The Sixties Radical-Azriel

From the moment that they were sundered apart, the earth has craved to reunite with heaven: physical with spiritual, body with soul, the life that breathes within us with the transcendental that lies beyond life, beyond being.

And yet more so does the Infinite Light yearn to find itself within that world, that pulse of life, within finite, earthly existence. There, more than any spiritual world, is the place of G‑d’s delight.

Towards this ultimate union all of history flows, all living things crave, all human activities are subliminally directed. When it will finally occur, it will be the quintessence of every marriage that has ever occurred.

May it be soon in our times, sooner than we can imagine.

Sefer ha-Sichot 5750, vol. 1, pp. 103ff.

The Sixties Radical-Azriel

Before the Baal Shem Tov, people thought of G‑d as the One who directs all things from above and beyond. The Baal Shem Tov taught that the vital force of each thing, the place from which comes its personality, its sense of pain and pleasure, its growth and life—that itself is G‑d.

Not that this is all of G‑d. It is less than a glimmer of G‑d. Because G‑d is entirely beyond all such descriptions.

But that life force is G‑d as He is found within each creature He has made.

Tanya, part 2, chapter 1.

The Sixties Radical-Azriel

A river went out from Eden to water the garden.
Genesis 2:10

There is Eden, and there is the garden.

Eden is a place of delight, far beyond the garden, beyond all created things. Yet its river nurtures all that grows in that garden.

The garden is wisdom, understanding, knowing—where all of creation begins.

Adam is placed in the garden, to work with his mind and to discover the transcendent Eden flowing within.

So too, that is the objective of all man’s toil in this world: To reach beyond his own mind. Not to a place where the mind is ignored, but rather to its essence, to the inner sense of beauty and wonder that guides it. To Eden.

The Sixties Radical-Azriel

The hard part is to always remain thankful to G-d for the blessings HE has given us. Thanks, and Praise to the L-rd for all of HIS greatness and kindness. Yeshua is the L-rd of my life. Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah.

A person was required to offer up a thanksgiving-offering whenever he or she experienced some open example of G‑d’s protection or help.

If [a person] is bringing [a sacrifice] in order to give thanks . . . Leviticus 7:12

In the Messianic era, communal sacrifices will continue to be offered up, but there will no longer be personal sacrifices. The sole exception will be the thanksgiving-offering. Similarly, we are taught that in the Messianic era, all forms of prayer will cease except for prayers of thanksgiving.

The purpose of personal sacrifices (other than the thanksgiving-offering) is to orient our animal soul toward Divinity. Once the process of atonement will have been completed – and we will no longer have the desire to sin – these types of sacrifices will become obsolete. Only the thanksgiving-offering will remain, for its function is to express our acknowledgement of our dependence upon G‑d, and this will continue to be the case.

Similarly, we will no longer need to pray for our needs: we will not lack anything, illness and poverty will be matters of the past, and harmony and spiritual sensitivity will become the hallmarks of society. Prayer will consist only of giving thanks, as we continuously acknowledge G‑d’s benevolence and wonders.

We can hasten the Messianic era by emphasizing in our present lives what will be true in Messianic times. Thus, by placing the emphasis in our prayers on appreciating G‑d’s goodness, we hasten the time when this will indeed be our prayers’ sole focus.1 Or HaTorah, Vayikra, p. 23; ibid., Tehilim, p. 369; ibid., Nach, vol. 2, pp. 963–964.

The Sixties Radical-Azriel

There is only one thing that can put you further ahead than success, and that is surviving failure.

When you are successful, you are whole and complete. That is wonderful, but you cannot break out beyond your own universe.

When you fail, you are broken. You look at the pieces of yourself lying on the ground and say, “This is worthless.”

Now you can escape. The shell is broken, the defining shell of a created being. Now there are no limits to how tall you can grow.

The Sixties Radical-Azriel

“The high priest was required to offer up a special grain-offering every morning and every evening.

The priest from among [Aaron’s] sons who is anointed [as high priest] must offer up [this grain-offering]. Leviticus 6:15

Our inner “high priest” is the innermost aspect and core of our soul, which is permanently bound to G‑d. This aspect of our soul is that part of us that refuses to participate in any act that is a denial of our connection with G‑d.

The classic example of something that disconnects us from G‑d is idolatry. But really, any violation of G‑d’s will can be considered a form of idolatry, for when we violate G‑d’s will we are serving something other than G‑d (whether it be money, fame, pleasure, or despair). If we would only realize this fact, nothing could entice us away from fulfilling G‑d’s will – whether by dwelling on unholy or depressing thoughts, by speaking unholy or insensitive words, or by performing unholy or destructive actions.

In this context, our personal “high-priestly” grain-offering is the meditative contemplation through which we channel the innermost core of our souls. Like the high priest’s offering, drawing upon the power of this core is necessary both in the figurative “morning,” i.e., when we feel enlightened and inspired, in order to ensure that we channel our energy in accordance with G‑d’s will, and in the figurative “evening,” i.e., when we feel confused or uninspired, in order to ensure that we resist the temptation to go against what we know we should be doing.1Hitva’aduyot 5746, vol. 2, pp. 701–702.

The Sixties Radical-Azriel

This is the key. My heart has to be an Altar to the L-rd. When in times of darkness I must keep my enthusiasm for G-d. Without this I am a dead man in the eyes of HaShem and thus I am lost in darkness until I come back to G-d with enthusiasm. love and service.

L-rd please help me keep the fires of enthusiasm for you HaShem every waking and breathing day of my life.

G‑d told Moses that once a sacrificial animal has been slaughtered, the parts of it that are to be burned should preferably be placed on top of the Altar during the day. However, if this is not possible, they may still be placed on the Altar-fire any time throughout the following night.

[G‑d told Moses that a sacrifice is still valid if it is placed on the Altar at night,] for the fire of the Altar must burn on it [throughout the night]. Leviticus 6:2

The Altar fire that was kept burning throughout the night was kindled during the day.

The Altar alludes to the Jewish heart. Even when we find ourselves in situations of spiritual darkness, we must keep the Divine fire of enthusiasm for G‑d, His Torah, and His commandments, always burning in our hearts.1See Or HaTorah, Vayikra, vol. 1, p. 13.