Monday, October 14, 2013

Loosen Your Garb, Reveal Your Essence.

I am in the midst of enjoying a Chassidic discourse titled, “Rosh Hashana 5659”. One of the ideas contained in the discourse which really gets to me is the notion that since something of a parent’s essence is passed onto a child, there can be latent potentials which are not revealed in the parent, but, are revealed in the child. This explains why sometimes a child excels at something that his/her parents can’t accomplish. 

Studying this teaching, reminds me of a dear brother of mine who has an inborn knack for understanding electricity, mechanics, construction and electronics. Neither of my parents (nor anyone else in my family) seem to share his knack. Apparently, it’s a latent capacity contained in the essence of at least one of my parents, if not both.

The notion of reverted back to a more original state to allow for a fresh revelation of latent potentials is probably part of what Shabbat (the Sabbath) is about. The work a day world is a place where we express our potentials which have already been revealed and differentiated into specific skills; which we call, “specialization”.

In contrast, Shabbat is a time when, to a certain extent, we can access once again the original generative potentials latent in our essences or at least something closer to it than on the weekdays. We loosen up from the garb of our worldly roles. This explains so much of what we do and don’t do on the Shabbat.

The boundaries of what can’t be done on Shabbat prevent any movement away from contact with our essences. This way we have a day to bathe in the original forces of our beings (or at least in forces as close as possible to it). 

There are other activities which promote and even deepen the contact. Among them, on the devotional level, is an increase in prayer and Torah study time. Then on the social level, there is an increase in time spent with family, friends and community. There’s also special private time that couples are encouraged to spend baring their essences - to bring down into the earthly realm either new souls and/or new blessings .

All in all, if the day was correctly, we emerge from the Shabbat renewed and refreshed, gleaming with fresh generative powers that can inform our work a day lives or at least prevent us from losing ourselves in it's routines to the point of forgetting whom we are deep down.

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