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Today, I write to you from the holy city of Safed in northern Israel. This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Beshalach, which as we have mentioned is the revelation of the energy of the 72 Names of God (several of which I have posted about throughout the week)
This Shabbat, I would like us all to focus our energies again towards the name I wrote about on Tuesday - the mem yud hey for unity.
The reason for this is that while there are so many specific names that we can use to make changes in our lives-- the aleph lamed daled for protection from evil eye, the mem yud caf for overcoming fear, the yud yud zayin for guarding our speech—the name for unity encompasses all of them: for if we recognize the true unity that exists between us- the unity of our souls-then we wouldn’t have cause for jealousy, fear, or evil speech.
Now, for those of you who are not familiar with Safed or the geography of the region, spending this Shabbat here provides us with many spiritual opportunities- definitely on a personal level, but hopefully on a global level as well. Safed is close to the border of Lebanon where there has been conflict this week that resulted in tragic loss of life.
Many of us might feel powerless to affect a situation that seems so far removed from our day to day lives, but if we can unify our consciousness towards peace, then together we can truly make a big difference.
You know, the Rav told the story of how in the spring of 1967, his teacher, Rav Brandwein, insisted that they go to Tiberius to do Shabbat followed by a trip to Meron (near to where I am now). Throughout two days and nights, they studied and prayed at various sacred sites; injecting specific consciousness and mediations everywhere they went.
That Monday, June 5th, 1967, the war broke against Egypt on one front, and Jordan and Syria on the other. The entire war lasted 132 hours and 30 minutes, one of the shortest wars in history. They returned to Tel Aviv to do what they could to help the community as everything was in a state of emergency, but the Rav said, “Only now years later, do I even have an inkling of what he (Rav Brandwein) was attempting—the miracles he was hoping to accomplish with his thoughts.”
Eventually the war that needs to be won is on the level of consciousness whereby we wake up to the interconnectedness of humanity regardless of our faith or nationality: when you bleed, I bleed, and we all bleed. The elevation of human consciousness will give us the liberation we all seek.
Wherever you are, we hope you will join us in these efforts.