This week’s portion is the first time we see someone, Jacob, living a physical life. Abraham did not. Isaac did not. Both of them, although they had some level of physicality in their life, were living mostly in the spiritual realms. Yet Jacob was able to make everything about his physical life - everything that he ate, every step that he took, everything that he listened to, every hug that he hugged, everything that he did - of the elevated consciousness. Like Jacob, we are all meant to come to a place where everything we do in the physical world is of a spiritual nature; a great gift of this Shabbat, therefore, is the ability to elevate the physical part of our life.
One of the verses in this portion hides a tremendous secret, and therefore contains the greatest Light. In this verse, Jacob runs away. He wants to find his soul mate, his wife (eventually, we know, it becomes wives). He comes to the well, and he sees Rachel. It says “Jacob kisses Rachel,” which is surprising, because he has never met her before.
The Zohar reveals to us that the level Jacob reached in this kiss with Rachel was the highest level that a person can ever attain. Rabbi Yitzhak says in the Zohar, a kiss “is the binding, the coming together of spirit with spirit,” and that is why a kiss comes from the mouth, because the mouth is where the life-force comes from. It is talking about unification, a “devekut” of spirit with spirit that can never be separated. This kiss that Jacob gave to Rachel bonded their souls forever. He invested the totality of his soul, of his energy, into the action of this kiss, and as such, no separation could ever come between them. Certainly not in this world, and later on, not even when they died. Then it says, after Jacob kisses Rachel, he started crying. Why did he cry?
The Zohar teaches that when two souls really unify, the Light is so overwhelming that you can’t help but cry. If a person kisses with love, with a complete investment of themselves, then the spirits unite with love.
The Zohar goes on to speak about the level that Jacob reached in this kiss. There are different levels of elevation, different realms or chambers that a soul is meant to enter. The sixth chamber is called the Chamber of Desire of Connection, and is the place of complete unification. As we know, Rav Ashlag made clear over and over, that the whole purpose of our spiritual work is to become unified with the Light of the Creator, and this chamber we are talking about is the ultimate level of unification, of “devekut.” Amongst all the great Light that is available for us on this Shabbat is the ability to at least taste that unification.
All the needs of the world can only be ascended from this chamber, because the Desire of all Desire, the awakening of all the channels, can only happen when there is an awakening of this ultimate level of what is called the kiss, which as we just learned from the Zohar, means a level of connection. This is the secret of the verse, “Jacob kissed Rachel.” The Zohar here is telling us that when Jacob kissed Rachel, he opened up this Chamber of Desire, and all the channels of Light were opened up in this world.
We therefore learn two different things. The first is that what Jacob did, on one level, was bind his spirit to the spirit of Rachel forever. The second is that the action of this kiss also elevated the world. For the first time in history a person was able to open up the channel from where all needs, blessings, and prayers are answered. The reason why Jacob was able to open up this channel was because he completely invested himself in what he did, in his kiss with Rachel.
One of the great secrets that Jacob reveals to us with this kiss is that no matter who you are, if you completely invest yourself in what you are doing, you can draw down the Light of the Creator. If somebody comes to you and asks for a favor, or for help, don’t just listen… completely listen. Invest yourself fully in what you’re doing. From all of this, an important awakening for us is to see how far we really are from investing the totality of our being into what we do. We should ask ourselves, what was the last thing I did where I completely invested every aspect of myself?
You can have one person who helps hundreds of people in one day without investing himself much into it and thus does very little, and one person who invests himself completely with only one person and reveals much greater Light. We have to be careful not to make the mistake of thinking that just because I am doing so much, I must be drawing Light. No. The question isn’t what you’re doing. It’s how you are doing it. Are you investing yourself completely in it? When was the last time you kissed or hugged somebody and were overwhelmed, maybe not with tears, but still overwhelmed by the Light you were feeling?
In order for our work, in physical and spiritual ways, to truly be able to reveal the Light that it has the potential of revealing, we must invest ourselves completely. That is the only way we connect ourselves with the channels that Jacob awakened. It is the only way that we are able to awaken love as Jacob was able to awaken love. It is the only way that we can bring down blessings from the Light of the Creator… and this is a tremendous secret.
Therefore, it is a Shabbat that is very elevated. I hope for all of us that we taste a little bit of these great secrets and make the change in our lives where we really begin to invest our whole being into everything we do to a greater degree, so that we may be able to draw the Light of the Creator, to draw down those miracles. That is what we learn from Jacob and Rachel, and b’zrat Hashem, may we merit to receive this understanding and begin living it.
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