Am I Supposed to Stay Lonely?
by Rabbi Aron Moss
I have an interest in studying Kabbalah. But I want to know, is it practical? I am not so interested in abstract mysticism, I want something that will help me in my life. I need something stimulating as I am getting a bit bored with single life. Will Kabbalah teach me the tools or is it just theoretical?
What you are looking for is Chassidism, the practical application of Kabbalah. Let's look at an example of Chassidic thought that might be very relevant to your situation. At first it will seem like an out-there esoteric idea, until we add the Chassidic twist to bring it down to earth.
The master kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria taught:
Before the world was created, the divine light filled all of existence. When G-d decided to create the universe, He withdrew His light and left a void and an empty space to allow for the existence of the worlds. It is in that empty space that all worlds exist.
This is far more profound than it sounds. Thousands of pages have been written to explain and understand the meaning of this contraction of the divine light. But in its simplest level it means that to create an existence outside of Himself, G-d needed to first hold Himself back, to make room for another. As long as G-d's light filled all of existence, nothing else can be. By G-d hiding His light He made space for another - the world and all that is in it.
This concept can be directly applied to our lives. Many people complain that they are lonely and can't find love, and many people have trouble in their relationships. Sometimes the reason is because we have not actually made room for another person to enter our lives. We are so preoccupied with ourselves, our own lives, what we are looking for in a partner and what we think we need, that we don't really ever give someone else a chance.
When we present a long list of qualities that we are looking for in a partner, and then scrutinize each person to see how many they tick off, we are not actually meeting them for who they are. When we say we are looking for love, but then don't have time to meet anyone because Mondays and Wednesdays is gym, Tuesdays and Thursdays we work late, and then the weekend is so busy... it means we just don't have room for another person in our lives.
So here is a very practical lesson from the Kabbalah: if you want a true relationship with a real person, you need to create a space, find some openness, put your preconceptions aside and let someone else in. If you want a relationship to blossom you need to give the other a chance to be themselves, and you need to make room in your life for them to take up space.
Otherwise you will be like G-d was before creation - alone. And G-d knows that's not what you deserve.