In this shiur Rabbi Kessin explains how we are not here on our own, that we do not have autonomous independent existence, yet real free will gives us the ability to be like Hashem and create our own future through free willed choice. The amazing distinction helps so much with understanding how to approach our challenges and in understanding just how real our choices and power of will are.
We have the ability to create for ourselves something that angels do not have…the ability to have eternity without shame because of the choices we make here.
Here are brief general notes
Derech Hashem / The Way of God #78 | Man’s Free Will & Nahama D’Kisufa
The whole reason I am here is to use free will and that is a divine act. The neshama receives at the same time it realizes it is divine.
Shame is a contradiction in existence. And that provides the solution to remove the contradiction of shame is to come to a task, have free will, righteousness and sinfulness and do the job. This world is where we can do this and get rid of the contradiction for all eternity.
This way we are not in spiritual agony for all eternity.
To feel one thing and the direct opposite at the same time Hashem gives us the ability to be responsible for our righteousness and thereby remove the bread of shame
To us it feels like shame.
It is not a feeling Hashem created in shame He creates divine existence and thereby contradiction that we are a creation, existence as a giver, a divine being, is mutually exclusive from being a creation Hashem has to remove the contraction and we choose to be righteous.
We cannot get something for free. This is the concept of din Justice is for a you get b. for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, we get exactly what we did. But Hashem helps us with systems. And then there is no bread of shame.
Hashem is exacting with a tzaddik because he does not want anything for free, he only wants what he caused. His divine aspect only wants to earn. They don’t even want Hashem to assist them,
A tzaddik with control over his emotions, he wants to work for, to earn it all. If we receive something we didn’t do we will have shame.
The whole world is predicated on this existential conflict. If we could tolerate receiving and taking, we would be in olam haba taking and not care. But Hashem wants to provide us the best and therefore this world we have to do this.
Concepts of Lowliness and a Vulnerable Share
Concepts to help understand the share below:
The concept of lowliness is not popular with the ego, our well developed image of ourselves from which we are oriented towards the world and each other. Yet there is a layer of distortion that Hashem leaves to us to remove in order that our “image” that we project into the world reflects our conscious choice to give Him the life force we are otherwise spilling into animalistic urges, cravings, drives, anger, fear, and survival instincts based on natural cause and effect thinking.
No one likes to be shamed. Nevertheless, shaming is a very powerful shaping tool for teaching people what is expected of them, especially little children who need to attach to a loving parent. The problem of course is that we feel inferior from it and over time, we are afraid of our imperfections for fear of the pain of feeling ashamed.
Yes we are imperfect. We are created with imperfections But no, our lowliness is not intended for us to feel shame, but rather to redeem from that shame the life force that is bonding our imperfection to hurtful messages of inadequacy and inferiority. Here is a segment from the book of Samuel regarding King David with an explanation given on the writing of the Mittler Rebbe These were part of a course called Rectifying the ego given through Torat Hanefesh.
The life force that is bonding our imperfection to hurtful messages of inadequacy and inferiority as we experience this is the power of the Shechina in exile within it There is no other power It is our life force given to us to do a creative act – and that creative act is to recognize Hashem hovering above and within the bond to the pain, awaiting us to love Him back -THAT IS THE CREATIVE ACT. That is how we create ourselves as a giver. In loving Him back and recognizing Him and telling Him we want to be a channel to flow His Light into the world, we ask for Him to have mercy upon us and to please give us the opportunity to channel the compassion locked up in our bond to the seductions that our animal soul otherwise finds cratifying – urges lusts, cravings, etc – into mitzvahs chesed and learning Torah. This effort establishes us as having done a creative act of forming our identity as a being that recognized its Creator and generated love and compassion ad used real free will and speech to bring His Light into the world
Thus, while we stand before Him with our imperfections, it is up to us to recognize our lowliness – meaning the places we still feel bonded with the pleasures offered for animalistic urges and lusts and cravings that are lurking without our permission but which we know are lurking even if we choose otherwise.
Yes, we can choose otherwise but to eliminate the contradiction, it is also possible to uproot the bond to that desire through the process above.
Each year we free ourselves a little bit more
Let us each make an effort to penetrate through the illusion of ego and externalize and nullify our feelings of self that excite and overtake and blind our animal soul to the point where we are rationalizing, denying, or confessing but not really doing teshuva .
We don’t want anyone to do it for us, We don’t want Hashem to keep us in a state of contradiction to Him, a created being, when He designs us to do this creative act that frees us from the bread of shame for all eternity.
Yes we are made lowly. But no, the fear of shame we have for our imperfections does not have to remain a motivator. We can face the challenge and apply to it -Torah!
Personal Prayer and Share
Hashem, I am so afraid of being ashamed of trying to confess my lowliness in a world of judgment where reliance on ego seems to be a measure of mental health and self-esteem.
Hashem, I know that I continue to have life force that You are blessing me with that bonds me to fear of being shamed for being imperfect, and it is a constant presence affecting me. Inversely, I seek evidence from outside sources to reassure me that I am good and worthy and this is also the same life force responding to shame messages due to inadequacies.
Hashem I love You and do not wish that the life force You are blessing me with remain in this lowly dark place. It feels like a pit, with no water, and it causes pain, like fire..fear, anger, destructive responses. I do not want to fall into these. I recognize that the force is the life force that is coming from You and that my instincts continue to bond me with the natural cause and effect thinking that You animate in order that I have real free will and I thank you for the opportunity of life.
Please Hashem, I am holding steady over the bumps, showering compassion upon everything I am feeling in order to ask that You have mercy upon my life force and release it from the deficiencies in me that pursue the gratifications of animalistic urges and lusts. I desire to be unified, body and soul, with Your Will in order to truly walk in this world in deep connection with You, feeling love in doing Your Will and appreciation for the opportunity of fulfilling it.
Dear Hashem I know that You are doing everything, and that I have consciousness only to make this effort, Please Hashem may I walk humbly with You, with a heart healed of its natural connections to animalistic tendencies so that I may truly be a vessel for Your Will.
Please Hashem if I have merited forgiveness, please may it be a forgiveness for all Klal Yisrael and may anyone seeking You be blessed by You with light and insight to strengthen emunah and recognize You, have compassion on the Shechina in exile within, and beg for mercy.
May our efforts to move from slavery to freedom tip the scales for the Moshiach to be revealed b’ahava.