Rabbi Tzadok Cable in his weekly Ale Shur class through www.thebinahtree.com discussed yesod week….listen here…
and in the questions and answers he mentioned Chanina Ben Dosa as a tzaddik on a level closer than a servant, more like a son.
There is a story about Rabbi Chanina and a poisonous snake. There was a very dangerous snake in a hole that was biting people and the town was not able to rid itself of it. Rabbi Chanina put his heel in the hole, the snake bit him, he extracted it and then the snake was able to be killed. Rabbi Chanina was unaffected. He said snakes do not kill, aveiras kill. The commentators say “Woe to the snake that meets Rabbi Chanina.”
Today, yesod shebe yesod, brings further understanding of Rabbi Cable’s shiur while remembering this story.
Rabbi Cable with amazing articulation describes how our egocentric concerns and survival instincts generate within us actions that often might lead to sins, rendering damages that we justify from our self-centered viewpoint.
Reflect for a moment…what if we truly understand that with each action toward “self-defense” that does not have Hashem in the picture we are trapping part of our soul within a constricted and limited cover that then “nurtures” the strength of negativity within us and actually helps the forces of constriction remain strong? We feel a cringe. It might feel like a punch in the stomach or a gut-felt biting attack. What are we feeling?
The snake does not kill. It is aveiras that kill. The presenting incident is not the matter. It is the power of our own soul involved with thinking without Hashem in the picture that is causing us pain. We are feeling our own soul locked up in habits and history based on false beliefs that we mistakenly believe is “who we are,” as if we are a manifestation of whatever our unconscious reactions generates as stress within us. we scan the world trying to stay safe from what we fear….when the only thing to fear is Hashem.
In the shiur, Rabbi Cable describes step by step how to bridge heaven and earth, to build a foundation from which we can truly serve Hashem. Listen carefully to the shiur above. It is beautifully said and no one I have ever heard said it with better images and detail.
As I attempt to integrate it into my thinking, in the moment of recognition of an unrectified, earthly natural response – a constricted negative feeling, – we can choose to immediately ask Hashem to please help us peel the constricting influences trapping our soul.
We can choose to yearn to feel what would happen if, in that very constricted place where we are not aware of Hashem’s constant love and Kingship/unity, we WOULD feel that deep love, conquering self-concern by effacing it into a window through which Hashem’s lovingkindness and kingship can be revealed in our heartfelt speech and deeds.
The force of the feelings when constricted is really a cry to do teshuva on our mistaken self-absorbed actions, deeds and speech coming out of self-conscious defensive conduct that contains errors and aveiras, as understandable and natural as that is. It may have been the result of broken ways of getting dependency needs met. It may be aggressiveness to make sure our goals are “secured”. The main point to comprehend is that without necessarily meaning to, we store away a part of our soul relying on constricted and limited steps that come back to “bite us.”
We are at all times able to do teshuva. Freeing our soul from the constriction permits the error to fall away and allows our soul to unify and our hearts to heal. We can deal with a non-charged circumstance. We have to do teshuva and bring Hashem into the picture first.
Peel back the constricted limitation because we want to bring Hashem’s love and value into the picture where we are presently not feeling Him. Submission
Heal our hearts by feeling His Love and intentionally trusting that He is all good and present, and imagine the volume of what is experienced as pain being swooped into a loving healing Force that now is ready to rush back into our hearts in an all positive way that we anticipate experiencing without actually knowing what it will feel like, but trusting the process. Separation.
Reveal Hashem’ Love and Kingship in our speech and deeds, so that His Force enters through our hearts. Sweetening.
May we see how to transform our lives when we feel darkness so that we perform the function of foundation and are revealers of Hashem’s love and kingship over our natural reactions.