Based on the Book:
Hebrew Verse Transliteration
Wehem Noshchem LeHaTzadik Behar Bot SheveshaPehTotihem, Wenashvar Wenechanah Levo Bekarbo , Ad Sheva LeAhavat Israel BeEmet, LeHaYot Nechanah BePenai Kal Adam MeIsrael, Welerot Zechut WeTovah All Kal Israel, Webo Lemadraygat Ain Mamash Lenai HaKadosh Borchu, Lehashifshatot (Behatifshatot) Hagashmayot, LeYachad Kadosh Borchu, Leheyot Ahyil Wenafik BeLo Bar, Eim Ken Harah Asah Devar Gadol, WenaAseh Kesay El HaTov,
These vicious enemies bite the Tzadik with the sword of their hissing lips, until the Tzadik is broken and his heart is humbled, and he arrives in a profound and unconditional love of the people Israel, and he feels genuine humility for every person of Israel and finds merit and good in every one of Israel. In this way the Tzadik arrives at the level of true nothingness before HaShem. He releases all identification with his material layer of self and unites with HaShem. He/She becomes “one who may enter the Presence, and leave it at will,” even without the need of permission. If this is so, then evil has accomplished a great thing -- it has truly become a throne for good.
The above paragraph is a description of the process of spiritual growth including the ultimate goal of all spiritual growth. When one learns Torah Lishmo - for its own sake, one causes the letters of the study to be imprinted upon one's heart which softens their heart. When one learns Torah lo lishmo this does not happen. Rabbi Ashlag brings these teachings in his Ten Luminous Emanations Hakdama - Preface or Forward. i recommend you read and / or listen to this on our website. It is on the Revealed Wisdom page.
Tzadikim, despite their great merit and supreme virtue, are wounded by the sharp sword of their enemies forked tongue. Their souls are crushed, their hearts are humbled, the pain is great. There are many ways to react, and that very choice is what makes or breaks Tzadikim. The only question they can ask is, "What is the most spiritually productive way to deal with this awful ordeal which is this malicious foe with his false accusations and murderous intents?” Tzadikim understand that:
chanoch adds: We teach this paragraph in the idea of always asking what is the best action that i can do for the other person. If one is not yet at that level one can ask what is the best outcome for all involved.
1. The enemy was sent by HaShem to correct their arrogance, which may be a minute in relation to most people, but which is completely unacceptable for a person of their rank or for their next step in personal and spiritual development.
2. If they act from revenge and harden their hearts in self-righteous defense, they waste the test which means that it will surely come around again. That is a sobering thought to be avoided at all costs.
3. The only real option is to allow the ordeal to soften their hearts and inspire a more authentic humility. The proof that this has occurred is when it manifests as a profound unconditional love of the Jewish nation and for every one of the individual souls in this glorious and motley tribe, including their own incorrigible foe. Rabbi Safran speaks here about Jewish antagonists, but we will see his principles apply to all of our adversaries, Jewish or not.
A spiritual path is about ego-transcendence. At each step the aspirants dissolve another layer of ego shell. This is what produces the humility that is the sign of a passed test. Slowly the seeker discovers a more expanded sense of self that is less dense and personal. They begin to realize, not in their head but in their bones, that they are part of a larger organism - a higher order unity - called the mystical body of Israel. It becomes increasingly clear that their quality of life depends upon the well-being of every other cell in that organism. In this way they grow to identify with the collective good as much as or even more than their own narrow personal interests.
chanoch adds: While this Sefer is talking about reaching the level of a Tzadik, the same process of ego transcendence causes everyone - Tzadik aspirant or otherwise to lower his arrogance and become a bit more humble.
Whether consciously or not, the enemy who attacks Tzadikim wants to eliminate them, to make them nothing. The Tzadikim can respond by strengthening and asserting their something-ness, at which point they actually failed the test. Or they can use the enemy as a trigger to remember their true nothingness before HaShem - that there is nothing but HaShem.
To some the discomfort caused by an enemy presses light into the constricted passageways of the unconscious and expands the territory were consciousness rules. And as awareness permeates those dark knots of soul; our selfhood deepens (chanoch adds: through change) and re-configures. The more our identity draws from core layers, the less need there is for outer comfort. It soon becomes a habit and a practice in moments of threat to turn inward and draw strength, comfort, and peace from HaShem. This does not mean that we never fight. It means that we select only those battles that serve a higher, a most difficult call. For even the Torah's holy guidelines are subject to distortion by the ego's vengeful nature.
Those who pass their tests by responding to enemies in this way become faithful servants of HaShem. Only a non-reactive ego can be trusted with power. Only those who are tried-and-true can join the exclusive society of those “who may enter the Presence and leave at will.” There is no greater boon than this and who do we thank? None other than vile enemy who provided the test that catalyzed the growth that cleaned the soul that earned the key to the inner sanctum. This is what it means that evil is only here to serve as a throne and catalyst for good.
The purpose of a test is to create an effect of spiritual growth. This means expanded consciousness. This is the reason behind the "drive to take alcohol, and drugs." People who do this because they have a desire to expand their consciousness and get closer to HaShem. The problem is this is a shortcut that has significant negative side effects. It is not the path although the desire is understandable. Western Societies limitations on these efforts are not the best method to control this issue.
Rabbi Safran is speaking about attitude, and in no way denies the very real need for self-protection. A Jew is forbidden from placing himself in harm's way. We are obligated to guard our lives, our health and our possessions. For example, says Jewish law, those who leave valuables exposed are guilty of placing “a stumbling block before the blind.” This is because in so doing, they created an irresistible temptation for a person who struggles with a thieving nature – though that person is not blind, he/she is morally handicapped in this way. How much more so does the necessity of protection apply to our physical and psychological well-being.
Rabbi Safran does not advise us to passively suffer abuse, turn a blind eye to wrongdoing, more quietly or march quietly to the slaughter. We are obligated to protect ourselves, both for our sake and for the sake of our enemy. By safeguarding ourselves, we prevent a crime and protect the perpetrator from accruing the hefty soul debt that always accompanies Misdeeds and that exacts seven times more loss than is gained from the crime.
Instead Rabbi Safran suggests an attitude based on the big picture that should correct our interpretation of the ordeal, and accompany whatever strategy you choose is the most effective way to prevent or minimize physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual harm. We might decide to turn the other cheek, or wage a fierce war. The options are varied, each trial calls for its own custom tailored response. Either way Rabbi Safran's advice about attitude applies.
The above section is calling for Binding by Striking. This teaching tool Binding by Striking is being taught with other words. There is much to learn from the section.
In the early days of Chassidut many of the non-Hasidic rabbinate feared that the Baal Shem Tov was another false Messiah like Shabtai Tzvi who died in 1676 and Jacob Frank who died in 1791 whose debacles, as false Messiahs left deep and fresh wounds in the scattered Jewish nation. And so these rabbis and their followers fought against Chassidut with great ferocity for they believed that Jewish survival depended upon their victory.
This battle between the Baal Shem Tov's followers and detractors lasted for generations. Some of his more zealous opponents employed underhanded measures strictly forbidden by Jewish law. They brought false reports about Chassidut to the non-Jewish authorities, hoping the accused would get thrown into a dungeon and be silenced for good.
And so it happened that these zealous opponents of Chassidut brought false accusations against one of the most illustrious of the early Hasidic Masters, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liaddi, the founder of Chabad Chassidut. The Czarist police heeded the charge and came in their infamous block wagon reserved for prisoners accused of a capital offense.
Rabbi Zalman was arrested for sedition and was questioned on 22 counts including technical points about Kabul law and custody that could only have been provided by Jewish informers.
Rabbi Zalman gave detailed and reasoned replies to all of these 22 charges. He even answered one of the most delicate questions in a carefully composed essay so there should be no misunderstanding.
Miraculously since justice was not a pillar of the czarist regime, Rabbi Zalman was cleared of all charges and released nearly 3 months after his imprisonment.
Understandably, his disciples were enraged at the vicious and criminal informers that betrayed their Rebbe to the Russian police, nearly causing his demise. Immediately upon his release Rabbi Zalman penned a memorandum which was circulated among his followers far and wide. This document is a glowing example and a practical application of the Baal Shem Tov's teachings about enemies.
”I have become small from all the gifts... This means that when HaShem bestows kindness and favors upon a person the proper response is to become humble... Whoever is more “before Him” is that much more as nothing, naught, and non-existing. Therefore, I come to inform all our followers... You are not to become haughty minded from these mighty favors in relation to your brethren the opponents of Chassidut from whose ranks these informers came. You should not speak defiantly or hiss at them. Chas V'Shalom – HaShem Forbid. A strict warning: hold your peace, humble your heart, and make no mention of the miracles, for a soft answer dispels anger. And as water reflects face to face, maybe their hearts will soften in return.”
Based on the Book:
Hebrew Verse Transliteration
WeCamaAt ShiAhyaz Yesh LeRah Gichach Aliyah, Shehari Ose Ratzon Havurah, WeYesh Bo Tzorech Kamo BeTuv, Welaken El Yadcha Shonayo WeRah Shelo, Elah Dom LaHaShem Weyeshtok, Weyakabel BeShamacha, WeAdarvah Yekoyen LahaOlotam, Kemo SheAsah Ribono Yehudah HaChasid, Kol Rasha ShetzeAr Oto NaSeh Tzadik, Af Goi ShetzeAr Oto Natagyar, Wekol Zeh Eim Yesh Bo Tov, Aval Rah Gimor, KaShaOlah "Yatafrado Kol PoAki Ain", WeNofel LaNukvah Datahomah Rabo, Wehatov Yatolah Wehathafcha Harah Latov, WAvyava LaOhev,
...And through this practice of using enemies as a trigger to cultivate humility and turn to HaShem, the evil gets elevated, through the merit it acquires having successfully catalyzed (in its target) this deepened service of HaShem's will. It becomes clear that the world needs both evil and good. Not only should you not respond by pushing your enemy (and his delusions) out of your heart, but really the opposite. You should remember instead that this is from HaShem and know that there is nothing to say before HaShem's irreproachable decision to bring this ordeal into your life. There is no choice but to accept the trial with joy.
And not only that, but even more, you should intend to uplift your enemy as did Rabbi Yehuda HaChasid. Every evildoer that ever troubled him became a Tzadik. And if it was a non-Jew that wronged him, he became a convert. The only condition for this transformation to occur through the Tzadik's prayer was that there be some trace of good in the adversary.
If the enemy is completely evil through and through, then when he gets elevated through the subjects prayer for him, he will actually crumble and in that way the verse will be fulfilled: "All the evildoer shall be scattered." They will fall into the great abyss. And if there is any trace of good, the enemy - אויב will rise and the evil will be transformed into good, and the enemy will turn into a friend - אוהב. (The Yood in the word enemy turns into a Hey and with that change the same letters now spell friend).
In our advanced reincarnation class we learn that the good actions that someone did will be resurrected either in this first body or the second body. This is also the explanation that is being brought here. In essence your enemy is your opportunity to elevate himself and yourself through personal spiritual change.
Through this encounter between the Tzadik and the evil enemy, both parties are raised, not just the Tzadik. When the mission is complete, and the universe moves forward through the Tzadik's inner work, evil will get some credit for that progress since it catalyzed all that positive change. As strange as it sounds, the demented antagonist is also doing the work of HaShem. This awful encounter with the evil was, apparently, the most efficient and least painful route to the Tikune that the soul required.
Evil thus serves a necessary purpose, and we could not make do without it. Faith requires us to know that if it were possible to capitalize the necessary transformations by less dreadful measures, HaShem would certainly have employed them.
The real work though is for us to take these teachings out of the head, bring them into the heart, and apply them to the conflicts - great and small - that, unfortunately, pepper our lives. The first three steps were mentioned above. Rabbi Safran continues with his practical advice:
This is another way to teach the spiritual principle that everything that happens is for the good and is actually perfect, even these “enemies” since the growth that people go through by doing spiritual work is the most efficient method to perfect the world and therefore is a perfect method to become corrected.
4. Do not curse your enemy or push him away in your heart. Rather, when you feel the impulse for revenge (whether through words or deeds), within your heart, trust HaShem, and keep silent. It is good to create an affirmation that is brought to mind in these challenging moments. An example is “I know the truth will prevail. I don't know when, I don't know how, maybe in this world, maybe in the next, but I know and trust the truth will prevail.” (This applies even when security requires retaliation.)
5. Remind yourself of the big picture: that it's all from HaShem, that it is a purifying Mikveh – Ritual Cleansing bath - preparing you to approach HaShem, and that it's blissful and will be infinitely worse at sufferings. From the place of knowing that this is a hidden good, accept the trial graciously, and even, if possible, with joy.
6. Walk the talk. Turn the theory into practice. The test is passed when you learn how to love, and to find merit in even the most fallen ones, and even (or, as will be seen, especially) your very own enemies. And from the place of knowing that this is what HaShem is asking from you, pray for your enemy to be raised and released from the clutches of evil and delusion. Pray for your enemy to do Teshuvah while, knowing that this is the best possible outcome both for you and for him and for HaShem.
It is good for you, because Teshuvah will require a proportionate apology, preparation of damages, and a promise not to repeat the offense. What could be more satisfying? It is good for him, because genuine Teshuvah cleans his spiritual vessel, prevents further infractions and repairs his relationship with the Shechinah. And it is good for HaShem because another corner of the universe aligns with spiritual law (which is another term for divine will).
The model for these ideas is Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi as was said. So committed was he to this practice, and so powerful was his prayer that when it hit the evildoer who caused him harm the evildoer would eventually, inevitably, turn towards good and become a truly holy man – A Tzadik like Rabbi Yehuda himself. And this applied not only to fellow Jews. If his antagonist was a non-Jew, Rabbi Yehuda would pray for his spiritual well-being, and that his enemy would abandon his evil ways, renounces hatred, and seek to join the religion of the pious Rabbi Yehuda.
There is one important significant caveat. To pray for their enemies to do Teshuvah is a double edge sword. If that “enemy” has stretches of soul that are still redeemable then their prayer has something to work with. It will awaken his hidden good and pull the offender back to the light. But if the enemy is corrupted beyond repair, and there is no healthy tissue to build from, and that very same prayer for the enemies' tissue will actually quicken his demise (as we shall see). There is no contradiction. HaShem decides. It might be that speedy removal really is the best possible outcome for a hardened psychopath. Better that he should cut his losses, stop racking up spiritual debts, and begin the involuntary Teshuvah process in the world of souls. Tzadikim do not intend for their prayer to have this effect. They generally genuinely hope and pray for their enemies to do Teshuvah and become redeemed. The decision of life and death rests with the one who sees into the hearts and minds of every creature.
The mechanism is as follows: the subject's prayer raises the enemy, and if there is not even a shred of good, then, like a helium balloon, his soul destabilizes in the rarefied air of the higher realms and disintegrates into dust. This is what King David describes in Psalm 92:10. - Your enemies, says HaShem, Shall perish; all evildoers shall disintegrate.) There dust will fall into the great abyss, and because evil is really just delusion as explained, it will be swallowed up forever and cease to exist. Nothing of substance (for example light) can ever truly perish. Every spark must and will be redeemed. But delusion never really was. Its whole existence was conjured through spin and lies. Illusion will cease, but light is eternal and cannot be destroyed.
If there remains a patch of good in the offender, the Tzadik's prayer into will empower the good. As the enemy soul ascends, from the Tzadik's way for his Teshuvah by its inner balance of power shifts the good, strengthens when it enters the pursuit of personal realms, while the evil starts to crumble. Yet because of its association with good, the evil softens and corrects itself, and slowly but surely turns to good. When this happens the enemy becomes a friend this process is beautifully illustrated by the two Hebrew words as shown above – enemy and friend. By exchanging the Yood for a Hey we demonstrate the connection of HaShem to the process since Yood and Hey is one of the Names of HaShem.
Debrief: the most spiritually productive response to enemies is to allow yourself to be humbled and to pray for their spiritual well-being. This section 12 style prayer will either succeed in pulling your enemies toward the light and away from their spiteful ways or, if HaShem reckons them irredeemable, your very prayer for their Teshuvah will accelerate their demise. They will have served a good purpose, for the one whom they sought to destroy.
Tzadikim pray every day for their own Teshuvah. Now, they extend that prayer to include their enemies, as well. One way to fulfill the obligation to "love your neighbor as yourself" is to hope that your neighbor enjoys the same good that you seek for yourself. Since there is nothing that a Tzadik wants more than to perfect their relationship with God - which is the definition of Teshuvah, this is exactly what they pray for their enemies to achieve.
The Hebrew word Teshuvah means literally “to return” and conveys a rich constellation of meanings:
Spiritual path - the soul comes down into an earthly body and spends its days homesick, trying to return to its heavenly abode beneath the wings of the Shechinah. The rule, in the spiritual plains, is that only things that are similar can be close. This means that the soul can only achieve its goal if it becomes clean. In the course of life we absorb knowledge of spiritual law - mostly through the school of hard knocks but also from books and tutelage - and gradually require a penchant for right action.
Eventually it becomes clear to our body as well as our soul, the only true and enduring pleasures are those that bring those close to HaShem. This is the path and the definition of Teshuvah. Every step closer to HaShem is a step closer to home – our spiritual home. This is one way of determining for ourselves if Teshuvah has occurred.
Personality Inventory - Teshuvah is supposed to be an ongoing, daily practice. Ideally, before retiring to sleep, we review our day. It is good to ask the following questions of ourselves: "Did I do anything today that took me away from my goal, the created distance instead of closeness to OSHA? How can I repair the damage of these wrong actions? What lessons must I assimilate to make better decisions next time?" If we do not perform this daily inventory, then at least do so before Shabbat, if not weekly that at least before the new month, if not monthly then at least before the new year, if not yearly in at least before our death.
chanoch adds: There is a wonderful story about this last statement. A Chasidic Rebbe was asked by a student, “Rebbe, how can we know when we are going to die?” The Rebbe answers, “I do not know so repent now and do Teshuvah today just in case.”
Repentance - The most practical application of Teshuvah denotes a set of tasks which, when performed with a whole heart, can restore a relationship to its unspoiled state equal to the relationship prior to the offense that created the separation which now requires an apology. It applies between man and HaShem and also between people. In the former there are three steps; in the latter there are five:
Step 1: Confession. Admitting that one has done wrong and specifying the affront.
Step 2: Regret. Expressing a heartfelt apology that is proportionate to the hurt caused by the offense.
Step 3: Commitment to Change. Resolve not to repeat that behavior again.
The same three as above:
Step 4: Securing His / Her Forgiveness. We must apologize at least three times until the injured party forgives the affront. If sincere requests for forgiveness is expressed and requested 3 times it is assumed to have been asked and received.
Step 5: Reparation. We must compensate for damages that accrued from the offense.
Imagine a continuum of shades of gray stretching from 100% black to 100% white. The white carries the life force that is the source of existence for both colors. The black cannot survive except by associating with the white, and drawing its life force from the white. The black hates this dependency and prefers to turn the white into a captive slave, so that it can extract its life force without admitting its dependency. But the secret is that the captor is more dependent on his slave then the slave is upon his master.
When the white escapes and returns to its root-which it inevitably must, four scenarios are possible - organized from best to worst:
One. As the white is pulled out and up to its root, the grey comes along with the white and not just passively. Rather it actively participates in the Teshuvah process. It repents and makes amends. In this way it advances without losing its “I” center. It does not need to dissolve and reconstitute - though it may require a fiery cleansing. This is the best case scenario
Two. Similar to one, and that the gray also heals, reconfigures, and is redeemed. Yet here, while the white maintains the coherency of its “I” center, the gray must lose itself, and then reemerge as a new and different “I” center. This death of the “I” Center is an extremely painful ordeal.
Three. The white leaves its captor behind, and now without a source of life force, the captor shrivels and ceases to exist. Throughout it all, the white maintains the coherency of its “I” Center.
Four. The black tumbles into the abyss releasing its white slivers which lose their coherent identity and get absorbed by other “I” Center's, and come along as a part of them. Unlike the previous category the white, here, loses its selfhood, even while it substance endures. The black, as above, ceases to exist.
The best possible outcome-one's enemy is to become a friend
Hebrew Verse Transliteration
WeNeAseh Yechud Kadosh Baruch Hu Wav, Ki HaShekinah Kollot Hakol, Weain Shum Mitzyaot Baliti HaShewm Yitavercha, Letzorcha Yachud Kadosh Baruch Hu, Wavoten Lavot Wekolyot Mevachin HaTov WeHarah WeNakol Yatmachazero LaTov, WeHarah Gamor Calah WeAvad, “Kain Yevdo Kol Ohyvecha Hai, WeAlo Shain Lahem Chalek Balakei Israel, YeHaYah Lahem Chalek, Wyatfaco LaTov, Wehakol Yatmataqk Bamatek HaOhr LaAnim, Amen.
In this process of finding the most spiritually productive way to deal with our enemies the Blessed Holy One gets unified because the Shechinah includes everything. There is no reality apart from the Shechinah. And so for the sake of revealing the unity of the Blessed HolyOne (the one who discerns the essence of the hearts instincts) we engage in this grueling work of separating out good from evil, and turning them both (whenever possible) into good. This attempt, in good faith, to redeem evil by inviting it back to its root on high, will actually cause the absolute and irredeemable evil to cease and perish, as the verse reads, "So all your enemies, HaShem, will perish." And even those who have lost their portion of the Assembly of Israel will again have a portion, as it will be turned to good, of everything will be sweetened just like light does seem sweet to the eyes.
Before performing Mitzvah there is a custom to affirm on intention in serving HaShem. One can say as follows:
"This is not just any good deed. It is one that HaShem has requested from me, and I'm doing it with that awareness."
The traditional affirmation reads as follows:
For the sake of the unification of the Blessed Holy One and His Presence – The Shechinah, in awe of love, and love of awe, to unite the first two letters of the divine name Yood and Hey with the last two letters Wav and Hey in consummate union, for the sake of the entire community of Israel.
The conventions of gender in Kabbalah echo the physical differences between men and women. When HaShem assumes the role of transcendent, active bestower and outward extending principle, he is called the Blessed Holy One and is referred to in the masculine case. When expressing the role of indwelling presence and receptivity, the feminine term Shechinah – Divine Presence is used.
The most essential levels of divinity transcend gender, but when HaShem chooses to engage with creation he dons the cloak of duality and manifests as both male and female polarities. The Blessed Holy One and The Shechinah soulmates, in the sense that they share a common root, and in fact are really One. Yet in the primordial shattering of worlds-and subsequent catastrophes, the divine presence diminished and descended in order to maintain contact with her now following and collapsed dependents - us and all the creatures of our lowly physical worlds. In this diminished state the Shechinah does not match her soulmate, the blessed Holy One. Her stature is shrunken and she is barely half his height or less. Furthermore, because she is also fallen, she extends below the lowest point of his stature. This means it appears as if her lower and upper parts, so to speak, are sticking out of the relationship. They are not fully met by each other and their union remains incomplete. In this arrangement the Holy One and the Shechinah cannot unite in a consummate way, which only happens when they match from the crown of their heads to the soles of their feet.
According to Kabbalah, one primary effect of our Mitzvah work is to heal and raise the fallen Shechinah. Every mitzvah rescues a spark - a lost piece of the Shechinah, enabling it to now assume its rightful place in the mystical body of the Divine Presence. In this way the Shechinah recovers a sliver of her lost stature and becomes a bit more whole. Spec by spec her stature builds, which does not only benefit herself. The larger she grows, the more she matches her beloved soulmate, the Blessed Holy One.
This happens with every mitzvah, but when we rectify an enemy, the impact is especially profound. This is because everything and everyone, including wrongdoers, contain a spark of the Shechinah. The more fallen the creature, the more it exerts a diminishing effect on the Shechinah, thus increasing the gap between her and her holy soulmate and cooling their union down. There is nothing lower than an evil minded scoundrel. The test of redeeming a malicious enemy may be the hardest that we face. Yet when the spark gets raised the Shechinah experiences a quantum growth spurt, for when the evil transforms to good, a major cause of constriction is removed. The bigger the evil the bigger the impact for good on the Shechinah when that evil rehabilitates. As a direct result of this rectification and the expansion it produces in the Shechinah, the more consummate her union with the Blessed Holy One and the more revealed the truth of divine oneness. In this way a burst of bounty is released into the world.
How can one tell whether an enemy has a patch of good and can be raised or not? Rabbi Safran explains that this is HaShem's department. It is human nature to think, "My enemy is evil through and through. I am sure there is nothing redeemable about him." Only the one before whom nothing is hidden can decide. He / She, who sees into the heart and darkest corners of every creature, can be trusted to find every sliver of the good. When a spark of holy potential is found, HaShem will use the energy of our prayer to spark its flame, and turn darkness into light. On the other hand if HaShem decides that the enemy is rotten to the core, that evildoer will perish as Devorah the prophetess proclaims, "Your enemies, HaShem, will cease to exist."
The prayer of Tzadikim - righteous people for their enemies is the key is so powerful that it can even commute a death sentence. One whose evil deeds have revoked his portion of the God of Israel can be raised, healed, and restored to grace due to the Tzadik's prayer. In fact, this is one way that HaShem resolves his contradictory promises regarding the world that is coming. On one hand, he assures us that no one "will ever be pushed away permanently," which is understood to mean that all children of Israel, without exception, will find their way to their eternal appearance among the tribes of Israel in the world that is coming. On the other hand there are other texts that stayed unequivocably that certain sins damage the soul to such a degree that the transgressor forfeits his portion in the world that is coming. The solution is that HaShem chooses people from this latter category to do the filthy work of harassing the Tzadikim, so that when these pious ones pray for their enemy as they eventually must, they heal the soul of that object transgressor, thereby recovers his portion of the world that is coming. The genuine prayer of the Tzadik their enemies spiritual well-being is the most powerful petition of the world-it can even transform evil into good. This wondrous turnaround is as sweet as water to a parched throat, music to the ear, or Light to the eyes.
Debrief: Faced with enemies, one finds the strength of character to expand instead of contract, to pray instead of curse, to humbly see through the surface to rescue the sparks buried there. That person brings healing not just to himself or herself but also to the world. There is no greater affirmation of divine unity than to put our ego defenses aside and decide that HaShem has designed this in order that, through our prayer we redeem the sparks trapped in our enemies and even perhaps, to turn them or some portion of them to Teshuvah.
Another approach to learn what is being taught in this section:
Visualize the 10 Sefirot of the male in a straight line from Keter to Malchut standing right next to the female. In this case called stage 1 – before eating from the Tree of Knowledge by Adam and Chavah , they are of equal height.
Now Adam and Chavah ate from the Tree of Knowldege, both of them lost height. Sparks that used to be inside the Sefirot are now outside the Sefirot without protection and they have fallen into the Klipot. The female has lost more sparks than the male and so she is smaller meaning less height than the male. This is stage 2 – after the eating sin.
The path of history and civilization is to find these fallen sparks and bring them back to both the male and to the female over the centuries. This is how society improves and grows back to the same height of stage 1. This process is called stage 3. The female can bring more sparks back inside her than the male at times and the male more sparks than the female at other times. The height of male and female relates to the condition of these sparks being found.
Stage 4 will find male and female completely restored at the same height yet there is a difference. Like a compressed string that goes higher than its original position upon being released, the sparks will grow the male and female to the same height as each other while they will also both be taller than their original state. This is the idea that the Baal Teshuvah will be at a higher level than they were before the sin or the mistake.
Transliteration is Missing from this section. The recording will read it directly
Rabbi Safran begins with a summary of the next section to come: when a person finds himself confronted with people that hate him, he needs to pray that these enemies return to HaShem in Teshuvah.
The rule is that when a person suffers from enemies that hate him and speak libel against him, he needs to raise those adversaries and rectify them through prayer. The Prayer is that they should return their lives to God and truth and good and repent in Teshuvah. And if a person doesn't pray in this way for his enemies, and instead pushes them away in anger and invokes punishment upon them, his adversaries will become more vicious and hit him still more.
In truth these enemies are a part of his soul, literally but in particular, his Ruach or emotional soul. They are part of the soul of their innocent and righteous victim, the Tzadik. And if this Tzadik doesn't rectify them they will hate him, persecute him, and speak slander about him. For if the subject would have merited to rectify his own Ruach level of soul thoroughly and absolutely, 100% in truth, then his enemies would also have been raised and rectified through the power of the subject's inner work. For this reason a person needs to rectify his opponents and to raise them in prayer, for that is the purest expression of the Ruach levels of consciousness. Prayer that is spoken with a sincere heart and your root a concentrated mind has the power to sweep your root that is hidden within that evildoer, and to pull it towards the light and raise it to good.
This positive scenario applies to enemies that still have a trace of good within them for in that case that will be affected by the subject's prayer and turn their lives back to good. Conversely, if there thoroughly bad they will cease to exist and perish completely, as the verse states, "The just one shall rejoice when he sees God's vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the evil.” But the Tzadik cannot intend for his enemies to be destroyed by his prayer but hope for their Teshuvah.
The Tzadik should not curse his enemy; rather he should remain silent, and accept the ordeal with joy and with a good heart and refrain from reactive speech. If a person follows this advice it will be good for him, and through the spiritually productive approach to enemies, unity is increased both below and above, as a sliver of good separates from its encrustations and returns to its root. May HaShem's great Name be magnified and sanctified. Amen.
The rule is that when we find ourselves with enemies that are speaking ill of us stirring up controversy and spreading false reports, we should meet their harmful speech with holy speech and pray for their spiritual well-being. The correct response to enemies-who invariably use words as a weapon-is to pray that they reckon with God's truth, let it into their heart, renounce their wayward ways and align themselves with spiritual law-this being the definition of Teshuvah. The enemy is using speech to cause harm and the Tikune - the correction is to use holy speech to shield the fall and elevate the moment.
The enemy directs his rage towards us for as Rabbi Safran explains elsewhere, is actually the fabrication of our own falling speech. To pray for our slanderous soul also rectifies our own in proper talk for that is the mechanism of tissue block-to face a similar challenge and choose the high road, which in this case means holding constructive speech such as prayer.
If, instead, we meet this rage with hate, reacting with anger and invoking punishment, if we call for our enemies demise and wish them harm from the universe, that approach will boomerang back and inevitably make things worse. Our enemies will only become more fierce and unrelenting with a desire to be included in the subject even by grabbing negative attention through antagonistic means. In this scenario our own suffering will include losses by their hands while their antagonism will increase. This is a known fact - a spiritual law. The motivation to find an alternative to the knee-jerk response of locking angry forms comes from self-interest not altruism. And remember we're talking here about attitude, not action. The threat might require a military response, but our inner prayer and preferences still for our enemies is to print and renounce their lives and patterns, and choose good instead of hate. This is the best possible outcome for us as well as for them.
Why does it happen like this? What is the underlying mechanism? Rabbi Safran explains that the enemy always holds a spark of his soul. Within every enemy is a disowned piece of the very object of his hatred and that is why he doesn't work to call them judgments upon our phone for when the piece of ourselves inside the enemy suffers the judgment the pain circles back along its connecting thread and delivers a shock to one's very own soul. It hurts like a rube goldberg machine that lets you start the process without seeing the end, and as the process continues it eventually becomes a kick in the backside. Pistons cranking, lights flashing, conveyor belts rolling until at the end a paddle whacks your behind.
As our vision expands more of the long chimney cause-and-effect set in motion by a deed appears within our visual field. Only a very wise and expanded minds can actually see all the way to the panel's life at the very ebd if the process. Until that point, it seems like persons anger really works. The relief from acting out rage feels good until the cosmic event comes to its conclusion. Then it becomes viscerally clear that the costs outweigh the gains - the pain and consequences is much greater than the release obtained by acting out in anger. Chanoch adds: Learn this lesson well.
The spiritual entanglement outside the end with the enemy goes deeper still. This idea will be explored further on. As explained in section 2 where do enemies come from - we come into the world with only part of our soul inside our bodies, and another part of our soul - shattered pieces of it - spread throughout the planet. Ocean then leaves us, moment by moment, from court that as to coordinate each instant there is a spark of ourselves out there that needs to be rescued and integrated into our conscious self. When we act in a way that fulfills God's purpose for the moment we succeed in our mission to raise these sparks.
The Kabbalistic term for this collection of not yet elevated sparks is Tzelem or shadow, for they are for me the dark silhouette that presently resides outside our conscious self. It carries our image board and it is comprised of nothing but estranged pieces of ourselves. The term Tzelem comes from the two letter root which means literally a shadow. In many ways the Kabbalistic term Tzelem is synonymous with what psychology calls the unconscious.
From a Jewish perspective, our lifework is a path of integrating ever more deeply what it means that HaShem is one. The Kabbalistic model for this journey is the 50 Gates of Understanding. The oneness of HaShem is easier to realize them to integrate. To succeed in this mission means to internalize the truth of oneness into every layer of our being, into our mind, heart, nerve net, limits, possessions, family circle and even into the most distant and estranged pieces of our soul - the scattered sparks that comprise our Tzelem - Shadow, some of which actually resides within our enemies. This situation where the soul sparks dwell within another person or creature, is called an Ibur, as explained.
i am not sure if I misunderstand the teachings of the ARIzal about an Ibur or Ms Schneider misinterpreted the teachings. We study the Ibur in Advanced Reincarnation. In that study the Ibur is a Tzadik who comes to help the person. For part of our soul to be captured by an enemy would make sense but would be very hard to understand the specifics. Perhaps that is what happened when the Baal Shem Tov attempted to speak to the Gaon De Vilna when the Besht was excommunicated. Both men were considered Tzadikim at that time. The Besht went to see the Gra and was refused admittance. The teaching comes from the Besht and especially from this specific situation. Now as we stand 300 years later we see that the teaching of the Gra has led to the Black Hat Haraidi Community to work with the ARAB world to overthrow the Modern State of Israel. Yet at the same time the teachings of the Besht present themselves as creating separation from the children of Noach and potentially the children of Israel for the other 11 Tribes. It is hard to know who was the enemy of whom.
This is a separate section that adds information to our understanding of this section 14.
Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair is the Talmud's epitome of a perfect Tzadik that meticulously walked this talk. In this story it is clear that Rabbi Pinchas integrated his holiness so deeply into his being that it radiated out through the Golden soul threads connected to his possessions and exerted an enlightening influence over them – upon himself and his items that he owned or used:
On his holy errand to rescue a captive countryman, Rabbi Pinchas happened upon an inn. The innkeeper told his stable hand to feed the donkey of Rabbi Pinchas. They placed Barley before his donkey, but it would not eat. They thought that perhaps the barley had too many rocks in it. So they carefully picked them out. Still the donkey would not eat. They thought that perhaps the grain was too coarse, so they sifted it. Still the donkey would not eat it. Perhaps suggested Rabbi Pinchas the grain is not tithed. Perhaps the portion that must be separated out and donated to the Temple priests - who have no fields of their own and rely on these gifts for their board - was not yet removed from this pile of barley, which makes it forbidden to eat? Immediately they tithed the Barley which then the donkey ate it. "Rabbi Pinchas explained," this poor creature is about to do the will of its creator by fulfilling the sacred duty of helping to redeem a captive, and you would feed it on untithed produce?!"
We are going to take a break her at this juncture even though section 14 is not yet complete. We will pick up this section next week here where we are leaving off.
Rabbi Safran explains that part of what binds us to our enemy relates to this mystery of the Ibur. A spark of us always resides within our adversary. This is a strange piece of our soul that is not touched by the wisdom that we have acquired in life. Our enlightened awareness is not fully integrated, for it is not spread to these outlying and unconscious regions of our Tzelem – our shadow.
Part of the enemy's anger comes from fear of being left behind - as explained above. "As if to say I, too, am part of you. I, too am part, deserve to be healed and redeemed by your light. It is my right and your responsibility. Otherwise, you are a hypocrite. You are claiming enlightenment have a whole slew of dark sparks that are in you and you disowned me, and sent both fire and brimstone toward me and seek to destroy me."
On some unconscious level the enemy knows that he needs us to raise him. And so when we shoved him away and push him down, the enemy gets angrier and even more desperate. We should be healing him and instead are cursing him. The enemy escalates with hate, harassment, and slander.
If we were truly enlightened and had integrated our knowledge through all the layers of our soul, the piece of ourselves inside the enemy would also be healed, and our common story would be completely different. (chanoch adds: This means completed our Tikune or Corrections.) We would be partners instead of foes. The enemy is not conscious of his motivations when he acts from rage, but deep inside he is actually calling for us to heal him through prayer. He is like a child whose tantrum turns people off and pushes them away, but who was really crying for help and asking to be loved.
The test is for us to see through the threatening surface and to act from some deeper knowledge that this is a deep and profoundly fallen spark that is asking to be raised through Holy prayer. We must also know that we were chosen as the object of hatred because the enemy holds an unrectified spark of our own soul. When we rise to the occasion, this is not exactly altruism, for it is also an act of self- interest. We must eventually raise all the sparks connected to our soul and our soul components. Now is as good a time as any. It matters such as these, sooner is better than later.
All prayer is powerful, but the prayer from an enemy for an enemy is the most potent of all:
1. We must overcome our natural inclination to curse our corrupt oppressor, to get back at the one who is / was hurting us. (chanoch adds: that one way is to realize that the pain we feel is an illusion created by our ego which is what separates us from HaShem. Do we truly have pain of embarassment? Or some other emotional traumas. Do not people get over these things and choose to recover and raise themselves back up to a happy situation in their lives.) Instead, we must find the strength to act from a deeper soul. HaShem wants us to ignore the ghost call for revenge and to do the opposite - to soften instead, to allay our hard response in place of hardening the positions of the two enemies. This is very deep (chanoch adds: spiritual) work. We can only succeed by accessing the innermost resources of our soul. A prayer that comes from the depths penetrates to the depths and brings results. (chanoch adds: Try it you will see the truth of the statements yourself.)
2. The Baal Shem Tov teaches that HaShem is our mirror, which means that HaShem responds to us the way that we respond to him. When we overcome our nature to fulfill Hashem's will, HaShem responds in kind. HaShem overcomes his nature - overturning the laws of nature - to answer that prayer. Chanoch adds: We call this a miracle.
3. The rule is that a prayer for ourselves is more powerful than other people's prayers for us. We are at one and t the same time, praying for our enemy and are also praying for ourselves.
This last rule seems inconsistent with the teachings of Kabbalah. Actually, it is consistant. Kabbalah teaches us to pray for ourselves as a sharing prayer meaning to share by praying for groups - for we - not for ourselves individually. Language is important, the consciousness is even more so.
We are the root of this lost and fallen spark. When we react in judgment, fire quickens fire and the flames are fueled. But when we grasp the big picture, admit that the spark is our own and pray for its redemption, that spark is sweetened at its roots. This means that our consciousness - the sparks route - now extends out to the wayward spark. Another understanding of sweetening the spark means to infuse it with will and consciousness.
It is important to note that our prayer is not for our enemy to have a good day. It is not for our enemy to be spared the consequences of his injurious behavior. Our prayer is for one thing alone - that the enemy return to HaShem and confessing to all actions that violated spiritual law, apologizing to both us, HaShem, and anyone who he hurt or damaged. This is the definition of Teshuvah. There is nothing patronizing here. We pray 3 times a day for our own Teshuvah. We are just extending our prayer to include our enemy to return to HaShem in Teshuvah. Actually this is how we are meant to fulfill the Mitzvah of “Loving Your Neighbor As Yourself.” Whatever we seek to aspire towards, we should want those very same things for our neighbor. There is only one thing we desire, and that is to live a God – serving life. Teshuvah is the path of bringing ourselves and all the straggling pieces of ourselves - into line with that goal. Exactly, what we wish for ourselves is what we wish for our enemy.
Our prayer can be answered in one of two ways. It can succeed in redeeming our own estranged spark and raising the enemy as well. It is possible that the evildoer will see the light, repent for the pain and damage he caused and turn his life around. This is a triple win. When-as explained above, We, our enemy, and HaShem all win in this scenario. If the enemy has any redeeming residue of good, this is the option HaShem will prefer.
It is possible however that our enemy is in the category of Amelek. This is a biblical nation, distinguished by its exceptional corruption, cruelty, and denial of HaShem. Amelek has come to symbolize the steepest and irredeemable root of evil in the universe. While all of evil's secondary manifestations will be cleaned and salvaged, only Amalek has no portion in the world that is coming. In the Torah's lexicon of symbols, Amalek becomes the token of pure evil. Today, there are no living people carrying that name. Yet, according to Kabbalah there are always individuals - and sometimes nations - who embody the archetype of Amelek in every generation.
If our enemy is an Amalekite, then there is no way to to redeem him. Yet no one, not even a Tzadik, can make this call. We must assume that it is not so, and pray for our enemies Teshuvah, as if it could really be. There is no way for us to lose. If the enemy is an Amalekite, this prayer for his Teshuvah will actually accelerate his demise as the Psalm states, "This Tzadik who prays for the spiritual well-being of his enemy will wash his feet in the blood of the irredeemably evil." Relief will come to us, either because the enemy will renounce his evil ways, or because he will be self-destructive. The decision is in the hands of HaShem.
It follows that the only response to enemies that guarantees a good result is to pray for their Teshuvah. For if we decide on our own that the enemy is an Amalek and pray for his demise, our own estranged spark will suffer from our answered prayer, if we are wrong, and this is sure to cause us pain. Conversely, if we pray sincerely for our enemies Teshuvah while, even when we see no good inside, this very prayer for their spiritual well-being, actually hastens their demise, if in fact they are Amalekites. In this way we bring relief to ourselves and to our enemies by keeping them from racking up more spiritual death and enduring the awful purgation that always follows in the wake of wrong action.
Our prayer must be sincere. We must genuinely hope for our enemies Teshuvah. We cannot secretly intend for our prayer to be a weapon of mass destruction: "I know how to destroy these Amalekite enemies, I will pray for their redemption and thereby assure their demise." No! We must genuinely hope for the rescue of all involved. HaShem does not rejoice in the downfall of his handiwork; neither can we. And yet, no one gets away with anything. HaShem holds people accountable for their actions to a hair's breath. Chanoch adds: This is when someone has reached the level of a Tzadik. For those of us still in the process the evaluation is not that severe. The only escape is through genuine Teshuvah. By paying one spiritual debts through pangs of conscious, humbling apologies, and costly reparations.
We must curb our reactive tongues and neither seek revenge nor get entangled in a world of self-justifications. Our work is to remember that HaShem is behind this ordeal and accept its bitter medicine with the joy that comes from knowing that this must be the most efficient and least painful way to bring us closer to HaShem. Only those who know that this is true can accept their ordeals with equanimity and remain silent both inside and out.
Those who succeed in this effort bring good to themselves, to HaShem, and to all parties involved. When Evil is transformed into good, the Shechinah becomes a spark more whole, her union with the Holy One more consummate to a new degree, and the joy produced by that merger releases a burst of bounty into the world, HaShem's great name is raised and sanctified when everyone sees that a truly just and happy ending is had by all. Amen.
Debrief: Our enemy holds a fallen sliver of our soul that we do not recognize as a piece of our very own self. The enemy has chosen us as the object of his hatred because he knows, unconsciously, that he needs us to pray for him. The enemy cannot complete his life mission until all the pieces of his soul find their way back to their route, and the chain of cause and effect set in motion by his attacks has finally succeeded in producing more good than bad, more clarity than illusion, more Love of HaShem than anger with him. And we, as well, cannot complete our life mission until we have collected all the scattered pieces of ourselves, including those currently embedded within our enemies soul. A most powerful tool for accomplishing these goals is to pray for our enemies Teshuvah.
Israel was born as a people when they crossed the Yam Suf – The Sea of Limitations. Amalek was the first nation to assault them (us) after their miraculous passage. The wonders that accompanied Israel's exodus from Egypt prove God's love for them, yet Amalek was undeterred. Without a trace of compunction, it's soldiers attacked straightaway. Amalek's distinction as first to assault Israel - HaShem's chosen ones - displays his rotten core.
Why does the midrashim make such a big issue of this first attack? It is because HaShem and Israel were in the first bloom of the passion of a first love – metaphorically speaking. When Amalek attacked it cooled the ardor of Israel for HaShem. This lack of appreciation is what sets the tone of the relationship between HaShem, Israel, and Amalek.
Every other creature has at least a sliver of soul, a ray of HaShem that dwells within and sustains its life. Yet there are hollow men, who absorb their life juice through their skin. They feed off the sparks that fly from the clashing of matter and psyche is in conflict. They are chronic provocateurs, for their survival requires exactly this. If conflict would cease, so would they or very shortly, for they have no inner wellspring from which to draw life. These empty creatures with void at their core are the spiritual offspring of Amalek. Like viral spores they float through history, invisible, until they find a host who is susceptible to their hate filled contagion.
Every fleck of soul must and will be redeemed. And in some form will live eternally. Only Amalek with its hollow core is truly subject to death – eternal death.
And yet even still, the Talmud declares: "Descendants of Haman, the Amalekite, are studying Torah in the Benai Brock - a city in Israel." And also similarly today, descendents of Nazis have converted to Judaism and are presently studying Torah and producing full-fledged Children of Israel in the land of Israel - and throughout the world.
This means that even the irredeemable, Amalek has some sliver of salvageable spark that can and must be repossessed by the people who are eternal and whose mission is eternal.
This above section from the book You are Who You Hate is describing spiritual entities. It is describing certain Angel, demons, and spiritual entities. This is what our Talmud tells us is the way spiritual systems work.
Do not misunderstand the story regarding Nazi's children. On one level this teaches that the winners are the ones who procreate. Either a philosophy or a people or any other aspect. On the other hand it teaches that there have been many cultures which won wars and lost the peace. In the physical world we never know the true outcome. We just need to connect to HaShem.
For Your Information: The source of Amalek in the physical world is an adulterous relationship in the family of Edom. That emotional lack follows through through the DNA of people but not the physical DNA, the spiritual DNA.
Kegon Dah Tzadik Lehodayah Lechvreyam HaOskiyam Beyehodu Shel Olam
This principle of interdependency between the Tzadik and his enemy needs to be conveyed to my holy colleagues who have dedicated themselves and their lives to serving the One, into reviewing His unity in the world.
”Tzadikim are judged to a hair's breath.” This is the downside of the spiritual life. On one hand, when we dedicate ourselves to show the truth, and to integrity, we reap the fruit of that sacrifice. It is a gradual deepening into a consciousness of inner peace. The more we remember how to show and see good, the more tangible HaShem's presence becomes in our life and in our world view. This heightened awareness produces joy, purposefulness, equanimity, and power of will. These are intensely sweet pleasures and enhanced taste buds to the Light. On the other hand, with all its delights, the center shift brings an unforeseen consequence. There are points along the spiritual path where the curtains part and a quantum shift occurs. The quantum shift is never known to us in advance and usually not why it is taking place in its natural process. The new life is unimaginably sweet, but the stakes are high. In crossing the threshold we enter a new “accountability bracket,” where tolerance for sin narrows and consequences grow increasingly greater in severity. Why? “Damage control.” Like a magnifying glass concentrates some light into a beam that can ignite tender, so an aspirant acquires the skills to focus spiritual life to a similar degree. Misused, this is a dangerous force whose power to harm is vast and deep. Know that at each threshold a screening occurs. As if to say: Think twice before entering this gate. The rewards are great for those who toe the line, but the searing consequences of a wrong move can incinerate those rewards in an instant, and the pain is electrifying.Beware, fellow seekers of the light, servants of the One. Be informed: the more consciousness, the more scrutiny. With each forward step the bar gets raised. The standards of integrity grow increasingly strict.
Most spiritual teachers never teach this warning. Primarily because they do not know its truth. Rabbi Safron and the Baal Shem Tov experienced this truth in their lives. Many of my students come to learn with me at the moment of their greatest pain. At that moment they want to return to the lower level and to my experience this is not possible. This is a warning and yet it is a promise. Built into these words of warning is the motivation to become all that you are able to become. This will happen; yet it will always happen with your free choice consent. The Armageddon War may come Chas V'Shalom. Those who have moved forward will avoid its destructive actions. Those who hesitate in their growth will find that it will catch up to them. A little pain at a time until the pain becomes more severe than the comfort zone. This is the spiritual system and how it works. Please choose to move forward in your spiritual path. The choice is yours until there is no choice.
The transliteration will be found during the recording.
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