When we watch a playoff game, or any team sport, when the “home team” wins, everyone in the stands feels like they themselves won. It feels like -because it is the home team, then everyone in the whole hometown can take credit – each one is the winner. It is fun to watch the game and see the home team ahead….we feel more confident and happy! For a moment, or a day even. Or maybe for longer. But eventually it wears off.
What pursuing holiness means is to bring a joy that does not only not wear off, but continues for all eternity. When we remember in this world of time and space that there is Hashem Who is One and who is all that lives, all that exists, all that has power, and fills all the worlds, and we are grateful to Him even when we experience moments of challenge, anger, fear, resistance, failure, loss, despair, poverty, illness and the variations thereof, we are making out of the material of our lives and circumstances a completeness to our soul and to the world. We all have deficiencies, some of us more than others. Many of us have had obstacles added to our paths, such as abuse, neglect, ridicule, improper and unhealthy upbringings, and more. What does NOT change, however, is that we have the potential to develop a relationship with Hashem through which we can complete our soul and the world. Why? The reason is because WE do not create the completion, Hashem does. We merely TRY to make the completion!! This is urgently important to understand because many times we give up. When it comes to spirituality, we are trying to bring out a reflection of Hashem over our natural reactions and conditioning. In order to reach our hearts, we learn Torah and use the wisdom of Hashem to help us attach our imagination to Torah. That imagination then creates thoughts from the lovingkind pathways of the Torah that, if Hashem finds us sincere, can influence our hearts for improvement and completion.
Having the emunah becomes the key ingredient. So it is imperative to understand that we automatically have it from being alive, because at all times our soul that is attached to Hashem and knows it is vitalizing us. We may not sense it at all though. It may be completely silent in the face of our conditioning and circumstances. This is why learning Torah is taught as the antidote to our inclinations toward the “me” perspective, towards our animalistic natural urges. When we learn Torah and speak Torah and pray, we bring Torah to the intellectual part of our mind and can visualize an alternative to the images that our natural imagination pastes together from its limited sampling of life. Yet most of us for most of our lives are locked into that imagery and it is really a miracle when Hashem helps our heart let go and instead we experience the pleasure of what it means to be connected to Him, recognizing our nothingness, nullifying everything that we thought we were, our firstborn child – our ego, our natural sense of identity as independent and necessary.
We want a new light in the world because it will be a utopia. But it won’t be like the home team winning. Each one of us must be on a path to recognize the truth and make a sincere effort to affect our hearts. Just trying is enough, because success is up to Hashem, but try we must. The area of trying needs to be in this area of realizing the opportunity in every moment, even terrible moments, to seek out Hashem and turn the powerful images we naturally experience into powerful actions that reveal compassion and mercy and love and Torah, emulating Him – connecting to the Only Being that actually exists and lives. No person is without imperfections. The design of man is to be imperfect and lacking so that we participate in our own completion and the completion of the world through the holiness we can generate. When our hearts know this is true deeply, our hearts let go of the imagery that is focused on “me” and move towards aggrandizing and emulating Hashem, connecting ourselves to the truth.
We are not really losing anything in the world of time and space should we choose to shift to this way of thinking. Doing so is a teshuva that we will never regret.
And may a new light shine in the world and each of us be grateful that we remembered while we have free will to make this shift and affect our very hearts.