Friday, June 26, 2009

"Kuf" is for Kiddush Hashem

Klal Yisroel is still limping along lopsided. Here in Eretz Yisrael we are about to hear Parshat Chukas while those of you in Chu"L are going to hear Parshat Korach. Of course, next week, IY"H, everybody will hear Parshat Balak and we will again be one big happy family.

I heard a cute vort a few years back that applies to all three of these Parshiot and it goes like this:

In all three of these Parshiot there is an episode wherein a small faction of Klal Yisrael rebels against HKBH and thus initiates a Chillul Hashem. Consequently comes one of the Bnei Amram who channels G-d's revenge and, with this, brings on a Kiddush Hashem.

The name of each Parsha contains three letters and in all of them there is a "kuf". The kuf represents the Kiddush Hashem in each of these Parshiot. Thus, in Parshat Korach where the episode of Korach and his rebellion - and it's aftermath - are at the beginning of the Parsha, the kuf is the first letter of the name of the Parsha - Korach.

In Parshat Chukas, the episode in question is the demand of Bnei Yisrael for water after the passing of Miriam and HKBH answering their request by providing water from the rock. Although Moshe was reprimanded for not making an adequate Kiddush Hashem, it was nevertheless a Kiddush Hashem albiet of lesser impact. Since this episode occurs in the middle of the Parsha, the kuf in the name of the Parsha - ChuKas - is in the middle of the word.

Finally, in Parshat Balak, the episode of Kiddush Hashem is represented by Pinchas' valiant respo0nse to the transgression of Zimri. Since this occurs at the very end of the Parsha, the kuf is at the end of the word that is the name of the Parsha - BalaK.

Who is it that taught us this interesting tidbit?

Well, I heard it a few years ago from my wife. She attends a weekly woman's prayer group that meets at the Kotel HaMaaravi every Wednesday morning. The vort was relayed to the group by Mrs. Marsha Goldin. She is the mother of Binyamin Goldin, one of the autistic Jews who have been transmitting messages to the Jewish world by way of Facilitated Communication and who I have been referring to in some of my most recent posts.

In an FC session that took place approximately 9 years ago, the communicator asked Binyamin to say a dvar Torah. Since it was this time of year, this tidbit is what he said. The FC technician who managed the session was Rebitzin Kalmanovitz, the wife of the current Rosh Yeshiva of the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn. She had never heard this vort previously and none of the Rabbanim that it was relayed to had heard it as well. It does not seem to be in print in any known sefer or Pirush.

I confirmed the entire matter with Binyamin's father in a recent conversation. He said that the text of that session is still in existence and if he can locate it, he will send me a copy.

I had written in an earlier post that I do not know enough about FC to campaign for or against it. But to focus on the Kiddush Hashem in all these Parshiot is certainly worth campaining for.

ונקדשתי בתוך בני ישראל

Good Shabbos!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

FC is nonsense. Another take on the Kuf's position in Korach/Chukas/Balak was already dealt with by R' Gedalia Schorr. Given that Rav Schorr's drashos are very well known, it's very likely that the facilitator was aware of the original vort, and (perhaps subconsciously) came up with a variant.

This divining Divrei Torah from a Ouija board is very dangerous. What's next? Paskening Shaylos?

Yechezkel said...

>>FC is nonsense.

In at least 2 of my posts about the autistics including this one, I put in a disclaimer that I am not campaining for the veracity of FC. It's just that the autistics and/or their handlers are directly preaching the messages of the neviim of old that were meant for us and only they have the temerity to do it. I am pushing for the doing teshuva, achdus, tznius, and aliya that they are pushing for, not to be a believer in FC.

That said, it is exceedingly pretentious and irresponsible to blanketly say that "FC is nonsense" unless you have studied the subject and heard out proponents and opponents. You present no such credentials. My position is: L'Meichash bo'i. It is more responsible to say that it is a taboo realm that we should stay away from than to just dismiss it outright as "nonsense". Incidentally, you probably don't live in Har Nof and never met the Goldins.

>>Another take on the Kuf's position in Korach/Chukas/Balak was already dealt with by R' Gedalia Schorr.

I would love to see it. Is it in Ohr Gedalyahu? (I do not have my own copy.)

>>Given that Rav Schorr's drashos are very well known, it's very likely that the facilitator was aware of the original vort, and (perhaps subconsciously) came up with a variant.

Makes sense - As long as the facilitator herself had heard the vort of R' Gedalya Schorr at least once in her life. But, if she didn't...

>>This divining Divrei Torah from a Ouija board is very dangerous. What's next? Paskening Shaylos?

You are correct. It is dangerous and should not be taken beyond the mussar message which is it's purported purpose. However, the trite argument that since for Halacha the rule is "Lo bashamaim hee" therefore you should not take mussar either from piguei moach (who are just verifying the words of Chazal and neviim achronim) is just a weak excuse for hitting your spiritual snooze button and going back to sleep.

Do so at your own risk.

Anonymous said...

1) One of the symptoms of autism (see DSM IV) is "stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language". We do not see such language patterns in FC. This fact, has not been disputed by the FC cult in Israel- indeed they parade it as proof that the FC is coming from another world!

2)We have no mesorah for FC.

3) I have emailed one of the big proponents of FC and have asked for scientific evidence. I got references to three articles. Two of them were merely case studies that appeared in practitioner journals. They have no scientific value except to arouse curiosity- they can be easily dismissed. The third article was a real study, but was woefully inadequate. Not only was the process flawed, the results were underwhelming as well. In any case, a single article, no matter how solid, is not proof until the experiment can be repeated. The scientific community has rejected FC.

4) www.parsha.net/pdf/Bamidbar/ChukasBalak59.pdf . It doesn't seem that this particular vort was published in OG.

5) Observation: Even if it can be proven that FC is genuine, the messages would necessarily not come from the autistic. It would come from those disseminating the message. What I mean is that there's little chiddushim in these messages. The messages have the same content as a typical contemporary schmuz, albeit without the prophetic and apocalyptic overtones (though even these overtones are heard from some kiruv organizations).
We can imagine what the reaction would be if the messages were not normative. Suppose Binyamin were to start advocating hyper-modesty, demanding that women wear veils. Or that the general population should start fasting Mondays and Tuesdays. Or that we should say Hallel on Yom HaAtzmaut. The FC phenomenon would be dismissed as crackpot nonsense- the agenda of cranks, and others may even claim FC comes from the Sitra Achra...
The only reason we hear about Binyamin, is because there are people with an agenda to get that particular message out. (It's not a wrong agenda.) Any FC not conforming to the desired message would be rightfully suppressed. Thus, the messages we do get to hear, are to some extent not from the autistics.

Collin Merenoff said...

That last poster is absolutely right about FC. I'm an autistic Jew who can speak and type on my own. Many of my family members have/had some aspects of autism. I have grown up with the wisdom of an agnostic grandmother from Vilnau, and a religious and Kabbalistic grandfather from Chorzhel, who got along perfectly despite their differences, because they were each autistic in their own way, and they shared the wisdom of autistic Judaism. And that wisdom would be total anathema to any cult, for my grandparents (y'hei shalama raba...), my parents, and I all agree that the Torah is deeply flawed, that Halacha is mostly irrelevant, and that the real word of G-d is in secular ethics and scientific truth.

Yechezkel said...

To Collin

Thank you for your comment.

>>I'm an autistic Jew who can speak and type on my own.

It seems to me that most people in the blogosphere are autistic [Jews] who can speak and type on their own.

>>my parents, and I all agree that the Torah is deeply flawed

You are implying that if it was up to you, you could produce a "flawless" Torah. The Torah is a constitution, or a set of rules for a vibrant society. Society is made up of Human beings with many Human shortcomings (including autism). Humans are full of "differences" and "flaws" and any constitution that can effectively regulate a society of Humans is beyond flawless. It is remarkable and magnificent.

From all known constitutions and religious dogma, the Torah has the best track record for viability and vibrance, bar none.

>>that Halacha is mostly irrelevant

Perhaps. But recent polls in Eretz Yisrael have established that the members of society who adhere to Halacha (hareidim in particular but not exclusively) have considered themselves to be "happy with their lives" to a percentage greater than any other sub-community.

>>and that the real word of G-d is in secular ethics and scientific truth

Yes, indeed. Both "secular ethics" and "scientific truth (???)" have made themselves into religions of their own. And so, those who stray after them see them as the "real word of G-d". "Secular Ethics" has brought us Naziism, socialism and communism and pro-abortion and homosexual marriage. If this is the word of G-d then you and I are definitely worshiping 2 different "G-ds".