Introduction to Jewish Meditation – Part 15

Trust: The Power of Moses

The emotional feeling of this mitzvah is one of infinite “trust” (bitachon) in God. As explained above, trust is the inner experience of the power of netzach (“eternity,” “victory”), corresponding to the soul of Moses, through whom God gave the Torah to Israel.

Of Moses it is said, “He was the first redeemer and he shall be the final redeemer.” In Chassidut, we are taught that the first redemption from the physical land of Egypt is primarily the redemption from physical slavery. The final redemption, on the other hand, is primarily the redemption from the spiritual “Egypt,” the redemption from spiritual “exile” and confinements. Even an observant Jew, one who walks in general in the ways of the Torah, can nonetheless be in a spiritual state of exile (in the terminology of Chassidut: “the Egypt of holiness”). The inner spark of the soul may still be imprisoned, unable to reveal and express itself. Moses, “the final redeemer”–as the Messiah–will come to take all souls out of all states of exile. He will come to reveal in the soul of every Jew the ultimate truth–“I am God, your [personal] God.”

Two States of Redemption

In particular, the difference between “who has taken you out of the land of Egypt” and “out of the house of bondage” is that the redemption from “the land of Egypt” implies the ability to express one’s own, independent will, one’s power of free choice–the prerequisite to the performance of all of the commandments of the Torah. The redemption “out of the house of bondage” implies that ultimately, no Jew is subordinate to any power or to anyone. Although the Torah instructs us to appoint a king, it emphasizes that this can only be done after we first unequivocally accept upon ourselves the yoke of the kingdom of heaven. Then may we extend God’s kingdom to include the kingdom of a human being, a king truly devoted to manifesting God’s kingdom on earth. Thus, the Jew essentially is subordinate only to God. Only God is above him. Only as an extension, in devotion and commitment to God’s will, shall he appoint a human master to teach him and rule him (a “government” not antithetical to the “yoke of the Torah” but actually a part of it).

The Eternity of the World to Come

Thus, the Divine consciousness of “above” is never to feel ourselves confined or trapped by our present state of being. To sense “above” is to sense netzach, “eternity,” to sense the World to Come, of which it is said: “‘They shall go from strength to strength’–the righteous have no rest neither in this world nor in the World to Come.” The state of “no rest” of the World to Come is absolutely positive, itself an infinite source of Divine pleasure. The soul is never static; it continuously rises from level to level of Divine consciousness, drawing ever closer and closer to God, the source of all good and pleasure.

In this world, to continuously rise toward God means to ever progress in one’s emulation of God’s Divine attributes: “just as He is…, so shall you be….” Through belief in God, one can at any time break through his ontological confines and rise to live at a higher, Divine level of reality. Belief in God is the rope one uses to climb upward, to connect to one’s soul-root, to manifest one’s essential potential as “an actual part of God above.”

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