BY REBBETZIN TAMAR TABACK
During the blessing of the Kohanim while they are chanting “May Hashem bless you and safe-guard you….”, and we whisper fervently, “חלום חלמתי ואינו יודע מה היא…” – “I had a dream and I don’t know what it is….”
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Did you ever wonder why, at the pinnacle of Mussaf on Rosh Hashana and on festivals, we start talking about our nightly dreams? Of all things to bring up at the time of the blessing of the Kohanim, when Hashem’s beneficence is being channeled towards us…. and we’re praying about our dreams??
Most of us assume this is referring to the dreams we dream while we slumber. Of course, the prayer is obviously referring to those dreams. And yet, on a deeper level… if this isn’t the time to dream, when is?
We are still seeding our year, at the “crown” of it, and all of our intentions for what is to come are beginning to taking root. Nothing has yet made its way into the worn grooves of reality, nor cascaded into existence. Our will, our hopes, and our dreams is the stuff of our prayers now. It is at this time of piqued holiness that we say, “I had a dream and I don’t know what it is…”
What is this dream that we don’t know what it is?
Our dreams are the highest possibility for our lives. They are so great, so high, so holy and pure, that our limited intellectual capacity cannot contain them. So instead, we give it over to Hashem, and we say to Him, I have a dream, I have a potential, I do not even know what it is. But You do. And you will give me the year that I need for this dream to slowly, easily, and please G-d without pain, make itself know to me. May it be good and sweet!
Here is an excerpt from R’ Nir Menussi’s still unpublished work. It is exactly about these sorts of dreams that we cannot even begin to realize their magnitude. Only Hashem knows how to manifest them through us, if we are committed enough to watch them unfold, and relaxed enough to trust as they do.
Those dreams are called our Reality.
Let me explain what I mean with his words from R’ Menussi’s introduction to the section on Rachel and Leah (translated into English, in italics)…
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As truth is stranger than fiction, so is reality more wonderful than fantasy. When it feels as if our dreams have been shattered, they have! While we hold the shards of shattered dreams in our hands, cutting our flesh and breaking our hearts, it is only because we haven’t yet realized that our dreams weren’t big enough. Broken dreams are a sure message that Hashem has better plans. Those other dreams that we held so dear were in fact rooted in our limited human minds, and by their dissolution, the space is made for dreams with a capital D! to emerge. Those are the Dreams that are rooted in Hashem’s knowledge of our fullest potential, that will only be known to us on our final day, as the Aishes Chayil (woman of valor) is described, “and she will laugh on the last day”. Were that we would be able to perceive this as Truth as we assuaged our grieving hearts from our shattered dreams, and know that in fact it is in those moments that we are closer to realizing our Dreams than we have ever been. The new and G-d version of those dreams have a different name. They are called: Reality.
In Hebrew, the word “reality” is מציאות, and means, literally: “that which is found”, that which is unfolding in front of our very eyes despite our wishes that things would be different. “חלום חלמתי ואינו יודע מה היא – I had a dream and I don’t know what it is…” It is these Dreams, the ones we are not consciously aware of and cannot possibly grasp at the get-go that are the seeds of our greatest potential… the dreams that we don’t even know we have. And where can they be found? How do we realize those dreams? We realize them through our Reality. Precisely where our dreams lay shattered, where our fingers holding its fragments are still bleeding and Reality is rearing its horrific head, we catch our Dreams peering through at us. As we meet Reality herself, we come to know what Hashem really had in mind for our greatest evolution and potential. And we will always be surprised at the greatness that Reality evokes.
I must interject and tell you something funny In South Africa, we are blessed (blessed? :)) with domestic help. Just recently, shortly after my daughter’s Bas-Sheva’s birth, I was looking for some extra help. An applicant for the job walked into my kitchen and told me her name. It was Reality. I hired her on the spot! I knew this was Hashem beckoning me on and in.
Reality is an under-rated friend. It is through her that we get an inkling into those dreams we don’t even know we have. It is only when our smaller human-level dreams dissolve that the G-d generated ones can take root. And our real growth begins.
These are the dreams that are constituted from the deepest places in our lives and souls. Because they are so high they “hide” in the shadows of our normal waking consciousness. We get used to this state and settle with a faded version of life, one in which we are not in touch with our truest dreams. We need Reality – Hashem’s “trick” that He uses to ensure that only the best ensues – to return to ourselves purer, clearer and more connected than we have ever been.
May this year be one of the sweetest of Dreams.
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How do we learn this from Rachel and Leah? On a simple level, Yaakov dreamed about Rachel and the Reality Hashem gave him was Leah. We will go into this at depth at the school, as well as see in what way this is true in our own lives. We require a very safe space to explore at this level of depth. I invite you to see what I mean. Enroll HERE