Sunday, December 29, 2013

Da Es Nafshecha (Getting to know your soul)

Tomorrow at 12:45 ny time IYH

Da es Nafshecha:
Part one:

Last week's review: 

Fire: Negative: destruction through action or speech and conceit ("I am higher than you")
Positive: source for personal growth; burn negative actions to grow.("you cannot be both above and below")

When these people choose a goal, anything else that exists in them becomes meaningless to them. Problem is that sometimes they will try to go to something higher even if not ready for it.  This person wants to add to what he has in growth.

Chapter 1: Working with Fire: (pgs 19-26)

Three kinds of destruction:
1. destruction of something negative
2. destruction of something positive that needs to be transcended
3. destruction of something positive that is supposed to stay

Even good fire can spread past its boundaries:

source of anger:

1. seek to destroy opposition
2. want to rise to higher state so magnify the power of fire within (can lead to wrong areas like anger and this is cause of anger in Torah scholars)

Controlling the fire:

How do we control fire if it spreads past its boundaries?
 1. water:  cuts off forms of nourishment and thus destroys (feels void of vitality): balance it with a constructive form that provides life-giving elements (mohel)

2. earth:  directly attacks the victim and destroys (feels so depressed wants to commit suicide- destroy his very existence): balance it with providing existence to others (build a new city if you are a ruler that destroyed one)

Properly using the fire that inspires:

negating one's current level to rise to the next level:

1. search for a higher level (opposite to a person with no goals in life and never grows)
2. at the same time be happy with where you are- the current level (opposite of a person who is always focused on what he doesn't have)

"we need to "burn"the lower level somewhat in order to strive for a higher one, but...simultaneously sustain it, using earth to maintain its existence(of our current state) and water to get emotional nourishment (the pleasure we derive) from it until the higher element is available."

Please finish chapter one for next week and come up with examples of where you could see this in life.


Da Es Atzmecha (Getting to know yourself) and Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh book 1;

Tomorrow iyH at 12 NY time

Da Es Atzmecha:

Chapter 2: 

Evil is but a garment:


1.There are 3 forms of expression; thoughts, feelings, actions. These can come from the soul or the body.

2. Chazal: a person's real essence-soul- is only good. Positive thoughts, feelings, and actions come from here.
The neshama is eternal, pure and clean.

3.Yetzer hara: external force that covers a person's essence and motivates him to act improperly. All negative thoughts, feelings and actions come from here.

4. You only have to uncover the good that is already within you-Hashem planted it in each person. "There is no need to acquire good behaviors, good qualities, and good feelings". You are all of those things- it is your true essence.

Baal Shem Tov:

Three part avoda: hachna'ah (subjugation), havdala (separation), hamtaka (sweetening)

Basic Preparation: Self Awareness:

This avoda begins with the mind. First must know who is the real "I".

"I am a pure, clean, and devoid of evil. I am a soul."

What is the proper attitude toward sin?
If we do something wrong, the yetzer hara grabs onto the deed and sends us thoughts that throw us into sadness and regret that could last for days. BUT if we see ourselves as a soul- then we put it in perspective, and get rid of the "garments" that we don't want to wear. (4 steps of teshuva)

Origin of self misconceptions:
Eating from eitz hadaas: one explanation: "From the day you eat from it, you will die": Instead of man seeing himself as "full of vitality, by improving himself and then others, man would see himself in a self-destructive way. Such a perspective is akin to suicide" (pg 54) you are blocking the light of your soul from shining forth.

Avoid suicide:
Elokai, neshama shenasata bi, tehora hi: realize when we say: Hashem, the soul You placed in me is pure, this is the truth. When you know you are your soul, and your soul is pure and untainted, then you can live in and receive insight from the light of your soul.

Practical Effort: (what to DO)

1. Two times a day if you notice something negative (in thoughts, feelings, or actions), say to yourself : wow, that is a setback, but I am pure. (I will drop this garment that isn't useful to me.)

2. Set aside one to five minutes a day to repeat to yourself- to instill in your consciousness: "who is the "I"? the "I" is a holy pure entity created by Hashem. It has no faults, not even a small scratch. Anything I see in myself that is negative merely comes from the garment that is over my pure soul."

We are laying the foundation now. Have patience with yourself, (impatience can be seen as a garment over your soul). 

 Please begin reading chapter 3 and email me with any questions

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh : book 1:

30. Although we are close in every way, we don't sense it or feel it.

31. We can be spatially close to something and be unaware (germs) 

32. Can be very close to relative/friend and feel far because not aware that the person is near. 

33. We are spatially, familial, and friendship close with Hashem, but don't feel it in our heart. 

34. Must toil to merit to recognize Hashem, not through intellectual knowledge, but a perception of the soul- not through abstract definitions - must experience this on your own to understand this.

35. (yaakov and yosef- strongest attachment was short lived) However, with Hashem we can be in state of always attached and bound with Him=this is the “soul's inner bond with Hashem. This is the condition of a Jew who is in touch with his true inner self.” 

36.  Even when on cel phone be in state of attached to Hashem. This is the “only unseverable bond” that a person can have in this world and next one. A true friend is Hashem, take Him everywhere, He will never abandon you even for a moment.

37. The greater the soul's closeness with Hashem, the more he will sense Hashem next to Him. 

38. First decide if you want to feel attached at all times, if not, daven to Hashem that you should. 

39. Ramchal: “Man is created solely to delight in Hashem and enjoy the radiance of His shechinah.”- whatever attached to in this world is mirrored in the World to Come.  "If man does not want to cleave to Hashem, what will he do in Gan Eden?"

40.Take as much time as you need to recognize your life is solely for deveikus to Hashem.  Then begin to identify a path that will bring you there.  But first we need to be clear that our "entire true purpose of life - closeness and deveikus to Hashem."

Continue looking at the card to remind you of your purpose two times a day and please read next ten sections; 40-50.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Outline for Chaburah at 1245 ny time, tomorrow IYH.

Da es Nafshecha:
(Deep self study in order to achieve deeper deveikus from a balanced place within) 

Getting to know your Soul

pages 11-18

Introduction to the four midos:

The personality (and each thing in the natural world) is made up of four elements: fire, wind, water, earth (the midos, character traits, are rooted in the soul and are  the means through which the soul expresses itself in the body).

Rav Chaim Vital:
the negative expression of the midos:
fire: anger and conceit
wind: excessive chatter
water: pursuit of pleasure
earth: sadness

four basic forces in the world:
Destruction =fire
Movement= wind
Vitality= water (gives life)
Stability= earth (gives existence and stability to all things)

All of these exist within us.  Our job is to first figure out which is predominant in each of us.

Fire: Negative: destruction through action or speech and conceit ("I am higher than YOu")
Positive: source for personal growth; burn negative actions to grow.("you cannot be both above and below")

When these people choose a goal, anything else that exists in them becomes meaningless to them. Problem is that sometimes they will try to go to something higher even if not ready for it.  This person wants to add to what he has in growth.

wind: moves on its own:
negative: too much physical movement or inner agitation
positive: give it a direction and move with it


negative: constant yearn for something that makes them feel alive- to always feel vitality - may avoid mitzvos that don't make him feel alive-may chase desires

 Positive: can be content to do anything as long as he feels alive- satisfied as long as he is gaining  from his current level/ more steady growth, antidote is to do even what you don't enjoy while trying to develop feelings for what you are doing.  

This person looks for how to enjoy what he is doing in the present (the fire person anticipates the future mitzvah and doesn't care about feeling alive, simply wants to grow higher).


earth: negative: sadness and laziness
positive: its essence is about giving constructive stability and expression to the other qualities- fire, wind, water don't have real form without earth.

Homework: Discover your dominant one
Discover your weakest one

(Our weakest element is the source of all our failures, need to balance it by guiding and strengthening the opposing midah.)


Outline for Chaburah at 12 ny time

Tomorrow IyH we will be continuing in Da es Atzmecha and Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh book 1:

Da es Atzmecha:
Getting to Know Your SELF:
Pages 27-39

Changing our perspective from:

1.I see myself as a body (then I am already dead-no spiritual energy)

2. When I feel emptiness inside myself, I fill myself with material items and/or busy myself with other things to distract self from the discomfort of emptiness =pleasure for a few days at the most. (akin to a deathly ill person =gosses).


1. I am converting- new identity (smashed car example); I am no longer a body, I am a soul in a garment called a body.

2. I am changing through a gradual internal process based on a plan of daily action (one brick at a time).


pages 40-50

(Chapter 2 is about hachna'ah- subjugation of body to soul in consciousness.)


1.There are 3 forms of expression; thoughts, feelings, actions. These can come from the soul or the body.

2. Chazal: a person's real essence-soul- is only good. Positive thoughts, feelings, and actions come from here.

The neshama is eternal, pure and clean.

3.Yetzer hara: external force that covers a person's essence and motivates him to act improperly. All negative thoughts, feelings and actions come from here.

4. You only have to uncover the good that is already within you-
Hashem planted it in each person.  "There is no need to acquire good behaviors, good qualities, and good feelings".  You are all of those things- it is your true essence.

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh, Book 1

   19.    Mesillas Yesharim: examine and scrutinize/evaluate your deeds to perform them in a more meaningful way and get rid of the deeds that must be stopped

    20.   Realize clearly that without the desire to feel and/or the feeling of closeness to Hashem, it is as if we are  dead.

   21.     What does closeness to Hashem mean? "no place is devoid of Him"; sensing Him with our heart

    22. 23.  It is something that anyone can understand and achieve. If we don't know what cleaving to Hashem means, then we have no understanding of our purpose in life.

       24. One can learn Torah and do mitzvos and still not have a "place for the light of Hashem to rest and to have Hashem dwell in their hearts” there are steps we need to take

    25.   The yh tries to keep us very busy in or habits and/ or tries to convince us that it is beyond our comprehension and we should wait until Gan Eden to experience closeness to Hashem or that we will feel it eventually if we keep doing mitzvos.

    26.    Dovid Hamelech said :”as for me, closeness to Hashem is my good” and chazal say “there is no place devoid of Him” -how do we reconcile these two statements?!

    27.    Two types of closeness: a. spatial  b. familial
    28.  spatial doesn't guarantee familial and familial doesn't guarantee spatial closeness/ with emotional closeness- there is closeness in the souls but may not be evident each moment- not always thinking about it.

    29.    spatially we are close to Hashem (no place devoid of Him), familial (we are His children), friendship (do not forsake your Friend and your father's Friend)pg 36

    30.    Although we are close in every way, we don't sense it or feel it.We might know of spiritual closeness but may rarely feel it.

Homework: finish chapter 2 in da es atzmecha
do next ten 30-40 in Bilvavi book 1
and continue downloading into consciousness the card that Reitza Sarah designed.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


                                       (thank you Reitza Sarah; our perfect graphic designer)

Monday, December 16, 2013


I enjoyed the chaburah(s)- thank you.  It was so amazing to hear voices from so long ago!

For the class from 12-1230 here are the things i hope to cover next week:

Chapter 2 in Da Es Atzmecha and Sections 20-30 in Bilvavi 1.

Our avodah this week is to remind ourselves:

I am a neshama in a body and my purpose in this world is to have deveikus to Hashem. (stay tuned for a card with both of these statements somehow on it)

For class 2, we will begin at 1245 instead of 1230 (thank you Yocheved for that idea).

Next week please read pages 11-18 in Da Es Nafshecha and i will hopefully try to do a few minutes of the Jewish Meditation sefer so that we can finish it over time and each of us can find what works for us to quiet our minds and sense our neshama.

Below is the phrase i was trying to remember during class 1...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Reminder: Monday is chaburah time! iyH! (please note that class two will be learning da es nafshecha before starting bilvavi 6)


Remember that this is this is the time period in the Torah, parshas Shmos through Mishpatim, when we become the Jewish nation.  We have a lot to do...

For any of you who may be new to this series, please email Shira at for the phone numbers to access these classes. (Thank you SHIRA!)

Class one will be dealing with understanding who we are and why we are here.

Class two will be going in depth into what is our soul? and how do i use it to serve Hashem?

Class 1:

from 12-1230 ny time 
Da Es Atzmecha:

The sefer is divided into two parts: 
(part 2 will IYH be discussed in class two today as an advance understanding of our soul.)



Pages 17-top of 27
The goal:  to reveal an existing entity- a clear, definite, absolute, non-negotiable inner world.
Old Information: When a person dies, the spiritual energy leaves him- meaning: the Neshama is what remains after death.
Question:  How can I identify with my neshama every moment?
Answer: A change of perspective (example of how a person feels before and after marriage-change in personal identification)
Choice of perspective:   

 a. I am a body that has a soul inside it or 
 b. I am a soul that is covered with a garment called a body
Results of choice a or b: Choice a. results in chibut hakever (beating in the grave), i.e., my identity is gone and I have nothing to replace it with feel very lost-an electric shock.Choice b. results in a feeling of exchanging the old garment for a spiritual garment ("tunics of light" possessed by Adam Harishon)

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh
Building a Sanctuary in the Heart

Section One:
                Clarifying the Purpose of Life:
1.    What does Hashem expect from us in our life? (this is world-olam-of he'elem- confusion)
2.    Our entire life is for the purpose of serving Hashem
3,4,5. 6. Need proper foundation, understanding in the soul,  and constant reminders of this
7.    the only true perfection and our purpose is deveikus to Hashem “This is all a Jew really has
closeness to Hashem” (12)
8.    to do: write on a paper: my purpose here is deveikus to Hashem and look at it every 15 min.
9.    truly alive only when you remember this purpose (and when learn Torah)- “ultimate purpose of     mitzvos is to become companion (tzavta) to Hashem”
10. This is for any person, no matter his profession- not just for people removed from all worldly matters
11. Your life depends on this-
12. The purpose of your life is to be close to Hashem
13. 14. Essence of life is “you who cleave to Hashem” Ramchal
anything else is “vanity and deceptive emptiness”- 613 mitzvos are a means to reach
15. constant deveikus-the greater your desire for this, the greater your ability to toil and remove obstructions preventing you from it
16. 613 mitzvos are pieces of advice- directing us in how to cleave to Hashem; a. actions / speech b. purpose of the mitzvah
17. 18. How do we learn Torah and perform mitzvos in a way that generates inner sense of closeness to Hashem?
19.    Mesillas Yesharim: examine and scrutinize/evaluate your deeds to perform them in a more meaningful way. Some actions must be stopped while the others should be examined and scrutinized to perform them in a more meaningful way.

Class 2: 1230-1ny time  

Part 2 in Da Es Atzmecha
pg 204
The Importance of Understanding the Soul:

“Every one of us contains a hidden soul, and this is our primary tool in life.  The first step is to know we have a soul.  Then we must learn about its nature and features,and ultimately how to work with it.

The more one internalizes the value of understanding his soul, the greater will be his commitment.

What is the soul?
An inner force that has many faculties.
The essence of the soul is the movement of running and returning, expanding ( chesed)and contracting (din).
(like breathing) It's whole nature is movement.
Life itself comes from those movements.

Balancing the soul:

Must balance the soul for sustained growth.
First identify which movements cause expansion and which are inward movements, contractions- different in each person.

Different types of people
    1.    act purely for ego sake
    2.    expand to draw away from ego
    3.    doing everything for the benefit of another

Hashem has given us many ways to enjoy the soul. But they can only be realized through self knowledge.

It must remain calm because it is a vessel for receiving the Divine light.  To do so, it must be worthy.
(kol demamah dakah- 237)

Other nations have extremes, Yisrael's place is the center.
(oneg- pleasure from balance in soul- 241)

Hashem is unchanging, timeless, to find His presence must rise above your level and find balance, which transcends all change. (Shabbos is center 247)

The soul wants to give and the body wants to be self centered- Torah has a body the deeds, and soul an inner light, we learn it for balance.  (263)

Da Es Nafshecha: Getting to know your SOUL

Our soul is the only thing we will never be separated from.
It is the "I" that is always with us.

We need to understand it somewhat in order to work with it in any way.

What "fuel" makes the soul full so it can function?

What is the soul made up of and what are its unique needs and requirements?

This also requires the study of life. "Who am I, as an individual?...(so that i can know) what kind of sustenance i need to imbibe and what i must produce in my life."

There are many divisions and subdivisions to every soul but in this sefer the mechaber focuses on the primary roots of the soul.

The tools needed to understand the soul:
1. intellect- knowledge of the workings of the system
2. emotional sensitivity - to what is going on inside yourself

words can lead you toward discovery of self but can never "fully contain the depth of inner discovery."

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wishing you a meaningful fast...

IY'H we will be starting two different tracks of Bilvavi this Monday.
12-1230 ny time: Da Es Atzmecha and Bilvavi book 1
1230-1 ny time: Bilvavi book 6.

Stay tuned for outlines and phone numbers to be posted on Sunday.

We are in the month of Tevet and may feel the intense darkness inherent in this month.


If we feel the darkness, then we will do something to bring in more light.  

In other words, something that will bring us closer to Hashem.

If you find yourself cowering from the dark,  do something, anything, that makes you feel inspired.  DO NOT GIVE UP.

Rav Schwartz says face your fears this month and inside each fear place emunah.  The fear vanishes over time when you know and sense that Hashem is within it.  

If you want to "become the change you wish to see in the world" and bring the ultimate change, geulah, it is going to take discipline and perseverence.  Please don't be thrown off by not being able to see in the dark.

 "The tenth of Tevet is meant to nullify future troubles, (so) is considered a pleasure and supersedes Shabbos" (Rav Moshe Feinstein quoted in Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi parsha shiur)

Let's use the day to daven for all of klal Yisrael. 

Below is a link to a video of Batya Burd speaking of her late husband Gershon. (there is a speaker before her so around 1:20 if you want to go directly to her speech)

She is the living embodiment of Da es Atzmecha and Bilvavi. (thank you Reitza Sarah for the link)

Good Shabbos!  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

This is it!


This is what Chanukah is all about, this final day!

Each day of Cahnukah we can absorb one aspect of Hashem's mercy and on the 8th day, the last 5 are heaped onto us.

L'hadlik ner Chanukah: these words begin with a lamed, nun, and chet= nachal (stream)

By the time all the Chanukah candles are lit (TONIGHT), the midos harachamim of Hashem (attributes of mercy) will flow like a stream.(IY'H)

The primary light is revealed on the 8th day.

Hashem is infinite and on the 8th day we can tap into it and transcend.

Maharal in his preface to Ohr Chadosh writes that any miracle from the world of #8 is unlimited and can be in the blink of an eye. 

PLEASE DAVEN FOR THE GEULAH  BY THE CANDLES(and the clarity to know what you can do to bring it speedliy!)

 Chag Sameach.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Don't stop staring at the candles

....even if you don't sense an end to your pain
....even if the troubles seem to be more difficult
....even if the sky keeps looking gray with no rain in sight
...even if the clarity you seek, yet eludes you


there is one G-d above who loves you more than you can ever know or feel
there is one G-d above who is speaking to you in every moment
there is one G-d above who wants you to stare into the candles and ask for the greatest privilege= to see Him in every moment below

Look within the creation that stands before you, so that you can see what's real.

Ein Od Milvado

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Last War
Kislev 25, 5774 · November 28, 2013
Based on letters and talks of the Rebbe, Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

Some people are waiting for a final, apocalyptic war.

But the final war is not fought on battlefields, nor at sea, nor in the skies above. Neither is it a war between leaders or nations. The final war is fought in the heart of each human being, with the armies of his or her deeds in this world.

The final war is the battle of Chanukah and the miracle of light.

-Rabbi Freeman

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CHAG SAMEACH! Mazal tov on finishing the sefer.

"Geulah is not a destination you can see by looking in front of you, you can only see it by looking inside of you." (so when we stare at the candles let's ask Hashem for the clarity to see what's really within....)

I saw something based on a lecture given by Rav Yitzchok Kirzner zt'l about the magnitude of change that can take place within us through lighting the menorah.  
As Aharon Hacohen was approaching the menorah to light it in the Mishkan, he paused, because the image of the eigel (Golden Calf) rose before him and he felt he was unworthy to light the menorah.  Moshe Rabbeinu understood why he paused and said, to him, 'once you have repented, don't look back, rather, move forward'.  Aharon found the strength to move forward and that strength carried through into the Chashmonaim as they searched for oil, and now has carried through to us, their descendents.

Let's do teshuva on the past, then leave it behind, so that as we light the candles we can reclaim who we really are,  and who Hashem created us to be, His people.

Special segulos for Chanukah,
as told by rebbitzin yemima mizrachi:

  • This is the holiday that emphasizes beauty. It is a mitzvah to beautify the Chag as much as possible, the most splendid menorah, the best decorations….

    • Use olive oil, but not just the regular kind, the best one: the one you would use to dress your salad and cook with. And the reasons are...

    • You’ll merit children that have a great memory, consuming olive oil helps you retain your memory

    • Children who are wise/smart, as oil rises above water

    • Children who have great eyesight, they will be able to see things with a clearer perception…

  • Chanukah comes from the root word: chinuch/חנך and it is at this time in particular that your reflection is one of love and approval towards them, a successful child is one that sees love and acceptance in the eyes of their parents

  • Mothers should not say to their kids, during Chanukah or at all, “I am tired” or anything in correlation to ‘I am tired ..not now’. This makes a child feel like they are not important and a burden to their parents and is very hurtful to them and so even if you are tired, and who is not… don’t tell them this

  • The mitzvah of the women after lighting is not to move, I repeat Do Not Move, after the candles are lit. Sit there and gaze at them for ½ hour, but again without moving, talking on the phone, getting up, or anything…. This is very hard but Rebbi Nachman from Breslov says that as hard as it is to sit and not do anything, so is the size of the yeshua you will get by sitting. But sit there and daven, pray for all and everything…

  • At the beginning of creation, Hashem created light, a very strong powerful light, that was so holy that the world would not have been able to withstand its’ holiness and so he ‘shrunk’ it, so to speak. And reduced it to what’s called “the hidden light/אור הגנוז”. This light in its’ full capacity will be revealed, B’H, in the future to come.

  • But in our days, the sparks of this light reappears to us under 3 different circumstances and they are:

    • When we daven/pray from a siddur, when we meet one of the 36 hidden holy tzadikkim of our generation and when we light the 36 candles of Chanukah. The sparks of this light give us the ability to ‘see and better understand’ Hashems’ ways. Adam HaRishon was able to see the entire world from one end to the other with this original light of creation and so we can perceive Hashems’ ways a bit better and clearer when we encounter the sparks of this light.

    • By davening we touch this spark and can better understand what Hashem is asking of us and we can get clarity on certain issues and suddenly have insight on issues that we are perplexed about. By meeting with one of the 36 hidden tzadikkim we also will touch this light by getting advice and direction from the mouths of these holy souls. And by gazing into the Chanukah lights we will get a mini glance into the understanding of Hashems ways. If you look you will see the ‘reflection of Hashem’ in the lights of Chanukah. Daven next to these lights and do not miss this opportunity to touch the ability to better understand things in life….

  • After the ½ hour has passed, and the candles still glow, every time you pass them by stop for a moment and pray. Don’t just pass them by…

  • The Father of the holy RamBam, zt”l had said that one should not belittle the power of frying soufganiot in oil. Use plenty of oil, don’t be skimpy, it is a segula for parnassa. But unless you want to make the local baker wealthy, you must fry them yourself and eat them as well. Better to be rich and fat, I guess then skinny and poor…. you choose… Anyway, it’s the utmost importance that you make them, you fry them and then you say the bracha of “על המחיה” at the end, which mentions the מזבח which is of course of most relevance during Chanukah.

  • On the last night of Chanukah traditionally called זאת חנוכה there is a segula/a special energy that you may tap into for women who wish to conceive, ask from Hashem that in the merit of the eight days of Chanukah you shall celebrate B’H a bris milah on the eighth day for your son, Amen! Look at the candles and ask Hashem to give you a child….

  • For all of those who are single or know of someone who wishes to marry, here is one for you: on the Shabbos of Chanukah, you must first light the Chanukah candles and then the Shabbos candles. After both are lit, glance at them both and ask for a zivug, your marriage partner.

  • חזרה בתשובה/coming back to teshuva: in particular when it comes to our children. On Rosh Chodesh Tevet, on the eve of lighting the Chanukah candles there is an auspicious time for teshuva. On this day Yismael did teshuva and so the power of the day is teshuva. And if Yismael did teshuva certainly we can tap into that energy and ask Hashem to bring back our child/ren to teshuva just as Yismael did, the son of Avraham Avinu, עליו השלום. It is also a custom to light a candle for Rabbi Meir Ba’al HaNess on this night, זכר צדיק וקדוש לברכה.

  • Always light the Chanukah candles in your home, even if you know you will out and/or lighting elsewhere. Lighting the menorah invites Hashem to visit your home and that is something you do not want to miss….

  • When you are outside and see the different menorahs displayed in glory, you are buying emunah and bitachon/trust in Hashem. You are ‘buying’ into miracles, look at them…

  • Anyone in need of healing of the mind/בריאות הנפש the word נפש stands for נר פתיל שמן and so during Chanukah there is a segula to ask for healing of the soul/mind and to look at the flame of the candle in its’ entirety and to recite Psalm 30: מזמור שיר חנוכת הבית

  • Ask for Mashiach all throughout Chanukah. משיח is hinted in the words: מדליקים שמונה ימי חנוכה

  • Whoever saw bad images, immodest images, frightening images; you or your husband and/or your children through movies or in real life, looking at the candles of the menorah will erase them from your hard drive memory or those in your family. Ask Hashem to erase them in the merit of the holy flames…

  • Donate tzedakah every night before lighting the menorah, it is a segula for your prayers to be accepted in favor.

  • There is great relevance in singing Maoz Tzur.

  • Last but definitely not least; ask for a miracle, a Big miracle in the merit of Chanukah. Ask for something that you think is impossible & that will be considered a miracle if it happens... Ask that Hashem to release those wrongfully imprisoned: Yonatan Halevi ben Malka Pollard, Shlomo Halevi Mordechai ben Rivka Rubashkin …

May we merit to see wonderous miracles this Chag and always and may we merit to witness the most precious miracle of all: the coming of Mashiach במהרה בימינו ברחמים, אמן

Hashem please send a refuah and yeshua to every one of Klal Yisrael!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Good Shabbos!

This Monday, at 12 NY time, will be our last meeting until after Chanukah.

Please contact me with any question you have, if you cannot be on live.

We will iyH finish sefer Bilvai Mishkan Evneh 2!

Remember our avodah this week! 

"For those who believe in the Creator's kindness, there are no questions.  And for those who don't believe, there are no answers."  (Rebbe Yaakov of Radzimin)


Last part of chapter 27!

How do we know when we are at this level of yearning only to do Hashem's will?

We will stop feeling emotional pain from our problems in life.

Chavakuk: "the righteous man lives through his emunah", = the inner sense of emunah, no questions.

"Emunah makes a person calm and serene his entire life!"

The goal is one- "I shall walk before Hashem in the land of the use everything in this world for coming close to Hashem."

IyH we will read the last two pages out loud.

Looking Forward!

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Avodah!

1. Finish Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh 2 (WOW!)

2. Continue noticing your inner wills -Hashem's and your will that wants to do Hashem's will (without judgement if you listen to them or not!)

3. Instead of asking questions about why...?, ask: how can i deepen my relationship to You, Hashem, from this experience?

4.  Begin with simplicity= yearning to do Hashem's will.

Please call me or email me with any questions.  I'm passionate about this material so i would love if we all understand it in the deepest possible way.

Thank you!

aviva rus

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"If one man can kill six million Jews, then one man can save six million Jews." Rav Noach

IyH, We are about to complete our sefer.
In it we have learned the steps we can take to reveal who we really are, from the inside out; becoming the one man that can save six million by beginning within.

I was looking at the final chapters in Bilvavi 1 and Bilvavi two and i think something amazing is about to unfold before our eyes.  I hope will be as life changing for you as it has been for me B'H.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts...

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh, book 1

"One should understand that the purpose of everything is the awareness of Hashem's presence nearby... One should know that this avodah is not as difficult as it may seem at first.  It is a matter of habit.  If one will accustom himself to follow our instructions with simplicity and consistency, he will definitely earn the privilege to live this way."

Section 8


When you feel you have attained the feeling that Hashem is right near you, the next avodah is hiskalelus in the Infinite:(3 steps)

1. simple emunah in the concept: "Hashem and Yisrael are one," until you sense it in your heart (not intellectual thought) feel as if "i am part of Hashem"

2. Only deal with the i/self as required to fulfill Torah, and make a daily spiritual accounting.  At all other times one's thoughts are only on Hashem, not on the self. (can think about created beings in order to acts of kindness etc, essence of soul is absorbed with Hashem= deveikus has an i that cleaves to Hashem, but hiskalelus, one is not involved with the i, only with Hashem.

a. contemplate the greatness of Hashem, His actions, 

b. simple thought about the existence of Hashem. (a person is where his thoughts are:become integrated into Hashem when thinking of Him- no complex thoughts here)

3. attachment to the concept of "there is literally nothing else other than Him"

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh, book 2:

Chapter 28: 


Doing without questioning:

We all have questions in life but the truth is the "whole world is one big question.

1. a mortal cannot understand Hashem or His ways.

2. we are here for a limited time, let's use every moment to serve Hasehm and He has not commanded us to ask such questions (waste of time!)

Comprehending that I cannot comprehend:

Our hearts want to understand, so in the beginning, we ask questions and give answers.  THIS IS NOT THE GOAL, just a way to calm the heart while you are on the path.

A good question could be; what should i learn from this thing that happened to me, in order to grow...

However, this avodah begins with understanding that we cannot understand and this is the opposite of our heart's deepest desire to be a lev meivin (understanding heart).  So this is a nullification of a creative being's natural yearning.  "To the  extent that one nullifies himself and literally becomes his emunah, he is no longer a separate creation, but rather an agent of the Creator."

Many people say they see they don't understand but in their hearts contradict that statement!

"Be simple- with Hashem your G-d"

The simple person yearns only to do the will of Hashem, even without knowing the reasons.

Next week, we will iyH finish the final few pages, discuss how this all ties into Chanukah, and make a plan for how we can use the lights of Chanukah to ignite this feeling within us in the deepest possible way.