Experiential Connection: -3 components of True Experience

parsha relationships May 27, 2018

By: Rabbi Amichai Cohen

On this past Shabbat we read Parashat Naso, the longest of the 53 portions (Parshiot) of the Torah.

Each Shabbat incorporates the energy of the next week, as well as the “elevation” of the previous week.

That means that that Parshat Naso has within it the elevation of Shavuot, the monumental day of the giving of the Torah.

Even more powerfully, the 7 days after Shavuot are connected to Shavuot. During Temple times sacrifices which were missed can be brought during these 7 days.

On a spiritual level this refers to any level of elevation which was not achieved during Shavuot can be made up during these 7 days.

What is Shavuot all about anyways and what is theTorah?

Experiential Connection

The book of Song of Songs written by King Solomon is a book of love expressing the intimate connection which the husband has for his wife on an external level. On a deeper level, the book is a deep expression of love between G-d and the Jewish people. G-d is called the groom and the Jewish people are called the bride.

Attraction

One of the verses in the book which expresses the deepest of connections as well as the connection achieved on Mount Sinai on Shavuot is “…״משכני אחריך נרוצה הביאני המלך חדריו- “Draw me, we will run; the king has brought me into his chambers…”.

Just like in any relationship, there is first the initial attraction which “draws” one towards their mate, so too on a spiritual level there is a natural attraction which the soul has with the Creator. The soul is natural swayed and pulled towards it’s divine source.

Passion

Going beyond the initial attraction is not enough, there then needs to be chemistry. Conversation has to be flowing, positive vibes emanating, and passion building. Passion and fire are very tribal, they are at the core of our animal selves. They are key components for the experience of love to be embodied and experienced. On a spiritual level the animal within us is the animal soul, which although can be base and coarse is a necessary partner of the refined G-dly soul.

Angels are called “holy animals” which as Ezekiel puts it “carry the throne” of G-d, in his Kabbalistic prophecy of the Merkava (the chariot). Chassidus explains that the angelic love comes from pure emotion which is why they become obliterated and enraptured with fire as they are consumed by passion for G-d. Meditation in prayer on the angelic love awakens the animal soul’s latent selfless love for the Creator.

Unity

In fact, as preparation for the Shema and the unification of G-d’s unity we meditate on this concept of the angels. In order to come to the realization of how everything is one, we must first awaken the holy animal, which operates together with the G-dly soul. The animal soul ignites the passion within the G-dly soul and raises both to a state of divine ecstasy- “the king has brought me into his chambers”. The relationship is now forged and the couple are now united by a love of both mind and heart, initial attraction and passion.

It is important to note that we are first guided and drawn by the mind or G-dly soul and then eventually joined by the passion of the animal soul. When we “run” after someone or something  before thinking about it first we can get “burned” by the consequences of our actions.

Chamber

In Hebrew, chamber translates as Cheder- חדר, an acronym for Chesed- kindness, Din- strength, Rachamim- mercy, a combination of the 3 emotional powers. In other words, our innermost chamber is a combination of opposites. By merging our opposing components,  the will of the G-dly soul and the will of the animal soul unite, and we experience the thunder and lightning of the experiencing of the Torah.

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