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Experiencing the Light in the Moment

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:July 16, 2014

In this portion, Moses uses the words ze hadavar, which mean, “This is the thing that the Creator is teaching, or commanding.” The Midrash explains that the difference between Moses and the other prophets is that when Moses prophesized, he used these words, ze hadavar, and the other prophets used the words koh amar Hashem, “So said the Creator.” This is because, the Zohar says, Moses’ vision was clear, while all the other prophets, no matter how great their vision was, were still on the level that wasn’t always 100% clear.

So, how do we earn the ability to come to that level of ze hadavar, of a complete, clear, constant connection to the Light of the Creator, as opposed to a level of koh, which is not?

We need to first gain an understanding of what it means to be connected on the level of ze hadavar versus what it means to be connected on the level of koh. The kabbalists teach that the difference between koh, which again is the lower level of prophecy, the level that most people live on, and the level of ze hadavar, is in one’s clarity. The question they ask is: when you are involved in your spiritual work, why are you doing it? On one level, hopefully the basic level, you are doing it with the understanding that this work connects you to the Light of the Creator. And if we want to have blessings in our lives, or we want to have joy in our lives, then we do the spiritual work because it brings those fruits. That’s one level… a lower level.

But then there is a higher level; a level where the individual comes to see the actual complete revelation of the Light of the Creator in the work that he is doing. Here, it’s not that he’s doing it because he knows something good will come from it, but rather that the Light he receives while he is doing it is so great he doesn’t even care what will come from it. The level of Light that he experiences while he is doing the work is so strong and powerful he does not care what will happen. The gift for him is solely from the tremendous Light that he sees in the work that he is doing.

I think that 99% of people, even those who are spiritual, are still on the level of doing it because they know if they do this work and use these tools, they will be connected to the Light of the Creator, and therefore will have blessings. However, as Rav Ashlag makes clear, if you stay on that level you will not have achieved the purpose for which your soul came to this world. Because there is a second level - the level where the individual comes to such clarity in his spiritual work that while he is doing it, he feels and sees the pure Light of the Creator being revealed by his action, and doesn’t even care what blessings will come to him from it.

That is the distinction between the level of ze hadavar and the level of koh. The level of ze hadavar means right now, this is all I want, because I see all the Light that is coming from it right now. The level of koh means right now, this might not be exactly what I want to do, but I know it is a way for me to receive the Light of the Creator. Most of us are still on the level of koh, which means that even though we push ourselves, hopefully, to do our spiritual work, it is still for the purpose of receiving the Light of the Creator so that we have blessings in our lives.

On this Shabbat, Moses reveals that he is on the level of ze hadavar, while everybody else is on the level of koh. And this understanding of being on the level of ze hadavar is referring specifically to a person who, in the words of Rav Ashlag, has achieved the level of p'kichat einaim, the opening of the eyes; meaning, with physical eyes, you cannot possibly see spiritual matters.

In every single action of connection, whether it’s in sharing with other people or in our own spiritual connections, we have to begin experiencing in the action itself the tremendous Light of the Creator that is being revealed through that action. And as Rav Ashlag says, if you begin to feel that, you can never do anything but a positive action. Because as you are seeing not with physical eyes, but with your soul the great Light that is revealed in every action that you do, you also see the tremendous darkness that is awakened when a person does an action of Desire to Receive for the Self-Alone. As such, you have no choice really anymore in what actions to do, because with every fiber of your being you feel the great Light that comes from actions of sharing, from actions that connect you to the Light of the Creator.

Unfortunately, while we are still bound in the physical body we cannot experience, even if we wanted to, the totality of that Light. But we can experience a taste of it, and have a clear vision of the totality of that Light. If we truly have a desire for it - a desire that supersedes any other desire – then the Light comes immediately. That is the gift of ze hadavar, the gift that Moses gives us on this Shabbat, the ability of opening up the eyes, the ability to experience the Light right there in the moment.

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