[All quotes in this essay are from Israel and the Seventy Dimensions
of the World.]
One of the most beautiful Kabbalistic teachings speaks of the unity
of all human souls. In Sefer HaGilgulim (The Book of Reincarnations),
Rabbi Chaim Vital wrote in the name of his master, Rabbi Isaac Luria,
that all of our souls (including Hizbullah and Hamas) were bound together
in the Collective Soul of Adam and Eve, the first human beings. That is,
each of the six billion souls of the worlds present population is
rooted in the first, Divinely-created man and woman. Therefore, in the
depth of our psyche, we share a common unity. However, we have fallen
asleep, become unconscious of this primal reality.
If we go further into the teachings of the Kabbalah, we learn that, before
the creation of this world, many worlds were created and destroyed.
There was a breakdown from higher levels of existence in order
to bring about lower levels of existence. (For a more detailed explanation
please refer to Israel and the Seventy Dimensions of the World.) The Kabbalah
describes this process as the shattering of the vessels in the world of
Tohu (Chaos). In our world of Tikun (Rectification), we
are currently struggling with the residual effects of the brokenness of
the world of Tohu. We experience these residual effects in the form of
evil. This evil is the root of all exile, war, pain and suffering
in short, the illusion of being abandoned by G-d.
The World of Tohu could not endure because it consisted of levels of
consciousness that were unable to embrace perspectives other than their
own. Scripture refers to this limitation when speaking of the kings of
Edom who reigned and died before the kings of Israel. The Kabbalah refers
to the death of these kings as the Shattering of the Vessels.
This phenomenon of shattering in the World of Tohu resulted
in the form of a pre-shadow consciousness resembling Adam and Eve which
was created from the remnants of the vessels, and from the sparks of the
Divine light that fell amongst them. The Kabbalah names this form Adam
Beliyaal, which literally means man without a yoke.
That is to say, a consciousness was formed that did not acknowledge a
relationship between the Creator and the creation, and therefore did not
accept upon itself the yoke of heaven.
The consciousness that Adam Beliyaal encompasses does not focus
on Divine Will and G-ds intimate involvement in the very life-pulse
of Creation. That is to say, from the fragmentation of the World of Tohu,
there arose a consciousness that was not attuned to a code of law that
permeates and sustains creation.
The consciousness of Adam Beliyaal is likened to raw, childlike
unharnassed energy, defying structure. This consciousness has a positive
tendency towards perceptions of spiritual transcendence and a negative
tendency to be drawn to physicality and the baser drives of seeking pleasure
while defying the Divine code of moral boundaries.
To make a long story short: Adam and Eve, who were totally in-tune with
Divine awareness of their Creator, ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good
and Evil. They exercised their free choice by going against G-ds
commandment to refrain from eating of its fruit. The result: a cosmic
event occurred that was so shattering that more than 5,700 years late
we are still picking up the pieces.
At that moment of eating, transgressing the Divine commandment, the one
unified soul of all of humanity our common root splintered
into smithereens. Yes, the unifying link among ourselves, and with all
of our current, fierce enemies was traumatically shattered. These pieces
of our original unified soul fell and interfaced with Adam Beliyaal.
As a result, there was an intermixture of consciousnesses.
This is the history of all of our souls. Each one of us is a different
degree of a mixture of Adam and Eve consciousness, and Adam Beliyaal
consciousness. Each one of us has a certain perception of the Divine as
Creator and our responsibility in our relationship to our Creator, as
well as a consciousness that may sense spirituality and lofty sensations
of transcendence, but lacks an awareness of ourselves as part of the Creation
in relationship with the Creator. This lack of awareness seriously undermines
our responsibility for each other.
Adam and Eve gave birth to sons and daughters. The elements of
their souls that expressed their original light, including their relationship
with their Creator and their obedience to Divine will, were extracted
from the elements of their soul that retained the potential to express
that light but did not recognize the existence of the Creator.
Abraham, who lived twenty generations after Adam and Eve and ten
generations after the flood, was the first to actualize this latent soul-potential
by deliberately rediscovering the One G-d hidden in reality. Thus, through
his descendants, the line of Israel emerged. The seed of Avraham and Sarah;
Isaac and Rebecca; Jacob and Rachel, Leah, Bilha and Zilpa, inherited
the consciousness of One Creator.
Their seed stood before Mt. Sinai and received the Torah, the Divine
code of life and instructions for the redemption of all of humanity. All
legal and moral systems in the civilized world are based on the Torahs
teachings. World religions and philosophies embrace morality to the extent
that they propagate the teachings of the Tree of life, whose fruit was
permissible to Adam and Eve; our one unified soul.
The Torah, including its deeper teachings of the Kabbalah, has been guarded
by those of Israel who have accepted the yoke of heaven. Its teachings
speak of the dual nature of this world. Where there is the most light,
there is the most darkness. Where truth is pure, the dark side will come
to challenge its inheritors.
We are now in the war of light verses darkness. The people of Israel
share different degrees of awareness of her Divine mandate. The prophets
have warned us to be the living embodiments of the Torahs teaching
or be challenged by her enemies.
As a people, we are currently being challenged by the forces of darkness.
The Torah speaks of the tribe of Amalek. Historically, the tribe
of Amalek pathologically hated and wanted to destroy Israel. Today, although
the lines defining the cultural identities of the nations have been blurred,
we still suffer from the scourge of Amalek. Amalek is now a minority whose
death-obsessed ideology is polluting larger and larger segments of the
worlds population. In the past, it has seeped through and manifested
itself as Haman, Hitler, Sadam Hussein, Hamas. Now it is Hizbullah.
Amalek is that group of souls who are most deeply imbedded in the consciousness
of Adam Beliyaal. Therefore, the struggle of an Amalekite to awaken
from his/her slumber is the most challenging. However, we learn from the
Talmud (Gittin 57a; Sanhedrin 96b) that the descendants of Haman converted
and learned Torah in Bnei Brak.
The Talmud tells us that every human being is an entire world. Rabbi
Nachman of Breslov says the same thing: All nations exist in varying degrees
in each individual. Accordingly, we are challenged first of all to destroy
the Amalek in ourselves.
Israel is also commanded to defend herself from her enemies. G-d commanded
Israel to wipe out Amalek. Israels first king, Saul, almost accomplished
this. Because of his misplaced compassion he was not successful.
Originally, we were one, and in essence we are still one. We are
each called upon to journey inside and find the place within that was
never affected by the initial cosmic shattering. In the depths of our
shared psyche, the memory of unity persists. In the wellsprings of our
consciousness, we share the belief in the ultimate unity of humanity.
Together, we can still mine the diamond of our oneness. Together, we may
look into each others eyes and truly see a reflection of ourselves.
When this ideal is realized, all conflict will cease.
In order to rescue the simplicity of truth, we have been given
the meditative models of the Kabbalah They are our antidotes to
the confusion and distortion that has plagued mankind since Adam and Eve
ate of the Tree of Knowledge over 5760 years ago. As we sort out the confusion
of our psyches, we can begin to live out the Torahs vision of a
family of nations. We must simply re-awaken that which lies dormant in
The Torah of Israel holds the key to holiness, to the purification
of the soul, and to the clarification of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil,
truth vs. falsehood, and essence vs. externality and the loss of self.
The Torah provides the law of life, the key to affect the return to the
initial purity and unity of the Garden of Eden. All of our spiritual perceptions,
when carefully discerned, may truly contribute to, inspire, and support
the essential process of return.
In the meantime we are commanded to defend ourselves and in so doing
we must impose an uncomfortable and unpopular value judgment. Yes, for
survival, not only our own, but for all of humanity, we must believe in
ourselves and the message we carry as the people of Israel.
We now have to seriously look at how we define Israel.
According to the holy Ari of Safed, the immortal soul of primordial Adam,
as he existed before the sin, is referred to as Israel. Every
individual from all nations is now challenged to find her relationship
to Israel. We must each ask ourselves: What is my unique contribution
to the process of awakening from our present slumber, reclaiming our primordial
unity and supporting the light of redemption? Ultimately and immediately
we must ask ourselves the undiplomatic question, Whose side am I
[Nechama S.G. Nadborny-Burgeman, www.NechamaSarahGila.com, is the author
of The Twelve Dimensions of Israel, and of Israel and the Seventy Dimensions
of the World a Kabbalistic approach to an Enduring World Peace
from which all quotes in this essay are taken]