Posts tagged Kabbalah

The Arizal On The Root Souls of Our Leaders: Joseph


The next in our series of patriarchs is Joseph, and it is also based on Kabbalah and the Arizal.

Joseph had a unique relationship with his father, Jacob, and he was considered to be the “main offspring” of his father’s. There are many parallels between their lives, in the particular difficulties they faced and the way they overcame their difficulties.

Jacob learned many secrets of Torah in the academy of Shem and Eiver for 14 years. It’s said he never slept during those years of study, but that all the secrets he learned he also shared with Joseph.

Both Jacob and Joseph represent the central column of the Tree of Life, the Sefirotic structure. Jacob is the central column of Tiferet, and Joseph is the central column of Yesod. The central column is an actualization or a bridge of the right and left columns, the culmination or birth place of the right and left columns. It’s an important, all-encompassing type of Sefira.   So this is another relationship Jacob had with Joseph.

Joseph was considered to be a Tzadik. He was the paradigm of a “righteous person.” His Sefira represents the male organ, and its biological and psychological characteristics as a representation of the DNA of the entire person and the entire beauty of the entire person. This is especially true if the activating of the principle within the sexual activity is done in a holy way, as it was done by Joseph.

Because of his position he was able to convey beauty. He was a beautiful man, as told in many stories of women chasing him around, the most famous of whom was the wife of Potifar.  She chased him to get him to sleep with her, and Joseph was almost seduced by her. At the last moment Joseph saw an image of his father, Jacob, and he ran away from her.

During the act of running away, it is said there were 10 drops of semen issued from his fingernails, which later became 10 leaders of the Jewish people during the Tananic period. These were the 10 martyrs who were killed for teaching Torah during Roman times. The slightest influence from Joseph carried waves of influence over the years and generations.

The fact that Joseph was able to hold himself back at a crucial time is evidence of his righteousness, and distinguishes him as having the wisdom of knowing when to express his male sexuality and when to withhold expression of it, in many ways.

Having physical beauty and being chased by many women, and being a very fruitful man as regards the seat of reproduction, Joseph was also fruitful in a monetary way. He fed the world, basically. When the world was experiencing famine, people came to him from other parts of the world because he was second only to Pharoah in Egypt, trusted with great authority. Joseph advised Pharoah and interpreted dreams for him, also representing fruitfulness.

Joseph was modest and held back at the right times, showing he had power over the “evil eye,” so to speak. And he was protected from those who lusted after him or coveted him.  His power is something that characterizes anyone who goes according to the ways of Joseph.

He was very personable and collaborative person as well. He took the qualities of his forefathers and expressed them in the world, even though he had the well-known fallout with his brothers. They thought he was the least desirable offspring of his father Jacob, just as Abraham had an Ishmael and Issac had an Esav his brothers thought Yosef was the least of their father’s sons, and not even part of the lineage of the chosen people.

Of course they were wrong about that. Joseph took them through the steps to show them the error of their beliefs, and in the end they came to make peace with him.

Ultimately, there was a rift between Joseph’s progeny and the other tribes of Israel, those who became the Lost Tribes, and the main tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi who all stayed in the land. In most traditions it’s understood all the tribes will reunite in the Messianic times.


The Arizal on The Root Souls of Our Leaders: Yaakov


I’m going to continue my series on the Kabbalistic root souls of the Patriarchs, from the work of the Arizal. And today I’m going to continue with Jacob, Yaakov, or as he’s also known, Israel or Yisrael.

Here are a few aspects of him, which I think are very important, transformative, transcendent and even mind-blowing aspects of our father, Jacob.

I should mention his wives as well… He had four wives altogether, but his two main wives were Leah and Rachel. Before Jacob ever got married at the age of 84 years, and before he even began looking for a wife, he fell in love. Meaning, he hadn’t even seen Rachel and he was in love with her.

At the end of the courting period, which was more than courting really, it was courting and birthing outside the land of Israel where he was living in the home of his father-in-law, Lavan, he also developed a serious connection with his other wife, Leah. She was Rachel’s sister.

It’s as though Jacob when he was still Jacob, he was on the level of soul-mating Rachel, his bashert.

When Jacob grew into an expanded state and renamed Israel, that’s when he was matched-up with Leah, and he was on her level.

This mirrors who Rachel and Leah are. The way we would say it today, Rachel was the very modest woman, religious from birth, and Leah was a master of teshuva, as she had the personality of someone who was out of it, then came into the fold later.  This reflects who Jacob was when he became Israel.

Even though Jacob had two names, unlike his grandfather, Abraham, who used to be Avram (and his wife Sarah, who used to be Sarai) Jacob went back and forth, sometimes using his old name. Abraham and Sarah never did that.

The Israelite people are called Israel when we are on a higher level, too. Like Jacob, we have our struggles with G-d, and we have a constant dialog, or a narrative with him, as did Jacob.

Jacob started out his life detached from worldliness, and that’s when he was known as Jacob the Tam, meaning Jacob, the holy-naivete person, whose actions bespeak simplicity, not ignorance of holiness.

As Jacob encountered the world, for his own sake and for our sake, he opens doors for all his progeny, until the end of time, and especially toward the messianic times. That’s when he becomes the Jacob who is able to leave his 20 years with his deceptive father-in-law, Lavan, and come into the world shining, to face the deception of the world and come out whole.

Jacob is the choice one of the three patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yisrael. His grandfather Avraham, fathered Ishmael, which represents the fall-out aspect of negativity that was removed from him, so that he could uphold and represent Chesed.  Abraham is the merkavah of Chesed for the world.  And the fall-out, the negativity that was removed from him before he could pass on his legacy was his son, Ishmael.

The fall-out from Issac, the middle Patriarch is Esau, or Esav. And these are known not only as individual sons, but entire nations that will continue until the end of time.

Jacob had no fall-out, and he was called Shalem; he was called whole, and it was said of him that, “his bed was complete,” and all of his children were all righteous. There was no fall-out, and that’s one of the distinctions between Jacob and the previous Patriarchs.

Jacob went from his home at his parents’ bidding, in order to start his family. He returned to Lavan’s country. But before doing that, he spent fourteen years in the home of Shem and Eiver, the two major scholars of the day. This period was a preparation for Jacob to be able to graduate into a much higher level, and to cope with the world of deception, because he was so entrenched in Torah.  Jacob didn’t even sleep for those fourteen years, and he came to make a family for himself.

Jacob had the trait of holiness, which could be translated as the ability to connect to the world from a mundane place, and to find holiness there, in the mundane aspects of the world

As a reflection of that, the Divine Providence that is drawn down by seeing G-d in all aspects of the world, G-d gives an inheritance to those people following in Jacob’s footsteps. That inheritance is boundless; it is endless for those who are making G-d boundless and endless in our world.



The Arizal on the Root Souls of Our Leaders: Aharon


This is the continuation of the Patriarchal Sephirotic series, dealing with the root souls of our seven shepherds, and this one deals with Aharon, or Aaron Ha Cohen.

Aaron was the High Priest, the name he was known by. He is considered to be the Sephira of Hod, the counterpart of Netzach, which means he’s a counterpart of Moses. Hod and Netzach are like two partners, like Ying and Yang, balancing each other out.  So that’s how the two brothers, Moses and Aaron balanced each other out, in terms of their influence in the world.

Because Aaron was Hod, and Hod is the enabler, empowering other people to do things, he was tested regarding the weakness of enabling at the episode of the Golden Calf. Although all his intentions were pure, he allowed the erection of the Golden Calf while the people were waiting for Moses to return.  This incident affected history, and Aaron’s life as well.

One of the immediate effects on Aaron was a decree that two of his four sons would be killed by “strange fire,” during the erection of the Tabernacle for the first time. Two of his younger sons were consumed by fire and killed at that time.

Aaron is the paradigm High Priest, meaning all other High Priests after him were a genetic continuation of who he was, and also a Sephirotic continuation of who he was.

There are two other Sephirot connected with the High Priest. One is Chochma (Wisdom) and the other is Chesed (Lovingkindness), both of which function specifically in the healing role, what the High Priest does in affecting Kapparah, or the different healings the Cohen does for the purpose of atonement.

Aaron was the most mourned-after leader of Israel. For thirty solid days, in a very heartfelt way the people mourned the loss of Aaron. He was buried in the desert near Israel called Hor Hahar, and he was mourned that way because his role was as peacemaker, and he was constantly seeking the good of all the people.

He had the reputation of going to both sides in any antagonistic situation and make each side understand how the other side loves them. That’s how Aaron achieved peace in many situations and came to be beloved as a leader.

In his merit, we know, there were the clouds of glory that protected the Jewish People from their enemies. In Kabbalah we understand there were clouds of “surrounding light,” which protected the Israelites in the desert from foreign energies as well as people. These clouds are one of the expressions of the holiday of Sukkot, in which we dwell for seven days each fall, reminiscent of those clouds of glory.

Now I’m going to relate historical reincarnations of Aaron, so try to follow along:

First, between the brothers Cain and Able, Aaron came from the brother Able, as did his brother, Moses. That was his first reincarnation.

The second one was Abraham’s brother, Haran, a name that shares the same Hebrew letters as the name Aaron. Haran was afraid to jump into the fire in order to sanctify G-d’s name, for the purpose of pushing off idol worship. In other words, he didn’t have the right intentions and so he failed that particular test. That was his reincarnation as Abraham’s brother, and his tendencies would show up in future reincarnations, as we’ll see.

The third one was the two sons of Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, because they were a type of reincarnation of Aaron. I as mentioned, they are the ones who died in the “strange fire.”

The next person reincarnated in this line was a person called Yaadetz, whose name, the inner, core part of his name means “sadness,” from the word atzue in Hebrew. He was a carrie of the impression of the sadness of the two sons of Aaron who passed away, in their previous reincarnation.

The next person was named Tola Ben Puah who was reminiscent of a worm, whose power resides in its mouth. That’s what “tola” means in Hebrew, and he came to fix the previous incarnation of overly-expressed vows, made by mouth.

The next reincarnation was Shmuel Ha Navi, or Samuel the prophet.  He was a traveling judge, and he came to fix Tola Ben Puah’s lack of traveling around Israel to judge and fix the people. So, Samuel came to fix that lack and accomplish that task.

The next reincarnation was Uriah Ha Chiti, who was originally the husband of King David’s main wife, Batsheva. King David sent Uriah into battle, where he was killed. David acquired divorces from all his soldiers before they were sent into battle, so he was able to marry Batsheva after Uriah died.

Uriah’s death was partly atonement for Aaron’s unwillingness to die for the sin of the Golden Calf.

Next is Uriah Ha Cohen, reincarnation of Aaron, and of his sons, all three of them in the same reincarnation. He was killed again in this reincarnation by a person named Yehoyakaim, once again an atonement for Aaron’s failure to give up his life for the sin of the Golden Calf.

And finally, Zechariah, the prophet was a reincarnation of Aaron. The last two reincarnations that came at the same time revealed the lowest level, the Nefesh level of Zechariah, whose name was Rabbi Eliyahu Ei Didosh, who authored a famous book called Raishit Chochma, and he came back as the nefesh of Zechariah.

And the one who came back as the Ruach, the next highest soul level of Zechariah, was named the Ramak, so that’s why these two were very good friends. They were two parts of the soul level of the same person, reincarnated at the same time.

The Arizal and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai


I’d like to continue with Root Soul collection of our leaders, by the Arizal.

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and the Arizal

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai passed away on the Sefira of the Hod of Hod, which is very significant, because in terms of the lower Sefirot, it’s the end of the line, meaning his soul comes from the highest place, which can reach down to the lowest place. Which accounts for the 500,000 people who come to visit his grave each year on the date of his passing, and they feel a personal connection to Rabbi Shimon because it’s part of his essence to reach from the highest people to the lowest people, so everyone can feel connected at their soul level.

Another aspect of Rabbi Shimon is that he was the one chosen to reveal mysticism to the whole world, because he could reveal everything, and only those with the ears to hear it would understand it . He had, what the Arizal called, “the surrounding light power,” allowing him to do that. Just say something and only those who can hear it properly will be able to hear it. That’s a significant feature of his classic, The Zohar, is all about.

Rabbi Shimon is understood to have come from the soul root of Moshe, and just  like Moshe escaped from Egypt and went into the wilderness, where he stayed for many years and eventually, he came out of the wilderness to redeem the Jewish people, to be their redeemer, their messenger of G-d and to bring them out of Egypt, too.

So too R. Shimon escaped Roman persecution, because he spoke his mind and he was fearless, and he came out to redeem the Jewish people with his master work—the Zohar. He was a complete tsaddik, with nothing to be afraid of, even though the Romans were chasing him because of his fearlessness.

Rabbi Shimon hid in a cave for 13 years, and when he came out he revealed the entire Zohar, just as Moshe came out to his people and the Torah was revealed, at Mount Sinai.

He died with a smile on his face because on his last day, he was able to reveal eternal, limitless Torah. And his soul included everybody, as did Moshe’s. So, on the day of Lag B’Omer, when we go and we meet to think and talk and study about Rabbi Shimon, we can all feel the connection, because we’re all included in his soul.

He was the person who revealed the Zohar, which means Brilliant Light, and it: 1) brought light into the darkness, and 2) will be the vehicle to bring redemption to the whole world, through the power of its consciousness. Rabbi Shimon’s mystical viewpoint in the Zohar,  which enhances everything in life. That’s what Kabbalah is all about, and why it has the power to enhance every thought, every word and every purpose in life, especially the inner dimension, and to connect it all with G-d.

That’s Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

Now, the Arizal……The Arizal  is the reincarnation of Rabbi Shimon, and also of Moshe. He came from the highest possible levels of soul root, and had the prophet Elijah at his side at all times. There are certain souls that come down into the world, not to fix themselves but to fix up a whole generation of other people. The Arizal came to bring Moshiach into his generation, if it had been worthy. But he was able to teach his main student, Rabbi Chaim Vital.

In a very short lifespan he was able to reveal an incredible amount of wisdom, in quantity and quality. At this time we don’t have access to the majority of his teachings, given during his lifetime. The Arizal came from the beyond, and therefore he was beyond a normal human being.  He was: expert in all areas of Torah, skilled in understanding the songs and sounds of birds and animals, and wise in the ways of every person, knowing everything they had done and knowing their thoughts, past present and future.

The Arizal could see the reincarnation of every person.  And he could open Torah and read about a person, then that person would manifest before him. He was able to read a person by their scent, and know all they had ever done. And he didn’t achieve anything through magic or Practical Kabbalah, which he taught a strong prohibition against.

He was able to realize so much in his life because he was such a righteous, ascetic, diligent scholar, more so than anyone else in his generation. And he was pure and holy, having come from a higher world, and constantly communicating with Elijah, who taught him secrets, mouth to mouth.

There’s a lot more to say, but that will suffice for right now.

Kabbalistic Root Soul Aspects of Esther and Mordecai


Esther is referred to by a name that’s hinted at in Torah. Our Sages ask, “Where is her name hinted at in Torah?” and it’s a verse where G-d is saying, “I will hide my face on that day.”

This verse tells us that Esther is coming from a place of hiddenness, which is also hinted in her name of Esther, which comes from the word “lahastir,” meaning “to hide.” So, she’s coming from this place of hiddenness.

But on the holiday of Purim when she’s the heroine of the day, we read the scroll, the megilla of Esther. The word “megilla” means “reveal” in Hebrew. The whole point of Esther is to reveal G-d’s hiddenness. That’s who Esther really is, a channel for revealing G-d’s hiddenness.

The culmination of the most important event in Esther’s life is when she was asked by Mordecai, the hero of the Purim story, to go and plead the king of the Persians to remove the holocaust decree on the Jews. She replied, “If I do that, not only will I lose my place in this world, but I am likely to lose my place in the World To Come, because I’m offering my sexuality to him as well, if I approach him.”

In other words, her willingness to jeopardize her place in both worlds, her courage to live out, “if I lose, I lose,” referred to her portion in this world and the next world. Her willingness, her self-sacrifice in the situation is what drew down the incredible miracles we saw, and we still draw down every year, to this day on Purim.

Esther was protected upon entering the palace of the King. She was covered in a special, spiritual garb, which meant she didn’t have direct relations, in a normal sense. This covering resulted in sort of a green skin color, and some describe it as a shaid, or a type of non-human entity. This was her garb, allowing her to not only succeed in saving the Jewish people, but also to have relations in a safe way, since it was only a garment of her, not really her.

That garment of Esther, together with the King, gave birth to the next king of Persia, from that night of conception. His name was Sirus, and he’s the one who helped to rebuild the second Temple in Jerusalem.

So, there was great significance to Esther’s act on behalf of her people. Some spiritual sources say she went to the King wearing the spiritual garment of Eve, the wife of Adam. She’s also mentioned as being a personification of the Shechina, by going into the King and saving the Jewish people at that time.

That’s a little bit about Esther, now here’s a little bit about Mordecai…

The redemptive power that saved the Jewish people on Purim is called the Emanation of Mordacai. It’s a spiritual emanation, based on the human being named Mordecai, one of the righteous scholars of the entire generation. That’s the emanation we draw down into our lives on Purim each year, setting the stage for the extraordinary energies we draw down into our lives.

Mordecai was said to have been one of the incarnations of Yaakov, our forefather Jacob, and Mordecai refused to bow down to Hamen, certainly a manifestation of Amalek, the arch enemy of the Jewish people.

But, Mordecai is also said to be a reincarnation of Esau, another member of the same family. Esau was the nemesis of Jacob, and in their previous meeting Jacob bowed down to Esau, in an attempt to diplomatically prevent a confrontation. And both of them came back into this life so that Jacob could rectify that situation when Mordecai refused to bow down to Hamen, formerly Esau.

Rather than Mordecai calling Hamen his master, as in their previous relationship in a previous lifetime, Mordecai was Hamen’s master. In other words, Hamen was his slave in the Purim story.





Know that the persona Arikh Anpin is a persona that stretches all the way, the entire length of the parsuf that corresponds to the core motivation inside of our personas. It motivates us to do everything we do, and when it’s activated, nothing stands in its way and everything aligns with it to make its will happen.

Focus on identifying the deepest, core motivation of your life.  And to the extent you catch it, to that extent you are going to melt away all the subsidiary motivations you have, and you will be on fire; there will be nothing that can stand in your way. 



Know that, as in the upper world, so too in our world, the ultimate Father and Mother, in their ultimate, altruistic state, are completely unified in their purpose, to do what they need to do for the benefit of their children. To the extent you do that, your children will benefit for all time.

So, experience your inner, altruistic, completely dedicated approach to parenting, and apply that with inspiration and joy, every time you connect with your children. That way, you can be sure your children will do the same with their children.



The parents, to the extent they inter-include and bond with each other, sharing the best of who they are, with each other, to that extent these parents will give birth to the greatest representation of who they are, in their children.

Experience doing that with your parenting partner, and with all forms of birthing in your life.



Know that our lives are in a constant flux of restricted and expanded consciousness. Experience the different states of expansion and restriction that you fall into and out of, and identify them. To the extent that you identify them, you’ll know when to jump in and make major decisions in a state of expansion, and when to pull back and just keep yourself quiet, in a state of restriction.

Know that the process of mothering in the higher and lower worlds involves a constant connection with your fetus, your newborn and your children throughout their entire lives. Experience this connection from the moment you realize you will be giving birth, and cultivate this connection. Then, everything you do for yourself, do that for your child – your literal child and the child of your creative output in the world.



Know that you are constantly in engaging with lost parts of your soul. Experience the level of resonation, how strongly you resonate with all the input that comes to you, in your life. And to the extent that you are drawn to and resonating with whatever and whoever comes into your life, to that extent you will be guided from above to redeem that lost part of your soul.



Know that the other side, the Sitra Akrah, the other side of reality is constantly waiting to suck out any goodness you display or experience in your life. Therefore, experience yourself being protective of the value treasure you hold inside your soul, and be very selective how you share it and with whom you share it.



Know that the Zeir Anpin is the parallel source in the upper worlds of Divine Providence in our lives. Experience revealing the Divine Providence in your life that is normally attributed to happenstance or coincidence, and reveal that it is absolutely purposeful and personalized and customized to bring you to where you need to be in life.



 Know that the dance of life is knowing when to connect when the connection will bring empowerment, and knowing when to disconnect when that disconnection will bring disempowerment. Experience saying Yes as often as possible, when it is to your empowered advantage, and saying No the No’s that disempower you.



Know that we have all 5 levels of soul, no matter which soul level we are rooted in, and we have the ability to access all these levels. Experience the Nefesh level of the connection of spirituality with physicality. Experience the Ruach level of the bubbly sensations of associations that come to you in your creative life. Experience the Neshamah level of feeling you are being guided from On High. Experience the Chaya level of feeling you are the right hand person of G-d in bringing this world to its Tikkun. And finally, experience the Yechida level of knowing that you are one infused and enmeshed with the Creator of the entire universe. There is nothing else but the Creator.



Know that your very soul inside you is the very tip of an upside-down iceberg that stretches to the highest heavens. And know that, to the extent you bring that which is beyond you inside yourself, to that extent you’ve grown spiritually. Experience the drive to know what you don’t yet know, to feel what you don’t yet feel, to speak what you have not yet been able to speak, and so on with all areas of human consciousness.



Know that for every manifestation and personality that exists in our world, there is an upper world parallel for all of them. With that knowledge in mind, experience when you sleep, the upper sleep and when you talk, the upper talk. When you meet with a person of importance meet that person’s parallel upstairs and your own highest, most realized self in the upper worlds.




Know that as counter-intuitive as it may seem, it is incredibly powerful, perhaps the highest power available, in the act of receiving. It’s the power of receptivity. Experience being an open vessel, open to receive from everybody and everything, all they have to give, thereby drawing down to yourself Everythingness.





The following meditations represent a lifetime collection of  ‘Pnimiyut’ (spiritual  life applications), which are translations of the otherwise very technical Creation Principles comprising the important Kabbalistic Classic—the Eitz Chaim—the Tree of Life.

These translations are in the form of meditations in order to best internalize and be impacted by them. This is the first of several posts with Creation Principle meditations.



Know that you have access to G-d in a  transcendent and in an immanent fashion. Experience G-d’s transcendence, His Infinite Presence being beyond your fathoming, beyond any limitations at all, while at the same time, experience G-d’s immanence, His intimate presence inside of you, nurturing you, loving you, guiding you, knowing you better than anyone in your life.

Know that in order for you to grow into becoming the best person that you can become, you need two seemingly contradictory approaches to life. First, draw down into yourself a certainty and a clarity that all is now perfect as is along with a knowing that nothing is perfect and you have the responsibility to improve and perfect everything that comes your way.



Know that your life is a blend of information you’re aware of, knowledge that’s accessible to you and also knowledge that’s beyond you. The way you grow spiritually is to draw down into yourself that which is beyond you.

This is called, “the outer lights,” or sometimes it’s called, “the surrounding light.”

Focus on what you know, in your life. Focus on it in conversation, in learning, in facing challenges. In any aspect of life, identify that which is known to you and that which is not known to you.

And make it a point to try and grow in your spirituality by stepping up into the world of the outer lights, the great world of the unknown. And ask G-d to send you the information, and wisdom and the knowing that it will take to fathom and to become familiar with that which is beyond you in life.

You’ll find that the very question itself, and the very request itself, when done earnestly, will bring the response, the answers, and the ability to fathom that which is beyond you.



Know that there is a future consciousness, a world of reward, where there will be reflected to us the reward of all we have done well in our lives. In that reward world, we will see how all of the wonderful things we accomplished, and the choices we have made result in their power. We will see their power ad infinitum, forever.

Step into that world right now. Experience how there is a result, there is a birthing of all the good things you think, feel, think and do. Step into the other side of your choices and your actions. Set that as a primary focus in all that you do, and you’ll find it all becomes primordially potent and effective.



Know that ladder leading from one world into the other world is a ladder that cannot be climbed head on, or directly. It must be climbed as the angels approached infinity in the prophetic visions we learn.

We must connect to that which is higher to us, by taking a step forward, touching it, then taking a step back and not touching it. Then we repeat it… stepping forward and touching it, then stepping back and not touching it.

Experience reaching out for that which is beyond you this way. But when you reach out for that which is beyond you, touch and grasp and engage and encounter and embrace that unknown area for just a short moment. Then stop and come back to where your base line is located.

Consider how it felt to extend yourself, and when you feel ready, go back and touch it again.

You’ll notice the more often you go forward and touch, and then stop and go back again, the more you’ll be ready to step into the new reality.



Know that the world, before it was in a state of Tikkun, or Rectification, was in a state of Tohu, or Chaos. The main reason for that is because the light, the influence of life, was so incredibly powerful that the vessels could not properly contain them. Know that in a future time we will re-engage these primordial lights in such a powerful way that we will be able to harness the most powerful energy, which today would be considered animalistic or criminal.

At that time in the future we will have the ability and the capability to contain them and to hold them.

Step into that future time, and experience a more powerful light force than you have ever experienced before. And visualize your ability to contain that, and to harness that and to hold that, and to step into a whole new levels of inner, positive, beneficial power.



One of the keys to rectification of all that is broken is to build a proper foundation. It’s to have a vessel that can contain whatever light or life force is being directed at it.  One to of the ways to accomplish this is by using teamwork. Two heads are better than one, and three are better than two.

So, step into a community. And search out the strengths of each individual member of the community, and unite the community by sharing that particular strength that nobody else has, and pool those strengths into some kind of single-minded directive or goal that can only be accomplished by a group, instead of one person alone.



Know that in the world as we know it now, in its march towards perfection and rectification, one person can be an influencer, a healer, a rectifier, and another person will be the influenced, the healed and the rectified.

Step into a reality where you completely accept, with full peace of mind, that relative to any particular person in your life, you are the one to be influenced by that person. While you will be, relative to a different person, the influencer.

When you accept and embrace this dynamic, then life becomes very rich and full and effective.



Know that the core of reality is the understanding that we don’t understand. It’s the knowing that we don’t know. It’s the mystery.

Accept the fact that the deepest levels of your processing of life, and of your knowledge, is a mystery. And have the humility to accept that, as much as you know, there’s much more that you don’t know. That very humility will draw down an incredible amount of knowledge to you, which you wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.



Know that we all have certain traits which dominate our personalities. One person might have the character trait of transcendence. Another person might be an enabler or empowerer.

But know that on a deeper level we are holistic beings. We are personas, containing all of the Sefirot. Engage and empower and enliven all of the traits of your personality, until they are all shining as powerfully as possible.



Know that the highest of the Sefirot is the bridge between that which is above and beyond, and that which is within time and space.

When you step up to be a person with the ability to remove yourself from your own, natural limitations, you step up into the place which is beyond.

The way you do that is to leap straight into it.

Tools of Divine Service of the High Holidays -TSHUVA


Now what I’d like to speak about has to do with the High Holidays, which are almost upon us.
I’d like to discuss a few tools of Divine Service, so here are a few introductory points:

I think it’s important to know about these tools called Teshuva, Tefila and Tsedaka, Penitence, Prayer and Charity, the “big three” that are so prominent in the High Holiday prayer books. Those are the three things we are told to do in order to avert the harsh decree.

My intention is to know and to teach the pshat level, the simple, straightforward understanding, on the one hand. Much of it comes from my own background and also Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan’s Handbook of Jewish Thought. And I bring to it the deeper, inner understanding of Kabbalah and Chassidut, to round out the tools.

I’ll start with Teshuva, or a righteous return to G-d and to ourselves. Here are a few points explaining what the mitzvah of Teshuva is all about, beginning with a person having an assumption, an understanding that there is a divine source of morality and truth with the ability to pardon wrongs done within that morality and truth.

As opposed to other approximate levels of morality and truth, including the popular conceptions of Western society and other religious beliefs, as a believing Jewish person I have an absolute truth to rely on, G-d’s word to rely on, which of course has been interpreted many ways.

But the fact that divine morality exits allows me to measure myself against that and try to return to that, pardoned from wrongs by the G-d that brought us all into existence. All of this would be lacking if there was no absolute truth, only approximate truth that changes with the times and necessities of society.

The power of Teshuva is in the fact that it was created before Creation itself, implying that it’s more important than Creation in some ways, and also it has the ability to return us to the purpose of Creation. Teshuva has the ability to override the divine trait of strict justice because G-d is looking for our good and the good of the world. G-d, therefore, is very long-suffering and patient, waiting for us to re-enter the realm of morality and truth as he sets it out.

Essentially G-d turns a patient eye to our misbehaviors as we move towards Teshuva.

Teshuva has the ability to act retroactively. You might ask the question, “How can we undo the damage done by sin?” Some things cannot be undone.

For example, if a person is born of an illicit relationship, that child will be living testimony for that the rest of their life. But, the idea of Teshuva “undoes” the original intent. When we change ourselves we have a different intent, a different intention, and it relates back to our original intention, undoing it back then.

Since I’m a new me, you can’t judge the new me for a wrong intention I had back then as the old me. Only G-d can see that I’m a new person of course, since humans need to judge based on what they can see with their eyes only, with some consideration given to their capacity to change.

We also have to understand that the power of Teshuva is that a person can sin and be wicked their entire life and reverse their entire history in one minute. There’s a famous story of Rabbe Lazer ben, whose life was exactly that way. He did Teshuva at the very last minute of his life and became known as a Rebbe, because he did Teshuva in that way.

So that’s the power of Teshuva. It will always be accepted, and you can always reverse a situation whenever it may happen.

The practice of Teshuva involves four elements, basically.
1) It involves regret, which is shame. There is a place for feeling shame. There is a power, a healing power involved when it’s done in the right way.
2) The confession of what a person did has a certain power as well, the confession to G-d and the confession to people we have wronged.
3) And there is the resolve to not do the thing again. This is something we address on Yom Kippur, when we get to a place where G-d testifies, so to speak, that we won’t do it again. That is the place we want to reach.
4) And finally, there’s changing our ways. We put ourselves in a different environment so we won’t be influenced in the same way and tempted to be caused to do whatever we did once again. We might change our lifestyle and work on things that will hopefully influence others as well, bring others to G-d. That’s a big part of Teshuva.

Teshuva involves different kinds of intentions and different levels of intentions, on a scale of higher to lower. Probably the highest level of intention is Teshuva from love, meaning a person doesn’t change his ways because he’s afraid of punishment, of hell (which is another level of Teshuva), but because he feels bad that he didn’t take advantage of his relationship with G-d. This type of Teshuva elicits results which are much higher, raising up the sins a person commits to become merits instead.

There’s Teshuva that comes from the intention of having responsibility for oneself, owing up, recognizing the seriousness of going off the path, and recognizing that Teshuva is really my own chance to make a difference.

There are decreasing levels in the timing of Teshuva, meaning we might realize immediately what we did wrong and do Teshuva immediately. But some people spend their whole lives doing Teshuva; every day they think about what they did wrong and they go through those four steps, so they are constantly in Teshuva. That’s probably the highest level, in terms of timing.

When Teshuva is done with the same trial and tribulation that caused a person to go off the path in the first place it’s another high level of Teshuva. Also, it’s better to do Teshuva when young than when old.

Another level I’ve already mentioned is Teshuva done from fear of future suffering, and another is Teshuva done from the unbearable reality of present suffering, especially when one is old. Perhaps the lowest level is doing Teshuva right before passing away, due to the fear of what’s coming afterwards.

But all these levels of Teshuva are effective, 100% effective and acceptable.

There are many obstacles to doing Teshuva. One is when a person makes a choice to sin with this thought in mind, “I’ll sin now and do Teshuva afterwards.” Another is when a person separates themselves from helping out other people in the community, or disrespects people who are meant to be respected. There are also people who make fun of the commandments, and those who seek to get honor at the expense of others, gossip about them or suspect them. These are things that can keep a person from doing Teshuva, and they hold a person back.

Teshuva is something that needs to be done with an understanding that we should never give up, no matter how far they have fallen, no matter how deep the despair may be. We have to understand that we are in the place of a Baal Teshuva, a Master of Return, and even in the place a Perfect Righteous One cannot stand in such a place.

We’re meant to not remind a person who has done Teshuva that he or she was once a sinner. And Teshuva is something the entire Redemption will be dependent upon. That’s why all the prophets address themselves to having the nation come back to Teshuva.

So, that’s all pretty much the straightforward level of what Teshuva is all about.

In terms of a deeper level, Teshuva is a return to oneself. It’s a return to the essence of who you are. And it begins when a person realizes his life is somehow meaningless, or futile or just some form of personal exile. No matter how outwardly successful a person may seem to be, it’s all sort of a self-betrayal.

When you understand that you are living a contradiction and you see the absurdity of your world (a lot of great comedians make fun of us doing exactly that, and that’s why people love their jokes so much) you begin to realize that self-contradiction is wide-spread.

So when the Master of Return, the Baal Teshuva recognizes that and does something about it, they begin to reconnect to who they are and who they want to be. And their return is the return of a true master, a master of response, a Baal Teshuva, that’s the name given to them. And that type of person achieves unity of character, including their mind and their emotions and their actions unified with their eternal self, their G-dly self on the inside. That’s how they regain their self-integrity in the most beautiful and in the highest possible way.

In this way they open themselves up to what is probably the highest level of happiness that a human being can feel. And it’s why the happiest times of the year happen after Teshuva time, after the 10 days of Teshuva and then Yom Kippur, followed by Succot, the happiest time. It’s because you can regain your self-integrity, and regain yourself in the process.

We need tools to be able to get to that place, to figure out who you are, where you’ve been, what’s important to you, what you look like in the eyes of truth, the eyes of your future life and the eyes of your soul family, even your own eyes looking down and really seeing yourself. This is how we gain the perspective of authenticity, and focus on a higher level and what that level can be as you look at the essence of your life and turn it into something much, much higher, more YOU, more essential and more G-dly than ever before.

Ratzon Part 2



About a month ago I did Ratzon Part 1, on topics relating to the 3 weeks between Tammuz and Av. We talked about certain aspects of Ratzon, the essence of it, how nothing stands in its way, a little bit about how to achieve it, the fundamentals, how important it is, and some of the applications of it.

Now we’re going to consider Ratzon and the period of Elul, which is a whole different type of Ratzon.

I’ll be drawing in Rabbi Tsvi Meyer Zilberberg’s teachings as well as my own, and adding in teaching from various other sources, too. This is a little different version of what Ratzon is all about, focused on Elul Ratzon in particular.


The month of Elul is the month of Creation of the world. The actual day of Creation of the world happens on the 25th of Elul, according to the Kabbalists. At that time the six days of Creation occurred, right up to Rosh Hashanah, when Adam is said to have been created.

Everything that comes before those final days of Elul is a time that went up into the will or Ratzon of G-d to create the world, meaning that time itself visited the will of G-d. Therefore, the month itself is very connected to the desire for Creation. It’s the wanting, the Ratzon, and it’s in the air. Ratzon is the time zone we can plug into.

Let me step back for a moment, to a time before Creation. There was the primal or primary creation of all of existence, called the constriction or Tzim-Tzum. This principle is also based on Ratzon, and it went up into the will of G-d, who then moved his presence from a certain place in order to make room for the the world. What was left was his omnipresence, a void, and nature abhors a void, and that void is essentially the Ratzon desire.

Ratzon means something is missing, so there’s a void. And it’s that void pushing us, driving us to fill it up. This is a primal feature of Creation – the void and the filling-up of the void corresponds to the male/female principle as well, but in this context we’re discussing, it corresponds to desire, to Ratzon.

That’s what’s opening up to us this month of Elul, which is a very interesting time. Relative to the New Year, it’s the last month of the old Jewish year, and it parallels the end of the previous week and the coming into the new week. The very last thing we do in the last hour of Shabbat is called the Third Meal, or in Kabbalistic terms it’s called the Will of Wills time. We go up, we elevate to the highest Sephirotic time of Ratzon. And that new week is pregnant with the new week that’s coming into being.

We have the power to determine what that new week will be. We take root of Shabbat, which is the root or the source of everything that will come in the new week, and it’s drawn in there along with sort of a bittersweetness. It’s sort of melancholy because we feel Shabbat at its highest and we feel the new week coming in, and we lose our elevated state. We feel the transition, the contrast, as we feel the transition to the new week.

That’s what we feel during Elul, too, the old year fading out and making way for a new year. That opens up our Ratzon because we feel that contrast, that transition into something new. That opens up our Ratzon, or the higher-level filling-up of our calling, our mission in this life. It’s when we plug in and get the clear messages we are meant to receive at that time.

So, Elul is the Third Meal, or the end of Shabbat for the year, going into the new year.


In addition, the month of Elul… look at all the portions in the Torah we read during Elul. We see that Moses is doing a review in all of them. Moses is reviewing all the episodes the Jews experienced in their stay in the desert. And his review corresponds to what we are meant to be doing. We are meant to be reviewing our year and all the highlights of our year, sort of an inventory of what we did right and wrong, and what we need and want to do.

So, in that sense, Elul is primed for Ratzon. And, as we know, there were three times Moses went up to the mountain for a 40-day period of no eating, drinking or sleeping. During the last of those 40-day periods began the month of Elul, and lasted until Yom Kippur, the day Moses received forgiveness for the Golden Calf. Yom Kippur is the day of forgiveness, the day of atonement. So, those are days of forgiveness and compassion. They are days of G-d finding Ratzon or desire in us, thereby opening up a way for us to find desire in G-d as well.

There are a number of verses that characterize Elul. Maybe the most important one is Ani l’Dodi l’Dodi Li, “I am my beloved and my beloved is to me.” It’s a verse from King Solomon and it’s about the mutual love affair between us and G-d. It’s the acronym for the month of Elul, the time when we connect-up with G-d, during those days. That verse reminds us that Elul is the time when we can synchronize our will with G-d’s will.

There are verses about longing, “my soul is thirsty for you,” and “G-d is my shepherd, I shall not want,” a Psalm we say at the end of Shabbat. It’s appropriate for Elul as well.
We also say the verses including the 13 characteristics of compassion that we say during the entire month of Elul, especially during the slichot period, which is when G-d told Moses to say the 13 characteristics of compassion and your prayers will be answered.

This opens up Elul Ratzon as well.

Elul is a time of higher-level wantings, a time of getting to the core of what we’re here for, what we want to do. And it’s a preparation period for the new year when we go into Rosh Hashanah. Our Sages say, “Take with you words, take with you a plan and a path, if you want things to happen in your year. That’s what we should bring with us from Elul into the new year.

Elul is a blessed time when we can get clarity on who we are, what we are, what we’ve done right and wrong, what we want to change and what we want to become, going into our new year. So, this is Elul Ratzon. That’s what it’s all about.


How do we get to the essence of Ratzon? The first thing we have to do is yearn, basically. Ratzon is all about desire, all about wanting. It’s about making simple lists of yearnings and praying for it. And we need to understand that, like anything else, we are the last of the generations, the weakest in many ways, the most burnt-out in many ways.

But because of that, because it’s so difficult for us and because we suffer so much, every little, tiny baby step we take moves worlds. Each step is more important than major steps taken in previous generations. So, wanting, and plugging into Ratzon is very, very important. Because Ratzon is so important, there is a huge, evil impulse to not do it, to forget about it, to play it down. Most people can remember the experience of Elul as being distracted, being full of distractions to do anything but want.

The Yetzer Hara will let you do anything but desire and have clarity about who you are and where you want to go in your life. It will give you anything, even to be a righteous person for G-d, but it won’t let you figure out what you want in this life because that’s where the “big money” is, what the real Elul is all about. We have to understand what we’re fighting and what we’re up against.

And we need to make a list, gathering together our greatest highlights were, what our greatest desires will be, and where we are right now, between the two, the past and the future. We have to know where we’re holding in the present, and try to get the essence of what we’re meant to be and who we’re meant to be. We want to project that into the future, and create a graduation speech announcing the end of the upcoming year as we envision it.

And then we set ourselves on the path to achieve it, and we go with our essential Ratzon, our essential core motivation of who we are. The closer we get, the simpler, the more concise, the more laser-like our Ratzon, the more powerful it is. We can break through everything and open up all closed doors.

Don’t forget to take the highlights of your life and study them, analyze them, get to your essential Ratzon of who you are. See your whole life as a sacred text that’s going to open up and inform you of everything you need to do. And then set your sights on what you want to have.

It’s the Jewish secret, like the Law of Attraction, only Jewish. We understand that we’re not using G-d as our genie in a bottle, but we’re doing it FOR G-d and to connect to G-d. That’s the Jewish secret. When you do it in that way, G-d’s on your side with you. When you’re going it for G-d then things are going to happen for you. That’s the Ratzon of Elul.

Kabbalistic Healing – Part 2 – Unblocking Healing Strategies

Paradise Principle Kabbalistic HealingContinuing from last week’s teaching, and last week did the first four, so this week I begin with #5.

5. Seeing With The Eyes of G-d Healing [“…..Lecha Hashem hagedula vhagevura/yours Hashem is the greatness and the might….”]

See the challenge that you or others are going through as being one that is only problematic when you see it from the narrow perspective of the present, but just Hashem represents past, present and future all at the same time [He Was , Is and Will be]—so too when seeing with the eyes of G-d….whatever problem you or others face, there’s a past history to it that makes it understandable and even elicits empathy and compassion….and when you add to that the ultimate future rectification, healing and perfection that you or they are destined for—and you bring that into the here and now, then whatever problem exists now melts away…

This type of healing is based on the timelessness of the Divine. Timeless means that there is no beginning or end, no past, present or future, or that all of these exist at one time. The very name, the proper 4-letter Hebrew name of G-d is expanded to mean the past, present and future, “whatever He will be, He will be,” past, present and future, in other words.
This perspective, which we’re seeing in a G-dly way, and which is one of the most potent ways for us to connect with G-d. It is basically our key to drawing down what is called “The Hidden Light” or the Ohr Ganuz, which is expanded seeing, meaning our words, and our vision from one end to another, such as one end of our life to the other, from one end of Torah to the other and from one end of history to the other, etc.

That hidden light is the past, present and future as well, and seeing with the eyes of G-d in this way is what all of humanity will eventually step into. And the most potent aspect of the healing comes when we’re able to project and to radiate into the mind of the person we’re seeing in this way, that they are headed towards perfection, towards empowerment.
They are on a road of constant improvement, even with its twists and turns, but for a person to know that no matter how many left turns and bumps in the road there may be, the journey is cumulative. They are building their life in this way.

This is the most healing message a person can hear, connecting them with their future but also with their past as well. Their past has all been a preparation for where they are now.
When you frame a person’s life in that way you give them incredible courage and encouragement to keep on doing what they’re doing and not to feel afraid because G-d is leading them in the way they need to go.

That’s Garden of Eden perception and encouragement as well.

6. HELPLESS LIBERATION HEALING [“….Hoshiainu V’nivasheia/save us and we will be saved….”]

Express to Hashem all of the efforts that you have made to overcome a certain problem….keep going until you find that you’ve done everything you could and the problem is still there….at this point , experience your helplessness and in a very emotional way, scream out to Hashem, ‘I can’t do it anymore, Hashem—please do it for me’….follow up your session by processing how you feel now [usually realizing and giving over to Hashem your helplessness is a very healing and liberating feeling] and how this exercise affects your life Providentially [I’ve found that prayers are answered doing this, more than any other practice] as well is the effect it has on you long term [I’ve found that even the most insensitive and cold people become soft-hearted and loving doing this consistently over a period of time]…

For over a year and a half I had three on-going groups, probably at least ten years ago, of “helpless liberation healers,” sometimes called, “helpless emotional screamers,” among other names, and we all used this tool.

We elaborated in an emotional way, to G-d, that we are helpless. And the emotion is there because it’s the emotion that kicks it up to a whole different level. When you’re talking emotion you’re talking from your heart, and when you’re talking from your heart you’re talking about what you’re really here for, what you really feel.

You can bypass the rationalizations and justifications, the repressions and inner protective mechanisms that block us from truly feeling what’s going on inside us. So that’s why it needs to be emotional.

And when we got to that place of helplessness we knew there was no more therapeutic healing, releasing, heart-rendering-melting place. The feeling of “I’m helpless and I’m giving it to G-d who is going to help me…” getting to that place of helplessness is the source of this healing.

First of all, healing is flow. And allowing your helplessness to consciously come to the surface of your awareness is re-instating flow that’s been repressed, because of your helplessness.

Admitting your helplessness, submitting yourself and saying, “I can’t do it, G-d, please do it for me,” is the way to be released. The message you’re sending to G-d by saying and really meaning this in an emotional way is the essence of what prayer is all about, the essence of what G-d is all about.

Why do we pray? We pray to find out where we are, to say, “G-d, please do this for me,” but when we get to this essential prayer place of asking for help, like we would ask a friend, that is bringing G-d into our lives in perhaps the most potent way possible.

When we do that we find our prayers being answered, we find our trust level goes ‘way up, we see miracles happening in our lives, we see our hearts opening up, and we are more sensitive and responsive to others who are in need of help, as well as ourselves. And like everything else in spirituality, we see that it perpetrates more of the same.

7. LOWER SOUL INTEGRATION HEALING [“…..Bkhol levavecha/with all of your hearts…..”]

Connect with that part of yourself that you normally tend to repress —the ‘shadow’ part—the part that tends to sabotage your efforts, the more that you try to repress it—the part of you that is usually looking to be ‘done’ with responsibilities and to have fun [and a host of other questionable traits—not including those of the yaitzer hara\ the evil inclination driving you to go against Hashem—that’s not part of this approach] …..rather than continuing to repress it, integrate it…do this in any one of several ways—make a deal with it—win win—you give it it’s free reign as long as it does you no damage, or you replace it’s fallen traits from being destructive, to being helpful and empowering…..notice how the more that you positively integrate this lower part of yourself, the more energized and peaceful do you feel……

We all have many non-flattering parts of ourselves, and we repress them. These parts of ourselves that are repressed can come back to haunt us and sabotage us, at times and in places where they are not flattering. They rear their ugly heads and make us think and feel and say and do things that are NOT what we want to do.

As long as we hide and repress these parts, that’s exactly what will happen to us. The healing here is to liberate the non-flattering parts of ourselves by first identifying them, by admitting that there’s an ugly, dark, shadowy part of me that wants to be lazy, that wants to have fun at the wrong times, that wants to be a kid, that wants to do things that are not necessarily against G-d’s will for us, but definitely things we need to take care of.

That’s what we’re here for in this life, to take care of unfinished business. These parts are the expression of unfinished business from previous incarnations and whatever other sources, but we need to take care of them.

The best way to deal with an unflattering partner, which these parts are, is to talk it out, to make a deal, and make a win-win. It’s a negotiation, such as, “I will give you your expression of laziness if you will allow me my sense of accomplishment.” “I will give you your expression of interest in having fun if you will allow me my sense of being responsible.” Make it clear. Bring it out.

When we do that we not only liberate our lower parts but our entire self. When we do this we serve G-d, as our Sages say, “with all of our hearts.” We use our higher parts and our lower parts, and we are a complete person in that sense.

8. PERFECT AS IS HEALING [“…Ain ra yoreid min haShamayim/Evil doesn’t come from G-d”]

Repeat the phrase, ‘Perfect as is’ every 15 to 20 seconds repeatedly…..Allow your mind to wrap itself around all the imperfections and difficulties in your life….Sweeten all of these thoughts by accepting that they are personally sent to you from ABOVE by Hashem [and therefore have no intrinsic negativity] at this particular time , place and manner—because Hashem feels that it’s the best possible thing for you… that Hashem has guided you and helped you overcome similar challenges in the past—so too now…..
This is the ultimate tool for transcendent living, for equanimity, for having a life which is going to allow you to embrace everything that happens to you and to have peace of mind.

Perfect as is means, when you say it every 15 seconds or so, feels as though everything in my own life, no matter how unflattering, is exactly what Hashem is sending to me. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

Even if I made a bad decision, with all the circuitry that’s been lit up here and all the decision-making processes and factors, and what happens in our day-to-day processing of living, we are saying, “this is exactly what is designated for me from Above.”
I accept that it’s perfect as is, it’s what I need to go through right now. Then I embrace life, I jump out of bed in the morning and have compassion upon every other person in the world who is flawed, like myself.

I am able to embrace the flaws and my little, tiny baby-step accomplishments. This is the key to transcendence. It’s the key to being able to say that whatever comes along it’s my life, as is. Of course I’m improving and G-d is helping me improve, but I am going to face the music of everything that is going on in my life as G-d – sent. When you see everything as G-d – sent then you are sweetening it ad infinitum.

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