Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Outline of the final two chapters 13 and 14 of our handbook!!!

Reminder: We are IY'H meeting this motzai Shabbos at ten.  Shira emailed the phone numbers out.  Thank you Shira!

Chapter 13: Leaving the “Egypt” Within and Experiencing the True Redemption
(Adapted from Sefer Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh on Pesach)

(I am only outlining the part that is pertinent to our discussion of Geulah from Within- please see the whole chapter to understand how it ties in more completely to Pesach)

There are two kinds of da’as: a. feminine kind= da’as of feelings and b. masculine kind= da’as of the mind/ the expanded vision

(As we said in the chapter above yesterday) The inner way to look at reality is to see everything as one.  Thus, the redemption is all about unity/ achdus- the ability to leave the selfish “I” so that there is no divide between the individual and Hashem- self absorption prevents the revelation of unity.

How do we acquire this higher da’as that is hidden from us, the kind of da’as which unifies the many different types of da’as that everyone has?

“The main part of the redemption is to be redeemed from one’s selfish ego…the purpose of the redemption is that everyone should recognize Hashem; it is about revealing Hashem, not revealing one’s “I”…This is the depth of ahavas Israel, which is the secret of the final redemption…you leave your ego for the sake of integrating with the rest of the Jewish people… to integrate in unison with Him, who is the only One Who exists.”

Chapter 14: How You CAN Leave the Exile:
(Adapted from the drasha "Bein HaMitzarim, 018 From Exile to Redemption)

Hashem is called makomo shel olam, "Place" of the world.  He is the true "place" that we need to connect to.  We have to leave our connection to the good and evil mixture in this world and connect to Hashem.  We can leave the exile right now and gain da'as by connecting to Hashem wherever we are.

Ain od Milvado: There is nothing besides Hashem:

To understand this we need to nullify our "I"- erase our ego completely: go from ani ("I") to ayin (nothing).

How do we nullify our senses, our sense of self/ "I"?

Through emunah: realizing that our senses are only part of a bigger picture and there are infinite things above our comprehension, then we leave our view from the space of our senses and instead attach to the Ein Sof of Hashem.

There is a special chamber in the Heavenly chambers for those longing to become integrated with Hashem- work on realizing more and more Ain od Milvado.

But you can't get there by thinking about it- only through deveikus= a soul experience.  This chamber is actually the inner chamber of Moshiach because at the core of the Torah is Ain od Milvado.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Outline of Chapter 12 of Inner Redemption Handbook by Rav Schwartz

Chapter 12: Redemption: Nullifying Your Self 
(adapted from Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh, Vol 8, Chapter 12)

The humility of Moshe Rabbeinu: he negated his “I”, recognized it- but chose to lessen his ego rather than enlarge it.

The humility of Moshiach: he doesn’t even consider the “I”= absolute humility- knowing the only “I” is Hashem; Ain Od Milvado consciousness (Seforim Hakedoshim say this level will not be completely attained by anyone until the end of the year 10,000- but each person can access this somewhat, according to his level)

In summary: two types of avodah- 

1. a reality of working within the “I” - lower one’s sense of self and think about lowliness of human being and strive to grow spiritually step by step  

2.   a reality above the “I”- leaving the “I”- “redemption of the soul- when a person never thinks about himself and doesn’t live for himself- this is really the secret implication of the term ‘lishma’, (acting for Hashem’s sake only)…

The avodah of this 6,000 year period, (termed neshamos) is for us to connect to Hashem with our neshama.  It is to purify our souls- through divesting ourselves of the body, as well as purifying the soul itself as we draw our “I” closer and closer to Hashem-…avodah of the light of Moshiach (also known as Elokus) is to realize there is no “I”- completely integrating with Hashem”

The humility and mesirus nefesh of Moshe Rabbeinu has a different definition than that of Moshiach.  Moshe is personified by his da'as- great comprehension merited because of his humility- the humility of Moshiach will reveal new depth to humility and to the meaning of da’as /the da’as of hishtavus- no need to unify and separate- because everything is already unified.

“The humility of Moshiach will reveal that there is a Torah above one’s “I”, a Torah of complete Elokus.  The Torah of kabbalah, entirely Elokus, is thus the secret to the redemption….from the actual view of Elokus, the “I” is totally our of the picture.  This is actually the secret meaning of the redemption.”

a. deeds- realm of asiah
b. midos- realm of yetzirah
c. thoughts- realm of beriah
d. return our “I” to its Source- realm of atzilus- to connect ourselves to the state of nothing but Hashem- this is the depth of teshuva.

Mesirus nefesh, humility, and teshuva are all synonyms for having no “I”.  

In this higher avodah (Elokus), the Torah is all an expression of how to negate one’s “I”, to return to the “I”- Hashem.

Shabbos of the future: year 7,000 begins a period of “a day that is entirely Shabbos”- an eternal rest- the only movement will be our “I” =da’as- moving to its root- this is really a rest, but we perceive it as a movement because we are in the 6,000 year era of movement and all that we understand is movement.

Before the world: Hashem’s endless light filled all of existence.  Then, Hashem created a space, called chalal = an empty space, and then Hashem created Adam Kadmon.

Why did Hashem need to empty out a space to make the universe? to show us that each step represents an avodah:

1. Before creation= total integration with Hashem

2. chalal= we are able to access a state in which there are no creations, just empty space= no sense of “I”, a state of nothingness (Elokus)

3. Adam Kadmon- a person works with his “I” (neshamos)

The Fiftieth Gate:

“Through “denying our I” we use the 50th gate of Holiness to rectify the 50th gate of Impurity (for  a person who denies Hashem)…The light of Moshiach is thus essentially for us to use the 50th gate of Holiness…the holy usage of chalal…to go above the “I”, above the Adam Kadmon.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Deepening our Emunah and Changing our Tefilos...
The Power of our Chaburah!- B'H!

"A ladder was standing on the ground.1

" Prayer is the ladder that connects souls and G-dhood. 

And although it stands "...on the ground,"
 the start of davening being no more 
than acknowledgement, yet "its top2 
reaches the Heavens"3 - a state of total bitul

But one reaches this level through
 the prior attainment of comprehension
 and understanding4 inherent in 
p'sukei d'zimra,5 in the 
b'rachot of sh'ma and in sh'ma proper.

Bereishit 28:12, Yaakov's dream.
I.e. the "peak" of davening, which is the silent devotional amida (or shemona essrei).
This is the concluding phrase of the verse "A ladder etc...".
Of G-dliness.
"Verses of praise," second section of Shacharit. Siddur pp. 30-42.


Droshos - Empowering Yourself To Survive Evil

And Yaakov went out of Beer Sheva and he went to Charan…” Rashi states that on that night he slept but until then he did not sleep for the 14 years that he learned by Shem and Ever. When Yaakov came to Lavan, he worked for 7 years for Leah and 7 years for Rochel, which also added up to 14 years. Then he traveled for another 6 years.
The 14 years which he served Lavan for were parallel to the years he spent in yeshivah. Not only did he study in the yeshivas of  Shem and Ever, but he also totally immersed himself in his studying. When Yaakov left, he needed to develop the power to survive Lavan. He was leaving his home to go to a place of evil, the house of Lavan. In order to survive it, he would have to prepare for it by learning Torah.
The fact that he grew up in the holy home of Yitzchok and Rivkah wouldn’t have been enough to protect him. In order to survive Lavan, he had to learn Torah for 14 years. He needed to become an ish tam yoishev ohalim (“a wholesome man who sits in the tents”) and only through that could he go outside to face evil.
The Ohr HaChaim said that in Egypt, we reached the 49th level of impurity, and had we remained there for even one more moment it would have been the 50th level, which is impossible to exit from. In the final exile, we will sink to the 50th level of impurity, and it will be naturally impossible to come out of it. The only way to exit will be through the power of Torah. Only the Torah can take a person out of the worst levels of impurity. In Egypt we didn’t have the Torah, so we had to get out before it was too late. But in the exile, at least we have the Torah, and that will take us out of the impurity we are in.
When Yaakov left his home to go to Lavan, he needed a strong kind of holiness that would be able to counter the evil he was entering, and that was why he went to go learn Torah beforehand. He gave himself the tools to fight with. If one learns Torah, he can go out into the world and survive. If not, he doesn’t have a chance.
We are now deep in the 50th level of impurity. But we have a power which can counter all the evil we have seen. However, it is still our choice if we will connect to it or not.
How can we face the evil of the outside? I am not referring to the outside world, to the streets. I am referring to the outside influences that have entered the private domains of our homes.
There is no home which does have a corpse in it.” But Hashem saw that we will go through all this. He saw that we will be surrounded with impurity, and that even those who try to keep the Torah will be influenced. He gave us a power to deal with all the impurity. We have free choice to use it.
What is that free choice we have?
Firstly, it should pain a person about how the world looks today! When you walk in the street, your heart can be broken inside about the situation of Klal Yisrael today, and our own personal situations as well.
One of the Sages said [about the coming of Moshiach] “Let him come, but I don’t want to be there when he comes.” The Sages didn’t think they could survive our times, because their spiritual feelings wouldn’t be able to take it. Only us, who are not so sensitive to spirituality, can survive these times, because it doesn’t bother us that much anyway. A person today says “Baruch Hashem, there is a lot of Torah learning going on, there are many people sitting and learning. There aren’t as many yeshivos and gemachim as there are today!” True. But this won’t be enough to help us counter all the evil we are facing.
“Go my nation, go into your room, close your doors behind you….until the wrath passes.” Hashem placed us in this situation in which the world is so impure - but He gave us a plan too.
The Chofetz Chaim already said 100 years ago that the world can’t survive anymore if Moshiach doesn’t come in his time. We are 100 years after that.
The true kind of life can be gained by anyone in any place, as long as he chooses so
There is a lot of Torah, but how much truth is there, and how much heart is there, how much escape from falsity is there? How enslaved are people to the outside world? What is the level of connection that people have with Hashem, a true bond with the Torah? There are a few exceptional individuals who possess special souls. But it pales in comparison to the general situation of most people.
These words are simple and clear. There are no novel ideas here at all:
The true kind of life can be gained by anyone in any place, as long as he chooses so; whether it is man, woman, or child. It is not too far from us; “the matter is very close to you.“  But we must make it our desire.
This week of Parshas Vayeitzei (5771) will soon disappear, and never come back again. Some people will say that the words here are too harsh, and others will say that it’s talking negatively about the Jewish people, and others will say that the words here are true. But what will happen after all this? What will change? Everything just goes back to routine. Only Moshiach will be able to change the situation of the masses. But each person, individually, can make a choice.
Every moment, one has the choice to decide if he will truly connect himself to Hashem and to His Torah, and to understand that This World is really Gehinnom – no exaggeration here. That’s the reality now. In the Next World, even in Gehinnom there is no impurity. On this world though, which is very impure right now, it’s a much worse Gehinnom than the Gehinnom upstairs.
There are many Baalei Teshuvah today, who have left behind their entire past and upbringing, so they could change over. Are we, the Bnei Torah, also capable of leaving everything behind? Can we make such changes too…?
We need to return to the way the Chofetz Chaim lived, to the way the Ben Ish Chai lived, to the same life of purity and holiness which they lived with, and not to stay with the false kind of life this world lives.
It means to abandon the styles of dress today, the conduct of today, the slang of today, the desires of today’s times – and to return to what we really should want, to what our forefathers wanted.
Some will say that “If you’re right about all this, then why aren’t the Gedolim speaking about this? Why are our Gedolim letting things continue the way they are?” Someone once asked Rav Elyashiv zt”l why he doesn’t give mussar to the generation. Rav Elyashiv said, “If I would tell people what I really want to say to them, do you think there is even one person who will listen to me?”
There are generally two kinds of people today. Some people feel that “Our generation is wonderful, even better than the previous generations; everything is great. Sure, we need to improve on some things, but overall, everything is great. This is the way it should be.” Others, though, are aware of the truth, but they feel that “There is nothing we can do to change the situation. After all, we don’t live in the desert – we live in civilization, and we have families to take care of. I cannot be the Avraham Avinu of this generation and be different than everybody else. What should I do already about it?!”
This is a good justification – it’s a good defense. But the answer to this is: “Do we have an inner world inside us which can counter the outside world we are in?”
Yaakov learned by Shem and Ever before he went to Lavan. In order to prepare for Lavan’s trickery, he had to learn Torah. He had a good excuse for not having to learn – his parents told him to go there to find a marriage partner. He knew that he had to go there, because his life was in danger from Esav. But he was still going to the home of Lavan, who was full of impurity. He knew that in order to survive it, he will have to learn Torah for 14 years.
In other words, he developed his inner spiritual world to fortify himself so that he could face Lavan’s evil. He went to the beis midrash and truly learned Torah there, immersing himself there. He didn’t just go to a big beis midrash and learn Torah there over the phone. He went there to truly learn Torah, so that he could gain the spiritual strength to fortify himself. Of course, it was still hard for him after that. But he developed the power to at least have a chance to withstand Lavan.
It seems that the outside world can provide vitality. After all, we see that many people delude themselves into thinking that the outside world has what to offer.
If someone has real and deep chiyus today, and is connected in mind and heart to the Torah he learns, and is connected to the mitzvos he does, then he is connected in mind and heart to Hashem. Such a person has a chance of fighting the evil of today’s times.
But if a person is not getting enough chiyus from Torah, mitzvos, and from the One who gave the Torah, he doesn’t stand a chance of being able to win over the evil in today’s times. He will lack the tools to succeed in overcoming the evil of today.
The intention here is not chas v’shalom to cause you to despair or to become depressed; rather, it is meant to help you become aware of how to fight the war against evil. When you go out to war, you need to know how to prepare, and to recognize how the [spiritual] war keeps changing. The [spiritual] war today has changed in the last couple of years. Today, in order to survive the outside influences which have also crept into our homes is by developing our inner world.
This does not mean inspiration, which comes and goes. It is referring to the inner depth about life, to be connected to what truth is.
I will tell you this: I myself have a very hard time talking about this, for two reasons. The first reason is because the inner essence of every Jew (unless he is from Erev Rav) is that we are a holy neshamah; it is just that the garments covering our neshamah are not always proper. It’s like a person who has a child who goes astray, and he has to separate him from his other children; it is painful, even though he knows he has to do it.
Even more, the very fact that there is evil in this world is already a difficulty. It’s much easier to sit comfortably in the beis midrash and learn Torah pleasantly, reveling in the joy of chiddushim – than to have to talk about the outside world, which is full of evil.
I don’t know at all if the words spoken here will be of any use to you. But perhaps if it will help even one person change and realize the truth - not because I am saying it, but because the person himself has come to that conclusion, and he will truly decide to give himself over to Hashem and to His Torah - through that, perhaps the person will be able to survive the world.
I am sure that at least two or three people, or more, will say about this that the words here are too extreme and that they are far from how to understand our current situation. But if there is someone here who doesn’t have a heart of stone and his eyes can see a bit clearly, and he’s not enslaved to his desires – he sees the truth as it is.
If I insulted anyone here with the words I said here, I ask forgiveness of you. If the words here helped anyone here, then that is my entire reward.
May all of you have a good week and merit good tidings.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tapping into the power of Kislev as a group!

Rabbi Pinchas Winston:

"Considering what has to be done to turn the situation around in favor of the Jewish people and redemption, it is more than overwhelming. 

There are so few people involved with the task, and they have very limited resources. 

Naturally-speaking it would be logical to shelve the idea and focus on smaller and more practical goals at this time.

Not necessary, as the GR”A revealed:

The accounting is such that the miraculous aspect constitutes a higher percentage of the outcome than the other aspects. When it comes to deeds concerning the footsteps of Moshiach, especially deeds performed by the community, the Gaon maintained that Heaven’s miraculous help is far greater than the measure-for-measure account. 

At times, the help of Heaven is 1,000 times greater. (Kol HaTor, Ch. 5:3)

The upshot of all of this? A few people can accomplish for redemption many more times than their natural ability should let them. 

Limited efforts can have very dramatic results. 

As the verse says:
The smallest shall become a thousand, and the least a mighty nation. I, God, will hasten it in its time. (Yeshayahu 60:22)

This says it all. A few people working on behalf of the Final Redemption will have the impact of a thousand people, if not more. More importantly, God 
will turn their efforts into redemption, making sure that the Final Redemption not only comes, but that it comes on time."

 Thank you for sending this Reitza Sarah!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hashgacha Pratis...Reminder of what we are learning in the chaburah...

"Today's Day"

Cheshvan 28
Torah Lesson:
Chumash: Tol'dot, Shishi with Rashi.
Tehillim: 135-139.
Tanya: To understand the (p. 597) ...on Pekudei.) (p. 599).

The concept of Divine Providence is this: 

Not only are all particular movements of the various creatures directed by Providence, and not only is that Providence itself the 
life-force and maintained existence of every creature - 

but even more, 
the particular movement of any creature is in general terms 
related to the grand design of Creation... 

The aggregate of all individual acts brings to completion 
G-d's grand design in the mystery of all Creation.

Ponder this: 
If the swaying of a blade of grass is brought about by Divine Providence and is crucial to the fulfillment of the purpose of 
how much more so with regard to mankind in general, 
and Israel (the people close to him)1 in particular!

Tehillim 148:14; Siddur p. 36.

Compiled by the Lubavitcher Rebbe; Translated by Yitschak Meir Kagan