A Teshuva for the 10th of Teves


Let’s go to the actual moment of the challenging reaction.  We are in the moment, face to face with two ways of interpreting the situation.


There is a loud, booming, scary interpretation telling us the same message we have listened to for our entire lives about the possible danger, the reason, how we are lacking what we want, how much it would be better if the other person would just understand and give us what we want and the fact that they are not giving to us what we want this second simply just lumps them into the same category of offenders that have been causing us pain over and over again  And what a disappointment this is!  And how sorry we feel for ourselves that again someone has let us down!  And on and on and on.


The designer of this thinking is our animalistic inclination that naturally runs things unless we re-design its images by using Torah principles.


Yet getting ourselves to listen is just as hard as dealing with a two year old!


How can we possibly get a re-designed image into our mind well enough that our natural imagery lets go?


At some point in our life, we will come to realize that going with Hashem is better than making this same mistake over and over.  The pain of the designed images that the natural animalistic side draws for us, which we feel neurologically, which has automatically been affecting our thoughts, speech and deeds until now, eventually is seen.  And then we can say we want to change.


We start by saying sorry for all my past mistakes in thinking.  Then we ask for help to change our thinking.


After that, we need to draw on the Torah principles, mitzvahs, understanding of how Hashem is the only Being alive and that actually exists and that we (whether we recognized it or not until now) are made only in His Image (from His Name, made in the image of Elokim, from the world of justice) so that we can complete our soul (to His Name, yud k vav k, rachamim).  We make this exchange with our simple request (because Hashem ultimately makes the exchange within us, we make the effort but success is up to Him.)  We use of our power of free will to hold steady (in devekus to Hashem, with love for Hashem, with awe that this IS hishtadlus) and speak out loud and visualize alternative imagery to replace the presenting arguments coming from our natural thinking with truth from the Torah that we can cling to and that can then generate a different reaction.


And that is our moment of teshuva.  We ask Hashem to please forgive all of what we have done stemming from our natural thinking.  Imagine all the legions of thoughts and actions and words said before this moment when we see the futility in it.


A key ingredient here is the emunah that Hashem is One.  Without that, how will we affect the designer of our natural imagery to let go and instead align with the truth that Hashem is One, that we are wholly made by Him and under His total domain, and that there is no future in our animalistic designs because He Desires that we emulate Him?  What makes this shift so difficult is our neurology.  The designer of our natural thinking IS our neurology.  We have a vessel that needs to be brought through the mikvah of chessed and emunah to serve instead as a neurology that will be filled with the light of Torah and reveal THAT over our natural reactions.  Here is where we are grateful to be alive.  Thank you Hashem for this moment of life so that in this moment I can do something that will create an eternal benefit for my soul and make a repair to the world.  Thank you for the challenge!!


Those natural reactions, which stem from unrectified powers in the world, are the way Hashem makes us – each one imperfect – so that we can use our experience of life to complete ourselves and improve the world by infusing His Compassion into the elements that compose the powers.  We do that through the simple words I am sorry.  I wish instead to reveal You.  Please help.  I regret it.  I made a mistake.  I wish to use everything to serve You.


If we can see these words as true, sincerely, the next step is to envision the Torah principles – peace, Ahavas Yisrael, compassion – and what that would look like.  Next comes identifying what is blocking those images from fruition in our hearts?  Is it anger/fire?  Is it wind/honor?  Is it water/desire?  Is it dust/habit, sadness?


Let’s say it is fire.  Fire can also bring light and warmth that is beneficial.  So we ask Hashem to please help us lower the fire, and we think of a chessed/water that will quiet the fire, or a humility, an adjustment with wind, that will blow out some of the fire.  Then we can see the storm inside lessen.  And it sinks into our hearts because our natural design of imagery IS WILLING to accept that what Hashem wants is better than what it wants.  In the end, we have to really be sick of our imperfections.


May this walk through of a moment be inspiring and helpful and may we all strengthen ourselves in emunah to fully comprehend that we are all alive only because Hashem is the only being that is Alive Who gives us an experience of life so we can complete for ourselves an eternal benefit.  May we further submit to His Will and choose willingly to redesign our neurology to reveal His Compassion.  The soul of man is the candle of Hashem.


And may we shine His 13 attributes of mercy into the world, into our lives and families and communities, radiating His Compassion into the world with full love and awe for Hashem for the experience of life given to us.  May we comprehend and choose this!

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