This week’s portion is known as Ekev, a word generally translated as “…it shall come to pass….” Yet we are told by the Zohar that ekev means “heel.” The definition of the word ekev is that it is the heel and the seed that affects every aspect of everything.
We learn in Kabbalah that if we can comprehend the root of the matter, understand the source, then we can proceed to resolve the problems that arise from the source. In other words, we see the entire tree when it is still within the seed because we know that the entire tree is already included within the seed.
In this portion is the assurance that if we listen to God, everything is going to be great, and on the flip side, if we do not listen to God, then all that can befall mankind in the way of chaos can happen. But this is not accurate because there are those who follow the complete tradition and yet suffer, and those who do not follow any of the tradition and have everything. I have heard so many times people say it is still far better to be sick and rich because then you can afford the health care that is required, meaning if you had money, you would not have to go through the care for the homeless or the poor. Did we suddenly forget the illness, the chaos, and the pain that this person is undergoing? How can these be the rationales that we have come to accept in our life?
To help us understand this concept, we will discuss the section about the clothing the Israelites wore in the wilderness. Why does the Bible tell us that their clothes did not wear out; what is so important about knowing this? According to the Zohar, the Bible wants us to delve deeper into the source of how things break down, of how things disappear. The Zohar says that the reason their clothes did not wear out is because they overcame the force known as friction—a force that prevents free movement and creates separation.
This is the force of Satan because Satan’s power is to create separation. In other words, to prevent us from getting to the next place, Satan puts up a barrier, which science refers to as friction or gravity. And the Zohar says that it is man who creates these barriers. The fact that we cannot think in a positive or sharing consciousness prevents us from traveling any distance, even walking there instantly.
The Zohar explains that these physical barriers are the result of our consciousness of division. As I have learned from my teacher, Rav Brandwein, when we want to create a unified world, even though people want to take sides for all the right reasons, we must treat the other person with human dignity. If not, then for all the right reasons, the forces of friction and gravity will place limitations on the physical body, on humanity, and we will be prevented from achieving what is rightfully ours.
The Zohar says that we should not be limited in any way by the physical structure of the world, and the fact that we consider friction or gravity to be a natural physical phenomenon is not true, it is illusionary. We are not talking about explaining away the physical reality; illusion here means it can be replaced. Rav Shimon tells us in the Zohar that we can travel back in time, we can see the Holy Temple—that was supposedly destroyed—still standing in Jerusalem. The reason we do not see it now is because of the force of gravity, the physical manifestation of the metaphysical force called division. This is Satan.
The Zohar says we read about the clothing of the Israelites so that we can understand that there is only one reason why we, today, do not experience the kinds of miracles that the Israelites experienced in the desert. The Israelites did not even call them miracles, they had the consciousness of seeing the whole picture, instead of later on looking back and saying “…oh, I see it now.” What do we see now? When we say, “I see it,” we are actually using the word “see” in non-physical terms.
Chaos is an absolute illusion. The reason all the chaos, pain, and suffering we undergo is very real is because we have not been able to free our consciousness; we have not been able to lift off into the Upper metaphysical Realm.
To reach the Upper Realm, there is only one methodology—to feel oneness, which is achieved by treating others with human dignity and not perpetuating Satan’s intention of creating chaos through separation. If Satan’s consciousness is negative, then our consciousness has to be affected. On the other hand, every positive action we do can affect positivity all over the world.
With the technology of the Zohar, we can set the precedent for removing those barriers and ultimately eliminate the forces of division. This is the power of Ekev, the source that affects everything that we experience in this physical reality.