Friday, February 23, 2018

Grinding out the Light

You can change the entire World with; Only One Thought

You can change the entire World with; Only One Thought

The influence of thought on our surroundings is observed in many ways. This has been established to some limited degree with machines that measure brainwaves recorded either directly or through the scalp.

According to Jewish Law, a person is not allowed to think holy thoughts of prayer or of the Bible in an unclean place. A person's thinking interacts with his outside surroundings and, it is disrespectful to the holy thoughts and a conflict with the uncleanliness of the place he is in.

A person is not allowed to think badly of an otherwise genuine person. The mere reservation of trustworthiness is considered wrong and harmful to that individual. Even worse, for both parties, is to hate in your heart and bear a grudge.

The Talmud tells us that when the Bible character, King Balak, brought sacrifices to curse the Jews, his bad intentions brought a harsh punishment years later, and his good deeds, the sacrifices to G-d, generated the reward that King David and King Solomon where his progeny!

While on the subject of sacrifices...if a person brought a sacrifice and, in his mind, he was thinking an intentional wrong thought, to eat the sacrifice outside the allotted time or place where the sacrifice must be eaten, this would invalidate the offering.

The Rambam/Maimonides says, a person should always see himself as half-meritorious and half-contemptible, and with even one thought, he can tip the world to the positive or to the negative.

A person's thought can influence and tip the entire Universe for the good.

The Talmud further says that in one moment a person can make an about face from where he is, he can think and regret his past misdeeds. In that one moment, his status changes from being considered an evil person, and he can become righteous!! Saying he is sorry mechanically accomplishes nothing. It is specifically his thoughts of regret, and his sincere resolution to look in another direction from now on, that transform the person status, entirely.

One of my teachers sent to hard labor for eight years remembered how his spiritual teacher once said that all those who were in the Russian gulag for teaching Judaism should intensely connect in their thoughts, and he would reciprocate.

So, at the first possibility, he closed his eyes and envisioned himself in a private audience with the Rebbe giving him a letter regarding his situation. The Rebbe actually responded with a letter!

When his wife received this letter she first thought he successfully escaped and soon would be reunited only to discover that he was still in the hard labor camps. It was only years later seeing the date on the letter did the whole story fall into place. Think positive, think faith and transform your world. Transform the entire universe.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Great Strength and Power of the Chanukah Lights

Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev (1740–1809) was asked. “Why did the sages institute the holiday of Chanukah to commemorate the miracle of the Hasmonean (Maccabees) victory over the Seleucid Army, and a Holiday of Purim to commemorate the victory of Mordechai and Esther over Haman and the Persians, while no holiday has been established to remember and celebrate the victories that happened long before these two, with the prophetess Deborah and Barak over Sisera, or the miraculous victory of Yechezkel the King over Sancheriv?

The Rabbi answered. There are miracles which blast away the rules of nature through a greater involvement of G-d in those events, but they are temporary and fleeting. Then, there are shines of G-dliness that are so powerful, they penetrate into the actual fiber and character of the day forever, and remain embedded in the day, to connect, and draw from this power every year, and such is the miracle of Chanukah and Purim.”

Just like there are foods that are worn out on us in a few hours, and then there are vaccines we introduce into our bodies that can last a lifetime. Certain influences of G-d are onetime events, and other inputs of G-dliness which are eternal.

This is the deeper meaning of the blessing we make when lighting the Chanukah Menorah every night for eight nights, “who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.” The miracle of Chanukah that happened at that time, is available and shining again at this time!!”

Some people may be walking around with “paper” in their pocket not realizing each and every paper is a hundred-dollar bill. As a result, they may misuse this paper not using the “paper bills” to its full potential. Some people may see shiny rocks and stones on the ground not realizing the value in those stones. The same is also with certain days, and time.

Like objects, certain days and certain times of the day are more inclined to certain opportunities. The seventh day of the week, Shabbat, when observed properly has the strength and qualities to literally become a retreat in time, a vacation without the bills and traveling headaches. Unlike any other day of the week, Shabbat i.e. the seventh day of the week has in its DNA the possibility to give one observing this G-dly day, a true deep soul rest, tranquility and peacefulness.

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772 – 1810) once said. “Through the lighting of the Chanukah lights” (at the proper times, and making the suitable blessings etc.) one draws into their life, into their soul, and into their world the infinite light of G-d. The kind of light that we pray for, “the Lord make His countenance shine upon you, and be gracious to you.”

When the lights shine, and there is less darkness, we are able to see where to go and what to avoid. We can see in clarity what is good and what is not so good. The negative forces thrive in darkness and run away from light. The holy Baal Shem Tov had a very strong affinity for light and would say. “In Hebrew the word for “secret” is the same numerical value as “light”. Whoever has “light” (as in, the candle is a Mitzvah, and Torah is light), knows the secret.” Life has less secrets, and more of the truth and reality is uncovered.

The MIRACLE of Chanukah was and is, all about the few and the holy who would not buckle in to the many, and the impure. Today, we are not remembering the ones who in weakness blended in and assimilated. The story and the holiday of Chanukah is a commemoration and tribute to those who believed and dedicated their lives for the purpose of their faith. It is in their merit; we today can still identify ourselves with our faith. It is in their merit, G-d made the miracle of Chanukah and we benefit from the infinite light of our candles.

Proper Speech.