Our Rabbi's tell us that the reason why the miracle of
Chanukah specifically took place with oil is that oil alludes to wisdom.
In an oil lamp, the oil nullifies
itself to the flame - it surrenders its
own existence and becomes part of the flame - and in this way, light is
produced. So too, if a person nullifies his human intellect and wisdom in order
to serve G-d, he will receive a ray of Divine intellect from the wisdom that
belongs to G-d."
Use the following Emuna
Coaching tool to practice surrendering your intellect to G-d.
1. Take a few deep breaths and exhale slowly.
2. Slowly fix your gaze on the oil in the picture above and
think of it as your wisdom.
3. Now look at the flame and think of it as G-d's Wisdom.
4. Just let go and imagine yourself (the oil) being absorbed
by the wick (your soul) and becoming one with G-d (the flame)
5. Breath slowly with the awareness that you are sacrificing
yourself to become a part of G-d.
6. Since you have turned away from your own reasoning,
calculations and considerations - see
G-d turning away from all of the accusing voices in Heaven and saving us.
7. You are accepting G-d's Kingship upon yourself.
8. Now you will experience wondrous miracles that are beyond
all reason and expectation.
If you liked this please share it. Thank you!
Dr. Zev Ballen
Adapted from: A Scent of Eden: Collected Discourses of Rabbi Yaakov Meir Shechter. pp. 270-271.
There are only two root causes for the alarming number of anxieties and psychological
problems that people suffer from. In today's lesson, I'll address these root causes and show you how to gain mastery over them.
G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 5:00 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev
Israel website, so try to tune in as follows: 10:00 AM in NY; 7:00 AM
in LA and the West Coast, 8:00 AM Denver, 10:00 AM Mexico and Central
Daylight; 3:00PM in the UK, 5:00 PM Johannesburg and Capetown, 5:00 PM
Israel. G-d willing, we'll try and post a link to the lesson for all
those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM Monday (Israel time).
If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version
of Flash Media player, which you can do here. We hope you enjoy the
Jacob, our father, dreamt of a ladder that stood firmly on the
ground while "...it's head reached
up to the Heavens...(Genesis 28:12).
Our great rabbis tell us that a human being is also like a
ladder connecting Heaven and earth. Although his feet are on the ground, his head reaches to the highest
Heavens. That's what makes our thoughts, speech and actions so powerful and
able to affect all of the upper worlds.
1. With your eyes open or closed, take a few deep refreshing breaths and exhale slowly.
2. Look down at your feet and then look up at the blue sky
or the twinkly stars at night.
3. As you stand where you are on earth, imagine yourself
rising upwards... you're becoming so huge and so tall...you are so tall that
your head is in the Heavens.
4. You are so tall that your head is above the
clouds...above the world.
5. Now with your eyes closed, take another few breaths of sweet and soothing Heavenly air.
6. As you breath slowly in you feel your head rising higher and higher.
7. As you grow taller and taller you feel more and more peaceful and secure.
8. Now simply ask G-d to fill
you up with whatever it is that you need most today e.g. confidence, livelihood, health, faith or
whatever it is you want.
9. Breath the good stuff
in and let yourself absorb it in every cell of your being.
10. Thank G-d for this experience and request that He remind
you about it many times during the day.
11. With your eyes wide open, continue your day or evening.
The divorce rate in the U.S. is approaching 60% and these marriages are fizzling out within the first five years.
It almost doesn't sound
shocking anymore yet this figure is 2 and a half times the number of
divorces that we had 20 years ago and 4 times as many divorces as we had
50 years ago.
Marital experts seem to be
short on answers to explain why this is happening, but I found one study
that reveals a lot and confirms what Torah observant Jews have always
30 people from 22 marriages
that span nine countries and five religions were selected for the study
because they indicated on a questionnaire that their marriages were
growing in love over time. The researchers wanted to know what was so
different about these successful marriages as compared to most marriages
today. What was enabling them to beat the terrible odds? What were the
turning points in their relationships where they felt their love deepening?
The first thing they had
these people do was to rate themselves on a scale from zero to ten (ten
is the most) on how much they loved each other when they first got
married and how much they loved each other now (after an average of 19.3
years). On average, they gave themselves a 3.9 to begin with and an 8.5
at the time of the study.
Then they asked these happy
couples to identify the single most important factor that enabled them
to grow happier together as time went by. They unanimously said that it
was a strong commitment to the marriage.
That in itself may not surprise you but what if I told you that these successful marriages shared something else in common...Continue here...
If you would have asked me forty years ago what the
purpose of my life should be, I would have said it would be starting as a forward for the New York Knicks. In
college, I thought the purpose of life was to do as I pleased and have as much
fun as I could. Later on, I was sure that I had found my "real self"
in becoming a psychotherapist. All of these "purposes" gave me
something, yet by themselves they were incomplete.
How do we find our way to the "real us" and
happily live the life that we're meant to live? This is the subject of today's
lesson. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Our thoughts, speech and behaviors - even our acts of loving kindness are not our essential selves. They are merely an expression of a deeper level of soul; they are like the fruits of a tree. The real "us" - the self we are truly meant to be - is our good character traits. Our character traits are like the roots of a tree, and the life of a tree depends on its roots.
What brings meaning
and purpose to somebody's life? Forty years ago I would have said: to be a
starting forward for the New York Knicks. During my college years, it was
about the freedom to do as I pleased; and, later on, when this nagging question
got worse, I tried to comfort myself by thinking that I would find my ultimate satisfaction in being a psychotherapist...or so I thought.
I always admired people
who were passionate about a mission or cause that was dear to them such as the
civil rights movement and other types of humanitarian causes. Even if
they seemed quirky, naïve or fanatical, people who really believe in something, a cause which is greater than themselves, live with a broader more
encompassing sense of purpose than someone who defines himself as a "therapist," a "lawyer," a "teacher," a fireman." As I studied these people, I found that most of them were ready to die for what they believed in.
How does a person become a believer in something worth dying for?
Only when he leaves himself behind. It's when he forgets about himself that he starts to know something about his life's true mission. It's when he gets a reprieve from the perpetual knot in his head that he gets that bit of clarity and wisdom that enables him to "see." Knowledge about spirituality comes naturally to a person who lets it in. He does not need
to strain himself to achieve this knowledge. It comes from outside his "power
of reasoning," it comes from beyond. This is the subject of today's lesson. I hope you can join me!
G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 5:00 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in as follows: 10:00 AM in NY; 7:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 8:00 AM Denver, 10:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00PM in the UK, 5:00 PM Johannesburg and Capetown, 5:00 PM Israel. G-d willing, we'll try and post a link to the lesson for all those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM Monday (Israel time).
If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. We hope you enjoy the broadcast.