From Rosh Hashana siddur Foundations of Repentance, a prayer and a process for building emunah

The above prayer is in the Rosh Hashana siddur published by Artscroll.  The pathway reflects how we take our life, our breath – respiration – and turn it into something that repairs, something to help us complete what we are here to complete – reparation.

Respiration to reparation.   The “I” is changed to an “a” – Adoshem – and the “s”, the sssssssss, is dropped.  We can move from our animalistic tendencies and our lower brain reptilian reactions to become more like Hashem’s merciful characteristics through prayerful speech, where we choose to reveal His compassion on the basis of being tzelem elokim, made in His Image. Our  primary purpose is to restore olam haba consciousness to our hearts. The task is to use free will and speech to rectify our confusion and pain. The confusion and pain is caused by thoughts generated from corrupted spiritual energy mixed in that cause us to seek something from the material and physical world to relieve that pain

We have to stop the lashon hara in our unconscious. Too often what we think comes out of our mouths. 

We  are made in His Image. With Torah that tells us this, with Torah that gives us the six constant mitzvahs that include love Hashem amd awe of Hashem, with Torah that tells us the tool of the yetzer hara is deceit and falsehoods, the underlying axiomatic paradigm of our suffering can be understood and free will applied so that we feel Hashem’s love and mercy and thereby serve Him and reveal His Compassion.

How do we stop the lashon hara at its root? 

We need tools to identify that what we are thinking is coming from the zuhama, the poison of the snake, that is now in a battle with our tzelem elokim for our holiness.  The situation is that we naturally listen to its coaching as if it is our best and highest wisdom.  It captures our intelligence and we build layer upon layer of falsehoods upon a false initial message.  What is that false initial message? 

1. It tells us that our survival depends on listening to it.  That is not true.  Our survival depends on Hashem. 

2. It will tell us that we can’t rely on wishful thinking, that we have to act.  This is not true.  We can ONLY rely on prayerful beseeching to Hashem because both the cause and the outcome are up to Him alone.

It tells us a third type of lie too. 

It is telling us motzei shemra, lashon hara or sheker about ourselves, others, or life.  For example if we judge someone poorly, it is speaking to us either lashon hara or motzei shemra about that person and we are listening to rechilus.  If it is telling us we are bad, that is sheker because we are made in Hashem’s Image, tzelem elokim  We have to listen and make an effort to spot the lashon hara!

Our role is to take steps to unify Hashem’s Name and to use free will and speech as He intends for us to use them.  How?

In order to do so, we need tremendous emunah.  The Foundations of Repentance above set out a way to continuously return to Hashem, giving a spiritual accounting before we eat. The suggestion is that we take this step for a year, to really build within us that all there is in the world is Hashem, that He is real and that we are one with Him, part of His Kingdom.

The mitzvahs of loving Hashem and having awe of Hashem are energetically dynamic in helping us recover from our slips and falls. 

How?

We have a perception, something where we feel a lack of love, of something we desire, of honor, of the vision we have for ourselves.  That momentary break from being connected to Hashem and His Compassion is immediately met by the yetzer hara who shows up instantly, the  “fly” ready to drink from the holiness of our soul.  It whispers thoughts to us from our memory banks and patterns hoping to lure us just one drop more away so that we listen to that thought and then the next.  It seeks to attracts our intellect, our neshama, that lost its grip to chochma and Hashem’s mercy.  It tells us that our survival depends upon our listening and that we really should pay attention or we will be foolish and will not get what we want.  And, without recognizing the falsehoods in this thinking, we turn to it and listen and before we know it we are upset.  Not only are we upset, but we don’t want to be upset and we can’t regain our balance.  Our defense mechanisms and aveiras are preventing us from feeling Hashem’s nearness and good.

Importance of understanding the pain of inadequacy that led to the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – the underlying Torah at the core of healing our emotional distress.


It is crucially important that we have an awareness of what happened in Gan Eden why we ate (yes we were allt here, part of Adom’s soul, the only soul that was ever created) from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We wanted to be a creator, like Hashem.  It was terribly painful, irresistably so, to see Hashem’s tremendous kindness revealed and to be a creation that could do a small fraction of what Hashem could do.  Inherent to being a creation is that sense of wanting to be more, and that inadequacy IS the only inadequacy that actually exists. Why?  Because all there is in the world is Hashem and we are His Creations and He is a giver Who gives us all the good that is good for us to have.

Our pain in any moment of perception is playing out this inadequacy on a playing field that is like a stage for it but has no ability to repair the cause of the inadequacy, that we are not Hashem.  This important information helps us recover when the yetzer hara flies in to lead us astray towards thoughts that benefit the survival of the yetzer hara, its need to draw off our holiness. ONLY by being like Hashem can we alleviate the feeling of inadequacy in not being the Creator Himself. We must discern in the moment and then use free will and speech to lift ourselves to Hashem, unifying His Name and repairing our characteristics. When we understand we are souls in a body, and that we all are vulnerable to whatever error the other made, and we confess to Hashem our vulnerability and ask Him to forgive us and extend that to the other person too, we repair our corrupted characteristics.  We are saying Hashem, be KING over this in our nature. We are all struggling with the deceptions in our unconscious. Please come into my heart. We only want to reveal You. Our effort and sweat to love Hashem and feel awe in the design in order to exert ourselves in the service of Hashem to bring the tree of life from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is healing and brings blessings and hopefully  redemption.

Example

How does this information help?  I am feeling hurt, because I feel inadequate in attaining …love, respect, success, security…..and I am contemplating taking this action ….talking hurtfully, going to court, ….in the false belief that this will restore a sense of adequacy.  It cannot. 

Wake up!!

We must comprehend the opportunity being given to us!  We are being given an opportunity to make a G-d-like choice, to feel love and awe for Hashem and ask Hashem to please take all the confusing spiritual energy churning in our hearts and to ask Hashem to please reconstitute it into olam haba consciousness. The reason we ate is because we wanted to be a Creator like Hashem and He has given us an opportunity to do just that!  Which way shall we go…toward the pain of seeking some adequacy that is unattainable in material and physical reality or toward the unification of Hashem’s Name and the tree of life?

We want to feel His love and mercy so that we may reveal His Love and Mercy.  We are capable of seeing ourselves not as the physical form that is upset. See ourselves as the awareness we have itself.  See ourselves within the design of the world, with emunah in Hashem, an awareness within us  that loves Hashem and is clinging to Him.

We ask that our prayer be received and that we receive our soul and all of our soul invested in our past mistakes reconstituted because we want a fresh heart to serve Him with.  And more, we want what Hashem invested in the yetzer hara to be available for us to feel and reveal as compassion, an added strong flow of inspiration that helps us to remain attached and clinging to Him.

Hear Rabbi Asher Freund discuss that we need to wake up and do the avoda of loving each other, meaning not listening to the thoughts that divide us, but rather seeing them as false. (for more from the translations of the derech of Rabbi Asher, click here.

In the morning, when we enter the synagogue, we say Ma Tovu.  Please read the english translation below.  We say “we enter Your House…..with awe…I love the House where You dwell…I bow and kneel…answer me with the truth of Your salvation.  With love for Hashem and awe in the design, we can live in our emunah and make the effort to uplift spiritual energy to Him, beseeching Him to answer us with healing and blessing.


Our true essence is compassion.  When we falter, and we will falter because we are alive, thank Hashem, and that means we are here to falter, rather than go into the dark, we are given free will to take the opportunity of being alive and be G-d-like Our struggle when feeling this despair, to cry out with this prayer, is a song to Hashem that He loves.  This is the Shema, the unification of His Name, the correction of our characteristics, and the fulfillment of the relationship that He wants with the Jewish People.  This is the pathway to the tree of life, of restoring the consciousness that broke apart when we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Hear Rabbi Moshe Weinberger talk about our negative feelings and michala. Hashem wants us to say solachti to each other.

May we realize that our teshuva is not too much for us to bear.  The luchos in the ark weighed 4 tons!!  The Leviim put poles in the ark and lifted it. How was this possible?  It is impossible for 6 men to lift 4 tons.  The ark lifted them!  So too with our mistakes and the heaviness of our hearts.  When we turn to Hashem and will sincerely to return, He lifts the matter to Him.  Now when we act, He is carrying us.

Rebbetzom Heller suuggests, if we are.having troible lettomg go, to ask ourselved to consider three things:

What am I gaining in this world and what in the next by holding on?

People are responsible for choices and Hashem is responsible for outcomes

If a person can uplift his will it is as if he uplifts his deed

May we be zoche to be sealed for a good year, may we see that the above prayer and process for one year is truly a loving one and not too distant for us and may we merit redemption b’ahava.

Addendum

Kiss me, from the kisses of Your mouth for Your love (the words of the Oral
Torah) is better than wine (the Written Torah).
(Shir HaShirim 1:2, Bavli, Avodah Zara(
The Written Torah is compared to wine, perhaps symbolic of its continued relevance
despite its age. However, studying the Oral Torah is compared to receiving a kiss from
Hashem for its understanding necessitates Hashem’s continued intervention as the One
who “Teaches Torah to His nation Yisroel”.
Why is this intervention called, “kissing, from the kisses of Your mouth?” The Zohar
explains further:
“Kiss me…” (Shir HaShirim 1:2) …Shlomo HaMelech… began the praise of love
between them with, “Kiss me” … For clinging love, spirit to spirit, is through
kissing, and kissing is by way of the mouth for it is the entrance way of the spirit
and it’s exit. When they kiss each other the spirits cling to one another becoming
one… (Zohar Teruma 371)
The Torah is Hashem’s thought, in this way it is a part of Hashem so to speak, when
Hashem places the understanding of His thoughts into our minds it is as if he is kissing
us on the mouth and becoming one with us in this sense.
This also explains why we find throughout Chazal, that the greatest thing that one can do
to elevate his spiritual level and to come close to Hashem is the study of Torah. Chazal
also tell us that this is the way to attain love of Hashem. Based on the above this can be
simply understood. When we study Torah, Hashem is kissing us and imparting into us a
part of Him, the Torah, whereupon we become one with Hashem. This makes us more
G-dly, so to speak.
Is there is any greater closeness than this? Is there anyone in the world luckier
than such a person?

Down with Zuhama – Up with Tzelem Elokim! Hashem help! We only want YOU

4 thoughts on “From Rosh Hashana siddur Foundations of Repentance, a prayer and a process for building emunah

  1. Pingback: Hashem forgives us when we forgive and overlook - Rabbi Moshe Weinberger - Nourishment for the Neshama

  2. Pingback: Tools to discern the seductions of the yetzer hara - Nourishment for the Neshama

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