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Weekly Hashkafa #98 - Ein Od Milvado and its Connection With Matan Torah

Given: June 13, 2022

This shiur should go for aliyas neshama—ascension for the soul of Rini Malko, Regina bas Yosef Reuven.

Introductory Comments: The Bad News is Good News

People have asked me what seems to be happening. The key idea, which I’ve spoken about, the concept of “windows” which the RaMCHaL speaks of in his “Ma’amar Ha’Geula,” is the idea that, at the End, things have to become so bad that it’s like windows closing.

Assume you’re in a house where the windows are painted black and are open. From beyond the window, the shefa—Divine influence is coming through. As long as it does, the world exists. If it shuts and, suddenly, the shefa is prevented from coming through, the world immediately annihilates. As we get closer and closer to the messianic era, this window is slowly closing and the RaMCHaL says that it won’t close utterly causing the annihilation of the entire Creation but will reach a point at which, thereafter, it would be closed. We’re talking about what RaMCHaL termed, “ad v’lo ad b’chlal”—until closure but not closure. The closure is not operative but the Divine Presence will be so minimal, be limited to the tiniest amount of influx, that one nanometer more would close the window and destroy the world.

This means that the amount of zohama, tumah, defilement, pollution, and evil will be of such great proportion that the world will be extremely “dark.” That is what we’re seeing today.

The best way to perhaps describe it—the situation when the window is nearly closed—can be gauged by the feeling among people, a feeling of tremendous confusion and hopelessness. That’s how bad it will be. When you look at the world, it is so irrational, so insane--what people are saying and doing. A person would say to himself, “Forget it; it’s impossible for this to reverse itself.” That’s how dominant and all-pervasive the irrationality, evil, and existential darkness become. If you think about it, that’s exactly what happened in Egypt.

Imagine the Jews being in Egypt for about 210 years. Can you imagine the day before Moshe Rabbeinu arrives, what the Jews were thinking after hundreds of years of slavery? They knew there would be a redemption because it was promised by the avos—patriarchs, but when they looked at their reality, it seemed hopeless. That is how total their slavery was. Then, the next day, in comes Moshe Rabbeinu. G-D brought the situation to almost utter despair. Then, when Moshe came, it got even worse because Pharoah made the decree that the slaves would have to gather their own straw.

The world today is terrible. It’s, as they say, as if “the patients have taken over the asylum.” The concept of “gender fluidity,” the way gender is considered--does this make any sense?—of course not; none of it does. How can someone decide what gender one wants to be when one’s biology clearly declares what one is? Yet this world says, “No, no, no; you have the ability to declare whatever you want, “male,” “female,” or “other.” What in the world does “other” mean? That’s psychotic. That’s an indication of how ludicrous everything is.

I think I mentioned that, really, it’s a brilliant ploy of Darkness and evil because being able to give the control of gender to oneself entitles you to deny that you’re deviating. For example, a guy can say, “I’m not a homosexual, even though I want to go with men, because I’m not a man. I decided I want to be a woman so that’s who I am. Therefore, I’m not a homosexual.

You see this line of reasoning? They’ve taken away the entire sin by saying it’s not a sin because “I’m not a man.” It’s an incredible idea! The world is so corrupt that this is what they can say. With LGBTQ, I’ve heard they’ve added on more letters to indicate even more deviancies. The pattern is completely devoid of any type of intelligence or rationality. This is what’s happening.

It’s not only in the field of gender definition. It’s in everything. The world has not only turned a-spiritual—without spirituality-- but also anti-spiritual. The democrats and their party, the liberals, and so on…many have become avidly anti-spiritual, against G-D, against any form of religion. I can’t even go into how the world is completely immersed, absorbed, in physicality and pleasure.

Remember one thing: evil takes other forms than just the intent to harm somebody. Though it certainly takes that form, evil is also the denial of reality. If the world is really a spiritual place, if G-D really exists and there are spiritual beings and man’s purpose is spiritual, then the height of evil is the denial of that. We witness, in this generation, a rebellion against spirituality. That’s what we’re looking at, a world in which mankind has become corrupt and deviant, in denial of the norms, defying the reality of “what is,” defying the morals, values, ethics G-D instituted in this world.

Marriage? Why get married? I hear the statistics say that more than half the people in Manhattan are single. People say to themselves, “Why should I sacrifice, have kids, diminish my freedom when I can do what I want? Whatever pleasures I need, I can find among others. Why tie myself down?” This is happening all over the world--terrible statistics.

It’s a general state of confusion and hopelessness. That’s the level that G-D wants to bring us to. One of the reasons is that G-D is demonstrating that mankind has chosen a way of life that will destroy the world. Were it not for His intervention, this world would not survive. We’re not even talking about punishment by G-D. War, selfishness, corruption are being given free reign. The general feeling of despair is in its proper place, like a window almost closed, the position the window must be in for the Redemption to start and reverse the process. This is what the Gemara says. At the End of Time, there will be a great dever—plague which the world is experiencing on and on with Covid and its variations. One Gemara says that, at the time of the End, “tichle prutah min ha’kis”—a money item will be absent from the pocket. We see this now with global inflation. Chutzpe yazgah—arrogance, gaul will grow. The end of “Sota” and “Gemara Sanhedrin” both describe the environment at the End and what we see there is exactly what we’re experiencing.

In a sense, it’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that we’re in this climate of utter despair, depravity. The good news is that we’re there! Can it get worse? The truth is—and what’s interesting—is we’re seeing the collapse of this state—America. The entire world is collapsing. Biden, in many ways is a very evil person—the crimes he’s committed, the fact that he's not interested in preserving life, being completely in favor of abortion right up until the time of birth. I’m not even talking about the southern border being completely open so not only is there crime and Covid coming through, but over 120,000 have died from Fentanyl and other drugs coming through. “His” American citizens are dying and he wants to control guns? How hypocritical can you be? But we see that he’s collapsing in the polls. This seems to be an end that’s coming, an end to the evil America is doing, America that used to be a beacon of hope to the world.

The Eirev Rav in Israel, those who want to war against the mitzvos--commandments that G-D promulgated, their government is on the verge of collapse.

The evil we see is at an extreme level, but collapsing. That’s important to note. We have to take hope that we are truly at the end. The bad news itself is the good news! We have to hope that mashiach is around the corner.

The Real Message of Matan Torah

I want to talk about something which is an outgrowth of Shavuos which we just passed, the giving of the Torah. The question is: what is the main message, the main communication that the Ribono Shel Olam—Master of the Universe transmitted to the Jews?

We know that one of the messages was the taryag mitzvos—613 commandments (תרי״ג מצוות). These were communicated over the course of forty years, not all at once. The giving of the Torah, matan Torah, which is the holiday of Shavuos, surely had the transmission of the concept of “commandments.” But is that the essential message of Shavuos?—no.

Three Aspects to the Reality of G-D

You have to be aware that there are three aspects to reality with respect to G-D. This is what G-D showed the Jews at Sinai. In the book of “Devarim” where it says, “When you were at Sinai ata horeisa la’da’as”—you have been shown to know. It goes on: “Hashem hu Elokim,”-- the lord and master, “ein od milvado”—besides G-D there is nothing else.

Rashi comments on that saying G-D “opened up the heavens” and showed the Jewish people “shehu yechidi shel olam”—that He’s the only One, the unique One of the entire world. Rashi tells us that the essential message of Sinai was “Who G-D is.”

“Who G-D is” means He is the absolute determinant of everything and what reality is not. What they saw at Sinai, and which every Jew witnessed, is “ein od milvado,” that, besides G-D, there is no other being. G-D is the only being that exists. We don’t exist like G-D. We are really part of His “imagination,” so to speak. We don’t have the same existence He does. He exists; we don’t. Somehow, He is able to project us. Within that projection is a reality but the projection itself doesn’t manifest as anything real.

Imagine a kid looking at a movie screen. The kid says, “Wow!” because, to him, it’s real. He doesn’t know he’s seeing etchings on film projected through a lens and through light. To him, it’s real. We know, of course, that it’s not real. In that sense, we are on the movie screen. People on the screen, relative to each other, existing but, really, the nature of their existence, being just a movie, is not real. Same idea. We exist on a sort of screen. Relative to each other, we exist but we exist on this “film” and the reality of that film is just film.

This is what the Jewish people realized at Sinai. What they saw was the following: First, G-D is really the only entity that exists. Nothing else at all, in any way, exists. We are more like a projection on a screen. This concept is called yichud mitziuso”—Oneness of His existence.

The second concept, and one which emerges from the first, is “yichud shlitoso”—Oneness of His dominion, His causation. G-D is the only cause; there is no other. We think we cause. We seemingly cause, seemingly “do.” We execute but it’s an illusion. It’s called the “illusion of causality.” G-D is the only cause altogether.

There’s a third concept termed yichud hanhagoso.” This means that the direction in which this world goes is solely up to G-D. The world must go in the direction He deems even though we’re given free will. That, again, is something we don’t understand. If we have free will, how in the world is G-D the only one that directs everything? The world has to end up in the ultimate situation He wants. To us it seems like a contradiction. This yichud hanhagoso, that which speaks to the ultimate objective of Creation, is the principal that says that the outcome must go as He wills. He will not be frustrated.

This is what klal Yisrael saw at matan Torah.

The Three Illusions: The Independent Self, Causality, Determinant of Outcome

G-D, therefore, made an illusion of all these three aspects. Adam, mankind, thinks that it has a “self” and has an existence independent of G-D. The second illusion is that we think we cause; we think things happen because we cause them. That is the “illusion of causality.” The third illusion is that of outcome, that we direct, determine the outcome of events. All three are illusions in the mind of man.

Adam and Chava had what delusion? They knew and felt that they had a “self.” It’s true that they knew G-D is a yichud shlituso, that G-D is the dominant force and that He is a cause, not them. They came into a world after six days and saw that all had already been created. They knew they didn’t “do” Gan Eden which must have been magnificent; it’s the standard for utopia. They knew they didn’t create it, that it was the handiwork of G-D. But they didn’t know He is the only Being that exists, that He is yichud mitziuso.

The nachash--primordial snake wanted to contest that belief of causality. His job was to give mankind an illusion. He approached Chava; imagine the following case he put before her:

“You’re mistaken,” says the nachash. “You think that G-D is the ultimate cause and you’re not, that you must simply obey G-D. Let me tell you something interesting,” he continues. “That tree in the middle of the Garden, the one G-d does not want you to eat from, really exists. That tree is the only thing that can give you the ability to be a cause. G-D ate from it Himself and, as a result, has the ability to do things, cause things. Therefore, if you eat from that tree, you will be like G-D with the ability to truly bring things to come about.”

Adam and Chava already felt they existed independent of G-D. The snake didn’t attack that; he took advantage of their desire to be comparable to G-D, to be a cause. To cause what? Rashi tells us it is to be a “boreh olamos”— creator of worlds. G-D does not want any rivals, the snake told them.

Aspects of Evil

What aspects of evil was the nachash perpetrating? First, the snake denigrated G-D portraying Him as limited, deficient. That’s loshon ha’ra—evil speech.

The second fault is that the content constituted motzi shem ra—falsehood, a lie, a category of loshon ha’ra.

The third aspect is the implication that G-D is not interested in man’s welfare; He just doesn’t want you to be like, to rival Him. G-D is selfish so He’s deceiving you. That’s rechilus, when someone speaks falsely of a third party portraying him as one intending to harm. This causes hate. The snake engendered within Adam and Chava a feeling of anger and resentment toward G-D. The snake created the myth that G-D is selfish and interested only in monopolizing His own power.

The first recorded conversation in all history is loshon ha’ra. Already there was denigrating and false speech and someone acting as an evil informant. The snake was trying to provoke rebellion and imbue Adam and Chava, imbue mankind, with that spirit that believes it can override G-D and do whatever it wants. Why conform to the commands of G-D?

G-D’s Response: Intensification of Delusions

What did G-D do as a result? “As you sow, so shall you reap,” G-D said to Adam. “With the sweat of your brow, you will eat bread.” Most people think this is a punishment because, until then, nourishment, livelihood, “parnassa” was given them. It was all there for the taking. Now, you’ll have to labor, to expend effort, G-D implies.

But it’s not a punishment. It’s a form of conformity to Adam’s delusional thinking. That pasuk--verse that says, “by the sweat of man’s brow he will eat bread” implies, as G-D might say it, since you believe you can be a true cause, then I’m going to create a reality for you to live in where you harbor the delusion that you are a true cause. The way to a livelihood, to wealth or whatever, will appear as though it is the result of your own efforts. Within that reality, you will labor through it to discover that you are not the cause; only I am.

G-D intensified the illusion that man is, or could be, a cause. In that situation where mankind must struggle even harder to learn that it is an illusion to break through, G-D isn’t punishing them. He conformed to Adam’s belief and intensified it. Adam must seemingly cause his situation which maintains or intensifies his delusion. In that “reality,” man must figure out that it’s not true, that G-D is the only cause.

In order to really understand this, you have to know that there are three delusions; chief among them is that we think we’re independent of G-D. We’re always laboring with that. Interesting is that we think we are true “selves.” Why? We have the feeling of being a “self,” a real being, that we exist and can experience our existence presenting the illusion that we exist independent of G-D. We don’t see the connection between ourselves and G-D. Hence, we have a sense of “self.”

Also interesting is that the most fundamental psychological drive of all is “self-preservation.” That is a central drive in everybody. It’s the most basic, essential drive within man--to survive. All creatures have that. We protect ourselves. From that survival instinct emanates the drive for security, security in our ability to foster our self-preservation.

There’s another drive that is essential to man in the sense that we all believe it and strive for it. The lack of this is the origin of all psychological problems. All of us want to feel we are “somebody,” are worth something, have self-worth, self-esteem. This, in many ways, occupies us 24/7. We don’t realize how much we are immersed in this. Everything we do reinforces this, reassures us, asserts not only that we exist but that we are somebody of importance or worth. Lacking that, we feel inferior. This drive is really the most basic drive of all humans.

Why? Why must I feel this way? I am somebody! Do animals walk around thinking, “How do prove I’m somebody?”—no. They’re simply interested in basic survival. That’s why they’re territorial; it’s an expression of their drive for security, hence, survival. A lion doesn’t have to prove it has self-worth; it just wants to eat.

The Torah warns us about this drive to feel like somebody. Part of feeling a sense of self-worth is feeling “I am,” that assertion of self. What convinces us that we “are” is when we feel self-worth. Existence is its own self-worth; we shouldn’t have to prove it.

Torah’s Implications of Caution

There are four ways we prove our self-worth: The Torah actually speaks to this, to our compulsion to prove that we are somebody. The Torah warns us that, if we are engaged in this pursuit constantly, we’ll feel we’re independent of G-D. If that’s the case, we won’t do the mitzvos. Why should we if we’re independent of G-D?

In parshas—Torah portion “Eikev” in the book of “Devarim,” in sheini—the second section, it says, “Beware lest you forget the Lord your G-D.” What will be the consequence? You will forget to observe His commandments, statutes and ordinances, will forget G-D.

What does that mean to “forget G-D”? What are you replacing Him with?—yourself. That’s the see-saw. When you replace G-D with “self,” that’s rebellion against Him. This is what G-D is saying.

How will that happen? The first of the forewarnings is, “Lest you eat and be satisfied.” Another way is encapsulated in the verse, “You will build good houses and settle in them.” The third way is allegorized by the prediction that “Your cattle and flocks will increase.” The fourth speaks of an increase in gold and silver, in possessions, in wealth.

These are the four ways a person derives self-worth. The danger is that a person won’t recognize that these things are given to him by G-D and they’ll think they caused them, that their efforts alone constitute the means by which their achievements was obtained.

“Lest you eat and be satisfied” implies something we are not conscious of. Every time we exercise free will, we’re exercising “being.” Automatically, we feel selfhood and gain a sense of self-worth.

The second way, the building and settling of a good house, is self-worth through productivity. This too exercises being and imparts self-hood and its worthiness.

The cattle and flocks increasing indicates possession, ownership. When you own something, you control that item. That control gives you a sense of self-worth.

The silver and gold increasing, money increasing, is the last expression of self-worth. We know that, fundamentally, money is worthless in and of itself. It is wealth’s power to impart potency by which a person gains whatever the person covets.

What will happen when such self-worth is gained by these four means? “You will say in your heart, ‘my power and the might of my hand made me these riches’.” This is what the Torah foretells. A person will feel themselves to be a true cause and entice them to believe that they have the freedom to do as they desire.

Then, pasuk--verse 18 says, “You will remember the Lord your G-D Who give you the power to generate riches.” G-D is the cause Who allows you to generate these benefits and reinforces the delusion that it was your efforts alone that achieved them. The Torah is outlining that you have to be careful. If you engage in these activities that exercise will, exercise productivity, accumulate possessions and wealth, you will likely fall further into the delusion of self-causality which will convince you that you exist independent of G-D. You will mistakenly declare, “It was my might that generated these.”

Like Adam, the test becomes more severe. The Torah outlines this concept. We now understand that we must eradicate these illusions: that we are independent of G-D, that we are a true cause, that we are compelled to constantly prove and re-prove our self-worth. The persistent need to show off how smart, how rich, how powerful we are will lead us astray, G-D says. These attainments are not “real” in the sense that we didn’t cause them.

This is the consequence of eating from the tree. It’s the situation we’re in. We don’t understand the concept of our emanating from Him. We cannot fathom the unreality of our predicament. We see a multiplicity of forces, many beings. Our delusion of independent existence is further reinforced by the perception of the existence of many other beings. We see many forces and these too appear as causes.

Yichud Hanhagoso: The Ultimate Outcome

I mentioned one more, a conduct of G-D, yichud hanhagoso, one we mistake for our own. We think we can determine what the ultimate outcome of Creation is.

There’s interesting support for this. The Torah speaks of Ya’akov and Yosef. Yosef was kidnapped by his brothers, sold into slavery, was gone from his father’s life for many, many years, approximately twenty-two years. Ultimately, Yaakov found out that Yosef was alive and ventured to Egypt to see him. Everybody went to Egypt. They arrived and Ya’akov and Yosef saw each other. Imagine the joy in them both! The midrash—exigetical commentary says that Yosef was so overjoyed at seeing his father after so many years that he cried continuously. It also tells us that Ya’akov was not crying, was instead reciting the “Shema” prayer saying “Hear O Israel, the Lord our G-D, the Lord is One.” It’s an obvious contrast.

People explain this in various ways, one of which is the mussar concept (universally accepted) that Ya’akov wanted to take that ultimate expression of joy and employ it in the service of G-D. But there’s another meaning which is more fundamental.

Ya’akov realized something in that moment of seeing his son again. He asked himself: how could Yosef be alive? As far as Ya’akov was concerned, all had been lost. He knew he was to have twelve tribes but there was the evidence that Yosef had been torn apart by a wild animal, that Yehuda had his problems, many problems which compromised the expectations Ya’akov had. Ya’akov had great tzuros—problems. Ya’akov suddenly realized that all the problems, all his suppositions about outcome were only those which obscured the truth that all outcomes are solely the realm of G-D. Everything happens the way G-D wants and are orchestrated by G-D to bring about the redemption. Yosef became Egypt’s grand vizier. It was all orchestrated to evolve as it did. There were so many different pathways that coincided and all converged when he was hugging Yosef.

What became clear to Ya’akov was the concept of “yichud hanhagoso,” that, truly, every event seems to happen independently of every other, is not perceived as connected--this person going this way, that person going that way--and each of us with his own difficulties and nothing seeming to make sense. But really, there’s a Divine Plan in which everything is connected—everything! We don’t see that.

No matter what you do, no matter where you are, you are part of the connection to that Divine outcome that must happen. Ya’akov realized that. He saw that all his problems converged to make the meeting happen and that the only One Who could have done that is G-D. That is yichud hanhagoso, the unique Oneness of the conduct of G-D where everything can appear splintered, disparate, disconnected but, in the end, all converges upon the outcome that G-D wants. That truth was so powerful that Ya’akov declared this as “Shema Yisrael, G-D is One.” Not only is He One, He is the only One Who can cause anything. He is the only One Who determines the only outcome that can exist. It’s a complete Oneness. That is what Ya’akov realized when he saw Yosef. It was his “hashkafa moment” and he had to express it as such.

The Future, Seeing Connections

Mankind must struggle to see the truth behind what appears to be reality. In the era of mashiach, we will experience these truths. At the End of Time, we will put away the delusions that mankind has suffered from for thousands of years. There will be the tikkun—rectification, the ultimate outcome. We will see the entire history of man—the wars, the famines, the good times, all of it--and despite the appearance of disparate and disconnected events, understand that each contributed to bringing the tikkun to fruition.

Can you imagine looking at billions of incidences and have all of them point in one direction, to what’s called the “tikkun ha’klali”—the total and general rectification of everything! You will see exactly how everything is connected: who you married, who your kids were, what happened to them, to you, to the Jewish people, to the goyim. All will be shown to have been connected and purposeful in bringing about that singular, ultimate objective. Only the outcome that G-D wants survives and will be shown to have been the entire motive for everything.

The second insight mankind will have will come as a result of the removal of the illusion of shlita—dominion. Who’s the boss? Who’s the cause?--only G-D. This will be revealed to us in the messianic era. We will finally be able to pierce the delusion of causality.

We will not, however, experience the truth that we all emanate from G-D. We will be pervaded with His presence but not that we emanate from Him. That will happen only in Olam Ha’Ba—Future World. That is to be the greatest of all revelations. That sense that we don’t have to search for self-worth, that we are part of the existence of G-D, in a sense, is the greatest worth of all. That, itself, is the greatest concept of “being.” That is what we will get in Olam Ha’Ba—the Future World.

The “window” which is closing is an exacerbation of these delusions, everybody thinking that whatever they do is up to them. What has it to do with G-D? they think. Look at the world. Everybody thinks that he’s the one who determine outcomes. Everybody thinks he’s a cause and decides what will be. It will all be dispelled, eradicated in the messianic era. Hard to imagine what it will mean. The ultimate prize is yichud mitziuso, when we realize that we are really projections of G-D on a screen. Relative to ourselves, we exist but, relative to G-D, not really. We will feel G-D in us, feel ourselves in G-D and that is the greatest of all gifts. We will experience true existence, true being. We’ll know that we will have caused what we were meant to because we were given free will. That is what we will have caused, the free will itself. This is what we have to look forward to. This is the essence of matan Torah.

These three delusions: delusion of “self,” of causality, of outcome, are what the Jewish people recognized with the giving of the Torah. These three ideas form the essential knowledge that G-D wants us to have.

Q & A

Participant: Adam Ha’Rishon’s punishment was the delusion….

R’Kessin: The intensification of the delusion…

Participant: When we peel back that delusion, that somewhat of our purpose in this world is to do that, to find the source of Ha’Shem….when we do that, is that how we are able to gain more shefa, that direct pipeline to Ha’Shem, having removed the veil to see Ha’Shem in everything….to get more shefa?

R’Kessin: Yes, that’s exactly what happens. G-D responds to us like a shadow. You notice that a shadow has no movement of its own. It depends on us. We move one way and the shadow moves as we move. Of course, G-D isn’t a shadow but G-D has decided that His actions will be a response to us. Therefore, we determine His actions so, if you pull back and say, “Wait a minute! I didn’t do this. It looks like I did it but G-D did it,” The shefa will come to you. You see that in pesukim--verses like when it says that G-D will be for you based on that trust you place in Him. He will be that trust. He becomes as you see Him. That’s the concept of the “shadow.” If you understand that He is the true cause and you declare that, then G-D allows you to see that He is the true cause. That insight is a tremendous merit you have. It brings the providence of G-D into your life. What you‘re saying is correct.

Participant: When we do that, it’s part of the tikkun for man because we’re doing the opposite of what Adam did and that’s how we can bring mashiach closer.

R’Kessin: Yes. In a sense, the messianic era is the time when these illusions are removed.

Even in the messianic era, we will still have a sense of self but it’s not the same as the one we have now. In Olam Ha’Ba, it will be ultimate and real. In the messianic era, it will be intellectual. In Olam Ha’Ba it will be experiential! We will certainly know it intellectually. That’s what the messianic era is. The experience was revealed to them at matan Torah. G-D opened up the Seven Heavens and showed them she’hu yechidi--that He is the singular being. That was the gift at Sinai.

You want to experience that and that’s what the mitzvos are. The essential idea of the mitzvah is that it’s a trigger of that insight. That is what mitzvos do. The more you do, the greater is the triggering effect to bring down that insight and allow you to experience Who G-D really is. That puts you under the complete care of the Ribono Shel Olam—Master of the Universe. That’s what tzaddikim—righteous individuals do. They want to be completely under His care. The way to do that is by coming to this recognition. It’s a struggle because we live in a world that reinforces the delusions of “by the sweat of your brow you will eat.“ The truth is that outcomes and work are completely disconnected but G-D wants you to do these things so He connects your parnassa--livelihood to your work so you think: well, my parnassa is because of me, but it’s an illusion. That is part of what we have to break through.

Participant: Does everyone have to break through this delusion for the mashiach to come?

R’Kessin: In a certain sense, yes.

Participant: I figured it out and I have that mindset and it’s with me all day long. I have to wait for others to have it?

R’Kessin: The problem is that you are only responsible for one aspect of heaven. You need all the Jews, like a minyan--quorum of ten. If one is missing, what are the other nine going to do? Same with the human body. You take one organ out and how will the guy survive. It’s called a “team effort.” All the Jews have to be part of the team. That is why everybody keeps coming back. Even if you do it—fine. That will ready you so that, when it does happen, you will receive all the reward you deserve. But to do the tikkun ha’klali, the general rectification, it needs the input of all the Jews. That’s one reason mashiach doesn’t come.

Participant: What is the tikkun ha’kalali that Rav Nachman put together with the ten perakim?

R’Kessin: It’s called “Tikkun Ha’Klali” because they claim that those kapitlach, those chapters of “Tehillim,” have the greatest effect of bringing down G-D’s ohr—Light. So, it’s called by that title but it’s different than what I mean.

Participant: I once learned, and it applies to what you’re saying, that ein od milvado –besides G-D there is nothing has three sections to it, (represented by) three different names of Ha’shem: “Adonai”, “Elokim,” and “Ehiyeh.” Each one says (something about Him). He’s the Master of the Universe, which goes with the first name, “Adonai.” The second one, “Elokim,” is that He sustains everything and is the cause, as you said. The third, “Ehiyeh” is that He wills everything into existence….

R'Kessin: ….hanhagoso…yes, each name represents a different aspect of G-D’s “personality” so to speak.

We now understand very central ideas and how they connect. Look, the world is getting closer to it, hopefully. Someday, in an instant of time, the Darkness will disappear and everyone is going to be blinded by the “sun,” the Light of G-D.

Participant: Is it possible to feel that Light of G-D even in the Darkness, to push through the delusion and now you see the Light of G-D? Are you able to have that Light on a personal level?

R’Kessin: Good question. I would say, “Yes” but it’s extremely difficult. The Gemara says that there were people who could stop (the motion of) the sun, people like Yehoshua bin Nun; that’s how powerful they were, but the generation wasn’t worthy. The presence of the zohama –spiritual pollution was so intense that, whatever kedusha they could have had could not break through that pollution of the world. That was how bad it was. So, it’s funny; you may be worthy of a certain level, to have it done for you, but it doesn’t mean you can do it. There are two concepts: You have to have the power, which is possible, but the world has to be able to have that. The world can be an obstacle to that power. Those two things can exist and I’d say it’s possible, yes, but if the intensity of the evil is so great, it will stop it from happening until that time when such power won’t present itself against such a tremendous obstacle as the world’s evil.


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