Down with Zuhama – Up with Tzelem Elokim! Hashem help! We only want YOU

In 48 hours, the first day of creation for the year 5779 will be here.

What is it that we want the most for Hashem to know?

What gets in our way?

Here are some basic Torah thoughts to help us ask for a year of health, prosperity and redemption.

  1. The only inadequacy we have is that we cannot be Hashem Himself. All other feelings of inadequacy are fallen from that truth where they play out in the material and physical realm.  The good news is that if we properly recognize this truth, not only will we avoid shame in this world but we will be free of shame for all eternity for choosing to nullify the material and physical appearances in favor of abstract spiritual reality. However, the feeling of inadequacy is innate, the same feeling that caused Adom and Chava to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They felt a lack in not being able to be Hashem Himself.  To understand the pain of this shame, of this lack, one only has to observe young children who all want the same toy at the same time…not the same toy with two versions, but the exact one the other has.  and as adults, it is not different for us, only what we feel pain in not having is more credible – ample money, happy marriage, successful and healthy children, prestige, comforts and more.  We  have ample life challenges through which to empathize with  what Adom felt that caused the eating…and hopefully that will also lead us to empowerment to provide the repair, to recognize that Hashem is One, and that we are here to reveal His Truth and Compassion.
  2. The yetzer hara needs to draw life force off of our souls.  It has no direct way of receiving its survival.  It has become internalized due to the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and has stolen our voice.  It speaks to us as if it is the real us.  It is purportedly trying to assure our survival.  However, it is really whispering to us what IT needs to survive, namely our thinking in its fashion so that our souls pour into its hands.  Here is how to detect our inner messages:  ask who is being protected by this message…is it the real essence, tzelem elokim or is it the survival of the yetzer hara?  Almost certainly, it is the latter.  Why?  Because our survival depends only on Hashem!!!!  The fire is strong.  But we are stronger because we have real free will to cry out and ask Hashem to save us from its firey deceptions.
  3. We have real free will.  When we choose to cry out because we see that we are tzelem elokim, seeking to feel Hashem and reveal Hashem’s light, Hashem helps us.  In so choosing, we bring the material and physical world to rectification, unifying Hashem’s Name, and creating a positive influence in the world.  We want.  Hashem does the rest.
  4. So how do we really want to serve Hashem when we hear whispers with our own life patterns and experiences pulling us, luring us towards material and physical goals that seem like what we want?  This is the topic for hisbodidus.  We have innate emunah.
  5. What is the piece of Torah that we need to help us take that first small step to transform our panic and fear regarding the painful deceitful shame-filled messages that we are afraid to look at?   That piece of Torah is given by Rabbi Mendel Kessin  in minutes 19 to 22 of his shiur on Rosh Hashana (see article below for link.)  He explains that Hashem creates this world for us to reconstitute olam haba, thereby using our free will to be G-dlike and remove forever the sense of inadequacy for being a creation who can never attain to being the Creator Himself.  We are here to pass the test that is presented by the evil whispers of the yetzer hara. This important understanding of Hashem’s design empowers us to reach for the truth and do whatever we need to in personal prayer to be able to get a handle on the inner despairing messages that are coming to be healed, whose koach is seeking reconnection to its Source Hashem, through our causative effort to ask Hashem to help us. Here is a suggested causative effort: every day, take 15 minutes to write down all the negative messges you are hearing from inside. while you are doing this be aware that you are standing in Hashem’s presence and using the vitality He gives you. feel love and awe for Him. tell Him this is what I feel and I don’t want it, please help me see it is not true. Keep writing down all the thoughts . this uses your speech center which is on your higher brain. that part will be able to spot the lies. and eventually, eventually you will know these messages are not truth.

May our will to find our emunah be enough to declare that it is our will to serve Hashem. And may we be inscribed and sealed in the book of life for a year of health, prosperity, and redemption.

What helps us hold onto Hashem in the moment?
Down with zuhama Up with tzelem elokim

What helps us hold onto Hashem in the moment?

My prayer is that I latch onto the paradigms offered by Rabbi Kessin and Rav Dror below  to help me comprehend and resolve human tendencies in a way that makes it possible for Hashem’s love and mercy to be revealed. May just wanting that be change and teshuva that is a merit for geula now.

00:02 I’m making only a voice note today 00:05 because I had surgery on my hand and I’m 00:08 supposed to take it easy for a couple of 00:11 days so what what they had to do was I 00:16 had a tendinitis in my in my right thumb 00:19 for a very long time and so which means 00:22 that the tendon was inflamed but what 00:24 they did was they made an incision and 00:27 they cut the sheath over a tendon itself 00:32 so the tendon had more room to expand 00:34 and hopefully the result will be that 00:38 that I won’t have pain because of the 00:41 inflamed tendon because they will have 00:43 cut the sheath so far it’s still hurting 00:46 pretty much I guess because it was just 00:48 surgery but the intention is for the 00:51 cutting the this the sheath to give more 00:54 room for the tendon so it’s the image of 00:58 it in my right hand of course which we 01:01 know the right side is the site of Hesed 01:03 and of course with all that we’re 01:05 talking about in terms of understanding 01:07 that we’re a soul inside of a body and 01:09 that the body is a clipper I couldn’t 01:12 help but let’s see the imagery of 01:15 thinking that the the clipper was 01:18 blocking the facet that maybe the 01:22 surgery was necessary that that I have a 01:25 clip of some kind that’s blocking my 01:27 head from from ascending I don’t know so 01:31 I was praying during the surgery that 01:33 that whatever is blocking all of the 01:37 Jewish people that you know myself 01:39 included obviously would like whatever 01:41 my embarras are or whatever my blocks 01:43 are that this should be a the suffering 01:46 that I’m going through the surgery and 01:48 this pain should be a a a Khepera 01:53 that will allow the facet of the Jewish 01:58 people of me to break through the things 02:01 that are blocking it mainly are my of 02:03 errors or mistakes all the things that 02:07 happened and that a sum should redeem us 02:10 so I’m starting with that because 02:12 that is the that is what’s on my mind to 02:18 say but I wanted to just talk a little 02:22 bit more if I may because what I’m 02:27 starting to notice and I and is that the 02:31 the idea of really listening to what’s 02:36 motivating us and and straining our ears 02:39 to hear the falsehoods is is is really I 02:44 think the road to redemption rabbi 02:47 Nathan of course teaches this he has a 02:49 whole hub aura on finding your false 02:54 beliefs and and what the true belief is 02:56 and I’ve been taking that and using that 02:59 tool for a long time now and even even 03:04 having used it for a long time 03:06 the understanding that that that I’m 03:09 acquiring from having used it for a long 03:11 time is just sinking in to this level 03:14 and that’s what I would like to share so 03:17 everybody should first of all sign up 03:18 for every woman’s personal development 03:20 forest because he has amazing tools to 03:24 help with everything but I’m sharing the 03:28 deeper understanding to inspire you as 03:30 to why we really want these tools in the 03:35 first place so if you knew that somebody 03:40 was scamming you and taking your money 03:43 and you would never allow most of the 03:48 times when you find out so and so’s been 03:51 stealing money from such and such a 03:53 place and they they were caught at with 03:55 their hand in the till for twenty years 03:57 and they think they stole five hundred 04:00 million dollars or whatever it is that 04:02 these stories that come out are okay the 04:05 we look at them and they’re just like 04:07 wow look at this like regular people 04:09 these are just you know two little old 04:12 ladies or some guy over here they don’t 04:15 look like millionaires they they’ve been 04:18 having their hand in the till for all 04:20 these years and nobody could tell nobody 04:23 detected it and so suddenly somebody 04:25 detects it 04:26 Wow all of a sudden it’s a major crime 04:28 right so it’s just that way with us we 04:35 have a holy soul that is immediately 04:39 placed inside of a body and the body and 04:43 the has is of course run by the soul but 04:46 the lower part of our soul in a body 04:49 gives the eight Sahara access to our 04:53 soul okay for some reason that’s the way 04:55 it’s set up the eight Sahara does not 04:57 have access directly to our holiness 05:00 until it gets into a body obviously 05:02 because it needs to have a physical 05:05 manifestation in order for nature to 05:08 have its say this is the way Hashem set 05:12 it up okay now this is this is the key 05:15 important thing overriding principle to 05:19 start building into our thinking at all 05:20 times is what rabbi Kasim taught which 05:23 is that Hashem does some desires to have 05:26 a relationship with a man with mankind 05:29 he created Adam in a revealed way he 05:32 created Olam haba first and he put men 05:35 in all I’m haba where Adam could see and 05:38 know that there was a Hashem and he had 05:40 a relationship with him but he created 05:42 Adam in such a way that other knew he 05:45 was a creation and just like anything 05:47 that is lacking the thing that is 05:50 lacking wants to aspire to be more a 05:52 creation can never be Hashem ever and 05:56 that’s a permanent lack and there’s a 05:59 pain associated with knowing that that’s 06:02 just the way it is so as Shem knew that 06:06 and that’s how it led that’s how the 06:08 eight Zahara was able to lead Adam and 06:11 hava into eating from the tree of the 06:12 knowledge of good and evil by telling 06:15 them that if they ate from the tree of 06:18 the knowledge of good and evil they 06:19 could be like God because that’s how God 06:20 got that way he ate from the tree and 06:22 now he’s got and it could be God too and 06:24 so of course they went for that okay and 06:28 the only way that you can know that this 06:30 is absolutely true and is true for us 06:32 today is to just observe tiny babies and 06:36 children you’ll see it if one has it 06:39 they all 06:39 have to have it it’s painful to them not 06:42 to have it they’re not pretending 06:44 they’re not bad they’re not evil it’s 06:46 actually built-in give one a bottle they 06:49 all have to have a bottle you don’t love 06:51 me where’s my bottle ah okay and it 06:56 doesn’t change just because we get big 06:59 okay if somebody has a car we want a car 07:02 if somebody has this we want this it 07:05 falls to the material and physical world 07:07 but it was invented as part of being a 07:11 creation so that we would aspire to be 07:14 more godlike so what does Hashem do he 07:17 desires for us to not have that pain of 07:20 feeling as though we are less than he is 07:23 so he creates a world where he can hide 07:26 and gives us the job of being godlike 07:29 and causing the reconstitution of Olam 07:33 haba through our freewill choice of 07:35 revealing Hashem in this world with 07:39 freewill are you with me do you hear 07:42 what I’m saying because when we act in a 07:46 god-like manner while he’s concealed and 07:48 we are reconstituting Olam haba when we 07:52 once again have Olam haba having had 07:55 made a freewill choice that is positive 07:58 to do so even though we still can never 08:01 be God we will not have the same pain 08:05 for being the creation we will have some 08:11 kind of an inoculation because we will 08:13 have made choices that were godlike this 08:18 is a reframe for everything we feel here 08:22 in this world every single challenge and 08:25 this is what we need to take with us in 08:28 every moment when we ask ourselves the 08:31 question that rabbi Natan teaches us to 08:33 ask which is what does Hashem want from 08:36 me in the moment meaning in what way can 08:39 I reconstitute Olam haba right now in 08:42 one way is this feeling or thought or 08:46 emotion something that I can bring the 08:50 positive positive 08:53 spiritual creative energy that’s trapped 08:56 in it through my heart back to a Kurdish 09:01 boy who so that it can be restored to 09:04 its true characteristic of revealing 09:07 Hashem love and mercy may I be given the 09:10 opportunity to reveal that light so how 09:15 do we do it because our thoughts present 09:17 sometimes very angry thoughts very 09:20 fearful thoughts very punitive thoughts 09:24 okay because the liate Sahara has a lot 09:28 of Cerises it’s very very quick to step 09:31 in there and take advantage of the 09:34 opportunity to draw our soul towards its 09:40 thinking and goals because that’s how 09:42 the eight Sahara feeds itself and the 09:46 forces of evil by drawing holiness off 09:49 of people it doesn’t have direct access 09:53 so when last week I told you when I when 09:58 I burnt my hand 09:59 okay immediately the 8th Sahara was 10:01 jumping in with all the thinking about 10:03 about myself and about this and about 10:06 that that was just causing me more 10:08 mental anguish 10:09 never mind the physical anguish why did 10:12 I have to have mental anguish at the 10:13 same time I wasn’t choosing that the 8th 10:16 Sahara wanted mean you think those 10:17 thoughts because just like any bully I 10:20 was down and he was gonna take advantage 10:22 he was gonna steal my money it’s gonna 10:24 steal my holiness and take it and turn 10:27 you and suck it up not my hand was gonna 10:29 burn and he didn’t care he wasn’t trying 10:32 to protect me even though he was telling 10:35 me was we have to be able to spot that 10:39 how do we spot that we have to 10:41 understand the design we have to have or 10:44 in the design and we had to have total 10:46 and muna in the design and initiative 10:49 constant presence and love for us and 10:52 the desire that he has for us to 10:55 reconstitute Olam haba and his belief in 10:58 us by giving us life and by giving us 11:01 vitality by giving us challenges that he 11:03 can send us things knowing that we’ll 11:06 know it 11:06 do with it which is to nullify the 11:09 presenting force and run with all the 11:12 spiritual energy in koa and bring it 11:15 back to him so that he can be revealed 11:17 in this world and the eight Sahara also 11:20 wants us to pass the test even though he 11:22 doesn’t take it easy on us he’s very 11:25 evil and he wants to destroy us but his 11:28 he wants us to pass the test he want he 11:30 wasn’t destroys but his purpose is for 11:32 us to pass the test and when we do and 11:36 we run with our thinking back to a 11:39 Kurdish boy who we yank out the positive 11:43 spiritual energy that that was in and 11:46 animating the eight Sahara’s ability to 11:51 get our attention in the first place and 11:52 he weakens and that’s really what we 11:56 want we want the the world of the 11:59 knowledge of good and evil to be 12:01 replaced by the knowledge by the Tree of 12:05 Life the Tree of Life is knowing that 12:08 Hashem is all loving and all good at all 12:11 times as well present fills every 12:14 thought every feeling every circumstance 12:17 that everything is a sham a knurled 12:19 nevado including us so what are we we 12:24 are a beam of light 12:25 we’re not the negativity that we feel 12:28 we’re not the circumstances we’re not 12:30 the Clutts that dropped the thing we’re 12:33 not the the one who who said the wrong 12:37 thing in a damaging way we’re not our 12:41 mistakes we’re not over there as we are 12:43 we are a being that is capable of chula 12:47 of returning everything and and and 12:51 asking Hashem instead to be able to 12:53 reveal him in this world in this way we 12:56 can bring everything to rectification 12:59 through confession through chuva through 13:03 regret through a plan for the future 13:07 through a growth in a muna through a 13:11 reliance on a koteshwara qu through 13:14 self-knowledge to see the ways that the 13:16 aid Zahara tells us lies that we think 13:19 we need to file 13:21 we don’t need to accuse anybody we don’t 13:24 need to do and lift our pinkie to do any 13:27 act against another person Hashem knows 13:31 what other people are doing we do need 13:36 to tell Hashem what we see and how it 13:42 makes us feel and the feelings that we 13:44 don’t want to follow and ask him to 13:47 nullify the the thought that we’re 13:51 having in that regard and to heal the 13:53 root causes of it by helping everyone 13:56 involved to feel an ability to reveal 14:01 Hashem London mercy that has Hashem love 14:03 and mercy should surround everyone 14:05 including the root causes of it whether 14:07 it’s in me whether it’s in a past 14:10 situation that all of the spiritual 14:12 energy involved should be able to break 14:14 free from the eight Sahara’s grip and 14:17 that it should all come to be healed 14:20 that is what we can do that is our peace 14:24 we don’t need to tell them how to do it 14:26 he knows how to do it we need to move 14:29 the spiritual content that’s what we 14:33 have the power to do through art – fela 14:36 and then if if something comes up and we 14:41 see a way of taking the constructive act 14:44 of saying a word or or or somehow 14:48 without making anybody feel inadequate 14:50 bringing out a a point that won’t make 14:55 anybody feel adequate or inadequate but 14:58 but will be an act of compassion that 15:01 will follow the Torah and even if it’s 15:04 we’re supposed to rebuke somebody or if 15:06 we’re supposed to get Tokra it has to be 15:08 done according to the Torah okay but 15:13 first we have to clear all the spiritual 15:16 energy out and bring it to rectification 15:19 and make sure that anything that we’re 15:21 doing is a reflection of Hashem and 15:23 we’re doing it for him to reconstitute 15:26 the world of Olam haba and not for our 15:31 myopic agenda which might actually 15:34 get something wrong and mix in a nebera 15:36 that could end up being our own judgment 15:39 the judgment that Hashem uses against us 15:42 god forbid we may be thinking that we’re 15:45 making a judgment on somebody else but 15:47 we all know that the in the world of 15:50 Hashem he often will give us a test to 15:52 see how we’re going to handle it not 15:55 because he’s going to handle it with 15:56 that other person but rather so that he 15:59 knows how he should treat us they they 16:01 don’t necessarily know what our judgment 16:02 could be and where we’re writing our own 16:04 judgment and that’s what happens if 16:07 we’re not totally connected to this idea 16:09 of of making every single effort to 16:16 nullify the presentation and bring all 16:18 the coop back to a Kurdish for who and 16:21 rectification so that we can reveal has 16:23 gems love and mercy reconstituting Olam 16:26 haba that is what we’re here to do we 16:30 cannot forget to hold on to that rail 16:33 that is the rail we have to hold on to 16:36 otherwise we get lost okay I think I 16:43 said what I came to say I’m sorry that I 16:46 don’t have anything to type up here but 16:49 I think I have to rest my hand and I 16:51 hope that everybody has a very good 16:53 Shabbes and if I greatly appreciate 16:57 feedback if this inspires anybody or if 17:00 you want to share please leave a comment 17:02 on the blog thank you so much

Here is support information for some of the ideas above

Here is interesting information from Dan Siegel, MD,  a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which focuses on the development of mindsight, which teaches insight, empathy, and integration in individuals, families and communities. Dr. Siegel has published extensively for both the professional and lay audiences, including four New York Times best-sellers.

An example, a prayer in teshuva for healing and redemption

I am crying out to You from a place of fear and anger.

Some thing happened and my natural thoughts and emotions have landed me in lowliness, in  this darkness.  My soul feels like the mortar holding together a pattern of blocks that, like a brick wall, further conceal Your Presence due to my upset and constricted feelings.  How did I get jammed into holding together these familiar patterns, such old bricks?

From my Torah learning I know that in the true reality, everything is good and that this is all good, but it doesn’t feel that way.

It is that familiar pattern again…I see the thoughts that the yetzer hara is whispering, trying hard for me to think those thoughts, but I don’t want to go there or have those emotions or any of those outcomes.

 Wanting from the physical and material world what we see makes it a real challenge to NOT be drawn towards thinking the thoughts we see as powerful in mastering and obtaining what we want from  the physical and material world.  So I see clearly that the start of the pattern means that I accepted from some thought within myself something that is either not true, lashon hara or motzei shemra because Hashem is the Giver and the only one Who Bestows and we cannot take anything.

 I see clearly that this is because of my feeling inadequate in someone’s eyes and that I am afraid of being hurt because of being inadequate, such as being laughed at, rejected, yelled at, ignored, disrespected, discounted, or worse.  I do not want to be destructive out of a false sense of survival. 

In the physical and material world, it is totally understandable that those feelings would arise. But  I know my survival depends only on You.  I know that being inadequate is the result of being a creation who can never be the Creator.

 I know that this truth has fallen into the images of the physical and material world, and that recognition of falseness is why I cry out to You.   I know from Torah that what whispered that originating thought of inadequacy (and what impact that might have on me) – even though it purportedly is designed to protect me from the harm of shame, blame, or ego-pain that comes from feeling inadequate in the material and physical world – is coming from the yetzer hara who wishes for my thinking to grip to its wisdom rather than to the truth that this is from Hashem and is all good. 

This is MY OPPORTUNITY of a lifetime to be G’d-like in forming from all this confused energy a reconstituted Olam Haba and image of myself as tzelem elokim.  The core purpose of being in this world is to reconstitute Olam Haba from it.  I see this now as my opportunity to serve Hashem,, to remember that everything Hashem gives me is not mine but His and to use the  vitality, intelligence and love that Hashem bestows upon me towards effortfully reconstituting Olam Haba and correcting the confusion that came from having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

I love You Hashem.  I am in awe of the design of the world and of how Hashem has made us in His Image with consciousness of Him. I realize that I have nothing but am responsible for what Hashem has given to me, to use it according to His Will.

Hashem please help me bring all that is swirling within me into the love that I have for You and the awe I have for how You have created the world.  Please, through my generating love and awe for You, please may whatever thought began this chain be nullified and please may all the energy with which I thought that thought, now and as a pattern, be freed from the confines of that falsehood. 

Please may my soul be free to feel and reveal Your truth, Your love and mercy without blocks and distortions that keep me distant from You.  Please instead may that place in my heart be filled with Your love and mercy so that I feel Your love and mercy.  I wish only to reveal Your Love and Mercy. 

Please may all judgments involved in this matter be sweetened with the love and mercy with which You alone can heal it.   I see that my own aveiras from past mistakes may have caused this judgment to come upon me through this matter. I caused pain in the past.  This is my aveira that is coming to be healed.  Please bring only love and mercy to replace everything false or distorted or painful for everyone.

Please may my effort be granted success.  Please may the blocks that keep Hashem from being felt and revealed be removed not only for me, but for all Klal Yisrael.  Please may Hashem is able to be revealed in this world, b’ahava, with a restoration of Olam Haba and the geula shelama.

Am I ready to crown Hashem King? Some thoughts on that…

Rabbi Kessin on Rosh Hashana
Minutes 19 to 27 that describe Hashem’s plan

Here are rough notes of the above.  It is important to understand Hashem’s design.  When we understand it, we are empowered to embrace the task of teshuva, of nullifying the physical and material appearance of the world.

Why does Hashem do anything?  You can encapsulate all the acts of Hashem in three rationales.  This is why Hashem does anything.  Fundamentally, what is going on in this world. 

What Hashem says is the following. I am going to create a reality which I will be revealed and I want people in that reality so they can experience that reality, olam haba. 

The future world is created first.  What is the essential nature of that reality?  Hashem is totally revealed. There is no concealment in that reality.

But Hashem – what he wants is to take that reality and change it, to a reality where He is concealed and He wants to place people in that reality, olam haze, where Hashem is not revealed, in a physical world that is a barrier to revealing Hashem.  And he says to the people you need to reconvert this reality into olam haba.  I want you to purify the physical and reverse it into olam haba. That is what He wants.  Hashem creates a reality, to change it to an incredibly inferior reality and to change it back to the original reality.  That is what the Jewish people are intended to do.  To retransform a physical reality back into a spiritual reality, the reality that Hashem created.  That is essentially what it is about.  Reality 1 he is present.  Reality 2 is he is concealed. Your job is to transform reality 2 to 1 and to the extent that you contribute to that, that is what you will experience in the world to come. That is tikkun, to rectify.  Hashem wants to rectify the existential state that became inferior and transform that back to olam haba.

The question is how do we do this?  We can do it by doing mitzvahs. By doing a mitzvah we testify to the will of Hashem and that Hashem is the only being that has a will and we conform to that will. That is absolute justice.

Besides that Hashem gave teshuva.  What happens if you make a mistake?  Then Hashem distances himself.  That means I also have a will and He distances himself from us, to the degree we think we are something. That is damage.  Distance.  Teshuva is I regret that testimony and now I testify that You are the only one. I take it back. Then Hashem allows us tor emove the damage with that.

So Hashem also has yesurim of suffering.  In and of itself it does tikkun because it removes the delusion that you are independent of Hashem and you get that Hashem is everything.  It reverses the whole process.

We understand that there is a situation, that mankind finds himseself. And we have to get out of the situation by reversing the world to olam haba.  We have to remove the barrier itself. There is no other way.  That is necessary to experience olam haba.

We do that through tikkun, mitzvhas, teshuva and suffering. That is the long and short of it, the whole plan

So this work of nullifying the physical and material world is something to embrace.  It is the topic of Daas Tevunas.

Rabbi Doniel Katz, in his Elevation Project, helps us with nullifying the appearance and our reactions to the physical world in his discussions on Daas and thinking and kelipot.

He teaches (www.elevationproject.com) that our natural thinking is one thought entangled in another, thoughts that we dive into and thereby experience emotions and distress.  He teaches how to observe the thoughts and surround them with compassion, thereby acknowledging the thought but not investing attention in thinking the thought but rather only to noticing the thought, realizing if it is “kosher” and then choosing to walk past it out of love and awe in Hashem and a desire to serve Him, to stay connected with compassion and Hashem’s love and mercy, to heal and elevate what is captive in the thought rather than get drawn down into the level of the thought itself.

It is 12 days to Rosh Hashana.  It would be great if we truly understood how we slip past the observation of our thoughts into placing our attention into the thoughts that lead one to another and take us someplace other than toward nullifying the physical and material world.

Where is our thinking?  Are we so glad with our accomplishments within the physical and material world that we don’t see the benefit of doing teshuva on this, of seeing that there is distance between Hashem and us that He permits but it is not to our advantage?  Are we ready to crown Hashem King?

Chai Elul – Ba’al Shem Tov on the Torah Parashat Ki Tavo given by Rabbi Moshe Genuth

Who is the real ME? For Elul and beyond!

Very rough notes on Ki Tavo shiur

What will happen if we don’t keep Torah in Israel.

98 negative consequences.

There are 54 verses, the same as the number of parshas in the Torah.

98 is 2 times 7 squared.  49 times 2

And your life will hang in doubt before you. When you are in exile. And you will fear night and day and not believe in your life.  This is the apex of the calamity, the worst possible state.

You should always be able to find something wrong with your service in Hashem or an ulterior motive for which we serve Hashem.  Even an extremely slight one or that we are not serving with love and fear.  When we come back and do the mitzvah without that ulterior motive (such as not letting someone down, or wanting to feel good about ourselves, self interest of the animal soul). We will be careful to do it with love and fear and not for the ulterior motive.

Now probe deeper even in the same act, and now that we see it, we want more fear and realization of Hashem.  Thus we may discover more subtle ulterior motives, more exacting with the self and involving ourselves with our impurities.  This is lowliness.

The emphasis is this is how you come to serve Hashem better. Not looking at yourself. The emphasis of finding the impurities is what allows you to move forward.  You can’t move forward in your service of Hashem if we don’t find the impurities.  The focus is am I serving Hashem.  To do that continually, search for more and more subtle ulterior motives that I have in doing a mitzvah. When I find that, I will have more love and fear, the left and right arms, and for a mitzvah, they are like the wings of the mitzvah, what make us ascend higher.

The more you can find an ulterior motive in what you are doing, not lishma, but I want to get something out of it, a reward, credit to my name, etc. 

The more lowly you feel, the finding of an ulterior motive, the more ascent you have, the more lift you get the next time you do the mitzvah.

If we are full of ulterior motives, we are not serving Hashem properly.  This is self image, I am a tzaddik I do everything that needs to be done. if we serve without ulterior motives, how do we go to a higher level of worship?  Only through lowliness. It is the driving force from below to above, it is what gives us lift.

You can’t coast.  Something that is alive is constantly in a state of run and return.  It means we have a pulse. There is no such thing as flat life. To run and return means that either we go up or we go down.  I adopt lowliness I do the down, lowly, because that is the return that will lead to the next run.  The more lowly we are, the more we feel the tension of being distant from Hashem and want to come closer.  If we see it as our flaw, it gives us back the power, my not being able to succeed is my flaw, not outside of me, then I can improve it.  I am responsible for finding the tiny subtle ulterior motives that I have.

How do I have some interest in mind?  If I can find that, I can transcend it.  If we run to Hashem then we descend, a controlled descent.  By my saying I found something imperfect about what I did, and now I can go higher by that the next time.

Your life your vitality your fear and love of Hashem wll hang before you .this is bitul.  If I do something my vitality is not mine, I did not do something to deserve it, the vitality is not mine.  If something is holding me back, it is me. It is our self interest, the image we are trying to uphold, is what is holding us back.  This is shifless.

Whatever I have is because Hashem gave it to me. I don’t have anything on my own.

We should think always that hashem is giving us vitality.  That is lowliness.

Malchus says I am a king.  We strive to rule our live, our kingdom. We have to be the ruler, a king.  But we have nothing on our own, we are given everything from Hashem.

Tzaddikim depart from the world…they have a certain suffering and then they are shown their reward in the next world.

He feels that all that I have labored has failed, is not worthy of anything.  I have taken Hashem’s energy and used it poorly, inserting my ulterior motives into it.  That is what it means to not believe in your life and not to feel that you have attained anything at all.  You can’t take anything for granted.  It is not yours.

I am not deserving for all the great things I may have done.  It was not mine.  I am not deserving of anything.  I didn’t do anything and if I did I did it out of my own ulterior motives.

That is how a tzaddik sees his life.

Throw your ulterior motives as a way of getting rid of baggage.  When we do the mitzvah, free yourself of ascribing it to yourself, of taking credit for everything we do.  The other side gets that credit.  We have to feel that we are always falling short.  We use the concept of a scapegoat.  I did it for the ulterior motive. This is a way of throwing it on the mother bird. Identify the ulterior motive in what we are doing. This is the method to constantly strive higher.  It is not about our self image.  Don’t look at his being.  Focus on how am I doing.  I look at myself only as a method for moving higher, for serving Hashem.  If you are talking about yourself you are feeding the other side.

When Rashbi fled to the cave, he was there with his son and Eliyahu came to teach them.  One morning, his friends wake up and they say, why is it there are no promises made at the end of the rebuke that Hashem will take us out, remembering His covenant, like in Behotai.  They are learning it and they are thinking there are no promise we will come out.  They say to themselves if only Rashbi were here he would show us how there is comfort in this rebuke.

 A pigeon comes down.  It is a symbol of am Yisroel.  He says pigeon take this note, where does it say in the tochaha that there will be a way out of the exile.  So the pigeon takes it to Rashbi and he starts to weep because he does not know.  If only Eliyahu were here he could tell me but he is not here.  Eliyahu came to him anyway. He says meditate on the verses in the tochacha and you will see where it says.  And he sees.  But it doesn’t say which verse.  In that verse is how you finish the exile, how you come out.  This was not revealed and no one knew which was the verse.  The person who revealed which verse it is, and it is hard to know – it could be each has to meditate on it. Rabbi gershon Ashkenazi and he was the chief rabbi of Poland.  Krakow.  He moved to Vienna. He is considered the most sharp witted.  And he writes in his book that the verse that Rashbi saw was that your life will hang before you…

He passed away two years before besht was born.  The BESHT interpreted this because he knew this is the verse Rashbi saw.  It is a positive thing.

It is disheartening because it says we don’t know when the end will be, it is up to an interpretation. There is no set limit to the galus ending. In this rebuke it doesn’t say anything.  It could be very long.

The first exile was set.  70 years.  That is in its time. In its time I will hasten it.  The first redemption was at a set time.

When you decide you are ready I will make it run.  But you have to look into this pasuk.  This is disheartening.  I am going to suffer and it is all in my hands, what do you want from me.  We are afraid of the responsibility.  The suffering ends when I decide I want to get out of exile.  I have to look into these verses.  In the psyche, it is not time will heal in its time.  To say that it is up to me to heal myself, that is much more difficult because it puts the responsibility on my shoulders.

It is saying there is no easy way out of the galus. It is up to you.

What does it mean that it is positive. 

In the book he explains why this verse is so important. 

When everyone learns to see what they are doing and see Hashem in everything, then the galus will end.  You [jcan only count on yourself.

BESHT shita is based on that.  He looks at the book and says this verse.  The word kluim, left hanging,  the gematria is taf pei aleph. He passed away shortly before that.  Taf nun cheit, 1698 is when besht died.  He placed the redemption 1721.  He went back to the old system that it is a certain date.

Besht says it is up to you. The way to come out of exile is by seeing my lowliness. The more we see our lowliness, the more we will go higher and higher. This is the height of the rebuke, the worst part, we don’t know where we are. This is exactly what you need to fully serve hashem . it takes you out of your problems. Your life force is not yours.  It is hanging.

We have to find more fear of Hashem, more lowliness, how distant am I from Hashem.  If you are able to see your own lowliness, then the next mitzvah you are flying higher and higher.  You can’t get it right. It takes away, to do right is to see how you are still distant from doing it right.

Look at it and see that I had some ulterior motive so I am still distant. So each time I refine my actions until we remove all the dross.  In the end we will succeed in coming out of the exile.  It is not our life.  It is Hashem’s life. The vitality is not from us.  I have only this one breath.  The next breath I don’t know about.  I have this breath.  This is all Hashem’s vitality.  And when I do what I do, and the exhale and being empty of air is that I am empty I need Hashem to fill me up again.

This is really the beginning of the work of the BESHT.  It is not about me.  It is about what I am doing, how I am doing what I am doing, how I serve Hashem.

If you realize you are still distant then you realize the life force flowing through you is coming from Hashem not from you.

Who is the real ME? For Elul and beyond!

Hashem is all Powerful.  He is the Creator.  Nothing exists without His Love and Mercy.  He is all Loving.  He is One.

What do we understand about how great is Hashem, the King? What if we could realize that Hashem is far bigger than we realize?

How could we even get a glimmer of this truth?

When we will stand on Rosh Hashana, the Day of Judgment, as paupers who realize Hashem is the One Who Bestows our year upon us, we may have a moment to acknowledge the truth, and perhaps to sense it for a moment.

What is it within us that stands as the “pauper?” Is it our bodies?  Is it our personalities and egos?  Is it something else?

What if “the pauper” is the degree of our awareness that we are a creation?  How much emunah do we exercise that all there is in the world is Hashem?  Do we recognize that all the love and intelligence we manifest in our lives is, at best, merely some ability given to us to reflect His intelligence and His compassion? How great is our yearning to do His Will?

What does Hashem give to us with which to serve Him? 

Life.  A body, hopefully health.  Our needs, wealth.  Our soul.  Yes.  But we have something more.  We have a causative free will.

What we are judged on is what we choose to do to serve Hashem in the next year…are we going to do His Will in elevating the material and physical world to its spiritual potential?

How does knowing this help us in Elul, a time of reflection, teshuva, soul-searching, finding areas into which we may grow spiritually?

We are a creation, and, with emunah, we know that all there is in the world is Hashem. We have some ability to imitate something of His compassion. Our yearning is to express His Will rather than our own will. We have real free will, a causative effort, to make a choice – to choose to bring out the tzelem elokim in order to reveal Hashem’s love and mercy in this world. We are our effort to do so. Success is up to Hashem.

And here is the point of how we may grow in elul.  It is possible to see more and more that our will is following the lures and the wisdom of the angel that runs nature, the Soton.

 This does not mean that we are inherently evil..it means that our thinking and our pursuits are confused because the Soton is interested in gaining access to our thinking and holiness so that our souls nourish the darkness.  That access to our neshama’s life force spells survival for the Soton. 

In elul, when we see the futility of our patterns, we are ready to surrender to Hashem’s Will and redeem our soul from eating out of the Soton’s ways, seeing the bankruptcy of pursuing our patterns.  We are not our mistakes.  We are not our patterns.  We are not our vulnerabilities or the personality flaws.  We are not our bodies.  We are not our painful thought patterns. All these are what we have to work from and with.

We are the awareness, emunah and will to love Hashem and have awe in the design of the world, all of which then generate a choice to spiritual pursuits rather than natural pursuits. Our choice has an influence upon the spiritual realms, which implement Hashem’s Will in this world, a natural expression of spiritual decrees from Hashem.

Let’s take a closer look.

Our natural thinking is achievement oriented, meaning that it has a desire or goal and attempts to implement it.  We apply our intelligence, imagination and resources towards following the thoughts we believe will bring us closer to the goal.  We may get an idea.  We think about it and invest time and thought in exploring its feasibility.  Now we may take steps towards it. Is Hashem in the picture? 

Our spiritual thinking is Hashem oriented.  In order to be so, knowing what Hashem’s Will and design of the world are become vital.  To answer the question “what does Hashem want from ME”, we have to know what Hashem’s Will is and who the “ME” is.  The real me.  Not the me Hashem gives to me.  Who is the real “ME?”

We are a creation, and, with emunah, we know that all there is in the world is Hashem. We have some ability to imitate something of His compassion. Our yearning is to express His Will rather than our own will. We have real free will, a causative effort, to make a choice – to choose to bring out the tzelem elokim in order to reveal Hashem’s love and mercy in this world. The real “ME” is  our effort to do so. Success is up to Hashem.

Do we have a sense of the look and feel of the thought chains that repeat over and over, causing us to cringe yet with no real way to “change the radio station?”  I think we all know what these thought chains look like.  We want something, we are not seeing its fruition.  We don’t have control over the “playing board” of characters or circumstances.  We have a few steps that keep coming to mind to take to see if we can have an impact in the direction we would like things to go. It backfires. We feel frustrated.  We turn in another direction to try something else.  We take steps towards that. And on and on, awaiting the next idea that seems to have our goal in focus with a plan that makes sense.

Is it working?  And if we reach that goal, are we happy?  For how long?

Thus is our involvement with natural thinking and the material and physical world.

If it is not working, meaning that we are seeking important goals – shidduchim, children, parnassa – and these elude us, where do we turn?

We bring Hashem into the picture. Remember Hashem, the only Power?

What does Hashem want from us?

Do we realize that, even if we are keeping mitzvahs, learning Torah, and davening, that we may not be bringing Hashem into the depths of our hearts in order that our primary purpose at all times is to reveal His Compassion?  Do we realize that exactly what is holding us back from remembering to ask Him to help us reveal His Compassion IS what needs to become the object of a spiritual task, the block covering the solution we seek? 

We need a new approach and perspective on  our frustrations and circumstances. The object of our achievement orientation needs to shift to the fundamental work for which free will has been given to us within the design of the world. That fundamental work is to play a part in the reconstruction of the Shechina, the return to its Source of spiritual energy that fell into nature and concealment when we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Hashem’s design is that by our effort to choose to do this, we have a real opportunity to be like Hashem.  That effort and choice, to be G’d-like while alive in a body, serves as an inoculation to the awareness that we are a creation and not Hashem Himself.  How?  Because in our own unique universes, we ARE exercising a causative effort that is a G’d-like function.  We are giving and loving in these moments, altruistic.  We submit and subdue what tantalizes us from the material and physical world. We walk past the lures that draw our attention to fulfilling our appetites for our desires, honor and sense of personal power/ego.  We choose to unblock all that spiritual content so it may return to its Source.

How do we do this?  Through a free willed prayer, asking Hashem to help.  We don’t want to go after these lures.  We just want to feel Your love and mercy so that we may reveal Your Love and Mercy. Please help. We feel love and awe for Hashem and surround the thought chain with that love, while asking Hashem to please help. This takes emunah that Hashem is One and that we are a part of His Compassion and NOT the images and lures that block and conceal the spiritual energy.

When we hold steady in emunah and free will, beseeching Hashem to please help the spiritual energy trapped and concealed return to its Source, to Him, an array of memories may begin, as we see where this spiritual energy became encased within our thinking originally. Breathe deeply in and out and just let it go out.  Ask that all the spiritual energy reveal Hashem’s love and mercy in the very same place in our hearts.  We want to reveal Hashem’s love and mercy, not what developed as a block over it!

Who is the real “ME?”  the real “ME” is the effort to do the above.  Everything else is a creation of Hashem.  What I do with real free will is the real ME that I create as an eternal identity, and that is the G’d-like act that I am given that inoculates me from feeling embarrassed for all eternity as a creation that takes from Hashem.  I have the opportunity right now to give, through a simple prayerful willful sincere request, spiritual content towards an eternal identity of tzelem elokim so that I may reveal His Compassion.  That is G’d-like. 

 Tips to spot the yetzer hara

Is the category desire, ego image or honor?

What is the need message that captures our thoughts in its grip?

What is the false belief or lie I slid past to wake up in its grips?

Tips to break the grip of the yetzer hara

How is this protecting me when its message itself is so upsetting?

Step back with emunah and will power asking Hashem to nullify the lures and darkness, declaring our desire to take the opportunity to reconstruct shechina (see minute 19 to 26 of Rabbi Kessin on Rosh Hashana)

Generate love and awe for Hashem, our compassion using His compassion which also brings upon the matter His Compassion, to consciously surround the thoughts and emotions with something of real power – the infinite magnet of Hashem’s compassion.

Breathe while doing ratzo vshov, asking Hashem to feel His compassion so that it may be revealed from this very place in our hearts

Rabbi Asher Freund on Elul

May our work in Elul produce a favorable judgment on Rosh Hashana for all!  And may we be zocheh to a year of the geula shelama b’ahava.

See especially  minute 19 to 26 for Hashem’s Will

Hear also segment starting at minute 49 regarding Rosh Hashana and man

Sources from Ki Teitze and an example using the spreadsheet of walk through questions

The


The Ohr HaChaim on Ki Teitze says, in part:

The reason the Torah says the plural form of isha, woman,  … is to alert us that the subject is man’s soul, the one that is inseparable from the body.

The nachash does not exert any influence on a soul until it has descended and inhabits a body.  He is only able to take it into captivity once it has become inseparable from the body.

This nefesh is called isha, a woman, … the soul is intrinsically very beautiful indeed, and it has only disheveled herself by means of the sins committed by the body it inhabits.

Please listen to this 17 minute explanation that I made, integrating and empowering all of us to properly understand and act upon  “If I am not for me, who shall be for me?”  The “me” is our awareness of the design of Creation, including not only Hashem’s desire to give us the perfect pleasure, but also the amazing truth of our ability to make a G’d-like causative effort.    Please listen:

Here is an example using the needs chart:

Here is the example above according to the chart on the spreadsheet questions below:

The example is a need for safety, for help when sick or injured, for natural need for protection

The concern is.. if I do not have attention to my vulnerability, then I am abandoned and those who should be there are falling down on the job and/or don’t care.

My natural response a la yetzer hara is that I should pout and feel rejected and unlovable.

When i ask if that is true, when i strive for truth, the thought is that just because someone is not making a fuss does not mean they are being inattentive or uncaring. they could be afraid, confused, or thrown for a loop or having a panic attack of their own.

Am I really unsafe?

Why, if the message is that I need safety and am not getting it, am I hearing from this yetzer hara who is trying to be my life coach messages about myself or another that are not true and in themselves cause me to panic and feel upset aside from the situation? how does that help me calm down from the actual challenge?

How else might I calm myself down?

What is this challenge for? Why is this judgment being sent to me by Hashem and what is my opportunity to be like Him?

Hashem is sending me the consequence of an aveira that i did teshuva on, and this is part of the teshuva, some yesurim, that is part of the teshuva.

thank you Hashem safety comes from Hashem alone. He will provide me with the inner wisdom, or outside help, if needed.

Here is more explanation from me:

Here are two excerpts from 15th of Elul, by HaRav Yitzchok Berkowits published in Why We Tremble.

Again here is the blank spreadsheet showing steps to follow