Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Our Iron Dome

I heard this from Rav Aaharon Yaskil

Here is something very interesting. The sum total of the numbers of chapters of Tihillim in Tikun Haklali are the words "Iron dome" in Hebrew "kipa barzel" 
This is inclusive repair or if you will total spiritual repair given to us by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. They are the following perakim of Tehillim, verses of Psalms 16+32+ 41+ 42+ 59+ 77+ 90+ 105+ 137+ 150= 749.

Which equals 749 the sum total gematria of the words "kipa barzel" exactly! 
Our Iron dome is total Ruchniut! It is totally spiritual! For our weapons are not physical.
This is our protection! Please say them for Am Yisrael now!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Unravelling the Matrix

Shalom from Beit Shemesh,  Chodesh Tammuz 5772
Chodesh Tov, Sh’Vuah Tov. Shishi parshas Korach

As we go through the parshas of each week we should realize that everything about any of us and for sure the goings on around us ‘world events’ are all included in them. The past, present and future are all inside. All we have to do is decipher it. So there is no real News. But the news serves only to distract us from the truth. But the spiritually alert will find even in the mundane news of the world, The truth. In the news we find the very things we need to work on.
 I’m not a fan of going to the news, My Rav Shalom Arush, said it causes a defect in our Emunah. “Why should we go and search the lies to find the truth?”

 We shouldn’t, but know the Tzaddik can hear or see in the news the truth of what is really going on by understanding the message hidden in the lies. 

The revelation of Godliness in the mundane, ‘seeing past the Hester Panim’ or the hiding of the face.
What I’m referring to is the ability to understand from all the events and conversations we have every day, and to perceive from them the messages ‘prophesy a direct communication from Hashem. The gemara hints at this principle in (baba Batra 12b)”For from the day the Holy temple was destroyed, prophesy was taken away from the prophets and given to children and mad men”. Prophesy meaning Hashem’s communication with us, i.e. showing us where we have gone wrong and what direction we need to take. So the Gemara calls all these events ‘the prophesy of mad men and children’, because now we can only receive Heavenly guidance from these everyday events and we for the most part and they are not aware of it, for they have their own ideas of what they are telling us and why. Yet everything we are told or experience has and underlying message which is for our own good.

The main thing to know that it whatever you hear see or experience, whether from a man woman form someone close to you or someone distant, and especially your wife and the member of your house hold all of this is the WORD OF HASHEM it is mainly through these communications that we receive the direction to help us with our spiritual perfection.
We can know or understand what we need to fix by or through our everyday experiences. So what’s in the News that applies to me and you and us as a nation and a people? 

It would seem that the whole of the world is screaming at us ‘The Jews’ to do T’shuvah. 

But for now we still live in for the most part spiritual blindness. So we are now as we well know under three different kilpot of Galus. Edom, Yishmael, and Erev Rov. Chazal tell us this in many places in the Holy texts I can list 100’s sources. But this is not the yikar of the post. I only wish to make us aware that there is a much different way to see understand and to deal with most of our issues that we currently face.

Our holy Rebbeim are telling us of an Arab invasion, the ‘Erev Rav’ government is telling us of an imminent Iranian nuclear strike. And the United Nations ‘of Esav’ are squeezing the life out of us. The FED telling us there is a certain financial collapse.  With all of this going on and with the next day bringing with it untold stress we have no idea what is about to happen. OK, so now we know what midot we need to work on, by the messages we receive. ‘And in any case we still just have to be Jewish’.

Over and over again we read the words in the Torah, “if you will harken today” if you will listen today” we are told that we can only serve Hashem today, not yesterday and not tomorrow only TODAY is our service valid. For yesterday lies in the realm of arrogance, i.e. “I did” or “we did” we rarely hear the words Hashem did, it seems to be human nature to take credit for all our past accomplishments. This is pure arrogance and is the base mida of Esav the western nations “UN”. We must free ourselves of this base nature if we want to serve Hashem for Hashem says “I and the arrogant cannot live together. So Hashem leaves them without a blessing, i.e. only enough sefa spiritual bounty to leave them alive but no more.

The base mida of Esav is Gyvar “ego centric unbridled arrogance”, the most destructive force of all and is the bases for all Avoda sora and heresy. 

The cause of the concealment of Hashem in the world-’Chester Panim’ The Hiding of the Face
The second problem arises from dwelling on tomorrow. We literally cause the concealment of the creator and by this cause much suffering. Our worries and longing for a better tomorrow are full of all our materialistic cravings which stems from our inherent atheistic attitude, we all have it not one of us are completely free of this it is a daily fight to overcome this. This attitude is one of “we don’t believe in divine providence, we do not understand that all comes from and originates with Him. This is Kifirah! This is the grave sin of k’fui tovah baseless ungratefulness, and comes about through Bakchiyan baseless complaints.

The realm of The Erev Rav, and their base mida of Kifirah -Heresy, sorcery to the point of delusion. A total distraction to the point of not living in reality. This” we will” do tomorrow attitude, and by my might or my savvy or by our military or financial prowess I will overcome, by my intellect, or money or political power or my wisdom, again a total lack acknowledgement of Hashem. This leads to total spiritual death over time, for it is a willful disconnection form the truth that Hashem  runs every detail of everything in creation The Tzimtzum is such that He is inside every minute detail of everything that exists in the world, and that causes us to become deluded. It us who hide Him, by not acknowledging and revealing, that it is Hashem that is everything ‘Ain Od Milvado!  Thus concealing Him from ourselves and the world.

Now the only area we really need to deal with is today for if today we will listen and not rebel, and keep the Torah, then we will have repaired the yesterdays and not broken the tomorrows, and after many of these we become free to live a life totally dedicated to Hashem. An Emunah filled life of freedom to serve Him without regrets of the yesterdays ‘Esav’ and without the worries of tomorrow ‘Erev Rav’. And this leaves us only with today and with this we only have to deal with Yishoael.

Teshuvah the way out of Galus Prati ‘personal exile’
 When it comes to Yishmoel he equals Pere Odom,rebellion for this is his base mida, so we know the tikun ‘spiritual repair’ is learning and teaching The Jewish law, The codes ‘Shuchan Aruch’. Thus there is no need for tanks, jet fighters, or missiles let alone soldiers. There is a spiritual way to combat all this, and it is far less expensive and it works for sure. Just think of all the poor we could help if we today stopped spending on weapons which only deal with the symptom and do not cure the disease. Just think what the world would be like without any weapons and no war we could end all suffering. This is the Holy job of the Jews to bring heaven to earth and to see with spiritual eyes the needs of others and to provide the spiritual cure.

Reb Noson tzal told us on his very last day of life that there are three things we must practice to be considered Chassidim of Rebbenu Nachman tzal. They just so happen to be the very same things which free us from the bondage of the galus, of the three kilpot that hold us back from total connection to Hashem.

Kesher to the Tzaddik, come to the grave of Rebbe as per the instructions of Rebbe Nachman. Which is ‘Bitual’ the opposite of Esav.
Learn Shuchan Aruch, a minimum of two halachot a day. 

And Hisbodedut, spend at least one hour in secluded personal prayer each and every day.
You may ask why these things and not some other mitzvot, OK well I’ll tell you. 

As we have mentioned previously the nature of the kilpot are based on evil traits that their human counterparts possessed. Esav, ‘Giivar’ Extreme Arrogance. Yishmael, ‘Pere Odom’ unrestrained rebellion. And the Erev Rov, ‘Kiferah’ sorcery or heresy, total delusion from the truth. 

This being known, we can now know from the news what we need to work on.
How?  I’ll tell you, it is simple!

We are now under threat of Arab invasion, nullification of the state by the western nations and the de-Torah-ifcation of the Jews by the Erev Rav. We do not need to build and deploy the latest super weapons to protect ourselves the ‘Iron dome’ is nothing compared to the shield we from the spiritual our father in heaven. The Mekeavah 4 is a nice toy, but it’s not the best choice in our arsenal. The Negev, the f-16 is all of no use for they only treat the symptom. We need not Succumb and surrender to the U.N. nor do we need to demonstrate against he government. We need to cancel all this out at its source, its spiritual source. “Some rely on chariots and others on horses and the strong legs of man are to no guarantee of victory”. But we will trust only in Hashem.

So the Super weapon that is the most successf=l against the Yishmaelim is to study and teach the Codes the Shalchan Aruch.  For this is the only 100% proven weapon to counter Arab terrorism. Submission to the codes is the exact opposite of rebellion from Torah so it is the cure at the root cause for this problem. Being connected and Bitul to a the Tzaddik is the cure for arrogance, neutralizing the Esavian western nations, and Hisbodedut, is the ultimate cure for heresy thus a complete destruction of the Erev Rov. 

We need but to understand  that it is us! 

Do not be deluded into thinking there is any other cure for the Ill of this generation there is only one way to repair what we and our forefathers  have damaged. It is only in the realm of the Spirit that we can effect repairs at all. And the medicine for this generation are the words of Rebbe Nachman for he said himself that his Torah was not for his generation  ‘200 years ago’ but  I was for the last generation, so here we are, are we going to leave this mess for our children and grandchildren if the world can bear it that long.

Yes you and I we are the source of this problem but we also are the cure, have no fear my words can be proven. And know if you can damage then you can also repair. 

Rebbe Nachman  says “there is no such thing as despair at all in the world”! So Know for sure we can fix it all if we but change how we look at it all.
Gut Chodesh!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Do not become Distracted for a moment, you might miss it!
 Yom sheini parshas shelach lekha 5772

To my brothers and sisters;
As we draw closer to the days of the Geulah all of us need to be careful, especially now, to remember the World to Come everyday, both in the general and in the particular details of our lives. This is an obligation for every person, no matter who he may be, through everything that happens to him.

'Everything that happens to a person everyday is all hints from Hashem to draw him closer, from where ever that person may be. For Hashem contracts Himself from Absolute Infinity into the minutest details of our lives IE.Creation' (likutey Moharan I, 54).

Remember this well and guard this memory vigilantly each day just remembering it is very good do not become distracted. Just know also that all the great unrest and upset of the tempest that the world has become, has risen up against us all as a result of envy, Ayin HaRa. They know their time is short and they still rage against us! Even as their own are being destroyed they march on us with hatred and fury! And know this is all stirred up against the True Tzaddik, who is working to remind the world, and specifically us of the World to come.  For there is no one who speaks about and works for this the way he does.

Understand this well! 

For those of us who understand, that at any rate, we have been recused, through Hashem's wondrous mercy and kindness, from opposing the truth and attacking him, it is incumbent upon each one of us to accustom ourselves to walk in his Holy pathways and to remember the World to Come, Olam Haba every day.

This will suffice for now for the one who desires Truth.

With blessings and waiting on salvation.
Reb Nati

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Emunahs Chachamim"

"And they believed in Hashem and in His servant
Moshe" (Shmos 14:31).

The midrash tells us: "whoever believes in Hashem is as if he believes in the true shepherd Moshe, and whoever believes in the true shepherd is as if he believes in Hashem, Creator of the world" (Mechilta, Beshalach).

The Talmud teaches: The Torah is acquired by means of 48 qualities. One of these is emunas chachamim, "faith in the tzaddikim" (Avot 6:6)

The vast majority of these qualities focus on one's diligence and efforts in pursuing Torah study and rectifying bad character traits. However right in the middle of all of these 48 is faith in the tzaddikim. The Tzaddikim are the ones who transmit the Torah to us, so without faith in their teachings we will never be able to acquire the Torah. That being the case, of what value is intellectual pursuit and diligent study?

An integral part of achieving faith in Hashem is by having faith in the tzaddik. After all, how can we with our defective sechal (intellect) and lack of Daat (knowledge, but knowledge of truth) in this ever confusing and changing world ever hope to come to choosing right from wrong, what is correct? How do we chose from pure and tamei (impure), kosher from traif (non-kosher)? For leading us through the confusion we have to rely on the Tzaddik.

These righteous individuals they who have risen above the mundane and physical restraints and limitations of the defective human sechal (intellect), they know. We can rely on them in much the same way as a child relies on a parent, to whom he look up as all knowing.

"Most sea men are Chassidim" (Talmud Kiddushin 82a). "This is because they are in constant danger and are always turning to Hashem" (Rashi) We can relate this to the crossing of the sea of reeds. The Jews believed in Moshe and followed him across. The sea was split like walls raising between the tribes, symbolic of the "sea of Knowledge" too dangerous to navigate across without the proper tools and navigational aides- these are the advice of the Tzaddik who guides us on the proper course.

Pharaoh on the other hand did not have any belief, he felt that he had the tools with which to cross on his own. As is the case today, with Artscroll and the many translations and incredible volume of holy seforim (Torah books), we have a ready access to the deep Ocean of the Torah. Yet we have to be even more careful than before as we sit at home without a Rav to teach us (with the rav was the only way until recent generations).

We must be aware that we are not properly equipped, and turn to those who are. Otherwise G-d forbid, like Pharaoh being ill trained and ill equipped to handle the turbulent sea, the walls came crashing down upon him and the Mitzrim [Egyptians] (Likutey Halakhot, Netilat Yadayim Li'seudah 6:39).

Rebbe Nachman said, From me you can begin to get a glimpse of the greatness of Hashem" (Tzaddik #284).

The Tzaddik is one who has attained Torah and has acquired Ruach HaKodesh (divine inspiration/insight). With faith in the Tzaddikim, they can help us achieve greatness in spirituality and closeness to Hashem.

"Even mentioning their names helps us draw from their Holiness." (Likutey Halakhot, Netilat Yadayim li'Seudah 4:6)

Photo: The Breslev Tzadik of Meah Shearim, my rav and teacher, HaRav Shalom Arush, shlita, author of the Garden of Emunah, dancing at the bar mitzvah of My son in Jerusalem.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lag B'Omer: The 33rd Day

On the 33rd day of the Omer counting we celebrate the holiday called Lag B'Omer. The Talmud relates that Rabbi Akiva had 24,000 students, all of whom were very great rabbi's. Rabbi Akiva himself was one of the greatest rabbis in the Talmud. Yet, during this period of just 33 days, all these 24,000 students died because they didn't act respectfully to one another. When they died, the world was left desolate until Rabbi Akiva came and taught Torah to five new students: Rabbi Meir (baal Haness), Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, Rabbi Yossi, Rabbi Nechemya and Rabbi Yehudah.

These great Tzaddikim were later responsible for restoring the entire Torah. They are the rabbis of the Mishnah (Yevamot 63a).

The students of Rabbi Akiva did not have this fellowship and unity, and they died during this season of the Sefirah period.

Reb Noson explains that during the Days of the Omer, we work to purify ourselves in order to receive the Torah. The Torah was originally received because the Jews came to Har Sinai as one, with great unity oneness of mind and soul with achdut, with one purpose, and one heart (Rashi, Exodus 18:1). Something  the students of Rabbi Akiva didn't have . They were followed by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his disciples, a very closely knit group. the great love and unity they displayed between Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his students, for which we find references throughout the Zohar, brought rectification to the 24,000. The greatness of Lag B'Omer is that it represents the conclusion of the period of mourning. Through the spiritual strength and power of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, and through the unity and peace between all Jews, it is possible to rectify even the greatness losses and tragedies that befall the Jewish people (Likutey Halakhot, Rosh Chodesh 6).

Original Torah insights provide great spiritual light for the world. But this light, which emanates from the Ohr Ein Sof (the Light of Infinite One), can only be drawn down and brought into this world through contraction and limitation. Otherwise, it is far too overwhelming for man to appreciate. He just doesn't have the spiritual "strength". One way to get that "strength" is by joining together with other Jews. This in itself is a form of self-contraction for the sake of the larger group. through this we can understand why the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva died. Each of these students was very outstanding in his own right, and received many Torah insights from his most illustrious teacher. These Torah insights brought them great spiritual light, but they were unable to maintain it. Why? Because there was no love and harmony between them. They lacked the bonds which would have given them the "strength" to absorb the Torah's great light and have it be a blessing. As a result, they died. And their deaths took place precisely during the Sefirah period, when we should be trying to rectify ourselves so as to receive the Torah.

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his cheva of talmidim were very different than Rabbi Akiva's students. Their relationship was a rectification. And through the "strength" which their bonds of love created, Rabbi Shimon was able to bring down a great light. This was the revelation of the Zohar HaKodesh, the basic source of the Kabbalah as it is known to us today. Not only were his students able to bring receive the brilliant light of their teachers Torah insights without it harming them, but Rabbi Shimon's revelation of Hashem's Greatness were such incredible rectifications that, even today, no matter where a person has fallen spiritually, he can always come back to Hashem. This is why Eliyahu Ha navi told Rabbi Shimon that his teachings 'The Zohar Hakodesh' will lead the Jews out of exile (Likutey Halahkot, Minchah 7).

It is precisely during this time and at Chatzot that we can anticipate redemption. May it be this year at this time that we all join together in achdut to end this galut. And remember this "Em atah lo shoel atah lo kabel", Simply if you dont ask you dont receive, so at 1:30 am this motzi shabbos walk outside and ask our Father in Heaven to have mercy on us and bring the righteous redeemer this motzi Shabbos!!!! Amein

Gut Shabbos

Reb Nati

Lag B'Omer: In Praise of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, zt"l alone was given permission to reveal the great mysteries contained in the hidden teachings (Zohar III:124b).

Prior to the great Tanna Rabbi Akiva's passing, this great teacher of the jewish people summoned his two beloved disciples, Rabbi Shimon (bar Yochai) and Rabbi Meir (baal HaNess). They asked Rabbi Akiva which of them would be replacing him. Rabbi Akiva said, "Rabbi Meir shall take over the position as head of the Yeshiva." Then turning to Rabbi Shimon he said, "It is sufficient that your Creator and I know the level your greatness" (Talmud Yerushalmi, Sanhedrin 2).

Rabbi Shimon said, "I have the power to correct the entire world; I can exempt the whole world from judgment." (Talmud Sukkah 45b).

Rabbi Shimon was leaving the cave where he and his son Rabbi Elazar had been in hiding from the Romans for thirteen years. They were talking about the righteousness which exists in the world when Rabbi Shimon said "It's enough that you and I are in the world." Another time he said, "I myself have sufficient merit for the entire world." (Talmud Shabbat 33b; Sukkah 45b)

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was the foundation of the world, the true Tzaddik.

These teachings only reveal a small degree of Rabbi Shimon's greatness and give only a partial glimpse of the true benefit he brought into the world. This being the case, we celebrate the passing of the True Tzaddik, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. This in itself is a great wonder, an obvious contradiction. How can we celebrate and enjoy Lag B'Omer, when it recalls the day when such great good and benefit was taken from the world? What kind of celebration is this? On the contrary, we should rend our garments, as for the destruction of the Temple; as our sages taught, "The passing of a Tzaddik is more severe than the Temple's destruction!"

To answser this, Reb Noson of Breslov quotes the verse, "the Tzaddik is lost; yet nobody bothers to note what has happened. People of kindness are taken away; yet no one understands. It because of the evil that approaches, the Tzaddik is lost (Isaiah 57:1). Our Sages teach that the very great tzaddikim pass away prior to the onset of terrible evil in the world. For them, this is a blessing; so that they should not have to witness the great suffering which Heaven has decreed, so that their eyes should not have to see all the multitude of troubles that is about to befall the jewish people (Talmud Sandhedrin 113b).

Reb Noson then goes on to explain that the powers of the "Tzaddikim are greater after their passing than when they were alive" (Talmud Berahot 18a). If we examine the Tzaddik's main purpose in life, we see that all his efforts are devoted to rectifying the Jews and bringing about goodness, both physical as well as spiritual. Through the Tzaddik comes an abundance of wealth and livelihood, and abundance of Torah and repentance.. However, as long as the Tzaddik's soul is housed in a body, he is restricted. This because the body, by definition, is a physical limitation. The Tzaddik is therefore prevented from rising to the greatest heights, and even the abundance which he does bring is governed by this restriction. His influence can only go so far, until such a time that his soul is divested of its bodily enclosure.

This is why there is cause for celebration on Lag B'Omer. True, it is the day that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai passed away from this world. But, Rabbi Shimon is in Shamayim; Rabbi Shimon is spiritual. If, during his lifetime he had sufficient merit to keep the world in existence, how much more so now that he is no longer restricted by the physical? His powers can presently reach such incomprehensible heights and levels that the abundance and benefit he can now bring to the world far surpasses whatever had been possible when he was alive.

This is the explanation of the verse, "The Tzaddik is lost...because of the evil that approaches..." The Tzaddik's entire being is devoted to destroying and combating evil. However, his ability to do this is limited by his physical body. Therefore, Hashem removes this Tzaddik from the world prior to the evil's coming. This is so that the Tzaddik's body will no longer restrict his efforts to help the Jews. In heaven, he is free to mitigate the harsh decree.

This is the true reason for the great celebration on Lag B'Omer. On the 33rd Day of the Omer many, many years ago, Rabbi Shimno bar Yochai's powers to bring help and salvation to all of Am Israel increased manifold. (Likutey Halahkot, Hekhsher Keilim 4)

Nu come on sing: Bar Yochai lai lai la la lai...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Counting the Omer Part V

When looking forward to a particular event or special occasion, it's only natural that we mark our calendar's and count the days. It's the same thing when we anticipate receiving the Torah on Shavuot. We count the days. We look forward to it's coming. Actually, this is the main intent of the Omer counting. by realizing that every day counts, by taking the very most we can out it, by making sure that every single minute matters, we can receive the Torah. The Children of Israel first came close to Hashem on Pesach, after the Redemption from Egypt. To remove them from Miztrayim, Hashem instantaneously pulled them from 49th level of impurity into which they had fallen. But then they had to enter the 49 levels of kedushah on their own, step by step. This can be compared to a child first learning to walk. soon as he shows signs of realizing there is something better than crawling on all fours, we enforce and encourage his desire to develop. we hold his hand for the first step. but then we let go, so that he learns to walk by himself. It is no different in coming closer to Hashem. we start off with a great desire to repent. It is almost as if we are being called by a voice we cannot locate, or guided by invisible hand. Later, the light of this guiding force disappears and we must continue our quest for Hashem under our own inspiration. The reason this happens is not always understood by most people, though it is essential that it should be. The truth is that by seemingly pushing a person away from Hashem, one one is actually drawing him closer to Him. Think about it? Didn't the Egyptians let the Children of Israel leave? Didn't they allow them to go into the wilderness to serve Hashem? The Jews must have understood that they were getting closer to Him. But then they saw the Egyptians running after them. the Jews were left wondering if the Almighty was really with them. Were they really getting closer? It was then that they were told to turn their eyes to Hashem and praying to Him for help. Even when we feel distant rather than close, we must always bear in mind that Hashem is very close to us and He is really trying to bring us closer. Indeed, Hashem's kindness is such that it will even bring closer those who are very, very distant from Him. Nevertheless, from the Sefirah we learn that the process cannot be hurried. When we look forward to something, we want it to happen immediately. Most of the time, especially if the thing we look forward to is something meaningful, it just can't happen right away. The issue cannot be forced at all. We find ourselves with no choice but to wait. Well, the same is true in achieving closeness to Hashem and receiving His Torah. We must wait to achieve it; wait to receive it. Just as the Jews in the wilderness had to wait until shavuot. And though on Pesach they received a tremendous light and wanted to serve Hashem properly, they still could not reach their goal until the 50th day. It is the same foe us. However, if we persist in our desire to achieve this level, eventually we will acquire this great light of Shavuot (Likutey Halakhot, Shiluach HaKen5)

We are almost there, come join us in celebrating Lag B'Omer

Counting the Omer Part IV

Sefirah is synonymous with purification. when we are ready to purify ourselves, we discover that it isn't a speedy process. Only through gradual procession will we attain our goal. And to be fully purified, we must wait until after the sefirah, after we've counted again and again. in the meantime, we have to count one day at a time; slowly building up purity until we are able to overcome all the undesirable and impure aspects of our lives. On the 16th day of Nissan, the Omer Sacrifice 'a Barley offering' was brought. Using barley, which serves as feed for animals, would seem t indicate the low nature of this offering. but, because animals lack the power of speech, this makes barley a most appropriate choice. This is because the Omer is brought to rectify and endow the power of speech, elevating from the lower level of the animal to the more purified level of man. And this is its connection to the sefirah. During the Sefirah we try to rectify ourselves. Quintessentially, Teshuvah is our accepting that everything which happens is from Hashem. When one is embarrassed before Hashem, he can be likened to an animal without the power of speech. As a result of the embarrassment he feels for having gone against Hashem's will and transgressed, he cannot lift up his head or raise his voice. Thus, a major step in repentance and returning to Hashem is remaining silent as we hear and fell ourselves being embarrassed. Teshuvah means that we longer rush to counter the insult with rationalizations, excuses, or just plain arrogance. By truly accepting that everything is from Hashem, then even when we know that the person ridiculing or chastising us is no better that we are, we say nothing. We understand that he is no more than Hashem's messenger, and we remain silent and embarrassed before the One who sent him.
This is the significance of the elevation, Tenuphah, of the Omer. TeNUPhaH can be read TeNU-Peh 'give mouth'! This implies that a person who counts the Sefirat Ha'Omer, thereby rectifying his speech, raises himself from the level of animal to that of man. He becomes a complete person. Man is called a 'Ma'daber' one who speaks; as animals are called b'hehmot.
Seven weeks later, on Shavuot, the sacrifice which was brought consisted of wheat. Unlike the lowliness of barley, wheat is a "human" gain. Yet, wheat also carries an aspect of being silent, for there are, in fact two levels of silence. The first level, the animal level, is someone who is so embarrassed by his sins that he can't speak. He finds himself speechless because he recognizes his guilt. But then he repents. He acquires speech, as in, "take with you words and return to Hashem"(Hoshea 14:3). And through his returning and coming closer to Hashem, he can achieve the second level of silence: The gate of wisdom(Avot 3:17). This higher silence corresponds to the divine Emanation, Sephirah, of Keter; itself an aspect of Shavuot.
On Shavuot, after 49 days of counting 'after 49 gates of repentance and Tehillim reciting' the higher level of silence is finally attained Even so, it must be remembered that all this begins with PeSaCh' with Peh SaCH, a talking mouth. For the only path to these upper levels is through Tefillah, the ture speech of calling out to Hashem (Likutey Halakhot, Simanei Behemah v'Chayah T'horah 4).
Last night was 25 days in the Omer, keep counting 24 days to go you can do it!
Iyar the month of Refuah!

Blessings Reb Nati

"Sefirah" Counting the Omer Part III

Reb Nosson teaches that the daily obstacles we encounter are in direct proportion to the spiritual levels and wisdom we seek to achieve. We should therefore not feel discouraged when we see our improvement in serving Hashem suddenly countered by difficulties. As long as we maintain our Mochin de'Gadlut, the forces opposing our advancement cannot affect us. For it is only when we descend to Mochin de'Katnut, to depression and despair, that we find it very difficult to stand up against these obstacles.

In fact, taking heart and strengthening ourselves each day is the one protection we have. Even when there are difficulties or obstacles, we have to realize that today is also part of the allotted time on earth. It, too, is a day during which we can and must accomplish whatever possible in coming closer to Hashem. If we cannot pray or study study Torah properly, then we should say tehillim (psalms) or perform other miztvot - doing whatever we can. For "Hashem wants the Jews to be rewarded; and therefore He gave them the Torah to study and many mitzot to perform."

In other words, we must never fool ourselves into thinking that since the day started wrong, today is a wasted day, G-d forbid! We must never allow ourselves to say that there is no point in trying to serve and to know Hashem or returning to Him on this day; that we are better off waiting until tomorrow. Rather, we must realize that every day is important and that every moment counts! And this is the lesson of Sefirat Ha'Omer, the 49 days of counting. It teaches us to make the best and the most of what we have, since every day does count! (Likutey Halakhot, Pikadon 4)

Have a great day, from Reb Nati

"Sefirah" Counting the Omer Part II

The AriZal, Rabbi Yiztchak Luria, zt"l, explains that on the night of Pesach it was vital that the Jews be on a level of Mochin de'Gadlut, expanded consciousness. This is because they were lacking in holiness and steeped in impurities, they would have otherwise never have been able to leave Egypt. The Jews were therefore given Awareness, and not in a gradual progressive manner in which expanded consciousness is normally acquired. Their levels of consciousness came to them in an inverted manner: Mochin de'gadlut prior to Mochin de'katnut, the level of constricted consciousness. However, the the very next day, the day after the Exodus, they were back to "normal", receiving the Katnut and having to progressively achieve the Gadlut.

It is possible for us to receive Mochin, this consciousness or wisdom, every single day. A person begins his day attempting to serve Hashem and, as the day wears on, he himself progresses; reaching ever greater understanding in serving Hashem. Every single day we must try to draw this wisdom upon us. It is the wisdom to recognize and understand Hashem, come close to Him and devote ourselves to serving Him. Just as no two days of our lives are exactly the same, the chochmah of the day is never the same. The chochmah of today is never the same as it was yesterday or tomorrow. Each new day provides us with a different set of concepts and experiences which make up that day's chochmah; the wisdom we are to use in order to know and come closer to Him today!

The essence of the day is light, spiritual light (so to speak). Each day, we have to try to attain this light. How? By extracting the good that is inherent in today, in every single day. The day, however, starts with night. It begins with darkness, the barriers that prevent us from reaching our goal. We have to always strengthen ourselves and make every possible attempt to break through the obstructions and obstacles surrounding us on that day. "Only by discovering the good in every single day and utilizing the knowledge that Hashem is in control of everything that happens, "HE IS KING", only then can we recognize and draw closer to HIM."

So as we count, we should grow and realize that this is an evolution from the matrix of this world to the truth of the next.


Blessing and Emunah from Reb Nati.

The Omer counting. Part I

Rebbe Nachman taught: The 49 days of Sefirat Ha'Omer correspond to the 49 gates of teshuvah, as I mentioned in a previous post. These 49 Gates, in turn, correspond to the 49 letters which make up the names of the 12 tribes of Am Israel. Thus, each tribe has individual gates for each of it's members, so that everyone can return to Hashem through his own gate. And then there is the 50TH Gate, the highest gate: SHAVOUT. This gate is, as it were, the TESHVUAH, "The Return", of Hashem.

The way for a person to to come to his individual gate is through the Tehillim. Thus, during the 49 days of Sefirah, as well as on all other days of repentance i.e. (The month of Elul, Rosh Hashannah), we should recite Psalms. This will be us to our gate of repentance. And by achieving this, we will merit purity and coming back to Hashem.

That these day are a most amenable time for reciting Psalms and repenting can be learned from the begining of the book of Shemos. The verse reads, "these are the names of the children of Israel who went down to Egypt; each man and his wife, they came." In Hebrew, the last letters of these words make up the words Tehillim and Teshuvah. The verses which follow then list the names of the Tribes (their 49 letters). They correspond to the 49 days of Sefirah, corresponding to the 49 Gates of Teshuvah (Likutey Moharan II, 73).