A comprehensive website about emunah and core Torah concepts, with analysis and explanation of the writer’s personal growth experiences in Avodas Hashem and understanding of our relationship with HaKadosh Baruch Hu.
Please visit www.partnersinshmira.com for shiurim and articles to support efforts to rise above and break free of our native intellect. Our goal is to circumcise our hearts with love for Hashem and peel back the natural concealments that hide Hashem in this world to reveal that He is the Soul of all and that the entire place of the world is Hashem. According to the Ramchal in Derech Hashem The Way of God: Derech Hashem our role is to combine out of love and awe in Hashem and how He has created this world all the energy within our hearts, our souls and our might, and produce positive spiritual beings through our thoughts speech and deeds, fulfilling the purpose of mankind.
Ishmael represents within human nature taivas, tainted waters. The Source of all vitality is Hashem. The list of our heart’s desires is endless and growing, for good things, for health, wealth, success, happiness, peace and more. It is when we realize that all happiness stems only from Hashem Who determines what success our efforts yield, aligning our desires with His Desires makes sense, for pursuing desires other than His inevitably serves something false, namely “me,” in a way that cannot succeed because it denies the Source of all vitality.
Esav represents within human nature gaivas, arrogance and power, subjugating and humiliating in order to dominate, the hunter, the warrior, who moves through the world taking in order to satisfy the desires natural to a person. When we see the success of others using tactics of Esav, there is something in us that is attracted to it and adopts it. Our language, our ego image, our esteem develop a faulty footing of appearances and material attainment. The gratification we experience for these attainments trap the happiness of the soul that goes along, even though the soul knows that true happiness stems from learning Torah, praying fervently to Hashem to open a door in the taivas and gaivas through which Hashem’s light can come into this world, and emulating Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy. THIS which the soul knows is true happiness and EVERYTHING that traps it in time and space is the power of Esav.
As long as we are alive, we are doing battle to align our desires with Hashem’s will and to submit our passion to Torah, fervent prayer and emulating His 13 attributes of mercy. This is the moment to moment struggle.
Our esteem is based on our effort to do so. Real esteem can be experienced in those moments of clarity and calmness where because we arouse love in our hearts for Hashem, it overflows into our emotions and soothes us so that we can remember Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu HASHEM ECHAD, that our primary function is to declare His Glory and Oneness throughout the day. Those words in a moment of challenge form positive spiritual beings that have tremendous influence in ways that are incalculable to the native intellect in time and space. It is with emunah and bitachon that we can live in Hashem’s Palace, opening doorway through taiva after gaiva through our submission to the reality of His Oneness, so that positive influence that can bring light to the world can result from our every living moment.
This is the measure of esteem.
All of the logic that tells us and comforts us with its reasoning, but we need money, we need food, we need to survive and on and on has a subtle reliance on Esav, on justifying language, tactics, systems and more that bring us power to subjugate and dominate. The ego does not survive this world. The ego does not bring us eternity. Success is determined by Hashem. Despite the realities of human nature, relying on practical matters regarding human nature to bring us success is at best confusion of mind and ultimately idol worship. Hashem alone determines success.
When we pray fervently and create through Hashem Echad the positive influence we are being called upon to form out of the substance of energy triggered in our challenges, we have done 100 percent of what we need to do in order to have good self esteem.
The rest is up to Hashem. We may then take an action and success is in His Hands, and the success that we have comes ALL from Him and not because of our hishtadlus in time and space, despite how it might look. Hashem allows that illusion in order to give us free will and to conceal Himself. But make no mistake. We have only free will with which to build ourselves by arousing love in our hearts in order that we can activate awe in Hashem and lovingly declare Hashem Echad realizing the greatness of Hashem in giving us a role in creating positive influence simply by overcoming the mask of confusion that presents itself and uplifting the entire matter into a positive being created by our sincere declaration Hashem Echad. Everything else is done by Hashem.
But we want. And we see how certain tactics subdue others and how people are able to take successes, reaching respectable goals of wealth, reputation, and survival. How can we ignore this? No one is saying to ignore it. But focusing on it directly, or analyzing it in order to extract its wisdom as a power in and of itself, is the problem. There is NO OTHER POWER despite the many conduits and their appearance of having power and creative impact.
Our primary and full time focus needs to be on opening the door into time and space for the light of Hashem. That is our constant mitzvah. The rest of our efforts in time and space may or may not work, but if it works, it is a gift from Hashem, not because we should value ourselves for the implementation. The only thing we determine is if we will have awe in Hashem and do the work of declaring His Oneness sincerely every moment. Do not stray after the eyes and hearts.
Nishmas Am Yisrael has the ability to restore the foundations of the world, water, fire, wind and earth, through our free willed choices to serve Hashem with awe out of love for Hashem. Doing so gives depth of understanding “to all practitioners” and visibility in this world for the Creator Himself.
Each time we choose holiness over native intellect, we switch out more and more of our life’s circuitry from ego to neshama, from instinct to mercy, from intellect to Torah truths.May we be inspired to have the vision we need to see our way to weaning every aspect of our thoughts speech and deeds away from being rooted in the wormwood of submission, subjugation and humiliation to reach our goals and shift our vision to latching our thoughts speech and deeds onto learning Torah, praying fervently to Hashem saying Hashem Echad, and emulating His 13 attributes of mercy.
And may the light we shine be a light of Torah that opens the doorway for a new light to come into this world.
Below is the third shiur by Rabbi Moshe Weinberger on Yisrael and Yishmael along with rough notes. In it, he explains from Torah how each of us is being called upon to maintain and grow in the holiness of the briss, in kedushas habriss, and why and where it says so in Torah.
The reality that is in front of us is not ruach hakodesh. Everything we are learning is unfolding befofe our eyes. There is so much to talk about, I have to be careful not to run ahead. I have to figure out how to do it piece by peace.
From Chaim Vital; we have to familiarize ourselves to understand Yisrael and Yishmael. There are books being written about it, people are trying to understand it, but we turn to the Torah.
Two weeks we learned in tehillim from Chaim Vital: the chiddush of Yishmael and why Yishmael is so dangerous is that he is not on the list of chayis or galeus in Daniel. We have never had such a war, an enemy infiltrated in our lives that we ourselves have been providing for in our own country. It is para adom, part adom, part human from the koach from Avraham aveinu and the koach of the briss, that means there is something adomdik about it, there is something there. It is something that makes it dangerous which is the para. That has the name aleph lamed, name of Hashem. Deeply attached to the inyan of chesed, distored and defiled, but the midda of chesed comes from avraham aveinu.
Chanukah is darkness, greek, chamor shor and kelev, chamor is Ysroel, shor is Esav and the kelev is amalek. At the end of galus is the chamor and shor. Yosef fights against chamor and shor not allowed to be together, esav and Ishmael, the marriage in their families. The western world and the world of Yishmael does not make sense. It is beyond our understanding. Yishmaelim is against everything modern man stands for and fights for. But the shor, Esav and the chamor Yishmael are together against us. Europe has teamed up, chamor and shor are against.
Immorality, promiscuity is the root. Yishmale is in the sugyia of briss, but it is imperfect. It is an imitation, an incomplete briss. The struggle we are having is with shmiras habriss. Technology, pscyhocolgy , spiritually, the infiltration of the shor and chamor, the tuma of esav and Yishmael together.
The Aish haKodesh, the zohar says shin lamed vav: Rabbi Shimon says: at the time Yishmael was born, because sara imeinu was delayed iin having Yitzchok, Sara invited and brought Hagar, and the tuma of mitzrayim into our home. Something happened when Hagar came to our home. She brought the ugliness ofYishmael into our home and because of that Yishmael was born. And because of this Hagar had the opportunity to take over, to take the place, to be able to stand in for Sara.
And she had a son, the daughter of Paro Hagar has a child with Avrom. Avraham Aveinu participated in this, that Yishmael should be able to survive and live. There was an impatience here, they were old people with a promise they would build a nation. Hashem had promised a nation for Yitzchok, despite the fact that Hashem reassured Avraham that there would be a Yitzchok. Avraham loved Yishmael as his son. Hashem tells avraham aveinu, he will be the father of many. It is a bracha.
Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai says that Yishmael enters into the briss, before Yitzchok came into the world, at age 13. He was born, avraham and sara didn’t wait for Yitzchok, and he was entered into the briss.
For 400 years, the malach of Yishmael, the koach of Yishmael, is begging Hashem, it has a complaint, the one who has a briss has a hailic in Your Name. Hashem says yes. The Emunah says, Yishmael has a briss why shouldn’t he have the same share that Yitzchok has, the same hailik.
Yitzchok had a proper briss, a complete briss, cutting a peeling away of the foreskin. Yishmael had the cut, but they don’t peel away the orla. The shoresh of the tuma is Paro the osios of peria. The briss of Yishmael is incomplete, it was not peria. Yitzchok has the briss on the 8th day, the correct way. But Yishmael get it at age 13. with all of that Yishmael gets a briss – don’t they get a special reward for that?
Rabbi Yechis says from Rebbe Shimon, on that day, because of that day, the tzaros we have because Yishmael was born and had a cut for a briss. What did Hashem offer Yishmael? There is something in middos hadin, a demand, that Yishmael has a hailic in the name of Hashem. He is the child of Avraham Aveinu but the briss is not complete. What did Hashem do to make a reconciliation with this koach of Yishmael?
Yishmael has been rejected and driven away from devekus ilyona. They have no hailic above in the higher world; however, Yishmael received a hailic, here in this world, in Israel. Because of their briss they have a connection to Eretz Yisrael. From the zohar hakodesh, bnei Yisrael will have control over Israel. Only when eretz yisrael will be empty. Eretz Yisrael will not give forth her fruit for Yishmaelim, they can occupy th eland but the land will not agree or accept. Wherever they occupy wherever they take a place like gaza, that which we took the midbar to be a gan eden and then it became a desert again. It was not just empty. Snakes and scorpions. Whatever they occupy in Israel it is an empty, like the briss of Yishmael is empty with just the cut and no peeling away. So too the control Yishmael has over eretz Yisrael but it is desolate and empty.
The same way their briss is incomplete, without the peria, the cutting away of the filth, the tuma. Since the briss is incomplete, an empty briss, their connection to the land is there but it is an incomplete connection and the land does not respond to them.
Yishmael has the power of preventing the Jews from returning to their place. Until that payment is complete, for the briss that Yishmael has, that they have a koach over Eretz Yisrael, when the zechus of the briss is done, they wont have any power in Israel. What we will see is together with that, whatever effort a Jew makes in kedushas Habris, before we came into Israel, everyone had to have a briss. The struggle in the land is over this nekuda. Everything revolves around this nekuda. This is what all the kids are going through what they are suffering with. It affects the women too. It is avoda of the generation at the end of time to correct this inyan.
The Shla writes that in the zechus of briss they have a hold over the land. The land is in the state of korbon as long as they are there. Yishmael is called para adom, since the peria didn’t happen, then pera. Instead of the peria, Yishmael is perah, peh raish, instead of peria there is pera. The word pera is connected to anaph, a branch. In Yeshaya it says Hashem will cut off the branch of tyranny. It is spelled peh aleph raish hai, the branch will cut off, the one who cuts will be cut off. The Shla ends and says Yishmael is para adom, an outgrowth of the house of avraham, a zechus of briss, but without peria it is pera, a branch that will be cut from the tree, sliced away and cut from the tree, Yisrael, adom. We have this koach that is a branch of the tree of Avraham and as long as it is attached it causes tzaros. When the zechus is finished the branch will be cut from the Adom. Yisroel is adom before the chait.
Rabbi chaim vital: the galus of yishmael is not mentioned in the dream of Daniel. Daniel saw the malchius as animals, yishmael is not there. Yishmael is not a chaya, but rather the bechina of adom, a branch of Yisrael, para adom, in between adom and chaya, in between adom and chaya. After the four malchios, before moshiach, we have the kelipa of para adom, eretz Yisrael and kedushas habriss. There are plenty of explanations, but it is a war over Israel and the briss that Hashem has with Adom. The zechus of the briss of Yishmael, the tuma of the chamor, donkey, a struggle for kedusha of a Jew. The ikar milchama is not for survival. It is not a war we should survive, an inyan of genocide. It is playing it out in Israel but everywhere the war is a kedushas habrss, the holiness of a Jew, to take away the kedusha of being a Jew. All of this that is in the media, it is a milchama of kedushas Habriss.
The connection between Ishmael and water: the Arizal, Yishmael is called filthy polluted water. Lekutai hashas pirke avos first perek: the Arizal ideintifes the origin as in the clear water of Avraham, the water of Avraham that became filthy. The sod of what Dovid was speaking : the waters of haughtiness, gaiva. The word zedim means arrogance and haughtiness, the obsession with kavod, a very self destructive bizarre obsession with kavod. The Arizal says Yishmael is the filthy water that comes from the pure waters of Avraham that Dovid was asking to be saved from. If Yishmael had died of thirst when there was no water, but he was not yet a rasha or he would have died of thirst.
The whole tehillim is about water. Dovid is saying the waters are drowning us. The current, the powerful river of Yishmael, is flooding over our souls, surfing the web. We are drowning in it.
Rabbi Chaim Vital learned from the Arizal, Yishmael is filthy water drowning us that comes from the pure water that came filthy because of the partial briss. That tehilim is about adom, the para adom comes upon us everywhere, we have so much suffering. The tehilim is about water. If not for Hashem’s help we would have drowned in the arrogant waters of Yishmael.
When we study in chumash, when we learn the inyan of Yishmael, it is all about water. Bread and a container of water, Hagar puts it on her shoulder and is sent to the desert and the water was finished from the container. Yishmael almost dies, and Hashem sends a malach who tells Hagar, because Hagar had walked away, the mother left him. The malach says pick up the child and hold him, he is going to be a great nation. Hashem opened her eyes and she sees a well of water. She fills the canteen with water and gives the child to drink.
Rashi brings from chazal, the melachim in shemayim could not believe this. Hashem, the one who is going to cause the Jews to die of thirst, let him die of thirst, why give him a well? Where do we find that Yishmael causes Jews to die of thirst? At the galus of Nebuchadnezzar, we passed by arab settlements, descendants of Yishmael, and they asked the Babylonians taking us as prisoners, saying take us to cousins over here, to Yishmael, to have rachmanus as family. The Yishmalim are famous for hospitality. The yishmalim saw the Jews coming dying of hunger and thirst, they brought them meat and salty fish, and they brought them canteens of skin, that looked like it was full but it had air only. The Jews were crazy to grab it to drink after eating the salty fish, and they started to die from the air. It is Ishmael, playing itself out over the inyan of water. Who has control over the water in that part of the world, how is the place of water mitzrayim. In Israel there is always an issue of water. But it is clear there is something going on with water. The inyan of water is obvious to everyone, look at lkutei hamarim
A little background, Avraham Aveinu is chesed. From that which was not yet clear and pure in Avraham Aveinu, there is something that was still there that was not clean, from there comes Yishmael. Mayim is chesed. Chazal explain that very often. Water flows from above to below, water is identified as chesed. Yishmael as aleph lamed, the koach of chesed from Yishmael in a distorted way, water has become dirty that came from avraham that was squeezed out of avraham, but yishmael is polluted water, polluted midda chesed. In the terminology, the capacitiy to love has fallen to disgusting places, waters that are dirty. Water that is dirty has taken chesed and transforms it into a taiva that is disgusting. We find in vayikra regarding incest that it is called chesed. We find the chesed is am yisrael, but when it goes wrong, the desire to connect to something else, becomes polluted and dirty, it takes the form of uncontrollable desires, taiva. This is what the baal hatanya is talking about, in perek tes of Tanya: look on the right side: the job of a Jew is to use our ability our koach of chochma bina and daas to think and contemplate how Hashem is infinite. To use chochma bina and daas to affect our emotions, to inspire us emotionally to fill our middos with love and awe of Gd, we think of elokus, chochma is father, bina is mother to give birth to middos, to have yira in the mind, pachad of Hashem and love of Hashem like a burning fire a firely love of Gd. A Jew should be filled with the deepest longing to be connected to Him, with entire heart and soul, from the right side of the heart, nefesh elokis, the heart should be filled and overflowing with Hashem, other Jews, family, to such a degree that the love can spread to the left side of the heart, the yesod, the headquarters of the disgusting evil polluted waters. It is kelipa noga, this inyan of wanting, all the words we use for wanting Hashem, when the water becomes polluted, it becomes taivas for things fo this world. The tachlis is that the love of Hashem should be so powerful that it should be able to infiltrate and take over the left side from being obsessed with the pleasuers of this world, that even the animal soul is in love which is very powerful, with all our heart and soul and might. The language is so beautiful that a Jew can use our mind to control our heart to come to great powerful love, powerful love like coals on fire, which is called in Shir haShirim, the oneg of ahavas Hashem.
The seichel thinks and delights of Hashem is how it begins, each according to what his mind can comprehend, a behina of water, mayim. It is the seed that is planted in the soul of a Jew, this love of water mayim of the chesed of ahava, pure clean waters, that has the ability to completely transform, to convert the dirty water, to the nefesh habehama, from where all of man’s obsession with the pleasures of this world come from.
The evil can become pure, when the filthy waters are removed of the garments, purify those waters, the filthy waters of the nefesh habehamos.
We now understand mayim in the parsha of Yishmael, what do we do with this mayim. We are drowning in this filthy water of Yishmael, what can we do to save ourselves, Chanukah has a big part in it and we will see it next week.
No matter how mature, no matter how much value we bring to the world, there is an inherent sense of dependency needs not being met when random murder and targeted hatred are exhibited in the world.
The physical structure of being alive makes this inherently obvious. The brain is designed to be triggered when threatened with self-preserving instincts and strength.
As crimes and hatred increase in their gross nature and intensity, it is not possible for every person to experience something from our nerve center that brings us closer to that reactive place.
That is true whether or not a person observes or is educated in Torah.
Often when people are triggered in their primal survival, there is a tendency to adopt or align with the ones threatening, providing the person with a sense of “security” that often is associated with the idea of go along to get along.
Such a strategy inherently corrupts the primal will of a person.
The primal will of every person is that we are beings created in the image of Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy and He gives us free will by breathing us into a body. We are our effort to use free will so that the intellect of Torah and Hashem’s Will become the source for our emotions speech and deeds.
In order to accomplish this, we have to conquer the bodily instincts, both innate and learned, and expel the logic and the earthiness of developing in time and space from ruling our mind to heart connection.
We do so by arousing love in our hearts and yearning to emulate the 13 attributes of Hashem’s mercy when we are experiencing swirling whirlwind tornados of emotion. When we choose to utter the words Hashem Echad with the intention of creating positive influence beseeching Hashem that all we want is for everything to be ok and that all we want is Him, to reflect Him into this world, we open the doorway into time and space for His Light to shine.
We can put in our bid for how that light should positively affect us, but in no way do we determine one iota of where that light will shine. We have bitachon that fulfilling our role, of pulling our makeup back and saying Hashem Echad, is sufficient for serving Hashem. He is the only glory, the only power. But WE have free will and can really choose our identity.
Even if something terrible happens as we saw in Har Nof, no one can take away our investment in this type of identity. We see the life of Rabbi Akiva who dies saying Hashem Echad as what a soul in a body can accomplish in terms of connection to Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy and serving Hashem to the last breath.
May we not need to make the ultimate sacrifices of our lives.
May we see that we can stop the downward spiraling that will bring us to have our survival instincts running us by instead seeing NOW how love of Hashem and awe in how He creates us in the world gives us free will to choose to say Hashem Echad and create positive beings to displace the earthiness of our pain and suffering. And may Hashem choose to utilize those positive beings to remove the need for all suffering and death with the coming of Moshiach.
In verbal introspection when facing a painful emotion stemming from a challenge, i aroused love in my heart for Hashem and like a turpentine takes off the paint from the matter, i felt a flow fo the love washing over and being more real than the pain. then i grabbed the reins and screamed hashem echad saying with this love that I am pouring in to dissolve the paint and with awe to displace the passion please create only positive beings to help the matter, we only want You. The sense in the moment is that regardless of how the challenge came to hand, the main task was to resolve the mind to heart pain in favor of uplifting the entire matter so that positive influence could be made. His Light is what is the glory, the healing, and the source of all blessing..
When we fear abandonment or annihilation, the situation presenting itself is a lack of something we believe we need to survive. Our experience is that our dependency needs are not being met, and our emotion is to feel sorry for ourselves and then react. The thought might be, this is happening to ME?
The orientation of me triggers our instincts for survival and our imagination builds on it, with urgency, often ignoring or overlooking things that we might otherwise value if we were not in the heat of the moment, experiencing a passionate response.
What if we could take every single human reaction in that category and put it into a folder and label it “VOID”
When we turn with emunah and love in our hearts to the truth, the real truth about the entire matter, which is that our effort to turn to emulah with love IS the response and the ONLY response that can fill the VOID, that shows BITACHON in Hashem.
Our role in the circumstances is to react out of love in our hearts with a desire to reorganize all of our strength with emunah in order to direct our passion to the truth, that Hashem is in control, He is just, merciful and helping at all times. He wants OUR participation, and when we turn to Him in such times, we squeeze out of the organic covering over our soul drops of strength that become part of us in an expanded way, in a way that moves our organic covering from concealing light to revealing light.
The heaviness and opaque animalistic nature of our organic existence contains within the elements with which it is composed strength that grows our ability to shine Hashem through it into the world. The only way our neshama can acquire those strengths is in the moments of choice where our physicality experiences lack and turns with love and emunah in fervent prayer to Hashem, directing all our hopes and passions to Him, aligning with His 13 attributes of mercy, and opening our mind and hearts to however He wills the lack to be filled or not filled. This is our moment to moment first priority for as long as we live, to utizile our physical existence in self-sacrifice to fill what is missing in the world.
If I experience a lack, one of my dependency needs is not being met and I feel sorry for myself. In that moment, I can choose to blame or shame someone else, OR I can arouse love in my heart for Hashem and reorganize my reaction, realizing that by activating love and emunah, I am doing teshuva on thinking about ME, and squeezing out something that can really help – a prayer, a trust in Hashem, and an action that is based in Torah or in His 13 attributes of mercy – which is MY opportunity to make a repair on that area of lack in the world in the most meaningful way possible.
Success is up to Hashem.
But this is the role we are created for.
This is how we repair what broke when Adom sinned.
And this is how we can best direct our energy. Whatever hishtadlus we do after that, the positive influence has been created by our choice.
We see this in Yaakov’s davening to Hashem when he went to meet Esav. He also took practical steps. But the steps were given success because Hashem chose to use the positive influence of Yaakov’s davening to create a feeling of mercy in Esav.
We can learn from our forefathers that our souls have power. The power of our soul is to remember at all times that the being Hashem creates is our neshama with a covering that is our life, but the covering provides in time and space opportunities to provide nourishment and growth to add to our neshama that bring blessing and benefit to the body as well.
May we be inspired to remember that the truth about “the truth” about us is that we are made in Hashem’s image and that the suffering we experience when we are experiencing insult or despair because we believe “the truth” about us to be something really bad or distorted or hopeless is OPTIONAL. Instead we can remember the truth about “the truth” about us, which is that it is false. What is true is to move humbly to the ninth commandent, do not bear false witness, so that we do not blaspheme Hashem’s name or image. For we are made in the image of Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy and He is constantly with us, loving us, ready to help.
Yaakov had taken everything truly valuable from Eisav. As we had seen in last week’s parsha, he had stripped Lavan – Eisav’s cohort – of every last sheep which, as explained, contained Jewish souls. Eisav was now coming to destroy Yaakov.
Something had to give. The world was not ready for perfection and as long as evil exists it demands its due or else it will completely destroy everything that Yaakov has. Some sheep, i.e. some souls, would have to go to Eisav.
But who would they be? How could Yaakov be so cruel as to send a soul to the devil? When Eliyahu Hanavi had to send an animal to the altar of the idol, he had to persuade it; to tell it that thereby G-d’s name would also be sanctified. Yaakov’s animals were on a much higher level than Eliyahu’s. His animals volunteered to go; they understood the tremendous kindness they were doing for the Jewish people and thus went.
But they will not remain by Eisav forever. Midrash tells an interesting story:
An ignoramus approached Rav Oshia and told him “It says in Tehilim, “The Kings of Tarshish and the islands will return a gift.” Why does it say return a gift? It should say give a gift! The answer is that, with Mashiach’s arrival, Eisav will return the 580 animals that Yaakov gave him as a gift.”
Every last Jewish soul will be repatriated to the “House of the G-d of Yaakov.” Source: English Vayishlach Shiur #1