Sunday, July 21, 2019

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The Three Weeks

by Aharon Rubin at Mystical Paths

The Three Weeks

The ‘three weeks’, from the seventeenth of Tammuz until the ninth of Ov, is a time of sombre introspection -- to ponder our own spiritual exile, how far we are from our Father in Heaven, and cry with G-d about His own exile (as it were), the exile of the Shechinoh that longs to reunite with G-d and yearns for the revelation of His Light when ‘the world will be full of knowledge of G-d as the water covers the seabed’ (Yeshayoh 11.9) and ‘all people will see that the Mouth of G-d speaks’ (Yeshayoh 58.14).

      Crying to G-d is a necessary part of one's individual spiritual development and path to enlightenment. It breaks the qelipoth (shells) that separate a person from G-d, enabling one to draw closer.1 This is the spiritual rebuilding of the Temple,2 that prepares for the ensuing days of Elul and holy Days of Awe.3

The three weeks is a special time to meditate on G-d being everywhere, even in the deepest darkness.4 The vessels to G-d's Light, even the shells, are all G-d's Light.5 
A simple meditation on the kabbalistic root of these veils and vessels involves focusing on the letters surrounding the Tetragrammaton, which are permutations of the One Name.6 The letter before yud is teth; before heh is daleth; before the vov is heh. Together, teth, daleth, heh, daleth, are gematriah twenty-two, corresponding to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the vessels that hold G-d's Light.7
The letters after G-d's Name, khof, vov, zayin, vov, are gematriah thirty-nine, the gematriah of HaShem Echod – ‘G-d is one’, or zu HaShem  –‘this is G-d’, declaring G-d's omniscience and availability in every situation, wherever one is, spiritually or physically.
The two gematrioth, twenty-two and thirty-nine, together are gematriah אני ani – ‘I am’. This is the secret of G-d saying, אני ד - 'I am G-d’.8

1 Tanya, Chapter 26.
2 Ta'anith 30b; Qedushath Levi, Eichoh; R.C.Friedlander, Sifthei Chaïm, 'Mo'adim', Vol. 3.
3 Avodath Yisro'el, Mas'ei; Torath Ovoth, p. 117.
4 Pri Eits Chaïm, 'Bein Hametsorim'.

5 Yeshayoh 6:3; Rambam, Mishneh Torah, 'Yesodei HaTorah', 2:10; Tiqunei Zohar, 91b; Tanya: Iggereth Haqodesh, §20; Torah Ohr, 92b.
6 Pri Eits Chaïm, 'Bein Hametsorim'.
7 Otsroth Chaïm, Sha'ar Ho'Aqudim; Derech Eits Chaïm, intro; Magid Devorov LeYa'aqov, §228 (p. 231). 
8 See e.g. Bnei Yisoschor, 'Chodesh Adar', 3:3. 


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