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Seeing Our Garbage

Topic: Consciousness | Posted:July 10, 2013

This week’s portion, the first in the book of Deuteronomy, begins “elehha devarim,” meaning “these are the words.” Moses is soon leaving this world, and knows he has limited time; in this portion are the words that he chooses to share with the Israelites before he leaves. The Zohar tells us that everything prior to this message from Moses was insignificant.

And so, what was the last message that Moses gave the Israelites? He told them what they’ve done wrong; and because he didn’t want to embarrass them, he actually only mentioned the places where they made the mistakes, without ever mentioning the mistakes themselves.

Moses chose his last lesson to be that of telling people what’s wrong with them – telling them what their garbage is. This is very significant, and therefore, we learn from it that one of the gifts of this Shabbat is the ability to see our garbage; because we can’t transform and achieve the purpose for which we came to this world if we can’t see the garbage that needs transforming. But in order to see our garbage, there are two prerequisites: desire and understanding.

Let’s start with the understanding. We need to understand that there is a huge distance between the person we are now and the person we need to be. It’s not just that I want to become a little bit better, it’s that I need to become a completely different person. If we don’t know this, then we’ll never merit seeing our garbage.

Next, is the desire to see our garbage. One of my favorite sections in Psalms is a song that King David wrote about Nathan the Prophet coming to him to tell him all the mistakes that he made in his actions with Bat-Sheva. The Zohar asks, if Nathan is coming to tell him all the sins that he did, it’s not a day to be happy; it’s a time to write a sad song. However, it is a happy song that King David wrote, because there was nothing in the world that made him happier than when somebody was able to show him what was wrong with him.

The kabbalists explain that the Psalm says that the level of joy King David felt when he was with his beloved, Bat-Sheva, was the same joy he felt when Nathan came to him. Can you imagine finding out your garbage making you as happy as being with your soul mate? But it’s because the only time the revelation of our garbage comes to us is when it’s with joy – when we desire it.

We have to ask ourselves: What is going to make me the happiest today? What is going to make this day my best day? If we decide that someone or some situation coming to us to show us our garbage will make our day the best, then it will come to us.

I know all of us have met people who are completely focused on their Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, and they don’t see anything wrong with it. And then there are people like us, who are struggling with growth, with change, and we find things that are wrong with us, and try to change it. How can there be such a difference in humanity between people who are completely removed from any desire to grow or change, and those who feel terrible when they find their filth and want to change it?

The answer, Rav Ashlag writes, is that the Creator will never reveal anything to us that we do not: A) have a desire to change, and B) have the ability to change. So, the Creator will never show us our garbage if we do not have a desire to change it or the ability to change it.

You can sit with the greatest spiritual leader ever and ask him to tell you your garbage, but he or she probably won’t be able to see it. You have to beg the Creator for the merit of this revelation. People can show us parts of it, but its complete revelation is a gift that comes only from the Creator. And it only comes to us if, as Rav Ashlag says, we desire to change it and have the strength and power to change it.

This Shabbat of the portion Devarim is called Shabbat Chazon, which means the Shabbat of Vision. The kabbalists teach that during this Shabbat we are able to, whether consciously or on a soul level, come to see our perfected self. How does this pertain to what I’ve been talking about – seeing our garbage? We become our perfected self once we have transformed all of our garbage. And we need to see our garbage in order to transform it. Therefore, one of the greatest gifts of this Shabbat is that if we ask for it, Moses will come back and show us our garbage. It’s a tremendous and exciting gift that is available to us.

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The Creator is only constantly in the state of Goodness, and never in the state of seeing what is wrong. Read more: https://t.co/NHD1PQ5a34
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