Category Archives: GdConsciousness

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

Reflections on Shabbos Teshuva and revised hisbodidus in the moment

Adom was created to reconstitute Olam Haba so that mankind would be able to receive the greatest pleasure for eternity by earning it

Rabbi  Mendel Kessin teaches that Hashem made olam haba, then lowered Adom into olam haze with the mandate that Adom should reconstruct Olam haba consciousness.  Olam Haba consciousness means living with the revealed understanding that Hashem is the Creator and that Adom is created. By rebuilding it, Adom will no longer have the feeling of being inadequate as a creation. Why?  In order to rebuild the consciousness, Adom must use two divinely given gifts, free will and speech, which are creative and causative. Because free will and speech are creative and causative, which are G’dlike efforts, Adom will have olam haba consciousness along with the experience of being in a small microcosmic way of being creative like Hashem, enough to mitigate the feeling of inadequacy in never being able to be Hashem.

Think for a moment of what upsets us.  When it is boiled down, can we see that it is a frustration of our will and that we believe our will is the “right thing?” We want control.  We wish we were in control. But we are not. Hashem is in control.

We are given Divine creative force to use in order that we may choose to be like Hashem. Life is our opportunity to inoculate ourselves from feeling inadequate that we are not Hashem by giving us an experience of what Hashem does, albeit what we do is a microdot of a microdot.  The choosing is the inoculation.

When we understand the design, we then have the intelligence to understand the opportunity of life. The opportunity is to remember that Hashem is One and to move ourselves there, forming for ourselves an eternal identity as having chosen to use causative effort to be like Hashem when we are in a challenging situation.

In that moment when we are feeling frustrated, disconnected from what we want, we have the opportunity to do something with free will and speech that is G*d-like.  That something that we can do is teshuva on having wished we were Hashem, which will correct our unique flaws and in so doing, make our unique contribution to correcting the eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Hisbodidus to help us

exercise our “naked will” to sing along with Hashem’s blessings that He is sending to the world and

  • to keep our will from singing along with the accusations and damages of the evil inclination that seeks to leech off our holy souls.
  • Whose survival is its messages geared to help?The evil inclination appears the instant we let go of Hashem,  seducing us with material and physical pleasure and survival messages into thinking the thoughts of the daas sitras achra, which tempts us and lures us to go down a rabbit hole to our spiritual demise.  It is involved with ITS survival, not ours.
  • What is the falsehood, the lie, that we are believing in our confusion of mind?

I am a creation and there is a Creator – I do not have independent power

Hashem I realize I am not in control, that I am a creation and You are Hashem, the Creator of all, the soul of the universe. The place of the universe is Hashem

Acknowledgement that whatever has happened is designed by Hashem and that He is Lovingkind and all Good even if it does not feel like it

Thank you for reminding me that I am a creation. I notice that I have fallen into thinking the thoughts associated with my will instead of Yours, dragging the pure soul You have given to me into the dark. I fell and now I wish to return.

Acknowledgment of awareness that when we lose devekus for even one moment, we are immediately in the grips of the thinking of the evil inclination which tempts us to think its thoughts so that it may take nourishment from our souls

I recognize that the will that brought me to this moment is tainted with temptations from the yetzer hara, who seduced me with promises of achieving with the natural powers endowed with it something that looks materially as pleasurable. I see the futility, knowing I cannot take anything without Your permission. I do not wish to cause damage in the world with the naked will that You have given me through consciousness and life.

Causative effort to use free will and speech, G*d-like endowments given to mankind, to emulate and cling to Hashem the King. Yearning to bring Hashem’s compassion into our heart – “make aliya” – conquer the “land” that is our physicality.

I love You and I understand the design.  I will that You, Hashem, be King over all the confusion within me. I want my life to reveal Hashem’s compassion through my speech and deeds. I want to be a conduit for compassion. I trust in You regarding all outcomes. Please answer me with yes, so that my will to dissolve the blocks and absorb all divine creative energy with spiritual value brings Your compassion to the darkness within me, and by my  feeling Your Compassion, to thereafter express something that reveals Your pure compassion.

Request to please restore and heal spiritual value that is trapped in the unrectified characteristics and natural urges.(by dropping the husks, the spiritual value reveals the compassion from You.)

The name for my fallen thinking is defensiveness, purportedly for my survival.  The impact of thinking along these lines is causing me pain and discomfort and the paths all seem problematic. I confess that I have used the intelligence You have given me to build upon something false, which has resulted in my imagination being on fire and blocks me from feeling close to You. There is falsehood in my coping mechanisms, in my unrectified urges, and in my bad habits.

I cry out these urges and falsehoods from this point of desperation, confessing them and asking that the love and awe in my heart for You please affect this darkness so that Your Compassion is felt here, so that my emotions are regulated thereby allowing me to think clearly how to bring Your Compassion into the world.

  • Please help me to be able to observe my thoughts and what is false and to straighten myself and reconnect to Your Name with calmness and clarity before I do anything else, whatever action might be needed.
  • With emunah, I observe rather than think the thoughts.  I see and regret that I believe something false. I realize that my survival depends on You alone.  I am not interested in having my soul poured into anything that will distance me from my Creator or cause the forces of darkness to proliferate. The false message that attracts me to its line of thinking is….and I see that is a pattern in my life.  There is something within me that is a coping mechanism, an unrectified forbidden urge or bad habit. I wish to stop the false message and bring forward all spiritual content – knowing the inner vitality of everything is Your Compassionate breath even when it is hidden in an utterance that is so disconnecting –  from animating anything false. But I have urges instead to act out the falsehoods and I do not want to. It is painful. It is untrue. I am afraid or angry. I do not wish to do damage. I feel lost in the dark. I know I do not want this, but I don’t have the control to just stop this thinking because it is nature. I am a creation.  You are the Creator. I turn to You in desperation and with love and awe.

2  I am doing the mitzvahs of love for Hashem and having awe in Hashem, using my intellect to connect to Your compassion. My effort is intended to acknowledge the truth of olam haba consciousness, even though I am not feeling Your love and mercy yet at the level of my heart because of being connected to a falsehood that is habitually ingrained.

  • I want to associate love for Hashem and awe of Hashem with what is in my heart and safely confess in order that the inner compassion trapped in the falsehoods will release into the love and awe that I feel for Hashem.
  • I see that the triggering event is an outcome of failure to reveal compassion at this very same behira point. Thus I see I have a platform to appeal for all of this content to reveal Your compassion. I have the opportunity to make a causative effort and be GDlike in this moment, to involve my essence with blessings  Hashem is sending.

May my effort be a merit for Klal Yisrael in dissolving what blocks us. (Idea of asking Hashem to remove mechitzahs)

My will is to feel Your love and mercy so that I may reveal Your love and mercy.

  • I ask that the raw spiritual material that is swirling within me be restored to purity, to be available to reveal Your compassion.  This is my will.
  • I regret my past mistakes and all the aveiras in thinking, speaking and doing that resulted from past failures.
  • I wish to acknowledge these errors and declare my will is to reveal Your compassion. (cry out details)
  1.  Please forgive me and uproot whatever blocks me from feeling and revealing Your compassion.

Please answer me with the truth of Your Salvation – feeling Your love and mercy –  so that I have more heartfelt free willed choice to reveal compassion when these matters come up.

Thank you for this opportunity to use causative free will and prayer as You intend, so that I may ask to feel consciousness of Hashem more deeply within my heart.

Hashem forgives us when we forgive and overlook – Rabbi Moshe Weinberger

Ask from the depth of your heart for forgiveness when you feel rachmanos on your own soul, the elokus Hashem invests in us [for having gotten dragged into the dark, for keeping it in exile].  And that awakens the empathy of the 13 middos harachamim of Hashem.

From Rosh Hashana siddur Foundations of Repentance, a prayer and a process for building emunah

From Rosh Hashana siddur Foundations of Repentance, a prayer and a process for building emunah

The above prayer is in the Rosh Hashana siddur published by Artscroll.  The pathway reflects how we take our life, our breath – respiration – and turn it into something that repairs, something to help us complete what we are here to complete – reparation.

Respiration to reparation.   The “I” is changed to an “a” – Adoshem – and the “s”, the sssssssss, is dropped.  We can move from our animalistic tendencies and our lower brain reptilian reactions to become more like Hashem’s merciful characteristics through prayerful speech, where we choose to reveal His compassion on the basis of being tzelem elokim, made in His Image. Our  primary purpose is to restore olam haba consciousness to our hearts. The task is to use free will and speech to rectify our confusion and pain. The confusion and pain is caused by thoughts generated from corrupted spiritual energy mixed in that cause us to seek something from the material and physical world to relieve that pain

We have to stop the lashon hara in our unconscious. Too often what we think comes out of our mouths. 

We  are made in His Image. With Torah that tells us this, with Torah that gives us the six constant mitzvahs that include love Hashem amd awe of Hashem, with Torah that tells us the tool of the yetzer hara is deceit and falsehoods, the underlying axiomatic paradigm of our suffering can be understood and free will applied so that we feel Hashem’s love and mercy and thereby serve Him and reveal His Compassion.

How do we stop the lashon hara at its root? 

We need tools to identify that what we are thinking is coming from the zuhama, the poison of the snake, that is now in a battle with our tzelem elokim for our holiness.  The situation is that we naturally listen to its coaching as if it is our best and highest wisdom.  It captures our intelligence and we build layer upon layer of falsehoods upon a false initial message.  What is that false initial message? 

1. It tells us that our survival depends on listening to it.  That is not true.  Our survival depends on Hashem. 

2. It will tell us that we can’t rely on wishful thinking, that we have to act.  This is not true.  We can ONLY rely on prayerful beseeching to Hashem because both the cause and the outcome are up to Him alone.

It tells us a third type of lie too. 

It is telling us motzei shemra, lashon hara or sheker about ourselves, others, or life.  For example if we judge someone poorly, it is speaking to us either lashon hara or motzei shemra about that person and we are listening to rechilus.  If it is telling us we are bad, that is sheker because we are made in Hashem’s Image, tzelem elokim  We have to listen and make an effort to spot the lashon hara!

Our role is to take steps to unify Hashem’s Name and to use free will and speech as He intends for us to use them.  How?

In order to do so, we need tremendous emunah.  The Foundations of Repentance above set out a way to continuously return to Hashem, giving a spiritual accounting before we eat. The suggestion is that we take this step for a year, to really build within us that all there is in the world is Hashem, that He is real and that we are one with Him, part of His Kingdom.

The mitzvahs of loving Hashem and having awe of Hashem are energetically dynamic in helping us recover from our slips and falls. 


We have a perception, something where we feel a lack of love, of something we desire, of honor, of the vision we have for ourselves.  That momentary break from being connected to Hashem and His Compassion is immediately met by the yetzer hara who shows up instantly, the  “fly” ready to drink from the holiness of our soul.  It whispers thoughts to us from our memory banks and patterns hoping to lure us just one drop more away so that we listen to that thought and then the next.  It seeks to attracts our intellect, our neshama, that lost its grip to chochma and Hashem’s mercy.  It tells us that our survival depends upon our listening and that we really should pay attention or we will be foolish and will not get what we want.  And, without recognizing the falsehoods in this thinking, we turn to it and listen and before we know it we are upset.  Not only are we upset, but we don’t want to be upset and we can’t regain our balance.  Our defense mechanisms and aveiras are preventing us from feeling Hashem’s nearness and good.

Importance of understanding the pain of inadequacy that led to the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – the underlying Torah at the core of healing our emotional distress.

It is crucially important that we have an awareness of what happened in Gan Eden why we ate (yes we were allt here, part of Adom’s soul, the only soul that was ever created) from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We wanted to be a creator, like Hashem.  It was terribly painful, irresistably so, to see Hashem’s tremendous kindness revealed and to be a creation that could do a small fraction of what Hashem could do.  Inherent to being a creation is that sense of wanting to be more, and that inadequacy IS the only inadequacy that actually exists. Why?  Because all there is in the world is Hashem and we are His Creations and He is a giver Who gives us all the good that is good for us to have.

Our pain in any moment of perception is playing out this inadequacy on a playing field that is like a stage for it but has no ability to repair the cause of the inadequacy, that we are not Hashem.  This important information helps us recover when the yetzer hara flies in to lead us astray towards thoughts that benefit the survival of the yetzer hara, its need to draw off our holiness. ONLY by being like Hashem can we alleviate the feeling of inadequacy in not being the Creator Himself. We must discern in the moment and then use free will and speech to lift ourselves to Hashem, unifying His Name and repairing our characteristics. When we understand we are souls in a body, and that we all are vulnerable to whatever error the other made, and we confess to Hashem our vulnerability and ask Him to forgive us and extend that to the other person too, we repair our corrupted characteristics.  We are saying Hashem, be KING over this in our nature. We are all struggling with the deceptions in our unconscious. Please come into my heart. We only want to reveal You. Our effort and sweat to love Hashem and feel awe in the design in order to exert ourselves in the service of Hashem to bring the tree of life from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is healing and brings blessings and hopefully  redemption.


How does this information help?  I am feeling hurt, because I feel inadequate in attaining …love, respect, success, security…..and I am contemplating taking this action ….talking hurtfully, going to court, ….in the false belief that this will restore a sense of adequacy.  It cannot. 

Wake up!!

We must comprehend the opportunity being given to us!  We are being given an opportunity to make a G-d-like choice, to feel love and awe for Hashem and ask Hashem to please take all the confusing spiritual energy churning in our hearts and to ask Hashem to please reconstitute it into olam haba consciousness. The reason we ate is because we wanted to be a Creator like Hashem and He has given us an opportunity to do just that!  Which way shall we go…toward the pain of seeking some adequacy that is unattainable in material and physical reality or toward the unification of Hashem’s Name and the tree of life?

We want to feel His love and mercy so that we may reveal His Love and Mercy.  We are capable of seeing ourselves not as the physical form that is upset. See ourselves as the awareness we have itself.  See ourselves within the design of the world, with emunah in Hashem, an awareness within us  that loves Hashem and is clinging to Him.

We ask that our prayer be received and that we receive our soul and all of our soul invested in our past mistakes reconstituted because we want a fresh heart to serve Him with.  And more, we want what Hashem invested in the yetzer hara to be available for us to feel and reveal as compassion, an added strong flow of inspiration that helps us to remain attached and clinging to Him.

Hear Rabbi Asher Freund discuss that we need to wake up and do the avoda of loving each other, meaning not listening to the thoughts that divide us, but rather seeing them as false. (for more from the translations of the derech of Rabbi Asher, click here.

In the morning, when we enter the synagogue, we say Ma Tovu.  Please read the english translation below.  We say “we enter Your House…..with awe…I love the House where You dwell…I bow and kneel…answer me with the truth of Your salvation.  With love for Hashem and awe in the design, we can live in our emunah and make the effort to uplift spiritual energy to Him, beseeching Him to answer us with healing and blessing.

Our true essence is compassion.  When we falter, and we will falter because we are alive, thank Hashem, and that means we are here to falter, rather than go into the dark, we are given free will to take the opportunity of being alive and be G-d-like Our struggle when feeling this despair, to cry out with this prayer, is a song to Hashem that He loves.  This is the Shema, the unification of His Name, the correction of our characteristics, and the fulfillment of the relationship that He wants with the Jewish People.  This is the pathway to the tree of life, of restoring the consciousness that broke apart when we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Hear Rabbi Moshe Weinberger talk about our negative feelings and michala. Hashem wants us to say solachti to each other.

May we realize that our teshuva is not too much for us to bear.  The luchos in the ark weighed 4 tons!!  The Leviim put poles in the ark and lifted it. How was this possible?  It is impossible for 6 men to lift 4 tons.  The ark lifted them!  So too with our mistakes and the heaviness of our hearts.  When we turn to Hashem and will sincerely to return, He lifts the matter to Him.  Now when we act, He is carrying us.

Rebbetzom Heller suuggests, if we are.having troible lettomg go, to ask ourselved to consider three things:

What am I gaining in this world and what in the next by holding on?

People are responsible for choices and Hashem is responsible for outcomes

If a person can uplift his will it is as if he uplifts his deed

May we be zoche to be sealed for a good year, may we see that the above prayer and process for one year is truly a loving one and not too distant for us and may we merit redemption b’ahava.


Kiss me, from the kisses of Your mouth for Your love (the words of the Oral
Torah) is better than wine (the Written Torah).
(Shir HaShirim 1:2, Bavli, Avodah Zara(
The Written Torah is compared to wine, perhaps symbolic of its continued relevance
despite its age. However, studying the Oral Torah is compared to receiving a kiss from
Hashem for its understanding necessitates Hashem’s continued intervention as the One
who “Teaches Torah to His nation Yisroel”.
Why is this intervention called, “kissing, from the kisses of Your mouth?” The Zohar
explains further:
“Kiss me…” (Shir HaShirim 1:2) …Shlomo HaMelech… began the praise of love
between them with, “Kiss me” … For clinging love, spirit to spirit, is through
kissing, and kissing is by way of the mouth for it is the entrance way of the spirit
and it’s exit. When they kiss each other the spirits cling to one another becoming
one… (Zohar Teruma 371)
The Torah is Hashem’s thought, in this way it is a part of Hashem so to speak, when
Hashem places the understanding of His thoughts into our minds it is as if he is kissing
us on the mouth and becoming one with us in this sense.
This also explains why we find throughout Chazal, that the greatest thing that one can do
to elevate his spiritual level and to come close to Hashem is the study of Torah. Chazal
also tell us that this is the way to attain love of Hashem. Based on the above this can be
simply understood. When we study Torah, Hashem is kissing us and imparting into us a
part of Him, the Torah, whereupon we become one with Hashem. This makes us more
G-dly, so to speak.
Is there is any greater closeness than this? Is there anyone in the world luckier
than such a person?

Down with Zuhama – Up with Tzelem Elokim! Hashem help! We only want YOU

Understand the true spiritual essence of man – compassion

Circumcise your heart

Send away the mother bird and keep the eggs for yourself

Nullify material and physical reality

What does all this refer to? 

We have a basic neurological response for survival.  Unfortunately, we respond from our survival instincts on matters that are not truly a threat to our survival.  This is because of the threatening ways these matters appear to us – absent emunah in Hashem- becausr what we naturally know does not calibrate what is spiritually true – that our survival depends on Him.  Life triggers us and we feel pain, and without this understanding of survival being in Hashem’s hands, we seek to place the blame on the externalities we experience. We don’t know where else to look or how to look.

That said, we are not inadequate because of this!  That is crucial to hear.  Why?  The reason is that we hear it in a threatening way ONLY because of the one true inadequacy, which is that no matter what we do, we can never be as great or as compassionate or as powerful as Hashem. And that inadequacy is so very hidden from us that it takes emunah and Torah learning and consistent effort over time striving to become closer to Hashem to begin to understand enough to pause and develop intelligence for a free willed choice that rises above the natural reaction. It is not a natural intelligence, by design. To start to develop our intelligence striving for spiritual truth, imagine the pain that Adom and Chava had in seeing how great Hashem is. Their yearning to be something they could never attain left them with a feeling of inadequacy and an unfulfilled longing to be Hashem, a Creator.  And they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the confusion began.

That said, it is not their fault that the confusion began!  Hashem creates man and by making a creation that can recognize Hashem, feeling inadequate is reasonable.  Hashem knew this would happen and that Adom would eat, thinking he was doing avodas Hashem to prove his love for Hashem and make kiddush Hashem in the world.  Hashem created Adom with  this flaw so that mankind has a role in actually wielding a G-d like force, free will, along with creative speech, to make choices that help create the world, as we will do tonight for 48 hours. Although Adom is responsible for eating, he had no way to know that Hashem would change the flow of negative energy, making it internal rather than external to mankind, creating such confusion of mind within us – the natural reaction of sad, mad, bad that draws our intellect to the inclination to do something hurtful feels like the “real me.”  But it is not.

When we crown Hashem King, we are recognizing that we are a spark of energy, consciousness, ensconced in material and physical reality called a body and a world that is OUR LIFE, totally dependent upon Hashem for every breath, every penny, and every intelligent understanding. Our material body and reality are the wick that gets consumed as we draw through our free will and prayerful words a transfer of divine creative energy to rectification.

With this meta-consciousness, we realize both the true spiritual reality of being a spark of energy from Hashem along with the humbling reality of being completely powerless, with natural tendencies hooked into an inclination that wants to defend itself with hurtful and powerful sounding blows.  With consciousness comes will.  And when we sincerely will to serve Hashem, from love for Hashem and understanding of the design, we grow to see that we become truly powerfully impactful when we choose to be involved with bringing His Compassion to the world. Hashem is the only Power!

We want to be close to Hashem, by being more and more like Him. By being able to express His Compassion and restraining from the expression of our material and physical urges, we are making a choice to NOT direct divine creativity trapped in falsehood into speech and deeds that hurt, cause maklokes, pain, insult, slander and harm  Through our real free will, we often listen to falsehoods regarding our inadequacy and our survival and these trigger our survival instincts and we take actions or say something which conceals divine creative energy within our responses that animate harm or damage in the world.  We may even think that what we are doing is necessary and right for our own survival.

Most of us do not have awareness of how to break free of the emotional pain we experience to rectify divine creative energy.  This is because the real pain, of not being Hashem, has been kidnapped by the material and physical presenting world that has perhaps filled our lives with blame, shame, rejection, insult and more to the extent that we have come to believe something untrue about ourselves. These untruths mesmerize us because the world is a real physical world and we have a real mortal life.  We feel threatened, insulted, angry, afraid, endangered.  There are inherent falsehoods in these emotions due to that kidnapped feeling of inadequacy in not being Hashem that is now trying to find a place to “blame” the external reality, or others, or ourselves.

We have forgotten that we are a spark of energy from Hashem that is not able to be blemished or diminished.  We have forgotten that our only inadequacy is not being able to be Hashem.  And we have forgotten that the purpose of being in this world with real free will and the creative power of speech is so that we CAN make a Gdlike choice which INNOCULATES US from the pain of realizing that we are not Hashem because we will have conducted ourselves with a creative divine ability to form our eternal identity.

Please remember, now and always, that the deceiving messages we get about ourselves that block us from feeling Hashem’s constant love and mercy, are trapping our holiness into the material and physical world and the goals of darkness. Please know they are deceptive but full of potent spiritual energy that we may corral using free will and personal prayer to lift ourselves from its grip.  The escalator is teshuva. With emunah.  With love for Hashem.  With trust that all we have to do is try to will all the spiritual content back to Hashem and He brings it all back to Him, reconstitutes it by removing the dross, and gives it back to us.

This is circumcising our hearts.

This is sending away the mother bird and keeping the eggs for ourselves.

This is nullifying the material and physical reality.

And when we feel the clarity and simcha, we continue to be aided to make more and more choices towards true avodas Hashem.

Part of that includes understanding how everyone is struggling with the same inner choices.  We see how the struggle can often elude us, or take time.  We can be merciful like Hashem, understanding how reasonable it is for others to be expressing their experiences with damaging messages and being compassionate and untouched by their struggle.  We can be safe people to each other.  We do not have to “fight fire with fire.”  We do not have to assert personal power if someone is struggling.  Why?  Because our survival depends on Hashem alone.  There is no real danger.  And there is surely no danger in being compassionate.  If there is real danger, we have an obligation to remove ourselves from peril, especially because we have blemishes. We may need a way to release the emotions generated by the falsehoods in a way that will help us regulate again to avodas Hashem.  It is human and normal to have emotions of this type. It takes will and love for Hashem  to find ways of releasing the hidden divine energy within our falsehoods so that the very concealed energy may strengthen  consciousness and our ability to reveal compassion.  When we have emesdik clarity regarding our true Source of safety,  telling Hashem and releasing our pain to Hashem and asking to be able to transform it into an act that reveals a bit of compassion might serve Hashem profoundly.

“litmus test” for spotting falsehoods in our thinking
The struggle to strive for truth and choose avodas Hashem
Reflections on Teshuva, Rosh Hashana, and Parshas Nitzavim – it is up to us – time to ask

Reflections on Teshuva, Rosh Hashana, and Parshas Nitzavim – it is up to us – time to ask

From Why we tremble, the Miracle of Teshuva  Rosh Hashana Day 1 by Harav Kalman Schwartz

“… what happens when a person sins?  On a basic level, sinning is a rebellion against Hashem. It is a terrible action by an ungrateful creation….when Hashem created the world, He created spiritual forces within it, both positive and negative.  When a person does a mitzvah, he elevates positive spiritual energy in the world. And when, chas v’’shalom, a person sins, negative spiritual energy is increased.  The evil energy created when a person sins forms a barrier between Klal Yisrael and Hashem.

On Rosh Hashana, when Hashem’s Kingship in the world is being reinstated…there must be a removing of this barrier between Hashem and His people, for there is no king without a nation.  But how can it be removed?  It would seem that even teshuva would not suffice for the damage is done, the wall is there.  How can a persons’ regret and commitment to improve remove the damage he did.?….How can we undo the damaging forces that we have created?

This is the miracle of teshuva….in Hashem’s great goodness, He implanted within creation a method to reverse the damaging effects of our actions.  That is teshuva. That is the miracle we hope for each year on Rosh Hashana.

The heavenly light

The sefer Siach Yitzchok explains that the power of teshuvah emanates from the revelation of a heavenly ohr, light.  This otherworldly light derives from the Next World, in the time of Mashiach – by Your light may we see light (Tehillim 36:10) refers to the light of Mashiach.  One who does teshuvah is able to tap into it and connect to Hashem which then allows the light to erase the negative forces created when we sinned and were separated from Hashem.”

From the Chosom Sofer on Napolean’s attack on Pressburg, from which he fled and returned – An important teshuva drasha to his congregation regarding why he left and what teshuva they, as a community, to do in light of Hashem’s permitting the attack in the first place.

 The understanding that a captive cannot redeem oneself is the dynamic piece to comprehend.  Like the quote above from the miracle of teshuva, there is a sense that a tzaddik is able to reach through o daas, through emunah, through  compassion, a certain  light from which he is enabled to evoke Divine compassion. 

Gemara in  Brachos we read the well-known dictum
a captive cannot free himself from prison

In Parshas  Nitzavim, the pasuk says “For this commandment that I command you this day is not too wondrous for you or too far away,”

Most of us are not tzaddikim.  What category are we?  Hopefully, we will be considered beinonei rather than rashaim.  A beinoni is ruled by both inclinations.  In other words, the beinoni has both inclinations pulling on him in opposite directions and he must have the wherewithal to distinguish and thereby ignore the advice of the evil inclination.

Just listening to the good inclination does not make us a tzaddik.  Why?  Because we still have both inclinations doing battle within us.

In the words of the Vilna Gaon,

“Hashem’s Kingdom must be found everywhere, for real fear of Heaven must primarily be found in the farthest-flung place of creation.. And that place is ‘the rock which the builders despised.” The purpose is to attach the lowest [namely the nefesh] with the highest [ namely the Divine Plan]…and that became the cornerstone.That is the primary intention; this is the purpose of all Creation…

The beinoni will pray and Hashem will respond.  Why is it assured that he will be able, and will choose, to pray?  Because that is the entire essence of the beinoni; he has been calling out to Hashem his entire life in his internal struggle with his evil nefesh.  ..

This desperate plea of the beinoni may be considered as a form of song…a song to Hashem is greatest when it includes the struggle of the rock bottom, the lowest, the “bad” nefesh.  The crescendo of this song comes when the person realizes that he is truly a “pauper”; that despite his most valiant effort, he inherently lacks the wherewithal to escape his evil inefesh.  He then grasps that he must turn to a Higher Power….we are totally dependent on Hashem.  During the 10 days of teshuva….we call out to Him.  Imploring Him to help us help ourselves is in itself the “most desirable of all songs, “ and “there lies the purpose of all Creation..”    Song of the Beinoni HaRav Eliyahu Baumwolspiner, Rosh Hashana Day 2  Why we tremble

By attaching our nefesh, in prayer, to the Divine plan, with a teshuva from love for Hashem and awe for the design, even though we are not tzaddikim, we are returning from whatever ways we “rebelled” against Hashem.  By realizing we are paupers, that Hashem is One and that we are totally dependent upon Him, we open a way for Hashem’s light to heal the blocks formed by our sins.  How?  Because we are safe – in His Arms.  Our survival is in His Judgment and He is our Father.  We realize we have no way to survive on our own.  None whatsoever. Therefore, the self interest and dangers of the world are nullified, and we have the opportunity to do teshuva and receive heavenly light to heal our aveiras.  But we have to ask.

Wherever we feel blocks of pain, fear, anger, and more, may we understand that the strength of these blocks is our own soul trapped in something we did that was out of step with Torah and Hashem’s love and mercy.  Our avoda is to nullify our misstep and reclaim the captive, our soul, from actively enlivening the distress.  We do this through hisbodidus, by crying out to Hashem, by describing our challenges, by naming our struggles and asking for His Help.  We write down our accounting as we attempt to affect our hearts.  These sincere efforts merit Hashem’s help.  We receive insight.  Hashem leads us on the path that we wish to go.  May we all understand the struggle, that we are not free of blemish, that the only Source of healing our characteristics is to cry them out in desperation to Hashem and ask  for His Help, and that doing so is a song for which Hashem has created the world, a world with real teshuva.

It is possible to gain ground at our free will point as our reactivity comes from the unconscious, to the subconscious and then to the conscious.  While we are working on gaining consciousness however, we continue to have the blemish, the wall, the block that is our responsibility to continue to struggle with.  What does that look like?  It means that even though we know we get upset in a situation, it does not mean we won’t get upset when that same set of circumstances occurs.  It may mean that we stop our bodies from reacting.  However, to really remove the reaction may take much more personal prayer and self-knowledge. 

There is a story regarding Rabbi Chananya ben Dosa.  In his town, there was a large snake in a hole in the street and people were getting bit and poisoned.  They came to the Rav for help.  He went to the snake hole, placed his heel over the hole, and the snake bit him.  He killed the snake and said, “Snakes don’t kill, aveiros do.”   The townspeople said, “woe to the snake that meets Rabbi Chananya.”

When I have an inward reaction in one of my unrectified characteristics and it is giving me the urge to lash out or say or do something destructive, I visualize this scene – with Rabbi Chananya coming to the rescue of the town and absorbing the poison of the snake.  For me, I then feel I have discharged my emotional reaction and regulated it, and now I am free to think clearly in terms of Torah, mitzvahs and compassion how I might respond.  The truth is that when we understand how to release our own reactions, we are able to see that many times, what is happening to us is happening because the knowledge about our reactions and how to regulate ourselves constructively takes time to learn and integrate, and is a pathway that not every person finds as their mission. 

May the shofar awaken our will to take some steps closer to Hashem.

May our teshuva be accepted.  May we be judged for a year of life and prosperity and redemption.

Am I ready to crown Hashem King? Some thoughts on that…
Sources from Ki Teitze and an example using the spreadsheet of walk through questions
<ay the true spiritual nature of mankind come out

The joy of knowing we are souls who are here to reveal more of Hashem – empowerment

The simanim teach us that there is a spiritual digestion process that can free our soul

On Rosh Hashana evenings, we have different foods, simanim, that we eat with a special prayer, a yehi ratzon, asking for various opposing forces to be rectified. With this in mind, who is the main “opposing force?”

There is only one, and that is the yetzer hara.  However, Hashem, the only Power, is known as Elokim, meaning He is hidden in thousands upon thousands of ways. How does Hashem hide?

His Compassion, which is His Truth, fills every utterance He makes, and those utterances then come into existence as objects.  Trees, people, animals viruses, plants, oceans, and more are words, utterances, but their existence is the breath of Hashem, compassion, which fills everything. 

The place of the world is Hashem. 

There is no other.

The reason this is important to bring out is that every thought, too, is a creation of Hashem.  Yet what happens to us when we receive certain thoughts?  Anger, insult, sadness, fear, panic and more. How does a thought cause us so much pain, and how do the simanim teach us that there is a spiritual digestion process that can free our soul from our troubling thoughts?

When we think a thought, we are investing our soul in that activity.  The more we think the thought, the more another thought comes, due to our imagination, and we think that too.  If the originating thought has anything that is not true within it, the imagination is taking us to untrue places, into the darkness of disconnection from Hashem.

We don’t want to look inside for fear of feeling shamed or blamed for our imperfections.

We mistakenly think this “personality” is who we are.  We don’t want to look inside for fear of feeling shamed or blamed for our imperfections. And this is the motivation for writing this blog article, to empower us to know that all that is missing is proper understanding of who we are and what our life is for.

How do we redeem our soul if it has been trapped in  blocks to feeling Hashem’s loving presence?

So, bravely, for a moment,  let’s take a zoomed in look at a presenting painful thought.  If it has any hint at all of being negative speech about ourselves, about another, about the world, or about Hashem, then by definition it has an untruth to it because everything Hashem creates is good (including this thought, because on its interior, it contains a spiritual divine energy Hashem invests in the one opposing force, the yetzer hara, which He designs in order to give us real free will and opportunity to use will to pass the test.)

How do we make sure that our holy soul – or more of our holy soul – does not get added into that negative thought, and how do we redeem our soul if it has been trapped in  blocks to feeling Hashem’s loving presence?– We want to redeem our soul because we don’t feel Hashem’s compassion when we are coping using the suggestions of the natural survival instincts…these suggestions are there to leech our souls for the survival of the yetzer hara and forces of disconnection and damages. So we further want to know, how do we redeem, along with our trapped soul, the spiritual divine energy (tohu) that is coming to be healed, that we are empowered  to redeem? How do we disable that falsehood (telling us to react purportedly for our survival – for love and attachment needs to be met) which is hiding the koach enlivening the thought?

The Nefesh HaChaim teaches us:

“Behold Hashem is the true G-d and that there is nothing else other than Him. Every force in the world (and in all of the worlds) is filled only with His simple unity. When a person totally nullifies in his heart every power and force in the world and does not pay attention to them at all, and when a person subjugates and attaches the purity of his thoughts in the One Master only, then Hashem will nullify all of the forces in the world against him so that they won’t have any power at all…”

A presenting thought contains a force, but that inner force that is animating it into what may feel like anger, fear, insult, pain, panic or more is compassion that is trapped in it. The compassion we feel is our own soul,  our life force that attached interpretations whispered from our first life coach, the yetzer hara, when natural development started, when our brains were wet cement. The thought itself – that whisper from the yetzer hara – comes with “a battery” of compassion of its own, and is seeking for us to think it so that we “invest” our holiness in it’s destructive goals.

That thought, which is coming from a force in nature, is a test for our free will and emunah.  It is designed to draw us into darkness and death.  But its purpose is for us to pass the test.

Who will rule our heart – yetzer hara or yetzer tov

The consequences are important.  Which inclination will rule our heart – the thinking that comes from nature (the yetzer hara, the confused thinking that results from having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) or the thinking that comes from Torah (tree of life).

Having a finely tuned awareness of our natural thought patterns and the feelings associated with them gives us a look and feel for when we are being lured to invest more of our holiness into thinking the thoughts offered by the forces of darkness.  What do we do when this arises?  It appears to us as a thought, like something to contemplate.  But really it is a lure to darkness, something that will then give us another thought to contemplate that will then take us very far into disconnection and darkness.

If we truly want the inclination for good to prevail, how do we nullify the forces as they present themselves in our day to day lives?

There is a spiritual process of digestion…and a way to nullify the force as it presents!

Instead of thinking the thought, we observe it and we immediately turn to Hashem (see translations from the derech of Rabbi Asher Freund or Inner Redemption from Bilvavi).

By crying out to Hashem, as a created being knowing it has a Creator, we ask Hashem to please nullify the tempting presenting force that is attracting us because we do not want to go there nor do we wish for our soul to be attracted to thinking that thought.

We recognize and confess and regret that we have something within us that believes something false, that is being attracted to that negative thought.  These are our unrectified characteristics, given to us by Hashem, so that we have imperfections from which to play a causative role in creating our eternal identity as tzelem elokim. These are the coping mechanisms that attach to our survival instincts when young because we seek love and attachment. All too often, there are mixed messages and flawed interpretations.

We wish for all of the confusing divinely created spiritual energy to please return to Hashem, to be unified, and healed.

We ask that Hashem give it all back to us so that we may feel its true characteristics, compassion. 

We ask Him to restore it to this very place in our hearts with olam haba consciousness of Him, so that we may feel His Love and Mercy and thereby reveal His Love and Mercy in our speech and deeds.

Hashem alone is the One who does this for us.  However, it is up to us to will it sincerely and to ask in prayer filled with emunah and clarity that He is One.  While we are crying out, it is important that we create in our hearts an atmosphere of love for Hashem and awe in the design, two mitzvahs, that open a channel of giving to Hashem.  Love and awe are the wings upon which the koach “flies” back to Hashem, from our heart, returning to its Source.

It may take many times.  But the truth is that every small step, every time we try and feel a bit calmer because Hashem helps, we are growing in an inner simcha.  Eventually,. With Hashem’s help, we can come to see this as the real task of every moment of life, to observe what Hashem wants us to return to Him in this moment so that He may be revealed. That small drop of calmness we feel is whatever Hashem gives back to us of the spiritual energy, unified, able to reveal its true characteristics of compassion rather than the confused messages and pain.

We start to really see and feel how we are not our fiery, windy, desirous emotions.

We are not even the compassion that is animating the falsehoods.  The falsehoods and the compassion are all Hashem’s. 

We are given  causative free will, the creative power of speech and awareness of what is before us – the world .

With that awareness, we are our effort to will and beseech – through prayer, by virtue of our love for Hashem and our emunah – to feel Hashem’s love and mercy as natural in our hearts instead of our protective flawed defensive coping mechanisms, and draw it into our hearts so that He may be revealed in this world.

We ask Hashem to nullify all forces in the world by observing the thinking we have that arises naturally and by not actually thinking the negative thoughts.  We subjugate our urges to think the suggested negative thoughts out of love and awe of Hashem and awareness of our true primary mission.  We attach the purity of our soul only to Hashem without stopping.

And Hashem then helps us.  Once we feel the soul within us with its compassionate essence from Hashem Himself – the simcha for which we are created – we no longer believe falsely that we are the angry, fearful, insulted, panicky person we once thought we were.  We begin to comprehend what it means to be a tzelem elokim with the opportunity of life, in a flawed body and world.

We do not have to live life with our souls being the mortar that holds together a brick wall of blocks intended to protect us from feeling inadequate and getting blamed and shamed. Unintendedly, that natural development simultaneously keeps us from simcha and happiness, from connection to feeling Hashem’s compassionate presence.

Realize we are compassionate souls placed in bodies to do the work of returning the holy sparks of tohu that Hashem buries in the natural world to Him, bringing unity to His Name and to our souls.

May we take upon ourselves a dedication to seeing this spiritual digestion as our primary mission, as a way of making a “yehi ratzon” upon the negativity in our life so that the compassion becomes revealed and the dross falls away.  This takes emunah, self-knowledge and effort.  There is a Creator Who creates us.  He just wants us to will and to ask.

Whatever we are taking on for the year to work on, whatever spiritual goals we have for 5779, may our efforts be merits for redemption b’ahava.

Down with zuhama Up with tzelem elokim

Rabbi Efraim Stauber on spiritual you teshuva