haYom arba’a asar yom, sh’heim shnei shavuot, laOmer: malchut she b’gevurah

“by 3 things does the world endure: by truth, justice, and peace”

r’ Shimon be Gamliel teaches this, quoting a verse from Zechariah: “truth and peace/wholeness judge in your gates” (8:16).  judgment in your gates smacks of malchut (sovereignty) and gevurah (justice).  and malchut in gevurah is a clear extension into the larger nonjewish world as well. why?

consider the 7 noachide laws, derived by Chazal (Sanhedrin 57-8) from the book of Genesis up to the story of Noach, hence ‘noachide.’ they are as follows, 6 negative and 1 positive final law: 1. no idolatry, 2. no cursing G’d, 3. no murder,  4. no adultery or incest, 5. no theft, 6. no eating a limb from a live animal, and 7. DO organize a judicial system.  any people that abides by these 7 rules is meeting the minimum baseline for being G’dly.  any that don’t, aren’t.  nota bene that these rules are thought to have held in the world from before the time of Avraham Avinu. chesed has not yet opened out. it was a time of din, ‘severe justice.’

we should focus on the word ‘endure’, i think. r’ shimon is not talking about the ideal case, but by the barest minimum. his focus is like that of the noachide laws.  take a look again at the noachides….there are 2 concerning human:G’d interactions, 3 concerning the lowest common acceptable denominator of action between human and human, with the 7th requiring another human behavior to administer the observance of the other 3 human:human rules. so far we are in baseline Torah and well within the 10 utterances, and the also the enhanced set of 613 mitzvot that come to apply to jews.

then there is the odd 6th: you must not eat a limb from a live animal.  not that i would, mind you, but honestly, now, were you to pick a law to rank up there with the biggies of murder, idolatry, adultery and theft, would you pull this one out of your hat?

but let’s consider malchut in gevurah and truly understand what happens spiritually when malchut is introduced into any interinclusion. the real test of malchut is whether the trait of the week has become systematically a part of our approach to the world. all week long, we’ve been judging in the gateway to our soul all week doing the interinclusions in gevurah. have you internalized chesed, tiferet, netzach, hod, and yesod therein? if so, how might we test it?

“i care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it”

again we learn at the feet of r’ avraham…..lincoln (the beard shoulda been a giveaway). yes, that is how i would test it too. a G’dly people judge truth and wholeness in the entirety of Creation. not just within their own society and within their own kind and locale, but without in the larger world. the world itself can only endure when we bring justice to the gates of our own lives, to the openings out (not just in!) of our spirits in the world.

and the measure of that just view of Creation is ‘wholeness’. you will not eat your way through an animal piecemeal….nor will you wantonly destroy fruit trees when waging war….nor will you, my jews, eat anything treif.  treif means ‘torn,’ chevrei, and it is the extension of the noachide rule against hacking away at life into concern for life even in the manner of its being killed.  meat is murder barely sanctioned by the Torah, and only by specific permission to those in the time of severe judgement, who had barely survived the great flood brought on by general wickedness:

if you crave to eat meat (Deuteronomy 12:20) ….[you] shall pour out its blood, and cover it with earth” (Leviticus 17:13)”

if you crave…..if you cannot exercise malchut in gevurah, sovereign control over your sever will to kill, then at very least cover over the living evidence of your wrong…bury the life lost as you would one of your own. strong stuff. but it is earth day on this day of the sefirah.  we continue to slash and burn, to drill, baby, drill, to tear animals apart and tear up the habitat that all of us depend on.

what exactly will it take for us to see the truth, judge wholeness as the greatest good, and open the gates of our souls to the entirety of creation? you see, we should have eaten from the tree of life…….

mussar for malchut she b’gevurah

malchut-gevurah with another…bein adam l’chaveiro   we keep Shabbat in remembrance of Creation. share the menuchah of the undisturbed world with someone…take a nature walk today and know the justice of the Creation without our interference.

malchut-gevurah with yourself….bein adam l’atzmo   “oh, i just couldn’t give up steak!”  really? i mean, really? “surely i will require your lifeblood” for killing (Genesis 9:5). malchut is mastery over your spirit-infused world. get a grip and give up that burger.

kabbalah for malchut she b’gevurah

in assiyah….the world of doing/completion   the Shekhinah is the feminine indwelling Presence of G’d in Creation. indwelling just as the nefesh soul within us. a nefesh indwells in every aspect of creation from stones through grasses through critters and trees.  go ahead, hug a tree today.  hug a cute primate as well, but embrace the nefesh you encounter in every piece of Creation you encounter.

in yetzirah….the world of feeling/ formation    on Shabbat you are blessed with an ibbur, a pregnancy of additional soul. the indwelling presence should be strong within you. feel the strength of the Presence within you and around you on this day.

in b’riyah….the world of thought/creation   there came a time as you grew from toddler to child that you knew that just tearing things up was wrong. it was destructive, not creative. it is forbidden to tear things on Shabbat in traditional circles. avoid tearing anything today, and consider how many things you thoughtlessly tear daily.

in atzilut….the world of nearness to G’d/intuition   find a time today to sit in Creation and chant “modeh ani lefanecha” until you fully see the Face of G’d in all that you behold.

kinyan 14 of 48 ways to acquire Torah

Miyut Sechorah….Moderation in Business.  the moderation spoken of here is keeping your work in perspective. do not let it overwhelm all else you do. and do not pursue it with the lust for which you pursue justice. and, on this earth day, be mindful of how business is the leading excuse for depredation and tearing of the Creation.

make each decision, whether in business or in private, as if the very existence of the universe depends on the truth and wholeness of your judgement

so, what do you think?

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