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Shabbat Morning Class - Parasha Chayei Sarah

Rabbi Mansour 2012
Shabbat Morning Class
???? ??? ???

"????? ?? ??? ????? ????" -"you are our sister, May you be the mother of thousands of ten thousands"
When the time came for Rivkah to depart with Eliezer in order to marry Yishak, her brother Lavan and her father Betuel blessed her; "?????
?? ??? ????? ????" .
It is our custom that during the wedding ceremony, the Rabbis bless the bride with the same blessing of "????? ?? ??? ????? ????" .
The question was asked; why would the Rabbis choose the blessing of Lavan the Rasha?! There are many Pesukim of blessings in the Torah, why would the Rabbis choose specifically the blessing of a wicked man to bless the bride with??
One explanation is that even though Lavan had a devious intention when blessing his sister Rivkah, our Rabbis use the same Pasuk with good intentions, and it changes the whole meaning.
To explain; it says that before one marries a woman, he should check into the character of her brother because most of the time the child they produce will eventually have the tendencies of the mothers brother. Therefore one should be sure that the girl’s brother has good characteristics.
In Rivkah’s case, her brother was the wicked Lavan. Ultimately Rivkah’s firstborn son - Eisav, would eventually take after the brother, and become a Rasha!
Many times, the Reshaim know the laws better than most of us! Lavan knew the rule that his sister’s children will take after him, and so he
therefore blessed his sister with many thousands of children which he hoped would be wicked men like him!!
Our Rabbis however tell the bride; ????? ?? -you are our sister! You, like us, are part of the holy Jewish nation, and your children will take after the good Jewish traits found in our holy families. The Rabbis blessing of ????? ?? takes on a totally different connotation than the one uttered by Lavan Harasha!
On a deeper level, the blessing of ????? ?? has great power, and offers wondrous protection for the bride and groom. To understand how this works, we need to delve into some of the secrets of the holy names of Hashem.
There are 3 Pesukim in Parashat Beshalah (chapter 14 Pesukim 19,20,21) that each contain 72 letters. In these three Pesukim there are 72 different combinations of three letter names of Hashem. These names are formed by taking the first letter of the first Pasuk, the last letter of the second Pasuk, and the first letter of the third Pasuk. The same goes with the second letter. We take the second letter of the first Pasuk, the second to last letter of the second Pasuk, and the second letter of the third Pasuk and so on for all 72 letters (for example; the first letter of the first Pasuk is the ?' of the word ???? , the last letter of the second Pasuk is the ?' of ?????
and the first letter of the third Pasuk is the ?' of ??? . This spells ?-?-? and it is a holy name of Hashem).
The 26th combination of letters is; ? (from the word ???? in the first Pasuk)- ? (from the word ?? in the second Pasuk) and another ? (from the word ?? in the third Pasuk). This spells a holy name of Hashem: ?-?-?
This name provides a special protection from the evil eye. Ayin Hara is when someone looks at a person with jealousy and ?-?-? provides a protection from its evil effects.
How does this work? How does ?-?-? protect from Ayin Hara (the "evil eye")??
To understand, we need to first analyze the dynamics of Ayin Hara. When a person looks at the assets of his friend and he marvels; "wow, look
at the house he built" or "look at the wonderful family he established"’ or "look at what a powerful business he built", this serves to disconnect his friend from his heavenly source of blessing. How so? A person receives all of the blessings in his life from Hashem of course, but if he starts to think that he himself accomplished all of his success - he is in trouble. "look at the business i built" or look at the family i raised" this causes ?????? Hashem to say; "oh, you did it?! Ok, let’s see how you do on your own with it! Things obviously go downhill from there!
When a person tells his friend "look at what a beautiful home you have built"! This can disconnect the person from his connection to the blessing of Hashem in providing him with his beautiful home, because it puts the credit in his hands.
In order for a person to mitigate the evil effects that this can produce, he needs to immediately reconnect himself to the blessing of Hashem and say "it is not me; it’s all the kindness of Hashem! Do you think I could have built this business on my own?! Many people work hard and are not successful, what makes me any different?? It’s only the absolute kindness of Hashem! I put in my effort, but only Hashem gives it success! When a person reacts like this to his friends "compliments", he reconnects himself to Hashem and ensures that his source of blessing is not cut off. We must immediately give credit to Hashem and say; "Yishtabach Shemoh" in order to be protected from Ayin Hara.
Pharoh was a master of Ayin Hara. When he pulled Yosef out of the pit he praised him saying "???? ????? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???" -"I heard about you that you can understand a dream and interpret it" this was essentially an attempt to give credit to Yosef thereby disconnecting him from Hashem. What was Yosef’s response? "?????-????? ???? ?? ????
????" -"it is not me, Hashem shall give Pharoh a favorable answer" Yosef immediately, reattached himself to Hashem and did not let Pharaoh’s evil eye affect him.
What does all this have to do with Hashem’s name of ?-?-? ??
When we take Hashem’s name of ?-?-?-? and "open it up" by spelling out its letters it brings us to different totals. There are several variations in
how to spell out the ?' and ?' of Hashem’s name, and depending on which variation you use it will yield different totals. ?-?-?-? can be "opened" as follows;
??? ?? ??? ?? - totals 72
??? ?? ??? ?? - totals 45
??? ?? ?? ?? - totals 52
??? ?? ??? ?? - totals 63
These four combinations of 72, 63, 52, and 45 together equal 232. This is the same numerical value as the word ????? - (the blessing), and it represents the ultimate divine blessing of Hashem.
Hashem’s name of judgment is ????? . This equals 86. The word ????
(nature) - also equals 86. This proves that when someone feels that his success came "naturally" and through normal means, he is under this name of ????? , representing judgment.
One must elevate himself above nature, and realize that everything comes from Hashem. His success and accomplishments are really all gifts from Hashem. When one realizes this, he elevates himself from nature-
????( - )????? up to ?-?-?-? - the name of ??? of Hashem with all the combinations mentioned above. He goes from 86 )?????( to 232 (the sum total of the combinations of ?-?-?-? ), and this is how the name of ?-?-?
works. When we spell out ?-?-? it equals 232 as follows; ??-???-??? =232!
The evil eye tries to credit us with our success and this tries to put us under ????? - nature, by implying that we deserve the credit for our accomplishments. ??? helps us reconnect to ?-?-?-? (232), and helps us remember that it is not us- our success is only due to the kindness of Hashem in his name ?-?-?-? . ?-?-? stands for ????? ?- ?????? , the five letters of the name of ????? ! This is exactly what ?-?-? protects us from - the notion that things happen "naturally".
A similar transformation takes place when we pour wine into our Kiddush cup on Shabbat. The word ??? equals 86, and stands for ????? -strict judgment. However, we are instructed to completely fill up the cup with wine. This is a ??? ??? , a "full cup". These words ??? ??? allude to a deeper secret. When we take the word ??? and make it ??? -meaning opening it up (or "filling" it up), we get a totally different connotation.
??? - ?? - ?? equals 232!
By filling up our cup, we tap into the kindness of all the combination of ?-?-?-? ! This is why it’s called the ??? ????? (cup of blessing), because ????? equals 232 and represent all the combinations of ?-?-?-? ! When we fill up our cups for Kiddush we should have this wonderful ???? in mind, to turn ??? =????? into ????? =232! It then becomes ??? ????? ??? , a cup of salvation!
When Abraham went to war against the four kings, the Pasuk tells us that he took with him 318 men. Our Rabbis explain that in reality Abraham took only his trusted servant Eliezer. ?????? equals 318, and it is he who the Pasuk is referring to when it says Abraham took 318 men.
If so, why did the Torah not simply just say "Eliezer", why refer to him as 318 men?! The explanation is that 318 was part of the lesson of this episode. Abraham was teaching his student/servant; Eliezer that in life, one must do his ??????? -he must put in his effort. He can’t just sit back and say; it’s all from Hashem so I will just sit on my couch, and wait until Hashem rains money upon my head! A person must go out and go through the normal course of nature, and put in his proper diligence. However, once a person succeeds he may not take credit for his success. He must realize, and attribute all his accomplishments to Hashem.
???? -nature, and a person’s requirement to put forth his efforts based upon the natural course of events equals 86. When we add to that the success that we enjoy, which is due to ?-?-?-? - (232) it totals 318!
Abraham was about to win a miraculous war with just one man at his side. The Pasuk describes him as 318 men because Abraham was teaching Eliezer that even though we are doing our ??????? (86) our success is not from us! It is from the kindness of Hashem (232)!
Now that we have uncovered the secret of ?-?-? we realize that there are many allusions to this name in the Torah, in various situations that Ayin Hara was present.
When Hashem tested Abraham Avinu, he wanted to give him protection from the potential evil eye that both the angels, and people would have on him when he passed his test. (Yes, even angels can have Ayin Hara). When he tested him with his first test of ?? ?? -to leave his home, he instructed him to go to; ???? ??? ???? -the land I will show you. The first letters form ?-?-? .
When Sarah heard the news that she would have a child, Yishmael was standing behind her. Yishmael was very jealous to have a brother and he put the evil eye upon Sarah, Sarah laughed it off, hoping to ease the mind of Yishmael and removing his Ayin Hara. Hashem asked Abraham; why did Sarah laugh saying "??? ???? ???" -"shall I indeed bare a child?!" This can be construed as a lack of faith ?''? ! (Obviously this was not the case with Sarah). Hinted in Hashem’s words to Abraham was the method Sarah should have used to ward off Yishmael’s Ayin Hara, first letters of "??? ???? ???" spell ?-?-? . Hashem was telling Abraham, instead of laughing; Sarah should have used the ?-?-? method to save herself from Yishmael’s evil eye!
When Yaakob first met Rachel he told her "??? ???? ???" (he is her father’s brother). Rashi explains that of course, Yaakob was not Lavan’s brother; he only meant to imply that he was his "brother" in trickery, meaning he is just as astute and can deal with her father’s cunningness. On a deeper level, Yaakob was telling Rachel; I know your father will have an evil eye on me but don’t worry "??? ???? ???" -I have the protection from ?-?-? !
When it came time to marry Rachel, Yaakob told Lavan "??? ??
????" (give me my wife). He knew that Lavan would have an evil eye on her, and he tried to protect her from it through "??? ?? ????" - ?-?-? .
The only problem was that it was really Leah he was getting!
Leah indeed was protected from Ayin Hara and had no trouble having children, but Rachel had a difficult time, apparently suffering from the Ayin Hara of Lavan. When she approached Yaakob and asked for help in having children, Yaakob replied;" "???? ????? ???? (am I instead of Hashem?) the deeper meaning behind his message was the antidote to Ayin Hara, which took Rachel from being under ????? )??? ?????( to ?-?-? )???? ?????
????( , and after this she eventually merited having children.
When Yaakob passed away, the brothers prostrated themselves before Yosef in guilt. They begged him for forgiveness because they felt that it was their evil eye that had caused Yosef much of his problems in the past. Yosef responded "don’t worry" "???? ????? ???" (am I instead of Hashem?), meaning don’t worry it was not as a result of your evil eye. Don’t you know that all along I knew the secret of ?-?-? , and was protected from your Ayin Hara! Whatever happened to me was only ??? ?' and not from Ayin Hara.
When Datan and Aviram got into an argument with Moshe Rabeinu after he killed the Egyptian, they thought that he killed the Egyptian with Ayin Hara. Therefore they told Moshe "??????? ??? ????" -"will you try and kill us using Ayin Hara just as you killed the Egyptian?! They used the words "??????? ??? ????" because they start with ?-?-? , to show Moshe that they knew about ?-?-? which can protect them from Ayin Hara, and they therefore were not afraid.
As mentioned earlier, sometimes even the angels can have a type of Ayin Hara on us. This happens at certain times when Hashem gives us Berachah. The prime example of Berachah is rain. The Pasuk in Tehilim says (when describing Hashem sending rain); "???? ????? ???" -"he sends forth his commandment upon earth". These words start with ?-?-? in order to protect us from the Ayin Hara of when the angels ask Hashem saying "why do they deserve the rain"?
Also, every word in "???? ?? ???" -(the second paragraph of Shema which contains 72 words) corresponds to another one of the three letter
combinations that form holy names of Hashem (from the Pesukim in Beshalah) the 26th word in ???? which corresponds to the 26th three letter name of ?-?-? is the word "??????" . This word represents an abundance of blessing and rain. ??? is stalks and ?? means "fat" so ????? represents an abundance of fat stalks that come from plenty of rain.
This word ?????? is the 26th word in ???? corresponding to the 26th three letter combo of ?-?-? in order to protect us from the Ayin Hara of angels who question why we deserve such blessing as ?????? .
We now get back to "?????? ?? ???" . We questioned; why is this the blessing our Rabbis give the bride? We now understand that the first letters of "?????? ?? ?'" are ?-?-? , and when we bless the bride with this Berachah we are protecting her from the Ayin Hara that is almost inevitable to fall upon her during the night of her wedding, when all eyes are upon her! Not only this, but our custom is that the Hazan opens up the ceremony chanting the Pesukim of "?? ??? ????? ????" . These Pesukim contain the words :
"?????? ?? ???? ?????" ("I bow towards your sanctuary") which starts with ?-?-? . This serves to protect the ones who make the wedding, the Baalei Hasimcha. Many people may look around at a beautiful wedding and wonder; "wow…how did he pay for this?!" The ?-?-? of "?????? ?? ????"
serves as a shield to any Ayin Hara of those that attend the wedding.
?-?-? equals 7. 7 is the Gematriyah of the word ?? -fish. This is why fish is a symbol of protection from Ayin Hara.
This is only some of the depth behind ?-?-? and the protection from Ayin Hara. More importantly we must remember the message of ?-?-? . Everything is from Hashem. We must remember this and keep ourselves attached to him by constantly realizing that it is not our efforts that bring about our success, it is only because of the absolute kindness of Hashem.
When we remember this, we rejoice in knowing that our merciful creator is always watching us and we must always call out to him, asking him to guide us in every step of our lives. In this way, we will always remain attached to him and will be protected from anything evil and merit greeting Mashiach Sidkenu - Amen!

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16 Parashot found