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In one of the letters from Rav Brandwein to my father, Rav Berg, it speaks of this month of Aries, Nissan, and of Pesach, the manifestation of the Light of this month. Rav Brandwein asks a question about one of the phrases that the kabbalists wrote thousands of years ago in the Haggadah, the Book of Connection for the Pesach Seder. In speaking about the unleavened bread, or the matzah, it says, "This is the unleavened bread that the Israelites ate in Egypt." Rav Brandwein points out that one would think it is an historically inaccurate statement because the Israelites, if you read the story as it's written in the Torah, did not eat the matzah in Egypt; they were in such a rush to leave that they had to take the bread out of the oven before it was able to rise. Therefore, they ate it outside of Egypt, not in Egypt. So, why would the kabbalists write something thousands of years ago that doesn't seem to be true?
Rav Brandwein explains this by sharing something very beautiful, but also very important: we cannot draw miracles or overwhelming Light, which is what this month of Aries is about unless our consciousness is already there. We actually have to begin living that consciousness and that certainty today.
The Israelites were in Egypt, experiencing great pain and suffering, but they could not leave as long as their consciousness was also still in Egypt. Moses and Aaron wanted to assist the Israelites to leave that darkness, so they went throughout Egypt, telling them, “We know you're experiencing tremendous pain and suffering, but we need you to know that this is going to end. In fact, it is going to happen so fast that if, for instance, you have bread in the oven, it won't even have time to rise.”
The word Pesach actually means to “jump over.” The kabbalists teach that the Israelites were meant to still be in that pain for at least a hundred more years; however, they were able to “jump” over it. In the Sefer Yetzirah, The Book of Formation, Abraham writes that one of the powers created in this month of Aries is what's called the right leg, which represents the ability to jump. So, how did the Israelites “jump” over hundreds of years of pain, and not have to experience it? Only one way, Rav Brandwein tells the Rav: when they heard Moses and Aaron. It must have been difficult for them to think that after over a hundred years of being in this darkness, it could change. But Moses and Aaron kept talking to them and trying to awaken and strengthen their consciousness to see the possibility of jumping out of that darkness. And the Israelites finally came to a certain point where they said, “Our certainty is so strong, we're going to start eating this unleavened bread already, here in Egypt.”
This is very important to understand. We talk about changing consciousness, which is one of the most difficult things in the world to do, and unless we are consistently working at it, talking about it, and changing it, it's never going to happen. It takes practice. And that’s what the Israelites did. They practiced it. They were in Egypt eating the unleavened bread day after day, and, in so doing, the Ari says, were actually awakening Pesach. They said the words to awaken the certainty, telling their children and family: “This darkness doesn't have to stay for another hundred years. This darkness, this pain, can end now. We're eating this type of bread because when the end of the darkness does happen, it’s going to happen so fast that we're not even going to have time for our bread to rise in the oven.” And after speaking of this consciousness and awakening this consciousness, they had the ability to jump out of the dark place they were in.
This gift of being able to jump out of a place of darkness right now is what is given to us in this month; that's the secret of Pesach - jumping over. And there's only one way to create that jump, Rav Brandwein tells my father, Rav Berg. We have to start practicing, in our words and actions. We have to speak about it again and again until our consciousness begins to shift, and we truly believe and know that the Light of the Creator will come into our life to change us, to jump us out of this darkness.
That Light is available every moment, but the consciousness isn't there to draw it; as such, Moses and Aaron, with all of their wisdom and connections, and the Creator with all of the Light, could not awaken the removal of that pain and darkness. They needed the Israelites to go around day after day, saying, “We have certainty this is going to happen. We're eating this unleavened bread now, because we know that it's going to happen fast… we're not going to stay here another hundred years.”
The Israelites jumped. They jumped first with their consciousness, and then, jumped out of a hundred years of darkness. During this month of Aries, every single one of us can receive the ability to jump over whatever darkness exists. But the only way to jump over that darkness is to practice having the consciousness - to start knowing, saying, and acting with complete certainty - that we actually will jump over it.