Thursday, November 20, 2008

Parshas Chayei Sarah: Cave Machpelah

Cave Machpelah is the resting place of the first human, Adam HaRishoin, and the first three Jewish families — our Patriarchs and Matriarchs.

As one can hear in Rabbi Paltiel’s shiur, “A Cave of Many Layers”, Machpelah is much more than that — a boundary between the worlds.

This is not just a shiur about mystical. Mysticism in Chassidus is not merely anatomy; it is also medicine. Explaining the connection of spiritual worlds and events with the physical ones, Chassidus then explains how to serve G-d properly in the physical world, revealing spiritual in the physical. In the end of the day, it’s all about practical application and everyday relevance, not about stories of angels, lights and vessels (although learning those is important in itself).

In addition: “Phases of Avram Avinu’s Avoidas Hashem” with special emphasis on Akeida. (No, my earlier post was not a plagiarism of this shiur.) The shiur also has an interesting discussion of the difference between Abraham’s mitzvos and ours (were Abraham, for instance, to write a mezuza parchment, he could have used it afterwards as a bottle cork. We couldn’t — our mezuza parchments becomes holy once used for a mitzva).

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