Bribing Ourselves

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Bribing Ourselves

Michael Berg
June 5, 2024
Like 17 Comments 2 Share

This article was previously published in 2020.

There is an aspect this month - the month of Sivan - that deals with the concept of bribes. Kabbalists explain that we frequently bribe ourselves. How? When we do something negative we say, “True, I’ve done a negative action, but look at all the positive actions I have also done,” as though somehow they cancel each other out. But whenever we allow our Light to overshadow our consciousness of our own darkness, we are bribing ourselves. We are buying ourselves off and allowing ourselves to compromise.

In the commentaries on the Torah about Sivan and its sign of Gemini, there is a very interesting story regarding Rebecca, the wife of Isaac and the mother of the twins, Jacob and Esau. When Rebecca was pregnant, whenever she walked past a place of positive energy, one of the twins would want to jump out of her womb. And whenever she passed a negative place, the other child wanted to. Rebecca, however, did not know she was bearing twins; she thought it was one child who didn’t know whether he wanted to be positive or negative. 

She was very worried about this, so she went to one of the great kabbalists of the time. He said, “Don’t worry. You have two children in your womb. One, Jacob, will connect to the Light of the Creator, and the other, Esau, will connect to darkness.” Rebecca was happy to hear that one son was going to be completely righteous while the other was going to be completely negative, which seems strange; wouldn’t you think that most parents would rather have one child who sometimes connected to the Light and sometimes to darkness, rather than one who is always connected to darkness?

It is easy to believe that Rebecca was happy to be the parent of a great, righteous soul like Jacob, yet kabbalists suggest that Rebecca was also happy for Esau. She knew that as long as a person was connecting to both the Light and the darkness, then, yes, they might be a good person, but they might never achieve the purpose for which they came to this world. But if someone is completely negative, at some point in their lives they may come to the place where they truly desire connection with the Light, and as such, completely transform their darkness into Light. But when we are in the middle, when we are mediocre, when we are sometimes connecting to Light and sometimes to darkness, we will never have a chance to become awakened.

It is a tremendous lesson that Rebecca teaches us in this month of Gemini concerning her sons. Our Light should not bribe us to accept our darkness. Mediocrity will never lead us to a complete connection to the Light of the Creator. This month, we must not to stay in the middle, we must not accept the bribe of our positive actions. If we compromise our connection to the Light, we compromise the blessings we can bring into our life. We came into this world to achieve a complete connection to the Light, which can only occur if we don’t accept the bribe from our own Negative Side.

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