Most people think that the holiday of Shavuot is just about the giving of the Ten Commandments. However, let me share with you how the deeper implications of this unique and transformational holiday can only be understood through the lens of Kabbalah. Central to it is the capacity for endless continuity, a gift offered to us through our connection to the special readings on Shavuot and our willingness to stay awake throughout the night.
Rabbi Isaac Luria in his Kabbalistic work, the Tree of Life, tells us that before Creation the way we have come to know it, the giving and receiving forces within us were a bit different. To portray the difference, he shares a parable about a rich man who sees a poor man, and says to him, “Let me help you”. He repeats the offer, yet the poor man replies, “no” each time. The rich man gets upset and tries continuously for 30 days. Finally the rich man asks the poor man, “sir, will you do me a favor, can you please let me help you”. The poor man agreed to help the rich man by allowing him to help him.
Thus, the giver, (the rich man) is lower than the receiver, while the receiver is higher!
In the beginning of creation, before the vessel said “no” to the light, the receiving and giving force were exactly the same. He and His Name are One = He – giver, His Name – the receiver
After the contraction, where the Light withdrew to honor our request to earn the Light, it no longer stayed the same. Kabbalah teaches us there is a way to retrieve that frequency and that is by taking our mind back in time. Those original rules apply in the physical world only through our mind, not your body.
On Shavuot everything goes back to how it was before Creation. For that reason we can have miracles and anything we want during that time.
The only difference between this physical worlds, before we finish the final tikkun, before we finish the world’s correction the Malhut, our physical world is called Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil.
How do priests and Rabbis motivate us? Punishment and reward! They are not lying it exists. But it doesn’t exist from God’s point of view. But, if you go back to the story of the Garden of Eden, God tells them you can eat from any tree you want just not the tree of knowledge good and bad.
We are talking about our consciousness and its awareness of good and bad. You can experience life in two ways, I want it because I don’t have it, or I want it because it’s there. I want one million dollars because I don’t have it, or I want one million dollars because it’s there.
That difference in intention applies to everything we want. Two different ways of looking at life. Before the end of tikkun, the feeling of the end of the tikkun can only be felt the night of the Seder or on Shavuot in the morning.
Before the end of the tikkun we have the consciousness where we want to have because we don’t have it, but after we will want because we know the Creator wants to give us. Until we transform our perception to realize that the Creator wants to give us everything, and really feel its truth, we connect to the Creator on the level of reward and punishment.
What is a tzadik? A tzadik is a righteous person who believes that everything that happens to him is the best thing that can happen to him. If you can think this way you are no longer controlled by punishment and reward or by the tree of knowledge good and bad. That’s the consciousness we need to get to. Unfortunately till we get there everything that can go wrong goes wrong. If you can see it as a good thing then it’s not a punishment, but part of the process of revealing our good.
When you are able to see the good in everything, then you no longer need reward and punishment. So why do all these things happen that are painful? The pain is to get you to a place to see the real reality that it’s good. The immunity to all negativity is to see the good in everything.
Rav Ashlag says our ability to receive is so small and clouded. When you become selfish you want less, when a person is sharing you want more. When you can’t think of having a billion dollars you are selfish, when you want a little bit you are actually selfish because you don’t want to share. When you think small you are selfish, when you think big you don’t get fooled by lack so you are sharing. Our ability to receive is not sin, the amount of receiving is not a sin. The sin is how you receive. Anything that you ever wanted in your life is desired in you because the force from above gave it to you. Some people think they have a desire and they think the desire will give birth to what is wanted.
The Creator wants to give you much more than we desire, but we are scared. We are afraid to receive everything even if the Divine wants to give it to you. Our ability to receive is very limited and distorted? Why, because we are small minded and selfish and when we are selfish we think small and it limits us and then we separate ourselves from the Creator and the way the Creator wants to give us endless fulfillment.
How much can we actually want? It doesn’t match up to anything we can imagine that the Creator wants to give us.
Most people limit their receiving. There cannot be a lesson in receiving less. Your life isn’t working not because you want to receive too much, but because you want to receive too little. When you stay small with your wanting to receive something limited, you disconnect yourself from the Creator.
How do you want to think? Most people think limited thinking is noble or nice. Because wanting a lot is considered selfish according to all the traditions. But in Kabbalah you need to learn that the Divine wants to give you endlessly, but you can disconnect because of the intention of your wanting to receive because you don’t have, vs you’re wanting to receive because the Creator wants to give you. Why do you want what you want?
The desire should be based on what the Creator wants to give you – not framing the thing you want now. Because if you frame what you want now then you don’t truly believe that the Creator has everything in store for you.
Whatever you want from life is based on your sense of lack, not your greater good of what is waiting for you. Life is based unfortunately on what we are missing. Once you start changing your desire into what does God want to give me? The painful moments of our life are the lessons from the Creator to lead us to our good as I keep mentioning. This universe works perfectly and within the pain there’s a gift from the Creator. You are allowed to ask the Creator for one thing – please help me to understand the gifts that the Creator wants to give us. We don’t see that in the pain there is a gift of God. An abusive relationship or eminent danger is not gifts from God. That’s our choice to stay or leave. An abuser or a cheater stay the same. We can’t change them. They have a purpose too, but you can choose not to connect to it. There is one thing that’s limited in this life it’s called time, you can’t waste time.
When you get satiated your pleasure and desire stops growing. After you eat is not the same as before. Before you go to a restaurant everything looks beautiful. After you are satiated everything looks terrible. This is called in Kabbalah no longer have a desire for pleasure. King Solomon says about enemies when your enemy is hungry give him food, because it’s like pouring coals on his head. How do you kill your inner enemy? Feed him, when a person is addicted to something and he is satiated he is killing his desire.
Rav Ashlag says we create differences and separation between us and the Divine because the Creator is only about giving and creating and we think this is our universe. We think that this universe was created just for us and we want to swallow it for our pleasure and pride and for that reason we can’t receive yet what the Creator wants to give us.
When a person is satiated they don’t have desire for anything anymore and then there is emptiness. Punishment and reward comes from good and bad. We don’t use the vehicle that God gave us in the right way. The vehicle is to receive everything because the Creator wants to give us not because from a lack we want more and more and more. It’s impossible to receive anything bad in life because it makes God look bad. God doesn’t want us to have a bad time. So why do we have a bad time? Because we don’t know how to feel the good. The moment a person feels bad he has disconnected himself from the Creator and doesn’t truly believe that the Creator wants to give us just good.
At that moment that you feel you have been punished it’s the worst crime you can do. The foundation of most religion is punished but actually if you feel you have been punished you are extremely far from the Creator. The one who is making an effort to still believe that he is receiving something good within the bad, he will be rewarded for it. The punishment is not the pain you are going through its actually not being able to see the good in the pain you are going through. Those people will never be able to find the good in the bad.
The reason we feel good and bad is because the dark side is allowed to close your eyes when things aren’t good and yet, it is then you will be punished. What’s the worst punishment? When you have doubts that your life is not good. When you think you don’t have love or not healthy or wealthy. When a person changes and transforms and does truevah, then he can change everything – all the worst things he did. What’s the worst? Having doubts in the Creator. When you switch that then all the worst things that you did become the best things you ever did.
The end of the tikkun means what? What happens on Shavuot? All the worst things you ever did turn into the best things you ever did. All the worst doubts we ever had in the Creator become the best moments we ever had.
We will understand that all those punishments and pain comes from the Creator too. If you understand that your tikkun, doubts and everything was given to you from the Creator to see what you would do with it? But if you think only the good comes from the Creator and the bad doesn’t then you will fall into reward and punishment.
Many people when they go to motivational speakers hear someone trying to teach you how to change the land, but they don’t teach you to transform yourself to understand that what you have is what you wanted. The people who connect to Shavuot and study all night the Creator gives them a gift that they will be able to see the good in their life all the time. Then with that intention of continuity, you will discover new horizons of fulfillment awaiting you!