block postVayishlach

Praying for Compassion

The Talmud states that there are three things that require compassion. The first is a good king, the second is a good year, meaning a prosperous year, and the third is a good dream. The sum of the numerical value of "king" (מֶלֶךְ; 90), "year" (שָׁנָה; 355), "dream" (חֲלוֹם; 84) is 529 (232), which is the numerical value of "pleasure" (תַּעֲנוּג). Sefer Yetzirah (the Book of Formation) states, "there is nothing higher than pleasure." The ultimate pleasure of life is thus a good king, a good year, and a good dream. The acronym formed by the initial letters of these three words is the root of the word, "anoint" (משח) which relates to Mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ), the good king who we all dream will come this year.

Sefer Yetzirah explains that there are three spiritual dimensions to reality: world, year and soul (עוֹלָם שָׁנָה נֶפֶש), which relate to the three dimensions of physical reality, human consciousness and the time dimension, respectively. Clearly, a good year corresponds to the time dimension ("year"). It is also clear that the dream corresponds to the dimension of human consciousness ("soul"). Dreams are a reflection of the soul, which manifests through dreams during sleep, when our physical reactions are subdued and our true consciousness can manifest. One of the cornerstones of psychoanalysis is that dreams reveal the soul. From here, we infer that a good king corresponds to the three dimensions of physical reality ("world"). God, the King of kings is "King of the world." The order mentioned in the Talmud is that first we need to ask compassion to have a good king who will rectify the world, then compassion to rectify the time dimension with a good year. Finally, the soul will be rectified and reality will become a good dream, as the verse states, "When God returns the return of Zion, we will be like dreamers."


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