We are created for the delight of experiencing the simcha of bringing Hashem’s Goodwill into the world. Yet that simcha which is present each time we fulfill a commandment may or may not be felt in our hearts and our boides. Immediately we see the paradox of life that has been given to us in order that we not only have real free will, such that Hashem does not force us to serve Him,but so that we, by choosing to keep the mitzvahs and ;pursue connection with Hashem while we are alive, in a paradox, we are accepting Hashem’s plan for us to participate in a creative act of our own identity as a creator of our eternity.
Now that is a mouthful.
Let’s face the facts. Hashem is doing everything. He loves us. He flows life force to us from which we are able to have a lifespan, intellect, and an individual unique mission within the mission of klal Yisrael, which is Torah avoda, chesed and mitzvahs.
There are a few things we need to understand about Torah, however, to comprehend WHY Hashem wants us to flow our life force into learning, chesed, prayer and mitzvahs.
Torah is the vessel Hashem has designed in order to provide a pathway for holy sparks to flow from chaos into this world as revealed Light. There is an actual purpose to the creation all together, which is for Hashem to dwell in this world in a manner where this world will continue to be visible.
Within the material of this world, Hashem places a life force that is emanating from Him into a physical body that is formed from the plane of existence of nature. We are composed of water (liquid), wind (gas), earth (solid) and fire (radioactive) atomic particles, yet His Strength (compassion) is the bonding force of every atom.
What can we expect from ourselves, made from such atomic particles in a world where our intellect develops before we can ever know that Hashem is doing everything? How can we come to naturally experience in our hearts and bodies a simchas shel mitzvahs? Can it be really felt? How can we be expected to want it more than our creature comforts?
Hashem places an emanation from Himself into a body and gives us the Torah with which to struggle with this choice, for our entire lifetime. It is the avoda of moving from one plane, the plane of our natural experiences, to another plane, the plane of Torah, avoda, chesed, and mitzvahs, that He desires, for this is the design for how the hidden sparks of chaos return to Him and then flow through us into the world through our choice to do mitzvahs.
Thus, our moment to moment experience is the paradox of feeling ourselves and our own comforts, goals, happiness and enjoyment versus feeling a yearning for simchas shel mitzvahs with trust that Hashem Who is doing everything also knows how to comfort us and bring us happiness on the natural plane of existence. He knows and He is the only Source for these to come to us, for He is the first cause and the only effect on everything in His Creation.
The benefit of submission to going to emunah in order to act for the joy of simchas shel mitzvahs is that we actually become independent agents in the process – not independent of Hashem, but rather independent from human nature, from the gravitational downward pulls dragging us into feeling ourselves so much that we begin to think we must find solutions within nature because that is all there is, chas v’shalom. Despite how goodly we build our societies, without the intention of our efforts being to reach out for the end of the paradox, meaning to break out of the plane of natural existence in a run and return that emits a holy spark of light from the world of chaos back to Hashem so that the elements, water wind and fire may shine in this world without deficiencies, all we will see in the world is a reflection that includes deficiencies.
It is easy to comprehend what that looks like…every day we are seeing and hearing things that cause us to remark about how could that happen?
What if we truly understand that our every moment matters and creates an imprint, a positive or a negative influence, that Hashem then uses within the creation?
Imagine if we could take our worst pains and turn them into love and light.
Imagine if we could break out of our most troubling patterns and begin to feel calm and confident that we both have love and can give love?
There is a river of love flowing to us. It is called our life force. We have consciousness and an experience of life because Hashem is lending life to us and giving us consciousness. He is giving us a body and all the means to exist in this world and He is asking us to see that the life force is used to do mitzvahs, to pray, to do acts of kindness, and to learn Torah so that His Plan of flowing the sparks from chaos into this world can come to fruition through our love for Him, our awe in the design, and our free willed choice..
Now imagine that as that life force comes to us, there are three “leaks” that want that life force to flow into the darkness rather than into Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs.
“How about a little more to eat first” (Am I truly hungry or am I listening to a message that is interested in my life force for its sake rather than for the sake of mitzvahs?)
“How about a short nap beforehand?” ( Am I truly tired or am I listening to a message that is interested in my life force for its sake rather than for the sake of mitzvahs? )
“How do you know what you are going to do will be appreciated?” (Am I truly interested in serving Hashem or am I interested in honor and ego pleasure ? )
“She did what? And you are going along with that? ” (Am I judging and condemining another with destructiveness in my heart or giving the benefit of the doubt and making a decision based on my relationship with Hashem?)
“So and so already did that very well and you are copying!” (Is my motivation out of jealousy or to increase warmth and light in the world? )
All of these messages and more crop into our thinking in order to “trap” our life force in the plane of jealousy, lusts, desires, urges, craving for honor, and creature comforts, fire, water, wind and earth. These are the deficiencies introduced into our consciousness from having ingested from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, deficiencies that, without knowing Hashem is doing everything, form togehter are our and everyone’s natural identity and ego.
Let us receive every moment asking ourselves whether our heart is pointed towards simchas shel mitzvahs and serving Hashem or whether our heart is pointed towards choices that we believe will bring about the feeling of ourselves that “make sense” on a plane of human nature. How? What is the hashgacha of the thought, emotion, or motivation – feeling ourselves or flowing light into the plane of existence of Torah?
If we try to make this choice intellectually, we run up against the subconscious that is far from sincere in its yearning for anything except feeling itself. This is our struggle, our paradox, the focus of our efforts. In hisbodedus, we bring out these thoughts and urges and, rather than accommodate them, we speak to them lovingly and point out how Torah really will work much better for its goals – why? Hashem is the first cause and the only effect. He is doing everything.
Recognizing our deficiencies is exactly what Hashem wants from us. He knows they are there. He designs them and places our soul there IN ORDER for us to tell Him about it and that we want His Light to flow into the world without these deficiencies we are confessing to. “I will lift them up because they know My Name.” The release of the life force from the deficiencies that then happens brings to our hearts simchas shel mitzvahs. And we can have more and more, each time.
We have real free will, emunah, an ability to sniff out the simchas shel mitzvahs, and the Torah to teach us.
Best we can do is run and return with this, but doing so gives our soul the experience of truly creating and being like Hashem and with Hashem.