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Baal Shem Tov on Beauty

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  • When Abraham came to Egypt he said “now I see that you are a beautiful woman” had he never seen his wife before?

The answer is that Abraham always had his thoughts in a holy place, but going down to Egypt – Egypt was the place that the generation of the flood had lowered their consciousness, into less than they were – the pursuit into pornography etc… so going into Egypt, Abraham needed to elevate- which was the purpose of the Jews who were there – as the Jewish people, despite the immorality of Egypt, were always moral, so Abraham elevated the consciousness into morality.

  1. When Abraham came to Egypt he suddenly had a thought about the beauty of his wife, but knowing himself, that he was far from such thoughts… and knowing his wife, being a holy righteous woman, that it wouldn’t be her that caused such a thought…. he realized, this was from the immoral thought-process of the Egyptians, so he realized, that it was now his task – as it is the case with Tzaddikim – to elevate.

  2. It says in Tehhilim, “And your image will fill their stomach…” we should be careful not to look at just physically beautiful things… how much more so, look at beautiful women… that one is looking purely for their own lust – in this way a person destroys themselves, and this is like one who worships idols.

And from this, for a person God-forbid could come to have a seminal emission during the night.  Furthermore puts power in the Kelipah, and they use his energy to give birth to negative forces – this is the interpretation that this that you look at, for example a woman in her beauty, if you are looking only for your pleasure, then you cause the Kelipah, strength.

Furthermore, if one does this before they give birth to their son, this child will be sourced in the Kelipah and it’s energy will always be connected to the Kelipah.

Rather a person should accustom themselves in the following manner – if one suddenly sees a beautiful woman, he should think, where did this beauty come from…? If she was dead she wouldn’t have the facial features…. So this comes from certainly a Godly force which is within her; He is the one that places beauty and redness, so it comes out… that the source-beauty is the Godly force.

So why should I follow after the least good part…? Why not go to the highest part? And the source of all! where the beauty comes from!!

Similarly when you look at other physical things, like a beautiful vessel, you should think, where did this vessel get its beauty from? the physicality is nothing… but the beauty is a spiritual entity.

So when you eat, you should think, where does the taste in the sweetness of this food come from…? it comes from a spiritual entity… and the sweetness of above which is its life-force – and even in the physical there is life force – that we find that it exists… and it continues to exist – which shows that God is in everything.

If one continuously looks in such a way… and he is thinking about the Godliness in all aspects, this helps him get rid of lust; in fact during the night time, in the dreams, a person will see holy visions – for during the day our thought is lowered because it is connected to the physical matter… but if you’re thinking about the spirit of the matter… when you dream at night – you will see the spiritual entity – and in this way a person can come to prophecy.

That’s why it states by all the prophets that “I spoke to them in a dream…” however Moses, he would see even while he was awake, the spirit of the physical.

This is the statement, “the wise person has eyes in his head,” that means he looks at the source, the spirit, the spirituality – that Godly energy and beauty and sweetness that puts itself into the physical.

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Baal Shem Tov on Parshas Terumah

Parshas Teruma

  1. The Baal Shem Tov says, that when it comes to giving charity, it doesn’t matter your intention, because the main thing is that the poor person receives it.

  2. Teaches the Holy Baal Shem Tov, from the very selfish animalistic passions that we have, we can see from that same amount of fervor… how much passion we must have in doing good!

  3. The Baal Shem Tov says in the name of Reb Saddiah Geon, that we should be passionate about the physical pleasures of this world, for then we can use that passion for the spiritual.
  4. Once there was a Prince who was a dullard, and the King hired the best wisemen to teach him, but he had no interest…. and in fact the last wise-man came complaining to the King that the Prince has fallen in love with a peasant – and the King said, “On the contrary, this is the solution!” He ordered that the peasant girl should be brought into the courtyard and the Prince was told, “if you would like her, you must learn a wisdom” – so because of his passion, he took one wisdom… and then they told him to learn another… until he reached the point, that he realized, that he is a Prince and for him a Princess is appropriate.
  5. All pleasure ultimately comes from the source of spiritual love, which is the love of God, and when one has a physical love, one should realize that this is only an offshoot of the much deeper spiritual love.

    And when sometimes a person can’t get themselves out of the physical love but the circumstances do not allow him to actualize it – he should realize, this is God Humbling Himself, in order to prevent him from actualizing this negative love.


Note 3. A wise person realizes that the desires for the physical, are only there because in order to desire the spiritual…

The Baal Shem Tov gives an example of a Prince who was a Doctor, and he went to a village to heal people… and then once he got a letter from his father the King… and he was very happy…. and he wished to celebrate… but he didn’t want the villagers to think him odd…. so he bought for these peasants alcohol…. and they all celebrated together… similarly, the wise person takes the power of celebration and uses it for God.

  • “And you Shall make beams of Keresh” (to uphold the Mishkan.) Keresh refers to man, our task, is, we are the connectors of heaven and earth.

Note 5. When we are thinking positive and connecting to God, we are connecting this universe to God – but God forbid if we are not, it is as if we are worshiping idols.

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Our greatest error lies in the fact, that as the verse says, “The heavens are the domain of God and the earth He gave to man…” but there is another verse that says, “He Descends to see what is going on in heaven and earth…!” You see, we compare God say to a President etc. – he can’t be involved in the minutia… – but God being INFINITE! can simultaneously be involved – in fact, being infinite cannot, not, be involved – for infinity pervades (not to mention creates) all time, place and souls