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|(Why is the Creator referred
to as G-d? G-d's name is not fully spelled out in many Jewish books to
prevent the sacred name from falling into a defiled place, if the book
is discarded. Jewish law forbids throwing out a piece of paper with the
G-d's name spelled out and requires that such a paper be stored away or
buried. When the reference can have many meanings, such as 'Creator', or
'Lord' this requirement is not binding. One should nevertheless, even in
such cases, try whenever possible, to wrap the paper (in another paper
or bag) before discarding.)
|Bringing Heaven Down to Earth
Meditations and everyday wisdom from the teachings of the Rebbe, Menachem Schneerson
Compiled by Tzvi Freeman
Every person is a microcosm of the entire Creation.
G-d is not just big---He is infinite. If He were
The Rebbe describes the following as the central teaching of the Baal Shem Tov:
Not only is the movement of a leaf as it falls off a
Meditate on this. And then think: How much more so
And your soul, from the time it was first emanated and
And your footsteps were guided to reach that place. And
Know that there is no place outside of G-d, and rejoice
G-d is not Nature.
Everywhere in the world, parents play peek-a-boo
All our life, all of the world, is G-d playing
Talk is powerful.
When things don't work out, relax. Even if it's all your
When He sees how much you trust in Him, He will
Do not confuse the pain and
struggle of the body with
You cannot blame yourself, never mind persecute
If you see what needs to be repaired and how to
People are mirrors for each other.
This is G -d's great kindness to
Everyone has his share of "not good." It's
Slowly, slowly, it convinces us
that any good we do
Do good without reason. Then there are no traps
Mockery is the prime weapon of the dark impulses
And the most powerful mocker is the one within
When you start something you know
is good and right,
Any voice that comes to prevent you from
You are the master over the animal within, not
Advice on anger:
Prepare yourself with this meditation, and when
Know that all that befalls you comes from a
And although this person who insulted you, or
That is his problem. That it had to
happen to you that
Adam was the direct handiwork of G-d. No other human
This teaches us that the greatest challenges in life are
Captivity begins by believing that you are small and
world is big.
There is always hope. Even when you mess up, you
You could decide to become just another clement
And the fact is, you may even do well
taking this route
Or you could see your life as an intimate
Then your main job is to keep the basket where
Maybe you'll get rich this way. Maybe you won't.
Healing - Ask the advice of a doctor who is a friend.
Being a friend
Firm confidence in G-d can perform miracles of
Not that it is the doctor or his medicine that
heals it is
Four things advised for healing:
1. Find a good doctor and follow his instructions.
2. Dispel any thoughts about illness. Think
3. Strengthen your confidence in the Healer of
4. Increase your study of the inner light of Torah.
The doctor has been licensed from Above to heal,
A person is happy when he knows something worthwhile
belongs to him. A person is very happy when he feels that he is small
and yet he owns something very great.
Fighting evil is a very noble
activity when it must be done.
Doing good is not about being nice.
You can do nice things all day long for many people, but it could be all just more service of your own self, food for our own ego.
When you help those who show gratitude, when your lend a hand to those who are on your side, you are still within the realm of your own ego and self.
Help someone you don't want to help. Help him and learn to want to help him - only because this is the right thing to do.
At first it may not feel so rewarding. But you have sprung free.
When you and the path you have chosen get along just great, it's hard to know whether your motives are sincere.
But when you come across a path to do good, and you see this path goes against every sinew of your flesh and every cell in your brain, when you want only to flee and hide from it - do this
Then you shall know your motives are sincere.
They think self-surrender means to say, "I have no mind. I have no heart. I only believe and follow, for I am nothing."
This is not self-surrender, this is denial of
the truth. For
G-d did not give you a brain that you should
Self-surrender is the subliminal drive behind
Confidence is best found among the truly humble.
With the world, be firm.... Within, feel
We are all prisoners. But we sit on the keys.
The keys to liberation are clenched tightly in
the fists of
People think that to attain truth you have to
On the other hand, to move a mountain takes some
You do what you can: Learn and meditate and pray
To seek truth means more than finding your own
The higher the truth, the fewer boundaries it
Knowing that G-d is everything, you may wish to
This is the easier path.
On the other hand, knowing that within each
Both paths are true paths, and great sages have
The Baal Shem Tov taught that in the heavenly court
there is no one who can judge you for what you have done in your life on
earth. So this is what they do:
And you give your verdict. which they accept. and then
they tell you that this somebody was you.
Only together can we find oneness in our own selves. Only together can we be a fit vessel for the One Above to be revealed.
"And without the activism there is no ego?
Never underestimate the power of a simple, pure deed done from the heart.
The world is not changed by men who move mountains, nor by those who lead the revolutions, nor by those whose purse strings tie up the world.
Dictators are deposed, oppression is dissolved, entire nations are transformed by a few precious acts of beauty performed by a handful of unknown soldiers.
In fact it was Maimonides who wrote in his code of law, "Each person must see himself as though the entire world were held in balance and any deed he might do could do would tip the scales."
As soon as you start measuring good deeds to determine which is greater, which takes priority over the other - you have already entered precarious ground.
Your job is to do whatever is sent your way.
There is compassion that feeds the ego and there is compassion that humble it.
Compassion that feeds the ego is a sense of pity for those who stand beneath you.
Compassion that humbles is born of a deeper understanding of the order of things: When you understand that your fellow man is suffering in order that you may be privileged to help him - then you are truly humbled.
Each act of giving uplifts and purifies you a little more.
Keep a small charity box attached tot he wall in a conspicuous place, and place a few coins in it every day. Keep one in your home and one in your office.
Marriage is a microcosm of the soul's descent into the world:
If you are here looking for what you can get out of this world, then the world and all its trappings will only drag you down.
But if you are looking for what you can give, then you, your part of the word, and your soul all are uplifted and filled with light.
So too, when you enter a marriage: Look for what you can give, and reap harmony and love.
You complain that
peace in the home is, for you, fraught with obstacles.
Nothing is greater than peace. Even when you are 100 percent right, and you know your spouse is 100 percent wrong, you can still give in for the sake of peace.
Every day, take one half-hour to think about your children and where they're headed. Then do all you can about it. The do more.
Give a child kind, nonpredatory
stuffed animals to play with, like sheep, deer, giraffe, and such. What
the child looks at in those delicate years has a permanent effect.
If you tell a child, "Keep this
rule because if you don't you will be punished!" the child has two
doubts in his mind:
The child has to know that there is
an eye that sees,
In the zeal to separate church and state, we
Rather than teaching fear of a
At Mount Sinai, tradition tells, there was no echo.
Torah penetrates and is absorbed by all things, because it is their essence. There is no place where it does not apply, no darkness it does not illuminate, nothing it cannot bring alive. Nothing will bounce it back and say, "Torah is too holy to belong here."
You cannot separate the mystical from the practical. Each thing has both a body and a soul, and they act as one. Neither can contradict the other, and in each the other can be found.
Wonder never ceases for the enlightened mind. At every moment it views with amazement an entire world again renewed out of the void, and asks, "Why is there anything at all?"
The rebel is far closer to wisdom than the complacent child - as an ox is more powerful than a lamb. He only needs a wise person who can show him how to harness his strength and bring much good to the world.
Questions are also part of the truth.
In life, you don't get all the
answers at once.
Meditation is this: Once you have thoroughly learned a concept and organized the ideas in your mind, you then try to visualize it, Once you have visualization, you try to feel the essential life of the thing.
If your mind is
completely focused, then the idea will move you until you are no longer
the same self and your day is no longer the same day.
When you get up in the morning, let the world
wait. Defy it a little. First learn something to inspire you. Take a few
moments to meditate upon it.
In creating the whole of existence,
But one who fails and then returns transcends that entire scheme. He reaches out directly to the Essential Creator. Beyond darkness and light. And so his darkness becomes light.
A meditation for when things get rough:
The world was brought into being with Goodness.
That is why nothing good comes without toil. And
Depression, anxiety, and pessimism damage the
The Zohar explains that there is a lower
If we are glowing with joy and vitality, then
That is why King David said, "Serve G-d with
People are not changed by arguments, or by philosophy. People are changed by doing. Introduce a new habit into your life, and your entire perspective of the world changes.
First do, then learn about what you are already doing.
A container is defined by its contents: A pitcher of water is water. A crate of apples is apples. A house, to, is defined by what is contains.
Fill your house with books of Torah, and your house becomes Torah. Affix charity boxes to its walls, and your house becomes a wellspring of charity. Bring those who need a warm home to your table, and your house become a lamp in the darkness.
Faith and Intellect - If you don't believe, then why does not believing concern you?
I do not accept your assertion that you do not believe. For if you truly had no concept of a Supernal Being Who created the world with purpose, then what is all this outrage of yours against the injustice of life? The substance of the universe is not moral and neither are the plants and animals. Why should it surprise you that whoever is bigger and more powerful swallows his fellow alive.
It is only due to an inner conviction in our hearts, shared by every human being, that there is a Judge, that there is right and there is wrong. And so, when we see a wrong, we demand an explanation: Why is this not the way it is supposed to be?
That itself is belief in G-d.
However, when your faith is based not upon your subjective self, but because this is the reality of your inner soul, a truth to which it is intrinsically bound - then you are not afraid to inquire. There is no apprehension of being proven wrong, only certitude that you shall understand more.
Therefore, only true faith can be truly objective.
Let's say you saw a magnificent machine, with hundreds of thousands of parts, all working in spectacular unison and harmony, far beyond anything the human mind could contrive. And you examined the details of this machine and found that some aspects of its workings puzzled you. Would you complain to the inventor? Or would you pray in awe for understanding"
In general, the universe's wondrous design is obvious. We just have of admit insufficient understanding of certain aspects.
Einstein received acclaim for demonstrating that energy and matter are one. The scientist who demonstrates how all forces are one in a unified theory will receive even greater acclaim. Since we all agree that someone will eventually establish this, why not accept is right tnow, and we'll call it G-d?
Everything was created as a means to know G-d. Every discovery we have ever made was planted here in the six days of creation in order that we utilize it for a G-dly purpose.
A young biologist was working a NASA on a project to find life on Mars. He asked the Rebbe, "Is this okay? Some religions say we shouldn't search. After all, the Bible doesn't say anything about life on mars."
The Rebbe replied, "Professor Green, you should look for life on Mars and if you don't find it there, you should look elsewhere, Because for you to sit here and say that G-d didn't create life elsewhere is to put limits on G -d - and no one can do that."
A student begins as a sponge or as a funnel: Either everything is absorbed, indiscriminately - or everything passes in one ear and out the other. The first job of a teacher, therefore, is to direct the student and tell him, "Focus on this, this is important, Do not focus on this - this is only the background."
No one has ever seen, touched, or
measured a particle or a wave of gravity. Furthermore, the very notion
of gravity is mystifying: Masses light years apart with nothing between
them, affecting each other's movements!
We are not waiting for some great
revelation from above to save us from our incompetence as guardians of
this world and put everything in order. Rather, we are waiting to see
the sun rise over everything we have done, to see the fruits of our
labors blossom in an eternal spring.
The Seven Instructions of Noah
At the dawn of creation G-d gave the first human
For most of Jewish history, circumstance did not
What fascinates me is the breathing room they
According to the sages of the Talmud, there are
Anyone who lives by these rules, acknowledging
Here are those seven instructions, according to
1. Acknowledge that there is only one G-d who
2. Respect the Creator. As frustrated and angry
3. Do not murder. Each human being, just as
4. Respect the institution of marriage.
Marriage is a
5. Do not steal. Deal honestly in all your
6. Respect G-d's creatures. At the outset of
Maintain justice. Justice is G-d's business,
but we are
"So I have done my part. From this point on, you
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