"Mussar" as a genre of ethical literature is certainly within the Oral Torah and all its teachings derive from Oral Torah teachings contained in Talmud and Midrash or are based on Written Torah as explained in the Oral Torah" (Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).
”My son (SOLOMON from the
Hebrew name SHELOMOH, which is derived from the Hebrew word SHALOM
"peace"), despise not the (Jewish spiritual) DISCIPLINE (Hebrew:
MUSSAR, Instruction) of the Lord, and do not abhor His chastening/correction
for the Lord chastens the one He loves, as a father placates a son (Prov.
"Every time the
name SHLOMO appears in Song of Songs, it is a holy name of God, who is the King
of Peace" (Talmud Shevuos 35b). In the sense of punishment, the word
"mussar" is used in the context of "mussar HaShem," or
"the punishment of HaShem."
"In Talmud, Rashi and other early sources "
refers to the "received" prophesies in NaCh, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the 12.
Those prophets were, of course, the recipients of the written Torah (5 Books of Moses) and the Oral Torah that went with it. They were also recipients of the "hidden" "secret" "esoteric" aspects of the Torah, i.e. they knew how to decipher the written Torah and see in it not only stories but deeply veiled secrets.
The term Kabbalah has since the Middle Ages come to be reserved for this "hidden" "secret" level of the Torah, and Kabbalah is part of the Oral Torah, which also includes all the legal discussions of Mishneh and Talmud and all the Midrashim (Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).
MORE KABBALAH: Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was a student of Rabbi Akiva, who was the spiritual leader of the Bar Kochba Revolt against Rome in 135 CE, which began in glory and ended in tragedy. As a student of the spiritual leader of the revolt, bar Yochai was pursued relentlessly by the Romans. He and his son, Rabbi Elazar ben Shimon, took refuge in a cave, where they remained for thirteen years.
During those years, Rabbi Shimon studied Torah with his son, the Revealed Torah and the Hidden, or Secret, Torah, the "Torat HaSod," also known as "Kabbalah,.." Rabbi Shimon wrote down the latter material, for the first time, in a book called the "ZOHAR," meaning "THE SPLENDOR" or "THE RADIANCE" (OU.org).
LaG BaOmer is the 33rd Day in the Omer: (Lamed=30; Gimmel=3): Jews throughout Israel light huge bonfires, symbolically illuminating the deeper truths, the soul, the secrets of the Torah, THE LIGHTS, as revealed by Rabbi Shimon; "The Zohar," meaning "shining light."
Rabbi Abba, a student assigned with the job of transcribing Rabbi Shimon's last words, reports: "I couldn't even lift my head due to the intense light emanating from Rabbi Shimon. The entire day the house was filled with fire, and nobody could get close due to the wall of fire and light... Why was Rabbi Shimon bathed in light and fire? Because Torah is compared to light (Prov. 6:23) and a cleansing fire (Deut. 33:1-4, Isaiah 51:4, Jeremiah 23:29, 5:14) - bonfires are lit to commemorate the great fire that surrounded the Rabbi...
12:3 "The wise (those who have insight and engaged in
Torah and mitzvot)
like the radiance (ZOHAR) of the
and those who teach righteousness to the multitudes will shine like the stars forever and ever.
" The Zohar takes its name from here. SEE: Ecclesiastes 8:1,
Exodus 34:29-35, Judges 5:31, Isaiah 60:1-5 ! The Jewish people are likened to stars.
IT'S A FATAL MISTAKE to deny Rabbinic
interpretations and explanations of prophecy:
During the 9th century C.E., a number of
sects arose that denied the existence of oral Torah. These sects came to be
known as Karaites (literally, People of the Scripture), and they were
distinguished from the Rabbanites or Rabbinical Judaism.
The Karaites believed in strict interpretation of the
literal text of the scripture, WITHOUT RABBINICAL INTERPRETATION. They believed
that rabbinical law was not part of an oral tradition that had been handed down
from G-d, nor was it inspired by G-d, but was an original work of the sages
(Movements of Judaism, Judaism 101).
SHARIA LAW: "An Eye For An Eye:" Sharia Law, is without the benefit of the
Talmudic explanation. ”It is
important to understand that the Torah we received at Mt. Sinai included both
the Written Torah (The Five Books of Moses) and the Oral Torah (the explanation
of the Written Torah -- which was eventually redacted into the Talmud).
The Talmud tells us how to understand each verse of the Torah and fills
in the details alluded to in the Torah. For instance, the Torah writes to "put a
sign between your eyes." It is the Talmud which explains that this means
Tefillin (phylacteries) and details how to make them.
The Talmud (Baba Kama
83b-84a) presents 7 proofs that "an eye for an eye" refers to monetary
compensation -- the money that an individual is entitled to receive when he is
injured by another person. For example, the Talmud asks "If we are looking for
ultimate justice --what justice can there be if a blind person destroys the eye
of a seeing person?" What would one do to benefit the blind person?
Torah uses the Hebrew word "tachat" which literally means "under" though it is
translated as "for"; the Talmud proves that it means payment because of the
verse "You shall surely pay for an ox 'tachat' an ox" (Exodus 21:36). By the ox,
it clearly means payment when it uses the word "tachat."
Therefore, the Talmud
concludes that "tachat" always refer to payment. If one thinks that an "eye for
an eye" (eye "tachat" eye; Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20) is literal, it is
because of reading the Torah in translation without the benefit of the Talmudic
Kalman Packouz, Aish HaTorah).
We can only hope and pray that God will bring humanity to its senses before we destroy ourselves and the whole world
words of the wise are like goads, and like well-fastened nails with
large heads, given from one Shepherd" (Eccl. 12:11). Just like the goad
directs the plow-ox in its furrow, so the words of the wise direct a
man in the pathways of life" (Rashi). "Incline your ear and hearken to
the words of the wise, and put your heart to My knowledge,.." (Proverbs
As king David says: "From all my teachers I
gained understanding, for Your testimonies are my conversation.
From the wise elders I gain understanding, for I
kept Your precepts.
From every evil
way I restrained my feet in order that I keep Your word (Psalm 119:99-101, Eccl.
The Torah provides the
gentiles with their own many faced pathway through the Seven Universal
Laws of the Children of Noah with all their ramifications. And everyone
who embraces the Seven Commandments and is careful to practice them is
one of the saints of the nations of the world and has a share in the
World to Come (Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).
"Hearken, my son, to the discipline (mussar, instruction) of your father
(what the Holy One, blessed be He, gave Moses in
writing and orally), and do not forsake the instruction (Torah) of your
mother (the nation of Israel, as in Ezek. 19:2: “What a lioness was your mother
(meaning your nation)!”;
they are a wreath of grace
for your head and a
necklace for your neck" (Proverbs 1:8-9).
It is taught that "Father" in
this verse refers to God, while "Mother" refers to the nation of Israel. "Your
Mother's Torah" refers to religious customs which were established by the Jewish
people. These have the status of Torah and are binding. The requirement of head covering is one such custom
(Headcovering in Jewish Law).
Children, hearken to the discipline
(mussar, morality, ethics; reproof or punishment,) of the Father, and listen to
(la'daat) understanding (binah).
For I gave you good teaching; forsake not My instruction (Torah)
(Proverbs 4:1-2, 6:20-25).
Path of the
Soul #1: Discovering Mussar By Dr. Alan Morinis
coming Revolution: Science Discovers the Truths of the Bible By Zamir Cohen
TEFILLIN: An ancient Chinese acupuncture point prescription for
The points where tefillin touches the head and the
arm perfectly match the Chinese acupuncture points for increased spirituality
and purified thought (Dr. Steven Schram, British Journal of Chinese Medicine,
Exodus 13:10 calls the
Tefilin CHUKAH (Rabbi Araham Greenbaum):
"And it shall be to you
as a sign upon your hand...and as a remembrance between your eyes (you shall
write these passages vv 1-10 and 11-16 and bind them on the head and on the
arm) in order that the law (TORAH) of the Lord shall be in your mouth, for with
a mighty hand the Lord took you out of Egypt (MITZRAYIM: boundaries,
limitations, a place of narrow(mind)ness). AND YOU SHALL KEEP THIS STATUTE (CHUKAH) at its appointed time, from year to year."
The "Chukim" -
"statutes or decrees" are the mitzvot that transcend rational reason
- Torah laws that may seem to be beyond human
understanding, referring to things that the nations of the world argue against,
e.g. the prohibitions against eating non-kosher foods, as pork (Lev. Ch. 11, Deut. Ch. 14, Isaiah 65:1-5, 66:17), mixing
meat with milk,wearing wool and linen together, THE COMMANDMENT OF TEFILLIN ON THE HAND AND BETWEEN THE
EYES - for which no reason is given.
of the sacrifices are included among the Chukim, the laws of family purity, the
commandment of the decapitated calf, burning the Red Heifer and using its
ashes for purification from defilement from the dead, and the goat which is
commandments are ridiculed, scorned, made null and void and derided by the
nations of the world, yet it is these "Chukim," these
rules and rituals that are
incomprehensible to any human conception of reason, that the nations will hear
of in the end, and attribute wisdom and insight to the Lawmaker and His People!
"...Abraham hearkened to My voice, and kept My charge
, and My
"These are the statutes (chukim), the ordinances
(mishpatim), and the laws (Torot - plural forms) that the Lord gave
between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai, by the hand of
Moses" (Leviticus 26:46, Deut. 28:69, Genesis 26:1-5, 28:13-15, Malachi
3:22-24). This denotes two Torahs - one Written Torah and one Oral Torah. It
teaches us that all were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. (Torath Kohanim 26:54).
"And now, O Israel, hearken unto the statutes (chukim) and unto the
ordinances (mishpatim), which I teach you, to do them; that ye may live, and go
in and possess the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, giveth you.
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish
from it, that ye may keep the commandments (mitzvot) of the LORD your God which
I command you.
Observe therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding
in the sight of the peoples, that, when they hear all these statutes (chukim),
shall say: 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'
For what great nation is there, that hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD
our God is whensoever we call upon Him?
And what great nation is there, that hath statutes (chukim) and ordinances
(mishpatim) so righteous as all this law (Torah), which I set before you this
day?" (Deuteronomy 4:1-2,6-8, Ch. 13, Proverbs 30:5-6).
"When thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying: 'What mean the
testimonies (edot), and the statutes (chukim), and the ordinances (mishpatim),
which the LORD our God hath commanded you?
then thou shalt say unto thy son: 'We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the
LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon
Pharaoh, and upon all his house, before our eyes.
And He brought us out from thence, that He might bring us in, to give us the
land which He swore unto our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to do all
these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might
preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
And it shall be righteousness unto us,
if we observe to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as He hath
commanded us" (Deut. 6:20-25, Isaiah 32:17-18, 48:17-19).
All of the Mitzvot
(commandments) in the Torah are divided into two essential categories: The
"Chukim" and the "Mishpatim" - lit. "judgments"
"ordinances," these are the rational commandments, that are logical and
sensible to our intellect and reason, such as laws of marriage, acts of loving kindness, the commandment to give charity, honoring one's father and motherand the prohibitions against theft, kidnap and murder.
The ”edot” are commandments that commemorate or represent something, such as
to eat matzah
on Pesach or to put on tefillin,
rational acts. A middle category between
mishpatim and chukim.
We first meet with Abraham and Sarah in Genesis Ch. 12, on their journey from
ancient Mesopotamia into the Holy land, Hebron, Beit-EL, Shechem.According to Hebrew
tradition, the land of Canaan is part of the land given to the descendants of
Abraham the Hebrew, in the "covenant between the parts" (Genesis
Through the covenant of circumcision:
17:7-14"And I will establish My covenant between Me and between you and between
your seed (through Isaac, Yaakov, twelve tribes) after you throughout their
generations as an everlasting covenant, to be to you for a God and to your seed
after you. And I will give
you and your seed after you the land of your sojournings, the entire land of
Canaan for an everlasting possession, and I will be to them for a God."
Genesis 26:3-6 "Sojourn in
this land (Isaac),
and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee,
and unto thy seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath
which I swore unto Abraham thy father (See
Genesis 22:16-18, Psalm 105:8-11); and I will multiply thy seed as
the stars of heaven,
and will give unto thy seed all these lands; and by thy
seed shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves; because that Abraham
hearkened to My voice, and kept My charge (safeguards), My commandments, My statutes (decrees), and My
laws (TORAHS).' And Isaac dwelt in Gerar (in Gaza)."
Isaac's wife Rebekah,
inherited the blessing stated to Abraham on Mout Moriah (Gen. 22:15-19, 24:60).
Jacob inherits the blessing of Abraham (Genesis Ch. 28). He fathered the Twelve
Tribes (Genesis Ch. 49, Deuteronomy Ch.
Numbers 34:1-2 "The Lord spoke to
Moses, saying: Command the children of Israel and say to them, When you arrive
in the land of Canaan, this is the land which shall fall to you as an
inheritance, the land of Canaan according to its borders."
The Five Books of Moses must indeed be seen as the oldest deed of
land ownership in the world. God gave the Land of Israel to Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob and their descendants for ever. The Torah defines the exact boundaries of
this (Genesis 15:18-21 & Numbers 34:1-12, Ezekiel Chs. 47-48).
The Holy Land was given to the Jewish people on the condition that
they observe the Torah and its commandments. When they failed to do this, God
delivered thm into the hands of the enemy, their sovereignty over the land was
taken from them, and they went into exile (Deuteronomy 11:13-17).
THE DIVINE PROMISE: The Qur'an also
refers to the exiles,
but leaves it open
for return... saying to the Jews that if they keep their promise to God, then
God will keep the divine promise to them.
The divine promise is that at
the end of days He will bring them back from all directions of the world, a
stage in history we have reached in our days (Deuteronomy 4:27-31, Ch. 30).
Muslims will have to denounce both the
Bible and the Quran if they think that God did not give the holy land to the Jews:
In the Qur'an, the "Holy Land," is mentioned at least seven times,
once when Moses proclaims to the Children of Israel:
people! Enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned unto you, and turn not
back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin" (Surah
5:21. The Table).
Surah 2:47, The Cow: "Children of Israel! call to mind the (special)
favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other (for My
Surat Ad-Dukhan 44:32 "And We certainly chose them (the
of Israel) by knowledge over [all] the worlds."
Surat Al-Jathiyah, 45:16 "And We did certainly give the Children of
Israel the Scripture and judgement and prophethood, and We provided them with
good things and preferred them over the worlds."
It is clear from these verses that Allah has assigned the holy land, to
the Jews. Allah has not, in the entire Koran assigned the Arabs, the Arabs who call themselves "Palestinians", or the
Muslims as the inheritor of the Holy Land, the land of Canaan; the land of the
Canaanites, or Palestine.
And (remember) when We said: "Enter this town (Jerusalem) and eat
bountifully therein with pleasure and delight wherever you wish, and enter the
gate in prostration (or bowing with humility) and say: 'Forgive us,' and We
shall forgive you your sins and shall increase (reward) for the good-doers."
(Surah Al Bagarah, 2:58, T.U. Hilali-M. Khan).
THE GIFT OF THE LAND
is attributed to Abraham's loyalty in obeying the word of God. Genesis 26:5 speaks of four categories of commandments, which Rashi explains as follows:
מִשְׁמַרְתִּי My safeguards
, are Rabbinic enactments that serve as barriers against infringement of Biblical prohibitions.
מִצְוֹתַי My commandments, are laws that man's moral sense should have dictated.
חֻקּוֹתַי My decrees, are laws that reason cannot explain, and which are thus, as it were, royal decrees that God enacts on His subjects.
וְתוֹרֹתָי and My Torahs
In the plural , are the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. The latter includes rules and interpretations transmitted to Moses at Sinai.
THE CONSENSUS OF RABBINIC OPINION
is that Abraham arrived at a knowledge of the entire Torah through Divine Inspiration and observed it voluntarily. This explains how our verse can praise Abraham for observing Rabbinic ordinances (Ramban).
The Prophet Ezekiel became responsible for the welfare of the people who would rely on him to warn them of danger:
Ezekiel 3:17-21 "Son of man, I have made you a lookout (watchman) for
the house of Israel, and you shall hear a word from My mouth, and you
shall give them warning from Me."
are you silent?
Is it not as a lookout-one who is appointed over the
towers to see to it that if armies come to the city, the shofar (of the Torah of Moses, Numbers 10:9, Isaiah 27:12-13) shall be
sounded to warn the people to gather and strengthen themselves that I
have appointed you; to warn them to beware of retribution, so that I
need not bring it upon them." See THE ROD OF MY WRATH
"If I say to the wicked man
רָשָׁע (RASHA), 'You will die,'
and you do not exhort him, nor speak to exhort a wicked man [to repent]
of his wicked way, to save his life, he is guilty; he will die because
of his iniquity, and I shall require his blood from your hand.
But you-if you do warn the wicked man, and he
does not repent of his wickedness and of his evil way, he will die
because of his iniquity, and you-you will have saved your soul.
And when a righteous man
צַדִּיק (TZADDIK) repents of his
righteousness and commits injustice, I shall place a stumbling block
before him-he will die; if you do not warn him, he will die because of
his sin, and his righteous deeds that he performed will not be
remembered, but I shall require his blood from your hand.
But you, if you warn him-the righteous
man-that a righteous man should not sin, and he does not sin-he will
live because he took heed, and you-you will have saved your soul."