16 Feb Parshas Yitro – Exodus 20:13 ‘You shall not steal’
One of the 10 Commandments we received at Mt Sinai was ‘You shall not steal’ (Yitro – Exodus 20;13).
This is not as simple as it sounds. Like all of Torah, there is the superficial meaning, and there are deeper levels of meaning. Many agree that the #1 sin is theft as all sins include the theft or stealing of time.
We learn that in Bereishit where the first verse states “In the beginning…’ the Torah is referring to “In the beginning [ of time] , also translated as “With the beginning of time [ all else was created]. This kabbalistic insight then includes the understanding that IT WAS WITH THE TOOL-OF-TIME THAT ALL WAS CREATED; THEREFORE ALL CREATION CONTAINS WITHIN IT TIME. So all averas (sins) then compromise the sanctity ie the perfection of creation by stealing from their holiness and holiness in potential the holiness of the time contained within.
In addiction recovery, as in all matters of bringing about rectification, it is necessary to have a good program that guides us to focus on a goal. This is the key to success.
Time is infinite. Like Hashem, His Name, it is past, present and future. To Hashem however, in the infinite spiritual realm, the past, present and future occur as one. They are not bound by the limitations of the physical worlds. This is much like the experience at Sinai when ‘they saw the sounds’. The experience of oneness of the sense of sight and sound ( synesthesia) transcended the boundaries of time-space and the physical boundaries of the physical world.
We live in a ‘pluralistic world’, a world that is a mixture of the infinite (spiritual) and finite (physical) . The ability to compartmentalize the time-space on a continuum is gift, a chesed (kindness) given to us by Hashem so we are able through our physical and spiritual journey with time in this world to do the tshuvah necessary to repair the world.
Through the (Kabbalistic) mechanisms of creation of time when can transcend the limitations of this lower world of asya (action), and as a Jew go beyond the deterministic forces of the mazel (constellations).
Our primary instinct is assume we are in the present and moving forward. As a means of reflection may also look upon the past (such as to always remember the Exodus from Egypt and other times of darkness that contain powerful sparks rectification [holiness]). However, we also have the ability with the proper focus and guidance of the teachings of Torah to bring the future to the present. To have a goal in mind from the future give us the ability to bring to the present a ‘rectified goal’… success. This is the same way we look to bring the future into to the present is the building of the 3rd Temple and the Final Redemption; Mashiach. Any goal that has a rectified focus is then possible.
‘If you‘re not going forward you’re going backwards’ is a common saying, especially in the world of addiction recovery. As time is on a continuum and our immediate perception is that time is moving forward, if we are not moving forward to a goal of rectification of our self and the world, we may have the perceived experience of going backwards. What is actually happening is I am actually standing still or stuck in that moment of time, time continues to move forward, and the opportunity to fulfill our goal of success is moving further away from us .Thus, we have the perception of going backwards.
When we are able to unify the past, present and future, we can then have the truest most authentic ‘in the moment’ experience.
Time is not only of the essence, Time is the essence of all creation.
Don’t waste a moment.
Leib Getzel (Lawrence) Lax
Addictions and Counseling