Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:January 15, 2014
In the portion Yitro, there is the revelation at Sinai, what is called the Ten Utterances. It is the revelation of Bilah HaMavet LaNetzach, Removal of Death Forever, and obviously of tremendous importance.
It is interesting that the name of the portion is Yitro, which is the name of the father-in-law of Moses, who in the beginning of his life was not a positive person. However, he went through a process of transformation. It says that when Yitro initially decides to come to Moses, Moses isn’t sure that he wants to accept him. He knows Yitro’s history - that he wasn’t a very positive person, and that he was a priest to idol worship.
In the beginning of the portion it says vayomer el Moshe, “He spoke to Moses,” ani khotenkha, “I, your father-in-law, come to you.” However, it is not clear who said the first three words of that verse, vayomer el Moshe. The Midrash says vayomer el Moshe means the Creator is speaking to Moses as Moses is having a doubt whether he should accept Yitro to come in and join. The Creator says to Moses, “I always bring people close, I never push people away;” it says in Jeremiah, “I am the God that is always close. I am never far.” The Creator says, “I allow and bring Yitro close to Me. And anybody who comes to you, Moses, bring him close, do not push him away.”
The Creator here is teaching Moses a very important understanding, that the Creator always brings close and never pushes away.
It is interesting that the initial thought of Moses was to tell Yitro not to come and join them. But why was Moses so averse to having Yitro come and join them in the first place? The Ari says that the first three letters of the words Yitro says to Moses, ani khotenkha Yitro, are Alef-Chet-Yud (אחי), which is the word akhi, “my brother,” and he explains that Yitro and Moses, in their previous incarnation, were brothers: Cain and Abel.
Many of us know the story in Genesis. Adam’s son, Abel, was the positive son, and his son, Cain, was the negative son. Cain became very jealous of Abel for many things; one of which was the connection that Abel had with the Creator. His jealousy gets him so crazy that he kills his brother.
So the Ari explains that Moses felt who was coming to him – his brother from a previous incarnation who had murdered him. And the question here isn’t whether Moses will act as if he is accepting Yitro; the question is what’s going to happen internally, in his soul. And the Creator tells Moses, “I, the Creator, always bring people close. I never push them away.”
These words are also repeated later in this portion. When the Creator is getting ready to give the Israelites the revelation at Sinai, the Creator tells Moses to tell the Israelites, “I bring you close to Me.” And the Aramaic commentary says, “I bring you close to My work.”
This is a very, very important understanding, because most of us think there are times when the Creator brings us close, and there are times when the Creator pushes us away. Sometimes, we feel elevated, we feel we are doing the right thing, we feel the connection. We feel at that time that the Creator is opening His arms to us, that the Light of the Creator is taking us in. But then there are other times - when we act in selfishness, negativity, and Desire to Receive for the Self Alone - when we think the Creator is pushing us away. But that is a lie, and it’s important that we understand this. The Creator never pushes us away; the Light of the Creator is always drawing us close. But, depending on our consciousness, we will either be drawn close or not.
You can compare it to a wind or gulf stream; there are certain elevations where it is strong. If a person has the consciousness that no matter what I have done, no matter who I am, no matter where I am in my spiritual work, the Creator has a force that’s pushing me close to connect to the Light of the Creator, then that consciousness connects us to that force, and we are pushed closer to the Light of the Creator.
However, if I think that the Creator is pushing me away because of something that I have just done, because of an action that I am doing, or because of where I am in my spiritual work, then I am not being pulled towards the Light of the Creator. That’s all it is. A person who knows that he is being pushed away is being pushed away; a person who believes that he is being drawn close is being drawn close.
I’ve shared before that a person who does not know that in any given second he can elevate to the highest level - which means that he is being drawn by the Light of the Creator - actually has no connection to the Light of the Creator. And, really, this is one of the great gifts that is given to us on this Shabbat, this consciousness: if you think that you are being pushed away from the Light of the Creator, then you are not connecting to the Light of the Creator, instead you are pushing yourself from the Light of the Creator. If you know that the Creator is a constant force in this world that is drawing you closer to Him – then no matter what you have done, no matter who you are, no matter where you are in your spiritual work – that consciousness alone connects you to that force and draws you into the Light of the Creator.
That is the secret being given to Moses and Yitro here. Don’t look at the murderer Cain, the Creator tells Moses. I am a force that always draws close to Me. How do we connect to that force that is being drawn close? Simply by knowing that it exists. By knowing that it is there. If you know that everything is being drawn by the Light of the Creator, then with that true consciousness you connect to that force and you are being drawn into the Light of the Creator.
The Ari wrote a song for the third meal of Shabbat where the Creator says to us, “Come close to Me, see My strength.” And that is all that we need, to know that the Light of the Creator is calling us and drawing us close. No matter who we are, no matter what we have done. Every single moment, that force exists. Don’t let the Negative Side tell you that you are being pushed away. Because the Light of the Creator has only one way; there is only a drawing in. Further, when we become truly aware of that reality, when we become connected to that force that draws close, the Creator tells us that no forces of Negativity or Judgment can come upon us.
Therefore, a gift that Yitro gives us, a gift that is given to us on this Shabbat, is this understanding that always, in every situation, there is only one force of the Light of the Creator… and that is the one that draws us always closer into the Light of the Creator. But how do you connect to that? By knowing it. That’s all.
Remind yourself in every situation, whenever the doubt comes in, whenever the worry comes in. Remember these words from the Creator: “I am always drawing you in. I never push you away.” And by having that consciousness we get into that gulfstream, into that wind that draws us closer and closer to the Light of the Creator. And then when you are connected, there is no Judgment, there is no Negativity that can come upon you.
It is both a tremendous secret and tremendous gift that is given to us on this Shabbat. May we merit truly not just knowing this consciousness, but living it always; then we are in the stream that just draws us closer and closer to the Light of the Creator.