This week's parsha, Vayetze, is one of those which reveals critical information for Jews as well as Noahidim, which is to say, for non-Jews who join us in the worship and service of HaShem.
Our Likutey Moharan reading this week begins with the explanation of how the Infinite and Omnipresent Light of Ain Soph was restricted in order that humans, in particular, would be capable of conceiving the Light that emanates from the Supernal Being or Ain Soph.
It is because of this Willingness to share the Glorious Presence (which we conceive as the feminine Shekhinah and the masculine Ruach HaKodesh) with the creation, that we relate to the Holy One as our Beloved – as Shlomo HaMelech describes so beautifully in his Shir Hashirim or Song of Songs. There the Shulamite maiden, representing the Jews, speaks with the Beloved of their mutual love and desire. We read this book each Pesach, but for now notice the intimacy it reveals. There is no reference here to Halachic rulings nor ritualized observances; there is only the intimate exchanges of two Lovers, G-d and His people.
The others ask:
"Where has your beloved gone, O fairest of women? Where has your beloved turned? Let us seek him with you."
These can be thought as the Noahidim and other righteous Gentiles who also desire the Beloved. To them the Israelite maiden replies:
"My Beloved has gone down to His garden [which is to say, into the material realms], to the beds of spices [or less poetically, where the prayers and deeds of the tzadikim produce a pleasing aroma], to browse in the gardens and to pick the lilies [or those who have matured their emunah and Love and have no need to return to this material world until the Olam Haba].
"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine; He browses among the lilies.
Humanity is likened the 'flowers' growing in His material Garden and the tzadikim, the truly righteous lovers of G-d are the lilies He especially enjoys and desires.
Let's read from Likutey Moharan, book 1, lesson #49, section 1.
What is the pleasing aroma of the tzadikim that the Beloved so desires? From where does this celestial fragrance arise? It is LOVE and LOVE arises from the 'heart', from the human consciousness. When we are motivated by the divine love that is within us and wisely choose between yetzer hara and yetzer hatov in order to please our Beloved, then we are likened to the lilies that grow within His Garden.
What are we and why should we be granted this amazing transcendental opportunity? It is only because HaShem is our Beloved and we are His! In a word: LOVE.
As the Rebbe notes here, “The revelation of His Kingship is only possible through the Attributes the Creator manifests outwardly into the Void of Creation. As the song Adon Olam says, Our Beloved created everything that exists, but only after He created humans was He acknowledge as King. See this?
Yes, we need the Beloved but He 'needs' us as well! Through us He proclaims His Royalty and Righteousness. It is for this reasons that human beings are unique among all of the created beings, both in terms of the blessings we are granted and in terms of the known and yet untapped potential we have.
We are ALL subjects of the One King. But wouldn't you like to be more than that? We can merit to become loyal and willing servants of the King! But perhaps you would like to be more than that? We are all the 'children' of Elohim, but wouldn't you like to be a child He is proud of? Perhaps you would like to be more than that? Through correct Torah knowledge and application, through developed emunah and bitachon, we can become lilies among His Garden! We can become intimate Lovers of the Beloved capable of honestly realizing the consciousness that “I am my Beloved's and He is mine! We can become people He lovingly seeks as He strolls through His Garden. Our consciousness can become so enthused by His Presence that we can enter into the blissful state where we realize that our Beloved is One and that we are truly one with Him. This is the grade or level of true enlightenment as our Beloved fills our consciousness with inward Light.
How can we merit this state of joyous consciousness?
It begins by choosing to be Love! By choosing to release all negative emotions. By choosing His Ways over those of yetzer hara, by harmonizing our will with the Divine Will as revealed through the Torah of the Beloved. We find a powerful example of this in this week's parsha our father Ya'akov received from his fathers, Avraham and Yitzchak, the very essence of the Torah, the Mind of the Beloved, and then he began to plant a Garden for G-d. THIS is the Garden HaShem comes to as He seeks the sweet fragrance of OUR LOVE for Him. Amazing no? So how we go from being servants to 'lilies'?
In our parsha Ya'akov bows before HaShem seeking to know Him more intimately and a 'ladder' appears upon which diverse messengers of the Most High are ascending and descending. Who are these messengers? They are Ya'akov's love and desires going upwards to HaShem! The Beloved replies by sending Divine love downward into the world of Ya'akov's experience, into the world of our experiences. This section of Bereshit, along with the first chapter of Ezekiel's Prophecy, most directly manifests HOW we can develop actual communion, intimate relations, with the Beloved.
In addition we have the example of Shlomo HaMelech described in the Holy Zohar at Vayetze 55.
At first Shlomo's realization of the Beloved, his spiritual 'grade', is not so high so the Beloved speaks with him through dreams. As his consciousness develops and he attains ever deeper levels of devekut, more concealments drop away and he is able to meet directly with the Beloved in the Sublime Garden of Hitbodedut. This is the heart's desire of everyone who truly loves the Beloved! But see this? As his consciousness begins to darken with foreign thoughts and desires the Beloved becomes less present in his consciousness and direct communion is no longer possible.
Lets take a quick look in the Zohar. We turn to Zohar Vayetze 55,56.
What is the referenced “NUKVA?” For our purposes today, the NUKVA is the Shekhinah, the feminine Presence of HaShem Through Shlomo's wisdom and personal righteousness he merited to fully realize the NUKVA, the Divine Presence. While in this advanced state of devekut he beheld HaShem “panim el Panim”, face to Face. Like Moshe Rabbeinu, as recorded at Exodus 33, Shlomo HaMelech communed directly with the Beloved in His Glorious Garden.
And so can we! If we are prepared to embrace the Beloved with our full bodies, our full souls, our complete consciousness! Understand that G-d consciousness exists as on a scale. Even Shlomo, even Moshe Rabbeinu himself, did not merit complete realization of the Beloved. Complete G-d Consciousness is withheld until the Olam Haba, for the world to come, when the Beloved will be ONE and His Name will be One. However we can plant our seeds and begin to grow as lilies in that Sacred Garden even now. Its up to us.