logo

Drawing Strength From the Path We've Chosen

Topic: Well Being | Posted:August 20, 2014

Literally translated, the beginning of this portion says, "See that I am putting before you today blessings and curses," and usually the understanding of this verse is that the Creator is speaking through Moses. However, in the Midrash, it says that the "I" who is being referred to in the first verse is not the Creator, but rather Moses. Moses is telling the Israelites, essentially, "Look at my life, look at what I have accomplished, look at the great level of connection, the great level of wisdom that I've achieved." When you initially hear this, it's a little strange because one thing we know about Moses is that he was the most humble of all people. Why then, before he leaves this world, is he telling the Israelites "Look at me, pay attention to the greatness that I've achieved..."?

The answer is that one of the biggest problems the Israelites had at that time in the desert – and that we all have today - is not having enough strength and conviction in their own abilities. Therefore, to awaken an appreciation for both who they are and what they can accomplish, Moses says to them, "Even though I spent my entire life hiding, not wanting people to see my greatness, I have to let you know the greatness that I have achieved, and let you know that you can achieve that too." There is an importance, Moses is telling them, in looking at the path that we've chosen and the Light and blessings that have come to us from it.

There are times when a person has to let go of some of their humility and take strength in the blessings that he or she has received from the path they’ve chosen. The kabbalists speak about one of the righteous kings, one of the tzadikim whose name was Yehoshafat, and it says, "His heart rose and became strong in the path of the Creator." Meaning that because he chose that path, he became strengthened by it. And what we really are learning here from Moses is a fundamental teaching that if you are not strong in your sense of the blessings that are coming to you because of the path you’ve chosen, then you're really unable to completely receive all the Light and blessings that path has to offer.

So, when Moses says to the Israelites, "Look what has become of my life because of the choices I've made," what he really is saying is that all of us have to take the time to look at the blessings, wisdom, and connection that have come to us from the choice of the path we’ve chosen and to strengthen our understanding of who we already have become.

Because Yehoshafat had achieved that level of true understanding, which is referred to as the elevation of his heart, he took the time to realize, "Because of the choices that I've made, this is who I've already become." Therefore, it says that because he took the time to realize the great blessings, wisdom, and growth that he had achieved, Yehoshafat, by choosing this path, was then able to push himself further and do more. And that's how we know, the kabbalists teach, whether our strengthening of our heart or certainty in ourselves is coming from the right place. Because what we do learn from Moses on this Shabbat is that it is not always good to be diminishing ourselves; there are times when a person has to look at his path once he's chosen it and look at all the Light and miracles that have come to him - and continue to come to him - because of that choice.

Further, it says about Yehoshafat that because he became strengthened when he looked at the path that he had chosen and the Light and the miracles and wisdom that had come to him from it, he went out to do more and help others. The Gaon of Vilna said you know if the strength you take upon yourself is coming from the right place if that strength is pushing you to do more, because what the negative side wants us to do is not realize what we've already accomplished, and as such, not go out and do more, not go out and try to help more people and push them to stop doing negative things.

So, this is one of the teachings Moses gives us on this Shabbat. When he says, "Look at me," he means that every single one of us should look at ourselves and take strength in, become stronger in, what we’re doing and how we’re doing… to take the time to say, "Look what I've become. Look at all the wisdom. None of us are perfect. We all have a long way to go, but look at all that I've received, look at all the miracles that have occurred in my life, look at all the joy that has come into my life because I chose this path." And what is the purpose of that elevation of our heart, with the choice of this path that we've taken? It means we know that this thought, that this awakening of our strength, is coming from the right place if it then pushes us, as the Gaon of Vilna says, to do more. In our spirituality, we know it's important sometimes to diminish the ego. However, we don't often appreciate the necessity every once in a while, especially on this Shabbat, to stop and take stock of everything that has changed in our lives since we've been on this path.

As we know, we have just finished the three weeks of destruction and are in the seven weeks of building. And there is a story that the kabbalists used to speak about regarding why that destruction occurred. It says there was a great sage during the time of the destruction whose name was Zachariah, the son of Rav Arush, who did not achieve this level of strength in his path, even though he was very humble. In fact, it says that because of the humility of Zachariah ben Rav Arush, the destruction occurred. He did not have that inner strength to be able to go in front of people who maybe he thought he was less than, and give his opinion and stand strong for it. And therefore, because of his humility, the destruction occurred. What we have to realize from this is that we must not shy away from pushing other people, helping other people, speaking to other people because we think, "I'm not there yet, it’s not right for me to be talking in this way. It's not right for me to stand up in this way."

On this Shabbat, take the time to look at the path you’ve chosen. Take the time to look at the Light, miracles, and blessings it's already brought you. And from that, draw strength, elevate your heart, elevate your certainty in yourself. Don’t fall to those thoughts that come to mind, like, "Not now, not me, maybe if I were smarter or wiser." There's no question that every single one of us has Light, blessings, and miracles we can awaken which we don’t because we lack this certainty in ourselves and don't take enough time to look back at all the Light that already has come. Take the time to look at all the miracles that you’ve already created and all the wisdom that you’ve already accomplished by your commitment to the path you’ve chosen.

Recent Comments

The portion Vayakhel-Pekudei begins with a discussion of Shabbat, the seventh day of the week, the...
In the portion Ki Tisa, we read about what's translated as the sin, or the fall, of the Golden Calf...
In the portion Tetzave, great miracles were awakened because, it says, the Israelites awakened a...
The portion of Terumah deals with the physical building of the Tabernacle, the Mishkan, by the...
In the portion Ki Tisa, we read about what's translated as the sin, or the fall, of the Golden Calf...
Rebecca and Isaac have two children, Jacob and Esau. The blessing Isaac was going to give was a...
When Abraham went up to the mountain, it was only him and Isaac. But it says that when he came down...
Beresheet is the first Shabbat of the year, the first reading of the year. And the kabbalists...

Ser Como Dios

The book by Michael Berg

Por primera vez en la historia, una oportunidad extraordinaria está a disposición de la humanidad: la oportunidad no sólo de rezar a Dios, obedecer

image

Days of Connection

The book by Michael Berg

The ancient wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that each month of the lunar year holds different opportunities for us to grow and change and, conversely, hol

image

The Secret History Of The Zohar

The book by Michael Berg

What if you were to learn that an amazing body of ancient spiritual wisdom and potential source of Light for the world had been‚ “covered up‚ f

image

The Secret (FARSI)

The book by Michael Berg

The Secret reveals life's essence in its most concise and powerful form. Michael Berg begins by showing you how our everyday understanding of our pur

image

El Secreto

The book by Michael Berg

El Secreto, revela la esencia de la vida de una forma concisa y poderosa. Michael Berg, empieza por mostrarnos que la manera en que entendemos nuestro

image

Secrets Of The Zohar

The book by Michael Berg

Stories and Meditations to Awaken the Heart Michael Berg The Zohar'ssecrets have never been revealed quite as they are here in these pages, which dec

image

Los Secretos del Zóhar: Historias y meditaciones para despertar el corazón

The book by Michael Berg

Por ser el primero en traducir los 23 volúmenes del Zóhar del arameo al inglés, Michael Berg está calificado de manera única para transmitir su

image

Secrets of the Bible

The book by Michael Berg

The Secret of the Bible is a lifelong pursuit and there are many teachings within its veiled text. Bringing forward a fresh and relevant message about

image

El Camino de la Cabala

The book by Michael Berg

Extraiga de la antigua sabidur­a espiritual de la Kabbalah lo que se requiere para lograr cambios positivos en cada rea de su vida. El camino espi

image

What God Meant: Volume 1 Genesis

The book by Michael Berg

In this simple and eloquent compilation of Bible teachings, Kabbalah scholar Michael Berg imparts wisdom from decades of research and sources unique

image

What God Meant, Vol. 2: A Collection of Teachings on Exodus

The book by Michael Berg

In this second book of the What God Meant series Kabbalah scholar Michael Berg imparts wisdom both from decades of research and from sources unique t

image

Well of Life

The book by Michael Berg

Best-selling author and kabbalistic scholar Michael Berg has written this inspirational and useful book designed to help us connect with the weekly e

image

Windows in Time (DVD set)

The book by Michael Berg

A Special five HOLIDAY Companion DVD Series Spanish subtitles available Kabbalistically speaking, holidays are more than simply commemorations of hist

image

New Moon DVD Series with Michael Berg

The book by Michael Berg

Collector’s Edition (includes all 12 months) Every month has distinct opportunities for growth as well as unique pitfalls for getting stuck. At the

image

Zohar - Vol 1-23

The book by Michael Berg

Zohar is a Hebrew word that means splendor. In its simplest form, the Zohar is a commentary on the Bible. Although the wisdom available in its pages i

image

The Way: Using The Wisdom Of Kabbalah

The book by Michael Berg

A national best-seller (The Wall Street Journal, USA Today), The Way delivers a practical and profound insight into the sacred wisdom of Kabbalah. Th

image

Becoming Like God

The book by Michael Berg

For the first time in history, an incredible opportunity is available to humanity: the opportunity not simply to pray to God, obey God, fear God, or r

image

The Secret

The book by Michael Berg

The SecretUnlocking the Source of Joy and Fulfillment Michael Berg spent years studying this ancient once-hidden wisdom before putting the pieces of t

image
Knowing what areas we need to work on is a very small part of our spiritual work. Read more: https://t.co/TBKwnRhlgD
11 weeks 2 days ago

type your email address to subscribe

© 2014 Kabbalah Centre International, a Non-Profit Organization   |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use