Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted:May 25, 2016
Usually when there's a message from the Creator to the Israelites, there's a conversation that begins with the name of the Creator being revealed, most of the time through Moses, and through Moses to us. However, the portion Bechukotai begins without those words. It's one of the only portions where there's a message, a teaching, from the Creator with no mention of the name of the Creator; this gives us an idea that there's something unique in the Light that is revealed this week.
Bechukotai is dealing with things that are above both human understanding and human ability; what we want to come to learn this week is that so much of what we need to do and what we need to correct are things that we really can't control. So, the question is then, if we really come to the understanding that the assistance we need, the blessings we need, and the correction we need is often beyond our possibility to control, then what do we do? How do we correct what is not in our control?
There are times, for example, when we have meant to do a positive thing, but it doesn't always work out that way, especially with regards to someone else. In retrospect, we think maybe we should've treated that person in a different way, and then time goes by and we want to find a way to correct it, but so many things have happened since then. How do we correct things such as this that have manifested beyond our control? In order for business to succeed, for example, an individual doesn't control all the variables needed for it to work. There are numerous things that we both know of and don't know of that are beyond our control; so, how do we control or influence them?
The way to start this consciousness is by first truly understanding that what we need spiritually and physically to either accomplish, create, draw, or correct is beyond us. Logically, we know we control the very small sphere of influence, but obviously what we need to do in this world is far beyond that. How do we get there?
If a person does an internal negative action that doesn't have a negative influence on anybody else, then in understanding the spiritual process of correction, we know that whatever damage he has done can be corrected. However, once we get into the category of things that we’ve done to somebody else or ways we have influenced someone negatively, we can awaken all kinds of fears, because we don’t know how we are ever going to correct that. How are we ever going to change something we did to somebody else… and who knows what other negative effects it also had? There's so much that we have to correct and so much that we have to influence that is beyond our control. So, how do we do it?
Here's the answer. We have to begin with the clarity that in order to accomplish everything our soul came into this world to accomplish, both physically and spiritually, we have to be able to get to the state where our influence goes beyond what is natural and normal. We have to be able to come to the state where we can influence beyond what is natural for an individual to be able to influence.
There's a concept which says that the Creator will finish the work. If an individual does everything he can and needs to do to correct and change, then that influences the world. There is a beautiful section where the Ari asks why it says about the creation of man, “Let us make man,” when obviously the Light of the Creator is singular; why is the plural used? The Ari says that before the creation of each person, the Creator took a piece from everything, from every single supernal world, from every single part of this physical world, to use in actually creating a human being. And that's why it's called olam katan, a small world, because there's an aspect of everything in the world that we are made up of.
Therefore, the Ari explains that when it says, “Let us make man,” it means that the Creator took a piece of everything, both the highest and the lowest, the most spiritual and the most physical, and created every single one of us with that, which therefore, means we have an inherent connection to everything and everybody in this world. As such, this means that on a certain level, we can expand our influence to literally everything.
In order to do that, it is not just necessary to do the spiritual work, but also to push to do the spiritual work. For example, let’s say someone has a doctor's appointment, or a small procedure coming up. With the knowledge we have gained from this teaching, we now understand that within this person, there is a piece of the doctor, and there is a piece of the scalpel or tool that the doctor is going to use for the procedure. How does he awaken the Light within the doctor or the tool? This morning, when he woke up, he had a choice to make as to whether or not he was going to make his morning connection. And then, if he chose to do it, he had to choose whether or not he was going to invest all of his effort into it. Let's say he had two minutes to read Zohar, and he invested 50% of his effort, then the influence that's going to expand outside of him is 50%, which will maybe go to the doctor, but not to the knife.
We have the potential to influence everything that is external to us, but the only way to do that is by maximizing our internal push, because again, each individual has a piece of everything in the world within him. As such, each individual has the potential to influence every part of the world. But the way to do that is by maximizing that small world, maximizing the spiritual connection of that small world to the degree that the individual pushes him or herself to connect.
When a person pushes himself to that limit and does the maximum that he or she can do in the correction of his own internal world, then the influence goes out to the entire rest of the world for everything he needs. This is why it says that really the work of the Counting of the Omer is about personal transformation to earn the Light of the Creator. Really the hardest work is until the 33rd day of the Omer, Lag B’Omer, because past that work, the Creator does the rest of the work for us. And the remaining days are the numerical value of the word “good,” because then goodness happens. If you've done all the work until Lag B’Omer, if you've done all the work you can do for your internal world, then you can be guaranteed that everything you need in the external world is going to happen for you.
We need to influence the world, and that is why we desperately need to be constantly pushing to maximize our internal work. And we can influence the world, because we are made up of everything in the world. But we can only influence the world to the degree that we are influencing and maximizing the work of our internal world. That's what this Shabbat is about.
The Creator is not mentioned in the beginning of the portion, because it's not about the Creator; it's about how we influence all that is outside of us. First, we understand that to really accomplish what we need to in this world, it can only be done by having influence on so many factors that we don't even begin to understand. We're meant to have that influence, because we're made up of everything in the world. But the only way to truly activate it is by maximizing the work within our world. That's why we have to push not to fall or do negative actions, because it diminishes our internal world. And when we diminish our internal world, we are diminishing our influence in the world. It’s what this entire portion, which not coincidentally is the 33rd portion, is about. The 33rd day of the Omer, and the 33rd portion, represents all maximum work. When we do maximum work, the Light of the Creator then makes sure that influence permeates the entire world.