March 30, 2012
Kosher Sutra: The Holy Grudge (Tsav/Shabbat HaGadol)
There is a powerful field of medicine known as ‘intuitive healing’. Whereas traditional (allopathic) doctors focus on symptoms within the physical anatomy, intuitive healers are able to read a person’s energy field. One of the most well-known is Dr Caroline Myss who wrote Anatomy of the Spirit. She explains that we can all bring about a huge amount of healing if we are able to forgive.
Forgiveness isn’t easy. We enjoy holding onto past pains and having something to complain about. It is easier to make our loved ones feel guilty about something they did in the past rather than forgiving them in the present, but as Myss points out, we never feel like forgiving someone until we have followed through and completely forgiven them! At that point we feel more clean, pure and light.
This week’s Kosher Sutra speaks of the guilt-offering, a sacrifice that is described as ‘a holy of holies’ (Leviticus 7:1). The process is sequential; a person feels guilty about something, brings a guilt-offering, it is slaughtered, burnt and eaten, and then they have reached this ‘holy of holies’. There are no more guilt-trips and no more reminders, because everything is forgiven and truly finished. I think this points towards a radical idea, that when reach a place of true forgiveness - whether it is forgiving ourselves or others - we are in the holiest place on earth.
The Kabbalists connected the Holy of Holies, the **Kadosh Kadoshim** with the heart. Perhaps this is because when we truly forgive someone, it really has to come from our heart. Not only that, but the Holy of Holies is the place where the High Priest used to connect directly with God, and if we create space in our heart by forgiving someone else, then we really have the chance to establish a Divine connection.
Meanwhile, the ancient yogis had absolutely no doubt about the need for clearing energetic blockages. Neither did the Taoists, the Buddhists, or any other spiritual groups. The yogis noted five levels of the body, the koshas, and viewed the physical body as only the most obvious manifestation. The driving idea behind yoga is to remove blockages within the body to allow healing to take place, so that the prana/life-force can flow through the channels. When energy is blocked, cell tissues do not get the life-force they need, the body is ill-at-ease, or dis-eased, and this is what we call ‘illness’. As Dr Myss repeats time and again, one way to heal the body is to free up bound energy by forgiving people.
When the Torah states “Do not take revenge and do not bear a grudge against a member of your people.. ” (Lev 19:18), we can do an instant Bibliyogic rereading. Do not bear a grudge against a member of your people is an Imperative Universal Law because we are actually storing that grudge in our own physical members, e.g. our limbs. If we don’t forgive other people then we are harming ourselves. When somebody says “but I can’t forgive X for what they have done” then it just means they have to work harder to find that forgiveness and bring about closure. Otherwise the energetic law states that they will suffer. Paradoxically, we will often feel a greater amount of joy if it has been more difficult to forgive someone. When we truly clear our hearts, we create a space for God.
This weekend, try to forgive someone. You may not feel like it beforehand, but when the deed has been done you are guaranteed to feel lighter. And if you don’t, then blame me and I will promise to forgive you.