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Elevating Sparks Through Eating

The Ari, of blessed memory, speaks of the separation and elevation of the Holy Sparks. These Sparks fell at the time when God “build universes and destroyed them.”

 

One must separate these Sparks and elevate them step-by-step, from the inanimate to the domain of plants, animals, and humans. These Holy Sparks are in the Husks of Evil, and must be elevated. This is the goal of the observance of the Torah and Commandments (Etz Chaim, Sha’ar MaN U’MaD 2).


This is also the concept of eating: It is known that each Spark, even in the inanimate and plant domains, has a complete structure, with 248 limbs and 365 vessels. As long as it is in these lower domains, it is imprisoned. In this state, it cannot stretch out its hands and feet or speak. This is alluded to in the verse of Parshat Hachodesh, “Its head is on its knees, on its insides (Exodus 12:9).”


When, while eating with his good thoughts and intentions, a person elevates the Holy Spark from the plant realm to the animal and human, he liberates it.


There is no redemption of captives greater than this.


My master, the Baal Shem Tov, gave the following example: If a king’s son was in prison, and someone came along and worked to free him, his reward would be without bounds.


All this is judged and calculated on high. It is written, “He makes an end to darkness (Job 28:3).” It is thus determined how long the Spark will remain imprisoned, when it will be liberated, and through whom. (Ben Porat Yosef 74b)


Morning Blessings: “Who releases the bound,” and empowers us to release imprisoned sparks through our service of You.


Amidah-Gevurot: “He releases the bound,” and empowers us –Gevurot -to release the sparks and experience the eternality (Techiat HaMeissim) of our service and actions.


By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, n''y

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