Let My People Know

"We must destroy the complex structure that shields us from awareness"


We have heard of and to some degree comprehend the unity of the light of the Infinite One. 

However, to "see" and relate to it directly, we must destroy the complex structure that shields us from that awareness. 

When we remove that obstacle, we arrive at a direct understanding, one corresponding to sight.

This is not a mystical state or an elevated experience of an extraordinary nature that can be reached only after study and preparation. 

It is rather the simplest, most generalized awareness of even an untutored Jew, to whom it is starkly obvious that God exists.

The story is told that a prominent Zionist active in Germany for many years at last visited Tel Aviv.

Before returning home, he delivered a speech in which he admitted, "I am amazed that the lies that I have been spreading for the past thirty years are actually true!" 

At last he saw the Holy Land with his own eyes.

It is possible for a Jew to pray, learn, and perform other activities at a distant remove. 

His hand moves to perform a mitzvah, his mouth prays, and so forth. 

Then one day, perhaps after decades have gone by, he realizes that he himself is performing the mitzvah, that it is he who is standing and speaking to God. 

This is not because he now possesses information he did not have before but because now he is directly experiencing his actions. 

This is the difference between a person who knows something because he had read it in a textbook and someone who perceives something directly. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From Understanding the Tanya, Chapter 29, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz