Pekuday 5760

Tora - Torah

Parshat Pekuday 4 Adar II 5760 March 11, 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, I believe the Parsha allows us a deeper look at our Tora Dojo efforts to be rooted and our ability to up-root the enemy.

This Parsha begins by telling us that “these are the accounts of the Mishkan that were counted by Moshe.”

If you’ve ever been at a morning minyan in shul, you’ll notice that no one counts the group directly to see if there are ten men present. They will usually use a pasukthat has ten words.

Why? This is based on the idea that “no blessing rests upon something that is numbered and counted (Taanit 8b). In other words, it’s considered “bad luck” to count people, children, money, etc.

So how is it that Moshe can count all the things for the Mishkan? Surely a place where the Shechina resides can’t be bad luck?

Prof. David Blumenthal in his book God at the Center explains a beautiful idea from Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. Rav Levi Yitzchak taught that when a wicked person casts his eye on something, the counting itself separates the object from its root above; that is, it is not joined to Hashem’s light as a source of its vitality. He uses Balaam as an example. Because of Balaam’s wicked intention, his desire to possess and control whatever he would see, the object became “counted” and that is what the Talmudic saying refers to when it says “no blessing rests upon something that is numbered and counted”.

But when a good person looks and sees an object with a good eye rather than an evil one he, in fact, attaches the object to its source in the divine world. It becomes rooted in divine energy. With this type of looking, says, Rav Levi Yitzchak, he brings divine energy down into the world even if the object is counted and numbered.

But how can Levi Yitzchak say that “numbering” is good when we see the Talmud says otherwise? Doesn’t he need a source to back up his point of view? Yes! So he brings the verse from Song of Songs as a textual source: “Your eyes are as the pools of Cheshbon”. Using the root of the word Cheshbon in its literal meaning of counting, he translates that verse: “Your eyes bring blessing even on that which is counted”.

And that is how Rav Levi explains the first verse in our Parsha, “These are the accounts of the sanctuary”: There were blessings (not curses) on the Mishkan because Moshe’s intent in counting connected the object to its divine source. Everything was counted several times, yet there was blessing on it and the Shechina resided within it.

What makes some counting evil? The Kavana to possess it and use it for selfish purposes. What makes some counting good? The Kavana to intend to penetrate to the divine core of something to see it in its relation to Hashem.

While our energy roots in Tora Dojo connect us down to the “beat frequency of the earth”, our spiritual roots connect us to heaven. We join the two, heaven and earth together. (Speak to your Sifu about Kata 4 concerning that.) When we lose our connection to our lower  “roots”, we are easily uprooted and thrown. When we lose connection to our upper spiritual roots because our selfish ego is preoccupied with having something instead of being someone, we are easily uprooted spiritually.

Ultimately, the enemy, by his intent, is already separated from his roots… it should be pretty easy to uproot him then, as long as we stay rooted to our source of life.

"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.