Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Reading the Artscroll Tikkun on the sixth floor of the garage, I found that the names Zerach and Perez have mystical connotations, explained by Rabbi Nechunia ben Hakaneh (Ana B'Koach), head of the 5th century Kaballah school.
Zerach is the Sun which shines (Zarach) and Perez is the Moon which is sometimes breached (Paraz). It would be appropriate for the Sun to come first, and Zerach showed his hand first. But David was destined to come from Perez, so Perez became the firstborn.
There were 30 generation of Jewish kings corresponding to the 30 days of the month. The first was Abraham who was called a prince, David was 14th, almost full Moon, and Shlomo was 15th, the full Moon. The last one was Hizkiyahu, whose sons were killed and who was blinded.
During some time when it was forbidden to declare New Moon, the court still did it. The code phrase was "David Melech Israel Chai VeKayam". The gematria of this phrase is the same as of "Rosh Chodesh".
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
"If you do not know, o fairest of women, follow the footsteps of the sheep and graze your kids" (Song of Songs)
The drash I knew is "if you, the Jewish people, do not know what to do, follow in the footsteps of your forefathers".
The Talmud in Ketubot top of daf 67 gives a different interpretation, "if you, the Jewish people, do not learn and therefore do not know Torah, you will have a burden of work placed on you, such as tending to your own sheep".