As the sun gracefully set on the Santa Monica Mountains on the last night of Hanukkah, Eliyahu Jian, a spiritual adviser and rabbi, lit the last of the menorah’s candles, closed his eyes and recited the traditional blessings. Behind him, visible through a window, sprinklers cascaded on the Calabasas Country Club’s golf course.

“We want to send out as much positive energy into Ventura County and the surrounding communities as we possibly can,” he said in a thick Israeli accent. “With this, we give those affected [by the fires and the Borderline Grill shooting], the light to turn misfortune into fortune, chaos into order and tears into laughter.”

A hearty “Amen!” rang out from the nearly 30 people gathered inside the club’s restaurant. Their eyes were closed, as instructed.

“Now open your eyes with a big smile on your lips,” Jian said. They did. “Now, please have something sweet to eat.”

Guests sidled up to a table with trays of pastries, water bottles, free astrology-themed T-shirts, bags of goodies for kids and copies of “The Snail With No Shell,” a Jian-penned children’s book.

The event, held for those affected by the November wildfires and the Borderline shooting, was part of Vital Transformation, Jian’s nonprofit that produces podcasts, teaches Torah and Kabbalah classes, and hosts services and spiritual lectures. Jian, who is also a motivational speaker who travels the world for professional engagements, delivered a PowerPoint-aided lecture on the power of positivity and how life’s challenges build strength, unity and character.

“The kabbalists 2,000 years ago explained that the soul is divided into three levels: your action, your speech and your mind,” Jian said. “If you’re able to learn how to control those three things, your life around you will start changing. If you believe that you can make your life better, you’re right. Whatever you believe you can do, well, you’re absolutely right.”

Jian’s wife, Debbie, filmed the talk on her phone and live-streamed it on social media for those who couldn’t attend the event. Throughout, Jian included talmudic references and encouraged audience participation, even leading a guided meditation. Afterward, he engaged with guests one-on-one and extended an open invitation for Shabbat dinner at his Pico-Robertson home that doubles as Vital Transformation’s headquarters.

“Just give us notice so we have enough food,” he said.

Jordan Schaul, 45, a zoologist who has traveled the world working with animals, recently settled in Marina del Rey and came at the urging of a friend to start getting involved with the local Jewish community and to show solidarity for friends affected by the wildfires.

“I got so much from this,” Schaul told the Journal. “When [Jian] talked about taking time to be silly, spending time with kids, I thought that was profound because it’s so uplifting without any context needed. I always felt that Judaism was so focused on ritual, but this was the first time I realized there’s a spiritual component I’ve overlooked my whole life.”

“We want to send out as much positive energy into Ventura to give [people] the light to turn misfortune into fortune, chaos into order and tears into laughter.”
— Rabbi Eliyahu Jian

David Levy, 19, who lives in Calabasas, came with his mother after a long shift at his retail job. During the height of the wildfires, Levy and his family were evacuated from their home twice, ultimately spending two short stints at a Hollywood hotel.

“Most of Calabasas was evacuated at some point, probably all of Calabasas was affected in some way,” Levy told the Journal. “While [Jian] spoke, I was thinking about all the people I know who were affected. It’s nice to bring some spirituality into the mix and reflect on everything.”

One of Jian’s Vital Transformation students, Michelle Alfi, 35, a West Hollywood resident, told the Journal she, too, has many friends and colleagues that had to evacuate. She also has connections to victims of the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks.

“I wanted to be a part of something so beautiful here tonight and help prop up the community that has gone through something so devastating,” she said. “Finding the beauty in pain is the only way to create more beauty around us. One example that [Jian] spoke about is how the community has come together with so many amazing volunteers and first responders doing their part. If you can take that spirit and adopt it into your own life, well, that’s what creates change and makes the world a better place.” n

Spirituality makes you think beyond the obvious. Read the following two C’s; Consensus and Conflict. Now add the word co-existence to it. You halt, there is something that doesn’t gel, these two can never co exist is the obvious logical conclusion for most.

This is where spirituality enters the picture and alters the paradox.

Imagining what all goes through a mind when it is in a conflict situation?

Anxiety, rage, blurring of senses are the few traits of mind when it’s in a conflicted state. But beyond that, if one looks a little deeper, conflict also opens one to listening to the one person, thought or argument that one is in conflict with.

This is where conflict comes with an opportunity to alter our perspective and thoughts. If you can train the mind to take a pause and listen to the other argument , chances are that it can enrich our original thought process and make our understanding better.

Imagine what all this small pause can do to our lives, personally and professionally. If we can train the mind to pause and listen in any argument, we can have better relationships, forgeing strong bonds that make our lives better.

At work too, we can build consensus, not just within the team, but also serve our customers better-both the scenarios yielding profitable dividends.

Conflict could be a great guiding force. Given the way we perceive things about our own self or our point of view on anything we are undivided in our approach. For most of us, it’s my way or the highway approach.

In any conflict either our thoughts hurt someone or we are hurt by someone’s point of view. Stress in such a scenario is inevitable . One of the two people involved in the conversation has to back out or keep quiet resulting in stress and strain.

Given this tumultuous situation, if as, earlier we can take the required pause to give a patient hearing to the other person and we can learn what our point of view lacks. If that is embedded, we can grow beyond leaps and bounds.

Doing so takes a lot of patience and training of the mind. But it’s not difficult, given the fact a small pause can open us to acknowledging the disagreement and making the person or view we are in conflict with become softer in its approach.

Handling conflict craftely, also teaches us a lot about our own resilience and restraint. Not just that it makes us open minded , unlocking opportunities and avenues that are usually beyond us.

In a nutshell whenever in a confronting conflict , if we can engage and give it a hearing, most often than not we will end up with a winning proposition. So next time you know how to deal with conflict and make it your ally.

There was a disagreement between Moses and Korach this week.

What was the argument about? The Zohar explains that Korach was chasing something that didn’t belong to him. When a person chases something that doesn’t belong to him even what belongs to him disappears.

What can we learn from this? Korach was challenging Moses with some questions. If a person is a holy and knowledgeable person does he still need faith and certainty in the Creator? And if a person has total faith in the Creator does he still need knowledge? For both questions, Moses answered absolutely yes.

Why? Because our spiritual knowledge, our Torah, the way we understand things has two paths. One is the certainty and belief system and the other is knowledge. We need both ways. If a person just believes, one day he may stop believing and everything will fall apart. If a person just has knowledge then as the Tikkunei Zohar says he will become dried out, he doesn’t have the warmth of faith.

What can we learn from this? Many times we get jealous. Where does the jealousy come from? We see that someone has a better life and we think the Creator forgot about us. We think they have a better life than us, a better house than us and it must be a mistake and we need to correct it. The Creator is everywhere! So when we get jealous the other person is not the problem! The punishment of jealousy is the jealousy itself! If I find myself getting jealous of another person it’s not that jealousy is wrong morally, it’s that moment I am losing faith and certainty in the Creator. A person has to make himself strong and say to himself that there is a reason for everything, that the pain that a person goes through is part of a bigger picture.

Korach in the end when the earth opened and started swallowing him up said something beautiful; he said Moses is real and the Torah that Moses is teaching is real. He was capable at the end of his life to see that all his suspicions were wrong. He realized that it wasn’t Moses’ idea to wake up one morning and decide to become a leader or to make his brother a Cohen. It was all an exact plan from the Creator.

What we want from this week is to get to a place where we get along with each other. Moses and Korach were the reincarnations of Cain and Abel and for many generations, they have come back to correct the same situation.

Love to you all,

Chukat comes from ‘chok‘, which means the law. The beginning of the portion is about the Red Heifer, which is purification from death.

What are we getting pure from? Death. Every human being has the energy of the Angel of Death around them, that’s why we die until we can purify the body. The soul doesn’t need purification, it’s already pure. The body is not pure, it has an aspect of the left column, desire to receive for the self alone, that’s why it’s not pure. Until the body is pure a person cannot achieve the original prophecy of Ezekiel – immortality.

On Mt. Sinai we lost 5 letters in the Hebrew alphabet that had to do with immortality. If you take ‘par’ (pay, resh) you get 280, and the hey, which is 5, is a code for the 5 final letters. When they call it red heifer, it’s a code for how you build a structure of purification. We need to understand there is a chance to get purified this week. The Zohar says, when a person goes to purify himself, the Angels help him. When a person comes to do something negative, the angels will help with that, too. Why is there a support system to do negative things? The free will is up to us. What we do with our life is up to us. There is no guessing what’s good or bad, we have choices in life to do whatever we would like to do.

Certainty means, your desire and the Crea-tor’s desire becomes one. If it doesn’t work, you know it’s the best thing that ever hap-pened to you. You can’t use certainty to ma-nipulate God. Certainty works only when it’s good for you? That’s not purification. Whatev-er situation you’re in – that’s what’s best for you. Cannot be just how you want it. What kind of relationship do we have with God? Religion is based on promising you, if you will behave, be a good boy or girl, you might get candy – if you don’t get it now, it will wait for you in the Garden of Eden. What a marketing plan!

Every person has a test. You need to know that God knows everything that’s going to happen. It’s the free will to know you chose to do the best you can with your knowledge. Go for it, don’t be worried. Inject certainty, say its funny, laugh, smile, and deal with it. Things will happen more than you can believe.

Love to you all,

Most people think that the holiday of Shavuot is just about the giving of the Ten Commandments. However, let me share with you how the deeper implications of this unique and transformational holiday can only be understood through the lens of Kabbalah. Central to it is the capacity for endless continuity, a gift offered to us through our connection to the special readings on Shavuot and our willingness to stay awake throughout the night.

Rabbi Isaac Luria in his Kabbalistic work, the Tree of Life, tells us that before Creation the way we have come to know it, the giving and receiving forces within us were a bit different. To portray the difference, he shares a parable about a rich man who sees a poor man, and says to him, “Let me help you”. He repeats the offer, yet the poor man replies, “no” each time.   The rich man gets upset and tries continuously for 30 days. Finally, the rich man asks the poor man, “Sir, will you do me a favor, can you please let me help you”. The poor man agreed to help the rich man by allowing him to help him.

Thus, the giver, (the rich man) is lower than the receiver, while the receiver is higher!

At the beginning of creation, before the vessel said “no” to the light, the receiving and giving force were exactly the same. He and His Name are One = He – giver, His Name – the receiver

After the contraction, where the Light withdrew to honor our request to earn the Light, it no longer stayed the same.  Kabbalah teaches us there is a way to retrieve that frequency and that is by taking our mind back in time. Those original rules apply in the physical world only through our mind, not your body.

On Shavuot, everything goes back to how it was before Creation. For that reason, we can have miracles and anything we want during that time.

The only difference between these physical worlds, before we finish the final Tikkun before we finish the world’s correction the Malhut, our physical world is called Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil.

How do priests and Rabbis motivate us? Punishment and reward! They are not lying it exists. But it doesn’t exist from God’s point of view. But, if you go back to the story of the Garden of Eden,  God tells them you can eat from any tree you want just not the tree of knowledge good and bad.

We are talking about our consciousness and its awareness of good and bad. You can experience life in two ways, I want it because I don’t have it, or I want it because it’s there. I want one million dollars because I don’t have it, or I want one million dollars because it’s there.

That difference in intention applies to everything we want. Two different ways of looking at life. Before the end of Tikkun, the feeling of the end of the Tikkun can only be felt the night of the Seder or on Shavuot in the morning.

Before the end of the Tikkun, we have the consciousness where we want to have because we don’t have it, but after we will want because we know the Creator wants to give us. Until we transform our perception to realize that the Creator wants to give us everything, and really feel its truth, we connect to the Creator on the level of reward and punishment.

What is a Tzadik? A Tzadik is a righteous person who believes that everything that happens to him is the best thing that can happen to him. If you can think this way you are no longer controlled by punishment and reward or by the tree of knowledge good and bad. That’s the consciousness we need to get to. Unfortunately, until we get there everything that can go wrong goes wrong. If you can see it as a good thing then it’s not a punishment, but part of the process of revealing our good.

When you are able to see the good in everything, then you no longer need reward and punishment. So why do all these things happen that are painful? The pain is to get you to a place to see the real reality that it’s good. The immunity to all negativity is to see the good in everything.

Rav Ashlag says our ability to receive is so small and clouded. When you become selfish you want less, when a person is sharing you want more. When you can’t think of having a billion dollars you are selfish when you want a little bit you are actually selfish because you don’t want to share. When you think small you are selfish, when you think big you don’t get fooled by lack so you are sharing. Our ability to receive is not sin; the amount of receiving is not a sin. The sin is how you receive. Anything that you ever wanted in your life is desired in you because the force from above gave it to you. Some people think they have a desire and they think the desire will give birth to what is wanted.

The Creator wants to give you much more than we desire, but we are scared. We are afraid to receive everything even if the Divine wants to give it to you. Our ability to receive is very limited and distorted? Why, because we are small minded and selfish and when we are selfish we think small and it limits us and then we separate ourselves from the Creator and the way the Creator wants to give us endless fulfillment.

How much can we actually want? It doesn’t match up to anything we can imagine that the Creator wants to give us.

Most people limit their receiving. There cannot be a lesson in receiving less. Your life isn’t working not because you want to receive too much, but because you want to receive too little. When you stay small with your wanting to receive something limited, you disconnect yourself from the Creator.

How do you want to think? Most people think limited thinking is noble or nice. Because wanting a lot is considered selfish according to all the traditions. But in Kabbalah, you need to learn that the Divine wants to give you endlessly, but you can disconnect because of the intention of your wanting to receive because you don’t have, vs you’re wanting to receive because the Creator wants to give you. Why do you want what you want?

The desire should be based on what the Creator wants to give you – not framing the thing you want now. Because if you frame what you want now then you don’t truly believe that the Creator has everything in store for you.

Whatever you want from life is based on your sense of lack, not your greater good of what is waiting for you. Life is based unfortunately on what we are missing. Once you start changing your desire into what does God want to give me? The painful moments of our lives are the lessons from the Creator to lead us to our good as I keep mentioning. This universe works perfectly and within the pain, there’s a gift from the Creator. You are allowed to ask the Creator for one thing – please help me to understand the gifts that the Creator wants to give us. We don’t see that in the pain there is a gift of God. An abusive relationship or imminent danger is not gifts from God. That’s our choice to stay or leave.  An abuser or a cheater stays the same. We can’t change them. They have a purpose too, but you can choose not to connect to it. There is one thing that’s limited in this life it’s called time, you can’t waste time.

When you get satiated your pleasure and desire stops growing. After you eat is not the same as before. Before you go to a restaurant everything looks beautiful. After you are satiated everything looks terrible. This is called in Kabbalah no longer have a desire for pleasure. King Solomon says about enemies when your enemy is hungry give him food because it’s like pouring coals on his head. How do you kill your inner enemy? Feed him, when a person is addicted to something and he is satiated he is killing his desire.

Rav Ashlag says we create differences and separation between us and the Divine because the Creator is only about giving and creating and we think this is our universe. We think that this universe was created just for us and we want to swallow it for our pleasure and pride and for that reason we can’t receive yet what the Creator wants to give us.

When a person is satiated they don’t have the desire for anything anymore and then there is emptiness. Punishment and reward come from good and bad. We don’t use the vehicle that God gave us in the right way. The vehicle is to receive everything because the Creator wants to give us not because from a lack we want more and more and more. It’s impossible to receive anything bad in life because it makes God look bad. God doesn’t want us to have a bad time. So why do we have a bad time? Because we don’t know how to feel good. The moment a person feels bad he has disconnected himself from the Creator and doesn’t truly believe that the Creator wants to give us just good.

At that moment that you feel you have been punished, it’s the worst crime you can do. The foundation of most religion is punished but actually, if you feel you have been punished you are extremely far from the Creator. The one who is making an effort to still believe that he is receiving something good within the bad; he will be rewarded for it. The punishment is not the pain you are going through its actually not being able to see the good in the pain you are going through. Those people will never be able to find the good in the bad.

The reason we feel good and bad are that the dark side is allowed to close your eyes when things aren’t good and yet, it is then you will be punished. What’s the worst punishment? When you have doubts that your life is not good. When you think you don’t have love or not healthy or wealthy. When a person changes and transforms and does truevah, then he can change everything – all the worst things he did. What’s the worst? Having doubts in the Creator. When you switch that then all the worst things that you did become the best things you ever did.

The end of the Tikkun means what? What happens on Shavuot? All the worst things you ever did turn into the best things you ever did. All the worst doubts we ever had in the Creator become the best moments we ever had.

We will understand that all those punishments and pain comes from the Creator too. If you understand that your Tikkun, doubts and everything was given to you from the Creator to see what you would do with it? But if you think only the good comes from the Creator and the bad doesn’t then you will fall into reward and punishment.

Many people when they go to motivational speakers hear someone trying to teach you how to change the land, but they don’t teach you to transform yourself to understand that what you have is what you wanted. The people who connect to Shavuot and study all night the Creator give them a gift that they will be able to see the good in their life all the time.  Then with that intention of continuity, you will discover new horizons of fulfilment awaiting you!

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 don’t know where you’re going and we don’t 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 can’t 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 don’t 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, and 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 in their lives. When you love someone it keeps you going. It gives you a focus. That’s what you should have in front of your eyes. A reason for becoming more.

How do you achieve this? Start today! Don’t be afraid to be you. You are beautiful; you actually don’t look good when you are fake. If we try not to be ourselves it won’t 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 don’t 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 don’t know” once a day so you stretch yourself to become more!

And ask someone to teach you what you don’t know. If you can’t 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 can’t be sad all the time and you can’t 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 the 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 it`s not really you, whether personal or in business… So you need to find a way out, but don’t cheat the system and cheat on the relationship. In the end, you are cheating yourself because you don’t 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.

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.

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.

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!

Our reverence for the undying human spirit is what movies and inspirations 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 of 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 of 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 the 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 the desire to be fulfilled.  Without a vessel, we have no means to hold the light.

What happens as we get older, and get beaten down with the entire 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 knows 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 check-up and re-discover what your soul is holding on to, waiting for you to claim it.