The Puzzle of Our Correction

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The Puzzle of Our Correction

Michael Berg
August 26, 2020

The portion Ki Tetze speaks about the battle against the Negative Side, and I want to go back to a few verses in the previous portion, Shoftim, that speak about the battle. It says that when the Israelites went to battle there was a priest, a Kohen, whose only job was to give a speech to raise consciousness beforehand. He would say, "You are coming close to the battle," and then he would give four warnings: "Do not allow your heart to become weak. Do not have any fear. Do not start acting hastily. Do not be overwhelmed by them."

It says in the Midrash that these four warnings, or the four awakenings of consciousness for battle, were exactly parallel to the four things that kings would do as their tactics of war. So, let’s understand a little bit of the technical meaning and then we will come to an understanding of consciousness.

The kings made a lot of noise to awaken fear within the enemy, often before battle even began. And the four levels of warnings the priests tell the Israelites relate to that tactic: ""Even though you are going to hear the horses, do not allow your heart to become weak from it. You are going to hear their swords and their battle instruments making a loud noise - do not become fearful from that. You are going to hear them blow their horns, the purpose of which is to awaken fear within you - do not become weakened from it, and therefore act haphazardly. And as they go into battle, you are going to hear them yelling - do not become overwhelmed by that.”

So, the technical understanding of what the Torah is telling us is that there were four warnings of consciousness that the priest would come out and say. But now let’s understand the spiritual understanding. There is a beautiful, powerful teaching from Rav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa, which can allow us to not only be able to sustain consciousness, but also grow it.

In Proverbs, in Mishlei, it says, “Man has many plans, but the desire, thought, and path of the Creator will be sustained.” Most people understand that verse in a very simple way; you have people trying to do harm, but the path of the Creator will be sustained, as if they are two separate things. You have negativity around, but do not worry, because the Light of the Creator will persevere and take you through. However, Rav Simcha of Peshischa says it is not that there is so much negativity, but nevertheless, the Light of the Creator will persevere. Rather, it is the fact that this negativity we see as bad is what is actually pushing the Light of the Creator to be revealed. All the negativity being done by negative people and negative forces is actually forcing the Light of the Creator to be revealed.

So, it is not that there is so much negativity, confusion, and darkness that we should not worry about, because the Light of the Creator will persevere. No; the darkness, negativity and negative actions that exist are actually what are causing and enabling the Light of the Creator to be revealed. Most of us, when we go through times of challenge or negativity, say, "I am not going to worry about that, because the Light of the Creator will persevere.” But it is not that. Rather, it is, "I am so thankful there is that negativity and doubt, because all of this is actually what is going to cause the Light of the Creator to be revealed." The negative thoughts and the negative actions done in this world to try to damage are actually the ones that create and allow the Light of the Creator to be revealed.

So to get back to the battle, we said the priest comes to them as they are about to do battle and says, "These four things are going to happen, so strengthen your consciousness." It was not that as they come to do battle, the Kohen has to tell them "Do not fall;” rather, if they want to win, they need those four levels of challenge in order for their consciousness to get to the state where the Light of the Creator can be revealed. We need those exact levels to fight those four levels and win, and then, the Light of the Creator can be revealed.

Which means, and it is a longer concept than this, but the basic understanding is that when we have a battle, it is not that we need to overcome it so we can persevere. It is that we are experiencing that doubt, challenge, or overwhelming action right now because the Creator knows our soul and knows the process of our soul, and if we were able to see the puzzle of our correction, we would realize, "Oh, I am missing that piece, and the only way to fix it is through overcoming this exact challenge, and then that part of my soul is corrected." The Creator sees what He needs to do for us, what opportunity He can give us for that next piece of our soul that is missing, what level of consciousness we need, and creates that situation for us.

It is not, again, that we go into battle and need to be given strength to persevere. It is the understanding that this exact battle, this exact sense of being overwhelmed, and this exact sense of negativity or fear is the perfect piece of our soul's puzzle that we need right now. So to overcome it does not simply mean we are going to make it through; it means that we are now correcting the piece of our consciousness that we need. All negativity, challenges, fears, and doubts that an individual goes through is because the Creator is saying, "This is the piece that you are missing right now, so I am going to give you exactly what you need.” A person does not go through challenges and perseveres; he goes through challenges, and from those challenges, perfects his soul in an exact way.

It says the priest would tell them, "These four things are going to happen and I do not want you to simply persevere, I want you to understand why they are happening. They are happening because there is a corresponding elevation of consciousness you need for your soul's perfection. And therefore, in order to enable you to receive that corresponding level of perfection, the Creator is creating these four exact, perfect challenges for you. And the corresponding elevation of consciousness from each one is what completes the puzzle of your soul's perfection, exactly."

This is so beautiful. All the negativity, challenges, doubts, fears, and sense of being overwhelmed are not for us to persevere through; they are in their perfect state to bring us where we need to grow. The piece that we are missing can only be strengthened and created from that exact and perfect challenge. And then, only from that challenge created exactly in that way, can we fix our next perfect piece.