Ki Tisa 5760

Tora - Torah

Parshat Ki Tisa 20Adar I 5760 February 26, 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.

This week’s Tora-Torah will go back and forth from Torah to Tora a few times. Be alert.

We sing it on Friday night, on Shabbat day as part of the repetition of the Amida and as part of Kiddush… V’shamru B’nai Yisrael et haShabbat.. la’asot et hashabbat l’dorotam brit olam. And Israel will GUARD the Shabbat and DOthe Shabbat as an eternal covenant.

Why two Shabbatot, asks R’ S.A. Taub of Modzhitz? What’s the difference between guarding the Shabbat and doing the Shabbat? He reminds us that the Talmud tells us (Shabbat 118b) that if Israel were to keep two Shabbatot properly, they would be redeemed in an instant! But he adds another thought: Perhaps there are two dimensions to Shabbat: one sitting still and not doing anything (keeping the word, the conduct, etc.) The other is getting up and enjoying Shabbat, learning torah, etc. The “guarding” Shabbat is the passive side, the “doing” Shabbat is the active side.

I might add that doing Shabbat would include carrying its energy into the week and meeting the pull of the next Shabbat with the “charge” of the last Shabbat. Remember the story of Sarah’s Shabbat light lasting all week?

It’s like the difference between mechanically repeating a Kata perfectly. Although it guards the integrity of the form, it still lacks something. Doing the Kata means being aware of the reality and immediacy of the imaginary battle while moving from your inner meditative center within the Kata. That is being and doing the Kata.

What if you’re a yellow or green belt? Isn’t that a bit much to ask? No. We should all do a Kata as if we were masters fighting masters. (The moves are designed that way.) For example, what beginner would have the reflexes to perform the last sequence of Kata 3? We should try to do our forms (to live) as if we were a master…

…just as we should strive to live our lives like a Tzadik (a truly righteous person) although we’ll always fall a little (or a lot) short of the mark.

Rav Kook wrote: “One who is a Tzadik stands eternally poised between heaven and earth. He joins the world of darkness to the… light of God. His yearning, his desires, his inclinations, his meditations, his deeds, his conversations, his habits, his movements… all of them without exception, are in accord with the holy music… and his whole life is Holy to Hashem”. That is why the Kohen Gadol wore the tzitz on his forehead (see last week’s Parsha). It always kept him tuned to the holy music.

As you do Kata 4, imagine that you are on the mid-point that joins heaven and earth and it is your job to defeat the attackers (remove the barriers, the veils) that separate the two worlds. When in certain advanced forms you touch the forehead before the form begins, see yourself poised on the interface of two worlds. Imagine yourself as the master/Tzadik with an engraved tzitz on your forehead, poised to unify the world!

This is Jewish karate. This is why what we do is not the “avoda zara” that, occasionally, ignorant critics claim. It is a holy dance, a moving meditation. It is God-centered and not man-centered. That is why the golden calf -–in this week’s Parsha — was the sin it was. They weren’t replacing God… they were replacing the “man Moshe”, who was delayed on the mountain. They needed a physical focal point to worship Hashem. They lost their focus; theirKavana (mental aim) was off target.

In TDA, we need to move from our divine-spark center to BE and to DO the Kata. Done properly, each form is like a little spark of Shabbat light that we release into the world in the middle of week.

"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 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.