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Rabbi Message: June 10, 2016

I decided to share some thoughts from a beloved rebbe, Kalanymous Kalman Shapira, from his Book of the Royal Path. Below is his message for his students on Shavuot, 1939, interspersed with some comments.

The rebbe begins by refering to the ray of creation, a concept in physics and meta-physics. Basically, the cosmolgy imagines that existence is arising in the Will of the Eternal, which flows into an impulse to create - to ongoingly and constantly re-create - a world. The world then emmanates via patterns and levels as a kind of a cosmic fractal. The highest and lowest worlds are alive and interconnected and unfolding; maybe something like lava cooling off down the mountain and getting denser and more concrete. Such is the level of creation we live in, a dense place, farther from the source of life, but utterly connected to it.

In these 7 weeks between Passover and Shavuot, we are reviewing 7 of those kabbalistic fractal patterns in our level in the ray of creation- the 7 spheres of feeling. We are cleaning ourselves out, as it were, to be ready to receive the Torah.

"The Eternal gave rise to creation," he says. "Creation manifests as a process of gradual unfolding and enfolding and materialization. In this way Higher Thought remains implicit but hidden until it can be perceived in the material world. The seeker[1], is one who is not constrained by the successive manifestation and unfolding of the higher to the lower. The very essence of Higher Thought is perceptible to him. The seeker can contain in himself sacred perception and embodied understanding of Torah, i.e, higher mind. This gives the possibility for developing being and free choice."

I find Reb Kalanymous' teaching so hope-giving. We are naturally related to higher levels. We have an important and unique part in the process of literally bringing holiness and divinity into more earthly realms.

And as we reflect higher realms into this world, we develop, in the rebbe's words, being and free choice. He explains later, that one aspect of free choice is where we place our attention. We can float along on "random, personal thoughts" or direct ourselves to a kind of attentive receptivity. It's this attentive receptivity we try to exercise on Shavuot. This openness is a requisite and only way to access anything new.

Wishing you a curious Shavuot with lots of room for new questions and new answers,


Reb Andrea