Sunday, December 29, 2013

Yosef and the Para Adumah.


By Joe Indomenico.

One must bring to mind that the Lucchot - Tablets of the Commandments were shattered by Moshe Rabbeinu on the day he witnessed the debauchery of the Eigel haZahav - The Golden Calf. The Sages teach quite adamantly that the Para Adumah - the Red Heifer was the rectification of the sin of the Golden Calf.
However, there is also a deep relationship between Yosef ha Tzaddik and the Parah Adumah that is more obscure that will aid us to unravel a bit more of the jigsaw puzzle. The mystery still remains but the picture is coming into sharper focus.
The cryptic puzzle begins in Bereshit 49 v 6 where it states that "they lamed the ox," and furthermore in Yeshayahu 1 v 3, it is written that "the ox knows its master." However, in Moshe's blessing of the tribe of Yosef, the analogy of the ox to Yosef becomes quite clear :
יז  בְּכוֹר שׁוֹרוֹ הָדָר לוֹ, וְקַרְנֵי רְאֵם קַרְנָיו--בָּהֶם עַמִּים יְנַגַּח יַחְדָּו, אַפְסֵי-אָרֶץ; וְהֵם רִבְבוֹת אֶפְרַיִם, וְהֵם אַלְפֵי מְנַשֶּׁה.  {ס}17 His firstling bullock, majesty is his; and his horns are the horns of the wild-ox; with them he shall gore the peoples all of them, even the ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. Deut 33 v 17.
"The Midrash explains that the Egyptians knew that Yosef had imposed an oath on the Jewish people that, when the time came for redemption in the future, they would take his bones with them for burial in Eretz Yisroel (Devarim Rabbah 11:5). Therefore, in preparation for the possibility that the Jewish people might try to leave Egypt in the future, Pharaoh had Yosef’s body placed in a lead coffin and submerged in the Nile River beyond the reach of men. Hence, in order to fulfil the vow and leave Egypt Moshe had to use Kabbalah to raise it from the bottom of the Nile River:
It is already known that the Erev Rav, as along with the gold that they threw into the pit, also threw in the golden plate upon which was written, “Arise ox”. Moshe had thrown this very plate into the river in order to raise Yosef (with respect to whom the term “ox” is used; Bereishit 49:6). Thus, with the power of this Name, the calf emerged. Know that on this plate was written the second Name of the 72 Names of G-d, which is Yud-Lamed-Yud … (Sha’ar HaPesukim, Nevi’im Acharonim, Siman 1)."
I will now attempt, b'ezrat HaShem to tie the whole thing together.....Yosef ha Tzaddik, Eigel ha Zahav and the Para Adumah. These are my own personal musings  that I humbly offer for your consideration.
The initial thrust of Moshe's indignation after he shattered the the original tablets was to destroy the Golden Calf with fire.
כ  וַיִּקַּח אֶת-הָעֵגֶל אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ, וַיִּשְׂרֹף בָּאֵשׁ, וַיִּטְחַן, עַד אֲשֶׁר-דָּק; וַיִּזֶר עַל-פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם, וַיַּשְׁקְ אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. Deut 32 v 20.
The Levites immediately put the 3000 instigators to the sword. However, the remainder were made to drink from the mixture of gold powder and water. This unusual event is later clarified by the laws of the Sotah where a jealous husband's suspicion of his wife's faithfulness was also put to the test by the wife being made to drink the bitter waters.
טז  וְהִקְרִיב אֹתָהּ, הַכֹּהֵן; וְהֶעֱמִדָהּ, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה.16 And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD.
יז  וְלָקַח הַכֹּהֵן מַיִם קְדֹשִׁים, בִּכְלִי-חָרֶשׂ; וּמִן-הֶעָפָר, אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בְּקַרְקַע הַמִּשְׁכָּן, יִקַּח הַכֹּהֵן, וְנָתַן אֶל-הַמָּיִם.17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water.
יח  וְהֶעֱמִיד הַכֹּהֵן אֶת-הָאִשָּׁה, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה, וּפָרַע אֶת-רֹאשׁ הָאִשָּׁה, וְנָתַן עַל-כַּפֶּיהָ אֵת מִנְחַת הַזִּכָּרוֹן מִנְחַת קְנָאֹת הִוא; וּבְיַד הַכֹּהֵן יִהְיוּ, מֵי הַמָּרִים הַמְאָרְרִים.18 And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and let the hair of the woman's head go loose, and put the meal-offering of memorial in her hands, which is the meal-offering of jealousy; and the priest shall have in his hand the water of bitterness that causeth the curse. Numbers 5 v 16-18
It is often stated by the Sages that HaShem keeps His own laws metaphorically. His suspicion of His wife Israel's unfaithfulness with the golden calf is put to the test with the fiery golden dust mixed with water to allay His jealousy. If the wife is guilty she will be cursed with the bitter waters, if not, she will conceive children. So many perished in the wilderness never to reach their destination but many conceived a new generation that entered the land of promise. This was done not for the sake of HaShem, who knows all things but for the sake of Am Yisrael who witnessed the exposure of truth for all to see.
I hope the picture is becoming a little clearer know. In the case of the Golden Calf and  its rectification by the Red Heifer, the recurring elements of  fire and water appear. The Hebrew word for Heaven is "Shamayim." Shamayim is comprised of the root words "esh - fire" and "mayin - water." Therefore, fire and water are the elements of Heaven. Cleansing by water removes the contamination of the surface whilst refining by fire removes the impurity from within. In both cases, the end result is  separation as I will explain. Please note at this point however,that both water and fire are used in koshering "set apart" objects and are actively involved in the rituals of the Temple service and its furniture.
The flood in the days of Noach not only cleansed the Earth of the impurity of its inhabitants but separated Noach and His family from the rest of humanity by rising to the surface of the waters in the ark whilst fallen humanity drowned in the depths of death. This concept of separation is further reinforced when Am Yisrael left Egypt and arrived at Yam Suf. This time however, Am Yisrael actually walk through the watery depths of a metaphorical death to be resurrected as a new nation on the other side whilst Pharaoh and his cohorts drown in the same waters of death. That event signalled the separation of Yisrael from Mitzrayim, the holy from the profane.
The second element of fire has a different dynamic. Whilst water comes from above and washes away, it can be filtered by the earth and lay hidden underground to be brought to the surface as a well spring.  Fire, on the other hand creates combustion that although creating heat and light leaves a residual by-product, removes impurities and ascends to the heavens as smoke.
Before we get back to the Para Adumah here are some salient points regarding Yosef Ha Tzaddik. The sefirah that represents the middle column in kabbalah is "yesod"  or foundation. Yesod corresponds with the human reproductive organ as shown in the sefirot diagramme above as is associated with Yosef Ha Tzaddik because he guarded his Brit against Potipher's wife.
Remember that during the Brit Milah a complete ” פריעה - periah" tearing away of the foreskin and revealing the opening of the organ is imperative. This ensure a proper connection to the channel of Light. It is for this reason that the Torah calls Yishmael a "Peri Adam - Wild beast of a Man." Even though he was circumsized, the "periah" was not completed. Thus he was still connected to his base animal instinct.
"The Zohar, in Tikkun thirty seven of Tikkunei Hazohar, reveals to us the process of redemption. The Creator will remember the covenant and will come to remove all negativity and death from the world. This is the secret of the foreskin and ” פריעה “, tearing and bleeding."
Now finally back to the Para Adumah. :-)
The Para or Heifer had to be red - adumah, from the same root wood "אדום Edom. It had to be without blemish and never had a yoke imposed. Could this be implying that it never had the yoke of Torah imposed as a tallit during the ceremony of Bar Mitzvah working the field of Torah? It had to be burnt full of its own dung implying the by-product of its own waste. The end product of the burning was "  אֵפֶר " Efer or ash. 
If I may put this into context, I conclude that the Para Adumah represents Yosef who rectifies the sin of the Golden Calf. The remnant of Yosef is lost and scattered in Edom - Western Christendom and have never carried the yoke of Torah. As stated by the Prophet Ovadyah who was a righteous Edomite Ger :
יח  וְהָיָה בֵית-יַעֲקֹב אֵשׁ וּבֵית יוֹסֵף לֶהָבָה, וּבֵית עֵשָׂו לְקַשׁ, וְדָלְקוּ בָהֶם, וַאֲכָלוּם; וְלֹא-יִהְיֶה שָׂרִיד לְבֵית עֵשָׂו, כִּי יְהוָה דִּבֵּר.18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken.
There is that combustion again and the flaming fire produces the ash from the stubble of Esav / Edom. It is also interesting to note that the son of Yosef Ha Tzaddik was אֶפְרַיִם - Efrayim, notwithstanding that his name may be rendered to fruitful from "pri" the words "Efer / Afar - ash" and "Yam - sea" are evident.
The final say goes to Chanah the mother of the Prophet Shmuel in her prayer of entreaty :
ו  יְהוָה, מֵמִית וּמְחַיֶּה; מוֹרִיד שְׁאוֹל, וַיָּעַל.6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive; He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
ז  יְהוָה, מוֹרִישׁ וּמַעֲשִׁיר; מַשְׁפִּיל, אַף-מְרוֹמֵם.7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich; He bringeth low, He also lifteth up.
ח  מֵקִים מֵעָפָר דָּל, מֵאַשְׁפֹּת יָרִים אֶבְיוֹן, לְהוֹשִׁיב עִם-נְדִיבִים, וְכִסֵּא כָבוֹד יַנְחִלֵם:  כִּי לַיהוָה מְצֻקֵי אֶרֶץ, וַיָּשֶׁת עֲלֵיהֶם תֵּבֵל.8 He raiseth up the poor out of the ash, He lifteth up the needy from the ash-hill, to make them sit with princes - Yehudim, and inherit the throne of glory; for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and He hath set the world upon them.1 Samuel 2 v 6-8
The first separation of Yosef from his brothers came about from jealousy and envy. The outworking of this brought about the enslavement of Am Yisrael in Mitzrayim with the ensuing first redemption.
The second separation of Yosef from his brothers came about from his descendent Yeravam and his reconstruction of the Golden Calves at Betel and Dan. The outworking of this was the exile and loss of the northern tribes of Israel collectively known Beit Yosef.
It is interesting to note that Pinchas the grandson of both Aaron and Yitro - Jethro, (after his incident at Baal Peor with Zimri and Cozbi) inherits not only the perpetual Priesthood through HaShem's Brit Shalom - Covenant of Peace, but also inherits land through his marriage into the tribe of Yosef.
לב  וְאֶת-עַצְמוֹת יוֹסֵף אֲשֶׁר-הֶעֱלוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרַיִם, קָבְרוּ בִשְׁכֶם, בְּחֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר קָנָה יַעֲקֹב מֵאֵת בְּנֵי-חֲמוֹר אֲבִי-שְׁכֶם, בְּמֵאָה קְשִׂיטָה; וַיִּהְיוּ לִבְנֵי-יוֹסֵף, לְנַחֲלָה.32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money; and they became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.
לג  וְאֶלְעָזָר בֶּן-אַהֲרֹן, מֵת; וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתוֹ, בְּגִבְעַת פִּינְחָס בְּנוֹ, אֲשֶׁר נִתַּן-לוֹ, בְּהַר אֶפְרָיִם.  {ש}33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in the Hill of Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim. Joshua  24 v32-33

It is also interesting to note that Elkanah the Priest and husband of Chanah was based in the land Inheritance of Efrayim.
א  וַיְהִי אִישׁ אֶחָד מִן-הָרָמָתַיִם, צוֹפִים--מֵהַר אֶפְרָיִם; וּשְׁמוֹ אֶלְקָנָה בֶּן-יְרֹחָם בֶּן-אֱלִיהוּא, בֶּן-תֹּחוּ בֶן-צוּף--אֶפְרָתִי.1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the hill-country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.
ב  וְלוֹ, שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים--שֵׁם אַחַת חַנָּה, וְשֵׁם הַשֵּׁנִית פְּנִנָּה; וַיְהִי לִפְנִנָּה יְלָדִים, וּלְחַנָּה אֵין יְלָדִים.2 And he had two wives: the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.     1 Samuel 1 v 1-2.

As we can see the tie up the Kohen and the Tribe of Yosef continues. The outworking is the birth of Shmuel the Prophet Priest who will eventually anoint King David.
So the tribe of Yosef, the son of Rachel Immeinu (who was barren at first) is aided by the prophetic prayer of Chanah (who was barren at first) who somehow comforts the tears of Rachel crying for her children :

יד  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה, קוֹל בְּרָמָה נִשְׁמָע נְהִי בְּכִי תַמְרוּרִים--רָחֵל, מְבַכָּה עַל-בָּנֶיהָ; מֵאֲנָה לְהִנָּחֵם עַל-בָּנֶיהָ, כִּי אֵינֶנּוּ.  {ס}14 Thus saith the LORD: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuseth to be comforted for her children, because they are not. {S}
טו  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה, מִנְעִי קוֹלֵךְ מִבֶּכִי, וְעֵינַיִךְ, מִדִּמְעָה:  כִּי יֵשׁ שָׂכָר לִפְעֻלָּתֵךְ נְאֻם-יְהוָה, וְשָׁבוּ מֵאֶרֶץ אוֹיֵב.15 Thus saith the LORD: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
טז  וְיֵשׁ-תִּקְוָה לְאַחֲרִיתֵךְ, נְאֻם-יְהוָה; וְשָׁבוּ בָנִים, לִגְבוּלָם.  {ס}16 And there is hope for thy future, saith the LORD; and thy children shall return to their own border. {S}
יז  שָׁמוֹעַ שָׁמַעְתִּי, אֶפְרַיִם מִתְנוֹדֵד, יִסַּרְתַּנִי וָאִוָּסֵר, כְּעֵגֶל לֹא לֻמָּד; הֲשִׁבֵנִי וְאָשׁוּבָה, כִּי אַתָּה יְהוָה אֱלֹהָי.17 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself: 'Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a calf untrained; turn thou me, and I shall be turned, for Thou art the LORD my God.
יח  כִּי-אַחֲרֵי שׁוּבִי, נִחַמְתִּי, וְאַחֲרֵי הִוָּדְעִי, סָפַקְתִּי עַל-יָרֵךְ; בֹּשְׁתִּי וְגַם-נִכְלַמְתִּי, כִּי נָשָׂאתִי חֶרְפַּת נְעוּרָי.18 Surely after that I was turned, I repented, and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh; I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.'
יט  הֲבֵן יַקִּיר לִי אֶפְרַיִם, אִם יֶלֶד שַׁעֲשֻׁעִים--כִּי-מִדֵּי דַבְּרִי בּוֹ, זָכֹר אֶזְכְּרֶנּוּ עוֹד; עַל-כֵּן, הָמוּ מֵעַי לוֹ--רַחֵם אֲרַחֲמֶנּוּ, נְאֻם-יְהוָה.  {ס}19 Is Ephraim a darling son unto Me? Is he a child that is dandled? For as often as I speak of him, I do earnestly remember him still; therefore My heart yearneth for him, I will surely have compassion upon him, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 31 v 14-19.

It is well documented that the Gerim were exiled together with the Northern Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians. The scarlet thread of the Parah Adumah together with the Ashes of combustion render a tantilizing climax to the End of Ages. 
As Shmuel the Prophet anointed King David so at the Ketz, Pinchas / Eliyahu will prepare the way for Mashiach.
כג  הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ לָכֶם, אֵת אֵלִיָּה הַנָּבִיא--לִפְנֵי, בּוֹא יוֹם יְהוָה, הַגָּדוֹל, וְהַנּוֹרָא.23 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.
כד  וְהֵשִׁיב לֵב-אָבוֹת עַל-בָּנִים, וְלֵב בָּנִים עַל-אֲבוֹתָם--פֶּן-אָבוֹא, וְהִכֵּיתִי אֶת-הָאָרֶץ חֵרֶם.  {ש}24 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the land with utter destruction. Malachi 3 v 23-24
The final refining purification of fire that will separate the sons of Yosef from Edom will be the catalyst for the ingathering and eventual unification of Yosef with his brothers.

The mystery of the Para Adumah still remains, but I pray that we at least have a deeper understanding of its mechanics and moving parts.

2 comments :

M Caban said...

Beautiful! I cried! B"H!

Anonymous said...

I Am so angry at Europe und Europeans beyond belief.

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