Friday, December 5, 2008

FROM MICHAEL BERG's POST

Taken from Michael Berg's post, which I felt was quite inspiring and wanted to share:

Something Can Always Be Done, We Can Always Create Change


All of us at one point or another have faced a situation in which we felt our hands were tied. No matter what we did or said, we knew we couldn’t change the outcome. ”The doctor diagnosed me with…the lawyer said this…the psychic predicted…”

This idea of “it’s over and there’s nothing I can do about it” is one which my teacher (and father) Rav Berg has railed against his entire life. What I have learned from him, and wish to impart to you this week, is there is always something we can do.

Always.

There is a beautiful story in ancient times about King Hizkiyah, King of Judah 715-687 BCE. One day as he lay on his sick bed, he was visited by the Prophet Isaiah. “God has sent me to give you a message. Prepare your affairs, you’re going to die. You are not going to live.”

Quite a message! It wasn’t enough that he came to tell him he was dying, but he made sure to emphasize he was not going to live, (which the kabbalists explain was a code for, there is no hope for him the afterlife, either.) Stunned, the King asks, “Why?”

“Because you did not try to have children in this world.”

The King pleaded with the Prophet, telling him the reason for not attempting to procreate was because he had a prophetic vision in which he saw his offspring causing great destruction to the world.

“Never put stock in what you see!” the Prophet answered. “Even if it is a divine vision. Don’t worry about things beyond, what is not in your control. You have to do what you need to do and what is right.”

The King saw the merit of the lesson, and with renewed hope asked if he could marry the Prophet’s daughter. “Maybe with my merit and your merit combined, the offspring will be righteous.” His solution was rebuffed, the Prophet soberly informing him that the decree was signed, and nothing could be done about it.

To this the King replied, “I don’t want to hear your prophecy! Get out of my house. This is what I have learned from my great-grandfather King David: even if the sword is on one’s neck, he should not give up hope, for he can always draw mercy to change it.

The prophet leaves and Hizkiyah elevates and changes his consciousness and then he prays and his supplication for more life is granted.

This is our lesson. There is never a moment when we should to accept a decree, a prediction, a diagnosis, or anything. In King Hizkiyah’s case, God himself said it’s over and he refuses to accept. And with that consciousness, he changes the decree! If he had accepted the finality of the news he would have not had changed the decree and he would have died.

Notice the difference. This is not just an understanding. It is a consciousness. If you understand the concept but still allow the thought in your mind that yes, maybe it is over, maybe the doctor, lawyer, accountant, psychic is right, then you won’t be able to change it.

You can apply this lesson in the biggest and smallest of ways. Even when it comes to studying Kabbalah there are times when we come up against concepts that seem bigger than us and impenetrable. In these instances we want to apply this consciousness by saying, I can push myself.

This is a consciousness we want to awaken this week. It is not easy to achieve, but it is the key to truly having the power and ability to change anything and everything. There is always something that we can do to create change.

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