O holy Shabbes Inspiration Devarim
We’ve entered the words now
these are the words
the words that Moses spoke to all Israel
beyond the Jordan
in the wilderness.
the book of Deuteronomy
begins with the evocative root word davar
appearing three times in the first verse
ha-de-var-im words, dibber spoke
it’s wilderness midbar that interests me most
sits me down on the desert floor
and insists I spend a quiet time figuring its place in our lives.
What happened to us in the midbar
and where is it
the wilderness of the word
the absence of words
the sense of the word
the sensitivity to the word
the word itself
the matter itself the thing itself the essence of the thing
All words —
when you have language
you have everything.
Someone asked me
is that what we are doing
just giving language to what we know?
Take the just out of that sentence I said
we are giving language to what we know.
We are coming to know the world
the power of blessing
to integrate what we know
to create seams where there may be no discernable seams
to make unity where there is separation
we are proceeding first
The Holy One engraved the world
through thirty two hidden paths of wisdom
– ten principles and twenty two holy letters
this from the Sefer Yetzirah the Book of Formation
what God wrote into the world for us to understand.
Shabbat Chazon the necessity to read the vision of Isaiah
on the Shabbes before Tisha B’Av
God gives us the remedy before the malady
it’s built in — this curative wisdom is built in before it’s prescribed
the vision before the fall
the hope before the destruction,
I can’t find the blessing in it
this always the problem in suffering
or in waiting even or in frustration
I can’t find the blessing in it.
On this the Shabbes before the 9th of Av
we recall the destruction of the Temples
even on Tisha B’Av there is a buried holiness and seed for hope.
This Shabbes is called Shabbat Chazon
because the chazon the vision of Isaiah is read as the haftarah
a vision of the future Jerusalem — rebuilt, strong,
built on the resolution of the mistakes of the past.
From R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev
on Shabbes Chazon the vision of rebuilding the Temple
this is the Shabbes of vision of the third Temple
you can see it.
Feel this: always on the Shabbes just before Tisha B’Av
the black fast, the saddest day of the Jewish year
always preceded by Shabbat Chazon
vision of the holy Temple rebuilt with the coming of the Messiah
the redemption we pray for daily.
Feel this: the proximity of what saves and what corrupts
Feel this: the vision of the future and the losses of the past
Feel this: the proximity of ascent and descent
Feel this: what purifies what defiles.
Something purifying out of exile
something pure emerging out of suffering
Shabbat Chazon: a vision of ascent out of descent.
I found the blessing in it
do you feel it?
R. Gamaliel, R. Eliezer b. Azariah, R. Yehoshua, and R. Akiva
came to the Temple Mount
they saw a fox coming out of the Holy of Holies
They all burst into tears, except Akiva
Akiva said, old men and old women shall dwell again
in the streets of Jerusalem
and the streets of the city shall be full of children
— I know the prophecy [Makkot 24b]
Akiva saw something his friends did not
Akiva saw the future
how dark the night, he said, how bright the day to come [Maharal]
The harder the fall, the higher the return
That’s why Akiva laughed.
The tradition tells us that in the future
when it is time for the Messiah to come
on what day do you suppose the Messiah will be born?
On the ninth of Av.