Firmament – Bereshis from Sfas Emes – building a solid vessel of emunah

In the continuing hunt for the knowledge from Torah we need to handle challenges in a gifted way, please listen to the reading from Sfas Emes Flow from the Source on Bereshis.

We are building emunah using affirmations from Torah to lead us through our challenges.  The more Torah we have, the more solid is our vessel for receiving and returning to Hashem as He intends for us to live.

Below the video are two stories that also help us understand the context of our lives so as to respond to challenges in a gifted way based on the gift of Torah.

 

 

 

http://meaningfullife.com/oped/2014/10.15.14$Shemini_AtzeretCOLON_Breakthrough.php

Fire
The following is a freely translated excerpt of a narrative by Rabbi Pinchas Reizes of Shklov, a leading disciple of Chabad Chassidism’s founder Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, as retold by the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn: [1]

The winter of that year—5647 [1786-7]—was most severe, the first snow falling in Liozna during the festival of Sukkot. Sitting in the sukkah required a pelt and fur-lined boots, and on several occasions the snow had to be removed from the sukkah. Shemini Atzeret was on a Shabbat, and snow had fallen all night long; the Rebbe instructed that the gentile servant Kumza be told, “We need to eat in the sukkah and we cannot eat there as long as there’s snow on top of it,” so that he should understand to remove the snow.
Many of the guests who came to spend Simchat Torah with the Rebbe that year arrived in Liozna with frostbitten fingers and toes, and many had fallen ill from the unexpected cold.

On Friday I entered the Rebbe’s room to report to him that all the Torah scrolls had been properly wound and wrapped for that evening’s hakafot. On that occasion I mentioned to the Rebbe the plight of the sick chassidim, many of whom were running a high fever.

The Rebbe leaned his holy head on his hands and entered a state of deveikut (meditative contemplation). For a long while he remained deeply engrossed in his thoughts. He then opened his eyes and, in his famous melody, said: “The Torah says that the Torah is ‘fiery law.’[2] Today is Simchat Torah, the rejoicing of the Torah. Fire consumes fire: all should be brought to the hakafot in the synagogue, and the fire of Simchat Torah will consume the fever induced by the frost.”

In Liozna there lived a venerable old Torah scholar by the name of Rabbi Eizik. Reb Eizik counted himself as one of the mitnagdim (those opposed to the Chassidic movement), yet he had great personal respect for the Rebbe, for he recognized the extent of the Rebbe’s Torah knowledge and his piety.
Reb Eizik had a nephew—Reb Moshe Uptzuger—who was a chassid of the Rebbe. That Simchat Torah, Reb Moshe, accompanied by two sons and a son-in-law, came to Liozna to be with the Rebbe. The entire party stayed in the home of Reb Eizik.

Reb Moshe was of frail health, and the trip in the bitter cold did him great harm. He lay with a high fever. His sons and son-in-law were also gravely ill. Abraham the Doctor predicted that the young men would, with G-d’s help, survive the illness, but in regard to Reb Moshe, due to his advanced age,  frailty, the severe pains he felt in both his sides and his high fever, it was extremely doubtful that he would pull through.

Reb Eizik was greatly grieved by the plight of his nephew, and repeatedly denounced the irresponsible behavior of chassidim. To come greet one’s teacher under such circumstances, he argued, was not a mitzvah but a sin.

Following the evening prayers on Shemini Atzeret, I, together with Ephraim Michel (a young chassid also from Shklov), Chaim Eliya Dubrovner and a number of other young chassidim, began making our rounds among the lodging houses of Liozna to summon—and if need be, bring—everyone to the synagogue for hakafot, to be warmed and healed by the fiery law of Torah.

Wherever we came, I repeated the Rebbe’s instructions (which everyone was already informed of—within an hour of my departure from the Rebbe’s room, the Rebbe’s words were known throughout Liozna; nevertheless, all wanted me to repeat the Rebbe’s words, word by word).

It was truly gratifying to witness the great joy which the Rebbe’s words evoked in the guests, their children and the members of their household. All were confident that the sick would, with the help of G-d, be cured.

That evening there prevailed a bitter cold, wet snow mingled with frozen rain, and a wind that penetrated one’s very bones. In addition, great masses of mud clogged the streets. None of this prevented the sick chassidim from coming to the synagogue. Many had to be helped along; others had to be carried on our shoulders.

Arriving at Reb Eizik’s, we found him in the midst of a passionate argument with Reb Moshe’s sons and son-in-law. The latter were demanding that the young chassidim making their rounds of Liozna should be summoned to help bring them to the Rebbe’s synagogue for hakafot, and that their father and father-in-law should also be carried there. Reb Eizik was heatedly saying that they mustn’t leave the house in their condition, and as regards their father, this was certainly out of the question. Since morning—Reb Eizik was saying— Reb Moshe had been lying stupefied from fever and was no longer aware of his surroundings; according to Abraham the Doctor, his very life was in jeopardy. If he would be taken outside, the very first whiff of wind would spell his end, G-d forbid.

When Chaim Elya Dubrovner, myself, and another two young men entered Reb Eizik’s home, there was great rejoicing among Reb Moshe’s children. We were greeted with cries of “Thank G-d!” “Father and us are saved!” while Reb Eizik cried: “Murderers! Killers! This is against the holy Torah!”

When I approached Reb Moshe’s bed and saw him lying there still as a log, his skin a blue-blackish hue, his eyes closed and the heat of his fever radiating from him, I was so alarmed that I nearly lost my bearings.

“What do you propose?” cried Reb Eizik to us. “That this critically ill person should be taken to the synagogue for hakafot? Even in the times of the Holy Temple, when it was a biblical commandment to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the Talmud explicitly states that ‘The ill and the lame are exempt.’ [3] And going to the synagogue for hakafot is only a Rabbinical ordinance. If Moshe is taken outside, this would be nothing short of outright murder!” Chaim and Baruch, Reb Moshe’s children, countered that if the Rebbe said that this would bring a recovery, they believed with complete faith that bringing Reb Moshe to the synagogue would cure him.

I must tell you that at the time I was utterly confused and at a complete loss as to what to say. On the one hand I heard Reb Eizik’s arguments and saw Reb Moshe burning with fever; on the other hand I heard the words of wholesome faith coming from Reb Moshe’s sons, simple young men—the one a village tailor while the other runs a small business in the village—in whom there shines a faith in tzaddikim, to the point of self-sacrifice, without contemplation and preparation on their part.

Human reason dictated that Reb Eizik was surely in the right: a person so gravely ill mustn’t be moved from his place; in such a frost, he might not even make it to the synagogue, G-d forbid. But the divine reason of the G-dly soul said that Chaim and Baruch were right: the Rebbe said that the fiery law of Torah is a healing, and one must carry out his instruction with self-sacrifice.

My regard for Reb Moshe’s children—those simple young men with wholesome hearts—grew from moment to moment. To this day I remember the inner shame that I experienced; then and there I resolved that I most enter into yechidus. [4] with the Rebbe to discuss the lowliness of my spiritual state.

I, Pinye the son of Henich of Shklov, who studied Talmud and its commentaries and Jewish philosophy under the tutelage of the great Torah scholars of Shklov, who recognized the greatness of the Rebbe through my understanding and appreciation of his teachings, and who is already eight years a disciple of the Rebbe—still in me there prevails a supremacy of matter over spirit, of natural reason over G-dly reason; while these simple young men, who come to the Rebbe with only their fear of G-d and a simple submission to His will, who have no understanding of the Rebbe’s teachings—in them shines a G-dly reason and an absolute faith. Shame on you Pinye the son of Henich! Be shamed before the Chassidic village tailor and the Chassidic village merchant!

Engrossed in these thoughts, I ceased to be aware of what was transpiring about me, until Chaim Elya Dubrovner gave me a push, and conveyed to me the news that Abraham the Doctor said that Reb Moshe had reached his final moments, G-d forbid.

Before I had a chance to absorb this information, I heard Baruch crying to his father: “Father! The Rebbe has sent emissaries to bring you to hakafot! Father wake up! We must go to the Rebbe’s hakafot!” I then heard a great commotion in Reb Moshe’s bedroom. When I entered the bedroom I saw Reb Moshe lying with open eyes and a joyous expression on his face, waiting to be helped along to the Rebbe’s hakafot.

Chaim Elya rushed to summon a few more young men. In the meanwhile, we dressed Reb Moshe in warm clothes—he was still too weak to move a single limb on his own. When the young men arrived, they raised him aloft on their hands and carried him to the Rebbe’s synagogue for hakafot.

When I entered the synagogue, a wave of heat hit me in the face. The synagogue was packed, with a great part of the crowd consisting of the sick. Some sat supported by the walls, while other lacked even the strength to sit at all but lay quietly, others suffered from a relentless cough, and there were those whose moans of anguish so pained the heart that one could hardly bear to look at them.

It was the Rebbe’s custom to first conduct a “private” hakafot in the small synagogue adjoining his room, with the participation of a select number of his disciples. Following the private hakafot he would go to his sukkah and make kiddush, and then come to the large synagogue in the courtyard for the public hakafot.

That year, the Rebbe summoned to his sukkah three chassidim—Reb Michael Aaron of Vitebsk, Reb Shabbatai Meir of Beshenkovitz, and Reb Yaakov of Semilian. Open their arrival at the sukkah, the Rebbe said to Reb Michel Aaron, “You are a Kohen”; to Reb Shabbatai Meir he said, “You are a Levite” and to Reb Yaakov, “You are an Israelite.” “I require a three-member bet din(tribunal),” the Rebbe then said, “and this three-member bet din must include a Kohen, a Levite and an Israelite. I have chosen you to act as mybet din. Listen to kiddush, answer ‘Amen!’ to each benediction, and have in mind that your Amen should relate to the thoughts and meditations I will concentrate on in reciting the kiddush.”

The Rebbe then requested that several flasks of wine be brought to him.

After reciting the kiddush, the Rebbe’s took the remains of the wine in his cup and poured it into one of the flasks. He then told the three-member tribunal that he was appointing them as emissaries of healing. He instructed them to mix the flask of wine he gave them with the other flasks, and to distribute their contents to the sick for their full recovery. He also instructed the three-member tribunal to go up to the women’s gallery and give from the wine to those women who had not yet been blessed with children and those who had miscarried children, G-d forbid.

The three-member tribunal entered the large synagogue in the courtyard, where all had already heard of the nature of their mission and gazed upon them with awe and veneration.

Reb Yaakov Similianer ascended the podium and repeated, word for word, what the Rebbe had said.

After he had conveyed the Rebbe’s words, he announced that he had something additional to say that was pertinent to the situation at hand:

“It has been handed down to us,” said Reb Yaakov, “from elder chassid to elder chassid, that in order that a person should merit to experience the fulfillment of a blessing, two conditions must be fulfilled: a) the one being blessed must believe in the blessing of the one granting it with a simple faith and without equivocation; b) the one being blessed must be committed to carrying out the will of the one granting the blessing in all that pertains to the service of G-d, in Torah, prayer and pious conduct.”

Though all had heard Reb Yaakov’s words, it was decided that, in order to forewarn any doubt, Reb Michael Aaron, who has a loud voice, should repeat what Reb Yaakov had said. When this was done, the young men whom the three-member tribunal had enlisted as their helpers began the orderly distribution of the wine from the Rebbe’s cup.

A hush descended upon the room when the Rebbe entered the synagogue for hakafot. As was his custom, the Rebbe recited the first and last verses of Atoh Horeita, and participated in the first and seventh hakafah.

The following morning, all were speaking about the great miracle. Abraham the Doctor attested that, for a number of the elderly patients, what occurred was literally a “revival of the dead,” since according to the laws of nature and medicine, they had been beyond hope.

—————–

 

[1] Likkutei Dibburim, vol. II, pp. 486-505.

[2] Deuteronomy 33:2.

[3] Talmud, Chagigah 4a.

[4] A chassid’s private audience with the Rebbe at which he seeks the Rebbe’s counsel and guidance.

 

 http://meaningfullife.com/spiritual/mystics/The_Alter_Rebbe.php

Overview:
If the Baal Shem Tov taught that each person has the power to access the Divine, Rabbi Schneur Zalman, founder of Chabad Chassidism, taught how this access can be achieved. Rabbi Schneur Zalman, also known simply as the Rav, the Alter Rebbe, or Baal HaTanya v’HaShulchan Aruch, developed what can be called the most comprehensive system ever – a blueprint for life today. Drawing from all the mystical and Talmudic teachings before him, the Alter Rebbe offers us in Chabad Chassidus (Chabad is an acronym for Chochma, Binah, Daat, the three defining faculties of the intellect) simply a brilliant and complete approach to living our lives to its fullest potential. He synthesizes the pure experience of the spirit with a deeply intellectual system, teaching us how we can unite faith and reason, spirit and matter in our struggle with physical life. Considered to be a ‘new soul’ (one that never before came to Earth), the Alter Rebbe revolutionized every aspect of Judaism. His life too reflected a critical time in history. He was imprisoned by the Czarist Russian regime and led the community through those difficult times. He took an active role in supporting Czar Alexander in the Russo-Franco War against Napoleon. In addition, he set an exemplary model for how to deal with an adversary, both among Jews and the Russian regime. The Alter Rebbe left us a voluminous amount of material. Beginning with his classic, the Tanya and a new rendition of the Shulchan Aruch (code of Jewish law), followed by thousands of discourses, Rabbi Schneur Zalman laid out a framework for infusing daily life with the deepest of mystical depths.

A STORY
The Parable of the King’s Son

One day the Alter Rebbe was walking in the street together with his teacher, the Maggid of Mezritch, and another great Tzaddik, Rav Pinkus of Koritz. Suddenly Rav Pinchus spotted a sheet of soggy paper in the dirt, picked it up, and was pained to see the holy words of Chassidus laying in the gutter. Rav Pinkus questioned the Maggid’s policy of publicizing Chassidic-Kabalistic Torah ideas. The Alter Rebbe explained with a parable::/p: :p:”Once there was a great and mighty King who had an only son whom he loved with all his heart.
One day the boy fell ill and nothing seemed to help him. The best doctors were called in to treat him, but day after day their efforts unexplainably ended in failure. Needless to say the king was beside himself with grief. His beloved son was dying before his very eyes and he was helpless.
After several weeks, just as everyone had given up hope, an old man with a long white beard and a radiant face appeared in the king’s court. He approached the throne, bowed deeply and said, “Your Majesty please excuse me for not coming earlier, but I think I can cure your son. It will require a big sacrifice on Your Majesty’s part, and it just might be too late, but it’s Your Highness’s only chance.”
“ANYTHING!” Shouted the king, “Just tell me what it is I should do.”
“The old man pointed to the top of the kings crown, where, set in gold, sparkled a huge diamond – The very symbol of the king’s greatness and splendor.
“You must grind up that diamond,” he answered.
A gasp went up from the crowd. When things quieted down he continued. “Then I must mix it in water and give your son to drink. There is very little chance of him opening his mouth, and even if he does, I can’t promise that he will swallow any. But if even the smallest amount goes down his throat, he will be healed.”
The king readily removed his crown, the old man removed the gem, prepared the mixture, and they all rushed to the sick prince’s bedside.
They watched anxiously as the stranger tried to open the unconscious boy’s mouth and pour the mixture in. At first it all trickled down his cheek, and onto his pillow and onto the floor. Then a bit seemed to get passed his lips, but he began coughing and this also he spit out. But finally he swallowed! And, true to the words of the old man and to the unbounded joy of the King, the prince opened his eyes and began to recover.”
“This is a parable explaining what you saw today,” continued the Rebbe.
“The King is G-d. The Prince is the people. The crown is Torah. The diamond represents its precious secrets. And the old man that healed the prince, is the Baal Shem Tov.
Like in the story, the people today are ill. Deathly ill. They have fallen into a spiritual coma.
The Baal Shem knew that the only remedy to revive the child is making the secrets of the Torah digestible for everyone; and that is Chassidus.
“But in the process, unfortunately, much may spill out. And that is why that page of Torah was laying in the gutter today.”
Later, the Maggid thanked his pupil profusely and told him that in heaven there was a decree against his policy. G-d created the world on the condition that the creation (both spiritual as well as physical) would conceal His Oneness, and the teachings of Chassidus were beginning to change that. Therefore the Maggid had opposition from heaven. But the Alter Rebbe’s parable abolished the decree.

[1] From HaYom Yom, Kehot Publication Society, 1998, Brooklyn, NY. 

Two amazing shiurim from Rav Moshe Weinberger on YU Torah

http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/818455/Rabbi_Moshe_Weinberger/Hakitzu_VeRaninu_%284%29_Redemptive_Living

“Pages 33-37. True redemption can only be experienced when the Jewish people are attached to God in the Land of Israel. Penimiyus HaTorah (“Inner Aspects of Torah”) deals extensively and almost exclusively with this topic. However, redemption is a two phase process. The first is a physical ingathering of the exiles to the Land of Israel. This is completely physical. The second and final stage of redemption is the infusion of the “spirit of Life” that makes the particulars of Judaism and the people into one entity, attached to God. History has manifested in this way, with the physical return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. Since the beginning of the 19th C, people have been focused on infusing the “spirit of life” to unite all.”

 

http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/818579/Rabbi_Moshe_Weinberger/From_Lublin_To_Izhbitz_%285%29_The_Excitement_Of_Choice

“Continuing in the Sod Yesharim. Man was created with two faces, a male and female, back to back. Therefore, man has the ability to be both a giver and receiver. His uniqueness is that he can simultaneously give and remain attached to the notion that he is always a receiver from God. The choice of Man lies in remembering that he is always a receiver. This is the purpose of creation and man’s ego will always try and make him forget that. In the future, God will make it clear that the feminine ability of reception is much more exalted than the giving male ability. Completion comes about when man is able to think otherwise, yet chooses to acknowledge God’s will has the acting force”

A healthy society is one based on a society emulating the kindness and morality shared in Torah as Hashem’s Will

What could be more healthy and constructive than fitting ourselves into society in a productive and contributative way? In fact, when we see people who skirt society in order to fulfill their own needs, we label them with a sociopathology.

 

But what happens if there is a society that develops which falls below the standards of Torah? Most probably, that is all societies to a certain degree since people are imperfect. Torah tells us to have courts in order to keep society lawful.

 

In Torah there are stories of societies that were below standard, such as the generation of the flood, the generation that built the tower of bavel, and the generations that the prophets warned before the destruction of the temples. What if a person wanted at those times to fit into society and be productive and contributative but understood doing so was below Torah standards? Would they be considered sociopathic? Are the definitions based on majorities or is there a real spiritual society that we are part of and must remain part of no matter what?

 

The ten commandments of the Torah show us what the real spiritual society is for us to belong to at all times. We are part of Hashem’s Nishmas Am Yisrael and that role is the root for our society, no matter what outside forces may come to bear. How can we stave off the forces of assimilation which are so strong, causing intermarriage and secular values to become more prominent than Torah itself? And why is that even more important now than ever before, due to the changes in social standards and the more and more numerous differences between Torah values and secular ethics?

 

Each Jewish soul has ahavas Hashem and yiras Hashem inherited from Avraham Aveinu and Yitzchok Aveinu. Each Jewish soul has an inheritance of compassion from Yaakov Aveinu, who was able to bring into balance the duty of a soul in this world.

 

Despite how it looks like a physical world, this is a spiritual world contained completely within the mind and utterances of Hashem. Every moment, Hashem utters the world into existence. Thus, it is valuable to deepen our understanding of the utterances and the commandments given to the Jewish people that maintain those commandments and thereby bring Hashem’s light into time and space. As we learn this more and more deeply, may our ability to weather the bumps presented by our natural reactions be easier to traverse.

 

sefirot utterances plagues commandments holidays affirmations chart

video explaining the chart correlating the sefirot through commandments and affirmations for emunah

http://beyondanydoubts.com/2014/10/13/personal-prayer-help-apply-integrated-understanding-torah-avoda-chesed-moment-challenge/

sefirot utterances plagues commandments holidays affirmations chart

The Ten Utterances of Creation Parallel the Ten Commandments

10 + 10 = 10
 Moshe Miller

The Zohar, one of the earliest and  most important Jewish mystical texts, was written by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his disciples. The following is an original translation, in bold face, of a selected text from the Zohar [vol. III, 11b ff.] on the first chapter of the Torah, together with selections based on major commentaries. The latter have been woven into the text itself, in plain face within parentheses, in order to provide the reader with a smooth, comprehensive text without requiring extensive footnotes, which are used mostly for technical information and sources. — M.M.

(“The world was created by means of ten utterances.”1 The following section explains the connection between the asarah ma’amorot [Ten Utterances] in Genesis and the aseret hadibrot [Ten Commandments] in Exodus 20.)

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai taught: kaf asarah asarah(“Each incense bowl weighed ten sanctuary shekels”—lit:) each bowl ten ten.2 Why (the doubled words) “ten ten?” Once, to allude to the work of creation, and once to allude to the Torah. There are ten utterances in the creation of the world, and (corresponding to them) ten utterances in the Torah (the Ten Commandments).

What does this tell us? That the world was created for the sake of Torah, and as long as the Jewish people occupy themselves with Torah, the world will continue to exist. But if the Jewish people abandon Torah, the verse declares, “If not for My Covenant (the Torah3), I would not have set day and night, and the bounds of heaven and earth.”4

The Zohar now explains how the ten utterances parallel the Ten Commandments.
The 1st (commandment, instructing us to have faith in G-d) states: I am the Lord your G-d…” Regarding creation, the verse states: “There shall be light, and there was light.”5
From the verse “G-d is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear?”6 we learn that faith in the Holy One, blessed be He, is also called “light.” (Hence, light and faith in G-d, the first commandment, correspond.)

The 2nd states: “You shall have no other gods before Me,” and (the second utterance) states: “There shall be a firmament between the waters, and it shall divide between water and water.”

“There shall be a firmament,” refers to the Jewish people who are part of G-d Above,7 for they are attached to that plane which is called shemayim (Heaven , or firmament). “Between the waters,” — among the words of Torah (which is called water, as our Sages explain8) “And it (the Jewish people) shall divide between water and water” — between G-d, who is called “the Source of Living Water”9 and false deities which are called “broken wells”9  containing bitter, putrid and stagnant water. (Thus, the division between water and water is dependent on the Jewish people learning Torah.)

The 3rd states: “Do not take the name of G-d in vain,” and (the third utterance) states: “The waters below the firmament shall be gathered into one place..” Do not cause a separation in the unity of the waters (referring to the Shechinah — the indwelling Divine Presence10) by uttering a false oath.

The 4th states: “Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy,” and (the fourth utterance) states, “The earth shall sprout vegetation..” When does the earth become fertile and become covered with vegetation? On the Sabbath, when the bride (the Sabbath) unites with the King (G-d).11 This brings  forth vegetation and blessing for the world.  (Every weekday is provided its food by virtue of the blessing it receives from the Shabbath,12  just as the manna which came down only during the week, was by virtue of the Sabbath.13)

The 5th states: “Honor your father and mother,” and (the fifth utterance) states, “There shall be luminaries in the sky …” This means that the luminaries are your father and mother — the sun is your father, and the moon your mother, alluding to the Holy One, blessed be He, your father, as the verse states. “For the sun and its sheath are G-d, the Lord.”14   (The verse makes an association between G-d — who is the ultimate source of all “light” in the sense of Divine revelation — and the sun, the source of physical light.)  And the moon refers to Knesset Yisrael (the collective soul of the Jewish people), as the verse states (regarding Israel), “Your moon shall never disappear.” 15  (It seems that the intention here is that our “father and mother” — G-d, and the collective Jewish soul — are honored by the Torah which the Jewish people learn in this world, as our Sages explain, “There is no honor other than Torah.”16)

The 6th states: “Do not murder,” and (the sixth utterance) states “The waters shall teem with living creatures.” Do not kill a man, who is also called “a living creature.”17  And do not be like fish, the larger of which swallows the smaller.

The 7th states: “Do not commit adultery,” and (the seventh utterance) states, “The earth shall bring forth living creatures… in their species.” From this we learn that a man should not approach a woman who is not his soulmate. For this reason the verse, “in their species.” A woman must not bear children from one who is not her “species” i.e. her soul mate.

The 8th states: “Do not steal,” and (the eight utterance) states, “I have given you every seedbearing plant on the surface of the earth.” i.e. that which I have given you, and allowed you to use, is yours. Do not steal that which belongs to someone else.

The 9th states: “Do not testify as a false witness,” and (the ninth utterance) states, “We shall make man with Our image, of Our likeness.” Do not testify falsely against one who bears the Divine image. And if one testifies falsely, it is as if he blasphemed.

The 10th states: “Do not be envious of your neighbor’s wife…” and (the tenth utterance) states, “It is not good that man is alone. I will make him a helper to match him.” This refers to each person’s soul-mate who matches him perfectly. Hence, “Do not be envious of your neighbor’s wife…”

These are the ten utterances of creation, which parallel the Ten Commandments. Therefore the verse (quoted originally) states, “Each bowl weighed ten,” for they weigh the same. and by virtue of this the world survives and maintains equilibrium….

  1. Avot 5:1
    2. Numbers 7:86
    3. Or Yakar
    4. Yeremiah 33:25, Rashi
    5. Note that this passage in the Zohar does not regard the first word in the Torah, bereishit, as the first utterance, as explained previously. (Zohar 1:39b) Perhaps this is according to the view that the verse, “I am the Lord your G-d,” also expresses belief in G-d Himself, which is not a commandment, but precedes all commandments.  Nevertheless, in the light of other passages in the Zohar this seems unlikely.
    6. Psalms 27:1
    7. Job 31:2.
    8. Bava Kama 17a
    9. Jeremiah 2:13
    10. See Chagiga 14b regarding the advice of R. Akiva to the Sages who entered the Pardes: Do not say, “Water, water.” (i.e. cause a separation between the waters); Pardes Rimonim s.v. shayish
    11. Technically, this refers to the yichud (unification) of malchut and zair anpin – Commentaries
    12. Zohar vol.II,p 88a
    13. Zohar ibid
    14. Psalms 84:12. The Names used in this verse are Havayeh, the Tetragrammaton, denoting the transcendent revalation of G-d as He is in Himself, and Elokim, G-d as He is within creation.
    15. Isaiah 60:20
    16. Avot 6:3; Zohar vol.III, p. 81b.
    17.Genesis 2:7

Excerpted from a pioneering English translation, from the original Aramaic, of selected passages in the Zohar, together with commentary, by Rabbi Moshe Leib Miller, formerly an occasional guest teacher at Ascent and currently a Rosh Yeshiva in New Jersey.

 

A personal prayer to help apply integrated understanding of Torah, Avoda and Chesed in the moment of challenge

Please see the personal prayer below that reflects integrated understanding of the chart below it – print chart here    This general format for speaking with Hashem will hopefully help to  increase our integrated ability to serve Hashem in the moment: I feel constriction in emotion and a draw towards negativity! By bearing the burden of my own confusion of mind, please see that I choose to identify as a tzelem elokim here to reflect You into the world. Wow – thank you for that immediate relief of being connected to Your compassion so that I can exhibit compassion – immediately I am aware that I almost pulled the Shechina into the darkness of that natural lower urge! With love in my heart for Hashem and with total emunah in how Hashem has created a world with a being that has self-awareness in order for us to subjugate to Hashem, I declare Hashem Echad! I know it is all Hashem Who desires to give me reward for remembering that and choosing to align with Hashem rather than the natural forces that seem to be real in time and space that are designed to test my emunah and give me the opportunity to reflect Your Attributes of mercy into time and space.   Hashem I pray passionately to You redirecting the fire in my makeup from anger and fear and ask instead that You please help me! I only want to open the door to reflect Your Attributes into time and space! Please help me to bring the light into the world that is a revealed good! I desire to submit what feels real by Your design and test because I have total emunah that it is all from You and You desire only to see if this personal mini-akeidas Yitzchok is something I can submit out of love for You and understanding that reflecting You into the world is the real happiness available here and not a misleading worldly happiness that results in bitterness for the soul in being far from You.   With all my heart and all my soul and all my might, I ask for your help in applying the gift of Torah to give me a gifted way of handling this emotional challenge. You have given me naturally an ego, a self-awareness so that I understand how to project an image into the world. I choose to use my strength to project Your Image into the world because that is happiness. Happiness comes only from learning Torah, praying passionately to Hashem, and emulating Your attributes into time and space. All other pursuits of happiness, although they may appear to have gratifications on a level of time and space, ultimately involve my soul and trap the Shechina in the kelipas of taiva and desire thereby inadvertently nurturing the lower forces in the world, heaven forbid that the soul that You give me remain trapped and fueling what is despicable and lowly. I no longer see as the natural gratifications that the lower forces offer as ‘payoff” such as the feeling of being right or communicating something very important in a way that hurts another person by throwing them into the grips of their challenges! I know that You Hashem are the Source of all vitality and I have emunah to redirect all my strength to learning Torah, praying passionately for only good to come out of this matter, and to help me project Your image into time and space, for doing so is the true happiness.   The feeling of calmness is reality, for Hashem’s reality as we know from Shabbos, is peace and tranquility. Help me quiet the natural bodily responses by saying Hashem Echad with integrated understanding and love and awe.   Please accept my teshuva and may it be a merit for klal yisrael, that whatever light from the kelipas I have been able to return into service of Hashem should be viewed as something beneficial for our people, bringing blessings, achdus and redemption closer.

sefirot utterances plagues commandments holidays affirmations chart

The Ten Utterances of Creation Parallel the Ten Commandments
10 + 10 = 10
Moshe Miller
The Zohar, one of the earliest and most important Jewish mystical texts, was written by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his disciples. The following is an original translation, in bold face, of a selected text from the Zohar [vol. III, 11b ff.] on the first chapter of the Torah, together with selections based on major commentaries. The latter have been woven into the text itself, in plain face within parentheses, in order to provide the reader with a smooth, comprehensive text without requiring extensive footnotes, which are used mostly for technical information and sources. — M.M.
(“The world was created by means of ten utterances.”1 The following section explains the connection between the asarah ma’amorot [Ten Utterances] in Genesis and the aseret hadibrot [Ten Commandments] in Exodus 20.)
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai taught: kaf asarah asarah — (“Each incense bowl weighed ten sanctuary shekels”—lit:) each bowl ten ten.2 Why (the doubled words) “ten ten?” Once, to allude to the work of creation, and once to allude to the Torah. There are ten utterances in the creation of the world, and (corresponding to them) ten utterances in the Torah (the Ten Commandments).
What does this tell us? That the world was created for the sake of Torah, and as long as the Jewish people occupy themselves with Torah, the world will continue to exist. But if the Jewish people abandon Torah, the verse declares, “If not for My Covenant (the Torah3), I would not have set day and night, and the bounds of heaven and earth.”4
The Zohar now explains how the ten utterances parallel the Ten Commandments.
The 1st (commandment, instructing us to have faith in G-d) states: I am the Lord your G-d…” Regarding creation, the verse states: “There shall be light, and there was light.”5
From the verse “G-d is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear?”6 we learn that faith in the Holy One, blessed be He, is also called “light.” (Hence, light and faith in G-d, the first commandment, correspond.)
The 2nd states: “You shall have no other gods before Me,” and (the second utterance) states: “There shall be a firmament between the waters, and it shall divide between water and water.”
“There shall be a firmament,” refers to the Jewish people who are part of G-d Above,7 for they are attached to that plane which is called shemayim (Heaven , or firmament). “Between the waters,” — among the words of Torah (which is called water, as our Sages explain8) “And it (the Jewish people) shall divide between water and water” — between G-d, who is called “the Source of Living Water”9 and false deities which are called “broken wells”9 containing bitter, putrid and stagnant water. (Thus, the division between water and water is dependent on the Jewish people learning Torah.)
The 3rd states: “Do not take the name of G-d in vain,” and (the third utterance) states: “The waters below the firmament shall be gathered into one place..” Do not cause a separation in the unity of the waters (referring to the Shechinah — the indwelling Divine Presence10) by uttering a false oath.
The 4th states: “Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy,” and (the fourth utterance) states, “The earth shall sprout vegetation..” When does the earth become fertile and become covered with vegetation? On the Sabbath, when the bride (the Sabbath) unites with the King (G-d).11 This brings forth vegetation and blessing for the world. (Every weekday is provided its food by virtue of the blessing it receives from the Shabbath,12 just as the manna which came down only during the week, was by virtue of the Sabbath.13)
The 5th states: “Honor your father and mother,” and (the fifth utterance) states, “There shall be luminaries in the sky …” This means that the luminaries are your father and mother — the sun is your father, and the moon your mother, alluding to the Holy One, blessed be He, your father, as the verse states. “For the sun and its sheath are G-d, the Lord.”14 (The verse makes an association between G-d — who is the ultimate source of all “light” in the sense of Divine revelation — and the sun, the source of physical light.) And the moon refers to Knesset Yisrael (the collective soul of the Jewish people), as the verse states (regarding Israel), “Your moon shall never disappear.” 15 (It seems that the intention here is that our “father and mother” — G-d, and the collective Jewish soul — are honored by the Torah which the Jewish people learn in this world, as our Sages explain, “There is no honor other than Torah.”16)
The 6th states: “Do not murder,” and (the sixth utterance) states “The waters shall teem with living creatures.” Do not kill a man, who is also called “a living creature.”17 And do not be like fish, the larger of which swallows the smaller.
The 7th states: “Do not commit adultery,” and (the seventh utterance) states, “The earth shall bring forth living creatures… in their species.” From this we learn that a man should not approach a woman who is not his soulmate. For this reason the verse, “in their species.” A woman must not bear children from one who is not her “species” i.e. her soul mate.
The 8th states: “Do not steal,” and (the eight utterance) states, “I have given you every seedbearing plant on the surface of the earth.” i.e. that which I have given you, and allowed you to use, is yours. Do not steal that which belongs to someone else.
The 9th states: “Do not testify as a false witness,” and (the ninth utterance) states, “We shall make man with Our image, of Our likeness.” Do not testify falsely against one who bears the Divine image. And if one testifies falsely, it is as if he blasphemed.
The 10th states: “Do not be envious of your neighbor’s wife…” and (the tenth utterance) states, “It is not good that man is alone. I will make him a helper to match him.” This refers to each person’s soul-mate who matches him perfectly. Hence, “Do not be envious of your neighbor’s wife…”
These are the ten utterances of creation, which parallel the Ten Commandments. Therefore the verse (quoted originally) states, “Each bowl weighed ten,” for they weigh the same. and by virtue of this the world survives and maintains equilibrium….
1. Avot 5:1
2. Numbers 7:86
3. Or Yakar
4. Yeremiah 33:25, Rashi
5. Note that this passage in the Zohar does not regard the first word in the Torah, bereishit, as the first utterance, as explained previously. (Zohar 1:39b) Perhaps this is according to the view that the verse, “I am the Lord your G-d,” also expresses belief in G-d Himself, which is not a commandment, but precedes all commandments. Nevertheless, in the light of other passages in the Zohar this seems unlikely.
6. Psalms 27:1
7. Job 31:2.
8. Bava Kama 17a
9. Jeremiah 2:13
10. See Chagiga 14b regarding the advice of R. Akiva to the Sages who entered the Pardes: Do not say, “Water, water.” (i.e. cause a separation between the waters); Pardes Rimonim s.v. shayish
11. Technically, this refers to the yichud (unification) of malchut and zair anpin – Commentaries
12. Zohar vol.II,p 88a
13. Zohar ibid
14. Psalms 84:12. The Names used in this verse are Havayeh, the Tetragrammaton, denoting the transcendent revalation of G-d as He is in Himself, and Elokim, G-d as He is within creation.
15. Isaiah 60:20
16. Avot 6:3; Zohar vol.III, p. 81b.
17.Genesis 2:7
Excerpted from a pioneering English translation, from the original Aramaic, of selected passages in the Zohar, together with commentary, by Rabbi Moshe Leib Miller, formerly an occasional guest teacher at Ascent and currently a Rosh Yeshiva in New Jersey.

Concealed light has a darkness over it but Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy may often be revealed through free willed choice and speech.

With recruits from all over the world being drawn to the darkness in the world, how do we once again reveal that darkness is not light?  People are drawn to light.  People need light.  Yet our search for light can lead us to places within our makeup that have taken a wrong turn due to confusion of mind . We may not be aware that we are in a state of confusion.  In fact, we may think we are quite clear about a certain course of action.  That often happens when the basis for our choices  is survival (survival is in Hashem’s hands alone, even with our hishtadlus) or on a belief system that is other than absolute truth from  Torah.  We may believe we are following truth, without realizing that somewhere in our thought process we are relying on coping mechanisms, familiar patterns, ego based needs, appetites or other naturally developed connections.   We are here to project an image into the world.  The choice we have is to decide whether what we project will be primarily based on self-interest or primarily based on reflecting Hashem’s image into the world.  The gifted understanding that motivates our learning for more and more knowledge of Hashem is that we begin naturally to see the pursuit of projecting Hashem’s 13 Attrbiutes of mercy into the world as the most pleasurable and as in our true self-interest in a two world picture.

 

Low self esteem actually means that our ability to project Hashem’s image into the world is damaged  The goal of having a healthy ego is so that slowly over the course of our lives, each year we see another area that we desire to make Hashem the King over.  Yet those with low self esteem have a great deal of motivation to do this work because the lives of people who have internal strive natorally drives them to seek to become better adjusted.  Those who have had less trauma may not have the same motivation because their lives may be running more smoothly, they may have more natural satisfaction out of life.  Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon every one of us to recognize that comfort is a pleasure from Hashem and that we are here to project into the world Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy over our natural self-oriented perspective, even if we are very damaged.  It takes a great deal of emunah to do that, and thus learning Torah is imperative to build our emunah in order to approach our deepest scarss.

 

Having a sense of self means that we are alive.  Hashem desires a being that can understand who Hashem is.  In order to truly understand and acquire the emunah that Hashem is the Creator, and that we are here to have a relationship with Him, we are given free will, speech and the ability to experience life as if we are independent from Hashem.  Torah gives us a gifted understanding of how to use the life force Hashem bestows upon us when we experience constricted thinking.  Without Torah, we may easily make serious mistakes in discerning the difference between darkness and light – that is due to the nature of the unconscious and subconscious mind, where Hashem conceals Himself  What enters our consciousness is sometimes constricted thoughts.  With the gift of Torah, we can approach constricted thinking in a gifted way.  We can realize we do not wish to pull Hashem’s light into the darkness of our subjective reactions but rather wish to use the light trapped there in a way that reflects Torah, expresses personal passionate prayer for help and for the good that we desire, and to be a vessel to reflect His 13 attributes of mercy into the world.   In so doing, we use the “projector” of our image into this world to project Hashem’s light, like the moon reflects the sun.

 

May our efforts to rise above our subjective nature in favor of reflecting Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy into the world create positive influence and generate peace and a restoration of Hashem’s revealed good in this world.

 

 

 

 

Value: The only currency is Hashem’s Glory, and our value is the ability to reflect it and to disempower the forces offering false value by shifting imagination to Truth

In the discussion after the recording, we explained how just remembering that we have confusion of mind puts us higher in the brain, in the bleechers, so to speak, and that choice is a choice to identify with tzelem elokim over the naturally pulling “left fielders” for where we want our bina, our imagination, to cling.  As soon as we choose to see we have confusion of mind, we are once again aligned with the real currency of the world, Hashem’s Glory and tzelem elokim that is a reflection of His Glory. From there, our brain is aligned and ready to follow the affirmations for emunah, leading us to be able to hopefull create the positive influence, opening for Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy, a passageway into time and space through our efforts to do so from mind to heart  We can bring light into the world and our effort to do so is our esteem, even if it looks in time and space as if we don’t succeed.
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