Archive for the ‘Meditation’ Category

The Unity of Above and Below

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

In honor of our teacher, R. Zalman Schachter-Shalom, ztz’l, on the occasion of his fifth Yahrzeit which begins at sunset tonight, 5 Tammuz, July 7, 2019, I offer this translation of Tikkunei Zohar 132a. May the memory of R. Zalman forever be a blessing! Gabbai Seth Fishman (Original text may be found clicking here)

My son: A merit for the one who does these commandments, commandments that depend on these organs, a merit comes to whoever enacts the unification of the blessed Holy One with His Shekhinah in this world. Then, the blessed Holy One couples with Her, with His Consort, in that world. And whoever comes near to bring an offering for Him [and] for His Shekhinah, the blessed Holy One comes near to Her, to His Consort. And whoever makes for Him a sanctuary, as scripture states, (Exodus 25:8) “And they shall make Me a sanctuary,” the blessed Holy One makes for him in that world a house to dwell (for him) there which is the holy of holies. And whoever makes Him a Sukkah, the blessed Holy One forms shade over him in that world, and protects him from all destructive angels when emerging from this world and going to that world. Whoever blesses the blessed Holy One, and sanctifies him in his prayer in this world, the blessed Holy One blesses him in that world, and sanctifies him. And no sanctifications if less than ten. And similarly, thus, the blessed Holy One makes for him ten wedding canopies in Gan Eden.

Entire text below:

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Wrappings for God

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

Reb Zalman, a’h was asked: “When you come before God. I wonder, what is that ‘God’ to you? Who is this that you come before? And what is that like?”

Here’s his reply:

Ok. It’s such a good question!

And I want to say that at another time I was describing how William James, the great psychologist who wrote about varieties of religious experience, one day made his way and came to a town in New England and, he asked one of the wardens of the church, “Who is God for you? What do you place yourself in front of?”

He answered: “An oblong blur.”

Now he was talking to a New England transcendentalist who was very much afraid to say anything of shape because that’s a “no-no.”

The mistake is that the head has to know there’s no shape. But the heart has to have a root-metaphor.

I can be in a monistic place in my head but I can’t be in a monistic place in my heart. In my heart I have to have the other whom I love. That’s where I’m in the I/Thou relationship.

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The Act Of Prayer

Monday, February 15th, 2016

The following text is from Yishmru Daat, p. 30, by Reb Zalman ah. (Translation by Gabbai Seth Fishman and click here for Hebrew text.)

The Act of Prayer

The one who prays to Hashem Yitbarach should hold the belief that, from the start, there was a cause brought about by the everlasting One, and that S/He is the source of all completions, and S/He created all the worlds at the time when it arose in Hir will.

Also, after S/He created them and S/He brought them into existence, creatio ex nihilo and the absolute void, S/He didn’t turn over the leading to any angel or planet. Instead, S/He is the One who is the bringer of life, and S/He guides all the creatures, including those residing in the highest of heights all the way to those residing in the depths of below, the One without measure or compare.

And with Hir awareness, S/He completes all of the causes that S/He began at the start.

And S/He is the only One, alone.

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Why Theologians Have Trouble with Prayer

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

In the final public lecture of his life which you can read here, Reb Zalman, (a’h) said:

You will see: The more you do it, there will be a moment of the breakthrough that you will have the sense that ‘Ah! Today, not only did I talk to God; today I knew that I was heard by God and I was given back an answer!’, though not necessarily in words. So keep trying that. I wrote a piece called ‘Why Theologians Have Trouble with Prayer,’ and if you write to me, I’ll send it to you so you’ll see it’s all laid out there.

Here is the referenced piece so that your Pesach will bring some mamash DavvenenGabbai Seth Fishman

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Why Theologians Have Such Trouble With Prayer
By Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
of Blessed Memory

The more conceptually correct and abstract the notion of God is for the theologian, the harder it is for him/her to pray.

It has been my good fortune to meet and share with great theologians; with philosophers of religion. When we spoke about the conceptual, the intellectual realms, we were in great harmony. And with those who were in touch with the spirit of the times and had, within themselves, made the paradigm shift away from triumphalism and the mechanical reality map and onto a Gaian perspective, having a sense of the quantum realities, the zero point field, string theory or even developmental theologies such as Teilhard DeChardin’s evolution of creation growing toward God, or with those people who had traced the evolution of God ideas over time, when it came to discussing prayer beyond its psychological benefit for the individual, they could not meet me in a place where there was ontic facticity to the One who hears the prayer; nor could we connect on the real/empirical efficacy of prayer.

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Chesed / Lovingkindness

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Thanks again to Chaplain Gloria Krasno for graciously sharing her poetic and artful meditations between Tisha B’av and erev Rosh Hashannah.  Many blessings to her for her spiritual soul and her generosity in sharing them.  Gabbai Seth Fishman, BLOG Editor

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Holy Gevurah / Judgment

Monday, September 7th, 2009

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Gal-Or-Ya’s Tiferet

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

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Netzach / Persistence

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

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Welcome to Hod

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Rabbi Hanna Tiferet Siegel, at the wonderful opening ceremony she hosted at this year’s Aleph Kallah said:  “When I first met Reb Zalman in 1972, he spoke about the unexplored Sefirah of Hod, the emanation of glory and beauty experienced through the senses.   He said, ‘That would be our work.’  Here’s Chaplain Gloria’s meditation for the week of HodGabbai Seth Fishman, BLOG Editor

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Building a Foundation

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Please join Chaplain Gloria Krasno as she continues to guide us upward toward Rosh Hashanna.  This week begins the ascent through the Sefirah of Yesod, beginning with Malchut sheb’Yesod and ending with Chesed sheb’YesodGabbai Seth Fishman, BLOG Editor

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