Filed under: spirituality
Take caution to “depart from evil”
Keep the covenant.
God’s law is serious business.
It requires all your heart, all your Soul and all your might.
Guard your eyes, so they do not lead you to a evil thought.
Guard your tongue, be careful to speak truth and avoid falsehood.
At times one’s “word” may begin sweet and end bitter or the other way around.
We must be careful changing our words.
one might think that one is lying.
Know that the body is like a machine.
If it is accustomed to walk, so it continues to walk.
If it is accustomed to falsehood and deceit, it is then difficult for it to walk another way.
So do not proceed with falsehood and deceit.
Even, when one is alone.
Do not deceive your self.
Tell oneself the truth, all of it.
HE who thinks that he is deceiving the Creator is a real idiot.
There is only the Creator.
You cannot then deceive anyone.
It all comes down to one thing, and that is God.
The Creator wants man to feel that he is a separated reality from Him.
But in truth “the whole earth is full of His glory.”
THERE IS NOTHING ELSE.
So accustom yourself to speak only the truth.
With this is respect to the Creator.
keep and do what you say, the Creator, too, will keep “blessed is he who says and does” in return.
There is a sign in the covenant of the tongue.
A miraculous power.
Do not violate it.
Only speak what is in your heart.
Do not give the Sitra Achra (other side) power and reason to complain.
By Holy words is illumination of the spirit of life, don’t lose it.
The Sitra Achra only knows what is revealed by word or action; this is what she can grip upon.
Do not give the other side ammunition against yourself.
Know, pain and suffering comes through those who slander.
Be as careful as you can when speaking.
This is the covenant of the tongue we are talking about.
With this we must take appropriate caution.
Break off your mouth from speaking.
If you heart races ahead, return.
The Covenant of the tongue and lips is made by this.
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Filed under: providence
“Your judgments are far above and out of sight” (Psalms 5:10). This is one of the things we can see in our parsha. Similarly its written “your footsteps are not known” (Psalms 20:77). The ways of The God are most mysterious, Blessed is His name. We see Yosef inflicted by things that seem as tragedy. Yet we see it is these events which lead up to Yosef being put in charge of all Egypt. As Rabbi Akiva said my falling is my rising. One may start in a high place feeling they have all there is in the world. Yosef was most loved by Yaakov, he had the coat of many colors and dream visions. Then he found himself cast into the pit, sold into slavery and put in prison. Then he went on to become the savior of the Hebrew people in Egypt and from his descendants will eventually come Mashiach ben Yosef. May he come soon and not be killed. From this parsha we can see that certainly The God is the just judge. We see the justice of The God’s judgment to some degree from the life of Yosef in our parsha. The parsha starts out saying “Yosef brought an evil report to Yakov concerning his brothers”. Then Yosef finds himself getting into trouble when Yaakov sends him to bring a report concerning how his brothers are doing when tending the flocks. Likewise we see justice acting on Yaakov when his sons tell him about Yosef’s tragedy and show him Yosef’s garment. It was with a garment that Yaacov deceived His father Yitzchak to get his blessings. We should recognize The God’s justice in all that happens and accept all that happens to us properly. Even when something that appears as bad happens to us we must not allow it to make us depressed. As the wisdom of The God in fulfilling his goal of bringing our righteous Mashiach is “far above and out of sight”. The wisdom of the Holy One is certainly beyond our grasp, so are His ways to reach the desired goal. The main knowledge is knowledge of the work of The God (Divine providence). The main thing is revelation of The God within the worlds that He creates, or there is ”hester panim” (concielment from his Divine provodence). During exile all אות (wonders) are hidden so the “other side” does not raise up complaints against Yisrael. The God hides his face so that the wicked will not be destroyed, and the world can exist. The unity of The God is hidden from the wicked becouse of their garments of “tuma”. (spiritual impurities)1 Rabbi Nachman of Breslov teaches that patience is associated with Keter. The source of the will of The God and delight. With a good eye one can see that all that happens as good, and with patience the ultimate good will come to be fulfilled. Know, The 70 nations , God forbid, nullify the nanhagot (divine providence) of Yisrael measure for measure (through Yisrael’s errors and lackings). Flow of הכל אדו”ן GOD upon the creations is according to the arrangement of the stars and mazolot (constellations). Yisrael is above this level of Divine supervision by their Unity with The God throught the will of The God in the Torah.2
The mysterious ways of The God governing His worlds again are shown by the leverite marriage of Tamar to Yehuda. As Yehuda at first did not even know what really occurred. Tamar is the aspect of a rose among thorns , the Shechinah trapped in the “Klipot” (evil forces). Yuhuda took Tamar out from the klipot to a holy place. For the same reason “aretz Cannan” was first settled by the “Canani”. If Yisrael merits they can raise the Shechina from the klipot by “Misim tovin” (good deeds). Then there will go out the “canani” from the land, and we inherit it. In this way it happens. 3From Tamar and Yuhuda’s descendants comes David haMelech and will come Mashiach and may that be in mercy quickly in our days.
1. 1Share Ramchal p.30,34,Tefilot Ramcha’l #164,173
1. 2Avodat Yisrael p.59
1. 3Machashif halavon yaakov abuchizera p.107,110
Filed under: ANIMALS
SOMEONE SAID :
God makes the animals and parades them before Adam to see if any would strike his fancy. But none seem to have what it takes to please him. After making the animals, God has Adam name them all. The naming of several million species must have kept Adam busy for a while. 2:18-20
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found.”
(GEN 2:18-20 )
Adam’s first task in this world was to give names to all the animals.
The Sages say that a “Hebrew” name is a statement of one’s essence, one’s character one’s path in life and of one’s special qualities. A person’s Hebrew name is not merely a convenient collection of letters but also actually reveals the creatures characteristics. The Midrash (Genesis Raba 17:4) says that when the first man, Adam, was naming the animals, he “looked into the essence of every creature and named it accordingly.” For example, the donkey, an animal viewed as carrying heavy physical burdens is named chamor In Hebrew, chamor (donkey) has the same root as chomer, meaning materials, i.e. suggesting the heavy objects that it carries. (Contrast this with English, where the word “donkey” does not reveal anything pertaining to the nature of a donkey!) God wanted Adam to recognize his uniqueness. It was. God wanted Adam to understand that he alone among all the creations was endowed with free will and formed in the likeness and image of God. Therefore, God showed Adam all His other creations and allowed Adam to recognize the unique qualities of each creation while realizing at the same time his own uniqueness.
Throughout the Talmud and Midrash the sages used animals to describe characteristics.(Avos 5:23) Yehudah ben Tema said” Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion to carry out the will of your Father in Heaven.” The anthropologicalization of animals is far more than shades of Aesops Fables. It was intended that we study God’s world and extract the individual qualities of the Creator. It is true that a leopard is bold, the eagle light, the deer swift, and the lion strong; however, They were showing us that God created living examples of qualities that He wishes us to find in ourselves and develop in service to Him.
What is so special about the leopard, the eagle, the deer and the lion that these animals are chosen to learn from ? What should we learn from their animal natures? What can they teach us about following the path of God?
First, Yehudah ben Tema encourages us to be bold like the leopard. The Tiferet Israel teaches that a leopard boldly undertakes tasks that seem to difficult for it. So to a person should be bold, fearless, and ambitious as a leopard in their spiritual work beyond their perceived capabilities. Look to God for the strength to overcome any obstacles.
Next, Yehudah ben Tema advises us to be light like the eagle (nesher). The nesher is one of the most famous birds in the Torah, the king of birds, the eagle a noble bird and symbol of royalty.
As the nesher rides the winds, going higher and, so to Torah students should go over their studies tirelessly. Meditating on the text again and again, circling over the material. So that one may view the subject from a perspective above other. A eagle dives down fast, so a man should swoop down speedily to be humble. A eagle can fly sharply to avoid obstacles, so should a person avoid evil.
Yehudah ben Tema then teaches that we be quick like the deer. This is the only kosher animal of the four in the mishnah, and the only non-predator. Like the deer, we should train ourselves to bolt — whether away from false thoughts or iniquity, looking over our shoulders for the hunter in pursuit. We should train ourselves to run toward the opportunity to do a commandment and helping another people.
Just as the Jews left Egypt in haste, and the deer is instinctively swift, so we should respond to spiritual awakenings by “running” with the moment of inspiration.
As it is written :
“the chyot (angels) ran and returned” (Ezekial)
Finally, Yehudah ben Tema urges us to be strong like the lion. Where the boldness of the leopard implies strength not caused by an outside threat But here, strength refers to strength over something. It could be strength over an external enemy or over ones own evil inclination.
As the lion plans before it charges a prey, so should a person commit all creative, intellectual, emotional, and physical energies to their divine service. A unique quality of the lion among big cats is its ability to control its aggressive nature and live within a group.
Taken together, the four creatures teach us to strengthen our service to God with every part of our being: mind (bold as leopard), eyes (light as eagle), feet (fast as deer) and emotions (strong like a lion). The four animals also represent ways of overcoming challenges to performing the commandments: to overcome embarrassment, be bold in your commitment and submission to God’s will. To overcome the love of wealth and seeking of honor elevate oneself like the eagle through Divine intellect. To overcome laziness run like the deer. To overcome oppression and anti-Semitism be strong as a lion.
Know, these wild animal’s qualities have both constructive and destructive aspects. Boldness misused becomes arrogance; lightness becomes superficiality; swiftness becomes impulsiveness; and strength becomes abuse. Yehudah ben Teima, therefore, comes to teach us to harness these energies for holiness, for good. Will we be bold, light, swift and strong to destroy creation — or to sustain it? As we discover within ourselves these wild and wonderful qualities — of the leopard, the Eagle, the Deer and the Lion — may we use the energy to do the will of God in Heaven
Also know the sages say :
The ant is diligent, the cat is clean, the dog is devoted, and the ape is devoted to its offspring. They are qualities that God coded into the nature and instincts of those animals so that we could study them and better understand how to develop and integrate them in ourselves and in our service to God.
Adam understood the uniqueness of each animal and named them accordingly. However, he also realized that each of those characteristics were already inherent within himself. In the entire animal kingdom he could not find a mate that complimented the composite nature of his own abilities. He was able to find them individually in measures worthy of study, respect, and emulation. However, there was no other free willed creature in God’s world that contained all the characteristics that he had.
Adam realized his own uniqueness in the complexity, and wholeness of his divine character. Like Elokim, he too represented a harmony of qualities all centering upon the Divine service. Adam recognized that his potential completeness and harmony that could unite everything.
God created different creations. Each of these different creations had its own purpose in being created. It is the universal responsibility of all creations to protect each others divinely ordained right to accomplish their individualized missions. If a creation hinders or interferes with another creation’s purpose for being created, the interfering creation is opposing the established order of the Creator and His purpose in creating that specific creation.
The Creator provides all the necessary qualities for each different creation to exist and attain its reason for being created. All the Individual characteristics are qualities needed for accomplishing the Creator’s purpose for the different creations. The need to protect their individual rights and qualities is as evident in the proper functioning of the complex ecosystem of our world as it is in the proper functioning of any human society. We must therefore conserve the natural resources of our world and cherish the right of all people to have what is theirs and be who they are.
This mandate of “Intentionally Created Speciation” is a universal truth as stated throughout Genesis. It began with the six days during which God created all things as separate and different, and concluded with the creation of man, woman, and Shabbot as the most different and the most glorious of all creation. It is our responsibility to embrace the reality of “Speciation” and acknowledge through our actions the Creator and His purpose for creation. The Arizal (Sha’ar HaGilgulim 24b) writes that even the numerical value of a name can indicate the individual’s character and destiny.
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Filed under: spirituality
It is written, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
We can see that people are given only a part of the whole picture.
There are people with knowledge in the revealed, part that for others is the concealed part.
The thing is that in this world, there is revealed Divine knowledge to us according to our actions.
We see where an act is done,
and where a man cannot do anything.
A hidden force operates there.
The sages said: “There are three partners in man – the Creator, his father, and his mother.”
The revealed part, one’s parents and teachers can direct one to understanding.
The Creator puts a soul in the newborn with the deeper things, they are the hidden part.
The parents by their Holiness in their marital union do their thing thing; the Creator Himself does another thing.
Thus there is placed the soul in the newborn – here.
The hidden part is truly the work of the soul in the keeping of Torah and Mitzvot (commandments).
There one cannot do a thing.
THERE IS GOD
One keeps the Torah and Mitzvot (commandments) in action, called “doing,”
Pray to the Creator for the concealed part.
There your soul ignites the Mitzva (commandment) and gives it soul.
The practical part, physical part of each commandment is as a newborn.
The soul and vitality depend on the Creator and His Mercy.
And this is the meaning of “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God.”
The Creator promises that if we do the share that is revealed to us, acting on the conditions of the Torah and Mitzvot in the practical part, the Creator will put soul into our actions.
The revealed part is like a body it is what some would think religion should be.
The hidden part, Soul, This is what is referred to as the spirituality that animates “religious expression”
They must be together.
Without spirituality all the religious acts are as bodies devoid of souls.
Like the tin man, without a heart.
The giving of the Torah that occurred on Mount Sinai does not means that the Torah was given once and then the giving was stopped.
Spirituality is an eternal matter, unending.
But since, from the perspective of the giver, we are unfit to receive the Torah, we say that the cessation is by the Upper One.
However, then, at the foot of Mount Sinai, the whole of Israel were ready to receive the Torah, as it is written, “there Israel encamped before the mount, as one man in one heart.” At that time, the whole public was prepared; they had but one intention, which is a single thought about the reception of the Torah.
There are no changes from the perspective of the Creator, giver of the Torah – He always gives.
This is “the Creator will put soul into our actions.”
Then the Torah is called the “elixer of life”
Without spirituality all the religious acts are as bodies devoid of souls.
This is the “elixer of death.”
Thus Concerning Torah it is written, “If one merits, it becomes an elixir of life; if one does not merit, it becomes an elixir of death!”
Choose life !
inspired by Rav Ashlag
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