Parsha Ki Tisa (Last Weeks Parsha)
Behind the veils:
First Veil: Contradiction and questions
We have to take this Parsha in context with everything that has come before and everything that is to come after. Previously when Hashem speaks it is in an active voice as in Moses do this or watch while I do that. Hashem rules unquestionably. Now in this Parsha Moses bargains with Hashem as if Hashem were a relative or someone on the street selling goods. All of a sudden Hashem is asking Moses to “let Me alone that my wrath may wax hot against them.” What is this about? Why would Hashem first have to check with Moses in order to perform any actions whatsoever?
This apparent contradiction here shows the distance that Moses has gone away from Hashem. It is only by Moses interpretation of the Divine influence that he is able to lead Israel. The moment Moses appropriates this power for and acts as though he is leading G-d instead of visa versa the stage is set for the sin of the Golden Calf.
Ex 32: 10 Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of thee a great nation.'
Why does the Lord seemingly ask Moses leave to consume these people? This is the Lord and you would think that the Lord would know exactly what has to be done. In a strange way the proof of the unity of being is expressed here. Without Moses to listen the Lord does not appear and then cannot act except through Moses. We are also given the foreshadowing of what phase of deity Hashem represents. More on this further on. This is a divine play. It must be understood in terms of our own inner purpose of listening for the voice of Hashem within so that unity may be experienced. Hashem cannot be everywhere present without being totally there within each of us. The choice is what we make of this understanding.
Moses asks the Lord to repent after the Lord asks Moses to let him destroy these people.
Ex 32:12 Turn from Thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against Thy people.
Moses bargains with the Lord giving reasons that he might save the people. What is this evil? Is Moses accusing Hashem of evil? Where does this evil come from? The answer to this is obvious. It comes from Moses who by this time knows the difference between good and evil. After all he wrote the books right? If we take this conversation as occurring between Moses and the Lord it doesn’t compute. However if we see this dynamic as occurring within Moses then it is another matter. This has to do with man and his struggle with the ego. The ego wants what it wants regardless of consequences. Listen. Moses lost sight of the people both literally by going up the mountain and abandoning them to their own devices below and also figuratively by not including them in this most important of meetings. It is for Moses to interpret the will of Hashem. Hashem says this and Hashem says that is often colored with what Moses is projecting upon the situation as it occurs. This cannot be helped because the ego seeks supremacy but must be tamed through understanding. The level of understanding displayed here does cause the greatest of all misfortunes to befall the children of Israel. Moses once the hero comes down off the mountain as a tyrant. It is Moses who in effect then prevents the Children of Israel from entering the Promised Land. The projection of Moses guilt is seen through his anger with Israel because of their sin with the Golden Calf. Wait a minute. Let us consider these Children of Israel.
The Second Veil: Consciousness
The Children of Israel are the sum total of all of our thoughts including those that seek unity and those that seek chaos. We are in the mind of Moses now. All of these ideas are encircling his consciousness. On the one hand is the high of his contemplations symbolized by the mountain and the voice or active force of these contemplations, Hashem. Then there are the everyday thoughts that he encounters coming off the mountain. He is warned by the active voice of the ego Hashem in an unbalanced state that what he faces below is a descent into materialism. The high of the mountain will soon be replaced by the mundane affairs symbolized by the Children of Israel. The ego or Hashem in this case want to start all over by destroying everything but Moses says no understanding that the only way he was ever able to ascend this mountain was because of Israel and the purpose they represent. When Moses comes down off the mountain his anger and frustration are too much for him. The solution is right there in the palms of his hands as he bring the law down with him. All he has to do is to integrate what he has just experienced on the mountain or in his contemplations with those thoughts he has left lingering below. It is a simple seeding process of connection. It will both unify Israel and Hashem through the activity of Elohim. The simple giving of the law unselfishly will transform chaos into unity. Instead he smashes the stones replicating what the ego will do when its very existence is threatened. It lashes out and projects making even more chaos then rationalizing it in the name of expediency. The connecting links are horrifically destroyed.
The Third Veil: The illusion of separation
Moses has led them and has been a part of them all along throughout the journey thus far. They have come to rely upon Moses as the interpreter of Hashem. What do they know of Hashem except through the acts of Moses? Now Moses abandons them to go up the mountain. This isn’t the first time this has happened because a pattern is now becoming a series of laws that will forever place distance between the Children of Israel and Hashem. All of this began with Yitro where the priesthood was first introduced making priests of Moses and the brethren of Aaron and the tribe of Levi. Now instead of becoming a nation of priests they are a nation ruled by priests and in their ultimate frustration with the priesthood they demand from Samuel to have a king like the other nations do. As they say in the parlance of today’s economics; the deal has changed for them.
Moses leaves the Children of Israel to their own devices where they do what comes naturally to them. They set about to worship a G-d using their stolen treasure from Egypt to make this G-d out of. Aaron left in charge helps them in their efforts and as far as we know the Levi’s who go to stand with Moses when he says ‘who is with me’ also do not prevent this particular sin from happening. This sin however cannot be attributed to the Children of Israel. They are children. Moses gave them laws but he is not there to provide guidance delegating this guidance to Aaron and the appointed priests while he goes up to the mountain. This is Moses missing the mark and Moses does what most of us will do when faced with something we’ve done that is wrong. He projects his anger upon the Children of Israel and then proceeds to murder three thousand of his children in direct refutation of the commandment ‘thou shalt not kill.’ In doing so he not only revokes his original plan for entering the Promised Land he also confuses the whole issue of Hashem so that the people once singing praises for love of Hashem now cower in fear for their lives. Something else has changed here as well. Prior to leaving Egypt Moses chief concern was the Children of Israel. Their welfare was paramount. Now it is Moses who becomes self-important. It is Moses who intercedes with Hashem to spare them and then it is Moses instead whose anger waxes against the Children of Israel. Because of this the people follow Moses and do not seek the unity of Hashem with Elohim.
Moses face shines so brightly that none may approach him so he must wear a veil. It is this very veil that keeps the Children of Israel from a unified relationship with Hashem. Moses is exposed without this veil. The light that Moses is keeping hidden is the way to approach Hashem. Every person has this same ability to approach Hashem but Moses decides to rule with fear and secrecy concerning this most ancient of truths that Hashem is indeed within and all of our power to influence the world around us comes from this holy connection that is the result of Hashem balanced by Elohim. By setting up the priests, the rituals, and the laws he makes sure that this people will behave but he does not prepare them for their growth in the knowledge of Hashem-Elohim. Instead of unity the children of Israel face the daunting challenge of the separation of consciousness.
When power is kept in the hands of the few it will always be corrupted. The history of the Jewish people and of all peoples is filled with this kind of corruption. What is typical of the anger and projection of Moses is that now all he has to do is to ascribe any actions he wants the children of Israel to do to as coming from Hashem which translates as agree or die. To question is death. Sound familiar?
Fourth Veil: Symbols- Consciousness – the birth of the ego.
Okay all of this is in the context of Torah displaying what is written and allowing us to look deeply into each wonderful area of significance. We cannot discount these obvious contradictions. They must mean something to each of us individually. If the purpose of Torah is to awaken within us the recognition of Hashem-Elohim so that we may realize this connection internally then we have to translate the actions of this Parsha into the terms of consciousness itself.
Moses: What then is Moses in terms of consciousness? Moses is the initial breakthrough of ‘I am that I am.’ It is thought that knows itself to be produced out of nothing. Wow. Then following the direction of this self-awareness this thought must therefore reproduce itself in kind following the table of correspondences that takes place in Genesis.
Children of Israel: Who are the Children of Israel? They are by definition every thought that comes from the prime thought of I am that I am. Because this is so all of them are precious and yes like a shepherd the prime thought watches over these antecedent developments.
Hashem: What or who is Hashem? I can only approach this answer and yet it is a question that all of us who yearn for connection must attempt to resolve within each moment. Hashem is the vortex of unity that must be ultimately balanced with Elohim. It is the connection between who I am and what I think I am. Hashem in our experience may be described by Intention. What is it that I am seeking? I am or the Lord – Hashem does not appear until
Gen: 2:4 These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.
See how YHVH and Elohim come together here in preparation for all that is to be. This may be compared to what happens when male and female come together forming the zygote in preparation for meiosis.
Elohim: The metaphysical of being. It is the feminine emanation of abundance overflowing with the containers of being. It has one purpose and that is to express itself in myriad ways all leading back to itself from itself.
The generations of heaven and of the earth are those thoughts that issued from Elohim and are now becoming transformed into I am which will then become embodied. The life however or the soul of these embodiments still remains in stasis until:
Ex 2:5 No shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground;
What is the rain? It is the feeling nature that is present when man desires. Through the self-awareness of being Man tills the ground to bring forth his desires. Out of this feeling nature the earth waters itself.
Ex 2: but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
What we desire then comes forth from the feelings (mist) we have about this desire that then causes the face of this desire to become embodied in the ground of our experience.
Of course what comes next is the soul of man breathed into by the LORD God.
Ex:2 :7 Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
This is how the embodiment of an idea is able to become self-aware. It is this concept that is continually forgotten and then remembered in Torah as if it were something new. We see in this Parsha how we are going through the process of forgetting this idea through the placing veils in front of it as will happen anytime a new idea is promoted within and then subsumed by the ego. In this case the ego is represented by Moses who co-opts the ‘I am that I am’ of Hashem. Because of this the voice of Hashem is dimmed and the people only get to hear Moses through a veil and his own egoistic interpretations.
The laws of Torah that follow are further attempts by the ego to hide its essential nature that is its destiny for unification with Elohim. Hashem seeks Elohim is the simple dynamic that continues forever. In this way we may learn about our inner voice that seeks our good through love without need of any intermediary.
The Golden Calf: This symbol completes the submersion of Israel through materiality. All of their booty is turned therefore into a symbol of reverence only to be reduced to ashes by Moses. Moses should only have been angry with himself here. When he takes it out on the families of those who participated in this forbidden celebration he loses his connection on high and never regains it. Instead he rules Israel from the negative side of the Tree of Life showing them the hardships of a forty-year march in the wilderness. To conceive of a G-d that would issue such a harsh decree assumes that mercy and goodness are arbitrary in this world, which they are most definitely not. No from here on in Israel is now at the mercy of Moses and his priests.
This tale is a caution for those who would in any way use their power or knowledge of spirituality to manipulate or in any way try and influence others to do their will. In the end it never works. Either the people revolt or regress. Mass slaughter does not do the trick either. Amalek was supposedly slaughtered completely but later we find out the king survived just long enough to father a child who still confronted and battles Israel today. There is however, a law greater than Moses and that is the law of karma. Actions produce reactions and ill deeds beget ill consequences. Moses and Israel spent forty years running away from the slaughter in camp where father murdered son and visa versa all in the name of Moses anger. When something isn’t right it cannot be rationalized even by forty years of wandering.
Despite rising to the heights we find that Moses is still capable of mass slaughter in the name of anger. On that day the Shechinah was diminished in Moses sight even though he is promised that it will go before them in their travels. In truth it is illusion that Moses now must accept for himself. Israel pays the price because they have no choice left but to follow Moses. They live in fear of Moses and of the Law of Moses.
What does all of this mean in the context of Torah? The first time that YHVH appears without Elohim is in Genesis 4:1 where Eve begets Cain with the help of YHVH. What is this birth? It is the birth of the Ego. The Ego is thought without its feminine aspect or the aspect of Elohim the combined creative force of male-female. For the ego it is a constant battle, animal sacrifice, murder, slaughter, competition, laws, the taking of territory and the veiled deity that takes and makes promises and bargains and then gets angry just like an ordinary man. It is life without the wonder of creation. What are we to do about this?
The Fifth veil: Correction – Tikkune
Hashem must be reunited with its feminine counterpart Elohim. The equation will otherwise remain unbalanced. We’ve always known this all along but tradition and the Ego are very powerful forces. Torah in its way provides the answer. Forget about ‘back to the future’ and remember ‘the beginning.’ In the beginning Elohim leads the way and is then joined by YHVH until just before man is brought forth which separates YHVH and Elohim forcing consciousness down a path of pain. Still Torah is there to remind us of our mistakes containing an abundant record that chronicles yes the triumphs of YHVH but also shows how man cannot survive with Elohim. The secret them of Hashem is that it must be joined to Elohim in order to function with perfection. Look at it this way. The thought is never complete without the fulfillment of thought. Both Intention and Fulfillment go together. Work cannot succeed unless both sides of the equation are balanced.
As we travel through Torah I am reminded of a story I once wrote. There was adventure, intrigue and a great plot line. Something was missing. I asked myself ‘where is the love.’ As soon as I realized this, the story turned into something else as I rewrote it and I felt a sense of completion. The definition of love seen through YHVH or Moses eyes is harsh indeed with murder mayhem and mass destruction being the order of the day. Except for Psalms, The Song of Songs, and the various Prophets, etc. there aren’t too many references in Torah that talk about love. The love of Hashem is stated as a commandment that is odd because love can never be commanded. My point here is that the world was created with Elohim promoted by Hashem and the two must ultimately be reunited. This reunification is something that all of us have to keep in mind even in our everyday thoughts. Especially at this time of year this becomes more than readily apparent.
She listens always. Her ways are from the beginning. She only speaks love, forgiveness and abundance. Long ago He left her to go to war and set up His kingdoms all the while missing Her and acting out because of Her. She is patience Herself for She knows that She will always love Him. He knows that He must return to Her. A Love like this cannot be denied. For now She waits and reminds Him every spring of Her beauty as He wistfully thinks of Her more often than not praying for the day when they will both be together again as One. He must let go of His past and be open to Her. In a sense He is Her child since She must always come first. As a Mother She allows Him to misbehave knowing that her Love will bring Him back to Her. In case you are wondering She is Elohim and He is Hashem.