Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted:August 31, 2016
The portion Re’eh, not coincidentally, is my father Rav Berg’s Bar Mitzvah portion. And there is a teaching which has to do with how we view our spiritual work that really reminds me of Rav Berg and the way he did his spiritual work.
There is a section in the Zohar, in Pinchas, which says when man was first created, the word that is used in the Torah is Elohim, which represents an aspect of the Light of the Creator. It says, “Let us collectively, together, create man.” However, if it was the Creator's direct creation, why is the plural, “Let us make man,” used, rather than the Creator saying, “I will make man?”
The Zohar says, “The Sun, the Moon, the Heavens, the Earth, the trees… for each one of these aspects of creation, the Creator said to the angels that are in charge of the Heavens, ‘Go and create the Heavens,’ so they go and create the heavens. He says to the angels that are in charge of creating the land, ‘Go create the Earth.’ He said to the angels that are in charge of creating animals, ‘Go create the animals,’” and so forth. Every aspect of our creation has an angel on top of it that is responsible for it now, and was responsible for its creation.
The Zohar is telling us that was the way creation occurred, up until the point of the creation of man. How had everything been created? There were these angels that were given the power and ability to create every aspect of reality. And after each one of these angels created their part of creation, the Creator said to them, “I want to create one thing, one being, that will be made up from all of our collective energy and aspects.” And he tells all of them - the angels that are responsible for the oceans, the angels that are responsible for the Heavens, the angels that are responsible for the animals, and so on – that all of them, together, will make man.
We have to understand this about ourselves; we are not a creation of the Creator, but rather, a collection of creation of all the aspects that are of this world and of the supernal world. We are made up of the world, so each one of us has an aspect of the land within us, an aspect of the ocean within us, an aspect of the trees within us, and so forth, because that’s how we were created. And the lower the soul, the smaller the aspect.
What does it mean, we should make man together? The Creator says, “I want each one of you, every part of creation, to invest an aspect of yourself and your energy into the creation of the human being.” The Creator says, “You'll each give a part of you, and I'll also give a part of Me;” that is the secret of the verse, “Let us make man.” It's such a beautiful concept and understanding: every single one of us is made up of everything that exists in this world.
The first thought we should have from this is the understanding that our spiritual work is so important because what we do influences the entire world. Why? Because we are made up of the entire world. So that if an individual falls, or acts with a Desire to Receive for the Self Alone and selfishly, then, for instance, his aspect of the ocean, whatever that is, great or small, becomes lowered. Maybe that means that part of the ocean now becomes a place where there's a storm, and somebody can get hurt. Or, maybe it means that when a person falls, his part of a tree makes fruit that is rotten.
Every aspect of creation, which is a part of us, rises and falls with us. Therefore, we understand that when the world, in all aspects – physical or spiritual - is falling, it's simply a collection of our fallings, and we draw down the entire world with us if we go down. The converse, of course, is also true; when we elevate, that means our aspects and part in everything which exists in this world elevate with us. As such, when a critical mass of people is elevating, they elevate the entire world with them. This is an understanding, and a very important one, that the Zohar is giving us here: we are made up of the world, and therefore, our elevation or our falling influences the world.