Sunday, September 28, 1997

At The Wall

in the closet
truly, completely, all
returning, holding on
trying, nearing
edges edging edges
pivoting over some ever crucial decision, trusting
letting go
yet whole the promise keeping
a mystery of amar, bringing down
even then, even now, in time, ever present
threading through it
to it

we are not alone


In Torah study, a story was told about a monkey. Hunters would drill out a coconut, fill its innards with peanuts, while leaving a hole in the husk just big enough for the monkey to put its hand inside and grasp the peanuts. But the hole was not big enough for it to remove its hand clenching a fistful of peanuts. The coconut, tied tightly to a tree, could not be dislodged by the struggle of the monkey against it. Neither would the monkey drop the peanuts, enabling it to remove its hand. Thus, the monkey was effectively trapped and killed by the hunters.

All because it refused to let go of the immediate good (peanuts, knowledge) for the promised good (life, ultimate redemption).

This monkey story is a story of being able to exit the PaRDeS in peace. The event in my closet in 1967 was the monkey test. Why is it important to let go? I think that the act of letting go is the mechanism through which the Divine Will penetrates into and is enabled to itself act within the mundane physical world directly. It is not so much "going up", nor even all that one can apprehend there in that state (kadmon), that is important. Letting go releases the essential energy which drives unfolding of Divine Will into and within this lowest world. Also, holding on to great knowledge and bringing it down into the rational mind prior to preparation of the mind to receive it (shabbat consciousness) would have been catastrophic to an unprepared mind, which mine was. This "letting go" of knowledge prior to its time represents rectification of the sin of the tree of knowlege.

The monkey test is like the mitzvah of the bird's nest - one can't prepare for it. In 1967, I was six years old, entirely unprepared and unlearned. Yet, I let go. There was no time to think. There was nothing for me to understand in that time. There was only a promise and a question of trust.

Yes or no? Essential bitachon.

An essential mitzvah. A mitzvah of the moment. No time to think. Only to react. And that reaction comes from atzmut, the essence.

As it must.

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