E Pluribus Unum

20171116_091400

I celebrate not myself, nor sing myself

or at least try not, work to uproot my self,

for every atom in me belongs to Him

the Endless sea, constant transmission of life

I am merely a drop longing to return to His sea

blend with borderless oneness

egocentricity bears no fruit, tho’ you may

define your self as poet

a bed-fellow like yours chops down your family tree

your breast of herbage is beneath mortal form

song must be directed, for energy is never lost

and no one lives in a vacuum

I sing to this sea, that even a leaf of grass

all stems and grows from His root,

the true origin of all poems and song

I am my soul, the other to you

material is material fact to you, that you confuse

the spirit cannot be called by just any other name

the Creator breathed living spirit into Man,

who was once the only one, but not alone

Advertisements

The Alimah Oasis

15032928_1785336565054511_5863578964446376270_n
from the art of the Tiberias Open Air Museum

maybe we should have insisted on staying where it was good

twelve freshwater springs of the Alimah Oasis

and seventy date palms and manna

morning of Sunday 16 of Eyar manna came down

the oasis before Amalek, before the golden calf

before all the crusades, pogroms, and persecution

nice, warm, cozy and safe like a fetus

in a warm bath womb – life in utero

and from Marra already learning

about Shabbat and the red heifer

wonder why emerge at all into this world

air of relentless trials, war, and pain – real life

Sefer HaMidot

20180125_100703.jpg

Sefer HaMidot – literally translates as The Book of Character Traits – is one of Rebbe Nachman’s books.  It is arranged according to issues in alphabetical order from Emet (truth) to Tefila (prayer), and most chapters have two parts.

The first part is a compilation of verses from the Tanach, Oral Law, and poskim pertaining to midot and segulot (traits and spiritual remedies) which Rebbe Nachman completed before he became Bar-Mitzvah, i.e. before he reached age 13.

The second part was compiled later in Rebbe Nachman’s life and reflects his own insights regarding the issues.

He said of this book that it is what made him a real Jew.

Mandate of Pain

15085682_1786350444953123_3752790011418643517_n
(art from the Tiberias Open Air Museum)

that million-dollar conundrum that stumps

even the best of ‘em from Job to David to

me and you, why?

there are reasons, good reasons

does the soul read all that fine print

before signing the contract up there

perfectionist soul Get The Job Done!

get it all done and over with, in theory

just and good just what it needs

self-centered soul sees only itself

any consideration for the body that ends

up bearing the brunt of the fine print

body, mind, and emotional lower levels

of its signature-bearing soul

yes, sign on the dotted line

to commit to a job well done

to the soul general well done

aerial view above ground, the higher reason

to the lower levels a mandate of pain

the boots on the ground with the grunt work

the fox holes, the heavy gear, the sweat

the soul knows why it signed on

if you have to say it’s all for the best

best for the soul

it means you hurt, it means pain

Unity of All Am Yisrael by HaDaf HaYomi

Nechama-2.jpg

For guys: HaDaf HaYomi, The Daily Page, unifies all of Am Yisrael all over the world.

Everyone worldwide following the Daf HaYomi reads one page of Talmud a day, according to the worldwide schedule.  Everyone reads the same page together, and everyone finishes the entire Gemorah every seven and a half years.

It’s a great way for guys to get their regular study of Oral Torah.

Classes are available everywhere too that teach according to the Daf HaYomi schedule – all over the world.

And many Jewish calendars even list where the Daf HaYomi is holding that week.

Check it out!

Shabbat Shalom!

Nechama-1.jpg

Sipurei Maasiyot – The 13 Stories of Rebbe Nachman

20180117_211011.jpg

The method of story-telling Rebbe Nachman used in his book Sipurei Maasiyot is actually a spiritual “trick” he learned from his great-grandfather, the holy Baal Shem Tov.

The 13 stories that comprise Sipurei Maasiyot, essentially hints and clues about the geula, penetrate the reader’s/listener’s neshama on a subliminal level.

They open clogged spiritual channels impenetrable by “conventional” lessons and talks.

The terms and symbols are the same as in the sefarim hakedoshim.  For example, in the Zohar, Tikkunim, and in all of the writings of the Ari, the “Bat Melech”, the princess, refers to the Shechina and to Knesset Yisrael.  Thus, the galut, exile, of the Shechina and Knesset Yisrael is told in the 1st story – “The Lost Princess”.  Similarly, Yisrael is also known as “the second to the King.”

Especially with everything going on in the news right now, we ourselves can well feel what’s told in the 11th story, “The King’s Son and the Servant’s Son Who Were Switched”.

[Btw, the 7th story, of “The Fly and the Spider”, is an allegorical-autobiographical tale of Rebbe Nachman’s neshama before his birth – what happened to his neshama before it came down to this world.]

Messilat Yesharim – The Track of the Upright

 

20180117_211239.jpg

(by the Ramchal, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato)

 

The title of the Ramchal’s book is taken from Mishley, Proverbs 16: 17 –

‘Track of Upright, leave evil protects one’s soul, forms one’s path.’

This book summarizes the Components of the complete Service of Hashem, as –

1.Awe, 2.Going in His Ways (Integrity of Perfecting Virtues), 3.Love of Hashem and Gratifying Him, 4.Wholeness of Heart, that the service of Hashem is with purity of intention, and 5.Keeping all the mitzvoth, commandments, being the means of the Service.

The root of wholeness of service – Authentic Piety – is that it should be clear and verified to a person what one’s duty is in the world, and why one needs to focus and direct everything one strives for one’s entire life.  The means to attaining our purpose are the commandments, the mitzvoth; and the place we can do them is only in this world – i.e. this world enables us to do them.  The basis of the Track is that verse in Dvarim, Deuteronomy 10: 12 –

And now, Israel, what does Hashem your God ask of you but to [have] awe of Hashem your God, to walk in all of His ways, and to [have] love of Him and to serve Hashem your God with all of your heart ad all of your soul.

And, the actual path, the ‘Terms of Service’ being the Track, is comprised of twelve steps or levels:

Torah leads to Carefulness (the mitzvoth of omission, or negative commandments), which leads to Agility (the action mitzvoth, or positive commandments), then Cleanness, Abstinence, Purity (of heart and thought), Piety, Humility, Sin-Fearingness, Holiness, the Holy Spirit (above natural law), and Resurrection of the Dead (like Eliyahu and Elisha the Prophets).