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B"H

Shemini-Humility and Higher Consciousness

 

NY City Candle lighting 7:19

Shabbat ends 8:21

For candle lighting times anywhere in the world you can go to my website http://www.chabadgn.com/calendar/candlelighting.htm

and adjust the location.

Friday night Sefirah: Today is 14 days, which are two weeks of the Omer

Shabbat Mevarchim Iyar - Rosh Chodesh is Sunday and Monday

The Molad is Sunday  Morning 1:27 and 4 Chalakim

---

Shalom and Bracha!

 

  This Shabbat we read the portion of Shemini. The word Shemini means eighth and the portion begins with the special instructions which Moshe gave Aharon on the eighth day of the consecration of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Although the Mishkan had been consecrated for seven days, Hashem’s presence had not been felt. On the eighth day, special sacrifices were offered and the Fire of Hashem’s glory appeared and consumed the offerings. The experience was so intense that everyone fell to the floor in amazement and praised Hashem.

 

  The number eight has a special connection to the revelation of Hashem. The Brit is done on the eight day. On Yom Kippur, all of the offerings in the Holy of Holies were in the number eight. The world was created in seven days. Eight represents the step beyond nature. In service of Hashem this teaches us that to reach Hashem’s infinite presence we have to transcend our own nature.

 

  Thereafter, two of Aharon’s children, Nadav and Avihu, brought an offering that was forbidden. A fire consumed them and they died. The death of Nadav and Avihu teaches us that Hashem must be served as He wants, in the manners prescribed in the Torah. If we seek to have a spiritual experience outside the parameters of Torah, we are not serving Hashem, but rather ourselves. As such we are embracing death instead of life. The reason this occurred shortly after the revelation of the fire of Hashem’s glory is because their egos grew when Hashem accepted their offerings. Recognition by Hashem must increase our humility, not our ego. The Torah continues that Aharon was silent, because he accepted the decree of Hashem. His acceptance was pure self nullification, the antithesis of their error. Aharon’s silence was their Tikkun, the correction for their error and the healing for their souls.

 

  Thereafter the Torah teaches at length about the Kosher laws. This comes in sequence to the revelation of the Divine presence because by sanctifying our bodies through keeping Kosher we allow Hashem’s presence to dwell within us. The Torah teaches us that by eating non kosher food we defile ourselves and chase away the divine presence.

 

  Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai told his students before his passing that their fear of Heaven should be as strong as their fear of flesh and blood. A deeper perspective in his words is that we should be as concerned with the health of the soul as we are with the health of our flesh and blood. When a product is found to be tainted, it is recalled. Until there is clarity which exact product, and from which factory it came, people remove all products that might be tainted from their homes and tables. This applies whether the tainting causes fatality, injury or occasional injury. Even when clarity is reached, we are wary. We should treat our souls with the same respect. Instead of eating and then asking, (or not asking), we should be positive that this food is suitable for our soul.

 

  Eight (Shemini) is a very special number in connection with Moshiach. The harp in the Temple had seven strings, whereas the harp in Moshiach’s time will have eight. Let us pray that we will merit this Shabbat to again see the revelation of the Divine presence and hear the harp of Moshiach.

 

  Shabbat Shalom,

 

  Rabbi Biggs

 

Dedicated in reverent memory of Naomi Wilzig. May her soul find perfect bliss in Gan Eden and may her entire family have only blessings from now forward.

 

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