Crocodylus niloticus in Lake Chamo 02″ by Bernard Gagnon
Each one of us is a whole world. Therefore in every person is a complex world of characters that make up the ego, and the one, pure, aspect of the soul.
Rabbi Ashlag teaches that all the aspects of the Torah stories take place within ourselves. Of all the aspects of the ego, the hardest one to deal with is the Pharaoh within us. The Zohar, likens Pharaoh, the ultimate denier of God to a crocodile lurking in the Nile (following Ezekiel chapter 29). Pharaoh manifests within us as the ultimate hijacker of our values and aspirations of spirituality, not allowing them to come into fruition.
From the Pesach Haggadah we find out that that the key to dealing with our inner Pharaoh is to cry out to God in prayer to help us, for it is the Holy Blessed One, Himself who rescues us from Pharaoh’s clutches and brings us out of our inner slavery into freedom.
Listen to podcast
The merit of this Torah teaching in this podcast is dedicated to Michael Andrew, the son of Jennifer. May he be blessed with a Refuah Shlemah, a perfect healing.
Picture credit: “Crocodylus niloticus in Lake Chamo 02” by Bernard Gagnon
Servitude in Egypt: How was this possible?
The Children of Israel went down as families, welcome guests of the King of Egypt, nearest relations to the second- in-command, Joseph, the savior of the Egyptian people. What happened to change their reality within the space of one generation to indigent slaves?
The Torah describes the onset of the slavery in one terse sentence, “And there arose a new King who didn’t know Joseph.”
How is this possible? that in the space of one generation, the Pharaoh had no idea of what had happened? Had no knowledge of the man to whom his entire country owed its survival? Rashi says, he made as if he didn’t know Joseph.
Rabbi Ashlag in a remarkable letter written to his students relates this sentence not to the outer ruler of a country, but to our own inner ruler. Who are we letting govern our impulses, our thoughts and decisions? The guidance of the Sage, the Torah, or our ego? The new king who did not know Joseph is represented within ourselves as the ego; the part of our self that does not want to acknowledge the superiority of the Tzaddik. When we allow the ego to govern us, then our inner self suffers a spritual descent and this enables the outer exile to overcome us.
The difference between the Hebrew word for exile Golah and for redemption Geulah is only one letter, the letter aleph, א, our connection with the One.
From Igarot haSulam , Igeret 12, Published by Or Hasulam foundation.
With grateful acknowledgement to my chevrutas, Dr. Susan Jackson, and Dr. Shmuel Iger-Kinyan
Seder night : the night of inner and outer freedom
The Haggadah of Pesach teaches us that every person needs to consider himself or herself as if he came out of Egypt. Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag teaches that the essence of the exile and the redemption are both historical events and inner events within our consciousness. Our inner exile is caused by those parts of us that oppose our connection with God and make it hard for us to express ourselves in the framework of holiness in consonance with our souls. The hardest of all aspects of the ego is the Pharaoh within.
In this class based on an oral discourse that the Baal HaSulam gave to his students, he teaches us why the exile, both outer and inner, is necessary and the role that even our inner Pharaoh has to play to bring us to the full redemption of dvekut (union) with God.
This class is a translation and explanation of a an oral discourse given by the Baal haSulam transcribed by Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag in his work, Shamati. (Arie Miskanot le Paroh) (1 hour)
My grateful thanks to the many chevrutas who learned this article with me this year.
Other Pesach talks on Nehora press are:
The inner meaning of Seder night
Who knows One? From exile to redemption
The inner meaning of the four cups
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Teaching our children about how we came out of Egypt
Rabbi Ashlag teaches that the difference between the human and the animal is really only the desire for the connection with God. When we lose our connection with the One that is a state of inner exile; redemption is a reconnection. By looking at the story of the coming out of Egypt and seeing its equivalent aspects within ourselves we come to see how we can ourselves ask to come out of our own inner Egypt.
Join Yedidah with two stimulating talks relating to the forthcoming festival of Pesach: Discover the inner meaning of the four cups of wine we drink and find out why the redemption had to be prefaced by the exile. It all boils down to the One…Find both talks on her homepage at www.nehorapress.com
( each talk ten minutes )
As we approach Passover the energy of exile and redemption comes around again. But why was the exile needed? Can redemption have occurred to the Children of Israel without the prior need for exile? At what point did the possibility of redemption become real? Every Passover we tell the story, but we are not just re-enacting an historical event. Like the rings on a living tree which grow each year, as we approach Passover we re-experience our own inner exile and our own inner redemption anew. For the full talk please click on link (ten minutes)