Sometimes we really appreciate a map. It is really easy to take a wrong turn and end up some place we don’t know. We think we know how to get back, but we often get farther into the wrong direction.
There is a force in the world, the Soton, whose purpose is destruction. The force takes order to disorder.
There is a counterforce in the world, the Torah, whose purpose is to show us how to use free will to not only steer past the destructive forces in the world, but to actually weaken them giving mankind more and more the ability to use free will to manifest and aggrandize Hashem. Torah helps us take the blindfolds off our soul.
When we have emunah to know that everything, including us, is but a garment over the One Who exists, we are able to work within that framework with trust despite how we may be feeling drawn towards natural urges that Hashem permits us to choose but which add layers of darkness over awareness of His Love.
The foundation of understanding that there is Hashem and no other, that He is One, is crucial to our navigating the human nature He gives us for the purposes of giving us free will. With that free will, we do battle clinging to Him so that the lens of our life – thoughts speech and deeds – reveals Hashem’s Love rather than the destructive goals of the wrecking ball Soton.
Buried in our human nature are high holy sparks from the 974 generations that preceded these 26 generations, from the world of tohu that shattered and broke and fell into this world. These holy sparks have no voice of their own or ability to reach this world except through our thoughts, speech and deeds. Where shall they land? Shall these high holy sparks of kedusha continue to be trapped and give expression to what conceals Hashem and gives strength to the wrecking ball or is there something we are able to do that will give expression to their kedusha and blessing and healing?
We often overlook redeeming these sparks as important at all. It does not naturally occur to us to think in that direction. Only by learning Torah do we have a way to comprehend what Hashem desires from us.
When we are able to reconnect these sparks by garmenting them in tangible thought speech and deed, we are actually emitting a flow of healing and blessing and light in the world, as these are their expression as divine sparks when not hidden and concealed by human nature. The place where this transformation takes place is in our hearts and the quality that makes the transformation possible is love for Hashem that we experientially arouse simultaneously as we experience the constrictions.
These same hidden sparks naturally grab our thoughts and try to get our attention. We hear only our thoughts and, if we have not integrated these Torah principles, we – instead of working to redeem the sparks from human nature – often go towards destructive actions that we think will keep us from the negative thoughts we might be experiencing or solve the challenging situation in which we find ourselves or help us reach what appears to be a good goal, even though we might “step” on others.
The master over human nature is the Soton who is the destroyer. Thus, when we have an urge to hurt, or to do something we believe will bring about the correct outcome but will cause some type of pain or discomfort to another, we must first honestly consider whether what we are doing is listening to a rationalization that is telling us a wrecking ball is the best approach in the situation. If when we reflect, as the brothers are criticized for not doing more deeply in the sale of Yosef, that should tip us off that something else is needed – namely releasing a holy spark from deep within so that its energy can instead be expressed as healing and blessing.
May these words inspire us when we are upset with each other, to find the place within us that is burning, see the holy sparks that need to be released, and then ask Hashem to please take them and return them to the world as healing and blessing for the situation. When we do so, we basically strip off the garment of human nature and put on the energy Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy. Speaking and acting from this place will be experienced by others as warmth and love and concern. We have used our free willed choice. Hashem does the rest.
Love of Hashem is the active heartfelt emotion that creates within the heart the atmosphere in which the spark is returned to Hashem.
Proper fear of Hashem keeps our mind from letting the sparks grab our thoughts and running to put on garments of speech and action that reveal the wrecking ball rather than Hashem’s kedusha.
Once we neutralize the negative urge to use the wrecking ball, we have subdued something far beyond ourselves, cutting back the influence of the Soton, not only in ourselves, but in the world. From there, we as well as others have more of a chance to reach for something that will aggrandize Hashem’s love and existence over our natural urges.
May these words help anyone who is struggling to find inner connection and be someone who reveals more and more (rather than concealing) Hashem’s light into the world.