Weekly Kabalistic Bible Study: DOING versus THINKING
In this weeks Parsha the TORAH GIVEN TO PEOPLE.
Standing before Mt. Sinai, the collective agreement that the hebrew people uttered to enable them to accept the Torah was: Na’aseh vinash’ma
“we will DO and then COMPREHEND”
It doesn’t say: we’re going to COMPREHEND then DO.
The model of the west is learning, learning, learning, and then doing.
The key here is LEARNING HOW TO WALK — before learning about what walking is!
Often people ask, “do you keep HALACHA.” This is often misunderstood as LAW — but law in Hebrew is either Din or Mishpat…. so if you have to go down to the courthouse (house of law) you go to the bet din… not the BET HALACHAH!
HALACHA means TO BE WALKING.
So to ask someone, “are you keeping Halacha” what you’re really asking them is: are you moving? are you walking?
The numerical value of Halacha is 60. This equals KLI — and kli means a VESSEL THAT IS ABLE TO RECEIVE!
What does this mean that Halacha means WALKING and equals KLI (a vessel that is able to receive)?
It means that in order to receive the truth and grow, we need to DO FIRST then UNDERSTAND LATER.
So, in order to receive the Torah, the hebrew people had to first decide to ACT FIRST then KNOW later — collectively, as a people (if we’ve read any Kierkegaard, we understand how hard of a decision this is!!)
Meaning — we can’t figure out that fire is hot without touching it! We have to make our own mistakes in life — to DO things and then UNDERSTAND what they mean!
Thus, these ancient people were some of the first cognitive behavioral therapists!
…. Confucius even says:
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
This moment on Mt. Sinai represents the actual moment that the Jews were OFFICIALLY out of Egypt! From this point on, the Jews are instructed to remember this day EVERY DAY of their lives!
The word Egypt means Mitzrayeem “restraints” or “confinements.” So, anytime people are living outside their full potential they’re living in Mitzrayeem! Thus, everyday we need to come out of our Mitzrayeem!
What characterizes full liberation from exile is when (1) you’re PHYSICALLY free and (2) MENTALLY free!
If your mind is still in prison, even when you’re walking around free… you’re still in Mitzrayeem — which reminds me of a Buddhist monk story I tell often (ask me about it!)
Thus, the idea of “we will DO and COMPREHEND” is about freeing the BODY and the MIND.
Now, this statement “we will do and comprehend” (Na’aseh vinash’ma) in gamatria equals yetziet mitzrayeem: coming out of mitzrayeem.
So, the only time we come out of Mitzrayeem is when 2 things change: their internal world and their external world. Anytime either of those two things are disrupted, we are in Mitzrayeem.
Mind and Body is ONE!
Another point about this: MOACH (mind) and GUF (body) together is what the ultimate “redemption concept” is.
In Gamatria: Moach = 48, Guf = 89. 48+189 = 137. And 137 = Kaballah!
So, true Kaballah means that the mind and the body are one!
This is an important thing because people who are mentally healthy but not taking care of their bodies… are spiritually sick!
People think that spirituality is an ESCAPISM from dealing with the world… but it’s exactly the opposite — it’s using the world in its most divine capacity!
— From Kaballah Study with Rabbi Gaines 02/01/13