The topic for my last several posts is how to focus on Hashem and go beyond our reason and understanding to trust Him, build emunah, and release the spiritual content from the husks so that our soul is unified to feel and reveal Hashem’s compassion, something we cannot do from following our natural urges and impulses. The plagues show us to this day that Hashem is at the root of all. It is up to us to build ourselves on this truth to serve Him in the moment and experience the simcha of the true inner being He intends for us.
Here are some top Torah shiurim to help understand the underlying Torah, the wisdom, the water, the vitality we need to see at all times, no matter what. We are spiritual beings who temporarily have bodies that we think is us, but really, we are the effort we make to cling to Hashem in every moment.
I listen to a breadth of Torah true speakers. What I have found is that, although the language of the different approaches may vary, every branch of Torah true Judaism is approaching the inner struggle of life. There is much to be gained from listening deeply to hear the Torah and to find the place of unity of our people, that we are all learning the importance and steps to help us cling to Hashem’s compassion, trust in Him, build emunah.
The concepts of run and return, of shifless and bitul, of chochma and bina, of male and female, of chesed and gevurah, of emunah and bitachon are all intertwind with the ultimate goal of inner redemption and serving as a vessel to reveal Hashem’s Oneness, the core of which is His compassion in creating a universe to be a Giver to His Creations.
Our trigger points lie in our thinking, our bina, our imagination, that builds one thing out of another. Until we realize that we can improve our reactivity to a place that knows that everything is from Hashem, the only Power, we make mistakes and do unintended or intended damage, following the messages of our unrectified lower urges and impulses, otherwise known as the animal soul or the “me”. Helpful to comprehending our unique versions of the urges and impulses we come in contact with is to be able to see their root in earth, wind water and fire. By seeing how these are the roots within our impulses, we can get a deeper understanding of what Hashem wants from us in the moment. Without this type of Torah,w e may fall into the traps set out by the Chofetz Chaim that people fall into in speaking lashon hara.
Sefer Chofetz Chaim — Preface (Continued)
“I wondered to myself,” the Chofetz Chaim writes, “how was it possible that this Torah prohibition of loshon hora came to be disregarded by so many people?”
The Chofetz Chaim answers this by introducing us to the main strategy of the evil inclination and the tactics which it utilizes to entangle us in the powerful sin of loshon hora.
The average person, writes the Chofetz Chaim, is simply unaware that the prohibition of loshon hora applies to information that is true. (Information that is false is termed hotza’as shem ra, slander.) Therefore, all Satan needs to do is to present information as being true and most people will readily repeat it, though according to halachah (Torah law) such talk is absolutely forbidden.
For people who are more learned, Satan uses a different approach. He convinces the person that the subject of the loshon hora is an evil person and therefore deserves that loshon hora be spoken about him, or that this information is not loshon hora.
If these tactics fail, Satan uses an opposite tactic. He causes the person to worry that every word he speaks might be loshon hora even when it is not. Satan makes it appear that the only choice one has is not to speak at all. Since most people are involved in conversation numerous times each day, the only solution seems to be to ignore the laws of loshon hora, for they are impossible to keep. Satan really is quite clever!
Once Satan has convinced people to speak loshon hora, he goes about spreading his web of misinformation further to draw people into listening to the loshon hora, based on their lack of knowledge of the halachah.
For these reasons, the Chofetz Chaim writes, the sin of loshon hora had become small in the eyes of the world. People became accustomed to speaking without measuring their words against the Torah’s standards. Eventually, loshon hora was no longer viewed as an evil, thereby allowing bitter, damaging conversation to become acceptable, unrecognized as the terrible sin that it is.
Shmiras haloshon, guarding one’s speech, became the mitzvah of the pious, not of ordinary Jews, an irrelevant issue to most people. Satan’s strategies had succeeded. A most severe Torah prohibition, certainly equal to that of eating non-kosher food, was now considered to be nothing more than an optional stringency that only few were concerned with.
All of Satan’s strategies, writes the Chofetz Chaim, were based on his ability to spread misinformation. This was possible because the correct information was generally inaccessible. The laws of loshon hora were scattered throughout the Talmud, having never been collected and organized. People were drowning in the sin of loshon hora simply because they were totally ignorant of it and had no way of learning about it.
It was this tragic situation which impelled the Chofetz Chaim to write his monumental work – Sefer Chofetz Chaim.
One Small Step:
I will be strong in my commitment to Shmiras Halashon Yomi. I know that in this merit Hashem will remove my yetzer hara for loshan hara.
Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation · 361 Spook Rock Rd · Suffern, NY 10901-5314 · USA
Summary notes on first 20 minutes of Rav Ginsburg’s shiur:
Shevat, like other winter months but more so, is water, Torah, emet.
Tanya Chapter 13 – truth is the inner point of every state of reality of every thought, and of every emotion. Truth is a connecting bar, an innermost bar that connects all the middle points and connects everything together .
A tzadik is in a continuous state of burning love for Hashem.
A beinoni slips into the mundane, but can arouse love for Hashem and return tote enlightened state of being. In times of prayer, he arouses true love for Hashem. and returns to the enlightened state of being. in times of prayer, he arouses true love for Hashem. The difference is it is not continual. If it is not continual, it is deceptive because it stops., but he can contemplate, meditate, and arouse and so it is considered true truth, because of the potential to serve from his innermost point of truth, it is true, even though from a higher perspective it is false. We can connect to our potential to turn to Hashem.
Baal shem Tov uses the word ayin instead of truth. Nothingness is the description from Hashems ‘ viewpoint.
Rashab uses bitul, self-nullification in the face of nothingness, it is our response to the revelation of the nothingness. Ayin is revealed, bitul is my experience of it. without bitul, something cannot exist from nothing.
Ayin bitul (bitul is the response to the experience of ayin) and truth.
Ayin – Nothingness
bitul – selflessness
emes – truth
The first letters of each spell Aba – Father, Wisdom. The inner experience of wisdom is bitul.
Keter is above wisdom the crown. Or, it is the origin of wisdom itself – the initial point of wisdom is revelation of Divine nothingness.
Bitul is the experience of it,the middle point of the heart, tiferes. Heart of wisdom is experience of bitul, Hashem creates me from nothing this moment.
Emes is truth, the inner dimension of yesod, foundation, to realize it in speech and deeds. ABA descends to yesod. That is emes. truth is lasting. never-ceasing impression of that experience.
A true person is someone that experiences nothingness as a seal on the soul. If I know Nothingness, I know it forever and if I keep it in consciousness, can walk a path of truth. Truth is lasting impression of bitul the, yesod that is my foundation for life.