The collective psyche of the people of Israel needs emergency healing. The symptoms we are suffering are clear self destruction. Just as any human being involved in self-destructive behavior must be examined on the psychological level, the collective mind of the nation of Israel needs urgent attention.
Israel was given the Torah, whose wisdom guides her survival. To the extent that the collective soul of the people of Israel is lacking a deep and clear understanding of the wisdom of Torah is the extent to which she suffers from masochistic behavior.
The Jewish people…are connected to all of humanity….
The Torah simply states over and over again that the Land of Israel was given by G‑d to the people of Israel. "And it shall be when you come into the land which the Eternal thy G‑d has given to you for an inheritance." (Deut. 26:1) We were not told to negotiate for the land. Today, however, our own leaders are scheming to expel their fellow Jews from the land we were given by G‑d and hand it over to an enemy that has vowed our total destruction. There is a serious neurological malfunction here reflected in the gap between the Torah and the deranged perceptions of our people.
The Zohar, one of the core books of the Kabbala, states that Israel is the heart of the world and that the Jewish people are the heart of humanity. Yet, we are connected to all of humanity. Our wholeness is for the sake of the entire world. The Kabbala also uses the metaphor of Israel being the brain of the world.
Let's go more deeply into our anatomy. Gaza is part of the land inheritance of the tribe of Judah. Judah was the tribe of kings and according to the Kabbalah he is connected to the right-leg of humanity. The right leg, in the peak of its physical and spiritual functions symbolizes assertion and clarity of where we stand, literally and figuratively.
A healthy right-leg stance reflects a commitment to live according to one's deepest integrity….
A healthy right-leg stance reflects a commitment to live according to one's deepest integrity. Such integrity, which upholds the law of the utmost sensitivity and value of life - all life - is cultivated through the wisdom of the Torah. When our lives are an expression of the deepest values of the Torah, we claim the right for all of us to live on the earthly plane with dignity and sensitivity to human life. But, first Israel needs to claim Judah's eternal inheritance in Gaza. The heart (or brain) must be intact in order to send healthy messages out to the rest of the body of humanity.
Right now, Israel, the heart/brain of humanity, is semi-conscious. She does not know who she really is and why she is really here. In this dark state, Israel is not only amputating her own right leg but the right leg of all of humanity. Not only that, we are giving in to a population of hateful murderers whose venom seethes through the veins of terrorists who are infiltrating the entire globe. The United States, still unconscious from the traumatic message of 9/11, is assisting in enforcing this deadly amputation of the right leg of all of humanity. Instead of addressing the situation appropriately, the U.S. is dealing peripherally with the problem by putting all her aggressions in Iraq.
The Torah says that we are a "nation of priests", a "light unto the nations". The majority of Jews today cringe at this expression and even scoff at the simple words of the Torah. Why do so many of us shun this role and choose to be self defeating, denying our spiritual mandate?
When all of Israel is in their inheritances, all of humanity will be healthy, whole and at peace….
The Torah was given to us in seventy languages at Mt. Sinai. Israel is the people who preserve and carry out its precepts. We are not racists. Jews from all races can and do join our nation of priests. The righteous converts and righteous non-Jews who follow the seven Noahide commandments as prescribed by the Torah remind those of us who carry the birthright that being a Jew is a serious responsibility.
We are commanded to live according to truth expressed through words, paradigms and metaphors that extract the collective psyche of mankind from the destructive "-isms" and philosophies which fragment humankind. The Torah leads us to the ultimate peace (shalom). Indeed, the word "shalom"has the same root in Hebrew as "shlemut", which means "wholeness". When all pieces of the puzzle are in their proper place, when all of our limbs are intact, when all of Israel is in their inheritances, all of humanity will be healthy, whole and at peace.
Until the final redemption, we feel the effects of all of these seven exiles….
Let's now see what the Torah says about the source of our affliction. According to the Arizal, Rabbi Isaac Luria, Israel is passing through seven exiles among the nations. Until the final redemption, we feel the effects of all of these seven exiles. The last two exiles, which we are most strongly experiencing, are that of Edom and Ishmael.
The Arizal teaches that each exile corresponds to a limb of the shadow side of humanity (see "Israel and the Seventy Dimensions of the World: a Kabbalistic approach to an enduring world peace", p. 44). "Edom" corresponds to the shadow side of the right leg of humanity.
Edom inherited by Esau, Jacob's (Israel's) brother originally settled the land south of Judah's inheritance, adjacent to the south of Gaza. Esau has since dispersed and infiltrated the Western culture of Europe and America. Because of Israel's present unconscious state and her subsequent malfunctions, the right foot of humanity's shadow side is exerting its influence and handing Israel over to her enemies. Translated to the political arena, America and Europe are pressing for Israel's amputation.
Although we experience all exiles in varying degrees until the final redemption, we are presently dominated by the last two exiles, that of Edom and Ishmael. Ishmael, the last and most dominating exile, corresponds to the left leg of the shadow side of humanity.
The left leg corresponds to the sefira of hod. In its rectified state, hod is the power to submit to truth. It is the quality of a student to humble himself and receive from a true master. It is the power of the Jewish people to acknowledge G‑d and submit to the teachings of the Torah, rather than egotistically rely on limited logic and reasoning. It is part of the ultimate vision of the prophets, which teach that people from the entire world will come to Israel to receive the light of the Torah.
The disengagement plan of Gush Katif, may it be thwarted today, is a symptom of the victory of both the Edomite and Ishmaelite exile. In order to heal the collective psyche of Israel (the brain/heart of all of humanity) and preserve the integrity of human values and of life itself, we must explore the depths of these last two exiles.
The Torah tells us that Jacob, persuaded by his mother Rebecca, deceptively acquired the blessings that Isaac intended for Esau. In a dramatic episode, Jacob disguised himself as Esau in order to receive his father's blessing and thus carry out the divine mandate.
Deception was the only recourse. After all, Esau was an adulterer murderer and thief, hardly worthy or able to carry G‑d's message out to the world. However deception, even for good intentions, has a price. The Torah teaches us that Jacob was himself later deceived by his father-in-law, Laban who switched his daughter Rachel for his older daughter, Leah, before the marriage. Laban finally agreed to give Rachel to Jacob only after seven additional years of labor. When Jacob finally left Laban with his wives and children he was informed that Esau was heading towards him with 400 men. He decided that he needed to divide his family into two camps.
In the worst-case scenario, if one camp were to be attacked, at least the other one would escape. As he became aware of the necessity to divide his belongings, Jacob cried out to G‑d, "I am diminished [unworthy] of all of the kindness and all the truth that You have done for Your servant." (Gen. 32:10) In the depths of his psyche, Jacob had still not resolved the paradox of being the inheritor of the spiritual mandate and having deceived his brother in order to receive this blessing.
So G‑d sent Jacob the angel of Esau, and they wrestled. In essence, this confrontation was Jacob's struggle with his own conscience. In the end Jacob was victorious and the angel blessed him with the name "Israel", which in Hebrew can be read "Yasher E-l" - meaning "straight with G‑d". Now Jacob knew that through, or in spite of the acts of deception that were necessary for him to go through (although not without consequences as we pointed out how he later became a victim of Laban's deception) he was still straight with G‑d.
Once Jacob clearly understood who he was, Esau accepted him….
At this moment, Jacob, now "Israel", was raised above the paradox that plagued his conscience. Now he fully accepted the truth of the blessing of his divine mandate. After having matured from the burden of guilt of his childhood, Jacob met Esau as a self-assured adult. Thus, the brothers were able to hug each other. Once Jacob clearly understood who he was, Esau accepted him. Once we know who we are as the people of Israel, we will be supported and encouraged to eternally claim our divine - as well as physical - inheritance.
We have fallen from the level of Jacob's transformation to Israel. We still struggle on an unconscious, immature level from the guilt of Jacob stealing the birthright from Esau. This unresolved guilt is expressed in the denial of our being a chosen people who were given the Land of Israel by G‑d as an eternal inheritance.
The majority of Israel does not want to be different, set apart. We let Esau tell us what to do with our land. It's time to rise above the paradox of our unresolved guilt. After all, Esau was a murderer, adulterer and robber. Let's not allow the angel of Esau to be victorious after he was once defeated by Jacob, Israel a man of the greatest conscience.
Let's reveal more of the truth through the Torah. Remember, Esau's angel was successful in injuring Jacob's sciatic nerve. Let's not allow Esau to now help amputate the right leg of Judah, the right-leg and integrity of all mankind. Let's acknowledge G‑d, accept our mandate, and allow ourselves to redeem the integrity of all of humankind.
Let's accept ourselves, even for the sake of our enemies whose hatred is really rooted in resentment towards us for not fulfilling our mission. Let's rise above the paradoxes of this world and beseech G‑d to guide us through this ignorant opposition. Let us be of one mind, saying "no" unilaterally to the destructive disengagement scheme.
Now, let us probe the depths of our unconscious as we look at the Ishmaelite exile. As we review the historic, painful drama between Sarah and Hagar, the mothers of Isaac and Ishmael respectively, we find another paradox. Sarah, the mother of the people of Israel, inheritor of the divine mandate, casts a pregnant Hagar into the desert. Hagar actually miscarries and is told by an angel to submit herself to Sarah, her mistress and return to be her handmaid and resume her ordained role which she had rebelled against. Only after heeding the angel and submitting to Sarah as a student to a teacher, did she conceive Ishmael. The very existence of Ishmael, father of the Arabs, was dependent on his mother's submission to her divinely ordained position as Sarah's handmaid.
However, Hagar's repentance was not complete. Therefore, Ishmael adapted his mother's resentful and rebellious attitude and became a physical and spiritual threat to Isaac. Again, Sarah, the disobeyed teacher, had no recourse but to cast Hagar and Ishmael into the desert.
Sarah and Abraham were the human embodiment of loving-kindness. Their tent was open on four sides, welcoming the endless number of guests who were hungry for physical and spiritual nourishment. Surely Sarah must have struggled with the paradox of her divine role and the necessity to cast Hagar and Ishmael into the desert.
The Torah does not relate a story of Sarah struggling with the angel of Hagar. Sarah lived above that paradox. Through her connection with G‑d, she knew what to do. That is why G‑d told Abraham to listen to the voice of Sarah, essentially saying, "Do not go by your own feelings or logic because there is no answer to the paradox." This is where you are challenged to believe not only in G‑d, but in your own survival and the validation of your own existence.
In order to save the right leg of Israel, Gaza, we must not only reclaim the mature state of our psyche as Jacob did by wrestling with the angel of Esau. We must also reconcile Sarah's casting aside Hagar, her maidservant, her student along with her rebellious son, Ishmael. Sarah went against her own nature of hospitality by casting Hagar and Ishmael into the desert with meager provisions. Let us not disengage Sarah so that we do not disengage ourselves as we buckle under the pressure of Ishmael and Esau. It is up to us to journey into the depths of our collective conscious by re-looking at the Torah and reclaiming our eternal inheritance.
As we wrestle with the angel of Hagar, we must challenge our own ideas of humanitarianism, equality and democracy. If a population, one that justifies suicide bombers, is rapidly growing, do we defend democracy to the death? The only real order is G‑d's Torah. Hagar believed that having a child was her own doing and a sign of her superiority to Sarah, rather than being nothing but a divine gift of grace. Such a mentality breeds a different seed, lacking consciousness of G‑d. The implications are vast and we are all welcome to contemplate our own conclusions.
We are preparing for a total transformation of consciousness that only Israel, governed by the Torah can facilitate. We must clear all the past residue of unresolved guilt for being a separate people, for carrying a divine mandate, for being alive, for having a homeland. As we begin to embrace this process of total reconciliation and self-acceptance, may G‑d redeem us.
Let it be now!!!
Now is the time for each one of us to use our unique, G‑d given talents to contribute to the remedy.