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My father, Rav Berg, would say the famous quote, “You have to be stupid to keep betting on the same horse that comes in second, time and again.” And Rav Berg would relate this to people who do religious actions over and over again, thinking that by itself it is going to bring Mashiach, when for thousands of years it has not. And I think that is an important lesson, as it relates to our own spiritual work.
The reason we do this work is because we believe there is a possibility that through it, we will bring the Gemar HaTikun, the End of the Correction. I am hoping and assuming that most of us are not here to be spiritual people, to spread spiritual wisdom, or to help people out; all those things are nice, but that is not why The Centre exists. That is not why Rav Shimon Bar Yochai brought the Zohar into this world, or why the Ari, Rav Ashlag, and Rav Brandwein brought their wisdom to this world.
There is really only one reason why, and it needs to be and should be, the prominent, driving force in our mind. There is a possibility that through the teaching and studying of this Light and wisdom, the removal of pain, suffering and death will come to this world. And if we really live in that way and are really thinking in that way, then the questions we have to ask ourselves are: what am I doing, how am I doing it, and does it have the possibility to be able to bring Mashiach? And I think it is always important for us to say, okay, well, this past year we did not bring Mashiach yet, so it does not make sense to keep doing exactly the same thing in exactly the same way.
And then next year, if Mashiach does not come, we have to keep finding different, new, better ways to share this Light and wisdom. Of course the core of the Light and wisdom always stays the same, but how we share it should not. Rav Berg’s teaching of this wisdom, for example, in the '60s was different than in the '70s, and in the '70s was different than the '80s, and in the '80s was different than the '90s, and so forth. I remember in the 1980s, a time when my mother and I drove cross country to Los Angeles to surprise my father, Rav Berg, who was there giving a lecture. And I remember seeing the book Star Wars on the table in the living room. I did not understand why Rav Berg was reading Star Wars, but from that time on, he started using a lot of the same language from the movie and the book… why? Because the wisdom stays the same, but the vehicle, or even the language used to share it in one time is different than in other times. Rav Berg was always looking for the new ways. And that is, again, what our consciousness should always be, asking ourselves: what are the new ways?
As we were reading the previous portion, Yitro, I was thinking about how it says there was smoke and fog all around Mount Sinai with the Revelation of the Light of the Creator. Why was there smoke and fog? Because the Light of the Creator was coming to rest. And as the kabbalists teach, there is always that smoke, that part which makes us think we cannot see, that confusion, we will call it, before a great revelation. This is one of the reasons why when we read the whole story of the Revelation at Sinai, there are so many things happening; there was an awakening of confusion that preceded the Revelation. And I believe it is always true that even as we experience or see things that do not make sense, and are upsetting or confusing, the consciousness we should have is about understanding the bigger picture, and that what is happening is a prelude to new understandings, new ways, and new work.