|Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum with Manuel and Odile Sanchez|
B”H my tour was successful. I was overwhelmed with the excitement and spiritual hunger of the many students I met everywhere on my tour: women asking more and more, clinging to my every word. There is no question in my mind the world wants spiritual healing! (See below for one sample of the responses I received in Texas.)
Haftorat Shabbat Shekalim
2 Melachim Chapter 12
This week we read Parashat Shekalim, the first of the four special Torah readings preceding Pesach. We read Parashat Shekalim during the Shabbat preceding the month of Adar, or on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Adar. Parashat Shekalim teaches us about the ½ Shekel obligatory donation for adult males of Israel, towards the communal sacrifices. Since this donation is due prior to the month of Nissan, the Torah portion describing it must be read before, or on Rosh Chodesh Adar to remind everyone one month in advance that their donation is due. In honor of Shabbat Shekalim, the haftorah designated to reflect the theme of Shekalim relates how the young King Yeho'ash collected the funds for the upkeep of the first Holy Temple.
The Sprout of Hope
Our haftorah opens by stating that “Yeho’ash was seven years old when he reigned” (2 Kings 12:1). Yeho'ash was the sole survivor from the Davidic Dynasty. The evil Queen Ataliyah, daughter of Achav and Ezevel, had massacred all descendants to the throne and taken the reign in her own hand, to make havoc and infest Israel with idol-worship. Little did she know that her daughter in law, Yehosheva, had hid Ataliyah’s grandson, the little baby Yehoa’ash in the heart of the Temple for six years together with his nursemaid. When Yehosheva, the aunt, risked her life to save Yeho’ash, she became his spiritual mother. Therefore, our haftorah describes Yeho’ash as being seven years old, as a credit to Yehosheva which also means seven. In addition, the feminine sefira of Kingdom is described as being the seventh and last of the seven lower sefirot, (The Rama of Pano).
Our Haftorah teaches us hope, even during the darkest time of corrupt Israeli leadership. While the evil murderess Ataliyah was busy ruling and promoting her crooked idol-worship in Israel, Yehosheva was busy undercover, raising the next righteous king in Israel. After six years of hiding, even at the tender age of seven years old, the existence of Yehoash was revealed, and he was proclaimed king of Yehuda to the delight of the people. Also today, during our corrupt leadership, we await a righteous king – even a child king to restore the kingdom of Israel.
Repairing the House of Holiness
What is the source for the Tzedaka box which adorns every Jewish home?
“Yehoyada, the Kohen, took a chest and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into the house of Hashem; and the Kohanim that kept the door put in it all the money that was brought into the house of Hashem” (2 Kings 12:10). This was the first official Tzedakka box for the sake of collecting money to repair the Temple. Yehoash, the new king, renewed the people's covenant with G-d, and destroyed all the pagan altars and statues. Yehoash then instructed the Kohanim to collect money to organize the repair and maintenance of the Temple, which had been terribly neglected during the reign of Ataliyah.
Investing in Home Improvements for the Land of Israel
Using the material for the sake of the spiritual is a feminine task which elevates this lower world and infuses it with holiness. In the spirit of repairing the Temple, every woman during the month preceding the month of Pesach, can take the opportunity to elevate her personal sanctuary by organizing repairs in her home, and throwing out the broken items which prevent the flow of energy to each of the rooms in her miniature Temple. Yet, while we invest in home-improvements, it is important to simultaneously remember the Tzedaka box and give generously to the Land of Israel - the home of our Universal Temple, unifying and encompassing all our homes of holiness.
An email from one of my students in Texas:
I just want to thank you again for coming to Texas. There is such a spiritual need on the deep level you teach.
When I left after the meeting, got into the car, ----the energy from me ignited my husband and all the way home (75mi.) we were praising Hashem and opening ourselves up as wide as we could ---without causing the car to lift off the road--ha ha. The energy was so strong I am surprised we didn’t light up the whole road all the way home. What a blessing you are --I only wish I had had a recorder as to go over it later and also to re-iterate it to my husband. I felt like a mother bird feeding him what was said tonite. He hung on every word.
After we did the energy ball prayer, I felt something shiver on my right side all the way up to my head and my hands were full of energy.
We want to come to Israel for an unspecified amount of time. We long to study and learn more.
Todah Todah Rabah Rebbetzin,
Your Oneg students from Texas