Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Living and existing

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/31/2010 Tuesday 21 Elul 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 29 – end of the 3rd line from the top.

We discussed how tynug is the basis of the faculties. We see an object in space – we see the specific object – the object is in a particular place, without which it could not be. In everything there is a limited and an unlimited presence. The space provides for this general existence, otherwise it would just be conceptual.

Usually we say every object takes up space, but truer than that is that, the object does not displace space, the space permeates the object. This is because the absolute presence of the object is provided for by space.

Tynug is that which provides for the koach, and the tynug permeates the koach.

Later we'll see how sechel and oneg are the same. Imagination is sechel without the oneg behinds it. He thinks he knows and understands, but he's not really there.

The overall presence is the oneg.

Oneg is the highest level of revelation.

It is possible to develop a chush/oneg in something new. Through working on it the chassid developed a deep appreciation of chassidus, whereas before he was a simple store keeper without a feel for it at all.

The nefesh is dressed in the koach and the oneg is the oneg of the nefesh.

Even though it is limited into the kochot, meaning that it is unlimited and something confines it. The oneg is still the oneg of the nefesh, yet it comes through in a limited form, into the faculty. In essence the oneg is above and removed from the faculties. Therefore when we see that it is in the faculty, we know it is in a limited form.

For video, click here (right click for new window)

... וחיי עולם

Monday, August 30, 2010

Birthday of the Baal Shem Tov and the Alte Rebbe

Chai Elul Fabrengen notes from Chuna

The Besht and the Alter Rebbe innovated different parts in avodah. The Besht emphasized emunah, lamaila lamata, and that Hashem has to be served. The AR, a neshama hadasha, explained how we can serve G-d. With our own powers. The innovations are both essential to us. The AR's additional piece was as important for us as the entire structure that the Besht innovated. To achieve on our own, is as important as achieving. (Rabbi Paltiel stopped just short of saying it's more important).
It takes real work to bring the general understanding into the specifics. It's easier to see how the whole world is a G-dly creation than to see how the cup is a G-dly creation. The goal of avodah is to see the G-dly presence in the details. As well, the sechel has to see the world the way emunah sees it. Avodah is not just to repeat concepts to 'get it in our heads'. It's to understand with our own minds that this is really true, make it real to us.
The definition of emunah is steadfast. It's often translated as faith, but its more accurately defined as steadfast. "Moshe held up his hands steadfastly" Emunah is a permanent thing, it is with us when we sleep or when we're awake. The Tzemach Tzedek had a chosid who came crying saying he has sfekus (doubts) in emunah. The TZTZ replied, "not such a big deal". "But Rebbe!" the chosid continued, "Emunah!"
"In that case, you don't really have to worry", said the TZTZ. (chuna's thought) In other words, he really didn't have an issue because he was aware of his concern of emunah, and emunah is with us regardless, so having concern of it was enough.
With closed eyes, we still have emunah. We say "Shema Yisroel" with closed eyes. We end with "ehad" and not "yachid". Yachid means there's nothing but G-d, but ehad means the world and everything in it shows G-d. This is harder and for anyone who concentrates on it, it's harder to actualize this second step than to think that there's nothing but G-d. To draw G-d's presence into the world, and see H-m in the world, this is Baruch Shem and it is the point of our avodah.

(Oneg is in everything. It doesn't just mean things are pleasing. It is deeper than that. In fact, to experience oneg is to experience the G-dliness of life itself: the greatest achievement man can ever experience.)

We have problems forgiving. We know the whole davening is predicated on "V'ahavta l'reacha", loving your fellow Jew. We think about the mitzvah of ahavas yisroel. We say KS at night, saying "I forgive", but still, we say, "but not that guy. He has to apologize". We need to let go. We need to let go of how we see the world. Our worldly view, though we see how ridiculous it is, it is still so difficult to let go.
The AR says in Igeres Hakodesh how everything is from above. In Shaar Hayichud he explains how G-d creates the world constantly because like the splitting of the sea being held up by the wind, the creation of something from nothing needs the energy constantly in it to give it a presence. So since everything is being constantly created by G-d, it means that everything must be good and how do I imagine that anything in my life is bad?! I believe G-d is doing it. Obviously, this also requires much intellectual labor.
G-d's creating the world is a constant. There was a retarded man who had managed to get past some of his limitations and became a mathematician. He lacked, though, common sense. Rabbi would talk to him and as soon as the conversation stopped, the man would fall asleep. "you must be tired" Rabbi said. "No, there's just nothing going on" replied the man. The point is, is that there is always something going on. (And in fact, it is the greatest good that is going on.) This has to be understood. In simple terms, the application of emunah is to recognize hasgacha pratis in everything. But it's hard to let go of our orientations and perspectives of what reality is, and should be.

The AR gave some thought to naming his son, the Mittle Rebbe. He wanted to name him after the Maggid's son, R. Avraham Hamalach, but thought it would make him too removed from the world. He eventually named him Dov Ber, after the Maggid himself.
The Mittle Rebbe's son, the AR's grandson, Reb Nachum, was getting married and his chasan kapata had a special stylish collar for the times. The AR saw how this style was beloved by Reb Nachum and he tried to persuade him to cut off this collar. In return, the AR promised many things, culminating in a space next to himself in Gan Eden. Reb Nachum still refused. He spent much time as an adult regretting this decision.
The point is that no matter how small the step away from our worldly values or orientation is, it's a veritable test and thus any success is precious.
In like manner, the first test mentioned in the Chumash for Avraham Avinu was Lech Lecha. This was a test because it required a abandoning of the ideas he attributed to reality. AA saw reality as a certain thing, and G-d demanded AA discard that perception. AA wasn't shown where to go not just to add to the difficulty and increase the reward, but because it would have been impossible for him to see the next step in his journey of reality accurately from where he was standing. The insight would not have been properly absorbed.
This is why we make such a big deal about Nachshon in the splitting of the sea. Seemingly, it was a direct command to the Jews from Moshe that G-d says the sea will not present as an obstacle. So what's the big deal? But it's not just a physical travel. It's the abandonment of Nachshon's sense of reality, and the journeying forward to something he has yet to understand that makes it special.
When we stand in place, like the Amidah, we can advance very far, and see even farther, but it is nothing compared to walking. The difficulty in walking is that you need to remove yourself from where you are planted in order to journey to somewhere else unknown. A couple things about this: Make sure it is methodical, processed through intellect, and you have sure footing in the new place before you lift your second foot. As well though, have in mind when taking the step, that you plan on moving that second foot eventually. Nothing comes easy.
Chai Elul gives life, joy, to the avodahs we have been discussing. This gives us strength to make our emunah penetrate, something difficult (and rewarding) to commit to.
From the intro to Tanya (the AR "wrote to those whom he knows etc."), we see that the AR hand picked the neshamas that were to study his chassidus. He knew then, Rabbi and all of us.

Delight in a faculty

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/30/2010 Monday 20 Elul 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 28 – towards the end of the page, 3 lines from the end of the page.

Even in simple sechel, the logic itself will not reveal the concept. Take “1 +1”, one is a fact, but that it equals 2 is not part of the physical reality – it is a concept, above the physical.

A sound is a physical stimulus, but the beauty that is in the sound is a human element.

Although the tynug limits itself within the kochot/faculties themselves, and we say there is tynug in sight, but we would not say, “he lives in order to see”...

So it would seem to not involve the whole nefesh, nevertheless the tynug/pleasure that is present in any faculty is not from the faculty, but from the nefesh – it is the whole nefesh that “delights” in this activity.

Our senses have a very physical “cause and effect” property to them, and on its own does not have a real level of appreciation, yet in this is enclothed oneg. You cannot have a living koach without a living nefesh behind it. The physical/mechanical element does not manifest chayut/life of the nefesh.

The oneg aspect, “that is nefesh – that is the experience of life itself and does not become disassociated from the nefesh itself.”

It's amazing that the nefesh itself is limited and involved in the oneg of a faculty.

If a man was in pain he can not take pleasure in anything, so this is showing how the tynug is of the nefesh itself and nevertheless it comes in a limited form into the kochot.

Why can oneg be blocked? How would that happen? This is oneg of the nefesh, and the nefesh is not invested in the kochot – the nefesh remains above even while involved with the kochot, and this is why you can be distracted from oneg of the kochot (while the nefesh at all times maintains its own inner oneg).

... וחיי עולם

Sunday, August 29, 2010

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/29/2010 Sunday 19 Elul 5770  
Logic sanctified
Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 28 – towards the end of the page. Line starts, “habosem ha tov...”

The rebbe has made a very clear distinction between the nature of the faculty and the life of the faculty. There is a person who is by nature good hearted – it is a so to say spontaneous response. But when there is the oneg element it pursues it to a greater level. Nature is cause and effect – but sensing of the quality of a stimulus is the oneg that perceives the richness and beauty.

There's no cause for the oneg. It is true unto itself.

There is great tynug in sechel and midot (mind and emotion) and even in lower faculties, such as movement of the hands and feet, there is tynug of the nefesh.

In sechel there is the component of logic – which has an almost physical, compelling nature. This element too requires an element of oneg. There are two parts of logic. The negative – that this cannot be rejected and the positive element of logic - “I appreciate the revelation that logic has shown me”. This positive element is the real life and oneg in the sechel – this is not part of the teva/natural element of logic.

Even tzar is due to the chayus in us.

Sechel itself is a spiritual idea. It cannot be demonstrated to the sense of touch. This may be completely concealed from me. Then using the logic at the physical level it can reveal the idea that is higher than the physical. Then the challenge is to accept the higher idea and relate to it directly. Or will I say I don't really know but the logic is compelling.

Avraham avinu grew up in Terach's home. He said, “this is not it. This is idolatory. Where is the owner of the world? Maybe the sun?!” until he went through the whole world and came to the conclusion that the force that maintains the world is not contained in it. It is G-dly input from above that keeps the world and the universe in existence.

This was his discovery. Why didn't he see it at first? Because he was in the world and this is the first reality.

Now he knows this he could say, “now the world makes sense and I can live and enjoy the world” or he can see, “the idea that the world has a reality is a mistake. The world is not a reality. There is a Power that makes the world and that's the reality” the logic exposed him to the second view, and the second view has the human/oneg quality to it.

The fact that there is tynug in each faculty is because the tynug is the principle life and foundation of each faculty and is spread throughout the faculties.

There is a special relationship between tynug and each faculty – there is a unique way that tynug relates to each faculty. The hand lives and appreciates every millimeter of movement.

In a sense it moves on its own even though it is fulfilling a directive from the mind.

The nefesh itself gets delight from and experiences the activities of all the different faculties.

To pray we use mind and speech, but we need clean hands. Why?! You don't use the hands?

That's because the purity of the hands affects the whole nefesh. The purity of the hands are a reflection of the nefesh.

The rambam says, those who shower and wash to get clean for davening need to check that they are not contaminated by foreign thoughts. That is to say cleanliness and purity are different attributes. The hand is supposed to reflect the purity of the nefesh.

For video, click here (right click for new window)

...and for footage of finishing Shachrit (morning prayers) getting ready for the shiur (class) click here.

... וחיי עולם

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pure Positive II

AyinBase with R' Paltiel on Friday 27 August 2010 - 17 Elul 5770

Notes from Yehuda:

8.27.10 (Friday, 17 Ellul) p.28 (third from bottom)

chesed is mispashet b/c of the oneg in it. even though there is the teva ha tov l'hativ it is not the teva that gives it its presence but rather the oneg.

in every koach there is the teva element of the koach and then there is the oneg element of the koach. reason the hand feels what it touches is a teva-dik thing. the hand is affected by the touch. same thing by the ear. the sound hits the ear drums and disturbs them. this is cause and effect. they are called senses, but this is not sensitivity at all. If I push the cup, is the cup sensitive to this? there is clearly a diff in the physicality level of the teva between touch, sound, sight but there is a teva element involved in all of them. yet in all of these koachos the nefesh is involved. clear distinction between the teva element and the nefesh element. the nefesh element is called the oneg. in touch, there is the effect of the item on the hand. then there is the feel of the hand (not the negativity aspect of it). I feel the gentleness or the roughness, the hardness or the softness. this is the oneg - how you relate to the quality of the object, not how your koach is affected itself.

this is oneg, but this is oneg that is mispashet in this particular koach, not the oneg itself. the pleasant sight/sound goes through the koach - it is related to the koach of sight/hearing. but b/c there is chayus in these kochos, therefore they open up and recognize the nuances in this sight / hearing.

we have the ability to express 22 letter through the 5 motzos ha peh. even though the sound itself is produced by various effects re: the air movement over the mouth, this is not the natural action that is taking effect. the choice to utter a particular sound comes from a much higher place. the consciousness he has in attempting to make the sound, is not how do I move my mouth, but it is focusing on the sound itself. the movement of the mouth is automatic. same in walking, you don't focus on moving the feet.

For video, click here (right click to open in new window)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pure Positive

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/26/2010 ThursdayNight 16 Elul 5770

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Page 28 – about middle of the page. Line starts, “shel kol davar...”

Tynug is not the result of any kind of structure or faculty. You can be as wealthy as Howard Hughes and it will not bring you oneg. He might have security, but oneg is not an answer to a negative, it is a pure positive

a rich man builds a palace because he can afford it. The king builds it because he wants it - “affording it” doesn't apply to the king.

The king is based on the eternal nature of his people. Oneg transcends the worldly order of building/structure – it is a fundamental truth in itself. It is a G-dly spark.

It is not a worldly element. Oneg is the chayut of everything.

For anything to have a true presence, it is due to the tynug. It is sustained in life by its tynug.

As we see in nefesh of adam. We see that in all his emotions and faculties and likes/dislikes, the very core that sustains them, is the tynug that sustains them and causes them to grow.

It not for the tynug the midah would stay concealed in the nefesh.

Pinchas Karlinskii - Floodgate supervisor - 1909

Only due to the tynug is he aroused to do chesed. Due to the tynug his inherent chesed is spread and expressed.

Oneg is the “life element” and that's why his nature spreads outwards and is revealed.

Oneg is an inherently active/living element – it is not the result of something else – it is not a response – it is not a consequence. Due to this all the midot that a person have come into revelation.

He sees in this activity the aspect of the truth that his oneg represents. There is something greater than himself that brings it to action – and that is oneg. With oneg it transcends his nature and oneg pushes him to action.

The reason he has a ratzon in anything is that he has an oneg in it. It is easier for us to get a grasp on ratzon/will. It is easier for us to identify – we can conceive of it being present and not present. Oneg is ever present.

“I understand because I want to understand” or you can see one who, “doesn't get it 'cos he doesn't want to get it”.

Though we say a constant tynug is no tynug – this is referring to a finite pleasure. The level of tynug we are talking about is constantly refreshed.

In every experience and activity – hearing sight etc – even the physical sense of touch – is due to the oneg inherent in it.

For the video, click here (right click for new window)

... וחיי עולם

Everything is ready

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/26/2010 Thursday 16 Elul 5770 

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 28 – about middle of the page. Line starts, “shel kol davar...”

We're looking at tynug and why it is the essence. We saw that the metziut is due to the chayut/life that is in it. There is a meaning to every existence.

So this sounds like every metziut is in a state of flux – if it didn't have a task it would disappear. But the koach hayad / the faculty of the hand is always present and doesn't have to be constantly active. We have all our faculties even though they may be at rest.

This chayus when the faculty is not active is due to the oneg that is in it.

A human life is a full fledged experience/entity even if he is at the last seconds of life.

The core is oneg – and this persists at all times.

Here oneg is not “pleasure” in the common sense of the word. Anything that is structure dependent does nor represent oneg – oneg is only that which is true in and of itself.

                             Jewish children with their Rabbi  - Samarkand 1910  Prokudin-Gorskii

Shabbat is called oneg. Everything is ready. Nothing is left to be done. Then we experience the higher element. Nothing is lacking, and nothing can be lacking, and this is where I belong and am connected – there is a profound infinity.

The principle of G-dliness is the meaning of “that which cannot be missing anything – the essential truth, that is there not because it is filling some gap.”

We have a mission here in the world and the name refers to it. Now it seems we're saying this mission is not just functional. Mission means getting done something that is missing. This is how it reflects itself on the mundane level. But at essence the is a background to all that. “I am part of the world and the world is mine – we have an intrinsic connection”.

The element of world is to reveal all that is in essence. So on the one hand we say we're accomplishing and building, on the other hand we're saying, “all of this pre-existed, my building it”.

“Look how smart I am and how much money I will make” - this is not oneg.

“Look at how much the world contains – see the infinity that is becoming manifest” - this is oneg.

Why is the truth missed? He is enticed away from the true meaning.

For video, click here (right click to open in new window/tab).

... וחיי עולם

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Calling your name

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/25/2010 Wednesday 15 Elul 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 28 – about middle of the page. Line starts, “shel kol davar...”

Tynug is the existence and life (metziut and chayus) of each thing. At essence existence and life are the same thing.

We see the object, and by indicators we see the life that is in it.

This is like the name of a person – it is external, yet it touches the very essence. The metziut of everything is really its purpose, and the name represents its purpose.

Every human being exists not as an individual, but a part of a community. If one person was missing we couldn't have received torah at Sinai.

The metziut of everything is “it having been created”, not that it is existing alone. It continues to exist only because it is continually being created.

If you exist in space with all your needs being met, but unable to perform your mission on earth, it is a situation of unbearable suffering.

The essence of chayut is this oneg.

In our world everything seems to be a response to a stimulus – this is the most superficial view.

The real truth however is that there is an essential element to our desires.

The world sees life as movement/reaction to something else. This is due to a misconception of seeing the metsiut without the chayut. The real truth is that his metsiut is due to his chayut.

Everything in our world is “in time and space” - if an idea doesn't have a time or a place, it is a non-entity. Chochmah is above time and space and becomes a real presence when it comes into bina and daas.

The oneg is the essential element of the chayut/life.

Oneg is translated as pleasure. One needs to distinguish between “pleasing” and “pleasure”. The oneg that is the essence of life is a quiet oneg – “not that I am experiencing a pleasing event.” There is no need for explanation - “this is in essence the G-dly presence in everything”.

Oneg is that element in everything that is an essential presence, without the need to ask questions of where it came from. The reason a person is alert and responds to stimuli is because of his chayut, and the essence of the chayus is the oneg.

“I bought this ten years ago and I still use and want it – this is like Hashem making the world every moment – it is wanted – this is the oneg of this item. His making it doesn't reduce its metziut, it enhances it.”

... וחיי עולם

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

There is nothing in the world that does not have a message.

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/24/2010 Tuesday 14 Elul 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 28 – about 10 line from the top.

We are looking at what is meant by “essential playthings”.

David the king was under representing the torah when he said that it was “song” for him. Calling torah song is attributing torah to a high root, but torah is rooted above that – it is the intermediary that connects ohr ein sof and the world. In order for there to be revelation in the world it is through the intermediary of torah.

The function of the intermediary is that the lower level be connected to the higher level.

How is this done? It is by means of the essential pleasure that is contained in torah.

It is known that pleasure/tynug is the principle element and life of everything. Every faculty is based on its pleasure.

It may seem that a functioning faculty is a response to stimulus, but we note that in every functional faculty there is an essential life/chayut that gives it existence. The meziut and the chayut are the same. When we think of body and soul, the existence and the life seem vastly different, but we see as soon as the life is removed from the body it starts to disintegrate. Metziut and chayut/life are totally intertwined.

There is nothing in the world that does not have a message.

“Existence/metziut” is totally dependent on “chayut/life”.

The world is continually making a statement, “I am not here because of myself. Someone made me.”

This element can be concealed as the word descends into materiality.

You may think something is created with an idea and then left alone, but actually it is the message that was created and it is this message/life/pleasure that keeps everything in existence.

He has a purpose in the creation. This is the inherent oneg in the creation. In everything there is a G-dly spark – a true element.

... וחיי עולם

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ki Teitzi - Fabrengen and Sicha

Notes from Chunah  (see below his notes from previous weeks)

Parshas Ki Seitzei is the tznius parsha. It's not often talked about, but its mentioned in the parsha the concept
of having to remove yourself from the camp because of impurity. Nowadays, people don't think about what they contaminate because of their impurity. We put on tefillin etc.
But "G-d walks in the midst of the camp''. Torah discusses an optional war and G-d says that all soldiers must have a shovel. When taking care of their bodily needs, they have to dig a hole and cover. There are laws in the bathroom and this proves that it is not about honoring the creations (people), rather it is about respecting and honoring G-d.
There is nobody to see you in the bathroom, and yet there are many laws about modesty. Some great minds were offended by the statement that 'G-d is in the bathroom'. We used to say a prayer before entering a bathroom to tell the accompanying angels that 'I'm going to do something you won't understand. This is a place you can't relate to so wait for me here'. So some scholars had a problem, but because G-d is everywhere, He has to be there too. The emphasis though is not on the bathroom. The emphasis is on the fact that G-d's unity is infinite and so it is impossible to exclude Him from any place.
We have numerous faculties, all over our body, the digestive system being just one of them. We cover every part of our body except our faces. Because every part of our body is subservient to the head, even the heart is covered. In the head, there rests the primary presence of the soul.
The world represents to us what is going on in the upper worlds. The mind of a human, exclusively, can know this and also know G-d. Animals can not sense this. This awareness is why man was created.
1+1 = 2. A computer knows this but differently than a man. A computer doesn't care whether it's '1+1' or '2'. It makes no difference to its computation. Man sees a '2' because the 1's actually combine. This is not an example of convenience in working with larger numbers, say 1,000,000, in order to be able to communicate to others what you are talking about. Not at all. The '2' represents more than convenience in communicating. It means that intrinsically there is a background of unity in the world; things can combine to form new entities. This, the world, expresses Achdus Hashem, G-d's unity. This is why in the world, there exists all times and all seasons constantly. At any given moment there is always mid-day, mid-night, mid-winter, mid-summer etc. This isn't a lesson in science, it is letting us know that the world is above world. There are many things that exist in the world that are not worldly. The world itself is one of them. The Earth itself stands for G-d's infinite presence, H-s true unlimitedness.
A tzibbur (congregation) doesn't die. An individual can't crown a King. In the beginning of the Rebbe's nisius, letters were going around, petitions, in order to get everyone to sign that they want the Rebbe to be the Nasi. This of course was successful. An individual couldn't have accomplished this. Even if many individuals alone, wrote to the Rebbe, that wouldn't be effective. A tzibbur has a special power. It is a G-dly thing.
Quicksand seems to be stable. Our environment appears to be real, but it can distract you, and suck you in. Davening with a minyon gives life. It's the rope by which we save ourselves from the quicksand of the world view. Moshe Rabbeinu was shown the set up of 'chazan and congregation'. There is a power in this, a part of reality, that we may not sense, but we should know is there. There is a very small step between davening alone, and at home, and not davening at all. Rabbi Paltiel deals with many people who's downfall at home often involves a long time since the husband went to shul. A shtikel lamdim knows what parts of davening are essential, and what he can skip, and before you know it, there are longer jumps etc. We have our own circumstances that give room for compromise, but know that a minyon is essential. Shulchon Oruch says that if there is a beis midrash in the town, you aren't even allowed to daven at home. If it is not possible to daven with your minyon (b'makom), you should atleast plan to daven in your place at the same time you know they are davening in shul.

In this world, some things are real, meaning eternal, while others are only temporary, dark, and thus not real. We pray to have insight into the preciousness of the things of reality that have been shared and given to us so we can make Elul a meaningful one. Let us do what we are needed for and not just do what we need.

Friday Night:
A real memory involves all of ourselves.
Amalek is the rebellion against G-d, Shabbos is the live cognizance of G-d's Kingdom.
We need to remember Amalak and Shabbos. How can we do both, simultaneously?

Amalek is given its tikun through its destruction by a Jew.

A son who rebels against the father will ultimately come back. The father needs to wait and be supportive.

Shabbos Shoftim - Notes from Chuna

Tshuva is as essential, and easy as breathing.

Even though we say that drinking water you need to be outside of a lake, we breathe in the lake of air. It is constant and with ease, because G-d is facilitating our breathing. Tshuva should be this obvious and part of our avodah without causing sadness. We should be happy that we get to 'clean out the King's palace'.


There is a concept brought in this weeks sedra that you must listen to the Rav of your time.

Even though the previous generation rabanim were greater, you need to listen to the one in your generation.

Zaken momre is a sage who goes against the majority ruling. His penalty is death. Torah says that you have to go according to the majority opinion and not govern your actions by your sechel. Rabbi Elazar ben Horkenus was such a sage and ended up being excommunicated. Rabbi Akiva was chosen to tell him 'the news'. He intimated and Rabbi Elazar got the point. (Why wasn't he killed?)

Avraham avinu in parshas re'eh was told by G-d that sodom and gemora will be overturned.

G-d didn't hold back from telling him because Avraham was the man who will teach his children the ways of G-d.

Unlike the nations who do horrific things, the Jews are meant to perform kindness and justice.

So He told Avraham. Avraham protested by saying all of history will unravel because it will look to people

'that You are unfair'. Then people will say it was unfair what happened to the Dor Hamabool and the Tower of Babel etc. Then, 40 years later, the same parsha talks about the akeida. There, Avraham questions nothing. With all the promises given him by G-d, Avraham doesn't see a contradiction. He wakes up early, saddles his donkey, travels for three days not knowing where he's going, all with a joy that he is doing G-d's will to put Isaac on an alter.

What happened to Avraham's protest of G-d not being truthful in judgement? First He says I will make you into a great nation through Yitzhak, and now He says to put him on the alter?

What happened was that the relationship Avrham had with G-d was previously based on sechel. Logic and intellect only bring us so far. We can't understand the laws in Torah through intellect. In general there are the three categories of Judgements, Testimonies, Statutes. We say with Mishpatim that they fit into logic but that is a mistake. It is all over halacha that the logic of intellect is obviously not the cause behind the law. For example, there are the four types of guardians. Each one more responsible for the article than the next but if the owner of the article does a favor for the watchman at the time the watchman takes on the responsibility of the article, than the watchman is not obligated even in a case of neglect. Also theivery, someone who steals at gunpoint doesn't need to pay anything extra, just bring back the stolen object. But someone who pick pockets has to pay a fine as well as bring back the object. (Did I get that right?)

Mishpatim are not logical. They are from Torah and Torah is G-d's principles. G-d's principles are on a higher plane that we cannot relate to. (Chuna's words: We see in H-m paradox and that's what we need to live with. A non-Jew wants a logical relationship with G-d. A Jew wants a relationship with Hashem based on mesiras nefesh.)

There is a progression that the world is adopting the proper relationship with Hashem through the Yidden being used as an example, or even a scapegoat. The world has evil, which has depth almost as much as Goodness (evil has 4 levels, nefesh, ruach, neshama, and chaya. Goodness, l'havdil, also has Yechida).

The evil side will not transform itself without the Jews doing it, so we are abused and then the world says, 'you know there's something wrong here'. We say that though this has happened to our nation, nothing is unraveling. G-d does not run on the justice principles that man has in mind but nothing is unraveling. Avraham was able to protest then, but when it comes to really having a relationship with G-d, we live in a paradox, and a mystery.

The King's presence allows for the presence of the world. Job wasn't a Jew and he questioned G-d's justice system. He said that maybe 'You got confused and thought I was your enemy'. G-d answered that he "doesn't loose track of even a snowflake", as such, G-d knows what is happening to Job.

A cup in the air is being held up, there is no intrinsic place for the cup in the air.

When in the King's presence, it is rebellion if you acknowledge the differences between ministers and peasants.

Everything in the world is being held up by the King's presence. (This is pinimius ceser. Hitzonius keser acknowledges world, pnimius ceser is only the King's presnce.)

So the Torah sage was excommunicated for disagreeing incessantly because the King's presence is represented by Torah (?) and it is completely above our own bearings.

All who wish to contribute, please do.

Shabbos Re'eh Farbrengen - Notes from Chuna

Elul, Hashem is shining a face at us, we can ask for what we want.

Parshas Re'eh starts with the word Re'eh as opposed to many other parshas which are named with the second

or third etc. word of the first pasuk.

Re'eh: See! It goes on to command what we should see, "blessing or the opposite"

Such strong language for such an obvious thing. Further on, the Torah uses even stronger words.

I place before you life or the opposite, Choose Life!"

We're not simply told, "choose!". We're told what to choose. Seems unnecessary with such a strong contrast.

Why do people have to be told to" choose life"?

Seeing is special. Seeing gives us knowledge about what we are looking about what we see. We see an object in context. We don't just see a cup, we see a purpose, why it was put there. This makes the item real. Even though the cup doesn't speak, it makes a statement of its existence, its purpose. This is the type of seeing that the parsha commands. Its about making things real. Make a real choice. What's a real choice?

To explain:

Most people make choices and even after many days, weeks, years, they are looking back and wondering, "what would it have been like if I chose something else?" This is not using the human quality of sechel.

The Torah wants us to choose with all of ourselves. To commit is to make real. Make real choices, not wishy washy calculations. See and choose.

This is actually a choice of daas. The seeing is the prerequisite. You must see first in order to choose with commitment.

To choose this way we also need to see that the path in front of us is real. The circumstances we find ourselves in are not our doing. Hashem puts the path in front of us. Also, we need to see the paths in the context of a real world. What we are living has incredible significance. We need to see all this, the whole meaning, and then it gives us the insight to really choose.

A soldier exercises daat, not "a love that is not dependent on something". The love is already a mida. Daat is still in the intellect. He recognizes with his mind what he represents and this gives him the strength to aim and shoot.

(Chuna's Question: The Maggid visited the Besht and came back to his friend who davened with him. His friend asked why now the Maggid took so much longer to daven. The answer was a mushul about actually traveling and picking up wares not just imagining the trip. Was this daat?)

We are being tested in life. Not like a school test where you can think and think again. You have a certain time where you can go back and change the answer etc. Spontaneous choices have to be made. A man who sees someone drowning and goes to ask a Rav what to do is called a lowly (?) murderer. You need to act quickly and choose with your whole being, not to weigh things constantly.

Angels are called standing, they can't advance like Jews. (not sure about the following) Angels can see virtues, Jews can embody them.

Chochma is the most spectacular faculty, but daat is the most telling. The man is daas and he can increase his level of daas to relate to the world with more maturity.

The frediker Rebbe was taken to a daunting prison. He resolved that, while there, he would not acknowledge anything he didn't want to. He would give no credence to his captors. They would beat him when he ignored there questions, rachmana liztlan. He knew what was life, i.e. what was real, and he didn't want to give evil/falsehood any validity and so he committed himself to this.

Nothing comes for free. We mentioned again that the Alter Rebbe said he wouldn't give any gifts (insight, etc.) to his chassidim, only show them the path in order for them to toil in it.

There are stories of 'great sages' approaching students tempting them to come study with them in order to 'be raised' to high levels. What actually happened though was that these sages were demons or something and they were seducing the students. To save themselves the students needed to recognize that nothing is for free. Study the yeshiva seder.

Another point: There was a bachur in yeshiva who wrote to the Rebbe that he felt he could gain more, grow and reach the highest heights if he could keep his own seder. (He wouldn't break for lunch so long etc.).

The Rebbe read the student's letter and crossed out the words 'highest heights' and wrote in 'the lowest depths', it would be a path of sorrow. (Is this like the derech arucha ookitzara, the long short way)

Also, the Rebbe says in Hayom Yom that we know what is from kedusha if it leads to actual progress. this is what is holy.

Again, we need to see the path as one given to us, not our own construction, we just journey on it.

The gemara says you don't acquire by seeing. Why would we think you do? Possession is law, not seeing. But because seeing is truly powerful, its a real thing, we might overstep its ability.

The Baal Shem Tov says to love every Jew even whom you don't know. Ok, so we're not on that level, but how does it even make sense? I wish you the best, but I love me more. The answer is that we live in one real world with one real family, the Jewish nation. So we need to love each other.

(The last thing was something about Tanya which was said here.)

It's Elul, take advantage and start really living.

From: Chuna

Subject: Hora'a Friday night/shabbos ekev farbie sum.

Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2010

Two views, al pi teva, or lmaila min hatevah. Natural or supernatural.

We plow a field, and plant seeds then plow again and cut and reap crops. We remember to rotate the produce in the field to nourish the produce properly. A non-Jewish neighboring farmer does this also, and it works, so it seems that this process is all according to nature. But we say, "no, a Jewish soul doesn't relate to this naturally".

The soul can only listen and relate to G-d. G-d says to plow, so we plow, G-d says to sew, so we sew etc.

With real faith, the way a Jew sees the world is as everything is completely stand alone because G-d is saying to do this, then G-d is saying to do that. Like walking to shul and missing the minyon. Avos says that there is still reward for walking to shul. Nothing is secondary.

Now-a-days, earning money is above nature. When we relate to G-d in a manner above calculation, i.e. that all the mitzvos we perform are developing a relationship with G-d and it doesn't matter if it's in a 'light' mitzvah or a 'bigger' mitzvah, a 'head' mitzvah or a 'heal' mitzvah, we look at it all as equal. Dovid was afraid that just knowing the differences between the mitzvahs, that maybe he didn't do them all equally. We say that if we do them all equally, without calculations, then G-d will not calculate our parnasa, He will just give openly.

Emunah and kabolos OHl. ?: blind faith vs. clear faith.

Looking at the world through sechel, we only have as much surety as the proofs we discover. A table is only as strong as the legs its on. There is no stand alone. Emunah though, is stand alone. It's a revelation of real life. Looking at the world through sechel is weak, there are constantly ?'s and answers and adjustments of where you stand, and what you think. Blind faith is not clear at all (missed something else here). Real faith, everything is obvious. G-d is real to those with Emunah, and G-d extends into every detail of the world, so the world is real too. In fact, its all miraculous. We don't say that the world is going to explain to me what I see and "I am going to constrict my sechel and the insight I have because it's not tangible." That is subjugation of the human intellect, that's truly blind. Really what we see with our intellects is real and this is unshakeable. The G-dly faculty of sechel stands on emunah. It is the nekudas ha chachma.

Ekev tishma'un. A heel that doesn't feel or think can be cognizant of the reality, that G-d is real and He and H-s instructions are in every detail of our lives. In the Rambam we could see the emunah and K'Ohl. He says there are three forbidden foods: Those that are prohibited because of Torah, The Rabbanim, and Sufik (Doubt). All are forbidden stated simply by The Rambam.

The Rambam says that a metal boat flying is not in the realm of sechel. So people can think that, "oh, there's a question on the Rambam, let's not talk about it because we might disprove the whole Torah." This is ridiculous. We ask because we don't understand fully. And when we ask maybe we will get it, and maybe we won't, but it doesn't disprove any part of Torah. The Rambam didn't make a mistake.

Everything is part of the world, but there are things in the world- inventions- that don't have place in sechel. The inventor is amazed when his idea actually works because before it was actually made it was only in sechel. Afterwards, it is proof that the world is real, and wonderous. A plain flying is not an impossibility, it is an impossibility to relate to. That is why we always look up when one flies overhead. Even people who grew up with plains are amazed. A car does not inspire this reaction. The inventor only thought of the idea in short. The full ramifications he didn't guess at. I.e.: somebody thought of how to turn a wheel without a horse. But that same person didn't think of transporting people to the hospital and all the other outcomes of having a car.

We don't understand how things really work. We only understand the mechanics. A compass, electricity, etc. We understand the mechanics but we will never be able to relate to them completely. Does that mean we can't use them, absolutely not. We just have to be cognizant that there are things above world in world.

The Rambam didn't think of all the things that would come out of his work, but we don't stumble upon later ideas coming from his words like a blind person finding something. Rather, like the intellect seeing the truth in the essence and expressing it from the essence, as part of realness, there are myriads of understandings that can come out of the words because it is a description of the reality and the reality is endlessly deep. So maybe Rambam, Rashi, Tannaim, etc. didn't think of those things directly, but they saw truth and expressed a part of the truth, then what comes out later is further development of the truth.

Goyisha Songs are forbidden only if they were used for idol worship, but songs stamazoi, can be used for holiness because the composer revealed a human concept, an inyan in reality. This is why we can sing Napolean's march and the French national anthem.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The purpose of the trip

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/22/2010 Sunday 12 Elul 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 27 – 4th line from thestart of the ma'amar.

We start the ma'amar with 2 questions.

Why on shimini atzeres it says “to you”, but shavuot and pesech it says to Hashem, and also why is simchat torah set up at it's time and not on shavuot.

To answer this we say torah is “betzalmenu” - “in our form”.

Wood by nature has certain properties. The appearance of the wood corresponds to its properties. We can represent ourselves in ways that are not authentic, but this is a perversion.

The neshamah is in the body, not for its own benefit, but to purify the body and function in the world. So the purpose of the trip is not for the neshamah to understand something for itself, but for it to show/represent/reveal that understanding to the outside!

What do you need (vos du darfs) vs what you're needed for – this was said by the alte rebbe to one of his chassidim, not as a reprimand, but to explain the primary meaning of us being here. When all else failed, the rebbe reminded him that he has a job to do. This is the rebbe calling his name.

It can be that the name/reminder (tzura) can be higher than the level of his nature.

Tzurah (form) has to do with chochmah – it sees the object as it is, but still it is seeing it, rather than being unified with it. Seeing is so pure that one hardly notes that one is separate from what one is seeing – this is like sechel perceiving truth. How can sechel perceive truth? It is a metziut?! But it has the bitul and recognizes the truth. However it is still an observation and therefore it has to have some means, by which I observe it. A light has to reflect back into my eye. Thus there is an inevitable form in chochmah.

This is like seeing the nature of wood – we see its form. Chochmah aims not for the form, but the essence, yet when it views that, and relates to that vision it relates to the form in which it is expressing itself – tzurah atzmis.

In source, torah is from the pristine/primal chochmah. This is chochmah before it is revealed. This is like, Him, “knowing Himself”, so to speak.

This is helem ha-atzmi – it is so hidden and doesn't say anything. So how is it a root for anything and a root for torah? In the context of what we're learning, we've seen that the name by which something is known gives it its essence, but this is true only in the created world. Not his interaction with others makes him part of everything – this is the fact of his existence – he is part of everything. This truth is expressed by the name, not that the name creates the realationship. The truth of this is be helem (hidden) because it is not due to its function. The interaction does not make the connection, it is all inherently unified.

This is yachid, not echad. He knows one thing (yediayas atzmi)and by that he knows everything. This is the primal knowledge in Him.

Helem is how the revelation is in truth.

This becomes the root of the torah, but it is not revealed.

What's so special about helem? It is the truth of what later becomes revealed. We are connected, not because we interact, but because we are unified on a hidden level.

Not because there is nothing but Me, but because this Me is universal and provides for everything after it is revealed – this is the chochmah within the etzem.

In the yedias atzmi everything is there.

It is also said that torah is rooted in “the supernal playthings”. This is the essential pleasure, except that, this it is as it expresses itself in helem ha-atzmi of chochmah.

For video, click here.

... וחיי עולם

Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting the essence

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/20/2010 Friday 10 Elul 5770 

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 37 – near the top of the page. Line starts “et ha teyvah...”

The souls of israel are able to receive the essence of torah. As a result of this revelation, there is simcha. A joy that pertains to all Israel. “To all of you and exclusively to all of you”.

At this point we circled back to the beginning of this section on page 27 (see sidebar on the right for text).

And here are Yehuda's notes on this section: 

Atzeres - to hold back. the moment of reflection & absorbtion

tzura - form that is an add-on to the etzm. Tzelem is a tzura atzmis. A tzura that is part and parcel of the etzm itself. the etzm is formulated in this form. the tzura is not an add-on to this etzm.

human being has many faculties. all these are means by which he can function and bring out what he stands for. even feelings (kindness, etc.) are not in themselves a presence in the human, but they are a result of his seichel (what he stands for).

Seichel is the human being. although this is a description, this is part and parcel of the etzm. this is what distinguishes the human being from everything else. he can be missing other faculties, but if a human doesn't have seichel, he is not showing his human qualities at all. We don't mean that he can figure things out. Rather this is what he knows purely on the basis of seichel. he walks into a simcha, he doesn't see the food and tables, he sees the essence of what the simcha is about. the tables and chairs are a result of the simcha. this is how the human being sees the world. why is there a world, b/c there is a meaning for what this is all about.

the principal behind tzura atzmis. table: you have the wood and the form of the table. how can there be a tzura atzmis? contrary to what appears to us (the table is a result of discomfort - and he came to a solution by formulating a table.) truth is opposite. table emanates from the human seichel. it reveals that which is essential in the person. if Torah weren't given we would learn tznius from a cat.

Why does a human being have to learn from a cat? 

After he learns from the cat, is the tzinus of a human equivalent to the cat?

Clearly it is not the same thing. what is the difference? the cat doesn't know the concept of tznius. he merely has this in his instinct. all good qualities that Hashem wanted to reveal in the world is in the animals. when a human learns from a cat, it has a seichel quality. he understands that this is the right thing. completely different perception.

Person knows tzinus within a much larger context. within the concept of kedusha, beauty, purity, etc. from concept of beauty, he couldn't conceptualize tzinus. we observe the cat with our seichel and we say that it makes sense - not that we are imitating the cat.

fact that seichel is able to interpret the world from a seichel-dik perspective is a miracle. seichel is a spiritual thing. the hislabshus in the goof is a miracle. there must be a trigger that makes him think along these lines.

Seichel is called ohr ha seichel. the practical seichel (put 2 and 2 together to get 4) this is seichel behami. there is also some seichel to this. 

the real seichel (ohr ha seichel) is the concept that is formed in the mind that is then applied to the practical thing. we understand difference between house and home. home is a seichel-dik concept. it took time for the concept of home to translate into a house. nowadays a house has supplanted a home. real question is what kind of home you have (is there peace in the home, etc.), not what kind of house do you have.

seichel takes a while to get translated on the level of the goof.

... וחיי עולם

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Soul of the soul

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/19/2010 ThursdayNight 9 Elul 5770 

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 36 – about 10 lines from end of the second paragraph. Line starts “gum bechinat...”

this therefore explains the simcha that takes place - “that the torah herself is rejoicing, in having the revelation of essence that is beyond the essential chochmah”.

Similarly there is the simcha in the neshamas – the revelation is exclusively for them. They are rooted in essence.

This explains why simchat torah is experienced in every individual yid – not just rejoice, but a joy representing their essence. Also simple people and those of the world, rejoice greatly – an essential pleasure that is not at all combined with a subject – not even dressed in chochmah – not as chochmah observes tynug. Thus the simcha is with each Jew equally.

Why does it come out in the form of simcha and not in the form of tynug? They are very different. Tynug is much deeper than simcha. Shabbat is tynug, yom tov is simcha. tynug/delight is really possible in total unification – like shabbat, when all rises up and unifies with Him. Simcha is more external – a gilui. Simcha of simchat torah is that the essential tynug is revealed. The first tablets were also rooted in essence, but it wasn't revealed – it came through chochmah. The second tablets – tshuvah – bypass chochmah – direct from the oneg.

Oneg torah is only possible for one who can get into the torah. Simchat torah is gilui and revealed to us. So it expresses itself in simcha. Simcha is experience of something greater than what he can contain in his mind.

Torah seems to come to us in the form of “it makes sense”, but the reality of torah is far deeper than that – it is an essential truth. Torah is speaking of a different viewpoint – torah view is that Hashem – He Himself is present in the world – and the world is viewed through torah from His perspective.

The yid is representing Him in the world, and unifying Hashem and the world.

Simchat torah is a revelation of the essence of torah, “the soul of the soul of torah”. Body is the chochmah, and neshamah is the oneg that is in the chochmah. For us what is the difference between body and soul? On the simplest level, a body consists of many parts, and the neshamah is not of many parts. When two hands cooperate it is noteworthy, but in the neshamah there are not two sides. It is one entity. The oneg is one element.

Many things, cooperate and form a whole, since one element complements the other - “it makes sense”. The torah is a perfect body – the rogochover says, “the entire torah from the beis of breishit to the last letter - the lamed – is one long word. You cannot transpose one word in the torah”, this is a perfect structure. Then comes the neshamah of the torah – that element of truth – the oneg, which does not have composite elements. Nothing in the world does not exist without a composition. Each thing can be divided into components. There is no true component in the world.

The oneg is the truth element. True in and of itself. Not a composite. Not an experience. A G-dly truth. This is the neshamah of torah. This is as it is dressed in chochmah. This is the neshamah that can be disseminated throughout the entire body. Our hand and feet are conceptualised in the brain.

The oneg is disseminated throughout the entire body.

So it is true to say, 'the brain has oneg, and the hand too, when it moves, it has a self contained experience – it has an element of chayut. Even though this is oneg, which is essential, it is the essential thing that justifies the metsius of the hand (human body) or the letters (of the torah).

Oneg is truth itself. Chochmah consists of space. Oneg shebechochmah, has to have a place where it exists. It has to have a room. It gives meaning to the chochmah, so it too in a sense also a metsiut.

The soul of the soul (nishmata de nishmata) – “seeing why it makes sense” - the “aha! Of course!” that is the culmination of learning is when it touches the core element is the soul of the soul of chochmah.

On a more tangible level – light has 2 levels. The functional level is a combination of light and dark. “Day” is a different element – it is not just the possibility to see things – it is a change of orientation. 'The sun and the moon were given rulership' – they change the situation. For us to cross the street or read a book all we need is functional light, but when we do it and it is daytime, we have a sense of the essential light of 'day' - it is a different experience. You don't need 'day' to cross the steet – it is a different reality. This corresponds to neshamah, and 'neshama le neshamah'.

For video, click here (right click to open in a new window/tab)

... וחיי עולם

Beyond difficulty and benefit

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/19/2010 Thursday 9 Elul 5770 

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 36 – about 8 lines into the second paragraph. Line starts “bechinat...”

Water runs down till it finds a place to rest. So too hishtalshalus – sechel wants to go to a point of completion – it looks for substantiation. The deed represents the essence of the sechel.

Shmini atzeret is the absorption of the effect of rosh hashanah and yom kippur. This effect is beyond world. The neshamas of Israel are where it rests, since these neshamas are not part of the world, but part of atzmus. These neshamas are essential, not functional.

Simchat torah is on shmini atzeret, though you might have thought it would have been more appropriate to have it on Shavuot. This is because it corresponds to the second set of tablets. This second set is the level in torah as it is “in the essence and for the essence”.

Chochma as refined as it is, is still, “looking in from the outside”, and thus an hamshacha not the essence as it is unto itself, and simchat torah is beyond this level of chochmah.

There is a level of simcha that is not associated with any experience. It is not associated with give and take. The inanimate object has a lot to say, but it says it in a quiet way. Inanimate means it does not react to external effects, but it rather means it does not tell you about itself, but it is a true presence. Torah is an essential, G-dly presence in the world. Israel celebrates and the torah celebrates on simchat torah.

This is why the second tablets represent the torah – the tablets in their inanimate state are screaming, “Ein od milvado! There is nothing but Him!” and in this there is an essential simcha. In the very essence of existence itself there is simcha, goodness and kindness. The second tablets represent tshuvah, which reach deeper than a regular service/avodah.

For video, click here (right click to open in a new tab/window).

... וחיי עולם

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Living itself

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/18/2010 Wednesday 8 Elul 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 36 – at the sencond paragraph. Line starts “ve al pi...”

Atzeres has the implication of absorption. “don't run through, slow down and absorb it”.

In the meaning here, at the end of succot, atzeret is the absorption of the light from Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur.

Pleasure that is sensed, has a subject. Essential pleasure, is part and parcel of the essence and cannot be margish or sensed. We are continually pre-occupied with our likes and dislikes, and miss the experience of life itself. If there is some kind of threat, we are sometimes reminded of the experience of life itself.

This essential pleasure is drawn down by tshuvah, which corresponds to the second set of luchot/tablets (that Moses brought from Sinai) that were given on Yom Kippur. This light of the essential pleasure is absorbed internally (klitah be pnimius) on Shmini Atzeret.

It something is absorbed bepnimius then it is reflected in all of his actions.

The nefesh is drawn to Elokus and all good things – this is not just circumstantial – ultimately this is its essential quality.

On shmini atzeret there is no limit on dancing/singing since it represents the simcha of having gone through Rosh Hashanah – Yom Kippur.

For video click here (right click to open in a new browser/tab)

... וחיי עולם

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In Our form

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/17/2010 Tuesday 7 Elul 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 36 – 5 lines from the end of the page. Line starts “ukmo she katuv...”

Hamshacha from pnimius is also reached by a tziur. And it has a tziur in that it will only come to an appropriate place.

Tshuvah also and shlemus ha avodo are the tziur which touch pnimus hakesser and elicit from there.

Tshuvah has this kind of inner strength, it is a mitzvah, but above mitzvahs. What is so unique about it? It is not about perfecting oneself, it is a return to the source of the neshamah. This is a unique superior element – a mitzvah is a command – He tells us and we follow through, yet there is the One Who commands and there is the content of the mitzvah.

But in tshuvah the whole focus is directly on Him. The trigger for it is the realization of the distance from Him, and thus one has the urge to come close.

This is why tshuva reaches to the depth – the personal status of the person is not involved – the purpose is to find Him and come close to Him. This wanting to come close, clears the field of any personal concerns, experiences or agendas.

Torah is rooted in the essence. In pnimius the infinity is secondary, primarily it is the absolute truth, which can only be where it is recognized. Only if you can relate to truth can you relate to this level. Absolute truth cannot be perverted or taken piece-meal.

Since there is a tziur it is called betzalmenu (“in Our form”) - the essence is formed in this manner, thus the hamshacha in torah is the Essence, although there are tziurim/forms.

When you pray, He is there, right there and answers “Amen!” Each person has Him completely – in essence there are no divisions.

... וחיי עולם

Monday, August 16, 2010

The sounds of silence

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/15/2010 Sunday  5 Elul 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 35 – below middle of the page. Line starts “le-ha-hamshacha...”

Silence brings a message. Silence is the nullification that puts aside any self expression. The rebbe went on a mission for the Previous Rebbe and would not talk before he completed what he was sent to do.

A fence way to chochmah is silence. There are 3 levels – chochmah, a gate to chochmah and the silence. The silence is highest and from there it leads to pnimius of kesser.

Binah is a description and a means to grasp the idea of chochmah. It is a handle by means of retaining the sechel. It is a knowledge that you then can retain – this is binah.

Chochmah is like a spark. A quick flash of light that is not grasped. It is without a form.

Where does he get the flash – the chochmah? Not by following the structure – he gets it by going to the essence of the inyan. Once he has it he can bring it to the structure of bina.

To say a table is a board with 4 legs is to miss the point. One needs to see the human element in it. A table is for human use – to sit with a book and learn. The life of man consists of being involved with his entire environment – the book brings this to him – and the table enables him to use it.

Chochmah exists only while the source of the chochmah is before you – it is not a stand-alone entity, like bina.

The essence of everything is the oneg that is in it. Oneg cannot be the source for bina. Oneg is completely inexplicable. Chochmah is the intermediate stage that can take this chochmah and make sense of it. Oneg exists in itself – self contained – a sealed box – nothing to notice or grasp externally. You cannot ask, “why do you have oneg?”

it is the special quality of chochmah that it can focus in and observe oneg. Because of the bitul of chochmah it can intrude right into the “sealed box”.

He can observe as an insider even thought he is an outsider. Kedusha (holiness) is only that which is derived from chochmah.

We eat food. We take something external and prepare it. But the finest flour cannot be injected directly into the blood flow.

It is the eating process and the digestion, that allows the food to be broken down and pass through the membrane of the digestive tract. The food/nutrients become completely butul and can pass through the membrane and become part of the blood.

The sechel chitzoni, lacks bitul – it contaminates the perspective and is like blood poisoning.

It is the bitul that allows the sechel to get an insight and to observe oneg.

There are three stages of the chochmah.

Focussing in on the inayan.

delving into the chochmah – with no communication to the outside – this is a moment of silence – this is the bitul – he's not aware of himself at all – this if a first person experince - this is direct contact with G-dliness
reporting what was seen/experienced. This is almost like an afterthought. One guides one's life according to what one has seen.

Steal by stealth (genayvah) – the thief, when caught, he pays double, but the thief (gazlan) who takes by force just has to return the article.

Torah makes its own terms – it does not explain by the world's standards.

When something is in His pocession it cannot be disturbed. When it was in human hands it can be moved. When the thief comes in stealth, one disturbs the G-dly setup, whereby he gave it to this man – this is like stealing from G-d. If the thief steals by force, it is a more human transgression. This is our torah – we live in G-d's world – a completely different world!

When you go inside, you see that it is all G-dly. We live with what we bring back from this silence.

For video, click here.

... וחיי עולם

Nothing added, nothing missing

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/16/2010 Monday 6 Elul 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 35 – 5 lines from the end of the page. Line starts “vechol...”

The level of acceptance/bitul of the chochmah is called silence. There are 3 levels. Chochmah, the path/siyag to chochmah and silence.

Silence is above even the siyag/makif/fence of chochmah.

How is silence of any consequence? The idea is how to penetrate into the essence and observe it. That is possible with the ultimate of bitul. He's coming from outside, but there isn't a sense that he's a metziut who wants some kind of benefit.

There is the story of one (oto ish) who was in the Temple, where His presence is revealed. His true name is said in the temple and on leaving everyone forgets. This man scratched the name on his knee and brought it out and was able to use it for his own purposes. He heard the true name, but had in mind what he could get, and the effect of that is the opposite of what is intended.

Silence is relating and observing, without repeating it even to yourself.

This silence reaches into the interior of the crown. crown/kesser at the inner level recognizes only its own truth – it doesn't have an outside. The king can relate to everyone and not be affected. The inner level is what makes him king – this superior quality. At this level it is not of the aspect of “call and response”. It is not based on a call from below. It is only known internally.

Usually two moments is more than one, but when it comes to etzem, there is no way to complement it and nothing is missing from one moment. Etzem elokus is true because of itself. It has everything (and “everything” is a misnomer – there is no multiplicity – it is one thing that supersedes everything).

“Splitting of the sea” is silence. Shabbat is a gift from above, without arousal from below, “Go and tell them of the gift, I am giving them...” says G-d. But what is there to tell? The gift of Shabbat has 2 levels – a feminine and masculine form. With the proper preparation the masculine Shabbat is manifest, and the preparation is the level of silence.

Fullness of service, is due to the dedication to it, rather than a focus on what one can get out of it.

The second mode of how pnimius hakesser can be drawn is by tshuvah.

This discussion has been about how torah is superior and precedes mitzvot, since it is rooted in the essence of ein sof. For there to be a flow from pnimius ha etzem there has to be “fullness of service” or “tshuvah”. This is a measure/method brought out by torah.

There is a method even though we are talking about essence. This means that the method/measure is “betsalmanu” - part of the essence itself.

The tshuvah here is not of the level of “give and take” - it is of the etzem itself. There is inherent in the essence, the element of hashpah – to do good, not because of some solicitation – it is an inherent feature.

... וחיי עולם

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A sense of perfection beyond mind

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/12/2010 ThursdayNight 2 Elul 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 35 – below middle of the page. Line starts “ha-avodah...”

What does it mean, “to a fitting place” - “so fitting that it automatically unveils, inner crown – the essential pleasure... and there is a give an take, which is usually not an inyan atzmi... “

“This would be like removing the shades from the window.”

When there is fullness of avodah, then there is revelation of the inner level of crown.

Inherent in pnimius is that wherever it will fit it will be mashpia. “Where is G-d? Where you allow him to come in” - if you allow Him in, then there He is.

He is not everywhere, since there is no “where”, and “there is no time and space” - nothing existes except for his true presence. Space doesn't exist, but for Him. It is a complete union, not a mashpia/mushpah relationship.

“I have a great hidden gift” - but He gave us Shabbat already, so it's not hidden. The answer is the hidden pleasure that is inside Shabbat. The essential pleasure that is unable to be reached by solicitation.

Pleasure is the thing in our world that cannot be grasped. It is essential. It doesn't have development. It cannot exist in an atmosphere where there is an element of interference. Oneg has to have an element of truth – not that I made it happen. It comes to me, without my effort. There are real and fictitious levels of this.

Oneg exists in everything. Things making sense logically is one level – it says, “I figured it out – it's not a mystery”, this is chitzoni of sechel. But in sechel there is also the sense that, “things are perfect. Things fit. There's a symmetry.” - this element is beyond the sechel itself – it has an element of oneg in it. Reb Levick said to the Rebbe, “once you know something thouroughly in nigleh, go see it in kabbalah, and this 'rounds it off'” - what is added? Everything now fits. It brings out a sense of perfection beyond sechel.

Oneg, by definition has a higher source than where it is experienced. It is source in perfection – in the neshamah.

There is oneg that is revealed and there is essential oneg.

There are in general 2 levels of oneg – one that is esential, and one that is revealed.

It is hard for us to grasp the idea of oneg. We think of the satisfaction after working for something. We have a tough time thinking of essential oneg – we don't have a means to grasp it.

Serving the king in specific ways can give us satisfaction, but the biggest satisfaction is just knowing you are a servant of the king. Being at the table without the host, is meaningless, even if the food and drink are still there.

A child that grows up in a warm chassidishe home, where everything is done with sincerity and emet, knows that there is constant life going on. The child is not looking for action, life is real and saying the aleph – beis is inherently satisfying. In everything there is life.

In the old country they had nothing, and the home was full of life.

To see video, click here.

... וחיי עולם

Dedication to the King

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/12/2010 Thursday 2 Elul 5770 

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 35 – below middle of the page. Line starts “le-ha-hamshacha...”

We have been looking at the difference between interior and exterior of the crown.

The inner effluence is intentional. It flows to an appropriate place. The essence itself has this attribute of being mashpia.

From fullness of the service, there will “automatically” result a flow from the element of pnimius.

Fullness of service (shlemut ha-avodah) is not just that everything is done perfectly. It means it is complete. What needs to be done is done, and it is done with complete dedication. There is cognizance of the avodah only, not of personal gain. It is done to be an eved, not to be a better person.

The eved gets the idea that he wants to be an eved, and not “free to be himself”, comes from a pnimi insight. He realizes whatever he accomplishes and does as a metzius, may be satisfying, but it won't be the truth.

The king may need certain things done, but doing something for him is not the heart of the service, the king's desire to connect and the people's connection to him is not on a functional level. The king has no interest in metziut. The connection is on an inner level. The king and the people become one.

Shlemus ha-avodah is the total dedication. No separation between “me” and the “thing that I'm doing” - and there is no difference if it involves a high faculty of mind or preparation of food.

This is the level of shine. On the other hand hamshacha involves a giver and a recipient. When you talk of oneg atzmi, you are talking of something that is present everywhere/anywhere. For it to be recognized you have to be “one with the essence” - this is the fullness of service. Then it shines automatically, since He is present – the King is revealed.

... וחיי עולם

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Levels of the crown

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/11/2010 Wednesday 1 Elul 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 35 – below middle of the page. Line starts “le-ha-hamshacha...”

we are saying there is pnimi and chitzoni to kesser.

They are very different. Chitzoni can have effluence without concern for suitability of the recipient. Pnimi, you may think is higher and thus also is beyond concern, yet the reality is just the opposite – the effluence can only be in the proper direction – to a suitable recipient.

From both levels, the hashpah is be derech memeila. Chitzoni gives unintentionally - “i have abundance, come and take.” There is no intentional hashpah, just the availability. If one takes it, then by definition he does not have relationship to the source. From Pnimi level there is intention – He wants to be mashpia, and will only come to such a place that there is a relationship and a cognizance. This element of intentionality gives the hashpa a different quality.

Why is it intentional? Pnimi seems to mean he is “into Himself”, not in an active state, “so why is he into hashpa/effluence?” This is because, due to His mutav – the good that is absolute, He wants it to be revealed and benefited from. The true good wants that the good should be everywhere.

It comes memayle (automatically), but in pnimi is different. It is not due to abundance. It is because He wants to share. This is an essential inyan of Him - “the nature of good is to affect good” - this means it is almost inadvertent, but He is involved and it is intentional. This intent is “automatic” since it comes from His inner identity.

The relationship between the King and the people is hard for us to grasp. Rashi says, the Nasi is everything. He is the heart. The people are what? The King flows in their veins. The receive his Kingship from above. They have to do something to receive Him, but not to solicit Him.

For video, click here. (right click to open in new tab or window)

... וחיי עולם

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Being at the feast...

AyinBase with R' Paltiel 8/10/2010 Tuesday 30 Menachem Av 5770

Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.

Page 35 – about middle of the page. Line starts “al pesha...”

Forgiveness is from the level of “inner crown”.

And this is by means of tshuvah. This is the midah/prerequisite of that level – that it will be connected to the “place that is suitable”.

This is not just a response to a request from below. It is a gift from above, yet only if the recipient is suitable, will it be given.

In klipa, “he has the element of 'I took it', making a separation between himself and the source.”

In pnimius, “it is a completely different relationship, the recipient doesn't want to take, since then, 'there would be my intervention, but I want it to come directly from Him', he wants a gift from Hashem, and that's all he's interested in.” Ultimately the truth is “ein od milvado” - to be a recipient, yet cognizant that, “there is nothing but Him”.

From above, the creation is not an inadvertent occurrence. In Atik there is only chessed, but not the kind that comes out as some kind of revelation. In the essence there is the essential truth, ein sof, but representing the absolute tov. If it can represent negative then it is not brought forth.

The meaning of being at the feast, is the host's presence. The guest appreciates one thing, “that the Host is with me at the same table.”

He goes with the effluence, and so the recipient must be receptive. Once the recipient turns away it is no longer pnimius.

If His truth is compromise, then he is automatically not there.

“My glory, I will not relinquish to another,” says the verse. My glory/honor has to stay within the fold of kedusha. That means that all the effluence in the world, which can be taken out of context, is external. Kavod relates to kesser, and his higher and deeper than sechel and chochmah. To relate to kavodi, has to be by total unity. The tzaddik who is not interested, “in being a good person” has this revealed on him automatically.

When the recipient becomes a metziut, then the Giver withdraws, because it is not “the real good.” A metziut is inherently a lie. Good that is defined by the bad, has a metziut – it has a counterpart.

... וחיי עולם