Daf Yomi Chagigah 11
Back in the good ole days, if you wanted to know the secrets of freemasonry, it took many years of initiation. First, you needed someone to recommend and invite you into the secret society. Then with each level of service, you proceeded from one inner chamber to another. Until one day you found yourself in the deepest chamber where the Grandmaster would give you the secret signs and pass on the tradition to you.
Not anymore. Today, if you want the secret handshake, it’s easy. Just go to amazon and purchase Freemasonry for Dummies and you can find out everything you ever wanted to know. No more secrets. No more mystery.
The Mishnah states: We may not discuss the laws of forbidden relationships in the presence of three people; nor the creation story with two people; nor Ezekiel’s Chariot with one, unless he is a wise person who understands on his own. Whoever contemplates four things, it would have been better for him had he never entered the world: that which is above, that which is below, that which is in front and that which is behind.
There are certain subjects that were meant to be hidden and mysterious. The greater the mystery, the greater the desire. Once the secrets are out, nobody cares anymore. It’s too easy and no longer worth making any effort for.
The Mishnah begins with the subject of relationships. When sexuality was not discussed publicly, it was mysterious, it was exciting. And so people got married and stayed married. Nowadays, it’s everywhere. It’s no big deal. And so it’s no longer exciting. People have heard everything and may G-d have mercy, seen everything. In Judaism, sexuality is so private, that at certain times of the month, husband and wife may not even discuss it, or see one another uncovered! That maintains the mystery, excitement and desire!
Likewise with the mysteries of creation and other esoteric parts of the Torah such as Ezekiel’s chariot. There was a time when Kabbalah was the domain of a select elite who handed the tradition down through the generations from one master to his finest student. If you wanted to be that student, you had to master the entire Torah, including the Talmud and the Codes, in addition to mastering your character.
Nowadays, it’s easy. Just wander into the Kabbalah Center and they’ll tell you all about the mysteries of the universe. If you’re lucky, you might bump into Madonna or Ashton Kutcher! Gone is the mystery, gone is the desirability, gone is the impetus for effort.
It goes without saying that you don’t really get Kabbalah without making the effort. All you’ll get is some watered-down Kabbalah for dummies. It’s’ time to put it all back in the bag and bring back that element of mystery into your life!
If the world is doing its best to remove the excitement of life, you can still live with mystery! Take the Mishnah’s advice: Be very selective what you discuss publicly. Keep the fire alive in your life by keeping certain subjects taboo. You will see that life will never be boring!