After the Snow Melts (Tefila tip #13)

Jerusalem ushered in the month of Adar (12th month on the Jewish calendar) with a snow storm.  The snow didn’t stick around for long, and now it is gone.  But snow is a parable for something that’s important, and since it is always good to look under the hood and find the spiritual meaning, let’s have a look under the “snow-hood.”  Ice is hard; when water freezes, it forms an impenetrable wall, through which nothing can pass.  Snow, on the other hand is soft – it forms a protective cover that melts easily and reveals whatever what was behind it or under it.  When it melts, it becomes water, which is a symbol of the Torah; just as water flows from a high place down to a low place, so Torah descends from a high spiritual place to influence our universe below.  So, when Jerusalem is visited by a snow storm, it suggests to us to look for signs of revealed spirituality in our lives.

Here’s another sign of the times.  According to the most ancient book of kaballah (the Sefer Yetzira), there is a sense, or personal quality that is associated with every month.  The sense of Adar is laughter – the ability to see what’s behind the veneer and “under the hood” and to be amazed by it (just like when snow melts).  The source of laughter in the Torah was our matriarch, Sarah, who “laughed” when she was told, at the age of 90, that she would have a child.  It was Sarah who “fixed the luminaries,” who enhanced the moon so that it felt equal to the sun.  How did she do that?  Here we have a nice “gematria,” or numerical value that gives us a hint – the word for “laughter” in Hebrew is tzchok, of gematria 204.  And the word for “you loved” is ahavta, of numerical value 408, or twice the gematria of tzchok (“laughter”).  That’s because there were two kind of laughter that went into the love that Sarah felt for her not yet born son.  There was the laughter of amazement, as when we laugh upon perceiving something new, and there is the laughter of satisfaction, as when we experience satiation and never felt so good before.  One laughter is “before,” the other is “after.”  But in both cases laughter brings healing and love to the world.  In fact, it is Sarah’s son Yitzhak (“he will laugh”) who will herald the arrival of meshiach (the Jewish messiah), hopefully soon.  Let us hope that is what we will experience this year, beginning this month.

To find out more about the love and prayer, go to our site at www.jerusalemconnection.org/weekly  That may only whet your appetite, and if you want more, check out our books at www.jewishspiritualbooks.com  Finally, for a glimpse into Jewish life in Jerusalem, go to www.chabadjerusalem.org  And have a dry and warm day!

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