Sunday, March 1, 2020

QAnon and PaRDeS

As a point of interest, when we read the Torah portion in synagogue ("shul"), we do so in 7 portions. 

When a man is called up to read from the Torah (yes, only a man, unless you're not fully observant) this is called an "Aliyah" - meaning "to go up." 

I bring this up because everything has meaning (the "7")

Part of mind control is to bombard you with horrible things and tell you they are meaningless.

For example that video that circulated of the transgender person grooming a child in public while the adults clapped. 
Out of respect for the Torah I am not going to show you that video, but you probably already saw it here. 
When you're dealing with individual people, I think there are times when clothes are chosen out of convenience, or comments are made carelessly.

But in general, when it comes to crafted public displays, there is a meaning and a reason behind everything. 
In Judaism, one of the most interesting things is to study the symbolic meaning behind the rituals we practice.

Unfortunately many have lost touch with this. 
If I can sidetrack for a moment - 
Last week in synagogue we discussed the Torah portion Mishpatim ("laws"), and its connection to the portion before that, Yisro, which contains the Ten Commandments.

The sermon was about the connection between general principles and detailed observance in everyday life. 
The rabbi's point was that "every detail matters," even to the point where there are observances about whether you tie your left shoelace first or your right shoelace first in the morning. 
My husband and I got our backs up and we argued that there is an obsessive-compulsive aspect to all this detail. 
In particular, I argued that it is divisive, because then you have Jews calling themselves observant who will not even eat in each other's homes, because they question whether the food is kosher enough. 
In fact, it is quite painful to experience this, and without naming names, there have been people who visited our home and literally brought paper plates. 
Why did they bring paper plates? Because they questioned whether my plates would be kosher enough to eat from. 
Now, they were correct to do that (it's actually either "kosher" or "not kosher") because at that point I wasn't careful enough to be able to reassure them that my home lived up to the standard. 
But the point is, in the olden days (meaning when I grew up in the '70s and '80s) life as an observant Jew was much simpler, and you did not have all the quibbling and hair-splitting over this kosher certification versus that one. 
Pause. 
The rabbi, in emphasizing our need to be very careful about observing properly, was making one point. 

It is not only the idea that matters, but its execution.

But there is another level of analysis which focuses on the meaning of the rituals themselves. 
And so, while it is important to say, "be careful to do things right," it is also important to say, "let me explain to you the deeper meaning as to why this is the right thing to do." 
If it is possible, if it is accessible to us -- because not everything is. 
When you've studied in yeshiva (Jewish religious school), and you've gotten a good education, it is drummed into you day and night that every single thing has a meaning - that God is intimately watching every single thing - and that there is no accident or coincidence in life. 
I really want to dwell on this, because we who follow #QAnon are constantly ridiculed or characterized in negative ways by people who position themselves as intellectually superior. 

I want to point out that Q did not invent the notion of code. 
We will get back to the Torah portion, but I wanted to let you know that in Judaism, we refer to code as "remez" - meaning "hint." 
Let's take it straight from Wikipedia.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardes_(J…
"Pardes" refers to (types of) approaches to biblical exegesis in rabbinic Judaism or to interpretation of text in Torah study. The term, sometimes also spelled PaRDeS, is an acronym."

(It also means "orchard," which is a hint, too.)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchard#/…
Level 1: "Peshat (פְּשָׁט) – 'surface' ('straight') or the literal (direct) meaning." 
Level 2: "Remez (רֶמֶז) – 'hints' or the deep (allegoric: hidden or symbolic) meaning beyond just the literal sense." 
Level 3: "Derash (דְּרַשׁ) – from Hebrew darash: "inquire" ("seek") – the comparative (midrashic) meaning, as given through similar occurrences."
Level 4: "Sod (סוֹד) (pronounced with a long O as in 'lore') – 'secret' ('mystery') or the esoteric/mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation."

(This is Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism.) 
What does the acronym "orchard" hint at?

Why are the multiple levels of Jewish knowledge referred to this way?

(Pic pixabay.com/photos/apple-o…
From a Q point of view, think of it as going down the rabbit hole and getting lost, and then you can never come back. 
From a Jewish point of view, you wander into the orchard and see all the beautiful fruit and want to eat from every tree, but it can kill you or make you go insane. 
Let's go back to Wikipedia.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardes_(l… 
"Pardes (Hebrew: פרדס orchard) is the subject of a Jewish aggadah ("legend") about four rabbis of the Mishnaic period (1st century CE) who visited the "pardes" (the "orchard" of esoteric Torah knowledge), only one of whom succeeded in leaving the "pardes" unharmed." 
"The basic story goes as follows: 

Four men entered the pardes — Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher, and Rabbi Akiva. 

--Ben Azzai looked and died; 

--Ben Zoma looked and went mad; 

--Acher destroyed the plants; 

--Akiva entered in peace and departed in peace."
Knowing too much turned one man into a heretic ("destroyed the plants").
Made another man go mad.
A third died outright.

Only one escaped intact and good - that was Rabbi Akiva. 
The Romans executed Rabbi Akiva after he supported a rebellion against them.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbi_Aki…
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm…
In my mind Rabbi Akiva is very much like Jesus.
* Simple man yet erudite 
* Passionate about religion and morality
* Dedicated followers
* Patriot, not just a preacher
* Sacrificed his life for the people

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosher_Je…
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosher_Je…
By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author's own. Public domain.