Bracha Gemach – Teshuva that removes our nature so as to reveal His Glory

Please click here to print the sheets we use in order to follow along with our guided teshuva

to hear what we are doing, please listen to the recorded calls.  It is probably a good idea to listen to the most recent ones. Where there is discussion the calls are longer but it is helpful to hear.

call in numbers 8 am and 10 PM Eastern for teshuva during the three weeks:

712 775 7085 code 171698
712 775 7089 playback code 171698

to be added to the distribution list for this guided teshuva which we are doing morning and night during the three weeks, please send an email to

In case the links below don’t work, all the recordings with dates are herea;


When we are compelled by our human nature, very often we conduct ourselves in a manner that is designed to achieve our personal goals.  This is normal, every day human life.


Yet we also have a capacity to rise above in order to conduct ourselves in a manner that serves Hashem in an altruistic way.  This is a moment of holiness.  When we do have these moments of transcending our nature out of love for Hashem in service to Hashem for His Sake alone, what we reveal in our actions reveals His Glory – the love and value that is coming to us in every moment.  It also removes something from our nature, dissolving something, rectifying our unrefined characteristics in the process, whittling away at the mask over nature as we take steps towards ein od milvado consciousness.


We can “donate” our unrefined characteristics and by revealing Hashem’s Glory not only rectify ourselves but we also create merits for the Jewish people.  The Jewish people are one soul, and whatever we rectify in regard to our unrefined characteristics affects in a good way everyone, raising the amount of Hashem’s Glory that is revealed in the world and aiding everyone to a higher level from which people may have more choice at their own free will points to rectify their unrefined characteristics and in turn reveal Hashem’s Glory.

Posted here are recordings of guided teshuvas.  Women who would like the handouts and to be on this distribution list, please send an email to

call in numbers 8 AM and 10 PM Eastern:  712 775 7085  code 171698   712 775 7089 playback code 171698

July 13, 2014 night:


July 14, 2014 morning


July 14, 2014 night


July 15, 2014 morning


July 15, 2014 night


July 16, 2014 morning – includes sharing 


July 16. 2014 night   Eastern


July 17, 2014 morning


At this writing there is military action with ground troops.  if you have any bitterness, anger, resentment and the like within you toward anyone, please consider doing the teshuva below now to create positive influences for fire:


Please Hashem I feel the bitterness of resentment toward… (or anger, or judgment, etc.) I am calling out to You!  The path these bitter feelings are leading me by default are unpleasant, there is no love to be gained from it and there is no value to my eternity for pursuing this.    Wherever the trigger is coming from is Sourced ultimately in You for my growth, although it may have come through the animal soul that has impurities!


I wish to remove the impurities causing bitterness yet I ask to keep the strength involved in order to fold that strength into the element of fire that can serve to reveal Your Glory as follows:


to a revealed good use of fire that produces warmth and light and protection for our soldiers and for Israel


to nullify the weapons that fire upon us so that enemy fire has no ability to harm any Jew


to fire that destroys only what needs to be destroyed for the elimination of the threat to Israel




Please Hashem by virtue of this teshuva regarding the element of fire, may I strengthen within my heart and mind awe of Hashem to recognize when to repeat this teshuva in the moment, repairing unrefined characteristics with which to add to a rectified capacity to serve You and reveal Your Glory.  May I develop an ever-deepening ability and passion to reveal Your Glory through rectified expressions of the element of fire and receive the experience of true pleasure, real love and eternal value.

July 17, 2014 night


July 18, 2014 morning



Please listen to Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen on Kol HaLashon after the ground invasion and downing of the Malaysian Flight 17 plane

July 18, 2014 erev Shabbos

if you can please listen and use the sheet before Shabbos,  teshuva today, for the first week of the three weeks, before Shabbos, might really help us in our efforts to break through to identity as divine dignity, tzelem elokim and to our ability to reveal His Glory in the moment.Please if you experience the calmness and clarity that these three steps are designed for, please don’t dismiss it.  Please understand it is the sound of being in touch with the side of us that is so covered over.  Please we want to yearn for this, to experience the pleasures that we are designed for, and seeking this true pleasure is the best way to have more consciousness and make choices when life is coming at us.

July 20, 2014  

 I used  this morning already and it really helped me notice what the mistake in my thinking was that was causing me to feel so sad – what is important to realize is that the process of doing this creates positive influence while we are doing our tikun.  There is no blame or shame in having tikun to do.  Having tikun to do is a sign we are alive BH with a subconscious, unconscious and ego which will all be true until Moshiach comes and our thought processes become clarified – but we won’t have free will then.  we have it now and that is the benefit of doing this work now.  And the positive influence we create in the process is the goal. We Nishmas Am Yisrael bring the lower K of Hashem’s Name yud k vav k closer to unifying with the upper K each time.  We will use it on this morning’s call

July 20, 2014 3 PM extra teshuva

  After the recording ended, we did the teshuva, very moving, to help strengthen emunah for the current situation.

July 20, 2014 pm

Thank you for the discussion! it is so clarifying for everyone!

July 21. 2014 am


July 21, 2014 PM


July 22, 2014 am


The teshuva sheet we are reading from is a cross-pollination of Torah True Judaism and within it are the four steps of teshuva but the context in which we are doing that teshuva is a teshuva that returns us to our primary functioning as Nishmas Am Yisrael. By virtue of saying Hashem Echad, that effort takes what is static in the world and through our prayers “adds strength” to the world. Just for saying the statements that we say, we create positive influence through functioning in our primary role of nishmas am yisrael. That is the key. The hishtadlus regarding Nishmas Am Yisrael is to create an arousal from below of love with emunah, faith. The specific hishtadlus is to find that deep switch regarding where we associate happiness and pleasure and to deeply reconnect happiness and pleasure to emulating Hashem’s Attributes Mercy.  Once we use free choice with emunah and love of Hashem to align happiness and pleasure with the reality that His Glory fills all the world and is the sole Source for all pleasure, then we are empowered to visit our unique tikun, how the warring inclinations within us are to be resolved with the four steps of teshuva.

Especially at times of national suffering such as now, remembering our role as Nishmas Am Yisrael and our functioning create positive influence by removing the mask of nature from what conceals Hashem’s Glory from being seen  is of the utmost importance and is the context in which we are growing as we rectify our unrectified characteristics.

Rabbi Zibersteiin sent around 5 steps for dealing with the missiles in Israel.  In chutzla a’retz, his third suggestion is really the main thing for us.  In it Rabbi Zilberstein  gives us a segula to nullify all harsh judgments.  “You are just in all that happens as Your ways are Emes but I am the one who strayed”  In the teshuva sheet we are using, this corresponds to the work we do in the section separation where we remove impurities, the specific impurities from nature so that Hashem’s Glory that fills all the worlds is visible.

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July 22, 2014 night 

July 23, 2014 morning

I want to thank everyone for participating on these calls…today’s call is an hour long but the participation and interchange speak for themselves.

May our efforts be the arousal from below in prayer and teshuva that Hashem is waiting for to bestow the arousal from above with all the blessings intended for the Jewish People as stated in Torah.

May our efforts to clean off our individual impurities benefit klal yisrael because are all one Nishmas Am Yisrael


May our increasing awareness of the empowerment that Hashem gives to Nishmas Am Yisrael through speech and davening help us have a new relationship with our suffering and challenges based on an expanded understanding of our identity as well as our esteem as effort to use tefilla and speech in this way


May the tremendous awareness we are gaining to bend and glue happiness and pleasure to emulating Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy, tolerating insult, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind, forgiving, and casting sins into the sea, become a merit for all klal yisrael as triumphing tzelem elokim over the animal soul and growing in the ability to see happines and pleasure in our consciousness as stemming from tzelem elokim in lieu of worldly concerns.

      21. Wed July 23 10 PM
Thurs July 24  8 AM

July 24, 2014 PM


July 25, 2014 AM

  Thank you for the discussion. Although this class is an hour long, the discussion and questions really are worth listening to.

July 25, 2014 erev Shabbos


July 27, 2014 AM


Hear Rabbi Lazer Brody speak about emunah and the elements

July 27, 2014 PM

  Thank you for the discussion after the recording – the coverings over us are two, taiva and gaiva.

July 28, 2014 AM

It could be this is the clearest  so far…please give me feedback

July 28, 2014 PM


July 29, 2014 AM


July 29, 2014 PM


July 30, 2014 AM


July 30, 2014 PM


July 31, 2014 AM

  detailed example

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After this morning’s call, i had to go through a round of battling with the darkness of my will being very caught up on my own glory. Perhaps it was the next step in finding what I need to find in order to serve Hashem with deeper sincerity, in finding what I had to wash off that is masking His Good, I think so, but sometimes we can trip and fall in the mud. When our will has been telling us that this is “who we are” for a long time, it is meritorious that we take immediate steps so that such messages become less credible.  BH the three quick steps of submitting, remembering all is good, telling Hashem that with the concealed energy and the will that was holding it I wish now to use the will to serve Him and then turning to a mitzvah, Hashem restored a sense of calm and inner quiet.That is a return to true identity, tzelem elokim inseparable from Hashem who is good.  Above the clouds it is always a sunny day!!!!!  The article below is important to making sure we don’t get kidnapped by the darkness.

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Aug 3, 2014 pm

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Moshiach is not a spectator sport – if we don’t like what we are seeing in the world, we actually have access to make a positive impact on the elements of nature in the world that affect everything and that access is through our own unique human nature. In exploring the confusion generated within us from the experience of lack, of ego goals, and imagination applied to that, we can find where our lower will has been influenced by our human nature. With free will and speech we can “reset” the elements of nature as we experience them in our human nature, in teshuva.  We are designed to do this.  Our effort to do so is our esteem. Just as a liver cleans out impurities yet is not those impurities, so too, our free will and speech can do teshuva for what blocks us from reflecting true good into the world.


Below are the guided teshuvas from Sunday Aug 3 at night and Monday Aug 4 in the morning.  May these help!





Summary of the work we did for the three weeks of the guided teshuva:


What you are experiencing is showing you something tremendous about yourself.  the amazing strength is YOUR tzelem elokim.
When a coin is in an empty box, it rattles and makes noise.
When tzelem elokim is trapped in something untrue, meaning ego-goals, it causes us anxiety.
How can we affect nature?  Nature is Hashem’s realm?
We have the power of speech and we have free willed choice.
We can tell Hashem, this strength that is rattling around in bitterness is amazing light. Please I wish to use this strength and all my strength to reflect Your goodness into the world.  Please move this light and give it into my hand and lead me in the direction I wish to go which is to serve You with all my heart, all my soul and all my might.
tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind, forgiving and casting sins into the sea, living with emunah and bitachon, giving love and value, knowing our survival is in Your Hands alone.

In this way we begin the journey of tikun to shine light into a world of confusion and darkness. just making the effort creates positive influence.  it is a loving and gentle journey.  Hashem loves us!!!  He wants us to be able to experience the pleasure of His Presence when He is revealed in the world. Let us work now to triumph tzelem elokim over the natural urges.

Please join us on our continued daily journey for 13 days into Tomer Devorah with hisbodidus suggestions

Below is a summary of insights from the Tomer Devorah readings.  We are headed into elul.

anyone interested in a women’s work group for elul please visit


Join a guided hisbodidus women’s work group for teshuva

A women’s hisbodidus work group is forming. Here is an outline of what we will be doing individually yet together on the phone.


Please think of a situation that is not too overwhelming but is a good example of experiencing upset based on a lack.

1. Submission: Hashem I am experiencing bitterness.

2. Separation: Please whatever is animating this is Sourced in You. Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuso Leolam voed

3. Sweetening: Please Hashem I ask that this animating energy be moved so that I may use it to reveal Your Glory.



Submission: Hashem I am experiencing bitterness. I am crying out to You.

(intentionality – I realize happiness and pleasure have become trapped in a worldly matter, something that is experientially internal but external to tzelem elokim. As Nishmas Am Yisrael, we have a relationship with You. )


Separation: Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuso Le’Olam voed – Hashem Echad “With these emotions in my heart, I understand it is all from You. You alone are the Source of all the animation. I don’t understand all the emotions, nor do I understand how it is good. But I do understand that there is No Other Power and that everything is Sourced in You, is just, and for the good.. With my free willed choice I make effort to dissolve whatever is necessary to dissolve so that the animating energy is available to reveal Your Glory”

(intentionality – the world of nature is under the domain of the Soton. Hashem utters the world into existence, embuing His Essence into letters that yield the elements into different unique-appearing expressions. Our physical being perceives the world on the level of appearances. Our spiritual being has the innate role and power to reveal from the concealment of nature Hashem’s Glory when we submit and activate love in our hearts and choose emunah as the platform to have a relationship with Hashem and open a flow of shefa by “cleaning off” the mask of nature. The primary deep place we need to reach is awareness that happiness and pleasure are expressions of tzelem elokim that is inseparable from Hashem and experiencing happiness and pleasure in relation to learning Torah, emulating Hashem, and living with emunah and bitachon. Finding the switch inside of us, that subconscious split second, where we are deceived by nature that happiness and pleasure come from somewhere in this world is our unique tikun)


Sweetening Please Hashem I ask that this animating energy be moved so that I may use it to reveal Your Glory. I direct the animating forces involved flow through my heart to reveal Your Glory. Help me to tolerate insults, overlook faults, bear the burden of confusion of mind, forgive and be part of casting all sins into the sea and may it be a merit for Klal Yisrael.

(intentionality: Just as a second ago You Hashem were bearing the discomfort of my confusion of mind as I felt bitterness, just in order to give me the opportunity to declare Baruch Shek Kavod Malchuso LeOlam Voed and Hashem Echad, I choose to emulate You and bring that same compassion and patience to this matter. The Source of all vitality is Hashem. Please may I be a vessel guarded from the negative thoughts that distract happiness and pleasure to worldly matters. Please solidify me more and more as a vessel whose neurocircuitry for bringing Your Glory through my heart into speech and deeds remains unobstructed by downward pulls.)

Interested?  Email

Prayer and teshuva to reveal Hashem’s Glory as merits for Nishmas Am Yisrael

It is possible that each of us can do something merely through speaking a few words that can make a huge impact.  Anyone interested in a guided work group to do this type of prayer and teshuva please email me at


Here is an example that anyone can do, if inspired – it is adaptable to help with every negative bitterness, no exceptions, when we understand our primary functioning is regarding the elements – the middos- and bringing them from the state where they are designed to confuse us and thereby conceal Hashem’s Glory to a flow through our hearts where we have clarity and serve instead to reveal Hashem’s Glory:


So and so didn’t return my call – I feel a lack of love! (this is a subconscious or unconscious response that triggers us…consciousness catches up with it when we are feeling “right” or the need to be ‘right” or feeling judgmental or hurt)


Stop! Following that will not bring me to a place of happiness at all even if I am right and even if the person feels obligated to now call me! Is that the happiness I want? Is securing my dependency needs in my hand?


Hashem, I am feeling lack but the intensity of it is coming from a self-referencing desire for a dependency need to be filled. It feels as though if I don’t take care of this dependency need for love that it will not be satisfied. Please help me to break the illusion of independent existence propelling me toward defense mechanisms designed for danger. Iit helps to repeat out loud so we hear what the emotion is and can regain proper perspective – e.g. I am experiencing lack. Lack. Lack. Abandonment. Lack. But wait. I am not abandoned. Hashem is with me. I am inseparable from Hashem’s love.)


Please move the energy gripping my consciousness and subconsciousness for although it is coming through Your Utterances and is filled with impurities that I am responsible to repair, I wish to flow this amazingly potent magnetic energy instead to love Hashem, have awe of Hashem, to emulate Hashem, bearing the discomfort of mind we all suffer from.


Thank you for giving me life so that I can tell you Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuso Leolam Voed. Please help me cling more and more with emunah and bitachon to knowing Hashem Echad, with no doubts. The greatest pleasure is You! Please help me experience You with a constant sense of love and value coming from You. My soul is inseparable from real love and value, You.


Hashem thank you for the opportunity to declare Hashem echad and please may I, by learning from this matter and doing teshuva, ask that the teshuva be a merit for klal yisrael and create a positive influence through which You deal with Klal Yisrael and maintain the world.


Hashem may the manner in which You maintain the elements water, fire, wind and earth be filled with positive influence that reveal Your Glory and may we receive bracha and redemption b’ahava and may I be a fitting vessel to reveal more and more tzelem elokim with love and awe in my heart, as the moon reflects the light of the sun.

When we are torn between identifying with self referencing goals and tzelem elokim goals, ask ourselves if the self referencing goals really will bring happiness. Real happiness – or trapped kidnapped happiness that produces negative influence. The choice is ours.  Hashem waits for Nishmas Am Yisrael.  He loves us. He wants to give us everything. But if we are not aligned with identifying with the goals of revealing tzelem elokim, the redemption will give us a terrible headache for our vessel, our mind, will not be ready to receive the real good over our self-referencing definition of good.  Hashem does only good.  He is waiting for us to be ready.  Teshuva empowers us, it is not accepting blame.  Prayer empowers us. By speaking to Hashem in relationship, we form the spiritual entities that lead us in the path we wish to go, may we choose a path of revealing His Glory in the world.

May our understanding of identity as tzelem elokim break open the unique expressions of our trapped happiness. Know there is Hashem! May our understanding help us build only on emes and forgo imagination built on trying to serve self-referencing goals. There are no other powers, there is only the Shechina hiding in nature through His Utterances. May our efforts in prayer from a sincere heart requesting in teshuva that the energy of our past failures now become merits and that the energy be drawn back into the elements through our choice to speak and act based on tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of the confusion of mind that happened because of ingesting from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, forgiving and begging Him for forgiveness, and asking Hashem to cast our sins in the sea and because of our teshuva to be able to have any similar sins within klal yisrael cast into the sea. Hashem is One and we are inseparable. May our verbal introspection help us discern the impurities given to us to dissolve back into the Ein Sof to draw it back down into our hearts in a way that reveals His Glory instead of self referencing. May we walk as solid vessels with His Glory becoming more and more what flows naturally through our hearts. And may the impact on water, fire wind and earth, by infusing the elements with His glory, remove the influences that are sustaining our enemies.


 Interested in starting?  Please register by emailing me your name, phone, city, state, country and email address.

Hate Hatred? Release Happiness from its Captivity!


The whole world is filled with the Glory of Hashem.  It is not too hard  to bring that reality and live it every moment if we comprehend the power Hashem gives us through speech and our true identity as made in His Image, tzelem elokim.


No matter where in the world we are, it must be quite clear to everyone that there is massive confusion and the pursuit of happiness as we know it does not have the results we are seeking.


The good news is we can do something about it. To do so, the foundations of our identity must be expanded and the gift of speech must be directed to Hashem, which meets His Utterances in a special important way.


Let’s start with our identities.


Why do many young babies get so angry when they get hungry? When we experience their anger, young mothers often feel like they are doing something wrong. There is an insecurity that they are to blame. The young baby has no idea that it is creating such a painful reaction in its mother. How does a young baby even know what anger is?


In the womb, the baby is learning Torah with an angel. All of its dependency needs are being met. It is happy. A baby’s soul is happy when it is learning Torah and it has the experience of all its dependency needs being met by Hashem Let me repeat. A baby’s soul is happy when it is learning Torah and it has the experience of all its dependency needs being met by Hashem. The baby does not have any sense of abandonment at all.


The baby is born into a completely different, fallen world! In order for its needs to be met, it’s very life depends upon imperfect people! When the baby is hungry, its cry is one that could, if the baby were conscious of it, be described as fear of abandonment and fear of annihilation. The mother’s role is to feed and soothe the baby, and the baby learns that this fallen world also fulfills it dependency needs to survive and for love. It is not abandoned or annihilated.


The soul of a baby triggers the baby’s unconscious so that the baby gets angry when it feels abandoned and/or annihilated. This is a built in response that continues within us, by design. Before in the womb, a baby’s soul is happy when it is learning Torah and it has the experience of all its dependency needs being met by Hashem. The criteria for happiness while we are dependent continue to be satisfaction of our dependency needs in a loving environment. When we mature and are no longer dependent, though, the criteria for happiness reverts back. Once we are mature, it becomes our spiritual work to realize in every moment that our soul is happy when it is learning Torah and has the experience of all its dependency needs being met by Hashem.


Yet because a child is dependent for 21 years, by design Hashem develops coverings over the soul, a real appearance of separate independent existence. Much happiness is associated with interacting with the world based on the development of intellect, of social circles, and of all types of learning and skill building.  It is important for the healthy development of a person for this to be. But there is one point that eventually surfaces through the challenges of life, and that is the pursuit of happiness, lasting meaningful happiness that is NOT dependent on anything outside of our own choosing.


Out of respect for all those who have died in pogroms, in the holocaust, in the intifada, through terrorism, and throughout Jewish history, the model of happiness that is being discussed here is not a guarantee for staying alive. It is in alignment with what we learn from Rabbi Akiva, who died having his flesh combed but expired saying Shema on the word Echad without feeling pain. No one wishes to experience such suffering. Yet we learn a great deal about the ability of the soul to experience happiness despite the surroundings and circumstances, may we never be challenged to do so. The purpose is to begin a journey to understand that our happiness is a function of our soul serving Hashem and how we can attempt to bring the awareness of that happiness more and more into our lives by freeing happiness from its captivity in worldly affairs.


Let’s begin by looking at what has happened because we have not really been attuned to releasing happiness from its captivity in worldly affairs.


What is baseless hatred? It is a hatred that has no basis, but what does that mean? We hate people who hurt our feelings, who insult us, who dismiss us, who deceive us. That surely is a good enough reason, no?




The first step to understand is that even though we are in a fallen world, our soul is inseparable from Hashem. We are made in Hashem’s image. Tzelem Elokim. And remember, the whole world is filled with His Glory. That includes us. Our soul is a thought from Hashem, Nishmas Am Yisrael, formed in the highest created world, corresponding to the yud in Hashem’s Name, and He infused tzelem elokim with His Attributes of Mercy, a reflection of the tip of the yud of His Name, the crown of His Kingship. Nothing can diminish this reality by even a microdot. It can be covered over if we don’t realize it, but in fact, in every moment of our lives, Hashem is with us, is aware of us, is providing for all of our needs, including the need for us to come to the consciousness that He is providing all our needs every second. We are not alone. We aer not abandoned. Hashem loves us. Our soul is happy every time we do a mitzvah or learn Torah or emulate Hashem.


The second step is to comprehend that it is our choice to identify with the goals of the body, to take or the goals of the soul, to serve Hashem and make kiddush Hashem. When we have clarity that identifying with the soul does not mean we are abandoning the needs of the body, because Hashem is running the entire world, we can take the next step. Emunah makes it possible for us to move our esteem to our effort to reveal tzelem elokim. If all there is in the world is Hashem’s Glory, including us, then what other esteem could there possibly be other than the effort we make to reveal His Glory? It is okay to know that Hashem, will continue to take care of our dependency needs in bodies, as He has done every day since the day we were born. But that is not our motivation. Our motivation is to release happiness from the captivity of the body so we can reveal His Glory and experience the happiness of fulfilling what Torah tells us is the mission of Nishmas Am Yisrael, to make a kiddush Hashem.


This second step, understanding it is a choice to identify ourselves as body/ego or as a soul, is dynamic. It is crucial to understand that we are in bodies and that means we are alive. Without body and ego, we would be not alive. Thus there is no need for frustration in experiencing this tension in our identity. In fact, the tension in how we identify at every moment is the Design for how Hashem’s Glory meaningfully comes into the world and is the basis for our eternal happiness.


We are not perfect. We are a mixture of body and soul. And after we ingested from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, life became even more confusing because the messages of the body and ego, which had been less prominent and which messages we could experience as external stimuli, became internalized and come through our hearts and neurocircuitry in a second. How can we come to understand that body and the reactions of the ego are external to us when they feel like everything, when they feel like our identity, when we experience them so dramatically and even treat them as the basis of our esteem until we arrive at adulthood?


Ask honestly, do the goals of the body and ego truly bring happiness? How long?


When we believe that other people, circumstances, or externalities give us meaning and esteem, then others have the power to take away our divine dignity by denying us words of love and value. There is no question that such cruelty causes pain to the body and the ego and is a terrible test that triggers us to a place where we may not be able to recover. Once others strip off our divine dignity, it then is possible for them to annihilate us, as did all of the persecutors of our people from the beginning of time. We have been the scapegoats. We have been accused of causing the unhappiness of so much! And it is blame that has seeped into our system, hurting our bodies and egos, causing us to develop thick-skin and in our attempts to defend ourselves, falling into emulating our oppressors instead of revealing tzelem elokim through a process of speaking out loud to Hashem in order to reveal His Glory.


I hear it. Where was Hashem to protect us in the Holocaust? Where is Hashem now, to protect Israel? But that is just more blame.   We are not grasshoppers. Hashem gave us a koach of speech for a purpose. And that speech is to meaningfully release happiness from worldly pursuits even if it costs us our lives, to declare His Glory fills the world. This is what we saw in the martyrs who danced into the gas chambers. This is what we saw in Rabbi Akiva. This is why we pray to Elokim of Avraham, Elokim of Yitzchok, and Elokim of Yaakov – for their righteous devotion to Hashem brought visible to the world that Hashem helped them, survive the furnace, survive the Akeida, establish the twelve tribes and more. What they accomplished through their avoda was beyond human and the world saw it. And therefore Hashem’s Name is identified by their victories.  It is the desire of the body to survive, no question.  It is the strength of the ego and the logical mind to create systems to protect us. Without a doubt.  But Hashem is always in the picture and that is the crucial piece. If cynicism has crept in causing us to doubt that emunah, we are stuck in a void with a power of speech misdirected, blaming, accusing, and causing more and more darkness.  The building of understanding must be rooted in truth, in Torah, or we are just falling deeper into more elaborate darkness.


The third step is to comprehend how through creating Adom from the elements of the world, Hashem has given us the ability to draw shefa and blessing into the elements of the world. When we do so making brachas over food and other mitzvahs, do we fully understand that we are drawing bracha into the world? If so, then it might be easier to understand that when we have a discrepancy between what the soul knows and what the body/ego experience, we experience pain. The circumstances, however, can be brought back to their elements. Just like a compound number can be drawn down to its factors, so too our emotional reactions can be drawn down to earth, wind, fire, water or a combination.


How we identify with those elements becomes the key to releasing happiness from worldly matters.


The human reaction is self-referencing. We are scanning for how this will work out well for our survival, for our needs, for our benefit, for our goals. Our imagination helps us dream amazingly well! But  Hashem is often not in the picture. We believe it is from our skill group, our connections, our money, and more that we are able to devise a plan to secure our dreams. The more we build on that, and the more we are financially rewarded by society for specializing in a particular area of accomplishing goals, the more we believe in ourselves and the more happiness becomes trapped in worldly matters. Expanding our consciousness means that we realize at all times that even when we react humanly, all of our dependency needs are being met directly because of Hashem’s constant love and presence in our lives. Without Him, we could not even move. There is no glory in the world other than Hashem.


Adom wanted to come into the world to make a kiddush Hashem from this fallen world. He ate and we must rectify this condition of confusion. There is no glory in the world other than Hashem. Not from the apparent physical existence which is animated by the Shechina uttered into every atom of energy including our neurocircuitry and unconscious, and not from the essence of our soul, animated by a thought of Hashem.


We can sit alone in a room with hugely negative feelings and blame all types of circumstances, people, and Hashem. But if we break it down, it is because we desire something that we feel is important for us to have. Perhaps we feel someone has diminished our dignity. Insulted us. Not given us the love we hoped for. Immediately our neurocircuitry begins to build on this reaction as if it is the true source of happiness.


This is where we must challenge ourselves and bring our emunah back into the picture because this is the foundation of baseless hatred. No one can diminish our dignity. It is not negotiable. It our perception based on a false belief that there is some glory other than Hashem that needs to be restored. It will not help to think of ways of shaming the other person in order to strip away their divine dignity, even though we may falsely believe we must do so to keep them from annihilating us. Such circumstances are not in our hands. Our unique challenge lies totally in an internal plane of existence.


The circumstances are from Hashem. Our tzelem elokim is inseparable from Hashem. The other person(s) are under the total control of Hashem whether they realize it and strive to reveal tzelem elokim or if they have a mixture of cynicism which has caused them to reveal a destructive tendency in order to provide our point of choice. It comes down to how we choose in the moment.


The elements of water, fire, wind and earth can be filled with Hashem’s glory through our choice. Left alone, they are filled with the Shechina that is hidden in nature awaiting us to release it, to dissolve it into the Ein Sof through speech that declares Hashem is One. If we did not have a Torah to tell us to do so, even a class of geniuses might miss it. But Avraham Aveinu did not miss it. He got it. And we are his children. It is in our spiritual heritage to understand this as well as to do it.


Every moment that we do this, we rectify our own soul. We improve our negative characteristics by choosing to reveal tzelem elokim. We break our nature when we understand we can grind down the elements within our negative characteristics to reveal tzelem elokim. For in all the world there is only the glory of Hashem. We can ask Hashem to help us grind down the self-referencing that blocks tzelem elokim from flowing through our hearts. Flowing tzelem elokim through our hearts keeps us in happiness, for we are involved with Torah and aware that Hashem is totally in charge of our dependency needs every single moment of life. From there, we can give love and value to others, serving Hashem.


Blaming others, demanding from others, accusing others traps happiness in a hopeless void of sinas chinum. It is totally without basis. It can never have a basis. Happiness is not attainable except through Torah, mitzvahs and emulating Hashem. Discovering the truth in this is a lifelong process, an infinite path. But starting the journey requires just a simple shift in identity – to effort to reveal tzelem elokim in the moment out of love of Hashem and awe of Hashem, to serve Him and reveal His Glory. There is no way to measure the spiritual impact of the simple choice to ask Hashem to help lead us in the path we wish to go. Doing so is a reflection of emunah that immediately lifts us from the grip of the downward pulls of nature, politics, man-made social systems, ego, and more. It is the basis of monotheism that there is only Hashem Who is all powerful, all knowing and all present. He loves us. Let us arouse love in our hearts for Him, a love that is known and active in our souls. Let us speak to Him to tell Him that we know all there is in the world is Hashem and to please lead us in the path we wish to go, which is to infuse into the world shefa and bracha released from our identifying falsely with our self-referencing as what will bring us happiness.


And may we begin to see a new light. Today.


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Hate hatred? Move it OUT! Call the Mover

If I have a baby grand piano to move from one room to another, I would not be able to move it by myself. I would need to call a mover to help. But I decide that I want to move it and to where.


It is the same with our heavy emotional content. The first thing that we all know is that we definitely want to get rid of it. We want to move it OUT. The part that takes more thinking in order to choose is where do we want to move it to?


It must be pretty clear by now that blaming others and dumping on our loved ones, friends, co-workers, or even more removed people, like politicians, professionals and more is not exactly bringing us so much happiness. It seems to just go around and around, doesn’t it?


So we want to move out our negative content AND be happy. That adds information!!


The beauty of Torah is that happiness is the experience of the soul when doing mitzvahs, learning, or emulating Hashem’s attributes of mercy. We may not feel happy doing this service, but it is a spiritual reality. Starting with a grain of truth helps because we definitely like to feel happy.


Accepting that truth, there is another truth to know along with it. We experience natural reality that is under the dominion of the sitra achra, the other side, which is a nice way of saying the yetzer hara. The Soton has dominion over the natural world because our test is contained in our approach to the natural world.


When we experience a negative charge, where is its power coming from? Why does it feel so overwhelming as to drive a person to pull the covers over their head? Or get angry? There is nothing in the room with us! A thought has the power to level us? Is it plugged into the wall? If we perceive that it is a thought and an emotion that we are dealing with, then we begin to understand we are experiencing a discrepancy between the tzelem elokim that is happy serving Hashem and the part of us that is natural, which would like to dominate our heart.


Now here comes a helpful tip. The energy driving the natural comes ALSO from Hashem, only it is enclothed in the natural. And because we know that everything Hashem sends is good, even though it is presenting in a confusing and painful presentation, if we remember to rise to a simple level of emunah, we can recycle the energy being delivered through the natural and bring it through us in a way that reveals Hashem’s Glory.


“Hashem! I am experiencing a great deal of energy that is unpleasant but I know it contains the Shechina! I love Hashem and I have awe of Hashem that He creates a world where He gives Nishmas Am Yisrael happiness for serving Him by connecting! Please I ask that You move that energy from this upsetting place and instead give that energy into my free will to instead emulate You. Please lead me in the path that I wish to go and flow naturally through my heart Your attributes to tolerate insult, overlook faults, bear confusion of mind, forgive, and cast sins into the sea”


Try it.   The initial feeling of calmness is an indication that there has been a shift. What may happen is that there will be opportunities where it will feel that we have more choice, instead of being reactive, that opportunity to put our newly acquired awareness will lead to a new pattern of behavior and reacting.


We cannot do anything without Hashem ever, least of all take on the natural world. But Hashem is the Source for everything and with that emunah, and with free will, and with understanding that we are here to recycle the animating force from nature to reveal His Glory, we have a starting place to talk to Hashem.

Negotiating the paradox of soul and body – Tomer Devorah Hisbodidus Cards can help

When we believe illusions that cause us to invest our happiness in matters that relate to our survival, the level of comfort, the feelings of esteem based on status and honor, without intending to do so, we are investing in the strength of nature, in the powers of worldly reality. It is imperative to remember at all times that Hashem is the Source for absolutely everything, including giving us happiness on the level that we relate to it most.  The paradox is that to secure the level of happiness through our senses, our comprehension must be that the only happiness there is comes from serving Hashem and doing mitzvahs.   If we did not have a Torah, we would never latch onto that truth.  But we do have the Torah. Ignoring it or interpreting it otherwise aligns us in a dangerous place, the domain of the forces that Hashem sets up to shepherd us back.

The simple teshuva to turn back to Hashem is to remember that we were once in a womb where all our needs were taken care of and we were learning Torah.  As soon as we are born, we come into a lower existence and the purpose is to acquire for Hashem the animating forces of this world, bringing into them His Glory through our intentions, emotions and deeds that are rooted in Torah.

Despite all our varying personalities and uniquenesses, everyone is expected to do this.  When we feel negative emotions it is because our ego is undergoing a disunity.  No matter how upset we are, if we go into a quiet room and sit with a delicious drink, and no one is around at all to blame, it must become obvious that we are not in any immediate danger of dying if we let go of that negative feeling.  Not only won’t harm come to us, but we will receive bracha.

What is in the way is our identity. It is so painful to do this if we are identifying with anything other than our effort to reveal tzelem elokim.

Hashem is One.  He is the Soul and Value in the world.  Tzelem elokim is inseparable from Him.  We have layers over it in order to exist in this lower world.  The task is to recognize and identify tzelem elokim as our primary and eternal identity even though we don’t experience life this way.  Torah tells us.  We have the examples of the Avos and tzaddikim. It is okay for us to understand we are not on that level.  It is false to think that there is another esteem out there to be had that is deserving of honor and respect.

Thus it is up to us, no matter what bad characteristics and/or horrible circumstances Hashem has created for us in setting our free will point, to move in our thoughts to remembering that we are inseparable from Hashem.  The soul is the deepest thing in the universe and it connects all the way to the soul of Nishmas Am Yisrael which exists in the highest created world where all Jewish souls are one, where that one soul is one with Torah and with Hashem’s Name yud k vav k.  What our reality is can be affected by Hashem in one moment.  If it is good for us.


Let’s say we believe and do mitzvahs, and things are not better. What is our true preference, for the good of this world or for feeling inseparable from Hashem?

“When He is far, I am troubled. But when He is near, I am terrified. When I am absent, He is present.  But when I am present He is absent” ( unknown source)

Integrated knowledge of Hashem means that He can reside in our hearts without giving us a headache!  If He is present and we choose to be inflated in our self-referencing, He departs until we are able to subdue the animating forces from the kelipas by asking Him to please bring them into service.   Understanding that the experience of His Great Love is so far above the happiness that we are usually associated to is the beginning of grinding down the pride in our heart for doing our mitzvahs and serving Him.  The experience of His Love is the most motivating experience to humble our hearts.  Yet until we experience a taste of  His Great Love, we cling to self-referencing pleasures related to time, space, body and ego.  Without meaning to, we fund forces to shepherd us back to Him.  We don’t mean to, but by allowing happiness to be held captive by externalities, we trap the Shechina that we are sent here instead to dissolve back into the Ein Sof and draw into the elements to solidify His Glory in this world.  This is our functionality, to be the neck between earth and heaven.  Happiness will elude us and blame and shame won’t help.  Happiness was, is, and always must be  a byproduct of mitzvahs and experiencing the inseparabilitiy of our tzelem elokim with Hashem.  It is just so confusing now because of having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – internally we mistake where happiness is rooted.


But we can pull all this back by identifying with our effort to reveal tzelem elokim, His Attributes of Mercy.  the more vibration we create each day around our effort to reveal His attributes of mercy, the less difficulty we have with the paradox of body and soul.  and the more courage we have to dip into the territory of nature to dissolve back into the Ein Sof the animating forces by virtue of our verbalizing in prayers and words of recognition that it is all from Hashem Who is Good and One.  Each word brings all our past failures from the side of darkness to the side of holiness, for that is teshuva.


May we be inspired to shift our identity to effort to reveal Hashem’s mercy, revealing tzelem elokim as discussed in Tomer Devorah:

tolerating insults

overlooking faults

bearing the burden of the confusion of mind that is the paradox since ingesting from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

asking for forgiveness for ever thinking there is any glory other than Hashem

asking Hashem to bring the animating forces from fears of abandonment and annihilation to dissolve back into the Ein Sof and to give us in our hearts that energy to reveal His Glory in this world

Ask for our sins to be cast into the sea and ask to be part of casting all our sins into the sea, that by virtue of this teshuva we have standing to clean up these errors for klal yisrael .


Tomer Devora with Hisbodidus Suggestions for Internalizing



Emulating the avos – water, fire, wind and earth – a personal relationship with Hashem inspired by the Chariot

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.

Hating hatred brings us closer to receiving a free gift of love from Hashem’s highest world

Ultimately it is the self-referencing within us that provides our natural motivations – we scan to see what is good in our eyes, what is consistent with our goals, if it is in line with benefit and perceived good for us.   What could be more natural? Our executive functioning is able to organize steps in order to proceed in securing our dependency needs and ego-based desires and goals. It could even be said that we reach our spiritual goals to a certain degree in this manner. Yet at some point, we come to challenge where we have to choose between the spiritual attainments and our life pattern that may not yet have pierced through to a higher understanding of esteem and identity.


Imagine receiving a gift of kavana and excellent davening. It is a connection truly to Hashem, something above us. As we end our davening, we may feel proud of ourselves, complimenting ourselves. What is the matter with that, if anything?


Ultimately that pride in ourselves needs to be ground down so that its components are properly understood. There is no glory other than Hashem. What that means is that even the proud feeling we have, even that pleasure, is because Hashem permits Himself to remain trapped in the illusion we have that we have some kind of independent separate existence. While it serves a useful purpose in keeping us motivated, eventually, if we truly wish to draw close to truth and to the highest pleasure we can experience, our hearts need to submit to the truth that while we experience pleasure, it is completely and only because there is nothing but the Glory of Hashem in all the world and that moment of pride is a fall from our davening, not a greater pleasure as it seems because it is a nearer and more familiar and available prideful pleasure. This takes grinding at defining ourselves from a place that is natural, our ego, to a place that is transcendant, our tzelem elokim, which is inseparable from Hashem.


To begin a journey toward internalizing this and grinding our egos down means we see an infinite path of growth above the plane of time and space, a broader playing field where we can strive toward holiness. The journey is one of bitul, of nullification of the sense of ego and self-referencing for the purpose of becoming vessels to reveal Hashem.


In davening we say Hashem of Avraham, Hashem of Yitzchok and Hashem of Yaakov. Rabbi Tatz explains that through the tests of our forefathers, because they rose to levels of holiness, their lives revealed Hashem’s Hand. Thus they are called in conjunction with Hashem’s Name. This was Dovid’s question to Hashem, why is it not the Hashem of Dovid too? He is also on the Chariot. Hashem told Dovid it is because he was not tested and Dovid asked for the test and immediately had the test of Batsheva and failed. That wanting to be referred to in conjunction with Hashem’s Name represented a drop of ego, of self-referencing, that on Dovid’s level was harmful. If we reflect back to Adom, he too had a sense of self-referencing, in his desire to reveal Hashem’s Glory, that led to ingesting from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil from which confusion we suffer today. To truly attain the level of malchus, a level reached by Moshe Rebbeinu on the highest level, these examples are taken into our hearts.


It is up to us to comprehend these stories because the set of generations before Moshiach must bring us out of arrogance and the shaar nun to which it is said we will fall, if we have not already. Thus grinding down even our powerful feelings of pride is something to comprehend as a goal – NO PRESSURE!!! Even bringing this idea to mind is something that will begin to orient us toward the task. May Hashem help us achieve even a small fraction toward this end!! And may the light we create bring a new light speedily.

Hating hatred takes place on a playing field of expanded consciousness

The playing field for hating hatred is overseen by Hashem Who calls foul every goal other than those reached by the nefesh Elokus, the tzelem elokim alone, to serve Him, Every goal becomes one where the tzelem elokim succeeds in prevailing over the nefesh behama, the natural soul. It is a constant struggle. In one second, the natural soul can flip into action. We need good awareness of our entire being, our natural inclinations, our ego, an understanding of how the yetzer hara can dominate through our subconscious, Torah, commitment and kavana for avoda in tefillos and mitzvahs and acts of kindness. What will change our hearts? How will we grow to find happiness from serving Torah when our happiness appears to be tied far more closely to comfort, safety, and enjoyment of health and living?


Most important is to realize that finding happiness in serving Hashem is the best investment of our trust and energy. We along with everyone and everything we enjoy and love comes from One Source. Only Hashem. There is no other Source. It is incredible to contemplate how many layers of the world there are and yet what we are experiencing here on the ground floor, with all its wonder and appearance of separate existence, is something that by our choosing to serve Hashem we infuse and solidify, filling it with His Glory. Hashem thinks up the world and speaks it into existence and through our following Torah, our choices permit the flow needed for His Glory to be visible. How? When we rise above our challenges, and others see it, we are showing people His Hand. Should we succumb to the natural, the cynical, the hateful, the doubting and behave from there, we cover up Hashem’s ability to be seen and cause damage, chas v’shalom.


Hating hatred means we accept a playing field where joy and happiness are due to the tzelem elokim prevailing in our choices and being revealed in our actions and speech and deeds. The love of Hashem and awe of Hashem that helps us to accept that playing field soon begins to flow through our hearts more naturally, because we become aware of the greater quality and availability and control we have over that pleasure.


May the light we shine help us to reveal Hashem’s Glory and may we be zocheh to redemption b’ahava.