This week, the Bible speaks about the escape of the Israelites from Egypt and about the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea.
While in Egypt, the Israelites witnessed the ten plagues, which, although not positive, were miraculous nonetheless. Then on the day of their escape from Egypt, all the Israelites’ diseases and illnesses were healed immediately. Amazingly, they walked out of their bondage free and healthy! What we understand from this story is that this group of people experienced the Creator first-hand.
Then what happened?
This week, we enter the month of Aquarius, a month abundant with spiritual opportunities to grow and transform our lives.
In this week’s Bible portion, we read the story of the ten plagues in Egypt. The Bible says that after each plague, the Creator “hardened the heart of Pharaoh.” But what is this hardening of the heart?
What does it mean to reach our potential? Many believe that realizing our potential means that we hold certain positions, that we have the respect of many people, that we are charming or loved or powerful. But what we see this week is that the greatest attribute that Moses had was his humility. You may not know this, but it is actually written that Moses had a stutter. And you know what? It was this "setback" that allowed him to reach his potential. Why? Because he knew that in and of himself, he was nothing; his strength was his connection to the Light.
2012–the year that everyone has been talking about–is upon us. It’s a fresh start, buzzing with New Year’s resolutions and goals. With the new year, the energy around the globe is one of change, of growth, of decision to do things differently, to take ourselves to another level. Therefore, it's not a coincidence that this week’s energy from the Zohar beckons us to the consciousness of life.
Turn on the TV, go to a news website, or read any newspaper at this time of year and you will be sure to find some beautiful stories of sharing, hope, and love. On both a small and a large scale, people have helped other people during this holiday season. This is the time of year when we go out of our way to give and to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, which is a great energy—an energy that creates miracles.
This week is Chanukah, and according to the kabbalists, this is the holiday of miracles.
But what do we mean when we say “miracles”?
Many of us know the story of Joseph from the Bible, either because we have read it or because we have seen one of the numerous plays or movies made about it. It is a story of a man who overcame all sorts of challenges—from being abandoned by his family to being imprisoned, tempted into negativity, and losing everything he had (although he did gain it all back and more).
In this week’s Bible reading, Jacob travels from the most powerfully positive land of Israel to a most negative land called Haran. We know that the journey was long and difficult and that there were many obstacles along the way. But according to the kabbalists, Jacob needed to go through this process to be able to reach his potential. In other words, to complete both his physical and spiritual work, he had to leave Israel and go into negativity.
It is often said that in the lifetime of great people, we seldom appreciate having them around or appreciate what they do. It’s only when they leave us that we realize their worth and really understand their merit. Believe it or not, Vincent Van Gogh was barely known when he was alive. The same situation applied to Sarah from the Bible.
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