There is something universal that we share in being alive, and that is being both made in the image of Hashem and having a physicality with an animalistic nature. If it were not for the gift of Torah, we would never know how to hunt for the knowledge we need in order to use our imagination in the way Hashem desires us to choose to use it – to serve Him by reflecting His Kindness and Mercy into the world, thereby uplifting the world despite the natural lower instincts.
Without Torah learning, there would not be a way to understand how Hashem creates the world and what He desires from us in terms of what we are to rise above. It is totally in our inner world that we make this choice. There is no one involved in the choice but ourselves based on our integrated understanding of what it is that Hashem desires from us in the moment in order to reflect His Mercy into the world. Much confusion was predicted by the natural forces who understood the struggle and how “easy” it would be to keep us busy with searching for happiness in worldly matters when Hashem made the world on the condition that He be concealed!! Yet it is not too hard, although it is a struggle that requires a lifetime to build learning, emunah, and practice with making free willed choices and striving for absolute truth instead of just the mighty truths of how to access the powers of nature to dominate the world.
Reading the explanation of the Sforno, we can find in our own makeup that personal imaginative switch that we fall for, because it is that place where our primal will became corrupted – trauma, environment, upbringing, pressures, education, role models and more can instill in us much that needs Torah wisdom in order to release the part of our soul that animates something below Torah standards. This is a universal challenge; however, rescuing the light from the shell of the kelipa is the way we earn eternity. If we remain as goodly people trying to make do without going for releasing our tzelem elokim from what traps it in the kelipas, who will uplift the world? We cannot give up and call the darkness light as long as we are succeeding in dominating the forces of nature, subjugating others out of their fear of being humiliated. These are the tactics of people who intentionally or unintentionally desire to protect themselves from damage by using wisdom of nature to acquire power and control. What is the measure of happiness?
Happiness is an experience of the soul when it learns Torah, prays fervently to Hashem, and emulates His 13 Attributes of mercy, thereby reflecting Him into this world. Because He is the only glory, there is no value nor is there any reality to anything that does not truly project Hashem’s image into the world over our natural image. We may or may not ever come to realize this truth, but Torah is there for us to learn in order to eventually project our eternal image, the one made in Hashem’s image, into the world. The reality that we do not experience this as happiness is because our happiness has been kidnapped by worldly matters of time and space. Yet we are wise enough to answer, is what we are doing really bringing us happiness, joy, and satisfaction that we believe will bring us eternal reward? Are we coping with life as best we can while keeping Torah or mitzvahs or are we effortfully involved in internalizing the ten commandments so that we grow each year more and more in projecting Hashem’s image into the world over our natural image? Striving for truth here is a good start. What does it mean to pass the mesorah on if the internal happiness that Torah provides us remains concealed? Shall we settle for counterfeit happiness in time and space because we don’t believe we can find the happiness and pleasure that Hashem designs us to experience in this world? Are we able to answer our inner urges with absolute Truth rather than creative imagination that can’t help but be biased, as the Sforno explains?
May we be aided by Hashem in our efforts to uplift our souls trapped in limiting beliefs and worldly matters. And may just wanting to make the effort create a light in the world to tip the scales for redemption bahava.
The more we hunt for the fingerprints of the voice of temptaion within our makeup, the more we see it as external to our tzelem elokim and the more ability we have to exercise emunah and free will when we are at a choice point so that our effort reflects Hashem’s image into the world. Those successes are triumph over the darkness that bring great light into the world. May we all grow stronger in the moments where we are faced with our souls trapped in the shell of evil, the kelipa noga, so that we may ask Hashem to please encompass it once again and return it to us so that we can enclothe it in our speech and deeds to reflect His Mercy and goodness into the world.