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by Daneal Weiner
I heard a brand new Rav Wolfson vort!!! Actually, Baruch Hashem I’ve been hearing new vorts all summer but till now I’d hear them on Shabbos. The Rav spoke Sunday night and I received a copy of the tape on Monday! Here’s a brand new, incredible vort which might bring Mashiach so the Yetser Horah is fighting me on this one. I’ve come down with a fever and my throat is closing in on me but the typing must go on! G-d willing, please, kain yehe ratsone, in your merit. B’H, our good friends at ShemaYisrael gave me some extra time for submittal. Now that I’m feeling better and proof read what I wrote earlier, well, let’s just say B’H I’m feeling better.
We’re speedily approaching the High Holidays and the Days of Judgement. Did I say ‘Days’ of Judgment? Isn’t the one day of judgment Yom Kippur? There happens to be 4 judgment days! 4 periods of time for tshuva after which a judgment day comes.
The first is for the Tsaddikim- the righteous. They are judged on Rosh Hashana. They have the 30 days of the month of Elul to do tshuva and on Rosh Hashanah their fate for the upcoming year is sealed. May Hashem lengthen their days.
The second period is for the average Jow. We have, in addition to Elul, the Aseres Y’may Tshuvah- the 10 Days of Repentance from Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur, inclusive. An intensified period for repentance to really turn it on and G-d willing we’ll all be sealed in the book of Life on Yom Kippur.
Thirdly, from KABBALAH (an eye catcher) we learn that Shimini Atseres is a day of judgement. Shimini Atseres is the last day of Sukkos. Sorry, Hoshanah Rabbah is the last day of Sukkos and immediately following is a new holiday, Shimini Atseres. In the Torah, Rashi translates Shimini Atseres as an ‘8th Day of Restriction’ because on Sukkos, which is one of the three pilgrimages, every Jew would come to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the Torah ‘restricted’ their return trips home for one more day. So the Zohar tells us that Hoshanah Rabbah / Shimini Atseres is a third day of judgment. This means that someone who has been trying to do tshuva and the 40 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul till Yom Kippur wasn’t enough, they have another 12 days for success till their fate is sealed on Shimini Atseres. As we say thrice daily (weekdays), “Blessed are you Hashem Who desires repentance.” What a nice G-d!
The Bas Ayin, a student of the Ba’al Shem Tov, learned from the Arizal about a few Neshamos- souls who are like a few unfinished strings yet dangling from the fabric of repentance. Neshamos who are having the hardest time doing tshuva. They try and fail. Try and fall again. Maybe they don’t try so hard. When do these Jews have till? A verse in Isaiah says, U’lechain b’ZOSE yechupar avone Yaakov- Therefore with this will be atoned the iniquities of Yaakov. On the last day of Chanukah we read ZOSE chanukas hamizbe’ach- This is the dedication of the alter. Torah circles refer to the last day of Chanukah, not as day 8 but as Zose Chanukah. The Arizal puts the ZOSE of Isaiah and the ZOSE Chanukah together and says the message is clear. Zose Chanukah is the fourth and final day of judgment. The 8th day of Chanukah. 122 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul.
You might ask regarding the month of Cheshvan, (which falls between Sukkos and Chanukah ) that sometimes it’s 29 days long and sometimes thirty? Do these fringe Jews have 121 days or 122? The Gemorah holds by a principle; an unspecified month is 30 days. With this in mind we can talk about the period of Rosh Chodesh Elul through Zose Chanukah as being 122 days.
It’s remarkable that during these very overlapping periods of repentance which we’re in right now we’ll be reading Parshas Netsavim, Vayelech and Ha’azinu. The Jewish calendar is fixed so that Vayelech is read almost always the Shabbos before Rosh Hashanah. Hey! Vayelech is 30 verses long. The Tsaddikim repent for 30 days and on Rosh Hashana they are sealed in the book of Life, G-d willing. Netsavim will be read next week. It is 40 verses long! Woa! 40 verses paralleling the 40 days of repentance for the average Jow. We can ask why the 40 comes before the 30? We read Netsavim - Vayelech and not Vayelech – Netsavim? We can answer as we say in the Yom Kippur prayer, Nesaneh Tokef; B’Rosh Hashanah yikasaivun u’v’Yom Tsom Kippur yichasaimun- On Rosh Hashanah our fate is inscribed and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. Judaism is set up for the majority of Israel, for the average Jow. So Netsavim we read first with it’s message of 40 to most all Israel. Then Vayelech for the Tsaddikim. Besides, Tsaddikimknow what speaks to them even when not clearly expressed. That’s why they’re Tsaddikim. The Gaon of Vilna says the 10 parshas in Dvarim parallel the last 10 centuries of world history. You and I count and see 11 parshas in Dvarim? A Tsaddikimsees things as they really are even if it’s not spelled out. So, again, for the majority, Netsavim, 40 days to do tshuva. For the Tsaddikim, Vayelech, 30 days. And as you might have guessed, Ha’azinu is 52 verses long paralleling the Zohar’s third day of judgment, Shmini Atseres, 52 days after Elul.
The last parsha of the Torah, Zose Habracha even though it’s name (Zose) seems to scream for inclusion, we won’t take into consideration because the parshas are arranged for the Shabbos’ on which they’re read. Zose Habracha is never read for Shabbos but for Simchas Torah. For this reason we won’t look to Zose Habracha to add to this remarkable pattern. So where do we find the fourth judgment day, 122 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul? I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking
Parshas Ki Savo
is 122 verses long! EHHH! Wrong answer. Nice try, though. This is a vort for Parshas Ki Savo and till now I’ve been talking about everything but Ki Savo and this would have been the perfect opportunity to dramatically and climactically bring in Ki Savo but, alas, the answer is: If you add up 30 + 40 + 52 you get 122. Gevaldik!!!
Rav Wolfson had apparently told this vort over to his son-in-law, Rav Zilber because and Rav Wolfson says in the name of Rav Zilber, “Ki Savo IS 122 verses long!?!” This poses a question in each direction. If the three parshas add up to 122 to hint to what the Arizal said, why have a fourth parsha during these very days of tshuva be 122 verses long? And if Ki Savo is 122, why have the other three add up to 122? In short, why a double allusion to the fourth judgment day?
The Gemorah Rosh Hashanah asks why we read Parshas Ki Savo at the end of the year? It answers because this parsha includes the curses that would befall upon Klal Yisrael if we would foolishly stray from the derech Hashem, chas v’shalom! It says we finish the year with its curses and start the new year with blessings. It seems that we can use this Gemorah to take the 122 verses of Ki Savo and point them at last year! Now Ki Savo tells its message!
Ki Savo is called the Tochacha- the Rebuke! And rebuke it does. And it’s 122 verses long! Ki Savo points at the those Jews who were not successful in their tshuva and says, why did you take 122 days last year?!? You might not been expected to repent in 30 days like a Tsaddik but why not in 40? How could you not succeed in making yourself a little better after trying for 52 days?! Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are a time of Yiras Hashem- fearing G-d. Times of the attribute Din- judgment. Sukkos/ Shmini Atseres is a time of Ahavas Hashem- Loving G-d or Love of G-d. It’s a time of kindness and mercy. Only regarding Sukkos does the Torah say V’samachta b’chagecha- you should rejoice on your holiday. Heaven’s in a good mood. It will cut the 52 dayers some tshuva slack. But 122 days till Zose Chanukah!?!
Zose Chanukah falls out in the month of Teves. Each of the 12 months parallels one of the 12 tribes. Teves parallels the tribe of Dan. The last tribe of the procession in the desert. The tribe who took the idol micha out of Egypt. The tribe of whose members was spiritually weak and didn’t fear Hashem and found themselves outside of the protective clouds of glory, which the Amaleikites attacked. Ki Savo says learn from last years mistakes. It need not be itemized what a difficult year last year was for Torah and Israel. Don’t let this year be like last year. For this year the Torah brings 40 days! That’s the goal! 30 days! The ideal goal! 52 days if you really have to. But 122 days for tshuva? It’s better than nothing but there’s a lot of negative energy attached to it. The possibility exists so the Torah hints to it, 40 + 30 + 52 = 122. Don’t wait till next Ki Savo to look back and say you should have done it differently.
I threw in above an insight from the Gaon of Vilna. The 10 parshas of Dvraim parallel the last 10 centuries of history. It was to express a point then and to introduce one now. Just as the 10 parshas parallel the centuries, can these 3 parshas, Netsavim, Vayelech and Ha’azinu parallel the days of which they speak? If the Torah is the blueprint it is for every level. Rav Wolfson did some checking and found some incredible things. He says he did not find hints in every verse but he found “many, many” hints. He shared one example, one that us average Jows could see.
On Sukkos we have 7 Ushpizin- guests who visit our sukkahs, a different one each day. The Zohar says their order of arrival is Avraham, Yitschak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef and [King] David. Then the Zohar says elsewhere the order of the 7 Ushpizin is Avraham, Yitschak, Yaakov, Yosef, Moshe, Aharon, and David. The first list is not according to chronological order but according to KABBALISTIC traits of each forefather; Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferes, Netsach, Hode, Yisode and Malchus, respectively. The second list is according to chronological order. Most Chassidim, or those who daven Sfard (not Sfarad) generally follow the first order, based on traits. The Ashkenazim follow the chronological order. Who is right? Both, of course! Both have a Torah source, from the Zohar, to hold the way we do. But the Torah is the blueprint. The Zohar is Oral Tradition. That which explains the Master Architects plans. This conflicting arrangement must reveal itself in the somewhere in the blueprint!
The first clash of the lists is on the fourth day of Sukkos. The Sfards welcome Moshe and the Ashkenazim, Yosef. The fourth day of Sukkos is the 48thh day from Rosh Chodesh Elul. In Ha’azinu, the 52 day parsha, the 48th verse says, “And Hashem spoke to Moshe on that very day.” The Sfards have it! An explicit mention of Moshe! Not so fast, oh furry hatted ones. The Steipler zt’l in his K’helas Yaakov says that Yosef is called etsem which means ‘bone’. A couple times Yosef is involved with bones. Yaakov makes Yosef promise to bury him in Israel. Yosef responds, “Even my bones will be buried there.” The Torah tells us Moshe took the bones of Yosef out of Egypt. The Steipler say it so we can too, Etsem is a name for Yosef. What does this have to do with us??? “And Hashem spoke to Moshe on that very day.” “On that very day” in Hebrew is b’ETSEM hayom hazeh!
Incerdible!!!! But is is fair? Moshe is spelled straight out and Yosef is only alluded to? Patience. Two days later the Sfards welcome Yosef and the Ashkenazim greet Aharon. That’s day 50. What is verse 50 in Ha’azinu? Hashem tells Moshe he will die as his brother AHARON died! There it is! The Ashkenazim have it! Don’t loosen your ties yet. Rachel named Yosef saying “Hashem has gathered from me my shame.” “Gathered”- Asaf is the root of Yosef. We skipped half of verse 50 to get to Aharon’s name? It starts, “Moshe will go up the hill v’hayASEF el amuv- and he will be gathered to his people”. One explicit, one alluded to. Two verses with two ‘conflicting’ traditions equally etched into the blueprint of the universe, explained in the Zohar, manifested into the reality of the day that the verses define. All Torah is all true.
There is a Gemorah Avodah Zara which says when the Mashiach will come. He didn’t, of course. Why did Rav Ashi and Ravinah include this ‘mistake’ when they compiled the Gemorah? Some circles would answer; Ok, the Zohar is perfect because… a Kabbalist wrote it…. Oooooh, Kabbalah, Kabbalah, mmm, ooooh, ahhhh. But them Gemorah Rabbi guy’s….? Sure they spoke with G-d, raised the dead, performed even greater miracles than that and were living epitomes of perfected character traits, but, you know… they were… humans, not kabbalists, right?
Foolish of the fools! Every word of Gemorah is Torah. All Torah is Truth!!! Many times the Gemorah presents an understanding of a subject and asks a question based on that premise. Subsequently it alters its understanding and then draws a conclusion. It ‘threw out’ the original premise. Let’s say we closed our Gemorahs and went to bed. The next morning, before we make the blessing on learning Torah, we want to review the original premise. The ‘rejected’ one. The ‘wrong’ one. Can we open our Gemorah and review it, before the blessing? Of course not! It’s Torah! And if it’s Torah it must be true. You don’t see how? As soon as you can raise the dead we’ll be concerned. (and how!) What is the truth in the Gemorah Avodah Zara which says when the Mashiach was supposed to come? That NO ONE knows when the Mashiach will come. Daniel knew and encoded it into his in his book in the prophets. No one alive since has been able to crack the code.
This coming year is 5760. Some holy writings say the year already started with Rosh Chodesh Elul. Recent Sages said 5760 has tremendous potential. There will be news in 5760! Will it be for our good? Most years which were particularly ripe for the Mashiach ended in much grief, r’l! And even still, 5760 can pass with nothing happening. That may be the greatest tragedy of all. So much potential slipping through our fingers like it wasn’t there. Isn’t no grief better than grief? When G-d told the snake, in Eden, that his food supply would be as limitless as the dust, what kind of punishment was that? What G-d essentially told him was, “Here’s the credit card. Don’t ever call.” Children who can’t get their parents attention will gladly welcome even getting yelled at, and will act accordingly. 5760 can be big news. Good big. Bad big. Or not.
We know that the X’tian count of the years since Yushke’s birth is erroneous. Yet we see that Divine providence saw to it that their mistake of the big 2000 coincides with 5760! Do you realize this means about 1.7 BILLION X’tians are waiting for the messiah to come this year!?! The phenomena of the global fear of Y2K is a fear in the collapse of world order. We know that the way the world is, if it collapsed that wouldn’t necessarily be bad. A messianic era would mean a collapse of present world order!
As a Rabbi Mendal Kissim explains (the previous paragraph is his too) based on Maimonedes , the world sticks to its natural. When the Mashiach will come it won’t be -ZING- everyone knows what they should know. People will have to learn. For that they have to be prepared. Shock is antithetical to learning. IF you ever get in front of a class, the ones who aren’t blinking are not going to score well on the test. The X’tians narrowed idolatry from 300 down to 3. The Moslems transformed the 3 to One. Both succeeded in not just presenting their halves of the world with new ideas but in inducting into their belief systems an anticipation of a messianic figure and a messianic time. Concepts which were totally foreign to paganism. With increased computer capacities, with fiber-optic cables and wireless communication the entire world can tune in to an interactive class with the single most popular man in the world. They won’t be starting from scratch. They’ll hear their belief systems were distortions of truth but they’ll be able to blink. The stage is set for 5760. YOU guys, you average Jows, you have the script. It says, 30 days, 40 days or 52 days.
Hashem wants to hear from us! He gives us the credit card and a portable phone! Literally. Israel has more cellular phones per capita then anywhere else. There is no greater treasure than the Truth, Torah is truth and Hashem gave that to us, too. Dial up. Get on line. Surf the Sages. And may your Torah sourced path to tshuva be a succesful one. A quick one! Ki Savo is for last year. Make Shabbos a Shabbos for this year. On a scale from 1 to 10, have a 5760 Shabbot Shalom.
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
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