What if we could take all the labels and judgments off of ourselves and others and yet still make good use of all that intellect?
Would we like that?
If so, try asking ourselves in a moment of judgment, what is it for?
In other words, our best cause and effect thinking which is causing us to feel ourselves and is triggering us to make harsh judgments or berate ourselves – that understanding that we have which is causing us pain or causing us to blame or shame or damage- is really coming from our experience of Infinite Light in inanimate objects – specifically in stormy wind, thick clouds, and flashing fire – as we learn from the chariot prophecy that tells us how the flow comes into the world. We can add one great leap of a step to our naturally developed cause and effect thinking that can transform it from feeling ourselves to doing our mission.
That one step is to reconginze The Cause, and The Effect of what we are feeling and identify its presentation in terms of wind, water or fire. We thereby change the paradigm back to being Hashem’s creation – mankind – here to inform Hashem where the deficiencies are and to return the fallen sparks animating the deficiencies. How do we return the sparks?
We ask Hashem to have compassion upon us and tell Him it is our intention to move the strength of the wind water and fire we are experiencing as deficiencies due to our natural cause and effect thinking from that thinking to instead strengthen emunah, that we know He is the Only Power, that we shower His Shechina in exile with compassion, and desire to be a channel for that light to flow into the world.
We strengthen emunah and thereby place the light into a mitzvah – Know there is Hashem – whereby it is returned to its Source. In so doing, we do NOT bring the damaging thoughts or actions into the world. We bring instead only the concealed light trapped in the deficiencies we detect from the circumstances, circumstances Hashem orchestrates so that with our cause and effect thinking we can comprehend where He is concealed and what He desires for us to return to Him in the moment. In other words, we need to extrapolate from the metaphor of our cause and effect thinking what He wants our souls to bring back to Him.
Hashem in His kindness gives us natural cause and effect thinking so that we have an understanding of how to identify the inanimate wind water and fire in which He is concealed and awaiting our recognition. He is giving us access to identify through cause and effect thinking, through our natural feelings, the elements He wants us to deliver to Him as our mission of the moment. We add that crucial step of submission – of helplessness, of knowing we have no independent control, of knowing that He is doing everything. We strengthen our emunah by absorbing the light concealed in the deficiencies – wind, water or fire – and place the light into mitzvahs, learning Torah, prayer or chesed – stamped self-addressed return envelopes. Torah is the tikkun.
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 is for.
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.
Shaare Kedusha https://www.sefaria.org/Shaarei_Kedusha%2C_Part_1.1?lang=bin English on Sefaria
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 labor.
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.
Rabbi Labinsky shiur explaining how to extract the element from feeling ourselves in order to bring the element in sweetened
Walk through example of how the derech of Rav Asher, the tool from Rabbi Stauber and the explanation of the BESHT from Rabbi Labinsky can be used to heal us and repair the world****
WATER When I change the flow from forbidden desires to exalted desires
WIND When I fan the flow forcefully
FIRE When I destroy my initial attempts to get on the track
EARTH When I nullify my desire then I become a vessel fitting to receive’s Hashem light
WATER When I change the flow from forbidden desires to exalted desires
WIND When I fan the flow forcefully to higher states of exaltation
FIRE When I destroy any attempts to make me deviate from the path of spiritual growth
EARTH 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 world
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
EARTH: When 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 pleasure.
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.
Shabbos chabura Jan 13
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 way.
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 Melachos.
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 ego expression.
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 is fake?
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.
We have a choice.
If you use the card below and wish to explore the elements in detail, to heal, to redirect life force, please do so. Rabbi Itamar Schwartz, Theory and Fixing Your Character Traits – Four Elements . The english pdfs can be downloaded here
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.