Tuesday, January 17, 2017

70 is a Recurring Theme this month

This month, where the 70 nations of the world vote at the UN... the number 70 rules.

The Month of Tevet: Capricorn

The zodiacal sign of Teves is gedi, the goat [Capricorn]

Colour: Blue
Letter: Ayin - ע -  gematria 70

Tribe: Dan

Sense: Anger

The goat is given other names in the Torah, such as se'ire and eiz. Both of these names are highly significant for Teves, as it relates to Eisav and Rome.

Yaakov said to his mother Rivkah: "But my brother, Eisav, is a hairy man [ish se'ir] and I am smooth-skinned. Suppose my father feels me - I will appear to him as an imposter!" [Bereishis 27:11-12] Se'ire means "hairy" and refers to goats, which are extremely hairy. But we are also being told here that the goat itself is a metaphor for Eisav. The goat is also a metaphor for Yavan (Greece) as it appeared in Daniel's vision: And the rough goat is the king of Yavan. [Daniel 8:21]

In which way does the goat represent Yavan and Rome? One aspect is in the name itself - eiz - which means azus. The goat is not known for its tractability. It possesses the brazenness that is the hallmark of Yavan and the legacy of Eisav and Rome.

The goat is the brazen one of the domesticated animals. [Beitzah 25b]

There is another aspect of the goat which relates to Yavan and Rome:

Why do goats go out [to pasture] first, and only afterward sheep?... It is like the creation of the world: first was darkness, and then came light. [Shabbos 77b]

Rashi explains that goats are usually black (and sheep, of course, are white). Thus the goats, which push ahead to be first, symbolize the primal darkness, and the sheep which follow are the light which follows the darkness.

The goat, which represents Yavan, also echoes the darkness, the concealment, which is so fundamental to Yavan's outlook. It is this reign of darkness that always comes first. At the time of creation of the world, there was first darkness over the face of the deep, and only then did Hashem create light.

The irate anger of the goat is termed rogez, and the Sefer Yetzirah states that rogez is the dominant emotion of this month. Rogez refers to a trembling feeling. We find that one can tremble in rage or tremble in fear.

Rogez is a term frequently used to describe violent weather conditions.

Teves is the beginning of all destruction. This means that Edom (Rome; Western civilization) has its power rooted in this month. Furthermore, we see that many of our problems with Yavan took place in this month (such as the translation of the Torah). Greece is considered the origin of the Roman empire, for with Alexander's expanding Greek empire came the eventual spread and triumph of Rome. The month of Teves is therefore associated with Eisav, otherwise known as Edom.

The month of Teves is extremely harsh for the Jewish people. The fast day that was instituted on the tenth of the month commemorates the tragic events that took place on that day and the preceding two days:

* On the 8th of the month, Ptolemy, ruler of Greece, forced the Sages to translate the Torah into Greek [the Septuagint - which means seventy in Latin]. This was part of the threat to Jewish identity that Yavan (Greece) represented. We are told that when this took place, three days of darkness descended on the world.

* On the 9th of the month, Ezra and Nechemiah died. Also on this day the leader of Christianity was born [Megillas Ta'anis, Tosafos Chadashim, citing Kol Bo]

* On the 10th of the month, Yerushalayim was attacked by Nebuchadnetzar, king of Bavel. He laid a siege on the city, which resulted in the walls being breached on 17th Tamuz, three years later.

Although the actual destruction of the Beis HaMikdash took place on 9th Av, the 10th of Teves is of significance in its being the time when the process of destruction began.

Our sages teach us that at the age of ten (an allusion to the tenth month, the level of ten in general) a child "jumps like a goat." [Midrash Kohelet] The playful nature of jumping up and down "like a goat" reflects an important stage in the growing-up process. The month of Tevet, the month of the tribe of Dan, relates to the growing-up process, from a state of immaturity to a state of maturity.

Immaturity is characterized by the "evil eye," while maturity is characterized by the "good eye." Gedi = 17 = tov, "good" (the "good eye"). One must play (and jump up and down like a goat) in order to rectify and sweeten the anger latent in ones animal soul.

Tribe: Dan

The tribe of Dan represents the initial state of immaturity in the soul that "grows-up" during the month of Tevet. Dan means "to judge." Initially, he judges reality and others critically, with severe judgment (the "evil eye"). This is the nature of one who is spiritually immature. Dan is likened to a snake, who bites with the venom of anger. The "evil eye" is the eye of the snake.

The rectification of Dan is his engaging in the battle of holy anger against evil anger. Our sages teach us that only one from the soul-root of Dan can spontaneously jump up and kill the evil snake--"one like him, killed him."

Nachash ("snake") = 358 = Mashiach. The holy power of Dan reflects a spark of Mashiach. In the Zohar we are taught that the commander-in-chief of the army of Mashiach will come from the tribe of Dan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chances are, these talks won't do much. The rest of the world always condemns Israel, but have they ever done anything severe like sanctions? (Keep in mind, there are a handful of countries which have been under sanctions for years which are still going.) And the settlements probably won't go anywhere at this point - just look at Ma'ale Adumim: it's not a few cottages and mobile homes, but a bustling city with 37,000 people. The Palestinian birthrate is also on the decline not to mention every other young Palestinian male is trying to migrate elsewhere.

I get the impression a lot of countries go after Israel out of their resentment towards the United States. Going after Israel is easy, going after a powerhouse like the US is hard.