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Shabbat Morning Class - Parasha Emor / Lag BaOmer

Rabbi Mansour 2012
Shabbat Morning Class
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The day of Lag Baomer is a most joyous one, celebrated in honor of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. It is the day that the students of Rabbi Akivah stopped dying, and it signified an end to the mourning period of the Sefirah, and sets us up for the final countdown to Matan Torah.
In this class we explore some of the secrets behind the power of Lag Baomer, and its capability to sweeten the judgments that may be on the Jewish people.

The name of Hashem that stands for his attribute of strict judgment is the name of ?????. There is a way to "sweeten" the judgment found in the name, and that is by transforming ????? into the letters that precede it. This turns ????? into "???? ?????" (???? means to precede). Rav Chaim Vital in ??? ?????? explains that this is done by taking the letters in the name ?????, and replacing them with the letters that come before them. There is nothing that precedes the ? so we leave the ? alone. The next letter of ????? is ?, and the letter that precedes it is the ?. The next letter of ????? is ?, and the letter that precedes it is ?. The next letter of ????? is ?, and the letter that precedes it is ?. The final letter of ????? is a ? and it stays the same. This is because the letter that precedes a ? is a ?, so essentially itís the same letter.
The result of this is that now we now have turned ????? into a new name of ?-?-?-?-?, and this name is referred to us as "????? ????" (the ????? whom we have turned into a merciful ????? that gives ????-life to us). This is why during the ???? ??? ????? we mention in the Amidah; "????? ????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????"- we ask Hashem for life in the merit of the name of ?????(the letters that precede ?????) which is ????? ???? (this must be, for otherwise why would we ask Hashem for life in the merit of his name of judgment!).
The three middle letters of the name ????? are the letters that we have changed in order to sweeten it. These three letters we turned from ??? into ???. The numerical value of ??? equals 33. By switching the middle letters of ????? into ???-33, we sweeten the judgment that may be upon us.
?? ????? is the 33rd day of the Omer, and it represents this sweetening of judgment that is effected by transforming the middle letters of ????? into 33-???! This explains why ?? ????? is such an extremely joyful day for us.
The numerical value of ????? equals 86. When we "sweeten" the name by changing the middle three letters into ??? the new total becomes 74 (?-???-?=74). 74 is the numerical value of the word ??. This explains what Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was alluding to when he said (????-??); "???? ??? ???? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ???? ???? ??????? ?? ???"-"I am able to exonerate the entire world from judgment from the day I was born until now"! This is why so many thousands of people flock to Rabbi Shimon on his day of Lag Baomer. They want to take Rí Shimon up on his promise, and present themselves in front of Rí Shimon in order that he spare them from judgment!
When we analyze Rí Shimonís words we find, that he was alluding to the power of the day that he is associated with. He said "???? ??????? ?? ???". ?? equals 74, and Rí Shimon was saying that he can exonerate us from judgment by sweetening the name of ?????, by switching its middle letters into ?-?-?-33 (which stands for ??' ?????- the day connected to Rí Shimon), and thereby give us a new total of 74-the same as ??- and spare us from ???!
This sheds light on an incident in the Torah between Yaakob and Lavan, when Lavan came upon Yaakob and told him that ????? appeared to him on the previous night. Yaakob ended up making a treaty with Lavan, and erected a monument made of stones and called it ????.
Lavan was trying to intimidate Yaakob by telling him that he was connected to ?????- Hashemís name of ??? (this is why he told Yaakob that ????? had come to him in a dream the night before). Yaakob responded by erecting a monument which he called ?? ??. The word ???? is comprised of ??-which equals 33, and ?? which equals 74. Yaakob was showing Lavan that he was not scared of Lavanís association with ?????, because Yaakob had the key to turn ????? into kindness, and this was by changing its middle letters into ??? (??-33), and thereby turn its total into 74 (??) hence the name ????! (Apparently Lavan wasnít too happy to hear that, therefore he named it his own name ??? ??????!).

How can we practically apply this concept today?? How do we change the middle letters of ????? into the letters that precede it, and thus sweeten any judgments against us??

We can accomplish this today by having ????? ??'-faith in Hashem.
When we are faced with difficulties and problems, we can either allow them to frustrate us and "take us over", or we can recognize that these difficulties are from Hashem who is serving us these problems in order that we remember that he is in charge and that we turn to him. Once we recognize that it is from Hashem, we are already well on our way to recovering from the problem.
When we show Hashem that we recognize that it is only he that is in charge, Hashem no longer has the need to give us these "reminders". We thereby take off the judgments from upon us. ????? in Hashem, belief in him and that all is from him, is the key to remove ??? from upon us.
The numerical value of the word ????? is 75. This is the same as
?-???-? ( Gematriahís can be one off because we include the name itself as one). This shows us that ????? is what turns ????? into ?-???-?, thereby sweetening it!
This is why the Pasuk says "???? ??' ??? ??"-"rely on Hashem until ??-until you sweeten the judgment and turn ????? (86) into ?-???-?-74!
It also says "???? ??????? ????, ????? ??' ??? ???????"-"the troubles of the wicked are many, but those that trust in Hashem, kindness surrounds him". If we have ????? in Hashem we will have only kindness around us, for we have transformed ??? (?????) into ???-mercy and kindness!

The Rabbi of Rí Shimon was Rabbi Akibah. Rí Akibah personified ????? in Hashem. He personified this knowledge that everything is only from Hashem, and it is all because he loves us.
He showed this to us specifically on the day of ??' ?????. It was on that day that the last of his 24,000 students died, and he was left with nothing! 24 years in Yeshivah, amassing 24,000 students and he now had nothing to show for it! Any "normal" person would have given up! It would have broken them, and they would have simply "walked away"! They would not have the strength to go on! Not Rabbi Akibah, he knew that this too was only from Hashem, and if this is what Hashem wanted then it must only be for the good!
The Gemarah ?????-??' says, that it was on that very day that Rí Akibah took five students, one of them being Rí Shimon Bar Yochai- and began anew. He taught these five students the entire Torah, and it was only from them that we have Torah today! If Rí Akibah had not had such ?????, we would have no Torah today ?''?!
These five students represented the five "new" letters of ????? that Rí Akibah had transformed by means of his ?????. They stood for the five letters of ?-???-?, each student stood for a letter, and Rí Akibah thereby saved the entire Torah!
This sheds light on the story that happened at the end of Rí Akibahís life. The Gemarah ?????-?? says that as Rí Akibah was being tortured and raked with iron combs he began reciting the Shema. His students saw this and asked ?? ????! Even now?! You still are so devoted and holding on while saying Shema! He answered them "I have been waiting my whole life for this moment"!
A deeper meaning behind the words of Rí Akibah and his students are understood when we apply the concepts we have just learned.
In the ??? ????? we declare that Hashem is one, and thereby show our belief that everything is from him and that we have ????? in him. It is for this reason that the letter ? in ??? and ? of ??? are written extra large. These letters comprise ??-74, and they show that it is through the ????? that we take upon ourselves during the recitation of Shema that we sweeten the judgment of ?????-86, down to ?-???-?-74!
Rí Akibahís students were asking him why he didnít take this opportunity of saying Shema now to connect to the ????? that he represented so strongly throughout his life, and thereby sweeten even this judgment and suffering that he was enduring right now?! Just sweeten it with the Shema and ?????, and you will be out of it! This is why they told him ?? ???- the ?? is here! The letters ?? contained in ??? ????? and the ????? that they represent is at hand, and you can connect with them to get out of this!
Rí Akibah explained to them that to him this was not ???, it was not suffering! This was ?????? ?? ????, and to give his life for Hashem is the greatest of honors! Therefore there was no need to sweeten this, because this was purely for the good! This explains why a voice came forth from heaven and exclaimed "????? ?' ????? ????? ????? ????"-"praiseworthy are you Rí Akibah that your soul left you with the word ???".
Why should Rí Akibah be praised that his soul left him with the word ???? Did he not deserve praise if his soul would have left him with a different word upon his lips?! It seems that the praise is associated in some way with him saying the word ???!
The explanation is that heaven was praising him for letting his ???? go with the word ???. Meaning, even though he said ??? thereby completing ???, and he had the ?-?, he had the ????? that the Shema contains and he technically could have averted his death. He still let himself go in order to sanctify the name of Hashem! "???? ????? ????"-he let his Neshama go, even though he said ???!!
This concept of switching the middle letters of ????? (???) into ???, thereby giving it a new total of 74 is alluded to in many places in the Torah.
It says in the first Pasuk of Parashat Mishpatim; "???? ??????? ??? ???? ??????"-the Targum Unkelos translates ?????? as ?????, judgments. The word ???? comprise the first letters as the words "????? ??? ???? ????"- "a person is obligated to sweeten the judgment". How does he do so? "??? ???? ??????"-take the letters that precede it- meaning, take the letters that precede the letters of ?????, and that is how we can sweeten the ???.

David Hamelech wrote in Tehilim: "???? ???? ?????? ??-? ?? ??? ???? "????? ??? ????? Ė my soul thirsts for Hashem.. when will I come to see the face of ?????".
Why would David desire to see the face of "?????" - doesnít ????? stand for judgement?!
The explanation is that David was yearning to see "??? ?????", the word??? is like the word ???? and it is referring to the letters that precede ?????. We now understand that David was asking for the Chesed that is found behind the letters of ????? !

In the times of Noah when the world was corrupt, the Pasuk says "????? ???? ???? ??????"-"the world was corrupt before Hashem" and as a result; "????? ???? ???"-"the world was filled with theft".
The deeper meaning behind the Pasuk is that the land was corrupt ???? ??????, the people corrupted even the letters that precede ????? (???? means to precede). They had no faith in Hashem, and as a result; "????? ???? ???"-the world was filled with theft, because if a person has no belief that Hashem will provide for him, he is driven to steal from others!

When the Jewish people were about to leave Egypt, Hashem commanded them to bring the Korban Pesah. This would require a great deal of faith in Hashem. The sheep was the God of the Egyptians, and to take a sheep right in front of the Egyptians faces required great ????? in Hashem. Hashem instructed the Jews; "????? ????" - "slaughter the Pesah lamb". ??? equals 148. When we "slaughter" the word Pesah and cut it in half we have 74 (148 : 2=74). Hashem was showing us that we are to have this ?????-faith in him represented by 74- the numerical value of ????? (with ????)- and sweetening of judgment comes as a result.

When Moshe Rabeinu was ready to ascend to Shamayim to accept the Torah he knew (and was ultimately proved correct), that the Jews would struggle to maintain their faith in Hashem. This would bring judgment upon them, and ultimately cause them to go astray. He therefore warned the elders (???? ??' ???? ??') "??? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ???"-"to the elders he said wait here for us". The deeper message of Moshe Rabeinu was that he feared the Jews would get caught up in ?????-???. The numerical value of ????? is 86. Moshe was saying; "??? ??? ???"- ( ???equals 86) temper the ???-the 86 that stands for ?????-???, with ?? - with 12 (?? equals 12). 12 is the difference between the middle letters of ????? before and after you sweeten them (??? =45 and ???=33), Moshe was instructing the elders to sweeten the judgment by applying the difference of 12, by turning 86 into 74. 74 stands for ?????, and to help increase the ????? of the Jews so that they may pass the tests that await them!

David Hamelech wrote in Tehilim (chapter 75) :"????? ??? ?? ????? ??? ????"- "Hashem is the judge- this one he will raise and this one he will lower". David Hamelech was also hinting to this concept.
????? ???-when dealing with ????? ruling, ?? ?????, ??=12 should be "lowered" (?????), meaning decrease ?????-86, by 12 thereby turning it into 74 and sweetening it. Or else ?? ????, the ??=12 will remain high (????) and will remain as strict judgment, ?????.

It is a general rule that Purim and Lag Baomer will always fall on the same day of the week. For example this year Purim was on a Thursday and Lag Baomer was also on a Thursday. This rule is known as "???"
(?????-?? ?????).
This connection between them is also deeper in the respect of both of their capabilities to sweeten judgment. On Purim the highlight of the day is the reading of the Megillah. The word ????, hints to this sweetening of judgments. The outer letters are ??.?? equals 45. 45 is the numerical value of the three inner letters of ????? (???) before they have been sweetened. The inner letters of ????are ?? which equals 33 and represent the inner letters after they have been sweetened to spell ???. This shows that by reading the Megillah we "push away to the outside" the judgment represented by 45, and we bring closer the 33 that stands for kindness.
Queen Esther wanted to take this a step further. She wanted to affect a sweetening of the entire name of ????? including the letter ? and ?! (We previously mentioned that since there is nothing that precedes ? and since the ? has a ? preceding it we donít need to change them. Esther however still wanted to change these letters as well!) This is why she said "?? ?? ???? ??? ???? ???? ???? ???? ?? ?????"-"if it is good for the king than let the king and Haman come today to the party". We have learnt that whenever it says ???? in the Megillah it is really referring to Hashem who is ??? ???? ??????. Esther was saying ?? ?? ???? ???, the letters ?-? of the King (the letters ?-? in the name of Hashem of ?????) should be turned to ???, to be sweetened and bring good for the Jews! How did she do this? With the next words "???? ???? ???? ????", the first letters of which comprise the name of Hashem ?-?-?-?. This name, as we have learnt in previous Shiurim, has the capability to sweeten the entire name of ????? in a very powerful way, and this was the intent of Esther Hamalkah.

May the Zechut of Rí Shimon Bar Yochai and his Rebbe, Rabbi Akibah bring upon us great ????? in Hashem, and sweeten any judgment that we may have upon us. May we only see Hashemís kindness and thereby have clarity in our lives Amen.

Parashat Yitro- Partnering With Hashem
Parashat BeShalah- A New Understanding of the Splitting of the Sea
Parashat Bo- Pharaoh and His Advisors
Parashat Vaera- Moshe Was Human
Parashat Shemot- The Egyptian ďFurnaceĒ
Parashat Vayehi- Yaakobís Blessing to His Grandchildren
Parashat Vayigash- The Antidote to Adversity
Hanukah- When Building a Foundation
Parashat Vayeshev- The Precious Value of Silence
Parashat Vayishlah- The Dangers of the Gentle Touch
Parashat Vayeseh- Beware the ďLaban SyndromeĒ
Parashat Toldot: Hard Work and Effort
Parashat Hayeh-Sara: Shidduchim and G-dís Angel
Parashat Vayera- Lotís Delayed Escape From Sedom
Parashat Lech Lecha- Obeying Hashemís Commands
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986 Parashot found