We often have questions: is the way that God runs the world really good? What we are asking for actually is certainty. we want to see , feel and experience only good!
But God hides Himself from us in order that we have a chance to give to Him, unconditionally and in this way come close to Him. This way is the way of faith and is known in the Kabbalah as the right- hand line, the line of Chesed. It is the consciousness of giving unconditionally. According to our faith, we need to feel happy and content, even when things seem to be the opposite. To come to this state of consciousness we need the Torah, as the light from the Torah brings us to the good way.
If we can come to this faith in God as the Giver of all Good, then God reveals to us the inner wisdom of the Torah. This is the consciousness of knowledge, called the left- hand line of consciousness.
But the Sages have taught us that it is forbidden that a person’s wisdom should be greater than his good deeds, so therefore his wisdom needs to be clothed and covered by his deeds of loving-kindness. This is the middle line of Torah. This is the ultimate harmony and balance brought by the Torah.
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This podcast is dedicated in love to all those souls who can and are ready to have more clarity in their lives and to shed the obstructions that hold them back from recognizing their own divinity . Especially dedicated to Yehudah ben Esther, and Kalman Roen ben Feige Tziporah
Podcast inspired by Article 19 from Sefer HaMama’arim volume 4 תש”ן
“And God spoke to Avraham”
It is with these three words that the Torah opens a brand new chapter in the history of mankind.
These three words, “And God spoke to Abraham” startled me, coming out of ? nowhere?
Why did God speak to Abraham, and even more poignantly how did Abraham recognize God speaking to him?
If God were to speak to me, would I know who it was? Maybe God speaks to all of us everyday, but we do not hear?
So we need to ask ourselves, what had Avraham done? How had he worked on himself, in the seventy five years that he lived, before he heard the voice of God?
These questions are not new, but were asked in the Midrash, in the Zohar, and in modern times by Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag, the Baal HaSulam. The answers are as relevant now as they were to Avraham thousands of years ago.
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My thanks to my Chevruta Leah Weinstein for pointing out the Perush of the Or HaChayim and to my Chevruta Jodie Lebowitz who patiently learned the sources with me.
Zohar from Perush haSulam Lech Lecha, paragraph 1
Yom kippur is a day of prayer and coming back to our true selves. But this isn’t easy, as we very often aren’t very conscious of where we have gone wrong or what our truest and deepest desires really are. In a remarkable essay, Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag teaches us how to begin to distinguish a real need from one that may seem real but is in fact extraneous. The Sages of the Talmud said,
“Rabbi Elazar said that when the Temple was destroyed all the gates of prayer were closed; but even though the gates of prayer were closed the gate of tears is never locked.”
Through this discussion we learn the inner meaning of the prayer” And all believe that He answers the whisper, Who open the gate to those who knock in Tehuvah,” wanting to return to their Source.
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From the Sefer HaMamarim of Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag, with grateful thanks to Shmuel Igar Kinyan who studied it with me.
Other talks on Yom Kippur
“The Inner Essence of Yom Kippur”, “From the depths I call on You”, “Yom Kippur : A chance to reclaim our true identity”
The shofar is the sound of compassion
People often approach the high holidays with some feelings of guilt or dread. Much of this is based on misinterpretations of classical texts. Rabbi Ashlag, by teaching us the spiritual roots of the language helps us correct these faulty ideas and discover how wrong we have been. This particularly apples to the festivals of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, transforming them from occasions dreaded, to festivals of happiness and joy.
The Talmud states that on Rosh Hashanah three books are opened: the book of the righteous, the book of the wicked and that of those in-between. In the language of the Kabbalah “a book” is a vehicle of consciousness, “life” is the affinity of form with the Life of all Lives, and the wicked is the will to receive for ourselves alone. Thus we see that the books that are opened are consciousnesses within us and the judgement is our own. Which choices will we make? Let us pray to the Creator that we may choose that which gives goodness to our fellow and is compassionate, writing our postive selves for life and sustenance and letting die our ego- orientated selfish desires.
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Other talks for Elul:
Forty days of love: From Elul to Yom Kippur
Enjoying the month of Elul
Shame is a precious feeling
Hurricane Sandy hit the coast of America this week. The Zohar discusses Man’s relationship with nature and the forces of Creation, and we learn how the consciousness of the human being is a prime factor in influencing the behavior of natural forces.
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Keep safe. we’re thinking of you….
(Inspired by a talk given by Rabbi Avraham Mordecai Gottlieb)
The term “Teshuvah” is often translated as repentance. However a more accurate translation is “returning”. The term Teshuvah is not only used by our Sages to describe a state of mind when we wish to repar some misdeed, but it is also also used to describe a higher state of spiritual consciousness than we had previously attained. So the question we need to ask is, how is achieving a higher consciousness considered as a “return”?
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In this talk we continue our learning of the fourteen root commandments (mitzvot ) whichwe started on before the holiday season took over. The commandment of loving God still seems to be beyond reach. In our last talk we learnt that it is the 613 commnadment that comes as a grace when we have attained all the rest. However, the Zohar opens up to a different possiblity which it hints at by looking at Noah , the father of all humanity, and Abraham our father. How did they come to love God? Can we learn from their approach?
Listen now (talk 11 minutes) http://www.nehorapress.com/115470/Audio-Classes