Rabbi Yaakov Zalman Labinsky – Upgrade our will from nature to emunah with comprehension of real pleasure starting with making Hashem’s Will ours

REVIEW – Using the strength of the hurrying we do erev Shabbos to fix the element of wind in us by using it for a higher purpose

A quick review.  We spoke about alacrity and moving quickly erev Shabbos as the basis for preparing ourselves to get ready for Shabbos.  we said to use the koach of hurriedness to move quickly to fix the element of ruach in the nefesh. we use wind to move for a higher purpose and we tied it into ratzon as the basis for movement.

Practical ways to use wind – will for  a higher purpose

Now let’s look at it practically. how do we work that so that we can use it erev Shabbos and through the week.

Pirke Avos says: 2nd perek 4th mishna: You should make His Will your will, that He should make your will HIs Will.  You should nullify your ratzon for the sake of His ratzon.  Why? In order that you should nullify other’s ratzon to yours.

Make His Will Ours – Why?

Let’s get practical.  The first question is why do we make His Ratzon like our ratzon.  Why not start with our will and make it His?  The Mishnah says to start with His and make it like ours so that it will come that He will make His like ours.

When  we do something not for the sake of Hashem but for self-interest, it is not so simple that it is lo lishma, because we may eventually come to doing it lishma, altruistically.  Rabbi Dessler says that doing something lo lishma so that eventually we come to do it lishma  only works if at the outset, before we start climbing the lishma ladder, that we focus on the end goal – which means that our will is for lishma, and that is our end point.  Then our self-orientation that is involved naturally can come purer, closer to the lishma.  The process is leaving the lo lishma to get to the lishma.  But it only works if our end goal  is lishma.  The process is leaving lo lishma to get to lishma – the end goal is His ratzon first, as the driving force the end point, and that is the goal, to get to the top of the ladder.

Why start with Hashem’s will first and make His like ours?  If we are not driven by His Ratzon as the core basis of the Torah and mitzvahs and His operating system in the world,, it does not matter how much we work on ourselves. we cannot propel higher.  It only works to get to a more pure form if His directive is the driving force, no matter where we are holding.

The Mishnah is telling us to make His Will ours, to seek lishma before we start, in order that we will make our ratzon His Ratzon.  The lo lishma inherent in our will can then evolve into His Will.

Ratzon is the very source of one’s being and yes we have to use our will as the basis to drive us during the week to get to Shabbos. we go lo lishma into lishma, using self-serving steps, slowly bypassing ego but that only works if we are seeking kiddush Hashem, that we are truly wanting His Will.  If we are after our ratzon, cloaking and disguising it as His, it stays lo lishma.

Moving ourselves from depending on nature to living as an emanation of Hashem

If we give up our ratzon to Hashem by making Him the Source of everything and defining ourselves in relation to Him, then we can define ourselves back in relation to Him. 

We start with His ratzon first. practically, we start with our less altruistic, our self-serving state, and slowly see it, understand it, identify the pure parts, see more of a mixture in both, and as we sift and work through it, increasing degrees and proportion of altruistic versus self-oriented.  This works if we put His Will as the driving force even before we begin the work.

The pleasure of experiencing divine Oneness – taanug

The second example is based on the ten sefirot, the ten elements of creation, the highest is keter, crown, the realm of super-consciousness of Hashem’s presence in creation.  In keter there are three unknowable heads, but in simple terms these are the three levels of super divine consciousness, emunah, taanug and ratzon, faith, pleasure – divine delight, and will.

Will is an aspect of the super-consciousness that drives our yearnings and innermost will, the basis for our passions, our drives, including when we are not as passionate or motivated or if we have a mixture of passion or motivation. the emanation of that is in ratzon and comes from the highest sefira of keter.

Based on the first example, we use inner refinement to refine the will throughout the degrees of ego-centricity and increase the degrees of altruism and selfless activity.  the bigger question is can we stay within will itself?


The approach is that each level of the three unknowable heads is based on the one above. so will is based on pleasure.  ratzon is wind, and taanug is water.  So if we want to increase the passion of will, one way is to do it within itself as in pirke avos, and the second is to go to pleasure.  The body’s pleasure is ego based and the soul’s pleasure is experiencing divine oneness.

if a person would go to the depths of why pleasure is so important, that it is the vitality energizing the force of creation and we renew the quality of pleasure during the week and on shabbos, then that itself creates a reservoir for new ratzon to fall into. Taanug spills down into the sefira.  If we want to grow in inner ratzon, do a deeper examination of self, where are we holding in pleasure, from physical to divine pleasure.  “Hashem I want to see every part of creation as an expression of You, I want to see not only Your Hand in my life but that every creation IS an expression of You and interconnects and my soul yearns to see that it is really all one and that divine unity is the depth of what pleasure is.  The more I am committed to pleasure I can pass it back into my ratzon, and it has a higher level of lishma and that flushes out impurities of lo lishma

It is not just purifying within.  we can draw taanug.

Emunah -Hashem is the only Being that exists and having emunah renews our strength

The third one is emunah.

Emunah is Hashem is all present, all good, for a higher good. but when you go to the root of your inner soulful capacity, that is the highest part of keter.  That means emunah has to do with Hashem’s reality is so great we cannot understand it because it is so high and refined we cannot go there and exist. The highest level of His will is not contained or confined in any way.  So in our earthly terms, we work on emunah but our highest soul that wants to nullify our existence to Hashem, that I don’t know- He does know, and when I go to a place in my soul above taanug and I renew it and dedicate and go to self-nullification regarding existence being Hashem as the only thing that is real, we renew our koach. 

Then we can emanate that renewed strength into our taanug, our core desire for pleasure, and our yearning to see how it all connects together.

Hashem is true existence and that will renew desire for pleasure, and once we strengthen pleasure, the innermost drive, the true soul pleasure, to see everything as Hashem – and I can only do that by experiencing His true existence of which I am an essential part – then that taanug goes back into ratzon.

The ratzon is renewed -the reservoir, of what we truly want, more inner purity, elokus, is all about negation of self.  Emunah is the highest level of self-abnegation because it means the deepest inner commitment for Hashem’s true existence and not to the “ me”. 

Taanug brings it down a little to pleasure, the deepest pleasure seeing how everything joins together.

And when it comes to ratzon, that is the basis for generating movement. The highest part of my soul is seeking a purer expression of Gdliness and that goes into all our activities in this world. 

Summary of renewal

The three unknowable heads, ratzon, taanug and emunah, going up and then down into our existence, is renewal. 

Pirke avos is the same thing from a mussadik perspective. 

Nullfy yourself for His Will. make the focal point all about Hashem, that He is all of existence, absolutely everything, in all of creation there is nothing where He is not everything.

When we can get more real with that, and our will conforms to His, His will can now be used to express to other people.  This is the basis for how a person can begin to increase, deepen and nullify human existence and connect to nefesh elokis, connect to Hashem so His will can come through ours.

that is the basis for erev Shabbos, and for Shabbos – that all there is in the world is Hashem.  I have arrived with my new portion. 

The end point is that He is everythingness and I am experiencing a part of myself in His everythingness.  that is the koach of ratzon.

Practical activities during the week – make Hashem the source of all creation and nullifying that it is about me

Let’s say you start off with davening.  Yehi ratzon milfonecha…Reb Shimon Schwab says may it be Your will Hashem.  translate the words literally and we see May this will be from before You, meaning my will, my tefilla.  it reflects in the tense to do to one’s self.  it is not just that I am making my request, advocating, that I have my own personal relationship.  Hashem is saying your innermost being is tied to your ratzon and you are offering your ratzon in the amida and that new bracha will come down and actualize into you.  Tate, where I am holding today and I now begin to connect to who I am and that I want to relate to You, what part of my ego do I want to suspend to give it up  like an animal sacrifice.  I am putting my ego on the offer and offering it to you. Here is my will may it ascend upwards, through four worlds, to the world of emanation and then drawn down after the 18 bracheas of praise, request  and thanks and having it come back to us.  that is the process of refining our inner will, we put it to Him. I want to make His will mine, so it is all about Hashem.  It is not just about me or tate may I?  I am trying to make Hashem the source of all creation and nullifying that it is about me. It is about making His existence the only real and true existence today as I see it.  In order to do that, that is the first mechalich, make it all about Him.  access my ratzon and make it about that.

Each section in davening is a level of refining our own individual orientation moving out ego through the four levels and then we have more refined ratzon, not just making requests.  each one of the capacities is sourced in You, the source of all lfe.  as we offer up each of those, it is saying I don’t have self interest, I know YOu will give me everything I need.  the source is rooted only in You because  You are the only true existence.  Then draw that consciousness down and bring it into this world as a more refined person, ego is upgraded, ratzon is the driving force and that  is expressed more through mine.

In addition, I want to see what I am driven by.  soul pleasure.  and that is not even mine, it comes from keter, taanug of seeing Hashems everything of which I am a part of and the interconnectedness of which I am a part.  The deepest desire to go into the world and see how it relates, with all the various activities and give that back to You, that is the pleasure i want today. I want to strengthen emunah.  I dont need to know, I just need to pay attention and folow your lead and then I can have the deepest pleasure to give it back to You and that goes into my ratzon so that my ratzon will be more refined with G-dliness with less self-orientation , may my tefillos be higher so I can express your will.

In ashrei we say poseach es yodecha, open your hands and satisfy the will of every living thing.  we can also read it may we open up the names of yud k vav k, adnus, and those names come together, 91.  Yud of ykvk, the two yuds meld rachamim together to emanate everything according to the strength of will into the world.  “Hashem emanate more will into me so the extent to which I can see Your will is the basis for everything, please emanate pure will into me so that I can express that through me.”  We are davening for purified will, more divine oriented will, in line with ein od milvado.  That is a tremendous way to say poseah es odecha.

Rochel’s name is in the last letter of each word – the revealed shechina in us. The higher will of Hashem’s ratzon should emanate to us and His will should come into the world through us.  that is another entry point. 

Thirdly, any time we are doing something, don’t just get caught up with the results.  Focus on your heartset, focus on your speech, focus on your mindset and if you go a little higher, what is driving me, what is my motivation, what is my compassion? is it fear based, love based?  Find inner consciousness for ratzon and if you can grab hold of it.

Rabbi Pliskin  says may it be your will that…may it be my will that it is an expression of Your will.  Pick a mitzvah and express your soulful ratzon before you start. Hashem may it be your will that I perform this mitzvah with Your will and that expressed intentionality before you do something sharpens your innermost desire or yearning for why or how you do something.  you consciously mindfully express that inner yearning for that, you are aligning yur will to His and that brings more purity for us. 

Expressed intentionality from our inner ratzon, and then taanug and emunah is another way.

10th of Teves  Who do we want to be

Finally for today, tonight is the 10th of teves, the first of the three fasts that express the beginning of the breakdown of the bais hamikdosh. the Chosom sefer tells us that there is a din, a judicial system that begins and extends through tisha bav whether this year it will be decreed it will be rebuilt.  why does the decree start 10 teves?  Because of ratzon.  The siege means cutting off from inner vitality.  cutting off from food and water does not mean you are cutting off from the world, you are cutting off from the source, they dont have access.  It is appropriate to start today because our will is who we want to be. 

Each one of us start the judicial process of our innermost ratzon and where we want to be. How much do we want the shehina in this world. 

We can use any of the models today to go into this for the next 24 hours and make His will ours so we can go from my own self orientation to lishma and work on purifying it.

If you need to dig a little higher, how seriously do I take my pleasure, not just for me, I want others to have the greatest pleasure of knowing Him, seeing the ultimate of HIs creation , we are one unified people, and to unify His Creation and I want to up the level of taanug by going to emunah and drawing it back down to taanug and ratzon.  my ratzon should be refined, more pure and expanded to express kavod shomayim.

it should be a meaningful fast.  for a purpose.  Hashem will scan the innermost ratzon of klal yisrael and we want to offer our ratzon to Him and we want to sweat so we can create more of an awakening.  We want the building.  Through taanug and emunah I want to refine the lo lishma.  we are focusing on You. It is only about You and Your existence. 

We want our lives to express Hashem’s glory in this world

We don’t just want a great life, we want a life that expresses Your glory in this world  what we want in some regards is to go deeper into ratzon and taanug and examine ourselves more honestly and bring up the ego to You and in davening poseach es yodecha, doing mitzvahs expressing our intentionality.  we want to go to our inner source and give up ourselves to you.  there is not really an us, we dont have independent existence, we want your ultimate truth, and we know the bais hamikdosh is being built and the judicial process is starting and we do not want korbon.  No more suffering. we want the greatest joy, from the binyan. 

May we be zocheh to do internal fasting and shteiging so that our ratzon can be part of the building and see and experience and know tangibly that the temple will be built this year.  let’s not make this a pipe dream.

 Let’s make this the real geula is coming and we need it now.

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