BS”D Parashat Vayechi 5778

Rabbi Nachman Kahana




After UNESCO’s ludicrous and absurd resolution that the Jewish people have no historic connection to the Temple Mount, and after last week’s UN Security Council and General Assembly’s antagonistic rejection of the US recognition of Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital, our best reply is from last Shabbat’s haftara of parashat Vayigash (Yechezkel 37,25-28):

(כה) וישבו על הארץ אשר נתתי לעבדי ליעקב אשר ישבו בה אבותיכם וישבו עליה המה ובניהם ובני בניהם עד עולם ודוד עבדי נשיא להם לעולם:

(כו) וכרתי להם ברית שלום ברית עולם יהיה אותם ונתתים והרביתי אותם ונתתי את מקדשי בתוכם לעולם:

(כז) והיה משכני עליהם והייתי להם לאלהים והמה יהיו לי לעם:

(כח) וידעו הגוים כי אני יקוק מקדש את ישראל בהיות מקדשי בתוכם לעולם: ס


25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their king forever.

26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever.

27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.

28 Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’”


Why the Right Hand?

Tehilim 137,1-6

א) על נהרות בבל שם ישבנו גם בכינו בזכרנו את ציון:

(ב) על ערבים בתוכה תלינו כנרותינו:

(ג) כי שם שאלונו שובינו דברי שיר ותוללינו שמחה שירו לנו משיר ציון:

(ד) איך נשיר את שיר ה’ על אדמת נכר:

(ה) אם אשכחך ירושלם תשכח ימיני:

(ו) תדבק לשוני לחכי אם לא אזכרכי אם לא אעלה את ירושלם על ראש שמחתי:


1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion (The first Bet Hamikdash).

2 There on the poplars we hung our harps,

3 for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy. They said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?

5 If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.

6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.


Brooklyn Museum – Reconstruction of Jerusalem and the Temple of Herod by James Tissot


Question; Why does the right hand and speech of a Jew who forgets Yerushalayim fail him? I submit:

In Kabbalistic terms, the “right” represents the quality of compassion, charity and goodness which are preferred qualities in this revealed world of human beings. In contrast, the “left” represents the quality of precise and exact justice which is the preferred quality in the unperceived (to us) next world of absolute truth.

Every human being has both a perceived aspect – the body which represents the material world – and the non-perceived intellect and conscience resting in the unrevealed, encapsulated brain and representing the spiritual next world.

The brain, as the seat of spirituality, is composed of a right and a left hemisphere. As stated above, the right represents the quality of compassion, charity and goodness which are preferred in this world, and the left represents the quality of absolute truth of the next world.

There is an aperture at the base of the skull through which the brain nerves pass and cross over on their way to the body. The right hemispheric nerves go to the left side of the body and the nerves of the left hemisphere go to the right, resulting in the brain’s right hemisphere controlling the left part of the body and the brain’s left hemisphere controlling the right part of the body.

HaShem’s intention upon creation was to link the primary to the primary and the secondary to the secondary, meaning the preferred left hemisphere of the non-revealed spiritual world (quality of severe justice) linked with the preferred right side of the revealed visible body (quality of compassion), and the secondary right hemisphere of the non-revealed spiritual world (compassion) linked with the secondary left side of the visible body (severe justice).

King David, the Psalmist, is informing us that if one is spiritually apathetic, indifferent and aloof with regard to Yerushalayim, his spiritual left brain hemisphere is weak. This is manifested in paralysis of the right arm and inability to speak – all which are controlled by the brain’s left hemisphere.


Crossover Decrees

This Thursday, the tenth of Tevet, our prayers and fasting bring to the forefront of our consciousness Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Yerushalayim, which eventually led to the destruction of the first Bet HaMikdash and the Babylonian exile.

The tenth of Tevet has also been declared by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel as Yom HaKaddish HaKlali l’Shoah (General Day of Mourning for the Holocaust), the day when Kaddish is to be said for the martyred Jews in the Holocaust whose day of death is uncertain.

In defiance of all religious and historic logic, there are still millions of Jews who prefer to remain in the galut despite what we experienced at the hands of our gentile hosts for two millennia.

I can explain this phenomenon in terms of what appears above.

Heavenly decrees emanate from the spiritual world of the compassionate right and stern justice of the left. This can be compared to the nerves that leave the brain and cross over, with the compassionate right often creating difficulties and the stern hand of justice often creating pleasantries.

HaShem is angry at His children who ignore His call to come home. As an admonishment, the stern left of Heaven sends its decrees to the Jews in the galut in the crossover form of wealth and security and false spiritual leaders, guaranteeing that they will never have the merit to live in the Holy Land.

Conversely, the compassionate right in Heaven sends its crossover decrees to the Jews in Eretz Yisrael, which manifest themselves in struggle and difficulties in order to increase the merit of His loyal children.

Shabbat Shalom,

Nachman Kahana

Copyright © 5778/2017 Nachman Kahana

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