Category Archives: GdConsciousness

There is only One yet it feels like two. Please help me unify with You.

On truth, unity, emunah and Parshas Bo

The topic for my last several posts is how to focus on Hashem and go beyond our reason and understanding to trust Him, build emunah, and release the spiritual content from the husks so that our soul is unified to feel and reveal Hashem’s compassion, something we cannot do from following our natural urges and impulses. The plagues show us to this day that Hashem is at the root of all. It is up to us to build ourselves on this truth to serve Him in the moment and experience the simcha of the true inner being He intends for us.

Here are some top Torah shiurim to help understand the underlying Torah, the wisdom, the water, the vitality we need to see at all times, no matter what. We are spiritual beings who temporarily have bodies that we think is us, but really, we are the effort we make to cling to Hashem in every moment.

I listen to a breadth of Torah true speakers. What I have found is that, although the language of the different approaches may vary, every branch of Torah true Judaism is approaching the inner struggle of life. There is much to be gained from listening deeply to hear the Torah and to find the place of unity of our people, that we are all learning the importance and steps to help us cling to Hashem’s compassion, trust in Him, build emunah.

The concepts of run and return, of shifless and bitul, of chochma and bina, of male and female, of chesed and gevurah, of emunah and bitachon are all intertwind with the ultimate goal of inner redemption and serving as a vessel to reveal Hashem’s Oneness, the core of which is His compassion in creating a universe to be a Giver to His Creations.

Our trigger points lie in our thinking, our bina, our imagination, that builds one thing out of another. Until we realize that we can improve our reactivity to a place that knows that everything is from Hashem, the only Power, we make mistakes and do unintended or intended damage, following the messages of our unrectified lower urges and impulses, otherwise known as the animal soul or the “me”. Helpful to comprehending our unique versions of the urges and impulses we come in contact with is to be able to see their root in earth, wind water and fire. By seeing how these are the roots within our impulses, we can get a deeper understanding of what Hashem wants from us in the moment. Without this type of Torah,w e may fall into the traps set out by the Chofetz Chaim that people fall into in speaking lashon hara.

Satan’s Strateg­ies
Sefer Chofetz Chaim — Preface (Cont­inued)
“I wondered to mysel­f,” the Chofetz Chaim writes, “how was it possible that this Torah prohibition of loshon hora came to be disregarded by so many people?”
The Chofetz Chaim an­swers this by introd­ucing us to the main strategy of the evil inclination and the tactics which it utilizes to entangle us in the powerful sin of loshon hora.
The average person, writes the Chofetz Chaim, is simply unaw­are that the prohibi­tion of loshon hora applies to informati­on that is true. (In­formation that is fa­lse is termed hotza’­as shem ra, slander.) Therefore, all Sat­an needs to do is to present information as being true and most people will read­ily repeat it, though according to halac­hah (Torah law) such talk is absolutely forbidden.
For people who are more learned, Satan uses a different appr­oach. He convinces the person that the subject of the loshon hora is an evil per­son and therefore de­serves that loshon hora be spoken about him, or that this in­formation is not los­hon hora.
If these tactics fai­l, Satan uses an opp­osite tactic. He cau­ses the person to wo­rry that every word he speaks might be loshon hora even when it is not. Satan ma­kes it appear that the only choice one has is not to speak at all. Since most pe­ople are involved in conversation numero­us times each day, the only solution see­ms to be to ignore the laws of loshon ho­ra, for they are imp­ossible to keep. Sat­an really is quite clever!
Once Satan has convi­nced people to speak loshon hora, he goes about spreading his web of misinformat­ion further to draw people into listening to the loshon hora, based on their lack of knowledge of the halachah.
For these reasons, the Chofetz Chaim wri­tes, the sin of losh­on hora had become small in the eyes of the world. People be­came accustomed to speaking without meas­uring their words ag­ainst the Torah’s st­andards. Eventually, loshon hora was no longer viewed as an evil, thereby allowi­ng bitter, damaging conversation to beco­me acceptable, unrec­ognized as the terri­ble sin that it is.
Shmiras haloshon, gu­arding one’s speech, became the mitzvah of the pious, not of ordinary Jews, an irrelevant issue to most people. Satan’s strategies had succe­eded. A most severe Torah prohibition, certainly equal to th­at of eating non-kos­her food, was now co­nsidered to be nothi­ng more than an opti­onal stringency that only few were conce­rned with.
All of Satan’s strat­egies, writes the Ch­ofetz Chaim, were ba­sed on his ability to spread misinformat­ion. This was possib­le because the corre­ct information was generally inaccessibl­e. The laws of loshon hora were scattered throughout the Tal­mud, having never be­en collected and org­anized. People were drowning in the sin of loshon hora simply because they were totally ignorant of it and had no way of learning about it.
It was this tragic situation which impel­led the Chofetz Chaim to write his monum­ental work – Sefer Chofetz Chaim.
One Small Step:
I will be strong in my commitment to Shmiras Halashon Yomi. I know that in this merit Hashem wi­ll remove my yetzer hara for loshan hara.

Chofetz Chaim Heri­tage Foundation · 361 Spook Rock Rd · Su­ffern, NY 10901-5314 · USA 

Rabbi Genuth Parsha Bo 1
Rabbi Genuth Parsha Bo 2
Rabbi Asher Freund letter on what our deep spiritual pain is and what it is for and how to move forward when experiencing a challenge

Summary notes on first 20 minutes of Rav Ginsburg’s shiur:

Truth =emes

Shevat, like other winter months but more so, is water, Torah, emet.

Tanya Chapter 13 – truth is the inner point of every state of reality of every thought, and of every emotion. Truth is a connecting bar, an innermost bar that connects all the middle points and connects everything together .

A tzadik is in a continuous state of burning love for Hashem.

A beinoni slips into the mundane, but can arouse love for Hashem and return tote enlightened state of being. In times of prayer, he arouses true love for Hashem. and returns to the enlightened state of being. in times of prayer, he arouses true love for Hashem. The difference is it is not continual. If it is not continual, it is deceptive because it stops., but he can contemplate, meditate, and arouse and so it is considered true truth, because of the potential to serve from his innermost point of truth, it is true, even though from a higher perspective it is false. We can connect to our potential to turn to Hashem.

Baal shem Tov uses the word ayin instead of truth. Nothingness is the description from Hashems ‘ viewpoint.

Rashab uses bitul, self-nullification in the face of nothingness, it is our response to the revelation of the nothingness. Ayin is revealed, bitul is my experience of it. without bitul, something cannot exist from nothing.

Ayin bitul (bitul is the response to the experience of ayin) and truth.

Ayin – Nothingness

bitul – selflessness

emes – truth

The first letters of each spell Aba – Father, Wisdom. The inner experience of wisdom is bitul.

Keter is above wisdom the crown. Or, it is the origin of wisdom itself – the initial point of wisdom is revelation of Divine nothingness.

Bitul is the experience of it,the middle point of the heart, tiferes. Heart of wisdom is experience of bitul, Hashem creates me from nothing this moment.

Emes is truth, the inner dimension of yesod, foundation, to realize it in speech and deeds. ABA descends to yesod. That is emes. truth is lasting. never-ceasing impression of that experience.

A true person is someone that experiences nothingness as a seal on the soul. If I know Nothingness, I know it forever and if I keep it in consciousness, can walk a path of truth. Truth is lasting impression of bitul the, yesod that is my foundation for life.

Reflections Rosh Chodesh Shevat..May our inner redemption flow

When we are at our trigger point, we experience a lack, and that lack causes an instinctive sadness or frustration along with an urge to strike back in action or judgment.

Let’s break it down so that we may have more to work with to re-regulate ourselves and really choose our response rather than reacting in a way that may be hurtful or self-defeating.

The first instinct is anger or fear. This feels like being on fire.

Along with this anger comes our imagination, assessing the situation impulsively with varying degrees of incomplete Information ( we do not understand from Hashem’s perspective, and therefore falsehood abounds). Our thinking fuels the fire we are already experiencing, like a hurricane force wind blowing a wild fire to another area of our thinking and to every molecule of our body until we feel it everywhere. Each thought we think diverts the compassionate life force Hashem sends us every moment from its pristine desire to be revealed as compassion to being poured into this fire and evaporated into the darkness through the falseness.

To counteract, we use prayer, our speech, to begin to turn the wind into something more gentle.

“Hashem, I want to not want to feel what my urges and instincts draw me to feel, taking me towards running in the dark without truth. These urges and instincts are the survival response of the animal nature we have, that You design, and I understand the design. I understand that You are giving me opportunity to rise above this nature and in so doing, giving me opportunity to willingly participate in something only Hashem can do, which is to rectify my nature, specifically my animal nature and characteristics, to upgrade to something that will bring into my bodily urges and impulses holiness, the truth that everything You do is for our best. THANK YOU! “

“I am drawing water to quiet the urges and impulses now, with love for Hashem side by side with the urges. I am noticing and naming and describing the nature of the urges and impulses while loving Hashem because I ask that the holy life force swirling towards the subjectivity of my urges and impulses be restored to You, the Source of all life force, and restored to me so that I feel Your Love and mercy because that is what I wish to reveal. “

“I am feeling the urges and impulses in my heart now, like opening a bag, in Your Loving presence to mingle, like a spiritual magnet, love for Hashem and the awe in the design. Please draw the compassion that got diverted towards the body’s survival instinct back to truth and knowing there is No Other Power.”

“May my prayer and words and love be like wind making an effort to blow out the fire and like water extinguishing the fire, fire caused by false impressions that felt true that triggered survival instincts. “

“My help comes from You alone, I have no power other than the powers of will and emunah that You place in my soul. Please help me from Your Compassion to feel and reveal Your Compassion within my urges and impulses. I desire to have expanded awareness of You in the very place of these urges and impulses.”

The simcha that results is the experience of the yetzer tov being infused with recovered compassion, and is the experience of the yetzer tov connected cheek to cheek with Hashem, having momentarily nullified the animal instincts. This is our akeidas Yitzchak. We unify our inner being with Hashem Echad. Run and return.

Our yetzer tov is immensely larger than our animalistic urges, impulses and reactions, but what we feel are those limited reactions unless we have the emunah to upgrade. IT IS UP TO US TO TRY. Hashem Hu Elokim.

Free Will.

Rabbi Genuth – Parshas Va’era

Everything we feel is coming from the body experiencing the world – and from the body’s perceptions, the animal soul gets its idea of what it needs to survive, and the divine soul fights that. That is how we bring the divine soul into the body.

The love and awe that the soul feels for Hashem gets projected into the body, into the heart, and we run towards the messages of the animal soul. This is how it is set up so the higher soul can overcome it – reorganize it all – and come into the body. This is the animal sacrifice we make from which comes a feeling in the body of love and awe, a higher level of body existence that only we can do through free will.

Regulating emotions helps when we have the concepts of the root forces earth wind water and fire

Imagine a situation where anger flares up along side a desire to say something hurtful because something you care about personally is at risk.

Fire, wind, earth, water.

Shemayim is composed of fire and water that work together, rather than act as opposites.

We too can bring these root forces forward into meaning and purpose. How?

Once we see the fire is causing us to want to speak hurtfully, and we see that something profound to our being is at risk, and we realize we do not want it, we are completely reassured of the real task! It has nothing to do with the circumstances! It has everything to do with a mature re-organizing of the root forces.

We have spiritual powers because we have a soul from Hashem, the Only Power. The universal element of all creation is Hashem’s compassion. It is the penny of the universe. Everything is built from it. The spiritual powers are the power of free will, the power of faith, and the power to experience taanug – the pleasure of feeling our true inner being that is connected to Hashem at all times.

The root forces are full of potential compassion but it is trapped in what appears to us as darkness and negativity – anger, sad, hurtful, lacking. When we realize that we may exert emunah in such an instance, and choose to trust in Hashem’s compassion no matter what we are experiencing, we are acknowledging to Hashem that we sincerely know and return to our heart that He is Hashem and that His Compassion is the core of everything in the universe, in our circumstances, in our body and in our soul. In so doing, we overcome the appearance of many forces and that effort brings to our hearts a love and awe that the body can feel and reveal.

The awareness needed to re-organize all of the emotion is the experience of feeling one with Hashem, a pleasure that is an inner pleasure, a simcha, an experience that our higher soul has at all times but that we do not naturally feel. What blocks us from feeling it are our natural urges and impulses which we perceive far more readily. Yet the universal element, compassion, is hidden within those urges and impulses, albeit far from our sensory perceptions Rather the opposite is what we experience. Anger, sadness, fear, loss, despair.

Emunah is a power of the soul we may exercise to choose to see everything as filled with Hashem’s compassion. What is the next step? The body itself, the heart’s emotions, becomes wise enough to realize that it can give the potential compassion hidden in the pain to the soul for the soul then to re-organize and restore to the body in a way that reveals the compassion to the body too.

From the place where we love Hashem and have awe in Hashem, that place where we feel the simcha of connection – even if only a remembered place that we feel far away from – we can tell Hashem that we wish for the simcha of connection to prevail, that the wind of that gentle joy should please extend into the pain and cause the whispered messages from the darkness to not only quiet, but to join in the simcha’s revealed message of joy.

We ask, generating prayer with our speech – wind – for that simcha to touch and absorb the whispered messages from the yetzer hara – wind – and turn the hidden and revealed compassion into revealed compassion we may feel.

We ask that the simcha become what is stable in our heart, not the negative reactions.

We ask that our love for Hashem – water – quiet the firey reactions of fear or anger so that we may regulate our emotions and reveal Hashem’s compassion in our speech and deeds.

We let go of results. Our focus is the work of re-organizing the root forces we feel – what is sad and unstable to become simcha-dik, what is angry, frightened or raw to become warm and bring light, what feels like a storm inside to become a gentle experience of Hashem’s constant love, and for what we want to no longer be our subjective wants but rather to want to do this work of re-organizing the root forces because we love Hashem and this is what He is asking of us in this moment – to positively impact the root forces, improve our character, and create a positive influence on the nature of the world.

Embracing this is a totally new perspective on every moment. It reflects not only emunah but heartfelt awareness that Hashem is One and that we are here to recognize His Compassion as the universal element of all. By that recognition, we are saying we are creations, He is the Creator, and we wish to be the vessels through which You Hashem can be seen.

By so doing, we have an alternative to getting thrown for a loop. We have a means of understanding ourselves that gives purpose and meaning to every moment, even distasteful ones. And we bring holiness to our bodies and merits for eternal life to our soul.

It is up to us.

From silent whispers that hurt, to intentional drawing of compassion to replace, heal and shine

One of the important, if not the most important, detail in understanding the design of how Hashem has given us real free will is to understand why we feel so connected to the messages of our body and natural assessments.

Although the yetzer hara is internally felt, it is external to our true inner being. Our true inner being, our tzelem elokim, experiences the simcha of connection to Hashem. However, we do not naturally sense this simcha. Instead, we naturally sense the perceptions of the body. Thus, what flows through us when we are receiving “input” is also connected to nature, specifically the root forces of nature. One of the root forces is wind. Wind is inherent for our speech, whether out loud or to our selves. The yetzer hara has one job. To constantly downgrade us so that we think its thoughts and thereby give it access to draw from our holy soul, feeding the forces of the kelipas, the husks, that hide Hashem’s presence. In our body are stored memories, traumas, misunderstandings, poorly formed constricted thought habits and more. These are part of our nature as well. The yetzer hara uses wind to blow these memories and fears into our hearts and mind, and we re-live the same traumas projected onto our moments over and over again. When we have emunah and bitachon in Hashem, that He is all loving, that He loves us even in this very moment, that there is a warm and gentle nurture flowing to us as our life force, we have real free will to bring that wind into our heart to send out the whispers of the yetzer hara.

With emunah and bitachon, we can blow the storm out to sea and regulate our emotions so that we may respond with caring, nurture, acceptance and understanding.

Have you ever held an inconsolable toddler who fights sleep? Thrashing, crying, resisting…we sing to her, rock her, bundle her up, and let her sob and sob, never breaking our love for her, constantly giving until, she falls asleep in our arms.

This is how we know we can trust our yetzer tov to sing softly and blow truth over the storms of the yetzer hara. When we are connected to Hashem, the yetzer hara is subdued and its whispers that test us re-absorbed into the compassion. When we consistently trust in this, we are bringing this wind, the wind of a gentle loving breeze on a glorious day, into our hearts, to stabilize it and fertilize it within our bodies as our true identity. It is our real beauty.

Why be satisfied with the cheap payoffs the yetzer hara offers, like “tell her off …push back …that is what people who feel good about themselves do” or other independently oriented moves to assert ones boundaries. While there may be times for this, in many instances, something else is what Hashem requires of us in the moment.

Hashem desires our hearts. He is seeking a dwelling place, a home. When we trust in Hashem and feel the simcha of being one with His Compassion, and we know this is our true identity that we are feeling, we want to bring that true identity out. We have real free will. With personal prayer, we turn our hearts to Hashem and notice the conflicting winds and ask Hashem to please increase our yetzer tov because this is what we want in our hearts.

This is a key idea in understanding the design and clinging to the truth of Torah and Hashem’s compassion. We can do it again and again, as needed, for a lifetime. It is a journey. Success is up to Hashem.

Rabbi Moshe Weinberger – Yahrtzeit of the Baal HaTanya – Two Lights, revealed and hidden

The 24th of Teves was the yahrtzeit of the Baal HaTanya, Admor Shneur Zalman of Liadi. Rabbi Moshe Weinberger explains in detail the spiritual content within us that it is up to us to unify so that we may shine a light that reveals Hashem.

He explains using the terminologies of Rochel and Leah, the Imahos.

When we have a difficult emotional challenging experience, we feel it and are so pained. Torah tells us that Leah cried her eyes out because she did not want to be Esau’s wife, and that her beauty became hidden. The world does not see her beauty. She lost her external beauty. Her beauty is the hidden world, the world of penimius.

Yet it is Leah’s beauty, when joined with the outer beauty of Rochel Imeinu forms the complete beauty within a revealed world.

When we have a difficult feeling it is up to us to use tefilla in Hashem’s presence, with awareness of ein od milvado consciousness, to open up the channel in order to empty the channel of the positive spiritual content trapped in the constricted place. We do this with Torah in mind, so it is in the format of male (Torah, chochma) and female (Tefilla). We ask Hashem to please unify the spiritual content with what Hashem sends as revealed compassion to our yetzer tov so that our yetzer tov is strengthened and so that we may stabilize a unified revealed light in our hearts from which to act.

Keep in mind that opening the constricted channel means that we are opening something that feels raw and animalistic. There are National Geographic videos that show lions and a cheetah. It isn’t pretty. The force, the attack, the victory, the eating. When we open the constricted channels we must be prepared for the look and feel of what we are opening. The look and feel is NOT who we are. It is the urges and impulses of the animalistic instincts within the neshama and heart that are given to us for us to empty out and bring to holiness through relationship with Hashem.

In Getting to Know Your Soul, Rabbi Itamar Schwartz explains the root of our forces in terms of earth wind water and fire. When we experience the raw animalistic look and feel in Hashem’s presence and can narrate it to Hashem with the wisdom of understanding the roots are in the natural elements earth wind water and fire, we are also inspiring ourselves towards pushing beyond reason and understanding because we see that what emunah and bitachon are telling us is true – that we are one with Hashem here to do a tikun, a repair, that positively impacts nature, rectifying our characteristics and middos.

When we pray recognizing Hashem as the Creator, and notice and name what is in our constricted thinking asking for all of its spiritual content to merge with our yetzer tov and settle in our heart, we initiate an exchange where the body that has grabbed our holiness to feed its trust in its urges ad instincts can now be re-filled with the holiness we return to Hashem.

We take off the husks, the constrictions, by noticing, naming, telling Hashem with emunah and true bitachon in the process that we want to NOT want what we want. Noticing the threads of earth wind water and fire help the body also submit to the truth by giving it awareness in its own language of emotion that it is a key player in affecting the natural world.

The bitachon is reliance on the absolute truth of the world being compassion, the universal element, Hashem’s innermost truth. It is NOT TOO HARD to notice and name what comes out of the constrictions when we open our mouths in tefilla with focus on ein od milvado. However, it FEELS to hard because the yetzer hara works at all times to lower us in our eyes, to give us the feeling that we are small and inadequate and insignificant.

Emunah and bitachon give us the awareness of Hashem to see the opportunity for what it is – to use real free will to empty the constricted thoughts and feelings, knowing we are in reality tzelem elokim that are not shaken by the imploding of emotions with truth and confession out of love for Hashem so that we may restore whatever parts of our soul are trapped in the constriction to the side of holiness. In this way, we may walk with Hashem and know what He wants of us in the moment – He wants us to be in a constant state of run and return, to not live in our constricted thoughts and feelings but rather to be fluid with running and returning to refine from the husks the hidden compassion that we alone are given to bring to holiness and then to absorb in our hearts and reveal in our speech and deeds.

Listen here to Rebbetzin Tzipora Harris talk about how trust in Hashem helps us with stress. “The final test at the end of days is the test of trusting in a loving Hashem.”

Emunah and bitachon raise our executive functioning to the true mission we have – bonding and thereby healing our imagination and intellect with Hashem’s wisdom and compassion.

Managing the human condition of being limited and imperfect is aided greatly by emunah and bitachon.

Understanding that all there is in the world is Hashem, that He is the author of our lives and everything that is happening, helps us to accept our imperfections. They are purposeful!

How we make the effort to bring out His Truth, His Oneness, His Love IS our mission. We unblock Hashem’s light so it may shine through us into this world by realizing that when we run into an obstacle, we are intended NOT to think the self-focused thoughts our urges and impulses whisper to us. Rather we are to declare to Hashem in full force of feeling the urges and impulses that we have come face to face with hidden compassion within our makeup that we wish instead to experience as revealed compassion. It is our will to go beyond the reason and understanding of our urges and impulses alone!

Having a greater understanding of ourselves as a being with free will, emunah and the simcha of connection to Hashem grants perspective to the experience of our natural self that has encountered and is experiencing darkness. We are empowered to draw light from Hashem’s surrounding light to touch the substance hidden within our urges that wants to move towards self-focus.

We are not our limitations. We are our effort to empty and re-fill our natural urges and impulses …empty it of hidden compassion focused on limited vision of the natural self and re-fill it with revealed compassion so that the natural self stabilizes its identity as one with the simcha of being connected to Hashem’s compassion.

Breaking open the urges is safe – it is personal prayer. Experience the opening of all of our memories and false beliefs. It may feel painful but don’t think the thoughts – name and describe the thoughts and feelings. See how earth (sadness, laziness, stability, fertile ground), water (vitality, love, wisdom, truth, unbounded overflow that can be destructive), fire (ascending movement that destroys, warmth, light), wind (movement from four directions, blistery, over-speaking) are involved in the urges and impulses. This helps to validate that, indeed, the challenge is to rectify nature! And in so seeing the root forces, we have emunah in Hashem, for the Torah teaches us that we are here solely to rectify our characteristics and our characteristics’ root are the natural elements themselves that are under Hashem’s total supervision. See how our choice to empty the urges and impulses of the hidden expression of these forces in order to re-fill the urges and impulses with a revealed expression of Hashem’s compassion expands our awareness of Hashem in our subconscious mind and heart. We can remove the confusion of mind that happened from the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Hashem, I want to not want to feel the negativity of the urges and impulses of fire, earth, wind and water which I am feeling and thinking in relation to the limited self and causing me to despair. Rather, I want the compassion to be restored to its pristine compassion, revealed compassion. Please help.

From Despair to Repair and Simcha

Whatever each person’s personal version of it is, we have a despairing place. It is dark and filled with possibilities that lead to pain and hurt.

Why would Hashem, a loving Creator, build such an option within us and call it not only good, but very good?

Hashem also builds into our soul three powers – faith, pleasure, and will, real free will.

Hashem gives us the Torah that explains we are a soul blown into an earthly vessel called a body, and that together the body and soul perform Hashem’s mitzvahs. Without a body, we cannot do a mitzvah and we would not have real free will. Without a soul, we have no life-force or awareness of Hashem.

We have awareness of Hashem, a life-force, real free will, and the opportunity to do mitzvahs and emulate Hashem’s attributes of mercy.

The body is needed to perform the mitzvahs and to be purified and made holy by submitting to the soul.

The soul is needed to provide the life force and constant connection to Hashem from which we may draw light into the body and into the world.

Now comes a challenge. Someone does something that we find objectionable and we see the person has stumbled.

However, very often, our emotions become defensive, judgmental, and before we know it, our fire is rising within us and our hand or mouth is moving to strike. This is neurologically natural.

We understand it. What we don’t truly understand is that we have been given an amazing stage upon which we may act in a way that emulates Hashem and positively impacts all of the root elements of the world, earth, wind, fire and water.

Are we going to follow the pain in the natural way, looking to have our wounds soothed with words or actions by another? Take it back! Tell me you didn’t mean it! OR, are we going to see that Hashem has given us the opportunity to run after our natural urges into a wall of darkness so that we can use real free will to grab the potential concealed by the darkness and, with emunah and bitachon, turn to Hashem and redeem all of what is concealed in the matter to its true revealed compassionate expression within our urges and impulses? Do we realize we may then ask Hashem to take the revealed compassion and to help us all choose our yetzer tov over yetzer hara, healing the one soul that we all are, of the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

We are living in times when it seems that everything is falling. It seems that urges and impulses alone are enough for people to clamor for their immediate gratification, the existence of urges and impulses thereby comprising all the reason, logic or ethics that otherwise might make sense to consider before implementation. Is compassion the gratification of the urges and impulses? Or is compassion something else?

If we think back to elul, we called out the thirteen attributes of mercy every day. Merciful, kind, patient, overlooking faults and more are among the attributes described. Tomer Devorah teaches us that it is incumbent upon us not to forget to emulate Hashem lest these compassionate characteristics remain hidden in the world.

How, then, can we come to express compassion when our urges or impulses compel us to a feeling to throttle someone?

By comprehending that the feelings to throttle are stemming from urges and impulses that are within or below the natural reasoning mind, and by remembering that when such a look and feel is taking place it is an opportunity to use our inner powers of faith and will for the sake of achieving the greatest inner simcha possible – oneness with the Source of our life force and the compassion of the world -, a new outlook on our life takes form.

The new outlook is that we are here to combine the hidden potential compassion hiding in our experience of whatever pain we feel when we hit a wall and darkness descends into our being, WITH our love for Hashem and awe in how He is One and only does good. Body and soul.

Body and soul are not independent of each other and neither are body and soul independent of Hashem. Rather, our free will, love and awe bridge the body and soul with Hashem. The awareness of Hashem that we experience as simcha when we exercise real free will and generate love and awe IS our true self.

Our free will, love and awe become a vessel through which spiritual material can filtered from a state of hidden compassion to a state of revealed compassion. Where does this take place? It takes place in our hearts and minds. How do we know when it has taken place? We experience simcha., the simcha of oneness with Hashem’s compassion, the true simcha we are created to experience, the awareness of flowing with Hashem’s blessings?

How do we do it? We choose. We choose to use real free will to go beyond the natural reason and understanding of our painful emotions, beyond the justifications, beyond the blaming, beyond the shaming, beyond the judgments, beyond the impulse to be victorious, and say “upgrade to revealed compassion and awareness of Hashem” to the urges and impulses that otherwise seek to make a stand for what we subjectively believe is meritorious for being defended.

Will we fail to use real free will to think and evaluate, and thereby unconsciously fall for the body-generated payoff of “being right” or “being powerful” and unwittingly donate our life force to the Soton, who gives us the best thinking of life in the kelipas, rationalizing it as the “way it is” until Moshiach comes and “what people do” to build fertile and stable community structures?

Or, will we turn it around to see that it is up to us to expand our executive functioning skills to the real task at hand – being happy in Hashem’s service? Through prayerful pleading out loud, describing what the natural self that has just hit a dark wall is feeling, we tell Hashem that we have a full intention to grab from the very darkness paining our inner world that potential compassion. We tell Hashem that know that He is One and that we understand this hidden potential compassion is THE ingredient we need to HEAL the urges and impulses from the negativity confusing us and generating pain.

Our hearts and speech in awareness of Hashem and His Design create a holiness – a transcendance – a bond with Hashem through which spiritual material may be filtered of its falseness and returned to its pristine original state of revealed compassion. This is felt as a lightness within our inner world, a sense of relief from that situation.

We go beyond reason and understanding through will to ask to feel and reveal Hashem’s compassion and we heal our urges and impulses of the shadows that block us from the simcha of feeling One with Hashem’s love and mercy.

Living within the kelipas does not add anything to our awareness of Hashem, nor does being victorious or powerful at moving through time and space using the intellect that Hashem has given to us gain us olam haba or make us more G-d-like/holy. Why be satisfied with the praises and honor given by others? Why accept these strong body drives as the source of what is generating a pleasant life? Do we not see it is fraught with falsehood? Why do we believe this “is it” and not approach the truth, the task of pursuing connection, the task of bringing light to the body to make it holy?

Drawing light into our inner being and expanding our urges and impulses into vessels that submit to revealing Hashem fulfills the purpose for which Hashem has given us vitality and a life time. It grows our awareness of Hashem. It builds a deeper connection with Hashem, deep into our hearts. Our soul is the life force that keeps the body going, and that life force is from Hashem. We are not here on our own, body and soul, remember?

It is up to us.