Tonight we want to consider this question…
“Who are you and from where have you come?”
During adolescence we become aware, and are faced with the dilemma of discovering who we are. Our knowing and confirming the answer to this question is the essential element that provides us with the foundation upon which to build a successful life. Unfortunately, many of us never discover the truth and it becomes the perennial question that lasts far into adulthood and even beyond death’s door. No matter how successful we may appear the lack of this knowledge will deter us from our full potential. This question is so pertinent to life here and now and life to come that it has occupied the attention of countless great philosophers and scholars, past and present. By and large these great minds failed to discover the answer to this question no matter how incisive and thoughtful their investigation. They have been found inadequate and wanting.
Without the answer to [“who are we and from where we have come?”] we are never whole or truly satisfied, and we cannot experience the whole peace (the Shalom) we were created to enjoy in the confidence of our knowing. The question however is not past knowing by mortal man. The discovery is a matter of focus and direction of the mind. Like the old adage about love, “we have been looking in all the wrong places.”
First, the answer is within you and not without. It can best be illustrated by this saying, “Whoever knows everything, but lacks within… lacks everything.”
Fortunately, for most of us we recognize that something is lacking in our lives. The feeling is something akin to a vacuum within our innermost being that demands to be filled. Accordingly, the law of physics teaches us that nature abhors a vacuum. Regrettably, because we are unfocused and lack direction most of us try to fill this vacuum with material things. We buy and buy, the most expensive or desired objects of pleasure that our mind or pocketbook can conceive. However, we find that the object of our pleasure quickly becomes obsolete, unused, or forgotten. Once the novelty of a new possession wears off we continue the cycle by buying more things in an effort to satisfy this craving for fulfillment… Or we may turn to artificial stimulants like drugs, both legal and illegal and the result is the same: unfulfillment, or worse, dependency that leads to criminality and even imprisonment. We may seek sexual pleasure outside of marriage in the arms of another and again another, never fulfilling the void within us. Marriages break up. Family and children suffer damages that are never repaired. Our actions might destroy scores of lives creating hardships both financially and emotionally. The ways we try to fill this void is innumerable, and eventually fruitless…for this void is a creation of G-d. It is inculcated within every soul on earth. A void that can only be filled in one way and in one way only, and that is the preeminent inclusion of G-d into our lives as the source of all goodness and as the foundation of our very being. Scripture informs us that G-d is the “rock” of our salvation and consequently our lives’ foundations must be built upon that rock and not upon any other. When we try to add meaning to our lives by building a foundation upon any other material it fails, is transient or is washed away when adversity strikes. G-d, the Creator must be established as the pivotal point, at the genesis of our lives before the cars, the houses, the possessions, even before our husbands, wives and children are added. The result is that the love we experience from this celestial union will filter down to all others within the sphere of our influence. Peace and wholeness will reign in our lives in a way that was never to fore experienced. Our love will be unselfish and outgoing…not grasping and demanding.
Jewish doctrine demands that we Love G-d with all our hearts, minds and soul, and love our neighbors as ourselves. In Deu. 6:5 we read: ” And thou shalt love the LORD thy G-d with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Our great Nasi, the prince Hillel, told us all Torah is contained within this precept, as did Yahshua some 100 years later where He said: in Mat 22:37 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy G-d with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.(38) This is the first and great commandment.(39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.(40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. “
In Galatians 3:24 we are told the law is our schoolmaster to bring us unto The Messiah, that we might be justified by faith. Torah is the standard by which we are led to the Teacher, the Messiah, but it also performs another function lost on most. Torah, even for the unbeliever protects and keeps the individual safe and blessed until the Ruach HaKodesh calls. And once G-d calls and we are led to the Teacher, as our sages predicted; He would interpret Torah for us so that the Ruach HaKodesh may empower us to live a loving and obedient life.
One of the central motifs of the bible is light and darkness, which describes and informs us of Good and evil, Life and death and we as free agents must make a choice between the Light that is of G-d, and the “light” that brings death. Scripture teaches us that all that shines does not emanate from G-d for there is a light that is evil. We are warned in Scripture that HaSatan has turned Himself into an angel of light and if we are to discern the source of the light we must do so through the filter of Torah. It is well to reiterate that Torah serves to protect those that are called until chosen. And we are informed by G-d’s word that many are called but few chosen. At the risk of being repetitive we must all live within the borders of Torah to be blessed, to keep and protect us until we are led to the Teacher, the Messiah, who will reveal the light to us and the Ruach HaKodesh that will then empower us to live by the standards of that Light.
We should know that the properties of light may be refracted or reflected. Refraction bends light diluting its properties. Like a prism the light source is bent into a spectrum of colors robbing the source of its brilliant concentration. Diluting the power and truth of its source and this light leads many professed believers into error. They refuse to acknowledge that there is another light and the source of this light is from HaSatan. Relying on dreams or self- proclaimed visions many sincere believers profess to speak for G-d, when in fact their light is that of HaSatan. We should not be surprised because it is written in 2 Cor. 11:” We should test these phenomena for we are told in 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of G-d: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
We must discern which light is informing us and the only way to do that is by subjecting the light to the Torah for we are instructed in Psalm 119:142 “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law (Torah) is the truth.” So we see that G-d has given us a means to ascertain the truth and that is His Torah. We are not to depend on visions or dreams or even our pastors or rabbis. We are to test all by His standard of truth, Torah.
Far too many are speaking and leading people astray with their profession of truth derived from visions, dreams or suspect communications that is in fact received not from G-d but from the counterfeit of light HaSatan, whose light is refracted, bent, and diluted.
On the other hand reflection carries all the properties of light, in all its brilliance and power, returning again to its source, creating a continuum of power and refreshment for our lives from life’s very source, our Creator and G-d. We cannot be that light source but we can reflect it, in all its intensity. Light heals and prolongs life attracting to Itself those that live in darkness. Darkness cannot survive in light and we…when filled with that source of light will illumine all around us. To bathe in the power of this Light we must remove the shades of doubt and uncertainty from our lives, letting the Light come upon us, appropriating it, and then reflecting the power of this Light to all around us, if we are to enjoy the fruits of the healing power of its source.
The world lacking this Light is uncertain of its destiny and they constantly desire to know what is their or the world’s end. We see the evidence of these phenomena of the world’s insecurity daily on television, and in the newspapers that are rife with daily astrological charts, seers’ predictions, necromancers consulting the dead and prognosticators. If you are a true reflection of the light… you know the answer to their constant refrain, “tell us the end,” and you, a reflector of the Light should reply when asked in the form of a parable or Midrash: reply with a tried and true rabbinic device shaped in the form of a question and an answer. Say to them, “Have you already discovered the beginning that now you seek the end? For where the beginning is the end will be.” We know this because in Gen. 1:1 Hidden, but apparent in the Hebrew is named the beginning and the end. In Hebrew it reads: Bereshit bara Elohim eht (Yahshua). The fourth word is not translated in the English bible for it is untranslatable, but it means the Hebrew Alphabet, Alef-Tav. Correctly translated it means, “In the beginning Elohim Yahshua (the Alef-Tav) created (Purposed) the heavens and the earth… and the proof text for believers is in the Refreshed, renewed covenant in the New Testament at Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, (The Alef-Tav) the beginning and the end, the first and the last. So YHVH revealed by His light, the end in the beginning. And you might add, putting frosting on the cake, “Blessed is one who stands at the beginning…that one will know the end and will not taste death.”
Do not be discouraged if your answer falls on deaf ears, for they are only called and not chosen… But if they are chosen your answer will bear fruit, for many who ask such questions are like one who either hates the tree but loves the fruit or loves the fruit but hates the tree. Those of you who are given understanding will know what I speak about here.
Those of us who have the Light are given a great and precious gift and should guard it as precious jewels. We are not to cast wisdom from G-d before swine for they will trample it. To treat the Light with such disregard is to disdain and devalue it. Yet, we are not to hide the Light, but let it shine forth speaking to the Glory of G-d. The scripture tells us a clever man does not hide a light under a basket but plants it on a hill for all to see. Much of the light that is reflected is not witnessing in the manner as many surmise, beating unbelievers over the head with the bible, but the value of the appearance of how we live our lives. We are not to live in the valley where our light is dimmed or restricted but from the mountaintop and that mountain is the mountain of G-d. We can see and be seen much more clearly and much further from the mountain than from the valley. From the mountain we can clearly reflect the Light given to us. But for us to appropriate the Light and attain clear vision, we must start at Mt. Sinai and the Torah and end with the Light of the world, the Messiah who is the Living manifested Torah.
If you have the light you will be like one who knows self. Not like those of the world who do not know themselves for whoever does not know self knows nothing, but whoever knows self has already acquired knowledge about the depth of the universe.
Remember, what you see from within the Light is hidden from the world that they stumble over in their ignorance. Even with the Light, much of what we see is obscure. So, how can they comprehend what cannot be seen? For now we must be satisfied with what we are given. But some day face to face we shall know as we are known, and to whom much is given much is required. So when you think you have the Light but your priorities and life has not changed, and you have not subjected yourself to G-d’s authority, seek the source of that light to ascertain if it is refracted or reflected.
This light that we are given is not to keep us here but to make us leave. When we all lay aside our animal nature, the Light will withdraw to the realm of it’s being, taking our consciousness with it to the source of all being. There we will escape from the passions that inflame humans’ souls. There we will find the peace and rest we so desperately seek.
So when you are asked, “Where have you come from?” or “what and who are you,” reply, “We have come from the light, where the light came into being by itself, established itself, and appeared in an image of light.” If they say to you, “are you the light,” say, “we are its children, and we are chosen of the Living Father.” If they say what is the evidence of your Father in you?” Tell them it is “motion and rest.”
Let those who have ears to hear, hear and understand.
Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
This was originally written and presented by Rabbi Milchama ben David of blessed memory.