When it all began

When it all began the world was in a utopian state. The spiritual and physical were in perfect harmony, the world was good, pure and untainted and the Human Being knew nothing of the existence of evil.1

Then the first sin occurred causing evil to be introduced and intermingled with the good. From that point on it became necessary to use wisdom and discernment to distinguish good from evil, to extract the sparks of good and elevate them.2

In every situation there is a good spark and a path toward a perfect state. When a choice is made to extract those good elements another part of the world is brought closer to its essential perfection. Like a Rubik’s Cube, it can always be restored to its perfect setting no matter how much it’s been unordered.

A Story

Brooklyn congresswoman Shirley Chisholm was a “black rights” advocate and bomb thrower. Upon getting elected she requested to be appointed either to the Housing or the Poverty Committee. Some racially prejudiced individuals who were running Congress at the time decided to teach her a lesson and assigned her to the Agriculture Committee. The New York Times had a front page article entitled: Does a tree grow in Brooklyn? She was very upset and didn’t know what to do. The Lubavitcher Rebbe called her to a meeting and said, “I know your upset but you should know what a blessing you have been given! This country has a surplus of food, yet, there are so many hungry people. Find a creative way to use this gift to feed hungry people.”

On her first day in Washington she met congressman Robert Dole from Kansas and they started talking. He said, “Our farmers have all this extra food and we don’t know what to do with it.” She responded excitedly, “One second; the Rabbi…!” And what we call WIC and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was largely expanded through the Agricultural Committee of the US Congress.

Refining the sparks

In this story the “good sparks” were well hidden in a frustrating & hurtful situation. Yet, with conviction, optimism and a trained eye the situation was transformed to a historic achievement.

Deep down we all envision an ideal place to be. For some it may be the way things were in one’s childhood or on one’s wedding day. For others it may be a certain position in life or an achievement of inner peace.

When people take positive action to improve themselves or their environment, an additional spark becomes elevated and returned to where it belongs. Another detail of the world is redeemed and a further contribution is made to the global redemption.