Counting the Omer

By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

 


Iyar, the mitzva month. 4

The Ceremony. 4

Why do we count?. 7

When do we count?. 8

The Halachah, the laws of Sefirat HaOmer. 10

Customs. 11

Questions. 12

How do we count?. 13

The Fifty Gates of Understanding. 14

The Count 16

Lag B’Omer. 36

Omer events. 58

Sefirot 60

Conclusion. 62

 

Let’s begin this study with a little background information. The fifty day period between the Feast of Pesach (Passover) and the Feast of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) is known as Sephirat HaOmer, the counting of the Omer. On the second day of Pesach, the Omer offering from the new barley crop was brought into the Temple in Jerusalem. It began a period of counting and preparation for Shavuot, the anniversary of the giving of the Torah and the yearly celebration of re-accepting the Torah upon ourselves. There is actually a mitzva (a command) to count each specific day which is done at the completion of Arbit, the evening service.

 

A quick glance at the description of the mitzva of sefirat ha-omer in parashat Emor highlights the relationship between this mitzva and the special korbanot, sacrifices, which bracket it. On the first day of the omer the korban (sacrifice) omer (from which counting the omer derives its name) is offered, which consists of the flour derived from newly harvested barley. The Torah commands us to then count fifty days until we offer a new mincha (meal offering) consisting of two breads baked with flour derived from newly harvested wheat. Quite different from our normal association between counting the omer and receiving the Torah, parashat Emor actually establishes the omer as an integral part of this korban sequence. In the Torah portion, Emor, we are enjoined concerning “Counting the Omer”:

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:10-16Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before HaShem so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to HaShem a lamb a year old without defect, Together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil--an offering made to HaShem by fire, a pleasing aroma--and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your HaShem. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. “‘From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count for yourself seven full weeks. Count for yourself fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to HaShem.

 

We also see this command in:

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:9-12 Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. Then celebrate the Feast of Weeks to HaShem your HaShem by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings HaShem your HaShem has given you. And rejoice before HaShem your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name--you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, the Levites in your towns, and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows living among you. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.

 

As we can see, this injunction to count forty-nine days, out loud, is Biblical and dependent on bringing the Omer of barley, as an offering, to the Temple. Today, without the Temple, the counting of the Omer, Sefirat HaOmer, is based on a rabbinic ruling:

 

Menachoth 66a for Scripture says, Thou shalt number unto thee,[1] that is, the numbering depends upon [the decision of] the Beth-din; accordingly the Sabbath of the Creation cannot be intended as the numbering would then be in the hands of all men.[2] R. Jose says. On the morrow after the Sabbath means on the morrow after the Festival. You say that it means on the morrow after the Festival, but perhaps it is not so, but rather on the morrow after the Sabbath of Creation! I will prove it to you. Does Scripture say, ‘On the morrow after the Sabbath that is in the Passover week’? It merely says, ‘On the morrow after the Sabbath’; and as the year is full of Sabbaths, then go and find out which Sabbath is meant.[3] Moreover, ‘Sabbath’ is written below,[4] and ‘Sabbath’ is written above; just as in the former case it refers to the Festival, and indeed to the beginning of the Festival, so in the latter case, too, it refers to the Festival, and indeed to the beginning of the Festival.[5] R. Simeon b. Eleazar says, One verse says. Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread,[6] whereas another verse says, Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread.[7] How are they to be reconciled?’ [In this way:] you may not eat unleavened bread of the new produce the seven days. but you may eat unleavened bread of the new produce six days.[8] From the day that ye brought [the ‘Omer of the waving]...shall ye number:[9] now I might think that the ‘Omer must be reaped and offered [on the day stated], but the counting may begin whenever one wishes,[10] the text therefore also states, From the time the sickle is first put to the standing corn thou shalt begin to number.[11] But from [this verse], ‘From the time the sickle is first put to the standing corn thou shalt begin to number’, I might think that the ‘Omer must be reaped and then one begins to count, but it is to be offered whenever one wishes, the text therefore states, From the day that ye brought [the ‘Omer...shall ye number].[12] But from [this verse], ‘From the day that ye brought’, I might think that it must be reaped and offered and the counting begun all by day, the text therefore states ‘Seven weeks shall there be complete;[13] and when do you find seven weeks complete? Only when you begin to count from the [previous] evening.[14] I might think, then, that it must be reaped and offered and the counting begun all by night, the text therefore, states, ‘From the day that ye brought’. How is it to be then? The reaping and the counting must be on the [previous] night, but the bringing on the [following] day.[15]

 

Said Raba: All the above interpretations can be refuted, excepting those of the last two Tannaim of the first Baraitha and of the last two Tannaim of the second Baraitha,[16] which cannot be refuted, If [it were to be derived from] R. Johanan b. Zakkai’s interpretation it can be refuted thus: Perhaps [the explanation of the conflicting verses is] as given by Abaye; for Abaye said, It is the precept to count the days and also the weeks.[17] If from R. Eliezer’s and R. Joshua’s interpretations it can be refuted thus: How do they know that it[18] refers to the first day of the Festival? It may refer to the last day of the Festival! R. Ishmael’s and R. Judah b. Bathyra’s interpretations cannot be refuted. If from R. Jose son of R. Judah’s interpretation it can be refuted thus: Perhaps the fifty days excludes those six days![19] If from R. Judah b. Bathyra’s interpretation[20] it can be refuted thus: How does he know that it[21] means’ the first day of the Festival? Perhaps it means the last day of the Festival! R. Jose also realized this same difficulty, and he therefore added the second interpretation ‘Moreover.

 

The [above] text [stated]: Abaye said, It is the precept to count the days and also to count the weeks. The Rabbis of the school of R. Ashi used to count the days as well as the weeks. Amemar used to count the days but not the weeks, saying, It is only in commemoration of Temple times.[22]

 

What then does “a Sabbath” really mean? A Sabbath is the first or last portion of a specific period of time which is dedicated in some way to HaShem. The Torah commands that the omer of barley be offered from the first reaping. Until that point, nothing new can be reaped and eaten. There must, therefore, have been a pause in the agriculture. This break is called a “Sabbath[23]. On the first day of the holiday of Passover the land is still at rest. Thus, the day after, when the omer is to be offered, becomes, literally, the day after the “Sabbath[24].

 

After the Exodus from Egypt the Jews were so eager to receive the Torah that they counted the days remaining to that great event. This great anticipation was a prelude to the precept of “Counting the Omer” which they received later at Mount Sinai.

 

In the Midrash it says that the Omer shows us how kind HaShem is to His people. When the Jews were in the wilderness, HaShem gave every single one of them an Omer of manna every day. Now that the Jewish people had come into the Holy Land, all HaShem asked in return was a single Omer from the whole Jewish people. Nor did they need to bring it every day. Once a year was enough. And barley, an animal’s food and a poor man’s grain, was all HaShem required.

 

The counting of the Omer has always remained a preparation to receiving the Torah; when the forty-nine days of the Omer come to an end, the festival of Shavuot, celebrating the giving of the Torah, follows immediately.

 

The connection of Counting the Omer with the Giving of the Torah finds expression in the idea that both stress the individual. Each person, individually, must count the days of the Omer period as opposed to the communal counting of the Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles. (Each 7th year was the Sabbatical Year, each 50th year was the Jubilee Year.) In the Jubilee and Sabbatical year a number of special laws apply, and the mitzva of counting the seven and fifty year cycles was performed by the Sanhedrin on behalf of all Israel. In contrast, the Omer is counted by each person individually.

 

In similar fashion, the giving of the Torah was not only a communal, collective experience; the Al-mighty addressed each and every individual separately: “I am HaShem your God.” In Hebrew there are two ways of saying “Your God,” the singular and the plural. Yet, when HaShem addressed the entire nation of Israel, several million in number, the singular form was used. To each one of Israel individually the Almighty gave the Torah; to each He commanded that they study and fulfill the mitzvot. And to each He infused Divinely granted strength and ability to fulfill the Torah.

 

The lesson of the Counting of the Omer is clear: Each day counts; each Israelite counts; each mitzva counts.

 

Iyar, the mitzva month

 

The month of Iyar is symbolized by the Shor, the bull, which desires to dwell in isolation. Iyar is therefore a time of introspection and self-development, a time of preparation for receiving the Torah in Sivan. However, there were times when HaShem’s People also exhibited the rebellious qualities of the bull and “bucked” the leadership of Moses of Aharon when they rebelled in the desert during this month.

 

Iyar is unique amongst all the months of the year. For each and every single day in Iyar, brings with it the opportunity to perform a mitzva, the commandment to count the omer.

 

We begin counting the omer on the second day of Pesach and continue until the eve of Shavuot. The counting is a preparation for receiving the Torah on the holiday of Shavuot. And, indeed, it imparts to us a remarkable lesson, one which is connected not only with Israel’s receiving the Torah as a united nation, but with each and every single day in the life of every Israelite, as well.

 

Counting the omer teaches us that every day counts. It reminds us that each hour, each minute should be filled with words, thoughts, and deeds of which we can be proud. And too, that we are held “accountable” for every precious second of life with which our Creator has blessed us.

 

The Hakhamim of the Talmud understood that the practice of counting seven weeks is binding even in generations which cannot actually wave the sheaf. Thus, traditional Jews still continue to count each night the number of days that have elapsed since the day when their ancestors would have offered up the omer in the Temple precincts.

 

Forty-nine days are counted each year and on the fiftieth day is Hag Shavuot,[25] the Yom Tov[26] celebrating the giving of the Torah. There is actually a mitzva to count each specific day which is done at the completion of Arbit, the evening service. We use this time to prepare ourselves to receive the Torah, just as our ancestors did at Mt. Sinai.

 

The Ceremony

 

Menachoth 66a MISHNA. THEY REAPED IT, PUT IT INTO THE BASKETS, AND BROUGHT IT TO THE TEMPLE COURT; THEN THEY PARCHED IT[27] WITH FIRE IN ORDER TO FULFIL THE PRECEPT THAT IT SHOULD BE PARCHED [WITH FIRE].[28] SO R. MEIR. BUT THE SAGES SAY, THEY FIRST BEAT IT WITH REEDS OR STEMS OF PLANTS THAT THE GRAINS SHOULD NOT BE CRUSHED,[29] AND THEN THEY PUT IT INTO A PIPE THAT WAS PERFORATED SO THAT THE FIRE MIGHT TAKE HOLD OF ALL OF IT. THEY SPREAD IT OUT IN THE TEMPLE COURT SO THAT THE WIND MIGHT BLOW OVER IT.[30] THEN THEY PUT IT INTO A GRISTMILL[31] AND TOOK OUT OF IT A TENTH [OF AN EPHAH OF FLOUR] WHICH WAS SIFTED THROUGH THIRTEEN SIEVES. WHAT WAS LEFT OVER WAS REDEEMED AND MIGHT BE EATEN BY ANY ONE; IT WAS LIABLE TO THE DOUGH-OFFERING[32] BUT EXEMPT FROM TITHES.[33] R. AKIBA DECLARES IT LIABLE BOTH TO THE DOUGH-OFFERING AND TO TITHES.

 

In the Holy Land, barley ripens in the spring, in the month of Nisan. In the time of the Beit HaMikdash, the new crop could not be used until an amount of barley, called an “Omer”, was offered on the Great Altar in the Sanctuary. This is how it took place:

 

Menachoth 65a MISHNA. WHAT WAS THE PROCEDURE? THE MESSENGERS OF THE BETH DIN USED TO GO OUT ON THE DAY BEFORE THE FESTIVAL AND TIE THE UNREAPED CORN IN BUNCHES TO MAKE IT THE EASIER TO REAP. ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THE TOWNS NEAR BY ASSEMBLED THERE,[34] SO THAT IT MIGHT BE REAPED WITH MUCH DISPLAY. AS SOON AS IT BECAME DARK HE[35] CALLED OUT, ‘HAS THE SUN SET’? AND THEY ANSWERED. ‘YES.’ HAS THE SUN SET’? AND THEY ANSWERED, ‘YES.’ WITH THIS SICKLE’?[36] AND THEY ANSWERED, ‘YES’. ‘WITH THIS SICKLE’? AND THEY ANSWERED, YES’. ‘INTO THIS BASKET’? AND THEY ANSWERED, ‘YES’. INTO THIS BASKET’? AND THEY ANSWERED. ‘YES’. ON THE SABBATH HE CALLED OUT FURTHER, ON THIS SABBATH’? AND THEY ANSWERED. ‘YES’. ‘ON THIS SABBATH’? AND THEY ANSWERED. ‘YES’. ‘SHALL I REAP’?[37] AND THEY ANSWERED, REAP’. ‘SHALL I REAP’? AND THEY ANSWERED, ‘REAP’. HE REPEATED EVERY MATTER THREE TIMES, AND THEY ANSWERED, ‘YES.’ ‘YES.’ ‘YES’. AND WHY WAS ALL THIS? BECAUSE OF THE BOETHUSIANS[38] WHO MAINTAINED THAT THE REAPING OF THE ‘OMER WAS NOT TO TAKE PLACE AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE [FIRST DAY OF THE] FESTIVAL.

 

Right after the first day of Pesach, on the eve of the 16th of Nisan, prominent Torah scholars and members of the Sanhedrin, Beit Din Gadole, the great house of judgment, would go out into a field of barley near Jerusalem which had been prepared before Pesach.

 

Sanhedrin 11b Our Rabbis taught: [The grain and fruit of the following] three regions [are taken as the standard] for deciding upon the declaration of a leap-year: Judea,[39] Trans-Jordania,[40] and Galilee.[41] The requirements of two of these regions might determine the intercalation, but not those of a single one. All, however, were glad when one of the two was Judea, because the barley for the Omer[42] was obtained [by preference] in Judea.[43]

 

All the neighboring villagers would gather to watch the ceremony.

 

Three men using three sickles would cut three measures of barley which they would put in three boxes.

 

Menachoth 64a THE SAGES SAY, WHETHER ON THE SABBATH OR ON A WEEKDAY IT WAS REAPED BY THREE MEN INTO THREE BASKETS AND WITH THREE SICKLES. Now did not R. Hanina the Vice-High Priest say there that where it is possible [to manage with one] we must not trouble [more to work on the Sabbath]? Here, too, since it is possible [to manage with less] we must not trouble [to do more on the Sabbath]. Whence [do you know this]? Perhaps R. Ishmael only said so here, since there is no opportunity for making the matter public,[44] but there, since there is an opportunity for making the matter public,[45] I would say that he is in agreement with the Rabbis.[46]

 

Once it was dark, the head of the reapers would say, “Has the sun set?”

            “Yes,” everyone would reply.

 

Megillah 21a THE WHOLE NIGHT IS A PROPER TIME FOR REAPING THE ‘OMER. Since a Master has said that reaping and counting are to be performed by night and the bringing by day.[47]

 

“Has the sun set?” he would ask again.

            “Yes.”

 

“Has the sun set?”

            A third time they would answer, “Yes.”

 

Then he would point to the sickle and ask three times, “Is this the sickle?”

            “Yes.”

 

“Is this the sickle?”

            “Yes.”

 

“Is this the sickle?”

            “Yes.”

 

In the same way, he would ask three times, “Is this the box?”

            Yes.”

 

“Is this the box?”

            “Yes.”

 

“Is this the box?”

            “Yes.”

 

If it was Shabbat, he would also ask three times, “Is it Shabbat today?” This showed everybody that the mitzva of cutting the Omer pushes off the Shabbat.

 

Finally he would ask, “Shall I reap?”

            “Yes,” they would answer.

 

“Shall I reap?”

            “Yes.”

 

“Shall I reap?”

            “Yes.”

 

This whole ceremony was very awesome. What was it all for? Unfortunately, there were people at that time who rebelled against the Sages. They were called Beitusim. They tried to get people not to listen to the teachings of the Sages.

 

One of their arguments was that the Omer should only be cut on a Saturday night, after Shabbat.[48]

 

In fact, in the Torah it says that the time for cutting the Omer is “the day after Shabbat.” The Beitusim said this meant the day after Shabbat itself. But the Sages had the tradition from Mt. Sinai, that Pesach, a Yom Tov, is also called Shabbat, and the Omer should be cut the day after Pesach!

 

They made a big ceremony out of it, so that it would be clear to everyone that the Beitusim were not correct. The Omer had to be cut the day after Pesach, even on Shabbat!

 

After the barley had been cut, it was placed in the three boxes and brought to the Beit HaMikdash. Since it was still green and soft, it was dried and roasted in such a way that the fire touched every grain. Then it was spread out in the courtyard for the wind to blow through it. Finally it was ground up with millstones into flour.

 

Of the three se’ahs, or measures, of barley that had been reaped in the field, only one tenth was taken for the offering. This quantity is called an Omer.

 

This Omer was then sieved thirteen times, over and over again, until it was fine and pure.

 

“The omer of flour was mixed with a log, or very nearly three-fourths of a pint of oil [typifying the Holy Spirit], and a handful of frankincense [sweet spices, typifying praises and prayers to HaShem] put upon it. Before burning it, the Kohen would wave it in every direction in honor of the One to Whom the whole world belongs. It was as if he were saying, “Thank you HaShem for the harvest. Thank you for the very bread we eat.” It was then burned on the Mitzbayach, the Great Altar. The remainder belonged to the priest“.

 

Why do we count?

 

The Torah commands us to count the omer, but this seems like the activity of a child. Why do we count? My daughter, Giberet Chava, says that the answer is very simple: We count because HaShem commanded us to count! This is the absolute best answer!

 

Still, HaShem expects us to come to a deeper understanding than this simple Pshat level. What is the point of counting an incremental number each day?

 

The answer to this question lies at the root of the meaning of counting. The dictionary gives the following definition:

 

count

1. To name or list (the units of a group or collection) one by one in order to determine a total; number.

2. To recite numerals in ascending order up to and including: count three before firing.

3. To include in a reckoning; take account of: ten dogs, counting the puppies.

4. To believe or consider to be; deem: Count yourself lucky.

 

These definitions suggest that there is more to counting than simply adding one number to another. In fact, there are some anomalies in the English use of counting. Consider this definition of the word recount:

 

recount
To narrate the facts or particulars of an event, to enumerate.

 

So a story teller recounts a story.

 

Now, consider this definition of the word teller:

 

teller
1. One who tells: a teller of tall tales.

2. A bank employee who receives and pays out money.

3. An automated teller machine.

4. A person appointed to count votes in a legislative assembly.

 

So, a teller counts and a re-counter tells, this is very interesting! This idiosyncrasy of the Hebrew, English, and Spanish, languages suggests that counting and telling a story are closely connected. This provides a valuable clue as to why we count. In some way we tell a story when we count. As we shall see when we examine the count for each day, there is a story that is told. It is the story of the Children of Israel rising up from the degradation of Mitzrayim to attain the level of the greatest Prophet, on Shavuot. This is the story of an entire nation that works to improve itself and to stand before HaShem without spot or blemish. This is truly a hero’s story!

 

When do we count?

 

When does this count begin? The verse which we quoted designates the “morrow after the Sabbath“ as the time for waving the sheaf. Understood literally, this would imply that the count must invariably begin on the same day of the week: a Sunday (which Sunday is far from clear. Perhaps during Passover, perhaps the one immediately following; or maybe the first one after the ripening of the barley crop). Similarly, the count would end on a Sunday, and Shavuot would invariably fall on the same day of the week, though not on a designated calendar date (thus in verse 16: “Even until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall you count fifty days”). Yet, this is NOT when the count begins. The Talmud explains this for us:

 

Menachoth 65b If Moses was a great lover of Israel, why then did he detain them in the wilderness for forty years’? ‘Master’, said the other, ‘is it thus that you would dismiss me’? ‘Fool’, he answered, ‘should not our perfect Torah be as convincing as your idle talk! Now one verse says. Ye shall number fifty days.[49] while the other verse says, Seven weeks shall there be complete.[50] How are they to be reconciled?[51] The latter verse refers to the time when the [first day of the] Festival [of Passover] falls on the Sabbath,[52] while the former to the time when the [first day of the] Festival falls on a weekday.[53] (Mnemonic: R. Eliezer ‘numbers’; R. Joshua ‘counts’; R. Ishmael ‘from the ‘Omer’; R. Judah ‘below’.)[54] R. Eliezer says, This is not necessary, for Scripture says, Thou shalt number unto thee,[55] that is, the numbering depends upon the [decision of the] Beth din;[56] accordingly the Sabbath of the creation cannot be intended,[57] as the numbering would then be in the hands of all men.[58] R. Joshua says. The Torah says. Count days[59] and sanctify the new moon,[60] count days and sanctify the Feast of Weeks.[61] Just as in regard to the new moon there is something distinctive at the commencement [of the counting],[62] so with the Feast of Weeks there is something distinctive at the commencement [of the counting].[63]

 

R. Ishmael says. The Torah says. Bring the ‘Omer-offering on the Passover, and the Two Loaves on the Feast of Weeks. Just as the latter are offered on the Festival, and indeed at the beginning of the Festival, so the former, too. Is offered on the Festival, and indeed at the beginning of the Festival.[64] R. Judah b. Bathyra says. There is written ‘Sabbath’ below[65] and also ‘Sabbath’ above;[66] just as in the former case the Festival, and indeed the beginning of the Festival, is near [to the Sabbath].[67] so in the latter case, too, the Festival, and indeed the beginning of the Festival, is near [to the ‘Omer].[68]

 

Our Rabbis taught: And ye shall count unto you.[69] that is, the counting is a duty upon every one. On the morrow after the Sabbath,[70] that is, on the morrow after the Festival.

 

The counting of the omer begins on the second night of Passover, Nisan 16, on which ever day of the week that might happen to fall, and concludes with Shavuot, always on the sixth day of the month of Sivan. “After the Sabbath” was interpreted by the Hakhamim of the Talmud to be the evening following the first day of Pesach. The first time to count is on the evening of the 16th of Nisan.

 

Shabbat is a source of intense spirituality. It is the apex of the week. But it still belongs to the week, and thus to time and the finite. “The morrow after the Shabbat” refers to the step beyond Shabbat, beyond time itself: A revelation higher than the world.

 

To count the forty-nine days of Omer, that is, to transform into holiness, every emotion that we feed, we must rest our efforts on the “morrow after the Shabbat”, the light of HaShem from beyond the world.[71]

 

The Halachah, the laws of Sefirat HaOmer

 

A. We begin counting the Omer on the second night of Pesach, Nisan 16. Normally this is done at the end of the second night seder.

 

B. It is most proper to count the Omer at the beginning of the night, immediately following the evening prayer. However, it is permissible to count the Omer throughout the night.

 

C. If you forget to count at nightfall, but have reminded yourself before dawn, you may count then, with the blessing.

 

D. If you forget to count at night; you can count throughout the next day (without saying the blessing). The following evening you can count again WITH the blessing.

 

E. If you forget to count for a whole day, you should still keep on counting the days until Shavuot, but you do not say the blessing any more.

 

F. If you are in doubt whether you counted the previous night, even though you definitely did not count during the day, you may recite the blessing when counting on the subsequent nights.

 

RAMBAM’S RULING

 

Rambam, in Hilkhot Temidin uMusafin, Chapter 7, states:

 

22: It is a Mitzvat Aseh to count seven complete weeks from the day of the bringing of the ‘Omer, as it says: You shall count for yourselves, from the day after the Shabbat, seven weeks. It is a mitzva to count the days along with the weeks, as it says: You shall count fifty days; and we count from the beginning of the day, therefore, he should count at night, from the night of the 16th of Nisan.

 

23: If he forgot to count at night, he should count during the day. We count standing up; however, if he counted while seated, this is valid.

 

24: This mitzva is incumbent upon every Jew, in every place and at every time; women and slaves are exempt from it.

 

25: One must recite a blessing every evening: Blessed...Who sanctified us with His mitzvot and commanded us regarding Sefirat HaOmer before he counts; if he counted without saying the blessing, he has fulfilled it and he does not go back and say the blessing.

 

In regard to the new grain, we have some additional halachic commands. the Torah commands:

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:14 You shall not eat bread or parched grain or green grain until this day, until you bring the offering to your God.

 

HaShem commanded us not to eat new grains until Nisan 16, the day the omer of barley is offered. We are, therefore, forbidden to eat from any new harvest of the five species of grains: wheat, barley, spelt, rye, or oats, before bringing the omer offering. When the Beit HaMikdash, The House of the Holy One, stood, this prohibition was based on the time that the actual offering was brought.

 

1. Today, we may not eat these the five species of grains: wheat, barley, spelt, rye, or oats, until Nisan 17.

 

2. We may not eat any by-products of these the five species of grains: wheat, barley, spelt, rye, or oats, until Nisan 17. This includes groats and beverages made from these grains.

 

3. Any grains which become rooted after Nisan 16, may not be eaten until after Nisan 16 the following year. After Nisan 16, they are permissible even if they are as yet un-harvested.

 

4. Any grains which become rooted before Nisan 16, become permissible after Nisan 16 of that year, for the omer offering renders them permissible, even if they are not yet fully grown.

 

In the Diaspora, it is our custom not to eat of the new grain until after Nisan 17.

 

Customs

 

The Omer period, is a period of national semi-mourning (no weddings or even haircuts). It was during this period that Rabbi Akiva’s 24,000 students died for not showing proper respect towards each other. It is a time for reflection upon how we look upon and treat our fellow Jews and upon the tragedies that have befallen us because of unfounded (self-justified) hatred.

 

These fifty days also correspond to the seven weeks after the Exodus from Egypt when the Jewish people prepared themselves to receive the Torah at Mt. Sinai. When we left Egypt we were on the 49th level of Tumah, spiritual degradation. Each day we climbed one step higher in spirituality and holiness.

 

Many people study one of the “48 Ways to Wisdom” (Ethics of the Fathers, 6:6) each day as a means to personal and spiritual growth:

 

[ BARAITHA 5 (Ethics of the Fathers 6:6). GREATER IS THE TORAH THAN THE PRIESTHOOD AND THAN THE KINGSHIP, SEEING THAT THE KINGSHIP IS ACQUIRED IN [THE FORM OF] THIRTY DISTINCTIONS, AND THE PRIESTHOOD IN [THE FORM OF] TWENTY-FOUR, BUT THE TORAH IN [THE FORM OF] FORTY-EIGHT THINGS, AND THESE THEY ARE IN: [THE FORM OF] STUDY, ATTENTIVE LISTENING, ORDERED PRESENTATION [OF ONE’S STUDY-MATTER] WITH [ONE’S] LIPS, REASONING OF THE HEART, INTELLIGENCE OF THE HEART, AWE, FEAR, HUMILITY, JOYOUSNESS, MINISTERING UNTO THE SAGES, PAINSTAKING EXAMINATION [OF A SUBJECT,] TOGETHER WITH [ONE’S] COLLEAGUES, FINE ARGUMENTATION OF DISCIPLES, SEDATENESS, [KNOWLEDGE OF] SCRIPTURE, [KNOWLEDGE OF] THE ORAL LEARNING, MODERATION IN SLEEP, MODERATION IN GOSSIP, MODERATION IN [WORLDLY] PLEASURE, MODERATION IN HILARITY, MODERATION IN WORLDLY INTERCOURSE, LONG-SUFFERING, A GOOD HEART, THE CONSCIENTIOUSNESS OF THE SAGES, [UNCOMPLAINING] ACCEPTANCE OF [DIVINE] CHASTISEMENTS. ]

 

No haircuts? A most curious reason is brought in Kabbalistic sources for not permitting haircuts: ‘Rabbi Akiva used to explain and elucidate every upper ‘tag’ and hair-like crown adorning the letters of the Torah, deriving numerous laws from them.’

 

Since these crowns are like decorative hairs to the letters, and because his pupils also used to learn how to derive these laws, we do not cut our own hair in memory of their deaths during this period.}

 

Lag B’Omer (the 33rd day of counting the Omer): Note that the 33rd word in the Torah is tov, good, indicating that Lag B’Omer is a good day for us.

 

If you’re flying over Israel on the night of Lag B’Omer, and you look down out of your plane, you will see thousands of bonfires dotting the landscape as far as the eye can see.

 

People light bonfires, have torch processions, light lamps etc. One reason is that on the day of his death the world was filled with a great light of endless joy through the secret wisdom which he revealed to his pupils and which they wrote down in the Zohar.

 

When all 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva’s students had died, the world was desolate. The Torah had been forgotten. There were no pupils to go out and teach and disseminate the light of Torah. Rabbi Akiva traveled to the Hakhamim of the South and taught them his Torah. On Lag B’Omer he laid his hands of the heads of these, his last pupils, giving them smicha (rabbinical ordination) [Note: His Majesty King Yeshua is bestowing smicha on His disciples on Shavuot]. And from that day, the world began to brighten from the Torah’s light by virtue of these students. As the day of their ordination was the 33rd day of the Omer, we light bonfires in Eretz Israel to symbolize the great light that the Torah represents.

 

Hence it became a day of great rejoicing.

 

Many children play games with bows and arrows. This is an allusion to the rainbow.

 

Since the rainbow was a symbol of HaShem’s promise never to destroy the world again, it never appeared during the lifetime of R. Shimon since his presence was an assurance of this promise. It is worth noting that every time the rainbow does appear, it is a sign that HaShem will not destroy us with water – though at that momemnt we clearly deserve to have the world flooded!

 

Some Chassidim cut the hair of their three year old children on Lag B’Omer.

 

Questions

 

Q. How big is an Omer?

A. Leviticus 23:10 - One tenth of an Ephah. Since an ‘omer is a tenth part of an Ephah which (cf. Men. 77a) equals three se’ah, an ‘omer = 3/10 se’ah = 3 X 6/10 kab = 3 X 6 X 4/10 log = 36/5 = 7 1/5 log = (since a log = 6 eggs) 7 log and 1 1/5 of an egg. An omer is about 3.3 dry quarts.

 

Q. Why do we begin “counting the Omer” at night?

A. Leviticus 23:15 - The Torah requires counting seven complete weeks. If we begin counting in the daytime, the seven weeks would not be complete.

 

Q. How does the Omer differ from other mincha (grain) offerings?

A. Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:16 - It was made from barley. Only two meal offerings did not consist of wheat: The Omer, and the offering of a wife suspected of infidelity. Both of these were of barley. In the latter case the Talmud gives a reason: Her offering was to be of animal food as a humiliation for her immorality.

 

Sotah 14a C H A P T E R I I MISHNA. [THE HUSBAND] BRINGS HER MEAL-OFFERING[72] IN A BASKET OF PALM-TWIGS AND PLACES IT UPON HER HANDS IN ORDER TO WEARY HER. WITH ALL OTHER MEAL-OFFERINGS, THE BEGINNING AND END OF THEIR [SACRIFICE] ARE IN MINISTERING VESSELS; BUT WITH THIS, ITS BEGINNING IS IN A BASKET OF PALM-TWIGS AND ITS END IN A MINISTERING VESSEL. ALL OTHER MEAL-OFFERINGS REQUIRE OIL AND FRANKINCENSE, BUT THIS REQUIRES NEITHER OIL NOR FRANKINCENSE. ALL OTHER MEAL-OFFERINGS CONSIST OF WHEAT, BUT THIS CONSISTS OF BARLEY. THE MEAL-OFFERING OF THE ‘OMER,[73] ALTHOUGH CONSISTING OF BARLEY, WAS IN THE FORM OF GROATS; BUT THIS WAS IN THE FORM OF COARSE FLOUR. RABBAN GAMALIEL SAYS: AS HER ACTIONS WERE THE ACTIONS OF AN ANIMAL, SO HER OFFERING [CONSISTED OF] ANIMAL’S FODDER.

 

Barley offerings are brought by a disloyal wife to establish her innocence of ultimate betrayal to her husband. The Jews, so steeped in Egyptian corruption and idolatry, were also in such a lowly animal state at Exodus. R. Elazer b. Aruch makes a lev tov, a good heart, a prerequisite for Torah. The gematria of lev tov = 32+17 = 49, the levels of progress from the Omer offering. The first thirty-two days we mourn ever-present evil, for our Temple is still not rebuilt. Tov, with a gematria of seventeen, reflects the last seventeen days, from Lag B’Omer, when glimmerings of goodness and good news break through. Finally, on Shavuot, we’re able to bring LEAVENED loaves, to use man’s aggressive free impulse itself, symbolized by fermented grain, for HaShem’s goals, body and soul united.

 

But why was the Omer of animal food? When the animal (chamor) in man is no longer at war with his spirit, but is sublimated to it, all its passionate intensity is transferred to the life of holiness.

 

This is why the Omer was of barley, animal food. Because this was the labor of the omer period, to transform the “animal soul” of the Israelites, which had remained unaffected by the initial revelation in Egypt.

 

Counting the omer is an exercise in human self-development, orderly progression toward a great goal. A necessary pre-condition is to govern and sanctify, not destroy, the vital animal side of man; this is symbolized by the barley offering, animal fodder. The seven weeks terminate in higher human development, also dedicated to HaShem, the offering of the first wheat loaves. Wheat is that food uniquely designed by HaShem for man to process, the beginning of his intelligence and civilization (a child does not utter his first words, Abba[74], Ima[75]; until he’s tasted wheat, Beracoth 40a).

 

Passover is the feast where we celebrate our physical freedom, Shavuot the feast where we celebrate the ultimate holy development of a free man, ready to receive the Torah. Notice that the Torah say, “your weeks”:

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:26 also in the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new grain offering unto HaShem, after your weeks be out, you shall have an holy convocation; you shall do no servile work.

 

Man who develops his Divine Image is a creature of free will, not just animal instinct, and requires a guide.

 

Barley and wheat offerings portray a similar paradox. As a barley eating animal, subject to natural law, Man must be subservient, passive, in the hands of HaShem; yet he must simultaneously retain the vitality and free will of a human wheat eater. He must challenge the Godless with strength, while submerging his ego into that of HaShem. The passive Exodus Jewish slave is to become the active Sinai Israelite of free will, he accepts the Torah after forty-nine “complete” days of self-cleaning of his impulsive oven; forty-nine years is called “forever”, when a Jewish servant elects to remain such until the Jubilee year. Only HaShem, the Rule Maker, is truly free; man can only approximate His freedom, insofar as he establishes links to Divinity, through Torah.[76] Sefer Chinuch, mitzva 306, views the counting as reflecting Israel’s eager anticipation of the giving of the Torah.

 

How do we count?

 

Since the original injunction in the Torah states that “You shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete” and “You must count fifty days”, the counting has to mention both the number of days and the number of weeks. Every night, after nightfall, after having recited the evening prayer, say the following blessing, and then count the proper day:

 

Baruch ata adonai eiloheinu melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.

 

Blessed are you, HaShem our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.

 

Then we count the day according to the following formula:

 

On the first six days of the count:

Today is ___ day[s] of the Omer.

 

For example:

“Today is one day of the Omer.”

 

after seven days, we use the following formula:

 

Today is ___ days, which are ___ week[s] [and ___ day[s]], of the Omer.

 

For example:

Today is eight days of the Omer, which are one week and one day of the Omer.”

 

It is customary to add:

 

Harachaman hu yachazir lanu avodat bet hamikdash limkomah, bimheirah beyameinu, Amen selah

 

 The translation is:

 

The Compassionate One! May He restore to us the service of the Temple to its place, speedily in our days. Amen, selah!

 

Note: One must count in a language which he or she understands.

 

The Fifty Gates of Understanding

 

What are the Fifty Gates of Understanding?

 

On a simplistic level, the Fifty Gates of Understanding represent a progression of knowledge from the mundane to the most sublime, with the fiftieth level being the highest ...

 

Rosh Hashanah 21b The world was created with Fifty Gates of Understanding ...

 

[The Talmud finishes by saying that forty-nine gates were given to Moshe Rabbeinu; the fiftieth gate he “passed through” at his death, dying on Mt. Nevo, which, in Hebrew, is nun, bait, vav, which can read “nun-bo” meaning “fifty in it.” For a more precise and kabballistic explanation of the Fifty Gates of Understanding, see the Vilna Gaon’s description in Safra D’Tzniusa, Chapter One.]

 

In the desert, after the Jewish people left Egypt, they traveled for forty-nine days until they received the Torah from HaShem—on the fiftieth day.

 

[The number seven represents physical completion, it is the number of the natural world; the number forty-nine is seven groups of seven – the full manifestation of the physical world. The number fifty, therefore, represents a departure from the physical realm into the spiritual one, just as does the number eight.]

 

The counting of the omer, is an allusion to the Fifty Gates of Understanding, performed by subsequent generations of Jews during the same period of time each year. The goal of life is to “pass through” as many of the fifty gates as possible, which is synonomous with achieving closeness to HaShem; the learning of Torah and the performing of mitzvot are meant to facilitate such spiritual growth.

 

All knowledge changes the way one views reality, and oneself within that reality. However, the Fifty Gates of Understanding provide an awareness that transforms the person’s whole perspective of life; they reveal the hand of HaShem in every aspect of existence. They vanquish the illusion of a Godless world, and provide access to the most important, yet hidden aspects of man’s potential.

 

The Fifty Gates of Understanding are the “keys” to rising above mundane reality in order to transcend it, to live as a Tzelem-Elokim—in the image of God. They are the basis of kedushah—holiness—which means that they are central to fulfilling the mandate of being Jewish, for the Torah advocates that we, as a nation, must be holy. (Vayikra 19:2)

 

Thus the Fifty Gates of Understanding represent the Jewish people’s most formidable weapon against evil.

 

The Fifty Gates of Understanding (Nun Sha’arei Binah) are really forty-nine days or seven weeks of self-elevation and self-evaluation (followed by one day of prophetic revelation) that the Israelites strived for from the time of the Exodus from Egypt until the time they received the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai. It is said that all of Israel experienced prophecy at this time and heard the voice of HaShem declare the first two commandments.

 

How is it possible for an entire nation to be able to experience prophecy? This is the secret of the 50 Gates of Understanding. Being worthy of receiving prophecy requires character improvement. There are forty-nine aspects of character that the Israelites worked on developing while they wandered in the dessert of Sinai. These aspects correspond to the combinations of the seven lower sefirot which are called midot or character qualities from the Hebrew.

 

The counting is done backwards from the highest level to the lowest since prophecy is energy transferred from HaShem to man.

 

The seven sefirot are:

 

Hesed – kindness

Abraham

(epitomized quality)

Gevurah - power

Isaac

Tiferet - beauty

Jacob

Netzach - eternity

Moses

Hod - thankfulness

Aaron

Yesod - foundation

Joseph

Malchut - kingdom

David

 

Shavuot (Penticost), the day of the giving of the Ten Commandments, the revelation and prophecy. The counting of the Omer is a re-working of these seven sefirot and the midot that accompany them. As we count the Omer we should meditate on the sefiot and their midot as follows:

 

Hesed in Hesed

1.

study

Gevurah in Hesed

2.

attentive listening

Tiferet in Hesed

3.

orderly speech

Netzah in Hesed

4.

understanding

Hod in Hesed

5.

intuitive insight

Yesod in Hesed

6.

awe

Malchut in Hesed

7.

reverence

Hesed in Gevurah

8.

humility

Gevurah in Gevurah

9.

joy

Tiferet in Gevurah

10.

purity

Netzach in Gevurah

11.

attendance on scholars

Hod in Gevurah

12.

debate with colleagues

Yesod in Gevurah

13.

discussion with students

Malchut in Gevurah

14.

deliberation

Hesed in Tiferet

15.

knowlege of the scriptures

Gevurah in Tiferet

16.

moderation in business affairs

Tiferet in Tiferet

17.

moderation in worldly affairs

Netzah in Tiferet

18.

moderation in pleasure

Hod in Tiferet

19.

moderation in sleep

Yesod in Tiferet

20.

moderation in conversation

Malchut in Tiferet

21.

moderation in frivolity

Hesed in Netzach

22.

patience

Gevurah in Netzach

23.

good naturedness

Tiferet in Netzach

24.

trust in the sages

Netzach in Netzach

25.

uncomplaining acceptance of suffering

Hod in Netzach

26.

knows his place

Yesod in Netzach

27.

is content with his lot in life

Malchut in Netzach

28.

limits his words

Hesed in Hod

29.

does not claim credit for his achievements

Gevurah in Hod

30.

is beloved

Tiferet in Hod

31.

loves G_d

Netzach in Hod

32.

loves mankind

Hod in Hod

33.

loves acts of charity and kindness

Yesod in Hod

34.

loves straightforwardness

Malchut in Hod

35.

loves admonition

Hesed in Yesod

36.

shuns honor

Gevurah in Yesod

37.

is not conceited with his learning

Tiferet in Yesod

38.

does not delight in dictating decisions

Netzach in Yesod

39.

shares the burden of his fellow man

Hod in Yesod

40.

and judges him favorably

Yesod in Yesod

41.

directs him to the truth

Malchut in Yesod

42.

and to peace

Hesed in Malchut

43.

is composed in his learning

Gevurah in Malchut

44.

asks pertinent questions and answers to the point

Tiferet in Malchut

45.

listens and adds to his learning

Netzah in Malchut

46.

studies in order to teach

Hod in Malchut

47.

studies in order to practice

Yesod in Malchut

48.

increases the wisdom of his teacher

Malchut in Malchut

49.

Notes accurately what he has learned

Shavuot

50.

Quotes a thing in the name of the person who said it

                         

These teachings on character development are taken from the Pirke Avot 6:6.

 

The Count

 

 (The following section was largely extracted from a series of classes taught by His Eminence Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai.)

 

Here’s the complete list of the 48 ways of wisdom and their corresponding days of the Omer. This section was delivered as a Shiur by Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai. We should use these days to improve our character and our ways:

 

Today is 1 day of the Omer.

Hesed of Hesed

Lovingkindness in Lovingkindness

 

16 Nisan - Being Aware Every Moment

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Wasting Time.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Ephesians 5:16 (The redemption of time happens only during the periods of repentance i.e. Sefirat HaOmer and Elul 1 till Tishri 10. When we speak of “righteousness=justice” and “truth=Torah” [Ephesians 5:9], we are clearly alluding to Sefirat HaOmer which culminates in Matan Torah)

 

Romans. 13:11, Galatians 6:10, and Colossians 4:5, Titus 3:8, 1 Timothy 2:15(women), 1 Timothy 4:14-16(men - smicha), Matityahu 6:24, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 [Philippians 2:12 – on Nisan 16 we begin to work out our redemption by counting. [Counting of the Omer according to Hakham Yosele!]

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: Ruth 2:7 indicates that Ruth spent only a minimal time resting. Boaz “knew“ that Ploni Almoni would be at the appointed place, at the appointed time, therefore, he convened the Bet Din.

 

Today is 2 days of the Omer.

Gevurah of Hesed

Discipline in Lovingkindness

 

17 Nisan - Listen Effectively

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Not making the most of a listening opportunity. Failing to pay attention.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 4:2 For unto us was the Oral Torah gospelled (arranged in the lips), as well as unto them: but the word gospelled (arranged in the lips) did not profit them, not being mixed with faith (Emunah - Faithful Obedience) in them that heard it.

 

Romans 10:8-11 But what saith it? The Torah is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart (mind) : that is, the Torah of the faith, which we gospel out (proclaim); 9. That if thou shalt arrange it in your lips (articulate/confess] with thy mouth the Master Yeshua, and shalt (firmly) believe in thine heart (mind) that HaShem hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10. For with the heart (mind) man believeth unto JUSTICE/JUSTIFICATION; and with the mouth arrangement in the lips (articulation/confession) is made unto salvation. 11. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

 

O.K., if we arrange the Torah and the 613 Mitzvot in relation to Mashiach in our lips - that is confessing Mashiach no?

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Naomi gently corrected Ruth’s account of her first day of gleaning, she rectified this shortcoming. (Boaz said stay with my maidens in Ruth 2.8. In Ruth 2:21, Ruth said to stay with the young men. In Ruth 2:22, Naomi said that it was good for Ruth to stay with the maidens)

 

Today is 3 days of the Omer.

Tiferet of Hesed

Compassion, Harmony in Lovingkindness

 

18 Nisan - Arrange It On Your Lips

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failure to actualize our thoughts, to bring them into reality.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Romans 10:8-11

 

Romans 10:6 But the JUSTICE which is of the faith speaketh (OUT LOUD) on this wise, Say not in thine heart (mind), Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Mashiach down from above:)

 

Ephesians 4:14-15 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15. But speaking (OUT LOUD) the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Mashiach.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall arrange me in his lips (articulate me / confess me) before men, him will I arrange in my lips (articulate / confess) also before my Father which is in heaven.

 

Whosoever arranges Oral Torah in his lips and explains how it relates to the Nazarean Codicil[77] accurately. Him/her will Mashiach articulate before the Father - i.e. present a defense for us - Midda kneged midda!

 

1 Yochanan (John) 4:15 Whosoever shall arrange in his lips (articulate /confess) that Yeshua is the Chief Judge of the Bet Din on high, HaShem dwelleth in him, and he in HaShem.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth actually accompanied Naomi to eretz Israel (Ruth 1:22), in contrast to Orpah who turned back, she actualized her thoughts .

 

Today is 4 days of the Omer.

Netzach of Hesed

Endurance in Lovingkindness

 

19 Nisan - Understanding Of The Heart

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failure to learn the truth, and thereby fail to make the most of the opportunities.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

1 Corinthians 11:27-29 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

 

Yeshayahu 45:9

 

Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because you have rejected knowledge I will also reject you ...”

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: Ploni Almoni, in Ruth 4:6, failed to learn the truth regarding a “Moabitess”, whereas Boaz proclaimed this truth as Rosh bet din.

 

Today is 5 days of the Omer.

Hod of Hesed

Humility in Lovingkindness

 

20 Nisan – Awe

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failure to see the Hand of HaShem in creation.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

2 Corinthians 6:16-18 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord

 

cf.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 45:9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 13:7-17 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. 8. Yeshua Mashiach the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. 10. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. 11. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12. Wherefore Yeshua also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. 15. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

 

cf.

1 Shmuel (Samuel) 16:4 And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?

 

1 Tsefet (Peter) 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

 

cf.

 

1 Shmuel (Samuel) 24:6 And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.

 

2 Tsefet 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

 

Cf.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 22:28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

 

Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3. That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

 

Cf.

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: Naomi heard that HaShem had visited His people, in Ruth 1:6, she immediately rose to return.

 

Today is 6 days of the Omer.

Yesod of Hesed

Bonding in Lovingkindness

 

21 Nisan - Mastering Fear

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Lack of motivation.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Romans 11:17-24,

 

Philippians 2:12: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

 

1 Tsefet (Peter) 1:17 “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:”

 

(The word “sojourning”, here is in Greek Parroiqeia. From where we derive the English word “Parish”. A parish is a community limited by an eruv. We are commanded to be in community in a Parish as a way of fearing HaShem in and out of love)

 

1 Yochanan (John) 4:16-18 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

 

Tehilim (Psalms) 119:120 “My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments. “The Stone Tanakh translates “Shuddered from dread”

 

1 Luqas (Luke) 12:4-7 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. 6. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

 

I have noticed that there are no rewards mentioned in the Torah for those who follow Torah (eternal rewards). The written Torah is about punishments. The oral Torah is about rewards.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Boaz trembled at midnight, he had a powerful motivation to accomplish redemption as quickly as possible.

 

Today is 7 days of the Omer.

Malchut of Hesed

Nobility in Lovingkindness

 

22 Nisan - The True Charisma

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Arrogant pride.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Ya’aqov (James) 1:17 “Every good gift (Charisma) and every perfect gift (Charisma) is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

 

1 Corinthians 13:2 “ And though I have the gift (charisma) of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”

 

1 Corinthians 7:7 “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift (Charisma) of God, one after this manner, and another after that.”

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth the Princess went to glean in the field in order to spare Naomi the humiliation, she demonstrated a total lack of arrogant pride and a complete humility. This is mirrored in her response to Boaz that day.

 

Today is 8 days of the Omer.

Hesed of Gevurah

Lovingkindess in Discipline

 

23 Nisan – Joy

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Sadness.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom (government) of HaShem is not food and drink; but Justice, and Shalom, and joy in the Shechinah.”

 

Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and shalom in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Shechinah.

 

Galatians 5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Shechinah is Ahavah (love), joy, Shalom (peace), longsuffering, gentleness, good deeds, faithful obedience (Emunah), humility, temperance: against such there is no penalty in the Torah.

 

Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in HaShem ALWAYS: and again I say, Rejoice.”

 

1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice evermore.”

 

Jude 24,25 “Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise HaShem our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

 

2 Luqas (Acts) 2:28 “Thou hast made known to me the ways (Halakhot) of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance (Presence).”

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Naomi nursed Oved, she was motivated by joy because the sadness of being bereft of her family had been dissipated.

 

Today is 9 days of the Omer.

Gevurah of Gevurah

Discipline in Discipline

 

24 Nisan - Concentration and Will Power

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Being distracted from our goals.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Ya’aqov (James) 4:8 “Draw near to HaShem, and He (HaShem) will draw near to you. Wash your hands, ye sinners; and purify (concentrate, focus) your hearts (minds), you double minded.”

 

1 Timothy 1:5 “Now the end (goal) of the commandments is charity out of a pure (concentrated/focused) heart (mind), and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”

 

Titus 1:15 “Unto the pure (i.e. the concentrated/focused) all things are pure (concentrated/focused): but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure (concentrated/focused); but even their mind and conscience is defiled (with mediocrity and superficiality).”

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Boaz arose that fateful morning and single-mindedly sought to redeem Ruth, he was totally focused on his goal. Ruth, when she left Moav was also totally focused on the God of Avraham, Isaac, and Ya’aqov. When Naomi left Moav, she was totally focused on returning to HaShem and to the land, despite the embarrassment and shame.

 

Today is 10 days of the Omer.

Teferet of Gevurah

Compassion in Discipline

 

25 Nisan - Honor the Wise Person

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

The lack of a teacher.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

1 Timothy 5:17-19 “Let the elders (Hakhamim) that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word (Written Torah) and doctrine (Oral Torah). For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward. Against an elder (Hakham) receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.”

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 13:17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 13:7 “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of HaShem (Torah): whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth said, “Where you go, I will go. Where you lodge, I will lodge, and where you die, I will die”, she exemplified the making of a teacher. When she went out to glean and thereby serve her teacher, she exemplified the service we ought to give to our teacher.

 

Today is 11 days of the Omer.

Netzach of Gevurah

Endurance in Discipline

 

26 Nisan - Work It Through With Friends

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Working Torah alone without a study

 partner.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Avot 1:5 “Provide yourself with a teacher (Rav), get yourself a companion (Chaver).”

 

Kohelet (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.10. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?12. And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

 

So, too are two students paired as colleagues and the third person that strengthens that bond is the teacher. And it is this three-fold cord that can’t be easily broken!

 

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15. And what concord hath Mashiach with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16. And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith HaShem the Almighty.”

 

So first is commitment to Torah (written and oral), second commitment and loyalty to each other, and third equal strength (Don’t put a donkey and an ox together).

 

Philippians 2:19-22 But I trust in the Lord Yeshua to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. 20. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. 21. For all seek their own, not the things which are Yeshua the Mashiach’s. 22. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.”

 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 3:13 “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

 

In other words if my motivation for obtaining a Chaver relationship is to get as much as I can then I am falling into “deceitfulness of sin.”

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: I see this most vividly when Ruth “clung” to Naomi with an oath, for life. It is also visible when Ruth, following Naomi’s and Boaz’s advise, stayed with the young women throughout the harvest.

 

Today is 12 days of the Omer.

Hod of Gevurah

Humility in Discipline

 

27 Nisan - Growth Through Teaching

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Keeping wisdom to oneself.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 28:19-20 “19. [As you] go therefore, teach [Talmudise] all the Gentiles, immersing them into the name (authority) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Shechinah: 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age. Amen.

 

The Authority of the Father

1a) Accept the Yoke of the seven Laws of Noach

1b) Accept the Yoke of the 613 mitsvot

 

The Authority of the Son

2) Take upon oneself the Yoke of the Kingdom of Israel and its King Mashiach.

 

The Authority of the Shechinah

3) Observe the mitsvot so that the Shechinah tabernacles in the individual

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: The Talmud records the conversation between Naomi and Ruth. In this conversation we see Naomi teaching the essential Torah wisdom that Ruth will need to assimilate before they reach Bethlehem. Ruth then verbalized her response in such a way that Naomi knew she understood. This was teaching at its finest.

 

Today is 13 days of the Omer.

Yesod of Gevurah

Bonding in Discipline

 

28 Nisan - Be Deliberate

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Acting hastily.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

1 Luqas (Luke) 14:28-33 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30. Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32. Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

 

To do this we must do four steps of deliberation:

1. Plowing

2. Planting

3. Harvesting

4. Digesting (Benefiting)

 

Seven Tools to become more deliberate in our learning:

1. Frequently Recap

2. Concretize Insights

3. Organize it with intent before speaking

4. Analyze all material

5. Be prepared for all eventualities

6. Distance yourself and give it time to boil

7. Do not procrastinate

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Naomi discouraged Orpah and Ruth from conversion, she was forcing them to deliberate and think carefully.

When Boaz “shuddered” he was taking the time to take control of himself to avoid giving in to his desire. When Naomi waited for three months before seeking a husband for Ruth.

 

Today is 14 days of the Omer.

Malchut of Gevurah

Nobility of Discipline

 

29 Nisan - Something That Is Read

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Living without Torah.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of HaShem, and is profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17. That the man of HaShem may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

 

Nine tools for success with Written Torah:

 

1. Read it and re-read it

2. Learn it (incorporate it into your life)

3. Thoroughly understand it

4. Correlate any differences and resolve them

5. Organize it - Arrange it in your lips

6. Memorize it and review it over and over

7. Integrate it - make new learning part of your reality

8. Update it and be flexible - one size do not fit all human beings nor all circumstances

9. Constantly upgrade - keep it churning over and over

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Boaz awoke in the night, he was able to act properly because he had made Torah a part of his life. When Ruth acted modestly in the field and with kindness towards Naomi, she was living with Torah.

 

Today is 15 days of the Omer.

Hesed of Tiferet

Lovingkindness in Compassion

 

30 Nisan - The Oral Instructions for Living

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Living without oral Torah.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

2 Thessalonians 2:14-15 “Whereunto he called you by our gospel (Mesorah = Oral Torah), to the obtaining of the glory of our Master Yeshua the Messiah. 15. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth acted modestly in the field and with kindness towards Naomi, she was living with the oral Torah given to her by Naomi. At this point she had not had time to review the Written Torah. When Boaz decreed a Moabitess and not a Moabite.

 

Today is 16 days of the Omer.

Gevurah of Tiferet

Discipline in Compassion

 

1 Iyar - Apply Business Acumen to Living

Chief objective of business is to maximize and make a profit. Chief objective of life here and beyond is to maximize and gain wisdom. The objectives are different, the tactics are similar.

 

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Not treating the acquisition of wisdom like the acquisition of money.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

1 Thessalonians 4:11 “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;”

 

Literal version

 

“|5389| to try earnestly |2270| to be quiet, |2532| and |4238| to practice |3588| the |2398| own, |2532| and |2036| to work with |3588| the |2398| own |5495| hands |5216| of you, |2531| as |5213| you |3853| we enjoined,”

 

Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving HaShem;

 

Literal version:

 

|4710| in diligence, |3361| not |3636| slothful. |3588| In |4151| spirit |2204| burning, |3588| the |2962| L-rd |1398| serving.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth left her family, friends, wealth, comfort, and everything else to pursue wisdom in eretz Israel, even to the point of being a gleaner in the fields.

 

Today is 17 days of the Omer.

Tiferet of Tiferet

Compassion in Compassion

 

2 Iyar - Harnessing the Power of Sex

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Sex for the wrong reason.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2. Not so, you fornicators, but let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 3. Let the husband render (heap) unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife (let her heap) unto the husband (sexual satisfaction). 4. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Boaz controlled himself on the threshing floor, he was waiting to consummate his love until all was in order.

 

Today is 18 days of the Omer.

Netzach of Tiferet

Endurance in Compassion

 

3 Iyar - The Use of Physical Pleasure

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failure to use pleasure properly.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

2 Thessalonians 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Boaz had the opportunity to perform the mitzva of yibum, he directed his thoughts of pleasure towards HaShem that he be motivated to act properly and to speedily act to perform the mitzva.

 

Today is 19 days of the Omer.

Hod of Tiferet

Humility in Compassion

 

4 Iyar - Minimize Sleep

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Sleeping too much.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Ephesians 5:14-16 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Mashiach shall give thee light. 15. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: After Boaz was startled in the night, he remained awake to pray, that he maintain his control, and to plan the performance of the mitzva of yibum.

 

Today is 20 days of the Omer.

Yesod of Tiferet

Bonding in Compassion

 

5 Iyar - The Art of Conversation

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to have conversations.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Ephesians 4:25-32 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth (the Torah) with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. 26. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27. Neither give place to the devil. 28. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30. And grieve not the holy Spirit of HaShem (Shechinah), whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as HaShem for Mashiach’s sake hath forgiven you.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: There were three excellent conversations:

  1. Naomi with Ruth on the way.
  2.  Boaz with the servant in change of reaping.
  3. Boaz with Ploni Almoni.

In each of these conversations, the issues are real, deeply spiritual, and profitable to all involved.

 

Today is 21 days of the Omer.

Malchut of Tiferet

Nobility in Compassion

 

6 Iyar - Laugh at Your Troubles

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to deal with tension and anxiety in a humorous way.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

YISTSCHAQ = LAUGHTER

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 21:5-7 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. 6. And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 7. And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

 

1 Luqas (Luke) 6:21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

 

Many times when we read about “laughter” in Scripture, we read it in connection with derision, as Job explains:

 

Iyov (Job) 12:4 “I am as one mocked of his neighbor, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.”

 

Mashiach is therefore not speaking about clean laughter but of deriding laughter - “Happy are you that weep now for sins, and for being derided and oppressed of the Goyim, for in the Olam HaBa you shall have the last laugh.”

 

Actually what we have here is a paraphrase of:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 61:3 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

 

Why were these people in Zion mourning? and when would they turn their mourning and sorrow for joy? They mourned because of their sin, they will rejoice when their sin is removed. And this started with Yitzchak, midway in the Gilgulet and will finish at the second coming of Mashiach. Therefore with Yitzchak the last laugh of the righteous started unfolding. So from Yitzchak to Mashiach is from sacrifice to sacrifice - one for the Jews and the other for the Gentiles.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: In Ruth 4:17, the women proclaimed that a son was born to Naomi, this is HaShem’s response to Naomi’s question of 1:11, where she asks if there are more sons in her womb. This, I believe, is God’s sense of humor in bringing about the impossible. So as absurd as it was, HaShem’s response to Naomi is, “Yes, there are more sons in your womb!”.

 

Today is 22 days of the Omer.

Hesed of Netzach

Lovingkindness in Endurance

 

7 Iyar - Conquering Frustration

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to conquer frustration.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Romans 12:12 “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant (persistent) in prayer;”

 

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

 

1) Revelation 2:7 - “To him that overcomes will I (HaShem) give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of HaShem.” - EAT TORAH

 

2) Revelation 2:11 - “He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.”

 

3) Revelation 2:17 - “To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” - i.e. he that overcomes will be granted to know all the secrets of the Torah and will be fully acquitted when Mashiach comes and will be a whole new creature.

 

4) Revelation 2:26 - “And he that overcomes, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the Gentiles:” - i.e. overcomes will have dominion over the Gentiles with Mashiach.

 

5) Rev. 3:5 - “He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” - i.e. he that overcomes will be like a Levite who is also clothed all in white, and his name will be forever found in the heavenly book of life.

 

6) Rev. 3:12 - “Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”

 

7) Rev. 3:21 - “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

 

8) Revelation 11:7 - “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.”

 

9) Revelation 12:11 - “And they overcame him (the accuser of our brethren) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

 

10) Revelation 13:7 - “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

 

11) Revelation 17:4 - “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”

 

12) Revelation 21:7 - “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”

 

a) Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of HaShem, and have the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah.

 

b) Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience (perseverance, endurance) of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of HaShem, and the faith (Emunah = faithful obedience) of Yeshua.

 

c) Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth told Naomi, in 1:16, to stop telling her to leave, she made her choice emphatic: Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay, where you die, I will die. So emphatic was her answer that Naomi ceased speaking. Thus, Ruth conquered her and discouragement brought on by Naomi’s words.

 

Today is 23 days of the Omer.

Gevurah of Netzach

Discipline in Endurance

 

8 Iyar - A Good Heart

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to have a good heart. Indulging the body rather than the soul.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Tehilim (Psalms) 133:1-3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together and in unity! 2. It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3. As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

 

Good is TOV = BENEFICIAL

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: We see the good heart repeatedly in sefer Ruth. We see it when Ruth followed Naomi and her God, giving up the life of a princess. We see it when Naomi returned to Bethlehem in bitterness and disgrace in order to rebuild her family through Ruth. We see it when Boaz waited to marry Ruth till after Ploni Almoni gave up his rights, thereby losing the pleasure of that moment on the threshing floor.

 

Today is 24 days of the Omer.

Tiferet of Netzach

Compassion in Endurance

 

9 Iyar - Choosing the Right Advisor

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to search for wisdom.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

1 Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles) 22:12 “Only HaShem give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of HaShem your God.”

 

1 Corinthians 6:5 “I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?”

 

Ephesians 5:14-16 “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Mashiach shall give thee light. 15. See then that ye walk circumspectly (accurately, pointedly), not as fools, but as wise, 16. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

 

Those who follow Messiah should be Hakhamim (Rabbis).

 

Pirqe Avot 1:6 Yehoshua ben Prachiah and Nitai HaArbeili received from them (Yossi ben Yoezer and Yossi ben Yochanan). Yehoshua said: Make for yourself a Rav (a teacher); acquire for yourself a friend; and judge every person on the positive side.

 

1 Corinthians 9:24-27: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

 

And in he writes:

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 12:1-3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2. Looking unto Yeshua the author and finisher of our faith (Emunah = faithful obedience); who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of HaShem. 3. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: We see Ruth taking advantage of Naomi’s wisdom when she went to the threshing floor. We see it again when Ruth, following Naomi’s advice, waited for Boaz to tell her what to do.

 

Today is 25 days of the Omer.

Netzach of Netzach

Endurance in Endurance

 

10 Iyar - Accepting Pain

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to accept pain in order to gain pleasure.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 12:1-3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2. Looking unto Yeshua the author and finisher of our faith (Emunah = faithful obedience); who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of HaShem. 3. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: We see this dramatically when Boaz controlled himself on the threshing floor in order to maximize his pleasure in marriage. We see this when Naomi accepted the pain of returning to her former friends in order to enjoy their company and support.

 

Today is 26 days of the Omer.

Hod of Netzach

Humility in Endurance

 

11 Iyar - When to Lead - When to Follow

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Not recognizing your position in every given situation.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

 

3. |3004| I say |1063| For, |1223| through |3588| the |5485| gracious love |1325| given |3427| to me |3956| to everyone |5607| being |1722| among |5213| you, |3361| not |5252| to have high thoughts |3844| beyond |3739| what |1163| is |5426| right to think, |0235| but |5426| to think |1519| to |4993| be sober-minded, |1538| to each |5613| as |3588| - |2316| God |3307| divided |3358| a measure |4102| of faith.

 

This text in Romans strikes a balance between two opposite evils:

- FALSE MODESTY

- MODESTY

- EXCESIVE PRIDE

 

Laodicea was a very democratic congregation. It was ruled by the people themselves the LAOS, which we transliterate into English as Laity. And here came the Nicolaitans who were after the error of Balaam = profit$$$. Now who were these mob of pious fraud$? The secret is in the name. NIKOS = Oppressors, LAITIANS = OF THE LAITY. They were the people who started the paid clergy business, they said that only the clergy had the GNOSIS (Knowledge) of the mysteries. So these were the Nicolaitans = the oppressors of the laity.

 

All of us has a place given to us, and we are called to fill it whether by recognizing a superior and following his lead, or in the absence of that to take the lead. The secret of modesty is to fill well, with enthusiasm and taste the space we have been given in any particular circumstance.

 

Some of the principles in crafting bills of sale according to Jewish Law are derived from two most interesting verses:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 23:17-18 And the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure 18. Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city.

 

Baba Batra 69a/b Principle: - R. Judah HaNasi: “The seller of a field must write a description of the field its monuments and markers” – i.e. the property that is being sold must be described in detail according to its various identifying characteristics.

 

In other words, extrapolating from this principle of bills of sale, it is always important that we define and know well our boundaries and that space or field that we are to occupy, and doing it well and with taste.

 

Now let me ask you a question. Suppose I gave His Honour Paqid Hillel ten acres of land and he said, ‘Oh well I will occupy two acres only which are enough for me, and the rest well HaShem will take care of it’. What is wrong with this attitude?

 

It wastes resources and the fences are also wasted. It squanders the limits of his territory. It does not recognizes the gift.

 

So it is with us with each one of us, we need to know our place, we need to know our gifts, we need to know what are we here for, we need to know where exactly are the boundaries of the space HaShem, Most Blessed be He has given us, and then make sure we occupy every inch of space.

 

Knowing our place is knowing our space what we have to cover and to cover it all as best we can and in good taste. Otherwise we leave spaces for Palestinians to occupy and you know the headache they can cause, I know that by sad experience!

 

But there is a secret here also. To know one’s place, in Ivrit, place = Maqom, which is another designation for HaShem. Therefore to know one’s place is to know one’s role in HaShem’s Kingdom. Yes, if we do not take control of our place, then Laban will creep in and start moving the boundaries no? So, if we do not exploit to the maximum and with great taste that space, we have failed in our destiny.

 

For example, Adam was given a space, Gan Eden and it was a walled orchard. why did Gan Eden have walls? To have a boundary, to delineate the space. So what happened when Adam ceased to cover and have control over his allocated space? Yep, creepy crawlies got in, no respect for walls, eh?

 

So knowing one’s place is not just knowing one’s pecking order, but rather knowing what space we have been allocated and to make sure we cover it with taste, and allow no creepy crawlies to invade that space.

 

One note about fences, and those of you have read my article on Marqos 1:1-2 would have found out, when one makes a protective fence, one does so in order to keep unwanted things out, and wanted things in. In fact the etymology of the word “Paradise“ (Hebrew: Gan) literally means a walled orchard, and Adam was given the responsibility to be vigilant and occupy the space allocated to him.

 

One of the most treasured possessions we have is our own sense of confidence. In order to make sure we do not loose this important Jewel of paradise we need to implement a fence around it, by being totally committed to carry out whatever is it that we have undertaken. To do this, it is wise to break down big goals into small units so that we feed our senses of self-esteem, and self worth often and periodically. For a good and balanced sense of self esteem is the fuel that drives us to greatness, and performing great deeds.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When first questioned by Boaz, Ruth was astounded at the elevation she had received from Boaz. She recognized that she was a stranger (Ruth 2:10), yet Boaz called her “daughter” and treated her with honour. In this case both Ruth and Boaz had correctly understood the situation albeit from totally different perspectives. By her humility, modesty, and chesed, Ruth was able to achieve elevation of her stature.

 

Today is 27 days of the Omer.

Yesod of Netzach

Bonding in Endurance

 

12 Iyar – Happiness

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to be content with the blessings of HaShem.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”.

 

But how does one achieve this contentment? This principle of being content with what we have stems or is rooted in a mode of thinking outlined in:

 

Philippians 4:8 “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

 

So contentment emanates from the thinking the right thoughts. If our thoughts are governed for example by covetousness then we lack happiness and envy and strife flourish. But contentment is that all I need I have, I may be blind and not seeing all the resources that I have at hand, but with HaShem’s help, Most Blessed be He I am content and I will make it.

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: In Ruth 2:14, Boaz gave Ruth a small quantity of parched grain. The text records that Ruth found it sufficient with some left over to share with Naomi. She did not complain that there was no bread, as originally promised (v. 2:14), but was satisfied that she was given SOMETHING to eat. In the text, we read that with this meager amount Ruth was content. Further, when Ruth went to visit the threshing floor, she wore her Sabbath finery. For an important visit, nothing less than the best, will do.

 

Today is 28 days of the Omer.

Malchut of Netzach

Nobility in Endurance

 

13 Iyar - Protect What Is Precious

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to erect a fence to protect ourselves.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

1 Tsefet (Peter) 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

 

Now who is the chief of devils, the one we must watch like a hawk? The Yetzer Hara (our evil inclination) which cause us to:

 

a) misconstrue words and events

b) sets us up on great unachievable pinnacles so that we fall and become demoralized

c) the one who makes sure we waste as much time as possible

d) the one who programs us to failure

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: Ruth exhibited this “way” when she acted modestly in sitting at the table with Boaz and his workers (Ruth 2:14). She carefully chose her seat to be in a position where the workers would not be tempted to stare. She thereby erected a fence against lust.

 

Today is 29 days of the Omer.

Hesed of Hod

Lovingkindness in Humility

 

14 Iyar - The Subtle Traps of Arrogance

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Being arrogant.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Please note, in general, that is the great majority of well educated people are very simple and humble, which is not the case again in general with those with a little bit of knowledge. However, here we need to make a point, a point in Halakhah: Our Halakhah states that a man who does what is being commanded, earns more merit than a man who was not commanded but did it out of his heart. Why would Halakhah say such strange things from a Western point of view? It is well known that a man does NOT want to do what is commanded. It is therefore harder to obey when commanded than when performed without a command.

 

Yes, but at the heart is that the man that did what was commanded, exalted the one who commanded him by his obedience, and this crowning Him in his life whilst the man that did it out of his own heart, crowned himself. That man that was commanded crowned HaShem in His heart! Yet the man that was commanded had to set aside what was good in his own eyes and do what HaShem had commanded and therefore crowned HaShem in His deed.

 

Romans 1:21-32 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23. And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. 24. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: 25. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. 28. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29. Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30. Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31. Without understanding, covenant breaker’s, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32. Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: Ruth was the daughter of one of the richest most powerful men of Moav, namely King Eglon. When she encountered Boaz in the field, she called herself a “stranger”, not a princess, thus acknowledging her true status in Israel. Later, at home with Naomi, she tells Naomi that she helped Boaz by gleaning in his field. Ruth thereby acknowledged that the reward she had given Boaz was greater than the reward she had received that day. This turnabout allowed Ruth to acknowledge her own achievement within her desperate plight of extreme poverty.

 

“More than what the charity giver does for the poor, the poor does for the charity giver.” This lesson, the Midrash Rabbah tells us, we learn from Ruth.

 

Boaz readily greeted every one with courtesy even though he was the Rosh Bet Din (The head of the Sanhedrin).

 

Today is 30 days of the Omer.

Gevurah of Hod

Discipline in Humility

 

15 Iyar - How to be Loved

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to love others.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

1 Yochanan (John) 3:1-24 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 11. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 13. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Yeshua Mashiach, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

 

So as you can see love is emulation of others’ virtues. And the more virtues we can possibly find amongst ourselves the closer we shall be and the more love and respect for each other will be exhibited amongst us.

 

Tehilim (Psalm) 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

 

The more we emulate each other and find virtue in each other the more we will be GAM YACHAD that is ECHAD like HaShem is ECHAD. And so love is the demonstration of the image of HaShem in each of us. And since each one of us is endowed with the image of HaShem, and gifts from HaShem, behold how much virtue we can admire and emulate from each other. The compassion is not borne in us, but is an emulation of the compassion HaShem has had for us.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth went to glean in the field, that first fateful day, she showed her love for her mother-in-law. While most daughters-in-law do NOT get along with their mother-in-law, Ruth showed her love to her mother-in-law by going to glean in an unfamiliar place in order to spare her mother-in-law the shame of gleaning in the fields with those who knew her former status. Ruth not only did all the work, she also gave of her grain to her mother-in-law. She did this because she found much virtue in her mother in law. Indeed, as Naomi gave, so Ruth returned it.

 

Today is 31 days of the Omer.

Tiferet of Hod

Compassion in Humility

 

16 Iyar - The Greatest Pleasure

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to love HaShem.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to HaShem must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

 

How does one “diligently seek Him”? First and foremost: Continual in-depth study of, and preoccupation with matters of Torah, for this is the ultimate purpose of our existence. And worshipping HaShem with the brethren. Note: for prayer to be effective, it either needs to be uttered as an act of desperation or before the brethren in a Minyan. And it must be a Cry, not a whisper! And finally one seeks HaShem through many good deeds of loving-kindness expressing our love for Him. So it is on these three things that we demonstrate that we are diligently seeking HaShem.

 

Romans 12:9-10 “Let love (to HaShem) be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is Ra’a (empty); cleave to that which is Tov (beneficial). Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.”

 

Note that love of HaShem is shown by loving that which is of HaShem (Sages, Father. Mother, Authorities, the Brethren and Creation). Thus Hakham Shaul immediately after commanding to love HaShem he seconds this by saying that we must be “kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love.”

 

So, it is impossible to say that one loves HaShem and yet not obey Father and mother, the Sages, and love the brotherhood.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: Ruth exhibited love of HaShem when she left the palace, and all its pleasures, to be closer to HaShem. Naomi exhibited love of HaShem when she swallowed her pride in order to return to her place. Boaz exhibited love of HaShem when he waited to consummate his marriage, until he had meticulously followed all that the Torah required. When Boaz gave of his own wealth to help Ruth and Naomi, above and beyond what was required, he demonstrated the love of HaShem by loving HaShem’s people.

 

Loving HaShem is the ultimate pleasure!

 

Today is 32 days of the Omer.

Netzach of Hod

Endurance in Humility

 

17 Iyar - The Dynamics of Loving

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failure to love your brother.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

I want to explain how two lovers seem to discover a multitude of virtues within each other, share in these virtues and mimic each other’s virtues.

 

Love of humanity is no different, albeit there is no sexual attraction in it. But nevertheless, there is this innate trait in man which predisposes him to love his fellow-man by enjoying his fellowman’s virtues. This in turn gives us great pleasure as we become truly human and follow in the footsteps of HaShem, of Whom it is said:

 

Yochanan (John) 3:16 “For HaShem so loved the Gentiles, that he gave his only one son (Yeshua & Israel), that whosoever believes in Him (HaShem) should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 

And we may add, how can a man say that he loves HaShem, Whom he cannot see, whilst despising his fellowman whom he can see, and hear his plea to be loved? This is precisely the point made by Hakham Yochanan when he states in:

 

1 Yochanan (John) 3:14-19 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16. Hereby perceive we the love of HaShem, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of HaShem in him? 18. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

 

And please remember:

 

2 Corinthians 9:7 “Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for HaShem loves a cheerful giver.”

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Boaz arranged for his workers to drop extra stalks for Ruth to glean, he was loving his neighbor by not only providing food, but also in doing it in such a way as to avoid shaming Ruth. When Boaz held himself back on the threshing floor, he was demonstrating his love for Ploni Almoni by giving him the opportunity to marry Ruth first.

 

When Naomi arranged for a husband for Ruth, she demonstrated love for Ruth as only a mother could have.

 

When Ruth obeyed the words of Naomi she demonstrated her love of Naomi. When she shared her gleanings with Naomi, she again demonstrated her love. The book of Ruth demonstrates this quality more so than any other quality.

 

Lag B’Omer

Lag BaOmer

 

 

 

Today is 33 days of the Omer.

Hod of Hod

Humility in Humility

 

18 Iyar - Take Pleasure In Fulfilling Your Obligations

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to fulfill our obligations.

 

18 = חי = Life

 

Let me introduce this way by positing the following thoughts from my teacher Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai:

 

1) Israel was forty years in the Sinai Wilderness. HaShem had shown Moshe the Heavenly Tabernacle, or Temple, and had instructed Moshe to make a Tabernacle in the wilderness alike the order of the one shown to him at the mountain. It took one year to build the Tabernacle of Israel, which Israel used as the meeting place of HaShem with them for the remaining thirty-nine years. During those thirty-nine years, Israel spent six years moving about with the Tabernacle dismantled and unused. This brings us to the point that the Tabernacle of Israel was in use as the meeting place for HaShem and His people for exactly thirty-three years of the forty years of the wilderness experience.

 

2) In the Jewish year of 3828 on the ninth day of the month of Av, the Romans destroyed the Temple for the second time. However, Titus, alike Nebuchadnezzar, put Jerusalem under siege on the day of Lag B’Omer.

 

3) When His Majesty King Yeshua was Lag B’Omer in age (thirty-three years of age) his body (temple) was put to death by the Roman execution of the cross.

 

4) When His Majesty King Yeshua was risen from the dead for Lag B’Omer days, He ascended to Heaven.

 

Rabbi Yochanan ben Torta is the author of the well-accepted view that the cause of the destruction of the Second Temple was groundless hatred.[78] We have heard that the students of Rabbi Akiva died because they did not treat one another with respect. Therefore Rav Yochanan is adamant that the cause for the destruction of the Second Temple must be healed before one can speak of a new messianic movement.

 

It is known that we mourn during this period for the 24,000 students of Rebbi Akiva who died because they did not treat one another respectfully. When we study Parashat Balak, we see that Bilaam failed time and again to curse Israel, but rather blessed them. At the very end, before he departed, however, he gave Balak advice on how to really undermine the Jewish people by enticing them to sin with the Midianite women, and incur Hashem’s wrath. Balak took Bilaam’s advice and the result was a plague in which 24,000 people died. It was these same 24,000 souls who reincarnated as Rebbi Akiva’s students and died from Pesach until the 32nd day of the Omer.

 

 

* * *

 

How does WAY #33 – FULFIL YOUR OBLIGATIONS, have to do with Lag B’Omer? After all, we are on the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer in this study and the theme for this day must be related to the day itself! So, what say ye? I believe that when Yeshua ascended, He was fulfilling His obligation to send us a Comforter to instruct us in all wisdom, and therefore triumph over Nebuchadnezzar and Titus, and show that His Temple is still alive and well. It is important that we see Mashiach as a Hakham fulfilling his obligations to his Talmidim no matter what and also fulfilling his obligations towards His people.

 

An example for us to follow. He who does not take care first of the family of HaShem has no right to be a disciple of His Majesty King Yeshua the Messiah. Yes, first the brotherhood and then Israel, and then the world.

 

Here is an illustrative incident from the Nazarean Codicil which in a veiled way illumines the connection between Lag B’Omer and WAY # 33 - FULFILL YOUR OBLIGATIONS:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 8:5-10 And when Yeshua was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6. And saying, Master, my servant lies at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7. And Yeshua says unto him, I will come and heal him. 8. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it. 10. When Yeshua heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

 

One of the chief lessons that we can draw from all of this is that we have no rights, but we do have obligations.

 

Duties vs. Rights

 

Yochanan (John) 4:34Yeshua said unto them, My food is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”

 

Messiah is saying that he did not even have the right to eat whilst his Father’s commandments and will was left undone. Note duties not rights!

 

Yochanan (John) 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

 

Yochanan (John) 14:15,21 “If ye love me, keep my commandments. … He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

 

Yochanan (John) 15:14 “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

 

What is the connection between Lag B’Omer and fulfilling our obligations? We have an obligation to love one another. Baseless hatred came to an end on Lag B’Omer. And it is not an option but a most solemn duty to do so. On the day of Mashiach’s ascension all baseless hatred came to an end to those who love Torah! For on that day Mashiach became appointed King in the Heavens. And thereby dispatching the Shechinah! But this means that on Lag B’Omer of all days we recognize that each other was made in the Image of HaShem, and they could see the Shechinah Tabernacling in each other.

 

The notion of time being like a spiral, with events of a like nature occurring every year at the appointed time is what connects the ascension and the end of the death of R. Akiva’s students. Remember please in Torah nothing happens for no reason and all is interconnected with each other!

 

Please remember that we are working towards Shavuot, the festival of Smikha!

 

* * *

 

II Luqas (Acts) 1:1-4 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Yeshua began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me.

 

Many struggle with the thought that Mashiach could not have ascended on Lag B’Omer because the above passage clearly says that the ascension happened forty days after the resurrection, not 33 days!

 

The best way to understand this anomaly is to understand that II Luqas is written at the Remez level of understanding. At this level we do not interpret things literally, we interpret them according to hints. In this level we ask the question: What does forty represent? We find that forty is associated with a “new birthtype experience. It is the time period which is used when there is a dramatic change in life. For example: A fetus becomes a baby in forty weeks. Moses changed from a prince to a shepherd after forty years. And after another forty years he changed from a shepherd into a king!

 

Mashiach’s life was transformed on Lag B’Omer. His Majesty made the change from Mashiach ben Yosef to Mashiach ben David. This change was also understood to be the change of the people of Israel because when Mashiach changes, we change. Mashiach=Israel.

 

Thus we understand that we are not taking this forty days as a literal, but as a hint the change that Mashiach, and therefore the Jewish people, are undergoing.

 

* * *

 

Some thoughts:

 

Mashiach rose from the dead on the third day two days after the first night of Passover, Nisan 17.

 

Mashiach ascended three days after Pesach Sheni, the second Passover, Iyar 18.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: Boaz had an obligation to give Ploni Almoni the opportunity to marry Ruth. He met this obligation in the face of great difficulty.

 

Boaz had a responsibility to marry Ruth. He carried out this responsibility with alacrity.

 

Boaz had a responsibility to provide for Naomi and Ruth in a way that would not shame them. He did this in an excellent manner.

 

Naomi had an obligation to find Ruth a husband. She fulfilled this responsibility with great wisdom.

Ruth had a responsibility to help the poor, even though she herself was poor. She fulfilled this responsibility when she provided for the needs of Naomi from her own work.

 

HaShem had the responsibility of bringing Boaz to the field where Ruth labored in order for them to become acquainted. He did this and then wrote: “It came to pass”.

 

HaShem had a responsibility to bring Ploni Almoni to the gate in order to enable Ruth and Boaz to beget kings. He did this and then wrote: “It came to pass”.

 

Today is 34 days of the Omer.

Yesod of Hod

Bonding in Humility

 

19 Iyar - Using Your Inner Guide

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to use our inner guide.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Judaism’s view of education is that no one can ever teach anyone anything “new.” They can only help you remember what you already intuitively know. The Talmud explains this for us:

 

Nidah 30b R. Simlai delivered the following discourse: What does an embryo resemble when it is in the bowels of its mother? Folded writing tablets. Its hands rest on its two temples respectively, its two elbows on its two legs and its two heels against its buttocks. Its head lies between its knees, its mouth is closed and its navel is open, and it eats what its mother eats and drinks what its mother drinks, but produces no excrements because otherwise it might kill its mother. As soon, however, as it sees the light the closed organ opens and the open one closes, for if that had not happened the embryo could not live even one single hour. A light burns above its head and it looks and sees from one end of the world to the other, as it is said, then his lamp shined above my head, and by His light I walked through darkness. And do not be astonished at this, for a person sleeping here might see a dream in Spain. And there is no time in which a man enjoys greater happiness than in those days, for it is said, O that I were as the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me; now which are the days’ that make up ‘months’ and do not make up years? The months of pregnancy of course. It is also taught all the Torah from beginning to end, for it is said, And he taught me, and said unto me: ‘Let thy heart hold fast my words, keep my commandments and live’, and it is also said, When the converse of God was upon my tent. Why the addition of ‘and it is also said’? — In case you might say that it was only the prophet who said that, come and hear ‘when the converse of God was upon my tent. As soon as it, sees the light an angel approaches, slaps it on its mouth (making the dent in the upper lip) and causes it to forget all the Torah completely, as it is said, Sin coucheth at the door.

 

As Hakham Shaul also alludes to this in:

 

Romans 1:18-20 “For the wrath of HaShem is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustices of men, who suppress the truth (the Torah) in injustice; 19. Because that which may be known of HaShem is manifest in them; for HaShem has shown it to them. 20. For the invisible things of Him (HaShem) from the creation of the world are clearly seen (perceived), being understood (from logical deduction) by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

 

Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this (Gentile) world: but you be transformed by the (constant) renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that beneficial, and acceptable, and perfect, will of HaShem.”

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth left her home; she was not following conventional wisdom. When she returned, in poverty, to the Promised Land, she was not following conventional wisdom. Except HaShem called and she obeyed, she would never have become the mother of royalty.

 

Today is 35 days of the Omer.

Malchut of Hod

Nobility in Humility

 

20 Iyar - Love Criticism

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to appreciate and to act on criticism.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Criticism is usually seen as a personal attack. But imagine what an Olympic athlete willingly endures from coaches just for the sake of a simple medal, some personal recognition, and fame. To reach one’s full potential; one needs to seek constructive criticism. Hakham Shaul put it this way in:

 

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one received the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: Ruth told Naomi: “He even said to me, ‘Stay close to my young men until they have finished the harvest.’” Naomi corrected Ruth: “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that you be not molested in another field.” In the end, Ruth caught the hint and followed after the maidens of Boaz.

 

Today is 36 (Thirty-six) days of the Omer.

Hesed of Yesod

Lovingkindness in Bonding

 

21 Iyar - Handling Social Pleasure

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to handle social pressure properly.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Romans 12 2-3 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of HaShem, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 3. For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which HaShem has assigned him.

 

Literal Bible with Strong’s has:

 

2. |2532| And |3361| not |4964| be conformed |0165| to age |5129| this, |0235| but |3339| be transformed |3588| by the |0342| renewing |3588| of the |3563| mind |5216| of you, |1519| to |1381| prove |5209| you |5101| what |3588| the |2307| will |3588| of |2316| HaShem, |3588| the |0018| good |2532| and |2101| well-pleasing |2532| and |5046| perfect.

 

3. |3004| I say |1063| For, |1223| through |3588| the |5485| gracious love |1325| given |3427| to me |3956| to everyone |5607| being |1722| among |5213| you, |3361| not |5252| to have high thoughts |3844| beyond |3739| what |1163| is |5426| right to think, |0235| but |5426| to think |1519| to |4993| be sober-minded, |1538| to each |5613| as |3588| - |2316| HaShem |3307| divided |3358| a measure |4102| of faith.

 

The Catholic New Jerusalem Bible thus translates:

 

2. Do not model your behaviour on the contemporary world, but let the constant renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of HaShem, what is good and acceptable and mature.

 

3. And through the grace that I have been given, I say this to every one of you: never pride yourself on being better than you really are, but think of yourself dispassionately, recognizing that HaShem has given to each one his measure of faith.

 

“but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” - Please note in both Greek and Hebrew the present tense indicates an action that is thought of as continuing ad infinitum, thus all Hebrew and Greek present tenses should really be translated where possible by the English present continuous tense, and the same goes for the imperative tense. “Be transformed” is thus better rendered “Be CONTINUALLY transformed.”

 

How does one renew one’s mind constantly? One needs to know exactly what the good and the acceptable and the perfect will of HaShem is for whatever circumstance. One needs to also study with precision what the Torah demands. Remember that it is written: My people dies/starve because of lack of precise knowledge of the Torah.

 

Now verse three hints that honour is INTERDEPENDENT and so vv. 4-5 in the same translations render:

 

4. Just as each of us has various parts in one body, and the parts do not all have the same function: 5. in the same way, all of us, though there are so many of us, make up one body in Messiah, and as different parts we are all joined to one another.

 

Since and because of the interdependence of our gifts, there is therefore no reason to be “high-minded” of “arrogant” or possessed of “false/unhealthy pride”.

 

I have often spoken to my talmidim about how we can understand the spiritual, from the physical. For example: The circuits in a brain are very complex all needs to be in exactly the right order. Can we expect anything less from the way the unseen spiritual world behaves? Further, if we expect to die when we jump from 20 stories up, why would we expect to be unhurt when we sin? I suggest that we can understand more of the spiritual world by examining the physical.

 

Our Torah learning must be done with precision, and preparing ourselves to have the equivalent training in Torah, of a brain surgeon.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth went to glean in the fields, she paid no attention to the fact that a princess “does not glean”.

 

When she uncovered the feet of Boaz, she paid no attention to the scandalous situation that Naomi asked her to put herself in.

 

When Boaz agreed to marry Ruth in front of the Sanhedrin, he paid no attention to the potential “tongue waggers” who would ridicule him for marrying a non-Jew, and a Moabite at that.

 

Naomi ignored what the people would say when she returned to Beit Lechem. She knew that her friends would say, “Is this Naomi?”

 

Please note that this woman was being groomed to be the wife of a leading Halakhic authority in Israel, A PRINCE of Israel, and she needed to know more Halakhah than any other woman. There was extensive and precise Torah study with Naomi, to groom her to be a Princess in Israel. Conversion to Judaism, to real Judaism, is not for illiterates.

 

Today is 37 days of the Omer.

Gevurah of Yesod

Discipline in Bonding

 

22 Iyar - How Never to be Bored

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Being bored.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

CONSTANCY in Torah:

 

Catholic New Jerusalem Bible:

 

Romans 12:2 “Do not model your behaviour on the contemporary world, but let the constant renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of HaShem, what is good and acceptable and mature.”

 

CONSTANCY in Benevolence:

 

Galatians 6:6-10 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7. Be not deceived; HaShem is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

 

And the Catholic New Jerusalem Bible translates:

 

Galatians 6:6-10 When someone is under instruction in doctrine, he should give his teacher a share in all his possessions. 7. Don’t delude yourself: HaShem is not to be fooled; whatever someone sows, that is what he will reap. 8. If his sowing is in the field of self-indulgence, then his harvest from it will be corruption; if his sowing is in the Spirit, then his harvest from the Spirit will be eternal life. 9. And let us never slacken in constantly doing good; for if we do not give up, we shall have our harvest in due time. 10. So then, as long as we have the opportunity let all our actions be for the good of everybody, and especially of those who belong to the household of the faith.

 

CONSTANCY in profession:

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

 

And the Catholic New Jerusalem Bible translates:

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 10:23-25 Let us keep constantly firm in the hope we profess, because the one who made the promise is trustworthy. 24. Let us be constantly concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works. 25. Do not absent yourself from your own assemblies, as some do, but encourage each other; the more so as you see the Day drawing near.

 

Therefore, a constancy in profession is demonstrated by:

 

1.         Constantly remain faithful to those we believe in.

 

2.         Constantly being concerned for each other.

 

3.         Meeting regular with each other at the Synagogue, Constantly strengthening and encouraging one another.

 

Thus we are commanded to be CONSTANT in

  1. Torah study
  2. Benevolence
  3. Profession of the faith

 

And finally:

 

1 Luqas (Luke) 14:34-35 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35. It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 

Or as the Catholic New Jerusalem Bible translates:

 

1 Luqas (Luke) 14:34-35 `Salt is a good thing. But if salt itself loses its taste, what can make it salty again? 35. It is good for neither soil nor manure heap. People throw it away. Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!”

 

So there is no time in our lives left for commiseration or to be bored as I see it. Otherwise we have lost our flavor and become worthless salt.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Naomi stayed home, she could have been bored, but instead she used her time to seek the wisdom of HaShem as to how to help Machlon’s spirit and Ruth to find a husband. This time in Torah, was the key to her wisdom and to the excellence of her advice. It is also obvious that Naomi spent a great deal of time and effort in her Torah studies, with the goal towards teaching Ruth how to act with modesty and excellence in the ways of Torah.

 

We see this also in Ruth’s gleaning all day and then coming home to study Torah with Naomi. How else would she have had such wisdom and modesty?

 

Today is 38 days of the Omer.

Tiferet of Yesod

Compassion in Bonding

 

23 Iyar - The Art of making Decisions

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to make responsible decisions.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

1 Luqas (Luke) 14:25-35 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30. Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32. Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 34. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35. It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 

When we make decision we need to take very much into consideration the following three key texts: (vv. 26, 27. and 33)

 

Lit. Bible:

 

26. |1536| if anyone |2064| comes |4314| to |3165| me, |2532| and |3756| not |3404| love less |3588| the |3962| father |1438| of him |2532| and |3588| the |3384| mother, |2532| and |3588| the |1135| wife, |2532| and |3588| the |5043| children, |2532| and |3588| the |0080| brothers, |2532| and |3588| the |0079| sisters, |2089| besides |1161| and |2532| even |3588| the |1438| of himself |5590| soul, |3756| not |1410| he is able |3450| of me |3101| a disciple |1511| to be!

 

“If anyone who comes to me without willing to put the love of me and my work first that that of his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, will not be able to be a Talmid of me.”

 

Second factor:

 

Lit. Bible:

 

27. |2532| And |3783| who |3756| not |0941| does carry |3588| the |4716| cross |0846| of him |2532| and |2064| comes |3694| after |3450| me, |3756| not |1410| he is able |3450| of me |1511| to be |3101| a disciple!

 

“No one who does not carry his cross (is not willing to suffer insult, reproach, persecution and even death for my authority’s sake) and come after me can be my Talmid.”

 

If Mashiach would be here would He do this or take this decision? If it is not good for Him it is not good for me either.

 

Last factor:

 

Lit. Bible:

 

33. |3779| So, |3767| therefore, |3956| everyone |1537| of |5216| you |3739| who |3756| not |0657| does abandon |3956| to all |3588| the |1439| of himself |5224| possessions |3756| not |1410| is able |3450| of me |1511| to be |3101| a disciple.

 

“So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple without forsaking all that he owns (as his).”

 

In other words, does this particular decision transfers ownership of possession from HaShem to me? If it does then it is not the right decision.

 

Are my business decisions promoting the Government of HaShem and its justice? Are my business decisions absolutely ethical according to Torah? Even if I bear shame or loss for being absolutely ethical? For who am I running this business? For me or for HaShem? Am I running this business for a new sports car, or for the furtherance of HaShem’s Government and His Justice?

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Naomi decided to return to Beit Lechem, she was correcting the bad decision of her husband.

 

When Ruth considered whether to follow after The Eternal or remain with the temporal in Moab, she was making a responsible decision with ramifications that would echo till the end of time.

 

When Boaz decided to marry Ruth, he considered well the ramifications. In so doing, he founded a dynasty of kings that led to the enthronement of Mashiach!

 

Today is 39 days of the Omer.

Netzach of Yesod

Endurance in Bonding

 

24 Iyar - Sensitivity to Others

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to be sensitive to others.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

1 Yochanan (John) 3:16-17 Hereby perceive we the love of HaShem, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of HaShem in him?

 

Lit. Bible:

 

16. |1722| By |5129| this |1097| we have known |3588| the |0026| love |2316| of God, |3754| because |1565| that |9999| {one} |5228| for |2257| us |3588| the |5590| soul |0846| of him |5087| laid down. |2532| And |2249| we |3784| ought |5228| on behalf |3588| of the |0080| brothers |3588| the |5590| should |5087| to lay down. 17. |1161| - |3739| Who- |0302| ever |2192| has |3588| the |0979| means of life |3588| of the |2889| world, |2532| and |2334| observes |3588| the |0080| brother |0846| of him |5532| need |2192| having, |2532| and |2808| shuts up |3588| the |4698| feelings |0846| of him |0575| from |0846| him, |4459| how |3588| the |0026| love |2316| of God |3306| remains |1722| in |0846| him?

 

Strong’s Ref. # 4698 - Pronounced splangkh’-non

 

probably strengthened from splen (the “spleen“); an intestine (plural); figuratively, pity or sympathy:

 

KJV--bowels, inward affection, + tender mercy.

 

The New Revised Standard Version renders:

 

16. We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us--and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17. How does HaShem’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister {Gk [brother]} in need and yet refuses help?

 

In other words, we are not called to express just sympathy for the brethren, but empathy which is much stronger. We need to feel their pain and sorrow, we need to attune ourselves to their burden, and lastly we need to prescribe what is needed.

 

This text of Yochanan is quite clear that the empathy must be inwardly and must mimic in intensity the other fellows pain or suffering.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Boaz asked Ruth to stay and glean exclusively in his field, he was empathizing with her plight and doing everything he could to protect her and to provide for her and her mother-in-law, without trampling on their pride.

 

When Boaz asked Ruth to remain the night on the threshing floor, he was being sensitive to Ruth’s feelings of rejection. In asking her to stay, he was communicating acceptance, not rejection. When he hastened to accomplish his marriage, he was being sensitive to the fact that Ruth would be in great turmoil until it was resolved.

 

Today is 40 days of the Omer.

Hod of Yesod

Humility in Bonding

 

25 Iyar - Make Your Help Count

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to make others meritorious.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

 

25. |3361| not |1459| abandoning |3588| the |1997| assembling |1438| of ourselves, |2531| as |9999| {the} |1485| custom |5100| of some |9999| {is}, |0235| but |3870| exhorting, |2532| and |5118| by so much |3123| more |3745| as |0991| you see |1448| coming close |3588| the |2250| Day.

 

Strong’s Ref. # 1997 - Romanized episunagoge

 

Pronounced ep-ee-soon-ag-o-gay’

 

from GSN1996; a complete collection; especially a Jewish meeting (for worship):

 

KJV--assembling (gathering) together.

 

Strong’s Ref. # 3870 - Romanized parakaleo Pronounced par-ak-al-eh’-o

 

from GSN3844 and GSN2564; to call near, i.e. invite, invoke (by imploration, strengthening or consolation):

 

KJV--beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort(-ation), intreat, pray.

 

LATIN:

 

COMFORT -> COM FORTIA -> strengthening, or giving strength to another EXHORTATION -> EX FORTIA -> fortifying another, placing force on another

 

Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”

 

Lit. Bible:

 

10. |5360| In brotherly love |1519| to |0240| one another |5387| loving fervently. |5092| In honour |0240| each other |4285| showing deference

 

New American Standard Bible:

 

10. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honour;

 

The Catholic New Jerusalem Bible:

 

10. In brotherly love let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression and regard others as more important than yourself.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth fell on her face before Boaz because of his unexpected kindness, she asked why Boaz had noticed her. Boaz proceeded to enumerate what he had been told of Ruth’s exceedingly great merit. He said, “It has been fully related to me all that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth and went to a people that you did not know yesterday or the day before.”

 

When the people blessed Boaz and Ruth, at their wedding, they purposely chose words and events that would emphasize the great deeds of Boaz and of Ruth in imitating their great and illustrious ancestors.

 

Today is 41 days of the Omer.

Yesod of Yesod

Bonding in Bonding

 

26 Iyar - Getting Into Reality

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failure to embrace reality.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

One of the most interesting words used in Greek in the Nazarean Codicil is the word “ANUPOKRITOS” which is a combination of the negative particle “AN” meaning “NOT” like for example “Anabaptists” meaning “Not Baptists” (of infants) and the word “UPOKRITOS” from where we get the Greek transliterated word into English as “Hypocrite.” The term “UPOKRITOS is translated in the Authorized Version as “unfeigned” as in:

 

2 Corinthians 6:4-6 But in all things approving ourselves as the servants of HaShem, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5. In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6. By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned (for HaShem),

 

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.

 

2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

 

1 Tsefet (Peter) 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

 

What do we mean in 2 Corinthians 6:6 “unfeigned love for HaShem”? What happens between a man and a woman if the spark of love has cooled down, and become stale? The Hakhamim have a saying: When one puts an ISH (man of substance) with an ISHAH (woman of worth) together what results is ESH - FIRE! So, if the ESH is missing then what we have is love of convenience or what is more British “feigned” love. And the same goes with HaShem, he/she who wants to be a servant of HaShem, must experience this ESH fire from Heaven in her life regularly as fresh and as powerful as the day before at least or more!

 

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.

 

Now please note one this is faith unfeigned and another is unfeigned faith. What is faith unfeigned? It says that faith unfeigned is the end of the Torah - End = Goal.

 

In Hebrew, Faith = EMUNAH, which is better translated as FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE. For without FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE it is impossible to please HaShem. FAITH IS DYNAMIC! ACTION please! So, in 1 Timothy 1:5 it says that the Goal of the Torah is UNFEIGNED FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE. Now how can we distinguish between feigned Faithful Obedience and the unfeigned one? The real one is full of mistakes, but it has tons of fun and zeal and action and contagious enthusiasm! It is explosive!

 

2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

 

Now what is unfeigned faith? Contagion that is constant and endures over generations. Something that is so real your children continue the faith. This is what we call unfeigned loyalty over time. Timothy was loyal because of the loyalty to Torah that his grand mother and mother stilled in him.

 

1 Tsefet (Peter) 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

 

We Nazarean Jews may have many errors, but one which no one should be able to accuse us of should be our absolute devotion and love for the brethren and the brotherhood. Love of the brethren is the essential trait of a follower of His Majesty King Yeshua the Messiah.

 

Thus we have:

  1. Unfeigned love for HaShem
  2. Faith Unfeigned
  3. Unfeigned faith, and
  4. Unfeigned love of the brethren

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth leaves the palace in Moav, she is leaving the illusion. While it may provide for her immediate physical needs, it would have no effect on the world and would leave her life meaningless. In seeking to follow the ways of HaShem, she set herself on the path of the ultimate reality.

 

When Elimelech left eretz Israel in order to preserve his wealth, he failed to understand that his wealth had reality only because he spent it on the needs of those HaShem loves.

 

Today is 42 days of the Omer.

Malchut of Yesod

Nobility in Bonding

 

27 Iyar - Achieving Peace Of Mind

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to have peace of mind.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

In Hebrew, one of the shortest and most meaningful prayer consists but of one word - SHALOM! And we use this word upon greeting another human being. Shalom is often translated as “peace” but in fact means much more.

 

Here are some texts that can give us a hint of the full meaning of this Hebrew word:

 

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace (Shalom) of HaShem rule in your hearts (minds), to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

 

Question: What is the “Shalom of HaShem”? The Shalom of HaShem is intended to rule over our minds, so , it must be an instrument that rules our minds and hearts. What instrument has HaShem given us to rule our minds and hearts? Torah and Mitzvot! So then the Shalom of HaShem is having His Torah rule our minds. Why should we be thankful to have this Shalom of HaShem reigning in our hearts/minds? So that the Yetzer hara (our evil inclination) does not rule over us. So, a person who has the Shalom of HaShem (His Torah) in his mind and heart, is a person free from the Yetzer Hara, and thus a very happy person.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in HaShem, and admonish you; 13. And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace (Shalom) among yourselves.

 

What does it mean to have Shalom in this context? It means no infighting and struggle to be the boss. Because we have come to the realization that we each have different gifts that complement each other and without even one of us the whole body is in pain and crook and does not function well. Shalom in the body, means the ability to work together and complement each other, like in an orchestra under the direction of a skilled master.

 

Ya’aqov 3:13-18 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18. And the fruit of righteousness (JUSTICE) is sown in peace (Shalom) of them that make peace (Shalom).

 

What does SHALOM means in this context? The ability to get along with each other in a way that recognizes the value in each member.

 

 A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Naomi stated that Boaz would not rest until he had accomplished Ruth’s redemption, she demonstrated the peace of mind which comes from a clear understanding of the ways of HaShem and His people. As she taught this principle to Ruth, she demonstrated that this peace could be taught and that it was real. When Boaz earnestly completed the redemption of Ruth, that same day, he demonstrated that Naomi’s peace of mind was well founded in reality.

 

When Ruth persisted, in spite of Naomi’s three discouragements, she demonstrated peace of mind in her desire for the Torah walk. So firm was her peace that even Naomi desisted from her discouragements.

 

Today is 43 days of the Omer.

Hesed of Malchut

Lovingkindness in Nobility

 

28 Iyar - Being Fascinated with Living

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to be fascinated by life.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Another interesting Greek word used often in the Nazarean Codicil to translate the Hebrew: “Simcha” - English: Joy, Contentment, is the Greek word “XARA” pronounced “Chara,” which is allied to the word “XARIS.” The Greek word “Chara” translated as “Joy” comes from the root “Charis” meaning “a gift” or “a grace.” That is, Joy and contentment are not natural because human nature is bent into coveting. But HaShem’s gift is “Joy” and “Contentment”!

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

 

Ya’aqov (James) 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.

 

So we have:

a)         contentment the Divine antidote to covetousness;

b)         Joy the fruit of obedience;

c)         Joy the fruit of being able to withstand temptation to sin and prove one’s faithfulness.

 

No wonder the world has so little “Joy” and “contentment”. Another interesting word in English is the term “ENTHUSIASM” which comes from a transliteration of two Greek words combined into one - “EN” - meaning “in” or “within” and “THEOS” meaning HaShem. Thus ENTHUSIASM means exactly HaShem within, or even better HaShem’s fire creatively burning within!

 

In this gate we are called to approach life with full ENTHUSIASM. For if we obey we will reap Joy, if we are successful in withstanding temptation we will reap Joy, and if we do not covet we will reap contentment. Frankly anyone who is bored is missing something. And anyone with no Joy and Contentment in his/her life has a big PROBLEM. Indeed, the most joyful and content person is the one whose delight is in the Torah of HaShem, and in His Torah meditates and reflects day and night! - Psalms 1:2

 

 A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Boaz came to the field, after the death of his wife, he immediately became fascinated by Ruth as she manifested the Torah trait of modesty. Paying attention to the beautiful Moabite princess would earn him the ire of his employees. His fascination by the people in his field was the beginning of a beautiful relationship that would bear the fruit of Kings.

 

Today is 44 days of the Omer.

Gevurah of Malchut

Discipline in Nobility

 

29 Iyar - How to Analyze an Issue

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to analyze the issues.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Another interesting word appearing in the Nazarean Codicil is the term “DIAKRINO” and which is connected to such English words as criticism or critical thinking. “DIAKRINO” is translated as “discern” but really means taking something and pulling it apart into minute pieces and thoroughly examine each component. Let us see how this word is used:

 

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man received not the things of the spirit of HaShem: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (critically examined).

 

Literal Translation with Strong’s Numbers: 14. |5591| a natural |1161| But |0444| man |3756| not |1209| receives |3588| the things |4151| of {the} Spirit |3588| of |2316| God. |3472| foolishness |1063| For |0846| to him |2076| they are |2532| and |3756| not |1410| he is able |1097| to know, |3754| because |4153| spiritually |0350| they are critically examined

 

Catholic New Jerusalem Bible:

14. The natural person has no room for the gifts of HaShem’s spirit; to him they are folly; he cannot recognize them, because their value can be critically assessed only in the Spirit.

 

Notice that spiritual discernment uses much gray matter, and spiritual discernment that does not use abundant gray matter is not discernment but babbling. A “natural man” is an unrefined man, a boor, an ignoramus, a hee haw man.

 

1 Corinthians 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning [the Lord’s*] body. * not in original text - Christian interpolation

 

Literal Translation with Strong’s Numbers:

29. |3588| he |1063| For |2068| eating |2532| and |4095| drinking |0371| in an unworthy manner |2917| condemnation |1438| to himself |2068| eats |2532| and |4095| drinks, |3361| not |1252| critically examining |3588| the |4983| body.

 

The Catholic New Jerusalem Bible:

 

28. Everyone is to examine himself and only then eat of the bread or drink from the cup; 29. because a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the body is eating and drinking his own condemnation. 30. That is why many of you are weak and ill and a good number have died. 31. If we were critical of ourselves we would not be condemned, 32. but when we are judged by the L-rd, we are corrected by the L-rd to save us from being condemned along with the world.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: Naomi tested Ruth’s sincerity by posing a series of logical questions. The answers, from an equally perceptive Ruth, revealed a, ratzon, a deep seated desire to serve HaShem. Naomi’s persistence in determining the depth of Ruth’s desire indicated that Naomi had properly analyzed the issues.

 

When Naomi asked Ruth, a woman renowned for her modesty, to go into a man’s bedroom and uncover his feet and then lie next to the man, she demonstrated an extremely provocative analyses of history and of Torah conduct (Lot’s eldest daughter did the same with her father). This extremely immodest behaviour was designed to cause Boaz to analyze the circumstances to determine that there was a “dove” (the gilgul of Lot’s eldest daughter – destined to build a dynasty of kings) at his feet. When he recognized this “dove”, he immediately began analyzing what it would take to become a part of this “dove”.

 

Today is 45 days of the Omer.

Tiferet of Malchut

Compassion in Nobility

 

1 Sivan - Expanding Your Ideas

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to expand ideas.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Again, another most interesting word appearing in the Nazarean Codicil is the Greek word “LOGIKOS” (pronounced Lo-hee-kos) and which be translated either as “Reasonable” or “of the Word.” Let us see this most interesting word in action.

 

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of HaShem, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto HaShem, which is your reasonable service.

 

Literal Translation with Strong’s Numbers:

1. |3870| I beg, |3767| Therefore, |5209| you, |0080| brothers, |1223| through |3588| the |3628| compassion |3588| of |2316| HaShem, |3936| to present |3588| the |4983| body |5216| of you |2378| sacrifice |2198| a living, |0040| holy, |2101| well-pleasing |3588| to |2316| HaShem, |3588| the |3050| logical |2999| service |5216| of you.

 

Service to HaShem, must be thoroughly reasoned out and in a logical manner - i.e. reasonable and/or logical in order to prevent chaos and disharmony.

 

1 Tsefet 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

 

Literal Translation with Strong’s Numbers:

2. |5613| like |0738| newborn |1025| babies, |3588| the |3050| logical, mental |0097| pure |1051| milk |1971| intensely crave |3754| that |1722| by |0846| it |0837| you may grow.

 

Please note that most new translation except the King James have “spiritual” instead of the correct Greek word “logical” or “mental”, however the KJV is correct.

 

Now to understand what we mean by the “mental word/law“ as opposed to the “written word”. In Greek and Latin languages as well as Latin-derived languages a “mental word/law” is one which is committed to memory or tradition but not to paper, and thus equivalent to what the English calls the “Oral Law“! Now this Oral Law is the product of Logical thinking and reasoning, and thus most suitable to promote growth. Thus this verse is more aptly translated as:

 

“Like newborn babies, the pure and logical Oral Torah, like milk, intensely crave after, that by it you may grow.”

 

We need to be extremely careful that we are drinking pure and uncontaminated and logical milk, and not some poison. And this the obligation of every person. This is why Israel is called the Land flowing with milk and honey.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth followed Naomi’s instructions on that fateful night. She carefully analyzed the intent, and then she expanded on the ideas to make them work correctly. So while Naomi said to get dressed and then go, Ruth went and then dressed. Her analyses prevented undo problems as she traveled.

 

When Ruth responded to Naomi’s questions on the road, she expanded the ideas to demonstrate to Naomi that she had internalized the questions and modified her life to coincide with her answers.

 

Today is 46 days of the Omer.

Netzach of Malchut

Endurance in Nobility

 

2 Sivan - Learn In Order To Teach

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to teach what you have learned.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

2 Timothy 2:2 “and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.” - King James Version

 

Literal Version with Strong’s Numbers:

 

|2532| And |3739| what |0191| things |3844| you heard |1700| from me |1223| through |4183| many |3144| witnesses, |5023| these things |3908| commit (entrust) |4103| to faithful (trustworthy) |0444| men, |3748| who |2425| competent |2071| will be |2532| also |2087| others |1321| to teach.

 

“… you heard from me through many witnesses” - not that there were many witnesses when Hakham Shaul taught Timothy, but rather that what he taught were things for which at that time were many witnesses. Also note that what is commanded is not to teach that what is written, but rather that which “you heard” - i.e. the Oral Torah.

 

“… these things entrust” - The Greek word PARATHU - Strong’s Ref. # 3908 from the Greek verb par-at-ith’-ay-mee - from GSN3844 and GSN5087; means: to place alongside, i.e. present (food, truth); by implication, to deposit (as a trust or for protection): and translated as commit, entrust. Note that the original meaning is to place along-side which perfectly describes the Oral Torah which along-side the Written Torah.

 

He was to teach these to “trustworthy,” and/or “reliable” men. In other words the Oral Torah is not for people who are not “trustworthy” or “reliable.” In fact experience tells me that as soon as one starts teaching Oral Torah and making demands based on those teachings to conform to them sooner or later one can see that rebellion starting to surface and sooner or latter we are faced with that person rejecting in part or in total, Jewish Oral Law. This showing, that deep within them they were neither “trustworthy” or “reliable” to start up with. This is why I like to throw people into the relatively deep end and watch how they react, for their reaction within a few weeks will tell me what kind of metal I have before me to work with.

 

But not only, “trustworthy and reliable men” but also “COMPETENT.” The term in Greek - (Strong’s Ref. # 2425) “hikanos” comes from “hiko” [hikano or hikneomai, akin to GSN2240] (to arrive); competent (as if coming in season). In other words a “competent” person is who has arrived at a certain level of knowledge and understanding, and also has matured in his knowledge and spiritual walk. There are various levels of competency in Judaism with regards to Torah knowledge, there is that of Chazzan (Chantor), that of Moreh (school teacher), that of Sofer (scribe) and that of Hakham (Rabbi) and within the Hakham category there is also various levels of Smikhah, with that of Dayan (Judge) and Rosh Yeshivah (Dean of a Rabbinical Academy) as the highest. Since, Timothy was a young man still it appears that Hakham Shaul was having in mind either the certification as Chazzan (Chantor) or Moreh (Hebrew/Torah School Teacher which can also teach converts under the direction of a Hakham).

 

A trustworthy person is a person that can keep secrets and also one who is reliable over time.

 

So, it is obvious that these men even then had to undergo a period of instruction and meet a certain criteria before being certified as such.

 

In modern education we have various forms of assessment, one which has become at present much in vogue, particularly in technical colleges, is what we call competency based assessment. It is the same form of assessment that we use with regards to driving licenses. There are no marks - i.e. one can’t have High Honours in driving cars. The criteria is either “pass” or “fail” - the person is either “competent” or “incompetent” in whatever skill of body of knowledge. This is important and vital for us and the Bet Din that the men were not at the “Pass” or “Honours” level of Halakhic knowledge but the text says that they were just COMPETENT. Tests for licensing or conversion should also be graded on that basis - COMPETENT or not.

 

And of course the object of this “competency” is the ability to teach others without omitting anything and in an unbroken chain as Jewish Orthodoxy has done for many thousands of years. How good and how strict we are at maintaining competency levels and in what subject matters will determine our own survival as Nazarean Orthodox Jews. It is obvious that many Nazarean Jews joined their Jewish Orthodox brethren because of lack of COMPETENT Torah Teachers which lacked the minimum of competencies, and with it came the demise of the Nazarean movement.

 

The basic cause for this lack of competency, is because of a shift of focus in the leadership. From a focus on building up the living stones to one of building up deadly stones and bigger congregations and sausage factories. It seems to me that a quick perusal of 1 Tsefet (Peter) 2:5 makes it clear where our priorities should lie - “… and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to HaShem through Yeshua the Messiah.”

 

A “trustworthy” and “reliable” man of HaShem should at least try his best to become a certified Torah Teacher at whatever level, and personally disciple at least “ten“ other “trustworthy” or “reliable” men - as it is said “leaders/rulers of tens” (Shemot 18:21), that is, he should try as best as he can to have a minyan of Torah trustworthy and reliable men around him. Then and only then is he an “ISH” - a full “man.” Since most of you will be converting and therefore will try as best as you can with the help of HaShem to emulate our father Avraham, please remember that Avraham had a group of “well trained servants” [Bereshit (Genesis) 14:14].

 

And what about women, do they have a similar responsibility some may ask? Answer: absolutely and most categorically Yes! Particular so, the more mature women both in age and in Torah knowledge, as Hakham Shaul states in:

 

Titus 2:3-5 Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behaviour, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, 4. so that they may train younger women to love their husbands and children, 5. to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.

 

Notice what mature women should teach:

1)     Younger women to love their husbands (all spheres of love!!!!!!!)

2)     Younger women to love their children (including didactic methodology of teaching children) [In fact, in today’s world a teaching or nursing degree for a young woman seems to be a must.]

3)     Younger women to be self-disciplined and adhering to Torah.

4)     Younger women on the laws of modesty and family purity (i.e. Niddah Laws)

5)     Younger women on home-making (Laws regarding home administration, cooking, sewing, Kashrut, etc., etc.)

6)     Younger women on obedience to husbands within the bounds of Torah.

7)     The Word of HaShem, Written and Oral Torah particularly in those concerns affecting women.

 

Any candidates?

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: It is quite apparent that Naomi taught Ruth the essentials of Torah. She had lived with Machlon for ten years. This means that she knew all of the laws of family purity, Sabbath, and kashrut. So, even though Naomi had left the land, the Torah was still taught to Ruth. Ruth learned the lessons so well that her modesty and meticulousness relative to the laws of Torah that were pertinent to gleaners, were noticed by Boaz, the Rosh Bet Din of the Sanhedrin. Ruth, therefore was teaching, with her actions, these same laws to everyone around her. If they were obvious to Boaz, a casual observer, then they were surely obvious to the other gleaners, to the overseers, and to the other observers.

 

Today is 47 days of the Omer.

Hod of Malchut

Humility in Nobility

 

3 Sivan - Learn In Order To Do

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to “do” what we have learned.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Learning must always be in order to do as we read in Pirqe Avot 3:12 - “He whose deeds exceeds his wisdom, his wisdom shall endure, but he whose wisdom exceeds his deeds, his wisdom will not endure.”

 

Now here we have a somewhat circular argument since one can’t obviously do without first learning exactly how to do, and again one cannot fully learn until one starts doing no matter how little knowledge one has. For, we learn to do, and learn more by doing. That is, the doing cements our learning and causes us to ask more questions and in turn learn more.

 

A very appropriate text for this gate is:

 

Revelation 22:14-15 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

 

Now in the Greek in v. 14 it literally says “Blessed they that doing (Present continuous tense) His Commandments, that shall be their authority to the tree of life, and by the gates they should enter into the city.”

 

Note:

a)     No doing = no authority to partake of the tree of life

b)     No doing = no entering through the gates into Yerushalayim as citizens

c)     No doing exposes one to homosexuality, brutality, abuse, immorality, idolatry, murder, and making and loving lies, but when one does the commandments one may not be liked but one is respected.

 

So, in the end the proof of knowledge is in the doing. Thus to prove ourselves as Nazareans we need a small community of continual learners/doers/teachers of the commandments. The more we learn the more evident this comes to be.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Naomi saw the death of her unborn child, her husband, and both of her sons, she realized that HaShem was embittering her life because she had left the land of Israel. Therefore, her immediate reaction when she understood this, was “to arise and return”. Naomi learned the lesson and acted to put that knowledge into action.

 

When Ruth went to glean in the fields of Boaz, she implemented the mitzvot that she had been taught by Naomi. Her modesty and gleaning habits were exemplary and noticeable.

 

Ruth’s generosity was the result of what Naomi had taught her. Generosity was the very antithesis of what the people of Moav stood for. So exemplary was her generosity that the people had communicated it freely to Boaz.

 

When Boaz realized that Ruth was “the good dove”, he immediately began planning on how he could participate in the fantastic mitzvah that HaShem had placed before him. Therefore, at first light he hastened to accomplish all he could. Therefore it says that HaShem hastened, too, to bring Ploni Almoni to Boaz, in order that Boaz might acquire “the good dove”. HaShem looked favorably upon the actions of both Boaz and Ruth, and therefore He brought conception that first night.

 

Today is 48 days of the Omer.

Yesod of Malchut

Bonding in Nobility

 

4 Sivan - Educating the Educators

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to educate ones teachers.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

II Luqas (Luke) 17:10-12 When it was dark the brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away to Berea, where they went to the Jewish synagogue as soon as they arrived. 11. Here the Jews were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they welcomed the word very readily; every day they studied the scriptures to check whether it was true. 12. Many of them became believers, and so did many Greek women of high standing and a great number of the men.

 

The term “noble” in v. 11 is Strong’s Ref. # 2104 - “eugenes” (Pronounced yoog-en’-ace) from GSN2095 and GSN1096; well born, i.e. (literally) high in rank, or (figuratively) generous: So these people were not only of “aristocratic” cradles with a “silver-spoon” in their mouth, but also and what is even more important their soul and spirit was also aristocratic, and as behooves nobility they “they studied the scriptures (Tanakh) to check whether it was true” what Hakham Shaul was teaching.

 

A mind that asks and frames good and profound questions is a “noble” mind, not a pedestrian or peasant one which does not think through what is being taught. A person’s questions always exhibits their depth of knowledge in trying to understand the subject matter. Therefore in matters of learning there ain’t any “silly” questions. The “silly” question was the one that was not asked, that is why it was “silly” question not worth asking!

 

It is noble, it is aristocratic, to ask questions, particularly the difficult questions few dare to ask since they have not pulled the explanation apart and tried to fully understand it. Remember this, children do not grow up if they did not ask questions. Questions make us wiser since it forces us to check and double check our facts, and sometimes, or often times we learn something new in the process. But of course before one makes one’s Rabbi wiser one needs to study in depth what ever he may be teaching.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Ruth, carrying out Naomi’s instructions, went to the threshing floor in a most provocative way, Naomi was teaching Boaz, with a very subtle hint, that Ruth was the “good dove” that Israel had been waiting for. The actions, proscribed by Naomi, and carried out by Ruth, were meant to remind Boaz of the actions of Lot’s eldest daughter on that fateful night when she slept with her father. Lot’s eldest daughter uncovered her father’s feet and lay with him, in much the same way that Ruth was commanded to lay with Boaz. Boaz, the greatest teacher of his generation, learned a lesson from Naomi that night: “like mother, like daughter”. Thus it was that, through this lesson, Boaz learned that Ruth was the “good dove”.

 

Today is 49 days of the Omer.

Malchut of Malchut

Nobility of Nobility

 

5 Sivan - Organize Your Mind

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to organize your mind.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Organizing your mind is about establishing Torah in your whole life and environments as much as it is possible. Thus:

 

Romans 3:31 Literal Bible

 

31. |3551| law |3767| Then |2673| do we destroy |1223| through |3588| the |4102| faith? |3361| Not |1096| let it be! |0235| But |3551| law |2476| we establish.

 

Romans 12:2 Literal Bible

 

2. |2532| And |3361| not |4964| be conformed |0165| to age |5129| this, |0235| but |3339| be transformed |3588| by the |0342| renewing |3588| of the |3563| mind |5216| of you, |1519| to |1381| prove |5209| you |5101| what |3588| the |2307| will |3588| of |2316| God, |3588| the |0018| good |2532| and |2101| well-pleasing |2532| and |5046| perfect.

 

So that as we establish Torah in our lives and renew our minds most diligently by its daily study, we will surely have an organized mind. That is the organization of the Torah will bring organization to our lives and minds. That is why this is a gift as a reward for diligently study of Torah and establishment of it in our lives. We do not open this gate this gate is opened for us. We do not put on or earn this crown this crown is freely bestowed upon us measure for measure!

 

Roughly speaking the Written Torah is more or less chronologically organized, we see this in the Triennial Cycle of readings. And the Oral Torah is Thematically organized. Although Midrash and Zohar are also sequentially organized.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: The risky steps that Naomi gave to Ruth, for her encounter with Boaz on the threshing floor, were the result of a careful plan which was organized around many different facts. So great were the details that even Boaz was not sure of the lesson. When Naomi had Ruth present the details in an organized fashion, via Ruth’s actions, then Boaz too understood. Naomi’s organized mind is an example of what makes an excellent Torah teacher.

 

Today is SHAVUOT.

6 Sivan - The Rewards of Gratitude

What specific problem/sin is here addressed?

 

Failing to be grateful for ideas.

 

What specific text or portion from the Nazarean Codicil best addresses this problem and offers a solution to it or a way by which a person may rectify this sin?

 

Part and parcel of being a good Torah learned and observer is that the notion of “theft” soon becomes conduct unbecoming of our noble and aristocratic rank. We also soon start becoming increasingly grateful and take great pride in our knowledge by acknowledging the source be it a Sage of old, a living Hakham or the Mashiach, or the Living God Himself, Most Blessed be He.

 

The more we learn the more we discover that there is nothing “new” under the sun and that all new monkeys are but old “reconditioned” monkeys, just dusted, cleaned up, and with a new coat of varnish!

 

Look at Hakham Yochanan the beloved Talmid Hakham of Mashiach, and what he writes in:

 

1 Yochanan (John) 2:3-7 In this way we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4. Whoever says, “I know Him (HaShem)” without keeping his commandments, is a liar, and truth has no place in him. 5. But anyone who does keep his word (Torah), in such a one HaShem’s love truly reaches its perfection. This is the proof that we are in HaShem. 6. Whoever claims to remain in him (Mashiach) must act exactly as he acted. 7. My dear friends, this is not a new commandment I am writing for you, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning (Bereshit/Genesis); the old commandment is the message you have heard.

 

v.7 in the Literal Bible with Strong’s reads:

 

7. |0080| Beloved, |3756| not |1785| a command |2537| new |1125| I write |5213| to you, |0235| but |1785| a command |3820| old, |3739| which |2192| you had |0575| from |9999| {the} |0746| beginning |3588| the |1785| command |3820| old |2076| is |3588| the |3056| word |3739| which |0191| you have heard.

 

There are no “newcommandments in the Nazarean Codicil, there are no “new” testaments or covenants, there is nothing here that is “new” - all is in the Torah!

 

The word translated for “beginning” is the Greek “arche” (Pronounced ar-khay’) from GSN0756; (properly abstract) a commencement, or (concretely) chief (in various applications of order, time, place, or rank): and from where we get such English words as “archaic, archaeology, archetype, etc.” and meaning “from ancient times“ or as the Septuagint starts Bereshit 1:1 - “En Arche” - “In the beginning.”

 

This last gate or crown of the counting of the Omer again we do not open, put on or search after but it comes natural to us as we establish Torah thoroughly in our lives, and renew our minds daily and diligently with it. We start developing more and more as each day passes a spirit of GRATITUDE - of giving honour and thanks to whom honour and thanks are due, of being sincere and acknowledge our sources.

 

Romans 13: 7-8 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

 

It could not be clearer than that! Those that betray Mashiach in order to obtain whatever, simply and plainly are ingrates, opportunistic, and above all have committed treason by rejecting/denying in public, HaShem’s appointed King.

 

A tikkun from Sefer Ruth: When Boaz gave Ruth six barley corns for Naomi, in order that she “Come not empty-handed to your mother-in-law.”, this was his demonstration of gratefulness for the lesson that Naomi had taught him. In the six barley corns, he alluded to the six righteous men (David, Hezekiah, Josiah, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, Daniel, and the Messiah.) who would result from that fateful encounter on the threshing floor. Elsewhere we see that we shall not appear before HaShem empty handed on the shalosh regalim, the pilgrimage festivals. This gift we bring HaShem is a demonstration of our gratefulness for what He has done for us.

 

If you look in your siddur, you will see that the counting stops at 49. Yet, the Torah clearly commands us to count 50 days. What is going on here? Why don’t we count 50 days like the Torah commands? Why do we only count 49 days? To answer these questions, we need to keep in mind that our goal is Shavuot, our goal is the receiving of the Torah.

 

We count in anticipation of Shavuot when we will receive the ultimate Wisdom, The Torah. Each day that we count, we draw down a Gate of Wisdom.

 

(This enables us to understand the wording used when counting the Omer: one day..., two days..., three days..., i.e., a number that includes the previous days, rather than “the first day, the second day, the third day. For every day includes the previous days and the Divine energy that they drew down. On the first day, we have access to the first Gate of Wisdom, on the second day, we have access to two gates, each day, adding another gate to those accessible previously.)

 

By counting the 49 days, and in thereby drawing down 49 Gates of Wisdom, we prepare a setting for the fiftieth gate to be drawn down, bringing about the revelation of the Giving of the Torah.

 

The fiftieth gate, however, cannot be drawn down by our own initiative. It represents a potential which cannot be attained by the Divine service of created beings. Nevertheless, our endeavor to draw down the 49 Gates of Wisdom creates a setting in which the fiftieth gate is drawn down on its own initiative.

 

For this reason, it is considered as if we have counted “fifty days,” for the fiftieth gate is made accessible to us through our preparatory service of counting “seven perfect weeks.”

 

So, we can now see that we are credited, so to speak, with counting 50, if we count the 49. Thus we fulfill the Torah command and do exactly what is written in the siddur.

 

Omer events

 

The Nazarean Codicil gives us some insight into several Messianic events that took place during the counting of the omer:

 

Luqas (Luke) 23:56 - 24:53 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, But when they entered, they did not find the body of the L-RD Yeshua. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words. When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened. Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Yeshua himself came up and walked along with them; But they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Yeshua of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before HaShem and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning But didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Yeshua acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together And saying, “It is true! The L-RD has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Yeshua was recognized by them when he broke the bread. While they were still talking about this, Yeshua himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, And he took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, And repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising HaShem.

 

Another great omer day passage is in:

 

Luqas (Luke) 6:1-5 On a certain Sabbath Yeshua was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” Yeshua answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of HaShem, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then Yeshua said to them, “The Son of Man is L-RD of the Sabbath.”

 

The certain Sabbath, in the Greek, is deuteroprotos; literally the second first. This was a technical term for Nisan 16, the morrow after the Sabbath. This was the first day that the new grain was permitted, because this was the day that the omer was waved, it was a real Sabbath treat!

 

These fifty days of counting the omer are associated with mourning because of historical events that took place during this period:

 

Sefirot

 

 

Each day of the Omer period is associated with a different aspect of the Sefirot. And on that day everything which everyone in the whole world is talking about is purely an expression of the particular aspect with which that day is associated. A person with understanding can hear and recognize this if he pays attention to what people are saying.

 

“The ten sephirot were arranged in a rigid hierarchy, and each lower sephirah grew out of the one immediately above; that is, the second ranking sephirah grew out of the first, the third out of the second, etc. Thus the first sephirah had all the powers of the sephirot under him; the second had its own power plus all the powers of the succeeding eight, and so on. They were:

 

1. Keter (Crown), also called the Simple Point, because this initial and paramount sephirah was unknown and all-embracing. Keter was known familiar as the Old One, the Ancient of Days (from Daniel 7:9), the White head, or the Long Face.

 

2. Hokhmah (Wisdom) was also known as Aba (Father) and was the masculine outgrowth of the Ancient One.

 

3. Binah (Understanding or Intelligence), the highest feminine emanation in the order of sephirot, also known as Ima (Mother).

 

4. Hesed (Kindness) is also called Gedulah (Greatness) and is masculine.

 

5. Gevurah (Power) is also called Din (Justice) and is feminine.

 

6. Tiferet (Glory or Beauty) is both masculine and feminine because it is a combination of Hesed and Gevurah.

 

7. Netzach (Firmness, Might, Victory) is masculine.

 

8. Hod (Splendor) is feminine.

 

9. Yesod (Foundation) combines Netzach and Hod.

 

10. Malchut (Kingdom) has no special attributes but is a kind of funnel through which the qualities of the upper nine sephirot are transmitted to the physical world. It is therefore also called Shechinah, the Spirit of HaShem.”

 

“The first nine sephirot were grouped in threes, each triad including a masculine element, a feminine element, and a combining element. The first three sephirot represented the world of thought; the second, the world of emotions and morals; the third, the world of nature. The tenth sephirah, Malchut, existed alone as the harmony of the other nine.

 

“This triune was paralleled by the Kabbalists’ version of the three-part soul - an idea expressed earlier by Plato, Aristotle, the Bible, and the Talmud. The soul called Neshamah represented the intellect and corresponded to the first three sephirot. The soul called Ruah represented the emotion and corresponded to the Hesed-Geburah-Tipheret triad. The soul called Nefesh represented man’s animal nature and corresponded to the lowest triad of sephirot.”[79]

 

The Chatam Sofer, the early 19th century leader of Hungarian Jewry, divides the sephirot period into three parts. During each section, we are supposed to improve our character traits in one specific area. The first period corresponds to our doing acts of kindness, the second to our service of HaShem (our prayers, etc.), and the last relates to the Torah itself. As we complete this third and crucial stage, it is our goal to prepare both our bodies and souls to accept the Torah. Hopefully, with our preparation and the help of HaShem, our souls will be illuminated for all to see.

 

* * *

 

OR HA-HAYYIM, VAYIKRA 23:15 -- “You shall count” -- the reason why HaShem commanded us to count seven weeks: chazal tell us that they [the Bnei Israel] were suffused with the impurity of Egypt. Since HaShem wanted “zivug” [sexual union, metaphorically] with the nation, He treated her as a menstruant woman, who must count seven clean days [and then she may become pure]. He commanded that they count seven weeks, for then they would be prepared for their entrance as a bride to the bridal canopy. And though in the other case [i.e., the menstruant woman] it is only seven days, here it is seven weeks because of the extreme nature of the impurity. [This explains why the Torah says] the counting is “for you” -- in order to purify you, for if not for this [their impurity], HaShem would have given them the Torah right away.

 

* * *

 

HIZKUNI, VAYIKRA 23:15 -- “You shall count from the day after the Yom Tov“ -- these seven weeks are between two critical points: the beginning of the barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest, two crops which are governed by the laws of Shmita, therefore, the counting is a very important matter -- it is a paradigm and reminder, that just as we count days and weeks, and then, after the seventh week, we sanctify the 50th day, we must behave similarly with regard to Shmita and Yovel. The essence of all of the curses in this book [i.e., the curse-warnings at the end of Vayikra] is [curses for those who are not careful in] observing Shmita, for they carry 49 types of punishment, one for each of the 49 years in the Yovel.

 

 The Hizkuni believes that Sephirah and Shavuot are somehow reminders for the “really” important mitzvot: Shmita and Yovel. Every seventh year is considered a Shmita year, meaning that land in Eretz Israel may not be worked and that all debts owed by Jews to other Jews are canceled. Every fiftieth (or 49th; this is a controversy) year is considered Yovel (“Jubilee“), meaning that all Jewish slaves are freed and that all land which has changed hands in the years since the last Yovel now returns to the hands of its original owner.

 

What clues the Hizkuni in to the connection between Sephirah/Shavuot and Shmita/Yovel? There are several likely possibilities:

 

1) The pesukim which command Shmita and Yovel are remarkably similar in language to those which command Sephirah and Shavuot. The language seems to beg comparison between these two sets of mitzvot.

 

2) Structurally, these two sets of mitzvot are uniquely parallel: each has seven sets of sevens, with a climax at the fiftieth day/year.

 

More fundamentally, however, where does the Hizkuni get the idea that Shmita and Yovel are so important that it is necessary to institute a parallel set of mitzvot to serve as annual reminders of the entirety of the cycle? In part, the Hizkuni answers this question, pointing out correctly that the sections of the Torah which curse those who neglect the mitzvot (the “tokhaha”) do reserve special wrath for the neglect of Shmita (see Vayikra 26:34, for example). Still, as a pshat reading, it seems strained to suggest that Sephirah and Shavuot are not significant in their own right and serve only to remind us of other mitzvot. As tempting as the linguistic and structural parallels may be, there is no indication that one set of mitzvot is merely a reminder for the other.

 

The Omer and The Yovel

 

There is an intimate relationship between the Sefirat HaOmer, counting the Omer, and the Yovel, the Jubilee. Lets start by looking at what the Torah says about the Yovel:

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:8-13 And thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth [day] of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather [the grapes] in it of thy vine undressed. For it [is] the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession.

 

In comparing this passage to the counting of the omer, we are immediately struck by the similarities:

 

·                 We count seven Sabbaths.

·                 We count 50.

·                 They both involve the sound of the Shofar

 

Abarbanel posits that both Sefirat HaOmer and Sefirat HaYovel serve the same purpose: to remind us of the importance of the Torah. The forty nine days of the Omer, leading to Shavuot and the anniversary of our receiving the Torah from God, are duplicated on a grander scale by the forty-nine years, leading to the sanctified jubilee year of Yovel. The shofar blast of the fiftieth year recalls the sound of the shofar at Sinai. On two different scales, both reinforce the centrality of Torah in Jewish time.

 

Conclusion

 

Our Sages also taught that Pesach is the time when the crops are ripening. At this time, HaShem judges the world in regard to food, particularly grain.

 

At such a moment HaShem says to us, “Bring me an Omer of barley on Pesach, and I will bless the grain in your fields for the whole year.”

 

By counting these days, we remember that the world is being judged. Will there be hunger or plenty? At this time we should return to HaShem with a complete heart, and beg Him to have mercy on us and on all His creatures, and on the land, so that the harvest may grow as required.

 

Rabbi Simon Jacobson says, “What is the significance of the fiftieth day of matan Torah? On this day we celebrate the Festival of Shavuot. After we have accomplished all we can through our own initiative, then we are worthy to receive a gift (matan) from Above which we could not have achieved with our own limited faculties. We receive the ability to reach and touch the Divine; not only to be cultivated human beings who have refined all of our personal characteristics, but divine human beings who are capable of expressing ourselves above and beyond the definitions and limitations of our beings.”

 

Nowadays, we do not have the Beit HaMikdash, and we cannot bring the Omer offering, but we pray that by doing HaShem’s mitzvah of Counting the Omer with joy in our hearts, we may merit His ultimate blessing, that He should speedily restore the Beit HaMikdash, and establish His Kingship throughout the world, with the revelation of Mashiach. As His Majesty King Yeshua said:

 

Luqas (Luke) 24:44-49 And he (Yeshua) said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Mashiach to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

 

His Majesty commanded that His talmidim wait in Jerusalem until the completion of the counting of the Omer, on the day of Shavuot.

 

* * *

 

TORAT HAMO’ADIM

 

A Series of Halakhot According to the Order of the Shulhan Aruch

Based on the Rulings of Rav Ovadia Yosef shlit”a

 

Taken from the work, “Osserot Yosef” by Rav David Yosef shlit”a,

based on the rulings of Rav Ovadia Yosef shlit”a

 

The Customs Involving Mourning During the Sephirah Period

 

Chazal say (Yevamot 65b) that Rabbi Akiva had twelve thousand pairs of (or twenty-four thousand) students, all of whom died during one period - between Pesach and Shavuot - because they did not afford honor to one another. In commemoration of this tragedy, we observe several practices of mourning during the days of sefirat ha’omer. The custom of the Sephardim and Eastern communities is to observe these practices of mourning from Pesach until the morning of the thirty-fourth day of the omer.

 

Several communities amongst the Ashkenazim, however, observe the period of mourning for Rabbi Akiva’s students only until Lag B’Omer. Other communities of Ashkenazim observe the mourning period from the second day of Iyar until Erev Shavuot. According to this custom, haircuts may be taken and weddings may be conducted on Lag B’Omer itself, and the mourning then resumes thereafter until Erev Shavuot. There are other Ashkenazim who begin the mourning period on the first day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar (30 Nisan) and continue until the first of the three “days of preparation” before Shavuot, i.e. the morning of 3 Sivan. Followers of this custom, too, may take haircuts and conduct weddings on Lag B’Omer, after which they continue the mourning period until the third of Sivan.

 

Several other communities of Ashkenazim, however, observe the mourning period from Pesach all the way until Erev Shavuot, relaxing the prohibitions only on Lag B’Omer. Some Ashkenazim are lenient also on the two days of Rosh Chodesh Iyar as well as on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. Other customs exist, as well, and everyone should follow his custom. The common denominator between all the customs of the Ashkenazim is that no mourning is observed on Lag B’Omer. The Sephardim do not observe the mourning practices from the thirty-fourth day of the omer onward.

 

The basic prohibitions during this period are weddings, haircuts and shaving, listening to musical instruments, and dancing.

 

Marriage During the Sephirah Period

 

The custom among the Sephardim and Eastern communities in Eretz Israel is not to marry from Pesach until the morning of the thirty-fourth day of the omer, after sunrise, as a reflection of mourning for the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students. Weddings are then permitted from the thirty-fourth day of the omer onward. The Ashkenazim have the practice to be lenient and conduct weddings on Lag B’Omer, and some Ashkenazim are lenient even on the eve of Lag B’Omer. Although some communities of Sephardim also have the practice to be lenient in this regard and conduct weddings on Lag B’Omer, the custom is Eretz Israel follows the ruling of the Shulhan Aruch, who forbids weddings until after sunrise on the thirty-fourth day of the omer.

 

Rabbis of every locale have the obligation of ensuring not to officiate at weddings until the thirty-fourth day of the omer onward if the bride and groom are from Sefaradi communities, who accepted upon themselves the rulings of the Shulhan Aruch. They may marry only from the thirty-fourth day of the omer on, as it says, “Do not abandon the teaching of your mother” (i.e. one must follow their familial customs).

 

In extenuating circumstances, such as if the couple cannot find a suitable hall unless they conduct the wedding on Lag B’Omer and they would have to delay the wedding for a considerable period of time, or if they mistakenly signed on a hall for Lag B’Omer and began the preparations, and the groom has yet to fulfill the mitzvah of procreation, the couple may be lenient and get married on the night of the thirty-fourth day of the omer (that is, the night after Lag B’Omer). There is no room for them to be lenient and get married on the night of Lag B’Omer. In a situation of great need, they should consult a competent authority proficient in Halachah.

 

If the groom is a Sefaradi and the bride is Ashkenazi, or vice-versa, the groom’s custom determines the practice they must follow. Thus, if the groom is a Sefaradi, then they may get married only on the morning of the thirty-fourth day of the omer; if the groom is an Ashkenazi, then they may conduct the wedding already on the morning of Lag B’Omer.

 

Sephardim and those from Eastern communities may attend weddings of Ashkenazim - even with musical accompaniment - held on Lag B’Omer, and they may even participate in the song and dance in honor of the groom. Similarly, Ashkenazim may attend weddings of Sephardim and those from Eastern communities held on the thirty-fourth day of the omer, even if their custom is not to conduct weddings after Lag B’Omer.

 

* * *

 

This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

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[1] Deut. XVI,9.

[2] V. supra p. 386. n. 8.

[3] Obviously then ‘the Sabbath’ means the Festival.

[4] V. supra p. 387 nn. 2,3 and 4.

[5] V. supra p. 387 nn. 2,3 and 4.

[6] Ibid. 8.

[7] Ex. XII, 15.

[8] For after the offering of the ‘Omer, on the second day of the Festival, there are left six days of the Festival on which one may eat unleavened bread of the new produce; thus the verses are reconciled. If, however, the ‘Omer was always to be offered on a Sunday, then it would frequently happen that there would be less than six days from the offering of the ‘Omer to the end of the Festival.

[9] Lev. XXIII, 15, 16.

[10] On any day after the bringing of the ‘Omer.

[11] Deut. XVI, 9. From this verse it appears that the counting must begin immediately after the reaping and apparently even before the offering of the ‘Omer.

[12] We thus learn that the reaping and the offering of the ‘Omer and the commencement of the counting must all take place on the same day.

[13] Lev. XXIII, 15.

[14] Since the complete day consists of the day and the preceding night.

[15] And it is arrived at in this way: the reaping must clearly be before the counting, since it is written, ‘From the time that the sickle is put to the standing corn thou shalt begin to number’; and the counting must be at night because of the verse which says, ‘Seven weeks shall there be complete’. The counting. however, precedes the bringing of the ‘Omer, the verse ‘From the day that ye brought the ‘Omer shall ye number’ notwithstanding, as this verse does necessarily indicate precedence but rather that both shall take place on the same day.

[16] I.e., R. Jose in his second interpretation and R. Simeon b. Eleazar.

[17] Cf. P.B. p. 270ff. This is established by Abaye from the fact that one verse speaks of counting the days and the other of counting the weeks.

[18] The expression ‘Sabbath’. Granted that it cannot mean the ordinary Sabbath of the week, it may mean nevertheless the last day, and not necessarily the first day, of the Festival.

[19] For it might be said that the counting of the fifty days is to commence from the first Sunday in the Passover festival, exclusive of the six (or less) intervening days between the second day of the Festival and the Sunday.

[20] In the second Baraitha.

[21] The expression ‘Sabbath’. Granted that it cannot mean the ordinary Sabbath of the week, it may mean nevertheless the last day, and not necessarily the first day, of the Festival.

[22] He maintains that after the destruction of the Temple, when the ‘Omer is no longer offered, the counting is no absolute obligation; hence it is sufficient if only the days are counted.

[23] cf. Leviticus 25:2

[24] Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch

[25] The Feast of Weeks

[26] lit. Good Day

[27] The whole ears of corn.

[28] Lev. II, 14.

[29] It was not threshed in the usual manner with flails as these would bruise the fresh and tender corn.

[30] In order to dry it.

[31] Which grinds very coarsely so that only the husk is separated from the grain.

[32] Cf. Num. XV, 18ff. Since at the time when dough becomes liable to the dough-offering, i.e. at the rolling out of the dough, it is no longer consecrated, it is therefore liable to the dough-offering.

[33] Since the obligation of tithes falls due at the last work in connection with the corn (i.e. the smoothing of the pile), and at that time the corn was still consecrated, it is therefore exempt from tithes.

[34] On the night after the first day of the Passover.

[35] The reaper to the people assembled.

[36] I.e., shall I reap the corn with this sickle and into this basket?

[37] On the Sabbath.

[38] A sect in opposition to the Pharisees and often regarded as synonymous with the Sadducees. They held that the expression (Lev. XXIII, 11), ,cav ,rjnn, ‘the morrow after the Sabbath’, must be taken in its literal sense, the day following the first Saturday in Passover. The Pharisees, however, argued that the Sabbath meant here ‘the day of cessation from work’, i.e., the Festival of Passover. Accordingly the ‘Omer was to be offered on the second day of the Festival, and the reaping of the corn on the night preceding, at the conclusion of the first day of the Festival.

[39] South of Palestine.

[40] East of Palestine.

[41] Northern Palestine.

[42] A measure of barley (1/10th of an ephah) taken from tender ears, was brought on the 16th day of Nisan to the Temple as a heave-offering. v. Lev. XXIII, 10-11.

[43] For two reasons, firstly, because the grain taken for the Omer offering had to be tender, and this could only be so if it was cut from a field in the proximity of Jerusalem, for if it were brought from a far-off distance, the stalks would become hardened in transit, by the wind. Secondly, according to the Talmudic rule, that one must not forego the occasion of performing a commandment (cf. Yoma 33a), the ripe corn in the vicinity of Jerusalem offered the earliest opportunity of fulfilling the precept (v. Men. 64b). If the grain in Judea, however, gave no cause for intercalation, it would be overripe at the time of the Omer, and so unfit for the purpose.

[44] For whether the ‘Omer is obtained out of five or three se’ahs the people will learn nothing of importance thereby.

[45] The employment of more persons in the service of the ‘Omer obviously gives the matter greater publicity and impresses immediately the mind of the people with the Rabbinic standpoint that the ‘Omer must be offered on the second day of the Passover irrespective of the day of the week, thus creating stronger opposition to the Sadducees who held that the ‘Omer must always be offered on a Sunday; v. infra 65a.

[46] That although one person would be sufficient three are to be employed to create greater publicity.

[47] This is deduced from scriptural texts in Men. 66a.

[48] There was also a dispute between the Pharisees and Sadducees with regard to the fixing of the date of Pentecost. The dispute turned on the interpretation of the words ,cav ,rjnn (Lev. XXIII, 15). The Pharisees took the view that the ‘Omer had to be brought on the second day of Passover, while the Sadducees maintained that these words meant the morrow of the first Sabbath of the Passover week and from that day forty-nine days had to be counted to Pentecost. V. Megillat Ta’anit, ch. 1; Men. 65a.

[49] Lev. XXIII, 16.

[50] Ibid. 15.

[51] For the former verse speaks of counting fifty days irrespective of the completeness of the weeks, whereas the latter verse speaks of seven weeks complete, by which it is understood full weeks each commencing on a Sunday.

[52] In this case there are seven complete weeks.

[53] It is evident therefore that the Feast of Weeks may fall on any day of the week and not only on Sunday. On the motives underlying this controversy v. Lichtenstein HUCA VIII-IX. pp. 276ff and Finkelstein, The Pharisees, I. p. 115ff.

[54] An aid for remembering the various proofs adduced by the Rabbis mentioned.

[55] Deut. XVI, 9.

[56] For inasmuch as the Beth din fixed the date of the Festivals, it is left to them to inform the community the time from which to commence counting the days of the ‘Omer. Cur. edd. insert here the following gloss: For they know to interpret ‘the morrow after the Sabbath’ as the morrow after the Festival.

[57] In the expression ‘the morrow after the Sabbath’.

[58] Obviously no guidance would be necessary were the counting always to commence on the Sunday, after the Sabbath of Creation, i.e., the ordinary Sabbath of the week.

[59] Cf. the expression ‘a month of days’, Num. XI, 20.

[60] I.e., after counting twenty-nine days the thirtieth day should be sanctified as the new moon.

[61] Lev. XXIII, 15,16.

[62] Namely the new moon, for the twenty-nine days are counted from the first day of the new month.

[63] Namely the Festival of Passover. Now if the counting always commenced on Sunday, this distinctiveness would not always be evident, for sometimes the counting might commence on the seventeenth day of Nisan, and sometimes on the eighteenth, or on the nineteenth of that month. V. Tosaf. s.v.asj vn. Cur. edd. insert here the gloss: And should you say that the Feast of Weeks always falls on the day after Sabbath, how would there be anything distinctive at its commencement?

[64] Save that in order to fulfil the expression ‘on the morrow after the Sabbath’ it must be offered on the second day of the Festival. If, however, it was to be offered always on a Sunday it might happen sometimes that it is offered at the end of the Festival; v. prev. note.

[65] Below, in respect of the Feast of Weeks, unto the morrow of the seventh Sabbath, Lev. XXIII, 16; and above, in respect of the ‘Omer, On the morrow after the Sabbath, ibid. 11.

[66] Below, in respect of the Feast of Weeks, unto the morrow of the seventh Sabbath, Lev. XXIII, 16; and above, in respect of the ‘Omer, On the morrow after the Sabbath, ibid. 11.

[67] Since the Festival follows immediately the ‘Sabbath’. Here, of course, the word Sabbath signifies ‘week’, as the Festival must be at the end of seven complete Sabbaths or weeks.

[68] Thus the Festival of Passover is to immediately precede the ‘Omer; accordingly ‘Sabbath’ clearly means the Festival.

[69] Lev. XXIII, 15.

[70] Lev. XXIII, 15.

[71] Likkutei Sichot, Vol. I, pp. 265-270

[72] Numbers 5:15.

[73] Leviticus 2:14. The Talmud (Men. 68b) argues that it consisted of barley.

[74] lit. Dad

[75] lit. Mom

[76] Aryeh Kaplan

[77] The New Testament

[78] This teaching is also found in Yoma 9a, but the Talmudic discussion clouds the authorship of Rav Yochanan ben Torta. A careful reading of that source will yield the same conclusion.

[79] Harry Gersh, The Sacred Books of the Jews