Spiritual Tools

The Secret of Certainty

The great Light of the 72 Names of God, the conduits through which miracles are awakened, is revealed on Shabbat Beshalach, the Shabbat of the Splitting of the Sea. There are numerous powerful teachings about this portion, but I’d like to share one that I find to be particularly beautiful from the Maharal. 

After the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea, the Israelites sang a song, the first word of which is Az. And the Maharal says that this word, in two letters, is really the secret of certainty. Why? Because Aleph, the first letter of Az, represents the Light of the Creator, the one Light that is everything, and the last letter, Zayin, he explains represents the number seven and how things manifest; the seven lower Sefirot, or emanations, of what is called the Tree of Life, are the levels through which things manifest into this physical world.

The word Az represents the consciousness of always seeing the Light of the Creator as being above everything else that is happening, no matter how terrible or upsetting it may seem. In order for the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea to occur, this was the place of consciousness the Israelites had to get to. The sea, which represents the Zayin in this situation, of course, looked horrific to the Israelites. But when the Egyptians were coming towards them, wanting to kill them, the Israelites had to know, with complete certainty, that Aleph, the Light of the Creator, was above all of it, and therefore, there was no way that any harm could possibly come to them from the sea.

We have spoken before about how the Final Redemption, the removal of pain, suffering, and death from this world, can only occur through certainty. But, why? The Maharal tells us that through certainty, one connects in totality to the Light of the Creator, attaching to the Endless World. Through certainty, one elevates and can remove himself from this world; as such, the consciousness of certainty is what elevates the individual, and, eventually, all of humanity, out of the clutches of pain, suffering and death. So, the way the Final Redemption will come is when we, through the work of certainty, elevate and attach ourselves to the essence of the Light of the Creator. 

That is the secret of the word Az, and the secret of certainty: everything that is separate in this physical world suddenly elevates up to the Light. At the moment before the sea split, all the Israelites left anything else they believed in, became clear that there is only one source of blessings and protection, and then, experienced the miracle. As such, every Shabbat Beshalach, every Shabbat of the 72 Names and the Splitting of the Sea, we can connect to the secret of the word Az, the truth and essence of certainty. We can become elevated, as the Israelites were, leaving all other things that we depend on behind. It is a Shabbat when we can renew our focus on fighting for, and making, the foundation of our spiritual work filled with the force of certainty. That has to be the basis of every single day of our lives, because, as we learned, that is what attaches us to the Endless, and when we attach ourselves to the Endless, we open up all the gates of blessings for ourselves. Even more importantly, however, when enough of us do this collectively, we can elevate the whole world with us. 

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