Endlessly the light reveals itself.
The hidden realms no longer lie in shadow.
Through Torah the night becomes day as it was meant to be.
As Israel opens itself a rainbow appears and once again all is new.
Let’s put this section into context with the rest of Torah. The revelation has now passed through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and now resides in the children of Israel led by Moses and Aaron. What is this revelation? It is the unity of the presence of Hashem within. This unity applies everywhere and to everyone. Hashem speaks to Moses and to Israel. The problem is that Israel finds it hard to listen with the same degree of clarity as Moses. After Yitro meets with Moses the revelation seems to become even more distant from Israel as a series of laws are commanded providing even more of a veil to shield Israel from Hashem. This journey they take to the Promised Land will not end even when they get there since the revelation of Abraham Isaac and Jacob is determined in spite of the people’s stubbornness to reveal itself over and over again.
First of all even before Moses ascends the mountain to receive the tablets justice must be served. These many laws take precedence simply because the idea of Justice and Law are supreme in Moses eyes and in the hearts of Israel. Especially important are the laws concerning slavery since Israel has so recently experienced the burdens inflicted upon them by Pharaoh in their bondage in Egypt. Instead of doing away with slavery all together they try and make it palatable and equitable. Given the times they were living in it is a remarkable thing to give slaves any rights at all. The true meaning of Hashem’s revelation is however even further hidden away as more and more of the decision making process is given over to earthly authorities. The reasons for this are many. Moses has been trying to show these people what Hashem means to them and the people continually balk in their understanding. Therefore Moses devises something decidedly less difficult to understand as the earthly laws are made into statutes that are confirmed by Hashem.
Think of it like this. Hashem is a free flowing river that always moves through our soul everywhere all at once timeless in its expression. Each person has the choice of how much he or she wants to open up to this flow. The determining factor is consciousness defined by connection with Hashem. At the time of this Parsha Mishpatim the people were only ready to hear a little bit kind of like opening a valve perhaps a single turn in order to let a small amount of this river flow through. Remember in the previous Parsha Hashem speaks directly to this people. It is the single most terrifying experience they have ever had. As Hashem speaks the valve is opened wide and the people have no defense for this. Their souls are laid bare becoming conduits for the voice of Hashem that speaks to and through them. These laws and the justice they speak about are placed there to cut the flow down to size so to speak so that the people won’t be afraid. Moses gives them something that they understand. It is important to reiterate here that Moses is the go between Israel and Hashem. In order however, for Israel to be free a time must come when the revelation of Hashem must be turned open wide allowing each one to understand according to their own consciousness. Moses makes the determination to step down the understanding and as we will see repeatedly Hashem continues to flow as usual trying to remind the Jewish people of their birthright, the revelation revealed for all and in all.
Ex 23:23 For Mine angel shall go before thee … Here is the promise that the revelation shall be continuously brought to mind. No matter what laws or restrictions are placed upon the mind of man, of Israel, Hashem will always come through.
Moses writes down the laws setting up an altar with twelve pillars one for each tribe at the bottom of the mountain. Moses can only write, as he understands the words of Hashem. By setting up the altar he sets up the contradiction that will be with Israel throughout their journeys. The contradiction is that you can ever confine Hashem to any single place such as an altar or even as we shall see later on in the two temples that were constructed later on. Hashem moves through our souls and is everywhere present. Change and inspiration are how we connect with this presence. Restrictions caused by the ego mind in its attempt to set boundaries around even our thoughts are how we lose this connection. Even with these restrictions in place Hashem still shines through because by definition Hashem may never be contained.
It is the power or perception of Yud through the vehicle of Heh transcendent through Vav and transformed by the awakening of the second Heh that illustrates the movement of Hashem as we let go in connection experiencing the timeless moment in unity.
The concept of Hashem in movement and inspiration explains why our sages throughout history have always had their most amazing reflections during their travels. The Zohar is filled with such stories.
Why does Hashem call Moses to go back up the mountain? The law has already been given and expounded upon. The reason is this. By stepping down the message Moses has yes come down off the mountain. He has to go up again in order to receive more of the revelation. This is a metaphor that speaks to our understanding. We open ourselves to Hashem and then are filled. What is the very next thing that we feel the need of doing? It is the sharing of our revelation and that is exactly what Moses has done. Then after Moses shares his revelation he may only do the next thing, which is to reach up for more inspiration. Hashem calls him. We are always called by our highest consciousness to become open to the revelation especially after our cup is filled and emptied. Moses receives the words or higher truth from Hashem and then shares this with Israel. In order to continue to lead Israel he must go up or ascend to the heights of understanding in order to continue his teachings to Israel.
It is like this. Whenever you hear good news the first thing you want to do is to share this with everyone. After the initial excitement has settled down you then start seeking more good news.
Before going up Moses reads from the book of the covenant and then sprinkles the blood of the covenant over the people who have assented to everything that was spoken by Hashem via Moses. The book of the covenant represents higher thought. The blood of the covenant represents the sacrifice of our animal natures. In order to obey the covenant or listen to our higher thoughts we have to let go of those thoughts that stem from the ego or from a desire to receive for the self alone. This brings up a very important concept.
Spiritual awakening contains two parts. One is the inspiration or the receiving of the higher thoughts described by Kabbalah in the numerous works of our sages. The second part is the sharing of this information described exactly in the way our consciousness perceives it. You can never tell what words of inspiration will mean to someone. All you can do is to keep your thoughts focused on high. From there everything you say will have the transformative meanings of peace. The more that our intention is to share what we receive the more we open up to the ever flowing river that is Hashem. What do we build with what we receive? That is for next weeks Parsha where we will learn all about the temple within.