Rabbi Yaakov Zalman Labinsky – Elul and Ani Ledodi vDodi Li – it is all about love, how to bring it into our marriages

Rough unedited notes:

When we talk about elul there is one essential word, love is in the air. We are closing up new year, the plane is getting ready to land, the runway of its destination, we are closing up one year, to reflect back on 12 months, and everything we have done and haven’t done, and everythuung we are aspiring and perspiring to, to get a bigger perspective. It is the closing point of the whole year.


Our eyes are looking forward to 5775 new challenges and opportunities . it is a timely way to bridge our reality, in closing and beginning.


With that koach of transition and bridging realities, it is love and fear that is the bridge. Ani ledodi is an expression of love. We have love all year. But love in here is an extra infusion of divine love in the air right now, and we can tap in deeply conceptually and practically and direct it back to HKB. Any time you are transitioning from good to better and you break out of your complacency, it involves risk taking, uncertainties, courage and hulity, to go to a bolder place and Hashem does his part


As lofty as we think we are, we strive. The fuel is love and fear. With love you can do more, grow higher and for HKB in this world. Wherever your feeling of ove is that is the fuel power. Ani ledodi is dare to love me greater, expand to draw closer and perceive me more and feel my presence in Your life. How can we systematically expand our capacity for being loving and being loved.


We all know we need to be loved and valued. In pirke avos, the sixth mishna says we love and be loved, we love others first. When we initiate that love, we have to do it in a mutual sharing more dynamic way. The more we grow in that capacity, it is an amazing place of pleasure and joy. Fear is the foundation but love is the house.


I an the beloved, latzmo   chaverio is not the starting point even though we are instructed to love our feelow and ani hashem.. so do we start with the other or ourself. Let’s make it right to the point. Ideally we want to start with ourselves. I have to love first and then I can be loved back. But a relationship to oneself, in trust is abstract. It is hard to relate to oneself as relating to others. When we are by ourselves we are in a relationship with ourselves, bonding with our soul . the more natural realm of connecting to komocha, by interpersonal, you can use that relatiionshp to become divine and reflect back into latzma.


In the pupil is an actual mirror image of you in their eyes. In the intimate part of looking into each other’s soul you can see in an inner way your quality, to love yourself. In the most purest way, the latzmo is first. Extend out to your spouse and then to HKB. That is awaking from below.   From above it is from HKB to self and up.


If you are tangible, you may need chomocha first. If intangible, latzmo first.


We will start in the purest way, if you want love and respect from others you have to deeply love and give respect first.   I am my beloved to the shechina,. Hashem is constant and with us all around. To what extent do we perceive. The rochel and leahs he is with us all the time. To what extent is our soul open to receiving, conceiving and perceiving something else   the more we want to beomce divine and taste our divinity, the more we will return and deeply return and to reveal the shechina and attach to this world and back to HKB. If we toil enough we will come to see it is always as strong as the weakest link. Ultimately in truth when you join to the shechina you are part of it and there is no I. I am not standing on my own. The elokus is hashem in me that He lets me use. When I join to my beloved it is really all Him, . my spouse too, we are also Hashem, we are a divine union a presence of HKB in this world. We see love within truth is the basis for our own drive. The deeper to develop love the more we strive to grow and capacity we have to do teshuva. The more we can make more space for Hashem in this world nd in your life and marriage.


There are different ways to define love. The one we can use in the most prolific way. Love is based on the virtues of a person. It is the core spiritual emotion when they take time to identify, acknowelge and communicate the virtues of another. It involves the capacity to give, to look at them, to study them, to break them down as a scientist who understands what they are seeing, and how to play it in the greater way, to understand the multilayered nature of another. We start with self, but if it is too hard, start with spouse and fold back into self. See a virtue or a midda, a virtue in its pure form is a value, with a divine origin, being goodly or gdly Hashem’s true priority in this world   the more we see the virtue in ourselves we develop love for ourselves so we don’t underestimate ourselves. You may have a dominant virtue, like color of the eyes. The only part of the eye that varies is the iris, it has one of six colors like the 6cm, a dominant color. We see ourselves as dynamic, even though we have overt traits. We love that part of ourselves, loving HKB, as a means to love the gdly part of us back to Him. A virtue doesn’t lie. It doesn’t manipulate, it has no secondary agenda. It doesn’t have ego based needs at based. The yetzer hara wants to look good in others eyes, appear good rather than find the intrinsic good. It is easier, to manipulate the outside world. If we get the outside world to buy in and give us approval, we don’t have to do the hard work of delving into our virtues for kavod shemayim. The yetzer hara wants the short path of least resistance. Manipulate the externals. It is much easier. Bu tif I identify a virtue in myself, it is not that I did a good thing, a good midda, for a virtue to be virtue it has to have regularity. You cant wrap a momentary blast from a long time ago. That is counterfeit. It is not a moment of divine glory and rest there for the rest of our lives. We continually chose to hone and develop them. That is the image part


Each one of us is made up of emes sheker, we use free will to refine out the higher part. To do something not for the sake of heaven we can come to do it for the sake of heaven. Hashem built into us a self serving starting point. Even if our love for ourselves is mostly external. There is nothing shameful about that or for the spouse. Love is the emotion to idenity the love and virtues of others, the only way to get to lishma, kavod shemayim, is through the shelo lishma. If you think there is a helicopter up, the pinnacle, no. you will crash all the way down. Start at the bottom and climb up rung by rung. Start with self oriented. Rabbi dessler qualifies this chazal, the only way to get self serving interest leads to doing something altruistically is if you have the intention at the beginning of the endeavor. If you do something for them because of what they do for you, external, start there but it isn’t the whole picture. If you keep refining your motivation. Even though the majority of ten karat gold, over half the elements of gold are other impurities, but has it gets refined it goes up. You remove the self serving, self referencing, and as you move out through borer you get left behind more lishma, divine oriented action. Your virtues. It is an endless process.


That becomes the most important thing in how to bridge this gap.. we are created with an ego to rework and refine and shift perspective from external to internal and more about Hashem. Each time we do that you get a little more focused and refined with right motivations and actions. It takes a lifetime to refine it. We come to love ourselves less than we do for others, love ourselves for the virtues we have and who we are, and we love ourselves not just for what we do or who we are, we love ourselves because we are a spark of the divine because there is no you, you are a part of HKB. If you need to start with others first, you need both approaches. You need yourself, and others, and makom, others to see where you are holding in your own love and how to extend it out to others.


Our spouses are a spark of the divine themselves. Study them with a sharp eye, objectivity and truth, the consistency of their patterns, their behaviors, the longevity of what see. They have virtues, it might look goodly, but that is cover for being Gdly in disguise, it is the hidden way they are expressing it.


Don’t just say I love you. The nonverbal must be reinforced with speech, in general and specific. The more details, not to little profound and deep, just the right measure that you will hear and they will feel loved and want to love back and see the virtue in themselves and connect to your own virtue. The love is awoken in them, either from us to spouses or to HKB our virtues run very deep..   whatever the virtue we perceive it is based on action. But if we delve in, it is eternal. There is no end of limit to develop love for oneself and HKB that creates capacity to grow, heal, do teshuva and right intentions to purify intentions and we are the ones that cap the degree of ….there is a 20 foot ceiling there is no limit to how much we can love and be loved by others. That is how the shechina joins above. From there the world becomes a gdly world. That is how we get out of geula, exile to redemption. It is there we have greatest meaning and pleasure. If we don’t we diminish hashem’s love for humanity and creation. What He has endowed us with and the profoundity of love in its pure form can conquer anything, the most overwhelming suffering, inconsolable, your love consquered everything and is meant to be out in this world


Elul love is in the air, to extend the profoundity for our ability …emanating and receiving, in loving or being loved, we explore it, we expose the counterfeit parts and stretch with pure will to extend out, we can generate a new relationship. That means hashem wants us to refine and get more real with it in ratzon dayos and middos, perceiving it correcting and internalizing it, to stribve to be closer to hKB and see a transformation. We are capable of it.


At this time we are trying to perceive things differenty, we have to want to see them in a gdly way and their potential. Secondly, shift our perspective as well as the potential that is there. There is a sense of freshness and renewal, we have a fresh eye. When you are stuck in something, step back, turn it over to HKB, I cant do anymore, I am blind, only YOU can allow me to see, come back with a fresh perspective. That is what we want to understand in elul. We want to come back with fresh eyes, ignore all perceptions, don’t go to interprentations and old patterns. Have fresh eyes, tap into that in elul and with really fresh eyes, look at their divinity they have developed and impose it to their scenario. Acceptance, is part. Active acceptance is for what it is now but if I give proper divine love and value I can know it will change . absolutely. That is active acceptance. That is what fresh eyes will do. We are in elul, two weeks away. Connect to the renewal. The abiity to begin again now, a fresh renewal, another way to perceive them. As you feel fresher and better, you will see them in a better and higher. Leah is diamond in the dung. Focus on the diamond inside. Active acceptance but extract in imagination what that diamond could look like. Give it an image, a shape, a color, hold a place for potential divinity for that it is there and it can come out in actuality, we help nurture and foster it out. If they exist they are in divine image and they have a whole array of divine attributes. It doesn’t matter, it is still there. On the news there are famiies that treasure hunt in the ocean, as a family. The midda I appreciated about them is they are unified that there is something there even though you can’t see it, to measure something below the surface and the riches are incredible. They found a treasure two hundred years old. There are treasures below the surface and we can find it.


Toil for that hidden treasure. You know He created the world, develop the map and sonar to find the vibrations and excavate, no matter how thick the leah or deep. Yaakov created that, we have to plug into it. HKB put a hidden treasure in husband’s leah. The deeper something is buried the greater the treasure. Someone found three cases of napolian champagne it was a few million dollars of champagne. The nimshal is that hashem put incredible treasures but it can be dug up. It is not inaccessible. Vision, architectural plan, technology, patience to dig it out, protect what is found. Hashem creates it with torah to excavate our spouses through sonar mapping, reveal the hidden territories and nurture with invaluable qualities. Patience is the shouldering of the burden until they can carry it themselves. That is patience. You want it now, the way you think it should be. Who are you to create these expectations. Just like hashem carries us, we are carrying others. We carry the burden of others, feel their pain. The word is the same as marriage, as if we are bound up with them. We are married to each other, intimately bound up with each other, we are married to HKB.


If you cant be marred to spouse correctly, now can you carry their burden. Because you connect to the divine attribute Hahsem is working through you and that achieves the outcomes. We have to trust there is a hidden treasure there and have the emunah to reveal HKB attribute to heal it. You have to know knowledge with faith ad trust that hashem put divine treasure in spouse.  It is hashem’s love through us. Align your attributes at the level back to Hashem so Hashem can work through you back to your spouse.   At that moment, there is no power. If you think Hashem cant heal your spouse that is apikorses. It is not impossible. Hashem designs every soul. No one has clarity on anyone else’s soul. We perceive little bits. Hashem sees all and we excavate, through proper patience, and He tainas on us. We stop way to early. We have to believe in the power of love and emes. Even where hopeless and desperate, in hashem’s eyes everything is possible and doable.


We don’t want to be that divine, we don’t want to have to be that responsible. Nothing is impossible. It radically changes our hashkafa all of the time.


We show credence, the midda is how it expresses themselves in an action oriented way. You need right perspective that spouse is most important person or we cant develop love for self. Otherwise we see what did he do for me. The spouse is the other half of me. Then we don’t love them that way because we don’t love ourselves that way. Internalize it in a midda.


Q do you have a source on the eye color

RL arizal, chassidus there is a lot in that, each part of the eye corresponds to shem havaya


Q practically, if I am trying to love myself and hearing a critical voice

RL write it down. Pick one midda like critical, objectively. Pick a midda, talk about how yoou act on it and see it objectively like a scientist. If someone did this, would they be a chessedic person? Ask others. Then five to ten times a day of doing it cfreats a midda of chesed. Now evaluate it. How consistent or good or intentionality, or is self serving, or is what you want to give. It is a virtue. Then you want to objectify it even more, notice when you are doing chesed. Am I doing it because I love them or so that they will love me. Do I want to grant acceptance or seek approval. Develop instruments to assess or ask someone who knows you to evaluate. I want truth. Please tell me without flattery. I countered what they said to see what is real and false and they said it like it was, including where I was not holding. Give me examples and they did, they were true friends. It iwas a great way to heal. If you have one or two people in your life, someone who loves and sees you, ask them to give you objective proof.



Look at middos of Hashem how He runs the world. Kindnesses and mercies, gave us way more in abundance. Even din is merc within judgment.


Core leahs are difficult painful troubled and cursed really possess the spiritual correction. Dovid hanelech praised hashem for that too. Everyting is good. We want to stand on our own that we don’t need anybody but we need Hashem.


Our love is the heart of Klal Yisrael. That is how big our love is. They need all our love and we need theirs. It is not self serving. It is because we want to deepy bring hashem’s glory into the world. We are vehicles and conduits. Everything can be healed, uplifted, no matter what because HKB is above everything and he can reveal that space in this world. Inspiring way to look at elul


All you need is love, based on Hashem’s essence . tap into divine love correctly we have the ability to bring shemayim into the world. We are ego based and self oriented. We want to diminish and express love for hashem and others. Yes we can do it all year round but there is a special divine merit to do it in greater proportionality. Even if yu are doing it for self oriented experiences, do it as a midda, gradually purify your intentions and actions. Love is a choice. Being in a relationsip is a choice. Returning to hashem is a choice. Bringing kavod shemayim is a choice. Over coming nature is a choice. But we have to keep expandeing . anything is possible. Set eyes high and grow close to HKB humanity, fellow Jew and ourselves and our next year is being judged by that.


We go through examples and how to develop in self and spouse and have greater capacity. We can do things that are unimaginable. Give it a shot or opporutinty



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