Posts Tagged With: # Torah

Four Levites, Four Hours, and Redemption

Four Levites, Four Hours, and Redemption 

Looking over the chapter listings in the Table of Contents in my upcoming book to be published, I thought to myself there needs to be another chapter. Needless to say, I didn’t realize Hashem would create hashgacha pratit (Divine Providence) in the near future until the spring of June 2019. What I am about to share is very true, raw, and incredible.

My beloved family (myself included) had no idea our path ahead was the entrance into a battlefield; facing death in a blink of an eye. The day after an amazing family dinner gathering in our home, Hashem sent forth a trail that would rock us to our core; trusting Hashem with everything a man has within. Our lesson would teach us gam zu’ l’tovahthis too is for the best.

We (my husband, son, daughter, and I) endured a very difficult tribulation that affected us physically; penetrating every emotion (thrown in all directions), thought process, measure of the heart, life, breath, love, fear, discouragement, pain, injuries, humbleness, gratefulness, compassion, endurance, and forgiveness. This placed us at the door of death and life.

Who is the key holder?

I will place the keys of David’s palace on his shoulders; and what he unlocks none may shut, and what he locks none may open.” (Isaiah/ Yeshayah 22:22)[1]

“In token of abundant authority And of peace without limit Upon David’s throne and kingdom, That it may be firmly established In justice and in equity Now and evermore. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts Shall bring this to pass.” (Isaiah/ Yeshayah 9:6)[2]

The story begins:

My sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew arrived from California for a mini vacation, with plans to fly home. They joined us for dinner, along with my lovely and amazing Mom. The table was beautifully set; the food was amazing, sharing delicious Jewish dishes. They had brought up our SUV. A friend of theirs had given it to us. They have a soft heart for children with special needs, and with their loving generosity, they gifted it to us. They said it was a “tank” and that we would love it. My brother-in-law, who is an awesome mechanic, did some repairs before the arrival.

After dinner, they left our beautiful truck [the best vehicle we’ve ever owned our entire lives!]; returning to my Mom’s home in her car. The following day, we got the truck registered, put on new license plates and set off on a wonderful scenic drive to a bird sanctuary for a peaceful family drive.

Returning home, my husband was driving, our kids were in bucket seats, and I had dozed off. I was awakened to my husband yelling, a sudden change in motion of the brakes, and an extremely hard hit by a truck slamming into my side. We were T-boned! A speeding (angry) driver failed to yield the stop sign. On impact, we were instantly airborne which rolled us over to the driver’s side. At the point of rolling, skidding on its side, hearing the crunching of metal, and seeing the severely broken and cracked windshield around the sides of the airbags, I began screaming, “G-d please help us, G-d please help us!”

My husband held on to the steering wheel with both hands; keeping his arm from amputation from the opened window while the truck was skidding on the driver’s side along the road, down an embankment, into a field! Our truck flipped back up, landing on its tires.  By all rights of gravity, the truck should have rolled more; however, something “Mighty” stopped the truck. Our truck flipped back up on its tires where it rested. My daughter called out for “G-d” about the same time I did. She said she saw a bright light (covering/shield) around us when the truck suddenly came back up on its tires and rested– hashgacha pratit!

When the truck stopped, steam from the heating cord (radiator) was coming in at me. The mixture of steam, the smell of the “firecracker elements” (airbags deployed at 135 mph), and with the dust from the gravel sediments, I thought the engine was going to ignite. I went into hysterics; trying to open my side of the door to help my children! People came running into the field to help us [my husband told them to get me out of the truck]. Someone, obviously, called 911 as soon as we were hit (7:26 pm recorded time). The Firetruck, Ambulance, and Police arrived within minutes. Two people helped get our son out of the truck. One of those helpers was the man who hit us. Additional care was taken for our son as he has Cerebral Palsy, shunts for hydrocephalus, and he’s nonverbal with additional disabilities.

The passenger doors were smashed in so extensively that the inside door handles were completely broken, hanging by its wires. The doors on the passenger’s side were smashed in eighteen inches and partially ripped from its hinges. There was so much damage! Our Limited Sequoia was totaled, as well as the other driver’s truck. We are very grateful that the original owners had added more airbags (wrap-around curtain), customized bucket seats, and more; creating additional impact protection!

The Fire Department covered a very large area on the street with cat litter because of the excess oil and other fluids that spilled from both trucks. Someone found our daughter’s eyeglasses in the street, ruined. Our son’s eyeglasses were located in the field. The other driver’s hood on his truck looked like an accordion, crushed to the windshield. A policeman told me that the street looked like a “Garage Sale.”

I want to add an interesting moment that took place. A woman approached me, smiled and told me it was good news that my necklace was still intact. My necklace has the Star of David, and the Shema (Deuteronomy 6: 4-9).

It reads: “שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד”

Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our G-d, the Lord is One. (The Shema is a beautiful Jewish prayer that is recited twice daily. The Shema was also prayed on Mount Sinai upon when the Jews, and mixed multitude received the giving of the Torah and were sealed into Hashem’s covenant).

We were treated on the scene and released. But not before Hashem opened a door for me to share with the good citizens, policemen, firefighters, EMT’s, and the other driver that the mercy (rachamim) of G-d protected us all. There should have been fatalities, yet we all walked away from two totaled trucks. G-d’s Hand was upon us. While sharing how G-d protected us, I pointed at our truck and shared about the loving people who gifted us, even though it’s totaled, we were protected. I further said that life is precious and it can’t be replaced. Hashem found favor (Chen) in us—B”H!

I don’t recall anyone responding back, but I do remember one EMT gentleman continually watched and listened. I also shared with the other driver that I had forgiven him and I would be praying for his situation. He stopped in his footsteps, looked at me, and in a somber voice he thanked me. He is a young man of twenty-five years of age who didn’t heed the “stop sign.” I pray Hashem opened a doorway of divine healing for him; bursting forth a new outlook in life, being refreshed in Hashem’s Light!

My brother-in-law came to get us at the accident scene and safely got us home. Arriving home in the driveway, I broke down crying. I told my brother-in-law how scared I was; expressing my sadness for what happened to the truck that was gifted, the hard work, love given, and time it took to get it to us (one thousand miles apart). But the bottom line is: Life is precious, it can’t be replaced! The love of others and the hand of G-d saved our lives!

Hashem saved us with the gift of life (Chai); giving everyone a second chance to determine our direction in life and choices. Will we stay in the “Fastlane” seeking worldly desires that offers emptiness, deceitfulness, masquerades, and dead ends? Will we use the time Hashem has given us wisely that is pleasing to Hashem?  Do we love Hashem enough to walk, speak, breathe life of Hashem’s goodness, and study Torah teachings, daven (prayers) with blessings daily? If not, why? Ha’satan’s (Satan’s) greatest weapon is man’s ignorance of G-d’s Davar/word.

We need to have complete Teshuvah (repentance, returning to Hashem) with a change of heart, a desire to be in Hashem’s covenant; living in obedience to Hashem’s word. We are given “Stop Signs” in life. We are to have wisdom and discernment to heed before entering our next path. Let’s be like a Jacob (one who studies Torah), not an Esau (running wild, untamed).

Let’s continue the story: 

Thankfully, everyone was responsible to have worn seat belts. As the night progressed, the aches and pains set in. The next day, my sister and brother-in-law took the four of us to Urgent Care for evaluations and X-rays. We suffered from severe bruising, swelling, contusions, abrasions, seat belt trauma, and pain. Additionally, our son sustained a fractured knuckle and I had a severe concussion. By the second day after the rollover accident, I was experiencing loss of balance, impaired cognitive skills, extremely light sensitivity [covering my eyes inside my home while talking to others], and some confusion. We also were having nightmares from the accident.

My husband and sister took me to the Emergency Room. CT scans and more tests were run. It was confirmed that I was to be on complete concussion protocol. Our children and I followed up with additional medical care for months.

Hashem will continue to heal our Souls, mend our hurting hearts, and restore us physically and spiritually during our journey in the Wilderness.

Why so downcast, my soul, why disquieted within me? Have hope in G-d; I will yet praise Him, my ever-present help, my G-d.” (Psalms/ Tehillim 42:12)[3]

Hashem answered our pleas for help with Hashem’s Chesed and an out-stretched Arm. Hashem’s blessings and chen came from those who ran down the embankment to help us, strangers who offered a soft blanket to sit on [to not have to sit in the weeds, gravel and dirt], and my dear family (sister, brother-in-law, niece & nephew) who stayed with us; offering love, help, prayers, and support! Hashem sends the people who will respond (Mitzvoth).

Baruch Hashem (Blessed is G-d) to have received assistance with our care, as well as concerned phone calls, texts, prayers, visits, rides to medical appointments, meals, groceries, medical supplies, light house cleaning, yard work, and more good deeds for three weeks! Love poured out with Hashem’s help. Baruch Hashem for He is Good and Faithful. His Chesed was sent to us in many ways! His kindness endures forever!

Let’s take this to a deeper level of understanding while looking at some connections. I don’t know the ultimate reason why this event happened, but names, times, dates, and numbers have a significant purpose and a function.

  • Sequoia: Sequoia trees are also known as “Sequoiadendron giganteum.” They are the largest trees on Earth, and endangered. These fantastic trees of awe can live over two thousand years, and reach enormous heights topping three hundred and fifty feet high. Standing next to a giant magnificent Sequoia tree, we as human beings are very small in size. We are but a speck in comparison. How does this resemble the Jewish people? “‘A Sequoia’s roots “are so shallow that it can hardly stand up to a strong breeze” says Rabbi Dannel Schwartz.  So how is it that this extraordinary species is able to grow so large and live so long?  The answer is simple – the trees spring up in groves and their roots intertwine.  Or as Rabbi Schwartz says “they hold each other up – they give each other the strength necessary to withstand the angriest winds.[…] As Frankl himself said “the more one forgets himself – by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love – the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.’”[4]

 

Doesn’t this resemble the life story of the Jewish people? Our lifelong generations continue to overcome with unity. Have we not held up one another, like a tree, for over thousands years through the harshest of storms, and through winds of terror during the evilest of times? And here we are! There is strength in numbers. We need to stand together in unity, like roots, take hold of each other, not divided. When we come together, we can block out the “angriest winds.” Hashem’s Light is Life.

 

  • Date: June 17, Jewish calendar of Sivan 14. Sivan was covered in “In Flight for Life” chapter. Fourteen is a multiple seven, which means a “Double measure.” The Hebrew letter of fourteen is Nun. Nun means “fish” and “Life.” Hashem gives us life. Fish are also connected to Day Five of Creation–taking the Torah out to the Nations, rapidly.
  • David’s name has a gematria value of 14 (dalet, vav, dalet).
  • Time: The time of the accident was given at 7:267-26: The gematria of seven means completeness, stability, wholeness, ripeness. The Sabbath was sanctified by G-d on the seventh day of Creation. Day Seven of Creation is Holy (Shabbat/Shabbos/Sabbath). There are six days of labor, and the seventh is complete, to rest. The gematria of seven is Zayin, which means sword, to arm. Completion. “26”: G-d’s four-lettered sacred name that means: “The One Who is, Who was, and Who will be” which is Hashem’s Divine Name in the Torah. The true pronunciation of Hashem’s Name remains “hidden” in plain sight. We are to call out in the Name of Hashem, our G-d, for He is our Father in the Highest Heaven. Man had to wait twenty-six generations before receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai through Moses (Moshe). “The very act of serving G-d is the vehicle to reveal G-d.[5] Our existence isn’t for self-glorification, but to glorify G-d. When we truly live our life in Torah, “And all the peoples of the earth shall see that the LORD’s name is proclaimed over you, and they shall stand in fear of you.”[6]
  • The truck rested on four tires. Creation Day Four is to have authority to Govern, to have “Rulership.” The sun, moon, and stars were created on Day Four. The sun, moon, and stars are the natural light that separates the darkness. There are also Four Rivers of Eden. We are to wear tzit-tziyot (Tzit-tzits) on all four corners of our garments.

 

  • There were four Levites on board. The Levites only had the Limited Sequoia in their names for four hours.

 

  • The license plates given had the number of 713. “7” was already covered above. “13”: A powerful meaning in the Hebrew gematriot value that means “Love” and “Oneness.” It’s the connection that binds the eternal love of G-d and Israel in “Covenant” as Hashem’s “Set Apart” people (those who are Torah Observant and living Torah). The Jew and those who are in covenant with Hashem recognize that G-d is the Creator, and center of the Universe. When G-d revealed to Moses His 13 Attributes of Mercy, it was the most powerful expression of love, compassion G-d had given to His people: Love, Compassion, Covenant, and Eternity.

 

  • The Rose has thirteen petals: Zohar 1:1a teaches that: It is written, as a rose among the thorns …the rose is the Assembly of Israel. Because there is a rose and there is a rose, just as a rose among thorns is tinged with red and white, the Assembly of Israel consists of judgment and mercy. Just as a rose has thirteen petals, the Assembly of Israel is surrounded on all sides by the thirteen attributes. Hashem will safeguard her. And like Israel, and the Thirteen Attributes of G-d’s Mercy, He safeguarded us too.
  • Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) G-d speaks His unremitting love of Israel: “I am for My Beloved, and My Beloved is for Me.” The acronym Elul (the sixth on the Jewish calendar which means “to search.”) means “Ani l’ dodi lil.”

It’s interesting to note that the Shechinah resided in their midst of the Mishkan. The Mishkan was a symbol that Hashem had forgiven the Israelites from the sin of the Golden Calf. Along the Camp of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, in the center (of their camps) was the G-d’s Presence (13th Spiritual center).

Highlights:

  • G-d remembered four Levites in an exiled land. His eye (Ayin) was upon us. His Light “Covering and Shield” protected us. The increased light (our daughter saw a bright light) was a shield and a “double measure.” I do believe my cry out to G-d, like a shofar, rushed mightily through the Heavenly Gates, into our Father’s Divine Throne room and fell upon Hashem’s feet for rachamim.
  • When I desperately cried out to G-d, “G-d please help us, G-d please help us!” I was recently reminded when Miriam was given leprosy for speaking Lashon Hara against Moshe, and his wife, Moshe cried out to Hashem to please heal her, please!” The Father, at the request of Moshe saying “please” twice granted Moshe’s plea. Perhaps my plea was granted by asking with “please” twice? A very profound thought, indeed! But then again, Hashem is Mighty and will answer our pleas. Hashem’s ways are higher.

The surrounded light brought Hashem’s “Set Apart” people to a “Rest.” The sword is mighty of G-d. The Tzitzits are attached to the four corners (remember His commandments) of our garments, and the Four Rivers of Eden pour out from the Throne of Heaven where G-d reigns.

  • The Shechinah (His Presence) is the center of the Universe. Jerusalem is the center of the Earth. One day, we will return home in Jerusalem. Israel is the “Apple of His Eye.”

 

  • “Love” and “Oneness” is the connection that binds the eternal love of G-d and Israel in “Covenant” as His “Set Apart” people. His Thirteen Attributes demonstrate Hashem’s rachamim and compassion. G-d answered our plea, and He stopped the truck from rolling more by reversing the direction of the truck, against gravity, to a “rest.”
  • The G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) is my Beloved, and I am His Beloved.

 

Bringing it together

Earlier, I mentioned in this story that the other driver was mad while speeding. Yes, he was very angry about a life situation he was dealing with. The driver made known that his actions were not an excuse for failing to stop at the stop sign. He admitted to his wrongdoing. I cannot fathom the thought of losing any of my family, or my children being left without their mom or dad, or any of us witnessing the death of the other driver. As you have read prior regarding my son born extremely early, and the hardships he endured, I am extremely grateful his life didn’t end in the rollover accident.

The severity of the impact from both vehicles should have left fatalities! It’s tragic to think how many angry drivers are on the roads and can end up killing lives needlessly. Sadly, death impacts others deeply who have to go on in this life without them. I am so thankful that every one of us was able to walk away. B”H!

It’s important to remember when we leave our Nefesh (flesh/Soul) unchecked by not allowing our spirit within to lead, we can become overheated, like Esau (red and hairy); running wild in the field. When there’s no accountability for our behavior, our “Esaus” lead, and we conform to a beast rather than a “Jacob.” Jacob was a man who studied the Torah in a tent (covering). Do we want to be under Hashem’s covering, shielded and protected?

Hashem loves and desires to protect us. Before the accident, a dear friend of mine, Landra, who has the gift of visions when praying for others shared something she saw while praying for me. I contacted her two days before the accident; asking if there were any changes. She said there had. In the vision, I was standing, worn out and tired with long brown hair and bangs. My body was weak with my hands at my side. I didn’t move, but stared at her (Landra). Beneath me, a daisy flower grew and encircled me. As I stood wearing a long white tunic (down to my feet), the daisy encircled me. I was entwined. The leaves and branches held me when I sat upon the leaves and its supporting stem. I was securely (protected). In front of me, there was a thin ravine, a parting of the ground. It was hardly noticeable. It didn’t concern me. The important part of this vision is that in my weakness I was supported, shielded and protected. She was able to see that I was fully at peace and I wasn’t surprised by any of it.

Was this vision a warning? Was the ravine a separation in the ground during the rollover, skidding from the road, down the embankment into a field (ravine)? Was the stem that entwined a way to alert me that I am held, yet in my weakness, I am supported and protected?

Seven days after the accident the vision changed, slightly. I was no longer held by the daisy. There was no longer a ravine (ground separation); but instead, I was lying down on my right side on top of brown soil. My hands are under my head, sleeping peacefully. The daisy bowed over to protect and shield me by its flower petals (twenty petals, Hebrew meaning of redemption, kaph opened palm; freely giving) and leaves (five leaves, Hebrew meaning of Salvation: I will raise the cup of salvation, Spirit of Power/Gvurah). The covering is pure; protecting me from harshness or storms. I am truly at peace as it’s a resting time that G-d Himself is assuring. Recently, the vision changed somewhat. Hashem has placed me on a new quest– adventurous journey! After jumping over a division of land, I am standing at an alter, holding a stone (river rock) in the palm of my hand. We are called to G-d’s Divine Rulership, to keep and guard the Torah. Hashem is our Rock of Salvation, fortress, and deliver (Psalms/ Tehillim 18:2). Hashem is our high place of refuge (misgav).

I am learning the importance of giving myself time to heal from my concussion. Through a recent session for PTSD, I learned that I can go through the accident step by step to look for the positives by removing the scary negatives (images) that steal my joy. I can talk about the accident; knowing that everyone is safe. Death itself cannot separate me from the love of G-d.

In my PTSD session, it was very helpful to have a different perspective on how to heal; giving myself patience and  reminding myself I can get through this. Stepping back in time, I can imagine a second “June Pamela.”  What would I say to her (stepping back in time) after the accident? Imagine that she hasn’t walked in my recent footsteps yet. She’s shocked and doesn’t know what to expect next. How can I be a good “sister” to her? What can I offer? How will I encourage her? Will she feel loved, safe, and helped with compassion and understanding? Will anyone cover her in prayer? Will anyone daven for her? Will she feel protected and shielded? Can I bless her with what I know now? In other words, will I be patient with myself and see the amazing Attributes of Hashem, His strength, and power to heal me? Yes! Positive words heal.

Rebbe Lubavitcher elegantly addressed his response to a tragedy regarding healing. He states, “I was placed in this unfathomably challenging situation for a purpose and I’ve been given the strength to overcome it.” G-d gives us the strength needed so that we can be overcomers with Hashem’s help. We are given a journey that takes us into the Wilderness. It’s a time of hardship, uneven ground, stumbling rocks, dryness, uncertainties, challenges, sadness, and tragedies.

During this time, we are stripped of our self-seeking ways. We learn to rely on G-d for our provisions. This is our journey; a path that allows us the choice to follow Hashem’s Way, to trust, and believe that G-d is our Protector and Shield.

Time has been given so that we can come to Hashem; seeking Teshuva (repentance by returning to our Father) which is finding Life in Hashem. Will we choose Life? Rabbi Gartner teaches us to look toward the Torah to find perspective on our inner self by asking what we can learn from the Ancient Torah of Wisdom (Chokmah). He reminds us that the ultimate good is experiencing G-dliness. We will find Hashem’s righteousness when we can truthfully ask ourselves if our heart, in its current condition, can house G-d.

Rabbi Gartner asks, “What are the influences of your Father’s House?” Our purpose is to go through our journey; trusting Hashem has given us the needed provisions, to overcome our trials and tribulations, to serve others (mitzvoth/deeds), to do good, seek forgiveness, and return to Hashem with Teshuvah. We will never taste the goodness of G-dliness if we will not allow ourselves to align with the Divinity of Hashem; having a change of heart.

We receive healing when we respect others, have a sense of belonging to family and friendships, feel safe, and have food, clothing, shelter and rest. Our life is found IN the Torah. G-d is the Giver and the doorway to Life. He separates darkness with Light (Torah) and Truth (Emet). He gives us rest, a shield, protection and a covering. He forgives our sins upon repentance; giving us opportunities to choose life in Him. He is the center and the Shechinah (Divine Presence) of the Universe. Hashem IS Compassion, Justice, Mercy, and Loving-kindness (chesed). Let’s remember that everything that comes our way, we can be certain it’s Gam zu’ l’tovah—this too is for the best.

“Hashem opened two doors–one in Shamayim (upper heavens), and one in the heart of man. When one opens his heart for the needs of his fellow man, then the corresponding door of Shamayim is opened to hear his cry.”[7]

G-d is my strength and my shield. He is my refuge. My hope is found in Him.

  • G-d is strength
  • G-d is a shield
  • G-d is refuge
  • G-d is hope

Shalom!

 

[1] Isaiah/ Yeshayah 22:22, Sefaria

[2] Isaiah/ Yeshayah 9:6, Sefaria

[3] Psalms/ Tehilliam 42:12, Sefaria

[4] https://www.jcfhartford.org/NewsEvents/ViewArticle/tabid/171/smid/619/ArticleID/62/reftab/170/Default.aspx

[5] Jewish Wisdom in Numbers, pg. 228, Osher Chaim Levene with Rabbi Yehoshua Hartman

[6] Deuteronomy/ Devarim 28:10, Sefaria

[7]  On the Shoulders of Giants, by Rabbi Shmuel Bloom, pg.115

 

 

 

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In Flight for Life!

In Flight for Life!

This story is very personal. It is more than a story. It’s a place in time when a person’s direction in life is changed forever. It’s a journey that throws one directly into the wilderness and the landing isn’t soft. It’s a life that’s hard, dry, lonely, tragic, heart-wrenching, broken, and shattered. The journey is difficult when we feel alone. It’s a place where very few people are willing to walk along your side—yes; we have been forgotten by many. The amazing love Hashem has for us can be found in the treasured people He places in our path Hashem assigns to help on our journey. During our trials, we may witness amazing miracles with a new joy found. We are not asked to understand, we’re called to trust in Hashem and to have Emunah (faith). Hashem will never abandon nor forsake us.

“Be strong and resolute, be not in fear or in dread of them; for the LORD your G-d Himself marches with you: He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy/ Devarim 31:6)[1]

Abraham was the first Jew who had a Jewish mindset. He accepted whatever trials were sent by G-d in faith and responded with obedience, without questioning. Western (Greek) thought is worldwide. Greek mindset in America demands to know the reasons why…why…why… and what’s in it for me? Greek philosophy crept in after Aristotle and Augustine developed a foundation in Greek philosophy into Western thought. Hellenistic philosophy developed after Aristotle attempted to merge Plato with mixed Biblical concepts. While Greek thought teaches the student to be concerned for himself, look out for number one, it redefines “knowledge” with teachings that draws man away from G-d. Jewish thought draws man to G-d, away from self-indulgence and Replacement Theology teachings. Having a Jewish mindset understands the Heavens declare the Glory of G-d and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. (Psalms/ Tehillim 19:1)

It’s important to train up our children in Judaism, and to love learning with a desire to seek what is righteous in the eyes of G-d. Having a Jewish mindset is “G-d centered,” understanding Hashem has the final Authority in all things. We should strive to learn with a Jewish mindset; understanding the chiasms in the Tanakh and Jewish writings. It’s important to keep the Tanakh in context by understanding what first mention is (a word may be written in the later books that was mentioned prior). It’s foundational to look back in earlier writings to receive “understanding.” Have Americans lost the real value of trusting Hashem when challenges arrive? Who or what do we turn to when our world becomes turned upside-down? Will we praise G-d in all things that are only in our favor or not? How do we respond when our life is instantly pulled from underneath us? Will we allow ourselves to see His Light in all things?

Let’s begin the Journey:

Twins! We were having twins. My father was a twin and my husband’s father was a twin. What other news could be more exciting? This is usually the time a mom begins to think of look-alike clothing, two cribs, two highchairs, two of everything. The parents gleefully start making preparations for more children on board.

In the twenty-fourth week gestation everything changed!  The doctor wasn’t alarmed when I placed a call reporting that I was losing amniotic fluid. He said a small amount can be normal, especially with twins that generally seal up. The next morning I was passing blood. My husband and I headed to the Emergency Room. I prayed during the way there. Baruch Hashem, G-d had a different doctor in mind that just happened to be on call at the hospital on our arrival. Dr. Bexar* [2]is one of the best OBGYN doctors in my state. His love and compassion, as well as expertise were incredible. After the ultrasound verified the twins were coming they began treatments to stop the bleeding and contractions. The pressure was unbelievably painful. The injections didn’t work; the twins were on their way. There is an enormous risk being born naturally premature. They could die being too fragile and tiny to survive the pressure of the birth canal. The ultrasound revealed the feet of one of the twins had already entered the birth canal, and one of the twins had hydrocephalus.

Fifteen minutes were given to make a decision! If they were born naturally, both would die. By caesarean-section, they would have a life-given chance! We chose life to give them every opportunity to live. On the table in the surgery room, going under anesthesia, the doctor and I counted backwards together as he held up his fingers– Ten…nine…eight…sevvv… (I’m asleep). Our beautiful twins were born; hearts beating with faint cries. Into the hands of exceptional doctors, hand-picked from the Hand of G-d, Dr. Goldstein *[3], a pediatrician, who was on the delivery twin- team would become a big part of our son’s life in years to come.

Dr. Bexar reported that a separate mass was found and believed to have been a triplet that at some point stopped growing. In the first trimester, I had experienced some unusual cramping that stopped after a day or two. Perhaps the triplet died and my body picked up messages that a life was over, but with twins, the chemistry became strong enough to send a message there’s still Life with my pregnancy. If so, we will see her/him in our next life to embrace, along with loving on Travis.

“It was You who created my conscience; You fashioned me in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am awesomely, wondrously made; Your work is wonderful; I know it very well. My frame was not concealed from You when I was shaped in a hidden place, knit together in the recesses of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed limbs; they were all recorded in Your book; in due time they were formed, to the very last one of them.” (Psalms/ Tehillim 139: 13-16)[4]

Hidden and concealed – protection, covering, hedged in:

  • Soul- Nefesh

Awakened to echoing voices in the background in the Recovery room, I discovered our hearing (Shema) senses return before vision.

  • Hashem called us (my husband and I) on this journey. We answered Hashem’s call as “doers.”
  • Shema (hearing) – “Na’aseh v’nishma”—we will do and we will hear. (Exodus 19:8) The giving of the Torah. Our Wilderness begins!

The Storm

The storm came in two waves; physically and spiritually. Because the hospital wasn’t equipped for extreme premature babies weighing in the one-pound range, Life-Flight was called. Our babies were to be flown to a children’s hospital, out of state.

While waiting for Life-Flight, I was wheeled into the NICU on a gurney; giving the names of the twins with the correct spelling. They were too little to be held; thankfully, we were able to hold their tiny hands. Their tiny and delicate hands were the size of a man’s thumb—delicate, fragile, and precious!

The flight was almost canceled due to the horrific storms. With Hashem’s help, the pilots flew in-between storms, keeping perfect timing. There was one massive storm cloud in front, one behind. Life-flight flew in between the storms for its safe and precise arrival and departure.

Our beautiful twins were brought to my room; incubated in isoletts, ventilated, and on monitors. We were given treasured time before they left; not knowing if we’d see them alive again. My parents, sister, and her husband, headed to the children’s hospital during horrible road blizzard conditions with whiteouts. It was better for loved ones to be with our twins. Time was an essence. Life is precious!

The first night unable to hold my beautiful twins, undetermined how long they would live, or if I would see them alive was almost too much to bear. My sister-in-law drove through a mountainous storm to be by my side. After she left, a nurse sat by my side through the long hard nights when suddenly “the call” was transferred into my room during the second night. Travis was placed on complete life-support. His heart had stopped twice. They used the crash-cart to sustain him. My heart was breaking (I am in tears again, twenty-six years later). The medical team would do their best to keep them alive until my husband and I could arrive. Shawn, the smallest at one pound, four ounces, wasn’t out of the woods either. They both were fighting for their lives.

At last, I was allowed to leave—a day early. Considering my mother was the Head Director of the Women’s Center in the hospital, there wasn’t any reason to delay my discharge.

The Community Meeting

Upon arrival at the children’s hospital, we were allowed to see our babies before we were led into a private room for their “community meeting.” Community meetings gather the medical team with the parents to discuss the patient’s condition (weaknesses and strengths) to make a game plan; not limited to considerations with different probabilities and scenarios. It didn’t take long to figure out the complexity ideals held by some professionals assigned to the team. In other words, not all on board were believers in the miracles of G-d. Throughout the years ahead we would meet doctors who didn’t believe Hashem’s Light was going to shine through our twins—spiritually and physically!

Through prayers and all considerations given, we knew the direction Hashem was taking us before entering the room with the medical team. After listening, additional time given for prayers with family after being consulted, we knew the decision. Travis’ brain had completely bled to a grade four, meaning his life could not be sustainable without life support. Our hearts broke knowing Travis would die through painful suffering. He was in a cubical room full of equipment—full capacity. Shawn’s brain bleed was a grade two, and if shunted, he could have a chance to live—though we were given two years. Travis would come off life-support, return to Hashem, and Shawn would remain in this world—in flight for life!

Travis was removed from all equipment, other than the heart monitor. In a swaddling blanket, Travis was gently handed to me. They said he would pass away in just a few minutes. After a few minutes he was still with us. We gently took turns holding Travis. He was bruised from being so little during the delivery process. His beautiful face resembled much fear and pain. My family who gathered around my husband, Travis, and me were my parents, sister, and her husband.

Hashem had given me the time needed to say “goodbye.” In earth time, we were given forty-five minutes. But eternally, it was outside of time. In other words, time outside of space and time doesn’t exist the same way our clocks do. The moment Travis was placed in my arms time stopped. It was as if our Creator moved us out of the earthly realm (of time) and into an area outside of time.

The forty-five minutes was eternal, no time, as if we were holding on to Travis forever. Cradling him in my arms, my tears were bittersweet. It was heavenly to hold him; yet, I knew he had to go on without me. I had to accept he couldn’t be with us at this time. It was heart-wrenching to let go knowing the separation would be long-suffering on this side of life. However, he would rejoice in his spirit (Ruach) returning to Hashem. The feeling of eternal time sent us back to real time. I knew it was time to let go and say “goodbye” for now. Holding him alive in my arms would soon end.

Through tearful eyes and a weakened voice, I told Travis it was OK for him to go  knowing G-d would take care of him. An amazing miracle happened—gifted just for me to see. There was a miraculous glowing LIGHT that radiated around Travis’ head, like an aura. His face was no longer in fear or in pain. His countenance lifted. His face began to radiate with Hashem’s healing light of glory, surrounding his head. Travis was received by Hashem as his beautiful spirit returned. Travis took his last breath on earth and “crossed over” into Paradise to be with G-d, our Creator.

It’s substantial to understand what Hashem can reveal intimately on a deeper level during our lifespan when we choose to follow Him. Every person conceived has the Spirit of G-d (spark) given with a story to tell. Our Father, our Creator, is miraculous and every conceived human life will have his/her given Torah Parasha. Torah Portions are true stories of the Tanakh that our ancestors endured—to be remembered. Every week throughout the year “Parasha’s” are studied and read that have the Divine Presence (Hashem) with in-depth messages that are meaningful to man.

Let’s look at the connections:

“Travis”: English and French that means “To Cross” and “At the Crossroads;” given to toll collectors who stood by a bridge or crossing.”

“Shawn”: Hebrew name meaning: G-d is gracious.

Travis was born at the crossroads of life by way of the bridge to cross over the rivers into Paradise. Shawn reminds us that G-d is gracious and Hashem graciously placed Shawn in our care; illuminating the Light of Hashem for those who are willing to “see” and “hear” the miracles and see the loving-kindness (Chesed) of Hashem. Shawn, like his sisters, both have a “shen” (Sh) in their names that means “tooth” – crushing the enemy to bring Shalom. A tooth also sharpens, and it’s on the Mezuzah. Our youngest daughter’s name means “Virtuous” and “Shining Israelite”, “Shiny Jew”, and “nes” means miracle. A miracle from Hashem brings forth His Light– Torah!  Hashem is our Redeemer who crushes the enemy for His victory! Powerful!

Crosswinds, separation of “Twins”

Our hearts were torn. One baby has passed, and our other baby was in for the fight of his life. With alarms sounding off, the parting of Travis, Shawn could sense a part of him was gone (strong Levite souls). To our amazement, all of the nurses in the room gathered together in a line (like angels); dividing the link between our twins—blocking communication waves. We were informed when a twin sense their twin died, they stop thriving with a higher possibility to leave as well. With Hashem’s help, Shawn gained the strength needed to continue his journey. Hashem’s Light was shining Hashem’s Glory for all to see.

Crossing over: 

Abraham crossed over Mesopotamia to Canaan. He was the first person to be called a “Jew.” Through faith and obedience, Abraham answered Hashem’s call; “crossing over ” from a life of idol worship of g-ds to a new life that would bring honor and glory to the Most High G-d.

When one crosses over a river, they leave their old life behind while passing through to a new life. This reflects a connection to conception and the seed making its way through the waters; leaving behind its old life to seek a new life [through the water]. Israel waits for the crossing over of the man’s old life, marking its target (Torah) on their new home.

Moses and the Israelites crossed the Reed Sea. Joshua and the Israelites crossed the River Jordan into the Promised Land. Travis was in the waters of my womb. His feet came through the birth canal, like our ancestors’ feet that were set upon the Reed Sea. Travis was called back home to our Father and Creator; passing through the waters that cross over into Paradise. His souls were too perfect for this world.

G-d is Merciful/Gracious 

Shawn surprised the medical team on several occasions; surviving surgical procedures early on. He went through times of seizures, long term illnesses, and multiple shunt revisions that sent us back to the children’s hospital on Life-Flight numerous times. Through “trial and error” with shunt revisions for hydrocephalus [Shawn was the smallest infant to have attempted and succeeded at the time]; his procedures were written into medical journals. Today, through the pathway of Shawn, smaller infants have successful shunt surgeries, less time in NICU.

There were times of uncertainty during long and stressful recovery periods for shunt revisions, but with the rachamim (mercy) of Hashem, Shawn miraculously came through. My husband and I spent countless hours traveling out of state to the children’s hospital. I stayed with Shawn while my husband went back home to work, meeting up with us on weekends. Once during Shawn’s later part of his first year, he was flown to NICU back home; anticipating his stay to be low key. While there, he joyfully received frequent visits from his Grandma, who just happened to be the Head Director of the Women’s Center. Shawn loved to hear Grandma’s voice. They were very blessed to have been given that precious time together. Over time, his shunts failed. It was discovered cabin pressure from commercial airlines caused shunt failure. He was Life flown back to the children’s hospital (out of state). Throughout his life, there have been many shunt failures and emergency Life- Flights. I was blessed to have had my Mom accompany me on one of those flights. I usually went alone while my husband and our daughter drove to meet us.

There was one particular time we (my husband, daughter and I) were planning to join my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and their daughter for vacation. My sister and her family live over one thousand miles away. Shawn’s shunts failed suddenly, rerouting our rendezvous, having side-by-side motel rooms near the children’s hospital. My Dad sat up his keyboard in the hotel room. We shared our time visiting Shawn, and found joy with my Dad’s music played and songs sung.

Throughout his amazing life, Shawn has given hope to many; glowing with the Light of Hashem that continues to shine within and outward. His youngest sister loves and adores Shawn. She has always been by his side, helping and catering to his needs in his “quiet world.”  They truly are a gift to one another, a blessing.

More connections:

The twins were born in the month of June, rather, Sivan. Sivan, on the Jewish calendar, means the month of “Twins.” Ironically, my father was a twin, as well as my husband’s father. All three of these twin sets were blessed to be born in the Jewish month of Sivan—the month of Twins! How amazing and wondrous is Hashem?!

Torah Parasha: Shlach L’chah (Numbers/ Bamidbar 13-15)—The Twelves spies, two had a Good Report. Two is a separation of upper (Heavenly) and lower (earthly) waters—Creation Day Two.

Travis crossed over, left earth (passed over) through the waters with a clean record (Good Report). Shawn (G-d is Merciful/Gracious) continues to teach us HOPE, and to see the rachamim of Hashem so that we can learn how to have a Good Report [in our lives] for the Father; walking in the Wilderness as Hashem’s Chosen Ones for His Glory. Will we hear (Shema) and obey our Father? Will we walk in the path Hashem gives for our good?

Let’s dig a little deeper:

The Jewish month Sivan was the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai through Moses. Moses was the third born son (Amram and Yocheved, his parents). Sivan is the third month. Day Three of creation is a gathering of land having trees and plants with fruit-bearing seeds (life). Trees (Etz in Hebrew) have growth rings which look very similar to the fingerprints of humans. Hashem’s “fingerprints” are a gift for us to see His Creation and believe in our Creator. Torah brings unity between man and Hashem.

Genesis 2:22 teaches, And the LORD G-d fashioned the rib that He had taken from the man into a woman; and He brought her to the man.” Adam and Chavah (Eve) were made to be equal. Chavah was not designed from Adam’s heel to under her mate’s heel, but from his side (rib). When we look closer at this we realize G-d, Adam, and Chavah (Eve) were three; yet, man and woman are designed to be ‘One Flesh.” When we include G-d in our marriage, the three becomes ONE accord: Hashem—Man (father)—Female (mother).

There are three elements of man/woman:

  • Nefesh (soul/flesh that is shared with animals, creation day six).
  • Ruach (Spirit, the breath Hashem that places us above animals).
  • Neshamah (the soul part of G-d–His Sparks).

More Threes

The Talmud:

“Blessed is the Merciful One, who gave a three-part Torah, to a three-part nation, through a third, in the third month.” [5]

Rashi directs us to observe in the Torah having three parts:

  • Chumash
  • Prophets
  • Writings

Three Groups of the Israel Nation:

  • Kohanim
  • Levites
  • Israelites

The Three Pilgrimages:

  • Pesach (Light separated the darkness- brought out of the bondage of Egypt)
  • Shavuot (Torah given)
  • Sukkot (Completion with Sabbath Rest)

We serve the G-d of:

  • Abraham
  • Isaac
  • Jacob (Israel) – Israel, third, eternal connection.

Bringing it together:

The upper and lower water was Day Two of Creation. The upper and lower waters were a separation. Two is a division, and three is unity. When G-d walked in the Garden with Adam and Chavah, the three were united. When Adam and Chavah sinned they were separated from G-d.  There was no longer unity; tragically, only two opposing sides. But with G-d involved the opposing sides found unity.

A triangle has three sides; yet, it remains ONE shape. The two opposing sides cannot continue to be separated with the third involved (Eternal connection). Zvi Ryzman teaches us that having the third side added to the opposing sides diametrically brings unity. Three can no longer have a representation of two (separation by opposing sides). “But if one takes two opposites—Black and white—and adds a third color, red, the third color will fall somewhere between the two opposites and connect them.”[6]

  • Red—symbolic to the soil (earth) Esau (Edom, red and hairy).
  • White—white light shun in a prism will light up all seven rainbow colors, Eternal, Pure.
  • Black—onyx stone is one of the twelves stones upon the Breastplate. It can be layered black, white and red. Faith and Truth.

Creation Day Two is a separation of the upper and lower waters; however, there is a connection of unity that is eternal with Hashem. Man alone will always oppose one another. Keeping Torah is a Lamp (Light) before our feet. When we walk in His Light (Torah), we guard the Torah and keep connected to Hashem in covenant.

The Levites banner of color is 1/3 Black, 1/3 White, 1/3 Red – A huge connection! They (Levite Priests) were called by Hashem to bring man into unity with G-d through the Torah. The Levites were given the Priesthood (Kohen Gadol) because it was the tribe of Levi who refused to partake in the worship of the Golden Calf. Jewish tradition teaches that none of the women participated in the worship of the Golden Calf either.

“Moses stood up in the gate of the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come here!” And all the Levites rallied to him.” (Exodus/ Shemot 32:26)[7]

The Levites stepped forward. The Levites did not fall into spiritual adultery or idolatry. They took hold of Hashem. G-d called upon the Jews to bring the Torah to the Nations. They guarded (upheld) the Torah—the Light (Ohr) and Truth (Emet) that gathers man spirituality; exposing darkness that separates man from Hashem.

Hashem commanded the Mishkan (Tabernacle) to be built by the Children of Israel by using “Kerashim” (planks) from acacia trees. Acacia trees do not bend. Jacob (Yaakov) planted them in Egypt, and upon the Israelites leaving in the Exodus, they cut the trees down and took the wood into the Wilderness. The Mishkan was the resting place for the Shechinah—Divine Presence. Hashem desires to dwell with us. The Divine Presence, Torah, and Israel are three bonded together as ONE– Echad. They will NEVER be separated. We, too, are to be that “Mishkan” for the Divine Presence to dwell in us so that our mini menorahs can be lit to shine Hashem’s Light for others to see.

Looking back, we can see that the Levites are in the second line-up of the three. It’s remarkable the amazing intimate treasures Hashem revealed during this chapter! In the division, the upper and lower waters, Travis passed over (the waters) into Paradise, and Shawn (Hebrew name) fills in the gap; shining Torah (G-d is merciful and gracious) for those who will hear (Shema) and see.

“Also, if one attacks, two can stand up to him. A threefold cord is not readily broken!” (Ecclesiastes/ Kohelet 4:12)[8]

 

Shalom!

 

[1] Deuteronomy/ Devarim 31:6, Sefaria

[2] Name changed for privacy.

[3] Name changed for privacy.

[4] Psalms/ Tehillim 139: 13-16, Sefaria

[5] Shabbos 88a

[6] The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months, Zvi Ryzman p. 309 (Rabbinic teachings)

[7] Exodus/ Shemot 32:26, Sefaria

[8] Ecclesiastes/ Kohelet 4:12, Sefaria

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Shemot/Shemos (Names)

Shemot/ Shemos (Names)

Exodus 1:1-6:1

Isaiah 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23 (Haftarah)

As we continue our journey in the Torah Portions, we will have a better understanding of why “Names” are important to Hashem. The ones who love and give glory to Hashem, their names become very important to HIM.

It is amazing how Genesis and Exodus are tied together! As we delve into this Parshah you’ll be able to see the connections in the Creation Story. Hashem separated the light from the darkness, and it happened again in Exodus when Hashem separated the Israelites (with light), and Mitsrayim (Egypt) with darkness.  As we study these Portions, you’ll often see a phrase that is used often: seeing, saw, or to see. It is more than just seeing with the eyes, but to actually see within, taking notice, and having empathy for others.

I find the following connections (patterns) very exciting: The Ark that Noah built under the direction of Elokim and the Ark (basket) that Moses floated in, in the reeds were both covered in tar and pitch—the exact same substance! Moses, as a baby, floated along the Nile in the reeds, and when Elokim used him as the Deliverer, they were taken through the water—the Reed Sea.

Looking back, when Joseph (Yosef) was in Egypt with his family, life was good. They were taken very well care of so why would they want to go to the Promised Land? Isn’t it interesting to note that we tend to be like that too? When life is going great and everything seems to be going our way (in our comfort zone), do we like to be moved into a different place or given a different agenda? Hummmm.

Let’s continue on our exciting study of Moshe (Moses) in Exodus and see what it is that Hashem calls for.

~These are the names of the people who are exiting Mitsrayim (Egypt) ~

“‘These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each coming with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. The total number of persons that were of Jacob’s issue came to seventy, Joseph being already in Egypt. Joseph died, and all his brothers, and all that generation. But the Israelites were fertile and prolific; they multiplied and increased very greatly, so that the land was filled with them. A new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are much too numerous for us. Let us deal shrewdly with them, so that they may not increase; otherwise in the event of war they may join our enemies in fighting against us and rise from the ground.” So they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor; and they built garrison cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Raamses. But the more they were oppressed, the more they increased and spread out, so that the [Egyptians] came to dread the Israelites. The Egyptians ruthlessly imposed upon the Israelites the various labors that they made them perform. Ruthlessly they made life bitter for them with harsh labor at mortar and bricks and with all sorts of tasks in the field. The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, saying, “When you deliver the Hebrew women, look at the birthstool: if it is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” The midwives, fearing G-d, did not do as the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live. So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, letting the boys live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women: they are vigorous. Before the midwife can come to them, they have given birth.” And G-d dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and increased greatly. And because the midwives feared G-d, He established households for them. Then Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, “Every boy that is born you shall throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.’” (Exodus 1:1-22)[1]

The Pharaoh decreed all of the baby boys to be cast into the river, but to keep the female children. To cast out is a very strong word as in to “throw out the trash.”  A decree to kill children is a very evil act; having much violence, fear, and hate. The meaning behind the name of “Pharaoh” is “The mouth of evil being spoken. “Pharaoh’s name isn’t mentioned, but the names of the two Hebrew midwives, Shifrah and Pu‘ah, mean Shofar and Beautiful. The midwives were given an order to kill all baby boys born. That would have been very scary and tragic, but they had a greater fear for Elokim. They refused to kill the baby boys. The Israelites grew abundantly and multiplied.

The women of Israel actually set the foundation….

Pharaoh’s plans for the annihilation of the Israelite children are defeated by women—the human feelings of the midwives, and the tender sympathy of a woman of a royal birth, and a sister’s watchfulness in extremity. It was to the merit of the pious women that Israel owed it’s redemption in Egypt, say the Rabbis.”[4]

A side note: Indecently on the count of “70” descendants, the mother of Moses was the “70th” (69 +1).  Yocheved, birth mother of Moshe (Moses), was the daughter of Levi. Yocheved was married to Amram (grandson of Levi). Because of the age of Moses’ mother (130 years), she married her nephew (Amram) for a man young enough to father children [Yocheved was older than the age of Sarah when Sarah conceived]. Aaron was born three years earlier than Moses, Miriam was the oldest sibling. Moses was born just as they arrived in Mitsrayim (Egypt). Moses was born circumcised. Later on, Moses married Zipporah, who would later circumcise their son to save the life of Moses.

Yocheved in Hebrew means “Glory of G-d”. Moses’ father’s name, Amram, means “An exalted people.” Moses’ name was Egyptian, but Jews give names to their sons on the eighth day during circumcision. His Jewish name is believed to be “Tovia.” He was a “Goodly” child.

 When the Glory of G-d is wed (Bride) with the exalted people (His Chosen) Redemption is our New Beginnings, called GOOD.

Yocheved could no longer hide her baby after three months (Moshe was three months premature). She made a wicker ark, coated it with tar and pitch, and laid the baby boy in the basket in the reeds of the river. She sent Miriam, his sister, to keep watch to where the ark went. The Pharaoh’s daughter was down at the river to wash (Mikvah). When she saw something floating, she sent her maidservant to get it. When the Pharaoh’s daughter opened up the wicker ark, saw a weeping baby, she took compassion upon the child and said, “This is one of the children of the Hebrews.” The sister of the baby asked if she should go and call for a wet nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child. Of course, she said “yes.” Interesting that the Egyptian women would have never done that, but a blessing they didn’t! Miriam fetched her mom.

The Pharaoh’s daughter told the woman to take the baby, nurse him, and to bring him to her when he no longer needed to be nursed. She paid her wages. The mother brought Moshe back to the Pharaoh’s daughter when he was older. He became the Pharaoh’s daughter’s son by adoption, named Moshe “Because I have drawn him out of the water.”

When Moses had grown and became great, he had empathy for others. He was able to set aside his “role” and have understanding and compassion for the feelings of others—he noticed!

He looked and noticed the burdens of the Hebrew slaves. He saw a Mitsrian (Egyptian) striking (whip) a Hebrew slave (his brother)/ Moshe looked this way and that way, smote the Egyptian, and buried him in the sand. And the next day, he broke-up a fight between two Hebrews (it would seem he wanted to resolve matters, keep others from being oppressed, and desired people to live in harmony). But when they asked Moses who made him the judge, and if he was going to kill them like the Egyptian, Moses became fearful that the Pharaoh would kill him and he fled to Midian. As he sat by the well in Midian, the priest’s (seven) daughters came to their father’s well to draw water, they poured water into the troughs to water the flock. Some shepherds arrived and drove them away, but Moshe stood up, helped the women, and watered their flock.

 “When they returned to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come back so soon today?” They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds; he even drew water for us and watered the flock.” He said to his daughters, “Where is he then? Why did you leave the man? Ask him in to break bread.” Moses consented to stay with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah as wife. She bore a son whom he named Gershom, for he said, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land.” A long time after that, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites were groaning under the bondage and cried out; and their cry for help from the bondage rose up to G-d. G-d heard their moaning, and G-d remembered His covenant with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. G-d looked upon the Israelites, and G-d took notice of them.” (Exodus 2: 18-25)[2]

Re’u’el is a title of Yitro- meaning “Friend of G-d.”

 

“‘Now Moses, tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, drove the flock into the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of G-d. An angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire out of a bush. He gazed, and there was a bush all aflame, yet the bush was not consumed. Moses said, “I must turn aside to look at this marvelous sight; why doesn’t the bush burn up?” When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to look, G-d called to him out of the bush: “Moses! Moses!” He answered, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not come closer. Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am,” He said, “the G-d of your father, the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at G-d. And the LORD continued, “I have marked well the plight of My people in Egypt and have heeded their outcry because of their taskmasters; yes, I am mindful of their sufferings. I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians and to bring them out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the region of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now the cry of the Israelites has reached Me; moreover, I have seen how the Egyptians oppress them. Come, therefore, I will send you to Pharaoh, and you shall free My people, the Israelites, from Egypt.” But Moses said to G-d, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and free the Israelites from Egypt?” And He said, “I will be with you; that shall be your sign that it was I who sent you. And when you have freed the people from Egypt, you shall worship G-d at this mountain.” Moses said to G-d, “When I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The G-d of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And G-d said to Moses, “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh.” He continued, “Thus shall you say to the Israelites, ‘Ehyeh sent me to you.’” And G-d said further to Moses, “Thus shall you speak to the Israelites: The LORD, the G-d of your fathers, the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob, has sent me to you: This shall be My name forever, This My appellation for all eternity.’” (Exodus 3:1-15)[3]

Hashem SAW that Moshe looked and saw the bush burning, yet Moshe NOTICED it was not being consumed. He didn’t just walk by it…. Not only did Hashem reveal to Moshe who He was by stating the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob (Israel), but Hashem told Moshe His Name, which was never revealed to Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob.

This is my name forever; this is how I am to be remembered generation after generation.

WOW!! This is so powerful, and so humbling. Hashem’s name is above all others, Creator of all things– seen and unseen. Hashem wants us to personally know, believe, trust and love Him.

As I mentioned earlier, some may not want to be moved from their comfort zone. They may be too prideful, fearful, or set in their own “beliefs.” Only the Ruach ha’Kodesh (Holy Spirit) can set their hearts on Hashem. The Pharaoh was set in his ways, and his arrogance and pride hardened his heart from allowing Hashem to teach him differently (though he learned later—the hard way).

We need to remain teachable so that our hearts don’t harden from learning Torah.

At the burning bush, Moshe was given Hashem’s word that He would be with Moses, and would be his voice. He said, “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/will be what I am/will be].” Hashem wanted Moses to be sure to tell the children of Israel that G-d has surly visited himThey would then know Elohim has sent the deliverer as Joseph told the people before he died –that Hashem would surly visit them and they would carry his (Joseph’s) bones out of Egypt. So this phrase was a secret code Pakod Pakadeti—I remember I remember!  I have remembered to take you out of Egypt and to bring you all to Eretz Yisrael. And they would know it was true!

The amazing thing about this is the Children of Israel knew Moses had a speech impediment (his lips were burned with hot coals as a toddler), with Moses saying this Hebrew word, Pakod Pakadeti , perfectly, they saw a miracle had taken place!

“‘But Moses spoke up and said, “What if they do not believe me and do not listen to me, but say: The LORD did not appear to you?” The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he replied, “A rod.” He said, “Cast it on the ground.” He cast it on the ground and it became a snake; and Moses recoiled from it. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Put out your hand and grasp it by the tail”—he put out his hand and seized it, and it became a rod in his hand— “that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob, did appear to you.” The LORD said to him further, “Put your hand into your bosom.” He put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, his hand was encrusted with snowy scales! And He said, “Put your hand back into your bosom.”—He put his hand back into his bosom; and when he took it out of his bosom, there it was again like the rest of his body.— “And if they do not believe you or pay heed to the first sign, they will believe the second. And if they are not convinced by both these signs and still do not heed you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and it—the water that you take from the Nile—will turn to blood on the dry ground.’” (Exodus 4:1-9)[4]

I need to point out some interesting connections:

  1. Did you notice that Moshe “fled from the serpent” in fear and Elokim wanted him to overcome the serpent; yet in Genesis, the serpent ruled over man by trickery? We need to trust that Hashem has everything in His power! Interesting spin on this!
  2. There are (3) signs Hashem speaks of that will come into play. G-d is a G-d of patterns. Hashem gave three signs for the Pharaoh to see: The staff (serpent), healing of the hand and water turned to blood.

Let’s look a little more:

“‘But Moses said to the LORD, “Please, O Lord, I have never been a man of words, either in times past or now that You have spoken to Your servant; I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” And the LORD said to him, “Who gives man speech? Who makes him dumb or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go, and I will be with you as you speak and will instruct you what to say.” But he said, “Please, O Lord, make someone else Your agent.” The LORD became angry with Moses, and He said, “There is your brother Aaron the Levite. He, I know, speaks readily. Even now he is setting out to meet you, and he will be happy to see you. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth—I will be with you and with him as you speak, and tell both of you what to do— and he shall speak for you to the people. Thus he shall serve as your spokesman, with you playing the role of G-d to him, and take with you this rod, with which you shall perform the signs.” Moses went back to his father-in-law Jether and said to him, “Let me go back to my kinsmen in Egypt and see how they are faring.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” The LORD said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who sought to kill you are dead.” So Moses took his wife and sons, mounted them on an ass, and went back to the land of Egypt; and Moses took the rod of G-d with him. And the LORD said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the marvels that I have put within your power. I, however, will stiffen his heart so that he will not let the people go.’” (Exodus 4:10-21) [5]

Do we sometimes feel as though we are not qualified to be called as Hashem’s servant?  We tend to forget Hashem doesn’t call the qualified. He calls those who are available and willing. Why do we limit Hashem’s power to perform miracles through us? He called Moshe by name, showed him signs, and yet, Hashem’s power was still questioned. We do not always trust the ONE who created us. Our Nefesh (flesh) cannot see or know what is spiritual because the Nefesh only knows what is carnal. It’s important that we place our Nefesh under our heel, allow Hashem to lead, and always trust Hashem ways are good. When we allow fear to rise up, we cannot function correctly; giving into the adversary (Evil Inclination).

How many times have we said to Hashem “I can’t do it, I am not qualified, send someone else?” Let’s be mindful and trust our Creator has a purpose and a plan for each and everyone one of us. Hashem loves and wants to bless us with great rewards.  I think Moshe felt very intimidated having a speech impediment, unknowingly to what he was actually doing; placing his problems above Hashem’s capabilities (pride).

When G-d “hardened” Pharaoh’s heart, in the Hebrew, “hardened” means to strengthen. Elohim didn’t want the Pharaoh to give up his challenge and just let G-d have His way out of fear. Hashem wanted Pharaoh to have a change of heart, to turn his direction to Hashem’s way, and to repent. Hashem knew Pharaoh would need the strength to able to stand up against G-d without feeling fearful. Hashem “strengthened/ chazak” Pharaoh’s heart. The difference is: G-d strengthened Pharaoh’s heart, and when Pharaoh hardened his own heart, he let pride and arrogance rule him.

The Israelites only experienced the first three signs, while Egypt experienced the last seven as well. The Israelites were given light; they were covered (protected) while Egypt was not under Hashem’s covering. Of course, the lamb’s blood and blood from the circumcised males were placed on the door posts for death to Passover. Pesach is one of the commanded festivals to be kept for all generations. Hashem separates before the in-gathering.

I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you…

Then the humble shall have increasing joy through the LORD, And the neediest of men shall exult In the Holy One of Israel. For the tyrant shall be no more, The scoffer shall cease to be; And those diligent for evil shall be wiped out, Who cause men to lose their lawsuits, Laying a snare for the arbiter at the gate, And wronging by falsehood Him who was in the right. Assuredly, thus said the LORD to the House of Jacob, Who redeemed Abraham: No more shall Jacob be shamed, No longer his face grow pale. For when he—that is, his children—behold what My hands have wrought in his midst, they will hallow My name. Men will hallow the Holy One of Jacob And stand in awe of the God of Israel.”  (Isaiah 29: 19-23)[6]

We have worked through this Parshah. Hopefully, more connections were made. It is so humbling and amazing how much love Hashem has for us. It is hard to understand how a G-d with so much Power and Glory, WHO is full of Majesty, loves us with an indescribable compassion. Very humbling.

Shalom!

 

 

[1] Exodus 1:1-22, Sefaria

[2] Exodus 2:18-25, Sefaria

[3] Exodus 3:1-15, Sefaria

[4] Exodus 4:1-9, Sefaria

[5] Exodus 4: 10-21, Sefaria

[6] Isaiah 29: 19-23, Sefaria

Categories: Mikveh, Torah Portions, Women of Valor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bereishit/ Bereishis (Part 2)

Bereishit/ Bereishis (Part 2)

Tishrei—In the Beginning

Gen. 1:1-6:8

 Is. 42:5-43:10 (Haftarah)

 

Welcome back to Bereishit/Bereishis. If you haven’t read Bereishit Part 1, you can click here.

We will look for the connections of the four rivers and learn its significance to the Creation Story. As we recall, Bereishit/ Bereishis means “In the Beginning.” So in the beginning, there were events that were very substantial: The Creation of the heavens and the earth, Adam and Eve, the first sins, and the first argument with Kain and Abel over the appointed times, curses, and their consequences.

We will focus on the four rivers:

Draw near to Me and hear this: From the beginning, I did not speak in secret; From the time anything existed, I was there. “And now the Lord G-d has sent me, endowed with His spirit.” Thus said the LORD your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: I the LORD am your G-d, Instructing you for your own benefit. Guiding you in the way you should go. If only you would heed My commands! Then your prosperity would be like a river, Your triumph like the waves of the sea.” (Isaiah 48:16-18)[1]

Hashem has warned us to heed His Torah, keep His Festivals, as they are His Will. Hashem said if we love Him, to keep His Mitzvoth (commandments). The Torah is Light. Hashem is our Redeemer and G-d. We need to pay very close attention to obey His commandments so that our well-being would flow like a river…

The seven days of Creation were set in patterns. These patterns have chiastic connections as well as contranyms (at their opposite). G-d is a G-d of order. In other words, the events during Creation, Adam and Eve (Chavah), Kain and Abel, Esau and Jacob, as well as others, were established with a purpose—not randomly.

Hashem’s appointed times are known as calendar dates Hashem established; connecting the fourth day of creation: sun, moon, and stars that governs our days and nights. Those seasons are also the (3) pilgrimages: Pesach , Shavuot, and Sukkot .

Kain and Abel brought their offerings to Hashem at Sukkot, but Kain’s did not meet the criteria and fell short because his offering wasn’t his firstfruits, just fruits. Kain didn’t give his best to Elokim, just the leftovers. We, too, are to give Hashem our best offerings. Our offerings to Hashem are from what comes from our heart and lips since we don’t have our third Temple, yet. From the mouth speaks the heart.

Eden’s primary river isn’t mentioned by Name, Hashem is the source of life in water, as well as the Tree of Life.

If we look at a rainbow photo from NASA, we see a rainbow is circular. The Biblical Festivals start back to the beginning from the end. The Garden had four rivers with a main source giving direction. The essence of the four rivers is to increase and burst forth with fruit. This includes the seasons of chag: Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot, which also are the firstfruits offerings. The River in the Garden also gave off a mist that controled the climate and atmosphere for the Garden. Because it is a carbon-based earth, it makes it the perfect environment for trees, plants, all living creatures, including man. This plan was not only perfect, but very soothing for the man’s souls and spirit and a body made from dirt. It was also a dwelling for the Father to communicate with man. This was the plan for man to exist within the boundaries established in which man and G-d could fellowship together.

What is fascinating is the chiastic Menorah’s description that not only applies to the  Spirits of G-d (Isaiah 11:2-3) , seven Festivals, with the seven days of Creation, but it includes the branches of the four rivers that all flow from the same source—The Garden of Eden.

Such is the story of heaven and earth when they were created. When the LORD G-d made earth and heaven— when no shrub of the field was yet on earth and no grasses of the field had yet sprouted, because the LORD G-d had not sent rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil, but a flow would well up from the ground and water the whole surface of the earth— the LORD G-d formed man from the dust of the earth. He blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. The LORD G-d planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and placed there the man whom He had formed. And from the ground the LORD G-d caused to grow every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and bad. A river issues from Eden to water the garden, and it then divides and becomes four branches. The name of the first is Pishon, the one that winds through the whole land of Havilah, where the gold is. (The gold of that land is good; bdellium is there, and lapis lazuli.) The name of the second river is Gihon, the one that winds through the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris, the one that flows east of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. The LORD G-d took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden, to till it and tend it.” (Genesis 2:4-15)[2]

The river flowed out of Eden to water the Garden. The head of the river divides into four rivers. Pishon and Gihon have recurring qualities that return, circular. Hashem’s Festivals always return on the calendar, and like good gold, and precious stones, we too shall thirst for Torah, and become refined.

Rivers of Eden

As you view the Menorah, you’ll be able to see the 4 Rivers.

EUPHRATES/PERAT   is the middle branch, which is the furthest boundary of Israel; yet, the fruit of it is being the Great River. The middle branch feeds out to the others.

“I will set your borders from the Sea of Reeds to the Sea of Philistia, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands, and you will drive them out before you.” (Exodus 23:31)[3]

Even though there isn’t a description of its movement, it is still synonymous with Shavuot and it corresponds with Sukkot. The chagim (3 pilgrimages) are all first-fruit offerings. Shavuot is first-fruits of wheat. This represents the Ruach ha’Kodesh, which is located on the fourth menorah candlestick—Center!

“The Euphrates River is later mentioned in G‑d’s promise to Abraham regarding the Land of Israel, and is used as one of the defining borders of the Promised Land. We are also told that there was a time when Jewish civilization had spread so far that members of the tribe of Reuben were living all the way to the banks of the Euphrates!”[4]

PISHON

Pishon means to increase. Looking at the menorah of the four rivers provided, you will notice that the Pishon River “heads” or divides into the 1st and the 7th branches. The movement of the Pishon River is surrounding (savav), and is thought to represent the Nile.

The plagues and the Nile originated during the Exodus Passover. Looking at the menorah provided, on the far left branch (branch one) it is also Passover (first festival) which is Israel’s account to have increase. Just like in Creation when Elokim separated the light from the darkness, Goshen was separated from the darkness that was sent to Egypt. The more the Egyptians afflicted the Israelites, the more the Israelites increased in number; which was concerning to the Pharaoh! The increase of the Pishon River and the increase of the Israelites (Plagues of the Nile) do parallel concisely.

Now, let’s look at the seventh branch (far one to the right—last one). The 7th branch is also the Sukkot. Sukkot is celebrated in remembrance of the Passover—a chiastic connection! This also represents Wisdom/Chokmah and Reverence of Hashem.We know there are seven days in creation, seven Spirits of Hashem, seven Festivals that are appointed times to gather with Hashem. So let’s try and place the dot-to-dots on this.

 

One will begin on the far left branch; working its way over to the last branch on the far right of the Menorah.

  1. Spirit of Wisdom (Chokmah)/PesachLight & Darkness
  2. Spirit of Understanding (Binah)/ Unleavened Bread(Chag HaMatzah)/ Upper and Lower Waters
  3. Spirit of Counsel (Etzah)/First fruits of Barley(Yom HaBikkurim)/Earth, Fruit, Seed, plants
  4. Ruach/ Shavuot/Sun, moon, stars
  5. Spirit of Power (Gvurah)/ Rosh Hashanah/ Birds and Fish
  6. Spirit of Knowledge (Daat)/ Day of Atonement (Yom Hakippurim)/ Beast and Man
  7. Spirit of Reverence/Fear (Yirat Adonai)/ Sukkot/ Sabbath (Shabbat/ Shabbos)

Please don’t let this overwhelm you! It takes time for it to soak into our thoughts. We all have been programmed to just surface read; scratching the surface. Torah is much deeper than just surface reading. I don’t know of you like onions, or not, but imagine one in front of you. I will imagine the red onion—yummy, sweet with a kick. One can cut that onion easily enough in half. But if you take the onion and begin to peel off each layer, one layer at a time, you’re going to be there awhile soaking up its juices. Learning Torah are layers upon layers. In other words, the more we study Torah, the more we will have a better understanding on a deeper level in Hashem’s Presence.

OK, before I trail off too far, let’s get back to the Four Rivers!

 

GICHON

Gichon divides into the second and sixth branch, described as bursting forth. To draw forth as to give birth. On the second branch, there is Binah, which means to build (Understanding), Chag Hamatzah (Unleavened Bread) chiastically connects to the sixth branch of Da’at which means knowledge, Yom HaKippurium (Day of Atonement).

Song of Solomon 6:10

On Yom Kippur, which is the sixth day, the High Priest is anointed just as King Solomon (builder/Ruach Binah) of the first temple. The anointing was at Gihon—another connection!

CHIDEKKEL

Chidekkel (noisy, rapid, roaring, Tigris). This will be a division into the third and fifth branches of the Menorah.

The Hebrew word, halakha, means “walks” or “goes” in a movement.

Connections:

  • Fifth day of Creation-birds and fish moved rapidly.
  • Fifth festival, Rosh Hashanah, blowing the shofar that is very noisy!
  • First Fruits of Barley.
  • Etzah (Spirit of Counsel) and Gvurah (Power).

The main river came from the Throne itself, giving nourishment to the Garden of Eden. Adam was in charge of moving the water, but he was not the creator of the water. Adam was able to freely irrigate the garden, trees included. He was given charge over the care and keep of the Garden. Adam’s physical and spiritual strength soon came to a weakened area after he sinned. After the fall, cultivating the soil became a lot harder- breaking sweat; fighting weeds.

Since Adam was placed in the Garden after he was created, we need to remember that it was Elokim Who caused the trees and plant life to grow. Adam was Hashem’s partner; having the reward of the Ruach ha’ Kodesh.

Hashem is the source of this nourishment– Water. He sustains life, and we, as His servants, are happy to help (good deeds). Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot are the rivers that give nourishment/drink in order to provide that water to “Good Gold” and “Precious Stones.” In other words, humans were created to walk through this water—Eden’s Four Rivers.

BDELLIUM

When the Israelites were in the wilderness with Moses for 40 years, Hashem sustained their needs. For example, their leather shoes and clothing lasted as the material never wore out. For forty years the Father provided and gave them Manna for their daily food. The manna was a miracle that happened every six days. On the sixth day, they would gather a double portion to have rest on the seventh day. Manna was not given on the seventh day so they had to plan accordingly.

“The house of Israel named it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and it tasted like wafers in honey.” (Exodus 16:31)[5]

The appearance of manna resembled Bdellium, which was a precious stone that was encircled in the land of Havilah of the Pishon River. The seventh river, Pishon, boarders the land of Havilah where the bedolach was. Sabbath is identified with set apart– holy.

I think it is fascinating that the connection of bdellium is found to sparkle and glisten like a rainbow-crystal clear, and Manna was sparkly; wet clear dew for the Israelites! The dew would have glistened in the sunlight, refracting the prism of the rainbow. Moreover, if you take the menorah and tip it upside down, you’ll see a rainbow. It also looks like a bow and arrow readily to hit the mark—to be on target –Torah. Doesn’t this sound like a wonderful message given to us from our Father directly from the Throne of Glory?!

A psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah. God, You are my God; I search for You, my soul thirsts for You, my body yearns for You, as a parched and thirsty land that has no water. I shall behold You in the sanctuary, and see Your might and glory.” (Psalms 63:1-3)[6]

The Onyx Stone

The Onyx is another precious stone of Havilah which appears black, but’s contranym (opposite of itself) is likely a whitening process. Shoham, Hebrew word for onyx appears to mean “ to blanch.” This would be the idea of making something holy by whitening. The priests of the Temple wore white linen garments. The linen was made of shesh.

Shen is one of the Hebrew letters in their alphabet. Shen means teeth. In Hebrew, the Shesh is spelled with (2) shens, which literally places the whiteness of the linen, and it also has a fiery connotation with the number six. If you look back to the menorah, or day six of Creation, you’ll soon recognize that on day six was the day that beast and man were created.

The 12 stones represent the 12 tribes of Israel. The shoham stones were connected to the breastplate (choshen) upon the priest’s shoulder using gold chains.

“For a child has been born to us, A son has been given us. And authority has settled on his shoulders. He has been named “The Mighty G-d is planning grace; The Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler.” (Isaiah 9:5)[7]

When we surface read, as taught in Western/ Greek cultures, we miss so much! It is exciting to have the true understanding of Torah. I can only hope we are able to peel back those onion layers to really get into the depth of Hashem’s precious word.

Conclusion

Hashem is the Aleph and the Tav. He is the beginning and the end; which of course after the seventh day (completeness), the eighth day is a new beginning—full circle!

He is our Creator, we are His creation. The main river came from the Throne of Glory, giving nourishment to the Garden of Eden.

Adam was in charge of moving the water, but he was not the creator of the water. Adam was able to freely irrigate the garden, trees included. Hashem is the source of this nourishment- Hashem’s River of Life. He sustains life, and as His servants, we should rejoice as He is our Rock of Salvation! Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot are the rivers that give nourishment/drink in order to provide that water to “Good Gold” and “Precious Stones.”

The Four Rivers came from the Thorne of Glory, pouring into into Gan Eden! Hashem is our Life Source.

Shalom!

 

[1] Isaiah 48:16-18, Sefaria

[2] Genesis 2:4-15, Sefaria

[3] Exodus 23:31, Sefaria

[4] https://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/3082157/jewish/Where-Are-the-Four-Rivers-that-Come-from-Eden.htm

[5] Exodus 16:31, Sefaria

[6] Psalms 63:1-3, Sefaria

[7] Isaiah 9:5, Sefaria

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