Imagination for the image we project or imagination for being made in Hashem’s image – that is our choice with great consequences

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.

For the safe and healthy return of Aharon ben Chulda, may he be rescued and restored in good health to his family

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.

Rosh Chodesh Elul – Basic Principles for the next 30 days


Women are invited to join a free telephone elul work group


Simple principles for the next 30 days


Hashem loves us more than we can understand


He has glorified our existence with a tzelem elokim that is our life force in order to have a loving, verbal relationship with us


Hashem has given us the creative power of speech and unlimited free will as tools to triumph tzelem elokim over our natural urges, with His help. Through our learning Torah, our personal prayer and our yearning to reflect into the world  through our speech and deeds His Attributes of Mercy (tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind that happened when we ingested from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, forgiving, and casting sins into the sea), we submit and separate out  life force masked by human nature so that we may increase our ability to reflect His Mercy into the world.


Our pursuit of true pleasure in any moment can be given the litmus test – is the happiness at the root of this urge a happiness that fulfills MY image of myself or am I seeking the happiness of experiencing the reflection of Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy into the world through tzelem elokim?  What falsehood, unrectified characteristic, emotion, thought or circumstance is holding me back?  What Torah do I need, what personal prayer, what emunah do I need to rectify and  reorganize the elements of water fire, wind and earth of nature triggered by the  image I create?  I choose to use free will to unmask life force  and connect it to absolute truth, gluing imagination back  to Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy, for I seek the real eternal pleasure and to feel the pleasure of the mitzva of reflecting Hashem into the world I seek to be a larger moon.


What goals can i set so that I can best remember and strive to stay conscious in the moment to invest life force with sincerity out of love and awe for how Hashem creates the world, for He gives us in every moment the opportunity to declare Hashem Echad and reflect tzelem elokim over natural urges so that He can give us pleasure and reward?
For the details, materials including cheshbon hanefesh chart and 30 day agenda please visit
mp3s will be posted there


Identifying with the image we create for ourselves based on natural urges and solutions – instead realize we have real free will to choose true happiness

Perhaps it is not out of love or awe of Hashem that  those of us who have to search for a healthier natural identity work  to be more comfortable in life, but when we have victories, the victories are signed with a pleasure of spiritual connection that validates the effort.  After that, the work is for growing spiritual connection because the comfort and happinesses of time and space and ego, although still comfortable, no longer seem to be ends in themselves but rather  outcomes of a Loving Gd Who gives freely to those striving to reflect His 13 Attributes of Mercy into the world.


What makes it hard work is that it seems like we are foregoing the basis of life itself, the “me”, the ego, the identity that we have known all our lives.  When we change our relationship with our ego, it is not foregoing it.  Rather, it is lovingly understanding its unrectified characteristics and helping to heal and soften and make joyous the interactions that previously present with anxiety, fear, anger, resentment, condemnation, intimidation or other negative experiences.   When we submit ourselves, separate out our life force from the compelling image that we devise for ourselves, and reorganize all our energy to instead reflect Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy into the world, we come to meet the greater and finer and most pleasant part of us, our tzelem elokim connected to Hashem able to reflect Him into our actions and speech.  The key to understanding how to recieve this pleasuer consistently involves subduing the imagination of the animalistic natural side of us that we have relied on since young to accomplish our goals.  At first it seems undoable.  But once we come to have experiential insight, the lower self works together with our choice to serve Hashem.

The fiercest opponents of the Jewish people are presenting themselves to us today.  They are relentless and completely honest about their utter determination to destroy us and wipe us off the globe, nevermind out of Israel.  Is there anyone who does not understand the determination, the will power, the dedication and organized effort, backed by rich sources, towards this goal?


Everything in the world is an expression of what is going on in the heavens.  And with our free willed choices, we contribute influences to the manner that Hashem manages nature.  Normal life has changed.  Every day there is a barrage of missiles, sirens, injuries, and now some deaths, lo aleinu.  How can we feel happy in the terms of worldly matters that we are comfortable with?  Hashem has removed it.  Heis shepherding us so that our natural desires for happiness will stumble upon the greatest treasure we have, serving Him.  He wants us to find real happiness while we have free will.  And real happiness is the determination, the will, the persistence, the emunah, and the trust, bitachon, that the swirling disappointments or ego victories that we are accustomed to and that have served us so well need to be upgraded to devekus, connection to His Attributes of Mercy no matter what.   It does not mean we have been wrong.  There is no value judgment for how things have been up until now.  But in order to continue experiencing pleasure after the Moshiach comes when there will be no more free willed choice, we must come to use our free will NOW to make the choice to cling to middos harachamim.


We may have no idea how to do this. But we can still say to Hashem that we desire to triumph tzelem elokim over our natural urges, that we desire to become a person who is trying to reflect Torah and His Attributes into the world, in a real sense, even when we experience ego challenges and desires and negative reactions.


It is only people who are in the kelipas of taiva and gaiva who can unmask and reorganize through the soul’s power of emunah the energy, the Shechina, trapped in the mask of nature and connect it to nourish the universe through declaring Hashem Echad.  When we ride the bumpy landscaping of our broken character traits  with the emunah to release what glory is trapped there, when we yearn to draw in Hashem’s middos with a greater ability due to our effort, the system of light that we reflect grows and we come closer to Hashem by adding ability to reflect Hashem into the world.  When we do this and experience the happiness of doing so, it becomes understandable as pleasure and reinforcing and we comprehend its truth.  Until then, it may seem like a bunch of philosophy or theory.   We are great beings, but we are greater than we know if we have not yet reached the experiential understanding of the pleasure of releasing the Shechina from the mask of nature in our animalistic makeup. If someone were dying of thirst and never heard of water and you told them about water and they drink it, they would be very grateful, right?


The experience of triumphing over the anxieties set in our brain when we were young brings relief and pleasure.  If we get caught up in the meaning of what our negative characteristics are, if we identify with what happened, then we probably will remain trapped and in despair.  To triumph requires Torah learning, prayer, emunah, bitachon,  determination, will power, and experience.  Hashem helps us.  But if we believe that it is too hard or that we don’t have the power, if we think we are grasshoppers, or that the pleasure we have from having healthy ego and being successful in life does not compel us further,  then we need to read Torah on the power of speech, on Adom being a being that can increase what he is, and on being a combination of soul and body designed to have the body serve the soul and Hashem.  This service extends into the kelipas, where we are, for there is a strength in the peel, in the covering, that is our role to unmask and connect through Hashem Echad.


May we yearn to take a step into this journey and may that yearning be the effort to tip the scales so that we are deemed to be the generatiion meritorious for redemption.





Hatred is natural and does not need faith to expand – faith reorganizes the elements of natural urges in order for us to reflect Hashem’s Love and Mercy instead of the natural urges

Emunah Love Hashem Know there is Hashem Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad Bitul Water Chesed
Bitachon Awe of Hashem No Other Power Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuso Leolam Voed Shifless/lowliness Fire Gevurah



Hashem breathes our soul into us. He utters all our characteristics. His chesed gives us everything, our life force and all our strengths and weaknesses to grow from. Just like a balloon being inflated, we are connected and we don’t lose ‘air’ because we are constantly connected.


As soon as He gives us a challenge though, our imagination from our animal soul begins scanning to defend us. Our sense of independent identity becomes activated in an emotional way and the stage is set for the challenge. How will we use our real free will? Will we advance the goals of the imagination based on the perspective of the animalistic side of us or will we use our free will to activate emunah and open all channels to reorganize our imagination and reactions to attach to chochma, to Torah, to tefilla and to our commitment to reflect Hashem into this world?


Our natural self-defense mechanisms send us a red alert and immediately we believe we have to take action because it is up to us to secure what it seems we are about to have taken from us, our money, our health, our lives, our happiness, our comfort, and on. Indeed these threats may be accurate and our perceptions are indeed sending us messages we need to look at. The question is, do we have the awareness in the moment to trust in Hashem? Do we yearn from emunah to submit with awe of Hashem and remember that we are being inflated by His Will alone even in this moment? Does that help us gain a perspective on our natural desire to defend ourselves with the lower perspective, thinking we can “clutch shut the neck of our balloon to keep the air in”?.


At the very moment of that free willed choice, we have a moment to create for ourselves greater blessing and good, to increase the life force and benefit coming to us by the resistance being posed by the circumstances.


Our self-defensive urge to do something to protect ourselves from hurt or damage is very instinctive and strong. When our tzelem elokim is trapped in the imagination of the animal soul and we do not have consciousness of Torah, it is natural that our emotions swirl.

swirling competing elements


Our self-defensive urges from the animal soul are energy and all energy has its Source in only one location, Hashem. Instead of solidifying the lack our perceptions are receiving regarding our independent existence and ability to protect ourselves, we can take  the mask of independent existence off of our reaction by remembering that happiness comes from reflecting Torah and Hashem’s attributes of mercy into the world.  We are able to  then  activate free will and emunah to reveal the hidden glory from the mask, reconnecting its energy to our ability to reflect Hashem’s Glory in a larger way into the world.  This is an infinite process so just being involved with the steps brings nourishment into the world.


At all times we are connected to Hashem and our imagination regarding our survival must not deviate from finding the Torah we need to act with and the words of personal prayer beseeching Hashem to help us continue to remain a system for reflecting His 13 Attributes of Mercy in the world.


Why do we want to be alive? For our own sake, or to be able to reflect Hashem into this world? Obviously we want both, but understanding that being alive is the opportunity to reflect Him into this world which is the greatest pleasure a person can experience in this world and the next gives us the backdrop for every scenario.   This world is a corridor where we reveal Him and we fix the parts of us that conceal Him. The goal is to develop ourselves in our true identity, a system of bitul and shifless, producing nourishment for the universe as we field our challenges with reflecting Hashem’s presence,hidden and revealed, into the world through free willed choice and the activation of emunah to reorganize lower urges and connect lower imagination to Absolute Truth.


One of the most natural emotions we have from a very young age is feeling hatred. Someone took our toy, hit us, and more. A child does not need any faith in Hashem in order to experience and believe the hate or jealousy or anger. It is quite natural. It is a belief that is natural and it expands and grows and persists quite on its own, inflamed by our lower imagination and inborn natural self-preserving thinking.


When a person experiences a challenge, we must do everything we can to steady our imagination, our bina, so that it does not detach from Absolute Truth, the chochma/ wisdom that our life force is coming from Hashem and is in His Hands and that this challenge is an opportunity to increase the system we are for reflecting His 13 Attributes of Mercy into the world. Bitul and shifless grow when we choose emunah to reorganize our animalistic passions including hatred and desires including lusts to remain connected to the Source of all Vitality, Hashem Who gives us what is good and continue to reflect His Attributes, and not lower urges or the radioactive firey self-defensive emotions the perception of lack generates, into the world.  We can reorganize our thinking. We can expose the falsehood of the animalistic imagination  trapping  glory in a mask of nature.  We can choose to NOT animate the animalistic imagination perceiving lack and devising negatively charged reactions to protect and defend itself.  We can redirect all imagination through emunah, faith, to find the Torah value, the prayer we need, in order to glue imagination only to the truth, that all there is in the world is Hashem Who is Kindness and Love, so that we may add and combine together the energy from our tzelem elokim boosted by the rescued tzelem elokim previously trapped in the mask of nature over us. We can become a greater moon  to emulate Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy into the world.


Baseless hatred was the cause of the destruction of the Temple. Hatred cannot be a tenet of faith because faith, emunah, is the power of the soul to reorganize the glory concealed by the mask of nature, hate, and instead redirect it back towards reflecting Hashem’s 13 Attribute of Mercy, revealing that glory in our speech and deeds. Hatred does not need faith or emunah. It grows all by itself. It does not need emunah. Thus if hatred is a principle of one’s beliefs, it is, by definition, competing against our emunah, our faith.


With our free willed choice, we remove the mask of the image  that we created whose sense of lack triggered our hatred.  We then permit the happiness and the Shechina that had been trapped in the mask of the image WE created which generated the  hatred to be once again expressed in the form of true happiness – to reconnect and strengthen our ability to be fuller moons, reflecting in our speech and deeds revealed good, through mitzvahs, prayer, Torah values and kindness.


May we be able to take all the areas where we have hatred, no  matter how well-justified they may seem in the images that man;s natural being creates, and instead use our soulful power of emunah, faith, to reorganize all the natural elements to remove falsehoods and instead connect all imagination to glue to reflecting only Absolute Truth, Torah principles, and lovingkindness and mercy into the world. through speech and deeds.



Recognizing we live in a spiritual ecosystem, how can we transform our natural responses including fear and anger?

When we stop ourselves from doing the wrong thing and instead act in a kindly way, even if the stopping itself is the kindness and no visible action is made, we create an opening in the world for kindness to come in. With the effort we made to block bringing something cruel in, we made room for the possibility of kindness.


When we act according to our natural urges, no matter how right it may seem to us, inevitably we are causing a destruction of some kind if we are not following Torah principles. We bring a destruction into the world that once here, comes back upon us. We may or may not understand how something sad that happens to us is related back to something we did.


The idea of a spiritual ecosystem and the role of people in it is crucial. People are a tzelem elokim placed in a body to cover it over. The skin that we are in can become translucent to reveal Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy, or it can become so callous that we walk around in confusion and bitterness, suffering and not understanding that our own conduct can appeal to Hashem, the only One Who can lift us out of the suffering.


It is not hard to understand the basics of the psychology of human nature. It may be complex, ugly at times, but the basic taivas/desires and gaivas/ego/arrogance and how to provoke them are documented. The ability to trick and deceive a person grows with the knowledge of human nature and what the deceiver can get away with because it is below the surface of what is provable in a court of law. This is why proving guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt is the standard for justice. Without being able to prove something beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is always the possibility that what we believe about someone is not true.


It becomes apparent how the imagination of people, unless tied to absolute truth, can cause emotional arguments that appeal to the core emotions of others. Before we become involved in joining forces with any group, we check out its values, its agenda, its core beliefs. Yet even when we do this, there is no way to truly know what is in the hearts and minds of other people. We learn this from seeing how sociopaths are able to gain trust of people and then commit their crimes…those who use the rules of society to appear within and a part of the society but whose hidden agenda is their own often deceive those around them, victimizing them or causing them to join a group that hopes to sway their opinion eventually to the hidden agenda.


It is for all of history that the Jewish people have suffered from being hated, ostracized, killed, expelled, beaten, and more. It seems natural that the Jewish people are here to be hated. Almost a fact of the natural order of things. Every time a terrible crime is committed against us, the sense that the cruel thing done is somehow right or just creates in the spiritual ecosystem of the world an opening for such terrible crimes to come into the world in a more general way. The Jewish people are only the yellow canary for those who wish to bring evil and destruction into the world.


And people are afraid to die, so people go along with those wielding the cruelty.


But that is not the purpose of the cruelty or the hatred of the Jewish People.


The purpose of the cruelty is for each individual to decide if they wish to serve Absolute Truth or not. All it took in Europe for the destruction of lives was for good people to turn their heads. This is the horror of what we are seeing now. It seems so complicated, so overwhelming. That is because we don’t understand the simple within reach goal that every person can in one second accomplish – to tell the One Power that we believe in Him and wish to emulate Him and bring His Kindness into the world.


The world looks like a huge wide horizontal area in time and space. Yet people are vertical. Our souls are rooted in the heavens and we hover over the world in order for our minds and hearts to be tested on where we will lend our life force, our thoughts, our speech and our deeds.


Choose life. Tell the One Power that you wish to reflect His Kindness into the world. Tell the One Power that no matter what thoughts are raging in our heads, no matter how upset, angry, afraid, hurt, judgmental or lacking we may feel, we know He is Good and is All Good and wish to direct our passion upward with faith in prayer to secure our hearts and align our actions and deeds with tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of the confusion of mind that exists because of having eaten from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, forgiving everyone, and casting sins into the sea. We choose to be Your Partner, consciously overriding our subconscious and natural urges with Your Help, in order to free Your Light masked in our reactions. Please give us access to that light in the form of being able to reflect Your mercy in the world, for reflecting Your mercy into time and space through speech and deed is the greatest pleasure a person can experience.


To those who terrify us, it stirs up our subconscious and unconscious reactions tremendously. We can grab the mask over Hashem’s light off! Do so!! Tell Hashem we wish to free His Light from the captivity of our fears and angers and pain!! Ask Him to please give it into our hand instead to reflect Him into the world.


And let’s see if we can beseech the One Power to create spiritual order again in answer to the effort involved in uplifting our natural urges through these personal prayers.


Hear  Rabbi Doniel Katz on transformation of consciousness

We have real free will – let’s use it to make an arousal from below that triumphs tzelem elokim over natural urges

People have real free will.


It is completely up to people if we will conduct ourselves based on the awe in how The Creator has made the world.


We have free will to choose to have faith and trust in the role He has given to us to do, which is what we say in the Shema,


The first two commandments are to Know there is Hashem and that there is no other Power. When we say Hashem is One, we combine what strengths Hashem has sent into this world through His Thoughts – our tzelem elokim, with what strengths Hashem has sent into this world through His Utterances – our bodies, our personalities, our circumstances. This combining through speaking Hashem is One creates a wind in the universe that is the unique role of people to nourish the universe. Creating this wind stands as our testimony that we have the faith and trust to use free will consistent with Torah. Doing so is the arousal from below that we wish to generate in Elul


When all our old programming tapes, bad habits, patterns, self-referencing instincts are singing Red Alert in our minds, it is possible to turn our eyes upwards in faithfulness and say Hashem Echad, fulfilling a different purpose and a greater purpose from the circumstances presenting themselves, and that purpose is to be committed to reflecting Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy through our actions and speech.


By opening in personal prayer our relationship with The Creator based on our emunah and bitachon in His Oneness, we give voice and expression to the eternal part of us, the tzelem elokim. Our soul comes to this world covered in a body in order to have the opportunity to receive reward for remembering to use the power of will to direct our passion with the added fuel of what natural reactions we have to rise above and steer the unified strength back to the absolute truth of His Oneness.


We have real free will. Let’s begin making an effort, for the process alone creates the arousal from below.  Women are invited to join a daily workgroup for the 30 days of Elul


See also Rabbi Doniel Katz

Human Life has Value 9 -There is a part of who we are that it is time to meet!

Attaching faith to hatred is a contradiction…. We don’t need faith to grow an emotional connection to hatred. Hatred is understandable on human terms alone. We need faith to reorganize the passion that hatred wants to capture. We need faith to uplift and release from the mask of outward appearances the hidden glory that animates it, expressing our commitment to serving the One Force Who is Kindness and Love. By using faith to separate out the soulful powers of determination and will from hatred, we come to meet our eternal identity, the part of us that is made in the image of the One Force Who is Kindness and Love. It is our choice to have faith in Him. That is the key. Attaching faith to hatred that needs no faith to grow is illogical.



The basic cycle of our day is to secure our needs as people, by earning a living, by having social networks, and by marrying. From the time we are born until we are grown, we learn social skills, we become educated, and we develop our personal habits to stay healthy. What is the measure of our success? Is it a great job, a wonderful spouse, respect and honor from our peers? And what is the driving force behind it?


Uniformly it is accepted that will and determination are key in making efforts that lead to success. Both will and determination speak to the passion of a person, to their creativity, their energy, and their ingenuity. How we apply these talents and traits is our choice.


On a horizontal plane, even when we apply these talents and traits with determination and will, there are no guarantees of success! Two people applying the same traits could have very different outcomes. Ultimately, it becomes clear to a thinking reasoning person that effort is ours but success is given to us. When we notice this important reality, we can begin to discover who we are under the mask of our day to day image, an image that we build from when we are very young and that becomes our persona. Yet it is a mask. Within our outward appearance and intellect, within our egos and personalities, lies a life force that exists in two worlds and is seeking expression in time and space.


Knowing this can change the direction we look when we are faced with a challenging matter.


If we are only our outward appearing beings, and as we can all see from our mortality, our end is to return to dust, then while we are alive, we seek to take as much as we can to make the most of life, whatever values that means to a person. And, if someone gets in the way, our natural self-defense mechanisms become triggered and our will and determination now cling to a negative charge, and our will and determination take on hateful expressions. Why? We believe we are defending who we are and that the other person is a threat and without destroying them we will be sucked into the vortex of darkness and lose what we have accomplished. Thus, determination and will when attaching to hate give us tunnel vision to destroy, to scorch the earth to wipe out whomever threatens our existence. When determination and will attach to hate, there is a sense of purpose that is defensible in our eyes.


Self-defense that is NOT attached to hate means that with determination and will a people protect themselves from enemies sworn to destroy their way of life. Outwardly, these two examples of killing for perceived self-preservation look indistinguishable.


When will and determination are attached to hate, that is very understandable to the logical mind. Since we are two years old we scream when someone takes from us and we try to take it back, hitting them, grabbing, kicking, whatever will work in order to secure the goal. There is no one alive who has not been through the developmental stages – we all understand hatred.  We all understand survival and competition.


So if we can understand hatred, how can we ascribe our goals in hating to something of faith? Faith inherently means trusting in something above us that we strive to understand and strive to emulate.   If we strive in hatred and in being fierce for our survival, where does faith fit in? What is revealed is that hatred masks a glory which people can rescue with faith to reveal instead the glory itself, without the hate, without the violence.


All the determination and will that attaches to hate can instead rescue the passion from the mask called hate and with free willed choices to act for peace and with love, align ourselves with the absolute truth. Instead of looking into the vortex that challenges us to think we have to be fierce, we can look upward to the heavens and the calm waters of kindness and bring our determination and will to serve the One Force, a Being of kindness and love. Because the place of the world is the mind of One Force, a Being of Kindness and Love, our efforts to uplift to something above us expand our ability to reflect that love and kindness into the world as we become a stronger system for bringing love and kindness into the world.


Inwardly, our true being is one of love and kindness. When we look into the vortex of what swirls every day, we don’t see love and kindness. Instead we see power, hatred, killing, dealings, politics and every manner of survival. Yet that does not require any faith at all. It is built on knowledge that is available to the conscious mind.


To find out who we really are, we have to make an effort to release what is held captive in our subconscious mind by the grip of human nature. Powering our subconscious and unconscious mind is a life force that comes from One Force, a Being of Kindness and Love. It is covered over by human nature, in our subconscious and unconscious. For this reason we can become very confused and think that by attaching determination and will to the messages of the subconscious and unconscious, e.g. the natural reactions of hatred when threatened, that we are doing something permitted by the One Force.


The One Force gives us free will and the ability to be confused by covering over our life force with a human nature. This is where faith takes place, faith that by emulating the One Force we can create order and release within us from the mask of the subconscious a part of our true identity that can bring us to serve the One Force and bring His Love and Kindness into the world.


Feeling outrage does not make us right. Feeling victimized does not give us entitlement to do anything that is outside the bounds of what the One Force, a Being of Kindness and Love, tells us is ethical. Our ego is not absolute truth. Our life force can rescue from the subconscious a tremendous passion that adds to our ability to truly bring kindness into the world, a kindness that values every person, is grateful to the One Force for the opportunity to demonstrate our understanding of His Oneness and our connection to it.


We can build relationship with the One Force Who is Kind and Loving every time we use faith to rise above our natural urges. When we look upward instead of into the vortex while considering our survival, we open the relationship that He desires to have with us.


When we understand that determination and will for ethics based on absolute truth of love and kindness takes faith, we can begin to rescue from what masks the One Forces glory in the natural world so that the revealed love and kindness can once again be visible in actions and speech.


Drawing Closer to Hashem – What does it mean and how does it feel?

Rebbetzin Heller in the transcript of a taped class on How to Come Closer to Hashem Drawing Closer to Hashem*gives five ways from the Vilna Gaon, with stories that explain each. The five ways are love Hashem, have awe of Hashem, cleave to Hashem, imitate Hashem, and be careful to not distance oneself from Hashem.


Perhaps it would be helpful to understand experientially what it means to draw closer to Hashem. What is the experience to notice to understand if, indeed, we have drawn closer to Hashem?


On the misbeach, there was a constant fire burning, ready for the giving of sacrifices. When we consistently desire to draw Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy into our actions and speech and when with our free willed choice when hitting stumbling blocks and obstacles that try to draw our passion toward worldly goals we consistently make an effort to create order by redirecting passion upward with emunah on the winds of our prayer and words of Torah so that we can reconnect that passion back to the desire to draw Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy into our actions, we become a system that can become larger and larger in drawing closer to Hashem.


The experience is our passion to

1. Bitul : draw Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy into our speech and deeds; and

2. Shifluss/lowliness: to have emunah and ask Hashem to give us all the strong white-fire will we need to redirect passion to learning Torah, heartfelt tefilla,  when challenges of worldly matters present themselves offering a tempting diversion of our passion to serve ourselves.  On the wings of emunah, we open our mouths in words of prayer in personal request asking Hashem to please help us reconnect our passion back to drawing Hashem’s 13 Attributes down in a greater way because it is our choice to burn off the mask covering His glory in our naturethat is in this moment providing a challenge;

3. Drawing closer: We ask Hashem to please add to what our tzelem elokim can reflect of His Glory into the world, to please add into our hand the glory our choice unmasked that was animating our unrefined character traits,  so that we have a larger more unified system that burns within us. With this passion redeemed from unrectified characteristics, we ask to fold His Glory into our ability to reflect His Glory into the world with greater strength and with less likelihood of being diverted by worldly matters from our heartfelt love and awe of Hashem.


* Rebbetzin Heller refers to the idea of arousal from below in the section on yira. Any women interested in a workgroup for Elul please visit

Hashem is connected to everything all the time. The level of punishment Hashem administers is in direct proportion to the depth of the connection. Hashem is constantly pouring life force into everything. He has, however, very little expectation, in terms of response, of a tree or a blade of grass. There’s no such thing as a good blade of grass or an evil tree. They are what they are existentially. Humans, however, could be either good or evil, according to our choices.  Hashem responds to us according to our choices. All relationship issues between us and Hashem begin with us. What is called, “an awakening from below,” creates a more than parallel response from above. Yirah is difficult to arouse because we rarely see the spiritual results of our choices.

Let’s say Linda spoke badly about you. Now you get a phone call from a prospective employer who’s considering hiring Linda. He’s calling you for a reference. You have a choice. You can take revenge on Linda by speaking badly about her, or even insinuating that there’s something bad you’re not saying. (Revenge, of course, is prohibited by the Torah.) Or you could swallow your words and instead say something positive about Linda, or, if there’s really nothing positive to say, you could say you really don’t know about her skills.

Let’s say you choose the latter option. You chose not to take revenge. No other person is aware of the feat of spiritual heroism you just accomplished, but you’ve just created a space where Hashem could put His chesed (loving-kindness) into the world. And since Hashem’s chesed is infinite, what enters the world as a result of your action is enormous beyond compare. But you’ll probably never perceive the connection between that chesed and your overcoming the urge to take revenge.

Conversely, let’s say you chose to say, “If you hire Linda, you may come to regret it.” Then you’ve just made a space for cruelty to come back and challenge you. But when it does, you probably won’t recognize that it has anything to do with your taking revenge on Linda.