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When was the World Created?

There is a dispute in the Talmud as to when the world was created. According to Rabbi Eliezer, the world was created in the month of Tišrei, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar when we celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah (or Roš HaŠanah). According to Rabbi Yehoshua, the world was created in the first month of the year, the month of Nisan (Talmud, tr. Roš HaŠanah, 10b). The Hassidic thought attempts to reconcile these opposite opinions suggesting that both opinions are correct—the world was created in Nisan in thought, whereas in deed, it was created in Tišrei.  The problem with this approach is that for halaḵic (Jewish ritual law) purposes of calculating the Jewish calendar, the planets are deemed to have commenced their heavenly orbits in Nisan, not in Tišrei!  [...]

Tree of Life or Nothingness

In the Torah portion Shlach (Numbers 13:1-15:41),  Moses instructs his spies to scout the land of Canaan and to bring back a report. He says to them: … What is the soil like – is it fat or lean? Are there any trees in it or not? You shall be courageous and take from the fruit of the land. (Num. 13:20) The verse seems pretty straight-forward – bring the fruits of the land as a proof that there fruit trees in the land. The trouble is, this is not exactly what the verse says. Translated literally, the verse reads: … What is the soil like – is it fat or lean? Is there a tree in it or nothing? You shall be courageous and take from the fruit of the land. This literal [...]

By |2018-06-08T07:07:49-04:00January 22nd, 2016|Numbers, Pentateuch (Chumash), Shlach, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Balak and Balaam – an entangled pair

In my last year’s post "Balak – Interference of Souls," I suggested that Balak needed Balaam (Bilam) to cause constructive interference to make the curse more powerful. This year, while reading this Torah portion last Shabbat, I realized that there was another reason for which Balak needed Balaam – the entanglement. As I wrote last year, both Balak and Balaam received evil aspects of the souls of Cain and Abel (Havel) but in different proportions: Balak was primarily a reincarnation (gilgul) of the evil aspect of Cain (although he also received some smaller portion of the evil aspect of the soul of Abel) and Balaam was primarily a reincarnation of the evil aspect of Abel (although he also received some smaller portion of the evil aspect of the soul of Cain). Let us [...]

By |2019-07-16T22:57:19-04:00January 18th, 2016|Balak, Bamitbar, Entanglement, Numbers, Pentateuch (Chumash)|0 Comments

Pesach Sheini – in a State of Superposition

There were men who were ritually unclean [because of contact with] a dead person, and therefore could not make the Passover sacrifice on that day. So they approached Moses and Aaron on that day. Those men said to him, "We are ritually unclean [because of contact] with a dead person; [but] why should we be excluded so as not to bring the offering of the Lord in its appointed time, with all the children of Israel? Moses said to them, "Wait, and I will hear what the Lord instructs concerning you." The Lord spoke to Moses saying: “Speak to the children of Israel saying, Any person who becomes unclean from [contact with] the dead, or is on a distant journey, whether among you or in future generations, he shall make a Passover sacrifice [...]

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