Accessing Infinite Energy
(based on a lecture by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh)
The Hebrew title of this article translates into “Rectifying the Covenant.” In Kabbalah, the sefirah of Yesod or Foundation corresponds to the creation of covenants. A covenant, as explained in Chassidut, reflects the ultimate form of devotion between two parties: That devotion is not based on utility or reason, but rather on an unchanging commitment to one another. In Chassidut we find two major exemplary types of covenant: that between a husband and wife, and that between teacher and student. For the relationship between these pairs to be fruitful and lead to growth and common offspring, physical or spiritual, the type of energy involved in the relationship must be of “covenant” caliber.
The establishment of a covenant involves the creation of an open channel of communication between the two parties involved—an unhindered, trustworthy and unchanging link that both sides can rely on at all times. Such an exemplary form of communications is therefore a product of a strongly upheld covenant, thus the relationship between the sefirah of Yesod (Foundation) and the Communication Sciences.
An ability to call upon a trusted channel for communication is essential for the accessing of our most powerful creative energies; much as the covenant between man and woman generate the infinite creative energy that can beget offspring—the singular most profound act of creation that a human being can participate in. In a more generalized sense, the open channels that configure the heart of communication depend on the trust that each party has for the other.
On September 11th 2001, the United States became yet one more target of international terrorism. More than just an act of war, terrorism embodies the displacement and abuse of the natural human inclination to create honest covenants and relationships. It is communication in its vilest form, and its message conveys an extreme form of corrupted humanity.
Nonetheless, the very expression of terrorism provides those seeking a better world a unique opportunity to actively engage in a program of rectification.
In this article based on a lecture given by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh in Morristown, N.J. following the events of September 11th, we are taught how each and every one of us can rectify our own covenants with God, our own selves and each other, ultimately tapping into the infinite creative energy that makes a human being truly “in the image of God.”
If we look at the world today, it is easy to see that it is in dire need of rectification; terrorism is rife, war has ensued and financial depression reigns. Under the current circumstances, there seems to be no solution for all of the problems the world faces.
When speaking of such practical matters that are of immediate concern, we must begin by discovering the spiritual root of the matter before attempting to find the correct way to act. We will therefore begin with a spiritual idea and from there, we will discover how to effect the desired change that will lead to the rectification of the situation.
On each of the seven days of the festival of Sukot1, we invite one of seven Biblical guests, into our Sukah. The guest relevant to the sixth day of Sukot is Joseph. In Hassidism there is also a corresponding Hassidic guest, one of the seven great leaders of Hassidism. The Hassidic counterpart of Joseph, is the Rebbe Maharash2, the sixth Hassidic leader following the Ba’al Shem Tov3.
The saying by which the Rebbe Maharash is known is “l’chatchila ariber.” The Lubavitcher Rebbe of our generation would always refer to the Rebbe Maharash by this expression, which was the essential teaching of the Rebbe Maharash. The meaning of “l’chatchila ariber” is that if one is faced with an obstacle, one should leap over it. One should neither attempt to pass under an obstacle and certainly not give up hope and turn back, rather one should always leap over it.
In the following article we will see how the characteristics of Joseph and the Rebbe Maharash with his call of “l’chatchila ariber” are especially relevant to today’s world situation in general and the situation of the Jewish nation in particular. We will also see how appropriate this study is for those who truly wish to bring the Messiah now.
1. Sukot, Festival of the Tabernacles, celebrated in the fall.
2. Rebbe Maharash (1834-1882), Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch.
3. The Ba’al Shem Tov, Rabbi Israel Ba’al Shem Tov (1698-1760), founder of the Hassidic movement.
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