The Shadow For Concealing Egoism
Question: On the night of Hoshana Rabbah ("Great Supplication," the seventh day of the Holiday of Sukkot) it is customary to check the “shadow,” meaning the screen with which one can then receive the Light. How is this screen formed?
Answer: Each of us is an egoistic desire. When we wish to reach spirituality, we unite into a group. Naturally, none of us desires to engage in exercises of “bestowal,” but each has a “spark” on top of his egoistic desires which pulls us into the unknown.
Kabbalists explain that we exist in a field of “Light.” This field encompasses all of reality and influences us in such a way that the “sparks” awaken in every person. To the extent that they are roused, they interact with the field of Light which orients them, and people gather in one physical and/or virtual place, consequently wishing to unite. This is called a group, a connection of people through their spiritual desires. Egoism is left behind by everyone and they unite through their mutual aspirations for spirituality.
If we begin to aspire to mutual bestowal, we rouse the influence of the Light in the common efforts and begin to change. Gradually, we feel continuously greater egoistic desires, but at the same time, their value drops in our eyes. And we raise the spiritual desire on the scale of values.
The construction of the Sukkah (hut) indicates raising the quality of bestowal (the roof) over the desire to receive. We wish to separate bestowal and reception so that the Light does not enter the egoistic desire through the covering of the Sukkah.
The Light corrects us in such a way that all of our spiritual desires make their way over the roof of the Sukkah, and the egoistic desire remains inside. In other words, we hide the egoistic desire in the shadow. We build a covering on each desire for we do not wish to use these desires egoistically. By creating such a “shade,” we acquire a spiritual sensation in which we feel spiritual reality: the world that we perceive in the quality of bestowal.
From the Hoshana Rabbah Night Lesson 9/29/10, Shamati #8
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