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.
Please review the blog post regarding Teshuva from Love before reading on for the foundations to this post.
The Baal Shem Tov teaches us that every Jew can have devekus with Hashem. Rabbi Asher Freund teaches that it is the inherent right of every Jew, regardless of their groupings, to realize what we are (a creation of Hashem made with lack in order to become a channel for His Infinite LIght concealed within our experience of being lacking) and to talk in personal hisbodidus to Hashem in order to begin the work of rising from our subconscious blocks that naturally lead us to feeling our own lives instead of being sensitive to Hashem Who is doing everything and to whom we are completely attached. King David in sefer tehillim offer us words through which we may beseech Hashem to help us offer what fills the deep inner thoughts in our subconscious to flow back to its Source, Hashem so that we may reveal His Infinite Light as compassion instead of the darkness its concealment tempts us. This focus is the topic of the tanya, written by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the Alter Rebbe. The Tanya is the basis of all chassidis, yet is also read amongst non_chassidim. The topic of submission is the right of every Jew to understand about our lifetime and the tremendous opportunity of delighting in Hashem that is available to us for our simple recognition of Hashem doing everything yet our having the real free will to bring Infinite Light into the world by doing mitzvahs, acts of kindness, praying, and learning Torah, for the Torah and Hashem are One.
The innermost part of our thinking, in our subconscious, is filled with a kedusha that is given into the hands of the Soton. The reason is that it is filled with an Infinite light that cannot come into this world without nullifying the appearance of a world. Thus Hashem infuses it into nature, concealing Himself, and gives a nefesh elokis to mankind designed by Hashem to extract that Infinite Light from its concealment when we submit and make blessings, learn Torah, do mitzvahs, and acts of kindness. This is our purpose for being in this world. The Vilna Gaon said that we are here to correct our character traits. Correcting our character traits MEANS to shift our focus from feeling ourselves to devekus. The Chazon Ish explains that there is only one good midda and one bad midda. The one bad midda is to go in the natural way and the one good midda is to bring out Hashem’s Will and ethics.
Thus we see from both Chassidus as well as Litvish sources the very same focus. In fact, every branch of Judaism’s best teachers teachings focus on this topic. Please see here the best of the best– a draft compilation of the teachings made by Rabbi Tzadok Cable of the top Rebbeim across the board. May this be helpful to anyone on a spiritual journey in realizing the true battle within us and may it strengthen us to do hisbodidus and see where we are receiving Infinite Light and unintentionally squirreling it into feeling ourselves, causing inadvertent pain and suffering. The pain and suffering are the result of a corrupted will, the consequence of eating from the etz hadaas. The Torah teaches us all of this is the design so that we have real free will and the power of speech to do ratzo v’shov and activate Hashem’s plan of bringing the holy sparks into the world. He is doing everything. It is for our awe and submission that we are here.
Hashem is not going to do teshuva for us because that is not how His Light comes into the world. If we do this, we bring the Moshiach before the appointed time and live in the utopia. If we fail, Hashem brings the geula but we miss that time of utopia and go straight to world to come It is up to us.
May we be inspired instead to submit our false belief that we are in control or that our image is what matters in favor of returning the Infinite Light to the truth of Hashem is One, with love and awe in our hearts. And may we be given the moments of delighting in Hashem as we re-invest the light in mitzvahs that bring it to its revelation in this world.
Reprints of whatsapp chat explanations:
“We can learn to read our amygdela reactions differently by doing this work so that our judgments are not charged negatively and so that the Infinte light thereni flows….so no beating yourself up for being in that place..teshuva from love means we recognize there is infinite light we are being given to repackage into a mitzvah. The amygdela is our base brain. when we feel a lack or sadness, we automatically feel angry or fearful and our body reacts with a destructive act in self defense. Just watch babies and toddlers to understand….sad, mad, bad. The judgments we experience, says the Arizal, come from this intellect, however, if we try to act, we have gone too far. Instead, we turn our eyes upwards in prayer and name and describe what we see and what our natural reaction is. Then focus on the force, not the message, the force. The reason is that the message, if negative, is always false. the judgment may be true, but the negative message is false because Hashem is all loving and everything He does is good. Thus is the proof that the message is from the Soton in charge of nature and the force is the Infinite light of the zuhama given to it with which we are tested, so that we have real free will, to inoculate ourselves through free will against the bread of shame by recognizing our Creator while we are in such a state. We are NOT blinded by the Soton. We are willing to open our subconscious and face the lack and the confusion and love Hashem and move to infuse the force iwthout that message into His Will. In so doing, that base brain becomes more and more connected to Hashem and to our heart and becomes a channel free of the negativity all together.”
“The Baal Shem Tov teaches us that if we are seeing something in another person, it is because WE have that trait. Everyone is a mirror TO US to show us what we need to fix. Thus, by realizing we want validation, the negative message of lack and the force of that reaction can now be separated – the force of wanting validation changes to Infinite LIght that can come into the world by ahavas yisrael, loving another as we love ourselves. It has only to do with bringing that light in through a Torah mitzvah. That is what Hashem wants for that Infinite light, and it doesn’t matter whether we are giving or getting that validation because we are all one. One soul. The delight in Hashem that we experience is far greater than the momentary ego pleasure. Push away the negative message BUT KEEP THE EGGS FOR OURSELVES – meaning the koach can now be the soul of a Torah, mitzvah, prayer or kindness and comes into the world through us so that the world isnot nullified. This concept should not be foreign to us…it is what we are doing when we make a bracha on food only we have the feeling first and then do the work!! But we are elevating the sparks nonetheless”
“Our will is split in two…our natural will and our will to cling to Hashem, to go above nature. When we know that Hashem is all loving, doing everything and that there is at this very moment a part of our soul that has simple faith and is experiencing the pleasure of devekus because it is above natural will, and we trust that as true, then we can be sincere in saying that it is our will to go above our nature and this is the run part of run and return. When we are sincere and trust this is true, Hashem activates our nefesh elokis so that the simple faith and pleasure banish the negative message from our hearts.”
“May I ask everyone to add a prayer when they do this that the light be for a merit, a healing, a blessing, a cancellation of gezeira, a satisfaction of din for the soul as it exists in ourselves, our families, klal yisrael and the world? In this way we are also davening for the generation.”
The Infinite light is separatable from the negative message and can become the soul infused into doing His Will
A chabura for vulnerable sharing in active seeking of our atzmi, giving up our anochius, in a joyous way with love and awe from our hearts. Discover through hisbodedus and sharing the truer self we are able to be as servant of Hashem to be the greatest joy that it is. See the battleground and realize we are all the star of our play with the main character the spark we emit for the Moshiach.Thank you Miriam Yerushalmi for your presence in this sharing group
We will be sharing and in so doing seeing the truth and that builds unity and empathy and ahavas yisrael, ending sinas chinam.
If you would like to join the whatsapp chat, leave a comment with your contact information, name, and whatsapp number. It won’t be published here. women only please. If you don’t use whatsapp, please leave your email address to be included on either our Tuesday nite 8PM or Sunday 2:30 PM emunah zoom calls eastern time
Here is a letter from Rav Asher Freund translated by the gabbai of the Spinka Rebbe. The letter encapsulates the principles of the derech:
Difficult moments – A call from Heaven
Dear Friend, The deep anxiety, which is evident from your letter due to your being childless after many years of marriage, is very understandable in the Natural World. However, G’d does not bring a person pains without a purpose. Through these pains, G’d prods the person, forcing him to use his G’d given choice to address himself to his particular weakness, Tikun, for which purpose he came to this world to correct. Your pains are meant to bring you to Emunah, True faith, not only verbally, but by means of your effort to wage a stubborn battle against the dark thoughts of despair and self-pity with which the Devil tries to break you. Such persistent effort will eventually bring you victory, resulting in a great relief and Simcha, happiness. I ask of you, as well, to make a stubborn effort, not to dwell on your condition of childlessness – neither in words nor in thoughts, but to live in harmony without any quarrels with your husband. Such a struggle against the aggressive dark thoughts will bring you on a path of faith, a step above nature, and will open your awareness of your nature as being the real source of your nervousness and sadness. This will likewise enable you to attain, also in an unnatural way, your personal redemption in the area of your need. But it is evident from your letter to me, the absence of any effort on your part; your nature sidetracks you to focus your mind on the fact that you are childless as the source of your pain, thus keeping you at a distance from the root of your true pains. King David chose the way of Faith in relating to his many ribulations “It is good that You admonish me in order that I learn Your status”. (Psalm 119:71) I hope you will find Chizuk, encouragement and strength from my words to you because your fight is against the Devil. When you will have the humility to acknowledge the real source of your pains, you will become a vessel that is open to receive Divine help in your struggle against the real enemy – your underlying nature, rather than childlessness, which today absorbs your entire mind. This true view and awareness of the source of your pain will open a window in Heaven for your prayers thereby bringing you a speedy redemption. With blessing A.F.
Here are some notes from the derech of Rabbi Asher Freund
A person’s recognition of the self in the sense in terms of verbal introspection. People are very sensitive to what others think of us, we are embarrassed, we feel shame, we worry what they will say about us. Our behavior is motivated by peer pressure and outside opinion and how impressive we are in the eyes of others.
Aveinu was on the other side, not what others think. He was looking for
truth. That is how he became Avraham aveinu. To become our purpose we must see the world
is Hashem and we are there with Him. When
we start to blame others for our failures or lack of success, we are running
away from the main battle, we don’t want to deal with it. Blaming others is running away from the
is where are we, what is going on?
How can we greet others well when we see others make gross
errors? Each person is our mirror,
showing to us our true self, when we see another person, we see what we need to
fix and that is how we can receive them with love.
Yisrael is something that is a primary focus. Light has more power than
darkness. Instead of being shaken by the
tests, we take them and live with them.
If we have a pain, is our mind in the pain or where did the pain come from
– from Hashem?
Hashem is ein
od milvado and we don’t pay enough attention to this. If we have a certain longing or a goal and it
is hard to give it up, exactly that is what we need to give up If it is hard to forgive, that is what we
must do, forgive. Hashem is merciful and
He creates, and we are here to emulate that.
We are extensions of Hashem. We
can try to echo our Creator and that makes us like Him.
goal of creation is so we can become a divine reality like Hashem. Hashem does not have a body. Where is
He? What does a seat of honor for Hashem
mean? Hashem wants a man that is worm
food in the end a man should coronate Hashem King and when the person starts
taking on the imaginary stance that we are in charge and on the throne of
honor, we have to realize Hashem is running the world. We must get off Hashem’s throne of honor and
have it ready for Hashem to sit on and then we see true yeshuas.
If we think
we are doing everything and we won’t give in, when we put our own head down, we
become a metaphorical king.
goes through thousands of gilgulim and we don’t remember them. When something happens to us, just go
temimus, with trust and simplicity and try not to figure things out and read
into the future. We cannot figure it
out, what is hidden is in Hashem’s realm.
How are we supposed to know from previous lifetimes? So the minute something untowards happens,
just fix it immediately and ask forgiveness.
Accept everything with love and be with Hashem and be part of Hashem.
the realms that we have to work the most.
give praise to Hashem that Hashem did not give a soul to? Who makes a briss milah that Hashem did not
give a child? Who took challah before He gives us dough?
Any capability we have to perform the mitzvah, all the
fulfillments come from Hashem including the means to serve Him. There is no reason to have false pride in any
mitzvah we perform. If we overcome a challenge,
Hashem helped us and gave us that strength that we could prevail to overcome? But if we fail, we don’t blame Hashem. We admit the truth of the picture that
failure comes to show us the reality. The
fact of failure is our helplessness, that we can’t do anything by
ourselves. We don’t fail all the time
because Hashem has rachamim on us and prevents us from doing an aveira. If we were not saved, Hashem for whatever
reason felt His intervention was not part of the bigger picture. At that exact moment, then we had a view of
the failure that is within us.
anyone lose out on this tremendous way of serving Hashem, hisbodidus to help us
sort our anochius from our aztmi? There
is a way to spread foundational ideas and we should do hisbodidus and share the
idea because it is a foundational idea that needs to be heard, give it to
anyone who can bring it into practice in their own environment, whatever it is.
Torah is accessible to everyone.
Yitzchok went to the fields to daven in hisbodidus and is a mainstream
idea. Every Jew is the product of Hashem’s
hands and has the right to serve Him in the way Hashem wants, in personal
prayer, to find his atzmi, to stand at the crossroads of anochious and atzmi,
to know we are nothing and we need Hashem for everything.
Notes from the remarks of a student of Rav Asher involved at the time the derech was being evolved.
If our service depends on our pleasure, we are at the center. Hashem is giving everything and we have to live with the recotniztion of ein od milado, that shows we are prepared to do everything for Him. This means we have to be ready to be nullified before Hashem Nothing, objectively, means removing the bloated arrogant self and crowning Hashem King. That is called serving Hashem.
The kindness of Hashem accompanies us every moment. Hashem’s chesed is with us. It is not ours, it is His. It is now our ability to do things, Hashem is
giving us the zechus to do these things from the treasure of free gifts. It is only from there that we have the power
to do this.
Who will come before me and I will pay, in Iyov – who will
give praise to Hashem and Hashem did not give us a soul so we can speak? Who made a briss mila and Hashem did not give
us a male offspring? Anyh capability that we have for fulfilling the mitzvah
came from Hashem. He gives us the means
with which to serve Him. So there is no
reason to have arrogance or false pride because it is not ours. If we overcome a challenge, Hashem gave us
that strength to overcome. Yet if we
fail, we don’t blame Hashem Failure
comes to show us our reality, that is, we can’t do anything by ourselves. We don’t fail all the time. Hashem can prevent us from doing an
aveira. If we see we were not saved from
that, Hashem did not prevent that. If He
felt that His Assistance was not part of the bigger picture, we have a view of
the failure that is within us.
Regarding sheker, a person can trick others or fool
themselves. Everything a person does for
others, we are acting from our personal interest. I might be gaining money or honor or
both. But Rav Asher would say, it is all
something a person has an agenda for.
Everything we do is with a bias, a payoff, a gain. Even if it leads to something good, it is
from a personal interest and this hurt Rav Asher very much, that our mitzvahs
should be at such a low standard. Rav
Freund wanted even a simple person to be able to cleave to Hashem in his
thoughts. He sought people who were
really trying to live lishma, and not in the well-trodden path of feeling themselves
or accomplishing for their biases.
He reached Rav Zalman Briezel, who was always looking for
more avodas Hashem. He also found the Slonimer
Rebbe, the author of Nesivos Shalom. Rav
Asher found Reb Gedalia Keinick of Breslov and they would go to hear shiurim
from Rav Shterchartz and that is where they started new ideas on hisbodidus.
There was a hashgafa they worked on. That any chassid could
remain in his framework, but why should anyone lose out on this way of
hisbodidus, this way of serving Hashem?
He can go in his Rebbe’s way but this hisbodidus is the right of every
Jew. It is a foundational
idea,hisbodidus. The Lubavitcher Rebbe
in Sichos says it is so important, say it so it will be heard even if you don’t
say it in my name. Give this idea over
to anyone who may bring it into practice in his own framework. He should not lose out because he is in a
Yitzchok Aveinu went out into the field to do hisbodidus. It belongs to everyone. In the mainsteam.
Every Jew is the product of Hashem’s hands and has the right
to serve Him in the right way. What Rav
Asher wanted was for everyone to know what it means to be nullified, that we
truly understand what it means to be nothing, and know that we need Hashem for
Each person spends his day bound up in his thoughts. In hisbodidus, we achieve real freedom. All those cables binding us diminish and we
call out to Hashem in words everything in our heart, a private connection for
unity and connection.
A person is nothing.
Doing hisbodidus helps us find our connection to Hashem. Rav Asher spread this widely. Our choice is between feeling ourselves and
devekus and hisbodidus helps us distinguish, wrestle and incorporate into our
Rav Asher sought to infuse emunah into the world. Most suffering has an imaginary quality to
it. The dimion of a person is like a
lion that seeks to tear us apart. It is
like a lion that could rip us to shreds.
In order for a person to be calmer and with less confusion which are at
their roots imaginary, it is good for a person to do hisbodidus because he can
learn the truth from imagination, how to distinguish between reality and
imagination. It brings serenity to the
heart. And it brings us to a better
position to make good decisions.
When Miriam passed away, the wellspring that had been providing water the entire time in the desert turned back into a regular desert stone. Rabbi Asher Freund teaches us that the well was there on the merit of Miriam and that the reason He took away the well was so that the people should miss her that they should realize she was a tzaddekis.
By recognizing once again that Hashem is doing everything, the people have a desire to return to a higher level of awareness of Him and to serve Him. The people come closer in order to re-establish a connection with Him and to bring Him back into the void left by her passing.
This awareness is one that can help us transverse ourselves when we fall into self-awareness so that we may return quickly to awareness of Hashem is One, that He is here with us doing everything.
In placing a soul into a body that is naturally attuned with an intellect born from the natural cause and effect and systems of the physical world, there is an inherent lack of awareness that Hashem is doing everything. From His Place of concealment, Hashem is all there is. He fills all and He surrounds all. Yet He creates a man in a place where He cannot be seen, a place of tohu and vohu, of lack, of constricted consciousness. Our natural thinking is developed so that we neurologically cannot find Hashem as we would find natural laws, such as electromagnetism, gravity and the like. Torah is needed to tell us to look further inside, to find the emunah and ahavas Hashem He has given to each of us in our nefesh elokis that He designs as a heritage from the akeidas Yitzach.
Hashem has created a world with lacks on purpose. He is perfect but He creates a world with lack and it appears as though He needs something from us so that we have the ability to recognize that lack, recognize that He is missing, that He is doing everything, and from that place tear open the firmament that conceals Him through emunah and ahavas Hashem. He creates in us this feeling of loss and emptiness that can sweep us into darkness and despair, without realizing that He is with us.
Where is He in those moments? He is the force within that emotion or thought. Everything in this world has a vessel and a soul. The vessel is the thought or emotion. The soul is the Shechina in exile, placing Himself in concealment so that we experience a lack and giving us the opportunity to recognize our Creator.
Our crying out from that place in recognition that the Shechina is in exile in that place and our having compassion upon the Shechina in exile that wants to come into this world as pure compassion IS the effort we make that rips open the firmament concealing Him. When we realize the lack, the place He has designed specifically for our nefesh elokis to then be able to effect a repair that He does, He activates us as that channel that draws down into foundational elements His Infinite Light from the vessel (whirlwind of thinking that bounces us between the despair and the self-consciousness of our thinking we are in control) that was concealing Him.
Simply by submitting to the design and moving ourselves to recognize Him and love Him and daven to Him that we submit our helplessness and will to be such a channel, His Infinite Light comes into this world.
May we take to heart from the tragic loss of Rabbi Bauman something we can do to draw closer to Hashem. May we feel the void that has been set before us and may we each feel through ourselves a way to free the Shechina in exile within our patterns.
Regarding the tragedy that befell Rabbi Bauman, may we feel the void created in our hearts from this tragedy and strengthen ourselves in emunah and love for Hashem despite what seems like chaos.
May we see and trust that Hashem is everywhere, doing everything. May we recognize within ourselves some place where we can draw awareness of Hashem more deeply into our hearts.
May our cries and yearning for a revealed world bring mercy from Hashem so that we may, indeed, be channels through which Torah, mitzvahs, and acts of chesed continue to shine light into the world and make kiddush Hashem, and may each effort be a merit for the soul of Rabbi Bauman.
May his tragic loss help us strengthen ourselves in emunah and ahavas Hashem to move forward with vigor to live Hashem’s Will.
Here is a song give us chizuk in understanding that our nefesh elokis is whole forever despite our individual struggles and lacks – may the song give us heart to strengthen ourselves in emunah and love for Hashem, with awe, that He is doing everything
For this child A soul so pure With just being here As your avoda to do.
You are an angel
Sent to show us all
That Hashem Alone
Is the only Cause.
Your beauty and light
Shine to our lives
Through your mom’s bright
Sharing and cries.
Our mortal lives
Are not our souls
From choosing our roles.
That is, within
We get to choose
To cry or dance.
Your silent song
Is heard by us
Your spirit dancing
With every breath.
May knowing how
You touch our souls
Bring meaning to yours
And pleasure, to feel whole.
For whole you are
Forever it is so
No matter what
Our lifetime shows.
Our avos and our imas Had lives we learn Full of meaning and struggles For which eternity they earned.
What matters most
Is to receive each day
Knowing we are
The star of a play
The main character is the Redeemer, you see, And we each have a spark to emit for Him to be.
The spark you contribute From the stage you are on, Is part of where We are, we are all one.
So thank you dear child For being you And helping all of us Emit our sparks too.
Cause from the stage you are on, Is part of where We are all one.
The main character is the Redeemer, you see, And we each have a spark to emit for Him to be.
The spark you contribute From the stage you are on, Is part of where We are all one.
By progressively lowering our simcha in the pleasures of the body to the nine days and Tisha B’av itself – no meat, no grape juice, no swimming, no Torah learning, no eating, no greeting each other – the “feeling” ourselves diminishes in favor of a simple pleasure in growing awareness of Hashem, that He is doing everything, of what we lost when the temple was destroyed. The thought and enjoyment we direct towards feeling our physical lives -swimming, eating, music -is available and redirected toward pursuits that are above our natural will. The increase in awareness of Hashem that we are striving for is an increase in our superconscious mind that will then become a more expanded source for our will to lovingly bring into this world in thought, speech and deed. Come elul, we plan for a new year with a heightened sincerity to implement goals that place us clearly in Hashem’s picture rather than within our own otherwise naturally driven picture.
May this upcoming three weeks be an awakening to a path of spiritual intellectual upgrade that truly will enhance us for the upcoming year. May we embrace the laws and restrictions with the same appreciation for what it teaches us about the natural self-interest we gravitate to, the cognitive bias that blinds us to our true selves and how to “circumcise” our hearts in order to project into the world our truer persona and “release the sparks” that our pulling back what our pleasure in “feeling ourselves” makes possible to bring down into the void we willingly choose. And may doing so strengthen our relationship with Hashem as He designs it to be increased, may we realize our truer persona and potential to reveal His Will and bring a new light into the world, and may our really seeing and doing our part bring about that we see the utopia we yearn for.
The three Shabbosoms during the three weeks, starting this upcoming Shabbos, are keneged keter, chochma and bina. This time zone is a time when with our emunah and trust in Hashem, we can expand our awareness of Hashem in our chochma, our intellect, which will then nourish our drive, our will, to implement that through our sefiros, chesed to hod, and then bring it into this world through our elul introspection and spiritual business plan. It is for this reason that I send the below article I wrote, to really comprehend why we want to realize NOW that there is no joy without Hashem and to bring our personal struggles upwards with emunah to nourish more and more awareness of Hashem and our being a part of His Will.
THIS is the time we can truly bring a good elul for ourselves.
May we be dedicated together to this endeavor as if we got an email that Moshiach will be named in a month’s time, that we should prepare ourselves with the same intensity as if this were a certainty in our lives.
And may our vision of that prayer become a reality.
It is a given that our natural thinking runs our emotions until we find a way to bring more light into it and expand our thinking with awareness of Hashem. Until our consciousness addresses something, it remains within our reflexive selves and we may unwittingly make the same or similar errors again and again. Yet, the gift of teshuva is that at the time we see the pattern, and we do sincere teshuva, all of what we plunged into the errors is redeemed.
Our motivation to be on the lookout for such patterns, such as we introspect for in Elul, is to continually be growing into a being that is bringing Hashem’s compassionate light into the void we create by purging our will for our negative pattern, thereby becoming a channel to draw that light into the darkness.
Here again is the clip from Rav Asher Freund on why we really DO want to do this:
There is an outer layer of conduct that we are more readily familiar with – stop raising our voice, eat healthier and the like. But there is an embedded message that often may be a part of our soul buried at a very young age in a coping mechanism or false belief. To us, we have long ago forgotten how that happened, nor do we experience those feelings in a clear way. Nevertheless, a part of us is bound and gagged and it is up to us to redeem these parts of us lest we are drawn to them when the negative angels that we unintentionally form during our lives come to claim our souls.
Every thought and every emotion has a soul. There is no Other Power other than Hashem. He gives us a soul and as we develop, our traumas and how we are educated greatly affect the formation of our patterns. It is therefore compassionate of the Torah to teach us that we CAN pray in such a way that Hashem activates the nefesh elokis within us, that He has specifically designed to bring the holy sparks in our patterns of behavior back to Him and through which our nefesh elokis may then bring in a healing light that is designed specifically for that pattern. With that shift we are enabled to then turn to a mitzvah or chesed whose soul is that healed light.
What stands in the way is not just the memories and our patterns – there is a zuhamatic projection [when we ate from the etz hadaas, the tohu that fell and was given to the Soton was formed into zuhama that was injected like a poison confusing our ability to see Hashem’s love clearly] that blares within us, heightening our experience of the painful traumas and memories, without our seeing the details of our soul that got trapped there or Hashem’s constant love. The kedusha given to the Soton in order to project this through us comes from the tohu, the holy sparks that broke and fell into this world for us to ask Hashem to draw back to Him. These holy sparks also return and are added to what Hashem sends to us and indeed this is where the healing comes from, this very high light. When we pray and tell Hashem that we do not want these projections to be what we act upon, that we want neither the suffering of following its line of thinking nor the ego reward that is associated as part of the natural world, such as power and pride, we are on the track of returning everything to its Source. It can be excruciatingly painful, because perhaps we have, for a long time, wanted it and now we see it is not a good pattern. Even when power and pride seem “appropriatem” they conceal Hashem. Nevertheless, it is hard to see what we will do or have without it. This is the narrow perspective of the animal soul. And this is where our inner dialogue can be so helpful. In truth, the power and pride we seem to crave prevent us from the expansive pleasure for which we are designed.
With emunah, the animal soul also knows that Hashem is all loving and is doing everything and that if it has destructive thoughts, to realize immediately that it is suffering from thinking a projection of zuhama. Stop and tell Hashem that this is not our true will even though it feels like it is, that our true will is to do mitzvahs and serve Hashem and do chesed. Then purge each of the thoughts to Him, asking oneself at the same time what this feeling is from, what age was I, where am I, and whatever questions help to elicit a “deja vu” experience where the original circumstances arise from long ago, for what was trapped there has become ammunition added to the kedusha arsenal given to the Soton to project through us. All of this is taking place within our limbic system. Just as a baby or a toddler puts things in its mouth to explore to discover, so too may we view this examination – searching our limbic system and memories not for the purpose of acting but for the purpose of excreting or opening from where it is gagged a part of our soul that has been enslaved to a negative thought or emotion.
The true reality is that pleasure comes from the realization that Hashem is One, Loves us, and is doing everything and that we are a part of Him without stopping. Our will that was affected by our development is blocking this realization and our emunah and trust in Hashem helps us bring what animates each fallen thought or emotion in prayer to that high emunah once again, through our beseeching Hashem to please accept our compassion upon the Shechina in exile and please restore it to a purified light that may then heal and refill our hearts from where we wish, then, to bring it into speech and deeds so that His Light may be revealed in the world.
This step of sincere acceptance of the way we are created – that we have a storm flowing between lack and ego issues that brings our thinking to it thereby entrapping our soul in the dark -is crucial. It sounds so unpleasant. We want to deny it. We want to disown that we do that. However, from this place IS how we serve Hashem, for our true role is to return the holy sparks – the kedusha in the projections – back to Him. Hashem does not find fault with us for having these thoughts and emotions. He is the Cause!. He gives us real free will and a nefesh elokis that He designs with the repair built in that HE will do for us WHEN we are willing to submit ourselves.
And to submit ourselves sincerely means we crack the attraction of the animal soul to the zuhamatic projections. THAT is the bond that has our soul trapped unwittingly. Our will is corrupted there. That is the will for which we want not to want. That is the soul we wish to return in emunah to its pristine level of compassion to reveal Hashem’s Will.
And here lies our identity crisis. It feels like everything. In fact, this is our akeidas Yitzchok in many ways, our first born identity, broken as it may be, habitually engrained as it may be, reinforced as love in a dysfunctional home as it may have been.
It is compassionate to understand that our mind and heart can move from this narrow strait to an expanded highway by sincere prayer and emunah. Hashem does everything. He wants us to know the truth about Him and rely on that. Never believe the hopeless messages of the zuhamatic projections. When we are thinking those as true, we are actually adding fuel to the arsenal with which it strikes our hearts. Simply recognize that the message and the force within it are not integrated. They can be separated like to atoms of a molecule and a new bond, a bond with holiness, can be formed.
May our effort to do so be a merit, a refuah, a blessing, a teshuva, a cancellation of gezeira and a satisfaction of din for the soul as it exists in ourselves, our families, klal yisrael and the world and may we soon see a new light. May we humbly embrace the greater truth about our purpose and may Hashem grant us success.
Here is a fictional example that I believe everyone can relate to:
Sophia is hurt by an insulting remark from her husband, shaming her for not doing something that would have felt good to him. Sophia is nauseated by that response, finding it egoistic, animalistic and hurtful. She feels erased, abused, neglected and even hated. Her despair is causing her to hear a message that she is good and that if he doesn’t see that, perhaps this is the end. She starts to entertain that idea, building a case for it (see the binah working?) She then stops and realizes she has blown past the spiritual challenge. She cries out that this is an experience with Elokim, Who surrounds all worlds and Who fills all worlds. This is huge amounts of light that are not able to be processed by natural thinking. Sophia chooses to purge by describing everything above without thinking it wholeheartedly into Hashem’s love. Sophia comprehends because she knows Hashem is doing everything that this is Infinite light trapped in the narrow straits of natural thinking that anyone would have, but the messages are coming from the darkness and are therefore only a vessel. The soul of the world is Hashem! Hashem, please it is my will to have compassion upon the light that is whirling in darkness so that it may return to its pristine expression of compassion . It is my will to then be a channel through which it may fill a mitzvah, a prayer, a chesed, a Torah study or something of Your Will, that this light should come into the world in a vessel that IS your Will. The sincere naming and describing and experiencing of how those judgments formed and how light is easily trapped in that is the task. Realizing how the natural thinking is bringing Sophia to feel herself and not Hashem’s Will, Sophia asks Hashem to please give her a thought or a circumstance into which this light may be placed so that she may cling to Him and not discharge this light as is natural to do according to the limbic system. Sophia understands that any calmness is an answer. Sophia has the idea that she will simply see the transgressing remark of the other person as a momentary even though repeated pattern, but not as defining the person and that if she remains loving, it does not mean she is accepting abuse but rather she is leaving the future up to Hashem. For now, the light is going to go into kindness without listening to the “advisor” who wants to feed to her ugly messages about her self-esteem if she doesn’t stand up to it. Sophia understands that is natural and not what she wants to do because she wants more than anything to be a channel for the light to come into this world. Once that primal will is corrected, her heart becomes calm and she acts with trust in Hashem. The result is good. Her quiet kindness results in improved conduct from her husband, who now gives her more love.
The place where we attain freedom from bread of shame for all eternity is a place within us that is painful to feel, a place full of shame, a place where we see our lowliness, our lacks, and a place where we feel the impact of being seen for those lacks, and how we feel having such an exposed image. Probably everyone would want to avoid such exposure, bury it, deny it, blame others, accuse others for being so hurtful and more.
If we believe that we are, indeed, that lacking, flawed, embarrassing being that others see, the pain is tremendous and we tell ourselves horrible messages like, I am bad, I am no good and more. We feel shame. Or we live in denial and with a heart of stone.
And let’s say the lacks or our sins that others see are true. How much more so is our shame or our instinct to deny?
The pain we feel is excruciating and often it comes out as rage, fear, sadness and more.
What if we comprehend what Rav Asher and Rabbi Kessin are telling us AND we have the emunah to accept that we are NOT our flaws and our reactions to our ego image?
What if, instead, we see how that emotional pain and shame has tremendous light within it, animating messages on a plane of physicality?
How could we be true to Torah in that moment?
Rav Asher explains above. He teaches that in that moment, we may extract ourselves from the fiery coals of our emotions by having compassion upon the Shechina that has allowed itself to be drawn into that darkness in order to give us real free will.
How much courage do we need to see that despite the circumstances, regardless of how we appear in the eyes of others, even of our loved ones, that being mocked and shamed and spoken poorly of is being sent from Hashem to free us from believing and living within the despair-gaiva spiral?
There is a huge discharge when an atom is split. We have real free will to love Hashem in these shame-filled and painful moments. We may use our will to tell Hashem that it is our will to have compassion upon the Shechina in exile, that we do not want to draw the Shechina into this low and dark place. We then admit our lacks and how it feels to have them exposed. We regret our mistakes and aveiras, with a yearning instead for a pure compassion to be what we implement instead. This is our prayer. With it, we purge by describing, with love in our hearts for Hashem into His Love, all of the shame and the mistakes,the anger, the fear, and whatever else needs confessing and excreting. We cry out that naturally, by our nature, we are bonded with these sufferings and rewards, but that we do not want to want these sufferings and rewards. Instead, we want to implement Hashem’s picture. We ask that He please give us the compassion without the natural thinking to which we are bonded, which is giving us such a fiery, painful experience.
We do this with full knowledge that we are merely attempting to redeem the Shechina that is caked over our natural limbic system with coping mechanisms and habits that are an outgrowth of natural thinking based on cause and effect and education. We cannot do this by ourselves. We are not in charge of nature! However, we have the power of speech, which is formative of spiritual beings that lead us in the path that we will to go. Each word forms assistance for us to help us make better choices.
When our sincerity in effort is accepted, we experience a shift inside. Something else begins to come to our attention, and that is our nefesh elokis, the part of us that is made in Hashem’s image, the light within us that is our eternal soul that is here to shine through our garments of speech and deeds. When we make the effort here, in this world, to go towards awareness of Hashem’s light and to implement His Picture, we are making the choice with our free will that inoculates us from the bread of shame for all eternity.
Listen to a description of what we hope to do through our elul preparations for Rosh Hashana, in developing our spiritual business plan on freeing ourselves from our faulty ways, from Rav Asher.
We are very quick to accuse, blame, shame and disgrace those who trigger our feelings of shame. It is a natural survival reaction. Yet we may be missing the greatest opportunity of being alive – to discharge the Shechina in exile within our most painful subconscious messages in favor of healing compassion to our hearts.
Sara Yehudit Shneider explains why it is necessary to undergo such a huge purging – why can’t we just receive the compassion, the light to implement His Picture? We need to create a vessel to be able to pull down new light that is configured to fill that space.
Thus we see how being willing to comprehend and implement Hashem’s picture places us in a posture to encounter the pain of shame and lack and all the impact that has on our natural thinking and image IS our opportunity to choose to go towards the light so that we indeed experience life and eternal life as part of the Creator’s compassion. Ein od milvado.
May our emunah and bitachon to do this be strong so that we are not upset with those who throw us into the dark. May we thank Hashem for showing us where the Shechina is in exile within our personal universe. May we comprehend that even if the one triggering us did so from an aveira, it is only because there is a part of our soul we are meant to acquire from the matter and that in having emunah and bitachon, the light that comes in will bring healing for all, eventually.
May our effort to do this work – of extracting ourselves from yeush and gaiva by having compassion upon the Shechina in exile and running to purge back to Him with love all that animates the thoughts and emotions we are experiencing – be a merit, a healing, a refuah, a blessing, a cancellation of gezeira and a satisfaction of din for the soul as it exists in ourselves, our families, klal yisrael and mankind.
Here is a final clip from Rav Asher where he explains that the greatness of mankind is that we are able to do good in the world. The humility of mankind is to know that it is only because Hashem’s goodness fills and surrounds us that this good is possible. And the crucial health of all is to not ever feel inferior, because we are truly a part of Hashem, each and every one of us, despite the challenges we face.
Hashem is doing everything. Someone said it well…that we want to live in Hashem’s picture. At least, our simple faith find living in Hashem’s picture to be the ideal simcha.
When we ate from the etz hadaas, the forces of nature that speak to the animal soul became internalized within our wanting to implement Hashem’s picture….so much so that we suffer confusion and fall into the hands of cheap but intense pleasures that attract our animal soul away from living Hashem’s picture to a picture that seems to offer a greater and more immediate pleasure. And we deceive ourselves, unwilling to withstand the force of the animal soul whose drive for pleasure is more immediate.
It is compassionate for us to understand this.
Our nefesh elokis that is our breath that is our life force and talents and emunah, comes into contact with Elokim, a hidden surrounding light that is far higher. It is Hashem’s picture that this high surrounding light that sustains our bodies and the world be brought into our hearts and into our speech and deeds in a rectified form, meaning in a way that the compassionate Infinite light hidden in Elokim can become revealed in this world without nullifying the world. It is necessary for this light to become confused within us so that we have free will. As painful as this is, there is meaning to our struggles.
Just like a warm front meets a cold front and produces thunder and lightening, so too do we find our existence – our thinking and emotions often feel like boom crash, thunder and lightening. We come to the point of view that something so strong as how we feel is who we are. This needs more inspection
Thunder and lightening are discharges. The air is what is still there after the boom and the crash. Yet when we hear thunder and lightening, we are afraid of trees falling, getting struck by the lightening, flooding and more. In a similar vein, when our nefesh elokis and Elokim come into contact in a moment of circumstance, we have reactions, thoughts and feelings. There is force there. Tremendous light is coming together and our meager mind is attempting to hold it.
Just like a toddler that puts everything into its mouth to explore it, we try to put all that light into the intellect that has a bias towards the pleasures of the animal soul from which the intellect develops in time and space. Thus, we believe that our judgments, our reactions and emotions and thoughts are who we are, and we believe messages about our survival that are in reality full of deceptions due to the eating of the etz hadaas and the confusion within our drive to implement what we know.
Yet this place of boom crash is the exact spot that Hashem puts us for the express opportunity He gives us to live in His picture, IF we are willing to expand and abstract our minds to include awareness of Hashem and that He is doing everything so that we may provide a pathway for Infinite Light to come into the world through mitzvahs, Torah learning, and chesed.
The message of boom crash and the force of the message are not one and the same thing. Our offering is the false belief that the boom crash is the ikar, the main thing that is important and in need of action.
Through recognizing our Creator and the use of real free will, we are able to ask Him to please absorb back the force in the boom crash messages (feeling mocked, shamed, feeling afraid, angry, sad…) First we find the message that is whispering to us and causing the emotion. Then realize it is force trapped there, a force that is pure compassion that is naturally bonded with that message. Recognize that force, pure compassion, as Elokim, Hashem’s Infinite light in exile in a falsehood. We are not able ourselves to move that compassion from that place. However, with love in our heart and with will, we ask Hashem to please absorb back that compassion and bring it to our heart without that message so that we may utilize the force in a way that brings Torah, prayer, mitzvahs and chesed into the world. In so doing, we re-garment from an unrectified state to a rectified state the light and repair the four foundations of earth wind water and air as they exist in our very beings.
Hashem then fulfills His picture of us as a pathway for the Infinite light to come into the world. We are able to do much good in this world with His Goodness. Yet, if we forget that boom crash is but a discharge, we become confused about who is doing the good.
Over the last fifty years, the me generation has strengthened us in consciousness and sensitivity to feeling ourselves. While this may help us be more compassionate to others by understanding deeply how we are made, if we slip into forgetting Who is doing everything, we may have many more boom crash moments.
Feeling the pain and suffering of others helps us to provide support and comfort when their noise is loud. So many tragedies, losses, illnesses, suffering and despair are in the world. How can we bring all of that force into the world so that its compassion and not the boom crash is revealed?
Recognize our Creator. He is doing everything. We want everything we feel to be absorbed into the simple pleasure of realizing He is One and we are a part of His Picture. So much is in the way. Moving ourselves towards emunah in times of pain and anger and despair brings us into His Picture, and that ultimately, just like with Job, brings a way out of the boom crash over time.
Our constant offering is our shift from the discharge of boom crash thinking to the force being unified with love and awe to He is One, nurturing awareness of His Picture and implementing our drive to be in His Picture.
May our effort to do so be a merit, a healing, a teshuva, a blessing, a cancellation of gezeiras, and a satisfaction of din for the soul as it exists in ourselves, our families, klal yisrael and mankind, so that His Picture may be revealed to all.