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How to be Like a Prophet

Topic: Consciousness | Posted:August 8, 2013

This week’s portion says something very interesting. The Creator, through Moses, gives a promise. Moses says, I promise you that the Creator will always bring you a prophet, from amongst you, from your brothers, kamoni – “like me.”

If you look at this verse literally, it’s not true. It says in the Torah there has never been, nor never will be, a prophet like Moses. So how can the Creator tell Moses to promise us there will always be a prophet like him amongst us? To understand this, we have to look at the word kamoni. When Moses promises that there will be somebody like him, clearly it doesn’t mean someone on the same level of prophecy as him, so what is this understanding of the word kamoni, “like me?”

When the Creator gives Moses a message, Moses is not worried about people’s reactions or how people will respond to it – he just gives the message. And that’s what he means by kamoni; that there will always be somebody who, although is not on the same level of prophecy or connection as Moses, will have his same lack of fear of people’s reactions.

The Maharal, a great kabbalist, explains this further. It’s important that we understand this and how it relates to our own spiritual life and development. He says, the prophet receives his messages from the Creator. And the prophet is not afraid, because the Creator, of course, is not afraid of any person, and therefore, the person who receives the words of the Creator can have no fear.

It’s a beautiful understanding, and a tremendously important lesson: a person cannot receive the words of God and have fear attached to it. You can’t have the two. Because if it’s coming from the Creator, there’s no fear attached to it. And that’s the promise Moses gives.

If we truly understand this, it’s scary, because we realize how little of our spiritual work is actually connected to the Creator. How many of us are embarrassed, afraid, worried - if I say this, if I do this, what will people’s reaction be, what are they going to say, what are they going to think about me? These thoughts attached to what you might think is spiritual work is not spiritual work. If you have any fear attached to people’s reaction to your spiritual work, to your spiritual words, then it’s not connected to the Light of the Creator.

This is one of the gifts the Rav has. No matter what it is, if there’s a message coming from the Creator, he’ll say it. There’s no worry what people’s reaction will be. Good, bad, terrible, it makes no difference. Because if it’s from the Creator there cannot be fear attached to it. Unfortunately most of us are not there. Most of us have some fear – great or small – that if I say this, if I do this, how is the person going to react to it?

This teaching clarifies to us that all the fear we have about saying things or doing things is because those words and actions are not from the Creator. So what do we do? Next time we have the opportunity to say something or do something, and we are afraid, we need to think, no. Ask yourself, do I want my words or actions to be coming from myself, and as such have fear attached to them? Or do I want them coming from the Creator? And if you want them coming from the Creator, remove that fear. Because it’s a two-way street. It’s not just that they’ll come to you once you don’t have fear. You have to really push yourself - what the Zohar calls itaruta diltata, the awakening from below - so that you can truly receive and become a vessel for the words of the Creator.

We want to come to the place where the words are the words of God, where they are direct messages from the Creator. But the only way to work towards that is now when I do have that fear attached, when I do have that worry attached, when I do have that embarrassment attached, I push through it. And if we push ourselves consistently in that way the Light from above shines down. The messages come – and they cannot and will not have any fear.

I want to say these words from the Maharal again because it is really such a beautiful thing, and hopefully, these words give us the strength on this Shabbat to really start living in this way: You receive messages that have the spirit of the Creator on them, and these holy words are coming from a place that is above all people. Therefore there cannot be any fear once you receive them. This is an indication that these words are separate, are different than anything else. And they are Godly. They are from the Creator. Because you have no fear attached to them.

Moses promises us we can come to a level where we can be “like me” - not on the level of prophecy, but on the level of lack of fear. It’s a beautiful and necessary understanding that we all have to go towards; to understand that if it’s coming from the Creator, there will never be fear attached to it. It’s a tremendous gift and blessing Moses gives us on this Shabbat. We want to become like Moses, and push ourselves through our own fears, doubts, and embarrassment to be able to receive Moses’ prophecy.

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