Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:January 8, 2014
Beshalach is a very important Shabbat. In this portion, Moses uses the power of the 72 Names of God to create the great miracle of the Splitting of the Sea. But before Moses is able to do that, he says something to the Israelites. In the literal sense, what he says seems either superfluous or just overly dramatic, but it has within it the secret we need in order to draw the Light of miracles into our own lives. And further, without this secret, we are unable to connect to this Shabbat.
Moses says, hityatzevu ur’u et yeshuat Hashem asher ya’aseh lachem hayom, “Stand and you will see the tremendous miracles that the Creator will do for you today.” There are many secrets in this verse, but the one I want to focus on is within the last word - hayom, “today.” What is the secret of that word, hayom, today?
To explain this, the kabbalists bring up a teaching from Rav Moshe Lev of Sasov, who talks about a different verse altogether. The story is of Jacob, that before he left this world, he decided to shower the 12 Tribes, the 12 conduits of Light to this world, with blessings. However, before he begins the blessings, he too has a verse that we need to understand. It says, vayevarchem bayom hahu, “He blessed them on that day.” Again, the word “day;” but, we don’t know what day of the week it was. Historically there’s no significance to the day of the week or year it was. So why does the verse tell us that he blessed them bayom hahu, on that day?
Rav Moshe Lev of Sasov explains that Jacob blessed them to have certainty within today, and not allow their doubts or fears to take them into the next day. So Jacob, before he opens the Gates of Blessings up to this world, teaches a very important lesson: only when we come to the level of the consciousness of today – which means a person lives within this day and does not allow a doubt or worry about tomorrow, or a regret of what happened yesterday to come in – can he give us the blessings. The blessing that Jacob gave to his children was hayom. I’m giving you the blessing, power, and ability to come to live within this day.
The kabbalists teach us that Moses would have been incapable of using even the power of the 72 Names to create the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea had he not elevated the Israelites at that time to come to the consciousness of today – to have no doubt or worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow or regret of what happened yesterday. Living in the secret of today is a prerequisite to be able to connect to the Light of the Creator and to awaken miracles in our lives; that’s the rule. But now let’s understand the spiritual logic of it.
Every Shabbat we sing the song based on the verse baruch Hashem yom yom, “the Light of the Creator is injected in the day.” If a person awakens a worry today, that will disconnect him from the Light of the Creator. But if a person awakens worries or doubts about the next day, month, or even year, he takes that darkness from tomorrow, or from next week, or from next month, and actually brings it into today. As such, he does not allow the Light of the Creator to flow because he’s brought darkness into this day. He’s brought a blockage into this day.
I’ll say it again because it is so important: the doubt of tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year blocks the Light of the Creator from being able to come into this day. If a person is not living in today, he robs today of its potential blessings.
Moses wanted to create this tremendous miracle, and he had the tools, he had the 72 Names. He was able to do it. However, had the Israelites not been elevated to the level of hayom, today, had they started worrying about what’s going to be tomorrow, or the next month, they would have brought that darkness into that day, and therefore would have made Moses incapable of creating the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea. The understanding here is that even if you have the most powerful tools and potential connection, if you are not able to live in the realm ofhayom, today, you rob today of its blessings.
That’s why Jacob, before giving his blessings, gave them first the consciousness of hayom hazeh, hayom hahu, that day. And in fact, when you begin to understand the secret of hayom, of today, you begin to see that word appear often throughout this portion of Beshalach, such as with the miracle of the manna. The Israelites are in the desert and they have no source of food. Yet, everyday a miracle occurs; food comes down from the heavens. And each and every day it is just enough food for that one day that comes down.
The kabbalists teach that the manna does not necessarily represent physical food. It represents this level of consciousness, where our only focus is today, where we don’t have even the beginning of a thought, worry, or doubt about tomorrow. Because only a person of that level, of that consciousness, can be completely connected to the Light of the Creator. And therefore when it says that the Torah was only given to those who eat the manna, it means a person who has come to the consciousness of living the secret of hayom, today.
Every single morning, all the Light, blessings, and assistance that we need for that day are ready to flow down. But five minutes or an hour after we wake up, we start worrying about tomorrow and we stop the flow of Light that’s meant to come to us. Because, as it’s made clear, the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea – and all the miracles and blessings that we need - cannot occur or be revealed in its totality, unless we are striving, working, begging, and desiring to come to the level of living in the secret of hayom, today. That is the prerequisite. And that is a gift that Moses gives us on this Shabbat… but it’s also a place we have to get to on this Shabbat.
Most of us block the blessings of today by the worries of tomorrow. But what we ask on this Shabbat is to come to the secret of hayom, to come to the secret of this day. Because we know that when we are able to come to the secret of this day, then we are able to draw and receive, without pain, without difficult work, the complete flow and blessings of the Light of the Creator.