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The bright shining lights of Israel

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This weeks Torah portion Shemot recounts the families of Jacob that have become Israel. Each represents a point of light that through the trials in Egypt will only shine more brightly. What is being honed in the crucible of Egypt is the idea of God consciousness the unity with above and transformation of below.

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Zohar Shemot 1.
"And these are the names of the children of Israel who came into Egypt with Jacob, every man came with his household" (Shemot 1:1). "And they who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they who turn many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:3). "And they who are wise," are those who observe the secret of wisdom; "shall shine," means they illuminate and sparkle with the shine of supernal Chochmah; and "as the brightness," the brightness and sparkle of the river that emanates from Eden. This is the concealed secret that is called 'firmament'" for in it are located the stars and the constellations, the sun, and moon, and all the candles that give light...

There is a rich trove of insights in this first paragraph in the Zohar. First of all the wise are those who study Torah and become brighter through the revelations of wisdom that they receive during this study. What Torah study shows us is that by performing acts of righteousness (doing good, helping others, charity, etc.) we emulate the Creator who performs all of these things as a matter of course.

The secret of wisdom, the essence then of Chokmah is the knowledge that via Torah all of the essential operations/workings of the world are revealed to us. Most notably is "the way things work,' a concept that describes the levels of cause and effects through which the universe, our world, all worlds are governed under. There is action and reaction taking place on the inner plane where consciousness underpins the entire panoply of Creation.

This underpinning of Creation is first describe as the "river that emanates from Eden." It is the life-force the continuing nature of the template of consciousness to keep on evolving and make things better, more complete and essentially more unified with the original impetus that is after all intimately resident within each of us and indeed within all the aspects of the world we interact with.

The "concealed secret" is that the firmament where the lights of heaven are placed are reminders of the insights we have entered into since the beginning, each star a point of connection, the moon our monthly connection and the sun our yearly connection. All of these lights are indicative of the unity of above and below and the interaction that is ongoing continuously throughout Creation.

Therefore as this list of "names" is being described here in Shemot what it represents are the evolving lights of Israel, their transformations and preparations for the experience of Sinai the unifying principle made whole once more and the template for every moment of time going past and future and containing the irrepressible present. B"H.

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