Monday, August 31, 2009

The Gift Of Wisdom Is The Gift Of Fear

When King Solomon succeeded his father as King at a very young age, Hashem asked him to request what He should give him. Imagine having such a wish! King Solomon requested an understanding heart, the ability to judge the Jewish People, and to be able to distinguish between good and evil. In other words, the request was for wisdom, חכמה. But what King Solomon was really wishing for was "the fear of G-d." He remembered what his father, King David had said in Tehillim 111(10), that "the beginning of wisdom is the fear of Hashem." And so at the beginning of Proverbs, King Solomon repeats this teaching of his father by saying in 1(7) that "the fear of Hashem is the beginning of knowledge." But he goes further by adding that "foolish ones scorn wisdom (that is the fear of G-d) and discipline." They don't follow G-d's guidelines for a good life and use their own twisted logic to justify their inappropriate actions.
How interesting it is that one of the first blessings we make every day, a blessing that we say every time we leave the bathroom, begins with words blessing G-d for fashioning man with wisdom, חכמה. While fools never have G-d on their mind, righteous people think about, and thank G-d constantly. And that includes routine trips to relieve ourselves. We thank Hashem for giving us an understanding that He created us with a body so perfected in its function. We realize that if just one small opening would be ruptured we could not survive and continue to serve Him. With wisdom we can understand and appreciate Hashem's care in creating our bodies and maintaining and healing them when needed. Knowing this can indeed cause us to fear G-d because of His constant watch of our thoughts and actions. It certainly is not difficult to fear G-d when we are ill, or suffering or exposed to dangers. That is a natural human emotion. We can actually sense the might of G-d touching us. But a higher level of the fear of G-d is when things are going well in our lives. When Hashem has granted us the fulfillment of our prayers, when happiness and satisfaction has surrounded us, when love and contentment and sufficient wealth has filled our moments, that is the time to experience true wisdom and fear G-d. When we understand that G-d has focused His attention upon us and has given us what we desired, we should be in awe of Him and try our utmost not to disappoint Him. Like a child who does not want to disappoint his parents after they have rewarded him with a gift, we too should not disappoint Hashem after He has fulfilled our lives with goodness. We should fear that we might lose the good that we were gifted, or that we did not deserve this kindness in the first place. We should be flattered that G-d has demonstrated that there is a connection between Him and our lives. We should fear that someday we might cause this union to be severed.
When we have true wisdom through the fear of G-d we have a feeling that we can call on Hashem whenever we need Him. And we have the confidence that He will grant us what we request of Him. We will call upon Him constantly, just like a friend. We will talk to Him constantly and will establish a close relationship with Him. That is true wisdom. That is true חכמה. Indeed, the atbash gematria of חכמה is 190, the same value as יענני, "He will answer me."
May we all establish a close relationship to G-d, call on Him constantly, and may He always answer us when we call.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Emulating The Keepers Of The Ark

Our recent blog article dealing with the Ark of the Covenant being in Axum, Ethiopia has raised not only a renewed interest in this great mystery, but has also brought out other theories as to the whereabouts of this extremely holy artifact. Tamar Yonah of Israel National Radio will be interviewing us about this subject at midnight on August 31st (NY time). Our theories and proofs have been just as shocking to our listeners as the statements we made previously about Obama's sure win as President when he was a longshot to win. The issue is not so much where the Ark is located. It's about how a group of men have dedicated their lives, by serving G-d with honor, dedication and sacrifice. Though many have laughed at them, they simply go forward fulfilling their days and hours with faith and love of G-d and his holy Ark. We should not look down on them in any way. Instead we should learn a valuable lesson at such committment.
The Ark contains tablets inscribed by the finger of G-d. And yet we, ourselves, contain a more holy substance than the Ark. It's our holy soul which is a very part of G-d's essense. Our souls might be darkened by our sins but they still contain the powerful light of G-d's presence. So many of us have turned their backs on the Jewish religion for various, personal reasons. Some have explored other religions not knowing that many of their underlying concepts originated from Judaism. Our bodies are the Arks that contain our holy souls. As we approach the New Year 5770 we must try and maintain a level of purity as if our own bodies were surrounded by the waters of Gan Eden. What we view with our eyes, what our ears hear, the words that come out of our mouths, the places our feet take us to, and the foods our tongues taste, should be of a nature that emulates someone watching and guarding their bodies 24/7 protecting its inner contents.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rosh Hashanah & Obama's Healthcare Plan

The debate over Obama's attempt to once again change the character of our nation is pitting Americans against Americans. One of the reasons America is dying is because of the intense loyalty that Republicans and Democrats have for their elected leaders. Congress has become "the yes people," that is they will side with their party's President no matter how outrageous his ideas or proposals are. It's as if Obama is a young child seeing how much he can get away with. If the Democrats in Congress wanted to display some courage, they would stand up and tell Obama, "Sorry Mr. President we will not allow you to do those things for they are detrimental to the soundness of our democratic society." Instead they quote him, vote for his policies, and argue when Republicans oppose these unimaginable ideas.
The latest idea of Obama is that we must change (there's that word again) the healthcare system of America. Despite the fact that this country is flat broke and needs to borrow funds constantly, there has been little Democratic opposition to this foolishness. Instead of taking a fraction of the proposed amount of money needed and building numerous medical clinics for those without health insurance, his proposal will equalize all Americans in their ability to acquire proper and correct medical care. The most dangerous part of the bill is that the government, that is Barack Hussein Obama, will have the "power" to decide whether someone is too old, too sick or too expendable to receive treatment.
Countries with socialized medicine have produced numerous cases where treatment has been denied to patients who needed competent medical care to save their lives. Mr. Obama is longing to have the ability of deciding "who will live and who will die." But despite this wish of his, only Hashem has that ability. There is only one God in heaven. Obama is just a mere mortal with many faults. Men like Hitler believed that they had the power to decide who will live and who will die.
On Rosh Hashanah we recite a prayer בּראשׁ השׁנה, which describes that on this holy day it is Hashem who decides the judgment that every human faces for the coming year. The most chilling words are "who will live and who will die." The prayer then mentions that for those who will die this coming year, who will die before their time or at their predestined time. And then it lists the methods of how they will die. The first methods listed are, "who by water and who by fire." מי במים ומי באשׁ. The prayer could have said who by the hands of President Obama for the gematria of this phrase is 501 the same as בּרק חוסיין אובּאמה, Barack Hussein Obama.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Ark Of The Covenant Of Hashem

In the movie Raiders Of The Lost Ark, the hero Indiana Jones, not only searches for the missing holy Ark, but actually finds it. But that takes place in the fictional world, not in the real world that we live in. Most Jews have totally forgotten that the Ark of the Convenant has been missing for nearly 3,000 years. The prophet Jeremiah saw that this would happen at this time (the days preceding Mashiach) when he proclaimed in 3(16), "In those days they will no longer say, The Ark of the Covenant of Hashem, and it will not come to mind, they will not mention it and will not recall it."
While current day archaeologists search Israel for the hidden Ark, 1,600 miles away in Ethiopia a "watchman" spends his entire days, weeks, months, years and lifetime guarding a sacred object. Ethiopia is the modern day name for Cush. Does anybody stop and think for a moment why Cush is mentioned in the 44th verse in Torah? G-d just completed creating the world, the universe, the animal and vegetable world, and Adam. Just 6 verses after the creation of man, Cush is mentioned. Let's examine several verses preceding the one mentioning Cush. In Genesis 2(8) "Hashem G-d planted a garden in Eden, to the east, and placed there the man whom He had formed. And Hashem G-d caused to sprout from the ground every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food; also the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad. A river issues forth from Eden to water the garden, and from there it is divided and becomes 4 headwaters. The name of the first is Pishon, the one that encircles the whole land of Havilah, where the gold is. The gold of that land is good, the bedolach is there, and the shoham stone. The name of the second river is Gihon גיחון, the one that encircles the whole land of כּושׁ Cush." What is going on here? The holy waters of Gan Eden surrounds Cush and purifies it. Why Cush?
Let's turn the clock back to the Jewish year 2948 exactly 500 years after we left Egypt. King Solomon, the son of King David, had just completed building both the first Temple (which took 7 years) and his own magnificant palace (which took 13 years). It was at this time that the Queen of Sheba מלכּת שׁבא paid King Solomon a visit. She had heard of the King's great wisdom, and according to Kings 1, 10(1) she came to test him with riddles בּחידת. Most commentators discuss the content of the questions she asked the King and how he answered all of them. She was overwhelmed by the answers to all of her riddled questions. But there is a deeper, hidden secret in this episode. For the 793 gematria of Queen of Sheba, מלכּת שׁבא, is the same as חתם הספר, "Seal the Book." That is, until the Time of the End according to Daniel 12(4). There certainly was more that she searched for. There was a question that she needed to know. In Kings 1, 10(2) she came before Solomon and she spoke about all that was in her heart. What was this question or riddle that brought her from a distant nation? The answer is hidden in the word for riddles itself. This word, בּחידת, spoken by Hashem Himself in Numbers 12(8) is holy because it's gematria is 424, the same as משׁיח בּן דוד, Mashiach son of David. She believed that this great man, King Solomon, the true son of David, who had just completed the building of the Temple, who was the smartest person in the history of the world, was the Mashiach. He then answered her in Kings 1, 10(3), ויגד לה שׁלמה את כּל, "Solomon told her everything." What did he tell her? He told her that he couldn't be the Mashiach because certain events had to occur before the final redemption. Look at the first letters of these 5 words. They add up to 357 the same as בּרק אובּאמה, Barack Obama. Now look at the last letters of these same 5 words. They add up to 444. This is the atbash of ככלות נפּץ יד עם קדשׁ, "When the crushing of the power of the holy people." King Solomon explained to her that Mashiach cannot come until an evil, arrogant leader named Barack Obama causes havoc to the Jewish People and crushes the power they had attained through the course of history.
King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. He loved them all, as it says in Kings 1, 11(2), "Solomon clung to them for love." Before the Queen of Sheba left, she blessed Hashem. Then in Kings 1, 10(13) King Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba "whatever she desired." This word for desire חפצה, has an atbash gematria equal to הדבקים, "who cling." Whether or not the Queen of Sheba had any offspring through her relationship with King Solomon is not mentioned in the Tanach. The 700 year old Kebra Negast, an ancient compilation of Ethiopian traditions, is regarded as the final authority on the early history of Ethiopia. It claims, with explicit detail, that the Queen was pregnant when she left, and gave birth back in Ethiopia to a male child. King Solomon gave her a ring to give the child as proof that he was indeed his son. The child's name was Menelek, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Twenty years later Menelek visited his father and showed him the ring. King Solomon welcomed him and invited him to stay permanently with him. But he desired to return to Ethiopia and to his mother. Modern day Ethiopians claim that their rulers were all descended from Menelek, also known as "the son of the wise man." He would establish the kingdom of David in Ethiopia (Cush), a dynasty that would reign until Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974. The Ethiopian nation would eventually convert from the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, to the "Lord G-d of Israel." The entire period covered 225 different kings, all descended without interruption from Menelek. It's no coincidence that it was 225 for it's the gematria of הטהור, "the clean." No wonder at all, since the waters of Gan Eden encircles the land of Ethiopia.
Let's now move ahead, 2800 years later. If you know anyone from Ethiopia, ask them a simple question. "Do you know where the Holy Ark is located?" You'll be amazed when they respond, "Of course I do. Everyone in Ethiopia knows that it is kept in a special treasury next to the Church of St. Mary of Zion in Axum, Ethiopia. They'll also tell you that the ark cannot be seen by anyone but the high priest of Axum, an elderly, holy monk who is charged with its care and preservation for life. He doesn't leave the premises and names his successor on his death bed. His name is Abba Tesfa Mariam. He is the 30th guardian in history who never left that same enclosure. He as well as the guardians before him, worship 13 hours a day in front of the Holy Ark. So how did the Ark wind up in Ethiopia?
When King Solomon realized that his son Menelek was determined to go back to his mother, the Queen of Sheba in Axum, Ethiopia, he gave him a replica of the Ark of the Covenant. This would constantly remind him of the real one and be a source of spiritual inspiration that he would need when he was so far away from Jerusalem. Menelek was escorted on his journey with men hand picked by his father. Before he reached Ethiopia he realized that someone, somehow had substituted the real Ark for the replica. Was it just an accident? Did one of the men do it and why? Is it possible that King Solomon himself did it? He was about to go back to Jerusalem when he interpreted the incident to be a message from G-d. He realized that it was divine providence that he had the possession of this sacred object. Everyone will seek to find it in Jerusalem. No one will ever think for a moment that this precious, holy item would be in the dark, uncivilized land of Cush.
Several months ago Abuna Pauolos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, claimed that the real Ark of the Covenant rests indeed in Axum. Most, if not all, Ethiopian churches contain replicas of the Ark in order to protect the secret location of the real one. If the replicas are removed they are considered impure. These replicas are considered extremely holy. He said, "The Ark of the Covenant is located in Axum, Ethiopia and only G-d knows for how much longer." He continued that, "the artifact is described perfectly in the Bible, and it is in good condition. After a meeting with the Pope in Italy it was decided that the time had come to reveal the sacred object to the world and to house it in a planned museum. A press conference was scheduled for the following day, and all the details would then be revealed to the world. But there was no press conference in Italy the next day. Some mysterious person must have spoken to him that night for he ran out of the country straight back to Ethiopia like a man running for his life. All he would say was that he was misquoted and that the Holy Ark must be protected from the "gaze of the public."
Some of you might be skeptical. Some might be in disbelief. But before you decide whether the above is the truth or just a good script for a movie or book, please bear in mind the following:
1. The atbash of כּושׁ Cush, is 112. This number represents the time period of Daniel's famous, "Time, Times, and a half of Time." See our blog entitled, "The Connection Between The Blessing Of The Sun And The Final Redemption."
2. The flag of Ethiopia during Haile Selassie's reign depicted a lion. Selassie referred to himself as "The Lion of Judah." King David, King Solomon, Menelek, and all the kings until Selassie were all descended from Judah. Currently the flag of Ethiopia portrays its national emblem, a 6 pointed star corresponding to the shield of King David.
3. Zipporah, the wife of Moses, is described in Numbers 12(1) as a Cushite woman. But she was a Midianite. Why was she described this way? Gemara Moed Katan addresses this question and discusses 3 additional cases where a non-Cushite is described as a Cushite. The answer for all 4 cases is that, "just as a Cushite is unusual in the aspect of their skin, so was Zipporah and the other people mentioned, unusual in the aspect of their deeds." But why not compare these people to Abraham our Father, if they were so filled with kindness and good deeds? It's perhaps because Zipporah and the others were unusual with respect to their purity. As we mentioned before, the Gihon river flows from Gan Eden and encircles the whole land of Cush. If a Cushite exemplifies one special trait, it must be that of purity, the same trait that illustrates the holiness of the Ark of the Convenant of Hashem.
4. The name Cush appears in the 44th verse in Torah corresponding to the 44th word, ולחשׁך, "And to the darkness" as well as to our 44th President. This indicates that at this current time when the 44th President became elected not because he was filled with kindness, good deeds or purity, but simply because he resembled a Cushite with respect to the aspect of his skin, know for sure that this is the time when the secret of the missing Ark of the Covenant of Hashem will be revealed to the world.