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This week, we gather together to connect to the holiday of Sukkot, the kabbalistic cosmic window for Right-Column Energy, which is kindness, love, giving, and appreciation.
I must say that this year, Sukkot comes at a good time. Now, more than ever before, we are in need of its positivity. There is no question that the darkness is getting darker in the world, with sickness, violence, and all other sorts of chaos erupting with unprecedented intensity. We also have the astrological phenomenon known as the Blood Moon, a very rare occurrence that has marked negative events in history including the Spanish Inquisition and Israel's War of Independence in 1492 and 1948 respectively.
The Zohar tells us that when we—those of us with spiritual tools and consciousness—act with kindness, then kindness will reign in the world, but when we do not act with kindness, then the angels of negativity are let loose to wreak chaos.
Now you may say, “Hey, what do you mean by kindness? Of course, I’m kind. Of course, I’m nice.”
It’s true. Most of us are kind, most of the time…except when we´re not. Except when someone irritates us and then we really want to show’em.
So yes, generally we act “okay” because most of us are decent people. But that’s not the kindness I am speaking about here.
I’m sure that you have read or at least seen some adaptation of Les Miserables. As you may recall, Jean Valjean, fresh out of prison, punches and robs the old bishop who has given him shelter in his home. The next day, a constable arrives at the house of the bishop with the stolen goods and JeanValjean in handcuffs.
Instead of prosecuting the thief, the bishop reacts in a most unexpected way. When the constable tells him, “This man claims that you gave him the silver as a gift, but obviously he stole it,” the bishop replies, “Why yes, of course I gave it to him as a gift! He was a guest in my house. In fact, I cannot believe he forgot the silver candlesticks!”
Unable to do anything but take the holy man at his word, the constable goes on his way, leaving Valjean and the bishop alone for what I believe to be the most poignant part of the story, which is when the bishop says, “With this silver, I have bought back your soul. I’ve ransomed you from fear and hatred, and now I give you back to God.”
The kindness of the bishop, that’s the kindness I’m talking about—the type of kindness that changes people, that inspires others to be better and to return to their own spark of goodness within. Now I’m not saying we should give up ourselves completely and let people trample all over us. What I am saying is that we need to seize the opportunities to actively extend ourselves for the benefit of others.
I’m not talking about the kindness of convenience or the kindness we naturally show a friend. I am talking about the kindness of inconvenience—the kindness we show those who are not our favorite people, the kindness we show to others when we ourselves have fallen into a hole that we have no way to get out of. That’s when what the Zohar is talking about comes to play.
If we can find it within ourselves to make this effort to be giving and caring when there are people around who annoy the life out of us or when we feel plagued by difficulty, then we can, especially in this powerful week of Sukkot, summon the positive angels and bring blessings and protection to ourselves and thewhole world.