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A Dvar Torah for Vayishlach

Our Dvar Torah: Sending Out Your Angels
A Dvar Torah for Vayishlach: Genesis 32:4 - 36:43
and Likutey Moharan Book II Lesson # 1.1
with Zohar Vayishlach 1-4

By Rabbi Shlomo Nachman ben Ya'akov © December 4, 2020

Our Dvar Torah: "Sending Out Your Angels."

Did you know that as a Child of the Most High King you are empowered to send forth angels? You are! But its important to understand what this means before attempting it!

Imagine you're a little child whose parent is the local police chief. You see a crime in progress and so you ride up on your bicycle, squirt gun drawn and ready, and say, “Stop in the name of my Dad!” If you are fortunate the bad guy will laugh at you and go his way, if you are not so lucky...

In the same way its not enough to be a child of the King, one must be spiritually mature and “deputized” so to speak in order to assist our Father in the management of His Kingdom.

With proper spiritual education and achieved status one can send out the various messengers or angels of HaShem in order to accomplish His Will and further His Plan for the world. In Likutey Moharan our Rebbe explains this in Part II Lesson 1.

[READ]

Which of the Children of the King hold this authority? The tzadikim: those who are pure of heart and who serve the sacred governance loyally. Only they hold this level authority from the King because of their attachment or devekut to Him.

While this authority is the birthright of all Children of the King, our great Rebbe encourages each of us to seek and to attain this level individually. To seek and use such authority unworthily is dangerous, as in the example of the child with a squirt gun.

Ya'akov Avinu has this authority and he passes it down to all of his descendants. But only to those who prove themselves worthy. Tehillim 91:11 assures us that HaShem has already bequeathed this authority to humanity, and Tehillim 82 almost begs us to take it up! But how can this done?

This level requires us to understand our actual situation – not the degraded nor the over-glorified status imagined by foreign religions and philosophies, but our real condition as presented in the Jewish Scriptures and Tradition. To this end, lets consider this week's reading from the Holy Zohar, Vayishlach 1-4.

[READ]

We were all “formed” (Genesis 2:7) within our mother's wombs with a dual nature or inclination, as explained in these verses of the Zohar. These natural human impulses drive us to choose between the ever-present positive or negative options available to us. Every moment we are like Adam and Chavah. Will we embrace yetzer hatov or yetzer hara? This is our choice! This is the foundation of our free will.

To serve the King, to be among the tzadikim, we must choose the positive option as much as possible and shun the negative. The negative option is referenced in various ways, as sin, as evil, etc. Sometimes the negative is personified as Shaitan or Satan. As Jews we use the technical term yetzer hara to reference the negative impulse. We are warned that this ever-present enemy “crouches at the door.” This means that from the time our birth, when the “door of the womb” opens, the yetzer hara is present and our negative inclination seeks control us.
Those who “arise” as empowered Children of G-d must learn to consistently defeat the negative and increase the positive. The dual nature granted us by HaShem makes this choice possible by gifting us with free will, which is nothing more than the ability to choose between these two.

Now, there are positive angels as well as negative ones. In point of fact, all of us send “angels” or messengers forth all the time. Those who choose negativity send forth negative angels. We have doubtless all met people who seem to exude negative energy. Less commonly perhaps, but we have also been around people whose positive energies soothe and inspire us to better ourselves. These “vibes” or energies are called malachim or angels. We all send forth positive or negative malachim all the time.

As those with righteous intent interact with material existence they send forth positive angels or energies through their intentional actions. In this week's parsha Yitzchak sent forth positive messengers to his brother hoping for peace. While the sages debate whether he sent forth literal angelic beings, the point remains the same. He wanted peace and he sent forth messengers hoping to achieve it. In the same ways, we send forth “angels” through our actions, through our intentions, and of course through our prayers. Such messengers are powerful when sent forth with wisdom and strong intention.

But the negative angels are always near at hand! They arise through our fears and our doubts, through our lack of emunah and bitachon, which is to say, through our lack of motivating faith and trust in HaShem.

Since “sin” or the yetzer hara is always “crouching at the door” as the Scripture warns, those who act without positive intention or kavanah usually increase the darkness rather than the Light. With this understanding, what then is a tzadik? Atzadik is one who most often acts to enlighten rather than to darken, to bless to rather than curse.

The Hebrew term malachim refers to all “messengers” or “angels.” Some of these messengers are conceived as energies, as vibrations. These energies are at times tangible psychically or even on a physical level. The malachim that are conceived as having a more deliberate purpose in shaping an outcome are often conceived as embodiments of their purpose. These are the classic angels and demons. In the old cartoons of the fifties and sixties a positive angel sat on the right shoulder and a negative angels on the left seeking to convince the character to choose according to one or the other impulse. Due to the very human desire to understand the positive and/or negative aspects within us various mythologies were developed. It was seen as easier to understand these “warring” malachim when conceived in anthropomorphic terms.

Is this to say there are no objective “angels” or “demons”? No, not at all. That would be entirely too simplistic. Many of us can personally attest to the reality of things and beings that exist on levels beyond normal human perception, of “things that go bump in the night.” However these too are greatly impacted by the human rebellion again HaShem and His Kingdom experienced by all of existence during this time we called the Olam Hezeh. Those who properly understand realize that all of these malachim and similar beings are serving the Will of the Creator and that once an individual achieves a substantial level of devekut or attachment to HaShem, and even more so once the entire creation attains to rectification in the Olam Haba, the Children of G-d, created in the Divine Image, will arise and take their rightful place at the head of creation, including the diverse malachim. Humanity will then serve its purpose. Then HaShem will be One and His Name will be One as said by our sages.

Like our fathers Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov, and our mothers Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, may each of us send forth only angels of light, love and ever-expanding emunah into and through the multiverse, as is our rightful role as the Children of the Most High.

Also see Rabbi's Yud-Tes Kislev: "Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism" referenced in this D'var Torah.

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