Kabbalistic Concepts

Hearing with Our Soul

Many of the people in the desert who were the creators and builders of the Tabernacle, the Mishkan, had no training or knowledge in the areas in which they were working, such as woodwork or gold-work. However, somehow, as they started working, they figured out how to do it. And there is a section in the Zohar, in the portion Noach, which tells us that as these people, who had the singular desire to fulfill their jobs, started doing the work, the physical objects started teaching them what to do. For example, the gold started telling the person who had to make a breast plate how to make it, and the wood started telling those who had to build the walls of the Tabernacle how to build them. It is not that these people were literally hearing voices, but that suddenly, within their hearts and minds, they knew what to do.  

The understanding we receive from this relates to the portion Vayikra, which begins, Vayikra El Moses, meaning, “The Creator called to Moses.” The voice of the Creator started speaking to Moses, while no one else could hear It. Moses is with everybody, and then, suddenly, hears the call from the Mishkan, with the Creator telling him exactly what to do. So, what does this mean? And, more importantly, what is our lesson from it? 

The kabbalists teach that if an individual’s priority in everything that he does is to reveal what the Light of the Creator wants from that situation, then he will be directed exactly what to do. However, if we’re honest with ourselves, the top priority for most of us is receiving Light and blessings for ourselves, even though wanting the goodness or the Light that it can bring into this world may be a close second.  

But there's a problem with that, which is that path does not allow for revelation. It doesn't allow the soul of everything to speak to us. Everything in this world is talking to us… can you imagine if we could hear it? Then, we would always know the right things to say and do. When we’re in the middle of a business deal, for example, the business deal would actually be telling us exactly what to do. But we have to be able to hear it. 

So, how do we start hearing the messages that are everywhere for us?  The Ba’al Shem Tov teaches that everything in our life - from our business, to our family, to our books of connection, to even the walls of our homes - want to tell us something. And we’re capable of receiving those messages, but only in one way. Through preparing ourselves, before every action, by saying, for example, “I’m going to have this important conversation with my child. What do I want? Not for him to think better of me. Not for him to listen to me. I want whatever is best for his soul to happen.” Or, when we are sitting at a business deal, to not care for our own selfish reasons what is going to happen; rather, wanting only the goodness or Light that it can bring into this world to be revealed.

When that's our priority, when what we really want from a situation is what the Light of the Creator wants, and we prepare ourselves in this way, then the internal part of everything starts speaking to us - not in our ears, but in our soul. And then, we will discover in every situation, conversation, and event, what the Light of the Creator desires for us to do. 

Therefore, when the portion Vayikra begins by speaking about the Creator’s voice that is only heard by Moses, it is also speaking about the voice that we are all meant to be hearing. We are meant to get to a state where we are, the Midrash says, angels and messengers who have strength to do what the Light of the Creator wants to be done in this world. When Moses was on this level, he started hearing the messages. And if our true number one priority in a situation is to reveal the goodness and blessings that the Light of the Creator desires to reveal through that situation, then the voice will start speaking to us, too, and we can hear it in our soul. 

It says in the Zohar that the woodworkers and gold-workers had no desire for anybody to think any better of them after their work. They had only one priority: that the work be exactly the way the Light of the Creator wanted it to be, and that it reveal Light and blessings in this world. And then, the Zohar says, the wood or gold started speaking to them, directing them how to complete their work. 

This is the way life is meant to be for us today. We are meant to be messengers of the Light, and the priority of everything that we do in our relationships with people, our jobs, our spiritual work, and so forth, ultimately, should not be about the Light or blessings that we will personally receive from it, but about bringing the Light of the Creator into this world to benefit others. When we truly make this our priority, we start hearing, and become guided by, the messages from everything; we will know exactly what to do and what to say.

There are messages within everything, and I think this is so inspiring, because if we understand this teaching, then we understand that we never have to know what to do. Because if our consciousness shifts, and our true number one priority with all the situations, relationships, conversations, and events in our life is to reveal the Light of the Creator in this world, to ask that the outcome be only what the Light of the Creator wants, then we can begin hearing, in our souls, the messages and guidance from the souls of those people and things, directing us towards the right thing to do. It is a beautiful and powerful gift that's available to us on Shabbat Vayikra.

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