The Arizal on The Root Souls of Our Leaders: Moshe
I’m going to continue with Arizal meditations, but I’m going into a new area. It’s a study of the root souls of the premiere leaders of our nation, from the Arizal’s point of view. I’m using a special book, called Root Souls, it’s in Hebrew of course, for most of my ideas, but also from a few other works as well.
Moshe Rabeinu is the logical first choice as a leader, so I’ll start with him.
Here are some interesting points about the root soul of Moses:
- Moses was the root of all the Jewish people. He was an all-containing person, meaning everything and everybody was basically inside of him. He was connected to everybody because he was an all-containing soul. All the people in the nation of Israel at the time of Moses, and all of us forevermore are all rooted in his soul. We’ve all received, and we continue to receive through him. That is a very significant aspect of who Moses is.
- Moses was a person who experienced and who knows all of Torah, which includes the oral Torah, the written Torah and all discussions about Torah in the past, present and future, until the end of time. His access to all of Torah, for all time, has incredible ramifications for us all. We all have our own personal relationship with Moses as a result.
- Moses made a decision, as the leader of the Jewish people, to bring the mixed multitude along with the Jewish people coming out of Eqypt. This group of people was far greater in number than the number of Israelites leaving Eqypt. His decision to include others was controversial, and in fact the presence of other people became the proverbial “thorn in the side” of our nation, at the time of the Exodus and still today.
- Moses was born circumcised, and aligned with the side of goodness, from birth. He was born after only 7 months in the womb, because he needed less time in gestation to become prepared to come out into the world. And he was born 120 years after the beginning of the Egyptian exile. Since the entire period of the exile was 210 years, Moses was 80 years old when he led the Jewish people out of Egypt.
The first 120 years correlates to the 120 years Adam was separated from his wife and had spilled his seed. The Israelites, therefore, were rectifying Adam’s losses during those years, and Moses was called as a leader after the rectification.
- Moses was the leader of his generation, not only in his own time. G-d declared, because he brought out mixed multitudes along with the Jewish people, and those others became the thorn in the side of the Jewish people in every generation, Moses would come back in every generation, too. He would reincarnate to take care of the mixed multitude, and by his very presence in our times, in a supernatural way, he dwells among us so we can be connected.
- Moses was, at the same time, the greatest of prophets and the greatest of scholars, and yet he was also the most humble of all human beings. This point needs deep study, in and of itself, meaning coming to understand a soul which is so humble it allows a person to receive everything, all of the prophetic insight and all of Torah.
- Moses, it is taught, was the reincarnation of Adam’s sons, Hevel (Abel) and Shet (Seth). Those names are represented in his own name, Moshe, with the Shin and the Hey, That source of his soul was a connection to the relationship between Cain and Abel, which played out in Moses’ life as his relationship with Jethro, a reincarnation of Cain. This spiritual reality is an example of the tikkun, the rectification needed at the time.
- Moses was able to see much more clearly than any other prophet before him, with his connections and his prophetic powers. He was able to see with an untarnished perspective, and to speak with G-d as a friend speaks with a friend. Other prophets saw through a mirror, so to speak, and their prophetic messages need interpretation because they don’t have the direct connection we have.
- Moses was born and he died on the 7th of Adar, at the age of 120 years old. This is an indication of the span of his years and also of the uniqueness and righteousness of that particular day on the calendar.
- Moses was considered to be an angel of G-d, certainly a man of G-d, and our Sages teach us that he was able to fast from food and water for 40 days and 40 nights, which is much more like G-d and it is like a human. He was definitely a man, but his face shown with a light so bright that other people couldn’t look at his face at all. In fact, Moses had to wear a mask to conceal that energy.
Our Sages tell us that Moses was very, very tall, 10 meters tall. So, he was a tall and a strong man, and generally beyond the level of normal people. But we’re told that if we’re able to find where he is and to pray for him, the Messianic era would arrive immediately. We don’t know exactly where Moses’ grave is located, and maybe it’s because the time isn’t right for us to know. It’s still a mystery…
- Moses was completely selfless and self-sacrificing as regards the wellbeing of his nation of people. He was willing to give up his own name, his own life for the sake of the nation. Sefirotically, Moses represents the sphere of Netzach of Eternity, of transcendence, of overcoming everything in an eternal way.
- Moses was the leader, and the one to whom people looked for guidance, and for everything, while at the same time he was very humble. We have to keep this dichotomy in mind in order to try and emulate Moshe in our own lives, to experience who he was and who he is now. We need to be able to look at Moses and see his all-inclusiveness, and then bring it into our lives, too.
We need to see and know the people outsides ourselves, and yet experience them inside ourselves. Like Moses, we need to feel the responsibility of all our people, and step up to that responsibility.
We have to be able to feel we have access to a lot more wisdom and G-dliness than we can even imagine, or certainly take credit for. We have to experience humility, even when we are great, or perhaps, as a result of being great. We have to see ourselves as humble people even as we feel the responsibilities.
- Moses represented the Sefira of Daat, of Knowing, and we have to try to find that inside ourselves as well.