Saturday, April 3, 2010
In an attempt to give my own person spin on the current April A-Z posts, and also as a way to give myself specific guidelines of things to write on for a while, I will spend April going through the Hebrew alef-bet, letters alef through tov. In order to catch myself up...
Alef is for...
Emes: The Hebrew word for "truth", emes is made up of the first, middle, and last letters in the Hebrew alef-bet, symbolizing that truth is something that is all encompassing.
Ahavas Yisroel: Meaning "love of Jews", Ahavas Yisroel is the tikkun (correction) for the cause of galus (exile), which was sinas chinam (baseless hatred). In order to completely do teshuvah (repentance) for such a great aveirah (misdeed), we must now have ahavas chinam (baseless love), loving each and every Jew simply because we are all one.
Aggadata: Aggadata refers to the metamorphical homiletic tales from Chazal (ancient sages) that offer perspectives and understandings of Jewish belief and lessons from the Torah and elsewhere.
Avodah: Avodah is the Jewish concept of using each and every act of our physical lives, each holy task and assignment, and even seemingly mundane exchanges, as a means of worshiping G-d.
Beis/Beit is for...
Bris Milah: When a Jewish boy is eight days old, his father has the requirement to have him circumcised.
Bracha: A bracha is a blessing, and each day a Jew should recite 100 blessings, thanking G-d for food, beauty, and pleasure, as well as acknowledging the power and benevolence found in varying forms of creation, including mountains, oceans, and lightning.
Beis HaMikdosh: The rebuilding of the beis hamikdosh (temple) is something that Jews pray for three times a day.
Baal Shem Tov: Rav Yisroel Baal Shem Tov, ztvk"l, (1698-1760) was the founder of the Chasidic movement. His teachings and focus in Judaism have completely changed the face of Judaism.
Gimmel is for...
Galus: The Jewish people are currently in the fourth galus, or exile, known as Galus Edom. Previous exiles have been the Babylonian, Persian, and Greek exiles, which were each brought about for unique reasons and had specific negative spiritual impacts on the Jewish people, which is also true of the current exile.
Gevurah: Usually symbolizing the judgement of G-d, gevurah (strength) is the attribute that allows us in our physical form to fight off our own personal yetzer hara (evil inclination).
Geulah: Geulah is the final redemption, which is the final goal of our life's work, and something for which we yearn each day.
Daled is for...
Daas Torah: Daas Torah is the concept whereby Jews seek the input of rabbinic advisors in each and every area of their life, not only in matters of halacha (Jewish law).
Deveykus: Deveykus is the mystical state in which one completely cleaves totally to G-d.