Bamidbar (במדבר | In the wilderness)
Torah: Numbers 1:1-4:20
Haftarah: Hosea 2:1-22
Gospel: Luke 16:1-17:10
From ancient times there has been a weekly portion (Parashah) from the first five books of Moses (The Torah) and an ending (Haftarah) from the Prophets read on the Sabbath in synagogues around the world. This portion is given a Hebrew name drawn from the opening words of the Torah passage. An illustration of this practice appears to have been recorded in Luke 4:16 where Yeshua (Jesus) arrived in the synagogue in Nazareth and was asked to read the portion (Isaiah 61) from the Prophets.
We have found that in perusing these weekly readings, not only are we provided opportunity to identify in the context of God’s Word with millions of Jewish people around the world, but very often the Holy Spirit will illumine specific passages pertinent that week in our intercession for the Land and people of Israel. The Haftarah, unless otherwise noted, will be that read in Ashkenazy synagogues around the world. The references for all texts are those found in English translations of the Scriptures.
NOTE: Below are the texts for the Parasha read in Jerusalem. Because in the Diaspora (i.e. communities of Jews outside of Israel) an extra day is celebrated at Passover (and this year, that day came on a Sabbath), the readings read outside of Israel are now behind one week from those read here. On August 6th, through the use of a special “double reading” covering the final chapters of the Book of Numbers, the readings both inside and outside of Israel will once again coincide.
The Parasha for this week June 5-11, 2016 is called Naso—“Elevate”—the heads (Take a Census):
TORAH: Numbers 4:21—7:89
HAFTARAH: Judges 13:2-25
Numbers 5:11-31 “The Law of Jealousy”. This difficult and for many highly-offensive passage deals with what has been called “the only clear-cut instance of trial by ordeal in the Bible” (Robert Alter). It describes a ritual for determining a woman’s guilt or innocence after a spirit of jealousy has aroused within her husband a suspicion that she has “gone astray and behaved unfaithfully toward him” (5:12-13, 29) by having physical relations with another man, yet there being no physical or circumstantial evidence of this. Verse 14 alludes to the possibility of a “spirit of jealousy” coming upon men, both when their wives are guilty or when they are innocent of this sin.
The man is to bring her to the priest with an appropriate offering. The priest then brings her near and sets her “before the LORD” (5:16). He takes holy water in an earthen vessel and sprinkles in it dust from the floor of the tabernacle. The woman is bound under an oath that drinking this water will bring a curse upon her body if she has lied and is guilty-the oath is written into a book and scraped into the mixture, a grain offering of jealousy from the woman’s hand is waved before the LORD, and a portion of it burnt on the altar-and the woman is required to drink the bitter water. If she is guilty, her stomach will swell, her thigh rot, and she will “become a curse” among her people. If she has not defiled herself and is pure, she will be clean and able to conceive seed, her stomach to swell with the blessing of children.
The situation described in this passage strikes many commentators as bazaar, primitive, superstitious, not to mention demeaning, unfair and irrational in the extreme; for some, it seems an ordeal “based on a kind of archaic magic” (Alter). But that is through the paradigm of a modern mind not used to taking into consideration such factors as the existence of a supernatural God of love, truth and justice, the Creator and Lord of the universe, One able and determined when necessary to intrude what appear to be supernatural and marvelous ways into the affairs of those He calls His children. Consider the following:
*This was not some arbitrary, occult divination, but a directive of the Creator of the world who was present and traveling with His people in a real and tangible way. The dust the lady was to drink was not mere filth from the ground, it was from the floor of the mishkan (dwelling place, tabernacle), sanctified by the manifest presence of the God of Gods who dwelt there-and who had molded man from the same dust and breathed into his nostrils the breath of Life.
*Even as the Creator had placed “light-bearers” to illumine the heavens (Gen. 1:14), it was the destiny and high call of the Israeli women to bear within their wombs progeny through whom the families of the world would experience illumination into God’s nature and blessing for all humankind (Gen. 12:3; 26:4; 28:14)—Indeed, one would eventually bear and bring forth the Light of the World.
Satan hated this destiny and its fruit. He had sought to thwart if from the beginning by attempting to violate the wombs of both Sarah and Rebekah (Gen. 12:10-20; 20:1-17; 26:6-11). He had attempted to slay all the male children in Egypt. After God had delivered His people from Egypt, the nature of their call and destiny began to clarify-they were to be a special treasure to Himself, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation before the whole world (Exodus 19:5-6). Vital to this was that the bearers of that treasure keep themselves pure.
*In this circumstance, the wife is obviously seen as being “under” her husband’s oversight (vss 19, 20, 29). Verse 31 seems to imply that that oversight extended to being held responsible before God if she defiled her body by adultery, and he failed to take action. If he did so and she were convicted, “then the man would be free from iniquity, but that woman shall bear her guilt.”
*Ultimately, rather than an abuse of the woman, it in fact served as a protection for her-the God of Heaven would be her supernatural defense and vindication-even when her honor was impugned by the Accuser working through the fallen nature of her husband under whose authority she had been placed. And what of the men? Were they free to be sexually unfaithful with impunity, while the onus for unfaithfulness rested only upon the wife?
Again, the God of Israel was dwelling in their midst. He released directives for maintaining order and governance in the society through responsibilities appointed to those positioned at every level—including the oversight of families. The righteous God who worked supernaturally to vindicate or to convict the actions of the daughters of His people through laws He had lain down regarding their conduct, would surely be also faithful to see and judge the actions of the men whom He had appointed to administer those laws.
*Numbers 6:1-21-“The Law of the Nazirite.” Nazir has to do with “separation”-in this case by a person consecrating him- or her-self with a special vow, usually for a specific period of time, for devotion to God. Another word for separation or “being set apart” used in verse 2 is linked with that used in Psalm 4:3, “But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who trusts in His lovingkindness.” But here, the person chooses to set himself apart.
An outward mark of one engaged in this vow was his abstinence from eating or drinking anything related to the grape. Another, in the case of a male, was abstinence from allowing his head to be touched with a razor for the duration of the vow. In the case of Samson (see this week’s Haftarah) and probably Samuel (I Samuel 1:11) and John the Baptist (Luke 1:15), the person was dedicated to the Lord in this way for life.
*Numbers 6:22-27. And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, “This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
‘YHVH bless you and guard you
YHVH make His face shine upon you and grace you
YHVH lift up His face to you and give you Shalom.‘
“So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
With this blessing the LORD’s holy name YHVH was placed over the Israelites by the priests as a covering and protection. No other name would have true power to bless them, to be their guard and keeper, to release grace upon them, or to guard their hearts and minds with true shalom. Twice this blessing refers to the LORD’s face in relation to the one blessed. The absolute necessity of being in the light of that face permeates the Hebrew Bible from beginning to end. Without God’s face (sometimes in English translated ‘presence’) attending them, Moses prayed to God not to bring himself and the people up to the Promised Land (Exodus 33:14-15). Three times in Psalm 80 the minstrel Asaph equates God’s causing His face to shine on Israel with “salvation,” while in Psalm 44:3 the sons of Korah attribute Israel’s winning of the Land to YHVH’s “right hand, His arm, and the light of His face, because he loved them.” There is a voice, sang David, crying out within every man, “Seek My face” and his response, whenever He recognized it, would be “Your face, LORD, I will seek–do not hide Your face from me” (Psalm 27:8).
So this was the blessing which would attend the Children of Israel when the priests placed God’s name YHVH over them. Today Israel has lost the pronunciation of that Name; when the blessing is recited, it is usually replaced by another name for deity, Adonai (Lord/Master). However, the root of the original Name it is hidden within the Hebrew name for Jesus. Yeshua, a contraction for Yehoshua, means YHVH Saves! He is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3). He is Sar Shalom.the Prince of Peace.
As members of a Holy Priesthood (Rev. 1:6), we would encourage you to pray this blessing over the Jewish people, placing The Name conjoined with Salvation-Yeshua-over them. Pray for the veil to be removed from Jewish eyes through the power of the Holy Spirit that they may come into His presence, to know their LORD face-to-face. “And I will not hide my face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out my Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says Adonai YHVH-the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 39:29).
*Numbers 7:6-9. “So Moses took the carts and the oxen, and gave them to the Levites. Two carts and four oxen he gave to the sons of Gershon, according to their service [i.e. transfer of the outer coverings, etc., of the tents of the Tabernacle]; and four carts and eight oxen he gave to the sons of Merari, according to their service [i.e. transfer of the skeletal structure of the Tabernacle, bars, pillars, etc.], under the authority of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest. But to the sons of Kohath he gave none, because theirs was the service of the holy things, which they carried on their shoulders.“
Deuteronomy 17:18 would require future Kings of Israel to hand-write out a copy of the Five Books of Moses, the Torah, so that its instructions would be infused into every aspect of their reigns-yet David evidently failed to do this-or at least attend to this graphic directive that carts were ok for everything else, but the “holy things” (including of course, the Ark of the Covenant) were to be “carried on their shoulders.” His failure to follow God’s special instructions for dealing with The Holy, resulted, even in the context of genuine ardent praise and worship in other ways, resulted in disaster (II Sam 5:13; I Chron 13:5-14).
Numbers 7:89. “Now when Moses went into the tabernacle of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice of One speaking to him from above the kaporet [“Mercy Seat”] that was on the ark of the Testimony, from between the two cherubim; thus He spoke to him.”
Centuries later, the word of the LORD here had become “rare” and there was “no widespread revelation” (I Samuel 3:1). Yet here, “before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of YHVH where the ark of God was. YHVH called Samuel. And he answered, ‘Hineini-“Here I am!”
PLEASE PRAY: for believers in Israel to keep themselves pure-and to be willing to wait in the Presence of the LORD to “hear what the Spirit is saying to the congregations.”
*Judges 13:6. “A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome.”
In this recounting of the coming of the angel/messenger of God to Manoah’s wife to herald the conception of Samson, at least five times he is referred to as a ‘man.’ Two of those times he is called a “Man of God” which, interestingly, could just as easily be translated from the Hebrew “The God-Man” (Ish ha-Elohim). Later in the story he refuses to give his name, since it is ‘wonderful’-and at the end Manoah is convinced that he and his wife must die, “because we have seen God.” Of course, at this time Yeshua/Jesus had not yet taken on human flesh. But it appears, nonetheless, to be an instance of a pre-incarnate manifestation of the One who was to come.
PLEASE PRAY for the understanding of Jews who read or hear these words next weekend to be opened, that they may comprehend the identity of the One who came to Manoah and his wife and ascended in the flame-of the One who was seated on the throne of the chariot in the Ezekiel passage-of the One who came down in flame onto the mountain in Exodus 19 (Luke 24:44-45)-of the One who has come in the flesh once before, and Who is coming again!
The Torah and Haftarah portions for next week (June 12-18, 2016) are called B’ha’alotcha—“When You Light Up” (i.e. the lamps):
TORAH: Numbers 8:1—12:16
HAFTARAH: Zechariah 2:10—4:7
In A Nutshell
The portion, BaMidbar (In the Desert), begins with the Creator commanding the children of Israel by tribes to bring men who had served in the army and were at least twenty years old, and appoint them as heads of tribes and presidents. Following the nomination, Moses is requested to explain to them where each tribe should be during the journey and while stopping in the desert, how to arrange themselves by tribes and banners according to the four directions, with the tabernacle in the middle.
The portion reiterates the role of the Levites, who are to serve in the tabernacle. The tribe of Levi is special because it has no place or lot of its own; it is to serve everyone and help everyone, especially the priests in the tabernacle. The role of the Levites is to assemble and disassemble the tabernacle at each stop during the journey of the children of Israel. They must follow strict rules that explain what to do with each part of the tabernacle and how to keep the vessels of the tabernacle.
The Torah is divided into two parts: external and internal. The external Torah is the one we read and know. It is the Torah that our fathers (ourselves in previous incarnations, since our souls reincarnate from generation to generation) observed in the past. However, there are things to sort in it. The Torah describes the journey of the children of Israel in the desert and how they should conduct themselves there. It details how to build the tabernacle, divide into priests, Levites, and tribes, how to set up the camp, and how to continue the journey where each one moves from place to place under the tribe’s banner up to the boundaries of the land of Israel and the onset of its conquest.
The inner Torah is actually the main thing. Through it we correct and adjust ourselves internally in order to discover that upper force from which we receive the Torah in actual fact. That is, it is about revealing the Creator to the creatures. Here we are talking about man as a small world, where all that is described in the Torah—priests, Levites, Israel, and the twelve tribes—is within us as replications. The inner Torah touches each of us and instructs us what we must do in order to discover the upper force here and now.
One who has not corrected him or herself is certainly immersed in the ego, the evil inclination, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created for it the Torah as a spice.” That state is called a “desert.” The sensation of the desert is the place of the Klipot (shells/peels), meaning uncorrected desires. While in that feeling we have nothing to revive us, to give us spiritual life. Even if we have material abundance we still feel that we are in the desert.
We can see it in today’s life, too, throughout our desperate world. Judging by divorce rates, drug abuse, and terrorism, more and more people are unhappy. They feel that life is no longer satisfying. We have grown and cannot settle for what we have; we aspire for more. It is a sensation that this life is a desert.
If we can compare our lives to a desert, we must arrange our lives accordingly so we may traverse it in peace and arrive at the land of Israel. The word Eretz (land) means Ratzon (desire), and Ysrael (Israel) means Yashar El (straight to God), so I am directed only toward the revelation of Godliness.
For that, we must use the wisdom of Kabbalah. Kabbalah is a method to reveal the Creator to the creatures in this world. Reaching the land of Israel means correcting our desire into a state where we discover the Creator and the spiritual world here and now, as it is written, “You will see your world in your life.”
The Torah is instructions. It tells us that if we follow the stages described in the portion we will traverse the desert in peace and achieve the revelation of Godliness. This is the purpose of our lives and we are built for, and intended to obtain it. Hence, we should see all the rules and counsels in the portion as internal corrections we must find.
My twelve tribes are my own will to receive. That is, they are my inner qualities that must be arranged according to the Yod–Hey–Vav–Hey, by the three lines. It is a structure of my soul—HBD–HGT–NHY. The priest, Levi, and Israel are HBD. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David are the structure of the qualities of the soul. Accordingly, each of us should set ourselves up.
To the extent that we correct our desires, we gradually come to a state where we discover the stages of walking in the desert. In that process we obtain the qualities of bestowal, Bina. Upon completion of the process we reach Moses’ state—a loyal shepherd. This means that we rise to the degree of faith, bestowal, completion. When the Moses in us dies, namely concludes its work, that degree remains “on the other side of the Jordan.” This is when we move to the land of Israel and begin to conquer it.
In the desert, as well as in the occupation of the land, there are Klipot and struggles. In the desert we were only acquiring the new quality of bestowal over our will to receive. We rose above the will to receive. But in the land of Israel we must conquer the land. When we enter the land of Israel, we literally invert our will to receive from reception into the desire to bestow. The occupation is managing our ego in the form of bestowal and love.
The portion explains the approach to the first great corrections we experience on our spiritual path. The whole process of our correction divides into two parts: the desert, and the land of Israel. Our journey through the desert over the forty years is Malchut rising to Bina, symbolized by the letter Mem, which is forty in Gematria (numeric values given to each letter in the Hebrew alphabet).
From Bina, we climb to the degree of Keter, conquering the land and building the Temple. This is when the heart becomes a Kli (vessel) for reception of the light, the revelation of Godliness. This is called Beit HaMikdash (House of the Temple, or simply, the Temple).
Questions and Answers
Why does the portion begin with the need to appoint heads to the tribes and count everyone from twenty years of age and above?
This process represents a person having to choose which principles to follow. We are only desires to receive, but we also have a little bit of the desire to bestow from above. It is called “a portion of God from above” (Job 31:2). It is the beginning of the soul.
Using the beginning of this soul as a head and beginning to manage our general, egoistic will to receive through it toward bestowal, love of others, Arvut (mutual guarantee), “love your neighbor as yourself,” and “that which you hate, do not do to your neighbor,” will divide this mass of our will to receive properly. It will follow an order of tribes, thousands, and tens. This division also happens within each tribe—to priest, Levite, and Israel.
The priests, and the Levites who help them, are detached from the tribes. They serve only spiritual needs. This is why they are considered “the collective head.” Through this internal psychology, we distinguish what is important, what is not, and gradually correct ourselves, where the secondary joins the primary and follows it.
Currently you cannot feel this division, but as you work on yourself you will begin to feel that your will to receive is not merely a desire, but truly consists of twelve tribes—men, women, children, animals, the desert, and other parts, and even the entire world.
You will discover that your will to receive is divided into degrees: still, vegetative, animate, and human. The still, vegetative, and animate are the surrounding world, and the human is people. In desires that belong to the human degree we have free choice; we can manage them. This is how we should sort our desires and advance.
Within us there is nothing but desires and instructions. The instructions is the Torah—the wisdom of Kabbalah as the inner Torah. We sort our desires so that each desire, which is the speaking, the Kli (vessel) that was taken from Egypt, is corrected into a Kli that belongs to the land of Israel, to the Temple, and is working entirely in order to bestow, toward love.
From The Zohar: The Count and the Calculation
And yet, the world was not rooted in its root until Jacob begot twelve tribes and seventy souls, and the world was planted. However, it was not completed until Israel received the Torah and the tabernacle had been established. Then the worlds persisted and were completed and the upper ones and lower ones were perfumed.
Zohar for All, BaMidbar (In the Desert), item 6
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are the three lines. The right line is Abraham, and his Klipa (shell/peel) is Ishmael. The left line is Isaac, and his Klipa is Esau. The middle line is Israel, and its Klipa that is usually referred to as “mixed multitude.” We have to manage this order through the Torah, namely by proper study of the wisdom of Kabbalah, where the light is concealed, as this is the Torah of light, as it is written, “The light in it would reform them.”
If we truly want to correct ourselves and see ourselves arranged and corrected as the Torah describes, in three lines, we must study so the light will influence us. We are divided in such a way that on the left we have the ego, and on the right we have the light of Torah that reforms. The more the light of Torah reforms the ego, according to our labor, the middle line—which includes these two forces—accumulates and subjugates the ego to the rule of the light. Thus, a Kli is formed in which the power of the Creator, the upper force, appears.
We constantly add ego to the correction using a greater light that appears. In this way we climb up the middle line, the line of Jacob. Hence, before the arrival of Jacob there is no match between man and the upper force, the upper world. As soon as a person puts the inner Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the order of these three lines, he or she begins to match the upper force and work with it in reciprocity.
What does one need to do until these discernments develop?
We need to follow what the Kabbalists write for us to the letter: study only in a group with love of friends. Our three primary sources are The Book of Zohar, the writings of the ARI, and the writings of Baal HaSulam. Internally, we must follow only what is written in these books.
Why were Israel commanded to appoint men who served in the army and were twenty years of age or more?
Being twenty years of age in spirituality means that a person is fit for “real estate” deals. Ibur (conception), Yenika (nursing/infancy), and Mochin (adulthood/maturity) are the three phases by which we grow. It is like a fetus who is born after nine months and begins to grow. The stages of spiritual growth are identical—from infancy to maturity. Spiritual infancy ends at age thirteen.
In spirituality, Ibur is a very high degree: a person becomes completely annulled before the upper one, included in it as a drop of semen, while the upper one is nurturing it. For the light to influence us we must cancel ourselves as if we do not exist. If we want to draw the light so it will raise us, we must learn with a group and be part of it, we must want the good environment and the light that comes through it to influence us. In this way we advance in stages that may last less then nine months. It all depends on our efforts.
When we are born, our will to receive is already greater. We develop in awareness and understanding until we are at age thirteen, and from there continue through twenty. At twenty, we are not merely grownups. Rather, we can be owners of our land. “Land” refers to the greatest, lowest, most basic will to receive. Henceforth we are fit for every internal correction.
Is there a connection between the spiritual degrees of Levi (Levite) and Cohen (priest), and people whose last name is so?
No, the roles of Levi and Cohen will appear according to one’s spiritual level, not by one’s last name. In spirituality, a person’s son indicates a result of a spiritual degree because the wisdom Kabbalah speaks only about spiritual degrees. In the physical world we cannot know who is a priest, who is Levite, and who is Israel. It will appear in due time.
Establishing of the Temple will be possible only after we correct ourselves and restore the Temple in our hearts. Then, as with Bezalel, we will be able to build the external structure out of our attainment and understanding. When we are wisehearted and our hearts are filled with the light of Hochma (wisdom), the revelation of Godliness, we will know what external action to take through our feelings. In the Temple will be priests, Levites, and Israel, each according to one’s degree.
This portion focuses on the tribe of Levi; what is so special about it?
It is written about Israel in relation to the nations of the world: “And you will be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). Generally speaking, in this world we are only required to recognize the negative, become sensitive to what is bad, and correct it into being good. To the extent that we discover that our nature is bad, we want to rid ourselves of it. But our problem is education—of ourselves and of others.
Therefore, the only role of priests and Levites is to educate the people. The priests connect to a higher degree and bring from there the light that reforms in order to pass it on to the Levites, who then pass it on to the people. Thus, each degree, each spiritual Partzuf, divides into three: HBD, HGT, NHY, which are Cohen (priest), Levite (Levi), and Ysrael (Israel).
Levites have no lot because the Creator is their lot. They are in Dvekut (adhesion) with a higher degree, the upper force. They have no desire to receive for themselves what they must correct. They have reached a level of correction where their will to receive aims entirely to bestow. For this reason they are attached to the upper force. Through the Levites, we too, Israel, who are at a lower degree, can receive the light and the direction toward progress.
Is there a meaning to the order of the portions, and if so, does it concern our spiritual development?
Yes, it is how our world is divided. In our world, as in the spiritual world, there are terms, times in the year that are divided into portions. Everything possesses a unique force. Hence, each week has its own portion because there is a special force that acts from above accordingly. As we advance from portion to portion, we correct ourselves.
Therefore, as root and branch, this state also occurs in our world. You must not mix the portions; each portion must be read in its time. Thus, you cannot read the portion, Bamidbar (In the Desert) on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year’s Eve), nor can you read during the winter a portion that is to be read in the summer.
Sometimes when we read a portion, it feels as though it is no longer relevant to us.
We do not treat portions as being in the past. The Torah is the law of life. To reach the source of life we must assume it on ourselves. The Torah was given only to discover the Creator and cling to Him.
What is the meaning of the “hurly burly” concerning the tabernacle: rising, leaving, journeying, and standing around it?
It is the holy, corrected Kli within us. I focus all my desires, discernments, inclinations, and qualities on a state of bestowal, similar to the Creator, the force of bestowal, the good who does good. I try to correct and bring myself to a state where my nucleus, my hope, my entire being has something in them that is similar to the upper force, and the upper light will come and correct me into that state.
The tabernacle is actually man’s soul. If, out of my entire egoistic will to receive I correct a part so that it aims to bestow, in that part I feel the Creator. That part is called “a soul,” and what fills it is the revelation of the Creator.
The work of correction makes us a tabernacle and surrounds us in the tabernacle. We, in fact, must turn ourselves into the Temple.
What or who is the shepherd in the portion?
A shepherd is the degree of Moses, the loyal shepherd. One must choose this degree every moment. At every stop I have to choose what is leading me and where, what is my life, who is my shepherd, and whom my desires and thoughts follow.
Our correction is to walk in a way known as “the Torah, Israel, and the Creator are one.” If we want to be Israel, we must follow the light that reforms. When we follow it, the light brings us to the quality of the Creator, as it is written, “return, O Israel, to the Lord your God” (Hosea 14:2).
I must decide that I must have that quality of bestowal and absolute love. This is the only reason why the Torah was given to us, and this is what we receive when we use it. It was said about it, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created for it the Torah as a spice,” for “the light in it would reform them.” What reforms is the good who does good, the quality of bestowal and love we acquire. We attain that quality within, not in some image outside of us. We perceive within us the quality of bestowal and love that we call Boreh (Creator), from the words Be Re’eh (come and see).
Will such guidance appear in our world in a more corrected state, and if so, how?
Of course the guidance will appear. Today the world is falling into a global crisis, to a feeling that we are truly in the desert. This desert will push us to advance only toward the inner land of Israel, because this is the whole purpose of the global crisis.
 Babylonian Talmud, Masechet Kidushin, 30b.
 Babylonian Talmud, Masechet Berachot, 17a
 Jerusalem Talmud, Seder Nashim, Masechet Nedarim, Chapter 9, p 30b.
 Masechet Shabbat, 31a.
 Midrash Rabah, Eicha, Introduction, Paragraph 2.