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."

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