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.
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:
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