As we approach the new moon of Nissan, it is worthwhile to consider the root of the word Nissan, which comes from the Hebrew word “Nes,” meaning miracle. Indicating we have an opportunity this month to attract every possible miracle and the energy to ignite them, giving us a fresh chance to set that energy of miracles in motion. Of course, the well-known story of the Israelites leaving Egypt is also in this month. That is to alert us to our option of leaving our own personal Egypt this month as well. What is Egypt? Egypt is anything that keeps us stuck in self-defeating, unproductive or addictive patterns that give us the illusion of happiness but which in actuality are holding us back from genuine fulfillment.

Now the month of Nissan, the month of miracles, the month that we too can come out of Egypt, is also the month of Spring. The Kabbalists explain that Spring in Hebrew, “Aviv,” means the father of 12. Thus, the first 12 days of the month of Nissan are 12 days with the power of controlling the entire year ahead. That is why it is called “Av.” Kabbalists teach that every day from the beginning of Rosh Chodesh Nissan until the end of the 12th day, each 24 hr cycle, represents the seed level of each of the 12 months of the new year. Therefore it is also necessary to think about what we are about
to plant as we celebrate Rosh Chodesh Nissan itself.

Then, the morning of the seder, we burn the chametz. The burning of the chametz is meant to show us we are purging that part of us that interferes with our ability to connect to joy and miracles. We want things to flow better in our relationship, in our livelihood, in all parts of life where things should be flowing in the right direction.
On the Seder night, we need to remember the word Seder. The word Seder means to organize. What in our lives is out of control, chaotic or disorganized? What in life is not going the way, we would like?

The Seder is meant to correct and put things in order and provides the freedom to fix what is wrong in our lives and to push the restart button to make it much better. As an example, we use bitter herbs on the Seder night, which is a kind of sharp wasabi, according to the Gemara and Holy Ari. We have to chew the bitter herb until it becomes sweet. The question is why?

The word “maror” has the numerical value of the word “death.” Therefore, as we are chewing the bitter herb, we want to remove all kinds of death in our life. The death of a relative, the death of God forbid, poor health, and therefore the bitter herb that we chew, we need to chew until it goes from bitter to sweet. We are not supposed to swallow the herb until it becomes sweet, ensuring that every problem we have in life turns into a sweet one.

With the help of God, after doing all the right meditations, including the use of the Matza and the wine, we must be happy and joyful.

It says about Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev who had done the seder night according to all the meditations, discovered from the angels that there was someone who made the Seder even better than himself. So Rabbi Levi went and inquired who this person was by sending his followers to find out.
They brought a Hasid and sat him next to Rabbi Levi who asked him, “what is your secret?”

The Hasid said to him, despite his embarrassment in front of the people who were watching, “It is clear to you that the truth is that I forgot that it was Passover. And when I came home from work and realized that this was the night of the Seder, I took all the wine in the house, and I told the Master of the World that I did not buy matzos, and I did
not prepare anything. But, here I am lifting my cup up to life, and I will drink all the bottles of wine because I know that YOU the Creator has saved us from our problems and you arranged our lives correctly, and this year you will do the same thing again. And then I got drunk, he said.

Said the Rebbe, “because of your simple faith and love of the Creator you had the merit of having a Seder better than mine.”

What we can lead from this story is that sometimes the simplicity of the Seder through joy can reach very high levels.

Essentially the only thing we need then is we must be happy and joyful.

.Wherever you are on the night of Passover, remember to simply open your heart to joy and the assurance that the Creator will lead you a right into the new year and you will have a most blessed Seder night! Chag sameach everyone!

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Navigating Our New Year

Let’s start by taking stock of where we are. We all just celebrated the New Year, friends, family, having a good time and ending the year with.a momentary feeling of hope. But that hope isn’t enough to make it come true. That’s why many of you, if I asked you, would confess down deep you expect to be in the same state of drifting you were in last year, hoping yes, but hoping to avoid rather than hoping to achieve!

If you are ready to make a difference and ready to confront the work to truly make this new year a year of transformation that takes hope and transforms it into achievement, then stay with me as I help you take stock of where and who you are.

What do they say? Today is the first day of the rest of your life? It may be a trite saying, but we can give it a reality if we are willing to take it seriously.

In life it is ok if sometimes you feel like you donʼt know where you’re going and we donʼt see good things in our life. Everyone goes through episodes of feeling that way.. In fact we need to have merit to see the good in our life, and merit to enjoy peace of mind that it is adding up to something.
If somewhere in the middle is where you are, let me help you see that it is vital to understand that if we are patient enough and authentic with ourselves we can lift the fog to begin to perceive what we need to do, or to change to experience the HAPPY in Happy New Year.
So right now, let me ask you to answer this question: Who are you?

Looking back over last year, have you been true to yourself? Do you know who you are?
Do you have someone in your life with whom you can be totally transparent with, someone who will be a genuine sounding board to help you clarify the direction and momentum you want to move toward?

I can’t tell you how powerful it can be to have that one person in your life. It could be a spouse or a teacher, or a good friend. There is a powerful benefit if and when you find one person to whom you can confess your hopes, as well as your failures, your frustrations, your fears, your confusion and your concerns so that you can remember who you are? If you canʼt do it with one other person in your life right now, you are not really living, but just pretending to be alive. You are fake, which may be harsh to say, but you are not truly happy or enjoying life.

To truly have a “Happy New Year” for real are you ready to do whatever it takes to have the true essence of happiness manifest? We usually like shortcuts because we donʼt believe in ourselves or in the Creator that there is truly the possibility of being better.

So then we cheat, steal, not necessarily for literally, but figuratively we do. We steal energy from others, we cheat our boss, our families, our friends by not genuinely being there for them and confronting what we need to in order to make our life real, so we become fake. We live out the year full of pretense so we get what we think we want. Kabbalists call it the body consciousness of comfort, giving us superficial happiness and superficial satisfaction. When we are real and authentic it takes time, it causes disruption maybe, but then real true happiness will come, and that is worthy of celebration.

Here’s my next question: Do you have someone in your life that you love? People who are not authentic cannot love. They are busy selling themselves to look good, so they draw the same kind of people into their lives. When you love someone it keeps you going. It gives you a focus. Thatʼs what you should have in front of your eyes. A reason for becoming more.

How do you achieve this? Start today! Donʼt be afraid to be you. You are beautiful, you actually donʼt look good when you are fake. If we try not to be ourselves it wonʼt be good. Why are so many of us afraid to be ourselves? It’s that old addiction called acceptance.

Society wants to be accepted, you are allowed to be a little bit like that, but donʼt let it overtake you. It’s nice to let love be our goal, but not love of someone else, or striving to be accepted by others. This year start by loving yourself. You are unique. So define to yourself who you are, and who you want to be.

What is truly important to you, where this year do you genuinely want to make a difference? . Recognize and know your weaknesses, teach. yourself how to say “I donʼt know” once a day so you stretch yourself to become more!

And ask someone to teach you what you don’t know. . If you canʼt do that you are not being real. Sadness is something that sometimes we have to go through, but remember to get out of it. You canʼt be sad all the time and you canʼt be happy all the time . Life is a circle. There are three columns in the system that brings true happiness.

You need to be kind, you need to have strength and you also have to have mercy.. And to have a truly Happy New Year, you need to practice when to use which. There has to be a balance between the good, the bad, and the merciful in the middle. We need to be honest with ourselves when we have failed to keep that balance and when we have succeeded.

Sometimes you land in a long relationship and if itʼs not really you, whether personal or in business.. So you need to find a way out, but donʼt cheat the system and cheat on the relationship. In the end you are cheating yourself because you donʼt believe that there is a way out that will not cause embarrassment, or hurt or loss of something..

Today really can be the first day of the rest of your life. It can be the perfect time to take stock of who you are and who you want to be when New Year’s Eve comes around this year. So, I truly wish you all the start of a new and happy year ahead! One that is real and true.

Happy New Year everyone!

Vital Transformation is committed to empowering your life to not only bless you, but to help you to be a blessing to others. We look forward to being part of your journey to bring in a genuinely happy one.

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 wel 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 have to draw those kinds of people in my life. This is an important fact we have to understand. They are a reflection of outselves.

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 compresses 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.

Successful People Don’t Listen to the History Channel

What do I mean by that? The story of Joseph the Patriarch will help you understand.

In this week’s powerful portion of Mikketz we read Yosef is going to prison for something obviously he didn’t do. But he’s in prison, if he had let himself watch the “history channel” he could be in prison for the rest of his life till he died. For some reason he was not busy with the past and what was not fair, he was busy thinking about his way out, his future.

To become a rich successful person, to become someone you want to become you have to look into your discovery instead of history. History is about how one this happen to me, why did they do this to me. Now it doesn’t mean you’re wrong, you’re absolutely right, the lawyers took advantage, your spouse took advantage of your naivety, the doctors made a mistake. All those things truly happened. What they call on Wall Street tough luck.

Now the question is can you turn the tough luck into good luck? Can you turn a situation into a better situation? How do we do it? In order to learn how to do this we need to go to the story of Joseph and see all the details.

He jumped from being in the pit to be sold and the bowels of a jail to rot to become the richest in the world at his time. How do we do it too? I want to become rich like him, I want to be like Joseph how do I do it? Are there rules or tools on how to get there? The answer my friends is in the Zohar of Mikketz in the verse; וירצוהו מהבור.
The word means to run, but it also means to be content and satisfied. From here we learn that if a person is not happy and he is complaining all the time he can no longer connect to the discovery channel. He will always look at the history, his history, the history of his family and on and on. It’s what happens when you go to a museum. You can remember and view things that happened, but don’t get stuck there. Move on. What can we do about this universe as it is today to make it a better place to be? Because if we don’t do that then we are just waiting for time to pass and be buried. We will become grumpy old people. Usually around age 40-50 you can already hear people say there’s nothing they can do about their finance or relationship situations and they might not be wrong they actually might be right, but being right doesn’t make the situation better.

So, the question is what can we do to make it better? Get out of the pit and make it better. Initiate things and do things to make it better. Look to see what can I change about me and the situation. If every day your health money or looks don’t become better you are busy with the history channel. You are not wrong about the history that happened to you. History is not emotions, if it makes you cry it doesn’t serve its purpose. You need to turn and face another way and connect to your own discovery channel. No one cries when they see the discovery channel. They become full of wonder. People who are busy going back to the moment of problem and abuse wither away. Stand up like Joseph and move forward toward what you want to be and better yet who you want to be.

A dear friend of mine was going into court and he was so upset that the other side was lying. And I told him focus on the results, don’t focus on the wrong that was done to you. People will always do wrong by us, but we cannot focus on that. Yes, they lied and they are evil. What are you going to do? You want to write a song about it and do a show on the history channel? Or, do you want to say I’m here to become successful and that thing in my way is my jumping board to becoming successful. It’s what’s going to make me successful at what I am.
That’s the question my friends, are you ready to become successful? Are you ready to switch channels or do you want to get stuck in the history channel? Those of you who want to make a difference don’t keep talking for a year about what happened to you in the past. Only talk about the future when you meet people. What are your goals what do you want to achieve? Once you speak like that people will relate to you. Doors to possibility will open and like Joseph you can be released to become the success the Creator intended you to be.

Have a blessed day!

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!

What is Kabbalah?

I would like to share with you some words of wisdom on the mystical yet practical subject called Kabbalah. The word Kabbalah if you translate from Hebrew means acceptance or receiving.

As we all know the engine that drives our entire existence is the force of receiving. To simplify it, think about this while you are reading my article:

While you are walking, breathing the air that keeps us alive you are experiencing an example of that force of wanting.

People who have lost their desire and craving, no longer are really living.  Some just exist on auto-pilot waiting to die and others stay struck while saying “I wish”, “I should”,  “I would” because they feel like they are missing the train.

The wisdom of Kabbalah has existed since Adam and Eve were created, meaning since the first human experience occurred. And a central tenant of that gift of sacred wisdom has been teaching us that the innate force of receiving was instilled in us right from the beginning by God.

It also tells us when that gift is not used correctly, it can turn into the biggest curse for humankind. As the wisdom of the “streets” says: ‘too much of a good thing can turn out to be a bad thing”.

Think about things that give you the most amount of pleasure and try to do them over and over!  You would soon get turned off. That’s because the engine called desire needs to be handled correctly. Needs to be approached correctly.

The kabbalists are teaching us that before the creation of our physical universe, before the creation of humanity animals and vegetables, before the creation of the sun and the moon, the almighty one, the force, the divine, the Creator, God whatever name you feel comfortable with created only one simple thing and that was DESIRE.

That desire was simply the ability to hold all the great pleasures that the Creator had in mind to give from the bounty of its own nature. So the sharing energy of the Almighty one created a receiving intelligence.

That receiving intelligence can be used for good or can kill you by addiction or obsession. I’m sure you’re familiar with the verse in the book of Genesis that says. “Do not eat from the tree of knowledge because you will die”. What did God mean?

He meant to tell Adam that within the tree of knowledge there is a desire which is the original desire that God created. A desire for all the wonderful things to come to fruition, but you have to be ready to get there.

So let’s explain it in our own daily language. You cannot stop wanting everything and at the same time you can’t have everything. How does this paradox work?

The Creator is offering us different levels of desire. The strength of the desire is based on your ability to let go of that desire and yet hold on to wanting it at the same time.

I’ll give another example.  Try to imagine that you desire to eat 10 donuts. Your desire level now equals 10 donuts. Are you capable of letting go of those 10 donuts once you have them in your domain?  If not, what’s happening is that those 10 donuts will give you a feeling of fulfillment and your desire will be dismissed, which means you will have the 10 donuts but you won’t enjoy them.

What would you rather have 1 donut that you won’t enjoy or 1 donut that will give you joy of one. The universe is operating with an engine of desire and above you there is a curtain to prevent you from receiving absolutely everything you want. Every time you receive everything you want you are burning yourself, meaning you are burning your desire level and because of that to enjoy and appreciate and feel more comfortable your desire will have to get smaller, become diminished so as to not feel the pain of having everything at once and destroying the happiness it can bring “1 donut at a time”!

God in a merciful way is making our desires smaller and this feeling is called mussaf, curtain. The curtain is preventing you to go for all your desire all at once.

Every human being wants to swallow the world whole. Money, pride, respect, honor, and all the rest. The curtain is a metaphysical construct to prevent us from burning out.

So that is the paradox we need to understand from the tree of knowledge good and bad. If you are capable of having 1 billion and at the same time you can let go of your desire for the 1 billion, when you receive it, it will last.

If you have the ability to have any type of fun and joy, but you are able to share it right away, not because of manners only, but  because of having mastered the secrets of Kabbalistic technology than the process assures that you keep your desire going and you don’t burn out.

It is then that your life will become one of desire for more sharing what you receive and your life will become sustained with a continuity of continuous enjoyment. Your appreciation will grow, as well as your awe for a Creator who

Created a system where you can genuinely have it all!

I am here to teach you the secret of bringing that kind of continuity into your life and the life of all humanity as well.

Time for a Human Spirit Check Up! By Eliyahu Jian

Our reverence for the undying human spirit is what movies and inspiration are built on and what makes us stand tall and proud and cheer. But what about you? You and your human spirit?

The other day I was watching a kid wrestling with his mom to change her mind about getting coffee at the coffee counter, and instead going with him to the toy section to get a toy he wanted. The child was 3 years old, just a little boy, and the mom being stronger carried her son with one hand with her cell phone in the other, back to the coffee counter, but of course he squirmed and cried, fighting against being carried off.

I’m going to let you guess who won. But it wasn’t without a lot of chaos let me tell you! The mom got back to the counter, put her son down, paid for her coffee, but her son quickly ran off again, making the mom spill her coffee as she chased him.  In the end, she not only spilled her coffee, but made the little boy cry over and over, and yet he refused to take no for an answer.

Finally. mom gave up struggling, bought the boy his toy, went back, bought another coffee and the two sat contentedly in a booth, happy at last to have what they both wanted.

It’s a cute childhood story we see every day and probably have a story like that of our own. What we are witnessing of course is the beauty of the budding human spirit demanding to be heard.  Determined to get what it wants.

I share this story to share with you the nature of the human spirit as it starts at a young age.  We are born with it.  In fact, my teacher would often use as an example how doctors check the health of a baby when it is born.  They check to see how firmly the baby’s fists are clamped shut, the healthier the baby the tighter the fist, showing determination of “I want”.

My teacher called it, the innate desire to receive, we are all born with it, raw desire to receive.  And that desire is what the creator designs as the vessel to hold the Light that enables desire to be fulfilled.  Without a vessel we have no means to hold light.

What happens as we get older, and get beaten down with all the “No’s” in life. Some of us have already lost our human sprint desperately trying to please others, doing things that make sense according to books, or nutrition, or society. We get separated from our own human spirit hunger for its own unique voice to have expression.

That’s why seeing that little boy was sad as much as it was funny because we forget the importance of building our spirit. It is a treasure inside of us that we should never ever lose, you can never, never and again never, never lose the human spirit. The way you know your human spirit is still alive is to check how much you push yourself to do things that you are capable of doing in your potential.

It’s not just about facing or knowing your fear like in my other article, it’s knowing what you know you can’t achieve yet, that impossible goal and yet you have the hutzpah to try to go for it anyhow!   That’s why we cheer the athlete making a basket in the 3-point shot, or the football players determination and it’s the “Hail Mary” delivery into the hands of wide receiver, or in business its asking for one million even if you’re not sure you are on that level, or asking someone out on a date even though you might think it’s hopeless!

How many times do you find yourself saying, “I always wanted to do that”.  Fill in the blanks.  Where have you stopped cold to try one more time?  Each time we step back, the fire in us grown a little bit dimmer.

I hope all of us will find the baby in us again and find our way back to our own human spirit.  What would it take to be like that 3-year-old who is saying to us, “don’t ever give up!”

It’s time to give your human spirit a checkup and re-discover what your soul is holding on to, waiting for you to claim it.

Four Levels of Desire: Kabbalistic Knowledge for Soul Growth By Eliyahu Jian

As those of you who have already been following me know, we’ve explained many times through the wisdom of Kabbalah that the Creator in its infinite wisdom manifests itself through 4 levels of desire.

Rav Yehuda Ashlag, the preeminent kabbalist, may he Rest in Peace, explained from the book of Rabbi Isaac Lucia how this universe has 4 levels of desire and those levels of desire are divided into 4 existing realms in our universe.

The strongest desire is held by humans, then animals, then by vegetables, and the last minerals or stones. Now how does this division take place? It is so simple, profound and beautiful at the same time.

For example:  if a person has the strongest desire for something in their life and they can’t resist the impulse and desire for whatever they want- food, sex, pride, respect, greed etc., then they have to be tested on one level down from their desire.

So, for example, for people who have food or sex addiction, which as humans because we are blessed with the strongest desire, we are supposed to resist most of the things we want, in order to be called human and not an animal, vegetables or stone.  That is why kabbalists teach the concept of restriction.

Because as you practice your ability to say no to what you want, you justify your existence within the spiritual territory which is where you belong. All of us go through tests every day to strengthen the soul and maintain our existence in the realm we are in.

We ask ourselves should I get angry, should I scream now, and of course the self-control of the individual will justify the ability to stay in that level where you belong called human.

So, when we talk about reincarnation as it relates to the 4 levels of desire, people who cannot maintain themselves as “human” by controlling and restricting their craving for everything, the final result is a forced reduction in their desire since they cannot yet handle it.

Thus, their soul is reincarnated into animals because animals do not have the same intensity of desire as humans.

So, as a result it’s easier to resist the level of desire or temptation in that realm. And yet, if a person still couldn’t control any of his desire then he reincarnates into vegetables. By the way, that’s where the term people often say in the hospital, where it comes from, he’s just a vegetable” because he’s just breathing and not wanting or receiving! He’s just existing in a vegetated state.

Of course, if a person couldn’t control his desire at all, restricting absolutely nothing, unleashing the desire, the need to steal. kill rape and destroy everything around him, then the best place to be is not a prison, which doesn’t allow him to improve and spiritually elevate, then the next station for him is to reincarnate into a stone where there is no need for society or anything he will just be a stone alone, desiring nothing.

What about people who kill to get a diamond? What about the diamond itself? Wow! Am I saying that all diamonds are reincarnations of a killer?
Maybe. That is a riddle for you to ponder.

If you really want to know who the strongest person in the room is, it’s the person who is capable of wanting it ALL, and letting it all go at the same time.  It’s the one who wants the most and shares the most. If you want a lot and are making it and hording it, most probably you’re failing. And if you share everything and you don’t want anything for yourself either, most probably you too are already dead inside, with no human spirit left to push you.

So, I hope this finds you well and your understanding clear so far because this subject is deeper than it looks!  I hope it will begin to guide you in controlling the level of your desire, and challenge you to reflect how you want your future to unfold.

Rachel the Matriarch

Today is the death anniversary of Rachel the Matriarch. We have all heard the story how Rachel came to the Creator screaming and yelling with bitterness.

The Creator had asked Rachel: “Rachel, why are you crying”? And Rachel answered, “You want me to stop crying? How can I! What did my children do to you that they have to suffer?”

God told her, “Because they took idols and put them in my temple.” She said, “But look at me? I took my own sister and gave her the love of my life”.

“I didn’t want to embarrass my sister so I gave up the love of my life. I let go despite my pain, I did more than you God.”

“You’re the one who is supposed to be the merciful Creator, the one who forgives! You should let go, even a little, and have compassion for your people.”

Rachel refused to receive God’s sympathy and kindness as her voice grew louder and louder with cries for her children. She was not accepting what God had to say. She said, “I’m not only crying for the people of Israel not getting the mercy they need. I’m also crying for you God that your mercy has disappeared.” And with those words her crying increased.

She was inconsolable. Why, had God not been more involved in the education of the people of Israel? She wasn’t upset that he punished them, she was upset that he left them!

And so He swore that the day will come when she doesn’t have to cry anymore because she was the only one who dared to beg the Creator to get involved and not to leave them alone and not to punish them . On that day thousands of levels of consciousness shook. Everything was changed because of her soulful mourning.

On this day as we remember Rachel the Matriarch, we can ask for bravery like Rachel and secondly, we can ask God to be involved more directly in our life. Today you can have greater assurance that if God will be more involved in your life, things will get better.