This week's Torah reading teaches us that just as Pharaoh became the power who urged the Jewish nation out of Egypt, so too, every element of our existence can become a positive and contributory, influence, aiding our involvement and spiritual growth.
In this portion, pharaoh and the Egyptian people start to crack. As stubborn as they were, something now pinned to their existence, something transpired that made them change their entire approach. Something happened now, which made them change their heart and shift their minds. They started to cherish their lives and for the sake of living - they asked Pharaoh to free the people of Israel – their captives. Already after the first plague out of the three we are going to meet in this portion- Pharaoh’s people have had it. They are ready to give in. they are ready to release their captives.
Pharaoh says to Moshe: you know what.. "Go, worship your God.” However at the same time he then asks Moshe “Who will go?". In this exchange between Moshe and Pharaoh, we can see the crucial difference between paganism and monotheism. And we can also start recognizing or to fully grasp the difference between forces of impurity to forces of purity. Pharaoh is a pagan, for him the rituals are done only by the priests or the leaders of the tribe or the nation. For Pharaoh, the rest of the people, the rest of the population are servants, simple subjects who are dependent on the relationship between the leaders – the priests and the royalty – and the various deities they serve. Pharaoh can see no reason for everyone to be part of the worship of G-d. Forces of impurity don’t recognize G-d as their ruler. Under Pharaoh’s belief only the religious leadership – the adult males – must go and serve God
while the people should remain behind, enslaved, passive, and hope that the priests get the rituals right.
Pharaoh does not grasp the notion of freedom for all. He thinks that only the adult males should go and worship G-d in the desert. He cannot imagine a state on which G-d wishes to relate to each and every one of the miserable people he has enslaved. He cannot imagine that each of these individuals is a separate entity, standing alone before G-d. Important to G-d. Moshe that leads the forces of purity on the other hand, try to explain Pharaoh (and to us) the core of monotheism, Which is that all of us - young, old, man and woman, must stand before G-d. As equals. As individuals that when in unity – create a powerful collective.
We all must participate in the relationship with the divine. We all must except that there isn’t any hierarchy except of the greatness of G-d. G-d, who created every one of us, has a relationship with every one of us. And that the hierarchy is not external but internal. Inside ourselves, we have different stages of holiness, We can be far from recognizing G-d as our one true leader or we can be close to this realization.
So before we begin to understand our inner hierarchy when it comes to our Divine consciences awareness… lets emphasize with the children of Israel. Let us for a moment become them, feel like them. Let us ponder for a moment how it was for us to be in that state of mint – a state of enslavement under the Egyptian oppression.
Imagine how tough it was to them - to the children of Israel. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally – to leave a place they are familiar with, and start walking towards the unknown. Unsure what the next step is. Unsure what the future holds, and whether they’ll ever find themselves in a safe place, free from oppression.
Remember, they had everything they needed in the land of Goshen. True, they were slaves and captives, however after so long being under this state of mind of enslavement, really, more than 200 years, we are talking about few generations. It must have been a state of mind they got familiar with, and were used to, and so they were scared, they were dreading this new idea of walking away. Living the land of Goshen behind was probably a terrifying idea. And they had to collect within themselves huge amount of courage. Which must have being the result of a gradual process.
Where does it touch us - our story. What do we need to cut from ourselves and leave behind? What do we need to go through in order to become prepared to this new realization? To this new state of mind In which we consider ourselves as free people, no longer enslaved and oppressed.
To answer this, we need to touch a fundamental concept in Chassidic traditional teachings.
According to Chasidic teachings, we have three stages of conciseness.
Let us try and understand them. Ibur (Conceive) – is a stage in which we are just like a fetus inside the womb. We cannot operate, cannot communicate, completely concealed and at the mercy of our provider. This stage of Ibur we can recognize in terms of thoughts or emotions. When we feel something or we know something but it is only a glimpse of awareness, we cannot act upon still. It is still concealed inside us. We can say – a potential of some sort is there. However, it is only in terms of potential. And we cannot act upon it yet. When in this stage of Ibur, we go through a process, which help us to clarify the attributes (the counts).
This stage helps us to shift our conscious from a state of complete chaos to a state where we start to understand better the correct order of things.As we discussed last week – to understand how to activate the spheres (attributes) in their correct order. This order will eventually help us achieve a conscience awareness. An awareness that will be formalized into a state of leadership over our heart, emotions and thoughts. Lets try and understand.
At first, the attributes (the midot) were unsorted. They were in chaos, however, the process of organizing – during the stage of Ibur (conceive) we started to arrange them. As we learned in last portion – We separated the forces of purity from the forces of impurity.We separated the good from the evil. So we have order in our structure. We now know better who the Egyptians are and who are Israel. Inside us. When in a stage of Ibur. When in the stage of an fetus. We repair ourselves. If you remember we talk last week on the different faces – So in Ibur (when in the fetus mode), only the lower parts of – Netzach (eternity / victory) Hod (Splendour) Yesod (foundation) are repaired. When we are acting while on this state of consciences, when N H Y are activated we act in a state that it called Nefesh. We are only activating the layer of Nefesh. Its is the soul, but in its lower state of conciseness.
Now lets go to the second stage of Yenuka. In Yenica (suction), when we are able to absorb.
In this stage The lights grow and expand – the attributes now are able to recognize the supreme light they receive. And the mind enhances with a greater force of consciousness. Now it is not only N H Y – we are now receiving into our conciseness awareness also the lights from the H G T. When in this stage we now can say we are in a higher state than the Nefesh state we were before. We are now in spirit. We do not receive more lights since the lights were there already during the Conceive stage, but we were not able to perceive them, the lights, because we were in a lower state of conciseness. Before we had no order. Everything was in Chaos. However now when the order has been created and established
1. First, we can recognize the lights we have inside us and
2. Second – because of this, the lights can grow and expand.
During Yenika (suction) or in this level of conciseness that we call spirit, we can say that we are in a process on which we are building the lights, enabling them to come to a state of accomplishment. To a state on which they can operate.
In Gadlut (greatness) state: which is the third state The brains is expanding in all its affairs to lead the emotions, thoughts body mind and soul ZA.. When in this stage we are on the level of the high soul (Neshama).
So in those three stages we are basically transforming our consciences awareness – taking it from the lower to the grand. The soul rises to spirit and later on spirit rises to Neshama. This way we can activate our Mochin, our brains. The side of wisdom the side of logic both to lead us. The first two stages – Ibur (conceive) and Yenika (suction), repaired the body- Which needed to build itself under the correct order, to separate purity and holiness from impurity and evilness. Those stages has nothing to do yet with our brains. MOCHIN. However, now as the body is fixed it can receive the Mochin, the upper attributes of Keter Chochma Bina. The two brains of leadership intertwine and now light can spread from the head (the upper three attributes) to the body (the lower seven).
Before the brain or head wasn’t able to lead the body, because the body was under chaotic state, and we only had the lower N H Y, but now when we have also C G T we have all seven attributes working together. The lower part of the tree of life is ready now to accept the upper part that will complete it. Now all seven counts are revealed and corrected in all their greatness. Now, when all seven are together and operating as one, the discovery of the first three is possible – K C B to a greater extend.
So the enquiry of the Midot is done in the stage of (Ibur) when a fetus, in a state of conceive, where order is established and we start to see separation between good and evil. But those Midot do not complete the repairs until the C G T join them when in state of suction. And even then still we need the Chabad to be discovered K C B Only when Chabad is discovered. The light can actually operate.So now we know that one should first repair his N H Y. and that those are not complete until C G T are also reveled and joining them. And once C G T are reveled and repaired as well, the K C B can be activated. So, only by completion of all seven attribute and their full wide repair - a light from the upper three attributes can be extend.
Now that we have sorted out the stage of Ibur, Yenika (suction) and Gadlut (greatness) in terms of their building. Let’s examine them in terms of how they are actually work.
The first stage of Ibur, is a state of chaos that we can see during the Egyptian exile. This state of chaos we can witness within ourselves when we do not see or hear the divine. He is their only we are not aware of Him. We are talking here about times on which G-d is hiding from us, when it appears as if He is not paying any attention to our agony and troubles… In our story – the enslavement of the children of Israel in Eygpt was this state of Chaos. When the Israeli nation was like a fetus. In Ibur. In those times it seems as if justice and divine law does not exist in the world at all. When Hashem hides his forces, when we can see no justice what so ever. When we feel G-d is absent, and not acting as the Supreme Court He is and therefore it seems as if the entire world is in chaos. This is the first stage of Ibur. And this is where we were, or were we at still in the beginning of this portion. Or up until here in the biblical story.
However we are done with this stage and this is what we need to leave behind, this is the land of Goshan, the place that kept us in a stage of a fetus - we must escape from this place – convenient as it is. Because the time has come in our spiritual calendar, in our spiritual journey for the second stage of conciseness. For the more advanced stage of conciseness
Second stage of Yenika (suction) This stage is represented in times when there is no long-term prophecy.However We are witnessing wonders and miracles all around us to their great extent. But we still do not manage to find the place within ourselves to connect to all this.
As we can see in our story, in this portion, the Children of Israel are silent. Everything is happening around them. They do what they are been told to do. But it does not come from their inside. They are not under any consciences awareness at this point. They are do as they are told.
In Yenika time – we are witnessing signs, miracles, magnificent thigs happen to us, and yet still, in a way we still not fully committed, we are disconnected. As a nation we are still not ready to oblige in recognizing God's control over the world, Although in a way there ware some discoveries of G-d’s great powers, and that somewhat acknowledgement of the world's greatest Creator is starting to appear – still its external. It is only in the third stage of Gadlut (greatness), When we perceive G-d in all His greatness. When we are open to accept our part of this alliance.
In stage of Gadlut (greatness) G-d is reviling His full extent of powers; He is visible to nations at large and to peoples as details. But these discoveries are still in the form of miracles and signs. That are external. All our discoveries rises from His actions alone – from the miracles and signs but not from the inside of our perception. It is still not an inner recognition, only an external discovery. There is however, another state of greatness on which the leadership of the creator, of G-d, is discovered by human attainment and not only as an external force from signs and miracles. In this state everyone see and recognize Hashem as the world’s true leader – we recognize G-d in wisdom and understanding. That is when Chochma and Bina enters the picture. So again, during Ibur there is no action - we are like a fetus that as long as it is in its mother's womb, it is building itself, it is hidden, concealed and does nothing. But then, as soon as the fetus comes out of the mother’s womb and is born, the lights begin to expend, and start to reveal. An action now can take place. Lights can expand and grow until they are complete in size and goes to their full potential of greatness.
So up until now walking with and according to the portions, we were in the stage of Ibur, like a fetus in his mother womb, we couldn’t really do anything or act, or even be in a completer consciences awareness to divinity, to G-d’s great powers. As the children of Israel, we saw the signs, the miracles, the plagues that were cast over the Egyptian nation, but we had no inner perception of divinity. We did not really came to the realization of been completely connected to it. Connected to G-d.
Exile - galut, in Hebrew - is much more than a person’s physical removal from his homeland. A person in exile is a person that is detached from the environment that nurtures his way of life as a believer. When he is detached from his principles his values, his spiritual identity -In exile, all these are in jeopardy, for the person is on his own, supposedly. He must call upon his own resources of resolve and perseverance to survive. The great Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria taught us that every object, force and phenomenon in existence has a spark of holiness within it — a pinpoint of divinity that constitutes its soul, its spiritual essence and design. This spark embodies the divine desire – that all thing exist and function within G‑d’s overall purpose for creation. But there is a process for this to happen A person cannot realize his own divine essence, in one strike…
Every soul has its own sparks scattered, which actually form an integral part of the soul itself.
No soul is complete until it has redeemed those sparks related to its being. Thus, a person moves through life, impelled from place to place and from occupation to occupation by seemingly random forces; but everything is ruled by divine providence, which guides every person to reach those possessions and opportunities whose soul is intimately connected with. Our sages we know “valued their possessions more than their bodies.” For they recognize the divine potential in every bit of matter, and see in each of their possessions a component of their own spiritual integrity.
"Bo" means “come.” The name derives from our Parshah’s opening verse, in which G‑d instructs Moshe to “come to Pharaoh” Why does it say, “Come to Pharaoh” and not “Go to Pharaoh”?
The Zohar tells us G‑d brought Moshe into a chamber within a chamber inside Pharaoh’s palace. To the supernal and mighty serpent from which many levels evolve...The Zohar explains that Moshe feared confronting Pharaoh inside his palace, at the hub of his power. On earlier occasions, Moshe had been directed to meet Pharaoh in other places, such as on the Nile. But that was the first time Moshe received a command to enter Pharos Palace. A chamber within a chamber of the great serpent. the evil of them all. The word “come” is thus to be understood in the sense of “come with me”. G‑d is saying to Moshe, “Come with Me to Pharaoh.” G‑d promised Moshe that He Himself would accompany him to Pharaoh. Another way of looking at this is “Come to Pharaoh—“come” in the sense of “enter within.”
Liberate the people of Israel from the “great and mighty serpent,” liberate them from this state of mind which is used to oppression, enslavement. Enter to the problem itself – fix this problem from its root.
It was not enough to merely go to Pharaoh; Moshe had to enter into the core of Pharaoh, into the very root of his power. G‑d says to Moshe: “Come to Pharaoh.” Together, we will penetrate the self-worship that is the heart of evil. Together, we will discover that there is neither substance nor reality to evil. Because — all it is, is the misappropriation of the divine in man. The term “come” is also interpreted as meaning “enter” or “penetrate.” This command thus requires personal initiative, and simultaneously, promises that such initiative will be rewarded by G‑d’s assistance. Moshe was required to act on his own but not independently. For G‑d would support his efforts.
When we DO, we find out that we are not alone. G‑d is with us, supporting our efforts. In everything we Do - we must stay tuned with the true lights of divinity. Aware of the process.Aware of the need to activate all Midot within the tree of life in union – Then we would see and recognize that we are speaking and acting with greater power than we could ever muster on our own. And this transforms the world around us, including the forces of evil. That now are finally willing to let go
Just as Pharaoh became the power who urged the Jewish nation out of Egypt, so too, every element of our existence can become a positive and contributory, influence, aiding our involvement and spiritual growth.