KESER SHEM TOV – 6th Tammuz, 5769

 

KESER SHEM TOV

The Baal Shem Tov Times

Anthology of the Teachings of the Baal Shem Tov

KST. 26

The Baal Shem Tov taught:

Since the Shechinah (the Divine Presence) encompasses all worlds – the inanimate, the plant, the animal, and the human worlds – including all types of creatures, good and evil alike. And since the Shechinah is the Absolute Unity, how can two utterly opposite entities exist in one thing? This is particularly a conondrum because good and evil are complete antitheses, while the Shechinah is an Undifferentiated One.

However, evil is actually a vehicle of good. An example is when Pharaoh pursued the Israelites to the Red Sea, regarding which the verse says that, “Pharaoh came close” 1 – literally, brought them close. 2 Another example is when one sees how the wicked behave, and then one is grateful that one is not that way, in which case, the evil brings him the pleasure and satisfaction of being righteous. In fact, evil is virtually elevated in this way, only that as soon as the evil is thus elevated, its evilness is dissipated. 3 An evil thought is also a vehicle in this fashion. 4

Also, sometimes a soul descends from the world of Atzilut [the one closest to G-d] into the world of Asiyah [representing the physical world] and sees how people are not respecting the honor of the King of world. This soul is greatly distressed by this lack of respect for the King’s honor, but then he has pleasure that he is not among those people.

This explains the verse, “G-d said to Abram” 5 (Abram symbolizes the soul, as stated in the Zohar6 ), “Go away from your homeland,” that is, from the world of Atzilut to the world of Beriah [the world immediately below Atzilut], “and from your birthplace,” that is, from the world of Beriah to the world of Yetzirah [the world below Beriah, “and from your father’s house,” that is, from Yetzirah to Asiyah, which is, “the land that I will show you.” That is, there you will see how the people of the world of Asiyah disrespect G-d’s honor, and you should rebuke them.

1 Exodus 14:10
2 By causing the Israelites to fear for their lives and to cry to G-d, Pharaoh was thus responsible for bringing them closer to G-d.
3 Toldot Yaakov Yoseph, Lekh Lekha 1. This teaching can be understood within the context of the teaching that everything that G-d created is good – including the evil inclination (Midrash), and the existence of evil in this world is actually only from our perspective. Hence, when one reaches this realization, and uses “evil” for its true purpose of being a vehicle in various ways for reaching G-d, its evilness dissipates.
4 That is, if one realizes that the thought was only sent to him for the purpose of his realizing that it was sent from G-d, this very realization brings him closer to G-d.
5 Genesis 12:1
6 Zohar I 80b

Translation and commentary by Rabbi Yehoshua Starrett.

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Sefer Baal Shem Tov – 6th Tammuz, 5769

 

Sefer Baal Shem Tov

The Baal Shem Tov Times

The Baal Shem Tov’s Teachings on the Torah

And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face. (Numbers 16:4)

All the [evil traits] that Balaam had, Moses was suspected of having as well. For as long as the ascension of the Shechinah is not complete, as it will be in the Messianic Era, when the impure shells will be annulled and G-d will swallow up death forever (Isaiah 25:8), all the elevations can only occur in the mind of an upright individual. And an upright individual can only reach and ascend to his root by means of his opposite. That is, when [evil] comes to his mind, and he becomes motivated to [serve] G-d .1
Pri Ha’Aretz, Matos

Every human being contains the entire world, whose myriad creatures are reflected in the endless thoughts that pass through his mind each day. Good thoughts parallel good creatures and evil thoughts are related to harmful ones. By subduing the evil in one’s own thoughts, the evil in the world is also overcome. The non-Jewish prophet and sorcerer Balaam was the very opposite of Moses, and embodied every possible evil trait; yet he too existed within Moses’ thoughts, and through his presence there, Moses was inspired to overcome his own evil and attain the level of a Tzaddik. This is the process of uplifting the sparks of holiness from among the impure shells that will continue until the coming of the Messiah.

Translation and commentary by Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Shore.

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I will greatly appreciate your donations to the Baal Shem Tov Foundation. All of the money they receive is used to operate their websites (www.BaalShemTov.com and www.Mezuzah.net), produce and distribute the weekly Baal Shem Tov Times, and translate original sources of the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov including, Keser Shem Tov and Sefer Baal Shem Tov. Their future plans include rebuilding the Baal Shem Tov website, promoting the World Wide Mezuzah Campaign and offering a number of tele-classes about the life and teachings of the Baal Shem Tov.

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AvodahAhavas Yisroel – 6th Tammuz, 5769

 

AvodahAhavas Yisroel – 6th Tammuz, 5769

RevachL'Neshama

A Relationship With The Seret Vizhnitz Rebbe Kindled By A Ski Trip

The Makor Baruch once traveled to Switzerland to raise money for the yeshivah which his father, the Seret-Viznitzer, had established in Chaifa. Two Seret-Viznitzer chassidim who lived in Switzerland accompanied him on his fundraising rounds.

One day, they passed one of the largest and well-established banks in Switzerland, and one of the Swiss chassidim decided they would enter the bank. “Come, we will try to allow the Jewish bank manager, Dr. Koshland, the merit of tzeddaka and supporting Torah.” They entered the bank, and the chassid who knew Dr. Koshland introduced the Makor Baruch. “Please meet the son of the Seret-Viznitzer Rebbe. He has mosdos in Chaifa and he came to Switzerland to collect money for the yeshivah…”

As soon as the bank manager heard the name of the Seret-Viznitzer Rebbe, he excitedly arose from his chair and said, “You want to tell me about the Seret-Viznitzer Rebbe?! You want to tell me? I’ll tell you who he was!”

The three men were shocked. How in the world did the bank manager know the Seret-Viznitzer Rebbe? The bank manager sat them down and told them his story.

“Years ago, I traveled on vacation to Davos on a skiing trip. One morning in Davos, I went to the small shul to daven Shacharis already dressed in my ski clothes, in order to save time. An elderly man greeted me warmly with ‘Sholom Aleicham’.

“I was surprised by the warm greeting from a total stranger. I said, ‘Kavod Harav, I think you’re mistaken. I don’t recognize you. Maybe the Rav meant to greet someone else?’

“’I didn’t make a mistake!’ the Rav said, who was none other than the Seret-Viznitzer Rebbe who was in Davos recuperating from an illness. ‘I’ve been here a long time, and I’ve never seen you. You must be new here and you deserve a Shalom Aleicham. No?’

Dr. Koshland continued his story. “This greeting impressed me greatly. I thought to myself, ‘When in our generation does an elderly honorable man greet a young man – a total stranger?’ When I returned from my ski outing that day, I saw the Rebbe sitting on a bench. I approached him and inquired about his welfare, and he answered me warmly, as if I was his closest friend. From then on, I maintained a close connection to the Rebbe. I sought his advice often, and from then on I arranged my trips to Davos when I knew the Rebbe would be there as well.”

The two Swiss chassidim were astounded by the bank manager’s story. However, the Makor Baruch was not surprised by the story. He was well aware of his father’s habit to greet all Jews warmly, thereby fulfilling the words of Chazal to be the first to greet each person. One warm greeting to the bank manager had spurred a close relationship with the Rebbe which lasted for decades.

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TefilaMashal – 6th Tammuz, 5769

 

TefilaMashal – 6th Tammuz, 5769

RevachL'Neshama

Ben Ish Chai – When The House Is Full Of Food

The Gemara in Brachos (10b) says that if you eat before davening Hashem asks, “after you are haughty then you are Mikabel Ol Malchus Shamayim?” What is the connection between eating before davening and Ga’ava?

The Ben ish Chai (Ben Yeho’ada) answers with a Mashal. There was person who was awarded by the king with income to last him for an entire year. Every day on his way to the market to purchase food for his family, he would pass the king’s courtyard and stand there for five minutes. Only then would he proceed to the market.

His friend asked him why do you bother doing this? He answered that even though he takes the money from his pocket to go to the market, it doesn’t really belong to him. It is the king’s money that he gave him in the beginning of the year. But his entire family watches him take the money out of his own wallet and they are liable to think that it really belongs to them. Therefore he passes the king’s courtyard on the way to the market so that he and his entire family will not forget where the money came from.

Similarly with davening. We receive all our livelihood from Hashem. However we don’t actually take our money from Shamayim. It is in our wallet and our bank account and it comes from our salary or profit. We are liable to forget the true source of the money. Therefore we come to the king’s courtyard, the Bais HaKneses everyday before we eat to remember the real source. If we eat first, then when we arrive in Shul, Hashem asks, after you ate and think it is his own, now you comes to daven and thank me? (Otzros HaTefila)

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Daily Reminder – 6th Tammuz, 5769

 

Daily Reminder – 6th Tammuz, 5769

RevachL'Neshama

Zechiras Miriam

Ten Tests, One Fatal

Avos D’Rebbi Nosson (9) says that our forefathers, in the Midbar, tested Hashem ten times. The only one they were punished for was Lashon Hara.

“Zachor Eis Asher Asa Hashem L’Miriam BaDerech B’Tzaischem MiMitzrayim”

The Ramban and other Rishonim count, among the Mitzvos Aseh Min HaTorah, the mitzva of remembering and saying with your mouth each day what Hashem did to Miriam when she spoke about her brother Moshe. The Chofetz Chaim in Shaar Tvunah Perek 12 says that being Mikayem this mitzva can save you from the aveira of Lashon Hara. More than just saying the pasuk, says the Chofetz Chaim, one must think about the incident in order for it to have its intended effect.

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Bringing Heaven Down to Earth – 6th Tammuz, 5769

 

Bringing Heaven Down to Earth – 6th Tammuz, 5769

Chabad org

Thought for the Day

Exchange Of Matter

By Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

Daily Dose – Today’s Meditation – Exchange Of Matter

From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Tzvi Freeman. To order Tzvi’s book, “Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, click here.

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Self-Growth – Keep Smiling – 6th Tammuz, 5769

 

Self-Growth – Keep Smiling – 6th Tammuz, 5769

Self-Growth - Keep Smiling
 

More…

By Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Schwartz

The heavens help us. Now, let’s ask for more heavenly help. The Creator is present in our lives. Now let’s ask that He should be even more present in our lives.

Have a growth-filled, uplifting day

By: Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Schwartz of “Self-Growth

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Blog – To view previous”Keep Smiling”s, click here, or copy this address to your browser: http://keep-smiling-self-wealth.blogspot.com/

“Heavenly Ways” gives us a Torah-based point of view 176 topics, affirmations to accelerate our journey along healthful, heavenly ways. To see excerpt, click here.

Hearts on Fire expands on selected verses from Tehillim to motivate us to new growth. In hard-cover for sale, or otherwise as a free ebook. Click here for an excerpt.

FREE INSPIRATIONAL POSTER – To download high resolution version, click here.

Special: Download the “Keep Smiling” ebook, free. Click here.

A Handful of Light” expands on the very short, powerful “Letter of the Ramban” with classic mussar and outlook ideas. (287 pages) To see an excerpt, click here.

PiCK-ME-UPs:
Empower yourself, enjoy life!
Not just another book, but a series of lessons to change our lives, turning darkness to light, misery to joy, shame into dignity; giving us a sense of direction, that we may move through our days with enthusiasm and passion, turning each moment into a jewel, a treasure, and a source of great pleasure and enjoyment. Click here for more.

“Wealth – A Torah Approach” contains over 700 teachings from the Torah, Prophets and our earliest sages on this continually perplexing subject. Click here for an excerpt.