Rabbi Labinsky’s Shabbos series explains the concepts of unity and growth through the paradigm of Shabbos and ties it to how doing so deepens and enhances our marriages.
What does trusting in the Eternal Name of Hashem, yud k vav k, have to do with helping us feel better when we are experiencing strong negative emotions or find ourselves in a challenging, frightening, dangerous or heaven forbid life-threatening situation? Why should we trust in the Eternal Name of Hashem over the powerful words and actions the lower native intellect whispers that makes far more logical and apparently practical sense?
Trusting in the Eternal Name of Hashem means trusting the PROCESS His Eternal Name represents. Torah teaches us that this world is the lowest of four worlds where Hashem is hidden and that those who keep the Torah are able to serve as the vessel through which Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy can be seen in time and space through our free willed choice to do so. The exercise of free willed choice in a moment in time and space often MEANS setting aside the worldly concern for which our nature has emotion and physical connection. The greatest example of this is Avraham and Yitzchok at the akeida.
Because of Avraham and Yitzchok’s love of Hashem and awe of Hashem, because of their emunah and bitachon, faith and trust, Hashem promised them that their children would be redeemed.
So much of Jewish history has been emotional trauma based on punishment and annihilation at the hands of our enemies. Brutality followed by murder followed by hatred and stripping away of human dignity itself has been the experience of the physical experience in time and space. The Jewish People have learned how to be powerful in time and space concerns. We have armies and weapons, financial systems, government, courts and more. But if we rely on our native intellect’s messages of how to be powerful thinking that the intellect of time and space is what will save our physical being, connection to the higher soul drifts away, buried under the pain of trauma, in exile within the darkness of the native intellect that does not experience a sensation when relating to the Eternal Name.
Who can we trust? Our experience and intellect of the native intellect or the Eternal Name of Hashem? If both, in what order and what combination?
We have a history of pain – we are neither willing to trust nor are we willing to extend ourselves to any degree that would require a level of trust that triggers our self-preserving instincts to rely on “miracles.” Yet we are seeing in the world today that people are giving up their lives to save others, as we saw in Har Nof and Paris.
What is it that they are trusting? They are trusting in the Eternal Name of Hashem, yud k vav k, the Name that teaches us how to bring His 13 Attributes of Mercy into the world and what it looks like when a person so chooses.
When we find ourselves emotionally distraught, stubbornly angry, what would happen if we challenge ourselves with a question – what is it that we are trusting in this moment to bring us happiness and relief? Anything other than learning Torah, praying fervently to Hashem for everything to be okay, or emulating His 13 Attributes of Mercy shows us that there is something within us that is by definition trusting something untrustworthy – namely our subjective reality that overlooks the truth that Hashem is the soul of every atom and circumstance – and with that realization, we recall that everything is being uttered into the world by Hashem and He gives us real free will and the creative power of speech in order to relate with Hashem and identify ourselves with His 13 Attributes of Mercy. In that moment, we are empowered to say the Jewish mission statement Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad, the ultimate statement of unity of Hashem, followed by Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuso LeOlam Voed, Blessed be His Name forever and ever. Regardless of what happens next, uttering the Eternal Name of Hashem in the Shema comes to our assistance because we remember that we are in a relationship with His Name and not with nature directly despite all its powerfully appearing present considerations showing us another of His Names – Elokim.
Judgment and justice are strengths we need in order to balance kindness and mercy into a compassionate true understanding of our role in reflecting into the world Hashem’s mercy, justice and kindness.
Trusting in the Eternal Name of Hashem MEANS that we remember even in the heat of the moment NOT to believe the illusion of our independent reality to the degree that we believe it is up to us to make the correction in time and space. .
Trusting in the Eternal Name of Hashem MEANS that we remember Hodu LaShem Ki Tov supercedes Hashem Hu Elokim, that trusting in Hashem means we know that in one moment He can, with a strong hand and outstretched arm, bring light into the darkness, taking away our suffering.
Trusting in the Eternal Name of Hashem MEANS that wherever we are NOT trusting, we are being shown a lack in us or the world, a void, that our unique higher soul is sent to lead Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy into, thereby washing off the foundations of the world, water/desire, fire/arrogance/anger/fear/passion, wind/speech and earth/kingship/malchus/solid physical representations of what we distill in the inner world of formation, the world where the yetzer hara struggles to convince the yetzer tov based on the arguments of nature and the forces of Elokim, trying to hurt us and cover over our trust in the Eternal Name, Yud K vav K that is timeless, merciful, and all good.
The eternal name of Hashem Yud K Vav K represents the understanding we need to trust at every moment, that the soul of everything is Hashem, that the only thing we have total control over is our free willed choice to have awe in Hashem’s Eternal Name. Having faith in the power of Elokim without trust in the Eternal Name of yud k vav k locks us hopelessly in the kelipas of taivas and gaivas, for the Eternal Name of Hashem yud k vav k is the way His 13 Attributes of Mercy come into the world through our free willed choice to identify with it over our nature.
In every moment, it is incumbent upon us to bring Hashem’s Eternal Name into the picture and to relate with Him based on emulating His 13 Attributes of Mercy. Gluing imagination to anything else strengthens the forces that are built into the world to punish wrongdoers, including us when we fail to properly trust, locking ourselves in our own mitzrayim.
Hashem loves us and does not want us to experience suffering. He has given us His Eternal Name with which to relate to His 13 Attributes of Mercy, He has given us free will, and He has given us creative speech. With these Torah principles, we can trust in the Eternal Name of Hashem no matter what and bring His 13 Attributes of mercy into the dark places where we are challenged in trust of the Eternal Name. Just say Hashem Echad with love for Hashem, uplifting the trapped elokus animating the matter and drawing down to fill the void with mercy, kindness and healing, may it be a merit for all Klal Yisrael, and may we soon see a new light in the world.
Rabbi Glatstein on Va’eira – Pharoah learned about Elokim from Yosef and Pharoah believed in Elokim. Pharoah did not believe in the Eternal Name of Hashem, yud k vav k. Listen to how Rabbi Glatstein describes specifically the way Pharoah’s disbelief in the Eternal Name of Hashem – how mitzrayim and nature dominate us unless we have emunah in Hashem’s Name comes more and more into focus. The emunah that we are building through Torah principles helps us to relate to Hashem through His Eternal Name, yud k vav k, specifically to identify and cling our imagination to Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy, tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind, forgiving and casting sins into the sea. After listening to Rabbi Glatstein, the idea to approach our natural reactions more and more by verbal introspection to rip our imagination away from the clutches of whatever raging forces may be blowing and stirring and instead glue our imagination to Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy makes more and more sense – we literally apply the antidote to mitzrayim, to our temperamental nature, when we make the effort to divert our imagination from what seems powerful to the Eternal Name. We have real free will to choose who we want to be.
The goal of our work group has been to learn Torah principles to give us absolute truth to cling to in times of confusion, pain, suffering, loss or fear.
The soul that Hashem fashions, the real being He breathes into us, is tremendously strong and can bend nature to submit it and bring it into alignment as the vessel through which Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy can shine into the world.
Hashem has created a being, a speaking being with imagination that powerfully builds on ideas. He has given us the partnership role of contributing influences in how He maintains nature.
At the highest root of our eternal being is Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy, tolerating insults, overlookiing faults, bearing the burden of confusion of our minds, forgiving and casting sins into the sea.
At the highest root of our natural being is mitzrayim, the powerful forces of our unconscious desires and lusts and our subconscious egoism seeking honor and the assertion of will with our own goals at the center. To the degree we believe in the independent autonomous nature of our physical being, we develop our imagination along pathways that force the higher being to submit to the goals of the natural world. However, because happiness is the byproduct of learning Torah, praying fervently to Hashem, and emulating Him (Torah, Avoda, Gemilas Chesed), the only pleasures available in the temporal world of time and space are external and fleeting. Building the capacity to contain real happiness comes from developing the emunah in understanding that with the imagination Hashem gives us and the capacity of creative speech along with free will, we can be constantly choosing to submit our personal mitzrayim to serving Hashem. How? Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokainu, Hashem Echad, the mission statement of Klal Yisrael, the declaration of His Unity. With our words, we bend the ultimate depths of nature, our unconscious and subconscious, our personal mitzrayim, so that it becomes a vessel into which can flow Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy, giving Him a dwelling place in time and space.
This is the primary function of a person.
If we want Hashem into this world, we have to graft our imagination to Torah.
If we graft our imagination to anything else, we do not bring Hashem into this world but rather another manifestation of His Hiddenness becomes more present.
Because Hashem utters everything into existence and there is no independent existence from Hashem, the good news is that Hashem is connected to absoultely everything at all times and is in total control. However, He gives us partnership rights and defers to our choices. At any time we see that real happiness is not coming to fruition despite the apparent kickback pleasures the yetzer hara is willing to give us as feeling powerful or right or having honor or enjoying material pleasures and wealth, at any point we like, we can stop and remember that we are grafting ourselves to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and until we stop being confused about where happiness and pleasure really derive, it is not good for us to once again be attached to the tree of life. Being attached to the tree of life when we have confusion about how to obtain real happiness will only cause confusion to be eternalized. That is suffering. Hashem loves us. We have to willingly choose to unconfuse ourselves and see that although the kickbacks from the yetzer hara seem to be the best we can do in time and space, it is not true. the best we can do in time and space is the pleasure of reflecting Hashem into this world, unconfused, so that our personal akeidas Yitzchok in this way tells Hashem that know Hashem Echad and choose to submit to Him and thereby bend nature with our words Hashem Echad so that we submit to the sweetness of providing voice and expression to His 13 Attributes of mercy. What we are in truth is free will and speech to do this. All we have is the free will to choose to have awe in Hashem and how He has made this world and to use creative speech to say Hashem Echad.
All of our emotions that are based on buildings from our naturally developed intellect are candidates to submit for this higher purpose. We lead Hashem into this world when we do so.
Rabbi Moshe Weinberger in the 6th of the Yisrael and Yishmael series explains that Moshe was an Egyptian prince and when the parsha tells us that Moshe slew the taskmaster, it means that at that moment, Moshe “slew” the egyptian prince in him, meaning he chose Hashem, to connect every fiber of his being to serving Hashem.
We do not have to “slay” our nature. We are here to harness its wisdom for delivering Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy into the world, tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind, forgiving and casting sins into the sea. our very essence is constantly thought of by Hashem and our natural tendency is to be in our physical existence. the more we develop will and activate emunah based on Torah true principles , the more delight we can experience as Hashem’s vessels.