Monthly Archives: February 2018

Fortieth Day of Gratitude – Closing Program with Devorah Yaffa Singer, Tzipora Harris, and Rabbi Doniel Katz

Please fast forward to the starting point of the program at one hour and twenty minutes …the video before captured the preprogram testing and preparation

 

Please subscribe to the Youtube channel, like this video and if you care to, please share so that we can increase the number of women joining together.

 

 

Concluding Program for the Forty Days of Gratitude

Ladies we are creating a forum to reveal the Unity of our unique missions, and we want as many as possible to connect together for this purpose.

We hope that through this sharing, each of us feels more confident in what we gained. By hearing the sharing of other participants and seeing that place where we each expanded, we hope to make tangible for each participant a confidence to bring us simcha for Purim and help us clean with zeal for Pesach, and to motivate us stretch to the next level as we go toward Shavuous.

The program was meaningful, moving, and empowering. We hope you enjoy it, and, if you do, please help us by subscribing to the Youtube, liking the video, and sharing it.

Today’s livestream webinar is recorded and available at the links below, audio, video or on Youtube.

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youtube link to watch
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We thank all the participants for joining together for these forty days. Stay tuned for the next initiative.

Here are the links to the programs mentioned, in case they are of interest in you
Devorah Yaffa Singer Lights of Emunah www.G-ddirecttorah.com
Tzipora Harris tharris@aish.com
Rabbi Doniel Katz www.elevationprojectglobal.com
Rabbi Aryeh Nivin Belief Notebook (for self-knowledge to help transcend) www.newchabura.com
Rabbi Tzadok Cable www.thebinahtree.com

Creating a forum to reveal the Unity of our unique missions
Jewish Women Unite
www.jewishwomenunite.org
info@jewishwomenunite.org

 

 

Reflections on Parshas Zachor

Yesterday was Parshas Zachor and this coming Thursday is Purim, may we all come to feel the joy and Simcha of the day with clarity.

 

The awareness of Hashem’s omnipotence and lovingkindness is often not apparent.  When we hear of losses of loved ones, of illness, of suffering, of deep poverty and financial strife, and we see the stress and personal pain of those experiencing challenges, how can we feel joy and Simcha?

 

This is an age-old question, and Torah has an age-old answer.

 

The answer is that there is nothing in the world except Hashem, Whose forces blow through us and around us and fill the world.  The challenge is that because we have free will, the forces we experience as our unique selves consider time and space as the playing field of choice.  It is easy to be myopic about the direction we wish for things to go. Obviously we want what is going to feel good and pleasurable in our own eyes, meaning comfort, health, immortality, success and everything that looks pleasurable to the eye.  We may go so far as to feel that others are insensitive to our despair by ignoring or overlooking circumstances they might be helpful with.  With our index finger pointed towards something in the outer external world, four of our fingers are pointing to our bodies!  WE are the focus of our concern.  For this reason, when things don’t go the way we wish and we feel stressed and frustrated, the forces within us get stuck in a traffic jam in our heart and body.  WE thought we could achieve a particular outcome and wanted it and strove for it and Hashem said no. That can leave us with the effort we were making frustrated from reaching the objective, and that leads to despair, UNLESS, we remember something crucial.

 

The crucial thing to remember is that the target of our will in every instance is to connect or re-connect the forces within us to Hashem’s Will and lovingkindness.   When we are willing to consider a totally different approach to the management of our thoughts and emotions, namely that Hashem fills all the world including what is happening in our lives, the stirring of difficult and negative emotions, including tragic turns, can take on a different dimension from despair. 

 

Middos are measurements of characteristics but those characteristics have power and force to do the work of that midda. For example, chesed, kindness, is a midda, a characteristic, but when it is released into the world, it actually has a force of kindness.  Likewise gevurah, strength, has a force within it.  Often, if not aware of Hashem’s constant love and will, gevurah can bring us to anger and/or fear, generally because we think we have control over things we do not.  And so it goes.

 

The world has solid, liquid, gas and radioactive elements.  These elements are physical.  They have characteristics.  And those characteristics have forces within them, strength that comes from Hashem.

 

People are composed of all four of these elements.  The forces within us stem from the body, the blood, air and temperature of our physical existence.  When there is a mixture of body and soul, it is up to us to “purify” ourselves so that the body reveals the soul.   The body receives a soul and is animated by a soul yet the body overrides the desires of the holy soul with the coarseness and imperfections of the body UNLESS we comprehend the purpose of our lifetime.

 

We are at bat with these elements in every challenge.  When we are pointing our fingers outwardly in blame or shame, what is happening with the element of fire?  Are we directing it towards serving the vision that we have from our body’s experience?  Or are we seeing the opportunity to draw light into the element of fire, improving the force of fire that Hashem uses through out the world to keep the earth at a proper temperature, with proper light, with peace?  The task we are being asked to do when we feel anger is to experience the emotion yet remember the intellect’s message to seek out Hashem and bring Him into the moment. He fills all forces.  He is the soul of the world.

 

Bringing Hashem into the moment means that we redefine ourselves and use our free will in a far deeper context than just the surface objectives that appear good to us.  We must shift our context and comprehend the service to which we are being called and embrace it, totally trusting Hashem regarding the real circumstances and their potentially upsetting outcomes. 

 

For example, if someone insults us or does us harm and we learn of something that happens to them midda keneged midda, we might at first feel satisfaction of some sort.  It does not take much to realize that such a reaction is self-oriented and far from what Hashem wants from us, because every Jew is connected and we are never to be glad for another’s suffering for she is us. In fact, we may be having a test to see how Hashem should judge us for something we did that we are not thinking of right now!

 

It is our opportunity to bring from our momentary attraction to that self-oriented place the forces that are within it, such as desire, revenge, honor or restoration of honor/image, the satisfaction of speaking ill of another who harms us.   What elements do we see?  Water, wind, fire….and now what? 

 

We cry out to Hashem that we do not wish to be just lowly creatures seeing our own self interest but instead that what we want is that the force of our self-interest please be re-connected to Him, and that instead of the self-concern, that we rather be able to reveal the deeper truth of Hashem’s compassion and bring that kindness into the dark place in our hearts.  All we want is Hashem in our hearts. 

 

Once emotionally connected, our speech and actions will follow suit, with Hashem’s help, and the force of the midda of kindness can come into the world.  In this way, we unify the physical with a flow of Divine light. 

 

This is the real task for which we are here.  It does not minimize or reverse tragedy or suffering.  However, it brings meaning to our struggles and inner peace to our hearts.

 

The Jewish people have been struggling with bringing into the world a revelation of Hashem’s lovingkindness for thousands of years. May our understanding of the purpose of these struggles and our unyielding yearning to reveal Hashem in this world inspire us in our lives to redirect the forces of despair towards repairing and improving our characteristics.  In so doing, we acknowledge Hashem as the King and our love for serving Him.  He is True.  The rest is up to Him. 

 

May we embrace the primary relationship responsibilities with which we have been blessed with life and may our desire to do so tip the scales so that the lovingkindness of Hashem can be felt.  May there be an end to suffering and pain, to death, to illness, to despair by our choice to serve Him from love. May no amount of suffering break our resolve and trust in Him, rendering useless the attacks of those who wish to weaken our dedication to Hashem by busying us with tragedy – may we not receive any more tests. 

And may the whole world be blessed and redeemed with the coming of a new light.

My insights thus far from the forty days of gratitude campaign

May learning and insights from reading this be dedicated as an aliya for the neshamas of my parents Rota Devorah bat Gavriel Leib and Yisroel ben Shlomo

 

The only Being that gets everything He Wills is Hashem.  When Hashem Wills something, it appears and is all good and all loving and all just. 

 

When people want something, we may or may not receive it.  When we do not, we feel very frustrated.  Our  neurology when we do not get what we want and feel frustrated is called a stress reaction. That is when we say “Thank You.”  Why thank you?

 

Thank you means that we comprehend that we are a connected creation, connected to a Being that has deemed this moment of “no, not really good for you” and its resultant stress, as a needed test.  Immediately upon saying thank you, we have stated our intention to remove obstructions that cover over our feeling of love for Hashem and for our constant yearning to just be with Hashem.

 

Where do the obstructions come from?  Very often when we do not feel Hashem’s surrounding love and are not in touch with our constant yearning to just be with Hashem, our imagination shifts to building on an egoistic self-interest based on how we think we should appear in order to secure our happiness.  Why do we turn towards clinging to an imagination that is self-interested rather than connected to Hashem?  Deep in our unconscious mind, we suffer from the consequences of no longer being in Gan Eden where Hashem and His Love are apparent.  We made a mistake.  We lost consciousness of the Divine love and presence in our life, even though at all times it continues. Instead we develop coping mechanisms based on believing in our autonomous independent existence. listening to our natural survival instincts and experience whispering what powerful steps to take to reach our immediate objective.

 

“Thank you” reminds us that we can arouse in our hearts the same love we had when His Love was apparent, even though in a moment of stress we do not naturally feel that love for Hashem.  Hardly.  Yet that is what “Thank you” can do.  It adds back into our consciousness the real perspective that we need to begin to help us recover from the stress and begin to feel calm and happy again, a true happiness that will help us have inner peace as well as eternal bliss.  Inner peace comes from now regulating our behaviors according to Torah and Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy. Eternal bliss is the experience of connecting to Hashem’s kindness for all eternity knowing that we did so during our lifetime, when we have free will.

 

Hashem, like a good parent, is interested in our success in building eternal life, one of bliss.  He says “no” sometimes so that we remove our false beliefs about where happiness comes from. He says “no” sometimes to help us heal coping mechanisms developed to defend ourselves from labels and judgments put on us when we first experienced “no” as two year olds and wanted our parents’ love and approval.  He says “no” sometimes so that we see how gratification of self-interest, although sensory-pleasurable, dissipates our spiritual potential from connecting to His Kindness that is for eternity to ephemeral accomplishments that do not last.

 

Hashem loves us and does not wish for us to fall into despair.  Saying “thank you” is the rope with which we can pull ourselves out of the grips of despair.  By resetting perspective to Hashem is One, and feeling love for Him, we realize how He has given us real free will to step momentarily out of our healthy or unhealthy egoistic self-interest or broken patterns, bond with our yearning to be with Him, and then return all our spiritual potential to our heart.  In so doing, we “sacrifice” ourselves.  That helps us develop our heart into a vessel that can reveal Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy.  That helps us comprehend what our mind and heart are built to do for us, for the world and for our eternity.

 

The obstructions over our consciousness of Hashem’s love for us and our yearning for Hashem are filled with forces that stem from the same forces that maintain the elements of the world, earth wind water and fire.  Ultimately, by affecting the forces within through saying “thank you”, there is a positive influence that also comes into the world, affecting the elements of the world itself.  We serve Hashem in our moments of stress, overcoming the forces of nature, out of love and yearning for Hashem, and bring inner peace as well as create positive influence throughout the creation.

 

The more we understand our uniqueness and what tempts us towards self-interest, the more we can step up to the plate and say “thank you” and really use our free will as we are created to do.

 

Rabbi Nivin (www.newchabura.com) has a belief notebook chabura where we write down our beliefs, see how they are false, write down the true belief, and re-orient our minds more quickly.  This is the work we are here to do, temporarily for 120 years, to take the spiritual potential given to us and turn it into eternal life.

 

“Thank you” is a breath we can take to help us in every moment of stress and frustration.  We lift ourselves from the grips of despair to a place of connection to Hashem where we perceive our mortal existence in proper perspective and purpose.

 

May we grow in wanting only Hashem in our hearts.  May our efforts bring a new light to the world.

 

A possible explanation why we fall into the temptations of the yetzer hara

The only Being that gets everything He Wills is Hashem.  When Hashem Wills something, it appears and is all good and all loving and all just.

 

When people want something, we may or may not receive it.  When we do not, we feel very frustrated.

 

Because we do not naturally experience the delight of Hashem’s constant presence, there is an opening for unconscious mind to latch on to the constant whispers of the yetzer hara…you are unlovable, you are of no value.  Why these two whispers?  The yetzer hara has a grain of truth to springboard our imagination.  Those grains of truth are that we no longer are in Gan Eden where Hashem’s total lovingkindness is apparent. That consciousness of His Love and Mercy is not naturally part of our consciousness.  Thus, it is true that we feel a lack of that awareness, a lack of His Loving Presence in our lives and heart.   The second grain of truth is that only Hashem can be as compassionate and powerful as He.  We are not able to provide for all who we wish to provide for, and, as we said, when we will something it does not simply appear.

Hashem says let there be light and there is light.  Hashem says let there be a firmament and there is a firmament.  Etc.  His Value and Kavod are eternal…His Kindness is for eternity..ki liolam hasdo.  Thus, the grain of truth from which the yetzer hara can test us is on these two true lackings, which exist in our unconscious but which, by building emunah and bitachon, we can restore to consciousness as love and awe of Hashem.

 

When we build this consciousness, this G-dconsciousness, we repair something in the world through overcoming our human nature AND, as a result, our effort connects our soul to Hashem for all eternity with the joy of having remembered while alive that He is All Loving and All Powerful and that we are here as His Creations to use our lifetime to form eternal life.

 

Otherwise left to natural thinking and imagination that builds on the whispers of the yetzer hara, our survival instincts get triggered.  We have a stress reaction when what we want is frustrated and we hear the yetzer hara whispering that we are unloved or unvalued, we feel aggressive.  We want to say or do hurtful things to “defend” ourselves.

 

This is human nature.  It is the way we are born.  It is the way we have real free will.

 

As parents and grandparents, we see how children immediately want what another child has, the exact same thing at the exact same time.  The job of good parents is to help children regulate their frustrations with sharing and to be able to restore their bodies to a stress free level.    One way to teach children this is to set the limits yet help them understand their frustration is normal and that we said no but we also want their bodies to feel better.  We can offer to play a tug of war or tag or take them outside, or sing, and then check with them to see if their bodies feel happy again.  In this way, we can teach the limit, which surely generates frustration, accept their reaction with understanding and help them move the natural stress reaction of frustration through their body so that they feel better.  Such teaching for a child helps them to manage their frustrations and stresses for life without believing that they are unloved or unvalued.

 

So what about those of us who did not receive such unconditional love, meaning that our feelings were handled with judgment, ridicule, shame or blame rather than with acceptance that would have helped us learn to regulate our behavior on our own because we would have felt truly loved and understood?

 

The good news is, it is not too late.  The brain is amazing.  We can teach this to ourselves through visualizations, hisbodidus, crying out to Hashem. Hashem is waiting for us to tell Him how we feel.  He does love our feeling unconditionally and wants to accept our feelings, knowing that is the path we need to go to then regulate our behavior to Torah and His 13 Attributes of Mercy. The main thing is to accept that we have egos that are hooked into the whispers of the yetzer hara and that when we spot the root as feeling a lack of love or lack of value, the yetzer hara’s fingerprint has been exposed. THIS is the investigation we need to pursue in hisbodidus…what is the thought chain that is rooted in feeling a lack of love or value.

 

We know the grain of truth, but from the pits of that feeling of natural despair which is the trademark goal of the yetzer hara, we can now push forward to the truth, which is that we are a small beloved creation of Hashem and really nothing of substance other than our consciousness to realize that He and His Love are with us and that we just want Him in our hearts and revealed in the world.  We want to do His Will and reveal Him.  Why?  He is One.  He is all there really is, in many different forms.  We want our heart to be a mishkan that holds Hashem.  We want our heart to be a vessel that comprehends the spiritual work our lifetime is for.

 

What is keeping us from really feeling that all we want is Hashem?

 

Those are the obstacles that need investigation.

 

May we work in Adar to find a way to turn those obstacles around and be joyful in saying we just want You Hashem!  Hashem Echad!

 

Despair is intended for us to break through the illusions of self-interest to reach true reality

Dedicated to the elevation of the souls that lost their lives in the unforgivable Florida high school shooting and for somehow for Hashem to find a way comfort the tragic and horrific loss of life that has resulted, may we see a new light in the world soon and no more death or sadness.

Despair is intended for us to break through the illusions of self-interest and re-connect the strength of the despair, a spiritual energy that is part of our soul and trapped in the despair, to the true reality.  We do this with wisdom from the Torah, emunah and bitachon  that help us break through the  the self-interested illusions generating the despair, despair built on false beliefs that we are lacking in love and lacking value.

We cry out to Hashem to heal the place in our heart that is feeling the strength of  overwhelming pain and hurt and ask from wisdom and out of love for Hashem that He should help us become purified. We ask that this thought chain generating pain from our heart become instead a place that holds only Hashem.  He who comes to be purified will be helped.  Through such loving submission we reach the perspective of ourselves that Hashem desires. Our ego – as normal and healthy as it may be – is the obstruction blocking His Mercy from being perceived, our ego that thinks naturally about our self-interests, may we see a new light so that no one ever need to undergo a test of loss as tragic as we have been seeing.

It is His Will that we are here to reflect Hashem into the world over our natural instincts of survival and natural urges.

By investigating our thinking and finding where our pain is rooted in feeling a lack of love or a lack of value, we can spot the false beliefs and realize the yetzer hara has lured us with natural self-interest and survival instincts into the dark.  In that moment, with wisdom of the Torah and comprehending consciousness and free will, we beseech Hashem with sincerity that all we want is Hashem.  In that moment, we move past the constraints of the images of the yetzer hara that naturally lock us into ego and self interest and instead come to see that we are something far more than that lowly egoism, that we have made it to “nothing”, meaning that we see our mortality, our flesh, as creations who can reach eternal life by choosing connection over an egoistic  sense of complete autonomous independent existence and finding our actualization in connecting to Hashem. This turn around IS our full actualization for this world and builds eternal identity.

Here a description of someone who tragically lost his family in a fire, Rabbi Gavriel Sassoon.  He talks about this dissolving of despair and finding the reality of the world.

 

Reflections on increasing simcha in Adar – 5778

Reflections on increasing simcha in Adar – 5778

Torah teaches us that everything is an emanation of Hashem coming from the sefiros through to this physical world. When we accept that Hashem’s love is surrounding us and filling us even though we do not perceive it, and when we accept that value means lasting value, which is Hashem Who is eternal, we have real tools to help us in moments of fear, anger, sadness, pain, and loss.

 

How?

 

When we are in the throws of fear, anxiety, anger, depression, loss, jealousy, or anything that is causing us to feel disconnected, how does it help to accept that Hashem is all loving and that He is the real value to which we desire to connect?

 

It seems to us from our circumstances and our logical mind that there are many confusing pieces to the situation and many of them may be totally out of our hands, and it may even be life-threatening or heaven forbid fatal.  How do our survival instincts and all the rational thinking that our experiences tell us could be powerful in producing the desired results EVER come instead to realize that Hashem is surrounding us with love in this very moment and that all we want is to reveal Hashem?

 

The primary battle of our lives is for what inclination will run our hearts, generating our speech and deeds.  Will it be our life coach yetzer hara, who is evil through and through and desires to dominate our heart so he can accuse us in the heavenly courts as the Satan and then as the Angel of Death, take our lives chas vshalom for sinning?  This is the natural progression of our self-intersted thinking if we do not wake up to something else.  We want something, we are frustrated, that stress tempts us to be aggressive and chas vshalom commit an aveira out of self interest.

 

Or will we wake up to what Torah tells us, that there is Hashem, and not to serve any idols, and that He is One, although he appears as many different forces.  Intellectually we submit to the truth of His Oneness, but how do we get that into our hearts, into our emotions? All there is in the world is Hashem although He is Elokim, manifesting in many myriads of forces and creations, including us!  He is animating our body and circumstances as well as giving us the breath of life.  How do we get our self-interest out of the way so that our hearts willingly and lovingly choose His Lovingkindness to shine into the world through our speech and deeds?

 

Let’s talk about our hearts.

 

How many of us have felt things as if they are happening and know that it is not happening enough to not react?  How many of us understand that if we feel something hurtful, what is hurtful is our interpretation? Do we realize that a thought pattern has been triggered in our mind that has something false obstructing the sefiros that comprise our higher soul?  The obstruction is in our heart’s memory, having had an experience and developed a bad habit or coping mechanism.  How many of us realize that it is a kindness from Hashem that the thought pattern has been triggered because part of our soul, the sefiros that Hashem creates our lives with, has been captivated unwillingly and animating false beliefs and “idols” within our hearts and is yearning to be healed and reconnected to Hashem?  What if we have been “this way” for our whole lives? Do we realize that the very thought itself that is causing us pain is vitality and strength that desires connection to Hashem?  The purpose of the yetzer hara is for us to pass the test so its vitality and strength do not dissipate into nothingness, despite the yetzer hara’s truly evil intent to destroy us.

 

Our unconscious is aware of two basic true lackings.  We are lacking awareness of Hashem’s surrounding and ever-present love.  We are lacking in the capacity to be as compassionate as Hashem, because He is Hashem and we are only creations made in His Image, capable of emulating Him but never being able to be Hashem.  We are lacking the love we need, and we are lacking the value that comes from being contributory to the world community as Hashem is, compassionate, merciful, patient, true – the thirteen attributes we cry out all of Elul.  Our unconscious knows these two shortcomings – the lack of love and value – are true but it does not relate where those emotions come from back to Hashem.  Instead, we project the apparent cause of these lacks onto the people and circumstances around us, falling into despair, frustration and aggression and possibly sin.

 

Despair is the handiwork of the yetzer hara, of its evil intent to destroy us with its tests.  When we know for certain that all there is in the world is Hashem and His Love is constantly with us by virtue of us being alive and in the physical world and that He is Value because He exists eternally, we can pass our test.  Our test is to comprehend deeply these truths, turn in relationship to Hashem Who is before us at all times, and tell Him that we do not want our hearts to bind our soul to the images of the yetzer hara that are bringing us to despair and tempting us towards aggressions that may be sins. Rather we only want Hashem. All we want is Hashem, to reveal His Compassion and, in so doing, to be connected to eternal value, to His Value, by choosing to see ourselves as small and beloved creations that are not autonomous and independent but rather as creations here to cry out in prayer to Him.  Hashem is the source of all love, care and protection – no other! That is the effort we are here for.  To call out the despair with love in our hearts because our emunah tells us that He is all love and we wish to cling only to His Truth, His Value, His Protection.  All we want is Hashem and we ask that what obstructs Him from being present in the world be made translucent within us, that the place in our hearts that feels despair and is obviously blocking a revelation of His Lovingkindness and Value be filled instead with a revelation of His Lovingkindness and Value.  How?  By our removing our emphasis on our self-interested ego and natural survival instincts in favor of emphasis on prayer, Torah learning, mitzvahs and emulating Hashem’s 13 attributes and emunah and bitachon.  THIS is value because we use free will to attach to Hashem Who has lasting value.

 

Once we accept as true that our unconscious knows our lacks – lacking awareness of Hashem’s love and lacking the ability to be Hashem – and once we accept that the yetzer hara is empowered by Hashem  to test us – to produce false imagery for our imagination and survival instincts to build one thing from another from these two lacks, we have the knowledge and wisdom to field our impulses and negative reactions.   We understand how it is possible to feel something is true when it is false – the yetzer hara has created an image that has triggered our neurology and so it feels real, but it has a faulty basis.  The falseness is hidden from our conscious mind – it is the investigation into the subconscious and unconscious and the wisdom from Torah that we need to raise our conscious mind to the false imagery of the yetzer hara.

 

Is what we feel rooted in lack of love or lack of value?  If so, the yetzer hara has been exposed!  Why?  Because we are NOT lacking in love, we are only lacking in sensing the love that is there.  And we are not lacking in value, we are only lacking in the ability to be Hashem Himself, not in the ability to connect to Hashem by emulating Him and doing His Will.  THE IMAGES OF THE YETZER HARA THAT BOTHER US ARE NEVER TRUE.

 

With that in hand, we can investigate our reactions.  Negative beliefs fall into one or the other or a combination of lacks in love or value.

And once we see it is a test, do we despair?  Or do we now pray to Hashem, call out in relationship, Hashem I see where the trap is and I do not want this in my heart anymore. I only want You.  From this part of my thinking, I wish to reveal You.  Please help.

 

And that is what we are here to do.  When we do this, we remove the obstructions that conceal the sefiros – we make our hearts a vessel for Hashem – and our speech and deeds bring more light into the world.

 

May we all use free will to just want Hashem and may the joy we experience in Adar grow and grow so much from the clarity we can achieve and the inner peace that we can feel that we soon see a new light in the world.

 

ADDENDUM

From Kol Toda for Adar THE BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE

Purim is drawing near when we read the Megilla. As the story of the Megilla unfolds, things look bleak for the Jewish nation Haman, the villain, plots to annihilate them, and the king, Ahashverous, does his bidding. The tables start turning when the king asks for his “Book of Remembrance” to be read before him. This was a book in which people who had done favors to the monarchy were recorded. This was a turning point in the Megilla, and it has practical ramifications – the reader, when reading the Megilla, is required to raise his voice at this point. It is the point where the miracle begins to unfold What is the significance of this “Book of Remembrance” instigating the salvation? What is the secret of Haman’s great power? The Gemara in Chullin (139b) asks: “Where is Haman alluded to in the Torah? In the verse ‘Have you eaten from the tree’ [Heb: “Hamin Ha’etz” – “Hamin” same letters as “Haman”].” This apparently hints to the fact that Haman was hung on a tree. But it is really deeper than that. Haman symbolizes the Evil Inclination, the Yetzer Hara, whose root is in the primordial Serpent, as the Maharsha tells us – the root of Haman is from Eisav and Amalek who draw their power form the primordial Serpent. Who is Haman? Haman is a loyal son of a nation that is characterized by ingratitude. Chazal in Mechilta Beshalach tell us: “Amalek, a nation of ingrates, brings retribution on a nation lacking in gratitude.” Haman had everything he could want – sons, wealth and honor. He had it all, but it was all valueless in his eyes, he didn’t even see it. Why? Because one man didn’t bow down to him. His very name alludes to this – he is Haman, he wants hamon – lots and lots, and nothing is ever enough for him. Where is the root for this unquenchable thirst and bottomless pit of desire? From the Tree. Adam and Eve had every single tree in the Garden of Eden. One tree was all they could not eat from, and it was from it that they ate. The serpent caused them to doubt G-d’s benevolence and convinced them to eat from the tree by narrowing their vision to focus exclusively on the one thing that was prohibited to them. All they saw was what they didn’t have. The Evil Inclination to this day, employs precisely the same tactic. He narrows our vision and works hard, to pull a shade over our eyes so we don’t see the incredible gifts and countless blessings that fill our lives.

This is the root of Amalek. The power of closing our eyes to the good that we receive and surrounds us has the potential to seriously impair the course of history and the fulfillment of the plan of creation. It is what caused the first Sin (as we are told in Mishnat Rabbi Eliezer chapter 7), caused the Spies to slander the Holy Land, caused people to see the negative in each other in the Second Temple, leading to its ultimate destruction and our current long bitter exile. It is the very root of all pain and trouble as we are told in the Torah (Devarim 28, 47) “For you didn’t worship G-d your Lord with joy and goodness of heart from abundance of all.” Our mission and destiny in the world is to correct this primordial Sin, and erase the root of Amalek. When we work hard to keep our eyes open, to remember and see G-d’s goodness and focus on the blessings that fill our lives, we are rectifying that sin, and bringing the world to its ultimate objective. Therefore it is most appropriate that at the very moment that Ahashverous opens his “Book of Remembrance” and starts reading the favors people did to him in order to demonstrate his gratitude to them, that is the moment that marks the beginning of Haman’s downfall. Similarly, when one is in need of salvation, the most propitious way of achieving it is to “open our ‘Book of Remembrance'” and recall all of Hashem’s kindnesses past and present. This is the master-key that opens the Heavenly gates of salvation. Remembering G-d’s favors to us is not only a Biblical commandment (see Sharei Teshuva 3:17), it is also a great eye-opener – it helps us become aware of G-d’s magnanimous generosity, His supreme love, and to realize the extent of His amazingly considerate providence. Man is like a vessel filled with blessing that rains down on him from above. A vessel, can only be filled if it is intact. When the vessel is riddled with holes, holes of ingratitude and displeasure, no measure of blessing can fill the vessel – it will always be lacking. But someone who focuses on Hashem’s kindnesses is filled with gratitude and love of Hashem. His Vessel is filled and overflows – “You anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows!”(Tehillim 23:5).

 

ADDENDUM 2

Dedicated to the elevation of the souls that lost their lives in the unforgivable Florida high school shooting and for somehow for Hashem to find a way comfort the tragic and horrific loss of life that has resulted, may we see a new light in the world soon and no more death or sadness.

Despair is intended for us to break through the illusions of self-interest and re-connect the strength of the despair, a spiritual energy that is part of our soul and trapped in the despair, to the true reality.  We do this with wisdom from the Torah, emunah and bitachon  that help us break through the  the self-interested illusions generating the despair, despair built on false beliefs that we are lacking in love and lacking value.

We cry out to Hashem to heal the place in our heart that is feeling the strength of  overwhelming pain and hurt and ask from wisdom and out of love for Hashem that He should help us become purified. We ask that this thought chain generating pain from our heart become instead a place that holds only Hashem.  He who comes to be purified will be helped.  Through such loving submission we reach the perspective of ourselves that Hashem desires. Our ego – as normal and healthy as it may be – is the obstruction blocking His Mercy from being perceived, our ego that thinks naturally about our self-interests, may we see a new light so that no one ever need to undergo a test of loss as tragic as we have been seeing.

It is His Will that we are here to reflect Hashem into the world over our natural instincts of survival and natural urges.

By investigating our thinking and finding where our pain is rooted in feeling a lack of love or a lack of value, we can spot the false beliefs and realize the yetzer hara has lured us with natural self-interest and survival instincts into the dark.  In that moment, with wisdom of the Torah and comprehending consciousness and free will, we beseech Hashem with sincerity that all we want is Hashem.  In that moment, we move past the constraints of the images of the yetzer hara that naturally lock us into ego and self interest and instead come to see that we are something far more than that lowly egoism, that we have made it to “nothing”, meaning that we see our mortality, our flesh, as creations who can reach eternal life by choosing connection over an egoistic  sense of complete autonomous independent existence and finding our actualization in connecting to Hashem. This turn around IS our full actualization for this world and builds eternal identity.

Here a description of someone who tragically lost his family in a fire, Rabbi Gavriel Sassoon.  He talks about this dissolving of despair and finding the reality of the world.

 

 

A vitalizing shiur and workshop for those who do hisbodidus or are interested in coming closer to Hashem.

Please listen to this introductory shiur given by Devorah Yaffa Singer regarding Tu B’Shevat (For more information About Devorah Yaffa, click here.) on the connection between the month of Sh’vat and Emunah. It is a vital shiur for those who do hisbodidus or are interested in coming closer to Hashem.

If interested in Light of Emunah workshop, use this link to register – click here.

For testimonials, click here.

This recording was given courtesy of www.G-ddirectTorah.com and to check it out Rosh Chodesh for more awesome “G-d direct” Torah connecting to Hashem through the month of Adar.

tubshevat sources

download:https://www.dropbox.com/s/u27g0se1z0guf06/aish%20tubshevat.mp3?dl=0

About the Lights of Emunah Workshop

This workshop is designed to help us access the greatest pleasure available to humanity: namely, the pleasure of a deep, personal, and tangible relationship with our Creator. As the Ramchal states in the Path of the Just: “Man was created for the sole purpose of rejoicing in G-d and deriving pleasure from the splendor of His presence; for this is true joy and the greatest pleasure that can be found.” (Path of the Just, ch.1).

If Hashem’s purpose in creating the world, and specifically in creating mankind, is to bestow upon us this pleasure, then it must be that this pleasure is indeed accessible. Our purpose then is to learn how to receive this pleasure, in particular how to make ourselves into vessels that are strong and capable of receiving all the pleasure that Hashem wishes to shower upon us. If our lives are not what we want them to be, the block is not in Hashem’s ability to give, but in our ability to receive. The key to opening ourselves to this abundance of blessing is to learn how to clear the blocks which we place in the path of this Divine flow.

The biggest block to receiving is our general state of being more or less unconscious of Hashem’s all-pervasive presence. We know Hashem exists, but how much do we really feel His presence and live with His Reality on a moment-to-moment basis? In this workshop we will learn practical tools and work on strengthening this awareness, and as a result deepen our Emunah.

How do we do this? One way is by learning how to pop the illusions that bombard us and keep us disconnected from Hashem and our true selves. We will use guided meditation and other tools in order to help us get more in touch with ourselves, learning to hear the voice of our neshama, which is often crying out for attention and a safe space to reveal itself. Once we learn to quiet our minds, clearing away the static, we can tap into much of the richness, beauty, and positive Divine resources hidden away inside.

Bottom line is that every moment carries within it the potential to help us draw closer to Hashem. Every scene is carefully scripted by the Director and offers us access to spiritual greatness. The tools we will be exploring, all of which were given to Adam and Chava at their birth in Breishit, serve one purpose: namely, to drill into us the conscious awareness that Hashem is right here, right now.

To the extent that we are true to this reality and live within this consciousness is the extent to which we can make the right choice in any given moment, no matter how seemingly mundane the situation.

In reality, the only thing we control is how open and aware we are of Hashem’s all-encompassing, loving presence at every moment in everything that we do. If we can tune into that feeling of light and love, not just intellectually, but get it into our consciousness on a deep emotional level, then we can handle any challenge and clear any block.

Ultimately, we will receive the greatest gift of all – a real and personal relationship with Hashem. And, the more tangible that relationship is the more open we are to receive and the more Hashem is able to give. And that gives Hashem the greatest nachas because after all, that is why we are here and that is why He began this whole enterprise in the first place!