Lech Lecha 5760

Tora - Torah

Parshat Lech L’cha 12 Cheshvan 5760 October 22, 1999

Younger students, please ask your parents for help in understanding this lesson.

The flood waters of Noah have passed and we now begin the story of Avraham in earnest. In a few weeks we will talk in greater detail about how our souls are like sparks hidden within veils. Hashem put them there as a resistance to make us strong. Our job is to remove the veils and reveal the light of the sparks to the world.

When Avraham performs Milah (circumcision) on himself as the sign of the agreement (Brit/Bris) between himself and his descendents and Hashem, he removes the orlah (read that word for foreskin as Or l’Hashem, a skin for Hashem) and reveals the Or l’Hashem, or a light that is connected to Hashem. This idea is based on the fact that the word OR in Hebrew can mean light (when spelled with an Aleph) or skin (when spelled with an Ayin). In other words, the act of a bris is to begin the process of removing some of the veils that hide Hashem’s light within. That light is in you and me and everyone. Our effort as God-wrestlers (Yisrael) is to remove the veils and bring that light into the world. I try to have that kavana at every bris I perform. I hope, for the sake of the over 4000+ little guys I’ve done, that I succeed.

(This paragraph is based on a D’var Tora by Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank, z”l) Along these same lines we learn: After the floodwaters settle down in our lives, we can recognize what in our lifestyle cannot ever become integrated into the new vision of our life. Some part of our lives (some of the veils) must be left behind for us to grow spiritually, just as Avraham left his homeland. Paradoxically, leaving the familiar drives us deeper into ourselves. The parsha begins with the words “Lech Lecha”, which could be translated as “Go into your own self”. The Ishbitzer Rebbe portrays Hashem saying to Avraham, “you cannot find life in the external things of this world. The basic quality of life-giving can only be found within your own self”. The Alter Rebbe adds to this idea: On the verse “to the land which I will show you” (Gen 12:1) he comments, “I will show you – YOU. Your own essence will become known to you.

One of the purposes of Tora Dojo Karate is to teach us the skills to be able to remove the veils ourselves… to be self correcting (as a Black Belt) and even self-teaching (as a Master). We try to emulate Avraham who looked deep within himself to discover that divine spark… and looked deeper to discover the one flame (Hashem) that encompasses all the sparks and all that is! We start with the physical veil (as did Avraham at his Brit Milah) and work deeper. As TaShih often quotes to us from Rambam: shlemut haguf kodemet shlemut hanefesh, the wholeness and perfection of the body should/will precede the wholeness and perfection of the soul.

Shabbat Shalom.

 

"Tora-Torah" is a weekly column on Parshat Hashavua with insights into the inner aspects of the Jewish martial arts as founded and taught by Grand Master H. I. Sober in the International Tora Dojo Martial Arts Association. "Tora-Torah" is written or edited by Michael Andron, PhD. Lao Shih, a Seventh Degree Black Belt in the Tora Dojo Association. He has been teaching Grand Master Sober's system for over 30 years. "Tora-Torah" is published by Kodesh, Inc. Kodesh is a non-profit organization devoted to personal growth, mind-body effectiveness training, spiritual awareness. It offers programs to help the student "alter the state of his/her consciousness" through education, experience and joyful celebration.
© 1999 Michael Andron - All rights reserved. email: michael@kodesh.org