Monday, March 31, 2014

Was Noah's Ark a Pirate Ship?

Was a Noah's Ark a pirate ship? - Uhh, no, it wasn't, and not only was it not, the Torah teaches that Noah's righteousness was predicated on standing against the World's worst era of a generation of thieves.

Noah was the anti-thief.

Yet in our day, we are witnessing perhaps the worst society in terms of stealing, since perhaps the days of Noah himself. Piracy is everywhere in our smart internet society, and one must realize the Holy One Blessed Be He does not like this. Stealing brought the flood, and here we are - apparently not having learned from history.

The Talmud's Bava Kama states upon its conclusion that thievery is the most severe of all Torah penalty. In fact, stealing is so severe, and so sensitive, that for every theft in history, we atone for the crime through an elongated fourth and final exile that we have been under for nearly two thousand years.

True righteousness is the ability to rectify stealing, and as it seems this is society's task up to this day, for the desire to steal is very great.  The ultimate rectification however might not be in keeping guard against theft, but in becoming a "chasid" over such matters - to go beyond the letter of the law. This is accomplished through "tzeddaka" - Charity, or overt acts of righteousness.

The Talmud and Zohar speak often that the mitzvah of ultimate repair is Charity, and for that it is called THE MITZVAH....for a society that knows of Tzedeka is a rectified society and it is one sure to operate within the boundary of the righteous law of the Torah.


The music industry faces a new front in its long-running battle against piracy: The smartphone.

Mobile applications have eclipsed file-sharing services, online storage sites known as “digital lockers” and stream-ripping software as the most widely used source of free music downloads, according to a new study from researcher NPD Group, whose results have not previously been made public.

Some 27 million people in the U.S. have used mobile applications to get at least one song in the past year, much of it believed to be unauthorized, NPD found in research that seeks for the first time to quantify the phenomenon. That’s more than the 21 million people NPD estimates use peer-to-peer sites such as isoHunt to download music.

“In the beginning, we had feature phones with ringtones and very slow networks,” said NPD industry analyst Russ Crupnick. “As the technology improves, it becomes a free for all for someone who wants free music files.”

The Google Play store offers some 250 apps for downloading MP3 files to smartphones and tablets powered by its Android software. Several tout the benefit of connecting users to the sources of free music that they could find through a typical Internet search.

But, the most popular of these Android apps, Music Maniac, has been downloaded more than 10 million times — and affords free access to all 10 of the top songs listed on the current Billboard’s Hot 100 list. The Recording Industry Association of America said it has sent notices to Google requesting the app’s removal, claiming it enables song piracy. Google has thus far refused.

The music industry has been intensifying its efforts to combat piracy on smartphones — a device that executives see as critical to efforts to revitalize the business. Mobile phones have enabled the major labels to bring licensed music services to Africa and other parts of the globe that previously were off the technological grid.

Global music revenue slumped 3.9 percent last year to $15 billion, as the world’s second-largest music market, Japan, experienced a sharp drop in sales. Digital revenue — particularly from subscription services such as Spotify or Beats Music — continue to grow.

The industry’s global trade group, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI, issued a warning about the widening scope of piracy in its annual report issued on March 18. It noted that 26 percent of Internet users have accessed unlicensed services.

“This estimate applies only to desktop-based devices,” the trade group noted. “It does not include the emerging and as-yet-unquantified threat of smartphone and tablet-based mobile piracy as consumers migrate to those devices.”

Mobile devices once were thought to be a safe-haven from piracy, because of the limitations of the early phones and mobile networks.

“All you were going to do is buy a ringtone for $2.99,” said Crupnik.

That began to change as devices grew more capable and networks more robust. By 2012, the Recording Industry Association of America began to raise concerns with the White House’s intellectual property czar about mobile applications that it said facilitated copyright infringement.

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, RIAA Chairman Cary Sherman said the industry has sent Google more than 2 million notices of infringements from But as recently as March 10, some 10 applications available through the Google Play store claimed some connection to the pirate site, Sherman said.

Apple takes a curated approach to software offered through its App store, and can reject an app that enables piracy. As the world’s largest music retailer, it has been aggressive in policing its apps, say music industry executives.

Google maintains an open marketplace. Apps undergo an automated process that screens for malicious behavior before developers can upload the software to the Google Play store. Its developer guidelines expressly prohibit copyright infringement — though it relies on copyright holders to flag apps that enable piracy.

One music industry executive, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said that since 2010 his label has issued some 3,000 requests to remove apps that enable piracy — with the “vast majority” found on Google’s Android platform.

Google is a frequent target of complaints from the music industry, whose trade associations claim the technology giant does too little to curb illegal music downloading. The IFPI, in its annual report, notes that search engines remain the largest source of traffic referred to unlicensed services.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Its a Bird, Its a Plane, Its a Pig That Chews Its Cud!

                                                                  Parashas Shmini
                                                               The Torah of Faith
                                                                 Rabbi David Katz

There is an aspect to Torah that can simply be considered a Torah [style of learning] of Emunah [faith]. Rebbe Nachman is one of the foremost influences in this field, a Chassidic master, such that this embodies the entire agenda of Chassidut, the inner dimension of the Torah that personifies the essence of the Zohar. If there was ever a map synonymous with Torah, then Chassidut is the key that teaches one to read the map; enter Rebbe Nachman, and you have a basis of learning a Torah with/from Emunah. The premise is straightforward and clear as to how this enigmatic system works: it's like downloading software [mochin/ingested intellect] and the body "runs the software" through the soul's interface. An example would be that if one wished to be a "Yehuda-ite/ish" – then he would/should/could learn the actual scriptures of Judah, meditate on them, ingest them, and with Emunah, he will begin to resemble the traits of Judah through the influence of servicing with Emunah. From this level, anything is possible, and the Torah is the mainframe that opens the soul to any Torah reality. So you know what – let's go and not eat a pig! –but why?! – To what intellect would there be in refraining from a pig? Interestingly enough, when we combine a bit of Emunah with a pig, the results are unbelievable, and through this practice, we may never view the mitzvoth the same way ever again.

The Parsha opens with the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, which by the way, one could surmise that they were very much connected to the concept of the Ger women in their demise based on various midrashim on the subject; however the meat [pun intended] of the parsha is the aftermath of the falling of Nadav and Avihu, as we immediately jump into Kashrut. As it is with Kashrut, some parts we are familiar with, while others not so much, or some make sense and some don't, or it could even be we agree with some elements yet struggle with some of the other concepts as to rationale or even the folklore involved with some of these prohibitions. Do we eat pigs, and if not why [really]? Do people really eat bugs – should we? Is the pig going to one day really going be magically Kosher [again]? There are a lot of these questions year after year, and as Noahides get involved with refinement through food, one would expect to receive an authoritative tradition that simplifies these concepts and even makes them palatable [sorry]. Yet maybe these questions and quandaries are somewhat ill-advised, in face of the real opportunity that we are faced with, and that is a Torah of Emunah. Did one ever think that by not eating pig we are literally doing something of an influence over ourselves, those around us, and even throughout the World? Just as Matzah on Passover is a food that is meant to spiritually work into our being as a refinement, so too the mitzvah of not eating pig can work the same benefits, and it happens with Emunah.

There are various animals and crawling things mentioned in our Parasha that one is to refrain from eating of; from scales and fins to hooves and cud chewing – the signs are clear and eternally proven if anything. The Midrash Rabbah however paints a beautiful picture that centers around four typical animals that convey a powerful message of eternal Emunah that sheds light to the nature of the proverbial, "why are we doing this again?" These fav four are none other than the camel, the hair, the rabbit [presumably two different species, or a subject of a lost tradition that clearly specifies the true nature of these two animals. Scripture's tradition of animals has come under much debate and scrutiny in contemporary times] and the pig. As one can easily envision, the key elements that are either missing or presented before us are the nature of the split hooves or lack thereof and cud chewing –likewise. The Midrash takes from these four and compares them to various topics in Torah, and the four exiles in specific. What sticks out the most however is the idea that the secrets of making Gerim are embedded in these animals! If nothing else, welcome to the Emunah of not eating to make Gerim!

The commentary of the animals and their relationships with the famous four exiles begins with our friend the camel while taking place in Bavel [Babylon]. The Midrash makes its comparisons of how the camel suits Bavel, and then offers a strange revelation, that since it raises its cud [chews], we can learn that Bavel was conducive to making Gerim, for the word for cud is the same word for Ger! Thus to "lift its 'Ger' is to make Gerim" – and as the Midrash paints this picture, this is depicted by the camel and in relation to Bavel. A striking revelation that not many are aware of, is that there are major views and opinions of the heritage of Daniel, and his roots as a Ger; for this the Talmud identifies Daniel as a Yehudah-ite as one who has rejected idolatry, for one of such character is labeled as a Judah-ite, regardless of birth affiliation. Thus by not eating camels, and through Emunah, we lift Gerim and rectify on many levels, ultimately causing Gerim to be lifted; both in the first exile, and onwards spiraling in time, making Gerim through Torah and Emunah.

Onwards in the Midrash we arrive to the two types of "rabbits" that have a similar fate, of not having split hooves yet chew their cud; they are compared to Persia and Greece [exiles]. The style of exegesis continues in uniform fashion, and again we learn about famous Gerim in Mordechai of Purim and Alexander the Great of Hanukah. Jewish people have a tradition of naming their children Alexander from what appears to be a remnant of Alexander having become a Ger under the guidance of Shimon the Righteous. The Purim story is filled with Gerim in between the lines, and it mentions the Nilviim who are called the associate Gerim who were there for the whole story. Much like we know about Purim on a revealed level, the deeper level, that of the complete redemption will yield sacred knowledge of who was really who not only then, but in all of history! The Midrash chose to point out Mordechai for this task, which although it is hard to understand, the Torah conveys a message similar to King David who famously said, "I am a Ger"; notice that Mordechai and Ester are in redeemer positions, which by nature involves Gerim, similar to Moses and Aaron before them and Messiah and Elijah who have yet to come [notice the synchronized "mem alef" combinations, for Gerim and Moshiach go hand in glove] And then there was Edom….he who is represented by the pig, one that does not chew his cud.

Before we get into the kishkas of the pig and Edom, one should be aware of an obscure teaching in kabbalah, and documented by the Ohr HaChaim in our Parasha concerning the pig and his lack of chewing his cud. It is said of the pig, that he loves to show off his hooves, as they are split and as if to say that he is kosher; while as for the lack of the cud, this is explained that this is only a temporary condition imposed on the pig, and that in the future he will return to chew his cud. It should be noted that the word for pig – chazir, means literally to return, or go back on self. Thus as its taught, one day the pig will resume chewing his cud, going nicely with his fancy split hooves. As much as this seems like a slight feel good story for the pig and those wishing to eat the pig, deep down, there is an amazing saga here that defines the Ger and making Gerim as only Moshiach would have it.

Our friend the pig as it is well documented does not chew his cud, or literally lift his Ger; and for this, signals that Edom is existentially different than the previous three exiles. Where the former lifted their Ger, making the righteous shine bright, Edom and the pig do not lift their Ger, and as the Midrash points out, we see no better proof than the slaying of Rebbe Akiva and his cronies. [Rebbe Akiva was a convert, but having come from Gerim] Thus the exile that we all know so well, the one that began in Rome and ends in Zion, is infamous for not making Gerim, in fact it is known for butchering them. However when we think of the Ohr HaChaim and the pig's promise, we can do a repair that forces the "pig" to take issue with "itself" once we apply the mitzvah and incorporate live Emunah. As a practice of not eating pig we are ingesting this intellect, of this entire system, one that is replete with a service of faith that is sure to bring redemption, elevate the righteous, and make Gerim.

The culmination of the concept and Torah of Emunah takes place through a second rendition of the four exiles in each relationship with the four animals, as each animal/kingdom is said to drag on its heels another kingdom, until, Edom, which has no successor of evil to note. Instead, the pig sings a different tune, and shifts course to the Prophet Ovadiah the Ger [not accidentally], who envisions saviors ascending Mount Zion, and thus finish all exile and detriment to Gerim. The conclusion, that concludes with the pig ironically, in the end, is the ultimate efforts of Gerim and making Gerim.

Simply put, many have answered the dietary laws as logical equations or bubba mysas to stay sane and healthy. But maybe now more than ever, the echoes of Chassidut, Rebbe Nachman, and the Zohar etc. are resonating loud and clear – that eating "clean" is a Torah of Emunah exercise! On Rosh Hashana we eat foods that are symbolic to spiritual bounty based on many areas of Pardes; this is called segulot – as they are half true and have tradition/superstition. Kashrut however is different, what we are learning, is that through Torah diet – we actually make Gerim and bring Moshiach through a Torah of Emunah. As we eat, we perfect the cud, i.e. the lifting of the Ger, and in difficult situations, even inspire a breach in nature for the sake of making Gerim! And all of this from the lowly pig who just wanted to show us his treifa hooves in spite of his not chewing his food with his mouth closed.

In truth, the Torah of Emunah is real and it is effective. There are laws of nature, and there are ways above nature. The pig and food etc. exist in nature, but through my free will I can choose to not eat a pig, and connect to the Mochin of what that does to my body and soul. If the not eating of a pig mitzvah can make Gerim by making the cud/ger real, and a real integral part of my physical/spiritual diet – imagine what the other mitzvoth can do for both Jews and Gerim! Every mitzvah we do has mochin, and with Emunah, we achieve ways to repair the world and in such a fashion that we shall behold Moshiach from it. With a Torah Universe that is filled with so much light, why remain in darkness; for this is the essence of the Midrash, where one sees exile and lowly animals – utter darkness, with a change of perspective in Emunah, we can connect to the lights of Redemption in the heights of angelic men – such that we will witness the coming of the righteous Messiah, the one who comes to redeem the Gerim. Impossible you say, well, just look with the light, we all have cud to finally chew – with Emunah anything is possible.

Class Tonite on Parasha In-Depth 11 P.M. Israel - we have not changed our clocks!

Come Again?

[h/t Dov Bar Leib]

Pollard is coming home? For real?

The United State has reportedly agreed to release imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as part of a negotiated compromise to secure the continuation of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

According to sources in Jerusalem, the deal would also see Israel release another 26 Palestinian prisoners, including some 14 Arab-Israelis, in exchange of the US gesture.

Also, the deal would obligate Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to keep his negotiators engaged in the current round of talks and an extended period through the end of 2014.

On Sunday, senior Israeli officials told Israel Radio that the peace process is in danger of collapsing. If no agreement is reached between the sides regarding the fourth installment of the prisoner release, which was originally scheduled to take place Saturday night, the negotiations could break down completely.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and his team put forth the proposal in an effort to salvage the talks after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made it clear to the top US diplomat that he would not release the Palestinian inmates at all if the talks culminate at the end of April, as set as an initial nine-month deadline.

The government has remained adamant in refusing to free Palestinian citizens of Israel in the prisoner releases.

The Palestinians have said they would leave the negotiating table if the Israeli Arab prisoners are not released. However, there is currently no majority in the Israeli cabinet to release them.

By releasing Pollard from his nearly 30-year incarceration, the US hopes to gain approval from Netanyahu's splintered coalition for measures to proceed with the negotiating process.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon has threatened to resign and to oust Netanyahu as Likud leader if the release, set for Saturday night, takes place.

You! Drop The Live Animal!

7 to be exact.
Some make sense.
Some don't.

Yeah, but hey, just don't eat the limb of a live animal pal - leave off of Kermit!

In today's budding Noahide World, there are many pundits and would be "the next biggest thing" to make a splash in Noahide lore, and truth be told, it is a rather interesting field of research.

Some areas of law are controversial, theoretical, practical, boring, edge-worthy, novel, draconian, etc. etc. I, like most people, love closure and resolution to a good Torah challenge, and I find it far and few between that the classic Torah sources fail to deliver the knock-out blow to people's quandaries within the scope of law or philosophy within Noahide/Ger. But I must say, that my efforts of mastering the live limb issue have become a sort of Red Heifer; it has totally captivated me, and I believe it is an endless journey of self-discovery in Noahide Torah Universally, one that ironically is the most probable to come from left field.

So here it is: the live limb - eat it and die.

There is the Rambam on this [straight forward] and then you have some other Rishonim offering their views on fish and birds [etc.]

What about the live frog or squid? Logic says its wrong, and the writings speak of wrong due to a lack of refinement which is the scope of the law, just not Biblically [maybe].

This will be an on-going project, and the ways of the World seem eager to ever-provide the material in developing Noahide Law. The East does things the West would not dream of, and vice versa. Culture exists, and the Torah refines it - yet it must be done to sanctify God in Truth.

Now live frogs - yes or no? You be the judge - and I mean that literally; it's time.

We know you like your food fresh but there is such a thing as too fresh! While most people balk at the idea of eating lobster because it’s cooked alive moments before it’s served, some people actually prefer their dinner to be alive and trying to escape from their mouths between bites.
Eating live food is considered a real delicacy in some parts of the world. Live-food connoisseurs actually believe the meat tastes better if the animal is still alive, partly alive, or taking its final breaths before you eat it. And it doesn’t come cheap either: depending on the dish, and how difficult it is to subdue and prepare your entrée before it’s served, restaurants around the world tend to charge you top dollar to sample these living treats.
Eating live animals is not new for us. Many cultures eat live insects as a staple source of protein in their diets. In fact, scientist believe as the world’s population approaches 8 billion people, we'll likely be eating insects a lot more to meet our growing food needs.
Throughout history humans have eaten dishes containing living animals  in Medieval England chefs were constantly trying to outdo each other with the kinds of live animals they could bake into dishes.
These days many countries ban these dishes for ethical reasons — it’s considered animal cruelty or torture to have a chopped-up, but still breathing animal on your plate. Other countries are more relaxed with what’s considered ‘animal cruelty’, particularly Southeast Asia where many of these dishes are seafood related.
In Japan you can eat a fish dish that’s chopped into pieces and arranged on your plate while the fish is still alive and breathing. China does its own version of the dish called yin yang fish where the body of the fish is flash-fried and is served alive and with the head still gasping for air. In Denmark you can still eat live insects, but this time they’re flavored and used in a salad.
Some dishes are only for the truly brave, others just require you to suspend your inner cringe-response to eating a living, moving meal. Read on to see what kinds of animals are eaten alive around the world.
  • 1Fruit Bat Soup

    The Daily Meal/Raquel C. Bagnol
    On the tiny island of Guam, in the western Pacific Ocean, locals like to indulge in a little “kå'kå'du fanihidu fanihi”, a meat dish made with a fox or fruit bat in a coconut milk soup. The still-living bat is nabbed from the wild, rinsed off, and popped into a boiling vat of water, wings, fur, and head intact, and boiled alive before being served up with a dash of coconut milk and vegetables (if you’re lucky). You’re meant to eat everything except the bones and teeth. While the bat is technically dead (or in the final throes of death) when served, the abundant parasites and bacteria it contains are certainly not. There are some serious diseases that can be passed along to humans from this dish so eat it with care, if you choose to eat it at all.
  • 2Frog Sashimi

    The Daily Meal/Flickr/holaesteeselcorreodeleo
    This dish takes eating frog legs to an entirely new level. In some eastern countries, mainly China, Vietnam and Japan, you can eat live frogs served up filleted with their hearts still beating (and occasionally while their limbs are still moving). The dish is a delicacy and uses special bullfrogs raised for cooking. There are many ways to make the dish but this is usually how it’s prepared: the frogs are still alive when you order them, then they’re sliced open on a plate and disemboweled while alive. Certain parts are removed and boiled in a broth, the rest is sliced as sashimi and served on the frog. For the record, this is not a meal for the squeamish. It’s all done in front of you while you’re waiting for your meal and you eat the frog complete with beating heart and flailing limbs. The dish has been called out for animal cruelty and it is banned in many countries.
  • 3Jumping Shrimp

    The Daily Meal/Flickr/Kwong Eats
    Odori Ebi and Drunken Shrimp are dishes from Japan and China respectively, and both involve eating the sea-animal while parts of it are still alive. Odori Ebi removes the shell of baby shrimp and deep fries the body — it’s traditionally eaten while the legs and antenna are still moving, but if this is a little too disconcerting you can try dipping it in some sake first, the alcohol intoxicates it long enough for you to chew it to death.
  • 4Chilled Ants

    The Daily Meal/Flickr/Bruceheavin
    Copenhagen-based restaurant Noma apparently thinks it’s a good idea to put ants in a salad — their patrons seem to agree and are willing fork out $300 for a plate. The ants, dished up with a dollop of crème fraîche, are offered as a crunchy, gluten-free alternative to croutons and taste like ginger, cilantro, and lemongrass. And don’t worry too much about them escaping your plate, they are chilled before serving so they’re a little groggy and move slower.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pax Judaica - The Putin Spiral

The bear has awoken from his slumber [pun intended; Russia is often depicted as a bear] and it seems now that 2012 issues are again in full bloom by us here and now in 2014. Can I say that somehow the stage seems more [sur]real in our current location? Logic dictates that this game can't be played much longer, so one must assume there is "bang" to this firecracker, or the whole ensemble was one big dud; a political joke where not many spectators would have even caught the punchline.

Somehow I still think there is more drama to be played out from this World scene, one of Syria, Russia, America, Israel, Gog Magog [more like it, should it culminate within prophetic terms]? - Which brings us into prophetic boundary set up by King David himself:

In Tehillim, many of the Psalms speak of exile, Gog Magog, the coming of the Messiah, etc. all from a unique lens of the Psalmist. There is a penetrating theme in these Psalms, and it isn't necessarily a frequency of Armageddon, rather one of Hashem judging the World, and as such with Noahide laws being the tool with what to judge.

We may may not be gazing at drumbeats of war at all, really, rather this may be [under terms of mazal - a spiritual reality that we just aren't fully aware of in the physical realm; what we see, really isn't - and there actually is an "IS"] a unique tribunal, one that is indigenous to a true End of Days, one that is heavily prophesied [and misunderstood; taken out of context] and only serves to glorify God. One could surmise, that if there is a peaceful resolution, nations [already have] will fall, judgment will be at the forefront of all paradigm shift, and Hashem will be realized as the true judge, while Noah and his enter entourage will consummate as the scepter grasped by the hand of God.

We may be closer than we think, yet at the same time, man may be utterly confused. In any rate, "that's not what I was told" - will be the mantra of all outcomes led by God. This is simply God's story, we are along for the ride as spectators, and as King David says, one day there will be a show, and through that show the Nations will see the hand of God. There was a season for the Creation of Israel, and there will be a season for the [final] Creation of the World.

American Thinker:

In a column analyzing Russia’s recent threat to rethink its position on Iran, Walter Russell Mead and his staff at The American Interest postulated, “Linking the Ukraine crisis with the Iran negotiation is an American nightmare; it might just be a Russian dream come true.” Mead is on to something; however, he stops short in his analysis. Russia’s threat could also be quite helpful to Israel.

Obama entered into the Iran negotiations in order to avoid a military confrontation, as well as to constrain the “true barrier” to peace in the region – Israel. His hope was to bide time, notwithstanding that Iran’s centrifuges would continue to spin, bringing its nuclear capability to the brink or to fruition.

If Iran does in fact go nuclear on Obama’s watch, so be it; he will proceed to sell containment to the American public for the little time left in his term. The carnival salesmen in the White House are quite talented at selling the American people a bill of goods – just look at ObamaCare. While Russia invades a European country and threatens all-out war, the administration spends $52 million of taxpayer funds in just three months on advertising this debacle. One can only imagine what they will spend to convince Americans that a nuclear Iran poses no threat to our national security.

Alas, since reality has yet to penetrate the White House bubble, Obama has likely never lost sleep thinking about Iran’s nuclear capabilities (his Baracketology, next vacation, and golf game, perhaps, but national security, not so much) – that is, until Vladimir Putin stepped into the picture. Obama's failure to realize that he is now unmasked as a fool on the world stage does not mean that the rest of the world’s leaders have not noticed. It is not a coincidence that just six months after Putin manipulated Obama out of bombing Syria despite its having crossed Obama’s disingenuous red line, Putin took to annexing Crimea from Ukraine. And Putin did so despite a U.S. promise to protect Ukraine. As one Ukranian parliamentarian stated, "[e]veryone believed that for good or bad the United States would be the world's policeman. Now that function is being abandoned by President Obama, and because of that Russia invaded Crimea."

So Mead is correct that linking Ukraine with Iran is good policy for Russia while thrusting Obama into a nightmarish situation. It will cause Obama to quake in his mom-jeans and further diminish American power. Obama has already stated that he will not act militarily in response to the Ukrainian situation. What are his choices if Russia acts on its threat and allies with Iran? Cancel Putin’s Netflix account?

But linking Ukraine and Iran just might be an Israeli dream come true as well. Mead stated, “The Obama strategy has always been a risky one; if Russia shifts into active cooperation with Iran, it is hard to see how the White House can keep hope alive.” True enough. But if Russia moves into Iran’s camp, Israel has the perfect excuse to move ahead with a military strike on Iran’s nuclear installations and will likely have the support of the entire Western world (in addition to America’s Mideast allies like Saudi Arabia), all of which will be relieved that at least someone is standing up to the bad guys.

Middle East and foreign policy experts have vacillated for years analyzing Israel’s capability to conduct a successful unilateral military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, guessing when it might proceed, and wondering whether the United States is holding Israel back from doing so. Some ask why U.S. support is a necessary prerequisite to an Israeli strike that is in Israel's own national security interests. One need only look at a map of the region and the fact that the country, the size of the state of New Jersey and only nine miles wide at its narrowest point, is surrounded by 21 Arab nations, the vast majority of whom are adversaries, to understand Israel’s need for supportive friends.

When the most powerful nation on earth, the one that provides Israel with the most support both militarily and diplomatically, orders its ally not to attack another country, Israel is left with little choice but to listen. That is why Obama, Kerry, Clinton, and Panetta have been able to publicly abuse Israel with little backlash. But it is also why the administration’s threats of international isolation and abandonment have left Israel with little choice but to loudly proclaim her legal right to take all measures necessary in order to ensure the safety and security of her people – to defend herself, by herself.

And there are many signs that Israel is prepared to do so. In the sixth year of Obama’s administration, Israelis know full well that the American president who promised, “The United States will always have Israel’s back when it comes to Israel’s security” has no intention of actually following through on that assurance. The U.S. may have been “shocked” (just shocked!) at the statements of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon this week when he opined that Israel must “behave as though we have nobody to look out for us but ourselves,” in part because:

... [w]e had thought the ones who should lead the campaign against Iran is the United States. But at some stage the United States entered into negotiations with them, and unhappily, when it comes to negotiating at a Persian baazar, the Iranians were better.

But Ya’alon was certainly speaking truth to power. And speaking of power, let us turn to a real superpower. Not the type that we reminisce about from the pre-Obama glory days of the Pax Americana that kept stability in the world, but the superpower that presents itself in the form of a democratic dynamo – the economic and military powerhouse known as Israel. As reported in the Times of Israel this week:

Israel’s security forces have the capability to carry out military operations in virtually every part of the globe, including Iran, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said Wednesday, adding that Israel had already conducted dozens of covert operations in foreign and enemy countries….

The TV report asserted that Gantz’s comments represented a first “definitive” acknowledgment that Israel is capable of military intervention in Iran and constituted a hint from the chief of General Staff that this kind of activity was already happening.

And according to a report in Ha’aretz, despite the ongoing talks with Iran and P5+1, Netanyahu and Ya’alon have ordered the IDF to begin preparations for a possible 2014 Iranian strike, earmarking at least $2.89 billion for the operation. (As an aside, think about that dollar amount in the context of the $52 billion that Obama has spent on three months of ObamaCare advertising and try not to throw something at the television the next time you see him joking around with Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres, Zach Galifianakis, Kobe Bryant, and the rest of his adoring entourage.)

Many Israel-supporters had hoped that Netanyahu would attack Iran prior to Obama’s 2012 victory, believing that Obama would have been forced to support Israel for fear of reprisal from the electorate if he failed to do so. That is why now, when the world’s good guys are shirking their responsibilities and shrinking in stature in the face of ever more powerful bad guys enabled by the U.S. president, is the time for Israel to act.

Putin has given Netanyahu the gift of a second window. In the lead-up to the 2014 midterm elections, in which Obama must keep the Senate in control of the Democrats, Obama would have no choice but to stand behind Israel if she attacks Iran. If Russia stands with Iran, Obama will be forced to stand with Israel or lose the American people to the Republican Party. He cannot risk that happening. And Netanyahu cannot afford not to act on that knowledge.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Let The Ger Begin!

Find out who Shem son of Noah really was; the First Noahide by Name!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Secrets of The Book of Ezekiel's Priests

  • Secrets of Script
  • Nations and The Temple
  • Working Together
  • Ezekiel Uncoded
  • The Priests of  Tzadok
  • The Kohen's Sash
  • Revealing Torat Moshe

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Ancient Priestly Project

                                                                Parashas Tzav
                                                              Follow the Priest
                                                              Rabbi David Katz

A strange occurrence takes place in our Parsha involving seemingly out of place episodes based on the linear properties of time. Simply put, sometimes the Torah does not obviously follow a steady flow of linear time, and has its own agenda as to when, why, where, who, etc. Of course the Torah does have many points of view, and the position that claims an out of order Torah is the view of the Bible Commentator Rashi; while it should be known [that in this instance at least] that the Ramban argues, and explains logically why a linear theme makes sense even within the scope of time. An example of such behavior and a topic that I nearly based the article on is Jethro; for the same linear-time-issues belong to Jethro and his relationship to Sinai. Did he become a Ger before or after Sinai? The difference being that if it was before Sinai, then his Ger-ness is that of Toshav, and an amazing discovery commences that a Noahide could bring the exceptional sacrifice known as a Shlamim! Of course if he converted to Judaism/or became a Ger after Sinai, the Noahide would be limited to bringing an Olah. However for the duration of the article, we will investigate the same time warp issue concerning the anointing of the Priests. Logic says they were anointed in the end of Pekudei, while it is only in our Parsha where the actual ceremony takes place. Rashi says it belonged in Pekudei yet is listed here, while the Ramban says it is in our Parsha, for the Priests needed to learn about the offerings as a part of their inauguration.

The Priests are thus anointed in the Parsha, picking up from where we left off with the three elements of the Mishkan, which as was stated is very much [more than] symbolic of the Four Craftsmen of Redemption, Ben David, Ben Yosef, Elijah, and the Righteous Priest, for Targum Yonaton quotes that the three aspects of the Mishkan represent a) the anointer b) King Messiah c) High Priest d) and the son of Efraim – who comes with Sanhedrin; thus you have the promised return of a full Torah government. And here we are with the Priests – Aaron and FOUR sons receiving their oil and eternal covenant with God as Priests to work the Mishkan along with the first and second Temples. This is to the obvious exclusion of the Third Temple, which any student of Ezekiel's Prophecy will quickly realize that the Third Temple is existentially different than anything that has ever existed before. There has always been controversy serving Ezekiel's Book, and it was even considered being removed from Tanach proper at one time…remember that Ezekiel was killed over mysterious matters. Perhaps the underlying theme that connects all dots in Torah, is the secrets of the End, the secrets of the Priests, which Ezekiel is not only lacking in this department, he is its author!

If anyone has ever visited the Winchester Museum in California, you would be aware of its odd eccentricities. For example, in the museum there is a cabinet, and upon opening it, you will soon realize that you have just founded a completely separate wing of the mansion, such that without finding the innocuous cabinet, this wing would remain utterly dormant. Torah can become the same way, and it is for this reason most that the Ger is so precious to Hashem. He holds the keys to the doors hidden vaults. The Jew is trained to look for golden arches in Torah; let's hear about Abraham the first Jew! And Moses' Torah revelations! And how Elijah saved Israel! Etc. etc. What many don't realize is that these stories are a minute part of the Torah, and it is the Ger that brings to life the entire Torah.  A Ger could ask what was the peripheral of Abraham like [which by the way he was NOT the first Jew, he was the first Ger Tzedek, and only Ger Torah would illuminate this fact], or was there Torah before Moses went up to Sinai? The answers are always shocking, but the good news is that these aren't new answers, God forbid; these are answers that have sat collecting dust for centuries because there was nobody around to ask the hard questions. As much as the Jews have sought their golden arches, it is in our days now, that the keys have come back to the Torah.

One of the biggest keys is the nature of the Priesthood. What is a Priest? Where does it come from?  Was Malki Tzedek a real Priest [as every religion has taken from Malki Tzedek, his priesthood, and the priesthood in general to make it into an idolatry and an enigma in the Torah, to which the Jews simply keep it ignorantly basic as an inappropriate response. We are to know the truth about such imperative topics in our Holy existence, especially if we are to exist together in a Third Temple, of which there will most obviously be Priests. We will be expected to know what a Priest is!]

Our Parsha possesses one of these keys, or hidden arenas of Torah, such that its contents reveal quite possibly an entire perspective of the Final Redemption and the nature of the Third Temple. As was mentioned above, Aaron and sons were anointed along with the Mishkan, and included in their ceremony was the outfitting them in their holy vestments. They were now fully clad as Priests, anointed, and ready to serve in a formal setting of holiness.

The Priests are appointed much grandeur in their vestments. Whether we marvel at the High Priest's Breastplate, or the Golden Head band branded with a Name of God, there is no shortage of interest in this department. The irony however, is that the Priests are outfitted with what most would consider the least relevant of all, that being the Sash. It is hard to imagine that such a benign element of the Priestly costume could have any importance at all, let alone the fact that it may hold the keys to Redemption?! Preposterous! Yet when Ezekiel speaks in context to the Sash, amazing things begin to happen.
To make things simple, the Sash of the High Priest is made of linen and wool, and the lesser Priests it is a Talmudic question of the reality of the lesser Sash – if it is like Aaron's or completely linen. 

Ezekiel makes it clear in 44:17 that no wool may be found on the Priest, and from there, World War Three in Spirituality erupts. Are we talking about the High Priest [on Yom Kippur] or lesser Priests and thus we now know the nature of their Sash? The commentators offer their expertise, and what we walk away with is that the entire subject matter is of the Priests, and seemingly a subject matter that relates to all of the Priests! The famous Radak commentary enigmatically calls this a dispute of Torat Moshe, which is strange since per force it is not written in the Torah.

Continue down the street, we run into even more Priestly issues; one of which suggests that a Priest may not marry a widow, but only a virgin. If this is a High Priest, well, we know that…only it seems to suggest all Priests! Thus is Ezekiel stating that Priests will be elevated like High Priests? The Prophet also refers to the Priests-Levites, descendants of Zadok – to which the Arizal says Priests will become Levites and Levites Priests?! Thus the Sash has created much disarray to what we k now about many things from the Torah; so where is Ezekiel going?

Think back to Pinchas the son of Elazar the son of Aaron the Priest. Pinchas was not considered one of the first five anointed Priests, and therefore his Priesthood is something else, only we have never really had a time in history where we could get full glimpse of Pinchas' promised seed. It is said that Pinchas is not a traditional "High Priest" and for that reason the High Priesthood was returned to a particular distant seed of Pinchas, for Pinchas is Elijah, and he became an eternal Prophet, one who serves as the High Priest in the Temple above, serving as our "Kruv" representative. Simply put, Pinchas became a Kruv, an angelic man, he serves above, and his seed has inherited this status, beginning with his son AvYeshua. From his son onwards, the tradition went underground, and is only destined to reappear in the End of Days with the emergence of the famed Four Craftsmen. Simply put, the anomalies of the Priesthood in Ezekiel are directly attributed to Pinchas, his seed, and his role to play in the Third Temple, which we now can understand is existentially different than the Mishkan, and the first two temples.

There are many versions of the Four Craftsmen in Chazal, all close in language, only with subtle differences. Sometimes the Messiah is called ben David vs. the King Messiah, etc. One example gives not a Righteous Priest, but a High Priest. The Righteous Priest is acknowledged as Shem [yet in prayer Elijah is also referred to as the Righteous Priest] while the High Priest is a direct association with PInchas, and this being him taking his promised Messianic role that he earned [as explained by the Arizal in Parashas Pinchas] through killing Zimri and Cozbi. It would seem from the Torah surrounding these events in his Parsha, that Pinchas saved not just souls in the desert, but the integrity of the Torah itself, along with the Priesthood, Temple existence, etc. Pinchas truly was/is/will be the Messianic here, to which the Briskers explain it is fitting that Pinchas restores the Torah in the End of Days, as the Prophet Malachi states, "you should seek Torah from him, for he is an angel of Hashem/ the lips of the Priest shall safeguard Knowledge."

Pinchas' job is to bring a light to the World that has never been seen before, the sacred Hidden Light of Creation, and this is his job as the redeemer-Priest. [The Arizal explains how Pinchas contains elements of Moses and ben Joseph and David as hinted at in his name's mazal] Yet if we bring to light all that we know about the Priesthood, and follow its progression, this is something that came from a long time ago, and extends eternally into our future.

Pinchas is a reincarnation of Noah according to the Arizal's Shaar Gilgulim, and he is intimate with the common soul of Joseph and David [among others; this is what Pinchas' soul so unique, all souls are relative to his soul, the secret of the Ish Yehudi]; this level of Noah is the element that baffled Moses the most, often leading Moses to ask, "if I have found Grace in your eyes" – grace being the same letters as Noah. Pinchas knows of this grace, i.e. level of Noah, for Pinchas' name even spells "Noah –Joseph" in letters; and Pinchas brings the light of the Priest to the World, such that it began with Noah himself!
Pirkei d' Rebbi Eliezer states that Noah entered his soul into that of Shem's soul [the Arizal states often the relationship between Noah and |Shem being one soul, and Moses receiving them into his own], and when this process completed, Shem called this level of "ibur" [soul impregnation] "priest", and we see he became afterwards Malki Tzedek a Priest to God Above. This level of "ibur" spiritual in-dwelling continued from Shem into the Avot, and in particular the tribe of Judah, until the Messiah was produced and Shem met Solomon at Sinai. Simply put, the Jewish people began at Sinai, were developed through the Avot, and have been governed internally by a soul tandem of Noah and Shem, one that manifested a revelation of such at Sinai in the soul of Moses who functioned as the second of three redeemers. [Noah – Moses – Messiah; the perfection of Kruv, i.e. Pinchas/Elijah]

We all know that Shem brought the Priesthood into Abraham, and that Shem received from Noah, and therefore Shem and Noah entered a new time period called Torah [the second 2000 years of Creation] only possible through Abraham, and his Priesthood. [They were maximized in their era of "primordial (Torah) chaos" – which now needed to enter a new era of Torah. Messiah is the one that unites 6000 years of holy history.] This Priesthood developed into a Firstborn status that was to be two heads: a king and a priest. Thus there would ultimately become an Aaron and sons and a seed of David, and legacies were born. Pinchas is the unifier of the firstborn [stated by the Arizal] and is therefore called the one known as "High Priest."

We can now appreciate a little bit better the Four Craftsmen of redemption once we plug the awareness of Pinchas into our equation, for ben David and Joseph are the messianic roles that he is to play out, he is Elijah quite literally, and the Priesthood that exists in Israel from its primordial level, is expressed through Pinchas, as it went through much processes from Abraham towards Aaron, and ultimately to Pinchas. It is brought down that the Hidden Light is synonymous with the Kingdom of David, and that this light entered Israel from Shem as well, in particular with his association with the Tribe of Judah, and his daughter Tamar especially.

In conclusion, we have a strange blip on the radar of our Parsha involving Priests, and when we investigate, we find a sash that opens a big can of worms. The can of worms begins to make sense only when we explain the beginning and end of the Priesthood – in Shem and Pinchas together, both Men who operate under the title of Righteous Priest. Throw Jethro into the mix for he was the Priest of the other side, and things get very interesting indeed! [Remember we began this by commenting on Jethro] Pinchas is a reincarnation of Jethro [yes at the same time like Noah and Shem were] and he is a descendent through his seed as well.

The Priest is truly an enigmatic figure, from Shem, to Jethro, to Aaron and Pinchas. Perhaps it is for this reason that the Priest takes up the cause of the illogical and supernatural Red Heifer, for the Priest seems to defy all odds, just look to Ezekiel. Yet with the proper keys in place, a perspective of the Ger [hello Shem!] and a willingness to analyze Torah that is vague and apparently dormant, we just might make it through! The Torah certainly is a hard Book to piece together, it seems like chaos really, but with the Ger and the Jew working together in Torah, the revelation of Messiah just gets clearer and clearer – as it should be, for we are nearly there, and now more than ever a Kingdom of Priests is working with a nation of High Priests!

If the Ger represents the Urim and Tumim, then who is represented by this Sash? If a Jew can ask this question, than the Gerim have certainly brought the keys; now, if we can just open the doors to the Kruvim who guard the way… 

God Willing the In-Depth Class on BOTH PARSHIOT VAYIKRA & TZAV will take place tonight Thursday March 20 11 P.M. Tzfat time - we did not change our clocks yet; limited seating!

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Enlightenment of Man

                                                           Parashas Vayikra
                                                Receiving the Call From God
                                                           Rabbi David Katz

In our Parasha, we are immediately made aware of an odd little "alef" that finalizes the word [and the Parasha's namesake] "Vayikra" [meaning "and He called (to Moses)"] and we are told of endless interpretations upon even a little bit of solid investigation. Examples range anywhere from an expression of Moses' humility and onwards into the esoteric; yet what may be the most interesting is the simple meaning itself! God is heard here calling out to Moses, and as tradition states, only Moses was to hear this special calling, one that would summon him to the Tent of Meeting. Thus the "alef" hints to a special calling to Moses; the biggest revelation however might not be this little alef that captures our imaginations, rather, we should begin to pay attention to all of the other "callings" that exist not only in our Parasha, but are scattered throughout the entire Torah! Once one becomes sensitive to hear the call, the Torah [and its simple meaning] is transformed into the Book of the Man-Angel [Kruv; examples are the Avot, Moses, Noah, Shem, etc.], expressing an ability to hear the voice of God in Torah, laced within an ultra-dynamic context, even in places that may have been practically sealed from consciousness.

If one were to be devoid of "the calling" – a keen awareness and sensitivity to True Torah Vernacular, the Torah becomes a meandering and redundant – even meaningless text. For this reason the Torah was given with the means to extrapolate its innate depth, with such works and traditions such as Midrash, Zohar, Kabbalah, etc.; essentially "Pardes" [the four levels of Torah exegesis] goes hand and glove with the Written and Oral Torah. However proper context is needed when delving into the mystical realm, and this discussion is not exempt from any such attempt; if not to only lay out one clear purpose – to master the Torah's text as a form of enlightenment. In a sense, this angle is the approach to take a mute text, and learn to how to watch it come to life, and shine an eternal light, such that this would define enlightenment. It goes without saying, that this is at least one clear purpose of the esoteric realm, in that it identifies proper [con]text, and in that sense, this is the essence of a Tree of Life. The Torah text that is open, allows us to relate life with Torah; in simple terms the Torah becomes Universal – Jews and Gerim, in simplified terms.

Verse 1:2 of Vayikra is perhaps one of the Torah's most profound examples of where "hearing" the Torah speaking changes one's understanding completely, and for that reason this verse is used as a case example of where in-depth vernacular can reveal the Torah's dynamic core. The verse says, "speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: when a man among you brings an offering to Hashem: from animals - from the cattle or from the flock shall you bring your offspring." The first and relatively most obvious revelation in the verse is one that draws admiration from most if not all of the major commentators, as we are told "when a man…" If the Torah were speaking to only Jews, the verse would not use the universal term "man" but rather a distinctive term applicable only to Jews. Thus with the term "adam" [man] the commentators all point out the subtleties in the law as it applies to both Jews and non-Jews. To support the learning, notice how the verse says, "speak to the Children of Israel" and is followed up with "and say to them" – keeping in the perspective of the article, one can easily hear a calling out to two people as opposed to a somewhat draconian feeling from withholding depth in the text.
* note, when making conclusions in text, a dynamic view is to be held; this is to always allow for the inclusive when applicable, rather than an exclusive view; the Torah is meant to have 70 faces and 50 gates of understanding]

Throughout our Parasha [and the whole Torah for the most part] we find Universal terms laced within a usually thought of text as exclusively Jewish. [later on the mention of "nefesh" – soul, refers to humanity, another example of inclusive with the normative Jewish angle] It should not then come to a surprise that as these callings from Hashem are more frequent than we would have thought, the Torah truly is a Book for humanity; this going back to the original ink! Once we bring into light these concepts, the often viewed enigmatic nature to such works like Midrash and Zohar all of a sudden begin to resonate to a much more profound tune, as they are the hubs for this enlightenment.

And it doesn't stop here or there, for the Midrash points out that the Book of Chronicles [a book mostly composed of names and lineage] is only meant to be understood from this angle! Meaning that if one were to take it on a literal simple meaning level, knowledge would be gained, however it would be of very little authentic content or wisdom. The Midrash stamps yet another round of approval in this subject, as it says, "cherished [to God] are names of Gerim." To this light the Zohar points out [something obvious, yet not often thought of] that the Torah is essentially a book about Gerim! – for its entire content is written outside the Land of Israel, and is seen in Kabbalistic terms as names, which on a deeper level exists as names of God. This leaves one to wonder if there is or ever was a simple meaning to Torah – once it becomes universal.

The Midrash ties all of these points together over its content to our parasha, as we learn about Moses the Man-Angel who hears the calling from God, and is seen to be angelic on many levels, through his prophecy and many names in particular [he has 10 names]. In fact if one pieces all of the dots together from the Midrash, especially with its opening associations to King David's Psalm 103 that also allude to "hearing Hashem's calling" – and has revealed allusions to angelic men [as well as hints of Kruv; same letters as "Baruch"], we end of up sensing just what attributes are to this Kruv – man. However, more important than his makeup is his ability to hear Hashem. The Kruv hears and learns a dynamic Torah from the Mouth of God [that we hear two]. Words like adam, nefesh, names, etc. all express their higher calling, a Torah for humanity.

The Jewish Torah is quite simple; we know the names [even when we really don't], we know what adam means [even though we really don't], we don't mind the meandering reiterations [even though we do], and we know the Torah is only Jewish [even though it bothers us, yet words fail to express aloud what is missing]. The goal is simple: Kruv – to be a man-angel who hears God in His Torah, calls this enlightenment – one that can be identified and achieved, and walks in light revealing universal light and truth, while learning that God speaks to [all of] humanity.

The Torah is given to man and not angels, yet it is incumbent upon man to overcome his angelic self as represented through his evil inclination and progress until he literally overcomes a divine encounter. This is the substance of a Kruv, and as the Zohar points out, there are angelic men as prophets and there are angelic men as priests, i.e. men of Torah. The Torah is the eternal substance that flavors the prophetic word…and this word was given to the Kingdom of Priests, and to those that learn her sacred script to be likened to the High Priest. Of course this is a direct reference to Jews and Gerim, who both are blessed without measure, to be able to rise to hear the call of Hashem through Torah, and experience the true gift of authentic enlightenment.

Should one find it odd that reality emanates from a book – Adam received a book too; coincidence in word usage this is not, for any man may bring an offering to the House of God, as the book mandates, and has been kept since the beginning of time, and will continue to be kept, through the promise of an enlightened Messiah. 

God Willing class covering the Parasha [video/audio] will take place tomorrow Tuesday  at 11 P.M. Tzfat time [we did not change our clocks yet]

Click Here For New Link!

Notice that we are now broadcasting from the campus of the original Yeshiva of Shem and Ever in Tzfat!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The March Towards Zion! [Video HD]

  • Secrets of Noah's Ark
  • Shem the Craftsman
  • Book of Raziel
  • Zohar and Sefer Yetzira
  • One Big Picture
  • Primordial Torah
  • From Adam Until Moshiach
  • etc.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Master Craftsman

                                                                  Parashas Pekudei
                                                               In The Tents of Shem
                                                                  Rabbi David Katz

In Parashas Pekudei, the Mishkan is finalized, and is now ready for the mantle of being the official "Tent of Meeting" - a title and status that until now was in full possession of Moses. The Mishkan of course is the first fruits of the known command in the Torah, "Make for me a temple [to dwell in]," and now with Sinai over, and the entire people ready to move on with the Golden Calf behind them, the [mobile] Mishkan satisfies the wishes of God. They are now able to be fully mobile, holy, and potentially ready to enter the Land when the Lord beckons as such. What may come as a surprise however is that the blueprint concept/prototype is in fact not new or first introduced now; the original idea dates back at least as far as Shem, and his work on the Ark. All through history man has been making a vessel of the Divine or supernatural; from Adam in the Garden, we find the Tower of Bavel [Tower of Babylon], the Ark, the Mishkan, the Temples, etc. The aspect that we take away from this knowledge is that Craftsmanship is perhaps the most Messianic aspect of the entire Torah, such that Shem is listed as the Righteous Priest – straight from his work on the Ark. The further we delve into the Mishkan, and add the element of Shem on every level we are Blessed to find a tradition that literally is the bond [pun intended] between Gerim and Jews; this being the model [pun intended] for all of time.

There are a certain number of raw materials [OK – I am going to use constructive words intentionally, thus no longer being a pun, but reinforcing the project] that we must identify and set aside in order to erect the structure that allows us to further understand the spirituality in Torah craftsmanship, as epitomized by the Mishkan. The tools we need with the intention of connecting the dots are as follows: Moses, Shem, Mishkan, Gerim bringing Melacha [Creative product], Ger women and the Laver, House of Study, the concept of being a vessel [personal Mishkan – as it was originally intended to be] of the Divine, Moses' tent – and calling it in the "Ohel Moed" [Tent of Meeting], Tents of Shem, Noah's Blessing, The Golden Calf, The lost "jewelry" of their fall in sin, Messiah and the Mishkan, Torah and Prayer, Noah and his ark, the Ark and Shem, The Four Craftsmen of Redemption, The Book of Raziel [given to Adam], Solomon and his Temple, The Prophet Ezekiel – and his Temple, "learning about the Temple is building it, the Zohar as a "Noah's Ark", The Ger Code, Torah of Faith [Rebbe Nachman philosophy that through living we become "it"], Angelic attainment as Man, and the Primordial Temple/Dwelling. These are the tools and components that we need to draw a picture that will fully explain the peripheral world of our newly completed Mishkan in Parashas Pekudei.

The subject matter right out of the gate becomes a bit complex [yet we must realize that it is still ultimately simple] when we simultaneously draw upon several key matters, namely Shem and Moses, the Mishkan and the Ark, the builders then and now, the tents of Shem and Moses, and construction that comes from learning – for all of times as a principle. In essence once we consolidate our parts, we have created tangible devices to depict the story of just what this Mishkan represents.

In a simple over-view of things, the rambling story would sound like this: 1) Adam sinned and received the Book of Raziel; a Book of Torah inspiration 2) The Book inspired many, all the way to Noah 3) Noah gave it to Shem, and they learned how to detail the Ark from this inspiration 4) Shem becomes the master craftsman, and the embodiment of the Man/Chariot 'Kruv" [angelic man]; the Ark is actually vested in his wisdom more than Noah 5) Shem and his "Tents of Torah" [prophesied by Noah] are the antithesis of the Tower of Bavel 6) Shem's wisdom is contained in the Ark design by perfect engineering of action and learning 7) Shem is aimed only at Sinai 8) Sinai grafts Shem into Moses' Torah – through common inspiration and absolute unity in their souls and every other matter 9) Parashas Noah contains the wisdom of Shem in the Ark, thus the graft is accomplished 10) Moses grabs the "jewelry" [angelic levels] and the work from the Gerim, thus making a study hall for learning Torah, praying, Mishkan – study, etc. 11) Moses' tent is synonymous with Shem's Tent [an inheritance] and is the precursor to the Mishkan 12) dwelling in Moses' tent is the mastery of the original inspiration contained in the Book of Raziel, the Ark, Ezekiel's Temple, the Ger Code that spiritually reveals/builds the Temple, etc. 13) Moses' tent becomes the Mishkan, which becomes the inspiration of the Anointed [Messiah] symbolized by the Mishkan's anointed status  14) the anointed status is symbolic of Messiah, Elijah, the Gerim, and Malki Tzedek – the essence of the Four Craftsmen of Redemption [Targum Yonaton on the Mishkan, Mizbeach, and the Laver].

In real time the story would sound like this: Adam sinned and got the Book, then Shem and Noah made the boat, and passed its secrets onwards into Moses' lap, and then Moses wrote the Torah and included all previous inspiration; this serves as Parashas Noah, then Moses made a tent that became the source of Messianic wisdom known as the Soul of Moses, then the Mishkan was erected [through the special help of the Gerim], and it contains the code, wisdom, and knowledge – tradition to build the actual Temple, and finally we will be redeemed by means of this wisdom, through Jews and Gerim working together, specifically through these agencies of Wisdom and Torah. In one breath, that is the flow of events, with all of the elements provided above available to be inserted for context, such as the Tower of Bavel, and the other characters and vessels, etc. In essence, life can be looked at as one big art project that we are trying to figure out just what it is that we are supposed to build. The Mishkan is where we got a clear description of what it is, and combined with past and future events, we can begin to conceive this design and how it is to function. For all intents and purposes, this is the secret of the Third Temple.

Thus here we are and the Mishkan is completed, it is called the Tent of Meeting – a title previously held by Moses' Tent. Yet Moses retains his study tent, and it is synonymous with the prophesied Tents of Shem. Targum Yonaton Commentary states that Moses' tent contains the spiritual power that can return Man to the state of angelic being before any type of sin through the calf or Tree of Knowledge; this being by "sitting" in this tent, an d mastering the "Soul of Moses" – which uniquely termed the Tree of Life, the same Tree that Shem ate of and became his Torah. Thus this Torah of Shem [that was inspired by the Book of Raziel] became the basis of the Ark and Parashas Noah [as included by Moses by God's command]. Furthermore, with all of the momentum of wisdom from ancient texts, and craftsmanship in the Ark, and onwards into the Mishkan, Soloman's Temple, and the Third Temple, Jews and Gerim became destined to study and draw down priestly revelation that is promised to bring floor plans of the Third Temple, and even be the very anointing oil that will crown the Messiah and redemption team.  

Making matters simple to understand, over topics like Ger code, ancient wisdom, Temples, Gerim and Jews, Shem, etc. is to look to the Zohar; for what it accomplishes is the consolidation of this entire mission in one comprehensive study work. For that, the Zohar rightfully terms itself as a Noah's Ark.  For all intents and purposes, it is a reflection of Moses' tent, a Tent of Meeting, and the hidden scenes from the Mishkan. The Zohar within this context becomes the level of the Torah as described in the Midrash Rabbah's opening words, that the Torah is a Craftsman's tool.

The Torah began well before the World ever knew of Shem, and history will finish in a time that we will all have forgotten about Shem. The Torah was given, and through it we will always know Shem and his wisdom, and the Zohar is able to be written once the Torah of Moses is delivered at Sinai; encapsulating the builder's manual in supernatural fashion. Yet here we are in Pekudei, the Mishkan is finished, and it is now the official Tent of Meeting, one that is fully equipped with a study hall. Yet when we get to the soul of its functionality, we can really only turn to Noah and words of wisdom that he spoke, such that the Gerim carry this message all the way into the Third Temple. For Noah said, "Baruch Hashem, the God Shem…for they will dwell in the Tents of Shem." And as much as this is true, and indoctrinated into THE [One] Torah, we look forward to the building of the Third Temple, one that can only be built by the sons of Shem, and to be built only by a King. There are Four Craftsman of Redemption, of which Shem is the Righteous Priest - the master craftsman; one that anoints all three in their Craft… And among them [Shem is also dubbed] is Malki Tzedek…for from him is the wisdom that anoints the Messiah, from the place of Supernal Wisdom [Otzros Ramchal, Ramchal]. Amen Amen. 

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