Whatever You Want

The Tikun of the Seventh Night of Pesach

Just as we stay awake on the night of Shavuot and the night of Hoshanah Rabbah, so we stay awake on the seventh night of Pesach. On this night, we commemorate the Splitting of the Sea. As opposed to Shavuot and Hoshanah Rabbah, there is no special selection of prayers (Tikun) to say on the seventh night of Pesach. The main custom is to sing the Song of the Sea, to rejoice and to dance. What is the inner dimension of the seventh night of Pesach?

The essence of the Splitting of the Sea is the revelation of the alma d’itkasiah, the “concealed world.” The sea represents a hidden world, whose creatures are concealed from our eyes. (The concealment applies to the creatures themselves, who are incapable of disconnecting from the source of their lives – the water – and are in a constant state of nullification in it). Turning the sea into dry land is the manifestation of this lofty, concealed world, in our revealed world. (The creations in the world of dry land are plainly visible and are free of the source of their lives – the land). On this seventh night of Pesach, the night of revelation from Above – the revelation of the concealed world – we do not do a ‘tikun’ from down below. Instead, we remain awake, alert and open to receive the lofty revelation from Above.

Revelation of Inner Will

What is the meaning of the Splitting of the Sea in the soul?

The revealed world and the concealed world are the conscious and the super-conscious, respectively. On the seventh night of Pesach, the screen that conceals the super-conscious in the soul is torn away. The super-conscious is revealed in the consciousness of the soul and it becomes clear that they are inherently connected.

The super-conscious parallels the sefirah of Crown, which includes the three heads of the Crown, faith, pleasure and will. The lowest of those powers, the power closest to the conscious and that most influences it, is the power of will. At the Splitting of the Sea, man’s most concealed and inner will is revealed, and he discovers that it is this will that motivates all of his revealed powers.

The pinnacle of the Splitting of the Sea in the soul is the revelation that the concealed will is connected to the revealed world in which we live. We discover that all the circumstances of our lives and all the events that we experience – everything about our lives, which we currently believed was beyond our control – actually flows from our own hidden will.

You Willed it

The sages explain[1] that every creation is created by his own will, after he ‘agreed’ to be created with all the particulars of his life. Even if a creation subsequently feels uncomfortable with his situation, thinking that his opening circumstances are not good enough – at his root he has an inner will to be created exactly as he is.

This is particularly relevant to the Nation of Israel, who “sat with the King while He was working,”[2]  when God was creating His world. Regarding the very will to create the world, as well as all the details and stages of creation (including the horrible suffering that the souls of Israel will endure when they descend to the world) the Midrash asks, “With whom did He consult? With the souls of the tzaddikim.”[3] All of reality is determined by the tzaddikim of the Nation of Israel (”And Your Nation are all tzaddikim[4] ) – particularly at the level of soul-roots with whom God consulted. This is the place where every Jew is a tzaddik and the circumstances of the life that every Jew will live was chosen according to his or her will.

Chassidut emphasizes that this does not apply only to the spiritual destiny of the soul in the world, but also to its physical condition. A person’s nose is long because he willed it. If he would really have wanted a different type of nose, he would have had it. The great tzaddikim even said that if a person would really want to be a cat – he would be a cat!

On the seventh night of Pesach, our most inner and concealed will is revealed to us. Then we see that all our lives – our revealed world – is dictated from our will at our soul root – even if our revealed will is shouting and screaming in protest. When a person adopts this understanding, he becomes “happy with his lot,” given him by his own will.

How Would You Create the World?

This can be illustrated with a story: Once the disciples of the Maggid of Mezeritch were discussing how God conducts the world. Almost all of them said that if they would run the world, they would be kinder to the Nation of Israel. The Alter Rebbe, who was the youngest of the group, said, “If I were running the world, I would run it exactly as God runs it.” Rebbe Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, who was of the other opinion, said at the end of his days that now he saw that if he were running the world, he would do exactly as God does.

The Alter Rebbe not only recognized Divine righteousness and identified with it, but also knew that the world is not a random game of luck. The world is really run according to our concealed will – the will of the Jews with whom God consulted regarding every detail. Thus, clearly, we want the world to be run exactly as God runs it.

For the leader of the generation, whose soul is from the World of Emanation, the will of the concealed world – the World of Emanation is always manifest. On the seventh night of Pesach, this world manifests to every Jew who is open and prepared for it.

Tempered Alacrity

Recognizing the revealed world as our hidden will in the concealed world should not prevent us from trying to change the situation in reality. Accepting evil due to identifying it as being from the World of Emanation in its source is the “husk of Emanation” – ‘holy’ willingness to suffer our troubles and the troubles plaguing the Jewish People and the world without trying to change the situation. It is specifically the tzaddik, who recognizes that the world is conducted according to his will, who attempts to bring the Mashiach.

Why?

The ability to precipitate change specifically through the recognition that reality is dictated according to our subliminal will can be better understood in private life: The laws of Torah study determine that a person is required to study Torah according to his circumstances. But he is not prosecuted in Heaven over why his circumstances did not make it possible for him to learn more. On a deeper level, our situation in life is certainly a product of our will, as above. Thus, we may have concluded that we can be pleased with our current spiritual status. Chassidut, however, emphasizes that the adage, “Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot,”[5] applies only to the physical realm. On the spiritual plane, a person should always strive to improve. When we are happy with our lot and recognize that we have dictated our own reality – and our reality is not forced upon us, but is rather the fruit of our will and choice – it becomes clear that it is in our power to change our reality.

This applies to the public as well: There are movements that have championed return to Torah and observance, but the Mashiach and the Temple are absent from their platform, as they accept and recognize the constraints of the prevalent exile mentality. By contrast, the leader of the generation – who knows that reality is dependent upon his will – acts in reality in a measured manner. He does not feel threatened or coerced by reality. He is happy with all the details of how God runs the world, while simultaneously taking constant action to change his will at its source and hastening the redemption. This combination of approaches is called ‘tempered alacrity’ – hurrying reality along while being in a serene state, accepting the basic situation. This action takes reality into consideration while simultaneously dictating it. It is the complete rectification of consciousness, as the Ba’al Shem Tov taught.[6]

At the Splitting of the Sea, with the revelation of our concealed will that determines reality, we become the “master of will”[7] who can also change his will.

Print this article 

[1] Rosh Hashanah 11a. Chulin 60a.

[2] Chronicles A 4:23.

[3] According to Breishit Rabbah 8:3-7.

[4] Isaiah 60:21.

 

[5] Pirkei Avot 14:1.

[6] See addendums to Keter Shem Tov 169.

[7] This is a preface to the Giving of the Torah, when we said, “We will do and we will hear” from a place of nullification to the “master of will.” “We will do” is nullification to the Master of will and “we will hear” is nullification to the will that manifests.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe