Kabbalistic Concepts

What It Means to Truly Live

I am reminded of a parable in which a king rewards a member of his kingdom with an hour in the palace’s room of treasures. In this hour, he is allowed to take as much as he desires. However, the king had a plan. He knew how much this man was a lover of music. So as the hour began, the king brought in the very best musicians in all of the land to perform. As the king suspected, the man thought to himself, “I have an entire hour to collect treasures, surely I can stop for a few moments to listen to such beautiful music.” But before long, the hour had passed. Just when the man went to take his first treasure, a hand grabbed his wrist and said, “Your time is up.” We come to this world to fulfill our soul’s purpose, but we often veer off our course to pursue life’s beautiful distractions. Unfortunately, some people live 70 years as if it were only just one day. However, the path of spirituality is one in which we are able to move past the illusions and walk towards an authentic fulfillment where the Creator resides. To choose a spiritual path in spite of all the distractions of life can be a monumental task, but we are supported this week in this holy work. By week’s end, the near full moon of Capricorn permeates into the cosmos and with it comes all the magnetism of the physical world. However, if we are open to looking beyond the “beautiful music” playing, we can discover an even more beautiful song inside – our soul. This week, we can discover our true spiritual mission. The cosmos bestows the gift this week of fortifying and strengthening our connection to our soul so that we may truly live.

Our portion and guide for the week is Vayechi. Vayechi means “and he lived.” This portion is the embodiment of the life of our patriarch, Jacob. Kabbalah teaches that Jacob was like the sun. He provided energetically for future generations and created the 12 tribes of Israel. He is the manifestation of balance and harmony, and the chariot of immense spiritual Light. Jacob showed us the path to having everything. He reconciled the dual forces in this world: receiving and sharing, and the body and the soul. He provided us with the methodology to be able to receive the totality of the energy of the Creator by sharing. Jacob is the heart of our spiritual structure and process. This week’s portion reveals the final years and days of his life in Egypt. “And Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years,” the Torah tells us. What does this mean? It means that Jacob is providing for us the spiritual system to successfully live in our world today. He paved the way on how to most authentically live in service of the soul while living in a world with so many interferences. For Egypt represented all the physical enjoyments of the world. Even living in this environment, Jacob was able to find his Light within and live. While others may have succumbed to the ways of Egypt, Jacob did not. He triumphed and became even more spiritual. Jacob was then able to transfer his Light and bless his children, our future patriarchs, to be successful in this same work. Jacob blesses us all again this week to rise to the challenges of life and become victorious in the discovery of the Light within. Jacob completed his spiritual work and discovered the Light of his soul. He blesses us all with strength and power to do the same for ourselves. 

In this world of great distractions, it takes effort to be spiritual. But no one benefits from this endeavor more than ourselves. Our greatest fulfillment and blessings come when we embark on a spiritual journey. It is said that even the rich go to sleep crying on their silk pillows. As intoxicating as the physical world may be, it is not from whence we derive our joy and happiness. A house is not a home unless there is love and family in it, and money cannot buy these things. We may find ourselves spending years in pursuit of fortune and pleasures, only to discover we are unfulfilled and unhappy. If we are open to knowing that inside we have a soul and we accept the journey to discover it, we awaken the Creator that lies within and draw into our lives more blessings than the physical world could ever provide. It is in this choice to look beyond the distractions of life that we are then able to achieve a stronger connection to the Creator. It is in this way, we can truly live.

This week in our meditations we focus on the spirit. As we approach a time of year when we are encouraged to turn away from our inner gifts and seek only external ones, we stay focused on our inner spirit and life’s purpose. We have come to this world for far more than the accumulations of things and to satisfy just our own needs. There inside lies our soul, and it has a mission on earth. Take a moment this week to pause and remember your spirit within. Pause among the hustle and bustle to hear the beautiful music of your heart and what makes it happy. Our truest joy comes when we share, give, and love. Our truest fulfillment is when the spirit of the Creator is allowed to manifest through our hands in acts of giving, not only receiving. In a world where we are told to take, our hearts remind us to give. It is when we tune into the beautiful music within that we are able to truly live.

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