Author Archives: shulikleinman

Digging out of the combined pits of three galuses – live in emunah with prayer

At the end of days we are involved with elements of the three previous galuses, worshipping power/force/luxury as was the fault in idol worship for the galus of Babylon, being involved with beauty and body as was the galus of Greece that led to the Chanukah story and the galus of Rome which was sinas chinam, baseless hatred, the exaggerated understanding of what each individual is to the degree that it broke apart klal yisrael.

 

We are told that until we repair the cause of the destruction of the second temple sinas chinam, it is as if we are the generation that destroyed it. But we have not only not made progress, it seems that we have fallen into the grips of all three galuses, adopting power subjugation and humiliation as the pathway to luxuries, offering honor and respect based on wealth and beauty.

 

At some point it must become fairly obvious that although we have figured out how to dominate, there is a residual imprint we are making on the universe that is far more important for us to accept upon ourselves to repair.

 

Nishmas Am Yisrael. Torah and Hashem’s name are one. Torah is the blueprint for the world. The ten commandments tell us how the Jewish People should conduct ourselves in order to maintain the utterances of Hashem.

 

The ninth commandment is do not bear false witness. That means our relationships must acknowledge that we and they are made in Hashem’s image, and that His Glory fills all the worlds. Thus is the basis for giving the benefit of the doubt. To live in a place of emunah with regard to the ninth commandment is the task at hand. When we are willing to identify ourselves as made in Hashem’s Image, Hashem’s bride Nishmas Am Yisrael, and choose to make effort to uplift the natural downward pulls of fear of abandonment and fear of anniliation to awe of Hashem, we are creating positive influence. What it requires is the attachment of our imagination to Hashem Alone, not to our subjective self-aware circumstances or suffering despite our pain and anguish. Not that Hashem is callous to it. The opposite! He is suffering with us. But He requires that we recognize that He is the only glory and that we pray fervently to Him and no matter what never leave the circle of identifying with the 13 attributes of mercy that He bestows upon us through our neshama. For this is our eternity and true identity, not the illusion we experience as reality because we have self-awareness due to having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is incumbent upon us to build ourselves in emunah to seek the pleasure of being the vessel to reveal Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy into time and space. For that we need will, ratzon, and that means we have to work hard to peel off the layers of error Hashem sets as our behira point through our childhood and life experiences.

 

May we all cry out to Hashem, yearning for our Chosson, to quell the pain of humiliation and anger and fear and frustration that compose our coping mechanisms, and instead ask Hashem to forgive our confusion of mind and permit us to return to serve Him as Klal Yisrael. Let us give Hashem back His Klal Yisrael by living in our emunah as our true identity no matter what and no matter the outcomes. For the only currency of power, beauty, honor, identity and health is with Hashem the Source of all vitality, to whom all our passions must be glued with free will and imagination.

 

And may our effort to yearn create a light that will bring healing, benefit, blessing and redemption to all the world.

Navigating Insults and the underlying instinctive fears they trigger – restoring the tree of Life

Adom and Chava chose to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which created emotions that appear to be internal to us but that in reality are some internal internal to our soul, and some external internal, experienced within our senses but external to our soul.  It is for us to sort out the root causes, the instinctive fears of abandonment and annihilation, that resulted from this act.  Torah is the tree of life.  Hashem knew that Adom and Chava would make this mistake.  it is Hashem’s desire that we, in time and space, bring Hashem into time and space by doing the work of unsorting.  This is empowering.  It is crucial before we begin to understand that the remedy is Torah and the tzelem elokim made in the image of Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy, and that Hashem has given these gifts to us along with free will and speech. With all of these gifts together, we can bring Hashem’s light into the world.   If any one of them is not known or understood, we become stuck in searching for happiness in worldly matters of time and space.  The true good that Hashem desires to give us is a product of our effortful labor at times of challenge, using Torah, the innate qualities of our neshamas, free will and speech.  We all hit snags.  What do we do when we are being asked to labor as Hashem desires?

 

The experience of humiliation triggers instinctive fear of abandonment and/or annihilation – if someone is upset with us, we fear the loss of love and we tremble at their words aimed at lowering our value. Although we may know that our value is not in their hands, the laws of onaas devarim are there because words are powerful and affect the soul, triggering reactions. Thus, when a person experiences reactions in the face of an insult or a perceived insult, it is helpful to be able to have a step by step guide back to calmness. The experience of humiliation, although upsetting to our egos and bodily responses, is an incredible opportunity to create positive influence by keeping the ninth commandment, do not bear false witness against myself, others or Hashem as well as an incredible opportunity to emulate Hashem’s attribute of overlooking faults and forgiving. When a person is humiliated and does not humiliate in response, all of that person’s sins are forgiven! It is a personal Yom Kipur.

 

Some of us find ways of feeling insulted even where the other person meant no insult. What would life be like if we had a positive outcome instead of feeling lowered for days?

 

When we understand that feeling humiliated and insulted is the consequence of another person’s intentional conduct designed to subjugate us to their will, yet the humiliation is from Hashem in order that we uplift the world by infusing into our speech and deeds something that reflects that WE are made in His Image. Thus, the almost non-stop opportunities to experience humiliation really are opportunities to be windows into time and space for Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy.

 

  1. When we are feeling humiliated, realize immediately that we are experiencing the emotion from a place of self-awareness, and that self-awareness itself is an illusion Hashem creates to give us free will and the ability to have a relationship with Hashem. The whole world is filled with Hashem’s glory, there is no other currency. Thus feeling humiliated is a sign we have slipped out of consciousness that we have self-awareness and into the self-awareness itself. Remembering that the purpose of moving into consciousness of our self-awareness is in order to fulfill the purpose for which Hashem creates man, to have a being with whom He can have a relationship with His 13 Attributes of Mercy in order to give that being pleasure and good is step one.
  2. From the place of consciousness that in our self-awareness we experience humiliation, realize that have confusion of mind.       Bearing the burden of our own confusion of mind immediately tells Hashem that we choosing to be tzelem elokim over our natural instinctive urges is step 2.
  3. We are all made with a tzelem elokim designed to reflect into the world Hashem’s attributes of mercy, tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind, forgiving and casting sins into the sea. The subjective experiences of humiliation that we all feel reveal to us layers of coping mechanisms, bad habits, limiting beliefs and habitual practices that we have developed and integrated in order to deal with the instinctive fears of abandonment and annihilation. Even if moral and legal, these coping mechanisms at best relieve symptoms. They do not address or heal the underlying parts of our personalities that listen to the whisperings of these instincts and that are the backdrop to our relationships and interactions throughout our lives.  Seeing our negative reactions as a ball of knots, we approach the knots one at a time. But the center of everyone’s ball of knots is the instinctive fear of abandonment and annihilation. Understanding that we lovingly and gently approach the next knot with the wisdom that we are peeling off layers and layers that pull us to violate the commandment “do not bear false witness” which would happen if we respond instinctively until we can ultimately see our own fears of abandonment and annihilation which we accept as at the core of the ball of knots for each one of us is step 3 
  4. Each layer of emotional pain and suffering that we are able to ask Hashem to please remold so that we can use light that is trapped in that pain and suffering to serve Him and reflect Him into the world gives us a skill set of insight and free willed choices that rectify our souls. Freely choosing to stop what is keeping us from bringing Hashem’s light into the world and asking for Hashem’s help to remold and refold the light into us so that we can use it only to bring Him nachas is step 4
  5. Realizing that the humiliation came to us from Hashem through the shaliach of the other person, we can then have consciousness that the other person was reacting from their instinctive fears of abandonment and annihilation and we can forgive that person, praying fervently that just as Hashem was patient with us in that moment of confusion, so too we desire to emulate Him and be patient and forgiving. Emulating Hashem’s forgiveness and patience in seeing the other person as having been drawn into confusion because of instinctive fears is step 5
  6. The true good there is to experience is a subtle transcendant pleasure that flows through us when we are aligned with emulating Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy or performing a commandment. Opening up our consciousness to experience the taanug that the soul experiences means we notice the calmness and clarity that results from our choice is step 6.
  7. Basing our sense of esteem on our effort to do these steps increases our consciousness of self-awareness in the future and is therefore an important step 7 which really becomes part of our ability to take step 1 the next time we hit a snag.

In practicing these steps at every opportunity, we create healing for our subjective easily humiliated instinctively reacting selves and gain strength in making choices to instead be true to the wisdom that Hashem is good and loving and kind, by our keeping the commandments and emulating His 13 Atributes of mercy,  creating positive influence that creates bracha and light.  May our combined efforts to  choose the Tree of Life with energy from our neshama as well as light released from the traps of nature and instinct that resulted from the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil soon bring a new light to the world and simcha and joy for all the world.

Summary steps:

Remembering that the purpose of moving into consciousness of our self-awareness is in order to fulfill the purpose for which Hashem creates man, to have a being with whom He can have a relationship with His 13 Attributes of Mercy in order to give that being pleasure and good is step one.
Bearing the burden of our own confusion of mind immediately tells Hashem that we choosing to be tzelem elokim over our natural instinctive urges is step 2.
Understanding that we lovingly and gently approach the next knot with the wisdom that we are peeling off layers and layers that pull us to violate the commandment “do not bear false witness” which would happen if we were to respond instinctively until we can ultimately see our own fears of abandonment and annihilation which we accept as at the core of the ball of knots for each one of us is step 3
Freely choosing to stop what is keeping us from bringing Hashem’s light into the world and asking for Hashem’s help to remold and refold the light into us so that we can use it only to bring Him nachas is step 4
Emulating Hashem’s forgiveness and patience in seeing the other person as having been drawn into confusion because of instinctive fears is step 5
Opening up our consciousness to experience the taanug that the soul experiences means we notice the calmness and clarity that results from our choice is step 6
Basing our sense of esteem on our effort to do these steps increases our consciousness of self-awareness in the future and is therefore an important step 7 which really becomes part of our ability to take step 1 the next time we hit a snag.