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Weekly Hashkafa #94: The Tikkun Process of Passover- Part 4-Removing the Zohama

Given: May 2, 2022

I want to continue with the concept of Pesach and the sefiros which we are counting to Shavuos. It’s really one period of time even though both events look like separate holidays but, really, they’re connected. That’s why we count, “first day,” “second day,” “third day,” because it’s really a count from Pesach all the way to Shavuos. There is a continuity which I’ll speak about and spoke about last week.

The Passing of Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein, Mechanism and Dynamic

Before I get into that, I want to speak about today’s terrible news, that Zechariah Wallerstein was niftar--passed away. That’s a tremendous loss for the type of work (he did), especially in the context of the Darkness that is in this world which is unprecedented in many ways: the amount of depravity, corruption, evil; it’s outstanding. So, you really need people who are able to restore, to help people “come back” or stay with Judaism. You need people to mechazek bitachon--strengthen trust in G-D, belief in G-D. Rabbi Wallerstein was one of those gifted people so the loss of a person like him is a tremendous blow to this type of endeavor so important today.

We don’t know why anybody dies or why they die in their time but one thing is clear, at least to me: in the last two years, we’ve lost a tremendous number of people who are righteous, spiritual, gifted, tremendous talmidei chachamim--scholars, rebbes; the list would fill sheets and sheets of paper and I’m not even going to get into the loss of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky; I devoted one shiur to that. There have been so many deaths and the question is: what’s going on? Those who’ve died are not replaceable, really. Even if you try to replace them, you replace them with people who are inferior. People rise to fill their slots but the truth is that many are inferior. We have no choice but to recognize what is happening. There are those who are not inferior but there is a constant change of people who are replacing those who pass away but are not of the same stature.

Someone like Zechariah Wallerstein, a gifted speaker who must have brought back many Jews over the years and spread the word of G-D throughout….there is a way of understanding this, which I’ve mentioned before. At the End of Time, justice demands it be satisfied, which the Ribono Shel Olam--Master of the Universe has to satisfy by His own decree. So, the Satan raises his kitrugim--prosecutions in the heavenly court saying: it’s not fair; these people doesn’t deserve mashiach; we (evil-doers) have the right to rule.

The Ribono Shel Olam’s response is: you’re right, so I’ll compensate for this by satisfying justice and there are many methods employed to do this, one of which is the death of tzaddikim--righteous individuals. We know this because it says this with the ritual of the para aduma--red heifer and Miriam. Chazal--sages tell us that the para aduma is next to the parasha--Torah portion of Miriam to convey that the death of a tzaddik is a tremendous kapporah--atonement. In order to satisfy justice and bring the mashiach, many righteous people are going to die. Because they are dying before their time, if not for that complaint by the Satan, would they have died? Possibly not, but people are dying to serve a higher purpose which is to finally end the rule, the reign, of the Satan, to finally end evil. So many are dying, that are chosen, as compensation for the evil in order to satisfy justice. That’s why so many have died. It’s not enough with Covid and resultant suffering, inflation, whatever else is going on today; apparently that is not sufficient, so the Ribono Shel Olam has to utilize another method to add to bring kapporah--atonement and that is death of tzaddikim.

We are seeing many, many people of high stature, many who are in the forefront of bringing Jews back, die because the Jewish people need an atonement. We are seeing such an extraordinary, disproportionate number of those who are righteous and play a pivotal role to bring back the Jewish people dying, all to satisfy justice.

Same thing happened in Egypt. Moshe came to Pharoah with the same complaint by the Satan so G-D responds: You’re right. Justice must be satisfied before I bring the mashiach who was Moshe Rabbeinu.

Pharoah thought: they’re lazy; they must gather straw which enormously intensified the suffering of the Jewish people. They were able to reduce many years of hardship into a very short time because of that g’zera-decree of Pharoah. Once it was fulfilled, the Ribono Shel Olam brought the makos--plagues, blows.

I believe the same mechanism, the same dynamics, are happening today. It’s very terrible, however it must be said that those people who are serving the Jewish people by dying, therefore giving the Jewish people an atonement, will receive an incredible reward for that service. In a sense, that is their avoda--Divine service. Just like they will receive reward for Torah, spreading Torah throughout, their deaths helping the Jews to being mashiach will enable them to achieve infinitely greater heights in Olam Ha’Ba--Future World even though they’re not aware of it. G-D does not do anything without just compensation. I believe they certainly will, all of them, have tremendous aliyah-elevation during the messianic era when they arise from the dead and also in Olam Ha’Ba. Hopefully, this provides some type of clarity.

Dedication: to Rini Molko, Regina bas Yosef Reuven, that this shiur should be for her an aliyas neshama.

What we’ve seen so far is the important concept of removing the zohama, this pollution, contamination that the Satan has which is mixed with this world. If you recall from the previous shiurim--lectures which are important to understand as they provide the foundation for this shiur, Adam Ha’Rishon--the first man fell into a lower world, the world of Asiyah--action, this world, but one that is mixed with the zohama. What is it? We don’t really know because it’s a spiritual entity but what we can understand is the follows.

Removal of Zohama Versus Zikuch--Purification

Zohama is some type of a force or residue of the Satan, a projection that he has and uses to interact with the physical world. There are physical laws which reflect this interaction, or mixture.

The second law of thermodynamics, the “Law of Entropy” says that all systems that start at a high-energy level will diminish, automatically, unless they are infused with new energy. Why? To go from a high-energy state to a low one means that some type of diminishment or deterioration occurs. This law is a result of zohama.

Why should this be? Think about the Satan’s “job”--destruction. He’s a demolition expert. He destroys. Instead of enhancing “being,” he diminishes it, decomposes it. Therefore, in the physical universe, there’s an ultimate principle called “entropy.” this second law of thermodynamics, that all energy states will always “go negative” is the physical manifestation of the zohama.

All living forms, no matter what they are, will deteriorate. Everything dies. It doesn’t make a difference what you are, whether human or amoeba. You will deteriorate and, ultimately, cease to have life. That is also zohama, a feature, a product of the physical universe.

Scientists recognize and discovered the concept of “telomeres.” At the end of chromosomes are these regions of repetitive DNA called “telomeres.” They function like a shoelace’s tip that holds together the lace. It prevents the chromosome from becoming frayed or tangled. Every time a cell divides, the telomere shortens and, finally, after fifty divisions, the “cap” on the DNA, if it no longer exists, results in the death of that cell. It is the physical, biological manifestation of zohama. The manifestation of zohama in this physical world is either decomposition of all living entities resulting, ultimately, in death or, in the physical, inanimate universe, by reduction of energy resulting in disorder, loss of coherence, chaos.

Interesting too is that, before death came into the world, before the sin of Adam, there wouldn’t have been telomeres. Adam was supposed to live forever. There was no satanic mixture at all in the world he inhabited. Therefore, he doesn’t die. But once he entered the physical world with zohama, decomposition began to take place and everything alive would die--plants, animals, insects, humans.

It’s some type of projection of the Satan that invades or interacts with the physical world and, since we are physical, despite being neshama--Divine which is an unbelievable miracle, how is something spiritual, and whose materiality is Divine, able to be inserted into a physical body? It’s an absolutely incredible phenomenon. It’s one thing for the body to be purely physical but it’s worse when the soul is in the body which has zohama, this contamination, this filth.

Clearly the objective is to remove it. How do you remove zohama? There is something else to consider and it’s part of Torah. Most people have no idea of the concept called “tumah”--impurity. There’s an entire section of Shas (acronym for “shisha sidrei Mishna,” the foundational text of the Talmud) devoted to the laws of tumah. It’s a spiritual entity which can enter, can reside, in a body. There are all kinds of laws, an entire section given over, all about tumah. What are the laws that govern the flow of the spiritual entity called “tumah” and how does it reside in physical objects? There are a tremendous number of laws about this. What is tumah, really? There’s a whole seder--organization of the material of Shas that deals with this.

Tumah could be called “surface zohama.” The zohama invades, pervades, the physical body. That is what it really is. It cannot be removed unless a person dies, is buried and decomposes. Since there’s no physical body at that point, the zohama leaves. That is the whole concept of techias ha’meisim--resurrection of the dead. You cannot remove zohama otherwise.

If you remember the concept of zikuch--dematerialization of matter, the body must remove its zohama and then it can be purified, dematerialized, by all the mitzvahs it did during its lifetime. Mitzvos--observance of commandments cannot remove or purify zohama. The body has to remove it and then the mitzvahs a person did become activated and can remove the physicality. That’s called “zikuch.The zohama has to be removed by death. That is why Adam had to die. He had to remove the zohama in order to get to a purely physical body and then change from physical to spiritual by virtue of the mitzvos, the commandments he performed.

It was decreed that Adam die, his body decompose, and the zohama leave. Once it leaves, the body is resurrected and the body is purely physical. If it’s only physical, if the mitzvahs are activated, the body turns into a spiritual entity, like the malachim--angels. Death is the removal mechanism of the zohama where the mitzvahs can now refine the body.

Tumah and Zohama

Tumah--impurity is interesting; it’s zohama on the surface of that which is physical. You can’t remove zohama without death but you can remove what’s on the surface of the body that has tumah but its source is zohama. What’s interesting is that the tumah itself, which resides in the body but on the surface, can be removed by a mikveh--ritual bath. There are removal techniques. If a person goes to a mikveh or engages in other methods--like with the ashes of the red heifer--then surface zohama which has tumah is removed. The tumah exists because of the zohama.

In order for you to interact with kedusha--holy substances, you cannot be tameh. For instance, you cannot walk into the beis ha’mikdash--holy Temple or eat of the korbonos--sacrificial offerings if you are tameh—impure. Interaction with kedusha would make them tameh. That is a terrible sin. You have to remove the surface zohama, the tumah. G-D allowed you to remove it because He doesn’t want such interactions between that which is kadosh--holy and that which is tameh, a tumah that resides in a person.

Zohama which is part and parcel of the physical world--that’s okay. That doesn’t interact with kedusha but the zohama on the surface, the tumah, does interact with the beis ha’mikdash and has to be removed.

One method of removal is interesting: G-D decreed that if there is rainwater of a quantity of 40 se’ah, then the tumah cannot follow you. It’s as if, as you go into the water in the mikveh, the tumah rises and, finally, when you are completely immersed, the tumah is excluded from the body. That’s how it works. Tumah cannot reside in a mikveh. When completely immersed, the tumah leaves and you are now pure of it. There are rules and regulations, of course, but that’s the basic dynamic of a mikveh.

Tumah has certain stages of removal. If a person becomes tameh, for example, when he touches a dead body, there is a period of time that he cannot remove the tumah no matter what he does. Nothing will work. That tumah is ensconced in the physical body; it’s not removable. Then, after seven days, after certain procedures, the tumah becomes removable. In order to remove it, you have to apply, for example, a mikveh or, in the case of a dead body, the ashes of the red heifer--without going into the details of the ceremony. Once these are applied, the person is called “tahor,” that condition which is an absence of tumah. The problem, of course, is that the person reinfects themselves because tumah is all around.

Removability of Zohama and Egypt

When the Jews remove the zohama--and this is the amazing aspect of Pesach--the zohama was removed from the physical body. First, they had zohama which couldn’t be removed until all their suffering made the zohama removable, like tumah. Then, with the ninth maka of choshech--darkness, we are told there was “light in all their dwellings.” That’s a tremendous allusion to the fact that the zohama, for the first time in history, became removable just like its counterpart, surface tumah, became removable.

That initiated the next stage. The Jews left Egypt with their zohama removable. We’re not talking here about tumah which is removable. We’re talking about zohama which is not removable; the only way to get rid of it is to die! The suffering made it removable. After 49 days---there are 49 levels of zohama--it had become removable and then was removed; each day of the sefira count is the removal of one level of the zohama, not just of the tumah! The Jews at Har Sinai had bodies in which the zohama had been extricated, externalized from their bodies.

The Gemara says this. The Jews by matan Torah--giving of the Torah at Sinai were like Adam Ha’Rishon before the sin. That’s a Gemara, not a Zohar! What does that mean? It means that the zohama was removed so, really, when you think about it, they were not normal. We don’t know what they were. They were extraordinary because they had no zohama. A person without zohama--we don’t know what that looks like.

I’ll give you an example. After seven days, there was krias Yam Suf--splitting of the Reed Sea and the chazal tell us that, at that point, a simple maid-servant was able to comprehend Divine secrets of Kabbalah that even Yechezkel ha’Navi--Ezekial the prophet did not know. What does that mean? What did she do? She didn’t go to yeshiva! A “simple maidservant” is not “educated men-folk.” If you remove zohama, your abiity to access Divine Light, Divine knowledge, the “Ohr Rishon”--First Light becomes possible. We don’t understand how we are affected by the zohama.

“Circumcising the Heart”

The Torah refers to it as “circumcising the heart.” That means G-D will remove the zohama. The concept of “circumcision “is to remove the physical representation of zohama. That is really what is removed at a bris--ceremony of circumcision, the concept of the orlah--foreskin, the physical representation of the zohama. Adam Ha’Rishon did not have the foreskin at all. When he did the sin, the orlah grew. He was responsible for the creation of zohama.

What our existence, our stature, will be like when the zohama is removed, will be defined by our ability to access Divinity, Divine information. That ability will be incredible. At the time of the episode at the Yam Suf, they’d removed one-seventh (1/7th) of the zohama. Can you imagine what it means to remove 49 pieces, or parts, of it by the time of Har Sinai?

The reason there are 49 is because the Satan can take the nitzotsei kedusha--holy sparks from only seven sefiros. We know there are ten altogether. Each of these ten are further sub-divided into ten so if you add them all up--these are the main energies of the Divine source--multiply 10x10, it’s 100. So, there are 100 foundational sefiros that provide the energy of the entire Creation.

The first three--which we have no concept of: keser, chochma, bina-- are the foundation of the lower seven: chesed, gevurah, tiferes, netzach, hod, yesod, malchus. Those first three are called the gimel rishonis, the source of the Divine energy for the lower seven. The visibility, the ability to experience the first incomprehensible three, will only happen in Olam Ha’Ba. The lower seven which are energized by the upper three, create and maintain the entire Creation. That’s why there are seven days of Creation. Each day mirrors one sefira. Since they are the intermediary energy source of the entire physical world, the Satan can take the sparks, his yonek--nourishment from only these seven and even of these seven he can only take seven. So, he can take 7x7=49, the energy of 49. With it, he can project the zohama into Creation.

By Har Sinai, the Jews had removed the zohama, the 49 levels. These are the days of sefira. That’s what we’re counting. If you read the siddur--prayer book the tefilla--prayer we say when we count the sefira speaks of removing the zohama. That’s what the Jews did.

Imagine they’re standing at Har Sinai with the zohama of the Satan externalized when they removed the sparks of holiness from the satanic grasp and brought it back to the side of kedusha. That’s what the makos were, the sefiras represented by something physicalized. That is what destroyed Egypt. Those sefiros were what destroyed Egypt, as I’ve mentioned previously.

The next thing they have to do is destroy the Satan, kill him. It’s funny because in the physical world, even if you go to the mikveh and remove the tumah, it can come back. We can always reinfect ourselves. Therefore, by externalizing the zohama, the Jews had externalized the Satan himself. He was external to the body. The laws that manifest themselves from zohama, like entropy, the Jews were immortal at that point in time.

The Test: Experience Versus Cognition

G-D gave the Jews one last test. If you consider Adam Ha’Rishon, you’ll find that he was an awesome being. He had no zohama. All he had to do was observe one mitzvah, not to eat from the tree. Had he observed this mitzvah, he’d have brought down the energy of the sefiros and he’d have been mashiach.

But he had one more test, a philosophical test. He knew that G-D was yichud shlitoso--greatest power of all. He was placed into a world that was fully developed having been created on the sixth day. Adam saw that G-D was the ultimate ruler and power of Creation but G-D denied him the insight that, not only was He the ultimate koach--power, but G-D is the only thing that truly exists. That’s called “yichud mitziuso.” That is classic “ein od milvado”--nothing else exists. Adam Ha’Rishon was denied that insight so he could be tested.

Knowing this, the Satan offered Adam a tempting idea. He told Adam--and Rashi brings this down--You can be as G-D. He proposed to Adam: You’re right! G-D is an incredible power source but He isn’t the only one. His power comes from that tree. That’s the real power source. The Satan told this to Chava who passed the argument to Adam, that there’s another power source, the Etz ha’Chaim--Tree of Life and, if you eat of it, you’ll be a god. The Satan validated G-D’s power but proposed a compromise to G-D’s, the tree. You can become god if you eat from it. Chava fell for it and then Adam fell for it too.

Adam failed to realize that G-D is yichud mitziuso, the only thing that exists and that the tree is a set-up, an illusion. Why the test? It’s like a test in philosophy. Had Adam withstood the test, he’d have experiencedyichud mitziuso. He’d have actually experienced ein od milvado,

that revelation that G-D is the ONLY thing that actually exists. That is what we will experience in Olam Ha’Ba. G-D would say: if he would experience that, then that must be his test. Somebody at the End of Time is going to get a test of philosophy. That is what happened to Adam Ha’Rishon.

The Jews at Sinai had the same test. Since they’d extricated the zohama--which also meant the collapse of the four levels of evil--they too had to be tested like Adam before the sin. Is G-D yichud mitziuso? They knew He was all-powerful; they witnessed the plagues and the splitting of the sea. They witnessed the greatest miracles. The chazal point out, as I’ve mentioned before, that the sea didn’t just split; it subdivided into twelve parts and there were other miraculous aspects but I won’t get into that now. So, the Jews knew G-D was all-powerful but would they recognize that He is, beyond even that, the only source, the only existence bar none?

The Satan realized that this is the last test which, if they pass, would end his existence. He is now out of the physical body and, if they pass, he dies. He was desperate. The test was: could G-D be represented by a physical entity, namely, some type of deity, an idol? Would they believe the idol was G-D?--no. But they felt that G-D could be represented by and idol. We know that’s absurd. There is no physical representation whatsoever, not in a shul--synagogue, not in the beis ha’mikdash. There’s no image of G-D. Nothing can represent him. Because they allowed the Eirev Rav--mixed multitude to build the Golden Calf, they failed the test. The result was that they could not be privy to yichud mitziuso, not experience the Oneness, the exclusivity, of G-D.

Zohama Re-enters Creation

Automatically, the Satan was yonek--nourished, able to recapture a great deal of the sparks that he’d given away. Bad news! That’s what G-D wanted. Because of that, G-D had to make major decisions because now the zohama re-entered Creation. The Jewish body became part of the world of zohama. That sin was their failure to realize that G-D is the only power and cannot have any intermediaries. It was a rejection of ein od milvado and they reintroduced the zohama back into Creation.

The Jews have to remove the zohama and kill the Satan which they almost did. Moshe was to have been the Mashiach ben Yosef had the Jews passed the test. G-D said to Moshe “lech, reid”--go down! This is more than a directive to go down from the mountain; it is to “go down” from his unrealized stature. G-D meant: You cannot be mashiach anymore because they have reintroduced the zohama. In fact, what’s important to know is: not only have they re-introduced it, they can no longer be privy to that ohr which they would have gotten, the incredible ohr rishon--First Light.

Because they had removed the zohama gradually, as time went on--that’s what is meant by “v’yikach Moshe es atzmos Yosef”--Moshe took out the bones of Yosef because Yosef made the Jews promise that they’d remove his bones from Egypt when they left. Instead of reading it as, “v’yikach Moshe es atzmos Yosef,” it can be read as “v’yikach Moshe es atzmus Yosef”--Moshe took out the essence of Yosef. The Light of the mashiach had been trapped in Egypt. Once the people had restored the holy sparks, they could take out what the sparks would represent, the messianic Light! That is the Light of Yosef ha’Tzaddik, the foundation neshama of Mashiach ben Yosef. That’s what they took out.

When they restored the zohama, what was the thing they built?--a calf. Why a calf? The symbol of Yosef is the ox, basically, a calf. The shape of the idol they made was the symbol of Yosef and they worshipped it as an intermediary. That calf symbolized that the light of the Mashiach ben Yosef was back in the “hands” of the Satan. They took the messianic Light, atzmos--essence of Yosef, and returned it to the domain of the Satan.

It's an incredible saga of what is really going on. This saga of Pesach and the sefiros and Torah--which I’ll talk more of next week--is a cosmic cataclysm, a catastrophe. The zohama had been externalized, the Satan’s death was imminent, but they brought the zohama back. I’ll continue the saga next week.

Q & A

Participant: The calf was a symbol of the messianic Light being taken from Yosef back to the Satan but why a calf?

R’Kessin: The symbol on the merkavah,--Divine Chariot bears four symbols; one of them is an ox. The chariot of G-D, the Divine Chariot, has four wheels. One wheel has the “face” of Adam, the face of a man which is, by the way, the face of Ya’akov avinu--Jacob, the patriarch. The second is an ox, the symbol of Mashiach ben Yosef. The third is a lion, the symbol of Mashiach ben David. The fourth is an eagle, G-D Himself, Who says, “I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to myself." The ox is Yosef. In fact, that’s what it says in the Torah: “bechor shoro hadar lo”--the firstborn of the ox, beauty is his. That is the blessing given to the tribe of Yosef. That ox, that essence of Yosef taken out of Egypt, was restored to the Satan. He now had the ohr rishon in the klippa, back in the Satan’s domain.

Participant: What is the purpose of the Divine Chariot? What is it? Why do we need it? Why does G-D have it?

R’Kessin: Without getting into it too much, what’s a chariot? We don’t have them anymore. It’s a vehicle meant to bring a person from point A to point B. It’s a vehicle of old. G-D uses the Divine Chariot as the symbol of Kabbalah. Why?

The essence of the Jew is to bring G-D from point A to point B. G-D is “outside” the universe, concealed, and wants to re-enter. He re-enters using the structure that interfaces between the two. Kabbalah is the study of that total mechanism of how G-D, outside the universe, interfaces with the physical universe. The chariot is the symbol of that study, a vehicle as mechanism for transport that brings G-D back.

I hate to use this comparison but, for instance--plumbing. You need to bring the water from the reservoir to the faucet so there’s an entire mechanism: pipes, pumps and so on. In that analogy, the mechanism for bringing of G-D into the universe, bringing the shefa--flow of the ein sof--infinite Divine energy from point A beyond the entire Creation, to point B into the Creation is that mechanism that affects the very nature of the physical world.

The four wheels is the mechanism that “rides” on four concepts:

1- Adam, mankind, the one who does it, brings G-D back into the world. Mankind is specified as Ya’akov.

2- The second face is Mashiach ben Yosef because he removes the zohama.

3- The third face is the lion, Mashiach ben David; that’s the world without zohama and in a newly-acquired state of purified physicality as it was before the sin of Adam. Beyond Mashiach ben David, we’ve nothing left to do, no further tikkun--rectification to do.

4- The fourth face is that of the eagle who represents G-D Himself.

When this world ends in the year 6000, commensurate with the Gregorian Calendar year 2240, that’s the end of the tikkun. We don’t have any more to do. The wheel signifies the termination of the tikkun process. From 2240, G-D does everything. From the 6,ooo-9,000th year, That’s

G-D’s domain, not ours.

The last aspect of the vehicle, the wheel, is the eagle and the eagle represents G-D because, without G-D, we could never have done the tikkun. He has to have input also. That’s the hanhagas ha’yichud, the mechanism I will speak about in the future, the incredible actions of

G-D that guarantee there’ll be a tikkun even though man is, in some ways, failing.

Why is G-D referred as an eagle? In the Torah portion “Ha’azinu,” He is “as an eagle that bears its young above it.” As the highest-flying bird, the eagle puts its young on its back so there is nothing below that can reach up and endanger its young. The eagle is the king of the birds. G-D has the Jews on His back to protect them. That’s also the image of the burning bush which, even as it is burning with a tremendous fire, is not consumed. The Torah says that. The Jews can never be consumed because they are the vehicle of tikkun.

Participant: Is the chariot the main energy source and the sefiros come from it?

R’Kessin: No. The chariot is the structural symbol of the framework of Kabbalah. The idea is to transport G-D from one point to another, to the destination. In the end, the whole gist of this Creation is G-D removing Himself in the beginning and He can be brought back and interact again with the Jewish people and mankind--whoever deserves it. That’s really the essential dynamic for the whole purpose of Creation--G-D’s return--shechina. That’s the residence. “Shochen,” means “reside,” to do so among man however He does that. Dveikus--attachment? We don’t know. That’s the essential destination, dynamic, the essential goal of the entire Creation, to come back and interact and be part of man’s existence for eternity.

Participant: How would you define “shechina”? I know it’s “G-D’s presence” but…

R’Kessin: Simply, there are different perceptions of that presence. The shechina is the perception of G-D when we are physical but perception of Him at the level of “soul” will be different. He doesn’t change; our view of Him changes based on the state of existence that we have at that moment. Shechina is a view that we can have as created entities and there are many levels of shechina, not just one. Which view do you have? It’s like you’re looking at somebody through a telescope. You can look at them with a telescope that has a small lens so you see them as obscure and small. The greater the lens, the greater the ability to observe, to have clarity. The object doesn’t change; it’s the observer who changes based on the instrument he’s using.

The shechina is the view we have of G-D within a “creation realm.” To view G-D in terms Who He really is, the ein sof, is impossible, but G-D has created a way to observe an aspect of Him through the “medium” of Creation. He can be viewed in a certain way. There are lesser and greater lenses. If you’re in the world of angels, then your view of the shechina is almost infinitely greater. If you are in the upper worlds, then your view of Him is much greater still. Finally, you get to Olam Ha’Ba and your view of Him is unbelievable. The view itself is infinite which means that Olam Ha’Ba is a place where, every single “day,” your view improves, your view of G-D! We cannot imagine what that means. How can G-D be viewed with an infinite number of lenses? But that’s what happens. Olam Ha’Ba will afford us a view that goes on for infinity. Unbelievable! We cannot imagine what that means. It’s a view of G-D and, with that view--not just within the context, the limits of the type of beings that we are--there’s infinite pleasure in infinite gradations thereby experiencing this unbelievable amount of pleasure.

We don’t even understand what it means to remove the zohama from the body! We all have it; we all get sick, get diseased. The Jews were the first, besides Adam, to experience what it means to have no zohama even when the Satan still existed. Unfortunately, they allowed him to re-enter by allowing him to recapture the sparks.

So, the shechina is the presence of G-D depending on your view. If you’re looking at the galaxies with binoculars, then with a small telescope, then with a larger refracting mirrored telescope, and then with the Hubble, and then with the latest one, the James Webb telescope--which is said to be phenomenal--you’re looking at the same universe, same galaxies, but what a difference in view!

Same idea with G-D in Olam Ha’Ba, the ability to view Him altogether at any degree based on your existential level. I hope that’s clear.

Participant: Does our merit also correlate to our view?

R’Kessin: Yes, in fact that’s the main thing. The greater the merit, the greater the view. The view is the reward. But remember, I don’t want it to sound dry. That’s the reward, a view? That’s it? It’s not just a view; it’s an experience, the greatest of all pleasures. It means experiencing existence itself. That has to be understood to be described. We don’t know what “existence” is. We have it but don’t know what it is. Apparently, that’s the greatest of all pleasures. It will happen but not during the messianic era; it happens in the Future World of Olam Ha’Ba.

Participant: You were discussing how the Satan recaptured the sparks when the Jews sinned with the Golden Calf. How can we be assured that it won’t happen again when Mashiach ben Yosef comes?

R’Kessin: Great question! The answer is: b’ita--in its time. There is a deadline. G-D swears so. You’re right. This can happen over and over again. We extricate ourselves from the Satan and he recaptures. C’mon, how many times can this go on? But there’s b’ita--in its time. It’s the deadline. In some way, G-D makes sure that it ends. How? What does He do? We don’t know. The Jews were able to externalize him in Egypt but that time wasn’t b’ita. That was b’avoda, to work to do it, but the prior condition could be restored. But there is a way that it can’t be restored; the Jews will have done something not just to extricate him but to kill him. Apparently, that’s what happens. It doesn’t stop and we don’t know the mechanism but he dies. When he dies, the entire kingdom of evil collapses and, therefore, it’s over.

Participant: So b’ita, the deadline, is 2030?

R’Kessin: It would seem so. The Zohar says that the resurrection of the dead must start (due to the calculations) by 2030 so that is b’ita. The time will come when we will actually destroy him, kill him. That’s the end of the empire of evil. We all wait for that day. The end of our process--remember, that’s our contribution--is when he’s destroyed and, once he’s destroyed, there is no zohama. There’s still geshem--physicality, materiality and then G-D takes over and it goes on and on. That’s what the messianic era is, a world of physicality without tumah, devoid of any type of defilement. That’s over. Our job will have ended and, like I say, we don’t understand it but think of that maid-servant who, even when only 1/7th had been removed. Imagine what she saw and what she knew and experienced! Imagine what it will be like when all of it is out! We don’t know but, whatever it’s gonna be, the experience, the joy, will be thousands of times greater.

Remember, it’s not only a time that brings relief from evil and suffering, death, disease, hardship. It’s not just relief; G-D will introduce a utopia, one of unmitigated joy. It’s not just the termination of evil and all the subsequent phenomena associated with it. It’s a time where everything is absolutely phenomenal. That’s the messianic era because the tikkun will have been completed.

Strange that G-D wants us to experience a physical existence in the greatest possible way. It’s not that we die and wake up in Olam Ha’ba. He wants us to experience an ultimate physicality here in Olam Ha’Ze and then He arranges for this world, Olam Ha’ze, to become Olam Ha’ba. That’s His job. Our job is to prepare Olam Ha’Ze for Olam Ha’Ba. We will experience this world in a way that is incomprehensible. That’s the good news.

There’s a lot to think about. I’m trying to describe this cosmic event called “Pesach.” Its cosmic character is now what you begin to see. I’ll continue next time because there’s more to talk about regarding the Redemption and if we can replicate what the Jews did in Egypt.


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