In exile, we have crumbled into shards. Our consciousness has become extremely constricted, the aspect of “katnus”, and we have become deeply accustomed to seeing ourselves as separate individuals, worrying only about our own spiritual situation alone. Now, the time has come for us to become awakened and nurture our minds to a broadened an expanded state of consciousness, the consciousness of redemption. This incredibly broadened awareness will allow us to perceive the life of the Shechinah and the entire nation, to broaden and equip our minds to concern ourselves with that which is outside of our own immediate vicinity and the members of our own families.

However, it is very difficult to leave behind this consciousness and to develop our perspective. Over the course of hundreds of years, the consciousness of exile has become very deeply ingrained within us and it is very difficult to rid ourselves of it and expand out minds. Therefore, when we encounter a concept in the seforim hakedoshim that relates to this expanded consciousness, such as, “All of am Yisrael are one soul in separate bodies”, we process it in an intellectual or academic way, without truly understanding it. It certainly does not become part and parcel of our essential outlook on life.

This is all because of the constricted consciousness of exile that remains within us from which we need to waken. Therefore, an expansive and deep concept which relates to a time of “gadlus” cannot truly be processed by our constricted consciousness, regardless of how our mouths may speak about it and our minds ponder it.

It emerges that our slumber represents constricted consciousness, the mindset of exile, the perspective of a child trapped in his own considerations. If we are to be redeemed, we must awaken from this deep slumber and accept the consciousness of the redemption!

So too with each individual Jew. Each person has the perception of his individual, independent being which stands on its own, in addition to the depth of his essence, in which he is understood to represent a spark from the light of the Shechinah, a limb and a cell in the great body that is the collective Jewish nation.


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Rav Reuven Sasson
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