Holding on to the Soul of Mashiach
Rav Ashlag quotes a section of the Tikunei Zohar that explains a verse from Isaiah, which says there is a voice sent by the Light of the Creator that is trying to awaken every single one of us to true spiritual work. But then the voice says, “Why should I keep calling?”
So, why does the voice ask that? Because, unfortunately, the Zohar tells us that even most of those who are involved in spiritual work do so on the level of selfishness and for their own spiritual growth; not enough people, the Zohar says, are awakened to do the spiritual work to alleviate the pain, suffering, and death that exists in the world separate from that of their own. And because enough people are not being awakened to that, it says the spirit and soul of Mashiach, the Light of the removal of pain, suffering, and death, leaves and does not return. And the kabbalists explain that especially on Shabbat Devarim, during the days leading up to Tisha B’Av, and on Tisha B’Av itself, this voice that is sent by the Creator comes and knocks on the hearts of every single one of us, asking us how much true desire we have to reveal the Light of the Creator in the world such that pain, suffering, and death should be removed not just from ourselves, but from others.
We understand from this, therefore, that there’s no other time of the year when that knocking on our heart comes from the Light, begging us to be awakened. If, as the Zohar says, that voice comes and sees that unfortunately either individually or collectively we are not focused enough on doing the work to alleviate the pain, suffering, and death of others, rather than our own, then that spirit, that Light of Mashiach, goes. And so this is the work, especially during Shabbat Devarim and Tisha B’Av; what we want to ask for, during this time, is to hold onto the soul of Mashiach.
There is a story in which the mother of Mashiach says a wind came and took her son away. That story is talking about this time of year, the time when the wind, the spirit, the soul of Mashiach, the soul that encompasses all the Light of the Gemar HaTikun, the End of the Correction, comes down to check all of us out, individually and collectively. It comes to see if we are awakened in a greater way to re-energize and re-strengthen our spiritual work, not for our own spiritual benefit, but for others. If the answer is yes, then we get to hold onto the soul of Mashiach, we get to hold onto a spark of the Light of the End of the Correction. If not, as the Zohar says, then that spirit goes back, and maybe next year at this time we will merit receiving it.
It is an incredibly important opportunity that we have during Shabbat Devarim and Tisha B’Av. We can ask to be one of those individuals who holds onto the soul of Mashiach, who holds onto that awakening, thereby opening our hearts and enabling us to hold onto that Light, bringing ourselves - and the entire world - one step closer to the Gemar HaTikun, to the end of pain, suffering, and death.