Topic: Holidays & Time Zones | Posted:September 3, 2013
On Rosh Hashanah, we will hopefully cut away the most negative aspects of ourselves. The work following that is to understand that we can’t go back to who we were before - because then we go back to the chaos and negativity that existed there previously. We must remain in an elevated place so that those forces of klipot can’t find us when they come looking. In order to ensure the blessings and the removal of negativity that we accomplish on Rosh Hashanah, we must remain in an elevated consciousness.
One way to stay in this place of elevation is through a concept that I’ve always found to be truly beautiful. It is from a section in the Zohar explained by Rav Ashlag, referred to as “the locks, the doorways, and the rooms.”
There are exciting times in our lives when we feel that everything is open for us, and like we are entering into a room - a huge room filled with happiness and fulfillment. Then there are times when we feel that nothing is opening up for us, like all the doors are locked in front of us, and everything is going wrong. Sometimes, in one day, you feel all three - you can feel locked, you can feel open, and then you can feel like you have entered into a vast room.
Most of us think that those three realities are completely separate things; that if you face a lock, you must move away from it to look for an opening in a different place. However, Rav Ashlag emphasizes the importance in understanding that the lock is not in a different place from the opening. The lock and the opening are not separate; they are, in fact, the same energy. So many times we come to difficult places and situations in our lives, places where we feel completely blocked, and we just want to go around it or find a way out of it. What we don’t understand in those moments is that every single blockage needs to become an opening, and that within every single lock is the opening. It is only in the room that was opened by pushing through that lock that you will find blessings and Light.
Rav Ashlag asks us to remember these words: “No lock is the same. Every lock is unique and perfect for a specific Light that you need now, that your soul needs now, that your life needs now. No challenge is the same. No lock is the same. No doubt is the same. They are all perfectly created to be transformed into an opening, to be transformed into a chal (gate).”
Every lock is uniquely created for us to bring us to a unique opening. When you go past the challenge today, you’ll find another one soon - but it will be a different one, and you will have lost the opportunity to transform your previous lock. Unless you go through the process of tshuvah, you will not again be able to access the Light you would have received through that transformation. Each one of us is given a certain amount of openings that we have to unlock in our lives, and not until then do we complete the purpose for which our soul came into this world; you came into this world not just to walk around that blockage and that challenge, but to push yourself when it gets difficult.
On a deeper and more global level, every time you transform a lock into an opening, you give others that same ability - for you have unlocked a room of Light for humanity, not just for yourself. When you do that, you open the gate called Shaar l’Hashem, where every one of these locks becomes a gate of righteousness, a gate through which you and the world can go. Rav Ashlag tells us that this is the secret of the verse, “This is the gate which the righteous go through.”
When we look forward into our life after Rosh Hashanah, we must remember this concept of locks, doorways, and rooms in order to truly manifest the blessings we receive. Don’t go around a doubt. Don’t go around a challenge. Don’t go around a difficulty. Fight through them. As you enter this new year, ask for the strength to see every lock and push through it; only then will you be able to receive from the Creator all that was in the Thought of Creation, all the goodness, all the blessings – for both yourself and the world.