“וְלֹא-יֵרָאוּ פָנַי, רֵיקָם.”
“None shall appear before me empty-handed.”
God tells us that when we come to see the Holy Temple, we should not come empty-handed. For us it applies to all that connects us to the Light.
The Zohar quotes these words from the portion of Mishpatim, teaching us an important principal related to prayers. In order to receive the Light that we need or wish to have, we must build a proper vessel for it.
On the sixth day (Yessod) of Creation we sinned and because of that we lost the state of immortality. We had free and continuous flow of Light coming to our lives. Now we have to earn every bit of Light.
“בְּזֵעַת אַפֶּיךָ, תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם, עַד שׁוּבְךָ אֶל-הָאֲדָמָה, כִּי מִמֶּנָּה לֻקָּחְתָּ: כִּי-עָפָר אַתָּה, וְאֶל-עָפָר תָּשׁוּב”
“By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.””
This verse is the key to this understanding. As long as we live in this world, Malchut, we have to work for the Light. The ‘Bread’ is the aspect of Light and the ‘sweat’ is the aspect and process of earning. “Bread of Shame” happens when we receive Light without earning it.
When we make a spiritual connection that benefits us we have to remove the ‘Bread of Shame’ by ‘earning’ it. The first thing is to include others in our prayers. Our prayer books were written in plural form to include all Israelites. When we do for others, we expand ourselves. Our personal meditation should include others to build a greater vessel.
We should pay for every spiritual study that brings us closer to the Light. We need to support the channels that ‘feed’ us Light. That applies to every channel we use. One cannot pay for a meal in one restaurant and expect free meals in another one. It does not work in this world and it does not work spiritually.
Jacob, that is the aspect of the Central column, saw the great Light that God revealed to him and he promised: Genesis 28:22 “וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר תִּתֶּן-לִי, עַשֵּׂר אֲעַשְּׂרֶנּוּ לָךְ”
“And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.””
The first sin was on the sixth day, that is the aspect of Yessod, and therefore, the sustenance to the world and to each one of us was blocked. Share your tithe with all that gives you access to the Light. It connects your vessel in Malchut (the seventh) with Yessod (the sixth) and lets the Light flow down to the vessel.
Best time to make donations is on Friday (Thursday night until before Shabbat starts). With that action, we ‘repair’ the fault created on the level of Yessod. It better prepares us for the Light of Shabbat. It would be even more beneficial to split the tithe into weekly parts and enter every Shabbat with a bigger vessel. The act of giving frequently empowers our soul on regular basis and pushes away negativity from our lives.
If a person has a busy schedule and cannot always make donations on Fridays then he can make a quick note with the exact amount he wishes to donate. The note you write serves as a promise and the vessel is created even before you make the donation.
Repair your channels of Light and don’t come empty-handed when you want to receive the Light.
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