Leah’s Blog Shemot – December 31 2018 The book of Genesis has been closed and a new book pretty much coincides with the secular New Year. As the light of the day becomes a bit longer, the light of the book of Shemot (names) (everything in it reveals above nature reality) reveals more and more about not only our history, but the coming redemption and the striving of return to the right place, to our homeland. If the first book of Genesis told the story of Hashem’s creations ,chaos and tikkun, the second book has us witnessing open miracles and striving to return to the original foundation in Israel, the Land of our fathers. The stories of our founding fathers and mothers are full of tests and tribulations on a personal level and their steadfast allegiance to one G-d despite the harshness of their reality. The supernatural only begins with Israel as a nation, in the leaving Egypt process, in Mount Sinai, in the building of the tabernacle and finally to the highest level- entering the Land where finally the Shechina has a place He can call home. As the walls of Jericho fell into the ground and broke the norms of nature, the path became paved to have the ability to climb up and up spiritually. The Temple, our holy Temple, was built later from wood and stones- elements of this earth but raised to the highest level of worship one could ever achieve on the planet. A leading Kabbalist of the middle ages, Reb Chaim Vital wrote in his sefer, “The Gates of Holiness” that the book of Creation is full of Middot while the book of Shemot is full of mitzvoth. Middot are end results of character traits- like- if someone were to be angry- he would suffer “hell’ in his nefesh for that anger, or freeze if he got too morose and the opposite- if someone feels love in their heart for another person or a good cause, conviction to do good- he lives in Gan Eden! – A person creates in essence the world he lives in by his inner nefesh and what it decides. A person with good middot will live happily and feel good while a person that chooses the bad wrong way will suffer. His wages are determined according to his middot. It is the mitzvoth you do along the way that allow you to be blessed and feel Gan Eden. The book of Shemot is the focal story of our being given the mitzvoth when the Torah was given to us. It enabled a higher way of clairvoyance if properly adhered. The backdrop for this shift from middot to mitzvoth is open miracles performed for the nation of Israel. Nature cannot reign over the soul of Israel. When a Jewish person begins to live within the confines of nature he will (hopefully consciously) begin to feel he is choking. The miracles that were made for us at the time of exodus are constantly being repeated throughout the generations. As a Jew, at every chance possible I repeat those miracles preformed for us over and over and over again- at our Kiddush, in our prayers, at every holiday- reminding me that Hashem is with us always and like then – now(!) and even in the hard phases of our history where we experienced the harshness and lack of seemingly above nature intervention (like our forefathers)- here in this time and place in the history the greatest of all miracles has happened. Shemot has us parting from our forefathers but moving on – with the names of our family- each and every name of the original kernel of our nation. Eventually the great grandchildren will leave with the very same names. To this day we call our children Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Yosef- Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah. This is also to never forget the promise made to us, as we go up the steps to the highest point in history. Miracles may not always be percieved by all. Hashem said “So that it be known that I am G-d in the land”. The names of the links on the chain that were tested and then witnessed miracles and then tested again are being tested now and witnessing miracles now. The same names seeing the glory of Hashem in the land. In Israel the greatest of miracles on earth. Blessings for 2019 coming in – the hours remaining for 2018 can make a difference. Friends of Itamar would like to thank all of those who have been blessings us and hope that you wil continue to support us in the new fiscal year – 2019!!!