Thursday, September 27, 2018
The Thoughts of the Mind
Thoughts - the mind - is the beginning and root point of all Creation. It was the means through which Hashem used to create the entire Universe.
Mankind is the central point within all of Creation entrusted with this means too. It is expected of man to develop his own mind until reaching a Godly awareness, where his own mind merges as much as possible to grasp and fathom Hashem through the faculty of knowledge. TO KNOW OF HASHEM.
And the more a person fills his mind with this Godly awareness the more he becomes detached and less interested in the pursuit of the vain and gross limited existence of this world - the catalyst and game-board used to challenge man in pursuing the knowledge of Hashem.
However, if man chooses to allow lesser knowledge, the dead-end knowledge of this world, to occupy and fill his mind, he then becomes clogged and blocked up due to this vain knowledge he has let into his mind.
As a result, all types of low and base lusts and desires attach and build up upon this foreign knowledge, somewhat like a reed placed in a river where all types of sediment and waste matter collect upon and build up around the reed.
Thus, the more a person cleanses and rids his mind of these foreign ideologies, the more he is able to push away and withstand the trials and temptations generated by these negative thoughts.
The Renewal of Faith
However, this is not enough. In order to keep the foreign thoughts out a person must also renew his mind and intellect by frequently reconnecting it to the source of all wisdom - the Light of the Countenance. This Light reflects the source of Divine Wisdom used by Hashem in the Creation. Since Hashem is always renewing the Creation, it follows that this Divine Wisdom/Light of the Countenance is what is used for the means of this renewal.
Renewal serves a purpose.
Just like sleep, where a person rests the body in order to become rejuvenated and refreshed to face a new day - a new challenge, so too the mind must be renewed.
However, the renewal of the mind is faith. Faith is like the mind taking a break from the thinking process. This allows the mind to reconnect to the source of all knowledge and wisdom, the Light of the Countenance.
This Light is so above and beyond the human comprehension, that it can only be internalized at a subconscious level through the attribute of Faith. This is why Faith is so necessary and an integral part in the true development of the mind, which will enable a person to develop his awareness and connection to Hashem's Wisdom.
The Truth of the Heart
However, Faith being what it is - faith - leaves it open to false beliefs and misconceptions. In order for Faith to renew the mind by connecting it to the Light of the Countenance, it has to be put in check as being the right and proper Faith.
This is maintained through the point of Truth generated from the heart.
When in sleep/faith mode a person is honest and only wants the truth, this good desire "burns" and eliminates all false beliefs and misconceptions, helping a person to properly receive the Light of the Countenance through Faith.
This process is necessary in order to elevate all of the fallen holy sparks of Godly Wisdom trapped in the false beliefs. When the Truth of the heart burns and eliminates them, the true goodness that fell within them is thus released and elevated.
(For more on these concepts please listen to: LIKUTEY MOHARAN LESSON 35
The Walls of the Sukkah
Due to the many stressful situations and predicaments in life, the average Jew has great difficulty in cleansing and renewing his mind.
What is needed is a special type of boost from the True Tzaddikim, those special individuals who have succeeded in cleansing and renewing their own minds.
During the seven days of Sukkot we invite the "Ushpizin" - the Seven Shepherds (Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon, Yossef and David) to enter our personal Sukkahs.
The minimal requirements are 3 walls. These correspond to the 3 parts of the minds thinking process - knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
During the seven days of Sukkot we invite the Ushpizin to enter our Sukkahs - our thoughts and minds - to help give us the boost we need.
The Sukkah thatch is allowed to be made of lowly and leftover vegetation material, something which is just the opposite of a normal and strong roof covering.
Yet, this covering connotes the Faith needed to tap into the Light of the Countenance.
Just as Faith connotes no understanding as the key to tapping into the Light of the Countenance, the insignificant Sukkah thatch covering is meant to signify that specifically "not-knowing" is the key to truly "knowing".
Entering the Sukkah
By entering the Sukkah, we are actually entering the mind power of the Seven Shepherds - the Ushpizin.
This enables us to "brush-off" and receive purity and renewal of mind from the mind-power of these True Tzaddikim.
May we truly merit this Sukkah holiday to start again, clean our heads and thoughts with renewed vigor and energy, so that we can truly serve Hashem. Amen.
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Monday, August 27, 2018
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Rebbe Nachman teaches: Ideally Torah literature is the greatest way and format to promoting the awareness of Hashem, His Kingship and how to go about connecting to Him from and using this physical world.
The books and teachings of the tzaddikim teach us how to find Hashem in our everyday life, how to get up after every attack from the evil side, and how to internalize and realize our relationship with Him through Torah study, prayer, mitzvah performance and good deeds.
Seeing that the Torah and the tzaddikim promoting the Torah have been around for several millennia, it would be proper to assume that many, many books and writings should have been left behind from the past. However the fact is, whatever Torah literature that is available is only a tiny fraction of what actually should be out there.
WHERE ARE ALL OF THOSE WRITINGS AND TEACHINGS LEFT BY THE TZADDIKIM OF YORE?
Surely Avraham wrote many writings, as our Sages teach that his Talmudic tractate of Avodah Zarah consisted of 400 chapters!!! Where are they? Why wasn’t anything recorded?
Hiding and Burning Torah Literature
Rebbe Nachman teaches that many, many teachings and writings of previous Tzaddikim remain hidden and were even burnt for a higher purpose.
Since for the sake of there being an equilibrium and free choice balance between good and bad, there have also been, over the past millenia, many books and writings of atheistic and heretical teachings. If even a page of these writings would still be existent today, it would be practically impossible to come back and connect to Hashem.
In order for these heretical ideas not to spread, the tzaddikim must hide and even burn their holy writings and teachings.
The Sotah Woman
Rebbe Nachman learns this out from the passage dealing with the Sotah woman, suspected of committing adultery.
The suspected wife was brought by her husband to the Holy Temple, whereby the Cohen-Priest would write on parchment the Torah portion of curses that befall a woman who cheats on her husband.
This portion also contains many names of Hashem which, once written, are forbidden to be erased. The Cohen-Priest would then place this parchment in a jug of ritual water, erasing the entire Torah portion including the names of Hashem.
The suspected woman would then drink from this water. If she was really guilty of committing adultery her stomach, thighs and then her entire body would simply blow up and die. If however, she was truly clean and innocent these waters would bring her blessing: if she was barren, she would now bear children; if she was ugly she would now be beautiful etc.
The Talmud expresses that for the sake of promoting peace between husband and wife, Hashem is willing to allow His “Name” to be erased in the ritual waters.
Furthermore, the Talmud also points out that in Heaven they make a derivative conclusion: now if for the sake of promoting peace between husband and wife, Hashem allows His Holy Name to be blotted out, heretical and atheistic writings which only stir rift, strife and animosity between the Jewish people and their Father in Heaven, all the more so should they be blotted out.
The Name of Hashem
Now, Rebbe Nachman points out the the numerical value of Name-Shem is 340, the same as a Book-Sefer (340). The books and writings of the tzaddikim which gain fame - a “name” - along with spreading Hashem’s fame - “Name” - in the world, are filled with Divine combinations of Hashem’s holy names.
Thus, the tzaddikim willing to “blot out” and hide their books from the public for the sake of promoting peace between husband and wife, and by extension between the Jewish nation and Hashem, by causing Heaven to conceal and destroy heretical writings too.
(For more clarity on these points please listen to: LIKUTEY MOHARAN II LESSON 32)
The 17th of Tammuz
The 17th of Tammuz commemorates primarily the breaking of first set of Tablets, the burning of the Holy Torah scroll in the Holy Temple, and the breaching of the walls of the Holy Temple.
Moshe broke and smashed the Holy Tablets containing the summary of the entire Torah due to the Jews falling into the sin of idolatry.
Logically, since the Torah is the main key and weapon in dealing with heresy, idolatry etc., Moshe should have found some other means to punish the Jews and help them to repent. Why destroy the Tablets - the main means for their survival and help?
However the smashing of the Tablets also blotted out the heretical, atheistic and idolic ideology that came along with the golden calf worship. If that ideology would still exist, it would be impossible for the Jews to properly and wholeheartedly accept and follow the Torah due to the static and confusion generated by the golden calf ideology.
The same is true of the Torah Scroll burnt by the enemies in the Holy Temple. This caused many other heretical books to be burnt.
(The reason why nevertheless we fast and mourn over these incidents since this is not the ideal scenario. Hashem’s Name and Holy books should not be burnt. It is just that due to the perversion and damage caused by sin, we are not able to deal with directly the atheistic and heretical teachings since our faith in Hashem is not strong enough to combat them. The only alternative left is for the tzaddikim and Hashem to hide/damage/burn their holy writings.)
The burning of our Holy Temple on Tisha B’Av is also for a similar reason. Why let the Temple be destroyed if it was the main means to help enlighten the entire Jewish Nation to come back to Hashem? Find some other sort of punishment!
The Holy Temple was where the Supreme Sanhedrin Court resided transmitting Torah rulings to the entire Nation. It was also housing the Holy Ark, containing the original and second Tablets, along with the first Torah Scroll written by Moshe himself. The Holy Temple was thus a source of Torah enlightenment to the entire world.
However, here too, the convolutedness and perversion that the Jewish People sunk into at the time of the Holy Temple was so severe that the negative influence of atheistic ideology would not allow them to appreciate the light and holiness generated by the Holy Temple.
Burning the Holy Temple
By Hashem allowing the Holy Temple to be burnt, we were saved from the atheistic and heretical ideology prevalent at that time.
And since the Sages point out that every generation that the Temple is not rebuilt in, is considered as if the Temple was destroyed also in that generation, we can conclude that the re-”burning” of the Temple today is what is saving us now from the full-force impact of atheistic and foreign ideology.
It is our fervent prayer and wish that the Spirit of Mashiach should finally come - to purify our minds and hearts of any foreign and atheistic ideology - thus allowing us to have strong enough faith/emunah to properly receive the Third Holy Temple and thus eradicate forever any trace of heresy left in the world.
“And on that day Hashem will be One and His Name One!”
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Thank you and be well