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Maavor Yabok On-Line Study Group
Sponsored by the Gamliel Institute of Kavod v’Nichum

Translated and Taught by Rabbi Steven Moss
© copyright Rabbi Steven Moss
Technical Facilitation by David Zinner

Historical Background and Overview

Rabbi Steven Moss and the Gamliel Institute of Kavod v’Nichum invite you to join our on-line discussion of Maavor Yabok, Crossing the Jabbok.

Maavor Yabok was authored Aaron Berechiah ben Moses of Modena and published in 1626 in Mantua Italy. Berechiah was among the students of the kabbalist Moshe Cordovero.

Maavor Yabok means “Crossing of Yabok” and comes from the well-known verse Gen. 32:23, “And he (Yaacov) rose that night, and took his two wives, and his two handmaids, and his eleven children, and passed over the ford of the Yabok.”  There are over 100 chapters in all the various sections of M.Y.

On page 17, Berechiah states that this work is a collection of various smaller works whose purpose is to allow those living in this world to pass to the next in order to be worthy of seeing the Divine face to face. Yabok is, for Berechiah, an acronym for the words “The unification, (Ha-Yichud), the Blessing (Ha-Berachah), and the Holiness (HaKedusha)” that summarize the rituals and meditations which bring the practitioner into the presence of G-d by convincing the “resurrector” to allow him/her to enter the next world.

Maavor Yabok is the primary source document for the Tefila (prayers) that are used by Chevra Kadisha groups and includes customs and rituals pertaining to the sick, dying, and dead, in the light of various cabbalistic texts. This class will be particularly helpful for Chevra Kadisha members who desire to know more about the origins and prayers of Tahara.

 

Suggested Study and List Procedures

The intention with this on-line study of Maavor Yabok is for you to react with the text. If you can use the Hebrew text along with the English, please do so. Any translation corrections are appreciated. All translations are the intellectual property of Rabbi Steven Moss and can only be reprinted with his permission.

Please respond to the list with your reactions as to chapter’s spiritual and practical meaning to you and for you. At the end of the translation, there are some questions for study and reflection. There are others you will think of as well. You can use them as a basis for your responses.

Before studying the text, take a few moments for reflection on the holiness of the text and the mitzvot involved with your Chevra Kadisha work.

Recite the Beracha for study, “Baruch atah HaShem Elokaymu melech haolam asher k’dashanu b’mitzvotav v’tzeevanu la-a-sok b’divray Torah. Amen.” Ask that your study and mitzvah work bring the Divine blessings from above into your life and the lives of those whom you are helping.

The first class begins in September 2003. Students may join or drop out at any time. To join, simply reply to this invitation. It is not necessary to complete any forms.

The class is organized around monthly topics. Participants will receive an e-mail with that month’s lesson. It will include the English translation and study questions. Hebrew text and English translation will be posted to the web site for viewing or printing.

During the month participants may send questions or comments to the entire group. Anyone on the list may respond to any question or comment. Write to the list at MaavorYabok@topica.com. Be careful and considerate when you make your response.

Please observe good list etiquette. No personal attacks. Do not acknowledge receipt of e-mails from the list. Double-check what you send to the list – the entire group will see everything that you write. We reserve the right to remove any participant from the list for bad behavior!

The class is free for the first year, however a donation to Kavod v’Nichum would be appreciated.  Again, welcome, and we look forward to studying and learning with you.

Chapter

Language

Title

Page

1a Hebrew Siftay Tzedek Rishon Nun Tet
1b Hebrew Siftay Tzedek RIshon Samech
1 English Lips of Righteousness – Chapter 1 MYE1
2 Hebrew Siftay Tzedek Sheni Samech2
2 Hebrew  Siftay Tzedek Sheni Samech Aleph
2 Hebrew Siftay Tzedek Sheni Samech Bet
2 English Lips of Righteousness – Chapter 2 MYE2
3 Hebrew Siftay Tzedek Shilshi Samech Bet 2
3 English Lips of Righteousness – Chapter 3 MYE3