It is a seeming contradiction yet it shows who we are and what our soul has come to fulfill.
On the one hand, Hashem is doing everything.
On the other hand, He gives us real free will.
Surely our speech and deeds have an influence in the world.
From our perspective, our influence upon the world appears to be for the sake of the world. We are here to repair the world, tikun olam. Yet there is something that does not really work out there because we are involved only with effort. Hashem is in charge of success. Thus, our measure of influence cannot be based on something that He does!
Our measure of influence must be measured based on what WE do.
In Rabbi Genuth’s Faith and Confidence class through Patreon, he shares that Hashem has written a book called the world and the main character is Moshiach. He explains that Hashem contracted Himself and brought in one ray of light from which everything receives its vitality. This one ray of light gives each of us a nefesh elokis, a spark of Hashem, that is able to effect a repair upon the tzimzum by converting the darkness into light. When we issue forth a spark of kedusha from the constriction to a revealed light, it is added to the light from which Hashem fashions the soul of the Moshiach. He explains that this means in every moment, we are cycling with our challenges towards a purpose of releasing kedusha from where it is constricted.
There is a constant tension between our sense of lacking and the meaning we ascribe to having or not having that seems to prey on our thoughts. By so occupying our minds, our soul is engaged in thinking about the circumstances and physicality rather than thinking about releasing kedusah from constriction to revealed light.
Part of the reason this happens is that we have no idea how to release kedusha from constriction to revealed light any more than we know how our liver is doing right now.
Yet we do not know how our liver functions and it does. Likewise, we do not need to know how Hashem activates our nefesh elokis to release kedusha from constriction to revelation – we merely trust that it is built for that repair.
It is up to us, then, to find the role that we play in activating that repair process.
The role we play is using our real free will.
When we see how our minds spin in the darkness and how futile it is, we pray to Hashem sincerely that we do not want our life force to feed the darkness. we want neither the outcome of pursuing our urges nor the pleasures of it. Instead, we will to go above our natural thinking. We wish to have compassion upon the kedusha that is in our thinking itself, to which painful messages attach and keep us twisting between what we lack and how that feels.
There is an important component to our thinking – and that is the recognition that its intensity is powered by Hashem because there is no other power. When we bounce between our lacks and how that feels and what we lack and what that means for us, and we make an effort to cry out to Hashem and realize He is the Source of our challenge, we are opening up that vortex of thinking to receive the kedusha in a revealed form.
The beginning of wisdom is awe of Hashem.
Hashem’s love surrounds us. He inverts His Love so that Infinite light is available to us to absorb into our hearts and enclothe in our speech and deeds. Yet it requires us to extract that kedusha. How? We need to identify it within our nature. That is where the kedusha that we uniquely may bring from darkness to light is embedded. The kedusha is not in the circumstance. It is in our internal reaction to what is happening that we are able to exercise real free will and love Hashem and relate to Him. We have the opportunity in these moments to bring love into the four foundations of earth wind water and fire. And this is the repair our soul is built to do. When we submit our hearts and confess with sincerity the truth of our despair and craving for adoration, we are describing to Hashem the natural locations where the kedusha is found so that it may be released and ascend through our submission to His Kingship, to malchus, with humiilty and gratitude for releasing a spark towards its Source. Each one of us is an important character in the book Hashem has written because each of us is constructed with these blinding veils that conceal the kedusha.
It is an act of compassion to share how we are built. We have a part of our soul that is so pure it is not enclothed within our will, affected by the corruptions to that will. In that pure part of our soul, the kedusha that feels like pain to us is experienced in truth as Hashem’s love. Hashem is passing kedusha to us in an inverted way in order that we receive it and repair it by restoring it to Him through enclothing it in mitzvahs, learning, or acts of kindness. In so doing, Infinite light comes into the world.
This means we need emunah to trust that we were shown to know that Hashem is One. Soon we will say naaseh v’nismah. Let us say it with this comprehension of what we are to know and return to our heart, that He is One and His Name One.