Author Archives: shulikleinman

Is what gives us pleasure the real pleasure for which we are created or is it a decoy substitute?

In order to show the quality of their line of merchandise, Payless Shoes opened a boutique store in a wealthy area and called the store Palessi Shoes and sold the same shoes as sold at its Payless stores, only marked up 1800 percent.  People bought them.  The store interviewed them and heard their impressions and pleasure with the shoes, and believing they have the value.  When they were told these were Payless shoes, the people could not believe it and the company refunded the difference, but now with a new customer for Payless shoes.

What is our trust in finding happiness within the material and physical world costing us?  Hashem is the One providing everything.  We cannot take even one morsel of food without His help.  Yet we use our imagination to inspire ourselves far beyond serving Hashem and doing His Will to the point where we loose sight that Hashem is providing it and we believe it is our inspiration and our imagination that is accomplishing the outcomes.

Teasing apart these distinctions becomes vitally important in a two world picture.  What are we working for, to experience the simcha of being a bridge through which Hashem’s Will is manifest or a lower and transient pleasure we derive from His saying yes to the use of the imagination and intellect that Hashem allows us?  These may not sound different at all.  Yet one is real eternal pleasure and the other is a simulated counterfeit that actually robs the bank of holiness within our soul and feeds it to sustain darkness, keeping us confined in our urges with compassion trapped in self-direction.

Try for a moment to think of a pleasure in each category.  Perhaps for the first, did you have ever a good davening?  Or, did you ever have a close call and feel grateful to Hashem when you realize that He saved you, that something helped beyond what you understand?  It is easy to think of the counterfeit pleasures, although we probably have not considered them counterfeit, but the Payless shoe experiment of the happiness of the customers with their marked up shoes is a great example.

Sit with the look and feel of these two pleasures.

Deep down, we have the real free will to make choices regarding our pursuits.  Are we intellectually interested enough to consider expanding our definition of who we are to approach a path of pursuing a joy from becoming holy?  We each have a life force that is hewn from the throne of Hashem Himself.  The value of a life is because it is holy.  What shall we do with that potential?  Shall we make an effort to give it voice and expression and direct compassion towards others? It requires that in the moment of challenge we go beyond the reason and understanding of our urges and self-directed compassion.  Instead we trust Hashem, with confidence that He is with us and that we will survive and that the challenge in front of us is part of the way Hashem will provide for us what we need to reach our goal of serving Him.

It is up to us.  Start by becoming aware of the look and feel of each path and being inspired to find out more about going beyond the natural thinking of our instincts and urges.

For those who experienced trauma and alarm when young, it is possible to bring healing to where it is needed when we apply the wisdom of the Torah.  Torah is true and all its paths are peace.  We can learn and apply what Torah teaches to our deepest wounds.  Hashem loves us.  He awaits our initiation because we have real free will. After we fall and fall again in the pursuit of goals that seem to draw our urges for self-directed compassion, with that broken heart, we begin to realize that we are not in control and that is the beginning of understanding, that there is a higher wisdom, Hashem, and that we are creations.  With that awe, we are able to begin to push beyond our reason and understanding, which has thus far not “delivered” good results.

One insight that may help regarding why we hold onto our stories is that although painful, whatever falsehood in it was positively reinforced and, at the time of forming, was associated with the caregivers involved.  Even though the messages are hurtful, they were set within the environment set for our nurturing, for our dependency needs to be met.  If it was broken then, at least we clung somehow and survived. And herein lies the ingrained reliance. We can let go of the falsehood and absorb the compassion intended, even if delivery by caregivers was inadequate. Our nefesh elokis can be redeemed from its confined place and our persona can properly reveal compassion.

On Chanukah, nine months after Passover, we are eating donuts instead of matzah, but the message of emunah and miracles is apparent. Matzah is the bread of emunah.  The eight lights are the miracle Hashem granted to reveal for all generations until Moshiach that the emunah of the Maccabees sweetened the judgment against us so that the temple could be rededicated.

May we be reminded of emunah on Chanukah and remember Passover, the time of our redemption.  And may we soon see the redemption, with singing and dancing and the coming of Moshiach speedily.

Inspiration to not underestimate who you are

Inspiration to not underestimate who you are

I don’t know why I believe what I do

Perhaps it is ‘cause I am older than you

Or perhaps its because I grew up  with alarm

And lived behind a wall to protect me from harm.

Perhaps these disqualify what I have to say

From carrying weight with anyone today

But I believe that what I did

To take down the wall is because I have Torah as a Yid.

Without the Torah, the chochma from Hashem

My life would be still a victim of them.

Or perhaps I would have adopted

The horrible practices that got me so flopped.

If I could share my space with you

Perhaps you too could see it is true

Because we have esoteric space

What has happened to my inner world is a neis. (miracle)

Although it has taken decades, a lifetime

What I want to share is that we are here to refine.

We are not here to grab at damaging tactics

To wield at each other in confrontive antics.

Our force is all rooted in the one true King

The only One to whom we should sing

There is no other Power but He

We have temporary time to build eternal identity

Do not believe anyone who tells you we can’t

Use our free will to do more than rant.

Within us lies a hidden power

To bring compassion to every hour.

The matter is that the compassion is stuck

In false beliefs that there is power in the muck.

We are not nincompoops or lunatics inside

Where the compassion deeply hides.

Kidnapped is the greatest gift we could find

And that is our ability to be kind.

The pleasure of kindness, of being a giver

Is so great we would run to be the forgiver.

But masked it is by addiction to how

We are viewed in the eyes of the here and now.

That image we hold so dearly to protect

Is an anchor holding us back at the neck.

Enslaved we are to something false

Our will runs toward the draws of that pulse.

But that is not the best use of free will

Because it does not pierce to the thrill.

The thrill of feeling an inner light

That absorbs  the power of the painful night

Is lasting and constant and self-evidently true

Do not let anyone or anything block it from you!

The light is there for all to feel

If we remove the shadow that we think is so real.

The shadow exists in a subjective space

That looks like pain and anger upon our face.

We do not have to remain trapped in a wall

Of darkness and pain or fighting and all.

We have real free will to cry out to the King

And tell Him what we feel and that we instead wish to sing.

This is not relying on wishes

This is the truth of Hashem’s kisses.

For all the forces in the world are one

And when we see that, our song is sung.

Our role is to rescue our compassion from lies

And instead to the King our compassion ties.

We cling every moment with clarity and trust

Hashem’s presence is an eternal must.

There is no where else to put our faith

No amount of wielding of hate.

It is free will, in the end, that brings real inner light

Let’s put an end to the fights.

To accept what is said here

Might seem something to fear

After all that’s invested

In networks and tactics trusted.

Yet contemplate a moment

Ask, is subjectivity solvent?

Eternity is at stake

It is long, and it is our fate.

Whatever happiness comes from power

It pales to the beauty of feeling like a flower.

If that sounds corny think back to when

You were young and where you have been.

An innocent heart is within our own

Underneath what covers it like a stone.

We’ve been hurt and damaged, saying never again

Yet hate continues to raise its ugly head.

If we divert our soul to addictive attractions

In order to achieve lustful satisfactions

Despite our consistency in producing the result

Our holiness we insult.

We subject it to serving the forces of dark

Rather than submitting so Hashem we can heark.

We have no idea what that feels like or how

To let go of what we know.

This is the joy of learning Torah

This is the opportunity of mitzvahs

This is the purpose of prayer

This is how we can become holy and rare.

Do not consider this unimportant

For what are we damaging in order to rant?

Our very own soul that is pure

We enslave to the darkness for what seems to be sure.

Wake up to the truth that the forces within

Come from Hashem and He loves din.

For din is just and He loves us so

Our eternity He does not want us to forgo.

Everything He sends is good

He wants us to live as He deems we should

His infinite love surrounds us as well

We breathe and we receive, we are not our shell.

If anything here touches your heart

Be grateful, thank Hashem and start.

Begin by thanking and praising Hashem

For that is the truth, for eternity without end.

Reflections wishing all a Happy Chanukah – Inspiration for Emunah Studies

Three videos on the topic of holiness – wake up and bring out our inner essence

It is time to seek out the information we need to discover our true essence and what the beauty of life is about.

Wherever a person may be, from secular to fully observant, internalizing more and more about the reality of being alive and sustained is becoming more and more important to grasp.  No two people are the same.  But each of us, in our uniqueness, has a common universal need to comprehend what we are doing here so that our lives are enhanced.

Please take a look to understand the concept of holiness, of being invested with a holiness, a force, connected to Hashem and how that part of our identity might be upgraded in importance in our life.

Emunah, love, compassion – we are partners in creation through our will to rise above our natural reaction.

Emunah helps us connect to Hashem’s compassion, love and mercy.  Remembering at all times that He loves us, is ever present, and that nothing happens without Him puts everything into perspective. We see once again that we are a blossom within His Creation here to choose to reveal His Light.  We have no light of our own.  Like the moon, we are here to reflect His Light, which is compassion.  Our struggles are here to give us an opportunity to will to go beyond our reason and understanding.  Only Hashem can go beyond nature.  However, Hashem gives us real free will.  With real free will, we can will to go beyond nature, and in so willing, we are part of a creative act that only Hashem can bring about.  When we will to go beyond nature, we are partners in creation.  The key to remember is that Hashem’s root is compassion.  We will to be part of that compassion rather than express the natural reactions of human intellect alone.  For that choice, we inoculate ourselves against the bread of shame for all eternity. We choose to be compassionate and reveal Hashem’s light rather than block His Light.  Rising above our nature means we can see our urge to act in a way that brings compassion only to our subjective goal (self-pity) and instead find the false wisdom behind that urge.

Whatever feels awry is an implosion within us, in our inner world, given to us so that we may align or re-align all the spiritual material we are experiencing with the truth of Hashem’s Oneness and unity.

When we subsequently take an action, it will be something that reveals Hashem’s love and truth for all to see.

For example, if a child is not cooperating and the parent gets angry and begins forcing the child, the child pulls back and runs.  If a child is not cooperating and the parent notices and names it with an expression of understanding regarding the child not wanting to cooperate, without forcing the child but giving the child a moment to feel understood and loved even if the child’s excuse is not acceptable, the parent will have given to the child far more than the act of cooperation itself.  From there, the relationship intact, the parent is far more likely to gain cooperation. By asking the child to express the objection to see if it can be accommodated or not, the child does not feel powerless.  The parent has gained  relationship, important ground in the pursuit of the goal.

We are like that child.  Hashem’s love and constant presence and involvement are given.  We have no power whatsoever.  Nor do we have an independent life force. Yet we have powerful emotions and reactions because we have a life force that is connected to Hashem but that is also affected by the forces of nature, due to having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

We cry out to Hashem to hear us out.  We explain our resistance to the painful events.  We activate love for Hashem and awe for Hashem in our hearts, because we will to go beyond what we naturally feel to restore the feeling of Hashem’s love and mercy.  Attached to Him, we see more clearly how our reactive nature would add to the darkness.  We see that our instinctive urge that is so strong is raw and unrectified, leading us to take action that could be damaging.  We search for where the wisdom behind the urge is false.  When we see both the urge and the falsehood of the wisdom it is coming from, our breathing with love and awe open the divine space within us for the positive sanctity within the confusion to be returned to Hashem Who then infuses our yetzer tov so that we feel His Love and from there, we take an action that reveals something of His Light.  It is a constructive action to address the need without bringing damage or pain.

The subtlety of our thinking needs hisbodidus to become visible.  Our souls contain holiness whether or not we realize what that means.  The forces within us and the forces that compete for our holiness are part of the spiritual design of the world.  We cannot fully understand this design, but the more we learn Torah, the more we are able to build emunah that indeed these forces operate and that we have real free will that can help us receive from Hashem what we need for our yetzer tov to prevail over the influence of yetzer hara to which immature mentality finds its wisdom. Mature mentality is patient and centered on the truth of Hashem’s Oneness and love.  When we are willing to be one with that, our hearts melt from stone to flesh.  It takes emunah.  And then we have bitachon.  We all understand the wiles of the darkness.  It is imperative that we cling to Torah and to Hashem’s love, beseeching Him to uplift from the darkness the holiness trapped in it and restoring it to the flow of the yetzer tov within us.

No matter  how much Torah we know, be it none or all of shaas, the process of this inner implosion and its purpose and our potential to bring light to the world is within reach.  It is our effort to want to align with compassion, sincerely from our heart, that brings the blessings.  For this reason, our actions that come from compassion are far more powerful than actions from our instinctive urge that we feel are necessary for self-defense.

Adding holiness to the forces of darkness for subjective goals that seemingly bring pleasure must be re-thought….is there an element of honor?  If honor is our pursuit, the only Being Who has honor is Hashem.  And He is all compassion.  Are we afraid of the powerful urges of others that appear to be hurtful to us?  If there is hurt coming through someone from Hashem to us, it us up to us to find out what Hashem wants us to find in our hurt that may have something false, something we believe that is blocking His Compassion from flowing into the matter.  If we see the emotion-wielding remarks and actions of others as addictions to falsehood, not only do we better understand our own painful reaction as a addiction to a false belief that this person has power to hurt but we may also find exactly the place to experience compassion for another, as unknowingly addicted to a imitation pleasure the yetzer hara offers – a kickback of pleasure.

May we take the time to speak out loud to Hashem, from a place of sincerity, with love and awe, like children in His Arms trying to be G-d-like, loving, merciful, patient, forbearing, intelligent, forgiving, overlooking, peaceful, and giving. And may every sincere effort be given insight into how to  be more and more like Hashem, in speech and deed.

May our teshuva be a merit for klal yisrael, for we are one soul, and may we merit to see the redemption come with singing and dancing speedily in our days.

Inspiration for Unity – We are One

To everyone with a Jewish mom

No matter where you are

Please understand that we are one

Forever, near or far.

Maybe something inside you aches

Maybe there is shame

Perhaps something within you shakes

Were you told you are to blame?

The important thing there is to know

Is that the fault lies not with you

But rather with the part of us

That believes things that are untrue.

And every person alive is born

Into a natural flow

Of thoughts from within

That we toil with as if it is so.

The good news is that we are not

The messages we believe

The hurtful painful terrible rot

That we run away and want to leave.

The bad news is that struggle we must

To make ourselves more

A heightened awareness of Who to trust

Builds eternity galore.

The struggle is not bad news you see

In fact it is our role

To create for ourselves an identity

As an eternal soul.

It is scary to think that what I trust

May not be enough

Much of what I believe seems a must,

Success in the world can be rough!

How can I let go of power

Or money for that matter

To think that a prayerful shower

Will produce a life of flowers?

My heart simply does not feel

That prayer is the way

To care for my family head to heel

I must toil every day.

It’s true that we must toil to thrive

But success is not up to us

And that is the point we need for life

To build a relationship with the Boss.

In fact He gives us real free will

And keeps a silent tone

He wants us to have the thrill

Of choosing to not live alone.

But silent He is not, if we talk to Him.

He is, in truth, very near

And when we open our hearts with tears,

His love dissolves our fear.

For we are one with Him you see

And His Love for us is true

It is we who turn away so free

And then we wonder why we are blue.

So wonder enough to consider this so.

You may always go back to the thought

Where you are right now, in a natural flow.

Or, perhaps you will find an elevated route.

Who is like You Hashem?

Believe me He is real

He wants you to feel

His love is so near

You are very dear

But He desires

Our hearts on fire,

Not forced by fear

Not threatened by His Ire.

We find what is true

By calling home when blue,

Search within our inner world

And find faith and trust unfurled.

Building an understanding of ourselves as emanations of Hashem and how best to live in the moment with that reality.

Knowing that the only Being that has life is Hashem intrinsically means that as long as I am alive, Hashem is loving me and involved with me.  When circumstances, moods or events that generate sadness offer an alternative perspective, it is 100 percent guaranteed that the thoughts and feelings we have of anger, fear or sadness include influence from the yetzer hara that is created in order to give us real free will.

The natural messages are our first responders.  If we do not have the learning or the interest to pursue the learning about the Oneness of Hashem and His Love for us, we use our free will within the natural messages alone, which really limits us regarding solutions and a pathway to happiness.

Without Hashem in the picture, we view our feelings and urges as though these responses are what matters and are showing us who we are and what we need to respond to in order to properly “defend” ourselves or receive “respect.”  We may feel like victims of our urges, seeing our thoughts and feelings directed towards resolution of our reactions and urges.

With Hashem in the picture, we are able to view our feelings and urges as something to describe to Hashem and tell Him that they are blocking us from feeling His constant love and mercy for us.  We stand firm in the true belief that Hashem is One and all loving and only does good, and that He is sending these reactions and urges to us in order to give us opportunity to be a bridge between heaven and earth across which coarse material of earth wind water and fire may be exposed to the love for Hashem and the awe we have for Hashem in our hearts.  By so uplifting these elements with fervent prayer that the compassion concealed within our powerful reactions and urges be re-absorbed into our love and awe, we participate in the purpose for our existence, which is to partner with Hashem in the perfection of the world.  Hashem gives us the role of helping to remove the final layer of coarseness from the natural elements.  He gives us a holiness, called a tzelem elokim, with which His Power to go above nature can be emulated through the use of free will.  We go beyond the reason and understanding of the natural emotions, to love and awe of Hashem and willing that all of the components be reduced to their pure sanctity and absorbed within us.  It can be thought of like a spiritual photosynthesis.  And remembering to put all of our life challenges into the vessel of a magnetic field we can create between our mind and heart using the six constant mitzvahs is the very best use of our free will. We have real free will to do this.  We are built to do this.

May despair, frustration, anger, fear, pain, uncontrolled urges and more soon be distilled to their sanctifying drop of compassion that animates them and may the dross that falls away dissolve from the elements of the world so that Hashem may be revealed.

Who is like You Hashem?