THE FINE ART OF MOVING ON
Why does letting go matter and what does it mean for our redemption?
This week we delved deeply into ego work and making space for redemption in our lives as we all move through the 7th year of Kabbalah.
This special time of year also brings us closer to the Portion of Behar and Bechukotai to continue our journey towards opening our eyes to who we are, what we are and what we stand for.
There is a profound section by the sages that simply says: “Redemption comes in the blink of an eye”. The word blink in Hebrew is “Heref” which comes from the word “Harpaya” to mean releasing. From this translation we can thus understand that once you release your sight from what you want or the results you want, you create space for redemption to arrive.
Now let’s move a little deeper into the concept of Jubilee. This week, some commentaries have pondered why we are discussing the concept of the Jubilee when the subject is really about Mt. Sina. What we need to all understand, however, is the rules of the Jubilee year really only pertain to the land of Israel.
In essence, we thus need to fully understand the art of letting go to bring us to the vital level of redemption.
While they were at Mt. Sinai, God told the Israelites that when they arrived to the land of Israel they could not work the land on the 7th year. So why did God relay this to the Israelites before they arrived?
We know that countless commentaries said that Mt Sinai was not full of glory. We also know that Mt. Sinai was between a big and small mountain with those commentaries further teaching us that when the Torah was supposed to be given, all the mountains fought with each other over who was going to receive it. Being too short and too little, Mt. Sinai didn’t think it would stand a chance, but it was because that unassuming mountain was able to relinquish the immediate need to be noticed that it became the most important mountain in the creation of the world.
This fascinating concept unearths vital lessons that translate to that of the Jubilee. We all have to learn to let go of whatever seems so important to us at any given time to pave the way for redemption further down the line. This could be as simple as the need to be right, or holding on to our egos.
Now let’s talk about the 7th year and what’s so important about the number 7 and specifically Israel.
The 7th year in Kabbalah represents the realm of Malchut, which means all the instant gratification that we want in our life. Israel also is considered Malchut. This means that only in Israel can those precepts apply, as Israel is the chosen place you need to learn to let go of the land in the 7th year – as the energy field in the land of Israel is the strongest. It was for this reason that the temple was built within the city – which is the strongest Malchut of the country.
The temple is not in Jerusalem and that’s why Jerusalem is holy rather the other way around. Jerusalem is powerful and holy and that’s why the temple was built there.
The reason why Mt. Sinai was chosen to be the mountain to receive the Torah was because Mt. Sinai taught us a lesson on how to let go – which isn’t always easy. When we each of us let go in our lives a wave of doubts tend to creep in. Let’s look at the doubts of the farmers during the Jubilee time, who would have asked how they would eat on the 8th year? The commentaries explain that either you will have enough food in the 6th year for two years or the quality of the food in the 6th year will be so high that you won’t have to eat a lot and then you will have enough. Either way you will have enough.
What we all need to let go of can differ from person to person. For some, it’s pride. For others, it’s money, clothes, food or creature comforts. No matter the object or need, we need to learn to let go of the Malchut of our physical domain.
Once you’ve mastered the art of letting go, that all important space is created and redemption will arrive in the blink of an eye – merely because you released. The reward for that release is as good as it gets – it’s the gift of space to love yourself.
If a person wants to reach the true level of loving themselves unconditionally, alongside feeling secure about themselves and about who they are, they must practice the releasing of Malchut – which is the releasing of the immediate satisfaction.
Explore the below story to better understand the concept of releasing.
Zohar Behar verses 58-62
58. Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi were walking along the way and chanced upon a mountain. They found two men walking, and at the same time a man coming, who said to them: Please, I pray you, give me a piece of bread. For I have been lost in the desert for two days and have had nothing to eat. One of the men went aside, took out the provision he brought with him for the way and gave it to him; he fed him and gave him drink. His companion said to him: What shall you do when you need food? For as for me, I will eat my own AND SHALL GIVE YOU NOTHING. He said to him: I do not rely upon YOUR FOOD! The poor man sat by him until he had, and he gave the remaining bread to the poor man for the road. And he went away.
59. Rabbi Chiya said: The Holy One, blessed be He, did not wish it to be done by us. Rabbi Yosi said: Perhaps there is an impending sentence upon that man, and the Holy One, blessed be He, wanted to put this in his way in order to save him. While they were walking the man became exhausted DUE TO HUNGER. His companion said to him: Did I not tell you not to give your bread to another? Rabbi Chiya said to Rabbi Yosi: We have food with us, let us give him some to eat. Rabbi Yosi said: Do you wish to
take away his merit? Let us go and see, for surely death follows in his footsteps – MEANING THAT THE DANGER OF DEATH IS FOLLOWING HIM and the Holy One, blessed be He, wishes to prepare a merit for him in order to save him.
60. Meanwhile, the man sat to sleep under a tree. His friend went further and sat in a different place. Rabbi Yosi said to Rabbi Chiya: Let us sit down and watch, for surely the Holy One, blessed be He, intends to perform a miracle by him. They stood up and waited. While they were waiting, they saw a fiery rattlesnake standing by him. Rabbi Chiya said: Woe unto that man, for he is about to die. Rabbi Yosi said: This man is worthy of a miracle of the Holy One, blessed be He. A snake then came down the tree with the intention of killing him. The rattlesnake attacked the snake and killed it. Then the rattlesnake turned his head and went on his way.
61. Rabbi Yosi said: Have I not told you that the Holy One, blessed be He, wished to perform a miracle for him, and you must not take away his merit, THAT, HE SHOULD NOT GIVE HIM FOOD. In the meanwhile, the man awoke from his sleep and rose to go. Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi joined him and gave him food. After he ate, they told him of the miracle the Holy One, blessed be He, performed for him.
62. Rabbi Yosi opened the discussion and said: “Trust in Hashem, and do good; dwell in the land, and enjoy security (also: ‘Faith’)” (Tehilim 37:3). Happy is the portion of he who does good using what is his, since he stirs good, WHICH IS YESOD, toward the Congregation of Yisrael, WHICH IS MALCHUT. With what DOES HE STIR? With righteousness (Charity), since when Righteousness is stirred, that good stirs toward the Congregation of Yisrael. It is therefore written, “but righteousness delivers from death”
What is the reason for this? Because Righteousness is the Tree of Life, ZEIR ANPIN. It is aroused against the Tree of Death to take those who are attached to it, and it saves them from death. Who causes the Tree of Life to be stirred to do that? One says: The charity THAT MAN does; it is as if he does it above, IN CAUSING MALCHUT TO BE UNITED WITH THE TREE OF LIFE, as is written: “and do righteousness at all times” (Tehilim 106:3). We have already explained this.”
This story teaches us that charity and giving without thinking about what we will have left is the ultimate releasing of our Malchut.