Potter & The Secret Kabbalistic Vessel
KOSHER SUTRA Send out for yourself men who will scout (Numbers 13:2)
SOUL SOLUTION Find your feet, follow your mission
BIBLIYOGA POSE Triangle/Trikonasana
BODY BENEFITS Strengthens legs

The aim of the mystic is to find meaning in the mundane. To uncover deeper secrets behind the texts that are in front of our very eyes. Thus, when Moses sends scouts or spies from the desert to explore the Land of Israel, the famed Kabbalist Sfat Emet reads a far deeper meaning into it.

He explained that on a spiritual level we are all shlichim, or scouts/spies, and that the underlying essence of our life is to fulfil a Divine mission. He quotes his grandfather who said that “Every person is created to do a tikkun, a task that improves the world, for which he is uniquely qualified and which only he can do”*. The challenge is that we have to figure out our higher purpose and only then can we put in the effort to pursue the task for which we are uniquely qualified.

The Sfat Emet taught that another word for scouts/spies is Cheresh which means ‘secretly’, but the same Hebrew letters spell Cheres, which means ‘vessel’. It appears that the scouts disguised themselves as potters when they went on their mission, so that they would not be suspected.

How do we get in tune with our higher mission?

One approach is through meditation, to fine-tune our body. The essence of a physical yoga practice is to purify the body through asana (posture) so that it is a worthy vessel of the soul. From a yogic perspective we start with the heavy external aspects of the pose and proceed to work on an ever more subtle level. The yogis described five energetic layers to our body called the koshas (yes, that’s really the Sanskrit word!). We use other yogic techniques to control the flow of our energy, including bandhas (energy locks) and mudras (seals).

Furthermore, during a yoga practice it is as if each of our limbs is a scout, heading into a different direction on behalf of our mind and soul. During today’s posture, Trikonasana/Triangle, both of our hands and feet point in different directions, reaching outwards and literally expanding our potential.

There is a profound aspect to this. From both yogic and kabbalistic perspectives we can view ourselves as simple earthenware vessels, like those made by a potter. Our vessel contains the riches of prana (Sanskrit for energy) and neshama/nefesh (Hebrew for breath/spirit). By reducing our ego and creating space within, we become vessels of the Divine and are on our way towards great achievements.

*Quoting the Chiddushei HaRim, p205.