A comprehensive website about emunah and core Torah concepts, with analysis and explanation of the writer’s personal growth experiences in Avodas Hashem and understanding of our relationship with HaKadosh Baruch Hu.
I have now experiential understanding that there is only one battle we should be armed for, and that is the battle between kadosh and ra for ruling our hearts.
When we begin to feel ourselves moving away from knowing that Hashem is all loving, it is usually because we are disappointed or upset about circumstances or a relationship. All of physicality is a prop in total control of Hashem. What He desires is for us to remain attached, to cling to Him, to have confidence that He Alone is running things, and to remain with a loving heart flowing His Lovingkindness into the world.
We have no real control over anything else anyway, so why not consider this as a real possibility?
Wars are fought over resources. The resource at stake in who controls our heart is access to the most valuable thing there is…our holy soul that is made in His Image that is connected directly to Him as the only Being that is alive.
If wars are fought over water, it makes perfect sense that a spiritual war would be fought over access to life itself.
The props are emotional – family members, friends, money, our health. Great props for mortals who are wired to believe that their survival is in their own hands. The tool is emunah, faith and confidence that Hashem exists, that there is No Other Power, and that He is One. Meaning that we are one with Him and with all, with the universal substance of the universe, with the compassion that fills everything, the Soul of the world. Are we going to hang on or let go and let our life force dissipate into non-permanent props?
The root of love is the cReator of love, Hashem We do not ever need to feel distant from love. And when we comrehend that and love Hashem in order to remain within a world of lovingkindness, we immediately restore real value, not just temporal value, to our existence. With this confidence, we face the emotionally disturbing challenges that our designing imagination for tuma would like to use to bait us to draw off our life for dissipation into its husks and props. We have real free will to run to Hashem’s loving arms and restore our hearts to meaningfulness.
Everything else, all the props, are being arranged by Hashem. It is therefore far better, heaven forfend, that our worst fears happen than we should worry or think that they are happening before they do or before we know. For we are not in control of circumstances. But we are responsible for our life force and where we associate, with spiritual matters that are holy or weakening ourselves and falling into darkness.
The battle is for our hearts. We are given the Torah to fortify our faith and confidence. Hashem exists and He is all loving. We may ask Him for understanding of what we might not see as good, we may plead with Him to purify us, but in the end we do so with love and acceptance and a trusting heart that it is all for the good. May our heartfelt actions reflect Hshem’s value and love into the world and may our lives have meaning and purpose that builds joy in this world and the next.
Torah teaches us that our purpose is to reflect Hashem’s lovingkindness into the world, like the moon reflects the sun. The moon has no light of its own.
In this moment, do I seek to reflect Hashem’s lovingkindness and/or His Will as expressed in Torah into this world? How do I know that I am sincere in aggrandizing Hashem and not some unconscious or semi-conscious impulse that has hijacked my thinking and is deceiving me?
This is the topic of behira. It is a battlefront. We have one thing on the battlefront, and once that has been conquered, we move to the next deception.
How do we do battle with our deceptive thinking, our imagination that rationalizes and justifies and assures us that we are “doing the right thing” all the while not taking on the challenge in our impulse and thinking that IS the real task?
What questions can we ask ourselves to see who we are serving?
Perhaps these might help. Is all that I am feeling in a category having to do with my value or honor? Or in a category having to do with my lovability? Is either of these categories at the root of all the distress I feel?
Let’s say I am not in touch with either something having to do with my value or honor or something having to do with my lovability as being at the root of the emotional storm I may be experiencing. Try to say out loud the belief that is at the root. Write it down. Rabbi Nivin teaches in his Belief Notebook module that when we write it down, we often see the falsehood in it.
Keep saying the belief out loud in emotional language until the falsehood surfaces. Now ask again, Is all that I am feeling in a category having to do with my value or honor? Or in a category having to do with my lovability? Is either of these categories at the root of all the distress I feel?
What is the true belief according to Torah? Write that down. Rabbi Nivin teaches that reviewing our false beliefs with the true beliefs beneath them each day can raise our consciousness to them so that they don’t hijack our thinking automatically, giving us behira where we may not previously had behira.
But now what? We HAVE that false belief as part of our neurological system, in our brain. We don’t want to feel shame or blame because of it. Rather, we wish from that very neurological reaction to have the wherewithal to reveal Hashem’s lovingkindness instead of reacting naturally. From that same place in our mind, we can ask Hashem to purify us so that we may, instead, serve Him as a channel for lovingkindness, pulling back willingly our false belief out of love for Hashem and a yearning to be with Him by being with His Value.
He who comes to be purified will be helped..it is the admission, the recognition of falsehood, the desire to cleave, and the sincere prayer to be purified so that we may reflect Hashem in our speech and deeds which are the effort we make in relationship with Hashem that shifts us from involvement with natural responses to spiritual progress in fixing our middos and dayos. Success is up to Hashem, Who loves us and is waiting for us to make this choice and answer.
We can be the physical vessels through which Hashem is reflected into this world. If we choose it, deeply, on a plane of the real constant unconscious impulses of lack in value and love. We do not have to run after rectifications from sources in time and space who we think are responsible for our anguish. No. We own the challenge of returning the compassion with which Hashem forms our bodies and fuses our soul to the body back into kadosh service of Hashem, taking it out of the realm of tuma, impurity, that is natural and unrectified by our choice to make this effort. The entire world is filled with Hashem’s compassion. There is no other Power. Even when we are in the throws of a stormy situation, all the might is compassion that is from Hashem, albeit covered over. It is for us to remember that and cry out that we do not want that compassion trapped in this matter but rather we wish for that compassion to be given to us so that we may reflect it as lovingkindness into this world. We choose love of Hashem, which places us in the flow of Hashem’s lovingkindness, and that opens the door for Hashem’s lovingkindness to reach into the dark place where compassion is trapped and extricate it, unify it with our choice to reflect His Love, and return it to us. This is the avoda of shema Yisrael Hashem elokeinu Hashem echad.
Once we know with clarity that there is nothing but Hashem Whose utterances form physical entities including thoughts and all circumstances yet are filled with His Compassion awaiting us to strip off the shells covering it (because of the utterances), our opportunities abound.
The other day someone was so distressed and taking it out on me in a very mean spirited way, picking a fight, attacking me. I understood what to do. While the person was screaming at me over the phone, I began my prayer, Hashem, there is tremendous might coming across the phone from this person and in my reaction to being spoken to in such an upsetting way. I know that all of this is filled with Your Compassion and I wish for all the compassion in the mighty emotions to flow to You and be reunified with revealed lovingkindness and returned into my heart and the heart of this person so that there can be healing and light. All I want is You Hashem, I wish for Your compassion animating this to please be unified to you and revealed as such rather than covered over by all of this distortion. I kept this prayer going. Eventually the person said how remarkable it was that I stayed so calm and did not become hurtful or rejecting and how much that meant to the person, who then told me the dump was because someone had upset her. Now you may question whether I should have taken better care of myself and hung up or not allowed the dump. Me too. But that is not the point of why this story is being shared. Look what happened, something far beyond just a stormy interaction and a maneuvering to be self-protective, as important as that is. By recognizing an opportunity, something visible of Hashem’s lovingkindness made it into the other party’s experience.
Unfortunately, our inner dialogues often are as brutal as what I described above. We drill ourselves with condemnations, blaming ourselves and shaming ourselves until we feel even worse than whatever triggered us. We may have panic attacks, anxiety attacks, asthma attacks and more. There is a message we are telling ourselves that can be as cruel as the example and we can’t hang up the phone!
We can recognize the opportunity and unify our souls and refill our mind with Hashem’s lovingkindness and bring that to our hearts, speech and deeds.
Is the area of our distress coming from a lack of love or respect?
Once we spot how the designer of images has been able to fill us with visions of jealousy, desire and craving for honor from the inception point, that impulse of lack of love or respect, we can work our way back to Hashem. Love Hashem immediately pulls us back to kadosh.. And simultaneously, once we are connected to Hashem’s root attribute, we are reconnected to true value. All better!!
Had Adom loved Hashem more than wanting to show Hashem how much he loved Him, Adom would have chosen to remain with Hashem rather than eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But here we are and it is up to us to reach the level of Adom before the sin and then go on to loving Hashem so much we yearn only for Him and not for any aggrandizement of anything but Him.
This article is dedicated leui nishmas my paternal grandmotherRechie bat Willie, my maternal grandmother Sara Rivka bat Chaim , and my mother, Rota Devorah bat Gavriel Leib, whose yahrtzeits are 12th, 13th and 24th of Shevat. May their souls have an aliyah.
Today is Tu B’Shevat, the new year of the trees. What if we see ourselves as having our roots in shemayim, our soul, and that we are individually here on our mission to produce the fruits of our efforts to serve Hashem? We are in Shovavim, the period of time where we continue to purify our thoughts so that we we draw into our hearts a new level of chochma rooted deeply in kadosh, tearing off the physical husks, the kelipas, that naturally occur. Each year, we attempt to identify the areas of our lives we are ready to shake free of unrectified characteristics, to break out of bad middos so that the purity of the character trait can do something kadosh in this world.
We are given life with consciousness so that we may choose to delight in Hashem despite the naturally presenting alternatives competing as a source of delight.
We are born without knowing Hashem as the Only Being that is actually alive and without a natural feeling of Hashem’s total unconditional love
Torah tells us to look for both – for the truth that we experience life because Hashem is the Only Being who is alive and grants us a timespan in a body and a world that He Alone creates, and for the truth that at all times we are surrounded by a world filled with His Lovingkindness and unconditional devotion to us, even though we do not sense it naturally.
When we understand consciousness IS the self and that the conscious self has real free will to comprehend our condition – the temporary but immensely valuable condition called life – and that the experience of life is to develop clarity that He is our Sole King so that we may best serve Him and create eternal life as well as joy in this world, then we are prepared to stop skidding on the black ice of our unconscious (regarding love and value) and instead catch ourselves before we fall into the imagery (kina, taiva, and kavod) of the designer of evil, the imagery of the yetzer hara, who capitalizes on our skidding on doubts regarding Hashem’s love for us and doubts about real value.
On Monday, there was Emunah Day. Below are some highlights, including some audio clips, to help hear and understand more deeply why and how to find our self, our consciousness, and how to use our free will and choose to come to be purified.
Here is the transcript in English of Rabbi Schwartz’s remarks:
Rabbi Schwartz began by wishing us a good morning. He reminded us we are here in Yerushalayim,we are close, within eyesight of the makon Hamikdosh, the source of everything. The Gemara says that the Makom Hamikdosh is the source of all beauty. The place where creation began. The beginning of the experience of the universe.
Yerushalayim, the place where Adom was created from, let’s return to this place. When we speak of Adom Harishon, we are speaking of every human from and onwards. The Gemara in Sanhedrin explains, where was the guf of the human created? from the afar of bavel. What about the rest of the body, incuding us, and the rest of the world. where was the head created? Israel, specifically it was created from the place of the misbeach, the altar where the orbonos were brought, the place of atonement for the human being.
We should be cognizant of the fact that our heads came from the makom hamikdosh, and it is the nature of the human being to always yearn for the beginning. we always yearn for the place from which we came.
Every Jew, every Jew that has a feeling that he is Jewish yearns to come to this place, to the Kotel, and it is even nonJews who come to this place, all 70 nations. Why? because Adom’s head was created here. we are therefore drawn to this place.
HKB took Adom HaRishon, our ancestor, and He put him in the garden of eden, and then adom harishon transgressed. HKB banished him from gan eden, to serve the land, to work the land, from where he had come. where was that land? that was eretz yisrael, the makom hamikdosh.
we therefore have a very strong yearning. but even stronger in the depth of our soul, we have yearnng to return to the place we were banished, namely gan eden.
and yet even a stronger yearning does a human have. not only to return to gan eden, but the torah tells us that HKB formed a human and breathed into the nostrils of the first human the breath of life, making us a hailel mamikal, our intense yearning is to go back tot he source of life, to be close to Hashem Himself.
there are therefore threee levels of our longing to return. the first level is our body longs to return from the place the head was formed, the bais hamikdosh. moreover our soul yearns to return to gan eden. and our inner depth yearns to return to the source of light, to the almighty.
Most people have a longing to connect to the almighty. most people who are familiar with the concept of gan eden yearn to return there, and most learned people have a yearning to return to the bais hamikdosh.
so we have been talking about the inner essence of the Jewish people. How actually do we bring ourselves close to Hashem, gan eden and the bais hamikdoh.
The human therefore is composed of a body and a soul. What is the highest point of the body which has within it the essence of the soul? that is the heaad
So the head is the highest point in the body and it is the key to the feeling of our soul. Our task is to understand how to focus our head on the bais hamikdosh, gan eden and Hashem Yisborach.
chazal teach us that the air of eretz yisrael makdes us wise, it activates our heads, our sense of ruchnius, of spirituality. through this the spirituality our head has the opportunity to focus on the bais hamikdosh and the things that are spiritual.
the more a person separates himself from the physical aspects of his life, the more his yearnings for the spiritual increases. contrarily, the more we indulge in the physical, our spiritual yearnings wane.
there are two types of yearnings for spirituality that we are capable of activating. one is located int he physical and one is more divorced from the physical.
examples of ruchnius based on our physicality are eating matzah and living in the succah.. these are two mitzvahs that spiritual yet involve our body. on the otherhand there is the type of mitzvah that is totally spiritual without a physical essence to it. such as lighting shabbos candles erev shabbos and yom tov that is totally spiritual.
A person grows in stages. First he will do a mitzvah, a spiritual act but is rooted in the gashmius, like eating matzah or living in a succa, and as he develops he yearns for mitzvahs that are devoid of a physical essence.
these two typse of yearnings, the spiritual rooted in physical and that whch is purely spiritual, correspond to the bais hamikdosh, a physical entity. the head was created by the earth at the har habayis. gan eden is totally spiritual.
we can now understand why more people have a yearning for the bais hamikdosh than for gan eden. we live in a physicl world and therefore it is easier to relate to a concept of spirituality rooted in a physcal essence, a place, a bais hamikdosh. it is more difficult for a person to relate to gan eden.
The concepts of moshiach, resurrection of the dead, olam haba, are concepts that are spiritual, an entity which is a spiritual entity. who is a o ben olam hava. someone spiritual who has achieved the yearning, which is devoid of a physical essence.
what is our task? our task is to take our guf and our nefesh and endeavor to elevate them from their focus on the physcal world. this is a gradual process and this is something that each person on his own level at his own pace is able to accomplish, one level at a time.
on a deeper level, of course we have to try to activate our penimius, our inner essence, to increase its yearnings for that which is spiritual and devoid of a physical connection to yearn for gan eden. that is our task, to not only try to rise gradually in terms of doing the mitzvahs, which help us elevate our physical connection but also they actvate our inner essence which yearns to associate with the bais hamikdosh.
each person needs an opportunity for hisboninus to contemlate, are we strengthenng oruselves or becoming weaker, going in the opposite direct. are we strengthening our yearning for the spiritual or are we allowing that yearning to dissipate.
we are near the makom hamikdosh. we have to arouse our penimius, a path, a way of life we continue with, not just temporarily.
we are speaking about gradual level but we have not talked about the ultimate. what is that ultimate.
Just as a baby with his or her mother spends all of her time focused on the mother, there might be eating opportunities in between, but hascally the baby is totally dependent on the mother, spends all of his or her time with the mother. so too, we should view our selves, our inner essence, as being dependent upon and focused on the Almighty, and that is the ultimate.
the pasuk teaches us that a person gradually leaves the fold of his family his parents, and he sets up his own home. and we shuld appreciate that as we grow, we are leaving the physicality, which so governs our life, with the hope of establishing a stronger connection with the Almighty.
we should appreciate that there are stages in growth. the baby, and the the teenager who on the money end is struggling to being indepenent but is depenent on the envirionment he came from.
In the same vein, the two forms of relationships with Hashem. a person wakes up, takes care of his obligations, davens, eats, his daily life is seemingly then independent of hashem.
the other form of relatiionship with the lamight is more penimi. the inner essence. he might be 80 years old and he still has to eat his daily food and many activities that root him to this world, but he is muchly connected tot he almighty.
This person who has an inner connection with the Almighty gets up and says mode ani, he thinkis of Hashem, talks to Hashem and feels Hashem in his every action.
this person who has a developed inner connection with Hashem in all his thoughts, the Torah tells us in parsha tuma, please give unto me a doation, but I shall dwell within you. when you connect to Me I will dwell with you. then the person will be a makom kadosh.
this is the third form of longing for Hashem. we talked about the succa and eats matza, rooted in physical we spoke about the woman that lights candles, erev shabbos, and even that person who is muchly connected to Hashem but it is through a physical medium. the third type of gaguim is the longing of the neshamot of klal yisrael, the souls of the Jewish people, purely longing for a connection with Hashem.
May Hashem enable us to peel off the conection to physcality to rid ourselves of improper middos and dayons and reveal the strong connection with which we may conect to Hashem Yisborach.
My point in general is that our very lives are created with two true lackings , a lack of value because we are not Hashem Himself and a lack of love because we are not physically aware of His constant unconditional love. These two lackings are the human condition. Each of us is born with a soul fused to a body with these lacks in our unconscious and we come skidding into the world on our survival instincts unconsciously reacting to these real lacks in love and value, but crashing into others thinking they are the cause of our pain …he didn’t respect me, she didn’t love me…playing these lackings out, crashing into everything and everyone rather than taking a moment to say “thank you Hashem for life” and the opportunity to purify myself and return to the level of Adom and higher! By choosing love for You, I am remembering that You create love and even if I don’t have a physical person who loves me or to love, I have the root of love always , YOU. That immediately restores us to kadosh, peeling away the designer brand images of the yetzer hara otherwise leading us to negative action based on our natural thinking that we have real autonomous independent existence. When we realize we are now back in the flow of love coming into the world, our value is restored – our best value is to reveal His Value and Lovingkindness.
Here is a two minute clip from Rabbi Cable on the topic of this nothingness we are sent here to reach:
Here is a two minute clip from emunah day Rebbetzin Heller describing the importance of each individual’s efforts and the profound impact possible…it is for each person in their life, on each one’s journey, I find it of interest because it shows what Rav Schwartz and Rav Cable are motivating us towards – in each of our lives – an inner world of choosing
Here is a short clip from Rabbi Nivin regarding the Chinuch that brings out why love of Hashem matters so much and is so central. I post this because it helps us understand how important gratitude is, how thank you shows love and how growing in love for Hashem over our sense of autonomous independent existence (Rabbi Cable clip) is a sign of our growth in emunah.
And finally here is Rabbi Nivin talking about Rabbi Wolbe and how we come to be purified and grow up our lower soul
We are born into this world with two fundamental defects, areas we are lacking.
Firstly, although we are made in Hashem’s Image, we are not and cannot be Hashem. Hashem has all the value, He is Hashem, and we are not. Our value, then comes only from recognizing He is the only value and reflecting His Merciful Attributes through our hearts to our speech and deeds.
Secondly, although we all feel love and want love and give love, we are not the Source of Love. Nor do we readily understand that our ability to be involved with love at all is because Hashem has created love. Hashem creates love. It is His root attribute, lovingkindness, and His Lovingkindness fills all the Creation, including all the formations and characteristics which come forth from His 13 attributes of Mercy, rooted in the tip of the yud of His Name. While we long for love and for others to love, we are really involving ourselves with something that essentially exists because of Hashem’s creation of love as we know it. Yet we are not clear at all times that He, Hashem, is all loving and that His Love is contained in everything in our lives. We have the experience of love because Hashem has created love! We are inherently inclined by our constricted perceptions to overlook this important detail regarding the ability to love and where real love originates. His Love is at all times present, yet we do not feel it. Yearning at all times for love, we mistakenly look to the external world for a solution. The solution lies in remembering and reconnecting to the Creator of Love, the Source of Lovingkindness.
How do these two lackings affect our lives?
In every single moment, we are being stimulated by a world that is meeting up with unconscious impulses stemming from these two lacks. We do not see this as the source of our pain. Instead we see our imagination drawing images of why we are feeling insulted, angry, hurt, disappointed, defensive and more.
We attempt to resolve the perceived threats from the external material world that are being played out because of our true lackings in the area of value and awareness of being loved. What if instead of causing all the blaming and shaming that we do, we instead return all our thinking to the truth.
Yes, I am not Hashem and yes I am not consciously aware and emotionally enveloped in a feeling of Hashem’s love. These two lacks are pulling me towards imagination and stories that are damaging and hurtful to me and to others and I do not want these false ideas. Instead, I just want, in the same vessel of my mind that wants to draw such negative images, to reflect the truth, that You Hashem are the only Being with value and therefore I just want You and to reflect You. And I love You and in so doing, I am beseeching that I be connected once again to Your love, by involving myself with the creation Love that You have given to us from Your root.
Here are all the images I wish to let go of as false and limiting and keeping me from finding value in reflecting You and from experiencing love by generating Your creation love in my heart, love for You. Please infuse my mind with Your love and light. I wish to bring it into my heart and speech.
The fact that this may make no logical sense to the part of us that wishes to respond in terms of time and space IS why emunah, a power of the soul, is needed. Our animalistic side will tell us we are foolish and suggest its natural solutions that appear more practical.
With emunah, when we have faith and trust and confidence that Hashem is the only Being that actually exists, that He fills all the world, is All Powerful, Is All Present, and All Loving, we can “walk into the Red Sea” on a personal level. We can see our stormy waters, remember why the waves are high – the two true areas we are lacking – and how the way the animal soul and our natural logical mind uses imagination to discern the “cause” in the temporal world. Understanding why the waves are high and how our imagination gets hijacked gives us a handle to work ourselves back from heading into darkness. When we understand these two real lackings and how our being is constructed, we can be in the bleachers and readily turn back towards holiness and resolving our pain by reflecting Hashem’s value and involving ourselves with His creation love. In this way, we actually make an effort to resolve the two areas of true lack that are generating our pain. From there, we may take an action that will reflect Him into this world.
These two areas are built into the unconscious of every person alive. We may not become aware of it.
The stories of the Torah are replete with examples of what happens because people attempt to resolve these two lackings in a different way. An obvious story is the Golden Calf and the murdur of Hur, Miriam’s son. That voice that wants to draw us close to Hashem is overrun by the logical and compelling thinking of the designer of evil, telling us that some other solution besides emunah and bitachon is needed.
What does it take to activate our emunah? We need the confidence that we are created with two lackings so that we may do the work of creating our own perfection by asking Hashem to help us. It may feel to us as though a stormy sea is in front of us and that we had better turn back. Or that walking into it will mean our doom. But that is exactly NOT the case when we have confidence that absolutely everything is love from Hashem, filled with His lovingkindness, awaiting us to peel off the presenting nature and get credit for elevating that material substance by infusing it with our emunah and bitachon. All that compassion then comes into our hearts and we have access to reflect it into the world. Just like we make a bracha on food, so too we can make a bracha on stormy conditions and bring a healing. With confidence, we overcome accusations of being foolish and we understand we may access the mighty compassion concealed within the confusion through our emunah and trust.
May we come to understand how powerful Hashem is and how He desires a relationship with us. May we understand how complete emunah brings Simcha and embrace the truth about our relationship with Hashem and how we are made in order to perfect ourselves and reveal Hashem.
Due to the discovery of the way to protect oneself from falling into the imagery of the yetzer hara, the pictures associated are being auctioned off:
Images associated with
You are worthless
Includes every imaginable excuse for forgetting that even though we cannot attain the level of Hashem, we CAN connect to Him and therefore to value. Whether or not we actually connect, the potential to connect itself IS value.
You are unlovable
Includes every imaginable excuse for forgetting that even though we no longer have consciousness of Hashem’s constant lovingkindness and how the world is nothing but an expression of His lovingkindness, including every aspect of the body, the soul, and life circumstances, we CAN have a relationship with Hashem that awakens within us lovingkindness, and that automatically returns us to the flow of the creation of lovingkindness in a way that we experience light and love of Hashem.
Are you willing to buy these false pictures of yourself so that you can hold onto them after the yetzer hara is out of business? No? Then give them up NOW and put the yetzer hara out of business SOONER!! You will be glad for each image you let go of now! Choose it!
Learn more about real love and value and how to bring unconscious impulses to more consciousness and choice. Visit http://wp.me/p4Mkdu-1G2
Complete faith brings us to shelamos, to peace, inner peace, joy, and is the emunah that determines our madrega in this world and the next. It is something to strive for every moment of every day.
How can we have complete faith in Hashem when by design He has given us free will which means we have built in doubts so that we can make a choice?
How can we use the free will that Hashem has given us to remove doubts that He has placed there for the purpose of giving us choice?
Hashem is constantly breathing into us our soul and uttering into us our life force, which means forming our body and our circumstances for the day. He breathes into us a holiness that is made in His Image and He designs our physical being and material reality, in which creations His Lovingkindness exists but may be very covered over to our perceptions.
The area of questioning, the area we have doubts that hold us back from complete faith and the joy and integrated awareness of Hashem’s lovingkindness, is the world of adversity that we see and experience because of having a physical body and a material reality.
Material reality stirs the perceptions of the physical body. The physical body is composed by unrectified elements of the earth over which Hashem has given man dominion, through our choice in how to utilize the amazing power of free will.
Now lets go deeper. How did Hashem form a being with a holy neshama that knows at all times that all there is in the world is Hashem who fills all the world with His compassion and tie it to a physical body that is limited, blind to that reality and built to have real free will to follow after our eyes and hearts and believe in our faulty but sensory-experienced perceptions? Our holy soul is fused to our physical reality for the lifespan Hashem sets for us, not one minute more or less. When the time comes for the melech hamavos to take a life, it is said that it is as easy as taking a hair out of milk.
How exactly can we make the proper use of our lives and grow to have complete faith in Hashem?
Our physical body has a brain that is constantly scanning to see if it is safe. If we perceive something dangerous, our survival instincts are triggered and we take an appropriate action.
What Torah teaches us is that our thinking about our safety naturally overlooks that our survival depends on Hashem alone. Yes, we are mortal. Yes we have real ends that have hurdles to navigate in our efforts to stay alive. But to where do we look and trust at every moment for our salvation? Do we understand deeply that Hashem is all loving and all present and thinking up every moment of our lives, and if so, at what percent are we in that faith?
Why does our thinking about our safety naturally overlook Hashem? Why is it “blind” to the Source of all life and Simcha and lovingkindness, why does it not experience Hashem as all loving and all present?
This is how Hashem has given us free will. If we naturally felt the joy of His Presence and were born with complete faith, we would not have the ability to choose to have complete faith and create by our effortful choices our eternal identity and joy.
Thus Hashem builds an unconscious mind that desires not just to be like Hashem but yearns to be Hashem even though it cannot. This is the flaw we learn from the reasoning the nachash (snake) used to tempt Chava to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Chava, who had total awareness of Hashem’s lovingkind presence, overlooked that truth because the nachash told her if she eats she will be a creator like Hashem, forming worlds. The yearning that is within us to be like Hashem is the imperfection to which Adom and Chava could have applied their power to choose to love Hashem (a choice to love Hashem and our ability to do so is a built in way of activating the lovingkindness of Hashem hidden by our physical body yet His Compassion fills it) Who is all love and follow His Will, not to eat, with complete faith. Had they done so (chosen to love Hashem and with that moment of unifying with Hashem’s attribute of lovingkindess, thereby activating the compassion with which Hashem fills our physical existence), the discomfort of overcoming that moment of wanting to be Creators and whatever existential pain they felt would have turned into a tremendous joy and Simcha and unity as the world would have shifted to Utopia and its completion.
Sit with that moment. When we have a certain unfulfilled yearning or an incredible desire to take an action, do we have the complete faith to rely on what Hashem tells us as His Will? Are we aware of Hashem’s love surrounding and filling everything, including every sensation?
How committed are we to doing only what Hashem’s Will according to Torah-true opinions?
What is stopping us?
Often we are trying to preserve something we do not want to lose, attain something we feel we must have for our survival, or maintain an image or position that we believe is who we are. This is our natural thinking and our coping mechanisms and often our educated lifestyles.
Are we willing to consider that when we move forward without first finding out what the Torah has to say about our situation that we might be missing the purpose for which the challenge is there? Again, that challenge is to develop ourselves in complete faith in order to live with the Simcha that Hashem has designed for those that remember to love Him and that He Alone is designing our lives.
We slip over considering bringing faith into the moment like we slip on black ice, in a millisecond. Once we are on the ground, the ground is all we see, and we are trying to get up again.
Our soul has two inborn lacks – we want to be Hashem and can never be, and we want awareness of Hashem’s constant love along with the experience of happiness that we long for and lost when we were thrust to earth after having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We are on the ground and trying to get up.
These two lacks parent the fears and angers that we experience here on the ground.
Let us learn to ask ourselves- is what I am thinking coming from a desire for value or honor or a desire to experience a feeling of love that is lacking?
An honest answer to this quick test can prevent us from following all the thinking that we naturally have. Stop, take a breath, and tell Hashem that we do not want to go further into the dark. Tell Hashem I love You Hashem and am so grateful! I wish to follow a kadosh Design, not a design from the powers of impurity, the koach of tuma. We may not feel this as true at first but we keep breathing and asking, telling Hashem we want only Hashem and to be with Him. Ask Him to please help.
When you feel the calm come over you, take a moment and memorize the before and after. Such experiences increase our faith because we see we have real free will to ask Hashem to bring the part of our holy soul that is stuck in the black ice of our unconscious mind back to the side of serving Him, to the side of kedusha. He moves our soul. We use free will with love for Hashem to sincerely ask. This is what develops faith and emunah.
Now for the circumstances. Hashem is in charge of that too. But from this improved mentality, we are able to take actions with Torah and Hashem’s Will as their root. Hashem will help with that too, way beyond whatever we might otherwise have thought we had to do before.
Love and value are oxygen we can give to others too. Remember, everyone is walking around with these two existential yearnings and slipping on the black ice of their unconscious. When we give others love and value, we momentarily relieve them. All of us though need to relieve ourselves of this struggle by turning to Hashem and finding His Love and realizing that when we connect our lives to His Value we have real love and meaning.
Real happiness comes from understanding where we slip on the black ice and turn immediately to Hashem for rescue so we do not fall. From there, we can walk with Hashem in our hearts. And thank Him for every moment of life, an opportunity to grow in faith and joy.