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The beginning is epic- a silent cacophony of swirling, dark, primordial abyss. The wind of G-d hovers over the waters, and whispers the potential of what could be. From deep within (or beyond?) this primordial chaos, a voice is heard. “Let there be light.” Boom! The words crystallize into light. And so continues the story of the very beginning, Hashem speaks and brings every detail of the known (and unknown) universe into being.
In Parshat Bereishit, we relive the creation. Each day Hashem brings forth more of creation into actuality; the sun, the moon, all solar systems galaxies, every plant, animal and body of water… With every word uttered, a whole new expression of reality was brought forth. Just like when you speak, your thought, intention and being is enclothed in what you say, so too, within every articulated aspect of creation, lies hidden the greatness and glory of the Speaker, the Creator, thus revealing His awesome power and love within each detail.
And then, on the sixth day, once all of existence had taken form, with a cosmic drum-roll, Hashem created the purpose of all of creation: Man. Excellent. Now that Creation had reached its crescendo we can sit back, rest, and go into Shabbat.
But wait, Man is alone! He has no one to support him, to love him, to guide him, to challenge him, to keep him real, to be with him in the ups and downs of life. This is not good. So, Hashem declared, “אעשה לו עזר כנגדו” “I will make him a helpmate perfect for him”.
“Search among the animals,” Hashem told Adam, “tap into the essence of each, call it a name that reflects its purpose in the world, and see if you can find one on the same page as you.” He did exactly as told, but came up with nothing.
So Hashem caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, performed a Divine operation, took a limb from Adam’s body, and from this, created Woman.
When Adam saw the woman, he was thrilled. He exclaimed “This time it is bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called ISHah, for she was taken from me (ISH).”
I realize that this story is my story. I am Adam.
The story is amazing- the story of the first humans and the need ingrained in Mankind to not be alone, and to build harmonious relationship with a perfect soul mate, in essence cut of the same fabric.
But just know, dear friend that hidden in this story is so much more than what historically happened.
Rebbe Nachman unearths the secrets that are brimming beneath the surface of the words of the Torah. When I have the courage to look at my life through the lens of the Parasha, then I realize that this story is my story. I am Adam.
My sinews were sewn together by the hand of G-d, something from nothing. I am a capable person, but when I am really honest with myself, I feel alone. So, I keep reading, and I keep living, and G-d gives me a gift called “ISHA” (Femininity).
the crucial life-long gift that Hashem gave to Adam, and gives to me, is prayer.
What does it mean that G-d gave me an Isha, Woman? Rav Natan breaks it open for us. Femininity according to the Kabbalah is the embodiment of Tefilla- prayer. So, the crucial life-long gift that Hashem gave to Adam, and gives to me, is prayer. Because, when I have prayer, I am never alone.
Discovering the preciousness of prayer is like finding my soul-mate
Discovering the preciousness of prayer is like finding my soul-mate. Like a spouse, my prayer reflects who I am, sheds light on what I’m going through, humbles me when I’m up, and empowers me when I’m down. Prayer is my greatest advocate for all issues, from a stubborn knot in my shoelace to finding a house to buy.
In doing so, he embedded within the very makeup of the world the power to create with speech.
But, it goes even deeper still. God specifically chose to speak the world into being. He could have thought it, written it out, or even imagined it- but he chose to speak. In doing so, he embedded within the very makeup of the world the power to create with speech.
Another word for “humans” used in Torah is “medaber,” he who speaks. Speech defines us and separates us from inanimate, vegetative and animal life. Therefore, in the same way that Hashem created all of existence with speech, He gave us the power to literally create and change the flow of nature with our prayers.1
Have you ever wondered where the incantation “Abra Cadabra” comes from? It comes from the Aramaic words “Evra Ce’dabra” -” I will create as I speak”. The occult practices tapped into this secret of creation, the power of the spoken word to literally affect reality. Magic is forbidden according to the Torah because it manipulates the forces of creation, in a non-holy, non-sacred way. Like a child, who knows that if he says a certain thing, his father will give in and buy him a new toy.
The highest way, however, to use this power is in prayer. Real, raw prayer is in the context of relationship with our Father, the Creator. By thanking Him for the inexpressible amount of good in my life, by praising Him for the breathtaking beauty all around, and then by humbling asking for anything I want, I can bring down a totally new creation, in the holiest of ways.
“Yeah,” you may ask, “but I function just fine without prayer… What’s the big deal?” Rav Natan explains via Adam’s story. When G-d administers Divine anesthesia on Adam to create his soul-mate, Chava, it is written
“וַיַּפֵּל השם אלוקים תַּרְדֵּמָה עַל-הָאָדָם, וַיִּישָׁן -” Hashem Cast a deep sleep on Adam, and he slept”. The first word “וַיַּפֵּל” “Cast (asleep)” is an acronym which stands for the phrase “They have mouths, but they do not speak.”2
Through our prayer, we are not only receivers, but we become partners with Hashem in creation.
If a person is not speaking to Hashem, he is spiritually asleep. Sure, he may seem to be functioning in life; eating, driving and working. But in the depth of his heart and mind, he is asleep. He is still receiving vital life-force, but not on the level called “awake”.
With our prayers we elevate our lives to a higher, more awake level of consciousness. Through our prayer, we are not only receivers, but we become partners with Hashem in creation.
Because of this Rebbe Nachman said “A person’s essential vital power is received through prayer.1”
So, on this beautiful, challenging, hopeful, intense journey called life, may you discover the “Adam” within who has been granted the personal power of the Creator Himself, “Isha,” to literally affect reality through speech- through prayer. Dare to unleash your voice from within (or beyond?) the seeming chaos of your life, and begin to manifest your simplest and deepest wishes. And in so doing, may the sweetest joy fill you always, with the comfort to know, that if you have your prayer, you are never alone.
Be a part of the Parashat Hashavua production
1. Likutei Mohoran 9
2. פֶּה לָהֶם, וְלֹא יְדַבֵּרוּ
3. Likutei Mohoran 9
Please note: We spent much time and effort to bring the inspirational teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov as accurately as possible in this article. If you find any mistakes in translation or have trouble understanding the article, please let us know! Feel free to comment below.We bless the viewers to be connected to Rebbe Nachman and to his teachings, and to always be happy and inspired…
Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me’Uman 🙂