Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Time once again moves concurrent with my thinking and expression. Suddenly an opening appears and the Parsha returns. I love the adventure of it all like climbing mountains within to reach these soaring heights where thoughts create grand vistas of unification. Once there my thoughts like waterfalls flow freely. The insights contained within this Parsha are a synthesis of so many rivers of confluence. Indeed they match up perfectly with the currents within and without. I am struck by the similarities between Hashem and the DNA structures that make up our bodies in the proteins of life. There the latticework of connection resembles so much the YHVH that surrounds us out of which all life issues from. I digress perhaps another topic one day. Enjoy with my compliments and best wishes.



Parsha Korach

Rebellion is the message of this parsha. The real question becomes why Hashem has become so involved in the affairs of men that his anger threatens to spring forth at the first sign of rebellion. Why does Hashem seek to destroy what he has protected and why does Moses intervene time and again to avert the judgment? Is the answer that anyone who opposes the rule of Moses must die? What does this rule of Moses represent? Is Moses then a mere tyrant bent only upon the promotion of his family priesthood? Is this simply a power play then? Does Moses win because Hashem listens to Moses and not to those who seek to rebel against him? All of these are surface considerations and as we shall see moving through these passages that Torah however beautiful she may appear from the outside contains much more on the inside where Torah directly touches the heart.

Numbers 16:3 and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them: 'Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them; wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?'

Korach comes to Moses and says listen, we are all of us holy evoking the message of priesthood that every Israelite is meant to embody.

Ex: 19:6 and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.'

So you see this really isn’t an unreasonable request from Korach. After all isn’t this what was promised when the law was given. Korach and his fellow Levites are wondering why they or any of the congregation should be somehow less holy than Moses and the Kohanim? Isn’t all of Israel holy?

Num 16:10 and that He hath brought thee near, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee? and will ye seek the priesthood also?

Moses asks them if they seek the priesthood also that is in addition to serving Hashem via their regular Levite duties. What is this priesthood that Moses is trying to protect? It turns out to be the knowledge of the priesthood that must be safeguarded. This knowledge also includes the way in which the priests speak to Hashem. Korach believes that all of Israel should have this knowledge but from the tone of Moses answer it appears that this request of Korach’s is an amazing example of chutzpah. How dare the Levites aspire to become the Kohanim. The Levites place has already been explained. Korach for his part isn’t only asking for himself but he is asking for this level of holiness for all of Israel.

21 'Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.'

Hashem speaks for complete destruction but Moses averts this decree and selectively culls the congregation.

26 And he spoke unto the congregation, saying: 'Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be swept away in all their sins.'

Moses defines these men as sinners and sets about their complete annihilation

32 And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.

It is dramatic and final. Moses and the Kohanim will not be opposed. The penalty is death.

17: 3 even the fire-pans of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, and let them be made beaten plates for a covering of the altar--for they are become holy, because they were offered before the LORD--that they may be a sign unto the children of Israel.'

And yet the very same fire pans that did not receive the holiness of the Lord now become holy because they were offered before the Lord. Did Moses sacrifice these Levites in the name of the Lord or did these fire pans become holy because of their sacrifice. It would appear so.

17:5 to be a memorial unto the children of Israel, to the end that no common man, that is not of the seed of Aaron, draw near to burn incense before the LORD; that he fare not as Korah, and as his company; as the LORD spoke unto him by the hand of Moses. {P}

The seed of Aaron is preserved for the priesthood. Those in power keep their power.

17:6 But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying: 'Ye have killed the people of the LORD.'

The people think that killing the people of the LORD has permitted a great wrong.

17:14 Now they that died by the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, besides them that died about the matter of Korah.

These people who spoke out against these killings are also destroyed although not everyone is killed.

Num 18:26 'Moreover thou shalt speak unto the Levites, and say unto them: When ye take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall set apart of it a gift for the LORD, even a tithe of the tithe.

Okay the fate of the Levites are sealed and their lot in life is set out before them. It is reiterated so that the Levites and the Israelites remember to take care of those that assist in the temple services and all the duties of the temple.

On the surface it appears that Moses was a power hungry tyrant with no regard for the lives of his people. Korach asks a reasonable question. His only crime is asking for the freedom to know all that Moses and the priest know and to share that knowledge with all of Israel. What Moses seeks to promote is the power of the priesthood that should remain sacrosanct even to the destruction of however many lives it takes to compel obedience. What is going on here? How can we look at such a man with reverence? Has he become like so many others; corrupted by the power he wields? It would appear to be so and if we stopped there we should all run away from Judaism as fast as our feet could carry us.
All of these are the petty ego considerations that mankind has dealt with since Adam left the garden. In order to penetrate deeply into Torah we leave these concerns behind.

The Inner Sanctuary:

The secrets of Torah spell out the blueprint for creation. Just as we wouldn’t let child run a bulldozer in a housing development we would let them have the keys to the Torah unless they first learned to operate the basic essentials of life. A person who gets caught up in the details and contradictions in Torah will never see the underlying level of creation; that same level that produces worlds and change one type of effect into another in the vast realm of experience in which we all live and move and have our being. There are two key paradigms to consider when studying Torah. One is the operator and the other is the operation. Moses is the operator. He drives the bulldozer. This is his creation. Hashem is the operation of creation. Moses sets the plans and Hashem executes these plans. Witness the entire panoply all through the ten plagues even to the events taking place within this parsha. Moses gives the word. Hashem confirms and carries out the word. Before there were men this paradigm is illustrated by Elohim who gives the word and carries out its execution that is a key to the male-female G-d represented by this symbol of awareness. In Kabbalah Elohim is truly the way of return back up the Tree of Life into the reality of the level of unity that is both operator and operation. In terms of our own consciousness what we aspire to is this level of Elohim that so perfectly represents the unification of consciousness.

Now we move on to the problem of Korach, the Levites, and the rest of the people who rebelled and were destroyed. I want to focus on a single Intention and how this Intention is Moses, its carrying out is Hashem and the distractions and doubts along the way are Korach et al. A short tale will suffice:

Beryl wanted to build a house. He worked patiently to gather all of the material for this house. Every day he would dream about how he would construct using the growing accumulation of material that he came across each day. This house would be the most magnificent home ever built. It would certainly outshine every other dwelling in the land. One day Shmuel, who had been helping him gather some of the material happened along.

“Beryl,” he said. “You have enough material here for several houses. Surely you should consider building a home for me as well since I helped you gather some of this stuff.

“Where are your plans Shmuel?” Beryl asked him.

“Plans? Oh I have none. I thought I would use your plans,” He said.

“Have I ever shown you my plans Shmuel?”

“Well no but no matter,” Shmuel answered.

“Do you want to live over here and have this kind of roof and these kind of windows?” He indicated on the map as he pulled out a few drawings he had made.

“Not really but we could improvise and then make houses for both of us,” Shmuel told him.

“Shmuel do you know how long I’ve been planning my home?” How long have you been planning your home? Beryl asked.

“Oh the thought just occurred to me now that I see everything here ready to be built up. I mean why waste all of this stuff?” Shmuel remarked.

“Shmuel I appreciate your help and paid you well for it. Go build your own house. You would never be happy with the one I build since it came from my hopes and desires. You have your own dreams to build and to see take shape in front of your eyes,” Beryl told him gently.

At first Shmuel was hurt at being turned away but then later he realized the wisdom of Beryl’s words and was thankful years later when we built his own house in much the same way the Beryl had many years ago.

Follow this chain of association if you will. Beryl is Moses who is the operator or initiator of thought. This is the plan maker. The materials that are gathered and the actual building taking shape are the operations of thought. Shmuel is Korach or the thought that seeks to turn aside from the original intention. In Moses and Beryl’s case there can only be one operator. Consciousness must be focused in order to be effective as an operator. It cannot be diffused but must rely on a central rallying idea; in the case above it is the building of a home. The operation takes place through the gathering of ideas and materials to make the dream a reality. Hashem is the operation or the way in which dreams take the forms of reality or experience. The crucial element in all of this is our connection as in the connection between consciousness and subsciousness.

Thoughts are always vying for expression. Those thoughts that we give the most attention to become are passed to Hashem to appear in our experiences. They in effect become our prayers. If you read the Ashrei with this in mind the prayer becomes alive with meanings all relating to how thoughts seek their expression through Hashem. Think about it like this. Hashem is forever in our midst and forever seeking the unity of operator to operation. We think about something in a special way that transforms this something into a prayer that is passed up and through to Hashem that communicates this prayer into an expression.

PS 145: 15 The eyes of all wait for Thee, and Thou givest them their food in due season.

This perhaps says it best although like a sphere of interconnected light from everywhere we look the ray radiate in the same way. The eyes are our thoughts or visions that seek to know Hashem, that wait for Hashem because these thoughts may only see their expression or their food in due season. This due season is the direct result of passing our prayers over to Hashem for expression.

16 Thou openest Thy hand, and satisfiest every living thing with favour.

Here is the direct expression of this principle of operator-operation in terms of the beneficence of Hashem. One more verse to tie together what we have been saying once again with this parsha.

20 The LORD preserveth all them that love Him; but all the wicked will He destroy.

Moses and the Kohanim, or the thought that has our focused attention shall remain while those other thoughts that seek to rule instead of the focused thoughts will be eliminated. This happens as a matter of course because mind cannot serve two masters. There can only be one. This one is our focused vision.


Pass over the surface meanings of Torah in order not to become ensnared by the ego. This isn’t about what happened then; it is about what is going on right now intimately connected with your own thoughts. Choose well your thoughts so that all may serve Hashem and not be in conflict with Hashem because a house divided cannot stand. Maintain your focus for it is the truth that you’ve been given to command. Expand your awareness each day to include Hashem for only when the operator and the operation become one will you see the expression fulfilled.


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