Changing Darkness to Light
Rabbi Twerski gave a fascinating talk addressing the misconception of happiness in today’s society, explaining that many people look for happiness in the wrong places or believe pleasure to be the vehicle to happiness. He explained that we can alter our approach to the “pursuit of happiness” so that instead of our human instincts dominating our personal and life interests, we can become partners in bettering the world and fulfilling G-d’s mission statement for humanity of “Let us make man.” We must all strive to become as fully human as we can being weary of excessive and unhealthy pursuits of pleasure that lead us away from true happiness.
Well, Tanya says the same: one has to change darkness to light; one has to serve Hashem with both the good inclination and the "evil" inclination; the yetzer tov and the yetzer hara.
I think that this generation, as we are so close to Moshiach, is the time for all of mankind to start realizing the purpose of life and that we are here to make a dwelling place for Hashem and to fight kelipa and unholiness and reveal the underlying truth and kedusha in the world. To do that, we have to stop worshipping ourselves, start realing how the pursuit of pleasure is self centered and cannot lead a person to a path of true holiness or happiness, and we also have ato realize that money and wealth are not ends in themselves but are a means to serve Hashem and increase in goodness and charity....once we start to destroy the "idols" of society and realize that is not the way to achieve holiness or happiness, then we are doing what Avraham Avinu did and we will come to the realization and recognitin of our Creator.
We can easily see how Hashem is waking up the world in these last moments before the geulah: one natural disaster after another. An earthquake is something that a human being has no control over. A tsunami is not something anyone can prevent. The only way to have any measure of affect on these natural disasters or to prevent them, is through prayer. and I think that is what people all over the world are beginning to realize. We are not in control of our lives. there is a G-d Who sees everything, controls everything and runs the world with Divine Providence. And that is the beginning of turning darkness to light....
Any darkness a Jew experiences, we still have to remember that Hashem has given each of us the ability to change that darkness to light, to find Hashem in through the darkness itself....to realize the emptiness in the darkness and the supriority of light. We have the power of teshuvah, to return to our essence and our source and our true holiness. After all, each Jew is an actual part of
G-d and has a soul that longs for holiness, that despises evil and impurity and wants to see the spirit of impurity removed from the world. Each of us can work towards that end by doing everything to make the world a better place.
And when we are busy fulfilling Hashem's mission, there is no room for sadness. The world can become a positive, happy place, as Hashem intended. It is really up to each of us. And since we are in Adar, a month to increase in happiness, we really do have to work on adding in simcha and serving Hashem with greater appreciation and joy. This in itself brings redemption!