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