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This article on the portion of the week was previously published in 2018.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “When you were born you were crying and everyone else was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you are the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying.” The moment we come to this world, we enter it with clenched fists, seemingly ready to fight. As many of us know, life is not always easy. Oftentimes we need to pull ourselves up by our boot straps and do the necessary work. Throughout childhood we are consumed with what Kabbalah calls the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone. As children, we are engulfed in our need to eat, sleep, and be cared for. When we are older, Kabbalah teaches at age 13 for boys and age 12 for girls, our inner spark of the Creator is ignited. We begin to crave to develop our ability to be sustainers and givers. This is called the Desire to Share. From a baby born with clenched fists to an adult with an open hand giving to others, we travel on an incredible journey, a holy quest, choosing the good within and moving away from our negativity. It is a lifelong journey. As adults we may, once again, find ourselves consumed with negativity, veering us off course into a life of self-indulgence. But the flame within is always there. The quest to reveal the Light inside is our life’s work, and this week, it continues. As the new moon of Sagittarius enters Thursday night, a spiritual longing is awakened in us. We are given new inspiration and strength on our quest to awaken the good within ourselves and in the world.
"A spiritual longing is awakened in us."
Our map and guide for this quest is the portion Toldot. Toldot continues the story as Isaac marries his soulmate, Rebecca. Rebecca was unable to have children, but through Isaac’s prayers, she was blessed with twins. The twins represent the dueling forces within us: the energy of sharing and energy of receiving. It is said that when Rebecca was with positive people one twin would kick and move inside her, and when she was near negative people the other twin would move. Two sons were born to Isaac and Rebecca, Esau, the first born, and Jacob, the second born. Esau possessed the qualities of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, a negative consciousness. Jacob was the opposite and the chariot of positivity, Light, and goodness. Throughout the portion of Toldot, we see the two brothers struggling to reveal their energy. Just like this duality within us, we too are always yearning to reveal the Light and goodness within ourselves. Then the time came when Isaac was about to leave the world and wanted to establish his heir. He decided to bless and select his eldest child, Esau. But Rebecca, representing our inner conscience, intervened and told Jacob to pursue the blessing and birthright. Jacob listened to his mother and disguised himself as Esau, tricking his father into blessing him instead. The battle of good prevailed over negativity and we are awarded this victory this week in our own lives. We are bestowed with the power to diminish our negative thoughts and behaviors, and to empower our positive consciousness and actions. It is a tremendous gift available this week.
This portion, not coincidentally, falls in the time of the new moon of Sagittarius. The energy of Sagittarius dovetails the energy of this portion in order to help us seek the Light and take the spiritual path. Sagittarius is the fire of the zodiac. Its flame moves upwards towards the heavens, always seeking higher wisdom, justice, truth, and, most importantly, providing Light. In life, if we are so lucky, we are able to live in service, positivity, and love, ensuring a life of blessings. But, we cannot forget that in us lie both Jacob and Esau. We try our best to conduct our lives with love and goodness, but the journey is a challenge. The very best of us can fall. The very best of us make mistakes. We can make poor choices and fall into negativity, only to learn the hard way that these paths do not serve us. However, this week, the Creator gives us an advantage in the quest of our soul and the Light within. The Light is shown on our path. We are given the needed boost and strength to choose positivity over negativity. Our quest to love our fellow man and achieve goodness in the world is given new hope. We are blessed with the ability to overcome the darkness and replace it with Light. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” Sometimes in life, we can feel discouraged, unable to release ourselves from negative behaviors and mindsets, but this week all of that can change. The quest for your very best self makes headway, and the true goodness that is you is finally revealed.
"It is simple love, care, and human dignity that leads us to our victory."
This week in your meditations, imagine lighting a single candle in a dark room. Its power is strong as it removes the darkness. Focus upon the flickering flame. It endlessly ascends upward towards the heavens. This is your nature. No matter where we find ourselves in life, we are inclined to look for the good in every situation. We believe in love and hope. We believe that the Light is stronger than the darkness. The flame is each of us, always seeking for fulfillment, answers, and a union with the Creator. We are capable, just like the flame, to bring Light to any situation when we act in ways of love and kindness. When we give others compassion, we ignite our inner Light and darkness vanishes. This is our unique power as humans. It is simple love, care, and human dignity that leads us to our victory. It is a life devoted to revealing this Divinity within that allows us to achieve the greatness we are destined for. People who serve and share. People who are kind, giving, and strive to make the world a better place. These are the people who have chosen the Light, who are able to leave this world smiling while everyone else is crying.