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Shabbat HaGadol-Achieving Greatness-Expanded Consciousness

The 5th of Nisan is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apt, the Ohev Yisrael: Who can measure the great love and deep longings that the Creator of all worlds has for Israel, “the children of Abraham whom it He loved (Isaiah 41:8).” It was for their sake that He created all worlds, both below and on high. Everything that was brought forth, created, formed and made, everything that God did, was for the sake of His holy people Israel.


Israel is the main element and root of all creation, and it was for their sake that God created all kinds of good influences and love. They were included in God’s simple Desire, in the Thought that was before all beginnings. This was the first of all causes, and the beginning of all existence and being.

The Thought that arose in the true Unity that is God’s simple Desire was that He should do good to His handiwork. It was because of this that He created and arranged all creation. God brought all universes into existence only in order to bring this Thought from potential into actuality.

The main task of the Children of Israel is to keep the Torah and Commandments. In so doing, they reach out to the Hidden Point, bringing the Original Thought from potential to actuality, and allowing it to be revealed. In this manner, the Desire of the Supernal Benefaction is aroused. Through this sequence of universes, the abundance of this Desire is transmitted from its Root in the Higher Wisdom to influence the Lower Wisdom.

From the Lower Wisdom there comes to us and abundance of blessing, complete good, and lovingkindness, bringing salvation, life and peace to the world. Holy strength is also bestowed, so that each individual will have the ability to overcome his desires and subjugate every element of evil to the good. This is the task allotted to Israel. They must reach out to this Hidden Point, open it up, and from it, transmit the Original Thought from the beginning of Wisdom, from the hidden to the revealed.

When Israel does this, the Creator has great delight. The Thought that He originally had, to bestow good upon Israel, is thus expanded.

As long as this Thought is hidden and stored away, it is in a state of Smallness and Constricted Consciousness. We are not able to reach the highest Will, and, since God constantly wants to give, His delight is not perfected.

As an initial impulse, this requires “motivation from below.” When Israel does God’s will, they opened the source from the “flow from on high.” The Supernal Will and Original Thought is then perfected. This state is called Greatness and Expanded Consciousness. This means that the Supernal Wisdom and the hidden Original Thought increase and are expanded. Understand this. (Ohev Yisrael; Shemot)

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