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Walking Behind the Creator

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:January 20, 2016

The portion Beshalach is a very important one. It is the one where the 72 Names are revealed, and one of great miracles; as such, it is one from which we can also awaken great miracles.

It says that the Israelites awakened a tremendous amount of certainty and trust in the Light of the Creator, and then, right after that, elevated to the state where they were worthy, able, and capable of receiving the Light of miracles and the Light of the Final Redemption. And, ultimately, as Rav Shimon bar Yochai tells us, what the Light of the Final Redemption really is is an elevation of the level of our certainty in the Light of the Creator to such a place that it is the solution to all the darkness, pain, and difficulties that we experience.

There is a beautiful and powerful section in the Zohar, in the portion of Shlach Lecha, that says there are two ways an individual is with the Creator. It says that to Abraham, before he achieved his highest level of connection, the Creator said, "Walk in front of Me." The Creator is behind, and Abraham is in front. But when an individual elevates, and we understand that means elevates in his level of certainty, then the Light of the Creator starts walking in front of him and he walks behind.

In the portion of Beshalach, it says first that the Creator walked in front of the Israelites, but when the Israelites started losing their certainty, the Light of the Creator became weak for them, and had to be removed from in front of them and went behind them. What does that mean? The Zohar, just to be clear, is saying the perfect condition is when the Light of the Creator is walking in front of you, and you are walking behind it. The worse condition is if, for whatever reason, you lose certainty, and the Light of the Creator walks behind you and you walk in front of it.

What is the secret of the Light of the Creator walking in front of us, and what is the secret of the Light of the Creator walking behind us? The difference is dependent on certainty. There is a beautiful verse that we read in the Haftarah on Yom Kippur which says, "The Creator says, 'Open up the path.'" Because when the Creator walks in front of us, the challenges go away; He is there to clean it up before we get there. When the Creator walks behind us, we go through the challenge, and then He is there to push us through it. That is the choice we have; and when we choose the strength of certainty, the Creator goes in front of us.

When the Creator goes in front of us, it means He cleans everything up before we get there; before the challenge gets there, the Creator cleans it up for us. But we are not there yet, because we do not have the strength of certainty yet. So, the Creator is behind us and we go through the challenges. Yes, we have the connection because we still are sharing people and spiritual people, so the Creator pushes us through it, but that is not what we want. We want, as with Abraham, and as it says originally with the Israelites, the Light of the Creator to walk in front of us and to clear it for us.

There is only one way to get there, and that is why, again, the Zohar says what happens is that the Israelites weakened the Light of the Creator. The great kabbalist the Maharal also teaches that when you do not have certainty, you weaken the strength of the Light of the Creator, and, therefore, the Light of the Creator has to start walking behind you. Yes, there is still Light and there are still blessings, but you go through the challenges, and the Creator helps you push through it. However, that is not the ultimate.

The ultimate is coming to this new understanding, and begging for a new level of certainty, so that we can merit the Light of the Creator cleaning up everything before we get there. It is a beautiful and powerful teaching, and may we all, through this understanding, come to a new level of strength of certainty so that the Creator will always walk in front of us.

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