Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:March 2, 2016
To understand the Light that is within this Shabbat, Rav Eleazar, in the Zohar, begins the discussion concerning what happened after the Golden Calf, when Moses descended after receiving the Tablets from Sinai, the Light of Immortality, for the first time.
As they are walking down, it says that Joshua, who was with Moses, hears the voices of the Israelites in their negative state, but Moses does not. And Joshua announces to Moses there is a battle of negative forces overtaking the Israelites. It was at that time, when Joshua lets Moses know about the negative voices that he is hearing, that the Tablets became heavy in the hands of Moses and they broke.
Just to understand what the Zohar, and Rav Eleazar, are saying: this is after the Golden Calf has been made, so the negative actions have been done. And as they are descending from the mountain, it seems that Moses, who is on a higher state, doesn't hear the voices. But Joshua does, and in the moment he announces to Moses that there are negative forces overtaking the camp, the Tablets become heavy, and the Zohar says they break out of the hands of Moses.
If what caused the Tablets to break was the fact that the Israelites fell, then that had occurred before and was independent of what Joshua hears and tells Moses about. But the Zohar is making a very clear point that it was the conversation between Joshua and Moses that made the Tablets break, not the Golden Calf.
What does that mean? What is the Zohar telling us? Moses represents the consciousness of all the Israelites. When he heard about the fall of the Golden Calf, he knew he had responsibility as the leader and collective consciousness of all the Israelites, and he was able, through his own process of change, transformation, and teshuvah, to quickly clean up the entire mess the Israelites made. Through the teshuvah of Moses, even after the Golden Calf, the Light of Immortality was still coming down into this world, because Moses was able to correct it.
So, we ask the question: Why didn't the Tables break right when the Israelites fell? Because the Israelites fell, Moses knew about it, did teshuvah, and made the correction quickly; he was the collective consciousness of all the Israelites. And immediately, the Creator agreed with Moses: you made the correction, and you can still bring the Light of Immortality, the totality of the Light of the Creator, down to this world.
Moses knew that the Israelites would still need to correct, but being the leader and holder of the collective consciousness of all the Israelites, began the process and was certain they were going to finish it; he had no doubt that all the darkness they brought from the fall was going to be cleaned up. But Joshua, who the Zohar says was at a lower consciousness, got stuck. Moses knew that the Israelites were going to correct, but Joshua was not sure; he knew his teacher Moses corrected and cleansed in the Upper Worlds, but he was not sure how much the Israelites did to fix it, nor if they would ever fix it. Joshua saw the process, and got stuck in the darkness that still existed. Moses, however, didn’t get stuck in the process; he didn't see the darkness, he saw only the Light at the end, and this is what we have to aspire to.
What is different between Moses, somebody who is really connected to the Light of the Creator, and somebody who is not? Yes, Moses knows there will be a process, but he sees the end today, he sees the total Light here today, and because Moses - both in the individual and for the collective of all the Israelites - sees the correction already, he is already living in the correction, and therefore, the Light of Immortality can still come down.
Joshua, unfortunately, was like so many of us who are too often in the process and see the darkness. Moses knows there is going to be a process, but he sees the end, he sees the correction, he sees the total Light revealed right then. It's not that Moses didn't see the fall, but he saw and connected to the correction right away. And it’s in the moment when Joshua saw the fall and really invested himself in it and saw the battle that the Tablets broke, and when the Light of Immortality left this world. That's also the moment in every person's life when the Light leaves; not when there's a problem, not when there's a fall, but when we stop seeing the end, as Moses saw the end.
It is an amazing revelation; you can fall, as the Israelites fell with the Golden Calf, but if you have the consciousness of Moses, where you see the end, then there actually is no fall, there is no darkness. What would have happened if Moses came down and Joshua had not gotten involved in the process, not looking at the end? The complete Light of the Creator, the complete Light of Immortality, would have still come down into this world. Because Light doesn't leave when you fall, Light doesn't leave when there is a problem, Light doesn't leave when there is darkness. Light leaves when you get so consumed by the darkness and the fall that you stop seeing the end.
The Shabbat of Vayakhel, the Zohar is telling us, is the beginning of that correction, and now we understand what the beginning of the correction is. We can either choose to live our life like Joshua, or like Moses. Yes, Moses saw what was going on, but he also had complete certainty that the darkness and fall was momentary. He saw and lived in the end. On this Shabbat, we can receive from Moses the ability to live with that consciousness.