Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:February 11, 2015
The portion Mishpatim starts with the Creator telling Moses, “These are the laws, the rules that you should put in front of them.” In the Zohar, Rav Shimon bar Yochai tells us that the Creator was actually asking Moses to explain the rules of reincarnation; it says Rav Shimon bar Yochai awakens the friends, the students, and us, saying, “Now is the time to reveal hidden secrets about reincarnation.” As discussed in the first paragraphs of this portion’s Zohar, the Creator tells Moses that the whole Revelation at Sinai cannot be understood without a deep understanding of reincarnation, and that he needs to teach the Israelites about it. And that is a secret of this Shabbat; this is the Shabbat when all the secrets of reincarnation can be revealed.
I want to talk about one of the secrets of reincarnation that is discussed here. As we said, Rav Shimon bar Yochai calls all the souls from the Upper Worlds to reveal the secrets of reincarnation, and Moses wants to be a part of this revelation. Moses says that every single corrected person is meant to have control of the Upper Worlds and the Lower Worlds. But this is, unfortunately, not so, because when a person is covered in shells through his own actions of the Desire to Receive for the Self-Alone, every action that he does of Desire to Receive for the Self-Alone becomes another layer around him.
Why do we not have excitement all the time? Why do we not have inspiration all the time? Why do we not see or understand all that occurs around us, physically or spiritually? Because we, through constant actions of the Desire to Receive for the Self-Alone, build upon ourselves heavier and heavier layers of klipot, of shells, which bring us down. A person is meant to see the angels that surround him. But, as all of us consistently do, we bring upon ourselves more of these heavy shells and we don’t see them or hear them. And because of the negative actions that we continue to do, we add these shells, these layers.
The Zohar says the secret here is not that we only have the shells of this incarnation, but that we also have the shells of previous incarnations. Moses is also telling us that this is a part of a secret of the understanding of reincarnation. So, let’s understand it. Why are we sometimes down, uninspired, depressed, sad, feeling lack? Only one reason. Because of these klipot, these shells that are literally, spiritually, holding us down. And these shells are not just from this incarnation; they are also from previous incarnations. Therefore, if we push ourselves to share, we can correct not only the klipot from this incarnation, but also from previous incarnations.
There are certain times when we are about to do something we know we shouldn’t, but we have this desire to do it anyway, knowing it’s wrong. That desire is actually coming from shells of this incarnation and/or a previous incarnation; which means that if we fall, we not only damage ourselves anew, but we also miss making the correction that we could have made for the last incarnation, or for the last three, five, or a hundred.
And so, the Creator prepares every day for us perfectly with the opportunity to make a correction. For example, let’s say today there is a situation where in a certain regard you have fallen in your last incarnation, and so it is prepared for you today that you can correct it. You come to that situation, and you are about to fall, but then you realize that if you fail now, you fail not only for this incarnation, but for the past five or ten incarnations, as well. It is, therefore, important for us to realize that the opportunity to make a certain correction might not come again in this lifetime, and, hopefully, we are beginning to realize the responsibility we have towards our soul in every action, every day.
This is a part of the secret that Moses reveals to us on this Shabbat. We have to realize that these shells that are separating us and pulling us down are not just from this incarnation, and, as such, a correction of them is a correction not just of this incarnation. When we feel down, uninspired, heavy, or lacking, it is because these shells are pulling us down, and we have opportunities to correct them throughout our day by not falling.
With every positive action that we do and every negative action that we stop ourselves from doing, we correct not only this incarnation, but also previous incarnations. And as we lift these heavy shells, we begin to gain a new and direct connection with the Light of the Creator.
This is the work of understanding our incarnation. It is a powerful way to begin to view every aspect of our lives - spiritual work, physical work, relationships. These heavy shells are the reasons for difficulty in our lives, are the reasons that we are being held down, and are what we are meant to correct… but it is never just about now. It’s always about all the incarnations before. And our day is set up perfectly to give us the opportunity to correct it.
From this Shabbat we can draw a vision, an understanding, and clarity about our lives today as they relate to everything that has gone on with our soul until now. And through that, receive the strength, ability, and Light to push when we need to and hold on not to fall.