During the season of Sefirat HaOmer (the Counting of the Omer), we begin with Day 1 and ascend to Day 49, 7 weeks of 7 days. The counting serves as the connecting link between Passover and Shavuot, the awesome 50th day. The Torah commands,

“You shall count from the next day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be completed: even to the next day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering to HaShem. You shall bring out of your habitations two loaves of bread for a wave offering made of two tenth parts of an efah of fine flour. They shall be baked with yeast, for first fruits to HaShem.”
Leviticus 23:15-17

 The omer itself is a Biblical measure of grain, equal to ½ gallon, of which they gathered the manna, as Exodus 16 states,

“This is the thing which HaShem has commanded: “Gather of [the manna] everyone according to his eating, an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, you shall take it, every man for those who are in his tent.”
Exodus 16:16

The manna is the Heavenly Bread that descended from above, and the stages of the bread link to the process of Redemption. R’ Ari Kahn says,

“…the intended path, leads the people from matzah, through manna, culminating in lechem, the bread brought as an offering at the end of the process. Matzah is bread devoid of leaven – devoid of the Evil Inclination. Matza is a vehicle which leads to the next stage – the stage of heavenly sustenance, bread from heaven. This stage represents the healing of the sin of Eden, eating from the Tree of Knowledge, and a return to an Eden like-existence, in which sustenance is provided directly by God. At this stage, when the Jewish People attain this level of spiritual health and fortitude, they can approach Sinai and accept the Torah – the Tree of Life.”
R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Bread from Heaven, Aish.com [1]

Matzah > Manna > Lechem > Lechem Panim

Counting the omer is a commandment that each person must do, seeking to reflect upon and rectify a particular aspect of his mind and spirit,

“The Torah, in describing the Omer, says, “count for you” (Lev 23:15) – because each person has to do this for himself, speaking it aloud.”
R’ Shraga Simmons, Make the Omer Count, Aish.com [2]

Each day we count, we ascend a rung on a Ladder, enumerating the Sefirot within Sefirot from Chesed of Chesed to Malchut of Malchut in descending order, thus bringing the Shekhinah into the world. The seven weeks also links us to the seven days of Sukkot, who are represented by the Seven Shepherds: Avraham, Yitzhak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef HaTzaddik and David HaMelech – which is then crowned by the Eighth Day of Shemini Atzeret. Each of these represent one of the seven emotive Sefirot. This journey through Sevens leads us into the Realm of the Eight, Infinity – the Olam Haba, the World to Come. On the Day of Shavuot (Pentecost), Heaven descends and Earth ascends to converge upon Mount Sinai. Infinite Light and finite matter meet, revealing the Holy Torah to the world. R’ Aba Wagensberg says,

“Waving represents shaking off – in this case, shaking off layers of self-centered physicality and materialism in order to elevate our existence. We see a hint to this idea in the parsha itself (Leviticus 23:9-22), which mentions waving seven times. We could suggest that these seven mentions of waving correspond to the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot. Each week we have the ability to shake off another layer. What are these layers, exactly? All the physical aspects of this world were initially created in seven days. Each week of the Omer period thus “shakes off” one of these physical layers of Creation. As we progressively refine and elevate ourselves, we prepare ourselves to receive the Torah on Shavuot.”
R’ Aba Wagensberg, Between the Lines, Aish.com [3]

COUNTING INFINITY

Georg_Cantor2

Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor (1845CE – 1918CE)

In 1904, the Royal Society awarded Georg Cantor the Sylvester Medal – the highest accolade it could give in mathematics. A German mathematician of probable Jewish extraction, Cantor’s groundbreaking work in transfinite numbers, infinite sets created a storm of controversy among his math colleagues and incited resistance in theological circles. He was cruelly maligned by his critics, who called him a ‘scientific charlatan, renegade, corrupter of youth.’ His work was deemed ‘utter nonsense, laughable and wrong’.

Like most theories in science, mathematical progress happens though the slow process of evolution, as researchers build upon the work of others. However, Cantor’s Set Theory was created by a single monumental paper in 1874. Cantor’s ideas brought “rigid” mathematics into the field of philosophy, following the sequence of numbers to its ultimate conclusion: Absolute Infinity. He found that there are different levels or types of infinity, “countable” infinity and uncountable infinities and equated Absolute Infinity with God. Incredibly, he believed that God had revealed the theories to him.

Today, the origin of math itself remains a fascinating question. Was this something that was invented by the human mind? Or is math the underlying DNA, the Code of the Universe? According to the Torah, HaShem created the world through Speech, specifically the Hebrew Language. It is well known that each Hebrew letter is a number. When the letters are combined, they form not only words but mathematical values. Sentences become formulas and paragraphs become equations. The Primordial Torah itself, made up of 600,000 letters, is akin to a spiritual computer program with the ability to create an entire universe, and the universe within a universe, a human being – the image of God. Interestingly, the symbol that Cantor used to represent his theories of infinite sets was the Hebrew letter Aleph. To denote infinity, he chose an interesting symbol, the Hebrew letter Aleph:

aleph

The Aleph, the Beginning of the Hebrew Alephbet, is still used as a symbol for infinity in mathematics today. Speaking of the alephbet, R’ Michael Munk makes an interesting statement,

“In the timeless realm before Creation, the letters existed in a sequence opposite that of א־ב (a-b). . . The sequence of letters in the Aleph-Beis is called סדר הישר, the system of a straight order, because it fits harmoniously into the framework of the human mind. It starts with א, the lowest number “one,” and proceeds in an ascending line to ת, the highest number. This is in contrast to the תשר”ק system, the Heavenly order of numbers which starts with the highest number and goes downward. From the human perspective, this sequence is called סדר ההפוך, the reversed system (Sikukuim de Nauro to Tanna DeVei Eliyahu).”
The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, R’ Michael Munk, Mesorah Publishing, Ltd. pg. 228

The book of Isaiah says,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says HaShem. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

This idea of a higher order of thought will be necessary to attempt to scratch the surface of Sefirat HaOmer. Indeed, we must realize our limitations, as the Akdamut Piyyut, the poem read on the morning of Shavuot says before the Torah reading says,

“If all the heavens were parchment,
If all the trees of the forest were pens,
If all the waters of the sea were ink,
And if every creature was a scribe,
They would not suffice To expound the greatness of The Creator,
And the reflection of His Majesty in Heaven and on Earth
– (Effortlessly-created With the breath of the letter Heh)…”
Akdamut Piyyut, Translated by Rabbi Nachman Bulman, Ohr Somayach [4]

 

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EIN SOF

When one draws a picture, they begin to sketch lines, thus creating “limits” or “boundaries” so that the human brain can visualize the form of the subject. The same can be said for verbal or written descriptions of objects, ideas or concepts. The adjectives are “lines” drawn around the object in order to convey a visual or mental ‘picture’ to the listener. Physically, adjectives define size, color, shape, smell, and touch. In the world of ideas like love, anger, and compassion, conceptual abstracts are also defined through language. In fact, language itself is a mental construct of ‘boundaries’ essential for understanding and comprehension of the subject.

With this understanding, how does one approach, understand or grasp Infinity? The word itself comes from the Latin word infinitas – “unboundedness”. This is the meaning of Ein Sof, “Without Boundaries.” God is truly without Boundary, neither Beginning nor End. He is Everything. He is Nothing (“No-Thing”). The Absolute. Ein Sof is the Source of all HaShem’s Attributes. Ein Sof is completely indefinable, indescribable, immutable, and ineffable. How then, can one describe Ein Sof? To do so, would be to define Ein Sof. Any description of Ein Sof immediately fails to grasp ‘it’, and indeed ‘it’ cannot be grasped. Even the pronoun “it” fails because it makes Ein Sof “something.”

No one can “communicate” directly with Ein Sof. Because Ein Sof is infinite, and humans are finite, there is infinite gap between the two. The reason no one can look upon God is that His Infinite Light would obliterate them, shattering and engulfing all created matter. If it is difficult for the human eye to look upon the light of the sun, imagine looking upon the Light of the One who created the sun. The photo receptor cells, the rods and cones, located in the retina of the human eye, are not capable of processing light of this magnitude. The 7 million photo receptor cones cannot interpret light wavelengths beyond the visible spectrum, excluding the visibility of ultraviolet and infrared waves. God’s Light infinitely exceeds the light spectrum known to man. Therefore, if one were to look upon the Face of God with finite human eyes, the rods and cones would immediately be incinerated, along with all other matter. Even if they were somehow able to transmit any impulses to the brain, it would malfunction and shutdown due to information overload. Thus the vessel receiving Infinite Light will shatter. A vessel, by its very nature, is intended to “contain”, and no container can grasp Infinity.

OSHA_radiation_spectrum

Therefore, in order for creation to take place, God had to withdraw His Light, to create a vacant space. This concept is called tzimzum, contraction or withdrawal. Without this act of Divine contraction, the universe could not exist, as it would be obliterated by the Infinite Light of Ein Sof, as noted above. HaShem, therefore, withdrew His Light in order to “create a canvas upon which to paint”. Without the Light, this space is darkness. Yet as the Sefer Bahir notes, citing Scripture,

“Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to you.”
Psalm 139:12

Ein_sof

SHEMITTA

shmitta1

The laws and concept of Shabbat are well known, the 7th day is the crown and culmination of creation. What is lesser known is that Shabbat is a microcosmic fractal, the connecting thread in a gigantic tapestry of the universe. The Torah says,

“Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a Shabbat to HaShem. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its fruits; but in the seventh year there shall be a Shabbat of solemn rest for the land, a Shabbat to HaShem. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard…”
Leviticus 25:2-4

Eretz Yisrael, the land of Yisrael itself celebrates Shabbat. Instead of the weekly Shabbat, it rests on the 7th year, after 6 years of labor. This 7 year cycle is called a ‘Shemitta’. R’ Lazer Gurkow makes a fascinating observation, connecting the Shemitta to the Shabbat,

“It is true that we rest on Shabbat, but even as we rest, our fields continue to work. We plant on Friday and the seeds germinate on Shabbat. During shemitah our fields make up for the lost Shabbats and festivals of the previous six years. There are fifty-two Shabbats in a solar calendar year. The total number of Shabbats over six years is 312. Seven festival days per year raise the total by another 42 (6×7) to 354, which is the precise number of days in the shemitah, a lunar calendar year.  Observing shemitah for three hundred and fifty-four days, a full lunar calendar year, enables the field to “balance its accounts” and catch up with its owner in observing the full allotment of Shabbats over six years.”
R’ Lazer Gurkow, The Sabbatical Year: Six Reasons, Chabad.org [5]

R’ Avraham Ibn Ezra (1089CE–1167CE) says,

“The meaning of a Sabbath unto the Eternal is like that of the Sabbath-day. The secret of the years of the world is alluded to in this place.”
Ibn Ezra, cited in Ramban, Commentary to the Torah, Parashat B’Har, Shilo Publishing House, pg. 415-416

He continues,

“Bend now your ear to understand that which I am permitted to inform you about it in the words that I will cause you to hear, and if you will be worthy, you will contemplate them [and understand them]. I have already written in Seder Bereshith that the six days of creation represent  [all] the days of the world . . . Thus the [seven] days [of the week] allude to that which He created in the process of creation, and the [seven] years [of the Sabbatical cycle] refer to that which will occur during the creation of all “the days” of the world. . . In the case of a servant the seventh year is also like a [complete] Jubilee. . .”
Ibn Ezra, cited in Ramban, Commentary to the Torah, Parashat B’Har, Shilo Publishing House, pg. 415-416

YOVELCycles

The shape of time in Greek thought is a straight line, connecting Point A and B. In truth, the shape of time is a Helicoidal Spiral, like a DNA Helix, ascending to higher levels and runs as time passes. This is the shape of the shofar, which contains the Fibonacci Spiral design growing to the opening of the Shofar blast. The shofar blast signifies freedom on Yom Kippur. This is the higher level, a macrocosmic Shemittah, called the Yovel, or Jubilee, as described in Leviticus 25,

“You shall count off seven Sabbaths of years, seven times seven years; and there shall be to you the days of seven Sabbaths of years, even forty-nine years. Then you shall sound the loud shofar on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the shofar throughout all your land. You shall make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you; and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.”
Leviticus 25:8-10

Leviticus says this year means freedom,

“In this year of yovel, every one of you is to return to the land he owns… Here is how the shmittah is to be done: every creditor is to give up what he has loaned to his fellow member of the community — he is not to force his neighbor or relative to repay it, because HaShem’s time of remission has been proclaimed.”
Leviticus 25:13, Deuteronomy 15:2

Pirkei Avot says,

“Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said, “…And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraven (חרות) upon the Tablets” (Ex. 32:16). Read not חרות charut (engraven), but חרות cherut (freedom), for you will find no free man except for him who is occupied in learning of Torah.”
Pirkei Avot 6:2

Yaakov, the brother of Yeshua, appears to quote this exact understanding,

“…he who looks into the perfect Torah of Freedom (תּוֹרַת הַחֵרוּת, Torat HaCheirut), and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.”
James 1:25

R’ Asher Brander comments,

“This is the powerful message of Yovel. Each seven-year shemittah (sabbatical) cycle represents a rung, a new level achieved within the world while Yovel, which follows the seventh shemittah year, represents the dawn of a completely new world.”
R’ Asher Brander, Parashat B’har, A New World, MyJewishLearning.com [6]

geological-time-spiral-767821_960_720The Yovel mirrors the counting of the omer in many ways. This brings us beyond the level of 7’s, into the realm of the 8,

“The unit of 49 always symbolizes the limit of the reach of natural time and the limits of nature in general. Take for example the unit of 49 years of the Jubilee era, which exactly parallel the 49 days of the Omer. The Torah refers to the 50 years of the Jubilee period as “forever.” . . . the number 50 is beyond the realm of multiples of seven and belongs to the series of eights, and represents the part of the universe that lies beyond what is directly visible in the natural world. . . The 49 days between Passover and Shavuot, which are the 49 days of counting the Omer symbolize the painful climb out of the natural world of the seven days of creation to the spiritual peak of Mount Sinai, to the level of the eighth day.”
R’ Noson Weisz, Up for the Count, Aish.com [7]

The Zohar says that this is accomplished by the Zeir Anpin, the Vav, the Son,

“This is through the mystic influence of the Vau, who is always in readiness to pour on it blessing, and who is the “son of freedom” and “son of Jubilee”, who obtains for slaves their freedom. He is a scion of the supernal world, and the author of all life, of all illuminations, and all exalted states.”
Zohar 1:124b, Soncino Press Edition

Yeshua says,

“Yeshua answered them, “Amein, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. A slave doesn’t live in the house forever. A son remains forever. If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:34-36

SEFER_HA-TEMUNAH

18th-century manuscript of Sefer HaTemunah, copied by Abraham Abush of Lublin

COSMIC SHEMITTA

The Gospel of Luke says, that Yeshua read the scroll of Isaiah on Shabbat,

“He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the scroll, and found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the HaShem is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” He closed the scroll, gave it back to the shammash, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began to tell them, ‘Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.'”
Luke 4:16-21

Yeshua’s intentionally closed the scroll, as the Redemption would occur in a two step process: Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David.

“The Spirit of the Lord HaShem is on me; because HaShem has anointed me to proclaim good news to the humble. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the HaShem’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn…
Isaiah 61:1-2

The second half of the verse would be accomplished – only if Israel were worthy to receive the mission of Mashiach ben David. Although not Masorah, the antiquity of this belief is attested in the Dead Sea Scrolls, connecting the Redeemer to Melchizedek,

“Its interpretation for the last days refers to the captives, about whom he said: “To proclaim liberty to the captives.” (Isa 61:1)… they are the inheritance of Melchizedek, who will return to them what is rightfully theirs. He will proclaim to them the Jubilee, thereby releasing them from the debt of all their sins…he shall atone for all the Sons of Light…this is the time decreed for the “Year of Melchizedek’s favor” (Isa 61:2)…just as it is written concerning Him in the songs of David, “Elokim will stand up in the Assembly of El, in the midst of the elim, He judges.” (Psalm 82) . . . it is written concerning Him, “Who proclaims to Tziyon, your Elokim reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7). “Your Elokim” is Melchizedek, who will deliver from the power of Belial.”
Dead Sea Scrolls, 11Q13, The Coming of Melchizedek, Modified translation of The Dead Sea Scrolls, Abegg, Wise and Cook, pg. 591-592 [8]

R’ Ari Kahn speaks of a fascinating text called the Sefer HaTemunah,

“The “Sefer HaTemunah” teaches that there is a cosmic shmita cycle which effects the creation and duration of existence … it sees our existence within this larger framework of shmita and yovel. While existence as we know it may come to an end in the year 6000, another cycle may well be awaiting us.”
R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, A Time to Trust, Aish.com [9]

As HaShem’s ways are far higher than our ways, so is His counting of time. HaShem, who is outside of space and time, is not subject to its laws. Time is really the measurement of the distance between two points. For HaMakom, the Omnipresent Being, movement between Point A and Point B is not necessary as He is already there. Past, present and future is one picture, and is only perceived as happening at different points along a line, as slices of the present, by lower dimensional minds. When HaShem interacts with His creation, however, His view of the flow of time is different than the human perception, as Psalm 90 says,

“For a thousand years in your sight are just like yesterday when it is past, like a watch in the night.”
Psalms 90:4

Thousands of years ago, the Psalms told us what Einstein unraveled: Time is relative. The sages tell us that the Hebrew year 5776 is calculated as the time from the creation of the soul of Adam, not the creation of the world. Adding up all of the years of Adam’s descendants demonstrates the calculation of the flow of time according to human perception, not HaShem’s. R’ Yitzhak of Akko elucidates the secret,

“I, the insignificant Yitzchak of Akko, have seen fit to write a great mystery that should be kept very well hidden. One of God’s days is a thousand years, as it says, “For a thousand years are in Your eyes as a fleeting yesterday.” Since one of our years is 365 ¼ days, a year on High is 365,250 our years.”
R’ Yitzhak of Akko

shofar11THE EIGHTH DAY

The number Seven refers to the world within time, the cyclical, natural perception that we see each week. However, something fascinating happens with the Mishkan in the Torah. It is “raised” on the Eighth day. Chabad.org comments on this mystery,

“It was “the eighth day” because it followed a seven-day “training” period, during which the Mishkan was erected each morning and and disassembled each evening, and Aaron and his four sons were initiated into the kehunah (priesthood). But it was also a day which our Sages describe as possessing many “firsts”: it was a Sunday, the first day of the week; it was the 1st of Nissan, marking the beginning of a new year; it was the first day that the Divine Presence came to dwell in the Sanctuary; the first day of the kehunah; the first day of the service in the Sanctuary; and so on. There is even an opinion that this was the anniversary of the creation of the universe.”
Chabad.org, The Eighth Dimension [10]

The Kli Yakar says,

“The number seven represents the cycle of creation; the number eight represents the “circumference“ – that which lies beyond the perimeter of time and space. This is why the Divine Presence came to dwell in the Israelite camp on the eighth day. This is also alluded to in the saying of our sages (Talmud, Erchin 13b) that “The lyre of Moshiach has eight strings.”
Kli Yakar, Shaloh, Cited in Chabad.org [11]

This opens a gateway to a deeper understanding of the Resurrection of Mashiach. He is described as being Resurrected on the “Third Day,” which was also the “First Day.” The Midrash comments on the Third Day,

ON THE THIRD DAY (Genesis 22:4). It is written, ‘After two days He will revive us, on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His presence’ (Hosea 6:2). E.g. on the third day of the tribal ancestors: ‘And Joseph said to them the third day: ‘This do, and live’ (Gen. 42:18); on the third day of Revelation: ‘And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning’ (Exodus 29:16); on the third day of the spies: ‘And hide yourselves there three days’ (Joshua 2:16); on the third day of Jonah: ‘And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights’ (Jonah 2:1); on the third day of those returning from the Exile: ‘And we abode there three days’ (Ezra 8:32); on the third day of resurrection: ‘After two days He will revive us, on the third day He will raise us up’; on the third day of Esther: ‘Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel’ (Est. 5:1) – i.e. she put on the royal apparel of her ancestor. For whose sake? The Rabbis say: ‘For the sake of the third day, when Revelation took place.’ R. Levi maintained: ‘In the merit of what Abraham did on the third day,’ as it says, ON THE THIRD DAY, etc. AND SAW THE PLACE AFAR OFF. What did he see? He saw a cloud enveloping the mountain, and said: ‘It appears that that is the place where the Holy One, blessed be He, told me to sacrifice my son.”
Genesis Rabbah 56:1, Soncino Press Edition

The Gospel of Mark comments on the stone being rolled away, like the cycle of time, the realm of the Seven, to reveal the mystery of the Eight,

“Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. They were saying among themselves, Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us? For it was very big. Looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back. Entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. He said to them, Don’t be amazed. You seek Yeshua, the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen. He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him! But go, tell his disciples and Peter, He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you.”
Mark 16:2-7

The Torah says Yaakov rolled away the stone for his bride, Rachel, who is symbolic of the Bride,

“And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother.”
Genesis 29:10

When the stone is rolled away, the sheep are provided with water. This “First Day”, is also the “Eighth Day” of a New Creation, the beginning of the process culminating in the Olam Haba, as the Gospel of John says,

“Now on the first day of the week, Miriam Magdalene went early, while it was still dark, to the tomb, and saw the stone taken away from the tomb.”
John 20:1

When was Yeshua resurrected? He lay in the grave, and ‘rested’ on Shabbat, but somewhere between Havdalah and the break of dawn he arose in power. The Midrash may give us a clue to the timing,

“In the verse “For the Leader; upon the hind of the dawn” (Ps. 22:1), Scripture speaks of the generation of Mordechai and Esther, [a time that was more dark than] the night. For though it is night, one has the light of the moon, the stars, and the planets. Then when is it really dark? Just before dawn! After the moon sets and the stars set and the planets vanish, there is no darkness deeper than the hour before dawn, and in that hour the Holy One answers the world and all that is in it: out of the darkness, He brings forth the dawn and gives light to the world.”
Midrash Tehillim 22:13, cited in Sefer HaAggadah, Book of Legends

This would have mirrored the Revelation of Light on the First Day of Creation,

“What is meant by ‘in Thy light do we see light’? What light is it that the congregation of Israel looks for as from a watchtower? It is the light of Messiah, of which it is said, ‘And God saw the light that it was good’ (Gen 1:4). This verse proves that the Holy One, blessed be He, contemplated the Messiah and his works before the world was created, and then under His throne of glory put away His Messiah until the time of the generation in which he will appear.”
Pesikta Rabbati 36.1, Yale University Press, pg. 677

Yeshua died in the mission of Mashiach ben Yosef and three days later, his body was resurrected, raised up from the earth. The Talmud says,

“Our Rabbis taught, The Holy One, blessed be He, will say to the Messiah, the son of David (May he reveal himself speedily in our days!), ‘Ask of me anything, and I will give it to you’, as it is said, I will tell of the decree etc. this day have I begotten thee, ask of me and I will give the nations for thy inheritance. But when he will see that the Messiah the son of Joseph is slain, he will say to Him, ‘Lord of the Universe, I ask of You only the gift of life’. ‘As to life’, He would answer him, ‘Your father David has already prophesied this concerning you’, as it is said, ‘He asked life of you, you gave it him, [even length of days for ever and ever].”
Sukkah 52b, Soncino Press Edition

The concept of the Mashiach contains a paradoxical duality. It is Mashiach ben David who resurrects Mashiach ben Yosef, and this process fuses the two Meshichim into one. Kol HaTor remarks on the two Messiahs,

“…at the beginning of the Redemption, when the wood of Yosef and the wood of Judah are “pieces of wood in your hand, ” when they are still divided into two, on the level of the awakening from below. At the time of the complete redemption, however, when the two pieces of wood have become “one in My hand” (the hand of God), then the meshichim will be like two inseparable friends; they will have become one, they will have become the King Mashiach who is on the level of the trustworthy friend of the final redeemer, Moshe Rabbeinu, may he rest in peace.”
Kol HaTor, Chapter 2, Section 2, 1, translated by R’ Yechiel bar Lev and K. Skaist, pg.70

R’ Hillel Shklover continues,

“(Ez. 37:19) the wood of Yosef – This refers to Mashiach ben Yosef for the entire Redemption depends on the unification of the two pieces of wood: the wood of Yosef and the wood of Judah (as it states in this chapter). They are the two meshichim: Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David, who at first, i.e., when the Redemption starts naturally from below, will be separate individuals in “your hand” [Ez. 37:17]. Afterwards, they will become one in “My hand” [Ez. 37:19], the hand of God mby-mbd-01– that is, miraculously, with the help of the clouds from Heaven.”
Kol HaTor, 2.101,  translated by R’ Yechiel bar Lev and K. Skaist, pg. 81

Howard Schwartz, in his incredible compilation of Jewish midrash and aggadah, notes, that Messiah fuses both above and below, the human and the heavenly,

“Lubavitch theologians searched the existing messianic traditions that the Rebbe…was the Messiah. Here they encountered two apparently contradictory traditions. One holds that the Messiah is a divine [edit: i.e. ‘heavenly’] figure, who makes his home in a heavenly palace. The other tradition holds that the Messiah will be the Tzaddik ha-Dor, the greatest sage of his generation – a human being. . . the earthly human Messiah was identified as Messiah ben Joseph, who was said to pave the way for the heavenly Messiah, known as Messiah ben David. However, this myth held that Messiah ben Joseph would lose his life in the process. Before the death of the Rebbe, Jacob Immanuel Schochet, a prominent Lubavitch scholar, often lectured on the subject of the Messiah…in these lectures, Schochet presented a new messianic theory, combining the myths of Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David into a single myth. Here, rather than having one Messiah prepare the way for the other, the figure of the Messiah was simultaneously human and divine. This was made possible by the descent of the soul of the heavenly Messiah into the body of the human one. Thus, in the Lubavitch view, the heavenly Messiah himself will not descend, but merely his soul, which will fuse with the soul of the human Messiah…”
Tree of Souls, Howard Schwartz, Oxford University Press, pg. 486-487

The Pesikta Rabbati says,

“In the verse, Thus says the Lord: In an acceptable time have I answered you, God apparently is standing and talking with king Messiah. And yet the text goes on to quote God as saying, ‘and I will fashion you,’ as though the Messiah did not yet exist. How then explain the words ‘and I will fashion you’? Our Masters answered: ‘One could recite endlessly the chastisements the Messiah is afflicted with in every generation in keeping with the sins of the generation, but when the Messiah is no longer afflicted, God will say to him, ‘I will fashion you, and give you for a covenant of the people.”
Pesikta Rabbati, Piska 31, Translated by William Braude, Yale University Press, pg. 616

Schwartz comments,

“…this myth not only mentions the creation of the Messiah, but also the re-creation of the Messiah. This remarkable re-creation, it is said, will take place at the time of the Messianic era. It may refer to the existence of myths about multiple Messiahs, especially the tradition of Messiah ben Joseph, the suffering human Messiah, and Messiah ben David, the celestial Messiah, where the former prepares the way for the latter. Here “re-creation” may be viewed as a way of establishing a direct link between these two Messiahs, one having been re-created out of the other.”
Tree of Souls, Howard Schwartz, Oxford University Press, pg. 483

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This prayer is in the Maczhor for the Mussaf for Yom Kippur, and can be found in the Artscroll Nusach Sefard Machzor for Yom Kippur, the ‘Az Milif’nei V’resheet‘ prayer about Mashiach Tzidkeinu is on page 860, 2nd paragraph, 7th line from the top. It is in English as follows,

“Mashiach Tzidkeinu is departed from us. Horror has seized us, and we have none to justify us. He has borne the yoke of our iniquities, and our transgression, and is wounded because of our transgression. He bears our sins on his shoulder, that he may find pardon for our iniquities. We shall be healed by his wound, at that time, the Eternal will create him (the Messiah) as a new creature. O bring him up from the circle of the earth. Raise him up from Seir, to assemble us the second time on Mount Levanon, by the hand of Yinon.”
Az Milifnei V’resheet, Mussaf for Yom Kippur

While we will explore the secrets of this prayer in Parashat Acharei Mot, Messiah’s “recreation” into a New Being occurred at the Resurrection, when he was raised up from the earth, after which he displayed incredible miracles throughout the Days of the Omer. As he was resurrected on the 1st day of the Omer, eight days later, he appeared to the disciples,

“When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were locked where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Judeans, Yeshua came and stood in the midst, and said to them, Peace be to you. When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad when they saw the Lord. Yeshua therefore said to them again, “Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”
John 20:19-21

Yeshua is a physical being, yet he is able to apparently walk through walls. How is this possible? Dr. Michio Kaku reveals the secret in his incredible book, Hyperspace,

“Imagine being able to walk through walls. You wouldn’t bother with opening doors; you could pass right through them…Imagine being able to disappear or reappear at will. Instead of driving to school or work, you would just vanish and rematerialize in your classroom or office…You would be hailed as a master surgeon, with the ability to repair the internal organs of patients without ever cutting the skin…No secrets could be kept from us. No treasures could be hidden from us. No obstructions could stop us. We would truly be miracle workers, performing feats beyond the comprehension of mortals. We would also be omnipotent. What being could possess such God-like power? The answer: a being from a higher dimensional world.”
Michio Kaku, Hyperspace, Chapter 2, Anchor Books, pg. 46

This is the mystery of the Eighth Day, the New Beginning, the Union of Heaven and Earth,

“If the number seven defines the natural reality, eight represents that which is higher than nature…In contrast, eight represents the introduction of a reality that is beyond all nature and definition, including the definition transcendence. This eighth dimension (if we can call it a dimension) has no limitations at all: it transcends and pervades, being beyond nature yet also fully present within it, being equally beyond matter and spirit and equally within them. . the messianic seventh millennium of history will be followed by the ultimate “eight”: the supra-historical World to Come (Olam Haba), in which the divine reality will unite with the created reality in ways that we cannot even speculate upon in a world in which finite and infinite are mutually exclusive.”
Chabad.org, The Eighth Dimension [12]

On Mem b’Omer, the Fortieth Day of the Omer, Mashiach ascended into Heaven. Psalms says,

“Who has ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in his garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if you know?”
Proverbs 30:4

In an unusual commentary on Proverbs 30, the Malbim says,

Finally, the questioner asks about the First Cause and its emanation, the primary Intellect, which two of the classical philosophers called Father and Son. To demand or claim knowledge of all of these mysteries, answers Agur, is presumption, they are not accessible to human investigation.”
Malbim on Mishley, Proverbs 30, Abridged and Adapted into English by Rabbi Charles Wengrov, Feldheim Publishers, pg. 101

The Zohar comments,

“Wisdom (Hokmah) is His Name and Glory (Tifereth) the name of His son.”
Zohar III, Jethro 79b, Soncino Press Edition, pg. 236

The Zohar further states,

The Holy One, blessed be He, has a son, whose glory shines from one end of the world to another. He is a great and mighty tree, whose head reaches heaven, and whose roots are set in the holy ground.”
Zohar II:105a, Soncino Press Edition

FIRST FRUITS FROM THE DEAD

timespace1Let us return to the words cited above by R’ Aba Wagensberg,

 “Waving represents shaking off – in this case, shaking off layers of self-centered physicality and materialism in order to elevate our existence. We see a hint to this idea in the parsha itself (Leviticus 23:9-22), which mentions waving seven times. We could suggest that these seven mentions of waving correspond to the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot. Each week we have the ability to shake off another layer. What are these layers, exactly? All the physical aspects of this world were initially created in seven days. Each week of the Omer period thus “shakes off” one of these physical layers of Creation. As we progressively refine and elevate ourselves, we prepare ourselves to receive the Torah on Shavuot.”
R’ Aba Wagensberg, Between the Lines, Emor, the Peak and Potential, Aish.com [13]

Every day we face challenges, both without and within – inside and out. The most formidable foe of humankind is death, yet the Messiah has accomplished the death of death. He has destroyed the grave, defeated the yetzer hara, and ascended to the level of the Ancient of Days. Paul says in 1 Corinthians says,

“But now Messiah has been raised from the dead. He became the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah all will be made alive.”
1 Corinthians 15:20-22

Every year we may seem to be celebrating the same festival, in the same circle. In reality, each time we complete the cycle, we ascend one step higher, one rung closer to Sinai, the Fusion of Heaven and Earth, to the Revelation of the Holy Messiah. If Messiah has defeated death, and the Spirit of the Mashiach dwells within his people, then we too can face any challenge with emunah, faith, and transcend our limitations. Nothing is impossible, no goal unreachable, no sin invincible, as all things are made possible with HaShem. We can do all things through the Mashiach who strengthens us, and truly achieve the takhlit, the purpose and goal, of our lives – that is, for Face to gaze upon Face, to Reflect our Creator to himself and to the world. We must strip away the layers, break the chains that hold us back, and overcome. As Yeshua says,

“He who overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.”
Revelation 3:21-22

 

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REFERENCES

  1. R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Bread from Heaven, Aish.com
  2. R’ Shraga Simmons, Make the Omer Count, Aish.com
  3. R’ Aba Wagensberg, Between the Lines, Omer: The Peak and Potential, Aish.com
  4. Akdamut Piyyut, Translated by Rabbi Nachman Bulman, Ohr Somayach
  5. R’ Lazer Gurkow, The Sabbatical Year: Six Reasons, Chabad.org
  6. R’ Asher Brander, Parashat B’har, A New World, MyJewishLearning.com [5]
  7. R’ Noson Weisz, Up for the Count, Aish.com[6]
  8. R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, A Time to Trust, Aish.com
  9. You can read all of 11Q13 Melchizedek Scroll here. We do not endorse Gnostic teachings, this site or its contents.
  10. The Eighth Dimension, Chabad.org
  11. Keli Yakar, Shaloh, Cited in Chabad.org
  12. The Eighth Dimension, Chabad.org
  13. R’ Aba Wagensberg, Between the Lines, Omer: The Peak and Potential, Aish.com