What is Geulah? (Prounounced geh (like get)-oo-lah. geh-oo-lah)
Geulah, in its most literal definition, is the Hebrew word for ‘redemption’. But like anything Jewish, it’s not so cut and dry. Our Sages teach us that we are to actively long for the geulah every day. Regardless of our background, Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Conservative, Orthodox, Chassidish, Litvish…we are all instructed to anxiously anticipate the geulah with every passing moment. In fact, we review it in our daily davening, and we even include it in every wedding ceremony. In our happiest moments, we are to carve out a little slice of awareness that we can’t be fully joyous and complete until we are in the final geulah, united together with Moshiach and klol yisroel (the entire Jewish Nation) in the third beis hamikdash (Holy Temple).
But times, they are a’changing. The Lubavitcher Rebbe says that we are in the last generation of exile and the first generation of redemption. And in these final days before we can see Moshiach in a revealed way with our simple human eyes, the spirit and energy of the world is already shifting as part of the Moshiach era. We’re taught as children that each and every mitzvah (good deed) we do could be the final one that tips the scales and ushers us into the era of geulah. Therefore, we should eagerly embrace the opportunity to do as many mitzvahs as possible in order to fill the world with more and more goodness. Yes, there seems to be a lot of darkness in the world. But it’s important to realize that whatever we focus on, grows.
If I watch the news, obsess over every latest post in social media, read and watch every last video I can find on current events to keep myself “informed”, then I can easily become overwhelmed and paralyzed with a gloom and doom energy. On the flip side, if I protect my eyes, ears, and mind, and choose to focus on the good instead, then guess what starts to appear in my awareness more and more? This doesn’t mean that I bury my head in the sand and ignore reality. It simply means that I can create my own reality. Input directly affects output. Think of a sponge absorbing water. I can choose clean water and a clean sponge, or I can keep using the same dirty sponge that’s been absorbing and holding bacteria for months. (Gross.) If I’m constantly absorbing garbage, then when I get squeezed in times of stress and pressure, that garbage will come right back out.
So how does this relate to geulah? We know that everything is energy, and in extremely simplified terms, there are two opposing energies in the world: Light and Dark. Every negative word (even speaking poorly about yourself!), emotion (stress, sadness, frustration, fear, anger, jealousy, etc.), thought (scarcity mentality or silently judging someone else), and deed (actions) perpetuates darkness. And every positive, uplifting thought, speech, and deed contributes to the light. Light = Geulah. In the Redemption Era, everyone will know Hashem. Hashem’s energy will permeate the world in a revealed way. Hashem’s energy = Light.
Therefore, if I actively choose light over darkness in a moment of temptation, then I am, in essence, choosing geulah. I’m creating my own personal geulah by bringing light into the darkness. Golus is the Hebrew word for exile. In Hebrew, the words Golus and Geulah are almost identical, with the exception of one letter: the letter Aleph. Aleph is also the symbol of echod (1), oneness, ultimate unity, which represents Hashem. The Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches that if I find myself feeling despondent or hopeless or apathetic or angry, and I actively choose to transform those golus-filled feelings (energy) into a positive form, then I am bringing the Aleph (Hashem) into my own personal exile (golus) and transforming it into geulah.
In today’s world, you may hear it referred to as ‘sending love’, or ‘spreading light’. And we know from our Sages that in the Era of Redemption, all the Nations will be ready to receive Hashem. The world is shifting before our very eyes, if we’re willing to see it. If we choose to view the world with Geulah Glasses, actively looking for opportunities to transform the light, spread the light, and Be the Light, then that is living each day with a Geulah Consciousness.
Some days that Geulah Consciousness may look extremely radiant with huge outer signs of abundance and positivity. And some days it may mean exercising simple forgiveness and self compassion while choosing to stop the negative self talk that seems to incessantly run through our minds. In both cases, it’s still the same choice; choosing to channel more Light into the world. Big light and little light are still light. And a little light casts away a lot of darkness. We don’t fight darkness with darkness. In fact, we don’t fight darkness at all. We simply turn on the light. Every time I turn on the light, I’m living with Geulah Consciousness. And just like any muscle, the more I use it, the more it grows. As I practice turning on my light more and more, then my Geulah Consciousness grows stronger and stronger, eventually becoming my “natural state”.