בראשית ־ BEREISHIT

בראשית ־ BEREISHIT
״ בראשית…״
“In the beginning…” (1:1)
QUESTION: Wh y does the Torah start wit h the letter beit,
the second letter of the Hebrew alef-beit, rather than wit h the
first letter, alef?
ANSWER: The Torah consists of two parts, the Written
Torah and the Oral Torah. The Written Torah starts wit h the
word “bereishit,” and the Oral Torah starts wit h the wor d
“mei’ei’matai” (מאימתי .(Thus, the first letters of the Written and
Oral Torah spell the word “bam” . This alludes to what our
sages tell us (Yoma 19b) on the words “vedibarta bam” — “and
you shall speak of them.” A person should use his speech and
conversation for the study of the Written Torah and the Oral
Torah and not for idle or forbidden talk.
(מגיד תעלומה)


Actually, the Midrash Tanchuma (Berei shit 5) asks this question and answers as follows: “Because alef is the first letter of the word “arur” — “cursed,” whereas beit is the first letter of
the word “baruch” — “blessed.”
But this explanation is difficult to understand. Alef is also
the first letter of beautiful words, such as “emet”— “truth, ” or
“ahavah” — “love,” while beit is also the first letter of bad words
such as “barad” — “hail ” (seventh of the ten plagues of Egypt),
and “bli’ya’al” — wickedness. Why then does the Midrash offer
an explanation that doesn’t seem to fully answer the question?
The Midrash may be alluding to the following: The letters of
the Hebrew alef-beit also serve as numbers. Each has a number-
value — alef equals one, beit, two , and so on. By extension, alef
can mean to care about only one person, oneself, and to forget
about others. Beit, on the other hand, means coexistence, caring
and getting along wit h another.
The Torah starts wit h a beit to teach us that caring about
others is baruch — the source of all blessing, and that alef —
selfish caring only about oneself is arur, cursed.
The explanation of the Midrash thus shows how the very
first letter of the Torah teaches us the importance of ahavat
Yisrael, loving one’s fellow Jew!
A similar idea is expressed in a story told i n the Gemara
(Shabbat 31a). A non-Jew came to Hillel, the great sage and leader
of the Jews in his time, and said to him, “Convert me to Judaism
on the condition that you will teach me the entire Torah while i
stand on one foot.” To do this, Hille l chose a brief teaching that
summarized all of the Torah: “What you dislike, do not do to
others, this is the entire Torah. The rest is an elaboration [of what
is hateful to others and should be avoided].”
Hille l wanted to show this proselyte, at the very beginning
of his journey to Judaism, that the basis of the entire Torah is to
avoid selfishness and to care about others.
(פניני התורה)
״ בראשית ב רא א לק״ם…״
“In the beginning of G-d’s creating…” (1:1)
QUESTiON: On Simchat Torah, when we finish reading all
five books of the Written Torah, we immediately start reading
all over again from Bereishit. This shows that the Torah has no
end, like a circle which has no beginning or end.
i n this spirit, it is customary when finishing a volume of the
Gemara to explain some connection between the start of the trac¬
tate and its end. The same is true of the Written Torah; how are
the very first word of the Torah and the last words connected?
ANSWER: One connection between the beginning and the
end of the Torah can be understood according to a famous
story related i n the Gemara (Megillah 9a). The Egyptian king,
Ptolemy I I (3476-3515 or 246-285 BCE) commanded 72 Torah
sages to translate the Written Torah into Greek.
He placed them in separate rooms, where they would be
unable to communicate with each other. By placing them in
solitary confinement, he hoped to demonstrate that their
separate translations would reflect many differences of opinion,
proving that the Torah is not Divine in origin (G-d forbid).
Hashem inspired them all to produce the exact same
translation, known among non-Jews to this day as the
Septuagint, from the Greek word meaning “seventy.” Al l 72
sages made certain identical changes from the literal meaning
of the Torah in several places to forestall possible
misunderstandings by non-Jews seeking to confirm their own
mistaken beliefs.
One of these changes was at the beginning of the Torah, i n
the words, “Bereishit bara Elokim.” The sages were worried that
non-Jews, seeking to prove that our Torah substantiates their
belief in the existence of more than one god, would try to bring
proof that some other god called “Bereishit” created G-d!
Therefore, all the sages individually reversed the order of
these words to read, “Elokim bara Bereishit” — “G-d created i n
the beginning.” This shows that G-d is but one, and He was the
First Being and the sole Creator of the world and all other
beings.
This change, however, was only for the sake of non-Jews,
whose mistaken beliefs could bring them to a false
interpretation of the verse. But when Hashem commanded
Moshe to writ e down the words of Torah that He taught him,
He knew that the Jewish people would not misinterpret these
words. He, therefore, told Moshe to write them in their true
order. (Many profound meanings lie in the order of the Torah’s
words and letters.)
This, then, is the connection between the very first words of
the Torah and its last phrase: “Le’einei kol Yisrael” — “before the
eyes of all Israel” (Devarim 34:12). Hashem told Moshe that
“le’einei kol Yisroel” — “before the eyes of all Israel,” [he should
write ] “Bereishit bara Elokim,” and there is no need to reverse the
order of the words, since the Jewish people believe i n only one
G-d, and He alone created everything.
(שרית תירוש ויצהר סי קס״ג בשם ספר מגדל דוד)
״ בראשית ב רא א לק״ם״
“In the beginning of G-d’s creating.” (1:1)
QUESTION: On this first pasuk of the Torah, the Midrash
(Yalkut Shimoni) says that it will be understood with the saying
“Rosh devarcha emet” — “Your very first utterance is truth “
(Psalms 119:160). What is the connection between these two
passages?
ANSWER: The final letters of the words רא ב בראשית ״
spell the word — “truth. ” The Gemara (Shabbat
55a) says, “Hashem’s signet is .” Hashem exists simultane¬
ously i n the past, present and future. Likewise, the word
is made up of the first, middle and last letters of the Hebrew
alef-beit to indicate that truth does not change, it is consistent in
the past, present and future.
The word אמת״ ״ adds up to 441, whose numerals (4+4+1)
add up to 9, and i n mispar katan (“single numerals” —
disregarding the “0” in the numerical value of a Hebrew letter
so that is 2 and is 3, etc.), it also adds up to 9. The
uniqueness of the number 9 is that the digits of all its multiples
always add up to 9 (e.g., 9×73 = 657, 6+5+7 = 18, 1+8 = 9).
Likewise, truth always remains the same and can never be
altered. Similarly, Hashem is true from beginning to end.
Moreover, taking the letters of the Hebrew alef-beit, begin¬
ning with , every three letters together add up to 9 (e.g.
9 = 2+3+4 = ד+ג+ב , and 9 = 2+7 ,27 = 8+9+10 = י+ט+ח , etc.).
The word — “falsehood” — in single numerals
(3+1+2), adds up to 6. Starting with , the alef-beit can be
divided into sequences, each of three consecutive letters, each
of which adds up to six, (e.g. = 1+2+3 = 6, and =
7+8+9 = 24, 2+4 = 6, etc.).

The Midrash is questioning why the Torah begins with and not with . i t answers, since the beginning of Hashem’s
words (לקים״ א רא ב ״בראשית (emphasize the concept of truth,
therefore, the Torah starts wit h , as it is the beginning of the
sequence of groups of letters adding up to 9.
(פון אונזער א לטען אוצר – ד ת ודעת)
״ בראשית ב רא א זיקים א ת ה שמים ו את ה ארץ, ו הארץ ה יתה ת ה ו
ו בהו ו חשך עזי פ ני ת הום… ו יאמר א זיקים יהי א ור״
“In the beginning of G-d’s creating the heavens and the earth. And
the earth was formless and empty, with darkness over the
depths…And G-d said: ‘There shall be light.'” (1:1-3)
QUESTION: The word “Torah” is derived from the world
“hora’ah” — “teaching” (see Psalms 19:8, Radak. Zohar Vayikra
53b). What lesson do these very first words of the Torah teach us?
ANSWER: I n a letter to a Bar-Mitzvah boy, the Lubavitcher
Rebbe once wrote that these opening words of the Torah teach
the approach all Jews should take i n serving Hashem. Every
Jew should always remember the three lessons he or she can
learn from these three verses:
1) It was Hashem Himself who created heaven and earth,
and therefore He alone is Master of the world and of
everything within it.
2) A t first the world is dark and empty of Hashem’s light,
but every Jew has his ow n share of the world , which he has to
improve and illuminate.
3) The way to brighten his share of the world is through
“and G-d said” — fulfilling the word of Hashem by studying
Torah and keeping mitzvot. Through this, the Jew accomplishes
his purpose in the world and “There shall be light ” — the
world becomes illuminated with the light of G-d’s Torah.
(אגרות קודש ח״ז להב״מ של א חי הרב שמואל פסח שי׳ באגאמילסקי)
״ויה״ ע רב ויה״ ב קר יום א חד״
“It was evening and it was morning, one day.” (1:5)
QUESTION: Why does the Torah say “yom echad” — “one
day” — and not “yom rishon” — the “first day” (as for the next
five days, which it calls “second,” “third, ” etc.)?
ANSWER: The Midrash calls the Yeitzer Hara, the inner
voice and evil inclination that tells us to do wrong , “evening”
because it brings darkness to the world . “Morning, ” on the
other hand, refers to the Yeitzer Tov, our inner voice that tells us
to do good, for it brings only light to the world .
The innate selfish instincts every child has at birth come
from the Yeitzer Hara. The Yeitzer Tov begins to express itself
only gradually in the child, and is first fully expressed when a
boy turns thirteen years old — Bar Mitzvah. (See Shulchan Aruch
Harav 4:2.)
This, then, is the meaning of the verse: I n man’s life,
“evening” — the Yeitzer Hara — comes first: Then “morning, “
the Yeitzer Tov, comes. When do they first meet, both being
fully expressed? On yom echad: the day a Jew becomes echad, of
which the three Hebrew letters (alef equals one, chet, eight and
daled, four) total thirteen!

Simchat Beit HaShoevah

The Rejoicing in the House of the Water Pouring (Simchat Beit HaShoevah) is a ceremony included in Sukkot. It is mentioned in the Mishnah and not in the Torah. The water pouring became a focus of joy. The Talmud states, “He who has not seen the rejoicing at the place of the water-drawing has never seen rejoicing in his life.” So, the water pouring ceremony became the occasion for an outpouring of intense joy.

Sukkot is the only Feast in which God commanded the people to be joyful. As a result, Sukkot became known as The Season of Our Joy. Passover is the Season of Our Freedom whereas Pentecost is the Season of the Giving of the Torah.

Waters were drawn from the Pool of Siloam. They were referred to as the waters of salvation. The festivities were held in the courtyard of the outer Temple. Though it was a relatively small area, many thousands of happy people were able to crowd in miraculously. There was dancing and singing in this celebration of the drawing of the water from the wells of salvation.

Why was the Water Libation such a happy occasion? It is as if God says to Israel, “All your offerings are precious to Me, but this offering of the water which you pour on the altar during the festival is especially precious. Water requires neither planting nor reaping nor pressing nor purifying. Let it be joined with the wine libation, which requires all sorts of preparations. In My eyes, your wine and water are equal, those that require great effort and those that don’t, so long as you rejoice in Me without any mixture of foreign thoughts or ulterior motives.”

The Daily Sukkot Ceremony

The celebration was held every day of the Feast, with the exception of Sabbath and the first day, for then the water libation was not accompanied by music and song. Men, women and children would took part in the celebration which lasted for fifteen and a half consecutive hours, from the time when the daily afternoon sacrifice was offered until the next morning. Such heavenly divine joy!

Each day, there was a special ceremony outside the temple. The priests were divided into three divisions.

Division One

The first division was the priests on duty for that festival. They would slay the sacrifices at the altar as instructed in Numbers 29.

Division Two

At this time, a second group of priests went out the East Gate of the temple and went to the Motzah Valley where the ashes were dumped at the beginning of the Sabbath.

There they cut willows. The willows had to be 25 feet in length. After this, all the priests would form a line, each holding a willow. About 25 or 30 feet apart allowing room for the willows, another line of priests was formed. In due time, there would be rows after rows of the priests holding willows.

After that, a signal was given. The priests would step out with their left feet and then to the right, swinging the willows back and forth.

Division Three

Meanwhile, a third group of priests, headed by the high priest, went out the gate known as the Water Gate.

They had gone to the Pool of Siloam (John 9:7), which means gently flowing waters. There the high priest had a golden vase and drew the water known as the living waters (mayim hayim) and held it in the vase. His assistant held a silver vase containing wine.

Division Two & Division Three Returning To Temple

The whole road back to the temple would be filled with pilgrims. These pilgrims went to Jerusalem to celebrate the festival. They were commanded by God to appear before Him thrice a year during the Feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16).

Then the priests in the valley of Motzah and the priests at the Pool of Siloam began to march toward Jerusalem. The willows made a swishing sound in the wind as they marched towards the holy city. The Hebraic word Ruach means both wind and spirit. Therefore, this ceremony is symbolic of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) coming upon the city of Jerusalem.

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7:37-39

As each of the party reached their respective gates, a shofar was blown. Then one man would stand up and play the flute. The flute player was called the pierced one which was a type of the Messiah. As the flute was pierced, so was Yeshua. He was pierced during the crucifixion (Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34-37; Revelation 1:7).

The flute player led the procession, blowing and calling for the wind and the water to enter the temple. The priests from Motzah (Division Two) swishing the willows entered into the temple and circled the altar of sacrifice seven times. The priests, who had slain the sacrifices (Division One), then ascended the altar and began to lay the sacrifices on the fires.

The high priest and his assistant (Division Three) ascended the altar as all the people of Israel were gathered into the courts around there. The people started singing the song Mayim, saying, “With joy shall ye draw out of the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3).

The high priest took his vase and poured its contents on one of the corners of the altar where the horns were. There were two bowls built into the altar. Each bowl had a hole in it. The water and the wine were poured out over the altar as the priests who had the willow start laying the willows against the altar, forming a sukkah. This was the covering of God.

Hereby, we have a picture of Yeshua as He was dying on the tree. He was on the altar (tree) when His heart was pierced (John 19:34). The water and wine poured out by the high priest and his assistant represented the water and blood that flowed out of Yeshua’s body on the cross. Yeshua said that He was the living water being poured out during this ceremony (John 7:37-38).

Wine is representative of marriage, blood, covenant, joy, and the Messiah in Scripture. The priests took the willows to the altar and set them upright on the side of the altar, forming a wedding canopy (chupah). Through Yeshua, God provides a covering (sukkah) for all those who believe in Him.

Rain is essential to the growing of crops in Israel. It is a blessing from God, and it is a prominent feature in Sukkot. But the ceremony of the water drawing holds a spiritual significance much greater than its agricultural importance.

The rain represents the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh). The water drawing points to that day when God would rain His Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:28-29). As God pours out rain, we draw the waters. As God pours out His Holy Spirit, we receive His Holy Anointing.

In the Talmud we read, “Why is the name of it called the drawing out of water? Because of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, according to what is said, ‘With joy shall ye draw out of the wells of salvation'” (Isaiah 12:3).

The earth will experience the greatest revival and outpouring of God’s Spirit in the Millennium Reign of Christ in Jerusalem when God tabernacles with man. It will be Sukkot everyday.

Parashat Ha’Azinu / פרשת האזינו

Torah Reading: HA-AZINU, Deuteronomy 32: 1-52
THE SONG OF G-D’S JUSTICE

Some songs are happy, some are sad. Some are for entertainment. Some come to tell a story or teach a lesson. Some express the inner heart and soul. Unique among all songs is the song of Moses in our parashah. HA-AZINU is the song of G-d’s perfect Justice — the ultimate reproof to man.

The Hebrew word for song, SHIRAH, is related to the word SHER, which means a chain or necklace. A song is a chain, thread or structure that connects various particulars together in order to make a meaningful order. As the very climax of the Torah, Moses’ song of HA’AZINU gives order and meaning to the history of the people of Israel with its great highs and terrible lows. Everything comes to show the faultless, inexorable justice of G-d. “The Rock — His work is perfect, for all His ways are Justice, the G-d of faithfulness in Whom there is no wrong, He is righteous and straight!” (Deut. 32:4).

This may be easy to say, but it is very hard to actually know and believe in our heart of hearts. Nevertheless, Moses challenges us to join him in this song of testimony, so that we too will know and declare G-d’s justice. The song is “interactive”: Moses chants, calling upon us to respond. “For I will call upon the Name of HaShem — ascribe greatness to our G-d” (ibid. v. 3). This verse is the Torah source for the prayer leader’s call to prayer and the congregational response, both in the synagogue — BAR’CHU — and at the table introducing the blessings after eating bread — NEVORECH (Brachos 45a). HA-AZINU challenges us to respond: to wake up, see and acknowledge G-d’s truth and justice, and to respond in the proper way, by repenting. HA-AZINU is such an important expression of the essence of Israel’s faith and destiny that some communities had the custom of reciting it daily in the morning prayers together with SHIRAS HAYAM (“Song of the Sea”) (Rambam, Laws of Prayer 7:13). In the Temple, successive portions of HA-AZINU were read every Shabbos in a six-week cycle as part of the service accompanying the Shabbos additional offering (Rambam, Temidim Umusafim 6:9).

“Listen, O heavens, and I will speak. Hear, O earth, the words of my mouth” (Deut. 32:1). Moses calls upon the heavens and earth, G-d’s impassive, unwaveringly obedient servants, as his witnesses. For mortal man is too devious and full of ploys to be a valid witness — he has a vested interest: he wants to justify himself. “Why did this happen to me? It isn’t fair.” Moses confronts us — the latter generation that he is addressing — with independent testimony that cannot be denied: the actual history of the people of Israel from the very beginning to the very end, for it is all encapsulated in HA-AZINU. “Remember the days of the universe, understand the years of generation after generation; ask your father and he will inform you, your grandfather and they will tell you…” (v. 7). What has happened in the past and what is happening now to Israel is of significance to the entire world. Israel is at the very center. “When the Supreme gave the peoples their inheritance when He spread out the children of man, He established the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the Children of Israel…” (v. 8).

The history of Israel is the history of Adam writ large. Adam was created out of dust and nothingness and placed in G-d’s sublime garden, but he quickly rebelled and sinned, causing G-d to punish and chasten him, in order to make him repent and to cleanse him. Similarly, G-d “found” the Children of Israel in wild, desolate land and built them into a nation, giving them to ride on the high places of the earth — the land of Israel and Jerusalem. But their very good fortune and prosperity became their undoing. “And Yeshurun became fat and he kicked” — causing G-d to let loose all the evils and terrors of persecution and oppression that have plagued the people of Israel for thousands of years. Only when we internalize the message that rebellion leads to nothing but the pain in the end and that we have no recourse except in G-d — only then will G-d relent and swing everything around to goodness and blessing — VE-ZOT HABRACHAH (the closing parashah of the Torah).

* * *

G-D ALWAYS HAS THE UPPER HAND

We cannot escape from G-d and His Covenant, with its privileges, responsibilities and its terrible sanctions. The stark severity of the message of HA-AZINU may cause discomfort among those in today’s obese, irreverent world who seek a sweet, undemanding spirituality that complements and enhances contemporary lifestyle without causing any radical upsets. People are bewildered by the war, terror, crime, disease and other scourges afflicting us, but we would like to see them as mere aberrations that should be able to be eliminated if only we could apply sufficient human ingenuity. HA-AZINU teaches the futility of trying to overcome these G-d-sent scourges without confronting the rebelliousness and deviousness in our own hearts. G-d always has the upper hand. “For I am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill and make alive, I struck the blow and I will heal, and none can save from My hand” (v. 39).

“If only they would be wise and apply their intelligence to this, and understand their latter end. How could one chase after a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight if not because their Rock sold them and HaShem delivered them?” (vv. 29-30). How could it be that small groups of Nazis were able to uproot thousands from their homes and towns and lead them literally like lambs to the slaughter? How could it be that today a people that are not a people have the whole world dancing to their tune, while small cells of terrorist torment and demoralize the entire population? How can this be if not that it is G-d’s doing?

If it is true that our sins as a nation have brought us great suffering, it must also be true that the stirrings of Teshuvah in our hearts will also prove to be the channel for abundant blessing and peace. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov taught that when Israel accepted the Torah, their essential wisdom lay in their willingness to throw away their own sophisticated wisdom and humbly submit themselves completely to G-d’s superior wisdom. Rabbi Nachman brings proof from Onkelos’ Aramaic translation of the verse in HA-AZINU: “O foolish people and not wise” (Deut. 32:6) — “O nation that received the Torah and was not sophisticated” (see Likutey Moharan I:123).

We cannot redeem ourselves with sophisticated ploys but only through taking the ancient, unglamorous path of Teshuvah — honest self-scrutiny, remorse, contrition, owning up to the foolishness and evil in our own hearts and taking ourselves in hand in order to better fulfill G-d’s commandments. HA-AZINU calls to repent with all our hearts and come home to G-d as we stand before Him in prayer during these Days of Awe. Repentance — Teshuvah — is the hallmark of the true savior, Melech Mashiach, as personified in David, the messianic king of Israel. David came to complete the work of Moses in rectifying the original sin of Adam. The striking fact about David is that he sinned. His greatness lay in the fact that he had the courage to acknowledge it and to repent. The true Messiah is Yeshua, not a flawless, superhuman saint who rides on clouds of glory. He is one who — on his level — knows sin and knows the devices of man’s heart. And he knows that only G-d can rectify It through Yeshua.

“Cleanse me of my sin and purify me from my transgression… O G-d, create in me a pure heart and renew within me a proper spirit… I will teach sinners Your ways and transgressors will return to You” (Psalm 51).

As soon as we learn that there is no other way but to repent, we will be redeemed. And then: “Sing aloud — O you nations — of His people, For He does avenge the blood of His servants and render vengeance to His adversaries, and will make atonement for the land of His people.”

Shabbat Shalom! Shanah Tovah! Gmar ChaTimah Tovah!

Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum

Parashat Re’eh / פרשת ראה

Parsha Summary for Parshas Reeh

Note: The Shabbos Torah Reading is divided into 7 sections. Each section is called an Aliya [literally: Go up] since for each Aliya, one person “goes up” to make a bracha [blessing] on the Torah Reading.


1st and 2nd Aliyot: Moshe instructs the Chosen People to eradicate any remnant of idolatry and strengthen all aspects of service to G-d. All offerings must be brought to the “Chosen” place, the Bais Hamikdash, so that worship is an act of humility and selflessness, rather than a self-indulging “need”. An even greater danger to our uniqueness is the innate desire to compromise and assimilate Torah values with other forms of worship. (the Chanukah bush syndrome)

3rd and 4th Aliyot: Moshe forewarned the Jews against incorporating any pagan practices, and against the false prophet, idolatrous missionaries, and the Ir Hanidachas – the Apostate City. These must be destroyed along with their material belongings. When using the wo​_rld in accordance with the wishes of the Creator, we declare the existence of a Creator who has a divine purpose for creating the material world. When we misuse the physical in the service of “gods who are not G-d”, we negate the Creator’s purpose for creating the universe. Therefore, they and all their belongings must be destroyed.

5th, 6th, and 7th Aliyot: The remainder of the Parsha, details those Mitzvos that set us apart from all other nations: Kashrus; Maasros – Tithes; the Shmitah – sabbatical year; the laws regarding lending money; the Eved Ivri – a Jew who is a slave; the consecration of the first-born animal, and a review of the main Yomim Tovim – holidays: Pesach, Shavouth, and Succoth.

Rav S.R. Hirsch points out that Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are not reviewed in Sefer Divarim because there were no changes in the practices of those Yomim Tovim when living in the desert or living in Eretz Yisroel. (Intro. to Divarim)

Parashat Re’eh (פרשת ראה): The Three Pilgrimages…

By Rav. PhilJ Alcide, PhD

Blessing before reading the Torah:   

 

Praise Hashem, to whom our praise is due! Praised be Hashem, to whom our praise is due now and forever! Blessed is Hashem our God, Ruler of the universe, who has chosen us from all peoples by giving us the Torah. Blessed is Hashem, Giver of the Torah.

Reading: “שלוש פעמים ׀ בשנה יראה כל־זכורך את־פני ׀ יהוה אלהיך במקום אשר יבחר בחג המצות ובחג השבעות ובחג הסכות ולא יראה את־פני יהוה ריקם איש כמתנת ידו כברכת יהוה אלהיך אשר נתן־לך”

Transliteration

  • “shalosh pe’anim bashanah yera’eh kal zekhurekha et penei adonai eloheikha bamaqom asher yivchar b’chag hamatzot ub’chag hashavuot ub’chag hasukkot v’lo yera’eh et penei adonai reqam ish kematenat yado k’birkat adonai eloheikha asher natan lakh ” (Devarim 16 : 16-17)

Translation:

  • “Three times a year all your males should appear before Hashem your God in the place that He will choose: on the Festtival of Matzot, on the Festival of Shavuot, and on the Festival of Sukkot. And he shall not appear before Hashem empty-handed, everyone according to what he can give, according to the blessing that Hashem, your God, gives you.” (Deut.16: 16-17)

Blessing after reading the Torah:

Blessed is the Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has given us a Torah of truth, implanting within us eternal life. Blessed is the Lord, Giver of the Torah.

This week’s Parshah covers a lot of material. We would be dizzy if we were to go over them all right now. We would be amazed as well. Yet, I choose to focus on a very small section that will do just as much. Please, accept my apology. Why three times a year? Why only male must appear? Where is the place to appear? Why not empty-handed? These are some of the questions that I will explore with you but before that let us make a b’rachah (say a blessing):

  • Baruch Atah adonai eloheinu Melekh ha-Olam yihyu l’ratson imrei-fi v’hegyon libi l’fanecha adonai tsuri v’goali [Amen]
  • Blessed are you Hashem our G-d, king of the universe. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you Hashem, my Rock and my Redeemer [Amen]

It is interesting to note that during the forty years that the Israelites lived in the wilderness they were never commanded to appear before Hashem any number of times a day, a week, a month, or a year. However, it is only before they enter the Promised Land that they are reminded to present themselves three times a year “before Hashem” and “at the place He will choose.” This command is known in our circles as “shalosh regalim” or three pilgrimages.

Pilgrimage

What is a pilgrimage? What purpose does it serve? In the Encyclopedia Britannica (2011) we read:

  • “A pilgrimage is a journey undertaken for a religious motive. Although some pilgrims have wandered continuously with no fixed destination, pilgrims more commonly seek a specific place that has been sanctified by association with a divinity or other holy personage…Given its presence in so many different cultural and historical contexts, no single meaning can be attributed to the act of pilgrimage. Structural similarities are discernible, however, across disparate traditions of sacred travel. Pilgrimage usually entails some separation (alone or in a group) from the everyday world of home, and pilgrims may mark their new identity by wearing special clothes or abstaining from physical comforts. Frequently, pilgrimages link sacred place with sacred time…Apart from involving movement across physical and cultural landscapes toward a sacred goal, pilgrimages frequently involve ritual movements at the site itself…A factor that unites pilgrimage locations across different religions is the sense, variously expressed, that a given place can provide privileged access to a divine or transcendent sphere…In all religious traditions, hierarchies of sites are evident, as some places are regarded as more sacred than others.”

Why three times a year?

In the book of Joshua we read:

  • “So the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities in seven divisions in a book, and they came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh. And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD, and there Joshua divided the land to the sons of Israel according to their divisions.” (Josh.18: 9-10)

This establishes the Israelites as sedentary people now. They are no longer wandering in the wilderness. In the book of Ecclesiastes we read,

  • “And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” (Eccl.4: 12)

The number three here seems to serve at least two purposes in relation to the pilgrimage. The first one is that it is an opportunity for the Israelites to show gratitude to Hashem. The second one is an opportunity to show that they have confidence in Hashem as a partner in the covenant (Exod.34: 24). A third one is to confirm the everlasting character of the covenant through the principle of the three witnesses (Deut.19: 15). Therefore, the three pilgrimages are the eternal witnesses and testimony of what Hashem has done for the Israelites. This is very important to remember.

Why only male must appear?

The ancient Israelites never understood this to exclude women. In fact, in the book of Samuel we read:

  • “There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.” (1 Sam.1: 1-7)

If women were not allowed appear before Hashem, then why did Penninah and Hannah go up with their husband Elkanah? Who was this man anyway? Why didn’t any of his wives ask him to leave the other as the ultimate proof of his love for her? Does the Torah forbid a man to have more than one wife? We must be very careful not to read in the Bible what is not there, things that are informed by anti-Bible biases. Interestingly, the text says:

  • “When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow, Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.” “Do what seems best to you,” her husband Elkanah told her. “Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his word.” (1 Sam.1: 21-23)

Here, as you can see, Hannah chose not to appear before Hashem simply because she was nursing a newborn child. However, she made clear that she would continue to appear before Hashem when the boy is old enough. Her husband agreed with her. He didn’t tell her that she was not commanded to go. What we understand is that women are exempt from performing certain mitzvot simply because of who they are, which determines the role that they play in the community. Men, on the other hand, do not enjoy the privilege of exemption under any circumstance. Therefore, the omission of women in the text is not due to sexism but to accommodate their exalted status. It is that simple. One must read the text in its context, as a Hebrew would read it in the light of his tradition. Also, men that were ritually unclean could not present themselves before Hashem even if they were commanded to appear.

Where is the place to appear?

Traditionally, the place has always been where the priesthood is quartered. The first place was Shiloh. After that, it became Jerusalem. Should we really focus on a particular place, a physical location? In the time of exile, as right now, and before that during the Babylonian captivity, where is the place? We cannot go to Jerusalem because we do not have a Temple there nor a priesthood. Yet the power of pilgrimage as a metaphor may be retained even in contexts apparently unfavorable to its practice. We must, therefore, understand why Hashem commanded us to appear before Him three times a year. Is there a place that Hashem is not? David, in Psalm 139, answered with a resounding “no”. The point of the pilgrimages then is to bring people together. It is not the physical place that is really the focus but the “unity of people”. Wherever people are united this is where Hashem chooses. This idea is clearly stated in Psalm 133, where it is written:

  • “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” (Ps.133: 1-3)

The Three pilgrimages have one thing in common. They are all “Shabbat days”. In other words, they are set apart for a particular purpose. The place is “in time” because it is time that Hashem “made holy”. Man made a place holy. Which is greater: what G-d sanctifies or what man sanctifies? A place can be destroyed but time cannot be destroyed. We will always have the opportunity to appear before Hashem as long as we are alive. Let us briefly look at each pilgrimage:

Pesach or Passover began and remains a family holiday. It symbolizes in words and deeds the ideal of freedom (Gen.1: 26-27). It is associated with the Exodus from Egypt. On this holiday we are commanded not to eat yeast. The sages taught:

  • “Leaven represents the evil impulse of the heart” (Talmud, Berachot 17a)

Pesach, therefore, teaches us to subdue our appetite and control what we eat.

Shavuot or “feast of weeks” is traditionally known by many names each of which reflects the agricultural nature of the holiday celebrated in the Spring. The Bible nowhere associates the holiday of Shavuot with G-d’s revelation on Mount Sinai. The Talmud (Pesachim 68b), however, does make an association between the two. The connection was established when scholars, following the biblical account, calculated that the dates of the agricultural festival of Shavuot and the event at Mount Sinai coincided. In this Parshah, the reason for the observance of Shavuot is that “we were once slaves in Egypt”.

Sukkot or “feast of booths” was originally an agricultural holiday. We are told to remember that the Israelites people lived in booths when G-d took them out of Egypt. It marks the beginning of the rainy season. Therefore, it became known as a Day of Judgment for Rain.

Why not empty-handed? 

All three pilgrimages refer to the Exodus from Egypt, which is G-d’s greatest act of love to the Israelites. G-d gives because He loves. Therefore, we must demonstrate our love by giving back. This is the law. Therefore, Solomon taught:

  • “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of your crops.” (Prov.3: 9)

The three pilgrimages give us a framework to test our own obedience and gratitude. They provide us with an opportunity for spiritual growth. They invite us to take journeys without leaving our physical place. We are to go into the depth of our soul each time to meet with our G-d. Also, the pilgrimages provide us with opportunities for redemption. What are we to be redeemed from? Our sages, by linking Chametz (yeast) to the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination), teach us that we are to be redeemed from our evil inclination, the Yetzer Hara. Who can redeem us and how? G-d answers, saying:

  • “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Gen.4: 7)

G-d has already provided for us in all aspects of our lives. He gives us opportunities to prove ourselves worthy. He gives us the Torah, a Covenant of Peace, a Pact of Friendship. Now it is up to us to show Him how much we love him. Notice that out of 365 days we are only commanded to make three pilgrimages. The rest of the year concerns our treatment of others. We cannot present ourselves before G-d favorably if we neglect our neighbor or oppress them in any way. We are different and receive differently from G-d. Therefore, we cannot look at what others give to G-d when we want to present gifts to Him. How good has G-d been to you? How much has He given you? How much does he ask you to give Him?

Shabbat Shalom,

Reference

pilgrimage. (2011). Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica.

Lessons of Moshe 41

25:7 (Maftir) When Pinchas (פּינח) Ben ElAzar(אלעזר) Ben Aharon the Priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand.

25:8  and went after the man of Yisrael into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Yisrael and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Yisrael was stopped.

25:9 And those that died in the plague weretwenty and four thousand. (1 corinthian 10)

Parashah 41: Pinchas 25:10-30 (29:40)

25:10 (i)

And ADONAI (יהוה) spoke to Moshe, saying:

25:11 Pinchas (פּינח), Ben El Azar (אלעזר), Ben Aharon Kohen, has turned My wrath away from benai Yisrael, while he was zealous for My sakeamong them, that I consumed not benai Yisrael inMy Jealousy.

25:12 לָכֵ֖ן אֱמֹ֑ר הִנְנִ֨י נֹתֵ֥ן לוֹ֛ אֶת-בְּרִיתִ֖י שָלוֹֽם׃

Laken  Emor Hinni Noten Lo Et-Beriti  Shalom

Wherefore say: Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace;

25:13 וְהָ֤יְתָה לּוֹ֙ וּלְזַרְעוֹ֣ אַחֲרָ֔יו בְּרִ֖ית כְּהֻנַּ֣תעוֹלָ֑ם תַּ֗חַת אֲשֶ֤ר קִנֵּא֙ לֵאלֹהָ֔יו וַיְכַפֵּ֖רעַל-בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

Vehaita Lo Ulezaro  Akharav Berit Kehunat Olam  takhat  Asher  Kine LeLohav Vayekhaper Al-Benei Yisrael.

and it shall be to him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was jealous for his Elohim, and made atonement for the children of Yisrael.’

25:14  Now the name of the Yisraelite that was shachat (slaughtered), [even] that was shachat (slaughtered) with the Midyan woman, [was] Zimri Ben Salu, a Nasi a chief house among the Shimeonites.

25:15 And the name of the Midyan woman that was shachat (slaughtered) [was] Kozbi bat Zur; he [was] head over a people, [and] of a chief Bayit in Midyan.

25:16  And ADONAI (יהוה) spoke to Moshe, saying,

25:17 Vex the Midyanim, and smite them:

25:18 For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Kozbi, bat a Nasi Midyan, their sister, which was shachat (slaughtered) in the day of the plague for Peor’s sake.


Beit Midrash Torah-Seeker

the sin of Ba’al Pe’or. First, וַיָּחֶל הָעָם, לִזְנוֹת אֶל-בְּנוֹת מוֹאָב – Israel began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moav. וַתִּקְרֶאןָ לָעָם, לְזִבְחֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶן – these women called Israel to sacrifice to their gods. And then, וַיֹּאכַל הָעָם, וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶן. and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods.

“The broken ו (VAV)” in Numbers 25:12 is telling us that “the Man” has been broken for the sake of Covenant of Peace that brings atonement for Israel. This broken ו (VAV) is a clear picture of the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua. The word “שלום (SHALOM)” in Numbers 25:12, with broken ו (VAV) can be read as “שלים (COMPLETE).” Another explanation that His brokenness is the completion; the finality; the ultimate perfection.

promiscuity is taking sexual activity, which is meant to be a tool for a deep and loving relationship, and using it for selfish, superficial pleasure. And idolatry is about taking worship, also a tool for a deep and loving relationship – with God – and making the rituals meaningless, for selfish purposes, to curry favor gods. These are both ways of willingly destroying – or, at least, severely depreciating – the very concept of intimacy. And at the heart of both of these things is not just selfishness – it’s a lie we tell ourselves. The idolater, the adulterer, they deceive themselves into thinking that they can have our cake and eat it too. Sure, they’ll also use those tools to build intimate relationships, they’re not denying that. But why can’t they also separate them and just feel pleasure? Because when you remove the relationship part, you really do cheapen those tools… and you cheapen the concept of intimacy itself.

Parashat Pinchas / פרשת פינחס

25:4 And ADONAI (יהוה) said to Moshe:

Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before ADONAI (יהוה) against the sun, that the fierce anger of ADONAI (יהוה) may be turned away from Yisrael.

25:9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. (1 corinthian 10)

Parashah 41: Pinchas 25:10-30 (29:40)

25:10 (i)

And ADONAI (יהוה) spoke to Moshe, saying:

25:11 Pinchas (פּינח), Ben El Azar (אלעזר), Ben Aharon Kohen, has turned My wrath away from benai Yisrael, while he was zealous for My sake among them, that I consumed not benai Yisrael in My Jealousy.

25:12 לָכֵ֖ן אֱמֹ֑ר הִנְנִ֨י נֹתֵ֥ן לוֹ֛ אֶת-בְּרִיתִ֖י שָלוֹֽם׃

Laken Emor Hinni Noten Lo Et-Beriti Shalom

Wherefore say: Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace;

25:13 וְהָ֤יְתָה לּוֹ֙ וּלְזַרְעוֹ֣ אַחֲרָ֔יו בְּרִ֖ית כְּהֻנַּ֣ת עוֹלָ֑ם תַּ֗חַת אֲשֶ֤ר קִנֵּא֙ לֵאלֹהָ֔יו וַיְכַפֵּ֖ר עַל-בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

Vehaita Lo Ulezaro Akharav Berit Kehunat Olam takhat Asher Kine LeLohav Vayekhaper Al-Benei Yisrael.

and it shall be to him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was jealous for his Elohim, and made atonement for the children of Yisrael.’

25:14 Now the name of the Yisraelite that was shachat (slaughtered), [even] that was shachat (slaughtered) with the Midyan woman, [was] Zimri Ben Salu, a Nasi a chief house among the Shimeonites.

25:15 And the name of the Midyan woman that was shachat (slaughtered) [was] Kozbi bat Zur; he [was] head over a people, [and] of a chief Bayit in Midyan.

25:16 And ADONAI (יהוה) spoke to Moshe, saying,

25:17 Vex the Midyanim, and smite them:

25:18 For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Kozbi, bat a Nasi Midyan, their sister, which was shachat (slaughtered) in the day of the plague for Peor’s sake.

Beit Midrash Torah-Seeker

the sin of Ba’al Pe’or. First, וַיָּחֶל הָעָם, לִזְנוֹת אֶל-בְּנוֹת מוֹאָב – Israel began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moav. וַתִּקְרֶאןָ לָעָם, לְזִבְחֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶן – these women called Israel to sacrifice to their gods. And then, וַיֹּאכַל הָעָם, וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶן. and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods.

“The broken ו (VAV)” in Numbers 25:12 is telling us that “the Man” has been broken for the sake of Covenant of Peace that brings atonement for Israel. This broken ו (VAV) is a clear picture of the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua. The word “שלום (SHALOM)” in Numbers 25:12, with broken ו (VAV) can be read as “שלים (COMPLETE).” Another explanation that His brokenness is the completion; the finality; the ultimate perfection.

promiscuity is taking sexual activity, which is meant to be a tool for a deep and loving relationship, and using it for selfish, superficial pleasure. And idolatry is about taking worship, also a tool for a deep and loving relationship – with God – and making the rituals meaningless, for selfish purposes, to curry favor gods. These are both ways of willingly destroying – or, at least, severely depreciating – the very concept of intimacy. And at the heart of both of these things is not just selfishness – it’s a lie we tell ourselves. The idolater, the adulterer, they deceive themselves into thinking that they can have our cake and eat it too. Sure, they’ll also use those tools to build intimate relationships, they’re not denying that. But why can’t they also separate them and just feel pleasure? Because when you remove the relationship part, you really do cheapen those tools… and you cheapen the concept of intimacy itself.

Lesson 39

Parashah 39: Hukat (Regulation ) 19:1-22:1

(in regular years read with parashah 40, in leap years separately)

The Torah of Purification those in contact with dead – Paruh adumah (Red Heifer)

KEYWORD: Paruh, heifer, seven times, seven days, burn, blood, ceder wood, hyssop, sheni tola’at, scarlet, wash, cut off, tamei, tahor, until erev, touches the dead, mayim niddah (separation, sprinking), ashes, purify

I have decreed it; You have no right to challenge it.

19:1 (i) Statutes for Defilement

And ADONAI (יהוה) spoke to Moshe and to Aharon, saying:

19:2 This [is] the Chukah (ordinance) ha Torah which ADONAI (יהוה) has commanded, saying:

Speak to al- Benai Yisrael:

that they bring you a Paruh adumah (Red Heifer) without spot, wherein [is] no blemish, [and] upon which never came yoke:

19:3 And you shall give her to El Azar ha Kohen, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and [one] shall slay her before his face:

19:4 And El Azar ha Kohen shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the Ohel Moed (tent of meeting) seven times:

19:5 And [one] shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn:

19:6 (Kohen will ask aloud each of these 3 items 3 times ensure correct)

And the Kohen shall take

cedar wood, and

hyssop, and

sheni tola’at (scarlet, ), and

cast [it] into the midst of the burning of the heifer.

19:7 Then the Kohen shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in mayim, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the Kohen shall be tamei (unclean) until the erev (evening).

19:8 And he that burns her shall wash his clothes in mayim, and bathe his flesh in mayim, and shall be tamei (unclean) until the erev (evening).

19:9 And a man [that is] tahor (clean) shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay [them] up without the camp in a tahor (clean) place, [p108j] and it shall be kept for the congregation of the Benai Yisrael for a mayim niddah (separation, sprinking): it [is] a purification for sin.

19:10 And he that gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be tamei (unclean) until the erev (evening): and it shall be to the Benai Yisrael, and to the stranger that sojourns among them, for a statute forever.

19:11 He that touches the dead body of any man shall be tamei (unclean) seven days.

19:12 He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be tahor (clean): but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be tahor (clean).

19:13 Whosoever touches the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifies not himself, defiles the tabernacle of ADONAI (יהוה); and that nefesh shall be cut off from Yisra’el: because the mayim niddah (separation) was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be tamei; his uncleaniness [is] yet upon him.

19:14[p107J]

This [is] the Torah, when a man dies in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that [is] in the tent, shall be tamei (unclean) seven days.

19:15 And every open vessel, which has no covering bound upon it, [is] tamei (unclean).

19:16 And whosoever touches one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be tamei (unclean) seven days.

19:17 And for a tamei (unclean) [person] they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running mayim shall be put thereto in a vessel:

19:18(LY:ii) Sprinkle the Contaminated

And a tahor (clean) person shall take hyssop, and dip [it] in the mayim, and sprinkle [it] upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:

19:19 And the tahor (clean) [person] shall sprinkle upon the tamei (unclean) on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in mayim, and shall be tahor (clean) at erev (evening).

19:20 But the man that shall be tamei (unclean), and shall not purify himself, that nefesh shall be cut off from among the kahal (congregation), because he has defiled the Mikdash (sanctuary) ADONAI (יהוה): the mayim niddah (separation, sprinking) has not been sprinkled upon him; he [is] tamei (unclean).

19:21 And it shall be a perpetual statute to them, that he that sprinkleth the mayim niddah (separation) shall wash his clothes; and he that touches the mayim niddah (separation) shall be tamei (unclean) until erev (evening).

19:22 And whatsoever the tamei (unclean) [person] touches shall be tamei; and the nefesh that touches [it] shall be tamei (unclean) until erev (evening).

Beit Midrash Torah-Seeker

Why was the Zot Chukat ha Torah for Defilement neccessary?

The previous chapters judgment of Korach rebellion, the corpse contamination from the plague that killed 14,700 must be addressed. Adonay commands zot chukat ha Torah (this is the statute of the Torah) for decontaminating individuals who have came in contact with death.

mitzvah p 107j This mitzvah concern those who had physical contact with the decease makes a that person tamei (unclean) (unclean) whether the decease body is touched or whether a person comes under the same roof as the corpse body. The scripture teaches us that death is symbolic of sin and we must do all possible to separate ourselves from the ways of sinfulness and death. The household of family of decease must carry out the necessary purification as in verse 19:17

The Paruh adumah (Red Heifer) must be brought to the “Mount of Annointment,” a precise location on the Mount of Olives, opposite the eastern gate of the Temple Mount. There the heifer must be slaughtered and burned. Afterwards, its ashes are mixed together with natural spring water. It is this solution, called by the Bible “the waters of sanctification,” which is used to sprinkle on those who are impure.