Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted:February 24, 2016
In the portion of Ki Tisa, Moses goes up to the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights to receive the Tablets from the Creator, the Light that is called the Revelation of the Torah.
We know at a certain point the Israelites fall; it’s called the Sin of the Golden Calf. There is much explanation and discussion about exactly what happened, but regardless of the details, the Israelites came to a place where they were no longer able, or therefore, ready, to receive the perfect Light; they no longer had a vessel. And then Moses came down from the mountain and broke the Tablets.
So, if we are thinking about the story, it goes: the Creator gives Moses the Tablets, Moses comes down and discovers that the Israelites have fallen, Moses breaks the Tablets. But the kabbalists teach, and the Midrash tells us, that the Israelites fell even before the Tablets were given to Moses. But if the Israelites had already fallen in what’s called the Sin of the Golden Calf, before the Tablets were given, why did the Creator even give the Tablets? Maybe Moses didn’t know what was going to happen, but the Creator knew, even before He gave Moses the Tablets, that the Israelites had fallen. And He also knew that Moses was going to break the Tablets if the Creator gave them to him. So then, why did the Creator give Moses the Tablets?
What is the purpose of the Creator giving over the Tablets to Moses if He knows that a few minutes later Moses is going to break them?
When Moses prays to awaken mercy, to awaken the removal of judgment from the Israelites, he uses a prayer, a meditation, that is very powerful; one that we use ‘til this day. And it begins with the two words, Hashem, Hashem. Two mentions of the Tetragrammaton. Throughout the rest of this prayer, of what’s called the 13 Attributes of Mercy, 13 channels of bringing down mercy into this world, different words are used. But in the beginning, there is a repetition of the Tetragrammaton- Hashem, Hashem.
We know that Moses had a stutter, but that wasn't why this was written in the Torah twice, so the Talmud asks what is the purpose of repeating the Tetragtammaton, the name of God, twice? The Talmud tells us that it is because the Creator wanted to teach us that He is the same Creator before a person falls as He is after a person falls. The same revelation of Light represented by the first Tetragrammaton is equal to the second revelation of the Tetragrammaton, the Light of the Creator. Nothing has changed as far as the Creator is concerned; Hashem, Hashem – “I am the same God before and the same God after, regardless of what fall, sin, or negative action an individual has done.”
What is the secret of that statement? The answer is both beautiful and inspiring, and hopefully we can understand it and keep it in our mind.
We know how we view ourselves - and often our thoughts about ourselves change every day- but how does the Creator view us? The Creator, or what’s called the Endless Light, is above time, space, and motion. Because the essence of the Light of the Creator exists in the realm beyond time, as far as the Creator is concerned, the perfection that we will achieve at the time of what’s called the End of the Correction already exists. As far as the Creator is concerned, there is no sin and there is no falling, ever, and the state of perfection that we will all achieve already exists.
We live within the illusionary world of what’s called the Tree of Knowledge – Good and Evil, and we experience elevation and falling, sin, negativity, and darkness; however, as far as the Creator is concerned, we are seen as perfect all the time. Think about that for a moment. When the Creator looks at us, right now, He sees perfection. Because the fact that in this moment in time maybe we are not perfect doesn't influence the reality that we will come to perfection, and that perfection already exists in the place above time.
We asked why the Creator gave Moses the Tablets after the Israelites sinned; did He know that Moses was going to go down and discover that the Israelites had fallen, and therefore have to break the Tablets? The answer is that the Creator doesn’t see sin. He doesn’t see falling. He doesn’t see darkness. As far as the Creator is concerned, there is one line of perfection; when the Creator looked at the Israelites, after the Golden Calf, He still saw perfection.
But the Israelites saw themselves as having fallen. Had they not seen themselves as having fallen, had they been able to hold on to what Rav Brandwein calls the borrowed vessels of perfection, they could have received the Tablets as Moses came down… even after they fell. But they fell to where all of us fall, all the time - to thoughts of imperfection. The Creator sees us as perfect, always. And if we are able to be in that same space as the Creator, and see ourselves as perfect, we receive all the Light. The only reason we are restricted in the Light that we receive is because we don't see ourselves as perfect.
That's the secret of Hashem, Hashem; “I am God before you sin, I am God after you sin.” It is the same Light. As far as the Creator is concerned, there is no sin or imperfection. In the Torah there’s a verse that says, “The Creator sees no sin, the Creator sees no falling.” Now we understand what that means. The Creator sees us, right now, as perfect. If we are able to understand that, if we are able to receive that, then we have the vessels of perfection now, and we can receive the Light of Perfection now.
Right now, the Creator sees every single one of us as perfect. And if we are able to touch that reality, if we see that reality, we receive the perfect Light right now. One of the great gifts that Moses and the Creator give us on this Shabbat is - Hashem, Hashem; to understand that there is no difference in the Creator’s perception, the Creator’s Light, the Creator’s view of us, ever. It is only we who view ourselves as sinners, who view ourselves as having fallen, who view ourselves as having done something negative, and in so doing, make it so that we can’t receive the Light now.
But we have to keep reminding ourselves that the reason why the Creator gave Moses the Tablets after the Israelites sinned was because the Creator doesn’t see sin. And what we have to do is start seeing ourselves now as the Creator sees us now, to see ourselves as perfect, to see our perfection now. And through that consciousness, we are able to have a vessel for the complete revelation of the Light of the Creator.
It’s true that within the illusion of this world, within the illusion of the Tree of Knowledge – Good and Evil, we have fallen. But that’s all illusion. That is not where the Creator is, and it’s not where we need to be. If we are able to connect to how the Creator sees us – which is perfect, right now – then we have the vessel that can receive the Perfect Light, right now. We can receive on this Shabbat both an appreciation in understanding how the Creator sees us, and the gift to truly be able to see ourselves as the Creator sees us… as perfect. And when we truly see ourselves in that way, we can receive the perfect Light - the Light of the End of the Correction, the Light of Immortality.