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Parasha Pinchas – Mevarchim Menachem Av 23 Tamuz – 1 Menachem Av 5776

Fri July 29th – Erev Shabbos
Shacharis: 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 8:28 pm

Sat July 30th  - Shabbos
Tehilim for Mevarchim Menachem Av 8:00 am
Shacharis: 9:30 am (Latest Shema 9:28 am)
Mincha 8:15 pm /PIRKEI AVOT CHAPTER 1/ Seuda Slishit
Maariv/Havdala 9:32 pm

Weekdays
Sunday Shacharis 9 am
Mon- Thu Shacharis 7 am
Fri Shacharis 6:50 am /ROSH CHODESH/
Sun-Thu Mincha/Maariv 8:20 pm /Repeat Shema after 9:20 pm/

KIDDUSH SHABBOS
Kiddush this week is sponsored by Shimon and Tova Cox, who are saying Au Revoir to their daughter Miriam as she moves to Los Angeles this coming week.  They are looking forward to her many visits home, as are we all.  
Kiddush is co-sponsored by 
Charna Klein in memory of her friend Barbara Myerson z"l, beloved mother of Elana and Ora and beloved grandmother of five.  Her unveiling will be on Mon. 8/31/16 at 5:30pm at Machzikay Hadath Cemetary. 
Seuda Slishit is sponsored by 
Rabbi Kavka.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
From 10 AM at the Shaarei Tefillah Library.

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

THE THREE WEEKS – NOW THROUGH TISHA b’AV
During the three weeks, weddings are not held; we do not play musical instruments or listen to music; we do not eat fruit which we have not yet eaten this season or wear new clothing that would require us to recite the Shehecheyanu blessing ; We do not cut our hair or shave. Consult Rabbi Levitin for details. 

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – /ON VACATION/
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

Shabbat Friday night Fundraiser BBQ at Shul August 19th  
Details to follow. Save the Date!

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

SPECIAL FUNDRAISING FOR SHUL SECURITY
I have heard from many of you that the security at our Shul has been well received and appreciated. We are looking to raise $1,800 which would cover the extra cost during Yom Tov. Please click the link below or mail in a check for this worthy cause.  -Mike Weichbrodt
https://m-cstlseattleorg.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3182565/jewish/Donate/lang/en

Men’s Mikvah annual Dues are Due Annually on Elul 1st 
$440/daily, $220/weekly, $100/holiday only. Paying for one visit is not an option if you live in this community. Visitors pay $2.50 for single use. You can go to http://www.CSTLSeattle.org to make your payment online with your credit card. 

Weekly Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  chanielevitin@gmail.com

CAMP GAN IZZY Now through Friday August 5th
Camp Gan Israel Seattle has been providing the Jewish children of Greater Seattle a special summer day camp experience that integrates healthy active fun, field trips and friendships with the richness, excitement and warmth of Jewish values, tradition and culture. Fun that lasts a summer…memories that last a lifetime.  Questions? Call or text Rabbi Abe Kavka at (206.730.2775) or info@campganisraelseattle.org . Register your kids, ages 2½ to 12 atwww.campganisraelseattle.org  for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 weeks. NOW OFFERING TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM MERCER ISLAND AND SEWARD PARK!!! (For transportation to/from other areas please speak with Rabbi Kavka.)

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush,hardcastle101@hotmail.com . Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $300, co-Sponsor $150, Contributor: $50-$149.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at https://www.jewishinseattle.org/donate


COMMUNITY NEWS

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES
Kosher Food Bank Wed Aug 3rd 5 – 6:30 pm
Food bank opportunity for families who keep a kosher kitchen. Contact Esther Magasis, emagasis@jfsseattle.org    - (206) 861-3174.

Pre-Tisha B'Av Leil Iyum Tuesday, August 9, 7:30 pm
At the Seattle Kollel with featured speakers Rabbi Yechezkel Kornfeld and Rabbi Yehuda Bresler

Seattle Kollel SEED Learning Day Camps
Boys: June 27-August 25. More info: www.seattlekollel.org
Girls: June 27-August 25. More info: www.seattlekollel.org 

36th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, Aug. 7-12
Sheraton Hotel, downtown Seattle. More info: www.iajgs2016.org

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


 SICHO FOR PINCHAS
http://www.chabad.org/therebbe/article_cdo/aid/2613660/jewish/Pinchas.htm © Chabad.org

Parshas Pinchas begins with G‑d’s statement:1 “Pinchas, the son of Elazar... turned back My rage... by his zealousness for My sake.... Behold, I am granting him My covenant of peace, an eternal covenant of priesthood.”

With the phrase “an eternal covenant of priesthood,” G‑d implied that Pinchas’s descendants would also be priests.

G‑d had already given the priesthood to Aharon and his sons Elazar and Isamar as a hereditary distinction. Nevertheless, only the children born to Elazar and Isamar after they had been installed as priests were granted this status. Pinchas was born before the Sanctuary was erected and was not installed as a priest together with Aharon and his sons. Therefore, until he killed Zimri, he was not considered a priest.2

This raises a question. Divine service warrants reward; the greater the service, the greater the reward. But the priesthood is not a reward. Instead, it is a part of the inherent nature of Aharon and his descendants. By having Aharon anointed as a priest, G‑d differentiated between them and the rest of the Jewish people, as it is written:3 “And He distinguished Aharon, to sanctify him and his descendants as most sacred forever.”

If a person does not descend from Aharon, he is not a priest. There is no Divine service which can cause this status to be conveyed upon him. AsRashi states:4

The Holy One, blessed be He, established distinctions within His world. Just as one cannot turn morning into evening, so too [the priesthood] cannot be nullified. Thus it is written:5 “And G‑d distinguished between light and darkness....” and it is written:3 “And He distinguished Aharon....”

Just as the differences between night and day are part of the natural structure of the world, so too the priesthood is an inherent element of nature. Accordingly, the question arises: Since Pinchas was not a priest, how could this status be conveyed upon him because of his zealousness?


 

The Connection Between Pinchas and Eretz Yisrael

After this Torah reading completes telling the story of Pinchas, it relates the command to wage war against Midian, and orders a census because of the Jews who died in the plague. It then speaks about the division of Eretz Yisraeland the appointment of Yehoshua as the leader who will guide the Jews into the Holy Land. At the conclusion of the Torah reading, the order of sacrificial offerings is described. There is a connection between these offerings and the entry into Eretz Yisrael, because certain sacrifices, e.g., the two loaves of bread offered on Shavuos, certain of the communal sacrifices, and the wine libations,6 could be performed only in the Holy Land.7

Our Sages state8 that if the Jews had not sinned, their first entry into Eretz Yisrael would have initiated the Era of the Redemption. Even though the Redemption did not actually take place at that time, there are parallels between the entrance into Eretz Yisrael and the Future Redemption.9

This helps us understand the connection between the entry into Eretz Yisraeland Pinchas. For Pinchas is identified with Eliyahu,10 the prophet who will announce the Redemption.


 

When the Master Is Revealed

In the Era of the Redemption, the Or Ein Sof, G‑d’s infinite light, will be revealed in an overt manner, as alluded to in the prophecy:11 “No longer shall your Master conceal Himself.”

In the present era, G‑d’s light is covered in veils which limit its revelation. In the Era of the Redemption, by contrast, the essence of the light will be revealed. This light will transcend the limits of the spiritual cosmos.

Our array of spiritual potentials parallel those which exist on the mystic plane. Just as there is a light that is limited by the spiritual cosmos, and another which transcends those limits, there are two levels within our souls: One refers to the soul as it enclothes itself in our conscious powers. This level has four mediums of expression (nefesh, ruach, neshamah, and chayah) which parallel the spiritual worlds of Asiyah, Yetzirah, Beriah, and Atzilus.

And then there is a level of soul which transcends all our powers, the level ofyechidah. This level is at one with G‑d in His manifestation as yochid, “the singular One” — a level that transcends the spiritual cosmos.

To draw down this level into the world, our Divine service must tap that part of the soul which transcends our conscious powers.12

This is the intent of our Sages’ statement:13 “If Israel turns to G‑d in teshuvah,she will be redeemed. If not, she will not be redeemed.” By adding the second clause, our Sages emphasized that teshuvah alone will spark the coming of the Redemption. The rationale for this is not merely that our sins prevent the Redemption from being manifest. Instead, the intent is to emphasize that the Redemption requires teshuvah as a catalyst. In the Era of the Redemption,G‑d’s singular Oneness will be manifest throughout existence. In order to draw down this level, teshuvah is necessary.

For teshuvah has the potential to wash away all the blemishes caused by sin.14 These blemishes affect the conscious powers of the soul. When a Jew is motivated by teshuvah, he taps the level of yechidah, and this enables him to transcend his own limitations and rectify all blemishes.


 

Precipitating the Redemption

The level of yechidah which surpasses our conscious powers is expressed through mesirusnefesh, self-sacrifice, a commitment that transcends the bounds of reason. For reason cannot explain true self sacrifice. Some exert themselves because of the promise of reward, but true self-sacrifice is above such thoughts, and indeed cannot be comprehended at all. The potential for such self-sacrifice comes from the level of yechidah.

This also explains why in the present era — the time of ikvesa diMeshicha, when Mashiach’sapproaching footsteps can already be heard — our Divine service requires self-sacrifice. For the intent is to tap the power of yechidah,and in this manner precipitate the revelation of G‑d’s singular oneness at the time of the coming of Mashiach.

As explained in Tanya,15 mesirus nefesh was always a necessary element of our Divine service. Indeed, the totality of our Divine service depends on it. For this reason, the generation that entered Eretz Yisrael was commanded to recite the Shema (with its commitment to mesirus nefesh) twice a day, despite the fact that the nation had already been promised:16 “G‑d will place your fear and your dread upon the entire land.”

On a day-to-day level, however, the observance of the Torah and its mitzvosin those days did not require mesirus nefesh. The Jews’ mesirus nefeshrepresented merely a potential commitment. As such, they drew down the level of yechidah (mesirus nefesh) as it is enclothed in the other four levels of the soul, and which are given expression in the observance of the Torah and its mitzvos.

In the era of ikvesa diMeshicha, by contrast, actual mesirus nefesh is required to give unveiled expression to the level of yechidah within our souls and thus precipitate the unveiled revelation of G‑dliness within the world.


 

Self-Sacrifice that Knows No Bounds

There are also levels within mesirus nefesh itself. Sometimes a person makes a commitment of self-sacrifice, but the commitment is limited.He consults theShulchan Aruch to see whether he is obligated to sacrifice himself for any particular matter.

A true commitment of mesirus nefesh, however, involves devotion to G‑d without any restraints — a commitment that transcends all reason and logic.

This level of mesirus nefesh was revealed by Pinchas. He was not required to risk his life in this instance. If he had asked a court, it would not have commanded him to take action.17 For in such a situation, the court does not give the directive:18 “The zealous may strike him.”19 By acting, Pinchas thus expressed true mesirus nefesh.

This reflects the connection between Pinchas and the future Redemption. For the future Redemption will be brought about through this type of self-sacrifice, a commitment that is unlimited in any form, one which expresses the level ofyechidah which in turn will reveal yochid, G‑d’s singular oneness.


 

Fusing Opposites

With regard to the prophecy of the Redemption:20 “I will make your windows21of gems,” The Talmud states:22 “One23 interpreted this as referring to rubies, and one to jasper. The Holy One, blessed be He, says: ‘I will satisfy both views.’”

A ruby is a red jewel, indicative of energy drawn down from Above. Jasper is a sparkling gem which reflects light so brightly that it can blind,24 alluding to the rebounding light (or chozer) generated by our efforts to refine worldly existence.

This is the core of the difference of opinion as to whether the revelations of the future Redemption will follow the pattern of drawing down energy from above or will be precipitated by the refinement and elevation of the world. G‑d says: “I will satisfy both views,” for the future Redemption will combine both thrusts.25

The difference between these two thrusts can be explained as follows. Light which is drawn down from above has no constraints, while the light which is generated by the refinement of the material plane is proportionate to our Divine service, and is thus limited.

But there is an advantage to the light generated by our own efforts. When light is drawn down from above, independent of the efforts of man, it will not necessarily be internalized within the world, for the world has not been made ready to accept it. Instead, the light shines in an encompassing manner.

When, however, the light is generated by man’s efforts to elevate the world, material reality will have become a medium in which G‑dly light can be internalized.

The uniqueness of the Era of the Redemption is that it will combine both qualities. G‑dly light will be revealed as it is, with no constraints. Indeed, the light will be so transcendent that it cannot be drawn down through the Divine service of mortals. And yet this light will be internalized by the world.

There has never been such a revelation, nor will there be until the coming of the Redemption. Although the Alter Rebbe writes that a semblance to this event occurred at the giving of the Torah,26 this refers only to the fact of revelation. At the giving of the Torah, as will happen in the Era of the Redemption, an unbounded, transcendent light was revealed. But at that time the world was not refined, and did not become a medium for the light. Therefore, after the revelation at Mount Sinai was complete, the world remained unchanged. The most clear indication of this fact is that directly afterwards, the Jews worshipped the Golden Calf.27

In the Era of the Redemption, however, both thrusts will come to fulfillment. The world will be refined and will therefore be able to internalize the infinite revelations of that era.

These concepts are alluded to in the person of Pinchas, who is identified with Eliyahu, the messenger of redemption. As mentioned above, priesthood is not a quality that can be earned through Divine service. Instead, it is granted from above, defining the nature of a person’s existence. We are thus forced to conclude that even before Pinchas slew Zimri, he was fit for the priesthood. Nevertheless, that characteristic was not expressed until he revealed his zealousness.

Why? Because the intent was that Pinchas reveal his potential through his own Divine service.

This fusion of opposite tendencies is alluded to by G‑d’s statement: “Behold, I am granting him My covenant of peace,” for peace involves the resolution of conflict. Similarly, Pinchas combined revelation from above and his own efforts of refinement, demonstrating within his person a microcosm of the future Redemption. For this reason, Pinchas is identified with Eliyahu.


 

A Foretaste of the Redemption

A similar fusion of opposites can be expressed in our own Divine service. We must fuse the level of yechidah with our conscious powers, empowering them to internalize the transcendent.28

The intent is not merely to observe the Torah and its mitzvos as they are inspired by the recitation of the Shema, for then a person’s Divine service is carried out with only his conscious powers, and the intensity of mesirus nefesh that stems from the yechidah is concealed within these powers.

Instead, the intent is that throughout the day, a person’s Divine service should pulsate with mesirusnefesh. His yechidah should be manifest, shining as an internalized light and redefining the workings of his conscious powers.

Then both advantages will be attained, for the revelation of the yechidah will be internalized. This is both a foretaste and a preparation for the revelations of the Era of the Redemption.


 

From Exile to Redemption

In years when the parshiyos Matos and Masei are read together, Parshas Pinchas is the first of the Shabbosos of beyn hameitzarim, the period of mourning for the destruction of the BeisHaMikdash. Since all matters are defined by Divine Providence, this indicates that ParshasPinchas shares a connection to the period of beyn hameitzarim.29

To explain: Directly after the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, “the redeemer of Israel was born.”30 This shows that the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash began the process leading to the Redemption.31 And as explained above, the revelations of that era will be associated with the Divine service of Pinchas — the revelation of the yechidah within one’s conscious powers.

This concept is also alluded to at the end of the first of the haftoros read during beynhameitzarim:32 “Israel is sanctified unto G‑d, the first fruits of His yield. All that devour her will be held guilty. Evil will come upon them.”

When translating literally, the subject of the latter phrases are the gentile nations. For “devouring Israel” they will “be held guilty,” and “evil will come upon them.”

Since the Torah was given to the Jewish people, in addition to its simple meaning, the verse must also contain a directive for our Divine service.33 This directive can be explained as follows: When the Jews sin, those sins devour the spiritual potential of Israel. This can be rectified through a guilt offering, for a guilt offering is associated with the revelation of yechidah.34

This is deduced in the following manner: With regard to the guilt offering, it is written:35 “And one will add its fifth to it.” In terms of our Divine service, this means that the efforts of our four potentials nefesh, ruach, neshamah, andchayah are not sufficient; one must also activate the fifth level: yechidah.36

And attention must be paid to the fact that the verse calls for the fifth to be added “to it,” i.e., yechidah is not revealed as an independent quality, but is fused with the other attributes. This empowers the nefesh, ruach, neshamah,and chayah, charging them with the energy of yechidah.

This is also reflected in the Alter Rebbe’s interpretation33 of the verse:37 “Who can number the seed of Israel?” The Hebrew word for number, mispar, relates to the Hebrew sapir, meaning “brightness” and the word rovah, translated as “seed,” relates to the number four, arbeh in Hebrew. The implication is that the level of yechidah must shine on the four attributes of Israel, the nefesh, ruach,neshamah, and chayah, and be internalized within them, thus heralding the revelations of the Era of the Redemption. May it come soon.

 

Parasha Balak and Fast of 17 Tamuz 15-22 Tamuz 5776

Fri July 22nd – Erev Shabbos
Shacharis: 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 8:37 pm

Sat July 23rd  - Shabbos
Shacharis: 9:30 am (Latest Shema 9:25 am)
Mincha 8:15 pm /PIRKEI AVOT CHAPTER 6/ Seuda Slishit
Maariv/Havdala 9:43 pm

Sun July 24th  Fast of Tammuz 17
Fast begins at 3:30 am based on 72 minutes=16.1º
Shacharis 9 am with Torah and Selichos
8:15 pm: Mincha
9:30 pm: Ma'ariv/Fast Ends

Weekdays
Sunday Shacharis 9 am
Sun Mincha 8:15 pm, Maariv/Fast Ends 9:30 pm
Mon- Fri Shacharis 7 am
Mon-Thu Mincha/Maariv 8:30 pm /Repeat Shema after 9:30 pm/

KIDDUSH SHABBOS
Kiddush this week has two co-sponsors.   Dr. Vernon and Lis Neppe are co-sponsoring in beloved memory of the 29th Yahrzeit of Vernon's father Sholem Leib ben Reb Dovid Shleima z'l (19th Tammuz). Adam and Jennie Minkus are co-sponsoring in celebration of the birth of their daughter, AvigailHenya...one year ago! (Better late than never!). Seuda Slishit is sponsored by Saifo Marasow.

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
From 10 AM at the Shaarei Tefillah Library.

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

THE THREE WEEKS BEGINS MOTZEI SHABBOS JULY 23rd 
Yom Rishon (Sunday) is the beginning of the three weeks. During the three weeks, weddings are not held; we do not play musical instruments or listen to music; we do not eat fruit which we have not yet eaten this season or wear new clothing that would require us to recite the Shehecheyanu blessing ; We do not cut our hair or shave. Consult Rabbi Levitin for details.  Remember to take your hair cut before the three week starts.

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – /ON VACATION/
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

Shabbat Friday night Fundraiser BBQ at Shul August 19th  
Details to follow. Save the Date!

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

SPECIAL FUNDRAISING FOR SHUL SECURITY
I have heard from many of you that the security at our Shul has been well received and appreciated. We are looking to raise $1,800 which would cover the extra cost during Yom Tov. Please click the link below or mail in a check for this worthy cause.  -Mike Weichbrodt
https://m-cstlseattleorg.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3182565/jewish/Donate/lang/en

Men’s Mikvah annual Dues are Due Annually on Elul 1st 
$440/daily, $220/weekly, $100/holiday only. Paying for one visit is not an option if you live in this community. Visitors pay $2.50 for single use. You can go to http://www.CSTLSeattle.org to make your payment online with your credit card. 

Weekly Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  chanielevitin@gmail.com

CAMP GAN IZZY Now through Friday August 5th
Camp Gan Israel Seattle has been providing the Jewish children of Greater Seattle a special summer day camp experience that integrates healthy active fun, field trips and friendships with the richness, excitement and warmth of Jewish values, tradition and culture. Fun that lasts a summer…memories that last a lifetime.  Questions? Call or text Rabbi Abe Kavka at (206.730.2775) or info@campganisraelseattle.org . Register your kids, ages 2½ to 12 atwww.campganisraelseattle.org  for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 weeks. NOW OFFERING TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM MERCER ISLAND AND SEWARD PARK!!! (For transportation to/from other areas please speak with Rabbi Kavka.)

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush,hardcastle101@hotmail.com . Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $300, co-Sponsor $150, Contributor: $50-$149.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at https://www.jewishinseattle.org/donate


COMMUNITY NEWS

SHEVAT ASAR b’TAMUZ AT EZRA BESSAROTH – SUN JULY 24th 
5:45 pm: Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust

Featuring interviews with Steven Spielberg, Sidney Lumet and other prominent filmmakers and historians, Imaginary Witness examines Hollywood's attitude towards one of the most horrific events in world history. Using rare newsreel footage as well as gripping clips from over forty films, this award-winning documentary explores how filmmakers and popular culture have portrayed the Holocaust over the past 60 years. Narrated by Gene Hackman "A devastating, impressively reflective documentary" -The New York Times
7:15 pm Shiur: "The Seventeeth of Tamuz in our Classical Sources" An opportunity to utilize the fast day for reflection and Torah learning, with Rabbi Meyers

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES
Kosher Food Bank Wed Aug 3rd 5 – 6:30 pm
Food bank opportunity for families who keep a kosher kitchen. Contact Esther Magasis, emagasis@jfsseattle.org    - (206) 861-3174.

Pre-Tisha B'Av Leil Iyum Tuesday, August 9, 7:30 pm
At the Seattle Kollel with featured speakers Rabbi Yechezkel Kornfeld and Rabbi Yehuda Bresler

Seattle Kollel SEED Learning Day Camps
Boys: June 27-August 25. More info: www.seattlekollel.org
Girls: June 27-August 25. More info: www.seattlekollel.org 

36th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, Aug. 7-12
Sheraton Hotel, downtown Seattle. More info: www.iajgs2016.org

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


SICHO FOR BALAK
http://www.chabad.org/therebbe/article_cdo/aid/2613651/jewish/Balak.htm © Chabad.org
 

Our Sages interpret1 the verse:2 “From the top of boulders, I see him. I gaze upon him from the hills,” as an allegory, explaining that “the tops of boulders” refers to the Patriarchs, and “the hills” refer to the Matriarchs.

The significance of this commentary can be understood by comparing the different relationships which a father and a mother share with their child. A father’s connection is general; it does not relate to the child’s body in a specific way.3 For it is through the mother’s nurturing of the fetus for nine months that the limbs and organs that make up a child’s body become defined and develop.4

For this reason, even after the child is born, his mother shares a closer relationship with him than his father, for it is she who has shaped the particulars of his existence. And thus, a child has a greater love for his mother than for his father, and a greater degree of awe for his father.5 For love depends on closeness, and awe comes about through distance.

Similar concepts apply with regard to the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs of the Jewish people. For this reason, when speaking about the Patriarchs, the verse uses the expression “I see him,” which implies gazing from a distance, while with regard to the Matriarchs, it uses the expression, “I gaze upon him” which implies closeness. This is indicated by the Targum for the term “I gaze upon him,” (סכיתהsichisa, which is also used as the Targum for the word vitabeit.6 Habat, the Hebrew root for the latter term, implies looking closely with intent and concern.7

 

In the Image of G‑d

The conception of a child on the physical plane, as does every other material entity, stems from its spiritual source. Our emotions are referred to as “offspring,” because they are brought into being by intellect. Deep understanding and meditation on the greatness of G‑d spawns love and fear of G‑d.

More particularly, our conceptual process can be divided into two thrusts: Chochmah and Binah.Chochmah is the seminal core of understanding. Therefore it is described with the analogy of a father.Binah represents the development of a conceptual framework, and therefore it is referred to with the analogy of a mother.8

Our soul powers stem from the supernal Sefiros.9 And thus a similar pattern exists with regard to theseSefiros. They are divided into two fundamental categories which parallel intellect and emotion, it is the supernal intellect, Chochmah and Binah, which spawn the supernal emotions.10 And these emotions bring into being the spiritual worlds.11

More particular, the parallel reflects the workings of Chochmah and BinahChochmah serves as “the father,” for itis distant from the emotions and certainly from the worlds which they bring into being.Binah is considered “the mother” for it is closer to the emotions and also to the worlds.

Because Binah is closer to the worlds, the framework of reference which characterizes the worlds is significant for it. Therefore, the influence of Binah in the world, the comprehension of G‑dliness, does not nullify that framework of reference. Instead, it brings about only bittul hayesh, self-nullification that does not entirely banish one’s conception of self. The person devotes himself to a higher purpose, but still retains his individual identity.

Chochmah, by contrast, appreciates that “He alone exists; there is nothing else”;12 all other existence becomes paled in the light of His presence. This level of awareness is indeed reflected in the nameChochmah whose letters can be rearranged to form the words koach mah13 — which reflect complete and utter bittul, bittul bimetzius.

 

Striving for a Purpose

The Patriarchs and the Matriarchs share a connection with every Jew, endowing every member of people with their spiritual legacy.14 Implied is that every Jew possesses two general spiritual thrusts. The Patriarchs endow him with the quality of Chochmah, the potential for complete and utter self-nullification, reflecting the sublime unity, while the Matriarchs endow him with the quality of Binah,self-nullification that allows a person to retain his identity, reflecting the lower plane of unity.

The ultimate purpose of existence is that the world be transformed into a dwelling for G‑d. Thus our Divine service should not be removed from the world, but should focus on making the world a medium for G‑dliness as it exists within its own context. For this reason, the Matriarchs whose Divine service reflects closer involvement with the world possess an advantage over the Patriarchs (despite the fact thatBinah, the quality they personify, merely receives influence from Chochmah, the quality personified by the Patriarchs). And therefore, Avraham was instructed:15 “Listen to everything Sarah tells you.”

Both these thrusts, the striving towards the sublime unity and the lower unity, which come from the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs (the “tops of the boulders” and the “hills”) empower the Jewish people, enabling them to achieve the state described in the continuation of the verse:16 “It is a nation dwelling alone secure, not being counted among the nations.”

Even during exile, this prophecy continues to be fulfilled. For the identity of the Jews has remained intact; they have not assimilated among the nations. Indeed, the exile lifts the Jews to a higher level, as indicated by theinterpretation of this verse by the Targum as foreshadowing the Era of the Redemption when: “in the future, this nation will take possession of the earth,” with the coming of the true and ultimate Redemption, led by Mashiach; may it take place in the immediate future.

 

A Woman in Her Home

Every Jewish home is a world of its own in which is manifest all the Ten Sefiros.17 Just as within the supernal Sefiros and within the powers of our soul, there is an advantage to Binah over Chochmah(despite the fact that Binah receives influence from Chochmah), so too, within the Jewish home, there is a dimension of supremacy to the woman’s position.

And the woman’s position in the home reflects the functioning of these Sefiros. The Sefirah of Binahreceives influence from Chochmah, and conveys that influence to the emotional attributes. So too, a woman receives direction from her husband, as indicated by our Sages’ statement:18 “Who is a proper wife? One that fulfills her husband’s will.” Nevertheless, the actual functioning of the home including the education of the children, hospitality to guests, generous gifts to tzedakah and the like are all the women’s province.

A man is not at home during the major part of the day. He is busy with Torah study and prayer, or earning a livelihood. For his will to be “fulfilled,” manifest in actual life, he must rely on his “proper wife.”

Moreover, the Hebrew word translated as “fulfilled” עושה also means “make.” At times, a “proper wife” “makes her husband’s will.”19 For there are times when the pressures and difficulties he faces drain him, and hinder him from desiring the correct things. At that time, “his proper wife” should in a gentle and pleasant manner mold her husband’s will, coaxing to the surface the desire to fulfill G‑d’s will that lies within the heart of every Jew.20

“When a husband and wife are worthy, the Divine Presence rests among them.”21 When a Jewish home is conducted as “a Sanctuary in microcosm,”22 the Divine Presence rests within. And since the “Divine Presence rests within,” “no evil will dwell among you.”23 On the contrary, He will grant only good, overt and apparent good, as manifest in abundant blessings for children, health, and prosperity.

(Adapted from the maamar and Sichos of Yud-Gimmel Tammuz, 5722)

Parasha Chukas 15-22 Tamuz 5776

Fri July 15th – Erev Shabbos
Shacharis: 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 8:44 pm

Sat July 16th - Shabbos
Shacharis: 9:30 am  (Latest Shema 9:21 am)
Mincha 
6:15 pm - NOTE EARLY TIME | PIRKEI AVOT CHAPTER 5Seuda Slishit
Maariv/Havdala 9:51 pm 

Weekdays
Sunday Shacharis 9 am
Mon- Fri Shacharis 7 am
Mon-Thu Mincha/Maariv 8:45 pm /Repeat Shema after 9:42/

KIDDUSH SHABBOS
Kiddush Lite – No sponsor. 
Seuda Slishit is sponsored  by Ben & Sarah Dershowitz in honor of the 3rd Birthday of their son Efraim Alter, and the bris of their new son TBD.

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Susan Hankin and Shimon Dershowitz and the entire Dershowitz family on the upcoming wedding of their daughter Shoshi to Mayer Goldman of La Brea, California and the bris of their new grandson!

SHALOM ZACHOR Fri night Parashas Chukas, 15th  July/10th  Tamuz
Ben and Sarah Dershowitz would like to invite to community to their house 3302 NE 75th Street (entrance on 33rd Ave NE) for a Shalom Zachor for their new son, following your Shabbos Meal, Friday night Parashas Chukas, 15th  July/10th  Tamuz

BRIS  Shabbos Chukas Sat 16th July/10th  Tamuz at 6:15 pm at CSTL
Ben and Sarah Dershowitz would also like to inform the community of a bris to be held at CSTL, following special early 6:15 pm Mincha at CSTL on Shabbos Chukas, Sat 16th  July/10th  Tamuz.Seuda/Seuda Slishit to follow.

SHABBOS KALLAH FOR SHOSHI DERSHOWITZ – Sat July 16th 4 -6 PM

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the VaadeNews. Visit our web site www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – /ON VACATION/
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

FARBRENGEN ALERT – YUD GIMEL TAMUZ – Tues July 19th 6 pm
Please join us for a Yud Gimel/Gud Daled Tamuz Farbrengen, in honor of the Liberation of theRebbe Rayatz. At Chabad of  Shoreline. 14711 23rd Ave NE, Shoreline. Men, women, and children are invited!

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Men’s Mikvah annual Dues are Due Annually on Elul 1st 
$440/daily, $220/weekly, $100/holiday only. Paying for one visit is not an option if you live in this community. Visitors pay $2.50 for single use. You can go to http://www.CSTLSeattle.org to make your payment online with your credit card. 

Weekly Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  chanielevitin@gmail.com

CHABAD TEEN CAMP AT EASTSIDE TORAH CENTER 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Boys July 13-24.  www.chabadbellevue.org/camp

CAMP GAN IZZY REGISTRATION NOW OPEN - REGISTER TODAY
Conveniently located right here in the heart of Seattle’s North End. The season now runs through Friday August 5th. Camp Gan Israel Seattle has been providing the Jewish children of Greater Seattle a special summer day camp experience that integrates healthy active fun, field trips and friendships with the richness, excitement and warmth of Jewish values, tradition and culture. Fun that lasts a summer…memories that last a lifetime.  Questions? Call or text Rabbi Abe Kavka at (206.730.2775) or info@campganisraelseattle.org . Register your kids, ages 2½ to 12 atwww.campganisraelseattle.org  for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 weeks. NOW OFFERING TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM MERCER ISLAND AND SEWARD PARK!!! (For transportation to/from other areas please speak with Rabbi Kavka.)

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush,hardcastle101@hotmail.com . Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $300, co-Sponsor $150, Contributor: $50-$149.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at https://www.jewishinseattle.org/donate


COMMUNITY NEWS

Seattle Kollel SEED Learning Day Camps
Boys: June 27-August 25. More info: www.seattlekollel.org
Girls: June 27-August 25. More info: www.seattlekollel.org 

36th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, Aug. 7-12
Sheraton Hotel, downtown Seattle. More info: www.iajgs2016.org

Swedish Summerrun 2016 Sunday, July 17th 
Swedish Summerun which benefits the Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research. Click here for details and to register. Event day volunteer jobs available too. Contact Lea Hanan at leahanan@hotmail.com or Melissa Rivkin at melissacrivkin@gmail.com for more information.

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


SICHO FOR CHUKAS
http://www.chabad.org/therebbe/article_cdo/aid/2613627/jewish/Chukas.htm © Chabad.org
 

There are three categories of mitzvos in the Torah: mishpatim, idus, andchukim.1 Mishpatim are mitzvos whose observance is required even by human intellect. With regard to eidus, though logic alone would not mandate their observance, we can understand their rationale once they have been commanded by the Torah. Chukim, by contrast, are mitzvos which have no intellectual basis. Indeed, they contradict reason, and so must be observed with kabbalas ol, acceptance of G‑d’s yoke.

In mishpatim and eidus, G‑d’s will has been confined and enclothed in intellect to the extent that our thought processes can appreciate it. With regard tochukim, by contrast, G‑d’s will retains its transcendent nature. Even though they exist within our material framework, the chukim reflect the essence of G‑d’s will, which is connected directly to G‑d’s essence.2 This is why they cannot be grasped by mortal intellect.

Similarly, the observance of chukim requires a commitment stemming from the essence of one’s will, reflecting the kabbalas ol and bittul which are rooted in the essence of the soul, and which transcend one’s conscious powers.

In this light, a connection can also be drawn to the Alter Rebbe’s interpretation,3 which associates chukim with engraving (chakikah in Hebrew). Engraved letters possess an advantage over written letters, for engraved letters are part of the substance on which they are engraved. Writtenletters, by contrast, are merely added to the surface on which they appear.

This also reflects the advantage of chukim over eidus and mishpatim. Eidusand mishpatim —from the perspective of both G‑d (the Commander) and man (the commanded) — do not represent the expression of will in a pure sense. Instead, will is mixed with intellect. Chukim, by contrast, reflect the expression of man’s and G‑d’s essential will, and connect the essence of man’s soul to the essence of G‑d without the addition of any external factors.

Beyond the Ken of Knowledge

The fundamental example of a chok is the mitzvah of the red heifer. With regard to this mitzvah, even King Shlomo, who had grasped the most sublime truths and was able to comprehend the rationale for the other chukim, said:4

I was able to comprehend all [the other difficult passages of the Torah], but with regard to the passage of the red heifer, I asked, I researched and I sought. I said:5 “I will become wise,” [but I saw] that it was distant from me.

The rationale for this mitzvah was revealed to Moshe, our teacher, alone, as the Midrash states:6 “The Holy One, blessed be He, told Moshe: ‘To you alone will I reveal the rationale7 for the red heifer.’”

This is one of the reasons why the Torah introduces the chok of the red heifer with the phrase:8 “This is the statute of the Torah.” The Torah uses such wording rather than “This is the statute of the heifer,” or “This is the statute of the sin offering” because the red heifer reflects the Torah in its totality.9 For the essence of all the mitzvos, even the mishpatim and eidus, is G‑d’s transcendent will. With regard to the other mitzvos, however, G‑d’s will is enclothed in intellect. Nevertheless, the essence of even those mitzvosremains transcendent.10

In the mitzvah of the red heifer, this quality is overtly revealed. For the mitzvahof the red heifer is not enclothed within reason. Therefore, this mitzvahrepresents the Torah in its totality.

There are two unique dimensions to the offering of the red heifer:11 a) it makes the pure impure while it purifies the impure, and b) it is offered outside the camp.

We can assume that these unique dimensions reveal a quality associated with the essence of the soul, and relate to the Torah in its totality.

The impetus which spurs the essence of the soul to this service is sparked by Moshe, for only to him was the motivating principle revealed. And it is Moshe who conveys inspiration to all Jews.

To underscore this dynamic, G‑d commanded Moshe:8 “Speak to the children of Israel, that they shall bring you a red heifer.” It was Elazar the priest who offered the red heifer and carried out all the preparations for the sacrifice. Nevertheless, the Torah emphasizes that the heifer was to be brought to Moshe, for it was he who inspired the Divine service that represents the spiritual counterpart of this offering. For this reason, the sacrifice is always referred to as the red heifer offered by Moshe.12 Moreover, each of the eight red heifers offered during the era of the Second Beis HaMikdash, and even the final one to be offered by Mashiach used — or will use — the ashes of red heifer offered by Moshe in the desert.13

 

Pure, Impure

The Midrash states14 that when G‑d told Moshe Rabbeinu about the impurity resulting from contact with a human corpse, Moshe’s face turned color. “How will such a person regain ritual purity?” he wondered.

(Moshe was not as bewildered when G‑d taught him about other kinds of ritual impurity, for they are limited in nature. But the impurity stemming from contact with a corpse is the direct opposite of holiness. Holiness is associated with vitality; as long as one clings to “the living G‑d,” there is no possibility of death.15 Death reflects separation from G‑dliness, and therefore Moshe was bewildered.)

G‑d resolved this question for Moshe by teaching him the laws of the red heifer, for the ashes of the red heifer overturn even this type of impurity. The sprinkling of its ashes draws down the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, which transcend all limitations and remove all blemishes.16

For this reason, the red heifer is referred to as a chok. For within the ordinary limits of the spiritual cosmos (i.e., within both the private world of each human being, and within the world at large), it is impossible to bring purity to such a level. For “who can render the impure, pure? Only the One,”17 for He is not bound by any limits.

On this basis, we can also understand why the red heifer is offered outside the camp, in contrast to all other sacrifices, which were offered within the BeisHaMikdash. The Alter Rebbe explains18 that all the other sacrifices atone for unintentional sins, these being a result of the “intensification [of the influence] of the animal soul [rooted in kelipas] nogah.19 Therefore they are offered within the Beis HaMikdash.

The red heifer, by contrast, atones for the ritual impurity stemming from a corpse, the very lowest form of impurity, below even kelipas nogah.Accordingly, it is offered outside the camp, for it purifies even those levels outside the realm of holiness by revealing a light that transcends the limits of the spiritual cosmos.

Beyond Self-Concern

To draw down a light which is above the limits of the spiritual cosmos, one must tap a level of the soul which goes beyond all limits, the level of yechidah,which is expressed through bittul. To put it simply: mesirus nefesh, self-sacrifice, is necessary. A person must put his own concerns aside, go outside the camp, take a cow (indeed, one which is red20 ) and prepare it as a sacrifice, knowing that he himself will thereby become impure. All this to enable other Jews to become pure.

A person has to be willing to ignore his own concerns to do a favor for another Jew. Moreover, the help which he offers must be given freely, without thought of personal benefit. Our Sages teach:21 “More than the donor gives to the recipient, the recipient gives to the donor.” But when a person gives with such thoughts in mind, he has not transcended his limits, and so it is impossible for him to draw down G‑d’s essence.

When does a person draw down G‑d’s essence? When he does a favor for another person despite the knowledge that he will thereby become impure.22

(G‑d will certainly repay him several times over for his troubles, but this is not his concern. He should be willing to make the effort despite the fact that he thereby becomes impure.)

This lack of self-concern is the chok engraved in the very core of his being, and it draws down the transcendent dimensions of G‑dliness. For only the essence of the soul can draw down G‑d’s essence.

The above concepts enable us to appreciate the ramifications of the two unique dimensions of the laws regarding the red heifer: that it makes the impure pure while making the pure impure, and that it is offered outside the camp.

To explain:

a) Through the Divine service associated with the chukim, we reveal the essence of the soul. For the bittul involved in enabling another Jew to purify himself even though it requires leaving the camp and becoming impure oneself expresses the essence of the soul.

b) This relates to the Torah in its totality, for the purpose of the Torah is to take humanity above all limits, enabling us to subdue our personal “I.” This includes not only the “I” of the body, but also the “I” of the soul. This self-sacrifice is expressed through ahavas Yisrael (the love for a fellow Jew), which is the totality of the Torah.23

The potential for such a commitment stems from Moshe Rabbeinu. He was the epitome of selflessness, and inspired all Jews to manifest bittul.

Positive Self-Concern

On several occasions, it has been explained24 that the Torah fuses opposites. A similar concept applies in the present context: one’s efforts to reach out to another Jew must be coupled with a concern for one’s own refinement.

It is written:25 “When you see a naked person, you should cover him, but you should not turn away from your own flesh.” Mitzvos are described with the analogy of garments.26 Thus the verse can be interpreted as meaning “When you see a naked person — one who has no mitzvos in which to clothe himself — you should clothe him. Inspire him to observe the mitzvos, to wear tefillinand tzitzis.” At the same time, however, one cannot “turn away from one’s own flesh.”

The implication is that one must realize that one’s makeup is materialistically inclined. And one must carry out a process of refinement that includes spiritual counterparts to each of the three steps involved in preparing flesh to be eaten: soaking, salting, and washing.27

Since the mitzvah of the red heifer represents “the totality of the Torah,” it also alludes to this concept. This is reflected in the fact that the ashes of the red heifer offered by Moshe were divided into three portions:28 One was used to purify the impure. One portion was set aside to purify the priests who would offer subsequent red heifers. And a third portion was set aside as “a testimonial.”

One might ask: What is the purpose of a testimonial?

In terms of our Divine service, this question can be answered as follows: Because of the many rigors involved in communal work and outreach efforts, one may forget about oneself. Therefore a testimonial is necessary to remind us that the impurity associated with death should not be allowed to penetrate into our own lives, and require us to use of the ashes of the red heifer.29

Summing Up

To summarize:

a) When one sees a Jew who does not appear to be clinging to the living G‑d, and who looks spiritually lifeless, one might think that the person is beyond hope. The red heifer teaches us that this is not so. Moshe Rabbeinu endowed us with the power to purify every Jew, even one who has come into contact with death.30

b) The yetzer hora can argue: “It’s true that the potential has been granted for such service, but why must you perform it? Why lower yourself to such a level? After all, our Sages teach that31 a person is never told to sin in order to enable a colleague to benefit.

In reply, we are told that this is “the statute of the Torah,” i.e., a principle upon which the entire Torah revolves. One must be willing to sacrifice oneself for a colleague. Until one is willing to make such a sacrifice, one is lacking a connection to the Torah in its totality.

c) A person can err and think that the success of his outreach efforts is due to his personal talents. To counter such thoughts, he is reminded that before offering a red heifer, one must be purified with the ashes of the red heifer which Moshe offered. Each person must realize that he is only an agent, and that his potential for success is generated by Moshe.

d) One might wish to devote oneself entirely to the purification of others, without concentrating on oneself. To prevent such an error, the Torah teaches us to keep a portion of the ashes of the red heifer as a testimonial, reminding us to focus energies inward as well as outward.

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Chukas, 5710,
Shabbos Parshas Chukas-Balak, 5712)

Parasha Korach – Gimmel Tamuz 3-10 Tamuz 5776

Fri July 8th – Erev Shabbos
Shacharis: 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 8:49 pm

Sat July 9th - Shabbos
Shacharis: 9:30 am  (Latest Shema 9:17 am)
Mincha 8:35 pm /PIRKEI AVOT CHAPTER 4/ Seuda Slishit
Maariv/Havdala 9:58 pm 

Weekdays
Sunday Shacharis 9 am
Mon- Fri Shacharis 7 am
Mon-Thu Mincha/Maariv 9 pm /Repeat Shema after 9:48/

KIDDUSH SHABBOS
There will again be a gala kiddush this week!  Rabbi and Mrs. Levitin and Chabad of the Pacific NW are sponsoring in honor of Gimmel Tammuz, this year the 22nd yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachim Mendel Schneerson of righteous memory (http://www.chabad.org/therebbe/article_cdo/aid/142232/jewish/3-Tammuz.htm).  
Dr. Norman Share is also sponsoring kiddush this week, in honor and in memory of the 29th yahrzeit of his son Todd (Avraham ben NatanhaCohen, z"l, 3rd Tammuz).  
Seuda Slishit is sponsored  by 
Shmueli Tennenhaus

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – TUE 8 pm
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

FARBRENGEN ALERT - GIMEL TAMUZ - Motzei Shabbos JULY 9th FROM 10 PM
Please join us for a Gimel Tamuz Farbrengen, in honor of the Yartzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.  MotzeiShabbos (July 9th) at Chabad of  Shoreline. 14711 23rd Ave NE, Shoreline. Men, women, and children are invited!

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin - /NOT THIS SUNDAY/
Gemora Baba Basra. Beginning this Sunday the 26th June after 9 am Shacharis

Men’s Mikvah annual Dues are Due Annually on Elul 1st 
$440/daily, $220/weekly, $100/holiday only. Paying for one visit is not an option if you live in this community. Visitors pay $2.50 for single use. You can go to http://www.CSTLSeattle.org to make your payment online with your credit card. 

Weekly Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  chanielevitin@gmail.com

CHABAD TEEN CAMP AT EASTSIDE TORAH CENTER 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Girls June 29 – July 10, Boys July 13-24.  www.chabadbellevue.org/camp

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

CAMP GAN IZZY REGISTRATION NOW OPEN - REGISTER TODAY
Conveniently located right here in the heart of Seattle’s North End. The season now runs from Monday, July 4th through Friday August 5th. Camp Gan Israel Seattle has been providing the Jewish children of Greater Seattle a special summer day camp experience that integrates healthy active fun, field trips and friendships with the richness, excitement and warmth of Jewish values, tradition and culture. Fun that lasts a summer…memories that last a lifetime.  Questions? Call or text Rabbi Abe Kavka at (206.730.2775) or info@campganisraelseattle.org . Register your kids, ages 2½ to 12 atwww.campganisraelseattle.org  for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 weeks. NOW OFFERING TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM MERCER ISLAND AND SEWARD PARK!!! (For transportation to/from other areas please speak with Rabbi Kavka.)

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush,hardcastle101@hotmail.com . Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $300, co-Sponsor $150, Contributor: $50-$149.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at https://www.jewishinseattle.org/donate


COMMUNITY NEWS

Seattle Kollel SEED Learning Day Camps
Boys: June 27-August 25. More info: www.seattlekollel.org
Girls: June 27-August 25. More info: www.seattlekollel.org 

Mother's Connect - Parenting Workshop July 2 - July 30, 5:30 pm,
“Strengthening our connection to our children, each other and Hashem" at Ashreichem Yisrael, 5134 S Holly Street.  More info: info@ashreichemyisrael.org

36th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, Aug. 7-12
Sheraton Hotel, downtown Seattle. More info: www.iajgs2016.org

Swedish Summerrun 2016 Sunday, July 17
Swedish Summerun which benefits the Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research. Click here for details and to register. Event day volunteer jobs available too. Contact Lea Hanan at leahanan@hotmail.com or Melissa Rivkin at melissacrivkin@gmail.com for more information.

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


SICHO FOR KORACH
http://www.chabad.org/therebbe/article_cdo/aid/2613621/jewish/Korach.htm © Chabad.org

Our Sages1 relate that Korach’s abortive uprising against Moshe and Aharontook place after the spies returned with their negative report. This is reflected in the complaint of Dasan and Aviram:2 “You brought us out [of Egypt,] a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the desert... and you did not bring us to a land flowing with milk and honey.” Obviously, they were speaking after the decree:3 “You will perish in this desert.”

The question arises: Why did Korach wait until then to stage his revolt? G‑d’s commandment to transfer the sacrificial service from the firstborn to Aharon and his sons came at the time of the giving of the Torah, or before the dedication of the Sanctuary.4 By the time the Sanctuary was dedicated, Aharon was serving as High Priest. The giving of the Torah took place on the sixth of Sivan. The Sanctuary was completed the following year, on the twenty-third Adar and dedicated on the first of Nissan.5 The spies did not return until after the ninth of Av. Why then did Korach delay his mutiny until then?

Many say that Korach’s rebellion was sparked by the appointment of Elitzafonben Uziel as leader of the sons of Kehos,6 but this appointment also took place previously, at the time of the Levite census in Iyar. The fact that Korach waited until after the ninth of Av leads to the conclusion that his attempt to seize power was related to the story of the spies.

 

Korach’s Connection to the Spies

As mentioned,7 the spies wanted to avoid involvement in worldly matters. For this reason, they sought to remain in the desert so that worldly concerns would not disturb the nation’s Torah study and connection with G‑d. Moshe pointed out the flaw in this approach, for “deed is most essential,”8 and taught that the ultimate spiritual heights can be reached only through the observance of mitzvos on the material plane.

To develop this concept: The difference between the study of Torah and the observance of mitzvos is that Torah study centers on intellectual comprehension. In the realm of intellect, there are differences between individuals according to their level of comprehension. With regard to the observance of mitzvos, however, there is no distinction between one Jew and another. Moshe Rabbeinu’s donning of tefillin is the same act as that performed by any simple person. Yes, there are differences with regard to the intent,but the actual deed is the same.

For this reason, Korach’s challenge came after the return of the spies. For Korach realized that with regard to the study of Torah, Moshe and Aharon were on a higher level than other Jews. After all, Moshe was the one who received the Torah from G‑d. He would study with Aharon, then with Aharon’s sons, and only afterwards with the entire nation.9 Moreover, the intent is not merely to say that Moshe and Aharon studied before the rest of the Jewish people, but that their study was on a higher spiritual level.

Accordingly, as long as the Divine service required from the Jews centered on the study of Torah, Korach did not protest the supremacy of Moshe and Aharon. The report of the spies, however, made it clear that “deed is most essential,” i.e., that the observance of mitzvos on the material plane is of primary importance. Since in this context all Jews share a fundamental equality,Korach protested to Moshe and Aharon: “Why do you set yourselves up as supreme over G‑d’s congregation?”10

To explain at greater length: The spies wanted the nation to remain in the desert, sequestered from involvement with material affairs so that the people could devote themselves to the study of Torah and the observance ofmitzvos.

Moshe had responded in G‑d’s name: The fundamental purpose of the exodusis to enter Eretz Yisrael and observe the mitzvos there on the material plane. For this reason, it is worthwhile to forgo the great spiritual heights that might be reached in the desert.

If so, Korach argued, “Why do you set yourself up as supreme?” The advantage possessed by Moshe and Aharon relates to spiritual matters. If, however, “deed is what is most essential,” and with regard to deed all are the same, why do Moshe and Aharon claim special distinction?11

 

Relative and Absolute Leadership

Based on the above, it is possible to answer another question: How was it possible for Korach and “the 250 princes of the people” who followed him to protest against Moshe and Aharon holding positions of leadership? They held positions of leadership themselves, being “princes of the people.” Similarly, the entire tribe of Levi was given an elevated status, one which Korach and his followers were not willing to relinquish. (For nowhere does it say that Korach was prepared to give up his position. On the contrary, as evident from Moshe’s reply to him, he was seeking priesthood — an even greaterposition.12 )

How then could Korach make a claim which contradicted his own position?

We must conclude that Korach did not want to destroy the concept of leadership entirely; he was merely opposed to the type of leadership manifested by Moshe, who was equivalent to a king.13

Korach claimed: It is true that there are different levels among the Jewish people, and those on a higher level can — and should — employ their superior potential in positions of leadership. Nevertheless, since “the entire congregation is holy,” all these levels are comparable. Moreover, as explained above, the differences between one person and another apply only with regard to their spiritual comprehension, which is secondary to the actual performance of the mitzvos, in which all Jews are equal. ThereforeKorach’s group objected to Moshe Rabbeinu serving with the absolute authority of a king.14

Korach understood that all Jews are not the same, and that these differences would manifest themselves in different levels of authority. He objected, however, to one person (Moshe) being incomparably higher than all others.15

 

The Core of Kingship

Korach had another motive for challenging Moshe’s sovereignty. For the bond between a king and his subjects is different from other relationships such as that between student and master. The connection a student shares with his master concerns only the teachings which he receives from him. The connection between subjects and their king, by contrast, involves the totality of their being; their entire existence is dependent on the king.16

To illustrate this concept: Our Sages teach that if a person makes a gesture to a colleague in the presence of the king, he is liable to death for rebelling against the sovereign.17

Why? Because he thereby shows that he has remained conscious of his individual identity. Though such consciousness may not affect the functioning of the kingdom or undermine the king’s authority, it is considered rebellious.

On the surface, this is a far lesser crime than a student rendering a halachicdecision in the presence of his teacher, for the student is dealing in an area in which he has received direct influence from his teacher. And yet making a gesture is considered a more serious act because the king’s sovereignty should encompass the entire existence of his subjects, including even the casual motion of their hands.

The same concept applies with regard to Moshe our teacher. His supreme authority was the source, not only of the Jews’ appreciation of elevated spiritual ideas, but of even the most simple matters.18 The same concept applies with regard to “the extension of Moshe in every generation,”19 theNesi’im, or heads of the Jewish people.20 Every Jew21 receives his vitality from the Nassi of that generation.22

On this basis, we can understand Korach’s challenge: “The entire congregation is holy;” i.e., with regard to the observance of mitzvos, in which the holiness of the Jewish people is expressed without distinction. And so, “Why do you set yourselves up as supreme”?23 Why with regard to such matters must the Jews be dependent on Moshe’s influence?

 

Waiting for Daybreak

To Korach’s challenge, Moshe answered:24 “In the morning, G‑d will make known who is His, and who is holy, and He will bring him close.” Rashiexplains that “who is His” refers to those chosen for service as Levites, while “who is holy,” refers to those chosen for the priesthood.

Rashi25 explains further that Moshe had two reasons for postponing the trial until morning:

a) so that Korach and his followers could do teshuvah;

b) to show that just as the distinction G‑d established between day and night cannot be nullified, so too one cannot nullify the distinction conveyed upon Aharon, as it is written:26 “And Aharon was distinguished, to be sanctified as most holy.”

Both rationales require explanation: According to the first, it is necessary to explain why the nation had to wait an entire night. Teshuvah, after all,requires only a moment. If the only intent was to grant a greater opportunity for repentance, there is no end to the matter; some are capable of teshuvahimmediately. others will need to wait until morning, and still others will require even more time.

Even according to the second rationale, it remains difficult to understand why it was necessary to wait. The confrontation could have occurred after sunset,27 at which time the division between day and night is also apparent.

Also, we must understand how Moshe’s instructions to “Take incense-burners” serves as a reply to Korach’s claim: “Why set yourselves up as supreme [since] the entire congregation is holy.”

Through the confrontation, Moshe proved that Korach was wrong, and that everything Moshe had done was in response to G‑d’s command. The confrontation did not, however, show why Korach was wrong.

(Moreover, the use of an incense offering related more directly to Korach’s objection to Aharon’s High Priesthood, and not to his claim against Moshe’s assumption of absolute authority.)

Thus we may infer that by saying the confrontation would take place in the morning, Moshe was alluding to an explanation which refutes the basis for Korach’s argument.

 

Polishing Gems

Our Sages use the expression:28 “Teshuvah and good deeds” and not “teshuvah and mitzvos.” In explanation, the AlterRebbe states29 that it is possible that a person will perform mitzvos, but that their light will not shine forth. Teshuvah, however,transforms mitzvos into “good deeds which shine.”

To illustrate with an analogy: There are times when a person possesses gems, but the gems are dirty. The stones remain gems, and have the potential to shine. Nevertheless, as long as they are covered with grime, this potential remains hidden.

Similarly, the purpose of the mitzvos is to increase G‑dly light in the world. There are times, however, when they serve an opposite end. When a wicked person studies Torah or performs mitzvos, not only does he not add light to the world, he increases its darkness; his deeds augment the forces ofkelipah.30 Moreover, this applies not only to the Torah and mitzvos of a wicked person, but to any observance of the Torah and its mitzvos performed without the proper intent, or for one’s own motives.31

As we can see, when the proper motives are lacking, observance can lead to self-concern and pride.32 A person may feel haughty because he was able to overcome the difficulties preventing him from observing the mitzvos. This is especially true if he observes the mitzvos behiddur, in a beautiful and careful manner.

These feelings of self-concern are the direct opposite of what a mitzvah is intended to evoke. The very word mitzvah relates to the word tzavsa, meaning “connection” or “bond,”33 for the mitzvos enable us to establish a connection with G‑d. Self-concern and pride, by contrast, tear one away from G‑d. For with regard to a haughty person, it is said:34 “He and I (G‑d) cannot dwell in the same place.”

With regard to the inner spiritual nature of the person and the world at large, the positive dimension of the Torah and its mitzvos always retains its integrity. Therefore Torah law35 requires even a wicked person to study and observe, although the immediate effect of his deeds will be to augment the forces ofkelipah. Ultimately, when he repents — and he will certainly repent, for “none will remain estranged from You”36 — the sparks of holiness created by his observance will be liberated from kelipah, and will begin to produce light. Until then, however, his study and observanceis like a gem covered in mud.

A person might think: What difference does it make whether my mitzvosproduce light immediately? Darkness and light apply only to the revealed dimensions of G‑dliness. By performing the mitzvos, G‑d’s essence is drawn down, making this world His dwelling. Torah law requires a Jew to observe the mitzvos whatever his present state. Therefore, such a person will continue his observance. The fact that he is temporarily augmenting the forces of kelipah is not of importance to him. He has one purpose, astheMishnah teaches:37 “I was created solely to serve my Creator,” to carry out G‑d’s will. And G‑d’s will is for him to observe the Torah and its mitzvos,regardless of the immediate outcome.

The response is that G‑d desires not only the actual observance of themitzvos, but that the mitzvos be observed with the proper intent. There are two elements to the mission of making a dwelling for G‑d in this world:38 a) that it become a dwelling for G‑d’s essence, and b) that G‑d’s essence be revealed, causing the dwelling to shine brightly.

For the dwelling to be “bright,” it must be fashioned with shining mitzvos, mitzvos that refine both the person who observes them and his environment.

 

What is Necessary for Mitzvos to Shine

This was the answer which Moshe gave Korach and his followers: Yes, “deed is most essential.” But one’s deeds must be permeated by the glow of morning; the mitzvos must shine. In this manner, “G‑d will make known,” and the world will be permeated by the knowledge39 and revelation of G‑dliness. It is possible for mitzvos to be observed without the proper intent, but then theydo not shine, nor do they lead the world to the knowledge of G‑dliness.

Allusion to this concept is found in the two reasons Rashi gives for postponing the confrontation with Korach.

The first reason is that Moshe wanted to provide Korach and his followers with the opportunity to repent. Waiting until morning was not necessary, for as mentioned above, one can turn to G‑d in a moment. Instead, Moshe was alluding to the idea that their teshuvah should shine with G‑dly light. Teshuvahof this nature adds light to one’s observance of the mitzvos.

Even when teshuvah is motivated by fear of punishment, the person’s sins are wiped away; the sinner, however, remains unrefined, for his fundamental self-concern persists. For teshuvah to be complete, it has to be permeated by light.

When teshuvah is motivated by love for G‑d, one’s willful transgressions are transformed into merits.40 Surely such teshuvah has an effect on one’s good deeds as well, enabling the positive nature of those good deeds which were exiled in the realm of kelipah to be revealed and shine forth.

The second reason Rashi gives is that Moshe was alluding to the fact that G‑d had established fixed distinctions within the world. By mentioning the distinction between morning and evening, Moshe was also alluding to the advantage of mitzvos which shine over mitzvos which are in exile in kelipah. For although both day and night are creations of G‑d, and a complete day includes them both,41 the night is dark, and the day, bright.

Similarly, whether or not one has the proper intent, the mitzvos one performs are G‑dly acts. Nevertheless, with the proper intent, these acts radiate light; without the proper intent, they are dark.

This also lets us appreciate Moshe’s response to Korach’s claims: “Why do you hold yourself supreme, [since] the entire congregation is holy, and G‑d is in their midst.” Every Jew is holy. Moreover, this holiness affects not only the souls of the people, but also their bodies. As a result, they have the ability to draw down G‑d’s essence through the physical observance of mitzvos.

The intent of the mitzvos is that they produce light. In this context, there is a great — indeed, an incomparable — advantage to the observance of themitzvos by Moshe over their observance by the Jewish people as a whole.

Moshe’s Divine service, however, is not insular. We receive all our influence from Moshe — and “the extension of Moshe in every generation.” This applies not only to our intellectual and emotional service, but also to our observance of the mitzvos.42 In particular, the connection to Moshe enables our deeds to radiate light.

 

A Twofold Mission

On this basis, we can derive a lesson from the parshiyos Shelach andKorach. There are those who think that the actual observance of mitzvos is not that important; that what’s most important is having a Jewish heart. And they bring proof from our Sages, who say:43 “G‑d desires the heart.”

In contrast, there are those who say that all that matters is the actual performance of mitzvos; that the study of Chassidus and the pursuit of inner refinement is not critical; after all, “deed is most essential.”

With these two parshiyos, the Torah refutes the narrowness in both approaches. Parshas Shelach stresses that the approach of the spies, who sought to remain isolated within the spiritual realm, is undesirable. AndParshas Korach shows that the performance of mitzvos in and of itself is also insufficient.

A fusion of both approaches is necessary. This was epitomized in the conduct of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, who dedicated himself to both purposes. On one hand, he devoted his greatest energies, even risking his life, to ensure that a Jewish child should study the alef-beis, that another Jew should observe even one mitzvah. This applies even to Jews who were far from appreciating the intent of the mitzvos or the inner refinement which they are intended to achieve.

Even so, my revered father-in-law sacrificed himself so that such people would observe even one mitzvah. Simultaneously, however, he sacrificed himself to spread the study of Torah, and particularly the study of P’nimiyus HaTorah, the Torah’s mystic secrets. Furthermore, he encouraged his followers to devote themselves to prayer.

This is the path which my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, blazed for all who desire to follow him. Both thrusts are important. Just as we must realize that “deed is most essential,” we must also realize that our performance of themitzvos must be refined and pure. This is accomplished through the study ofP’nimiyus HaTorah, and through prayerful service within our hearts.

Through these twofold efforts, we will fashion a dwelling for G‑d in this lower realm, and His essence will shine therein.

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Korach, 5722)

Parasha Shelach – Mevarchim Tamuz 25 Sivan – 2 Tamuz 5776

Fri July 1st  – Erev Shabbos
Shacharis: 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 8:52 pm

Sat July 2nd - Shabbos
Tehilim for Mevarchim Tamuz 8 am
Shacharis: 9:30 am  (Latest Shema 9:14 am)
Mincha 8:35 pm /PIRKEI AVOT CHAPTER 3/ Seuda Slishit
Maariv/Havdala 10:02 pm 

Weekdays
Sunday Shacharis 9 am
Mon,Tue, Fri Shacharis 7 am
Wed, Thu Shacharis 6:50 am /ROSH CHODESH TAMUZ
Mon-Thu Mincha/Maariv 9 pm /Repeat Shema after 9:51/

KIDDUSH SHABBOS
Kiddush this week is sponsored by Rabbi Alter and Debbie Levitin, in honor of their son Yonah Aharon's Bar Mitzvah!  It will be a sit down kiddush, with bread for washing.  The entire community is invited!  
Seuda Slishit is sponsored  by 
Rabbi Abraham and Shprintze Kavka in honor of the wedding of Naomi and Levy Deitsch.

Mazel Tov Mazel Tov!
Mazel Tov to the Kavka family on the marriage of Naomi and Levy Deitsch.  May they merit to build a bayis ne’emanb’Yisroel!
Mazel Tov to the 
Levitin and Lapidus  families on the Bar Mitzvah of Yoni Levitin. May they grow in Torah, Chupa, andMa’asim Tovim

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin - Sundays 10-11 am 
Gemora Baba Basra. Beginning this Sunday the 26th June after 9 am Shacharis

Men’s Mikvah annual Dues are Due Annually on Elul 1st 
$440/daily, $220/weekly, $100/holiday only. Paying for one visit is not an option if you live in this community. Visitors pay $2.50 for single use. You can go to http://www.CSTLSeattle.org to make your payment online with your credit card. 

Weekly Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  chanielevitin@gmail.com

CHABAD TEEN CAMP AT EASTSIDE TORAH CENTER 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Girls June 29 – July 10, Boys July 13-24.  www.chabadbellevue.org/camp

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

CAMP GAN IZZY REGISTRATION NOW OPEN - REGISTER TODAY
Conveniently located right here in the heart of Seattle’s North End. The season now runs from Monday, July 4th through Friday August 5th. Camp Gan Israel Seattle has been providing the Jewish children of Greater Seattle a special summer day camp experience that integrates healthy active fun, field trips and friendships with the richness, excitement and warmth of Jewish values, tradition and culture. Fun that lasts a summer…memories that last a lifetime.  Questions? Call or text Rabbi Abe Kavka at (206.730.2775) or info@campganisraelseattle.org . Register your kids, ages 2½ to 12 atwww.campganisraelseattle.org  for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 weeks. NOW OFFERING TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM MERCER ISLAND AND SEWARD PARK!!! (For transportation to/from other areas please speak with Rabbi Kavka.)

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush,hardcastle101@hotmail.com . Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $300, co-Sponsor $150, Contributor: $50-$149.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at https://www.jewishinseattle.org/donate


COMMUNITY NEWS

Shlock Rock at BCMH Tue July 5 at 6 pm, 
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/schlock-rock-in-concert-tickets-26049018315

Seattle Kollel SEED Learning Day Camps
Boys: June 27-August 25. More info: www.seattlekollel.org
Girls: June 27-August 25. More info: www.seattlekollel.org 

Mother's Connect - Parenting Workshop July 2 - July 30, 5:30 pm,
“Strengthening our connection to our children, each other and Hashem" at Ashreichem Yisrael, 5134 S Holly Street.  More info: info@ashreichemyisrael.org

36th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, Aug. 7-12
Sheraton Hotel, downtown Seattle. More info: www.iajgs2016.org

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


SICHO FOR SHELACH
http://www.chabad.org/therebbe/article_cdo/aid/2613593/jewish/Behaaloscha.htm© Chabad.org

In Parshas Shelach, the Torah relates how the men whom Moshe had sent as spies caused the Jews to fear entering Eretz Yisrael bytelling them:1 “The people who dwell in the land are very strong.... We are not able to go up against them, for they are stronger than He,” i.e., than G‑d Himself. As our Sages comment:2 “It is as if the owner cannot remove his articles from there.”

Every story in the Torah serves as a lesson for the Divine service of the Jewish people in all generations. What lesson can we learn from the story of the spies?

It is true that we are still working to offset the negative consequences of the spies’ report.2 But even so, it is not necessary to know all the details of the story; a general account would have been sufficient.

Also, an explanation is required regarding the core issue: How were the spies able to frighten the Jews, and dissuade them from wanting to enter Eretz Yisrael? Throughout its journey from Egypt, the nation had seen how G‑d had wrought supernatural miracles. Why were they intimidated by the inhabitants of Canaan?

For example, the Torah describes3 the desert through which the Jews passed as inhabited by “snakes, serpents, and scorpions.” Our Sages explain4 that even though these creatures were of monstrous size, they were slain by the ark5 and the clouds of glory.6

And just as G‑d protected the Jews from harm, so too He worked miracles for their benefit. Every day, the Jews ate manna from heaven and drank water from Miriam’s well. Similarly, G‑d wrought miracles on their behalf against other nations, the most noteworthy of these being the devastation of the Egyptians at the Red Sea. So great a miracle was this that our Sages describe it as being “difficult.”7

They witnessed these miracles with their own eyes. Why then did they accept the spies’ arguments? Why didn’t they assume that just as G‑d had defeated the Egyptians, He would also defeat the Canaanites?

These questions are reinforced by the fact that Calev, when stirring the Jews to reject the spies’ judgment, did not refer to the miracles of the exodus or to those which transpired in the desert. Instead, he merely encouraged the Jews:8 “Let us go up and take possession of [the land].”

The Canaanites’ Fear

Can we say that the defeat of Egypt’s army was not enough to inspire confidence with regard to the battle against the kings of Canaan, who were strong and mighty?9 As stated in the Song sung at the Red Sea, when the Canaanites heard of the splitting of the ocean, they all melted in fear10 — a fear so powerful that it still affected them11 38 years later, when Yehoshuasent spies into the land.

Moreover, our Sages state12 that whenever a nation subjugates the Jewish people, G‑d makes that nation a superpower. Thus when the Jews were enslaved in Egypt, the Egyptians dominated the world,13 including the 31 kings of Canaan. Thus the devastation of the Egyptians should surely have cast fear into the hearts of their vassals.

Where the Spies Went Wrong

In Chassidus,14 it is explained that the real reason the spies wanted to remain in the desert rather than enter Eretz Yisrael is because they did not want to involve themselves with material affairs. In the desert, the nation was removed from all worldly concerns. The people received their physical sustenance in miraculous ways, and even their clothes grew with them, as our Sages commented.15

The Jews knew that when they reached Eretz Yisrael, the manna would cease and the well of Miriam would no longer accompany them. Instead, they would have to derive their sustenance from “bread from the earth,” and would have to perform the labor necessary to obtain it.

For this reason, the spies complained that Eretz Yisrael “is a land that devours its inhabitants.”16

This phrase was well chosen. When food is eaten, it becomes absorbed into the body of the person who partakes of it. So too, the spies complained, when the Jews entered Eretz Yisrael, they would be consumed by the land, and themselves become earthly.17 This would be a drastic departure from their conduct in the desert, where they were involved only with the spiritual. Indeed, in the desert, even the food they ate, the manna, refined their natures, making them fit to study Torah, as reflected in our Sages’ statement:18 “The Torah was given solely to those who partook of the manna.”

But G‑d’s intent in creation was that a dwelling be fashioned for Him in the lower worlds.19 This requires involvement in the material dimensions of existence, making them vessels for G‑dliness. Accordingly, the spies were in error; the ultimate purpose of the Jews’ desert journey was their life in Eretz Yisrael, where they would fashion a dwelling for G‑d.20 The passage through the desert was merely a preparatory phase.

Miracles and Nature

Based on the above, we can appreciate why, despite the overt miracles witnessed during the exodus, at the splitting of the Red Sea, and throughout their desert journey, the spies still doubted G‑d’s power with regard to the conquest of Eretz Yisrael. They did not draw a lesson from these miracles, for they saw the miraculous and the mundane as two unrelated planes. The miracles of the desert could not serve as indicators regarding their future inEretz Yisrael, because in Eretz Yisrael they would have to be involved with material existence.

In the desert, they were involved with spiritual matters, and their lives were controlled by miracles. In Eretz Yisrael, where they would be involved in material affairs, the spies feared that their lives would be controlled by the natural order. (And indeed, with regard to certain matters, this transition was evident immediately upon their entry into Eretz Yisrael. The manna, Miriam’s well, and the clouds of glory all ceased.)

If the natural order will prevail, they argued, then there was reason to fear the “descendants of the titans”21 who inhabited Eretz Yisrael. For according to the natural order, they were stronger than the Jews.

On this basis, we can understand our Sages’ restatement of the spies’ report:2 “It is as if the owner cannot remove his articles from there.” The spies knew — indeed, they had seen with their own eyes — that G‑d is the “owner” of the world, and can do with it as He wishes. Moreover, they realized that every entity in the world is one of G‑d’s “articles.”

“Removing his articles” means elevating the sparks of G‑dliness enclothed in the physical substance of Canaan. This — the spies felt — is possible if one conducts one’s life in a spiritual manner. In the desert, such conduct is feasible, but not within the material world. For the world to remain unchanged, governed by the laws of nature, and yet become a medium for G‑dliness, it was necessary, they thought, for G‑d to sacrifice His “ownership” and Himself accept the dictates of the natural order. Accordingly, if it is G‑d’s will that the Jews become subject to the laws of nature, the spies were sure there would be no place for miracles.

This argument was rebutted by Calev and Yehoshua with their statement: “If G‑d cherishes us... He will give us [the] land.”22 Since G‑d’s desire is that the Jewish people will create a dwelling for Him in Eretz Yisrael, the nation should realize that:23 “They are our bread.... G‑d is with us. Do not fear them.”

There is no need to fear confrontation with the world. Even though the natural order remains, G‑d always accompanies the Jewish people, and grants them supernatural success. And so the world can be considered “our bread,”24 i.e., it will become part of our being, and will not prevent us from fashioning a dwelling for G‑d’s presence.

When Transcendence Is Also a Limit

In truth, miracles enclothed in the natural order are of a higher order than miracles which transcend nature.25 Miracles which transcend the natural order point to a transcendent G‑dliness, which disrupts nature. The miracles which are enclothed within the natural order, by contrast, indicate that G‑d is above both nature and transcendence, and can therefore fuse the two and cause them to function in harmony.

This ability was revealed in the Holy of Holies, where the holy ark took up no space. To explain: There were ten cubits from the eastern wall of the Holy of Holies to the eastern side of the ark, and ten cubits from the western wall to the western side of the ark, and the ark itself was a cubit and a half wide. Yet the width of the entire chamber was only 20 cubits!26 Despite the fact that the ark measured 2.5 by 1.5 cubits, it did not take up space within the Holy of Holies; limitation and transcendency were fused.27

In order for the Jewish people to affect the material world, it was necessary for them to enter EretzYisrael. In the desert, they lived above nature. Their entry into Eretz Yisrael was intended to fuse nature and transcendence. For this reason, their entry was marked by the splitting of the Jordan with the ark.28 For the settlement of Eretz Yisrael and the ark share this theme:29 the fusion of limitation and transcendence.30

Acquiring Our Inheritance

This enables us to understand Calev’s choice of words:31 “Let us ascend and take possession of it.” In the Hebrew, the words “Let us ascend” are repeated, aleh naaleh. The implication is that two types of ascent are involved. For were the second ascent to be of the same type as the first, it would have been considered part of that first ascent.32 Calev was alluding to the fact that the entry into EretzYisrael would involve not only an ascent to a level above nature (as in the desert), but also an ascent above the level of transcendence.33

This helps us understand the Hebrew term used for “and take possession,”viyerashnu. This relates to the word yerushah, meaning “inheritance.” An inheritance is not considered a transfer of property.

When an article is purchased, it is transferred from the seller’s domain to the buyer’s. When, by contrast, an article is inherited, it remains in the same domain, for the essence of the testator is transferred to the heir.34

This was Calev’s intent when he said “we will take possession of it.” When we enter Eretz Yisrael and make material concerns mediums for G‑dliness, we will take possession of the land as an inheritance, for through these efforts, we will relate to G‑d’s essence.

Spies in the Twentieth Century

The lesson from the story of the spies can be explained as follows: In his personal life, every Jew journeys through the desert and settles in Eretz Yisrael. Similarly, these two phases are reflected in our conduct each day. We begin the day with prayer and a fixed time of study, and then go out and involve ourselves with elevating material entities. It’s true the tzitzis and thetefillin which we wear are material entities, but putting them on each day does not represent involvement with the limitations of worldly existence. This is accomplished when a person involves himself in his profession or in his personal concerns, carrying out these activities according to the directive:35“Know Him in all your ways.”

A person can argue: “During the study of the Torah, which is the wisdom and the will of G‑d, one can feel a bond with G‑d that excludes everything else. And during prayer, when one stands before G‑d with complete bittul, even one’s ‘I’ should cease to be felt. One should be aware only of G‑d. But how can this connection be maintained during one’s involvement with worldly matters? The very Hebrew word for ‘world,’ olam, relates to the word helam,meaning ‘concealment.’36 For the world is characterized by the concealment of G‑dliness, and the Torah mandates that our involvement in the world recognize its limitations.

“How then can a person bring himself to the point that he will show no concern for material entities, and will use them only for his Divine service?”

The “land,” it can be argued, “devours its inhabitants.” Since we are involved in material concerns during the majority of the day, not only can we not carry out the Divine service required, but our involvement with material entities confuses us, and disturbs us during prayer and study.

This, however, is the approach of the spies. They maintained that involvement in the world is an insurmountable challenge; even “the owner cannot remove his articles from there.”

The truth is that, although the observance of Torah and mitzvos must conform to the limitations of the natural order,37 we do not have to be restricted by those limitations. “If G‑d cherishes38 us” — i.e., if we follow the path G‑d cherishes39 and act as His agents — we have the potential to unite nature and that which is above nature, transforming the world into a dwelling fit for G‑d.

This potential is granted by the ark, which remains intact in the present age, entombed under the BeisHaMikdash.40

Going Beyond Oneself

In Kabbalah, andin Chassidus,41 it is explained that the spies functioned in the realm of thought, and did not desire to descend to the realm of speech. Other opinions42 explain that they were willing to descend to the realm of speech, but not to the realm of deed.

The difference between thought and speech is that thought is self-contained. Speech, by contrast, reaches out to another person. Parallels exist between the Jews’ Divine service in the desert and their Divine service in Eretz Yisrael.

The entry into Eretz Yisrael entailed more than the observance of the mitzvosas they are enclothed in material entities (as opposed to single-minded study of the Torah), and even more than involvement with material entities in the spirit of “Know Him in all your ways.” These endeavors can be entirely self-contained. And when a Jew’s Divine service is self-contained, he is still “in the desert,” in the realm of thought, even though he may be involved with material entities. “Entering Eretz Yisrael” means involving oneself with others, devoting oneself to them, and making them into Torah Jews.

The yetzer hora can argue: If one devotes oneself to another Jew, and endeavors to influence him, one will surely feel on a higher level. And these feelings will be reinforced if the other person responds with thanks, honor, and praise. Sinceone does not desire to become conscious of one’s ego or, heaven forbid, become possessed by pride — which is the source of all evil43— it is preferable to refrain from such involvement in the first place.

This, however, is the approach of the spies, who feared that the “land devours its inhabitants.” When we realize the truth — that “G‑d cherishes us” — and dedicate ourselves to carrying out G‑d’s will, it is impossible to descend. On the contrary, one’s path will point upward, to the ultimate ascent.

The yetzer hora may still argue: “It is true that one must involve oneself with another person, but it is sufficient to work with a person on your own level. There is no need to descend and work to save a lowly individual. Such involvement will surely lead to your own descent.”

In this context, the kabbalistic interpretation of the story of the spies teaches that speech is not enough; deed is necessary. Speech relates to equals or near-equals — people who hear and understands what one says. Deed, by contrast, can involve even inanimate matter.

The story of the spies teaches that one must be involved even with a person whose spiritual level is so low that he is considered an inanimate entity. It is through such endeavors that we will reach the ultimate ascent and the coming of the time when we will take possession of Eretz Yisrael as an eternal inheritance.

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Shelach, 5722)

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