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The Spiritual Gene and the Reshimot (Reminiscence)

The entire plan of human development is imprinted in man. It is the engine that pushes us forward and forces us to evolve. We have already succeeded in comprehending the fact that the entire knowledge of the biological body can be obtained in our genes. But the plan for our spiritual development is also embedded in special genes, much deeper than our biological genes. They are our ‘spiritual genes’.

From the moment a person comes into this world, this plan becomes operative and begins to act on him and control his life. It dictates his attributes, his character, his fate and his every movement. But it also allows him the freedom to choose in many of the situations.

This plan exists not only in man, but also in everything that exists in the universe and it dictates the very process called “life.” Unlike other parts of nature, that program is not inflexible in man, but evolves during his life. The program is a series of consecutive data commands. Each commandment is called a “Reshimo”; from the Hebrew word Roshem (imprint). There is a chain of Reshimot (pl. for Reshimo) in each of us, from the moment we are born to the moment of our death, but it contains not only our current life cycle, but also all the incarnations of our soul.

If we read the data in this chain of Reshimot we will be able to go through all the stages of the development of the universe, as in a movie, from the earliest situations of the creation of the universe, the sun and the stars, through the dinosaur era and on to the farthest future. The collective law of the universe loses nothing but only changes from state to state.

If this chain of Reshimot is our whole plan of operation, from the beginning of our life, to its end, and if there is nothing that we can change, but only follow the written instructions, it would be interesting to know what has been in store for us there, both as a whole and as individuals. It would be better to research the Reshimot in the following manner: see what is the purpose that nature sets for itself, what is this collective law that the Reshimot are supposed to bring us to, and then ask can we study those Reshimot and then perhaps make changes, rebuild and perhaps improve things to suit our flavor?

The answer to that question can be found only if we dive into this plan of Reshimot itself. When a person studies Kabbalah he learns about that program and about those Reshimot, but the contemporary man still has to make a certain effort in order to know his life-plan, to study the management system of the universe, so that he can utilize it for the best.

That plan is in the world of Atzilut, the control panel and the source of light to our world, which determines the expansion of the light, which brings life, confidence, health and peace to our world.

The soul is in its most perfect state in the world of Atzilut. It is filled with eternal light and peace – equal to the Creator and filled with him. From that situation it is ‘thrown’ to the lowest place called “this world.” On its way from the world of Atzilut to our world, the soul gradually loses its light and by the time it enters our world, it has lost all of it, and remains with nothing more than a reminiscence (Reshimot) of its past situations. Those expansions are recorded in the Reshimot that afterwards form the degrees of the ascent back from our world to the world of Atzilut.

The Reshimot are comprised of two primary components:

  1. A memory that remains from the light of the Creator that the soul was filled with prior to its descent to our world.

  2. The power of the aim ‘for the Creator’ (the desire to give) – which held the soul in the uppermost spiritual degree.

Those two components help us rebuild the spiritual sense, with which we can overcome the partition that separates the corporeal world from the spiritual worlds. That sense is something that the Kabbalists create within themselves. It is called a “screen.” The acquisition of a screen allows a person to control his destiny and improve his environment.

During the descent of the soul from the upper world, where it is filled with light, to this world, where there is no light, it is like a ball rolling down a staircase and hits every step on its way down. That hit is the Reshimo that every person who studies Kabbalah learns to realize correctly, starting from the smallest Reshimo created at the lowest spiritual step, down to the final and highest degree. Even in the first degree that a person attains, he rises from a state of unconsciousness, to a state of higher awareness that awakens in him the desire for something sublime that can only be found outside his world.

Question: What are the superpowers that Jews have with regards to the management of the world; what is that special plan of leadership that is found in their ‘spiritual genes’?

Answer: The Jews will lead the world by their ascent to the upper world precisely by realizing the Reshimo that remains from the uppermost spiritual degrees. Any person, who realizes all his Reshimot, rises to the place in Atzilut where his soul used to be before it came down to our world.

In Kabbalah, the world of Atzilut is called Eretz Israel (the Land of Israel), and how a person reaches it is called Ivri (a Hebrew) to designate one who has gone over from the corporeal to the spiritual world. He becomes a part of the world of Atzilut, which is the ‘control panel’ of our world. That person becomes a part of the control panel and thus attains the ability to control the world, understand and determine the events in our world.

All that remains of the soul once the light leaves it is this chain of Reshimot. All the Reshimot are closed and folded in it like a point. That point is inside each and every one of us, and it is called the “point in the heart,” or “the fetus of the future soul.”

The Reshimot are the ones that define the future soul of man, its shape, its properties and the place it should return to in the world of Atzilut.

The difference between the situation of the soul in the world of Atzilut, before it descends to our world, and the situation after it rises from our world back to Atzilut, is that the ascent of the soul is a result of man’s effort and desire. The soul climbs the degrees of the worlds out of free choice, and by that it reacquires the full spiritual stature of the world of Atzilut. At the same time, man’s body continues to exist in this world, and thus man lives in both worlds simultaneously.

The wisdom of Kabbalah, by definition, is the method, which discovers and unravels the whole universe, the entire reality, while living in the corporeal body. During that revelation man gradually acquires the attributes of the Creator – the ability to bestow, to give. The more a person acquires these attributes, his soul becomes more and more Creator like, until it becomes identical to him, at which time a person rises to the degree of the Creator, becomes equal to him.

Therefore, in order to manage your own destiny, as well as that of the whole world, it is a must to be a “Jew,” a “Hebrew,” meaning go over to the that side of the barrier. Jews are not a people; they are a group of people who acquired the method, which teaches how to become Jews-Hebrews, and how to cross the barrier between this world and the upper-spiritual world.

Before Abraham the Patriarch received the method of the Kabbalah, the Torah, this group was an ordinary tribe of desert men like other clans that lived in Mesopotamia. Scientists also claim that our genes, including those of the Ashkenazi Jews (the ones that come from eastern Europe), resemble those of the original inhabitants of Mesopotamia.

The difference between the others and us is only in the mission that we were given, which was defined as a goal for the clan of Abraham, which had turned to the chosen people of the Creator. The mission that they were given is to teach ourselves and the rest of mankind, how to manage the world and contact the Creator. Anyone who takes upon himself this mission is called a Jew. But a concept of a Jewish nation doesn’t exist, because there were never such a people to begin with.

Question: Were there times when Jews attained a high spiritual level and spiritually controlled the world in a practical manner, or is it just regarding the future?

Answer: A significant amount of Jews were at a high spiritual level after the exodus from Egypt, during the conquest of the Land of Israel, and during all the time of the first and second temples. The Kabbalists of those times kept the old world in a much better situation than it would have been without their interference. But that was not yet the time for all mankind to rise to the degree of the Creator, and the Jews still hadn’t been given the duty to realize their historic destination toward other nations.

After the ruin of the second temple, the mission of the Jews was to go into exile and mingle with other nations and go through the history of the gradual evolution from the Reshimot of the beastly level i.e. the exclusive desire for mundane pleasures, to the Reshimot of the degree of man i.e. the recognition in man’s destination, in the spiritual life and the management of reality.

Therefore, it is said precisely about our time: “then ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all peoples” (Exodus 19, 5), and “for a father of a multitude of nations have I made thee” (Genesis 17, 5). Now we must teach ourselves, and all other nations the method of the Kabbalah; how to effectively utilize our Reshimot, develop the spiritual sense and cross over to the spiritual world, to come in contact with the Creator and take on ourselves the management of the world.

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