Kabbalah Love

A Modern Guide to Relationships Meaning and Happiness Based on G-d’s Kabbalah

Some Quotes as an Appetizer

  • The truth is we are all pure God, it is only our bodies that obscure our light – but don’t punish your body, for that is not God’s intent; rather partner with it to achieve the spiritual intent of transforming a material life into a good life, dedicated to God, goodness and kindness.
  • Believing in God’s individual destiny for you and for every person removes fear, doubt, guilt, anxiety – even Freud a non-believer, believed this fact.
  • The goal is not to be beyond reality in Godliness but to be Godliness in reality.
  • Perhaps the easiest and greatest way to live, is to just be simple.
  • We should never forget that to sin is easy, but to do good is hard – for to sin, one follows one’s Yetzer Hara/instincts; but to do good, one must overcome it.
  • Never forget, God didn’t choose to create robots, but you, a person who has the freedom to choose God.
  • Women in a relationship are the moon – just as the moon patiently waits for the sun’s light so she can be warm and bright, the woman needs the male love, care, concern and most importantly communication i.e. attention, to feel warm – and just as the moon, unlike the sun, can brighten up even the darkest night, if she contains light – there will be no lack in a male’s life – if he has given light, energy, love, to his spouse, in the times when he was bright, cheerful and happy.
  • Every action, every word, and every thought consciously done, said or contemplated, is like casting a stone into the ocean, its waves ripple, and affect the entire cosmos.
  • The goal of life is to be grateful for what you have materially by realizing how lucky you are to have it and to never feel smug about your spiritual progress by realizing how many greater saints there are and trying to emulate them.
  • Even a bit of light banishes much darkness!
  • Even a bit of love banishes much anger!
  • If we look at life as energy instead of matter, so close your eyes for a minute and imagine you can see infrared light (which picks up heat,) now you understand everything, for everything and everyone wants to be warm.
  • By seeing your own heart as the source of energy you can now understand that all you need to do is radiate infrared warmth / love (in fact you effect people anywhere in the world just by radiating love – i.e. Thinking positively, warmly, affectionately about them).
  • The benefit of walking after falling is, that if you fall after you walk, you are afraid of walking in case you may fall, but once you know that you can walk after you fall, you are always confident enough to walk!
  • The easiest way to be happy is to tell yourself, “Be Happy!”

                     DEDICATION

Dedicated to all Seekers of Truth

           ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

My first acknowledgment – the source of gratitude – for to be grateful we must recognize the source from where our blessings/beneficence has come from, is of course to our loving Father in Heaven who in his unlimited kindness has designated that a genuine idiot like me should be worthy or perhaps better said, fortunate to have studied and hence in continuation of my mission to help others, thus share Kabbalah info. with you.

Special appreciation goes to my dear revered Father whose encouragement and constant editing and critique of my writing is invaluable.

To my dear brother in law Rabbi Chazan for proofreading and commenting on the content.

And to the many faithful editors who checked for syntax grammar etc. etc. (as you can see this piece came in afterwards) beginning with Mrs. Gralnik  editor par-excellence and culminating in the highly esteemed anesthesiologist and author Dr. Waldmen without whom my chicken scratch may have remained as such.

                 FORWARD

Kabbalah/Chassidus Jewish Mysticism, means received wisdom, as the Hebrew translation of Kabbalah connotes. Unlike human wisdom which is subject to the vagrancies of our desires and thus biased towards what we instinctually want, Kabbalah is untainted. It is truly the most modern guide to relationships, happiness and meaning.

Imagine that this world is G-d’s – henceforth called The Creator/Manager of the World’s – video game. The way to win is through using the wisdom of the Kabbalah.

By no means is this simple. There is nothing more difficult then overcoming our selfish instincts, as you probably know from experience.

There is a Jewish saying and assurance, “If you try hard, you are guaranteed by The Creator/Manager to succeed in this spiritual war.”

If you would like to receive more Kabbalah information, please go to my website www.kabbalahinfo.org (or www.kinformation.org) or to www.chabad.org or www.sichosinenglish.com. If you have an immediate question you can ask a “live” Chassidic/Jewish Mysticism scholar on www.askmoses.org (and you can read answers to previously asked questions as well.)

We are living in unprecedented times. On one hand, out of the depths of material abundance has come a deep dissatisfaction with the western materialistic ideal, which leads to The Creator/Manager’s inner intent, namely, that out of darkness will come light (for light is only appreciated after darkness;) and hence most westerners today are searching for the truth and meaning of life.

In my own search for the truth, it is only in Judaism, but particularly Kabbalah/Chassidus Jewish Mysticism, that The Creator/Manager has given us a simple yet effective guide for life.

Although I am loath to blow my own trumpet, nonetheless I feel it is wise to describe why I am qualified to write, teach and transmit Kabbalah information. Firstly I was born into a family where this wisdom is a passion. My grandfather is in fact the author of perhaps the most read practical guide to Kabbalah called “Lessons in Tanya;” (Tanya is the current “Bible” of Kabbalah/Chassidus Jewish Mysticism.) In addition he lectured for over fifty years on a weekly radio show on Kabbalah/Chassidus. My own father translated his book among approximately twenty other practical Kabbalah/Chassidus books, and both have pretty much dedicated their lives to teaching this incredible wisdom to others.

Just to understand the next “accolade;” Kabbalah as we mentioned is received wisdom from The Creator/Manager of the world. When The Creator/Manager revealed the Bible/Torah through Moses, its explanation was also given (so an “eye for an eye” means how much an eye is valued, not G-d-Forbid to take out another’s eye.) As such, although many faiths latched onto the Biblical wisdom, nonetheless all fall short of understanding the apparent anomalies and certainly esoteric wisdom contained within. Four basic levels/paradigms of Divine wisdom were given with the original text. The secret and highest most inspirational level, is called Kabbalah or Sod/Secret.

Like the other levels, it was first written down only approximately one thousand five hundred years after it was received. (The reason for this is that the explanation of the Bible is in fact its key; As the parable given by the Jewish sages: a king had the most precious treasure and wanting to reserve its contents for his children, put a combination code on it, to lock its contents. Though everyone would claim the treasure, only those who understand how to penetrate the depths of its content, can truly claim to be its rightful heirs.)

Similarly the Torah was taught mainly by verbal transmission for close to fifteen hundred years – though no deviation from the meaning occurred, for each concept was memorized through repeating it at least a hundred times by the students. (For example although the text writes, “To place a reminder on your hands and between your eyes,” nonetheless the current Teffilin Jewish men wear daily, was always the understood meaning. In other words, though this sign could mean anything, there was never a dispute as to what it means, for the explanation was intact.) Seeing that the strength of the Roman Empire weakened the Jewish homogeneity in Israel, therefore the Rebbe/Jewish leader of the time, changed this principle, and began writing down all the laws. (His compilation is called the Mishnah, followed a few hundred years later by the Talmud, and then an endless stream of law books all consistent with Talmudic rulings – but as the Talmud is a highly complex and technical book – easier formats were developed.)

In a similar sense, around the same time that the Mishnah was written, books containing the other levels of the Torah such as Sifra were written. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai who hid from the Roman Emperor – who wanted to kill him, as he criticized the Roman oppression – was the great sage who wrote down the Kabbalah.

Yet the Kabbalah was only studied in secret groups, by only the greatest scholars, in each era, and only in the past five hundred years have the Kabbalah-Masters said that in anticipation of the coming of the Messiah (whose light has already begun to shine in the world and hence much goodness and spiritual yearning is found in modern society) the Kabbalah-Wisdom should be publicized.

Practically – Chassidus is what I call, “Kabbalah Tools For Life.” Though I do not – nor do any of the great masters – encourage anyone to study Kabbalah directly (which would be like trying to understand Einstein’s equations without a teacher, which is practically impossible) nonetheless Chassidus is the practical wisdom of the Kabbalah. (Although not limited only to the level of Kabbalah, as it draws from the other three levels, and in fact in some ways is the inspiration to study the other levels as well.)

Chassidus was founded by Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov, whose successor was the Maggid of Mezritch, whose successor was Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, whose successor was the Mitteleh Rebbe, Rabbi Dovber, whose successor was the Tzemach Tzeddek, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, whose successor was the Rebbe Maharash, Rabbi Shmuel, whose successor was Rabbi Shalom Dovber, whose successor was Rabbi Josef Isaac Schneerson, whose successor was the Leader of all Jews in our times, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn; (in fact he was voted, Jew of the century, in all Jewish magazine/newspaper polls at the turn of the century, and was influential in establishing over two thousand educational and social organizations in his lifetime 1900-1994. Much of his teachings can be gleaned in “Towards A Meaningful Life,” by Simon Jacobson.)

So after this interlude, my other grandfather is a Rabbi who studied and taught Chassidus for over fifty years and his parents trace their lineage back to disciples of the third Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman. Additionally Chabad-Lubavitch, the Orthodox Jewish movement I was born into, places great emphasis on the study of Chassidus and hence I was privileged from a young age to be exposed to this wisdom.

What is unique about Chassidus is unlike other systems/worldviews that address a few issues leaving one undecided, uniformed and often in a state of incongruence relating to other aspects of one’s life, Chassidus is the master-key that unlocks not only deep spiritual truths but also how life can practically, easily and most importantly joyfully, become harmonized with a perfect blend of both the spiritual, physical, and of course most importantly interpersonal.

I have developed courses which I have taught and thankfully inspired many, this book being my main one.

Additionally I had a radio show called “Kabbalah Tools For Life” which thank G-d was enjoyed by many many thousands of listeners.

So enough about me, I wish you the very best of luck in refining yourself, as Rabbi Saadiah Goan (one of the greatest Jewish philosophers/Rabbis) taught, that the purpose of life is to refine oneself through refinement of oneself!

 Chapter 1 The Attitude of Gratitude

In life, it is not what we have that makes us happy, it is the attitude towards what we have that makes us happy.

A Story

Mr. Behr was a sweet old man who would often take his vacation at the home of a congregant of mine – whose marriage was not too hot – during the time that I was the Rabbi in a resort town in South Africa. One day as he came into Synagogue, he shook his head sadly and told me, “I don’t understand why young people don’t get along these days. I was married for over forty years and I never had a single argument with my wife.”

“Wow, that’s impressive,” I thought, so I asked him, “What was the secret to your happy marriage?”

“When I was a young man,” Mr. Behr replied, “I once asked my boss to lend me a crown so that I could buy a lotto ticket. My boss replied, ‘Do you know when you will win the lotto? When you walk down the aisle to your Chupah (marriage canopy), that is when you will have won the lotto.’”

In other words, Mr. Behr was teaching me, that the reason he had a loving, respectful and happy relationship with his wife was because he had always felt like he had won the lotto by marrying her!

True Wealth

The Jewish Sages teach, “Who is wealthy? One who is happy with what s/he has.”

A Story

My cousin, Yossi Alpren, a Rabbi in Brazil, took a group of very wealthy Brazilian children on a tour of the United States. When they came to the largest toy store in the world, all the children were excited to be able to spend their parent’s money on the latest toys, and gizmos. However he noticed that the young daughter of a billionaire banker was sitting all alone in an aisle. “What’s wrong…?” my cousin asked her. She replied sadly, “I have all these toys already.”

Gaining Perspective

People who get a new lease on life, look at life very, very, differently.

One woman I know, told me, that after being confined to a hospital bed for a few months, one morning as she looked out of the window, she said to herself, “If I ever get out of here, I will never complain for the rest of my life;” and indeed she is perhaps one of the cheeriest people you could ever meet.

People who have survived potentially fatal accidents or illnesses often come out of their experiences with a very great appreciation for the greatest gift of all, the gift of life itself.

The Gift Of Life

The fact is that this world is no accident.

The more science we learn the more we realize that our world is built on a series of miraculous phenomena which by virtue of their consistency deceive us into seeing it as natural. Nature is in fact anything that is miraculous but repetitive.

Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov the founder of Chassidus taught, “The first time we see a miraculous phenomena in nature we call it a miracle, the second time we call it nature.”

E=MC2

Take the famous equation of e=mc2. If you had “x-ray vision,” you would see that everything you are looking at is really made up of atoms and what e=mc2 means, is that every atom corresponds to an incredible amount of energy (which is the mass of the atom squared by the constant speed of light, 186,000 miles per second).

Now, if you had even greater “x-ray vision,” you would be looking at energy and you wouldn’t see anything physical at all! You can get an idea of how much energy there is when you realize that an atomic explosion is one of the main energy sources for electricity in our world – supplying millions, if not hundreds of millions of households with electricity – all coming from the energy released when the tiny atom is “split.” And as Einstein writes, the energy released in an atomic explosion is actually just a fraction of the energy contained, (like a wealthy man giving away a thousand dollars, to use his own example.)

So where did all this energy come from? Is it possible that it simply “exists?” Obviously not, for the other side of e=mc2 states that all of the energy ever used can be converted back into matter.

In other words, energy is interchangeable with physical matter, which is bound by time and space and is one of The Creator/Manager’s creations.

Creation

As a creation, matter needs to have a beginning.

In the study of Kabbalah, we are taught that The Creator/Manager “spoke” the world into existence.

This means that The Creator/Manager’s “speech” creates our reality – the trees, rocks, water, and everything that we see and take for granted.

However, there is a fundamental difference between what The Creator/Manager makes and what man makes. What man makes, is in fact, only a change of status of material properties, so every component in your “brilliant” computer is in fact taken from something that was already created by The Creator/Manager, from the silicon to the gold, from the plastic to the metallic parts etc. There isn’t a single component in your computer that doesn’t actually come from the ground.

Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov teaches that we will never cease to benefit from the amazing myriad of natural metals and minerals that our loving Creator placed within the earth’s crust for the sake of mankind’s use.

The Rebbe on Protecting The Environment – A Healthy Balance Between Mankind and Earth

Besides our responsibility to ourselves and our fellow man, we are also responsible to the environment around us.

The human being is the jewel of creation, but every single thing in our physical world – animal mineral and vegetation – has also been charged with Divine energy and purpose, and must be treated accordingly.

The environment is sacred and no man has a right to destroy it; we are invited to take advantage of its elements only as they relate to our mission on earth.

So yes, we raise animals and vegetables for sustenance, we cut forests to build houses and schools, and we extract fossil fuels form the earth to warm ourselves.

But unless we are using the environment responsibly, for wholly productive purposes and higher ends, we must protect it as vigilantly as we protect ourselves.

The earth’s crust, including all that is within it, did not exist prior to creation. Therefore, the earth must continually be recreated in order for it to exist.

Continuous Creation

For example, imagine a strange alien from another planet for a moment.

As long as you imagine the alien, it exists, however the second you stop imagining it, the alien ceases to exist; for it is only in your imagination that it exists. The alien doesn’t exist in this physical world. So anything that doesn’t inherently exist, needs another creative force constantly creating it, in order for it to continuously exist.

If you were to take away the building blocks of matter – The Creator/Manager’s “speech” – there would simply be nothing, and we would be unable to make anything at all; So all of our technology is dependent on a far greater technology – The Creator/Manager’s “speech” – which is continually recreating reality. In other words, The Creator/Manager is always speaking/imagining the world into its present natural format.

Every atom ever created needs to be continually spoken into existence. Although we are given the ability to manufacture computers, rockets and the like, this does not change the fact that continuous creation is necessary for these secondary products to exist; for without the raw atoms constantly being spoken into existence there would be no materials to create secondary products.

In fact physicists have proven this and we can witness that atoms are continually popping in and out of existence as you can see on the documentary What The Bleep Do We Know. The Kabbalah wrote about this process thousands of years ago and called it Rotzu Vshov, that the creative energy emanates from the Creator and continually returns back, in an ongoing cycle, forward and return – in and out – of The Creator/Manager.

Now just as when you imagine something your brain is recreating the picture for as long as you imagine it, similarly in order for our universe with all of the raw materials in it to exist The Creator/Manager is re-imagining/re“speaking” every part of the universe into existence all the time!

In fact the words Abra Cadabrah come from the two Hebrew words, “Ibarah C’dabrah” which means “I create when I speak.”

Another Example

Another good example to help us understand continuous creation comes from screens. Depending on the type of screen you have, every single second the picture on your screen is refreshed/redrawn a few hundred times. This is why you need a screen saver, for if the computer refreshes the same screen for long periods of time, sometimes the picture gets imbedded into the screen. This means that every time you look at the Recycle Bin in your computer it has been redrawn thousands of times. In other words, your Recycle Bin is a functional tool in a two dimensional computerized world, whereas the garbage can in your kitchen works in a three dimensional world; They both, however serve the same fundamental purpose, getting rid of garbage; and they both need a higher technology to make them continually appear, giving you, the user, a functional tool.

 Thank The Creator/Manager

This being the case, it is only right to thank The Creator/Manager for what we already have, for it is merely due to his great ongoing kindness that our universe, including you and I, continually exist.

Altruism

The Creator and Manager of the World is very different from human beings whom mainly seek to gain. The Creator/Manager is looking to give – as the Jewish Sages teach – that the reason why The Creator/Manager made the world was in order to have people to give to, for in their words “It is the nature of a good (person) to give.”

We must realize that The Creator/Manager has already given us so very much!

When we are aware of these gifts, we start realizing that there is a Being who loves us unconditionally, gives to us unconditionally, and only desires what is good – for our sakes – and not for His sake.

Ask

Someone I know was once going through a severe financial crisis. He called up his wealthy father who bailed him out. I asked his father, “How come you didn’t help your son earlier?”

“Because,” he replied, “he didn’t ask.”

So it is also good to ask The Creator/Manager for what you want.

Suggestion #1:

Write a list of all the good things in your life – all the things which you would miss if you no longer had them – and then list the things that you want but do not have. Say, “Thank you Creator for the blessings You have given me; please Creator, give me the things I want.”

Bonus: It should be mentioned that the wisest prayer of all – according to Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov – is that The Creator/Manager should give us what He knows is best for us. One lady I know, whom The Creator/Manager had always given her whatever she requested, stopped praying for what she “thought” she wanted and prayed instead for what The Creator/Manager knew would be good for her. She realized that what she thought would make her happy often led her into misery. The Creator/Manager’s plan, however, always led her to happiness.

Big Bonus: The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn explains a truly remarkable thing. Although of course The Creator/Manager needs to recreate reality for it to constantly appear as mentioned above, nonetheless as He is Infinite, He could have simply imbued matter with enough energy to last as long as he wanted it to. The reason He chose continuous creation is so that we could always feel grateful for this great gift, for gratitude equates to happiness. When you are doing nothing, after every breath you take say, “Thank You, Creator, For Everything.”

         Chapter 2 Divine Destiny

Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov explains that what comes to us from The Creator/Manager is actually a reflection of our own happiness and disposition.

If we are full of joy, kind to others, merciful and compassionate, then The Creator/Manager will bestow joy, kindness, mercy and compassion upon us.

Why is our mood so important? I think our attitude reflects our fundamental belief. By being happy we are fundamentally saying that “Fundamentally I believe that The Creator/Manager is good and therefore He will give me what I need.” However by being sad, depressed, or despondent we are fundamentally saying, “The world is a negative place and I believe I will not receive my needs.”

The reason we get into a negative space is unfortunately due to negative experiences.

The Wheels of Justice

“What goes around comes around,” is a true saying, albeit with a time delay involved, which results in our failing to recognize the truth of it.

The reason for this delay is as follows: if we were immediately rewarded or punished for our wrongdoings we would never do anything wrong.

What’s so bad about that, you may wonder? I recall that as a child I once asked The Creator/Manager to punish me whenever I did something wrong, for then I would know that The Creator/Manager existed. This is, in fact, the only real reason why we question The Creator/Manager’s existence.

How can it be that a good person suffers while an evil person prospers? There are many explanations for this. For example sometimes The Creator/Manager gives a “reward” to a bad person in this world, but this so-called “reward” is actually a negative payout, for it prevents him or her from receiving the great bliss of Heaven.

Sometimes The Creator/Manager brings suffering upon the righteous person for infractions in this world, reserving for them the reward of everlasting bliss in the world-to-come. In fact our sages teach us that a drop of suffering in this world erases mountains of pain in the next.

Karmic Debts

Furthermore, we are taught that we can have “karmic debts,” which means that if I owed someone a sum of money in a previous lifetime, that money may be forcibly taken from me and restored to its reincarnated owner in a future lifetime. There are many stories from the Jewish mystics that prove this.

Additionally, we may have “karmic debts” in this lifetime, as the following story demonstrates. I once bought a computer from a friend of mine and at the last minute he threw in an old screen for about $15.00. To cut a long story short, I had only brought the money for the hard-drive and thus did not pay him for the screen. A few months later the screen had one of those Microsoft “Fatal Exceptions” and refused to work. I thought, “Why did this happen?” Remembering that I did not pay my friend, I paid him the very next night when I saw him at a wedding, and lo and behold, the very next day someone needed to borrow my computer – he was perhaps the best programmer in the country (South Africa) and he happened to come to where the computer was for a totally unrelated reason and after approximately forty-five minutes he managed to fix Microsoft’s “Fatal Exception!” and I was up and running again like nothing ever happened.

The essence of the story is, “what goes around comes around,” both for the good and for the bad.

But more importantly, it is extremely wise to be happy, joyful, loving, grateful, giving, sharing, compassionate and helpful, for we are by so doing, creating our own future destinies!

Our lives on earth are not predetermined, but rather based on the energy/input we give to Heaven, which is then mirrored back to us.

Freedom of Choice

You may not know this, but Heaven was created for earth, and not the other way around.

Everything that is above and below is part of the Divine plan to give you the freedom to choose – without being forced to – between goodness i.e. selflessness, compassion, sharing, caring etc. and evil i.e. selfishness, insensitivity, arrogance, and caring only for oneself while disregarding others.

In other words, the reason The Creator/Manager allows the perception of evil and injustice to occur is to give you the freedom to willfully choose good over bad!

If The Creator/Manager immediately punished you every time you did something bad, as I requested for myself, then we would lose the perception that evil can exist, and thus we would be forced to choose good, which would not make it good anymore. For example, if somebody holds a gun to another’s head G-d forbid and forces them to give charity, we couldn’t exactly call the giver a charitable man under such a compelling circumstance. On the other hand when we are not compelled neither through recognizable punishment nor reward our good deeds are truly such.

Reality

In groundbreaking research Dr. Emoto shows that water crystals react to our prayers, intentions, words, and emotions. This is not new to Kabbalah.

The Tanya, one of the classic books of Jewish mysticism, written over two hundred years ago by the great Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, clearly describes three basic zones of reality: 1) Good 2) Neutral 3) Evil.

Included in Zone 1 (Good) are those things that we make blessings over – such as when we thank G-d for the food we eat – or when we use food for good deeds, such as giving food to hungry people. So at that time our energy and the molecules creating the food comes directly from The Creator/Manager.

In Zone 2 (the neutral zone) are most objects that are currently untainted (positively or negatively) by humans and are thus waiting for you and I to elevate them in order to receive energy directly from The Creator/Manager.

In fact Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov teaches that neutral water will have to wait hundreds or even millennia for a good person to thank G-d for the water they are going to drink.

Zone 3 (evil) contains the negative forces, which include anger, revenge, harming others, etc.

In other words, if I eat an apple and then use the energy it gives me to insult someone, at that time those atoms are energized via the demons, because G-d Himself refuses to sustain negativity directly.

There is a cosmic system behind everything that we call reality. Obviously only The Creator/Manager can create, and He is the source of all good and kind things, but when negativity needs to be created then the energy travels from The Creator/Manager Himself through demons.

It is in the interest of the demons to get you to do something wrong for then they receive the energy to thrive because they tap into the energy The Creator/Manager gives them to sustain you at that time.

Every person has been given a personal demon called the Yezter Hara. The Yetzer Hara desires to trap you, for the only way he can feel good is through your devotion of energy towards negativity.
So there are three levels we can ascend, be or descend to:

A. love

B. indifference

C. evil/malice to compensate for a low self-image!

Kosher

Incidentally, kosher food corresponds to these three zones. Kosher food begins in the “neutral zone” and takes on a positive energy if used for something positive, such as when one uses the energy from the food to help someone else.

Non-kosher food in Hebrew is also called “Assur,” which means tied down. As it is locked up in the third negative zone, therefore it cannot be elevated even if one uses the energy for something good.

Those foods that did not get elevated – since no one used the energy for anything meaningful after eating it – remain in the neutral zone they started out in. If, however someone used the energy from the Kosher food for something negative – e.g. to harm another, G-d forbid – then the atoms get energized via the negative demons.

The above is an extreme simplification of an incredibly vast world above us, which G-d uses to engage, create, modify, influence and record everything that goes on in this world!

Suggestion #2:

By tuning into good energy – by being grateful for what one has and trusting that things will get better – one creates good destiny and hence a better future.

Bonus: Even by just imagining that The Creator/Manager will help you, i.e. telling yourself just that, “G-d will help me,” creates this as a future reality.

Big Bonus: Additionally it is very powerful to hand over your problems to The Creator/Manager, as the verse states “Throw your package [of problems] to The Creator/Manager and He will carry them.”

I think that as a loving parent The Creator/Manager enables us to choose our own mistakes as He does not want to force us into anything, however, just like a loving father would, He steps in and provides when we say, “Sorry, it is too hard for me to handle.” [The only thing we need to be careful about is to not take our problems back from The Creator/Manager after he has successfully handled them. Human nature is such that we like to think that we deserve the credit. However the way the trust-system operates, is that The Creator/Manager allows whomever you trust – including yourself – to be the provider. So by taking your problem back, you then actually create the problem. As Einstein states, “We cannot solve our problems using the same mindset we created them with.”]

       Chapter 3 Giving

Meaning In Life

According to Albert Einstein, the meaning in life is found by “Giving to those whose existence is the cause of your happiness.”

Love

 This theory is very much in accord with the Biblical instruction to, “Love your friend as much as you love yourself.” According to Rabbi Akiva, this is in fact the whole point of the Torah (Bible), to teach us how to “Love your friend as much as you love yourself.”

Happiness, True Success, Joy, & Recognition

Many books could be written on this subject, for it represents not only the fundamental reason for our existence, but also the key to our own happiness, success and joy in life, and the key to our ability to attain the recognition that we all so desperately crave. For only through unconditionally loving others, will we receive unconditional love in return.

 Rabbi Hillel and the Gentile

I was recently reading an interesting Judaic article that asked the following question: There is a well known story that a gentile once came to the great Rabbi Hillel, the foremost Jewish leader of his age, and asked him for the guiding principle of Judaism, to which Rabbi Hillel replied, “That which you do not want others to do to you, do not do to them. The rest of the Torah/Bible is the amplification of this principle.”

The question was subsequently asked, why did Rabbi Hillel frame it in the negative – “That which you do not want others to do to you, don’t do to them” when he could have framed it in the positive – “That which you want others to do to you, do to them!?” Additionally this would seem a more accurate description of the Biblical injunctions, such as loaning money interest-free, giving charity, etc.

However, Rabbi Hillel was teaching everyone an extremely important lesson. Why is it that when we do something wrong it doesn’t seem to bother us at all? Or, if it does bother us, we still manage to love ourselves, to care for ourselves and feel compassion for ourselves, but when someone else does something wrong we are often ready to jump down their throats, “How could you possibly have done such an evil, vile, rude, inconsiderate thing?”

How come we act so “schizophrenically,” seeing other people’s faults as genuine problems, yet at the same time characterizing our own faults as nothing. We view our own misdeeds as nothing more than things we shouldn’t have done, but they do not alter our fundamental self-love. Why? The reason is very simple, yet exceptionally profound.

The reason we don’t see our own faults, or our own faults do not cause us to alter our positive self-image, is because our innate self-love covers over and conceals our faults. In other words, because we love ourselves, we don’t see, or are not extremely concerned by our own faults. There is a Yiddish saying that “Di Eigeneh Drek Shtink Nisht (one’s own smell from going to the bathroom doesn’t smell badly.”)

I am sure you have heard the saying, “Love is blind,” which is certainly true. In Judaism – in Proverbs – the saying goes, “All faults are concealed by love.” In other words, it’s not that we do not recognize that we have faults, rather that our love is able to shield us from seeing them as issues that should prevent us from loving ourselves unconditionally.

In truth this is a very good thing, for in order to love someone else you must first love yourself, as usually the love one person extends to another is due to indentifying with them – hence siblings who realize their shared background have greater love for each other than strangers do; but most importantly if someone (perhaps a depressed person) doesn’t love themselves they might G-d Forbid commit suicide. (This is also why depressed people seem to lose their love for their spouse and kids, for Jewish Mysticism teaches that depression is when we become angry at ourselves for doing something that caused us pain or shame, so therefore as our anger is towards ourselves therefore the fact that someone else is similar to us (“my wife,” “my kids,” “my brothers and sisters”) doesn’t cause us to feel love for them anymore, for the origin of the said love (namely self-love through identification) has disappeared.)

So self-love is great (obviously in moderation, lest we forget about the rest of humanity in focusing only on ourselves) but the lesson is, that just as our own self-love manages to conceal and bury our own faults, so too our love for our family and friends should be so strong that we don’t see their faults.

A Mirror Image

Furthermore, this is exactly how The Creator/Manager intended things to be for the following four reasons:

# 1) The fact that you do see a fault in someone else is only because you have that fault in yourself, for it is impossible to see a fault in someone else if you do not have it – at least on some level – in yourself. The Baal Shem Tov states, that our friends is like our mirror – it is only when there is dirt on our own face that it will be “reflected,” hence seen in our friends! So when we find something wrong in someone else, in fact The Creator/Manager is showing us an area in which we need to improve.

I said this once in a class and a psychologist present confirmed it.

“When we get upset by other’s misdeeds it is only because it is hitting a concealed raw nerve of our own,” she said.

# 2) Additionally the fact that one can see faults in another else can also lead to good, because it allows one to gently, privately, respectfully and honorably explain to the other how much better it would be for him or her if s/he chose a better course of action.

[Interestingly Rabbi Schneersohn – The Lubavitcher Rebbe the great Kabbalist and Chassidic leader of our generation – explains that if one feels bugged/irritated by the negative in another it is always simply a mirror image as mentioned; however if our mind immediately comes up with methods of how to help the other, then chances are it is something related to improving and assisting someone else. In fact, whenever The Creator/Manager allows us to see a solution to a problem – so for example say you are aware that someone is G-d-Forbid ill, and you also know that there is a doctor who specializes in a treatment for that illness – The Creator/Manager is in fact actually giving you one of your life’s missions! If this wasn’t your mission a. you wouldn’t have become aware of the problem and b. you wouldn’t have known the solution. Please see my book How To Find The Meaning Of Your Life for more info on this.]

Love, And Only Then Educate

There is a commandment in the Bible to teach, or even reprimand someone else if one knows it will help, but interestingly this commandment is preceded by the all important commandment to never shame another. Thus the Jewish Sages deduce that before one educates another, one must make quite sure that one’s motive is love, and that one can never insult another in the process of educating them.

As the Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches “Even if there is a situation where one needs to try to prevent something negative from their fellow – the very best manner [i.e. method] to achieve this, is through influencing the fellow in a pleasant and peaceful (i.e. loving) manner.”

In other words, the only way to assist someone else is through showing them the positive path not the negative.

What’s The Message?

Additionally, the Baal Shem Tov teaches that everything we see in life is in fact a message from The Creator/Manager on how to improve ourselves.

So when you see a good behavior from someone else, it is shown to you so that you will emulate it, and when you see a bad behavior it is shown to you for the following two reasons: A) [#3] So that you will be repulsed by it and hence decide not do emulate it; and B) [#4] So that you will be proud of yourself for behaving better.

 

Whose Existence Makes You Happy?

Now I would like you to take Einstein’s suggestion, and decide whose existence gives you happiness.

You will notice that you will most probably choose people who are close to you and have impacted your life in a (perceived) beneficial way.

What you need to do is to stop bartering; you need to decide to love those people unconditionally – meaning no matter what they say or do to you. An example for unconditional love is the manner in which a mother gives to her newborn child.

Love and Happiness

Only through this will you find happiness, for when you love unconditionally, you release loving chemicals (serotonin) through your blood stream, which makes you feel good. It is a drug that only gets stronger with time.

 

 

 

THE LOVE / FEAR SEESAW

The Kabbalah teaches that there are two primary emotions that govern our lives: Love and Fear.

Every thought we have, everything we say, and everything we do, is either out of love for someone or something, or due to a fear of someone or something.

LOVE = ATTRACTION
FEAR = RETRACTION

Love creates an attraction – a desire to unite with the person you love, or to attain that which you believe will be pleasurable for you [say, a cup of Coke]

Fear creates an avoidance/retraction from a person you are afraid of [whom will perhaps shame you] or from something that which you fear will be painful to you [say a bee.]

It is for this reason, unfortunately, that people sometimes develop social phobias; if for example their mother used shame to manipulate their behavior, so they are (subconsciously) afraid of doing anything that will cause someone to shame them. The only way to overcome this is to realize that most people are not psychopathic, and hence also desire your love, (and as such will never shame you for then they will not receive your affection. A psychopath has somewhere along the line decided that people are evil and hence only uses people).

Unconditional Love

The state that you need to work towards is a state of unconditional love, when you love these people as much as you love yourself.

However, fear causes a chemical takeover in the brain, reducing our ability to think, and we are left functioning on the level of little children with purely instinctive reactions.

The Power of Fear

At such moments, gone are all our wisdom, understanding and knowledge, along with everything that we think we should do and who we want to be [i.e. kind, compassionate, considerate, nice etc.]

We simply become like animals whom react only instinctively namely the fight/flight emotion; additionally there is a freeze instinct (like a deer in headlights) and in human behavior sometimes called the stonewall instinct.

The part of the brain controlling our fear (the amygdala nuclei region) is a part that overrides rational thought, literally bypassing the source of our rational mind – the prefrontal lobes – creating only instinctive reactions. If you are in a “state of fear” [i.e. worried, anxious, stressed] you cannot be in a “state of love.”

Rabbi Bechayah the author of an incredibly wise Judaic classic called Duties of the Heart, writes, “the heart cannot hold both fear and love (of something or someone) at the same time.”

For this reason we will mention the primary reasons why most people become fearful – based on the classic book of Jewish mysticism, the Tanya – and the methods that it advises to eliminate fear.

 

 

Fear 101

The first cause of fear is a person’s personal worries, be they financial, health-related or children-related. The only way to eliminate this anxiety is to remember that The Creator/Manager is good; in fact The Creator/Manager doesn’t have a “bad bone” in His “body.” There is simply nothing but goodness in The Creator/Manager, so if “creating positive intentions” (lesson 2) and “praying for good results” (lesson 1) haven’t worked for you, it is only because, according to the Divine plan, you really are receiving assistance, not a hindrance.

The story is told of three great mystics (including the author of the Tanya,) who were discussing a war where there were unfortunately many casualties. The first two mystics said, “If I were The Creator/Manager, I would have created fewer casualties,” each one choosing the side on which they would have created fewer fatalities. The third and greatest mystic said “If I was The Creator/Manager, I would do exactly the same thing, but I would understand why.”

There is a master plan at play – and it is in your interest.

In other words, try to understand that despite the pain you are in, there is a master plan at play and the same way a child cannot understand how come his parents are forcing him to do his homework instead of playing in the fresh air, so too our minds simply cannot conceive of everything that The Creator/Manager’s mind can.

Personal Pain Vs. Other People’s Pain

 Now an important point needs to be clarified. While we may trust that what The Creator/Manager is doing in our own particular case is for the best, we should always take the merciful approach, pleading with The Creator/Manager for grace, kindness, and compassion, and do the same for someone else in need. As we explained in the second lesson, this then becomes our own destiny from The Creator/Manager (Karma) and furthermore, if you were G-d-forbid suffering, the last thing you would want is for someone to rationalize your pain by saying that it is the best thing for you.

In my mind, the classic book on human suffering and The Creator/Manager’s response to it is “The Book of Job.” The essence of the book (in my humble opinion) is that when Job’s friends try to justify The Creator/Manager’s (seemingly irrational and unjust) behavior towards him, he replies to them, “Everything that you know (about The Creator/Manager) I do too.” In other words, “try to comfort me over my losses; don’t try to make a believer out of me while I am suffering and in pain.”

This is not to say that it is not beneficial to help someone who is sick or in need, to trust in The Creator/Manager, for usually that is the very best medicine possible. However if one does take this approach, it is not in order to create a believer, but rather to help the person who is in pain and usually people are smart enough to tell the difference.

Can We Understand?

Interestingly in the book of Job, The Creator/Manager finally answers the poor man. And all he really does is give him a list of scientific phenomena such as light refractions, constellations, the science of the formation of the globe, animal biology and many other factors understood by The Creator/Manager but not by man. Thus Job realized that it is literally impossible for finite man to understand an infinite Creator/Manager. [Einstein often stated “What’s incomprehensible (about reality) is what is comprehensible.” In other words, it is amazing that we understand anything, and as Einstein said “My religion is the tiny bit of reality, (the Creator) allows me to understand of which I am in awe of!”]

The Rebbe Writes

“As you surely know the questions you ask regarding G-d’s ways etc. are already asked in the Bible and its commentaries for they are natural in time of stress.

One general answer, which is really self-evident, though hard to accept in a state of emotional upset, is that it is surely illogical to limit The Creator in His Designs and actions to conform to the understanding of a created human being.

I have often had occasion to cite a simple illustration to the effect that no one can expect an infant to understand the ideas and actions of a learned professor, although the professor was once an infant himself, and the present infant may have the potential even to surpass the professor in due course. How much more so, and incomparably, when it comes to the Infinite Intelligence of The Creator visa-à-vie the finite and limited intelligence of a created human being.

This will, of course, not be a revelation to you; only, as the Torah says, it is difficult for a person to accept consolation in a time of grief.”

Who is The Creator/Manager?

 Now sometimes people have the wrong idea about The Creator/Manager. An atheist once told a Rabbi, “I don’t believe in G-d.” The Rabbi replied, “In The G-d that you don’t believe in, I don’t believe in either.”

People have a tendency to anthropomorphize G-d. They see The Creator/Manager as a very great human. Thus they figure that The Creator/Manager desires power, but the truth is that if we can compare The Creator/Manager to anyone at all it would be to the love of a mother for her tiny newborn baby, an unconditional love.

G-d created human emotions and only He can inform us of what He loves, and the verse states “I love you, said the Lord;” after all we are all his creations.

 

Understanding That We Can’t Understand Everything

It is when we expect to understand, and believe that we can or potentially that we should be able to that we get frustrated when we don’t. However, if we understand that we can’t understand an infinite plan, so then just like a child gains security by trusting in his parents, so to we can remind ourselves that it is quite possible for something beneficial to take place in our interests without us being capable of understanding how. The Creator/Manager often does things that are in our best interest albeit unknown how until a future era.

The Creator and Manager of the World is Good

 So in summary we need to understand that The Creator/Manager is good – and although we do not understand why what is happening is good – nonetheless we can have the courage to trust in The Creator/Manager’s plan and this will take the stress and anxiety out of the situation.

Fear 201

The second and most common reason for feeling fear, is actually anxiety over if we are doing the right thing or not.

In order to explain this fully we need to clarify that within each and every one of us there is a Yetzer Hara – a demon – a little devil, whose job it is to get us depressed and sad, so that we will be uninterested in being good and giving people.

As the Baal Shem Tov teaches, “More than the Yetzer Hara desires that you should sin, he desires that you should feel guilty over your sin.”

The Yetzer Hara – demon – little devil, employs guilt as its primary weapon of offense. Although guilt seems like a good thing, a wise psychologist told me today that “Guilt is the biggest energy waster in the world,” and she is right. After studying Jewish mysticism and realizing that this is how The Creator/Manager designed the world, I stopped feeling guilty for all of my negative desires, for they are part and parcel of the Yetzer Hara which puts them into our minds. (I can prove the Yetzer Hara’s existence but it’s not for this short book; this is more about factual information and how to help yourself than about proving its existence.)

What really helped me was realizing that The Creator/Manager does not expect us to have only positive desires. Our bodies and the Yetzer Hara instinctively produce negative desires such as those for arrogance, anger, laziness, enjoyment over other people’s downfalls, instinctive pleasures and so on. (I have written a booklet called “Kabbalah Psychology” for those who would like more information on this.)

There is nothing wrong – again, nothing wrong – with having these desires. There is something wrong, however, if we are constantly angry, or are constantly arrogant, or are constantly lazy, or constantly mock others, or only seek out our own instinctual pleasures. In other words, the challenge of life is to not follow the negative desires implanted within us by this demon – Yetzer Hara – little devil.

Getting over Guilt

The key to not feeling guilty is as follows: Firstly, you need to know that The Creator/Manager is good and is looking to reward you for being good (as mentioned in the second lesson). Secondly, you need to have practical expectations of yourself.

Practical Self-Expectations

In order to understand this you need to actually study the Torah, the Bible and its commentaries. (I have written “Meditations for the Soul,” a booklet encapsulating – in a concise and modern format – most of the applicable Biblical laws and good suggestions for leading a happy, fruitful and productive life.) You need to study the Mitzvos (the Good Deeds) of the Torah/Bible, because what the Torah teaches us is never impossible. For example, one religion writes that if a man looks lustfully at a woman, it is as if he has committed adultery. Now this is ridiculous, for the innate instinct in a man is to lust after a beautiful woman. As one elderly professor told me during the Monica Lewinsky story that when he sees a young  attractive woman he naturally lusts after her.

In the Torah (the Bible), what is important is not committing adultery or other deviant sexual behavior, so it is not about the desire in the heart but rather about the action one takes. Even if someone doesn’t desire to give charity, but controls themselves and gives charity anyway, then they have successfully done a good deed. To a large extent it was The Creator/Manager’s will that we should be challenged by this little demon and give The Creator/Manager and ourselves the moral satisfaction of conquering it.

As Rabbi Josef Isaac Schneersohn, the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe writes, one cannot compare the pleasure a farmer would get from the produce reaped from a perfect field in the perfect climate to the satisfaction he would get if he managed to take a barren dessert and give it life.

Self-Control

Thirdly, a person must have self-control, for if we do not have self-control we will never live up to our own standards for we know what we should be doing but practically we do not have the ability to do it.

Self-control can take a long time to achieve, but the surest method was described in a book on education by Rabbi Josef Isaac Schneersohn. He writes that because of the manner in which The Creator/Manager made us, we have the ability to order ourselves around. By telling yourself what to do, you gain the ability to control yourself.


The following graph shows how behavior through self-control leads to happiness.

Ideal         Actual

Thoughts = Thoughts

Speech   = Speech

Actions    = Actions

Thus we need to ensure that we have the self-control to do what we ourselves know is right, and to refrain from doing that which we ourselves know is wrong. If we do not, our own internal judge will automatically compare our behavior to our morals and we will thus feel guilty for not having done the right thing. So we can also avoid unpleasant feelings of guilt by exercising self-control and doing the right thing in the first place.

If however, we find that we are feeling guilty, despite living up to our own standards, such as incessant feelings that one is not living up to their standards, we can be certain that this is only a ruse of the Yetzer Hara, which we can eliminate by saying to ourselves, “Now is not the time to feel bad about my misdeeds; Repentance takes a dedicated and set time.”

The Yetzer Hara is like a KGB informer, first he pretends to be your friend in order to gain your trust, so everything he says appears to be holy (as our sages teach us, the Yetzer Hara begins with false holiness, but slowly slowly leads one to the worst sins possible, things unfathomable to you; but more importantly) the Yetzer Hara then becomes the informer against you and not only that, when you are being judged in Heaven, he is there advocating for the worst possible punishment.

On the other hand, The Creator/Manager and your Yetzer Tov/desire for goodness and kindness and generally speaking your rational mind itself, is your friend. So never worry about the inane comments, fears, worries, stresses, about how good or not good you are. Tell yourself, “Life is about actively pursuing good, if I will be worried all the time if I am doing things one hundred percent correctly, this will take me away from fulfilling my mission in life and then the agent will advocate against me in the Heavenly Court of Law. I will dedicate time at night for repentance but now during the day (or whenever) is exclusively positive time.”

The Battle

One of the fascinating relevant statements of Kabbalah is, “The strength of the body/instinctual desires  counteracts the strength of the soul’s desires.” In other words, if you were running in one direction but at the same time you were being pulled in an opposite direction – based on how strong the pull is, will determine whether you will be going forward, at what speed, and perhaps if you will even be compelled to go backwards. Ironically, although it appears to us that our instinctual desires are what we want, they are not! Everyone would like to be remembered positively by their family and friend which only comes from unconditionally loving them, and hence giving to them; However, to the extent that we are selfish i.e. follow our instinctual desires, is directly proportionate to the extent that we are not running in a selfless – diametrically opposite – direction.

Ironically this takes places subconsciously, so in other words, automatically we are born with selfish instincts, and to overcome them we need to use our souls and minds.

Bullying the Bully

Now there is another teaching from the Zohar/Kabbalah on how to overcome something that challenges spiritual seekers often and that is that for some reason their soul or mind is incapable of altering their behavior. As mentioned – when a person orders themselves around they gain self-control; however sometimes we find that the body simply refuses to listen to the soul or mind. The reason for this is because the Kelipos (negative demons) controlling the atoms energizing the body are being arrogant (for as mentioned everything gets energized through either 1. directly from The Creator/Manager, or two forms of intermediaries, see chapter two;)  So it would be like a bully blocking your ability to enter a door. The Zohar teaches that the method to overcome this “dullness of heart,” is to break the barriers surrounding the heart. It gives an example of a large log that someone would like to use as firewood. If you try to light the log on its own, it will not catch fire. However if you chop it up into small pieces it will burn nicely. So another way of gaining self-control is to humble yourself. (For as the person to a large extent identifies with his body/instincts, hence the humbling of self, causes the humbling of the Kelipos as well, allowing you access to your heart.) So think about all the bad, vile, rude, narcissistic things you have done. The greater your list, the more humble you will become. As this is a common problem, perhaps it would be a good idea to designate a time when you do this and it truly will allow for your soul or mind to gain dominance over your instincts.

Self-Control In The Mind

The truth is that we should also endeavor to control our thoughts – and this is in its own right a very important concept, for by controlling our thoughts we then gain self-control. If our thoughts are just governed by what is pleasurable and what is not – i.e. “I only think about what makes me happy” (and unfortunately in “reverse psychology,” for example after trauma, “I only think about not encountering the fearful situation”) then we are never really thinking; we are reacting to instinctual desires that percolate up into our minds, and our thoughts are merely part of the reaction. For example, if someone upsets you, you can either have an argument with him or her, or simply choose not to think about them, waiting for time to heal your wounds. Obviously, it is nobler to forgive the person, and according to one study I read, people who forgave others while hooked up to blood pressure monitors proved that the simple act of forgiving caused an immediate lowering of their blood pressure by a whopping 30%. Conversely, holding onto a grudge is exceptionally harmful to you.

Changing The Airwaves

It will probably take you a few years to gain complete control over your thoughts, but without such control you are walking in a jungle, at the mercy of whatever stimulus comes your way. With the ability to control one’s thoughts, even someone in a prison labor camp can be free and sane. As Dr. Victor Frankel writes that though what the Nazis did to him was not under his control, nonetheless his reaction to their monstrous behavior and his thoughts were!

Again, through using the method mentioned by Rabbi Josef Isaac Schneersohn you can gain mastery over your thoughts. Although your mind is always producing some kind of thought, what you think about is under your control. If you tell yourself, “I will think a positive thought,” or “I will go listen to some music or read a book,” you can change the “station” playing in your head, and eventually you will reach the point where you will be talking in your head, and your head will not simply be reacting to whatever stimulus your eye sees, or that comes your way.

I marvel at the many Holocaust survivors who went on to build quality lives, getting married again (sometimes after losing their entire families) and often creating successful businesses, and sometimes even business empires. Obviously if they had focused on what the Nazis did to them, they would have never made it. We in the Western World, who have so much good (including freedom) tend to harp on minutiae that people in the Eastern World would find meaningless.

My grandmother luckily/miraculously managed to escape communist Russia. Although she and her siblings lived in the upstairs attic of a Synagogue for many years [having been thrown out of their home by the Communist Government for being religious Jews] nevertheless she told me that when she would go on the subway in Russia she would always sing to herself.

In other words, feelings of victimization were a luxury they could ill-afford.

The Prince in the Navy

Now this demon is actually a little devil given to man by The Creator/Manager to test man’s seriousness in his devotion to The Creator/Manager i.e. goodness and kindness. The Zohar, the primary book of Kabbalah, explains that this is like a king who desires to test his son’s morality, and so he sends his son to become a sailor in the navy. At the ports the sailors usually frequented brothels, so this sailor was approached by a gorgeous harlot who had been hired by the king to see if his son had the moral fiber to withstand this great test. Similarly, the soul in Heaven is basking in The Creator/Manager’s Light and is like the Prince at a King’s table. Then the soul is sent into a body and on top of that, the king hires a beautiful, exceptionally adept harlot (the Yetzer Hara) to try to get the son to stray from the moral high ground, and his true self.

Another Thought To Beat The Guilt Induced By The Yetzer Hara

You need not feel any guilt over negative desires, you should rather feel proud that precisely because you are thinking, speaking, and doing good the Yetzer Hara (like a boxer afraid of losing a match,) is working “overtime” by giving you these thoughts, trying to prevent you from fulfilling your mission in life.

The Surest Method of Beating the Yetzer Hara

Incredibly, the best way to beat the Yetzer Hara is actually by being happy. This can be compared to two boxers. One would assume that the stronger boxer will always win the match; however, it is often not the stronger boxer who will win, but the happier one, for if the other boxer is sad or depressed he simply won’t put up a real fight.

So by being happy you give yourself the energy, motivation, inspiration to fight, however if you are sad it will be very easy for the Yetzer Hara to beat you in his constant vigilance in tricking you to sin, and then feel guilty about it, and then look for a instinctual “high,” to compensate on your current extreme disrespect for yourself.

The Baal Shem Tov gives us a good analogy on the Yezter Hara’s belligerence. Once a man bought a beautiful home; now a conman thinking “how can I get this?” but of course having no money, came to the man and asked him to sell him the home (i.e. the Yetzer Hara giving you negative desires;) so the man said “its not for sale” so he came back and requested “can I possibly rent a room in the home?” Again the man said no, then he came back a third time and by now the man was exasperated and the conman requested one simple thing, “can you give me a hook by the coat-stand?” Sensing this would finally rid himself of the pest he said “yes!”

Ceremoniously every hour on the hour the conman would come in and out of the house to hang up something on his hook. Completely exasperated the owner said “here take the stupid house!” In other words, by not fighting our Yetzer Hara we are inviting him to completely control our lives.

Another analogy would be of two people who are trying to climb a mountain, one full of hope, believing that he will make it to the top, and the other who is slightly depressed or does not trust in his ability to summit. The optimist will succeed, for despite setbacks he is hopeful and believes he will make it, while the pessimist will take the setbacks as a confirmation of his miserable luck, lose hope and give up early in the game.

Choose to be Happy

So in simple words, the key to really achieving what you want in life is through choosing to be happy.

The Creator and Manager of the World Wants You To Be Happy

There was an issue of Newsweek magazine devoted to analyzing the latest research regarding children. A poll had been sent out with the following question: “What do you want for your child?” The greatest desire of parents was that their children should be happy. The Creator/Manager’s primary desire – as He is our parent – is that we should quite simply be happy.

The Kabbalah/Chassidus Tool For Happiness

Although in the fifth chapter we will introduce a very important happiness mechanism, there is a most miraculous profound happiness Kabbalah meditation/tool explained by Rabbi Shneur Zalman in chapter 33 of his Tanya, specifically designed to give us the energy, happiness, joy to tackle our Yetzer Hara/little devil within.

As mentioned in the first chapter, every single moment The Creator/Manager constantly recreates the world, as such true reality is not us nor the world, rather the Creator; much as the true reality of what you see on your screen is not the screen, rather the computer or television set which produces the images.

Although it is quite an in depth explanation, the summary of it is that we perceive a magical reality as in the story by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch. He related that heaven is a location were souls bask in Divine inspiration, something that one very simple wagon driver (perhaps we will use a taxi driver as the example, as we can relate to it better) couldn’t appreciate, though he was deserving of a reward.

Thus they placed this soul in the “fantasy reality” – were our souls travel to at night – and there at this very moment, he enjoys the finest taxi, with no potholes and a meter which gives the best rates that anyone could ever dream of.

Just like in the matrix, the division between fantasy-pleasure and reality-pleasure is blurred (and the brain truly cannot tell the difference, which is why dreams feel/are experienced as reality) similarly all the desires subconsciously preprogrammed (say for intercourse) are merely fantasies perceived as realities.

One of the people hearing this novel “fantasy-reality” paradigm said, “are you saying that the chairs, table, food we are looking at, is all a fantasy?”

“No” replied the great mystic “for if it was, we wouldn’t be speaking about G-d.”

So when we are obsessed about Narishkiet (the Yiddish colloquium for “fantasy-reality” i.e. meaningless activities commonly referred to as “fun” in the Western World) we are in a fantasy-world i.e. the meaning of having fun is determined not in the activity rather in the desire for the activity, but the true reality is G-d who is the actual hardrive creating the fantasy-reality.

As such, if The Creator/Manager is everything, hence there is nothing but the Creator/Manager (see Big Bonus Chapter 1.)

So meditate on the notion that everything is only the Creator/Manager.

Suggestion #3:

Specify a few people who you want to start loving unconditionally (with no expectation of reward whatsoever).

        Chapter 4 Forgiving

The Seesaw of Human Relationships

Imagine human relationships as a seesaw. As a child, you begin life with the feeling that you are lower than the adults (as you are dependent on them). However, with your peers you feel equal, so then the seesaw is level. Finally, as an adult you feel superior to children younger than you. This takes place subconsciously, so don’t feel bad about it.

Resentments

If someone offends you, depending on the traits you picked up from childhood you will most likely be passive as children learn not to fight with adults, since they are dependent on them. What you will probably do is harbor an inner resentment.

Resentments, Illnesses and Healing

Resentments have been linked to major illnesses, while healing resentments (forgiving people) has been linked to immediate recovery.

“Dis-ease”

Research has shown that we actually store emotions in our cells, and sometimes a negative emotion will cause a cell to go haywire, resulting in disease.

As one friend of mine who came down with a terrible illness told me, disease is from the word dis-ease. Dis-ease can often cause disease.

Fear Causes Illness

The Baal Shem Tov calls anger “negative fear.”

And research into the field of psychosomatic illnesses indicates that all illnesses – and certainly mental ones – are founded in fear and anxiety.

Women in labor are told to breathe deeply which is basically a way to ease anxiety and can be used by anyone needing to chill out a bit. If you breathe deeply through your nose and hold your breath for a few seconds (particularly in your stomach region) and then exhale, you can immediately recalibrate your anxiety tempo, as by nature we begin to breath quicker (“hyperventilate”) under stress.

Forgiveness and Healing

 One friend of mine had a thyroid problem for two years. He tried regular and alternative medicines but nothing helped. Finally he went to a spiritual healer, also an M.D., who told him that he should discover what had happened in his life that had caused the illness. He realized that around the time of contracting his illness he had had a fall-out with a very close friend, and after forgiving that friend he immediately began to feel better.

Forgiveness and Cancer

Brandon Bayes wrote a book called “The Journey,” about how she caused a massive tumor to slowly disintegrate and actually became cancer-free within a month-and-a-half by forgiving certain people (from a childhood memory). She has successfully taught many others “forgiveness therapy.”

Deepak Chopra, an M.D. who spends a lot of time investigating such phenomena, reports as a scientific fact that forgiveness works. However, he feels that some people have an ability to access forgiveness in their inner hearts, while others unfortunately don’t know, or haven’t learned, how to.

In addition it pays to mention that all research (e.g. the China study – the largest study in history incorporating over hundreds of millions of people) indicate that eating fibrous foods and not becoming filled from unhealthy no nutritious food is the key to not getting sick in the first place (for the immune system is constantly killing cancer cells and these foods give a person the ability to do so.)

A Story

I recall that when I was a child, an adult once shouted at me for what he perceived as wild behavior  (he was a very anxious individual.) Now many years later when I was a young man, I happened to return to the same city where this adult lived. We happened to meet and, remarkably, this guy asked my forgiveness for shouting at me when I was a kid. I don’t know how he even remembered. “You probably don’t remember,” he said to me, but amazingly in point of fact I did remember the incident and while I did not bear a grudge (after all he was somewhat justified in my mind as he was the adult,) nonetheless there was certainly some sort of barrier between us in my mind.

Since his asking for my forgiveness and my forgiving him, whatever subconscious animosity existed between us was replaced by my everlasting admiration for this man.

The same applies in a parent/child relationship; when a parent says something harsh as a reprimand it is vital that later the parent does something affectionate to show the child that the relationship is back on track. Ironically what is a causal remark by an authority figure is taken as an absolute truth (and hence unnecessary feelings of shame and hurt ensue) by a subordinate, child, or student.

Additionally it pays to mention that I saw on a video of when the Lubavitcher Rebbe would receive tens of thousands of visitors every Sunday for a blessing and advice, how a lady once asked the Rebbe for educational advice, to which he replied “Be a good role model.” The lady was shocked – perhaps she was expecting something more complex – and you can see how she remains standing there dumbstruck just looking at the Rebbe. So the Rebbe responded, that the advice was “Simple, but effective.”

Forgiveness Vs. Revenge

The benefit of forgiveness is that essentially, you do not allow yourself to feel lower than the person who has harmed, insulted, disparaged or mocked you. It is only natural to feel “put down” when someone insults you, but remember that what happens when you begin to feel lower than someone else in the seesaw model, is that our human instincts tell us to take revenge. Revenge is about getting back “on top” of the other person so-to-speak, to re-correct the imbalance in the seesaw.

Obviously it is a never ending cycle, for even if you do get revenge, the person will then desire to lower you. Thus it becomes a never ending cycle, which unfortunately happens often in relationships.

A Story

Let me share a story with you. This is a story about an incident described by the great Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov as the hardest personal challenge The Creator/Manager ever gave to anyone since Abraham was asked to bind his son Isaac on the altar.

In the olden days, a man once traveled to a distant town, when such a journey took many weeks of crossing difficult terrain. He came back home with his prize – an Esrog. (The Esrog is a fruit used by the Jewish people during the holiday of Sukkos.)

Now this man could ill afford to spend money on an Esrog, and he had saved up for an entire year to afford this fruit needed for the festival. His wife, seeing that he had spent his savings on an Esrog and not on the family’s needs which were dire, became enraged, and bit off the top part of the Esrog, rendering the fruit useless – as the fruit needs to be complete to be used in the tradition required by the Torah for the festival. Imagine having worked for many years, saved up a lot of money, and bought your dream car and then, in a fit of rage, a friend of yours takes your car for a drive, ignores the “low oil” symbol, and allows your car to overheat; Your engine is now ruined. How would you feel about your friend’s senseless behavior? You would no doubt be livid. The owner of the precious Esrog, however refused to get upset with his wife. The man intentionally rationalized it to himself saying to himself, “She’s right, it would appear that a simple person like me does not need such a fancy Esrog.”

[There is an interesting movie made in Israel with international acclaim called Ushpizin which is a modern rerun of this story.]

Verbal Insults

The Bible teaches us that one may never verbally insult another person, and the Talmud (a commentary on the Bible) explains, that verbal insults upset The Creator/Manager to the point that He ensures that revenge is taken. In other words “you get what you give” and “what goes around comes around.” A person should not upset The Creator/Manager by getting angry or taking revenge; he can, and should, leave it up to The Creator/Manager to settle the score.

Revenge Doesn’t Work

Look at what Zidan lost by getting angry with a player during the final part of the 2006 soccer World Cup. By taking revenge he eliminated himself from the game, which probably cost the French team the World Cup.

At the end of the day, holding onto a grudge only hurts you. Forgiveness only helps you.

Forgiveness Therapy

Try to think of all the people who insulted you and all of the times you were slighted. If need be, write them down and write, “I forgive these people.”

Either Forgive or Confront

If you cannot forgive them, then confront them. Don’t hold it in. Write to them or tell them that you are upset with them for the wrong they have done to you. Firstly, it allows them to defend themselves if there was an appropriate cause, and secondly, it allows you to so-to-speak “balance yourself out” with them – for after the confrontation you no longer feel victimized and therefore “lower” than them.

Your Right

It is important to remember that, as an adult, no one (not even your boss or your spouse) has the right to treat you with the slightest degree of emotional or verbal indignity. You have the right to challenge them and you should challenge them if you cannot find it in your heart to forgive them.

Who knows, maybe you will be helping them as well by so doing.

It also pays to remember that many people feel stressed out, and as such although perhaps they themselves wish they could be nice nevertheless when things don’t follow their schedule, they can turn into monsters. All of this is because in childhood they were either/or emotionally, verbally, or physically abused, and they never want to get abused again. As such subconsciously they believe that if they are in control (not a victim) the bad stuff will not occur. So it pays to take the criticism of such people (sometimes called control-freaks) with a bag of salt.

Suggestion #4:

Try to think of all the people who have insulted you. If need be write them down and write, “I forgive these people.”

Bonus: If something bad has occurred to you, write down as many positive benefits that you can conjure up that have come from it.

Big Bonus: Instead of feeling anger and resentment try to feel compassion for the low spiritual state a person who is denigrating or harming you, must be in.

Big Big Bonus: Every night before going to bed do the first exercise.

Big Big Big Bonus: Every night before going to bed ask yourself “what acts of kindness and growth have I achieved today?”

Biggest Bonus: When bad people make fun of you—even if they come up with convincing arguments—you should not only ignore it but see it as a message from The Creator/Manager to continue your efforts to the point that it doesn’t even bother you.

        Chapter 5 Gratitude

It is also true that our thoughts influence our day. If we believe we will have a good or a bad day, reality will follow suit.

The Awakening Thought

The first thought a person has when s/he wakes up sets the mood and tone for the day. By being grateful in the morning you will create gratitude, joy, happiness, and tranquility in your day. This will enable you to have a positive day.

Some of the best times in my life were when I took a few minutes in the morning to think of the blessings I have been given and to compare my blessings to others who lack them – thus concretizing the fact that they really are worth being grateful for. This early-morning activity made me feel on top of the world, and whenever I do it, it works.

I am sure you have heard the saying, “He woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” This is a true saying, for if we wake up anxious, chances are that the rest of the day will be an anxiety riddled day. However, if we consciously create gratitude and hence joy in the beginning of our day, we will create the mechanism for a happy, grateful and joyous day.

Modeh Ani – Gratitude for your Soul

Religious Jews say the following prayer immediately upon awakening: “Modeh ani l’fanecha melech chai v’kayam she’hechezarta bee nishmasi b’chemla raba emunasecha.” This prayer actually goes all the way back to the time of Abraham. In English it translates as, “I am grateful to You, living and eternal King [i.e. The Creator/Manager] for graciously restoring my soul to me, you are very trustworthy.”

The Kabbalistic belief is that every night the soul ascends to The Creator/Manager and there it gives an accounting of its deeds during the day. This is consistent with what our Sages teach us, that The Creator/Manager does not only judge man once a year on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, but in fact, judges us daily.

Change The Same

A story is told of an elderly water carrier who once asked the Baal Shem Tov to bless him, as his job – carrying buckets of water across his shoulders – was unfortunately causing him much physical strain. The Baal Shem Tov blessed him and saw by Divine vision that his blessing would work. However, when he met the man a year later, the man was still carrying water. Yet the man came rushing over to the Baal Shem Tov, very grateful and full of optimism and joy in life.

“Thank you for my blessing,” he said, “for although I am old, I am self sufficient. I do not need to rely on anyone to take care of me.”

The Baal Shem Tov then said, “I now understand what it means when it states in the Talmud that a person is judged daily; for although his circumstances did not change, nevertheless his appreciation of his circumstances did, which gave him joy, gratitude, and happiness in his life.”

Finding Good in Bad Actually Transforms Bad to Good!

I should mention a powerful teaching of the Baal Shem Tov which is very worthwhile to practice: If a person is in a difficult circumstance he should try to find the good in it. For example, I went through a very traumatic experience with an individual who suffers from a particular personality disorder. People suffering from this disorder believe that they are better than everyone else, due to what is called “artificial morality,” rules they create in their minds and follow, believing that this makes them superior to everyone else, while their real objective is often to shame other people, preferably in some kind of public forum.

Although I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, my experience at the hands of this individual strengthened me and I would not give it up for anything in the world. It taught me more about the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, haughtiness and humility, than any other experience could have. So, by finding the good in the bad, the experience becomes good and you continue your life with joy, happiness, and gratitude.

Blessings We Take For Granted In The West

I think that we simply don’t appreciate the blessings that we have in the Western World, because we haven’t experienced the pain of not having them. If we were to live like the majority of the world does for one week, we would thank The Creator/Manager every morning for our healthcare system, for our freedoms, for an abundance of food, for our ability to have leisure time, for the luxury of staying warm or cool in the winter or summer respectively, for the gift of long life, for advanced medical care that ensures low infant mortality, for the prosperity that allows our children many years of education, for democracy that lets us take part in legislating the laws that affect us and the list goes on and on.

East Vs. West

I once worked with Russian immigrants in America, and I would often ask them, “How are you?” and invariably they would always reply with the Yiddish phrase, “Abi Gezunt,” meaning, “as long as we’re healthy, we’re happy.” Now these people had suffered many, many years of persecution under the Communist regime; they had left everything behind in Russia, including their status, and were living in small apartments off government stipends, and yet they were happy as long as they were healthy. Their attitude in life was one of gratefulness for the blessings that they actually had.

Gratitude Meditation

So if you need to, let your mind’s eye see the difficulties of the past or the deprivation of many in the present, and then you can truly be grateful for what The Creator/Manager has graciously bestowed upon you today.

 Suggestion #5:

As you wake up, read the list that you made in Suggestion 1 and say, “Thank you Creator for …” (If need be, you should think of people who do not have these things and it will strengthen your gratitude for what you have. This does not mean feeling superior to them; in fact by becoming happy you will be enabled to become a more giving person.)

Bonus: Additionally it pays to mention that before we go to sleep we should A. Read our gratitude list B. We should account for our actions, speech, and thoughts during the day. Many Chassidim – disciples of Jewish mysticism spend hours, literally making an inventory of all of their thoughts, speech, and actions – seeing if they were good or not and furthermore planning good behavior for tomorrow. C. We should say the verse [part of the bedtime prayers but the most important theme of it] “I hand over my soul to you [G-d] please care for it, G-d of truth.” [This is very important, for the Kabbalistic belief – as mentioned – is that the soul goes into heaven at night and depending if we did the above three things is how high it will ascend. The higher it goes – the more The Creator/Manager cares for it, protecting it from demons which pain a person at night through nightmares – hence the more refreshing and beneficial is the sleep and the subsequent day.]

     Chapter 6 Unconditional Love

Sample: Barbara decided to unconditionally love her two children, Miriam and Jonathan, her husband Michael, her parents, Bob and Sara, her sister, Esther, and her stepson Josh.

Now that Barbara knows who she will love unconditionally, she needs to re-evaluate her relationship with those people. Is she a good mother, daughter, wife and sister because she believes this is the correct way to live? Meaning, that as she will give, she will receive in return?

Incidentally, a psychiatrist told me that most of his patients are women who cannot come to terms with the fact that they give so much to others while others don’t give back to them. According to the psychiatrist and myself, their giving was based on conditional love. In other words, there was an expectation of a return, and while this may be appropriate, nevertheless such women become depressed when their conditions are not met. If a person loves another unconditionally, they will not become depressed even if they receive nothing in return, for they are happy just to love the other person.

I recently saw a mother of a child with special needs speak with the greatest respect to her child. She believes that her son has a special soul and thus in the most kind and honorable way, she always teaches him what he can understand – and as a result he is a loving, caring child. It is precisely when people are normal and we believe that we can get something out of the relationship that we subconsciously resent giving without receiving.

One interesting study indicates that the happiest people on earth are married men, while the most miserable are married women. While this is obviously a generalization it is often very true, for the man usually has his needs met while the woman – who also has needs – finds that her needs are not being met; (as men are less adept at noticing women’s needs, as women are at noticing men’s.)

One of the best ways to understand another person’s needs, is to identify with their level of need. For example, if a man doesn’t want to spend a vacation at his in-law’s home, it is important for his wife to think about how she would feel about spending a vacation at her in-law’s home. If she wouldn’t have a problem with that, then she should think about spending a vacation somewhere she really wouldn’t want to go, and then she can identify with the level of her husband’s displeasure when considering a vacation with her parents to be a good idea.

This point is brought out in more detail at the end of my booklet, “How To Find The Meaning Of Your Life.”

The Final Hurdle

Another very important point is that just as the division of all matter is Air, Water, Earth, Fire (which also follows the kinetic theory that all matter will change from solid to liquid to gas based on the heat applied to it) there is also a spiritual counterpart in each of our souls to these four levels.

Earth, refers to man’s innate drive for laziness, as earth is heavy and stays in one place; Earth also includes our innate tendency to feel sad – and even depressed – when things don’t go our way.

Fire, refers to man’s innate tendency to enjoy supremacy over others. This character trait is unique to the human “animal,” as other creatures will fight only for hunger or other instinctual and survival related needs. They have no pathology that leads them to desire supremacy over others, which was the aim of kings and queens for thousands of years. It is only in modern times that the concept that no man should be dominant over others has come to the fore. Needless to say, this tendency is still very much innate within people – although it is frowned upon in democratic societies.

Air, refers to our desire for “fun,” comedy, jokes and other frivolous activities. Most of what we see on television or in the movies today falls into this category – it is mindless entertainment meant to squander our time on something that is “there but intangible” containing no real value for you – or anyone else for that matter.

Water refers to man’s innate drive for pleasure, through eating, listening to good music, instinctual pleasures etc.

We all have elements of earth, fire, air and water in us; however, each person’s soul has a predominance of one of these elements. For example, thankfully, I innately love helping people and I have strong feelings of compassion towards people (which is a real blessing for this characteristic has to be developed within those who lack it naturally, and it is not always an easy task.) Unfortunately, I also have an extreme tendency to laziness/earth. If I do not conquer my tendency to be lazy it will wipe out my tendency for compassion, for compassion requires going out and doing something to alleviate another’s pain, and laziness abhors action.

Compassion + Laziness = 0

The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that if we can discover our innate weakness, and conquer it, then all of our other weaknesses will fall like a house of cards.

According to one of the greatest Jewish scholars, the Rambam, the method to conquering a person’s weak trait is for him to constantly oppose his tendency. For example, if one is innately lazy, one must make an effort to be active and do things; and the more one is proactive and occupies oneself with productive activities, the more each and every action will help one to succeed to break this negative tendency.

The same applies to someone who is addicted to pleasure, making it his god. The more he refrains from pleasure, the more control he gets over his life.

The person who is always a comedian should become more serious and realize that life is not a game; it is about doing acts of goodness and kindness.

(Naturally one can help someone else through comedy, but is the focus on helping another or on comedy.) The more serious the person gets, the less he will feel compelled to be frivolous and waste away his life.

The final innate negative desire is arrogance or Fire, which is to some extent the greatest evil of the four, for arrogance immediately precludes feeling compassion for others. For as you feel superior to others, you cannot feel compassion for them, much as you don’t have compassion on an ant that you step on as you walk down the sidewalk. The arrogant person must try to be humble, constantly telling himself that everyone else is far better than he or she is and that even if he has achieved, he should attribute that success to The Creator/Manager.

Moses was, according to the Bible, the humblest man who ever lived, and yet he was a great leader, a great ethicist, and in fact the person endowed with the most prophecy ever according to the Bible.

So how did he maintain his humility? The Jewish Sages teach that Moses believed that The Creator/Manager granted him great gifts; However, if someone else had had the same gifts, the other person would have surpassed his goodness and kindness.

Truly, we can never know if we are ever really living up to our potential.

In general, whenever it comes to acts of goodness and kindness we should never grow conceited which would probably make the act a failure rather than a success. Rather, we should look up to the saints of the world who do endless acts of goodness and kindness and realize that we have just begun our journey into holiness, and the road is endless.

In summary: The main thing is to love, for then you not only do good for others, but you do a world of good for yourself.

In order for your love to be productive, i.e. lead to practical, kind actions towards others, you need to overcome the innate weakness you have that prevents you from giving unconditionally.

Overcoming our innate weakness is the greatest possible achievement, far more difficult than scaling Mount Everest, building a company, or any scientific or intellectual endeavor. Usually when a person surmounts obstacles in a journey, every obstacle is seen as the antithesis (a boulder in the road) to the goal. However, when one is conquering one’s own innate tendency, every time he fights himself he is at a crossroads – should I do the right thing, or follow my instinct? To conquer oneself, to gain self-control is the purpose of life and what makes all subsequent achievements dear and valuable to yourself, to society, and most of all to your loving Father in Heaven.

Suggestion #6:

Resolve to love unconditionally the people you have chosen, and try to do acts of goodness and kindness during the day for them.

            Appendix 1

It states in Kabbalah that “male and female he created them” refers to everything!

Male and female, like a male and female plug and socket, refer to the difference between reality (as we know it) and G-d.

G-d is everything in one and nothing in anything – the essence of the Jewish faith is “G-d is one.”

However in the multiplicity – infinite multiplicity – that inhabits our universe and the universes – spiritual, above us – everything is male and female.

Male and female refers to giver and receiver.

In our own lives we are both – there is the female/receiver time of childhood and the male/giver role of adulthood, germane both to boys and men, girls and women.

In the higher spheres these are termed Yichuddim, unions.

Whenever G-d’s system – namely a giver and receiver bond – unites, this gives G-d immeasurable joy, for it is the purpose of creation, namely, that the one G-d created many things, for the benefit of unity, which is the union of two into one.

                 Appendix 2

Moshiach / The Messiah – The Ultimate Goal

Everything is divided into three: 1. The goal 2. the actions that lead to the fulfillment and realization of the goal, and 3. the completion / Moshiach – the culmination of the actions, resulting in the attainment of the goal.

For example if you want to build a dream house, first comes the goal – the reason why you want to build it – i.e. the pleasure you will derive from owning it; then comes the work – drawing up blueprints, contractors, builders, finishing touches etc. All of this is in order for you to be able to live in it, to actually receive the pleasure the house will give you when it is finally completed.

In a similar sense The Creator/Manager had a dream of uniting two opposites, the lowest rung where The Creator/Manager is concealed, i.e. this world, into the highest essence of The Creator/Manager himself. To do this He created this world, a place that seemingly runs according to laws of nature [thus concealing The Creator/Manager] and furthermore He created a society so awed by the brains of scientists that we believed them hook, line and sinker, when they told us that everything is deterministic, that The Creator/Manager not only did not create the world but had nothing to do with its current affairs. But then comes the fulfillment of the plan: When man, using his own intuition, begins to realize that the scientists were wrong, [for most scientists now believe in The Creator/Manager.] When man, seeing the stupidity of not believing begins not only to believe in, but to love The Creator/Manager as well!

There are tens of millions of stages in the building of this epic plan which we cannot go into now, but ultimately it culminates when you – yes, you – realize that you are not darkness; YOU ARE LIGHT.

You are not Darwin’s higher form of ape, you are Divine light in a physical world, and when you begin to shine you unite these two elements, body and soul, the lowest and the highest, culminating in the fulfillment of The Creator/Manager’s dream that the highest and lowest should unite. When we all begin to shine, and shine we will, then soon, very soon, the Messiah, the light of The Creator/Manager Himself, will descend and just help us glow, ever brighter.

The Messiah Is Coming – We need to make it happen now!

The very same Lubavitcher Rebbe who accurately predicted the success of the Six Day War; the failure of the Middle East “peace” process; and the collapse of the Communist Regime, has prophesized the soon to be complete Messianic age. He told his confidants to start building homes in Israel years before Gorbachev himself knew that he would tear down the Iron Curtain, [as Gorbachav told Professor Branover a Jewish Russian activist living in Israel] and made many more accurate statements to the extent that hundreds of thousands of Jews knew the exact day the first gulf war would end – on Purim.

Who could have imagined twenty years ago that just two decades later the evil Communist empire – intent on eradicating Judaism and The Creator/Manager Himself – would peacefully help Jews leave Russia and reach Israel? Who could have imagined the fall of the Berlin wall and the spread of democracy? Who could have imagined that the world, instead of seeking frivolous pleasure in materialistic pursuits, would be seeking spirituality instead, to the extent that the pursuit of meaning has become perhaps the greatest spiritual quest in the western world? Who could have imagined that members of the same Christian faith that for thousands of years held inquisitions and Crusades, that had a direct hand in the extermination of many millions of Jews over many centuries, would now embrace the idea of Jews settling in Israel, and of the entire world becoming a harmonious place?

The age will soon come when a Messiah – a Moses-like figure – will teach all people, after rebuilding the Holy Temple and re-gathering the Jews back to Israel from their two thousand year exile, as the verse states, “From Zion [Israel] the Torah [teachings] will emanate.”

                Appendix 3

Three Additional Messages From The Rebbe

1. Give yourself over to charity – [The following is in fact the last edited paragraph from the Rebbe’s last public address:]

“We need to increase the amount of charity we give. There are many levels of charitable contribution [mentioned in Judaism]: A. tithing [giving 1/10th of what we earn to charity] B. twenty percent, and in the words of the Tanya C. “a person will give everything for his soul’s benefit.”

We are also instructed to make a resolution during this Shabbos [Sat.] to increase in charitable contributions, and also to begin putting the resolution into action by – for example – giving others food and drink which is permissible on Shabbos after one invites the recipient into one’s home etc.

There is also a lesson from the Torah reading of Shekalim [that week’s Torah/Bible portion] as to the method of how one should give charity. The reason that the half-Shekel [a silver coin which was annually contributed to the Holy Temple] was given was to purchase the communal sacrifices – there were many sacrifices offered on behalf of the public in the Temple of old – and Rabbi Shneur Zalman’s well-known explanation on the verse, “When a person from you will offer a sacrifice to G-d” is as follows: In order for man to come close to G-d – the intent of a sacrifice – he must sacrifice “from you i.e. he must offer himself as a sacrifice to G-d.” In other words, one must give one’s entire being to G-d.

And from this we learn the practical lesson that charity and other acts of goodness and compasion must be carried out in such a manner that the giver places all of his or her ten soul abilities [i.e. all of his heart and soul into the giving.] In addition to the actual donation, the giver should think about giving, and speak about giving, and it is through this that one brings the redemption closer; in order for it to come immediately! For then G-d will do His charity, and will gather all of the Jews together, once again, and as the verse states, “A great community will return here.”

 

2. Another Helpful Message From The Rebbe – Concerning Serenity and Tranquility:

A person who desires tranquility must focus in order to have a single unified purpose in life. The Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches that if what we do in life is for The Creator/Manager, or for the sake of adherence to The Creator/Manager, then – like the center of a spinning wheel – we are stable.
My Commentary on this idea:

Rabbi Akiva and three other great scholars delved into all of the practically infinite secrets of the Torah. One died, one went crazy, one became a heretic, and the only one who came out of the experience the wiser for it was Rabbi Akiva. Since the reason that he went “in” was in order to make The Creator/Manager happy and do the right thing, therefore when it was time to come out, he did.

This teaches us that spiritual highs are not ends in themselves rather as the foundational book of Kabbalah, Sefer Yetzirah, writes, “when your heart elevates to G-d, it is time to return back to your mission on earth.”

When we are focused on doing the right thing and “making The Creator/Manager happy” or simply doing good, then everything we do is part of the same drive – which unfortunately many people lack – i.e. a single unified purpose to our lives. Instead we are like gerbils, eating one minute, sleeping another, exercising yet another, and each thing is a separate entity, all adding to the general confusion. However, if your intention in life is making G-d happy through fulfilling your purpose in life – namely, performing acts of goodness and kindness – then the food you eat, the drinks you drink, the sleep you sleep, the exercise you do, all become part of the spiritual exercise of doing good and making G-d happy. All these activities are necessary in order to have the energy to do good. The same applies to work: When you give ten or twenty percent or all of your income to charity [of course not neglecting your primary responsibility, namely your family] you thereby spiritualize all the time at the office and G-d derives great happiness from all the effort you put into making money, for it is all complete goodness and kindness.

Is Most Of My Life A Waste?

[From a letter of The Rebbe]

“On reflection, it can be easily seen that, all things added up, the world contains more quantity, (materiality), than spirituality, (quality), and more by far. Indeed the more corporeal and material a thing is, the greater is the quantity in which it is found. Thus, for example, the world of inanimate, (inorganic) matter is much greater in volume than the vegetable kingdom, and the latter quantitatively greater than the animal kingdom, which in turn surpasses by far, in quantity, the highest of the four kingdoms, mankind (the “speaking” creature). Similarly in the human body: the lowest extremities, the legs are larger in size than the rest of the body, and the latter is much greater than the head, wherein are located the organs of speech and the senses of, smell, hearing, and sight, as well as intellect, etc., which animate the entire body and direct all its activities.

On further reflection, a person might also becomes disheartened, G-d-Forbid, wondering how is one to fulfill adequately one’s real purpose in life on this earth, which is, to quote our sages, “I was created to work for my Creator” – seeing that most of one’s time is necessarily taken up with materialistic things, such as eating and drinking, sleeping, earning a livelihood etc. Especially with the fact that the earliest years of a human being, before reaching maturity and knowledgeability, are spent almost in an entirely materialistic mode of living.

The answer is, first of all, that even the so-called materialistic preoccupations of the daily life must not become purely materialistic and animal-like, for we have to be always mindful of the imperative, “Let all your doings be for the sake of G-d” and “Know Him [G-d] in all your ways [activities].”

This means that also in carrying out the activities that are connected with the physical and material aspects of life (which, as mentioned, take up the greater part of a person’s time) a human being must know that these material aspects are not ends in themselves, but they are, and must serve, the means to attain to the higher, spiritual realm of life, namely G-dliness. In this way man permeates all the materialistic/physical aspects with spiritual content, and utilizes them for spiritual purposes. Thus, all these mundane, and in themselves trivial matters, are elevated to their proper role, perfection and spirituality.

But in addition to the above, there is also the unique effectiveness of Teshuvah [repentance—returning to higher ideals] which has the power to transform – “with one ‘turn’ and in one moment” – the whole past–the very materiality of it into spirituality.

Time is of course not measured simply by duration but rather by its content in terms of achievements. Thus, in evaluating time, there are vast differences in terms of content, and hence, in real worth, of a minute, and hour, etc. Suffice it to mention, by way of example, that one cannot compare an hour of prayer and outpouring of soul before G-d with an hour of sleep. And so to use the analogy of coins, there may be coins of identical size and shape, yet differing in their intrinsic value, depending upon whether they are made of copper, silver or gold.

With the wonderful opportunities that G-d provides for a person to fill his time with the highest content, there is the most wonderful gift from “G-d who does wonders,” of the extraordinary quality of Teshuvah, which transcends limitations, including the limitations of time, so that “in one moment [of resolve”] it transforms the whole past, to the degree of absolute perfection in spirituality and quality.

The Almighty has also ordained especially favorable times for Teshuvah, at the end of each year and the beginning of the new year, together with the assurance that everyone, man or woman, who resolves to do Teshuvah—he or she can accomplish it in one moment. Transforming the quantity of the materiality in the past—into meritorious quality, spirituality and holiness.”

3. The Bottom Line

When CNN asked the Rebbe what his message for the world is – particularly regarding the Messiah – he replied: “The Messiah is on the way, we need to add in the realm of goodness and kindness.”

The CNN reporter asked, “Does that mean that if we add in goodness and kindness he will come sooner?”

The Rebbe replied, “Immediately!”

The Rebbe categorically states that the mission of our generation is to get G-d to bring the Messiah.

This is done through adherence to G-d’s will – namely, performing acts of goodness and kindness and always increasing in them.

Furthermore, we need to dedicate these acts towards the mission of our generation, to bring the fulfillment of G-d’s and our dream – a beautiful, harmonious, loving, unified and peaceful world – into reality.

Appendix 4

God where are you?

God where are you?

In the heavens?

A man quite perturbed came off the subway and walked toward 770 Eastern Parkway, the office of the Lubavitcher Rebbe; by Divine Providence The Rebbe was walking out – ignoring all protocol with an apple core in his hand he asked the Rebbe “Where is God?” and the Rebbe pointed heavenward. “Seriously!” demanded the man; and the Rebbe smiled and pointed to his heart and said with fatherly love “In your heart”.

Can there be two realities operating simultaneously?!

The answer of course, is yes.

How many separate thoughts are there, how many separate visions, how many separate imaginations and they all live, exist in the same universe; there are literally an infinite number of angels existing in heaven.

A super computer could become the network for every single computer – you could literally forget about having to download software, all you would need is an internet connection and you would be in the cloud – as this technology exists already – and in the cloud there could be a space for you, for me and literally for an infinite amount of computers, people, souls angels.

 Appendix 5 Marriage

The Rebbe Writes to a Bride and Groom:

“I extend my heartfelt wishes to you that the wedding take place in a fortunate and good hour and with Mazal Tov [good fortune.] May you construct a Jewish edifice on the foundations of Torah and Mitzvos.

Understandably, it need not be emphasized that on a deeper level marriage means that bride and groom jointly embark on constructing a life – a most joyous life – and an edifice that endures for many, many long and happy years.

It is self understood that it is of primary and crucial import that the foundation of an edifice be constructed of the most durable material possible, material that is able to withstand the changes and havoc that can be wrought by changes of temperature and moisture, by an earthquake, and so on.

The same holds true when bride and groom embark on building a life together. This joint life is to be founded on the foundations of Torah and Mitzvos [the Bible and it good suggestions] the strongest materials in existence.

These materials have withstood the test of time, overcoming a multitude of obstacles during the passage of the approximately three and half thousand years since G-d gave us His Torah and Mitzvos.

These, then, are the vessels through which a couple receives G-d’s blessings for a truly joyous life. May G-d bless you – as previously stated with a Mazal Tov and an everlasting edifice on the foundations of Torah and Mitzvos.”

          The Rebbe Writes – How to have marital harmony – “It’s easy to love a stranger, hard to love your wife.”

“I received some information about the relationship at home, but I do not know to what extent it reflects the actual situation. Hence I want to convey to you some thoughts in light of what the relationship should be according to Shulchan Aruch [The Code of Jewish Law] – the Jews practical guide in life. If the relationship is, indeed, in keeping with it, the purpose of this letter will be to strengthen and deepen it, as there is always room for improvement in all matters of goodness and holiness, Torah and Mitzvos [Biblical commandments.] On the other hand, if it is not quite what it should be, I trust that, since the Torah is surely a guiding light, you will bring it up to the desired level, and you will do it with joy and gladness of heart.

The central aspect in the manner of conducting a home and family life is that it be based on the way of the Torah, whose ways are “ways of pleasantness, and all of its paths are peace.” If this rule applies to all activities of a Jew, even outside the home, how much more so does it apply within the home itself!

Of course, since The Creator/Manager has created human beings with minds and feelings of their own and these are not uniform in all people, peace and harmony can be achieved only on the basis of “give and take” that is, meeting each other half way. For a husband and wife to make concessions to each other is not, and should not be considered a sacrifice, G-d-forbid. On the contrary, this is what the Torah teaches and expects, for we are talking about concessions that do not involve compromise in regard to the fulfillment of Mitzvos [commandments], and both of you are of the same mind that the laws of the Shulchan Aruch must not be compromised.

Furthermore, to achieve true peace and harmony calls for making such concessions willing and graciously – not grudgingly, as if it were a sacrifice, as mentioned above, but in the realization that it is for the benefit of one’s self and one’s partner in life, and for one’s self perhaps even more, since it is made in fulfillment of G-d’s will. And if our Sages exhort every Jew to receive every person with a friendly face, certainly it applies to one’s wife or husband.

There are many sayings of our Sages, as well as those of our Rebbes, urging husband and wife always to discuss matters of mutual concern, and to give patient attention to the opinion of the other and then act in mutual agreement. It is also very desirable that they should have at least one regular study period in a section of Torah which is of interest to both, such as the weekly Torah portion, or a timely subject connected with a particular season or festival.

While the major obligation to study Torah is on men, it has been emphasized that women, too, have to fulfill the mitzvah [commandment] of Torah study in areas where they are directly involved, as explained in the laws of Torah study. All the more so in the present day and age when women have the possibility – hence obligation – to do their share of spreading Judaism no less than men.

It may sometimes seem difficult for the husband to take time out of his preoccupations to discuss mutual problems with his wife, or study Torah with her, but he should not look at it as a sacrifice. On the contrary he should do it eagerly in fulfillment of the most important Mitzvah – Sholom Bayis – Peace In The Home. And if any Mitzvah has to be carried out with joy, how much more so such a fundamental Mitzvah.
Finally, I would like to add that of the Mitzvah campaigns which have been emphasized in recent years, special attention has been focused on the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel [the love for fellow man,] which embraces everyone, even a stranger; how much more so a near and dear one.
I hope and pray that each of you will make every effort in the direction outlined above and will do so with real joy and gladness of heart, and may G-d grant that you should have true Nachas [joy] –which is Torah Nachas, from each other and jointly from your offspring, in happy circumstances materially and spiritually.”

 A Story

A man once asked the Rebbe “Is it true that if a husband folds his Tallis [prayer garment worn every morning during prayers—but forbidden to fold on Sabbath] on Motzai Shabbos [Sat. night when it becomes permissible to fold it] this brings marital harmony?” The Rebbe smiled, “I don’t know about that, however helping your wife with the dishes certainly does.”

Appendix 6 Understanding Humanity

What’s up with people?

You know the saying “I love people, its humanity I can’t stand!”

Einstein writes how – one of the things he was most concerned about was the ability of weapons of mass destruction to be used by criminals and criminal Governments, as he said “technology in the hands of a psychopath is liking giving an axe murderer an axe” – so he mentioned this to a friend whom I think was a big philosopher saying how destructive WMDs could be, so the friend replied “would it be so bad …”

Einstein deduced from this, a fundamental self-loathing, i.e. a perspective that humanity has gone evil and hence not such a negative view to its destruction.

Einstein of course being a Jew found such thinking, abhorrent and sad.

So what’s the truth?

The truth is, that all emotions as the Alteh Rebbe teaches us, are either loves or fears that we have.

In other words, a child who is loved, loves humans, a child whom like the Germans and Arabs is hated (for the other name for harsh discipline is revenge for the discipline you received, which is the typical human response i.e. give to others, what was given to you) actually develops a hatred towards humanity.

Appendix 6

The value of a zero

Zeros, their funny things.

In one sense people would do anything to get a few of them in their bank accounts.

Now is a zero valuable?

The only reason people like zeros is because a. it buys them serenity (not to worry about bills) and b. it buys them in our corrupted society prestige (“he’s a millionaire.”)

So the value of a zero certainly should come into place when it comes to serenity, for serenity is a good thing, for it allows us to love, to grow, as the Talmud states, the beginning of problems in a marriage is when there is a lack of zeros, or just one zero.

However, if the goal of the zeros is to become known as a millionaire than you are just one big zero.

As the Baal Shem Tov states, wherever mans heart is, there is the man.

As the story where the Baal Shem Tov once showed his holy Tzaddikim (righteous disciples) a vision how heaven saw a man enjoying his meat on the Shabbat, “they saw an ox with a Shtriemel (Jewish hat worn by men in those times specially on Shabbos) eating.”

So if our heart is into money then we may as well be a zero.

Appendix 7

What life has taught me:

  1. Man cannot rely on his own opinion for his ego will work against himself (ego is highly offendable, tyrannical in revenge – and focuses all energies in this ignoble pursuits and distorts all truths to feed its infantile need for recognition and not be ashamed.)
  2. Hence one must appoint a Mashpiah – a spiritual mentor to decipher truth and ask, seek and get his or her advice (a Maspia, is someone who is schooled in Judaism and Jewish mysticism and you can relate to) for in this way the inherent bias of the mind is overcome.
  3. Furthermore, we all have an inherent Yetzer Hara, desire of an evil trait such as laziness, depression when things don’t go our way, women, other instinctive pleasures, perhaps men for a woman, drugs etc. a natural tendency for recognition as mentioned, including the enjoyment over idleness and comedy – these are evil in that they will drive a person away from his meaning in life namely, accomplishment – giving – helping – unity etc.
  4. To overcome the Yetzer Hara one must be happy – for when a person is down the Yetzer Hara easily convinces him or her to fall for an instinct pleasure as it is a quick fix instinct and no one desires to feel down and hence we easily succumb to the quick fix; and happiness gives us energy
  5. To be happy a person needs to say Ein Oid Milvadoi, There is Only G-d (for all reality consists of G-d as its essence; merely a few wavelengths are what we see, hear, experience etc.)
  6. Furthermore a person needs to always literally count their blessings, for blessings which are great become curses when we don’t express gratitude for them as they make us arrogant and hence we lose them.

 Kabbalah-love Quotes

Every action, every word, and every thought consciously done, said or contemplated is like casting a stone into the ocean, its waves ripple and affect the entire cosmos.

The goal of life is to be grateful for what you have materially by realizing how lucky you are to have it and never feel smug about your spiritual progress by realizing how many greater saints there are than you and asking the Creator to give you the wisdom to emulate them.

Even a bit of light banishes much darkness!

Even a bit of love banishes much anger!

In life, it is not what we have that makes us happy, it is the attitude towards what we have that makes us happy.

“When I was a young man,” Mr. Behr replied, “I once asked my boss to lend me a crown so that I could buy a lotto ticket. My boss replied, ‘Do you know when you will win the lotto? When you walk down the aisle to your Chupah (marriage canopy), that is when you will have won the lotto.’”

In other words, Mr. Behr was teaching me, that the reason he had a loving, respectful and happy relationship with his wife was because he had always felt like he had won the lotto by marrying her!

The Jewish Sages teach, “Who is wealthy? One who is happy with what s/he has.”

People who get a new lease on life, look at life very, very, differently.

One woman I know, told me, that after being confined to a hospital bed for a few months, one morning as she looked out of the window, she said to herself, “If I ever get out of here, I will never complain for the rest of my life;” and indeed she is perhaps one of the cheeriest people you could ever meet.

People who have survived potentially fatal accidents or illnesses often come out of their experiences with a very great appreciation for the greatest gift of all, the gift of life itself.

The fact is that this world is no accident.

The more science we learn the more we realize that our world is built on a series of miraculous phenomena which by virtue of their consistency deceive us into seeing it as natural.

Nature is in fact anything that is miraculous but repetitive.

Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov the founder of Chassidus taught, “The first time we see a miraculous phenomena in nature we call it a miracle, the second time we call it nature.”

If you had “x-ray vision,” you would be looking at energy and you wouldn’t see anything physical at all!

You can get an idea of how much energy there is when you realize that an atomic explosion is one of the main energy sources for electricity in our world – supplying millions, if not hundreds of millions of households with electricity – all coming from the energy released when the tiny atom is “split.” And as Einstein writes, the energy released in an atomic explosion is actually just a fraction of the energy contained, (like a wealthy man giving away a thousand dollars, to use his own example.)

So where did all this energy come from? Is it possible that it simply “exists?” Obviously not, for the other side of e=mc2 states that all of the energy ever used can be converted back into matter.

In other words, energy is interchangeable with physical matter, which is bound by time and space and is one of The Creator/Manager’s creations.

As a creation, matter needs to have a beginning.

In the study of Kabbalah, we are taught that The Creator/Manager “spoke” the world into existence.

This means that The Creator/Manager’s “speech” creates our reality – the trees, rocks, water, and everything that we see and take for granted.

However, there is a fundamental difference between what The Creator/Manager makes and what man makes. What man makes, is in fact, only a change of status of material properties, so every component in your “brilliant” computer is in fact taken from something that was already created by The Creator/Manager, from the silicon to the gold, from the plastic to the metallic parts etc. There isn’t a single component in your computer that doesn’t actually come from the ground.

Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov teaches that we will never cease to benefit from the amazing myriad of natural metals and minerals that our loving Creator placed within the earth’s crust for the sake of mankind’s use.

The earth’s crust, including all that is within it, did not exist prior to creation. Therefore, the earth must continually be recreated in order for it to exist.

Anything that doesn’t inherently exist, needs another creative force constantly creating it, in order for it to continuously exist.

If you were to take away the building blocks of matter – The Creator/Manager’s “speech” – there would simply be nothing, and we would be unable to make anything at all!

All of our technology is dependent on a far greater technology – The Creator/Manager’s “speech” – which is continually recreating reality.

In other words, The Creator/Manager is always speaking/imagining the world into its present natural format.

Every atom ever created needs to be continually spoken into existence. Although we are given the ability to manufacture computers, rockets and the like, this does not change the fact that continuous creation is necessary for these secondary products to exist; for without the raw atoms constantly being spoken into existence there would be no materials to create secondary products.

In fact physicists have proven this and we can witness that atoms are continually popping in and out of existence as you can see on the documentary What The Bleep Do We Know. The Kabbalah wrote about this process thousands of years ago and called it Rotzu Vshov, that the creative energy emanates from the Creator and continually returns back, in an ongoing cycle, forward and return – in and out – of The Creator/Manager.

Now just as when you imagine something your brain is recreating the picture for as long as you imagine it, similarly in order for our universe with all of the raw materials in it to exist The Creator/Manager is re-imagining/re“speaking” every part of the universe into existence all the time!

In fact the words Abra Cadabrah come from the two Hebrew words, “Ibarah C’dabrah” which means “I create when I speak.”

Another good example to help us understand continuous creation comes from screens. Depending on the type of screen you have, every single second the picture on your screen is refreshed/redrawn a few hundred times. This is why you need a screen saver, for if the computer refreshes the same screen for long periods of time, sometimes the picture gets imbedded into the screen. This means that every time you look at the Recycle Bin in your computer it has been redrawn thousands of times. In other words, your Recycle Bin is a functional tool in a two dimensional computerized world, whereas the garbage can in your kitchen works in a three dimensional world; They both, however serve the same fundamental purpose, getting rid of garbage; and they both need a higher technology to make them continually appear, giving you, the user, a functional tool.

This being the case, it is only right to thank The Creator/Manager for what we already have, for it is merely due to his great ongoing kindness that our universe, including you and I, continually exist.

The Creator and Manager of the World is very different from human beings whom mainly seek to gain. The Creator/Manager is looking to give – as the Jewish Sages teach – that the reason why The Creator/Manager made the world was in order to have people to give to, for in their words “It is the nature of a good (person) to give.”

We must realize that The Creator/Manager has already given us so very much!

When we are aware of these gifts, we start realizing that there is a Being who loves us unconditionally, gives to us unconditionally, and only desires what is good – for our sakes – and not for His sake.

Someone I know was once going through a severe financial crisis. He called up his wealthy father who bailed him out. I asked his father, “How come you didn’t help your son earlier?”
“Because,” he replied, “he didn’t ask.” So it is also good to ask The Creator/Manager for what you want.

Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov explains that what comes to us from The Creator/Manager is actually a reflection of our own happiness and disposition.

If we are full of joy, kind to others, merciful and compassionate, then The Creator/Manager will bestow joy, kindness, mercy and compassion upon us.

Why is our mood so important? I think our attitude reflects our fundamental belief. By being happy we are fundamentally saying that “Fundamentally I believe that The Creator/Manager is good and therefore He will give me what I need.” However by being sad, depressed, or despondent we are fundamentally saying, “The world is a negative place and I believe I will not receive my needs.”

The reason we get into a negative space is unfortunately due to negative experiences.

“What goes around comes around,” is a true saying, albeit with a time delay involved, which results in our failing to recognize the truth of it.

The reason for this delay is as follows: if we were immediately rewarded or punished for our wrongdoings we would never do anything wrong.

I recall that as a child I once asked The Creator/Manager to punish me whenever I did something wrong, for then I would know that The Creator/Manager existed. This is, in fact, the only real reason why we question The Creator/Manager’s existence.

How can it be that a good person suffers while an evil person prospers? There are many explanations for this. For example sometimes The Creator/Manager gives a “reward” to a bad person in this world, but this so-called “reward” is actually a negative payout, for it prevents him or her from receiving the great bliss of Heaven.

Sometimes The Creator/Manager brings suffering upon the righteous person for infractions in this world, reserving for them the reward of everlasting bliss in the world-to-come. In fact our sages teach us that a drop of suffering in this world erases mountains of pain in the next.

We are taught that we can have “karmic debts,” which means that if I owed someone a sum of money in a previous lifetime, that money may be forcibly taken from me and restored to its reincarnated owner in a future lifetime. There are many stories from the Jewish mystics that prove this.

Additionally, we may have “karmic debts” in this lifetime, as the following story demonstrates. I once bought a computer from a friend of mine and at the last minute he threw in an old screen for about $15.00. To cut a long story short, I had only brought the money for the hard-drive and thus did not pay him for the screen. A few months later the screen had one of those Microsoft “Fatal Exceptions” and refused to work. I thought, “Why did this happen?” Remembering that I did not pay my friend, I paid him the very next night when I saw him at a wedding, and lo and behold, the very next day someone needed to borrow my computer – he was perhaps the best programmer in the country (South Africa) and he happened to come to where the computer was for a totally unrelated reason and after approximately forty-five minutes he managed to fix Microsoft’s “Fatal Exception!” and I was up and running again like nothing ever happened.

The essence of the story is, “what goes around comes around,” both for the good and for the bad.

But more importantly, it is extremely wise to be happy, joyful, loving, grateful, giving, sharing, compassionate and helpful, for we are by so doing, creating our own future destinies!

Our lives on earth are not predetermined, but rather based on the energy/input we give to Heaven, which is then mirrored back to us.

You may not know this, but Heaven was created for earth, and not the other way around.

Everything that is above and below is part of the Divine plan to give you the freedom to choose – without being forced to – between goodness i.e. selflessness, compassion, sharing, caring etc. and evil i.e. selfishness, insensitivity, arrogance, and caring only for oneself while disregarding others.

In other words, the reason The Creator/Manager allows the perception of evil and injustice to occur is to give you the freedom to willfully choose good over bad!

If The Creator/Manager immediately punished you every time you did something bad, as I requested for myself, then we would lose the perception that evil can exist, and thus we would be forced to choose good, which would not make it good anymore. For example, if somebody holds a gun to another’s head G-d forbid and forces them to give charity, we couldn’t exactly call the giver a charitable man under such a compelling circumstance.

When we are not compelled neither through recognizable punishment nor reward our good deeds are truly such.

In groundbreaking research Dr. Emoto shows that water crystals react to our prayers, intentions, words, and emotions.

The Tanya, one of the classic books of Jewish mysticism, written over two hundred years ago by the great Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, clearly describes three basic zones of reality: 1) Good 2) Neutral 3) Evil.

Included in Zone 1 (Good) are those things that we make blessings over – such as when we thank G-d for the food we eat – or when we use food for good deeds, such as giving food to hungry people. So at that time our energy and the molecules creating the food comes directly from The Creator/Manager.

In Zone 2 (the neutral zone) are most objects that are currently untainted (positively or negatively) by humans and are thus waiting for you and I to elevate them in order to receive energy directly from The Creator/Manager.

In fact Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov teaches that neutral water will have to wait hundreds or even millennia for a good person to thank G-d for the water they are going to drink.

Zone 3 (evil) contains the negative forces, which include anger, revenge, harming others, etc.

In other words, if I eat an apple and then use the energy it gives me to insult someone, at that time those atoms are energized via the demons, because G-d Himself refuses to sustain negativity directly.

There is a cosmic system behind everything that we call reality. Obviously only The Creator/Manager can create, and He is the source of all good and kind things, but when negativity needs to be created then the energy travels from The Creator/Manager Himself through demons.

It is in the interest of the demons to get you to do something wrong for then they receive the energy to thrive because they tap into the energy The Creator/Manager gives them to sustain you at that time.

The Yetzer Hara desires to trap you, for the only way he can feel good is through your devotion of energy towards negativity.

There are three levels we can ascend, be or descend to:

A. love

B. indifference

C. evil/malice to compensate for a low self-image!

Incidentally, kosher food corresponds to these three zones. Kosher food begins in the “neutral zone” and takes on a positive energy if used for something positive, such as when one uses the energy from the food to help someone else.

Non-kosher food in Hebrew is also called “Assur,” which means tied down. As it is locked up in the third negative zone, therefore it cannot be elevated even if one uses the energy for something good.

Those foods that did not get elevated – since no one used the energy for anything meaningful after eating it – remain in the neutral zone they started out in. If, however someone used the energy from the Kosher food for something negative – e.g. to harm another, G-d forbid – then the atoms get energized via the negative demons.

The above is an extreme simplification of an incredibly vast world above us, which G-d uses to engage, create, modify, influence and record everything that goes on in this world!

According to Albert Einstein, the meaning in life is found by “Giving to those whose existence is the cause of your happiness.”

This theory is very much in accord with the Biblical instruction to, “Love your friend as much as you love yourself.” According to Rabbi Akiva, this is in fact the whole point of the Torah (Bible), to teach us how to “Love your friend as much as you love yourself.”

Only through unconditionally loving others, will we receive unconditional love in return.

Rabbi Hillel said, “That which you do not want others to do to you, do not do to them. The rest of the Torah/Bible is the amplification of this principle.”

Rabbi Hillel was teaching everyone an extremely important lesson. Why is it that when we do something wrong it doesn’t seem to bother us at all? Or, if it does bother us, we still manage to love ourselves, to care for ourselves and feel compassion for ourselves, but when someone else does something wrong we are often ready to jump down their throats, “How could you possibly have done such an evil, vile, rude, inconsiderate thing?”

The reason we don’t see our own faults, or our own faults do not cause us to alter our positive self-image, is because our innate self-love covers over and conceals our faults.

In other words, because we love ourselves, we don’t see, or are not extremely concerned by our own faults. There is a Yiddish saying that “Di Eigeneh Drek Shtink Nisht (one’s own smell from going to the bathroom doesn’t smell badly.”)

I am sure you have heard the saying, “Love is blind,” which is certainly true. In Judaism – in Proverbs – the saying goes, “All faults are concealed by love.”

In other words, it’s not that we do not recognize that we have faults, rather that our love is able to shield us from seeing them as issues that should prevent us from loving ourselves unconditionally.

In truth this is a very good thing, for in order to love someone else you must first love yourself, as usually the love one person extends to another is due to indentifying with them – hence siblings who realize their shared background have greater love for each other than strangers do; but most importantly if someone (perhaps a depressed person) doesn’t love themselves they might G-d Forbid commit suicide.

(This is also why depressed people seem to lose their love for their spouse and kids, for Jewish Mysticism teaches that depression is when we become angry at ourselves for doing something that caused us pain or shame, so therefore as our anger is towards ourselves therefore the fact that someone else is similar to us (“my wife,” “my kids,” “my brothers and sisters”) doesn’t cause us to feel love for them anymore, for the origin of the said love (namely self-love through identification) has disappeared.)

So self-love is great (obviously in moderation, lest we forget about the rest of humanity in focusing only on ourselves) but the lesson is, that just as our own self-love manages to conceal and bury our own faults, so too our love for our family and friends should be so strong that we don’t see their faults.

Furthermore, this is exactly how The Creator/Manager intended things to be for the following four reasons:

# 1) The fact that you do see a fault in someone else is only because you have that fault in yourself, for it is impossible to see a fault in someone else if you do not have it – at least on some level – in yourself.

The Baal Shem Tov states, that our friends is like our mirror – it is only when there is dirt on our own face that it will be “reflected,” hence seen in our friends!

When we find something wrong in someone else, in fact The Creator/Manager is showing us an area in which we need to improve.

I said this once in a class and a psychologist present confirmed it. “When we get upset by other’s misdeeds it is only because it is hitting a concealed raw nerve of our own,” she said.

# 2) Additionally the fact that one can see faults in another else can also lead to good, because it allows one to gently, privately, respectfully and honorably explain to the other how much better it would be for him or her if s/he chose a better course of action.

[Interestingly Rabbi Schneersohn – The Lubavitcher Rebbe the great Kabbalist and Chassidic leader of our generation – explains that if one feels bugged/irritated by the negative in another it is always simply a mirror image as mentioned; however if our mind immediately comes up with methods of how to help the other, then chances are it is something related to improving and assisting someone else.

In fact, whenever The Creator/Manager allows us to see a solution to a problem – so for example say you are aware that someone is G-d-Forbid ill, and you also know that there is a doctor who specializes in a treatment for that illness – The Creator/Manager is in fact actually giving you one of your life’s missions!

If this wasn’t your mission a. you wouldn’t have become aware of the problem and b. you wouldn’t have known the solution.]

There is a commandment in the Bible to teach, or even reprimand someone else if one knows it will help, but interestingly this commandment is preceded by the all important commandment to never shame another.

The Jewish Sages deduce that before one educates another, one must make quite sure that one’s motive is love, and that one can never insult another in the process of educating them.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches “Even if there is a situation where one needs to try to prevent something negative from their fellow – the very best manner [i.e. method] to achieve this, is through influencing the fellow in a pleasant and peaceful (i.e. loving) manner.”

In other words, the only way to assist someone else is through showing them the positive path not the negative.

Additionally, the Baal Shem Tov teaches that everything we see in life is in fact a message from The Creator/Manager on how to improve ourselves.

So when you see a good behavior from someone else, it is shown to you so that you will emulate it.

And when you see a bad behavior it is shown to you for the following two reasons: A) [#3] So that you will be repulsed by it and hence decide not do emulate it; and B) [#4] So that you will be proud of yourself for behaving better.

Now I would like you to take Einstein’s suggestion, and decide whose existence gives you happiness.

You will notice that you will most probably choose people who are close to you and have impacted your life in a (perceived) beneficial way.

What you need to do is to stop bartering; you need to decide to love those people unconditionally – meaning no matter what they say or do to you.

An example for unconditional love is the manner in which a mother gives to her newborn child.

Only through this will you find happiness, for when you love unconditionally, you release loving chemicals (serotonin) through your blood stream, which makes you feel good. It is a drug that only gets stronger with time.

The Kabbalah teaches that there are two primary emotions that govern our lives: Love and Fear.

Every thought we have, everything we say, and everything we do, is either out of love for someone or something, or due to a fear of someone or something.

LOVE = ATTRACTION
FEAR = RETRACTION

Love creates an attraction – a desire to unite with the person you love, or to attain that which you believe will be pleasurable for you [say, a cup of Coke]

Fear creates an avoidance/retraction from a person you are afraid of [whom will perhaps shame you] or from something that which you fear will be painful to you [say a bee.]

It is for this reason, unfortunately, that people sometimes develop social phobias; if for example their mother used shame to manipulate their behavior, so they are (subconsciously) afraid of doing anything that will cause someone to shame them. The only way to overcome this is to realize that most people are not psychopathic, and hence also desire your love, (and as such will never shame you for then they will not receive your affection. A psychopath has somewhere along the line decided that people are evil and hence only uses people).

The state that you need to work towards is a state of unconditional love, when you love these people as much as you love yourself.

However, fear causes a chemical takeover in the brain, reducing our ability to think, and we are left functioning on the level of little children with purely instinctive reactions.

At such moments, gone are all our wisdom, understanding and knowledge, along with everything that we think we should do and who we want to be [i.e. kind, compassionate, considerate, nice etc.]

We simply become like animals whom react only instinctively namely the fight/flight emotion; additionally there is a freeze instinct (like a deer in headlights) and in human behavior sometimes called the stonewall instinct.

The part of the brain controlling our fear (the amygdala nuclei region) is a part that overrides rational thought, literally bypassing the source of our rational mind – the prefrontal lobes – creating only instinctive reactions.

If you are in a “state of fear” [i.e. worried, anxious, stressed] you cannot be in a “state of love.”

Rabbi Bechayah the author of an incredibly wise Judaic classic called Duties of the Heart, writes, “the heart cannot hold both fear and love (of something or someone) at the same time.”

For this reason we will mention the primary reasons why most people become fearful – based on the classic book of Jewish mysticism, the Tanya – and the methods that it advises to eliminate fear.

The first cause of fear is a person’s personal worries, be they financial, health-related or children-related.

The only way to eliminate this anxiety is to remember that The Creator/Manager is good; in fact The Creator/Manager doesn’t have a “bad bone” in His “body.”

There is simply nothing but goodness in The Creator/Manager, so if “creating positive intentions” (lesson 2) and “praying for good results” (lesson 1) haven’t worked for you, it is only because, according to the Divine plan, you really are receiving assistance, not a hindrance.

The story is told of three great mystics (including the author of the Tanya,) who were discussing a war where there were unfortunately many casualties. The first two mystics said, “If I were The Creator/Manager, I would have created fewer casualties,” each one choosing the side on which they would have created fewer fatalities. The third and greatest mystic said “If I was The Creator/Manager, I would do exactly the same thing, but I would understand why.”

There is a master plan at play – and it is in your interest.

In other words, try to understand that despite the pain you are in, there is a master plan at play and the same way a child cannot understand how come his parents are forcing him to do his homework instead of playing in the fresh air, so too our minds simply cannot conceive of everything that The Creator/Manager’s mind can.

Now an important point needs to be clarified. While we may trust that what The Creator/Manager is doing in our own particular case is for the best, we should always take the merciful approach, pleading with The Creator/Manager for grace, kindness, and compassion, and do the same for someone else in need.

As we explained in the second lesson, this then becomes our own destiny from The Creator/Manager (Karma) and furthermore, if you were G-d-forbid suffering, the last thing you would want is for someone to rationalize your pain by saying that it is the best thing for you.

In my mind, the classic book on human suffering and The Creator/Manager’s response to it is “The Book of Job.” The essence of the book (in my humble opinion) is that when Job’s friends try to justify The Creator/Manager’s (seemingly irrational and unjust) behavior towards him, he replies to them, “Everything that you know (about The Creator/Manager) I do too.” In other words, “try to comfort me over my losses; don’t try to make a believer out of me while I am suffering and in pain.”

This is not to say that it is not beneficial to help someone who is sick or in need, to trust in The Creator/Manager, for usually that is the very best medicine possible. However if one does take this approach, it is not in order to create a believer, but rather to help the person who is in pain and usually people are smart enough to tell the difference.

Interestingly in the book of Job, The Creator/Manager finally answers the poor man. And all he really does is give him a list of scientific phenomena such as light refractions, constellations, the science of the formation of the globe, animal biology and many other factors understood by The Creator/Manager but not by man. Thus Job realized that it is literally impossible for finite man to understand an infinite Creator/Manager.

[Einstein often stated “What’s incomprehensible (about reality) is what is comprehensible.” In other words, it is amazing that we understand anything.

And as Einstein said “My religion is the tiny bit of reality, (the Creator) allows me to understand of which I am in awe of!”]

It is surely illogical to limit The Creator in His Designs and actions to conform to the understanding of a created human being.

No one can expect an infant to understand the ideas and actions of a learned professor, although the professor was once an infant himself, and the present infant may have the potential even to surpass the professor in due course. How much more so, and incomparably, when it comes to the Infinite Intelligence of The Creator visa-à-vie the finite and limited intelligence of a created human being.

The Torah says, it is difficult for a person to accept consolation in a time of grief.

Now sometimes people have the wrong idea about The Creator/Manager. An atheist once told a Rabbi, “I don’t believe in G-d.” The Rabbi replied, “In The G-d that you don’t believe in, I don’t believe in either.”

People have a tendency to anthropomorphize G-d. They see The Creator/Manager as a very great human. Thus they figure that The Creator/Manager desires power, but the truth is that if we can compare The Creator/Manager to anyone at all it would be to the love of a mother for her tiny newborn baby, an unconditional love.

G-d created human emotions and only He can inform us of what He loves, and the verse states “I love you, said the Lord;” after all we are all his creations.

It is when we expect to understand, and believe that we can or potentially that we should be able to that we get frustrated when we don’t.

However, if we understand that we can’t understand an infinite plan, so then just like a child gains security by trusting in his parents, so to we can remind ourselves that it is quite possible for something beneficial to take place in our interests without us being capable of understanding how.

The Creator/Manager often does things that are in our best interest albeit unknown how until a future era.

In summary we need to understand that The Creator/Manager is good – and although we do not understand why what is happening is good – nonetheless we can have the courage to trust in The Creator/Manager’s plan and this will take the stress and anxiety out of the situation.

The second and most common reason for feeling fear, is actually anxiety over if we are doing the right thing or not.

In order to explain this fully we need to clarify that within each and every one of us there is a Yetzer Hara – a demon – a little devil, whose job it is to get us depressed and sad, so that we will be uninterested in being good and giving people.

As the Baal Shem Tov teaches, “More than the Yetzer Hara desires that you should sin, he desires that you should feel guilty over your sin.”

The Yetzer Hara – demon – little devil, employs guilt as its primary weapon of offense.

Although guilt seems like a good thing, a wise psychologist told me today that “Guilt is the biggest energy waster in the world,” and she is right.

After studying Jewish mysticism and realizing that this is how The Creator/Manager designed the world, I stopped feeling guilty for all of my negative desires, for they are part and parcel of the Yetzer Hara which puts them into our minds. (I can prove the Yetzer Hara’s existence but it’s not for this short book; this is more about factual information and how to help yourself than about proving its existence.)

What really helped me was realizing that The Creator/Manager does not expect us to have only positive desires.

Our bodies and the Yetzer Hara instinctively produce negative desires such as those for arrogance, anger, laziness, enjoyment over other people’s downfalls, instinctive pleasures and so on. (I have written a booklet called “Kabbalah Psychology” for those who would like more information on this.)

There is nothing wrong – again, nothing wrong – with having these desires. There is something wrong, however, if we are constantly angry, or are constantly arrogant, or are constantly lazy, or constantly mock others, or only seek out our own instinctual pleasures.

In other words, the challenge of life is to not follow the negative desires implanted within us by this demon – Yetzer Hara – little devil.

The key to not feeling guilty is as follows: Firstly, you need to know that The Creator/Manager is good and is looking to reward you for being good (as mentioned in the second lesson). Secondly, you need to have practical expectations of yourself.

You need to study the Mitzvos (the Good Deeds) of the Torah/Bible, because what the Torah teaches us is never impossible. For example, one religion writes that if a man looks lustfully at a woman, it is as if he has committed adultery. Now this is ridiculous, for the innate instinct in a man is to lust after a beautiful woman. As one elderly professor told me during the Monica Lewinsky story that when he sees a young  attractive woman he naturally lusts after her.

In the Torah (the Bible), what is important is not committing adultery or other deviant sexual behavior, so it is not about the desire in the heart but rather about the action one takes.

Even if someone doesn’t desire to give charity, but controls themselves and gives charity anyway, then they have successfully done a good deed.

To a large extent it was The Creator/Manager’s will that we should be challenged by this little demon and give The Creator/Manager and ourselves the moral satisfaction of conquering it.

As Rabbi Josef Isaac Schneersohn, the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe writes, one cannot compare the pleasure a farmer would get from the produce reaped from a perfect field in the perfect climate to the satisfaction he would get if he managed to take a barren dessert and give it life.

Thirdly, a person must have self-control, for if we do not have self-control we will never live up to our own standards for we know what we should be doing but practically we do not have the ability to do it.

Self-control can take a long time to achieve, but the surest method was described in a book on education by Rabbi Josef Isaac Schneersohn. He writes that because of the manner in which The Creator/Manager made us, we have the ability to order ourselves around. By telling yourself what to do, you gain the ability to control yourself.

The following graph shows how behavior through self-control leads to happiness.

Ideal         Actual

Thoughts = Thoughts

Speech   = Speech

Actions    = Actions

We need to ensure that we have the self-control to do what we ourselves know is right, and to refrain from doing that which we ourselves know is wrong. If we do not, our own internal judge will automatically compare our behavior to our morals and we will thus feel guilty for not having done the right thing.

So we can also avoid unpleasant feelings of guilt by exercising self-control and doing the right thing in the first place.

If however, we find that we are feeling guilty, despite living up to our own standards, such as incessant feelings that one is not living up to their standards, we can be certain that this is only a ruse of the Yetzer Hara, which we can eliminate by saying to ourselves, “Now is not the time to feel bad about my misdeeds; Repentance takes a dedicated and set time.”

The Yetzer Hara is like a KGB informer, first he pretends to be your friend in order to gain your trust, so everything he says appears to be holy (as our sages teach us, the Yetzer Hara begins with false holiness, but slowly slowly leads one to the worst sins possible, things unfathomable to you; but more importantly) the Yetzer Hara then becomes the informer against you and not only that, when you are being judged in Heaven, he is there advocating for the worst possible punishment.

On the other hand, The Creator/Manager and your Yetzer Tov/desire for goodness and kindness and generally speaking your rational mind itself, is your friend.

So never worry about the inane comments, fears, worries, stresses, about how good or not good you are. Tell yourself, “Life is about actively pursuing good, if I will be worried all the time if I am doing things one hundred percent correctly, this will take me away from fulfilling my mission in life and then the agent will advocate against me in the Heavenly Court of Law. I will dedicate time at night for repentance but now during the day (or whenever) is exclusively positive time.”

One of the fascinating relevant statements of Kabbalah is, “The strength of the body/instinctual desires counteracts the strength of the soul’s desires.”

In other words, if you were running in one direction but at the same time you were being pulled in an opposite direction – based on how strong the pull is, will determine whether you will be going forward, at what speed, and perhaps if you will even be compelled to go backwards.

Ironically, although it appears to us that our instinctual desires are what we want, they are not!

Everyone would like to be remembered positively by their family and friend which only comes from unconditionally loving them, and hence giving to them.

However, to the extent that we are selfish i.e. follow our instinctual desires, is directly proportionate to the extent that we are not running in a selfless – diametrically opposite – direction.

Ironically this takes places subconsciously, so in other words, automatically we are born with selfish instincts, and to overcome them we need to use our souls and minds.

Now there is another teaching from the Zohar/Kabbalah on how to overcome something that challenges spiritual seekers often and that is that for some reason their soul or mind is incapable of altering their behavior.

As mentioned – when a person orders themselves around they gain self-control; however sometimes we find that the body simply refuses to listen to the soul or mind.

The reason for this is because the Kelipos (negative demons) controlling the atoms energizing the body are being arrogant (for as mentioned everything gets energized through either 1. directly from The Creator/Manager, or two forms of intermediaries, see chapter two;)  So it would be like a bully blocking your ability to enter a door.

The Zohar teaches that the method to overcome this “dullness of heart,” is to break the barriers surrounding the heart. It gives an example of a large log that someone would like to use as firewood. If you try to light the log on its own, it will not catch fire. However if you chop it up into small pieces it will burn nicely. So another way of gaining self-control is to humble yourself.

(For as the person to a large extent identifies with his body/instincts, hence the humbling of self, causes the humbling of the Kelipos as well, allowing you access to your heart.) So think about all the bad, vile, rude, narcissistic things you have done. The greater your list, the more humble you will become.

As this is a common problem, perhaps it would be a good idea to designate a time when you do this and it truly will allow for your soul or mind to gain dominance over your instincts.

The truth is that we should also endeavor to control our thoughts – and this is in its own right a very important concept, for by controlling our thoughts we then gain self-control. If our thoughts are just governed by what is pleasurable and what is not – i.e. “I only think about what makes me happy” (and unfortunately in “reverse psychology,” for example after trauma, “I only think about not encountering the fearful situation”) then we are never really thinking; we are reacting to instinctual desires that percolate up into our minds, and our thoughts are merely part of the reaction.

For example, if someone upsets you, you can either have an argument with him or her, or simply choose not to think about them, waiting for time to heal your wounds.

Obviously, it is nobler to forgive the person, and according to one study I read, people who forgave others while hooked up to blood pressure monitors proved that the simple act of forgiving caused an immediate lowering of their blood pressure by a whopping 30%.

Conversely, holding onto a grudge is exceptionally harmful to you.

It will probably take you a few years to gain complete control over your thoughts, but without such control you are walking in a jungle, at the mercy of whatever stimulus comes your way.

With the ability to control one’s thoughts, even someone in a prison labor camp can be free and sane.

As Dr. Victor Frankel writes that though what the Nazis did to him was not under his control, nonetheless his reaction to their monstrous behavior and his thoughts were!

Again, through using the method mentioned by Rabbi Josef Isaac Schneersohn you can gain mastery over your thoughts. Although your mind is always producing some kind of thought, what you think about is under your control. If you tell yourself, “I will think a positive thought,” or “I will go listen to some music or read a book,” you can change the “station” playing in your head, and eventually you will reach the point where you will be talking in your head, and your head will not simply be reacting to whatever stimulus your eye sees, or that comes your way.

I marvel at the many Holocaust survivors who went on to build quality lives, getting married again (sometimes after losing their entire families) and often creating successful businesses, and sometimes even business empires. Obviously if they had focused on what the Nazis did to them, they would have never made it.

We in the Western World, who have so much good (including freedom) tend to harp on minutiae that people in the Eastern World would find meaningless.

My grandmother luckily/miraculously managed to escape communist Russia. Although she and her siblings lived in the upstairs attic of a Synagogue for many years [having been thrown out of their home by the Communist Government for being religious Jews] nevertheless she told me that when she would go on the subway in Russia she would always sing to herself.

In other words, feelings of victimization were a luxury they could ill-afford.

Now this demon is actually a little devil given to man by The Creator/Manager to test man’s seriousness in his devotion to The Creator/Manager i.e. goodness and kindness. The Zohar, the primary book of Kabbalah, explains that this is like a king who desires to test his son’s morality, and so he sends his son to become a sailor in the navy. At the ports the sailors usually frequented brothels, so this sailor was approached by a gorgeous harlot who had been hired by the king to see if his son had the moral fiber to withstand this great test. Similarly, the soul in Heaven is basking in The Creator/Manager’s Light and is like the Prince at a King’s table. Then the soul is sent into a body and on top of that, the king hires a beautiful, exceptionally adept harlot (the Yetzer Hara) to try to get the son to stray from the moral high ground, and his true self.

You need not feel any guilt over negative desires, you should rather feel proud that precisely because you are thinking, speaking, and doing good the Yetzer Hara (like a boxer afraid of losing a match,) is working “overtime” by giving you these thoughts, trying to prevent you from fulfilling your mission in life.

Incredibly, the best way to beat the Yetzer Hara is actually by being happy. This can be compared to two boxers. One would assume that the stronger boxer will always win the match; however, it is often not the stronger boxer who will win, but the happier one, for if the other boxer is sad or depressed he simply won’t put up a real fight.

So by being happy you give yourself the energy, motivation, inspiration to fight, however if you are sad it will be very easy for the Yetzer Hara to beat you in his constant vigilance in tricking you to sin, and then feel guilty about it, and then look for a instinctual “high,” to compensate on your current extreme disrespect for yourself.

The Baal Shem Tov gives us a good analogy on the Yezter Hara’s belligerence. Once a man bought a beautiful home; now a conman thinking “how can I get this?” but of course having no money, came to the man and asked him to sell him the home (i.e. the Yetzer Hara giving you negative desires;) so the man said “its not for sale” so he came back and requested “can I possibly rent a room in the home?” Again the man said no, then he came back a third time and by now the man was exasperated and the conman requested one simple thing, “can you give me a hook by the coat-stand?” Sensing this would finally rid himself of the pest he said “yes!”
Ceremoniously every hour on the hour the conman would come in and out of the house to hang up something on his hook. Completely exasperated the owner said “here take the stupid house!” In other words, by not fighting our Yetzer Hara we are inviting him to completely control our lives.

Another analogy would be of two people who are trying to climb a mountain, one full of hope, believing that he will make it to the top, and the other who is slightly depressed or does not trust in his ability to summit. The optimist will succeed, for despite setbacks he is hopeful and believes he will make it, while the pessimist will take the setbacks as a confirmation of his miserable luck, lose hope and give up early in the game.

So in simple words, the key to really achieving what you want in life is through choosing to be happy.

There was an issue of Newsweek magazine devoted to analyzing the latest research regarding children. A poll had been sent out with the following question: “What do you want for your child?” The greatest desire of parents was that their children should be happy. The Creator/Manager’s primary desire – as He is our parent – is that we should quite simply be happy.

Although in the fifth chapter we will introduce a very important happiness mechanism, there is a most miraculous profound happiness Kabbalah meditation/tool explained by Rabbi Shneur Zalman in chapter 33 of his Tanya, specifically designed to give us the energy, happiness, joy to tackle our Yetzer Hara/little devil within.

As mentioned in the first chapter, every single moment The Creator/Manager constantly recreates the world, as such true reality is not us nor the world, rather the Creator; much as the true reality of what you see on your screen is not the screen, rather the computer or television set which produces the images.

Although it is quite an in depth explanation, the summary of it is that we perceive a magical reality as in the story by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch. He related that heaven is a location were souls bask in Divine inspiration, something that one very simple wagon driver (perhaps we will use a taxi driver as the example, as we can relate to it better) couldn’t appreciate, though he was deserving of a reward.

Thus they placed this soul in the “fantasy reality” – were our souls travel to at night – and there at this very moment, he enjoys the finest taxi, with no potholes and a meter which gives the best rates that anyone could ever dream of.

Just like in the matrix, the division between fantasy-pleasure and reality-pleasure is blurred (and the brain truly cannot tell the difference, which is why dreams feel/are experienced as reality) similarly all the desires subconsciously preprogrammed (say for intercourse) are merely fantasies perceived as realities.

One of the people hearing this novel “fantasy-reality” paradigm said, “are you saying that the chairs, table, food we are looking at, is all a fantasy?”

“No” replied the great mystic “for if it was, we wouldn’t be speaking about G-d.”

So when we are obsessed about Narishkiet (the Yiddish colloquium for “fantasy-reality” i.e. meaningless activities commonly referred to as “fun” in the Western World) we are in a fantasy-world i.e. the meaning of having fun is determined not in the activity rather in the desire for the activity, but the true reality is G-d who is the actual hardrive creating the fantasy-reality.

As such, if The Creator/Manager is everything, hence there is nothing but the Creator/Manager (see Big Bonus Chapter 1.)

So meditate on the notion that everything is only the Creator/Manager.

Specify a few people who you want to start loving unconditionally (with no expectation of reward whatsoever).

Imagine human relationships as a seesaw. As a child, you begin life with the feeling that you are lower than the adults (as you are dependent on them). However, with your peers you feel equal, so then the seesaw is level. Finally, as an adult you feel superior to children younger than you. This takes place subconsciously, so don’t feel bad about it.

If someone offends you, depending on the traits you picked up from childhood you will most likely be passive as children learn not to fight with adults, since they are dependent on them. What you will probably do is harbor an inner resentment.

Resentments have been linked to major illnesses, while healing resentments (forgiving people) has been linked to immediate recovery.

Research has shown that we actually store emotions in our cells, and sometimes a negative emotion will cause a cell to go haywire, resulting in disease.

As one friend of mine who came down with a terrible illness told me, disease is from the word dis-ease. Dis-ease can often cause disease.

The Baal Shem Tov calls anger “negative fear.”

Research into the field of psychosomatic illnesses indicates that all illnesses – and certainly mental ones – are founded in fear and anxiety.

Women in labor are told to breathe deeply which is basically a way to ease anxiety and can be used by anyone needing to chill out a bit. If you breathe deeply through your nose and hold your breath for a few seconds (particularly in your stomach region) and then exhale, you can immediately recalibrate your anxiety tempo, as by nature we begin to breath quicker (“hyperventilate”) under stress.

One friend of mine had a thyroid problem for two years. He tried regular and alternative medicines but nothing helped. Finally he went to a spiritual healer, also an M.D., who told him that he should discover what had happened in his life that had caused the illness. He realized that around the time of contracting his illness he had had a fall-out with a very close friend, and after forgiving that friend he immediately began to feel better.

Brandon Bayes wrote a book called “The Journey,” about how she caused a massive tumor to slowly disintegrate and actually became cancer-free within a month-and-a-half by forgiving certain people (from a childhood memory). She has successfully taught many others “forgiveness therapy.”

Deepak Chopra, an M.D. who spends a lot of time investigating such phenomena, reports as a scientific fact that forgiveness works. However, he feels that some people have an ability to access forgiveness in their inner hearts, while others unfortunately don’t know, or haven’t learned, how to.

In addition it pays to mention that all research (e.g. the China study – the largest study in history incorporating over hundreds of millions of people) indicate that eating fibrous foods and not becoming filled from unhealthy no nutritious food is the key to not getting sick in the first place (for the immune system is constantly killing cancer cells and these foods give a person the ability to do so.)

When a parent says something harsh as a reprimand it is vital that later the parent does something affectionate to show the child that the relationship is back on track.

Ironically what is a causal remark by an authority figure is taken as an absolute truth (and hence unnecessary feelings of shame and hurt ensue) by a subordinate, child, or student.

Additionally it pays to mention that I saw on a video of when the Lubavitcher Rebbe would receive tens of thousands of visitors every Sunday for a blessing and advice, how a lady once asked the Rebbe for educational advice, to which he replied “Be a good role model.” The lady was shocked – perhaps she was expecting something more complex – and you can see how she remains standing there dumbstruck just looking at the Rebbe. So the Rebbe responded, that the advice was “Simple, but effective.”

The benefit of forgiveness is that essentially, you do not allow yourself to feel lower than the person who has harmed, insulted, disparaged or mocked you.

It is only natural to feel “put down” when someone insults you, but remember that what happens when you begin to feel lower than someone else in the seesaw model, is that our human instincts tell us to take revenge. Revenge is about getting back “on top” of the other person so-to-speak, to re-correct the imbalance in the seesaw.

Obviously it is a never ending cycle, for even if you do get revenge, the person will then desire to lower you. Thus it becomes a never ending cycle, which unfortunately happens often in relationships.

Let me share a story with you. This is a story about an incident described by the great Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov as the hardest personal challenge The Creator/Manager ever gave to anyone since Abraham was asked to bind his son Isaac on the altar.

In the olden days, a man once traveled to a distant town, when such a journey took many weeks of crossing difficult terrain. He came back home with his prize – an Esrog. (The Esrog is a fruit used by the Jewish people during the holiday of Sukkos.)

Now this man could ill afford to spend money on an Esrog, and he had saved up for an entire year to afford this fruit needed for the festival. His wife, seeing that he had spent his savings on an Esrog and not on the family’s needs which were dire, became enraged, and bit off the top part of the Esrog, rendering the fruit useless – as the fruit needs to be complete to be used in the tradition required by the Torah for the festival. Imagine having worked for many years, saved up a lot of money, and bought your dream car and then, in a fit of rage, a friend of yours takes your car for a drive, ignores the “low oil” symbol, and allows your car to overheat; Your engine is now ruined. How would you feel about your friend’s senseless behavior? You would no doubt be livid. The owner of the precious Esrog, however refused to get upset with his wife. The man intentionally rationalized it to himself saying to himself, “She’s right, it would appear that a simple person like me does not need such a fancy Esrog.”

[There is an interesting movie made in Israel with international acclaim called Ushpizin which is a modern rerun of this story.]

The Bible teaches us that one may never verbally insult another person, and the Talmud (a commentary on the Bible) explains, that verbal insults upset The Creator/Manager to the point that He ensures that revenge is taken. In other words “you get what you give” and “what goes around comes around.”

A person should not upset The Creator/Manager by getting angry or taking revenge; he can, and should, leave it up to The Creator/Manager to settle the score.

Look at what Zidan lost by getting angry with a player during the final part of the 2006 soccer World Cup. By taking revenge he eliminated himself from the game, which probably cost the French team the World Cup.

At the end of the day, holding onto a grudge only hurts you. Forgiveness only helps you.
Try to think of all the people who insulted you and all of the times you were slighted. If need be, write them down and write, “I forgive these people.”

If you cannot forgive them, then confront them.

Don’t hold it in. Write to them or tell them that you are upset with them for the wrong they have done to you.

Firstly, it allows them to defend themselves if there was an appropriate cause, and secondly, it allows you to so-to-speak “balance yourself out” with them – for after the confrontation you no longer feel victimized and therefore “lower” than them.

It is important to remember that, as an adult, no one (not even your boss or your spouse) has the right to treat you with the slightest degree of emotional or verbal indignity. You have the right to challenge them and you should challenge them if you cannot find it in your heart to forgive them.  Who knows, maybe you will be helping them as well by so doing.

It also pays to remember that many people feel stressed out, and as such although perhaps they themselves wish they could be nice nevertheless when things don’t follow their schedule, they can turn into monsters. All of this is because in childhood they were either/or emotionally, verbally, or physically abused, and they never want to get abused again. As such subconsciously they believe that if they are in control (not a victim) the bad stuff will not occur. So it pays to take the criticism of such people (sometimes called control-freaks) with a bag of salt.

It is also true that our thoughts influence our day. If we believe we will have a good or a bad day, reality will follow suit.

The first thought a person has when s/he wakes up sets the mood and tone for the day. By being grateful in the morning you will create gratitude, joy, happiness, and tranquility in your day. This will enable you to have a positive day.

Some of the best times in my life were when I took a few minutes in the morning to think of the blessings I have been given and to compare my blessings to others who lack them – thus concretizing the fact that they really are worth being grateful for. This early-morning activity made me feel on top of the world, and whenever I do it, it works.

I am sure you have heard the saying, “He woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” This is a true saying, for if we wake up anxious, chances are that the rest of the day will be an anxiety riddled day. However, if we consciously create gratitude and hence joy in the beginning of our day, we will create the mechanism for a happy, grateful and joyous day.

Religious Jews say the following prayer immediately upon awakening: “Modeh ani l’fanecha melech chai v’kayam she’hechezarta bee nishmasi b’chemla raba emunasecha.” This prayer actually goes all the way back to the time of Abraham. In English it translates as, “I am grateful to You, living and eternal King [i.e. The Creator/Manager] for graciously restoring my soul to me, you are very trustworthy.”

The Kabbalistic belief is that every night the soul ascends to The Creator/Manager and there it gives an accounting of its deeds during the day. This is consistent with what our Sages teach us, that The Creator/Manager does not only judge man once a year on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, but in fact, judges us daily.

A story is told of an elderly water carrier who once asked the Baal Shem Tov to bless him, as his job – carrying buckets of water across his shoulders – was unfortunately causing him much physical strain. The Baal Shem Tov blessed him and saw by Divine vision that his blessing would work. However, when he met the man a year later, the man was still carrying water. Yet the man came rushing over to the Baal Shem Tov, very grateful and full of optimism and joy in life.

“Thank you for my blessing,” he said, “for although I am old, I am self sufficient. I do not need to rely on anyone to take care of me.”

The Baal Shem Tov then said, “I now understand what it means when it states in the Talmud that a person is judged daily; for although his circumstances did not change, nevertheless his appreciation of his circumstances did, which gave him joy, gratitude, and happiness in his life.”

I should mention a powerful teaching of the Baal Shem Tov which is very worthwhile to practice: If a person is in a difficult circumstance he should try to find the good in it. By finding good in bad, bad turns to good.

I think that we simply don’t appreciate the blessings that we have in the Western World, because we haven’t experienced the pain of not having them.

If we were to live like the majority of the world does for one week, we would thank The Creator/Manager every morning for our healthcare system, for our freedoms, for an abundance of food, for our ability to have leisure time, for the luxury of staying warm or cool in the winter or summer respectively, for the gift of long life, for advanced medical care that ensures low infant mortality, for the prosperity that allows our children many years of education, for democracy that lets us take part in legislating the laws that affect us and the list goes on and on.

I once worked with Russian immigrants in America, and I would often ask them, “How are you?” and invariably they would always reply with the Yiddish phrase, “Abi Gezunt,” meaning, “as long as we’re healthy, we’re happy.”

Now these people had suffered many, many years of persecution under the Communist regime; they had left everything behind in Russia, including their status, and were living in small apartments off government stipends, and yet they were happy as long as they were healthy. Their attitude in life was one of gratefulness for the blessings that they actually had.

So if you need to, let your mind’s eye see the difficulties of the past or the deprivation of many in the present, and then you can truly be grateful for what The Creator/Manager has graciously bestowed upon you today.

Sample: Barbara decided to unconditionally love her two children, Miriam and Jonathan, her husband Michael, her parents, Bob and Sara, her sister, Esther, and her stepson Josh.

Now that Barbara knows who she will love unconditionally, she needs to re-evaluate her relationship with those people. Is she a good mother, daughter, wife and sister because she believes this is the correct way to live? Meaning, that as she will give, she will receive in return?

Incidentally, a psychiatrist told me that most of his patients are women who cannot come to terms with the fact that they give so much to others while others don’t give back to them.

According to the psychiatrist and myself, their giving was based on conditional love. In other words, there was an expectation of a return, and while this may be appropriate, nevertheless such women become depressed when their conditions are not met.

If a person loves another unconditionally, they will not become depressed even if they receive nothing in return, for they are happy just to love the other person.

I recently saw a mother of a child with special needs speak with the greatest respect to her child. She believes that her son has a special soul and thus in the most kind and honorable way, she always teaches him what he can understand – and as a result he is a loving, caring child.

It is precisely when people are normal and we believe that we can get something out of the relationship that we subconsciously resent giving without receiving.

One interesting study indicates that the happiest people on earth are married men, while the most miserable are married women. While this is obviously a generalization it is often very true, for the man usually has his needs met while the woman – who also has needs – finds that her needs are not being met; (as men are less adept at noticing women’s needs, as women are at noticing men’s.)

One of the best ways to understand another person’s needs, is to identify with their level of need.

For example, if a man doesn’t want to spend a vacation at his in-law’s home, it is important for his wife to think about how she would feel about spending a vacation at her in-law’s home. If she wouldn’t have a problem with that, then she should think about spending a vacation somewhere she really wouldn’t want to go, and then she can identify with the level of her husband’s displeasure when considering a vacation with her parents to be a good idea.

Another very important point is that just as the division of all matter is Air, Water, Earth, Fire (which also follows the kinetic theory that all matter will change from solid to liquid to gas based on the heat applied to it) there is also a spiritual counterpart in each of our souls to these four levels.

Earth, refers to man’s innate drive for laziness, as earth is heavy and stays in one place.

Earth also includes our innate tendency to feel sad – and even depressed – when things don’t go our way.

Fire, refers to man’s innate tendency to enjoy supremacy over others. This character trait is unique to the human “animal,” as other creatures will fight only for hunger or other instinctual and survival related needs. They have no pathology that leads them to desire supremacy over others, which was the aim of kings and queens for thousands of years.

It is only in modern times that the concept that no man should be dominant over others has come to the fore. Needless to say, this tendency is still very much innate within people – although it is frowned upon in democratic societies.

Air, refers to our desire for “fun,” comedy, jokes and other frivolous activities. Most of what we see on television or in the movies today falls into this category – it is mindless entertainment meant to squander our time on something that is “there but intangible” containing no real value for you – or anyone else for that matter.

Water refers to man’s innate drive for pleasure, through eating, listening to good music, instinctual pleasures etc.

We all have elements of earth, fire, air and water in us; however, each person’s soul has a predominance of one of these elements.

For example, thankfully, I innately love helping people and I have strong feelings of compassion towards people (which is a real blessing for this characteristic has to be developed within those who lack it naturally, and it is not always an easy task.)

Unfortunately, I also have an extreme tendency to laziness/earth. If I do not conquer my tendency to be lazy it will wipe out my tendency for compassion, for compassion requires going out and doing something to alleviate another’s pain, and laziness abhors action.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that if we can discover our innate weakness, and conquer it, then all of our other weaknesses will fall like a house of cards.

According to one of the greatest Jewish scholars, the Rambam, the method to conquering a person’s weak trait is for him to constantly oppose his tendency.

For example, if one is innately lazy, one must make an effort to be active and do things; and the more one is proactive and occupies oneself with productive activities, the more each and every action will help one to succeed to break this negative tendency.

The same applies to someone who is addicted to pleasure, making it his god. The more he refrains from pleasure, the more control he gets over his life.

The person who is always a comedian should become more serious and realize that life is not a game; it is about doing acts of goodness and kindness.

(Naturally one can help someone else through comedy, but is the focus on helping another or on comedy.) The more serious the person gets, the less he will feel compelled to be frivolous and waste away his life.

The final innate negative desire is arrogance or Fire, which is to some extent the greatest evil of the four, for arrogance immediately precludes feeling compassion for others. For as you feel superior to others, you cannot feel compassion for them, much as you don’t have compassion on an ant that you step on as you walk down the sidewalk.

The arrogant person must try to be humble, constantly telling himself that everyone else is far better than he or she is and that even if he has achieved, he should attribute that success to The Creator/Manager.

Moses was, according to the Bible, the humblest man who ever lived, and yet he was a great leader, a great ethicist, and in fact the person endowed with the most prophecy ever according to the Bible.

So how did he maintain his humility? The Jewish Sages teach that Moses believed that The Creator/Manager granted him great gifts; However, if someone else had had the same gifts, the other person would have surpassed his goodness and kindness.

Truly, we can never know if we are ever really living up to our potential.

In general, whenever it comes to acts of goodness and kindness we should never grow conceited which would probably make the act a failure rather than a success. Rather, we should look up to the saints of the world who do endless acts of goodness and kindness and realize that we have just begun our journey into holiness, and the road is endless.

In summary: The main thing is to love, for then you not only do good for others, but you do a world of good for yourself.

In order for your love to be productive, i.e. lead to practical, kind actions towards others, you need to overcome the innate weakness you have that prevents you from giving unconditionally.

Overcoming our innate weakness is the greatest possible achievement, far more difficult than scaling Mount Everest, building a company, or any scientific or intellectual endeavor. Usually when a person surmounts obstacles in a journey, every obstacle is seen as the antithesis (a boulder in the road) to the goal. However, when one is conquering one’s own innate tendency, every time he fights himself he is at a crossroads – should I do the right thing, or follow my instinct? To conquer oneself, to gain self-control is the purpose of life and what makes all subsequent achievements dear and valuable to yourself, to society, and most of all to your loving Father in Heaven.

It states in Kabbalah that “male and female he created them” refers to everything!

Male and female, like a male and female plug and socket, refer to the difference between reality (as we know it) and G-d.

G-d is everything in one and nothing in anything – the essence of the Jewish faith is “G-d is one.”

However in the multiplicity – infinite multiplicity – that inhabits our universe and the universes – spiritual, above us – everything is male and female.

Male and female refers to giver and receiver.

In our own lives we are both – there is the female/receiver time of childhood and the male/giver role of adulthood, germane both to boys and men, girls and women.

In the higher spheres these are termed Yichuddim, unions.

Whenever G-d’s system – namely a giver and receiver bond – unites, this gives G-d immeasurable joy, for it is the purpose of creation, namely, that the one G-d created many things, for the benefit of unity, which is the union of two into one.

Everything is divided into three: 1. The goal 2. the actions that lead to the fulfillment and realization of the goal, and 3. the completion / Moshiach – the culmination of the actions, resulting in the attainment of the goal.

For example if you want to build a dream house, first comes the goal – the reason why you want to build it – i.e. the pleasure you will derive from owning it; then comes the work – drawing up blueprints, contractors, builders, finishing touches etc. All of this is in order for you to be able to live in it, to actually receive the pleasure the house will give you when it is finally completed.

In a similar sense The Creator/Manager had a dream of uniting two opposites, the lowest rung where The Creator/Manager is concealed, i.e. this world, into the highest essence of The Creator/Manager himself. To do this He created this world, a place that seemingly runs according to laws of nature [thus concealing The Creator/Manager] and furthermore He created a society so awed by the brains of scientists that we believed them hook, line and sinker, when they told us that everything is deterministic, that The Creator/Manager not only did not create the world but had nothing to do with its current affairs.

But then comes the fulfillment of the plan: When man, using his own intuition, begins to realize that the scientists were wrong, [for most scientists now believe in The Creator/Manager.] When man, seeing the stupidity of not believing begins not only to believe in, but to love The Creator/Manager as well!

There are tens of millions of stages in the building of this epic plan which we cannot go into now, but ultimately it culminates when you – yes, you – realize that you are not darkness; YOU ARE LIGHT.

You are not Darwin’s higher form of ape, you are Divine light in a physical world, and when you begin to shine you unite these two elements, body and soul, the lowest and the highest, culminating in the fulfillment of The Creator/Manager’s dream that the highest and lowest should unite.

When we all begin to shine, and shine we will, then soon, very soon, the Messiah, the light of The Creator/Manager Himself, will descend and just help us glow, ever brighter.

The very same Lubavitcher Rebbe who accurately predicted the success of the Six Day War; the failure of the Middle East “peace” process; and the collapse of the Communist Regime, has prophesized the soon to be complete Messianic age. He told his confidants to start building homes in Israel years before Gorbachev himself knew that he would tear down the Iron Curtain, [as Gorbachav told Professor Branover a Jewish Russian activist living in Israel] and made many more accurate statements to the extent that hundreds of thousands of Jews knew the exact day the first gulf war would end – on Purim.

Who could have imagined twenty years ago that just two decades later the evil Communist empire – intent on eradicating Judaism and The Creator/Manager Himself – would peacefully help Jews leave Russia and reach Israel? Who could have imagined the fall of the Berlin wall and the spread of democracy? Who could have imagined that the world, instead of seeking frivolous pleasure in materialistic pursuits, would be seeking spirituality instead, to the extent that the pursuit of meaning has become perhaps the greatest spiritual quest in the western world? Who could have imagined that members of the same Christian faith that for thousands of years held inquisitions and Crusades, that had a direct hand in the extermination of many millions of Jews over many centuries, would now embrace the idea of Jews settling in Israel, and of the entire world becoming a harmonious place?

The age will soon come when a Messiah – a Moses-like figure – will teach all people, after rebuilding the Holy Temple and re-gathering the Jews back to Israel from their two thousand year exile, as the verse states, “From Zion [Israel] the Torah [teachings] will emanate.”

Give yourself over to charity – [The following is in fact the last edited paragraph from the Rebbe’s last public address:]

“We need to increase the amount of charity we give. There are many levels of charitable contribution [mentioned in Judaism]: A. tithing [giving 1/10th of what we earn to charity] B. twenty percent, and in the words of the Tanya C. “a person will give everything for his soul’s benefit.”

We are also instructed to make a resolution during this Shabbos [Sat.] to increase in charitable contributions, and also to begin putting the resolution into action by – for example – giving others food and drink which is permissible on Shabbos after one invites the recipient into one’s home etc.

There is also a lesson from the Torah reading of Shekalim [that week’s Torah/Bible portion] as to the method of how one should give charity. The reason that the half-Shekel [a silver coin which was annually contributed to the Holy Temple] was given was to purchase the communal sacrifices – there were many sacrifices offered on behalf of the public in the Temple of old – and Rabbi Shneur Zalman’s well-known explanation on the verse, “When a person from you will offer a sacrifice to G-d” is as follows: In order for man to come close to G-d – the intent of a sacrifice – he must sacrifice “from you i.e. he must offer himself as a sacrifice to G-d.” In other words, one must give one’s entire being to G-d.

And from this we learn the practical lesson that charity and other acts of goodness and compasion must be carried out in such a manner that the giver places all of his or her ten soul abilities [i.e. all of his heart and soul into the giving.] In addition to the actual donation, the giver should think about giving, and speak about giving, and it is through this that one brings the redemption closer; in order for it to come immediately! For then G-d will do His charity, and will gather all of the Jews together, once again, and as the verse states, “A great community will return here.”

A person who desires tranquility must focus in order to have a single unified purpose in life. The Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches that if what we do in life is for The Creator/Manager, or for the sake of adherence to The Creator/Manager, then – like the center of a spinning wheel – we are stable.
My Commentary on this idea:

Rabbi Akiva and three other great scholars delved into all of the practically infinite secrets of the Torah. One died, one went crazy, one became a heretic, and the only one who came out of the experience the wiser for it was Rabbi Akiva. Since the reason that he went “in” was in order to make The Creator/Manager happy and do the right thing, therefore when it was time to come out, he did.

This teaches us that spiritual highs are not ends in themselves rather as the foundational book of Kabbalah, Sefer Yetzirah, writes, “when your heart elevates to G-d, it is time to return back to your mission on earth.”

When we are focused on doing the right thing and “making The Creator/Manager happy” or simply doing good, then everything we do is part of the same drive – which unfortunately many people lack – i.e. a single unified purpose to our lives. Instead we are like gerbils, eating one minute, sleeping another, exercising yet another, and each thing is a separate entity, all adding to the general confusion.

However, if your intention in life is making G-d happy through fulfilling your purpose in life – namely, performing acts of goodness and kindness – then the food you eat, the drinks you drink, the sleep you sleep, the exercise you do, all become part of the spiritual exercise of doing good and making G-d happy.

All these activities are necessary in order to have the energy to do good. The same applies to work: When you give ten or twenty percent or all of your income to charity [of course not neglecting your primary responsibility, namely your family] you thereby spiritualize all the time at the office and G-d derives great happiness from all the effort you put into making money, for it is all complete goodness and kindness.

On reflection, it can be easily seen that, all things added up, the world contains more quantity, (materiality), than spirituality, (quality), and more by far. Indeed the more corporeal and material a thing is, the greater is the quantity in which it is found. Thus, for example, the world of inanimate, (inorganic) matter is much greater in volume than the vegetable kingdom, and the latter quantitatively greater than the animal kingdom, which in turn surpasses by far, in quantity, the highest of the four kingdoms, mankind (the “speaking” creature).

Similarly in the human body: the lowest extremities, the legs are larger in size than the rest of the body, and the latter is much greater than the head, wherein are located the organs of speech and the senses of, smell, hearing, and sight, as well as intellect, etc., which animate the entire body and direct all its activities.

On further reflection, a person might also becomes disheartened, G-d-Forbid, wondering how is one to fulfill adequately one’s real purpose in life on this earth, which is, to quote our sages, “I was created to work for my Creator” – seeing that most of one’s time is necessarily taken up with materialistic things, such as eating and drinking, sleeping, earning a livelihood etc. Especially with the fact that the earliest years of a human being, before reaching maturity and knowledgeability, are spent almost in an entirely materialistic mode of living.

The answer is, first of all, that even the so-called materialistic preoccupations of the daily life must not become purely materialistic and animal-like, for we have to be always mindful of the imperative, “Let all your doings be for the sake of G-d” and “Know Him [G-d] in all your ways [activities].”

This means that also in carrying out the activities that are connected with the physical and material aspects of life (which, as mentioned, take up the greater part of a person’s time) a human being must know that these material aspects are not ends in themselves, but they are, and must serve, the means to attain to the higher, spiritual realm of life, namely G-dliness.

In this way man permeates all the materialistic/physical aspects with spiritual content, and utilizes them for spiritual purposes. Thus, all these mundane, and in themselves trivial matters, are elevated to their proper role, perfection and spirituality.

But in addition to the above, there is also the unique effectiveness of Teshuvah [repentance—returning to higher ideals] which has the power to transform – “with one ‘turn’ and in one moment” – the whole past–the very materiality of it into spirituality.

Time is of course not measured simply by duration but rather by its content in terms of achievements. Thus, in evaluating time, there are vast differences in terms of content, and hence, in real worth, of a minute, and hour, etc.

Suffice it to mention, by way of example, that one cannot compare an hour of prayer and outpouring of soul before G-d with an hour of sleep. And so to use the analogy of coins, there may be coins of identical size and shape, yet differing in their intrinsic value, depending upon whether they are made of copper, silver or gold.

With the wonderful opportunities that G-d provides for a person to fill his time with the highest content, there is the most wonderful gift from “G-d who does wonders,” of the extraordinary quality of Teshuvah, which transcends limitations, including the limitations of time, so that “in one moment [of resolve”] it transforms the whole past, to the degree of absolute perfection in spirituality and quality.

The Almighty has also ordained especially favorable times for Teshuvah, at the end of each year and the beginning of the new year, together with the assurance that everyone, man or woman, who resolves to do Teshuvah—he or she can accomplish it in one moment. Transforming the quantity of the materiality in the past—into meritorious quality, spirituality and holiness.”

When CNN asked the Rebbe what his message for the world is – particularly regarding the Messiah – he replied: “The Messiah is on the way, we need to add in the realm of goodness and kindness.”

The CNN reporter asked, “Does that mean that if we add in goodness and kindness he will come sooner?”

The Rebbe replied, “Immediately!”

The Rebbe categorically states that the mission of our generation is to get G-d to bring the Messiah.

This is done through adherence to G-d’s will – namely, performing acts of goodness and kindness and always increasing in them.

Furthermore, we need to dedicate these acts towards the mission of our generation, to bring the fulfillment of G-d’s and our dream – a beautiful, harmonious, loving, unified and peaceful world – into reality.

The Rebbe Writes to a Bride and Groom:

“I extend my heartfelt wishes to you that the wedding take place in a fortunate and good hour and with Mazal Tov [good fortune.] May you construct a Jewish edifice on the foundations of Torah and Mitzvos.

Understandably, it need not be emphasized that on a deeper level marriage means that bride and groom jointly embark on constructing a life – a most joyous life – and an edifice that endures for many, many long and happy years.

It is self understood that it is of primary and crucial import that the foundation of an edifice be constructed of the most durable material possible, material that is able to withstand the changes and havoc that can be wrought by changes of temperature and moisture, by an earthquake, and so on.

The same holds true when bride and groom embark on building a life together. This joint life is to be founded on the foundations of Torah and Mitzvos [the Bible and it good suggestions] the strongest materials in existence.

These materials have withstood the test of time, overcoming a multitude of obstacles during the passage of the approximately three and half thousand years since G-d gave us His Torah and Mitzvos.

These, then, are the vessels through which a couple receives G-d’s blessings for a truly joyous life. May G-d bless you – as previously stated with a Mazal Tov and an everlasting edifice on the foundations of Torah and Mitzvos.”

The Rebbe Writes – How to have marital harmony
“I received some information about the relationship at home, but I do not know to what extent it reflects the actual situation. Hence I want to convey to you some thoughts in light of what the relationship should be according to Shulchan Aruch [The Code of Jewish Law] – the Jews practical guide in life. If the relationship is, indeed, in keeping with it, the purpose of this letter will be to strengthen and deepen it, as there is always room for improvement in all matters of goodness and holiness, Torah and Mitzvos [Biblical commandments.] On the other hand, if it is not quite what it should be, I trust that, since the Torah is surely a guiding light, you will bring it up to the desired level, and you will do it with joy and gladness of heart.

The central aspect in the manner of conducting a home and family life is that it be based on the way of the Torah, whose ways are “ways of pleasantness, and all of its paths are peace.” If this rule applies to all activities of a Jew, even outside the home, how much more so does it apply within the home itself!

Of course, since The Creator/Manager has created human beings with minds and feelings of their own and these are not uniform in all people, peace and harmony can be achieved only on the basis of “give and take” that is, meeting each other half way. For a husband and wife to make concessions to each other is not, and should not be considered a sacrifice, G-d-forbid. On the contrary, this is what the Torah teaches and expects, for we are talking about concessions that do not involve compromise in regard to the fulfillment of Mitzvos [commandments], and both of you are of the same mind that the laws of the Shulchan Aruch must not be compromised.

Furthermore, to achieve true peace and harmony calls for making such concessions willing and graciously – not grudgingly, as if it were a sacrifice, as mentioned above, but in the realization that it is for the benefit of one’s self and one’s partner in life, and for one’s self perhaps even more, since it is made in fulfillment of G-d’s will. And if our Sages exhort every Jew to receive every person with a friendly face, certainly it applies to one’s wife or husband.

There are many sayings of our Sages, as well as those of our Rebbes, urging husband and wife always to discuss matters of mutual concern, and to give patient attention to the opinion of the other and then act in mutual agreement. It is also very desirable that they should have at least one regular study period in a section of Torah which is of interest to both, such as the weekly Torah portion, or a timely subject connected with a particular season or festival.

While the major obligation to study Torah is on men, it has been emphasized that women, too, have to fulfill the mitzvah [commandment] of Torah study in areas where they are directly involved, as explained in the laws of Torah study. All the more so in the present day and age when women have the possibility – hence obligation – to do their share of spreading Judaism no less than men.

It may sometimes seem difficult for the husband to take time out of his preoccupations to discuss mutual problems with his wife, or study Torah with her, but he should not look at it as a sacrifice. On the contrary he should do it eagerly in fulfillment of the most important Mitzvah – Sholom Bayis – Peace In The Home. And if any Mitzvah has to be carried out with joy, how much more so such a fundamental Mitzvah.
Finally, I would like to add that of the Mitzvah campaigns which have been emphasized in recent years, special attention has been focused on the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel [the love for fellow man,] which embraces everyone, even a stranger; how much more so a near and dear one.
I hope and pray that each of you will make every effort in the direction outlined above and will do so with real joy and gladness of heart, and may G-d grant that you should have true Nachas [joy] –which is Torah Nachas, from each other and jointly from your offspring, in happy circumstances materially and spiritually.”

A man once asked the Rebbe “Is it true that if a husband folds his Tallis [prayer garment worn every morning during prayers—but forbidden to fold on Sabbath] on Motzai Shabbos [Sat. night when it becomes permissible to fold it] this brings marital harmony?” The Rebbe smiled, “I don’t know about that, however helping your wife with the dishes certainly does.”

Einstein writes how – one of the things he was most concerned about was the ability of weapons of mass destruction to be used by criminals and criminal Governments, as he said “technology in the hands of a psychopath is liking giving an axe murderer an axe” – so he mentioned this to a friend whom I think was a big philosopher saying how destructive WMDs could be, so the friend replied “would it be so bad …”

Einstein deduced from this, a fundamental self-loathing, i.e. a perspective that humanity has gone evil and hence not such a negative view to its destruction.

Einstein of course being a Jew found such thinking, abhorrent and sad.

So what’s the truth?

The truth is, that all emotions as the Alteh Rebbe teaches us, are either loves or fears that we have.

In other words, a child who is loved, loves humans, a child whom like the Germans and Arabs is hated (for the other name for harsh discipline is revenge for the discipline you received, which is the typical human response i.e. give to others, what was given to you) actually develops a hatred towards humanity.

The only reason people like zeros is because a. it buys them serenity (not to worry about bills) and b. it buys them in our corrupted society prestige (“he’s a millionaire.”)

So the value of a zero certainly should come into place when it comes to serenity, for serenity is a good thing, for it allows us to love, to grow, as the Talmud states, the beginning of problems in a marriage is when there is a lack of zeros, or just one zero.

However, if the goal of the zeros is to become known as a millionaire than you are just one big zero.

As the Baal Shem Tov states, wherever mans heart is, there is the man.

As the story where the Baal Shem Tov once showed his holy Tzaddikim (righteous disciples) a vision how heaven saw a man enjoying his meat on the Shabbat, “they saw an ox with a Shtriemel (Jewish hat worn by men in those times specially on Shabbos) eating.”

So if our heart is into money then we may as well be a zero.

Kabbalah Love Multi-Media

http://kabbalahwisdom.wordpress.com/discovering-how-the-universe-is-constantly-being-recreated/

Kabbalah Love Live Class

Chapter 1. http://k004.kiwi6.com/hotlink/d5j511i4ga/class1.wma

Chapter 2. http://k004.kiwi6.com/hotlink/24pcky0sl8/claas2.wma

Chapter 3. http://k004.kiwi6.com/hotlink/ro44c0xa9j/class3.wma

Chapter 3 1/2. http://k004.kiwi6.com/hotlink/0622r8430n/class312.wma

Chapter 4. http://k004.kiwi6.com/hotlink/zpcdocecli/class4.wma

Chapter 5. http://k004.kiwi6.com/hotlink/hq0102yzkx/class5.wma

Chapter 6. http://k004.kiwi6.com/hotlink/2sevs0rw6o/class6.wma

Bonus – The mission of our generation! http://k004.kiwi6.com/hotlink/6py2s3yq90/class7.wma

Listen to the Audio Book

Chapter 1 http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/02mc7wwlu2/chapter_1.mp3

Chapter 2
http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/y958e3c97x/chapter_2.mp3

Chapter 3
http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/bdbjexxy42/chapter_3.mp3

Chapter 4
http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/c4b5jsksks/chapter_4.mp3

Chapter 5
http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/69qp1pb3h3/chapter_5.mp3

Chapter 6
http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/0i66s4s6ll/chapter_6.mp3

How to find the Meaning of Your Life

Rabbi Michael Zev Wineberg

Chapter 1

 

What is Meaning?

We need to firstly define what meaning is.

If we look in the Oxford dictionary under meaning we find:

1. What is meant,

2. Significance,

3. Importance.

A look under meaningful is able to reveal even less:

1. Full of meaning,

2.Logic, able to be interpreted.

A look under meaningless seems to do the trick for me:

Having no meaning or significance.

It seems that to explain meaning the word meaning is used. That doesn’t really help us for we want to know what meaning is.

If you don’t have a clearly defined idea of what meaning is you need not worry for even the great psychologist Freud had great difficulty in describing meaning.

As all feelings it is practically impossible to describe.

Think about loneliness, happiness, anger, pride.  Try to describe these in words.

The best we can do is describe behaviors that are produced by these feelings which we recognize as having their genesis (their origin) in these feelings. Take this sentence for example “after he insulted me, I whacked his hand.” This is an obvious behavior that has its origin in anger.

“I felt so happy when my friends returned, we immediately shmoozed about their trip overseas.” Loneliness is the cause of happiness in this case. When the friends returned, the feelings of loneliness subsided and an important human need was fulfilled.

How about this? “Whenever I make the high jump, the claps from the audience sounds like music to my ears.” Obviously someone’s joy is caused by the audience’s recognition of his achievements.

People rarely express their emotions in words, certainly men don’t.

Hallmark Cards makes many millions of dollars by expressing emotions in a picture or a few choice words and then a person happily purchases the card and signs their name.

Women are naturally better at language than men, this gives them an innate ability to express emotions better than men for they are better communicators in general, but when we ask, “how do you define meaning in life?” many women are at a loss as well.

Meaning in life is neither an emotion nor a feeling, rather it is a perception. A person perceives that their life is meaningful or not.

Some perceptions are made via the senses, like “is it light outside,” or “how loud is that guys stereo!” or “this flower smells great!” or “this feels hot!” or “this tastes terrible!” while other perceptions are made via the intellect, like two plus two equals four, or “when I say to people that they stink, they begin to hate me.”

The intellect can also conceive of new ideas, as well as judge old ideas by objective standards.

Essentially this is the job of a Judge. They look at a behavior and they decide if this behavior is criminal based on an objective standard of what is legally considered criminal.

A person who does not judge themselves favorably is someone who decides in a sense that their behavior is criminal or not right.

Many people have many resolutions that they would take if they could keep them, all of these people thus perceive that they should be changing their behavior and feel bad when they are not.

How many smokers wish they had stopped smoking already, just as people with many different sorts of bad habits and other mental or emotional ailments…

Behavior can be changed, it is the desire not to change behavior that gets in the way of changing.

For example; lets say I need to study for an exam in university, this means I need to do some boring reading which I don’t want to do particularly because a favorite show is on tonight. I can now choose my behavior; It will take self-control to study for the exam.

Many people lack this kind of self-control. They basically live their lives in what can be best described as crises control. They are controlling their crises. Only a crisis gets them to respond and do things that they don’t want to do.

Crisis control people, will find it difficult to achieve meaning in life for they will consistently be perceiving themselves as not doing that which they themselves think they should do. It is not a very good feeling to look at oneself and decide that “I could have done more or I should be doing more but I am not because I can’t control myself.”

Although this is not a good feeling, many people don’t realize that they have the power to change their behavior. They believe that they are stuck and they need to fulfill their emotional passions.

For this reason, we will discuss briefly how man is able to control their passions which will help some people in their mission for achieving meaning in their life.

Like I mentioned, this is necessary for many people as it is impossible to achieve meaning if a person cannot control their behavior.

Chapter 2

The surest way for a person to be unhappy in life is to do every desire that comes their way – i.e. into their mind.

People are naturally endowed with various abilities/levels of self-control; this ranges from lots of it to none of it. There is no one who is perfectly able to control their urges and desires; it is difficult for everyone, the only question is how difficult.

There is a theory that children who are labeled attention deficit disorder are normal children only they have a lesser ability to control their desires. Let’s face it, no child likes to be studying math at 2:00 pm. It has no relevance to their lives, certainly not at their tender age. The difference between the ADD child and the “normal” child is that the normal child controls their urge to talk in class while the ADD has less self-control. In a way this theory is true for a person can see that an ADD child is remorseful but they can’t seem to stop their behavior.

It is as if they’re saying “I understand your feeling, but this is my limit.” “Normal children” are just better at limiting/controlling their behavior. Some children even at a very tender age are excellent at limiting their behavior for a better goal.

A fascinating study is reported in Daniel Goleman’s book “Emotional Intelligence,” where he describes how kindergarten children were given an option of one marshmallow now or two marshmallows in ten minutes. Only very few children could wait the ten minutes for the next marshmallow.  Most children lacked the self-control to wait, so they opted for one now. Most importantly these children were tracked throughout their school careers and unsurprisingly they were better in every social and academic field than their peers.

In almost every academic or social setting self-control is necessary for success. You need to study, which takes self-control; you need to be patient, which takes self-control and the list goes on and on.

Why is there this dichotomy between the desires and self-control. The answer is found in the very structure of the human.

Imagine an animal for a moment. They have no self-control issues for they have no perception of self.

All they know is that “I want something and I will do what it takes to get it.” They can be trained to do tricks but that means they know that in order to get what they want they need to sit or stand. Essentially what they want dominates their behavior and they learn how to get what they want. Sometimes they might need to do a trick for their food but they have no choice in the matter. If they were given the choice they would take the food without the trick.

A human has a very strong perception of self, which gets stronger as they grow from infancy to adulthood. A little child is not very different from an animal in its lack of perception of self. Once this perception develops a new human emerges and that is what we will call the human-ideal. That ideal is the human, as the human wants to be. Most often a little child wants to be like a parent, that’s why girls play with dolls and boys dream of being fireman and policeman which are important jobs to them as symbolized by the flashing lights and the ability to go through red lights.

In other words, on one hand we are like an animal in having instinctual needs, desires, pains, fears, hopes and loves; yet on the other hand, we are one hundred percent different to an animal for we role model after our parents or other people we consider cool (please see my book Discovering You http://kabbalahwisdom.wordpress.com/booklets/discovering-you , for more information on this.)

In the end of the day we are thus in reality two separate people at war with each other, for who we want to be, is at odds with our base animalistic instincts.

Chapter 3

The important thing to remember when one is searching for meaning is to understand the principal of the price one pays for meaning.

Like all good things in life, meaning in life comes at a very high price. The price is making time and spending your resources for helping others. Although this may seem like a small price it is actually quite difficult for the reason that when someone needs something they feel the need, but when someone needs to give something then they need to create the understanding of how the other person feels, in order to understand the need.

It is impossible to feel an emotion that is not felt by oneself internally. One can never imagine how a blind person feels, G-d Forbid, one can never imagine how an autistic child feels, one can never imagine what it is like to have much more or much less than one has, or ever has had. Only a person who has been in a similar situation can possibly feel the same way and understand how the other is feeling.

This is why the 12 step program in a group has tremendous success, for a sufferer meets other sufferers who know what it is like to suffer.

Great Rabbis were often great counselors to people. A rule amongst the most professional and caring of these great Rabbis was that they needed to identify with the problem the sufferer had. No matter what the problem was they made sure to find within themselves something similar to that problem and only then did they allow themselves to counsel the people who came to them.

This is the logic behind the Biblical instruction to “Love your neighbor as oneself.” Seemingly this is asking a lot of an individual. But in order to do kindness to another in their time of need you must picture yourself in their situation and imagine the pain they are feeling, only then will you realize and feel the need to do something about it.

Freud explained that people do not exaggerate their needs. This means if a person feels that they are under intense pressure, it makes no difference if they are under a “paper clip” or “under a ton of bricks,” the perception can be the same for different people.

People normally associate what others are feeling with how they would feel in a similar situation. There are two problems that people have when they are trying to identify with another’s problems: the first one is that they do not properly understand the situation because they are not feeling it directly. This means that they can only compare it to how they would react in a similar situation. Because they were never in the situation they don’t actually know how they would react and therefore they do not know how difficult it is for the other person. The second problem is that people are want to look down at others and decide that the other person should be far stronger. Of course if G-d Forbid, they were in that situation they would be very sad and want pity rather than a lecture of how to be strong, but when they see another in a situation of need all people usually think is “be strong and heal yourself.” (Men in particular have this problem and women seem to be able to understand another person’s pain better.)

For these two reasons it is an absolute necessity to try to listen objectively, and trust what the other person is saying is true. If the person says something is very difficult for me, think about what was very difficult for you and compare the level of difficulty the person is describing to that very same level of difficulty you had. Don’t think “how would I be in this situation” because you are not in that situation, so you don’t know.

Rather think that what the person is saying is true. And the reality is, that it is how they are feeling, so disregard the stimulus and compare how they are feeling to a similar level of anxiety or pain that you have once felt. If you can’t do this, you will not see the necessity, urgency, or difficulty the person is facing, for you will have no means of understanding it.

Chapter 4

This chapter will summarize the main ideas of the previous chapter and will guide you on step by step process to achieving meaning in life. I will warn you however that there is a tremendous gap between knowing the steps and knowing how to dance. It is fairly easy to read the steps, it is more difficult to do them, and it is far more difficult to do them gracefully. For this reason do not expect to learn the steps and then succeed. This will only cause you grief later, just as if you were to learn how to dance from a book and then expect to gracefully waltz on the dance floor. It will take patience and practice. Knowing that this and only this will be of lasting importance and will fill your life with meaning and purpose should help you take the difficult practical steps into a graceful life full of happiness and meaning.

Step 1.      Identify who you can help in your life.

First imagine that you are a child and remember that desire to receive love and affection from your parents. Now ask yourself, who looks at me like a parent? Perhaps it is a spouse, perhaps you have children, maybe you are an employer so you have employees who see you as such. How about if your job is of tremendous importance to others like a doctor or a plumber in a time of crisis. Who looks to you for help and assistance?

Now you know who you can help.

Forget about saving the world, or even saving your country, or even your city, or even your own community organization, think only about those people, “what can I do to them that I would have enjoyed if my parents had done for me when I was in need of assistance.” The key is to try to imagine their need and compare it to a serious need of your own. Don’t compare the situation but compare the need. I am sure there were times that you felt hopeless, in need of encouragement, someone to give you advice that would work and similar situations.

Compare the intensity of need with the intensity of need that you have had and then you have accomplished step one. You know who you can help.

Step 2.     Define a strategy.

There is no use knowing a need without a solution. Define a strategy.

This may be very easy or very difficult. If it is in your area of expertise, you may very simply be able to help the person; for example if you are a doctor and you have someone in need, if you know that illness it can be very easy and almost automatic to define a strategy.

If you do not know what to do there are few things worse than offering help to someone who looks to you for help, only to learn later that you not only did not help the person, but you wasted all the time they were looking to you for help, when they could of gone to someone else.

The point is don’t fix problems unless you are an expert.

You are not the focus, they are.

For this reason you need a strategy that will help the person. This may be going to an expert or perhaps you becoming an expert but don’t harm a person that needs help, for that will openly become a point of shame in your life.

Step 3.     Implementation.

A strategy is only good if it is implemented.  If you don’t implement the strategy there is no use to making it and wasting your own time. Implement, implement, implement.

Implementation is achieved by self-control which we discussed earlier.

Step 4.     Pretend that you did nothing.

People do not like to receive for then they are beholden to the person that they received from. It is very important to understand this. Think about how much you owe your employer or best customer etc. You owe them. To put a person in a situation where they owe you is only to change their problem.  Of course it is better to help a drowning person than to say “I won’t save him or her so they won’t owe me,” but if at all possible you should say “wow, isn’t that amazing, I just was driving by here with my boat and I saw you, are you o.k.? …” The less effort it took for you to save the person the less he or she owes you. It is difficult to overstate this point. Don’t say “boy, I just used my last dollar to put in fuel in my boat after I saw a mile away that you were drowning and I ruined my watch that grandpa James left for me when I picked you out of the water, but I am so happy to help you.  Are you o.k.?”  Obviously the person will feel very indebted and few people are sophisticated enough or have the ability to repay the debt in full.  Remember make it seem like there was as little effort as possible in what you did.

Step 5.     Maintain a Friendship

This is probably the most difficult of all the steps for after you have done the good deeds you may want to congratulate yourself and drink a beer. That’s not how it works. When you help someone you become very important to them just like your parents are important to you. You now need to be there for them. They will look up to you even if you think you are a nothing. They will obviously think that you are a something. Just be their friend. Ask how they are. Congratulate them during their good times and sympathize with them during their bad times. Be a friend.

I will give you an absolute guarantee that these five steps preformed consistently and at available opportunities will fill your life with meaning. You will find happiness and joy. You will see that your soul has an important mission in this world and that only you can fulfill it. Remember nothing good comes easy and if you’re looking for the very best which is happiness it will come with lots of effort. In fact the more effort you will put into these five steps the happier you will become.

Go ahead! Make your life meaningful! Good luck!

A Soul Stirring Short Story

When Rabbi Sholom the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe was a young boy of five, he and his brother Zalman played “Rabbi and student.”

Zalman put on a black hat and Sholom asked him the following question. “I forgot to make a blessing on my apple this morning what should I do?”
“From now on” said Zalman proudly, “you should say your blessing from the Siddur (prayer book) and in this manner you won’t forget to say your blessings!”

“You aren’t a real Rebbe,” exclaimed the younger Sholom. “Why not? I gave you good advice,” replied Zalman.

“A real Rebbe first sighs with you, and only then, does he give you advice” answered Sholom who went on to become a mentor for tens of thousands of people.

Appendix

If a person looks at life as a place to achieve pleasure they will receive no answer as to why they were born. The ability to achieve pleasure has been reached by the advanced chemical substances known as drugs that allow people to feel great amounts of pleasure.

Pleasure is certainly non-equitable with happiness for if you asked those drug users if they prefer to be happy or on drugs they will tell you they prefer to be happy. They are using drugs because they are unhappy and it is this unhappiness that leads them to seek pleasure.

This is often seen in people who are going through a mid-life crisis; their desire to have pleasure increases as their unhappiness with themselves increases.

Ultimately happiness is a sort of pride that one has of oneself. A person is proud of one’s achievements. A person who behaves in ways that offers pain to others will not be happy even if they receive much pleasure in the things that are causing pain to others.

Happiness comes from knowing that you have made a meaningful difference in another person’s life.

Time is very precious because before a person knows it, the opportunities to make someone else happy are gone.

How many people have lost out on the amazing opportunities of helping another person just because they were “too busy” at the time. When they look back at the circumstance they often feel bad that with a little bit of selfless effort on their part they could have brought happiness to another person.

There is an added dimension to happiness in that when you make someone happy you feel as if you were born for a reason.

Look carefully at your opportunities to do good.

If you can tell that you are in a situation to help someone, think if there is anyone else in the world who is in the same situation where they care enough and have the ability to make a difference?

You may be surprised to find that in this particular instance to this particular person you have the ability to make a world of a difference.

Saving the world is not a problem at the current moment and if it was, governments would probably find professional people who would advise them on these issues.

Helping one person in a particular situation that you know about is saving that person’s world and will bring you a world of happiness for there is no better feeling then to know that you made a world of difference to someone’s world!

Kabbalah on Marital Intimacy

 

I was giving a lecture in New York and I used the word sex – one of the women came over to me afterwards and said “marital intimacy is a nicer word.”

Now that you know what I am talking about, you are probably wondering why a Rabbi is writing a booklet on marital intimacy.

The truth is, Reishis Chochmah one of the foremost books of Kabbalah related to the practical side of applying Kabbalah in one’s life, states, that in fact this is the great goal of mankind. [In fact the disciples of the great Rabbi Schnuer Zalman of Liadi needed to know this book by heart before they would come to study from him.]

You know, one can tell how important something is by the challenges that are placed by the Satan – an angel created by The Creator to challenge our sincerity and devotion to The Creator, goodness and kindness – and if there ever has been a challenge there is no greater challenge than to have, as Rabbi Shmuely Boteach writes as the title of his book, “Kosher Sex.”

I recall reading an article – a review on his book – where the writer wrote that people used to ask their Rabbis about intimacy in the olden days and it appears we should do it today as well.

Here is a fact: most couples stop having marital intimacy a few years after they are married.

Now the reason why this is so devastating can be traced to the fact that more than fifty percent of marriages end in divorce.

There is no doubt in my mind that the key to marriage is good marital intimacy.

When there is good marital intimacy [and we will define good later] unity of mind and body follow and the key to a marriage is unity of spirits [i.e. when husband and wife are on the same wavelength.]

In fact the Bible begins as the primary reason for marriage, It is not good for man to be alone….and therefore man should leave his [attachments to] his father and mother and should unite with his wife and they should become one body.

In other words, the very source for the perception that marital intimacy is not a good act in many people’s minds – for Christianity and specifically the Catholic Church created the illusion that only due to the weakness of man should people have marital intimacy [whereas their so called priests “abstained”] is in fact advocating as the primary purpose for marriage – or at least the primary mechanism to create harmony in marriage – marital intimacy!

Rabbi Boteach points out in his book that there can be three reasons why the Bible is advocating marital intimacy, either: 1. procreation 2. pleasure 3. unity and harmony. He claims that it is obvious that it is the third reason and he adds as an obvious proof that one of the primary responsibilities a husband has to his wife even after she can no longer procreate is intimacy.

In other words The Creator of mankind desired harmony and in order to do this he created a pleasure system whereby two lovers would both gratify each other and thereby just like two people who give one another pleasurable presents would deepen their bond, similarly the bond between these two people would be deepened as a result of their pleasurable act for one another.

Now the great mistake made by the church as well as most other faiths [excluding Judaism] is that they see reality divided into two realms: 1. moral, spiritual, and devoid of pleasure, and the other 2. pleasurable, decadent, and sinfully delicious. Thus they assume that the greatest act of pleasure must also be the greatest sin and hence we find the obsession in the media with sex almost as they are exposing a taboo. The truth is that the common human mistake of associating pleasure with sin, and morality with serious hardnosed self-discipline is wrong. Morality is when humans unite with one another, for morality is defined by The Creator and this is what The Creator desires; as the most important commandment of the Bible which is to Love your friend as much as you love yourself is really not about the love in your heart, but the unity that the love in your heart will create.

Now there is no better technique to unite two people then marital intimacy.

I recall watching an Oprah show which was all about marital intimacy in the bedroom – or should I say the lack thereof – and one woman spoke how she had marital intimacy as often as possible with her husband to maintain a good relationship and when they don’t have it their relationship with each other is not as good. The whole audience applauded her and the expert said that what was right in what she was doing was giving her attention to what was most important in her life – her relationship – which obviously affects her children etc.

What I find so funny is that the very culture that has so idolized sex has none of it.

In fact in the famous Kinsey surveys on sexual predilections when the subject was quite a taboo in the 1940s they discovered that the group that has the most marital intimacy experiences in a lifetime [obviously with the same partner] were Orthodox Jewish men and women. Now the very group, which the secular Jews laughed at for being too prude, were in fact having the most, again the most, marital intimacy, more than any other group in America which is as ironic as it gets.

The secret to Jewish intimacy is quite simple – many psychologists have discovered that the primary reason that couples stop having marital intimacy is boredom. The Talmud describes it – as usual – best: There is a little limb in man that the more you satisfy it the less satisfied it gets, but the less you satisfy it the more satisfied it gets. Now the Bible – The Creator’s wisdom and instructions for living both a happy and harmonious life – states categorically that from the onset of menstruation for five days and then seven days following the cessation of blood, husband and wife should not have marital intimacy. [The Rabbis who were given the authority in the Bible to further enhance the Biblical laws by preventing their destruction, enacted binding ruling on all Jews that husband and wife should not do anything intimate including holding hands or sharing the same drink during these app. two weeks for the simple reason that they did not want the intimacy to lead to marital intimacy.] Now what follows is indeed very simple;  because a religious Jew follows The Creator religiously, therefore both husband and wife are “forced” to physically separate [i.e. from intimacy] during these two weeks. In those two weeks their innate desire for one another is rekindled, and hence so many husbands and wives report they feel like newlyweds at the Mikvah night. [The Mikvah is a body of water connected to original rain or natural spring water that spiritually cleanses the woman and allows the marital intimacy to resume.] There are many many books that deal both with the beauty and practicality of these rules, my booklet is more of a general nature.

The point is that our whole attitude on marital intimacy has been clouded by the Church [and I am not blaming the Church, for as mentioned it is a common human error.]

The Mans Role

Now another very important factor is that the Bible places the responsibility – in fact one of the three primary obligations a husband has to his wife – on the husband. In other words, it is the husband’s job to initiate marital intimacy. It is his duty and responsibility whether he is in the mood or not; He must, again must [obviously only if his wife wants it] initiate and please his wife.

Now this is the great challenge The Creator gave man. For “men are dogs.” Why do I say this? Dogs are peculiar creatures; living in South Africa – which is like dog paradise for everyone has at least three guard dogs – I get to observe their behavior just like a real pro. would. When they are in the heat/mood, boy they can’t stop barking at you. They are so emotional they cannot contain their passion and are literally like a chicken without a head. However when they are tired [perhaps hormonal etc.] you can walk past the same dog that a few hours ago would have been going absolutely ballistic for, or over you, and it is as if he is dead. Gone are his emotions, passion, excitement, he is just like a lazy lion doing nothing. [Resonate?]

In other words, men have a double challenge from The Creator. One, is to first of all not be a dog in terms of not being able to control themselves. So when they are excited and their wife is also interested, their marital intimacy must be focused on giving her pleasure. I recall, one very clever Jewish lady whom I asked for some advice before marriage told me, “If a woman does not receive pleasure during marital intimacy she feels raped.”

I think this is again perhaps one of the great ironies and challenges The Creator has given man. On a very simple level a climax should be the goal that a husband tries to achieve for his wife. As we all know it takes a lot longer for a woman then a man and thus it is up to the man to slowly slowly slowly have foreplay [not that I understand what that word means but effectively an emotional bond such as telling his wife how important she is to him or whatever else is important for her to hear] and only then initiate physical contact. Climaxing for a woman is based on feeling loved by her husband; [obviously with some biology involved, but it is primarily emotional/psychological.] However for a man it is obviously primarily biological/biochemical. So the husband cannot be a “dog.” He must have self control.

[The fact is that self control is a major subject in its own right and I don’t think it is possible to begin having self control in bed. A person needs to truly work on delaying gratification to learn how to have self control. Whenever you want, say, a chocolate, just put it down for two minutes and this process of delaying gratification will educate yourself on how to have self control– and you may be very proud of yourself for it.

Just to motivate you a bit, there was a famous study where kindergarten children were offered one marshmallow now or two in ten minutes, most children opted for one now but a few, a precious few, opted for two in ten minutes and forced themselves – like by sitting on their hands and singing to themselves – to wait the ten minutes. These kids were tracked through their school careers and lo and behold self control was more important that i.q. or any other factor for success. Not only success in grades, but in relationships, and in everything! Without self control you really are like an instinctive animal just running towards what gives you pleasure and recoiling from what you fear/ what may harm you. But with self control, you can become the greatest person in the world!]

Now the second “dog challenge” is when the husband is not in the mood. Here he needs to not be like a dog and figure “well if I’m not in the mood to bark like a nutcase, then my owner doesn’t need protection from criminals either.” He must realize that his wife [obviously if she wants intimacy] loves him and truly desires this marital intimacy. I think a good example of this would be as follows: imagine someone who is hungry but because you are too lazy, you don’t feed them.

Now an additional point must be mentioned which is the importance of one’s thoughts during marital intimacy, particularly if one is trying to conceive a child.

In Reishis Chochmah the story – true story – is told of a queen who gave birth to a black child and the king thought she committed adultery and wanted to kill her. Now one of his wisemen explained, that if she saw something black while they were conceiving it could be that it caused the child to be black. In fact the Reishis Chochmah gives the following example [and you should apply this to every part of your life] just like a hose of water – when you pour water in the hose if it is arched in a semi circle then the water will reach to the point of where the person filled it.

Similarly our thoughts go into heaven and then become our destiny. They checked in the royal bedroom and indeed found a black object where the queen was looking at.

In other words, the child that you will give birth to will be affected by your thoughts, so you should firstly never think of another woman and I assume I need not tell women of other men [for women are more faithful in relationships etc.] But most importantly you should picture something holy like a letter from the Jewish Alphabet or the face of a Tzaddik/completely righteous individual like the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn.

I recall when a friend of mine mentioned this to me, I thought it was a bit strange, but he told me something profound “it takes away the guilt.”

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