More on understanding the dynamics of emunah and hisbodidus

The benefit to learning Torah is finding the wisdom needed to understand more deeply how to serve Hashem in the moment.

Chaim Vital writes in Shaare Kedusha

“…the holy soul which is [akin to] the “fruit” and is composed of 613 limbs and gidim (248 limbs+365 gidim=613), wears the 613 limbs and gidim of the evil soul which is called the “shell of the fruit”, and both of them together wear the 613 limbs and gidim of the body. Hence, the limbs of the holy soul are inside the limbs of the evil soul, and the limbs of the evil soul are inside the limbs of the body. And behold, each of these 2 spiritual souls need spiritual food to exist. However the food for the holy soul is drawn to it through fulfilling the torah which includes 613 mitzvot similar to the 613 limbs of the soul, and the torah is called “bread” as is written “come and eat of my bread” (Mishlei 9:5).”


The understanding that this wisdom brings is that our neshama is the fruit within a layer/shell that we feel far more readily because the shell is nearer to the body.  Thus, when we have a negative reaction or judgment, it is appropriate to begin a dialogue with Hashem.

First, however, it is appropriate to talk to the neshama that is in pain in the negativity.  Please neshama tell me what is covering you right now, what are the feelings in which you are trapped?

As we hear the words – inadequacy, anger, self-pity, fear – we arouse love for Hashem and awe in the design.  We understand the design!

A part of our neshama is enlivening the negative reaction because it is wholly covered by the shell of our natural thinking and responses.  Yet the neshama wants to flow to the love and awe that we are drawing into our heart.  It does not need to be inspired to do so…it is ready and set to burst forth.  However, with our free willed choice and speech, it is up to us to pull back the shell that encases it.

We do this by breathing and praying out loud to Hashem, “Hashem, I love you and understand the design.  A part of my neshama is drawn to express the negative responses of feeling …….and I don’t want to.  I choose instead to feel Your love and compassion so that my neshama reveals Your love and compassion.  Please help me.”

As we speak, we are breathing, and that breath brings to the neshama that is covered over a strength to join the love and awe in our hearts.  The negativity of the shell over it dissolves and whatever positive spiritual strength was in it becomes nourishment for the feeling and revealing of Hashem’s love and compassion.  Perhaps we will have an insight as to how to respond more lovingly, with understanding, in the matter.  We know we have moved something when we feel a shift in our outlook.


Let’s say the matter started because of a perception we have about the conduct of another, where we feel slighted or insulted or hurt in any way.  When we are coming from a place of love and compassion, it is far easier to re-discuss the matter because we are not judging or condemning. Instead, we can communicate with compassion for whatever might have set the conduct in place and from there, insights and closeness can abound.  After all, we are all in this design of having our neshamas covered in a shell of natural responses that often produce negativity.

The key is whether the parties have the interest in compassionate communication for the purpose of personal growth in being more and more like Hashem.  Obviously not everyone is oriented towards these goals.  However, even if the other party is not, when we conduct ourselves in this way, we are taking steps to reveal Hashem’s love and mercy, and these steps help us connect with Hashem more and more.  And do not worry about the personal needs that the shell is otherwise concerned with…Hashem knows what we need and when we take steps to feel and reveal His Love and Mercy, we are forming ourselves into better vessels and He is worthy for us to trust in that what we need and what is good for us will be provided by the One Who is running things.

When we make Hashem’s Will our will, He makes our will His Will.

We have real free will to go in the direction we wish to go.  Choose life.


Emunah Zoom

Yearning for abundance – a parable

Imagine this fictional story.

A woman receives a key to a room in a building as a gift.  She finds the building, the room, and goes inside.   It is a room filled with money, in coins.  The woman is delighted.  She brings boxes, a moving van but can only fit half of what is in the room.  She now has a tremendous amount of wealth though.  Nevertheless, she comes back the next day with the boxes and the moving van to take the rest of the coins.  What she finds is astonishing.


The room is filled again with the coins. The entire room.  The money in the room has been replenished. 

So again, she fills everything she is able to and puts it in the van and leaves for the day.

Every day, the woman returns to the room to take some more boxes of money, and finds the same situation, that the money has replenished.  To her delight, she realizes that this key is giving her financial security and wealth.


The woman pays off all her debts.  She begins buying clothes, a home, a car and the necessities and even luxuries of life.  Her physical needs are met.


After some time goes by, she realizes that she is not really that happy though.  Having everything she needs is a great relief, but she is longing for something more.  Something is missing.  She tries to eat more, to fill up.  But that just affects her weight negatively. So she thinks of something else.


She makes a trip to the room , finding it filled as usual, and takes more money.  She begins to give charity to feed poor people.  Not only that, she begins to give money for causes that are meaningful to her.  Now she is starting to feel much better, much more filled.


Time goes by and a loved one becomes very ill.  The money is helpful in seeking the best professional medical care.  The charity is helpful in a whole community of people who care.  But the person lies ill.


The woman goes to the room.  She is curious now about where the abundance is coming from. Day and night, she sits there, trying to understand how the money is replenished.  Nothing appears to be happening except that when she awakens, the room is replenished.  Until one night, by chance, there is an electrical shortage in the building and the room is without lights.  Except she sees a faint glow in the air and hears a dim humming, both of which are otherwise obscured by electric lights and air conditioning.  She understands that there is something creating the abundance.  She speaks out loud, “I wish to be part of the abundance.  How might I be part of the abundance?”


She leaves the room, but her heart is longing to be part of the abundance.  When she sits by her loved one, her heart is longing to be part of the abundance, to be a part of something that might really help.


Just after sunset, she is sitting with her loved one, and she sees the dim lights and hears the slight hum.  She looks over to the bed and sees it is coming from over the bed.  As she watches, there is a flood of a feeling she never experienced before.  It is not the type of pleasure we think of, but it is a pleasure beyond that.


Her heart is hopeful.  Her loved one lives a few more days, but unfortunately passes away. 


Nevertheless, the woman continues to wish to be part of the abundance.  Everywhere she goes, if she sees someone suffering and money is not the solution, she yearns for abundance for that person. “I want to be part of the abundance.”


The woman has no way of knowing the outcomes of her heartfelt yearnings.  However, the yearnings had become the mainstay of her existence, the reason to live that gives her the most delight in each day.

How does this story affect the reader?


How can we see that what our natural inclinations are towards are intended to lead us somewhere much higher?


Why do we stop before we get there?

Emunah Zoom


The Three Weeks, their hidden holiness, and our avodas Hashem

Concept 1 The Hidden Holiness of The Three Weeks that begin this Shabbos

As we go into the beginning of the three weeks, I am reminded of the shiurim from Rabbi Yaakov Zalman Labinsky and Rabbi Moshe Wolfson which share how the Shabbosims of these three weeks, with Shabbos Hazon this year occurring on 9 Av itself, are the highest of the year. Had we not sinned with the Golden Calf, the 17th of Tammuz, when Moshe brought down the Torah, would have been yom tov, Rosh Hashana.  Twenty two days later, Tisha B’av would have been Shemini Atzeret.  Rabbi Moshe Wolfson goes into depth regarding the soul of Shlomo HaMelech coming back as Yirmiyahu, forced to see the destruction of the temple that he built, a consequence of his having been late to the inauguration of the temple because he had married bas Paro the day before.  Hidden in these three weeks are the awe of the high holidays.  Rabbi Labinsky explains the root of these three Shabbosims as rooted in the three hidden sefirot, keser, chochma, and bina.  Keser is emunah/faith, taanug/pleasure, and ratzon will, and this would be good to focus on for this Shabbos.  Within the crown are Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy.


Concept 2 – With an eye toward Tisha B’av and deepening our understanding of what was lost when we lost the temple, something we can do internally to build emunah now that we no longer see in physicality the outward manifestations we saw in the temple of the Divine presence

With our free will, by viewing the greatest pleasure possible as feeling the outpouring of Hashem’s love and mercy so that we yearn for it, that we love Him, that we have awe in the design of how He has constructed our world and given us life, we have the capacity to see ourselves as completely safe in His Loving Arms despite the experiential sensations of horrific negative reactions.


Concept 3 – How can we intellectually bypass the negativity we, as physical and mortal beings, experience, based on emunah?

What is animating these sensations of horrific negative reactions?  Our perceptions and our interpretations.  These interpretations are the product of our integrated wisdom based on living in a material and physical world.  However, the truth about this wisdom is that it is the “daas” of nature.  It is not the daas for which we are designed, which is an integration of the knowledge of Hashem coming from understanding and clinging to the tree of life rather than to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


Concept 4 – Our true avoda is to bring the fallen sparks from the world of tohu to rectification by bringing them through our hearts, unifying Hashem’s Name and creating an eternal identity for ourselves from the physical raw material of our mortal lives.

Daas tevunas by the Ramchal explains that when we are interested in this higher daas, the daas we may obtain when we are reaching for the ohr haganos, the hidden lights, the positive spiritual energy that animates our horrific negative reaction “jumps ship” from the presenting circumstances of the natural world and flies with our love and awe of Hashem back to its Source, Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy.  We then receive the ability to act and speak with this clarified positive spiritual creative energy, which in turn brings Hashem’s outpouring of love and mercy into the world through the very effort of our hearts.


Our hearts are the womb where the positive spiritual creative force animating the horrific negativity disconnects from the natural appearance and reconnects through our love and awe of Hashem to His outpouring of Love and Mercy.  When we understand the design of the world , this spiritual science helps us to avoid falling into the vacuum of darkness that our survival instincts otherwise pull us towards.  Rather, we have within us latent potential to cling to Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy in our hearts and pull His outpouring of love and mercy across the vacuum and into this world, into our hearts, and then reveal it.  As we do this, the positive spiritual energy previously animating the horrific negative reactions joins the positive flow and the dross falls away!  We are NOT limited.  Why? Because Hashem is not limited and we have a connection to His Infinity through our free will to love and have awe in the design of the world.  We are empowered by being alive to serve Hashem as He Designs us!  We rectify our middos!  And we prepare for elul and a new year of growth towards these goals.


Our survival instincts do not have to remain based on the physical wisdom of our experiences in time and space.  Our survival instincts can have the aliya they are designed to have – to rely on Hashem through our ability to make the effort to cling to Him and then act, knowing that He only does good.  Our Torah k owledge helps us harmonize our horrible negative reaction with yearning to feel His love and mercy. This effort is an exchange of lower daas of nature for the daas for which we are designed.


May we understand properly the wisdom of the Torah that opens the channels to help  our love and awe flow to His Love and Mercy, and may we live in that growing emunah so that we comprehend who we really are, which is the effort to be this receiving heart that is the emanating point in time and space for Hashem’s love to be revealed.  Let us not get confused by the physical coverings over our essential selves. These physical coverings give us life and the ability to reveal, but are not the source itself for our survival. Happiness comes from learning Torah, avodas Hashem (personal prayer, tehillim, davening, performance of mitzvahs), and emulating His 13 attributes of mercy (see Tomer Devorah).

Good Shabbos!!

Emunah Zoom

Parshas Balak and the start of the Three Weeks – an article from Rabbi Moshe Wolfson and the maimer from the Alter Rebbe for Tisha B’av

The insights I gleaned from the below links is:

Happiness comes from learning Torah, avodas Hashem, and emulating Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy.


Start  each day with keeping that message nearby so that when we feel a lack, we can ask ourselves to redirect our pursuit of happiness to learning Torah, avodas Hashem (davening, tehillim, personal prayer, mitzvahs) or emulating Him.


When we feel resistance, and we will, stop and pause and cry out to Hashem:

“Hashem it is my choice to focus on learning Torah, avodas Hashem and emulating You but my body is giving me resistance and telling me that (…be specific, feel it in your heart while describing it…) would feel better and be more gratifying and questioning my judgment and sending me all kinds of negative messages about my choice.  I do not wish to be pulled into a vacuum that conceals the Truth that happiness comes from learning Torah, avodas Hashem and emulating Your 13 attributes of mercy despite this natural reaction.  Instead, I recognize the design with awe and cry out to You to please help me.  I wish the happiness You design for us.”


Then breath through it until you feel relief.  It is dynamic. It may take 20 minutes or more of holding the feelings along with the feelings of love and awe for Hashem.  Saying words without doing the work of holding the feelings together in the heart will not do anything lasting. The process is spiritually dynamic – the love and awe we generate in our hearts actually draws our neshama back from where it is trapped in the dark of our heartfelt reactions.



The main two middas are chesed and gevurah, and the harmonizing of opposites, tiferes.  These are on the deeper level chochma, bina and daas.  We want our daas to be the pure daas and not the daas of the nachash, which is natural to us.

Rabbi Moshe Wolfson – The last generation will be rectified through emunah


Tziyon Bemishpat Tipadah – Rabbi Shneur Zalman Liadi on Tisha B’av


tziyon bemishpt tipadah

Tziyon BeMishpat Tipadeh_ The Month of Av – Introduction – Kabbalah, Chassidism and Jewish Mysticism

Tziyon BeMishpat Tipadeh_ The Month of Av – Section I – Kabbalah, Chassidism and Jewish Mysticism

Tziyon BeMishpat Tipadeh_ The Month of Av – Section II – Kabbalah, Chassidism and Jewish Mysticism

Tziyon BeMishpat Tipadeh_ The Month of Av – Section III – Kabbalah, Chassidism and Jewish Mysticism

Tziyon BeMishpat Tipadeh_ The Month of Av – The Additions of The Tzemach Tzedek – Kabbalah, Chassidism and Jewish Mysticism

Rabbi Nivin Constant G-d Connection chabura forming – why I recommend it

I have spent my life trying to get healthy. From not even realizing I was so off when young through to now, the insight is that spiritual work and benefit begins when we go into that dark place – the work of fixing from the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Thus, even though we are suffering, and even if we are suffering by means of a subjective reality that is unreal in time and space, there is meaning and purpose because when we get ourselves out of it according to the way of Torah, we have created something that helps with the fixing – the unifying of Hashem’s Name, and the production of light that hopefully will bring on the dawn of redemption.


I highly recommend Rabbi Nivin’s newly forming personal development chabura

Constant G-d Connection

Early Bird Special Ends Midnight Tonight
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Many of you have heard deep Emunah concepts before. So what makes the learning in this Chabura different from all of the other learning you have done?

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