April, 1, 2016, Israel
In this weeks Parsha, Torah reading, we have some amazing revelations and insights.
If you read slowly, if you meditate on the ancient words, if you open your heart, you can hear these lessons...if you are in a hurry you can hear nothing. I read slowly, as per the ancient Jewish tradition preserved by the Jews who inhabited Yemen for 2,300 years. (Yes, Jews were in Yemen, Iraq, Arabia, Iran, long before the Muslims).
And Moshe said, this the thing that God has commanded that you shall do, and will appear to you the honor/Glory of God.
And Moshe said to Aharon (his brother) Krav (get close) to the alter and do, the sacrificial offerings, (atonement for transgressions) and attain atonement for yourself and then for the nation. And then to the Korban (sacrifice) (from Krab/Krav, same root, meaning close) of the nation and seek atonement for them, as God has commanded.
Wa Yikrav (again the root Krav), and Aharon approached the alter, and scarified an offering from his own property. (Ya Yikra, Leviticus, Chapter 9)
What can we learn from this?
How is this relevant to our own lives?
The lesson is the same for Jews, Gentiles, those of faith and those without. As my father taught me, the Bible is a moral history and the lessons are eternal, s the nature of man does not change. There is nothing supernatural in the lessons.
Atonement, we all need it. I am not speaking only in the sense of Divine atonement. No, that is a dangerous area to get into. Some believe firmly that to attain Divine atonement you must kill other people. Even today the pure hatred still exists. From the Crusaders to the current radical Muslims the idea is the same; "Atonement comes from the killing non-believers. There was a recent protest against the Vatican, readers responded with pure "Holy" hatred, demanding that the protestors be killed. Readers cursed the three young female protestors and compared them to pigs. The wrath of hell was brought down upon them. So much for tolerance. Let's not fool ourselves. Fortunately the Church no longer has the power it once did and non-believers can no longer be burnt at the stake (which happened to some of my relatives a few centuries ago). Thus, I dare not speak of Divine atonement, I speak only of a universal lesson that I hear in this Biblical passage.
The word Krav means closeness. (Yes, I know most Krav Maga instructors have no clue...) A sacrifice brings you closer. Moshe is teaching a lesson here. You want Honor, you want Glory. You want to feel it. So what do people do these days? They buy it, or steal it, or manipulate to get it.
You want to be a black belt, a grand mater, but your teacher does not feel you are ready for it. So you manipulate him, threaten him, use pressure tactics. If this does not work, you simply quit the association. You "fire" your teacher and go to another organization that promises you a quick promotion, a higher rank or a prestigious position. Some go further, they establish their own Krav Maga association. You do not have your teacher's blessing or approval. You do not have any true honor or glory.
My teacher always told me, "Moshe, be patient, your day of Glory will come". And it has, but it took a long time. I trained with him directly for more than 18 years, 10-12 hours per week plus extra training when possible. And, I had already come to him with ranks and experience in other styles. I am proud of my ranks.
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The Torah, the Hebrew Bible, is teaching us the correct way; Moshe/Moses speaks to his brother Aharon/Aaron, and says, you want to see the Glory/Honor of God? Let me tell you how this is done, how this is achieved, the correct way.
Ya Yomer Moshe, And Moshe said, ...this is the way to do it, the right way, and if you follow my words the honor and Glory of God will appear to you.
Note the words; the honor will appear to you, not you will take that honor, not you will demand that honor. No, you can never do that. You must wait until that honor, that glory, appears to you. You cannot become a teacher or a grand master without that honor being bestowed upon you.
Now Moshe continues to explain, as Aharon was nervous about approaching the alter. First, you must secure atonement for yourself, and you then will you be qualified to seek atonement for the nation. There is an important lesson there; first find the fault in yourself, first seek to repair yourself and only then can you seek atonement for others.
If you have issues with your teacher how can you expect to be a guide to your own students. Who is your teacher? W hat is your relationship with him? Is there a conflict, if so, why? First seek atonement before you name yourself grandmaster and hope to guide others. If you wish your students to honor you, lead by example, honor your own teacher, your students are watching. Learn from the lessons of Moshe our Teacher.
The offering that Aharon brought was from his own pocket. Look at leaders today; carelessly squandering tax payers money. But that is not the true way. Aharon is a leader but he must bring the sacrifice from his own property, at his own expense. You must start with yourself. You must give of yourself. Only after Aharon has given of himself can he approach God about the atonement for the nation. For you to guide others you must first be qualified yourself.
The honor, the glory, will appear to you, at its own time, at its own pace. You cannot demand it now, no. You cannot make conditions. If you go about the process the correct way, the honor and glory will appear to you, when you are ready, when you are qualified.
Take this lesson to heart, for Krav Maga, for life, it is 3,400 years old.
This blog is so true, especially as I read through the various books of the Bible. I am currently on Ezekiel. When the Lord, the Almighty Lord APPEARS to YOU. This is the same way as you train in Krav you go through the techniques not knowing why or how it works but it does. Then one day all of a sudden it appears to you that each and every step and motion has a purpose that leads you to the next step or motion. This all flows smoothly and without effort. It becomes instinctual without any thought, it appears to you.
About the author: The author is not a rabbi, not a historian, not a professor. He is only a simple Jew, the son of a rabbi, the grandson of a rabbi and a descendant of Aharon, brother of Moshe.
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