BeHa’alotkha

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This time of the year, after Shavuot is about elevating ourselves spiritually, hence is the proximity of the Parashot Naso and BeHa’alotkha.

The Parasha of BeHa’alotkha opens with the paragraph: “God said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you set up (BeHa’alotkha – S.Y.) the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lamp stand’”. The commentators ask why does the Torah say “BeHa’alotkha” (raise in Hebrew) instead of “when you light the candles”? The Zohar, after a long discussion, mentions the story of Exodus and the tenth Plague of Egypt – the death of all the first born, than, raises the Zohar a question: ‘Why did the Israelites need to mark their doorposts with blood? Did the Creator really need them to mark which home belongs to them? And the Zohar answers that in order to awaken something in the upper, spiritual, worlds we have to make an action in the physical world.

The Zohar explains that the world we live in is divided in two – the one that is visible to us and the one that is not. These two worlds exist concurrently. However, the problem is that most of us are not aware of this fact and that we have two dimensions – body and soul.

A human being is a spiritual being and the essence of his life is to connect these worlds: the world of truth (the spirit) and the world of illusion (physical). The connection is being made when we tie an action to its intention, body and soul. This is what is special about the Zohar, that not like some other spiritual methods, according to Kabbalah the spiritual world is not in the heavens but here, on Earth, and in order to feel it we need to create a spiritual dimension in every physical object we use and in every action we take.

That is what Mitsvot were designed for – to connect between those worlds. According to the Zohar the word “Mitsva” (מצוה in Hebrew) has the same root as “to team” (צוות in Hebrew) and the Mitsvot were designed to help us to connect and to team our physical world with the upper spiritual worlds, heavens and earth, body and soul, otherwise man will be considered as ungodly person (בן בליעל in Hebrew), meaning he has no ability to rise and connect to the upper worlds.

In Judaism we are measured by the intention accompanied to our deeds, otherwise it is like these deeds are like a body with no soul. And that is the essence of elevating ourselves spiritually. The Zohar and the Talmud teach that the Torah has only one purpose – a remedy for the evil inclination. When we learn Torah and follow tradition we also need to have the right intention so we could elevate ourselves from a dimension of egotism and selfishness – a place of death – to a dimension connected with love, joy, happiness and infinity –the Light of Creation.

Rabbi Ashlag said that the main purpose of the Torah is to teach us how to receive in order to share. Rabbi Akiva taught that in order to get to that level a person needs to be coached according to “you shall love you fellow person”, because when we manage to love our fellowman and ourselves we actually manage to connect to the essence of infinity and that is called elevation.

Hence the Zohar teaches that the Torah was given on two tables on the month of Sivan, the sign of Gemini (twins) – two that are one, you and I, body and soul.

This elevation over selfishness, separation, fears and pain is the purpose of life. And that is why it is told “When you set up (BeHa’alotkha – S.Y.) the lamps…” and not “when you light the candles” – to show us that every regular action could become magically and divine.


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