The altar of our heart – bringing repair and hence light to the world – peel, heal, reveal

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A starter set of articles on ratzon, on will, from www.bilvavli.net

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  1. Bilvavi Part 4 – Chapter 15 Opening Your Ratzon

    1874 reads Ratzon Is A Constant Power Ratzon has the same gematria (numerical value) as the word mekor , … shows that the source of all personal development is our ratzon . Hashem created a person in a way that that there is always some …

  2. Bilvavi Part 4 – Chapter 21 Nullifying Evil Desires

    … on our desire for it even more. The more a person’s ratzon has in it ohr yoshor – in other words, the more he wants to do … increased, and his very actions will then strengthen his ratzon for it even more. It is not enough to develop our ratzon

  3. Bilvavi Part 4 – Chapter 14 Revealing Your Ratzon

    … – “It is our will to do Your will.” Our soul has a ratzon \will for closeness to Hashem, to be attached to Hashem and to give a … retzonos ” (desires) in our heart which are not a true ratzon to get close to Hashem are just called “ retzonos ” as a …

  4. Rosh HaShanah – 024 Changing Our Will | Part 2 of 3

    … The first part in changing our heart is to change our ratzon (will). Elul is called “ Days of Ratzon” , days of will. Rosh HaShanah is the head of all changes, thus, the …

  5. Bilvavi Part 4 – Chapter 19 Revealing the True Ratzon

    1719 reads An Intense Ratzon: “Their Hearts Cried Out To Hashem” The aspiration of every … out to Hashem.” We need to have a strong, burning ratzon inside us so much until we get to a point in which our heart’s …

  6. Fixing Your Fire – 001 Anger | Despair Caused By Anger

    … well as an inner reason. The stronger a person has a ratzon (will) for something, the stronger his anger will be when his will is opposed. The weaker a person’s ratzon was, the less anger he will experience when this ratzon is unmet. …

  7. Getting to Know Your Inner World – 008 Detaching From Ta’anug and Ratzon, Part 2

    … of how to wear and remove your soul faculties. Using Ratzon To Remove Emunah The highest soul faculty (after your very … bechirah ) in a person, which stems from the faculty of ratzon (will). If so, ratzon is the opposing force to emunah . So when …

  8. Getting to Know Your Inner World – 009 Detaching from Chochma, Bina & Da’as, Part 3

    … soul. Summary of Detaching from Emunah, Taanug and Ratzon The first soul faculty we discussed was emunah . Emunah is generally removed through using ratzon . The second faculty, ta’anug (pleasure) is removed through …

  9. Fixing Your Earth – 009 Solutions for Sadness Caused By Wind-of-Earth

    … from earth within wind-of-earth. This happens when the ratzon (will) of a person is not met. When a person has a ratzon (will) for something, when he “wanted” to “want” – but he …

  10. Bilvavi Part 4 – Chapter 20 Actualizing Ratzon

    … Thought As we have already clarified, the power of ratzon is like the other of our soul forces: it has an outer layer and inner layer. The outer layer of our ratzon is to desire superficial things, while the inner layer of our ratzon

    ……The innermost point of all that we have been describing is to work together with Hashem! We must keep repeating this point, because it is the most truthful point from anything we have said here.

    In other words, we need to talk to Hashem about everything we have learned here. Talk to Hashem about any minute detail here – one can say the following:

    “Ribono shel olam, You gave me an inner ratzon to do Your ratzon. You also gave me external desires which seek to do the opposite of Your ratzon. I know that my external desires are getting in the way of my inner ratzon. I am trying to hold back from those desires and instead reveal my inner ratzon to serve You. Please, help me succeed!”

    Without doing this, a person ignores the most basic point. It’s possible that a person, all his life, is only involved in a life of Avodas Hashem, and he does wonderful things – yet he’s just “serving” Hashem, and Hashem isn’t even on his agenda at all, rachmana litzlon (May G-d have mercy upon him!)

    This might sound very strange, but it’s true, and it’s one of the biggest mistakes people make when they seek to improve in their service toward the Creator: it is possible that a person is serving the Creator his whole life, yet he has no connection with the Creator…he might be a “servant” of Hashem, but he lacks an actual bond with Him.

    First Develop Your Individual Strengths, Then Unify Them All Together

    To summarize our avodah: First, we need to think about these matters, and then we need to talk about it with Hashem (and still think into it as we daven to Him).

    After some time, we can begin to actually change our actions; but we still have to think as we do those actions of change. Our whole psyche must be involved in what we do – action, speech, and thought. As we said, this is a step-by-step process, and we cannot improve our actions, speech and thoughts at once. We first need to change our thoughts, then our speech, and then our actions. We must go in these steps, or else we will not succeed.

    This is actually the general introduction to our entire inner world.

    What do we mean?

    The abilities in our soul[1] each stand on their own, but they are all part of one conglomerate. Our avodah is to build our soul – first by building each faculty in our soul separately, and then, to combine them together. Without combing our soul abilities together, we remain with a bunch of scattered parts of our soul.

    There is also an opposite problem, in which a person only seeks to combine the parts of his soul together, but he never developed his individual strengths to begin with. He will lack a properly developed soul if he works like this.

    We want our soul abilities to come together as a proper mixture, not as a mess thrown together. We can compare this to mixing different foods together – one way is a random mix which will lead to a horribly tasting food, while another kind of mix is planned out with an order, resulting in a delicacy.

    So first, we have to recognize what each ability in our soul is, one by one. As you learn about each ability, focus just on that ability, and don’t try to see how it connects to another ability in the soul; then you’re mixing it up too much, because it will just confuse things.

    We can give a simple example that explains this. Two of our middos are atzlus (laziness) and kavod (honor-seeking). Laziness comes from our element of earth, and honor comes from our element of fire. First, a person needs to know what laziness is and what honor is. Then, he should see how they can oppose each other, and then he needs to see how they can work together. But they must be seen as two separate abilities.

    As an example, many people want to begin improving themselves immediately by trying to avoid honor. (Anyone with an able thinking mind realizes that seeking honor is a bad thing, and if someone doesn’t feel that way, his feelings are deadened.) But it’s a mistake to begin by trying to avoid honor. First, one has to know what the concept of honor is! After knowing what something is, only then can we either build upon it or break it down.

    A person should think: Do I want honor or not? If I do want honor – what kind of honor am I seeking? What does it give me, and what do I feel from getting honor? What are the things that give me honor?

    A person is apt to think that he doesn’t need to think about this, because he already understands that honor-seeking is a negative trait. But if that is his attitude, then he doesn’t even understand what the concept of honor is.

    There are actually three reasons why a person should know what honor is:

    1. In order to honor others, we need to know what honor is.

    2. In order to break the desire for honor, we need to know how to fight it, so if we don’t know what honor is, we won’t know how to fight it.

    3. The neshamah (soul) is called kavod\honor.

    We have only given one example of the idea, but the inner point is one and the same: we have to recognize what every middah is. It is simple that we have to know what the good middos are, but even bad middos we need to recognize.

    This is always the rule, and it doesn’t change – whether we are trying to develop a positive ability in our soul, or whether we are trying to break a negative ability in our soul. The avodah is always one and the same: we must know the structure of each ability.

    The same goes for the middah of ratzon: we need to build our ratzon as a proper structure. First, we must develop our inner ratzon, mentally, by thinking and reflecting about it. Then, we need to verbalize it, and then we need to actualize it in our life. But we have to go in that order, and we cannot work on all three areas at once.

    May Hashem help us stabilize our service to Him and give ourselves structure in how we serve Him, and then we can receive Heavenly assistance to change how we act; and may we merit to always be close to Him throughout our life as a result.



    [1] There are thirteen basic faculties of the soul, and this is explained in Getting To Know Your Soul of the author. Ratzon is the fourth highest faculty of the soul.

     

    Images to print and read  from Apples from the Orchard, from the writings of Chaim Vital on the Arizal regarding unifying Hashem’s Name

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