December 2017 | Vital Transformation

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How do you get clarity? Happiness Holds the Key!

It says in this week’s Torah reading: “The spirit of Jacob was revived”, and then it says, “Israel”. Why does it envoke both names? The meaning has a direct implication with both clarity and happiness.

There are two forces as we know, the male and female force, active and passive, giving and receiving. What can we learn from it? The idea is that when we are not happy we cannot reach our potential. One of the things needed to be happy or to have clarity is to be in a state of happiness.

There is a happiness that comes as a result of something happening to us, or around us and there is happiness that motivates us to bring and inspire results. There is one happiness called reactive happiness and one called proactive happiness.

What is reactive happiness?

I’m reacting to beauty, food, drugs, sex. What’s proactive happiness ? I am experience a state of innner happiness and even joy, even though I’m facing challenges. That happiness gives me the motivation to overcome and even ignore obstacles.

The Talmud says that every human being needs to smile. Why? Where does it come from? Your face! Your smile is on your face and facing outward. Your face doesn’t belong to you. Your face belongs to the public domain. We need to put an effort into what’s on our face. Why? You don’t see your face, but the public sees your face and what it is expressing is for public consuption, which is why we are always told you have to smile in public, and put on a brave face.

Jacob didn’t believe his son’s tale that Joseph was alive in the frame as Jacob, but as Israel he was able to believe and be happy. It also says, Serach the daughter of Asher was able to make Jacob happy and because of that she lived with happiness.

What do we learn from this ? The people around you that are spiritual need to be happy all the time because they are the ones that hold everything up. If they are in a bad mood the city or area can go down. The tradition is to make your teacher happy in order to keep the balance of happiness so they can hold everything up.

So how is this tied to Clarity?

What do we do to achieve success and make our life better? First, find something that makes you happy and then you will achieve clarity. The first thing is to make sure you are surrounded by the right people and not surrounded by the wrong people . So why do we draw the wrong people in our lives?

Because we are miserable and misery loves company/ We draw the wrong people into our lives by our own vibration. We are the misery and they are the company. We can have amazing moments constantly, but if I’m miserable I tend to draw those kinds of people in my life. This is an important fact we have to understand. They are a reflection of ourselves.

How can we change it, We need to do two things, let go of our misery and get rid of the people that we don’t want around us. Friendship is the main goal of our life. And, that friendship must be with those who mutually uplift each other.

Sometimes when you grow up you forget the young spirit of adventure that is a necessity to have so you can have fun in life. People don’t want to be with a grumpy person they want the fun and happy side. But if the grumpy side is focused on we will draw the wrong people.

Jacob and Israel is us. These names are code words for two different natures. Jacob is the miserable side and Israel is the side that enjoys and is happy. If there are people who are around you that are not happy get rid of them . You have to clean your people and and enjoy the people around you. Don’t be with people who you don’t like.

When do you become miserable? When we lose sight of the big picture. We don’t like to see people suffering. but if we saw the big picture it wouldn’t bother us.

What is your big picture? Who is around you that supports your achievement of that picture? Who and what inspires you to move forward? By staying centered on the joy of bringing in more good you increase your level of happiness and that happy state of mind will enable you to have clarity not only of purpose, but the clarity to see the next step in achieving it.

Your Parent’s Blanket

When I was young I was always getting very sick. It was a great way to get attention. My parents and sister gave me medicine and put cold vinegar compress on my forehead to reduce my fever. But, the best comfort was when my parents would cover me with their blanket all the way up to my shoulders. Almost like the blanket was hugging me endlessly and protecting me from harm. After all these years, I can still enjoy how it made me feel, and it was just a piece of fabric!

Most of you I am sure can relate to that as you remember your own childhood. So,
what was it about that blanket that covered you that made you feel safe before you went to sleep?

Sadly, there are places in the world where people have no blankets; people who sleep with no homes, no clothing. They are lying there not having even the luxury of thinking about taking sleeping pills, instead hoping for at least two hours of sleep without fearing about animals approaching to attack them or worrying about the elements. They don’t have parents who come to cover them with a blanket and make them feel safe and secure.

That blanket of your parents was a metaphor for the merit to be loved. Do we stop to think how fortunate we are? I am sure some who are reading this right now may say, they had a blanket but not the love that can go with it. And yet, everyone can point to people in their llfe that emboldened them to become strong and independent by their nurturing touch upon us.

So what are we to do with the abundance of care we received? There is only one answer for the kabbalist. We can act as the giver today, or act as the people who in still confidence in others, starting with those we interact with every day and making it a conscious intention to be a builder not a destroyer. We may not be the answer for the most in need, but we can take responsibility to sustain the confidence and dignity of our family and our neighbors at the very least.

Our parent’s blanket is just a symbol from when we were young and vulnerable. Maybe that’s why there is such a big market today for blankets in all shapes sizes styles and materials.

At the end of the day no matter how old we become what we are looking for is to be loved as we felt as a child or in some point in our life and feel that confidence that only love from others can give us. It is a universal need at any age.

Yes, it is true, the original gift that God gave us was the gift of independence, and free will, so why do we have such a craving to be nurtured by others? It may stem from an imbalance that is seeking to regain its balance.

The concept of free will or self-confidence has to do with the idea that you are responsible and independent to do whatever you want to do with your life, however, that independence and self-confidence psychologists know is rooted in nurturing that prepared us. .

If you love someone then it is important for you to design your love so that you teach them not to be dependent on you or anybody. So much of today’s dysfunction is because someone somewhere is either too dependent, or manipulating you to be that way. Love, true love empowers.

The same goes for wanting to receive confidence building for ourselves from others. Don’t be shy, ask the important people in your life to teach you how to be more self-sufficient, or skilled in any area, including your teachers, ask them too how to develop more confidence to share what you want to study.

I remember my sons asked me to teach them how to cook their favorite dish and while i was standing there teaching them how to do it they no longer needed me and had developed the confidence in preparing their own dish all by themselves.

In Hebrew confidence is “semicha” which is also the word for blanket. When a Rabbi is given the title of Rabbi by another Rabbi the same word is used “semicha”, from the word to trust, to hold on before the person is falling. From here we learn that the idea is to give independence and confidence to another person so that they will develop on their own.

There is nothing more powerful when you know you can trust your own judgments and decisions to make the best of your life. Those of you out there who didn’t have someone to put a blanket on you, chase people who mastered a certain area of their life and ask them to teach you some of those secrets so you can be good in that area and then pass it on to someone else.

By giving away and sharing with others what can help make them whole, we store up for ourselves enduring light to support our own needs when we need it. Let the memory of your parent’s blanket be your inspiration to have that confidence.

Time to Make Miracles!

Are you ready to take charge of bringing your own miracle?

We are moving into the month of Kislev, the month that has within it Chanukah. It is a month governed by the configuration of the Tetragrammaton, the holiest Name of God combination that brings the light of the Creator down from the spiritual realm to the physical. Each month that energy force is rearranged to meet the needs of the month. In Kislev it is arranged as Vav, Yud, Hey, Hey. So what can we learn from this?

First, whenever we have two Hey’s together we know we are dealing with powerful energy.
This month we are called to initiate miracles. we can’t wait for them to happen. They need to be activated by the Vav and Yud and by us taking action, action initiated as a righteous person, not just a righteous receiver.

But, why this month? If we look at the story of the Macabbes and Chanukah what does it really mean? It’s written that the Maccabees took charge in making a difference in this month. They initiated victory by taking action.

The word for this month is Kislev, and we learn that at it’s root is the Hebrew word for “covered” “Kes”. So what is covered? Our potential. We also have the Lamed-Vav with a numerical value of 36.

36 is the number of candles used for Chanukah and the number of righteous people hidden in the world to protect it. Those righteous people are covered, they are not revealed.

However, for us, this is the month that demands we push forward and actually DO SOMETHNG!. This is very important to understand.
We need to activate ourselves this month. So let’s look again to the Vav Yud Heh Heh. Where does that configuration come from? It is derived from a verse speaking about the people who were sitting in the land of Canaan (Coming from “Creah” meaning to surrender) after Jacob was brought into the Cave of Machpelah in the month of Kislev.

Why ? Because Jacob passed away the first day of Sukkot, but the time he was buried was the first day of Chanukah. Why in Kislev?

It says in the Book of Creation, the Sefer Yetzirah, there are two letters controlling this month, which is Samech the letter that created the sign of Sagitarius and it also created the stomach in the body, or rather the digestive system.

In addition if you take the work Kislev and spell out each letter in its full name, it creates the phrase: “is the father of mercy” . That’s why we add in the prayer in Chanukah something about mercy. Thus in this month we not only need to initiate action, we have to activate within this month the action of mercy and kindness.

So this month how merciful can you be? How kind can you be? Do you want a miracle? It all depends on if you can be merciful. Can you be on the level where you can forgive. If you cannot be kind for all the right reasons, then you are not kind.

Yesterday I had a lunch with a “kind” person. We discussed many subjects and finally got to the topic of kindness and I looked at his eyes and I realized that some people he was close to were lacking kindness. He wanted to talk about leadership, but I was talking about kindness.

People like to talk about leadership. But who is a leader? A leader is one who exhibits kindness. If you don’t have kindness, don’t try to be a leader. If a person lacks kindness, don’t make them a leader.
So how do you choose a leader? The one who shows kindness.

Kindness is the first sign of a leader.

People like the title “Leader” you get respect, recognition. But you are stupid. Do you want to be thought of as a leader without the integrity behind it so you burn in hell?

If you cannot find kindness within you run away from a desire to be a leader. We see so many religious people wanting to be leaders for the ego gratifacation.

We see too often in religious environments people who want people to follow them, but don’t have kindness in their heart. For sure they should not be leaders. This month is the month for leaders, people who know how to take initiative and take action, but also have empathy for those who follow theml If you have cruelness in your heart, just looking for justice, step down. You can’t lead without mercy in your heart.

Here in New York, I am being care for by so many genuine leaders. They call me a leader, but I am a follower of people like these with mercy in their hearts, kindness in their hearts. It is their leadership that is leading by example. I want to follow them because I want to be like them, full of kindness.

In this month of Kislev we need to be looking for opportunities to forgive, how to be kind and how to be generous. Harnesing these attributes of the Light and taking fearless action we can surely create the miracles we are seeking!

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