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Parashat Teitzei

by Rabbi Yitzchok Luria

Apples from the Orchard


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Transforming Light

“When a man takes a wife….”
Although this phrase begins the laws of divorce, the laws of betrothal and marriage are derived from this same passage. In Jewish law, “betrothal” (kidushin) is not simple engagement, but rather a legally binding relationship that establishes a quasi-marital bond between the betrothed couple. The marital bond is not fully actualized until “marriage” (nesu’in), which occurs when the couple first engages in marital relations.

Sha’ar HaMitzvot, parashat Teitzei
Know that when a man betroths a woman, a certain spirit from the spirit of the husband is drawn down upon her. This spirit is an encompassing light. There are two types of “lights,” or spiritual energies. Encompassing light does not enter into the operative consciousness of the entity it encompasses. Rather, it serves as a source of inspiration or protection. In contrast, “inner” light informs the consciousness of the entity it enters and remakes its possessor’s world-view, changing the way the possessor lives his or her life.

Once the encompassing light has been drawn down upon her from his spirit, he can then engage in full marital relations with her. This imparts to her an additional level of spirit from him, an inner light. “Full” marital relations involve the union of the souls of the couple, not just their bodies. By the same token, full union is not possible without bodily union, either. But the ideal is that these two types of union enhance each other. Therefore, no matter how close the couple become by being betrothed, their full spiritual union is not possible until their marriage is consummated. Betrothal must therefore precede marriage, for the inner spirit cannot enter her until the encompassing spirit of this same inner spirit enters her first. Note the use of the verb “to enter” for the encompassing spirit as well as for the inner spirit. This is because the “encompassing” spirit does not surround the entity to which it has been given physically, but metaphorically. It is present within the entity as is the inner spirit, but since it does not inform its
consciousness, it is always “at a distance.”

Ta’amei HaMitzvot, parashat Teitzei
As you know, the partzuf of Leah is formed from malchut of binah, i.e., of Ima, and that of Rachel from malchut of tevunah. Since they all shine from the same place, they all join together during marital relations. Leah, the partzuf of the thought, develops from the intellect proper. Rachel, the partzuf of speech, develops from the “applied intellect,” tevunah.

Now, Leah is manifest in the dalet of the knot of the head-tefilin, and Rachel is also manifest as a dalet. When they join together, they form the closed mem of the word “to increase (lemarbeh) the reign.” The final mem can be envisioned as two dalet’s, one written normally and the other upside down and backwards, forming the angular mirror-image of the first one. The final mem occurs in the middle of a word only once in the Bible, in the verse, “To increase the reign and for peace without end over the throne of David and his kingdom….” The word for “to increase” [le-marbeh] is spelled lamed-[final] mem-reish-beit-hei.

The final mem is formed of two hinges and two doors. The two hinges are the two yud’s, i.e., the thorns in the backs of the dalet’s, this being what distinguishes the letter dalet from the letter reish. The word dalet actually means “door.” Thus, each dalet that makes up the closed mem can be envisioned as a door swinging on a hinge, i.e., the point where the two lines of the dalet meet. Since the upper stroke of the dalet extends beyond the vertical stroke, the excess may be seen as a yud, acting as the “hinge” around with the two strokes of the dalet swing.


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Torah » Kabbalah
Torah » The Bible

(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
Highlight of every prayer, recited silently while standing. Weekday Amidah consists of nineteen blessings, Sabbath and holiday Amidah contains seven blessings.
Third of the four Jewish matriarchs. Daughter of Laban, favorite wife of Patriarch Jacob, and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. Died while giving birth to Benjamin in 1557 BCE.
Fourth of the four Jewish matriarchs. Elder daughter of Laban, wife of Patriarch Jacob, and mother of six of the Tribes, including Levi and Judah.
Established by King David to be the eternal capital of Israel. Both Temples were built there, and the third Temple will be situated there when the Messiah comes.
King of Israel who succeeded Saul, becoming king of Israel in 876 BCE. Originally a shepherd, he became popular after he killed the Philistine strongman, Goliath. He is the progenitor of the Davidic royal dynasty -- which will return to the throne with the arrival of King Messiah.
Son of King David, and succeeded him on the throne of Israel in the year 836 BCE. he was the wisest man to ever live. He built the first Holy Temple and authored several books of the Bible.
One of the 24 books of the Bible. This book of wise sayings was authored by King Solomon.
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.
The most fundamental Jewish prayer, recited twice daily. This prayer, of Biblical origin, professes the belief in G-d's absolute unity.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.