Nature and Our Realm of Certainty

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Nature and Our Realm of Certainty

Michael Berg
February 24, 2021
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In the portion Tetzaveh, great miracles were awakened because, it says, the Israelites awakened a tremendous amount of certainty and trust in the Light of the Creator. Right after that, they elevated to the state where they were worthy, able, and capable of receiving the Light of miracles, and, ultimately, as Rav Shimon tells us, the Light of the Final Redemption, and the solution to all the darkness, pain, and difficulties that we experience; because it is only an elevation in the level of our certainty in the Light of the Creator.

There is a story not mentioned in detail in the Talmud, but is in a book written over a thousand years ago, and is also quoted in a different Midrashim. The story is about a young woman who was going to her father's house and got lost. After walking all day, she got thirsty and saw a well, and a bucket to draw water from it. She climbed down into the well to find water, and then when she tried to go up after she finished drinking, she could not, so she started yelling for help. A man walked by, and heard what sounded like a young woman calling out from the well for help. When he looked into the well, he could hear the voice, but the well was so deep that he could not see her.

Since the man could not see her, he did not know whether she was a spirit or a person, so he asked her, "Are you a person, or are you a spirit?" She told him, "No, I am a human being, I am not a spirit. You do not have to worry." We know that the spirits usually cannot lie, so he said, "You have to swear to me that you are a human being, you are not a negative spirit." She responded, "I swear that I am a human being; I am not a spirit. I am not a negative spirit." He asked her how she got there, and she told him the whole story. He said, "If I save your life and take you out of the well, can you promise me that you will marry me?" She said yes, so he helped her come up.

She asked him a little bit about himself, and told him about her family and where she was from. He wanted to sleep with her right away, but she said, "It is not right for us to be together unless we get married first." He said, "Promise you will come to my home, meet my parents, and we will become engaged." And they made a covenant, a promise, to each other. The man asked, "Who will testify that we have made this agreement?" There was a rat there next to them, so the man said to the woman, "The heavens, the rat, and the well are our witnesses to our promise and commitment to each other." They made a commitment, a covenant, between them that they would get married and not waver from each other.

The woman and the man each went home. The woman stayed unwavering in her certainty and commitment. People kept wanting to marry her, and she would say, "No, I have a commitment to another person." Her family did not understand why she would not get married, and they were almost trying to force her to. Eventually, it says, she started acting so crazy that people would not even come close to her anymore.

The man, who also made his commitment, forgot about her once he left her and married somebody else. They had a child together, and a rat killed their firstborn. They had a second son, and that son drowned in a well. So the wife said to this man, her husband, "If our children died naturally, I would say it is coming from the Creator, and accept it. But, having our kids die in the way that they did, there must be something wrong. There must be something in your past that you are not sharing with me." The man then told her the whole story with the woman and the covenant they made. So the wife divorced the man, and told him, "Go to your rightful place," meaning, "go to the woman who you committed to."

The man went to the town that the woman told him she was from. Once there, everybody said, "Why are you asking about this lady? She is crazy, nobody wants to go next to her." But he went to her father and told him the whole story. The father said, "She is crazy, nobody wants to marry her." But the man goes to her, and she did not recognize him, and started acting crazy. He told her the story of his two children that were killed by the rat and the well, and she said to him, "I did not waiver, I stayed in my commitment to you.” And when she understood that he came back, they got married, had children, and became wealthy.

The Midrash tells us that, concerning these two people, it says, "My eyes are on those who have certainty and trust, those who you can trust." What does that mean? First of all, what is the secret of this story? When we talk about certainty in the Light of the Creator, we need to add that certainty exists in our world; the rat and the well are part of that realm of certainty. Once this man and woman tied their commitment into that realm, it has to happen, because certainty forces things to happen. In the realm of certainty, it is not that you have certainty, and then the Light of the Creator gives you a gift; rather, certainty forces things to happen, because that is the realm of existence that is at the core of everything.

When this man and woman made their commitment in front of the rat and the well, it meant they tied themselves into it. Had the woman given up on her commitment, maybe nothing would have happened. But if she maintained her connection to that certainty, then it had to happen, and nature comes up against those who do not live in certainty. Therefore, the rat and the well stood up because they were saying to him, "There is somebody," in this case, the woman, "who still has that certainty, and you are living your life against that certainty."

The world only exists on certainty - and nature, the rat, the well, the heavens, the earth, the trees, and so on - exist in connection to that realm of certainty. If the individual lives his or her life away from certainty, then nature is against them. But a person who lives their life in certainty is supported by all of nature and everything in this world.

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