Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sparks of Holiness


"They will leave with substantial wealth" [Lech Lecha 15:14]

The above verse indicates that amassing wealth was one of the purposes of Egyptian exile.  For this to be achieved, it was necessary for Yosef to become the ruler of Egypt and gather wealth from all the other lands.

According to chassidic teachings, ''sparks of holiness'' are trapped within the physical world and are released when a Jew takes the object and uses it to perform a mitzvah.  Therefore, one of the inner purposes of exile is for the Jew to utilize physical objects in the service of G-d.

Thus, someone who truly desires to cleave to G-d needs to involve himself in the physical performance of mitzvot, for this is also the only way he can fulfill his soul's mission.

Source: Based on Likutei Sichos Lubavitcher Rebbe

3 comments:

Joe said...

Devorah,a very thought provoking post.

The post rightfully states :
"According to chassidic teachings, ''sparks of holiness'' are trapped within the physical world and are released when a Jew takes the object and uses it to perform a mitzvah. Therefore, one of the inner purposes of exile is for the Jew to utilize physical objects in the service of G-d.

Yosef's mission is without doubt. He turned Mitzrayim into an economic superpower. Alas, Mitzrayim eventually turned their benevolent guests into slaves.Sad to say this has been the norm throughout history, when the superpower of the day turns on the Jews, the source of their wealth.

When B'nei Yisrael came out of Mitzrayim, the wealth that accompanied them was rightfully theirs,the legacy not only of Yosef and family but the 210 years of forced slavery.

Here is the crunch.

Before the Torah with all its mitzvot was officially handed to B'nei Yisrael and whilst Moshe was atop Har Sinai, a golden calf was fashioned from the wealth of Mitzrayim.Had they waited for the return of Moshe with the Torah, they would have realized that the booty was meant instead for the building of the Mishkan, a place where HaShem's Divine Presence could dwell in their midst.This is the main purpose of "cleaving to HaShem"- to bring His Presence into the world.

Moral of the story.

Mitzrayim is symbolic of the world.
The wealth or booty is not only the material wealth, but one's talents and G-d given abilities.

One can either employ these talents to further one's career or social standing, thus building a golden calf of self adulation, or one can utilize these skills obtained in the world to build a Miskan for HaShem's Divine Presence to dwell.

Thus this one way cleaving to HaShem opens the way and is ultimately reversed and His Divine Presence fills the world.This is the true role of the Jew.....a Divine conduit.

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver said...

See my posts on this topic here.

yaak said...

Ribbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira ZTVK"L explained how Avraham Avinu raised the sparks of holiness and left the Kelipot in the 3 lower worlds based on the verse from Lech Lecha:

ויעבר אברם בארץ עד מקום שכם עד אלון מורה והכנעני אז בארץ

Note that ויעבר is the gematria of 288.