Friday, February 27, 2015

"No lamp is too lowly, and no lamp is too lofty, for the lamplighter and his pole."

- Yanki Tauber,, on the mission of the Jew, the lamplighter.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

מוח שליט על הלב

My mind can speak to my heart and remind it that of course the Rebbe is thinking of me and caring about and for me. This must be the work of the yetzer hora who is trying to bring me down, using cruel tactics of cooling the fervent belief of the drowning fellow calling out in Yiddish to be saved. Okay, so I'll replace belief with trust. Belief was a dollar, a video, a sign. Trust is when the letter says you're a lump for people to pass by, you laugh and say no I'm not.

I can choose self-pity and then defiance or resignation, depression etcetera, or I can choose to be connected to Above so I don't fall below.

This post is my trust connection.

No, I don't feel encouraged.

The letter made me feel abandoned actually. Acknowledging my present state but not blessing or encouraging it seems to me a resigned acceptance with instructions to others to move on.

That's really sad.

At least I get points for crying for real twice in one week and it's only Monday.

We're off to a smashing start.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Today I Cried

It was during Shemoneh Esrei when I burst into tears.
Choking sobs, loud, deep and heart-wrenching.
I looked down and saw my siddur was drenched.
I tilted it to let the pool of tears slide off and then changed my mind.
Let my tears wet these words of prayer.
Let G-d see and collect my pain.
My thoughts are not always with You but here, take these tears that I offer but to You and do what You need to do. Go on, now. Do it.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Mine says" version 2.

Last year, this shook me up. Excited and then saddened me. This year, boruch Hashem, it didn't, doesn't. Actually, it does. But in a good way. A better way. Walk the palace.

FridaySh'vat 235703
Torah lessons:Chumash: Yitro, Shishi with Rashi.
Tehillim: 108-112.
Tanya: From this the intelligent (p.97) will be explained later. (p. 99).

Once, as the Alter Rebbe stepped out of his room, he overheard his wife remarking to several women, "Mine1 says..."
The Rebbe said: "With one mitzva I am yours; with how many are we G-d's!" With these words he fell onto the doorpost in dveikut.2 On "awakening" from the dveikut he said:"Go out and see"3 - to step out of self and perceive the Divine, comes from (the following words in that verse) "daughters of Zion," Malchut arousing z'a.4 The Future will bring the fulfillment of "A valorous woman is her husband's crown."5

Usually I have cereal with my yogurt, but today I had yogurt with my cereal.

PS. I'm supposed to be writing my profound Chassidic essay that will impact the entire world, for $10,000.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

I'm not crazy; I'm Jewish.

We were not placed here to do the possible.

Let the heavenly beings bring cause into effect, potential into actual. He did not breathe from His innermost depths into flesh and blood to achieve the facile and the ordinary.
We are here to achieve the impossible. To teach the world tricks it feigns it cannot do. To fill it with light it does not know. To make the blind see, the deaf hear, the bitter sweet, the darkness shine. To make everyday business into mystic union. To rip away the façade of the world and to bring it to confess its secret oneness with the Divine.

When they tell you, “You can’t go on that path, it’s beyond you!”—grab that path as your destiny.

Lately, I pray to be able to pray.

We pray and He answers with blessings. But we ask, “If you are already giving us blessings, why in such clumsy packages with so many strings attached?”
And He answers, “If you are giving me your innermost heart in prayer, why in such thick layers of ego? Why with such cold words? Why do you hold back your tears?”
“I’ll make you a deal,” He says. “You bare your souls from their wrappings, and I will bare My blessings of their clouds.”

Maamar Vayigash Elav 5725, 6
An Eye and a Sigh

Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov once said to his disciples:

There once lived two neighbors, a Torah scholar and an impoverished laborer. The scholar would wake before dawn, rush to the study hall and study for several hours. He would then pray at length and with great devotion, hurry home for a quick bite of breakfast, and return to the study hall for more hours of study. After the noon meal he would go to market and engage in some minimal dealing--just enough to earn him his basic needs--then back to the study hall. After evening prayers and the evening meal, he would again sit over the sacred books till late into the night.

His neighbor would also wake early, but his situation did not allow for much Torah study: no matter how hard he struggled to earn a living, he barely succeeded in putting bread on the table. He would pray quickly with the first minyan at daybreak, and then his labor would consume his entire day and the greater part of his night. On Shabbat, when he finally had the opportunity to take a book in his hands, he would soon drop off from exhaustion.

When the two neighbors would pass each other in the yard, the scholar would throw the crass materialist a look of contempt and hurry on to his holy pursuits. The poor laborer would sigh and think to himself: how unfortunate is my lot, and how fortunate is his. We're both hurrying---but he's rushing to the study hall, while I'm off to my mundane burdens.

Then, it came to pass that the two men concluded their sojourn on earth and their souls stood before the heavenly court, where the life of every man is weighed upon the balance scales of divine judgement. An advocate-angel placed the scholar's many virtues in the right cup of the balance scales: his many hours of Torah study, his meditative prayers, his frugality and honesty. But then came the prosecuting angel, and placed a single object on the other side of the scales---the look of contempt that the scholar would occasionally send his neighbor's way. Slowly, the left side of the scales began to dip, until it equaled, and then exceeded, the formidable load on the right.

When the poor laborer came before the heavenly court, the prosecutor loaded his miserable, spiritually void life on the left scales. The advocating angel had but one weight to offer---the sorrowful sigh the laborer would emit when he encountered his learned neighbor. But when placed on the right side of the scales, the sigh counterweighted everything on the negative side, lifting and validating every moment of hardship and misery in the laborer's life.

Adapted from the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe byYankiTauber,
When I asked them why they changed "maamar" to "sicha" when publishing my personal account, their response was "We wanted the article to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, and many women find it hard to relate to the idea of learning a maamar, but sichah is something more on their level."

How wrong and how odd and how unfair to lower their bar.

Why Are People Afraid To Die?

Why are people afraid to die?
Why do they fight to live?
Everyone is gonna die one day, what do they care if it's a few years earlier or later?
Once death is here, who cares?
Unless of course, it's because they know there is an afterlife?
And that reality scares them?
So then shouldn't they live accordingly?
What is death?
What is life?

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Crayola Box of Emotions

There was a time when emotions came in boxes of 12, all the basics.

Now I get new ones at a rapid pace and I marvel at the singularity of each of the 64.

Never before this weekend do I recall being told to be ashamed of who I am. Not of what I do, but who I am. Not of my religion or race or gender or country, but personally me.

That's a whole new color.

Having spent a few days by the Alter Rebbe, the group of Chassidim was ready to return to their hometown, but their baal agala was nowhere to be found. Worse yet, the horse that had brought them to Liozna was in its stall, not having been fed for several days. They set out to search for him in the forests outside of Liozna, and found him walking about and shouting in Russian, "If you were to ask a goy 'Do you love G-d?' he too would say 'I love Him!'"
As it turned out, the simple wagon driver listened to the maamar, and caught only these words of the Alter Rebbe. This inspired him so, that he completely forgot about everything, and immersed himself in those words.
(לשמע אוזן ע' 26)