February 17, 2018


Parashat Masei takes place during the time frame of “Bein HaMetsarim”, and is one of the few parashot in the Torah that does not have commentary in the Zohar. The secret and energy underlying this parasha, however, is very powerful. This parasha is the last in the book of BaMidbar and the Torah, and is the culmination of the story of Moses and the people of Israel.

The “Ohev Yisrael” (the Apta Rav) has written a long essay on parashat Masei, illustrating that it represents a summary of the forty-two journeys of the Israelites from the time they left Egypt until they entered the land of Israel.

The article begins with the spiritual awakening and understanding of our purpose in life; those times we ask ourselves why are we here and what is our purpose; those times we suddenly awaken and realize that there is something bigger than the enslavement that we are subject to by external, unfamiliar forces, by the pursuit of love and approval from others, fear of others, financial security, health, etc. We are occupied with the outside rather than with our growth and the understanding that as far as others are concerned, the path of unconditional love is the only way to connect with the energy of the Einsof (The Endless) of the Creator and to the “Ets HaHaim” (Tree of Life).

The “Ohev Yisrael” explains that every emotion we have and everything that happens is good and comes from a source that is good, albeit, covered with many layers of negativity. It is up to us to refine this power and raise it and reconnect it to the Upper Worlds, to its source, to the good. This means that all the materialism in this world is a succession of spiritual energies that have descended from above. Each time we ask ourselves, what we are doing here, why are we stuck in this job, in this relationship, etc., is a sign for us that there are sparks that it behooves us to elevate.

The Kabbalists explain that following his sin, Adam disintegrated into many sparks that were separated from one another, and that we are now on an expedition to search for them and return them home. This journey began on the exodus from Egypt, when the propelling force was “The Name of 42 Letters” (known as “Ana BeKoah). This is a combination of 42 letters that have the power to awaken us, to elevate us whenever in life we feel that we are in a bad place, and lift our sparks upwards.

We are now at the peak days of “Bein HaMeitsarim”, regarded as one of the most difficult times, but it is at this occasion that we are imbued with the power of the journey, as in parashat Masei, the power of the Name of 42 Letters, whose purpose it is to help us on our personal voyage, to gather our lost sparks and lift them upwards until we reach another place where a new journey begins. All these are the journey of life, and it is when we are not going anywhere that we become stressed in our limitations.

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