Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Reminder: Tomorrow at 12 IyH Da es Atzmecha and Bilvavi book 1


It's been a long time since we have met to learn Da es Atzmecha and Bilvavi 1!

Tomorrow at 12 ny time, let's catch up, review, and continue with these seforim (and plan for our elul with our avodah).  See below for the new outlines.

Beginning the week of June 10, 2012
New dial in number: 

Israel: 972 76 599 0060
US: 209-255-1000
England: 44-0-784-843-2913
Australia: 61 1300 051 796
South Africa: 27 87 825 0150

access code: 572926

Chapter 4:

Gaining a Positive Self-image from the Soul

"When a person has a low self-esteem, the solution cannot come from the bodily forces.  The solution is to let the soul's light shine, and then, one will truly enjoy a positive self-concept (pg 76)". (Elokai neshama shenasata bi...)

In other words, when you identify with your soul, you will attain positive self esteem.

This is a gift from Hashem and is not something to be arrogant about. Recognize the truth: "I am good, because that is how Hashem created me (pg 77).

{Nefesh Hachaim: after the sin of Adam, the external aspect of evil became internalized. We now thought evil was a part of our "I". The moment we sin, we think the evil is a part of us, when in actuality, we are a pure soul and the evil is a garment. Therefore, if you have negative self image, the solution is to teach ourselves that our essence is good.}

"If a person has a simple basis of emunah in Hashem, and believes that the Torah is true, he must believe that he (and all of mankind) is very good (pg 82)".

"A person should train himself to think this way at all times....No fault in the world can uproot the truth of "Hashem, the soul You placed in me is pure."(82)

Wake up your soul! How?

1. Torah and Mitzvos
2. Believe in the soul's existence
3. Contemplate "I am a neshama".
4. Contemplate the "I" is very good
This method of contemplation will expose your soul, and since it comes from a higher realm than the body, the soul will win over the body- and you will then come to a more positive outlook. (If you see self as a body, then the body rules over the soul)- If you identify with the soul, you reveal goodness and expand its lights, and win over the power of evil within (87).

Where does sadness come from? Not from a situation, rather from not identifying with who you really are, a soul. "Sadness applies when there is no soul." (86) Therefore, the most intense period of sadness is when there is a body without a soul. (87)

What is true love?(connection through bodies is temporary and illusory)91

1. It comes from the neshama, no stinginess or envy involved
2. Inner love comes from your true self, the soul and creates a spiritual connection
3. two people who both see themselves as souls covered with garments=love not dependent on anything
4. deeper love= join with Hashem, eternal love, no pause in this love.

One of six constant mitzvos: ahavas Hashem: deepest pleasure comes from loving Hashem and feeling loved by Him.

So, when we remove evil and start associating and seeing ourselves as a soul, then bring forth the positive feelings, this "true world of love". (92)

Chapter 5:
Eradicate Desire and find Joy:

(ratzon-ratz-run- quick movement to acquire something)

There are two places to find joy:

1. you can find joy in acquiring something you don't own yet that you have ratzon for.
2. joy from your own existence; the natural state of a person is to be happy- when want things other than that, ratzon- removes the joy from a person's soul(97).

Become aware that "uprooting desire will uncover a more peaceful and happy world" (99)

How? When see self as a neshama that lacks nothing, no longer feel the need to acquire things.

Rambam: Happiness does not reside in things that are external to a person, but within. There true pleasure, joy, and peace exist.

Chazal: (avos 6:4) "Eat bread with salt, and drink a measured amount of water, sleep on the ground, and live a life of deprivation. If you do so, you will be happy in this world, and in a good state in the next world."

Why shouldn't we take pleasure from food in this world? The root of the problem is not that he eats, but that he desires (105).

Desire is like suicide: It clouds our clarity of what is important in this world.

What is important in this world? to see self as a soul and feel that very real pleasure.

To DO:
1. say to self " I believe that I have a soul inside of me. I believe that the pleasure is really present inside me."
2. be patient
3. realize you are born in this natural state of joy and desire kills it- "a desire fulfilled is less pleasurable than the absence of desire" (111)

we live in a world built on everyone's desires= destroying the world. If we nullify our will, we will feel calm and peaceful and will reach "true inner peace and complete joy of life."(113)

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh: Section 2

  1. sole aspiration in life=to be close to and attached to Hashem. This is done by awakening the element of truth in the soul through simplicity
  2. staring point in avodas Hashem= awareness there is a Creator=requires work and effort
  3. this belief, there is a Creator, must be “alive in one's mind and heart at all times...the driving force of a person's life every moment, every hour”
  4. Can only feel close to Him if believe He exists.
  5. 3 kinds of awareness: a. chochmah-know the facts on a basic level b. binah-understands the facts well c. da'as- connected to the matter and totally attached to it

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