This article on the portion of the week was originally published in 2019.
The greatest freedom of all is to have an open heart. Our heart, like a caged bird, longs to be set free in order to embrace its potential to love without limits. Yet for so many of us, our hearts stay closed and caged. We keep our chest physically closed even, creating spiritual and physical blockages. But the heart longs to love and be free. The first book of the Torah tells us, “God created man in His own image.” Humankind are drops from the great sea, in fact, we are the sea itself. We were created to emulate the Creator and to love accordingly. Does it not feel good to love? Is it not the greatest joy to be in love? Love is all that matters, yet so many of us find our hearts closed, hesitant to be free, and scared to give. This week, the universe offers us the most profound gift of the year. We are offered a key to the cages of our hearts. We are offered the opportunity to set our love free and our hearts to soar. We are given the courage to fulfill our divine potential and walk in the footsteps of the Creator. To love one another as we would love ourselves is our greatest aspiration and our most profound achievement. This week, we receive a heart that is fearless.
"The greatest freedom of all is to have an open heart."
Our portion this week is the first portion in the third book of the Torah. It is called Vayikra. In our last portion, the Tabernacle was finally erected, and the presence of the Creator filled it. The Israelites now have a connection to the Creator unlike any time in human history. The Tabernacle was designed to be a vessel for the Creator, to store the Tablets, and to purify the people through sacrifice. Sacrifice is the means by which we are able to make amends and correct our mistakes. When we take the time and effort to apologize to someone, whether through words or physical means, this is a sacrifice. Vayikra lays out the different methodologies for sacrifice and the powers of purification they offer. Interestingly, the word sacrifice, in Hebrew korban, under deeper translation means “to come near.” When we purify ourselves, or remove our negativity, we are able to draw closer to the Creator. This is the secret of this week, and of life. The Creator does not take for Himself and is only an energy of loving-kindness and sharing. Each time we make a choice towards giving and sharing, we move closer to the Creator. Vayikra heals us of our own desire for just ourselves alone that prevents us from acting in ways of love and kindness. It breaks our chains and releases us into the freedom to be able to love.
In conjunction with the power of Vayikra, we have a special reading about the battle with the army Amalek. This special reading will be read in addition with Vayikra this Saturday on what is called Shabbat Zachor, the Shabbat of Remembrance. The reading about Amalek is our second gift towards freedom. In the reading, we are told by the Creator to never forget the army of Amalek and the battle they had with the Israelites. The Torah is a divine code. The stories we read are only outer shells that house tremendous spiritual energy designed to benefit and help all of humanity. Amalek is the same numerical value as the word doubt. It is via this reading that we are given the priceless gift of removing all forms of doubts, fears, worries, and uncertainties. What a gift the Creator gives us this week. We are offered the removal of our negative consciousness through Vayikra, in addition to the removal of our fears through Shabbat Zachor. The locks to our hearts are broken open this week and we are at last able to taste the freedom of an open and loving heart.
"We are given the courage to fulfill our divine potential and walk in the footsteps of the Creator."
This coming week also contains the death anniversary of our teacher and leader Moses. He is more alive than ever this week, guiding us towards the path of love and the path towards the Light, just as he did for the Israelites thousands of years ago. Is it by coincidence Moses’ energy occurs during this particular week? Not at all. Moses chose this week to reveal his energy in order to assist us in what is our greatest spiritual transformation and maturation of the entire year. The purification of Vayikra and the removal of doubts in Shabbat Zachor prepares us to receive the highest elevation of the year, the holiday of Purim. Purim, which occurs next week, is considered to be the most elevated day of the year, bringing to our lives the most elevated Light of the Creator. The Light of Purim removes all illusions and we are able to see the interconnectedness of all of humanity, the existence of all of our loved ones, and the awesome love the Creator has for us. Purim removes the blockages that keep us from seeing the True Reality. The reality where we are all one and the love we give is really love that we give to ourselves. Vayikra, Shabbat Zachor, and our teacher Moses all come to our aid this week to guide us to our freedom. We are given an unmatchable support to set our hearts free and to be fearless with love. The chains are removed, our fears vanish, and we are at last courageous. We are released to achieve our highest potential in becoming like the Creator, a being of pure love and sharing. It is in this way we create Heaven on Earth for ourselves and the entire world. It is said that when the world completes its spiritual mission, every day will be like Purim. There will be no Torah and no other holidays. Only love, connectedness, and joy that is Purim.
This week in your meditation, visualize one of the holy beasts -- the lion. Close your eyes and visualize the lion standing strong and proud in the great desert. His beautiful face, almost like human, and his hair blowing in the wind. The lion has no fear, no hesitation, and no doubt. Are you afraid to love? Are you afraid to give? It is time we walk in this world with the courage of a lion. For those who are in need, we help them. For the hearts that are broken, we mend them. For the hands that are empty, we fill them. The Creator will be with us today and be with us tomorrow. We shall have no more fear. The time when fear holds us back is over. A new age has come when we fulfill our mission on Earth and follow in the Creator’s footsteps. The footsteps of love and human dignity for all. We are fearless in our love. We are fearless in our giving. We have been given the courageous heart the Creator has always intended for us. There is no greater freedom than the freedom to love, and there is no greater joy than the joy that comes from it.