Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:June 22, 2016
In speaking about the work that the spies were sent to do, it says the Creator uses a very specific word; the Creator speaks to Moses and says, Shlach lecha anashim, “Send people,” veyaturu et Eretz Kanaan, “they should look over the Land of Canaan.” There is a secret to the word veyaturu which has a lesson within it for us.
To explain, the kabbalists quote the verse in Psalms that the Ari tells us a person should say every time before he studies. And, really, we should say this before everything that we do. It says, “Open up my eyes, so that I can see the wonders from the Torah;” Torah means “to show.” We say to the Creator, “Open up my eyes so that I can see the wonders, the amazing and beautiful things that You're showing me.” It says in the Zohar, in Beha'alotcha, that the purpose of study, the purpose of life, is to see what is hidden by the clothing of the Torah; in learning and in life there is always both the clothing and the inner aspect.
For example, when we see a challenge, whether it’s a small challenge or a great challenge, when something happens that is not what we want, that is difficult for us to take in, that is difficult for us to be happy with, that's the clothing. What's the purpose of life? To be able to see the Light that is under that clothing. In everything that surrounds us there is both an endless amount of shells, or clothing, and an endless amount of internal Light within it. Most of us, unfortunately, are still living the external life; we see and are influenced by the clothes and not by the internal Light.
The purpose of sending the spies was to awaken for the Israelites, and for us, the strength to see the internal all the time. As such, the secret of this Shabbat is, “Open up my eyes, so I can see the tremendous Light from what You're showing me.” Because everything around us - every situation, every person – has both the clothing and the Light inside. And what's our purpose in life? When we study, when we pray, when we come across people, when we come across challenges? To be able to remove the shell, to be able to remove and see past the clothing into the wonders and tremendous Light that is hidden behind that clothing.
And that really has to be our constant request of the Creator, to constantly be shown what is behind the clothing, because if we were able to live our lives, every single day, not seeing the clothing but seeing the Light, there’s never pain or suffering, there is only Light. Our biggest problem in life, therefore, is that we have not opened up our eyes, as Rav Ashlag makes clear. That is the singular purpose of our spiritual work, the opening up of our eyes. And this is the Shabbat when our eyes are opened if we ask for it.
Therefore, the secret of the word veyaturu is that Moses was telling the spies, essentially, that in doing the work for all of us, they are going to come across things that will make no sense to them and confuse them. They will come across things that will make them feel depressed and in darkness. He tells them not to get caught up in that “clothing.” He tells them, veyaturu, go deeper, beg for the Light of the Creator to open up your eyes to see the Light that is within what you’re experiencing, within what you're going to see. And if the spies are able to do that, and if we're able to do that, we’ll be able to see that it is actually filled with goodness.
But they saw, and we see, what is bad. We see the challenges. We see the darkness. So what we have to do is awaken a desire to beg, to ask, the Creator, “Open up my eyes to let me see the Light that is internal.” That is when we, and the spies, merit seeing the tremendous Light that exists within. It is a tremendous gift of Shabbat Shlach Lecha, and if we realize this is the singular purpose of our spiritual work, “open up my eyes,” then we come to realize that the only problem we ever have is that our eyes are closed, that our eyes are focused on the clothing, and we're not able to see the Light that is within that clothing.
Therefore, when we come across difficulty, when we come across a small or a great challenge, we now know to say, “I don't see the Light within it, but I know it's there.” We beg the Creator, “Please, open up my eyes so that I can see the great Light that exists behind the shell that I'm experiencing right now.” Because if we truly know it's there, and beg the Light of the Creator to remove the clothing so we can see what is below that clothing, we will see it.