“To return from Israel and speak any word against the country is to
speak lashon harah against the
ten levels of holiness, from the country of Israel to Jerusalem up to the Holy
of the Holies. There is no place holier in the entire Universe. We refer to
Israel as Admas Kodesh, holy earth, dirt, or gravel. The gravel of Eretz Israel
is worth more to us than any plot of land in Russia, Germany, Poland, or another
country of our exile. “Eretz Israel is sacred, it is holy; Eretz Israel
is pure, it is Admas Kodesh, every single pebble, every grain of dust in Eretz
Israel is worth more, definitely, than all the real estate in the rest of the
the Jews living in Israel are holy in our eyes. With unity, brotherhood
(achdus), seeing eye-to-eye between different groups or within a group will
start a chain reaction, joining others into bringing the Geulah, the return of
all Jews to the holy land.
Like birds hovering, so the Lord of Hosts will protect
protecting and delivering, sparing and
What can one say of Jerusalem, what can one tell. Like a precious
jewel given to children to admire and play with, Jerusalem is our delight, the
pendant of the world. Let me walk her streets once more. Let me never leave
her walls. Those that dwell here are blessed, blessed are their ancestors and
blessed their children to
I visited the
tomb of Shimeon HaTzaddik, last high priest of Israel and had the following
6-1: Shimeon the Righteous
I saw that every moment of his day was scheduled. That there is an
organization in the life of a high priest that transcends spontaneity. The
high priest of Israel belonged to the people of Israel supporting their every
need with every moment of his life.
Shimeon HaTzaddik is quoted in
the “Sayings of our Fathers”. Reciting the teachings of a sage at
he is buried brings his or her life closer to ones
6-2: Shimeon the Righteous’ Saying
On three things does the world stand,
Torah (al haTorah),
on Work (haAvodah – the service in the
and deeds of Kindness (gemilut Hasidim)
A few religious Jews in black copota, wanted a
ride back to Jerusalem when I was at the grave of the High Priest, and I told
them that I was first going to the Mount of Olives to visit the tombs of Malachi
and Zechariah near Jerusalem. They went with me and paid the entrance fee and
afterwards we went to the tomb of the former chief Hasidic Rebbe of Jerusalem.
6-1: Former Chief Hasidic Rebbe of
When I was there I sensed the image of a flower as if this Rabbi’s
life was entirely beautiful.
When I told this to my companions, one told me that this Rebbe was
often called, ‘The Flower’ by his followers.
6-1: Well of Souls.
The Even Shetiya –
שתיה is considered the foundation stone at the
top of Mt. Moriah. There Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac. Below the rock
is a cave known as the Well of Souls. The Holy of Holies was located in this
place. The Well of Souls is a natural cave, perhaps a parallel for the place
under the Throne of G-d in the World of Beriyah where souls wait to be
6-2: Rock of Moriah – Even Shetiya
“As the navel is set in the centre of the human
so is the land of Israel the navel of the
situated in the centre of the world,
and Jerusalem in the centre of the land of
and the sanctuary in the centre of
and the holy place in the centre of the
and the ark in the centre of the holy
and the Foundation Stone before the holy
because from it the world was
Midrash Tanchuma – Kedoshim ch.10
Arad is a city on the hilltop, sitting amongst the clouds
Beauty and peace are in your streets.
purify your doorways.
Those who dwell in Torah grow each day
others descend to the salt waters and wash away their
Arad sits at the doorstep to three worlds, each a miraculous
There is the road to Hebron, which ascends through gentle
hills into the past.
The other way descends into the chasms of colored
walls where flash floods turn into rivers
and wash away the transient
worries of our minute lifetimes.
The third way leads to the Sea of
Salt, a refuge and place to bathe,
where an oasis filled with the Gedi
mountain goat and fresh water streams
meets its match in salt
There is really no place more beautiful in the world than the Galilee.
Only a few hundred years ago there was golden era of spiritual growth in those
hills unparalleled in all the history of Judaism. At that time someone composed
the L’cha Dodi, the Arizal and is followers flourished, Yosef Caro laid
down the Shulhan Aruch and revealed the Maggid Mesharim.
In the hills
of the Galilee, one will find the burial cave of Rabbi Hananyah ben Hakasa known
for his famous saying:
6-4: Rabbi Chananya ben Akasa
Rabbi Chananya ben Akasa said,
“It is the
Will of the Holy One to Remember Israel,
Therefore He multiplied for
them Torah and commandments, as it is said,
(hafetz) for the sake of his Righteouness (tzidko)
To magnify the
Torah (yagdil) and make it precious
‘All my people are righteous
(tzaddikim) in the world,
They will inherit the land
branch planted along a stream”
The location of the kever is at K’far Chananya (the village of
Chananya). There is now a modern day settlement across the road, which would be
a holy place to live.
As one approaches Tiberias one will find the tombs
of Rabbi Akiva on the hilltop and his wife Rachel Akiva a short distance away.
The tomb of Rachel is particularly inspiring and one can sense her dedication to
Torah and her sacrifice for her husband’s learning. Rabbi Akiva who
started his life a simple person of the land, rose to lead the Torah academy of
Israel. When visiting the holy sites one will often find peddlers selling
beautiful Israeli music on cassettes in honor of Jewish sages.
in the Galilee on route 787 to Rosh Hanikra lies the grave of the prophet
Isaiah. Isaiah was a prophet of the Northern Kingdom.
“My teachings were intended for all the world.” What if
their meaning is altered? “Still, the world is better for them.”
What of those who say you prophesied for a incarnated deity 700 yrs in the
future? “There is only one G-d.” What messiah? “Cyrus was
the messiah. He enabled the Israelites to return home and he encouraged the
rebuilding of the temple. What of Isaiah 53? “The suffering servant has
always been the house of Israel. The other nations are elevated here.”
What of your vision of a train of G-d? “Even to say G-d is without
image, nothing, is an idolatry of nothingness. This idea is later, not of my
time.” What of those who proclaim there were two Isaiah(s). There is
only one, but editors added to my teaching through their attachment to me and
their words are mine as well.
Intrinsically part of Israel as the passage
6-5: Sinai the
Bar Kappara taught: No dream is without its interpretation. AND BEHOLD A
LADDER symbolizes the stairway; SET UPON THE EARTH-the altar, as it says, An
altar of earth thou shalt make unto Me (Ex. XX, 21); AND THE TOP OF IT REACHED
TO HEAVEN-the sacrifices, the odor of which ascended to heaven; AND BEHOLD THE
ANGELS OF GOD-the High Priests; ASCENDING AND DESCENDING ON IT-ascending and
descending the stairway. AND, BEHOLD, THE LORD STOOD BESIDE HIM (XXVIII, 13)-I
saw the Lord standing beside the altar (Amos IX, 1).
The Rabbis related it to Sinai. AND HE DREAMED, AND BEHOLD A LADDER
symbolizes Sinai; SET UPON THE EARTH. As it
says, And they stood at the nether part of the mount (Ex. XIX, 17); AND THE TOP
OF IT REACHED TO HEAVEN-And the mountain burned with fire unto the heart of
heaven (Deut. IV, 11). AND BEHOLD THE ANGELS OF GOD alludes to Moses and Aaron.
ASCENDING: And Moses went up to God (Ex. XIX, 3); AND DESCENDING-And Moses went
down from the mount (ib. 14). AND, BEHOLD, THE LORD STOOD BESIDE HIM-And the
Lord came down upon mount Sinai (ib. 20).
Abulafia explains the
6-6: Abulafia on the
In the Name my intellect found a ladder to ascend to the level of
vision... The ladder seen by Jacob our Father was Sinai, and this great secret
was revealed by means of gematria... Sullam (ladder) –
= 130 = Sinai –
= Adonay Adonay –
אדני = 65 + 65 = 5 * 26 = 130 ... and it
was known to us that the secret of Sinai is double and it is easy and there come
out of it the two holy names, Adonay Adonay, and there emerge from the names the
five unique ones, the secret of each one of whose secret is heavy.
As the Sinai desert is a maze of crested rocks and ravins so the ladder
is a circle where we do not know the entrance or exit. Abulafia reveals his
meditation on the
Meditation on the Ladder
Know that this ladder must be drawn as a circle, it it stands before the
person’s eyes like a full sphere, rolling back and forth before him, as if
the man’s face is towards the east and his back towards the west, and the
person is in the middle...
And man turns about with twenty Sefirot—five toes of his feet on
his right side and five on his left, and likewise five fingers of his hand to
the south and five to the north, and they turn to the right or the left, and
there are four heads to his head, and four to his end, and four winds from here
to the south side and four winds to the north, and each head of them has upon it
a body equal, like the image of a cube, and they are four cubes, and their names
are “females” from here, and four from there, and their names are
“males” and they turned about and changed. And each of these cubes
has six courners, speckled, a pair above, spearated below it, and a pair below
it, sparated upon it. And all of the dots on them 120 for these and 120 for
these, with the fifth to here and the fifth to here; and that is the one which
preponderates between them. And the number is 24, 24, and the dots are not
fixed in them, but are like tablets ready to receive the dots, and because of
the movement they are renewed.
And were the ladder to stand a small moment without turning, then all
the corners of the cubes would be empty of all dots. But with the turns they
are renewed, by justice and uprightness, according to the Divine rule by which
he judges every living rational thing according to his deeds by lot. And this
secret is as it were witness and judge of the retribution and punishment.
And this ladder is called the ladder of the world, and scales for the human
being. And this is the subject of which Raziel informed me, and he further
explained it in saying that the lot fell between the names and always turns
about by justice, to judge in it he who is judged, and that when you shall
contemplate your essence, you will find that ladder is inscribed between the
eyes of your heart, in general and in particular, and contemplate it very much,
and know it.
Israel is more than a place, more a longing in our heart for our true
6.5.1 Micah Joseph Berdichevski
Immersed in traditional Jewish learning, haskalah - enlightenment, and the
transvaluation ideas of Nietzsche, Berdichevski sought to create the first Jews
of a new
6-8: Micah Berdichevski on the House of
We are torn to shreds: at one extreme, some leave the House of Israel
to venture among foreign peoples, devoting to them the service of their hearts
and spirits and offering their strength to strangers; while, at the other
extreme, the pious sit in their gloomy caverns, obeying and preserving what G-d
had commanded them. And the enlightened, standing between, are men of two
faces: half Western–in their daily life and thoughts; and half
Jews–in their synagogues.
Kabbalah meditation teaches that one should pursue those questions that are
most perplexing or even heretical. Questions are the guideposts of ones life,
leading one to unravel the Truth. Meditating on the origin of Jewish ideas
will dissolve university-promulgated deceptions.
6-3: Children of the Mighty
In Psalm 29, it says, “Praise G-d, children of the mighty.”
Perplexing is that the word for mighty is gods. Who are the ‘children of
One may ascend the sefirot by embracing the ushpazim, visitors on the
days of Sukkot. First, one visualizes King David in Malchuts. He will be
regally dressed in white with a crown on his head. After one embraces him one
will enter Malchuts. Next he will push one upward to see Joseph. He will be
dressed in a white tunic according to the dress of the Egyptian pharaohs. He
will have an open circlet around his head, open in the front with two larger
ends. He will embrace and bring one fully to the level of Yesod. One may
witness activities of angels here and a spinning or rotation of personal light
as ones own soul radiates more brightly.
Joseph will push you to the left and there one will encounter Aaron. He
will be wearing the breastplate and he will embrace. Here one enters fully into
Hod. Aaron will push one to the right where Moses will embrace bringing one
into Netzah. He will push one higher.
There one will encounter Jacob who will rejoice proudly in his son
tossing and spinning him if one’s name is Joseph as a father with his son.
One will enter fully into the level of Tiferet. He will push one higher to the
left and Isaac will place his arm around one’s back and talk and guide one
to the tent of his father Abraham on the right. Abraham will take one by the
hand and sit one down in his tent and answer all questions.
- Why are we called the children of the mighty? King David was addressing
Israel a mighty nation in the world. We are supposed to be a strong people. We
are the Bnai Elim, children of the might ones, when we are in the service of
God. We must be a powerful people, physically, spiritually, and
- How are we to solve the problems of Israel today?
Israel must have a monarchy to rule as in the time of David, with all the
peoples in the land under one kingship.
- How can Israel have a monarchy? There must be a prophet in the land that
- How can Israel have prophet that all recognize? First they must
reestablish the priesthood. There must be approval from the President of Israel
that the priesthood service may begin again, initially outside of Jerusalem.
There are priests who have studied and are prepared. Like Shilo, they will
establish a tabernacle where people can bring offerings unto God.
- What of the rabbinical requirement that we must have the temple to
practice sacrifice? The temple will be rebuilt once Kingship returns to Israel.
The priesthood must return first. After a period of priesthood, prophecy will
return to the land. With prophecy, all the people will recognize a singular
distinct prophet, like Samuel, and he will select a king.
- How will kingship continue in proper succession? Only through prophecy
will kingship be maintained. All nations will come to recognize the power that
is with the Bnai Elim in their kingdom, a kingdom unto God, most high. The king
will centralize his authority from Jerusalem. Nations that will not live in
peace shall be exiled out of Israel. There will be no more Middle East crisis,
because her neighbors will respect Israel.
- Eventually a king of Israel will rebuild the
temple of Jerusalem and priesthood activities will move to the temple of the
Of course it is preferable to live in Israel over
any other part of the world as posterity lies
So important is it visit the holy land, to be inspired by the teachings
of the sages, the victories of those who fought and gave their lives for our
freedom. How does one travel such a great country? Each time one visits, seek
the place that one has not seen for all is holy unto G-d.
Daniela: “Life is a joke. Hence, one should pursue ones
dreams.” Daniela is from Canada and lived in Beverly Hills for awhile and
gave up this life to be a pioneer at Kibbutz Ein Gedi. She has lived there for
40 years, since 10 years after its founding. Her husband works in the date
plantations and is the discoverer of ancient synagogues in the area. She gives
tours to guests of the kibbutz, an experience of a
Rabbi Aryeh Rosenfeld
on Kings 2:3-4 00:31:00
Rabbi Aryeh Rosenfeld on Kings
For Jamie who when
she gets to Jerusalem will never be able to
Experience in Abraham Abulafia
, Idel, p.
Idea, Arthur Hertzberg, p.
, 2003 at Friday evening services with Dan Black at Chabad, Salt
See Text 15-6: Perkei Avot 6:10