Pay it Forward: Become a Supporter of the Work. Learn More
Customarily, this is a Shabbat specifically designed for teshuvah. On this Shabbat, the leader, rabbi, or whoever is the head of the congregation, arouses the spirit of repentance in people toward changing their ways and becoming better people, with the objective that all receive forgiveness.
"There are clues within this portion to help us understand what this Shabbat is all about."
This has been going on for a long time, and as the Zohar has noted we cannot wipe out or erase negative things or violations we have caused simply by ignoring them, or even by saying “I’m sorry.” Although mainstream religion says that the purpose of this Shabbat is to arouse feelings of remorse, to mend our ways, they have ignored or simply eliminated the true purpose behind what this particular day has to offer in the way of improving our lives.
The real purpose, from the Zohar’s point of view, is not to arouse our sense of guilt; there are clues within this portion to help us understand what this Shabbat is all about.
While Ha’azinu is so poetic, do we understand what Moses is saying? Moses says, “Listen Heaven, I will speak.” There is also an entirely different structure of the composition for this portion. In fact, Ha’azinu is one of the smallest portions, containing only 52 verses. But why do we have this structure that consists of two triads, making up the Shield of David?
The Zohar explains that God told Moses how to structure this scroll, our tool, with the necessary features that will help elevate us so that we can improve our lives—the Shield of David made up of 52 verses. The number 52 is the numerical value of the word Malchut, signifying that this section deals with this physical reality as we see it, and as we know it, and the purpose of this week—the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, including Shabbat Shuvah—is to contribute toward this objective. There has never been a successful tool to get people to change. The only time people change is when they understand that change will bring about an improvement of their physical lives, or fulfillment in this chaotic environment.
The Zohar explains that violations need to be erased and compensated on every Shabbat, not simply on one Shabbat, but because this Shabbat has been labeled with the idea of repentance, we understand that this Shabbat gives us the opportunity to go back to the future. The Zohar says the underlying reason for chaos in this world is because we are limited to the concepts of time, space, and motion. We cannot travel back to the past to just say, “I’m sorry”.
"The limitations of time, space and motion can be set aside."
On Yom Kippur, asking to be forgiven and not taking into account the people we have hurt may remove some of our guilt, but it does not remove the violation or the hurt we have done to others. With our ability to go back in time, without going into the physics of it, we can literally correct that hurt; not only in this lifetime, but in any lifetime.
The Zohar says jealousy is the cause of 98% of all the chaos in the world and that we need to understand this and recognize that we have the ability to achieve the grace for ourselves; we have been gifted with the ability to achieve all the fulfillment we seek.
This Shabbat is so powerful in eliminating time, space, and motion. We have the support here and now to awaken our consciousness to the comprehension that we have this ability so that jealousy will no longer be uppermost in our mind. Thus we connect to the Magen David (Shield of David).
When Moses says, “Listen Heaven,” the Zohar explains this is referring to those levels of consciousness that are not of a physical nature. There are very real, immaterial energy factors that are here, and are not limited to the physical reality of time, space, and motion. By eliminating the effects of chaos coming from jealousy, the limitations of time, space and motion can be set aside. We are going to raise our consciousness above time, space, and motion. It is time that we bring an end to this scenario that keeps us in a re-run of the same show, as if it will never come to an end.
These 52 verses are the weeks of the year, and the realization that we are going to be in Heaven, in Zeir Anpin. Heaven is not what we think it is or what we have been told; it is the Flawless Universe. With these 52 verses and the Magen David we have an opportunity to change our thinking and become empowered to rise above jealousy, because jealousy is but another reminder of our limitations.