BS”D Parashat Vayakhel 5782
Part 1: Sanctified Voltage
A: Yechezkel 1,4:
וארא והנה רוח סערה באה מן הצפון ענן גדול ואש מתלקחת ונגה לו סביב ומתוכה כעין החשמל מתוך האש
I saw a windstorm coming out of the north. An immense cloud with exploding fire and flashing lightning and the center of the fire looked like “chasmal” (modern Hebrew for electricity) glowing metal.
From the Shacharit (morning) prayers before Shema:
Because, You are the Almighty, Who performs acts of deliverance, and You have chosen us from among all peoples and tongues, and You have brought us near our King to Your great Name, forever in truth; with love, that we may give thanks to You, and proclaim Your Oneness, with love. And love Your Name. Blessed are You HaShem Who chooses His people Israel with love.
B: Midrash Mishlei chap. 31
….ישראל על רמ”ח (248) מצות עשה, כנגד רמ”ח איברים שבאדם, כל אבר ואבר אומר לו לאדם, בבקשה ממך עשה בי מצוה זו, ושס”ה (365) מצות לא תעשה כנגד ימות החמה, וכל יום ויום אומר לאדם אבקש ממך שלא תעשה בי עבירה זו.
Am Yisrael was commanded to observe 248 “mitzvot essay” (initiative mitzvot) paralleling the 248 organs in a human body, (and 365 “mitzvot lo ta’ase” – prohibitive mitzvot paralleling the number of ligaments, muscles etc.). Every organ urges the body to perform the “essay” mitzva inherent in that organ, and each of the other 365 body parts urge the Jew not to use it in violation of the sin which it represents.
Rambam writes (Hilchot Melachim) that Moshe Rabbeinu ascended to Mount Sinai as the agent of all humanity. Forty days later he descended from the mount with two revelations: 1) The 613 mitzvot incumbent on the Jewish nation, 2) the 7 Noachide mitzvot for the rest of humanity, consisting of six prohibitive mitzvot, and one initiative mitzva – the enacting of just and moral laws civil laws.
C: Connections between the spiritual world and our human bodies
Our eldest son, Efraim, has been and is the project manager of some of Yerushalayim’s most imposing building projects. A project manager is, in short, “give me 200 million dollars, come back in 3-5 years and get the keys to your dream project”, he does it all. His most recent projects are the Waldorf Astoria, Israel’s most prestigious and luxurious hotel; stage two of the Nof Tzion project overlooking the Temple Mount, and the high-end residential project in the Geula neighborhood.
While under construction, Efraim gave me a tour of the Waldorf, including areas a guest never sees; even those who pay thousands of shekels a night. I saw the underground kishkes, including the huge heating and cooling systems, communications center, etc. But what impressed me the most was the electrical system’s main circuit board.
There were countless wires descending from every electrical outlet in the building to the main circuit board. It was an avalanche of multicolored wires, each connecting a part of the grid with the main panel of electric circuits. The direction of electrical power comes from the external power lines to the underground main circuit board, then to every outlet in the building through this maze of wires.
While standing there I recalled the above Midrash regarding the connections between the spiritual world and our material bodies. At Mount Sinai, HaShem gave Am Yisrael 613 mitzvot corresponding to our bodies 248 organs and 365 sinews, tendons, veins, nerves, etc. Our bodies are the grandest “hotel” where unperceived spiritual wires reach from the next world to every part of our material self. The energy (voltage) is initiated here on earth by our observance of mitzvot and flows to our respective outlets in Olam Haba (the next world) via our spiritual wires. There the “mitzva power” is converted into entities applicable to the spiritual world.
While on the subject of electricity, there is more we can conclude from this phenomenon of “nature”. Voltage is the pressure from an electrical circuit’s power source (power station or battery) that pushes electrons through a conducting loop (current), enabling them to do work, such as illuminating a light or running a motor. It is measured in volts; the greater the pressure (voltage) the more work can be accomplished.
The kedusha pressure in the galut can achieve a degree of spirituality and understanding of Torah but cannot compete with the kedusha that envelopes a G-d fearing Jew in the holy land.
Indeed, an oleh (one who ascends) from the galut has an advantage as stated in the Gemara (Ketubot 75a):
מר אביי: וחד מינייהו עדיף כתרי מינן. אמר רבא: וחד מינן כי סליק להתם – עדיף כתרי מינייהו, דהא רבי ירמיה דכי הוה הכא, לא הוה ידע מאי קאמרי רבנן, כי סליק להתם, קרי לן בבלאי טפשאי.
The illustrious Amora Abayai stated that a talmid chacham of Eretz Yisrael is equal in understanding and sharpness to two scholars in Bavel (galut). And the equally illustrious Amora Rava added that when one of our Babylonian talmidei chachamim ascends to Eretz Yisrael he receives a gift from HaShem of potentially becoming in Torah understanding equal to two talmidei chachamim of Eretz Yisrael.
This, in itself, should be encouragement enough for torah scholars in chutz la’aretz to return to the holy land.
In conclusion: The events of Mount Sinai were a revelation and a revolution. HaShem’s revelation of Torah created a revolution in HaShem’s relationship with lowly man. At that moment, Hashem chose the Jewish nation and presented us with eternal life. He presented His chosen people with clear and direct lines of communication through prayer and Torah study. All the 613 mitzvot flow with super conductivity with no resistors in the way to reduce our spiritual currents. Unfortunately, our sins at the egel hazahav (Golden Calf) blemished the conductivity. Enter the role of the Mishkan which restored the spiritual flow through sacrifices and the entire Kohanic service, continued by the two holy Temples over a period of 830 years (separated by 70 years of the Babylonian exile). Where does this leave the other nations of the world? Spiritually close to a 20-watt light bulb!
Part Two: Russia, Ukraine and Iran
Although we know nothing about the thought processes of the Almighty, we know that HaShem is the master of cause and effect.
At this point in time, it is feasible that the entire chaos between Russia and the Ukraine is HaShem’s way of disrupting the asinine agreement between the blind western powers and the evil Shia nation of Iran set to be signed shortly.
Instead of sending two B-52 Stratofortress to their nuclear facilities and finishing the Iranian nuclear threat to humanity in five minutes, the wise men of chelem in Washington and other western capitals are prepared to capitulate to the blackmail demands of the Teheran ayatollahs.
Now that Russia has invaded Ukraine, the western nations will have no time or patience to deal with the Iranians!
Where are we situated on our father Ya’akov’s ladder to heaven and the promises made by HaShem regarding Am Yisrael?
The Midrash (Beraishiet 42,4) quotes Rabbe Elazar bar Avina:
אם ראית מלכיות מתגרות אלו באלו צפה לרגלו של משיח תדע שכן שהרי בימי אברהם, על ידי שנתגרו המלכיות אלו באלו באה הגאולה לאברהם.
If you perceive nations aggressively provoking each other (with war) be prepared for the approach of the Mashiach (salvation), as we learn from Avraham Aveinu who was saved at the time when nations were provoking each other (the four kings against the five of Sedom and Amora etc)
Russia has invaded Ukraine with the intent to annex it back as part of greater Russia.
If it passes over and human lust returns to the stock markets and living in fun, then the Mashiach is still a few kilometers away. However, if many nations succumb to the addiction of power grabbing then the time for doing fast teshuva just prior to the Mashiach has arrived. For example:
- North Korea invades South Korea.
- Turkey takes over the southern half of Cyprus and begins bombing its Kurdistan enclaves.
- India and China battle it on the high ridges of the Himalayas.
- Egypt opens war on Ethiopia over the Nile waters or turns its American-made weapons north-eastward against Israel.
- The US closes its border with Mexico and fighting ensues.
Now if it turns out that the signs are real, then life will not return to what it was until now. The best insurance policy to prevent the need for an insurance policy is to be here in Eretz YIsrael.
Remember in HaShem’s “eyes” JLMM – Jewish Lives Matter Most.
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