We’re entering into the last of what is known to be three of the most negative weeks of the year, and so I’d first like to ask: How are you doing? If you’re going through a tough time, hang in there. It’s always darkest just before the dawn and things are soon to get better.
In this week’s portion of Devarim, Moses gathers all of the people together to admonish them; to remind them of the many instances in which they complained, lost their trust, worshipped false idols, and so on and so forth.
There are so many details describing how Moses spoke to the people, many of which we can take heed of in how to behave towards others. For instance, before Moses says anything, he inquires, “Did I take something from you? Did I hurt you?” because before we can tell someone what they need to change, we should first look within at what we need to change. Honestly there are so many beautiful aspects to this portion however, I think focusing on only one strengthens our ability to internalize the learning.
Moses does not just gather some of the people, he gathered all of the people. And many had not taken part in the activities that were the subject of his criticism. An entire generation had come and gone! Why did Moses gather even those who were not participants in all the negativity that he was describing? It may be hard to understand this practically, but spiritually Moses was only interested in revealing Light - not scolding the people to relieve his own frustration. The more massive the group, the more massive the Light he would be able to reveal, thereby transforming the negativity that had been created into positivity.
It is written in the Zohar that regardless of our individual negative actions or character traits, every person in this world is full of Light.
Therefore, the more people are gathered together for the sake of transformation and good, the greater the Creator’s Light shines in the world.
This is in fact why we have international events during the major kabbalistic holidays, where we can gather together from all corners of the world as a global diverse spiritual community. It is why we created Centres and study groups in various locations, so that we may not only learn, but also practice what we learn together. It is such an important spiritual understanding.
Being this is the last of these negative weeks, it is a wonderful time seek this way to reveal the Light: Where we tend to want to go inside our shells, hide from the world, or just crawl into bed and say, “Leave me alone!” instead we can learn from this week’s portion. For as long as we are together, we have the power to bring Light to any darkness, and transform the negative into positive.
For the next seven days let’s stand together for the good. Let us come out of isolation, get out of our comfort zones, and by doing so meet new people, beautiful sparks of Light with whom we may not have otherwise connected. Let us ask the person who eats lunch by themselves to eat lunch with us. Let’s look for the people in our lives who we know are lonely or suffering, and try to invite them into our own activities. I guess what I’m trying to say is… Let’s just be with each other.