Tag Archives: Azriel

The Sixties Radical-Azriel

The life of Sarah was one hundred years and twenty years and seven years, the years of the life of Sarah. (Genesis 23:1)

All of them were equally good.—Rashi.

In which direction does your life move?
To wherever you have placed its arrow.

If the arrow points forever backward, to blame the present on the past and script the future accordingly, then what is to make life worth its pain, the story worth its struggle?

But if the arrow points forward to an unfolding destiny, then every pain becomes the cracking of a shell, every travail the shedding of a cocoon; as an olive releasing its oil to the press, a seedling breaking its path to rock and soil to reach the sun. What is the pain relative to the promise it holds?

And so Sarah looked back after 127 years, and all her days, even the darkest, the weariest, even those when she was held a prisoner in the depths of evil of Pharaoh’s palace—all were good and filled with beauty.

Likutei Sichot, vol. 5, pg. 92.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

Self-sacrifice is how we show how much we love G-d. When we do this our bond with G-d becomes invincible.

G-d please show me how to die to self so I can have an invincible bond with you HaShem.

The first articles the artisans made were the tapestries that formed the covering of the Tabernacle.

[The artisans made the tapestries out of] linen, turquoise wool, purple wool, and scarlet wool. Exodus 36:8

These four materials allude to the four bases of our emotional relationship with G‑d.

Scarlet wool is red, alluding to fire. The fire within our soul is the fiery love of G‑d that results from contemplating His infinity. When we realize the extent to which G‑d is beyond creation and that He is the true reality, we are overcome with a passionate desire to escape the limitations of the world in order to know Him and to merge with Him.

Turquoise wool is the color of the sky, alluding to our experience of G‑d’s majesty. In this experience, we also contemplate G‑d’s infinity, but focus on our own insignificance in comparison. This fills us with feelings of awe.

Purple wool is a blend of blue and red, of love and awe, alluding to pity, which is compounded of love and anger: love for the ideal, anger over how the ideal goes unfulfilled. Specifically, we pity our Divine soul when we consider its plight, having to live so spiritually distant from its natural home, i.e., in G‑d’s presence.

Linen is white, alluding to our basic, inherent love of G‑d, a feeling that is above and beyond rationality. This love is what makes us capable of self-sacrifice for G‑d’s honor, as it expresses our invincible bond with G‑d.1 Sefer HaMa’amarim 5708, pp. 138 ff.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

“Moses prefaced his instructions for the Tabernacle by reminding the Jewish people that they must keep the Sabbath. They must not let their enthusiasm for building the Tabernacle lead them transgress the prohibition to work on the seventh day.

Moses told the Jewish people], “Work may be done for six days, but the seventh day must be holy for you, a complete rest from work.” Exodus 35:2

Spiritually, every week is a repetition of the week of Creation: G‑d re-creates the world during the six workdays and “rests” every Sabbath. G‑d “rests” by re-experiencing the original idea that gave rise to the creation of the world. During the six original days of Creation, G‑d attended to the details of executing His designs; after the master architect completed His masterpiece, He surveyed it and reviewed it as the fulfillment of His plan.

Thus, during the six workdays, the world is re-created by G‑d’s “creative” energy, whereas on the Sabbath, the world is created by G‑d’s “resting” energy.

Therefore, our task on the Sabbath is not to labor in rectifying creation, but to experience creation as the Divine dwelling we have worked to make it into during the week. We enter into this state of consciousness by refraining from the 39 categories of creative work we do in our weekday lives.1Or HaTorah, Shemot, vol. 6, p. 2113.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

When it is given to us by G-d it does not have a lasting effect on us. When we earn it by working at it then the gifts and presence of G-d is everlasting.

This means I must work towards Holiness. I must work and sacrifice to live a G-dly life. I am learning on a daily basis to clean the garbage out of my life so I can become a dwelling place for G-d.

“After his third 40-day stay on Mount Sinai, Moses descended on the 10th of Tishrei, 2449, carrying the second set of Tablets, which replaced the first set that Moses broke when he saw the Jews worshipping the Golden Calf. Moses’ extended stay in G‑d’s presence had left a lasting impression on his body: his face radiated light.

Moses was not aware that the skin of his face had become radiant. Exodus 34:29

G‑d Himself chiseled the first set of tablets out of the rocks on Mount Sinai, whereas the second tablets were chiseled by Moses. Nevertheless, it was specifically after receiving the second set of tablets, rather than the first set, that Moses’ face shone.

This is because when something is given to us from G‑d without our having worked to earn it, it does not penetrate our very being. It is thus no accident that the first tablets were broken, whereas the second set never were. When we work for something, it can remain with us permanently; something that is received unearned can be more easily lost.

Because Moses chiseled the second tablets himself, their holiness could penetrate his physical body, and therefore his face shone. Similarly, the effort we expend in studying the Torah and fulfilling G‑d’s commandments refines even our physical bodies. If we exert ourselves to the point that the Torah penetrates us, our faces glow.1 Likutei Sichot, vol. 36, p. 179.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

To become one with another person, you must first recognize that you are but a broken half. Only then can you give all of yourself and become whole.

To become one with the Infinite Light, you must know you are but a broken half, the Infinite Light is your other half, and only then can you give all of yourself and become whole.

Pekudei 5741:61-62; Torat Menachem 5749 vol. 2, pg. 180.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

As the entirety of the sun is reflected in every glistening droplet of water, so is the entirety of life reflected in your individual lifetime.

And in each of your years, you pass through the entirety of your life.

And in every day of your life you are born, live your life through, and pass on from this world.

All your life lies in the hands of today.

Torat Menachem 5748, page 573.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

Judges and officers shall you appoint in all your cities . . . (Deuteronomy 16:18)

Think of yourself as a city. You have four magical gates: the Gate of Seeing, the Gate of Listening, the Gate of Imagining and the Gate of Speaking.

Magical gates, because an Infinite G‑d enters your finite city through these gates. An infinite G‑d who cannot be squeezed within any place or boxed within any definition, but chooses to dress neatly in a wisdom called Torah—and these are your gates by which wisdom may enter.

That is why all the world competes to storm those gates. They want you to see the ugliness they see, hear the cacophony they hear, imagine the nonsense they imagine and speak without end. And then, you will desire all they desire and no room will be left in your city for that Infinite G‑d.

You only need master those gates and the city is yours.

Maamar Shoftim 5729