The HEJERA PLOTby Y. I. Hy (C) The Hayut Foundation, P.O.B. 8115, Jerusalem 91080, Israel.
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4.1 - The next night, Begin again found himself alone
The next night, Begin again found himself alone in the room with the HEJERA box. The saying which appeared when he touched the side of the box was: "Everything is foreseen and free-will is granted; and the whole world is judged according to the good, all according to the majority of actions". Begin again touched the glowing words, again the pyramid of light formed, and again a man\-like apparition started to appear out of it. Unlike Herzl - this was not an impressive figure.
A small and unimposing man, but the eyes! - amazingly large Jewish eyes, so wise and penetrating, almost frightening. Only the friendliness of the rest of the features kept Begin calm. But something in the small figure raised in Begin a close feeling.
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4.2 Rabbi Akiva, Akiva ben Yosef, the famous Tanna
"Are you Rabbi Akiva, Akiva ben Yosef, the famous Tanna [Mishnaic authority], the supporter of Bar-Kokhva?" wondered Begin. "I am indeed". "And how have you joined company with Benjamin Ze'ev?". "We are all people who pursued the redemption, who dealt with ideas that seemed to be in heaven, and we helped bring them down to earth. We each have a portion in the building of the Heavenly Jerusalem, that perfect city".
"And what is that Heavenly Jerusalem? What connection does Herzl's Political Zionism have with celestial and sacred matters?"
"All of us - people of my generation and of the generation of Herzl - have known the desolation of our people and of the earthly Jerusalem. When I was young, I had seen the earthly Jerusalem in her glory, and have lived to see her in ruin and desolation. I saw wild foxes coming out of the site of the Holy of Hollies. My consolation was that I merited to see the Heavenly Jerusalem, which always remained perfect and intact. My first contact with the Heavenly Jerusalem was at the age of forty, when my beloved wife persuaded me to go study in Yavneh, where the sages and scholars gathered. It was just as we were parting when the Gates of Heaven were opened for us and we both first saw the Heavenly Jerusalem. The vision of the Heavenly City never left me. I have completed my studies and students gathered to me. In a generation when the Aliyah Laregel - the pilgrimage to Jerusalem - was denied, I taught my students the secrets of the Aliyah - the ascent - to the Heavenly Jerusalem."
Begin: This is interesting. Also in my generation, the realizers of Zionism are those who make Aliyah; and our striving in the Jewish state are to encourage Aliyah. I myself have made Aliyah to Israel, but I have not seen the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Akiva: I can show you, just as I have shown my students.
(He motions to Begin to come near him and to look into his eyes. Within the huge eyes of Rabbi Akiva, Begin sees his own face reflected; when their foreheads touch, something breaks, and Begin hears the voice of Rabbi Akiva, hearing and not seeing him.)
Akiva: You must search now the Temple within yourself. Concentrate and observe the completed Temple.
(on the screen appears a small image of the Temple model from the Holy land Hotel. In parallel - on the farther corner - the image of the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock. Slowly the Dome draws near and covers the roof of the model in complete adjustment).
Akiva: We have just passed one of the greatest obstacles. Only when man understands that the Heavenly Jerusalem is built up of contrasts, and of the ability to harmonize them - he would be able to enter her.
(Begin enters the structure and looks at the dome from within. The dome splits open to become a firmament replete with stars, and Begin feels as if he is sucked in and reaches the firmament. Around him are lights, first dispersed and then gathering to shafts of light, which interlace to build a palace of lights. Begin enters the palace. He notices the floor. He wonders whether the floor is also built of twinkling lights, or these are light beams over waves of water).
Akiva: hold it here, do not act in haste. It is here that several of my mates who entered with me to the paradisiacal secrets went astray. They too thought that they saw water. Thought that this is the Torah, deeper than the ocean. Do not go by sense impressions. You will have to step upon the floor, become part of it, in order to understand its essence. Your whole soul will have to stand at this spot, until you will under-stand this matter.
(Begin hesitates, until he notices a point which does not move in front of his eyes. He focuses on that point. The point widens a bit. He notices that it has clear edges.)
Akiva: As a marble stone?
(Begin indeed realizes that he is standing upon a marble tile, one of the many tessellated tiles which comprise the floor of the palace).
Akiva: So have I. I could have lost my way in this palace, if I were not meticulous with the points at the top of the letters - and unless I followed the steps of Rabbi Ishmael. Because all the letters of the Torah sparkled from the edges of the marbles, were reflected and formed many shapes, posed countless combinations in front of my eyes. Not only genuine combinations, but also much chaos. But I was also led, I could follow the footsteps of Rabbi Ishmael who marched ahead simply. I trusted his judgement, but could also surpass and continue ever more to watch the lights, the glitters and sparkles of the pure marble stones.
Begin: Rabbi Ishmael was your guide......
Akiva: (ignoring the remark) So here you have found the place of your soul among the other souls of mankind. Each light sparkle is a soul, and when the redemption comes, we shall all be able to attend this place.
(Begin looks around him and does not notice any living soul.)
Akiva: This is the palace of the pure marble stones, where the soul can stay only in its most refined truth. Is there another soul truly connected to your truth?
Begin: My beloved wife.
Akiva: Only close souls - the gates of the Heavenly Jerusalem open to them together, and they can merit to experience together the vision of the celestial lights. I myself have also seen the Heavenly Jerusalem in the company of my wife, and of account of her merit. For many years she had to support me, so that I could sit at the feet of the sages. Time and again she sold her beautiful hair for my sake. We merited that common vision because the understanding between us remained and even grew in spite of the distance. All my understandings of the Torah are derivations of the understanding between us; and all that I have learnt was hers.
The Heavenly Jerusalem is none but the quality of Binah, of understanding. A whole city built of understandings. In the Time to Come, people who are far apart would be able to stay by each other's truth and to gain together the vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem, to come together to common and profound understanding in various matters. Not only the understanding between a man and a woman.
Begin now found for himself an occasion to start discussing the subject that really oppressed him. Following is a reconstructed protocol of the conversation between Menahem Begin and Akiva ben Yosef.
(C) The Hayut Foundation, P.O.B. 8115, Jerusalem 91080, Israel.
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