Today is the yartzeit of the Arizal, and we are talking about the soul, so I can’t help but focus on those two things together. This will be about what I’ve learned about the soul from the teachings of the Arizal, which offer a completely unique perception of light in the world. It’s about G-d’s place and our place in the world, and how to get past the broken places. And it’s about how to deal with anything and everything in life.

So, I’m making a unification of the 9 days before Tisha B’Av, and the Arizal and this whole soul series. I’m seeing it all coming together here so we can continue learning how to open up our souls in mystical consciousness ways.

The Arizal spent years and years going over one piece of Torah, just a few lines. And he’d come up with more Torah on that one little piece, a few lines, than anyone could handle. He’d produce an exponential amount of Torah, in quantity and quality of teachings.

One of the things the Arizal taught us is this – the deeper we go in receptivity (Kabbalah is receptivity) and the more we remain open to the finest nuances of our study, the more we need to be able to be able to plug in with our soul and tap into the ultimate wellsprings of wisdom.

He taught us about partzufim, about the idea of persona and seeing spirituality and the sefirot as worlds that are all interconnected, all outside of us as well as inside of us. We need to be aware of and connect up with those worlds, as much as possible, to advance our souls.

The Arizal taught us about tzimzum, the constriction of creation, and how that from the most constricted places come the most potential, expansive, divine, infinite places where we need to reveal G-d in all these constricted places, as the Arizal taught us.

The Arizal taught us about worlds, one higher consciousness, world outlook, and ways of creation and ways of relating to reality. We need to emulate his teachings. We need to look at these teachings and see how it applies to us, so we can step into these worlds in practical ways in our lives.

The Arizal taught us that the whole world, after the breakdown of reality, is filled with sparks that are found in the mundane places of life, and they are calling out to us. To advance our souls as much as possible we need to be able to hear those calls, to feel that drive inside to reveal G-d’s light in places he’s normally not found.

The Arizal taught us all about bringing expanded consciousness into our lives so that we can grasp that which is beyond us, that outer light beyond us, in order to fill ourselves and to grow our soul. That is how our souls grow.

The Arizal taught us the idea of an externality and an internality of life. That internality is what we need to search for because it seems that everything has an external look and feel, but under the surface and over the starts there’s the most beautiful light we could ever see, and we need to keep our soul focused on that, to expand it.

The Arizal taught us about the idea of unification, about connecting things that don’t seem to be connected in order to produce and reproduce new aspects of being and of life that wouldn’t be birthed without our connection. Ultimately, we need to see the multiplicity of life as oneness. That’s what unification is all about.

The Arizal taught us about Adam Ha Rishon, about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, as a place we are driven, in everything that we do as humanity and as individuals. We need to get there with the ultimate being and G-d connection.

The Arizal taught us that the world is made up of holiness and anti-holiness. This is our struggle inside, and we need to step up as much as possible with our souls, in order to fight this eternal holy war we are fighting.

The Arizal taught us that worlds ascend. There is an ascent, an elevation of reality at all times, and we see it especially on Shabbos. That’s when we go to a place where there is nothing lacking, and everything is perfect As-Is. We need to learn to take that ride, not only on Shabbos but on other holidays and also personal times in our lives. We need to ascend that ladder as often as possible to purify our souls.

The Arizal taught us that we have had previous incarnations. We were here before and we’re here to finish our unfinished business now, and then to carry on our perfected business, engaged in the world on a much wider scale of personal and cosmic tikkun.

The Arizal taught us the world is made from the universal principle of male and female, masculine and feminine, the Zeir Anpin and the Nukva. As much as we possibly can, we need to unite them until they complement each other within each of us, and interpersonally as well.