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Shabbat Morning Class - Parasha Vayikra / Rosh Hodesh Nissan

Rabbi Mansour 2012
Shabbat Morning Class
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This Shabbat coincides with Rosh Hodesh Nissan as well as Parashat Hodesh.
In this class we uncover some secrets about the power of both Shabbat and Rosh Hodesh.
Let us begin with the prayers of Rosh Hodesh. It is written that Hashem says: people wonder why their prayers are not answered, and they don’t know that it is because they don’t know how to call my name!
What is the meaning behind this? We all know Hashem’s holy name of ?-?-?-? , why does it say that don’t we know how to call his name??
The explanation is that there are 12 configurations of Hashem’s name of ?-?-?-? , each configuration stands for a different month of the year. For example, in this month of Nissan the configuration of Hashem’s name is straight ?-?-?-? , represented by the Pasuk "????? ????? ???? ????" (even the vowels play a role, so in this month the vowels under the letters ?-?-?-?
are the same as those under the ?-?-?-? in the Pasuk ????? ????? ????
????" ).
When it says that we don’t know how to call out to Hashem’s name it refers to the secret that most people don’t know, and that is on Rosh Hodesh during the Amidah of Musaf when we say the Berachah of "????
??? ?' ???? ????? ????? ?????" , as we say Hashem’s name we need to concentrate on that month’s configuration of ?-?-?-? , and this is the secret to having our prayers answered for that month!
This is why it says in Tehilim " "?????? ?? ??? ??? - Hashem says; "I will set him on high, because he knows my name". The Pasuk continues; "?????? ??????" -"he shall call me and I will answer him".
When we are "??? ???" -we "know Hashem’s name" (meaning we know which configuration of his name to have in mind when we recite this Berachah in Musaf on Rosh Hodesh) then we will be uplifted and answered.
The 12 configurations of ?-?-?-? total 312 (26x12=312). This is the same numerical value as the word ??? (month), showing us that the 12 months are symbolized by the 12 configurations of ?-?-?-? .
It says that even though Hashem knows when the actual days of Rosh Hodesh and all the holidays in the month are supposed to fall, he still follows the Jewish peoples declaration of Rosh Hodesh, even if it does not coincide with Hashem’s day (as in a month that was cloudy and no witnesses could be found to testify that they had seen the new moon. Hashem disregards the day he previously set aside and he instead considers the day the Rabbis declared Rosh Hodesh as the start of the new month).
The numerical value of the word ???? is 87. This is the same numerical value as the word ??? ("with the mouth"). This shows us that the moon and the new month is sanctified based upon the "mouths" of the Rabbis when they declare Rosh Hodesh.
The Rabbis have this power over the moon, and in general the Jewish people have a power over the constellations and the "Mazal" of the stars. As a result, the Mazal of the stars and constellations don’t really like ?? ????? . This was illustrated when Avraham Avinu was instructed by Hashem to "step outside", meaning to step outside the natural course of events dictated by the Mazal of the stars. The Mazal of Avraham was not to have any children but Hashem caused Avraham to go above the constellations and have children anyways.
If it were up to the stars, we would not be in existence! Avraham would not have had any children, and we would not be here today!
The only way to rise above the Mazal of the stars and constellations is through the study of Torah. When we study and live by the Torah Hashem deals with us supernaturally, and we are immune to the natural course of events mandated by the Mazal.
At the onset of every month we are faced with two different "systems" in which we can go by. We can either go with the Mazal- and be subject to the ups and downs of the natural course of events- or we can go with the system of Limud Hatorah, the system in which we are above the Mazal and are not bound by its constrictions.
This is hinted in the Pasuk about the sacrifice of Rosh Hodesh (Bamidbar ??'- ??' ). "??? ???? ??? ?????" -"this is the burnt offering of every month". The word ??? can be broken into ?-?? . The ? represents the stars. The Zohar refers to the stars and constellations as the "???? ????? ???" -"the seven stars". The number 7 stands for nature and the Mazal of the stars, and this is represented by the letter ? (which equals 7). The Torah is written with the 22 letters ?, ? which range from the letters ? through ?. Thus ?-? stands for the letters of the Torah from ? to ?.
The word ??? in regards to the sacrifice of Rosh Hodesh is showing us that in the upcoming month we can either go with the "? system"- the system governed by the Mazal, or with the "?? system", the Torah system in which we are above nature.
This is why it says ??? ????? , it says ??? twice to indicate that we can have two types of months, a Mazal month or a Torah month.
This is also why it is written elsewhere: " ??? ????? "- when faced with the choice of ?-?? , you should choose the ???? !
We mentioned earlier that the stars and constellations don’t really like us. There are three planets in particular that try to attack us and cause us harm, but there are specific Misvot that we perform which protect us from them.
One of them is the planet of Saturn (known as ????? -in Gemarah terms). Saturn tries to attack but the Misvah of Shabbat protects us from it. This is seen from its name, ????? is like the word ??? and it shows us from where our protection comes.
The second is the planet of Mars (known as ????? in Gemarah terms). Mars tries to attack us but it is the Misvah of Brit Milah that protects us from it. The word ????? is like the word ?? -blood, which refers to the blood of the Brit Milah (when ??? tried to attack us he tried to do so using the attacking force of ????? . ????? equals 95 and ??? also equals 95).
The third one is the moon. The moon tries to do us harm but it is the Misvah of Rosh Hodesh, sanctifying the new moon, which protects us from it.
This is why in the times of the Greeks they banned these three specific Misvot; Shabbat, Mila, and Rosh Hodesh. If you think about it you wonder; why did they target these three?? Were there no other Misvot, which they wanted to stop us from performing?! Why did a Misvah like Rosh Hodesh bother them so much??
We now understand that the Greeks were trying to strip the Jews of their protection, and make them vulnerable to the attack of the moon, Saturn, and Mars! This is why Hashem caused every Hanukah to contain 8 days and includes a Shabbat and Rosh Hodesh. This stands for the Mila done on the 8th day, as well as Shabbat and Rosh Hodesh that the Greeks tried to take from us.
We see another allusion to protection from these three in a Pasuk in Bereshit (chapter 33 Pasuk 18), about Yaakob Avinu when he emerged safely from his encounters with Lavan and Eisav. It says "???? ???? ???" -"and Yaakob came to Shalem". ??? also means complete and unaffected.
??? stands for ????? ???? ????? . Yaakob arrived unaffected from the attacks of these three.
With this concept we can understand the language of a Pasuk in the Haftarah of Rosh Hodesh )????? ??? ??' ???? ??'( . It says "???? ??? ???
????? ???? ??? ????? ???? ?? ??? ??????? ???? ??? ?'" -"and it shall come to pass that every new moon and every Sabbath shall all flesh come to worship before me; says Hashem".
Why does the Pasuk refer to people as ??? -"flesh"? Why doesn’t it refer to us as "people" or "man"??
The explanation is that the Pasuk is referring to the three Misvot that protect us from the three attacking planets.
??? ????? -is Rosh Hodesh which protects us from the moon
??? ????? -is ??? which protects us from Saturn
And ??? -refers to the ???? ???? in which the Pasuk says "???? ??????
???? ??? ?????" .
This is why it refers to man as "???" .
When we analyze the animals which are offered as Korbanot written about in this week’s Parasha we wonder; why do we sacrifice an animal after we sin?? What did the animal do?!
The explanation is that when a person sins he is overcome with an animal instinct. He is filled with a ??? ???? -a foolish spirit, which makes a person temporarily insane, where he loses his mind and sins. If a person thought clearly about the gravity and punishment of sin, he would never commit one! It is because we "act like an animal" without intellect, that we bring an animal as a sacrifice to atone.
The damage that is done by our sins is not only damage to our soul but it does damage to the world at large! To atone, we bring a ???? ; the first two letters of the word ???? are ? and ?. The world was created with a ? and a ?. The Pasuk writes ?????? which can be broken to read ?-?????
"a ? in the beginning". Another Pasuk says "??? ?????? ???? ???? ??????" -"these are the generation of heaven and earth when they were created". The word ?????? can be broken to read ? ? ???? (with ? they were created). We see from these Pesukim that both the ? and the ? were used in creating the world.
The ? and ? of ???? stand for the animals coming to atone for the damage done to the world (the Torah also fixes the damage done to the world, this is why we read it on ? and ?-on Monday and Thursday. ?-?
alluding to the letters used to create the world). If our Torah is strong we will not have any need for the sacrifices that atone for sin. That’s why it says: " "??? ????? ????? ????? ?????? . ??? ????? -if you have the Torah- ???? ????? ?????? -the letter ? is like ?? -"no" meaning ?-???? -"no need for ???? " etc.
The next two letters are ?? . ?? equals 45, the same numerical value as ??? . This shows that the animal atones for the person as well.
We see from here the power of sacrificing an animal as a Korban, to atone for the damage to the world and man as a result of sin.
In the future, when the Beit Hamikdash will be rebuilt all of the Korbanot that we can’t bring today will be brought then. We will make up for every single Korban that we miss.
We see this hinted to in the text of our Musaf Amidah when we say for example; "?? ???? ??? ???? ???" –"the Musaf of this Shabbat we will bring". How will we bring the Musaf of this Shabbat in the future?? It should say: "the Musaf of Shabbat not "the Musaf of this Shabbat’s Korbanot, it must be in order to show us that we will make up for every Korban missed when the Beit Hamikdash is rebuilt.
Today while we do not have Korbanot it is the power of Shabbat, and specifically the Torah learnt on Shabbat that gives us the atonement we need and inspires us to repentance.
The Parasha ends with the words: "????? ??" ("it shall be an atonement for him before Hashem and he shall be forgiven for anything of all that he has done in transgressing in it".
Why would the Parasha end with these words? The Parashiot usually end on a good note, why would this one end discussing sin??
The Apter Rav explains, that the words "????? ??" stand for the words we say in Shaharit of Shabbat: "??-? ??? ??? ??? ??????-????
?????" -"to Hashem that rested from all actions on the seventh day".
The Apter Rav used to say these words out loud, as the Baal Koreh finished this Parasha. The words ????? ?? are actually positive words showing us, that we still have the Shabbat today that helps us gain atonement for all sins!
The Shabbat helps us gain atonement and provides life for the entire week. As it says; "' "?? ??? ???? ??? ? -for six days Hashem created, instead of ???? –in six days, this shows us that the Shabbat provides existence for the six days that follow. Not only that, but the Shabbat gives energy and existence to the entire month, every month of the year!
We recite Kiddush on Friday night over a cup of wine- a ??? ??? . The words ??? ??? equal 156.
We then make Hamotsi on two loaves of bread. The word ??? equals 78, and two loaves – (two times ??? ) equals 156.
The 156 from ??? ??? plus the 156 from the two, ??? totals 312. This is the same as the word ??? -month. This shows that the power of Shabbat influences not only the coming six days, but also the coming months!
We see from all this the extreme power of our Misvot. We are above nature, and our Misvot save us from attacks from outer space!!
Let us utilize this combination of Shabbat and learning Torah, to provide life and vitality to the entire week, month, and year!
May Hashem bring back the Bet Hamikdash speedily in our days Amen.

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