August, 2009 Archives

13
Aug

Yaacov Dovid Shulman Presents the Baal Shem Tov: WORLDS AND SOULS AND GODLINESS

by admin in Spiritual Growth

Every letter contains worlds and souls and Godliness. They rise and are connected and join with each other, with Godliness, and then the letters join and are connected together and a word is formed, and they truly unite in Godliness.

And a person must enclose his soul in every one of these levels. Then all the worlds join as one and they rise, causing an infinite joy and pleasure.

Tzavaas Harivash 75

Yaacov Dovid Shulman’s Writings can be found at ravkook.net and jewishlights.blogspot.com

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6
Aug

Yaacov Dovid Shulman Presents Rav Kook on The Merits of the Jewish People

by admin in Spiritual Growth

Every Saturday night after the Sabbath is over, the prophet Elijah sits beneath the Tree of Life and records the merits of the Jewish people.

The secrets of the Torah are the trait of the manifestation of Elijah.

Therefore, if you have any connection to a desire for the secrets of the Torah, on any level whatsoever–even if it is merely something you imagine, or a feeling, or something that you can grasp with your human intellect; and certainly if (aided by God’s supernal love) you have risen to higher levels–then every Saturday night after the Sabbath is over, you should engage in the activities of Elijah. Involve yourself in the merits of the Jewish people.

With a conceptual understanding, with a bright and clear grasp, recognize the holiness of the Jewish people and their precious worth. Cling to the totality of the holy nation, the nation of God, His special inheritance, upon every individual member of which God’s holy light shines infinitely–for the world rests upon even the most empty of Jews.

Tremble with a holy awe at the holiness of the divine, supernal soul of every Jew. Be filled with a transcendent yearning and desire for the holy elevated advancement of the Jewish people in general, and for the success of every individual Jew in all the works of his hands, in physical and spiritual matters, [bringing him] everything good.

From the midst of the depths of your soul, sing and proclaim, “Happy are you, Israel, happy are you, Israel! Who is like you, a nation redeemed by God! I have loved you, my nation and people, I have desired you with all my heart, with all my soul. I yearn for you with all the warmth of my heart, with all the fire of my bones. I yearn to see your glory, your beauty and your grandeur, the time that you will be raised and uplifted, the time that you will grow in your own characteristic beauty, when all your special qualities will come to the fore and the wondrous things hidden within you [will emerge] from the potential to the actual, a time that you will be planted in and become an inhabitant of the land that matches your character, the land of your beauty. Then, to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west, the beauty of your strength and the height of your horn will be revealed.

“The nations will see your righteousness and all the kings your glory, and they will call you by a new name that the mouth of God will pronounce, and you will be the diadem of beauty in the hand of God, a headband of sovereignty in the hand of God.”


Olat Harayah

Yaacov Dovid Shulman’s Writings can be found at ravkook.net and jewishlights.blogspot.com

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6
Aug

Yaacov Dovid Shulman Presents Rav Kook On: Torah For Its Own Sake

by admin in Spiritual Growth

[What is] the essence of learning Torah for its own sake?

In spiritual teachings, this is self-understood. Such teachings are openly concerned with coming close to God and elevation in sanctity. We are uplifted by these teachings.

But what about Torah texts on practical matters?

We must understand that these are all branches and garments of the light of divine honesty and justice. Within their details, we may find the divine soul of the perfection of the world: in life, in physicality and in spirit, in community and in the individual. Once we realize this, light gleams and descends into every detail. Once the feeling of our inner heart and mind is dedicated to the divine and inclusive illumination hidden in the multitude of these practical teachings, we come to an inner revelation within every detail, which shines in accordance with the capability of our individual spirit.

At times, our thought may broaden and coalesce to such a point that we are able to express and explain the spark of the divine light that we grasped in one of the details of the text we are learning, as we rise through all its details.

At other times, the matter is revealed only as a subtle glimmer in the chambers of our heart. Even then, however, this lifts our soul to an elevated state, through which all of life is rarified.

In regard to this latter manifestation, our sages stated: “Whoever learns Torah for its own sake merits many things.” And regarding the [former] inclusive illumination, they added: “And not only that, but the whole world is considered worthwhile for his sake.”

Orot Hatorah 2:2

Yaacov Dovid Shulman’s Writings can be found at ravkook.net and jewishlights.blogspot.com

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4
Aug

Are You Growing Spiritually

by admin in Spiritual Growth

Yaacov David Shulman’s Translation of Rabbi Kalman Kalonymus Shapiro:

If you want to know whether you have grown spiritually or, heaven forbid, have been deteriorating over the course of the last few years, take note of your desire your desire, not just your wish.

Only when you work hard to attain some goal is that called desire. If you don t work for it, even if you want it, that is not desire, only some kind of vague wish. For instance, a poor person wants to make a living. That is a desire, because he works at it. But if he wants to suddenly find a million dollars, that is merely a wish to get rich not his true desire.

Every Jew wants to be perfect, but that s just a wish that one day he ll get up in the morning and find that he s perfect. That is not a desire. Only when you want and work to reach a level and state of holiness do you have real desire.

So a false desire can always be great. Whatever state a person is in, he can always have the same desire to suddenly become immensely wealthy, or that he will instantaneously become a spiritual master. But that is not real desire, a desire that comes with work.

Such a person doesn t leap, but he trods, he walks steadily to a higher state and level of serving God, and his mind is fixed on continuing to grow. And so a person s desire corresponds to his level. If he is small, his desire is small. But when his service of God grows greater and he rises, then his desire grows greater.

So if you want to know what level you are on, look at your desire: at what you have desired in the last year or two and what you desire now. If the two are equal, or if your desire has grown, then (thank God) you have been growing spiritually.

Tzav V ziruz, pp. 333-34

Yaacov Dovid Shulman’s Writings can be found at ravkook.net and jewishlights.blogspot.com

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2
Aug

Podcast: Benching 2:

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Prayer

Benching2

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2
Aug

Podcast: Benching 1

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Prayer

Benching1

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2
Aug