Thursday, April 18, 2019

THE SHEEP OF PRAYER

BH



Hashem's ultimate purpose in Creation is to give of His goodness to mankind. It is His Will to constantly send an influx of bounty and blessings into this world. 

And what Hashem requires for this influx to descend is a vessel. This vessel is prayer. Since prayer is an expression of man's yearning and desire to receive from Hashem, this satisfies Hashem to be considered a suitable vessel for this influx.

This influx however, is found within the Torah. Namely, the "secrets" of the Torah. The hidden part of the Torah contains the key to properly perceiving and receiving the blessings and influx (since any situation can be seen from both a positive and negative perspective, one's perception of life is what shapes and molds the scenarios as being a blessing or a curse).

And since the Torah is the blueprint and building blocks of everthing in Creation, it is the conduit used to channel the bounty and influx into Creation intself. However, to perceive and receive it, one must use prayer.

Thus, the secrets of the Torah are not just pieces of information "hidden" from a person due to his lack of adequate knowledge of the Torah. Rather they are the deeper meaning hidden behind life and the events evolving within it. These are the true secrets of the Torah.

(for more on this concept, see Likutey Moharan lessons 73 and 44:end)



Rebbe Nachman shows this connection between prayer and the secrets of the Torah in the following teaching of the Sages:

The daily prayers were instituted to correspond to the daily sacrifices.

Meaning, the morning and afternoon daily prayers were instituted to parallel the daily sacrifices in the Holy Temple, where one sheep was offered in the morning and one in the afternoon (the evening prayer was later instituted to parallel the parts of the sacrifice which burnt on the altar all night long).

Sheep hint to the secrets of Hashem, the secrets of the world (Kavshaney Rachmana, Kavshaney Olam - sheep (כֶּבֶשׂ) and secrets (כִּבְשְׁנֵי) are etymologically similar).

That the prayers were instituted to parallel the sheeps/daily sacrifices is meant to show that "through" prayers one comes to the sheeps/secrets of the world/Hashem/Creation.

(for more on this concept, listen to: KING CHIZKIYAHU'S PRAYER)


This also is the concept of the Pesach Sacrifice - the Korban Pesach.

The Holy ARI teaches that Pesach also can be read as Peh Sach = a mouth filled with speech - i.e. prayer.

And the Pesach sacrifice was a sheep.

Meaning, through the Pesach offering we both merit to the power of prayer and the secrets of the Torah (sheep).

And today, that we are in exile and don't have the ability to offer the Pesach sacrifice, all of this can be attained by eating the Afokoman which today commemorates the eating of the Pesach sacrifice

(for more on all these concepts, listen to: SECRETS OF THE SHEEP)

May we merit this year through the Pesach experience, tap into true and sincere prayer, brining us to the secrets of the Torah - the secrets to our real selves, amen.

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To send last minute support for needy and large families in Jerusalem for the Pesach holiday, please follow this link:


With blessings for a Kosher, Happy and powerful Pesach experience
Meir Elkabas


Thursday, March 14, 2019

THE HANDS OF MORDEKHAI AND ESTHER



The Holy Land of Israel is a unique place in that it has the power to allow a person to pray to and connect with Hashem and His service unhindered by foreign, atheistic and idolatry-based influences.

For this reason the Sages instituted that when a person prays the daily services he should face towards the Holy Land, Jerusalem and the Holy of Holies, where the greatest energy and connection to Hashem is to be found. By doing so we somewhat connect to the Holy Land, shining it's holiness into our prayers, so that they have a better chance of being unhindered in their ascent.

However, seeing how severely people have become distracted in their prayers to fully and properly concentrate, those seeking to really "connect" to the words of the prayers will find it too overwhelming, needing "something" more than just "facing" the Holy Land.

Rebbe Nachman teaches that a person should strive to also actually be "standing" on the Holy Land soil when davening.

Since the earth supports the entire world, it goes to say that it can also have a spiritual influence on the people it supports too.

This is in line with the teaching of the Sages that the land and air of the Diaspora are considered impure due to the evil and impure lusts and desires of those buried deep within the earth. They negatively influence those who stand upon them (the commentators of the Talmud explain that since the generation of the Flood were wiped out due to their evil crimes, atrocities, lusts and desires, the flood waters carried their body particles everywhere on the earth, thus leaving a possible "taint" over every cubit that a person walks upon. However this is not the case with the Holy Land since, as the Sages also teach, the flood waters of Noach's time did not reach/enter the Holy Land.).

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Rebbe Nachman goes on to teach that by clapping one's hands during prayer, this activates the strength of Hashem revealed at the beginning of Creation.

To explain: the Holy Zohar points out that the first verse of the Torah - Bereishit - has a total of 28 letters, which are called the "28 letters of the Act of Creation". These letters are the basic building blocks of the entire Creation.

They reveal the "Strength"-"Koach" (numerically=28) of God, as being the True Owner of the universe, so that nobody can say that any land on earth belongs to them.

It is thus within Hashem's "Hands"-i.e. "reach" to give any land or take away any land on earth from/to whomever He desires, as was the case when Hashem took away the Land of Israel from the 7 nations of Canaan, giving it over to the nation of Israel, establishing it as a permanent inheritance to them.

So too, Rebbe Nachman teaches, in our hands we have 14 segments found in the 5 fingers of each hand. When brought together, as in clapping, they total 28.

He teaches that when a Jew claps his hands in prayer, this activates the 28 sections of Hashem's "Hands" - the 28 letters of the Act of Creation (since a person is clapping his hands "whilst" praying and connecting to Hashem).

And when this happens this also reactivates the power and authority of Hashem to give over any land to any person, so that by clapping our hands, it is as if we are indicating to Hashem to do so, giving us the land we stand on while praying with the classification and sanctification found in the Holy Land of Israel.

Thus, by clapping one's hands during davening a person is able to actually "stand" on the Holy Land of Israel soil, this giving a person all of the benefits of praying in the Holy Land, such as:


  • strengthening one's faith in Hashem
  • concentration in prayers
  • prayers being answered
  • mitigation of harsh judgments
  • being spared from death and destruction
(For more details on these concepts, please see: 
and listen to playlist: 

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In the time of the Purim story, Haman and Achashverosh knew that as long as the Jews in the Diaspora maintained even some attachment to the Land of Israel, Jewish prayer could turn over any evil plot that they would execute against the Jews.

Haman, a descendant of Amalek who maintained a constant hatred, envy and jealously of the Jews, and Achashverosh, who feared the Jews would undermine his kingship, both had an interest in ending the Jewish nation.

First, Haman sought to stop the rebuilding of the Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem which was initiated by Koresh, King of Media. Doing so, Haman intended to crush the hope of the Jewish nation of returning to the Holy Land after 70 years of exile. With such broken hope, the quality and ability of the Jews to pray would also be diminished, which is what actually happened.

Later, when Achashverosh was well established as ruler, he wanted to make sure that the Jews would not interfere and ruin his sovereignty. He thus made a large ball, feast and orgy, explicitly making sure to inviting the Jewish community of Shushan, which then housed the main leaders of the Jewish world in the Diaspora.

Achashverosh purposely displayed and used the gold and silverware vessels of the Holy Temple for serving the wine and food of his festive orgy, along with purposely donning the 8 garments of the High Priest of the Holy Temple.

His intent was to channel the energy and holiness of the Holy Land, encompassed and contained within the vessels of the Holy Temple, into the Diaspora, in order to submit the Holy Land "power" to the kingdom of Achashverosh. With this, he planned to totally uproot the prayers of the Jews from the Holy Land. This in turn would lead to the loss of prayer power of the Jews, leading the way to easily end them.

Once the morale and prayers of the Jews were broken - not having the "hands" to pray - this led the way freely to activate Haman's decree of total annihilation of the Jews, without any hindrance.


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What Haman and Achashverosh didn't know was that Mordekhai the Tzaddik was rooted in his essence to the source of the Holy Land power and holiness.

The Talmud teaches that Mordekhai is alluded to in the main and first fragrance used in the Anointing Oil which inaugurated the holiness of the vessels and components of the Holy Temple and Tabernacle, called Mor Deror. The Aramaic rendition of the fragrance is M'aR'ei D'aK'h'Ya which etymologically hints to M'oR'D'eK'haI'.

This means that he had it within his ability to draw and "inaugurate" the holiness of the Holy Land wherever and whenever.

So, when the Jews, so morally and spiritually far from Hashem, became broken and desperate due to Haman's decree, Mordekhai was able to revive their spirits and hope with the message that prayer still works and can change any decree, even after being decreed. His power of prayer emanated from the Holy Land which he was still constantly connected too.

The climax of Mordekhai's accomplishment was in getting Esther, his wife, to pray and beseech the King of Kings for salvation.

Esther too had a very special soul, and her being taken captive into king Achashverosh's palace represented the collective status of the Jewish people in exile. As our Sages teach, that Esther represented the deep concealment status of the Jews (E'S'T'heR' being etymologically hinted to in the word H'eS'T'eR' which means concealment).

So, by getting Esther and all the Jews to throw themselves entirely into prayer, faith and trust in Hashem, this is what led to the unbelievable Purim miracle, where, in the end, Haman was destroyed along with his plot to annihilate the Jews. Achashverosh's reign also did not last long as he died 2 years later, and the Second Temple was completed another 6 years after that.

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In order to commemorate and extend the light of the Purim miracle - which is shining the light and power of the Holy Land prayer throughout the world -  Mordekhai and Esther instituted several enactments and mitzvot.

Of them 2 mitzvot which serve to activate the power of the hands - which are the representation of prayer:

  1. "Sending" food portions to one's friend.
  2. "Giving" alms to the poor.
Both serve to strengthen the ability of the Jewish hand to then be used in prayer, to activate the Holiness of the Land of Israel.

The holiday of Purim was celebrated on 2 days, the 14th of 15th of Adar.

14 is numerically equal to "Hand" (YaD in Hebrew) along with another 14 in the 15th (including 1 for joining both).

With all the this Haman and Esther wished to integrate and power and ability of true prayer, that wherever and whenever the Jewish people - as a whole or individually - should face adversity, they can always connect to the holiness of the Holy Land by joining their hands.

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May we merit this Purim truly activating the power of the hands, the holiness of the Land of Israel, and mitigate all harsh judgments from all of Israel. Amen.

(To better integrate all of these concepts together please recite prayers 44-46 in the book: 

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To send your Matanot LaEvyonim- Gifts to the Poor support to the needy of Jerusalem please follow this paypal link, and specify in the detail box - FOR PURIM:

http://paypal.me/meirelkabas…

Thank you and have a happy, uplifting and life changing Purim experience.

Meir Elkabas

PS If you would like to send the support differently, please contact me at:
breslovtherapy@gmail.com