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Deepening Our Wisdom

Michael Berg
January 9, 2024
Like 17 Comments 7 Share

This article was previously published in 2020.

The Torah tells us that on the first day of the eleventh month, the month of Aquarius, Moses began revealing the secrets that we call the wisdom of Kabbalah. Therefore, as we are now entering into the month of Aquarius, or Shevat, we have the opportunity to awaken our connection to the study and understanding of that wisdom.

“It is important to continuously delve deeper in our understanding and study.”

The kabbalists teach that it is important to continuously delve deeper in our understanding and study. Why? If we are not constantly pushing ourselves to gain a greater understanding - both of ourselves, and of this world - then we will not be able to completely connect to the Light of the Creator, and as such, will not be able to receive the blessings that are meant to come to us.

To explain this point, the Zohar tells the story of a man who lived by himself on the top of a mountain, sustaining himself by eating kernels from the wheat that he grew. One day, he decided to go down into the village, and walked by a house where he saw people eating bread. He was invited in, and asked them if he could taste it. After having a piece of bread, he said, “Wow, this is really good! How do you make it?” They told him they start with wheat, grind it down and make it into flour, then add water, and bake it.

The man then went to the next house and saw people eating cake, and asked if he could come in and try it. After he tasted their cake, he said, again, “Wow, this is really good! How do you make it?” They explained to him that they start with wheat, grind it down to make flour, then add honey and sugar, and bake it. The man went on, from house to house, tasting all kinds of bread, cakes, and cookies. At the end of his journey, he said to himself, “You know, I already eat the kernel of the wheat, which is what they use make the bread, cakes, and cookies from; I have everything they have, so I do not need to learn how to make anything else!” 

“The month of Aquarius gives us the gift of re-igniting our need to deepen our study.”

The Zohar says about this man that he is silly. Why? Because he did not feel the need or desire to learn how to expand his kernels of wheat. He lived the rest of his life eating just the kernels, without ever again tasting bread, cookies, or cake. The lesson here is that if we are not consistently pushing ourselves to expand our understanding, then we cut ourselves from fully receiving all the Light and blessings we are capable of.

As it tells us in the Torah, Moses opened up the gates of secrets on the first day of Aquarius. This month, therefore, is unique in its opportunity to reveal secrets about who we truly are, and about how the world that we live in began, exists, and, also, how to perfect it. But all of that - the purpose of our own perfection, the process of this world's perfection and betterment - can only happen through those who are pushing themselves consistently to deepen their study and understanding. We need to remember the silly man in the Zohar story, thinking, as all of us do to some extent, that we have enough; enough information, enough wisdom. While it is possible that, yes, we do have wisdom for our lives, we most likely do not have enough for the greater blessings that are meant to come to us. And the push to expand our understanding is important, because only through the accessing of that deeper wisdom can we receive the great Light that is available for us.

The month of Aquarius gives us the gift of re-igniting our need to deepen our study. Without a constant expansion of our search for wisdom and understanding, we will not be able to receive the complete and total Light that we are meant to have. It is one of the unique gifts that is available to us in this month; the gates are open for those of us who truly desire to understand, in deeper ways, more about the world and ourselves. 

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