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But I Wasted Away My Years...

G-d Is Not Physical; But He Is Also Not Spiritual

1 hr 5 min

Class Summary:

This is a text-based class by Rabbi YY Jacobson, on a discourse by the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schnuer Zalman of Liadi, the Baal HaTanya, on Parshas Shlach, Maamar Vayishlach Yehoshua.

The class was presented on Thursday, Parshas Shlach, 26 Sivan, 5780, June 18, 2020, streaming live from Rabbi Jacobson's home in Monsey, NY

Please leave your comment below!

  • R

    Rachel -4 years ago

    ratzo and shuv

    Yaakov bikesh leishev beshalvoh.
    My struggle with rozui and shov is that the journey of life requires to never become complacent with either one of them. As soon as I learn to surrender to the reality of rozui and “make peace” with it, it’s often time to move back into shov and vice versa. Every aspect and perspective, whether emotional or spiritual has to constantly change when switching back and forth between rozui and shov. On the surface it’s frustrating, but from a deeper perspective that back and forth is really a very important exercise of flexibility. It strengthen “the muscles” that are needed to pursue a life filled with truth and value. It’s in the dance between rozui and shov that we manage to get a detached objective view of ourselves that allows for the opportunity of teshuvah.
    It’s only is this world through the realm of time that we can dance back into all the yesterdays and get another opportunity to relive them today.   

    Pursuing one moment and taking perspective the next. Like an artist painting his canvas, one moment lost in his artistic expression, the next stepping away to view the “whole”.

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  • L

    life -4 years ago

    Wow, I am moved by your kind words and by rereading my own words of just a few months ago.

    I am deeply grateful that Bh much of that pain and doubt is now a memory and not a part of my daily reality. I recognize how amazing that is, and wanted to additionally share the positive news (not just the pain).

    I try to learn from my experiences and have come to an awareness of my traumas and take comfort in that these were chosen for me to experience by G-d via “perpetrators” who are themselves traumatized or hurting. This awareness also helps me to give myself that which I feel I need especially in the face of others who cannot understand. Thank G-d!

    Relatedly, I’ve been thinking how through Corona many seemingly impossible things became possible, there was both unimaginable loss and G-d willing will also be unimaginable good to come from it. An idea that struck me during these times is that many people go through life making decisions and acting out of past trauma to avoid re-experiencing pain, and they are not even aware that they are doing so. (I know that this has definitely played out in my own life).

    To me this is a definition of golus, to be acting from a place of trauma without even an awareness that we are traumatized. Corona seems to have brought a lot of trauma to the surface of life, into consciousness, that we can identify our brokenness (separate from our G-dly essence) and face the pain in order to heal and with G-ds help bring the ultimate healing and geula.

    Thanks again for all your amazing work!

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  • A

    avraham -4 years ago

    Thank you for your class in the mornings, it revives my spirit (today I had to cut it short though, too much pressure from my work…)
    Question to you: If H’ is above physical and spiritual realms, and we have only physical senses and some of us spiritual, how do we experience Him and not just his creations and physical manifestations? This model of Ayn Sof as a complete AYIN transcending all known realms breaks into pieces my theory that “G-d lives through every human”, “He wants my experience” and that is how I experience Him through My Life and Life of others. If that part of Ruchnios in us is not G-d, then this model is completely broken and untrue. I guess as Avraham I am continue searching…

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    • Anonymous -4 years ago

      beautiful question.
      let's see tomorrow's continuation of the maamar...
      it comes back to memla vs. sovev -- G-d lives through every human; every human is another way of G-d experiencing Himself so to speak. But this is post tzimtzum, ratzo and shuv etc. here he was addressing "kados," infinite transcendence. 

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  • S

    shlomo -4 years ago

    Thanks for the 'shout out' at this morning's shiur! 
    On a different אופן I once thought, 
    'ומצאת את לבבו', מלשן תמצית, ומשלן אויסגקוועטשט (ונמצה דמו על קיר המזבח).  ווען א אידן'ס הארץ ווערט פארקוועטשט, דאמאלסט קומט אריוס זיין אמונה, וייל ער איז דאך א קינד פון אברהם אבינו. 
    It's the 'juice' that keeps us going!
    Thank you for keeping me going throughout these last months of global and personal upheaval.

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  • Y

    y -4 years ago

     Know that there are two types of light, in the aspect of “running and returning” (Ezekiel 1:14). Running alludes to the beneficences descending and bestowing good, for it is the nature of the beneficent to do good. Once this light reaches its destination it yearns to rise upward again, similar to the nature of fire which yearns to rise upward and unite with its essence. This is the concept of “And he went up and looked, and he said, ‘There is nothing.’ And he said, ‘Go again’ seven times“ (I Kings 18:43). This corresponds to “The tzaddik falls seven times and rises up again” (Prov. 24:16).

    “And he went up and looked”— The tzaddik attaches himself to the higher worlds during prayer to draw blessings down into the world, and when he reaches his destination he says “There is nothing (ayin).” That is, by divesting himself from his yesh he reaches the origin of creation, the ayin, for the world was created yesh meayin. Thus when he reaches this place he says “Go again”— Return all of you to that place of ayin, “to the extent of pressing out the soul” (Sifrei on Deut. 6:3).

    “Seven times”— corresponding to the seventh day of Shabbat, for the tzaddikim are compared to [the spiritual level of] Shabbat (Zohar III:29a). This is the aspect of returning the light to its source for שבת (Shabbat) alludes to תשובה (return), as is known. “And on the seventh day He ceased and rested” (Exod. 31:17). And Rashi comments: נופש, is an expression of נפש, for one regains one’s soul and one’s breath when one rests from the toil of work.

    “And it was on the seventh time, that he said, ‘There is a cloud as small as a man's palm, rising from the sea’” (I Kings 18:44). “And it was on the seventh time”— After the tzaddik reaches the level of Shabbat and returns his self to the state of ayin, “there is a cloud as small as a man's palm, rising from the water”— Read not איש (man) but אש (fire).

    Thus the verse reads, “There is fire rising from the water”— By praying with fervor to reach the state of ayin, the tzaddik takes on the aspect of אש and elevates the beneficences “from the water” that have descended and clothed themselves in the vessels of this world— in the aspect of “returning” the light back to the source. Then “there is a cloud”— by returning the beneficences through the aspect of fire, the life force that is clothed in the various vessels (the aspect of water) evaporates and causes clouds to be formed through which new beneficences are bestowed as in “Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth” (Psalms 147:18).

    Thus by returning the life force back to its source, he creates the letter י in איש, which is the aspect of chochmah as in “Reishis Chochmah” (Psalms 111:10) and “Chochmah is found from Ayin” (Job 28:12).

    And this is the meaning of the verse “The tzaddik falls seven times and rises up again” (Prov. 24:16). Once the tzaddik reaches the aspect of Shabbat, he experiences a fall from his previous level, for the highest aspect of his previous level is the lowest aspect of his current one, so he begins to rise again, as is known. Therefore the Gemara says (Berachos 64a), “Torah scholars have no rest, neither in this world nor in the World to Come as it says, ‘They will go from strength to strength’” (Psalms 84:4). And this is the potential of every Jew for so it reads, "And your people are all tzaddikim“ (Isaiah 60:21).

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Chassidus: Likkutei Torah Shlach Maamar Vayishlach Yehoshua #2

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • June 18, 2020
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  • 26 Sivan 5780
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Dedicated by Allan Fis, in loving memory of Shmuel Fis ben Olga z"l

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