Rosh Chodesh Shevat plague of hail – malchus shemayim – lets eat from tree of life is really shteigging and we have made great progress in emunah and menuchas hanefesh, realizing that when we infuse emunah into our negative reactions, we transform the foundations of the world into something that can hold Hashem in a revealed way.  Our effort and emunah to say Hashem Echad Hodu Lashem Ki Tov modify something in the spiritual foundations that permit Hashem to be revealed in the world, transforming nature into the Divine Space Hashem desires for us to create through our free will and speech
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May Rosh Chodesh Shevat bring us all closer to having the clarity that will make it good in Hashem’s eyes for us to once again have the opportunity to eat from the tree of life, having rectified with the “hail” the confusion of mind that happened when we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Despite the experience of a real body with mortality and natural consequences, it is confusion of mind to think we have autonomous independent existence.  To the extent we experience a solid reality, Hashem is merely hiding so that we have free will. There are no solutions that Hashem is not a part of.  When we awaken ourselves that happiness comes from clinging to Torah, fervent prayer, and emulating Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy, we build confidence in a connection with Hashem that provides our vitality and happiness.

When we arouse love in our hearts with the utterly calm recognition of Hashem’s existence, that exertion to say Hashem Echad infuses holiness into the natural world that makes it possible for Hashem to be able to come into the world…we literally construct a divine space out of nature with that drop of light of menuchas hanefesh that we add with the words Hashem Echad with love in our heart.

May we be inspired to be mekabel malchus shemayim in this way by seeing how the plague of hail restored to the world malchus shemayim many years ago.  May we see that our infusing emunah into water and fire, the components of hail, when we experience lack regarding desires or humiliation or arrogance, or anger or fear – our saying Hashem Echad knowingly means that we modify those natural elements water and fire to rectify them so that they can hold a divine light.  Our submission to the utter calm recognition of Hashem’s existence IS the effort that infuses the ingredient needed into the natural elements. Saying Hashem Echad builds the divine space out of the natural resources. May Hashem be pleased with our efforts and may we seek happiness only from learning Torah, praying fervently to Hashem and emulating His 13 Attributes of Mercy, building within us a confidence that we trust to be the pathway to happiness.  We can measure our progress when we begin to see the pursuit of natural pleasures as inferior to the wonders that we experience after exerting ourselves in the moment to submit to the calm recognition of Hashem’s existence and arouse love and awe to say Hashem Echad, praying fervently  to Hashem that every ounce of our existence be used only to draw into this world healing and bracha, may it be a merit for klal yisrael and may we soon see His Light in the divine space He gives us free will to infuse with menuchas HaNefesh so that He can be seen in this world instead of remaining hidden.

Rabbi Moshe Wofson Barad and yiras shemayim  in English
Rabbi Ittamar Schwartz Bilvavi on Rosh Chodesh Shevat on Simple Emunah in Hebrew
The Rav’s shiur last nite in Ma’ale Amos:
How To Achieve the Level of Simple Emunah
both the audio and video are here: 

Psalms Chapter 23 תְּהִלִּים

א  מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד:    יְהוָה רֹעִי, לֹא אֶחְסָר. 1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
ב  בִּנְאוֹת דֶּשֶׁא, יַרְבִּיצֵנִי;    עַל-מֵי מְנֻחוֹת יְנַהֲלֵנִי. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.
ג  נַפְשִׁי יְשׁוֹבֵב;    יַנְחֵנִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי-צֶדֶק, לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ. 3 He restoreth my soul; He guideth me in straight paths for His name’s sake.
ד  גַּם כִּי-אֵלֵךְ בְּגֵיא צַלְמָוֶת, לֹא-אִירָא רָע–    כִּי-אַתָּה עִמָּדִי;
שִׁבְטְךָ וּמִשְׁעַנְתֶּךָ,    הֵמָּה יְנַחֲמֻנִי.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; {N}
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
ה  תַּעֲרֹךְ לְפָנַי, שֻׁלְחָן–    נֶגֶד צֹרְרָי;
דִּשַּׁנְתָּ בַשֶּׁמֶן רֹאשִׁי,    כּוֹסִי רְוָיָה.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; {N}
Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
ו  אַךְ, טוֹב וָחֶסֶד יִרְדְּפוּנִי–    כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָּי;
וְשַׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית-יְהוָה,    לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; {N}
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. {P}


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