Rabbi Yehoishophot OliverIn an earlier post, we explained the difference between gashmiyus—“physicality” and chumriyus—“coarseness.”
This also explains the lowly state of our world. In reality, within every being in our universe there is a chayus Eloki, a divine vitalizing force, that creates it as it is, maintains its existence, and without which it could not exist. Yet although it is right here within every single being, we do not feel it.
But it wasn’t always this way. In the world’s original state, before the sin of Adam and Chava, “the divine presence dwelt in this lowly world.” Then one could sense tangibly how the existence of every physical being stems from the chayus Eloki, and so one naturally submitted to that vitality, and therefore to Hashem.
But the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge tainted the cosmos as a whole. It created an intense veil over the chayus Eloki. Chassidus calls this veil chumriyus, and the chumriyus in our world is very great.
However, during the period of exile, we are charged with the mission of rectifying the cosmos though our performance of Torah and Mitzvos, and this gradually diminishes the chumriyus. The veil of chumriyus will be completely lifted when Moshiach comes, and all will “see” the underlying reality of the chayus Eloki (may it happen now!).
This is true not only on a grand scale, but also on a miniature scale, even before Moshiach comes. We may not yet be able to refine ourselves to the point of literally seeing the chayus Eloki, but though hard work, we are all fully able to reach a far deeper level of inner sensitivity to G–dliness (see here and here).
The principle here is that the more a vessel is refined, the more it can contain. Consider the mind: The more one’s mental capacities are refined and sharpened, the deeper the concepts one is able to grasp. Likewise, the more the person engages in avodah (see here) to refine the coarseness within of the Bestial Soul and the body, the more he becomes open and receptive to awareness of Hashem (see here).
This means that when he meditates upon Hashem’s greatness before prayer, his mind becomes much more receptive, and the concept he reflects upon is truly absorbed and integrated into his mind and heart. Likewise, when he studies Torah, he will sense the divine light within Torah (see here).
And then, when he goes out to engage with the outside world, not only will this interaction not adversely affect him by detracting from his sensitivity to G–dliness (as it would otherwise), but it will enhance it:
In the world at large, he will sense the world’s dependence on the chayus Eloki. On a personal level, he will be imbued with the awareness that all his blessings come from Hashem alone; he will notice Hashem’s guiding hand, intimately controlling every aspect of his life; and he will succeed at illuminating everyone and everything in his surroundings with an ever-greater awareness of Hashem’s presence.
Based on the Rebbe Rashab’s Sefer HaMaamarim 5678, p. 85.
Dedicated in honor of the birthday of my dear daughter, Shaina bas Atarah Arielle, on 22 Tammuz.
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