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Friday, 16 May, 2014 - 1:07 am

A guy told me the other day:

I just had a call from a Charity asking me to donate some of my clothes to the starving people throughout the world.

I told them to get out of my life and never ask me again for my clothes. 

You see, anybody who fits into my clothes isn’t starving!


This Sunday we are commemorating Lag Baomer, the yartzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochei, the man who gave the world the gift of Kabbalah, is called “hilulah,” a wedding day. Why?

What is Kabbalah? Kabbalah is the method of marriage—intimacy, revealing the inherent oneness between man and G-d, between G-d and the world, between heaven and earth, between soul and body.


The Midrash shares a fascinating episode, A couple  came to Rabbi Shimon. They have been married for over 10 years and had not been blessed with children. They asked Rabbi Shimon to grant them a divorce so they can remarry and try to have children with someone else.

Rabbi Shimon agreed to give them a divorce, but with the following strange stipulation: At their divorce they must make a feast just as they had done at their marriage!

They listened to Rabbi Shimon’s instructions. Before the divorce ‘ceremony,’ they prepared a lavish feast. During the meal, the woman gave her husband to drink delicious and strong wine. Being in a gaily mood, he said to his newly divorced wife: "My dear! Choose the most precious article in our house and take it with you to your father's house!" and after a few Lechaim's he fell asleep.

The wife told her servants to carry her husband in his bed to her father’s home.

When the man woke up, he looked around to see where he was, and he noticed his wife. He asked her; "Where am I?" She answered: "In my father's house!" He inquired: "What am I doing in your father's house? We were divorced!"

She replied smilingly: "You told me to take with me the most precious belonging in our house; I could not find anything more precious to me than you yourself, so I told my servants to bring you here."

The next day they came to Rabbi Shimon and told him what had happened. So, he prayed for them, and G-d blessed them with children.

But this entire story seems strange: If the great rabbi can pray for them and his prayers were effective, why could he not pray for them earlier? Why make then go through his whole ordeal?

The relationship between man and woman on earth is a mirror of the relationship between G-d and man, between soul and body, between heaven and earth, between the material and the spiritual.  

A man and woman, who originated as “a single being with two faces,” remain intrinsically one, even after their division into two genders. In essence, they require nothing extrinsic to effect their marriage; they need only to delve into their deepest selves for their act of union to render them “one flesh.” They can find all the love, loyalty and commitment to each other by excavating their deepest selves, and climbing deep within beyond the ego and the insecurity. But this is realizable only in an ideal world and in ideal people.  In a world in which external appetites, instincts and temptations can blind our vision and deter us from our own deepest desires, the union of man and woman is  too vulnerable to corruption to define itself. It must therefore be sanctified by objective standards and values, by a formalized commitment to this marriage.


Now we will appreciate the above story about Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai, the master of Kabbalah:

The marriage of that particular couple was structured and predictable, but it was stale. In that particular case, Rabbi Shimon the master of passionate “intimacy” in our marriage to G-d—realized that component was missing in their marriage in order to generate the flow of blessings in the marriage. He orchestrated the event in such a way that the raw passion and love between the couple should emerge and a new channel of blessings opened up for them.


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Yoseph Geisinsky


melissa wrote...