Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.
KABBALIST WARNS OF WAR
"Stock your homes with water, candles, and a two week supply of food," the elder Kabbalist, Rabbi Eliahu Leon Levi, told a gathering at the Kotel this evening. "War is imminent, and this time, the enemy has missiles far more powerful than the rockets of the Hizballah," he said. "Whoever does not take precautions and stock up with food will be neglecting the mitzvah of carefully guarding one’s life."
The Rabbi and students were gathered at the Kotel for a special Rosh Chodesh prayer. "In the month of Nisan, we were redeemed in the past, and in the month of Nisan, we will be redeemed now," he said. "This time, the army of Israel will have the upper hand, and it will bring honor to the Nation of Israel by obliterating our enemies."
Rabbi Levy said that everyone should recite Tehillim and work on repentance. He criticized the yeshiva world for not sending groups of top students to kibbitzim and non-religious neighborhoods to bring them closer to Torah. "If a fire breaks out amongst the weeds, it spreads to the haystacks as well," he warned, implying that when misfortune falls, both the wicked and righteous are engulfed in the flames. He also lamented over the plague of immodesty in the Holy Land, saying it was the prime cause of the dangerous decree hanging over our heads.
HOLINESS OF THE MARITAL UNION
According to the Kabbalist, Rabbi Eliahu Leon Levi, the verse, "And the men came upon the women," in this week’s Torah portion is talking about the correct, holy way of marital relations. Let me explain.
"Rabbi Shimon said: Woe to the man who says that the Torah comes to teach tales of this world and to speak about ordinary affairs.
First, it is necessary to remind our readers that there is more to the Torah than meets the eye. The existence of a deeper, secret level of Torah is beautifully set forth in the Zohar, in a passage that is worthwhile to quote in length:
"Rabbi Shimon said: Woe to the man who says that the Torah comes to teach tales of this world and to speak about ordinary affairs. If that were so, even today, we could create a Torah dealing with ordinary matters that would be far superior. But this is not the case. For all the words of the Torah are concerned with exalted matters and celestial secrets....
"The stories of the Torah are only her worldly garments, and whoever thinks that this worldly attire is the Torah itself, and not something deeper, may his soul be obliterated – he will have no portion in the world to come. For this reason, David said, "Open mine eyes, that I may see the wonders of Your Torah" (Tehillim, 119:18), meaning the things that are beneath the Torah’s worldly garment.
"Come and see. There are garments that everyone sees. When fools see a man in smart-looking clothing, they don’t look any deeper (but rather judge the worth of the man according to his clothes). However, the pride of the clothes is the body, and the pride of the body is the soul.
"In the very same way, the Torah has a body made up of the commandments of the Torah, which are called the body of the Torah. This body is dressed up in garments that are the stories of this world. The fools of the world only see the garment, the worldly narration. They do not know anything more, nor do they look beneath this outer garment. Those who understand more, do not look just upon the garment, but on the body that is under the garment. The Sages, the servants of the exalted King, those who stood on Mount Sinai, peer down to the soul, which is the principle thing of them all, and this is the real Torah. In the future, they are destined to gaze into the soul of the soul of the Torah" (Zohar, Bamidbar 152b).
More than any other subject, the Torah repeatedly elaborates in Torah portion after portion, on the detailed construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). This unusual repetition is especially perplexing when we remember that the Mishkan, was to be a temporary structure until the building of the Beit HaMikdash in Jerusalem.
Obviously, there is more here than meets the eye. Indeed, the Zohar teaches that the Mishkan contains the blueprint for all Creation. It is the point of union of heaven and earth, designed to unite the Shechinah and the Holy One Blessed Be He. In Kabbalistic terms, the service of the Jewish People in the Mishkan parallels the marital union. This is symbolized by the keruvim, the male and female figures on top of the ark that would seem to couple in a loving embrace when G-d was pleased with the Jewish People. Thus, in the supplication following the Tikun HaYesod prayer, "Yeshuat Eliahu," Rabbi Eliahu Leon Levi has written:
"Blessed L-rd, may I merit to truthfully keep the laws of family purity, and not play games with my mind, by giving in to all sorts of temptations, by saying, ‘This is permitted, and this isn’t really that forbidden.’ For behold, we have seen what the Torah has said regarding the ideal marital union, ‘And the men came upon the women’ (Shemot, 35:22), and not, Heaven forbid, in any other way, which bring about upside down couplings, causing severe judgments and increased suffering in the world."
In other words, according to the Kabbalah, the missionary position, with the man on top, facing downward, and the woman lying on her back, facing up, is the proper position for marital relations. Rabbi Levi writes: "This way of performing the marital union is the preferred and most perfect way, the way of the Torah, called "panim b’panim," and not in other positions, as stated in some books whose authors have not reached the path of truth, and wrote differently. In so doing, they have spread out a snare for all the Jewish People, and they cause them to sin and bring about the corruption of the precious soul of the Jewish People, and cast them into a cavernous pit, may Heaven have mercy."
Readers interested in learning more about the holiness of marital relations are encouraged to read Rabbi Levi’s guidelines in greater depth. The Torah commands the Jewish People to be holy, and, whether we like it or not, our holiness starts right here.
Yesterday was a beautiful, warm, summer-like day in the
Don’t get me wrong. I am not blaming the women. It isn’t their fault. The younger women are trying to attract husbands, and the older women are trying to keep the ones they already have. The competition is fierce. As the Kabbalist, Rabbi Leon Levi, points out: these confused women are victims of the sick Western culture that is infesting our borders with a plague of immodesty that is far worse than locusts. In the meantime, the Holy One weeps to see how the Daughters of Israel have fallen.
The sick Western culture is infesting our borders with a plague of immodesty that is far worse than locusts.
Several months ago, when homosexuals wanted to stage a “Parade of Pride” in
It can be argued that this flagrant lack of modesty on a day-to-day basis causes far more moral and spiritual damage than a two-hour “Parade of Pride.” Where are the protest posters and angry demonstrations? Where are the outcries of the rabbis against this unholy behavior? Is the silence because we have become accustomed to this state of affairs, or because we feel impotent to extinguish the fire? Or is it because our over-exposure to it has made us spiritually insensitive to the tragedy that immodesty brings to our nation?
In 1927, when world Jewry was gripped in economic hardship and widespread persecution, the famed Torah scholar, the Chofetz Chaim, wrote a letter calling on the rabbis throughout the Jewish world to save the situation by publicly decrying the decline of modesty throughout their communities. He writes:
“Behold, our Sages stated, ‘A handbreadth exposed in a woman, in a place that is usually covered, constitutes sexual unchastity’ (Berachot 24A). And today, due to our many sins, this matter has very greatly spread, and the evil inclination seduces women to walk around without covering their hair, and to go out with their arms exposed, with dresses without sleeves. And many of their garments also expose the chest. Everything is exposed so that in whatever place a man should look, he is confronted with licentiousness.”
This was in 1927. The problem is a thousand times greater today! The Chofetz Chaim continues:
“It is written, ‘For the L-rd your G-d walks in the midst of your camp to save you, and to conquer your enemy from before you’ (Devarim, ).
"The meaning of ‘to save you’ includes many things, to save you from the sword, and from hunger, from enemy captivity, and from humiliation. The verse continues, ‘Therefore your camp shall be holy, that He see no unchaste thing in thee and turn away from thee.’ The Torah explains the matter explicitly, that when we conduct our lives in a holy manner, then He walks in the midst of us to deliver us from every evil thing. However, if He sees in us some unchaste matter, He turns away from us, and this brings upon us all of the tribulations, G-d forbid.”
This is a quote from the Chofetz Chaim, not from Tzvi Fishman! Just a short time ago, all through the recent war in
The Chofetz Chaim concludes:
“Therefore, every man has the obligation to extinguish this terrible fire, and to rectify the situation in his home so that everything will be according to Torah law, and not to allow licentiousness, G-d forbid. And in doing so, he will merit to have upright and exalted holy children.
“And more than anyone else, this obligation falls on the rabbis and on all those who are zealous to fulfill G-d’s words, that in every city and village, the importance of this matter must be publicly explained, in that it directly effects our survival and our success, both physically and spiritually, in this world and the next. Thus will the verse be fulfilled, ‘And your camp shall be holy.’”
After eighty years since his letter was written, it is time that we heed the words of the Chofetz Chaim and cry out against the day-to-day parade of immodesty that is polluting the holiness of our nation, and threatening the security of our people in our cherished