Friday, March 02, 2007

My Jewish Birthday!

Today is the 12th of Adar. To most people, it is simply the day before what should be the fast of Esther. To me, it is also the day of my Jewish Bday.

Historically, there has been an argument as to whether time is linear or cyclical. Some people said it was linear, claiming it goes from a starting point and moves on and on from past to present. Some people claimed it was cyclical, claiming history always repeats itself in a cyclical way, the same things happen over and over again. The Maharal teaches that in Judaism, time is both linear and cyclical. Time is like a spiral.

Let us look at a few examples to better understand this concept:

In Judaism, Tisha Beav is traditionally regarded as a negative holiday. All through the ages, ever since the Meraglim spoke badly about Erets Israel on that day, Tisha Beav became a day of many negative things. Both temples were destroyed on this day. As you can see, there is a cycle going on here where every year, on this day, there seems to be reason to mourn and a time of hardship for the Jewish people as a Nation. Recent history has also been proof of this: the separation in the Jewish People during the disengagement which was the toughest internal challenge the Jewish state ever had (whether you are pro or against it) happened during that time, the Lebanon war happened around that time. Every year this time is difficult for us as Jews.

On a brighter note, as the gemara says: Just like as Av comes in, we reduce Joy, when Adar comes, we add some Joy. While this is a commandment, it also seems to be telling us of a cycle of Joy which appears every Adar.

Recent history has reveiled other cycles which our sages already knew about long ago. The Mekubalim have told us that Tu Bishvat was a good day for gueoula. The whole point of Tu Bishvat is to celebrate the start of the process leading to the summer. On Tu Bishvat 1949, the start of the beginning of our redemption was actualized when the Knesset moved to Jerusalem and established itself there. Is it a coincidence? I happen to believe God is in control of history and therefore, if our sages told us the start of redemption would be on Tu Bishvat, and this happens, I don’t see any good reason to believe it is simply a coincidence.
Something which I find even more amazing is the 5th of Iyar, what we celebrate today as Yom Haatsmaout. The students of the Gra asked the Gaon of Vilna if they should build their community of the 5th of Iyar and he answered yes, this is a good day for gueoula. Take a look at this except, a direct quote from the book Kol Hator, written by close students of the Gra way before the 5th of Iyar was Yom Haatsmaout:

"When we, the students of our master the GRA, arrived in the land of Israel in
the year 5569 (1809)... and as we established our residence in Jerusalem the
holy city in 5572 (1812) ... according to the secret of Kol HaTor, and on one
day in that year 5572 (1812) when they laid the foundation for the Bet Medrash
Eliyah (the House of Torah study) called after our master the Gra (Vilna Gaon)
and together with this an important action for the building of Jerusalem, we,
the students of the Gra, saw in lit up colors, that at that hour the first
window was opened in the iron wall for attaching the merit of the fathers, (the
connection which is yesod of tiferet through malchut) that was stopped since the
churban (the destruction of the temple) And that day was the 20th day of the
Omer, yesod of tiferet, (foundation of splendor) as is known to those who know
the hidden wisdom"

When Ben Gurion declared the state of Israel on the fifth of Iyar, he probably did not know the Gra said these things. However, as a leader of the Jewish Nation, his actions entered the cyclical realm of time and he led the Nation to the start of its redemption on this day which is prone to redemption. Now, can you say Yom Haatsmaout is not a religious Holiday? We’ll leave this discussion for in a few months but I think the answer is clear now.

What does this have to do with my birthday?

When a person is born, all of shamayim (the skies) open up in order for his soul to come down to earth. Then, every year, once again, all the skies open up for his soul. However, this time, there is no soul coming down. Instead, it is an opportunity for his soul to cry out to God.

Therefore, for that reason, it is Jewish Tradition for the Birthday boy to bless people, since his prayers are especially heard.

I want to take this opportunity to bless all of am Israel, whoever and wherever they are, to keep connecting themselves one to the other, to keep connecting themselves to our national message, to our torah, to our land. I want to bless you all to have the best and most inspirational purim ever and may we all meet in the Beit Hamikdash to give a korban pessah this year.

May everyone have the most amazing Purim Ever.

Shabbat Shalom and Purim Sameach

PS: I also bless you to keep reading this blog continuously and tell all your friends about it haha

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