Echoes of the Future
Today, the echoing sound of the Shofar is not just a Jewish symbol. It represents the sound that emanates from the bottom of the human heart, asking for a change in today's reality
It is hard to ignore the increasing popularity of the wisdom of Kabbalah in Israel and throughout the world. Many reasons have been linked to it: a celebrity trend, a fad, a part of the New Age trend, etc....Or, could something else be happening here? Is it possible that we are at the onset of a profound change that the whole of humanity is experiencing?
Furthermore, the wisdom of Kabbalah has traditionally been studied in secret by only a chosen few in each generation. Hence, we have to wonder at the reason for the sudden interest, and why now?
To get some reliable answers to these questions, we must turn to the authentic sources of Kabbalah, such as Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai’s The Book of Zohar, the writings of the Ari, and the writings of their commentator, the greatest Kabbalist of the 20th century, Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam).
Perhaps once we have scrutinized these sources more deeply, we will understand that the interest in Kabbalah and the quest for a real answer to life’s meaning is not merely a trend or a fad. Rather, we will find that the message of Kabbalah is sounding ever louder, like the voice of the Shofar (ram’s horn), which can travel great distances.
The Key to Humanity's Good Future
"And the dissemination of the wisdom in the masses is called a Shofar. Like the Shofar, whose voice travels a great distance, the echo of the wisdom will spread all over the world…the nations will hear and acknowledge that there is Godly wisdom in Israel."
--Baal HaSulam, "A Messiah’s Shofar"
In our search for happiness, we have already tried numerous solutions to humanity’s continuing problems. We have tried uninhibited arms race, developed low-inflation economies, created diverse cultures based on various traditions, and have welcomed the high-tech and scientific revolutions. But we still haven’t found the real means to achieving peace and love.
In his article "A Messiah's Shofar," Baal HaSulam declares that it is necessary to reveal the only secret Israel possesses, which can bring peace and quiet to the whole world: the authentic wisdom of Kabbalah.
Why Israel First?
The goal of achieving the purpose of Creation rests with all of humanity. The path to the goal of our existence requires correcting the ego, the force that propels us into motion. All of us are in this boat and we cannot avoid it.
Since this change could not begin simultaneously with all the nations of the world, the Creator gave Israel the Torah as a means to bring the Light that will correct the human ego. This Torah contains the wisdom of Kabbalah, which is now emerging the world over. Clearly, it is easy to mistakenly think that Israel's role has to do with some kind of “nationalism.” It is commonly known that unlike all other nations, the nation of Israel has no genetic root. About 5,000 years ago, Abraham started this nation. Abraham was a Babylonian, who, as many of us do today, searched for life's purpose. His method of searching was passed from one generation to the next until it was time to implement it in the whole of humankind.
Implement & Disseminate
"The generation is worthy of it, as it is the last generation, which stands at the very threshold of complete redemption. And for this reason it is worthy of beginning to hear the voice of Messiah’s horn, which is the revealing of the secrets."
--Baal HaSulam, "A Messiah’s Shofar"
As part of Israel’s use of Abraham’s method to find life’s purpose, the Jews’ mission is to share this wisdom with the rest of humankind so they, too, can use it. Disseminating the method in the broadest manner is called Shofar. The engagement of the people of Israel in the wisdom of Kabbalah will bring with it an abundance that will be shared by all the people in the world. In his article, "The Arvut" (Mutual Guarantee), Baal HaSulam stresses that the nation of Israel is only a channel, a transition tunnel for the implementation of this method.
In the beginning, disseminating the correction-method to the world was Israel’s natural desire. It existed everywhere in the nation. Today, however, we are renouncing our imperative mission. In doing so, we are making the whole world pressure us, as they subconsciously recognize that their own spiritual progress is linked and depends on the spiritual progress of Israel.
However, we have had to absorb much stigma towards our vocation. Whenever the words “chosen people” are mentioned in relation to the Jewish people, they stir in us emotions of revulsion and disgust. Thus, Israel is vehemently rejecting its role.
But renouncing the role means intensified pain and suffering for the people of Israel. Rav Avraham Kook, a great Kabbalist and the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, said in this regard:
“When we are not blowing this horn, the enemies of Israel come and they blow in our ears for redemption… they warn and make noise in our ears, and give us no rest. They force us to heed the voice of the Shofar, and those who do not hear for their ears have been sealed, will hear the voice of the Shofar of the Jews’ plight, that is, the suffering will force them to listen to it after all.”
-- Rav Kook, Articles of the Raiah
The wisdom of Kabbalah is a means by which humankind can do good to itself, to the environment, and to the whole world. It tells us about the true love of man, the cure for all of humanity’s afflictions. The purpose of Kabbalah is to bring bonding and unity between the people of Israel and all other nations, and make us all one Light-filled soul. The wisdom of Kabbalah holds within it the knowledge of how every nation can function in reality, and how it fits into the structure of the common soul called “humanity.”
This is the Shofar of the Messiah, beginning to sound in Israel and the world over: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great horn shall be blown” (Isaiah 27:13) - a horn of peace, of unity, abundance and love.