Yeshiva of the Inner Light
Kabbalah Institute of America
Message for Rosh Hashanah 5771 ( 2011)
Based on the teachings of the Baal HaSulam
and his son Harav Ashlag
Tomorrow night begins the two days of Rosh Hashanah. One of the focal
points of Rosh Hashanah is hearing the blowing of the shofar.There are many
reasons for this. Most have to do with the sounding of the shofar having the power
to weaken the “satan” (who is always looking to “prosecute” against us) and thus
help enable us to merit to be written for a good year.
Following the teachings of the Baal HaSulam the hearing of the shofar on
Rosh Hashanah could perhaps be understood as follows;
In the Pesichah LeChachmas HaKabbalah the Baal Hasulam explains how as
when the four spiritual worlds evolved from Atzilus to Briah to Yetzirah and
finally down to Yetzirah of which “Olam Hazeh” “ this world” is at the bottom of,
that with each successive world, as the overpowerment of the “Ratzon Lekabel”
“will to receive” decreases (thus allowing the “Ratzon Lekabel” to be increasingly
stronger), so too the “orh” “Light” which is received in that world decreases. The
“Orhoes” “Lights” diminish from Chayah to Neshamah to Ruach and finally down
to Nefesh in Asiyah of which “Olam Hazeh” is the bottom part of.
When describing this final stage of the “orh” of “Nefesh” coming to the
wold of “Asiyah” the Baal HaSulam writes as follows: “ And in the world of
“Asiyah”……The “ohr” that is in it is called “Nefesh”, which implies “ohr” lacking
motion from itself.” (the word “Nefesh” literally is translated to “rest”, [lack of
I never understood what the Baal HaSulam meant here when he says that the
“ohr” of ‘Nefesh” does not have motion on its own. What does that mean?!
B”H when the Pesichah was reprinted with the additional “perush” “commentary”
taken from the lessons of HaRav Ashalg this idea is explained. The Rebbe explains
it as follows:
In the physical world we see that even a stone has motion! How is this? If
someone comes along and gives it a kick! But on its own, it has no motion.
So too is true of man. On his own he has no “spiritual motion”! Meaning
that even just the idea alone of doing things “Al manas lehashpiah” “ for the sake
of (PURE) bestowal [doing things for the sake of bestowal = “spiritual motion”]”
is totally foreign to us! How then can even a man in “olam hazeh” have “spiritual
motion”? If someone comes along wakes him up. In other words, so to speak
“gives him a kick”! Meaning that he on his own is indeed unable to make a move
spiritually. But he needs to merit to be influenced from someone else. This is why
we put so much effort to find proper teachers and diligently learn Torah from
them! We hope to develop with our Torah study and observance the ability to
develop “spiritual motion” of our own and come to “Deveykus BaHashem”
This is the goal of the sound of the shofar. To wake us up! To give us a
“kick” to begin going in the correct direction of “al menas lehashpiah”. So why
specifically the sound of the shofer!
Two of the various things the Shofar reminds us of is 1) the “Iyal” “ram” by
“Akeydas Yitzchak” “ the binding [for the sacrifice] of Isaac” 2) the sound of the
shofar that was heard at “har Seeniey” “Mt Sinai” by the giving of the Torah
The “iyal” represents “Avraham avenuh” “our Forefather Abraham” selfless
“almenas lehashpia” act of being willing to offer up his dear son Yitzchock who he
waited so many years for, to HaShem without any question. So to the sound of the
Shofar has the ability to wake up this spirit of selflessness for their sake of Hashem
which is inherent in every Jew!
The sound of the shofar by “har Seeniey”‘ represents the climatic level of
“KEISH ECHAD BELEV ECHAD” “ Like one man with one heart” that the Nation
of Israel had obtained as a unified body the concept of ‘Veahavtah lereacha
kamoch” “to love your neighbor as yourself”, accepting upon themselves to
interact with each other “al menas Lehashpia”. So too the sound of the shofar has
the ability to wake up the spirit of acting together as a unified selfless group, the
Holy Nation of Klal Yisrael!
Let us all be zocheh this year as we hear the sound of the shofar on Rosh
HaShanah to let it enter our “sleeping” Nefesh, and allow it to wake it up! Let us
increase our commitment to True Torah study, and Mitzvah Observance, thereby
waking up our ability to change ourselves in order to serve HaShem “almenas
lehashpia”, to come to “devakus with HaShem.
May HaShem write and seal you in, for a good and peaceful life!