The spark of divinity within us is never extinguished; it merely lies dormant, waiting for the right moment to illuminate our souls. * To awaken it, one must delve into understanding the essence of love and fear of G-d, not as mere emotions, but as catalysts for spiritual transformation. * On the Tanya lesson for 4 Cheshvan.
The Daily Tanya lesson we're focusing on, from Iggeret HaKodesh, the beginning of Epistle 26, shines a light on an idea that resonates deeply with the human soul — the dormant divinity within each of us. It's the flame of the soul, a divine spark that never goes out but often lies dormant under the weight of worldly concerns and distractions.
At the core of this teaching is the concept that this divine spark within us is often obscured by the layers we've acquired through life experiences and choices. As the Tanya lesson explicitly states, "For the divine spark within is concealed and clothed in the love and fear, like a spark in a coal." Notice the choice of metaphor here; like a spark in a coal, our inner divinity is present but hidden, ready to ignite if given the right conditions.
UNLOCKING THE SPARK THROUGH LOVE AND FEAR
The lesson elaborates on these conditions. The spark within doesn't surface haphazardly; it requires the right kind of 'spiritual friction.' The lesson tells us that to access this divinity, one must fully grasp and live by the dual principles of love and fear of G-d. And let's be clear: we're not talking about simple affection and trepidation. These are deeper, more expansive concepts. Love here refers to the passionate desire to connect with G-d, to unify your will with the Divine. Fear, in this context, is a profound awe and reverence for the Almighty, an acknowledgment of the gap between human finitude and Divine infinitude.
Think about how to start a fire in the wilderness. You'd likely use a fire starter and friction. The wood alone wouldn't combust spontaneously; it needs friction to ignite the flame. Similarly, the dormant divine spark in us won't illuminate our lives spontaneously. We must engage it with the right elements. According to the lesson, "It is specifically through love and fear that the spark is revealed, and not through anything else." Here, love and fear are the friction elements that stimulate our inner divine spark, transforming our spiritual potential into a radiant spiritual reality.
Today, when we live in a kind of 'spiritual exile,' where secular ideologies and worldly distractions abound, the necessity for this inner awakening is even more critical. This isn't just about personal growth or individual enlightenment. When you find and kindle that spark, it becomes a light for others too, a step towards collective redemption, moving us ever closer to the era of Moshiach.
In our contemporary context, where the Jewish people are facing numerous forms of terror and distress, this lesson couldn't be more timely. Its resonance goes beyond the borders of our communities and into the fabric of our collective existence. When you awaken your divine spark, it's not just a personal victory but a global one, contributing to the fight against the darkness that seeks to overwhelm us.
The final thought is this: your spiritual journey isn't just about you. It's part of a grander cosmic plan, which culminates in the coming of Moshiach. The lesson infuses us with hope, reminding us that the dormant spark can be rekindled, and when it is, it will be our guide, our light, in times of universal darkness, leading us to the ultimate light — the imminent redemption.
The lesson ends, but the journey continues. As you grapple with your divine spark, understand its transformative potential not just for you but for the world at large. With each individual spark that comes to life, we get one step closer to collective illumination, a world imbued with divine light, and the ultimate redemption. May this understanding inspire you, and may we all merit to witness the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days.