by Sarah Schneider
According to Jewish tradition, the Torahs revelation
was the most profound manifestation of G-d that ever transpired on the
planet. An estimated four million people experienced that historic event.1
A searing revelation of Presence engraved the souls of an entire nation
with the-truth-of-the-universe compressed into a single burst of light.
Its impact continues to impel their generations to be seekers and servants
of G-d, and will do so till the end of time.
There are 600,000 root souls in the Jewish nation2 and these
were all present and represented by the 600,000 family units (i.e. 4 million
people) who experienced that event. Every one of us is a sliver of one
of them. This means that our souls all carry an imprint of that prophesy.3
Even if not the active personality of those incarnations, we were hidden
in their subconscious depths.
The unfolding of generations is the process by which a layer
of soul-stuff that was unconscious (or even semi-conscious) in previous
generations now incarnates into a personality all its own. Its task is
to actualize some potential that was not fully developed in its ancestral
lineage. This process of liberating potential is not all or nothing. Its
more like a relay, where one incarnation completes some tasks but not
others. They pass the baton on to the next in line, who does the same.
A potential is fully actualized when it gets used in a way that serves
good and reveals G-d.
The midrash says that at Sinai, Moshe told each person where
they should stand to experience that holy surge of Divine communication.4
Each witnessed the event from a unique distance and a unique angle. 5
This means that every individual glimpsed some perspective of G-d (and
truth and Torah) that no one else saw, for no one else beheld the prophesy
from quite that vantage. This is what it means that everyone inherits
a unique portion of the Torah.
The mission of each root soul (with its innumerable subsparks)
is to shine its special Torah into the world. In part, this happens naturally
when we strive to live with integrity to the truths we absorbed at Sinai.
The Torah is not a philosophy but a living tradition. It is disseminated
through actions even more than classrooms. Each moment provides a unique
configuration of forces, objects, and people that never was before and
never will be again. When we find the most G-d serving way to use that
moment, we reveal a facet of applied-Torah that is our unique contribution
to its evolving revelation of truth.
Rav Tsadok HaKohen says that the patterns of our lives,
the themes that recur, and the aphorisms that become our mottos, all these
provide a glimpse into the nature of our soul-root and the Torah it has
come to teach the world.6 We received this mission at Sinai, and have
come now to embody its message through the dance of revelation that is
simply our life.
Let it be that on this Shavuot, when the lights of that revolutionary
moment of group prophesy re-enter the world, that each person know that
they were chosen to provide a glimpse of G-d and truth that would be lost
to the universe if not for them. Let us open to the light, faith, love
and awe that are so SO present on this day. And let us reaffirm, with
whole and willing hearts our commitment to The Holy Work.
1. Targum Yonaton, Shmot 12:37.
2. Megilat Amukot - Vaet'chanan
3. Leshem II, 146 (top/rt); Shmot Rabba 28:6, Devarim 29:14, Pirkey DRebbe
4. Torah Sheleima (Yitro) footnote øòå ; Mechilta 19:24,
Michilta d Rashbi
5. Zohar 2:82b
6. Tsidkat HaTsadik 53.
[Reprinted from //astillsmallvoice.org]
Sarah-Yehudit Sachneider, the Old City of Jerusalem, is the
founding director of A Still Small Voice, a correspondence school
that provides weekly teachings in classical Jewish wisdom to subscribers
around the world. She is also the author of several books and numerous