by Reb Moshe Newman at Mystical Paths
[Note: I'd like to make clear that the insights shared herein are based on an integration of 20 years experience as a healing facilitator and mind/body scientist (doctor of Chiropractic specializing in Network Spinal Analysis) with 23 years of learning Torah and Kabbalah. I do _not_ claim to be a Torah scholar (perhaps in the future, G-d willing) and do not pretend otherwise. All concepts presented have been validated by knowledgeable Torah scholars as being true to Torah sources. Thank you for your feedback. In response to the comment which took exception to the grammer upon which the drash is based, thank you for the lesson: Nevertheless, the fact that dikduk works this way is, in itself, grounds for all the questions. Translating sinat chinam as "hating their chen" is not wrong. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches that it is important and good to formulate one's own Torah insights as long as they in no way go against the Shulchan Aruch. The Torah is alive and we need to have a personal relationship with it in order to have a more complete relationship with Hashem.]
In parts one and two, we discussed that Adam’s main failure was not acknowledging Hashem as the Creator of Evil. Instead, he took the pain—the experience of Evil—personally and ascribed it to being punished for disobeying. The concepts of disobedience and retribution are true only from the side of Free Choice. If Adam had seen the pain of the Evil as Hashem’s ingenious creation which enables the experience of multiplicity, what he would have done is to acknowledge the chen in every part of the Creation. This is called ahavat chinam, the opposite of sinat chinam. Seeing the chen in everything leads to praising and thanking the Creator. Praising and thanking Hashem for the creation of Evil would have completed the entire spiritual rectification and thus, it would have been eternally Shabbat.
Noach Tried to Fix and Failed
The kabbalistic work, Leshem Sh’vo V’achlama teaches that the first person who consciously tried to fix Adam’s sin was Noach. The Leshem says that Noach entered the evil without Hashem’s permission and failed (to rectify the sin).
The first allusion to moshiach in the Torah is by Noach—meaning “comfort” as it says, “This one will comfort us…” (Br. 5:29) The midrash explains that this passage refers to the ultimate redemption and brings two opinions, one saying his name should have been Menachem, the other saying his name should have been Nachman, both of which refer to a comforter, a redeemer. [The reader is invited to consider the names of the leaders of the two groups of Jews who talk the most loudly about moshiach, and say, “Hmmm.”] NoaCH is the same letters as CHeN.
The concluding verse in Parshat B’reishit, is “V’Noach matza chen b’aynay Hashem—And Noach found chen in the eyes of Hashem.” Aynay Hashem—Hashem’s eyes—can also be translated as “Hashem’s ayin’s”. The letter ayin has the value 70 which refers to all the Gentile nations. It also refers to the 70 faces of Torah. The absolute root of multiplicity is duality: Good/Evil, Right/Left, Up/Down, White/Black, etc. That is why Torah is involved so predominantly with absolutes: Kodosh (holy)/Chol (profane), Kosher/Treif or Pasul, Tahur (Pure)/Tamei (Impure) etc. Everything from the side of Good is called “the Right side,” everything associated with Evil is “the Left side”. In absolute terms, there are two groups of people, the Jewish nation which is connected to the side of Good, Holy, Pure and the Gentile nations which embody the opposite. [Please note: This does not mean individual Gentiles are necessarily evil, ch’v. Please G-d, we will deal with this subject in a future article.] So the “ayin’s” are all aspects of the Creation from the Left side. Noach wanted to rectify the damage caused by Adam’s failure to acknowledge Hashem as the Creator of the Evil—a failure which obscured Unity as the root of multiplicity, a failure which led to warfare and idolatry and every other evil throughout history. Noach wanted to enter the evil and reveal its chen—the point of pure Light in the darkness. However, Noach did not have permission because Hashem’s Desire was for humanity to descend much, much further, and so, Noach failed.
The Good Movie
We all know that a good movie or story needs the building of tension in order to enjoy its happy ending. The more tension built into the climax and the more unexpected the resolution, the more we enjoy the overall movie experience. Same with human intimacy. The more we build the yearning, the greater pleasure from completion. Finishing after only minimal building of the tension of yearning, or a movie that is happy and sweet all the way through—yawn. Conversely, a movie that does not include resolution, or unfulfilled yearning for physical intimacy leaves us feeling uncomfortable indeed. Hashem created us that way.
So far, almost 5770 years have passed. The process of the unfolding of Creation— the manifestation of every possible combination of good and evil via the lives of billions upon billions of people through inventions and ideas and experiences, etc.—comes closer and closer to its conclusion. If we were to step back and observe ourselves and the entire history of the universe as a movie, we would be in the part just before the climax. The tension has built up to almost unbearable proportions. In fact, there is so much tension after a century of two world wars, the Holocaust, the fear of nuclear and chemical warfare and the advent of terrorism, that most of Hashem’s audience is numbed out.
In the movie, “The Game”, Michael Douglas plays an emotionless, financially very successful, middle-aged businessman who, due to his singleminded pursuit of money, has alienated practically every person of the many who have ever come to care for him. For his birthday, his brother gives him a gift of a special healing program designed to open his heart. The healing program, called “The Game”, is orchestrated by a team of professionals who, at first gather every piece of information possible about the man, his history and every detail about how he leads his daily life until they can predict, with absolute certainty, every choice that the man will make in a given situation. Then they orchestrate circumstances such that the man tries to kill himself. Knowing the exact point he will jump off the building which he has been manipulated to be on top of, they place an air bag to break his fall. They have arranged that he lands in the middle of a big party—a surprise birthday party for him with all his many friends and family who are ready to love him, even though he has been emotionally cold with them for years. When he realizes that the whole thing has been a setup, at first, the man is enraged. Then, he comes to realize that everything he went through which led to his attempted suicide was part of “The Game”. As he recognizes that his ordeal truly broke open his heart and he now can appreciate the love from his family and friends, he breaks into uproarious laughter to the point of tears of joy and love.
Recalling that: Hashem created the world to bestow His Goodness; the highest Goodness is the feeling of bliss from being unified with Hashem, as it were; the appreciation of good is only through knowing its opposite, thus Hashem created the darkness of Evil; Hashem has orchestrated every single detail of the unfolding of His Creation and that unfolding we call history; we can now understand that the whole of human history has been a setup. We mentioned in the article, “Baruch P’tarani” (see below), that Hashem designed the world to pull people into constricted consciousness. Even the Torah is written in a way which encourages constricted consciousness. It’s Hashem’s Conspiracy, as it were, to bring humanity to the brink of elimination, G-d forbid, only to save us through greater miracles than those Hashem performed for us during the Exodus from Egypt. At first, humanity had clear perception of Hashem’s Existence. Part of Hashem’s Genius has been to pull humanity into a such a constricted state where people actually don’t believe in, doubt or are unsure of the Creator’s Existence. The infinitely powerful, most awesome Creator has totally humbled and hid Himself. This sets the stage for the greatest revelation and the most exultation.
The true Tzaddikim—sages of the Nation of Israel—have always been aware of Hashem’s Intent to create more and more darkness by orchestrating humanity’s descent into ever-more constricted consciousness. Thus they have always been Hashem’s co-conspirators, as it were. They formulated the Oral Torah and its practical application (halachah) in such a way as to encourage our focus on the Free Choice side, to the detriment of our ability to stay aware of the Divine Providence perspective.
By translating sinat chinam as “causeless hatred” the Tzaddikim implanted several insidious constrictions into our consciousness: if there is such a thing as causeless hatred, then there must certainly be “causeful” hatred—reasons to hate. Actually, we are taught that the only thing we should hate is evil. Thus the feeling of hate is connected with evil which locks us in to the belief that evil is wrong. Of course evil is indeed “wrong” from the side of Free Choice—Hashem has instructed us “sur m’ra va’aseh tov—turn away from evil and do good. However, on the side of Divine Providence, evil is just Hashem’s creation which enables multiplicity and so, is not wrong at all.
Furthermore, since the feeling of hate is associated with evil, then the feeling of hate is perceived as wrong as well, which, again, is only true from the side of Free Choice. Focusing solely on the Free Choice/Multiplicity aspect of the paradox precludes the ability to see Hashem as the Ingenious Creator and the ultimate Embodier of the feeling of hate and of the evil itself. For the very concept of hating can only exist from the side of Free Choice/Multiplicity. From the side of Unity, there is only love. That is why the word for love—ahavah, has the same gematria (numerical value) as the word for “one”—echad. So in translating sinat chinam as causeless hatred, the Tzaddikim are truly co-conspirators in the process of creating the evil of constricted consciousness.
The Revelation Process
Everything we have said above is contained in the teachings of the Kabbalah. Moshe Rabbenu received all of Torah on Mt. Sinai. He was instructed to keep Kabbalah secret. He was informed that the secrets of Kabbalah would be revealed slowly throughout history. In order that the darkness would not completely overwhelm humanity, it was balanced just enough by the light of Kabbalah, revealed at the appropriate times. This allowed for the darkness of constricted consciousness to descend upon humanity gradually. Thus we see the revelation of the Zohar, the teachings of the Ari, the Baal Shem Tov and Rebbe Nachman coming into the world at specific times. The Tzaddikim know that Hashem’s Goal is the ultimate revelation of His True Awesome Goodness to elicit the rejoicing of humanity.
Many of us, upon realizing that the whole of human history is a setup, at first, might be very upset with Hashem—how dare You give us so much pain and misery! However, once we experience the final redemption (please G-d, may it be soon!), humanity's ordeal will allow us to truly appreciate Hashem's Good and we will break into laughter and tears of joy and love. For we will clearly see that every event in the history of man has been perfectly orchestrated by Hashem in order to reveal His Greatness as the Awesome Creator that He is, as the unfathomably Kind Bestower of Good. By living in the paradox of feeling the pain of the horrors of this world and praying and acting to eliminate them through Torah and ma'asim tovim while maintaining the joy that comes with awareness of the perfection in every detail of history and our lives, we are truly Hashem’s partners. However, we are His partners only from the Free Choice side. From the Divine Providence side, we are His tools for the creation of the experience of paradox. Wow! What Genius! (as it were)
At the conclusion of a good show which has truly inspired its audience, the audience, as one, springs to its feet in applause with shouts of “Bravo!” When the Divine, Supreme, Ultimate Show is concluded with the completion of the Redemption, we will behave no differently. However, even though the "end" of Hashem’s “Show” is going to be so awesome, we cannot begin to imagine it, nevertheless, we can direct our awareness now and, in faith, choose to feel deep joy. When we remember that our entire existence is paradoxical, then we can perceive Hashem’s Glory in every single part of the universe. We can exist in a perpetual state of gratitude and applause, loving the chen in every single thing. Thus we can access Shabbat—the state of perfect bliss and unity which Hashem has planned for us all along. Amen!
Please G-d, future articles will discuss practical, beneficial ramifications of living a consciously paradoxical existence —specifically regarding health and healing. Feedback is greatly appreciated.
Yours for greater Peace, Love, Joy and Gratitude,
Dr. Moshe Newman
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Sunday, August 24, 2008
// 8/24/2008 //