The last portion before Rosh Hashanah, Nitzavim – Vayelech is a very powerful time to look both inside and outside of ourselves and ask, ‘What do we want our next year to look like?’ In the Zohar, there is mention of the two possible realities that represent the end of days – the Oi and the Ashrei. Oi represents a future of chaos, pain, suffering and death. Ashrei represents a future of harmony, connection, peace and beauty.
If we look outside at what is happening in the world today, there are many pieces in place for our future to look like the Oi. The prophecy in the Zohar is manifesting itself. Global disasters, war, threats, chaos and personal hardships – many things seem to be very negative in the world. But by learning Kabbalah, we know that the Creator says no just so that we can say yes; the Creator closes a door just to allow us to earn the right to pass through it anyway. It all depends on how much desire we have.
To the degree we have Oi, that’s the potential of Ashrei, the potential of Light that is available. The Oi path is right in front of our eyes, but the Ashrei path is hidden. The Creator has given us the tools we need to make Ashrei happen, we just need the desire. How can we increase our desire? How can we elevate our consciousness?
In the Haftara of this Shabbat, we read about the Prophet Isaiah and his message of the final redemption. Isaiah’s prophecy says, “…and the year of the redemption had come” – a true certainty that this Rosh Hashanah and this year we can bring an end to pain and suffering in the world. To connect to the path of Ashrei and have the right consciousness on Rosh Hashanah, we get on this Shabbat the gift from Isaiah to have certainty in the coming of the final redemption.
We all come to Rosh Hashanah asking for different things – for health, for sustenance, for family, for happiness. But any assistance, any Light and true and lasting blessings that we want to draw on Rosh Hashanah are all coming from one place – they come from the world of the final redemption, the world that’s called the endless world. If we do not come with the consciousness that ‘this year will be the year of the final redemption’, there is no way that anything we do after Rosh Hashanah will be able to draw that Light. The only way to connect to that world is to have the consciousness of that world. If you have an awakening of certainty that this year is the year of the redemption, then on Rosh Hashanah your consciousness can be connected to the endless world. And lasting blessings can be drawn by you. And lasting Light can be drawn by you. And with that consciousness, certainly we can plant seeds at Rosh Hashanah to draw all of the Light and blessings we need and want for the year to come.
This Shabbat is not about having a little more certainty, it’s about complete certainty. Pain, suffering, and death only exist for one reason: lack of certainty. Pain, suffering and death exist only when there is no certainty amongst people that these negative entities can, and will, come to an end. We can work on our consciousness in this area by saying to ourselves, “There is no way the consciousness I had until this moment will take me forward. Whatever understanding I had of the ability to remove pain & suffering – it can’t take me any farther. This Shabbat, I want a new consciousness. I want the gift from Isaiah, the year of redemption in which pain, suffering and death will be removed from the world is coming.”
Internally, we need to work on elevating our certainty and consciousness. We also need to view the way we look at other people externally. We need to look at others with a kinder eye. We are judged by the things we see and judge in others, especially around the time of Rosh Hashanah. This Shabbat is the beginning of a new period in our life, one in which we accept other people with the glass ‘half full’. Our movie is not the same as another person’s movie. Love others for the part of themselves that is beautiful, because there is no such thing as a human being without a spark of the Creator inside of him/her.
With the help of the gift of Isaiah – to have certainty in the final redemption, and seeing the beauty in people instead of judging them – this year we will disconnect from the path of Oi and live the path of Ashrei!