World of Acceptance – Amazing Tricks on How to Turn Lack into Plenty, and the Secret of Transcendence

Acceptance is a major component of many spiritual systems, not just Judaism. Accepting our lives as they are is a subject of contemplation and a very important principle from the Torah. And, in fact, there’s plenty of evidence that doing so actually makes life easier and happier.

Being that Hashem transcends our intellect, we often need to assume a passive stance and simply let go of our little desires. It’s just the way things are. We can’t comprehend Hashem and at the same time, we need to play with the cards given to us (namely, make the best of it).

But how does that work when we are busy with our problems and can’t seem to make sense of what’s going on? What happens when chaos around us is so overwhelming and seems to crush every effort we make to change?

The essence of acceptance

acceptance

Jewish literature explains a little of Hashem’s involvement with reality by comparing the spiritual realms to a courtroom. Hashem, as the supreme judge, receives pleas, prayers, and petitions not only from us but also from the Sitra Achrah (“other side”, forces of darkness).

When a decision is made (and it can happen in an instant because there’s no time there) variables are weighted, a decree is issued and what is set to happen, will happen. There are many other factors present in this equation, which we will not be delving so much into them here.

The Talmud explains that if the decree is sealed in clay, it can be annulled (whether it be good or bad). But if it is sealed in “blood“, then it’s impossible to change it. Again, this refers to purely spiritual concepts.

We are all limited by our very physical nature. There’s only so much the human intellect can grasp and that’s why we have a hard time coming to terms with reality. When things don’t go our way as we immediately perceive them, we judge them to be bad. Most of us begin praying to Hashem to change our lives as soon as possible because we “know better”. That’s what makes acceptance hard, it’s just usually not within the realm of our imagination that this does come from Hashem.

The result is that a lot of pain and stress are self-inflicted. Acceptance of decrees as a loving expression by Hashem, though it could sound crazy, would necessarily make our lives a lot easier. “Just let go” is what everyone says. Problems would pass by and not scare us so much. We’d live life pleasantly without worrying too much about things because most of it is, in fact, out of our control.

The only problem with that is: how to accept it?

An example of acceptance from the Torah

The Torah narrates the story of the Hebrew People in the desert. After being bound by Ancient Egypt in servitude and being rescued by Hashem Himself, we stood next to the Red Sea. At that time, the Egyptians had realized the mistake they did in freeing the soon-to-be Jews (though their country was obliterated by 10 plagues) and began hot pursuit.

Seeing the Sea from one side and the Egyptian chariots on another, the people begin to despair. Moshe starts to plead to Hashem. However, he receives a most enigmatic answer “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to travel forward!”.

At first glance, we are left clueless.

The Jewish Sages already stated in the Talmud that, even if a person finds himself with a sword to his neck, he shouldn’t refrain from praying because “Hashem’s salvation comes in the blink of an eye”. So what kind of response would that be?

This is where things get really interesting but here we will have to make a brief interlude.

Rabbi Tzadok’s explanation

The Zohar explains that there are 3 ways in which Hashem relates to us. This is often called “Divine Providence”, namely, how the Creator relates to us.

The first way is when a person receives everything he needs without any effort. Whether it’s money, health, good marriage, peace, or children, this person gets it all without a single prayer or drop of sweat. Surprisingly, whether they are good or not, there are people in the world who are graced like that because Hashem’s wisdom dictated that their mazal should be like that.

The second type of providence is when a person prays and doesn’t get anything back. There are times in our lives when Hashem, unfortunately, turns his back and becomes inaccessible. It’s not that he doesn’t listen to prayer or that he’s not there, but rather, he doesn’t answer in a clear and positive way.

Finally, in the last type of providence, a person prays and Hashem fulfills it. This is an in-between the first and second types of providence and is where most of us are situated.

It’s important to realize these 3 types of providence can happen in a person’s life at different times or even simultaneous times, but with different issues.

While the first and third types of providence are manageable, the last one really is difficult. This is obvious. The first person gets everything for free (that’s not necessarily good all the time, but it’s nice nonetheless. I mean who wouldn’t want that?). The third person also gets everything he wants by praying and, personally I believe that’s the best place to be. If you have a problem, pray and it will be solved. Sounds like a sweet deal and it’s better that it be achieved through prayer as Rebbe Nachman explains in Likutey Moharan.

So, asks Rabbi Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin, what can a person in the second type of providence do to change his situation?

One of the main problems with the world

According to Kabbalah, we are here to filter the broken shards of the spiritual reality that fell in this physical world of ours. The explanation doesn’t sound as nice and convincing as it is in Hebrew, but let’s bear it together.

The world was originally created in order to serve as a vessel to contain Hashem’s Infinite Light (read: Divine Consciousness). Divine Consciousness in its pristine state is limitless, blissful, pleasant, peaceful, and joyous. It transcends any physical pleasure a person could possibly conceive in his mind. Ultimately, it brings the entire universe to a state of unity and harmony. And this is everything our souls (our true selves) desire, despite our bodies screaming otherwise.

Yet, as it turned out, creation was unable to withhold such a powerful experience of Hashem and broke, so to speak. It broke in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Chava asserted their own “independence and fragmentation” by eating of the Tree of Knowledge. That’s what in religious parlance is referred to as a “sin” (or lack of acceptance of Hashem’s will).

The real spiritual job

So our work ever since has been to bring Hashem’s Light (again: Divine Consciousness) into the world by becoming vessels and literally accepting His domain. When that happens, all evil, pain, and fragmentation can disappear and we irradiate this consciousness into our lowly world. This is a more mechanical/natural/scientific/logical process than it sounds and can be explained at another time.

Meanwhile, as we are in the process, the rectification happens slowly, starting first with ourselves, then with our community, and finally, with the world. This is how consciousness works. Reality is brought forth from within, meaning everything is very heavily influenced by how we view life. The problem is that most of us don’t know what we really feel inside. We just think we do.

As Rav Avraham Itzhak HaKohen Kook already implied in his writings, those who attempt to rectify the world without first rectifying themselves are hypocrites. The reason is that it’s simply impossible to fix anything in the exterior world without first rectifying it from within.

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Tangible benefits of acceptance

Acceptance is not an easy thing. A person might have to go through a lot of pain in order to finally come to terms with reality. This is because most of the time when we are in pain, it means we are not taking the right path in life. And this is one of the causes of depression.

Pain, however, serves the very important purpose of breaking our egos, which prevent us from seeing reality for what it really is, learning and growing.

So here’s the great irony of all, as explained by Rabbi Tzadok.

If you get this, it completely changes everything:

When we accept Hashem’s decrees of not deserving something, we might actually get it.

While it may be completely counter-intuitive and absurd, but that’s how Divine Providence works. Like we saw before, Hashem transcends our comprehension and when we take this truth to heart, we so to speak “go up”. According to Rabbi Tzadok HaKohen from Lublin, this is the meaning of “Tell the people to travel forward”. This expression also has the connotation of “Tell the people to travel up!” (because the verb also has this other meaning).

However, this has to be done genuinely, from the bottom of one’s heart. It’s worth mentioning that one who pretends to “accept” only in order to get what he wants, won’t get it. Heaven knows those who try to cheat the system (and probably laughs at them too).

So acceptance is a very deep and important concept to strive for. This is in fact brought in Sha’arei Kedusha by Rav Chaim Vital, where he stresses a person should accept insults and pain with simcha to achieve Hasagah (perception). When there’s acceptance, happiness ensues, and that’s a prerequisite for Ruach HaKodesh.

While it’s important to face reality and receive it the way it is, it’s equally important to change it for the better. And there’s a deep art in achieving this balance.

The end of the story

When the Hebrew people back in the desert despaired at Hashem’s decree, only one man actually understood the secret. His name was Nachshon, son of Aminadav of the Tribe of Yehuda.

As we know, Hashem destroyed the Land of Egypt with 10 plagues and performed unbelievable miracles. He did it not only for the sake of rescuing the future Jewish People, but also to teach a valuable lesson that the Creator can overturn the laws of nature at will. Reality is completely subjugated and nullified to Him.

So, how could He, at that critical time, abandon the fledgling nation he took so much care of?

It would be crazy to think that the Creator would lead them there only to have everyone killed! So how could He abandon the people at that critical time? What were they supposed to do if not to pray more or die at the Red Sea?

The answer, as Nachshon understood, was:

“That could very well have His plan all along! And if we are to die, so we die! We accept the decree!

In doing so, in crossing borderline crazy thinking, Nachshon entered the Red Sea and continued until the water came up to his nose. Then the most famous miracle happened, which allowed national salvation to come: The waters of the Red Sea split, forming walls on both sides, allowing for the passing of the Israelites.

Nachson didn’t rely on his intellect but ventured to an undiscovered, much higher level that transcends rationality, called Emunah. In doing so, he really “traveled up”. The same thing happened to Nachum Ish Gamzu.

Some people call it crazy, but then again simple folks also called prophets by the same appellation.

Concluding remarks

King Solomon already stated: “Hashem created one thing opposite the other”.

Acceptance is the opposite of change but paradoxically, it also causes change.

Moreover, the female archetype Malkhut, the holy day of Shabbat, and acceptance are all facets of the same concept, while the male archetype, the profane days of the week and change is the opposite side of that as is brought in the Zohar.

This duality is very well-known throughout the world, permeates all levels of reality, and has many deep ramifications. In it is the secret of ascension, of being, of receiving from above, and expanding one’s current state of consciousness.

But this should be enough meditation for now.

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Chaim Apsan

Chaim is a teacher and Kabbalah enthusiast. He loves helping Jews connect with true Torah teaching and enhancing their spiritual growth. With a focus on meditation, he guides individuals on transformative journeys of prayer, contemplation, and connection with Hashem. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and kids, and is committed to sharing the wisdom and power of Kabbalah in a genuine way.

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