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When Moses comes to the border of the Land of Israel and says to the Creator, “Let me go and see the land,” he uses the word Na, which means “please.” The kabbalists say Moses knew that whenever he used the word Na twice, the request had to be granted; for instance, when he wanted to bring healing to his sister Miriam, he said the word Na two times.
"Prayer is not a way to ask; it's a way to create."
In response to Moses, the Creator says, “Do not speak to me, stop asking me for this.” Because if Moses were to say the word Na again, he would have to be granted permission to enter into the Land of Israel. So, if we read that literally, it's very strange; it seems as though the Creator is under the control of Moses. That's not the way most people understand God, who we see as all powerful. Shouldn’t it be such that if the Creator doesn't want Moses to enter the Land of Israel, Moses won't enter the Land of Israel? What difference does it make what words Moses uses?
In creating this world, the Creator put a system in place; a very important part of which being that our words actually create. And while it is true that had the Creator wanted to change nature and not allow Moses to enter even after he said the prayer with the word Na twice, He could have done that. But the way the spiritual system is set up – which the Creator does not break unless it is extremely necessary - is that through our words, we create.
Therefore, had Moses said Na twice, he would have had to enter into the Land of Israel. That's the nature of this system, and the power of our words. Most people think of prayer as being a way to ask God for things. However, we learn through this that prayer is not a way to ask; it's a way to create. And it is one of the great gifts given to us on Shabbat Re’eh.
There is another place where we find the awakening of the power of words as a means of creating: when Isaac wants to give the blessings to his son Esau. We know the story - Jacob gets dressed up like Esau, and Isaac thinks he's Esau, so gives him the blessings. After Jacob leaves, Esau comes in and Isaac realizes he blessed the wrong son, and says, “Nevertheless, the blessings are still going to happen.” Why? If Isaac didn't want to bless Jacob who tricked him, couldn’t he take it back and say, “I made a mistake?”
No, he couldn’t. Because once Isaac gave the blessing, his words had already created it. With this understanding, we need to now shift our consciousness about prayer. Remember Isaac. Remember Moses and the Creator. Our words create, and to the degree that we know this is to the degree that they do. One of the greatest reasons our prayers aren't answered is because usually, when we pray, we are making a request of the Creator. But now we know that’s not the way it works. Now we know that as we say the words when we pray, we are actually acting as creators ourselves, and if we don't understand that this is what we are doing, then we are not really praying.
"We are able to create through our words."
One of the gifts Moses awakens in us on Shabbat Re’eh is the strengthening of our certainty that we are able to create through our words. If we really had certainty that we could manifest the Light through our words of what we call prayer - which now we know are not words of prayer, but rather words of creation - it would happen. But we don't. We have doubt, even if we really want to believe, even if we really want to have certainty. There is only one indicator as to whether the Light of the Creator will manifest through an individual or not, and that is the degree to which the individual knows that he or she can create with the assistance of the Light.
In order to do this, we need to actually feel the Light of the Creator with us always. The way to gauge how we are doing in this area is by taking a step back and looking at certain things that we do or do not allow ourselves to do in our lives. If we were always feeling the Light of the Creator with us, there are certain ways we would not allow ourselves to act. It's not truthful to say, “When I come to create through my words, then the Light of the Creator is with me. But when I am failing, when I am acting without human dignity, when I am acting in anger, the Light of the Creator isn't with me.”
We can’t just call the Creator whenever we want; we either live with the certainty that the Light is with us always and so we are able to create and change through our words, or not. When we realize that we have that power, we realize that it has to be in both the times we need the assistance of the Light and the times when we forget that.
It is a powerful lesson: the amount of strength we have in creating through our words of prayer is dependent only on how much we know that the Light of the Creator is with us. And that has to be all encompassing; it can't be only when we need it versus when we don't. This teaching shows us how easy it is for us, through our words, to draw that Light and create change and miracles.
The word Re'eh means “see.” What does seeing mean? Going to new levels of consciousness. We have a new understanding now of what prayer means. We, through our words, have the power and ability to create what we are praying for. And how do we draw greater ability to create those things? By awakening a true, constant certainty that the presence of the Light of the Creator is with us always.