In the following passage found in the Zohar Acharei-Mot Section 4:30
“And Hashem said to Moses, Speak to Aaron your brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place” (Vayikra 16:2).
The admonition to only enter the holy of holies at certain times comes after Aaron has experienced the loss of his sons Nadab and Abihu who perished after bearing strange fire within the holy of holies.
This is an allegory that speaks about approaching the center of your connection to Hashem within. That connection lifts us up and yet even as it calls to us it admonishes us to assume a very definite watchful state of consciousness. This watchful state of mind has been called awe and fear.
Tehilim 22: 24 ‘Ye that fear the LORD, praise Him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify Him;
and stand in awe of Him, all ye the seed of Israel.
Any other state of mind will bring about the nullification of that exalted state leading to an imperfect connection. In a sense what brings about the death of higher mind is dwelling upon the ego- which is by definitions a ‘for the self alone’ kind of thinking that cuts off the connection above. The sense of awe and fear correctly orients consciousness to its place of connection as the psalm above states, ‘glorify him, stand in awe of him.’
The Zohar Acharei-Mot 4:30 continues…
Rabbi Shimon said, “All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full…” (Kohelet 1:7).
What Rabbi Shimon is talking about are the thoughts that we have and how those thoughts reflect our connection to Hashem. If we pay attention to those thoughts from above we may do as Hashem reflects what is right for us in our lives. We receive blessings filled to overflowing and yet if we do not listen they simply pass us by. This is the meaning of ‘the sea is not full’ since these blessings are continuous we need only look to reflect them.
Continuing… ‘Rabbi Shimon said: I wonder about people, that they have no eyes to see, no heart to observe, they do not know, or pay attention to the wishes of their Master. How asleep they are and do not awaken before the day will come when thick darkness will cover them; the owner of the deposit will demand his due accounting from them.’
Hashem is continuously bringing the world into being and as an integral of that world we are called upon to recognize the miraculous nature of this creation by praise, mitzvoth, prayer and Torah study. All of these are ways to increase our awareness of what is happening there in front of our eyes all the time.
Those who are oblivious to the nature of the universe will one day face that ‘thick darkness’ that Rabbi Shimon speaks of. It is the darkness of illusion placed there instead of the recognition of Hashem throughout everything. Every admonition that is given in Acharei Mot is for the purpose of instilling this mindfulness of holiness. Every task no matter how seemingly insignificant must be infused with this holiness. When this occurs we become aware of Hashem continuously even as all things are coming into being.
This is again reiterated in the second part of this week’s double portion Acharei Mot-Kedoshim where it states:
Leviticus 19: 2. Speak to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, You shall be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.
Hashem is already here in our lives. Look up and reflect. Be mindful and feel that certainty-presence and become as you were made to be. Be holy…
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