Shemini: Sanctifying our connection with the Creator

We have learned that the preparation of the Sanctuary, the High Priest and the offerings are the means to be close to the Creator: “This is it that which the Lord spoke, saying: ‘I will be sanctified in those who are close to Me, and before all the people I will be glorified’.” (Leviticus 10:3) and by directing all dimensions of consciousness (“all the people”) in Love’s ways and attributes, God’s Love will also be glorified because we will see Him manifest in all dimensions of His Creation.

Let’s reflect on the meaning of sanctifying and glorifying Him. The psalmist helps us understand them through what he refers to as praising. King David’s psalms (praises) explain that we do it by following God’s ways and emulating His attributes which are His Love for His Creation. We do it in our total freedom from ego’s fantasies and illusions (“the nations”), and he also reminds us that we have to do it with all aspects, levels and dimensions of consciousness:

“Praise the Lord from the earth [our material life], great sea creatures and all [that lives in the] depths [the lower levels of consciousness], fire and hail [passion and passivity], snow and vapor [coldness and warmth], stormy winds that do His bidding [liberating thoughts], mountains and all hills [beliefs and ideas], fruit trees and all cedars [ways of truth and principles of righteousness], beasts and all cattle [instincts and passions], creeping creatures and winged fowl [lower passions and lifting thoughts], kings of the earth [habits and customs] and all peoples [lower emotions and feelings], princes [pride, ego’s control] and all judges of the Earth [ethical and moral principles], both young men [avidity, intensity] and maidens [purity and modesty], old men [experience and wisdom] and children [innocence and reverence]. Let them [all] praise [give honor, make offering, be and express the Love of God] the Name of the Lord, for His Name alone is exalted; His Glory is above the Earth and the Heavens.” (Psalms 148:7-13) because everything that exists emanates from Him and is sustained by Him.

In terms of our consciousness, all its aspects that drive us to discern, think, feel, sense and act must be directed and guided to live God’s Love in us and in all that He created for us to experience. We already know that what we perceive as “negative” aspects of His Creation — those in which His Presence is not revealed to us –, exist as contrasting references for us to pursue the positive. As we learn about its goodness we prepare to transform the negative into positive. This is the way we reveal God’s Presence in the material world. Let’s bear in mind and heart that the world exists for us to reveal the Presence of its Creator, and we do it only by being and manifesting His Love and the goodness of His ways and attributes.

We sanctify and glorify His Name by being and manifesting our true Essence and identity that is nothing less than His Love, and this is the way we elevate our life to be close to Him. In this process we fully experience His Glory, which is His Love: “And Moses said: ‘This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do; and the Glory of the Lord shall appear to you’.” (Leviticus 9:6).

The narrative of Shemini continues making us aware that this process implies our clear awareness of the difference between ego’s fantasies and illusions and Love’s ways and attributes: “And that you differentiate between holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean; and that you [Aaron] instruct the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.” (10:10-11).

The one who does it is Aaron the High Priest, the highest awareness of our connection with God’s Love through Moses, the highest knowledge of the Creator. Let’s be aware that the consciousness represented by Moses is our means to learn the ways and attributes to be always close to God and His Love.

Nachmanides, the Ramban, tells us that some of the unclean animals forbidden by the Torah for consumption are predators and their qualities are a negative influence for us. We can’t imagine ourselves behaving like snakes, scorpions, ravens, vultures or wild bests, though we know that there are people like them. Our Prophets and Sages say that in the times of our Final Redemption every tree will bear fruit and all beasts will behave peacefully and lovingly, because the root of all evil will be completely eradicated from the face of the earth. We have said many times that the Messianic consciousness is something that we have to generate, as our forefathers did under bondage in Egypt. They cried out laud for their Redemption, and our God heard and liberated them with the redeeming strength of His hand, the infinite power of His Love.

Some believe that our Final Redemption will come miraculously without us moving one finger to make it happen. They must learn from our history and the Holocaust in which the Jewish people were close to be annihilated. Almost nobody moved one finger to prevent it, and we now know what to do in order to never let it happen again, never again. It’s a lesson that cost more than six million lives to learn, and this means that we have to do more than moving one finger. The easiest thing to do is to blame God after we avoid our responsibilities and our part of the Covenant that He offered us through our forefathers. Even worse when we blame Him for the results of the choices we make! We claim and argue that our real freedom lies in our complete free will, and when evil appears in order for us to exercise free will we end up making negatives choices with their consequences… and again we blame God.

It’s about time to realize that if we really desire our Final Redemption from all evil and negativity, we better start making the right choices and being aware of the positive effects that await us when we choose Love’s ways and attributes. After all, Love is our true Essence and identity because we all come from God’s Love.

Let’s begin our Redemption by bringing to Him our offerings, our Love in what we are and do: “(…) ascribe unto the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe unto the Lord the glory due unto His Name; bring an offering, and come before Him; worship the Lord in the radiance of holiness. Vibrate before Him, all the Earth; the world also is established that it cannot be moved. Let the Heavens be glad, and let the Earth rejoice; and let them say among the nations: ‘The Lord reigns’.” (I Chronicles 16:28-31).

Once we recognize and learn His ways and attributes, may we bring to Him their works in what we are and do. In this awareness, may all aspects of our consciousness recognize that His Love rules His Creation. In the firmness of our Love may we meet His Love. The psalmist also warns us about the consequences of our choices: “But My people would not listen to Me; and Israel did not consent to Me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own counsels. If My people would only listen to Me, if Israel would only follow My ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes!” (Psalms 81:11-14).

Let’s listen again to God’s Love, and through our own Love let’s defeat the negative predicament in ego’s materialistic fantasies and illusions. In the Light of Love may we awake to our individual and collective Redemption, and in God’s Love may we fully reveal His Presence in the material world. Then we may we say “The Lord reigns!”.

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Kochav Yaakov.
Related Topics
Related Posts