Shalom from Jerusalem! In times like these, these words are even more dear and significant to me. It's good to be back, able to share some new insights gained during the Sabbatical.
Thank you for the many messages, checking in, making sure that we are ok. Hashem’s ways are perfect and and the Guardian of Israel is faithful - may His Holy Name be blessed! In a very chaotic world filled with Covid and rockets, Tamir, my husband, and I were able to keep and finish our Sabbatical. In essence, the first year of marriage counts as a Sabbatical. Deut 24:5 alludes to this:
כִּי-יִקַּח אִישׁ, אִשָּׁה חֲדָשָׁה--לֹא יֵצֵא בַּצָּבָא, וְלֹא-יַעֲבֹר עָלָיו לְכָל-דָּבָר: נָקִי יִהְיֶה לְבֵיתוֹ, שָׁנָה אֶחָת, וְשִׂמַּח, אֶת-אִשְׁתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר-לָקָח
"When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out in the host (army), neither shall he be charged with any business; he shall be free for his house one year, and shall cheer his wife whom he hath taken."
Since the destruction of the Temple, there are many mitzvot that cannot be kept. Only 369 out of 613 apply right now. (See endnote 1) So, keeping a full one-year Sabbatical was not possible for us, although in a sense we were quite close in attaining that. We did however commit to a full shut down and off-the-grid 50 days, from Pesach to Shavuot, during the Omer count. We were able to calibrate and tweak during those days and with Hashem's help finished strong on Malchut-she-b’Malchut, our wedding anniversary. We then were able to tie it all together on Shavuot commemorating the birth and passing of King David as well as the giving of the Torah, an Eternal Covenant between G-d and the Children of Israel that stands firm to this day and has definitely never been replaced nor tweaked.
The one thing that I learned from this experience is that we can’t keep things perfect, and Hashem knows this. Right now, in this disconnection between Yesod and Malchut, where we live on a trickle of providence and provision from above, we have to guard the kedusha (holiness) while navigating a plethora of klippot. Even this is part of the Redemption plan. Hashem wants to see who stays faithful to what He has communicated and revealed to us on Mount Sinai, Written and Oral, even if current circumstances make it impossible to uphold everything perfectly. As a good friend have shared recently, no one can uphold things perfectly, but as we greatly exert ourselves to uphold what was commanded to us to the best of our ability, Hashem joins us in our efforts and makes it perfect. He’s perfect, we’re not – and that’s ok and even comforting.
This is also part of the concept of Tzimtzum where we live in a limited and limiting space that G-d created in order fo us to practice free will. In navigating this world of limitations that is based on certain rules and priniciples according to what He decided in His wisdom - He gave the Jewish people the Torah, and the People of Israel in turn (when we actually do our job right) get to communicate and serve both G-d and mankind as a Priestly nation, being a Light unto the Nations. Jews have to keep the mitzvot without excuses but also without guilt, knowing that more than we have kept the mitzvot, they have kept us. What a gift we have received!
The Zohar tells us that the first and second Tablets of the Covenant differ. The first ones, written by G-d Himself on sapphire-like stone with letters that were fire themselves, were much more vast in spiritual depth and application. After the Golden Calf, Moshe Rabbeinu had to produce new tablets, and the outcome was more limited, more rules than the actual priniciples they represent. The Torah didn't lose its depth, but we got downgraded. To understand this, you have to understand the enormous spiritual value of the current commandments (mitzvot) and how much weight it carries in the upper worlds. Doing G-d's commandments as a Jew is the highest and most spiritual work and service you can give to your Creator. And still, we're not even close to what will be revealed when we reach the Final Redemption where everything will be restored even as before Adam's fall, nevermind the Golden Calf tragedy.
Why am I saying this? Because a shift is taking place. That shift was initiated when the State of Israel was born, it marked the point of no return. The point where Redemption and its subsquent phases were insured, anchored if you may - never again will the Jewish People be uprooted. So perhaps not the "point of no return", but the point of ultimate return minus the back door.
Between 2014 and 2018, a four year period linked the ancient Sabbatical cycles with the modern cycles (moving from the ancient shmita, to Jerusalem at 49, then Jerusalem at 50 and lastly Israel at 70) a precious and profound dynamic that I learned from a hidden Tzadika with an impeccable record including advising US intelligence agencies. In those four years war with Gaza in all accounts as well as a World financial crises were inevitable, but none took place. World powers were eyeing each other, but nothing happened. Why? Because G-d was honoring a four year streak of Sabbaticals of monumental proportions. The ultimate shift from the ancient to the modern. No judgments went out, because G-d was keeping the Sabbaticals.
At the end of that cycle, Israel after 70, stepped into a 10-year cycle that carries the same character of the 10 Days of Awe - a time where you can negotiate your spiritual status before you are finally inscribed. Seven of these years are for self-correction, the last three will be Divine. We'll talk about that soon. Masechet Sandherin mentions such a cycle that leads up to the Geula Shlema, and what will happen every year, which are surprisingly and dauntingly corresponding with our times assuming we did enter this 10-year cycle. It mentions that in the third year, where we are in now, the death of tzaddikim, as well as women and children, and that Torah learning will (almost) cease. Precious, righteous souls, especially those of children passed away in the Meron tragedy. For the first time during the numerous Gaza conflicts, we had severe casualties where women and childeren died. And due to Covid, Torah learning was sharply decreased.
For my non-Jewish friends, this is something that is very important to understand. The very and mere learning of Torah daily in all its facets, stretches a "dome" of protection over Israel. NONE of our military efforts will mean anything if it is not preceded and coupled with Torah study. Also the reciting of Psalms is vital for our protection. There are deep spiritual secrets embedded in the Psalms, and reciting it in Hebrew specifically, unlocks powerful spiritual protection and provision. (Please go to our Psalms page, if you want to start learning how to recite Psalms in Hebrew). I call this Tehillim (Psalms) against Tillim (rockets).
So why will G-d allow Torah learning to be limited causing damage on the ground? In my grasp of what is happening right now, the Kedusha (holiness) can no longer be coupled with corruption. There is an outcry in the more religious communities against deeply rooted corruption and blindly following the spiritual leaders without questioning, especially those who are caught up in politics, wooing those in power and not calling them to account. I saw how many rabbis buckled at the knees due to pressures associated with Covid and its "solutions".
And before anyone jumps on their judgemental horses regarding the more religious folk in Israel (which are always sadly singled out from within Jewish circles, but even more by those outside of Judaism), this correction is running through all the streams of life in Israel. Moreover, G-d closed the gates on tourism as well, as a big load of idolatry enters the Land of Israel through these means, and that will continue to be limited too in the years to come. Not being able to enter the country might be an indication of some house cleaning for those who voice these frustrations.
That being said, corruption has to be purged from the Kedusha. The Ramchal speaks about this, that in the times leading up to the Final Redemtpion the 70 trees that intertwined their branches with the Holy Tree, will be separted, and the Klippot that drew nourishment from the Holiness will start to wither. But this correction brings with it some collateral damage. My prayer is that corruption will be irradicated swiftly, but with tremendous Rachamim.
A year ago the Covid Chaos was in full swing and had many in absolute fear – whether fearing the virus itself, or getting completely caught up in One World Order conspiracy madness. Some are still stuck in that, trying to decode their own ever-evolving prophecies; the conspiracy beast had a field day with them. Make no mistake, that sinister agendas were being plotted behind the scenes could not be denied, but then again, there is nothing new under the sun. Ask Esther, Mordechai and Jews through the ages. My message right through the year stayed the same; no endeavour or organization or movement will be able to gain absolute power – we’re in the days of iron and clay (Book of Daniel chapter 2). And suddenly in the last few weeks you read in the papers about divorce and divisions, a royal house’s future in question and multitudes rising up against those who want to dictate and yoke them once more with social and public limitations.
23rd of Sivan
Staying with Esther and Mordechai, the 23rd of Sivan marks the day that Haman’s decree for Jewish annihilation was counteracted when Mordechai drafted the royal decree allowing Jews to defend themselves. We know how that ended. In fact, modern day history reiterates this: Jews don’t start a fight – but that doesn’t mean that we don’t win it in the end. The Six-Day -and Yom Kippur-wars attest to this. Israel has again being drawn in for a fight in recent weeks. Use this day to pray for the current decree to be countered. Things are calming down, and I doubt that we will drag this into the Tammuz/Av danger zone, but we still have the responsibility to take these days set on the eternal calendar and harness its power to bring about and secure turn-arounds.
The 23rd of Sivan marks also a sad event, where Yerovam barricaded the roads to Jerusalem as he saw it a threat to his sovereignty. This is the day on which the Ten Tribes were cut off from Jerusalem. We are seeing its affect being reversed in our days. More and more identify themselves with the lost Ten Tribes, and Jerusalem, Zion, stands centre in their journey back into the fold.
Shavuot brings us to the threshing floor...and then some.
We've covered this topic, but every year this concept will intensify during the last window of correction.
Redemption began at the threshing floor where Boaz spread his wings over Rut, ultimately securing the lineage of David HaMelech. Redemption starts with threshing and seperating. The systems that governed and ruled and carried the world until now are britling down, threshed. Kingship will unravel from within and shift from the UK (that mostly seats Ephraim, and therefore the ruling arm of Yosef), to the place where the thrones of David stood (Ps 122) and will stand again. The years of a king is 70. We just celebrated this on Shavuot with King David’s birth and passing. (I hope you lit a candle). I find it interesting that the longest reigning monarch is in her 69th year of rule. Her son passed the 70 year mark in life years and younger royals are propelling the royal house from monarchy to anarchy. Things are shifting.
The (real) White House
Moreover, in many places, but especially in Shir HaShirim, the House of G-d is referred to as Halvanon. Levan means white in Hebrew, hence loosely translated, Halvanon means the White House. Yup, you got it. So again, like kingship will shift from the UK, governance will shift from the current White House in the US (the US seats an extension of Ephraim as well as most of Menasshe, the other arm of Yosef's rule) to the ultimate Halvanon – the real White House. The House that will again be built on the very place where Heaven kisses Earth, and the ultimate spiritual gateway which is currently being reconstructed will reopen over the world again, and the knowledge of G-d will flood the earth as the waters cover the sea. I would love to cover the some of the dynamics of this gateway in the future. Regarding our own government, the fact that we can't put a government together in the last two years, is relatively self explanatory on how things are shifting along.
So the biggest chiddush (End note #2) that I have gained over this Sabbatical is that major transformations will take place in the next few years regarding the dynamics that were installed (and instilled) to carry us through the 2,700 year exile. The "vehicles" that carried Yehuda and the 10 Tribes respectively through the exile, have reached their destination, and many are about to disembark on Redemption's doorstep. The key here lies with the disembarkation itself. At any port, gate or platform, you need to get off the specific vehicle and cannot remain as that which carried you has served its means and are not the destination itself. Yours is the responsibility to step out of most of what you know, into that which you have been told. Remember there is still a unification that needs to take place (Ezekiel 37:17), and this cannot happen if you don't step out. There is much to explain regarding these separete "Exile Timepods" that had to get us to this destination. I have some material ready for you and hope to be able to publish it soon. What is significant though, is that it is our generation that needs to take this major step, something that has never been expected of any other generation before and the disembarkation has much to do with your level of self-correction. (At the same time a lot of chaff will be gathered to the other side, that's another blog).
The time of self-correction however is drawing to a close.There is still time, a year or two maybe, for people to get their ducks in a row, and world events will steadily tighten in order to grant opportunities for self-correction. Remember, the more you willingly correct yourself, 1) the less Divine correction, which is usually much more painful, will be needed and 2) the more reward is due to you in the World to Come. And here I need to emphasize, we are not chasing incentives or trying to cash in on some heavenly coupons here, because true reward is only given to those who unconditionally and selflessly love and serve G-d. You can’t "work" G-d’s system the way many are manipulating the worldly systems. You can only serve G-d and align with His system of Governance, in a way that will honor and please Him.
But as I said, that time is drawing to a close. After that Divine correction kicks in. This means that G-d will correct the world in order for His presence to return. At that point everyone will be corrected, but it won’t count as your own efforts. The end result, whether it is achieved through self or divine correction will be that all will understand and proclaim G-d's rule and that G-d is ONE and His name One.
Those who have worked on themselves and on their midot, challenging every possible religious and spiritual believe – connecting to the ONE G-d, the G-d of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov - and also worked on their personal behaviour, will have moved themselves into a higher and safer position. This is the Ark Dynamic that we have discussed in previous blogs and podcasts. When the world events will tighten during the last phases of self-correction and eventually move into the time of Divine correction, everything – spiritually and even physically, will shift around you – that’s the time when the only thing you will need to do is stand, in emuna shlema (perfect faith). Then your time of moving and endeavouring will be over. The time for you to shift would have come to and end, and the world around you will shift. I have experience the principle behind this in my own world lately. Pirkei Avot (2:4) hints to that too:
הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, עֲשֵׂה רְצוֹנוֹ כִרְצוֹנְךָ, כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה רְצוֹנְךָ כִרְצוֹנוֹ. בַּטֵּל רְצוֹנְךָ מִפְּנֵי רְצוֹנוֹ, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּבַטֵּל רְצוֹן אֲחֵרִים מִפְּנֵי רְצוֹנֶךָ
He (Rabban Gamliel the son of Rebbi Yehudah HaNassi ) would say: Make His (G-d's) will like your will, so that He will make your will like His will. Nullify your will before His will, so that He will nullify the will of others before your will.
In a way Tamir and I had to cancel our desires and plans to enter into the Sabbatical. In that, Hashem has faithfully blessed us and kept us. During previous Sabbaticals I also learned that He moves you higher after keeping a Sabbatical, more than that, He moves on your behalf. The Zohar speaks of this too, G-d Himself keeps the Sabbaticals, and in times of trouble and wars that want to annihilate Am Israel, He will stand up out of Sabbatical and fight the wars of Israel.
I would like to note here that personal Sabbaticals are connected to specific times in your life. You can’t just decide that you want to “do a Sabbatical”. It usually goes according to seven year cycles in your life. Meaning on the sixth birthday/celebration you enter the seventh and that is your Sabbatical (ie you celebrate 34 but you are entering your 35th.) Sometimes people hit a dead spot in their career, nothing moves or happens during that year. Usually, I ask them how old they are, and often it is because they have entered a sabbatical year, age wise.
Coming out of this Sabbatical, things have changed, and I stand amazed how Hashem is steadily and with great Rachamim (mercy) moving His world towards the Final Redemption. In light of this, Tamir and I are also shifting gears. We will focus on the path ahead, and how to navigate it. We will assist those who have set out on this path with us in more detail. We are entering into this new phase through the gateway of Shavuot, the time of threshing and separation, leaving behind the vehicles and dynamics that carried you thus far but can now become counter productive to your journey ahead. It is also a time of the Bikkurim, the first fruits. It speaks of commitment, new beginnings, the connection of Am Israel with Eretz Israel, and proclaiming our responsibility to Jewish continuity as was recited in ancient times at the Beit HaMikdash (Deut 26:1 -11) that accounts our historical journey.
The roadmap to the Final Redemption has been plotted out by our sages in great detail. Together it lights up the path for our generation to achieve it. B'ezrat Hashem (G-d willing) we will steadily proceed by His Word that is an ever present lamp unto our feet.
Hope you'll join the journey.
1) Our hearts yearn for the day, may it be soon in our days, where we can participate in the fullness of this beautiful heritage again today. So much to say about this especially regarding the building of G-d’s House and everything that will accompany it. I know Tamir is working on some great teachings regarding this, together with what to expect in entering the final stages of the Geula in his Tent of Abraham drashot, so stay tuned.
2) “New understanding”. Chiddush comes from the word Chadash which means new, that is why the month that renews itself constantly is called Chodesh