Hashem has a midda of din, of strict justice, but it is designed to help us find our way to reflecting His 13 Attributes of Mercy.
The strictness that we associate with our internal world comes from shaping, from impressions made when we were young and our brains and animating image was forming. Guaranteed there are imperfections in it because people are imperfect.
We have free choice to have awe in how Hashem has designed the world, to give us a choice if we will arouse love in our hearts and activate emunah to powerfully reorganize our inner world with determination to reflect His 13 Attributes of Mercy through our animating soul or not.
He gives us everything we need to heal those places in us that cause us to loop, to feel disempowered, to suffer from negative emotional charges and upsetting reactions that just take us further into the world of blame and shame.
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Rocky road happens triggering a natural negative reaction or survival instinct
Elements of natural existence touch and either captivate or try to captivate parts of the tzelem elokim, engaging it to serve the goals of the ego desires or for survival purposes, causing confusion, swirling emotions and/or bitterness
Know there is Hashem and that the Shechina along with a concealed strengthening ingredient for our tzelem elokim is in galus in that naturally occurring reaction.
Remembering that there is no other power and that we are in a place of limbo designed specifically for us to make a creative effort to serve Hashem. Instead of getting captivated in the natural occurrence, remember that the tzelem elokim has creative powers that through our choices can lead to becoming increased in our ability to reflect Hashem into the world and have more clarity and innate joy. Hashem is One and we are part of that. His is the only glory in the world and He glorifies us with a tzelem elokim to have a relationship with Him.
Activate love of Hashem and a desire to create a nourishment for the relationship, and have awe for Hashem, in how He creates the world with people with real free will to whom He gives the ability to choose freely to have this awe of Hashem to burn off natural elements from within the subconscious and unconscious mind in order to be able to become a greater system of reflecting Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy into the world.
With awe of Hashem and with emunah, cry out loud to Hashem that it is bitter to be trapped in this worldly matter, that happiness is learning Torah, praying to Hashem and emulating His Kindness and we ask Hashem to please help us to glue the tzelem elokim being drawn into a false promise of happiness back to learning Torah, praying to Hashem and emulating His Kindness
Part of this hisbodidus is to say what is terrifying or anger producing so that it can be broken down into the actual elements (water/taiva; fire/gaiva; wind/flightiness/speech/ruach; earth/sadness/malchus/sold vessel). For example, let’s say a person is feeling rejected or afraid of being rejected, here would be a way to talk out loud about it “redirecting the passion to avodas Hashem.” In other words, cry out with the intention of reclaiming the tzelem elokim that is being drawn to a desire tempting us with false messages ( false because happiness is learning Torah, praying to Hashem and emulating His Kindness). About where happiness lies. By repeating over and over with the natural feelings in mind, comparing to the actual truth that is learning Torah, praying to Hashem and emulating His Kindness, we begin to calm down:
Rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of anniliation. Repeat over and over until the swirling emotions are once again detached from the circumstances.
Then direct the passion to learning Torah, praying to Hashem and emulating His Kindness
If doubt creeps in about how this is going to help at all, repeat:
Doubt, doubt, fear of abandonment, fear of annihilation, fear of not being in control. Repeat over and over until the understanding that solidifying the image of autonomous separate existence causes us MORE suffering, because it subjects us to continuous doubts about Who is in charge of our survival. Our survival is in Hashem’s hands alone.
Ask Hashem to take the passion from the doubt and apply it to helping us keep a porous understanding of our image so that at all times our tzelem elokim is able to flow freely to Hashem without being blocked by a solidification of an image that is ultimately temporary, designed to give us free choice and the ability to take actions in accordance with halacha, but not really a contest for being able to control our survival ultimately.
With emunah that whatever happens is good because Hashem does only good, reorganize all the passions and re-directed sefira (kindness, strength, compassion, endurance, humility, bonding) to find something in Torah, a relief in praying to Hashem and a specific way to emulate His Kindness in that very moment and say Hashem Echad!
If what triggered the reaction had something to do with another person, realize that the other person may be confused and tell Hashem just as I am suffering in this moment from confusion of mind and calling out to You and I am so gratefull that You are helping me and not judging me or harshly punishing me for being temporarily confused and drawn toward bitterness, please may I emulate You and be patient and tolerant.
Please may I use all of this to drawn warmth, light, bracha and healing into the deep place where this struggle began, please may I bring Your attributes of mercy to the place inside of me that originally stumbled over these natural pitfalls so that I increase in that place tzelem elokim as what is natural, the new natural, so that I may draw Your Attributes of mercy into the animating soul over the natural reactions.
We have a real ability to heal ourselves by bringing subconsciously trapped parts of our tzelem elokim back into connection with conscious choice to learn Torah, pray to Hashem and emulate His Kindness. If we resist, it is because we believe that we are losing rather than gaining something by doing so.
Take a look at that deeply, because it is connected to subsconsious and unconscious natural reactions of resisting that have been with us in a good way helping us become adults.
However, when it comes to avodas Hashem,which is our first priority and hishtadlus before we act in time and space, we have to rely on our knowledge of Torah and our knowledge that all glory is Hashem. Above the way our autonomy appears in the natural world, the truth is that in every moment we are able acquire an increase in our happiness and potency as systems to reflect Him into the world when we make our autonomy porous and ourselves humble servants knowing that all success is up to Hashem.
From here, we can act. The impact upon our animating soul is the goal. As we see the natural impediments lessen from our natural reactions, we begin to understand that the outside external world is a stimulation solely for us to rectify our characteristics and break our nature, then acting to reflect Hashem’s Torah and Middos into the world, experiencing the joy of being the vessel to reflect Him.
Chazal explain to us that for each temple, our sins were the cause of the destruction. Those who came to knock the temples down were only knocking down structures. The truth of the temple being destroyed occurred when our sins removed the Shechina from the Temple and when our sinas chinum broke apart Klal Yisrael.
The outer destructions of the temple look quite mighty. The fierce rulers whose armies decimated and destroyed the temples look quite powerful in our eyes. But the power was not theirs. Hashem sent them and all power is His. No man has any power to do anything. Every one of us, no matter if we are a King, a President, an ordinary citizen of the world, a child, a patient in a hospital, has no power. None whatsoever. Sorry to wake us up to that.
We have effort and opportunity. We have free will and imagination. We have physical gifts, including bodies, brains, intelligence and more. But no matter how you want to assert the appearance of our independent existence, it is ultimately true that we are subjects of the Creator and it is His Power that is granted to our efforts for any success in the world, even the violence and horror that we see today.
The created world is made of four substances, solid, liquid, gas and radioactive materials. The difference between these materials is the speed at which the electrons move and in the case of radioactive, how unstable the atoms are due to certain attributes of the electrons. This basic concept should demonstrate to us that despite all the amazing creative and life sustaining systems Hashem has created, His involvement with every atom of the universe may be concealed but that should not prevent us from comprehending His Total Control.
Every second, Hashem re-creates absolutely every atom in the universe. This second looks like a continuation from the previous second. But that is not accurate. This second is a totally new creation. Thus we can see how our prayers can change anything.
And so can our teshuva. When we do the four steps of teshuva, the next second is a new second, one where our aveira and the damage we created is no longer there, although it might take a Yom Kipur to totally remove the damage. Yom Kipur is the time when Hashem takes us all for a nice cleansing dip in the mikvah of forgiveness. During Elul, we can be asking Hashem specifically for what we know we need forgiveness applied to,
The issue of our imagination is one that matters so much. When we saw the destruction of the Temples, the natural thought is that the destroyers knocked down the temples and we should have an emotional reaction towards them for doing so. But Judaism does not tell us this as a tradition. Judaism tells us that until the temple is rebuilt, it is as if our generation destroyed it. Why? Because we have not repaired the real cause, the inner cause, of the destruction of the temple, which is our relationship with Hashem demonstrated through the treatment of each other.
When our imagination is glued to the absolute truth that Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy are the most pleasant and powerful way to live, we begin to make a repair. Having a yearning to glue our imagination to absolute truth has taken a huge beating throughout the galus. We like to stay alive! We don’t like to be killed, annihilated, abandoned, expelled, rejected, knocked out, hated, or spoken poorly of. What could be more natural than that? The imagination of the animal soul is actually built with a desire for the approval of our parents, the ones who give us life and who train us in what is good and how to best take care of ourselves. We are taught to honor our parents who give us life. So if our parents are upset about something and punish us, it is natural that our imagination goes towards conforming to the ideals and rules of the ones we love. As we should as children. The parenting of children is designed to set the behira of the children, and thus imperfect and inexperienced people raise the next generation and there does not seem to be any upgrade from that available. It is purposeful. We are NOT our upbringings, although that is what sets our behira point. Crucial to understand for every person is that we have a tzelem elokim made in Hashem’s image and He creates us with free will to give us the opportunity to reflect Him into the world or not.
When our emotions and imaginations are set with determination for anything other than reflecting His 13 Attributes of Mercy and His Will as expressed in Torah into the world, He makes use of our short-sightedness and may even give us power and success in order to maintain the real choice He gives us. The cost is that our lives are added to the solidification of the false belief that there is some power that comes from somewhere other than Hashem. Imagine if we understood that every penny comes from one King – it may come through a bank, a job, an inheritance – but we would want very much to have a good relationship with the King, would we not?
It is the same with power. All power comes from Hashem, there is no other power. We labor and make effort, and He grants success or not. How smart would it be to begin to attribute power to ourselves or to tactics or to concepts that are derived from latching imagination to something other than Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy? It might work for awhile, but inevitably, it has to fail. This is historically true for all manmade ideologies. The one ideology that survives all of history is putting all our imagination into emulating His 13 Attibutes of Mercy.
We have an inner being. Even if we don’t have any sense of connection with that inner being, as long as we breathe, we have an inner being. And that inner being is eternal. It is here to increase and strengthen itself with Torah, prayer and good deeds which come through our free willed choice to bring something natural from our desires and arrogance into a reflection of Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy, through Torah, tefilla and kindness.
Where have we gotten waylaid, where has our intellect taken us toward what we believed was for a good purpose but ultimately fell short of emulating Hashem’s 13 Attributes of mercy, learning Torah, praying and doing acts of kindness? Who is the real me? Where can I make a creative and sincere choice to bring out in an increased way the part of me that is made in His Image and forego the goals that seem smart and appear on the outside to demonstrate a certain power, commanding respect, affecting our families and more? Instead, how can I reflect His Image more into the world to give Hashem a way to be in time and space? Which do I believe ultimately will bring the best results?
Making porous our ego goals by attaching our imagination to bringing out the tzelem elokim over the natural urges becomes the crucial task. If we are not actively and dynamically gluing our imagination to Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy, to learning torah, to prayer and acts of kindness, the imagination naturally attaches elsewhere and we bring something far less into the world for which we are accountable and for which we often need forgiveness.
We are inner beings with an external component. Learning the limitations of being physical beings so that we can control, have power, or dominate, even with the most determined will combined with imagination, will only have success if Hashem gives it success. Yet for our own lives, even if Hashem has a reason to permit our efforts success, the question of whether we increased our ability to reflect Him into the world remains. Any imagination that bases esteem on anything else is a false esteem for which we do not earn any reward and often great punishment.
What is the basis for esteem? How much is in our bank account? How beautiful we are? Unfortunately one can see a terrible possibility that there could even be a standard of esteem being based on how many people were killed in genocidal activities. This is a more obvious way of seeing that esteem connected to outward manmade standards is NOT esteem at all.
The whole world is filled with the glory of Hashem. There is no glory other than Hashem. He glorifies us with a tzelem elokim, making us in His Image, so that He can have a relationship with us, one where we can freely choose to emulate His Attributes of Mercy, learn torah and be kind, as He is kind. The choice is ours. If we have taken a wrong turn, as long as we have breath, we can turn back. Remember, every second is a brand new creation. We can begin the process of learning how to emulate Hashem’s 13 Attributes of mercy and set our will and determination with faith towards that direction TODAY. To do so, we need to go deeply into our being and wrench imagination away from anything less and glue it to emulating Hashem’s 13 Attributes of mercy WITH will, determination, faith and prayer. When we submit our being to His Oneness, we reflect Him into the world and this is pleasure and good. When we permit our energy to operate for ideologies that ultimately do not follow His Will as stated in Torah, we may have great intentions but it will not last, even if we have some success or even success over a period of time. Hashem is very patient. He loves us. The place of the world is the mind of Hashem. Let us do everything we can to assure that our imagination and mind is to bring His Will into time and space.
The sad news about the petira of Aharon Soffer brought tears and outpouring of sympathy and pain. With the funeral and shiva pending, we hope that Hashem finds a way to comfort the parents and the family. It is tragic and a great loss for klal yisrael.
We had a week of searching, of living in that unknown zone that every parent relates to. Where is my child?
Our experience as souls living in time and in a world where Hashem hides Himself is a moment by moment opportunity of being in that world where Hashem hides Himself and making an effort to remember that outside of time and where there is no world He is not hidden and His Good is understood. There is, by Divine design, a unique human experience of doubt that being a soul in time and space is intended to deal with.
We want what is comfortable and what fits our sense of what is good and pleasant. We fear and suffer when it seems that what we desire, when it is so naturally deep and obviously good and normal in our eyes, is not our experience.
The terrible tragic accident that resulted in the petira of Aharon Soffer follows fifty days of unheard of missile strikes and horrific criminal acts against the Jewish people. The inner realities of fighting for our survival and attempting to eliminate people who are committed to killing us and reclaiming Israel and Yerushalayim aligned our actions with Torah values. What Israel did is what every government and military is designed to do, protect its citizens and prevent invasion. Yet when looked at with an eye only toward the outward appearances, emotions became enraged against Israel.
Aharon did not survive long enough to be found alive. During the week of searching, it was unknown if somehow his life was part of the Jewish People’s struggle to survive and fight our enemies, with fears that he might have been abducted by terrorists. The search team did not eliminate such a possibility although there was no evidence that a nationalistic motive was involved.
Who knew at every moment what happened to him? Hashem alone. Who knew at every moment what missiles were being shot, what dangers were posed for the Jewish Nation? Hashem alone. And Who helped? Hashem protected Israel and Hashem gave siyata deshmaya so that the remains could be found.
The human suffering has been enormous. The doubts, the fears, the dangers, the threats to Israel’s existence, the anti-semitism and more affect the perceptions of souls in time and space by triggering our senses. Our senses swirl with competing forces – what I want, what Hashem wants. And it is not a fair fight.
How do we keep from drowning in the overwhelming experiences of darkness triggered by our will competing at this time with Hashem’s Will?
We are in Elul, a time when we create an arousal from below in order to evoke an arousal from above on Rosh Hashana.
What is that arousal from below?
It is a procreative act, one that is designed to bring tzelem elokim hidden in our natural existence to connect to and increase tzelem elokim revealed in the Torah, tefilla and acts of kindness we do that brings Hashem’s light into the world. The procreative act requires choice, emunah, free will, and speech in an effort that is neither natural, logical, nor intuitive. The act of creating an arousal from below is an activation of our transcendant soul powers of will and faith and pleasure, a yearning to bring imagination to glue to Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy. Hashem wants us to acquire the tzelem elokim that is hidden in our taivas/desires and ego/arrogance/gaivas. Hashem hides something in our taivas and gaivas that when we, with love in our hearts, choose to uplift through emunah and choice by saying Hashem Echad, brings an increase of joy, pleasure and good into our lives.
Submitting to Hashem’s will is not like giving in with someone in a conflict resolution struggle, where there is a winner, a loser, someone right, someone wrong, someone happy, someone unhappy, both unhappy. NO! Hashem allows a part of Himself to be concealed in a dark place just to give us the opportunity to freely choose to uplift it. To acquire the tzelem elokim from its hiding place in taiva or gaiva, we make a kinyan, we have to give something valuable to us. And that valuable thing feels like our very lives in totality. Our physical existence, our sense of autonomy, of being in control, of having a will and a determination to accomplish – that is the cash on the table that we make the kinyan to acquire the tzelem elokim hidden in this world through the procreative act of Shema Yisrael…..Hashem Echad. When we uplift our imagination from our natural instinctive, logical goals to cling and submit to Torah, prayer and acts of kindness, we acquire with the mesiras nefesh access to the tzelem elokim that had been buried in our subconscious or unconscious mind, our gaivas and taivas. For our effort, Hashem lovingly gives us all the good in the world, the pleasure of reflecting Him in the world and very often the good that we hope for on a personal and physical level.
The personal and physical that we see as good for souls in time and space was not given, lo aleinu, for Aharon Soffer. We look at the loss and we feel the suffering of the parents and family. We do not know from Hashem’s perspective anything more, only on faith do we accept – Baruch Dayan HaEmes. We don’t know what the inner purpose or meaning is.
The cries of anti-semitism in the world, condemning Israel for defeating its enemies, looking at Israel’s determination to destroy the enemy as if the enemy were not attacking and threatening Israel is a caricature beyond belief. People accusing Israel are looking at the outer appearances only, without questioning the intentions and motivations and worse, continuing the blindness of inner meaning by equating the struggles of Hamas and Israel. Why is it that the inner meaning is not being understood in a true way?
We don’t know the inner purpose of Hashem nor can we understand the meaning in terrible tragedies. We are limited in what we can understand because we are in the kelipas, the natural coverings concealing Hashem’s presence in this world.
Shame adds another layer of concealment to the layers of concealment of Hashem’s presence in the world. When there is terrible shaming, annihilation, abandonment, harsh punishments, and more, part of the animal soul stops looking for inner meaning because it is too busy trying to survive those wielding the punishments. When the ego and emotional makeup of a person become damaged from being strictly dealt with, from not having a relationship with Hashem as one of a loving Creator Who desires for us to acquire pleasure by choosing to uplift ourselves from our natural urges to emulate Him, then a person views themselves as good and does not understand that certain tactics and choices that assert strongly their desires could be causing damage. In those moments, their inner experience is full of doubt and confusion, needing to believe they are good and right yet feeling unbounded and aware of being destructive and not knowing what else to do. Such confusion and doubt is a nightmare of suffering, for the imagination keeps a choke hold on tzelem elokim to keep it from being uplifted and connecting to revealed tzelem elokim.
Torah, tefilla and acts of kindness are there for our imagination to cling to in order to pull us out of the quicksand of confusion and doubt. In a certain sense, being in the peril of the choke hold over tzelem elokim that thrusts us into confusion and doubt can add inevitable and excruciating suffering. We can make efforts to uplift concealed tzelem elokim through a kinyan of mesiras nefesh and an act of creative combining of imagination, will, choice and speech. That creative act is the functioning of a soul in a covering of taiva and gaiva called a body in a world, to bring through free willed choice a connection with revealed tzelem elokim, a revelation of Torah, avoda and kindness. We feel relief from the confusion and anxiety when we do it and that is how we know that the process is, in fact, pleasing to Hashem and that He gives us that calm because we truly did the effort He desires of us, to uncover and uplift tzelem elokim hidden in the kelipas so as to increase our ability to reflect His Attributes into the world and experience pleasure. Amazing experiential insight teaches with a feeling what all these words are attempting to describe.
We are here to make this union every moment. Doubt is what signals to us that we are at bat. Where the battle lies is in a part of us that feels internal but is really external, something stored in our unconscious and subconscious based on our desires and belief in the illusion of having independent existence when in reality we are here in bodies as a glorification to the body given by Hashem in order to relate to Hashem by submitting and uplifting tzelem elokim from the concealed parts. Hashem desires for us to acquire the pleasure of reflecting Him into the world, a pleasure that is the greatest when we choose it. Thus He creates the world, time and souls and gives us choice and speech. The emunah and the decision to activate awe of Hashem are up to us. We have real free will.
We cannot go into the mind of Hashem Himself to understand His Will and question what He deems as good. But we do have permission to go into our own minds and understand and question what judgments we are making and whether or not we have been intrinsically honest or are hiding from some rough landscaping affecting our thinking rooted in subconscious damage or unconscious and untrained urges. If the damage is great, we may become stuck in creating meaning based only on outer appearances and blaming and shaming as a result. Yet this is something that, if we turn to Hashem and ask for His Help, He can and will help with. In Elul, we can find the parts of us that remain at a basic level posing doubts and confusion and attempt to gain some insights and to ask Hashem all year to please help us at our behira points to conduct ourselves in a way that will reflect Torah, avoda and kindness over our natural urges.
But it takes Torah to help us understand where our focus is, to uplift from the mask of nature tzelem elokim through the mesiras nefesh of submitting internally experienced externalities called ego in order to glue imagination from what is natural to Torah avoda and kindness. This is the procreative task for which we have been given free will, a soul, speech and the soul power of faith.
When we understand this, we have the intellect to approach our natural slippings. Striving to uplift what we unmask in order to increase lovingkindness that we can reflect in the world is our functioning. It is a mistake to under-estimate or generalize based on outer appearances alone and doing so only increases our own suffering with doubts and distance from feeling the good and love from Hashem. Shame, blame, hatred, violence are firey but cannot last, for what lasts is the truth, Hashem’s goodness. We can avoid many perils by having the wisdom Hashem intends for us to base our choices on. Imagination must be grounded in absolute truth and not in outer appearances. If we cannot introspect on inner motives or see our own mistakes because we are too covered over with blame, shame and abuse and pain, we can still ask Hashem to help us uplift the tzelem elokim trapped there. Hashem makes nature, including our nature, and if we ask sincerely, He helps us. One who comes to be purified will be helped. It is a divine promise. Hashem gives the transcendant powers of emunah and ratzon to us.
The tragic loss of Aharon Soffer teaches us how the unavoidable natural experiences of being in a body in time and space produce doubt and imagination that exacerbate suffering at a time of loss fearing impending tragedy that conflicts with our obvious desires. Real time doubt is unavoidable and distressing.
The outer appearances of the conflicts Israel is facing teach us how on the surface, dialogue does not always reflect absolute truths and how emotionally that does not always matter to people, that people can easily align their emotions with the values displayed based on outer labeling and appearances, albeit not necessarily absolute truth. Shallow looks are sometimes deemed to be sufficient for taking actions that are rationalized but far from good according to Torah.
And in Elul, we have these examples to help us see and understand ourselves a little better. Where are we suffering and how can we look inwardly and not just relate outwardly, and activate emunah, choice, speech and will to demonstrate our commitment to connecting what is in the realm of natural urges to the service of Torah tefilla and kindness?
May Hashem accept our suffering as a kapara and our efforts as being loyal to Torah tefilla and kindness, and may klal Yisrael be deemed to be the generation meritorious for redemption b’ahava.
The following material is absolutely vital knowledge for every human being on planet Earth. The following is such a basic and simple principle that throughout human history it has never had the need to be written out and acknowledged due to its extreme simplicity. Anyone who would have denied it would have been considered nothing but a peril to society. Yet perhaps it is important to state it in plain simple terms after all.
Man is created to refine his character. Human beings possess the rare ability to overcome their temptations and desires and to choose otherwise. This is one of the key differences between mankind and animals. Man is able to rise above his nature. All people who fool themselves into thinking that there is no Creator and we are merely a sophisticated monkey is not only making a foolish mistake, he is disgracing every human being, and he is denying himself the one opportunity to live the life he was created to live because we have real free will to choose to behave above our human nature. Is there a bigger tragedy than not realizing that? Truly a pity.
This, however, is only one factor of the main difference between man and animal, and that main difference is the human mind. We are obviously not merely referring to the physical brain of a person, for animals have that as well. We are discussing man’s understanding and ability to formulate a thought, and to take an abstract concept and articulate it. Man is gifted with a tremendous gift called the human mind. You will never get such a gift ever again, so don’t ruin your mind with silliness, wickedness, or any other damaging negative ideas. Your thoughts and words have the ability to change you. You could think humbling thoughts or inspirational thoughts, but you must understand the tremendous importance your thoughts and mind contain. And every person who possesses this quality should be respected, even if a person is crippled and paralyzed from head to toe. He is still able to accomplish a tremendous feat, to thank Gd for all the goodness he gave him, whether health or wealth or children or even for the ability to relieve himself – for every thing he got during his life. Thinking such thoughts can help a person achieve new heights and one who articulates thoughts of gratitude will surely benefit tremendously from saying thank you Gd.
Even someone who corrupted his mind, and does not think these thoughts, and even someone whose mind no longer functions due to ill health must not be thought of as insignificant, Every little bit of suffering is in atonement for his tormented soul. Far be it for us to end someone’s life, to take away his suffering, that is purely for Gd, and Gd only, to decide. And even when a person is so weak and even if his mind is extremely limited, he is able repent in his mind for all the terrible things he committed and can rectify some of the evil that he brought into this world, even if he can’t fix it entirely. He can still fix a tremendous amount.
This is the importance of human life. There is nothing more precious and beloved than human life.
When we forget that and think we are monkeys, we must immediately realize that this is belittling to all of us. It is clear that such shallow thoughts are only the result of allowing our lustful desires to deceive us – the shallow thinking rationalizes our animalistic will desiring the pleasure of running after whatever is before our noses, to fulfill every single petty ego oriented desire that comes our way.
After the Holocaust our security was set in the State of Israel, a homeland where we would have a military and a democratic government and be able to live in peace.
What we see is that the security of people falls into the hands of Hashem Alone. He is the Only One with Power, real power. It is a mistake to think that any military successes we have come from our efforts alone. As we just saw, Hashem guided every missile thrust at Israel. Hashem guided every moment to thwart the plan of our enemies to massacre thousands on Rosh Hashana and saw to it that their tunnel system was destroyed.
We must realize that as soon as we slip into the illusion of government, army, technology or any natural means as our salvation, we miss the greatest opportunity that we have. In every moment, we can exercise real free will to attach all of our imagination and desire to serving Hashem. Submitting to Hashem is not like giving in to a parent, or to a spouse, or a friend or a boss, where the groundrules of ego trigger i am right you are wrong, I win, you lose. NO! Hashem wants us to acquire with our free willed choice the greatest pleasure there is, to experience the joy of reflecting His glory into the world. It is such a great joy that He wants us to earn it, because otherwise we will be ashamed to receive such a pleasure, for we would know that we had locked up our energy in ego minded and worldly pursuits, hunting after desires and honor and victory.
If we think ego pleasure is enjoyable, we also know it does not last. we have a taste of something that gives us exhileration. But it is only a portion of the joy we can experience when we willingly choose to forego the imaginative ego oriented pursuits that seem within our reach to orchestrate with power, with money, with strategy. Those are creative skills but they do not produce the ultimate joy, which is to create an enlargement of our ability to feel pleasure that can contain the great and transcendant joy of reflecting Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy into the world.
Settling for ego victories, attaching determination to the power of hate and domination, keeps the material concealed in nature hidden and unable to be coupled back into Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy. Our soul has the ability to use real free will and faith to force our imagination to glue itself to thinking of ways to connect only to Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy. That is a creative act based on absolute truth and awareness that there is a real pleasure mankind is created to experience.
We can fall to the lowest levels when we close off any intellect or awareness of Absolute Truth and the joy of reflecting His Glory into the world. This world can be a world of kindness, peace, and respect when each person uses all their strength to creatively uplift imagination from being trapped in concepts of negative charges and bitterness and with free will and faith in Hashem choose to redirect imagination to whatever it takes to emulate Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy. There is damage that we do each time we overlook the opportunity. But there is destruction each time we consciously run after actions that apply imagination toward animating natural destructive emotions such as hate, jealousy, fear, lusts and more.
The truth that our urges lie in our subconscious is not a defense. When we have a loving relationship with Hashem, we speak out our difficulties with Him and ask Him to please help us redirect the passions from where they are trapped to connecting us to His Attributes of Mercy. it takes time to build the connections until they get strong, like muscles. But just making the effort alone creates tremendous healing and benefit to the universe. the default creates damage and openings for worse.
Each person needs to know that above us is One Power Who is watching to find out how will each of us choose? To emulate and connect with Him and use our creative speech and will to fold the material of our nature into reflecting tzelem elokim and His glory into the world or not. We must understand that as real as our identities and existences seem, they are not absolute truth. Absolute truth is Hashem. All Glory is His. And He is Mercy. He desires to see how will we use the life force He entrusts to us. He gives us complete freedom to have awe in Him and how He has created the world or not. He gives us the power to receive the greatest pleasure there is, joining together the divinely created materials concealed in nature to strengthen and increase our joy in reflecting tzelem elokim, or to prevent that joining together by overlooking and falling deeply asleep in ego, negativity, hatred, and beastly instincts that we attach our will to nstead of to reflecting His 13 Attributes of Mercy.
We are vertical beings. hashem is in charge of all success. It is imperative that we unmask the truth, that the Shechina is in galus with our mistaken understanding of what we control. Be compassionate to your own soul and stop hating! Uplift the fire with free will saying Hashem Echad and direct the imagination and passion with love in our hearts for the awesome way Hashem has given us to create an increase in our happiness by giving us an increase in ability to reflect Him and receive the true good. He gives us real free choice, real free will, and a real alternative to true good – evil. let’s choose life! Stop hating! there is no faith needed to advance hate! Hate is natural! Faith is needed to reorganize it in a creative act that makes a union with tzelem elokim to bring increase to our experience of joy and pleasure. it is designed by Hashem who desires to give us this pleasure but wants us to earn it, to have it as an acquisition. the choice for peace and pleasure is ours.
May we all realize that the pouring in of evil is a message that our survival is in hashem’s Hands. We control the key to continued civilization, which is emulating His 13 Attributes of Mercy over the natural urges. Hatred, fighting, jealousy, conquering, labeling, fierceness – we have real free will. We can force our imagination upwards to reflect His 13 Attributes of Mercy and in one second change the world.
It takes a cell from the father and a cell from the mother, along with an act of procreation, to form an embryo. Unless there is a specific act of procreation, the father’s cell and the mother’s cell cannot form into a fertilized seed. Thus there is material and effort.
This model lends itself to comprehending the effort we make in Elul to create an arousal from below. Within our natural makeup is crucial material that is needed in order to increase reflection of tzelem elokim in the world. Masked by our unconscious desires and our subconsciously operating ego is a portion of how Hashem glorifies us, a glorification that is part of our tzelem elokim but is concealed, hidden by these taivas and gaivas that we are familiar with as our body and our personality, our circumstances, and our imagination. Left to operate in their natural way, we can apply our imagination to an unlimited and unbounded degree, expanding creativity and having an impact in time and space. Some of these impacts are constructive. Others are destructive.
In Elul, Hashem wakes us up to remind us that it is time to find the areas where our imagination is NOT attached to absolute truth and to make the effort to activate choice, will, and faithfulness to Him in a procreative act that will harness that imagination and material from the areas that conceal it and glue it to His 13 Attributes of Mercy so that we can receive a greater portion of our tzelem elokim for the new year, able to reflect Torah and His Will into the world in an increased way, being able to serve Hashem in more ways and experience the pleasure of doing so.
The work we do in shifting our understanding to being made in Hashem’s image gives us a perspective to examine where our natural imagination has a choke hold over the concealed material elements (water, fire, wind and earth) of our tzelem elokim, stored in the heavy shells of taiva and gaiva, awaiting the opportunity to become connected once again with Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy through our choice to acquire the good Hashem desires to give us. Key to approaching the arousal from below is that stimulating will and emunah to reorganize the elements trapped in our animalistic side is that we truly want to acquire the pleasure that will result. Hashem wants us to have that pleasure, and He wants us to have that pleasure by choosing it so that the pleasure will be the greatest pleasure that a person can experience, one of having earned it, and not as a gift.
The upper yud of Hashem’s name produces the cell from our Father, the tzelem elokim, and a part of that cell comes to us through Hashem’s Thought. The upper hai of Hashem’s Name is how Hashem conceals another part of the cell from the creation of the world, our bodies, egos, circumstances and organic lives and that part comes to us through Hashem’s Utterances. Hashem wants us to acquire the concealed part of our soul so that He can join the two together to give us an increase in pleasure. The model makes sense.
What happens is that in Elul, we remember with awe that Hashem has created us and the world in this manner so that we can use our free will and reorganize by unmasking and folding together through the words Hashem Echad the tzelem elokim whose expression in this world yields us pleasure and eternal reward.
In Elul, we create the idea of the seed. In Tishrei, we form the seed. In Cheshvan, the seed is planted and what we do in Elul creates our whole year.
Women interested in a daily work group for Elul are invited to www.arousalfrombelow.com
Just like being aware that there is gravity does not change the realities of gravity, so too being aware of the yetzer hara does not change its persistence and presence in our thinking.
It can be quite frustrating to defeat the yetzer hara one day only to have it pop back the next day, seemingly in its same strength with all its imaginative and logical arguments. And we get a little exhausted. Unless we remember that we are empowered to grab the animating force out of those thoughts to nourish the universe, we could become resigned and think that imagination and the image that we build for ourselves run our lives naturally and we best just get used to that, chas v’shalom.
What would life actually be if all there were in the world were our ego-images and the willful goals that we set in order to accumulate and consume and take pleasure in the natural world? What would the values become? What would success look like? How would speech be used? In what ways would we feel actualized at the end of our lives?
Unless we have Torah, we would not know to search for an upgrade to the operating system of “me 1.0”, which is to develop imagination with a set of values understandable to universal common interests that societies set up and then to apply that imagination to reach whatever dreams and goals we seek. If the values of me 1.0 include reflections of the unconscious or subconscious mind, then we don’t even question that our nature is just who we are and we believe we are good and ask others to love us and to give us what we need, to satisfy us, to hear our cause, our complaints and to honor us! Such is existence where tzelem elokim remains subjugated to the image that we form through intellect and ego of how we should be treated. We may have no idea that we are causing damage, destruction, darkness and pain to others and bringing harm upon ourselves and concealment of Hashem’s presence in the world. We may not even know that what we chose has the potential to create such damage. We may spend time developing goodly strategies that outwardly help us to feel like we are good people, and we are, but in the end, where is our self-esteem? For example, how can a comedian die of depression?
Thus it becomes important to face the truth that we have another image, an inner image, based on tzelem elokim that is our primary identity, our life force, and is here to increase itself through what free willed choices we make to release trapped tzelem elokim from the coverings of our unconscious and subconscious. We surely need a guidebook to do this. And we have it. Torah. Torah is the instruction manual for guiding the tzelem elokim made in the image of Hashem achieve its purpose and eternal reward while in a body in time and space.
We can approach the battle of choosing an image of tzelem elokim over the image of ego. It means answering a question. Where shall I attach my imagination, to the natural feelings and the imagination of the image that I create to project into the world, or to reorganizing energy with emunah out of awe in how Hashem creates us so that imagination attaches to the reality that all there is in the world is Hashem and I desire only to use energy to be a greater moon reflecting His Attributes of Mercy into the world?
We only need emunah to try to transcend our natural selves. We don’t need emunah to demonstrate our natural urges, for they are strong and apparent and persuasive and magnetic on their own by design, to give us real free will.
Imagination must always attach to absolute truth, that all there is in the world is Hashem and we are created in His Image to reflect Him into this world over our natural urges. That is the purpose of the powers of the soul of will and emunah.
Let us declare Hashem Echad in every moment and make porous the grip that our nature has on imagination so that we can reorganize it and glue it to absolute truth.
It is Rosh Chodesh Elul, Aharon Sofer’s 23rd birthday. He is missing, feared kidnapped. We cry with the parents, and we cry out to Hashem. What can we do? Tehillim yes. Is there more, is there something we can do to create positive influence that he be found well and returned to his family, in joy?
Elul is about creating an arousal from below. Where have we trapped our tzelem elokim, Hashem’s first born Nishmas Am Yisrael, in the grips of instinct and imagination rooted in the coverings of taiva, unconscious and/or gaiva/subconscious thoughts? Where is our stubbornness gripping a sense of control, power or ego, happy to have the use of the life force Hashem gives to us, diverted for worldly goals that we believe are the source of happiness?
Hashem is in galus with the part of our tzelem elokim that we trap in the search for happiness in worldly matters. We want joy. Hashem wants to give us joy. But He gives us life force in our right pocket through tzelem elokim and life force in our left through our animalistic nature. To have the ultimate joy, we need the total sum of life force working together, not competing for which is right. But we keep it separate, we withhold submitting our imagination and ego because we want to be right, to look good, feel incontrol or receive honor, etc. If we understand that submitting to Hashem is how we win, how we get the full joy out of life that He wants to give to us, we have the Torah we need to muster the free will to have compassion on the tzelem elokim trapped in our unconscious and/or subconscious. With emunah and yearning to uplift and connect imagination to Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy, the only Glory there is, we can reorganize the life force trapped in the false traps of our animalistic nature from suffering to joy. We can have compassion on the Shechina in galus with us in the taivas and gaivas. And we can redirect passion to find the Torah and the personal prayer to, with love in our hearts, combine once again our tzelem elokim and glue it to His Service, reflecting His Glory into the world full force and experiencing the pleasure of body serving tzelem elokim.
Let us each find an area where we are ruminating, frustrated, upset, enraged, afraid, judgmental etc and think: “the goal of this negativity is to serve a sense of happiness stemming from worldly matters that my animal soul believes will bring me joy. Instead, I see that I have trapped the Shechina along with a part of my tzelem elokim in a matter that is not the source of true happiness, because true happiness is the experience of reflecting Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy into the world. Hashem I do not wish to imprison tzelem elokim and the Shechina in this dark place that is bitter. I ask for the will power to pull the imagination from the false belief and with emunah reorganize the energy and glue the imagination to Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy, thereby returning Your Firstborn Child, tzelem elokim, to Your revealed glory and to my conscious choice to reflect into the world through speech and deeds emulating You.:
Please everyone, we can have compassion on the Shechina that suffers through our animalistic ruminating negative thoughts. We can return Hashem’s captive firstborn from the mask concealing it. If we feel afraid, tell Hashem I have compassion on You for keeping you trapped in unfounded fear. If we have anger, tell Hashem I wonder if You might be feeling angry that I am trapping a part of myself in an idea that is not serving You, please forgive me! In whatever language, communicate to Hashem the wish to have compassion for trapping Him in such lowly imagination that is attempting a goal that is not even true happiness! And may our releasing the Shechina from the imagination of the animalistic self create a merit that will help Aharon Sofer be found in good health and restored to his family today.