July 20, 2015

Gathering the Nation

Imagine the entire nation of Israel gathering at the Holy Temple, uniting together into a higher form.

The truth is that the entire Jewish nation is one entity, really one “person”.  It’s taught in Kabbalah that each generation is one “body”, with some souls corresponding to the “head”, the “eyes”, the “hands”, “internal organs”, down to the”feet”, etc.  However, by any person a pain in the toe nail is felt by the brain in the head, symbolizing the cohesive unity of the entire structure.בית-מקדש-540x300

When a person feels his hands or other organs disconnected from their brain and heart – that is considered a great illness G-d forbid.  Similarly, when one Jew feels separate from the whole, that is the beginning of spiritual illness.  Of course that is a state of being we have all come to experience as “normal”, and this is the consequence of millenia of exile and increasing spiritual poverty.

But alas, that was the intent behind the great mitzvah of Hakhel, and several other mitzvot associated with gathering the Jewish nation together.  And gathering the disparate “parts” into a greater whole is even more accessible during the auspicious time of the 8th year – the year following the Shemitah – the year of Hakhel.

 Even a simple action as joining a list or a community with other Jews has powerful spiritual ramification.  It connects us with the greater whole, bringing spiritual healing to the individual.

This is why the verse in the Torah referring to Hakhel gives the reason”so that they will hear and come to awe of G-d…”  Hearing, in Kabbalah, also means a deeper intuitive understanding.  By gathering in Hakhel we develop an intuitive understanding of G-dliness which increases in our internal awe of G-d, which is the driving force behind further spiritual development and attainment.