November 18, 2019
Shalom everyone. Welcome to our next chabura. On Shabbos. It is chof cheshvan. We are going to do a quick review of the first two shiurim on hashkafa of Shabbos and today we will get into more of the beginnings of the workings of the melachos itself.
Basically what we are working with is the following – it is incredible and geshmach – thank you Hashem for a haliicha Shabbos that we have every week and we are trying to look at the Shabbos as a seven day a week avoda, toiling in the process of becoming Gdly during the week in potential and then birthing that realith on Shabbos. six days a week in this world olam haze and the next world Olam Haba on shabbos. 39 mellachos during the week and the 40th yeis maayin on Shabbos Hashem is revealed to us. Everything that we have become in its actualized form. that is the rhythm in a general sense, we are trying to connect toand there are a lot of details in that. The question obviously becomes so what exactly is a melacha.
so very quickly we are going to dispel a few of the basic misconceptions and then jump right in.
What melacha is NOT, it is not employment or not, it is not putting in the right effort, less or more or shvitzing. and it is not about technology. It is not any of those because we can break a melacho with small or large amounts of efforts on one’s own or someone else. Just because you refrain from technology that is not going to get you olam haba. it may help you avoid certain aveiras and the like.
so what fundamentally is a melacha. in simple terms we define melacha as a shinui chumrius, a physical change in the structure of something in the pysical world. if someone is meshana the chumrius, each of the melachos is a physical tangible concrete expression of the change in the physical world. at some level we are making an indelible imprint in the physical world. if it is not meshanus the chumrius, a physical change, it could be an action, it could be some work and the like but it is not a melacha. if melacha is about a shinui chumrius and we refrain from that, on shabbos, then we using melacha to create the phsycual structural change in the world. Is that as far as melacha goes? we like to take the higher approach and say in addition to doing a melacha, to create a structure, a structural change in the physiccal world, which obviously has its higher general purpose, we also want to look at melacha to create a shinui in one’s chumrius.
What exactly does that mean? We have to really stay right to the letters, the letters chumrius are ches, mem and reish. write it out. see it physically. a chumri means donkey, chumrius means something physical, material. In ruchniistic terms, chumrius means the anochius part of oneself, the selforientation, the inward focus that says I am something. fundamentally independently of myself. that anochius is the chumrius of a person. why is it the chomer part? because it is the physical part that defines as external. ultimately, that chumrius shapes our body but it didnt go so far as to even shape our soul.
we said as follows. what is the chumrius of the soul? the chomer of the soul that we may be changing? rabbi chaim vital brings in shaare kedusha that the level of soul, the lowest level of soul that defines the anochius that we are trying to flip into elokus is the nefesh and the point of the nefesh that is based on free will, real free will, this is called the nefesh yesodes. what does yesodes mean? the elements. that is where aish ruach mayim and afar come in. these are the chumrius. they are the inner substance that makes up the nefesh yesodes, the place where our free will exists in our nefesh as rooted in our ruach. that is the chomer that we are trying to be mesharmem, trying to restructure and reorient from its physical appropriation to the body, the physical limbs that are also made of aish ruach mayam and afar and reappropraite them back to the nefesh elokis part, that is rooted all the way in ruach neshama all theway up to the Source of creation itself.
that chomer of the nefesh which we are going to call aish ruach mayam afar, arma, fire wind water and earth, those are the elemental chumrious of our soul taht we are trying to reconfigure. therefore a melacha on this level would be about trying to restructure the elemental basis of our nefesh through the four core elements, as expressed through our middos, and then restructure. restructuring that we redefine ourselve in a more gdly way through HKB , paralle yud k vav k, aish parallel to yud all the way down to afar, a straight alignment of shem havaya and we are trying to align our inner soul with HKB. it is an aazing thing, that is the ruchnius chumrius that we are going to work with IYH. that we are trying to be meshana through our torah, mitzvahs and chesed during the week. that is what we are trying to raise. it is amazing.
is that as far as it goes? didn’t we talk aobut some spiritual stuff, about 39 weeks of pregnancy? yes, where is this in chomer? we take the letters and this is a mechalech brought down in kaballa specifically…it talks about turning around three root letters or four into different combinations of the words that are spelled by themselves have a very intimate relationship. take the letters ches, mem raish, chomer, and turn them around, we have the word rechem. what is rechem? rechem is the womb.in the womb is the chumrius of the four core elements, and that is the basis through which we are going to change, recreate and eventualy rebirth ourselves from potential to actual. it is like limbs and stuff like that, what is going on inside? all the 248 limbs and 365 sinews …where is that here? turn the letters around again and it spells reish mem and ches, ramach, 248. In the womb, rechem, we have 248 limbs which are made of arma, building the nefesh because ruach doesnt come in right away. that is creating the physical chumrius, the basis for the spiritual chumrius.
but again, it is in the womb but the goal is to get the baby out. the goal is to have that new life revealed from its private domain into its larger? of course. bsha tova, it should be revealed at the right time as well as conceived at the right time. when we talk about that we are talking about the future world that this world, six days a week compared to shabbos are the relationship between olam haze to olam haba. an amazing thing.
so much so that the ARizal calls this world the melacha of carrying. the future is yom reshusa, your own private domain, your own private geule of elokus that will be revealed in the next world. that world is called the future world. we see another beautiful reference. If you look at the letters very carefully and turn them around they spell machar, mem ches and reish. machar is in the limited means tomorrow, but it is the ultimate tomorrow. that is olam haba.
so what do we have here so far? we have in the womb, rechem, that we are formulating the remache farim in the guf the limbs, we are creating the chumrius of this fetus, for our future. and that is what we are essentially doing through the shinu chumeres in ourselves. we as our nefesh have our chumrius, we have arma, we have the limbs of the body that are connected tot he limbs of the soul that we use the elements to give birth, we try to awaken our divine identity and in that very process, we are creating our future reality.
That all sounds very clean and straight and we should live with tremendous simplicity and yashrus with this. but we know we have a yetzer hara trying to take our middos off, the elements off, and to misappropriate. our nefesh elokis rooted in the nefesh yesodes back to its lower form and we have to make sure we use our bechira carefully to realign our actions and our capacities and our middos our character traits rooted in the elements that are rooted in our soul that are rooted shem havaya. we are trying to redirect these back to Hashem to serve Him in this world, to reveal His divine presence, to create our future reality. we always have to contend with the other side, and that means there is always a place to go off, and even when we go off, hopefully it is a yerida vsara aliya, a descent for a greater ascention. if we are not careful lwe realize we can take ourselves out of the very thing we are striving for which again is why shabbos is a weekly avoda. do your best, get as much completion as possible and move on.
where would that be referenced in these letters?
the final permutation is incredible – in one three letter root – kedusha ! ches, reish, mem charum, excommunication. they are temporarily detached from the community at large and set aside in a place of very purposeful structured isolation. and hopefully there, in that place of detachment, they will come to be rewoken and come to connect back to what we are striving for, the emes thing is to how to move forward in a proper way.
we see in the word shinui chumrius, to change the chomer of something – it is an incredible thing – in the one very word, that is what the definition of a melacha is. it is a creational energy to change the chumrious of one’s soul. define the limbs based on the arma, in the womb which is this world olam haba, the world of rechem, HKB the Makomin which all life exists finite withiin infinite and we are each and every week developing gestationally our own spiritual potential reality. we stop the melacho we carry ourselves forward to a new connection and then yeish meayin, somethng beyond, is revealed to us, the future reality in the next world that is the machar, and then at the end of one reality is the new potential for something new and we create and start all over again, keeping mindfulness about charem, the possiblity from detaching ourselves from our core mission..
that is one mehala we are going to work with from chomer, and being shana the inner anatomy of our nefesh yesodes that has behira, with the elements and redirecting our middos and ultimately carving out our divine reality through behira. it is amazing.
we have to digest this.
now lets look at the word melacha itself, not just how it is found in shinus chumrius. mem lamed aleph chaf and hai. In many ways you can split it. we are going to split it to look at two other very fascinating things. the Baal Shem Tov tells us that whenever something needs an actual correction, we have to go through a three stage process, submission, separation and sweetening. a mashel that comes to mind is a nut. like walnuts.the outside shell, we take a nutcracker to crack it open. then extract out the nut, and then injest the nut saying a bracha and redirect that food back to HKB to its Source. that three step process is called submission separation and sweetening. cracking the shell is the something, the sheker of the something, that is submission, breaking extracting out the nut represents extracting out the kernel of truth in something, let’s call it the tzadik and that is called havdala, and then the sweetening part is when that nut gets released and injested with a bracha and redirected back to HKB. that is sweetening. the three step process is how we transform sheker by submitting it, separating out the kernel of truth and then attaching that kernel of truth to its larger context of truth so that it becomes more emes in shelamos, that is a process how we fix our own spiritual makeup.
where do we see it in the words and then we will look at it further. in the word melacha you see three fascinating things. the first two letters are mal, like briss mila, where you cut off the external skin. that is the process of submission. the next letter the aleph is the spark of elokus that is trapped on the inside of the melacha, that is the aleph, and we want to separate that out. the chof hei kah, from the Shla in sefer shaare kuf, on the leter kuf, kaf hei is a kinui for shem havaya. chof hei 25 with the kolel is 26. the last kah is actually a reference to HKB’s revealed reality.
melacha mem lamed, submission aleph separation, and chaf hei sweetening has embedded this three stage process of submssion separation and sweetening. on a nefesh level, how would that work? what is the falsehood of us? the submission part is you are submitting the anochius, the self orientation of oneself, whether it is self orientation of our will thoughts speech emotion or action that is laden with anochius to varying degrees. we want to do is submit that, subjugate the falsehood part of our selforientation. the awakening of that spark of elokus that is in the anochus, that we want to take out because utlimately that is what is driving it, we want to separate that out, that is behira, behira allows us to go into the shecker, extract out the kernel of truth which is in our nefesh , in the elements and in the elements is the human part and the Gdly part. and if we realign with the ksas emes and we go into actions and traits and eventually our identity, in that, in the four elements, is that spark of Gdliness. we use behira, that element of choice, select our identity at this moment in time i want to be gdly, we are creating ourselves as a Gdly being by taking the aleph out after the mal. then finally when you take that spark of gdliness that was trapped in the anochius part of ourself and we redirect it back to your nefesh elokis and it now has found its place properly lodged, that is the place that we are able to make the connection. and it is there, in that place of connection that you have the ultimate place to see your Gdliness in its sweetened form. that is the kah. alas kah. therefore in that three step process of mal aleph kah, the word of melacha, you have the three processes of a melacha, the three states of rectification, and what we are trying to do is transform our human beingness for a divine becomingness. and through behira and consciously and willfully and intentionally and purposefully shifting those elements thrugh our middos we are redirecting and reshaping ourselves back to a place of self orientation to Gd focusedness. it is there that we ultimately are creating in the rechem every week our future reality and building the limbs of ourselves and restructuring our chumrious back to HKB.
even there we see an amazing thing.
the final way I would like to suggest is that melacha has the letters mem lamed and chaf, that is the world melech. which has all sorts of interesting references. but as we have said before, melech is rosh yetevos of moach lev kavod, mind heart and liver. in there we said that parallels the three levels of soul, neshama, ruach and nefesh. the liver is the desires, the nefesh, dam hu hanefesh. In the melacha just like we said in the mal we take out the aleph to get kah, we are transforming our anochius to elokus and once we connect the nefesh for our four elements, what we are really doing is reconnectiong back to the hgher part of our nefesh and we would feel the lightness of being, a soul, not just having a soul, but your very identity is the soul. then to realign that back to ruach and the neshama is bringing in alignment of melech which is HKB the King. as opposed to backwards which is klum, starting with the desires first and we think our heart will conform to the desires and our mind will take on ways of seeing things according to our desires. then we have klum nothingness. therefore you see that in allt he various ways of aligning of melacha, simple level of its not employment effort or technology based, it is simply the elements and the characteristics of the actions that were used that were used in the building the functioning of the mishkan. but what is it really doing in the melacha practically? affecting the chumrius, the physical structure. during the week physically we are trying to fix the chumrius of our nefesh, the chomer is the four elements, tied to the middos which are the basis for our identity formulating the various limbs of our soul within the womb, creating our future world and being sure not to fall away from our true divine goal. and then the three step process of the melacha, the mem lamed, aleph, chof hai, is the way we break down and reconstruct our anochius to elokus from a very systematicly for each melacha. we will remove the sheker, extract the kernel of truth in the sheker, and then bringing it up to its four fuller form or more complete form and it is there that we go through elementally structuring identity, restructuring. and that is what a melacha is doing, it is creating you, restructuring creation in you and bringing shem havaya with the alignment of yud k vavk through the elements to have your own simplicity in mind heart and desire. that is what we are stirving for. and then the levels of soul neshama ruach nefesh createe that alignment and that is where the gilui is of elokus is in this world. that what we are doing every week. to go through yiddishkeit is not possible. you have to grow and grow systematically. grow methodically, grow purposefully, with intent to focus….you don’t have to drive yourself crazy, it is very geshmach..but you have to grow in a way that you truly are coming to terms with an ultimate identity crises daily. who am I?
am I human being or a divine becoming? as we have said we are choosing between remaining human and becoming divine. that is using behira in our avoda weekly as we grow through the mitzvahs and go through the mundaneness of our weekday to show tehre is nothing mundane. with this perspective everything small becomes big because it is from Hashem, for a greater purpose, uniquely deisgned for you tin time and space. that is wow.
as the final wrap up we are bulding ourselves as a mishkan, mem shakein, shachein has the root letters to dwell and mem is forty. so there is 40th melacha on shabbos, yesih meayin, 39 weeks and 40th level of soul, the purity comes in. the mishkan is when all the elements of creation became properly in line. Yashrus, shem havaya was fully revealed from top down with straightness and purity and Hashem’s divine presence shines brilliantly in this world where everything is interincluded in Him including you. which means we ultimately matter. Hashem has the most incredible love for us that is not limited or bound in any way. we have to connect our identity to that. perceive. Unlimited love for us. His Infinite value for us, in our central purpose, every week we are going through mini identity crises. But not in ways we get thrown off course. we get driven on course to come to understand more fully and truly simply who we are. No one wants to be in charum. Everyone wants to create their machar their future world, and everyone wants to see that their ultimate chumrius, and all we have to do is our best. we have to ultimately want the right things – ratza, choose the right things – behira – and hishtadlus put in the proper effort.
the roshe tevos for those three words, ratzon reish, behira beis, and hai hishtadlus is raba.this is our personal greatness. Our ability to systematically knock out our humanness, rework it into infinity through time and space through our week and daily activities and in that zechus we can use the koach of a melacha, to rework ourselves, transform ourselves, renew ourselves, rebirth ourselves weekly.
that is a weekly shabbos consciousness that we are trhying to create in ourselves that makes every little part of our life special important and essential and allows us to bring HKB into everyting because there is no place where He isn’t and therefore He is everything. May we merit to truly bring hKB into every part of our lives and take every part of our lives and have a willingness to be connected back to Him then we are in the process weekly of constructing ourselves in the mishkan, and IYH we should have a beshanti besoca in the most beautiful way possible.