The most important thing – perhaps the only – is check the premise… – the only true premise – which ironically is obvious (as the statement: truth confirms itself) is that each and everyone of us, not only is one of God’s creations but has a personal – infinite – journey
The Baal Shem Tov’s Ethical Will.
Serve G-d: This is a euphemism for “Live-Life – with sincerity.”
Every day have a daily study – whether much or a bit – in Chassidus.
See to it that your behavior is kind, compassionate and never cruel, or G-d-forbid sadistic.
GOODNESS AND KINDNESS
See to it that every day you do some act of goodness and kindness – in fact, you should eagerly anticipate, perhaps G-d will arrange such a good happenstance.
See to it in your daily recital of the Shema, that you concentrate (on the translation / meaning of the words.)
Action (for men) – See to it that you go to Mikvah (daily) especially when you are in need.
See to it that you keep every single “minor” detail of the observance of our Holy-Shabbos.
(the numbers follow the book’s (Kesser Shem Tov) sequence)
- The famous letter the Baal Shem Tov wrote to his Brother-in-law.
I ascended into heaven on Rosh Hashanah 5507 and entered into the room of the Moshiach where he sits and teaches Torah to the seven Shepherds, and all the great Tzaddikim and saints, and I asked him, “When Will Our Master Arrive?” He replied, “When your Chassidic teachings will be spread.”
Every letter of prayer contains: spiritual worlds, souls and Divinity; and if you meditate to unite these three dimensions, then they unify, and your soul elevates with them.
To give you an idea of the great joy this causes in Heaven, imagine the joy of a marriage which is nothing compared to it.
Everyone must work based on their current standing (in other words, not imitate.)
The Baal Shem Tov said in the name of the Ramban – whenever we are not sure what to do; and seeing that any personal benefit (be it a pleasure, or our honor) skews our logic (so the mind presents fallacious rationalizations;) hence to begin with, you must imagine that this action will bring you neither pleasure nor honor… and then G-d will guide.
Everything in this world contains all potentials (it can be used for good or evil.)
Every generation has a spiritual-leader (in ours, the Rebbe.) He has the potential to elevate all the thoughts and speech spoken by the people of his generation (through judging it favorably.)
It is o.k. to lie to bring unity.
When God desires a person, first he places a deep love in their heart which arouses, inspires and motivates them – however, then he withdraws this love and it is only through effort that the person perseveres – however, eventually, through their perseverance they begin to derive personal growth, satisfaction and joy.
TORAH (FROM REBBE)
When one studies Torah from a Tzaddik, the words he studies (contain Divine energy/frequency) and they continually expand.
TORAH (FROM REBBE)
One must be careful whom they study from, for if their master (Rabbi) comes from the soul source of unity (Divine light) then they receive unity.
The Baal Shem Tov teaches that (as Rabbi Sadiah Goan says) Our main purpose in life is to rid ourselves of all negative (vile) character-traits (in other words, we are born with vile tendencies, say ego, which causes anger etc.)
(Introduction: the Baal Shem Tov often speaks about two states of mind: the expansive, open, thinking; and the closed, anxious, narrow) – When a person recognizes that they are in the closed state, this itself opens their mind.
As God is everything (for there is nothing, not directly being created currently) how can evil exist? – firstly, evil often becomes the motivator for Good; additionally, a person who sees evil can take pleasure (and pride) in that he is different.
When man thinks he is close to G-d, he is very far; when he thinks he is very far, he is actually very near!
A person who is humble (has no narcissism, ego, sense of grandeur) easily becomes one who fears (is close) to G-d.
We should always announce (when something negative occurs) “All that G-d does He does for the good!” (In fact, a higher level is to, as the Baal Shem Tov says elsewhere, to see the good in the bad, for then the bad turns to good.)
RATZU VSHUV (SPIRITUALITY/PRACTICALITY)
How boredom leads to Divine service… As we know, energy seeks to return to its source; hence the soul seeks to go to sublime Divine association; therefore when a person does nothing (or nothing meaningful) this causes a soul-longing.
The benefit of jokes – when a person is in the closed state (see # 25) hence by laughing, one elevates oneself.
All fears that come to man are actually God hugging – In other words, drawing the person close; for one must meditate, that “the purpose of this fear is that God desires Me” (which will eliminate the negative.)
The Baal Shem Tov teaches, that Teshuvah (repentance) is (for-example) – A person who told lies should stop; An argumentative person should act peacefully (and this simple principle of ceasing the negative behavior, which is a perfect repentance, applies to everything.)
BAD (TO GOOD) – DREAMS
We have the power to flip negative to positive – for-example if someone has a negative dream, by interpreting it in positive way…
THOUGHTS – BAD (TO GOOD)
All of our thoughts create universes – if our thoughts are positive, then the experiences that filter down (from these higher universes into our personal universe) will be.
We connect to God when we realize He is found in the holy letters of the Torah and Jewish prayer.
HASHGACHAH PRATIS (DIVINE SEQUENCE)
When Moshiach comes, we will see how each and every event in our life is designed.
The Baal Shem Tov asks, why did God have to hang Mount Sinia over the Jewish people (threatening them if they don’t accept the Torah he would crush them) as in any event they said, “we accept the Torah.” However the lesson is that, “Even when you’re not in the mood…”
A person who has passed personal challenges, is now able to help others.
There was once a king who was a magician, and so he invited people to have a relationship – a personal connection with him – but as one enters the palace grounds, there were millions of gold coins for the taking. Most people came and took some money – some came beyond the palace grounds to the interior, and there they found even greater riches, and so it was chamber after chamber… However the King’s son ignored all and went straight to the King.
In other words, in truth, God is everywhere.
If one is looking for pride, one should praise God; if one is looking to denigrate, one should do so to oneself; for praise recognizes God.
When one is negative we deny God.
Take no pride in the good you do (have done) – imagine, that it was God.
THOUGHTS (AVODAH (SELF-REFINEMENT))
Whenever you think about something, you are one hundred percent “THERE”.
We should analyze based on how much attraction physical pleasures attract us, to how much, should spiritual.
When we connect even in the slightest degree to God, we connect completely; and likewise the reverse.
One must have great pride in their Divine service.
BAD (TO GOOD)
Convert evil to good.
Even if you cannot perceive what purpose you serve, you must realize that your life has! – as it is directed by God.
A parable – there was a king who had three good friends – he pretended that he was upset with them and told each to take one of his dogs; gave them a stipend and told them to care for it. One took the money for the dog and made a beautiful crown to give to the king. The second fed the dog very meagerly; the third put all his effort into the dog – the king rewarded the first and rejected the third.
(It seems to me that the lesson is that the King gives the soul a body…)
One must understand, there is infinitely beyond…
AVODAH (SELF-REFINEMENT) – BAD (TO GOOD)
Our negative thinking and certainly speaking, causes there to be others that think and speak negatively against us – however if we use our thoughts and words for prayer and Torah study and we pray for our enemies, then their evil dissipates.
We are always wrong, if we are demeaning.
The most important prayer (outside of Israel,) the understanding that G-d is everything.
Believe that as you request of God, you are immediately answered.
If you wonder – “but sometimes what I prayed for was not helped” – all prayers work, though some cosmically, for in actual fact, it could be that the circumstance is actually in the interest of the person.
Whenever we pray we have cosmic unifications.
Once we break a taboo 3 times, it seems o.k…. and we need help to even realize what we are doing is taboo.
The first judgment against man (in heaven) is for not having studied Torah, and man complains, “But I was too busy…” but the long summer days and winter nights, show otherwise.
As man is a composite of the six dimensions: top, bottom, north, east, south, west, so is all his perceptions – as his perceptions are limited (for anything that is a dimension must have been shaped, and if it was shaped it is not eternal) hence man has no perception in the Divine.
This is one of the reasons, why man cannot accept two gods, for if they were separated they would have dimensions.
SHECHINAH – TZADDIKIM
When G-d first made the world we are told he made his infinite light, but he hid it in the stories of the Torah, perceivable to the Tzaddikim; but to be revealed… (as the Torah of Chassidus does) in their teachings (as we know, Chassidus is the revelation of the messianic wavelength.)
“I G-d have not changed”, it is only that G-d conceals Himself in the miraculous repetitiveness of nature – however, once man is aware that everything is G-d – one of the fundamental secrets there is = no more separation / concealments.
BAD (TO GOOD)
Everything that occurs comes from above – however in its source, it is combinations of letters, hence the word “Tzarah” which is a “problem,” can be rearranged to spell “Tzahor” a “shining light,” therefore when a person accepts suffering with joy, or finds the silver lining, they rearrange the source code.
BAD (TO GOOD) – FAITH
Faith eradicates pain, as pain is the perception that it is bad, while faith is the reverse.
When you see something or hear something wrong in another, know that even partially you have that in you – You should then include the other in your soul and rectify it, and through this you rectify it universally.
RATZU VSHUV (SPIRITUALITY/PRACTICALITY)
All of Judaism is ratzu / inspiration, and shuv / performance of Mitzvos, in a continuous, flying aloft / landing and repeat.
We must always connect our intent with our action.
Just as with a fire, if one is too far, one is cold; but too close one gets burned; so with a Rebbe.
Even if everyone is liars, corrupt and thieves, if there is one person who is true, faithful and trusting, this emancipates the generation.
Rabbi Ami said, that if the rain is withheld, people should go to the Tzaddik to pray, and if he succeeds and becomes arrogant (from it) then he brings God’s wrath upon the people. The Baal Shem Tov asks, “Why should people suffer from one man’s arrogance?” He explains, “In truth all people have complete control over nature, for whenever someone truly believes in G-d’s power this manifests – it’s only as they seek their predilections, and remove G-d from their radar and are in need, they go to one who is connected – however, as this then seems miraculous, that person may feel arrogant; so in essence it is the fault of the people (as in a better circumstance it would be commonplace.”)
If G-d causes one to be prevented from observing, as their heart wishes… one should understand this is only to motivate.
Once there was a king who said, “All can come and make a request” one man came and asked for riches; another for a prominent position; but a wise person said, he would like to come speak to the king three times a day – this pleased the king very much (seeing that to this man, a relationship with the king was more important than anything) and hence when he came, all was given.
EVIL – (BAD (TO GOOD))
All is God, so how does evil occur? – This is the Kabbalistic doctrine of the world of Tohu that preceded our world (spiritual.) Being egotistical it shattered and became the source for arrogance, evil, maliciousness – but when a person considers that this too contains the Divine, we extract the good and the bad dissipates.
When we think lustful or arrogant thoughts, we take our Divine soul, bind it into a filthy cesspool – one must have pity, and release one’s soul!