Daily Archives: August 4, 2017

The fire for good things and the fire for foolish or evil counteract, as does the coldness of good and the coldness for bad

For The Kids – Veschanan


This week’s Parsha (Torah portion) has in it the Ten-Commandments.

Imagine the scene – in fact your Neshomoh (soul) was there, as it says, the soul of every Jew who would ever be born came.

G-d himself began to speak!

But there is a deep lesson.

You see, we often make a mistake.

We think if G-d would speak, maybe he would have a deep voice.

But in fact every singe Jew said “G-d spoke directly to me!”

Just like one computer can have many people using it (this is called “a network” so you have different screens and keyboards, but one harddrive; but a computer is so quick, it can do all the thinking for every single program at the same time!) so too, Hashem spoke the same words to each person!

An older person heard it like in an older way, and a younger person, in a younger way.

This teaches us that Hashem is everyone’s!

Meditations and Advice From The Baal Shem Tov – Installment 4



The spiritual dynamic of Shabbos is that the Source gets revealed and the Source’s Offspring, naturally desire it.


In other words, Shabbos is a holy-day, for in it is revealed a primordial light, which is God, the Holy of Holies – and He shines on all the Creations.


For we exist in two states – in a spiritual state, our existence is as we are perceived in the primordial thought (a single thought which predicted all) and it is this thought which is the true life-force.


However, when it came time to physically create, through the chain of descent (from the spiritual to the physical) the spiritual source remained above and only a minute actual life-force (which could be small enough that it could permeate and create a small physical) was extruded.


After all was created, on this sixth day, as things could not continue with the minute life-force, so God then took from his spiritual encompassing life-force and permeated all that existed.


However the main recipient of his light, was man; that objective of creation.


And this is the explanation of the Medrash, “What was the world missing? Menuchah.”  This means God, who is called Menuchah; “Shabbos came, Menuchah came;” In other words, the new encompassing light.


Now as a result of this light – just as a child busy with little toys, nonetheless discards his small pleasures and runs to his father, for he knows that this is his Source; similarly, on Shabbos we are attracted to Source.


And this is the desire of God (like the father loves to see their son’s love.)


And this is why God keeps man.


And this is the idea of Shabbos, which is a return to the Source; in other words, the Source radiates to his children and the children desire and take pleasure in the Source, and this is the unity of God.


And this is what it says in the holy Zohar, “the secret of Shabbos is that Shabbos unites in the oneness…”


This means that the creation (people) are generally called a cover to God; for God is one, but from the perspective of creation there is many (hence concealing the oneness).


However this is only due to the outer element, but based on their infinite source (in the thought of God) they truly are one – but when does this manifest – when they connect to their singular source.


In other words, when we desire God, in a singular over-encompassing desire (more than any other foolishness) and wish to unite with him, this connects God with his creations and becomes the reason for their continued existence.


And this connection is called a Bris (covenant) and hence Shabbos is called an eternal covenant, for then God and his Shechinah unite.


For God is called the hidden Godliness, and the Shechinah is the Godliness that resides in us, and the connection between the two is on Shabbos.


Hence on Shabbos, as it is a replay (of the original seven day cycle) it is the day in which God is reinspired, to reconnect and eternally give life.






What is the meaning of the prayer we say on Shabbos, “And spread your Sukkah of peace…” – we know the idea of a Sukkah is that it has Schach, which allows in the rays of starlight – in other words, depending on your vantage point, is how many stars you will see – similarly on Shabbos, when the primordial Divine-self rays into the soul (As the Zohar says, “Shabbos is the day of the soul, for souls in bodies” – especially sensitive ones – receive Divinity) and the main thing on Shabbos is to connect to this Divinity, through prayer and Torah study – yet simultaneously this experience is experienced based on the individual’s receptive sensory heart.





When one judges another, saying that they deserve a punishment for a wrong they have done, then in the heavenly court they check the “judges” deeds…   now it may be that the person did not do the same sin, however, we know there are sins that are comparable, for example, one who is arrogant is as if he has committed adultery; one who is angry, it is as if he worshiped an idol; and perhaps the judgers sin, is deemed worse and the punishment is then meted – however if one excuses the sinner by saying that “he has such a strong Yetzer Hara” (in other words, “The sinner is good, yet the evil in him got the better of him”) then a person is likewise forgiven.





Every thought comes from one of seven categories (as we know there are seven emotions and emotions cause thoughts: love, fear, beauty, victory, sensitivity, morality, humility) and in every emotion there is a positive and a negative (for example positive vs. negative loves, positive vs. negative fears, positive vs. negate victories etc.)


Whenever a thought from the negative side comes to you, you should tell yourself, “how low have I fallen?…” for there are different realms, the realm of negative emotions comes from the excrement vs. the realm of thought, where God resides (hence it is like taking God and putting him into excrement) by having this meditation, you destroy that emotive thought.


And then you should think, “if I can love this emotion (lust etc.) then how much more so must I love my dear beloved God” and this way you return yourself to the world of pristine thoughts.


Similarly when you consider yourself important and you ask God for your needs (for the two go hand in hand, for we consider our needs, as important as we consider ourselves) vs. when you consider yourself nothing, for then God can come to you.






I heard from the Baal Shem Tov a lesson in humility – that there was once a king who had two princes,  one he sent with great honor, pomp and ceremony to another country, and the other in shame – in order for him to learn the quality of humility – and the one who learned humility, conquered far more.


If one wishes to become humble, one should understand that the only existence that causes him to exist is the Divine energy (for example, you are made of atoms, atoms are energy and that energy as we know from both Kabbalah and science is merely popping in-and-out of existence based on Divine will) – for the entire purpose of our existence is to be a place for the Divine to reside.


One may think, why would the world be created for man, filled with (at times ) arrogance etc., when God has angels whose bodies are a third of the universe, and radiate a pure resplendent light (and as we know, a negative quality darkens the visage, so what is so amazing about a human???) the answer is from the example of a parrot (why do people love it when a parrot can speak? – though his words are sparse, high-pitched? Yet every human can speak so much infinitely better!?) for precisely the uniqueness of the humble person, is what arouses such heavenly delight!




All the resplendent magnificent light which shines in the heavenly realms actually comes from the soul on earth that does the tiniest of spiritual sacrifices, as it states in Kabbalah, “when man (below) has but the slightest sacrifice (say giving a little extra charity) then the splendor of God radiates in all the heavens.”





The Baal Shem Tov said, a person is called a Tzaddik when he receives pleasure in his spiritual service.





When we consider the words of God (say in Torah study, through prophecy etc.) One should bear in mind that this comes from the realm of Divine speech which is the source of every living thing – similarly, there is the Divine thought (behind the words) which is so much infinitely. even greater – this brings us to a humble appreciation.





Pain is invariably the bodily suffering (or perception of lack) however when we appreciate that the body actually is an offshoot of the spiritual force which creates both the body and the pain, thereby we nullify our attachment to the pain and bring in the positive force.





The reason some people are sadistic – for they don’t mind if you will kill them, as our sages state: a sadistic person is already dead (in other words, the reason a normal person fears death is because they love life, however someone who is both depressed but simultaneously arrogant, hence their ego cannot tolerate that there is anyone who has joy – this comes about due to the fact that unlike usual self-depression (shame) there is induced-shame; as such, not only is the person sad, they are also angry that someone (shamed them, for whereas if we shame ourselves we get depressed, but we don’t have an egotistical need for vengeance) but in the arrogant person, their ego drives them to sadism.)





Abraham told Sarah to “run knead three measures of flour” and she kneaded (or told her servants) to knead three of the finest flour – from here our sages deduce that a woman is cheap.


However the question stands out – if Abraham told her to take regular flour and she gave the finest, it would seem the opposite?


The answer, gave the Baal Shem Tov from a lion who told his cubs that “we are the strongest creatures” – so in their confidence they went to take over the world; in their journey they came across an abandoned castle and there they saw paintings, and one of them was of Shimshoin who was ripping a lion to shreds – so they hurriedly told their father – “but father we saw that man is stronger” – “No this is proof that lions are, for if they are hanging up a picture, this means it was a rare occurrence.”





“Dear Father in Heaven, we are not the soldiers of the evil satan, called Nega which stands for the fallen strong (angels) Amelekites – No, we are soldiers of your glorious Shechinah, and we pass before you like true angels, we the soldiers of the house of David, the children of Yitzchok who was bound selflessly on an altar – remember his children in mercy – and as it states: “each man traveled according to his flag, each tribe to its fathers house;” so we are imprinted (the Bris) under the wings of your Mitzvah – please see to whom we belong!”





When we are praying and understand what we are saying, we connect the realm of speech to the realm of Divine thought.



One should be extraordinarily scrupulous in learning (without the explanation) the laws of Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish law.)



Furthermore we must teach this to our children, for without knowing the laws, the Torah gets forgotten – and certainly adults must learn.





The Maggid related that when he heard the great name of the Baal Shem Tov, whose fame was spreading far as a miracle worker – now the Maagid was extraordinarily knowledgeable in all sections of the Torah and especially so in the Kabbalistic, but being extraordinarily studious, his time was most precious to him – so he set out on the journey – and he came to the Baal Shem Tov; the Baal Shem Tov told him silly fables (in truth they have very profound lessons, though he was not aware) how once he was driving and he didn’t have food for his non-Jewish wagon driver and then a gentile came and he bought food from him and another time he didn’t have food for the horse etc. – so the Maagid realized he is wasting his time, so he went to his inn and told the wagon driver that “I would have liked to go back tonight but it is very dark, but tomorrow morning we travel” – now the Baal Shem Tov called him to come visit him and the Maggid came – the Baal Shem Tov said, “I hear that you are versed in Kabbalah” so he said he was – he then brought a book of Eitz Chayim and asked him to explain a chapter, which he did; so the Baal Shem Tov said, “You don’t understand,” so he reread it, and had the same understanding; so he said, “If the master has a different explanation please tell me and I will see.” So the Baal Shem Tov told him, “Stand” which he did; then – in this chapter there were names of angels – and when the Baal Shem Tov said the chapter, the actual angels appeared, a fire surrounded his home, and when he concluded he told the Maagid, “You did understand, but you didn’t say it with passion” – so the Maagid remained and he learned extraordinarily deep secrets.





The Baal Shem Tov explains, that to learn Lishmah (altruistically) means to learn, to connect to the Divinity – the awesome Divine life-force – within the holy letters.





Everything in truth is Divinely orchestrated, however when you don’t believe this, you fall under the forces of darkness that conceal.


When Moshiach comes and the forces of darkness are removed, hence concealment of truth is – we will see how everything is one hundred percent Divinely orchestrated.





When we think about how low we are, this is called concealment.


When we think about God’s tremendous kindness to us (which we can only appreciate by first contemplating how low we are, otherwise we believe we are deserving, hence it isn’t kindness) and to everyone; then this is called joy.





A person who needs charity should bear in mind that they are giving another the opportunity to save their lives (as it states “Charity saves from death”) hence by having this intention, hence by taking money, they are doing a great Mitzvah.


Someone who does so with the proper intention; hence should only take from worthy Jews and not run to anyone.


This completed the Holy Book Kesser Shem Tov


Now we are translating the additional sayings of the Baal Shem Tov that have been handed down to us through the holy lips of the Lubavitcher Rebbes





This Teaching Was Told To The Rebbe Rashab While He Visited The Graveside of His Father The Rebbe Maharash


The verse states, “It will be when you come to the Aretz / Land”


The Medrash teaches: Why is Israel called Aretz? because it is rotz, runs to do the will of her father in heaven.


In addition the words, Aretz means desire (in other words, she desires to do the will of her father in Heaven.)


“It will be, when you come to the land” – in other words, when you will arrive at God’s intent (for you) – “that God your Lord gives you as inheritance” – for this is a present to every Jew; so the Avodah (mechanism) in this should be – “You should settle” – you should bring this intent into practical methods – “And you should take etc. and place it in the basket” – you should take the light (inspiration) and put it into containers (actions) – “and you should go to the place” – this is the idea of Divine ordinance – “that God your Lord will choose” – for wherever a Jew goes, this is not circumstantial rather Divinely ordained. And the purpose of going somewhere is – “to spread his name there” – to spread the knowledge of God.


“When you will come” – in order to perceive the Divine intent in your life, this is through – “to spread his name there” – to have sacrifice in spreading Godliness. And how does one have sacrifice? – this is through saying a blessing or a verse in Tehhilim (as the Rebbe Rashab explains, on earth people marvel at wisdom, but in heaven, in simply saying the holy letters.)





The radiance of God is far more by the simple Jews (who sincerely do God’s will) then in the Jewish scholars (for the former have an unquenchable thirst, while the latter quench their thirst in the understanding of Torah.)





The entire Torah is names of God. In Sefer Yetzirah it says, three letters build six words. The word Tzohar (made of three Hebrew letters) has six combinations – five revealed and one concealed. “To run,” “Difficulty,” “Desire,” “Light” – The lesson is, “through running to do a Mitzvah we transform a difficulty into a new desire that God has, to bestow light” and it becomes joyous. The Baal Shem Tov said, if we knew the power in the combination of the letters of the Torah (for together they form Divine names which are positive energy systems) there wouldn’t be a single Jew who would not know all of Chumash and Tehillim by-heart.





The Baal Shem Tov said to the Jewish leaders (Rabbis/ teachers of the Jewish people) “you set aside your own Torah study and service for the benefit of the public (teaching) so what will be of you?” – but your personal growth will be merged into and rise with the communal!





“In the Beginning God Created Heaven and Earth”


The Baal Shem Tov Explains: The Beginning of our Service is To Reveal God, and this is through understanding the miracle of the creation, both of heaven and of earth.





The beginning of our service is to elevate the entire world, especially the human, to the level that God is your Lord – in other words, to develop a personal relationship.





Shabbos Breishis


The Baal Shem Tov says, the Divine light that comes into Shabbos Breishis, is what gives energy to our entire Divine service.





The Medrash explains, what does it mean “It was evening it was morning” – evening refers to the deeds of the wicked, and morning, the deeds of the righteous; and I don’t know which ones God desires, thus when the Torah says and God saw the light was good, we know.


How could there even be such a question?


Answers the Baal Shem Tov, one appreciates light only after darkness; a wise person only in contrast to a fool; and similarly, a righteous person only in contrast to a wicked; so I may think that all is part of God’s will…





“Make a Tzohar light in the Teivah, Ark” – The Baal Shem Tov taught, the ark are the words of Torah and prayer; and light is saying them with warmth and heartfulness.





When we pray with absolute vitality which shows our heartfelt desire, this transforms negatives to positives.





When negatives are upon us and this arouses us to Teshuvah, to transform our lives; this transforms negatives.





From the Previous Rebbe:


Everyone is familiar with the Torah teaching that the Baal Shem Tov says on the Passuk (verse) “Come to the Ark” – that the Baal Shem Tov says, that a soul comes into this world and the person becomes preoccupied with making a living through labor; as we know the Baal Shem Tov believed, better to be a skilled laborer than a businessperson – so a person can get consumed – so the solution is to “Come to the ark,” to attach oneself to the words of prayer that one says, and the words of Torah that one learns, and in merit of the connection to these holy letters of prayer and Torah, the Baal Shem Tov predicts, you will be helped in all you need –


This connection to the spirituality of the letters, according to the Baal Shem Tov, is one of the highest spiritual connections.


Connection is the master-key and everyone can do it.


The Baal Shem Tov says, that the true simple faith exhibited by a Jewish man or woman saying Tehhilim, is the highest level of connection.


The soul is on par with everyone; but a scholar, his connection opens up a new vista of wisdom; however by a simple Jew who cannot understand what they’re saying, the words creates the same levels of salvations (in other words, when it comes to connection and salvation, all are equal.)





“Now I see you are a beautiful lady.”


Did Avrohom not see his wife before? (this was said upon entering into Egypt where he requested her to please hide (so the Egyptian’s wouldn’t kill him.))


The Baal Shem Tov explains that Avrohom’s thought process was continuously connected above, hence he didn’t see what is eyes were looking at (perhaps didn’t think about.)


However as he approached Egypt, a debased and low country, the thoughts of this world began to effect.





G-d did Jacob (in contrast to what Abraham had to do) a favor, namely, he folded Israel into one mat, so his one night on Mount Moraih (where he had the famous dream) enabled him to elevate all of its holy sparks.





The Baal Shem Tov teaches there is a fourth realm – we know there is the realm of holiness, the realm of Kelipahs Noga and the realm of Shalosh Kelipos Hatma-ois (Holiness, translucent dankness, and congealed darkness.)


In truth, though it is not mentioned in Eitz Chayim (a Kabbalistic work) the Baal Shem Tov says that the realm of Holiness is such that it perceived the extraordinary benefit of the Divine light, hence is both excited and humbled by the experience and due to the humility, it shines forward – however in Kelipah, as there is the ego which sets an expectation, hence there is lack of joy (for you don’t feel happy with what you believe is coming/owed to you) hence they are in a constant state of desire.






Why did Lavan chase after Jacob? – for there were a few letters of the Torah that Jacob had not refined (birur) hence Lavan chased him, and from this, an extra portion of the Torah was added.





“And the fear of God was on the city (fear in this context the Torah writes as Chitas)


The Baal Shem Tov said, whoever knows all the letters of Chumash Tehhilim and Tanya (Chitas’s acronym) has nothing to fear.





The Rebbe told us what he heard from the Rebbe, the Baal Shem Tov:


“Had we not tarried, we could have returned twice” (this is what Judah said to Jacob.)


Returned twice are two types of Teshuvah (returning to G-d.)


  1. A general return to G-d on Rosh Hashanah – accepting him as your king.


  1. A specific returning on Yom Kippur, to specify each sin and to cleanse oneself.


These two returns are dependent on the Cheshboin Hanefesh (soul-account) that one does during the month of Elul.


In other words, based on your service in Elul is how your Teshuvah during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will be.


However Elul is a general preparation, but the specific preparation for Rosh Hashanah is during Selichois when we say, “To you God is mercy and we are ashamed” – in other words, where we specifically supplicate.


And the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the specific preparation for Yom Kippur.





The Rebbe the Mezritcheh Maagid told me a Torah which he heard from the Baal Shem Tov:


“And the angel of G-d appeared to him – a flame of fire amidst the burning thorn-bush – behold the thorn-bush was burning but it was not consumed – said Moses ‘Let me turn aside and see this amazing site.’”


The Targum (Aramaic translator) translates “And the angel of Hashem revealed to Mosess in the flame in the thorn-bush.”


The idea of revelation is that it appears to each person based on their particular capacity (of understanding.)


A revelation means that even a person of limited capacity can still benefit (for revelation comes from God who is not limited.)


It is for this reason translating the verse, “And God descended on Mount Sinai” (the great revelation, the Targum translates) “and God revealed himself on Mount Sinai.”


For in the revelation of Sinai (as the Medrash tells us, each person said, “The voice is speaking directly to me”) it had a simultaneous effect on the highest to the lowest.


Rashi comments on the revelation of the angel in the flame of fire, as “In the heart (of fire”)


In other words, where does God reveal himself? in the heart that has a passion – the sincere heart.


The reason for the lowly thorn-bush, is because as Rashi says, it represents that God is with those in stress (Tzarah).


This world is called a distressed world, as opposed to the bright higher worlds; for in those worlds, the clear translucent Divine energy radiates; though in this world it is concealed through the cloak of nature (whose habituation creates the appearance of a lack of Divinity.)


It is our job, through passionate Torah and Mitzvahs, to light up this world.


It states, “Man is like the tree of the field,” this refers to the sages; but there is another “tree” the thorn-bush.


Both have (or are referred to as) fire.


However there is a difference, for the scholars being able to satisfy their hunger, in the intellectual pursuits, are not like a burning flame. However, the simple pious Jew who prays and says Tehhilim, not understanding the words, his fire for God is ever present.


So Moses said, “Let me turn aside and see this amazing site”; In other words, understanding the great site, that the true everlasting flame for God, is in the heart of the simple pious person, he decided to turn aside from where he was, to where he should be.


Now obviously a Tzaddik like Moses was all good, however he realized that one must continually ascend.


The Friediker Rebbe explains this: it means that one must realize, that today must be far better than yesterday and likewise the morrow.





What was the amazing site? – that on one hand the thornbush was engulfed in flames yet it wasn’t burning, on the other hand, though it was burning (smoke rising etc.) it wasn’t being consumed.





“For a Peshah, for an ox, a donkey, a sheep, an article of clothing, anything that is lost…”


The Baal Shem Tov explains Peshah to stand for Prikois Shel Oil “doing whatever you want” (as opposed to doing the heavenly will.)


For everything there is (let’s call it) frivolity.


Seemingly, how is it that a Jew could be frivolous? – his body was born in purity through a kosher Mikvah.


The fact that the 40 sah (quantity in the Mikvah) makes one pure is absolute and this is in fact what creates Kabalas Oil (accepting the heavenly will.) – We know angels warm themselves up by the steam rising from the Mikvah, and when the soul comes into the body at conception, angels escort it – so how does a soul end up frivolous.


The answer is for an ox – an ox is the Yetzer Hara (whose source is in the celestial ox) for a donkey – a donkey is cold – it cools off the spiritual passion; for a sheep – a sheep wanders, this refers to the fact that instead of being focused, the person spreads himself everywhere, hence he wants everything; he feels he needs it all; for a garment – this refers to what a person thinks, speaks and acts upon/in; anything that is lost – through this a person loses everything! and doesn’t know who they are..!






The Baal Shem Tov taught on the Verse:


“When you will see the donkey…” – when you will truly look at the desires of your body, you will see – “your enemy…” – for it hates the soul that has spiritual yearnings and strivings – furthermore you will see – “that it is burdened under its luggage…” – instead of doing happily that which God requests, it is lazy and stubborn – so you may think – “I will not help it….” – that I need to whip the donkey; in other words, be harsh (to my body);   This is not the way for the light of the Torah to penetrate, rather – “you should surely assist it…” – you should refine it, encourage it, but not break, pain it (this is an amazing teaching, for the Baal Shem Tov set aside the notion that people should perhaps not care about the body, rather he said, you should use your body in good health and happiness.)





“Do not hate your brother in your heart – you should surely rebuke him and do not consider him to have sinned.”


The Baal Shem Tov teaches:


Do not hate your brother in your heart.


Anyone who hates a fellow Jew, even just in their heart – not that he actually G-d-forbid does anything wrong or says something bad about him – but he just resents him – such a person transgresses a Biblical prohibition.


So how can one ensure not to transgress, so “you should surely rebuke him” – you should go to the person that you know hates you – now his hate must have a cause – and the cause his surely something related to your conduct. He probably saw things that he considers according to the Torah, one shouldn’t behave as such – therefore the solution is to go to him and prove that your way and method is correct.


“And do not consider him to have sinned.” So if you may query, why should I have to do this? – This is out of brotherly love and this is the meaning of “and do not consider him to have sinned”; your love for him should cause that you do not allow him to have the sin (of hatred.) However as you will show him how your manner and method is according to the Torah, you will remove from him the sin of hating.


However as you are doing such a great mitzvah you may say perhaps a harsh word; hence Rashi says on the words, “And do not consider him to have sinned,” you may never shame a person!






The Alter Rebbe quoted from the Maggid who said in the name of the Baal Shem Tov,

Loving a Jew, is in fact the explanation of loving God.


For within the Jew is a Divine soul.





The Baal Shem Tov said: every positive command has a prohibition (for example eating kosher has, not eating not-kosher) the Mitzvah of loving your fellow Jew has a corresponding prohibition to never hold any grudges.





The festivals are “holy days” – in other words, in these days we draw down an awesome holiness – however they depend on, to what extent we prepare (spiritually.)





When we truly sit in the Sukkah for seven days (meaning, use the Sukkah as much as we should – for the law is to do as many activities as possible, besides eating and drinking there) then we draw the supernal light within (us.)





“And The Land Will Rest”


Explains the Baal Shem Tov – this means that we rest our desires.






Through Torah a person can draw down heaven or (if allowed to egotistically intermingle) hell.




The Jewish people are compared to the land – just as the earth’s crust contains natural minerals and metals (the Baal Shem Tov writing this app. three hundred years ago made a true prediction) which most have yet to be explored and mined – but most importantly, the benefit of the earth’s crust is the wonderful dirt, which gives life to all – simultaneously, all tread the dirt while they need it.


This exact analogy is the Jewish people – for the Jewish people contain the deepest treasures, like the ground – true, sometimes it must be mined; but we see how Jews everywhere contribute socially, economically, spiritually to every land that they come to (and as the Baal Shem Tov says elsewhere, just as people tread on the dirt though they need it, countries in their stupid savagery that have expelled the Jews, found, for-example Spain, that their entire economies collapsed.)





The Baal Shem Tov teaches, that just as the Jews had 42 journeys (from place to place) until they reached Israel (starting in Egypt) in each of our lives, the leaving of Egypt is birth, then there are 42 journeys (ups and downs etc.) until we return to the higher life.





The three cities of refuge refer to the three faculties of thought, speech and action (namely, if you use them for the good.)





“Listen amongst your brothers, and offer justice.”


This literally refers to judges.


The council of the four lands came to test the Baal Shem Tov and he explained to them that in the study of Torah there are two types: 1. The Torah of the mind and 2. the Torah of the heart.


The mind understands, and the heart feels.


You – said the Baal Shem Tov – and the great Torah scholars, know the Torah as it has come as a wisdom; and I have come to reveal the Torah, as it comes also in the heart.


He then explained the verse to “listen amongst your brothers,” in three ways.


  1. “Listen amongst your brothers;” He who has a sensitivity and understands how great is God’s love to every Jew, that every Jew is so precious, such a Jew is amongst his brothers!


  1. “Listen amongst your brothers;” He who has a sensitivity, is between your brothers – he is connected with Jews, and feels a deep spiritual pleasure in, and from each and every Jew.



  1. “Listen amongst your brothers.” In order to achieve the above mentioned sensitivity – to appreciate and understand the greatness of every Jew – this is precisely when you are amongst your brothers – when one is interconnected with Jews; and every Jew, even the simplest to you, is considered your brother.




When the messengers saw that the Baal Shem Tov was very strong in his viewpoint, they asked him – seeing that the other schools of learning had hundreds, if not thousands of disciples; yet his had just sixty, so where did he derive his belief (in the continuation of his movement?)


He gave them an example:


There are two types of farmers – one sows many seeds over a vast quantity of land  – the other makes little mounds and every seed, treats like his own child – the former does reap a large bounty, but what he reaps, has worms and mold, and the seeds they produce likewise – whereas the latter, not only does his little harvest yield wonderful fruit, but their seeds as well.


34 / 35



All the different names of God, refer to God (though they also refer to, as God clothes himself in a particular attribute, so God of love, God of Judgment; while the famous name Havayeh refers to God beyond.)





The Baal Shem Tov suggests a., that one needs to be extraordinarily careful when studying Kabbalah, not to associate the Divine names to the limited attributes (see above) and b., therefore, the average person should not (study Kabbalah, as not understanding how much is allegory, mistakenly assumes imagery.)






Love has the same numerical equivalent to secret / stranger – when you reveal a person’s inner light (through seeing him in a positive light) this creates from a stranger, love.





The commandment to love (whether God or a fellow) is that one should deeply concentrate on those thoughts that inspire love (for one can be commanded to generate love, not feel.)





When a person dedicates their life to teaching others, this is what accompanies a person in the hereafter (both in Gan Eden and Tichias Hameisim).






“You are God’s children.” “These are the children of Abraham, Abraham gave birth to Isaac.”


But Abraham had also Yishmoel – however the true meaning of being a Jew, is that one receives a Divine soul.





God blesses personally the month of Tishrie, and it is with this power, the Jews bless all the following months.


This happens when we read the Torah portion (which we read before Rosh Hashanah) Atem Nitzavim.


The month of Tishrie is filled with numerous abundant blessings.





The truest darkness (as many live in) is that they think black is actually white (what is actually their detriment, their benefit.)





It is true God sustains evil (as freedom to choose between good and evil is necessary) however as God despises evil, this is like one who gives something that one is compelled to – with a perfunctory giving.





God is deeply upset by how much evil propagates, when instead it should be good/love.





The greater the mind, the lower it can explain – so the greatest mind can explain the deepest concepts even to a child.





Even if we are filled with Torah knowledge and with deep love and awe of God and this motivates us to give charity, we may be “murderers,” for if we give charity, but we do not feel the other person’s plight…





Just as a king who forcefully washes off the excrement that their baby excreted, similarly God’s punishments are love.





We literally are wherever we desire /are fantasizing (for in essence reality is not physical.)





The unlearned pious sincere Jews, whether businessmen or tradesmen, who pray and earn their livelihoods honestly, they give charity, and rejoice in donating to their synagogue, upon them is the verse, “Your nation are all righteous (Tzaddikim) they will inherit the earth/heaven/Moshiach” for they increase the love of God.





Trust in God is consonant with the knowledge that it’s God.





There are two necessary trusts – there is the trust that my livelihood is not the means I employ but the means only to catch God’s blessings.


And the trust that God will grant me the means.





The more ego, the less does God assist.





The Baal Shem Tov gives an awesome example for the mechanism of life, which is continued growth, from a winding stairwell.


So when you are at the bottom, you can see the next level; but as you start ascending, because the stairwell is circular, you actually are simultaneously closer to the next level, but you cannot see it.


This teaches us that, what you see, is the human comprehension; vs. what you don’t; the Divine advancement (this contains extraordinary profound secrets.)





In continuation of the example of the circular stairwell: this is similar to a dance in which people go in and out (a circle that people come close and separate) for in order to achieve the next level, one therefore must go away from the current.





Every Jew is called a seed, now in seeds there are those of vegetation, and those of trees (it seems the idea is, that as one of the Rebbes said, that due to the sacrifice for Chassidus that the older (earlier) Chassidim had, they implanted a deep love for God (as we know, traits become hereditary) within their children, hence when a descendant of one of these trees arrives – due to circumstance somewhere – his earnestness and certainly love and awe of Hashem become a source of wellspring.)





The Baal Shem Tov explains proper repentance, Teshuvah (attachment to the Divine source) is when we understand that the Divine is our source; (in other words, we are born into a perception of self-sufficiency, when we realize that our very soul is God, this is the ultimate return.)






The verse states, “You will be to me like a precious land, says God of hosts” – just as the wisest scientists will never permeate all the myriads of treasures the earth produces and stored in the mantle; for all is derived from the earth… simultaneously no-one can truly perceive the tremendous qualities lying sometimes latent in every Jew, called God’s “precious land” – the Baal Shem Tov concluded, – “I desire to harvest these qualities, as only God’s land can produce.”





“I place God before me constantly – from my right side he will never depart.”


God(‘s name) must be like a friend – just as when you shake your friend’s hand, so your right hand crosses, and then is perpendicular to his left hand (as you shake his right hand;) similarly, God’s holiness must effect your left (selfish narcissistic) side.





The Torah is complete – no one has taken anything from it (expropriated,) for the Torah restores (revives) the soul – when one approaches the study of Torah with pure faith and fear of God, then the light of the Torah revives one – it gives a tremendous appreciation for the greatness of God.


Therefore the Torah remains complete – no one has touched (in other words, it is an inexhaustible supply of Divine energy.)





Once the Baal Shem Tov (in his concealed days) was dressed as a simple Jewish peasant and he came into a synagogue, where there was a great scholar – he asked the scholar “how are you?”… “how are things?”… “how is your livelihood?”… but the arrogant scholar just ignored him, so the Baal Shem Tov said, “Why are you removing God’s sustenance?” – so the scholar was surprised and puzzled – so he replied, “God gives man sustenance; and He receives his sustenance (so to say) by our gratitude, thanks and appreciation.”


(The Baal Shem Tov would travel from city to city to simply ask Jews how they were – for in Jew’s praise of God, this arouses God’s greatest loving reciprocal joy.)





In every physical thing there is good and evil; the physicality of it is evil, and the Divine energy which is its source, is good.


So “we must turn away from evil,” in other words, not use the physical thing for its taste, or beauty, pleasure; and only seek to be sustained through the Divine energy (for when one makes a blessing, the Divine spark in the food, shoots into their soul.)


One must constantly seek to make peace / unity, between the physical object and the Divine life that causes it (in other words, by connecting to the spiritual part of food, for-example, a woman etc., we cause it’s own soul to shine.)





“Elokim (one name for God) rose through the sound of the Shofar – Havayeh with the sound of the Shofar.”


The Baal Shem Tov said – we rise to God through the name Elokim (from this world) and this causes that the name of Havayeh (God who transcends this world) permeates.





A person’s greatest lust has no comparison to the tremendous spiritual lust David felt.





What we Jews manifest in terms of Divine revelation (which we may not currently perceive but will be revealed when Moshiach comes) infinitely surpasses the revelation Jews felt in the Holy Temple (for the revelation of today is based on doing Mitzvos, not out of sensing God, rather out of submission – as we know tragically historically – with the ultimate sacrifice.)





Though there may be different spiritual levels (by different Jews) yet when it comes to “Amen Yehei Shimei Rabbah” we are all equal.





Every day Torah should seem as if it is, “Just Released.”





Every Jew’s greatness is that s/he is a spiritual warrior (battling their Yetzer Hara, so Divinity enters.)





It is far greater, not to know what is wrong, but how to do what is right.





However we go, we should walk directed by God.





Our soul which emanates from God has five levels: Yechida, Chaya, Neshomah, Ruach and Nefesh (Oneness (with God,) Life, Soul, Spirit, Life-force) The Lower three levels we apprehend (through realizing, “if I am alive, I must have a life-force, spirit, soul” – the higher two, we feel.





Every soul has a specific mission – a purpose – we must fulfill this purpose before the time allotted (is up).





When we say the beautiful songs of praise to God, composed by King David (Tehhilim) we shatter any negative.





Whoever says the whole book of Psalms, eliminates any negative (Divine) decree.





Three types of souls enter this world (Jewish): Those who come into the ocean of madness (our world) in a boat – so their upbringing has the protective element of Torah and Mitzvos – but there are those who have been born without any life-jackets and the waves of insanity constantly threaten to submerge their Divinity, and then there are lifeguards.