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A Sin of Festering Over the Details of Experience

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10.06.2021

In the previous parashah, God sent us to dispose ourselves (ארץ)1 to what oppressively draws in from experience (Canaan).2 Failing that, God encouraged us to repetitively strive (TsiTsiT)3 to draw in the basic facts encountered in experience (כנפי בגדים).4,5 As the mental faculty that festers over things in experience (Qorahh),6 a behavior of narrowing in upon things so as to gain clarity (Yitshar)7, a behavior of intently maintaining a visual fix on a scene (Q’hat),8 a behavior of clinging to a scene so as to generate an awareness of many startling things (Levi)9 – Qorahh’s motives were noble. Along with an act of repetitively going over a scene (Datan),10 an augmented effort to take notice of things (Aviram),11 and a great capacity, a behavior of going to extremes (On ben Pelet)12 – Qorahh was taking up (information) from the scene. In so doing, he and the behaviors associated with him were challenging the mental faculty that draws out particular things from a midst the many stirring things encountered in experience (Moshe)13 and one’s ability to repetitively bring things to light (Aharon).14 While on the peshat, Qorahh appears to be vying for leadership, allegorically he is challenging Moshe and Aharon to process the vast amount of data that he and the behaviors associated with him have attained from the scene.

Moshe says: בקר וידע יי את אשר לו ואת הקודש “Morning (בקר BoQaeR) and HaShem will be one acknowledging what there is to Him and what is holy.” By stating that this challenge will occur in the morning (בוקר), in the time of making an investigation, Moshe is agreeing that an investigation (בקר) of the information that can be acquired from the scene must be done. Furthermore, the text does not say that God will acknowledge, nor does it say that God will make known (what there is to him). Instead, the gerund (is one acknowledging) is used. The word YaDa\ (ידע to acknowledge > know) evolved from YaDaH (ידה to point out > acknowledge). Therefore, the text is saying that the action of God, God’s bringing forth of existence, brings forward the aspect of experience upon which a person must focus attention (holy).15 Thus Qorahh (an act of festering over a scene) and his associated behaviors must perform their duties of taking up from experience with their scoopers (מחתות),16 with mental persistence (fire),17 and by investigating the scene (קטרת)18 with regard to the many presentations (לפני)19 of God’s bringing forth of existence. Then, when a prodding comes from experience (מחר tomorrow),20 there will be one particular component of being mentally persistent (איש man)21 whose object of focus will be what is brought forward of experience. The job of Levi is not to bring that one thing forward, but rather to cling to a scene with mental persistence and bring forward an array of startling things.9 Additionally, it is not their job to be acts of giving particular things precise and mindful attention (kohanim).22 Nor is it their job to be as Aharon (an act of repetitively bringing things to light)14 so as to tease out the individual things from experience that are pertinent.

Qorahh, one’s festering over the details of a scene,6 represents a relentless process of data acquisition. Although not mentioned in this parashah, his three sons’ names provide the evidence: being bound to the scene (אסיר),23 advancing forward and acquiring (אלקנה),24 and my taking notice of things gathers in (אביאסף).25 However, it is Datan (the act of repetitively going over a scene)10 and Aviram (an augmented effort to take notice of things)11 who are ultimately cited and accused. Nevertheless, before their final condemnation, they are given an opportunity to redeem themselves when Moshe sends to call them closer (וישלח לקרא). As sons of Eliav (my advancing forward, taking notice of things),26 they represent acts of relentless and excessive data acquisition. They accuse Moshe of elevating them from an act of disposing of oneself to what flows forth of what is captivating and copious (land flowing with milk and honey),27 into a flash flood of experience that drives directly forward and barrels down (wilderness),28 an inheritance of going back and forth in a frenzy (field)29 and of piling up the data that surrounds (vineyard).30 Furthermore, they accuse Moshe, the mental faculty drawing out particular things from a midst the many stirring things encountered in experience,13 of ruling over them. Even if Moshe were to pick through (נקר gouge)31 all of the observations (eyes > eyeings) of the many acts of applying oneself in experience (men),32 the details attained by them would not ascend to him. Moshe retorts that their way of leaning into experience (minchah)33 should not be given priority. For Moshe did not lift up nor perform poorly with a single detail (חמור אחד)34,35 acquired by them.

At this point, Qorahh (one’s festering over a scene) is again instructed, along with all of his being enduringly mentally present (congregation),36 to present themselves with their scoopers and their mental persistence and their investigating of a scene (incense)56 before God’s bringing forth of existence (Y-H-W-H). However, these instructions differ from before because here Aharon (one’s repetitively bringing things to light)14 is included. Additionally, all of these are channeled to the opening of the act of becoming familiar with things in being enduringly mentally present (tent of meeting).37 In other words, all of the details of the scene are made apparent and, therefore, the intensity (כבוד)38 of God’s bringing forth of existence appears. HaShem then instructs Moshe and Aharon to separate from the data pushing in resulting from the act of being enduringly mentally present (תוך העדה).39 However, they question the decision of reviewing and then withdrawing (רגע)40 from all that can be acquired from a scene just because a single act of being mentally persistent (man)21 with things in experience goes astray.

Instead, Moshe instructs the congregation to remove themselves from being about the tents (acts of becoming familiar with things)41 of these wicked men. The word for wicked, ReSha\ (רשע), literally means “one who drives in and is overpowering.”42 In Ugaritic, the root also means “to be defective.” Here a person’s ability to be enduringly mentally present with a scene (congregation) is being divided off from a similar yet excessive behavior of defectively and overpoweringly attempting to acquire all of the details from a scene as represented by Qorahh (festering over a scene), Datan (repreatedly going over a scene), and Aviram (an augmentation of one’s taking notice of things). They are to be compared and contrasted with the many acts of clearly seeing things as a result of one’s making a sustained survey of the many things advancing forward in experience (elders of Israel)43,44 and with one’s ability to draw out particular things from a midst the many stirring things encountered in experience (Moshe).13

Allegorically, information drawn out (and engaged) from experience is referred to as having died,45 while information left alive (lively) is that which remains unengaged. Moshe says: אם כמות כל האדם ימתון אלה ופקדת כל האדם יפקד עליהם לא יי שלחני “If as the death of all humans, these shall die; and a fate of all humans shall be summoned upon them – HaShem has not sent me.” Allegorically, the word for human-man, (אדם /aDaM), means “one’s being thoughtfully absorbed with experience.”46 Here it represents an act of being aware of all that is around in experience. In contrast, Moshe draws out particular things from a midst all of what is around. If the things advancing forward in experience (אלה these) are completely drawn out (die)45 and therefore made manifest through a process of one’s being thoughtfully absorbed with all that is around (אדם /aDaM), then Moshe’s job of picking and choosing has been spurned.

Moshe then says:ואם בריאה יברא יהוה ופצתה האדמה את פיה ובלעה אתם ואת כל אשר להם וירדו חיים שאלה וידעתם כי נאצו האנשים האלה את יהוה “And if HaShem shall create a new-creation. And the ground will split open its mouth and will swallow them and all that is to them such that they will descend alive toward Sheol then you will know that these men rejected HaShem.” Allegorically this means: “And if God’s bringing forth of existence will create a novel, well sculpted thing47 and yet the being mentally absorbed with experience (ground)46 will open its mouth and will swallow them and all that is to them (the data) such they will descend alive, moving toward ultimate decay (Sheol).48 Then you will know that these acts of applying oneself (men) have rejected God’s bringing forth of existence.”

So as not to be as Qorahh (one’s festering over a scene)6 and his congregation (the being enduringly mentally present associated with it),36 Elazar the son of Aharon is given instructions to make their scoopers into over-layed beaten plates for the altar. Allegorically, the scoopings are of things widely acknowledged (רקועי)49 of the things blown about (פחים),50 observed (צפוי),51 for the purpose of the act of flowing forth to experience (מזבח).”52 It will be a sign (אות) that indicates what can be found in experience, thus pointing the way53 for the behaviors of making a sustained survey of the many things advancing forward in experience (Israel).44 This was done, so that a way of being mentally persistent with experience (איש man)21 that is estranged (זר)54 that is not of the scattering about (seed)55 of the act of repeatedly bringing things to light (Aharon)14 shall not be utilized to make an investigation (קטרת)56 with regard to God’s bringing forth of existence. Which is to say that making a directed search by advancing forward with initiative (Elazar),57 giving something precise and mindful attention (kohaen, priest),22 is the opposite of festering over experience (Qorahh).6

Even though they were not as Qorahh (festering over the scene),6 they did bring out a tremendous amount of data from experience – things widely acknowledged (רקועי)49 of the things blown about (פחים),50 observed (צפוי).51 Therefore, the congregation complained about the complete drawing out (death)45 of the being mindful of the many things crowding in (עם people)58 from God’s bringing forth of existence. This led to the appearance of the intensity (כבוד)38 of God’s bringing forth of existence as a covering of the overwhelming presence (cloud),59 as a result of their turning to the act of becoming familiar with things in being enduringly mentally present (tent of meeting).37 Although Moshe was instructed to remove himself from the middle of the congregation so that God might contain-eliminate them in an instant (כרגע). Moshe instructs Aharon to make atonement for the congregation through the ritual use of incense. So Aharon (the repeated acts of bringing things to life)14 stops the stumbling (נגף plague)60 by making an investigation (incense)18 while standing at the boundary between the things in experience drawn out and engaged (dead)45 and those still lively and unengaged.

At this point, HaShem orders for one staff inscribed with the name of each tribe to be taken into the tent of meeting. מַטֶּה אֶחָד לְרֹאשׁ בֵּית אֲבוֹתָם “one staff for the head of the house of their fathers.” Allegorically: “an inclining,61 one of being mentally sharp,35 for a seeing62 of what comes in (from experience)63 of their taking notice of things.64” In so doing, the best way of being mentally persistent with experience (איש man)21 can be chosen and its way of inclining (staff)61 can flourish. HaShem’s explanation: וַהֲשִׁכֹּתִי מֵעָלַי אֶת-תְּלֻנּוֹת בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר הֵם מַלִּינִם עֲלֵיכֶם “And I will hedge in from upon me the complaints of the children of Israel that they are complaining about you.” Interestingly, the word for complain is the causative of the verb that means “to join up > lodge.” The purpose here is to designate a particular behavior to be the way of inclining toward God’s bringing forth of existence and for the other behaviors to no longer join up and lodge against God’s bringing forth of existence, the act of repeatedly bringing things to light (Aharon)14 and the act of drawing out particular things from a midst the many stirring things encountered in experience (Moshe).13 Ultimately, it was the way of inclining (staff)61 of the act of repeatedly bringing things to light (Aharon)14 that was coming out flourishing, such that it was striving to look (וַיָּצֵץ צִיץ blossoms),65 such that it was delivering up many acts of being intently watchful of things in experience (וַיִּגְמֹל שְׁקֵדִים almond blossoms).66

Unfortunately, this led the Israelites to complain further saying:הֵן גָּוַעְנוּ אָבַדְנוּ כֻּלָּנוּ אָבָדְנוּ: כֹּל הַקָּרֵב הַקָּרֵב אֶל-מִשְׁכַּן יְהוָֹה יָמוּת הַאִם תַּמְנוּ לִגְוֹע “Here, we are expiring, we are lost, all of us are lost. Each approaching more closely, approaching more closely toward the mishkan of HaShem shall die. Would we come to an end by expiring.” Allegorically, “It is too substantial,67 we are drawn inward-exhausted,68 we are lost, regarding our containing (of experience),69 we are lost.........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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