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December 11, 2017

Glossary – VaYishlach (And Jacob Sent) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

 

Struggle

The struggle is an internal one between the ego, which pulls us toward worldly pleasures such as food, sex, family, money, respect, knowledge, and power, and the purpose of life, which is to discover the upper realm, to which we need to rise, to a complete, eternal life.

Also, we need to do it now, as it is written, “You will see your world in your life” (Masechet Berachot, 17a). Here in our lives is where we discover the eternal life of the soul, which is why we live in two worlds. We need to come to a state where the death of the body does not feel to us as death at all, as if we have lost anything of ourselves. Rather, we remain because we discover that the upper degree of life is several times greater than the sensation of the physical life.

This is the goal we should achieve, and we can only achieve it through a struggle by a group, a society, by studying the right sources. To rise above the physical, corporeal life, we must not slight them, but use them in order to rise.

Reconciliation and Peace

Reconciliation and peace mean that for now, we cannot cope with our evil inclination and turn it into a good inclination, using it in order to bestow, since we have to turn the qualities that existed in us as negative—which we were using only for our own pleasure and against others—into qualities of bestowal upon others.

Is there no conflict between the two qualities?

There is no conflict. It is written that the angel of death becomes a holy angel.[2]  We neither kill, nor slight or delete anything in ourselves; we only correct the way we use our qualities.

Israel

Ysrael (Israel) means Yashar El (straight to God). It means that a person aims directly to the quality of the Creator. The quality of the Creator is love and bestowal, and we constantly strive to reach it. We have several means to do that: the teacher, books, group, and friends. If I use them properly, according to the method explained in the books, the one that Abraham was the first to speak and write about, we can perform the corrections quite easily. In this way each of us, and all of us together will become Israel. A person from Israel is each of us, and all of us together are the people (or nation) of Israel.

Circumcision

A circumcision is like a covenant. When I perform a correction in my will to receive, I always put aside those desires that I still cannot correct, and deal only with those that I can add to Bina, to bestowal. Therefore, out of all my desires (which are divided into 620 desires), I cut off the part that is in order to receive—which exists in me for now, and which I cannot correct—and put it in the dust.

This act symbolizes our inability to correct that part. However, it will be corrected at the end of correction. It is the stony heart, which must be corrected, as it is written that we should actually perform the correction on the heart.

[2] Zohar for All, Mishpatim (Ordinances), item 165; Zohar for All, Beresheet (Genesis), item 440.

  

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