The Journey of the Soul – Anavah 2
The Journey of the Soul
אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ
A-dnai sifatai tiftach, ufi yagid tehilatecha—
G‑d, open my lips, so that my mouth can declare Your praise
Open up for me an opening like the eye of a needle and in turn I will enlarge it to be an opening through which wagons can enter. Midrash Song of Songs 5.3
Most of us hide our real, authentic selves.
Bereishit (Genesis) 3.10
וַיֹּאמֶר אֶת קֹלְךָ שָׁמַעְתִּי בַּגָּן וָאִירָא כִּי עֵירֹם אָנֹכִי וָאֵחָבֵא
And he said, (Everything from Aleph to Tav) I heard Your Voice in the Garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I HID myself. Bereishit (Genesis) 3.10
After disobeying G-d and eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad, evil became mixed in their souls. Thus the struggle we have in refining our souls is because of this mixture of good and bad within us.
There are times when we act with good and times when we act with evil.
Adam and Chavah were meant to tend the Garden, to find the Sparks of Light that had been shattered and return them to the Ein Sof.
Now, however, Adam (man/woman) not only has to refine the world but Adam (man/woman) has to refine his/her soul.
As stated in part one this Soul Journey has to begin with Anavah (humility).
We can’t fool or disguise true selves if we possess Anavah. We must allow our truest selves to be seen. This requires that we not look at the next step in the Soul’s Journey. That is we must become vigilant.
The concept of vigilance relates to a person’s actions and affairs. He must contemplate and survey his actions and his conduct, to see whether they are good or not, so as not to risk the loss of his soul, Heaven forbid. And he must not pursue his habits thoughtlessly, the way a blind person walks [as] in darkness. The Path of the Just Moshe Chaim Luzzatto Feldheim chapter 2 page 14
Jeremiah cautions us to be vigilant.
Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) 8.6
הִקְשַׁבְתִּי וָאֶשְׁמָע לוֹא כֵן יְדַבֵּרוּ אֵין אִישׁ נִחָם עַל רָעָתוֹ לֵאמֹר מֶה עָשִׂיתִי כֻּלֹּה שָׁב בִּמְרוּצָתָם כְּסוּס שׁוֹטֵף בַּמִּלְחָמָה
I listened and heard, but they have not spoken aright; no man repented of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? Every one turned to his own course, like a horse rushing into the battle: Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) 8.6
We can’t fool G-d if we are only going to make a temporary change in our character. We must be on guard, always vigilant so that we don’t slip back into our old ways.
Being vigilant includes taking stock as it were, taking accounting for our actions each and every day. The people Jeremiah was talking to did not take the time to reflect on their actions and were propelled headlong into sin.
Do we know the GOOD that we should choose? We start with examining, probing our deeds. Actions always speak louder than words. So we should judge our actions to see if they comply with the instructions from the Torah.
Let us search and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord. Eichah (Lamentations) 3.40
Blessings and Peace