Choosing Selflessness

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Choosing Selflessness

Karen Berg
February 26, 2023
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This article on the portion of the week was originally published in 2017.

The soul is selfless. For, like the Creator, our soul has but one desire – to share.

After the sin of the Golden Calf, the Creator wanted to destroy the people – to essentially hit the reboot button, and start over. Moses challenges God, “If you bring destruction on these people, then destroy me too. Erase my name from Your Book.” God did not destroy the people, but the name Moses was erased from this week’s portion, the chapter of Tetzaveh, nevertheless.

On the surface, it would seem the Creator was punishing Moses by not including his name here. Yet, we learn from the Zohar that the opposite is true.

"There is no better time than the present to become more selfless."

One of the difficult to understand kabbalistic principles is: That which is concealed is far more powerful than that which is revealed. Just like the name Moses is not mentioned in this week’s portion, God’s name does not appear in the Scroll of Esther we will read on the holiday of Purim. Does the omission of God’s name signify a lack of God in this scroll? On the contrary, we learn from the Zohar that Purim will be the only holiday to remain after the Final Correction. God’s name unmentioned in the scroll of Esther is an indication of God’s never ending presence and the abundance of Light that is available. That which is concealed is all the more available and eternal.

The exclusion of Moses’s name from this chapter is not a punishment for Moses, but rather it is the Creator’s gift to us. The truth is, we have more of the essence of Moses in this chapter than any other. In this week’s portion, Moses was willing to sacrifice himself completely for the sake of the people. Can you imagine? I don’t think many of us could stand up to the voices of authority in our own lives, much less the Creator! Moses did not seek to appease God, nor did God seek his subservience. His soul’s purpose was to help humanity, and in challenging the Creator he fulfilled his destiny as well as God’s desire for him. If love is selflessness, then surely Moses was the very embodiment of love in this chapter.

With the coupling of this portion of Tetzaveh and the holiday of Purim, there is an energy of God’s endless love for humanity, which permeates the cosmos right now. There is no better time than the present to take upon ourselves the spiritual work of becoming more selfless.

No, none of us are meant to be Moses, but we are indeed meant to become the best versions of ourselves. We rise to that potential each time we expand our capacity to make helping humankind our priority. For every instance in which we choose selflessness over selfishness, the Light of our souls and the Light of the Creator shines that much brighter in the world.

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