Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:July 9, 2014
At the end of the portion Pinchas, Moses knows that he is going to be leaving this world, and he asks the Creator to appoint a leader to replace him. The Sh'la says that in his request, Moses was not just asking about that time. He was also asking for it to be revealed who will be the leader at the time of the End of the Correction. The Creator answers Moses and reveals Joshua, who is going to be the leader for that time. But the Creator also shows him the leader for the End of the Correction, and therefore, in so doing, reveals the Light of the End of the Correction.
The Creator also shows Moses all the generations that will live from that time until our time, until the time of the End of the Correction. The Creator shows him that every generation from then on is going to be a lesser generation than the previous one; every generation from then on is going to have less consciousness, and be more disconnected. Being told this would seem to be a negative thing, yet somehow that understanding was supposed to give Moses inspiration. And the Sh'la shares why: the fact that every generation will be more disconnected from the Light of the Creator, that there will be more veils between every generation, is the reason Mashiach will come.
Most of us, when we think about the process of humanity, understand that there is a certain amount of Light that needs to be revealed, and when that Light is revealed, it is the End of the Correction. That’s our work; every day we strive to reveal more Light, and that’s important, and it’s true. But there is another aspect to it; a fundamental secret that I think most of us do not either know completely or appreciate. That aspect is based on a verse in Job that says ketz sam lachoshech, “The Creator has put an end to darkness.”
The kabbalists explain that in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve fell, the snake injected his venom into them, and through them, into humanity. And they tell us that that venom, that darkness, is finite. There is a certain amount of darkness that the snake has put into humanity, and when that venom is removed, it is the End of the Correction - just like if a person is able to take out the venom after he is bitten by a snake, he will live.
For the sake of understanding, let’s assume there are a thousand units of venom that the snake injected into the system. And for the past five thousand plus years, throughout all the history of humanity, every pain that an individual has felt removes a part of that venom and darkness which was injected into humanity. When this amount of venom is removed from the human system, when it comes down to zero, all of the Revelation occurs. And as Rav Ashlag teaches, the Light of the Creator exists everywhere, but there are veils upon that Light. Where are those veils from? The veils are from the venom of the snake. So once the venom of the snake is removed from the human system, all Light is revealed. There are two ways to remove that venom. There is the proactive way, the way of transforming darkness into Light, and then there is the pain.
So, what do we do with this understanding? Rav Berg would often say, that, for example, if you go to the dentist and you are having pain, you should ask for more pain. I don’t think we have understood the depths or secret of this teaching before… but hopefully we do now. Because now when you are experiencing something uncomfortable, you understand that part of the blessing of the discomfort and pain is that you are removing darkness from that bank of venom, not just for yourself, but for all of humanity. The End of the Correction will occur not when a certain amount of Light is revealed, but when the venom of the snake, or the veils, as they are called, is completely removed.
Moses wanted to know how the End of the Correction was going to happen, and the Creator answered that the generation of Moses is more connected to the Creator than the next generation. What does that mean? The snake will have to send more veils and darkness down to this world, and he might not even know what he is doing, but he is killing himself, because every time he brings darkness into this world, he is taking away from his strength - because he only has a certain amount of life. Once that is done, he is done. So, for every generation that gets more disconnected from the Light of the Creator, the snake, the negativity, puts greater veils into this world. And every experience of those veils for that generation takes away some of the power, some of the venom, from the snake.
That’s what the Creator tells Moses on this Shabbat. Yes, it’s true every generation will be less, but that’s good news, because every generation will have more veils, and the Negative Side, the snake, will keep putting more and more veils until he comes to a point where he is done, where he has no more venom or no more darkness - ketz sam lachoshech; there is a finite amount of darkness that can manifest in this world, and therefore, to us.
Now, I hope we can all come to a deeper understanding of what the Rav meant when he said ask for more. When you have this consciousness, and you ask for more pain, you know that with it, you are killing the negative force faster and faster. So the question becomes, if you are experiencing pain, what are you doing with it? I think when most of us experience pain, we say, “Take it away.” But when that is your consciousness, you are not helping yourself or the world.
With this understanding, we can appreciate both sides of the process. The spiritual work that we do which reveals Light and transforms darkness into Light is part of it, but we also need to appreciate, and have consciousness about, the uncomfortable and painful things; and as the Rav said, we have to ask for more. When you do that, you appreciate the pain that you are feeling and understand that through it, you are sucking away the life force from the Negative Side. It is, as I said, a very important secret that is revealed to us on this Shabbat.