Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:December 24, 2013
There is an ancient book that many people do not know about called Perek Shirah - the Book of Song, or the Chapter of Song. The Ari, Rav Isaac Luria, explains that everything in this world – animals, humans, and vegetation - has an angel that is the conduit for its Light. And every day, in order for these animals or trees to get their energy, they have to connect to a certain verse. And the verse for every single animal is revealed in the Chapter of Song.
The Ari says that if a person meditates and reads this book with the consciousness that as they are saying these verses they are drawing down the Light to the angel above each one of these categories of creation, he awakens that Light, and he receives from that Light. There are great blessings, the Ari tells us, that come to an individual who says it every day.
Our sages taught us that when King David finished the revelation of the Book of Psalms – we know that the Book of Psalms is one of the greatest revelations to come down to this world, and has many secrets and much Light in it - he felt good, he was happy with his accomplishment. In a section from the beginning of the Chapter of Song, King David asks the Creator if there is any animal that He has created in this world who appreciates or has done more for the Creator than King David has done through his Book of Psalms. At that moment, a frog comes by and tells David not to get too excited, not to think so much of himself. The frog tells him, “What I do, what I say, is greater than anything you have said in all the Book of Psalms. What I pray is more than you do. I focus my life on a great connection, more than you will ever do. Do you know what I do with my life?” the frog asks King David, “There are animals that can only survive by eating me, the frog. And therefore, I am prepared for that animal to eat me in order for it to survive.”
That is the consciousness of the frog; the frog knows that there are animals that need to survive, and the only way for them to survive is by eating, and clearly killing, the frog. The frog is willing to give up its life for the other animal. And we see this in the portion of Va’era. The frogs, it says, jumped into the ovens. They were willing to give up of themselves for others to live; to assist the Israelites in Egypt, they jumped into the ovens.
Interestingly, the verse the frog says in the Perek Shirah, the Chapter of Song, is a verse that we say silently after the saying of the Sh’ma. It is: baruch shem kevod malchuto le’olam va’ed. Literally it means, “Blessed is the name of the Creator forever.” What is the secret of that verse?
The kabbalists teach that there are two types of certainty, two types of consciousness that pervade our world. One is called, in the words of the Zohar, general certainty, which means we know that in general terms we were created by the Creator, and there is a purpose for our lives. That is general certainty, and is revealed through the verse Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad. That is the consciousness that most of us have - a general sense of the Creator.
But then there is the reality that does not exist for most of us, the consciousness of Mashiach, the consciousness of the time of the End of the Correction. The consciousness that every single thing that happens to me in my life, every single thing that somebody does, is the Light of the Creator; we all know this on some level, but none of us live it. None of us have that true certainty. Therefore, why is the first verse of the Sh’ma Yisrael said out loud, and the second one quietly? Because the second one is not a truth for us, it is not a truth in this world. And so we whisper it.
The frog’s prayer, baruch shem kevod malchuto le’olam va’ed, is a prayer that can only be achieved by what’s called mesirut nefesh, doing your work by pushing yourself to give up of yourself. We cannot achieve the consciousness of the frog, we cannot achieve the consciousness of the End of the Correction – which is complete certainty about everything – unless we are pushing ourselves proactively in the uncomfortable.
And therefore the frog comes to King David and says it is great that you are revealing tremendous Light in this world, but you have not yet, and certainly the world has not yet, achieved the consciousness of complete certainty. And you, King David, and the world, will never achieve that consciousness unless you are consistently pushing yourselves in spiritual work in ways of difficulty.
That is really the secret of how we are going to bring about the End of the Correction. Nothing else. The only work that will bring about the End of the Correction is work that is done with the consciousness of the frog, with mesirut nefesh, work that is done when we push ourselves in those difficult times. And what happens when you do that work? You steal away sparks of Light from the Negative Side. Every action of mesirut nefesh, every action we do of a spiritual connection of sharing that is done with discomfort, steals away one more spark of Light from the Negative Side.
It is through those sparks of Light that we steal from the Negative Side, bit by bit, that the End of the Correction will come. And how do we steal sparks of Light? Through work that is done with mesirut nefesh, with the consciousness of the frog.