Let My People Know

"It is not enough to sit and study and pray"

“There are two ways of receiving Divine influence.

One is the objectively meaningful occurrence, a higher essence pouring down on one like rain, and getting ‘wet’ irrespective of one’s feelings about it.

The rain, or the down pouring, also has no preference in the matter; all are equally granted the grace of what is bequeathed.

Regardless of whether one is going to the synagogue or to the movies – the rain comes down on each and everyone.

After all, the Higher Wisdom in its broadness and universality is equally available to all; each person can be conscious of its pouring down upon him and then cling as best he may to the spiritual influence.

This clinging to holiness, or to Wisdom, is also a conscious adherence to (participation in) coming and going, thinking, speaking, being one with things.

It is an objective holiness, an essence that accompanies one’s actions, thought, speech.

In the second way of receiving Divine influence, the person enters another essence.

On one side is Torah and Mitzvot and objective holiness; on the other side is the person, the subjectivity.

If the person is not ‘privileged’ to imbibe the elixir of life, if he has a wrong approach to the Divine influence in Torah, it becomes its opposite.

It is not enough to sit and study, to lay Tefilin, to pray.

There is also the subjective choice, the inner approach, leading to the elixir of life or death.

The choice, though scarcely conscious, can make people exalted or secretly resentful.

Because in addition to many obvious things, there are always other factors, buttons to press and valves to turn, which unless done correctly make it possible to receive something very different from what was expected.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From In the Beginning, “Elixir of Life” pp. 194-195