D’varim 5760

Tora - Torah

Parshat D’varim Av 4, 5760 July 29, 2000

Tora Dojo Teachers and Parents: If you share and discuss the Tora-Torah with younger students, tell it in your own words at their comprehension level rather than try to read it to them or have them read it.

We leave Bamidbar (The Book of Numbers, which means “in the desert”) and begin D’varim (The Book of Deutoronomy which means “Things” or “Words”). This book consists of three addresses/reviews by Moshe concerning everything that happened to the Jewish people from the beginning of their forty-year trek in the desert as of the laws and principles of the Torah.

Before we speak or act in the world to repair it (tikkun) or sweeten it (hamtaka) we require a time of inner exploration.

Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank,z”l, writes beautifully:

Within one’s inner spirit, wilderness suggests the fertile chaos from which creativity emerges. It is the place of limbo, of vacation from set forms. This is the storehouse of treasures and pain, the wild richness to which we each have access when we shut our eyes, go into nature, or visit foreign cultures. The midbar represents an inner plane we visit daily to gather strength, a place beyond familiar boundaries. This place of mystery inside of us gives us the dream, the wild innovative insight to see beyond the crystallized forms and fences that hem us in. When we need to undergo change, it is to the midbar, both outer and inner, that we turn. There we rid ourselves of clinging conventions and emotional limitations endured in the past; there we find insight into new ways that life can be, without prior restrictions of previously necessary mind-sets. After drawing mind, heart and muscle energy from the midbar, we return to civilization. The transition happens toward the end of our vacation trip as we begin to classify, structure, and order our experience, to domesticate the insights gained in the obscurity state of transition.

Our Kata and meditation, the dojo in general, provides us with an abstract midbar of consciousness. There we face the anger and fear that cripple us. There we face the history of our lives that led to patterns of self-destruction and addiction.

But we should leave the midbar wiser and more self-aware. When we come to the D’varim phase of our lives, we open our eyes and speak and act differently because of the experience of themidbar. Now we can continue the course of tiikun and hamtaka, repair and sweetening of the world by our words (dibbur) and how we act in the world of “things” (d’varim).

Once again the Baal Shem Tov lesson for the Jewish peaceful warrior (the eved ne’eman): yield under the yoke/discipline of Hashem, separate from the world of physicality for deeper growth, return to this world with the light you’ve gained and sweeten the world by your thoughts, words and actions.

 Post script: Look at D’varim 1:4-5. “After Moshe had defeated Sichon, King of the Amorites, who lived in Cheshbon… he began to teach the Torah.” In other words, it was only after he overcame the self-deluding chatter of over-analyzing everything (sicha = talk, omer = talk, cheshbon = arithmetic, report, analysis) that Moshe (the inner prophet within each of us) began to really learn and explain Torah, the guidebook of light for our lives.

Post Post script: Rashi tells us that Moshe explained the Torah in seventy languages so that no matter where we went in the world, no matter what language we spoke, we would still connect to the energy of the Torah. TaShih, in developing Tora Dojo, always wanted our Black Belts to be able to go to visit any other style and understand what was at the core of that style. We should be able to go to any system (Chinese, Japanese, Okinawan, Korean, etc.) and feel comfortable as a Black Belt. This accounts for the remarkable variety of systems and ideas within Tora Dojo. Leave it to TaShih Chaim Yisrael HaLevi, Moshe’s descendant, to do that!

"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. The copyrighted 'Tora tiger' logo is used with permission of Prof. H. I. Sober.

"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.

Note that the Tora Dojo comments are highlighted in a different color. This should help teachers in their sharing Tora-Torah with younger students at their level of comprehension. If any of you would like to contribute some "Torah" from time to time, send your suggestions (keep 'em short and ... in by Sunday, please) to michael@kodesh.org. I'll try to keep it simple and with a good Tora Dojo lesson as well.

"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.

© 2000 Michael Andron - All rights reserved.
email: michael@kodesh.org