The first mistake which many people refer to as the original sin was eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The kabbalists explain that this mistake was not an act of Free Choice on the part of Adam and Chava. It was a necessary action to bring about the elevation of the sparks of the broken vessels that occurred prior to the Creation of our physical world.
In any event the effect of this action was the spiritual fall of humanity. The meaning to us according to the Sages we each must correct – fix our portion of that mistake by effecting the Tikune of eating to the extent we are able. It will take us to manifest Mashiach to achieve this tikune yet we can not put this off to the future. The writings of this book below is a motivation to achieve that effect – Correct the sinful aspect of eating.
by Sarah Yehudit (Susan) Schneider
Before I continue with this chapter of the Book by Ms Schneider I am giving you a short essay by the blog Mystical Path dated 6 23 2015. It is asking the question – What is a Blessing?
Moshe's father-in-law, Yitro (Jethro) is praised even more than the Jewish people for having blessed HaShem when he heard how HaShem saved Israel from Pharaoh. Sanhedrin 94a, Exodus 18:10 The Gemara points out that the Jews sang and danced and praised HaShem when He saved them, so why does the Gemara praise Yitro above the Jews. It is explained that blessings are even greater than praises.
chanoch adds: This means that saying a Blessing and / or answering Amen to a Blessing one hears is greater than the study of Tehillim or other writings.
King David gave us specific instructions how to increase our daily spiritual awareness; "…serve Hashem with gladness… come before Him with joyful song… enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courtyards with praise …."Psalms 100:2, :4
Although the Psalm seems to be speaking only of entering the Temple in Jerusalem it is also instructing us how we are to proceed in our individual search for HaShem. HaShem is equally everywhere at all times, but He is hiding. Our spiritual work is to reveal His glorious Presence.
First, King David told us to be glad that we are able to serve our Creator and to sing joyfully when we wish to approach Him. Then to come closer, we can enter the outer gates by thanking Him over and over again for all the good that He is doing for us.
Once we are through the outer gates we want to continue closer. Deeper inside, past the gates of the Temple, was the Courtyard. To enter the Courtyard we have to do more than simply thank HaShem, we have to recall some of His greatness. "How great You are HaShem. You fill and surround all. You are without beginning or end. You always have been, and You always will be. You are the very purpose of life…." Praise is higher than thanksgiving so it brings us even closer to the treasured goal of actually revealing HaShem's Presence.
But now what? The closer we get to our goal the more we thirst, but what more can we do than praise G-d? The Gemara explains that blessings are even greater than praise.
When we say a blessing we move into a realm that is not found when reciting thanks or praise. We say G-d's Name and we elevate our thoughts into the realm of holiness. If we pay deep attention to the words of the blessing we will reap even more. For those moments we will actually dwell in holiness. This is why we are commanded to say blessings. G-d wants us to be holy.
Thanksgiving comes from our emotions. Praise comes from our intellect. Blessings come from our spiritual heart.
Thanksgiving – some of the Psalms are left column; Praises - others of the Psalms are right column; Blessings are Central Column.
Enter the outer gate, from there move into the courtyard… then proceed into the Holy area, and ultimately when we cleave to the blessing, we will move into the Holy of Holies.
Returning to the Sefer of Ms Schneider
Torah requires that prayer be spoken aloud, preferably in a strong voice, though if the words are only audible to oneself, this requirement is still fulfilled. A word is a unique combination of sound vibrations which, when spoken, spread through the air and communicate themselves at a distance by stimulating an identical pattern of vibration in the ear of the listener.
The Hebrew language is not just a vocabulary of convention. In other words, since everyone agrees that the word echad, means one, so it does. And if they would decide that shtayim, instead, means one, then that would also be true. This is not the case in Hebrew. Rather each word – and each letter comprising it – communicates, through its vibratory pattern, the essential inner truth of the object or concept that it represents. This is what it means that “Adam named the animals.” He “tuned in” to the essence of each creature and identified the sound of its soul. A Name transmits information to both the conscious and un conscious mind. The listener's soul reads the pattern of vibrations and obtains direct knowledge of what ever the word represents.
Kabbalah teaches that prayers and Blessings effect and affect unifications. This means that their words and vibrations create specific effects and affects tin the world, as well as in the person reciting them and the person hearing them. The standard form and form of invocation, with its terms and names of HaShem, works like a combination lock. Each word opens different windows in the soul and in the heavens and aligns them with the one before. In this way a Blessing carves out channels between heaven and earth, and for a moment the two unite. Lights are exchanged and both the above and below are transformed by their encounter. This effect only happens when the words are spoken aloud and the vibrations impact upon the physical plane.
It is important for you to listen to the classes on prayers about the Blessings. In those classes you will learn some deep Kabbalah Kavenot plus how to move your head so that you are manifesting the drawing of energy in your bodies.
Blessed – Baruch - Rabbi Chaim of Velozyn defines blessing as “the power of expansion and multiplication, extension and reproduction." Blessing speaks the hidden truth of an "other," activates it, and then expands it so that it will reproduce itself as a physical reality in the outer world.
Ultimately, Blessings originate in Keter and must flow down to Malchut. The path will be described below. When saying Blessing raise your head up in the center of your body. Have the Kavenah to draw the Shefa of Blessing down to the physical world from the Keter/from the Crown.
You – Atah, - HaShem is the source of the very concept of blessing. The word Atah or “You” is the wellsprings of all bounty and abundance. The word Atah or “You” lack nothing and yet contained within yourself the capacity to receive blessing from us, your lowly creatures. You are the source of all good and your will is to give good.
”You” - Atah - the aspect of HaShem that we address as “you” - Atah is the part that he refers to as "I" – Anoki when he says, "I am the Lord your God your HaShem. . ." It is the inner point of the divine will to bestow goodness upon creation. The previous word, blessed - Baruch, opens the gates that allowed direct and personal encounter with the very self of God. One should tremble before the awesome gift of addressing HaShem as "you," instead of "He."
When saying Atah move your head down and to the right. There are many items of Kavenah. One suggestion is to realize that the spelling of Atah is Alef to Tav – all of the energy of the Hebrew Letters being injected into the Hai which represents the physical world. Another is to realize that the word Atah is an additional word and is not necessary to say so that it must imply something unique. HaShem is ONE - ECHAD so the You implies all of that unity.
HaShem – The Tetragrammaton is the most in the name of the show. It indicates the transcendent, eternal and unknowable level of divinity and his imminent expression for the attribute of mercy. Its channels extend to both extremes of the universe, from the most spiritual to the most material, from above to below. His expression on the physical plane is as invisible bloodstream of light and will that permeates creation like a circulatory system and carries life and soul.
There are many Kavenot for this Name. They are too many to go into here and also I do not want to limit the Kavenot and choose what is right for you. Please consider thinking the following sequences which are the twelve permutations of the Name:
יהוה – Yo Hai Wa Hai – Sign of Taleh (Lamb or Ram) - Aries - Month of Nissan
יוהה – Yo Wa Hai Hai – Sign of Teumim or Twins- Gemini - Month of Sivan
יההו – Yo Hai Hai Wa – Sign of Taurus (bull)- Month of Iyar
ההוי – Hai Hai Wa Yo – Sign of Virgo- Mercury - Month of Elul
ההיו - Hai Hai Yo Wa – Sign of Dagim or Fishes- Jupiter - Month of Adar
היוה - Hai Yo Wa Hai – Sign of Deli or Aquarius (bucket or pail)- Saturn - Month of Shevat
ויהה - Wa Yo Hai Hai – Sign of Keshet or Rainbow- Sagitarius - Month of Kislev
וההי - Wa Hai Hai Yo – Sign of Acrav or Scorpio- Month of Mar Cheshvan
והיה - Wa Hai Yo Hai – Sign of Moznayimor-Scales or Libra - Month of Tishrai
היהו - Hai Yo Hai Wa – Sign of Gedi or Capricorn (goat) - Month of Tevet
הויה - Hai Wa Yo Hai – Sign of Leo (lion)- Month of Av
הוהי - Hai Wa Hai Yo – Sign of Sartan - Cancer (crab)– Month of Tammuz
Center your head over your body
Elokaynu - literally “our Elohim”, and by extension, "our nature"-since Elohim and the Hebrew word HaTevah - Nature share the same numerical value. Elohim is the imminent expression of divinity as nature with all its wonder and complexity as well as the harsh and impersonal uniformity of its law.
Nature follows the law of “survival of the fittest which is actually the spiritual law of “cause and effect”. Use this as your Kavanah - “cause and effect” while you move your head to the left representing a connection to the left column.
The collective community of Israel is actually a single entity, a "creature" unto itself. Each individual Jew is a cell in the larger body of all Jews. The creature, Israel, is unique in the universe in that it, alone, can contain and also express / reveal the fullness of HaShem. When we say that HaShem is "our Elohim" we are saying that there is nothing of transcendence that does not have some corresponding “organ of enclothment” in the body of Israel.
The "vessel" is still incomplete which is another way of saying that Israel is not presently living up to its potential. Yet each moment moves toward perfection. There is nothing "above" that cannot manifest through us below if we would clear our ego and make space for it. Know that you can - and will manifest perfection eventually. Know that you can - and will become sinless.
There are three words for sin in Hebrew. The word used with Adam and Eve is Chet חטא which has the meaning of missing the mark – like making a mistake, in my opinion. Another word for Sin is Avayra עברה has the meaning of giving over/transferring energy... to the negative system. The religious meaning is deviate from spiritual law. The third word is Pesha פשע has the meaning of a crime or misdemeanor. All three have a hint to being able to correct this action through Teshuvah.
Melech HaOlam - “King of time and space” who is sculpting every moment to serve - his will to bestow good and bring perfection. The King's will will be done.
The religious vocabulary speaks of “Will of HaShem.” In my opinion the Kabbalah explains that the “will of HaShem" is referring to the desire to the vessel to reveal the fulfillment of its desires. In essence HaShem created each vessel to reveal some aspect of the Creator and thus “the will of HaShem” is to reveal the attribute that the vessel desires. In essence the desire of each person is the “will of HaShem.” One must be very careful with this teaching since the Klipot – shells – negativity attaches itself to these desires in order to feed off of the fulfillment. When this happens the desire becomes corrupted. One must make sure that one's desire is pure and the correct desire following spiritual law. This is what the Torah teaches us and this is why the Torah is written and taught in the language of men.
Who creates the food of the ... Earth, trees, vines, etc. There is nothing so trivial or insignificant that HaShem gives it no mind. The objects of this world are formed by previous causes, but they are always created by HaShem. In each instant all things are created, and re-created by divine will.
These words are relating to the final words of the short Blessing – Borai Pri … or Borai Minai Mezonot … or HaMotzei Lechem Min HaAretz or Sheachol Niah Bidvaroh. In the frame of food there are a total of six different endings for Blessing depending on the energy of the food. There are three different Blessings that are said after the food is consumed as well. Which of these relates to which Blessing was said at the beginning.
The previous causes referred to above is the previous worlds that caused the “breaking of the sparks”. This is because the sparks fell into “the lower worlds and need to be elevated back to their original location. That is the work of man, according to the Kabbalah.
This blessing of gratitude is specific. It does not say, "thanks for the grub." It specifies each type of food whether it it came from the earth, tree, grains, etc. Just as when thanking a person, it is one level of appreciation to say, "thanks for all you've done." It is another level to list all the different gifts and acknowledge each has its own special meaning after a gift. The halachic tradition deems us to develop this trait of gratitude. Our sages teach that it is the most important attribute to cultivate it in this world, for it prepares the personality to receive the flow of light and bounty that will be the result.
The Gratitude you co create in this world will be your garment of honor in the world that is coming. It is most important according to the teachings of Kabbalah.
So precious is this capacity for gratitude that Jewish law trains us to feel it even toward inanimate objects from which we have derived benefit. One is forbidden from throwing the stone into a well from which one has drunk. Similarly if one sees whole food strewn in the road, one cannot just pass it by and leave it to be trampled by carts and travelers. One must honor its dignity by moving it to the side where it will be picked up by the street cleaner at some later point. This is strange. Obviously the food does not feel humiliation. It does not care where it lies. And besides, this law applies even when the food is not ours. And yet, the sages teach that since our life depends upon food, we must show gratitude by not allowing it to lie, disgraced, in the middle of the road.
The Kabbalah teaches that everything has a desire which is consciousness. Everything has a spark of Light which must be elevated to its proper location by the proper human desire / consciousness at the proper time. This food needs to be elevated by some other person since I do not have the desire for it or if I do have desire for it it is not the correct time. This makes the understanding of the Halacha clear. This is why the Gaon D'Vilna teaches that without understanding the Kabbalah one can not truly know the Halacha.
Similarly the sages note that HaShem instructed Aaron, and not Moses, to strike the water to initiate the plague of blood, the first of the 10 Egyptian plagues. They explained that since the water protected Moses when he was a baby, due to his parents placing him in a little ark and sent him down the river, it would not be appropriate for him to strike it. Striking is a hurtful act. It transmits negative energy, the opposite of gratitude. Therefore HaShem would not let Moses do it.
There appears to be a conflict between these teachings above and the essence of “Binding by Striking.” Does striking transmit negative energy? Or does it create a connection between the two items?Remember there is no negative light only a vessel that can not handle that amount of energy. Thus we learn that striking creates a connection between the two essences – yet if the vessel can not handle that energy is considered negative.
Again, strange. Water feels nothing. It would not be offended by Moshe's blow. And furthermore, the river was just a passive participant in the event of Moshe's rescue. Its physical properties were utilized by others. It did nothing of its own "willful" accord. And finally the act of hitting itself was to elevate the water, not degrade it. The water would become the instrument of an awesome revelation of divine might and presence. It was to move out of the category of "ordinary" into an elite class of objects that transcended their "natures" and prove the truth of HaShem, through miracles, to the eyes of all. This was an honor, not a disgrace. And still Moses could not do it, as instructed by HaShem.
We learn the importance of gratitude from this and other examples written in the Tanach. Yet many people do not think of the question – Why does HaShem do this? Without this question “why” there is no revelation of these deeper lights.
The Nefesh, or “animal soul”, is the source of our reflexes, instincts, and physiological responses to stimuli such as threats hunger, etc. In response to the direct and immediate impact of the moment, independent of its more abstract interpretation. For example, even when we know we are watching the movie, our body still clinches in fear.
An article in science news documents this phenomenon. Researchers discovered that when people make facial expressions corresponding to different emotions, it generates the specific involuntary nervous activity that associates with the authentic emotion.
Subjects involuntary nervous systems reacted to the emotion represented by the facial expressions which they assume. This is the first evidence that anyone has ever reported that a voluntary facial muscle movement and change to the involuntary nervous system. Also the subject's involuntary nervous systems reacted differently - and appropriately - to each of the different facial expressions. . .
Kabbalah teaches that the involuntary nervous system is the level of the body and body consciousness. Its essence is the desire to receive for one self alone. That is why it is not good to practice these kinds of things. One of my friends used to play jokes on his and my friends by training his head to move up and down when he said the word no and side to side when he said the word yes. This teaches that we can teach the body consciousness to share. Try this it is not easy and the automatic head movements will reassert themselves unless we stay conscious to change it.
And so with Moshe. Since the Nefesh reacts to the immediate content of the act, independent of the larger significance, it reads the moment as follows, "motion is striking the water. Moshe is hurting this river that had once protected him.” On the Nefesh level, a slight wound and callus develops within the attribute of gratitude. And since it is critically important for this trait to stay pure and unblemished each damage adds some thickness to this callus; this must be avoided.
Let us see why this is so. Rabbi Dessler explains the ecstatic joy of the “world to that is coming” is an infinitely deepening experience of gratitude. Each soul encounters wave after wave of revelation of how gently, compassionately, and lovingly HaShem was directing each detail of their life all along. Every question is answered, every mystery solved, and each brings a new and experienced recognition of the staggering depths of divine beneficence. The soul trembles with gratitude and this is its bliss. It can hardly contain the love that it feels, coming from HaShem and emanating from it as Thanksgiving.
There are moments in this world where one feels seen and loved and raised by HaShem. A Joyful sense of well-being bathes the soul. This, infinite-fold, is the ecstasy of the world that is coming.
Gratitude is an unselfconscious pleasure. It is perhaps the only one in this world. There is a moment when the recipient is "nothing" before the giver. That is why it is uncomfortable for many. But precisely that is what makes it pure.
Gratitude prepares us to receive the holy pleasures of the world that is coming. The measure of our capacity for gratitude in this world will determine our portion of joy in the next.
Learn this well. When we start to eat or do other actions, the pleasures that we feel overwhelm our consciousness of doing spiritual work. We forget HaShem Chas V'Shalom. Keep your consciousness centered on HaShem every instant of every day. This is the true spiritual work. As religions developed over the centuries they veiled this work. This is how Satan works – a little step – a little callus at a time.
Blessings of Thanksgiving draw our attention back into the present and connecting to HaShem. Much of prayer involves pouring our hearts out in yearning for something more" than what is”, while here we connect back with the opposite and paradoxical truth: this moment is perfect. It is saturated with blessings. There are no words to acknowledge the myriad of gifts that HaShem bestows in each day.
Sanctifies us by the Mitzvot and commands us in performing this particular mitzvah - "to sanctify" is also the word for marriage. For example to designate another as one's partner in serving HaShem. At the moment of a Mitzvah HaShem designates us as his chosen partner in serving truth and good. When we bless HaShem with the words, "who sanctifies us with his Mitzvot. . ." We are saying that the closeness we experience with HaShem when we do a mitzvah parallels the intimacy of husband and wife. When a person enters into the beam of will that constitutes a mitzvah his existential state of separation from HaShem is suspended for that moment. He/She/It enters into the most profound state of union with HaShem that is possible in this world - or any world for that matter.
These 4 Hebrew words are the balance of the 10 words of the longer Blessing. Some people say these words quickly moving the head to right left and center finally to Malchut by lowering their heads slightly. The first letter of these 4 words can be permutated to spell two words – Alef Bet and “line”. This indicates this is the direct light flow to the Creation of anything formed from the Alef Bet.
The mechanism is as follows: mitzvah, by definition is an explicit statement of divine will. The cosmic mind articulates his desire in an absolutely explicit and unambiguous form. "I want you to do this. Period. I do not want you to do that. "The command furthermore defines a particular action in this world. For example, striking a match and lighting candles before the sun sets on Friday, or reading aloud the story of the Exodus from Egypt as recorded in the Haggadah on Pesach. The body becomes the focus - to some extent - of the mitzvah since its movements are the necessary means by which the request can be fulfilled. Thus the mitzvah spans from the highest type to the lowest depths. It emanates from a source beyond the will and initiative of the person himself - for example the transcendent will of the Creator - and finds in explicit detail the physical gestures and material accessories required for its satisfaction.
Therefore, at the moment of performing the mitzvah, every level of the person from highest to lowest, as well as the physical accessories, become completely submitted to HaShem's will, and are permanently altered by that experience. Before the giving of Torah, such total surrender on every level was not possible for the self- had to design its own devotion. Even when self is the highest most sublime and spiritual identity of the person, nevertheless it is still "self" and as such remains an "entity" unto itself, intrinsically apart from its Creator.
Only when the self can submit himself to an explicit request is the final barrier to union with the all falls. Below is the most physical level of a person, ?Now he/she along with the tools of the Mitzvah can now also enter into active spiritual service. HaShem specifically requested the body to perform this particular task, so in the moment of fulfillment the body becomes nothing but an instrument of divine will, a limb so to speak the creator. “At that point the impossible is accomplished: the Infinite HaShem dwells within the finite - a human body. A profound unity is forged.
It is for this reason that the giving of the Torah is called the marriage ceremony between the Jewish people and HaShem. Just as the wedding formalizes and make public the bond of commitment between a man and a woman thereby permitting them to enter into sexual relationships so the revelation of the Torah - it's Mitzvot and their acceptance by the people introduced a parallel dimension of intimacy between humanity and HaShem. It enabled the soul to have a physical relationship with its Creator that was probed formally, then sanctified, for its body could now also unite with HaShem fully in the moment of mitzvah.
For when a couple enters into marriage, they can relate on every level except the physical, they can feel and express deep emotional, intellectual, and spiritual intimacy. It is only sexuality that is denied them. Similarly, before the giving of Torah, a person's spiritual service would be quite passionate - motivated by deep love, fear and nominal knowledge of HaShem. We see this clearly with the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs. Their love and fear and consuming devotion to HaShem was infinitely beyond what we can glimpse, let alone attain. Nevertheless, HaShem did not command them concerning the Mitzvot. Since he did not specify to them what action he wanted on the physical level, and with which materials, the patriarchs and matriarchs could not express this ultimate state of surrender to their Creator by joyfully submitting body as well as soul to his will. Their bodies committed their commands not the commands of their Creator. The physical could not enter into direct relationship with HaShem because his will for the physical is not yet revealed. The counterpart to marriage and sexuality in the relationship of soul to Divinity did not exist.
The body can completely surrender to its Creator only when the Creator's desire for the body is known. The beam of divine will not extend to the physical dimension of humanity until Mt Sinai. Until then metaphorically speaking, one could opt for celibacy or a sanctified relationship. The marriage canopy did not yet exist. This is the unavoidable situation when a person must rely on his own intuitive sense of what the Creator's desires may be. There always remains a thin veil of self which prevents the souls consummate union with its beloved. This deficiency mirrors itself below for the union also does not extend to fully embrace the body the physical dimension of intimacy does not take place, and the marriage is not consummated.
When you say the words, "who sanctifies us by his commandments. . ." Feel yourself filled by HaShem's presence. Feel what it is like to be sanctified by God. Feel joy course through your veins.
Whenever you do a mitzvah or recite a blessing, bring these ideas to mind.
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