The three Shabbosoms during the three weeks, starting this upcoming Shabbos, are keneged keter, chochma and bina. This time zone is a time when with our emunah and trust in Hashem, we can expand our awareness of Hashem in our chochma, our intellect, which will then nourish our drive, our will, to implement that through our sefiros, chesed to hod, and then bring it into this world through our elul introspection and spiritual business plan. It is for this reason that I send the below article I wrote, to really comprehend why we want to realize NOW that there is no joy without Hashem and to bring our personal struggles upwards with emunah to nourish more and more awareness of Hashem and our being a part of His Will.
THIS is the time we can truly bring a good elul for ourselves.
May we be dedicated together to this endeavor as if we got an email that Moshiach will be named in a month’s time, that we should prepare ourselves with the same intensity as if this were a certainty in our lives.
And may our vision of that prayer become a reality.
It is a given that our natural thinking runs our emotions until we find a way to bring more light into it and expand our thinking with awareness of Hashem. Until our consciousness addresses something, it remains within our reflexive selves and we may unwittingly make the same or similar errors again and again. Yet, the gift of teshuva is that at the time we see the pattern, and we do sincere teshuva, all of what we plunged into the errors is redeemed.
Our motivation to be on the lookout for such patterns, such as we introspect for in Elul, is to continually be growing into a being that is bringing Hashem’s compassionate light into the void we create by purging our will for our negative pattern, thereby becoming a channel to draw that light into the darkness.
Here again is the clip from Rav Asher Freund on why we really DO want to do this:
There is an outer layer of conduct that we are more readily familiar with – stop raising our voice, eat healthier and the like. But there is an embedded message that often may be a part of our soul buried at a very young age in a coping mechanism or false belief. To us, we have long ago forgotten how that happened, nor do we experience those feelings in a clear way. Nevertheless, a part of us is bound and gagged and it is up to us to redeem these parts of us lest we are drawn to them when the negative angels that we unintentionally form during our lives come to claim our souls.
Every thought and every emotion has a soul. There is no Other Power other than Hashem. He gives us a soul and as we develop, our traumas and how we are educated greatly affect the formation of our patterns. It is therefore compassionate of the Torah to teach us that we CAN pray in such a way that Hashem activates the nefesh elokis within us, that He has specifically designed to bring the holy sparks in our patterns of behavior back to Him and through which our nefesh elokis may then bring in a healing light that is designed specifically for that pattern. With that shift we are enabled to then turn to a mitzvah or chesed whose soul is that healed light.
What stands in the way is not just the memories and our patterns – there is a zuhamatic projection [when we ate from the etz hadaas, the tohu that fell and was given to the Soton was formed into zuhama that was injected like a poison confusing our ability to see Hashem’s love clearly] that blares within us, heightening our experience of the painful traumas and memories, without our seeing the details of our soul that got trapped there or Hashem’s constant love. The kedusha given to the Soton in order to project this through us comes from the tohu, the holy sparks that broke and fell into this world for us to ask Hashem to draw back to Him. These holy sparks also return and are added to what Hashem sends to us and indeed this is where the healing comes from, this very high light. When we pray and tell Hashem that we do not want these projections to be what we act upon, that we want neither the suffering of following its line of thinking nor the ego reward that is associated as part of the natural world, such as power and pride, we are on the track of returning everything to its Source. It can be excruciatingly painful, because perhaps we have, for a long time, wanted it and now we see it is not a good pattern. Even when power and pride seem “appropriatem” they conceal Hashem. Nevertheless, it is hard to see what we will do or have without it. This is the narrow perspective of the animal soul. And this is where our inner dialogue can be so helpful. In truth, the power and pride we seem to crave prevent us from the expansive pleasure for which we are designed.
With emunah, the animal soul also knows that Hashem is all loving and is doing everything and that if it has destructive thoughts, to realize immediately that it is suffering from thinking a projection of zuhama. Stop and tell Hashem that this is not our true will even though it feels like it is, that our true will is to do mitzvahs and serve Hashem and do chesed. Then purge each of the thoughts to Him, asking oneself at the same time what this feeling is from, what age was I, where am I, and whatever questions help to elicit a “deja vu” experience where the original circumstances arise from long ago, for what was trapped there has become ammunition added to the kedusha arsenal given to the Soton to project through us. All of this is taking place within our limbic system. Just as a baby or a toddler puts things in its mouth to explore to discover, so too may we view this examination – searching our limbic system and memories not for the purpose of acting but for the purpose of excreting or opening from where it is gagged a part of our soul that has been enslaved to a negative thought or emotion.
The true reality is that pleasure comes from the realization that Hashem is One, Loves us, and is doing everything and that we are a part of Him without stopping. Our will that was affected by our development is blocking this realization and our emunah and trust in Hashem helps us bring what animates each fallen thought or emotion in prayer to that high emunah once again, through our beseeching Hashem to please accept our compassion upon the Shechina in exile and please restore it to a purified light that may then heal and refill our hearts from where we wish, then, to bring it into speech and deeds so that His Light may be revealed in the world.
This step of sincere acceptance of the way we are created – that we have a storm flowing between lack and ego issues that brings our thinking to it thereby entrapping our soul in the dark -is crucial. It sounds so unpleasant. We want to deny it. We want to disown that we do that. However, from this place IS how we serve Hashem, for our true role is to return the holy sparks – the kedusha in the projections – back to Him. Hashem does not find fault with us for having these thoughts and emotions. He is the Cause!. He gives us real free will and a nefesh elokis that He designs with the repair built in that HE will do for us WHEN we are willing to submit ourselves.
And to submit ourselves sincerely means we crack the attraction of the animal soul to the zuhamatic projections. THAT is the bond that has our soul trapped unwittingly. Our will is corrupted there. That is the will for which we want not to want. That is the soul we wish to return in emunah to its pristine level of compassion to reveal Hashem’s Will.
And here lies our identity crisis. It feels like everything. In fact, this is our akeidas Yitzchok in many ways, our first born identity, broken as it may be, habitually engrained as it may be, reinforced as love in a dysfunctional home as it may have been.
It is compassionate to understand that our mind and heart can move from this narrow strait to an expanded highway by sincere prayer and emunah. Hashem does everything. He wants us to know the truth about Him and rely on that. Never believe the hopeless messages of the zuhamatic projections. When we are thinking those as true, we are actually adding fuel to the arsenal with which it strikes our hearts. Simply recognize that the message and the force within it are not integrated. They can be separated like to atoms of a molecule and a new bond, a bond with holiness, can be formed.
May our effort to do so be a merit, a refuah, a blessing, a teshuva, a cancellation of gezeira and a satisfaction of din for the soul as it exists in ourselves, our families, klal yisrael and the world and may we soon see a new light. May we humbly embrace the greater truth about our purpose and may Hashem grant us success.
Here is a fictional example that I believe everyone can relate to:
Sophia is hurt by an insulting remark from her husband, shaming her for not doing something that would have felt good to him. Sophia is nauseated by that response, finding it egoistic, animalistic and hurtful. She feels erased, abused, neglected and even hated. Her despair is causing her to hear a message that she is good and that if he doesn’t see that, perhaps this is the end. She starts to entertain that idea, building a case for it (see the binah working?) She then stops and realizes she has blown past the spiritual challenge. She cries out that this is an experience with Elokim, Who surrounds all worlds and Who fills all worlds. This is huge amounts of light that are not able to be processed by natural thinking. Sophia chooses to purge by describing everything above without thinking it wholeheartedly into Hashem’s love. Sophia comprehends because she knows Hashem is doing everything that this is Infinite light trapped in the narrow straits of natural thinking that anyone would have, but the messages are coming from the darkness and are therefore only a vessel. The soul of the world is Hashem! Hashem, please it is my will to have compassion upon the light that is whirling in darkness so that it may return to its pristine expression of compassion . It is my will to then be a channel through which it may fill a mitzvah, a prayer, a chesed, a Torah study or something of Your Will, that this light should come into the world in a vessel that IS your Will. The sincere naming and describing and experiencing of how those judgments formed and how light is easily trapped in that is the task. Realizing how the natural thinking is bringing Sophia to feel herself and not Hashem’s Will, Sophia asks Hashem to please give her a thought or a circumstance into which this light may be placed so that she may cling to Him and not discharge this light as is natural to do according to the limbic system. Sophia understands that any calmness is an answer. Sophia has the idea that she will simply see the transgressing remark of the other person as a momentary even though repeated pattern, but not as defining the person and that if she remains loving, it does not mean she is accepting abuse but rather she is leaving the future up to Hashem. For now, the light is going to go into kindness without listening to the “advisor” who wants to feed to her ugly messages about her self-esteem if she doesn’t stand up to it. Sophia understands that is natural and not what she wants to do because she wants more than anything to be a channel for the light to come into this world. Once that primal will is corrected, her heart becomes calm and she acts with trust in Hashem. The result is good. Her quiet kindness results in improved conduct from her husband, who now gives her more love.