How to deny the yetzer hara entry into this world
Using free will, speech and love for Hashem to triumph in creating unity
The Special Emunah we have 9 Av 5774
It is Tisha B’Av, Monday night August 4, 2014, 9 Av 5774. We sit on the floor mourning the loss of being able to associate with Your presence as we did in the times of Shlomo HaMelech’s Temple.
The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas not yet in place but due to begin in several hours, the past almost two months since June 12 when three teenagers were kidnapped and killed have raised our emunah and our achdus. Unlike seeing a miracle and then faltering in emunah at our next challenge, the constant barrage of rockets and open miracles provides in this moment a palpable awareness that even though You are concealed, You are here intimately involved with every detail and re-creating the world in every moment. This Tisha B’av, the ability to do the constant mitzvah of Know there is Hashem, the first commandment that tells us I am the Lord Your Gd Who Took You Out of Egypt to be Gd to You is a shining light. Concealed in nature, Your Light has emanated into every day for more than these three weeks and we feel able to associate with the pleasure inherent in doing so. No more do we desire to ever be separated from the experience of being able to associate with Your Light even when we are in the throws of challenge such as we are today. Your Mercy is evident and through the eyes of our tzelem elokim that is inseparable from Your Attributes of Mercy, we look up to the heavens and experience that even though You are concealed from our vision, Your Love and Presence in a palpable way. Throughout Israel, families are sitting shiva, mourning the loss of their sons, their husbands, their fathers, killed in battle. The mourning of the families is palpable today as well. We have the emunah and we yearn to have this be the last Tisha B’Av. We want Hashem’s Glory to be revealed in this world again!
What is in our free willed choice to do to reveal Hashem in this world?
The yetzer hara who has the ability to be expressed in the world through many ways is the only true enemy we have: The circumstances of our lives, the tragedies, the illnesses, the disruptions, are all decrees from Hashem given to the yetzer hara to implement and bring into our experiential reality. As soon as we perceive it, our inner work begins to respond according to Torah with tefilla and the exercise of Torah values.
If it is all good and from Hashem, why does it hurt and feel bitter and what is it for? Often, the purpose of the external stimulus is so that we find within us an area that is in need of tikun. . We are embattled with an internally experienced enemy called the yetzer hara who is in control of our lives and our human nature yet is external to tzelem elokim. The mitzvah to know that there is No Other Power other than Hashem reminds us that despite Your authorizing the Soton to run an apparently pluralistically-appearing world, You Hashem are the light above Him and ultimately, everything comes from You. In this way, everything is good, no matter how we experience the externalities that confuse us as internalities. Yet it is Your Will that we do battle with these natural emotions because the process of doing so is the function that You desire of Nishmas Am Yisrael, to create positive influence that You may use in the next moment to sustain the way nature is run.
The function of Nishmas Am Yisrael is as the neck connecting the earth and the heavenly realms. Yet each of us has many levels of existence. By analogy, a tree provides shade, grows fruit, and is a home for animals, but it has a very crucial function – it produces oxygen! Through photosynthesis, the process that combines the effects of sunlight upon the nutrients from the soil and carbon dioxide through the tree, we have oxygen. Perhaps that is to the eye a background program. Yet photosynthesis is essential to the survival of the tree and all else that it does, producing fruits, providing shade and serving as shelter for animals. So too our role as Nishmas Am Yisrael. It is meritorious to expand our understanding of who we are to this functioning that if left uninvestigated could be working against our highest goals, for if we are not producing positive influence through free willed choices, the default is that the natural is producing what could be negative influences without our consciously choosing to do so.
Rising above self-referencing and its goals as the basis of esteem depends on expanded awareness of tzelem elokim and our role as Nishmas Am Yisrael: What does including Nishmas Am Yisrael in our consciousness mean in the moment of challenge? If I experience a negative reaction of any kind, something happened that was not of my choosing thrust into consciousness by the naturally appearing world, yet it is up to me to take responsibility in a way that is pleasing to You. In order to take responsibility to help, generally we need wisdom from the Torah that either we forgot or that we need to acquire. Torah is truth and it restores the soul. All its pathways are peace.
To take responsibility, it is good to have a sense of our uniqueness, knowledge about our individual existence, and that “self-knowledge” includes understanding about what it means to be a soul in a body, not just self-knowledge about our unique circumstances and personality. What do all people share that it is good to have knowledge about?
Building a bridge from darkness back to light – the common elements of bitterness that with understanding can lead us on the path we desire to go in serving Hashem: When we are in a negative frame of mind, it starts from a lack. We experience lack through a perception so automatically as to not be fully in consciousness at first, coming from stimuli and a feedback system within our brain that there is a danger, and in a split second that fast-moving human nature under the direct control of the Soton, through our unconscious, subconscious, and bodily urges identifies the area where the “me” is frustrated in its values and then collects imagination to build upon the goals of the “me.” Lack. Me. Imagination. Lack. Me Imagination = lower will. The lower will and our analytical mind together provide the experience of being in time and space taking responsibility and doing what our best judgment tells us in order to make a correction, bring the matter to a good and just conclusion, in accordance with Torah. When we succeed, we feel “happy” because our intelligence and our efforts proved successful according to the goals we set.
Is happiness the absence of challenge? It is surely a victory in time and space to successfully resolve our challenges. Is this happiness though? Why even ask that question! We just won, right? So we are happy, right?
The tzelem elokim wants to associate with Hashem’s light, to experience the delight of His Presence. Have we enhanced or diminished the ability of the tzelem elokim to delight in Hashem’s Omniscience with statements such as, we won, we are right?
Hashem gave us success because it was good, but it is important to see that happiness lies in staying connected on a deeper level to service of Hashem.
Pursuit of Happiness requires the ability to identify what is concealing it:
- Lack triggers the awareness that I desire something and it is not being given to me. Because I believe I am good, and that I deserve this, I experience lack. The ‘I” in us thinks we deserve it – that is our sense of independent autonomous existence combined with our judgments and self-love. Here it is important to understand that the sense of independent existence is an utterance of Hashem.
In order to be seen in this world, truth of Hashem’s Glory contained within it is concealed, resulting in the easy mistake of forgetting His Glory saturates everything. Relating within time and space without remembering in the moment that Hashem’s Glory fills the world causes us to base judgments on matters that are not absolute truth and therefore can lead us to unintentional error: In order for anything to appear in the world, Hashem’s utterances must be concealed by the letters of the Hebrew aleph bais. By breathing and uttering, Hashem’s Glory fills the world but the external appearance within the world is that objects, including our bodies, our circumstances, and our personalities, subconscious and unconscious, are formed according to the letters Hashem uses to create us. Our outwardly defined beings that provide us life and visibility in time and space interact with the outwardly defined objects, other people, and circumstances that Hashem forms through assigned letterings over His Utterances. Lack then is an internal experience of something external within me (my unique personality and ego, which Hashem forms through the lettering over Hashem’s utterances as He Creates me) that is interacting with something truly external outside of me based on its lettering over Hashem’s utterances. These perceptions are enough to trigger our neurocircuitry, particularly our instincts of self-preservation and desire to acquire and dominate.
The sense of autonomous independent existence is a covering over the tzelem elokim designed to present a real, yet not absolute true, alternative to the idea that Hashem’s glory fills the world. There is only Hashem, but we have the perception that there is also a me, a real entity with free choice. And that is true, Hashem determines everything except whether or not we will have awe of Hashem and realize that our sense of autonomous independent existence has inherent falsehood BECAUSE the entire world is filled only with Hashem’s Glory. Thus, as much as we may be ethical, upright, responsible, Gd-fearing and more, basing choices on a reality of being autonomous and independent will inevitably have negative consequences because it is inherently not absolutely true. The absolute truth is that all there is in the world is Hashem Who has to conceal His Light in order for a world to appear.
Now here is the empowering thing. Hashem has concealed Himself and created the world allowing His Shechina to be stuck in time and space and all this darkness and confusion for one reason. To give US the opportunity to choose to say Hashem Echad! He desires to give us the ultimate good, and that good is the pleasure of touching His Perfection when we submit to the reality that our tzelem elokim that is inseparable from His Attributes of Mercy is the Source of all happiness and pleasure because it is the neck through which Hashem’s light can be connected into time and space and the neck through which the Shechina trapped in the darkness can flow and become connected again to His Light. To the degree we understand that our service to Hashem means flowing light between heaven and earth, we will have a different relationship with the negativity that challenges us.
Imagination – the part of our intellect that desires to serve – we have a choice where to apply our imagination and dedicate our heart: It is with free willed choice that we can empower ourselves to pry imagination away from our sense of autonomous independent existence and glue it to identifying with tzelem elokim that is made in His Attributes of Mercy. The effort to do so is a reflection of knowing that there is No Other Power. When we get caught in the natural neurocircuitry of self-preservation, using our free will to glue imagination to absolute truth, to the wisdom that all there is in the world is Hashem’s Glory no matter how it appears, we are “crossing a firmament” between the heaven and the earth in order to curtail darkness and instead sustain our tzelem elokim. How this feels might be likened to a tug of war…whose head is the crown going to land on, Hashem’s Head or the apparent me’s? Who is our imagination and intellect going to listen as the dominant influence? Again, when we know there is Hashem and that all there is in the world is Him, no matter how whiney our self-referencing messages are, we have an ability to see them as external to the true reality of ourselves as tzelem elokim inseparable from Hashem Whose Glory fills the world.
The universal skeleton with which to perceive our challenges that can then help us restore real happiness: Lack, autonomous independent existence, and imagination reveal where we need to apply Torah in order to release the Shechina from being trapped in the dark and in order to redirect the lower will back to serving Hashem with all our heart, all our soul and all our might. If we have a universal skeleton to our unique challenges and through that we can experience the true pleasure of connecting to Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy, then unity between people lies in doing so, because as we “bitel” what we need to in order to connect to Hashem, we also connect to one another. This is the objective of the laws of ahavas yisrael, that through loving Hashem when we interact with each other, we work through our own confusions to become a stronger vessel in receiving the pleasure Hashem desires for us through our relationship with Hashem
What are the steps to exercise free willed choice to bring about unity?
Understanding the task
to receive a flow from a higher world in order to elevate flow from a lower world
Elements of nature fall into solid, liquid, gas and radioactive – filled with utterances from Hashem and visible through variations in the letters over those utterances: Every atomic particle on the periodic chart falls into a category of solid, liquid, gas or radioactive. Being able to discern the influence of these natural atomic particles within our nature gives us a way to find the Torah we need to re-set the atomic particle to its neutral form – releasing the Shechina trapped by the letters Hashem chooses for our lower will.
Identity, esteem and effort: It is important to be able to do this work remembering that we are NOT the labels the letterings Hashem speaks that contain His utterances, as the outward appearances may suggest. Rather we are our effort to release the Shechina and wipe the lettering off our lower will in order to restore the will to serving Hashem rather than the outward appearing “me”.
Shame blame trauma and pain: The reason it is important to remember that we are NOT the labels these letterings suggest is that many of us grow up to a degree with shame, blame or less than ideal parenting and all the misconceptions that we form when our young minds are wet cement remain part of our neuro-circuitry affecting our emotions and our relationships. This is how Hashem sets our free will point. He sets our free will point with His Utterances speaking the letters of our life and circumstances into existence. However, it is NOT our true identity – tzelem elokim, nor is it the basis of esteem.
Our identity is that of tzelem elokim and our esteem is our free willed choice to replace the confusion in a broken vessel with a reflection of light from Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy. That effort is our tikun, it is the unique purpose for which we are here. Just as a liver removes impurities from the blood, and the liver is NOT the impurities, so too the tzelem elokim through free will and speech replaces the confusion within our physical existence with light and rectification that is tikun so that Hashem’s revealed good can be reflected into time and space. Amazing.
Thus it is good to learn Torah that explains the significance and correlations of
Identifying the skeleton – the kelipas- within the bitterness
Dialogue out loud about taiva/lack, gaiva/ego, and imagination
Taiva: Lack. I have a desire. Water. Water is Chesed. Hashem only does good. Hashem is all chesed. He is the only Source of Chesed. There is no other place where Chesed can come from, only from Him, although He may send it through a sheliach. The desire that I have is not seen by Hashem as good. Either I need a larger vessel to contain the good or it is really not good for me or He desires relationship in prayer or something from my free willed choice. The Torah that is needed here is the wisdom that all there is in the world is Hashem and we are never abandoned by Him.
Gaiva: Autonomous independent existence. I deserve this thing that I think is good and I blame and want to shame and condemn and judge the matter or person withholding the object of my desire. Perhaps I become angry, afraid, arrogant. FIRE. Fire is can be total destruction, burning things to ashes. But fire can also be warmth and light and bring blessings. Behind fire is passion. With intellect to know that Hashem is the Source of all vitality, I can use fire to burn out the false imaginary beliefs about the desire that I think will bring happiness that Hashem does not provide to me. In essence, I can use the fire to free the false belief that my happiness depends on obtaining the object of my desire. This is fundamental to restoring imagination to cling to proper understanding of happiness and how we experience happiness, as the pleasure of doing mitzvahs and emulating Hashem. Bringing these understandings about chesed/water to subdue and direct our passion, fire, we use our passion for pursuing Torah and for praying with fire, with love and awe.
Balance: Harmony and Compassion – Building a vessel to contain and reflect Hashem’s Glory and experience the pleasure we are designed for in doing so: With tiferes, we combine the chesed/water with the gevurah/fire and utter a word in speech. Hashem Echad. The breath from the world of thought combining with the sounds we create through our bodies creates a positive influence and a spiritual being that leads us in the path we desire to go, to use all our heart, all our soul, and all our might to be a vessel that can contain the pleasure that Hashem desires to bestow upon us and to receive that pleasure as we reflect His good into the world. This is crucial practice because if what I find pleasurable is eating a box of chocolate and Moshiach comes and there is the ability for the soul to experience the pleasure of associating with Hashem in a revealed way, and I say great but where is the chocolate, I am going to have a massive headache because the pleasure Hashem wants to give me will not be able to be held within the vessel of my mind. And the pleasure of the chocolate will have lost its appeal.
Thus while we have free will, we have the opportunity to build within us a worthy vessel by gluing our imagination to the desire to reflect Hashem’s Attributes.
In doing so, we triumph choosing mercy over our sterner nature. This is the very best way to make good use of the life force that Hashem sends to us.
Imagination pursuing desires based on natural leanings towards the goals of the autonomous independent experience of self can lead to destruction, although we may not realize it, intend it, or calculate that into our analysis. The free willed choice to use imagination in every instance to pursue happiness based on Torah and emulating Hashem is the resolution of Hashem Echad, Hashem is One. In this way, everything we do is the result of asking ourselves, what does Hashem desire of me in this moment, how do I serve Hashem right now?
Once we have a moment of clarity, we can then turn to a good deed, a tikun, a yeud, our unique expression that brings through our heart into the world of action in time and space a reflection of Hashem’s goodness. This is earth. Malchus.
We are built to relate to the negativity that is natural to human existence with the focus of being an organ called Nishmas Am Yisrael designed to release the Shechina trapped in the galus of our suffering and to reset the will of the lower soul so that it is free of human nature and thereby we are unencumbered from exercising free will to serve Hashem with all our heart, all our soul, and all our might. Our esteem is our effort to do this work. The pleasure is the simple sincerity of moments of connection and clarity that help us build in our hearts a true temple for Hashem out of the fabric of the raw material He sends us transformed through our free willed choices and speech.
May our effort to triumph tzelem elokim in order to reflect Hashem’s Mercy into time and space create merits for Klal Yisrael and be the arousal from below to generate an arousal from above whereby Hashem will choose to deal with us according to rachamim over din. And may we soon be zocheh to see the light of redemption with the restoration of His Presence revealed in Yerushalayim.
Doing the verbal introspection in dialogue out loud with Hashem
A transcript from the guided teshuva Sunday night Aug 3, 2014
Introduction to the toolbox
We are in the three week avoda of doing a guided teshuva The purpose is to try and do battle with what blocks us from the inner experience of pleasure that the tzelem elokim has when it does mitzvahs, and likewise of course when we do aveiras we feel a punishment, from the punishment when we do aveiras. The tzelem elokim is inseparable from Hashem and because it is inseparable, it has immediate feedback when we do a mitzvah or when we do an aveira and those experiences of pleasure and pain will also be felt after we no longer have life. While we are alive we have a covering over the tzelem elokim that blocks this experience. this means we are alive that that is a good thing. and during the three weeks.
Just like before Passover we are cleaning for Chometz and then seven seeks of the omer we are reshaping our inclinations in the areas that work on during the omer, of the middos of the omer, these three weeks deal with the concealed middos, keser chochma and bina, the middos of thought that are not in our control. They are part of nature, both the tzelem elokim and animal soul have keser chochma and bina. the ones that come from the animal soul’s is under human nature and it is not all bad but it does conceal. During these three weeks and as long as we have free will we can do battle with these coverings. that is what weare trying to do to do battle with the coverings. Even if we get a momentary experience of pleasure and a momentary sense of calm a momentary sense of pleasure that the tzelem elokim has when it is in connection with Hashem. When we have that moment of pleasure or clarity, w are simulating what it might have been like to go into Shlomo’s Temple.
We are able to do this to understand what happened when we went into Shlomo’s Temple our soul was able to feel the pleasure of associating with Hashem’s Name. It was available in time and space to do that. His Home was in the temple. the miracles were apparent. Our soul could delight in the presence of Hashem. That was a reality. We would leave and unfortunately, we were not able to sustain it outside of the temple and we committed aveiras and for that reason we lost that privilege. Hashem has been in galus and He is very covered over in our lives, but He is not gone, He is just concealed, but He is not gone. He is just concealed. When we do battle with what is covering Him over and we get an experiential insight on occasion and we cling to that and try to grow it and try to make it larger part of our life, then we are succeeding in doing is making something internal inside of us, really building a sanctuary for Hashem in our heart, and please may that arousal from below create an arousal from above that will produce the third temple, where when we are in it we will experience it and because we claimed it and owned the choices to do battle with it while we have free will we will also be able to have in our lives at all times and Hashem will be here on a permanent basis.
We are doing battle with the will of the lower soul. That is what is in the way. that is because we are alive, it is nt that we are bad because of that, it is the nature of being alive. Before adom ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, his body was translucent and he was intellectual. When he ate his body became more solid. He didn’t know when he ate that Hashem would cut the lifeline to the nachas to the yetzer hara and connect it to the flow of life going to Adom so that if the flow from the nachas is up we are down. He did not know that would happen. His goal was to bring glory to Hashem and there was a slight confusion. He was created with Hashem’s full knowledge that he was going to make this mistake of thinking there was some glory that he could do. this is how Hashem chose to make all of the world happen and everything until this day, it is up to the generation that is going to bring Moshiach to make this ultimate correction where we know with clarity that there is n glory other than Hashem and that we can do battle with these ideas.
Every day of our lives, it feels like we are here, very tangible and real. We get absorbed in that idea. Our happiness seems to be related to teaching our children how to do the right thing, making sure we arrange proper carpools and that everything is in order, whatever we are doing in our job is in our proper way, with derech eretz, and in our marriage, at work. We are working very hard. we have good values, asserting and it is all gorgeous. But the thing we need to do is understand there is another avoda that can really help a lot in this effort we are trying to do, to do battle with what covers over our tzelem elokim. What that is is to understand there is no glory other than Hashem. A lot of what we do, and everyone here is a good mother, I was a good mother, we make a zillion mistakes. we are trying to do this and the child is crying. We try to do something good and it gets misunderstood. It is a whole grab bag of things. without meaning to, when we are asserting ourselves in a way to get done what we know has to be done, if we are not comprehending that all is coming from Hashem and we are just revealing and reflecting Him in this world, then when is going to happen when we have confidence in what we are doing, because the body and the covering over the tzelem elokim is really external to tzelem elokim, we are solidifying something that inherently is not the truth. we are here with a role but inherently there is nothing but Hashem and all glory is His.
We are trying to make the ego and self more transparent to see that our first stop is to do a hishtadlus in emunah, to reach up to Hashem, and to try as hard as we can to align both of our wills, like we say in the Shema, with all our heart, with all our soul and all our might, with both our inclinations, to align both inclinations with Him to draw back down his middos harachamim and have that fill who we are, making a tikun for whatever confusion had preceded it. That is who we are making a tikun for whatever confusion preceded it. life can be very confusing. There are a lot of things going on.
There are two levels to the teshuva we are doing. the first level of teshuva is to return to Nishmas Am Yisrael. that is a teshuva on the level of submission separation and sweetening where the submission is that I open a relationship with Hashem, I know there is a Hashem I have a bitterness and I am crying out. the second step is separation and even though there is confusion and I dont understand i say Hashem echad to ask for help in how to bring His middos harachamim into the situation. the third step is to actualize tha, to draw into my heart and out through speech and deeds so that what I am literally bringing into the world is a reflection of His attributes of mercy in the same way that the moon reflects the sun. those are the three steps that return us to nishmas am yisrael.
Once we are within in that, taking a closer look, we will take apart in separation, we will take a close look at will. in those areas of will we will identify where have we allowed the sticky labels of human nature to influence something that we can pull that back and that is where we do the unique four steps of teshuva from the Rambam and in the end hopefully have a triumph of tzelem elokim at least in the moment over our regular lives. that is what we want to do especially tonight.
Tonight we want so much for Hashem to see that we are doing battle with what covers over and keeps us without our wanting to from revealing His attributes of mercy in the moment, that we love Him, that we want to reveal His attributes of mercy in the world, that we are devoted to doing it and that we are making an effort right now, tonight, before tisha bav, we are making an effort to let Him know that is our desire. we want to do this work. that is what we are going to do right now.
Toolbox to use for a challenge
May our using the power Hashem has put into speech serve as an arousal from below for which Nishmas Am Yisrael is designed – to be the neck connecting earthly forces with the heavens, the mechanism Hashem has designed in order for a flow of blessings from Hashem to be revealed rather than concealed by free will in this world.
May our words Hashem Echad and our crying out, pleading for the impurities we are now going to identify that are distorting water fire wind and earth and masking the revelation of Hashem’s Glory be wiped off so that “the mother bird – the Shechina that had been trapped by the masking” is restored to revealing Hashem’s Glory and that “the eggs –- the animating light that is the strength of the mask concealing Hashem-“ be harnessed by love of Hashem to connect the light into Hashem is One in order that we grow in our capacity to reflect into the world the light of love and value Hashem sends through tzelem elokim.
The ultimate goal is that revealing Hashem’s Glory as the pleasure in the moment becomes the pleasure that we naturally seek, that it is more and more naturally in our consciousness to reveal His Glory over the subjective pleasures of the animal soul and ego – including all experientially internalized yet external coping mechanisms, fears, triggered confusions, programming, traumas, and wrong ideas developed over time that we cling to but that trap the Shechina in galus with our suffering.
Over time, just saying these words with intention will help us expand a sense of identity to a context of relationship with Hashem and our primary role as Nishmas Am Yisrael that will give us more emunah and bitachon to release reliance on where we are stuck in challenges within thought and emotion, the concealed world, and say Hashem Echad to create an arousal from below that folds the energy that was existing in exile within those experientially internalized externalities back into the revealed world to reflect Hashem’s rav chesed.:
if we can just think of something that pushes your buttons, something from today or shabbos, probably it is not foreign to you. mine is common to me happening a zillion times a day. whatever sets us off, has been around with us for decades. Just hold it not to the degree not so that you will get absorbed by it and be pulled and distracted, but just hold it in your hand and cry out to Hashem that it is bitter. we are going to make a common skeleton for all of these areas of bitterness and then we will try to clean it off.
Submission: Hashem, I am experiencing a bitterness (discord, any negativity – bitterness is the soul’s experience of distance from Hashem)
Kavana: Within my subconscious or unconscious or basic human nature is a reaction that is keeping happiness and pleasure busy instead with radioactive/firey defensive or aggressive self-referencing thoughts. It is bitter, resentful, anger producing, terrifying, upsetting to feel so far away from receiving the love and value Hashem is sending right now Here is the dichotomy. happiness and pleasure are the result of the tzelem elokim which is inseparable from HKB, the feeling that the tzelem elokim has when learning Torah, emulating Hashems attributes of mercy, living with emunah and bitachon, giving love and value knowing survival is in Hashem’s hands. What happens in our normal daily life is that happiness and pleasure get a little bit kidnapped by time and space and worldly affairs. right now, whatever it is that bitter, this is what is going on. we are bitter because we feel a distance from Hashem. take a minute and say under your breath what is being triggered, what is the emotion. open a relationship with Hashem and cry out that it is bitter. you don’t have to add the circumstances right now, you can, but after a few more lines we will pause again and add those circumstances. just say Hashem this is bitter I feel …… [say out loud what triggered it and the emotion and open relationship with Hashem – cry out, it is bitter]. .
I do not wish to follow so reactively whatever naturally comes to mind! Please I turn to You with love in my heart to sift and discard what is blocking the experience of good in this moment. I have identified happiness and pleasure available as being diminished by circumstances that have triggered this reaction. [describe the circumstances that you may think your happiness and pleausre depend on] Instead I turn to You realizing that this discord has as its Source You and that there is something You desire for me to fix within my nature. Therefore I submit to Your Oneness in order to either rectify a bad characteristic or to redirect the strength from what is masking Your Glory from being revealed in the elements/sefiros of water/chesed, fire/gevurah, wind/tiferes and earth/ malchus. May the strength of what is masking the good dissolve from the circumstances and instead soar on the wings of love in my heart for Hashem to connect with the strength of Your revealed good.
Kavana: Knowing there is Hashem Who is good is the context – [tell Hashem “I wish to be seen by You as accepting the role of Nishmas Am Yisrael, using free willed choice and speech, the powers You bestow upon us, and may the words Hashem Echad serve as the conduit through which heaven and earth are able to merit receiving Your Revealed Glory together with previously concealed and now revealed Glory. Help me to expand the sense of identity that is naturally in consciousness to realize that his effort to make a repair and create positive influence IS the basis of esteem, not with the matter being confessed]
This is very huge. what we are doing here is that we are not going to identify with the feelings that are keeping our happiness trapped in our mind. NO. we are effort to use free will and choice and speech to say Hashem echad. we are our effort to do that in order to rectify whatever it is we need to in order to create positive influence and be able to reflect Hashem’s attributes of mercy into the matter. it is our effort alone to do that, nothing else will be the basis of our esteem. a good way to think of it is like a liver. the liver clears out impurities but it is not the impurities it cleans. the liver is an organ and has a function. the function of nishmas am yisrael is the neck connecting heaven and earth. it is up to us to see where there are things in nature in the elements of water fire wind and earth that are attaching themselves and covering over our tzelem elokim and by speaking out with our free willed choice, we are able to make a positive influence out of that. that effort that we do, even if we are not successful, that effort that we do creates positive influence and is the basis for our esteem ..nishmas am yisrael has a function in the same way a liver does and we are not the things we are processing. we are our choice and speech to say Hashem echad and to try to create positive influence by emulating Him.
Separation: we opened relationship, we said there is massive confusion and now I want to clean it up. the second step is the cleanup. separation. we have free willed choice and speech.
Blessed is the Name of Your Glorious Kingdom Forever and Ever – Hashem is One – Hashem Echad.
Today sara rigler spoke on the Aneinu call and gave a fantastic example that will really help here a lot. many of the things we have when we feel all this confusion, we have a lot of emotion that she called them all zeros. if you have one or ten zeros, it is all just zero. but if you have 8 zeros and you put a one in front of it all of a sudden you have a hundred million. that one changes all those zeros. that is really great. here we have all the confusion. we don’t have to understand all the zeros, all the confusion. all we have to understand is one thing, that it is all coming form one place, Hashem Echad. with that free willed choice, to recognize and acknowledge that it all comes from one place, we say Hashem echad please
I want to use all of my strengths, whether in a positive or bitter place right now, I want to use all of my strengths only to be able to reflect Your attributes of mercy into the world.
That is powerful. no matter where we are in our ability to do that, the process itself creates the positive influence. the process itself tells Hashem I love You Hashem, i am here for You, help me, I know it is all You, this is my will, for nishmas am yisrael, please lead me in the path I want to go. as soon as we say that we form the spiritual being that leads us in the path we want to go. that is amazing and a tremendous thing to do. Now we will go ahead and look at exactly what this means and how to do this in ourown unique way and literally open up an area within us to release the shechina that is trapped in some of this confusion and rededicate our will to being unified with both of our inclinations to this process.
Kavana: There is amazing light trapped within this matter, albeit stirred up from the subconscious, the unconscious, the defense mechanisms, the survival instincts, the bodily urges, the ego desires that define the unique personality and human nature You have designed for my effort and growth. By bringing to mind that the context of this matter is the awesome design that You Alone Create the world and with knowing that everything that happens is from You, is just, and for the good, I ask that with the words Hashem Echad, that You please move so that I may have more control to direct that light from nature uttered by You and concealing You to instead reveal Your Glory. Help me wipe off the impurities so that instead what shines in the elements/sefiros of water/chesed, fire/gevurah, wind/tiferes and earth/malchus is a revelation of Your Glory, a revealed good.
Whatever nature or human nature is covering over and blocking the experience of revealing Your Glory, please dissolve its strength into nutrients that with love in my heart for Hashem can be joined with Your Revealed Good. Please help me wipe off the impurities of imagination that is connecting to subjective taivas and gaivas and help me glue imagination to Your Attributes of Mercy so that revealing Your Glory flows without impurities through my heart. I only want to be who You want me to be! I want to be part of creating positive influence for the elements that are filled with Your Glory. The whole world is filled with Your Glory. By free willed choice and with the words Hashem Echad, may I please bring about the strengthening of Hashem’s revealed Glory in the world, a power You have given to Nishmas Am Yisrael to do, to elevate this fallen world. Help me to dissolve the strength of what is concealing You so that through the words Hashem Echad the strength is available to reveal Your Glory in the way You intended for Your Glory to be revealed in an enhanced way by Nishmas Am Yisrael uttering Hashem Echad.
that is a lot of words but we are getting used to it. what we are really just saying is that we understand that Hashem is thinking up our soul and uttering our circumstances, bodies, and personalities and egos with words. when we utter something what is happening? our breath is forming into words with letters and shapes through our body. same with Hashem. there are then utterances with which He creates the world and 22 letter of the hebrew aleph bais. everything Hashem is uttering has His breath the ten sefiros and then different combinations of the letters. adom was able to say the name of everything because he could see what it was composed of. adom was formed from the ground. a shulchan and water appear as they do because of the letters, he could see the letters. Hashem conceals Himself with the letters. that is how He comes into this world without breaking it apart, He comes in through contractions. he utters our bodies and our physical being interacts with the physical presentation based on the way the letters, even though underneath the letters is Hashem’s breath, the letters mask it. our perceptions perceive the mask. our goal is to take off the mask of nature to see Hashem is behind it and to have that understanding of ourselves as well. that is what we are about to do We are for all eternity our effort to use free will to unmask and reflect Hashem into this world.
Kavana: I realize that built into subconscious and unconscious reactions is human nature, and all nature is under the domain of the Soton! Please Hashem, give me free will over this area of human nature that is influencing emotion and thought through the unconscious, the subconscious, instincts, or animal soul motivations. The natural elements water, fire, wind and air are subject to Your Angel and without Your help whatever lower will is being triggered is like a magnet automatically operating within the mind with suggestions and reactions and impulses and desires toward aveiras, hating others, bearing a grudge, feeling resentful, judging, taking revenge and more. With love in my heart for Hashem please help me function as You created us to do, with free will and speech, to reprocess the strength of the lower will so that the strength of the lower will that is concealing Your Good may be used to reveal Your Good.
[Describe the discrepancies ,dissonance in the experience and your particular challenges are. This is the skeleton that I want you to try to discern: where do I feel something is lacking, what does my ego tell me about it, and where is my imagination taking me based on that ego discernment, that natural reaction. lack ego and imagination. that is the structure of what forms the will of the lower soul. when we understand that is ratzon, then we are going to be able to bring that ratzon through a process that will unmask and release Hashem from the prison of the grip of that will and be able to realign everything in a way that will help us become a better vessel for reflecting Hashem into the world. see if you can focus on your particular area of confusion or bitterness and see if you can see a skeleton of lack, ego and imagination].
I regret that I have fallen into the grips of these thoughts and emotions and all that I may have generated in speech and action by default. Please help me see for the sole purpose of wiping off the impurities coming through the influence of nature on the elements within me of water, fire, wind and earth and because I ask with free willed choice, please may I instead direct the potency of the impurities that come through a nearer nature to help solidify the light revealing Your Glory through speech and deed. That is my free willed choice, please help! And may any destructive beings that I am responsible for, by virtue of this teshuva, come to the side of merit for having taught me so that all of the light is now available in the elements revealing Your Glory.
Kavana : There is no glory other than Hashem. There is no good other than Torah. Hashem is One and by virtue of stating that, please dissolve the magnetic draw pulling downward with false promises of happiness, pleasure, value or esteem and please bring that force back as a magnetic draw to strengthen resolve to learn Torah, emulate Your Attributes of Mercy, and live with emunah and bitachon, giving love and value knowing survival is in Hashem’s Hands. This is real pleasure and happiness and is the pleasure Hashem desires to give us. Please help me broaden capacity to receive the love, value and pleasure You desire to give us so that I may reflect it through my heart into the world.
Just as we desire to correct our vision to 20/20 with glasses, so too please now help me confess, regret, apologize, make a plan for the future and do teshuva to rectify characteristics and to reveal the elements within aligned with the goals of tzelem elokim to serve to reveal Hashem’s Glory in the world.
So now the stage is set. we are empowered as Nishmas am Yisrael to be Hashem’s partner in improving the world and that means the elements of nature. Hashem gives us human nature, composed of water fire wind and earth, the elements on the periodic chart, solid liquid gas and radioactive, the only categories in the world. because we are alive we are composed of these same atoms. Hashem designs it that the elements themselves touch our tzelem elokim. He created that when we sinned, when Adom ingested the tree of the knowledge of good and evil so that these influences form nature confuse us and Hashem’s good is masked.
what we are going to do is try to push the reset button on the elements thereby seeing how these elements are really external from tzelem elokim thereby making our ego more translucent, less solid and instead making our effort to be nishmas am yisrael more apparent, more immediate, more desirable and the thing we want to pursue in a greater way.
Now we will remove the impurities
[removing impurities from water, taiva and desires/expanding what we need to with chesed] Please Hashem help with bending whatever the unbounded desires are [state them – I didn’t get this from so and so, this one didn’t obey what I told her to do, he didn’t do this or I need to get this job or whatever it is that our desire is, it is not judging anything. we are stating what it is that we are lacking that we believe is good for us that we feel our happiness depends on that we are not getting. state that. ] to the truth that the Source of all Vitality is You, and may the desire only for what is good in Your eyes draw me so that happiness and pleasure are derived from divine dignity, Torah, emulating Hashem and living with faith and trust. Help me let go of impurities in taiva blocking the pleasure that Hashem designs for our essence so that I become a vessel capable of receiving the higher truer pleasure of devekus Hashem desires to give us. I am never abandoned in Your eyes and may this correction repair Adom’s sin that caused us to be thrown out of Gan Eden.
I know what you are all thinking, how is this going to get me what I want? what connection does it have to say Hashem is the source of all vitality. I want what I want. that is the entire point. there is only one giver, there is only one source of all chesed. that is Hashem. unless we understand that and turn to Him and understand that whatever receptacle we are, a bucket filled with water, if we are not getting what we want we either need a bigger vessel or it is not good for us. we hear this but we don’t get that. we think if we can just think of a better plan or beseech enough or do something, whatever it is, we are good why cant we have it? what we are doing here is adding a real change to that. right now what motivates that is my happiness depends on me getting that thing, and there is inherent falsehood in that. my happiness does not depend on getting that thing. my body might like it, but my happiness is dependent on learning torah, emulating Hashem’s attributes of mercy, living with emunah and bitachon, giving love and value knowing our survival is in Hashem’s hands. that is the happiness and pleasure, when we touch Hashem’s attributes, when we are connected to Torah, when we are connected to mitzvahs, that is the only good there is. that is the pleasure the tzelem elokim experiences and it is the pleasure we receive for all eternity. we have to really let that sink in.
so let’s say we accept that intellectiually. but now we go to fire, i am really mad or scared that i don’t have this, this is terrifying or i am so angry or anxious. i really need this, there is a real dire situation, an emergency. this is fire. [removing impurities from fire/stopping what we need to with gevurah] Please Hashem help with burning out lower levels of expression of volatile radioactive subjective urges including anger, anxiety, arrogance and more (goals related to self-referencing of the ego, of happiness trapped in time and space and worldly affairs) in order that passion be directed for Torah and in tefilla declaring Hashem Echad. I am never annihilated in Your Eyes and may this correction repair Adom’s sin that caused us to be made mortal.
we have to take a look at that passion and go back to the desires and realize that passion and that fire needs to burn out those misdirected desires. whatever Hashem sends is good, we want to take our passion and direct it to torah and tefilla, asking Hashem beseeching Him for what we want. that is for sure, please make this one well, please make peace in Israel, but the passion has to be directed to where it can do some good, which is to HKB. then we can take what we want which is that the source of vitality combined with this passion and create warmth, light and bracha instead of without meaning to, when we are trying to get people do what we know to be right and to make sure that they live up to what their commitments are, when we do that without realizing it, because we are insisting on them conforming, because we are not absolute truth, there will inherently be impurities in that that will cause difficulty and damage without our meaning to, collateral damage if you will. we want to clean up the elements of water and fire, peeling back the mask, the letters of the utterances to see that behind everything is Hashem’s utterances that are all good. and when we do that, we are releasing the Shechina in galus with our suffering. imagine a hose of shefa, and we take that hose and bend it and that water is stuck in the hose, it is not going. Hashem is at the other end of the hose, waiting for that shefa to come through back to Him but it is not. instead we are angry, afraid, stubborn whatever is causing our bittereness so we realize i don’t want to do that, i let the hose open up. whatever was trapped now starts to trickle and Hashem sees this brown gooky water, He has been waiting for it for decades, He sees the shefa flowing back in and He comes with love and abundance. we just reunified the Shechina through our free willed choice to Hashem, set the Shechina trapped in galus within our suffering back. but now, the strength that bent that hose in a tight grip, that will – that is what we are cleaing off. that was really strong. we held onto that, what an amazing strength. now what we want to do is say, that strength, I want to take that will that You gave me, and now I want to say Hashem echad and use that same will and i want to restore compassion through speech with boundaries and goals based on torah and truth.
[removing impurities from wind/ restoring compassion through speech with boundaries and goals based on Torah and Truth ] Please Hashem through the words Hashem Echad, may the desire bound by knowing that You are the Source of all vitality Who Gives what is Good and only Good subdue radioactive arrogant responses so that together what forms is warmth and light that is beneficial and that reveals Your Glory. May our words which we say freely release the strength You desire to be reunited with You to create positive influence and shower brachas and may our effort to do create the positive influence and spiritual beings to lead me in the path i want to go to do it and be a merit for klal yisrael.
Now we have to actually do it..
[removing impurities from earth/malchus becoming a solid vessel to reveal Hashem’s Glory] Hashem I direct the confusing bitter charge [i.e. the roots of potential for happiness and pleasure trapped in reactions of human nature and subconscious] be released [name them and identify them in as much detail as possible out loud – as we went through the elements up til now perhaps you got some more information. name it all here what we want to release, n whatever detail you can do it without getting sucked into it]. Please help me confess and do teshuva – now we will do the four steps of teshuva,confess, regret,say we are sorry, and make a plan for the future – and redirect in order to wipe off the impurities and falsehoods trapping light in the charge, and please move the will, the strength of the charge to cling to revealing Your Glory, for there is no glory other than Hashem. Hashem Is One.
Kavana: With love my heart please forgive us for ever thinking there is any Glory other than Hashem and help me draw deeply into the desert of the subconscious place a healing so that revealing Hashem’s Glory flows naturally through mind and heart. Please help straighten out whatever is in the deepest recesses of thought and emotion with Your Will so that thought and speech reveal divine dignity, as the moon reflects the sun.
Humbly the effort to triumph tzelem elokim over the animal soul completed, at least for the moment, may the understanding of the experience of Your Presence as it was in Shlomo’s Temple that is lacking in the world because of the destruction seep into consciousness, that I feel a touch of how beneficial it would be to once again have Your Glory revealed. May this help me bring tears of sadness and longing for Your Glory readily to heart in every moment so that consciousness would stand ready to choose speech and deed that would help You to be revealed again in the world, true happiness and pleasure.
Now turn to ase tov, a good deed, refill the place of confusion with tikun
Sweetening: Please help me reflect love and value that You constantly send to us. Please help me reflect Your Glory through speech and deed, and may Your revealed good fill the elements water, fire, wind and earth without impurities of human nature so that Your Glory may be seen in the world.
Hashem may will, thought, emotion, speech and deed reveal Your Glory, tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of the discomfort of mind that happened when we ingested from the tree of good and evil causing experientially internalized externalities to appear in our mind as “me”, please forgive us for ever thinking there is any glory other than You, and please cast all our sins into the sea. Please may this teshuva that adds light that through free willed choice has been brought from human nature and dissolved into revealing Hashem’s Glory through the statement Hashem is One be a merit for Klal Yisrael.
May this merit for Klal Yisrael help that our generation should be meritorious for redemption b’ahava.
that concludes the teshuva.
here is what we did. we tried as hard as could to take the will from our lower soul, from the me, from what we identify as ourselves, we tried to take that and clean off the impurities, unmask and liberate the Shechina from being trapped within it. then resetting the elements of water fire wind and earth to a purified way connecting to Hashem so that we can reflect Him into the world and nothing something reactive based on human nature. that with love in our hearts creates an arousal from below for Hashem’s attributes of mercy
what are we asking Hashem for? we are asking Hashem for an arousal from above for His attributes of mercy. this time period that we are in, this three weeks and now the nine days, had we not sinned with the golden calf, when Moshe had come down on the 17th of tammuz would have been rosh hashana and these 21 days would have been the high holidays. which means tisha bav would have been shemini atzeres which means tonight would have been hoshana rabba. it had the potential for that. Hoshana rabba, everything goes after the end. we use the willow brances to sweeten the judgments, to mitigate harsh degrees, the five levels of harsh decrees, and hopefully what we just did in going through the levels of soul that we did for the animal sou to rectifying the elements in our will, let’s consider it as if we were trying to break off the impurities from that. as if we were cleaning that off on hashana rabba. by dong so with love in our heart, please may this effort be an aroual from below that Hashem should see thta we really want to serve with all our heart and soul and might to create this positive influence and He should give us success and his middos of mercy should rise over his middos of din. He should please, just as we are making an effort for our middos of mercy to rise above our stern side, please Hashem You also, please have your mercy rise over the judgments that made the negative against our people, that we may be able to be the generation meritorious for redemption b’ahava.
this terrible story about the soldier, Hadar ben Chedva Leah, the chosson who was one of three attacked by the terrorist on friday. at first we thought he was taken alive into the tunnel and all of shabbos we thought of this young chosson, who was kidnapped by these terrorists only to find out that he was no longer alive. they found his body parts and his funeral was today. his name hadar means esrog, his mother was Leah, that represents the concealed world, and the word chedva means delight. here you had the esrog, the heart the delight of Leah who was a chosson who got kidnapped and killed. it is terrifying. we really want hashem to have rachamim on us. we dont want any more of this, we dont like it. he was a korbon, perhaps, we have no way of knowing what it was, but this being the week that could have been Succos and yesterday could have been chol hamoed succos and tonight could have been hoshana rabba, if we can do our best to be inspired to really want to rescue happiness and pleasure from the worldly matters and return it to its true Owner, Hashem, our chosson, we are Nishmas Am yisrael, He is the one who gives us happiness and pleasure when we follow His will, observing Torah, emulating Him, live with emunah and bitachon, when we give love and value and when we know that survival is in Hashem’s hands. He is our chosson. we dont want to attribute happinenss and pleasure to anything except our chosson. that is the number one thing. we want to free happiness and pleasure and have our tzelem elokim which is inseparable from hashem’s middos harachamim, understand that is the basis for everything that is coming to us and to please try as hard as we can to use what we did here tonight as an effort to restore relationship and beseech hashem with passion with that as the basic understanding of our first hishtadlus, the will of Nishmas Am Yisrael before we take any actions in this world.
if i clean off the impurities in the water fire wind and earth in me, I may be thinking I am doing it as an indivudal but there is an efect for everyone, that please may my teshuva be a merit for klal yisrael, and that is the truth. when one person does a teshuva on these things, it can make it easier for someone in a different part of the world to have a breakthrough becuase there is a little less pollution on that element. that is a very profound idea of what it means to be part of nishmas am yisrael that we are all one soul. it is empowering and to the degree we are willing to unmask the shehina in galus with our bitterness and methodically see the lack ego and imagination as the lower will, grab that imagination, glue it to emulating hashem’s attribute of mercy, go deep and bend imagination over, to glue it, and we will get a lot of resistance from our logical mind, but remember all good is torah and that His is the truth and the only way to get whatever it is that we want is if He thinks it is good for us to realign with His will .