This article on the portion of the week was originally published in 2019.
In the chapter of Ki Tavo, we read a great deal about blessings and curses. While blessings were bestowed on the mountain of Gerizim, curses were given on Mount Ebal. I happen to love this portion and the lessons that it holds, of which there are many – but the question I get asked the most from students during this week is: How can I connect with the blessings, and not the curses?
"How can I connect with the blessings?"
I often like to say blessings and curses are two sides of the same coin. In any situation, there is darkness and there is Light. For instance, we’ve all heard about the person whose supposed good fortune it was to win the lottery, and yet with more money there often comes more problems. On the other hand, I’ve known families where someone experienced a grave illness, and yet it brought them closer together, made them stronger than ever before.
You see, there is no such thing as a situation (or a person, for that matter) that is all good, or all bad. For everything, there is a little Gerizim and a little Ebal. Which we choose to connect with is dependent on our consciousness.
This is why “certainty” is a term you will hear used over and over again in the Kabbalah Centre. To have certainty is to know that everything we experience is for the greater good, for our ultimate benefit. The gifts we are given in life, we are given to enjoy and share with others. The challenges are to teach us, to make us stronger, and to bring us closer to the Light. Was “good” not there, in both these mountains? With certainty, we can reach a very beautiful conclusion that the greatest blessing of all is the ability to see everything as a blessing.
"The greatest blessing of all is the ability to see everything as a blessing."
We are only two weeks away from Rosh Hashanah, and it is no coincidence that there is a palpable energy in the universe right now that can help us to see God’s hand in everything. What a beautiful gift we are given in these days. Let’s take advantage of this time by looking at the situations in our life that seem dark – they could be challenges we are currently facing, or situations from our past (our childhood, perhaps) – and see the inspiration of a divine force, a bigger plan. Let’s ask: Where is the Light in this? What am I meant to do? Did I learn from it? Did I, or can I still, grow stronger from it? If it is pain another has inflicted upon us, maybe the question is: How can I draw boundaries to not allow this to happen again? Or, am I doing this to someone else in another way?
These are just a few examples, but by asking these sorts of questions this week, we can reach a place of understanding: “Yes, this situation has been difficult, but I have changed and I am the better for it.”