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Being As Low As the Heel

Topic: Well Being | Posted:August 13, 2014

The word used in this portion is ekev, which literally means “the heel.” What is the significance of that?

The Maor Vashemesh, one of the students of the Rav Elimelech of Lizhensk, talks about how powerful unity is; if you have a few people doing a spiritual action, it’s not comparable to many doing a spiritual action. Even if a soul as great as Rav Shimon bar Yochai did a spiritual action by himself, it would not compare to the Light revealed by a unified group of people whose souls are much less than his doing the same spiritual action.

It’s an unbelievable understanding that what the greatest soul in the world cannot do on his own can be done by the lowest souls if they have unity among them. But it goes even deeper than that. He says that when you have a group of people coming to reveal Light together, it’s important that each individual in that group does not view himself as a somebody, because the lower they view themselves and the less ego they have about themselves, the greater the Light that can be revealed through that unity. It’s important for every person in that unified group not to view themselves as being more important or greater than anybody else.

So, what is the consciousness that each individual has to have when we come together as a group to reveal Light? The thought has to be, “I hope that I am not going to diminish this unity. I hope that my negativity won’t damage this coming together.” As such, in order for the unity to truly be able to reveal Light, it’s not enough for them to come together, but it’s important that each individual in that group not see himself as being better or higher than anybody else, and one step further than this, to actually be of the understanding that he is probably the lowest of all this group. He has to hope that his darkness or lack won’t damage the unity that exists; every individual in the group needs to think in this way.

Now, who will be the channel for the greatest revelation from that group? If you look at the group as being a body, there are those who are the head, those who are the arms, the feet, and so forth. But it is the person who sees himself as the heel, ekev, the lowest part of the body, who is the one responsible for opening up the gates of blessings and abundance from above. The greatest Light is going to be revealed by the one person in that group who views himself as being the lowest of that group.

From this we gain an unbelievable, deeper understanding of not just the power of unity, but that the individual who will be responsible for the greatest revelation of Light will be the person from the group who views himself to be the lowest.

So, there are two prerequisites to a group being able to truly reveal Light. One is that when the individuals come together they not view themselves as being better or higher or more important than anybody else in that group. And second is that the person who will be the channel for the greatest revelation of Light is the person who views himself as the lowest… he is going to be the one to open up the flow of blessings and abundance for that group.

This is true not just when we come together for spiritual matters; it’s true in our family, in our work, etc. And so these two understandings that we want to gain on this Shabbat are one, that nothing in the world can bring as many blessings as unity. And, two, separate from that, is to know that when people come together in trying to reveal Light, trying to manifest blessings, it is going to be the person in that group who views himself as the lowest who’s going to be the conduit for the revelation of the greatest Light.

Therefore, every single one of us, when we find ourselves in different groups - whether it’s our family, our work, our spiritual group - we have to make sure that we are constantly of this consciousness of being the heel, the lowest. Because if we are constantly of this consciousness that greater than anything else a person can do is the knowing that we are not better than anybody else in the group, the knowing that the lower we can make ourselves in this group and the lower our ego is, then the more we can be a conduit of opening up blessings and sustenance.

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