SHOFTIM COUNTS HESED IN SH’KHINAH
Adapted from Meta Parshiyot by R David Wolfe-Blank, Sefer Bnai Yisaskhar – Elul, Sefer Yetzirah, and Living Torah by R Aryeh Kaplan
ELUL – COUCHED IN LOVE
This month, Elul, is a time when love is in the air. The Beloved on High’s right arm is open and ready to receive all who wish to return into resonance. A sense of Divine Intimacy is present. The Sovereign is relaxing in the field. Say hello. You are invited.
During Elul, Virgo shines her blessings upon Earth. Virgo is a reflection of Binah. Another name for Binah is “High Mother.”
Binah exists at the 50th level – where intention is set. She leads emotion and action. At this level of consciousness, real change can be initiated and manifest over time. A problem cannot be solved at the same level at which it exists; Binah, and her higher, more holistic perspective is necessary for meaningful sustaining adjustment.
She lovingly discerns nourishment and dishes out just the right amount of Or Ain Sof (Infinite Light) for her babies to be healthy. She knows how much to channel to the S’firot beneath her to just enough light arrives to us. Binah is like a mother bird sitting on her nest, keeping her babies – the lower seven s’firot – warm and nourished.
Elul’s Virgo offers limitless understanding. She waits patiently and kindly for us to find our way back to her potent resonant ways. She is an intimate face of the Unity.
Here is a clue: Elul אלול in gematria is equivalent to Binah בינה. Here is what it looks like:
אלול= 1+30+6+30 = בינה =2+10+50+5= 67
Adding the two digits of 67 takes it to another level. 6+7=13. Thirteen is Ahavah אהבה (1+5+2+5) “Love” in gematria. Feel the love that’s all around this month. Let it lift you up. You are invited.💚
Paraphrased from Sefer Bnai Yiasaskhar Elul, Pri Etz Hayyim, Shir haShirim 8:1, Sefer Yetzirah 5:2
SHOFTIM – SYNOPSIS
This Torah portion relates to civil laws. Justice is imperative and must be carried out in the land where the Yisrael people will soon settle. A system of courts is to be set up in every town and city. No bribes are to be accepted. Even in a situation of idolatry, justice must be the means for correction. Everyone accused must be granted a fair trial with dependable witnesses. If a case is too difficult for a lower court, it must be tried before a higher court. Witnesses who lie are to be meted out the penalty they sought to inflict on the innocent. Even the monarchy must come under the rule of justice. Kings are not absolute rulers but must obey the laws of the land and God. Child sacrifice is forbidden. Priests are to own no land. Prophets are to be highly ethical persons who carry forth messages of righteousness and justice, not wildness, boundarylessness, sorcery, and anarchy. The laws of justice and humanity are extended to cover war situations: before launching an attack on an enemy, friendly approaches are to be tried first. Trees are not to be sacrificed, no matter how severely a siege rages. Guilt caused by crimes of error, such as those committed by an innocent bystander or unsolved murders, are given guidance and the possibility of expiation through ritual in this section of Moshes’ ethical will.
CONTEMPORARY FALSE GODS
False gods block Presence or draws nourishment away. Something that “sucks” the light away from the greater good. They can, at first, seem enticing and even fun. Consider addiction or ongoing distraction; it may beg to be fed. Cancer is a helpful metaphor. Cancer draws the body’s resources and refocuses nourishment to grow the cancer. Its purpose is its survival. Worshipping a false god is like feeding cancer and helping it grow.
META SYNOPSIS – AS ABOVE, SO BELOW
Justice and law on earth are a reflection and impression of higher, more universal, laws. Justice and law on earth are a human re-enactment – within the social and religious milieu – of the cosmic dynamics. The dynamics which fashioned the cosmos include the pathways left by elementary particles of quantum physics. The behavior of quantum particles are themselves modeled on and paralleled to higher spiritual laws such as conservation of energy and the interactions of the ten S’firot. Our task is to bring these truths to life within ourselves. This is done by keeping Mitzvot. Mitzvot, in essence, are behavior patterns that mimic the essential operations underlying our physical existence. All the laws in Shof’tim are intended to bring human behavior into clear alignment with cosmic law through modeling the behavior and interactions of the S’firot and quantum physics.
Based on The Alef-Beit by R. Ginsburg, p. 327
THE TORAH PORTION IN THE SEFIRAH CYCLE: SHOFTIM IS HESED OF SH’KHINAH (Malkhut)
Hesed provides prima matter, and Sh’khinah shines directly on the Earth plane filling us with Presence. It is the most grounded realm, where the action takes place.
FORGIVENESS IS HESED IN PRAYER
In Kabbalah siddurim, Hesed is associated with the sixth blessing in the weekday Amidah (silent standing prayer). It is the section that ends with “Barukh Atah Havayah Hanun haMarbeh Lisloah.” You are a fountain of blessing Havayah, resonant in graciousness, Who forgives abundantly.
When we ask for forgiveness, we ask for Hesed, Grace. Hesed in Sh’khinah then, channels Grace.
This Torah portion emphasizes the importance of Justice and the Grace that flows by its means. It describes the lengths taken to maintain the connection to Hesed – Grace and Lovingkindness. Justice is emphasized, and false gods are not to be worshipped. Lower and higher courts are established, and false witnesses are to be prosecuted. No one is above the – not even the king, Cities for refuge were established to offer protection and a “cooling down” period when an unintentional killing.
These rules are meant to build a container in which Hesed – Grace can flow. That is the single reason for their existence. They are not meant to be worshipped for their own sake. The rules are cultivate a framework for a meaningful life. They are here to nourish the substructure of reality and stack the deck in favor of Grace and Lovingkindness flowing abundantly. They hold the Hesed in Sh’khinah.