28 Iyar 5781 / Monday, May 10, 2021 | Torah Reading: Bamidbar
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The Incubator    

The Incubator

In our quest for attaining the truth and acquiring that which is ours to reclaim, we must strive to bask in the genuine and most awesome incubator of all – Hashem's illumination…


[A Psalm] of David. The L-rd is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? (Tehillim 27:1)
The sun warms, heals and nurtures. Sit outside in the radiance of this powerful star and you will feel the rays penetrate both your body and soul. While it is true that overexposure can be detrimental, like everything in moderation, a short period of time in the sun can do wonders for your emotions and physical wellbeing. Sunlight is documented to reduce depression. It also facilitates the production of Vitamin D which is beneficial for bone health and in warding off many diseases from multiple sclerosis and high blood pressure to the big “C”, G-d forbid.
Ancient civilizations worshipped the sun and understandably so; the sun is crucial to our existence. Without sun, we, along with all animals and vegetation would die of cold, and life as we know it would end. Unfortunately, they didn’t possess the knowledge to comprehend that the sun itself was not responsible for their survival, but the Creator of it, our Omniscient and Powerful Master of the Universe. The earth and eight other planets orbit around the sun, the center of our solar system, yet it is all part of HaShem’s master plan of which we are the focal point.  As stated in Sanhedrin 4:5, “the whole world was created for me”. This can be taken both individually and collectively, as a People. Therefore, the sun was also created for us.
Resting under the sun and drawing in its goodness can be compared to a premature baby being treated under the lights of an incubator.  When a baby is born early, It requires that extra protection and warmth for the maturation of his or her vital organs in order to thrive in the world. From the moment of conception, we grow, first inside the womb and then within the incubator of life on earth. Our birth is not simply of our physical body, but very significantly, the emergence of our Neshama (soul) as well. Only once we (our souls) are fully developed and have completed our tasks in this world, are we ready to enter the eternal world. Like the parent of a preemie, HaShem is constantly by our side, frequently supporting us with hugs and His comforting presence. Continuously throughout, we are left alone to grow within the incubator which, with G-d’s help, provides the proper atmosphere for our development. In a real incubator, there are settings for different variables such as temperature and humidity, often with a timer. In the allegorical incubator, HaShem makes all adjustments necessary in our fight for life, our spiritual life, as He programs our days with many different situations and circumstances to help us achieve our purpose here and our tikkun (soul correction). As a watchful nurse in pediatric ICU, He consistently oversees the course we are taking to aid this goal.
The warmth of a mother’s body can also help a baby survive. Her overflowing love produces the optimal conditions needed for sustaining life. Long after we have outgrown that stage, even as adults, we still yearn for the same hospitable environment in which to flourish. Where can we find similar elements of a mother’s love which encompasses the sun’s properties of brilliance, glory and healing warmth that we all crave? It is our Torah which protectively envelopes us, the foundation of society and the crux of our existence. Inevitably, like newborn babies, we often flail through life with dread of the unknown. Our innate reflexes try to sway us toward our bodily urges. It is therefore prudent for us to seek out wise and loving counsel. One such resource is Rebbe Nachman, may his memory be a blessing. Rebbe Nachman’s words are like an incubator of the soul. They allow us to absorb the benefit of his wisdom, to gain heavenly insights brought down from our sages, which enable us to carry out our lives with purpose and in contentment. Of course, we must also choose a live Rabbi to be our spiritual guide.
Just as too much sun at once is not healthy, overexposure to the Light of Torah can also be harmful. We must progress at a regulated pace and not overdo our learning or risk being ‘sunburned’ by too much too soon. We are taught (Talmud, Niddah 20b) that when a baby is in the womb, he or she learns the whole Torah. A candle is lit above its head and it sees from one end of the world to the other. Before the child leaves the womb, it takes an oath to become a righteous person. Then, as he is being born, an angel hits his mouth and all the Torah is forgotten…at least for the time being.  Throughout the incubation period, which is all our years in this material world, we slowly re-learn all that was hidden from us, if we attempt to live up to our pledge.
To help us accomplish our mission, we are also given several ‘enlightening’ tools to be utilized within our beautiful and meaningful festivals; the Chanukah Lights, the Shabbat and Yom Tov Candles and the Yahrtzeit (memorial) Candle. Via their Divinely encoded esoteric function, each of these seemingly simple acts has the potential to incubate the Neshama to far greater heights and to bring about lofty miracles. Like the fire-offerings of Israel on the Alter during Temple times, we ask that our prayers and good deeds bring us closer to G-d.
In our quest for attaining the truth and acquiring that which is ours to reclaim, we must strive to bask in the genuine and most awesome incubator of all – The Shechina, HaShem’s Pure, Holy and infinite Light. Through this we will not only correct our own souls, but infuse the glow of Torah throughout mankind, thereby being a ‘light unto the nations’. The resulting refined and expansive level of emuna will eventually bring Moshiach and our longed-for redemption.
At the end of days when we are asked for an accounting of our actions, will we be able to answer with confidence that we at least made an effort to do our very best? That is up to each one of us. All is known to our Father, the Creator, and all is as it should be, for in reality, there is “Nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

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  1 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  Just beautiful.
yehudit1/10/2012 9:56:16 AM

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