Using our brains to light up the world
The Holy Zohar talks a great deal about the sun and moon, and contains a great many allegories about these two heavenly spheres, especially when it discusses the tikkun, or the spiritual rectification, of the world.
In the language of the Kabbalah, this concept is often referred to as ‘tiferet’ (splendor) or ‘malchut’ (kingship). So, let’s take a closer look at these ideas involving the sun and moon.
God created the world according to the rules of nature
The first thing to know is that God created the world according to the rules of nature, and according to natural laws. The creation took place according to the rules of nature, the same rules that we still see operating in the world today.
Anyone who made it through school even as far as fourth grade will have been taught something about the ‘laws of nature’, and perhaps something about the law of gravity. Hashem arranged matters so that a body with a large mass draws everything towards it.
This is Hashem’s Divine governance of the world, and if He’d arranged things differently, we’d all fly off into space.
God intended that there would be a natural law like this, that would anchor us to the earth. Of course, He could change this law in a second, but in the meantime, this is the way the world works.
Just as there are physical laws, there are also spiritual laws
In the same way that you have laws governing the physical world, there are also laws governing the spiritual realms, too. There are a great many spiritual laws, and they branch off into so many different directions. But generally speaking, these spiritual laws are often referred to collectively as aspects of ‘the sun and the moon’ (or Tiferet and Malchut).
There are an infinite number of very deep spiritual secrets connected to this subject, but there are also some simple practical lessons that we can learn from this, too, that can help us in our own personal lives and our efforts to grow spiritually and to serve Hashem.
Each person is a miniature world, inasmuch as each person actually contains all the worlds and all the different spiritual aspects that are found in the world.
So, we also have a type of spiritual work to do which is called the ‘work of the sun’, and also another type of service of Hashem that is called the ‘work of the moon’.
The main difference between humans and animals
Again, generally speaking, whenever we talk about the ‘work of the sun’, that includes everything related to serving God with wisdom. This includes our ability to think, and our ability to think and to contemplate deeply is really what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. An animal can’t really think.
And there is also a difference between the way that a Jew and a non-Jew thinks, too. Every human being can think thoughts on a profound level, but only a Jew can really think in a way that can be described as ‘holy’.
A non-Jew can’t really grasp ‘holy’ thoughts on their own.
If they have the merit of nullifying themselves to the wisdom possessed by the Jewish people, then they can learn this ability to think truly holy thoughts from us – and this is our mission in the world.
Our mission is to light up the whole world with this holy wisdom.
Based on the teachings of Rav Ofer in the Ohr HaDaat Newsletter, #116.