As we enter into the last days of Succos with Shabbos and Hoshana Rabba and then Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, my heart is full of gratitude for the shiurim and Torah teachers of the world, especially the ones I listen to regularly.
When I first started learning, I heard of the idea of getting closer to Hashem. Over time, my understanding has shifted in what this means.
I think the most valuable thing about the journey that I am on is that although it is incremental in every moment, to bring ourselves closer to Hashem, for every incremental step there is a crucial ingredient. Just to move even a microscopic step requires tremendous emunah. Why? BECAUSE ALL THERE IS IN THE WORLD IS HASHEM AND HE IS THE ONE WITH ALL THE POWER. WE CANNOT MOVE EVEN A MICROSCOPIC STEP WITHOUT HIS HELP.
That is, we have the will to cry out to Him to please help us with the veil that we see is blocking us. If we are sincere and truly understand our responsibilities and are able to beseech Him in the moment of our challenges with understanding and emunah, our prayer creates the possibility for transformation from an unrectified habit and pattern to something that is more likely to reveal Hashem’s attributes, namely our essence that is made in His Image.
When we truly see ourselves in a new light, not as the physical creation but as our will to be “transfer stations” we can pray in the moment in a way that helps us to truly be closer to Hashem as a channel to reveal Him.
Talk about being involved all day long with something we love, we can be involved all day long loving Hashem and crying out at our behira points and loving our lives no matter what because we are serving Hashem.
Undertanding how this rectifies our confusion about honor becomes important. Most of the time our will is associated with bringing honor and benefit to ourselves, not to Hashem. When we truly understand that the only Being with any value or honor is Hashem, that fact helps us sort through our challenges and take our next step toward unifying our soul – uplifting our lower soul through our emunah – to the reality of the higher soul. This avoda takes stamina and trust in the truest of all realities, which is that there is Hashem and No Other Power.
The degree to which we can overcome our blockages through activating compassion upon the part of us that is trapped in the darkness of our false beliefs, that effort to overcome is our avodas Hashem. We have no control over the outcome, nor do we know what will happen in the reel to reel experience of time and space. The effort itself is the avoda. There is a leap of emunah and bitachon that is required. Hashem is real. Tap into the system and see for yourself. He loves us dearly and although we do not know what will happen next, we serve Him from love and that is the best avoda.
We can receive the events of our life and use them to transform our souls into something that comes closer in service to Hashem, the reason we are created, to be a channel through which Hi Compassion can be seen by our free will choice to fulfill His Vision through mitzvah and through tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind, forgiving and casting sins into the sea over our natural urges for directing our energy to our own honor and values and self-oriented survival instincts. We are here to erase the veils over the pure compassionate inner essence hidden under the flow of life, all the veils that lean us towards honor, power, ego, and more. We do this by crying out to Hashem showing Him we recognize our shortcomings and asking that we not be naturally drawn down but rather closer to Him.
May our effort to do this bring light to all our lives, our communities, and to the world with the recognition that He is the Merciful All Powerful King.