and they receive them from there, as explained above.

10. All the words that they receive from there—i.e., from the aspect of hands/heavens/thunder —since they are received from heaven, one ought not demean the receiver, even if the law is not in agreement with him.  Thus, indeed, “both opinions are the word of the Living God” (Eruvin 13b). 
As for the law not being in agreement with him, this is something we are incapable of understanding and comprehending, for this is the aspect of thunder. From there he received the words, of which it is said “God thunders amazingly with His voice”—i.e., they are truly “the wonders of He Who is perfect in knowledge” (Job 37:16) It is impossible for us to comprehend this, because it is the aspect of the incomprehensible ways of God—i.e., the aspect of one tzaddik experiencing good and a second tzaddik experiencing misfortune, one wicked person experiencing good and a second wicked person experiencing misfortune. Even Moshe Rabbeinu, of blessed memory, could not comprehend this, and concerning this he asked, “Please, let me know Your ways” (Exodus 33:13).

A tzaddik experiencing good is the aspect of the tzaddik with whom the law is in agreement; a tzaddik experiencing misfortune is the aspect of the tzaddik with whom the law is not in agreement. A wicked person experiencing good is the aspect of the wicked person who is close to the tzaddik with whom the law is in agreement; a wicked person experiencing misfortune is the aspect of the wicked person who is close to the tzaddik with whom the law is not in agreement.

Even Moshe could not comprehend this, because they are the aspect of the ways of God, the aspect of thunder; they are “the wonders of He Who is perfect in knowledge,” which are incomprehensible.
Therefore, when they receive words from heaven, from the aspect of the hands, the aspect of thunder, as explained above, one ought not demean [the receiver], even if the law is not agreement with him.  This is the aspect of dispute for the sake of Heaven, for in fact “both opinions are the word of the Living God,” just that it is impossible to comprehend this because it is “the wonders of He Who is perfect in knowledge,” the aspect of thunder, as explained above.

11. This is the explanation of: “With His ruach (breath) He perfects the heavens. His hand cholelah (fashioned) the Bolt Serpent. These are but some of His ways; how trifling is that which has been heard about Him. Who can comprehend the thunder of His mighty deeds?” (Job 26:13, 14).
With His ruach He perfects the heavens — That is, the above mentioned ruach of the pulse that blows in the hands, which are the aspect of heaven, as explained above.

This is the aspect of “With His ruach He perfects the heavens,” for by means of the above mentioned ruach of the pulse, he refines and perfects the heavens, which are the hands, in the aspect of “Let us lift up our hearts with our hands to God in heaven,” as explained above.  And this is:

His hand ChoLeLah the Bolt Serpent — Through this he creates a ChaLaL (empty space) in the hands that were heavy and shut due to a depressed ruach, which is the defilement of the serpent, as explained above.   And so, when he eliminates the aspect of the defilement of the serpent, so that the ruach of the pulse blows steadily, then the hands are lifted up and the heavens are refined. Then, words are received from them; the aspect of dispute for the sake of Heaven. This is the aspect of the ways of God, for in truth “both opinions are the word of the Living God,” as explained above.  And this is: These are but some of His ways — That is, this is the aspect of the ways of God, the aspect of a tzaddik experiencing good, etc., which are incomprehensible, the aspect of thunder, which are “the wonders of He Who is perfect in knowledge,” as explained above.223 And this is:

how trifling is that which has been heard about Him. Who can comprehend the thunder of His mighty deeds — That is, there is no dishonor whatsoever in the above mentioned words that are received from heaven, and it is forbidden to demean the receiver, even if the law is not in agreement with him, for this is the aspect of the ways of God, the aspect of thunder, which are impossible to understand and comprehend, as explained above.

This is the meaning of “how trifling is that which....” In other words, there is no dishonor in them whatsoever, even though the law is not in agreement with him, because “Who can comprehend the thunder of His mighty deeds”—who can understand the thunder of His mighty deeds, which are “perfect in knowledge,” the aspect of “God thunders amazingly with His voice.” For in fact, “both opinions are the word of the Living God,” just that it is incomprehensible because it is the aspect of the ways of God, as explained above. 

12. And this is the explanation [of the opening verse]:
{“On the day of the bikurim (first fruits), when you bring an offering of new grain to God as part of your Shavuot festival, you shall observe a mikra kodesh (holy occasion): you shall not do any mundane work.”}

On the day of the bikurim This is the aspect of malkhut, as it is written (Psalms 89:28), “I, too, will designate him My firstborn, the highest of the malkhei (kings) of the earth.”

when you bring an offering of new grain to God — <That is, malkhut looks into the concealment within a concealment of those people under his rule and removes from there the sparks of holiness, which are transformed into Torah, as explained above. This is the meaning of “new...to God.” Initially, it was extremely concealed. But now that it has been revealed, it has become “new to God”—i.e., the Torah of God, the hidden Torah, as explained above.>


as part of your Shavuot festival — This is the aspect of daat, the aspect of manna/the mikvah of Shavuot, which is the mikvah of the fiftieth gate <—i.e., the supernal daat has been revealed, as explained above>.   Shavuot is therefore called ATZeRet, which has the same ...

Download the complete text together with 2 Likutey Moharan #4 from the Breslov.org site, here.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

For Pessac

Psalms Chapter 81 תְּהִלִּים

א  לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל-הַגִּתִּית לְאָסָף.1 For the Leader; upon the Gittith. [A Psalm] of Asaph.
ב  הַרְנִינוּ, לֵאלֹהִים עוּזֵּנוּ;    הָרִיעוּ, לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב.2 Sing aloud unto God our strength; shout unto the God of Jacob.
ג  שְׂאוּ-זִמְרָה, וּתְנוּ-תֹף;    כִּנּוֹר נָעִים עִם-נָבֶל.3 Take up the melody, and sound the timbrel, the sweet harp with the psaltery.
ד  תִּקְעוּ בַחֹדֶשׁ שׁוֹפָר;    בַּכֵּסֶה, לְיוֹם חַגֵּנוּ.4 Blow the horn at the new moon, at the full moon for our feast-day.
ה  כִּי חֹק לְיִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא;    מִשְׁפָּט, לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב.5 For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
ו  עֵדוּת, בִּיהוֹסֵף שָׂמוֹ--    בְּצֵאתוֹ, עַל-אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם;
שְׂפַת לֹא-יָדַעְתִּי    אֶשְׁמָע.
6 He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, when He went forth against the land of Egypt. {N}
The speech of one that I knew not did I hear:
ז  הֲסִירוֹתִי מִסֵּבֶל שִׁכְמוֹ;    כַּפָּיו, מִדּוּד תַּעֲבֹרְנָה.7 'I removed his shoulder from the burden; his hands were freed from the basket.
ח  בַּצָּרָה קָרָאתָ,    וָאֲחַלְּצֶךָּ:
אֶעֶנְךָ, בְּסֵתֶר רַעַם;    אֶבְחָנְךָ עַל-מֵי מְרִיבָה סֶלָה.
8 Thou didst call in trouble, and I rescued thee; {N}
I answered thee in the secret place of thunder; I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah
ט  שְׁמַע עַמִּי, וְאָעִידָה בָּךְ;    יִשְׂרָאֵל, אִם-תִּשְׁמַע-לִי.9 Hear, O My people, and I will admonish thee: O Israel, if thou wouldest hearken unto Me!
י  לֹא-יִהְיֶה בְךָ, אֵל זָר;    וְלֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה, לְאֵל נֵכָר.10 There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any foreign god.
יא  אָנֹכִי, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ--    הַמַּעַלְךָ, מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם;
הַרְחֶב-פִּיךָ,    וַאֲמַלְאֵהוּ.
11 I am the LORD thy God, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt; {N}
open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
יב  וְלֹא-שָׁמַע עַמִּי לְקוֹלִי;    וְיִשְׂרָאֵל, לֹא-אָבָה לִי.12 But My people hearkened not to My voice; and Israel would none of Me.
יג  וָאֲשַׁלְּחֵהוּ, בִּשְׁרִירוּת לִבָּם;    יֵלְכוּ, בְּמוֹעֲצוֹתֵיהֶם.13 So I let them go after the stubbornness of their heart, that they might walk in their own counsels.
יד  לוּ--עַמִּי, שֹׁמֵעַ לִי;    יִשְׂרָאֵל, בִּדְרָכַי יְהַלֵּכוּ.14 Oh that My people would hearken unto Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!
טו  כִּמְעַט, אוֹיְבֵיהֶם אַכְנִיעַ;    וְעַל צָרֵיהֶם, אָשִׁיב יָדִי.15 I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries.
טז  מְשַׂנְאֵי יְהוָה, יְכַחֲשׁוּ-לוֹ;    וִיהִי עִתָּם לְעוֹלָם.16 The haters of the LORD should dwindle away before Him; and their punishment should endure for ever.
יז  וַיַּאֲכִילֵהוּ, מֵחֵלֶב חִטָּה;    וּמִצּוּר, דְּבַשׁ אַשְׂבִּיעֶךָ.17 They should also be fed with the fat of wheat; and with honey out of the rock would I satisfy thee.' {P}

Bible - Psalms - 

G-d speaking to Yehosef:

“In distress you called out, and I released you; I answered you when you called privately with a thunderous reply”

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Messianic Applications of The Teachings of The Vilna Gaon

Thoughts On Yehoshua HaMashiach In Light of Teachings of The Gaon, Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna, On Mashiach ben Yosef


Preliminary Note by Mahx:

We will take an introductory look here at what the Vilna Gaon says about Mashiach ben Yosef.  Before we do, I would like to make a few comments about what we should be thinking about when considering teachings about Mashiach ben Yosef in relation to Yehoshua HaMashiach.  We might, indeed, look at Yehoshua in his present concealment from Israel and from the world in accordance with the way in which he was and is represented by Joseph/Yosef.

Looking at Yehoshua in this light, we will need to remember that even though he is concealed from Israel and from the world at the present time at the Right Hand of God, he is nonetheless declared to Israel and to the world to be Mashiach ben David, anointed by the God and Father of Israel through the resurrection of the dead. Therefore, while we see mystery and concealment reflected in the Gaon of Vilna’s account of the promise of Mashiach in terms of his speaking about Mashiach ben Yosef, (indeed in terms of speaking about two Messiahs), there is even more mystery in the apostolic account that is given concerning the person of Yehoshua as Mashiach. 

For Yehoshua is said to be concealed and revealed at the same time, for he is revealed to select disciples, in whom and through whom he is also mysteriously revealed to the world.  While his disciples in all generations are said to be anointed ones themselves, anointed through being united to Yehoshua through one spirit, and while they represent the beginning of the revelation to the world of Yehoshua's resurrection from the dead, this is still within the aspect of concealment.  All generations of his disciples are witnesses to his resurrection but he himself is still deliberately concealed by God!

His revelation to Israel and to the nations is something which is promised to come as the last act of history.  He will be revealed when time itself is being finally prepared to meet eternity.  It will be in that context that all Israel will be completely redeemed an brought back to the Land of Testimony to the One True God out of all nations.

Having these things in mind, it may be of value to us to begin to look at what the Vilna Gaon says about Mashiach ben Yosef.

According to the Gaon, Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna, below are the seven major principles connected with the approach called the footsteps of the Mashiach, which is based on the sentence, “on each stone were seven eyes [apertures]” [Zach. 3:9].  First I will give a list of the seven “apertures” that the Vilna Gaon speaks about.  Then I will supply a summary of the meaning of each, as the meaning is provided at length in the Introduction to Kol Hator. (You can find an Internet Archive of the complete text of Kol Hator here.)

(1)  “Yosef is still alive.”

(2)  Act and be successful.

(3)  [Isa. 60:22] “in its time, I will hasten it.”

(4)  By possession and conquest in the revealed end.

(5)  Escapees [refugees] in Zion.

(6)  Torah from Zion

(7) Tsofnat Paneach.

(1) “Yosef is still alive.”

The decree regarding his murder by Armulus the Wicked will be canceled — by extended exile, and by afflictions and diseases that he will bear; by his accomplishments also, as Mashiach ben Yosef will gather in the exiles; and by our prayers, also, will that decree be canceled.  [Jer. 30:7] “A time of trouble it is for Jacob, ” from which he will be saved. 

Wherever the word “to stand up” is mentioned, it refers to the line of Mashiach ben Yosef, as in the phrase [Gen. 37:7] “my sheaf rose”.

These scriptures allude to Mashiach ben Yosef:

[Ps. 24:3] “who will ascend the mountain of the Lord, ” referring to the ingathering of exiles…

[Ps. 24:3] “who will stand up in the place of his sanctuary” referring to the building…

[Ps. 24:5] “he will receive a blessing from the Lord” refers to something that carries with it a blessing, such as planting…

[Ps. 102:14] “it is the time to favor her.” ‘To favor’ refers to planting as it states, “he will favor its dirt.”

[Jer 31:20] “return to your cities, ” “build Jerusalem...”

The might of Mashiach ben Yosef lies in the miraculous assistance he can offer in connection with the ingathering of exiles that will come about when the awakening comes from below.

(2)  Act and be successful

With regard to Yosef (son of Jacob), it says,[Gen. 39:3] “whatever he did, the Lord made prosper in his hand.”

As it states in the Midrash on the sentence: “a redeemer will come to Zion.” As long is Zion is not yet built, the redeemer will not come. As Our Sages of blessed memory said (Megillah 17b), “after Jerusalem is built, the son of David [Mashiach] will come.” According to the Midrash, the son of David will not come until Jerusalem is built.

(3)  [Isa. 60:22] “in its time, I will hasten it.”


The sages said, If they [the People of Israel] merit it, I will hasten it [the Redemption]; if not, I will bring it in its own time (Sanhedrin 98a).  The Gaon commented, even if the Redemption comes at its proper time, I will hasten it.  When?  “When the smallest become a thousand and the youngest a mighty nation.”  The words smallest and youngest refer to Efraim, who is Mashiach ben Yosef.  This is also the meaning of “and the things that are to come upon them, will make haste” (Deut. 32). — when the awakening comes from below.

(4)  By possession and conquest in the revealed end

All activities must be in accord with one of two lines or paths: one is the line of Ezra and Nehemiah; the other is the line of Joshua.

[Deut. 11:31] “you shall possess it and you shall settle in it…” The Vilna Gaon says, “you will dwell in it…by establishing your claim,” (by building and planting — as with Ezra and Nehemiah.  By force, if necessary — as was done by Joshua. This refers to the time of the revealed end mentioned by our Sages (Sanhedrin 98a; Megillah 17b) on the sentence, [Ez. 36:8] “you, mountains of Israel, will give forth your branch, and bear your fruit for My People, Israel…

The Gaon wrote specifically that in-gathering of the exiles can be merited by fulfilling the mitzvot dependent on being in Eretz Israel – as in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.  Or again, it may be as it was with Joshua, as it says (Keddushin 26a) in accord with the sentence: [Jer. 40:10] “settle in your cities that you have taken.”

The purpose of gathering in the exiles is to wage God’s war against Amalek.

[Isa. 33:20] “visualize Zion, the city of our designated times, ”

(5)  Escapees  [refugees] in Zion

[Joel 3:5] “for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, ... and among the remnant, those whom the Lord will call.”

...whatever befell Yosef, befell Zion.

As the number of ingathered increases, so the Sitra Achra (the Other Side) will increase its strength.

The abundance in all the upper special characteristics that will come by way of Zion and Jerusalem will be evident in life, salvation, blessings, peace, loving-kindness, mercy, goodness, etc.

Abundance of life

[Ps. 133:3] “there the Lord commanded the blessing of life forever”

 [Ps. 27:133] “to look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”

Abundance of salvation

[Ps. 4:7] “for from Zion comes salvation for Israel”

Abundance of blessings


[Ps. 128:5] “may God bless you from Zion”, etc.,

[Ps. 133:3] “because there the Lord commanded the blessing” etc.

Abundance of peace

 [Ps. 122:6] “peace of Jerusalem” —and Jerusalem means the city of peace.

Abundance of loving kindness

[Ps. 133:3].“like the dew of the Hermon that descends on the mountains of Zion” — The “dew of the Hermon” refers to the attribute of loving kindness.

Abundance of mercy

God builds Jerusalem with mercy, as is written: “Who, in his mercy, builds Jerusalem” [see Blessing after meal].

Abundance of goodness

[Ps. 128:5] “and see the goodness of Jerusalem”

[Ps. 128:6] “this good mountain and the Lebanon”.

All of the above are the assignment of Mashiach ben Yosef, because Zion is in line with Yosef according to the Midrash.  As long as Zion is desolate, a spirit of impurity prevails and places obstacles preventing the passage of abundance from above.

Only building Jerusalem can strengthen the connection as it states:

 [Ps. 122:3].“built-up Jerusalem is like a city united together”

(6)  Torah from Zion

“From Zion will the Torah come forth” [Isa. 2:3]. This refers to the revelation of the secrets of the Torah, whose principal source is Zion and Jerusalem.

“and the gold of the land is good” [Gen. 2:12].

(7) Tsofnat Paneach. (Hebrew: צָפְנַת פַּעְנֵחַ)

- is the name stated by the Bible (Genesis, 41:45) as given by Pharaoh to Joseph.  Rashi says the name means, "He who explains hidden things.

When “it is the time to favor her” [Ps. 102:14] Hints in the Torah and in the works of our Sages of blessed memory will begin to be revealed.

People will begin to understand the ways of the beginning of the Redemption and the footsteps of the Mashiach hinted at in the words, “designated deeds, times and emissaries, ” as is written: “the buds were seen on the land, the songbird’s time has arrived, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land” [Song 2:12]. Also, according to the command, “make straight in the desert a highway for our God” [Isa. 40:3].

 Concluding Notes by Mahx

We see that the Vilna Gaon's teachings on Mashiach and specifically on Mashiach ben Yosef can be very illuminating for the study of Mashiach in the Tanakh.  One should not simply take over the terminology of Mashiach ben Yosef and attempt to apply it to Yehoshua (Yeshua/Jesus) in an attempt to better align their faith with rabbinic teachings, but rather study deeply both the differences and the common ground in the teachings of the apostles and rabbinic tradition. May we be moved by these studies of the Gaon of Vilna to study the teachings of the whole Tanakh ever more deeply and to ever deepen and expand our faith in Mashiach through the revelations of the Scriptures.