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This article was previously published in 2017.
Every person is a world unto themselves. By sharing our Light with just one person, we become a servant to all of humanity.
"We are being called upon to follow the desire of our Soul."
This week’s portion of Emor contains the precepts pertaining to qualities and responsibilities of the High Priest (Kohen HaGadol). But what do these priestly duties have to do with us? Are we meant to simply ignore this section of the Bible? On the contrary, the kabbalists teach that every passage of the Bible contains wisdom and energy we can utilize in our own lives in every generation. There is not one superfluous word or even letter in the entirety of the Bible. Thankfully, the Zohar sheds some much needed Light on the hidden lessons within Emor.
A few weeks back, you may recall we were examining a portion which laid out the details of the Holy Temple – how it was built and what was to take place there. The lesson was that although there is no Holy Temple that exists today, it is up to each of us to create the Holy Temple within ourselves by doing everything from a place of love. In this same vein, we can begin to understand the lesson of this week. Each and every one of us has the power to become a High Priest for the world. The sum of the precepts for the Kohen HaGadol was to fulfill a singular purpose: To be of service to all humankind.
In our time, this job falls upon us. Sounds a bit lofty, doesn’t it? Yet, when we understand the spiritual principle of unity – everything and every person is interconnected – then we can begin to see that what we do for another, we essentially do for ourselves and the world. Indeed, instead of appointing a ‘chosen one’ in our times, it is up to each of us to choose to be of service. To share with one, is to share with all.
We talk a lot about ‘sharing’ in our classes at The Kabbalah Centre. The word ‘share’ sounds so elementary, and yet to do so is most profound. That’s because sharing is inextricably linked to the longing of our soul. We all experience many desires throughout the day. At any given moment, we may think: I want my pen. I want my chair. I want a new computer. I want attention. I want pleasure. I want my soul mate. When you think about it, the list of daily desires are endless! The soul, however, is different.
"Give mercy. Give love. Give kindness. Give a smile. Let’s give of our Light, and let it illuminate the darkness."
The soul has but one desire, steadfast and never changing: To share.
This is why it feels so good to share. It makes no logical sense that by giving something I should feel better than when I receive, and yet somehow that’s exactly what happens. This is a powerful week to be mindful of this spiritual paradox. The best way to remember it, of course, is to put it into action. When we want to take, when we want to satisfy our ego, and when other desires all but consume us – let us take pause, and find a way to give. Give mercy. Give love. Give kindness. Give a smile. Let’s give of our Light, and let it illuminate another’s darkness while simultaneously dispelling our own.
The beauty of what we can learn from the High Priest is that they were chosen to follow the desire of their soul. This week we are being called upon to make the choice for ourselves.