Asking Hashem for mercy every moment is compassion upon the Shechina that agrees to be in exile, in the darkness, in our pain, the Shechina that is animating everything in the world,the soul of every atom that is solid, liquid, gas or radioactive appearing as earth, water, wind or fire, the four foundations of the world formed out of the primordial tohu by the 28 Hebrew letters from aleph to tav.
A pretty big statement? Let’s take a closer look.
How many moments during the day are we in a frame of mind of survival, of moving our agenda forward, of seeing the challenges that present themselves and setting out to bring whatever we can to these challenges?
How many moments during the day do we fall into despair, frustration, anger, fear, feeling overwhelmed, impatience, the urge to blame, the reaction to shame or feel ashamed?
It feels to us as thought we are experiencing a private universe all by ourselves and that we are the one in charge and that it is up to us and that success or failure lies in what we know, what we say and what we do.
Amazing isn’t it how Hashem is so concealed? We forget that we are created beings that come here temporarily from a drop and to the dust. We are 100 percent responsible to Hashem to make an effort with Him in the picture, but we are not the Source of anything, either the circumstances or the outcomes.
What if we expand our subjectivity every second to include Hashem in the picture, that He is the One doing everything? How do we comprehend this truth and also realize the tremendous role that our mortal lifetime offers in bringing Hashem into the foundations of the world, earth wind water and fire, solid, gas, liquid and radioactive elements?
We have a physical brain that develops. It has chemical reactions and nerve activity, thank Hashem. But over our brain, we also have a mind, and that mind is NOT limited by what may limit the brain. There was someone who had a massive stroke and was considered brain dead. One family member recited a bracha each time a certain function was completed. Each time, the heart monitor went up and down at the time that a person would otherwise say amein after a bracha. A brain dead person’s mind was responding amein without a working brain. This is important to comprehend. It gives hope to every person who has a traumatic past because the mind and the brain are not the same and the awareness that the mind has in recognizing Hashem brings the possibility of healing for the brain and our nervous system and emotions.
There are two parts of our soul that are totally undamaged and unable to be damaged by this world and those are the Chaya and yechida, correlating to the yud and the tip of the yud in Hashem’s Name, to chochma and keter, to Torah and to the 13 attributes of mercy.
When we experience our subjective understanding of the world, we are in binah, a subjective understanding limited by our beliefs and values as they develop naturally. When we have pain, it is because this binah, this understanding, the upper hai of Hashem’s Name, is receiving an influx of light that its limited understanding does not fully grasp and interprets according to these beliefs and values. These beliefs and values, however, usually form at a young age with incomplete information and childish interpretations that are false. Nevertheless, these thought patterns are what we use to handle our moments unless we go forth from there, as Avraham was instructed to do when Hashem told him to go to the land that Hashem will show him.
Torah teaches us that Hashem is good and only good and that He is doing everything. Thus with our mind, we are able to grasp that somewhere Hashem is showering compassion upon us despite how it feels and that our main journey is to somehow remove what is blocking us from experiencing His Compassion.
Now let’s nullify the feeling of independent separate existence so that instead of thinking that we are going to remove what is blocking that, in fact, nothing is blocking us from experiencing His Compassion except our lack of recognizing that reality. How do we recognize that reality when we are in the dark? It seems like a catch 22.
Except it isn’t.
The moment we have compassion upon the Shechina in exile, that life force that is sustaining the darkness we are experiencing through our perceptions, our nervous system, because of the development of our brain, we move to our mind’s eye, a mind that knows at all times the pleasure of connecting to Hashem, of being connected to Him and trust that He is doing everything, that He is good and does good. Just by having compassion on the spark that is the strength of the pain.
We align our identity with Hashem’s compassion. We have an inner being! We are not just a mortal body, a victim of our traumatic experiences and limited beliefs, values and understanding.
We are an inner being made in His Image!
Our mind is able to hold in its eye this true reality along side the experiential reality. Do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise! Do not surrender to despair! It is the voice of the counterforce as it solidifies in the pain of our long exile and galus, may we all find real hope to latch onto from these words!!
From there, our mind and our Torah learning begin to “sniff” out the concealed compassion.
Recognizing Hashem honors Hashem, the Creator, by showing that we know He is doing everything and that we are creations.
Torah teaches us that when we choose to activate the thirteen attributes of mercy and to call out to Hashem from these attributes, He answers us. This is Hashem’s message to Moshe Rebbeinu after the sin of the Golden Calf, that when the Jewish people need Him, we should evoke the 13 attributes of mercy.
How do we best evoke these?
By emulating Him!
Showering compassion on the Shechina in exile immediately aligns us with the 13 attributes. Hashem answers us by holding back the “malware” that naturally interferes with us receiving the divine flow of mercy constantly being sent, that place of connection that our yechida and chaya experience at every single moment without stopping but that is often blocked to our perceptions because of the counterforce, the “malware” that Hashem animates too in order to give us real free will.
There is a place in our brain called the orbital cortex that generates messages to us. Often when there is trauma or when a person did not receive normal nurturing, the ability of the orbital cortex to regulate the emotions is compromised and that portion of the brain can even shrink. Science has found that when a person has optimism this portion of the brain begins to regain size. This is the basis of twelve step programs that place power outside of the person and help a person to regain their balance and self-control.
Showering compassion on the Shechina in exile means we recognize Hashem is doing everything and that He is good and only does good, and this emunah and the bitachon to rely on it are thus restorative of this function of the orbital cortex. However, make no mistake, the Source of the healing is Hashem, Who holds back the interpretations and messages for us to examine with mindfulness so that we may choose, to use the real free will He gives us. And when we do, not only do we receive His Divine Mercy and healing, but something in our choice also brings through our emotions and efforts a spark concealed in the four foundations, solid, liquid gas and radioactive atoms, that Hashem conceals Himself within, so that these basic foundations become capable of revealing Hashem as their Source instead of concealing Him.
We cannot understand this Infinite Process, but we can understand that Hashem designs Knesset Yisrael to be this channel that serves in the manner that He has devised to unify His Name when we will to recognize Him and have compassion upon the Shechina in exile, aligning ourselves as one with Him and without any independent separate existence.
Thus, when we ask Hashem for mercy, we are demonstrating compassion on the Shechina in exile .
Thank you Hashem for the good as well as for what appears other than good, may we only see good that we recognize as good. Thank you Hashem for the real free will to know that at all times we are creations receiving Your Divine Mercy. Please Hashem have mercy upon us and hold back the “malware”, the counterforces that appear to us as reliable due to our development in nature, because we have emunah and bitachon in Hashem and only want You, not any counterforces or feeling ourselves that is based on beliefs formed because of those counterforces.
May we come to appreciate our mind and live in our emunah and withstand the pulls of the counterforces that have formed our brain systems and may Hashem have mercy upon us and may wanting only Hashem become the new natural within our brain systems, hearts, speech and deeds.