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The Color Blue is the Center of the Universe

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The color blue is said to rule the mind, our reasoning ability and the intellect as well as represent knowledge, dignity and intuition. The color blue also plays an important role in the Bible.  The blue dye, called “techelet” (תכלת), was used in the special garments of the high priest, in the cloth that covered the vessels in the Holy Place, in the curtains in the Tabernacle, and as a covering over the Ark of the Covenant (ארון) in preparation for transport.  In addition, a twisted blue thread of “techelet” was woven within the fringes or “tzitzit” on the corners of the garments of the children of Israel.  This blue was made from a dye extracted from a sea creature called the “chilazon”.

Blue generally symbolized divinity for the ancient Israelites because blue was the color of the sky and sea. According to Rabbi Hirsch, “the blue in many ways symbolizes the presence of heaven on earth, the essence of the entire Temple.” From the Talmud Chullin 89a, “Techelet, turquoise/blue, is the color of the sea, which resembles the color of the sky, which resembles the color of sapphire, which resembles the color of the Throne of Glory”. Chullin 89a also tells us, “God’s throne of glory is nothing other than the Temple itself.  As such, techelet is not just an indispensable material of the Temple; it is, as it were, the very color of the Temple.”

The Ark(ארון) of the Covenant in the Temple represented the Throne of Glory. It was the only vessel covered on the outside with the blue when Israel had to prepare to transport the Tabernacle.  First the partition curtain or parokhet was placed over the ark, followed by the skin or “takhash” and only then was everything covered with the techelet (תכלת). It is quite significant that the ark was completely covered with the blue.

The Temple was designed like a body and the Holy of Holies represented the brain.  The Ark (Aron) inside the Holy of Holies was not only the center of the Temple but the Universe.  From the Ark went out all knowledge and light to the whole world. Even the word Aron (ארון) containsthe word light (אור).  The Ark can also be compared to the Pineal gland in the human brain.

The center of brain function in the human body is the Pineal, which is a tiny organ located in the actual center of the brain that is stimulated by the nerves from the eyes.  It is activated by light and controls a variety of functions in the body.  It is also the storehouse of the imagination and creation.

The Pineal gland is called the “blue pearl” even though it is more reddish than blue.  It communicates information about light to various parts of the body.  The light-transducing ability of the pineal has led some to call it the “third eye”.  Even New Age mystics have identified the Pineal gland as the organ of spiritual vision and the connecting link between the physical and spiritual worlds.  It is not hard to see the connection with the Ark of the Covenant.

According to Descartes, the Pineal was the principal seat of the soul and the place in which all our thoughts are formed.  He identified it as the place of imagination, memory and the causation of bodily movements. Descartes emphasized that here was where the soul joined to the whole body.  The sages also understood thatthe Ark was the element in the Temple that connected the outside to the inside, the infinite to the finite, the bridge between this world and the World to Come, and ultimately between the physical and the spiritual.

The commandments of God were placed inside the Ark of the Covenant.  Ramban saw the color blue as representing all the commandments.  He declared that, “the remembrance of the commandments is through the blue thread, which alludes to the all inclusive attribute, which is BA-KOL and which is the aim of all.”  “Therefore”, he said, “that you may look upon it and remember KOL (all).

In conclusion, it is interesting that the word KOL (כל), which means all or everything are the letters inside the word techelet (תכלת).  The two outside letters is the “tav” which means a sign. The blue on the outside of the ark is a sign to the whole worldof all the commandments of God.  The commandments represent the only true knowledge in the Universe.  The commandments will go forth to the whole world from the Ark, the center of the Universe, and therefore from the very mind of God.  How truly remarkable is the color blue!!

Cleaning out the Leaven

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There’s nothing like Passover for a spiritual spring cleaning and getting the leaven or Chametz out of our homes and ultimately out of our lives.  Chametz is a term Rav Shaul used in Corinthians to compare sin with leaven.  He said, “It takes only a little Chametz to leaven a whole batch of dough.  So let us celebrate Chag HaMatzah not with leftover Chametz, the Chametz of wickedness and evil, but with the matzah of purity and truth.

The word Chametz is composed of the three-letter root Chet, Mem, Tsadee.  It literally means to make sour referring to the harsh taste of something that has fermented.  The process of fermenting comes from a heat source when applied to food.  Also, the word for vinegar is Chometz and comes from the same root.  We are certainly reminded of the gall or vinegar given to Yeshua when he was hanging on the tree.

The evening before Pesach it was necessary to rid the home of all leaven.   The last portions of bread containing the Chametz were to be burned in the fire after being removed from the house.  This ceremony for the removal of leaven is called Bedikat Chametz.  Traditionally the father would lead the family in search of the remaining leaven in the house with a candle, a feather and a wooden spoon.  Ten pieces of leaven were intentionally left for the family to find.  The Father would then sweep the leaven onto a wooden spoon with a feather.  The spoon, the leaven and the feather were wrapped in a linen cloth and cast outside.  The Father then took the linen cloth to the synagogue where a fire had been built.  As he threw the entire bundle into the fire he recited a blessing. Getting rid of or destroying the leaven was considered the same as “burning the leaven”.  It is not hard to see the imagery of Yeshua, and His death, burial and resurrection.

The Talmud tells us “leaven represented the evil impulse of the heart”.  After reciting the Amidah, Rabbi Alexandri added, “Sovereign of the Universe, you are well aware that our will is to perform your will.  What keeps us from doing it?  The yeast in the dough…The yeast in the dough is the evil impulse, which causes ferment in the heart.” (Berakhot 17a)

So the process of searching for the Chametz and eliminating it was seen as a reminder to man that he should search through his deeds and purify his actions.  The ten pieces of Chametz that were placed around the home before the search was a reminder that, “there is not a person in the world who does only good and never sins.”

“May it be your will O Lord my God and God of my forefathers, that just as I have removed leaven from my house so may you remove all evil forces and the spirit of wickedness may you remove from the world.  You remove from us all evil inclinations and give to us a pure heart.”

The reality, of course, is that without the work of Yeshua the Messiah on the tree it is not possible to remove the evil inclinations from our heart and restore in us a pure heart.  He was the sinless one who took on Chametz, and experienced the heat of the Father by fire.  He was the burnt offering completely consumed by fire on the altar.

This is what is prophesied in Zechariah.  Y’hoshua, the Cohen haGadol (HP) is standing before the accuser (HaSatan).  “Isn’t this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”  Yehoshua was clothed in garments of dung.  His filthy garments were a metaphor for sin.  The Lord said I am taking your guilt away.  I will clothe you in fine robes. Once sins are removed, one’s merit is clean garments. The Lord tells Y’hoshua that He is bringing His servant the Tzemach (sprout) and it is Hethat will remove the guilt of this land in one day.

It is very interesting that the word for the righteous sprout, Tzemach, is actually the word Chametz in reverse order.According to the Talmud (Sandhedrin 93a) Y’hoshua was thrown into the fire along with two false prophets, but he survived.  The Angel said, “Seeing that he miraculously survived the fire he must be worthy.  If so then how can you accuse him.” (Rashi)

It is the time of year for introspection and soul searching to identify sinful passions and behaviors and it is time to allow the Holy Spirit to remove them. So even though Chametz symbolizes wickedness and evil, let us remember as we eat the matzah,that the matzahrepresents purity and truth.

Rachel and The Holy Spirit

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“A voice is heard on high, wailing, bitter weeping.  Rachel weeps for her children; she refuses to be consoled for her children, because there are none…but they will return from the enemy’s land.  There is hope for your future – your children will return to their border”.

Jeremiah 31:14-16 Stone Ed

Rachel is weeping for her children because “there are none”. This is an idiomatic expression for the non-existent world, which has yet to come into being (Rabbi Hirsch). It is by the Spirit of God the world comes into existence and Rachel, is a picture of that Spirit. She is the “voice” of the Spirit lamenting for children to come forth.  She is in labor crying out for the birth of spiritual children that belong to the Kingdom of God. She is the “voice” that cries in the wilderness that the long period of exile is over, and it is time to make straight the road in the desert to return to the mountain of the Lord.  In the physical realm, the Kingdom of Heaven has not yet materialized.  But in the Spiritual realm, Rachel’s cries are the cries of the Spirit of God for her spiritual children to return.  Mother Rachel moves the community of Israel to weep with her.  She mourns for her children who are separated from her and scattered in the nations just as the Ruach Hakodesh weeps for the birth of the sons of the Kingdom of God.

Rachel’s children are those born of the Spirit of God, for it is by the Ruach HaKodesh that spiritual children come forth.  Their future home is “Eretz Israel”. It is the placewhere the Kingdom of Heaven will be restored with its throne established in Tziyon (Zion). The border of Israel is the landmark for their return.God declares He will return His captivity and that Israel will be redeemed in the merit of Rachel.

“Make road markers for yourself, set up landmarks for yourself; set your heart upon the road, the route you are walking.  Return O Virgin of Israel, return to your cities.”

Jeremiah 31:20 Stone Ed

The Holy One responds to her weeping with a promise to re-gather all the exiles from the nations where they are scattered and to return to the land.  This will be the time of the final fulfillment of the Kingdom of Heaven.  When the exiles pass by her tomb, it is said, this would arouse God’s mercy to forgive them.  God promised that He would return and re-gather the exiles to the land not only in a physical sense, but also in a spiritual sense as they return and gather to the faith of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  By faith, spiritual seed will come forth in labor as a woman in childbirth.  Seed born of the Spirit will eventually outnumber the stars in the heavens and the grains of sand on the seashore.

According to a midrash (rabbinic story) there are “three keys that remain with God that were not entrusted to any agent: thekey of rain, the key of the woman giving birth and the key of the resurrection of the dead.  God would retain the key of the woman giving birth from Rachel, of whom it is said: “Now God remembered Rachel; God heeded her and opened her womb” (BT Taanit 2a–b)”.  The “key” to the Kingdom of Heaven is the opening of Rachel’s womb, by the Spirit of God, to produce new life for the Kingdom.

We are reminded of the words of Yeshua, “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted heaven”.  Healso declared that, “on this rock I will build my community”. The rock is identified, from a Hebraic understanding, as Abraham our forefather.

“Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were dug - consider Abraham your father and Sarah who gave birth to you, in that I called him when he was only one person, then blessed him and made him many.”

Isaiah 51:1-3 Stone Ed

 

“When the Holy One wanted to create the world he passed over the generations of Enoch and the flood; but when he saw Abraham who was to arise, he said.  Behold, I have found a rock on which I can build and establish the world.  Therefore he called Abraham a rock, as it is said, look to the rock from which you were hewn.”

Yalkut shim’oni

The sages explain that the Rachel represents the malchut(kingdom) throughout the Torah and Tanakh and conclude, “this is why she has been chosen to unite all the dispersed of the children of Israel of the world” who have been scattered to the four corners of the earth.  In Rachel, acting as the Spirit, the physical and spiritual essence of mankind come together as one whole, unique community.

Rachel’s name in Hebrew is Rach’el.  She is sometimes called “Ruach El” or literally Spirit of God. Rach means to follow a prescribed path or regular routine and El means God.  The wind follows a prescribed path each season just as the Spirit follows the paths the Father has designed.  Those who live in the Southwestern United States understand all too well the regular, prescribed path of the spring winds each year.  Ruachalso means a breath as in inhaling and exhaling air.  It is the breath, which gives life to the physical body and the breath of the Spirit, which gives life to the spiritual body.

The Spirit embodies a variety of feminine qualities and characteristics.  Mother Rachel is described as intuitive and sensitive.  She is the comforter and the one who determines the peace and tranquility in her home.  She is the bridge to healthy relationships and she is the patient one when her children rebel.  She brings forth fruit that reflect the qualities of love, joy, peace, goodness and kindness.Rachel is the bride of promise given to Jacob before he completed seven years of work for her father Laban.  The Spirit is described in Acts chapter one as the promise of the Father that would restore the Kingdom to Israel.

The Ruach El(Spirit of God) is pictured as hovering over the waters in the first chapter of Genesis.  The word for hovering is rachafmeaning a mother bird fluttering over the nest to protect and feed her young. Rachaf is also defined as a mouth that follows a prescribed path.  That is, a mouth speaks forth words, and a mouth is the instrument for inhaling and exhaling breath.The sages further explain that rachaf is an idiom for the throne of glory.

The Kiseh haKevod (throne of Glory) stood suspended in the air hovering above the surface of the waters by the breath of the mouth of the Holy One - just as a dove hovers over its nest”.

(Babylonian Talmud Chaggigah 15a)

I, John, immerse you in water but he will immerse you in the Ruach Hakodesh. Immediately after that,Yeshua was immersed in the Yarden by Yochanan; immediately upon coming out of the water he saw heaven torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove, then a voice (as Rachel) came from heaven.  You are my son whom I love.

Mark 1:9 CJB

The dove that descended and remained on Yeshua is connected to the dove that returned to Noah as the waters receded from the earth after the flood.Waters or seas typically represent mankind or the sea of humanity, which is associated with death. The sages identify immersion in a mikvah (immersion bath) with the grave.  It is associated with death because there is no possibility of breathing in water.When submerged the individual enters the realm of death and then emerges like one who is reborn. That same power came upon Miriam, the mother of Yeshua.  The Ruach “overshadowed” her as a dove covered the nest.  New life came forth in the person of Yeshua, the first fruit of the children of Israel born into the Kingdom by the Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit, as personified by Rachel, whichwill bringforth the rest of her children.

Although the immersion of the world through the flood brought death to those outside the ark of Noah, the Ruach Hakodesh brought forth new life for those inside.  A midrash teaches that the “Spirit of God” which hovered over the waters is the Spirit of the Messiah.  The ark, which is compared to a womb, represented the Spirit of God hovering over the waters.  It was the place where spiritual seed was preserved in order to produce new life.

The talmidim (disciples) were to remain in Jerusalem to wait to be immersed by the Spirit.  The word “wait” in this verse comes from the root kavah meaning “to gather in one place”.  This is the same root in mikvah (immersion bath), which means the gathering of water.  They were to be immersed only after they were gathered together as one.

Behold I will bring them from the land of the North and gather them from the ends of the earth.  Among them will be the blind and the lame, the pregnant and the birthing together; a great congregation will return here.

Jeremiah 31:7 Stone Ed

The number four is associated with this great return in the physical realm.  The captives will return from the four corners of the earth.  There are forty weeks to a pregnancy. According to the sages, there are forty days in which an embryo takes to attain human form.  Yeshua explains to his talmidim thatthe Spirit will come upon them in forty days.  In the Gospels, during a period of forty days, the talmidim saw the Messiah and He spoke with them about the Kingdom God.  Yeshua went out into the wilderness, which is compared to a womb in the rabbinic literature, for forty days in order to be tested by the enemy.  The children of Israel were forty years in the wilderness. A mikveh (immersion bath) holds forty se’ahs of water.  A woman, who gives birth to a male child, goes through a forty-day period of ritual cleansing.  The value of the letter “mem”, which means water, is forty and the sages associate “mem” with the womb.

The physical realm gives way to the spiritual realm as children come forth in the pain of childbirth.  This new life is associated with the resurrection of the dead.Just as Lazarus was four days in the tomb before he was resurrected, so too the Israelites were fourhundred years in exile before passing through the water of the Yam Suf.  When they came through the water it was as if they were born again. But they were born again from below.

I tell you that unless a person is born again from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.  I tell you unless a person is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. What is born from the flesh is flesh and what is born from the Spirit is Spirit.  You must be born again from above.

John 3:3,5,6 CJB

The womb, like the mikvah,is a picture of the death and the grave.  Immersion in water is designed for the physical man to raise his spiritual status only temporarily, but immersion in the Spirit is for the spiritual man to raise his spiritual status eternally.

Look I will tell you a secret – not all of us will die! But we will all be changed!  In the moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last Shofar.  For the shofar will sound and the dead will be raised to live forever.

1 Corinthians 15:51,52 CJB