Vayakhel-Pekuday 5761

Tora - Torah

Parshat Va’yakhel-Pekuday 29 Adar, 5761 March 24, 2001

Something Old:
To review last year’s Tora-Torah for our double parsha this week, just click
Something New:

Maybe it’s just me (or maybe it’s because we just closed a production of the Wizard of Oz at Hillel) but I see a connection between the Parsha, a Tora Dojo lesson and a theme from the Kabbalah of Oz.

Moshe gathers all the Assembly of Israel together, reminds them about Shabbat and then proceeds with an appeal to help build a Mishkan, a tabernacle in the desert. He uses the expression kol n’div libo or “everyone whose heart motivates him to do so”.

It seems that Moshe is suggesting a deeper level as well, that we each try to make of ourselves a holy sanctuary for our soul, the holy of holy spark that resides within our body.

How do we model our personal sanctuary after the Mishkan? First, we observe Shabbat and get quiet (the root shev meaning to sit and meditate, as discussed before) and get as close to Hashem as we can (the holy of holies is the world of Atzilut in Kabbalah, the world closest to Hashem’s light). Then, we try to perfect each of the worlds within us the mind, the heart and the world of action. This parallels the design of the Mishkan within each of us. We see this process in the Parsha.

Immediately after the reminder to observe Shabbat, we see another Pasuk. In 3510, the Torah states “And every (chacham-lev) wise of heart among you shall come and (ya’asu) make everything that Hashem has commanded.” To create the whole Mishkan within us, we need deep levels of wisdom/chachmah, joined to an open heart /lev and action/asiyah.

The divine essence within us is who we are, it is where the shechinah resides, and it is our home. (Phonetically interesting, the yoga masters chant OM as a place of silence and peace).

Tora Dojo demands work on all levels of self to reach mastery (and grand-mastery) and to construct our personal sanctuary it is a physical discipline with a mental thrust that is spiritual, celebrated joyfully body, heart, mind and action.

To reach that place of silence, our divine spark within, our true place of residence, we need brains, a heart and courage to act. That’s how Dorothy found the place of silence she called home. So let’s all get up and be off to see the wizard (kyoshi, one of the highest ranks in Japanese karate means wizard). And remember what the good witch with the crown (Keter) said “You knew how to get there all along; you just had to learn it for yourself!”

Is it worth all that work? Absolutely. Take it from someone who this coming week celebrates his 30th anniversary of getting Black Belt

There’s no place like OM.

"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.

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