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Ask Not What Truth Can Do for You

For Truth to Become Emotionally Relevant, It Must Be Dressed Up in Many a Garment

1 hr

Class Summary:

This class was presented on Tuesday Parshas Vayikra, 28 Adar, 5780, March 23, 2020, live from Rabbi Jacobson's House in Monsey, NY 

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  • A

    Aharon -4 years ago

    Nefesh – considered lowest – nefesh hachiyunis – electricity of the body, vitality of the body

    Ruach – emotive, hispaiylus, hisrachshus – inspiration, enthusiasm, animals also have  - kelev = dog = “all heart”  -    

    Neshama – cognition of human being, beyond emotion     curiosity , inquisitive ness, ask q’s search for truth & meaning

    Nefesh Elokis – ability to act and implement values even w/o clarity of emotions, to carry thru , connected to nezach & hod

    Structure of Davening match up:

    Diff levels in all the souls;   ex eating – sometimes inspired to eat right thgs, sometimes wrong things – can’t see clearly but as far as passion need netzach, - know deep down that u care more 4 ur life than eating the 7 layer cake-      

    Nefesh playing itself out – holding back w/o the emotions

    BST:   “I can’t be at every market every year”   ie can’t always have nefesh & ruach

    Pesukei d’zimrah –


    L’zamair – to reflect on those truths in life that allow the ruach to emerge, organically

    814   taking things for granted

    Meditatons to daven better

    (A sign for the ice cream store, hiking trail, amusement park – simly making them aware that the action is there – gets excited )

    8:18 ruchiniyus sometimes related to lack of order but it is not.

    Neshama:  yearns to be connected

    A seder – can’t jump fr one place t another w/o steps – mashal of taking a trip – Davening order building up etc

    Remember 3 levels of slavery at beg’g of maamar.

    820   penimius change – takes time and consistency – assimilate takes time –

    22    NESHAMA  focused on yedias and knowledge, profound and intense understanding of Elokus

              Each world is a separate perspective – acc’g to each how one can be aware of the divine reality – what is true in one world is small & insig compared to a reality of a higher world , and that is relative to a hi’er world also miniscule – light is filtered

    Learn V’yudata Moscow  -  1897 – teacher & student & tzimtzum

    25 – need to bring out emotions in ruach one needs to be aware of certain truths – yet a little hisbonneus is enuf to bring out emotions   Neshama is a diff level

    31    Neshama & nefesh Elokis (incl’d in this is also nefesh, ruach & neshama)  are not the same  

    Neshama – all about penimius haTorah

    Ruach and nefesh – DNA of

    Focus on one aspect;

              Mochin b’etzem – to ferstand fun der zach

     and mochin sh’b’midos – what’s relevant – hishpaalos

           “b’chain” – Shabbos morning big intro to yishtabach  “u’v’chain”  ie what’s the tachlis, how is it relevant to me, how will it chg my life.  People always looking for the b’chain – what’s relevant to me.

    Diff of ruach & neshama also

    837     how to inspire people?   Make it relevant.   “hit the spot”.  ‘touched me”  ie spoke about me!    


    U’b’chain – seldom say after a Gem shir “you hit my spot” – halachas may be interesting, etc but don’t change me as a person.

    840  psychological size of person = midos

    Email fr woman:  speech for husbands to improve empathy esp during this virus crisis

    841  speech to men

    842  how you can change your life will sell – ie a lecture, project, etc

    843 take truth and dumb it down to me

    How does truth relate to things I’m interested in – show how something will improve sales, I’m interested

    How mochin Elokus speaks to me – if one can explain certin truths re Gdliness, creation

    Pesukei z’zimray creates hishpaalos

    Speaks to my truth, issues.

    Mochin b’etzem – truth for the sake of truth, not looking for inspiration not for the sake of relevance, only  this is opposite the above – ask not what G-d can do for you, ask what u can do for G-d


    Ruach – not transformation, only informational -

    it’s about me, my ideas, excitement  -   B’chain


    848   in real spirituality looking for the b’chain is a subtle form of selfishness – have to dumb down the truth to how truth can speak to my emotions, my midos

    849    don’t get to neshama w/o ruach

    Neshama – mochin b’etzem – relates to emes itself – focus is emes

              Need to understand everything in shelshelhes to get full understanding of what is Elokus – the etzem inyan – only that can only really transform one and touch transcendance –

    What did we learn today?  What’s the exercise?  What’s the b’cahin?   That we don’t need a b’chain.  We don’t need “what does it do for  me?”   allow self to be defined by truth, go into mikvah – tevila is letters bitul – not allowed t stick out of mikvah, don’t need t be visible .

       What’s the b’chain? Is all the level of ruach.   Real connection is the connect’n w/the emes of it, not dumbing it down to me ie the b’chain. 

    Real transformation is in neshama not ruach.

    Detached academia –

    Ahava & yirah


    One more detail

    Understand Elokus – in levushim    outside levushim

    Ideas – not truth - levush – a garment dressing something up to allow comprehension

    Hasaga –

    Ruach – nogaya is inspiration

    Neshama – comprehension -

    Seichel – one’s ability to comprehend that which is beyond comprehension , looking for this in neshama

    Silence of divine

    Emunah tahara – chasid asked what is it?  It’s not tarnished thru human intellect.   

      Truth is beyond an idea -  

    We dress up truth in ideas cuz that’s what we do – so it becomes relevant

    Mafshit fr all levushim – get to mochin b’etzem, bring up and up and come to the nakuda which is beyond hasaga

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  • SF

    Shimshon Fisher -4 years ago

    From the last 7 min. 
    I don't understand how once A person has reached the space where intellect can no longer express the idea or the phenomenon it then becomes something a person feels?  If that's the case then it's worked backward because it's a feeling and in the level of ruach. 

    Also if a person can't explain this idea because it is so lofty and has trancended sechel and removed all the levushim then do they have hasagah at all? Like Rashi, can it be explained to a 5 year old? Or if that were possible would it then be  מוחין דמדות?

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  • R

    Rochella -4 years ago

    I’m still speechless from the class!

    Now I understand why you have to climb the ladder from bottom up instead of chapping malochim....

    Otherwise it’s an escape

    I’m in awe how you were able to explain such concepts with words...

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  • M

    Michael -4 years ago

    Very deep stuff. One of the most esoteric, abstruse concepts we have studied, perhaps in the entire 4 years of the shiur.

    I recall some years back, you told a powerful story of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and the letters he wrote. You told of a certain Chassid who was offended that he didn't receive from the Rebbe  a letter relating to his unique personal station in life,  instead he got  a more "standard" letter, one laden with deep metaphysical meaning, but it was the very same letter that the Rebbe had sent to many of the  Chassidim, all of whom received this same "generic:" letter.
    You told us, I think you said something to the effect, that the Rebbe essentially dismissed and laughed off the man's disappointment, saying in effect  " Oh, he wanted a personal letter, that's so much easier and LESS meaningful, I'll  send him a personal letter", or something like that. I don't remember the Ma'amar in which you mentioned the story, but I think it captures the same deep idea you were trying to convey this morning.

     I have a veritable list of "what chassidus has taught me", various life lessons that I have learned froom the shiur  and that I can call on in so many life situations as a sort of internal compass and a toolbox of spiritual and emotional support. Just this week Liz and I were discussing that the fear and anxiety--at times bordering on panic--that we feel these weeks is a reminder to bring some of those lessons back into our higher levels of consciousness, and to remember to "activate" and re-internalize them, so they can HELP us cope with the current crisis.
    And now today, I find out that what I was finding so gratifying, what I  was beginning to feel so proud of is at best only B'Chein, only a beginning, only a lower rung on the ladder of spiritual growth, with a long climb from Ruach to Neshama still looking down at me/us.

    Very sobering
    Thank you, it will take some time to "internalize" all of this 

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  • M

    Moshe -4 years ago

    Oob'chain=therefore=how does this apply to me?

    I am a young string healthy father. If you tell me not yo ho out, not to ho to minyan, that my kids home with mo school shouldn't go out, then it doesn't relate to  me. And I might not listen.

    BUT if you tell me that if I don't listen my kids might kill zayde by infecting him these days, now that's relevant! 

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  • A

    Aharon -4 years ago

    women also need to chill, breath, talk more gently, enjoy the quiet (or noise), smile, not be anxious etc

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  • A

    Aharon -4 years ago

    where are you in the text?

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  • A

    Aharon -4 years ago

    where are you in the text?

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Chassidus: Maamar Matzah Zu 5672 #6

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • March 24, 2020
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  • 28 Adar 5780
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Dedicated by Ronald Stein, in memory of Aaron Hershel ben Moshe, who's yartzeit is today 28 Adar

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