Sunday, November 25, 2012

Vayishlach: Confronting and Defeating our Enemies

Consciousness experiences division as we engage in negative thoughts, emotions and feelings that lead us to negative actions.

“Jacob became very frightened and was distressed; so he divided the people who were with him and the flocks and the cattle and the camels into two camps.” (Genesis 32:8)

We have remarked this situation in our previous commentaries on this portion of the Torah (see in this blog Parshat Vayislach: “Love and Light as Redeemers from Darkness” of November 14, 2010 and Vayishlach: “The Prevalence of Love” of December 4, 2011). This time we emphasize on the consequences of fracturing consciousness by disregarding our permanent connection with the Creator.

The lesson from our father Jacob's distress are twofold. On one side, we must be humble enough to recognize that we are not perfect and negative illusions of the material world can overwhelm us. On the other hand, there are situations that we just can't handle when fear and doubt undermine our wisdom, understanding and knowledge of who we are, including our connection and/or relationship with God. The realm of negative illusions is indeed overwhelming because we actually live in them.

What can we consider “real” in life when most of what we live and experience every day are illusions? Things change as we change our perception and approach to them. This is already part of an illusion as we face the material reality from different levels of consciousness with different approaches. In this sense we have to make a detailed inventory of what we consider true and false.

At this point we discern on right and wrong, useful and useless, positive and negative, etc. and start making the choices that determine what is truly real for us. Real as true, right, positive, constructive and uplifting such as joy, kindness, truth and plenitude, all these in abundance. A place and time in consciousness where there is no lack whatsoever, in which love rules as the material manifestation of God's love.

Let's reflect again on Jacob's situation before meeting his brother Esau. He received God's promise to protect him, met with God's angels in his way, and prevailed over the angel of Esau in a nightlong struggle. Why was he afraid of his brother? We reiterate that the answer is related to entering in the realm of the lower aspects of consciousness, represented by Esau. Approaching Esau implies to come down to situations and circumstances we rather fear. In this context “to fear” means to avoid. Jacob wanted to avoid meeting Esau but he couldn't.

This happens to us when we want to settle in the highest realms of consciousness. At some point we must meet our lower emotions, feelings, passions and instincts not to descend to them and get trapped by them, but to elevate them and transform them into positive expressions of life.

We can't get into Jacob's thoughts at that time, but we can put on his shoes in similar situations we live every day. Some of us rather avoid engaging with negative people or bad situations that we are aware we can't change into a positive outcome. We rather back off and if possible keep away from them, but that is not the way because our mission as Jews is to be the light for the nations. This means to be the redeemers amid the darkness that threatens to end the goodness that life is.

We have to meet Esau, we must confront our enemies and defeat them once and for all. We can't afford to dwell and cohabit with what undermines our principles as love's ways and attributes. As we said earlier, we are aware that these enemies can be overwhelming, but if God's Love sustains our love, what could be against? As we are fully aware of this, we don't have to fear or avoid that which denies and harms the goodness of who we are.

We must ask ourselves in honesty and truth if we are ready to confront and subdue the negative traits that have the potential to destroy Love's ways and attributes. Should we rather appease them by feeding them with ox, ships, goats, donkeys and camels as Jacob did with Esau? Or should we confront them with angels as the ways of good deeds and actions that all aspects of consciousness must manifest in life?

Our approach to what Esau represents is either to redirect his approach towards a positive end, or to vanish him as the mortal enemy who wants to destroy us. Let's be aware that our enemies dwell both within our consciousness and, as a consequence of this, also outside in the world.

In our current times we are again confronted by Esau's threat to kill us. Israel is surrounded by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists that want to destroy us because Israel's values represent the opposite to their principles. History repeats itself time and again against us, and we don't need to sacrifice more Jewish lives to appease our enemies.

Millions have already being sacrificed throughout history, and the lessons are fully learned: Never again! If our enemies want to destroy us, we are ready to destroy them before they strike. God is on our side, we have His blessings since He blessed our forefathers. Now we have to make God's blessings manifest by unequivocally being and doing who we are as the people of His covenant. We are the good guys, we know this, and the whole world also knows it.  

The moment is now and the place is where we are to confront the negative aspects of consciousness that pursue our destruction. It's either them, or our permanent awareness of God's love as our essence and true identity. It is about who we really are, or the negative illusions in which our enemies live.

Let's be fully aware that we are ready now to confront and defeat our enemies both within ourselves and in the world.

“Shall I not in that day, says the Lord, destroy wise men from Edom and discernment from the mountain of Esau? And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O dwellers of the south land, in order that every man be cut off from the mountain of Esau by slaughter. Because of the violence of your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever.” (Obadiah 1:8-10)

“And the house of Jacob shall be fire and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau shall become stubble, and they shall ignite them and consume them, and the house of Esau shall have no survivors, for the Lord has spoken.” (1:18)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Vayeitzei: Living in the House of God

The Torah continues indicating with new situations and circumstances that, in order to connect with our Creator, we must integrate our consciousness.

“And he [Jacob] arrived at the place and lodged there because the sun had set, and he took of the stones of the place and placed them at [lit. of] his head, and he lay down in that place.” (Genesis 28:11)

Our Jewish oral tradition and sages refer to the stones with different meanings, ranging from protecting Jacob from the wild animals around to symbolizing his children, and also to mark the place where the Temple of Jerusalem was going to be built. In a deeper meaning, they also represent the material aspects of life that we gather together in order to serve God.

The literal meaning of placing the stones of his head leads to understand that they too correspond to traits, qualities and characteristics inherent to discernment, thought, emotions, feelings, passion and instinct.

In this context, we have to gather them together in order to introduce ourselves as a unified functioning consciousness before God. In this wholesomeness and completeness we conduct ourselves toward fulfilling the destiny that God offers us in the material world.

This is the place where we either stand or lay down in our consciousness. In this sense, these stones are also the potentially positive and building qualities represented by the Jewish tribes, with which the children of Israel build the Temple of Jerusalem as the permanent connecting time and space with God.

(...) the land upon which you are lying to you I will give it, and to your seed.” (29:13)

The land as the awareness of our permanent bond with God.

“And behold, I am with you, and I will guard you wherever you go (...)” (29:15)

Certainly we must make this awareness permanent as real as it is.

Most of the time we live unaware that God is the reason and meaning of all that exists, for we are captive under to the illusions as dreams that separate us from our essence and true identity.

“And Jacob awakened from his sleep, and he said, 'Indeed, the Lord is in this place, and I did not know [it]'.” (29:16)

Jacob's words want to remind us that we have to know who we are and our purpose in this world. In order to achieve this permanent awareness we have to unify all aspects, levels and dimensions of consciousness. These are the “stones” that are “at” or “of” our head that we gather (“take”) at the “place” where we unite with God. In this process we turn these stones into a single one.

“(...) and he took the stone that he had placed at his head, and he set it up as a monument, and he poured oil on top of it.” (29:18)

The Torah clearly tells us that the stones became one after Jacob's dream.

The lesson is repeated again to teach us that, in order to come to God's house as the permanent bond with Him, we have to unify and harmonize our consciousness. We do it through love as the material manifestation of God's love, for the purpose of love's ways and attributes as the means to fulfill God's will.

“And he named the place Bet-El, but Luz was originally the name of the city.” (29:19)

Interestingly, luz means light in Spanish and indeed there is true light in the house of God! Our father Jacob called it by the real meaning of light as the place where the Creator dwells.

The Torah refers to it as “the name of the city”. As we have pointed out in this blog, our mystic sages teach that cities symbolize principles, values and fundamentals in which consciousness directs its expression. Hence light/love as the awareness of God's love within us is the keystone/cornerstone that unites all aspects and dimensions of consciousness, where we “pour oil” as knowledge to light up our conscious connection with God.

We build our entire existence on this permanent awareness where we establish and recognize our eternal bond with God.

“And Jacob uttered a vow, saying, 'If God will be with me, and He will guard me on this way, upon which I am going, and He will give me bread to eat and a garment to wear; and if I return in peace to my father's house, and the Lord will be my God.” (29:20-21)

In this bond we realize that God is our shield against the illusion of ego's insatiable belief and feeling of lack.

Love always satiates our hunger and thirst of its ways and attributes because love is the true sustenance of all aspects of consciousness. Love generates the bread to eat and the garment to wear. Thus we return to our true identity, the essence from which we are born, “my father's house”.

In this functioning united and harmonized consciousness the Lord is my God, the reason, the meaning and the purpose of life.

This is the unified consciousness that becomes one stone where we are completely aware that all comes from God and is sustained by His love. Here we truly know that all we are, have and do belong to God, therefore we “give” it back to Him. This is a timeless and eternal space when and where we live in God's place.

This is the fundamental stone on which the structure of our life is built upon. This is the temple where we fully experience love as our common bond with God's love.

“Then this stone, which I have placed as a monument, shall be a house of God, and everything that You give me, I will surely tithe [back] to You'.” (29:22)

This awareness is “the ladder” that connects our love with God's love. We said before about this portion of the Torah (see in our blog our commentary on Vayeitzei: “The House of God's love” of November 27, 2011) that the angels who descend and ascend through this ladder represent the blessings of God's love for us as the angels that descend, and our good deeds motivated by God's ways and attributes (God's love manifest in the material world) are the angels that ascend back to Him.

This is indeed the dynamics of our relationship with Him. God loves us in order to make us aware that His love is our essence and true identity, so we manifest who we really are as loving creatures. As we realize this truth, we begin to fulfill our purpose in life as His will.

Our father Jacob teaches us that we go out (vayeitzei) from the awareness of who we are as creatures of God's love into the world where we encounter material fantasies and illusions that darken the real meaning and purpose of life.

As long as we have a clear and unquestionable awareness of love's ways as the light that dissipates the darkness of ego's separatist agenda, we have nothing to doubt, disbelieve or fear, because we know that God's love sustains our love.

Again, let's bear always in mind, heart and soul that as long as we discern, think, feel, sense, speak and act in, with and for love's sake we are not only being who we really are but also fulfilling God's ways and attributes as His will in His creation. Let's be love to transform that which is different from its attributes, that which separates from what we truly are.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Toldot: Sowing in the Unity of Love

In previous commentaries on this portion of the Torah we referred to the endeavor of integrating all aspects of consciousness in a harmonized and functioning unity. This is the underlying and resounding message of Toldot from beginning to end.

And Isaac prayed to the Lord opposite his wife because she was barren, and the Lord accepted his prayer, and Rebecca his wife conceived.” (Genesis 25:21)

This is another dimension of the unity we discussed earlier. Isaac and Rebecca prayed together and united in order to relate and communicate with their Creator, from whom all comes. We also mentioned in one of our videos in Spanish ( that prayer is the means to connect and unite with God. Through prayer we allow Him to nurture all dimensions of consciousness and guide them into His service, which is to manifest His presence as the blessing of His love in the material world.

We also said that Isaac and Rebecca represent two aspects of Israel's identity. Isaac is the spiritual expression as the bond with God, and Rebecca is the material expression of this bond. They both are a harmonized and functioning unity that God hears and accepts as part of our bond with Him.

In this unified awareness we reveal light out of darkness as Isaac did by digging deep into the darkness of the material world to find the living waters that nurture us to manifest the goodness of God's blessings.

“And Isaac again dug the wells of water which they had dug in the days of his father Abraham, and the Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham's death; and he gave them names like the names that his father had given them. And Isaac's servants dug in the valley, and they found there a well of living waters.” (26:18-19)

In this process the darkness of ego's desires, fantasies and illusions look forward to feed themselves with the Source of all life.

“And the shepherds of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's shepherds, saying, 'The water is ours'; so he named the well Esek, because they had contended with him. And they dug another well, and they quarreled about it also; so he named it Sitnah.” (26:20-21)

The Torah tells us that there were “contending” and “quarreling” as confrontation of opposed principles. However, these two quarrels ended with a third well dug by Isaac.

“And he moved away from there, and he dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it Rehobot, and he said, 'For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land'.” (26:22)

Our sages explain that the first two wells represent the destruction of the first and second temples of Jerusalem, and the third well represents the construction of third and final Temple.

This construction takes place “away from there” where dispute, quarrel and harassment dwell. We often quote our sages on this issue, saying that the first temple was destroyed due to idolatry, incest and murder; the second temple destroyed by uncalled for hatred; and the third temple will be built on uncalled for love.

We equate this to what king David and our sages say regarding the world: “the world is built on loving kindness” (Psalms 89:2) and “The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of God, and deeds of loving kindness” (Pirkei Avot 1:2), because the Torah instructs us to serve God with loving kindness.

Love is the room that God made for us, and in its ways and attributes we become fruitful and multiply. Love is the land where we expand the positive aspects of our consciousness. This is the eternal dimension of the third temple of Jerusalem that we all build by truly loving each other as the Torah commands us.

Sooner or later our discernment and common sense lead us to the truth of love's ways and attributes. It may take us ages and countless lifetimes, but we eventually will get there because love endures and transcends ego's materialistic desires and fantasies.

At one point we come to realize that ego's sense of lack is the worst of all illusions derived from the biggest of all: the false belief that we are separated from God's love.

“And Isaac said to them, 'Why have you come to me, since you hate me, and you sent me away from you'? And they said, 'We have seen that the Lord was with you; so we said: Let there now be an oath between us, between ourselves and you, and let us form a covenant with you'.” (26:27-28)

In this awareness we reconcile all aspects of consciousness and put and end to the quarrels and disputes, because we let love be the natural guide and conductor of our life. One of our father Isaac's legacy for us is to dig wells, to penetrate deep in every level of consciousness and bring up the waters that sustain life, love as our essence and true identity.

Yes, there is only one light, and only one love, which is God's love, and we have to reveal it whenever and wherever is concealed in the darkness of that which denies His ways and attributes.

Let's be aware that both Jacob and Esau were conceived together in the womb of one mother who also represents Israel, the bearer of the material manifestation of God's love.

Let's recall this.

“And redeemers shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord's.” (Obadiah 1:21)

“The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day the Lord will be one, and His name one.” (Zachariah 14:9)

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)

The glory of God is His love.

We have to rectify and reorient the lower and negative aspects of consciousness represented by Esau, the “nations”, “peoples”, “kings”, “rulers” and “princes” that keep us in the darkness of ego's fantasies and illusions. These are beliefs, ideas, addictions, habits, and behavior patterns that don't allow us to be free to embrace love's ways, means and attributes.

Our individual and collective redemption begins when our discernment and common sense lead us to enthrone Love as the true ruler of all aspects of life. Love is the fire that transforms and transmutes the negative into positive, false into true, wrong into right, bad into good, wickedness into righteousness. Through its ways and means, love purifies and unifies the revealed and non revealed light from which God created us.

The Torah tells us that God was with our patriarchs, and the peoples of their time also gave testimony of this. Goodness was with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the land that God gave them as an eternal heritage, the land where Isaac sowed.

And Isaac sowed in that land, and he found in that year a hundred fold, and the Lord blessed him. And the man became great, and he grew constantly greater until he had grown very great.” (Genesis 26:12-13)

Our land is love as the material manifestation of God's love, where He bestows His blessings on us when we are and do His ways and emulate His attributes. Love is what makes us great, and makes us grow constantly greater to keep expanding its ways over the entire world.

Thus we discover and reveal that “the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Chayei Sarah: Loving Kindness and Truth

We have said many times in this blog that God is the blessing because all blessings come from Him. This portion of the Torah is indeed about blessings. The lives of Sarah and Abraham are a blessing to humankind because their legacy is about loving kindness and truth.

Blessed is the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His loving kindness and His truth from my master.” (Genesis 24:27)

They set up for humankind the ways and means in which God relates to His entire Creation. They lived by being and doing His ways and attributes. Let's recall that God is “abundant in loving kindness and truth” (Exodus 34:6) and The world is built on loving kindness” (Psalms 89:2).

Thus we assimilate that everything that exists is an emanation of God, and sustained by His love. This is His blessing, the greatest Love of all. Thus we understand the meaning of “(...) and the Lord had blessed Abraham in everything.” (Genesis 24:1) because loving kindness and truth are God's blessings for us to become and manifest (see in this blog our commentary on Parshat Chayei Sarah: “Life as Divine Service” of October 24, 2010).

Our sages explain the meanings of the verses in the Torah related to God's blessings to our Patriarchs, “in everything” for Abraham, “from everything” for Isaac, and “with everything” for Jacob. God blesses us “in everything” when all we do is a blessing, meaning that our life is guided and directed to be and do goodness in what we discern, think, believe, feel, speak and do. This level of consciousness is personified by Abraham and Sarah.

We are blessed “from everything” when we are wise enough to turn whatever happens to us, either wrong or negative, into something good and positive for our benefit and the benefit of others. This awareness, represented by Isaac, requires the absolute belief and trust that everything serves a purpose we must direct to fulfill God's will.

We do it for our individual and collective well being. We must not understand this approach as making negative situations acceptable and permissible. All the way around. The idea is to correct and redirect negative actions into positive and uplifting steps towards goodness. We do something good from (out of) everything.

We are blessed by God “with everything” when we realize that what we are, have and do (all with which we can exist) come from Him. Hence we give because what we give comes from God's love, which is endless. This fundamental principle removes any belief or feeling of lack from our consciousness, and bring us to the highest awareness that we belong to God.

Once we fully assimilate this truth, we realize that we don't lack anything because what we are already contains all we need, want and desire, which is God's love. That with which we are, that with which we are made has everything that our imagination can't qualify or quantify. This utmost awareness is represented by Jacob.

We as Israel fulfill our destiny when we are totally aware of the scope of the ways God blesses us in everything, from everything, and with everything. Let's always keep this awareness in all levels of consciousness.

Again, the Torah reminds us not to tamper God's blessing, love as the material manifestation of His love, with anything different from His ways and attributes.

And I [Abraham] will adjure you by the Lord, the God of the Heaven and the God of the Earth, that you will not take a wife for my son [Isaac] from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose midst I dwell.” (24:3).

Our sages also direct us not to pollute our essence and true identity with the negative traits and tendencies of the lower aspects of consciousness, represented by the Canaanite nations (see in this blog our commentary on Chayei Sarah: “The Jewish Identity” of November 13, 2011).

We must be clear, determined and inflexible on this issue as Sarah was when she asked Abraham to expel Hagar and her son Ismael from their home.

Drive out this handmaid and her son, for the son of this handmaid shall not inherit with my son, with Isaac.” (21:10)

It's not enough to discern the differences between blessing and curse, positive and negative, right and wrong, false and true, loving ways and evil ways. We have to make the good choices to become the goodness of God's blessing. Likewise, it is not enough to know His will and commandments, as well as the prophecies in the Torah and the Hebrew Bible.

We must do everything in our reach to fulfill them all. This we learn throughout our history, including the episode cited in the haftarah for this portion.

There was the will of God to make Solomon the sole heir of king David, this as the promise made by David to his wife Batsheva, and also a prophecy by Nathan in this regard. There was a point in which this may not have happened. Therefore Batsheva and Nathan the Prophet did what was needed to fulfill God's will, David's promise, and Nathan's prophecy. King David also did his part.

Indeed, as I [David] swore to you [Bat Sheva] by the Lord God of Israel saying, 'Surely Solomon, your son, shall reign after me and he shall sit on my throne in my stead' surely, so will I do this day.” (I Kings 1:30)

God gave us free will to make our choices. He gave us the options and references to choose from. He also gave us the instruction (His Torah and commandments) to make the right choices by choosing the blessings and not the curses. In the blessings we delight in the goodness of love's ways and attributes as the material manifestation of of God's love.

The blessings of love are our redemption, our true freedom from the curses of ego's fantasies and illusions, and negative trends and traits. Love is our common bond with God's love, and as long as we walk in His ways and attributes, there are no illusions that separate us from Him.

From the Book's Foreword

Let's reexamine our ancestral memory, intellect, feelings, emotions and passions. Let's wake them up to our true Essence. Let us engage in the delightful awareness of Love as the Essence of G-d. The way this book is written is to reaffirm and reiterate its purpose, so it presents its message and content in a recurrent way. This is exactly its purpose, to restate the same Truth originally proclaimed by our Holy Scriptures, Prophets and Sages. Our purpose is to firmly enthrone G-d's Love in all dimensions of our consciousness, and by doing it we will fulfill His Promise that He may dwell with us on Earth forever. Let's discover together the hidden message of our ancient Scriptures and Sages. In that journey, let's realize Love as our Divine Essence, what we call in this book the revealed Light of Redemption in the Messianic era.