Reversing the consequence of having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – free choice to bitul and glue identity to tzelem elokim

Identifying with the impurities on the elements is how the yetzer hara tackles us. we are literally where our thoughts are. When we notice something disempowering and submit to Hashem, it is with the express intention of identifying with our role as part of Nishmas Am Yisrael to elevate the part of our soul that is being held there by our will.Yes, it is our will for whatever it believes is true, that is literally kidnapping part of us and labeling it as something we are lacking that we need for happiness.

The details of what our will is saying and what imaginations we are using to validate that corrupted will do not require much investigation, because the will that is constricting our happiness is hard-wired to draw us through imagination into unproductive behaviors. In that moment we have a tremendous choice, and that choice is to remember that the revisiting of the negativity is NOT the solution. Rather the release of the will from identifying with that negativity as US is the first step of the solution.

We are our choice to identify with our effort to open whatever potency we have been carrying in our concealed places – open it by letting go of our willfulness to pursue it has identity or happiness. Once opened, say Hashem Echad, please help me use all my will and the emotions that are trapped in something crooked only to take my next step in serving Hashem. Then turn to do a mitzvah, say tehillim, give charity, do a chesed, learn, or whatever expression you decide to do to reflect Hashem’s goodness into the world.

This is important for everyone. While we need to be able to identify where our negativity is, we don’t need to identify WITH the negativity as us. Nor can we get to the bottom of it because it is an infinite path of the yetzer hara’s logic, imagination based on false premises of the reality of “ME.” It is, in essence, our built in terror tunnel that Hashem instilled within Adom after Adom ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Instead, make the sense of “Me” more transparent, bitul ourselves, return to temimus, turn to the absolute truth that all Glory is Hashem’s, that Hashem is all good, and that what defines my esteem is effort to reflect that good and His glory into the world through my speech and deeds.

By doing so, we create in our heart a real sincere place, an internal true home in our hearts, for Hashem’s Glory to be housed. By closing the ability of the yetzer hara to travel through the terror tunnel to reach our speech and deeds, we submit our “me” back to being translucent and less concealing, and that allows tzelem elokim and Hashem’s Glory to be revealed.

Concealed inner world – opening the kink in our thoughts can bring tremendous light back into serving Hashem

Each of us has a private inner world of turmoil that feels internal but is not our true essence, it is not our tzelem elokim. Let’s make a clear demarcation in our thinking between what we struggle with and what is tzelem elokim. We are made in Hashem’s Image, meaning that in His Name, yud k vav k, He put in the tip of the yud an understanding of Him as the basis of our relationship with His Name. Those attributes are explained in Tomer Devorah but digest to Hashem’s constant tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of our confusion of mind because of our struggling, forgiving us and casting sins into the sea. Hashem is patient with us as we struggle with challenges and turmoil because He utters every iota of our existence and He thinks of every attribute within our tzelem elokim. The entire place of the world is Hashem.

 

Yet Hashem is concealed. How does He do that? Hashem gives us free will. He enclothes our tzelem elokim in a body with an unconscious and a subconscious, with desires and instincts that have access to our neurocircuitry and confuse our identity. This construct when we are children forms in a brain that is like wet cement ideas that carry forward for a lifetime. Children have child-like understandings and we continue into adulthood with some of these as running our neurocircuitry. Imagine a hose with water flowing through it. We bend the hose to keep the water from flowing out. That bend could be a trauma, a false belief, an injury, the result of abuse, mistreatment, poor shaping skills – a whole host of circumstances that Hashem designs to set our free will point. But free will we still have unless someone is mentally incapacitated in that area.

 

So Hashem flows life force and something bends that life force so that it does not get reflected into reality as good. That is our struggle, our middos that we have to correct. It is our inner concealed world that we struggle with. It is hard to make progress with it if the intellect makes the mistake of thinking that is who we are. It is what we are responsible for, but it is not who we are. We can choose to unbend that hose. We may not be able to physically unbend it, but we can choose to tell Hashem that we love Him and WISH to have that hose unbent because we desire to use the life force that is concealed in a way that will reveal His complete goodness in the world. Imagine now Hashem at the mouth of the hose, and He sees this trickle of water coming through that hose, water that He knows has been trapped in that kink in the hose for many years – the water may be a little brown but is delightful to Hashem, and He immediately comes to respond with love and value and His Presence is experienced.

 

Hashem opens the kink in the hose for us when we confess to Him and regret how our taivas and gaivas developed from our childish understandings and that we apologize, see our mistakes, and have a plan for the future. That plan for the future is to associate happiness with learning Torah, emulating Hashem’s Attributes as described in Tomer Devorah, living with emunah and bitachon giving love and value to others knowing our survival is in Hashem’s Hands alone and that He alone determines what is good and only does what is good. We ask Hashem to reveal His good upon the elements of water fire wind and earth that are lessened of impurities because of our teshuva, our cleaning child-like understandings and instincts from our conduct out of love of Hashem and awe for how He creates the world, with us having a partnership role in creating positive or negative influence.

 

May our endeavors be granted success and be a merit for klal yisrael and may we soon see a new light in the world as His glory is revealed with rav chesed and His Presence returns to being revealed in time and space.

Building and using the mikvah in our heart – Knowing Hashem is our dwelling place and we are the chooser who sees physical existence as a means to reveal Him!

The article below is a result of the discussion following the guided teshuva (see www.brachagemach.com) this morning. Listen here : https://www.dropbox.com/s/jq5aet3x7u4bgo2/july302014am.mp3

 

Maintaining our role as tzelem elokim when we are experiencing disempowerment because of the insults or actions of other people is a universal challenge.

 

All of us were raised by parents who shaped us with the best intentions. Wanting to keep or regain the approval of our parents, we conformed to their shaping. Yet because people including parents are not perfect, children often in their child-like thinking develop a concept within them that may not be healthy, may subject them to experiencing low self esteem, may cause them to be oppositional and rebellious at some point or any of the prisons blame and shame trap happiness intended for serving Hashem as tzelem elokim, kidnapping them into the service of the ones who intentionally or not made focus on worldly concerns appear to be the source of pleasure. These childish mistaken concepts can remain snaking in our unconscious or subconscious our entire lives awaiting our focus upon them to heal and release a part of our soul that is trapped there.

 

Many people desire to find styles of giving children unconditional love, so that behavior can be changed while the tzelem elokim is kept connected to absolute truth. That absolute truth is that Hashem is all good. Parents are not perfect and all of us have these experientially internalized externalities that are to a degree holding us back from being able to reflect Hashem’s good into the world.

 

The image of wealth in a treasure chest filled with gold, silver, diamonds, sapphires and more, closed, thrown into the sea is helpful here. Just as we can relate to the good of what is in that treasure chest even though it is concealed, we can relate to Hashem’s Good even though He is concealed. In the moment when we experience a negative reaction, by opening this channel of love in our heart to Hashem’s Good, we have a basis, a frame of reference, with which we are empowered to really make a difference.

 

The difference we can make is on the elements as we experience them. We are empowered to have an impact on nature, that is how Hashem designs Adom, to have domain over nature. Thus understanding the elements is helpful if we desire to focus on this important aspect of the existence of mankind, to having an influence on nature, so that our influence can be positive, intentional, with love in our hearts out of awe and gratitude to Hashem.

 

Water is liquid. Fire is radioactive. Wind is gas. And Earth is solid. Water represents taiva, desires. Water also represents Torah and chesed. Fire represents gaiva, arrogance, anxiety. Fire also represents passion for Torah and for prayer. Wind represents breath, speech. Wind can be flighty and filled with damaging lashon hara. Wind can also combine Hashem’s strengths from the concealed to the revealed worlds. Earth represents solid, grounded existence. Earth can also be laziness, sadness. Earth is what gives form and consistency to our lives.

 

If someone says something that triggers an internal reaction within, I may see that as coming to me through the element of fire, where the person’s speech contained natural tags of self-referencing and hurtful judgments. Hashem is the one who decided that those firey words come into my ears. He has many ways of delivering to my ears whatever He desires that I hear, for my good. So what does Hashem see as the good in my hearing such firey words?

 

I am empowered to clean off the fire! Hashem knows that I understand what to do! He wants me to put it through the mikvah in my heart! Hashem, the words are triggering within me an anxiety and a sadness, fire and earth, because of something in my element that You want me to bring from the concealed world to the revealed world rectified. Please help me! Hashem Echad!

 

Please help me use the fire of the anxiety to burn out false beliefs about where pleasure and happiness come from, because happiness and pleasure are the result of emulating You and reflecting Your love into the world. Please help me see where I can release the Shechina trapped in the galus of blame and shame so that its strength from the concealed world can be used in the revealed world. And please, because this person’s words generated and triggered this avoda, with forgiveness in my heart, please extend this teshuva to benefit this person too, so that the element of fire can be subdued by Torah and chesed. Please send light and blessings that all of klal yisrael should be able to have breakthroughs in our taivas and gaivas so that instead the Shechina trapped in concealment can be revealed through our increased capacity to reflect Your Love and goodness into the world.

 

Please may I be a stronger and larger vessel able to contain the pleasure You desire for us so that I may reflect it into the world, tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind, forgiving, casting sins into the sea, giving love and value, living with emunah and bitachon, knowing our surivival is in Your Hands alone.

 

The place of the world is Hashem, Who is good. Hashem is our dwelling place!

 

May the bond between tzelem elokim and Hashem prevail in my heart and may this teshuva be a merit to benefit all klal yisrael that we should be the generation meritorious for redemption.

It didn’t rain until Adom Prayed for Rain – what do we learn about the power of prayer and speaking from this?

One of the most difficult scars a child can receive is that of being bullied, shamed, socially ostracized or labeled. Judaism tells us that words hurt, that the tongue is a lethal weapon. What is speaking for, what is its special power?

 

The ability to speak is a gift from Hashem that shares His Divine ability to utter the world into existence. Imagine a parent buying a puzzle for a child. The puzzle comes whole, perhaps in a wood frame. The parent takes out the pieces and then shows the child how to put the puzzle pieces into their spaces to reform the picture.

 

Hashem creates the world in a static way, ready for everything to begin to flourish. Hashem gave the power to Adom to daven for rain. Until Adom davened for rain, the world was formed but static.

 

Each utterance of Hashem has an appearance of being independent and containing a power or a strength, such as the sun makes light, trees make oxygen, sheep grow wool and more. What power has been given to the Jewish People? It is the power of declaring Hashem Echad that brings our the awareness of Hashem’s strength from concealment into a revealed world. Sometimes saying Hashem Echad is very hard to see. We get terribly distracted by our own emotions and personal losses when there is suffering and tragedy. Remembering to say Hashem Echad may not even come to mind. The default is that the power we have with thought and speech creates influence either way.  If we are not yearning to use all our strength to reflect Hashem’s love and Torah values, our actions and speech may cause damage and destruction that we do not intend.

 

In this suffering and in these tragedies lies the work we can do to serve Hashem in the moment. It takes a whole new level of emunah, of will, and of understanding who we are in order to do it. Without Torah learning, it is not possible to attain it. And even with Torah learning, it takes effort to integrate our learning and a true desire to be who Hashem wants us to be, Nishmas Am Yisrael.  We create influence, positive or negative, with our thoughts speech and deeds.

 

The layers of blockages are heavy and numerous. Yet the action to remove them is simple. We open our mouths with intention and say Hashem echad, I just wish to use all of this light in a way that will reflect into the world Your Love, Your Good, and Torah values. Simple words. But the kavana is an infinite path. The good news is that just choosing to go on the path creates spiritual help and benefit because we align ourselves with truth. Hashem fills the world. There is nothing that is not filled with Hashem as its soul. This includes our soul, our body, our circumstances, all the people with whom we interact. He Alone is directing every move with intelligence and love.

 

The role of the Jewish people is to understand that there is a rav chesed that we can stimulate, an arousal from above to bring rav chesed based on the arousal from below, our choice to recognize and acknowledge Hashem Echad. Every detail that we need to do in teshuva in order to do so sincerely is our personal tikun for which we came to the world. It is not enough to say Hashem Echad without first understanding how by doing so we are attempting to connect what energy is disempowering us back to the Source of all Vitality. Amazingly, the details of our lives, our human suffering, our fears, our pains are NOT who we are. These are designed in order to stimulate within our makeup something within our will and thought which Hashem desires us to choose to say Hashem Echad, thereby bringing a rectification to the elements of nature in general and to our soul in particular.

 

We can begin experiencing the truth of these ideas when we lovingly introspect upon where our lack, the goals we are attempting to achieve, and our imagination are leading us to despair. If we can relate to these qualities within us from a place of understanding that we have an opportunity to redirect what is keeping us from experiencing the pleasure of connecting with Hashem back into revealing His Good, we say Hashem Echad, please lead me in the path I wish to go which is to use all the kochos here to reflect Your love and Torah values into the world.

 

The power of saying the words fulfills the role of Nishmas Am Yisrael and creates spiritual beings that lead us in the path we want to go, creating positive influence in the process. Our esteem is relative to what of Hashem we reveal, for His is the Glory that fills the world. There is no Glory other than His. And in so recognizing, we repair the mistake Adom made when he ingested from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

 

It is not too soon to see that – other than our choice and breath to say Hashem Echad, please lead me in the path I wish to go which is to use all the kochos here to reflect Your love and Torah values into the world – everything is external to us even though it is painful, could involve illness, destruction and more. The role that our breath plays, the role of our tzelem elokim, needs to be grown, understood and its goals need to play a higher role in determining our choices until it is the new natural to choose in favor of the goals of tzelem elokim. When our words express Hashem Echad and then our speech and actions reflect Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy and Torah values into the world with love in our heart, and what we are given to reflect is a rav chesed, a chesed enhanced by our having risen above the natural to seek to make as natural the goals of tzelem elokim.

 

Please click here to print the sheets we use in order to follow along with our guided teshuva

to hear what we are doing, please listen to the recorded calls.  It is probably a good idea to listen to the most recent ones. Where there is discussion the calls are longer but it is helpful to hear.

call in numbers 8 am and 10 PM Eastern for teshuva during the three weeks:

712 775 7085 code 171698
712 775 7089 playback code 171698

to be added to the distribution list for this guided teshuva which we are doing morning and night during the three weeks, please send an email to shulikleinman@beyondanydoubts.com

How old are we? What baggage might we have that is as old or almost as old that we might like to bring into avodas Hashem instead of blocking us?

No one is immune from having old tapes developed childhood with immature understandings from interfering with our present moment. That is the human experience.

 

We are responsible to make an effort to keep our speech and deeds reflecting Hashem’s love and good that He is sending at every moment.

 

We must understand what our inner tornadoes, hurricanes, cloudy days and rainy days look like. Sometimes our inner tornadoes look like positive actions we must take in order to bring something good into the world. Without meaning to, we do something destructive. All parents understand this. And having been children, we all understand where our scars and programming that is damaged developed. We may not understand how to undue it, but we understand because we have the false belief that if we blame, we can restore the happiness we desire instead of experiencing the bitterness.

 

Bitterness means that our soul is not experiencing the joy of connecting to the good Hashem is sending this moment. How can we pierce our tornadoes, hurricanes, clouds, rainy days and more to reach upward to see that the sun is shining upon us and that Hashem’s love for us is real, in this moment, and immense?

 

We have free will with which to define who we are. When we understand that our esteem is the effort we make to do battle with what blocks us from experiencing connection to Hashem in order that we have more ability to reflect love and value into the world, we are empowered in a way that is far beyond just strategizing to work within the constrainst of any situation for what our goals are.

 

Our goal is to rise in our ability to contain the love and value Hashem is sending to us so that we, like the moon, can reflect it into the world. In order to contain the love and value Hashem is sending, we need a certain strength that can only be gotten from doing battle with the blocks! Why? The structure of the blocks, ego, human emotion, bodily responses, are the physical vessel through which we hope to reveal Hashem’s love and value. Thus, we need for tzelem elokim to erupt into the neurocircuitry that triggers our amazing existence.

 

During the three weeks, and now the nine days, we intensify our mourning, no meat, no showers, no swimming and more – by restricting, we inflict a suffering upon ourselves in the area of desires. Where does happiness come from? Happiness is the experience of revealing the love and value from Hashem into the world. The goal of our restrictions is to touch that place, thereby helping us internalize something that even when Shlomo’s Temple stood we did not fully internalize – pleasure in revealing Hashem’s love and value IS the real pleasure.

The yetzer hara has a goal of telling us that pleasure is the fulfillment of our dependency needs, of receiving love and value from people, of having material comfort and that our energy had best be spent securing these needs. The yetzer hara is even willing to let us learn Torah. But when it comes to really seeing that our happiness comes from revealing the love and value Hashem bestows upon us, the yetzer hara puts a Grand Canyon of logic and disconnection before us, so much so that we cannot see at all how it is relevant in attaining our goals. We do battle at this time with the immense coverings of body, unconscious, and subconscious that form the belief that “I” have autonomous indendent existence.

 

There is not one atom or force that is not under the direct control of Hashem, and that includes our soul, our body, and the force that permits us to have free will. If we did not have a Torah, we would not realize what our role is. But we DO have Torah. And it is incumbent upon us to take every opportunity to emulate Hashem and reveal His Attributes of Mercy into time and space by helping our tzelem elokim triumph over the coverings over it and erupting the values of tzelem elokim into consciousness that brings it to heart and action.

Women are invited to join us in our teshuva for the three weeks, to free energy trapped in lower levels of thought and emotion so that we can create an arousal from below to draw rav chesed from Hashem and then reflect that into our lives.

 

Please click here to print the sheets we use in order to follow along with our guided teshuva

to hear what we are doing, please listen to the recorded calls.  It is probably a good idea to listen to the most recent ones. Where there is discussion the calls are longer but it is helpful to hear.

call in numbers 8 am and 10 PM Eastern for teshuva during the three weeks:

712 775 7085 code 171698
712 775 7089 playback code 171698

to be added to the distribution list for this guided teshuva which we are doing morning and night during the three weeks, please send an email to mailto:shulikleinman@beyondanydoubts.com

Destroying the yetzer hara’s access to our speech and deeds – how to disrupt and bring to the side of good our inner terror tunnels

Hashem’s goodness fills the world. There is nothing in the world BUT His Goodness. Yet it is masked. Covered over by the appearance of objects and people and nature that He utters into existence. The essence of all is His Glory. Yet the perceptions we have cause us to interact based on what is visible rather than what is concealed.

What is the most concealed from us is the true identity we have as being made in Hashem’s Image, that our essence is tzelem elokim, inseparable from His Attributes of Mercy. Instead we relate to ourselves and others as beings in time and space, which we are. Yet if we identify with the “me” as who we are, we are inherently building on something that is not absolutely true. The existence of a sense of “me” is afforded to us only so that we can have free will. If His Truth were not concealed, there would be no sense of “me.” That is why His Truth IS concealed, to give us the opportunity to have yiras shemayim, to do the work of removing the mask over nature, and to conduct ourselves with ein od milvado consciousness.

In order to do so, we have to do battle with the greatest “terror tunnel” there is – and that is the yetzer hara that has been hardwired into us after Adom’s sin. Ultimately, the purpose is good- that we should do battle with it so that Hashem’s revealed good can flow through our hearts and fill the world not just in concealment but in a revealed way, through our speech and deeds.

Lack, ego-oriented viewpoints, imagination. Lack, ego-oriented viewpoints, imagination. This is our built in terror tunnel. Some would say this is the hope of the world, to improve the world. However, it is the way that evil flows into the world if we do not remove the impurities from the elements that trigger our sense of lack that in turn naturally orders our intellect to immediately serve our ego-oriented viewpoints with the greatest imagination we can. Imagination that does not serve absolute truth is going to have imperfections and untruths that cause damage. It is incumbent upon us to see the powerful skeleton of what conceals Hashem’s good – lack, ego-oriented viewpoints, imagination- clean off the distortions so that the elements water, fire wind and earth shine His Revealed Good alone, and then bring the vessel to the mikvah and dedicate it to reflecting rav chesed into the world, a chesed strengthened by our efforts and free willed choice to fulfill the first commandment that there is Hashem and to declare Hashem Echad.

Women are invited to please listen to this guided teshuva

https://www.dropbox.com/s/q84yej907pu5lz9/july282014am.mp3

 

Please click here to print the sheets we use in order to follow along with our guided teshuva

to hear what we are doing, please listen to the recorded calls.  It is probably a good idea to listen to the most recent ones. Where there is discussion the calls are longer but it is helpful to hear.

call in numbers 8 am and 10 PM Eastern for teshuva during the three weeks:

712 775 7085 code 171698
712 775 7089 playback code 171698

to be added to the distribution list for this guided teshuva which we are doing morning and night during the three weeks, please send an email to shulikleinman@beyondanydoubts.com

Rosh Chodesh Av – the Yahrtzeit of Aharon HaCohen

Please see Hakheil bulletin below regarding the yahrtzeit of Aharon HaCohen.  Aharon was running to make peace between people. the people mourned him greatly.

 

There is always a sunny day, albeit above the clouds. No matter what the weather, the biggest hurricane, tornadoes, clouds, thunder, above it all shines the sun, peaceful and light.

 

What takes us out of the world is lack. We attach meaning to it regarding our ego goals and esteem and we build imagination upon it, thus creating amazing whirlwinds within us that generate too often destructive words and deeds. Lack. Ego self-referencing interpretation. Imagination. Those three thoughts occur in a split subconscious second that we may or not be fully in touch with.

 

When we are in an emotionally negative place, hold it in front of us…see where do I feel lack, what ego self-referencing is being frustrated, and how am I using imagination. Say the words lack, ego, imagination over and over again as the facts fill in the blanks. Feel the discord inside dissipate as we begin to gain perspective on this natural feedback. Lack, ego, imagination. Recognize it. It is a deceiver. Why? The sun is shiniing above this! There is no lack, only a mask over the good Hashem is sending, clouds. He wants us to sort it out. Let the strength of the “bones” of this structure shed itself of the falsehood, of the me orientation. We have to scrub it off, like burnt food on a treif pot. Once the treif pot is cleaned off, we can bring it to the mikvah and use it for kadosh. By declaring Hashem Echad, we engender rav chesed.

 

Please click here to print the sheets we use in order to follow along with our guided teshuva

to hear what we are doing, please listen to the recorded calls.  It is probably a good idea to listen to the most recent ones. Where there is discussion the calls are longer but it is helpful to hear.

call in numbers 8 am and 10 PM Eastern for teshuva during the three weeks:

712 775 7085 code 171698
712 775 7089 playback code 171698

to be added to the distribution list for this guided teshuva which we are doing morning and night during the three weeks, please send an email to shulikleinman@beyondanydoubts.com

Hakheil bulletin reports:

One of the rare dates mentioned in the Torah (actually mentioned in last week’s Parasha!) is today’s date, the first day of Av.   What happened on this date?  It is the day of the petira, the passing, of Aharon HaKohen.  Chazal teach that the Ananei Kavod, the protective clouds of Glory, which surrounded us in the desert (and will once again surround us in the future) were in the Zechus of Aharon HaKohen (see Rashi on Bamidbar 33:40).  Once the Ananei Kavod left us, the initial reaction of the outside world was to attack us, as is described in the Torah there (Bamidbar 33:40).  What did Aharon HaKohen do for which he merited the protective clouds both for himself and for the rest of Bnei Yisrael?  We may suggest the following:  The Mishna in Avos ( 1:12 ) teaches that he was an Oheiv Shalom V’Rodef Shalom- that he loved peace and pursued it.  The Middah K’Neged Middah–the measure for measure reward becomes very evident.  Because Aharon made peace among people, he merited peace being brought upon all of Klal Yisrael with the Clouds of Glory.

 

Indeed, Hillel in the aforementioned Mishna, enjoins us all to “be among Aharon’s students” in this regard–to learn the value of peace among brothers.  In a letter once issued by HaRav Elyashiv, Z’tl, and yblch’t HaRav Shteinman, Shlita, in the past they especially asked that we be very careful in these perilous times “not to fall prey to the opposite of Gemilas Chasodim” which is to cause pain or suffering to your friend.  They pointed out that in the generation of the wicked king Achav, Bnei Yisrael were victorious over their enemies because there was no Machlokes, no strife, among brothers.  The Gedolim therefore requested that we were to be “me’od mishtadel”–that we put in greater effort at this time to make peace among ourselves.

 

PRACTICAL SUGGESTION:  It is essential that we take the lessons of Aharon HaKohen, as specifically reiterated by Rav Elyashiv and Rav Shteinman, very much to heart.  We may even posit that the petira of Aharon HaKohen comes out at the beginning of the Nine Days to remind us that if we could rid ourselves of machlokes, of causing pain to others, and recognize the need quite to the contrary to love and pursue peace between and among ourselves, we can go a long way in bringing immediate and long lasting Yeshuos.  Let us at the very least focus on one or two people over the next few days and try to promote a peaceful or more peaceful relationship with them.  Peace brings peace, for as Dovid HaMelech teaches in Tehillim (121:5)–”Hashem is Your Shadow.”

 

Additional Note:  The Torah records that the outside world (Amaleikim) attacked Bnei Yisrael after Aharon’s Petira.  Some suggest that the reason the date of the first of Av is mentioned in the Torah is because the Amaleikim attacked because they knew that it was the month of Av, and they believed that our Mazel would not be good and they would be successful.  We know that the opposite occurred as the Bnei Yisrael vanquished them in battle, although the enemy had originally taken one maidservant captive.  This is truly a message to us.  Although many terrible events have happened in Av in the past (as evidenced by the taking of the maidservant), ultimately and forever thereafter we will vanquish our enemies (including the Amaleikim!) even, and perhaps all the more so, in the month of Av–may it be this year! Indeed, the Ben Ish Chai explains that one of the reasons that our month is called “Av” is because it will be the Av, the Father, of a new joyous period which will commence in Av, and continue for a long period thereafter.  May it commence this Av!

 

 

Reflecting love and value – identifying with the divine flow with free choice and speech

The photos of the terror tunnels, with electric, with concrete, that cost millions of dollars sent as humanitarian aid, are in our minds. The destruction of these tunnels is the first order of business for the IDF.

 

We are not in control of the thoughts that come into our minds. We are responsible for what we do with those thoughts.

 

How do thoughts that we are not proud of get into our minds?

 

We have an unconscious, a subconscious and bodily urges that are part of nature. The yetzer hara has domain over nature.   And when Adom ate, Hashem hardwired the messages of the yetzer hara into us. In one second, we can be reacting in fear, anger, judgment, panic or a host of negatively charged emotions and what we choose to do with our imagination in that next moment is crucial.

 

The yetzer hara has access to our mind! What is the good in that?

 

Imagine that you have a treasure chest that has gold, silver, platinum, money, diamonds, sapphires and amazing value. The treasure chest is closed and locked and placed in a location. You know it is real. You know it is somewhere although you are instructed to go search for it. Nevertheless, your ability to experience the good that the contents of the treasure chest holds is not obstructed. With imagination, we can seek that treasure chest.

 

There are stories of people who were able to survive in the Holocaust by bringing to mind the memories of loved ones, to soothe and comfort them.

 

When Hashem told Moshe Rebbeinu to go to Mitzrayim to bring the Jewish People out, one of the things Hashem did so that Moshe would understand Hashem is that Hashem had Moshe throw the staff onto the ground. The staff turned into a firey serpent and Moshe was afraid because in that moment, Moshe, who could speak to Hashem face to face, could not see Hashem. Not being able to see Hashem frightened Moshe and he wanted to run from the snake. But Hashem told him to pick up the snake and he did and the staff turned back into a staff.

 

When we cannot see Hashem or relate as tzelem elokim receiving our love and value from Hashem, it is terrifying. Let’s analyze what is happening in that moment.

 

In order to give us free will, Hashem conceals Himself. The greatest illusion there is in the world is that we have autonomous separate existence from Hashem. Yes we are mortal, individual beings. But at no point is any atom in our body or spirit separate from Hashem. Nothing can be! Hashem’s Glory fills the world.

 

What happens when the yetzer hara that has access to our mind stimulates something in our unconscious or subconscious that presents itself in our consciousness as a negative emotion? Immediately, if we have not prepared ourselves to identify as our effort to reflect love and value coming from Hashem into the world through our role as Nishmas Am Yisrael, our imagination begins to build understanding based on the messages of protection and self-defense that are part of our human nature.

 

The almost instant serving of the intellect to scan and search for “facts” to validate the perceived threat to the “me” and our bodily responses in words and deeds has tremendous potency.

 

Imagination that stems from self-defense of “me” where tzelem elokim and Hashem’s love and value are obscured creates damage.

 

What do we do? That is human nature?

 

When a seed is planted, the casing of the seed decays and its nutrients go into the soil. The sprout then draws the nutrients of the seed through it as it develops into a plant. So too, imagination connecting to human nature and all its strength can be distilled for its nutrients of strength – when we understand that the treasure chest of good is presenting itself but in a covered way, and we choose to relate to the contents knowing that the contents are always good, we are empowered to ‘bitul” our nature for the functioning of Nishmas Am Yisrael that Hashem creates us for.

 

Tzelem elokim is inseparable from Hashem’s Name and Attributes of Mercy. That is the contents of the treasure chest – love and value coming in a continual flow from Hashem. Yet Hashem in His Wisdom divides the way we receive His Strength so that we receive some in a covered way. When we choose to remove the mask of nature with the words Hashem Echad, the contents of the treasure chest connect to His Strength and it is kule tov, very good. This is the functioning that Nishmas Am Yisrael has, to elevate the fallen world with the world of Beriah, the world where there appear to be many powers but in truth there is only Elokim.   When we say Hashem Echad, and we use our imagination solely to connect with His Attributes of Mercy and with Torah truth, we move the strength of the yetzer hara’s access to our mind back to a more external place, as it was before Adom sinned.

 

Hashem is showing us terror tunnels. Let’s find where we get triggered and keep the yetzer hara from gaining immediate access to our imagination. Let’s instead glue our imagination to tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind, forgiving, casting sins into the sea, reflecting love and value into the world as the moon reflects the sun, and knowing our survival is in Hashem’s Hands alone. The place of the entire world is with Hashem. Let us use free will to bring imagination to glue to truth. Let us identify with the divine flow of love and value that is coming to us for us to reflect into the world. In this way, we can be the IDF, Identify with Divine Flow of love and value and good, the content of the treasure chest, the tzelem elokim animating us.

 

for the three weeks, there is a teshuva call to help us internalize these concepts within us, to clean up areas of human nature as they present in each of our unique ways.  Women interested can find out more at www.brachagemach.com

Happiness and pleasure can only be derived from His Will, for His Glory fills the world, there is none other.

Children know how to push our buttons. Maybe they like seeing our faces get red, our hands lift to our heads or whatever. Perhaps it gives them a sense of power to “stop” us from what they might perceive as crossing their boundaries. Surely parents have the obligation to shape their children. Yet when our buttons get pushed, what do we do?

 

Often we react. Over the course of having our families, we improve our reactions so that we become more rectified. Life is for learning. There is no one who is not in this system of having to work on improving their reactions. Some take responsibility, some do not. But the system is the system. We have buttons. We get triggered. Our reactions are strong. We often say things and do things we regret. We hurt others.

 

Everyone wants to know what was Hashem thinking? The angels mentioned this to Hashem and so Hashem creates forgiveness. Hashem wants us to have this role so much He is willing to put His Shechina in the lowliness of this darkness just to give us the opportunity to realize and declare with free will and speech Hashem Echad.

 

Rabbi Wallerstein tells a story about a mother whose son does not do well on the baseball team. It hurts his self-esteem when the other kids don’t really want him on the team. So the loving mother buys him an amazing wide aluminum bat that is easy to swing and control and has the ability to connect with a wide surface with the ball. She gives the bat to the child and he begins swinging and destroying everything the house with the bat. The mother goes up to him and he even hits her! Everyone is telling the mother to take the bat away from the child. But the mother says lovingly, tomorrow he will go outside and hit a home run. He just has to get used to the bat.

 

This story is a metaphor for Hashem, like the mother, and the boy, like Nishmas Am Yisrael. Hashem has given Nishmas Am Yisrael an amazing bat. Free will combined with speech. With that, we can take the energy pitched to us through nature and human nature and connect it so that it soars heavenly creating positive influence. The thing is, we have to have an understanding of the energy being pitched to us and what it is for.

 

Our relationship with our reactions when our buttons get pushed can change enough to keep us from getting flattened by them. We have to have enough self-awareness and knowledge to understand that it is a button being pushed and not our essential self being abandoned or annihilated. This wisdom must be at the very core of our intellect so that our imagination at all times is to this truth in order to cling to revealing Hashem’s Attrributres of mercy, tolerating insult, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind, forgiving, casting sins into the sea, living with emunah and bitachon with complete clarity that our survival is at all times in hashem’s hands alone. That emunah, that intellectual understanding concretized into our consciousness gives us the freedom to arouse love in our hearts and choose to say out loud, Hashem Echad. I know it is from You, and I wish to connect all of what is happening heavenly to create positive influence by emulating You.

 

We don’t find it pleasant to have to experience the discomfort of our buttons being pushed. But we can shorten the amount of time we spend in that uncomfortable place and we can bring benefit by understanding and acting meaningfully in the functioning of Nishmas Am Yisrael. The default position is to let our experientially internalized externalities (i.e. circumstances, ego, personality and everything other than tzelem elokim) swing wildly causing destruction in the heavens and on earth, Gd forbid. Hashem waits patiently for us to latch onto our role as Nishmas Am Yisrael. We can wean ourselves to the pleasure He Designs for us by recognizing that happiness and pleasure can only be derived from His Will, for His Glory fills the world, there is none other. Bringing our will in line with this is empowering. It IS what gives us distinction and reflects spiritual maturity and understanding.

 

May we use our imaginations to cling to revealing Hashem’s Attributes of mercy in order to align ourselves with the absolute truth of existence. May the calmness we feel that is built into us to experience if we search for it be the internal confirmation we need in order to reinforce our efforts more and more in this direction. And may all of Jewish History until now that is teaching us that we are empowered with free willed choice and speech specifically to do this rectification of Adom’s sin, restoring the only Glory in the world is Hashem’s Glory without confusion in our mind due to ego, come onto the side of merit, wiping off the elements of nature concealing Hashem’s Glory because of our confusion and removing all destructive beings created before this. May Hashem’s first born, Nishmas Am Yisrael, lovingly reframe and connect the energies as Hashem has empowered us to do so that there should soon be a new light in the world, Hashem’s Glory revealed.

The function of choice and free will – Hashem’s design to Nishmas Am Yisrael a role in His Supervision of the World

Intravenous fluids can help when a person is dehydrated. Flowing fluids through the system rehydrates and impacts the whole body.   Tzelem elokim prevailing in directing the heart helps create positive influence in the world as we rectify our unrefined character traits. Choices to emulate Hashem and effort to bring into the world speech and actions cleaned of self-referencing biases define the basis for real esteem.

 

We can understand the real power given to mankind – choice and free will. Yet those powers are not man’s powers. It is imperative to realize that the ability to choose is given by Hashem and He creates the world with the concealment of His Oneness so that we can choose to have awe of Hashem rather than just having awe of Hashem be obvious as it is for the angels.

 

Adom had to daven for rain in order for the world to experience the rain needed for plant and all life. Hashem desires an arousal from below. He desires that we say TATI and use the Gd given powers of choice and free will to daven and to speak what it is that we need.

 

Hashem has been showing us open miracles for 18 days of missile strikes and ground invasion of Gaza. His Presence and Hand are palpable. He loves us. The chesed and tefillos and achdus that is flowing forth from Am Yisrael is giving Hashem back His Klal Yisrael.

 

Nishmas Am Yisrael has the role of lifting this fallen world to the concealed world through the simple use of speech. When we cry out and ask Hashem to please lead us in the path we want to go, which is to use all the strengths that He bestows upon us to reveal His Glory, what we mean is that we wish to stop doing what we are doing that blocks His glory from being seen in the world. In order to really do that, we need Moshiach because until then, we have free will which means Hashem is concealed and we are under the rule of the yetzer hara. But we can do battle.

 

During the three weeks, the unconscious, the subconscious and our instincts which are not under our direct control provide resistance and we exert ourselves to understand the loss of Shlomo’s Temple, where Hashem’s presence was palpable and present. There has been now almost 36 days of achdus, 18 days of davening for the three murdered teens and now 18 days of missiles and military action. In four days is Rosh Chodesh Av.

 

May we continue to build achdus, create positive influence, and cry out to Tati in prayer with cries that pierce the heavens in teshuva to our role as Nishmas Am Yisrael – the real basis for esteem – and may that 40th day bring a new light in the world if not sooner.

Women interested in our twice-daily teshuva calls to expand our understanding of the role of Nishmas Am Yisrael as part of our identity are welcome to join us.  please visit www.brachagemach.com to see and hear what we are doing.  please send an email to shulikleinman@beyondanydoubts.com to be added to that distribution list.