sábado, 30 de abril de 2011

A Maggid (Preacher) of Righteousness

Maggid Mesharim

Thus during Prayers you must clear your mind of everything except what your mouth is saying, and concentrate on that. Page 19

…But the secret of the matter is that “in our image, like our form” means specifically to occupy oneself with the Torah and commandments. Page 27

“Do not inquire into that which is too wondrous for you” (Babylonian Talmud:  Chagiga 13a)
Page 30

Food should be eaten for the sake of Heaven. [When a person transgresses a Torah commandment, Heaven forbid, not only does he prevent illumination and vitality from reaching the sefirot, but he also gives vitality and existence to the Sitra Achra.] Page 39

The 400 years of subjugation in Egypt. [The purpose of the subjugation in Egypt was to prevent the Sitra Achra from sucking impurity]. For the more the body suffers, the more the power of that impurity rots and weakens. Page 41

As the Sages said, you should not learn merely to do, but rather learn in order to understand and teach. This is what Abraham did. Page 45

Book: A Maggid (Preacher) of Righteousness
Kabbalist: Rabbi Yosef Karo
Edited by Rabbi Yechiel Bar Lev

Find this book at:
Seforim Center (USA)

Nehora (USA)

domingo, 24 de abril de 2011

The Gates of Repentance – SHAAREI TESHUVAH

First Gate


XIII. The levels and degrees of repentance correspond to the magnitude of bitterness and the intensity of sorrow, the repentance stemming from purification of the soul and refinement of the intelligence. The increase and intensification of one’s sorrowful thoughts over his many transgressions are in accordance with his intelligence and degree of enlightenment.

XXII. Our Sages of blessed memory have said, “If one feels ashamed because of something he has done, all of his transgressions are forgiven” (Berachoth 12b). One attains to the level of shame by secluding himself to think upon the greatness of God and upon the greatness of the evil of one who disobeys Him, and in constantly remembering that God witnesses his deeds, searches, and observes his thoughts.

Book: The Gates of Repentance – Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerona
Published by: Feldheim Publishers

sexta-feira, 22 de abril de 2011

Nothing but Learning – CHASSIDUS AND CHASSIDIM

Nothing but Learning

Reb Chaim

Each new discovery elevates man to a higher level and uplifts all of creation along with him.
Page 62

Reb Chaim constantly stressed the value of learning a few hours at night. Such learning can bring atonement for even the very gravest sins.
Page 65

One who attaches himself to Torah is linked to the Source of all wisdom. Reb Chaim advised his students to avoid ever rendering advice or making an important decision without first delving deeply into some subject in Torah, even one seemingly unrelated to the topic at hand.
Page 68

The depth of Torah truth, was Reb Chaim’s constant goal. His response frequently ended with the words: “In addition to directing our hearts to find the true judgment according to the Torah, may He Whose seal is truth open our eyes to find the true path in Torah.” The depths of Torah of Torah are revealed only after much toil and what is revealed is called a chiddush.
Page 74-75

Book: Reb Chaim of Volozhin – The Life and Ideals of the Visionary “Father of Yeshivos”
Published: Mesorah Publications, Ltd.
Artscroll History Series

quarta-feira, 20 de abril de 2011

Hitbodedut – KABBALAH


The Traditions

It is taught that one who prays must concentrate his heart…

One must concentrate on the words that leave his lips, depicting the Divine Presence right in front of him, as it is written, “I have placed God before me at all times” (Psalms 16:8). He must arouse his concentration, removing all disturbing thoughts so that his mind and concentration in prayer remain pure…

This was the way of the saints and men of deed. They would meditate (hitboded), concentrating on their prayer until they reached a level where they divested themselves of the physical and were overcome by the spiritual. In this manner, they were able to reach a level close to that of prophecy.
Rabbi Jacob Ben Asher (Legal codifier)

One day a week, separate yourself from all people and meditate (Hitboded) opon God. Bind your thoughts to Him, just as if you were speaking to Him on the Day of Judgment. Speak to God softly, like a slave to his master, or a child to his parent.
Rabbi Isaac Luria (Master Kabbalist)

…When a person meditates, he is clothed with holiness…When one meditates, he is also attached to God, even with regard to his regard to his mundane bodily needs.
Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azzulai (Sephardic leader and Kabbalist)

One should constantly meditate (hitboded) on the Divine Presence. He should have no other thought in his mind other than his love [of God, seeking that the Divine Presence] should attach itself to him. In his mind he should constantly repeat, “When will I be worthy that the Light of the Divine Presence should dwell within me?”
Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (Founder of Hasidism)

One must include himself in God’s unity, which is the Imperative Existence. A person cannot be worthy of this, however, unless he nullifies his ego, and it is impossible to accomplish this without meditation (hitbodedut). 

When a person meditates and express his thoughts before God, he can be worthy of nullifying all desires and evil traits, so that he becomes worthy of nullifying his entire physical being, thus becoming included in his Root.
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (Hasidic Master)

Book: Meditation and the Bible
Author: Aryeh Kaplan
Published by: Red Wheel/Weiser.