Weekly Torah - Netzavim-Vayelech 5770

Posted by Aryeh ben Avraham | Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted On Sunday, 29 August 2010 at 15:53

Anthology of the Torah Reading, Nitzavim - Vayelech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30


The Zohar

Teachings from the primary text of Kabbala, "The Book of Shining Light".

From the teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai; translation & commentary by Shmuel Simcha Treister.

Blast Off and Re-entry

At the end of this Torah portion, Moses is stated as writing "this song" and teaching it to Israel. This sparks a lengthy discussion in the Zohar as to the various types of songs and their meaning. A song refers here to any form of worship of G-d, whether in prayer or through performing the practical commandments. Rebbe Shimon teaches what is required in the best of one's "songs" to G-d: "For I will proclaim the name of G-d, ascribe greatness to our G-d...Just and right is He."

As the Zohar elucidates, this includes proper intentions and meditation on both elevating one's level of conscious to particular spiritual states, as well as drawing down divine influx from the higher spiritual worlds and uniting them in one's heart.

The Holy Ari

Outstanding Kabbalist of the last 1800 years; Leader of the Safed circle of mystics.

Translated and edited from the Writings of the Ari as recorded by Rabbi Chaim Vital by Moshe Yakov Wisnefsky.

The Song of Torah

In this Torah reading, Moses says to the Jews: "And now, write for yourselves this song…" According to the basic meaning of this verse, the "song" it refers to is the poem that constitutes the greater part of the following Torah portion. However, the Sages also understand it as referring to the Torah as a whole, and derive from this verse the commandment that each individual write a Torah scroll which include the five Books of Moses.

These five Books correspond to the five partzufim: the Book of Genesis corresponds to the upper thorn of the yud of the name Havayah and the partzuf Arich Anpin; the Book of Exodus corresponds to the yud itself and Abba; the Book of Leviticus corresponds to the first hei and Imma; the Book of Numbers corresponds to the vav; the Book of Deuteronomy, known as the "repetition of the Torah", recapitulates and includes everything that was in the preceding books, and corresponds to the final hei and Nukva.

Mystical Classics

From the teachings of Rabbi Bachya ben Asher; translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk.

To Be Read by the King

The commandment of Hakhel, the public reading of the Torah by an Israelite king, is found in this Torah portion. The mystical dimension of this commandment is that all people who exist at that time are called to appear before G-d, the King of the universe. This is why this commandment had to be performed by the king who represents the King in the celestial spheres.

Another reason for reading from the Torah on that occasion was to remind the people that, without Torah, the universe cannot endure, just as it could not have been created without it. The reason that this commandment is fulfilled at the Temple site is because that was the place where the universe began to be created.

Chasidic Masters

Inspirational insights from the Baal Shem Tov and Hasidic leaders of succeeding generations.

By Binyomin Adilman

On Language

There are three types of Jews, the righteous, the average and the wicked. The righteous one conducts himself in worldly physical affairs towards the goal of furthering the unity of G-d's holy name in the world. The average Jew is not on the same level. His concern is to keep the Evil Inclination in check via numerous fasts and the denial of other physical pleasures. He partakes of the world only in order to maintain his physical existence, yet his actions don't herald the glory of the King.
The wicked Jew spares no expense to keep himself meticulously groomed and to pamper himself with special foods. But when one comes under the seduction of the Evil Inclination, he becomes mired in an abyss of vice and gluttony from which escape is next to impossible and in the end he is consumed by them.

Contemporary Kabbalists

By the Lubavitcher Rebbe; translated and annotated by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky.

Standing and Walking with G-d

The name of parashat Nitzavim means standing, while the name of parashat Vayelech means walks. Our relationship with the Divine has the fixed aspects as well as dynamic ones in all three broad categories of Torah study, prayer, and deeds.
In addition, it is our duty to "walk", to progress in our own self-refinement and in our task of refining the world, and the key to success in these endeavors is our basis, the fact that we are standing firm, solidly anchored in G-d's unchanging permanence.

Ascent Lights

by Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter.

Making the Year's End Count

This Shabbat is the last Shabbat of the year, an excellent opportunity to correct any lacking in our Shabbat observance in the past year. It is also, the Shabbat preceding Rosh Hashanah; Our behavior on Rosh Hashanah determines what will happen to us in the coming year.

The Zohar teaches that Shabbat is the vessel for blessings of the week that follows it. Therefore, how we maximize this coming Shabbat will have a qualitative impact on how we spend Rosh Hashanah, in turn having a positive affect for the entire new year,G-d willing.

The first verse of Netzavim says, "You are standing today together all of you....". When the Jewish people are united, i.e. "together all of you", it is like when children love each other, and it is impossible for their father to deny them. The word "today" hints to Rosh Hashanah, when we are judged by G-d. If we stand together, the decree will be the best. Make every effort to practice "love of your fellow Jew", starting right now.

Mystic Stories

Wonders and Inspiration from Kabbalists, Chasidic Rebbes, remarkable Jews.

By Yerachmiel Tilles

Seeing Too Much

R. Yaakov Yitzchok Horowitz, the Seer of Lublin, always made an effort to spend as little time as possible in the company of Jewish sinners.


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