Yeshu’a of Nazareth taught concerning the light of the world i.e., the Torah, and of those who cleave to its teaches and internalize them so that they literally become one with it. They become “Torah in the flesh.” He taught his disciples Torah, the avodas HaShem (service of G-d) etc, but his message went further then just the confines of Israel, they reached the ends of the world, the darkest of places.
During Hanukkah Yeshu’a taught:
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
This light reached the Non-Jewish world – the Nations who themselves are without light and furthest from Kedusha (holiness). They were without direction not knowing left from right (Jonah 4:11). But he who truly follows Yeshu’a teachings separated from the trappings of Rome does not walk in darkness, but enters the spiritual world and receives the spiritual reality.
A spiritual awakening.
From darkness to light.
Those who internalize the teachings of Yeshu’a and learn their inner meanings (found in Torah Judaism) can too becomes full of light and serve the Creator in truth. Yeshu’a tells his true disciples that they are:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” ~ (Matthew 5:14-16)
Putting a basket over a lamp to hide and conceal the light is akin to a wayward life, sin and running from your true purpose – the service of the Creator. In Judaism “good works” as Yeshu’a promoted is idiomatic for the commandments of the Torah. As it is taught in the Talmud:
“Four things must be done with energy, namely, the study of the Torah, good works, praying, and one’s worldly occupation. How do we know this about studying Torah and doing good works? Because it says [Joshua 1:7], ‘Only be strong and very courageous to observe to do according to all the Torah.” ~ (b.Berachot 32b)
Also, the teachings of the Nazarene should be disseminated to others who dwell in darkness in order to bring them to the Creator and His service. This is one of the ways his disciples can stay attached to him (spreading his teachings). His teachings are not meant to be concealed but proclaimed in truth. The gospel of Thomas explains it this way:
“What you hear in your ear, in the other ear proclaim from your rooftops. After all, no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, nor does one put it in a hidden place. Rather, one puts it on a lamp-stand so that all who come and go will see its light” (Thomas 33).
The light of the tzadik is his Torah teachings.
Sparks of Hasidus – The Nations And The Klipos
Kabbalah uses the term Klipa to describe evil. Literally, Klipa means a “peel” or “shell,” as in the peel of a fruit.
An orange will not retain its juice if it does not have such a protective jacket. However when one eats the orange, one discards the peel. The peel is only there to preserve the fruit. The same is true of the existence of evil. Hasidism uses the terminology “inner will” (Pnimiyut HaRatzon), and “external will” (Chitzoniut HaRatzon). When a person goes out to work, he gets involved with all the details of making a living. However, he is engaged only with his external will. His inner desire is to make money in order to do what he really wants. The existence of Klipa stems from the outer will of G‑d, whereas Kedushah (holiness) stems from the inner will of G‑d.
Kabbalah divides everything in this world into either Sitra D’Kedushah (the side of holiness) or Sitra Achra (the side of impurity) – literally meaning “the other side,” or the side of Klipa. There is nothing that is in between – every thought, speech, action, or creation has its source either in Kedushah or Klipa.
Despite being in the lowest of all worlds, man can overcome his animal drives and passions to achieve the Almighty’s purpose in creation. The soul therefore strives to perform true service of G‑d, thereby fulfilling the will of G‑d and creating a Dirah BeTachtonim, an abode for the Divine here in this world. King Solomon in Song of Songs describes this state as “black, but beautiful.” As the soul descends into the bleakness and confusion of this world it realizes that its descent is for the purpose of ascent.
Its descent into the body is dark, yet beautiful in terms of fulfillment of the purpose in creation. From this perspective it follows that the presence of forces of evil pose the greatest challenge in the quest to create a Dirah BeTachtonim. The greater the darkness and the stronger the forces of evil, the brighter is the transformation of that darkness into brilliance. Light from darkness, igniting the divine spark within.
The holy side is the indwelling and extension of the holiness of G‑d that rests only on something that abnegates itself completely to Him, either actually, as in the case of angels above, or potentially as in the case of every Jew (or non-Jews) below who has the capacity to surrender himself completely to G‑d with self-sacrifice. This is what is meant when the Sages proclaim that even when a single individual sits and learns Torah the Shechinah rests on him. However, that which does not surrender to G‑d, but is a separate entity, does not receive its vitality from the inner will of holiness. Rather, vitality is given from “behind its back,” descending degree by degree through myriads of levels through innumerable contractions until the Light is so diminished that it can be compressed and enclosed in a state of exile within that separate thing.
Kabbalah further delineates two distinct types of Klipa: klipa Nogah -literally Klipa that can be illuminated, and Shalosh Klipa Hatmayot—“three totally impure Klipa.” Klipa Nogah can be uplifted and refined, while the only form of reformation or redemption for the three impure Klipa is their destruction.
In the chariot of the prophet Ezekiel, the three unclean Klipot are called “whirlwind,” “great cloud,” and a “blazing fire,” while Klipah Nogah is described as the “translucence [nogah] around it.” From the three impure Klipot flow and derive the souls of all living creatures that are not kosher as well as the existence of all forbidden food in the vegetable kingdom, such as Orlah (the first three year’s fruit of a tree). The existence and vitality of all actions, utterances, and thoughts pertaining to the 365 negative commandments and their offshoots also flows from these Klipot. Everything in the realm of holiness has its opposite in the realm of the profane. Similarly, everything in the physical world has its spiritual counterpart from which it derives its existence and vitality. The Nefesh HaBehamit of the Jew, the souls of the kosher creatures, and the existence and vitality of the entire inanimate and entire vegetable world permissible for consumption, and the existence and vitality of every act, utterance, and thought in mundane matters that contain no forbidden aspect, whether performed for the sake of Heaven or not, all stem from klipah Nogah.
G‑d created “one thing opposite the other.” A Jew is composite of two distinct souls. His Nefesh Elokit, which is comprised of ten soul powers whose source is in the supernal Sefirot, is juxtaposed with the Nefesh HaBehamit, also possessing ten soul powers. The soul powers of the Nefesh Elokit strive for Kedushah and the soul powers of the Nefesh HaBehamit long for Klipah. These two souls vie for control of a person’s thoughts, speech, and action, which are often referred to as “garments” of the soul. A person is constantly faced with a choice to either flood the soul garments with Kedushah or garments of Klipah. If a person allows the Nefesh HaBehamit control of the mind, then the soul garments may be contaminated by the impurities of the animal drive. These impurities are vain and ruin the spirit.
Rectifying the Sparks
When the Vessels of Chaos shattered, 288 sparks “fell” from their level and became embedded in the lower levels of creation. As they fell downwards they broke further into smaller particles. As they continued to fall, they became more numerous and coarser due to their egotistic origin. The more refined sparks were assimilated into Atzilut. The others fell into Beriah or Yetzirah constituting the “evil” (or independent) parts of those levels. The coarsest sparks fell into Assiyah and ultimately created Klipot.
It should be noted that the Shattering of the Vessels was not an accidental flaw in the Divine plan. On the contrary this process allowed for the creation of evil providing man with the exercise of free choice and the challenge to create a Dirah BeTachtonim. Furthermore, hidden sublimely within Kelipah are the original Lights of the World of Chaos. When a person transforms Kelipat Nogah or even the three impure Kelipot through destruction or Teshuvah, he releases those Lights. In every material item there are sparks of holiness that are released when that item is used for the sake of heaven. It could be that certain sparks wait hundreds or even thousands of years for someone to release them. This task is called Birur Nitzoztot, or the “Refining of the Sparks.” (Rabbi Nissan D. Dubov).
The Light Of Mashiach On The Nations
In the last 2,000 years the nations have been refined on several levels but the Sitra Achra (Other Side) fights hard to keep the Nations in darkness and in great confusion. This battle has overwhelmed the Nations for their vessels are not strong enough to contain the glorious light of Torah. Wherever there is a great revelation of G-dliness the Sitra Achra works hard to obscure and confuse the nations of this light. This is what happened with the light of Yeshu’a of Nazareth.
They concealed his light but they were unable to put it out.
The Rebbe of Chabad says of the Nations and their predicament:
“They have no good in them of their own, but there is, in a state of exile within them, G-dly vitality, a spark of the Ten Sefirot… It does not mean they have no good at all, for nothing can exist without a spark of good. But the spark has become distant and darkened to the extent that it is almost evil. They have no sense of G-dliness at all.
When they accept the Seven Noahide Laws and are scrupulous about them, they are the Pious among the Nations. They are no longer of the nations who have no good whatsoever, as explained in Hassidus that the righteous among the nations are derived from the good in klipah Nogah.”
Yeshu’a ben Yosef who is the hidden Mashiach (MBY) is also stuck in the klipah as he is busy retrieving the lost sparks among the Nations. He is said to be by the gates of Rome, outside (exiled) of the community of Israel. And here he suffers greatly as a leper and among lepers with various illnesses. He helps them and alleviates their pain. In the book of Isaiah we read:
“Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah with crimson-stained garments? Who is this robed in splendor, marching in the greatness of His strength? “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why is your clothes red, and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?“ I have trodden the winepress alone, and no one from the nations was with Me. I trampled them in My anger and trod them underfoot in My fury; their blood spattered My garments, and all My clothes were stained. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and the year of My redemption had come. I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled that no one assisted; so My arm brought Me salvation, and My own wrath upheld Me. I trampled down the peoples in my anger; I made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.” ~ (Isaiah 63:1-6 ; see Revelation 19:13)
This above verse from the Navi is a great Sod (secret) and we will inquire of the great masters of the inner secrets of the Torah (Kabbalah). The Ramchal in his work “Secrets of the Redemption” (pg.118 and 119) says:
“I will explain to you a certain sod which is completely sealed, and it concerns what is written, “Who is this who comes from Edom…” (Yeshayahu 63:1). This is the tzaddik and he is the Mashiach ben Yosef.
“Be aware, after the Shechinah rests in its place, the Mashiach ben Yosef will return and his core-root will become strengthened. Then he will go to Batzra and there he will tread on the winepress to extract that which is befitting. We have already explained this sod thoroughly in another place, concerning the verse, ‘And one from Ya’akov will rule’ (Bamidbar 24:19) – one must delve into it. The Shechinah will supervise the avenging of its enemies from where it is – understand this well.”
Going even further and revealing more secrets the colleague of the Ramchal – Rabbi Moshe David Valle explains in more detail what these ‘stained garments‘ which the Mashiach wears.
The Garments of Nogah:
“Just as there is darkness and clouds in this lowly world so too above, and know that there is darkness and clouds that are holy and there are those that are not holy. The darkness is feminine and the clouds are masculine – so too in the unholy realm… The are clothed in the darkness and clouds of holiness and inside is the inner holiness. And this is the sod of what is written, “Behold, I am coming to you on a thick cloud” (Ex.19:9). HaShem rides in on a thick cloud. And just as there are thick clouds of unholiness and they are the sod of male and female – this is from the side of the Samech Mem and the Nachash, and they are the sod of the klipos nogah which contain in them good and bad… this is the sod – that the Mashiach is the one who refines – he will be clothed with it at the end of the refinement. Just as he will be clothed with the rest of the klipos that are completely wicked, and just as he will refine klipos nogah also of its good… then he will finish the refinement completely. And on this it says, “I will have wiped away your willful sins like a thick cloud, the sod of male and female of this side.’ What is written immediately afterwards?, “Return to Me, I will redeem you.” Also this is the sod of what is written in Sefer Daniel, “Terminate transgression to end sin (Daniel 9:24),’ and it is written afterward, “to bring in eternal righteousness…” this is the sod of the Melech Mashiach who is atik which is called ‘eternally righteous’ – for all worlds follow it and he rules over them all. And this thick cloud starts as a garment for the Melech Mashiach as it says, “I clothe heavens in blackness,” he (Mashiach) will come in on this in the end of days, when the refinement is finished… greatness will be restored. And this is the sod of what is written, “With clouds of heaven one like a man came (Daniel 7:13).”
This refinement which Rabbi Moshe David Valle speaks of is happening right now, has been happening for some time. There are ways that we can help with the refinement, aid the Meshichim. Building suitable vessels for the divine wisdom of Torah is a very important way. Vessels which can hold the glorious light of HaShem.
How To Illuminate The Soul Of Man
The level of worlds includes both man’s animal soul (נֶפֶשׁ הַבַּהֲמִית , nefesh habahamit) as well as his native, human intellect – called the intellectual soul (נֶפֶשׁ הַשִּׂכְלִית , nefesh hasichlit). The level of souls comprises man’s Divine soul (נפש האלקית , nefesh ha’elokit).
The Intellectual Soul
“In a seminal article on the nature of the intellectual soul, the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe explains its unique role in bridging the animal and Divine soul. (“Chaveev Adam” in Sefer HaMa’Amarim 5700, pg.95ff):
“The Divine soul is mainly intellectual in nature. Even though it also contains emotions, its essence is intellectual… The animal soul is mainly emotional. Though it also contains intellect, this intellect serves the emotions by understanding what is good for it [the animal soul] and how to attain what it wants, i.e., physical wealth, belongings, honor, prestige, and the like. It also serves to intellectually self-legitimize one’s conduct, not with arguments taken from Torah, but by arguments aimed at illustrating one’s self-merit, etc… The essence of the animal soul is craving. Because it is from the lower parts of nogah, its potency is en-clothed in coarseness and therefore all of its desires and will focus on bodily needs… But, the Supernal intent is that the animal soul be refined and purified, meaning that the power of craving in it be used to serve G-d – through the learning of Torah, the performance of the commandments, and in prayer, the toil of the heart… This refinement is achieved by the Divine soul.
[But, because] the Divine soul and the animal soul are opposites, an intermediate between the two is necessary and this intermediary is the intellectual soul. Though the intellectual soul is also from nogah, it is from the higher states of nogah, i.e., the intellect. And even though this intellect understands physical-natural concepts – e.g., knowing the breakdown of every material, all of its parts, their nature etc., meaning that the knowledge focuses upon the somethingness of the object, not its nothingness – still, it is intellect and it is natural and thus connects the Divine Soul with the animal soul… [By doing so] the intellectual soul severs the animal soul from the evil inclination. Because the intellectual soul is intellect, albeit natural intellect [focusing on nature and the somethingness in nature, as above], its proclivity is to be drawn higher to that which is above [i.e., the Divine soul]. For this reason, the intellectual soul is a vessel ready to receive insight from the intellect and emotions of the Divine soul and these insights are that which the intellectual soul can then clarify and explain to the animal soul.”
The Intellect And Free Will
It follows therefore, that man’s free will depends on his intellectual soul, because truly the only significant choice in life lies between following one’s Divine soul and following the cravings of one’s animal soul. This is indicated in the Torah in the verse that refers to free will: “…I have placed before you life and death, the blessing and the curse, and you shall choose life, so that you and your children shall live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
The Alter Rebbe writes concerning this:
“As it says, ‘You shall choose life…’ For choice is found in the intellect [the intellectual soul] alone – the choice to selecting the good an despising the evil… One must condition one’s intellect to habitually choose life.” ~ (Likutey Torah, Nitzavim 46b-c. For a deeper explanation to this point, see Ma’amarei Admor Ha’emtza’ee Devarim v.3, pg.831-5)