Jacob’s Ladder | Yaakov Bar-Nahman Torah Lessons


Yaakov Bar-Nahman Torah Lessons

Jacob’s Ladderjacovsladder

Yaakov Bar-Nahman Torah Lessons

Coming Home | Vayishlach 5776

(Adopted partially from the teachings of Rav Shalom Arush Shlit”a)
Yaakov Avinu, who if you recall was sent by his parents to Padan Aram/Hharan to escape the murderous intentions of his brother Esav, is coming home after 2 decades of exile. In the meantime he’s married & has 4 wives & 12 children (11 sons & 1 daughter.) He also has become quite wealthy. The 12th son is yet to be born in the Holy Land of Israel. Hopefully the time has soothed a bit his larcenous murderous hedonistic brother’s bloodthirsty rage. Well one can dream, yes? No such luck it turns out. Esav is approaching his brother’s entourage with an army of 400 experienced bandit warriors armed to the teeth, each one eager to get his share of the booty. What a lovely “welcome home” party.

In any case to play safe Yaakov sends an enormous gift package in an attempt to mollify his brother & takes cautious measures by spliting his family & camp/wealth in 2, so that if Esav’s army wipes out 1 part the other can escape alive. Yaakov also knew that he must pray as well, & pray he did. He was an expert in hitbodedut/personal-1-to-1-prayer to HaShem.
Well that last part did the trick. Esav meets up with Yaakov & talks to him. In brief he each says that he doesn’t need gifts from his brother, but realize that despite the generous words he greedily – gladly takes it all anyhow.

What do we see in a difference of approach between the brothers & what does it mean to us to learn from?

Esav says “I have plenty”. Yaakov says “I have everything”. Esav admits to having very great wealth, but along with that leaving open for desire for more, & more, & more. Yaakov is satisfied with what he has.

It boils down to Emunah, emunah (faith/trust) that HaShem rules, engineers controls everything & that HaShem decides justly what everyone – everything in the entire uni/multiverse gets & HE sees to it that what is deserved/needed arrives at the right time/place. HaShem is the one real source of all abundance, of true mercy & grace.

Yaakov who lives in the state of full emunah lives & tells of having what he needs & does not seek more & more. He also knows that if he feels a need for anything the only true gateway is by asking HaShem, & that if/when HE sees such a need HE will arrange it’s being fulfilled. Esav who has zero emunah is filthy rich & always wants more & is willing to do anything to get it & ASAP.

Who says that becoming a millionaire will be good for you? Maybe you’ll go nuts not knowing what to do with it? Maybe you or someone in your family will brag about it & thieves will come to kill you for it. Maybe it would mean that you received all your rewards in this material world & zero is left for you in the afterlife & the post Mashiahh world.

Who says that having children is in your destiny in this gilgul? If it isn’t, then forcing the issue to get a child would mean that you will have to die early. Or maybe yes you will have children, but later on because at present you are not yet spiritually/emotionally matured to raise them properly. Therefore HaShem is holding back the births in spite of your doing with your wife what is naturally proper to do.

I heard of an incident with the late Rav Auerbach za”l. A woman came to him asking for his blessing to get a child. She’s been married for many years & has been able to conceive. He pondered for a while & told her. “HaShem doesn’t owe you anything. If you will do something good for some whom you feel you do not owe him or her anything then HaShem will do the same for you.”

Or maybe your getting married is being held back by HaShem because your time has not yet arrived or you are not yet spiritually/emotionally matured to behave properly with your wife. Similarly for the ladies re a husband. The best remedy for that is for the fellows to read “Garden Of peace” & the ladies to read “Woman’s Wisdom”. The book “Raising Children with Love” is important to read even before any children are even conceived.

Those are just examples.

In any case the message that is brought here for us all from this week’s parshah is that [A] HaShem is the master of wisdom/grace/mercy/sustenance; [B] anything that is needed, anything that we lack HE is the only real source for fulfilling. Ask HIM, talk to HIM. Tell HIM that you want, or feel a need for ……… Ask HIM to help you become worthy of fulfilling the felt need.

If & when HE sees fit it will arrive. If it comes as a result of prayer, hitbodeduth, it will be blessed.
With that I now send to all of you my precious brothers, sisters, students & friends my blessings for
Shabat Shalom Umevorakh

Rav Yaakov B

Yaakov Bar-Nahman Torah Lessons

You can enliven or kill, chose carefully | Vayetzei

In our previous parshah Esav got his due & lost both the birthright & the special paternal/Patriarchal blessing which one would presume should be his, being as he was the 1st to exit the birth canal.

We could ponder the point of him having the right of 1st-born; e.g. our ancient sages said that actually Yaakov was the 1st conceived so maybe the right belongs to him for that; another consideration is that if you recall, the twins were in constant strife as to who would be at the exit opening, so maybe Yaakov was indeed intended by HaShem to be the 1st-born but bully tough guy Esav pushed him aside at the last minute & broke through 1st “illegally”.

In any case what we learn from the Holy Zohar is that Esav was the agent of the Sam”M/Primordial Serpent of Gan Eden & had soul sparks of Cain (who was the agent of the Sam”M/Primordial Serpent in his generation), while Yaakov had soul sparks of Hevel (Abel). So through tricking his evil twin, Yaakov was repairing some of the world damage done by the murder of Hevel. In his marrying Leah & thus rescuing her from being married to Esav he repaired the snatching of Hevel’s bride by Cain after murdering him, which actually the reason for that heinous murder.

Here we see the continuation of the evil influence of the Sam”M/Primordial Serpent on Hava (Eve). He lusted after her & plotted to kill Adam in order to gain her for his own base lusts. The spiritual poison he injected into Hava resulted in Cain having those very same traits & they popped up again in Esav.

So let’s now recount a bit. Esav came back from a day of murder, theft, & forceful intimate relations with a non-consenting female. His hunt for some animal for his evening meal was a total failure & so he was famished and exhausted. His base crudeness lead him to ask for food like an animal & like a mindless-soulless animal was ready to trade off his birth-right for a bowl of red lentil stew. Yaakov knew what an animal his brother was. Now Esav was not retarded or drugged & had he said “Hey we’re brothers, that’s a high price for a bowl of porridge. I’ll give you some elk or bear skins if want instead.” But he didn’t. He asked to have the bowlful poured down his greedy gullet accepting the requested price. So we can’t really accuse Yaakov of taking unfair advantage of him.

Then he followed Mom’s orders, she having been born in a family of evil ones saw through Esav’s ploys & knew full well how evil he was & that if he had gotten the special paternal/Patriarchal blessing it would have been a victory of the dark side & catastrophic for the entire world.

If you take an analytical look at world history you will see clearly what Esav/Edom rule does. He rose to rule with the rise of the Roman Empire, & gained world power by destroying the 2nd Beit Mikdash (Holy Temple). Esav/Edom/Rome down the time line is Europe/Vatican/Conquistadors/Crusades/Russia/ U.S.A.-WW2 etc. The quantity & cruelty destructiveness of those rules, wars, ravenous devouring & destruction of nature & milder native populations was far worse since the destruction of the 2nd Beit Mikdash.

To say that Esav was nonplussed by Yaakov getting Yisshhak’s blessing of the heir, would be the understatement of the millennia. He was admittedly seething & straining at the bit to murder Yaakov.

So mother Rivka wisely advised him to split the scene to hide out in Padan Aram & with woman’s wisdom got poppa Yisshhak to tell him to go there, her birth place, to get a wife. Yaakov as we already know being no dummy readily agreed. Off he went, with a couple bags full of riches to pay for his prospective wife.

Now to our parshah.

Esav was not ready to relinquish his prey, but knew that if he went after Yaakov either Yisshhak’s workers would be alerted to go after him to stop him, or Yaakov would find some way to defend himself. Therefore he sent his son Elifaz. Elifaz had been close to Yaakov, studied holy subjects with him for years. This caused Esav to realize that Yaakov would welcome him instead of fear him. Yet Esav also presumed that Elifaz would be sufficiently faithful to his father to murder Yaakov for him. Barukh HaShem the positive influence of the years of holy subject studies gave Elifaz the character traits & loyalty to refuse to murder him. It is said that one who teaches a child/student Torah subjects is likened to be as if he sired him. Especially so when the biological did not do so & did not help him learn those subjects.

So instead of saying “I was only following orders” & murdering Yaakov, Elifaz told him of the evil mission his father had sent him on, & asked what he could do so as to at once mollify Esav, not murder yet not be guilty of not honoring his father.
Our sages taught us that 4 are considered as if dead: a blind person, a leper, an impoverished person (I give you homework to discover the 4th). So Yaakov told Elifaz “Take all my possessions & leave impoverished thereby I will be as if dead, you can show your father the bounty & he will be sure that I would not have given it all up alive”.

This Elifaz did & returned thus to Esav, who was surely pleased pink from it.

Yaakov was left with a camel & saddle, a blanket & the clothes on his back, that’s all! Sundown came & he lay down to sleep, had his prophetic dream & in the morning woke up amazed & uplifted. Knowing that he was left what we would call penny-less, we can better understand his vow to HaShem about if HaShem provides him with clothing & food until he manages to return home.

Fine so Elifaz didn’t slaughter him, but he did leave him the wilderness without any weapon for self defense, without food, without what to catch or buy food & water at any encampment or town he should get to, let alone without with what to buy his bride. By nature we could say Yaakov was as good as dead.

So did Elifaz kill Yaakov or give him life? From this springboard let’s widen the question & bring it into our everyday lives. Do we kill ourselves, others; or do we enliven them? How many times a day?

Rabi Nahman zassa”l taught us that a person with Emunah is really alive, & that without Emunah his life is not a life, he’s as if dead. The Admo’r of Biala Shlit”a told us in a Rosh Hhodesh festive meal last week that if one takes a Emunah from a person it is as if he killed him. We can understand from this that by helping a person get Emunah we give him life.
Also by causing a person poverty we have killed him. Rabbeinu brings from hhaza”l that by stealing or cheating from someone we cause his wife to lose ability to bring children or the ones they have to die. We often hear from a person who was destitute, or in a difficult worrying financial position & someone helped him, “you gave me life!”?

When you’re approached with “Hey man, can you spare a dime?” do you say “get out of my face”, or do you check your pockets to see what you can give him or say “come on I’ll buy you a slice of pizza & a soda”? If you can’t give him anything or suspect he’ll buy drugs with the money do you apologize saying “sorry dude, I don’t have what to give, have a nice day I hope someone will be able to help you”.

Someone due to some rush or whatever caused him confusion opens his briefcase upside down & things spill out, & you say “You clod”. You killed him. The bus jerks stop & the person next to you accidently steps on your foot & you blurt out, “You clumsy oaf, can’t you be more careful?” You killed him.

The Hhafess Hhayim zassa”l in his phenomenal book on proper speech teaches us that gossip is equal to 17 murders. These are just a few examples.

We also know that by speaking well of someone, boosting his moral, his self image, we enliven him.
(By the way where I say him it refers also to her)

You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be some big Rabbi or teacher. You have to have a heart, desire to give life, to be careful not to hurt to kill. Give yourself a motto, an autopilot “do no harm & seek to heal-do good-enliven”.

Even if it’s in “little” things, it can make big positive influences for the present & often enough even into the distant future.
You work in a store, it’s started to rain, & a person walks by wearing Crocs. You can say, “Hey, you want a couple plastic bags to put your feet in inside the Crocs so you don’t get your feet wet?” Even if you have to pay the shop owner half a buck for the bags, you did something great. You might just have saved him from pneumonia. If he was sad due to some people who did hurtful things, you gave him the feeling, “wow there are good kind people in the world too”. You might even have saved him from suicide with that little bit of kindness. It’s happened before.

You meet a person; whom you know or don’t know. He looks like he needs a bit of uplifting. Even if you don’t know what to say, you can point him in the direction of someone who does. You could for example give him the URL of EmunahChannel.com; there he will find a lot of uplifting things. You didn’t know what or how but you opened a door for him.
You see a young lady on the bus looking really down. What can you do? Toss a smile say “yo kid have a nice day. I hope something comes your way to make you happy”.

Or when you get on the bus flash a smile to the driver & say “Good morning, how’re you doin’?”

Little things can get to be big things. In the states I had a house that was about 36 feet high from the ground to the roof, 20 feet wide & 45 feet deep. The walls were built with bricks that measured only about 3 by 3&1/2 by 7 inches. They were little compared to the total size of the building. But altogether they made that big house.

You can say to your spouse, “you look like a million dollars” (but don’t be a wise-guy & add “green & wrinkled”). Or, “Honey, you’re special, there’s only one in the world like you. I thank HaShem for you being in my life.”

You can do things that enliven people, things which give life. HaShem gave you life. He renews you to life every single day. Now it’s your turn to be a loyal recipient, messenger & student of HIS & to enliven his other children too.
Yes You Can Do It. Believe in yourself, you CAN.

With that I send to all of you my precious brothers, sisters, students & friends my blessings for
Shabat Shalom

Rav Yaakov Bar-Nahman

Yaakov Bar-Nahman Torah Lessons

Light Side-Dark Side, All Waiting Will be Fulfilled | Toledot

So much to learn, so many pointers to our lives & world are hidden in our precious Holy Torah. While what I tell here sounds like great tales of the doings of great men & women, it is a pattern & guide for we the little ones must do in our lives as well. Read, read again, get into what is said here & do what you can & must do. This includes Bnei Noach as well as Jews.

And remember as stern as things might sound do it with joy, the joy of holiness. Keep to joy, for only thus can you keep from falling into the awaiting net of the evil serpent who desires your sadness & despair.

Fear leads to jealousy, jealousy leads to anger, anger leads to hatred, which in turn leads one to the Sitra Achra, the Dark Side.

“And Yisschak was 40 years old when he took Rivkah, the daughter of Bethuel the Arami from Padan Aram, the sister of Lavan the Arami, to be his wife.” [25:20] We already know her family relations from last week’s parshah so what do we need this reminder for? The hint to that is in what Chaza”l told of the term “the Arami” which has the same letters as the Hebrew word for a con man ‘rama’i. Yisschak’s young wife was extracted from the bad influence of her evil family. She was a pure soul prepared for him from the creation of the world, deposited & hidden there for him to receive when the time was right, at which point she was to be taken away from there.

After 20 years & tons of prayers by the holy couple, Rivkah finally became pregnant, Mazal Tov. 20 years they waited without losing hope. That’s emunah. People today complain about 2 or 3 years, 5 years.

Yet it was most definitely not a comfortable pregnancy. The belly was big & heavy & a 3 ring circus was raging inside. On top of that she was alone – no mother, no aunt, not even a mother-in-law or friendly neighbor to help & comfort her. She cried out, “… im kein lama zeh anokhi?” (“…if this is so what is my life about?”). Being the pious righteous person she was she went to ask what HaShem will answer to that question. The reply was that there are 2 nations in her womb vying for control, for the right to live at all, & so they will be for generations to come. Also the younger will rule the elder. In due term she gave birth to twins, as was foretold in the reply she got. So who needs ultrasound?

The 1st one out, Esav, was born covered with hair, much like a furry animal, & with teeth & an adult’s face already at birth. Again much like an animal. And indeed he was a wild thing.

His very name, based on the Hebrew word “Asui”, shows his essence. He was born appearing as a completed adult. His personality was such that he felt that he already knows everything, he doesn’t need to listen to anyone else. He knows better & he can do as he chooses. He was the innate rebel incarnate, remnant of the spiritual poison of the Primordial Serpent, the Sam’M who is the ministering angel of Esav, injected into Chava/Eve in Gan Eden. This klipah appears in people throughout the ages. It is even more common in our generation. There are children in this generation whose tikun includes being born with sparks of this klipah which they must repair. The work is hard, both on them & those around them. Yet as hard as it is, it is important for the finishing off of the Esav/Primordial Serpent-Sam’M in order to bring about the final Geula.

Most people are born a mixture of good & not good traits. But here we have twins in whom 1 was all good traits & the 2nd full of bad traits. Some of our ancient sages stated that the 2 split between them the traits; Yaakov was born with the good-traits inside him & Esav the others.

This we see in several examples, among them in the incident of the bean stew. Esav returned to the home encampment from a day of murder, cruelly forced “relationships”, theft etc, yet his hunt for the day’s meal had failed. He was hungry, tired, & probably exhausted. He saw his twin brother making a stew of red lentils. Avraham had passed away & Yaakov was making a traditional lentil based meal for their father, Yisschak, who was in mourning.

Thus HaShem made come about the famous deal of Esav trading off his birthright for a bowl of stew & a pita. Now when we read this we can’t help but wonder, “What was he a cretin, or was he crazy, or drugged out on some mind bending plant?” After all, had he asked his brother politely for a bit of chow like a normal man, surely Yaakov would likely not have thought of the slick deal. In either case, had he been a normal person & not the hedonist he was, he would have replied something on the order of, “Yo bro’ we’re family, brothers, you bein’ funny?’, & ended the incident with a bowl of stew & pita at no charge.
Yet Yaakov knew well what a furry wild beast-man his brother was.

Esav’s reply showed how right the younger twin was too. “Vayomer Esav, hinei anokhi holekh lamut velama zeh li berokha?” (“And Esav said, I am going to die so what good is the birthright to me?”) He felt like he was “dying from exhaustion & hunger”. Patience & ability to stand some temporary discomfort were quite obviously not among his character traits. Esav also knew all too well that the birthright from Yisschak, which was a Holy Inheritance from their grandfather Avraham, was more than material wealth. It was a spiritual wealth that entailed a big spiritual & moral responsibility. He would have to leave his hedonistic, lustful wild life style, live a pure life, learn Torah & even worse teach to the many in order to awaken the masses to the truth of The One Eternal Ephemeral Divine Creator & Eternal World King. This immense responsibility he was most happy to be rid of.

The above mentioned pasuk is joined by a hint in another place to show us clearly what his attitude was. We can also learn from similar wording a totally different attitude in their pious mother.

His words are, “hinei anokhi” (“Here I am”) & ..”velama zeh li” (“& what is it worth to me?”); as opposed to Rivkah’s “lama zeh anokhi?” (“what is my life about?”). Those slightly different words as chosen by both of them – “lama zeh anokhi?” vs “velama zeh li (berokha)?” along with the different “te’amim” (cantilations) show us that the meanings were very different. Rivkah wanted to understand her suffering, the meaning of her life. Esav despised his birthright; to him it was less desirable, less worthwhile, than a bowl of stew & a pita.

Our sages said, “Maaseh avoth siman lebanim” (The actions of the fathers/ancestors are a sign for the sons/descendants).
Rivkah in her quandary & tribulation turned to HaShem to ask HIS guidance & help. Esav turned to his lusts & physical desires, looking for easy & irresponsible ways to fulfill them. The spiritual/moral line of Yisschak & Rivkah is through Yaakov – to Bnei Yisrael whose true way of life is patterned after Rivkah. Esav’s heirs in turn developed religions of lusts, idolatry & even the constructed one that deifies a hung corpse of a rebel who, despite learning in a religious Jewish boy’s school & several years in a yeshiva, not only ran away from the 613 commandments, but didn’t even comply with the 7 Noachide commandments.

Today there is a growing minority of Esav’s descendants who are repenting & taking upon themselves those 7 of the Noachide Covenant, or doing a full giur/conversion to Judaism & the Covenant at Sinai. But those who do not accept into their lives one of those two covenants, will not have a place in the world to come after Mashiach’s repairs.

Each & every one of us must daily do a self check. Are we in the mode of Rivkah/Yaakov or of Lavan/Esav? We must seek & repair, or as in an army service “search & rescue”. Rescue yourself from the dark side.

Realise well that the dark side is wily, seductive. It can trick you into believing that it is the good, that it better for you, & that it is your destiny. These are all lies. The only way you can guard yourself from falling into its trap is by personal, private meditation – conversations with HaShem, known as “hithbodeduth”. Only when your mind is calmed, clear & connected to HaShem through these sessions with HIM, can it differentiate between the true calls to the good, the light & the seductive trick calls to the evil, the dark, the sitra achra.

Another thing to learn from the above incident is shown in pasuk 25:34. “… vayokhal vayeisht vayakaom vayeilekh vayeivez Esav et habekhorah.” (“… ate, & drank & got up & went & Esav despised the birthright”).

The letters of the Hebrew word for birthright (bekhora) are the same as for blessing (berakha). Esav ate & drank without blessing before or after his meal. He despised. What did he despise? He was an ingrate. He made no mention of recognizing what HaShem did to make the food & drink available to him & no mention of thanking HaShem after his repast. HaShem does not like ingrates. These 2 men, Esav & Yaakov, were to be the spiritual pillars of the world. Esav held the job in disdain. Blessing? Who needs to bless over food?

In effect he was saying, “I don’t need to do a blessing, I don’t need no birthright & no birth certificate. I just want to receive what I would if I did bless & did have the birthright & birth certificate!” That was his attitude. (Hmmmm) Some people have the klipah to repair & some have it to be part of the Sitra Achra-Dark Side powers to battle against the side of HaShem, the Power of Light.

No appreciation? Fine, let’s see how you feel when the pipeline gets stoppered up!
Immediately after the pasuk of Esav despising the birthright/blessing we have 26:1 “And there was a famine in the land….”
Oh oh, now you gone ‘n’ done it Esav. You jerk, you meathead. Your despicable behavior, your irresponsibility & lack of gratitude has shut down the pipeline, not just for yourself but for the entire region. He was plugged lucky that the various tribes in the land had zero inkling that he caused the famine. They would have stood in line to kill him.

As the time went by Rivkah with a caring awareness & holy mother’s eyes/soul saw clearly what her 2 sons were about. When the time came near her husband’s passing & therefore his giving his parting blessings & assigning of the heritage, she knew that she had to act to assure that it went to the correct son. She knew all too well that if it went to the wrong hands the entire world was in trouble, deep trouble.

Here she used her inherited talent of intrigue, but for the good of the entire world. Yes the end does not always justify the means but as it is said in Shmuel 2:22:26 & in Tehilim 18:26-27, “With the merciful be you
merciful, with the upright man be you upright. With the pure be you pure; and with the crooked be you subtle/clever.” (כז) עִם נָבָר תִּתְבָּרָר וְעִם עִקֵּשׁ תִּתְפַּתָּל :כו) עִם חָסִיד תִּתְחַסָּד עִם גְּבַר תָּמִים תִּתַּמָּם :
Rivkah saw that Esav was unworthy of being a candidate for continuing the supremely important work of Avraham & Yisschak to bring the light of HaShem to the world. In deed he was quite the opposite of that. So she devised the trick that arranged for Yaakov the pure one of the 2 & the proper candidate for it, to get the birthright blessings & assignment.
But that triggered such intense ire in Esav, the “dethroned” one, that he was bent on murdering his chosen brother.
Rivkah’s high soul saw forward & inward & she sent Yaakov on another spiritual “Search & Rescue” mission, a triple one at that. 1st of all to rescue him from his violent murderous brother, & thereby also save the heritage line of Mashiach. 2nd was to rescue Leah from marriage to the evil Esav. Esav was an incarnation of the Primordial Serpent/Sam”M, Leah of Chava, & Yaakov of Adam. Now Yaakov/Adam had the chance to rescue Leah/Chava from Esav/Sam”M. This would be the 1st in several steps to repair that damage from the incident of the forbidden fruit in Gan Eden.

Leah knew of the impending hazard of being married to Esav & was terrified of it. She cried a lot over it. Rachel too was to add to the repair in her union with Yaakov, with his alternate name – Yisrael, to the higher soul level of Rachel as we learn in the Holy Kabala.

Yehudah, son of Leah, would be the root father of the Mashiach ben David, which was another reason for rescuing Leah/Chava from Esav/Sam”M. The 2 sons of Rachel would also be important components of the framework of the nation & land of Yisrael & the Geula.

Part of the land on which the Beit Hamikdash & Royal complex would be built upon would be in the sector of Benyamin. Shaul the 1st official king of Yisrael would be from the tribe of Benyamin. He was even given the opportunity to be Mashiach, but fouled up & lost that honor (which therefore turned back to the tribe of Yehudah).

Yosef would be an interim king via the position of viceroy in Egypt. He was also an essential part of the unfolding of the prophecy of the slavery in the furnace which shaped & tempered the budding nation.

Along with that, our Holy Kabalists teach us that he was the root father of inter-tribal contention that caused the destruction of the 1st Beit Mikdash & the 1st exile. And that he is the core root of intramural strife between groups of Jews till today. The final repair will be when Mashiach ben Yosef will have to surrender & become subject to Mashiach ben David. (If he refuses to surrender then by Divine decree he will die at the hands of the goyim who will come to attack Israel.) Thus will open the final steps of the final full true Geula, the final & total fall of Esav/Sam”M & bring into being the coronation of Mashiach ben David with the repair of the world.

Then will all the waiting be fulfilled. The water of Torah will extinguish the fire of evil we will all become winged immaterial souls in renewed repaired world.

May it be soon & in our days, Amen!

With that I send to all of you my precious brothers, sisters, friends & students my blessings for Shabat Shalom umevorakh.
Rav Yaakov Bar-Nahman

Yaakov Bar-Nahman Torah Lessons

Improving your character traits | Chaye Sarah

[Bereisheet/Genesis 23:1] “And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years; these were the years of the life of Sarah.” Why didn’t Torah simply say that Sarah was 127 years old when she died? Pay attention that it doesn’t mention death at all.

By the way let’s see Psalm 127 & how it relates to the Parsha & to today’s current events. Copied here from the new (relatively) JPS translation.

Psalms Chapter 127 – 1 A song of ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain on it; unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman keeps vigil in vain. 2 In vain do you rise early and stay up late, you who toil for the bread you eat; He provides as much for His loved ones while they sleep. 3 Sons are the provision of the Lord; the fruit of the womb, His reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are sons born to a man in his youth. 5 Happy is the man who fills his quiver with them; they shall not be put to shame when they contend with the enemy in the gate.
Read, reread & think about it. You’ll see the indicators.

Back to the parshah. Sarah Imeinu (our mother), among other fine traits, was the full partner of her husband, Avraham, in their trait of kindness to others.

In this opening issue of this week’s parashah we have the real estate deal for the burial site for Sarah. Avraham openly stated that he was ready to pay the going price for the piece of land. Efron the Hittite said that he would it to him for free – no money. [23:11] “Nay my lord, hear me; the field and the cave that is therein, I give it to you; in the presence of my people I give it to you; bury your dead.”

However we are soon to find that this was a mere ploy & that actually demanded an exorbitant sum. Even with the witness of many of his tribe members he did the double speak trick. Sound familiar from today’s news? (Arab claims to the Makhpeila Cave where our Patriarchs are buried, here we see the purchase; & the “High” court of “Justice” giving power to an unfounded claim with no real proof by an arab that the land a synagogue in Givat Ze’ev is built on “his” land when the Jews have in their hands the legal bill of sale, & the court ordering the destruction of a synagogue that has stood prayed in for decades till today).

Pay attention too, that the Pharaoh of Egypt who initiated the slavery of the Bnei Yisrael a few generations later was actually a Hittite. 400 trade shekels for a relatively small piece of wild land in an area not fit for agriculture & a mysterious cave in its midst that radiated some unfathomable sensation that actually caused great fear to any Hittite etc who dared approach & therefore was unmarketable, was really gauging. Even if it had been prime land that price in those days should have bought a plot at least 5 times the size.

Some “I give it to you”…. What kind of character trait do we see here in this Hittite & his people who said nothing when the trick was performed before their eyes?

Further on in our parashah we see Eli’ezer, Avraham’s chief servant being sent to Aram to find a bride for Yisshhak. He went with a veritable treasury & 10 men who would obey his commands. He could have gone off & start a tribe of his own somewhere with him as tribal chief. After all he had been the son of a king (Nimrod). He could have taken a bride for himself too. Avraham could never have done a thing about it. But he didn’t, because he learned the way of good traits from his master.

Next we see little Rivka, 3 years old, being sent by her father to bring home pitchers of water. 1st of all, consider the actions of the father to demand such work from a 3 year old girl. Then think of the phenomenal trait of the little tyke to voluntarily water all those men & their camels. Each camel drinks 120 liters of water; do the math your self!
Then we have the attempt by Lavan & Bethuel to poison Eli’ezer so that they can steal the goods & still keep Rivka. Oof, what character traits. These characters lived in the region where modern day Turkey, Syria & Iraq meet. Nothing new under the sun.

Now we know that Torah is here to teach us. We have learned that we must study Torah again & again throughout our lives.
Now let me give you a whack with a 2 by 4 between the eyes.

A person can sit in a study hall day & night for 60 years straight, pass away & when he stands before the judges in Heaven be asked, “Why did you waste your life? Why did you never study Torah?”

When he recovers from the shock of the question he will say, “What do mean? Look at the heavenly video of my life & see how I did indeed sit & study all those years.”

To which he will be replied, “We also look at what you did, what you felt & thought, what character traits you developed & did not develop. You may have read millions of words written in many Torah study books. Yet you did not permit the Torah to improve your character. Therefore it is considered that you never studied at all!”

Yes folks, that is the shocking truth. We heard this directly from our venerable teacher Rav Shalom Arush Shlit”a may, HaShem protect him & give him a long healthy happy fulfilling life. He told us all the places in our Holy books that back his statements 100%.

Think about it. Realize that Torah study is not merely a history book, or a set of nice folk tales. It is a handbook for living. Its main purpose is to teach us how we must live. That goes for Jews & Bnei Noahh alike by the way. Just as HaShem shows us that HE is patient, so we must learn to be patient. Just as Hashem shows how HE is merciful, so we must learn to be merciful. . Just as HaShem shows us that HE is kind & charitable, so we must do so too. And so on with all the great traits of HaShem.
Without decent character traits a human is worse than an animal!

In Gemara Taanit (fasts) section 2 we read of a Roman soldier who sought to kill 2 Jews for the blood libel on the death of the Caesar’s daughter. They told him point blank that he is no better than a bear or a lion, not even on the level of a human at all. The end was that immediately after he killed those 2 pious Jews, 2 high officers of the Caesar entered with an execution order on him, & killed him on the spot. HaShem let people know that he demands payment for the blood of his people.
Anyhow back to our lesson on the parashah. Torah study is only Torah study when you improve your character traits. Bottom line!

That is the message. Now it’s your turn.

With that I send to all of you my precious brothers, sisters, students & friends
My blessings for Shabat Shalom Umevorakh

Rav Yaakov B

Yaakov Bar-Nahman Torah Lessons

Argue with HaShem for mercy – Vayera

“And HaShem appeared to Avraham ….” Now we know that HaShem is beyond any physical shape etc. So any appearance could only be 1 of 2 possibilities; either some sensation in Avaraham’s mind/soul that could be interpreted by the human mind or an actual construction of sorts to give the human eye something to latch onto e.g. the famous burning bush that Moshe was to be given to see a few hundred years further down the road.

Basically we should all be able to “see” HaShem everywhere in our selves & in our surroundings, in everything that we see hear etc. This actually is the meaning of the word “yir’ah” = awe, which is the very same root as “yirah” = see. If one has proper awe, s/he sees HaShem in everything, & someone who sees HaShem in what surrounds him/her, happens to him/her will develop awe. But that is seeing the covert hints in our daily lives. What is meant here is receiving an overt image / sensation, as in the burning bush, or as in the desert when all of Bnei Yisrael were given the right & ability to see the cloud that was a symbol of HaShem’s glory & presence. Well that was a special time in a special situation. Other than that how many humans have “seen HaShem”?

What gave Avraham & Moshe that right/gift?

Both were shepherds who were to be shepherds to HaShem’s private prize flock. They were also grand teachers who, with dedication that even endangered their lives, brought knowledge of HaShem to the world. Not “merely” spreading a knowledge that already existed in public domain but needs to be taught. Those 2 men revealed a new concept that was basically unknown to mankind.

In the days of Avraham mankind had forgotten the ephemeral singularity of HaShem & was all worshipping idols & pantheistic – pagan beliefs. He dedicated his life to teaching mankind the concept of the single divinity & all that encompasses.

Moshe helped forge the downtrodden broken slave nation of Bnei Yisrael who had little other the memories of what had been passed down from Yaakov Avinu, into a vibrant powerful nation with the Torah in their hands & hearts & souls. This was a nation so broken that even after seeing 1st hand the power of HaShem, & HIS love for them, in the miraculous 10 clobberings that HE hit Egypt with to force our being able to exit, only 20% were ready to do the commandment of tying a sheep to a bed & then slaughter & roast it in the eyes of the Egyptians & then smear its blood on the lintels of their doors. Even with being told that this would save their lives when HaShem would come through the region to wipe out masses of Egyptians. This mess of a rag tag nation Moshe Rabbeinu (our teacher) took under his wing.

Avraham had circumcised himself when HaShem told him to. How many people can do or would do that? Especially since he was no spring chicken at the time. He was 99 years old! Then with a fever on the 3rd day after he did this when he saw the 3 “men” approaching the area of his encampment he ran, yes ran to them to beg them to be his guests. How many people can do or would do that?

Avraham & Moshe also dared beg – argue with HaShem for mercy on the masses. Remember that this point is a major difference between Noahh & Avraham. Noahh was labeled as a Ssadik but only in regarding his generation. Avraham’s higher level recognition did not have that “1 generation limit”. Why? Because he bargained with HaShem to beg for mercy on the evil city of Sdom, while Noahh got the word that mankind’s evil behaviors were to trigger mass destruction & death & he did nothing to try to stop it.

By the way, there is a Midrash (“Arur anshei Maroz” = “accursed are the men of Maroz”, with a mafaresh saying that Maroz was not on our planet) that points to there havening been advanced life on Mars millennia ago & being wiped out by HaShem because they had seen & known of the decadence of life on earth, heard of HaShem’s intent to destroy & they did not pray for earthlings to do tshuvah to save themselves.

Noahh saved his own family. Avraham made the effort to save the lives of others to whom he had no reason to give 2 hoots about. Moshe repeatedly begged HaShem for mercy on his obstinate flock even putting his own life on the line for it.
All that is “Ben Adam le Hhaveiro” (between man & his fellow) on an exemplary scale. They are prime examples to all of mankind.

That is what gave them the right to such a gift.

“Ben Adam le Hhaveiro” is a major core concept & target/meaning of the entire Torah. We are taught by our sages that there is no Torah without proper behavior between people. Any “Torah” without that is not Torah. It is food for the sitra ahhra (the dark side)!

These 2 men made great efforts, & in really tough situations, & without massive organizations etc to back them, to make the world a better place.

Let’s each of us do something concrete to go in their footsteps & thus bring closer the final true Geula – redemption with the real Mashiahh Ben David in mercy to the world; Amen!

With that I now send to all of you my precious brothers, sisters, students & friends my blessings for Shabat Shalom Umevorakh

Rav Yaakov Bar-Nahman

Yaakov Bar-Nahman Torah Lessons

Praying before every battle | Lech Lecha

Our parshah begins in the mid Bronze age with HaShem telling Avram (later to be renamed Avraham) to “Go you forth from your land, your birth place, your father’s home go to the land which I shall show you”. At the time, Avram was in the town of Hharan not the town or even county he had been born in. He was born & his father’s original home was in Ur Kasdim, close to the capitol of the evil idolatrous king Nimrod, engineer & builder of the infamous Tower of Bavel (Babylon). So why did HaShem say what HE said as HE said?

Terahh, Avram’s father had also been told by HaShem to leave his place of dwelling, Ur Kasdim, & go to Canaan. He did indeed leave Ur but on the way he stopped in Hharan as a rest stop but did not continue to Canaan. Instead he set up house & business there in Hharan & stayed. The map below shows the location of Hharan in the center of the border between Turkey & Syria of our days.

After all it was a good business center, on a river branching from the Euphrates near the northern end of the Tigris. Hharan was, at the time, right smack on the meeting point of trade roads from the North African ivory/diamond/gold sources, the Far East Spice & Silk Road, the Near East Tkheilet* producers & Wheat & barley fields to the Asia Minor/Eurasion markets. It was an excellent spot to set up shop as a broker between those very profitable markets. (*Tkheilet is the expensive blue dye made from a rare sea snail that was found only at the eastern shores of the Mediterranean sea, mainly off of Tyre. It was used in royal garments & is still used today for some ssissyoth, the strings dangling from a talit/prayer shawl)

Indeed he became very wealthy. The house they lived in has been found. While the common houses in Hharan back then & into recent decades were mud brick beehive shaped adobes, the wealthy Terahh & Avram had a virtual palace. It was a large hollow square 2 story residence with a guarded gate, a watch tower & a courtyard with a water fountain in the center. It had indoor toilets, water pipes to the bath & kitchen, stables for the donkeys, horses & camels. In the library of the remains have been found cuneiform tablets with records of their business trading.

Terahh was so unable to disconnect from his idol worship & the pagan narcissist culture of the Chaldean Babylonians & so enamored of his flourishing business that he could not permit himself to heed HaShem’s orders to go all the way to Canaan.
So he died there.

HaShem waited till after HIS decision to cut off the lifeline of Terahh in order to transfer the order &spiritual job to Avram. This was for a couple reasons which are well worth our learning from.
“Leave your place of birth” Avram already had done, physically. To “…leave your father’s home” would be easier after father died, both emotionally & in the aspect of not violating “Kvod Av” (filial duty/respect).

Also were Avram to leave Hharan & go to Canaan while his father lived it would have brought further shame upon his father who had failed miserably regarding the order he had received from HaShem to leave & go to Canaan. Even though Terahh was an incorrigible lecherous promiscuous pagan idolater, sorcerer & promoter of idolatry, Avram respected his father & HaShem helped him to continue do so.

This basic lesson in Kvod Av, respect of the child to the parent is one that should well be taken to heart. It is a point, that despite being supremely important & even mentioned in the Torah as a merit to achieve long life, is one in which mankind has proven weak from day one.

Much has been taught to us by our sages of the extent to which one must honor & respect ones parents. I will present here 2 examples from our sages.

1] If one serves his father a well cooked & spiced pheasant on golden platter with fine silverware on a silk covered table with a crystal glass of the finest wine, yet does it with a sour face & attitude, it is far worse than if one gave his father the simplest food with plain water in crude stone cup on a bare wooden table & a wooden spoon with a joyous face & loving attitude.
2] Even if one is sitting at a public dinner with the most important men of the county & his best friends, & his mother arrives & in front of everyone there slaps him on his face spits in his face & takes his purse full of pure gold coins & throws it into the sea; he must take the offense in silence & pay respect to his mother.

Further on a bit we see Avram did get to Canaan but soon afterwards there is a severe draught & he goes down to Egypt where the voluptuous Nile provided water for farming aplenty. On nearing Egypt Avram comes up with a puzzling statement. “Behold now, I know that you are a beautiful woman to look upon.”

What only now after several decades that they are married he notices that his wife is breathtakingly gorgeous?! I think that most women today if it took so long they would have long before clobbered their husband or left him.
But folks it’s not as simple as it looks up front. I’ll explain myself.

1st of all Avram was an example par excellence of the trait of guarding one’s eyes. He simply did not look at women at all.
A slightly more recent example of this trait we find in the Rav Aharon of Belz zassa”l. Before he married, his father called him to meet & see his bride to be. The young man refused. To which both his father & the girl’s father were taken aback. They knew that he did not look at women but what about the bride, his soon to be wife? They pointed out the halakha that one must see his future bride before the engagement so as to be sure he will not say after the wedding “Hey this critter is ugly I don’t want her”. To which the young man replied, “What you say is true & important, yet only so for a husband who will look at his wife after the wedding.”

Such was the way of Avram as well. He only took notice of his wife’s phenomenal beauty because he knew that the Egyptians had a terrible reputation for lustfulness, & would even kill a man to snatch his wife. So he asked her to say she was his sister. In truth she was his half sister, so it wasn’t really a total lie. That way they would pay him well instead of kill him. HaShem saw to it that no one was able to do anything improper with her, as we learn in the parshah. “17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Avram’s wife.” Rashi teaches us that the plague was of a type that made “relations” impossible.

There is more to learn from this passage than that. One should discover one’s holy soul & how spiritually morally beautiful it is. Then also realize that he/she is going forth in a world that is rife with lust & impurity etc, & must become aware of the fact that the S”M & Yeisser Hara (Evil Inclination) seek to cause him/her to stumble, to “kill him” spiritually & morally. Therefore one must be humble & not arrogant/prideful & should not “advertise” his doing of missvoth & good deeds. That way one is better guarded from the ploys & attacks of the S”M & Yeisser Hara so that they may not destroy him.

As for the S”M; you should know that our ancient sages warned us that when a religion comes that will change the day of rest from the 7th day of the week to any other day then know that it is born of the S”M himself. The 1st to do so, moved the day of rest to the 1st day of the week. It was founded about 2 millennia ago & its world center is in Rome.

A few centuries after that it was followed by a 2nd one which chose the 6th day of the week. That one’s world center is in Mecca. It also recognizes the purported founder of the aforementioned pseudo-religion as a prophet. What is very interesting & telling is that the name of that 2nd on has in it the exact same letters as the full name of the Evil Angel generally called by its nicknames S”M or Sam or Sat’an. Islam is spelled Alef-Samekh-Lamed-Mem, whereas that Evil One is Samekh-Mem-Alef-‘Lamed (who BTW was the angel who manifested as the primordial snake of Gan Eden which caused Adam & Hhava to sin). The followers of this second “religion” have long ago, as commanded to them by their “holy book” the Koran, declared Jihad (holy war) on the world, declaring that anyplace that is not of its followers “The world of combat”. Any person who is not one of them must either convert, become a slave or be killed.

Look at history! See what their Jihad campaigns by the Mujahadeen did in North Africa & Spain in the days of the Ramba”m (Maimonides) zassa”l, & of Rav Shmuel Hanagid zassa”l. They burned entire cities & towns slaughtering mercilessly the inhabitants. See what they did in Sudan in 1885. See the website http://www.historyofjihad.org for a long list of Jihad wars spanning 14 centuries.

Go try to make peace with such people.

These past few weeks again they have openly declared Jihad on Israel.

We must remember & never forget the example of the Maccabees. They were heavily outnumbered, the enemy was 2-fold; there was the massive army of Antiochus plus the 5th column of Hellenists within the Jewish towns in the same neighborhoods. Like today with the arabs in & around Israel. The enemy army had more & better weapons as well.
Yet the Maccabees prevailed, Barukh HaShem. Why-how? They studied & lived by the TORAH, they prayed to HaShem before every battle, every guerilla attack. That AND ONLY THAT is the key to their triumph. Understand what that means to us today.

Nuf said:

With that I now send to all of you my precious brothers, sisters, students & friends my blessings for
Shabat Shalom Umevorakh

Rav Yaakov Bar-Nahman

Yaakov Bar-Nahman Torah Lessons

Partaking in the coronation of HaShem | Noach

“How long can you tread water?” or “Now what did he mean by that?” & there is that song from a few decades ago “Rain drops keep falling in my head” (anyone remember where that’s from?).

Noach’s name means “comfort” or “comfortable”. That’s cute but why would a child be given such a name? Can you imagine yourself calling your newborn son “Comfort”? Imagine the kids are outside playing ball with friends & you want your boy to come home. “Comfort, come home now.” Or how about the child’s 1st day in school & the teacher is asking everyone to tell his name & it goes like this, Moshe – Johny – Fredy – Abe – Shimon – Comfort & then there a moment of silence in the room before the rest of the class is rolling on the floor in laughter……

So why did his parents do it?

In last week’s parshah the very ground had been cursed by HaShem regarding mankind, and mankind was cursed to reap his food from the ground through hardship. The Midrashim (ancient mystic sages’ commentaries) teach us that one of the ways that HaShem used to manifest those curses was by human beings from then on had their fingers connected side by side, instead of freely movable individual fingers. This made farming & many other works rather difficult. Try doing things with all your fingers together as if they were connected. When Noach was born his father saw two important differences; one that he was born circumcised, two that his fingers were free, they were separated from each other, individually movable. From that he realized that the curse was ended & said, “This (boy/man) will be our comfort”. Thereby the otherwise odd name.
That is quite something on its own. Yet there is even more to learn from the name & its implications. The reprieve of the Divine double curse was a boon for mankind. But, mankind had fallen under yet another curse & made things worse.
In last week’s parshah we had, [Bereisheet 6:] “2 that the ‘sons of God’ saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives, whomsoever they chose. 3 And the LORD said: ‘My spirit shall not abide in man forever, for that he also is flesh; therefore shall his days be a hundred and twenty years.’ 4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the ‘sons of God’ came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.”

Those ‘sons of God’ were members of a race of Angels who had gone down to earth for the purpose of trying to prove to HaShem that mankind is a worthless, unreliable creation & they are so much better.

However to go down to earth & mingle with mankind they had to downgrade their “energy/vibratory state” & become physical beings. They were soon to discover that not only were they no better, but they were even less moral & were more morally deviant & lustful etc than mankind. To boot they taught mankind various “tricks of the trade’ that we would have been better off without. Among others, the art of warfare, the art of political intrigue, con-artistry, makeup for women & the art of the temptress to make them more alluring & able to control & play intrigues.

The Nephilim were powerful giants who had inherited the lustfulness etc of their fathers.

From all that developed the violence & decadence we read about in the beginning of this week’s parshah. The Wild West, Chicago in the reigns of Al Capone Joe Bananos etc, all wrapped together were small potatoes compared to what went on back then.

Noach’s father who was one of the few decent people around in those days got a glimpse of info from heaven not just that Noach’s arrival into the world signified an end of the Divine double curse, but also the end of the reign of terror & hyper-decadence that was so rife. What he did not get to see was that the end of the mess was to come about via the end of almost all of life on the planet.

The repair & rebirth of life forms existence could only come about by the destruction of the decadent life forms & then to plant a new beginning. That HaShem did this by using a core of symbolic survivors of world wide destruction was in a way mercy on his creation. The only other option was to totally destroy the entire creation & start totally anew as had been done several times before Adam.

This eradication of evil & a 2nd chance, a new hope, given to the world was also a “comfort”/Noach.
Then to give mankind a set of rules, that by them mankind would have guidelines to hopefully help prevent falling again into the hyper-decadence & violence of the destroyed generation HaShem gave the 7 Noachide law Covenant. This too was a “comfort”.

Would that mankind through the ages had kept to that covenant comfort would have been the order of the day, instead of the disease, warfare, famine etc etc that we have been experiencing all these millennia.

But mankind was still suffering from the poisoned mind set of the fruit of knowledge of good & evil.

Noach spent 120 years building the Ark. Probably was a union worker with strikes like Israel & Italy combined. When people asked whatever for was he building an immense sail-less boat in the middle of the eastern Turkish landmass, far from the ocean, far from any lake or river big enough to carry it, he warned them about the upcoming deluge & why it was coming.
They all laughed at him. However there came the day when the rains started, at 1st drip – drip then a drizzle, then actual rain. “See, I told you so”. “Oh you crazy old fuddy duddy we have rains many times a year every year what are you dithering about? In few hours it’ll stop as usual.” But it didn’t stop. Instead it got harder & harder, heavier & heavier. Then Noach hit the steam whistle & told his family & private zoo “All aboard that’s goin’ aboard”. Then all the ‘invited guests’ scrambled in & HaShem shut & sealed the door. The rain got heavier & people started singing “Rain drops keep falling in my head”. Then when it continued & the water was riseng & rising, panic started. They realized that “Crazy old Noach” was right after all. A major destructive extinction level deluge was coming. “Hey we give up we’re ready to repent” “Too late folks the ships leaving harbor, time for repenting was before the rains began, the time window for reception of repentants is closed.” “What can we do now?” “How long can you tread water?”

Okay all joking aside. That is a funny way of describing what went down. But we need to learn from that that as our ancient sages have warned us, the final end game will be like that. There will be “natural” warnings; there will be those who warn verbally. Those who listen will be saved, those who refuse – won’t. Pay attention that in the soon to come final cleansing there will be a time when it will be too late.

Folks don’t miss the boat.

People ask, “God let the animals know what was coming up & that joining Noach’s Ark would save them. We’re sure that a lot more than the few that would be allowed on board arrived. How did Noach choose who yes & who no, & how did he prevent the rejected ones from barging in?” Well it wasn’t Noach. As we read in the parshah, even the animals did perverted things, which is why the vast majority of them had to die as well. For otherwise HaShem would have simply engineered a way to knock off only humans. HaShem gave the ark the ability to sense which animals were among the perverts & it closed the door on them, not letting them in & repelled them. The ark admitted only the animals who had behaved properly.

I feel it’s also worth mentioning another point about the 7 Noachide commandments. Would that most, even not all, non-Jews observe properly those few commandments this world would be so much better a place. I’ll tell you something I feel is really sweet & beautiful. There are 7 Noachide Covenant commandments & 613 commandments given to the Jews in the Sinai Covenant. Add that up to 620 which is gematria (numerology sum) of the Hebrew word Keter which means crown.

Understand the importance of that seemingly little point. Both covenants are between HaShem & mankind. HE is THE KING & humans are HIS kingdom’s subjects. When we together follow HIS Covenant – Commandments we are recognizing HIS KINGSHIP by making HIS crown (620/Keter).

When you, yes little ol’ you, whoever you are Jew or non-Jew, wherever you are, whatever you feel your status in the world is, can by merely observing the commandments that are relevant to your nation’s covenant with HIM of those 2, you – yes you – are partaking in the coronation of HaShem. Isn’t that great? Wouldn’t it be a pity to miss out on that? Wouldn’t it be great to be a part of that?

With those tidbits as food for thought I send to all of you my precious brothers, sisters, friends & students my blessings for
Shabat Shalom Umevorakh & for a good new month.
Yaakov Bar-Nahman

Jacob’s Ladder

SIRENS, Then & Now

Here’s a little bit of “hhizuk” (strengthening) for us all.

In greek mythology (which for us is actually meaningless idolatry) the sirens were dangerous yet beautiful creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Sirens misled men off their proper course to destruction.

Now the sirens of the air raids here in Israel, while they are indeed needed to warn us of real physical danger, must be taken differently than most of us do. We humans are easily misled off course to forget our source, our BIG ally. We shipwreck ourselves on the rocky coast of kfira (apostasy) in Hashgahha/Divine Providence. I learned years ago that yes a Jew must recognize danger & take proper caution. BUT he must NOT get “butterflies in his stomach”, panic etc for that is kfira. The Rav who taught us this when I lived in Emanuel during the 1st Iraq war 23 years ago & the intifada, told us “yes I have a gun on the seat next to me when I drive past Arab villages & would use immediately if need be, & I don’t enter their villages, especially not at night. That is proper sane caution. But I do not permit myself to feel jitters etc for that would be kfira in HaShem’s guiding & guarding hand. By the way he was not a young sportive tough guy.

When the sirens sang out back then, 23 years ago, in the evenings we went out to the street made a circle danced & sang things like “Ussu Eissa vetufar….” & “am Yisrael Hhai”, & watched SCUDS that were coming down directly overhead CHANGE COURSE in midair! This is impossible by natural status, those things are immense & fast. 2 fell on Arab villages celebrating that missiles were falling on Jewish towns/cities & 1 fell into a mud filled valley!

From the scifi book “Dune” here is a line worth remembering; “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Don’t get tempted off course by the sirens.

Sure go to the miklatim, if you feel a need to, BUT without panic, without fear. Instead we must all; work on our EMUNAH, do soul searching tshuvah (without getting depressed from it), pray, help each other, give ssdaka, increase our Ahavat Yisrael (love of our fellow Jew), sing dance find what to thank HaShem about & be happy about every day, even thank HIM for these noisy “wake up calls” & lovingly wake up others to these points.

It may sound nuts to you at 1st, but go for it & you’ll see it’s a great sanity saver & life saver.
Rav Yaakov

Jacob’s Ladder

Parashat Messorah 5774

Parashat Messorah 5774
The haftarah is of 4 men with ssaraat (Biblical version of leprosy) were sitting outside Yerushalyim which at the time was under siege by the army of Aram. People in the city were dying from hunger & these 4 were ‘on the way’ too.
One of them got the idea that maybe they could get some food handouts from the Aram military camp. His buddies liked the idea & the 4 of them bumbled out to the army camp.

Much to their amazement they found it abandoned, not a single human being was there or even near. The reason was that HaShem had instilled into the Aram army the audio delusion that an immense combined army of Egypt & the Hittites was charging on them in the midst of the night & so they all fled for their lives, leaving everything behind. The 4 were delighted, entered a tent & dined merrily. They looted the tent of clothes & gold which they hid elsewhere. Then returned & did the same in another tent.

Bellies full & lots of loot hidden away they decided they have to tell the king that the Aramayans ran off & that there is food for all to be had for free & so save the people of Yerushalayim from starvation.[wpex Read more]
Cool, super rescue by HaShem. How many of us stop & consider the way the Hashgaḫa (Divine Intervention) operated here? Let’s take a look.

1. The nation of Israel was due for a slap by HaShem & Aram was the chosen tool for it.
2. Along with that, HaShem did not want to kill everyone, or even most, off.
3. Aram’s army besieged the Holy City/Capitol all appeared lost.
4. HaShem preplanned the salvation along with the slap by having the 4 men contract ssaraat in time to be outside the city walls precisely during the siege.5. This enabled them to be able to go to the camp of Aram unhindered.
6. HaShem projected into the minds of that siege forces the delusion of a massive midnight assault against them & they ran off like rabbits, leaving everything behind.
7. One of the 4 men got the idea to beg for food from the siege force, HaShem’s instilling the idea in his mind.
8. The men who were ill with that disease for having slandered someone did also have some good character traits & so merited HaShem letting them be HIS tools to notify the King of the food waiting for the people to save them.
We also learn from this instance that even a person who so severely violated the Torah laws still can have a good side & do something very good, even save an entire city. In this point as well there is a lesson for us.

Jacob’s Ladder

Women’s Rights 3

I must point out a few rights of women that have been grossly neglected.
This will be brief & Be’ezrat HaShem be expanded upon at a later date.
Women, girls, have an unalienable right to be treated with respect, respect as any person deserves plus additional respect to NOT be targets or prey for the lusts of base predators! Not in the home, not in school/college etc, not in the workplace, not in malls etc. Also not in advertisements etc.
Wives – mothers, in the vast majority of cases do an immense amount of work in the home, & most of it goes unnoticed, be it by their husbands and/or their children.

This phenomenon is both ingratitude & disrespectful.

I challenge men who do not recognize this workload to let their wives have a few days off & do all the housework the wife normally does.

Get everyone up, dressed & out of the house to school or work, see to it that those who need food to take along get it, wash dishes, put the dry dishes & cutlery in place, sort out & do the laundry (wash, dry, iron/fold, put in everyone’s closet/drawers), clean the house, do the shopping for food & general daily household needs, prepare 3 meals a day, set the table, clear & clean the table, greet the kids when they come home & have either dinner or a snack ready for them, hear about their day, mend sorrows & scrapes, take children to doctors appointments, and that’s just a part of it……

Even if your/mother doesn’t all of that, know that she does a good part of it. It takes time & strength. Respect that. Part of your respect is to take a part of the workload off of her hands, AND never give her the feeling that it is for any lack on her part or that she owes you something for that. Because the fact is that you owe her that very help.

On top of that women who work at some kind of job/business to help with the income deserve recognition for that. But ladies PLEASE don’t even dream of degrading hubby for his not being the total breadwinner. These days it’s rare that one person can bring in enough to keep things going.

Jacob’s Ladder

Vayikra 5774

Sorry this is a week late. It was last Shabat’s parashah. But still good learning.
The Ohr ḪaHayim Hakadosh O.B.H.M. (Of Blessed & Holy Memory) enlightens our eyes & teaches us an important point regarding HaShem’s change of choice of words between the sacrifices of bulls & rams to the sacrifices of doves & pigeons. Regarding the former we have “sacrifices”, but with the latter we have “sacrifices to HaShem”. Let us see what he says is the meaning for this change. After all we all know that HaShem’s choice of words has definite intention, & is never mere poetic license. Here is his insight; for a man of means it was no great financial difficulty to bring an ox or a ram, even specially fattened up ones, especially since they were only yearlings. However since the poor man due to his poverty must make do with a mere common small bird for his sacrifice, it is more difficult than the ox or ram of the wealthier man. This is both because of the monetary expense & the embarrassment he feels that all those around see the low state of his status’ & these points subdue him, break his heart, all the more. Therefore his sacrifice is termed by Torah as being higher – “a sacrifice to HaShem”.

The Torah & its lessons are eternal. So what is in this for us to learn in today’s world? Part of the innovations of the Baal Shem Tov O.B.H.M., & Rabbi Naḫman of Breslov O.B.H.M. was to encourage the “small” people of our holy nation that they/we have a higher level, are closer to HaShem, in ways than many of those who consider themselves & are considered by others as “big” & “high up”. Well known is the story of how the Baal Shem Tov O.B.H.M. praised the service of HaShem of the simple illiterate shepherd who prayed via special tunes he played on his flute. Too is known how Rabi Levi Yisḫak of Berditchov O.B.H.M. praised the wagoner who greased the axles of his wagon while praying the Shaḫarit service wrapped in his Talit (prayer shawl) & crowned with his T’filin (phylacteries).

There were, & still are, those who laughed at & degraded these great pious Ḫasidim on their “freakish inventions without any foundation in Torah” etc. And here we have from none less than “the powerful hammer”, “the western lamp”, “the pillar of fire” – Holy Ohr HaḪayim O.B.H.M., proof from the Torah itself that yes indeed their words were drawn from the Holy Torah itself. For are not those examples in the same light as “a sacrifice to HaShem” of the dove or pigeon which the impoverished man brought! May it be HaShem’s will that in the very near future the divisive ones will be stopped from their derision of the true righteous tsadikim, & the baseless intramural hatred within Bnei Yisrael, the Jewish nation, be put to end, & the true Mashiaḫ be publicly known & come to rule with the final complete redemption & bring the 3rd Holy Temple, so be HIS will AMEN!

Jacob’s Ladder


The root of the word is Pakad (Pei, Kuf, Dalet). This root is common to Hebrew words meaning; remember, award pregnancy, count, account, command, commander. E.g. HaShem remembered Sarah & awarded her with a pregnancy, Yosef told his brothers that HaShem will remember HIS children & raise them up out of Egypt, in this past Shabat’s Parshah & Haftorah men are counted, an accounting is made of the treasury of the Mikdash, & so on.We learn from the Ar”i Za”l that when a person does special good deeds, follow the commandments (PeKuDoth) with love & dedication, dedicated him/herself to connecting to HaShem, to seeking to do HIS will, HaShem “remembers” (PaKaD, yiPhKoD) that person & may award (PoKeD) him/her with a “spiritual” impregnation (PaKaD) of giving an added soul part from a tsadik (righteous person) of a previous generation to help that person go even higher.

Jacob’s Ladder

Women’s Rights part 2

There more things that are rights of women that have been violated – denied to them. Some we always hear about, especially in non-Jewish or Jewish non-religious circles, though in sorry truth in recent years also in our religious communities as the influences of the “dark side” invade there as well. These are actual mistreatment, humiliation, disrespect, violence etc dealt towards women in the home. In the true tradition of Jewish life these things never were common & were practically nonexistent. For that reason many non-Jewish women in U.S.A. Canada & Europe sought to marry Jewish men in the past, realizing that they would be much better treated than with a husband of their own religion.

What we hear less about, but is no less detrimental harmful to women, is the changes in women’s health & general welfare that has come about in recent decades as more & more women take on the part of men, be it by their desire (read also “desire” influenced by so-called liberated women) or by men dumping men’s tasks upon them.

Statistical studies in many countries have proven that the percentage of women developing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, lupus emotional/psychiatric disorders, etc has risen along with the increase of women doing men’s tasks etc. So too has the ratio of differential between men & women in such diseases become much closer. What used to be considered to be men’s diseases – disorders has more & more become common to women. This definitely a pity.

As women have entered the “men’s world” of competition, rivalry etc they have increasingly fallen victim to the very same diseases that have been typically plaguing men in that world. This is pandered upon them to be a prize, a liberation??
What is also bothersome if one looks at it with clear eyes is that men have in general become more feminine in a number of ways. Also the abomination of ho,osexuality has become more common & even by design of the “dark side” become “acceptable” with any word against it becoming tantamount to crime, in this same crazy era.

All this should be a flashing red light & alarm bell ringing in the core of the soul of each & every one of us. The Sitra Ahhra /Dark Side forces are increasing in power, are infiltrating into every nook & cranny, into the halls of Kedusha seeking to befoul as much as they possibly can as quick as possible. Like a cornered rat fighting desperately with its last might.
Only a generation or 2 ago, who would have imagined to see an orthodox Jewish boy or man wearing pink shirts or ties, wearing tight pants etc, walking in an effeminate step manner, eating while walking in the street, listening to “music” based on rhythms of the basest drug promiscuity & violence mongering goyish tunes?

Only a generation or 2 ago, who would have imagined to see an orthodox Jewish girl or woman go about dressing like a “lady of the night”? Wearing perfume that is smelled meters away from her, wearing dresses, blouses, sweaters designed to emphasize the feminine shape of her body for every man to see & his eyes drawn to it even if he has no will to do so. Clothing designed to awaken sensual desires. Wigs that are long natural looking also designed to be “astounding” eye catching, wakening desire.

We have even heard of, shocking as it is, that there are some “Rebbetzins” (women of supposedly high religious standing in the public eye, even some are wives of “rabbis”) who give lessons to women for “marital peace” in which they direct the poor misled women to dress, make-up & super-perfume themselves like street-women, women of the night, & to even shamelessly behave extra sensually to keep their husbands seemingly loyal to them. They even tell them to expose themselves suchlike to the eyes of men in public, to go outdoors so adorned. Thereby they also draw other women & young girls to join the advice of the evil Balaam whose advice to Balak caused 24,000 men of Bnei Yisrael to get into a massive orgy with Moabite women. Balaam would be proud of such “Rebbetzins”, for their advice is just up his alley.

Instead of teaching them to uplift their spirituality, to improve their personality traits, the way they speak to & about their husbands, to say Tehilim for the benefit & moral/spiritual improvement of their husbands, they turn these Jewish women into low level sluts programming them to be purveyors of base lust instead of a light & principle of faith in their homes as is the true task of a loyal Jewish wife & mother.

What a shamefulness, that the inviolable right of the Jewish woman to be our honorable queen- mother, representative of the Sh’khina has been denied to her; & she has been degraded to a “look at me, desire me” street woman, a news flash seeking publicity beggar!

How sad, how degrading, what a loss of her supreme rights! “Kol kvod bath melekh pnimah” (All the honor of a king’s daughter is in her inner core traits”)

Daughter of Israel, daughter of Sarah Imeinu, of Rivkah, Rahhel, Leah, of Yokheved Moshe’s mother & Miriam the prophetess his sister, stand up for your rights, stand up against those who are degrading you & your sisters to turn them into ersatz men subject to the above mentioned diseases & into hollow soul-less common ……

By the way, any woman who wants to know how a kosher woman should & can keep her husband loyal to her & obtain true marital peace & bliss should read the book “Women’s Wisdom” by Rav Shalom Arush Shlit”a (very well translated to English by Rav Lazer Brody Shlit”a).

Jacob’s Ladder

Women’s Rights

Women’s Rights:
Before we talk about women’s rights we must delve briefly into the matter of human rights. For that we must understand what “rights” are. In western culture “rights” simply means “I have it coming to me, I deserve it – give it to me”, or “so & so owes me such & such benefits”

The Hebrew word for “rights”, zkhut, means merit. Basically this means that yes one deserves something but must merit it. It is not “free for all”. The word also shares a common word root with the word concept of refining/refined. So we see even more that “rights” need to be earned, or are reserved for specific people or conditions.

Human rights mean that people have certain types of treatment/relationship coming to them. Yet that does require behavior fitting for a human being. In effect one who acts like a cruel aggressive beast cannot be given the same “rights” as one who behaves properly, in kindness, caring for the rights or welfare of others.

Also people with special needs do have a right for special considerations etc.

No one in his right mind would demand that a thin weakly man lift a 50 kilogram (125 pound) sack of potatoes & climb a hill or ladder with it. No one in his right mind would ask doughnut bakery worker, who has neither the training nor the capability to fly a Boeing 747 jumbo jet. Except in cases of emergency need, who would waste the time or energy etc of a special talented brain surgeon with the task of a street cleaner?

These sorts of things, sending people to do tasks not fit for them, were done by the evil Pharaoh of ancient Egypt to the Bnei Yisrael in bondage, in his project to break them.

Now as for women’s rights; the first thing we must realize is that a woman has the undeniable right (& responsibility) to be a woman. No one has any right to ask or demand of a woman to be a man, to imitate a man.

Nor does a woman have any real, true reason to want to be like a man. In case some people have not noticed, women’s bodies are built differently than men’s. Most people do not know how different they are built. Their brains are built differently as well.

Neither aspect of the difference is derogative. Both genders have their purposes for which they are built. Both designs are absolutely necessary for the proper working order of the world.

If you could build a battery with 2 positive/plus poles would a lamp light in a circuit with such a battery? No. The same would be if you would place 2 normal batteries in that circuit but with their identical poles touching so that again you have identical poles at the connection points of the circuit. Here too the lamp will not give light.

You could not use a piper cub for a high altitude high speed bombing task. It would not be able to even start to get to the required altitude nor could it carry the payload. Nor can you use a B2 or B111 for low altitude slow speed crop dusting. They would crash.

Medical scientists have discovered that a woman’s brain is “hard wired” to be more emotional, more easily frightened, panicked etc than men. Likewise it is known that several tasks that have traditionally been men’s tasks can cause damage to a woman’s body such that conception will be less likely to succeed, & if conceives that she would have trouble keeping the pregnancy.

It is not for naught that throughout the civilized world, or semblance thereof, nations have not required or even let women be in combat units of armies (except for extreme temporary situations). Look at the U.S.A., England, Europe, Canada etc women are in medical or auxiliary corps & not combat or heavy bodily stress tasks in their armies. Seasoned combat commanders have stated clearly that the presence of women in active combat is a definite extraneous hazard for them & to the entire unit.
In Israel there are 2 types of hoes used in agriculture. On is called “ma’adeir” the other “turia”. The former is the common hoe. The latter is larger & considerably heavier. In the early days of the settling & building of the renewed Jewish farming women used the turia like men did. However it was discovered by experience that the result was that those women had more miscarriages even after they had stopped working with the turia. Therefore a law was passed that forbid women to use a turia.
There are things men can do better than women, & there are things women can do better than men. There are things that are safer or surer for men to do than women, & there are things that are safer or surer for women to do than men.  There are also things that are the basically the same for both genders.

In the general world scene there was indeed a long period of restrictions on certain rights to women that indeed was unfair. The suffragettes fought that quite successfully. However in recent decades there sprouted a new wave that was in a number of ways simply nutty. If one looks at many of the publicized activities & announcements by their leaders the question begs to be asked, “Are they for real or are they just seeking attention that their parents or spouses didn’t give them?”

In the continuation of that wave there is now a trend in Israel of women who seem to want to be dissatisfied with being women & seek to be like men while still being women. They want to be in both worlds.

If one looks into what the most publically noticed group is doing & where they do it, it becomes all too obvious that they are going only for what is publically visible & physically easy. It is so very obvious they are even hungrier for “look at me! Pay attention to me”, than the “bra-burners” of several decades ago.

A 2nd somewhat quieter group does go for the harsher, harder tasks of men & indeed do endanger/harm themselves, & in cases of insisting of being combat soldiers endanger others as mentioned above.

What could possibly be the drive behind these 2 categories is a question that very much needs to be asked. While I do not propose myself to be the ultimate expert I do see from my past studies & experience several relevant answers.
1] Due to some difficulties in their childhood they have a fundamental state of displeasure/dissatisfaction with their lives, an emptiness, which they seek to fill – somehow – any way possible. Being unhappy with being a girl/woman they seek fulfillment in “as if boys/men”.

2] Due to lack of attention in their childhood, or form husbands in the case of married or divorced women, they seek it now however they can & this is a way to be sure to get it.

3] By the method of psychological analysis of Dr. Freud there is a phenomenon wherein girls at some point discover that boys have an appendage between their legs that girls don’t have, & they feel jealousy of that. Most get over it as they grow. Yet there are always those who don’t. So seeking to be allowed to do things that are classified as “men’s only” is a way to act out that jealousy.

4] There is the matter of gilgulim/reincarnation. Some women are gilgulim of men. These often tend to have some male traits or are attracted to doing “men’s jobs” etc.

5] Some are simply angry at some wrong, or imagined wrong, that they feel men have done to them & seek their revenge this way.
Those 5 causes do not make it right. In each of them, these women need help to get over the problem they have to enable them to be normal women. By normal woman I do not mean “get back to your kitchen & shut up” in way shape or form. Far from that. Between the demands of Torah Life that women MUST be respected & that they have many facets of their beings capabilities & importance, along what I said above this should be understood.

Strengthening in Emunah (faith, trust) in HaShem, that HE runs the world even to the day by day, moment by moment, events even in their private lives, would be a solution to these. There would be no more of the “replacement attention seeking”, of the jealousy, of the revenge etc.

The first human woman in the world, Hhava (Eve) is described in Torah as “mother of all which lives” (Bereisheet 3:20). Also we see that HaShem, The Creator, said that HE will make for man a mate as is written, “I will make him a help mate for him to be opposite him”. Those 2 verses show us what the prime purpose of a woman in this world is. Mothering & helping a man, her husband; helping him to achieve his purpose here, including gently wisely prodding him when needed.

Mankind was ordered to be fruitful & multiply. That means bringing children into the world & raising them, & those children also bringing children and so on through to end of time. That means the woman getting pregnant, delivering children & raising & caring for them. It means giving them from the light that her husband, their father brings to the household. Like the moon reflecting sunlight to the earth in the night. The world outside of the Garden of Eden is in a spiritual/moral state of “night” – darkness, & the mother must gather “light” from her husband (who must provide it, as in the aspect of “daylight sun”) prepare & give it in turn to their children.

Another part of her task in this world is to be her husband’s “mirror”, to reflect in front of him his character traits. From her he must learn what he needs to fix in himself to fulfill the reason/s he was sent here. Of course it is best that she do it wisely, cleverly & not like a sledge hammer. The best guidance for her doing this right is to be found in the book “Women’s Wisdom” by Rav Shalom Arush Shlit”a. (BTW the penultimate guidebook for men in the field of marital bliss is “Garden of Peace” by the same author.)

In summation we see that a woman is sent to life in this world by HaShem, The Creator, The Boss of all, for Maternity, feeding taking care of the clothing etc for her next generation, & accompanying – guiding etc her husband for fulfilling his incarnation requirements.

This does NOT mean being stuck within the 4 walls of her home 24/7.  It does NOT mean a baby every year until she is destroyed. Not at all. There are numerous things she can do – in addition to mothering & “husbandraising” – along with that. It does mean that these are her primary cause de etre’, all other fields are extras. Those extras she must judge carefully by the measuring standards of their effect on her family & will they truly bring her closer to HaShem.

The Torah in Bereisheet tells that Hhava got pregnant from her husband Adam, not by artificial insemination. The same is true with ALL the other bringing of progeny throughout the TaNaKH (Holy Bible – Torah, Neviim {Prophets}, Ketuvim {King Solomon’s writings etc}. Not one lesbian pumping donated semen into another with a roasting baster. Nor can there be progeny from 2 males. This abomination aberration is considered so evil by The Creator, so against one of the very foundations of creation that this is the only sinner whose offer for a sacrifice in the Mikdash (Holy Temple) must be refused – rejected!

There is no requirement, nor a need for a woman to wear Talit (prayer shawl) or T’filin (Phylacteries), ditto as for reading in public from or touching a Torah scroll. There are indeed times in her life when she is forbidden to do so. Usually between 10 to 15 days a month from pre-teen to early middle age. You ladies know what I mean. In fact even outside of those days, if she did not dip herself in a kosher Mikvah, after the proper preparations, at the proper time, she is not permitted at all.
There is a requirement for her to be a mother with that that noble so very special task entails. There is a requirement for her to be a wife who guides her husband, & if he wishes & is able to learn Torah then whatever she does to enable him (without harming their children’s education, moral & emotional growth) to do so is also important for her to do & she will be well rewarded for it.

A kosher Jewish woman is the principal center of the home, a loving mother birthing & preparing her children for goods Jewish lives, her husband’s accompaniment & guide & at times teacher, the honorable modest caring respected Queen of her little kingdom, the representative of the Holy Sh’khina (the Divine Presence) in the home. Now that’s a lot more fulfilling & honorable than the cheap empty publicity “bra-burners” of Women Off the Wall” have going for them.

Jacob’s Ladder

About spiritual masters, guides, & meditation messages

As I promised in the opening post here is some important information regarding “masters” “guides” & “meditation messages” etc.

All living creatures have a nefesh or also known as an “animus” (basic animating level of the soul). In many humans this nefesh feels its connection to the source of souls, The Creator of all. This subconscious connection draws numerous people to seek a conscious connection to the Creator. This is good, if done right.

Seeking this connection puts one into the realms of spiritual/non-physical entities. One must know that these realms are inhabited by a plethora of various spiritual entities & denizens. It is of utmost importance to know, to realize that NOT all of them are pure, or beneficial or amicable to the human species. In fact several of them would be most happy to eradicate us, God forbid.

There are fundamentally 3 classes of such beings.
Pure/holy such as angels or souls of tsadikim (righteous people). There are also spirits of common deceased people.
Noga class spirits who are part pure-good part foul-evil.

Evil spirits e.g. demons, neshiah etc. who will harm the human who contacted them.
The problem most encountered in travels or seeking in the spiritual realms is “what class of spirit” one encounters. None of class 2 or 3 will admit being such. They will always disguise themselves as type 1. This is what usually occurs in séances & always in “channeling”.

By entering that spiritual universe/dimension one exposes oneself to encounters with the inhabitants of those worlds. Only by correct preparation can one enter & exit unharmed, hopefully.

We can make a comparison to flying a high altitude high speed jet plane or a space flight. Such pilots must be of top physical & mental health & condition. They must go through a long series of training as well. Any attempt to fly such a vessel without those prerequisites would surely mean certain disaster.

First let’s consider what is required to be ready for a “flight” into the spiritual realms. A non-Jew must be observant of the 7 Noahhide Covenant laws.
The prohibition of idolatry.
The prohibition of murder.
The prohibition of theft.
The prohibition of sexual immorality, promiscuity.
The prohibition of blasphemy.
The prohibition of eating flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive.
The requirement of maintaining just & honest courts to provide legal recourse & to judge violators of the 1st 6.
Actually the majority are only required the 1st 6 of that list since they are usually not on a position to control over the matters of the 7th. Yet those who are must observe it also.

A Jew wishing to go into those realms must observe the commandments relative to him or her from the 613 commandments given to the Jews. The relevance is not a matter of “I feel like it is relevant to me”. It is a matter of what his/her life place is. E.g. a man who is not a cohen is not required to observe laws specifically relating to responsibilities of a cohen. Menstrual rules are not relative to men & women are not required to don T’filin.

Mainly the laws of morality/honesty, kashruth (kosher foods), Shabat & Holy days, sexual morality/purity, absolute belief in One God, prohibition of idolatry or blasphemy, prayer. In order to observe these laws & their branches one must study.
A man who has purposely “wasted his seed” or has had a seminal emission/pollution or has had contact with a menstrual woman (including one who has not been to a mikvah since her past menses), a woman who is menstrual or has not been to a mikvah since her past menses, are in great danger in such realms. They are 100% sure to encounter dark side class 3 entities. I repeat here that these same entities will surely disguise themselves as class 1.

So one may ask “what should we care which class entity we meet?”

A good question. I’m happy you asked.

Aside from if you get really high up, generally meeting a class 1 entity is just fine. Though in the highest realms you may just encounter some jealous ones, who may say as they did when Moshe (Moses) went way up there. “What is one born of woman (flesh & blood) doing amongst us?” In such a case you need to have good answer ready & the wherewithal to spout it on time, or run quick to hold on to the Holy Throne of HaShem, or be escorted by Matat (the “prime minister” of the angels), or get out fast. Other than that no one there will seek to harm you if you are “clean”.

There are also those up there that will consider it severe brazen audacity of a mere human to try to contact high spiritual beings & will just slap you down if you are not clean & mentally ready.

If you go high up you must also be mentally/psychologically/faith-wise be ready so as not to be harmed as did the 3 comrades of Rabbi Akivah when the 4 of them went on a journey into the “Pardeis”, a high spiritual realm. One went insane from the intensity there, another died because his soul was so enraptured by immense spiritual beauty he saw/felt that it decided to stay there, the 3rd who, though highly intelligent & well studied, secretly was already not so strong in his faith left it altogether became a full fledged epikoris apostate.

Rabbi Akivah entered whole & came out whole. He was at peace with full Emunah-faith etc so nothing he saw there confounded him.

Class 2 & 3 entities while donning very good disguises to seem like class 1, will be able to give the channeler information e.g. predictions, but only for up to 1 month ahead, no more than that. The information given is also most likely to be not entirely correct, if at all, The 1st few answers given will likely be correct so as to lure the channeler to return for more & more. However what the victim human usually does not know is that he/she is slowly bit by bit being nibbled on, or “marked” to eventually be gobbled up, and /or made sick physically or mentally/emotionally & killed.

That should give you sufficient information to understand the great need for caution & being in proper ritual/spiritual condition.

The safest method for the general public is simple “one on one” discussion with HaShem”. Go anywhere where you can chat freely undisturbed unheard by others & open a conversation with Him. He is always ready to hear you. You might just also get some answers.

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