logo

Becoming Like A Desert

Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted:May 29, 2019

The first verse in the portion Bamidbar says that the Creator spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert. And since we know that all the words in the Torah were put there on purpose, there is something interesting to look at here. It is clear even in the most basic reading of this portion that they were still in the desert; obviously, then, when the Creator spoke to Moses, it was in the desert. So, why does the Torah feel it is important to let us know where Moses physically was when the Creator spoke to him? What lesson are we meant to learn?

Rav Yaakov ben Asher, in his commentary, Ba’al HaTurim, addresses this by quoting from the Midrash, saying that unless a person makes himself free and open for all, like a desert, he cannot possibly be spiritual or gain true spiritual wisdom, which is the essence of the Torah. Just as in the desert anybody can come in and do as they wish, so too a person needs to achieve this level.

The Midrash uses a term, hefker, which doesn’t have a true translation in English, but basically denotes something or someone who is completely free and open to do whatever it is they want, someone or something that has no owner or overseer – like a desert. This lesson, therefore, is an important one: the Torah is actually telling us that there is a prerequisite, which, unless fulfilled, will block us from achieving spiritual growth or connection to the Creator. We must be without any ego, not caring if someone did or didn’t do something tous, not becoming angry with another person if he does not do as we wish, for we are hefker, like the desert.

This idea of being like the desert is far-reaching into almost all facets of our life, and, in truth, is quite a daunting task. From the time we are born and throughout our lives, our nature is exactly the opposite of a desert. We fiercely guard all that is ours or that we think should be ours. We feel the need to strike back at anybody who infringes in any way on what we think is our territory. But regardless of the imposing nature of this task of making ourselves like a desert, the Torah is telling us that without this transformation, we cannot truly connect to the Light of the Creator. It is a task that we need to take upon ourselves if we wish to grow spiritually and connect to the Light of the Creator.

It is important to remember, however, that we are not expected to transform ourselves into being hefker in one day. Rather, what is expected of us is that on a regular basis we do what is necessary to bring about this transformation. It is a lengthy process, for which we are given a lifetime to complete, and with the help of the portion Bamidbar, we can take the first steps to begin that transformation. As long as we are constantly transforming ourselves, we will be able to connect to the Light of the Creator; it is only if we make no effort to develop this trait of being like a desert, that we will not be able to connect to the Light.

Recent Comments

The Shabbat that falls during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called Shabbat...
Speaking about the beginning of the portion Nitzavim, the Midrash says on that  Shabbat the...
The first sentence of the portion Ki Tavo says, Ki tavo el ha’aretz, vehaya ki tavo el ha’aretz, “...
The phrase uvi’arta harah mikirbecha, which translates as, “…and you will extinguish negativity...
In the portion Masei, there is a discussion of all the travel of the Israelites in the desert, and...
In the portion Pinchas, a new census is taken of the entire nation. When counting the tribe of...
When my father Rav Berg lived in the United States, and his teacher, Rav Brandwein, lived in Israel...
The story in portion Shlach Lecha is one that many are familiar with; it is the story of the spies...

Ser Como Dios

The book by Michael Berg

Por primera vez en la historia, una oportunidad extraordinaria está a disposición de la humanidad: la oportunidad no sólo de rezar a Dios, obedecer

image

Days of Connection

The book by Michael Berg

The ancient wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that each month of the lunar year holds different opportunities for us to grow and change and, conversely, hol

image

The Secret History Of The Zohar

The book by Michael Berg

What if you were to learn that an amazing body of ancient spiritual wisdom and potential source of Light for the world had been‚ “covered up‚ f

image

The Secret (FARSI)

The book by Michael Berg

The Secret reveals life's essence in its most concise and powerful form. Michael Berg begins by showing you how our everyday understanding of our pur

image

El Secreto

The book by Michael Berg

El Secreto, revela la esencia de la vida de una forma concisa y poderosa. Michael Berg, empieza por mostrarnos que la manera en que entendemos nuestro

image

Secrets Of The Zohar

The book by Michael Berg

Stories and Meditations to Awaken the Heart Michael Berg The Zohar'ssecrets have never been revealed quite as they are here in these pages, which dec

image

Los Secretos del Zóhar: Historias y meditaciones para despertar el corazón

The book by Michael Berg

Por ser el primero en traducir los 23 volúmenes del Zóhar del arameo al inglés, Michael Berg está calificado de manera única para transmitir su

image

Secrets of the Bible

The book by Michael Berg

The Secret of the Bible is a lifelong pursuit and there are many teachings within its veiled text. Bringing forward a fresh and relevant message about

image

El Camino de la Cabala

The book by Michael Berg

Extraiga de la antigua sabidur­a espiritual de la Kabbalah lo que se requiere para lograr cambios positivos en cada rea de su vida. El camino espi

image

What God Meant: Volume 1 Genesis

The book by Michael Berg

In this simple and eloquent compilation of Bible teachings, Kabbalah scholar Michael Berg imparts wisdom from decades of research and sources unique

image

What God Meant, Vol. 2: A Collection of Teachings on Exodus

The book by Michael Berg

In this second book of the What God Meant series Kabbalah scholar Michael Berg imparts wisdom both from decades of research and from sources unique t

image

Well of Life

The book by Michael Berg

Best-selling author and kabbalistic scholar Michael Berg has written this inspirational and useful book designed to help us connect with the weekly e

image

Windows in Time (DVD set)

The book by Michael Berg

A Special five HOLIDAY Companion DVD Series Spanish subtitles available Kabbalistically speaking, holidays are more than simply commemorations of hist

image

New Moon DVD Series with Michael Berg

The book by Michael Berg

Collector’s Edition (includes all 12 months) Every month has distinct opportunities for growth as well as unique pitfalls for getting stuck. At the

image

Zohar - Vol 1-23

The book by Michael Berg

Zohar is a Hebrew word that means splendor. In its simplest form, the Zohar is a commentary on the Bible. Although the wisdom available in its pages i

image

The Way: Using The Wisdom Of Kabbalah

The book by Michael Berg

A national best-seller (The Wall Street Journal, USA Today), The Way delivers a practical and profound insight into the sacred wisdom of Kabbalah. Th

image

Becoming Like God

The book by Michael Berg

For the first time in history, an incredible opportunity is available to humanity: the opportunity not simply to pray to God, obey God, fear God, or r

image

The Secret

The book by Michael Berg

The SecretUnlocking the Source of Joy and Fulfillment Michael Berg spent years studying this ancient once-hidden wisdom before putting the pieces of t

image

type your email address to subscribe

© 2017 Kabbalah Centre International, a Non-Profit Organization   |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use