Parsha Vayeitzei Yalkut Maamarei Emunah by Rabbi Gedalia Segal from Reb Asher Freund

Parsha Vayeitzei

Righteous Individual is the foundation of the world

Yaakov left Beer Sheva.  Rashi asks why does he say he left Beer Sheva and not went to Haran.  The reason is that when a righteous person leaves, it makes a commotion and everyone is talking about it.  Who did it really affect in Beer Sheva, were there Jewish people there who would feel the lack, that this righteous individual who left, did it impact on all the people in the Yeshivas in those days?  What was the impact of Yaakov’s leaving gentiles who worshipped idols?  What impact did it have that he left Beer Sheva and what did they lack when he left?

It also says he took the stones from the place and put it under his head and the stones fought and wanted the tzaddik to put his head on it. Hashem merged them into one stone.  What affect did it have for a stone that a righteous individual should put his head on the stone, what was it lacking.

A righteous individual is the foundation of the world. The world is created for a righteous individual.  He has the power to split rocks and even the animals in the forest fear a righteous person.

The people in Beer Sheva did not know how to value a righteous individual but when he left, they recognized that a righteous individual left and the beauty and the whole appearance of the city was not the same.  They felt the air was very heavy.  They felt like the holiness that was dwelling in the city was lacking. Even the rocks felt the soul of the righteous individual.  They felt when he left that the beauty and the absence of the appearance of the city was not the same, like a metal enveloped the city, and there was a heavy emptiness.  Even the stones felt that the soul of this righteous individual that is the foundation of the world, they also wanted the head of this righteous individual should be resting on them to give merit to their existence.  A person who has the image of Hashem on his face, the nations of the world will bow.  It says Your fear are on the animals of the world, the birds in the sky, the things that grow and even the rocks, everything is humbled in front of a person that has the image of the creator on his face.

Torah

Yaakov Aveinu went out of Beer Sheva and he went in the ways of the world and he knew that the Jewish nation would come from him and he had a fear that maybe he would get lost and mixed with other people that are lost. Until now he was sitting in the tents of Torah learning day and night and in the shadow of his father and mother and enveloped in holiness and purity and this way he was able to be much more pure than Esav, who was in evil ways.  But now, he is going out to the big world and it is full of idols and how could he withstand when the Soton is there and is trying to make him fall. 

He came to the idea that only Torah…it wasn’t enough the Torah that he learned until now.  He went to the Yeshiva of Shem B’ever and there he sat on the benches and learned Torah day and night.  He did not go to sleep at all, except for a few minutes. He pushed the sleep from his eyes and learn again.  For 14 years.  And then he went to Charan to establish his mission.

What shall we say now in our generation?  We have to learn from Yaakov that all we have to protect us is the Torah.  That is what we can learn, how important it is to get as much Torah as we can before we deal with the challenges of the world.

Hashem should be my Gd

A person should always ask that Hashem is with us, that if Hashem is with us we can withstand anything.  We don’t have the power to save ourselves.  When a person realizes we are nothing and cannot save ourselves from any mishaps or sins unless Hashem helps us and he realizes that Hashem’s soul is within us – this is what Yaakov realized.  That he cannot save himself. He saw Esav was trying to kill him and he ran away and then he saw from the yetzer hara there is no safe place.  From Esav he could run away but from the evil inclination there is no place to run because it comes with us.  That is why he davened.  I will return in peace to my father’s house. Rashi says he said it means he prayed to be free of sin and  if I can be free from sin that I did not learn from Lavan then I can say that it was because Hashem was with me. One person used to praise himself that he had a great wealth of gold that his uncle bequeathed him from Africa, on a high mountain.  So someone said you fool why are you praising yourself, this treasure is so far away it is not in your hand and what is it going to do for you?  So too if a person brings enthusiasm that he believes in the Creator, is He up in the heavens or is He in your heart.  Hashem has to be inside my heart.  When Yisroel Salanter said Shema, he saw that a person can really make Hashem the  king over the seven heavens and the four corners of the world.  No one thinks Hashem should be king on the small part in his heart.  Only that Hashem is in our heart was Yaakov able to overcome the challenge with Lavan, to be complete in his emunah and be pure and only with this could he establish the tribes of the Jewish nation and make a foundation for a holy nation.  We have to appeal to Hashem that He should watch us because He is within every person and we have to ask His Help to be free of sin.  That is what it means he asked Hashem to be my Gd, and if I am successful then I know you are with me because otherwise I could not stand it.

When we teach our children

A person has to try very hard when he teaches his children, he has to know that he has to pray that his children are successful in Torah.  Even before they come to the age where he actually teaches them, but also to watch the children from bad friends.  Bad friends can cause a weakness in emunah and keeping the mitzvahs.  Yaakov tried to establish the Jewish people to stay away from worshipping idols.  He purifies himself at Shem B’ever for 14 years.  That is a great foundation to be able to establish a holy nation.  Then when he leaves the beis medrash, he goes with prayer, that there should not be in his children any impurities, that they should be all holy.  That the holy divine presence should be with him.  After he learns Torah and davens, then he goes to bais Lavan, but who is going to protect them from Lavan?  He tried to keep away from developing a close relationship with Lavan, that he shouldn’t inspire his children to do the wrong thing.  He didn’t want Lavan to say you are my flesh and blood and so he tried to make a separation from him.  Even though he worked very hard with parnassa with the sheep, he tried to keep his children separate, that they should not be affected or get close to Lavan.  He made a distance between them and Lavan.  Three things, Torah as a foundation, prayer, and to stay away from bad influences.

Nature of someone who tries to fool people, dishonest, deceivers

Someone who is deceptive thinks that he is really fooling everyone else. He has one thing in his heart and mouth and they are not equal.  Someone who recognizes that he speaks evil and does evil, there is still hope for him that he might do teshuva. But someone who is deceptive is in a trap because he can’t really see himself, he doesn’t recognize he is doing something wrong.  So Lavan made Yaakov work so hard for Rochel and he gives him Leah, and Yaakov says you fooled me and Lavan says we give the older first, he doesn’t even recognize he did something wrong.  When Lavan told Yaakov Hashem blessed me because of you Lavan should have blessed him and sent him with great honor but that is not the way of someone deceptive, he tries to fool him more, not to send him with what is coming to him.  He fools himself and even his children recognized that he was treating them like strangers and not like children. The daughters did not want to recognize him as their father.  Bilaam was the grandson of Lavan and he also was in the same way  of deception.  He blesses Klal Yisrael with his mouth but curses with his heart.  Hashem changed it to blessing. That is the way of someone deceptive.  You should not want anything good from him.  That is the way to deal with someone deceptive.  You can’t have a relationship with such a person. 

Faith of Yaakov Aveinu

Yaakov says to Lavan that he does not want Lavan to give him anything. He worked very hard the whole day and night and did not sleep and he did not want wages.  He just wants to get from the hands of Hashem.  Like Noach said, like the dove said in the teiva, my food should be bitter from the hands of Hashem and not sweet from the hands of people   Because of this, the flocks of Yaakov grew greater.  People don’t think like this.  They think a person who is successful does it and someone who is not successful is a shlemazel who can’t do anything right.  When the children of Lavan saw that Yaakov was successful they said he took whatever was our father’s.  WE see the bitachon of Yaakov and Lavan.  Yaakov ran away and Lavan wanted to get him.  Why was it that Lavan could not catch up with him?  When Eliezer went to get Rivka the way got shorter.  Hashem wanted to show Yaakov that Lavan could not do anything to him.  Everything that is the good of evil people is bad by tsaddikim.  Only believe in Hashem that He is the one giving.  Anything coming from bad people is bad.  How could anything good happen unless it is from Hashem?  Hashem is giving it, not anyone else.

This is the bitachon that Yaakov had and this is the way we should all see.  It is not from our own creativity or wisdom, it is from what people don’t have, that Hashem did not want them to have it.

Prayer of Yaakov in the house of Lavan

We ask Hashem to save us from a bad friend or neighbor. Bad affects a person.  It could be that a person gets inspired by an evil person and his goodness turns over to evil.   A person has to run away from getting close to evil. What happens if a person is living in a place where there is evil?  What should he do to be saved? Thank Hashem for his soul, that he should be pure.  Yaakov Aveinu was by Lavan and had to raise his children and could not leave but as soon as he heard from the Melech of Hashem to leave, he left as soon as he could that minute.  It says Yaakov did not sleep all the years in the house of Lavan.  Is it possible for someone in the house of robbers to leave?  Every minute he was waiting to leave there. He was afraid Lavan would influence his children who were to be the holy nation of Israel. How could he sleep?  He said 15 shir hamalos that they said in the hall of the bais hamikdosh that the angels were singing and they saved his children from Lavan’s influence.  He sang Hashem save my soul from the lips of deception and lies, that through these influences of Lavan.  Hashem I should please leave as I came, with the Gd of my father, for without that I would leave with an empty defective soul.  That is the prayer Yaakov prayed all the time, to leave in peace with his household. He was so afraid to be influenced by Lavan.

Living by the way of Torah

The way to live a Torah life is to keep the mitzvahs and stay away from aveiras.  Do what Torah tells us and don’t do what is forbidden for then a Jew is not a Jew.  That is still not enough for a life of Torah.  It means that every corner of a person’s life, a person has to search for the light of Torah to light it up.  How can you explain it?  Let’s say every behavior we find, it has to have a root in the Torah.  Rabbi Akiva said he likes these people that when they make a decision they go out into the field. This way when they are talking about an issue, the people who don’t need to hear it don’t hear it because only those people in the field hear it and are involved but no one else does.  We can see this is a good idea, what Rabbi Akiva said, but later on, how is this possible that this is a good behavior if it is not in the Torah?  We have to find it in the Torah.  That is the only way we know it is good.  So in the Torah it says Yaakov called Rochel and Leah to the field.  Yaakov convened with Rochel and Leah and told him he is leaving bais Lavan .  He went to the field so Lavan’s sons would not know about it and try to stop it.  So now we see that this type of behavior is brought down in the Torah and we know this is a good way to behave.  Rabbi Akiva’s intent is that to live a life of Torah is that anything big or small we have to find it is brought down by the Torah.  Sometimes we think this is a good way but if we don’t find a proof in the Torah it is nothing for us. The Torah is our lifeline, our instruction booklet, in every behavior that we do we should find a source for it in the Torah.  It is everything. If we don’t find a source in the Torah we cannot say it is a good behavior.

Pure faith

The ideal of faith is only for the Jewish Nation.  The gentiles believe in Gd but they don’t really know the same belief.  They think the people in the land can do what they want to do, one is above and the other below.  Lavan said it is possible for me to harm, you, I have the power and ability in my hand but Hashem told me not to do good or bad.  But the Jewish people say we are dust and ashes, nothing, a worm and not a man.  That is faith in Hashem.  The true faith is that there is nothing in the world other than Hashem and no place is empty of Him, the spirit of Hashem is in every person and thing, there is only hashem in the world. That faith is the faith of the Jewish people.  Great people of the nation of Israel say we are dust and ashes.  Hashem’s spirit is in us.

Rabbi Menussi on Parsha Vayeitzei – we can learn to overcome inner obstacles and Rabbi Biderman on Hashem answering prayers

When Yaakov overcomes his inner obstacles he becomes Yisroel. We can learn to do this from the parsha
parsha veyeitzei leah cries and prays and marries yaakov before rochel does – Hashem answers prayers from the heart

Have you ever taken a medical scan for a baseline? What is the normal?

Our emotions flow through us from our reactions and our perceptions and our wiring as physical beings attached to nature as well as spiritual emanations from Hashem. Torah teaches us that all there is in the world is Hashem Who is doing everything, Who is thinking up each of us as well as every atom. He is good and only good. Chesed is the baseline of the world Yet we have the difficulties set before us that do not naturally feel like pure chesed even though we trust that they are for our ultimate good.

Emunah is a power in our soul that must be developed. It grows from our effortful prayer. Our brain structure, run by chemicals, reveals the nature of what we experience and why. However we have a mind that is from a soul that is NOT run by chemicals and with our mind, we can grow through emunah to have the stamina to withstand the impulses, urges and lusts of our natural existence and bring them forward into the world as Torah learning, prayer, mitzvahs and chesed..

In Rabbi Yaakov Zalman Labinsky’s 39 Melachos of Shabbos Chabura this week, he explains taanug, pleasure, and how it differs from self-gratification, and shows us how Shabbos itself teaches us that the true pleasure in life comes from the will and emunah we effortfully apply to bring them forward into the world as Torah learning, prayer, mitzvahs and chesed. Here are the notes.

How can we comprehend the flow of chesed and the counterforces in the spiritual realms when we are limited and mortal?

There are seven shepherds corresponding to the forces of the soul that emanates from Hashem. Understanding these forces and the shepherds can help us do battle with the counterforce Hashem designs for us to absorb back to Him, counterforce that latches onto the pure forces as they flow into this world. The soul of Knesset Yisrael is designed by Hashem to draw back to Him the force in the counterforce so that His Chesed is unified and may flow into the world.

When we are cleaning for Passover, we are searching out chometz. For Passover we only eat matzah. And then we work on our inner characteristics for 49 days to unify and purify our mind and heart in avodas Hashem.

Rabbi Genuth in Faith and Confidence (http://patreon.com/mgenuth) explains that when we are very young, if we are not related to in a healthy way, what solidifies in us is a negative being. Our natural environment is set early in life, however, with Torah understanding of this backdrop to our lives, the impact of that environment can change by our recognizing that it is our life force and no other power that has become the strength there and that we have real free will and the power of prayer to ask Hashem for mercy, that our life force – the Shechina in exile – flow into mitzvahs and chesed.

Yes, our hearts ache with each round of inner shame or blame we anticipate or react with. Yes, we project this everywhere because it is part of our natural first reactions. But no, it is not impenetrable or fixed forever. Prayer and beseeching for mercy honor Hashem by recognizing that He is One and that we know He is giving us opportunity to unify with Him and with entire world through this challenge.

Here is a clip from Rabbi Biderman regarding Leah’s prayers to not marry Esav, a contract set between Lavan and Rivka when Rivka bore Esav and Yaakov and Lavan fathered Leah and Rachel.

And here is a shiur from Rabbi Nir Menussi on Parsha Vayeitzei audio only to help us trust that, indeed, our natural environment that feels powerful and like us can instead be absorbed back into Hashem’s flow of chesed. We can grow through emunah and Torah learning to understand how the opposing force has latched onto chesed and “hijacked” our identity for the goals of nature and for natural survival instincts and self-conscious gratifications. We have real free will and the power of prayer and the Torah to help us journey back, as did Yaakov. When Yaakov journeys back, and he overcomes his inner counterforce, the angel of Esav, he becomes Yisroel. This is our collective purpose and mission.

Hashem sends us seven shepherds to help us understand our emotions. Our emotions can become a channel, a bridge, across which the life force from the counterforce Hashem allows to latch onto His Chesed can be re-absorbed into pure chesed and revealed into the world.

Chesed is the spiritual baseline. It flows from Hashem without stopping. He creates four worlds and in each world He is more and more concealed. What this means is that the flow of the sefira are vulnerable to having the force within them diverted from reaching this world as pure chesed. This is Hashem’s design, His gift of real free will.

Ahava, represented by Avraham, love for Hashem that he reveals to the world as Hashem’s chesed.

Gevurah, represented by Yitzchok we are told is something that chesed must acquire in order for it to have boundaries. Unbounded Ahavas Hashem meets difficulties and Yitzchok, through awe of Hashem, brings a way for the flow of chesed from Hashem in Avraham’s ahavas Hashem to focus, in his marriage, with his sons. T

iferes, represented by Yaakov, brings compassion inwardly through bringing the force within his struggles with Esav into awe and love for Hashem.

Netzach, represented by Moshe Rebbeinu shows us endurance to walk with compassion, love and awe to serve Hashem.

Hod, represented by Aharon, is humility, nullification of self in favor of recognizing Hashem.

Yesod, represented by Yosef HaTzaddik, gathers the chesed that is the baseline from all of the above. As the leader of Mitzrayim, Yosef masters all of nature. He turns chometz back into matza by resisting Potifar’s wife and by rectifying his brothers. He brings chesed to its original form before being latched onto by otherness Hashem allows for free will to exist.

And Malchus, represented by Dovid HaMelech, is the doing of mitzvahs, prayer, learning Torah and bringing acts of kindness into the world as a being that is part of the whole, one with Hashem.

May we begin to comprehend that we simply do not have to believe the clouds of negative emotions that often sit on our hearts and over our heads. The force animating the messages is the focus of our emunah and our prayer, with trust that Hashem, in His Mercy, will draw it forth to Him and restore it through us into the world through our mitzvahs and prayers and acts of chesed.
Trust in this recognizes the reality of Hashem’s design, that we are, indeed, emanations, a part of Him, designed to do this. We are knesset yisrael, the luminary within the Jewish people, a people that provide a bridge and a channel through which, by Hashem’s design, flows His Infinite Light into the world through Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs.

12.2.19 – 39 Melachos Chabura from Rabbi Labinsky

12.2.19 39 Melachos from Rabbi Labinsky shiur only
12.2.19 39 Melachos from Rabbi Labinsky shiur only

Shabbos Chabura 4 Kislev Dec 2 2019  we are trying to acquire how the four elements of creation are embedded n the melachos of Shabbos as the basis for creating ourselves and revealing Hashem in this world.  Last week we spoke about being a receiver of the blessings to build ourselves as divine beings each week and then ask Hashem to fill our divine capacities up in a more complete way on Shabbos according to what we create during the week.

today we will talk about the taanug of Shabbos and it sounds deceptively simple so I am going to caveat this . things that look deceptively simple like still waters run deep, that is what taanug Shabbos is.  when we prepare for Shabbos, in anticipation for Shabbos, already waiting, so many days to go.  as we go into Shabbos there is also the taanug of Shabbos.  It means the light or ecstasy.

what oneg are we talking to, the simple taste of the food or the other kinds of pleasures?  what exactly is the oneg of Shabbos and how does it relate to the week and using the melachos

we will speak from reb weinberg who talked at length about two core principles and how it relates to the element of water.  Ultimately we are meant to be connoisseurs of pleasure.  it sounds new age, funky, connoisseurs of pleasure.  what is he saying?

He quotes the Ramchal in derech Hashem about Hashem’s ultimate platform for conducting Himself is tov umaitiv.  Hashem is the ultimate source of goodness and pleasure in this world and His bestowing that upon us is what we are meant to acquire.  the five levels of pleasure correspond to the five levels of sou.  physical, love, truth, creativity with an individualized mission and then love or devekus in Hashem.

It is true we want to receive the yoke of Hashem but it should not feel so heavy like an ox pulling a pack all day.  it should feel light, energized.  He is bringing this point to teach that we should focus on pleasure because Hashem’s reality is tov umaitiv, and if we dont focus on the joy then the fear can be burdensome.

the pleasure itself should be reinvested into the energy to perform the avoda in the maximum way.  Hashem creates all these amazing things for us acknowledge He is the Source and give it back.  we go to truth and higher mission and to devekus in Hashem.  Pleasure is not a sidebar thing we fit in when we can.  Pleasure itself is absolutely essential to avoda because the avoda of growing spiritually systematically nullifying our human limited existence and connecting to our divine being, we are transforming ourselves weekly.  that takes an enormous energy pack and is nuclear in the size of creation itself.  it is an exhausting process.  Hashem didn’t say have a little pleasure on the side. He says you will need all the energy and vitality necessary to be charged and therefore it is essential to serve Hashem with that.

Chaim Vital in Shaare Kedusha talks about the four elements and when he speaks of water…fire wind water earth,  water parallels the vav. on the side of not good, the middos ra are the taivas hataanugim, the desires that are on the midda ra side, the not good side of water.  we just said pleasure is so important so central to serve Hashem, what is wrong with some desires, it is all good isn’t it?  Chaim Vital says it is but there is the side of holiness and purity and the side of tuma on each element.  on water it is the taivas hataanug, lusting after the pleasure as opposed to going after the pleasure itself.  what is the difference?

feel yourself, the self, in a limited way, connected and interconnected to creation in which you have a role in and tie it back to Hashem. that is taanug. Hashem puts the reality of pleasure versus limited bodily experience in front of us at all times.  we can’t live without pleasure because otherwise we are unmotivated, bored, apathetic because we are hardwired for pleasure. but in the body form of pleasure it is immediate gratification versus long term. it is ultimately counterfeit because it is self serving versus serving Hashem and reinforces the separation between Hashem and us.  taanug unifies us to Him an to pleasure.

come Shabbos, we sample food before Shabbos.  the arizal tells us that all the worlds ascend upwards three levels on Shabbos, including this world, all ascend up to the source point and when we see everything back to its source, that is called hishkasrus and then it is inter-included and bound up and that is the pleasure of Shabbos.  comes the mitzvah of enjoying physical things, we say there is no reality of physicality. it is an expression of Hashem’s creation and our place in it and our avoda is to give back creation to Him.  unveil it.  we have a part of that, in our toiling.  that is the taanug of Shabbos.  this is the important mitzvah of intimacy because when opposites come together and join and unify it is an expression of oneg, the ultimate feeling of arriving, where everything joins in sublime bliss . that is the extra layer of soul, telling us that when our radar, our spiritual senses, are up, we get a taste of the next world and we will perceive taanug.  it is divine delight of the soul perceiving the interconnectedness and unified reality and our place in it tied back to the week.

Understand that taanug itself is the very basis of what Rabbi Weinberg is telling us. it is not about life being a party, although it is.  it is about Hashem’s essence is good and He is the bestower of blessing, the potential and the revealed. the more we see everything connecting back to Him, we know His reality in this world, we know our place and our own mission in this world.

how do we get there, to what Rabbi Weinberg and Chaim vital are saying.  we want to choose between taanug divine pleasure and bodily temptations. 

to the extent to which we live a mortal physical self serving existence during the week, Shabbos will reflect the human earthly physical existence and we naturalize Shabbos . but to the extent we subjugate the ego willfully giving up our perceived senses of separateness which physical pleasure is, then we come to see our soulful existence and we come to see the soul pleasure and we are excited when things come together, when things interrelate there is a wonderful surge that does not have a tangible quality.  the fifth level of pleasure is feeling connected to Hashem, the joining together.  it is a beautiful friendship.  when you experience the sense of emes, as inherently truthful, we fundamentally are saying this is Hashem’s creation and my soul was touched by that truth and everything is interconnected and it is all part of His oneness.  when I affect others, wow it is Hashem’s world . when we make kiddush and daven and learn and do mitzvahs of Shabbos and we let go of all the toiling and doing and becoming and turn our identity back to Hashem and say Hashem I am nothing I have nothing but You.  there is no separate existence. every part of my life and everything I own in the world is only an expression and manifestation of You that I am to reveal and the bliss I feel on Shabbos is the pleasure of this oneness.  what an incredibly beautiful experience.

reflect on this on Shabbos. 

the key is to willfully and systematically want to limit human experience and nullify ego and this is anything but easy.  when we nullify part of our ego in fire wind water and earth, we are nullifying the middos and the part of our identity, in this case pleasure.  if we have pleasure for its own sake and reinforces me, the gratification of self. why would I want to reinforce what veils me from Hashem. I want to willfully give up parts of myself and even my pleasures, I am meant to have as taanug, the oneg is the basis to feel that surge in the soul, to feel the excitement of the interconnecting, the soul is touching taanug during the week then it will be more on Shabbos.  that ultimately what the aspect of taanug and kavod are on Shabbos.  taanug Shabbos kodesh. the pleasure of knowing Hashem’s creation and the unity of it and how it relates to each other.  we have a wonderful week shvitzing and systematically diminishing the ego done through pleasure because when we diminish the selfhood we are removing the veil of nature we are removing the natural elements.  we are removing the water element and reappropriating it back to the soul knowing Hashem wants to give us good in the ultimate sense and to give it back into a mitzvah, the ultimate end goal, the world.

practically, what are some of the things we can do?  the water is the element of vitality and nourishment, excitement and passion.  Yaakov and Yitzchok dig the wells ,  the maayim, the wells, there are a lot of deep connections.  Practically how do we embrace and embody the pleasure components of our lives.  Hashem we want Your pleasure but I don’t want it to be bodily pleasure. I want it to be oneg, delight in Your ultimate reality

what to stay away from…be careful of our taivas our own temptations and lustful pursuits whether eating, relations and intimacy, money and sleep.  what are your desires and systematically use free will to reconstruct taiva into taanug.  that is one area to consider.  another area is the basis of touch itself. The power of touch is so powerful. it joins people together in exquisite ways. to the extent we give our touch away to others, we are giving part of our soul away to someone else. shomer nogea is protective.  the sefer yetzira and arizal in eitz chaim, taanug and oneg, the letters are ayin nun gimel for oneg turned around is negia touch.  it is also blemish, like on the skin or house that have to do with nega.  it is the flip of oneg.  when you touch someone for your own sake and it benefits you for your own sake and it is not tied to connecting yourself to the right people for the right reasons, if you are not shomer your nogea you can’t be shomer your oneg.  we protect nogea and protect the oneg. that is where the divine connection comes from.  Hashem is giving us all the halachas to see the pitfalls where we give away our oneg and draw in inappropriate touch and that is part of the counterfeit part of pleasure,  you are touched by that thing in a way that is now biased. when we are touched inappropriately we cannot truly see the oneg.  we can talk about the laws of yechud of men and women being together.  there is a perceived sense of togetherness that is the basis of intimacy,  but even during the month when nidda, there is a mitzvah of yechud, that we are continuously connected to the spouse whether connected or not. we are never fully detached.  that is built in. there is always some degree of togetherness.  if the six constant mitzvahs are connection to Hashem, to always be connected we have to have the same with our spouse. that is a tremendous pleasure of oneg, a positive expression. 

oneg Shabbos, it is important to take tremendous pleasure in Shabbos. not just body pleasure. we want to trade it up to soul delight, to listen to the inner voice of the soul that says I want to see HKB, to see every part of Hs World and be enraptured by His creation. I exist and have existence and I have a unique role that I toil in to reveal that. when I let go of my creative capacity and give that to Him for the fortieth, then the pleasure on Shabbos is the ultimate pleasure, all the levels of pleasure, the levels of the soul uniting with Hashem and our fellow Jews and our selves.  may we live with ultimate delight in knowing Hashem and his ways in this world. we want to be a connoisseur, to delight in pleasure, in Hashem’s world it is all light and all a delight.

What does showering compassion on the Shechina in exile mean as part of run and return?

The potency of ratzo v’shov run and return, is our recognizing Hashem and our showering of compassion upon the Shechina in exile, not wanting the life force that naturally attached to falsehood to remain in darkness.

What does showering compassion on the Shechina in exile mean and how do we do it?

When we are in the seething waters, all we feel like is running for shelter, to get away, to fight, or to freeze in the fear.

By learning the look and feel of our natural reactions through hisbodidus, we begin to also experience the insights that result – the look and feel of being a beloved emanation of Hashem. Our Torah learning talks back to us, with examples from the avos and imahos, with the holiday cycle of the Jewish year.(see note on this below the line)

By facing our challenges knowing we are in the presence of Hashem who loves us and that the experience of our upper soul is one of pleasure from His Presence, we safely turn to the challenge and approach the task of exchanging our attachment to false beliefs for attachment to Hashem and truth. Basically, we are wlling for the false fire to flow out of the challenge and into an expression of Hashem’s kindness. A false fire develops naturally because of the way people naturally attach to life itself. It is all by design, so there is no blame or shame! We are only on a loving journey and have been given the Torah to acquire a deeper understanding of the purpose and reason for which Hashem creates us. We are built to face our challenges and withstand the natural pulls upon us.

It takes emunah that Hashem is the Source of everything and that He is doing everything and loves us.

It takes trust that our soul that is above our body (chaya and yechida) is experiencing the pleasure of connection through emunah to Hashem.

It takes the trust that our soul is an emanation from Hashem without stopping that He designs to flow compassion into this world, a soul He designs and through which He will do the heavy lifting of powerful sparks that have fallen into a created world.

We have no independent existence. He is thinking everything in His Mind. His Thoughts are not like our thoughts.

With the above active awe in Hashem and with trust in how Hashem has designed Knesset Yisrael. and with love for Hashem for the very life force that is sustaining us in every moment, we realize that we have the “wings” that provide us with access to where chesed is stored and concealed in our integrated understanding, even when we are in the throws of fiery character traits that are hurtful and painful due to naturally developed attachments to this world. Do we see how awe in the design and love for Hashem place us into a perspective where we are now able to hold a duality, a paradox?

Our role is choice. To have experiential understanding that we have a choice is something that we build through emunah and trust that He is doing everything and loves us. From success after success in meriting His Mercy when these storms quiet and inner calm restored, the look and feel of the seething waters becomes somewhat less gripping, at least in potential.

We receive His Mercy when we recognize Him and walk with trust, love and awe back to Him, describing the winds and fires but refusing to fall into them, out of love for Hashem and not wanting our life force to attach to darkness and damages any more than it already is at this moment.

How do we refuse to fall into the messages and instead open a flow? Not by denying the feelings, but rather by facing them and feeling them without attaching thought speech or action to them, other than in hisbodidus asking for Divine mercy.

Hold the look and feel of the force in the painful message in the mind, like in a loving chamber that surrounds it.This force is animating our unique root attachment to inherently false beliefs, false only because they were formed at the initial stages of life,before we could grasp who is Hashem. Breathe and recognize the force is life force and thereby, since there is no other Power, it is Shechina in exile that feels like us, alive. Hold the force in mind, stay steady, identifying how it got there but without falling into believing its message, breathing.

Say out loud, there is no other Power. Feel the amazing opportunity to ask Hashem to have mercy and to restore this life force to an avodas Hashem that brings it into this world with a feeling of joy.

Confess. This honors Hashem, for we are creations and we are acknowledging we have no independent existence and know it. We declare we do not want the life force He is giving to us to be in that dark place and we are responsible for it being there due to naivety as youths and mistakes along the way up until now.

And now come the amazing steps for which we are designed.

With awe that there is no other Power and with love for Hashem knowing we are emanations of His Love experiencing that love at this very moment, we exercise real free will and we identify as an emanation made in His Image (an emanation that at the levels of soul above nature is experiencing the pleasure of basking in the emunah that our soul is receiving, even if we do not actively feel it). We have trust that this is so. This is emunah. Focus love and compassion from this understanding (daas) onto the force animating the painful message that is in our mind’s eye.

Stored somewhere in the experiential understanding that is our painful message and challenge is chesed from Hashem, concealed as Elokim, animating something false, and that awareness alone expands our understanding in the painful place we stand.

Something opens up.

We ask for His Mercy. The nefesh elokis He designs is built to draw forth the chesed concealed in Elokim. He does this. We submit to it.

Like a faucet of water, the love and chesed from above nature is there for us to ask Hashem to flow into the darkness and heal the pain of what we are describing. And we describe what we are experiencing – not to swim in the seething waters, whining and complaining –but out of recognition of an error that we wish to do teshuva on, because our life force is attached to naturally developed false beliefs. No blame or shame. This is the design. Have awe at how this natural environment was set within us just to give us real free will.

We itemize the false beliefs we are attachedto. We feel them and open our hearts and ask for His Mercy, that the pleasure of the soul basking in the joy of emunah flow to these places in our hearts and bring back to Him the trapped power of our life force and attach to Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs instead. We ask that this part of our life force be the intention for our avodas Hashem, that we may feel alive and joyful with avodas Hashem with it restored to its true state, compassion…

We shower compassion upon the Shechina in exile. “Hashem I do not want the precious life force You bless me with to be in this darkness. Please I wish only for the life force You bless me with that is made in Your Image, compassionate, chesed, to please flow into the world through the mitzvah that I am moving forward to do…”

We continue to focus compassion connecting this place of attachment within us with awareness that we are attached to Hashem as an emanation. We hold in our mind the true reality of His Love and that He is doing everything. We remember deeply that we have no independent existence. That means He is giving us this opportunity and that it is a choice for us to make, to cling and attach to the design of Knesset Yisrael to flow this power back to Him.

Something begins to move together in our mind. Hold steady. We are holding together the paradox and awaiting the life force from the pain, that power, to be drawn forth to its Source and given back to us through our intention to do a mitzvah and moving to do it.

We are helpless and we have no control. We will for this and we have intention to do a mitzvah and we move to do that mitzvah.

Hashem runs everything according to the spiritual structures, the sefiros. Listen here to Rav Dror explain more about the spiritual structures. His description is empowering for all of us. And listen here to Rabbi Mendel Kessin explain how Hashem is existence itself, ein od milvado. When we recognize Him, hold steady with awe in how He has designed Knesset Yisrael and built into our soul the way for it to channel His Infinite light back to Him, and we choose to identify as one with Him rather than with the false sensations of being seemingly here on our own, and we walk past our natural pulls, He has mercy upon us and brings us upwards from the seething waters and holds us close and restores our inner calm as we move forward with learning Torah, prayer, chesed and mitzvahs.

It is incumbent upon us to make an effort to really begin to feel how our inner peace is restored through avodas Hashem, that indeed when we bring the power we experience of our life force trapped in the seething waters forth into Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs, our vitality returns. This is the true Source of our vitality, for all there is in the world is Hashem. Without this awareness, we rely on balancing our emotions through the permitted activities for the animal soul.

This is what it means to shower compassion upon the Shechina in exile – our own life force. The source of the compassion we shower is Hashem. He is really doing everything. We are choosing to submit our self-conscious interpretation which feels like our own akeidas Yitzchak.

Hashem gives us the compassion to do this as an inheritance, as part of the design of Knesset Yisrael that is made in His Image. We all have access to it. It is stored chesed even within our natural understanding, although concealed from us. Our understanding may be quite limited and subjective. Through Torah learning and through emunah and Ahavas Hashem (which we feel when we realize His Love for us but that we trust is there because He is doing everything and we have no independent existence), our subjective understanding expands and we may access more and more awareness of Hashem’s chesed in every moment, as Elokim, even though the chesed may be trapped in a painful message. Ask for mercy when we are in the seething waters, when we are “on trial” to see if we will cling to false beliefs based on our self-consciousness and act from them or recognize our Creator and submit and nullify everything that blocks the true reality of being an emanation of Him made in His Image to do His Will and bring His Light into the world. We choose to submit and through this teshuva, Hashem draws us upwards from our trials spiritually.

Outward miracles are not to be expected. We are speaking about inner consciousness and inner peace regardless of what the moment is bringing. We trust that whatever the outcome it is truly what is good. This is the level of emunah that can be reached.

Hashem is the Source of all life force, all circumstances and everything physical giving all of this to us withthe power of real free will to embrace the opportunity to utilize life to flow His Light into the world by doing mitzvahs. This is our purpose and reason for being here and overcoming the darkness is how we bring forth the Shechina in exile that we need as His Mercy in order to do so. Hidden within our challenge is the chesed we need as His Mercy added back to our soul for infusing into the world. We release it through will and emunah and attaching to Him as an emanation rather than remaining attached to our false beliefs. He heals.

This Is the process of showering compassion upon the Shechna in exile that is part of every run and return. Hisbodedus is the key tool to build.

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(Note from above) A great way to learn about going through our lives through the Jewish calendar is through Rabbi Nivin Personal Development Chaburas (contact Robyn Meyerson at newchabura@gmail.com). Rabbi Nivin offers amazing tools to help with personal development.

For those interested in run and return, these tools work well with the hisbodidus described above.

By taking time in hisbodedus, we begin to understand the forces within us and we begin to identify the inner struggle that is the point of being in this world. Without finding this inner struggle, we continue from childhood throughout life believing the messages that are “advising” us regarding feeling ourselves and acting for our own self-interest. For spiritual maturity to take place, inquiry into olam haba and the purpose of our lives in olam haze must begin.

Wondering how to begin on a loving and gentle opening of our eyes in Hashem’s presence? Here are some options:

Rabbi Doniel Katz has a program called the Elevation Seminar that teaches these concepts in depth.

Devorah Yaffa Singer offers an amazing series called Lights of Emunah – it is sourced in Torah and taught with excitement. It is 32 classes and each month includes an hour of 1 on 1 discussion with her. For more information, contact her at devorahyaffa@g-ddirecttorah.com or at this link

Rabbi Moshe Genuth – Maimer I will come and see

Rav Asher Freund story on how strengthening ourselves with emunah builds us into a vessel to receive the bracha we need for refuah shelama

Rabbi Shmuel Braun on Parshas Toldos Yitzchok dug wells – Prayer is Digging Wells

Practically make ourselves conscious of being a part of the flow of light – through hisbodedus

When I am so busy with carpool,, little kids, cooking and parnassa how do I practically make myself conscious of being a part of the flow of light?

We learn about the chariot and it sounds so esoteric and spiritual and above us. And the technical details may well be.

However, its relevance to us is crucial to know and compassionate of Torah to tell us so that the reason and purpose of our lives may be approached. Whom amongst us does not hit turbulent emotions and find themselves in painful judgments of ourselves or others? Whom amongst us acts upon these to our own or to another’s damage, which eventually we realize and regret? What if we could come to trust that the only purpose for all of our challenges is to re-direct Hashem’s Infinite Light concealed by our nature, returning the power of the fallen sparks to its Source? Would we not feel excited and privileged to be given the opportunity? Do we see the amazing reframe when we expand our understanding of the reason and purpose for which we are here? Skeptical? Take a look at this Torah Wellsprings from Rabbi Biderman on Parshas Toldos that shows the struggle between Esav and Yaakov..

It is within reach, and it is not too hard to begin to take a closer look at our values and beliefs because all the heavy lifting of fallen fears and powers is done by Hashem. Listen here to Rav Dror on “Still Confused About Inner Truth? and to Rav Dror on Who is Hashem- Real Answers

We are here to exercise will, awe of Hashem, love for Hashem, and nullification of anything that pulls us to thinking we have any kind of independent separate existence or power. The flow of chesed that emanates from Hashem is constant and provides a Source of Infinite Light for us to bring into this world through mitzvahs. Our challenges – all of them – are an influence from Elokim, Hashem’s concealed Infinite Light, that He is offering to us as our opportunity to bring from concealment into this world by asking Him for mercy as we move forward with mitzvahs.

To understand what it means to be a vessel receiving a divine flow of mercy and how to experience that in every moment of our lives, the practice of hisbodedus, personal prayer in Hashem’s presence, is the tool. Hisbodedus is how we begin to distinguish within our self-consciousness an inner voice to listen to and the external inwardly experienced messages we are intended to re-invest into mitzvahs.

How do we find the time?

Imagine if 30 minutes talking to Hashem about your day could transform your entire day into mitzvahs…..no matter what…worth looking into?

From the Bilvavi article Bilvavi-Clarifying the Purpose of Life
Link to pdf

“If one would know it properly (the Hebrew word for knowledge is yediah, which means connection), and would be attached to the information, his whole way of life would necessarily change. If a person would apply the entire weight of his spiritual energy toward this fact, and he had a live, burning commitment to the truth, he would take a paper and pen and record for himself the purpose of his life. He would place this paper in his pocket and take it out every quarter of an hour or so, in order to constantly remind himself about it, so that this fact will not be forgotten by him and he will live by it.”

What, in truth, is the purpose of a man in his world? The words of the Mesillas Yesharim (Ch. 1) are known. He wrote, “The truth is that the only true perfection is deveikus to Hashem. This is what David Hamelech declared: “As for me, closeness to Hashem is my good…” (Tehillim 73:28). “

By taking time in hisbodedus, we begin to understand the forces within us and we begin to identify the inner struggle that is the point of being in this world. Without finding this inner struggle, we continue from childhood throughout life believing the messages that are “advising” us regarding feeling ourselves and acting for our own self-interest. For spiritual maturity to take place, inquiry into olam haba and the purpose of our lives in olam haze must begin.

Wondering how to begin on a loving and gentle opening of our eyes in Hashem’s presence?

Devorah Yaffa Singer offers an amazing series called Lights of Emunah – it is sourced in Torah and taught with excitement. It is 32 classes and each month includes an hour of 1 on 1 discussion with her. For more information, contact her at devorahyaffa@g-ddirecttorah.com or at this link

Rosh Chodesh Kislev and Parshas Toldos Hodu L’Hallel with Integrated Torah

It is Rosh Chodesh Kislev and Parshas Toldos. 

For the next month, it is all about hodu l’hallel, thanks and praises for Hashem.

We are taught that we are to thank Hashem for everything, what feels good to us as well as what does not.  With what understanding do we thank Hashem for what does not?  This is the question for people, who live in their emotions. 

How do we bring Hashem into the picture in a meaningful way that makes even what does not feel good something for which we sincerely thank?  How do we live in gan eden when tragedy and suffering strike?

It is not that we are not physically experiencing pain, suffering, fear and the like.

It is rather that our perspective, reason and purpose become part of the experience in a way that allows us to be present in the moment as part of Hashem.

Look up into the heavens and we see luminaries, the sun, the moon, the stars, comets, planets, cosmic dust, asteroids.  Yet each one has its Source in Hashem.

Before Hashem creates the world, He creates one soul, Knesset Yisrael, the soul of Adom.  Only one soul has ever been created.  All souls that have ever been born come only from this one soul. It is a luminary and each one of us is an emanation from that luminary, just as a ray of sunlight emanates from the sun.

At no time is a ray of sunlight corrupted.  Likewise, the emanation from the one soul whose Source is Hashem is absolutely pure.  And at this very moment, at the higher levels of soul above the body, it is basking in awareness of the Divine Source from which it emanates without stopping.  Our soul has pleasure, faith will and is at peace.  That is our true state.  So why are we feeling pain, fear, anger suffering and more?

Thank you!  Hashem has given us life, including real free will.  Thus, in order for us to have real free will, He brings that pure soul into this world in a body that conceals Hashem as well as the pleasure the soul is constantly experiencing.  Angels, for example, enjoy the pleasure of being emanations from Hashem because it is not concealed from them.

Thus, when we experience pain, suffering and negativity, what we are experiencing is the pain of the Shechina – the life force He gives to us as a pure emanation – for which we are responsible to redeem from concealment.

The good news is that because we have consciousness, our role (to shift from self-consciousness where we are experiencing the loss and the anger to consciousness of Hashem and serving Him with joy as a creation)  is totally within the powers of the soul Hashem gives us.  With love for Hashem and awe in the design, we strengthen ourselves in emunah and pause showering compassion upon the Shechina in exile, our life force trapped in the sensations.  We recognize that the force in what we are experiencing is the Shechina in exile. We have trust that the one soul He designs of which we are an emanation has built into it the pathway to draw the power of what we are experiencing back to the heavens through our will, prayer and love for Hashem.  We nullify our self-consciousness including the messages stemming from the thought patterns that have propagated from self-consciousess realizing that we do not have any independent existence, that we are a helpless emanation, a creation only, and that Hashem is 100 percent in control.  We have a physical presence that He sustains in order that we may bring into action that very Infinite light through mitzvahs.

The vision we all know of this is of Rabbi Akiva who was martyred and whose last word was Echad, may his memory be a blessing.

Rabbi Genuth teaches that a person’s understanding of the world grows only through contact with it and through thinking about it and then accepting the thought and incorporating it into the mind and heart as a reality.  Good examples of these practically are learning how to drive.  Good examples of this spiritually are the six constant mitzvahs.

What we naturally feel is often a consequence of what propagates from our childhood due to not knowing Torah, for how can an infant or a toddler or a small child comprehend?  It is by design that our attachment to otherness occurs.  It is impossible to not be attached to otherness. Thought patterns develop.  Hashem creates the world intentionally in this way so that we have real free will. 

Nevertheless, the existence of these attachments is meant only to provide us with a power (our own life force, the Shechina that agrees to go in exile as Elokim) trapped in what we have propagated through improper actions speech and thought to return in teshuva to Hashem through the channel that He designs, the spiritual realms, thereby freeing that life force to instead come into the world through our intention into learning Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs. 

Did you know that the body and mitzvahs are considered synonyms?

The body may feel one way – angry, frightened, frustrated, pained, and more – and it is experiencing such sensations,  When we bring Hashem into the picture and we identify ourselves as an emanation of Knesset Yisrael in a body to release the power within that experience of the body into mitzvahs, the moment of doing so is transcendant, just like Rabbi Akiva shows us.  Despite being burned at the stake, his experience was through connection to the pleasure that the soul is in constantly in devekus to Hashem knowing Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad. This is an example of Divine mercy, based on our nullifying our self-consciousness in favor of recognizing Hashem and emulating Him and doing His Will.

The Macabees were learning Torah to build themselves in ein od milvado consciousness.  The story of Chanukah is long and full of suffering and desecration, of war and loss and tragedy.  But when the one pure vial lasted for eight days, which was above nature, they knew they had regained the level of the kohein gadolim from the first temple, that they had reached the level of ein od milvado consciousness, that an open above nature miracle took place.

How can we apply this to us, at our level, within our days?  We certainly can reach for switching a little bit more of the power trapped in the faulty thinking propagated from our attaching first to this world (lovingly and gently but with determination)  to recognizing Hashem from emunah and bitachon  When we trust that Hashem is doing everything and that He loves us and in the true reality that it is our soul that pure that is not in pain but rather the shechina put in exile because our life force became naturally attached to physicality, we can say thank you and praise Hashem for the opportunity.  Instead of judging others.  Instead of hating in our hearts,  Instead of clinging to falsehoods and things that separate us.

Hold the force in the painful message in the mind – not the message – the force in the message.  We can “sniff out” this force, separate from the message.  See how the force is not the message.  Hold true to the force being no other Power, that it is Shechina in exile, a portion of the beautiful life force we are blessed with that is providing us with life and bounty and talent, and realize it is for us to shower compassion upon it.  The messages will try to assert themselves.  It will feel like us! REMEMBER – we are emanations of the one soul, in pure bliss with Hashem, and this spark in these fiery messages contain powerful force, the Shecina in exile that is the life force we placed there naturally,  that we are attempting to upload back to the heavens so as to infuse into the world as mitzvahs.

Showering compassion – which is possible because Hashem is compassionate and gives us this ability to emulate Him – upon the force opens the “kelipa” the shell the force is trapped in.  HOLD STEADY.  Just as a car with its windows closed can get blown by high winds out of its lane, so too our soul that is sealed in the shell of the message tosses us between lack and anger, taiva and gaiva. It is a battle for our hearts, for our identity.  Shall we identify with our unrectified emotions fired up because of imbalances in our middos, the vessels of sefira that compose our soul?  Or shall we identify as being a creation with emunah and bitachon in Hashem is doing everything and we are here to bring Infinite Light into the world?  Showering compassion upon the concealed compassion animating that message is like opening the windows in a car being blown by the wind.  All of a sudden there is an exchange of air, the wind passes through, the car can be steadied. 

Opening the window of the car. 

Showering compassion on the force in our pain.

Calm. Restoration of inner peace.

We recognize there is No Other Power.  Hashem’s surrounding light, the compassion with which He sustains every atom, has Infinite light that is able to flow upwards from the trap of where we have propagated messages in our subconscious and aveiras in our actions – hating others in our hearts, not giving the benefit of the doubt, failing to do acts of Ahavas Yisrael and numerous more.

We are responsible for these messages.  We confess.  We do not want to continue propagating these. 

It is Divine mercy that flows the force within these back to the heavens.

And it is our will and intention through which His Mercy permits these forces to then flow into mitzvahs that we move to do.

The more Torah we know about this topic, the more strands are with us in the moment to empower us to cling to the truth, that our soul is not in pain, only the Shechina in exile the life force He blesses us with that became attached and trapped in physicality due natural errors in development so that we may exercise real free will. 

Shall we listen to the inner Esav or the inner Yaakov?  Let us ask for Divine Mercy that we should merit to live in this world as Knesset Yisroel, a receiving body for the constant flow of Divine Mercy, intending to infuse it into the world.

May we be inspired to see the true reality of ourselves as constantly beloved by Hashem Who blesses us and asks when we are in pain that we fulfill the purpose and reason for the moment, which brings the world to its ultimate destination as a revealed world.  For Infinite Light to affect the world, and there still be a world, this is the design.  May we appreciate life, the opportunity of life and embrace and receive every moment with hodu l’hallel and a sense of oneness and inner peace and protection no matter what is flying.

Rav Asher Freund stories of healing from the biography

intro to nullifying illnesses)
Healing a trauma takes emunah bitachon in Hashem and sometimes also hands on love and comfort from people)
Reb Asher could go to the Source and bring wonders in health not seen since the BESHT)
To receive a spiritual healing from Hashem’s mercy a person needs a vessel of emunah
two tumors Rav Asher could see and advise
With emunah and Reb Asher, a woman recovers from a serious lung disease
A peak into the deep avoda of healing people received through Rav Asher

Rabbi Asher Freund stories from his biography 11.27.19

A breach baby turns to a normal delivery by following Rav Asher’s instruction to go to a farther hospital
A chabura that goes together with proper devekus to Hashem merits Divine protection
heart disease or nervousness
Rav Asher saw that a man did not need surgery and after a month the doctor saw too
Strengthening ourselves in emunah strengthens us as a vessel to receive bracha from Hashem
Two rude sons come to ask help from Rav Asher for their ill father and the healing and blessed results far exceeded their request
Victory over the tumor by following a prescription of tehillim and tzedaka that recognizes Hashem is doing everything
You will be able to fast on Yom Kippur

Understanding how strengthening emunah builds us as a vessel, which makes all the difference in truly serving Hashem

Dov Elias LIght of Emuna Parshas Toldos – written pdf of this audio below including the website information to subscribe for weekly emails or whatsapp group for Light of Emuna

Let’s try to understand how deeply embedded we are in the kelipas. 

What I mean is that I like to think of myself as spiritual and good and “above that” and that, in reality, is a self deception because the way to be spiritual and good and above that is only through divine mercy. 

Yes, our soul is pure and is constantly experiencing the pleasure of being connected to the Source – although this experience is in the chaya and yechida of our soul that is outside of our body. 

And yes, this spiritual truth gives us chizuk and empowerment to bring that emunah and pleasure into our lives. 

However, we are here on earth, in bodies, and it is simply impossible to not be in the kelipas and have our first reactions come from there.  Now, instead of thinking this is a negative judgment on ourselves, realize this is the first step towards run and return.

 It is the stage we are on, an emanation of light Sourced in Hashem, in a body in the world of asiya, the world of action. 

It means the feelings and experiences that I have are not sourced in me and therefore I am not an entity here on my own, I am not the Source of it.  I AM responsible for it.  100 percent.  But I am not the Source of it nor am I the Source of the rectification.

 Hashem gives us will, speech, pleasure and emunah as powers of the soul, powers Sourced in Him, and I am responsible to utilize these to bring His Will into the moment.  In so doing, I recognize Hashem and ask for mercy, that He release Shechina (life force given to me from birth that naturally attaches to physicality) trapped in exile by self-conscious choices made due to being in a body, attached to physicality, which is our natural state and His Design.

 I am 100 percent responsible and empowered to recognize Him, to shower compassion upon the Shechina – feeling its pain (remember, our essence is basking in pleasure of connection to faith and the Source of all)- and asking for His Mercy to please be a channel to instead garment that Shechina and bring it into the world through a mitzvah.  We can use the powers of the soul to serve  as He Designs our soul to do, as a vessel He may use to draw that shechina in exile through our subconscious and back to our hearts for re-investment into mitzvahs.  Our vessel though must be strengthened through emunah, however, for this to be possible. And this strengthening comes from the relief of the stormy winds experienced when we properly apply effortful will and trust in Hashem.

The benefit to seeing this is that I am less judgmental on my shortcomings and pained emotions, and in freeing the Shechina in exile there and seeing how holding emunah with intention to bring it into the world restores calm after a storm of emotions, I recognize what it means to be a channel and a vessel.  And this gives me compassion for every single one of us, for we are all here in the same design with the same purpose and responsibilities, albeit different unique expressions of it.

We are here to transform the shechina trapped in the natural darkness of our subconscious into light that comes into the world through mitzvahs.  To the degree we experience pleasure, it means it is becoming more natural for us.  However, whether we feel it or not, this is our purpose and reason for being here and we hope that the pleasure is experienced, the simcha.

 Nevetheless, just as mesillas yesharim tells us, at some point we become aware that the pleasures we wish to feel from this world really do not suffice as joy and simcha, and even if they do, it is short lived or often unhealthy.

This is how we come to not judge ourselves but rather wake up to the real task.

The real task is to understand the design, which is compassionate of Hashem to tell us about.  Hashem tells us through the avos and the shepherds more about the sefiros, the flow of divine energy into the world.  He gives us Pesach to learn how to turn our middos into matzah.  He gives us the omer to help us become human rather than animalistic.

So we really can’t say we don’t know.

The real question is, how can I bring this knowing a little deeper today into my moments,  how today can I receive each moment a little more conscious of Hashem and the design and a little less self-conscious.

When I ask myself that question, I realize that we are very self-conscious and just that question seems like – whoa, whaaat????

How can I go about my day if I am not being self-conscious?  It seems irresponsible, like a denial of adult responsibilities! 

LOL A great argument of the forces of nature!!!

Rabbi Genuth explains that if I am thinking about someone and then I turn to something else, that other person still exists, they have an existence independent of whether I am thinking of them or not.

But Hashem is thinking of us and we simply do not have independent existence from His Thoughts, which are not like our thoughts.

Thus, in every moment, it is fair to ask myself, what does Hashem want from me this moment?  How do I receive this moment knowing Hashem has thought this up for me, to be responsible 100 percent for what I do in this moment to bring His Will into the world?  Or will I argue with that and do what I think should be done according to a value that is attached to my understanding of the natural world because that is what feels real to me?

I guess in my admitting that and getting real with that, I can live in emunah more.  And I can have compassion on everyone I see because I truly empathize with where we are.

For the first time, instead of judging someone who is clearly acting out of self-consciousness, trying to handle an attachment issue that is being projected onto present day circumstances and without realizing it causing damage to their own person because of a natural desire to exercise power to defend that person from the harm felt in the subconscious (all of us, if we understand attachment theory), I realize how profoundly we need Hashem’s mercy.  We are all that person, trapped in the tohu and vohu, unless we build vessels out of emunah and effort through which His Mercy may be received.  Without a vessel to receive His Mercy,, the Infinite LIght He wishes to bestow upon us does not reach its destination, like water spilling off a flat plate.

Being with Hashem to me now seems like really living with the reality that He is the Source of my life force, my circumstances and everything physical giving all of this to me with real free will to embrace the opportunity to utilize life to flow His Light into the world by doing mitzvahs.  This is our purpose and reason for being here and overcoming the darkness is how we bring forth the Shechina in exile that we need as His Mercy in order to do so. 

We unify our souls as we unify His Name, and may we soon see a revealed light in the world.  But for now, lets be real and not judge ourselves or anyone for being trapped in the dark.  More so, let’s go out of our way to be compassionate and not put people into that darkness, which is all to easy to land into, that muddy cloudy painful windy twister of deception and misinterpretation that fills our hearts with hateful self judgments or condemnations of others.

At least let’s do that, okay?