How do you feel when you read those three words? What does it bring to mind? A clean slate, perhaps. A chance to make things different. A new and improved version of ourselves, our lives, and maybe even our world. That is precisely the possibility that this week affords us. This 7-day period is a journey of sorts, one in which the universe will give us ample opportunity to consider and reconsider how we would like our lives to be different, and maybe most importantly how we ourselves would like to be different.
This week’s portion, Masei, is about the journeys of the Israelites in the wilderness – from here to there, to there – for almost the whole reading. These are cities that don’t even exist anymore, so the story on a superficial level, doesn’t seem to make much sense. It begs the question: How does this pertain to our lives?
But if you count how many times they went from city to city, you will find that there are 42 stops mentioned in Masei. As students of Kabbalah, many of us understand that the number 42 represents the Ana Beko’ach. This is such a powerful connection because the kabbalists tell us the world was created with these 42 mystical instruments, and that these letters manage the entirety of Creation. What this means for you and I is that this week there is an energy permeating in the cosmos that gives us the ability to go back to the beginning – the seed level of our own creation – to be refreshed and to start anew.
This is a fortuitous time, obviously, and one that we want to make use of. Just as one would not perform a concert on stage in front of a million people without having rehearsed, we do not want to enter this week unprepared. We too need to rehearse for a new beginning.
It is not a coincidence that this week is the beginning, the seed level of the month of Leo, known to be one of the most intense months of the year as are the people born under the influence of this sign (if you know any Leos you know what I mean, Rav Berg was a Leo); nor is it coincidence that this reading takes place during the three weeks known as Ben HaMetzarim, which is a period of time in which a single positive action can be so much more powerful than at any other time of the year.
This week, I ask all of our students and the many members of our global spiritual community to find one action you do each day that would improve things for the better. Maybe it’s dedicating a phone call a day to your loved ones. Or perhaps, it’s bringing breakfast each day to a homeless person. Or donating the smallest amount (a little done by many is a lot) to help someone in need using your social media channels. It could be as simple as helping the old woman next door to take in her paper each morning, or taking some time out of each day to meditate, or go to a gym to start a plan towards better health, or scan the Zohar. Find just one thing. Make it something you know you can do, and start as soon as possible.
With each person taking a single positive action to enrich their own lives and the lives of others daily, we can arrive at this new beginning strengthened, and with so much more positive energy in the world to show for it.