bring in the light

My favorite college professor (who I call Snake Eyes behind his back) posted a pretty dismal and hopeless post about being unable to awake people from their zombie slumber. He happens to live in NYC, a place I specifically left because of its sopporific affect on me at the deepest levels. Only after years of mastering life-fu do i now think i could live in Manhattan/the borroughs. Lucky for me i'm in Jerusalem instead :)

On yet another side note I once argued pointlessly with Rav Adin Steinsaltz on just how hard it is to get people (especially in america and extra especially in the TriStateArea) to do make any forward progress of any kind at all. I argued that such a move would require them to first actually examine themselves, which is impossible without disrupting their security blanket of absolute denial. People there have more layers of denial than fat and it's scary and hurts my heart to see it.

On the last side-note and as a segue into the actual point of this post, it was for the very reasons above that Chabad moved to new york instead of somewhere else. (Israel?) It was to fight the root of the problem at its very source, or so Chabad tells their story.

Anyways, the first Chabad Rebbe, R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi (who never was anywhere near New York), the Baal HaTanya, he says in the Tanya appropriate to last Friday that every Rosh Hashanah (New Year) the G-d's light that permeates this world and gives life to all its inhabitants ascends and leaves this world, only to be replaced by a new light of a higher origin than the first at the completion of the New Year celebration. Through our work in this month of Elul, the month leading up to the new year, we are able to prepare ourselves to receive this new light. [Interesting that it falls on the autumnal equinox. One of two days in the year in which day is split equally between day and night.]

He goes on to explain that a similar personal process happens every day of our lives, each morning in the shacharit prayer we receive a new light in place of the light that left us the night before. Each time though, the light we receive is from a higher place--we are always moving forward, making progress.

Personally, I like to focus on the correlate that has for the week, Shabbat being the essence of my being, the source of all blessing in the world. Each Shabbat we get bring down a new light into the world, to replace the previous lower revellation of HaShem. Every week we are brought closer to G-d through the revellation of a higher light.

I guess this is why people might be experiencing the darkness a little deeper this month. To help us prepare to receive and appreciate more light. Or you can persist in the belief that the shortening of the days towards winter just makes people depressed. You can always choose to be just a robot.. or a monkey.. or one of pavlov's dogs.

Or you can choose life.


Related posts

Blog Widget by LinkWithin