In a brilliant class from Rabbi Efraim Stauber, he explains
the conversation between the brothers and osef after Yaakov passes away. The brothers were afraid that now that Yaakov
was no longer alive, Yosef would take revenge upon them after all these years
for their mistreatment of him.
Rabbi Stauber explains that Yosef cried and tried to
reassure them, teaching us something very important…which is that our level of
believing our attachment to nature holds us back from seeing reality.
What we are attached to in our beliefs can shift from cause
and effect based on natural observation to seeing Hashem is the sole cause and
effect of everything. We see in
scientific thinking how we seek out the cause and the effect of various
phenomenon. What causes things to fall
to earth? What causes grass to
grow? What causes oxygen to be produced? We learn and we associate. And when we are little our parents teach us
right from wrong, through consequences.
Cause and effect. If this then
that. It is our natural intellect. And without Torah, we would not look further
Reality is that our lives in this world are for us to earn eternity
and to be part of Infinity. Otherwise,
how would it make sense for Hashem to conceal Himself in nature to give us real
free will and suffer in that darkness?
The process of shifting is intended to be a loving and
gentle journey, as we see in Yosef HaTzaddik’s response to his brothers. He understood that they simply did not
understand, that in some ways they, who are tzaddikim, did not yet have
complete understanding that Hashem is the cause and effect and what this world
How do apply this to our own challenges?
If we understand that our first negative reactions are cause
and effect based on learned responses then we can see further that the cause is
some kind of lack and the effect is its impact on me. Thus, a misunderstanding might simply be a
meeting up of different operating systems based on what we are attached to. We see books on men and women’s communications
that are replete with examples of this, causing unintended hurt feelings based
on feeling unloved or not respected.
The basis for such interpretations is probably traceable to attachments
to cause and effect due to development and education. The goal of Hashem being concealed within everything,
including every thought and feeling, is
for Hashem to be recognized and for us to relate to Him and ask to forgo what
we are naturally attached to in favor of returning what is concealed to Him,
thereby attaching the life force He gives us back to Him.
Thus, if there is
a heated exchange, each person involved may use real free will to find the part
of their life force that is attached to a belief that developed WITHOUT “Hashem
is doing everything and loves us and there is a mission here for me to do that
only I can do.” The mission is for
the divine soul to recognize that He is the only cause and the only Being capable
of bringing any effect into the world, not us, yet He gives us real free
will and speech and emunah and the ability to form intentions for the love He
flows through us to come into the world. The divine soul that He designs
and places within us is built by Him so that when we use real free will to pray to Hashem for the life
force to flow into the world in the tikkun
Hashem gives us for repair – learning Torah, prayer, chesed or a mitzvah. – He says
YES, and this releases Hashem from His exile in nature. For this is the purpose
for which He designs us, to flow the concealed light in nature into the world
garmented in accordance with Torah.
What we do matters. Being
alive has purpose and meaning. If we
understood the immense impact our free will has on the world, would we seek to
shift our attachments from clinging to nature and systemst hat seem to work
within nature to attaching our life force above nature, above our nature,
through intention to attach to Hashem is One, to eternity and Infinity?
Where is Hashem concealed in nature?
Wind water, fire and earth.
These are the flow of His Power to everything in the world.
His Infinite Light is the power in every atom that is solid,
liquid, gas or radioactive.
When we are willing to recognize that there is No Other
Power and that we can see Hashem in our lives every moment, doing everything
yet giving us real free will to attach to Him, our role IS the use of real free
will to move towards eternity and Infinity.
He is willing to be in galus in every atom JUST to give US the free will
to do so. And, He agrees to be
constrained by nature, in order to give us real free will, and suffers in exile
awaiting our awakening to this important choice we are empowered to make. And then He returns all of the light to
visible compassion, may it be today.
The reality is that Hashem is doing everything and that He loves us, that He is the Creator and we are all His creations.
Yet we feel ourselves exceedingly and without Torah we would not find Hashem. Avraham Aveinu is the first one to find Hashem through seeing through nature in the world to the One Source of Creation.
There is No Other Power, yet in this world there are a multitude of creations that appear to have power, even independent power…even a battery. Absolutely every atom is filled only with Hashem’s power, Infinite Light, the universal substance of compassion and love.
Hashem desires there to be a world so He conceals Himself so a world can appear. Yet there is nothing but Hashem. He desires this world to be the place where He Dwells, where His Love is seen, where He is known as the giving King we crown Him every Rosh Hashana.
The army is a defense force that maneuvers on the land. The marines are part of the naval defense system because they, although they maneuver on land, arrive by the sea, in a ship, and then make it to shore. How does Hashem’s love come into the world? He invests life force in people and gives them the Torah. It is up to us to navigate the waters away from feeling ourselves and to bring the love and kindness He wants to come to this world into our speech and deeds. To do so, we have to navigate the stormy seething waters of physicality to move past the darkness that wants to claim our life force for the seething waters and prevent it from being a lovingkind force by reaching the land.
Where shall we set up shop? Shall we feel ourselves and act from there with the very best understanding of our nature and desires that we can piece together, or shall we strengthen emunah and inter-include the element – the sefiros, the vessels through which Creative force is sent into this worl – through our mind’s intention and will and movement to learn Torah (fire), pray (wind), chesed (water) and mitzvahs (earth)?
Every day we read the story of Avraham Aveinu who brings Yitzchok to the akeida. Each time we feel ourselves and believe we cannot do this, it is too much, and we are kicking and rearing and in pain, calm ourselves knowing that these images are messages only from the ones who want to claim our efforts for the seething waters and darkness and that our wlll to submit to Hashem’s call to bring kindness and mitzvahs to the world IS the ship to navigate “the marines”, the sparks of water, wind and fire, of liquid, gas, and radioactive elements, to their rectification of revealing Hashem.
Hashem is flowing the elements into the world through the sefira, which are on the right water, on the left fire, the center line wind and landing in earth. for each of these, He has set up a sense within us, our animal soul, to feel ourselves first, such as with jealousy, desires, or craving for honr. Each of these feeds off the other and it can spiral tremendously, diverting the pure light He desires to come into tehw world to land in the darkness. What happens when we strengthen emunah intentionally is that our mind becomes the holding place for all three lines to come together with intention to bring it into the world as a mitzvah, a prayer, a chesed, or to learn Torah, and in so doing, we calm our inner stomr, properly use our physicality that has movement, to flow His LIght into the world. When we do so, WE are interincluding the elements, in our mind, and inserting them into the world. NO PUSH BACK kick back pleasure should be viewed as a higher priority even if it brings us what we experience as feeling ourselves with tremendous pleasure. There is a higher pleasure for which we are created and that brings Him into the world.
Excerpts from Parsha Shemos by Rabbi Gedalia Segal
When the Egyptians came to enslave the Jewish people and to
make them work hard with the mortar and the bricks, they didn’t start the
undertaking like people who kidnap people, simple people. What was the way? There was a Jewish Ghetto in Goshen and they
were enslaved. Mitzrayim was a big
respectable country and they had to go by law, at least as seen by the outside
world, it could not be that they were kidnapping people and making them
work. Pharo had advisors and they made
the laws of the country and they had to have relationship with the surrounding
countries. They came to an understanding
with the advisors. They had to make the
situation into a way that the Jews would want to do it, and then it would be an
enslavement and all the screaming would not relieve the situation.
The first way Pharo came, was with a soft sweet talk, in a
soft way. It was a national endeavor, that
the people would volunteer to do it for the mother country. Pharo himself got involved in showing the
people he is involved, like a nationalistic drive. The whole Jewish nation got caught up in it
except shevet Levi, and the Jewish people became enslaved more and more. The soft speech became back breaking work at
the end and the will to do it, at first as volunteers, then became forced
It says that we are witnesses in our generation to this
parsha. We see there is a decree to take
the women into the army in Israel. The gedolai
haTorah say it should not take women into the armed forces because this would
make impure the purity of the Jewish girls.
The girls cannot be in an army.
When the government saw the upheaval about this, they also
came to this “let’s outsmart them”, soft sweet talk, a nationalistic drive, the
girls should volunteer in the hospitals in such situations. It became to the situation we all know now,
that it became the girls are enlisted in the Israeli army and we understand
that the shevet levi understood, we need mercy from the heavens in terms of
enlisting Jewish girls in the armed forces in eretz Yisrael.
In mitrayim they did backbreaking work, perach, they came
with the tricky sweet talk and then back breaking work. At the beginning Pharo said I will give you
money and reward. And when they were
already fooled because of the pay and the reward for each brick they put
together, they started working more hours because it wasn’t enough. Once they laid down the foundation they came
to this situation of backbreaking work, that they had to scream that they
needed Hashem to help them.
We see the personal exile of a person. There is a Pharo in a person, the yetzer hara
in us, and he fools us with sweet talk to work the whole day for more money and
the gemara he puts to the side. He doesn’t
have time for Torah because he is busy with the work from morning to evening
and night. And all his body parts for
his veins and the parts of his body goes after just making money, to make more
and more money.
So there is no end to it.
The strength gets you to stop.
What is going to be with the Torah?
Torah is put to the side and the tefillin and good deeds, the mind does not have time for that and then when we think about it it is too late and it is hard to make up the loss for all those years and they did not make use of this world, so what about what will be with the next world. But the Jewish people although in hard labor were not fooled with Pharo. They were free people . When Moshe and Aaron came to tell then that Hashem remembered them for redemption, they believed Moshe and Aaron.
We have to understand our own personal exile so we don’t get enslaved to our own Pharo. There is no free person except one who is involved with the Torah.
When I change the flow from forbidden desires to exalted desires
When I fan the flow forcefully
When I destroy my initial attempts to get on the track
When I nullify my desire then I become a vessel fitting to receive’s Hashem
When I change the flow from forbidden desires to exalted desires
When I fan the flow forcefully to higher states of exaltation
When I destroy any attempts to make me deviate from the path of spiritual
When I nullify my desires and become a vessel fitting to receive’s Hashem light
which manifests itself in my glowing
NULLIFYING THE SENSE OF SELF
WATER: When the false
pursuit of pleasures of acting out what is projected from cause and effect
thinking becomes the pleasure of confidence that Hashem’s love is with me right
now no matter what
WIND: When the lure of defending myself from humiliation or
insulted (choke!) becomes recognized as an opportunity to flow a kiddush Hashem
in a gentle way into the world
FIRE: When I burn off through love of Torah and mitzvahs and
emulating Hashem the lures into the darkness that are disguised with the
messages of my immature daas that are hurting me
EARTH: When I relate
with the body Hashem is giving me as a tool of movement with which to go
forward to do His Will and to bring goodness and morality to the world through Torah
MOVING AS ONE WITH HASHEM’S WILL
WATER: When the flow
of desires for pleasure that rear up viscerally recognize a greater pleasure of
the experience of love flowing through us into the world.
WIND: When the funnel
drawing understanding towards the compelling familiar thought habits reverses
to a channel through which life force moves holiness into our deeds
FIRE: When I destroy
the messages that prevent me from seeing the spark of holiness that anmates the
message and instead absorb that spark in passion for revealing Hashem in the
EARTH: When every step in divine space is viewed not as by
my power but as being done by Hashem Who is independent of nature
Changing orientation towards survival
WATER: When feeling
overwhelmed or vulnerable to attack, recognize Hashem’s love is concealed in
the reaction and feel His Love as what we depend on
FIRE: With the strength we feel to fight back or defend
ourselves through strong emotions, strengthen emunah in Hashem and do
hishtadlus in prayer and action according to Torah and burn off the false sense
that damaging through trust in the power in nature will help us survive
WIND: When hurtful and scary words come into range from
others or from our own inner messages, recognize Hashem’s honor is concealed as
the strength of our pain and pray for compassion so that we may flow gentleness
into the world
experiencing real or imagined threats to our physical existence, recognize
Hashem is concealed within every atom and have confidence that He Alone
determines our survival
Getting out of our enslavement to our nature
WATER: When we feel a lack of vitality or pleasure
overwhelming us, notice we are feeling ourselves and hear instead with emunah
ears how Hashem is remembering us from within our enslavement and to have faith
that He has come to redeem us
FIRE: Rename” feeling ourselves” as a destruction to our
soul and ask Hashem to help us use the passion with which we feel ourselves
instead to remember the greatness of the soul He designs and endows us with and
the possibility of what we can accomplish through clinging to Him, through
learning Torah and being devoted to mitzvahs
WIND: When we feel flighty, pleasure or honor-oriented for
ourselves rather than wanting to keep our obligations in prayer or speech or
holy emotions, find a way to recognize how much we are ruining things and
scream out to Hashem, asking to be uplifted from our own personal exile and to be
redeemed in the quality of real redemption – Hashem Echad.
EARTH: When we are feeling that we do not really believe in our own personal redemption, that our nature is who we are, consider if we have made Torah and mitzvahs a corner of our lives or whether every moment we realize Hashem is doing everything and that we are an earthly being here to flow His Light into the world.
Processing feelings after being intimidated
WATER: When feeling
the lack of caring from someone intentionally rattling us, realize it is
stemming from a lack of pleasure in both parties and that Hashem Who is all
loving is merely concealed in hurtful messages spoken or thought before
remembering He is doing everything and loves us.
WIND: When someone has intentionally or unintentionally
spoken intimidated words that have generated in human nature an unavoidable
fear response based on honor and survival, recognize that the force of the
words has No Othe Power but that the person has real free will to use or misuse
the power in nature. Choose to visualize
immense light and absorb all the strength into emunah in Hashem so that we may
have holy insights and emotions.
FIRE: Quiet the urges
to return fire and intimidate by noticing that such an urge is coming from a “feel
myself” message with many interpretations that are fiery projections of our
attachment issues and burn the messages themselves out with a yearning to only
reveal enlightened responses that are gentle and warm.
EARTH: When feeling the bodily reaction to intimidation, place a balm of love on the heart to re-absorb where love and awe have fallen – to a place external to us because we have been treated based on externalities without Hashem in the picture – and ask Hashem to please be able to move only from absolute love and awe in Hashem Who is doing Everything so that we may serve Him, repair the elements and heal.
What to do when natural urges beckon us towards using the power in nature
WATER: When we feel someone is depriving us of a pleasure
and we wish to steer them into our hands in order to gain leverage, face the
challenge in the feeling of lack of pleasure so that Hashem is doing everything
and that He Loves us is restored BEFORE we play out a projection of false
interpretations, blame and shame that cause damages, and want to feel that love of Hashem more than any natural
WIND: Notice the urge to speak back to someone in the manner
they speak and realize instead the helplessness of impacting anyone is by
design, that no one touches anything of another without Hashem’s Will, and
strengthen an understanding that includes Hashem is doing everything and loves
us into the picture.
FIRE: Destroy trust
in the “wisdom” of grabbing power through powerful emotions, demands for
fairness and intimidations out of an absolute passion for bringing His Light and
Torah into the world. with trust in Hashem alone.
EARTH: When something
is tugging at the heart drawing us into anxiety or despair or anger, look at
the tug itself to find the brokenness of the earthliness of our lives but don’t
identify it as who we are. The messages are a diversion concealing Infinite
Light and attracting our thoughts to it,. Our TRUE essence is designed by
Hashem to recognize He is concealed in that tug and to draw the tug’s light back
to Him and then return the light to that place to calm and heal.
We are going through an indepth inner exploration not just
from our successes but inwardly from our inner essence, our spiritual makeup,
from the four elements of wind water fire and werath. that becomes the basis for our character
traits that transforms our human expression into divine elements
We looked at fire for the basis for one’s higher divine
wisdom, the character trait is humility or the negative form is arrogance. To work arrogance into humility we have to
work on being mekabel. We spoke about
mekablel shabbos. The timeperiod going into Shabbos is how we let go of the
self in preparation to receive the pure potential..
Wind, we used alacrity, hurriedness, and the reality of
movement as the basis for fixing that
part of our ruach, as speech and other facets of wind.
Water, in the context of taanug, the importance of [hysical
versus spiritual pleasure , that which separates verseus that which unites.
And afar, earth, afar
going into the Shabbos,the shamor part of shabbos is to guard it. To cease doing melacha. The separation of doing melacha is the shamor
part, is the part we detach from the spiritual harbor and go into the
transcendant realm of zachor.
There is an opportunity to curtail or cease the Melachos in
the context of kabbalos Shabbos. What is
the real depth of the challenge. We
spoke about alacrity, but there is something even more profound and grounded in a practical
If we go to fire, and we ask what is the core character
trait, humily versus arrogance. In the
mind’s eye, do we see ourselves as a physical earthly being or do we see
ourselves fundamentally as a divine being. Then it migrates down to wind water
and all the way down to earth.
That core conflict between self orientation versus divine
essence reflecting Hashem is going to manifest itself at the level of earth
How does it come out?
In all human relationships we want more than anything is that I truly
matter to others and to be truly cared for.
This is an expression of value and love.
There are profound wisdoms there.
Very simple earthly terms. When
you strip all down, all the craziness and the fears down, we want to be valued
or loved. But if it goes to our human orientation, then value and love are an
expression of something external to us, an action, an accomplishment, something
external that defines our value. and based on our perceived value from without,
we think we should be loved.. Something
that is external that we say defines our value.
Based on our perceived value from without, we think we
should be loved based on our successes.
On the elokus side, if we break it down from wind water fire
to earth, we still want value and love but it is intrinsic to my very being, to
my inner elokus, my own elokus is Hashem’s divine presence rooted in my own
personal divine essence. And the value in me is rooted back to Hashem. It is not tied to anything external.
This core conflict of value being defined inwardly or
outwardly is the earthly expression of
the conflict into Shabbos. When we know
candlelighting is a certain time, and there is hurriedness, we can’t do anymore
then, we can’t accomplish. So what is
wrong with that/ if I don’t do then I am
not something which means I am a nothing and won’t be cared for. Doing
something, getting the desired outcome, the final expression of something being
manifest in this world is bound to the ego if we say in the elements. Our ego
is on the line. So when Hashem says no more melacha, stop. Uh oh if I can’t accomplish I can’t acquire
and then I am not. That is the depth of
the challenge of earth and my perceived
sense of somethingness is that I am a nothing.
And I don’t have value and love and guess I don’t really matter. If I can’t do anything creatively, what am I
worth, and what am I?
After six days, stop. Enough of your own hyuman existence. And if wind water fire and earth that we do
externally are the basis for our feeling loved and value, then the cessation of
Melachos are a mini-death.And shabbos might feel painful – Hashem is everything and I am nothing. But
when we bring fire through wind into water and into earth and manifest in this
world in a tangible way, we stop melacha to say we are partnering in our
toiling in our divine service, but in the end,
I am not valued or loved based on what is external to me, that only
manifests what is inside.. My real true
divine identity can only be liberated and redeemed when it is not bound up with
Once we get to the point when we accomplish this, when we
light, it is a mini redemption because my internal essence is not bound up and
cannot be liberated by the body, with that higher elokus we get on
Shabbos. Hashem is hiding less on
Shabbos and the grerater revelation is I can come to my divine ideinty and I
can experience my core identity being
bound up with Him, with His everythingness. I am nothing independent of
Him. That is the understanding of afer,
earth. Earth is about solid, stable, but
what is stability tied to? If it is tied
to externality, then we get to the counterfeit sense of nothingness. ..if it is
tied to something external then the 39 melachos are counterfeit sense of
nothingness. When we go to anava,
humility on the level of fire all the way down to earth, we experience positive
nothingness that creates a healthy space in which Hashem can now reveal Himself
proportionally in you in that space of nothingness relative to during the week.
we need healthy nothingness to experience Hashem’s everythingness.
In that we are truly something and that is where we find our
core sense of value and love caught up in Hashem. That is our elokus brought
down to afar. That is afar brought to earth. I am not caught up in self. That is the whole point of the melacha.
create an elokus thing and subjugate the limited humanness. When we cease and desist the
melacha from al lthe generals to specific, I am not independent existence, I am
not truly autonomous, that allows Hashem’s everything to permeate us and our
true somethingness can shine, as an expression of being bound up with Hashem’s
realty. That is internalizing ein
od. And that is what Shabbos is. That is
what stopping the Melachos are. That is
what we are doing, stopping creating.
What is the challenge?
To challenge our false sense of self, that I am something to be reckoned
with. We have to look deeply within. Where do we get our value In that place of groundedness, solid, in what
we accomplish, go back to that innermost
value to feel loved and is it coming from my actions. What are the net results, what truly is
coming out. If I am defining myself, I
am exposing a false sense of self. this way that is untrue. Our toiling, every week we are detaching from
the physical reality of things, that is the reality of afar, and if we cannot
let go, that is the overexaggerated sense of self, we think we are
independence. That is the lethalness of
afar . When humility and arrogance in
fire comes into the level of earth in this way, that creates a sense of
laziness, sadness, nervousness, and worry.
All of that is expressed at the level of afar, it is worriness of the
soul. It is nervousness of the soul.
That is the element of afar having perpetual worry, wanting
If I can’t do it, then it can’t be done, then what is the
point of me, I don’t matter anywaym or all the pointsofanochius,why bother
trying. When we go into Shabbos and our
whole identity is based on doing, Hashem demands we let go of ego every
week, willfully so that we don’t define
ourselves this way but only as an expression of who we truly are. Every week we
come back to who we truly are. When we feel we are not bound up by anything on
the outside but I can feel and reveal
the inner elokus in what I do, then I am serving Him and I don’t have to
be sad about things. I don’t have to lack compassion or feel complacent or
stagnant. It is all Hashem. I do my part.
RABA is an acronym
Ratzon, what we want and where we want to go to
Beis, behira, will
Hishtadlus, our effort
That is in our sphere of influence. We don’t own it, we
possess it. We have an ability to
choose. Our effort, that is tied to existing, energy and movement is all a
sense of Him.
We access inner greatness that is already there, hidden
within us, bringing it to the surface every week. When we stop melacha, and we let go of the
end point, the outcome, outward things that are stable because there is really
only Hashem. Remember, zachor, through
kiddush and davening, He is the Creator. The First, the conductor of every part
of creation, soul time and space. He is
in everything we are testifying to His
Everythingness through our nothingness.
We testify to His Everythingness by our nothingness.
We give up our independence through our toiling during the
week in positive melachos and we create a vacuum to darw in His everything ness
and it is there we feel that we are truly something as an extension of Him, a
manifestation of Hashem. It is there we
feel we are truly something as a manifestation of His Will.
Here is story
Rabbi was young and found a gold rock and thought that he
had found real gold, thinking of all the candy he could buy. His mom asked what is in the bag and he told
her it is gold and she said it is not gold.
They did not agree. The next day
his uncle who is a gemologist came in and he told Rabbi it is not gold. He felt so crushed on the inside, like he had
this wealth and how could something that looks so real turn out to be not real,
counterfeit. If this is fake, what else
The ego, hte human existence, is non-real. We swear by it and it feels so real in our
experiences in every way and it is not reality.
That is the positive sense of nothingness. We transcend the ego on
Shabbos by ceasing the melacha. We
really are nothing. Are we a true
nothing or a false nothing that leaves us with non-existence? A true sense of nothing is systematically
subjugating human existence opening a place to allow the divine and then we can
experience His everytingness and that is how we become truly something.
The ego is counterfeit.
Hashem says every week, here is a positive way to let go of
ego from counterfeit nothingness to true nothingness. Hashem directs all the results. Hashem is not just in fire and wind and
water, I am in earth too.
It is all divine cloaked in the natural, and so are
hyou. Divineness is our elokus cloaked
in the human natural existence and we work on getting to ahealthier positive nothingness. Then we feel the all
encompassing presence of Hashem in our life.
Then we feel it intrinsically tied to our own elements, to our fire, to
movement, into core desires in water, into action and toiling and actions and
results and let go of frustrations of controlling the way I want. Otherwise we
just give up or get sad. that is unrectified fire that convinces us we are
nothing We have to get it from higher
level of consciousness and into the ground level of outcome and results and let
go of ego and control and power the way we want. If my anger and frustration
get inflamed, that is all afar based. If
we do this, we think we don’t matter, get sad and laziness. We convince ourselves we are nothing in a
false way. We are nothing in a true way
that we have intrinsic value and love in relation to Him. That is what we go
through every week for Shabbos.
The outcomes we have is truly inner ratzon connected to Him,
how much is reflected, and wise choices on a moment to moment basis. We become refined, that is the power Hashem
has gifted us. On Shabbos we give it
back , we have no ownership, we never did, we give it back and connect to our
immortal existence, the immortalith of the next world that we taste on Shabbos,
and that depends on how we cocreate during the week. Then we feel Hashem’s presence
in our lives. The outcome is gifted from
Hashem, that in that smallness is where we feel Hashem. That is reconciliation of afar. The positive
midda of afar is a constant state of joy.
As long as I know I am connected through the elements back to Hashem, my
identity is not independent in any way but completely bound to Him, then no
matter how close or distant, I am always
connected and that is a constant joy. When I get very earth based and rigid and
controlling, then my ego is weighty , it is all on me, and the burden of life
feels crushing. I can’t I won’t or I am
not able to.
May we merit to continue living six days a week giving up
human existence so that we have true divine existence and on Shabbos to uncover the hidden
treasures within and know Hashem in the greatest way and bring the elements as
yud k vav k, integrated parts of our divine self, for us to reflect Him into
this world. This is why we exist. This
is our avoda let’s get to it.
The changes are emunah building. We are dependent on Hashem for His Mercy. We inch forward only as recipients of His Mercy. When we grow we are examples of divine mercy, when we have breakthroughs it is a manifestation of His Mercy.
May the share above give chizuk to strengthen and choose emunah over our nature and to make Hashem is doing everything and loves us known in the world.
Rabbi Asher Freund speaks about the importance of recognizing that Hashem is doing everything and that we are helpless, with no control, yet we are able to move forward to do much good in the world, and this realization is healing for us because we are choosing to truly be one with Hashem, the One Who is above nature and the One to trust. He emphasizes that every Jewish person, regardless of their orientation, has in common the goal of nullifying the sense of independent existence, using hisbodedus to do so, and strengthening emunah.
Rabbi Moshe Genuth teaches in Rectifying the Ego all of the steps to doing this. the run and return that brings us closer to Hashem, the moment of shifless (lowliness) from where we realize our deficiencies and run to Hashem and then the bitul, the drawing into the world of the blessings Hashem flows.
Rabbi Rome describes in detail the prayer process and shows us literally in the morning prayers exactly this process.
Yet at the root of all of this are the four elements, earth, wind, water and fire, the forces of the soul, the right axis, which is kindness, water, the left axis which is strength, fire, the central axis, which is wind, compassion, and the landing place, malchus, earth, the body.
The flow of our life force from Hashem is intended to come into the world to reveal Him – we are made in His Image – but because of the eating of the tree of knowledge, our will to do this is confused. As a result, distortions form along the way that we misinterpret as who we are. Not only that, there are forces given to the yetzer hara with which to further hold mirrors to our eyes.
In pre-creation, Hashem hides Himself in stormy wind, thick clouds, and flashing fire and from there He makes the world. The angel in charge of nature has these sparks under its domain. Every atom in the universe is either liquid/water, gas/wind radioactive material/fire or solid/earth. This includes whatever comes into our perceptions, although we may not see it that way at all.
It takes hisbodedus and education to begin to relate to what is happening within and around us through the flow of Source light into the world.
Below is a starter emergency first aid chart to help. Try it. See if you feel an inner shift to calmness, a relief from the grip of the pain that often accompanies the feelings of lack. Being battered back and forth between the darkness and void, the lack of pleasure and the ego implications, is not only painful, we are actually feeding our life force into the darkness with each thought and imprinting hurt in our consciousness.
addendum: if nothing else, let us begin to see fundamental falsehood – the main fundamental falsehood is that the pull we feel “I don’t want to do this, this is not for me” is actually a message from the yetzer hara steering us away from receiving real vitality.
The reason this is crucial to see through is because we follow it loyally into the dark.
Here are two examples from today.
As I do after davening, i say 13 perakim of tehillim, as Rav Asher recommends. As I opened the book, there was that “gut” feeling..I don’t want to do this. And I almost laughed. Reading this tehillim has been such a source of vitality and yet this animalistic rearing came anyway. I paused, I looked at the message, in my gut, what does it want to do?
go clean the windshield of the car? really?
So I took out the emergency first aid card above…Already I am experiencing the pleasure of my divine soul that knows Hashem is doing everything and loves me. I am moving to give lovingkindness so that the feeling of that experience is felt by me. WATER…and I said water a few times and yearned for that feeling of love and turned with love to the tehillim. I said the whole set with a whole heart.
What would have happened if I skipped the tehillim because I was not in the mood and went to wash the windshield?
I would have believed that self-care involved listening to something that wants to drain me of vitality.
The second example is about the falsehood that we have to live with self-criticism and guilt.
I had delayed some of my davening this morning because I wanted to send out the blog post. When I went back to finish, I started by accident over again at mode ani. when I realized it, a harsh voice came knocking on my door calling me names…fire.. very familiar messages of course.
Only I am thoroughly convinced that anything coming from jealousy, taiva and kavod are completely the subconscious lures into the dark and NOT my true self, including this guilt message from the orbital cortex. Wind. It wants to beat up my self image. Please may my emotions be generated only from love and awe of Hashem. I want holy ruchnius. WIND.
I took the life force from the message of the underworld and turned it around.
I felt the inner shift.
The message dissolved and I just picked up where I was supposed to.
Emunah that we are emanations from Hashem here to flow through a humbled channel is crucial to trust so that these powerful natural lures that have control over our subconscious mind until we route them out – stop claiming our life force!!
There is hope for us to get out of galus when we stop building the darkness and go to the light, no matter what. go to the light. Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs, fire, wind water and earth.
Is there a paradox, that i am in pain because of the circumstances and I recognize Hashem is in pain…AND I have compassion on Shechina in exile?
In the foundations of the flow of life force, the water-chesed and fire-gevurah of my life force is attached to thE MESSAGES and that is the power of the pain. The power in the pain IS Elokim. Therefore I do not want to think the messages because then my thoughts (more life force) goes there. By having compassion on Hashem, the Shechjna in exile, He who agrees to be constrained by the laws of nature, i have real free will to choose to be a vessel to bring the power in that pain into a mitzvah.
” Hashem have mercy on Your creation, by myself I am in pain, helpless, no control, but I know there is life force that is herniated in how I am feeling myself. I want to sweeten it and bring it into the world as warmth and light. Please may I have the life force without the painful messages of self-consciousness? I will to go above my natural will and shine Your Light.
The concealed Good is the Power trapped in the element of water or fire or wind. When we recognize and describe it from within the seething waters, we can ask to sweeten and bring the tohu light into a garment of Torah, chesed, mitzvahs or prayer, without the deficiencies. By virtue of recognizing Him and strengthening emunah and realizing we are emanations and moving to shine that hidden light through mitzvahs, we ask for His Compassion.
The pain is a vessel and a soul, not one thing. We think it is one thing..but we can recognize His Concealed spark, the tohu light, and put it into a vessel of tikun by choosing emunah over nature Hashem is concealed in nature, wind water and fire, which are the power in our pain..great hiding spot for Elokim!!!
When we see No Other Power and discern the lack as taiva something we find pleasant but are lacking, water, or kavod an ego image we lack, wind, or jealousy she has it and i dont fire…we can see the element, we can see the feeling ourselves separate from Elokim and ask for mercy to strengthen emunah and flow the holy spark of water wind or fire into the world as torah, chesex, mitzvahs, prayer, fire water wind and earth, the torah is the vessel of tikun, we can ask to regarment the spark. He does all the heavy lifting when He says Yes which we can be confudent He will.
The animal soul becomes holy when it submits to the work of using its powers of movement and speech with the intention of regarmenting Infinite Source light instead of its natural pained reactions, strengthening eminah rather than strengthening feeling self conscious reactions..not repressing them, but asking for compassion from Hashem that the strength be for eminah and more will power to move with His Will.
The beginning and the hardship of the exile
This parsha does not have a definite between vayigash and vayechi. this parsha still continues from parshas vayigash. the reason Rashi says is that when Yaakov Aveinu passed away, the eyes of bnei Yisroel were closed and their hearts were closed from the hardships from the work that the Egyptians inflicted. Nevertheless in the medrash we find that until the last member of the tribes, Yaakov’s children, the real harship of the labor did not begin. From the beginning of Yaakov’s death until the passing of the last of his sons. there were many tens and scores of years that passed by. Where does it say that the slavery really began after Yaakov passed away?
We know the slavery did not begin right away but with terach, a fine type of speech, they spoke to the hearts of bnei Yisroel and fooled them to uplift their country, to make the country better, and they gave them a national desire to be loyal citizens of the country, and to build up the country. Since they merited to enjoy the pleasures of the country, so many of them fell into the trap, to work for the country,until they found themselves engaged in slaveery for the country. but there was the tribe of Levi that was not fooled by Pharo and did not want to have this national feeling toward the country that they tried to put into the hearts of the Jewish people. The bnei Levi went in the way of Yaakov and they did not want to leave the Torah. They knew their job was to build the Jewish nation not a foreign nation and they were supposed to shepherd themselves in the Jewish nationality and not the Egyptian nationality and they understood that this nice talk that influenced the Jewish people was the beginning of the hardshuips of the exile. and by joining with the national feeling of Egypt they felt they would lose their own individuality as the children of Yaakov. so they did not start in this national uprising that was so apparent in the Jewish nation at that time. The meaning of Rashi that the death of Yaakov began the slavery because it was with fine talk, the talk in a fine way to try to begin the slavery, in a nice fashion. This happened right after Yaakov passed away. They did not understand the Jewish people that this would be exile and slavery. Just when the sweet talk turned around and became hard labor, then they began to feel the cruelty of the rulers of mitzrayim and they turned their hearts to Hashem and they sing to Him and from their screams, that was the beginning of when the redemption began.
When Yaakov was alive, bnei Yisrael realized all the good in mitzrayim did not come from the country. they knew it was Yosef who saved the egyptians from hunger and they knew that they did not have to really give any thanks to Pharoah. but when Yaakov died, they forgot all of this and that was the begining of the exile.
The education of the generations that come
When Yaakov saw Yosef the first time after 23 years he was very happy. He saw his dear son after so many years thiinking he is dead and nowhe is alive. He Had special joy that he saw he is safe, and within all the nations that were idol worshippers so many year, and he still sensed his righteousness. Afterwards when Yosef brought his sons to Yaakov for a blessing, he saw that the shechina left him. He saw in ruach hakodesh that the generations, the bad generatios were going to come out of these children, from ephraim and menashe. and he asked who are these children that they are not worthy of bracha. and yosef answered and Yaakov gave them a bracha. We wonder why is all of this written in the torah and yet Yaakov blessed them. Why didn’t Yaakov want to bless them originally? He knew they themselves were good children. Ephraim was a talmid in Mitzrayim. Yaakov wanted to hint to his children the importance of educating children in these hard days. We are standing in this bitter exile now and we must put our effort into educating our children with all the challenges and hardships. it is not enough that Yaakov was answsering them that you are pleasing to Hashem in the way of your fathers but the main job is to give over the Torah to future generations because bad generations are at the roots – ephraim and menashe even though they are good children in and of themselves, because bad generations come from them, they are not worthy of the blessing. In the end Yaakov did bless them but first he gives a warning, to make sure they understand their obligations with respect to educating the future genertaions, that all these bad winds and all the challenges and suffering of the exile, they should not be able to move them from the roots of the faith of their sons.
Blessing the children what is it
Yaakov blessed the sons of Yosef, Ephraim and Menashe and he blessed Yosef. If it says he blessed the sons, why does it say he blessed yOsef . the bracha he gives to the children is the bracha he gives to the father. If a person blesses the children it is like they are giving a blessing to the father. that is what every person himself, he hopes his sons should be blessed and he should be blessed through them. when the grandchildren and the children go in the right way, there is no bigger blessing, for the parents and for the grandparents. so yaakov blesses his children,Hashem should bless the children and call them in the ways of my fathers and their names will already be called,, they will be worthy to be alled the children of avraham yitzchok and yaakov and the avos will be happy with their children and the bracha of the children will rest on the fathers.
the yechus, if you come from good people, it is a big thing. it is a big responsibility that the chain should continue, the purity in the children should notembarras the father not in this world or the world to come. this is why we bless Yisrael to be like ephraim and menashe. They continued the chain of the fathers and we should go in the ways of our fathers and give it to our children til the end of the generations. there is a big bracha when the children go in the ways of the fathers.
the chain of the generation otherwise is torn. the fathers have to give the children a lot of wisdom and intention, that the children should continue in the ways they were taught. It should not move to any side away from what he is taught. In galus mitrayim the Jewish people did not change their names, their dress or language. even a change in one of these things is a separation from the past and a going away from the generation.
that is what Yaakov said. Mekarav them to me, that his name should be to the children, that they should want to emulate him and the forefathers and then they will continue in their way and they will be a beauty for their forefathers. that is why it says here, this is the way to go, that the brachas of Israel to their chldren will be continued forever and ever.
Yaakov called his children. Chazal say Yaakov wanted to tell when the end of the galus would be and the shechina went away from him. He thought maybeon one of his children was not completely all right. Yaakov thought maybe there is someone not right, like avraham had Ishmael and Yitzchok had esav and he said to his children shema yisrael Hashem elokeinu Hahshem echad and they told him, in your heart, there is ony one, so too in our heart there is only one. that is when Yaakov answered baruch shem kavod malchuso leolam voed. we have to udnerstand, the shechina left Yaakov aveinu and when it came the end, why did it come to his hear there is something wroing with a children and why did he say shema. Yaakov saw with ruach hakodesh all the generations and all that would transpire until Moshiach. then it was brought to him, he saw the generations that blood was spilled in different eras. He had like a depression and that is when the Shechina went away from him. The Shechina does not dwell when there is sadness. He asked his children if there is sometimes impurity between you, that this is what will happen to you. they said you don’t have to suspect us because we are strong in our emunah and we believe that in the end of days all the nations will recognize Hashem is One, just like Rashi says in vayischanon, ww will stand in our faith and give our lives up for Him.
When his children said these things, it made Yaakov’s heart happy and Yaakov said baruch shem, from now until the end of days. that is why all of the galuses and tzaros they could not move us. that is why we see here that Yaaov, when he felt better, and said baruch shem kavod malchusot, that all the exiles and challenges will not be strong enough to make them forget the name of Hashem from my children.
In tehillim, nowt that we come to the end of the doros that You established , when we come to the end of the generations we are still with Hashem, with the nation and we still fear Him. even at the end of days we are still honoring the promise of Yaakov Aveinu to believe in Hashem and His Torah and with this emunah we will be able to weather everything until the Moshiach will come. We will be able to believe in Hashem through the koach of emunah and be zocheh to the time of redemption when His Name will be known as One.
Blessings of Yaakov to his children
Before he passed away from this world, Yaakov calls his children and blesses them, according to the future that he saw with ruach hakodesh, what he saw about eretz Yisrael depending on the promises Hashem made to Avraham Yitzchok and Yaakov. We see the strength of each tribe and he shows the future of each tribe and he tried to take out from them the arrogance and he talks about the kingdom of Yehuda and the strength of daas. He said, there is nothing to be arrogant about, that strength and riches are all presents from Hashem and it should not make you forget about Hashem and say it is by my onw power and success ofmy hands that brought the success. Hashem gives it all, as Yaakov says in the blessings. He says Dan will be like a snake and be able to win over them. the salvation of Hashem is promised at the beginning for Dan, and he tried to hint the same thing in the other brachas. A person is not great from his hands. Hashem gave it to him. the honor and the riches should not make him leave Hashem. Likewise, when a person is humbled with his situaton in life, that we know Hashem made it so, he should not feel bad. A peson should have trust in Hashem. It is middos ha din and middos harachamim. a person knows that in the good times, a person gives it to Him and he is happy with what he gets. A person thatbelieves in Hashem when it is light is not going to be weak in emunah and then if it is dark he still blesses Hashem in bad times because He knows that is ratzon Hashem and He places hinself into the hands of Hashem. He wants to put this in the hearts of his children, when the exile started in mitzrayim. He knew about it from the briss of the covenant what will happen. He wanted them to be able to stand strong in the galus and also to remain loyal. He also wanted to say that when there will be hard times, they should plea to Hashem and He will save them. He told them this at the beginning.
Yissochar and Zevulin are like one person
Yaakov gathered all his children and gave a bracha to all. He gave a special bracha to each shevet. to Yaakov’s sons, divine providence and ruach hakodesh, they saw everything in the future for everyone. He gave a hint to i, in what he said. Yissochar and Zevulin, he knew they would make a partnership, to learn and to do busienss from the shorefront and support his brother so he can learn Torah without worries about parnassa. they strengthened as one, leanring Torah and the avoda of Yissochar will be appropriate for both of them. We think about this partnership, it is between each person and himself. when a person goes to work for his household and he is not thinking of nonsense or wasting his time, the person is in that partnership between himself. this is also the relationship betweent he neshama and the guf, the guf eats to live and the neshama is the spiritual source. it wants to be holy in Hashem. we see that both of them, they do well with this relationship. the neshama keeps itself pure, it goes shelama, and the guf, also turns itself around to be a housing for the spirit of the soul. its eating and drinking is then considered mitzvahs, a vessel.
The person that keeps the Torah, that works and keeps the torah and the halacha is not less choshov from someone who learns Torah. Let’s ay you sell something to your friend or you buy something from your friend, the business is also avoda in Torah. The Baal Shem Tov says a person just learns the Torah for Hashem, it says that a person is very important to Hashem. When a person changes a cow for a donkey, he is behaving in a way for Torah.
We know Hashem creates everything for His Honor, just according to Torah. Everything a person should be holding in Hashem, using correct scales, is doing a mitzvah.
When we are working in busienss we should try to not lie, or make money without righteousness, be careful about anger and kina. that is also Torah. this relationship with Yissochar and Zevulim is also one person, when he is home, he talks in Torah and in the workforce, zevulin.
We see in the mussar the burden of Torah. There is a challenge of poverty and a challenge of wealth and they say that the challenge of wealth is greater than the challenge of poverty. sometimes we know that poverty breaks soeone’s heart but that Torah can elevate a person but wealth can blind a person’s eyes. It is possible that a person who is weathy really has to give up time for learning and he needs time for learning. we see that it could be that a person, that the wealth and prosperity could make them leave emunah.
what shall we do? to put yourself under the burden of torah, that a rich person should learn the Torah, a person is going to save himself from getting lost with the wealth. It says that Yissachar said to Yaakov that peace is good and the land is pleasant. he saw his mind is blessed. He says he wanted to endure the hardships of the burden of Torah and that is the only idea for a person, when he is wealthy, that he should take the burdenof Torah and be engaged in it day and night. Then he could wthstand the challenge and guard his soul from the danger. and with the challenge of poverty, a person should learn Torah, or he can lose himself in poverty. it can really break a person’s heart. the Torah weakens a person’s heart. it seems the torah is the answser to eveythng. it breaks away all the taiva and gaiva and all the bad middos. Learning Torah does not being any loss to a person, it helps his spirit and neshama forever and ever.
When Yosef and the brothers finished burying Yaakov and returned to egypt, they asked that Yosef forgive them for the hardships they caused them. the brothers of Yosef were blessed tribes, and they were great people. We cannot judge what they did to Yosef. It was not just a jealousy. they had a din, based on how they were acting towards them. that is why they wanted to kill him, and then they got merciful and sold him as a slave. and they knew that this came back through shemayim that they should go to mitzrayim, to keep the briss of the covenants told to avraham two hundred years earlier. Yosef told him they dont have to feel bad that he was chosen to make food so why ask to be forgiven, only good came from it, this is what had to be, so maybe they did not do anything wrong.
so why do they fele they had to ask mechila. we should not make calculations like that, that it was supposed to be like that, it was from Hashem. to ask mechila, the way of Yosef is that if a person does something wrong he should ask mechila. no teshuva will help a sin betewewn a person and a friend. if we ask sorry to a person we did something wrong to, a person has to be careful not to hurt another person. a person should hurry to say sorry and not make calculations. it is important to say sorry if we hurt a friend.