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10 New Teachings Of The Baal Shem Tov

136. Says the Holy Baal Shem Tov when God’s left hand is pushing you away, it is so his right hand can draw you close.

137. The Baal Shem Tov taught – From the great humility in a person, a person doesn’t fulfil their service of God – they don’t realize how the entire heavenly realm, all the angels etc. above, all receive their nourishment from your Torah and Prayers (for this causes the light of heaven!) – if a person truly believed this, he would constantly serve God with great joy and trepidation – and he would be careful in every letter and movement to do and say them with great fervor (or properly ) – one should also pay heed to what King Solomon teaches, that every word of prayer and Torah, God kisses and longs for that word – if one truly integrates this belief… who would not tremble that the great and mighty king awaits your words – a person should pay heed and realize that he is like a ladder with his feet on the ground, and his head in the heavens – and everything he does and says makes a powerful impact in heaven – – then certainly one will be careful that all they do will be lisheim shamayim (altruistically for God) but if a person feels “who am I to effect anything above or below??” so one goes willy-nilly after their foolish whims – but the truth is, that a person through his actions is completely attached to God, as it states “Imitate God” – and through you having compassion below, you cause compassion in all the heavenly realms.

Note 131 When a person moves even their pinky, all of heaven moves (explains Reb Mottele Tzchernobler) because all universes are within the person.

138 Just as if a person was hungry for a food which happened to be on a high shelf out of reach – so he begins to imagine eating it – but this far from satiating him, causes greater hunger – similarly the person who imagines lofty (Yechudim) mediations, that he has no grasp on.

139 Just as if God-forbid a person who is drowning and they are thrashing about in order to save themselves – no one watching would make fun – similarly the person who does funny movements in prayer (should not be mocked) as they are attempting to stave of the distracting thoughts.

140. The idea behind the prayer “Lishem Yichud… for the sake of the unity of God and his Shechina” – the idea is to bring Tiferes “pride” to Malchus – that God wishes to be proud within Malchus, which is the lowest level – the world of speech – for this level gives life to all worlds – as the verse states – it is with the word of God the heavens were created – and it says, “And you give life to them all” – and the speech of God consistently gives life to all the worlds – and when a person does a Mitzva, God takes pride in Malchus – meaning His speech, giving life to all the worlds  – and then the person brings the Malchus to God – which means God rejoices with the world of speech – and this is the unity of God and His Shechina – – that God takes pride in Malchus, which is within the world, and his kingship is revealed – this means that all recognize that He is the king of the world – and this is great pleasure to God – and the attribute of Malchus is within our hands – for we are the ones’ who recognize God’s kingship  – and then His kingship is complete, for there is no king without a nation – and God has great pleasure in this.

141 Two types believe in God, one believes as it is the heritage of their ancestors, there is a benefit to  this, inasmuch as this is their heritage, nothing can sway them; the other believes, as through his research he has discovered God – there is a benefit in this, that it is personal and deeper – however the liability is, as it is his mind, he likewise could be unconvinced by a fallacious argument – the ultimate is when marrying both these faiths.

142 The reason we say Hodu before and not in Pesukei Dezimrah – because the prayer corresponding to the worlds of Assiyah, Yetzira and Beriah – which corresponds to the angels called oifanim, chayois, and serafim – the lower level of angels (in Assiyah) seek to elevate – the next level that perceive more of Godliness are called Chayois  (also passionate) and the highest level in the world of Beriah are called Serafim, as their knowledge, hence longing for God is so great (Serafim from the word, like consumed by this passion)  – so too the person begins with Karbanois (the desire to reach higher) then he goes to Pesuikie Dezimra which is the Chayois (passion) however to get someone in the right frame of mind for passion, we begin with Hodu – and finally we enter into the ecstasy of Shema etc.

143. It is super important that at least for the daily twice Shema, we seek to say it with full concentration – as it states, this prevents all harm.

144 – In Shemaona Esrei when you attach yourself above you merit that you are raised ever higher in the prayer – as our sages teach, he who comes to purify himself is assisted – and through such a prayer he merits that he attaches his thoughts above – and from this he can come to an even higher level, even when he isn’t praying, namely that he should be attached above.   

145. It was God foreseeing the incredible pleasure He would get from the Jewish people  – like the chochma (the flash of intuition) which contains within it the subsequent details, pleasure (which then goes into the realm of Binah, thought (subdivisions) and through malchus creates – the vision for the instinctual pleasure.)

146. “Ein Keloikeinu” is like a book – the world of Assiyah where one cannot mistaken – “Mi Keloikeinu” is in Yetzirah that G-d-forbid one can make a mistake – “Nodeh Leloikeinu” is in the world of Beriah which is close to Atzilus so one errs not – and “Atah Hu Eloikienu” is the world of Atzilus hence speaking directly.

147. When one thinks they are close to God they are far, but one who thinks they are far, they are close.

The Baal Shem Tov gives an example of a circular stairway – that if the king is on a higher floor, when you see the king from below you are far, but as you approach the king, making a roundabout on the stairway (hence you are getting closer – but as the stairway is circular, you are facing away from the king) you are actually close.

148. The prayers daily, every day new Nitzoisois (sparks of Godliness trapped in the physical) elevate, but on Shabbos in Kesser, they all ascend (on high.)

149. Though one prays Shacharis and Musaf with great concentration on Shabbos, Mincha is prayed with far less, as the body has become weakened.

150. The Baal Shem tov was very “adamant” that we must say Boruch Ado-Nay Le-oilam, Amen Ve-amen in Maariv.  

151. Just as the bride is bedecked beautifully to lead to the union – the bride is called prayer / the Shechina – and the Tzaddik through his intense devotion (in prayer) brings the Shechinah to God.

The Tzaddik is called the fruit, and the Rasha is the fertilizer – as we know, in this world you can only get the fruit if you have fertilizer – but the point is the fruit… so too the evil is only there so the Tzaddik can extract the sparks of Godliness.

The evil causes the Tzaddik to pray from a place of constriction, which unites the Shechina with God and subsequently brings Moshiach.

152 (with note 149) A person should pray for the Shechina, for everything we lack below is a lack above, and all the great miracles the Baal Shem Tov caused from people being healed from blindness, from childlessness, from death’s door was all because he would pray for the Shechina above, which would rectify everything below.

One should see themselves as the Shechinah is praying and in this way one is attached to God.   

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