KABBALAH means receiving. It means taking in the spiritual energy coming down. It means doing nothing active.
This week’s Torah portion presents the purest opposite: creating something from nothing. Via a neder (“vow”), a person can actually create a piece of Torah. A neder is doing something active to the highest degree. Here, we must expel “vow,” the best available translation of neder — but not good enough.
To unfold all this, we turn to the Torah commentary of Shlomo Carlebach.
The revolutionary of Jewish music, Carlebach is lesser known as a scholar. In fact, he was a master interpreter of the Torah, albeit in his unscholarly idiom. Another singer, Shlomo Katz, has begun to publish Carlebach’s Torah commentary, with two volumes out on Genesis (Urim).