Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:October 15, 2012
As we enter the new year and have made so many spiritual connections from Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah, we have filled our spiritual bank accounts with Light although sometimes we don't physically feel it right away.
As we begin to focus our spiritual work for the new year it is important to understand how we connect with true blessings, Light and fulfillment.
It's true that when we study and connect we have some connection to the Light of the Creator, but the purpose of our study and connection with Kabbalah should be the ultimate connection with the Light of the Creator and the ultimate fulfillment that comes with that connection.
It is impossible to make a true connection with the Light of the Creator, in great or small ways, which are not preceded by an experience that makes it clear that we will never have a true connection.
Only when we come to a place of feeling, understanding or being shown—for whatever reason—that we cannot have a true connection to the Light of the Creator and we continue to push further anyway can we actually merit a true connection.
There is a story in the Zohar about Rav Chiya, who wanted a renewed connection with his teacher Rav Shimon Bar Yochai after Rav Shimon departed our world. Rav Chiya went through great effort to establish this renewed connection—fasting for 40 days—and when his request was not granted, continuing to fast for another 40 days, even though it was revealed to him that his request was impossible. After learning this Rav Chiya had a choice to make; does he give up or does he push further knowing it's not going to happen. And only because he pushed beyond this moment of impossibility did he receive the revelation of his teacher Rav Shimon Bar Yochai.
Rav Ashlag explains that our spiritual work can be compared to a ladder with ten rungs. We work very hard to climb the first rung and it gets difficult. We climb the second and it gets more difficult and with each new rung there are new difficulties and challenges. When we reach the ninth rung, we have gone through so much and we look around and see there's nothing there. Rav Ashlag says that we don't know it yet, but if we push to the tenth rung, suddenly we will see everything. What happens to most of us is that we go to the second, third or fourth rung and we don't see it yet. Yes we'll see little things, but as Rav Ashlag makes clear, the only time we will receive true revelation, true connection or true Light is in the moments after we think it's impossible, at the moments after we have come to a place where either from external reasons or internal reasons we think we can't go any further and then it becomes revealed. True Light, true revelations, true blessings, true connection and true wisdom will never come to us with difficult work. It will come to us after the point at which we have the ability—and really, the logical reason—to give up. That last door that closes which gives us all the right, logical reasons to say it's not going to happen and never the less we push through it—that is when true Light, true growth, true wisdom and true fulfillment occur.
If we really want to achieve the connection and fulfillment and light we desire for this new year, we have to know that there are times when everything tells me to give up in small or great ways. It is only when we push beyond these moments that the true light and fulfillment will come to us.
Blessings and Light,