Tag Archives: The Dead Church

The Sixties Radical-Azriel

This goes against the grain of rational thought and logic. We Jews agreed to what G-d wanted us to do before we knew what it involved. We signed the contract with G-d before we knew what the terms of the contract were.

This is why G-d chose us as HIS chosen people. We were willing to what G-d wanted us to do and be before G-d told us what it involved.

After concluding its account of how G‑d taught Moses the Torah’s laws on Mount Sinai, the narrative returns to its account of the Giving of the Torah. This time, it focuses on the covenant that G‑d forged between Himself and the Jewish people by giving them the Torah. The day before the Giving of the Torah, Moses informed the people that receiving the Torah would involve both studying it and performing G‑d’s commandments..

[The people] responded, “We will do and we will learn everything that G‑d has spoken.” Exodus 24:7

By saying “we will do” before “we will learn,” the Jewish people declared that they were prepared to fulfill G‑d’s will unconditionally – accepting His commandments even before they knew what they were. It is still on the condition of this commitment that G‑d continues to “give us the Torah” today – i.e., revealing Himself and His will to us as we study the Torah and perform its commandments.

Conventional thinking may deem it irrational to commit oneself to a contract before the terms of the contract are spelled out. And we can indeed connect to G‑d as He reveals Himself within creation without first committing ourselves to do whatever He wants. But the only way we can connect to G‑d Himself – i.e., as He is beyond creation and rationality – is by likewise rising above the limits of rationality. Therefore, nowadays, just as when the Torah was first given, the way we connect with G‑d Himself is by devoting ourselves to His Torah unconditionally.1 Likutei Sichot, vol. 23, p. 92 ff; Sichot Kodesh 5739, vol. 3, pp. 295–297; Igrot Kodesh, vol. 7, p. 28; Hitva’aduyot 5748, vol. 3 pp. 234–235; Sichot Kodesh 5741, vol. 4, pp. 31–32.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

In each one of us there is an Egypt and a Pharaoh and a Moses and Freedom in a Promised Land. And every point in time is an opportunity for another Exodus.

Egypt is a place that chains you to who you are, constraining you from growth and change. And Pharaoh is that voice inside that mocks your gambit to escape, saying, “How could you attempt being today something you were not yesterday? Aren’t you good enough just as you are? Don’t you know who you are?”

Moses is the liberator, the infinite force deep within, an impetuous and all-powerful drive to break out from any bondage, to always transcend, to connect with that which has no bounds.

But Freedom and the Promised Land are not static elements that lie in wait. They are your own achievements which you may create at any moment, in any thing that you do, simply by breaking free from whoever you were the day before.

Last Passover you may not have yet begun to light a candle. Or some other mitzvah still waits for you to fulfill its full potential. This year, defy Pharaoh and light up your world. With unbounded light.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

There is the body, the soul, and then there is the essence. If the soul is light, then the essence is the source of light. If the soul is energy, then the essence is the generator. It is not something you have. It is who and what you are.

Whatever we do, we dance around that essence-core, like an orbiting spacecraft unable to land. We can meditate, we can be inspired—but to touch our inner core, the place from whence all this comes, that takes a power from beyond.

That is why there are seasons in life empowered from beyond. Special days and special nights, times of crisis and times of joy that touch the core. At other times, you can step forward. At those times, you can leap into a new form of being.

Motzei Chanuka 5735:7, and on many other occasions.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

The goal in my life is to see the world and people as the G-d sees them. Everything happens in life due to G-d’s providence.

G-d get out of me all idols so I can serve only you HaShem the maker of heaven and earth. And breathed the very breath of life into me.

Help me die to self so I can murder the unG-dly in my life so I can become a true servant and slave to you HaShem and Yeshua the Jewish Messiah.

Let me become a true disciple of you Yeshua the Jewish Messiah.

G‑d continued with the laws governing the conquest of the Land of Israel and the eradication of idolatry.”

[Rather than serve idols,] you must serve G‑d, your G‑d. Exodus 23:25

G‑d established the laws of nature when He created the world; sometimes He acts within these laws and sometimes He overrides them. The two names of G‑d used in this verse refer to these two ways in which G‑d relates to the laws of nature. The first name refers to Him when He ignores the limitations of nature; the second refers to Him when He works within the laws of nature.

Thus, in this verse, G‑d is telling us to spiritually refine ourselves (“to serve”) until the supernatural becomes natural for us, becoming our “second nature.” When we rise to this level of consciousness, we view everything in life from G‑d’s perspective, and see everything that happens as part of His all-encompassing providence.1


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

“G‑d continued with the laws governing the sabbatical year, the yearly cycle of holidays, and mixing milk and meat.

You must not eat a young animal cooked in its mother’s milk. Exodus 23:19

Cooking a young animal in its mother’s milk is an act of consummate cruelty. The Torah therefore forbids us not only to cook a young animal in its mother’s milk, but to cook any animal in any other animal’s milk, to eat such a mixture, or even to derive any other benefit from it.

We see here what extremes the Torah goes to in forbidding cruelty towards animals. The precautions the Torah takes to distance us from causing suffering to an animal demonstrate how much care we must take to avoid causing suffering to a fellow human being.1 Likutei Sichot, vol. 6, p. 151.


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

This is quite heavy yet it is true. “G‑d gave us the Torah and its commandments for the benefit of our bodies as well as our souls. Nonetheless, since the body (our beast of burden, or “donkey”) naturally seeks its own comfort, it is likely to consider the study of G‑d’s Torah and the fulfillment of His commandments a burden. It may rebel (“crouch”), positioning itself as the soul’s “enemy.” Therefore, since for most of us, our body’s voice is louder than our soul’s, we are likely to initially view the Torah as an oppressive burden.

This only means, however, that we have not yet integrated the Torah into our lives. Rabbi Yisrael Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of Chasidism, taught that we should not despise the body because of its natural attitude. Rather, we should work with it, strengthening its health while “educating” it to realize that accepting the Torah’s dictates is in its own best interest. Once we realize that G‑d’s Torah and His commandments are the truest source of life, our bodies will view them as a gift, joining our souls enthusiastically in their fulfillment.1Hitva’aduyot 5710, pp. 111–112.

G‑d continued with the laws governing respect for authority, donations to be given to the tribe of Levi, truth in the administration of justice, and behavior toward enemies.

When you see your enemy’s donkey crouching under its load . . . you must help [him]. Exodus 23:5


The Sixties Radical-Azriel

“G‑d continued with the laws governing cases of theft; responsibilities of borrowers, guardians, and renters; seduction; sorcery; bestiality; idolatry; exploitation; and loans.

When you lend money . . . Exodus 22:24

The commandment to lend money applies even if the borrower owns possessions that he can theoretically sell. Thus, the commandment to lend money, unlike the commandment to give charity, is intended to benefit not only the poor but also the rich.

If, at times, we are reluctant to lend money to someone who is not poor, we should consider the possibility that in a previous lifetime, the present roles may have been reversed: we may have been the beneficiary of a loan or some other form of help from the person presently requesting a loan from us. This is our opportunity to repay his good deed.1 Sichot Kodesh 5713, p. 191.