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There's a connection that was called the Pesach Sacrifice, which a person could not partake of if they were impure; meaning, they cannot have been around a dead body, for instance, or do other certain things that cause a person to be impure. In the portion of Beha’alotcha, there's a discussion of the people who were carrying the body of Joseph through the desert. They came to Moses and asked him, even though they knew they were impure, because they carried the body of Joseph, why they had to lose out on the opportunity and spiritual elevation that comes with connecting to Pesach.
Many of the commentators say the question is a strange one, because these people knew the rules. The rules are that if a person is impure by a dead body, he cannot partake. Then why are they asking Moses; what can Moses do? It's like going to somebody and saying, “I want to jump off the 30th floor of a building, but I don't want to get hurt.” We all know it doesn't work like that. There's a rule, and the rule is if you jump off a building that's 30 floors high, you will get hurt. The rules are straightforward.
We learn a very important understanding from what they are asking Moses. They knew the power of desire, that when a person truly has a desire to connect to the Light of the Creator, even if the rules say they shouldn't be able to or they can't, that desire opens a new pathway. Which means, they understood that there's the natural way of things and there are laws and rules that apply to a person's spiritual connection and a person's spiritual growth, but they also knew that above all else, when a person is able to awaken a true and deep desire, he can find a new pathway that never existed before.
There’s a regular pathway of spiritual work, study, and development that can bring a person up to a certain level. Sometimes in life we find ourselves in a position where either we want to go higher than we are able to naturally reach, or we find ourselves lower and asking how we can grow higher more quickly. We want to know how we can go beyond the rules.And what they were saying to Moses was that there must be a way, with desire, to create a new pathway, to go beyond the rules. If the natural pathway takes 10 years, for example, we want to create a new pathway that’s a shortcut, and takes one year or six months; desire for connection to the Light of the Creator has the power to create shortcuts and new pathways to achieve that connection. Even though they knew they were not pure and, therefore, did not have the natural ability to connect, their desperate need to connect created new pathways.
So, Moses went back to them and told them the Creator said there was a new pathway. This new pathway did not exist before these people, and was created by their desire to connect to the Light of the Creator. From this, we can learn that when we find ourselves in a place that's distant from the Light of the Creator, we have to know that we have the ability to create a new pathway of connection from wherever we are. We’re aware of the natural path of things, to get from where we are to where we want and need to go. We know that it's going to take us years and a certain process; but there are moments when we can awaken enough desire, based on the knowledge that each one of us can create a new pathway that has not existed before.
From wherever we are, we can create a new, shorter pathway to a connection to the Light of the Creator. Through tremendous desire awakened, held on to, and deepened, we can create it. We can draw to ourselves new Light that never existed, create a new pathway that never existed, and through that new pathway, be back on the path that connects us directly to the Light of the Creator. It's a very important understanding, because whether we think about it with this clarity or not, most of us understand how spiritual logic and the spiritual path work, which is that to get from point A to point B takes a certain amount of time and effort. And if we go sideways, if we go off that pathway, it's going take us that much longer to get back on the pathway.
However, what this Shabbat is about, what this consciousness is about, is the understanding that every single individual, no matter where they are, has this ability, through tremendous desire and tremendous yearning, to create a new pathway of connection that quickly, beyond nature, brings them to a deep and strong connection to the Light of the Creator that is not natural, that is not the way things should be, or the way things are. But with deep yearning and desire for connection to the Light of the Creator, we create a new pathway that leads us back to a deep and strong connection with the Light of the Creator.
And it is true for us also if we have been on the wrong path and decide we want to get on the right path. Rather than thinking about how we are going to change or transform negative actions that we have done, we should jump, which means awaken the desire and yearning for true connection to Light of the Creator, and then all the dirt of the wrong path will fall off by itself. We do not need to wait until the cleansing of the dirt and negative path. It is more important to quickly awaken the yearning and desire onto the right path, knowing that it creates a new pathway.
For most of us, the Negative Side comes and tells us that it is a long way from where we are to where we need to go to achieve a true connection to the Creator. But there is the other pathway, and that's what this Shabbat is about; we don't want the long pathway, the pathway that is held up by some of the negative things we’ve done. We want a new pathway, quickly. That thought of yearning and desire, or as Rav Ashlag calls it, the yearning for devekut,the yearning for our soul’s connection to the Light of the Creator, creates a new pathway from wherever we are directly and more quickly to the Light of the Creator. It's a tremendously inspiring and necessary thought.