April 25, 2014

Finishing up my books

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 5:00 pm

I am working hard now to finish up my books in the next few months. I’m planning to self-publish 3 books the same time and sell them at cost. It is a very exciting time for me.

Shechinah Elevation, except from my book, Tikkun Shechinah

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 4:59 pm

Unedited.

Shechinah, the Secret Elevation
The purpose of this sefer is to help a person feel a personal connection to the Shechinah but there will be those who feel this isn’t enough. I am hopeful that after reading the first few chapters of Tikkun Shechinah, they will want to elevate Her and thy will be willing to do anything to bring her pleasure.
It is important for a person to find a completeness of self before attempting spiritual rectifications otherwise; they can do more damage than good in many cases. Chassidus teaches us that the purpose of a Rebbe and Rabbi is to bring the highest Torah’s down to even the most, simple Jew. Therefore, I am faced with a personal delema if I should reveal these Torah’s and if it is the proper time and place. I believe that many of you have been wondering about these secrets for years and are quite capable of being a vessel for them. Therefore, even though my knowledge in Kabbalah is brief, I will attempt to draw some of these beautiful secrets to you. The sages have told us, the more you study the Kabbalah, the more you realize your lack of understanding. I give you these secrets now for you to store away for future wisdom although for me personally, they are avenues to great meditations. However, I advise against actual practice of this until your soul is complete.
There are 10 Holy Sefiros and Holy Worlds as you already well aware. It was with these that the entire world was Created. In fact, these are being recreated every moment of every day. These are extensions to Hashems divine Will. The Shechinah and Hashem are One entity and being. Thinking of these in duplicity is a huge mistake.
The highest Sefirah is Keter , Crown which is from the concept of AYN, nothingness because it is beyond our ability to comprehend. In fact, we are not allowed to think too deeply into this because in it are the secrets of the Creation of mankind. It is the realm of absolute mercy baring no sadness, misery, no division but only glory, beauty and grace. This Sefirah is connected to the Holy name of Hashem, EKYH. It is also represented by the crown of the yud in the Targanatoin of the name YKVK.
The next Sefirah is that of Chochmah, Wisdom. With Chochmah, He founded the earth. This is why it is also connected to that of Ratzon, Hashem’s Will. It is here that the Spheres become perceivable. This is the place where one has access to request one’s wishes. It is the origin of where thought begins to flow and even though it is not completely revealed, Chochmah isn’t completely hidden. It is represented by the letter Yud of YKVK.
Binah, our next Sefirah is very important in regards to the Shechinah. It is represented by the letter Hay of YKVK. A river went out from Eden… (Genesis 2:10) Going out from Eden, this is Chochmah that drew this benevolence from Keter. The river is Binah. “To water the Garden”, that is to bring sustenance to Malchut and Binah. Malchut is contains all the residue and blessing from the upper worlds as it comes down to us. Binah is considered the upper Shechinah, while Machcut is the lower Shechinah.
When we speak about the Shechinah in the lower realms, we are referring to the lower Shechinah in Malchus, Kingship. The main elevation of sparks is speaking of this revelation of bringing the lower Shechinah back up the ladder to Binah, which in turn will connect Binah to Chochmah and Keter. Malchut is represented by the final letter hay of the targumation.
In between these two is the letter vav. The top half of the letter represents Chesed, Gevurah, and Tiferet; the lower part of the letter, Netzach, Hod and Yesod. Together, these Spheres connect Binah and Machcut and are a fundamental part of the midos, character traits through with Hashem reveals himself to us.
I would like you to close your eyes and imagine an hourglass with sand inside. When you flip it backwards, all the sand flows back the other direction. Then again, you turn it and once again it flows back. This is similar to what the sefiros are doing constantly. The light or as you have imagined, sand, is going up and down. All of it is connect and one concept. It is just a matter of the flow.
If you were to now think of a ladder, similar to that of the one in Yaakov our fathers dream. Each step is a different Sefirah. Up and down are angels and light flow. If you were to take one of those steps away, the flow would be completely broken. But in our case, in this current exile, all the steps are there, the problem is just that they are broken. Rebbe Nachman says, “If you believe you can break something, believe also there is a way to repair it. Now let us begin the lesson on repairing the broken vessels.
To repair an item, the most important thing is to make sure the strength of the repairs are strong enough that it would hold the item together like it was new. In the same aspect, the person repairing the Shechinah has to surround their soul with a total exposure and service to Judaism. Keeping kosher, observing Shabbos and the commandments are essential. It is not just the observance but also the Kavanah, thought process behind performing the commandments that are important.
Even when not performing a commandment, one must embody fear of Hashem and emunah, faith. Having one eye on living life, and the other focusing on the true mission of living. There is no reason why a person can’t be connected to the Shechinah all of the time. In fact, our souls when we are doing the right thing, naturally wants to connect to Her. It is the evil deeds and our forgetfulness of Hashem’s innate hand in our every breath that seems to separate us. This is easily corrected through repentance and new mitzvos.
The holy Sages would meditate day and night on Torah thoughts. When faced with an unusual life experience, they would search to find Hashem’s mysteries ways within the event. As soon as they found some explanation, they would connect this to Hashem in a positive manner of faith, therefore, drawing the Shechinah into their life. Joy is also essential to dwelling with the Divine Presence. The sages have said in the Talmud, where there is sadness, the Shechinah leaves in a hurry.
Each name of Hashem is holy to think about and draws a person to holiness. The names EKYH, YKVK and Adna are very important ones. Different combinations of these holy names are able to repair worlds above. They are even affected through different combinations of the nekudos. There are 12 ways in which to envision YKVK. This is parallel to the 12 mazalos, constalations and the 12 tribes of Israel.
There are many ways to use the combinations during your prayers and meditations. One can think of the Speres in combinations of colors, in circles, spiritual hemispheric directions, ladders, black and white fire, red fire and more. There are hundreds of Yechudim which are known from the Arizal that are specifically designed to elevate the Shechinah. These techniques are available for the wise. Meditating on them is considered like that of Torah study so when a Rabbi wasn’t able to concentrate on a Torah passage or teaching, he would meditate on a simple or complex combination of holy letters.
Let us take the letters YKVK. The wise would see these letters in black fire on a white fire background. Smoke would rise from the letters as it did when Moshe Rabenu brought the Tablets down from Har Sinai. The ability to see this meditation comes from a few points. The first is purity of body and soul. This comes from mikvah immersion and keeping far from impure thoughts. The second way is through regulate meditation on this until it becomes more natural. Sometimes this gift is given to a person through years are prayer and tears. Other times, it is handed down from ones Rabbi and mentor. It is also something that shouldn’t be forced. If the holy name doesn’t wish to appear to you in this way at this moment, it is important to be calm and wait.
The technique would begin as follows. One starts by creating a spiritual vision of the letter Yud. After you can see it, you might wish to enlarge it so that it fills your mind. It is easier to keep a thought if it is continuously moving so you might want to animate it or some object around it. Now take a match to it and light it on fire. The letter should start to flash a little. If it doesn’t, maybe first start with a simple meditation with a candle. Once the letter is on fire, you can start to feel its heat radiating your body. Fire is a hot substance and it is bright to one’s eyes. If you do it correctly, you will even start to perspire. You are now going to place the letter Hay next to this letter, letting both letters fill your entire mind. It will start to flash along with the yud. Turn the flashing into fire and let the two letters radiate your mind. Now bring in the 3rd letter vav and let it sparkle on fire. Then the final letter hay. Now all four letters are on fire and sparkling before you.
My friends, this is only the beginning of this holy meditation. You can now turn the red fire brighter and let it flash larger in your mind. Start to see the smoke rising from the letter as it goes to the Heavens. Black smoke is going up out of the letters and white smoke surrounds them. All this smoke arising up on high like that of the Karbonos, sacrifices to Hashem. Keep this meditation with you and guard it from all impurities. This technique was taught to me personally by the Nikolsburg Rebbe Shlita.
Seeing the holy letters on fire and connecting to them was the way of the prayer of the Baal Shem Tov. He explained how you should draw the letters out while saying them and yearn to keep them, while all the while, allowing them to float to Heaven to form words, sentences and holy unity. So this technique can be used during prayer, meditation and throughout the day to remember Hashem.
Glancing upon the holy names in their color form as is taught by Rabbi Cordevero is also a great technique. The ladder of the Sefiros can be climbed through this. Looking at the name YKVK in white with the nikud of segol has the power to draw chesed, kindness down from shamayim, the Heavens and reverse harsh decrees. If you think about a person in trouble and you think of this combination, you can save their souls. There are many such techniques and I am teaching you only a few in order to awaken your soul to serve Hashem.
The Shechinah is connected to Malchus which is the letters ADNA. You too can view it with the techniques mentioned above. However, here is another one to consider. ADNA can be expanded using another technique in kabbalah. When you expand a letter, you get closer to its source. There is no end to expanding the letters and you can reach great levels of bittle, the feeling of nothingness through it. Rabbi Chaim Vital loved when the Arizal would teach him something in expansion. ADNA is expanded by spelling out each letter in its full form. ALEPH- spelled Aleph, lamid, final peh. Then DALID- Dalid, Lamid, Dalid. Then the next letter PEH is spelled, peh and then yud. Now you expand the next letter in the original name. Once finished, you can light these also on fire if you choose or you can further expand them.
The reason why I have brought these meditative teachings down to you is in order for you to understand the many ways which Hashem gave us to end the exile and help her Mother. It can be through Torah study. The Talmud says, “Talmud Torah Keneged Kulam. (Torah study is equal to all the commandments).” You can do it through more kavanah in mitzvah performance. It can be done through Tikun Chatzos and through kind acts performed for another human being.
Hashem sent us into exile to elevate the hidden sparks but He didn’t send us alone. He gave us the Shechinah and Her holiness to keep us connected up on High. Just as Her love for us is unconditional, so must ours be in return. Our holy mother Rochel wished to be buried by the side of the road so passer byes could be comforted. She is the embodiment to the Shechinah and it was her will to be connected to the Shechinah at all times. Just as it was her wish, so should it be ours.
If you want to connect to the Spheres, you can do so through meditation or attaching yourself to the midos of Hashem. Chesed is the fourth Sphere. Its color is white and its main nidud is segol. Hashem is showing this midah to us when He does outward kindness to us. As soon as you grasp this is happening, stop for a second and think about the source of this. By doing this, you elevate Chesed back up the chain, it climbs up to the Sphere of Binah. When your walking by the road and you see a white flower, think about has it is drawing its light from Chesed. Doing these things will connect you to the Shechinah.
Should you be in the midst of a thunderstorm, think of the Sphere of Gevurah, strength. Think of our holy father Yitzchok and how the judgement of Hashem is emeth, truthful. Mediate on fear of Hashem and elevate this storm and Gevurah up through the chain till Binah. If you see a red rose or simply the color red, you can imagine how it comes from Gevurah.
If you’re visiting a beautiful mountain range, reflect about the Sphere of Tiferes, beauty. All beauty comes from Hashem and instead of wasting it, you can elevate it in your mind up the latter to Binah, maybe higher to Chochmah and even Keter. There are endless amounts of events that Hashem puts in front of you that can be elevated in the mind or through good deeds. Nothing that happens is by coincidence. They are all sparks of the Shechinah waiting to be uplifted through a bracha, blessing, prayer and good deed.
When you’re faced with sin and you turn the other cheek, this too elevates the Shechinah. The further something is from Hashem, the greater the tikun it needs and the more important it is to elevate. This is why the greatest way to draw close to Hashem is to fix another Jewish soul and help them repent.
Even if you can’t complete the task of drawing another close to Hashem, even though simply judging them favorably, you lift them up from judgment too merit. This is the true secret of Chassidus, it is about elevating what is around you through an ayin tova, good eye.
Let us go through one last meditation. If you take the name YKVK, the gamatria of the first two letters when expanded is 26. When we sin, we separate the last two letters of Hashem’s name, vav and hay. As we go mitzvos and elevate the Shechinah, they once again join the full name YKVK and it equals the gematria, numerical value of 26 without needing to be expanded. Just the thought of putting these combinations together, is a tikkun for the exile.
Now that your heart is warm for Hashem, you can take these concepts and develop them more on your own. As people often speak, knowledge is power. You know now many ways in which to rectify the Shechinah. Some of them are very simple while others are more complicated and take more focus. The main thing is that your heart is sincere for Hashem and the Torah and that you always take upon yourself the responsibility of acting uprightly and understand that days here in this world are short. There is much to accomplish and there is no more time to waist.