Thursday, November 21, 2013
The sages explain that these inverted Nuns bracket these two verses to set them off as a little book, a sefer of the Torah itself. As a result the book of Numbers is divided into three books, the chapters and verses that come before this little book, then this little book, then the chapters that come after this little book. As a result, the Torah is made to be composed of seven books instead of five books.
Now the content of this "little book" found inside the book of Numbers is of great importance. Just how important it is is recognized every time the Torah Scroll is taken out of the ark in every synagogue. For then this little book of two verses is read:
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The heart of David in song. Confess the the truth of the One, the Only One, Israel’s God, all you the mighty children of the Mighty God!. Confess the truth that He alone is glorious and strong.
Angels of the Revelation, Let us join with you to acknowledge the God of Israel. Let us join together to acknowledge Him as the God of all glory and strength!
Give your testimony on the witness stand, for creation is on trial. Will the creature steal the glory of his Creator? Let Israel give her testimony for her God! Let her rejoice in the glory of His name! Let her teach the nations the true worship of the One.
With you, angels of the Revelation of the Messiah of Israel, Let us honor The Great Name. Let us join as one to ascribe to the Name of the God of Israel His due. And let us go on to attain our maturity, to acknowledge the One Holy Name by arranging ourselves according to the pattern of the beauty of holiness.
"When he had cried like a roaring lion, seven thunders uttered their voices."
The Voice of the First Day of Creation
The thunderous voice of Israel’s God commands the tumultuous waves; He thunders over the roar of all the nations, commanding them to be still, to be mute and come to rest. The Glorious Power thunders! Israel’s God thunders, subduing the many waters of ice and fire. The revelation of Israel's God subdues the chaos of hatred, the enmity toward Israel in the heart of the nations.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Relationship Of The Oral Torah To Mashiach ben Yoseph
I will resume the series on the judgments upon Egypt and their relation to the judgements upon the nations shortly. Before I do, it is necessary to state, for those who are prepared to understand this, what the relationship of the Oral Torah is to Mashiach ben Yoseph. I will attempt to do this by discussing the shmita year. "The sabbath year (shmita Hebrew: שמיטה, literally "release") also called the sabbatical year or sheviit (Hebrew: שביעית, literally "seventh") is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the Land of Israel," (definition from Wikipedia).
Halakha Of The Seventh Year and The Messianic EraIf the halakha of the seventh year is the halakha of the Messianic Era, what is the halakha of the sixth-year onion? The halakha is the ruling of the sages who sit in Moshe's seat as to the correct decision as how to read and practice the instructions of the Torah. Clearly, there is a prophetic aspect to the Sabbath year, an aspect which speaks of the era when Mashiach will "rule the nations with a rod of iron". That is, when he will teach the nations repentance according to the instructions of the Torah, through the example he sets with his beloved Torah-Israel, Torah observant in all its twelve tribes. Since there is also a halakha of practice for the keeping of the seventh year Sabbath, every Torah instruction for that practice represents a ray of prophecy for the Messianic Kingdom. The Talmud takes up the question of the halakha of the onion that is planted and grown in the sixth year. What is the Torah's instruction for how it shall be dealt with in the seventh?
Jerusalem Talmud Sheviis 48b ArtScroll trans. (including amplifying texts):Sixth-year onions on which rain fell during the seventh year, and they then sprouted, if their leaves were dark, they [both the leaves and the onions] are forbidden, because it is clear that they grew from nutrients drawn from the ground. But if they became pale, they are permitted, since it is clear that they did not draw their nutrients from the ground.
The Seventh Year Onion In The Mishna - What Is It?The Mishna is drawing a line around the seventh year. The onion is a medium for that line because when it is exposed to moisture, such even as a sprinkle of rain, it is possible for it to grow new leaf shoots. If such leaf shoots draw from the onion itself this is one thing, but if they draw from soil this is another thing. We are given a means for determining whether the onion is produce of the sixth-year, the seventh-year, or the eighth-year, (or the year that follows), depending on the case involved.
How Is The Seventh Year Commandment of Rest To Be Fulfilled?How, unless Israel draws such a halachic line in agriculture and consumption, is observance of the commandment of rest during the seventh year to actually be accomplished? Just as each weekly Sabbath Day must be marked with a line at the beginning and at the end in order to be universally and faithfully observed, so the Seventh Year Sabbath must be marked with a line which distinguishes it in Torah instruction and observance of instructions from the sixth year and from the year that follows.
It is not the approximate year but the precise year to which the commandment refers, and therefore the action of drawing the line must be made or there is no observance at all. It is not only the adherence to the line but the drawing of the line itself that is an essential and critical element of the commandment. The sixth-year onion is an aspect of that line on the one side and the "eighth-year onion" is an aspect of that line on the other side of the seventh year. What is the metaphor of the sixth-year onion for the Messianic era. Categorically, the sixth-year onion is a legal issue which serves to speak of the footsteps of Mashiach. It is a prophetic ruling of the Oral Torah which points faithfully to inform those who know the Torah of the moment when the Messianic labor pains will end and the Messianic Kingdom will be born. However, it is known that no one can know that exact moment except G-d the Father. How, then, is this onion to be understood? First we must clarify how it is to be understood halachically as a way to understand it prophetically.
The Onion That Is DarkThe onion that is dark is the onion (daily life-sustenance) that partakes of the soil of this age. It is not permitted. This is the "wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes in diverse places," etc., which cannot be embraced as the ruach/spirit of life, for it is the ruach of death, and in the measure of a testimony that brings to Mashiach but is not Mashiach. This is because what partakes of the "soil" of the present order only leads up to Sheviis, the shmitta year (and not of the rest of Sheviis itself), and therefore "wars and rumors of wars" represents those strong efforts to believe in and preserve this world.
More accurately, those aspects of the footsteps of Mashiach which are of the category of "wars and rumors of wars" are the aspect of the Torah's power to bring the judgment of death and its correction to our strong efforts to believe in this world and preserve this world. For, like the sixth-year onion in relation to Sheviis there are two sides to the "wars and rumors of war" that lead up to the Messianic Era. Understand the following carefully.
The sixth-year onion is, on one side, or in one aspect, produce for the six years that correspond to the present era of this world, the present world order. The six years are like the six days of the week. In relation to the Sabbath they are secular, the days of this world order. On the other side, in a changed aspect, when the rain from heaven, the rain from the seventh year, touches the sixth-year onion and when it is claimed for the purpose of the halakha of Sheviis, the seventh year, the sixth-year onion becomes an aspect of the line that defines the commandment and makes the Sabbath Year's complete observance possible. Just so, while "wars and rumors of war" are sinful on their own terms, when they are claimed by the prophetic Torah as a measure of the labor pains of the Messianic Era, they are made Torah.
Eliyahu and Mashiach ben YosephIf "wars and rumors of wars" are put in the context of the love of this world, this is the ruach/spirit of death, but if "wars and rumors of wars" are put in the context of correction from the love of this world, this is the ruach of Eliyahu and the path of Mashiach ben Yoseph. It is both Eliyahu and Mashiach ben Yoseph who are involved in defining and claiming elements of this world for the sake of Torah. For Eliyahu carries the prophetic work of the Oral Torah up to, and then forward, the work of Mashiach ben Yoseph, to prepare the way for Mashiach ben Davíd. No one should be confused by the idea of two Messiahs. The ruach/spirit of Mashiach manifests in two aspects. One is represented by Yoseph. The other is represented by Davíd. Yoseph represents the body, the bride, and her slowly coming of age. Davíd represents the head, the bridegroom, which is to say, the Son of Davíd, the Mashiach.
Just as Yoseph was anointed by the word of prophecy to rule in Israel in order to prepare the way and enable the scepter to pass to Yehudah, so the children who serve and obey the G-d of the holy covenant, as did Yoseph in exile, are anointed, through the ruach of Mashiach which dwells in them, to prepare the way for the restoration of Divinely appointed rulership over the world of the house of faith, the rulership of the house of Davíd. And it is Eliyahu who leads all who are anointed with the ruach of Mashiach, for he guides them in the prophecies of the Oral Torah in order to prepare the way.
The ruach that takes hold of the sixth-year onion is first the ruach of Eliyahu. This is the ruach which takes hold of what sustains the present era, and in taking hold of it claims it for prophecy. This is the onion that is dark, and is not permitted because it partakes of the soil of this world. Nevertheless, Eliyahu takes a hold of it and holding it in his hand uses it for halakha, and so also for prophecy. It is in this way that redemption of the natural is made possible.
The Onion That Is PaleThe sixth-year onion that does not partake of the soil of this world, of "wars and rumors of wars," is the pale onion, which partakes only of the aspect of, "this good news will be declared unto the ends of the earth, then the end will come." This is the ruach that is entirely of Mashiach ben Yoseph, the regenerate ruach set apart from the natural. For it is the ruach that is in this world but not of it. This is also the "eighth-year onion", because this onion is the metaphor of everything in the world being claimed by the rule of the Mashiach of Israel in his redemption of Israel, "the eternal onion,"just as if it had not come from the sixth year at all. Once Mashiach has made atonement for the transgressions of Israel in the commandment of the shmitta year, it is as though the very same onion, the dark onion, which partook of the soil of this world and was illegally harvested, the wars of Israel according to the flesh, is turned into the pale onion, the permitted onion. It is the very same onion. This is the idea of the justification of life.
It is the action of drawing the halachic line, therefore which corresponds to giving a true and faithful witness to Hashem through a national observance of His commandment. And this is the Talmudic testimony of determination of halakha that must be made, the action of drawing the line for the kosher good news, because the "onion of the wars and rumors of war" is nothing at all until it is defined by the word of Torah. As it is written in Amos 3:7 -
7 For Adonai Hashem will do nothing, unless He reveals His counsel unto His servants the prophets.
And therefore we read:
Revelation 10:7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of G-d will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets."
Just as none of the judgments that came upon Pharaoh came from Hashem except as interpreted through the prophecy of Moshe, so it will be in the coming of Mashiach. The judgments of Israel's redemption, the footsteps, or birth pangs, of Mashiach do not come except by the word of Mashiach, and the end does not come except by the Talmudic line of holiness being drawn around the good news of Israel and Her Mashiach, which must come from those who sit in Moshe's seat. This we will see, then, is the aspect of Eliyahu and of Mashiach be Yoseph, preparing the way for the Son of David to embrace Yerushalayim, his bride, as it was said to Yochanan, "You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.” Rev. 10:11
The following is from http://www.star-k.com/kashrus/kk-shmitta-5768.htm See the full article there for a complete treatment of the subject.
I. Working The Land - What Is Prohibited?
The laws regarding the land are extremely complicated and not very relevant to people who don’t own land in Israel, so we will deal with this only briefly. In general, all work intended to enhance the land, to prepare the land for producing a yield, or to enhance vegetation is forbidden. Therefore, one may not plow the land, plant seeds or saplings, or even prune trees because these activities promote growth and are considered forbidden forms of work.
Some other prohibited activities include watering, fertilizing, weeding and other essential fieldwork. If the purpose of the work is to protect what has already grown from becoming ruined, or if trees are in danger of dying, certain activities are generally permitted. Since these laws are very complicated, a posek, Torah authority familiar with these laws, should be consulted.
Flower pots at home in the land of Israel present their own problems. A posek should be consulted for instruction on proper shmitta plant care.
II. The Produce of the 7th Year - Pairos Sheviis
In order to facilitate an understanding of fruits and vegetables that are permitted or forbidden, we must clearly define the four W’s: Which produce are we speaking about? When was the produce grown? Where was the produce grown? Who owns the land?
Which produce? There are essentially three categories of produce concerning shmitta: 1. Vegetables, e.g. tomatoes, lettuce, carrots; 2. Legumes (kitniyos), pulses and grains, e.g. corn, peanuts, wheat; and 3. Fruits of a tree, e.g. dates, figs, pomegranates.
When was the produce grown? There are different time frames in effect for the different types of produce.
Also see Charting the Course of Shmitta at:
Also: http://www.shemayisrael.com/shmitta1.htm from where the following is taken;
To Acknowledge That the A-mighty is the Master of the Universe
(Page 47) At the root of the mitzva lies the purpose to establish in our heart and set firmly in our thoughts the conception that the world was brought into being as a new entity out of nothing, for in six days Hashem created the Heaven and Earth (Shemos 31:17) and on the seventh day He rested... We are obligated to spend all our time: day by day, year by year, counting six years and resting on the seventh. And thus this matter should never depart from before our eyes; it is akin to our practice of counting the days of the week as six working days and (then) the seventh, a day of rest. For this reason (Hashem) commanded (us) to leave ownerless all that the land will produce in this year, apart from resting in it, so that man will remember that the land which produced fruit for him every year does not produce it by its own power and virtue but that there is a L-rd and Master over it and when He so desires He commands man to leave them ownerless.
(Sefer HaChinuch Mitzva 84)
Shmitta and Shabbos
(Page 99) The seventh year is compared to the seventh day -- Shabbos. Just like Shabbos is a relief from the stress of the week and gives us the ability to compose and collect our thoughts, likewise the year of shmitta is an opportunity to reflect on the past six years. This is an important basis in serving Hashem. We must realize the purpose of our creation and what we must improve. This comes through contemplation and peace of mind.
(Beis Yisroel, Behar 5727)
The Holiness Of Shmitta Fruits
(Page 163) "Then the land will accept her rest..." What makes the mitzvah of shmitta outstanding? The Alshich explains that a holiness is reflected like a light from Above and settles in the ground. It is the strength of this holiness that produces the fruit and not the natural energy of the ground. Therefore you are not the owner of the fruit. It belongs to all of Israel, since they all share equally this Heavenly Holiness.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
A Poetic Reading of Revelation Chapter Ten
by Max Carl Kirk
updated: Monday, February 18, 2013
10:1 Then I saw an angel, an immense, powerful and awesome angel, coming down to earth from the heavens above. He was wrapped in the garment of the Shechina cloud, for the Presence of the Blessed Holy One was made visible round about him, as in the days when the Holy One led Israel through the sea and through the wilderness.
There was a brilliant rainbow shining in a circle above the angel's head. Its radiation of light was like the radiating promise of redemptive fire glowing with its holy mystery.
The angel's face shone like a perfect mirror reflection of the very source of light, the eternal light that comes upon all creation. That is the light of God's first commandment, the commandment which gives Israel its faith, which also generates the temporal light of the sun and the stars. And the legs of the angel were white flaming pillars, like chariots of fire, like the pillars of Mashiach’s fiery legs, his leg of victory over death and and his leg of glorious regenerative and creative resurrection. It was those legs of Mashiach which came swiftly in answer to the prayer of Elijah on Mount Carmel.
2 This awesome angel held open a little scroll before him, and he prepared to read from it. While he held out the little scroll, he put his right foot on the seas of the earth and his left foot on the continents of the earth, so all the world was, as it were, conquered and still by the power of the fiery legs of Mashiach.
3-4 Then the angel spoke great words and his voice was like that of the angelic lion roaring before the throne of the Holy Creator. When he roared out his words, seven distinct peals of thunder came out of his roar, accompanying his roar like a harmony of echoing thunders. These thunderous voices issued seven great messages in their seven awesome, ringing voices of harmonic response.
When I heard the messages that the seven thunders sang out, I was preparing to write down what I had heard, but just then I heard the commanding voice of the Throne of Heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders spoke and do not write it down.”
5-7 It was then that my full attention was brought again to that great and tremendous angel, who was standing on the sea and on the land. I looked again at the little scroll open before him from which the messages of the seven thunders appeared to come. I saw that, while he was roaring out his words he had raised his right hand to heaven, in order to swear an oath in the authority of the revelation of Yehoshua the Mashiach. It was the mystery of that revelation which was now being made known to me. And I heard the angel swear by the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, and the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that “The time of the end of this present world would no longer be delayed."
This is what was made known to us in that oath of the angel: "In the days when the seventh angel is about to blow the seventh trumpet, the mystery of God is to be perfected in the world. At that time the stage will be completely set, the mystery of God will be perfectly formed in the world and will then, at that time, be revealed in all the world through God's Mashiach, just as he has foretold through his servants the prophets of Israel."
8 And, when I had witnessed this oath, the oath of this great and awesome angel, then the commanding voice that I had heard from the Throne of Heaven said to me, "Go and take the open scroll that is in the hand of the angel who is standing over all the seas and all the lands of the earth.”
9 So I went before the great and awesome angel who had roared out the voices of the seven thunders from the little book and asked him to give me that little scroll. He said to me, “Take this scroll and eat it. It will be difficult for you to digest and will make your stomach ache bitterly, but it is medicine, and its promise, its taste and its aftertaste, will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.”
10-11 So I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it, and it did taste as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach began to ache bitterly, just as I had been told. For this is the mystery of the concealment at the heart of the revelation of Yehoshua, who is for a time the hidden one, but who is the one anointed of God to be the everlasting king of Israel, the redeemer of the world. Then the one who commanded me and the one who gave me the little scroll to eat spoke to me again, so that I understood that the little scroll and what the seven thunders had said was sealed within in me.
I understood that the seven messages of the little book would be sealed within me and within the assembly of those who hear the spirit of this revelation until the time of the sounding of the seventh trumpet. For at that time all these seven hidden revelations will be made open revelations to all the world. For they who gave me this revelation told me, “You must prophesy again as you are doing now, to many peoples, nations, languages, and kings. For your prophecy is sealed up now at this point. It is forming the final form of the mystery of God now and does not reveal it now, but will reveal then, when that time comes.
At that time your prophecy will reveal all that these seven thunders of the holy word of God have said. For this message that is concealed is the message about what will become of the nations in the final hour of the fully open revelation of Yehoshua the Mashiach of Israel, the hour in which the name of the Father is revealed, when all nations stand or fall with Israel in the hour of her redemption.”
Friday, November 9, 2012
The first trumpet brings the warning called HAIL, which was the seventh judgement in Egypt. It was between the seventh and the eighth judgement in Egypt, the HAIL and the LOCUSTS judgements, that G-d made the line of separation between Israel and Egypt completely clear and fully pronounced. It is as if the seven trumpet judgements pick up and resume with the HAIL judgement from Egypt. The thunder in the little book that Yochanan heard but was not permitted to write down had to do with the Good News of Israel and Her Messiah, which will be revealed as the great line of separation between Israel and Egypt, Israel and the nations. Just as G-d made it clear at the point of the HAIL judgement in Egypt that the judgements were for the purpose of the redemption of Israel, so He will make the same thing clear concerning the revelation of Yehoshua the Messiah of Israel, which is coming, and will begin to be announced by the first trumpet blast. This is about the redemption of Israel. This is what governs when the end comes. The first warning to the nations is to repent of their false confidence that this world will go on and on as it is, their false confidence that the Creator will not judge His world, their false confidence that Mashiach will not come again. This will be heard as the essence of the content of the message of the voice of the first thunder which was heard by Yochanan but not written down by him. It will not be heard outwardly by the world. It will be heard inwardly by the spirit in the belly of the body of Mashiach and the servants of Mashiach will announce it in the hour that he puts it in their mouth for a testimony before the nations.
Having made this clear, we go back again to the first judgement from Egypt, the judgement called BLOOD. Now in the end, this judgement is unfolded into its two aspects, the water the earth needs is turned to blood and the water people need to drink is turned to blood. The water the earth needs covers the dominion of resources, trade and the connection of these to the economy of the world. This is the second trumpet warning. It applies to food. This is the specific category of the universal commandment that the Creator gave to the Adam in Genesis 2:16. In the economy of sin there are seven aspects to the universal commandment, seven aspects in which repentance is commanded. Reference is made to this in Revelation 9:20. The universal commandment to the Adam was that they should nourish themselves with what G-d provided for them (and with nothing else). All human usage of the resources of the earth without repentance and obedience to the commandment of G-d ends in the exploitation and destruction of the earth. Finally, the seas are turned to blood.
BLOOD is, then, also the category of the third trumpet warning. As water circulates in the earth and gives it health, so water circulates in the body and gives it health. As the provision of food nourishes the body, so water nourishes the body, yet the provision of food is made to involve human choice and full involvement, whereas the provision of water is provided like the "milk" of G-d to His children. Thus water represents the blessing of G-d, His grace as blessing, His Spirit as blessing, His Word as blessing. "God will destroy those who destroy the earth." He will simply withhold His blessing. The nations drank the blood of the servants of G-d. He will give them blood to drink. This will be the nature of the warning that will be given with the third trumpet.
The fourth trumpet warning is about judgement in the category called SUNLIGHT. The ninth judgement in Egypt, just before the judgement on the firstborn of Egypt, was the judgement of darkness. Sunlight was hit. The sun was hit. Today there is a temple tower of modern science and technology. This could be called the Temple of the Speed of Light. Belief in the the speed of light as the absolute of the universe is a form of dogmatic metaphysic or religion not unlike sun worship in Egypt. There is a mystery around the creation of the sun, moon and stars, because they were created after light was created, not as the source of light. Light and the measure of time are two parts of one thing. The temptation to believe in what we see and not in the unseen Creator is the temptation that puts the sun at the centre of all things. The fourth trumpet judgement will dethrone the sun. Turning the sunlight off, as did the judgement in Egypt, shows the weakness of this power. In the final judgement the power of the sunlight will be turned directly against those who worship it. If the light that is in you is darkness, how dark is the darkness of that light, the light which is itself darkness? This question was asked by Yehoshua. The hidden thunder of this fourth warning judgement will be the subject of my next post, the 9th in this series on the little book. In that post, with G-d's help, I will talk more about the relation of sunlight and starlight to the light of the first day and to the purpose of Adam.
Sunlight can be a good or an evil to life. It all depends on the Adam and whether the Adam chooses life or death, the Torah of the God of Israel or sin. When all the nations take together the role of Egypt and Pharaoh and refuse to allow Israel to go free from their captivity and serve the the God of Israel, Humanity then will have made its final choice to choose sin and not repentance, darkness and not the true light. The very sunlight that was once good to all life on the earth will then be turned to evil. Instead of the angels of the herbs of the fields being nurtured by the starlight, demons will be nurtured by the excesses of dark plasma heat. This will be the nature of the warning of the fourth thunder when its voice is made to be heard.
The fifth trumpet warning is in the category of the disease of demons, or DEMONIZATION. This category of judgement corrosponds to the category of LOCUSTS in Egypt. This judgement in Egypt represented the destruction of the later crops which had not yet sprouted when the earlier crops were destroyed by the hail. The hail is the warning that G-d will separate between Israel and Egypt, between Israel's Mashiach as the last Adam, the new head of the family, and the first Adam. The locusts plague is the warning that when G-d does this there will be nothing left to sustain Egypt or the nations. The blessing of G-d will be taken from them entirely and they will be left with nothing but demons. In Egypt it was this locust demonization first, then the darkness. In the final redemption of Israel the nations are warned first with the dark plasma judgement, then with the plague of demonization. In Egypt the human race was still young and had really learned nothing yet. In the time of the open revelation of Mashiach the world will have had the opportunity to learn the lesson many times that demonization is a result of its own dark choices. This will be the nature of the voice of the fifth thunder when it is heard throughout the world.
The sixth category of warning, the sixth trumpet category, is the category of REVOLT. War is not an art, a science, or an act of wisdom. It is an act of total, unrestrained foolishness, insanity, well ordered demonic degeneration which Humanity inflicts upon itself because of the judgement of G-d, because Humanity has revolted against G-d. That the rebellious child should be allowed in measure to see the terrible consequences of his crimes is a function of love and mercy. However, the proud and frightened heart cannot see nor understand. It is for this reason that many warnings, over an extended time, with great long-suffering and endurance by the loving Father prepares the heart to face the consequences. Just as Jacob wrestles with the angel, so the nations wrestle with Jacob, that when the end comes the heart may learn. When the final world war comes the hearts of the war heros will be the heart of demons, but the hearts of little children will be converted to faith and will learn to fear the God of Israel. These are the little children that will hear what the seven thunders said to the servants of Israel's Messiah, and, because they hear, repent and do not trust in the power of the world war.
The category of the seventh trumpet warning is the category of MIDNIGHT, when the day of sin comes to an end and time itself is run out. After this, the seven vials of Israel-redeeming plagues, as in the day of redemption from Egypt, will be poured out, and the nations will be cut off and will let Israel go to serve her G-d. The mystery Babylon will be judged and destroyed. Israel will receive her Messiah and the Torah of Messiah will be made known from Zion to all the earth.