Last Shabbat we read the Torahportion beginning with "Judges and enforcement officers you shall place in all your gateways." (Deuteronomy 16:18)
The Sifsei Kohain (on Torah) says it means guard the seven gates of your body – your humanity.
Mind, Eyes, Mouth, Ears, Nose, Hands, Feet. The seven gateways in which humankind interacts with the outside world.
We need to judge for ourselves whether something is proper and good, or corrosive and injurious, and to be negated. Is this going to nurture the good within me, or will it feed the potential for evil that lurks within?
Judging alone is not enough, there must be the willpower to enforce our sense of right and wrong.
Defunding police enforcement is not an innovative idea at all.
Our judgement must be based on the objective opinion of Torat Chaim –teaching of life –the divinely ordained compass for living called Torah.
Adherence to the Torah is what assures that we live a life of Tikkun Olam B’Malchut Sha-dai –correcting and repairing the World with the sovereignty of G-Ds presence and thus fulfilling our share in partnership with Al-mighty G-D.
The purpose of our existence is to make this world a dwelling place for G-ds presence. (Midrash Tanchuma)
The Delta Variant's implied message
At present the DELTA variant is taking up all the oxygen in the room. Wherever we turn mass media is soaking and marinating us in the fearful COVID 19 resurgence. The DELTA variant is a tricky and highly contagious option infecting not only the infirm and elderly but also the young and the healthy.
The holy Bal Shem Tov (Sefer Keter Shem Tov) tells us that all existence is by the word of G-d.
As King David says in Psalms (33:6 - 9) everything that exists – is through His word. The Hebrew letters are the vessels and agency through which the divine life force creates and sustains all that exists. Should these letters of Creation be removed by G-D, the consequence would be the end all existence including the concept of time and place.
The 22 Hebrew letters that make up the Aleph Bet (Biblical Hebrew) is the holy tongue as it is the language of G-d used in the creating of all existence and thus it through these very letters that all of creation derives its vitality and existence. This idea is elaborated upon in the TANYA by Rebbe Schneur Zalman of Liadi (Shaar Hayichud Vemunah)
Delta and Dalet - connecting the Dots
The Greek letter DELTA has its origin in the Hebrew alphabet – Dalet. Aleph, Bet, Gimmel, Dalet. Thus, the name Delta, is associated with the fourth letter of the holy tongue.
Delta, in the Arabic language, is the word that describes the rivers-mouth that forms the fertile Nile Delta, so famous in ancient history, as being the breadbasket of ancient Egypt.
The mouth of a river, or delta, allows for the inflow of nutrient rich soil to accumulate in the area that makes it super fertile for planting crops that sustain humankind.
The reader is familiar that the TORAH declares that we must guard ourselves from mimicking the abominations of Egypt, and the immorality that festered there. We dare not condone the sexual impropriety practiced in Egypt and in the land of Canaan. (Leviticus 18:2)
The Torah promises that when we adhere to of G-ds admonitions then “all the sicknesses and maladies that the Egyptians were visited upon will not befall you.” (Exodus 15:26)
It should give us pause to realize that the DELTA variant broke out in June of this year.
Healing through Kindness & Teshuvah
Let us now return to the Hebrew letters and see how they are also moral indicators for humanity to emulate.
There was an instructor of young children who taught them the letters of the Aleph Bet. He said to the sages in the study hall. Permit me to share with you the meaning of the Hebrew letters. He exclaimed:
Aleph – Bet, this is an acrostic for “Aleph- Bina” that translates as – I will teach you discernment
Gimmel – Dalet this is an acrostic for “Ge’mol -Dalim” that translates as – pursue gemilat chassadim acts of loving kindness with the dalim – the poor and impoverished.
This teacher continued: Why does the letter Gimmel have two protrusions – (two legs) so that it runs after the Dalet – for so it is with people who are kind, they pursue and run after the poor (dalim) to do with them an act of loving kindness. He continued: And why is the letter Dalet – (the shape of the Dalet) its back, ever slightly inclined towards the letter Gimmel, it is so, that that the one doing the act of kindness will not have to trouble himself to find the poor person. And why is it, that the letter Dalet its back is facing away from the letter Gimmel? to teach that the wealthy person is to perform the act of kindness in a manner that is circumspect, without the recipient placed to embarrassment. (Talmud Shabbat 104.)
Yes – Tzedakah and Kindness is the solution
By placing Judges and enforcement officers over ourselves – following the Torah and staying away from Egypt’s abominations we are protected and are assured success in all that we do. By increasing in all acts of loving kindness we will bring about much more than “herd-immunity” but a world of healing.
The word ELUL is comprised of four letters being an acrostic for Ani Ledodi Vdodi Li – I am to My Beloved and My Beloved is to me
The transcendent name of G-d is also of four letters.
The fourth letter of the Hebrew Alphabet is DALET as mentioned, the source for the word DELTA.
The key to transform the Delta variant is through the increase of Torah observance and charitable deeds, namely:
1)Torah study 2) Prayer 3) Acts of loving kindness and 4) Teshuvah – a return to Hashem and His Torah
Doing so, all of Israel is inscribed in the Book of Life for health and wealth both spiritual and material. The great promise of MOSHIACH who will judge and discern, right from wrong, not through appearances alone, but through the powerful and discerning sense of smell. (Isaiah 11:3)
Then, the DELTA and Covid 19 malady that enters through the nasal passage to infect the lungs will be stopped in its tracks. Totally obliterated!
The era of MOSHIACH, will herald the end of all exile, quarantine, and isolation. World peace and the restoration of our holy Beit Hamikdosh, in the holy city of Jerusalem will be the redemption complete.
Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht serves as rabbi of Beth Israel Chabad Norwalk CT.