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The Tikkun of Trivial Things


Yakov Leib HaKohain

[Jacob] had a dream: a ladder was there, standing on the ground with its top reaching to heaven; and there were angels of god going up it and coming down.
Genesis 28:12

What do we learn from this? First, that when we engage in the great task of Tikkun Olam (Repairing  the World by Raising up the Holy Sparks) we are like angels, uniting heaven and earth. Jesus said, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" -- that is, the Will of God requires that mankind should make Tikkun between earth and heaven by uniting the Lower and Upper Rungs of the Celestial Ladder (our Kavoneh, or "Active Intention") that connects them.

Notice, furthermore, that this passage does not say, "Angels of God coming down and going up," but the opposite, "going up and coming down." Yet common sense tells us it should read the first way, rather than the second; it should state that angels came down before going up. What does it mean that it says, instead, "going up and coming down?" It means that mankind must lift up the "angels," or Holy Sparks, entrapped on Earth  before the Glory of God can descend from Heaven.

Second, we also learn from this  passage about Jacob's Ladder that from the lowest to the highest there are Holy Sparks of God yearning to be reunited with their Source by mankind. That is, from the most trivial to the most important all people, things and actions are saturated with holiness, waiting to be released back by each of us to the unification of God. As it says, "In that day, God shall be one and His name shall be one."

But what of those things at the "Lower" Rung? What we call the "trivial" and "inconsequential:" Sharpening a pencil, cracking a nut, cleaning a cat box, training a pet, etc. What of them? Is their need for Tikkun as great as that of those things at the "Upper" Rung: charity, love, peace, compassion, etc.? The BeSHT (Baal Shem Tov) teaches us,  "in all that is in the world dwell Holy Sparks, no thing is empty of them." So the need of the Sparks at the lower rung to be redeemed is as great as that of those at the upper. Possibly even greater: being that they are at the "bottom" of the Ladder they are further from God's glory than those at the "top."  For this reason, the BeSHT said, "one should have mercy on the Holy Sparks."
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originally posted on Donmeh West - The Donmeh of the Internet

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page uploaded 2 November 1998