Adom is composed of the earth and the impure elements of earth wind water and fire are part of our natural existence. It is incumbent upon us to comprehend and use intellect to transform the impure elements of earth wind water and fire. To do so, we model the middos of our forefathers.
Because the physical world is spoken into existence by Hashem, its Soul is Hashem and He is hidden within every utterance, meaning the Shechina is the animating force of everything, including the sadness/laziness/downward pull of earth, the flowing of water unbounded, the blowing flightiness of wind, and the fears and anger of fire, which are the natural qualities of these elements in their unrectified condition. Through the choice of mankind, who has dominion to ask Hashem to bring into these elements the Glory of Hashem, Hashem bring s the animating forces as we experience them in nature to instead serve the purposes of our tzelem elokim, which is inseparable from Hashem’s Name and Torah.
Avraham and Chesed – Know there is Hashem and avoid Jealousy by seeing through the falsehood of fear of abandonment
Avraham, whose midda is chesed, corresponds to the element of water, which represents Torah and serving the One, Hashem, utilizing our revealed strengths from the visible world to care for others. He has two sons, one who represents a kelipa of chesed and then he merits to have Yitzchok. Jealousy is a sign we have deviated from remembering that the entire world is a chesed from Hashem and our love for our Father such that we commit to emulating Hashem’s attribute of chesed. Remembering Avraham’s tests shows Avraham’s tzidkus along with Hashem’s Glory, because Avraham could not have accomplished anything without Hashem. Remembering Avraham’s chesed and its basis, that Hashem is One and He is good and kind, can help us fight off the fear of abandonment that may be triggering a lack, causing jealousy.
Chesed: the source of all vitality is Hashem. Whatever I desire, Hashem is the Source for all my needs. I cannot be abandoned by Hashem, although the perceived realities of existing in a body might trigger fear of abandonment and jealousy. By conforming my desires to His Will, I rectify the element within me of water, meaning that I accept I cannot be abandoned by Hashem because we are inseparable on the soul level. May my teshuva be deep and also be a merit for klal yisrael. It is incumbent upon us to expand our consciousness to this reality, because the natural reality is to experience a lowering when we are denied our desires, which triggers jealousy, which is the source of hating others. Unbounded water floods and is destructive.
Yitzchok and Gevurah – No Other Power and avoid destructive fires by seeing through the falsehood of fear of annihilation
Yitzchok, whose midda is gevurah, corresponds to the element of fire, which represents passion for Torah, bringing the animating force, the hidden strengths, from the concealed world – the uttered world of nature – within the boundaries of Torah. He has two twins, one who represents a kelipa of self-referencing into self-absorption and Yaakov. Anger or fear that drive a person toward honor based on external matters is a sign we have deviated from emulating gevurah. Remembering Yitzchok, who journeyed inwardly to remove the falsehoods blinding us from Hashem’s constant protection of us, can help us fight off the fear of annihilation. Fear of annihilation may be triggering a lack, causing the demand for honor either by fearing annihilation in worry or by annihilating others in speech or deed. If Hashem is not in the picture, if we choose values that are not Torah, instinctively we may be afraid of being abandoned and annihilated by those who continue to have Torah as the core value. This unconscious rebellion that appears to us within our personality in many varying shades, puts our subconscious in conflict between what our soul knows, that all there is in the world is Hashem, and what values we are portraying at our level. The resolution comes from understanding we are living with this paradox all our lives with the ultimate goal of refining ourselves. Without that key perspective, our emotions drive us with fear of annihilation, either in self-destructive or abusive behaviors, in our attempts to demand esteem for our lower values. Tyranny, bullying, lietzonos as demonstrated throughout the persecution of the Jewish people, paranoia and more result from choosing a value of self-referencing over a value of Gd-consciousness. By praying to Hashem and speaking out loud to Him about the apparent strong impressions of separate existence occupying our emotions, the fire can be subdued to produce warmth and light and blessing rather than destruction and annihilation.
Gevurah: the anger, fear, and outrage that we may experience is the experience of the Shechina that naturally exists or that we trapped within our self-referencing goals, especially when we experience a fear of annihilation, either real or perceived. It is important to understand that all self-referencing, although natural and experientially close to us, is based on a belief in separate existence.Because our soul is inseparable from Hashem, it is impossible for us to be annihilated, even if we are killed. Yitzchok understood that our natural existence is sourced in Hashem and that there is an important strength to be gleaned from re-setting our understanding of who we are to being inseparable from Hashem and here to serve Him. The natural reality is to experience anger and to do destructive things. Often our reaction when we feel abandoned is to become either fearful or angry– we attack ourselves with blame to “shape ourselves up” so others won’t abandon us, or we try to annihilate those we blame for that abandonment, which is the source for abuse and many crimes and it has a faulty basis to justify revenge, despite the logic of the emotions. When we are disciplined to understand that everything is from Hashem including our negatively charged emotions so that we can bring a certain passion from them into service of Hashem, we are remembering that there is no other power, including me. Fire is destructive and represents arrogance although it can also be a source of heat and light when properly channeled in Hashem’s service. In personal prayer to Hashem we can beseech Hashem to bring the animating force of fire into serving Hashem’s Name and Torah.
Yaakov and Compassion – Hashem is One and everything from Hashem is Good by seeing through the paradox in order to merge and submit animating forces from the kelipas to serving essence -tzelem elokim, Hashem’s attributes of mercy as described in Tomer Devorah, truth and Torah
Yaakov, whose midda is compassion, corresponds to the element of wind, which represents an integrated speech where speech and action bring compassion, truth and Torah because the words and deeds express a thought from tzelem elokim revealed and animated with the forces from water and fire freed from the kelipas of self-referencing. When compassion becomes stuck in self-referencing, it manifests as self-pity – we are having compassion on ourselves for being so abandoned and annihilated in not having our heart’s desires – and is a sign we have deviated from the real compassion – being charitable to the Shechina by releasing false beliefs about how to attain happiness. Remembering the examples of both Yaakov and Yosef can help. Yaakov became Yisroel when he bested the angel of Esav, when he brought the animating force of self-referencing that through Esav challenged his life to the task of lovingly remembering there is only One Power. By bringing the animating force of reactive anger and fear to lovingly remembering there is only One Power, Yaakov is able to give brachas to each of his sons according to their nature, infusing the elements of water, fire, wind and earth within them with Hashem’s Glory. And Yosef overcame the lustful desire for Potiphar’s wife by remembering his father Yaakov, who is truth and Torah.
Compassion: the merciful speech and deeds we do bring together the concealed inner world of thought that we correct with the discipline of gevurah with the revealed kindnesses of speech and deed that we correct through choosing chesed. The element is wind, which can in an unrectified way create damage on its own or by stirring water up that floods. By combining water and fire, the wind can bring a delightful breeze, subduing fire and bringing a proper balance of the animating forces of water and fire.
Dovid HaMelech and Kingship, Malchus – Receiving and Revealing Hashem’s Glory
Dovid HaMelech, whose midda is malchus, kingship, corresponds to the element of earth, which represents the physical receiving bowl for all the other middos. Each of us struggles to bring what animates our natural inclinations that are vulnerable to the magnets of jealousy, honor and lusts back into serving Hashem through chesed, prayer and Torah.
Malchus: Earthiness can be laziness and sadness or it can be a solid vessel to carry substances within the world. All the elements, wind, water, fire and earth, contain an element of earthiness. Thus it is important to make an effort, to rise like a lion, to push against inertia, when faced with our challenges and not to succumb to depression or laziness. Bringing into the actual earthy elements the compassion takes real work and effort, through free willed choice.
Each time we have a challenge, if we break it down into its elements of water, fire, wind and earth, it may help us draw out the impurities and permit our higher soul to heal those elements as they exist within our free will points. It may seem like we are working on ourselves in this way our whole lives. That is actually true. However, each time we do, we bring a little more light to those elements in general, uplifting them, filling them with Hashem’s Glory, and in time, if we continue to have in mind to reveal within us Hashem’s Glory, the elements within us are affected and once that happens, there is also a merit for the soul of klal yisrael. We are all one soul when each of us approaches this work, we are able to add to the revelation of His Glory in this world.
May the light we shine soon bring a new light and redemption b’ahava.