Shall we feel ourselves or shall we acquire the beauty possible from the Divine soul when we bring out that we are made in His Image

Rectifying the ego article by Rabbi Gingsburg, the basis for the 10 class program given by Rabbi Genuth

How do we move from self-image to living as the image of Hashem? And why do we want to “run and return”?

Shiflus, lowliness is the sense that we are very far from feeling that Hashem has designed us to serve Him. Are our thoughts dedicated to the purpose of revealing Hashem? Do we speak compassionately to others?

When we are triggered with fear or anger or pride we are feeling ourselves and are acting for our self-image. While inwardly, we feel that we are good, something has happened and that goodness has been obscured and we feel our survival (the survival of our self-image) is at stake. How do we respond?

There is a gap between feeling our goodness and expressing our goodness.

Dovid HaMelech says “I will be lowly in my own eyes”
Moshe Rebbeinu says “And we are naught”

For those of us who grew up at the beach, who stayed late into the evening, there would be men who came with a metal detecting machine to find the coins that fell into the sand from the pockets of the the beach-goers during the day. A man held an iron pole and that has at its end a round sphere that would tick tick tick when a coin was beneath the sand, detecting it.

Imagine the scene, sand, water, gulls, sky, breeze and people But this hand held device was there to locate the hidden coins only, tick ticking like a geiger counter when one was found. The coin was then retrieved.

Hashem has designed a being that is here to detect the fallen sparks He has hidden in creation – His Shechina – within the created vessels. Through our developmental process and the brain mechanisms of a limbic system and a self-image, we are guaranteed to tick tick tick when a hidden spark is found. Generally speaking, this tick tick ticking is a painful experience but, with proper executive functioning (meaning that we understand the design) we know that Hashem is holding the stick, that we have found a treasure of positive compassion in a hidden place, and that although we feel far away, we can beseech Hashem to have mercy upon us and allow that spark to flow from feeling it in a pain from self-image so that instead we may reveal how He has made us in His Image, compassionate.

When we can remember that we are not just that round disk at the bottom of the pole but rather held by Hashem, with beauty all around as well as within ourselves as well as what we are detecting in our tick tick ticking, we run and return and through the performance of mitzvahs.,provide a venue for real compassion and light to be enclothed within the foundations of the world.

With emunah-faith and bitachon-trust, we comprehend that bringing awareness that Hashem is doing everything into the picture is how to manage our challenges -.with run and return. Thankful people are happy.

Added to Identity for 2020 is a course given by Rabbi Genuth based on Rabbi Ginsburg’s writings expounding through chassidus the teachings of Rabbi Asher Freund
Rectifying the ego from Rabbi Ginsburg based on Rav Asher Freund, given by Rabbi Moshe Genuth

Hear Rav Dror on unifying our soul and unifying Hashem’s Name through run and return

Rabbi Genuth explains clearly the Shechina in exile..the divine soul captured in the body…Leah and Roche..and how beauty comes from revealing the divine soul through Torah and mitzvahs…the inner lights of Torah awaken the inner part of our hearts enabling our connection to Hashem and bringing real beauty out download mp4 download mp3
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By taking time in hisbodedus, we begin to understand the forces within us and we begin to identify the inner struggle that is the point of being in this world. Without finding this inner struggle, we continue from childhood throughout life believing the messages that are “advising” us regarding feeling ourselves and acting for our own self-interest. For spiritual maturity to take place, inquiry into olam haba and the purpose of our lives in olam haze must begin. Rav Dror on Hisbodedus is the pathway to ein od milvado consciousness…and it is worth it Wondering how to begin on a loving and gentle opening of our eyes in Hashem’s presence? Here are some options: Hear a description of hisbodedus and run and return from Rav Dror – Youtube
Download audio only
audio playlist A great way to learn about going through our lives through the Jewish calendar is through Rabbi Nivin Personal Development Chaburas (contact Robyn Meyerson at newchabura@gmail.com). Rabbi Nivin offers amazing tools to help with personal development. Rabbi Doniel Katz has a program called the Elevation Seminar that teaches these concepts in depth. Devorah Yaffa Singer offers an amazing series called Lights of Emunah – it is sourced in Torah and taught with excitement. It is 32 classes and each month includes an hour of 1 on 1 discussion with her. For more information, contact her at devorahyaffa@g-ddirecttorah.com or at this link Rectifying the ego from Rabbi Ginsburg based on Rav Asher Freund, given by Rabbi Moshe Genuth Rav Asher Freund story on how strengthening ourselves with emunah builds us into a vessel to receive the bracha we need for refuah shelama Emunah Daily playlist from Rabbi Moshe Weinberger for 5780 Hear Rav Dror explain that we are here in this generation to love Hashem and ask for mercy Hear stories regarding the level of ruach hakodesh Rabbi Asher Freund was recognized as having as well as more stories

What distinguished Reb Asher is his chesed and the way he accepted pain with love

What distinguished Reb Asher is his chesed and the way he accepted pain with love
Many stories including the audio above regarding Rabbi Asher Freund

The design of the world is one of repair, of tikun. Hashem has created this world to unify back to Him the cosmic material from the 974 generations preceding the creation, worlds where the created beings lived with strict justice that caused them to die as soon as they mistook their being created as some kind of a proof that they had independent existence from Hashem. When Hashem creates this world, He creates teshuva and rachamim, His Name yud k vav k, so that there would be a channel through which the Infinite Light trapped in the fallen sparks could come into this world through mitzvahs, chesed, prayer and Torah learning.

The cosmic material of this world is formed from these sparks, uttered into the world as atoms of solid, liquid, gas or radioactive nature that we perceive as earth, water, wind and fire. Hashem is the soul of every atom in structure and in essence.

What are we but consciousness in a form that He creates and designs with the ability to recognize our Creator?

Developmentally, a baby becomes a child, a teenager, an adult, an old person and then leaves this world. Spiritually, we also have stages of development. At some point, it is incumbent upon us to awaken to the reality that there is Hashem and a purpose and mission – as described above- in lovingly and gently peeling back the way we think of ourselves based on our natural development.

There is simply more to be had in terms of simcha in this world and eternal life than the normal pursuits we may or may not have had success with.

The ability that we have to nullify our sense of independent existence depends on the strength of our emunah.

The strength of our emunah depends on our ability withstand the pain of despair and of the crushing of our image and seeming honor in order to distill from it the power that is animating it – a strength we are able to develop when we have awe of Hashem and love for Hashem.

The strength of our love for Hashem comes from realizing His constant flow of divine mercy upon us, that without that divine mercy, even what appear to be our successes with our natural approach to life would not take place. We have no power, we have no control, we have no independent existence.

The ability we have to use free will to go above our natural experience grows as we effortfully in personal prayer ask for divine mercy and experience the exchange within us, the added light, the freedom from pain.

Where do we start? It is not incumbent upon us to finish the work, only to make the effort. Just recognizing that we do not have independent existence is a recognition and honor to Hashem. ” Hashem I don’t know how to nullify feeling my own honor and concerns but I want to. All I want is You.”

Where do we start? It is not incumbent upon us to finish the work, only to make the effort. Just recognizing that we do not have independent existence is a recognition and honor to Hashem. ” Hashem I don’t know how to nullify feeling my own honor and concerns but I want to. All I want is You.” Rabbi Akiva is our role model that shows us that we really can transcend the moment, every moment, Hashem Echad.

Sincerity.

What can we do today to move ourselves closer to that really being true for us, and where can we take something from the realm of taiva/desire or gaiva/self-concern and bring it in hisbodedus out of love for Hashem and a willingness to flow what animates that feeling of selfhood into an intention to honor Hashem alone, with all our soul and all our might?

We circumcise the heart and cry out to Hashem for mercy that all we want is Hashem

He does the heavy lifting. All we have to lose is the pain and suffering of our inner despair and shame. What we have to gain is purpose, meaning, and simcha.

Light of Emunah from Dov Elias on Parsha from Rabbi Menachem Azoulai
_Excerpt: Yaakov Avinu flees from Esau and is on his way to Charan. What is the first statement he makes? “Surely, Hashem is present in this place and I did not know!”1 Did Yaakov Avinu not know that Hashem, Whose Glory fills the world, was everywhere? Rather, a person must realize that even when he is in a situation of concealment and it appears as if his whole world is crumbling around him – Hashem is still with him, even the obscurity is from Hashem. When a person knows this and he accepts everything with love – all judgments are sweetened and transformed into compassion – and the concealments dissipate. _

_Yaakov Avinu escaped from Esau, who sought to kill him. After 14 years of learning Torah, day and night, Yaakov Avinu left the sanctuary of holiness and headed to Haran (חרן) – a place of anger (חרון אף) and harsh judgments. The sun set upon him and he was surrounded by wild beasts – terrible concealment. Precisely in the midst of this misfortune – HKB”H revealed Himself and promised him such amazing guarantees: “Behold, I am with you; I will guard you wherever you go, and I will return you to this soil; for I 1 אכן יש ד’ במקום הזה ואנכי לא ידעתי )כח, טז(will not forsake you.”2 A Father protects his children. He never forsakes them. A Father loves his children. _

So often, a person feels like he does not really have emuna in salvation. He feels like he is deceiving himself. The words that he utters, “With Hashem’s help, it will be okay” – are without conviction; they are superficial. He deludes himself and his family because, inside, he has already accepted that it is a lost cause… Our only counsel is to fortify ourselves, to have emuna in the salvation, even in the depths of “lost hope.” In the depths of every Jewish heart, there rests true emuna in the Creator’s unlimited power. We must connect to it and have wholesome emuna that Hashem is All Powerful. ,,,
Excerpt: We have bodies in the kelipas and challenges and a soul that is pure and basking in the delight of emunah…Jacob’s ladder

The ladder in Yaakov’s dream stood on the ground but its head reached the Heavens.6 A person who stands on the ground, but his head reaches the heavens, always looks to Hashem. “Blessed is the man who trusts in Hashem; Hashem shall be his trust.”_

_ Every Jew has this Divine element of always looking up and always pining for Hashem – it is merely in exile, the exile of the physical body. However, there is no surrender; there is no concession. The soul that is found within the body does not yield. It finds itself in its own prison of the body but it never gives in, it constantly wants to raise its head, like a drowning man who tenaciously struggles to keep his head above water. _

_More than anything, we need the attribute of bitachon. It is impossible to live here tranquilly without bitachon. What is bitachon? It means looking only to Hashem. “I am in the hands of the Creator of the World. He created me and He never abandons me. He gives me whatever I need and if He does not give me something – it is a sign that I do not need it.” _

When a Jew endures, when he is in pain – he must remember that Hashem lives his pain. If we are suffering – Hashem suffers with us. Hashem is with us, He escorts us, He experiences the challenges we face, He knows what we go through, He does not forget us, He loves us. Be strong – turn to Him! ) We are here to live in our mind, our daas, our emunah and recognize how our brain and body are experiencing the concealment of Hashem and shower compassion upon the Shechina in exile, beg for His Mercy and ask that the concealed spark come through into our hearts to be revealed through our speech and deeds. This is simcha, no matter what. We just have to devellop the executive functioning of a mind over the brain itself, one that develops from emunah and divine mercy.

Rabbi Moshe Weinberger from Emunah Daily
Hi Chevra. Welcome to Emunah Daily.
Chazal tell us that Rachel is the עלמא דעסקליא, and she revealed beauty and holiness, יפת תואר ויפת מראה. Additionally, she had children that also reflected this perfection: Yosef HaTzaddik and Binyamin HaTzaddik. In life, many of us dream of a world of perfection. We admire a perfect husband, perfect wife, perfect children, and a perfect life. In fact, Yaakov also wanted to marry Rachel, the image of perfection. Rav Tzaddok teaches that Rachel symbolizes the world of the ideal tzaddik, for whom Yiddishkeit is completely natural and comes with ease.

On the other hand, the passuk teaches that ועיני לאה רקות. Leah Imeinu’s beauty was the deepest, but some was lost as a result of her endless tears. She wept constantly, davening that she would not have to marry Esav, as it was logical to have the eldest daughter, Leah, marry the eldest son, Esav. As a result, Leah represents the world of Teshuva. Similarly, Esav too could have become a baal teshuva, but did not choose to fix his ways.​

For most in our generation, Yiddishkeit is not easy. We feel within our hearts and minds the turbulence of Esav. Though we are drawn to the world of Esav, we constantly battle to fight it off. We yearn for Mashiach ben David to redeem us, may it come speedily in our days.​

Mashiach ben David is a descendant of Leah, and also experienced many milchamos, struggles, in his lifetime. It is clear that for him, holiness did not come easy. Unlike Yosef HaTzaddik and Binyamin HaTzaddik, Rachel’s sons, it was hard for David and it is hard for us.​

But, this is the greatness of our generation. Every time we turn away from Esav and beg Hashem to help us, we attach ourselves to Mashiach ben David, to that world of עלמא דעסקליא, concealed holiness. Even though on the outside we don’t always look so great, we are not like Rachel Imeinu or Yosef HaTzaddik, Hashem knows that we are His warriors, His fighters.​

When one of my daughters was very little, she wasn’t careful with negel vasser. I used to say, “A real Jew has to wash negel vasser!” Once, my daughter woke up and went straight to the bathroom without first washing. Not noticing that she went to take care of her needs before washing negel vasser, I simply waved at her. She looked at me and thought that I was on patrol to ensure that she had first washed before anything else. She looked up from the kisei and said to me, “But Daddy, I am still a Jew!”​

I have thought about this story so many times. We often feel ourselves in a filthy place, in the world of Esav, but the greatest nachas to Hashem is that even when we are stuck there, we still look up and say, “But Ribbono Shel Olam, I am still a Jew. I am still one of Yours. I am one of the chassidim of David HaMelech. I am a layman, but I am trying.

Where do we start? It is not incumbent upon us to finish the work, only to make the effort. Just recognizing that we do not have independent existence is a recognition and honor to Hashem. ” Hashem I don’t know how to nullify feeling my own honor and concerns but I want to. All I want is You.”

Sincerity.

What can we do today to move ourselves closer to that really being true for us, and where can we take something from the realm of taiva/desire or gaiva/self-concern and bring it in hisbodedus out of love for Hashem and a willingness to flow what animates that feeling of selfhood into an intention to honor Hashem alone, with all our soul and all our might?

We circumcise the heart. He does the heavy lifting. All we have to lose is the pain and suffering of our inner despair and shame. What we have to gain is purpose, meaning, and simcha.

RABBI MOSHE WEINBERGER FROM EMUNAH DAILY

Hi Chevra. Welcome to Emunah Daily.​Chazal tell us that Rachel is the עלמא דעסקליא, and she revealed beauty and holiness, יפת תואר ויפת מראה. Additionally, she had children that also reflected this perfection: Yosef HaTzaddik and Binyamin HaTzaddik. In life, many of us dream of a world of perfection. We admire a perfect husband, perfect wife, perfect children, and a perfect life. In fact, Yaakov also wanted to marry Rachel, the image of perfection. Rav Tzaddok teaches that Rachel symbolizes the world of the ideal tzaddik, for whom Yiddishkeit is completely natural and comes with ease.​On the other hand, the passuk teaches that ועיני לאה רקות. Leah Imeinu’s beauty was the deepest, but some was lost as a result of her endless tears. She wept constantly, davening that she would not have to marry Esav, as it was logical to have the eldest daughter, Leah, marry the eldest son, Esav. As a result, Leah represents the world of Teshuva. Similarly, Esav too could have become a baal teshuva, but did not choose to fix his ways.​For most in our generation, Yiddishkeit is not easy. We feel within our hearts and minds the turbulence of Esav. Though we are drawn to the world of Esav, we constantly battle to fight it off. We yearn for Mashiach ben David to redeem us, may it come speedily in our days.​Mashiach ben David is a descendant of Leah, and also experienced many milchamos, struggles, in his lifetime. It is clear that for him, holiness did not come easy. Unlike Yosef HaTzaddik and Binyamin HaTzaddik, Rachel’s sons, it was hard for David and it is hard for us.​But, this is the greatness of our generation. Every time we turn away from Esav and beg Hashem to help us, we attach ourselves to Mashiach ben David, to that world of עלמא דעסקליא, concealed holiness. Even though on the outside we don’t always look so great, we are not like Rachel Imeinu or Yosef HaTzaddik, Hashem knows that we are His warriors, His fighters.​When one of my daughters was very little, she wasn’t careful with negel vasser. I used to say, “A real Jew has to wash negel vasser!” Once, my daughter woke up and went straight to the bathroom without first washing. Not noticing that she went to take care of her needs before washing negel vasser, I simply waved at her. She looked at me and thought that I was on patrol to ensure that she had first washed before anything else. She looked up from the kisei and said to me, “But Daddy, I am still a Jew!”​I have thought about this story so many times. We often feel ourselves in a filthy place, in the world of Esav, but the greatest nachas to Hashem is that even when we are stuck there, we still look up and say, “But Ribbono Shel Olam, I am still a Jew. I am still one of Yours. I am one of the chassidim of David HaMelech. I am a layman, but I am trying.”

We are here to beseech Divine Mercy

How Yaakov’s trust in Hashem and pleading for divine mercy protected him in the house of Lavan – Parsha Vayeitzei

“The house of Yaakov will be fire, and the house of Yosef – a flame, and the house of Esav – straw” (Ovadia 1:18).

The House of Esav is called “straw” because it has no permanent existence.

One spark emerging from Yosef will consume and burn all of the straw.  The straw will kindle and  be consumed.  There will be no survivor of the House of Esav.

Yosef is the shepherd for the sefira of yesod, foundation.  Foundation is funneling together of the middos  – chesed through hod – before they are given to Malchus, the world of action.  The sefira are the vessels that flow Infinite Light from Hashem through the worlds.  Imbalances from the counterforce, the Soton, nature, are our unrectified nature, our Esav within.

The counterforces have power from the world of tohu whose sparks fell into this world.

Hear this description from Rabbi Tatz of tohu and our lives. 

Rabbi Tatz retells the story of Dovid asking Hashem to test him.  This led to his failure with the test with Batsheva.  Why?  Rabbi Tatz shows how that any slight leaning towards the “I”  – as in when Dovid said to Hashem, let “me” show you – IS the battleground for reaching within to that spark buried within our subconscious.

We are here to learn how to make supreme effort in the world and fight battles like Dovid but without the “I.”  We assert ourselves with every nuance of our personality and talents, but without ego.

A slave says I want to actualize all I am for YOU.  We take our independence and assert with full dedicated responsibility, assert ourselves mightily in the world for Hashem.  We give it all back to Him. When it is for the “I”, however slight, however innocent it feels, that is the mistake and that is where we focus our attention to draw forth the flame..

The flame that leaps out of the four elements within such an effort brings with it the spark of tohu, sparks fallen from cosmically great souls, that fell into this world, the death of the kings.  “And he ruled and he died.  What killed them in an instant that is mortally dangerous?  As they were created, they felt that they were needed and independent.  They saw themselves as existing and separate from Hashem and that error at their level of greatness was the flaw that killed them.”

How do we incorporate this into our lives?

When our survival instincts are triggered, when we feel a real or perceived threat to our existence thinking that our existence is up to us, we may  begin to contemplate how to assert our view and arrange the circumstances using power to bring about the result that we desire.  We bring up our inner Esav to do battle with the outside world, to trap, to influence, to conquer.

Do we really consider anything else? Do we not rely on networking and education to help us navigate through our challenges with the greatest awareness of nature and mastery of its apparent characteristics?

We believe we are empowered to do this and that we are, as adults, able to determine our destiny.  We take steps towards our goals despite its impact upon others, who “we leave to Hashem” to handle, believing that we are permitted to move forward and if Hashem says yes to our plan, then He has “approved” it and therefore it was okay to take these steps.

These plans we make are the Esav within us. 

Even if we move with permitted actions, or even with actions that seemingly are mitzvahs,  if we know at any level that we are exercising power over another or defeating another’s goals, this is something we must not ignore, for we are accountable for every moment of pain or suffering we cause.  Hashem may go along with it due to the other person’s aveiras, however, that does not recuse of from being the ones He has chosen to inflict the pain or the kaparah or the judgment.

So what are we to do?  Wait and see?

That is exactly what emunah tells us to do.  How do we sincerely hold still?

Pachad Yitzchok.  Yitzchok asked to be bound so he would not move as Avraham raised his sword to shecht him. 

Rabbi Gedalia Segal on Parshas Vayeitzei tells us how Yaakov trusted in Hashem.

A person should always ask that Hashem is with us, that if Hashem is with us we can withstand anything.  We don’t have the power to save ourselves.  When a person realizes we are nothing and cannot save ourselves from any mishaps or sins unless Hashem helps us and he realizes that Hashem’s soul is within us – this is what Yaakov realized.  That he cannot save himself. He saw Esav was trying to kill him and he ran away and then he saw from the yetzer hara there is no safe place.  From Esav he could run away but from the evil inclination there is no place to run because it comes with us.  That is why he davened.  I will return in peace to my father’s house. Rashi says he said it means he prayed to be free of sin and  if I can be free from sin that I did not learn from Lavan then I can say that it was because Hashem was with me. One person used to praise himself that he had a great wealth of gold that his uncle bequeathed him from Africa, on a high mountain.  So someone said you fool why are you praising yourself, this treasure is so far away it is not in your hand and what is it going to do for you?  So too if a person brings enthusiasm that he believes in the Creator, is He up in the heavens or is He in your heart.  Hashem has to be inside my heart.  When Yisroel Salanter said Shema, he saw that a person can really make Hashem the  king over the seven heavens and the four corners of the world.  No one thinks Hashem should be king on the small part in his heart.  Only that Hashem is in our heart was Yaakov able to overcome the challenge with Lavan, to be complete in his emunah and be pure and only with this could he establish the tribes of the Jewish nation and make a foundation for a holy nation.  We have to appeal to Hashem that He should watch us because He is within every person and we have to ask His Help to be free of sin.  That is what it means he asked Hashem to be my Gd, and if I am successful then I know you are with me because otherwise I could not stand it.”

We are thoughts in the mind of Hashem. 

We have nothing, we are nothing, we do nothing independently.

When Yaakov defeats his inner Esav, he is given the name Yisroel.  The fire of Yaakov consumes the straw of Esav.

When we walk with emunah and bitachon as one with Hashem, this choice emits a flame from within, as did Yosef.  That flame transforms what is impermanent.  What is impermanent is the counterforce causing anochius within our consciousness,  blocking the reality of Hashem’s Oneness. 

How?

From deep within our inner consciousness, we engage in a choice between our inner Esav and our inner Yaakov.  By choosing to include Hashem in the picture and move with Torah, we release the spark, the flame, from the counterforces affecting the four foundations, earth wind water and fire, from chesed to hod, through recognizing the emes from the yesod. Yosef mastered nature and released light into the world and became King of Egypt ruling over nature. He demonstrates true Ein Od Milvado consciousness.

May we see the design, feel the possibilities for expression and purpose and meaning that take on a new level when we use real free will to emit the spark , the flame, that is causing imbalance within the sefiros, corrupting our primal will and middos.

Hashem is One and we are an emanation, with a purpose and mission and a meaning far greater than the gratification or pleasure of the ego.  When we feel challenges and pulls towards moving for reasons that feel our self-concern, ask for Hashem’s divine mercy, ask Him to please be our protection and guide.  This compassion upon the Shechina in exile opens the possibility for the sparks to emit and reveal Hashem is One.

Hisbodedus is the pathway to ein od milvado consciousness…and it is worth it

Admitting we are weak in emunah begins the process of building us back in emunah – Reb Shteinman

To nullify our sense of independent existence, we need emunah, an emunah that eludes our generation (see video above.)

From the understanding we have of the shepherds, we can grasp onto something to help us.

Hashem’s outpouring of chesed, chochma, the waters that flow compassion into the world, flows until Hashem says enough!

With gevurah, Hashem provides a vessel for the chesed, uttering the world into existence, ten utterances.

With the cosmic material He uses to form the vessels, the letters aleph to tav, Hashem places knesset Yisroel in contact with that raw cosmic material that is in need of inter-inclusion and re-absorption back to Him, through our emunah, will, prayers and deeds. This is the world of tikun, of repair, of repair for the holy sparks, the cosmic material that broke apart because it could not inter-include.

Avraham gives birth to Yitzchok. Yitzchok is born from Avraham, meaning that chesed meets challenges, , the form over Hashem’s presence, a form made from the cosmic material that is in need of repair..

Hashem forms the world with the 28 letters aleph to tav and He is concealed within them. The cosmic material of the letters is what forms the vessels for everything in the world. Hashem is the soul of everything but He is concealed by the vessels, and we know that anything that conceals Hashem is from the realm of the counterforces in the world. Darkness. Void. Tohu and vohu.

Our bodies and everything in the universe are a thought in the Divine mind that He is uttering and breathing life into.

It is not possible that we can affect anything that He does not agree to.

He listens to our prayers. Who do we really believe is running things?

Our soul is drawn towards natural belief in independent existence. Hashem designs us so. However He gives us the Torah and the power of speech and prayer to influence Him, and He gives us emunah and taanug and will to powerfully submit everything within us to the true reality of Hashem’s Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Chesed.

What can we do today to strengthen ourselves in emunah? Hiw can we expand our executive functioning to live in our mind and not just our brain reactions, and to radically accept each other and the design of the world?

Hisbodedus is a great place to start. This is a daily exercise that becomes a moment to moment request for Divine mercy and success in our activities.From the places within our inner being that we find resistance, push back, negativity, or darkness, we ask for His Mercy. We are experiencing contact with exactly the mission and purpose for knesset Yisroel in the world of tikun, so don’t fall into the despair! Instead realize we are here to activate emunah – that He exists and we shower compassion upon His Shechina that is in that darkness.

This effort is heads or tails. Are we ALL IN?

May we slowly, lovingly, and gently realize that our natural condition and our lacks are in need of our emunah, prayer and free will to recognize the emes and shower compassion upon the Shechina in exile so that His Light may be revealed.

By taking time in hisbodedus, we begin to understand the forces within us and we begin to identify the inner struggle that is the point of being in this world. Without finding this inner struggle, we continue from childhood throughout life believing the messages that are “advising” us regarding feeling ourselves and acting for our own self-interest. For spiritual maturity to take place, inquiry into olam haba and the purpose of our lives in olam haze must begin. Wondering how to begin on a loving and gentle opening of our eyes in Hashem’s presence? Here are some options:
Hear a description of hisbodedus and run and return from Rav Dror – Youtube
Download audio only

A great way to learn about going through our lives through the Jewish calendar is through Rabbi Nivin Personal Development Chaburas (contact Robyn Meyerson at newchabura@gmail.com). Rabbi Nivin offers amazing tools to help with personal development.

Rabbi Doniel Katz has a program called the Elevation Seminar that teaches these concepts in depth.

Devorah Yaffa Singer offers an amazing series called Lights of Emunah – it is sourced in Torah and taught with excitement. It is 32 classes and each month includes an hour of 1 on 1 discussion with her. For more information, contact her at devorahyaffa@g-ddirecttorah.com or at this link

Rabbi Moshe Genuth – Maimer I will come and see Patreon Faith and Confidence

Rav Asher Freund story on how strengthening ourselves with emunah builds us into a vessel to receive the bracha we need for refuah shelama

Rabbi Shmuel Braun on Parshas Toldos Yitzchok dug wells – Prayer is Digging Wells
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Asking Hashem for mercy every moment is compassion upon the Shechina that agrees to be in exile

Asking Hashem for mercy every moment is compassion upon the Shechina that agrees to be in exile, in the darkness, in our pain, the Shechina that is animating everything in the world,the soul of every atom that is solid, liquid, gas or radioactive appearing as earth, water, wind or fire, the four foundations of the world formed out of the primordial tohu by the 28 Hebrew letters from aleph to tav.

A pretty big statement? Let’s take a closer look.

How many moments during the day are we in a frame of mind of survival, of moving our agenda forward, of seeing the challenges that present themselves and setting out to bring whatever we can to these challenges?

How many moments during the day do we fall into despair, frustration, anger, fear, feeling overwhelmed, impatience, the urge to blame, the reaction to shame or feel ashamed?

It feels to us as thought we are experiencing a private universe all by ourselves and that we are the one in charge and that it is up to us and that success or failure lies in what we know, what we say and what we do.

Amazing isn’t it how Hashem is so concealed? We forget that we are created beings that come here temporarily from a drop and to the dust. We are 100 percent responsible to Hashem to make an effort with Him in the picture, but we are not the Source of anything, either the circumstances or the outcomes.

What if we expand our subjectivity every second to include Hashem in the picture, that He is the One doing everything?  How do we comprehend this truth and also realize the tremendous role that our mortal lifetime offers in bringing Hashem into the foundations of the world, earth wind water and fire, solid, gas, liquid and radioactive elements?

We have a physical brain that develops.  It has chemical reactions and nerve activity, thank Hashem. But over our brain, we also have a mind, and that mind is NOT limited by what may limit the brain.  There was someone who had a massive stroke and was considered brain dead.  One family member recited a bracha each time a certain function was completed.  Each time, the heart monitor went up and down at the time that a person would otherwise say amein after a bracha.  A brain dead person’s mind was responding amein without a working brain.  This is important to comprehend. It gives hope to every person who has a traumatic past because the mind and the brain are not the same and the awareness that the mind has in recognizing Hashem brings the possibility of healing for the brain and our nervous system and emotions.

How?

There are two parts of our soul that are totally undamaged and unable to be damaged by this world and those are the Chaya and yechida, correlating to the yud and the tip of the yud in Hashem’s Name, to chochma and keter, to Torah and to the 13 attributes of mercy.

When we experience our subjective understanding of the world, we are in binah, a subjective understanding limited by our beliefs and values as they develop naturally.  When we have pain, it is because this binah, this understanding, the upper hai of Hashem’s Name, is receiving an influx of light that its limited understanding does not fully grasp and interprets according to these beliefs and values.  These beliefs and values, however, usually form at a young age with incomplete information and childish interpretations that are false.  Nevertheless, these thought patterns are what we use to handle our moments unless we go forth from there, as Avraham was instructed to do when Hashem told him to go to the land that Hashem will show him.

Torah teaches us that Hashem is good and only good and that He is doing everything.  Thus with our mind, we are able to grasp that somewhere Hashem is showering compassion upon us despite how it feels and that our main journey is to somehow remove what is blocking us from experiencing His Compassion. 

Now let’s nullify the feeling of independent separate existence so that instead of thinking that we are going to remove what is blocking that, in fact, nothing is blocking us from experiencing His Compassion except our lack of recognizing that reality. How do we recognize that reality when we are in the dark?  It seems like a catch 22. 

Except it isn’t. 

The moment we have compassion upon the Shechina in exile, that life force that is sustaining the darkness we are experiencing through our perceptions, our nervous system, because of the development of our brain, we move to our mind’s eye, a mind that knows at all times the pleasure of connecting to Hashem, of being connected to Him and trust that He is doing everything, that He is good and does good.  Just by having compassion on the spark that is the strength of the pain. 

We align our identity with Hashem’s compassion.  We have an inner being! We are not just a mortal body, a victim of our traumatic experiences and limited beliefs, values and understanding.

We are an inner being made in His Image! 

Our mind is able to hold in its eye this true reality along side the experiential reality.  Do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise! Do not surrender to despair! It is the voice of the counterforce as it solidifies in the pain of our long exile and galus, may we all find real hope to latch onto from these words!!

From there, our mind and our Torah learning begin to “sniff” out the concealed compassion. 

Recognizing Hashem honors Hashem, the Creator, by showing that we know He is doing everything and that we are creations. 

Torah teaches us that when we choose to activate the thirteen attributes of mercy and to call out to Hashem from these attributes, He answers us.  This is Hashem’s message to Moshe Rebbeinu after the sin of the Golden Calf, that when the Jewish people need Him, we should evoke the 13 attributes of mercy. 

How do we best evoke these? 

By emulating Him! 

Showering compassion on the Shechina in exile immediately aligns us with the 13 attributes.  Hashem answers us by holding back the “malware” that naturally interferes with us receiving the divine flow of mercy constantly being sent, that place of connection that our yechida and chaya experience at every single moment without stopping but that is often blocked to our perceptions because of the counterforce, the “malware” that Hashem animates too in order to give us real free will.

There is a place in our brain called the orbital cortex that generates messages to us.  Often when there is trauma or when a person did not receive normal nurturing, the ability of the orbital cortex to regulate the emotions is compromised and that portion of the brain can even shrink.  Science has found that when a person has optimism this portion of the brain begins to regain size.  This is the basis of twelve step programs that place power outside of the person and help a person to regain their balance and self-control. 

Showering compassion on the Shechina in exile means we recognize Hashem is doing everything and that He is good and only does good, and this emunah and the bitachon to rely on it are thus restorative of this function of the orbital cortex.  However, make no mistake, the Source of the healing is Hashem, Who holds back the interpretations and messages for us to examine with mindfulness so that we may choose, to use the real free will He gives us.  And when we do, not only do we receive His Divine Mercy and healing, but something in our choice also brings through our emotions and efforts a spark concealed in the four foundations, solid, liquid gas and radioactive atoms, that Hashem conceals Himself within, so that these basic foundations become capable of revealing Hashem as their Source instead of concealing Him

We cannot understand this Infinite Process, but we can understand that Hashem designs Knesset Yisrael to be this channel that serves in the manner that He has devised to unify His Name when we will to recognize Him and have compassion upon the Shechina in exile, aligning ourselves as one with Him and without any independent separate existence.

Thus, when we ask Hashem for mercy, we are demonstrating compassion on the Shechina in exile

Thank you Hashem for the good as well as for what appears other than good, may we only see good that we recognize as good.  Thank you Hashem for the real free will to know that at all times we are creations receiving Your Divine Mercy.  Please Hashem have mercy upon us and hold back the “malware”, the counterforces that appear to us as reliable due to our development in nature, because we have emunah and bitachon in Hashem and only want You, not any counterforces or feeling ourselves that is based on beliefs formed because of those counterforces.

May we come to appreciate our mind and live in our emunah and withstand the pulls of the counterforces that have formed our brain systems and may Hashem have mercy upon us and may wanting only Hashem become the new natural within our brain systems, hearts, speech and deeds.

Parsha Vayeitzei Yalkut Maamarei Emunah by Rabbi Gedalia Segal from Reb Asher Freund

Parsha Vayeitzei

Righteous Individual is the foundation of the world

Yaakov left Beer Sheva.  Rashi asks why does he say he left Beer Sheva and not went to Haran.  The reason is that when a righteous person leaves, it makes a commotion and everyone is talking about it.  Who did it really affect in Beer Sheva, were there Jewish people there who would feel the lack, that this righteous individual who left, did it impact on all the people in the Yeshivas in those days?  What was the impact of Yaakov’s leaving gentiles who worshipped idols?  What impact did it have that he left Beer Sheva and what did they lack when he left?

It also says he took the stones from the place and put it under his head and the stones fought and wanted the tzaddik to put his head on it. Hashem merged them into one stone.  What affect did it have for a stone that a righteous individual should put his head on the stone, what was it lacking.

A righteous individual is the foundation of the world. The world is created for a righteous individual.  He has the power to split rocks and even the animals in the forest fear a righteous person.

The people in Beer Sheva did not know how to value a righteous individual but when he left, they recognized that a righteous individual left and the beauty and the whole appearance of the city was not the same.  They felt the air was very heavy.  They felt like the holiness that was dwelling in the city was lacking. Even the rocks felt the soul of the righteous individual.  They felt when he left that the beauty and the absence of the appearance of the city was not the same, like a metal enveloped the city, and there was a heavy emptiness.  Even the stones felt that the soul of this righteous individual that is the foundation of the world, they also wanted the head of this righteous individual should be resting on them to give merit to their existence.  A person who has the image of Hashem on his face, the nations of the world will bow.  It says Your fear are on the animals of the world, the birds in the sky, the things that grow and even the rocks, everything is humbled in front of a person that has the image of the creator on his face.

Torah

Yaakov Aveinu went out of Beer Sheva and he went in the ways of the world and he knew that the Jewish nation would come from him and he had a fear that maybe he would get lost and mixed with other people that are lost. Until now he was sitting in the tents of Torah learning day and night and in the shadow of his father and mother and enveloped in holiness and purity and this way he was able to be much more pure than Esav, who was in evil ways.  But now, he is going out to the big world and it is full of idols and how could he withstand when the Soton is there and is trying to make him fall. 

He came to the idea that only Torah…it wasn’t enough the Torah that he learned until now.  He went to the Yeshiva of Shem B’ever and there he sat on the benches and learned Torah day and night.  He did not go to sleep at all, except for a few minutes. He pushed the sleep from his eyes and learn again.  For 14 years.  And then he went to Charan to establish his mission.

What shall we say now in our generation?  We have to learn from Yaakov that all we have to protect us is the Torah.  That is what we can learn, how important it is to get as much Torah as we can before we deal with the challenges of the world.

Hashem should be my Gd

A person should always ask that Hashem is with us, that if Hashem is with us we can withstand anything.  We don’t have the power to save ourselves.  When a person realizes we are nothing and cannot save ourselves from any mishaps or sins unless Hashem helps us and he realizes that Hashem’s soul is within us – this is what Yaakov realized.  That he cannot save himself. He saw Esav was trying to kill him and he ran away and then he saw from the yetzer hara there is no safe place.  From Esav he could run away but from the evil inclination there is no place to run because it comes with us.  That is why he davened.  I will return in peace to my father’s house. Rashi says he said it means he prayed to be free of sin and  if I can be free from sin that I did not learn from Lavan then I can say that it was because Hashem was with me. One person used to praise himself that he had a great wealth of gold that his uncle bequeathed him from Africa, on a high mountain.  So someone said you fool why are you praising yourself, this treasure is so far away it is not in your hand and what is it going to do for you?  So too if a person brings enthusiasm that he believes in the Creator, is He up in the heavens or is He in your heart.  Hashem has to be inside my heart.  When Yisroel Salanter said Shema, he saw that a person can really make Hashem the  king over the seven heavens and the four corners of the world.  No one thinks Hashem should be king on the small part in his heart.  Only that Hashem is in our heart was Yaakov able to overcome the challenge with Lavan, to be complete in his emunah and be pure and only with this could he establish the tribes of the Jewish nation and make a foundation for a holy nation.  We have to appeal to Hashem that He should watch us because He is within every person and we have to ask His Help to be free of sin.  That is what it means he asked Hashem to be my Gd, and if I am successful then I know you are with me because otherwise I could not stand it.

When we teach our children

A person has to try very hard when he teaches his children, he has to know that he has to pray that his children are successful in Torah.  Even before they come to the age where he actually teaches them, but also to watch the children from bad friends.  Bad friends can cause a weakness in emunah and keeping the mitzvahs.  Yaakov tried to establish the Jewish people to stay away from worshipping idols.  He purifies himself at Shem B’ever for 14 years.  That is a great foundation to be able to establish a holy nation.  Then when he leaves the beis medrash, he goes with prayer, that there should not be in his children any impurities, that they should be all holy.  That the holy divine presence should be with him.  After he learns Torah and davens, then he goes to bais Lavan, but who is going to protect them from Lavan?  He tried to keep away from developing a close relationship with Lavan, that he shouldn’t inspire his children to do the wrong thing.  He didn’t want Lavan to say you are my flesh and blood and so he tried to make a separation from him.  Even though he worked very hard with parnassa with the sheep, he tried to keep his children separate, that they should not be affected or get close to Lavan.  He made a distance between them and Lavan.  Three things, Torah as a foundation, prayer, and to stay away from bad influences.

Nature of someone who tries to fool people, dishonest, deceivers

Someone who is deceptive thinks that he is really fooling everyone else. He has one thing in his heart and mouth and they are not equal.  Someone who recognizes that he speaks evil and does evil, there is still hope for him that he might do teshuva. But someone who is deceptive is in a trap because he can’t really see himself, he doesn’t recognize he is doing something wrong.  So Lavan made Yaakov work so hard for Rochel and he gives him Leah, and Yaakov says you fooled me and Lavan says we give the older first, he doesn’t even recognize he did something wrong.  When Lavan told Yaakov Hashem blessed me because of you Lavan should have blessed him and sent him with great honor but that is not the way of someone deceptive, he tries to fool him more, not to send him with what is coming to him.  He fools himself and even his children recognized that he was treating them like strangers and not like children. The daughters did not want to recognize him as their father.  Bilaam was the grandson of Lavan and he also was in the same way  of deception.  He blesses Klal Yisrael with his mouth but curses with his heart.  Hashem changed it to blessing. That is the way of someone deceptive.  You should not want anything good from him.  That is the way to deal with someone deceptive.  You can’t have a relationship with such a person. 

Faith of Yaakov Aveinu

Yaakov says to Lavan that he does not want Lavan to give him anything. He worked very hard the whole day and night and did not sleep and he did not want wages.  He just wants to get from the hands of Hashem.  Like Noach said, like the dove said in the teiva, my food should be bitter from the hands of Hashem and not sweet from the hands of people   Because of this, the flocks of Yaakov grew greater.  People don’t think like this.  They think a person who is successful does it and someone who is not successful is a shlemazel who can’t do anything right.  When the children of Lavan saw that Yaakov was successful they said he took whatever was our father’s.  WE see the bitachon of Yaakov and Lavan.  Yaakov ran away and Lavan wanted to get him.  Why was it that Lavan could not catch up with him?  When Eliezer went to get Rivka the way got shorter.  Hashem wanted to show Yaakov that Lavan could not do anything to him.  Everything that is the good of evil people is bad by tsaddikim.  Only believe in Hashem that He is the one giving.  Anything coming from bad people is bad.  How could anything good happen unless it is from Hashem?  Hashem is giving it, not anyone else.

This is the bitachon that Yaakov had and this is the way we should all see.  It is not from our own creativity or wisdom, it is from what people don’t have, that Hashem did not want them to have it.

Prayer of Yaakov in the house of Lavan

We ask Hashem to save us from a bad friend or neighbor. Bad affects a person.  It could be that a person gets inspired by an evil person and his goodness turns over to evil.   A person has to run away from getting close to evil. What happens if a person is living in a place where there is evil?  What should he do to be saved? Thank Hashem for his soul, that he should be pure.  Yaakov Aveinu was by Lavan and had to raise his children and could not leave but as soon as he heard from the Melech of Hashem to leave, he left as soon as he could that minute.  It says Yaakov did not sleep all the years in the house of Lavan.  Is it possible for someone in the house of robbers to leave?  Every minute he was waiting to leave there. He was afraid Lavan would influence his children who were to be the holy nation of Israel. How could he sleep?  He said 15 shir hamalos that they said in the hall of the bais hamikdosh that the angels were singing and they saved his children from Lavan’s influence.  He sang Hashem save my soul from the lips of deception and lies, that through these influences of Lavan.  Hashem I should please leave as I came, with the Gd of my father, for without that I would leave with an empty defective soul.  That is the prayer Yaakov prayed all the time, to leave in peace with his household. He was so afraid to be influenced by Lavan.

Living by the way of Torah

The way to live a Torah life is to keep the mitzvahs and stay away from aveiras.  Do what Torah tells us and don’t do what is forbidden for then a Jew is not a Jew.  That is still not enough for a life of Torah.  It means that every corner of a person’s life, a person has to search for the light of Torah to light it up.  How can you explain it?  Let’s say every behavior we find, it has to have a root in the Torah.  Rabbi Akiva said he likes these people that when they make a decision they go out into the field. This way when they are talking about an issue, the people who don’t need to hear it don’t hear it because only those people in the field hear it and are involved but no one else does.  We can see this is a good idea, what Rabbi Akiva said, but later on, how is this possible that this is a good behavior if it is not in the Torah?  We have to find it in the Torah.  That is the only way we know it is good.  So in the Torah it says Yaakov called Rochel and Leah to the field.  Yaakov convened with Rochel and Leah and told him he is leaving bais Lavan .  He went to the field so Lavan’s sons would not know about it and try to stop it.  So now we see that this type of behavior is brought down in the Torah and we know this is a good way to behave.  Rabbi Akiva’s intent is that to live a life of Torah is that anything big or small we have to find it is brought down by the Torah.  Sometimes we think this is a good way but if we don’t find a proof in the Torah it is nothing for us. The Torah is our lifeline, our instruction booklet, in every behavior that we do we should find a source for it in the Torah.  It is everything. If we don’t find a source in the Torah we cannot say it is a good behavior.

Pure faith

The ideal of faith is only for the Jewish Nation.  The gentiles believe in Gd but they don’t really know the same belief.  They think the people in the land can do what they want to do, one is above and the other below.  Lavan said it is possible for me to harm, you, I have the power and ability in my hand but Hashem told me not to do good or bad.  But the Jewish people say we are dust and ashes, nothing, a worm and not a man.  That is faith in Hashem.  The true faith is that there is nothing in the world other than Hashem and no place is empty of Him, the spirit of Hashem is in every person and thing, there is only hashem in the world. That faith is the faith of the Jewish people.  Great people of the nation of Israel say we are dust and ashes.  Hashem’s spirit is in us.

Rabbi Menussi on Parsha Vayeitzei – we can learn to overcome inner obstacles and Rabbi Biderman on Hashem answering prayers

When Yaakov overcomes his inner obstacles he becomes Yisroel. We can learn to do this from the parsha
parsha veyeitzei leah cries and prays and marries yaakov before rochel does – Hashem answers prayers from the heart

Have you ever taken a medical scan for a baseline? What is the normal?

Our emotions flow through us from our reactions and our perceptions and our wiring as physical beings attached to nature as well as spiritual emanations from Hashem. Torah teaches us that all there is in the world is Hashem Who is doing everything, Who is thinking up each of us as well as every atom. He is good and only good. Chesed is the baseline of the world Yet we have the difficulties set before us that do not naturally feel like pure chesed even though we trust that they are for our ultimate good.

Emunah is a power in our soul that must be developed. It grows from our effortful prayer. Our brain structure, run by chemicals, reveals the nature of what we experience and why. However we have a mind that is from a soul that is NOT run by chemicals and with our mind, we can grow through emunah to have the stamina to withstand the impulses, urges and lusts of our natural existence and bring them forward into the world as Torah learning, prayer, mitzvahs and chesed..

In Rabbi Yaakov Zalman Labinsky’s 39 Melachos of Shabbos Chabura this week, he explains taanug, pleasure, and how it differs from self-gratification, and shows us how Shabbos itself teaches us that the true pleasure in life comes from the will and emunah we effortfully apply to bring them forward into the world as Torah learning, prayer, mitzvahs and chesed. Here are the notes.

How can we comprehend the flow of chesed and the counterforces in the spiritual realms when we are limited and mortal?

There are seven shepherds corresponding to the forces of the soul that emanates from Hashem. Understanding these forces and the shepherds can help us do battle with the counterforce Hashem designs for us to absorb back to Him, counterforce that latches onto the pure forces as they flow into this world. The soul of Knesset Yisrael is designed by Hashem to draw back to Him the force in the counterforce so that His Chesed is unified and may flow into the world.

When we are cleaning for Passover, we are searching out chometz. For Passover we only eat matzah. And then we work on our inner characteristics for 49 days to unify and purify our mind and heart in avodas Hashem.

Rabbi Genuth in Faith and Confidence (http://patreon.com/mgenuth) explains that when we are very young, if we are not related to in a healthy way, what solidifies in us is a negative being. Our natural environment is set early in life, however, with Torah understanding of this backdrop to our lives, the impact of that environment can change by our recognizing that it is our life force and no other power that has become the strength there and that we have real free will and the power of prayer to ask Hashem for mercy, that our life force – the Shechina in exile – flow into mitzvahs and chesed.

Yes, our hearts ache with each round of inner shame or blame we anticipate or react with. Yes, we project this everywhere because it is part of our natural first reactions. But no, it is not impenetrable or fixed forever. Prayer and beseeching for mercy honor Hashem by recognizing that He is One and that we know He is giving us opportunity to unify with Him and with entire world through this challenge.

Here is a clip from Rabbi Biderman regarding Leah’s prayers to not marry Esav, a contract set between Lavan and Rivka when Rivka bore Esav and Yaakov and Lavan fathered Leah and Rachel.

And here is a shiur from Rabbi Nir Menussi on Parsha Vayeitzei audio only to help us trust that, indeed, our natural environment that feels powerful and like us can instead be absorbed back into Hashem’s flow of chesed. We can grow through emunah and Torah learning to understand how the opposing force has latched onto chesed and “hijacked” our identity for the goals of nature and for natural survival instincts and self-conscious gratifications. We have real free will and the power of prayer and the Torah to help us journey back, as did Yaakov. When Yaakov journeys back, and he overcomes his inner counterforce, the angel of Esav, he becomes Yisroel. This is our collective purpose and mission.

Hashem sends us seven shepherds to help us understand our emotions. Our emotions can become a channel, a bridge, across which the life force from the counterforce Hashem allows to latch onto His Chesed can be re-absorbed into pure chesed and revealed into the world.

Chesed is the spiritual baseline. It flows from Hashem without stopping. He creates four worlds and in each world He is more and more concealed. What this means is that the flow of the sefira are vulnerable to having the force within them diverted from reaching this world as pure chesed. This is Hashem’s design, His gift of real free will.

Ahava, represented by Avraham, love for Hashem that he reveals to the world as Hashem’s chesed.

Gevurah, represented by Yitzchok we are told is something that chesed must acquire in order for it to have boundaries. Unbounded Ahavas Hashem meets difficulties and Yitzchok, through awe of Hashem, brings a way for the flow of chesed from Hashem in Avraham’s ahavas Hashem to focus, in his marriage, with his sons. T

iferes, represented by Yaakov, brings compassion inwardly through bringing the force within his struggles with Esav into awe and love for Hashem.

Netzach, represented by Moshe Rebbeinu shows us endurance to walk with compassion, love and awe to serve Hashem.

Hod, represented by Aharon, is humility, nullification of self in favor of recognizing Hashem.

Yesod, represented by Yosef HaTzaddik, gathers the chesed that is the baseline from all of the above. As the leader of Mitzrayim, Yosef masters all of nature. He turns chometz back into matza by resisting Potifar’s wife and by rectifying his brothers. He brings chesed to its original form before being latched onto by otherness Hashem allows for free will to exist.

And Malchus, represented by Dovid HaMelech, is the doing of mitzvahs, prayer, learning Torah and bringing acts of kindness into the world as a being that is part of the whole, one with Hashem.

May we begin to comprehend that we simply do not have to believe the clouds of negative emotions that often sit on our hearts and over our heads. The force animating the messages is the focus of our emunah and our prayer, with trust that Hashem, in His Mercy, will draw it forth to Him and restore it through us into the world through our mitzvahs and prayers and acts of chesed.
Trust in this recognizes the reality of Hashem’s design, that we are, indeed, emanations, a part of Him, designed to do this. We are knesset yisrael, the luminary within the Jewish people, a people that provide a bridge and a channel through which, by Hashem’s design, flows His Infinite Light into the world through Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs.

12.2.19 – 39 Melachos Chabura from Rabbi Labinsky

12.2.19 39 Melachos from Rabbi Labinsky shiur only
12.2.19 39 Melachos from Rabbi Labinsky shiur only

Shabbos Chabura 4 Kislev Dec 2 2019  we are trying to acquire how the four elements of creation are embedded n the melachos of Shabbos as the basis for creating ourselves and revealing Hashem in this world.  Last week we spoke about being a receiver of the blessings to build ourselves as divine beings each week and then ask Hashem to fill our divine capacities up in a more complete way on Shabbos according to what we create during the week.

today we will talk about the taanug of Shabbos and it sounds deceptively simple so I am going to caveat this . things that look deceptively simple like still waters run deep, that is what taanug Shabbos is.  when we prepare for Shabbos, in anticipation for Shabbos, already waiting, so many days to go.  as we go into Shabbos there is also the taanug of Shabbos.  It means the light or ecstasy.

what oneg are we talking to, the simple taste of the food or the other kinds of pleasures?  what exactly is the oneg of Shabbos and how does it relate to the week and using the melachos

we will speak from reb weinberg who talked at length about two core principles and how it relates to the element of water.  Ultimately we are meant to be connoisseurs of pleasure.  it sounds new age, funky, connoisseurs of pleasure.  what is he saying?

He quotes the Ramchal in derech Hashem about Hashem’s ultimate platform for conducting Himself is tov umaitiv.  Hashem is the ultimate source of goodness and pleasure in this world and His bestowing that upon us is what we are meant to acquire.  the five levels of pleasure correspond to the five levels of sou.  physical, love, truth, creativity with an individualized mission and then love or devekus in Hashem.

It is true we want to receive the yoke of Hashem but it should not feel so heavy like an ox pulling a pack all day.  it should feel light, energized.  He is bringing this point to teach that we should focus on pleasure because Hashem’s reality is tov umaitiv, and if we dont focus on the joy then the fear can be burdensome.

the pleasure itself should be reinvested into the energy to perform the avoda in the maximum way.  Hashem creates all these amazing things for us acknowledge He is the Source and give it back.  we go to truth and higher mission and to devekus in Hashem.  Pleasure is not a sidebar thing we fit in when we can.  Pleasure itself is absolutely essential to avoda because the avoda of growing spiritually systematically nullifying our human limited existence and connecting to our divine being, we are transforming ourselves weekly.  that takes an enormous energy pack and is nuclear in the size of creation itself.  it is an exhausting process.  Hashem didn’t say have a little pleasure on the side. He says you will need all the energy and vitality necessary to be charged and therefore it is essential to serve Hashem with that.

Chaim Vital in Shaare Kedusha talks about the four elements and when he speaks of water…fire wind water earth,  water parallels the vav. on the side of not good, the middos ra are the taivas hataanugim, the desires that are on the midda ra side, the not good side of water.  we just said pleasure is so important so central to serve Hashem, what is wrong with some desires, it is all good isn’t it?  Chaim Vital says it is but there is the side of holiness and purity and the side of tuma on each element.  on water it is the taivas hataanug, lusting after the pleasure as opposed to going after the pleasure itself.  what is the difference?

feel yourself, the self, in a limited way, connected and interconnected to creation in which you have a role in and tie it back to Hashem. that is taanug. Hashem puts the reality of pleasure versus limited bodily experience in front of us at all times.  we can’t live without pleasure because otherwise we are unmotivated, bored, apathetic because we are hardwired for pleasure. but in the body form of pleasure it is immediate gratification versus long term. it is ultimately counterfeit because it is self serving versus serving Hashem and reinforces the separation between Hashem and us.  taanug unifies us to Him an to pleasure.

come Shabbos, we sample food before Shabbos.  the arizal tells us that all the worlds ascend upwards three levels on Shabbos, including this world, all ascend up to the source point and when we see everything back to its source, that is called hishkasrus and then it is inter-included and bound up and that is the pleasure of Shabbos.  comes the mitzvah of enjoying physical things, we say there is no reality of physicality. it is an expression of Hashem’s creation and our place in it and our avoda is to give back creation to Him.  unveil it.  we have a part of that, in our toiling.  that is the taanug of Shabbos.  this is the important mitzvah of intimacy because when opposites come together and join and unify it is an expression of oneg, the ultimate feeling of arriving, where everything joins in sublime bliss . that is the extra layer of soul, telling us that when our radar, our spiritual senses, are up, we get a taste of the next world and we will perceive taanug.  it is divine delight of the soul perceiving the interconnectedness and unified reality and our place in it tied back to the week.

Understand that taanug itself is the very basis of what Rabbi Weinberg is telling us. it is not about life being a party, although it is.  it is about Hashem’s essence is good and He is the bestower of blessing, the potential and the revealed. the more we see everything connecting back to Him, we know His reality in this world, we know our place and our own mission in this world.

how do we get there, to what Rabbi Weinberg and Chaim vital are saying.  we want to choose between taanug divine pleasure and bodily temptations. 

to the extent to which we live a mortal physical self serving existence during the week, Shabbos will reflect the human earthly physical existence and we naturalize Shabbos . but to the extent we subjugate the ego willfully giving up our perceived senses of separateness which physical pleasure is, then we come to see our soulful existence and we come to see the soul pleasure and we are excited when things come together, when things interrelate there is a wonderful surge that does not have a tangible quality.  the fifth level of pleasure is feeling connected to Hashem, the joining together.  it is a beautiful friendship.  when you experience the sense of emes, as inherently truthful, we fundamentally are saying this is Hashem’s creation and my soul was touched by that truth and everything is interconnected and it is all part of His oneness.  when I affect others, wow it is Hashem’s world . when we make kiddush and daven and learn and do mitzvahs of Shabbos and we let go of all the toiling and doing and becoming and turn our identity back to Hashem and say Hashem I am nothing I have nothing but You.  there is no separate existence. every part of my life and everything I own in the world is only an expression and manifestation of You that I am to reveal and the bliss I feel on Shabbos is the pleasure of this oneness.  what an incredibly beautiful experience.

reflect on this on Shabbos. 

the key is to willfully and systematically want to limit human experience and nullify ego and this is anything but easy.  when we nullify part of our ego in fire wind water and earth, we are nullifying the middos and the part of our identity, in this case pleasure.  if we have pleasure for its own sake and reinforces me, the gratification of self. why would I want to reinforce what veils me from Hashem. I want to willfully give up parts of myself and even my pleasures, I am meant to have as taanug, the oneg is the basis to feel that surge in the soul, to feel the excitement of the interconnecting, the soul is touching taanug during the week then it will be more on Shabbos.  that ultimately what the aspect of taanug and kavod are on Shabbos.  taanug Shabbos kodesh. the pleasure of knowing Hashem’s creation and the unity of it and how it relates to each other.  we have a wonderful week shvitzing and systematically diminishing the ego done through pleasure because when we diminish the selfhood we are removing the veil of nature we are removing the natural elements.  we are removing the water element and reappropriating it back to the soul knowing Hashem wants to give us good in the ultimate sense and to give it back into a mitzvah, the ultimate end goal, the world.

practically, what are some of the things we can do?  the water is the element of vitality and nourishment, excitement and passion.  Yaakov and Yitzchok dig the wells ,  the maayim, the wells, there are a lot of deep connections.  Practically how do we embrace and embody the pleasure components of our lives.  Hashem we want Your pleasure but I don’t want it to be bodily pleasure. I want it to be oneg, delight in Your ultimate reality

what to stay away from…be careful of our taivas our own temptations and lustful pursuits whether eating, relations and intimacy, money and sleep.  what are your desires and systematically use free will to reconstruct taiva into taanug.  that is one area to consider.  another area is the basis of touch itself. The power of touch is so powerful. it joins people together in exquisite ways. to the extent we give our touch away to others, we are giving part of our soul away to someone else. shomer nogea is protective.  the sefer yetzira and arizal in eitz chaim, taanug and oneg, the letters are ayin nun gimel for oneg turned around is negia touch.  it is also blemish, like on the skin or house that have to do with nega.  it is the flip of oneg.  when you touch someone for your own sake and it benefits you for your own sake and it is not tied to connecting yourself to the right people for the right reasons, if you are not shomer your nogea you can’t be shomer your oneg.  we protect nogea and protect the oneg. that is where the divine connection comes from.  Hashem is giving us all the halachas to see the pitfalls where we give away our oneg and draw in inappropriate touch and that is part of the counterfeit part of pleasure,  you are touched by that thing in a way that is now biased. when we are touched inappropriately we cannot truly see the oneg.  we can talk about the laws of yechud of men and women being together.  there is a perceived sense of togetherness that is the basis of intimacy,  but even during the month when nidda, there is a mitzvah of yechud, that we are continuously connected to the spouse whether connected or not. we are never fully detached.  that is built in. there is always some degree of togetherness.  if the six constant mitzvahs are connection to Hashem, to always be connected we have to have the same with our spouse. that is a tremendous pleasure of oneg, a positive expression. 

oneg Shabbos, it is important to take tremendous pleasure in Shabbos. not just body pleasure. we want to trade it up to soul delight, to listen to the inner voice of the soul that says I want to see HKB, to see every part of Hs World and be enraptured by His creation. I exist and have existence and I have a unique role that I toil in to reveal that. when I let go of my creative capacity and give that to Him for the fortieth, then the pleasure on Shabbos is the ultimate pleasure, all the levels of pleasure, the levels of the soul uniting with Hashem and our fellow Jews and our selves.  may we live with ultimate delight in knowing Hashem and his ways in this world. we want to be a connoisseur, to delight in pleasure, in Hashem’s world it is all light and all a delight.

What does showering compassion on the Shechina in exile mean as part of run and return?

The potency of ratzo v’shov run and return, is our recognizing Hashem and our showering of compassion upon the Shechina in exile, not wanting the life force that naturally attached to falsehood to remain in darkness.

What does showering compassion on the Shechina in exile mean and how do we do it?

When we are in the seething waters, all we feel like is running for shelter, to get away, to fight, or to freeze in the fear.

By learning the look and feel of our natural reactions through hisbodidus, we begin to also experience the insights that result – the look and feel of being a beloved emanation of Hashem. Our Torah learning talks back to us, with examples from the avos and imahos, with the holiday cycle of the Jewish year.(see note on this below the line)

By facing our challenges knowing we are in the presence of Hashem who loves us and that the experience of our upper soul is one of pleasure from His Presence, we safely turn to the challenge and approach the task of exchanging our attachment to false beliefs for attachment to Hashem and truth. Basically, we are wlling for the false fire to flow out of the challenge and into an expression of Hashem’s kindness. A false fire develops naturally because of the way people naturally attach to life itself. It is all by design, so there is no blame or shame! We are only on a loving journey and have been given the Torah to acquire a deeper understanding of the purpose and reason for which Hashem creates us. We are built to face our challenges and withstand the natural pulls upon us.

It takes emunah that Hashem is the Source of everything and that He is doing everything and loves us.

It takes trust that our soul that is above our body (chaya and yechida) is experiencing the pleasure of connection through emunah to Hashem.

It takes the trust that our soul is an emanation from Hashem without stopping that He designs to flow compassion into this world, a soul He designs and through which He will do the heavy lifting of powerful sparks that have fallen into a created world.

We have no independent existence. He is thinking everything in His Mind. His Thoughts are not like our thoughts.

With the above active awe in Hashem and with trust in how Hashem has designed Knesset Yisrael. and with love for Hashem for the very life force that is sustaining us in every moment, we realize that we have the “wings” that provide us with access to where chesed is stored and concealed in our integrated understanding, even when we are in the throws of fiery character traits that are hurtful and painful due to naturally developed attachments to this world. Do we see how awe in the design and love for Hashem place us into a perspective where we are now able to hold a duality, a paradox?

Our role is choice. To have experiential understanding that we have a choice is something that we build through emunah and trust that He is doing everything and loves us. From success after success in meriting His Mercy when these storms quiet and inner calm restored, the look and feel of the seething waters becomes somewhat less gripping, at least in potential.

We receive His Mercy when we recognize Him and walk with trust, love and awe back to Him, describing the winds and fires but refusing to fall into them, out of love for Hashem and not wanting our life force to attach to darkness and damages any more than it already is at this moment.

How do we refuse to fall into the messages and instead open a flow? Not by denying the feelings, but rather by facing them and feeling them without attaching thought speech or action to them, other than in hisbodidus asking for Divine mercy.

Hold the look and feel of the force in the painful message in the mind, like in a loving chamber that surrounds it.This force is animating our unique root attachment to inherently false beliefs, false only because they were formed at the initial stages of life,before we could grasp who is Hashem. Breathe and recognize the force is life force and thereby, since there is no other Power, it is Shechina in exile that feels like us, alive. Hold the force in mind, stay steady, identifying how it got there but without falling into believing its message, breathing.

Say out loud, there is no other Power. Feel the amazing opportunity to ask Hashem to have mercy and to restore this life force to an avodas Hashem that brings it into this world with a feeling of joy.

Confess. This honors Hashem, for we are creations and we are acknowledging we have no independent existence and know it. We declare we do not want the life force He is giving to us to be in that dark place and we are responsible for it being there due to naivety as youths and mistakes along the way up until now.

And now come the amazing steps for which we are designed.

With awe that there is no other Power and with love for Hashem knowing we are emanations of His Love experiencing that love at this very moment, we exercise real free will and we identify as an emanation made in His Image (an emanation that at the levels of soul above nature is experiencing the pleasure of basking in the emunah that our soul is receiving, even if we do not actively feel it). We have trust that this is so. This is emunah. Focus love and compassion from this understanding (daas) onto the force animating the painful message that is in our mind’s eye.

Stored somewhere in the experiential understanding that is our painful message and challenge is chesed from Hashem, concealed as Elokim, animating something false, and that awareness alone expands our understanding in the painful place we stand.

Something opens up.

We ask for His Mercy. The nefesh elokis He designs is built to draw forth the chesed concealed in Elokim. He does this. We submit to it.

Like a faucet of water, the love and chesed from above nature is there for us to ask Hashem to flow into the darkness and heal the pain of what we are describing. And we describe what we are experiencing – not to swim in the seething waters, whining and complaining –but out of recognition of an error that we wish to do teshuva on, because our life force is attached to naturally developed false beliefs. No blame or shame. This is the design. Have awe at how this natural environment was set within us just to give us real free will.

We itemize the false beliefs we are attachedto. We feel them and open our hearts and ask for His Mercy, that the pleasure of the soul basking in the joy of emunah flow to these places in our hearts and bring back to Him the trapped power of our life force and attach to Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs instead. We ask that this part of our life force be the intention for our avodas Hashem, that we may feel alive and joyful with avodas Hashem with it restored to its true state, compassion…

We shower compassion upon the Shechina in exile. “Hashem I do not want the precious life force You bless me with to be in this darkness. Please I wish only for the life force You bless me with that is made in Your Image, compassionate, chesed, to please flow into the world through the mitzvah that I am moving forward to do…”

We continue to focus compassion connecting this place of attachment within us with awareness that we are attached to Hashem as an emanation. We hold in our mind the true reality of His Love and that He is doing everything. We remember deeply that we have no independent existence. That means He is giving us this opportunity and that it is a choice for us to make, to cling and attach to the design of Knesset Yisrael to flow this power back to Him.

Something begins to move together in our mind. Hold steady. We are holding together the paradox and awaiting the life force from the pain, that power, to be drawn forth to its Source and given back to us through our intention to do a mitzvah and moving to do it.

We are helpless and we have no control. We will for this and we have intention to do a mitzvah and we move to do that mitzvah.

Hashem runs everything according to the spiritual structures, the sefiros. Listen here to Rav Dror explain more about the spiritual structures. His description is empowering for all of us. And listen here to Rabbi Mendel Kessin explain how Hashem is existence itself, ein od milvado. When we recognize Him, hold steady with awe in how He has designed Knesset Yisrael and built into our soul the way for it to channel His Infinite light back to Him, and we choose to identify as one with Him rather than with the false sensations of being seemingly here on our own, and we walk past our natural pulls, He has mercy upon us and brings us upwards from the seething waters and holds us close and restores our inner calm as we move forward with learning Torah, prayer, chesed and mitzvahs.

It is incumbent upon us to make an effort to really begin to feel how our inner peace is restored through avodas Hashem, that indeed when we bring the power we experience of our life force trapped in the seething waters forth into Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs, our vitality returns. This is the true Source of our vitality, for all there is in the world is Hashem. Without this awareness, we rely on balancing our emotions through the permitted activities for the animal soul.

This is what it means to shower compassion upon the Shechina in exile – our own life force. The source of the compassion we shower is Hashem. He is really doing everything. We are choosing to submit our self-conscious interpretation which feels like our own akeidas Yitzchak.

Hashem gives us the compassion to do this as an inheritance, as part of the design of Knesset Yisrael that is made in His Image. We all have access to it. It is stored chesed even within our natural understanding, although concealed from us. Our understanding may be quite limited and subjective. Through Torah learning and through emunah and Ahavas Hashem (which we feel when we realize His Love for us but that we trust is there because He is doing everything and we have no independent existence), our subjective understanding expands and we may access more and more awareness of Hashem’s chesed in every moment, as Elokim, even though the chesed may be trapped in a painful message. Ask for mercy when we are in the seething waters, when we are “on trial” to see if we will cling to false beliefs based on our self-consciousness and act from them or recognize our Creator and submit and nullify everything that blocks the true reality of being an emanation of Him made in His Image to do His Will and bring His Light into the world. We choose to submit and through this teshuva, Hashem draws us upwards from our trials spiritually.

Outward miracles are not to be expected. We are speaking about inner consciousness and inner peace regardless of what the moment is bringing. We trust that whatever the outcome it is truly what is good. This is the level of emunah that can be reached.

Hashem is the Source of all life force, all circumstances and everything physical giving all of this to us withthe power of real free will to embrace the opportunity to utilize life to flow His Light into the world by doing mitzvahs. This is our purpose and reason for being here and overcoming the darkness is how we bring forth the Shechina in exile that we need as His Mercy in order to do so. Hidden within our challenge is the chesed we need as His Mercy added back to our soul for infusing into the world. We release it through will and emunah and attaching to Him as an emanation rather than remaining attached to our false beliefs. He heals.

This Is the process of showering compassion upon the Shechna in exile that is part of every run and return. Hisbodedus is the key tool to build.

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(Note from above) A great way to learn about going through our lives through the Jewish calendar is through Rabbi Nivin Personal Development Chaburas (contact Robyn Meyerson at newchabura@gmail.com). Rabbi Nivin offers amazing tools to help with personal development.

For those interested in run and return, these tools work well with the hisbodidus described above.

By taking time in hisbodedus, we begin to understand the forces within us and we begin to identify the inner struggle that is the point of being in this world. Without finding this inner struggle, we continue from childhood throughout life believing the messages that are “advising” us regarding feeling ourselves and acting for our own self-interest. For spiritual maturity to take place, inquiry into olam haba and the purpose of our lives in olam haze must begin.

Wondering how to begin on a loving and gentle opening of our eyes in Hashem’s presence? Here are some options:

Rabbi Doniel Katz has a program called the Elevation Seminar that teaches these concepts in depth.

Devorah Yaffa Singer offers an amazing series called Lights of Emunah – it is sourced in Torah and taught with excitement. It is 32 classes and each month includes an hour of 1 on 1 discussion with her. For more information, contact her at devorahyaffa@g-ddirecttorah.com or at this link

Rabbi Moshe Genuth – Maimer I will come and see

Rav Asher Freund story on how strengthening ourselves with emunah builds us into a vessel to receive the bracha we need for refuah shelama

Rabbi Shmuel Braun on Parshas Toldos Yitzchok dug wells – Prayer is Digging Wells