The Infinite light is separatable from the negative message and can become the soul infused into doing His Will
A chabura for vulnerable sharing in active seeking of our atzmi, giving up our anochius, in a joyous way with love and awe from our hearts. Discover through hisbodedus and sharing the truer self we are able to be as servant of Hashem to be the greatest joy that it is. See the battleground and realize we are all the star of our play with the main character the spark we emit for the Moshiach.Thank you Miriam Yerushalmi for your presence in this sharing group
We will be sharing and in so doing seeing the truth and that builds unity and empathy and ahavas yisrael, ending sinas chinam.
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For more translations from the derech of Rabbi Asher Freund click here
Here is a letter from Rav Asher Freund translated by the gabbai of the Spinka Rebbe. The letter encapsulates the principles of the derech:
Difficult moments – A call from Heaven
The deep anxiety, which is evident from your letter due to your being childless after many years of marriage, is very understandable in the Natural World. However, G’d does not bring a person pains without a purpose. Through these pains, G’d prods the person, forcing him to use his G’d given choice to address himself to his particular weakness, Tikun, for which purpose he came to this world to correct. Your pains are meant to bring you to Emunah, True faith, not only verbally, but by means of your effort to wage a stubborn battle against the dark thoughts of despair and self-pity with which the Devil tries to break you. Such persistent effort will eventually bring you victory, resulting in a great relief and Simcha, happiness.
I ask of you, as well, to make a stubborn effort, not to dwell on your condition of childlessness – neither in words nor in thoughts, but to live in harmony without any quarrels with your husband.
Such a struggle against the aggressive dark thoughts will bring you on a path of faith, a step above nature, and will open your awareness of your nature as being the real source of your nervousness and sadness.
This will likewise enable you to attain, also in an unnatural way, your personal redemption in the area of your need.
But it is evident from your letter to me, the absence of any effort on your part; your nature sidetracks you to focus your mind on the fact that you are childless as the source of your pain, thus keeping you at a distance from the root of your true pains.
King David chose the way of Faith in relating to his many ribulations “It is good that You admonish me in order that I learn Your status”. (Psalm 119:71)
I hope you will find Chizuk, encouragement and strength from my words to you because your fight is against the Devil.
When you will have the humility to acknowledge the real source of your pains, you will become a vessel that is open to receive Divine help in your struggle against the real enemy – your underlying nature, rather than childlessness, which today absorbs your entire mind.
This true view and awareness of the source of your pain will open a window in Heaven for your prayers thereby bringing you a speedy redemption.
Here are some notes from the derech of Rabbi Asher Freund
A person’s recognition of the self in the sense in terms of verbal introspection. People are very sensitive to what others think of us, we are embarrassed, we feel shame, we worry what they will say about us. Our behavior is motivated by peer pressure and outside opinion and how impressive we are in the eyes of others.
Avraham Aveinu was on the other side, not what others think. He was looking for truth. That is how he became Avraham aveinu. To become our purpose we must see the world is Hashem and we are there with Him. When we start to blame others for our failures or lack of success, we are running away from the main battle, we don’t want to deal with it. Blaming others is running away from the battle.
The foundation is where are we, what is going on?
How can we greet others well when we see others make gross errors? Each person is our mirror, showing to us our true self, when we see another person, we see what we need to fix and that is how we can receive them with love.
Ahavas Yisrael is something that is a primary focus. Light has more power than darkness. Instead of being shaken by the tests, we take them and live with them. If we have a pain, is our mind in the pain or where did the pain come from – from Hashem?
Hashem is ein od milvado and we don’t pay enough attention to this. If we have a certain longing or a goal and it is hard to give it up, exactly that is what we need to give up If it is hard to forgive, that is what we must do, forgive. Hashem is merciful and He creates, and we are here to emulate that. We are extensions of Hashem. We can try to echo our Creator and that makes us like Him.
The entire goal of creation is so we can become a divine reality like Hashem. Hashem does not have a body. Where is He? What does a seat of honor for Hashem mean? Hashem wants a man that is worm food in the end a man should coronate Hashem King and when the person starts taking on the imaginary stance that we are in charge and on the throne of honor, we have to realize Hashem is running the world. We must get off Hashem’s throne of honor and have it ready for Hashem to sit on and then we see true yeshuas.
If we think we are doing everything and we won’t give in, when we put our own head down, we become a metaphorical king.
Every person goes through thousands of gilgulim and we don’t remember them. When something happens to us, just go temimus, with trust and simplicity and try not to figure things out and read into the future. We cannot figure it out, what is hidden is in Hashem’s realm. How are we supposed to know from previous lifetimes? So the minute something untowards happens, just fix it immediately and ask forgiveness. Accept everything with love and be with Hashem and be part of Hashem.
These are the realms that we have to work the most.
Who will give praise to Hashem that Hashem did not give a soul to? Who makes a briss milah that Hashem did not give a child? Who took challah before He gives us dough?
Any capability we have to perform the mitzvah, all the fulfillments come from Hashem including the means to serve Him. There is no reason to have false pride in any mitzvah we perform. If we overcome a challenge, Hashem helped us and gave us that strength that we could prevail to overcome? But if we fail, we don’t blame Hashem. We admit the truth of the picture that failure comes to show us the reality. The fact of failure is our helplessness, that we can’t do anything by ourselves. We don’t fail all the time because Hashem has rachamim on us and prevents us from doing an aveira. If we were not saved, Hashem for whatever reason felt His intervention was not part of the bigger picture. At that exact moment, then we had a view of the failure that is within us.
Why should anyone lose out on this tremendous way of serving Hashem, hisbodidus to help us sort our anochius from our aztmi? There is a way to spread foundational ideas and we should do hisbodidus and share the idea because it is a foundational idea that needs to be heard, give it to anyone who can bring it into practice in their own environment, whatever it is. Torah is accessible to everyone. Yitzchok went to the fields to daven in hisbodidus and is a mainstream idea. Every Jew is the product of Hashem’s hands and has the right to serve Him in the way Hashem wants, in personal prayer, to find his atzmi, to stand at the crossroads of anochious and atzmi, to know we are nothing and we need Hashem for everything.
Notes from the remarks of a student of Rav Asher involved at the time the derech was being evolved.
If our service depends on our pleasure, we are at the center. Hashem is giving everything and we have to live with the recotniztion of ein od milado, that shows we are prepared to do everything for Him. This means we have to be ready to be nullified before Hashem Nothing, objectively, means removing the bloated arrogant self and crowning Hashem King. That is called serving Hashem.
The kindness of Hashem accompanies us every moment. Hashem’s chesed is with us. It is not ours, it is His. It is now our ability to do things, Hashem is giving us the zechus to do these things from the treasure of free gifts. It is only from there that we have the power to do this.
Who will come before me and I will pay, in Iyov – who will give praise to Hashem and Hashem did not give us a soul so we can speak? Who made a briss mila and Hashem did not give us a male offspring? Anyh capability that we have for fulfilling the mitzvah came from Hashem. He gives us the means with which to serve Him. So there is no reason to have arrogance or false pride because it is not ours. If we overcome a challenge, Hashem gave us that strength to overcome. Yet if we fail, we don’t blame Hashem Failure comes to show us our reality, that is, we can’t do anything by ourselves. We don’t fail all the time. Hashem can prevent us from doing an aveira. If we see we were not saved from that, Hashem did not prevent that. If He felt that His Assistance was not part of the bigger picture, we have a view of the failure that is within us.
Regarding sheker, a person can trick others or fool themselves. Everything a person does for others, we are acting from our personal interest. I might be gaining money or honor or both. But Rav Asher would say, it is all something a person has an agenda for. Everything we do is with a bias, a payoff, a gain. Even if it leads to something good, it is from a personal interest and this hurt Rav Asher very much, that our mitzvahs should be at such a low standard. Rav Freund wanted even a simple person to be able to cleave to Hashem in his thoughts. He sought people who were really trying to live lishma, and not in the well-trodden path of feeling themselves or accomplishing for their biases.
He reached Rav Zalman Briezel, who was always looking for more avodas Hashem. He also found the Slonimer Rebbe, the author of Nesivos Shalom. Rav Asher found Reb Gedalia Keinick of Breslov and they would go to hear shiurim from Rav Shterchartz and that is where they started new ideas on hisbodidus.
There was a hashgafa they worked on. That any chassid could remain in his framework, but why should anyone lose out on this way of hisbodidus, this way of serving Hashem? He can go in his Rebbe’s way but this hisbodidus is the right of every Jew. It is a foundational idea,hisbodidus. The Lubavitcher Rebbe in Sichos says it is so important, say it so it will be heard even if you don’t say it in my name. Give this idea over to anyone who may bring it into practice in his own framework. He should not lose out because he is in a certain group.
Yitzchok Aveinu went out into the field to do hisbodidus. It belongs to everyone. In the mainsteam.
Every Jew is the product of Hashem’s hands and has the right to serve Him in the right way. What Rav Asher wanted was for everyone to know what it means to be nullified, that we truly understand what it means to be nothing, and know that we need Hashem for everything.
Each person spends his day bound up in his thoughts. In hisbodidus, we achieve real freedom. All those cables binding us diminish and we call out to Hashem in words everything in our heart, a private connection for unity and connection.
A person is nothing. Doing hisbodidus helps us find our connection to Hashem. Rav Asher spread this widely. Our choice is between feeling ourselves and devekus and hisbodidus helps us distinguish, wrestle and incorporate into our lives.
Rav Asher sought to infuse emunah into the world. Most suffering has an imaginary quality to it. The dimion of a person is like a lion that seeks to tear us apart. It is like a lion that could rip us to shreds. In order for a person to be calmer and with less confusion which are at their roots imaginary, it is good for a person to do hisbodidus because he can learn the truth from imagination, how to distinguish between reality and imagination. It brings serenity to the heart. And it brings us to a better position to make good decisions.