Topic: Well Being | Posted:March 25, 2015
The portion Tzav begins with a discussion of the sacrificial offerings, parts of which were burnt throughout the night and therefore became ashes. It says that the first thing the Kohen would do in the morning was then take those burnt ashes and put them back into the center of the altar. It's very interesting; what's the purpose of taking the ashes of already burned sacrifices and putting them back onto the altar?
The overall teaching of this is about how little we understand, and it may be the most important truth to keep in mind all the time; in fact, if we did, we would most likely never have a negative experience. The truth is that we think we understand, we think we see, but we really see or understand nothing.
So, a person brought the sacrifice and saw that it had an effect - it was swallowed up, it says, by the Supernal fires. This means the Creator accepted it, and it revealed Light. Most of the sacrifice that was brought was burnt up completely; this part was the elevated part. The other part of it became the deshen, the burned ashes. Therefore, a person thinks there is Light in what was accepted but not in the ashes that weren’t accepted. Yet, if that were the case, why does the Kohen take the ashes and put them back in the altar first thing in the morning? The answer is the secret of this Shabbat: because there is nothing that is not the Light of the Creator. The sacrifices accepted are not in any way more elevated than the ashes that were left over. The ashes are brought back to the altar because there are no parts, there is no place, that is not of the Light of the Creator.
It is our ego that makes the separation, that decides this is the way it should be, and this is the way it shouldn’t be. It is our ego that decides the Light is here, but isn't there. However, the lesson from this teaching is that there is no such thing as a higher action or lower action. When you really understand that the Light of the Creator is everywhere, then there is no distinction between any situation you find yourself in, because they are all of the Light of the Creator. Any difference that you make in your mind is from the ego. But if you are able to remove your ego and all of your attachments, then you come to see that there is nothing that is far away from the Creator. There is nothing that is not completely and wholly of the Light of the Creator equally. It's a very important understanding, and is, as the kabbalists teach, a great gift of this Shabbat.
We have to train our minds to know that we have no idea. All the thoughts we have that we know, that this is the way it should be, that we know why we are or aren’t in this situation are not spiritual thoughts. They are the thoughts of the ego.
For example, sometimes people travel for work, and think they're going somewhere for a business deal. But the thoughts of the Creator are often not the thoughts that the individual is having. While he may think that the reason he is traveling so far away is for business, the Creator has a different plan, a different thought as to why that person is traveling; the Creator knows how to fix us better than we know how to fix ourselves. Maybe there's a loaf of bread in a faraway land that has sparks that that individual needs for his soul. Maybe the Creator knows that for his correction, that person has to eat a particular piece of bread, in that city, at that time. We travel somewhere, or are put in a certain situation, because the Creator sees that we need something there for our soul. This is why it says that a person's travels, a person's life, is prepared by the Creator.
We have no idea why we go places, we have no idea why we stay places… and we want to be in the place where we know we have no idea. The only way to get to this is if you are consistently reminding yourself: “I have no idea. I have some understanding of what I think the spiritual system is, and, yes, I have to live my life based on that understanding. But at the end of the day, I have no idea. And if the Creator comes to me or creates a situation where it's all completely turned upside down from what I thought, then I'm excited about that. I'm happy with that because now I know that this is where the Light of the Creator is for me.”
Why is something happening? You have to understand – you have no idea. The Light of the Creator is equally in everything. There is nothing that is either far away from or closer to the Creator. The sacrifice accepted was not higher than the ashes burnt away. They are all of the Light of the Creator. Therefore, on this Shabbat, we want to ask the Creator, "Let me truly live my life with the understanding that I have no idea. That I know that everywhere I go, everything I do, and everything that happens to me is of the Creator.” If you are really able to come to this consciousness, there is nothing that can ever happen that will upset you. There is nothing that could ever happen that will disappoint you. Because you know: "I don't know."