Tuesday, October 20, 2015

INNER REDEMPTION (handbook by Rabbi Schwartz)

Chapter 9: 

Sacrificing for Hashem

There are two ways to die al kiddush Hashem:
1. either by literally dying (like Rabbi Akiva)
2. or, through mesirus hanefesh: to potentially be willing to give up your life to attain a certain spiritual attainment.

One must be willing to give up one’s current level in avodas Hashem to achieve the next level.  In truth, we are gaining the real kind of life from this (without moving forward  to the next level, we are as if dead!)  

We cannot live in both worlds at the same time; if you still feel like you can live without the next area in avodas Hashem, then your  “I” is getting in the way of your growth.

Mesirus hanefesh, the willingness to let go of our ego to achieve the next level in avodas Hashem,  will then reveal Hashem within our soul.  Hashem will then help us, from within, achieve the next level.  We cannot achieve anything on our own.  “If not for Hashem helping a person, it would be impossible to overcome.” (Sukkah 52a)

Without realizing that is is better to be dead rather than to be alive and not grow spiritually- a person will never be able to really acquire any matter in his avodas Hashem….There is a private redemption that can take place in every individual Jew’s soul.  Just like Moshiach will come in the general redemption and will be someone who has no life to himself and is all about mesirus hanefesh for Hashem, so too each individual Jew can strive for his own personal redemption and have mesirus hanefesh to give up what he wants for closeness to Hashem.”

Hashem breathed nishmas chaim, breath of life into us.  This is the G-dly source of vitality found in our souls.  Therefore, with mesirus hanefesh we will find that we are not actually giving anything up, we are giving back to Hashem what is His in the first place: by revealing our life force through mesirus hanefesh we bring a revelation of the G-dliness that Hashem placed into us.

Our avoda is to realize how the life-giving energy in every creation comes from Hashem.  In fact, we will come to see that we are not giving up for Hashem, we are returning to our essence- nishmas chaim.

How do we know which level we are on?

Ask yourself, :'Am I..."
1. giving up for Hashem- but feel deprived doing so
2. realizing all of life comes from Hashem -so giving up for Him (gratitude/love)
3. realizing I have nothing to give away to begin with.  Hence, revealing through mesirus nefesh my life force ("without mesirus nefesh life is not a life, but death”)

“Chazal state (Shabbos 151a) the when Moshiach comes one of the changes will be that there is no more free will”.

How does this relate to inner personal redemption?

"If a person reaches the inner point in himself- he realizes the truth, that he is not ‘giving’ anything to Hashem….we have nothing to ‘give’; all we can do is reveal Hashem’s existence….”

Free will means “ I am choosing to give to Hashem”.  With the personal redemption we will see that we have nothing to ‘give’ and we will recognize that everything belongs to and is Hashem.  Each of us have this power within,  to give ourself up for Hashem, willing to die for Him if we must, in order to attain more closeness to Him.

“May Hashem merit the entire Jewish people that we be inclined to serve Him, and that we should quickly merit the truest revelation of all- ‘ And Hashem will remain, alone’- as a personal revelation in each of our souls.”

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