Kabbalistic Concepts

Breaking the Boundaries That Surround Our Blessings

The beginning of the portion Ki Tisa speaks about the great Light that was revealed through the building of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. In explaining the type of Light that was revealed, the kabbalists quote a verse from Proverbs which says that the individual's giving - or his or her awakening or desire to give and share - will open up the boundaries for that individual. 

At the core of that verse and teaching is the concept of what Rav Ashlag calls devekut, which is also really what the wisdom of Kabbalah is about: the attachment of our soul to the Light of the Creator, and the feeling of that attachment which is beyond the physical. The benefits of that unification, of the bringing closer of our soul to the Light of the Creator, are such that if we are truly focusing our work and consciousness on attaching our soul to a greater degree to the Light of the Creator, it opens up all the boundaries and blockages that exist in our lives.

But, how do we make this concept of devekut a bit more practical? There's a simple tool we can all begin using. Rav Ashlag explains that any pain, lack, darkness, or sadness that we experience has only one cause: the distance or detachment of our soul from the Light of the Creator. We may think it's caused by someone doing something to us, or because of some occurrence in our life, but that is not true. The real source is only because of one thing - our soul is distant. And to the degree that it is distant and detached from the Light of the Creator, is to the degree that sadness, darkness, and lack will manifest in our lives. 

Therefore, Rav Ashlag tells us the tool we can use when we are in the moments of sadness or darkness is to stop, and instead of just falling into it, say to ourselves, “I know why this is happening. I know why I am experiencing this darkness and sadness. It is because my soul is not attached as it should be to the Light of the Creator.” And that thought, on its own, begins the process of reattachment and creating closeness to the Light of the Creator. Understanding that the reason our soul came into this world is to attach completely to the Light of the Creator actually makes the concept of devekut much more practical, and not just some lofty spiritual concept. 

The kabbalists say when an individual awakens his soul's desire to reconnect and reattach to the Light of the Creator, he breaks the boundaries of his spiritual desire, and then all other boundaries are broken for him. When a person is born, we have learned, life is set up. All the potential blessings, all the potential growth, everything that will potentially manifest in that person's life is set up, as it is also at Rosh Hashanah. But, what if we want more than that? What if we want to break the boundaries that have been built for us? The only way to break the boundaries of the blessings that have been set up is to break the boundaries of our own spiritual desire.

Most people, I believe, feel a desire to connect to the Light of the Creator in Its purest form. Yes, sometimes we also think of the blessings that we could benefit from that, but in its purest form, we all have a certain desire for devekut, for unification with the Light of the Creator. And if that remains constant, then the boundaries around our blessings remain constant, as well. We can receive blessings, but to a certain limit. Because if our desire for the Light of the Creator remains limited, the boundaries to receive blessings remain limited, as well. But if we are able to awaken a greater degree of desire for our soul to connect to the Light of the Creator, then the boundaries of the blessings that we have are broken, too.

The awakening of a greater desire for connection to the Light of the Creator breaks the boundaries around our blessings, and then, the kabbalists teach, a person can connect to the level where there are limitless blessings. King David says in Psalms when he speaks about the blessings he desires to awaken: “My cup runs over with the blessings. It breaks the bounds of the cup.” And we, too, can, and are meant to, actually achieve breaking the boundaries that surround our blessings. But there's only one way to do it, and that is by breaking the boundaries of our spiritual desire. 

Therefore, we should all ask ourselves: Has my desire grown? Is it constant? If it's constant, then the boundaries around our blessings are going to be constant, as well. And even though most of us have not constantly pushed to break the boundaries of our spiritual desire for complete unification with the Light of the Creator, by simply understanding that the way to break the boundaries around our blessings is to have desire for it, the process of it begins.

If we want a blockage to be removed and a blessing to be unlimited, we have to break the boundaries of our spiritual desire. If our spiritual desire is the same from week to week, month to month, and year to year, then so too will the blessings continue to be the same in their limited state. Therefore, we must use the tool Rav Ashlag speaks of, and have the clarity that anytime we feel sadness, darkness, or pain, we need to stop and say, “I know that there's only one reason I'm experiencing this. Because the connection of my soul to the Light of the Creator is limited, and I want it to become unlimited. I want to break the boundaries of my spiritual desire. I need to find new ways to awaken greater desire.“ 

It is one of the opportunities available for us on Shabbat Ki Tisa. And, of course, we want it not just for this Shabbat, but to take this understanding and consciousness always, throughout our lives, so that we can awaken devekut, the unification of our soul with the Light of the Creator, thereby breaking boundaries and infusing limitless blessings into our lives. 

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