Heartbreak and Hope ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—

10/13/2023 ย B”H
Shabbat Braishis 5784

From Rabbi Shneur Zalman Dubinskyย 

A rise in Individual challenges!

In the midst of these challenging times, I have noticed that many individuals are experiencing heightened personal challenges, which has prompted me to embark on a quest for finding a way of achieving a deeper connection with G-d, recognizing that finding G-d is instrumental in cultivating motivation and enthusiasm necessary to deal with personal challenges and pain.

How to find G-D?

A profound concept has emerged to the open, one that’s more apparent now than ever. We possess a G-dly Neshama, a divine soul, and as such, we are inherently aware of Hashem’s presence, as He has chosen to reveal Himself to us. We don’t require logical proof to acknowledge God’s existence; it’s a fundamental aspect of our consciousness. The need for logical evidence is a sign of G-Dly concealment, often caused by the dominance of our Nefesh habahmis, our animalistic nature. When the Neshama is unveiled, we experience not only awareness of God but a profound appreciation of His divinity. When the veil of the animal soul is lifted, our relationship with Hashem is once again based on His self-revelation to each and every one of us.

The paradox!

So, how do we dissipate this concealment of the animal soul? Various methods can achieve this, and in the past challenging 3 weeks, we’ve unexpectedly witnessed many individuals who, previously claiming to be non-believers, and yet have turned to Mitzvahs and prayer. Is this truly unexpected? In fact, it’s quite expected, for this is the inherent reality of every Jew. All it takes is a means to remove the impurities that obscure our holy Neshama, revealing the true essence of a Jew. This revelation has led to a profound worldwide Jewish unity emanating from our core reality โ€“ a Godly revelation amidst the deepest darkness and pain.

Enter into this space craft and you will zoom high.

This revelation is also the key to dealing with individual pain and challenges. I propose the following prescription, crucial for everyone:

Take approximately five moments a day, each lasting 30 to 60 seconds, to focus and concentrate exclusively on Hashem, His relationship with us, and the fact that He is our true reality. It’s not an easy task, as focusing solely on G-d, free from distractions, takes practice and concentration. Yet, it’s a practice that can ignite a powerful transformation in our lives fueling motivation and enthusiasm.

The prescription for joy.

And here comes the shocking reality. Listen carefully and absorb! During and within our 30 seconds focus, this is what is happening, Hashem is actually dwelling within our minds within our thoughts! Did you get this? Again,ย  I will repeat, when we focus on Hashem, it is more than mutual, not only is He also focused on us He is actually dwelling within us!!! And this generates tremendous joy knowing that at this very moment Hashem personally is dwelling within me. Can there be any greater joy than this?ย 

Surprisingly, yes.
The joy Hashem has in dwelling within me, thus Hashem has a dwelling place below in our physical world. Thus we have double joy and so does Hashem.

Have a great Joyful Shabbas.

End of Rabbi Dubinsky’s letter.

If I may be so bold, I will add my thoughts and questions.

1. Finally a meditation I can relate to.

Transcendental meditation, Eastern meditation, Mindfulness meditation… all good, and for some people, great. But not for me. After many fits and starts, I never quite settled into any of these well worn approaches. But this? A JEWISH MEDITATION! Yes, I can do this. The 30 second aspect of it is soย not intimidating, and the content, the Jewish content โค๏ธ. It resonates with my soul.

2. โ€œAnd here comes the shocking reality…. Hashem is actually dwelling within our minds within our thoughts!…”ย 

I wondered what this meant. We are taught that Hashem is everywhere including inside us all the time. What is different about this dwelling in us? I came to see… Hashem is in us, yes. But to dwell is a different thing. To dwell is toย be comfortable, to be fully present, to take up residence and to live in us…ย toย settle inย if just for a while.

3. “… Can there be any greater joy than this? Surprisingly, yes. The joy Hashem has in dwelling within me…”

To bring the meaning of Rabbi Dubinsky’s “shocking reality” home, I imagined this… Suppose a guest walks into our home and while we don’t kick them out, we ignore them. ย Compare this with the same guest walking in, and us saying, “I am so happy to see you! Come in, come in! What can I get you to drink? How are you?…. “

Wow! To just us human beings, what a difference this makes. I cannot comprehend Hashem, but this little analogy gives a minuscule glimpse into imagining the joy Hashem could get dwelling inside us.

4. I’ve done it! Four times so far today at 30 seconds+ each. Five times daily is the goal. Baruch Hashem!

5. Just 30 to 60 seconds. Try it!

Thank you Rabbi Dubinsky for this much needed inspiration and direction! You’ve offered ย a lifetime practice. ๐Ÿ’—

Love, Vivi

Photos from Canva.com

2 thoughts on “Heartbreak and Hope ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—

  1. SUSANNE M KATCHKO says:

    This is a wonderful tool. I’m partly afraid to try it. What if I don’t connect to anything? What is it that I want to meet, to feel? Do I have to know before I try? (Of course not!)

    Vivi, you’re inviting us to really leap into the unknown. Thank you! It sure beats staying glued to where I am.

    Shalom and hugs – I so appreciate your sharing your walk with all of us.

    • Vivi says:

      Hello Susanne, Thank you for reminding me to do this today! And regarding your question (and answer), I agree! I also consider it a total win to just do it. No measurement of how well I did or did not “connect”. To me, simply the “doing of it” is already the connection. Love to you and Shabbat Shalom.

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