Tag Archives: Avraham

The Sixties Radical-Azriel

This self of which we are conscious is but a tiny portion of the whole, the tip of a peninsula, a finely focused ray of an infinite source of light.

Upstream lies unimaginable wealth, storehouses of treasures left by many generations. Upstream lies every G‑dly act of our holy mothers and fathers, the strength and courage of every martyr, the unlimited power of G‑d’s breath within us.

When you dance and sing in the joy of a beautiful deed, listen to the music. You will hear your holy mothers and fathers of ages past, dancing and singing along.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

Evil sucks the life out of everything it touches. It wants to suck the life out of holiness. G-d showed the Egyptians how they became indifferent to the one true G-d by infesting Egypt with lice.

This is one of those object lesson that must apply in my life. I must make sure I am not taking G-d and HIS Torah for granted. I must be on guard to not act indifferently towards the one true G-d.

The plague of blood was followed by the plagues of frogs and lice.

G‑d instructed Moses to say to Aaron, “Raise your staff and strike the dust of the earth, and it will turn into lice.” Exodus 8:12

The louse is a parasite; it lives off animals and people without contributing anything to their lives. It is therefore a metaphor for evil, since evil thrives by sucking the life force out of holiness rather than by its own merits.

Just as a louse can attach itself to a person only if his hygiene is lax, evil can only thrive when we allow our Divine consciousness to lapse, falling either into misdeeds or the apathy toward holiness that leaves us vulnerable to the enticements of materialism.

By infesting the Egyptians with lice, G‑d was showing them what their indifference to Divinity made them into: “parasites.” All their achievements in literature, art, architecture, science, and so on, served only to inflate their egos and enhance their material lives. As such, they were draining vitality from the forces of holiness in the world rather than aiding holiness.1 Or HaTorah, Bereishit, pp. 124b–125a, 444ab.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

G‑d is always with the oppressed. Even if the oppressor is righteous and the oppressed is wicked, our sages tell us, G‑d is with the oppressed. (Lev. Rabba 27:7)

Visit the prisoners and bring them some happiness. Even if they are guilty; even if, in your eyes, they deserve whatever misery they have. Bring them joy.

And it is not only those in the penitentiary. A hospital, a home for the elderly, even a private residence of a lonely old man—these, too, can be prisons of the soul. Purim 5736:4


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

Moshe was respectful of Pharaoh. Moshe used his forceful speeches to break the power of evil when they were at their strongest.

This means when the animal soul is raging against me I must forcefully and fearlessly speak the word of G-d against the evil so it will be destroyed.

I must learn to merge my soul with G-d’s so HaShem can use me to advance the Kingdom of Heaven to defeat evil.

“G‑d then gave specific instructions to Moses and Aaron regarding how to speak to Pharaoh.

 G‑d said to Moses, “Observe! I have made you master over Pharaoh.” Exodus 7:1

The purpose of Moses’ respectful yet forceful speeches to Pharaoh was to break the forces of evil when their powers were strongest.

Similarly, there are times in our lives when our inner “Pharaohs,” i.e., our animal drives, seem to have the upper hand. At such times, the best way to overcome these drives is to channel our inner “Moses” and rage against them, insult them, and humiliate them.

The same is true regarding our mission to oppose negativity in the world at large. Of course, we must always convey G‑d’s message in a pleasant and peaceful way, just as G‑d commanded Moses to address Pharaoh respectfully. But at the same time, we must approach our “Pharaohs” fearlessly and forcefully. If we remain true to G‑d’s message, we can break the power of darkness and help bring G‑d’s redemptive light to the world.1 Likutei Sichot, vol. 16, pp. 74–76.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

There are many kinds of barriers: Barriers between people. Barriers that prevent you from doing good things. Barriers of your own mind and your own hesitations. Barriers from within and barriers from without. There are barriers that exist simply because you are a limited being.

Joy breaks down all barriers.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

The following thoughts are taken from the class I took from Rabbi Mendy Herson on Freedom of Choice

G-d is concealing to reveal HIMSELF to us.

G-d allows a space for us to not do HIS will.

G-d created in us the ability to do or not do HIS will.

G-d created the concept of I(G-d) can contain myself. G-d has a deeper capacity not to reveal HIMSELF.

This ability to contain HIMSELF reveals how G-d is expressing how unlimited HE really is.

G-d has the ability to overwhelm us.

G-d has the capacity to be.

G-d has the capacity to be not.

G-d has the ability to get out of the way to allow us to contravene as well.

G-d created the ability of free choice. We can do or not do G-d’s will. It is up to us. This comes directly from G-d.

G-d gave us the ability to overcome a moral dilemma and do the right thing.

G-d doesn’t force us to the right thing instead gives us free choice. And this is the essence of G-d in HIS truest sense.

The profound level within the divine essence is not of will but the fact of negating will.

Not of revelation but concealment.

The Sixties Radical-Azriel

Some short pearls of wisdom from my class on the Tanya with Rabbi Gordon.

May he be a blessed memory.

There is a difference between meeting and calling.

Calling means G-d speaks to you.

This means you are part of the plan.

You are partnering with G-d.

Meeting means it is accident.

It means it happened.

It is a coincidence.