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Ask the Rabbi
News & Call-In with Tamar Yonah
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.
We wrote that sexual transgression prevents rain from falling in Israel. We said that Thursday night’s mass prayer at the Kotel was to atone for sexual transgressions. Look what happened. It has been raining buckets ever since.
Sheer coincidence, right? Pure happenstance. You’ve got to be kidding! For sure, our prayers brought the rain.
For all of you disbelievers out there in cyberspace, let me explain.
Sometimes, people refuse to accept the obvious simply because they don’t understand. Take the mitzvah for a Jew to live in the Land of Israel. Even though it is such an obvious thing, the prerequisite for an independent Jewish Nation, and the foundation of all of the Torah, people who haven’t learned in depth about the life-giving connection between the Jewish People and Eretz Yisrael, erroneously think that by living in the Diaspora they are performing G-d’s will just the same.
So too regarding the connection between sexual transgression and rain. T’shuva has nothing to do with it, they maintain. Others insist that the US Naval Weather Station in the North Pole predicted two weeks ago that rain would fall in Israel this Shabbat, without any connection to Thursday night’s prayer. Well, maybe there was such a forecast. G-d brought that about too, so that the non-believers would have free choice to believe what they want. If people want to believe that the rain fell simply because of the international wind and cloud patterns, just as the US Naval North Pole station predicted, then they are free to wander along in their darkness. And for believers who want to see G-d’s intervention in everything that transpires in the life of the Jewish People, then He arranged for the mass prayer to be held just a few hours before the torrential rain so that the connection would be obvious to all.
Therefore let me explain in the simplest of terms so that no one will accuse me of teaching Kabbalah to the uninitiated masses.
Divine blessings, whether for rain, livelihood, health, national security and the like, flow to the world through a series of celestial channels known as “sefirot.” The final channel that transports the Divine blessing to the world is known as the “Yesod.” This celestial system can be illustrated by a funnel.
Whatever liquid is poured into the funnel from above must descend through the funnel proper and pass through the spout before being released into the vessel that is waiting below to gather the flow. Now when it comes to the flow of Divine blessing to the world, the spout of the funnel parallels the channel of the “Yesod.” To reach us, everything, whether the Divine blessings of rain, livelihood, marital happiness, or health, have to pass through the “Yesod.”
Because G-d created man as a microcosm of the world, everything contained in the spiritual blueprint of the world is contained in him. For instance, the right arm is associated with the Divine attribute and sefirah of “Chesed.” The left arm is associated with the Divine sefirah of “Gevorah.” And the sexual organ is associated with the “Yesod.” Because the “Yesod” is the spout of the celestial funnel that channels blessing to the world, blemishes which are caused by sexual transgression, also damage the channel of the “Yesod,” clogging up the spout of the funnel. When the spout is repeatedly damaged by sexual transgression, or by not carefully adhering to the laws of family purity, known as "Taharat HaMishpachah," the funnel becomes broken or clogged. Not only can’t our prayers ascend, also Divine blessings can’t get through the proper conduit to come down and reach us.
On a personal level, this clog in the pipe can cause livelihood problems, problems with children, or illness, may G-d have mercy. On the national level, if the spout of the funnel is damaged, then there can be a shortage of rain, an economic depression, or war.
When this happens, it is time for Roto-Router, or Drano, or an emergency call to the plumber to come and clean out the pipes. In Judaism, this is known as T’shuva (repentance) and prayer. In Kabbalistic terms, it is known as “Tikun HaYesod,” (the rectification of the “Yesod”).
The prayer last Thursday night at the Kotel, led by the holy Tzaddik, Rabbi Leon Levi, was a mass “Tikun HaYesod.” Because the effect of our prayers was multiplied by an atomic chain reaction of the myriads of supplicants who were there, compounded by the people who joined along from all over the world via the Internet hook-up, enhanced by the special favorable time of the climax of “Shovavim,” coupled with the fact that the intersecting point of the celestial “Yesod” with his world is the place of the Jerusalem Temple, where we were all standing – all of this blasted away the impurities and blemishes that our sins had caused in the spout of the funnel, and with G-d’s infinite kindness and compassion, opened the clogged channel and re-released the flow of blessing to the Jewish People – which found concrete expression in the downpour of rain.
While the “Shovavim” period has passed, G-d accepts the prayers of a broken and penitent heart all through the year – so if you missed out on Thursday night, it is not too late. A powerful “Tikun HaYesod” prayer is now available in English for those who have trouble with Hebrew. Yes, it is long and takes some time to recite, but what can you do? We have been clogging the pipes up for a long time now with our mistakes, so if we have to put some extra effort in our prayers for forgiveness, it isn’t the end of the world. In fact, for a true penitent, it isn’t the end of the world, but rather an amazing, wonderful, miraculous new beginning.