On Empathy

We all carry around burdens, gnawing issues that distract us. On this topic, Proverbs (12:25) offers the following advice: “A worry in a one’s heart—yash’chena.” The Talmud provides two interpretations of the last word, yash’chena: the first sees it as an expression meaning “forget,” to turn one’s mind away.  Read this way, the simple instruction […]

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Miracles and Nature

The typical definition of miracles center on defying rules of nature. The kabbalistic definition involves an influx into our world from a higher, more infinite force than what usually sustains it. Three general categories: 1. supernatural miracles, overriding laws of nature for a given outcome. This spectacular event shakes up the onlooker. 2. Hidden miracles; […]

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Stay Light or Get Blindsided

Hidden within any physical space are the spiritual imprints of those who inhabit it. As people gather inside a room, all their thoughts, desires, and essential character during those moments are projected into the air. Souls sense these hidden vibrations in the room and react. Good thoughts and pleasant connection come easily in good company. […]

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Putting things in Order

World of Falsehood: The soul journeys into a body and physical world, termed “the world of falsehood.”  Pure and unblemished, the child slowly learns the rules of the game. In thespiritual realm, there is no deception. Soul in body, the inside and outside can appear not to match up.  Example: the face can smile like a […]

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Don’t confuse faith with trust:

Studying each soul attribute individually involves defining its characteristics. This understanding may also lead one to better recognize the experience when it occurs.  Once the basic framework of the soul’s structure is understood, one can then turn to examine how a specific power interacts with other soul powers. How does action affect wisdom? How does […]

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1. The Tension of Two

“In the beginning, One G-d created two”—two basic features, symbolized by heavens and Earth, light and darkness, good and evil. The contrast creates meaning. As one rises, the other falls.  There is ongoing tension between these two universal entities and our job is to reconcile it.   Using the story of creation, we will begin […]

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2. Two Competing Souls

  Throughout our lives the two souls “compete” for control over our consciousness and behavior. There is a constant tug of war. In this sense, the human is at the center of two equally demanding but incompatible impulses with no apparent means of reconciliation. There is, likewise, an inherent tension between body and soul.  But […]

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3. The Inner Opponent

  The animal soul, while chaotic and self-serving by nature, can be tamed and channeled constructively. But it also contains a lower aspect that can be destructive and seeks to keep us from fulfilling our mission. This is “the inner opponent.” Because of this, our two souls are lifelong rivals, fighting for control over our […]

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5. The Neutral Zone

The first step in self-refinement is learning how to identify and classify thoughts, speech, and actions. Dividing all reality into three general categories, we will distinguish between abject “evil”, neutral, and “holy.” Most things in the world are neutral—neither negative nor sacred. An example of this is money, which can be used for charity or […]

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