Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Outline Chapters 5-6 of our handbook

Chapter 5: The True "I" is Hashem

We must work on nullifying ourselves. 

Remove yourself from evil through:

1. One way is through loving Hashem (this is more direct- since you will come to love all of His creations from this love) or 

2. the other way is through working on ahavas Yisrael (this takes you out of yourself as well).

3. Stop thinking about yourself and how you  'fit into the picture'- Hashem is in charge of everything and allows us to feel our responsibility, but after we take care of the responsibility, we should remind ourselves that He doesn't need us to do it.  We shouldn't feel sad that Hashem doesn't need us for the world to exist, rather, realize that He created us so that we can come to recognize this.

4. Remember "anything we encounter serves one purpose alone: there is a Creator here, and He is perfect and lacks nothing....we perfect ourselves- when we realize how Hashem is perfect, because He doesn't need us, and He can run the world without us."

5. The point is that a person will see Hashem in everything and not himself. 

Do good: " think simply about the simple fact that Hashem exists- believe in His existence, and this very thinking will help your soul be able to nullify your "I".

Chapter 6: Time and Above Time:

Baal Shem Tov: 

All events in this world, all movements, all thoughts, come to teach us a new understanding in our avodas Hashem.

Before there was a world, there was only Hashem.  Our neshama is attached to Hashem and therefore, can experience both states of being.  

Hence, there are two ways to connect to Hashem- and we need both ways; 

1. through revealing your "I" that is attached to Hashem- and nullifying the ego (shelo lishma)

2. to connect to Hashem before you have an "I"- total silence- like it was at Har Sinai- total silence in creation- this is to focus on the fact that there is no "I" (lishma). 

The point here is to realize that we can connect to Hashem in a deep way on the yomim tovim- within time, but we can also connect to Hashem in a deep way before time, through our soul, which is independent of time.

We should not begin with number 2- because that will bring us to ignore halachos in the Torah, chas ve'shalom.  "We need to first connect to Hashem through our "I" and only after that can we connect to Him by going above our "I"".

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