Friday, June 29, 2007


Onde Hashem e o homem mais de perto comunicam como um retorno a Gan Eden.


This is the week to bless the significant people in your life. This is the week that the innermost thoughts of the most nefarious, impure figures in Jewish history were transformed into blessings. How much more powerful are our blessings, coming as they are from hearts that yearn to truly love.

The Gemara teaches that from the words and blessings that emerged from the mouth of Bilam, we can intuit and understand what his true intentions were. Hashem in His great kindness saw through the screen of Bilam’s intention, and made His Will known- that we are deserving of blessing and encouragement.

One intent that Bilam had was to remind Hashem of our misdeeds. Even verbalizing our sins has power to evoke negative energy and attach this energy to us.
In response to this, Hashem caused the following words to emerge from the mouth of Bilam:
Lo Hibit Aven B’Yaakov V’Lo Raah Amal B’Yisrael, Hashem Elokav Emo U’Truat Melech Bo.
Hashem doesn’t see or pay attention to the iniquities of the Jews, and Hashem is with us, the closeness of the King is within us.
The Gemara says that this does not mean that Hashem disregards our sins. He doesn’t. What we do wrong needs to be corrected, and is.
But the Baal Shem Tov adds that our sins take on a totally different picture than the one we generally paint. Because, even as we are erring, the thought of Hashem is with us. We are filled with remorse, guilt, disappointment in ourselves. The Baal Shem says that a Jew can never really ‘enjoy’ fully a sin, since we are sharing the ‘enjoyment’ with the healthy emotion of ‘Jewish guilt’. It is that Hashem Elokav Emo even while we are in the place of Aven and therefore, Hashem looks away from the error and sees only the intent. And the intent of every Jew is to be holy and connected to Hashem.

Bilam tried to focus on our inadequacies, our failures. Therefore, this week we must not at all focus on any inadequacies or failures of our significant journey companions.

One of the greatest tools in interpersonal relationships is given to us as a teaching by Rebbi Nachman. How can we help another person change? We cannot. They must do the work themselves. But, we can help. We can use the power of our mind to help focus someone on their own inner strengths. Daily, concentrate deeply on one good quality in whomever you want to help. Meditate on a Mida that this person truly excels in. It matters not what this midah is, or how religious or ritualistic it is. It just must be something that you truly believe is good in your friend.

This thought of yours will enter into the consciousness of your friend, elevating his/her belief in their inherent goodness, and will empower them to maintain and improve their beneficial soul.

This is one of the meanings of Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Lazeh. All Jews are intertwined, connected to each other. A spiritual energy force sent towards a fellow Jew will be able to influence and energize its receiver.

One of the goals that Balak mentioned to Bilam was his desire to prevent the Jewish Nation from entering the Land. The Nesivos Shalom expounds on this obsession that Balak had with Eretz Yisrael. He teaches that Balak, as the foremost magician in the world, understood that the power of the Nation of Israel in the Land of Israel was such that it would enable us to raise the level of materialism in the world to the level of holiness. This was anathema to his being. As a magician, Balak wanted to access energy by avoiding Hashem. The Jews connect to Hashem and thereby release holy energy into the world, thus depriving Balak of his impurity.
The resulting Bracha that emerged from Bilam reflects the reaction of Hashem to the impure thought of Balak.
‘Me Mana Afar Yaakov.’ Who can count the dust of Yaakov? Rashi explains that this means, “Who can evaluate the amount of holiness and Mitzvot done by Israel with its dust- the dust of Para Aduma, the dust of the Korbanot, the dust of the Land with which we fulfill the Mitzvos of Truma, Maaser, Shmitta etc.

We literally elevate dust!

Balak knew that Israel in her Land is invincible. The Nations of the world know this also. If only we, the Nation of Israel understood this.

I have not told you any taxi driver stories lately, but today, the Hashgacha was so direct that I will share one. The driver of today was telling me of his impressions as a soldier in the Six Day War.
“We were sitting on one hill; the Jordanians were on the hill directly opposite us. We were in the Jewish part of Yerushalayim, they were in the part that we had no access to yet. And their hill was barren, desert like, while ours was green and alive with grass and flowers. A little while after we reclaimed the entire Yerushalayim, those barren hills came alive again under our care.”
He continued, “When the Turks and the British were here, they couldn’t get a tomato to grow for them. But the Land was waiting for us. She was waiting for two thousand years. And when Her children returned, She opened Her life force and we can now produce food from the desert sands.”

Balak understood the power of the Jew in his Land. We must learn from him this lesson. It goes above logic, above planning and reason.

Why name a Parsha after a wicked person? We know that the name of the Parsha indicates its essence, and all parts of the Parsha are understood in their depth in reference to the Parsha title. So, why memorialize Balak?
The first two letters of the name Balak are Beit and Lamed. The first two letters of Bilam are also Beit and Lamed. Together, they spell BilBul, which means confusion. This is what the Torah reveals to us as the plot that these challengers posed. They tried to confuse us- by minimizing our merit, and by trying to manipulate the rules that Hashem set into nature. The last two letters of Bilam, Ayin Mem, and the last two letters of Balak, Lamed Kof, directly spell out Amalek. These men were continuing the work of Amalek to destroy holiness and Godliness from the planet. They wanted to lower our confidence in our inherent holiness, and swerve us from the path Hashem has planned for us.
The challenges this week, in our personal lives and our National life reflect the inner struggle to maintain our vision of what we came here to fulfill.

The Parsha begin by saying that Balak saw all that the Nation of Israel did to the Amorites and he infused his own fear into his own nation. He then looked for an indirect way to harm Israel, anticipating that Israel would harm him first. Fear is often the emotion that precipitates irrational, self destructive behavior. For a Jew, fear of an event or a person is supposed to realign us with appropriate fear- the fear that we might be distancing ourselves from Hashem. When we are nervous, anxious, fearful, we are supposed to remember what we say in Shemoneh Esray- that only Hashem is Norah, only He is powerful, and there is nothing else to fear but departing from Him. Our external fear is only a gift, a reminder, a signal that now is an appropriate time to remember the awesome might of the One. The anxiety can be let go of as soon as correct Emuna and Bitachon are remembered.

In fact, Hashem wanted to show Israel that in this world, we have nothing to fear from external enemies. No matter how much they hate us, no matter how powerful they are, if it is the Will of Hashem, the Ratzon Hashem, even our sworn enemies become the vessels that bring to us eternal blessings. And on a more personal level, no matter how apparently detrimental the negative events, people or internal attitudes we live with seem to be, they can Davka be the source and vehicle for our greatest success and blessing. It is more important to concentrate on our D’veykut to Hashem than to only attack a specific ‘enemy’.
For this reason, the Nesivos Shalom teaches that Balak tried to break our D’veykut, our attachment to Hashem. And to combat him, we strengthen our attachment, our commitment, our loyalty, our trust.

The 13th of Tamuz, marks the release of the previous Lubavicher Rebbe from a Russian jail. In his memoirs, he recalls how he strengthened himself not to cower and be afraid of his tormentors, and how this attitude, of inner strength and confidence actually won his release! When a great Jewish leader goes through a personal trial, he is really representing the entire Nation. His inner strength gets transferred to us; his release gets expanded to opening up freedom, spiritual and physical, for the Nation he serves.

There is nothing to fear. Rebbe Nachman teaches, V’Haikar Lo Lefached Klal! Ain Yi’ush Klal! For a Jew , there is no despair, no need to ever give up, no need ever to be hopeless, no need to be afraid. We are on a guided journey, and ultimately, we will prevail, and see the inner and outer victory we long for.

The most direct hints to Mashiach are in this week’s Parsha. “A star will emerge from Yaakov and a scepter bearer will come from Yisrael, and subdue Moav and the children of Shet…and Edom…”
The teaching of Mashiach comes out from the darkest place, from the place of danger and ‘blessing’.

May we each see, experience and live with our own personal Yeshua. May we each recognize each of the miracles that happen to us daily to bring us to our own internal state of Mashiach. May we each realize that we are, right now, closer than ever before to the global Mashiach. And may we focus all our energy into living in such a way that Hashem showers us with His blessings, so that we can truly be a Light to the world, and radiate Kedusha.


Postagem, Andre Moshe Pereira, Koah Pres.

Parashá Balak

Shalom Chaverim,

Deixo-vos aqui um dos meus rabis predilectos: Shlomo Katz...( via Alan Broder)


Shabat shalom

Andre Moshe Pereira

Presidente Koah, Porto, Kehillah or Ahayim - (comunidade judaica portuguesa).


Edited by Shlomo Katz
Volume 21, No. 36
14 Tammuz 5767
June 30, 2007 Today's Learning:
Bava Kamma 10:10 &
Bava Metzia 1:1

Daf Yomi (Bavli): Yevamot 58
Daf Yomi (Yerushalmi): Beitzah 12

The most famous verse in our parashah is undoubtedly Bemidbar 24:5, "Ma tovu"/ "How good are your tents, O Yaakov, your dwelling places, O Israel." The midrash state that the "dwelling places" referred to are the batei knaisiyot / shuls and batei midrashot / study halls where Torah is studied.
Accordingly, writes R' Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor z"l (1816-1896; rabbi of Kovno, Lithuania), we can interpret our verse as follows: In what merit will our tents be good, i.e., in what merit will we dwell in G-d's "tent" in Olam Haba forever? In the merit of our dwelling places, i.e., in themerit of the Torah we study in this world.
R' Spektor continues: Those who give financial support to Torah study can reach the highest levels in the World-to-Come. This is alluded to in Kohelet (7:12), "To sit in the shelter of wisdom is to sit in the shelter of money." They are one and the same.
The next verse in our parashah states: "Stretching out like brooks, like gardens alongside a river, like aloes planted Hashem, like cedars near water." This refers to the ability of a Torah scholar's words to spread quickly throughout the world like flowing water or like the scent of aloes.

Fortunate are the ones who study Torah and those who facilitate that Torah study and the spread of Torah through their financial means, observes R' Spektor. (Ma'amar Al Ha'Torah reprinted in Ma'ayan Yitzchak p.122)

From the Parashah . . .
"Teruat / the trumpet blast of the King is bo / in him." (Bemidbar 23:21)R' Nachman of Breslov z"l (1772-1811; great-grandson of the Ba'al Shem Tov and an influential chassidic rebbe in his own right) taught: The word "teruat" / "trumpet blast" also can mean "breaking," as in the verse (Tehilim 2:9), "Tero'em / break them with an iron rod." Read this way, our verse is teaching that when we break all the lies that cause us to deny G-d's existence, we find that "the King is bo / in it." Within our disbelief itself, G-d can be found.
R' Yaakov Meir Shechter shlita (rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Sha'ar Ha'shamayim in Yerushalayim) explains: Every person experiences downturns in his life. For some people, these events cause a loss of faith or hope. Others are able to accept these events as part of life and go on.
In reality, it is not enough to accept these events. Rather, we must see these downturns as opportunities for growth. This is why Hashem initially spoke to Moshe Rabbeinu from a burning thornbush. It taught Moshe that there is no place devoid of G-d's presence.
When a person sins, he obscures the truth. Then, his "kesher" / bond with G-d, becomes a "sheker" / lie, and "pe'er" / beauty becomes "epher" / ashes. But when he repents, he can reverse this process. Out of his very downfall comes growth. The Talmud relates that Rabbi Akiva was an am ha'aretz / ignoramus until he was 40 years old. He said about himself, "Had I gotten my hands on a Torah scholar when I was an am ha'aretz, I would have bitten him like a donkey." Many years later, it was the same Rabbi Akiva who interpreted a seemingly superfluous word in a pasuk (Devarim 6:13) as teaching that the obligation be in awe of G-d includes the obligation to be in awe of Torah scholars. This was a unique contribution by Rabbi Akiva. Before he came along, other sages had been unable to explain the seemingly extra word.
This demonstrates, writes R' Shechter, that Rabbi Akiva not only learned Torah, he corrected the specific blemish that he had possessed before. Within the very weakness that he possessed - his immense hatred for Torah scholars - was concealed his future greatness - his unique ability to recognize the honor due Torah scholars. (In All Your Ways pp.4-8)

From the Haftarah . . .
"He has told you, O man, what is good, and what Hashem seeks from you -- only the performance of justice, the love of kindness, and walking humbly with your G-d." (Michah 6:8)
The Gemara (Pesachim 50b) teaches: "A person should always study Torah she'lo lishmah / not for the proper reason, for through study she'lo lishmah, one will come to study lishmah / for the proper reason."
R' Chaim of Volozhin z"l (founder of the yeshiva movement; died 1821) asks: How can the Gemara say that a person should always study Torah she'lo lishmah? Clearly it would be preferable to study lishmah!
Rather, the Gemara means that a person should stick to his scheduled Torah study sessions consistently even though on some days he does not feel like learning and will only be doing so she'lo lishmah, with ulterior motives. Our Sages understood that it is nearly impossible for a person to maintain the same level of fervor all of the time. Sometimes a person is even feeling down and has difficulty concentrating. Therefore our Sages taught that it is important to maintain a consistent schedule of Torah learning - to learn "always" - even if on some days it is done in a less than ideal manner.
This is alluded to in our verse, writes R' Chaim. The Gemara (Sukkah 49b) questions the meaning of the verse in Mishlei (31:26), "The Torah of kindness is on her lips." Is there "Torah of kindness" and "Torah which is not of kindness"? Says the Gemara, Torah which is studied lishmah is called "Torah of kindness." Torah which is studied she'lo lishmah is called "Torah which is not of kindness." Why?Our verse speaks of "the performance of justice, the love of kindness." "Justice" is that which adheres to the letter of the law, while "kindness" means going beyond the letter of the law. A person who is not in the mood to learn Torah must do so nevertheless to adhere to the letter of the law.However, his Torah study is not "Torah of kindness." Studying Torah lishmah on the other hand is beyond the letter of the law. That is "Torah of kindness." (Ruach Chaim 2:1)R' David Kimchi z"l (Radak; major Tanach commentator; Narbonne, France; 1160-1235) interprets our verse as follows: "The performance of justice" refers to laws between man and his fellow man, for example, monetary laws."The love of kindness" refers to doing acts of kindness."Walking humbly (literally `discretely') with your G-d" refers to G-d's Oneness and to loving Him with all one's heart and all one's soul.
Because this is concealed in man's heart, it is referred to as "walking discretely." ********

R' David Lifschitz z"l
R' Lifschitz, known as the "Suvalker Rav," was a important figure in American Jewish life for nearly five decades, as a rosh yeshiva and as president of the Ezras Torah welfare organization from 1976 until his passing. He was born in Minsk in 1906, but moved to Grodno as a child, where he later studied in Yeshivat Shaar Hatorah of R' Shimon Shkop z"l. From there he transferred to the Mir yeshiva where he studied under R' Eliezer Yehuda Finkel z"l and Rav Yerucham Levovitz z"l.At age 24, R' Lifschitz married Zipporah Chava Yoselewitz, daughter of the rabbi of Suvalk. Two years later, in 1935, R' Lifschitz succeeded his father-in-law as rabbi of Suvalk, a title he carried for the rest of his life.R' Lifschitz suffered tremendous persecution at the hands of the Gestapo before the Jews were expelled from Suvalk. One-half of Suvalk's 6,000 Jews (including the Lifshitz family) escaped to Lithuania. In June 1941, R' Lifschitz arrived in San Francisco on a boat that carried several other leadingsages. R' Lifschitz's first position was in Chicago, but he soon moved to Yeshivat Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan (the rabbinical school of what later became Yeshiva University), where he remained for the rest of his life. R' Lifschitz passed away on 9 Tammuz 5753 / 1993.A small number of R' Lifschitz's shmuessen / ethical lectures were printed posthumously under the title Tehilah Le'David. Several of these relate to the subject of "shalom," such as one from Yom Kippur 1974 when he said:
When we say "Shalom aleichem," we are not merely greeting someone; we are blessing him. "Shalom" is a name of G-d, meaning "completeness." "Shalom" / "Peace" means that the whole cosmos has achieved a state of completion through uniting to serve G-d. Whereas man was created lacking, it is his job to complete himself . . .
Israel today [one year after the Yom Kippur War] is in a state of truce. There are agreements, but is that peace? Is a cease-fire peace? Real shalom can exist only when Hashem's awe is over all His handiwork, united to do His will (paraphrasing the Yom Kippur prayers). Shalom cannot be just the absence of war, because peace is completeness, a name of G-d.

PARASHA BALAK (Numeros: 22:2 - 25:10)

Rav Frank Dabba Smith

Fonte: Oneg Shabat

La primera sección de la sidrah concerniente a Balak y Balaam no encaja con los capítulos anteriores y posteriores. La única aparente conexión parece ser que los Israelitas permanecen a lo largo de la frontera con el reino moabita. Por otro lado, la historia y los personajes – el rey moabita Balak, e hechicero Balaam y su burra parlante – no aparecen en 0tro lado de la Torah. Brevemente, el rey Balak contrata al brujo Balaam para maldecir a los Israelitas para así poder derrotarles en la guerra. Después de muchas evasivas, Balaam al final maldice a Moab y alaba grandemente a Israel. Otro malicioso rey que se oponía a la libertas de los israelitas es destruido por D’s. Y el mago es humillantemente sobrepasado por su burra. Inmediatamente después de esta historia, sin embargo, los altamente alabados israelitas se comportan muy mal como se describe en el episodio de Baal. Siendo similar de algún modo a la historia del becerro de oro, los israelitas, a petición de las mujeres moabitas, toman parte de la idolatría perversa y un D’s enfadado mata a los ofensores.

Como un hechicero pagano que va por libre, atraído por un rey malvado, Balaam es una increíble fuente de alabanza para Israel. Ya estas palabras, ‘Qué buenas son tus tiendas, O Jacob; tus moradas, O Israel’ adornan el principio de nuestros servicios incluso hoy. ¿Qué fue lo que estaba alabando en particular? Rashi, reflejando los valores de su tiempo, sugería que era cómo estaban dispuestas las tiendas en el campamento israelita: ninguna entrada se encaraba a otra de modo que la privacidad y el pudor estuvieran asegurados. Los sabios talmúdicos apuntan que había tiendas que servían como casas de estudio y de culto. Pero entonces llega la idolatría sin sentido de Baal justo después de todas las alabanzas demasiado efusivas. ¿Cómo pudo tal meritorio pueblo descender a la idolatría? Quizás el punto de vista de Balaam no fuera exacto. Se enamoró con el aparente orden de todo como si tuviera una visión aérea. Abajo en el suelo, los atractivos y ordenados patrones se rompían. Todo esto es un tema de perspectiva crítica. Un alejado y superficial punto de vista es insuficiente cuando se realzan las ambigüedades y contradicciones del comportamiento humano. Balaam no miró bajo la superficie de la atractiva composición visual de las filas de las tiendas. Cada vez que oigo ‘qué buenas…’ al principio de un servicio, debería recordar los profundos peligros de ser cegado por el orgullo y la complacencia y no mirar lo bastante cerca.

Rav Frank Dabba Smith Harrow and Wembley Progressive Synagogue

Defende-Te Israel!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Nossos queridos soldados Tsahal

Da nossa história Or Ahayim - HANAMEL

Quinta da Bonjóia, sábado 19 AGOSTO pelas 21:30h

A obra de Carla Mourão Neves intitula-se Em demanda da identidade: a duplicidade em Esaú e Jacó de Machado de Assis, Editora Cidade Berço, Guimarães, 2003. Esaú e Jacó filhos de Rebeca e Isaac. Destinos diferentes, vidas em diferendo como a que enuncia este estudo desde as primeiras páginas. Com o fastígio do oráculo sibilar da Cabocla sempre presente. Mas que destino trágico é este que faz do homem um hobbesiano lobo do outro homem? Acaso vive na alma humana a semente da divisão? O amor e a cisão, a sístole e a diástole, o catabolein e o diabolein, a paz e a guerra, a harmonia e o conflito, a tempestade e a acalmia, a Vida e a Morte, são condições do Insuperável em que se religa a existência dos homens? Um livro tácito sobre os limites da liberdade: entre o zero e o infinito da vontade. Uma figuração do Desejo obscuro (libidinal), do húmus de que somos feitos.

Essa helicoidal do Querer tangerá a nossa alma na demanda do que somos como Pedro ou Paulo, Esaú ou Jacob, Sem ou Japhé, se somos? Ou haverá uma perdurável penumbra que a todos contamina de forma trágica como n’ A Peste de Albert Camus que se manteve aparte de muitos dos seus colegas existencialistas e filósofos em geral pela sua aceitação das contradições? A vida é absurda e a morte torna-se sem sentido para o indivíduo. Mas a humanidade e as sociedades são muito mais alargadas que a esfera do indivíduo e seus espelhos.

(André Veríssimo, Do Prefácio)

Or Ahayim - Hanamel

Segunda-feira, Agosto 04, 2003

Pedidos do Livro da Carla Mourão Neves Em demanda da identidade: a duplicidade em Esaú e Jacó de Machado de Assis com introdução de André Veríssimo, devem ser feitos a Hanamel - Associação de Cultura Hebraica Responsáveis: Dr. Sérgio Oren ou Dr. Nahum Ben Joseph.

Visite o nosso sítio: (Em construção)

Pedidos da Torá devem ser feitos a Hanamel - Responsáveis: Dr. Nahum Ben Joseph. Visite o nosso sítio: Lançamento da Torá da Editora Sporpress.

Majestic Café - Sábado, 2 de Agosto de 2003 às 21:00h Iniciativa: Hanamel- Associação de Cultura Hebraica do Porto Com a Presença do trad. Luís Filipe Sarmento e presidência da Hanamel

posted by Andy at 4.8.03


Workshop: Falar em Público e Convencer

Últimas inscrições!

A voz é uma das formas de comunicação do ser humano com o seu meio, podendo ser considerada uma das extensões mais fortes da sua personalidade. Ela apresenta elementos de natureza biológica, psicológica e sócio - cultural do ser falante e as variáveis que são consideradas importantes para a formação de padrões de comunicação que envolvem o tipo de voz, a fluência da fala, a articulação e a linguagem.
Este workshop foi desenvolvido e é destinado a todos os profissionais para os quais a voz é uma ferramenta de trabalho, e queiram desenvolver as suas potencialidades, no domínio da oratória.
O objectivo é optimizar a transmissão de informação, com técnicas de oralidade e argumentação consideradas relevantes no âmbito da comunicação, desenvolvendo habilidades e estratégias, para falar em público ou nos media com eficácia e prudência.

Como Falar em Público
Como controlar o medo e a insegurança ao falar em público
Gestão do tempo e do espaço
Postura e gesticulação
O que falar quer dizer e como falar
Estratégias de argumentação
Fluência verbal
Sequência de ideias
Clareza no discurso
Interacção e relação com os ouvintes

André Veríssimo, Doc. Universitário

Para mais informações contacte
núcleo administrativo 914755274 ou

Sua Excelência o Embaixador de Israel Sr Aaron Ram e Judith Cohen

Istambul sinagogue

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Rav Michael Laitman

oneg shabat

¿Qué nos enseña la Cabalá y qué me aporta su estudio?
La ciencia de la Cabalá es única en el sentido de que habla sobre tú y yo, sobre todos nosotros. No trata de nada abstracto, únicamente nos enseña la forma en que fuimos creados y cómo funcionamos en niveles más elevados de existencia.
Una de sus secciones habla sobre el descenso de las fuerzas superiores desde el mundo del Infinito. El mundo del Infinito es nuestro estado inicial, y ahí existimos como un sistema de almas único, unificado y completamente interconectado. Luego, a partir del mundo del Infinito, estudiamos la secuencia de los mundos, Sefirot y Partzufim en su descenso hasta el mundo en que vivimos.
Se han escrito muchos libros cabalistas acerca de estos temas, empezando con Abraham, el Patriarca, hace cuatro mil años, quien escribió el libro llamado Sefer Yetzirá (El Libro de la Creación). La siguiente obra de importancia es El Libro del Zohar, escrito en el siglo II de nuestra era. Al Zohar le sigue el trabajo del Arí, un reconocido cabalista del siglo XVI. El Siglo XX fue testigo de la aparición de los escritos del cabalista Yehuda Ashlag.
Los textos del Rabí Ashlag son los más adecuados para nuestra generación. Su obra, así como otras fuentes cabalistas, nos describen la estructura de los mundos superiores, su descenso y cómo sucesivamente van creando la existencia de los mundos inferiores; la formación de nuestro mundo, el universo, nuestro planeta y la evolución de la vida. El estudio de la creación del sistema y la forma en que desciende a nuestro mundo nos permite llegar a dominar el método para posteriormente ingresar en este sistema y gobernarlo.
La mayor parte del tiempo estudiamos los seis volúmenes del libro Talmud Esser Sefirot (El Estudio de las Diez Sefirot) escrito por Yehuda Ashlag. Está diseñado como un libro de ayuda para estudiantes, con preguntas, respuestas, material de repetición y memorización, explicaciones, gráficas y dibujos. Se trata, por así decir, de la física del mundo superior, que describe las leyes y las fuerzas que gobiernan al universo.
Este material gradualmente transforma a los estudiantes, pues al investigar la manera de entrar y comenzar a vivir en el mundo espiritual, uno se va adaptando gradualmente al material.
La ciencia de la Cabalá no se ocupa de la vida en nuestro mundo. En lugar de esto, al estudiar el sistema nos vamos a alcanzar de nuevo el nivel que teníamos antes de descender, el mismo nivel en que nos vamos a encontrar al final de nuestro ascenso de este mundo. Durante este ascenso, el estudio de la Cabalá estructura dentro del estudiante un sistema equivalente al sistema superior.
Este sistema empieza a organizarse y manifestarse dentro de la persona que desea aprenderlo y que lo estudia con este propósito. Así, como una gota de semen puede potencialmente desarrollarse en un ser humano completo y crecer para llegar a ser un adulto maduro, la ciencia de la Cabalá desarrolla nuestro deseo de alcanzar un nivel más elevado de existencia.
Al principio es un pequeño deseo, llamado “un punto en el corazón”. Este punto es como el embrión de nuestros futuros estados. Al estudiar la estructura de los mundos superiores, desarrollamos la información “genética” dentro de ella y a medida que crece, se forma dentro de nosotros la estructura semejante a los niveles más elevados.
Esta es la razón por la que el estudio es tan gratificante. Aún cuando no comprendamos ni una sola palabra acerca de lo que leemos, sencillamente el intentar entender los textos cabalistas nutre el punto en el corazón, el deseo por el Altísimo, y el punto empieza a crecer. Entre más aumenta, más sentimos la aparición de una nueva creación, una sensación nueva y diferente de la existencia de un mundo dentro de nosotros.
Al ayudarnos a lograrlo, la ciencia de la Cabalá nos da la oportunidad de percibir los mundos superiores, comprender todo lo que nos pasa y más que nada, a controlar este proceso por nosotros mismos.

Shabbat Shalom - Balak

Rabino Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING! The story is told that Napoleon was walking through the streets of Paris one Tisha B'Av. As his entourage passed a synagogue he heard wailing and crying coming from within; he sent an aid to inquire as to what had happened. The aid returned and told Napoleon that the Jews were in mourning over the loss of their Temple. Napoleon was indignant! "Why wasn't I informed? When did this happen? Which Temple?" The aid responded, "They lost their Temple in Jerusalem on this date 1700 years ago." Napoleon stood in silence and then said, "Certainly a people which has mourned the loss of their Temple for so long will survive to see it rebuilt!"
___If we know our history and understand it, then we can put our life in perspective. We can understand ourselves, our people, our goals, our values. We will know the direction of our lives, what we want to accomplish with our lives and what we are willing to bear in order to fulfill our destiny. Friedrich Nietzsche put it well, "If you have a 'why' to live for, you can bear with any 'how'."
___We are now entering the Three Weeks, the time between the 17th of Tammuz (Tuesday, July 3) and the 9th of Av (starting Monday night, July 23rd). This is a period when many tragedies happened to the Jewish people. Why do we mourn the loss of the Temple after so many years? What did and does it mean to us?
___The Temple was a central focal point of the Jewish people. Three times a year - Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot - the Jews living in the Land of Israel came to worship and celebrate at the Temple. It offered us the ultimate opportunity to come close to the Almighty, to elevate ourselves spiritually. It represented the purpose of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel - to be a holy people united with the Almighty in our own land ... a Jewish state. That is what we seek to regain and that is why we mourn and remember the loss of what we once had.
___What can one read to gain knowledge, get perspective, to understand who the Jewish people are and what we are about? Certainly, reading the Five Books of Moses is the place to start. I recommend the Artscroll Stone Edition. Nineteen Letters by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch will give a tremendous understanding of the Jewish purpose. Nine Questions and Why the Jews? by Praeger and Telushkin address central issues of the Jewish people. And then there is Judaism in a Nutshell: God by Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf for people who are long on curiosity, but short on time. For more history and understanding of the holidays, read Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov. All are available from your local Jewish book store, or by calling toll-free 877-758-3242.
___In Jewish cosmology, the Three Weeks are considered to be such an inauspicious time period that one is not allowed to get married. From the 1st of Av (July 16th), one is even advised to push off court cases until after the 10th of Av (after July 25th). We refrain from hair-cutting, purchasing or wearing new clothing, listening to music and pleasure trips. It is a time for self-reflection and improvement.
___On the 17th of Tammuz, five calamitous events occurred in our history:
1. Moshe broke the first Tablets of the Ten Commandments when he descended from Mt. Sinai and saw the worshipping of the Golden Calf.
2. The Daily Sacrificial Offerings ceased in the First Temple due to lack of sheep.
3. The walls of Jerusalem were breached during the siege of the Second Temple.
4. Apustumus-the-Wicked burned a Sefer Torah.
An idol was placed in the Sanctuary of the Second Temple.
___The 17th of Tamumz is a fast day. The fast begins approximately an hour before sunrise and continuing until about an hour after sunset. The purpose of the fast is to awaken our hearts to repentance through recalling our forefathers' misdeeds which led to tragedies and our repetition of those mistakes. The fasting is a preparation for repentance - to break the body's dominance over a person's spiritual side. One should engage in self-examination and undertake to correct mistakes in his relationship with God, his fellow man and with himself.
___It is interesting to note that Saddam Hussein was a student of Jewish history. He named the nuclear reactor (from which he planned to create a bomb to drop on Israel) - you guessed it, Tammuz 17! (Want the source? Two Minutes Over Baghdad by Amos Perlmutter.)

Torah Portion of the Week


___This week's portion is one of the most fascinating psychologically-revealing portions in the whole Torah! Bilaam, a non-Jewish prophet, was granted a level of prophecy close to Moshe's level of prophecy. The Almighty gave Bilaam these powers so that the nations of the world could not say at some point in the future, "If we had a prophet like Moshe, we too would have accepted the Torah and would have lived according to it." Bilaam is an intriguing character - honor-driven, arrogant and self-serving. Unfortunately, not too unique amongst mankind.
___Balak, the king of Moav, wanted to hire Bilaam to curse the Jewish people for a fortune of money. It is interesting that Balak believed in God and the power of invoking a curse from God, yet thought that God would change His mind about His Chosen People. (God is not a man who changes his mind). Bilaam was very desirous to accept the assignment to curse the Jews -more for the profit motive than the prophet motive.
___The Almighty allowed Bilaam to go to Balak (cautioning him only to say what God told him). The Almighty gives every person free-will and allows us to go in the direction that we choose. Three times Bilaam tried to curse us and three times the Almighty placed blessings in his mouth. Balak was furious! So, Bilaam gave him advice with hopes of collecting his fee -"If you want to destroy the Jewish people, entice the men with Moabite women and tell the women not to submit until the men bow down to an idol." Balak followed the advice and consequently the Almighty brought a plague against the Jewish people because the men fell for Bilaam's plot. We see from this that the Almighty hates licentiousness and idol worship.
* * *
Dvar Torah

based on Growth Through Torah by Rabino Zelig Pliskin

___The Torah states:
"And Bilaam said to the donkey, 'Because you have mocked me, if I were to have a sword in my hand right now, I would kill you.' " (Numbers 22:29)
___What lesson for life can we learn from Bilaam's behavior?
___Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik commented that usually a person hits a donkey because he wants it to go faster so that he can get to where he is going sooner. However, Bilaam was a pursuer of honor. Therefore, when the donkey caused him irritation he considered it a slight to his honor and wanted to kill it.
___When a person seeks honor, he doesn't realize how ridiculous he is and how he hurts himself. Bilaam said that he wanted to kill the donkey immediately. He should have said that he would wait until he reached his destination and only then would he kill it. His seeking honor prevented him from thinking straight.
___Moreover, the donkey started speaking. This was a miraculous event and Bilaam should have been overwhelmed with amazement. However, what does Bilaam focus on? Only one thing - his honor! And not only that, where is he looking for honor? From a donkey!
___Every honor-seeker has aspects of this same craziness in his personality. Therefore, because of the negativity of this trait one must do all that he can to overcome the desire for honor.
___The Chofetz Chaim used to say that true honor is when one seeks wisdom. Gaining more wisdom is honorable in itself and when one seeks it one will free oneself from seeking superficial signs of honor that are only illusions.
Jerusalem 7:14Guatemala 6:16 - Hong Kong 6:53 - Honolulu 6:59J'Burg 5:08 – Porto OR AHAYIM 9:03 - Los Angeles 7:50Melbourne 4:53 - Mexico City 8:00 - Miami 7:59New York 8:13 - Singapore 6:56 - Toronto 8:45

If you want spiritual immortality ... avoid immorality!


MOISES ben MAIMON - RAMBAM(1135-1204) El acrónimo RaMBaM, con que se lo conoce, corresponde a: Rabi Moisés Ben Maimon

Oneg Shabat

Nació en Córdoba, España, hijo de un rabino que le enseñó el Talmud conjuntamente con otras ciencias como Matemáticas, Astronomía y Filosofía. La familia tuvo que huir cuando tenía 13 años debido a las persecuciones de los Almohades contra los judíos. Deambularon por otras regiones de España hasta 1159 o 1160 , año en que se establecieron en Fez, Marruecos. En esos 12 años se dedicó al estudio e incluso escribió algunos libros; entre ellos “Ma’amar Haibur” (sobre el calendario Judío), “Millot Higayon” (sobre lógica), “Hama’or” (bosquejo de sus comentarios sobre la Mishna) y notas sobre trozos del Talmud de Jerusalén.
En Fez, a la edad de 25 años, Rambam estudia bajo la dirección del Rabi Yehuda Hacohen ibn Shushan. Continúa sus comentarios sobre la Mishna y escribe “Iggeret Hashmad”(sobre la conversión forzada).
En 1165, después que su maestro fuera asesinado por no convertirse al Islam, la familia de Maimónides se escapa y llega a Acre en Israel. Luego de una corta estadía parten a Egipto, estableciéndose primero en Alejandría y poco después en Fostat (el antiguo El Cairo) en forma definitiva.
Gracias a que su hermano David, comerciante en piedras preciosas, proveía su sustento, pudo dedicarse enteramente al estudio, a escribir y a prepararse como líder religioso de su comunidad. Terminó sus comentarios sobre la Mishna en 1168.
Debido a la muerte de su hermano, en un naufragio, se pierde la fortuna de la familia. Este acontecimiento provoca una depresión intensa en Rambam y después de un tiempo decide dedicarse a la medicina para ganarse la vida.
Al comienzo trabaja como simple doctor. En 1177 se convierte en director de la comunidad de Fostat. La fama adquirida hace que lo designen médico de la corte de Saladino, en particular de su visir al-Fadil.
En esa etapa comienza su período más fructífero. Su primera mujer murió joven y el se volvió a casar, esta vez con una hermana de ibn Almali, uno de los secretarios reales, el que a su vez se casa con la única hermana de Rambam. De este segundo matrimonio nace Abraham, su único hijo, que llegó también a ser Gran Rabino.
Durante esos años escribe y envía a su discípulo Yosef ibn Sham’un ,capítulo tras capítulo, su libro “Guía de los Perplejos”. También escribe su famoso “Mishneh Torah” y dos Iggrot(cartas): “Iggeret Teiman” e “Iggeret Tchiyat Hameitim”
En otro ámbito se enfrentó a los Karaitas logrando la supremacía de los Rabinatos del Cairo. Introdujo varios cambios en las costumbres liturgicas, siendo el más radical la supresión de la repetición de la Amidá.
Hasta su muerte continuó su trabajo como cabeza de la comunidad Judía y médico de la corte.

Fue, probablemente junto con Yehuda Halevi, el más grande filosofo judío del medioevo. En esa época el pensamiento filosófico era , en general, o bien aristotélico o bien platónico. Maimónides sigue los principios de Aristóteles.
Es importante tener en cuenta el ambiente en que surge este personaje, que corresponde a la llamada España de Oro. Ahí se encuentran tres grandes religiones monoteístas; lo que dio lugar, como ocurre en estos casos, a la confrontación de conceptos y experiencias.
El Cristianismo, el Islamismo y el Judaísmo confluyen en la España Medieval, creando para los judíos un marco distinto al histórico, al menos al del período bíblico. En la Edad Media el pensamiento filosófico judío trató de armonizar dos cosas fundamentales: la tradición bíblica y el pensamiento helénico clásico.
La influencia de Aristóteles, que mencionamos, Maimónides la elabora y sintetiza en una originalidad propia . Es considerado exponente de la vertiente racionalista, como lo fue anteriormente Hillel, muy inclinados al helenismo como método de pensamiento. En sus exposiciones presenta sistemáticamente al Judaísmo como una religión de razón.. Sus pruebas filosóficas respecto a la existencia de D’s influenció enormemente a Tomás Aquino.
En parte de sus obras se encuentra el estilo de diálogo propios de Sócrates o Platón, lo que acredita una raíz griega y no sólo aristotélica. Más aún, su descripción de los profetas se ajusta al marco Platónico del rey-filósofo.
Pero lo anterior se refiere al método y nos interesa más incursionar en los temas que preocuparon a Maimónides. ¿Era un filósofo tradicional concentrado en observar la realidad y especular respecto a ella? ¿O más bien es de aquellos preocupados de la vida concreta buscando soluciones a los grandes enigmas del hombre, como estímulos de la acción cotidiana? Sin duda parece pertenecer al segundo tipo, lo que se corresponde no sólo con sus escritos filosóficos sino, también, con sus actividades como médico y como rabino.
De hecho estaba preocupado de la pérdida del perfil judío de su comunidad . Tenía la inquietud de conservar el espíritu judío en los judíos. Le interesaba asegurar a los judíos un instrumento ideológico para permanecer firmemente arraigados a la religión de sus antepasados. Intuía el peligro de enfrentar, por una parte, a un Cristianismo triunfante mostrando un bien elaborado desarrollo ideológico y conceptual, con dogmas fijos y con la autoridad que le da la iglesia. Como sabemos, no hay una iglesia judía. El judaísmo vive, se conserva y se potencia dentro de cada judío. No existe la autoridad de la fe, a lo más una autoridad de la tradición. Por otra parte estaba el mundo musulmán, en el apogeo de su desarrollo filosófico, de gran rigor metodológico y profundidad conceptual. A ello se suma el establecimiento de una cultura desarrollada y sofisticada.
Esta doble amenaza motiva a Maimónides y orienta sus escritos.
En su obra “Guía de Descarriados” o de los Perplejos (Moré Nevujim), sostiene la idea fundamental de que la fe pura y el pensamiento lógico coinciden perfectamente entre sí. Ambos reconocen que existe un solo D’s del cual proviene la creación y ambos aspiran a elevar al hombre al más completo perfeccionamiento. La verdad de la fe y la verdad de la inteligencia no se contradicen una a la otra en los conceptos básicos. Eso significa que pueden andar juntas, si no llegan a la exageración.
Es interesante anotar que para Maimónides la “ciencia de la Ley” es lo que el desarrolla en la Guía, la que es intelectualmente superior al estudio legalista de la Ley, que corresponde a lo desarrollado en la Mishne Torah.
En la doctrina de Rambam el hombre es, naturalmente, creación de D’s , aunque una creación particular donde la criatura es colocada en medio de este mundo teniendo como modelo precisamente a su creador y tratando de convertir la acción de su conducta en un instrumento de cooperación con el creador, en la dirección indicada por el creador. En la idea de que el hombre es creado a la imagen y semejanza de D’s está garantizada la diferencia entre ambos. En consecuencia no hay ningún indicio de Panteísmo, estando asegurada la dependencia ontológica del hombre respecto a su creador. Pero para que el hombre no sea sólo un simple elemento de la naturaleza regido por las leyes mecánicas, fijas e inmutables, tiene que estar dotado de un poder, no corporal sino espiritual, que Maimónides sitúa en la voluntad y que metafísicamente se expresa por la libertad. Sin esta libertad el hombre no puede ser un colaborador de la creación del universo.
Este poder, que incluso lo puede hacer ir contra su creador, garantiza en el hombre algo que de otra manera no podría ser: garantiza la responsabilidad de sus actos.

Además de las notas insertas en el texto central, agregamos aquí comentarios respecto a algunos de sus escritos que nos parecen interesantes:

o Mishneh Torah. (Repetición de la Torá o Segunda Torá)
Es una codificación por temas, en 14 volúmenes, de todos los argumentos talmúdicos, de las responsa y delas costumbres desarrolladas a través de los años en el mundo judío-hispánico.
Escrito en Hebreo de manera simple, permitió que la halajá quedara al alcance de todo el que quisiera leerlo. Este libro es el primer Código de la Ley Judía. Tuvo un éxito notable y se conoce de la publicación, sólo en el s.XV, de al menos 6 ediciones, 4 en la Península Ibérica y 2 en Italia.
Como en la numerología hebrea el número 14 (cantidad de volúmenes de la obra) se escribe con las letras “iud” y “dálet” (YD), se lo llama también YaD (mano).
Rambam incluyó secciones sobre medicina, metafísica, astronomía y ciencias y una extensa sección sobre el Mesías, con argumentos que probaban que las creencias, tanto Cristianas como Musulmanas, estaban erradas. Otra sección estaba dedicada a la tzedaká, donde establece 8 niveles de virtuosidad en la manera de dar.

o Moreh Nevujim ( Guía de los Perplejos)
Se demoró 10 años ( la terminó en 1190) en escribir ésta, la que consideraba su obra más importante. Escrita en Árabe, es un libro brillante de filosofía Judía, aunque no es de lectura simple ya que su intención era que fuera entendida por filósofos capaces de asimilar su método. Es así, que por más de 800 años los judíos han estado discutiendo sobre lo que Rambam realmente quiso decir.
Trata, fundamentalmente, acerca de la naturaleza de D’s y la creación, el libre albedrío y el bien y el mal.
Maimónides plantea que nada puede decirse con certeza respecto a D’s. Entre otras cosas deshace el aparente antromorfismo del lenguaje bíblico para revelar la lógica subyacente de la perfección absoluta de D’s. Todo lo que puede decirse acerca de Él es a través de aseveraciones negativas, es decir, enunciamientos de lo que no es.
Algunos de sus planteamientos desataron una amarga controversia. Sus detractores lo acusaron de herejía. En muchas comunidades Judías éste libro fue prohibido. En Francia los monjes Dominicos, que dirigían la Inquisición en ese país, lo quemaron debido a las denuncias de algunos rabinos . En otras comunidades trataron de proteger a su impresionable juventud de la Guía, disponiendo que sólo los mayores de 25 años podían leerla, ya que las mentes jóvenes podían malinterpretar su significado y corromperse.
Desde otra óptica sintetiza los pensamientos Judío y Griego y los compatibiliza.
Definitivamente, la Guía fue el libro Judío de la Edad Media de mayor influencia continuando hasta hoy día las discusiones respecto a su significado e implicaciones.

o Sefer ha-Mitzvot (Libro de los Preceptos)
Es una compilación de los 613 preceptos que se mencionan en la Torá o Escribió además numerosos comentarios, cartas y responsa.

A cabala revisitada VI

O rigor e o desejo

André Moshe Pereira*

A Aaron Ram, Judy Cohen, Rav Jules Harlow, Manuel Barreiro

Como podemos sistematizar uma sustentação do pensar da justiça e desejo na verdade? Uma Auseinandersetzung é estabelecida entre certas literaturas e a filosofia. Nestes diálogos as cartas não estão marcadas em avanço, isso significa que a filosofia hoje tem um papel decididamente político…talvez todos sejamos liberais! Mas outra atitude se impõe ao nível das várias instâncias da ética, do “messianismo” e da finitude humana.
A literatura em si-mesma não pode pré-formar, nem mesmo como comédia, o imaginário social por repensar os temas da nossa finitude e na ausência de algo como a existência dum herói trágico. Talvez a comédia humana prove insuficientemente o pensar da nossa condição humana. Que se passa pergunta Derrida, quando um grande pensador se submerge no silêncio, alguém a quem conhecemos a vida, a quem lemos e relemos, como trabalho do espírito, e a quem também escutamos, alguém de quem esperávamos uma resposta, como se a dita resposta nos ajudasse não só a pensar outramente, mas a ler o que pensávamos que já havíamos lido dele, uma resposta que se reservava tudo e tantas coisas mais que críamos haver reconhecido com a sua rubrica? O seu nome é Levinas ou Blanchot ou Derrida, ou Rav Akiva ou Moshe Rabeinu, ou Aaron Ram ou Judy Cohen!
A experiência de “trabalho” com Emmanuel Levinas é como o dissera Blanchot e Martin Buber ou Bernard Forthomme ou mesmo Jacques Derrida, interminável, a exemplo de todas as reflexões que são fonte e origem. Nunca deixamos de começar ou começar de novo nelas como fundamento do começo renovado que me oferecem e voltarei a descobri-las uma e outra vez em quase qualquer tema; reler e ler de novo Levinas é uma experiência de cúmulo de alegria, admiração e gratidão. Cúmulo duma necessidade satisfeita, que não é uma limitação mas uma força que obriga e nos obriga, por respeito ao outro a não deformar ou a retorcer o espaço de pensamento mas a ceder perante a curvatura heterónoma que nos relaciona com o outro na sua completude. Com a justiça como Levinas prefere referindo uma admirável elipse “ a relação com o outro, quer dizer, a justiça”, que responde à lei que dessa forma nos convoca a ceder ante a anterioridade infinita do outro na sua completude. A completude tem um nome mesmo de poesia da fenomenologia da dor e da alegria, com Manuel Barreiro, em Os Dias de Planalto II, Edição Garranus, Braga, 2005: 52, Edição como inscreve Manuel Barreiro na contracapa, no 60º aniversário da libertação de Auschwitz «para que nunca mais aconteça»: Meu amor, *tu que procuras fugir/da dor/ buscando/ o que te escapa/ como melros em debandada/ num prenúncio de trovoada. / Olha, todos os dias/ como os amores/ são sempre iguais, / só são tristes/ aqueles em que o estás. / Alegres são alguns/ dos meus dias de tristeza, / é que finjo, volta e meia, / que os meus não sejam sempre iguais. / Triste/ é eu só poder imaginar/ o que seria/ num dos teus de alegria.//
A primeira introdução à fenomenologia de Husserl que Levinas realizou iniciada em 1930 com traduções e leituras interpretativas, que irrigariam e fecundariam muitas outras correntes filosóficas. Em 1930 Emmanuel Levinas, um jovem de 23 anos escreve: o facto de que em França a fenomenologia não seja uma doutrina para tudo tem sido um problema constante para escrever este livro”. Ou a falar da “poderosa e original filosofia” do “senhor Martin Heidegger cuja influência se sente frequentemente neste livro”, ele mesmo recorda que “o problema ocasionado aqui pela fenomenologia transcendental é um problema ontológico no sentido preciso que Heidegger dá a este termo”. (Théorie de l’intuition dans la phénoménologie de Husserl, p. 7.). O segundo acontecimento, o segundo cisma filosófico, é o feliz traumatismo que lhe devemos (no sentido da palavra traumatismo que lhe dava prazer recordar, o “traumatismo do outro” que vem do Outro), ao ler e re-interpretar autores como Descartes, Kant e Kierkegaard, escritores como Dostoyevski, Kafka, Proust, – e difundia as suas palavras através de publicações, cursos e leituras ou palestras, na Escola Normal Israelita Oriental, no Colégio Filosófico, destacado tal tema no nosso texto A Intriga Ética e nas universidades de Poitiers, Nanterre e da Sorbonne) –, Emmanuel Levinas deslocou paulatinamente o eixo, a trajectória e inclusivamente a ordem da fenomenologia ou da ontologia, que havia introduzido em França desde 1930, até conseguir modelá-los com rigor sob uma condição inflexível e simples.
Como sabemos Lacan a re-notação que Lacan faz do herói numa forma que reavalia o ideal clássico, que é aquele que não podes trair. Mas o latim torna-se do latim “tradere” o que significa consumar um fim determinado a algo, a uma marca a um sentido, a uma injustiça ou em casos paradoxais, à justiça, precisamente e no caso da comédia alguém pode consumar a transmissão ou trair uma verdade imanente, a qual em tornar-se “pública”, revisita a distinção entre público e privado. Levinas entretece-se com estes roupames. Buscamos a falha de ironia em Levinas, suficientemente denunciado por Gillian Rose, mas especialmente em muito do conceptualismo pós-moderno. Finalmente avaliamos as homologias estruturais e o desejo e o que é o irrepresentável e o pensamento prioritário em Levinas e a função do das Ding em Jacques Lacan. Isso permite-nos repensar a refutação do inconsciente freudiano e explorar o significado da alteridade inconsciente, o self dividido, sem o que Emmanuel Levinas denomina a metafísica religiosa. “ Ética é ética por propósitos de bem da política” para bem da nova concepção da organização do espaço político. O «recurso» levinasiano oferece-nos a interrupção da depredação social e política que o «eu» ou o «nós» efectua sem por isso ser um agente ético ou escolher a responsabilidade; este imenso recurso é empregue mais economicamente, numa forma de perspectiva crítica.
Lembramos com isto a condição de estrangeiros que todos os judeus, somos. Numa metáfora de Berlin: “Os estrangeiros transformam-se em autoridades de primeira importância acerca dos naturais. Codificam a sua língua e os seus costumes, coligem os dicionários e as enciclopédias da tribo, interpretam a sociedade indígena para uso do mundo exterior. Ano após a no, cresce o seu conhecimento do mundo que os recebeu, e o mesmo se diga do seu amor por ele ou da sedução que exerce tudo o que esse mundo é e faz. Se os seus esforços tiverem sucesso, convencer-se-ão de que compreendem os naturais tão profundamente que se sentirão inseparavelmente unidos à sua civilização; convencer-se-ão de ser os seus melhores amigos, os seus paladinos e os seus profetas”. (Isaiah Berlin, O Poder das Ideias, Lisboa, Relógio d’Água, 2006:222). No entanto o problema é o excessivo interesse pela “tribo” pelos seus destinos, a peculiar paixão pelo rigor e pela verdade.

*Pres. KOaH

Monday, June 18, 2007

Parashat Chukat

Rabino Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING! What is the greatest pleasure in your life? Love of your spouse? Love of your kids? How about Love of God? Could there be a greater pleasure than that? Would you believe that we are commanded to have this pleasure? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your possessions" (Deut. 6:5). It must be possible. God doesn't command us to do the impossible!

___Loving God is also one of the Six Constant Commandments - commandments that are upon us at all times and in all places! (The other 5 Constant Mitzvot : (1) Know there is a God. (2) Don't believe in any other god. (3) Know that He is One. (4) Fear God. (5) Don't follow after your desires.

___First, the definitions: What is "Love" - the pleasure one has in focusing on the good in something or someone. As Maimonides writes: "A person can only love according to the degree he knows the object of his love. If he knows a little, he can love a little. And if he knows a lot, he can love a lot." (Laws of Teshuva 10:6) A parent may have a drug-using, lazy dropout and still love him. If you ask the parent why s/he loves him, s/he will tell you, "Because he has a good heart, he's a good kid." What about the drugs, laziness, dropping out of school? The parent replies, "He was in with a bad group, I should have helped him more" - or some other reason to not focus on the negative. One can only love by focusing on the positive.

___What is "God"? The Creator, Sustainer and Supervisor. The One who made the whole universe and everything in it, keeps it going and Who has a relationship with everyone and everything in it.

___What is Love of God? It is the pleasure in focusing on the good that He has given us in our lives and in the world.

___We all have difficulties and challenges in our lives. As hard as they may be, a person who believes in a loving God understands that they are meaningful and beneficial, though the challenge may seem insurmountable, God never gives us a challenge that we cannot handle.

___For example, pain is something we all wish to avoid. However, the pain reflex helps preserve us from great harm. Imagine if you didn't feel pain and only found that your hand was resting on a hot burner when someone pointed out the flames. Pain can also be a wake up call to look into our deeds so that we will correct them as well as serve as an atonement for past mistakes.

___Difficulties in life should be looked upon as meaningful. We should ask ourselves "Why me?" - but not with an accusatory tone. The Torah teaches that the Almighty loves each and every creation and has an individual relationship with each of us. He wants only for our good. He only gives us what is good for us.

___Perhaps the most important lesson we owe our children is to teach them that the Almighty loves them - just as they need to know that their parents love them. A child may eventually get over the feeling or the fact that a parent doesn't love him. However, if one is taught that God is against him and hates him, it creates a very bitter life.

___I often hug my children and ask, "Who loves you?" They learn early to respond, "Mommy and Daddy." And then I ask and "Who loves you most of all?" And they learn early to respond "HaShem" (a commonly used Hebrew name for God). And sometimes they just respond, "Mommy, Daddy and HaShem loves me the most."

___There are two ways to love God. The first is to look at His Creation -the beauty and the intricacy of everything from the micro to the macro. Maimonides writes: "What is the path to love (and awe) of God? When one ponders God's great and wonderful acts of creation, and sees in them a genius that has no comparison, then automatically a person will love, praise, glorify - and deeply desire to know the greatness of God." (Foundations of Torah 2:2)

___Second, read His words - The Torah. When people say they love an author, it is because they read his book and were moved by the book. To know God and to Love God, it certainly helps to read His Book. Torah study is the way to discover the path of meaning. The Torah is called Torat Chaim -literally the book of "Instructions for Living" - is God's communication to the world. It is the ultimate repository for wisdom on how to succeed at marriage, parenting, community building, and fixing the world. (I highly recommend the Artscroll Stone Edition of the Torah available from your local Jewish book store or by calling toll-free 877-758-3242.)

___The mitzvah to love God is to be constantly preoccupied with the pursuit of closeness to God. God is always there. If one does not feel the closeness of God, it is not God Who moved. It is up to us to choose to deepen the relationship. For as the Kotzker Rebbe once said: "Where is God? Wherever you let Him in."

Torah Portion of the Week Chukat

___Another week of action, adventure and mystery as the Jewish people wander the desert in their 38th year. First, the laws of the red heifer (Parah Adumah) which was burnt with cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet thread. The ashes were then used in a purification ceremony for those who had come in contact with the dead. Strangely enough, all who were involved in the making of the ashes became ritually impure, but all who were sprinkled with them became ritually pure. It is a lesson that we must do the commandments even if we can't understand them. God decreed the commandments. They are for our benefit. We may not always know why.
___Miriam, Moshe's sister and a prophetess, dies. The portable well which had accompanied the Israelites on her merit, ceased to flow. Once again the people rebelled against Moshe and Aharon because of the lack of water. The Almighty tells Moshe to speak to the rock for water. Moshe gets angry and hits the rock and water rushes forth. However, the Almighty punishes Moshe and Aharon for not sanctifying Him by forbidding their entry into the land of Israel. (It pays to follow instructions and to withhold anger!)
___Aharon dies. His son, Elazar, is appointed the new High Priest. The Canaanite king of Arad attacks the Israelites and later is soundly defeated. Then there is another rebellion over the food and water which is answered by a plague of poisonous snakes. Moshe prays for the people and is instructed by God to put the image of a snake on a high pole. All who saw it would think of God, repent and live.
___The Israelites then annihilate the Amorites and Bashanites who not only would not let us pass peacefully through their lands, but attacked us. There are many questions which need to be asked. Please consult the original work and a good commentary.
* * *
Dvar Torah

based on Growth Through Torah by Rabino Zelig Pliskin
___The Torah states:
"And the Almighty said to Moshe, 'Make for yourself the image of a snake and place it on a pole. And it will be that everyone who was bitten shall see it and live.' " (Numbers 21:8)
___The snake bit the people - why is the image of the snake the "cure"?
___Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz explained that when a person hits someone, it comes from anger and hatred, but when he helps another person, it comes from compassion and love. With the Almighty, however, even when He causes a person to suffer, it comes from His compassion and love. In the overall scheme of things a person gains from that suffering. It is either atonement, it serves as a lesson to teach a person to improve, or it elevates a person. Therefore, the smiting and the cure can be from the same thing because they both come from the attribute of love. When you find meaning in your suffering, it is much easier to accept with a positive attitude.

Jerusalem 7:13Guatemala 6:16 - Hong Kong 6:52 - Honolulu 6:58J'Burg 5:05 – PORTO KOaH 9:03 - Los Angeles 7:50Melbourne 4:50 - Mexico City 8:00 - Miami 7:58 New York 8:13 - Singapore 6:55 - Toronto 8:45

The best solution for little problems is to help people with big problems.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Homenaje al teatro judío en Hebraica.
El miércoles 20 de junio, a las 20 horas, Hebraica ofrece “Nacimiento y gloria del teatro judío”. Durante el acto será presentada la nueva agenda de Sefarad Editores dedicada al teatro judío (1850-1950), El año judío 5768, ¡Arriba el telón!, en recuerdo de los 100 años de la muerte de Abraham Goldfaden, dramaturgo y director considerado el padre del moderno teatro judío. La presentación del libro será seguida de la proyección de la película La herencia de Goldfaden, del director rumano Radu Gabrea. Se trata de una producción de 60 minutos subtitulada en español. Intervendrán el escritor Abrasha Rotenberg, la traductora Rhoda Henelde-Abecasis, el editor Horacio Kohan y Horia Barna, director del Instituto Cultural Rumano. Lugar: c/ López de Hoyos, 149 – 1º p. Izq. – Madrid (Metro Alfonso XIII).

Klezmer Sefardí en la calle.

El jueves 21 de junio a las 21h, Día Europeo de la Música, el grupo español Klezmer Sefardí (un quinteto integrado por dos búlgaros en acordeón y clarinete, una húngara al violín, un español en flautas y salterio turco y la voz de Jorge Rozemblum en idish, judeoespañol y hebreo), se presentará, bajo los auspicios de Casa Sefarad-Israel, en un concierto gratuito al aire libre en la Plaza de Oriente, de Madrid (frente al Palacio Real). Se trata de un espectáculo musical en el que se dan cita las músicas de los judíos del Este de Europa y del Mediterráneo, articulado a modo de cuento musicado.

Buen cine en el Cine-club Hebraica.
El sábado 30 de junio a las 21h nueva función del Cine-club Hebraica, con la proyección de la película Vete y vive, dirigida por Radu Mihaileanu y protagonizada por Yael Abecassi, Roschdy Zem y Meskie Shibru. Se trata de una producción franco-israelí de 2005 (140 minutos). En 1984 miles de refugiados africanos procedentes de veintiséis países llegan a los campamentos de Sudán. Se ha puesto en marcha un vasto proyecto (Operación Moisés) para llevar a los judíos etíopes a Israel. Una madre cristiana convence a su hijo de nueve años para que diga que es judío y así salvarle de la hambruna y de una muerte segura. El niño llega a la Tierra Prometida como huérfano y le adopta una familia sefardí francesa afincada en Tel Aviv. Crece con el temor de que descubran su secreto: no es judío ni huérfano, sólo es negro. Coordinadora: Liliana Kohan. Después de la proyección, refrigerio y debate. Precio socios: 4 €; precio no socios: 6 €. Lugar: c/ López de Hoyos, 149 – 1º p. Izq. (Metro Alfonso XIII).

Gran teatro de Arthur Miller en el Español.
Las brujas de Salem, escrita en 1950 por Arthur Miller, es una gran obra indiscutible de la literatura contemporánea. Miller fue siempre un autor comprometido: se opuso activamente a la caza de brujas del senador McCarthy. Las brujas de Salem fue en realidad una denuncia contra las investigaciones del Comité de Actividades Antiamericanas, ante el cual tuvo que comparecer él mismo tres años más tarde. La acción transcurre en Salem, Massachusetts, en 1692. Un grupo de jovencitas, cohibidas e irritadas a la vez por la sofocante atmósfera a la que están sometidas, se ponen a bailar desnudas en el bosque. Una de ellas, Abigail Williams -que ha perdido su inocencia con el granjero John Proctor, un hombre casado-, bebe una pócima encantada para inducirla a matar a la mujer de éste. Las jóvenes «brujas» son descubiertas e, incitados por sus terribles acusaciones, todos los habitantes del pueblo son presa de una extraña e incontenible histeria colectiva. Se inicia un juicio, en el que, una a una, las víctimas inocentes, arrancadas de sus hogares van cayendo en la diabólica trampa de culpas y denuncias que ellas mismas han urdido. La dirección es de Alberto González Vergel. Intérpretes: Sergi Mateu, Manuel Gallardo, María Adánez, Carmen Bernardos, Juan Ribó, Manuel Aguilar, Marta Calvó, Lia Chapman, Victoria Rodríguez, Manuel Brun, Carmen Mayor, Inma Cuevas, Sheila González, Virginia Méndez, José Albiach, Pablo Isasi, David Areu, Francisco Grijalvo, Elías Arriero. Hasta el 15 de julio, de martes a domingo 20:30h, en el Teatro Español (Calle Príncipe, 25 – Madrid).

Conferencia sobre cultos antiguos en Hebraica.
“Cultos de fertilidad en el área sud-levantina durante el período calcolítico (V milenio aC)” es el título de la conferencia que pronunciará en Hebraica el Dr. Ianir Milevski, del Servicio de Antigüedades de Israel. El acto será presentado por el Dr. Fernando Díaz Esteban (Académico de la Historia y Presidente de la Asociación Española de Orientalistas), el Prof. Jesús Gil (Director de la Misión Arqueológica Española en Turquía Oriental) y el Prof. Dr. Ángel Fuentes (Profesor Titular de Arqueología Forense de la UAM). Actividad en colaboración con la Asociación Española de Orientalistas (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid). Será el miércoles 27 de junio, a las 19h con entrada libre. Lugar: c/ López de Hoyos, 149 – 1º p. Izq. (Metro Alfonso XIII).

Kurt Weill en El Matadero.
Ascenso y caída de la ciudad de Mahagonny, con música de Kurt Weill, libro de Bertolt Brecht y dirigida por Mario Gas se presenta desde el 14 de junio en Matadero Madrid (Paseo Chopera, 14). Se inaugura un nuevo espacio gestionado y programado íntegramente por el Teatro Español, Naves del Español, dentro del proyecto Matadero Madrid del Ayuntamiento. El director Mario Gas dirige la ópera Ascenso y caída de la Ciudad de Mahaghonny, el trabajo más ambicioso del genial tandem Weill/Brecht. Un insólito grupo de individuos perseguidos por la policía norteamericana por fraude y prostitución huye hacia la costa californiana. En el trayecto se les estropea el camión en el que viajan y por no proseguir a pie deciden fundar la ciudad de Mahagonny como la ciudad de los placeres donde todo está permitido menos no tener dinero. Este es el comienzo de esta original obra estrenada en Leipzig en 1930 que causó un sonado escándalo y con terribles críticas de prensa. Fue en 1957, a partir de una representación en Damstadt cuando los comentarios satisfactorios en todos los diarios hicieron que se estrenara por todo el mundo. Intérpretes: Constantino Romero, Mónica López, Teresa Vallicrosa, Antoni Comas, Pedro Pomares, Enrique del Portal, Abel García.

Julio Grinblatt en Annta Gallery.
Las series “Fotos de nada” y “Pasillos” del fotógrafo Julio Grinblatt se exponen en Annta Gallery (c/ Almirante, 1 – Madrid). Para Grinblatt, la cámara forma parte del arte de mirar del fotógrafo. En la serie “Pasillos” reduce la arquitectura pública a unas imágenes en miniatura, y en “Fotos de nada” procede a la inversa: amplía la estructura secreta de las plantas hasta hacer arquitectura. La serie “Pasillos” ya se ha colgado en parte en las paredes del Reina Sofía de Madrid. Julio Grinblatt forma parte de esa generación latinoamericana que descubrió en los 90 que el modelo a fotografiar va a determinar el tipo de foto, pero también el espacio donde se va a colgar y representar. Por eso, como si se tratase de esculturas, las dos series, que agrupan a una treintena de imágenes, se van a repartir por los dos pisos de la galería siguiendo unos criterios propios y exclusivos que identifican a cada serie.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Vote for the 2007 Best Overall Jewish Blog

Dry Bones
20.56 % (222)
Lazer Beams
18.06 % (195)
Fundamentally Freund
16.67 % (180)
14.26 % (154)
12.69 % (137)
5.65 % (61)
Emes Ve-Emunah
4.44 % (48)
Aidel Maidel
4.07 % (44)
3.61 % (39)
Total votes: 1080

Veja em:

A Cabala Revisitada V: Ciência e Fé

Andre Moshe Pereira
Presidente Or Ahayim
Director CEIMOM
( Centro de Estudos Israel Médio Oriente e Mediterrâneo)

Cada coisa é um fenómeno em si mesmo um mundo de si e em si. Cada coisa tem ainda segundo por ex. Y F, uma relação com cada coisa, ambas próximas e afastadas, por degraus.
O exemplo que nos ocorre é o duma ervilha na vagem. Cada uma tem as suas próprias dimensões, um carácter que lhe é próprio, uma história única um destino pessoal e cada uma tem uma relação distintiva especial a cada uma das outras como bem a tudo o que está fora desta esfera. O mesmo é válido para cada uma das outras ervilhas. Esta relação de proximidade e afastamento estende-se de forma universal e conveniente a cada um dos elementos únicos do universo.

Ora o que se diz de cada ervilha ou vagem é bom de ver que se diz de cada um de nós. Nós temos na verdade dimensões distintas, caracteres, histórias, destinos e relações. Como sabemos da psicologia narrativa ou da antropologia vamos mais profundamente e mais longe. No caso da epistemologia baste recordar as duas fontes nas quais mais beberam os teóricos pós-modernos da Psicologia foram as obras de Thomas Kuhn e Paul Feyerabend. Kuhn é o filósofo da ciência que popularizou o conceito de paradigma. Ele oferece contra o falsificacionismo de Popper a sua visão própria sobre o progresso científico, que teria como princípio central a revolução científica. Para Kuhn (1991), a revolução científica é a substituição de um paradigma que, tendo acumulado um número de anomalias suficientes, gerou as condições necessárias para o surgimento de um novo paradigma que o substitua dando conta dessas anomalias. É um momento de evolução não-linear da história da ciência. A tese do pensamento de Kuhn (1991) que foi apropriada pelos teóricos pós-modernos é a tese da incomensurabilidade dos paradigmas, revisitado por exemplo em Rhétoriques de la modernité de Manuel Maria Carrilho, no Tratado da Evidência e nas Provas de Fernando Gil. Paradigmas, segundo Kuhn, são aquele conjunto de conquistas científicas universalmente reconhecidas e pressupostos universalmente compartilhados sobre o método científico, que durante um período fornecem um modelo de problemas e soluções aceitáveis aos que pesquisam um certo campo da ciência. A sua substituição por outro ocorre no momento do conflito entre dois paradigmas concorrentes. Neste momento os seus respectivos partidários defendem-no com base em argumentos extraídos do próprio paradigma. Ou seja, aqui cairíamos inevitavelmente numa circularidade, pois tomaríamos como pressupostos os princípios do próprio paradigma em sua defesa. Para Kuhn, paradigmas sucessivos dizem coisas diferentes acerca do universo e dos seus objectos, eles são ontologicamente irredutíveis um ao outro, eles são incomensuráveis. Isso quer dizer que para Kuhn, nas revoluções científicas as mudanças de paradigma não são realizadas com fundamento na racionalidade interna do sistema científico. Esta perspectiva induz de forma mínima à percepção da natureza elementar da nossa disposição ontológica e crítica.
Em que se prendem determinadas convicções científicas como as vemos em João Caraça e M. Maria Carrilho? No seguinte: A previsão é o fim da ciência; Uma teoria só tem que ser verdadeira nas suas consequências observáveis; É a experimentação que garante a objectividade; Uma teoria só é falsa se uma das suas consequências experimentais for falsa; A introspecção deve ser rejeitada; Só a matemática garante a cientificidade; O contexto de descoberta de uma teoria é irrelevante; A metodologia deve demarcar o que é ciência do que não é e, assim, distinguir claramente dois tipos de juízo: de valor e de facto; Só há explicação científica quando há subsunção de um fenómeno numa lei; A competência do cientista deve ser rigorosamente acantonada no seu domínio.
É fácil identificar nestes "mandamentos" as bases do cientismo a que o positivismo deu várias formas consagradas, e que foram criticadas, num crescendo de pertinência, por Popper (1959), Kuhn (1962) e Feyerabend (1975). McCloskey desenvolve uma ideia original, que certamente Feyerabend - e mesmo Kuhn como explicitámos acima - não rejeitaria, e que consiste em perspectivar a ciência como um processo conversacional em que os interlocutores mobilizam os mais diversos recursos retóricos com o objectivo de persuadirem e de fazerem vingar o seu ponto de vista.
Para nós admitimos que temos uma vida interior; as nossas relações e coisas com as outras pessoas estão supostas sobre muitos e muitos factores. As relações humanas são complexas e retorcidas ou por vezes ínvias; todavia continuamos a existir de muitas maneiras ou modos. E dimensões quando vivemos e deixamos esta mesma dimensão.
Mas isso vai para além de tudo. Porque existem reinos e dimensões distantes da nossa natureza puramente física que se prevêem com grande profundidade que estão assentes para além dos domínios distantes e que de igual modo possuem distintas qualidades, histórias e papéis a jogar num grande e vasto teatro cósmico. Tudo foi criado, parece-me. Por Quem tem poder e Desejo infinito.
Como expressa Ramchal as coisas foram criadas por Hashem na sua infinita capacidade … a deliberação por criar outros seres que são superiores a outros e cada ser físico foi deliberado ter os seus limites e propriedades E foi garantida a existência às entidades superiores uma espécie de propriedades particulares e específicas. E foi justo que lhe conferisse tais qualidades.
O problema é que acreditar na unicidade espiritual e ontológica no reino espiritual e na ideia de que tudo interage com tudo está profundamente inculcado em nós iehudim. E assumindo que o todo está fisicamente isolado e que as coisas não são apenas uma máscara da realidade, de destino e um papel a desempenhar no todo é simplesmente um anátema para nós só de imaginar essa “realidade” isolada.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Amor de Yerushalayim

“Por amor de Tsion no callaré, y por amor de Yerushalayim no me quedaré quieto, hasta que su justicia irradie como luz, y su salvación arda como antorcha. 2 Entonces las naciones verán tu justicia; y todos los reyes, tu gloria.
Y te será dado un nombre nuevo, que la boca de YHVH otorgará. 3 Serás corona de esplendor en la mano de YHVH, y diadema real en la palma de tu Dios. 4 Nunca más te llamarán Desamparada; ni se dirá más de tu tierra, Desolada.
Serás llamada Mi Deleite, y tu tierra, Desposada; porque YHVH se deleita en ti, y tu tierra será desposada. 5 Pues como el joven se desposa con la virgen, así te desposarán tus hijos; y como el novio se regocija por su novia, así se regocijará tu Dios por ti. 6

Sobre tus muros, oh Yerushalayim, he puesto guardias. Jamás callarán ni en todo el día ni en toda la noche. ¡Los que hacéis que YHVH recuerde, no reposéis! 7 Tampoco le deis reposo, hasta que él restablezca a Yerushalayim y haga de ella una alabanza en la tierra. 8 YHVH juró por su mano derecha y por el brazo de su poder: "Nunca más daré tu trigo por comida a tus enemigos, ni beberán los extranjeros del vino nuevo por el cual tú has trabajado. 9 Más bien, los que lo cosechen lo comerán, y alabarán a YHVH; y los que lo recolecten lo beberán en los atrios de mi santuario." 10 ¡Pasad, pasad por las puertas! ¡Preparad el camino para el pueblo! ¡Allanad, allanad la calzada; quitad las piedras! ¡Alzad bandera sobre los pueblos! 11
He aquí que YHVH ha proclamado hasta lo último de la tierra: "Decid a la hija de Tsion: '¡He aquí tu Salvador viene! ¡He aquí, su recompensa viene con él; y delante de él, su obra!'" 12 Entonces les llamarán Pueblo Santo, Redimidos de YHVH. Y a ti te llamarán Buscada, Ciudad No Desamparada” (Isaiah 62)

Amigos, esta es otra oportunidad que el Eterno nos da para poner nuestro “granito de arena” a la hora de colaborar en su plan de Redención y Salvación. ¡No te lo pierdas!

Direito de Israel

The Boy Who Cried “Wolf!” I

Rabino Daniel Travis

The Boy Who Cried “Wolf!” I

"[The brothers] broke the news to [Yaakov]: “Yosef is still alive, and he rules over all the land of Egypt.” But [Yaakov’s] heart became numb, for he could not believe them. Then when they related all the words that Yosef had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons that Yosef had sent to transport him, the spirit of Yaakov was revived." (Bereshith 45:26-7)
Bored with his job and wanting to play a practical joke on the townsfolk, the shepherd boy cried “Wolf!” The first two times people ran to help him but found it was a false alarm. The third time the boy actually needed help, for this time the wolf was real, but no one came to his aid since they assumed his cry was just another practical joke. He had cried “Wolf!” one time too many. Alone with no support, the boy suffered the consequences of his earlier lies.
Many people are unaware of the fact that the story of the boy who cried “Wolf!” is based on our Sages commentary on the verse cited above (1). Many years earlier. Yosef’s brothers came to Yaakov with Yosef’s bloody coat, insinuating that Yosef had been killed. Yaakov, at least on a conscious level, accepted their words as emeth. However, since in fact they had lied to him then, now when they told him that Yosef was alive he did not believe them. Our Sages derive from this that the punishment of a liar is that even when he tells the truth (like the boy whocried “Wolf!”), he is not believed.
What is meant by the phrase, “even when he tells the truth a liar will not be believed?” Is it not obvious that once someone has developed a reputation as a liar, nothing he says will be believed? What new insight we are being taught?
The Gemara is teaching us that truth has its own power, and words of truth are generally recognizable as truth (2). Even without the aid of a lie detector, there are subtle indications which inform us when a person is telling the truth and when he is lying. If someone allows himself to fallinto a pattern of speaking words that are not true, the impact of the signs of truth will be overridden by his reputation as a liar, and he will no longer be believed.

1. Avoth D’Rebbi Noson 30:4.
2. Sotah 9b.

Korach and the Rebbe Reb Zusha: Opposite Ends of the Spectrum

Rabino Yissocher Frand

Korach and his followers met a most tragic and unique fate following their abortive attempt to overthrow the leadership of Moshe Rabbeinu: "...the ground that was under them split open. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all the people who were withKorach, and all their possessions." [Bamidbar 16:31-32]

The general rule or presumption is that the Almighty administers punishment in a "measure for measure" fashion. What significance is there to the fact that the earth swallowed up the people who sided with Korach? Where is the "measure for measure" aspect of that punishment?
At the very beginning of the Parsha, Rashi comments on a point that bothers all commentaries: What is the meaning of the opening words: "And Korach took" (vaYikach Korach)? What did Korach take? Rashi's approach is that Korach took himself off to one side, to be separate from the assemblyof Israel by raising objections regarding the priesthood.
Rashi is pointing out that the first step in any communal dispute is when one party literally "takes himself to one side" -– he separates himself from the rest of the community. He denies the unity of the "tzibur" [community]. As a result of this "striking out on one's own", everything else follows naturally. Inevitably, the next step will be something akin to "he was jealous regarding the fact that Elizaphon was appointed the Prince of the Tribe of Levi."
Korach was bothered by the fact that he -– the eldest of the second son of Kehas (Yitzhar) -– was passed over for this prestigious job. He reasoned that the oldest son of Kehas (Amram) had two sons (Moshe and Aharon) who played major leadership roles in Klal Yisrael. It was only fair that Korach was next in line for the third leadership position in the tribe -– that of being prince. Instead, the role of Prince of Levi was given to the son of Kehas' third son (Uziel) – Elizaphan.
Once one fails to see himself as part of the tzibur, one becomes bothered by other people's roles. If there is a sense of unity and community, it really does not make a difference "which role I perform and which role you perform", as long as the job gets done.
Once, however, a person "takes himself to one side", stepping out of the tzibur, it bothers him who is going to be the key player. If I'm NOT a team player, then MY role takes on extreme importance.
To appreciate the contrast between the two ends of the spectrum we should contrast Korach's attitude with that of the Rebbe Reb Zusha. The Rebbe Reb Zusha was once asked if he would have liked to trade places with Avraham Avinu. He responded: "What difference would it make? The bottom line is that the Almighty would still only have one Avraham Avinu and one Reb Zusha? In the final analysis, the world would have been no better or worse. Things would be exactly the same whether I was Avraham and he was Zusha or I am Zusha and he is Avraham."
This is a far cry from Korach. For Korach, it was vital that HE be the star. He wanted to be the Prince because he did not have a sense of community.
Rabbi Zev Leff explains that if this is the understanding of Korach's sin, it makes perfect sense why his punishment was that the ground split apart.
What would happen to the earth if every grain of sand was not together, but separate? We would all sink into the earth. What makes the earth Terra Firma is that the ground sticks together. The fact that the sand and earth all combine together gives the earth its strength. If every grain of sand would separate, we would be left with one big sinkhole.
Korach's "measure for measure" punishment was the lesson of what happens when individuals separate from one another when they should be joined together. Together there is strength. Separated, we are all just bits of sand.

The Need To Preserve The Staff of Aharon

The Torah says that after the dispute of Korach, the symbol that the Almighty established to prove that Aharon and his descendants were His choice to be the priests was the Staff of Aharon. G-d made a miracle such that this staff sprouted almonds. This finally concluded the rebellion of Korach and allowed peace to be restored to Israel.
The Rambam writes: "There was a stone in the western side of the Holy of Holies upon which the Aron [Ark] rested. In front of it was the (memorial) jug of Mann and the Staff of Aharon. At the time King Solomon built the Bais HaMikdash [Temple], he knew that eventually the Bais HaMikdash would be destroyed, so he built a secret compartment in deep underground chambers. King Yoshiyahu commanded that the Aron be hid in the place that Shlomo prepared, as it is written... and they hid together with it the staff of Aharon, the jug of Mann, and the oil of anointing. None of thesethings returned at the time of the second temple..." [Hilchos Beis HaBechira 4:1]
The four things (the Aron, the Mann, the oil, and Aharon's staff) are preserved until this very day.
These are items that the nation of Israel needs for all eternity. If we were to take a poll and ask "What should be saved from the First Bais HaMikdash for all eternity -– The Staff of Moshe or the Staff of Aharon," I'm sure the response would be "The Staff of Moshe."
Moshe's staff was used to split the sea and to perform the miracles and plagues in Egypt. This is the staff that gave Klal Yisrael their freedom! Why is it that the staff that did all the miracles was not preserved, and yet the Staff of Aharon with which just one significant event occurred was preserved for all eternity?
The Mikdash Mordechai suggests that the Staff of Moshe was the staff of miracles. Miracles are significant but not crucial for the future of the Jewish people. The Staff of Aharon is the staff that brought peace to the Jewish people (following the Korach rebellion). Peace is needed until the end of time. Somehow or another, we will be able to exist without the Staff of Moshe and the miracles it represented. But there is something that Klal Yisrael cannot do without. It cannot do without Shalom [peace]. The instrument that brings Shalom must be preserved for all eternity.


VI Festival de Música Sefardí.

Desde el 20 hasta el 23 de junio, en el Jardín Botánico de Córdoba (Avda. del Linneo), a las 22’30h tendrá lugar el VI Festival Internacional de Música Sefardí con el siguiente programa: Miercoles 20, Paco Díez;
jueves 21, Rania “Legado Sefardí”;
viernes 22, Mashalá;
sábado 23, Klezmática Trío. Importe 5 €. Por otra parte, continúa hasta el 5 de junio el XI Ciclo de Música de las Tres Culturas en la Iglesia de la Magdalena (Pza. de la Magdalena) a las 20,30 horas, con entrada gratuita. Para conocer el programa en detalle llamar a la Dirección General de Cultura del Ayuntamiento de Córdoba, Tel. 957 48 50 01.

Postagem: Andre Moshe Pereira
Kehillah Or Ahayim, Presidente
Director CEIMOM

Anselm Kiefer en el Guggenheim

“Kiefer. Una historia sin memoria”, comisariado por Germano Celant, se presenta hasta el 3 de septiembre en el Museo Guggenheim Bilbao (Abandoibarra, 2. Bilbao).

Entre sus piezas destaca Merkaba (2005-2007). Kiefer es un artista difícil, que sobrecoge por su monumentalidad, por la reiterada alusión a lo cósmico, lo trascendente... Y lo alemán. En sus inicios fue uno de los primeros artistas en abordar el pasado nazi que nadie quería recordar (como en Sefer Hechaloth, 2001). En los últimos diez años, la obra de Kiefer ha tomado una deriva diferente, ocupándose de asuntos alejados de la historia reciente de su país, aunque no de sus materiales y temas habituales, ni de los fundamentos de la condición humana, cuyo reflejo busca en otras culturas o en el ansia de saber. Pero sus campos de estrellas (varios de los cuadros de esta serie llevan el título de Sternen lager) nos remiten, otra vez, al recurrente tema de la memoria. La reducción de las estrellas a cadenas numéricas, la identificación de unas pocas entre la miríada de puntos, nos recuerda la de los individuos de los campos de concentración a un simple número tatuado en su brazo. La cábala aparece claramente aludida en la serie de pinturas realizadas para la capilla del antiguo hospital psiquiátrico de La Salpetrière, en París. Aunque sigue siendo Merkaba (literalmente, el carro, en idish y hebreo) la pieza que nos devuelve a la desesperanza. Colgando precariamente de la pared, desparramados por el suelo, varios segmentos de escalera de hormigón ocupan la sala señalando que la vieja conexión con el cielo (la escalera) hace tiempo que se ha venido abajo.