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Receiving the Gifts We Were Given on Shavuot

Topic: Holidays & Time Zones | Posted:May 14, 2013

As is explained in many of the writings of the kabbalists, Shabbat Naso is a very significant Shabbat. There is the regular explanation of this week’s portion in the Zohar, but there is also something very unique: the revelation of what is called the Idra Rabba, or the Great Assembly.

The Zohar explains different secrets and understandings of the sections in the Torah, but all of the secrets that are revealed in the Zohar are within the Idra Rabba.

So, why is the Idra Rabba revealed on this Shabbat?

The question begins to open up our understanding of the great and unique gift of Shavuot that led into this Shabbat.

What are the secrets that the Zohar reveals? The answer goes back to a basic teaching of Rav Ashlag. He says it is the purpose of our spiritual work to begin to taste and feel the Light of the Creator with all of our senses; the power and gift of the night of Shavuot is that the entire world is given the opportunity to merit this level of which Rav Ashlag spoke.

Rav Ashlag explains that if there was just the morning of Shavuot when the great revelation of what’s called the Ten Utterances, or the level of the Tree of Life, the level of Bilah HaMavet LaNetzach was revealed to the world, it would not have accomplished its purpose. Because before the level of Bilah HaMavet LaNetzach, the Removal of Death Forever, can be revealed, people first have to be given the ability to sense it, feel it, and connect to it.

If you give a child the most beautiful diamond in the world, for example, it means nothing because he has no comprehension of it, no way of understanding its worth. To him, it’s another piece of glass. He’d probably be happier with a piece of cake. The same is true of Shavuot. If the level of Bilah HaMavet LaNetzach, the level of the Tree of Life, is revealed, but if we don’t have the ability to taste it or to feel it, then it’s almost like we’re given nothing.

So we have to understand what was given to us in order to be able to manifest it, and what was given to us on the night of Shavuot was the ability to truly taste and feel the Light of the Creator. Then, on the morning of Shavuot, we were given the Light. If we would’ve just been given the Light of the Tree of Life in the morning of Shavuot without being given the ability to feel it, manifest it, or taste it, then it would’ve been almost pointless.

We can go back now to talk about the secrets that are revealed. The secrets the Zohar is talking about are not information, but rather, they are referring to the tasting of the Light. Information can be given at any time, but it means nothing to us if we are not able to truly take from it the Light that is there.

So, now that we understand what was given to us, and what it means when we speak about the revelation of secrets, we can understand why the Idra Rabba, the great revelation of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai, was given on this Shabbat - because this is the one Shabbat of the year that we are capable of connecting to these secrets. When Rav Shimon Bar Yochai says it’s time to reveal the secrets, he doesn’t mean it’s time to reveal information that maybe we did not previously know, but rather that now we, the world, are able to taste of these secrets.

I’ll share with you something that’s a little bit personal. A few years ago, when we were in Israel, I went to Rav Ashlag, made my connection, and asked him for a message. But all I could see were these hairs, and I couldn’t understand it. I kept closing my eyes again asking to see, and still all I could see were the hairs. They were like hairs of a beard, and I thought, it’s the beard of Rav Ashlag, and he’s trying to say something to me, and I kept closing my eyes trying to see the rest of his face; I thought, maybe he’s going to tell me something. But nothing happened, except every time I closed my eyes, I saw these hairs.

So, I knew there must have been something there, but for whatever reason maybe I didn’t merit to have the totality of it. Time went on and we came to the night of Shavuot. I began reading from the Idra Rabba, and as I started reading, suddenly I realized that within the Idra Rabba there’s a whole discussion of the supernal worlds, and there is what’s called The 13 Corrections of the Beard, the supernal beard… and I realized that what Rav Ashlag was showing me at his grave was a connection to these 13 corrections of what’s called the supernal beard, as it is explained and revealed in the Idra Rabba.

The reason I’m sharing this is I think it’s important that we all raise our level of desire and our expectations of ourselves, because there’s no question in my mind that if we raised our consciousness enough and expected more from ourselves, then we could receive, on this Shabbat, the gift that was given on Shavuot.

If we were able to see the great gifts that were given to us and how little we do to receive them, we couldn’t handle it. We need to have the clarity that these gifts were given to us on Shavuot, and we must not allow them to remain un-received.

Those are the gates that are being opened on Shabbat Naso.

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