A comprehensive website about emunah and core Torah concepts, with analysis and explanation of the writer’s personal growth experiences in Avodas Hashem and understanding of our relationship with HaKadosh Baruch Hu.
Erev Pesach, getting ready for the first seder, I am reviewing the ideas from the shiurim from Rabbi Mendel Kessin, Rabbi Alon Moshe Rome, Rabbi Moshe Genuth and more.
What is sinking in is that the Torah teaching to make our will Hashem’s Will is not so cryptic as it seemed the very first time I heard it. How could I sincerely take what I will and trade it for Torah learning, prayer, mitzvahs and chesed? After all, we want what we want, right?
Thus is the benefit of these shiurim this year. Together, what I glean is that what we want is, in essence NOT really what we want – it is the outgrowth the of natural life that we are born into, which is full of illusions from the Soton who is given the task of obscuring the true reality in order to give us real free will.
Hashem gives to the Soton some kedusha…the Shechina agrees to be exiled in the hands of this angel – in order that the soul of Adom has the opportunity to bring together the male expression of Hashem’s Name, yud k vav k with the female expression of His Name aleph daled nun y. Hashem fills all worlds, including every item, every circumstance, every thought and every emotion we experience. He Alone is present. He orchestrates His World through the spiritual sefira and angelic beings that He Alone fills.
When we comprehend from the Torah that we are here to redeem the Shechina in exile by simply recognizing that He is the Only Power, and we love Him, that love and awe nullify all of our will for the purpose of serving as a channel across which the Shechina in exile in our inner world is able to flow into this world.
May we comprehend this deeply. Tonight at the seder we may will to be whatever spiritual level we desire. During the next 49 days, we will effortfully draw the Shechina in exile within each of the sefira and sub-sefira across our mind and heart and return to Hashem the force that is blocked by our will and false beliefs.
May we embrace our lives with full understanding of our mission and thereby have a better attitude towards submission. May we no longer seek to live stably within the illusion of the natural order but rather to redeem the Shechina in exile from sustaining the obscuring confusion so that Hashem’s Love and Mercy are revealed to all the world.
As we head into the final search for chometz, I would like to continue to share my journey towards awareness of Hashem’s constant love and supervision.
For years, I have made a habit to get up and immediately daven before doing anything else, and to learn a little Torah before going forward. Today, it took me longer to get to that because I took my phone with me to the rest room and spent longer there because of that. What happened as I headed to daven was that the animal soul headed straight towards the standard “payoffs” that the zuhama – the projection of illusion given to the Soton to test us. In plain english, I fell. And I was in pain, thinking seething thoughts.
Because I understood that I needed to roll back to the soul correction, I first used the process on what I was seething about. But, Baruch Hashem, Hashem showed me that the root of it was my own soul that infused the animal soul instead of being first grounded in prayer and Torah.
This reminded me of what Rabbi Mendel Kessin taught in his recent shiur on Pesach. He teaches that the zuhama had been depleted of its kedusha and that had we not sinned with the Golden Calf, the Soton would have died. When we sinned with the Golden Calf, the kedusha re-energized the zuhama and to this day, at the seder, we are attempting once again to remove that kedusha from the hands of the Soton.
As soon as I did teshuva – confessing, apologizing, resolving to not do that again – the seething stopped.
There are two parts to what I did. The first was to realize that the Shechina in exile is the force causing the distress and that it is distinct from the circumstances. The second was to surround it emunah in Hashem’s constant love as the reality and feel love for Hashem, placing the force – the Shechina in exile – within a safe and loving place.
From there, the inner dialogue to find the truth is meaningful. Many times, if we do not first set the environment as safe and loving, the same words in inner dialogue sledge-hammer us! Critical, hurtful, painful, even abusive corrective messages that just cause us to sink into avoidance and push back are NOT NECESSARY. Why? Because the force and the message are not one unit!!!
The force is the Shechina in exile, in our false beliefs, faulty perceptions, as well as within the illusions the Soton projects to all of us due to his domain over nature, including human nature. The messages are the illusion itself in our interpretation of the circumstances painted by the Soton that he projects to which our animal soul attaches BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT FIRST EXTRACTED THE SHECHINA IN EXILE from within our belief system. These two, the force and the message, spiral off each other…the projected illusion that comes to us as a thought and the ego based false belief that we mistakenly think is us.
It is imperative to see the distinction. The force is the Shechina in exile – there is No Other Power. It is kedusha given to the Soton with which to tempt us. It seems to have a life of its own as a result.
Why does the animal soul believe the messages of the zuhama – the projection that the Soton sends? It is because we do not separate our neutral body from the identity that has developed in time and space, our ego. We naturally see our image as us, and this is inherently FALSE. Shall we make our lives stable within falsehood or shall we make an effort to do our primary mission, to reveal Hashem’s light in the world by rectifying our ego?
We are not our body, we are not our image, we are not our ego, we are not our mistakes, our aveiras or our painful circumstances. We are a spiritual being placed in a body in order for that spiritual being to come in contact with the raw elements of the world, earth wind water and fire in order to bring into those elements Hashem’s Love.
When we slump in despair, we are believing that the world or people have power, we are believing the illusion the Soton is designated to project to see if we will recognize our Creator in the force and choose to submit all of our thinking and emotions to the true reality.
It is hard to accept that what we believe is an illusion.
Torah teaches us that this illusion is a barrier to being aware of Hashem’s goodness and love and is there solely for us to break through, to break the barrier and extract what bonds us to the illusion so that we may attach to His Truth, Love.
We are empowered to do this by having real free will. The focus of our free will is on the force in what we experience, not the circumstances. We have zero control over circumstances and zero control over outcomes. But we have 100 percent control over our effort to recognize our Creator as the only Power and to will to go above our natural urges and impulses, even if we are sunk in them. How do we make this effort? Through emunah, loving Hashem, and prayerful request asking Him to please help us bring all of the force within us to attach to Him so that we may reveal His Love.
Torah teaches us how to do this. If we do not know how, we can turn to the Torah to help us. Tanya, Mesillas Yesharim, Hilchos Teshuva, Ale Shor, Chovos Halevovos, Nefesh haChaim are all good places to look. If we do not have time to learn 5 minutes a day, perhaps we might try to find a way to do so. When we are facing forceful inner emotions, the Torah we learn is there to speak back to us, to help us understand where we are and to guide us.
My journey has been many decades long. There are no short cuts. It does not matter where we are on the journey. It matters that we are on a Torah path to attach to Hashem with awareness and to detach from our natural grasping of the payoffs offered by the Soton through the zuhama, his system of illusions and deceptions that drain our spiritual being into the darkness.
May we all choose life. May what we redeem from our personal challenges be a merit for the soul as it exists within us, our family and all klal yisrael. And may our awareness of Hashem’s constant love bring to the entire world a new light that all should be able to see Hashem’s Goodness and feel Him.
In Elul, I set one goal for 5779. That goal is to regulate my emotions so that my speech and deeds reveal a heart that loves Hashem with all my heart, all my soul and all my might.
I chose this goal because I recognize that my natural thinking takes me to places that are scary and stormy automatically. I recognized that this must be Hashem’s Power trapped because there is No Other Power.
I also recognized that I simply did not wish to experience Hashem’s Power as scary or stormy, that it is my will to experience Hashem as He is in Truth, loving and compassionate.
It therefore became clear to me that something is diverting His Light to an idea that gives the world or other people a seeming power. The natural survival instincts then become triggered and the animalistic instincts and urges take over to defend against the perceived threat. In a split unconscious second, we find ourselves in judgment and scanning to place blame or shame. My year has been to back up to the place I blew past – what I now recognize as the place where I am being given an opportunity to make a soul correction, to release from my inner bias and nature a spark of kedusha hidden there.
Keeping in mind the teachings of Rabbi Asher Freund, it is important to realize that Hashem is doing everything. Absolutely everything. That includes how the kedusha got trapped in our bias as well as the circumstances that bring out the impact of its being concealed in our bias.
We are not in control of the circumstances, despite the animalistic desire to be in control. We are in control in the effort we make to recognize our Creator and to describe, confess, and ask for His Love to be felt so that we may reveal His Love instead of what we are experiencing, We are a creation We will to be a channel across which the kedusha trapped in our bias may flow into this world.
Who we are is our effort to be this channel. To be a channel means that we submit all of our natural thinking along with the mechanisms of the natural thinking in order to prepare the mind and heart to serve as the channel. This means literally that everything we believe and think is purged, emptied into the true reality that Hashem is the One and Only Who Loves us.
What gets in our way is our desires for love and for honor. These are the kelipas of taiva and gaiva in which we naturally exist. No need to berate ourselves for being there! Recognition of what we are up against helps us in the moment. We recognize where we are – wanting love and respect – and immediately telling Hashem that we will to go above those natural wants because HE IS THE SOURCE OF LOVE AND GIVES US THE CAPACITY TO LOVE AND IT IS ONLY BECAUSE OF HIS INVESTMENT IN US OF A SOUL THAT WE HAVE A CONNECTION TO HIS HONOR, THE ONLY HONOR THERE IS. Hashem is the only being that is alive the only being with value. He generously gives us the experience of life so that we may comprehend Who He is. Thus do we thank Hashem every moment, for the glory of experiencing life, love, honor – even in the feeling of lack – because we comprehend these terms. Understanding His Love and His Honor and what it means to be a channel across which love and honor can be seen in this world helps us field every moment for His Sake.
In every moment, we have our bias. When we comprehend the opportunity to submit, in order to be the channel, sparks of Hashem’s Infinite surrounding light that are concealed flow into the world in a way that we do not comprehend fully, We soon enough find ourselves living again in our bias, our body, our animalistic urges and impulses, but we recognize these as a garment that is removable from the Force vitalizing them.
And this is the key message, The Force and the urges and impulses do NOT have to flow together, The Force – the kedusha vitalizing our experience – through real free will may be directed into this world in a way that reveals Hashem’s love and mercy. When we submit and make this effortful choice, it often feels like we are being dragged over fiery coals, for our urges and impulses and survival instincts are strongly clinging to these hidden sparks of kedusha and do not wish to let go! Our choice is crucial though. Shall the Shechina in exile within us sustain the darkness that feels to us like our natural urges and impulses and instincts? Or, are we willing to ask Hashem to answer our will to go above our natural urges impulses and instincts so that we may be a channel to bring the Shechina in exile into this world as its pure essence, which is light? The effort to use real free will and to use speech to ask means that we recognize Hashem as our Creator and that there is No Other Power and that we desire for our body to associate with His Love and Mercy and to not be attached to bias, deception or anything that blocks, denies, or diminishes His Love which is at all times the entire true reality.
Eventually, the subtle biases that we have – to be loved, to feel valuable, to be powerful – begin to lose their foothold over us. As we attach more and more to Torah, mitzvahs and acts of kindness, we detach from urges, impulses, instincts, taivas and gaivas. We literally have the potential to provide a channel through our unified mind and heart. We have the potential to be a channel for the Shechina in exile to flow from the vitality of the taivas and gaivas to integrate with Hashem’s Love.
We do this through recognizing His constant love and returning love to Him. Knowing Hashem is all loving provides an environment of safety. Awakening a reciprocal love for Hashem validates that we are, indeed, filled with a soul from Him and that by being connected to Him – and not independent beings – we have value because He has value and we are an emanation.
Scientifically, bodies need to feel safe and loved in order to calm down the animalistic urges and reactivity we naturally experience. Our human intellect, our binah, is matured when we attach it to chochma, the awareness of Hashem, of His Love, of His Torah, of His Oneness. The spiritual flow of love that comes through us quiets the fires of our imagination and intellect and cools off the winds blowing our emotions. In that moment, we have the real free will to submit whatever constricted thinking is keeping awareness of Hashem from being pervasive in our lives.
As we enter into Pesach, may we comprehend the beauty of life and the real opportunity we have to bring the Shechina – the female expression of Hashem’s Name-that agrees to be in exile within human nature from the exile to be integrated with the male expression of Hashem’s Name, Torah and love.
Normal human living means being balanced and stable living within the natural world, where the Shechina is in exile. While we are keeping oraht and mitzvahs well, are we asleep to the task of redeeming the Shechina in exile, the purpose for which Hashem creates us?
Throughout Jewish history, Hashem rocks this boat with anti-semitism and suffering. When we willingly take on to regulate our emotions in order to be a channel, and we choose to apply ourselves in this effort to redeem the Shechina from our immature intellect, we are being proactive. Either way, the Shechina in exile will be brought to integrate with Hashem’s love once again.
We were redeemed by Hashem Himself through the sefiros. The Hagadda does not mention Moshe, the one who taught us Torah and led us out of exile. Each person is vitalized by Hashem and Hashem alone. Hashem is doing everything. We are being given an experience in order to recognize Him which means that we submit our first impression of our own power to the truth of Hashem as the One and Only. When we “let go and let Hashem” we are involved in a tremendously effortful battle to submit what feels real and painful. All of our thinking falls into the category of what needs to be submitted and purged into the truth of His Love.
How do we submit and purge?
Grow in emunah and bitachon that the force and the emotional circumstances do not have to be attached to each other. The force is the Shechina in exile and we may recognize that truth and ask that it be attached back to Hashem so that we may serve as a channel for that force to come into the world as light and love. Each “but” that comes up can now be viewed within the safety and value of Hashem’s light,and Hashem’s light and our love for Hashem re-absorb the Shechina in exile in the painful or stormy thougth or emotion – oh, that has a root in the bias that I have power – I submit that vitality. Oh then they will get away with it – I submit that vitality. Oh, I won’t be loved – I submit that vitality. Oh, I will be laughed at or ridiculed or hurt or damaged – I submit that vitality.
Hashem is 100 percent in control 100 percent of the time. No exceptions. The world does not have power. Only Hashem has power. Hashem gives us emunah, will and the power of speech.
May we take pleasure in being proactive in using these powers to unify His Name and may we soon see His light shining in the world.
From the natural view of our emotions, it seems as though the force and the emotion are one and the same. “I am very angry.” “I am terrified.” “This is so painful.” The next step along this path is to scan to find the triggering moment and to allay blame. Too often, this is done with shame or self-reprovement. “I am such an idiot.” “You are being insensitive and selfish.”
By the time we get to these statements, we have long past our opportunity for soul correction, that moment where we lost sight that Hashem is all good and that He loves us and that everything is really alright. When we have emunah and bitachon in Hashem and something happens, we have the inner will to rise above the fiery coals we feel we are being drawn over in order to focus entirely that the force within the emotion is Hashem, No Other Power. Hashem is doing everything. If we are experiencing a fiery emotion, it is incumbent upon us to seek out the soul correction Hashem is giving to us as an opportunity.
Yearning for Hashem’s love and knowing that He is doing everything does not alleviate our responsibility to serve Him.
The truth is that if we are experiencing negativity of any kind, something is blocking our soul from being aware of Hashem’s constant presence and love. Generally speaking, what is blocking us is the lower will’s pursuit of pleasure as it sees pleasure. The natural will decides it needs or wants something (just watch any toddler on the candy line at the store) and proceeds to insist that it needs it. Where are those messages coming from? Thank goodness they are not coming from our essential self. They are coming from the affect of having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that causes us to have heightened awareness of the self as defined by the values of nature. Since nature is overseen by the Soton, our wants, urges and impulses are, in fact, run by the force designed to give us real free will. The intent of real free will is for us to discern that what the natural will wants is not the greatest pleasure and has no eternal meaning or value. In fact, it often leads to death and destruction.
Our responsibility is, in every moment, to ask that the kedusha given to the Soton and the powerful illusions that kedusha is able to generate be extracted from the realm of the Soton and its zuhama so that it may integrate with the true reality, Hashem’s love and mercy. Our primary task in life is to serve as a vessel to receive the light concealed in the darkness and willingly be a channel through which that light may come into the world in a way that will reveal it as love and mercy rather than pain and destruction. To serve as this vessel and channel, the body must recognize that the force and the subconscious messages that lure us towards the darkness are NOT one and the same. The force – ALL FORCE – is Hashem Echad, even if it is concealed in a confusion of pain or an addiction to something or an allegiance to a secular value or power or a total panic attack.
Do you ever remember having a splinter? First, we soak the affected area with soapy warm water, to clean it, to soften the skin. Then we take a needle sterilized with a fire and we gently open the layer of skin over the splinter. Then we may soak it again, and then, we take a tweezers and pull out the splinter. When it comes out and bleeds, we may apply an ointment and a bandaid.
When we have a negative emotion, we must realize that there is a force – a spark of kedusha – concealed within the messages that we are experiencing. It is red and raw and burning and feels on fire. We immediately “soak” it in remembering that Hashem is One and totally loves us and that we love Hashem. It seems like a contradiction, but this is where we will to go above our nature because we know and wish to return it to our heart that Hashem is One and His Name is One. We focus the purity of our heart in the force itself, surrounding it with the love of Hashem and our love, the warm soapy water. Now, into that loving safe place, the same thoughts arise, but instead of causing us to tantrum, we are able to make the distinguishment between the force and the message, and tell Hashem that we recognize He is the Only Power and it is our will to go above the natural will and to integrate the force concealed in our pain back to His Love.
Thought by thought, we do this separation of our soul that is a spark of kedusha from the inflaming negative messages of the yetzer hara. The body goes along, choosing to not listen to the negative messages that are recognized as coming from the illusions projected by the Soton to obscure Hashem’s love, to deny or diminish awareness of Hashem.
We MUST wake up to the modus operandi of the zuhama and the Soton so that we have the emunah and bitachon to withstand the feelings of being raked over the coals, knowing that it is only confusion of mind and not the true reality. The true reality is Hashem is all good, is doing everything in order to give us the opportunity to be the vessel and channel through which He may come into this world.
Yearning for Hashem to redeem us means that we are yearning for the opportunity to redeem the sparks of kedusha concealed in the zuhama and given to the Soton through the use of real free will, prayer, teshuva, and love for Hashem. We cannot prefer to have ourselves supervised as an animal is supervised, that Hashem sustains out of His Love no judgment or expectation of character refinement! If it were not for the opportunity to serve as a vessel and a channel for Hashem to be revealed in this world, which requires that we nullify our ego and correct our characteristics, there would be no reason to come to this world. This world is our opportunity to build eternal life through the effort we make to submit the animal soul to the mission of the spiritual being within – a mission of integrating fallen sparks back to Hashem. This is how we unify Hashem’s Name, Yud K Vav K the abstract chochma and love of Hashem, the nurture, with the Shechina represented by the feminine essence of Hashem’s Name, Aleph, Dalet, Nun, Y.
Our love for Hashem, our awe of Hashem, our will to go above our natural will, and our trust in Hashem that helps us focus on the kindness of Hashem trapped in the pain awaiting our recognition of Hashem and No Other is the effort He asks of us. We are here to be a vessel and a channel.
Let us learn how to safely and lovingly take the splinters out of our lives and find that they are the healing, the pleasure and the eternity that we yearn for. Let us not neglect our opportunity to utilize speech and the innate power of emunah to will for Hashem to choose our mind and heart to be the channel through which His Light is revealed.
Rabbi Genuth taught about the seething waters where we find ourselves as coming from wants that our imagination tells us we need but that we do not really need. From the lack of these imagined items, we go astray into damaging thoughts and deeds. The wants that our imagination tells us we need becomes the matter of focus for our behira point.
In order to regulate our emotions, we need to bring chochma and the awareness of Hashem’s constant love and complete supervision into the matter, to mature our understanding. Rabbi Rome’s shiur on Pesach helps understand our thoughts and why bringing chochma in is so beneficial. If we do not have it, it is Hashem’s decree and no other. So why do we feel so pained and what do we do to quiet that pain?
Hashem desires a dwelling place. He hides in the kedusha He gives to the Soton to run nature, including our nature. Rabbi Mendel Kessin explains how the sparks of kedusha fell into the hands of the Soton and how our primary mission is to deplete the kedusha from the Soton and empty this force from his power. There are four levels of interaction with mankind through which the Soton’s power – the fallen kedusha – manages our human nature through a system called zuhama….confusion, void, darkness, and pervasive depth, exile. The four cups of wine, teaches Rabbi Kessin, are there to remove the kedusha concealed in the zuhama. Take us out, save us, redeem us and bring us to You as a nation.
The spiritual being within us desires to redeem the Shechina in exile in what we experience. The animal soul desires what its self-referencing wants, which further conceals the Shechina because of the aveiras that we add to the concealment. The animal soul is capable of realizing that awareness of Hashem’s total control places us in the position of becoming the channel through which His Love may flow into the world, through our mind and heart. In order for the animal soul to submit itself and empty itself of its wants, the first step is to comprehend that what is attracting the animal soul is the Shechina in exile, masked by the false messages applied by the Sotoon there to tempt us. No one likes pain. No one likes to feel victimized and helpless. And that is our condition when we experience the implications of the subliminal emotional arguments that tell us that we want according to these imaginings that we are in need of it or deserve it.
At that very moment, the animal soul has the capacity to realize that this is a job for…..spiritual being!
The spiritual being is longing to redeem the spark of kedusha that is powering whatever that subliminally generated emotion is.
The circumstances now become irrelevant, in theory. However, the animal soul may be believing the force with the negative message, something like – you or she is no good, take control, this is too much, how could this be happening, how could she do this to me, and the like. If we do not have the Torah to teach us to look at TWO parts – the force and the message – they affect us together and we react in pain and despair, feeding our spiritual being into the hands of darkness.
With Torah, and with the will to go above the natural will, and the emunah to withstand the experience of the fiery coals that the zuhama drags us over, we have the real free will to focus on the power Source itself, the Shechina in exile, that spark of kedusha that is coming to be healed.
The animal soul submits and the spiritual being embraces the spark of kedusha, surrounding it in love and asking Hashem to please allow it to be a channel to draw this potent kedusha from exile so that it may integrate with Hashem’s love and so that we may reveal it as such. In so doing, we bring our thoughts and emotions which are the feminine expression of Hashem, the Shechina in exile in this world, to integrate with Torah and chochma and compassion, the male expression of Hashem, the abstract Compassion and Morality and Giver. Once we unify the names of Hashem, the male expression Yud k vav k with the female expression Aleph Dalet Nun Y within our mind and heart, the Shechina trapped in exile dissolves from the zuhama and negativity and is integrated with the love and compassion, which we may now be a channel for bringing into the world through Torah and mitzvahs.
Our animal soul can learn not to talk to the “reptile” offering it pain and victimization, angering the animal soul with fiery messages. Our animal soul is capable of recognizing the true Good and seeing that it is part of that Good.
While we have a body and real free will, we have the opportunity to use both in emunah to seek Hashem from where He is concealed within the situations we find ourselves. We find Him as the power source invigorating the emotions. The stronger our urges and impulses, the more kedusha is concealed awaiting us to recognize its power as fallen from Him and lovingly restoring it in an integrated way. We do this through our will, through loving Hashem, and through prayerful request. When we see the power itself and focus the purity of our heart on the One Who fills all the world, that awareness is what opens us to be a channel for the concealed light to come into this world as revealed love.
What is blocking us may be judgment against us – the force of our own soul in our past failures with this. Or, it may be the urges and impulses we all share because human nature develops and is supervised by the Soton through the zuhama. It behooves us to learn the Torah that teaches us that Hashem is in constant 100 percent control, not us. It behooves us to learn the Torah that teaches us that there is no Other Power. We have real free will and the innate ability to reciprocate Hashem’s love, thereby creating the environment of emunah and bitachon to draw the light into this world.
We may struggle for many hours on an issue. Or we may struggle for decades. Nevertheless, each effort is impactful, even if we do not see results. What we are doing is beyond what we can comprehend. We are building ourselves into a vessel to capture overwhelming light and channel it into the world through the use of free will. We must go above our natural will in order to do this, for our natural will remains within the messages that the zuhama generates for us….self-referencing, wanting, lacking, and the human comprehension of fairness rather than the Torah teachings of truth and morality.
Most of the time, we are merely attempting to dismantle our imagination. START WITH THANK YOUS. When the animal soul begins to say thank you, it begins to see that it is experiencing much good and that it may not actually need the thing that the zuhama is promoting as essential and lacking with a pull towards darkness. Thank you is the beginning of freeing the animal soul from the clutches of the negativity so that it may begin to focus on the power hidden within the negative messages and submit to do the real work we are here for – to integrate that kedusha from the fallen realm to its Source, unifying Hashem’s Name.
We seek chochma and awareness to quiet the fires that have been inflamed by the Shechina in exile within the darkness. Becoming aware of what is happening is crucial to being able to take the next step. That next step is submission of the animal urges out of recognition that it is being lured by falsehood with a power that is the Shechina in exile. Eventually we wake up and realize that the task is not to try to get what the zuhama is luring us towards. All that does is feed our spiritual being to the dark, serving the darkness. Rather, the task is to submit the animal soul to the mission for which the spiritual being has been sent into a body – to retrieve the fallen spark empowering the lure. Love that spark for it is awaiting our recognition of it as Hashem’s power. Ask Him to please accept our teshuva, that we have too long listened to the lures rather than seen the real task of redeeming the powerful kedusha through awareness of Hashem. We do not want to want the lures and its promises. Rather we want to be the channel for that kedusha to come into this world as revealed love.
As many times as we have to, repeat and repeat. Each time, we are depleting the zuhama of the kedusha that Hashem gives to the Soton in order to give us real free will. It feels like we are being raked over fiery coals – that what we stand to lose is for sure something we need and who would argue otherwise? When we do that, without realizing it, we make ourselves 1 and Hashem 0. Hashem is all there is. Remember to eradicate Amalek, who denies or diminishes our awareness of Hashem. Hashem is 1 and we are here to integrate all of what we experience into His Light, like a sunbeam that is part of the sun, bitul to Him. By so doing, we transform that kedusha which we redeem into light and build eternal real life.
Torah teaches us that our intellect, our binah that understands from what we believe we know, is in constant need of first drawing from the Torah. We consult with a trustworthy Torah scholar, a Rebbe. What we are, in reality, being instructed to do is to bring chochma, awareness of Hashem and gratitude to Him for the opportunity of life, into the picture.
If we are suffering, chas v’shalom, or experiencing tragedy or loss, lo aleinu and chas v’shalom, generally we are not really either aware of Hashem’s love nor do we experience gratitude.
In basic machine language, computers understand a 1 or a 0. Spiritually, chochma teaches us that Hashem is everything and that He is all that there is and that we are included in His Everything. So why did Hashem make a world?
He desires a dwelling place, so He creates a world where we have the experience of life and existence in order to draw His Goodness and morality into the world. However, He sets up the world so that our challenge in doing this requires us to overcome the real possibility that we are the 1, making Hashem seem like a 0, chas v’shalom.
The ability for this to take place is ONLY because Hashem conceals Himself and draws us towards that erroneous thinking so that we may use our emunah and our Torah learning to pull from the darkness the Shechina in exile within His Concealed Love. Because Torah teaches us that all there is in the world is Hashem and He is the Only Power, we may trust that only Hashem is concealing Himself and that whatever of the concealment we experience is filled only with His Simple Unity.
When we choose to not lose focus and to meditate on Hashem echad, we have an awareness of being one with Him . We find within us a place of stillness.
We have within us a place where our hearts and mind may serve as a channel. In the animal soul, our lower will, there is the potential to submit and make our mind and heart available to Him as a channel into this world.
The Shechina is in exile in the urges and impulses that beat within our thoughts and emotions. Our will to purge all of our thinking because we are focusing on Hashem’s simple unity is an effort we are empowered to make with the desire that our hearts and minds be a channel.
What we will for is that the Shechina be distilled from within the illusion that we are the focus, the number 1, the illusion to which we are naturally drawn. What we ask is that the kedusha of the Shechina in exile that we may be zocheh to channel into this world bring healing, blessing, and more. That is our prayerful request. In this way, one by one, when the thoughts and urges arise within us, we are focused and inspired to break down that feeling or set of feelings that we are 1 and Hashem…..0. What we want is to be that channel. What we want is to deplete the illusion that blocks our awareness of Him of the Shechina in exile empowering the block that gives us real free will. When we are aware that it IS the Shechina in exile and we reciprocate Hashem’s love, that awareness and love and gratitude bring us to the stillness that Hashem then may choose as a channel into this world, so He may be revealed as His Love, revealed.
That blocking feeling is complicated. There are many places for us to go astray, being drawn back into a value or familiar belief we “know” is true that keeps us denying or diminishing awareness of Hashem as One.
Hashem is really doing everything for all of us at the same time. Nothing happens without Him.
Yet He desires that we exist and bring His Light into the world. How do we do that?
It is for us to have emunah that is constantly growing. With emunah, we are able to see that the “culprit” is something in our thoughts or emotions that simply does not have the awareness of Hashem’s love. The reasons for this may be due to our own aveiros and immature thinking. While this may sound like blame or shame, what we are capable of doing when we experience such magnetically painful thoughts is to thank Hashem and ask Him to please show us what it is that He desires for us to do teshuva upon.
It may be something from a previous lifetime. It may be a family correction. However, when facing difficulties the very best attitude is that there is a soul correction, an opportunity to bring the Shechina in exile from the darkness into the world as revealed love. It could be a teshuva on our past mistakes. It could be a teshuva on human nature, urges and impulses we all share.
The attitude we are free to adopt is one of empowerment. The mistake we often fall into is believing that the pain is a punishment and that we are “bad.” Do you see the child-like thinking we have?
Know that Hashem loves us. When we have a challenge, speak to Him, with love in our heart, with a desire to understand what He is asking of us. Feel safe and loved even in those moments. This helps us come into that place of stillness.
Once in that place of stillness, the thoughts, emotions, urges and impulses float in – painful electric fiery windy and hurtful messages that feel jolting and as if they are happening. This is the work of the Shechina in exile. There is no Other Power.
Isolate the power in that fire, wind, earth and water. Focus on the pulsing power. Ask it where are you getting such strength from – keep tracing it back until you find the truth, that it is our animal soul reactively drawn to something false that is concealing Hashem’s Love yet is filled with His Love.
The next step is to see only the Love of Hashem and to ask Him to please allow this love to move from the matter through the heart and mind in order to be revealed as love and not enlivening pain. Breathe with this. This is a run and return.
There may be several layers to go through before the distinguishment of the animal soul being tempted by something concealing Hashem is found. There is always a false belief there. We attach to that false belief because it is credible to the animal soul that is seeking pleasures, such as being right, being in control and the like. Yet each one of these pleasures, in truth, make us 1 and Hashem denied or diminished chas v’shalom,and THAT is how we may then rescue the Shechina in exile. Once we spot the odorous root, we submit to Hashem and ask that our awareness of His Oneness and our love for Him make us meritorious to serve as a channel across which the Shechina may move back into the love.
instead of attaching to the suggestions offered by the Soton, which bring us to believe in blame and shame, let us attach to Hashem, which brings us to wholeness and love and healthy emotions. What does it take? Chochma.
Awareness of Hashem and Torah and a will to choose it out of love for Him and a desire to serve Him and be the being He desires. He desires a dwelling place. May He find us worthy and may our leaving behind the world of blame and shame in favor of Hashem echad and being a channel for all of that kedusha in exile to be returned to His Love bring a new light this day! May our search for chometz and our desire to bring a korbon Pesach help inspire us to reach inside and find our stillness, find the purity of our heart as knowing Hashem is One, find a reciprocal love for Hashem, and exercise our real free will to develop merits for eternal life.