By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
In preparation for the Holiday of Shavuot which commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments, and the five book of Moses, in the year 2448, we always read from the Torah the beginning of book number four from the bible, the Book of Numbers.
At the giving of the Torah, we entered a covenant and bond with G-d, compared to a marriage between a man and woman, so let us learn a lesson from this special reading and our entering this union, with G-d
This fourth book of the Bible begins with the commandment to count the Israelites, hence, the name for the entire book of numbers.
When people are counted, the attention is decidedly, not on what differentiates one person from the other. Whether it’s a person financial status, their physical appearance, any personal refinement, etc., all of these are inconsequential and not considered when a group of people are counted.
When counting a group of people our attention and our awareness is directed to their essence, what defines these people as human beings. The spark of G-dliness in its purity that always remains whole, complete, and which gives us the identity as human beings is the same in all people. Our inherent value endowed upon us by G-d is what unites all people. It is this very deep fundamental nature, common to us all, we arouse when a group of people are counted.
When G-d promises us reward and connection with Him for observing His commandments, the expression used for commandments does not apply to those commandments which make logical sense, but G-d refers to those commandments that are observed purely out of obedience.
Obedience is a commitment of conformity which surpasses the way anyone understands or feels at the moment.
There is a verse in the book of Isaiah, Ki mitzion teitzei torah ud’var Hashem mirushalayim, “For out of Zion shall go Torah and the word of G-d from Jerusalem”
What did the prophet intend by saying out Zion, will come the Torah – wisdom, and out of Jerusalem will come the word of G-d? Wisdom is superficial, relative to a person’s essence and not the same in everyone.
A person can have no wisdom, and yet he is 100%human and 100% alive.
In Mysticism, it explains the word Zion as simply an expression for a symbol of the holiness in Jerusalem, while in Hebrew, Jerusalem is an actual description of the great and deep awareness, the physical location offers its inhabitants for G-dliness and spirituality.
Isaiah is foretelling that when a person awakens and connects not just with G-dly symbolism, but with the actual essence, Jerusalem – G-dliness itself, that is how, and that is when, not just wisdom will be revealed, but the actual word of G-d will emanate.
For a relationship to truly succeed, the essence, commitment and obedience must be there. As great as personal achievement is, they are always limited, finite, and fluctuate and that is precisely what differentiates one person from the other.
There is a much deeper part inside every person where there is unconditional love, between parents and children for example, and where there is unreserved sensitivity between people of different back grounds.
In order to enter this bond and relationship with G-d, and with each other, we must awaken and reach deeper inside ourselves. We must be sensitive to what unites us all instead of noticing what makes us different from each other. It is then, that the attachment and relationship becomes an eternal, one.
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