Parshas Shoftim Devar Torah

Shoftim – looking after oneself (Deut.16-21)

A person must keep the body in check. This includes thoughts, speech, vision, sense of hearing, sense of smell, feelings/emotions and actions. The body is the tool through which a person, together with the Creator, manifests his/her soul energy and purpose.

The primary responsibility of a person is to oneself in association with one’s responsibility to mankind. To turn a blind eye to taking care of oneself has consequences that can affect the circumstances of the journey.

This responsibility is given to us by the Creator (16:18) for us to use in all aspects of life. To judge clearly, the judge needs to be connected with the oneness of humanity and creation. When a judge has connections with special interests the result will be a conflict of interest that causes a blockage of the heart and thereby prevents clear judgment.

An open heart is a gift. The ability of individuals to be open and sensitive allows them to appreciate and utilize the unique gifts that have been given to each one of us. The optimization of our gifts does distinguish us from each other. However, taking good care of oneself and being open allows us the opportunity to share our special gifts and work together with all of humanity.

Often our society fails to understand this aspect of individuality. It expects all people to fulfill a similar purpose. This attitude has had a devastating effect on our education system, which persists in making similar demands of all children. When we try to educate all children in the same way, we hurt them, and deny society of their potential.

For far too long a time the vast majority of the human population has been devoid of proper respect for nature. Instead it has persisted in the notion that it is o.k. to rampage and destroy natural resources by use of chemical compounds or without adequately planning for replacement and re-growth of resources, etc.

If society reverted to open sensitivity with nature, a lot could be accomplished that would change the world in an instant. There are individuals who are working on these issues, but the masses are not generally involved. We can only watch to see how much the work of a few will benefit the world.

It is important for people to accept that no person is totally pure. Each person has impurities that enable the person to live on this planet. Accepting this serves a dual purpose. It may prevent people from making other persons into an idol. It allows people to understand that everyone is human, and subject to making mistakes and having some failures. Knowing this enables people to continue to strive for their potential and goals.

As an example, I was born with a sense of wanting everything to be perfect. My fastidiousness in doing things caused me to be frustrated when other persons that I came into contact with did not do the same. It is only when I allowed myself to accept things as they are that I was able to find a balance to co-exist better with all kinds of people.

(16:22) Do not set yourself up (your mind or heart) in an unchanging situation (doing the same things every day without taking an accounting of yourself) because it is despised by the Creator. Each moment is a new creation. In order to be in touch with the Creator a person must be in touch with the moment. This can occur by listening, seeing, feeling, smelling, tasting or sensing. Do not limit yourselves as to which way you will connect within any specific moment.

The course of life holds many types of occurrences and situations. When we are faced with challenges we must recognize our ability to rise beyond the limited structure of what is happening. Everything has a mystical part to it. The same is true of all persons. Having the ability to recognize the mysticism or mystical aspect in each issue will enable each one of us to handle our challenges with a more balanced approach. This will result in more effective accomplishments in all areas of life.

It may be amazing for some people but even in our personal “dark” moments we do not have to cry out for salvation from the human experience. Allowing ourselves to be cognizant of what is beyond could lessen or prevent us totally from feeling the pain of the present. Knowing that this is possible allows you to understand that this may be an issue of choice. (There are other aspects here as well i.e. what the Creator wants.)

There is an issue of personal choice in this realm. Yet in a broader space it is part of a balance of positive and negative in this creation. There are energies that can only enter this world through a negative door before having the ability to be transformed or used to move something in a different direction.

Many people ask for burdens to be removed. There are some individuals who are ready to give up their lives for that reason alone, or for what is for them a just cause. These requests show us that the action remains within this realm and does not truly open a portal for humanity to move into another dimension.

Asking shows a depth of pain and understanding. Acceptance or personal sacrifice is a choice. While the chosen course of action may bring peace for some individuals, it will not be the end-all solution, only momentary reprieve. It might allow an individual to walk through a portal, but does not take the rest of creation through it.

Eventually a portal will suddenly open for all mankind. Meanwhile creation is shifting and moving toward such a possibility. With love we can support others so that they can live with their Divine Selves. In order for this we need to be, not to be doing. There is so much innate wisdom in every aspect of creation including our bodies that the only thing we really need to do is listen.

Every moment has its wisdom and thus each moment has its unique focus. That focus shifts with the unique wisdom in each and every succeeding moment. We connect with other souls and together make one whole.