Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:March 9, 2016
The Israelites see Moses as God, and they need rules, they need somebody to tell them what to do, they need nature; they couldn't live in a realm where nothing is clear about what follows or what comes next. The purpose of the Golden Calf, therefore, was to have something to tell them what to do and create some form of nature or clarity for them. They couldn't comprehend what it would mean to live with Moses not there and nothing else guiding them as to whether or not something is right or wrong, or without something to confine them within their nature.
But the women said, “No. Maybe this is an opportunity to break away from our nature, which is really why we are in this world,” to which the men responded, “There are confines in which we want to live, and with Moses gone we need something else to create those boundaries for us, because without those boundaries or confines called nature telling us the next step, and what to do, we do not know what to do, and we are scared.”
So the men, we know, did not listen to the women, built the Golden Calf, and fell. And it says in the Pekudei of Rav Eleazar in the Midrash that because the women didn't want the men taking their jewelry in order to make the Golden Calf, and told them “no,” the Creator gave them a greater connection to Rosh Chodesh than men. Rosh Chodesh is a time when we can merit receiving the gift of strength and consciousness to break away from our nature; therefore, because the men fell and the women were already accepting of the fact that they were going to break away from the confines of nature, the women took a greater share of the Light of Rosh Chodesh. As such,the kabbalists teach that Rosh Chodesh is a day that is actually more connected to women than to men.
The reason we are in this world is not to live within the confines of nature, but to change that nature, to break that nature, to sacrifice that nature. And often when we think about it, we think in a negative way: “I have this nature of Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, I have this selfish nature, and I am in this world to break away from that.” But the bigger part is to be scared of the fact that even the positive things that we do and the connections that we make are within the confines of our nature; that's a problem, because even the positive things we came to do in this world that are done within the confines of nature are not items we ought to keep.
Every day, week, and month begins with a script set up for it, and for the most part, we stay confined within that script, or that nature. And the work to break that script, that nature, begins with having the consciousness of, "I don't want to live the good life within the confines of my nature. I want to be given the assistance and consciousness to break away."
That is what this Shabbat is all about. The Creator says, “I am giving you a time, an energy, and the consciousness to realize that you want to break away from your nature, as well as the strength to begin the process of breaking away from it.” And it is true not only of this Shabbat, when that Light is revealed, but also of every Rosh Chodesh, every beginning of the month. That's the consciousness; there is a month set up for me, and I don't want that month within the confines of my nature. I want to break away from that month. Therefore, we ask on this Shabbat, and we ask on every Rosh Chodesh, for the Creator and the assistance of the Light of the women to give us the strength to break away. If we were able to see how much of our lives are lived according to that script, we would see how little we actually deviate, in good ways and in bad, from it. And it's the most difficult thing in the world to do, to deviate from that script and continuously pull away from that nature; but on this Shabbat of Pekudei, we are given the gift of not only the consciousness and understanding surrounding it, but also the strength to do it.