V’etchanan 5760

Tora - Torah

Parshat V’etchanan Av 11, 5760 August 12, 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.

Previously, in Tora-Torah…

We’ve talked about how Hashem put a Jacob’s ladder within each of us to allow us to communicate on a much higher and deeper level in our prayer.

We’ve talked about the Jewish mission of raising the physical world to a higher spiritual level.

We’ve talked about opening an inner eye and ear, so to speak, to connect to our deepest self.

We’ve discussed how the Hebrew word “pray” (l’hitpallel) means to judge oneself. This means that the process of prayer is the process of removing veils so we are ready for a higher level of speaking (praying) and more important, listening (meditating).

We discussed how making all these connections brings us to the point of becoming a Yisrael, a Godwrestler, a Jewish peaceful warrior, one who struggles to be close to Hashem.

We’ve talked about using our physical Tora Dojo forms as a moving meditation to help in the mental-spiritual process of joining heaven and earth (as in the opening moves in Kata # 4, # 8 and the original #5 and #6).

ALL of these lessons can be found in two words in this week’s Parsha. These are the most well-known words of the most well-known prayer of the Jewish people

SHMA YISRAEL

The first word is made up of three letters SHIN-MEM-AYIN

Shin represents fire, the dominant sound of the word aish (fire). It is the heavenly energy that Hashem pours into the world that sustains it.

Mem represents water, the dominant sound of the word mayim (water). Water represents the physical reality we live in. Our bodies are mostly water and we live on a water-based planet. Hidden within water is the life force (received from the heavenly aish) that sustains us.

In the physical world, we know that water negates and destroys fire.

In the spiritual world, if we can put these two energies together, we connect heaven and earth. In mystical terms, we would then join the Holy One Blessed be He with the Shechina. We would join the yin forces of the cosmos to the yang forces of the cosmos.

If we could establish this joining of energies, this “logging on to the inner-net” of the spirit, then we could open an inner eye AYIN and hear the song of the spiritual world! An eye that hears? Yes! It refers to a deeper level of communication. (Re-read what B’nai Yisrael saw/heard at mount Sinai!)

This is the goal of the Yisrael, the Godwrestler, one who waits patiently (yet with perseverance) to hear and see the “voice” of Hashem in the world and in his/her personal life.

All of this is in our consciousness every time we slowly say the words Shema Yisrael.

In the Torah, the AYIN in the word Shema is written larger than the other letters; this is also true of the DALET in the word echad. This, the Rabbis tell us is to create the word AYD, the Hebrew word for “witness”. We become the witness to the spiritual reality I’ve described.

When we “upgrade” the physical by connecting it to the spiritual, then we open our inner eye and look/listen (Shema) for the still small voice with which Hashem governs our world and guides our lives.

The Godwrestler knows there is hashgacha pratit (divine providence; personal divine watching/caring/guiding) in the world and his inner eye and inner ear are always ready to see its light and hear its music.

We connect the shin to the mem and open the inner ayin and become a Yisrael.

All this can be learned from the word Shema and its power to remind us to be Yisrael.

"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