Reb Asher Freund teaches us that our natural thinking banters our soul between despair/lack and arrogance/ego self-consciousness. Reb Asher Freund teaches us to comprehend deeply that we have real free will and emunah to recognize our Creator as the life force animating everything and we use hisbodedus, personal prayer, to form together a mitzvah that will bring all of our life force into the world in a way that will reveal Hashem’s Infinite Light.
The pain that we feel is compelling. It uses hurtful words and denegrates us or other people. We think certain thoughts and we spiral downwards into the dark with judgment and hurt and we feel lost, abandoned, and as if we are ready to be annihilated.
The battle for our hearts is real. How do we fortify ourselves?
Emunah means that we recognize that the only power in the world is Hashem.
He creates an imperfect being, namely Adom, by placing a drop of concealed light from the world of tohu and vohu into the physicality of our existence so that it appears to us as if it is important for us to consider its focus. However, that drop of concealed light from the world of tohu and vohu has been placed into us so that we may repair its inability to come into this world without breaking apart. We are in the world of repair, and for that to happen, Hashem creates teshuva. By placing this self-conscious self-focused determinism within our unconscious, Hashem desires that the nefesh elokis, the soul He gives us that is made in His Image, will choose to serve Him and in so doing bring the animating light from that drop of tohu and vohu into the world, into this world, so that its light may be unified with His Infinite Light and be part of the revelation of compassion in this world.
It is for us to “spot” these moments. We are taught that our avodas Hashem in the moment is whatever it is that Hashem requires of us. Thus, if in a moment we receive a negative impulse, a self-destructive binge message, or a fearful or hurt reaction to an experience of lack, we are actually empowered in that moment to redeem Infinite light from our subconscious.
Realizing that this may be a little esoteric in the moment, let me make it a little more relatable and even enjoyable and most of all hopeful.
The tohu and vohu, gaiva and taiva, the two kelipot that contain the holy sparks contain Infinite Light that we, through our mitzvahs, are able to bring into the world when we have the intention to do so. We are here to be a channel – rusty and corroded as we sometimes feel – of fresh and pure light into the world. We do this through emunah and free willed choice to unify His Name, the surrounding lights, ohr makhif, Elokim with the immanent lights, ohr penimi, Adni. Within each are sparks that our unique soul has been sent here to return, in teshuva, to Him as part of our mission. In so doing, we also heal our hearts.
How does this work?
Let’s say that I find myself feeling hateful or angry. Surely if I am honest, I see that it is because something is lacking in another person or in myself. That lacking is telling me that something that I need is missing and gives me despair and sets off an alarm. My natural thinking then scans to see where the blame belongs. It is at this point, if we want to apply ourselves, that we can catch our reactions. Often it is not until here that we can even sense what is going on. Once we see we are searching to blame, shame, judge or deliver a consequence, we can instead switch the paradigm for healing our hearts and bringing light into the world.
There is a part of us that is feeling a lack. The true reality is that Hashem is doing everything and that we have never been lacking anything for even one second our entire lives because He is One. That feeling remote, we can, indeed, see this is the true reality of the surrounding light and have basic emunah in it.
There is another part of us that is feeling self-conscious about what this means for me, my health, for being in this matter, for how I look. The true reality is that what is filling our image of ourselves is confusion blocking us from remembering that we are tzelem elokim, made in His Image, with a soul that He designs to draw the concealed light in the matter back to Him IF we submit and recognize Him. The layers of defense mechanisms, coping mechanisms, and lifelong beliefs is present within this confusion. Nevertheless, we can have emunah in the true reality that Hashem has not only surrounded us with His Light but is filling us with a soul that He Designs to draw the light back to Him.
We are neither abandoned, nor are we ready to be anniliated. Our love and value are untouchable because He is doing everything.
So what do we do? We are SEETHING!!!
Find the place in the lack that thinks it is lacking and tell Hashem “Hashem, naturally I feel there is a lack here but I have the emunah to know that I am not lacking because You are doing everything and love me and I trust that. I am showering compassion upon the Shechina in exile, the part of my soul, that naturally feels lack here.”
Now find the place in the outrage or anger or fear or judgment that thinks someone or a circumstance is going to hurt your image of yourself or harm your body or reputation. “Hashem naturally I feel that this will detract from my existence, my image, my general well-being and to me it seems as thought it is being withheld from me as a hurt, a damage, a punishment, a revenge, or worse. I have the trust to know that You have designed my soul in a way to bring from the subconscious healing light back into my heart which will not only repair my heart but also bring light into the world when I perform a mitzvah. I am showering compassion upon the Shechina in exile, the part of my soul, that naturally feels it is oppressed and diminished.”
“Please Hashem, take the light from the messages of being oppressed and diminished from the world of gaiva/tohu – a light concealed by Elokim -and draw that light to heal the feeling of lack in my heart from the world of vohu/despair – a light concealed from Adni in my subconscious – for You Hashem are doing everything and love me and I trust in the soul that You have designed and give to me and I wish to serve You by doing the mitzvah of….”
May the deep recognition of Hashem and our obedience to His spiritual laws with love and awe draw forth the Infinite light so that the messages dissolve and in so doing, bring peace to our hearts and light to the world.