11 Days or 40 years? | Pause at the Fork



11 Days or 40 Years? | Pause at the Fork

It took the nation of Israel 40 years in the dessert to get to Israel. A direct path should have taken them about 11 days.

What does this mean to me, today?

Our souls are destined to reconnect with the Source – to accomplish our tikkun (soul rectification) – to arrive in Israel.

No matter what, this will happen eventually. What I get to decide is how long it takes.

At every fork in the road I am given a choice. The path of judgement or the path of mercy. 40 years or 11 days.

When I make a mistake, when I choose the left path, the path of judgement, I fall into the safety net. The safety net is chaos.

The net of chaos is a painful net but it is guaranteed to shift me back to the goal – to my potential – back to the journey to Israel. Chaos is a gift to the unconscious traveler.

Suffering and pain are designed to lead me back on the path to my potential – a purification.

The portion of Massei talks a lot about the borders of the land of Israel. Why? And what does this mean to me, today?

What’s so important about the borders? They refer to borders of holiness – our job in life, each one of us, is to expand the borders of our holiness, purity, positivity – every time we expand it inside we can transform darkness into light outside – Joseph controlled the physical reality, the wealth of Egypt, because he expanded the borders of his own holiness.

What do I need to do to expand the borders?

When I do it within, I remove judgement on the outside. Each of us have in our perception a certain amount of tolerance to other people’s behavior – each our own border of how much we see the light in others. If I want to transform judgment into mercy I need to expand the border – search deeper to see good in others amidst annoying behavior. If I stay within the same border as yesterday, the same tolerance or intolerance, I’m the same person tomorrow as today. I need to work toward finding the good in others – my own shift of judgement and tolerance – when I’m judgmental, I’m welcoming judgement into my life – 40 years – learning the lessons the long way.

I also need to expand the borders of holiness in situations when things challenging happen – when we are dealing with challenge – and we all have our own limits of how much we can handle – remembering that all situations have light in them – our job is to transform darkness into light (11 days), not wait for lightness to show itself (40 years) – at times when we are feeling or thinking dark – expand our borders – embrace it and believe it’s light until it becomes light – expanding the borders of my holiness.

At the path of choice – at the forks we face – am I selfish or not. Do I React or not. Do I manipulate or am I honest. Do I take responsibility or do I blame. Do I go with what I believe or dis-empower myself with doubt. When we reach a fork…when you are there at the fork and you believe that no matter what you will reach your potential – without a shadow of a doubt – if you pause and connect at that point and remember that the safety net is chaos – so what’s the point of choosing a shortcut – it’s not really a shortcut – 40 years – drifting away from the path – welcoming more pain – PAUSE AT THE FORK – if I don’t pass this test, no mater what I’ll have to face it later. That realization gives us the strength to make the right choice.

The adversary says I’ve chosen the left path so many times what’s the point of choosing the right path now? I have to feel no regret from past because that makes me weaker in my ability to choose the right path now – with all my mistakes, they are meant to be – I embrace them all because now is my injunction – now is my 11 days or 40 years. No matter how far I went.

The portion of Mattos speaks of commitments, vows we make. Kabbalistically, A neder (vow) is connected to a dira (dwelling/home) a dira is a vessel for the light – a place to dwell. If you don’t fulfill a vow it becomes dark – taken by the other side. A neder is a commitment to what we know is the right thing to do. Once you know, power in life is achieved through commitment for something you already know is right – this brings freedom – 11 days. When you say I’m committed you develop a new strength – not just trying, but making a commitment, a vow – this leads to transformation (which is gonna happen anyway) but just faster.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov.




11 Days or 40 years? | Pause at the Fork