Contact Us
If things were so comfy in the womb, what are you celebrating?

KabbalaToons: Happy Birthday!

KabbalaToons: Happy Birthday!

 Email
Autoplay

KabbalaToons: Happy Birthday!

If things were so comfy in the womb, what are you celebrating?
Birthday

Quick: Tell me something you can give the world that doesn’t come from your genes, your parents, your teachers, your friends, your society, your nature or your nurture.

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? That’s what the world would like you to think. The world wants you to think that nothing comes out of a human being that it didn’t put in there to begin with.

And the world lies. When you emerged from that birth canal, something emerged that never existed before, something that originates only in you and exclusively in you. With your arrival came a vision of the world, not as it is, but as it should be. And the meaning of your life is to make it that way.

Not a talent, not a personality trait, not an aptitude or acuity. A vision. And the success of that vision depends on your faith in it. Because if you don’t have faith in it, no one else will.

The world is going to be hostile to that vision. And yet more hostile to your faith in it. Why? Because the world resists change, and this vision is the only force that can effect real change.

Your talents—the world planted those within you and is happy to reap its due rewards. Your personality—without vision, it is nothing more than a benign interface with the world around you, your compromise with its demands. Even your intellect can only begin with what is and continue from there.

But your sense of what is wrong with the world, your indignation, your vision of how things must be—that’s not an effect, but a cause; not a movement, but a mover; not a result, but a primal origin. It is not from the world or of the world. It enters from far beyond. It changes everything.

Which means you’re going to need a faith in that vision that can overpower the entire world.

We call that vision chochmah חכמה, translated as wisdom. The faith, we call emunah אמונה.

Chochmah reassembles. It scans the fragments of a shattered world and sees the whole they are meant to be. It finds illness and sees what must be healed. It hears the dissonance of a myriad of disparate voices and knows that there is harmony awaiting it here. It tells the world, “This is not right. This is unjust. No, this is not what you were created to be!” And then it propels you to stand up and do what only you can do.

Emunah doesn’t move. It does not react. It does not change, or decay. It cannot be diminished or tainted. The noise that blocks its signal affect it as much as clouds affect the sun. It’s origin is at the core of your soul, the place where everything begins—there is nothing before it that caused it to be. Emunah believes in chochmah, for chochmah was conceived in its womb, in that place beyond change. And so it nurtures chochmah, and chochmah returns it that favor, for it is through chochmah that emunah is channeled into being.

Without your Chochmah and without the Emunah that breathes within it, you might as well be another billiard ball moving by Newton’s laws of motion, an artifact of your environment. It is they that render you its master. They are you, and you are them, and without them you might as well not exist. If not for emunah, all of us would be redundant, humanity would be flat, the materialists, the nihilists and the determinists would be right. We might as well all be data processing machines made out of meat and bones.

Your vision makes you relevant. Your faith in it makes you real.

The Jewish People was born as well, and with its birth a vision entered into the world, and a faith in that vision. Every Jew shares in that vision, each with his or her unique perspective, entirely original in its own right, and of vital importance to the whole—because the repair of the entire world depends on each Jew taking care of his or her share. Collectively, we have clutched unyieldingly to that vision, through every taunt and enticement, threat and danger, even when the apparent facts of experience contradicted all we believed, until we were proven right after all. With that faith, we have succeeded in transforming the world beyond belief, and with that faith we will bring it to its ultimate completion.

You too, must hold your vision tight. If you do not have faith in it, no one else will. And with it, you will change the world.

Written and conceived by Tzvi Freeman. Rabbi Freeman is available for public speaking and workshops. Read more on his bio page.
Music by The Piamentas
Rabbi Infinity played by Andrew Torres
Animation and SFX by Pilar Newton of Pilar Toons
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
4 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Anonymous August 19, 2012

Miri is very happy about birthdays, but just because your birthday is exciting, do you have a guarantee that your soul is happy to? Don't you think that your soul was more excited while it was in the pre luxury house inside the womb? Don't you think that.... oh, looks like Miri needs some help with some more lessons. Stay tuned for more episodes! Reply

Anonymous Athens, Greece August 19, 2012

Thank you for the particular article, Rabbi Freeman, as you discuss in it "chochmah חכמה" and there's a question - a little bit out of context - that I'd like to ask you regarding this concept.

Could you please clarify the correlation between the two following statements:
("החכמה היא "יש מאין" והבינה היא "יש מיש) and ( "ראשית חכמה קנה חכמה
ובכל קנינך קנה בינה")?

While it's obvious that we pay the school/college fees trying to transform the received from "מאין" the provided by G-d "חכמה" to "בינה understanding", how could "חכמה" be bought by us, human beings, if its origin/source is "יש מאין"?

What's a specific interpretation for "קנה חכמה"? Reply

Luzer Hakeller L.A, U.S.A August 14, 2012

WOW I love this. Reply

A tennant, planet earth Christian island, ON August 14, 2012

To Make Torah our own! Bravo, R. Infinity.

thanks for this excellent explanation of how the soul arrives to its' earthly destination, in its designated incarnation.

:) this is fabulous teaching for children!

... sometimes i think that perhaps another meaning of intoning the modeh ani is also for this purpose, not just to be grateful, but to again 'make safe' the space in between: our world with its' materiality and the higher world(s) of Light.

Much thanks also for highlighting our job to cultivate a positive vision - knowledge of the higher world - with the practicality of the lower world, thru prayer, study & mitzvah.

Good opening to the month of elul, i think.
Toda Rabba, very much!! Reply

What is a Jewish birthday? ... What happened on your birthday? ... How to celebrate your Jewish birthday... Jewish birthday calculator...
Related Topics


Enter your date of birth and
we'll tell you