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In the portion Beshalach, Moses uses the power of the 72 Names of God to create the great miracle of the Splitting of the Sea. However, before Moses is able to do that, he says something to the Israelites that in the literal sense seems superfluous or overly dramatic, but actually, has within it the secret we need to draw the Light of miracles into our own lives… and without this secret, we are unable to connect to this powerful Shabbat.
Moses says, hityatzevu ur’u et yeshuat Hashem asher ya’aseh lachem hayom, “Stand, and you will see the tremendous miracles that the Creator will do for you today.” There are many secrets in this verse, but the one I want to focus on is within the last word, hayom, “today.” What is the secret of that word, hayom?
To explain this, the kabbalists bring a teaching from Rav Moshe Lev of Sasov, who talks about a different verse altogether. The story is of Jacob. Before he left this world, he decided to shower the 12 Tribes, the 12 conduits of Light, with blessings. But first, he too says something that we need to understand: vayevarchem bayom hahu, “He blessed them on that day.” Again, the word “day.” However, we don’t know what day of the week it was, and historically there’s no significance to the day of the week or year it was. So, why does the verse tell us that he blessed them bayom hahu, on that day?
Rav Moshe Lev of Sasov explains that Jacob blessed them to have certainty within today, and not allow their doubts or fears to take them into the next day. So, Jacob, before he opens the Gates of Blessings up to this world, teaches a very important lesson: only when we come to the level of the consciousness of today – which means a person lives within this day and does not allow a doubt or worry about tomorrow or a regret of what happened yesterday to come in – can he give us the blessings. The blessing that Jacob gave to his children was hayom. “I’m giving you the blessing, power, and ability to come to live within this day.”
The kabbalists teach that Moses would have been incapable of even using the power of the 72 Names to create the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea had he not elevated the Israelites at that time to come to the consciousness of today; a consciousness where we have no doubt or worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow or regret of what happened yesterday. Living in the secret of today is a prerequisite to connect to the Light of the Creator and awaken miracles in our lives; that’s the rule. But now, let’s understand the spiritual logic of it.
Every Shabbat, we sing the song based on the verse baruch Hashem yom yom, “The Light of the Creator is injected in the day.” If a person awakens a worry today, that will disconnect him from the Light of the Creator, but if a person awakens worries or doubts about the next day, month, or even year, he takes that darkness from tomorrow, or from next month, and actually brings it into today. As such, he does not allow the Light of the Creator to flow because he’s brought darkness into this day.
I’ll say it again because it is so important: the doubt of tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year blocks the Light of the Creator from being able to come into this day. If a person is not living in today, he robs today of its potential blessings.
Moses wanted to create this tremendous miracle, he had the tools, he had the 72 Names, and he was able to do it. However, had the Israelites not been elevated to the level of hayom, today, had they started worrying about tomorrow, or the next month, they would have brought that darkness into that day, which would have made Moses incapable of creating the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea. The understanding here is that even if we have the most powerful tools and potential connection, if we are not able to live in the realm of hayom, then we rob today of its blessings.
And that is why Jacob, before giving his blessings, gave first the consciousness of hayom hazeh, hayom hahu, that day. In fact, when we begin to understand the secret of hayom, we begin to see that word appear often throughout the portion of Beshalach, such as with the miracle of the manna. The Israelites are in the desert, they have no source of food, and yet, everyday a miracle occurs; just enough food comes down from the heavens each day . And the kabbalists teach that the manna does not necessarily represent physical food, but rather, the level of consciousness where our only focus is today, where we don’t have even the beginning of a thought, worry, or doubt about tomorrow, because only a person of that level, of that consciousness, can be completely connected to the Light of the Creator. Therefore, when it says that the Torah was only given to those who eat the manna, it is referring to a person who has come to the consciousness of living the secret of hayom.
Every single morning, all the Light, blessings, and assistance we need for that day are ready to flow down. However, five minutes or an hour after we wake up, we start worrying about tomorrow and block the Light that’s meant to come to us. But the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea, and all the miracles and blessings that we need, cannot occur or be revealed in their totality until we are working towards, begging for, and desiring to come to the level of living in the secret of hayom. And on Shabbat Beshalach, we have the gift of asking for the secret of today, understanding that when we do come to it, we will be able to receive the complete flow of blessings and Light available for us.