The portion of Emor, in its literal reading, seems to only be talking about the priests or family of priests. But as we've spoken about in past years, it's based, really, on the concept from Rav Ashlag in The Wisdom of Truth called mamlechet konanim, which means a group of people who decide to separate and elevate themselves to be a greater and stronger conduit for the Light of the Creator.
So the teaching I want to share is especially for those of us who have chosen to be part of this mamlechet konanim, those of us who choose to make a connection to the Light of the Creator and the revelation of that Light in this world their priority.
There is a quote from the Maggid of Mezeritch, which is a beautiful concept that Rav Ashlag shares: "I heard from the Maggid of Mezeritch that in the Endless World there is no possibility of movement, because where would the Endless World go? And therefore the Endless World is called peace, or rest, because there cannot be any movement, and therefore Shabbat is called the Day of Rest or Peace." What does this mean? The Desire to Receive for the Self Alone tells us we need to do something in order to have happiness, fulfillment, and joy; I have to go and do that thing, I have to move there, I have to do these things… I have to have movement.
But what does movement mean? It means there is a lack. If you are completely content - and I'm sure we've all had these moments when you feel just completely content - you don't have to go anywhere. You can sit in your chair and you are completely happy. Movement means that there is a lack, and because there is a lack, I have to move in order to fulfill that lack. It means that I am not connected to the Light of the Creator. Because if I am connected to the Light of the Creator and if the Light of the Creator is everywhere, then that means that I am able to connect right here as I am sitting in this chair without having to go somewhere else, or do something else or be with somebody else; there is no need for movement. If we know that something more positive is going to come to me from where I am now, that means that where I am now is not complete, because movement does not exist in the Endless World.
The Maggid of Mezeritch says, Rav Ashlag tells us, "There is no movement in spiritual matters in the Endless World because there is complete perfection." If you move, or even if you desire to move, it means that you have lack and you have to fill that lack by some form of movement. And that is the source of all darkness and judgment in this world. You have to at least come to the point of realization that you need nothing else, you need nobody else, except your connection to the Light of the Creator. Because the Light is here; you don’t need to walk outside the door or go anywhere to get it. You have to realize that because the Light of the Creator is available for you in any moment, there really is no need for movement.
Not only that, but as long as you think there is a need for movement, that I need to do this, or I need to go there in order to be happy, what you are saying is: "The Light of the Creator isn't here. It's not here in this moment." However, the truth is that there is nothing but the Light of the Creator, which means that in this moment, right here, right now, I don’t need to go anywhere and I can have complete unification with the Light of the Creator and be completely fulfilled.
If you understand that the totality of the Light of the Creator is here all the time and that you can manifest it through your actions and thoughts and words, right here and now, then ultimately you know that you don’t need movement in order to be completely connected to the Light of the Creator. Therefore, if you are in a truly spiritual state you know that there is no movement necessary. Now it's true, again, most of us can't get there in a moment, can't get there in a day, but that is the place we want to get to. We can start to get there by limiting the amount of things we do that are of movement, like - oh, let me do this so that this person thinks this about me or says that about me, or let me do this so I can get that thing so I can have more fulfillment.
Another thing Rav Ashlag says is: "What is ultimate spiritual rest?" Ultimate spiritual rest is when you know that you will never stop connecting or doing the spiritual work. Because rest means that you truly know that there is nothing outside of yourself and your connection to the Light of the Creator that you need in order to bring yourself fulfillment. If you understand it and know that if you want to be connected to the Endless World, you remember that there cannot be any movement in the Endless World because the totality of that Light, that bliss, and that connection, is perfect, then there's no need for movement or further action.
So, the first thing is to understand where we need to go: this is what our spiritual goal is - to get back to a connection with the Endless World, to be separated from the judgments of this world. It begins with the consciousness that in the Endless World there is no movement. It means the consciousness of the Endless World is a consciousness that I need nothing outside of myself for complete fulfillment. Then, you have to restrict the actions you do now that you understand they are not of that Endless Light but rather from the negative side, such as - I need this person to be saying these things or thinking these things; I have to have that thing in order to have fulfillment.
When a person begins to awaken this consciousness of knowledge that a connection to the totality of the Light of the Creator is available for him right here, right now, then he is separating himself from the judgments and negativity of this world. And therefore, if we want to be mamlechet konanim, a part of those unique souls that are not only making their priority a connection to the Light of the Creator but revealing that Light in this world, we need to make sure we are ingraining within our consciousness this understanding that there cannot be any movement, that there is nothing that we need, or that anyone needs, which is outside of where we are right now and of our connection to the Light of the Creator.
On this Shabbat, it’s like the Creator says to us, "Let Me elevate you all, whoever desires, to become a part of this mamlechet konanim, this elevated state.” How do you become elevated above the judgment and darkness of this world? When you are able to understand this consciousness and restrict the actions that are opposite of it.