Translation of Kuntres Meiras Einayim – “Baal Shem Tov Al Hatoirah” – Introduction to the Baal Shem Tov’s Teachings, organized according to the Torah portions.
- Reb Eliezer, the father of the Baal Shem Tov lived in a village and would host guests – and he placed people at the edge of the village, so if they see any guests, they should send him to Reb Eliezer – whoever came to him, he also gave him a nice amount of money, so the individual should eat in joy – once they praised him in heaven… – and it was decided that he should be tested – the satan said “I will go to test him” – Elijah the Prophet said, “it isn’t good that you go, I will go…” – and he went, and he came during Shabbos, in middle of the day, dressed as a beggar with stick and knapsack – Reb Eleizer was exceptionally patient, and immediately gave him the Shabbos meal and on Sunday gave him a monetary gift; and Elijah the Prophet told him, “I came to test you (to see if you would be judgmental) and as you withstood the test; You will merit a son that will light up the eyes of the Jewish people” – and this of-course was the Baal Shem Tov.
- The Baal Shem Tov’s soul was so great that it would have been impossible for it to descend, if there was any lust within his father, hence his father was 100 when he was born.
- The Tzaddik of Karlin said, that a soul, as the Baal Shem Tov’s, comes to this world once in a 1,000 years.
- The Baal Shem Tov said his soul feared to come into this world, due to the negative antagonists – who could have weakened his powerful faith, trust, resolve – hence sixty souls were sent to support him – one of them being the Torah scholar, the author of the Meir Nesivois.
- When Reb Tzvi the Sofer (scribe) of The Baal Shem Tov wrote his Teffilin, he was able to see from one end of the world to the other.
- When the great scholar Reb Dovber heard about the Baal Shem Tov that all were flocking to him and many were healed from his great prayers – though he was an incredible scholar in all of Torah, he decided to go see for himself (and test him;) as he arrived, the Baal Shem Tov told him what appeared to be simple (though very deep) fables – he decided to leave – at midnight the Baal Shem Tov sent his attended to ask the Maagid to come to him, which he did – he said “You are knowledgeable in Torah, correct?” – “Yes.” – He asked his attendant to open Eitz Chayim (a Kabbalistic book) and he asked the Maagid to explain – the Maagid did – the Baal Shem Tov told him, “You don’t understand” – so he explained it again, and the Baal Shem Tov said “You don’t understand” – so he said “If the master has another explanation, please tell me” – so the Baal Shem Tov told him to stand, which he did – and then the Baal Shem Tov read it – and as he read it, all that it was speaking about, Holy names of God, angels… all manifested – he saw a great fire etc. – the Baal Shem Tov said “Your study lacked your soul” – and then the Maagid became his disciple.
- The Maagid initially did not wish to go the Baal Shem Tov – as he was ill, he went for a miraculous cure – the Baal Shem Tov prayed and he was miraculously healed – all of this was caused, so he should go drink the secrets of the Torah from the Baal Shem, then become his successor which his disciplines have given us light and Divinity – enlivening our soul till the coming of Moshiach.
- The Maagid observed that immediately, as the Baal Shem Tov ate, he elevated the food into holiness.
- When the Maagid tried to depart form the Baal Shem Tov – the Baal Shem Tov kept him – so asked “how come?” he replied my mind is like a rushing river, and the more one draws from it, the more it flows.
12. When the Baal Shem Tov taught Torah to his Holy Disciples, a fire surrounded them, and the holy angels would gather round – and they heard the thunder and lightning, and the Divine voice saying, “I am God your Lord etc.” – as is well known.
13. The great holy Reb Yisroel of Sanitov, the author of the Sefer Tiferes Yisroel knew about the Baal Shem Tov, as he saw him many times, but didn’t not believe in him – and the Baal Shem Tov wished to draw him close – once Reb Yisroel was downcast, as he had great difficulties in understanding an opinion in the Talmud and in the Rambam – the Baal Shem Tov sensed this, and went over and told him the explanation – Reb Yisroel said “Your explanation is good, but in miracle workers, I believe not” – the same thing happened another time, and once again Reb Yisroel, said the same thing.
Unfortunately his son fell ill – this was right before Pesach, and continued into the summer- his wife made him crazy to go to the Baal Shem Tov, but he said that he can’t afford to waste time (in the traveling) from his Torah study – eventually as she pressured him, he decided to go during Selichois when one studies less- as he arrived and didn’t have a Selichois, he went to stand by the Chazan – the Baal Shem Tov had the custom of coming to say Aneinu – meanwhile Reb Yisroel was busy thinking about another Talmudic problem, and he didn’t even realize the Baal Shem Tov came to say the prayer next to him – but as the Baal Shem Tov said the prayer, the problem was resolved – after the Baal Shem Tov finished his prayer – he turned to him and said “It seems in my Anainu, a difficult question can be resolved” – and Reb Yisroel said to him, “As I see you are aware of the Torah of each individual, indicating your soul is the general soul (in every generation a general soul which senses all) is sent – therefore, I shall become your disciple.”
14 The Toildois Yaakov Yosef became a Chossid of the Baal Shem Tov, for once he went to pray in the same house the Baal Shem Tov, as and he had unbelievable tears in his prayers – tears which in his life he never cried and he realized this was from the Baal Shem Tov.
15. There was a great Rabbi whom the Baal Shem Tov wished to draw him close – on Friday night, he dreamed that he was in heaven and the Baal Shem tov and the Arizal were discussing the meaning of a Zohar and they had a disagreement – so the Baal Shem Tov said, let us ask Rabbi Shimoin Bar Yochai, who said that the Arizal was right – but the Baal Shem Tov said – you wrote the Zohar with Ruach Hakodesh – let us ask God, and a voice from heaven said that the Baal Shem Tov is right.
This Rabbi came to the Baal Shem Tov for Shalesh Seudois and the Baal Shem Tov was saying this very same Zohar – and he turned to the Rabbi and said “you heard this last night.”
16.There was a great Rabbi knowledgeable in all of the Gemarah and halacha in the city of the Baal Shem Tov – but he did not believe in him – the Baal Shem Tov wished very much to draw hm close – one night this person studied a Toisfois and he had a question which try as he might, he couldn’t find an answer.
This caused him great pain
One night he saw in a dream that he is going higher and higher into heaven until he reached a spot where he couldn’t open his eyes, as the light was so bright, until he was brough into a room and he was told to open his eyes.
He opened his eyes and saw many great sages and Tzaddikim sitting and learning Torah, and the Baal Shem Tov was in the head of the table.
And the Baal Shem Tov said, “why are you finding this Toisfos so difficult and he offered him the answer.”
And when he awoke, he saw that the answer was correct, though he thought maybe this was but a dream.
When the Holy Shabbos came, he went for Shalesh Seudois to the Baal Shem Tov and as he came the Baal Shem Tov said, “Welcome, did you look into the explanation I gave you?” and from that time on, he became a great Chossid.
21 From the time of the Baal Shem Tov, the light of Moshiach begins as Moshiach Himslef told him that when your wellsprings will spread Moshiach will come, it is for this reason so many great scholars (who would later further disseminate his teachings) were attracted.
24 The great Tzaddikim, all who continued the Baal Shem Tov’s path until Moshiach all are the light of Moshiach.
27. One of the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov asked him what should be my parnosah (living) so he said “to be a Chazzan” – said he “but I can’t sing” said the Baal Shem Tov “I shall connect to the heavenly realm of song which will dwell within” – from then on, he had the sweetest voice possible – (the writer writes) and I personally heard him and there as no one in the word on par – he once was in the Shul of the holy Reb Elimelech of Lizense – and Reb Eliemelech had a debate with is son Elazar if they should allow the Chazzan to sing (as it might disturb Reb Elimelech from his holy thoughts) however in honor of the Baal Shem Tov, they said that they would – now this Chazzan had a little choir (or singer) with him – so when he began, his holy voice drew down such great light that Reb Elimelech thought that his soul would expire (in ecstasy) so they asked the choir to depart, but even so – so they asked the Chazzan to stop – Reb Elimelech thereupon gave him great honor (but he wasn’t allowed to sing.)
29 The Baal Shem Tov could see from one end of the world to the other – once as he sat with his disciples he gave a laugh – they asked how come – “how can I not” he said – “for a prince invested many years in building a palace – and there was Tzaddik on the way to Shul to daven mincha – but a terrible rainstorm broke out and he was in danger – so he went into this uncompleted building to wait for the rain to pass – afterward he went to Shul – but as he was in there, he elevated all the sparks of Godliness in the stones, and therefore they had no more reason to remain, so when he left it all collapsed” – and afterwards this story of the inexplicable collapse was reported in the newspapers – which occurred the very same moment.
30. When the Baal Shem Tov saw any item, say a chair – washing cup etc. he was able to relate al the thoughts of the person who crafted it, had while he did.
31. Further related the Chazzan to Reb Elimelech that when the Baal Shem Tov said Torah, at times the holiness was so great – that one would hear the actual thunder and lighting, and the great sound of the shofar, as if on Mount Sinai – for those sounds never ceased, as they are spiritual – however one must be spiritual to hear them.
32. Once the Baal Shem Tov when he went to the Mikvah – it was a bitter cold winter and icicles were hanging from the roof – and through Yichudim (holy unions of spiritual dimensions) he warmed up the Mikvah – something that all of the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov could do – though usually they didn’t – he was in the mikvah for a few hours and one of the disciples said “Rebbe, the candle is soon going to go out” – said the Baal Shem Tov to him – “take one of the icicles and light it – he who told the candle to burn, will tell the icicle” – it burned for a few hours – in fact the disciple took it home until there was just a tiny bit of melted water.
33. Once when the Baal Shem Tov was walking with his disciples and it came time to Daven Mincha but there was no water – so the Baal Shem Tov tapped his stick on the ground and a wellspring opened up which became a river – which exists to this very day.
34 The Baal Shem Tov didn’t use Sheimois (holy Names of God that create miracles) he simply had such a deep attachment and faith, that miracles would occur – once when he was young, as his Master (the prophet) Achiyah Hashiloini taught him all the names so he could know about them – as he was young he used a name to cross over the Nester river (walk across) but he deeply regreted this and did Teshuvah for it his whole life – finally his Teshuva was compete when once when he needed to cross it due to a life threatening situation from an anti-semite and instead of using a name, he placed a garment down, and “glided” across (again purely based on faith.)
37 Once the Baal Shem Tov and his disciple were traveling in a desert, and his disciple became very very thirsty and said, “Rebbe, I am thirsty” – the Baal Shem Tov answered him not – however as it got the point of literally life and death, once again he said “Rebbe, I need water” – so the Baal Shem Tov said “Do you believe that God has already prepared for you water?” – it took him a moment to calm down, and he said “Yes” – they walked a little bit and they saw a gentile carrying two large tanks of water – they paid him a bit and he gave the person to drink – tell me, asked the Baal Shem Tov “Why exactly are you in this area carrying water?” – “Well, my lord went nuts, and told me I must get him water from the well nearby” – “You see” told the Baal Shem Tov to his disciple, from the beginning of creation, foreseeing this entire event, God made that there should bae a lord and he should go nuts, so you should have water.
40. Once the Baal Shem Tov told his disciple Reb Dovid to travel to Bessarabia and bring him from there Kosher wine (on the highest level,) Reb Dovid went and had tremendous dedication to ensure that the wine was one hundred percent kosher – he also tried very hard on his way back to ensure nothing (such as a gentile, taking from the wine) unkosher – to his great sorrow, the inspector (who was so worried about people smuggling vodka) took some of the wine and invalidated – broken-hearted he came to the Baal Shem Tov and asked, why God caused this to happen? – the Baal Shem Tov said, because, you tried very hard… but most importantly you should have asked God to help.
41 Once the Baal Shem Tov opened his window during a bitter cold day and said he sees a light that was emanating from an area where a Tzaddik lived – though it was hundreds of years before, and the home already was a heap (from here we see the holiness of a Jew never departs.)
50 Both the holy Rabbi Shimoin Bar Yoichai and the Baal Shem Tov – who were totally one with God nonetheless their humility before every Jew and their love from the highest to the lowest was absolute.
51. Once the Baal Shem Tov was asked about the purpose of our Mitzvos – he explained, once a prince got lost – and he was starving and thirsty – a shepherd boy took him to his little hut – he hardly had anything but he took out of his knapsack the cleanest cloth he could find and put it on the table and shared whatever little food he had – he then spread out a sheet on the floor – for it was the best he had – after the prince retuned home he elevated this shepherd above all the other ministers – said they to the prince, but we served you continually – said the prince – “all the honor given to him, for is for the loving paltry gifts, done with true dedication to me.”
- When Moshiach comes speedily he will teach us all the combinations in every word of the Torah (for example, the word Tzohar made of three Hebrew letters has six combinations – and together the meaning is, “when you run to do a Mitzvah, the troubling troubles will turn into light!”) after he does this, he will make from the entire Torah a single word, and there will be infinite combinations, and he will explain the meaning behind each.
- There is a well-known question, if creation is good, why didn’t God do it earlier? – the answer is that in God’s infinite wisdom the timing is important – the proof of this is, the world to come is obviously better than this world – however everything comes in its exact time – just like Shabbos follows the six days of the week.
This also answers how come there is free choice, if God knows what will be – the answer is that a person has the free choice to follow after what God knows he will do, or after the wish of God – such as keeping Torah and Mitzvos.
When God made the universe, He removed His infinite radiance, and all that was left was a background radiation (so to speak) and this is but a Yud, a point, and it is called 10, The Crown of Malchus – and from them were created creations of limitation, which seemingly opposes His will – for His will is that the honor of His kingdom should be infinitely spread – and removing the infinite light is to conceal (the light – so why would He wish to conceal that which He wishes to reveal?)
However God’s will is that we should have free choice – and one who truly knows and understands, will see that in the desire to remove His light, is the hidden desire that people should have free choice, and that they should choose to do good. – And this is exactly how creation in this world occurred – the good was hidden and people have a desire to fulfil physical desires – and this is the revolving sword – and this is the entire purpose of Creation objectively speaking – however when we look into the matter deeper, we realize, the purpose is to transform the negative to positive – that all of our actions should be only according to the Holy Torah – then the evil will disintegrate, and it will be transformed to good, and the original infinite light will be revealed, and this is called the revelation of Atik – that it removed in the beginning of creation, in order for there to be free-choice, and when we overpower our evil desires (yetzer) then the good is revealed (This is from the Divrei Chayim.)
- We know the Torah has Ten Sayings with which God made the world – and Breishis (“In the beginning, God made heaven and earth”) is the first saying – but why is it different to the other ten? (in that the terminology “And God spoke…” is not used) for the power of this saying is infinite.
- When God made the world, all the energy would return back to where it came from (God,) so it couldn’t exist -only when He made the Jewish people did it have staying power – the ego in the Jew keeps the world afloat – but this specifically is when the Jew’s ego is only to serve God (this is a teaching of the Baal Shem Tov, brought by the Degel Machane Efraim, who says, this a very deep concept in which all of reality is contained.)
Note 4. The infinity of God pulsates in the world of Atzilus, in fact, in the lower spiritual universes as well – for which reason there can be no other existence (as all the energy returns to the infinite) but the Jewish people – from God’s great love for them, He forces the infinite to manifest into finite – thus giving them free choice.
When God made the world all the infinite lights sought to return back to God, but the world was made, for God loves the Torah and Mitzvos of the Jews and these infinite lights – they return back (to manifest physical reality) as they wish to be absorbed in the Jews, Torah and Mitzvos.
- When God made the world, upon seeing the wicked the light retracted but upon seeing the righteous, the light returns.
- When God wished to make the world, He saw the righteous and was so filled with love, that this overwhelming love, would have been too great – so He looked at the wicked and this balanced His love.
- It is known man is made of form and matter, soul and body, the soul cleaves to God but the body through its desire for sex and food, keep it below – once in a while a person transcends – this is the secret of yearning and returning.
- God peered into the Torah and built the world (as the Torah are the blueprints,) this is like one looks in a book, and gets an idea.
- Sometimes the world stands on an elevated or denigrated plane – said the Baal Shem Tov, as I am in the world, it is on an elevated.
Note 9 When a Tzaadik is in the world, they elevate all the physical, material, objects and words.
10. Breshis is Yira Boshees (fear of shame) just like when one is before a great king, he thinks not, does he love me… – rather of the king’s exaltedness, so before him I shall be humble.
11. Just as there are the 22 letters (of Hebrew) used in words of Torah and prayer so too all physical matter has these 22 letters – these letters God made the world with – this is what it states in Shas Brechois that Betzalalel knew how to combine these letters – however the letter are within physical properties – within many coverings and concealments, but within them is the spiritualty of God, so the glory of God fills the entire universe and everything in it – there is no part of reality where He is not there – it is only that He is hidden – and when the knowledgeable people know this – by them there is no concealment and difference – and this is what it states in Kabbalah, we who are based in God, nothing has changed.
12. All the universe are solely – like Russian dolls, concealments, coverings of the inner – similarly the Alef Beis.
13. King David showed everyone that God is everything – he did this with his verse “To You God is Greatness, strength, Splendor etc.” – in other words all things that exist are merely the combination of the seven sacred emotions.
14. In every single gesture, movement is God, for it is impossible to move or speak without God.
15. Even within the physical is God.
16. “I I shall console you” – says the Baal Shem Tov – when you realize that the I of every I is but God, this shall comfort you.
17. Rashi comments, the Torah could have begun from “This is the first month” (in other words, the first Mitzvah…) why did it begin with Breishis, in order to teach us the greatness of His handiwork etc.
The general and specific principle is that every Jew must believe and know that there is in this world a God, who is Great and Mighty and Awesome and He is One, United, Complete Oneness – He Was Before Anything And Is The Prime Cause – And He Is Within The Heaven Above And The Earth Below, Within The Time Of This World From Beginning To End – And He Will Be Forever And Ever With No End – He Created In The Six Days Of Creation The World, Both Generally And With All Its Minute Details – And All Of This He Creates, For The Jewish People, His Holy Nation – He created us in His world for He envisioned us to begin.
He took us out of Egypt and brought us before Mount Sinai, and gave us the Torah of Truth – in order to teach us, so we may keep it and do it – and to serve His service with love and fear.
However, a person must know, that the main service of God is to serve Him in truth – as it states in the Zohar – “there is fear and there is fear” “there is love and there is love” – see there.. – and the principle is, that a person at every moment must look at his action and desires, all his deeds, even the good deeds and his Torah and Mitzvos, if there is an admixture of personal gain or for honor etc., and one should ensure that the only reason He serves God is to glorify His great and Holy name, and all He does should only be for God alone, with sincerity.
And all this God made known to us in his Holy Torah, immediately in the beginning of the Holy Torah, and He began and said, “In the beginning God created heaven and earth” which includes everything within and also the reason for creation is for the Jewish people whom are called the beginning – and also beginning is the acronym “In the beginning God saw” – that the Jewish people will receive the Torah – as is known – and also “In the beginning God made,” is the final letter (of each word, makes) Truth – so everything, is alluded to in the opening line of the Torah, that God made everything, and what He made was for the Jewish people – and the love for the Jewish people is, as they would accept the Torah, and the Torah is kept when we do it in truth – only when we do it truthfully, is this considered a truthful service.
However each person must know, that not all people merit to come to truth, quintessential truth – unless one first acquires the trait of humility, and seeing oneself truly as nothing, to the nth degree – to not consider yourself important at all – as Moses said, “we are nothing” – therefore all clever, should realize that “really there is nothing I have to be prideful about” – pride (arrogance) is apposite to truth – the truth is humility and feeling unimportant, while arrogance is a lie – and this has already been dealt with at length in all the ethical works – however a fool who understands not, doesn’t realize their own issue, and unfortunately distances themselves from truth – and such a person is distant from God, whose seal is truth – and he is distant from the Torah, which is a Torah of truth – and God says “I and such a person together cannot dwell” – and it says there – “whoever is arrogant, is as if one worships idols” – as it states, “God hates a haughty heart” – especially as arrogance is a false reality – and the verse states, “A person of falsehood cannot stand in front of me.”
However one who in their own estimation is like nothing – this person is close to God and His Torah – as the verse states – “To him I will peer, to the humble-hearted” – and this is also hinted to when they said, “when one is humble, God can dwell within Him” and then he achieves the quintessential truth, and everything He does is true, and it elevates to God!
And this is hinted to, at the end of the verse that says “The heaven;” that when one serves God from truth, his good deeds elevate to heaven, and this comes about because a person feeling like he is but a clod “of earth” – so we see how everything is hinted to, in the very first verse.
And this is what Rashi alludes to in his first Rashi, that there is a God – this is the first step – acknowledging the all-encompassing God who created the world of the Jewish people.
And God gave the Torah – and this is the task of the Jewish people to keep the Torah – and when we keep it, this stabilizes the entire world.
And God also told us, the main thing is to keep the Torah with sincerity – which also as we know, causes God to recipicully do the Mitzvah.
And God taught us the way to acquire truth is through the acquisition of humility.
And this is the meaning, “Truth From The Ground Sprouts” when one is humble like the ground, then truth sprouts.
19. If I understand this teaching Ed. – There are five Alefs in Az Yashir (Amar Oiyev etc.) – and five Alefs in the five times light is mentioned (in the beginning of Breishis) Alef also means to educate – so when we bring light into the five thousand years, Moshiach comes.
22. The letter Alef is the secret of God – Beis is two alefs – etc. until Tof which is 400 Alefs – hence the first letter is the beginning of the infinite light which goes further and further until the letter Tov which is malchus of malchus (the lowest level) which it there descends even into bad thoughts and lust, and the Tzaddikim who are the agents of God, they connect themselves to these letters, and they raise them from level to level, then they raise from the lowest depth until the sky, the holy sparks – this is called learning for the sake of God, therefore they merit many things – for each letter has many levels and it carries the Tzaddik along.
24. Let there be light – God had to infinitely reduce Himself so we could exist.
25. The sum total of truth is that in the beginning from the infinite fountainhead, God revealed Himself, but in order for God to reveal Himself, He had to conceal himself – so the Creations in each worlds should according to their capacity understand – so the concealment is associated to the body which feels pain, the revelation is associated to the soul which feels pleasure – so when we perceive that all the negative is but for the positive – we transform the negative to positive.
26 The sun is covered in it sheath (solar winds) that protect us from its heat – so too the infinity of the name Havayeh is too bright, hence it is concealed in the name Elokim (that creates nature – or the appearance of such.)
When Moshiach comes, God will unleash the sun – the higher name havayeh and the righteous through it will be healed (and the wicked …)
27. The light God made on the first day, He hid it and placed it within the Torah and the Tzaddikim can open the Torah and see from one end of the world to the next, as my great uncle, Gershon Kutavier (this is the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov writing) once was asked by the Baal Shem Tov “I saw one week on Shabbos you were outside of Israel, how come?” – so he explained that a man had a child and wanted him to be at the Bris – now the Baal Shem Tov was far away in Mezibush, but He saw this (and there are too many stories to recount…) just by opening the Zohar.
28. The Tzaddik of the generation, can see from one end of the world to the other, so those who are blind… if they merely follow.
29. When someone was learning Mishnayois, the Baal Shem Tov could tell him, what would occur to him that year.
31. Tzaddikim through attaching their thoughts to heaven and hence feeling the emotions of above, can know.
32 It is known that God hid the primordial light in the Torah, but how can the small Torah contain this infinite light, the answer is, the Torah is infinitely greater than the universe.
33. The Baal Shem Tov said – “when a Tzaddik open a holy Sefer (Torah book) he sees – as prophecy.”
34. The Torah has not really been opened… – for very few see its true infinity.
35. The seven days of creation represent the seven emotions – each emotion has light and darkness, positive and negative, for example, there is love and there is lust, there is fear of God and there is hate (an offshoot of fear) etc.
36. There are only seven thought (types) no-more – these are the seven days of creation – in each day (thought-type) there is evening and morning (night and day) – “erev” (evening) comes from the word Taruvois mixing – that one mixes in foreign concepts – and “boker” (morning, comes from the word to visit, that one visits God – – and these are the seven – the love for God, the love for sins – the fear of God, and negative fear, such as hate – – boasting, namely that one praises God, and negative boasting, that one praises oneself – the same follows to winning, acknowledging, and bonding (either to God or selfish) and each one (thought-type) is comprised of ten – and in every bad thought, one Chas-Vishaloim gives life to the dark forces – this is the explanation of the hidden Medrash, “the world was falling apart” – said God “Here is Avraham who will produce in the world positive love, here is Yishmoel who will produce in the world negative loves” – so when you think in lust, you give life to Yishmoel, and the other 9 with him – here is Yitzchok who produces reverence for God, here is Eisav who produces murder – and when one thinks in negative fear, God-forbid one gives life to Eisav and the 9 with him.
If one thinks in negative-love, one should think, “what have I done to take a part of the universe (realm) of thought, and placed it into the garbage” – and in this way a person humbles oneself – and he brings this thought to nothingness – and then one can contemplate (to transform lust) “if I can love this woman who is but from a putrid semen, how much more so must I love God!” – similarly, if one hears a joke which produced joy – one can meditate, this is part of the realm of love… – similarly, if one sees or eats something that one has from it pleasure – one should contemplate, this is from the realm of pleasure – and one must be very careful to not materialize (focus only on the physicality) of that pleasure – rather one should take pleasure in God, one should focus that this pleasure is part of the heavenly realm of pleasure – one should place oneself in the realm of pleasure, and the enjoyment say, from eating, brings pleasure to God and all the universes.
Similarly if one sees something or someone, one has fears – one should say, why should I fear this person – after all He is just a person like me – certainly this applies to an animal – it is but God that enclothes Himself in this person or animal – so how much infinitely more so must I have fear of God – similarly with praise – if one is being praised (or praises oneself) one should strengthen oneself and see oneself as an embarrassment before God – and if it is an issue of winning – then beat this character trait (…the need to win) or use it (as you see appropriate in the circumstance) strengthen one’s desires to win for God – similarly with acknowledgment and attachment – that one should be, but attached to God Himself.
37. If to one comes a thought of baosting or love etc. then at that time one is that realm – and one can transform it to Godly desires.
43. One must remove the outer part (the kelipah – selfish part) of a Machashavah Zarah (sinful thought) extract from it the spiritual light hidden within.
45. When the bad becomes a catalyst for the good (such as regret and change) then it transforms the bad, basically to good.
46. When a person is not feeling it…. (the love for Torah and Mitzvos) but they persevere, when they feel it (love for Torah and Mitzvos…) then this elevates.
47. A Holy person can both eat tasty food and simultaneously have this as a source of misery, he can look anywhere, but wherever he looks he sees the Divine names of God that cause its existence – so also in speech, sometimes you can speak words of chitchat while remaining attached to God – so too in prayer, a person can pray with a heart aflame, yet his outward appearance is immobile, he can cry in a silent way.
48. The Baal Shem Tov said – that all the Divine energy within which God invested in the original formation of the universe – through the Ten Holy Sayings which are the source energy letters – these letters (though through transitional lower energetic letters – layers) form the very fabric of matter (giving them the ability to continually be recreated – so the future fabric of reality is the Hebrew letters – Divine energy.)
50. When a craftsman makes a cup, the cup after crafted needs not the craftsman, but because all matter doesn’t exist, it merely is formed through the speech (will) of God, therefore, God’s will must continually invest to create it.
53. Our sages teach that even the disagreement of the sages (what is/isn’t kosher for example – though Halacha has one decision…) both are the words of the living God – How? Because when reality descends – then things need to be separated – but as you go higher (in Binah) the fundamental unity of all things.
54. The whole point of Torah Shebal Peh (Halacha, Jewish law) is that from the side of Chessed comes giving, and from the side of Gevurah (the Yetzer Hara) and evil, so by studying and practicing Torah we ensure – as from the sin of Eitz Hadas, these two sides intermingled – that we are able to eliminate negative and be givers.
56. A person who loves his son has his image in his mind – by people this can apply only after the son has been seen, but by God, when He said “let us make man in our image” – this is the image He had foreseen.
57. The man “human” (in us) is the image of God (our Divine self / soul) -as the Kabbalah says, if an animal eats a person, certainly it is because the Divine image wasn’t seen, and the animal comprehended another (animal,) this image departed due to one’s sins – the Gematriah (numerical equivalent) of Adam (man) is Ma”h (the Divine part of one’s soul) Never foolishly lose your Divinity.
58. Just as there are 10 sefiros above – there are ten sefiros within each person – malchus represents the lowest – suffering – then comes netzach and hod which are the foundation which refers to faith – then comes yesoid which refer to taking pleasure (for as is known, this refers n the body, to the limb of intimacy where man’s great pleasure comes from) so it means taking pleasure in God.
Note 51 The Baal Shem Tov said to his disciple the Rav of kalama – “those who seem in your eyes worthless, I love them more then you love your only son.”
61. The Baal Shem Tov said, a person is called a Tzaddik – in the secret that “a Tzaadik is the foundation of the world” – when he takes great pleasure in serving God.
62. Through faith, we uplift the level of Malchus and she rejoices in Z”a.
Note 54. A person who is a Tzaddik and is always attached to God, then God is with him in all that He does.
64. Within the mind of man are the ten Sefirois – for Chochmah and Binah are the parents that give birth to a concept – at the outset, the idea is called Chessed, as it has unlimited expansiveness – then one needs Gevurah to limit the idea, so it can be conveyed – all comes about through the middle column – then one needs faith, as the Talmud states: Chabakuk came and summarized the Torah as faith – and then the pleasure from the novel chiddush (Torah idea) is called Yesiod, the limb of pleasure – and this is revealed through speech, which is called Malchus.
65. Chesed (loving-kindness) and Gevurah (strict judgment) in a person is that when a person feels their worthlessness this is called Gevurah and the exact opposite is when a person contemplates the kindness that God does for him, this is called Chassadim.
67. Just as above in the Sefirois, there is expansive and contracted states – so too below, that a person’s garment can be messed up, which causes him contraction (narrow focus) and the way to rectify it, is to give a pidyoin (prayer/Tzeddakah to a Tzaddik) or do donate it or the value of it to charity.
Note 57. One person can be a cover for another – for example one person acts beyond nature (Divinely) but his needs are provided through people who work within nature – and when the two meet, and converge, they become one.
68. When we are in a small state – namely that our service of God is not from joy but kabalois oil – obligation.
69. Understanding what is small and expanded mindedness – when a person sits to study Torah yet his mind is not with him, this is small, yet when one studies and he understands, and enjoys… this is called expanded (Gadlus) and the same applies in prayer and every Mitzvah.
70. Life comes in small and expanded mindedness – when a person realizes they are in small mindedness, this itself leads them to expanded.
71. Unfortunately there are people who don’t know they are in small mindedness.
Sometimes God will take a person (cause him to fall) from his high (level) or people will – for this is in his interest (ED. Presumably so he can later ascend higher.)
The goal of man is to refine the body – so man is a composite of soul and body – certain great people like Chanoich and Elijah had so refined themselves that they were able to elevate straight to God – however at times they are sent back into this world for a mission (this is the secret of expansion and contraction ) however one needs to knows how to protect themselves so they can ascend again – and the Baal Shem Tov said, there were people who having descended they got stuck.
What is the meaning of what Hillel said to the convert, “that which you want not another to do to you, don’t do to them” – the Tzaddik often must descend (from their spiritual high) help those on a spiritual low – so this convert said: “I wish to study the Torah while standing on one foot” – in other words, I won’t need to descend… hence the reply “That which you wish another not another to do to you, don’t do them” – for if you were on a low level, you certainly would wish for someone to elevate you .
The Baal Shem Tov said on the story of the convert who said “convert me on the condition you teach me the Torah while I stand on one foot” – Man is part of God above – now in infinity there can be no parts – – and God fills all worlds… – sometimes a soul is sent below and he is involved in lewd or bad thoughts – and the purpose of this is to elevate the lower realm – this is very precious to God – – now though someone may come to speak to you with hate, accept everything with love – like Rabbi Akiva who rooster was eaten, who candle was extinguished and donkey eaten too, and he said “all that God does is for the good” – and this truly was a benefit to him… – and this was the converts request “convert me on condition I always remain on a spiritual high” – so he replied “that which you want not another to do to you, don’t do to them” – in this he hinted that just as you were on a low spiritual level and you needed help, so someone had to descend – and this was the mission of Rabbi Akiva, who was the child of converts, reclaiming everything back to the realm of Divine thought.
73. Take pleasure from the impure to the pure – sometimes a person serves God in small mindedness – then when he serves in expanded consciousness – hence the pain of small mindedness becomes the pleasure of expanded.
74. After we go from small mindedness to expanded consciousness we elevate all the deeds, prayer, Torah done in small mindnedness.
75. “And God Made Man In His Image, In The Image Of God, He Made Him” – The Baal Shem Tov Says In The Name Of Reb Saddiah Goan – The Main Reason Man Was Created On This World – To Break Our Evil Naturel Traits.
88 “And God saw all he did, and it was very good” – why does it say very… – while most times in creation it says just good. – And in Chumash Devarim it writes “See I have placed before you the life and the good, death and evil” – where did evil come from? – So we shouldn’t explain it as we usually think, pure evil, rather this evil is also good but just a lower level of pure goodness – this is hinted to in the Zohar “before and Milra (behind”) this is when we use the bad for good then it become good – but if we God forbid sin, then it becomes complete evil – for example the broom which we clean a home is made to clean and hence it is somewhat good – but a low level… – but at least its good…. – but when one needs to use it to hit a child – then the broom becomes pure evil and it becomes a tool of hurting.
89 If one passes on Erev Shabbos this is a good sign – queries the Baal Shem Tov – the point of this Gemarah is to teach us that that is a way to save oneself from Chibut Hakver (the body being eaten) but this is not under one’s control – answers the Baal Shem Tov, the Gemarah comes to teach us that a person should be as if he died on Erev Shabbos, namely he removes all concerns of this world – and in this way he is saved from Chibut Hakever.
80. If one passes on Erev Shabbos this is a good sign – queries the Baal Shem Tov – the point of this Gemarah is to teach us that that is a way to save oneself from Chibut Hakever (the body being eaten) but this is not under one’s control… – answers the Baal Shem Tov, if one kills oneself… – enduring humiliation and privation for the sake of doing what’s right in this world – then one doesn’t “die” /suffer in the next.
Note 44 The main way we develop a passion for holiness is through looking at the truth – for when one realizes that all the lusts of this world are all fleeting fantasies, the desire for truth, permeance, that which is eternally valuable is inculcated.
81. The Medrash Rabba says: “Behold it was very good” refers to the creation of Gehinom – and whoever is not accustomed to Mitzvos and good deeds this is Gehinom – the Talmud states in the future, God will remove the sun from its cover and the Tzaddikim will rejoice and the wicked suffer – – I heard that in the future there will be no purgatory – rather the wise will be brought into Gan Eden – and when they hear the great fervor and joy, and dancing, in prayer and the passionate study of Torah, to them this will be a great punishment that they were not to this accustomed – so they very pleasure of the righteous, is the very pain of the wicked.
82 “And heaven and earth were completed, and all their creations etc.” this is the secret of Shabbos – and in the Zohar it says, “What is Shabbos? – The name of the Holy One” – Our Sages teach, – “When Shabbos comes – tranquility arrives.” – For God is called tranquility, for there is no possibility of movement (physical) for in order to move, one must be limited within time and space, but God is infinite and doesn’t go from place to place – He also cannot be within time (time is but His creation, much as a rock, or even space is) and the idea of Shabbos is that the source is revealed, and then the branches actually are attracted – this means Shabbos is a Holy-Day that a radiance of Divine holiness shines – a radiance from God – the Holy of Holies – and this shines to all Creation – for the spirituality of everything is as it exists in its original source in the original thought (which is the source of all creation/s) and this is the life-force of all things – and then when it was created physically, through the descent from the spiritual to physical realm – nonetheless, the spiritual part remains hidden beyond – and the life-force of Creation’s is exceptionally tiny (like the energy reduced from the nuclear reactor, until it reaches your plug) nonetheless, as this was too small to survive – therefore God shines within it from the original light – thus sustains it –
This is the interpretation – what was the world missing – tranquility. – This means God is called tranquility – when Shabbos comes tranquility arrives – this means the hidden radiance of creation – which comes from the inner essence of God – and this causes a longing for God – like a child who abandons his toys when his father comes home and runs to his father, for in essence he is a part of his father – so too, when God radiates from his light on his Creations, then because they turn to Him with a great longing – this then is the delight of God and this is why they exist – and this is the idea of Shabbos – which means “shavas” a return to your source, this means the source shines to its branch and all the branches take pleasure in connecting to their source.
And this is what it says in the Holy Zohar, the Secret of Shabbso is the fact that Shabbos unites in the secret of One – for Creations in general are a covering (concealment) to God – but this is only external – on an internal level, we are all one! – And when are they one when they are attached – when they all seek to be attached to God – their entire desire in life is to unite as one – and this attachment and desire is what connects God with his creations – this connection is called Bris, (covenant) and therefore Shabbos is called an Eternal Bris – for this is the unity with God and the Shechina – meaning God is called holiness (Godliness beyond Creation) and the Shechina is the Godliness that dwells in creations – and they unite together on the Holy Day of Shabbos – we know as it was in the first time so it is every Shabbos – when Shabbos comes, God is aroused – inspired – desires, to give to all his creations’ life, as He did the first Shabos.
83. The Talmud teaches us and this is the clearest truth – that the difference between the realm of good and evil, is whereas in the latter it’s all about anarchy and sex, the former it is all about morality and order.
83. On Shabbos, the light of God is revealed – in order for the heart of the Jewish people to be drawn to God. – Shalom – peace is the attachment of Souls to God – for the idea of completeness and peace is one – to each the radiance of God comes according to their level – for some but a drop, others much – the main point of Shabbos is to attach oneself to God, through Torah and Prayer – and this is what it says in the Zohar – “This day… – the day of souls, but not the day of body” – meaning that the source of souls radiates on the soul in the body – and they then cleave to Him – and this is called the addition in the Neshomoh Yeseirah – and all whose hearts are healthy, feel this.
84. The idea of Shabbos is the combination of Shin with Bas (ShaBaS) to elevate Malchus called Bas through the three pillars called Shin – the three forefathers, Chessed – Gevurah, Tiferes.
85. And God Blessed The Seventh Day And Made It Holy etc.
Blessed means we eat delicious foods – the Baal Shem Tov teaches, the reason for feeding our body delicacies on Shabbos is because through this, the soul gets its leeway (so the body get satisfied, so the soul can soar.)
85. Once a prince got captured by the enemy and he was forced to be in a debased foreign country with lowlifes – the king desperately wished to save his son and he sent him a coded letter that the son should not give up hope – for the king either through war or peace, will get him – the son was elated – however he thought “how can I celebrate without people realizing??” – said the prince to his buddies “come let us go get drunk at the bar” – so while his colleagues celebrated an outer joy, he was celebrating an inner – and this is exactly the notion of feeding the body delicacies on Shabbos (see above.)
On Shabbos which is even holier than putting on Teffilin, our whole mind – just as when we wear Teffilin – should never cease thinking about its holiness.
87. When a child wishes for a treat, the parent gives it to them – hence they are receiving pleasure from this little treat too – the same is, that the Neshomah Yesierah, the extra Divine soul that comes to a Jew on Shabbos, rejoices in the person eating delicacies.
Note 66 Once there was a simple man that rebelled against the king – instead of killing him, the king began to elevate him – as he rose from position to position, eventually becoming Prime Minister, his terrible shame (at himself) for going against such a mighty and merciful king increased – so does God punish.
88. “These are the chronicles of heaven and earth when they were Created” – our sages teach, this world was created with Hei – The Baal Shem explains, this world operates with five things (hei – is 5) pain – acceptance of pain – prayer – salvation – and acknowledgment – (An explanation, when one unfortunately has pain, one should a. realize that from God, all is good! – so though we may not understand, but this acceptance, transforms it to become good. – Finally, as it is but the soul that feels pain (or pleasure – a dead body feels nothing;) therefore as one’s soul is attached to God, one, recognizing that it in fact is God’s pain, and pray for God! which causes salvation.)
89. The Baal Shem Tov said when he was taken under the Tree Of Knowledge (perhaps a place in heaven) there were many Jews there – under the tree of life (perhaps for more altruistic souls) there were few – but to the inner Gan Eden – very very few.
90. These are the chronicles of heaven and earth when they were created – the day Havaye Elokim (God the Lord) made heaven and earth” – just as the world was created with the Holy Names of Havayeh and Eloikim – similarly when a person mentions words of holiness – he must do so with love and awe of God, which is Havayeh Eloikim.
91. “And God blew into his nostrils the breath of Life” – We know (Divine) thought is called the biggening, the level of Chochmah – and from there all the universes and all within it were created – of-course man being the entire purpose of creation – all are created through the combinations of the twenty-two Hebrew letters of the Torah, which are included in the ten primordial creative statements through which the world is created – and the breath that causes speech comes the life-force to all the worlds, and to man below – this is called Ruach (spirit) “and He blew into Him a soul of life” – this force was disrupted through the sins of the generation of the flood – but when the Jewish people accepted the Torah, it returned as before the sin – and specifically to the Jewish people did the 22 letters of the Torah come – our sages teach, that this world was created through “Hei” and the world to come through “Yud” – this also represents, Love and Fear of God – through a Jew containing love and fear, life comes to all universes.
92 The reason the supreme Divine soul comes into the supreme low body – for what is lower than the earth – for though angels above sing the heavenly praises of God in beauty and sweetness, in love and harmony, nonetheless, when a person below thanks and praises God – because precisely it comes from a body (which has a nature to take…) this to God is sweeter, infinitely better and more loved than all the songs of the highest angels.
Note 95 God’s soul pleasure is from (good) people.
93. The Baal Shem Tov Writes that the spirt of man within him and his life-force is his ability to speak – this is what it says “and God blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being” and Unkolus translates that as a speaker – based on this, when a person speaks – these words are his life – and he exhales his life in those words – but because the life-force of a person is continually connected to its source – therefore these words themselves draw down upon him a new life-force – and through this he lives continually – although in every word he exhales his life – but with every word he introduces new life.
96. All speech that people speak comes from the “realm of speech” – and man’s thoughts comes from the “realm of thought” – and when people speak good and connect their intent to their words – then they connect the realm of speech with the realm of thought and cause goodness – and likewise if they speak evil God-forbid – and in this a great secret is contained – – a person should accustom themselves to never say bad words which come from the side of anger (Din) rather accustom themselves to always speak kind words, which comes from the side of Chessed (love) so too in our thoughts – And So Do We Accomplish!
97. When a person thinks negatively, they constrict themselves – for wherever a person’s thoughts are, there they are – within a narrow “bandwith” preventing the infinite blessings of God (similarly when a person thinks of physical things, he descends there.)
98. Why is the Shechina in Galus (exile?) For “With the words of God, did He create heaven” (in other words, words are source code) and one must use all their words for the sake of God – in order to arouse the speech with which God made the world – that this speech should spread to all the universes – however now through our many sins – all peoples’ speech are about physical pleasure, and even the words used in Torah and Prayer are filled with distracting thoughts or ulterior motives – and therefore the speech is in Exile.
99. The Baal Shem Tov said, why is the Shechinah in Galus? For all words come from her – and instead of using them for God, we use them for physicality, pleasure, and lies.
100. The Baal Shem Tov said, the Galus of the Shechina is that a foreign (not for God) thought, rides on the word.
101. One must feel sorry for the Shechina for instead of using words for God it is used for physicality.
102. Speech is connected to the soul, and the soul is God – so when a person uses their speech for good things, then their life force gets replenished.
104. Know a great rule that in order to say something, before it is articulated through the five verbal mechanisms (see elsewhere) it must exist within the person’s thought – for it is impossible to say something unless – even subconsciously – it was in the person’s thought.
105. The Degel Machaneh Efraim (the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov ) said – “I heard from my grandfather (or great-grandfather) that speech is (either) 1/7th or 1/10th of thought.” (I don’t recall which.)
106. The Baal Shem Tov said “at times when I attach my thoughts heavenward, I allow my speech to say whatever it says (as it is elevated) and at times when I am in the midst of people who are schmoozing, I elevate all their speaking (through attaching myself above.”)
107. The main completion of a Tzaddik is that he never ceases to be attached to God – and even when he speaks mundane words, he does so pithily (so his attachment remains) and especially must he be attached when doing a Mitzvah (- to not be overly obsessed, and thereby loses his attachment.)
108. When a person speaks with reverence words of Torah or words of wisdom – this – in every word said – makes a big heavenly impact – and there are Tzaddikim who even when they say mundane words – as we say “the mundane words of the sages, can be studied” – these words make a big impact – and contributes much benefit to God (for as God wishes for the side of light to win…)
109. When you study or even when you speak regular (mundane) words – consider the emotion you are engaging – Love – Fear – Compassion – Power (Winning) – Acknowledging (Gratitude) – Connection – or some type of Dominion (Authority) and connect yourself to this emotion.
110. Even when you speak to someone in the market – your speech must be filled with love and awe (of God.)
106. Teaches the Baal Shem Tov, the secret of “Know God In All Your Doings” when you are shmoozing with your friend, have in mind that this (external) closeness is in order to be able to then bring him closer to Hashem – this is a great Yichud.
Note 89 It is known, there are two types of speech, there is the speech in Torah and Mitzvos and then there is the speech in making a living and drawing someone close – to inspire them – this is in order to elevate the entire world.
Note 90 The Tzaddik is the one who elevates (to God) all the words of his disciples (this comes through attachment to the Tzaddik) to the disciples of the Tzaddik (in Torah) they receive this through his Torah, and to simple people, through the fact that the Tzaddik derives lessons in serving Hashem – as well as (especially) when The Tzaddik speaks to them.
In everything (words) a person hears, the Shechina is there – this applies specially to the Dayan (Religious Judge) of the city – He must see to it to elevate all the arguments he hears (in cases) to Hashem – at times a person can here from a Goy (gentile) in the market prophecies (in other words, as words come from God – though the person himself who is speaking may not know.)
113. King David Said “I walk expansively, for your Mitzvos I seek” Kind David was praising Himself on his ability to go through the market place (and it causing no negative impulses) for all he sought in life was Yechiduim (making God happy.)
114. One must serve God with all their power – for all is important – God wishes we serve him in many ways – – sometimes we are walking and talking and we cannot study – well then we elevate this speech to God – so too if a person is traveling and cannot learn and pray properly – he must serve God in other ways – and feel not bad about this – for God wishes to be served in all ways – sometimes like this and sometimes like that – therefore He caused you should take this trip, or to speak to thse people.
Note 92 “I walk expansively,” I can go in the roads and alleyways… – I can speak to every person – because “your Mitzvos I seek” – meaning I only seek in this world Yechudim (Divine unity) and the beauty of the Shechina (or to beautify the Shechina) to uplift the limbs of the Shechina (Godliness in people / matter) and I believe with a complete faith that there is nothing, be it small or big without the life-force and desire of the Infinite Blessed One – and Divine Life Force – but it is greatly concealed due to our many sins – but when man does Teshuva – he should believe that this great sweet precious high light will be revealed to him within the concealment (limitations/mistakes) of Kelipas Nogah – and as in every act and breath the energy comes from God – One should see to it that in everything they do, it should be for God altruistically – and everyone should accept upon themselves with joy and a complete heart – and creating Yechudim (Divine unity) in everything – whether small or big – and this is for you.
115 From everything you must make a Yichud (Divine connection) even if someone is disturbing you or you see in someone something negative – understand this was shown (came) to you from God for a benefit FOR YOU.
116 Says the Holy Baal Shem Tov, why do sometimes lowlifes quarrel and shame holy people – these are actually words of the Holy People that fell… – for they were not careful (completely) with their words.
117 “And God planted a Garden In Eden and He placed there man” – though no verse is not also literal – that God placed him in a physical Gan Eden – nonetheless the Holy Zohar explains – that Gan represents the 53 Parshas of the Torah – and based on the Zohar, this is the explanation – God planted 53 Parshas of the Torah in Eden (which also means pleasure) in the beginning – meaning that before Creation, God took pleasure in the Torah – and God taught Adam Torah – in Gan Eden, as it states “To work it and protect it” – meaning to work it – this is the Mitzvahs Asei (positive commandments) – and to protect it, these are the prohibitions – God is teaching how to study Torah – whenever one studies Torah, one should seek to take out lessons in Yiras Hashem (growth etc.) but one who hears Torah and decides this I like or this I don’t, like going to a musical production… – this is called the Tree of Knowledge (“this is good/bad…”) The day we study in this way we shall surely (spiritually) die.
120. “And God Commanded On Man Saying” The Gemarah says – from here we see God commanded, the Seven Noahide Laws – The Baal Shem Tov said, regarding the seven Noahide laws – the Jews are responsible for the nations.
121. 1. We should never judge, we must always see the good in others 2. If in any way we have been demeaned, we must believe as the verse states, “It is not good for man to be alone – a help opposing him I will make” – if we are never judged, we can come to believe we are righteous… – so when we see some sort of negativity in another, we must realize that on some level we too (in this way, this removes our anger and brings humility.) And the main thing is to believe, in everything you say and do, God is there.
122. When you are praying and someone is talking to you (which causes a disturbance) especially if it is a gentile or child, realize that this is the Shechina challenging you (to strengthen your prayers.)
124. If you see (or hear about ) a sin, realize that you have (at least at some level) this problem – and fix it within yourself.
125. Just as a person looking in a mirror – sees a flaw (dirt etc.) the same holds when we see a flaw in another (it really (at least on some level) is within ourselves.)
Note 106. When you see something wrong in another – educate yourself!
127. The Baal Shem Tov said, if a person never sinned, it is impossible for them to see a sin – so when you see someone who does, you must realize, on some level you do – and when you rectify this sin in you, you will rectify it in them.
Note 108. When a Tzaddik does even a small sin, this causes a simple person to do a large – once the Baal Shem Tov saw someone breaking the Shabbos and this saddened him – he wondered how he had broken the Shabbos, and it was revealed to him that he once used (made use of) a Talmid Chochom (to serve him) and the Talmid Chochom is called Shabbos.
128. Once the Baal Shem Tov was told, someone broke Shabbos – said he that he himself was (partially) guilty – for he once used a Talmid Chachom called Shabbos… and then his minor sin spread and concretized until this other did a major sin.
129. It is impossible to see another sinning unless (at some level) one has this – for example, if someone saw a lewd conduct this could be as they have arrogance – as the sages compare the two – if someone saw idolatry, this could be that they have (or had ) anger, as the sages compare the two.
131. Just as the body is grasped by grasping it – similarly the soul is grasped by calling the person’s name – this is why when you call someone’s name, even when they are asleep, they awake.
Note 110 The name of a person is his soul.
133 Because the letters in a person’s name are the source of his life-force (soul) therefore it is fitting to always make from them a Yichud.
134. The main soul is the combination of the letters of a person’s name, for which s/he comes into this world to rectify (elevate.)
135. Every person’s Avodah (life mission is connected to their name (which contains what they’re about.)
136. It is known that the name of a person is their essential life – all animals, birds, and creations live based on the source of the Holy letters of their Hebrew name in the Torah – and they are sourced in their supernal Ministering angel.
137 It is known by the Holy Tzaddikim that the Baal Shem Tov’s soul, was one of those that departed from this realm before the sin of the eating of the Tree Of Knowledge.
138. The Three Forefathers rectified the three sins performed by Adam (spiritually) of Murder, Idolatry and Adultery – Avraham rectified Idolatry by giving his life (in the fiery furnace for God) Yitzchok fixed murder by being ready to sacrifice his life and Yaakov, Adultery.
139 God banished man from the Garden of Eden and placed there the revolving blade – there are many evil forces (kelipos) that attempt to block man’s ascension into heaven (during Prayer) but one must continually work at it and remember that the entire world is the domain of God.
Note 112 The Baal Shem Tov knew that he could ascend as Elijah into heaven, as he (his soul) had not tasted of the forbidden fruit (which causes man to die.)
140. “But if you are good you will be uplifted and if you are not, to the door of sin (the Yetzer Hara) tries to entice.”
A person must always be in the middle path – not arrogant and not depressed (low self-esteem.) And this is the (play on the) words “If it is good ‘seis’” – that when things are good, this causes arrogance – but when things are not good, it causes depression – all of this is the Yetzer Hara. – Rather, a person must take the middle path – that one should never be arrogant nor depressed, – but sometimes arrogant and sometimes depressed. – In other words, if the spirit of arrogance comes to him, he should bring to himself humility (by lowering one’s esteem) and if the spirit of depression comes, one should bring oneself joy) by lifting themselves.)
Moshe is the level of Daas – Knowledge – and Har Sinai – alludes to two opposites – a mountain represents arrogance – and Sinai represents humility – this is the meaning “And God spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai” for a person needs to take the way of Moses – the way of discernment between these two extremes – Mountain-arrogance and Sinai-lowliness – one must be able to see how the Yetzer Hara is trying to manipulate them – for sometimes he tries to turn a person into an arrogant Mountain and other times into a lowly “no-man (land”) – he does this by pretending to be righteous (heaping on guilt) and in this way, the person is too depressed to serve God – now the way to beat the lowness is to say, “I am a Jew!” – and the way to beat arrogance – is to see that one is just a hunk of meat! – One must use discernment (discerning which attribute to use when.)
141. A Parable from the Baal Shem Tov – once there was a king who sent one of his servants dressed up, to test a country under his rule to see if they would agree to foment a rebellion – some people fell for the ruse, while others who were wiser thought into the circumstance – realizing this was a trick, they told the person – the same holds true as is well-known of the example of the king who hired a harlot to test his son’s morality – when a person realizes, within all of their pain is G-d – then they remove it (the shell is peeled and the sweet fruit revealed.)
Once there was a king who wished to test countries under his dominion, so he had a servant dress up and try to convince the people to rebel – some fought against him while others investigated and understood that this person in fact was a spy – similarly, some try to beat the Yetzer Hara through strength – while others understand that behind everything is actually God.
143. Once there was a king who decided to test countries, so he sent a servant who fomented rebellions – but one wise person discerned, how can it be that a low servant with a few soldiers could conquer…? – when the king was so great and mighty… – so he pleaded with the servant (realizing that his country was in danger) and in this way saved the city – the parable is that the only way the low Yetzer Hara can possibly entice a person..
144. In the past the Yetzer Hara was only into preventing a person to receive the bliss of the world to come – now he got slyer and attempts to prevent both this world and the next – for example, causing a person to be consumed with (financial ) worries.
145. Once upon a time lived a man in a beautiful home – but a conman desiring his home told him “I will give you a billion dollars to just own a single hook” – so they made the sale, and every hour the man would come into the house to hang on his hook something, so the first owner, had to give up his home – if you let the Yetzer Hara control any of your limbs (especially sezual)…)
146. To a Tzaddik, the Yetzer Hara dresses up as a Tzaddik, but to the regular people (as a regular person; for the Tzaddik would not be simply swayed by stupid desires.)
147. Why in the future will the Yetzer Hara be slaughtered – was not his job to entice man – True, but not to pretend he is pious.
149. The meaning that when Moshiach comes God will slaughter the satan is, the satan is called Samal – and God will take out his mem – all that will be left is the name of God (the essence) Saal.
150. The Baal Shem Tov quotes in the name of the Ramban – one who wishes to serve God in all their ways, that their life should be for the sake of God – whenever a pleasurable deed comes their way (for pleasure is the great seducer of logic and ethics) you should first imagine that this will give you zero pleasure – then you should think to not do it (or do the opposite,) then you will be able to see (objectively, both the side “to do” or “not to do”) and your decision shall be accurate. This is a great principle in life.
151. A great principle – whenever you imagine or decide on a path to pursue – immediately think of the exact opposite and the truth in the center shall guide.
152. the Baal Shem Tov says in the name of the Ramban, whatever give you pleasure – as pleasure will cause you to see anything forbidden as permissible (it subconsciously alters our opinion) therefore you have to initially remove all desire.
153. A great principle in serving God is to stay far way from sadness (for serving requires energy) therefore, the Yetzer Hara (who seeks to disturb our service) often makes a person feel guilty over minor details – a person should say – I don’t care about this… – as my entire goal in life is to make God happy, which requires the ability to be free from guilt feelings, in order to be able to serve Him constantly.
154. Do not be overly righteous, and if you make a small sin, ask God for forgiveness, and assume that God has forgiven you – after all the purpose of your service is to make God happy (hence what is important is not what you failed, but what you perform.)
155. There are two types – one person who knows he sins, and the other that the Yetzer Hara convinces him that he is a Tzaddik and others think this way about him too – while the former has a hope of repentance – the latter, self-obsessed will never.
Note 137. When a person serves God but for his personal benefit, this is like a sin.
156. One of the tricks of the Yetzer Hara is to induce arrogance after doing good.
Note 158. The Baal Shem Tov said, getting rid of arrogance is compared to fulfilling the whole Torah.
158. There are two Tzaddikim – one who banishes the Yetzer Hara – the other who captures – the latter is better – this is like two people – that had to deal with a robber – they waited and when the thief came shouted “thief,” the second figured he may come back so he waited, and when the thief came captured him.
160. One must learn from the Yetzer Hara that just as he (people) have such a tremendous passion for stupid pleasures – must I have for the true.
161. Who Is Wise – Who Learns From Everyone – – Even from the Yetzer Hara – then the Yetzer Hara becomes a Yetzer Tov – this is the meaning Who Is Strong, Whoever Conquers His Yetzer – Not Kills but conquers under his power to serve God.
162 If you desire to do a Mitzvah ignore the Yetzer Hara who tells you that through this you will come to arrogance – No, do the Mitzvah – and if you find it giving you arrogance, work very hard to do it altruistically, and in the end (of the Mitzvah, so it will be- so again, do the Mitzvah – worry not about becoming arrogant, just try.)
163. A Great principle is never not do good because you are worried that it might cause arrogance or your intentions aren’t pure – when you do good above, you make a pure vessel (and if I understand correctly ED.) your pure intent is the inner light (so you end up with a beautiful light in a beautiful container – so worry not about perfection.)
164. The Yetzer Hara knows it cannot tell you not to study – then you will think, you will appear worthless in others eyes – rather he tells you not to study things that matter – that will cause you to fear God, and the Jewish laws.
165. It is impossible to do but good without ulterior motives – one must do good even saying I am doing this selfishly (which gives us the oopmh) and then toward the end, do it selflessly.
166. When we all individually redeem ourselves from our Yetzer Hara (perhaps through this mechanism, to do things both with our Yetzer Tov and Yetzer Hara – not to worry about perfection, just doing what we know is good) then the infinite redemption will come.
167. It is well-known in everything even wood and stones there are holy sparks of Divinity – even in a sin – what is the spark – the spark is the Teshuva (repentance) when one does repentance, one elevates the Divinity that gave life to the sin.
168. [It should be mentioned that based on the teachings of the Rebbes we do not engage in fasting rather charity for sins]
The main goal of fasting is repentance (Teshuva) also one should not become arrogant from the fast – even a single person who does Teshuva, the entire world is forgiven – as this is the case, rejoice in any pain that the fast causes – – for certainly a great thing is being accomplished – – think that the purpose of my fast is to bring pleasure to my Creator – and in order to lessen the pain of the Shechina, I am accepting upon myself pain – and therefore serve God with joy – and the Shechina will assist me as it assists any ill person – and God will help.
When one fasts, one’s intention should be: Woe to me that due to my foolish lust and ego I have angered the Great and Holy King – therefore I wish to pain myself, to break my lusts and ego – and I will cause above that the servant will serve His master, the maid her mistress – and to fulfill the Mitzvah of Teshuva – and I desire to cause pain to myself in order that I can serve God in truth and with a full heart, in love and fear – in order for his oneness to be upon me – therefore I wish to pain myself – and to offer myself as a sacrifice to God – “who am I and what am I worth, that I should offer my fat and blood and body and soul and power and heart and limbs to Him…” – Before the master and creator of all universes – all universes were created though his words – and all is like nothing before Him – how much more so, I am like a worm and dust – and my only hope is to ask from His Holiness to allow me to offer to Him sacrifices – and it is fortunate that I rejoice tremendously that I have merited to cause my body and soul to give Him pleasure – and furthermore that this can cause that my Yetzer Hara should be subdued before Him – and I wish to fast as I have pained the Shechina and God – and to ease His suffering I shall cause to myself suffering – what is my little suffering compared to the tremendous suffering I caused Him, for so many years… – I can only ask of His Holiness to supervise my pain, to remove pain from the Shechina – and to remove from us the Kelipah through my suffering – and I will cause above that all the Kelipas will be removed from the Shechina – and she will be purified and unify with her husband with a complete oneness – with love and mercy – and the unity will be from above to below through the pain – from the head to the heart, and from the heart, to the ego – and His effulgence, should come also onto me.
And I am certain in God that He creates everything with His words – something out of nothing – and all before Him as non-existence – and He supervises everything to give them life and energy – and how much more so that He can give me energy – and He will watch over me with His kindness – and save me – that the Yetzer Hara will not cause me to sin in anything – it will not tell me I am weak and I cannot concentrate on Torah study and her many seductions – therefore I ask from Your Holiness to grant me strength – and protect me from all things that disturb me from your service – from my side, I feel this not as pain, as all comes from God – however on my own power, I could never fast – and I give myself over to the Creator of all universes through speech – to accept upon myself all the pain and humiliation, just for the sake of His Holy Name – and I wish to fulfil what the verse states, “You should be Holy” – and I am certain on His kindness that I will be able to faithfully serve Him – and He will assist, that no man should know about my actions (fast) – I fear not weakness due to the fast… – for in any event without fasting many fall ill (and hence are weak) – furthermore the Shechina can assist the ill – and He will certainly assist me too- and I go in the way of others and I veer not off, at all – and our sages say, “Whoever is greater than his friend, his Yetzer Hara too” – and because I veer not, I can trust in God; as it states, “Trust God and do good” – for on Mitzvos one may rely on God – and it says, “Those who trust in God will receive strength” – also say our sages, that one who dies from Teshuva this is a good sign – and possibly without this I would have to be Misgalgel from my sins (reincarnate) and as I did not serve God primarily with love and fear – and also they say “Worry not about tomorrow’s fear” – and therefore the fast is not called veering off the normal path – and I can trust in God to strengthen myself to be able to fast.
OVERCOMING THE YETZER – FAST
Sometimes, in middle of the week the Yetzer Hara strengthens himself (to fell the person from his fast) and makes the person assume that he is in a dire state, and tells him that there is no way he can endure – a person must understand that the Yetzer is jealous – and hence wishes not for him to ascend, and is working hard to destroy him – when a person will be wise and strengthen himself over his Yetzer – he will cause in that hour a great thing in heaven – as it states in Kabbalah, the joy of God is when the Yetzer Hara and the Sitra Achara are subdued for Divine service – therefore as the Yetzer so desires to rid him of the greatness of his fast, and you overcome the Yetzer, the dark side is very humbled.
Sometimes the Satan is given permission to cause (the fasting person) great pain – but once having completed the fast, even if the person does the same fast, he will not feel this pain (as it was but a test.)
Also one should ask God that the fast should not affect his eyes.
If A Person Decides To Fast, Though It Has A Deleterious Side, Namely He Will Take Joy In His Service To God (Due To The Pain Of Fasting) Nonetheless, The Assumption That He Needs to Fast Is Probably based on the fact that there are parts of his soul that he believes he needs to rectify.
We have already mentioned a great principle from the Baal Shem Tov to never by upset / sad – and in general the Baal Shem annulled (got rid of) the extra fasting and self-mortification (as part of Divine service.)
There was once a holy and pious person engaged in many fasts, self-mortifications etc. yet the Baal Shem Tov said that in the world of difference (I assume Kelipos) they are laughing – for as he had a “spiritual” agenda to achieve Ruach Hakodesh (akin to prophecy) hence as he had a personal agenda (not just to fulfil the will of God etc.) therefore all the good he was doing was feeding darkness.
174. Even if a person fasts from Shabbos to Shabbos (namely the six days of the week) one should not think, how amazing am I … rather compared to the Holy Angels who serve God incessantly, I am nothing – but a worm and dust.
175. The Gemarah says, “Many tried to achieve like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, but for them it worked not” in other words, they did fasts to achieve his level (of holiness) – this is not the way, rather one should dedicate what one is doing to cause to God pleasure.
176. Every person must go according to their level – this is the meaning of the Talmudic statement, “Many tried to achieve like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, but for them it worked not.”
178. When instead of working on improving oneself, one is imitating – as the Talmudic statement “Many tried to achieve like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, but for them it worked not” – one loses both their own level and achieves not the others.
“Many tried to achieve like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, but for them it worked not” the problem was instead of serving God with their heart, they were imitating.
179 Chanoich was a shoemaker – literally sewed shoes – and in each stich he made, he connected God and the Shechina – explains the Baal Shem Tov, thoughts come from the higher name of God, Havayeh (they contain the aspect of infinity) whereas action is a limited (to a time place) dimension, and the goal is to connect your thoughts to your actions.
Everything that comes your way, do – in everything that we do, whether it is eating, drinking, intimacy we can/must connect it to God – in everything there is to do, the connection to God can/must be made.
Every single thing that you do – every minor movement is supervised by God, and your mission is to connect intent with movement/action.
It is imperative to believe that whenever we connect our thoughts – which are connected to Havayeh (God) and our action (which is connected to the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil – in other words, they can be positive or negative or selfish…) we elevate.
When you connect physical action, the level of Malchus with the higher Daas/wisdom – this connects God and his Shechina – for Moshiach is the Daas/wisdom of the Jewish people – as we know, when Moshiach comes, it states, “The whole world will be filled with the Daas/Wisdom of God;” therefore when you connect Malchus with Daas, this is the revelation of Moshiach, and the hastening of redemption.
Whenever you connect thought (which is connected to God) with action, Malchus (the lowest level) you should have in mind to sweeten the judgment (bring joy to the lowest) traversing from the highest heaven to the lowest earth.
The goal is to connect thought/intent which comes from the right side, to action (malchus) which comes from the left side (sweetening her judgment.) Thought is called Ayin (Divine) while action is called Ani (I – ego.)
When we connect the concealment of this world, to the infinite knowledge – the Divine – the source (which created all for a purpose… we sweeten all judgments.
You need to connect your actions with your soul, which is your thoughts (this sweetens all judgments.)
Action is called the body, and intention/thought is called the soul.
Connecting intention and action is the greatness of Moses.
181 Always connect the physical to the spiritual, in this way you cause heaven and earth to kiss.
182. Through positive intentions we connect everything physical to the spiritual.
Note 157 Our goal is to connect the physical with the realm of thought, bringing it back to its infinite source.
184. The two jesters who will inherit the world to come (mentioned in the Talmud) their mission was to connect everyone and their entire life with Shechina – apart from people who were morose (as they could connect to them) that’s why they would first tell them jokes.
The two jesters would elevate everything from below to above.
185. In everything you do, your intention should be for God, not even a minor amount should your intention be selfish.
Note 160. Not only do we do things for God – in other words, eat to have the strength to serve – rather in everything we do, we elevate the sparks of God – so when we eat the intention is to elevate the food – and this applies to every aspect of our lives.
187. We must connect the physical to the spiritual, this includes our own animal soul (that it joins us in serving God.)
189 The whole world is filled with His glory – there is nothing neither big nor small which from Him is separated – for He is the existence of all – therefore a good person can connect God even to physical matter(s) – whether it is eating, drinking, intercourse – business – mundane chats or interactions / exchanges – this is the secret of the giver bending down to uplift the receiver (say a father to his child…) and this is the Kabbalistic meaning, “Know God in all your ways” (as “Adam Knew Eve”) in other words, unite everything to God.
If (the above applies) to physical matter (that we must unite all to God) how much more so regarding prayer which stands at the pinnacle of reality – there are within prayer many levels – and in each, one can unite with higher spiritual dimensions – whichever level you are standing in, unite yourself with all people who are at this level – for they are all limbs of the Jewish soul (community) and from there pray/unite – and God will be with you and you will elevate (it would appear all.)
- A person is called a Tzaddik when in the service of God, He has great pleasure.
- Just as in a physical intimate union, one can only have an elevation through desire – similarly a person whose service of God is not ulterior, but motivated due to one’s great love of God, this births spiritual delight.
- The Baal Shem said in the name of the Ramban – if you seek to understand what is service of G-d (Avodas Hashem) if when you learn Torah, you are filled with pleasure and dread (awe/reverence.)
Note 2. The Baal Shem Tov told his son, the way to know if you are truly serving God, if when you learn Torah you are filled with love and fear of God.
The Baal Shem Tov said: See to it, from every Avodah (service of God, say Torah / Prayer…) you receive fear and humility.
- Though in the physical realm, where one derives pleasure one derives not fear/pain (as they are opposites) but in the spiritual realm, they can be simultaneous.
- Serve God simultaneously with awe and joy – these are two twins that should never be separated – fear without joy is misery – rather one should always joyfully serve God.
- There are great Tzaddikim that need no preparation, as soon as they start Davening (praying etc.) the great unbelievable sweetness and delight of God, upon them rest.
There are others who try their best – though they achieve not this delight, as they try, God considers as if they have.
There are others who sunder themselves from serving God – God-forbid (they are called the living dead – and even worse is when they dabble in the atheistic philosophy.)
- A man once queried of the Baal Shem Tov: Why when I am meditating and feel connected to God, do I suddenly feel distant?
Explained the Baal Shem Tov, this is like a father getting his little boy to walk – first he holds out his hands, the boy runs to the father but then he withdraws his hands – for if he did not do so, the furthest the son could walk, would be up that point – but with constant removal, the son constantly grows.
Note 7 Like a father who withdraws his hands so his little boy should learn to go further – the withdrawal of God from the Jewish people is so we can ascend.
- Just like a father who withdraws his hands so his son should go further – the Tzaddik who serves God, but feels distant…
- Just as a father teaching his son to walk, first he may hold his hand and then he lets go, so the son can walk on his own – similarly to bring us to the service of God, God firstly gives us inspiration – but then we must persevere.
- If God seeks our closeness, why did He make it that we can be distant – the answer is that ultimately if someone is always close (like if you eat ice cream daily) it ceases to give pleasure.
- By nature, as the soul comes from God, it seeks to return to God (expire… Clois Hanefesh) that is why God puts it into a body (that seeks physical needs/pleasures.)
Note 10 Everything seeks to go back to its source – therefore the soul seeks to return to God – so through eating, drinking, sleeping, some business, this quiets the soul’s longing (as the person is involved elsewhere) however simultaneously it strengthens.
- Because life is up and down – as a constant pleasure loses its pleasure (so we fluctuate between spiritual and physicality) for in order for to constantly feel pleasure in God which is the essence of Avodas Hashem (Divine service) the physical must at times withdraw us.
- The Baal Shem Tov gives a beautiful example of a person who comes to a store and is given a taste of all the delicacies -and then is told “purchase,” for here we give nothing for free! – initially God gives us a taste of spirituality…
Note 12 The greatest passion for God – in fact which Tzaddikim long for – is the passion of the person who first encounters.
First God gives one a great delight in Divine service, for one needs to know what one needs to look for – but then this is taken away, for one can hardly be rewarded for being led (by the bridle,) only then it is as the example, as a father who continuously draws his son close by holding out his hands, and withdraws, so the son can learn to run – eventually we can achieve a delight – the purpose of service God – in God, even greater than to what to us is shown.
The Baal Shem Tov On Davening
- Make a light for the Teive (ark) and complete it (on its roof) to the width of an Ama (app. 3 feet.) Tzohar means light and Teiva means (also ) word.
Says the Holy Baal Shem “Make your words of Torah and Teffilah (prayer) bright. For within every letter there are universes, souls and Divine energy.
And these universes and souls elevate and connect and unify with Divine energy – then afterwards they connect with the letters of the word, and they become an ark, and afterwards combinations (Yechudim) of Divine energy occur – and a person should include his soul in each level mentioned – and then all the universes unite as one – they elevate and a great pleasure and rejoicing occurs above – this is the meaning that, the Teviah should have an upper middle and lower floor – there are the worlds, angels and Divine energy.
Every word you say, you must hear (yourself) for the Divine presence (the Shechina) is the world of speech – – it takes much faith to believe this.
16. When we pray we must put all our energy in every letter we say – we should have in mind that the letters connect – now if a physical union is pleasurable – infinitely more so a spiritual – we should then elevate ourselves to the point where we are in the mystical realm of Beriah – we can’t even hear the words, only our thoughts, and then we get to the point of Atzilus.
17. Every word has three stories – universes, souls and Divine energy – the bottom level are the universes which we connect to the soul, which then get connected to the Divine energy – we must have faith that this is what we accomplish in every word of prayer.
19 Make a portal from the word – to see from one end, to the other end of the world.
20. Make your words bright – when a Jew speaks, he must make sure that before he speaks he thinks (so his word will be illuminated.)
21. When you pray, pray to the Divine within the letters.
22. Request that the Divine in the letters cause you to pray a since prayer – through this, all the harsh judgment will be sweetened to mercy.
24. Every word includes in it every universe.
25. Every word is like a spiritual person, and one must place all one’s energy into the word, otherwise it creates sort of a spiritual man, missing a limb or two.
26. Every word contains universes – and if one places one’s entire energy into saying the words, then these universes are enlightened – and bestow.
27. The breath below rises, to the breath above (I think this means our souls beyond) which then gives us breath below.
28. The Baal Shem Tov’s soul told him that all that was bestowed upon him, was not for the incredible knowledge he learned, but the tremendous devotion in prayer.
29. The Baal Shem Tov said, though one should pray with the fire of their soul, they must do so with a broken humble heart – for once his disciples were all praying with fiery passion but an accusatory decree in heaven arose as they lacked humility but as one person had humility, it saved them.
30. One can read the Torah making mistakes, but knowing its light, as one cherishes the Torah this brings God joy – this is like a parent who though his young son is stumbling over the words, but he is so happy to listen and fulfil his requests.
31 When one awakens, one must be careful to say nothing (certainly superfluous) for the world is created as is known through (Divine) thought, speech and action – now of-course thought was the first – just as the Torah commands one to honor the eldest son, for he receives the greatest portion from the father and transfers this to his siblings (perhaps this means latent soul talents) similar, all comes from our first thoughts.
32 Whatever one sees, one should connect it to God, when one sees love, remind yourself of your love for God, if one sees fear remind yourself of your fear of God – even when going to the bathroom, you can say “I separate the evil from the good” – this is Yechudim.
33. When a person goes to do a Mitzvah they must run – you see… – when we get to heaven, every Mitzvah we did – everything we do, creates a soul and a body – the intent is the soul, and the body is the deed – so this person who tarries, perhaps shmoozing along… they in heaven is forced to crawl a narrow bridge over a raging river – firstly it is very scary – but then the angels he created – that were looking forward to his creation – for from his intent the angel’s soul was born, and from his future action, the body – it blocks the way, and the extra time spent on the bridge, is for it painful.
34 Says the Holy Baal Shem Tov – once the satan in heaven accused the Jews – not the wicked but the righteous – they go to Shul, however on the way they get sidetracked by a hawker, and for the few cents they save by purchasing the item/s, they miss Kadish and Barchu etc. – answered the Baal Shem Tov: true they may spend a few cents and lose a mitzvah, but if they already gained a Mitzvah, even for all the money in the world, never would they relinquish.
35. Sometimes prior to Davening (prayer) one must truly strengthen themselves, so they can meditate/concentrate – some people this works by learning Torah (hence expanding their thinking) others through saying psalms and others though neither – as long as a person gets themselves into the right frame of mind.
36. One should not exert all their energy prior to praying, on say, saying the Tehhilim and lose what is most important, namely deep concentration/meditation during Pesuikie Dezimrah, Shema and Shmoinah Esrei – the same applies that one should lessen their effort before Neilah – so as to say Neilah with great concentration.
37. Whenever in Tehhilim it states Mizmor Lidavid (a song to David ) first David would sing and then the Ruach Hakodesh upon him would reside – whenever it says Lidavid Mizmor – to David a song, first the Ruach Hakodesh would rest and then he would sing – so when we say Tehhilim with great reverence and humility must we say – for when does the Ruach Hakodesh upon us reside??
38. The Baal Shem Tov told his disciples that before prayers, one should learn a teaching of the Zohar.
39. One should be very careful to begin prayers, saying the Shema before Netz, sunrise, for then it is easy to be heard (afterward harsh judgments are in the air.)
40. The Baal Shem Tov wrote: how come one may not precede their prayers to the community?… for it is important to pray together.
Once the Baal Shem Tov took – as his custom, but this time more so, – long in his prayers – all his Holy Disciples waited for a very long time but eventually each departed to do what they need – When they came back, the Baal Shem Tov said, the fact that you left caused a great separation – for when we are all together, the prayer ascended – he gave an example that, there was once a beautiful bird of an extraordinary kaleidoscope of color, and it perched itself high on a tree that no one could reach it – the king desperately desired it, so he said / told people to climb on each others’ shoulders to reach it – but as some people weren’t in the mood, they couldn’t get to the top – the truth behind this exercise was not really the bird – but the king desires the unity of the people.
Through unity we ascend to the highest heaven, for every Jew, like every letter of the Torah, combined, form the Holy of Holies.
As you caused a separation, therefore the rectification is to place deep within each of your hearts, a real love for your fellow Jew, and your Father In Heaven.
42 It is amazing that someone can remain alive after praying – for based on the incredible sacrifice in prayer (focus / concertation) it is amazing.
43 The Baal Shem Tov said – it is amazing that though one can be total concentration in prayer- after they remain alive.
44. A person who speaks without thinking this is as grievous as the sin of one who emits wasteful semen (as is known, the thought one has during intimacy effects the child, and if one thinks foreign thoughts, this created a foreign child.)
45. One who is on a low level, far better s/he should pray form the siddur, for the letters add in concentration – however one who is in heaven, far better not – for then the letters disturb.
47. To begin a person should have intense concertation during prayer and this will allow that through their prayer they will.
49. It is not possible to pray without strengthening oneself, and hence one should ask of Hashem.
50. Be aware, it is good that God helps one should pray half or most of the prayer with great concentration, and when one feels weak, then one can pray the rest with a little.
51. Sometimes a person prays with minimal ability to concentrate but then in one second the light of God shines through his soul and he is elevated heavenly.
52. Sometimes a person prays in small (“small” and “large” are refences to capacity) he doesn’t go heavenward – however he is aware that God’s glory fill this earth and like a child feels close – this too is a great connection.
53. Even if one is in small (capacity – connection) one should still pray (with small) for sometimes above it is small (like zah) – the most important thing is to be connected, for like a coal – the flame may be small, however with a blow it can quickly go large –
54. If one finds one (intellectually/emotionally) cannot pray, then one shouldn’t give up and strengthen and deepen their fear of God, this is like a king who goes to battle – now the wise people know him from his character (behavior) but the average person can recognize him only because that is where greater protection is – so too, the person who wishes to get to the king must strengthen themselves.
55. A person shouldn’t say – when I can pray with fervor I shall, but when I can’t I won’t, for as the example of a king who goes into battle (battlefield) so those who are close recognize him (from his behavior) but most only, through the fact he is extra protected – likewise God is there ( you just have to fight harder to get to Him.)
56. Even when someone is small (stressed) they should think about Heaven – God – and immediately to there they are elevated, for as is known, wherever a person’s thoughts are there he is.
In the book Kesoinois Pasm it writes – wherever a person’s thoughts are, there he is, whether above or…
In Toildois Yaakov Yosef he writes, I heard from my master “Where a person’s thoughts are, there the person is.”
In the Degel Machaneh Efraim (from the Baal Shem Tov) wherever a person’s thoughts are, there they are entirely.
In Likutie Imri Pninim I heard from my Rebbe “Wherever a person’s thoughts are, there they are entirely – when someone thinks about God then they stand in God’s presence, if God-forbid they have negative thoughts (anger etc.) they are literally in hell (with its fires consuming them) this is so even when they are alive, how much more so after death – but Tzaddikim whose thoughts are about God – (machshavah) “thought” is the same letters as “joy” (simcha.)
In Ksoines Pasim I received from my master, to know if one’s soul is connected to life or death, one need ask themselves what they want – if it is lashoin hara, jokes etc., or if Torah and good deeds.
In Shoishanim Lidavid he writes: the Baal Shem Tov explained, where a person’s thoughts are that is where he is connected to – if he thinks angry thoughts, he is connected to the realm of din (anger, and he will be judged) if he has trust in God’s plan – he will receive blessings – hence a person should always be connected to God.
58. When a person begins to pray, he should do so in fear – considering to whom will I be praying to – the Master of all the universes, who creates and keeps them going – think about how great and lofty God is, and afterwards he can be in the higher universes.
60. Certainly prayer done from joy is far greater than from bitterness and with tears – this is like the difference between a poor person who requests of the king with tears – even so, but a little will he receive… – whereas the minister who praises the king highly, gets a great gift.
61. Ensure your prayers are said with love and fear of God, not for any selfish motives – for this gives rise (perhaps this is speaking to the great Tzaddikim, to enemies who seek to harm you – and even more importantly is the love.
From Toidois Yaakov Yosef – The Kabbalists teach, one should always serve God with love and fear – says the Baal Shem Tov, but on Rosh Hashanah it should be with more fear, and on Shabbos and the holidays with more love.
62 From doing a Mitzvah – Torah prayer – with selfish intents – as every thought is a complete “person” thus is born someone (see below for more) who will cause you pain.
Teaches the Degel Machenah Efraim (in the name of the Baal Shem Tov) the verse states “if God loves someone, even their enemies makes peace with them” – why enemies? – for some people are simply malicious – but sometimes the hate that comes from one (even from within their own family,) is because it is offshoots (sparks) of sins they did (that are inhabiting this person) however when you do Teshuvah, those sparks die (so the hate dissolves.)
63. One should not say, I will only Daven intensely on Shabbos but not during the weekdays – for this is like someone who once a week has access to the king, but the rest of the week ignores – even though his access is once a week, but as he knows, without the king, life is meaningless… he does whatever he can (to gain access) and the king will do His will.
64. Even someone who learns Torah, if they are not nice, especially if it fills them with arrogance, their Torah is worthless.
66. Sometimes a person wishes to Daven but (as an old man) his limbs feel like they are a burden (heavy) this is what King David prayed for, to have the energy to pray.
67. “Cast me not aside in old age” explain the Baal Shem Tov “cast not serving God, till old age “
68. Says the Baal Shem Tov, what does it mean, “Cast me not aside in old age?” does a person need not God when they are young?! – rather at times a person can get inspired – teaches the Baal Shem Tov, don’t let that inspiration fade.
69. A person should train themselves to Daven, even the songs in a low voice – and he should cry out quietly – and he should say the words, whether in Davening or learning with all his energy – as it states “my entire body” speaks – and the crying out that comes from intense concentration (passion) should be soft.
70. Sometimes we must pray to God only with our soul – this means with thought – and the body is pretty stationary… – in order to not wear oneself out… – and sometimes, a person can say the entire prayer with great fear and love and passion without actual movement – and it will appear to another that he is saying these things without any passion – and a person can do this when he is deeply attached to God – then he can serve Him with his soul alone, with great love – and this in fact is even better, and goes quicker, and even deeper passion to God – then a prayer that looks outwardly very passionate – such a prayer the Kelipah has no hold over, for it is all internal.
71. Sometimes a person can pray exceptionally quickly as his heart is so passionately fired up for God that the words say themselves.
72. By Meditating on this name כ”ף וא”ו זיי”ן וא”ו we clear our mind.
76. I heard from my master, both when it comes to learning, and when it comes to prayer, if one understands, the words they are saying and the actual law in his learning, then he attaches Malchus which is speech to Binah which is thought.
77. The whole point of prayer is to unite the Din (or sweeten the din) of Malchus by connecting it to Binah.
78. The secret of Prayer like lighting, is first there is silence which is golden, and then it leads to the love which assuages the din (for as is known, one must rectify anger at its source.)
If one needs to educate their fellow man / citizens etc. first one must connect oneself to God – and then one should feel connected to them – for we all have one source (particularly the leaders to the people (Rebbes etc.)) and when one does this – then God your Lord is with you, and you can uplift them and connect them to God.
The Baal Shem Tov says, if you seek to lift someone who is drowning, you cannot give him your hand, for then he will pull you in, rather you must grab his hair.
82 The Baal Shem Tov says, when we pray, we should realize that the person is a small (micro, which contains the macro) universe – so by praying and realizing that this energy is coming into you, it comes into the entire (macro ) universe/s.
83. Ask Of Your God, A Sign Ois – (Ois in Hebrew also means letter) says the Baal Shem Tov – ask of God that the letters you say in prayer, you should be able to return them to their source.
84. When you pray realize God is in the letters – for you cannot speak unless you have thought – so these holy letters are the clothing for the King – and through saying them with intense joy and concentration, you unite with God.
85. The world is made through speech, so before we say the words of Davening, let us meditate on the fact that speech is preceded by thought which is preceded by desire (emotions, that create the thoughts) so through my prayers, I am sourcing the Divine speech, thought, desire (emotions that are the entirety of everything.)
86. When you speak (pray) know that the words you are saying come from God, and through this you elevate the words.
87. As the parable is a garment to the wisdom – so too, speech is a garment to thought – and when one speaks (prays) without concentration, this breaks the vessels (in other words, causes cosmic shattering) for there is no life in the vessels.. – and when one removes oneself from the physical – which is the body and it’s (his) vessel, then one can see the inner light – the energy and light of the letters – and when one removes oneself from the physical – and one clothes oneself into the very words – then he is connected to God – who is in these words – and one should see to it that one doesn’t lose concentration – and one should strengthen oneself to elevate.
The Baal Shem Tov said the letters of speech are called limited and measured (boxed) containers, called Yesh (existence) – how much more so the practical Mitzvos like Teffilin and Tallis – the containers is called Yesh – and one must draw into it the spiritual light that gives it life, which is called Ayin (nothingness) for it is soul that comes from nothing, from the infinite source of life – and corresponding to these two levels. one will receive the world to come, as it states “To give to those who love me “Yesh” and their treasure-stores will I fill” this is the light of the soul inside the treasure-house and container, which gives it life called Ayin –
88. Place all your concentration in the power of the words that you say in prayer until you see the light of the letters how they dance into one another – and from this, new lights are born – and this is the meaning of the verse “Light is sowed for the righteous and for the good-hearted joy” – the letters of the Torah are the “rooms” of God, that He draws into them His infinite light, as it states in the Holy Zohar “God and his Torah are completely one” – and into it one must put all of one’s concentration, which is the soul – for one’s concentration is their soul – and this is attachment / Deveikus – “God the Torah and the Jewish people are completely one” – and in this way we excise ourselves from the mundane physicality – in other words, we remove our soul from our body, and our soul will be in those words (thoughts) that we speak, and one will see many higher universes.
The idea of attachment (to God during prayer) is that when you say a word, you say it at length, for due to one’s longing for it (the Godliness within) one seeks not to depart from it, and therefore one says it at length.
In Kesser Shem Tov, it says regarding Diviekus (attachment) some say attachment is when you say the word at length, and you don’t wish to separate from it – and others say it is when you do a Mitzvah or learn Torah, and you create a body to the soul and a soul to the spirit and the spirit to the Neshomah – higher soul – and the soul becomes the vessel for the light of the Shechinah upon our head.
And it is as if this light spreads around you and you are in the light, sitting and rejoicing with trepidation – Similarly the heaven is like a semi-circle in each direction – – And the “awe of heaven” should literally be upon – as heaven and the light of the Shechina – which is called awe of heaven – is literally on you – – as if the light completely surrounds you…- and you are within the light, and the radiance of the Shechina and you rejoice in trepidation… and this a complete unity (with God.)
89. You should see yourself that the world (the heavenly) speech speaks in (through ) you, and without it, it would be impossible to speak, as the verse states, “G-d open my lips” and so too, your thoughts are not possible to be, except through the agency of the world of thoughts – and you are like a Shofar that what comes out of you is the voice that was put in – and if the blower stops, no voice will come out – so too, without the power of God which places this in you, you couldn’t speak or think.
90. Realize that when you pray, that the realm of speech (above) is speaking in you – such an incredible realm through which the entire universe was made – as it is says, “God made the universe though Divine speech” – and through this, think about the greatness of God, that all the life-force of all the universes come through His speech – and He is the realm of transcendence (Yirah,) and the Shechina contracts itself and rests in in your speech, as it states in Sefer Yetzira – “He placed them in the mouth” and if this is the case with the Divine speech, how much more so the Divine thought! – how many awesome pure lights which no man can fathom… so when you think (the words of prayer) realize that this is the contraction of the realm of thought in your mind, in the potential of Chochmah and Bina (your brain… ) Such an infinite realm, one should feel embarrassed (healthy sense of reverence from.)
91. And this is called Davening (praying ) Lishmah (properly…) to pray for the sake of the words, for the words long to cleave to the thoughts (meanings) and when you speak with love and awe and voice, then the words and the thought realm, love each other – this is like the pleasure a father has from his son, for the thoughts long to come into the voice to be spoken.
92. The speech of a Jew is sort of the realm of speech that gives life to the world and the thoughts of the Jewish people is the realm of thought, and this world receives letters of speech through the medium of emotions (heavenly,) namely Love (kindness) Din (judgment) Mercy – for this world contains space and limitation – therefore it must receive though the emotion – this is like the sun that one cannot look at it as its light is too strong… – and the light that comes out of it one can see – one can benefit from it, as it is less …– if it was as intense as the sun itself, no one could grasp (benefit) from it and this the meaning that God is a son and protector.
93. Just as a mother wishes for her son to say something clever so the father will fall in love with him (be proud etc.) similarly the Shechina (Divine “motherhood”) wishes for you to pray with great love and awe and then G-d boast to all the angels – furthermore this causes all the angels to also praise G-d – as such, best to say at least one word in your prayer, with love and awe.
94. Our prayers should be specifically so the voice (meaning the Holy letters contain Divine energy) should return to her father the king – this is like a conman who really has no business coming to the king, but as he is given the task of holding onto the kings signet ring, which the king loves – all the gates are to him open – similarly a person who sole desire in his prayers is that the words return to her father – all gateways of blessing to him/her are open.
95. I heard from my Master (the Baal Shem Tov) regarding morning prayers – that it should be as is written “I wake up the dawn and the dawn doesn’t arouse (rouse) me” – a person must try and exert much effort until Boruch She-amer which corresponds to the world of Assiyah – which is below, the location of Kelipos – and then he should concentrate further from Boruch She-amer until Yishtabach which is the world of Yetzira, and there, there are less kelipos – and from Yishtabach until Shemoinah Esrai you should concentrate further (deeper) and then during Shemoinah Esrei, this is like hugging and kissing (intimacy) and one should undress oneself of one’s physicality, as it says in Shulchan Aruch, see there… – and then one arouses the spirit (Divine) and in this order… a male (in other words, permanent inspiration) is engendered – however when a person randomly receives a Divine inspiration, this is not good, and therefore when this occurs one should have an intense fear (of God) and pray from the depths of the heart.
Note 65 The Baal Shem Tov says prayer is intimacy with the Shechina.
Note 66 If a person suddenly is aroused by a Divine inspiration, a great love for God (without any effort) this is not a good sign at all.
The Baal Shem Tov says we need to ask God that we should come to him in inspiration, not that we get a gift from beyond of inspiration for in such a circumstance there is the attribute of Din.
The Baal Shem Tov said a reason why Moshiach is delayed is because we don’t properly arouse ourselves to love God in Ahava Rabbah which is preparation for Shemoinah Esrei.
96. As soon as one starts praying and says the words “And-ay Sifasay Tiftach…” (“G-d open my lips and may my mouth sing your praises” – said before Shemoinah Esrie) immediately the Shechina (Divine voice) is speaking through the person.
When one has the conviction that the Shechinah is speaking through you – certainly a great awe and reverence would be felt – furthermore it is as if G-d-Himself has humbled Himself to come down to speak these words. –
And G-d is with you completely – as it says, “Peaks from the cracks..” meaning from the very letters which are rooms and one is ascending room to room – and in every room one is being judged if he is worthy to enter – and if the person would consider that he is being judged while a foreign (nor relevant) thought enters one’s mind (which is an attempt to hold him from entering a higher level,) certainly one would work harder in prayer – but one forgets that he is being judged.
97. The Baal Shem Tov speaks about what it says in the Zohar – that a person is judged in every room, and he is expelled from that room – meaning the words of Davening are called rooms – for the mind rests in them and the person who prays is going from letter to letter, from word to work (from room to room) and if one is not worthy, the way he is exppeled is by giving him a foreign (distracting ) thought and ultimately he is outside.
In Tzavvas Harivash – When you pray imagine you are going from room to room – (heavenly chamber to heavenly chamber) and when a distracting thought comes to you, they are expelling you (from that chamber) for in each chamber you get judged if you are permitted enter – and if you pray not with passion – then begin to! (as this can allow you to enter) and if you are praying with passion (so it is not that you are being expelled, rather) see what is the nature of the distracting thought… – if it is for example lewd – then bring it to its source, namely love for God (as lust is the counterpart (in the realm of evil, to positive love).
When one has a distracting thought – then one should be most embarrassed, for one has been banished from the king’s palace, and one should return to the palace with great embarrassment and tremendous humility – for a disturbing thought (in prayer) is akin to giving birth to a mamzer (bastard child) as it says in the Talmud, one thing leads to another – just as thought is male and female, similarly the voice and the speech are male and female – and if one has a foreign thought, while he is thinking holy words – then it is akin to the birth of a Mamzer – for this creation has a form – akin to an outwardly kosher person but with an evil inside – so too, the speech is in holy letters – but the thought is bad – that one thinks something else, and this gives rise to a Mamzer – furthermore one should think that God says “Why have you come into the word but not I?” for the person’s thoughts are elsewhere.
99. If a person prays and while praying is distracted (thinking elsewhere..) then the kelipah (dark forces) covers the speech – for thought (the intent) rides the speech – it would be better had this prayer not been, for whatever comes from the heart (of man below) enters the heart (of “man” above”
Note 72 Just as horses take the king (in his chariot) so too the horses – letters of Prayer draw to us the king.
100. The idea of (Divine unity) Yichud (unity with the Divine) in prayer, is that one’s thoughts should not be distracted (thinking about something other than the) prayer – to not mix bad within good –
101. During prayer one must remove themselves of the physicality of the world, as if they are not in this world – this is the interpretation of what our sages teach – “if I am not for I, who is” in other words, when I arrive at the level that I do not feel myself: if I am in this world or not… – certainly I shall have no fear of distracting thoughts – for what kind of distracting thought can come to me when I am removed from this work – and this is “Who is for I” – in other words, no distracting thought can om to me – however if I am all about myself – considering myself super important – then in fact I am not… (truly worthless) and this what is says, who is for I – in other words, of what value is my service to G-d… – for then distracting thoughts will distract my prayer and it is as if I am not in this realm – for the entire purpose of life is to serve God – and also what our sages state, “If I am here, all is here” we can explain according to this.
102. When a Jew prays and connects himself to God – a voice is announced (from God in heaven) “Tzeineh Ureiena Bnois Tziyon…” in other words – whoever is not worthy for this unity, nor wishes for it, should leave (Tzena from Yeitzei) and who desires it, Urenea (from Reah see) that the when the kelipos hear this voice, they desire to distract the person in his prayers – with a foreign thought from the pleasures of this world – and the wise person connects with great love and reverence for God – and through this they elevate the holy Divine sparks in this thought – and one should say to themselves – why should I connect to this simplistic physical pleasure – far better to attach myself to the energy which is the source of all (even the darkness) the wisdom (essence) of God, as it says “He made it all with wisdom.”
103. The sign that one’s prayers are accepted is that if a person has the ability to pray all the prayers without any distracting thoughts or with love and reverence (each to their personal capacity.)
104. The Baal Shem Tov taught, for simple people (difficult to concentrate properly) it is good to rush through Davening (in order to maintain focus) and he quoted a beautiful example he heard from his brother-in-law Reb Gershon Kutavier – there was a forest road where ferocious bandits lurked – everyone would rush through the road – once two people went – but one was drunk as a skunk – the normal person rushed and was saved – but the drunk was beat black and blue – said the somber to the drunk after he came out – amazing how did you make it out – said he to the sober, but what was the issue? (as he felt no issues…) said the somber person “but look at all the wounds” – the drunk didn’t realize. (In other words, this is about rushing through the prayers in order to be able to maintain focused concentration – not allow the kelipos to cause distracting thoughts.)
105. The Baal Shem Tov said – the idea that when a person starts to pray, many distractive thoughts come… are actually a good sign – for if there is a simple person who would like to go to the king – of-course there are guards at many doorways – now if what he will relate to the king is bad for the guards, because chances are the king in any event will ignore this individual, they will put not up a block – however if this person is an important minister whom they know the king will listen to – then they do all in their power to block him – similarly as the kelipos are holding onto sparks of Godliness, especially a righteous person they attempt to disturb his prayers – but the petitioner can scream “Father save me!” and because God desires the prayers of the Jewish people, hence all the doors open and he fixes what needs to be rectified and elevates the holy spark and creates salvation.
107. When a person prays distracting thoughts come to him – now prayer elevates man – man has many potentials – in each world he comes to, he is able to effect big things – however the kelipah seek to stop him, so they throw to him bad thoughts (now of-course the letters which create good thoughts are the same as bad – so this is like, though there may be a very delicious dish, but if you take a few delicious dishes and just mix them up, it may be repulsive) therefore a person needs to discern where these thoughts came from (for all thoughts come from either the seven positive or negative emotions – so if it is lust, one can think about love for God, if its fear, one can think about fear of God, if its boasting, one can think about God’s glory – this is in fact is a tremendous thing, and this causes a great delight to God like (God-forbid) a prince who got captured and returned from captivity (for now these sparks elevate to God. )
108. When a person is praying they should crush the distracting thought and fully focus on God – this is like a person who was counting money and his son came to him saying – I see you have money, please use it to redeem me.
109. If a person learns Torah or prays without love / fear of God, the words ascend not (to God ) certainly if one has distracting thoughts…. – these thoughts are actually the result of one’s own sins – from the kelipos – when a person realizes that they are their own sins and thus one is very perturbed and repents (for the spirituality wishes to return to her father) it so causes.
110. Note 83
I heard from my master (the Baal Shem Tov) regarding Prayer – that one needs in every word humility, separation and sweetening – – in every letter, all letters are included – for the source of all letters is Alef and it is close to the infinite ray of the Infinite – and afterwards it spreads and places itself, letter into letter until the letter Beis which is two Alefs, until the letter Tof – each one is a cover and concealment of the infinite light – in four hundred coverings – and the letter Tof is the final and most distant from the Creator, by many concealments– to the extent that Eisav and the four hundred (bad) men with him can draw energy from there – and the Tzaddik who knows that the Master of the world is in every movement and in all places – and there is no place devoid of Him – then he uncovers the covering – and elevates all the souls to the highest heights, to God, the Master of the World – and in this way He gathers all the stones (letters) to one location – the unity of the infinite light – and they all become one in the singular true source that the Tzaddik elevated them to, the original source of the infinite light.
In all the meditations that are there, one must think in every word to sweeten the anger (din) – for the secret of the word Alef is Peleh – and this comes into the letter Beis which are two Alefs, until the letter Tof – four hundred etc. and as the letter becomes distant – it becomes distance from the supreme pleasure of the light – and it comes into the concealment of the Kelipa until the letter Tof – which is a crooked foot – Malchus of Malchus of Assiyah – which there are distracting thoughts and lusts and loves, are found – and also there God conceals Himself, for there is a spark of Divinity (within all) and one considers the exile of the Shechina (the concealment of God within all matter) that a part of God is “trapped” in this dirty container of kelipa, one will have a deep fear (perturbed) – one must know that there is no movement without God – – hence God is with me, and then one can overcome the test – especially when one has disturbing thoughts in prayer – a great fear can come to him (because of it) and one should humbles oneself literally like dust – in fact, all creatures even a worm serves God – then one removes the spark from the Kelipah (and it ascends into God and through this humility, a great separation comes from above, that one should not be too broken from their great humility – and actually a division between good and evil is created – and the evil falls off – and then comes a sweetening within the light of Godliness – and one tastes the taste of the world to come – and the anger gets sweetened (in its source) and this is the order of prayer – first humility in the songs of praise (Pesuikie Dezimra) to feel connected to all creatures (all serving God) on this earth – that a nothing and breath such as you, can merit to sing praise before the great and awesome infinite Creator – and then in Shema there is a separation – the choseness of the Jewish people – and but you, say the Shemah … Echad – and then during Shemoina Esrei there is a sweetening with tremendous attachment – and this is both generally and specifically in every single letter.
111 Just knowing that God is within every single detail and movement in this world gives the person the powerful faith to subdue the kelipa.
The way we overcome the Kelipa is we are aware that God is literally in everything – when one is conscious of this fact, this allows one to not become angry, petty – and have a humble heart – hence filled with love of God and for the Jewish people – and through this one separates the good from the evil in all times and places.
112 How does one dance before the Kallah – Beis Shamai says “The Kallah As She is,” Beis Hillel Says, ‘A Beautiful And Kindly Bride’ – the explanation (spiritually of this) is when Moshiach comes, the Shechina is called Kallah etc. however now the Shechina is referred to as “this” – so the point is, how do we dance in exile, when the Shechina is in exile? – for the dance is to elevate all the sparks, and the low level, to elevate it to above, like a holy dance etc. and this works not out well during the time of Galus – for who can do this perfectly? – therefore Beis Shamai says, a Kallah as she is – The secret of “Her husband is known in the gates” – for each person, what they assume in their mind in general about God, is good – and if one is able to specifically refine each and every personality trait to beauty, the Shechina, this is the practice of Beis Hillel.
Note 90 The Baal Shem Tov teaches when Moshiach comes the Shechina will be called Kallah.
Now the Shechin is called “this” for everything a person sees in it is the Shechina.
113 The Baal Shem Tov explains on the debate between Beis Shamai and Hillel, on how to praise the Kallah… that Beis Shamai says – in general one must know God hides in everything, and Beis Hillel says that specifically we must know that the sparks of Divinity, fell into the Kelipah, and during prayer, distracting thoughts come, so we should fix them, and one must separate and remove the kelipa and elevate the sparks and beautify them, so it should be a beautiful Kallah.
114. When a person knows and believes that God inhabits ever single atom, and every detail, and thought, it all comes from Him, then all the Kelipa (dark forces) will dissipate – this is knowing God your Father.
115 Regarding bad thoughts – how to elevate them and fix them and the bad will dissipate – if one doesn’t know how to do this, for each individual thought – then one should know that within everything that exists, is the two Divine names of Yud-Hei- Vov-Hei and Adnay.
Note 92 The Master explained regarding bad thoughts to elevate them to their source and fix them up and return them to God, to love God, for they only come for the person’s benefit, to inspire positive traits, joy and attachment (to God) and humility to the source – but the fool follows the evil – but the righteous person elevates the thought to their essence, which is in all things, and returns them to holiness, through the belief that there is no entity both large and small – no thought, without God – which is inspiring the person to connect to their source, and through this faith all the Kelipa will be nullified, and if one knows not how to do this for each individual thought, then one can have the general meditation that within everything is the two names of God, Yud-Hey-Vov-Hey and Adnay.
116. The Talmud states that if a person says Shema twice – we quiet him – and the Talmud asks perhaps the first time he lacked concentration (without going into the lengthily answer, but the punchline,) Says the Baal Shem Tov, though he lacked concentration the first time, nonetheless he should realize that within every thought – even a bad thought is a “complete being” for everything is energized by God – and therefore this thought is coming to the person to rectify it, and if one believes this not, one is limited the infinity of God (to descend into darkness, so man can rectify.)
Furthermore says the Baal Shem Tov – the negative thought that comes to the person comes so the person should rectify it – however how do you know if the negative thought is just trying to distract whereas one should stay away for it – so the way one can tell is when the negative thought came, did you think to elevate it? (for if not, then it is there to distract, and one should stay away from it.)
Someone once asked the Baal Shem Tov – if he said words of prayer without concentration, may he repeat them – replied the Baal Shem Tov to him – in those words which were said distracted, were sparks of Godliness, that as you said them, you elevated them – but you may rethink the words.
118. When a person has a foreign thought in prayer – he should realize that the kelipah causing this thought actually came from his own (sins) whether in this lifetime, a previous or even from within Adam (for all Jews within Adam are sourced) therefore this is his task (this probably refers but to Tzaddikim knowledgeable in this sacred “art”) to elevate.
119. Our sages state, Talmud is greater then Mitzvahs, for when one studies one also has the Mitzvah – – now (from the three soul levels: nefesh, ruach, neshamah) the nefesh enclothes the ruach and the ruach enclothes, the neshama, hence the nefesh to the ruach is considered wife and the ruach to the neshama is called wife – – now it is known that the entire Torah is a preparation to fear of God which is called prayer – and when one prays they receive Divine male energy corresponding to the Torah they have studied – now if their study was lishma (altruistic) then what they receive will be simalear –
Note 101 The Baal Shem Tov teaches how do we know if we are deserving God through personal motivation (such as honor etc. or reward) if after we do the service, we remain as humble.
Sometime the Yetzer allows one to pray with great concentration, just so later he can make him fall into the sin of Arrogance.
Similarly the Baal Shem Tov teaches, a person may seek to do a Mitzvah humbly (in private..) so he can consider himself great or worse in front of others – and the greatest is what our sages teach – seek out to do both small and big Mitzvahs – for if a person is altruistic, then the small and big to him are equal.
120 The Baal Shem Tov says that until Moshiach comes, every day of prayer is new (battle.)
121. In prayer there is present – and war – the war are the bad thoughts that come which one must bring them to their source * – and then those thoughts which are elevated, to him is a present.
* Note 104 The opposite of love is lust – the opposite of God is idolatry (perhaps arrogance..) – the opposite of self-discipline – hate (murder etc.)
122. When a distracting thought comes to one in prayer, for example about intimacy etc. a person can realize that this is a punishment and by feeling a great fear of God, they elevate.
123 All negative thoughts come from the breaking of the 248 vessels – these descend through malchus of malchus of Asiya.
124 Every single day in our prayers we should have new Divine insights (as well as for those – Tzaddikim – to whom this applies, elevate the distracting thoughts.)
One should pray for the sake of the Shechina as it says in Kabbalah, if one is praying for the sake of the Shechina their prayers are answered.
125 It says in the Mishna, Do not serve God in order to receive a reward, and there is another version, serve God in order to not receive a reward – says the Holy Baal Shem Tov – both are true, the former is serve God for the sake of God, not for your own sake – hence if what you request is or isn’t fulfilled, to you should be the same – the second is like a person who loves the king so much, and wishes to speak to him – one day said the king “all who wish for anything should come and their wish shall be granted,” this person ran to the king but said not his wish – for his greatest wish was to have the wish to always need the king.
126. Prayer is called the Shechina and during prayer one’s intention should be that we are trying to unite the wife (the Shechina) with her husband.
127 The Baal Shem Tov says that the main prayer outside of Israel is the belief that within everything is God – and through this, one uplifts the feet of the Shechina (ED. Instead of perceiving a separate existence…)
Furthermore one should believe as soon as one prays one is answered – as to the fact sometimes one is not – firstly the answer may be in a heavenly realm, and it could be that the issue one is praying for is actually in the person’s benefit – if one’s purpose of prayer is just to be answered, then one mixes one’s personal issue into the Shechina which creates a barrier.
Note 117 The Baal Shem said – “I” Jew – “Believe, with complete faith” – I believe with total belief – what does total belief mean? – even were one to cut off my head hand and foot…
“that the circumstance of a body are not attributable..” the body like a nut that one first must crack its shell, similarly a Jew who eats like a Jew, sleeps like a Jew, and most importantly looks like a Jew – looks not where one mustn’t… – this allows one to know G-d.
“To him alone is it right to pray and to no other” that my aim in life should be but to your will, not to anything physical/materialistic.
128. There are two levels in prayer, the lowest is where one is asking for oneself – this is a person of the world – the higher is where one is asking for the sake of the Shechina – and as one is already within the Shechina – as is known, above and below are one – as it is fixed above, so too below.
Also this is why often people do not appreciate the importance of their prayers – in which they rectify heavenly realms.
129. “On Rosh Hashana three books are open … for Tzaddikim … Benoinim.. Reshayim…”
The book refers to the world of speech, and the Tzaddikim connect the world of speech to the world of thought – this is the primary purpose of all their holy words of Torah and prayer – for in every word of Torah and prayer one must believe that one is connecting the realm of thought with the realm of speech – – this despite the fact, one may not receive what one is praying for – nonetheless by praying in such a manner, one likewise connects the heavenly realm of speech with the realm of thought –
When a person begins to pray they should meditate that that what I am missing is missing above – and when one prays with devotion, then God is glorified in the realm of speech – and the glory is felt in all the universes – and upon you too glory descends – and be careful to not let go of your devoted concentration – to consider your personal greatness (that you pray with devotion….)
An average is a person who prays also for his own needs – if ultimately their needs are there so they can serve God… this too unites the world of speech with the world of thought.
Before prayer one should think about the tremendous suffering of the Shechina, because Jews are in exile – now during the time of the Beis Hamikdash, sacrifices would atone – and now prayer takes sacrifices place – if a person sins this hurts the Shechina – and through atonement the Shechina comes out of her pain – in other words, through considering the pain of the Shechina in exile – then through prayer the sins are forgiven and the Shechina is redeemed.
A person should always pray that the Shechina should come out of exile.
In one place in the Zohar it says that whoever requests for themselves is like a (obnoxious) dog – yet elsewhere is says that one who prays not for his livelihood daily is of little faith – explains the Baal Shem Tov, that one should realize that their personal lack is the lack of the Shechina.
Who feels pleasure / pain? – The life-force – the proof being, if God-forbid the same person passed, he would sense nothing –
130. when one attaches oneself to the letters/words of prayer, the words themselves speak for the individual.
131. Teaches the Baal Shem Tov, one should completely of themselves forget, and pray but for the Shechina – then a person raises themselves beyond time, to the world of thought, where all is equal – when one is humble, God in Him can reside.
Note – a young boy later to become a Rebbe, went under the Taalis of Baal Shem Tov and he saw how the Baal Shem Tov’s face would change from a deathly pale to a fiery fervor.
133 The Baal Shen Tov gives an amazing parable, once a king said, anyone can come to me and I shall fulfil their request – many came requesting gold and silver but one special person said to the king – my request is to but come speak with you three times a day- the king was so pleased that this was the man’s request, that through the multiple doorways to the king were many treasures and the king said – for this person all my treasures- on his way to speak to me, are open.
The Tzaddik perceives that any pain or lack that he or the Jewish people has, is a lack in the Shechina and therefore he prays for the Shechina – as is rectified above, so is rectified below.
When the prayer is for the Shechina, God is there.
A righteous man prays that His prayers should be for the sake of the Shechina.
Such a prayer God gives the person (as in the example above) everything.
King David said, “A prayer of a poor person – before God, he requests to pour forth his supplication” that a person’s sole prayer is for God.
The Baal Shem Tov gave an example – three types of people approach the king – the first one seeing the guards outside, run (from fright) the second, bribe the guards, but coming to the palace and seeing treasures the likes they have never experienced, get so caught up, they forget the king – but the third, realize, that compared to the source of all pleasures, The King Himself…
I heard from my master (the Baal Shem Tov) that though Reb Nechuniah ben Hakana (one of the great Kabbalists) knew all the Kabbalistic names of God etc. nonetheless, he prayed like a child – just to God Himself.
My master explained – regarding prayer and Divine service, there are two types – negative, namely God is distancing the person – Positive, that God brings the person close – now when a person says the name of God, they are meant to meditate that God is the Master (depending on the name) as well as that He is the source of all life, constantly present… – now can there be a greater unity then this kiss (the feeling of closeness to God) but when a person is being distanced, then he is given distracting (or troublesome) thoughts – now the truth of the matter is, that the purpose of these troubles is only to cause later a deeper bond (through re-attachment – Teshuvah,) in fact when a person is troubling another, he’s still present (engaged with the other) similarly, one should realize – though the sweetness of God is better, nonetheless, even when God is troubling, He is here.
135 A holy person should realize that if an extraneous force causes one to need to stop studying Torah, or praying, this too is for the sake of a deeper (Teshuva re-attachment) bond.
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.
153 A wise person realizes that the pain they have is the pain of the Shechina and as they pray for the Shechina, their pain also is healed.
154. The Tzaddikim by seeing what they lack, they understand what the Shechina lacks, and pray for the Shechina.
Note 150 Even if a Jew who has evil in him is suffering, this causes God to suffer! for God created the world as a Giver – who loves to bestow. – So when praying, we pray for the pain of God – furthermore this was the way of Nachum Ish Gam Zu (who for every negative would say “this too is for the good”) for by so doing he would through faith, extract the goodness from the negative, and so it would become.
156 The Baal Shem Tov says, we must pray for our enemies as they are the spirit of the Tzaddik (who is being harassed) in a separate incarnation- and through praying for them, the harshness is sweetened at its source – and one extracts the spirit and what is left, disintegrates automatically.
157. ED. This may apply more for Tzaddikim – The Baal Shem Tov teaches to pray for one’s enemies and the benefit is as follows (this refers to fellow Jews who are harassing the Tzaddik) that one’s own soul has descended into the seven sefiros – his Nefesh becomes his servants and animals… – his Ruach, his wife – and his speech which is called unity in the mouth, is also called wife – so when one speaks say lashoin hara, this creates enemies who speak negative against him – the neshomoh which is from the mind are his children, and if one sins in the mind, this causes that he has pain from his children – and in the soul this too is true, if one sins in action, this causes pain from ones servant’s and animals – and in every sefirah, one can elevate the naran (nefesh ruach neshama) however the seventh sefira (malchus) this is difficult, and for this Sefira the kelipa receive their life force – – so the enemies that one formed from bad speech – one must elevate them through the speech of Torah – but if one just casts them off, then they hate him more (as their “grobkeit” – coarseness increases) therefore the punishment of a not so good Tzaddik is the spirit (ruach) of the Tzaddik-Himself, and through this prayer, it becomes sweetened in its source – and one extracts their spirit and whatever is left automatically disintegrates.
Note 152 The Naran (nefesh ruach neshoma) of a person incarnates in the seven sefiros – – the nefesh, its light spreads into the secret of his servants and animals – and if a person does evil action, this causes that he has pain from his servant and animals – that the horses and donkeys die – and sometimes through his bad actions he causes souls to descend into the kelipah – and they incarnate into the physical, and plants – and so his animals graze there and eat that grass, and the souls that are there cause illness and death to his animals (as revenge…) and when a Tzaddik passes there, he elevates those souls – – then they leave the animals alone, and they get healed.
And if one sins in his ruach – speech – lashoin hara etc. or speaks negatively about a Jew etc. – now we know that holy speech is called a unity – and the opposite in Lashoin Hara (ED. A separation.)
So G-d forbid one who talks Lashoin Hara effects the vov … and his is a sin worse than idolatry, murder, and adultery – for the person literally spills the “blood,” the visage of his fellow – and the Shechina cannot shine – – this is a general sin and he removes all the energy and radiance that is in the Shechina – – From this, bad people come and talk bad against him and this breaks him – and the person also has problems from his wife – and in direct proportion to ones’ negative effect – so is one’s suffering – – and through his suffering the person whom he critized becomes appeased, and he forgives him (in heaven…”) and this about a Tzaddik who just happened to speak negatively about another (like accidently…) but a wicked person who indulges in malicious speech – he lives in this world peacefully, but his soul is cut off, and loses any connection to existence.
And if one sins in their Neshomoh – and the Neshomah dwells in the mind… and the person’s thoughts, which is where the semen (the source of it) comes from – so one who sins in thoughts, causes pain from his children – and in all the Sefiros and emotions, one can elevate the nara”n (nefesh, ruach, neshomoh) except for malchus, for that is where the kelipa derives, it is therefore difficult to elevate from there the holiness – for one needs great faith and to withstand many tests – and to be firm in their convictions that in every single negative experience is God with him – in other words for him – and one should believe with complete faith and trust in the name of God, and rely on his God in all matters – and in this way one handles the evil of his friends and accepts it with joy –
And the principle that is derived – that the people who hate you come from sins of speech – therefore one must elevate them through speech – the speech of prayer – to pray for them that they should return to God – as Reb Yehuda Hachassid… that every Jew who caused you suffering and speaks evil against you becomes a Baal Teshuva, even a gentile converts… – however if one doesn’t do this, but casts them aside and causes upon them Din – they become coarse and hate him even more – and this is a punishment for a Tzaddik whose not completely good – for all who hate him and cause him mental pain actually come from the source of his soul – and are literally the ruach spirit of his soul – and they were created to cause him suffering and humility – that he shouldn’t become arrogant God-forbid – which would cause him to fall into kelipah – so this being the truth, why should the Tzaddik cast them aside – they cause him life in this world and the next… – therefore with all his effort he must fix them – and cause them to shine his light upon them – and to elevate them in prayer – and through the prayer, the judgment is sweetened and one extracts the ruach (spirit) from them and the pure evil (part) automatically disintegrates – and one shouldn’t be angry (and cause judgement on them, even between oneself and God) on the contrary, one should pray for them and see miracles – and the good will return to be his friends – and this is the idea of Moses, the true shepard, and then he gave them the Torah and they became his disciples.
The Baal Shem Tov teaches that there is the world of thought from where all thoughts come to a person – there is the world of speech from where from where speech comes to the person, and there is the world of action from where all types of action come to the person – now if a person sins in thought, then the person has trouble from their children, for they come from his thought (mind – the seminal beginning of the seed) if a person had no sins in his thoughts, his sons would be connected to his brain – and his thought would envelope his children – however when a person sins in thought – then his thought departs from his children, and he has pain from his children (which is measure for measure – midah cineged midah.)
And if one sins in speech, then one has pain for one’s wife – for woman is the secret of speech – for the woman is like the mirror who understands her husband – and when one’s speech is complete in Torah and Mitzvos and faith, then one has Nachas (satisfaction) from his own speech, and when one has faith, one has nachas from their speech, and similarly the wife has Nachas from him, as she comes from the world of speech – but if one sins in speech, which include voice (sound) one has pain from one’s wife – similarly with action – one who is complete in their actions, one doesn’t have pain from their possessions – and therefore when one does a Mitzvah (action) one must ensure that their intention (thought) mind is connected – but when one’s thoughts, speech and action are disconnected, one suffers.
The Gemarah says, Mar Ukbah sent to Reb Elazar – “there are people that are harassing me and I have the power to hand them over to the Government…” – – so he wrote to him the verse: “Be silent to God, and await for him” – get up early and rise and study in the house of Torah study, and they will disappear.
Explained the Baal Shem Tov – Reb Elazer gave him great advice – that through studying more Torah the Dinim will be rectified – the Dinim (harsh decrees) that are within the people harassing – for the fact that people are harassing is because there is a Din above – this Din enclothes itself in bad people – the solution is to not fight with them – rather to learn more Torah – the inner dimension of Torah – which is the secret to knowledge – and one should pray with love and awe of God which is literally Daas – and through the Daas and words (of prayer) one elevates above – to unify in the world of thought – in where there are no harsh judgment – and no evil – only good and then one includes those fallen Dinim in the positive – and all of this is through recognizing that these Dinim are fallen letters – the harsh speech are the fallen letters – therefore when one studies Torah with love and awe, which is the level of Daas one elevates those letters to the source of Torah above – and they become rectified in their source – as is known, all that descends below is through letters (of Divine speech) and through them elevating to their source, the evil falls away – and all becomes good and then the people who were previously enemies become friends.
- * *
Says the Baal Shem Tov it is a nature in the Jewish people that when something negative occurs, we rejoice – in this rejoicing, we sweeten the judgement (from the sting / harshness) if however a person gets angry or seeks vengeance (or God-forbid does something cruel etc.) then on the contrary, one is helping the enemy – for the purpose of rejoicing in the negative is certainly there was a Din (a negative decree in heaven) and through what occurred the decree has averted.
159 The Ramban asks on how a prayer works – that it changes a negative heavenly decree to a positive – – now this seems to not makes sense – why would God change his mind – if we are speaking about someone who has changed, this makes sense, but if we are talking about someone praying for his friends?
So the Baal Shem Tov explains that the prayer is to sweeten the judgment of malchus (where judgments are) to take it back into Binah (settle her – put her at ease) and so now the person is not the same
The Baal Shem Tov explains a great secret on how to turn bitterness to sweetness (suffering to delight) one must find within the pain and suffering a source of goodness – for in the source, Gevurah (Din – harsh decrees) is complete loving-kindness – for they are the limit (of the infinite expansion of God’s love – or the limitation – like screens which allow an infinite light to be seen and felt) the purpose of these limitations is so each person can receive the limited amount of energy necessary for their survival and life (for too much would blow the circuit – infinity in finite would cause the infinity to be the only existence) similarly sometimes difficult things occur, so we may remain humble and in this way not lose our share in the world to come – – so in essence it is all loving kindness – and through finding the source of kindness, and accepting it with love – then it all truly so becomes – and the negative turns into the positive (source where it emanates from) – and we need to create a kal vichomer (analogy…) the dinim (sufferings below) need to realize (be told) that if my source is complete kindness, I which are but a fraction of a fraction, fraction etc. of my source, how much more so I must be only kindness – and when the person feels this – so it manifests.
Everything coming from God originates in positive letters – however when these letters descend, they can become messed up – the Tzaddik through his prayers fixes all the letters.
The main prayer is for others – from God evil comes not, rather letters, and these letters can be combined in positive or negative forms.
The Baal Shem Tov teaches that we sweeten the harsh decrees by finding the hidden (or motivational) kindness behind them.
When we find the kindness in a harsh (circumstance,) the kind element overtakes it.
When something bad occurs do whatever you can to see something good in it – for then the good becomes extracted and the bad will disintegrate.
God answers all prayers, even of the thief to have success, but the difference between the righteous Tzaddik) person and the criminal is, whereas in the former God will give him what he wants though God knows it is not what is in his best interest, in the latter as well… but when the Tzaddik realizes he needs something else, God will then change (and help – but not the criminal, who then gets caught..)
One can ask, why would God even answer the prayers of the wicked – and this is for free-choice – for as he realizes that even his wicked prayers are answered, he will obviously understand how much more so his good.
The Baal Shem Tov comments on the saying, the greatest knowledge is not knowing – that two types of people seek to know the unknowable king – the first gives up, as he is unknowable, the second researches as much as possible, but realizing the king is infinite, understand his limitation – such must be our quest.
One Must research God and then realize what one should and shouldn’t (may or may not know.)
Know that just as dreams follow their interpretation, for the belief in what will occur causes it – similarly thoughts – which is why if you choose to think positive (so if you have a negative thought, always come up with a positive.)
Because a person can change information from negative to positive – like Yirmiyah the prophet, who should have prayed for the Jewish people hearing the harsh decrees… – for even in a dream, if a person sees a negative like a dead person, they can make it into a positive (from the letters of Meis (dead) to Tam (sincere.)
The Baal Shem Tov says on the verse, “Turn from evil and do good” our job is to turn evil (thoughts, fears etc.) into good (positive, hope etc.)
The Baal Shem Tov says on the verse “Turn from evil and do good,” remove from the bad the bad, and then it turns to good.
162 The Baal Shem Tov says, when someone encounters a difficulty, and then through prayer it goes away, when this issue comes to the person in the future, it will easily be overcome.
163. The Baal Shem Tov queried, in the times of Moshiach, when there will be no problems, what will we pray about? – and prayer is one of the limbs of the Shechina, so certainly it must continue! – so he explains, there are four types of prayers: 1 the prayer for God’s name that has been defiled in exile 2. The prayer for forgiveness of sins, for a sin is worse then death 3. Prayer for livelihood and 4. Prayers for life – now the limbs of the Shechina are encompassed in these four prayers (hence when we pray for them we save the Shechina) and the physical needs are separated and all the sparks of Godliness (within the physical are ) elevated – but in the times of Moshiach, when these problems don’t exist, our prayers shall be Yechudim (ever higher drawing down of spiritualty.)
164. The words of prayer must come from the depths of the heart!
165. When there is negative judgment – one shouldn’t use words (which may evoke the accusatory angels) rather thoughts.
166. The Baal Shem Tov said, after prayer one must be very careful, for if one prayed with fear of God, these emotions can then turn into anger, and if a person prayed with love to God, these emotion can turn into lust etc. therefore immediately after prayer a person must delve into Torah study or work and this is the meaning of the Mishna, “all Torah (in this context prayer) that doesn’t include work (or Torah study after prayers) in the end it becomes nullified, and leads to sin.”
- The Baal Shem Tov teaches that the commandment of Lech (to Avrohom) is the idea of Shema – as the numerical equivalent of Lech is 50 and there are 25 letters in Shema and 24 in Boruch Sheim – together with Mesires Nefesh – which is the idea of leaving your comfort zone, it’s 50.
- In order to bring Moshiach – which the Divine took his infinite and placed it within the exile of the foolish pursuits of the foolish – hence those who use the world wisely, for good / Godly pursuits, they elevate and bring Moshiach.
- The Baal Shem Tov comments on the Divine command to Avrohom, Lech Licha – in which God says “I will reveal your soul” – for the main purpose of man’s existence is to crush their negative traits.
- The Baal Shem Tov also says the purpose of man is to rid himself of vile traits, there are basically four – anger, lust, sadness, and frivolness (fun.)
When we transition out of our negative impulse – and we all have one addiction – then God blesses us.
- I heard from the Baal Shem Tov, when there are many or some wicked people in a city or country who behave trough lying, and there is one, who tells the truth, this conquers.
- A Tzaddik after he goes to heaven comes back to earth in order to rectify souls -his soul offshoots – that still need to be rectified – though he is afraid (that on earth he shall fall) so they promise that he won’t.
- The Baal Shem Tov gives an awesome parable, two people traversed a dangerous forest – accosted they were by vicious bandits – the difference between the two is, one was drunk as a skunk, the other was lucid – the bandits beat them up and took all their possessions – when they left the forest people asked the drunk (who by now was somewhat sober) is the forest dangerous? – he said its no problem… – when they asked him “what is the reason for all your bruises?” – he did not know – Conversely the lucid person said “the forest is a great danger!”
Similarly, the righteous aware of the snares and danger of the Yetzer Hara and evil, warn people, but those drunk, blind, and in the throes of their wants/desire, like the drunk, encourage.
- A person always fluctuates – it is impossible to remain on one spot – however some (as in the Previous example) descend (into this world with her challenges) and elevate – others descend and fall.
- When a person God-forbid has a thought of znus (pornography etc.) or avodah zorah (idol-worship) this is an indication that he will be punished – the rectification (or prevention) is to realize that everything (including these thoughts…) comes from the Shechina (the descent of God) therefore one should attempt to elevate – through recognizing how tragic that Divinity should descend to such a low level – and this will save the person.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Everything that exists comes from either from the emotion of Divine love or fear – now if a person sees a woman or a food that he loves, one must realize that within this emotion of love is the Divine love and so to look at the way it has fallen in the physical, as opposed to its essential spiritual nature, is too like unclothe the King, and the same thing applies to say if somebody is afraid of a person – one should think, why should I be afraid of this individual…. let me touch the source of fear which is the fear of God.
- The primary thing is to choose good.
Once one makes this choice, one should have complete faith, with no doubt, that God fills every aspect of creation, and in all creations is the life-force of God.
Therefore, all love and fear, and all other emotions come from God.
Even the negative in this world.
Therefore a person should never love or fear or honor, give any emotional importance to anything besides God; for a person should think that this thing that I fear or love…where does it come from – the sense of awe or attraction… all comes from God! – For He places these emotional stimuli even in bad things.
Therefore actually all sense of fear comes from Him.
So why should I fear a little spark that fell into evil.
Far better that I should connect this to the Infinite-Fear… and so too love, and the other emotions…. to extract the Sparks and transfer and transform them to their source.
So too when one speaks, do not think that you are speaking, rather with the life force within you, which is your Creator, is speaking in you; and through this you elevate speech to its source – and in this way, all things are equal – so too the speech of another who you speak to – it all comes from God.
And so too, when you eat, your thought should be to take this energy and elevate it to God, through the energy you are going to have… when you serve God – and so too all other things – your thought process, should only be in order to connect yourself to God Above.
- Queries the Baal Shem Tov, why is there such an obsession with sexual desire? and He says, this is because the person comes from that desire; and all the desires the person has be it food etc. is an offshoot of a body that comes from that desire – the goal is to say “why should I be attached, to such a small minded, thing? when I could be attached to the Creator Of The Universe?!!!!”
- Whenever Rashi says “this is the simple explanation of the verse” what He means (for the Hebrew word for simple / Pashtus, also comes the word “pasthus” to separate…) so when you separate yourself from the gross physicality / material, your soul will perceive the essence of the verse.
Note 25. The Baal Shem Tov said, the simple Rashi, is in the realm of Atzilus.
The Baal Shem Tov says, when we remove ourselves from the physicality, so too we will see the essence of the Divinity in the verse.
- A human being, being a composite of good and evil, can never be – even holy people…. always good, we always rise and fall – the trick is, when you connect deeply to God… like the example of the Minister who had to go to a distant land to save a Prince that had fallen… had forgotten that he was a a Prince – and he would have to dress up as the peasants, in order to remind himself of his original station – so in order to recall who he is (that he is on a mission) he first deeply connected to his identity.
- Often we travel somewhere thinking that we have a desire to go to that destination, but meanwhile, the purpose we went there, was because there were some holy Sparks we needed to elevate.
- Sometimes a person has to take a business trip and the reason he took that trip is, in that location there is a loaf of bread or water, which the Sparks of Divinity that is in it, he is meant to elevate, which completes his soul.
- A person has to self-investigate to see if their emotions and opinions are correct – and when one is not sure, one must go to a Chassidic mentor.
- The Baal Shem Tov says, wherever we go, we must go there a second time – for the first time, we have to investigate – what is the purpose? Sometimes we go somewhere for the purpose of elevating the Sparks in the food or saying a blessing, but often we are not aware… and the second time we accomplish it.
- A Tzaddik’s soul has Sparks of it, falling within his possessions and people, similar to the verse “And Abraham took Lot his nephew and all the possessions that he acquired…” and the Tzaddik must elevate it all.
- The Baal Shem Tov said, that whoever passes without a son, cannot ascend above – but even if he has a son – but the son does not behave properly, this causes him deleterious things – but one whose son is right – this gives him a complete pass.
- God told Abraham – when Abraham said that he couldn’t have a son based on the stars.. that he should leave stargazing… “because Jews don’t have a Mazal…” and the question is, we know that it says, the three main blessings of life, children and sustenance…. it doesn’t depend on your good deeds, but on your Mazel… The explanation is, that when we say “Ein Mazal Liysroel” it means Ayin (source) is the Jewish Mazal – which refers to God’s desire – in other words, if you’re getting something because you earned it, it’s not so great… – rather God’s DESIRE is the force that gives you these blessings.
- The Baal Shem Tov, said, just as stars appear so small below – but are so big above – so to the Jews.
- The Baal Shem Tov teaches, that through faith, which is an emotion – we transform the negative perception to a positive – and when we do that, all our troubles will fall.
- Faith is a true attachment to God (it is well-known in the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, that being attached to God is the main thing) this is the ultimate goal, and through faith we come to Bitachoin, which is trust, that we trust in each and every circumstance that God has our best interest, and we come to love God etc.
- A person who unfortunately has suffering, whether big or small should certainly assume that they sinned… when we do this, and we feel humbled, this is an atonement and wipes away the sin, however if a person feels, but I am in charge of everything…
- When a person thinks about say a home, it may be a moment but to actually build it may take (depending on the size) years – the same thing is a tree – so we see, in the realm of thought a moment can erase a lot of time – whenever we do a Mitzvah this connects this realm (of slow time) to the realm above – this is the meaning that God thought about the end (of the 400 years of exile) for if/when we connect to God – time (at least the negative) can go in a flash.
- We sin when we are in a constricted (narrow “minded”) thinking which itself God can cause, to cause us to persevere, so he can reward us.
36 The Baal Shem Tov explains the bizarre statement that whoever dwells in Israel it is as if he has a God, whoever dwells outside of Israel, as if he is Godless… that when he studies Torah and is connected to God, but when he disconnects.
37. One must go to war with the Yetzer Hara, for when he attempts to shame and humiliate a person and say, “You are just a nothing…” “who are you to be holy??” you have to use his tool of arrogance and say, “I am a part of God!”
Note 51 The difference between the Tzaddik and the Rasha / good and evil, is whereas the former uses the 10 primary emotions and intellect that one has for God and goodness, the latter uses it for selfish and arrogant gratification.
38. Our sages state what is the difference between the disciples of Abraham (humility, kindness etc.) and Billam (never satisfied, arrogant etc.) in truth each has the qualities of the other, but one for the spiritual, the other for the physical. 39. The difference between the spiritual / physical desires are actually amazingly…. that they both have the same tendency… just in a different direction, for the spiritual person is never satisfied from his or her spirituality, and always seeks more, while physically they are content with little – while the egoist can never be satisfied with anything in this world, while spiritually they feel that the little they do is enough.
39. The difference between the spiritual / physical desires are actually amazingly…. that they both have the same tendency… just in a different direction, for the spiritual person is never satisfied from his or her spirituality, and always seeks more, while physically they are content with little – while the egoist can never be satisfied with anything in this world, while spiritually they feel that the little they do is enough.
40. A person must have the sense in the material world that I have enough, but in the spiritual world it’s never enough.
41. It is known that God created man to serve Him – and the appropriate service is that a person should imitate God in all his ways, in order for the holiness of God to dwell within him.
God is called good, and we wish for His goodness to be us.
How does a person make themselves into the home for God?
A person must refine their body and soul, by elevating their spiritual qualities and generally speaking, this refers to the 24 main organs of an individual, such as their eyes, their ears. So what we see, what we hear is good etc… and then all of one’s organs and veins become holy.
And this is what it says that “Your camp will be holy” and your soul becomes light, and the 248 limbs in your body are like flaming fires, and this is through the study of Torah, and the practice of Mitzvos altruistically, with love and awe of God.
The light which is the soul, which dwells in the mind, and its qualities, that you have, and the candle which is the 248 limbs of the man, all of them, through love and awe of God, become a bright light.
And when these sources become pure, your body becomes a home and a vehicle for your soul, and your soul becomes a vehicle for God who dwells within it.
When you have such a good resident… namely God Himself, then no evil can befall you, and the evil runs from you.
And this is what it King David said, “Go away from evil and do good” in other words, create from the very evil, good… that means, from all the physical emotional traits… disassociate from the narcissistic and selfish pleasures and then the good within them will dominate, and they will tend towards the right side of kindness and wisdom; and this is what it says that “Only goodness and kindness will pursue me all the days of my life!” This is the right side that the left bows to it through the pure good actions.
This is the meaning that God said, “Your name should no longer be Jacob, but Israel;” and the Gemarah says, “That it’s not that He took away the name of Jacob, but rather Jacob became secondary to Israel;” In other words, it’s not that we need to get rid of these say passionate emotions within us – rather we need to transform them to be used for the good – when they should be vehicles and instruments of the good in our soul, and when you do this, you become both the vehicle for God and his Home on earth.
42. The Baal Shem Tov taught, the contrast emotions (bad and good) arrogance/humility – tough/gentle – generous/stingy – so the negative emotions is not there only to offer man free-choice (to choose good over evil…) rather each negative emotion has a positive, to be proud of one’s Divine service – to use strength for God, and even at times to limit (when necessary.)
43. King David wished to remove from himself any ulterior motive in his performance of Mitzvos – realize that he would be left naked, he rejoiced when he recalled the Bris – when he was too young to have any ulterior motives.
- We know Avrohom interrupted speaking to God to invite guests – from here our sages deduce that inviting guests is greater than receiving the Divine – but as inviting guests may incur waste of Torah study, or Lashoin hara – nonetheless..
- Oirech (guest) is Oir / Ches – the light of Ches which refers to the world to come, for s/he who invites guests, receives the world to come.
- The guest brings Torah to the host – according to the caliber of the guest, so is the Torah that is revealed to the host.
- Avrohom told Sara, hurry prepare three “pounds” of flour, and she took from the best – from here our sages deduce, that a woman is “cheap” with guests – the question is obvious (for she did from the best – while Avrohom said regular) so the Baal Shem Tov gave an example- once there was a lion who told his cubs, “we are the strongest of the animals” – so the cubs confidently strode to see the world – they came to an abandon palace and there they saw all types of images of animals- they also saw Shimshoin Hagibor tearing a lion as if it was a goat – terrified they ran back to their father… – “actually this proves the point… – for it shows that one person was capable of such a feat, hence it is being highlighted…” – similarly Sara was very righteous (hence she gave unstintingly.)
- The Name אלד is good for a woman giving birth by concentrating that the א represents Chochmah and Binah – the ל the three pillars (I think this means right, left, center) and ד which is the Shechina, and one should have in mind to draw down from above to below.
9. Every year on the Yor Tzeit (anniversary of passing) a parent is judged – for in heaven the only way – which is the goal on a Yor Tzeit to ascend is through having a merit, thereby they go into ever deeper scrutinys – perhaps a Mitzvah here or there etc. – however for one who has been totally purified (seems, like used up all merits) therefore only relating about the person – learning from their ways, is what causes their elevation – and for the righteous Tzaddikim, those that cause their elevation, get with them elevated.
- One who prays for his friend, his prayers are answered first – why? – it is known, that in order to sweeten the anger (judgment) one must go to the source – when the Tzaddik uses his intellect (for in perception – not emotion – one can see causes – say someone was nervous etc.) therefore by reaching to the fiftieth gate of understanding where there is no point of expansion, as the Baal Shem Tov said, something that has no surface area cannot break (like an idea that is fundamentally true – God) hence by being at that level and praying for another, the Tzaddik causes that he too is first answered (for on that plane, there is no negative.)
13. When God test a person He removes the person’s Daas (broad sense, hence though that issue is very small, it seems very challenging.)
14. It is known that among the angels there are set times when they may praise God, some once a week, some once in fifty years – and even then, often only one verse, such as kadosh or baruch – however a Jew is allowed to praise God constantly!
An example for this is of a king who all the ministers and officers had a time that they could come praise him – however they would always worry, maybe he is angry… (then it would be a liability) and so they would make it short.. – however the son of the king could come anytime – for when the father sees him, in any event he would become joyous.
Now it is known, when joy and love enter, anger exits – though this is a natural (nature) it still pays to explain – for as joy and love enters the heart, the anger elevates to its source, where it is rectified (as is known, anger is only rectified (sweetened) in its source.)
And this is the meaning that God, Nisa (tested) Avrohom – for as Avrohom was love (like the son of the king) therefore the judgments elevated.
Let us now return to the parable of the son – the son of the king has a double duty to constantly praise his father, for firstly it his father the king, and secondly, for the graciousness his father bestows (to allow him continued access.)
So we are like the son who firstly has a duty to praise his father – but more importantly, the love for the father is so deep within us, that we wish to sing continually all his praises – however we cannot – so we ask, the little we do sing should be considered as if we have sung all!
15. “Take please your son, your only son Yitzchok, and offer him as a sacrifice” – Yitzchok comes from the word laughter – when we rejoice in God, we elevate the silliness of youth and teenage laughter.
16. From false humility – the desire to show others that one is humble – the Yetzer Hara slaughters (the person – in other words this trait causes their spiritual (temporary) antihalation.)
An example for the above trait is someone who had all positive qualities except that he was arrogant – so people told him, so he worked on himself to become humble – one day someone mocked him – “you nothing” he retorted “I have all qualities including humility!”
Every single thing God created – including in the Torah (every word) has both the aspect of how it can be used for love or din (harsh judging -for example I can see money as charity or “mine” etc.) – the trick is to see the good.
A gentile who eats and uses the energy to help a Jew, this causes somewhat of an elevation in the spark of God – within the food (as is known, that when a Jew eats and says a blessing or uses the food for a positive energy this elevates – hence though by the Jew the elevation is infinite..)
Within the very verse “So I came today to the fountain, and I said, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if You desire to prosper my way upon which I am going” is contained the Kabbalistic incantation for Kefitzas hadereach.
1 Says the Holy Baal Shem Tov, how can Avrohom who is Chessed (pure kindness) give birth to Yitzchok who represented din (strict goodness, as the former is expansive, the latter contracted) So he answers, this is the kindness in strict, because through creating a world – that contains, those who have lack, this allows that when another fills the lack – the meaning of the word Chessed (chesar dileis – fill the lack) then this draws down from God, infinite kindness.
3. From the day that Eisav fooled Yitzchok as the verse says, he would trick him that he was religious– this caused that there is no Tzaddik who can see in his son evil.
4 When Moshiach comes – as Avrohom did – we will perceive how every Mitzvah in fact is the source of our soul (energy) and the world – and without this energy our soul is incomplete.
- The notion of Aavrohom and Yitzchok digging wells is that they dug in the dirt to reveal the wellsprings of Torah however after Avrohom revealed the living waters of Torah, the pelishtim – the kelipah came and covered it – so then Yitzchok once again dug the wells – so all the Torah and ability to believe in God that we have today, is because of their herculean efforts.
- When one has an inner (yirah pnimis) fear of God, then one has nothing to fear of the kelipah (using their energy for the negative) and such a person can be a Rabbi – Rebbe.
- From Rabbi Chaninah Ben Dosa came the gateway for all Jews to receive sustenance.
- God said the whole world is sustained because of Chanina my son and Chanina survives on a bushel (bundle) of carob week to week.
Explains the holy Baal Shem Tov, a Tzaddik draws down sustenance for the world – but like a pipe needs not for himself
- When God needs to punish someone first the attribute of trust (in God) is removed (for one who trusts in God as the verse states, is surrounded by kindness) hence one must always pray for the attribute of trust.
The Degel Machane Efraim writes: My grandfather said, that God doesn’t send suffering, unless preceded with sending the illness of sadness / bitterness.
- Sometimes a soul from Atzilus (the highest of heavens) comes to this world – and when he sees how lacking in respect people can be for the great and Holy God, he strengthens his own respect and thanks God that he is not like these – The wise shall take to heart.. – when Jacob was traveling it says he put the stones by his head – for he was saying that he is grateful not to be like a rockhead, that doesn’t praise or acknowledge God.
- “Jacob saw a ladder from the ground to the heaven and angels of God were going up and down”
the Gematriah of Sulam (ladder) is the same as money (mamoin.)
Money begins in the ground, however some people through it ascend to heaven, others it is a source of suffering.
- The Baal Shem Tov brought angels down from heaven to earth – he didn’t look at them saying – they obviously belong in heaven – but I wish to learn from them, how they serve God, maybe I can learn from their manner.
In Kesser Shem Tov it explains that the soul must learn from the angels – for the angels are very alert, energetic and immediately fulfill Divine demands.
- The reason we say “our God, the God of our fathers Avrohom, Yitzchol and Yaakov” is to teach us that it is not enough that He is the God of our fathers, but we individually must research, discover both God and the correct way to serve – as did Yaakov and Yitzchok.
- Avrohom Avinue was a man of love, as such he realized that this world was built through a Creator’s love – Yitzchok understood from his father but wished to dig deeper and he came to understand God-Himself, hence had tremendous fear/awe/reverence – but Yaakov understood with his mind’s eye that it must be that there is an intermediary force – for total love or total strictness would not allow the world to be (total love would allow evil, and total strictness, no free choice..) so he understood there is a middle path called mercy – and this is why Yaakov is “the chosen of the forefathers” – and this is how the world continually – and we, function.
- “The land where you are sleeping, to you will I give” – Rashi comments that God folded the entire Eretz Yisroel under him.
Explains the Baal Shem Tov, that he would not need to go through it all, to elevate its sparks, for they all were there.
- The Baal Shem Tov explains that the journey a person makes in order to get their livelihood, is because sparks of Godliness that belong to his soul must be elevated (and they are in that locale) but for Yaakov, Hashem folded Israel, so he could elevate them all simultaneously.
- A person normally has to tire themselves by going (whether on business trips) etc. to collect all of the sparks they need to elevate – however Yaakov who is the attribute of truth, which is the beginning, middle and end, was able to do them all simultaneously.
- Yaakov says “but this is but the House of God” – the meaning of this is, as we know that Yaakov spent 14 years studying Torah in the Yeshivah of Sheim and Eiver – but as we know, Torah is but the gateway to fear of God – when he arrived on Mount Moriah, he sensed such an awe of God as never before – hence he realized, this is the Beis Hamikdosh – and he said “This shall be my home” – in other words, everything I did until now was to prepare me for living with fear of God.
- “And God will be my God” said Jacob – this means both for the good and the bad – a Tzaddik when bad occurs to him he considers, “maybe this was due to my sins,” and when good occurs to him… “maybe this is decreasing my merit” (this is very profound, as that way a person can always be positive, not too high nor low.)
- “And Rochel was of beautiful appearance” and Yaakov loved her – this is because Yaakov had the attribute of Tifferes (beauty,) hence whenever he saw something beautiful he said, “if a physical thing (person etc.) is so beautiful, how much more so God.”
- Lavan Chased after Yaakov – because Yaakov (who extracted many sparks of Torah in the deep dark Kelipah of Lavan) had to receive the final verses in the Torah.. of how he chased after him.
- The Shechina is called Yaakov. Eden – this is achieved through fulfiling the Mitzvos which are the 620 Pillars of Light.
3. King David said, “Only good and kindness will chase after me.” Explains the Baal Shem Tov, often God wishes to bestow a goodness and kindness such as a business deal a person may benefit from – but the person not realizing, may turn their back – so King David praying for the Jewish people said, may the good you desire for me, chase me and force me.
Note 1 The Baal Shem Tov Prayed – I know that the bad is also for the good – but because you are God and not a limited man and therefore you can transform the very bad to literally be good – that though there will be no trace of bad – nonetheless it will be good in everything – that whatever needs to be rectified will be through the good itself.
The Baal Shem Tov says when a person needs a miracle they should donate 18 Gedulin (perhaps 18 of any currency) in order to buy candles for the Synagogue – and they should say “I promise these 18 Gedulin for candles, for the soul of Our Master Rebbi Meir, The Master of Miracles – God of Rabbi Meir Answer Us, God Of Rabbi Meir Answer Us – and then say the specific requests you have… – and then say, “May It Be Your Will Before You, God Our God, And God Of Our Forefathers, That Just As You Hearkened To The Prayer of Your Servant Meir, And You Did Miracles And Wonders, So Too Shall You Do For Me, And Your Entire Nation Of Israel Who Need Miracles, Both Hidden And Reveled – Amen So May It Be Your Will.”
4. A persons constant fear of God should match the level they would feel when God forbid something terrible to them occurred (which wakes a person up…)
5. The Baal Shem Tov gives an example – in the olden days there were foot solders who would face the enemy and horse riders – they would chain the legs of the foot soldiers together – so when the battle is difficult, the foot soldiers give their life happily for the king, while the riders can run away – now if the battle is won, the riders run to take the booty, whereas the foot soldiers are content with but a bit of bread and water – in any event, they can’t carry much, and they rely on the king – saying, the king who owns it all will certainly care for his people – after all, it is we who won the war.
The analogy is that in this world, there are those who serve God and they draw down God’s blessing, then there are those who are materialistic – so those who serve God, figure, as they are drawing in the blessing the materialistic people (who receive from their blessings) certainly will bestow – but the materialistic people say, “all belongs to me” – so they appeal to the king, who knowing that all came because of the holy ones, therefore to them is bestowed (probably in Moshiach.)
- When the Head of The Generation humbles Himself to the Shechina (the Divine voice within) then this causes, so too the entire generation.
Those who love (and least don’t hate) the head of the generation, then the Shechina and the blessings that come through him, go to them.
The blessings for the generation come through the head of the generation.
The Shechina comes to the entire generation out of the head.
- The entire generation is included in the Head – those who are Torah scholars are the Tzurah “form” spirit, and the rest are the body – now when the soul is special, so too the body (and it also works the other way,) so to uplift your generation, you must uplift yourself.
- The entire Jewish people are a single entity, Soul and a body, and just as the body needs the soul, the soul needs the body – so separate yourself not from the Jewish people, rather look after them.
- Our Sages Teach That God called Yaakov – E-l, because a Tzaddik is one who subdues, his Yetzer Hara and the Divne name El represents strength.
- All speech is comprised of the 22 Hebrew letters (sounds…) so when one wastes time and is speaking – chatting or even saying Lashoin Hara – but later uses those same words to study Torah, then this elevates the former.
12 The person who studies Torah, even when they are using their speech for regular things, the speech itself – as it is drawn from a holy-soul becomes holy, but the person who is simply selfish, when they use their speech – as ultimately the necessities of life are then simply about self-interest – this too is kelipah.
13. It is known from the Baal Shem Tov that when we speak our life-force exits, but when we speak holy things such as Torah and prayer, you get a new energy – similar to Ratzu Vshuv.
14. There are katnus (constricted (fear based) thinking and gadlus expansive (love based) thinking in the three dimensions of time space and soul – when the world is in a state of constriction – this in fact is the main Avodah (service of God) to serve and reach higher heights (in narrow minded times) likewise a person can be doing their work, but their heart is filled with love.
Sometimes a Tzaddik must involve himself in worldly affairs, – a fool may look and think a. if he is (how much more so me..) 2. This is the way (to go..)
15. The Mishna says “warm yourself from the light of the sages, but be careful of the hot coals… so you don’t get burned” – a person should have reverence for their master – too far you will get cold, too close you can be burned.
3. It is super important that you think before you speak.
NOTE 3 One must connect Hashem and the Shechinah which is when you connect your thought to your deeds.
4. It is easier to attain Ruach Hakodesh – Divine Spirit (minor prophecy) in Galus (outside of Israel…) an example of this is from a king, that though he is not in his palace, he will stay – because he is on the road (hence though normally this would be beneath him) at an inn.
5. When The Baal Shem Tov was in Istanbul (on his “ill-fated” trip to Israel – he knew if he met the Oir Hachayim, Moshaich would come…) he saw young married men, that had souls of the Taanaim (great Tzaddikim of the past) and he said, this was because their mothers were so careful in Tznius.
8. See that God is not like a physical king, for the instrument of destruction such as an anvil, is not the instrument of construction, while God uses the same instrument, as the Baal Shem Tov says the very source of misery, becomes a source of pleasure.
- “It was after two years..” The Medrash says, this refers to the end of Darkness – as long as the Yetzer-Hara is in the world, there is darkness and death in the world – the Baal Shem Tov teaches, the idea of refining the sparks of Godliness that were fallen at the time of the “breakage” – a person must elevate them (trapped) in the realms of physical matter, vegetation, animal and human – to separate the spark from the kelipah – and this is the entire purpose of a Jew in his/her Torah and Mitzvah and why s/he eats.
It is known that every spark in physical matter, vegetation etc. is a complete “person” (soul) from (or formed) of 248 limbs and 365 veins (spiritual) and when it is within the physical matter it is imprisoned that it can’t spread out its hands or feet… – rather his head is bent into his knees – and whoever through their good thinking and intent can extricate the holy sparks from vegetation to animal, to person, he redeems it to freedom – and there is no greater redemption than this – as the Baal Shem Tov teaches – this is like a prince imprisoned and someone comes and saves him – from slavery to freedom – how great would his reward be – however all this is within a specific timing of destined by God… – for how long he will be imprisoned – when he will come free – and through whom.
Note 3. When the sparks elevate this causes in God great joy – like the son of the king redeemed, who comes home.
The most important thing of-course is to realize how everything, be it intercourse, food, even ego, certainly words, thoughts and actions, can be used for God/good.
- There is the pomiser the promisee, and the promise – the promiser is the person who promises – the promisee is the person promised to, and the promise is the factor one is relying upon – say for earning a living, God, a business venture etc. Blessed is the person who thinks not there needs to be a specific mechanism, for from God all is possible – and one who has a mechanism should not think that it is the mechanism, rather the mechanism is simply God’s agency.
Note 4. All that we receive is in the merit of faith.
In the Book, Holy Sayings By (or From) The Baal Shem Tov, The Author clarifies that from God only good comes – now there are two types of good, that which is evident and that which feels bad, but there is a hidden (perhaps subsequent) good.
The reason for this is, as the love flows from God through the heavenly realm there are accusatory angels who seek to withhold the good – but when the person through faith recognizes that everything from God is good, this transforms it, to so be in a revealed way.
A higher level is Nachum Ish Gam Zu (the famous story is he was traveling to intercede for the Jewish people in Rome, and he had a treasure to give to the Emperor, and bandits replaced his treasure of diamonds etc. with dirt etc. and he said his motto, “This too is for the good,” he came to the king and presented the dirt and the king got furious, whereupon Elijah the Prophet dressed as one of the ministers suggested that perhaps the dirt was the same dirt as their ancestor Abraham used with which it miraculously turned to arrows – they tried it, and it worked) so we see that his faith, that the bad is good! caused the very bad to be the greatest blessing.
5. There are two types who have faith – 1. Who work within the natural order 2. Those who know they can put in minimal effort and God will provide, and they can thus dedicate their time to holy pursuits – however one who lacks this faith, for them it won’t work.
Note 7. I am not sure if this is from the Baal Shem Tov Ed. – There are two types: 1. That work within nature 2. That work beyond – and each must go according to theirs (and the other way for them doesn’t work.)
Once the Baal Shem Tov needed food for Shabbos and he went to someone’s window and said, “I need money for Shabbos” – and left – the person got up and didn’t know who knocked, and ran after the Baal Shem Tov – he happily gave him the money, and asked him, “Why didn’t you wait?” – answered the Baal Shem Tov – “Everyone who is born, their sustenance is born too – some must toil difficultly, others not so much – as by me it is not so much… all I need to do was make a little effort – and whether you give it to me or another, it doesn’t matter.”
- The meaning of the verse “The will of those who fear Him, He fulfils” the truth is those that fear God, from their faith and trust, believing that all that God does is good, have no desires – but as God wishes to hear their payers – He creates in them a desire, that He can fulfil.
- The Baal Shem Tov teaches – we should not trust God that He will give us much when it comes to food and physical things – for maybe He won’t… – however one can have firm faith that God will send him a Mitzvah – and one should trust that He/She will have the power to implement the Mitzvah – and one shouldn’t trust that one’s power (ability) will be through food (its energy etc.) rather certainly God will give you the strength – there is no lack of means of how God can sustain.
- One’s thoughts should be higher, in the spiritual realm – namely serving God; and one should attach oneself and believe in God, that he will achieve his desires.
- A Great fundamental RULE – “Place on God Your Deeds, And Prepare Your Thoughts” (Mishlei) Anything that occurs, think this comes from Hashem – See to it, that you ask of Hashem that Hashem should provide for you what He knows is best! – Not what you think, based on your assumption. – For it is possible, that what you believe is good, will actually harm. – Rather place all of your issues and needs upon God.
- Believe that this entire world as the verse states is filled with God.
Even the doing of every person – so if something occurs to you, that you wish it didn’t, realize that this was Hashem’s wish – and though it did not go according to your desire – understand, that if it is Hashem’s desire, it is far better!
- There are two types of loves – there is the love of a father to his son as his son is wise, clever etc. then there is the love for the son himself – such a love no matter what the son does (say even a small child…) the father loves him and is proud – similarly there is the Tzaddik who through his meditation etc. elevates all the sparks of Godliness in mineral, plant, animal to God – this causes God great joy, and God loves him much – however the very fact the Tzaddik loves God (his attachment) this causes God to love the Tzaddik Himself.
The Ramban has a Segulah (beneficial prayer) that one should say Vayahie No-am seven times (each word) after lighting the Menorah and this is very good! – The Baal Shem Tov explains, to quite simply say Vayehi Noam and Yoshev Bisseser seven times – and he would say this also on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and any God-forbid tragic time, and one should meditate on two Nuns (The small nun of Vayahi Noam and the Large Nun of Yosishev Biseser Elion.)
- Whenever something God forbid bad happens to you, recall that within all is God – there is a positive purpose (and this will cause the pain to cease.)
- The Divine names of Sag and Ban are a remedy for anger.
- God said to Yaakov, “I will go down with you to Egypt and I will uplift you (out of there.)” I refers to the Shechina which is a ladder from earth to heaven – as the Zohar says “this is like a person who goes down into a pit and he needs to take a ladder to climb out” – this is the meaning of the words “I will go down with you to Egypt” namely the Shechina and I will uplift you, namely, through the Shechina you will be able to get higher – and most importantly, you will have the great merit of uplifting lost souls.
Note 5 By recognizing that all comes from God, this itself turns the negative to positive – in fact one should pray to God to be able to realize this.
Note 7 When a person connects themselves not to the event, but the inner Divine intent this transforms.
1. When Moshiach comes it will be like a happenstance – in other words all people will be busy doing their specific service, and he will just arrive.
2. The arrival of Moshiach will not be preceded by death/s.
3. This is great reward for the effort.
4. There is reward for elevating the spark of Divinity trapped within the food.
5. Everything that belongs to us is part of our mission – to elevate the spiritual Divine sparks within them.
5. Everything that belongs to us is part of our mission – to elevate the spiritual Divine sparks within them.
The food we eat, the clothing we wear – we must treat them carefully.
Note 2 Every Tzaddik has sparks of his souls in his possessions, his family etc. that he must elevate,
Every persons’ possessions have sparks of his soul for him to elevate (when we use it for good things) therefore, if you lose something or it broke – do not worry, for it means that you have elevated the sparks (and if someone else got it, because some of the sparks in it are probably from his.)
Note 6. The Mishna says, “Three who eat at a table and say not words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten from the sacrifice of the dead.” The Baal Shem Tov explains, because an incarnation of a soul may be in the food and it can only escape (and be elevated if the people say words of Torah – but if they God-forbid don’t, it must descend into a rock.)
6. Jacob never died – the Torah is called Jacob, and just as we say regarding Jacob, he never died – the Torah is eternally forever.
- Exile comes form when we serve God – truly with Fear of God – yet this contributes to our arrogance. (It seems when we do this the Kelipah take the energy.)
Note 1 When a pure person becomes impure – so all that he does causes him arrogance.
When we pray it should be from our heart – this is our personal Yerushalayim as the heart – like Yerushalayim – is the center of ourselves (world.)
5 Just as there is the general redemption of all Jews – there is the personal redemption and before you pray for the general redemption you must pray for your personal.
Note 4 We must pray for the redemption of our soul from the Yetzer Hara.
Through our spiritual redemption we also gain physical.
The physical exile results from the spiritual.
- There are two types of slaveries – there is the slavery (or exile) amid the nations and there is the slavery of the soul to the Yetzer Hara – one causes the other… and one loses both.
- The name E-l the Alef (first letter) stand for the Creator and Lamed (the final letter) stand for tha the has three “emotions “ (the emotion of kindness(love) the emotion of strength (discipline) and the emotion of compassion(discernment)
- God is his name and His name is God, unlike people that they and their name are two separate entities.
- The Verse Teaches us “Know God” – but how can anyone know anything of God, teaches the Baal Shem Tov, this means, to both know that the generality of everything and every specific detail (that occurs to you or anyone) it all comes from God.
6. The plague to Pharaoh who represents forgetting came out as blood, but to the Jewish people came out as water (infinity, which is total recall.)
7. There is a great principle that from the plagues to the Egyptians came blessings to the Jews (so the same issues that caused blood to the Egyptians, to the Jews caused water.)
- Even a sin as bad as the daughters of Loit… if a person’s intention is for God then it is a Mitzvah – however the question is how does one know.? – for this one must study much Torah and God will help the person discern.
- There is a tradition from the Baal Shem Tov to fast every Erev Rosh Chodesh until after the Moiled.
- On Rosh Chodesh Nisan – the Baal Shem Tov told the Maagid now is a time of prayer for on Rosh Chodesh Nisan, all the people (kings, ministers etc.) are appointed (so to determine who will be good for the Jews.)
6.When a person sees there is negative (decree on him) before dawn one should study Torah with great concentration and desire to connect oneself to the infinite light (God) contained within the letters.
10. If a person sees evil in another, they should realize that God showed it to them so they should rectify – their own (and as the Rebbe says, because we have a self-love we only see our reflection – but not within ourselves.)
- “God didn’t desire to take the Jews by the way of the Pelishtim for perhaps they would see war and desire to return to Egypt.”
Each of us has within us the level of Pharaoh and Egypt (servitude – slavery.)
Note 1. When we are enslaved by our Yetzer Hara, this causes exile, but if we do Teshuva (dedicate ourselves to God ) this brings redemption.
- The Zohar teaches that “on the table of Elisha a fly was never seen” and The Talmud says about the greatest disciple of Hillel, “any bird that passed over him would be burnt,” and in another place the Talmud mentioned about a great Rabbi that there were no flies at his table – the Baal Shem Tov explains that according to a person’s thoughts are the universes above – if a person is thinking Holy thoughts, then the creatures (birds and certainly others) that fly by, are pure (kosher) if not so holy, then impure (non-Kosher) and there is an in-between state.
Note 4 According to one’s thoughts are the universes above and so are the occurrences below, if holy (pure/kosher) animals (or the opposite) come by- and the same for all other incidents…
The Degel Machaneh Efraim – in the name of the Baal Shem Tov writes according to the purity of man’s thought, so come the things that he sees and hears.
- The Mitzvah we do below (when we concentrate) we connect it to the spiritual Divine source.
Note 6 A Mitzvah attracts a Mitzvah for when we do the Mitzvah below this attract us to the Divine inspiration (of the Mitzvah.)
The 620 Mitzvos (613 Mitzvos of the Torah, and 7 of the Rabbis) are 620 pillars of light, so whenever we do a Mitzvah, to this pillar we connect.
- An individual who studied science and natural phenomena discovered that the moment the sea split for the Jews, naturally this was going to occur – this caused him, a deep down – “what’s the whole fuss we are making for the sea splitting?”
and he decided to go to the Baal Shem Tov and query – before he had a chance to say anything, the Baal Shem Tov instructed the townspeople to gather and he spoke to them – “We know that the name Elo-him, is the name of God which represents nature, so in the beginning of creation, God created that there should be a nature in the sea to split at a given time – so this is the most extraordinary miracle, that for the sake of the Jewish people, this nature was imbued.”
- Faith is the deep attachment of the soul to God (as it says “they believed in God and in Moses his servant” – not sure if this is from the Baal Shem Tov, but the Mechilta says that one who attaches themselves to the shepherd of the Jewish people (Moses and/or the Jewish Rebbe of the generation) attaches themselves to God.
- “The Enemy said ‘I will pursue them, capture them, divide the spoils” – the first letter of each word is Alef, representing behind evil – obviously for a deeper intent, is God.
- The poor person has an advantage over the rich, as daily he needs to go before the king of kings – to request his sustenance.
14. Precisely because Moses was so great (the greatest) he was likewise the humblest.
- The holier one is, the more humble.
- The Baal Shem Tov said “when I have great wisdom, I know that I don’t know even a single letter of the Torah, and I haven’t even begun to serve God.”
- Just like a person who found a great treasure, so on one hand he is very happy, but on the other he is very sad – knowing that he must leave so much behind… the Tzaddikim who cherish every Mitzvah, and every second is precious.
16. The greatness of Moses who said, “we are nothing” (in comparison to Abraham who said “I am but dust and ashes”) is, Moses included himself in the people.
17. Everything in the world has three names of G-d – Adnay Havayeh and Ehyeh – for example a home is called Adnay – what it produces (say the pleasure of having a home) is called Haveyeh and the encompassing energy protecting it from Kelipah is Ehyeh,
18 In order to serve God we need both fear (which creates healthy boundaries) and love (which creates longing).
20. Once the Tzaddik Reb Pinchus of Koritz needed some help in his service of God, and he knew he needed to travel to the Baal Shem Tov – but he didn’t have the funds and he was from this, down – suddenly the Baal Shem Tov arrived in his city and started speaking and said – The verse says “that Moses’s hands were held high in prayer” – sometimes a person may be lacking in their faith in God – the way to fix this is to ask God to grant you greater faith – and when Pinchos heard this, he became a new person with complete faith.
21. It is not enough to study Torah, but one must travel to the Tzaddik of the generation – when the Jews sinned, the Medrash gives an example of a king who gave his son two crowns – said he to his son – “my son, you lost one crown – protect the other” – similarly the crown of Naaseh (obedience) the Jews lost, so protect the crown of listening – the main reverence for God we get from the Tzaddik of the generation.
22. Our prayers should be that God’s name Havayeh should be complete – as it can be completed with the four names Ab Sag Mah Ban – and when God’s name is completed all the good flows.
Note 19 Now in exile, God’s name is incomplete, so all of our prayers must be that Moshiach should come.
23. All of our prayers have to be for the sake of the Shechina, and then there is a complete unity.
- The type of food Moses ate (or the spirituality of the food) was such that one couldn’t refer to it as physicality (but highly spiritual.)
Note 1 The Baal Shem Tov says that the two emotions of Chessed and Gevurah – Kindness and strictness borrow from one another, and intermix and unify – and when they are unified this creates Tifferes.
And the inner Daas comes within that unites them.
And this unity and Daas comes from the judges which are the secret of the three heads.
Therefore they need to be haters of money / bribes.
They are the offshoots of the forefathers Avrohom Yitzchok and Yaakov.
They are the effulgence of their energy to the earth.
The judges must ascend to the supernal source and when they evaluate and unify in their mind, this creates absolute truth.
And this is through the challenging of the witnesses to discern the truth.
To draw down the truth through the testimony of the witnesses.
The secret of the witnesses is the source of Daas.
This comes to the judges to enlighten their knowledge, and to unify them and to reveal the truth.
It is known that there are two opinions Chochmah and Binah – now these two opinions… there is a third, Daas, that unites them, and this is the secret of judges above – their unity is through the revelation of the testimony of the witnesses, which reveals the Daas.
So too below, the secret of the two crowns… there is 1 opinion that creates the unity between the two sides.
However the Alef remains above, and does not spread like the Beis.
When it (the Beis) spreads below – then the Kelipah in the secret of “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” are able to grab onto it – they can steal from it – which is the opposite of holiness – that everything is done in a way of love – but in Kelipah everything is in a way of theft, and through the judges which are the two crowns, with the Daas, the truth comes through – we have to uplift the Daas to its source – the secret of truth – and all becomes clear there… when this happens to the judges with the testimony of the witnesses of truth – the truth becomes discerned from the falsehood.
- “You shall tell them the path to go on..” The Baal Shem Tov gives an example of a den of thieves, that lurked in a forest, and they would always send one scout out to pretend to be upstanding in order to lure unsuspecting people to take the path into the forest where they would rob and kill the person – the Torah teaches us the way to safety, not the path of our Yetzer Hara
- “In all your ways know God” the explanation is in all your ways a person must know well the correct path and how to handle oneself – we should pray to God that God help them always to do the right journey – and this is the explanation that God will pave all your ways – that even those ways where there are only little pathways… little parts of your bigger picture… He will pave it for you… He will help you, that you should never trip and fail.
- “And Moses ascended to God” this means He went into the world of Atzilus.
- “They stood under the mountain” our sages said that this teaches us “God held the mountain over them – forcing them to accept the Torah” – the Baal Shem Tov says this teaches us that we must study, even when the mood we are in not.
Note 5 Even when the study of Torah seems to us as a great burden, like an ox forced into a yoke, to plow – we should.
- Just as the whole Torah – as Reb Sadiah Goan explains (and wrote a book on) are included in the Ten Commandments, so is the Ten Commandments included in the word Anoichi.
- ANOICHI stands for “I Have Written And Given My Soul” – “My Soul” Is the Torah.
- A heretic once asked the Baal Shem Tov, how can you say God fills all the worlds, what about idols/// – so he said “that in a palace there can be a toilet.”
I heard from my master the question of the wicked priest who said “you believe, no place is void of God… if you deny idolatry, then how does this reconcile” He said, that just like a person has bathroom – the separation is made between the home and the outhouse – that is where all the waste is flushed – this is similar to what it says – that God will take away all the energy and the good in the Satan, and the evil part will fall into the abyss – and this is the separation done by “the knower of hearts,” to separate between good and evil – this is the meaning that all the gods of the nations are idols / nothingness… and This is why God created the Sky that separates.
The letter of Vov is called Sky and therefore it is between the letters Ayin and Raish whose outer letters spelling vav and when once a priest asked about Baal Shem Tov – how can you say that God is everywhere – then idolatry seems to contradict this – so he explained that a person has in them a separation for the excrement – and the Vov is the Sky that was put between the letters – raish and shin, to separate between the excess and the excrement – the negative and the holiness – This is why it says n the Talmud Yerushami – if somebody asks you “where is God” say “He’s in a great marketplace of Rome” for actually God is everywhere – God holy name is a flaming fire – The Vov, the Sky that separates between holiness to separate the excrement – and every moment pushes away the evil and elevates the good.
- One should keep Shabbos according to its law and all of its details – one who does this, even if he sins through idolatry – all his sins are forgiven.
A person should prepare himself to accept the holiness of Shabbat.
Therefore he should dip in the Mikvah every Erev Shabbos (Friday.)
Before this, he should feel great humility, heartbroken, unacceptable to himself, and accept on himself the obligation of obedience to God, and to leave all the sins and to feel disgusted with himself from his many sins.
Now he is prepared to serve God with love, and all in order that God should take glory in him – this is what the verse says, “The Jewish people in whom I glorify” and the person sacrifices himself for the name of God, and through this he will beat the dark side, with trust in God, that He will bring back all the Sparks that have fallen and he has to show gratitude that he has been saved from the depths of the sea, and then he is included in the category “The Tzaddik is the foundation of the earth” -Yesoid – through this will become great, the greatness of God’s Majesty, and His name will last forever and for all generations.
And then a person who goes into the Mikvah; he should think when he’s in the Mikvah, that the name Adnay and Malchus is the secret of speech, and the name Havayah is Zeir Anpin, is the secret of voice – and the name Eyheh is the secret of thought, – and in the Mikvah, the roof of the Mikvah corresponds to the name Eyeh – the four walls of the Mikvah, correspond to the four letters of God’s name Havayeh – and the floor of the mikvah corresponds to Adnay. and these three names together have the Roshei Teivois of Yaboik – which is the Rashei Teivois of “Yichud” “Brocho” and “Kedusha” and one should meditate to ask from God that he should be able to accept the holiness of the purity of thought, speech, and voice.
And if he has these thoughts, even if as it says “a Tzaddik can fall 7 times to the ground, he will get up” even if you went backwards seven steps, God will forgive him, and heal him and create a new bond with him that will never break and then on his soul will come a great spirituality – we should say the verse מִקְוֵה֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מֽוֹשִׁיע֖וֹ בְּעֵ֣ת צָרָ֑ה and meditate on the first letters מי ים.
Note 11 The student of Reb Aron Leib of Primishlamen were sitting and discussing miracles of the Baal Shem Tov, and the Holy Rabbi was sitting nearby in his room and heard their speaking, and he opened his door and said to them – why are you speaking about his miracles? – speak about the great holiness and fear of God – for every Erev Shabbos (Friday) at Chatzois (midday) his heart would pound – and all his insides would “bang against themselves” and all could hear – from the great awe and reverence that his organs would feel from the preparation of Shabbos and the holiness of the incoming day.
- The Baal Shem Tov said that all the holy levels that he achieved, all was because he continually was careful in going to the Mikvah – this is a very great thing – for the mikvah purifies the body and soul – however it must be done with proper intent – and not like a habit, for then it is considered worthless.
15 The Baal Shem Tov says, if we need to go to the mikvah for a reason, that, if we go and dip in once, we will never get ill from it.
16 Once the Baal Shem Tov dipped in a Mikvah, and when he came out – he saw some ruffians standing there – he was worried about them trying to hurt him – but he heard one of them say to the other “be careful, don’t touch this impure Jew.”
17 I heard in the name of the Baal Shem Tov – that he would say Tehhilim, while he was in the mikvah.
18. Through kosher food – keeping Shabbos – and women going to the mikvah – this is what establishes the entire universe.
19. Once the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov were debating what is most important for the leader of the generation to focus on – one group said kosher food for it effects the sensitivity of the heart – its receptivity to Divine concepts – the second said Mikvah, because it effects the soul that comes into the body and the third said Shabbat for there is great depth in its holy sanctity and the Baal Shem Tov walked into the room and he said “at this moment, they were debating the same question in heaven and they said the answer is all three.”
20. Meditations for a man (not woman) who does not have access to a Mikveh From the Baal Shem Tov
When a man does not have access to a mikveh or is unable to immerse in a mikveh due to circumstances beyond his control, he should wash his hands in the manner mentioned below, reciting the following before beginning to wash:
לְשֵׁם יִחוּד קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא וּשְׁכִינְתֵּיהּ, בִּדְחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ, וּרְחִימוּ וּדְחִילוּ, לְיַחֲדָא שֵׁם יו”ד הֵ”י בְּוָא”ו הֵ”י בְּיִחוּדָא שְׁלִים בְּשֵׁם כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל.
Then recite the following verse, followed by four prayers:
אֶרְחַץ בְּנִקָּיוֹן כַּפָּי וַאֲסֹבְבָה אֶת מִזְבַּחֲךָ יְהוָֹה. (תהלים כו, ו)
- וִיהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹ–הֵינוּ וֵא–לֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁתְּהֵא רְחִיצַת יָדַי אֵלֶּה נֶחְשֶׁבֶת לִי כְּאִלּוּ טָבַלְתִּי בְּמִקְוֶה טְהוֹרָה שֶׁל אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה, וְאֶהְיֶה זוֹכֶה לִמְשֹׁךְ מַיִם מִן הַלֹּבֶן הָעֶלְיוֹן הֶחָתוּם בְּיוּ”ד רַבָּתִי שֶׁל (במדבר יד, יז) וְעַתָּה יִגְדַּל נָא כֹּחַ אֲדֹנָי (וחוץ עָזָא וְעַזָּאֵל בְּנֵי אַגְרַת ולִילִית).
- יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹ-הַי וֵאלֹ-הֵי אֲבוֹתַי שֶׁבַּכֹּחַ סְגֻלַּת זֹאת הָרְחִיצָה יִתְהַפֵּךְ מִדַּת הַדִּין וְהַגְּבוּרָה הָעוֹלָה רי”ו כְּמִסְפַּר נִקָיוֹ”ן עָלַי לְמִדַּת רַחֲמִים הָעוֹלֶה רח”ץ וְעִם הַכּוֹלֵל אֶרְחַץ – אֶרְחַץ בְּנִקָּיוֹן כַּפָּי וַאֲסֹבְבָה אֶת מִזְבַּחֲךָ יְהוָֹה.
- וְיהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹ-הֵינוּ וֵאלֹ-הֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁבְּכֹּחַ סְגֻלַּת רְחִיצָה זוֹ, יִהְיוּ נִמְתָּקִין בְּרַחֲמִים, הַדִּינִים הָרְמוּזִים בְּפָסוּק וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לַיַּבָּשָׁה אֶרֶץ (בְּרֵאשִׁית א, י), וְיָאִיר שֵׁם אֶהְיֶה עָלַי בְּמִלּוּי ההי”ן אלף הה יוד הה כְּמִנְיָן מקו”ה וְיַעֲלֶה לְפָנֶיךָ כְּאִלּוּ טָבַלְתִּי בְּמִקְוֶה טְהוֹרָה שֶׁל אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה.
- וּבְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹה-ַי וֵאלֹ-הֵי אֲבוֹתַי שֶׁכְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֲנִי מְטַהֵר אֶת עַצְמִי לְמַטָּה כֵּן תִּטְהַר נָשַׁמְתִּי לְמַעְלָה בְּנָהָר דִּינוּר וּבְשֵׁם בְּיָהּ יְהוָה צוּר עוֹלָמִים (ישעי’ כו, ד). וִיהִי נֹעַם אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹ-הֵינוּ עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָה עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנֵהוּ (תהלים צ, יז).
After this he should wash his hands, concentrating on the letters of the Name of 72 letters יוד הי ויו היeach letter on both hands, consecutively, starting with the right hand, then left, then right etc. as in the tables below
|1) Right hand||י||Yud||2) Left hand||י||Yud|
|3) Right hand||ו||Vav||4) Left hand||ו||Vav|
|5) Right hand||ד||Dalet||6) Left hand||ד||Dalet|
|7) Right hand||ה||Hai||8) Left hand||ה||Hai|
|9) Right hand||י||Yud||10) Left hand||י||Yud|
|11) Right hand||ו||Vav||12) Left hand||ו||Vav|
|13) Right hand||י||Yud||14) Left hand||י||Yud|
|15) Right hand||ו||Vav||16) Left hand||ו||Vav|
|17) Right hand||ה||Hai||18) Left hand||ה||Hai|
|19) Right Hand||י||Yud||20) Left hand||י||Yud|
Following this pour ten times on the right hand first, concentrating on the following letters with each pouring:
|1) Right hand||י||Yud|
|2) Right hand||ו||Vav|
|3) Right hand||ד||Dalet|
|4) Right hand||ה||Hai|
|5) Right hand||י||Yud|
|6) Right hand||ו||Vav|
|7) Right hand||י||Yud|
|8) Right hand||ו||Vav|
|9) Right hand||ה||Hai|
|10) Right Hand||י||Yud|
Repeat the above, but now pour ten times on the left hand, concentrating on the following letters with each pouring:
|1) Left hand||י||Yud|
|2) Left hand||ו||Vav|
|3) Left hand||ד||Dalet|
|4) Left hand||ה||Hai|
|5) Left hand||י||Yud|
|6) Left hand||ו||Vav|
|7) Left hand||י||Yud|
|8) Left hand||ו||Vav|
|9) Left hand||ה||Hai|
|10) Left Hand||י||Yud|
After this recite the following verses:
וְהָיָה הַנִּשְׁאָר בְּצִיּוֹן וְהַנּוֹתָר בִּירוּשָׁלִַם קָדוֹשׁ יֵאָמֶר לוֹ כָּל הַכָּתוּב לַחַיִּים בִּירוּשָׁלִָם. אִם רָחַץ אֲדֹנָי אֵת צֹאַת בְּנוֹת צִיּוֹן וְאֶת דְּמֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם יָדִיחַ מִקִּרְבָּהּ בְּרוּחַ מִשְׁפָּט וּבְרוּחַ בָּעֵר. (ישעיהו ד, ג-ד)
And then the following section from the Gemora:
אָמַר רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אַשְׁרֵיכֶם יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי מִי אַתֶּם מְטַהֲרִין וּמִי מְטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם אֲבִיכֶם שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (יחזקאל לו, כה) ‘וְזָרַקְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם מַיִם טְהוֹרִים וּטְהַרְתֶּם מִכֹּל טֻמְאוֹתֵיכֶם וּמִכָּל גִּלּוּלֵיכֶם אֲטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם’, וְאוֹמֵר (ירמיהו יז, יג) ‘מִקְוֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה’ – מָה מִקְוֶה מְטַהֵר אֶת הַטְּמֵאִים אַף הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְטַהֵר אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל (יומא פה, ב)
Rabbi Nochum of Chernobyl ztz”l preferred to recite this paragraph instead, from Tractate Berachos 15a with Rashi’s commentary:
אֲמַר רִבִּי חִיָּיא בַּר אַבָּא אֲמַר רִבִּי יוֹחָנָן: כָּל הַנִּפְנֶה וְנוֹטֵל יָדָיו וּמַנִּיחַ תְּפִילִּין וְקוֹרֵא קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּמִתְפַּלֵּל, מַעֲלֶה עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב כְּאִלּוּ בָּנָה מִזְבֵּחַ וְהִקְרִיב עָלָיו קָרְבָּן, דִּכְתִיב: (תהלים כו, ו) ״אֶרְחַץ בְּנִקָּיוֹן כַּפָּי וַאֲסוֹבְבָה אֶת מִזְבַּחֲךָ ה׳. אֲמַר לֵיהּ רָבָא: לָא סָבַר לַהּ מָר כְּאִילּוּ טָבַל, דִּכְתִיב: ״אֶרְחַץ [בְּנִקָּיוֹן]״ וְלָא כְתִיב אַרְחִיץ [כַּפָּי]?
ופירש רש”י, דכתיב אֶרְחַץ בְּנִקָּיוֹן משמע ארחץ כל הגוף ולא כתיב אַרְחִיץ כַּפָּי, לדרשא אתי, לומר שמעלה עליו שכר רחיצת כפים כאילו טבל כל גופו עכ”ל.
(Translation and tables by Rabbi Moshe Miller)
21 Erev Shabbos by Mincha and the time of Kabbalas Shabbas / Maariv – we elevate all the thoughts and the Mitzvos that we did the whole week – for then the universe is elevated.
22. As the Baal Shem Tov’s soul would elevate to the highest Heights of heaven at the entry of Shabbos – he prayed many prayers so that he should also be able to answer peoples questions – for it is a time of separation and all the good gets elevated and the bad goes below – so he prayed that he could elevate everything – for that way even though a person’s question may be simple, he would still be able to communicate with them.
24 The Baal Shem Tov established that we should say every Erev Shabbos / Friday – psalm 107 – because we have to purify ourselves at this time, and there it is mentioned of four that have to offer gratitude to God, for saving them – One is those who get lost in the desert, which also in Hebrew “desert” has the word “speech” – sometimes when we begin to pray we get lost, and we cannot bring our emotions into the prayer – we must bring all our emotions into the prayer. – Put all your energy in the Speaking of prayer – not to leave any emotion outside… sometimes this is because during the week we were so connected to our business and the rectification for this is to cry to God – A cry is without speech – we should ask “God should have mercy on us” and those who seek to purify themselves God helps them… – and as you’re coming to the emotion of mercy, and everything is for the sake of the service of God – therefore all negativity falls away – or you’ve come to the emotion of mercy – and the emotion of humility – when you ask not for yourself, but for the sake of God… you don’t do this for any arrogance or self-gratification, and then all of you elevates to the higher realm.
25 An explanation on Hodu (Chapter 107 Tehhilim)
On Shabbos the Nitzoisos Kadishin (the Holy Sparks) get elevated -a time for them of great reprieve.
“Let those redeemed by God – who redeemed them from the hand of the oppressor” – these refer to the souls who have been incarnated (presumably as a punishment, into rocks, plant or animals) and on Shabbos they are redeemed.
The Kelipah becomes very joyous when a great soul falls into her – however what she doesn’t realize is, that the purpose of the descent of the soul, is that when it does Teshuva, it elevates all of the Sparks back to God.
Furthermore by descending, these souls now can help others ascend.
Note 43 From this that God gives us all good – this causes us to be humble – because we think “How can I have the chutzpah to sin against God…?!” when he gives me all good!
29 I heard in the name of the Baal Shem Tov that once he had Shabbos in a field (or began Shabbos) and the sheep who were there stood up on their hind legs – like a person, and it is said in the name of the Tzaddikim that this makes sense… – because the Baal Shem Tov elevated the world, and he brought the world to its original source – therefore all creatures that were around Him at that time – though they had no knowledge, nevertheless the spirit within them was elevated to its original source – and therefore they elevated themselves.
30 Once when the Baal Shem Tov prayed Mincha before Shabbos in the field – all the sheep gathered around and they all bayed the entire time of his prayer – because he was able to elevate during his prayer all the low levels – to the extent, that even animals and sheep had the ability to see their master God, and they all cried to God together.
32 The Baal Shem Tov said, that whoever merited to have food at his Shabbos table – he gave to them the “potion of life” that they had healing, to distance themselves from all physical desires – in addition that they should be able to act in their homes with holiness – for when it comes to the way humans react to health – they only seek treatment after illness – however they need now to protect themselves in the future that the illness shouldn’t return – this is the great power of a Tzaddik – from His Holy Table, to give a person the ability to be saved from any problem in the future.
33 The Baal Shem Tov said that from heaven they gave him the option to live in Nemrov, Mezibush or third city, and he chose Mezibush, because there it was easy to get fish, so he can have them for the holy Shabbos.
- On Shabbos one should basically not learn, but be Meyached (this is analogous to the Chassidic teaching that during the week we learn two thirds nigleh and one third Chassidus, and during Shabbos, the reverse.)
- In all our prayers and study on Shabbos, the main emphasis should be on love (of God).
- One should speak much words of Torah during one’s weekday meals, how much more so on Shabbos.
- “Rejoice in your kingdom oh’ you who keep Shabbos and call it a pleasure – all of you should be satisfied and take pleasure in its goodness.”
This poses a difficulty – for when we deal with things in this world, the pleasure precedes the satisfaction – so it should of said “You who take pleasure will be satisfied.”
The explanation is – in matters of this world there is pleasure without satisfaction and there is satisfaction without pleasure.
For one who gets say a lot of money, received from this a pleasure, yet from it he is not satisfied, as King Solomon writes, “he who desires money, from money does not get satisfied.”
On the flip side, by eating delicious foods, one can become full, but the second one eats it, the pleasure is gone.
However when it comes to the study of Torah – if one is not very knowledgeable and you ask him a question, so initially it may be complicated, but afterwards (when he deduces the answer) there is great pleasure – however if he is very wise – even as he begins to find the answer, he receives pleasure – as he can exercise his mind, and find many fine points.
Now Shabbos was not given to only have pleasure from fine foods and drink – rather mainly to delve into Torah and prayer – as the Rama writes, on the verse – “And you should call Shabbos a pleasure” the pleasure comes from the high spirituality of Shabbos – for the house that the Shabbos candles flickers in, or the light of the sun on the morrow, this alludes to the light of the Sefiros – which is Holy of Holies – and surrounding one’s home in the Techum (2,000 square Ama) this light is encamped, and all negative is but outside of it.
And also the secret of the additional soul – as it says in the Siddur of the Ari on “Rejoice Moses in your Gift,” for every Shabbos he receives a gift of a thousand lights – and for this, he returns the crowns to the Jewish people – taken when they had to remove them from the Golden calf – when Shabbos goes and this soul departs, it is a loss, just as a wealthy person feels poverty more than poor (if God-forbid he lost his wealth) so too, the Tzaddik that can sense this additional spirit and the great and holy light of Shabbos, feels acutely the loss after Shabbos.
Therefor a Tzaddik’s main pleasure from Shabbos is from the Shabbos itself – and from the purity of Torah and prayer in holiness and purity, that he performs during Shabbos – now Shabbos was given to the Jewish people in order for them to have a day free to study Torah – as our sages said, that the Torah said to God, that when the Jews enter into Israel, and they will be busy with business / work, what will become of me? (as this was their preoccupation, during the time in the desert) said God “there is one day that on it you will be matched” – and this is what we say – “Rejoice in your kingdom oh’ you who keep Shabbos, and call it a pleasure” and what is the true pleasure – to give pleasure in the Shabbos – “You should be satisfied and take pleasure in its goodness,” this means through the agency of the Torah – for its nature is that the more a person is satisfied from it, the more pleasure it gives them.
And this what the verse writes, “more precious then gold and many pearls” this means the words of the Torah are more precious than gold and many pearls – for though one may receive pleasure from money, nonetheless they lack the ability to make one satisfied… – this is not the case when it comes to Torah, they are more sweet then honey… and unlike sweet food that after one is satisfied, one lacks pleasure – as it says, “Lest you are satisfied and regurgitate…” however Torah both satisfies and causes pleasure.
It also says, “your servant was Nizhar (careful) in it” Nizhar also means to shine – for all earthly wisdoms do not refine the person – neither his body nor his soul – and even more so philosophy upon which it says “none who go to her return, neither do they achieve the ways of life” – however the wisdom of the Torah refines both the body and the soul – therefore Adam Harishon before he sinned, our sages state – “his heal was brighter than the sun” – for the sun was created to serve the world, and he was created to serve God – and what caused his light to shine… through his study of Torah, as it says by Moses – “That his face shown.”
- How come, though it says in the Talmud, our speech on Shabbos should be different (into holier things…) nonetheless it states in Halacha (Jewish law) one who enjoys stories and the like, may chit-chat on Shabbos – the Baal Shem Tov gives an example from a king who made a festival and ordered that everyone should receive their wish, and one person who lived in the garbage dump requested simply that he should have more garbage.
- To God the greatest pleasure is when we elevate a person into holiness.
Note 52 After praying we must immediately learn.
43 During the week everything goes through the clothing of the letters, Alef into Beis into Gimmel etc. but on Shabbos it comes Direct.
46 The Baal Shem Tov was careful to not eat raw onion.
48 We have a prayer that Hashem should Unite Chochmah and Malchus – our mind and our speech – and then the complete redemption will follow
50 The Baal Shem Tov customarily would lengthen the third meal of Shabbos until deep into the night.
Note 60 The Baal Shem Tov and his Holy disciples were scrupulous to have the third Shabbos meal and to do so in a public – gathering.
51 It is said in the name of the Baal Shem Tov – that one should eat Garlic in Melaveh Malka.
54 The 613 Mitzvos of the Torah and 7 of the Rabbis are 620 sparks of light
56 It’s been testified about the Holy Baal Shem Tov that when he would tomorrow with his Holy Disciples a flaming fire would surround them. And supernal Angels would gather to hear the Thunder and lightning and the Divine voice saying “I am God your Lord” from Mount Sinai.
Note 61 Whoever purifies themselves and there is no Kelipa, negative desires within them, as the Holy Ari – Reb Chaim Vital – Rabbi Elazer Azcari – The Ohr Hachayim – the Holy Baal Shem Tov and in his disciples merit to hear the voice of God that never ceased from Mount Sinai.
57 The Baal Shem Tov said, that if the Jewish people spiritualize themselves and refine themselves through Torah and Mitzvahs, they will consistently hear the voice of God speak, as they heard at Mount Sinai.
58 If our holiness is pretense – a way of looking good – we are very unholy.
1. “These are the laws you should put before them…” this refers to legal laws – the Zohar says “that this is the idea of reincarnation” – in other words, it could be that a Jewish court mistakenly judges in favor of the guilty – but in actual fact what occurred was, in a previous lifetime this person was owed money, and therefore in this lifetime – the Torah makes the person who owed him, pay.
The Maagid asked the Baal Shem Tov to explain to him the meaning of the Zohar on “These are the laws” this is the idea of incarnation – so he told him to go to a specific forest and there he would see a specific tree and there would be a stream under it and he should wait there until six and come and return to the Baal Shem Tov.
So he did as he was told and he saw one man come on his horse like a knight, and he was tired and he ate and he drank and went – he left his wallet with his money by mistake.
Then another man came and he rested and drank and he picked up the wallet and he left.
Then a third man, a poor and broken man came and he rested up and drank a little bit and then the knight came back and he asked him where is his wallet with money? Now of-course he really didn’t know, and he didn’t know what this man was talking about.
And the knight beat him up, telling him to return his money.
At 6:00 o’clock he returned to the Baal Shem Tov and he told him that the first person owed the second person in a previous lifetime the amount of money that was in the wallet – and he didn’t pay him – and they came to a Jewish court, before this person the third person who was the rabbi in the previous lifetime – and he made the law to let the person not have to pay – without looking into the details.
Therefore in this lifetime the first person paid the second person what he owed and then the Rabbi received his punishment.
There is a story that there was a man who gave a fair amount of money to another man to hold for him – and then the second man passed on – and the first man came to the inheritors and asked for his money back – and they said, “Our father didn’t mention anything about this…” and they went to a Jewish court and according to the law, made the inheritors swear that they didn’t hear – and they did not have to pay back – though everyone knew that the first man was an honest person – and wouldn’t lie… – so they asked the Baal Shem Tov how could a Jewish court’s judgment be false – and he said, that in a previous lifetime, this man had owed that man, that amount of money.
- Our sages teach there are four primary negatives – (this refers to damages through a damaging) Bull – Pit – Bite (of an animal) and Fire – Spiritually this means – Ox- looking where you shouldn’t – Pit- refers to that a person lies fallow – a person isn’t learning but wastes time – Bite- refers to someone who eats anything and everything – Fire this refers to anger – which is the cackling of fire.
6. “Stretch out your hand not with a wicked person to be a witness to violence” this means that you should never speak bad about another Jew God-forbid – for through this you’ll have to be a “witness of violence” – for when the evil – the Yetzer Hara, speaks badly and brings this person to the Heavenly court and accuses him, desiring the punishment – they will bring you as a testimony on his words (for the Yetzer Hara on his own is not believed) therefore if you have to speak about negative which you have to get rid of – never speak about the person, only the behavior.
7. I heard from my father-in-law – the great holy Rabbi Avrohom Mordechai of Pintshov – once the Holy Disciples of the Baal Shem Tov were praying on Rosh-Hashana – one of the disciples – fell from him to the ground his Tobacco pouch. He picked it up and his friend saw this and he was upset that he disturbed his prayers to pick up his tobacco and have a snuff (as the custom was those days). The Baal Shem Tov saw by Divine prophecy – that this upsetness would cause that the disciple would pass that year… – The Baal Shem Tov went into heaven and prayed very hard for him, but nothing worked – eventually on Hoshana Rabba when the Tzaddik who got upset was saying Tikkun – the Baal Shem Tov (miraculously) removed his intelligence and as he couldn’t study – he began thinking about the greatness of God – and then he had a thought – why did God make Tobacco? And he concluded that there must be great souls (due to reincarnation) that can’t come down into physical bodies and the way they will be rectified is through a smell (similar to “A pleasing fragrance to God…”) and then he regrated that he was upset at his friend – for who knows, maybe there was holy souls that this Tzaddik elevated through his smelling.
Then during the day of Hoshana Rabba, the path of the Baal Shem Tov was to answer whoever asked him anything and what would occur – for he saw with his Divine prophecy from one end of the world to the other – and each would prepare a question – whether in Talmud or other matters and he would answer them all – And this disciple asked this question (why God made Tobacco be discovered in our generations) and when he asked the Baal Shem Tov this – the Baal Shem Tov said – “Tell me what you think” – and he said…. – Then the Baal Shem Tov said – there is greater reason – and he explained, what happened with the story with his friend, and he explained to him, that in the future you should always judge favorably, and not cause negative judgment.
8. “When you see the donkey of your enemy struggling under its burden you should surely assist it” the donkey refers to the body – the enemy is the Yetzer Hara – so if your body is struggling with illness or lack of finances you should pray for it.
10. Someone who habitually lies shouldn’t lie even for the sake of peace (in other words, to get rid of this bad character trait they must uproot it – even when it might be appropriate) like one who takes interest (on loans) shouldn’t even from a gentile.
11. The Baal Shem Tov gives an example of a very competent doctor that if somebody is very ill and it comes to him – because he’s so competent – you could even give him dangerous medicines but somebody who is not as competent – that could kill them.
Note 6 To con and flatter are obviously evil, however a person who usus this for helping uplift or create peace….
13. The Baal Shem Tov said to his disciples “my children, just make sure you never lie, and from this you will become great people.”
Note 8 Sometimes God-forbid we experience suffering / pain – instead of being in an expansive state, we are in a constricted state – we should meditate on the words “Asher Nishbati Bi-api” that even the negative comes from Hashem and this will sweeten the negative to joy.
15 Our Torah study is only considered Holy if it is infused with the knowledge of God.
Note 11 If we think we are close to God we are far – but if we think we are far we are close.
If we think we are distant from Serving God eventually we will be close.
The Tzadik always thinks how distant from God he is.
The Baal Shem Tov gives an example of two people – one person, he plants much seeds in his field and being so confident – he goes to eat and drink – and forgets about it – the other plants little, but is very very careful – so the former, his field gets trampled on, and ends up with nothing – but the latter… which teaches us we should always be careful with our deeds and our thoughts, and our actions – ends up with beauty.
16. “He certainly walks and cries carrying the seed – He will come in joy…”
This means if one geos from Divine level to level, and continuously seeks more – this person allows for the infinite seed of Divinity to continuously inspire him – however a person who feels – I got it all – I have studied enough Torah and need no more…. He is carrying Kelipa (darkness.)
17. The Baal Shem Tov was asked – what is the main service of God – particularly as it used to be people would fast weekly, but you have said that one who does this will need to give a Soul – amounting (in heaven as it is wrong.)
Answered He – “The purpose of serving God is to evoke within ourselves three – the love of God, the love of Our Fellow Jew, and The Love of Torah – that’s all.”
18 When we speak words of Torah at our table – this acts as a soul to the food – hence we should speak many words of Torah – this applies on the weekday – how much more so Shabbos.
19. “And I will remove pain from your midst” when a person has a pain – he should attach himself to God – meaning he should attach himself to the great qualities of God and he will not feel the pain.
20 “Everything God says we will do and then understand” this applies to everything – for it is precisely after doing – even in praying, Torah study with passion, and certainly action (Mitvos etc.) that the understanding comes.
21 “And they saw the God of Israel” – meaning they understood this – “and under his feet” meaning, what can one do to become “God’s feet” – A Merkavah – servant? this is through “like the sapphire”… the person refines himself like a sapphire – that one combines the body and the soul – and also similar to the sapphire, that the anvil that tries to smash it, itself breaks apart – which refers to the Yetzer Hara – in other words, if you can get rid of the Yetzer Hara – through this you will be like the essence of Heaven – and pure – like it says “and the righteous will shine like the shine of the Sky.”
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Baal Shem Tov – Megilas Ester
- The King order Vashti to come unclothed – Kelipah has no entity (like a bully…its merely a fake delusion – but in order to manifest its pathetic ego it must attach itself to some sort of goodness (claiming that it is righteous, hence superior) but if one undresses the Kelipah (as mentioned…) it ceases.
- The Yetzer Hara cannot get man to sin (take him away from His Divine service) through telling him to sin (for the person would ignore) so the Yetzer Hara clothes himself in a Mitzvah (which is the wrong time/place.)
4. There are Divine Goldly sparks (the essence of physicality) trapped (As it were) and we must make extreme effort to save them (through using the physical for spiritual.)
5. It is known in all things, there are Divine sparks who desperately seek to return to their source – everything a person sees and hears is Divine Providence – one must elevate say a physical love to spiritual (for essentially the physical love is an offshoot of the original spiritual – but in a crass form) for example once a person saw a war (by the gentiles) and he told this to a Tzaddik who elevated.
6. “Through this the maiden would come to the King” The Baal Shem Tov teaches “this” represents the Pillar (elevator) that takes one from the lower to the higher Gan Eden – this is achieved through fulfiling the Mitzvos which are the 620 Pillars of Light.
7. “And these days of Purim shall not pass from the Jews…” Purim never ends, rather literally is reanacted in every generation.
8. Teaches the Baal Shem Tov one who thinks the Purim happened, but is not happening… – that currently we are not witnessing the same miracle – of God’s continuous watchful salvation – has not fulfilled the Mitzvah.
- The Baal Shem Tov has a beautiful example on the story that God showed Moses a half shekel made of fire and said, “This is what you should give (as a donation” – the obvious question… why did He show him a coin made out of fire? – Once there was a silversmith who wrote instructions for an apprentice on how to shape the silver, but he didn’t write to first heat up the coals…. (so the metal can melt) – in other words, the most important part of the Mitzvah is the fire/passion.
- The 11 Samimanim (incense spaces) 10 correspond to the ten positive energies that give life to the Kelipah – but there is one Livoina, which is an oir Makif (an encompassing light) so it is infinitely pure.
- One who serves God seeking honor, such a person their soul gets cut off.
- When we recall on Shabbos that after Shabbos our extra soul will depart, we increase (through the extra focus) our Shabbos Joy.
- We know Moshe Rabeinu was the most humble person – considering that all the Jewish souls came from his, how… – but this is the very reason – for when a Tzaddik has an inspirational drive, this causes all people to have an inspirational drive (and depending on how much..) now if G-d forbid the Tzaddik slips (even but in a thought) this can cause the wicked person to actually commit a sin – so instead of seeing the sins of some Jews as their problems, he would see it as his own.
Note 8 Because all Jews are included in the Tzaddik of the generation – when he sees something wrong in another, he must erase the sin within himself, and this will cause that will be erased in everyone.
The Tzaddik should spread the great sweet light in his soul to his generation that they too will feel.
Moses Felt that maybe the sin of the generation was due to him (see above) therefore Hashem said it is due to them (see next.)
9. Sometimes it can be a small sin of the head of the generation that causes the sins of the generation (for to the wicked… his minor thought becomes an action,) and sometimes it can be the reverse.
12 Moses and Aharon had self-sacrifice for the Jewish people, as the story of the golden calf.
15. Just as a person who is standing over a body of water, his shadow on it is quite large… as he bends, the shadow becomes small, until if he places his nose to the water, the face reflecting him is exactly his (size) similar when a person is in a relationship with another person, if you act big, the other does – but the humbler you are, so is the other – the same thing applies in our relationship with God – this is why it states – as Mosses was the humblest person, that God spoke to him face to face.
16. Whatever a person understands of Godliness, this is the level of Malchus, but beyond that it is impossible.
17. Everything we can see is the level of Malchus – but beyond Malchus there is much and there is even infinitely beyond that.
18. “I will rest where I choose.”
We will understand this based on what is written in the Zohar – a word spoken without love and reverence for God, flies (soars) not above.
In other words, sound and speech are corresponding to male and female, which is the vov and hei of God’s name, Yud-Hei-Vov-Hei – but if one utters words (of holiness) without reverence and love (which is the father and mother) – Yud Hei of the name – one causes God-forbid a separation.
Especially as the entire purpose of prayer and study is in order to elevate the words to their source – from below reaching above –
For just as in the beginning, the world was made with 22 letters of Torah – and from there emanated the effulgence and existence of the lower world (from above to below) similarly a person must elevate his speech from below to above – to their source.
This means, when a person connects his speech with the speech, and voice with the voice, and breath with the breath, and thought with the Supernal thought – which is the four letters of God’s name, Yud-Hai-Vov-Hei as is known.
And if a person does this – all his speech soars above to the source, and through this he causes that these words come before God, and God looks at them.
And therefore his prayers are answered. For when God peers, this is like giving above (to below.)
And when God peers, this causes the existence of all the worlds.
From above, there is no time or hours, for in one second, the sustenance comes from the higher “well,” which continuously flows, and its pathways are goodness/kindness, to give positivity to His creations – only the receiver must be worthy (of receiving.)
And if one studies Torah or prays in this way – one becomes like a pipeline from the well above, which brings great sustenance to him and the entire world.
So in this way, God resides.
19. The thirteen attributes of Mercy begin Havayeh, Havayeh (the Yud-Hei-Vov-Hei names of G-d) E-l Rachum Vchanun…
E-l is the first attribute of the thirteen – these two Havayehs are not included in the thirteen – as is known, that the infinite light of Havayeh is so great that the lower world cannot contain it, but through an intermediary (agent) therefore the first attribute is E-l.
Another time the Baal Shem Tov taught – that the two Havayes mentioned at the beginning – the first hints to the higher Havayeh, and the second is Havayeh as it descends to become the Creator (or creative force) – therefore the first attribute is E-l, for the Alef also spells Peleh (E-l is made of two letters Alef and Lamed) this means that the higher word is beyond the perception of the lower, and then from there comes a desire of the lower world (so inherently there is no correlation – it is a choice of God.)
20. The first attribute of the thirteen principles of mercy, E-l, corresponds to the first of the thirteen ways the Torah is deduced – kal-vchomer.
21. When you have compassion you place your thought into the person whom you have compassion on, and therefore you and them are equal.
22. There are two types of kind people, one is when someone sees someone in need, say hungry, they invite them and feed them – the other like Abraham has such a strong desire to help that when he doesn’t find someone to help… feels pain.
Note 13 As a father minds not when their son (baby) holds onto their beard and pulls (as babies love..) in fact enjoys – so too God descends to our “petty” prayers.
23. The three primary attributes of Chessed, Gevurah and Tifferes spread from the highest heights to the lowest depths – Chessed (love) in the space of holiness is pleasure, when this attribute descends to the lowest, it becomes sexual predilection – this is the meaning, there is nothing higher than spiritual pleasure and lower than physical – and the attribute of Tifferes, when it comes below, is the attribute of arrogance and the attribute of Gevurah below is anger and idolatry – this is like a flame connected to the coal – like a chain interlinked, but below without discernment (the energy falls into stupidity.)
As our sages say, the wicked have weak minds, but above one discerns that he should place his pleasure in the higher pleasure of Godliness and not in filth – and the level of Teshuvah is acquiring this discernment.
24. The verse states (this is with additions from Note 17) “Let the wise person not praise himself with his wisdom, nor the rich man with his riches, nor the strong person with his strength, but in this should they praise themselves – knowledge of Me.”
These three attributes of wise, strong and rich, relate to the three pillars of which, the entire world is created (and energized by) namely Chessed (love) Gevurah (strength) and Tifferes (beauty) – so the meaning of this is, that depending on which of these attributes dominates Above: Love, Strictness, or Beauty is the energy that is felt below – now the righteous person will use this energy for the good, such as dedicating his passion to God, while the wicked to selfish pursuits; and the same holds true with strictness / fear – while the wise person returns to God in prayer and sweetens the judgment (causing things to become loving – kind again..) the selfish person now lives in fear (of loss etc.)
Finally beauty/ boasting can be seeing God’s grandeur, or one’s own.
25. When Adam first sinned, God brought him another sin, so he could withstand it and then repent and be forgiven for the first – however the Satan worked hard on cajoling him – then this happened a third time – after the third time, he had put his nefesh ruach neshama (manifest soul – not essence which is unconditionally pure) into the dark side – and only by fully uprooting the desire to follow your desires and returning faithfully to God, can atonement occur.
29. When a person does a Mitzvah, they so to say fix the 248 Limbs of the King – they complete the Shechina, and if God-forbid they sin, they lower the Shechina, until they do Teshuva.
“And your cattle, you will remember” this hints to teshuva – for the main sin comes to a person from the increased animalistic tendency – this is called “your cattle” – therefore one must elevate their animal soul to the place of memory – to refine the physical and subjugate it to the spiritual – and then a person is in the secret of male, which is compassion – and one subdues the animalistic drive and breaks their animalistic impulses – and elevates all essential drive to/for God – and this is the explanation “And all your cattle you will remember.”
30 The Baal Shem Tov says, there is tilling planting and harvesting – the three days leading to Shabbos, wed. Thurs. Fri. – these days are the days of doing everything to prepare oneself spiritually for Shabbos – the lofty spiritual prayers of Shabbos (which are a result of the preparations) then bear fruit, and draw down Divine illumination that one reaps during the next three days – and in this way, a continuous spiritual cycle of wed. thur. fri. with Shabbos in-between them (the next three) ensues.
1 Those who keep Shabbos – as we know hell closes on Shabbos – but for those who don’t’….
Note 1 When they would bring to the Baal Shem Tov a cup etc. he could say all the thoughts of the person who made it had during the time they made it.
None of us know even a fraction of a fraction of the many many “Divine unions” and holy meditations that the Anshei Kinesses Hagedoila – the great Rabbis who composed the siddur had in mind with each word – certainly every Mitzvah we do has 10s’ of thousands of very deep reasons and meditations – and therefore what we should do, is we should ask God to include our soul – which is one of the reasons – the Ari-Zal said we should say “Hareini Mikabel…” – before Davening, to include oneself with the higher souls that do these meditations.
The main purpose of the Ari-Zal teaching us all the great secrets of Divine thoughts and levels / emotions, is that we should become a Merkava, a transport – for example, when it speaks about “the eye of God..” and means God peering into us – so when we do a Mitzvah, looking deeply into it – this manifests “the eye of God” and when we speak about the “ear of God…” when we pay attention to what the Torah is telling us – this manifests the “listening of God” – when we speak about “the hand of God” this refers to God giving which we manifest by us giving.
Also the whole point of the construction of the Mishkan which paralleled the Mishkan above and constructed it through the doing below – is to give us an example that if God can be manifested through physical bricks, etc. how much more so, through our spiritual endeavors.
- We have a tradition from the Baal Shem Tov that we don’t say lichaim on beer.
- The Baal Shem Tov said, all of the healing he provided, he learned from the passuk “Vayikra El Moshe…”
- The Baal Shem Tov’s healing were through Yechudim, that he would unite, and bring the Shechina to the level of Ayin, and therefore everything below would be healed.
- A person must ensure that their speech has action – in other words, speech must go through seven levels – firstly Bina, that you must think what to say… – then it must go through love and fear, then though Tifferes – when a person wants, it should be a complete word, then the letters combine – and then it seems good in his eyes to say these words – then one must conquer the others words that wish to (intrude) and one speaks the words one needs – and then one needs Hod – and then Yesoid – this means when his thought is attached to his speech, it is called Yesoid – which is the connection of thought to speech – and then it comes through the mouth, which is called Malchus – and this is the lowest level – and a person must be on the level that his speech is called action.
- A sacrifice is brought from the sheep or the goats – the secret of sheep or goats, is the elevation of the universe – the level of Malchus which has in it the behavior of judgment and compassion – and the sheep combines both.
- A person below is a composite of soul and body, and through him the lower universe (made of matter) and the higher universe (of spirit) get united.
- Our sages teach us regarding sacrifices, “whether it is much or little – the only thing that matters is that your heart is dedicated to God” – so the Baal Shem Tov explains, that when a person learns Torah and prays, one must concentrate – and therefore even if somebody learns or prays less, in order that their concentration should be better,,, – this is as good as somebody who does more – and is able to concentrate.
- “Do not offer any leaven nor honey in the Incense/Ketores offering…” leaven refers to arrogance – and this is judgmentalism – which is based on constricted thinking – for a child seeks to be big, and an idiot jumps to be first – and our sages say, “Don’t offer this as a fragrance to God” – Don’t serve God from arrogance – in the outset, one may approach God with arrogance (for to begin a person must be self-centered) but in the inner Mizbeach (where the ketoires – fragrance was offered) do not. – For God does not appreciate arrogance – even a minute…
10. Once there was a King who wanted his son to feel a greater appreciation for the Palace – so he sent him to live with peasants – but with time the child became a peasant and forgot the higher status and more sublime living of the Palace – and the King sent ministers to return him – but he did not appreciate the ministers – so eventually the King had one minister go dressed up as a peasant who was able to.
The Rebbe of the generation is soul connected to the people – so by descending to their level – he is able to elevate them.
1 . It says, whoever studies the Torah about the Olah it is as if he has sacrificed an Olah – when a person innovates anything in Torah – he’s applying his mind in these words… – this is when he speaks these words of Torah with great passion.
- Sometimes a person can draw down blessing through one’s speech – if God-forbid one is captive, one should speak about, “the four who are released…” Psalm 107 – and if one is ill in a limb – one should speak about that limb in the supernal Sefiros.
- The Baal Shem Tov would often say – anything you committed at night – you tell the world that you did it the next day – the only thing is, that you don’t know that you’re saying it… – and often the world is too “stupid” to understand… for example, once the Baal Shem Tov was traveling with his Holy Disciples and he told them that the wagon driver had been with a woman who was not purified by the mikvah – and they were wondering… as they heard no indication… so they followed the wagon driver and he went into an inn, and he asked for a shot of vodka – and the proprietoress said, “Hold on, let me get you a different glass… because this class was not purified in the mikvah…” – and he said – “what difference does it make?!”
Moses teaches us, just as God is singular in the world, so your dedication to serving Him should be!
This is the great principle that a person should always have one thought, which is “how am I serving God? !”
When a person has many desires, this confuses them – consider everything as being filled from God.
We should consider that everything – even the higher spiritual worlds – the world of Angels – world of the throne of God – everything is like nothing compared to God! – for they all exist within a vacuum of the Divine concealment – that God concealed Himself and the whole thing was created with a single sentence.
If this is the case… “Why should I try to get anything within this vacuum – I may as well go beyond it!, to the essence of God!”
You should think, that you would rather connect to the essence of God – for anything good in any event is just an offshoot from Him.
Think that, “I always wish to give pleasure to God, and serve Him constantly – My thought process always be in God’s essence.”
When you need to think about things of this world, think that temporarily, you’re going away from the Divine essence, to be like a person who’s leaving his home to the outside – but he’s planning on coming back, soon!
Always consider that the essence is your real Home!
And even when you have to do things of this world – you consider this as outside of your home – and then you return to your Divekius / Divine attachment.
Note 1 Reb Nachman Kosovar was a great Rabbi who didn’t believe in the Baal Shem Tov, but his disciples convinced hm to go see for himself – so the Baal Shem Tov received him with great honor – and they went into a room – just the “four eyeballs….” but someone hid – Reb Nachman said…. – “They say you can read thoughts, so tell me, what I am thinking?” – so the Baal Shem Tov said, “peoples thoughts pulsate in different waves – focus on one thing…” – so he thought about God’s name – So he told him – So he said… “well of-course you know… as one should always be thinking about God…” so he replied – “Yet there are many names of God – you could have thought about…”
A person who constantly thinks about God – for him, to not… is a sin.
A person who constantly thinks about God, and diverts his attention, should do Teshuva (return his attention.)
The Baal Shem Tov considered if he lapsed in thinking about God’s name, or in doing things for the sake of God, as a sin.
- Sometimes you have to look in both directions, in order to channel your thoughts to God, due to the coarseness of the body, which covers over the infinite radiance of the soul.
- Attach your mind to God and then ask for something physical (any need…) for one needs to train oneself to both be able to be attached and physical.
- Do not look at a person, even when speaking with them, who is not attached to God.. for this can cause (soul) damage- but the people who are – one should make an effort to.
Note 5. If someone criticizes you, do not respond.
It says in Tana Divei Eliyahu that the duty to admonish another… – only refers to one who is your spiritual peer.
10 Even the physical things you do – do for the sake of God.
11 Do the mundane with such Divine passion, that they to become bright.
- Even the physical pleasure should only be for God.
1. Either a person turns to God or God can sometimes inspire a person – when the former occurs – what is born is everlasting.
3. There is a saying, “After a fire one becomes wealthy…” explains the Baal Shem Tov, this is true for then people pray (and the prayers of many, are powerful.)
The Baal Shem Tov gives an example of a tall powerful man, who was standing all tall and proud – but the sun was beating mercisily upon him – a wise short man came by and told him to take some water from him – but the man was too arrogant to bend and take – so the wise man threw up some water hoping it would be easy for him to catch some drops – but he pursed his lips shut!
From the sunstroke he passed.
The lesson is, God sends us wise humble leaders who try to inspire us!!!
When you see something negative in another, know some of that is in you – and when you repent, you remove this from them.
1. Once there was a king who wished to live forever – and they gave him a remedy that he should distance himself from arrogance – but the more humble he conducted himself with humility- the more arrogance his heart felt “for he’s such a great king… as well as being so humble….” till his master came to him and told him that he should conduct the Kingdom from the outward appearance, but inward – he should be truly humble – through the fact, that he showed him a toilet with comes from man.
The Baal Shem Tov gives an example of a king that wanted to live forever – and all the doctors said that this is impossible – but one man came and said to him “I will heal him, by this that I will show him the eternal life” and he told him to choose the way of humility…. and the King, when he came to ride in his Royal Carriage, he said that the carriage should ride ahead, and he will walk behind it – and the man said to the King – “this is not the correct path – sit in the carriage – the greatest difficulty is being truly humble in your own heart…”
3. This is also the meaning of the verse “God the king, pride wears” – so the question was asked of the Baal Shem Tov, it says wherever you see the greatness of God you see his humility? – and he explained, that this is exactly what the verses say – it’s only “worn” for the conducting of the Kingdom – but within Himself is only humility.
4. Another teaching on humility, is once there was a king who sent to have his sons away – one he sent with great honor – and the other he sent with great shame, so he should learn the attribute of humility – and so it was, the one who had humility conquered far more countries than the one that was sent with great honor.
5. It says, if someone has difficulty they should go the Tzaddik of the generation – and he should pray for them – but if he prays for them – and it works… and this causes him arrogance this brings Divine wrath on the people of his generation.
The question is asked – why should this cause wrath on others? – Explains the Baal Shem Tov, if they were holy, their prayers too would work.
6. The verse says, “Behold darkness convers earth” and the verse says, “All sins are concealed through love” – the main part of a building is the foundation – if the foundation is off, so the building.. – so too regarding a person – if a person’s foundation is arrogance, even the positive is off… and if a person’s foundation is love, even the negative is concealed.
7. The Baal Shem Tov taught, that every Jew can reach the lofty perceptions of our great sages, but arrogance gets in the way – in addition, one gets sad, because as in their estimation they are great, therefore they feel – “why do I not feel greater Divine Passion?”
8. If you perceive that your Divine service is greater than another… – don’t let this cause you arrogance.
9. Think never your service of God exceeds another – for even a worm – it serves God to the best of its abilities – the only reason your any better, is God gave you an intellect – but had he not given you any intellect… – so we all do our best.