Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Parshat Toldot - The Blessing in the Keter of Yitzchak


In Kabbalah, the Keter is considered above the Sefirot, which are Divine levels of energy used by Hashem to create the world. The Keter is an interface between Hashem’s Infinite Light and us. It pushes you back so that you should not pass the boundary. Rebbe Nachman teaches that we learn this from a word similar to Keter in the book of Job (36:2) – “Katar” – which is Aramaic for “wait.” This pushing back is a form of waiting, but really a process of advancing.

The Kabbalah also teaches that each Sefirah has a different type of Name combination of Hashem reflecting that attribute. The name for Keter is Ekyeh, which translates as “I will be.” This aligns with the Keter’s nature of keeping you waiting, since you are waiting to “become” a newer level of existence.

Understanding Keter’s role as pushing back, Rebbe Nachman emphasizes the importance of patience.

In the Kabbalah, the name for light is Or, with a gematria of 207, which is the exact gematria of Ein Sof, the Infinite Light. Whenever you experience light in your life, it’s coming from the Infinite Light.

All light experiences come from the Infinite Light, albeit unreachable. You’re running after it, but you can’t grasp it. That’s how it is.

In the Parsha, Hashem tells Yitzchak: Ekyeh is with you. You could read the verse as Hashem telling Yitzchak, “I will be with you. Don’t go.” That’s the straightforward interpretation. On a deeper level, Hashem is telling Yitzchak, “You’ve mastered Ekyeh.” Why? Because your name is Yitzchak.

Why was he called Yitzchak? Rashi explains that when he was born, there was a lot of laughter. There was joy in the world. So Hashem is telling Yitzchak, “You are a result of simcha.

Hashem is speaking to Yitzchak, saying, “Ehyeh imcha” – “I will be with you.” But according to Rebbe Nachman, that’s not all. There’s something more – “Vavarechecha.” He introduces the concept of a “bracha” or blessing.

Simcha is the key to properly accept setbacks

In Lesson 24 of Likutey Moharan, Rebbe Nachman explains a profound idea. When a Jew engages in a mitzvah with joy, no matter how seemingly small, it becomes eternally etched.

So, why aren’t we always joyful in performing mitzvot? Rebbe Nachman attributes this to preoccupation, distractions and the constant rush for immediate results. This lack of patience, “hamtana,” prevents us from experiencing the full joy of a mitzvah.

In today’s fast-paced world, people seem to lack “yishuv daat” – calmness, clear thinking. Rebbe Nachman says that we need a “bracha” or blessing from Hashem to overcome this. And without His blessing we cannot truly experience a calmness needed to perceive the Infinite Light of the Keter.

And this is what Hashem told Yitzchak – Ekyeh is with you – i.e. – you have reached the level of Keter [due to your joy in doing mitzvot] – and I will now bless it, so that you truly attain the calmness needed to perceive the Infinite Light.

As a result, Yitzchak didn’t head to Mitzrayim but stayed in the Land of the Philistines. Reb Noson explains that the word Philistine is related to the word Mefulash, meaning open from end to end.

What does that mean? There are individuals who seek the light, and they’ll do anything for it, even taking a wrong direction to attain that light, Mefulash implies no bounce backs; they want the light with no setbacks.

Thus, Yitzchak moved to the city of G’rar. Why G’rar? According to the Midrash, we know that Avraham Avinu was Megayer Gerim, converting people, and Yitzchak continued this practice. That’s why the city is called G’rar (similar to converts-Gerim). Why? Because he made converts, Gerim, from the nation of G’rar.

Additionally, this week’s Parsha discusses the Mayanot, the springs that Avraham Avinu dug, which the Plishtim covered up. Yitzchak tried to reopen these wells. Rebbe Nachman offers an insightful interpretation—the wells represent the springs of Torah. The Plishtim covered them up because of their Mefulash attitude.

Who covered the Mayanot that Avraham and Yitzchak were trying to reopen? Specifically, Plishtim, because Plishtim are Mefulash—those who only want the light with no boundaries. These are the people most opposed to Yiddishkeit and religion, as they become antagonistic and make fun of others because they themselves have crashed.

So, Plishtim, with their Mefulash attitude, are open on both ends, going up and crashing down without any breaks or ability to bounce back. This openness is the problem.

Yitzchak, on the other hand, went to make converts among the Plishtim. What Yitzchak aimed for was to educate people after convincing them of God’s existence and the importance of serving Him. He wanted people to build the right vessels, avoiding the Mefulash attitude, and understanding that setbacks are part of the journey—a condition of the Keter.

Thus, simcha is the key to properly accept the setbacks presented by the Keter, so that a person then builds strong and firm vessels to receive a glimpse of the Infinite Light.

(this article is also on the BRI website:

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Shabbat Shalom
Meir Elkabas

Wednesday, November 8, 2023



T H E   K E T E R








Cultivating Calm Mindedness and Faith.





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Thursday, November 2, 2023

Parshat Vayeira – The Joy of Yitzchak


In this Parsha, we witness the birth of Yitzchak, and interestingly, Rashi mentions, similar to last week, that his name, Yitzchak, is derived from the Hebrew word “tzchok,” which means laughter of happiness. But what laughter are we talking about? Well, there are two significant instances of laughter associated with Yitzchak.

First, there’s the laughter of Avram Avinu, which burst forth when Hashem informed him that, at his age and Sarah Imeinu’s age, they would have a son. Filled with joy and gratitude, Avram exclaimed his joyous astonishment that he and Sarah would become parents at their advanced age. This genuine happiness and thankfulness are the first source of the laughter connected to Yitzchak.

The second source of laughter comes from the world itself when Yitzchak was born. It was a time of great joy and mirth, with many previously barren women giving birth, and childless couples finally experiencing parenthood. Yitzchak’s arrival brought an abundance of happiness to the world. This is why Yitzchak is referred to as “tzchok,” So, as we can see, simcha (joy) is closely linked with Yitzchak.

Now, let’s talk about Yitzchak himself. He is often called “Gvurot Yitzchak,” symbolizing the judgments and severe aspects associated with him. In Kabbalah, Yitzchak represents harsh judgment and severity. Despite being blind and confined to a room, he remained devoted to serving Hashem under such severe conditions and challenges. Yitzchak’s life is a testament to the idea of serving God with unwavering commitment amidst hardships.

Yitzchak’s association with judgments is exemplified in the Binding of Yitzchak. According to Kabbalistic insights, Yitzchak’s extreme judgments needed to be restrained. The binding was not only a test for Avraham but also a way to limit Yitzchak’s willingness to go to any length to serve Hashem. While Yitzchak’s extraordinary dedication is commendable, it could inadvertently create an unrealistic standard for others. The binding served to keep Yitzchak’s unwavering commitment in check.

Furthermore, Reb Noson writes in Likutey Halakhot (Hilkhot Matanah #5) that Rivka, Yitzchak’s wife, was the perfect balance to him. While Yitzchak embodied severe judgments, Rivka was the epitome of balance. She could balance Yitzchak’s extreme judgment with her own understanding of kindness and compassion. This is reflected in the story of Yaakov and Esav, where Yitzchak, due to his extreme judgments, was convinced by Esav’s deceptive actions.

In our prayers, we acknowledge this balance between judgment and compassion. For instance, in the Nishmat prayer on Shabbat mornings, we sing the words “Befi Yisharim Titromam, Uv Sivtei Tzadikim Titbarach,” which contain hidden references to Yitzchak and Rivka. This prayer emphasizes that Hashem’s interaction with us is not solely based on judgment but rather a balance of judgment and compassion, represented by Yitzchak and Rivka.

With Yitzchak associated with severity and judgments, you might wonder where the element of Simcha comes into play. The answer lies in Rebbe Nachman’s teaching in Likutey Moharan II lesson 17. The Rebbe explains that true fear of Hashem can be achieved through Simcha. In this lesson, he reveals the key to tapping into the fear of Shabbat by emphasizing that Joy is the pathway to this fear.

Rebbe Nachman highlights that true Yirat Shamayim, fear of Heaven, is born from Simcha!

After Rebbe Nachman shared this lesson, he asked Reb Noson, “Are you happy on Shabbat?” To which Reb Noson responded, “Sometimes I experience what’s known as ‘frumkeit,’ a religious or spiritual awakening on Shabbat.” Rebbe Nachman replied, “That’s not the way. The key is Simcha, joy. It’s through Simcha that we access the profound fear associated with Shabbat.”

Their conversation continued, with Rebbe Nachman reading Reb Noson’s thoughts. The Rebbe then stated, “Now you have something to worry about.” Reb Noson admitted that Rebbe Nachman had indeed understood his inner concerns, as he was wondering how to experience happiness if he wasn’t naturally feeling it. Reb Noson replied: “At least I want to be happy on Shabbat!” Rebbe Nachman turned to those at the table and confirmed Reb Noson’s stance, emphasizing the importance of this desire.

Rebbe Nachman’s profound insight highlights that true Yirat Shamayim, fear of Heaven, is born from Simcha. This concept also offers a valuable lesson in educating children. When teaching children about the Torah and its commandments, it is crucial to emphasize the positive and uplifting aspects first. Share stories of righteous figures like Moshe Rabbeinu, Avraham Avinu, and Yitzchak, showcasing the beauty and goodness in following the path of Hashem. Only after presenting this positive background should you introduce the concept of consequences or punishments for disobedience. This approach instills in children a more enduring and meaningful sense of fear, as they recognize that the Torah is ultimately beneficial, with consequences for straying from it.

In this context, Rebbe Nachman’s teaching becomes clear: true Yirah, fear, emerges through happiness. Yitzchak Avinu is often misunderstood as a figure solely associated with judgments and severity. However, when examining the broader picture with insights from Talmud, Midrash, Zohar, Kabbalah, and Chassidut, Yitzchak reveals a positive aspect. It becomes evident that Yitzchak was not just about strict judgment but also rooted in Simcha, joy. His name, Tzchok, originating from the joy of Avram Avinu and the world at his birth, connects that joy with the fear and severity attributed to him. This balance was necessary, and the Binding of Yitzchak was a pivotal moment in this context.

The verses, “Serve Hashem with Simcha” and “Serve Hashem with fear,” mentioned in Tehillim, highlights this connection. When we approach our devotion with joy, it naturally leads to a profound sense of fear of Heaven.

In conclusion, one must work on cultivating Simcha because, as Rebbe Nachman teaches in Lesson 17 of Part 2, it is the key to achieving true Yirat Shamayim. If you want to develop fear of Heaven, don’t start with self-condemnation and repentance. Instead, build your Simcha, cultivate joy, and as a result, you will naturally arrive at a profound sense of fear of Heaven.

May we all become students of Yitzchak Avinu, where laughter and joy lead us to a genuine fear of Heaven.

This article also appears on the BRI website: 

For a video presentation of this class:

Shabbat Shalom!

Meir Elkabas

WhatsApp: +1-732-800-1863


Likutey Halakhot, Orach Chaim, Hoda'ah #4 024-4


If you have been inspired by this class/lecture please share it onto your status. Thank you. Based on Likutey Moharan lesson 24: Yaakov collecting the holy sparks and letters trapped in the Exchanged Chambers - the reason the Exchanged Chambers tries to trap these "holy stones" - why Yaakov put them under his head, to indicate that he has connected them to his mind and intellect, etc. Follow us: Spotify: Soundcloud: FB: To donate or sponsor a class: #breslov #breslovtherapy #rebbenachman

Likutey Moharan lesson 24 007-4


If you have been inspired by this class/lecture please share it onto your status. Thank you. The Keter of Elihu - the secret of waiting - settling and organizing the mind requiring waiting - the no-zone of the Keter, etc. Follow us: Spotify: Soundcloud: FB: To donate or sponsor a class: #breslov #breslovtherapy #rebbenachman

Likutey Halakhot, Orach Chaim, Hoda'ah #4 024-3


If you have been inspired by this class/lecture please share it onto your status. Thank you. Based on Likutey Moharan lesson 24. The deeper meaning behind Yaakov sleeping overnight by the place of the Holy of Holies, signifying the need the wait and wait until total rectification and cleaning of the Exchanged Chambers is completed, and how even the greatest of tzaddikim experience setbacks in their personal spiritual growth due to the blemish of the world at large etc. Follow us: Spotify: Soundcloud: FB: To donate or sponsor a class: #breslov #breslovtherapy #rebbenachman

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Parshat Lekh Lekha - The Heh of Avraham


A notable highlight in this Parsha is the transformation of Avram into Avraham.

After his victory over the four kings, and his rescue of Lot, he began to worry about losing his merits for the World to Come. However, Hashem assured him that his reward remained intact despite his incredible feats during the miraculous war.

During this conversation, Avram Avinu expressed his concern about the blessings he received from Hashem, given that he had no children. In response, Hashem promised to change his name from Avram to Avraham, and a similar change for Sarai to Sarah, by adding the letter 'heh' to their names. This 'heh' has a special significance that Rebbe Nachman explores, known as the "Heh of Da'at (Knowledge)." In Likutey Moharan Lesson 53, Rebbe Nachman details the five distinctions between our da'at (knowledge) and Hashem's Da'at.

Hashem's promise to Avram Avinu was that by adding the letter 'heh,' specifically related to da'at, he would be able to give birth. Rebbe Nachman further elucidates that da'at plays a crucial role in a person's ability to give birth, and infertility is often connected to a lack of da'at.

Judaism emphasizes the idea that birth is intrinsically tied to da'at, as the seed of man originates in the mind before descending to the kidneys and ultimately leading to reproduction. Therefore, da'at is an integral aspect of the process.

Reb Noson adds another layer to this concept by explaining that there are five types of grains that contribute to da'at. He highlights the importance of one's food intake, asserting that it directly impacts da'at. These five grains also correlate with the five distinctions between our da'at and Hashem's da'at. 

Moreover, Reb Noson emphasizes the significance of simcha (joy) as a prerequisite for food to influence da'at, connecting it to the five “kolot” (sounds) of joy.

To access the keter, as Rebbe Nachman teaches, simcha (joy) is a prerequisite. Reb Noson eloquently encapsulates this concept by drawing from the Gemara, (Shabbat, 87-88), which discusses the Jewish people receiving the Torah. 

When the Jewish people declared, "We will do and we will listen," 600,000 angels placed two crowns on each Jew's head: one for saying "We will do" and one for "We will listen." However, during the sin of the golden calf, 1,200,000 angels descended to retrieve the crowns. The Gemara also states that, in the future, Hashem will return the crowns to the Jewish people. As the verse from Isaiah (35:10), "The simcha of the world, will be on their heads." In other words, this world's long-awaited joy, the joy of anticipating that moment, will enable the Jewish people to regain the crowns that are rightfully theirs.

Reb Noson interprets this by explaining how to attain the keter (crown), which symbolizes Hashem's wisdom, known as the “heh of da’at. This is achieved through simchat olam - the Joy of the world. 

First, it involves the joy the Jews experienced while in this world as they worked diligently to fulfill mitzvot with joy. Second, it encompasses the ability to maintain joy even amid the challenges and distractions of the world. Simchat olam reflects the determination to serve Hashem joyfully despite numerous setbacks. It's essential to clarify that this joy is not about excessive merriment or revelry but rather finding joy in fulfilling mitzvot, even within a world filled with trials and temptations.

Reb Noson discusses five major pieces of advice on cultivating happiness. 

The first is to engage in light-heartedness by acting silly and telling jokes. While it may seem nonsensical, this approach allows individuals to release the true joy that is often trapped within the world's chaos and confusion, which Rebbe Nachman refers to as the "exchanged chambers." By laughing at the absurdity of life, individuals can unearth genuine joy, which can then be elevated into true joy through serving Hashem and expressing gratitude.

The second method is to find joy through dancing, hand clapping, and singing, as music and movement have the power to elevate one's mood. 

Third, Rebbe Nachman's Azamra teaching emphasizes identifying and valuing one's good qualities. 

Fourth, giving thanks for the blessings and kindnesses received is crucial. By recognizing and appreciating these gifts, one can elevate their happiness. 

The fifth and most profound form of joy is having faith in the future, where everything will ultimately work out as part of Hashem's divine plan. This perspective allows individuals to connect their present experiences to the hopeful future, drawing happiness from what is yet to come.

By incorporating these approaches, Reb Noson's teachings emphasize the importance of cultivating joy, even in the face of life's challenges and uncertainties. Reb Noson highlights the profound role that drawing joy from the future plays in achieving salvation in our present lives. It's essential to understand that you don't have to remain stuck in your current circumstances. While the present might seem constraining, connecting it to the future and drawing joy from what lies ahead can bring salvation into the present. Reb Noson emphasizes that there's always an opening with Hashem, a way to transcend your current challenges and find joy.

These five types of joy correspond to the five grains and the heh da'at. This is why Avra’h’am can give birth and Sara’h’ can conceive. Simcha is the key to connecting to Hashem's da'at, ensuring that food and knowledge work harmoniously to bring people closer to Hashem. This connection is facilitated by the five voices/sounds of joy, namely kol sason, kol simcha, kol chatan, kol kalah, and kol omrim hodu l'Hashem kitov. Each of these represents different facets of joy, including extreme happiness, dancing and melodious movement, finding joy in the good points, giving thanks for miracles, and expressing gratitude for future rewards.

Amid the current world events and the media's relentless focus on distressing news and images, it's crucial to remember that becoming sad and depressed is not a mitzvah, nor is it the path to a strong Jewish connection. While it's essential to empathize with and feel the pain, one should not remain trapped in it. Pain serves as a catalyst to appreciate joy and light. You must use sadness as a springboard to move forward and embrace happiness. 

Rebbe Nachman's teaching in Likutey Moharan, Lesson 24, underscores that the Jews will emerge through joy. Mashiach's arrival is not just a matter of waiting for joy to arrive with him; rather, it is a prerequisite. We are meant to generate joy before Mashiach's arrival.

May we merit the 5-heh kolot/sounds of Avraham, embracing joy, and just as Avraham was promised Yitzchak, may the Jewish people continue to reproduce and bring forth beautiful Jewish souls to fulfill the complete redemption, Amen.

This article also appears on the BRI website:

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Shabbat Shalom

Meir Elkabas

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Likutey Halakhot, Orach Chaim, Hoda'ah #6 024-2


If you have been inspired by this class/lecture please share it onto your status. Thank you. Based on Likutey Moharan lesson 24. Reb Noson continues delving into the sleep of Yaakov because the sun had set, meaning that the only way to reconnect to the Infinite Light is by totally submerging in darkness-sleep etc. Follow us: Spotify: Soundcloud: FB: To donate or sponsor a class: #breslov #breslovtherapy #rebbenachman

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Likutey Halakhot, Orach Chaim, Hoda'ah #6 024-1


PLEASE! IF THIS CLASS HAS ENLIGHTENED YOU, PLEASE SHARE IT ONTO YOUR STATUS Based on Likutey Moharan lesson 24: Developing the second verse from Parshat VaYetze, Reb Noson goes into the deeper meaning behind - ויפגע במקום - referring to the moment when a person bounces back from the Keter, etc. Follow us: Spotify: Soundcloud: FB: To donate or sponsor a class: #breslov #breslovtherapy #rebbenachman

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Parshat Bereishit - The Crown of the Moon


Based on Likutey Moharan lesson 24 The questioning of the moon was not appropriate for the level of the Keter - the gateway to the Infinite Light; how the waning of the moon is the source of our ups and downs and our sins; the Rav and Talmid are reflected in the ultimate unity of the sun and the moon etc. Follow us: Spotify: Soundcloud: FB: To donate or sponsor a class: #breslov #breslovtherapy #rebbenachman