Tomorrow is Rosh Chodesh, 3o Kislev on Monday and 1 Teves on Tuesday
In 11 days it will be the 10th of Teves, the day that Hashem determines if this is the year that we will be redeemed. We want Hashem to look into the world on that day and see that we are indeed meritorious as the generation to be redeemed, based on a true reality that we are switching our operating systems to redeeming ourselves from where our neshamas have become trapped in persuasive and powerful realities that are inherently false.
We are half way through Chanukah and our opportunity to express gratitude and thanks that Hashem accepted our return to serving Him at the time of the Greeks’ defilement of the temple, which He showed not only by saving us from the hands of the Greek army but which He showed us by performing a miracle with the vessel of oil lasting for 8 days. This miracle, which was one of many open miracles common to the Bais HaMikdosh, was an immediate reply telling the Jewish people that we had succeeded in breaking open the darkness that Hellenistic thinking had trapped us in and restored ourselves to Nishmas Am Yisrael, that we had done the effort and our relationship with Hashem, by yearning for it and working for it, that we were told we had been seen in Shemayim as sincere and hard-working, showing mesiras nefesh and love and awe of Hashem, reaching ein od milvado consciousness that cracked the darkness and allowed a drop of light in, and therefore could experience the miracle and the pleasure of connection for which we are designed.
The Maccabees did not sit pondering the oneness of Hashem. They worked on themselves to remove the lies and deceitfulness that Hellenistic culture had seduced the Jewish people with. How did they do this?
What is it that we busy ourselves with? Dependency needs being filled, gratifying our desires, communicating our resentments in order that the ones we turn to take responsibility and conform themselves to our list of expectations, seeking honor and respect. That is a short list. The more we indulge the body and its pleasure-seeking nature, comfort, eating, intimacy and more, the stronger the structure that captures our neshama which also traps the Shechina that goes into galus with it. To the degree that our neshama becomes trapped there, the strength of our reactions when we experience an affront to our ego or entitlements is very great. When that happens, we feel angry or afraid. What pulses that is trapped neshama, neshama trapped in mental structures that are based in time and space and the intellect that does not acknowledge that there is a higher Being with whom the Jewish people are designed to have a relationship with.
Our relationship with Hashem is intended to be one where our pulling back our earthly concerns in favor of learning Torah, fervent prayer and emulating His 13 attributes of mercy results in the descent from above of light and warmth and positive influence in the world.
In a world where dependency needs, gratification, resentment, honor and respect are giving forth firy and passionate actions, like match sticks aflame and burning out, it becomes clearer and clearer that we must turn our eyes upwards, where our eyes belong, in search of the Source of all vitality. With emunah and bitachon, we arouse love in our hearts and awe in how Hashem has made the world, for us to see and experientially understand that our neshama must be in relationship with Hashem and emulate His 13 attributes of mercy in order to draw the light and warmth of life into the world. Without the end of days scenarios we are seeing, of murder and intimidation, how would we ever feel motivated to divest ourselves of the false structures that ego and power and gratifications present as alternative life styles to Torah? Yet it must be coming into focus for everyone, not only for Jewish people, that something has gone awry with focusing on what is natural, the satisfaction of dependency needs, the fulfillment of gratifications, the demands for honor and respect. For the true being, the neshama, that Hashem creates is contained in a body that is easily shepherded out of its survival instincts into serving false structures.
In order to pull ourselves out, the neshama and its connection to Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy must become our primary identity and our daily work is to free it from the clutches of the mental structures that imprison it, even if it seems as though doing so will cause us to lose our lives or more. And it may. But the effort to purify ourselves creates redemption and salvation for us for all eternity and hopefully for lives of pleasure as we serve Hashem sincerely. There is no Glory in the world other than Hashem.
Where will we go if mankind traps itself in fear of the fiercest powers?
Hashem is not fierce. He is the ultimate in love and kindness. We are made in His Image. We have real free will to choose our identity. It is not the intelligence of the natural self with which we can understand that happiness comes from learning Torah, fervent prayer and emulating His 13 attributes of mercy. The intelligence of the natural self helps us find lost objects, drive cars, invent practical machinery and more. But there is another intelligence that we must hunt for. We hunt for higher intelligence by committing to attach our imagination only to cling to tolerating insult, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind inherent in being a soul in a body, forgiving, and casting sins in the sea. We choose to attach imagination to Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy over the natural urges, and slowly we begin to see a higher intellect come into our consciousness as we experience more calmness and clarity.
The fear and anger we step over, the forgoing of entitlements that the ego whispers in our ears, the tolerating of insults to the respect we feel is due to us, and the patience with the confusion of mind that is rampant in a world where Hashem allows Himself to be trapped by our choices are the fuel that can be redeemed, fuel with which we can light a new light with the sparks of emunah from the embers of Yaakov;s compassion to arouse love and awe of Hashem through Torah learning and fervent prayer and emulating His 13 Attributes of mercy.
When we tap into this source of fuel within us, we are able to have the relationship with Hashem that He constructs mankind for, and we can experience once again happiness in the moment, a fulfillment of our dependency needs, a sense of clarity and calmness despite what is going on around us even if heaven forbid we are asked to make the ultimate sacrifice of our lives. When we are willing to be mesiras nefesh and utilize ourselves in totality to learn Torah, pray fervently and emulate His 13 attributes of mercy, the results are up to Hashem. It is a divine promise that one who comes to purify himself will be helped. Torah is true and all its paths are peace and pleasurable. May our efforts soon bring a new light of redemption and salvation, of love and kindness, of sanity and an understanding of true reality with the coming of Moshiach.