27 Kislev 5782 / Wednesday, December 01, 2021 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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The Bridge of Truth    

The Bridge of Truth

Your emuna is the core and center of who you are. Most people who have lost contact with their center just continue with life as if they haven’t lost anything…


After 20 years, the wicked Esau burned with murderous rage towards his brother Jacob for usurping their father Isaac’s blessings. When Jacob got news that Esau and 400 of his bloodthirsty murderers were on their way to kill him and his family, Jacob was afraid.


With little time remaining, the Torah recounts how in the dead of night, Jacob crossed the Yabbok River with his twelve children, two wives, two handmaids and everything he owned. The great Biblical commentator, Rashi wrote that Jacob crossed the river by “making himself like a bridge.”  How did Jacob make himself “like a bridge?” How does a man of flesh and blood make himself into a bridge?


Rebbe Natan of Breslev answered my question: Since Jacob personified truth, the bridge that he made of himself was not a physical bridge but rather a spiritual bridge of truth. Jacob walked fearlessly with the light of truth and holiness illuminating his path through the dark of night and the evil forces of Esau were defeated.


So too are our lives a thin and narrow bridge which we must traverse without fear. Today the bridge of truth is so thin that it is barely visible to us. We live in a generation where the truth is so covered up that what often seems to be true is just another fantastic illusion. The main truth that eludes us today is the truth of who we really are.


Take a deep breath and let yourself relax. Imagine that you are in Jacob’s situation (which you really are although it may not seem so).  You are alone in the dark and Esau and 400 trained killers are about to pounce on you. Are you not on very precarious ground without your faith? You’re scared because you lack faith. You feel helpless because you lack faith. In your mind, you know that you are an honest person surrounded by immoral and hostile people, but you still feel frightened…


Suddenly you see a narrow bridge illuminating the dark around you. You step up onto the bridge and take a very deep relieving breath. Almost immediately, you feel some relief as you regain some connection to yourself. Walking along the bridge you muse about how you got yourself into whatever mess you’re currently in…


Think for a moment: When emuna is weak it’s as though the real self has been strait-jacketed and held captive.  When emuna is weak, it’s as if the voice of the real self has been locked up in a soundproof room and its voice is too faint for us to hear. Without emuna, pride replaces humility and the voice of self-pride is all that we hear.


Your emuna is the core and center of who you are. Most people who have lost contact with their center just continue on with life as if they haven’t lost anything. As a therapist, it’s astonishing to me that so many people can still function somewhat despite their core self not participating at all. In order to fit in with the falsehood around them, people blur the truth about themselves and others. Their sensitivity to what is true and what is false becomes blunted. The world of falsehood robs people of the truth to the point that they can’t clarify their real feelings, beliefs, and what they are striving for in life. Fantasy replaces truth and they pursue what looks good and not what is good. This is the real self in exile.


Back on the bridge…


You suddenly have an insight. You pause at the side of the footbridge and realize that your main moral obligation is to liberate the emuna within you because the whole world and everything in it (including you) can only stand on truth.  Now take a moment to ask yourself: “What am I really feeling? What do I really believe in? What am I really striving for in life?”


If you pursue these questions, you will see the darkness disappear. As you walk in the light of truth, it will clarify your true feelings. You will know who you are and what you believe in.


If you stay on the bridge today and every day, you’ll get a clear vision of who you are and what you can accomplish. You'll free energies to recognize and believe in your inherent goodness and the purity of your real intentions. Your real self, your faith, will strive toward self-realization, self-actualization, knowledge of G-d and His way of life.


With Hashem’s help you will free up massive amounts of energy that that you didn’t know you had and you will naturally use most of your energy to love others as you love yourself and feel concern for all people.


As you continue along the bridge of truth you will certainly escape from the inner strait jacket that stopped your growth. With each fearless and authentic step that you take you will connect yourself to Hashem, your Father who is the only truth that there is.  


Ask Hashem to enlighten you with His truth and the truth of our father Jacob to understand and accept the destiny that He chose for you. Ask Hashem to send His light and His Truth to guide you and protect you as you travel on your narrow bridge; watch it get wider and wider. See yourself safely reaching and fulfilling your destination which is your mission in life. And, in this merit, may your real self shine so brightly with faith and truth that every fearless step you take will transform not only you but every person who is privileged to know you.

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