Nitzavim | Weekly Inspiration 2023
September 6, 2023
In this enriching video, Rabbi Eliyahu Jian shares profound insights as we approach Rosh Hashanah, emphasizing the importance of self-preparation and introspection. Drawing from this week’s Parasha, Nitzavim, which means standing still, Rabbi Jian illuminates the concept of standing tall in our spiritual journey. He encourages us to harness the full capacity of our capabilities, which are defined by our desires. Desires, he explains, are not only innate but can be cultivated and developed over time.
Rabbi Jian uses two pivotal texts to guide the discussion: the works of Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Ari) and Baal Shem Tov, both monumental figures in Kabbalistic thought. Their teachings, he suggests, transform the esoteric wisdom of Kabbalah into accessible knowledge, emphasizing its practicality for personal growth and understanding.
Kabbalah, according to Rabbi Jian, is not about seeking magical solutions but about engaging deeply with wisdom that enlightens our existence. It’s about understanding the ingredients of life, akin to knowing what goes into the food we enjoy, thereby enabling us to replicate its goodness. This wisdom teaches us that happiness and fulfillment are achievable through knowledge and understanding of the spiritual keys that unlock the doors to our well-being.
The Rabbi delves into the essence of our being, questioning who we are and what defines us. He challenges us to reflect on our desires and how they shape our identity and our path in life. By examining the teachings of the Ari and the Baal Shem Tov, he presents Kabbalah as a study of creation and the Creator, offering a dual perspective on our existence and our relationship with the universe.
This video also explores the four levels of desire—minerals, plants, animals, and humans—each representing a different capacity for desire and connection to the world. Rabbi Jian articulates how these levels of desire correlate with our spiritual evolution, urging us to recognize and refine our desires to align with our higher purpose.
As we stand before Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Jian invites us to stand tall, to assess our desires, and to consider what changes we need to make to advance spiritually. He emphasizes the power of desire in shaping our destiny and the importance of aligning our desires with divine will.
This video is not just a lesson in Kabbalistic thought; it’s a call to action. Rabbi Jian urges us to embrace our desires, to use them as tools for growth, and to approach the High Holidays with clarity and purpose. It’s a reminder that our spiritual journey is defined by our capacity to desire, to aspire, and ultimately, to connect with the Creator in a meaningful way.