The potency of ratzo v’shov run and return, is our recognizing Hashem and our showering of compassion upon the Shechina in exile, not wanting the life force that naturally attached to falsehood to remain in darkness.
What does showering compassion on the Shechina in exile mean and how do we do it?
When we are in the seething waters, all we feel like is running for shelter, to get away, to fight, or to freeze in the fear.
By learning the look and feel of our natural reactions through hisbodidus, we begin to also experience the insights that result – the look and feel of being a beloved emanation of Hashem. Our Torah learning talks back to us, with examples from the avos and imahos, with the holiday cycle of the Jewish year.(see note on this below the line)
By facing our challenges knowing we are in the presence of Hashem who loves us and that the experience of our upper soul is one of pleasure from His Presence, we safely turn to the challenge and approach the task of exchanging our attachment to false beliefs for attachment to Hashem and truth. Basically, we are wlling for the false fire to flow out of the challenge and into an expression of Hashem’s kindness. A false fire develops naturally because of the way people naturally attach to life itself. It is all by design, so there is no blame or shame! We are only on a loving journey and have been given the Torah to acquire a deeper understanding of the purpose and reason for which Hashem creates us. We are built to face our challenges and withstand the natural pulls upon us.
It takes emunah that Hashem is the Source of everything and that He is doing everything and loves us.
It takes trust that our soul that is above our body (chaya and yechida) is experiencing the pleasure of connection through emunah to Hashem.
It takes the trust that our soul is an emanation from Hashem without stopping that He designs to flow compassion into this world, a soul He designs and through which He will do the heavy lifting of powerful sparks that have fallen into a created world.
We have no independent existence. He is thinking everything in His Mind. His Thoughts are not like our thoughts.
With the above active awe in Hashem and with trust in how Hashem has designed Knesset Yisrael. and with love for Hashem for the very life force that is sustaining us in every moment, we realize that we have the “wings” that provide us with access to where chesed is stored and concealed in our integrated understanding, even when we are in the throws of fiery character traits that are hurtful and painful due to naturally developed attachments to this world. Do we see how awe in the design and love for Hashem place us into a perspective where we are now able to hold a duality, a paradox?
Our role is choice. To have experiential understanding that we have a choice is something that we build through emunah and trust that He is doing everything and loves us. From success after success in meriting His Mercy when these storms quiet and inner calm restored, the look and feel of the seething waters becomes somewhat less gripping, at least in potential.
We receive His Mercy when we recognize Him and walk with trust, love and awe back to Him, describing the winds and fires but refusing to fall into them, out of love for Hashem and not wanting our life force to attach to darkness and damages any more than it already is at this moment.
How do we refuse to fall into the messages and instead open a flow? Not by denying the feelings, but rather by facing them and feeling them without attaching thought speech or action to them, other than in hisbodidus asking for Divine mercy.
Hold the look and feel of the force in the painful message in the mind, like in a loving chamber that surrounds it.This force is animating our unique root attachment to inherently false beliefs, false only because they were formed at the initial stages of life,before we could grasp who is Hashem. Breathe and recognize the force is life force and thereby, since there is no other Power, it is Shechina in exile that feels like us, alive. Hold the force in mind, stay steady, identifying how it got there but without falling into believing its message, breathing.
Say out loud, there is no other Power. Feel the amazing opportunity to ask Hashem to have mercy and to restore this life force to an avodas Hashem that brings it into this world with a feeling of joy.
Confess. This honors Hashem, for we are creations and we are acknowledging we have no independent existence and know it. We declare we do not want the life force He is giving to us to be in that dark place and we are responsible for it being there due to naivety as youths and mistakes along the way up until now.
And now come the amazing steps for which we are designed.
With awe that there is no other Power and with love for Hashem knowing we are emanations of His Love experiencing that love at this very moment, we exercise real free will and we identify as an emanation made in His Image (an emanation that at the levels of soul above nature is experiencing the pleasure of basking in the emunah that our soul is receiving, even if we do not actively feel it). We have trust that this is so. This is emunah. Focus love and compassion from this understanding (daas) onto the force animating the painful message that is in our mind’s eye.
Stored somewhere in the experiential understanding that is our painful message and challenge is chesed from Hashem, concealed as Elokim, animating something false, and that awareness alone expands our understanding in the painful place we stand.
Something opens up.
We ask for His Mercy. The nefesh elokis He designs is built to draw forth the chesed concealed in Elokim. He does this. We submit to it.
Like a faucet of water, the love and chesed from above nature is there for us to ask Hashem to flow into the darkness and heal the pain of what we are describing. And we describe what we are experiencing – not to swim in the seething waters, whining and complaining –but out of recognition of an error that we wish to do teshuva on, because our life force is attached to naturally developed false beliefs. No blame or shame. This is the design. Have awe at how this natural environment was set within us just to give us real free will.
We itemize the false beliefs we are attachedto. We feel them and open our hearts and ask for His Mercy, that the pleasure of the soul basking in the joy of emunah flow to these places in our hearts and bring back to Him the trapped power of our life force and attach to Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs instead. We ask that this part of our life force be the intention for our avodas Hashem, that we may feel alive and joyful with avodas Hashem with it restored to its true state, compassion…
We shower compassion upon the Shechina in exile. “Hashem I do not want the precious life force You bless me with to be in this darkness. Please I wish only for the life force You bless me with that is made in Your Image, compassionate, chesed, to please flow into the world through the mitzvah that I am moving forward to do…”
We continue to focus compassion connecting this place of attachment within us with awareness that we are attached to Hashem as an emanation. We hold in our mind the true reality of His Love and that He is doing everything. We remember deeply that we have no independent existence. That means He is giving us this opportunity and that it is a choice for us to make, to cling and attach to the design of Knesset Yisrael to flow this power back to Him.
Something begins to move together in our mind. Hold steady. We are holding together the paradox and awaiting the life force from the pain, that power, to be drawn forth to its Source and given back to us through our intention to do a mitzvah and moving to do it.
We are helpless and we have no control. We will for this and we have intention to do a mitzvah and we move to do that mitzvah.
Hashem runs everything according to the spiritual structures, the sefiros. Listen here to Rav Dror explain more about the spiritual structures. His description is empowering for all of us. And listen here to Rabbi Mendel Kessin explain how Hashem is existence itself, ein od milvado. When we recognize Him, hold steady with awe in how He has designed Knesset Yisrael and built into our soul the way for it to channel His Infinite light back to Him, and we choose to identify as one with Him rather than with the false sensations of being seemingly here on our own, and we walk past our natural pulls, He has mercy upon us and brings us upwards from the seething waters and holds us close and restores our inner calm as we move forward with learning Torah, prayer, chesed and mitzvahs.
It is incumbent upon us to make an effort to really begin to feel how our inner peace is restored through avodas Hashem, that indeed when we bring the power we experience of our life force trapped in the seething waters forth into Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs, our vitality returns. This is the true Source of our vitality, for all there is in the world is Hashem. Without this awareness, we rely on balancing our emotions through the permitted activities for the animal soul.
This is what it means to shower compassion upon the Shechina in exile – our own life force. The source of the compassion we shower is Hashem. He is really doing everything. We are choosing to submit our self-conscious interpretation which feels like our own akeidas Yitzchak.
Hashem gives us the compassion to do this as an inheritance, as part of the design of Knesset Yisrael that is made in His Image. We all have access to it. It is stored chesed even within our natural understanding, although concealed from us. Our understanding may be quite limited and subjective. Through Torah learning and through emunah and Ahavas Hashem (which we feel when we realize His Love for us but that we trust is there because He is doing everything and we have no independent existence), our subjective understanding expands and we may access more and more awareness of Hashem’s chesed in every moment, as Elokim, even though the chesed may be trapped in a painful message. Ask for mercy when we are in the seething waters, when we are “on trial” to see if we will cling to false beliefs based on our self-consciousness and act from them or recognize our Creator and submit and nullify everything that blocks the true reality of being an emanation of Him made in His Image to do His Will and bring His Light into the world. We choose to submit and through this teshuva, Hashem draws us upwards from our trials spiritually.
Outward miracles are not to be expected. We are speaking about inner consciousness and inner peace regardless of what the moment is bringing. We trust that whatever the outcome it is truly what is good. This is the level of emunah that can be reached.
Hashem is the Source of all life force, all circumstances and everything physical giving all of this to us withthe power of real free will to embrace the opportunity to utilize life to flow His Light into the world by doing mitzvahs. This is our purpose and reason for being here and overcoming the darkness is how we bring forth the Shechina in exile that we need as His Mercy in order to do so. Hidden within our challenge is the chesed we need as His Mercy added back to our soul for infusing into the world. We release it through will and emunah and attaching to Him as an emanation rather than remaining attached to our false beliefs. He heals.
This Is the process of showering compassion upon the Shechna in exile that is part of every run and return. Hisbodedus is the key tool to build.
(Note from above) A great way to learn about going through our lives through the Jewish calendar is through Rabbi Nivin Personal Development Chaburas (contact Robyn Meyerson at firstname.lastname@example.org). Rabbi Nivin offers amazing tools to help with personal development.
For those interested in run and return, these tools work well with the hisbodidus described above.
By taking time in hisbodedus, we begin to understand the forces within us and we begin to identify the inner struggle that is the point of being in this world. Without finding this inner struggle, we continue from childhood throughout life believing the messages that are “advising” us regarding feeling ourselves and acting for our own self-interest. For spiritual maturity to take place, inquiry into olam haba and the purpose of our lives in olam haze must begin.
Wondering how to begin on a loving and gentle opening of our eyes in Hashem’s presence? Here are some options:
Devorah Yaffa Singer offers an amazing series called Lights of Emunah – it is sourced in Torah and taught with excitement. It is 32 classes and each month includes an hour of 1 on 1 discussion with her. For more information, contact her at email@example.com or at this link