The concept I want to introduce here should be one that is buzzing in the head of any student of spirituality in the world: What are the powers concealed inside of me? Are my spiritual studies leading me towards my potential?
I am writing this piece on the death anniversary of the great kabbalist, Rav Elimelech of Lizhensk (1717 –1786). He was known for the great and frequent miracles he performed in his life. I want to use the awesome energy revealed today in the entire world, and share from his wisdom as it is written in his book, “Noam Elimelech”.
Regarding the Torah portion of Acharei Mot, Rav Elimelech explains in “Noam Elimelech” that, “The Tzadik (the righteous) can reverse judgment into mercy. Even if there is a decree of death on a person, the Tzadik has the power to change it to life. The reason that the Tzadik has this power is because the Tzadik elevates his prayers to the supernal worlds, in which all is mercy and there is no judgment at all. In that level this decree of death does not exist. From that place, he draws life to that person.”
So now, I’m sure you’re saying to yourself: What has that got to do with me? I’m not righteous – I’m actually very far from being righteous. And you might be right. However, when Rav Elimelech of Lizhensk is saying Tzadik, he is talking to each one of us. Kabbalah teaches that there is righteousness within each and every one of us. The perfected version of ourselves is completely righteous and will be revealed in the final redemption – when the end of pain and suffering will take place throughout the entire world.
Rav Berg says, “You want to be a Tzadik? Act like a Tzadik and you will be one.”
Rav Elimelech was known for the miracles he created in people’s lives – how did he do it? When someone would come to him with a request for help – healing, or money, or any other lack of blessing – Rav Elimelech could immediately see why that particular person was experiencing that specific lack. He could see which negative traits the person in front of him had; traits that blocked that person’s fulfillment. Rav Elimelech would then tell that person what he needed to change, and how to repent. However, Rav Elimelech also would say to himself, “If I see that negativity in the other person, it means that I have it in me as well.” He would translate someone else’s negative traits into something he himself needed to change, and felt the pain of having this negativity in him. The Creator would fulfill the lack of the other person only so that Rav Elimelech would not feel this pain.
That is what Rav Elimelech is teaching us to do. To constantly look inside and find which traits we need to change within ourselves, what type of negativity creates a screen between us and the Light Force of the Creator, and change it.
When we constantly do this exercise, we will see that every person in our life is our mirror and a messenger of change. It will be clear to me what I need to change to become closer to the Light of the Creator. Rav Elimelech says that before we study, we need to see all of our flaws that we need to change and pray that the study/scanning of the Zohar/prayer or meditation will help us cleanse it.
When we devote our life to that level of purification like Rav Elimelech did, the sky is the limit. At that point we can pray for others – and we will be answered! When it is a selfless prayer, there is no limitation to how much Light I can bring to the world and to other people. Rav Elimelech says clearly, “Do not prevent yourself from praying and asking on any small thing even. You shouldn’t say, ‘Who am I to ask for those things?’”. Like a little child that has no inhibition while asking his parents for what he wants, so too should we ask the Creator for other people’s needs.
When I’m constantly looking for what I need to change, seeing my traits in every person, and having the desire to remove the curtains between me and the Light Force of the Creator, I am going completely against my nature. This is acting like a Tzadik; this will grant us the merit to pray for others and create miracles in other people’s lives – with no limitations. That is the reason why we read from this portion during the holiday of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement); we need to have that consciousness of cleansing to receive all the blessings that the Light wants to give us.
When we are going all-out against our nature, the Light is going all-out to meet us and our requests. Good luck!