Review of Foundational Ideas: The Totality of Creation
This is part 2 of the lecture given last week which deals with the different spiritual realities, how they correspond to the Jewish neshama—soul, and the phenomenon of prophetic experience. I’m describing the climate, environment of the messianic era. It should also be an interesting understanding of how G-d alerts everyone that the mashiach is here,
In Egypt, the Jews were in one country. G-d defied Pharoah, brought the plagues, and took them out. Now, the Jews are spread all over the globe. The 14-15 million extant Jews are the most dispersed nation on Earth. I like to joke that, were you to go to Tahiti, you would find a Jew who owned a grocery store. Our languages are different, dress varies, names are different. In Egypt, these cultural variants were not an issue; they kept their language, dress and names. The exile of today is very different from the exile of ancient Egypt. How will G-d take everybody out?
In this week’s Torah portion, Netzavim, Moshe prophesied about the destiny of the Jewish nation: “Even if your outcasts are at the end of heaven, the Lord, your God, will gather you from there, and He will take you to Him from there.”
The Five Realities
Last week, I spoke about the five spiritual realities, four of which comprise olam ha’ze—this world. All but this physical world are spiritual worlds comprised of many different components, among which are the angels. Reality has five dimensions. We exist at the lowest: Asiyah--World of Action, and even that is subdivided into: olam ha’shafel refers to our physical world, which, according to scientists, spans 13.7 billion light years (and expanding—author). Then there are the “Seven Heavens.” Above us is Yetzirah—World of Formation. Above that is Beriya---World of Creation, which has its own inhabitants. Above that is Atzilut—World of Emanation. The highest is olam ha’ba—Future World which is not categorized as olan ha’ze—This World. Each reality provides a different vantage point from which to experience G-d.
If you stand up close to someone, your view of him is one way. But what if you step back? The perspective changes, lessens in intensity. What if someone steps between you and places a barrier, a lens? It becomes distorted. What if there are two lenses in between? Proximity is critical. How close or far are you? It’s the same in G-d’s relationship with man. You can stand close to G-d or stand a thousand miles back. You’re looking at Him, but your perspective is a result of proximity. The greatest thing you can imagine is close proximity to G-d. Everything else is irrelevant because He is the source of all existence. When you are close to that source—wow! The further back you get, the harder it is. He created levels of intensity of His image, of the shechina. The greatest of all dimensions, all realities, is Olam ha’Ba—Future World, also referred to as Adam Kadmon—primordial man. In that dimension, the proximity is unparalleled. Below that is Atzilut where G-d presents himself to human beings but His presence is relatively diminished, yet still an incredible view. We, in this world, have almost no view of G-d. We have the barrier of physicality. We can only discern G-d through His works.
The Jewish Neshama as Interface
The other topic that bears review from last week’s lecture is that of the Jewish neshama--soul which has five parts corresponding to the five spiritual dimensions:
Nefesh—animal soul is your link to this lowest world of Asiyah. It is the portion that connects the neshama to the physical body. The neshama is “looking out” through the physical body via nefesh thinking itself a physical being, but that body is like clothing one is wearing.
Ruach—spirit is connected to that second dimension of Yetzira making that dimension accessible were the blinders of ruach to be removed.
Neshama—contemplates Divine energy in the world of Beriya.
Chaya---connected to Atzilut, the fourth dimension.
Yechida--unobstructed, perceives Olam ha’ba—Future World.
We also see that when the shechina enters the universe though the sefiros, the sefiros enter via the neshama. The neshama is a portal, an interface through which the Divine Presence enters the world.
The final topic to be reviewed from last week is that of nevuah—prophecy. Were a soul connected to all the dimensions, it would be possible to see into every world via prophecy. There are different levels of prophecy. It is important to know about this because it will all be restored. What is nevuah—prophecy?
A prophet would go through a program. He would close his eyes and be seized in a trance, unable to move, paralyzed. Only his brain, imagination, and intellect would work. G-d would then feed his mind images, understandings, which conveyed messages, information from the world of Atzilut. All prophets, except for a few latter ones, would be able to “stand” in Beriya and have visions of Atzilut. Their neshama was activated. Depending on the prophet himself, he have a certain distance. Moshe had the closest proximity. Yehezkel, after the destruction of the Second Temple, had to “go down” from Beriya to Yetzira. Yechezkel stood one down, but he also could look into Atzilut, but he was a hundred miles away!
All the worlds are spiritual except for this physical world, Asiyah. Spirituality begins with Yetzirah.
The Third Temple as Conduit
The environment of the messianic era is based on the idea of the Third Temple as a conduit for the Messianic Light. The Third Temple is what restores prophecy. That is the messianic era. It is not just a building but the means to restore the internalization of G-d in you. As it is written: “V’shochanti b’tocam”—and I will dwell in them. This becomes operative! The Third Temple appears--it must appear--because it is the gateway to olam Yetzira. The Third Temple is the Temple in Yetzira which is brought down to earth! It is Beis ha’Mikdash shel l’maale—Temple on High (in fact there is also a Jerusalem shel l’maale—Jerusalem from On High). What happens when you take that Third Temple in olam Yetzira and bring it down?--it becomes physical and it maintains its property as a gateway. Olam Yetzira pours out of that Temple into this world. The Beis ha’Mikdash l’maale corresponds exactly to the Beis ha’Mikdash l’mata—the earthly Temple, and is an interface between the two worlds.
A critical idea to emphasize here is that the shechina—Divine Presence enters all worlds through the collective soul of the Jewish people. The shechina enters into the upper Temple and, from that, goes into our Temple. From there, the shechina resides. That is the shechina for us. When the Davidic Messiah is here, the Temple is already built—has descended. Many don’t know this. It is Mashiach ben Yosef’s job to bring it.
The upper Temple in Yetzira descends and becomes physicalized. That is why it is said that G-d Himself builds it. It descends to where the other Temples formerly were. It remains a portal but the level of shechina’s intensity is far greater than what could be transmitted through the two previous temples. Those were essentially physical. The level of intensity is the level of Yetzira. We cannot now imagine what kind of manifestation that is. It is the level that would be encountered in that spiritual world! For the first time in all history, you will be able to feel G-d at a level that no man has ever experienced.
It is one thing to be a prophet and to look into a higher dimension. It is another when that spiritual world descends and we can access it in this world—not in a trance or a paralytic episode. When you understand this, there are many questions that can be answered.
G-d says: “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.” The term “My Spirit” is “ruchi,” the word referring to “ruach,” that second part of the soul that corresponds to olam Yetzira. G-d’s manifestation in Yetzira is called “ruchi.” G-d will manifest His spiritual intensity in the level of ruach and we will be able to experience that. In fact, it says He will appear “not with strength and might” but with “My Spirit.” This is Yetzira. That level of spiritual consciousness will descend and pervade the entire planet!
Biblical Referent for Messianic Era’s Environment
In Genesis, it is written that “in the beginning, the world was unformed and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” Then it says that ruach elokim—Spirit of G-d (in the pshat—literal meaning) the Spirit of G-d hovers over the waters. We now understand what “ruach elokim” is, the intensity of the revelation of G-d at the level of ruach/Yetzira. But as Baal ha’Turim (the great medieval scholar and rabbinic authority) points out, the gematria-numerology of the phrase “ruach elokim mirachefet—Spirit of G-d hovers is the same as “zuhi rucho shel melech ha’mashiach”—this is the Spirit of the King Mashiach. The messianic era’s climate, environment, will be of that intensity of ruach, of Yetzira.
What happens when this comes about, when the spirit of G-d at the level of ruach/ Yetzira enters Creation through the Third Temple? What does it mean for us? This is the ohr rishon—First Light, also known as ohr ha’ganuz—Concealed Light, also known as ohr mashiach--Messianic Light. When that pervades the Earth, that is the ohr mashiach. That is what it meant by the prophetic writing “ki malei aretz deiya—the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the water covers the sea-bed.” We are exposed to a level of G-d’s intensity that the world has never experienced before. We’ve no idea what that means.
The world will change radically. It is far greater than what is frequently touted as the environment to expect, the lion will lie down with the lamb and there will be world peace. That is just the beginning! The da’as—knowledge of G-d will be, what is now, beyond human comprehension.
Now we know something else. On Shabbat, we get an additional soul, the neshama yetzera. It doesn’t say that we get “another” soul. It is an “additional” soul with which to experience the Divinity of Shabbat. That is the ruach level of your soul! It “opens.” Normally, it is closed. In fact, all the levels of the soul are closed (except nefesh). As I mentioned, prophecy opens these various levels of the soul in the way that Shabbat itself opens ruach. That is what we get on Shabbat; we can experience, though we don’t see it, G-d as He reveals Himself in olam Yetzira, albeit in a milder way. Ever notice when Shabbat comes--if you observe Shabbat, that’s a condition—something feels different? Something happens Friday night that you know is different because something “enters” at that point. You can feel the difference. That is because your neshama, your ruach is now conscious of olam yetzira. You don’t see into that world but you feel it in a mild way. It’s an incredible gift from G-d. I once gave a lecture just about this this.
When the mashiach comes, our ruach will be open to Yetzira because it will have merged with Asiyah. This explains the verse which says that G-d will “circumcise our hearts.” The nefesh is connected to the body and resides in the liver. The blood is the nefesh and the majority of it is associated with the liver. The ruach resides in the heart. The neshama portion resides in the brain. The chaya hovers or envelopes the entire body, is not linked to any particular organ. The yechida, the highest aspect of the Jewish soul, is not connected to the body at all. It hovers outside the body because the yechida is linked to olam ha’ba. That which is in the heart, the residence of ruach, when circumcised, no longer has within it the zoamah-- defilement, that which causes decay and entropy. The ruach opens becoming conscious of G-d as “ruchi” or Yetzira. That is the purpose of the Third Temple, that conduit between Yetzira and the Creation. The two worlds merge.
When Yetzira integrates, merges with Asiya, this physical world will still exist but its physicality will be overlaid with the reality of a spiritual world. Something similar to this happened in Egypt. The chazal—sages tell us that, at the splitting of the Reed Sea, a maidservant experienced a greater revelation than did the prophet Ezekiel/Yechezkel. His greatest prophetic experience is described in the portion about the Divine Chariot, that which is the fundamental foundation of Creation as put forth in Kabbala. Yet, such a lofty vision was seen by the common Jew. She was able to see Yetzira and even beyond into Atzilut. At Matan Torah—the giving of the Torah, everyone became a navi—prophet. When G-d gave the first commandments, every Jew experienced G-d directly, the same way Moshe did. Why? The Torah can only be given to someone who can see into Atzilut from the vantage point of being right at the gate of that spiritual world. Torah cannot be distorted, must have the clearest vision. So, they experienced those two mitzvot--commandments at the level of prophecy of Moshe. They would have been standing in Beriya and seeing into Atzilut at the gateway. The result was that they all died and were revived. We now understand what the Jews at Matan Torah experienced.
But this is not the same as will occur during the messianic era. At Matan Torah, everyone was actually still in Asiya but had the vision of standing in Beriya and seeing into Atzilut. The messianic era will be greater. Why? The level of G-d as He is in Yetzira will come down! You won’t be having a vision in a trance state. You will experience G-d in a spiritual dimension while in a physical world. G-d doesn’t want to take a Jew into another dimension. He brings the shechina as it is revealed in Yetzira and brings that experience into this world. We experience a spiritual world while physical.
Gathering the Outcasts, Awakening from a Deep Sleep
The messianic process must have a preparation. As it says in this week’s Torah portion, “Netzavim,” G-d says that, though we be at the outermost reaches of Heaven, He will take us to Him. All of a sudden, every Jewish neshama will experience G-d as revealed in the intensity of Yetzira, will suddenly have such consciousness. We cannot begin to imagine what that means. It is like waking from a deep sleep. It is not a problem that we are dispersed throughout the world in this last stage of exile. Since every Jew has a neshama, a portal for the shechina, all G-d will do is “open up” the ruach, allow us to experience Him and that awakens everybody. He need not meet them all where they geographically live. When this happens, Jews will want to leave the countries to which they’ve been exiled and go to Eretz Yisrael—the Land of Israel. As a collective, they will gather and “build” the Third Temple. G-d has now appeared to every Jew, each to his capacity of ruach. Everyone will “wake up,” be conscious of G-d through his neshama. Every Jew, no matter where he is, will be separated from the goyim—non-Jews. That is what “yekabetzcha” means, to be “gathered.” It means to be separated by means of this extraordinary consciousness.
The Expanse of Time and Purpose, Evolution of Existence
This is the messianic era. What happens afterward? The messianic era ends in 6000/2240. There’s 218 years to go.
Then begins chatchorev—1000 years of decimation when G-d will enact zikuch—purification. The world of Asiya transforms, its gashem—materiality will be removed. Asiya becomes Yetzira. The messianic era prepares us for that. Until then, we live in Asiya but experience Yetzira through merger.
Afterward, we live in Yetzira, a completely spiritual domain.
From 7000-8000, Yetzira transforms into Beriya, infinitely greater than Yetzira.
Then Beriya turns into Atzilut. It is the highest level of the manifestation of the shechina in Olam ha’Ze—this world, this universe. The spiritual levels climb.
Ultimately, in 9001, the entire Creation changes into a state we cannot imagine or describe, called “Adam Kadmon—primordial man” or “Olam ha’Ba”—the Future World.
Now we understand the evolution. The first man, created in Yetzira, sinned, and the entire Creation was demoted into a physical reality dominated by zoamah—spiritual defilement which it has been mankind’s—then later, the Jews’ mission—to remove. That is what we’ve been doing for thousands of years here in Asiya.
Now you have a panoramic view, the stages, what the messianic era really is—a preparation for inhabiting a spiritual domain. The only one who knows what those upper worlds are like are the malachim—angels because that is the realm they inhabit. This is the overview of the totality of Creation.
Different Levels of the Mission
At each level, our work was different. After the first six days of the Creation, at the level of Yetzira, Adam was given one commandment, to refrain from eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Had he obeyed, he’d have begun to progress from that already higher level to the level of Beriya. But once he sinned, zoamah was introduced, Satanic defilement, and Asiya came into existence. For thousands of years, we’ve been trying to rid the world of the zoamah.
Now, as I’ve explained, the mashiach will come and remove the zoamah. Now we understand why the Satan is destroyed. How and why is the Satan destroyed? The Satan can only exist in Asiya; his purpose is rooted in the mission done in this physical world. Once the Divine Presence is revealed, the Satan can no longer exist. Mashiach ben David, the mashiach at the time of such revelation, removes him--no more defilement, no tumah, no death, no disease, both of which are the result of tumah. Essentially, the messianic era is the same world as that of Adam before the sin. We return to that level, Yetzira.
Transformation of Spirituality Itself
The messianic era is not only the end of defilement; it is the beginning of the transformation of spirituality itself. How different can it be? Imagine a person who lived in the year 1240. He is primitive by today’s standards. Imagine bringing him to 2021. He’d have a heart attack. He could not assimilate the cosmic change from his perspective. Same idea. We have no conception of our world as it will be when wedded to Yetzira. G-d will do this in a gentle way so as not to traumatize us as was the case at Sinai. They experienced nevuah--prophecy at the level of Moshe and couldn’t endure it. Moshe could because he’d become accustomed to experiencing G-d at that level.
G=d will not do that to the Jews without preparation. Most Jews are “gone” and could not survive such consciousness-raising. Eleven million are gone and most Jews know so little, are so much lower than we were even two generations ago. It is like someone with a filthy suit; you cannot bring him before the king. Like the righteous Joseph who, when removed from prison, was bathed and given new clothing in order to present himself to Pharoah. You cannot stand before Pharoah at the level of “dungeon.”
We too have to be elevated. How He will do it? I believe it will be done via the concept of mishnayos—the study of Mishna, the Oral Law. I’ve spoken of it many times. Each Jew will learn and know it. If you learn it b’iyun--in depth, it is equivalent to doing it. The Hebrew word “mishna” has the same letters as “neshama” and “meshane”---change. What kind of change? To whom?--to the neshama. At what level? To the level of shem ha’shem—name of G-d, at the “50th Gate,” that level of holiness which is the ohr rishon.
When you look at the world, evil is being given its last ascendancy, its final due. In the blink of an eye, the whole messianic process will move forward again after a brief hiatus. Let us hope, as it says in Sanhedrin, that mashiach will come right after shmita, meaning in the beginning of 5783. Just as this month of Elul has been a preparation for the new year, the shmita year will prepare us for the advent of mashiach in 5783.
Q & A:
Participant: So geula just got pushed off another year.
R’Kessin: Hey, I don’t charge tax; I just…..
Participant: So long as it comes; I’ve had enough.
Another Participant: If this year is the preparation, then is that the process of using our own neshama to get us together?
Before G-d brings us together….he won’t put that consciousness in a person that will kill him. How can he do that to Jews who are a thousand miles away (spiritually)? They have to have a change in consciousness, doing mitzvahs, learning Torah.
Participant: How will we get all the Jews to do mitzvot when so many Jews don’t even know they’re Jewish?
R’Kessin: It is unknown, but it will be as it says, “And I will pour out My spirit.” It won’t be in a natural way which we can predict. The Redemption is supernational. It is a change of the cosmos, a cataclysmic event like Egypt. Who ever heard of the Nile turning to blood? This Redemption will not be natural. It might start off that way. As it is written, “Behold I will redeem you this time as like the first.” Nature was violated again and again. But this one will be even greater because the ultimate Redemption is the greatest event in the universe. Because it is supernatural, the Jews will awaken and return.
Participant: The Jews died during Matan Torah because they couldn’t accept the consciousness of Yetzira?
R’Kessin: It was like (what happened to) ben Azai. He and three other Talmudic sages entered--that is to say their consciousness entered-- into PARDES—orchard associated with olam Yetzira. He was so overwhelmed by the experience, by the dveikus—the attachment to G-d that he couldn’t endure it. When G-d reveals Himself at a level a person cannot endure, he dies. That is how these great tzaddikim died, called the “neshika”—Divine Kiss. A physical body cannot endure experiencing another being on that level, as close as possible. Moshe and Aaron and Miriam…..there are levels we can tolerate and those we cannot. Jews of today who are lower than those rescued from Egypt couldn’t endure receiving the first two mitzvot of the Torah with that degree of revelation, so they died. They had to be revived. There are other understandings which I won’t get into here. Even though they were prepared by the supernatural events leading up to the exodus: the plagues, the splitting of the sea, the 49 days during which unknown preparations took place---they still died. We who are million miles away from their level could certainly not experience that and live. What G-d has to do is to get Jews at least to the level of doing mitzvot, believing in Him, having a level of bitachon—trust in G-d, emuna—faith. They have to know the Torah because that is the only way to survive, to be able to withstand the unbelievable tidal wave of kedusha--holiness. How? We don’t know, but it will be supernatural. One thing is for sure: when it does happen, you’ll know.
Participant: Will the process happen to us where we’ll experience that kedusha, then die, then be resurrected?
R’Kessin: That question makes a good point. It is not clear if everyone dies naturally or because the experience is too great. But that happens after Mashiach ben David, after ben Yosef, after the Beis ha’Mikdash, after the war of Gog u’Magog, after everything. It isn’t clear what causes death. But we have to die in order to get rid of the zoamah of the physical body. We die and get up with a new body without zoamah.
Participant: So that, technically, is eight years from now.
R’Kessin: Could be. Could be less. I think it will be less.
Participant: Didn’t we say that t’chiat ha’meitim takes 210 years?
R’Kessin: Yes. Once the process begins, it take 210 years to unfold until the last person gets up.
Participant: Does the level of revelation of G-d go according to the way you kept Judaism throughout your life or does everyone get the same level of experience of the shechina?
R’Kessin: I would imagine it will be different because the level depends on the level of religiosity of a person even if it isn’t Olam ha’Ba. Even in Gan Eden, which is olam Yetzira, everyone there is receiving their revelation in proportion to their religiosity, but there is a minimum. So here, it will be probably the same. People who have devoted their lives to religiosity will experience G-d in a greater way.
Participant: Regarding the pasuk--verse about circumcising the heart, He will remove the blockages, the zoamah so the ruach is unblocked and we can experience Him but isn’t that after t’chiat ha’meitim—resurrection of the dead? Isn’t that when the zoamah is removed?
R’Kessin: You can remove some amount of the zoamah which is why we have the concept of mikveh—ritual immersion to remove the zoamah because that is what tumah is.
Participant: But I thought you had to die to remove it.
R’Kessin: Let’s look at it this way: everyone has some zoamah. It is integrated into your physical flesh. That is what’s called “major concentration.” That cannot be removed until death. But there is “surface zoamah” tumah which can be removed with mikveh or parah aduma—Red Heifer. There is a surface removal and the complete removal which will happen later on. There are different stages of its removal.
Participant: So, this could be the year, the beginning of the removal of the zoamah?
R’Kessin: Yes. It has to happen eventually. And when it does, it will be supernatural. We’re not looking at an ordinary event. I believe it will happen as soon as evil has its due. Now, evil claims kitrugim—prosecutions. The Satanic prosecution can say: hey the Jews sin tremendously and G-d says, fine so we are watching evil dominate. Just look what is happening in Afghanistan. All the terror organization are rejuvenated and are celebrating: Iran, No. Korea, Russia, China. They see this as a strengthening to dominate or destroy the world. Not only that, but they could come to America and pull off another 9/11. We haven’t begun to see what Biden has unleashed on the world. But putting that administration aside, evil has grown in its ability to dominate and destroy. This is part of the kitrug against the Jewish people. Justice has to be satisfied. Once it is satisfied, it will be swiftly destroyed. G-d doesn’t play around with evil. We don’t know when that time will come but G-d will then eradicate, annihilate evil. It’s coming. Just hang in there.
Participant: Is it possible that we’re getting a glimpse of something starting….that we had some sort of experience of geula starting and then we got a setback….what was it we experienced when the geula started (before the setback)?
R’Kessin: Trump. But it wasn’t really Trump but Esav who does teshuva—repents at the End. I spoke about this in many lectures. Through Trump, Esav repents fulfilling the prophecy of “rav ya’vod tzair—the elder will serve the younger.” That’s precisely what trump was doing, restoring Israel to the Jewish people. But things took a downturn so Trump was kicked out. The world has become incredibly defiled and degraded due to the institutionalization of the LGBTQ agenda which includes the gender-identification phenomenon. So, it’s mabul--Flood all over again.
Participant: You asked to be reminded of tell the audience what to pray for this Rosh ha’Shana.
R’Kessin: I gave a lecture devoted to Rosh ha’Shana, the gist of which is that Rosh ha’Shana is the time that G-d re-evaluatates the tikkun--rectification process. That informs you what to pray for. It isn’t that G-d judges you personally, although He does insofar as you contribute to the advancement of the tikkun process. But the real idea is that G-d has to advance that process and each of us does his part. So aside from praying for long life, parnassa—livelihood, health, shalom bayis—peace within the home, well-being for your kids, we ask that having all these good things better enables us to do the tikkun which is the purpose of G-d. That’s a winning argument. The second argument to present is to plead that He not look at your sins nor your merit; what merits do we really have and what if they’re insufficient? Ask only that you be able to survive, flourish, and have a great year based on His love for you and your love for Him. Based on this mutual love, ask simply, “Give me the wherewithal to serve You.”