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If You'd Only Know Who You Are

The Error of King Shlomo: Not Grasping the Infinity of Our Actions

1 hr 48 min

Class Summary:

This weekly women's class was presented on Tuesday, Parshas Vaera, 28 Tevet, 5781, January 12, 2021, live from Rabbi Jacobson's home in Monsey, NY.

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  • SZ

    S. Zeblisky -2 years ago

    Only being able to read English, I'm hoping to find the source sheets in English, if only it were possible. Baruch HaShem. Toda.

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  • Anonymous -2 years ago

    Hello dear Rabbi Jacobsson!

    Your videos are an elightment and a source of strenght since many years. Thank you for all your work!

    You said in this video about Boaz and Ruth that Boaz helped her even when she wasn't a Jew. I am a bit confused. 

    Hasn't a convert a jewish soul which brings them to conversion? So to say, to return home and repair. Or are converts in fact no Jews but only their offsprings?

    Sorry if this seems totally unconnected to the topic. It's just something that bothers me personally and I can't let go of thinking about what you said. And I try to sort it.

    Thank you much!

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  • Anonymous -3 years ago

    To add,if we would know the effects of the acts we do when we step outside ourselves to help even a simple jew at the times when it goes against our nature and the future outcomes that result,we would be dancing etc. 
    from ber yosef parshas vayera

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  • DMR

    Dr. Mark Rutenberg -3 years ago

    This Sfas Emes is about breath.ולא שמעו אל משה מקצר רוח

    How often do you pay attention to your own breath or notice the depth of the breathing of another?

    You may have heard the expression “people don’t change”. There is a general truth to this aphorism simply because many of the most deeply seated, unquestioned beliefs that we have about ourselves, and our most powerful emotional responses were set in stone when we were very young children.

    Beliefs and emotional responses that were programmed into us when we had the limited insight and independence of a child have now become automatic, and many decades later we continue to believe and practice them regardless of whether or not they have any validity, are particularly healthy, or in any way serve us well as the adults that we are today.

    However this general rule that “people don’t change” does have a few exceptions. One of them is the lasting, fundamental personal change that can occur as a result of psychodynamic psychotherapy. When a person as an adult is willing and able to revisit his childhood with an adult level of insight and independence, the childhood mental computer can be reprogrammed by that adult mind, and really deep and positive change can occur.

    Whether seeing a psychotherapist is a pleasant luxury because a basically healthy person feels that he or she can attain even higher levels of self-confidence and inner peace, or is more of a necessity because the beliefs and instincts established as a child are now dictating the responses of the adult in a painful and/or damaging way, the ability to continue to work with that psychotherapist has become an important and beneficial part of his or her life.

    Then comes Covid-19 and the ability to continue in-person psychotherapy almost completely stops.  Psychotherapists and their patients have found over the last year that while the telephone session is generally not a good substitute for meeting in person, the Zoom, Skype or FaceTime session comes close.

    When asked why this is the case they generally point to their ability to continually observe the depth or shallowness of the patient's breath.

    A deep breath taken during or after the discussion of a sensitive or important topic is a strong indication of increased psychological integration and health, while a shallow breath, a נשימה מקוצרת indicates exactly the opposite.Our Sfas Emes provides a clue as to why this is the case.

    The first מדרש רבה in פרשת וארא tells us that Moshe Rabbeinu and Shlomo Ha Melech both stumbled in a similar way.

    Even though Hashem told Moshe at the outset that Pharaoh would not listen to him, when that in fact occurred Moshe questioned why Hashem had send sent him.  The Torah gives a reason why a king should not have too many wives which is that they could influence him in a negative way. Shlomo felt that since he is not susceptible to any such influence he could have as many more wives than the Torah permitted.

    He was wrong and this same Medresh states that given the choice Shlomo would have preferred not to ever have been a king but instead to have been a latrine cleaner his entire life and not have the Torah state that the multiplicity of his wives turned his heart.

    The common failing here was that Moshe and Shlomo were in these two instances insufficiently cognizant of their own Infinity.We know that our mind has several levels, a conscious, a subconscious, a preconscious etc.

    The Sfas Emes focuses here on the fact that we have Infinite levels. Infinite has an exact meaning – no limit.Moshe was so impacted by the pain of his people that he was living just in the levels of that felt pain. He questioned his mission because he at least momentarily did not feel the full height of his stature into Heaven.

    Shlomo with his great wisdom was able to be aware of and consciously operate on many more psychological levels than most others. This apparently led him to the incorrect belief that he was a master of all of the levels of his soul.

    That is impossible. It is impossible because Shlomo, and all of us, have an infinite number of levels.

    Our נשמה is a חלק אלוקות , a piece of Hashem and therefore reaches all of the way up to Hashem. On one of those Infinite number of levels that Shlomo was not aware of, having too many wives was able to influence him.I believe that the early מאמורים delivered and written by the Sfas Emes, like this one written in 1871, when he first became the Rebbe of Ger, are the most difficult to penetrate, simply because he was not yet practiced in translating the transcendent vision that he had into concepts and words that most others could understand.

    The Sfas Emes however leaves us in this maimor with two mind-blowing (at least for me) images or concepts, that we can practice walking around with. While the first is powerful, I find the second to be powerful squared.First image – Try to maintain a picture yourself as if you are standing on the ground but that your  height reaches the highest heaven.

    Moshe, Shlomo, and each of us, has an Infinite number of levels. Because they are infinite, these levels must reach up to Hashem himself.

    If Shlomo and Moshe had pictured themselves standing on earth, with a conscious mind that has access to only a few of these levels, but that they in fact have an Infinite height, they would have maintained a knowledge that only the Infinite can know what can influence us a thousand levels beyond our consciousness.

    Second image – Realize that you are the breath of Hashem. This does not mean that Hashem’s breath is within you, or that Hashem’s breath is a part of you. It means that Hashems’ breath is what you are.וַיִּיצֶר֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֗ם עָפָר֙ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה וַיִּפַּ֥ח בְּאַפָּ֖יו נִשְׁמַ֣ת חַיִּ֑ים וַֽיְהִ֥י הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְנֶ֥פֶשׁ חַיָּֽה׃

    This is why the depth of a human breath is such a powerful reflection of personal integration and peace. Breathing deeply subconscious connects us to who we are. You may think that it may be difficult to incorporate these two images into your daily life. The Sfas Emes assures us here that this is not the case. Try it on for a while like a new coat and you may find that it is surprisingly natural to hold onto these two images.

    Just start by taking a deep breath.  

    Dr. Mark Rutenberg
    CEO Adenocyte, LLC Sentry Laboratories, LLC Chairman Red Mountain Medical Holdings
    Please join me for 15 minute Emet Zoom Sfat Emet  - Fridays from 8:00 - 8:15 AM  Eastern US, 3:00 - 3:15 PM Israel. To join just enter:  emetoutreach.org/live You can also use the Zoom Meeting ID 929-478-7383

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  • RDB

    Rabbi Danny Bergson -3 years ago

    At end of shiur a lady asked question Re contradiction between "affecting the root" through impact of ones actions and 

    the concept of "tehorah hi"

    is it possible to say as follows in the "letters " of kabbalah 

    that at the deeper core yechidah shenenefesh nothing affects the soul an extension of "ani havayah lo shanisi -malachai 3:6) 

    but the concept of the chidushei harim is referring to root of soul at the beginning of hishtalshelus in atzilus meaning the soul as it is shayach leolamos

    i think Tanya uses this differentiation to explain how rambam fits with kabbalah on source of soul "he is the knowledge the knower etc) in kabbalah is the level of chochma of atzilus but the source of the neshama goes "beyond " that

    just a thought 

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  • J

    jacy -3 years ago

    Kavod HaRav, This morning you talked about that everything is HaShem’s will. Ein ode milvado. So how does that work with man’s free will? If someone slaps my face, that’s his/her free will, not Hashem’s. He allowed it to occur because it’s good for me. But it’s not His will. Maybe I’m just getting confused with semantics. This question bothers me a lot. Can you please explain? Thank you, Jaci Lazowick

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    • Anonymous -3 years ago

      Hi Jacy,

      Thanks. Please watch this lecture, item 7172.

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      • J

        jaci -3 years ago

        This is a quote from Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust, page 213. “I want to bring to trial a civilization for whom man was such a worthless being. But to bring Gd on trial? On what charges? For giving men the ability to choose between good and evil?”

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  • S

    Sara -3 years ago

    From the chat...

    My question is that these two ideas seem to contradict each other. Which one is it” Affected or not affected?

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  • SG

    Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

    All our thoughts, words and actions should be consonant with our purpose

    But if Shlomo and Moshe can err in this, what hope is there for any of us? 

    Maybe that's the essence of man, i.e. free choice to think,  say and do the right thing.

    Animals, vegetation and the inanimate have no such free choice abd therefore cannot go against the reason for their existence. 

    In that way,  even a rock or a potato or a  worm is more perfect, more aligned than Shlomo or Moshe! 

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  • S

    Sara -3 years ago

    From the chat...

    I know you explained this but I don’t understand how does one reconcile and balance the ideas you presented in the class, specifically how the essence of the neshama can be and is affected with he seemingly paradoxical idea of neshama shnosata bi tehorah hi, that no matter the action the neshama isn’t affected. I am asking this specifically in the context of presenting these a=ideas to a 12 year old who is soon reaching bas mitzvah. How would present the critical significance of every machshav, dibur and maaseh and the idea that a connection to G-dliness that can never be severed regardless of action, etc.

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  • S

    Sara -3 years ago

    I remember one of your Emunah Series shiur

    you asked the question, Can GD be surprised? Can we do something that GD would be surprised about? I think you said at the end, that it was possible.

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  • S

    Sara -3 years ago

    When I hear

    what you say, when I listen to the words, it's all so clear at tha moment. And then life happens and I don't always remember the words. I don't always do what I know I should do. How to reconcile? Is it as easy as just know that Hashem is doing it for me?

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    • SG

      Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

      Sarah  to Sarah. When we were in the womb we knew and understood it all. Then we were born and forgot. 

      At Har Sinai we accepted to do it all. Them we forgot. 

      It's part of our struggle here to remember that which we learnt in the womb and what we promised to do. It has to sink in. And that's the purpose of man. 

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  • SG

    Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

    It's always the way it's supposed to be

    But....this attitude can lead to a person doing nothing. Staying on  the couch. Not going to work. Not marrying. Etc

    Of course we have to make a  keli, but truly integrating the attitude that all is just as it's supposed to be can easily lead many to paralysis,  laziness,  fatalism. 

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  • SG

    Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

    Shlomo erred and took many wives for HIMSELF and his desires

    Moshe erred about the worsening situation not about himself like Shlomo but erred about the suffering of OTHERS. 

    The lesson from both is that we should never give up, never despair, never fail to  realize that Hashem (who sent the problem in the first place!) is always right there. 

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  • S

    Sara -3 years ago

    Seems that

    100% bitachon, trusting GD, is not possible for any human being, not even Shlomo, not even Moshe. How does one get there?

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    • SG

      Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

      We aim for 99%

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  • S

    Sara -3 years ago

    So in the end,

    Shlomo realized that he was wrong about what he thought he could and couldn't do. And the wisdom comes from the realization of the stupidity of the original thought. And we all go through that. We think we can do something that is (maybe, I say maybe and laugh at myself at the same time - why do I say maybe?)  against Gd's commandments. 

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    • SG

      Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

      The welded part of a broken item is strongest. 

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  • SG

    Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

    So we see that the wisest ofvall men, Shlomo haMekech

    Wasn't always right and always smart. 

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  • SG

    Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

    Shlomo wasn't wrong per se. He could handle many wives

    And horses abd not turn him away from Hashem. Lichatchila.

    He erred by not knowing that too many wives would alter that preliminary Lichatchila correct prediction. They did and changed that correct prediction such that it became wrong bideved. 

    Should not the wisest of  men, Shlomo, ALSO have realized and predicted that the undertaking of too many wives would ALTER his lichatchila correct prediction and turn it into incorrect.

    His correct prediction was not completely correct because it didn't take into account the likely or possible results of relying upon it. 

    If I am correct that it takes an hour to drive to work but one day there's an accident and I'm late. Shouldn't I leave extra time in case there is am accident? I might be right other times but I wasn't completely right when I tell the boss "I'm late because there was an accident"! 

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  • SG

    Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

    Reuven, Aaron and Boaz didn't know their thoughts abd conduct would be enshrined

    In the Torah. 

    True. But that is true of every thought,  word and act, positive and negative,  by everyone found in the Torah. 

    Not just those 3 instances. 

    Why single these 3 instances out? 

    Start with day one.  If chava or Adam would have known that eating would lead to death, pain in childbirth and parnasa, etc., maybe they would  have done differently.  

    This is true for every single person mentioned in Torah.  

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  • SG

    Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

    Moshe complained that Hadhem made it worse

    Wasn't Moshe tge greatest prophet? Even the Avos,  apparently less prophets than Moshe, knew the future. They knew and kept the Torah given later. Even Balaam knew the future.

    If Moshe was the greatest prophet, why did he complain that Hashem made it worse if he could forsee, with prophecy, that eventually the yidden (or most of  them) would leave,  would get the Torah,  would enter EY, etc.  

    He should have seen that the additional requirement of gathering straw, i.e. additional back breaking work, was a "yerida l'tzorich aliyah". 

    The explanation that the Din name and aspect of Hashem (Elokim) spoke and quoted the Merciful name and aspect of Hashem doesn't answer the question why Moshe couldn't forsee that the worsening was a prep for a  betterment.  

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  • SG

    Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

    The yud complained that Shlomo was breaching its significance

    But the king is permitted to take many wives. It doesn't say how many is too many. How was he "oiver"? 

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  • JP

    jamel patterson -3 years ago

    can hear, but not see him on FB.

    can I get the ZOOM meeting and pass word? thank you

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    • S

      Sara -3 years ago

      https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8808462179?pwd=VkEwdjRCbjRXajducWZ4OVZMY2k5dz09

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  • T

    Tzivia -3 years ago

    Today's USA situation

    I don't know if my note got sent.I and many of us are very very upset over feeling/being cheated, disenfranchised, powerless over what clearly appears to be a socialist/communist takeover of the country.Could you please give a Torah pespective on it.That along with fears of both covid 19 and of the possibly harmful effects of the vaccine has me and many others quite nervous.Thank you.

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    • Anonymous -3 years ago

      It is quite obvious how hashem is bringing us to realize אין עוד מלבדו. אין אני על מי להשען אלא על אבינו שבשמים. A state of mind we need to reach before משיח. Hopefully the גאולה is very close. There's no other way to survive these trying times. 

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      • SG

        Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

        So nothing to  be nervous about! 

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        • TT

          Tzivia Tyler -3 years ago

          Thank you, Dear Friends

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    • SG

      Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

      Dear Anonymous: We see in this week's parsha about to be discussed that Hashem, who put us into Mitrayim according to His promise in the first place,  also got us out of there to receive great reward both ruchnious and gashmious. 

      Our current situation both medically and politically is not worse than it was for the yidden in this week's parsha.

      Of course 80% of yidden died in Mitzrayim (didn't want to leave) and, r"L many have died from covid,  without fault,  still yidden as a nation and yiddishkeit as our tafkid continues regardless.  

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    • SG

      Sarah Goldberg -3 years ago

      Also to turn the country socialist is like turning around an aircraft carrier. It must be done very slowly and  gradually to turn around a huge enterprise.  Obama tried and was partly successful in 8 years. The framers of  the constitution were very smart. In less than 2 years one third of the Senate and all of the House of reps up for grabs. If Biden gets in (still a doubt) then he can only turn it around a little and the voters can tilt the balance back the other way in 2022.  

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Women's Class Sefas Emes Va'era

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • January 12, 2021
  • |
  • 28 Tevet 5781
  • |
  • 1949 views

In honor of our parents, Rabbi Peretz and Rishi Greenwald, on the occasion of your birthdays, with heartfelt blessings for many long, happy, & healthy years, filled with joy, Nachas, and success.

Your love, warmth, and leadership in Long Beach, California, over 40 years, have impacted thousands. Your selfless devotion inspires us daily.

Dedicated by your loving family

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