Archive for the ‘Tikkun’ Category

The Fourth Turning

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

This is Reb Zalman, a’h, speaking at Naropa University on April 9th, 2014, just before his passing, sharing thoughts on updating of traditions. Whether Jewish, Buddhist, or JUBU, his words are very powerful. The “Town Hall conversation” video can be watched here on Naropa’s Youtube page. [Transcribed and Edited by Gabbai Seth Fishman]

The Fourth Turning

Table of Contents:


Making a Space
Remembering Rinpoche
A Fourth Turning of Buddhism
Re-Programming Tradition
The Four Noble Truths
Source of Compassion
Awakening Awareness
Organismic Reality Map
Art, Music, Celebration
From a Conversation with Reggie Ray
Inner Part
Tune In Subtle Vibrations
Body Types
Hothousing Spirituality


Tamid Echad

Monday, August 18th, 2014

As Reb Zalman (ztzvkl) would sing, (click here): Tamid Echad / Always and Forever One!


Reb Zalman (olav hashalom) was our very heart.
He made it seem easy to make us a whole
       between Jews, across divides, a message of echad.

If we’re so universalist, so why be Jewish?

Every religion is a vital organ — including ours.
Could a body become all liver? Absurd!
Moshiach, Christ, the Mahdi, the Avatar and Maitreya
       will all come to an eco-kosher sudenyu. Oy, what a sudenyu!

When we’ve receded to a place where we seem insignificant to God,
       it’s a heresy greater than thinking God is small.

You are not an “oops” of God!
In God’s present your lifetime has significance!

Oh! Secularist’s nascent spirituality!
Oh! Popular believer: Become “shiviti Hashem l’negdi tamid”!

So whether:

Religious or Secular,
Hasid or Mitnaged,
Mystic or Atheist,
Panentheist or Pantheist,
       (“Kinderlachen, geh gesunderheit!”)
Renewal, Frum, Liberal, Ultra-Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Secular Humanist, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Native, Mammal, Bird, Reptile, Micro-organism, Charm, Rock, Planet, Galaxy, Black hole:

How can we get it together? Together!

Tamid Echad! Always and Forever One!

Reb Zalman Flood Update

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Here’s the donation link: and thanks to Netanel Miles-Yepez for the following update. (Also, see at bottom for message of thanks from Reb Zalman and Eve):

“As many of you know, Reb Zalman’s basement library, prayer room and office were severely damaged in the recent floods in Boulder. For weeks, a steady stream of volunteers from all across the community (some even coming up from Denver) worked in his house, pumping water out of the basement, carrying up furniture, office equipment, as well as thousands of books, photographs, papers, and ritual items. While some volunteers organized these items in the garage and put books out on the lawn to dry, others set about the difficult and messy work of cutting-out and carrying up the ruined carpet and drywall. Most of these volunteers just showed up, without being asked, and started to help with whatever was needed. Unfortunately, we never learned most of their names, though each and every one of them has our gratitude. Especially helpful were a group of volunteers organized and led by Stephanie Yuhas of the University of Colorado Archives (where Reb Zalman’s own collection is held) in conjunction with the Program in Jewish Studies, which arranged for a storage POD to be placed in the driveway of the house. Other volunteers helped to make sure that Reb Zalman would still be able to observe the holiday of Sukkot (happening at the same time), setting up and decorating his sukkah and taking it down again when the holiday was over.

“At this point, Reb Zalman has a temporary office set-up in a spare room on the main floor of his home while professional workers have sealed off the the basement and work on reclaiming it from the flood damage. He is understandably drained from the stress of the situation, but is doing well and is in good spirits. He would like to thank all of you for your prayers and offerings of support. Shortly after the damage was known, the Yesod Foundation and ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal sent out requests for donations to help off-set the costs of repair, as Reb Zalman, like most flood victims in Boulder, does not have flood insurance. The response was overwhelming and the donations he received will go a long way in helping him repair his home and replace many of the items that were irreparably damaged. However, it is expected that the cost of repairs will be more than what has currently been collected. So if you would be interested in donating to Reb Zalman for this purpose, please feel free to follow the donations link above.”

And this from Reb Zalman & Eve:

We thank you for your support and ask for your continued prayers for those who are still recovering from their loses,  and especially for those who have suffered losses from which there is no full recovery.

Zalman: “Be a shtickel Rebbe!”

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Reb Zalman sends this mamash / amazing Wort / talk he had with Boulder Chabad‘s Rabbi Yisroel and Rochel Rosencrantz in which he speaks beyond just them to all of us. [Edited by Gabbai Seth Fishman]


I want to say that all this is done l’shem yichud kud’sha brich hu ush’chintey / with an intention of uniting the Holy One Blessed be He and His Sh’khinnah. We really want to help the Sh’khinnah to be connected with Hakadosh Baruch Hu, and the world needs to heal. So that’s the motivation. I’m glad to do this for you because in some ways there’s a kind of Tzava’ah, a last will and testament to say something about what I think things are about for me.

I believe that our task is to look at reality and see it most clearly from a perspective of being a Jewish cell in the body of the world. If we can do that, that’s what I call taking on ‘ol malchut shamayim / a yoke of obedience to heaven’s kingship, [a committed practitioner of Yiddishkeit], in a sense — that whatever the Ribbono shel Olam / Master of worlds has implanted in me when I stood there and they were making me swear: t’hei tzadik v’al t’hei rasha‘ / ‘Be righteous and be not wicked’ .

[NOTE: “It has been taught (Niddah, 30b): An oath is administered to him [before birth warning him]: ‘Be righteous and be not wicked'” (beginning of Sefer Tanya, Chapter 1)]

When I heard, et mi eshlach umi yelech lanu / “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”, I said hineni, I’m here. At that point the Ribbono shelOlam burnt an EPROM in me.

[NOTE: Computer memory chip. Reb Zalman is saying that he was then given his marching orders on how to be the Zalman God wanted him to be in this incarnation.]

Every time I have to go and get to a place and ask, mah Hashem Elokecha shoel meimach / what does Hashem Your God ask of you, I have to do a reset on my whole system because it picks up a lot of shmutz. (This is computer language.)


Accessing Bnot Zelophehad Energy

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Click here for text in Hebrew.

It’s been a long journey getting to the Land. On the way, we received the Torah and along with it, lots of laws and rules. But were those rules and the guidance they provided really sufficient for all our future needs? Was it given complete to Moses for all time with us now simply using it as our guide for every situation going forward?

The following texts will give us clues for some answers:


Jewish Renewal: Keeping Yiddishkeit Relevant

Friday, June 14th, 2013


The following is a transcript of a conversation between Reb Zalman and Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak (YY) Jacobson, (editor-in-chief of the The Algemeiner Journal), which occurred on November 24, 2007  (15 Kislev, 5768). (Edited by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

Reb Zalman:

“Here’s the story: There was such a remarkable article by Hillel Zeitlin, ‘Vos is Chabad’ / ‘What’s Chabad about’? You could see from there how he, in his day, was talking about the ruchnius / spirit of Chabad.

“I miss this, nowadays, — when I encounter [with them] — in the Shlichim / Chabad emissaries. Every once in a while, some of the young Shlichim come by here and chap a shmues / grab a conversation with me. Officially, the excuse is [that] they want to see what s’forim / books I have or to talk with me about what it was like in those old days. But what they really want is – to find a sympathetic ear through which they might express conflicts and doubts. They also want to find out how to make their davvenen / prayer more real.

I found, when I was in Australia, that they’re all managers. They’re sort of franchise people where they are. There is very little that is happening in hisbonenus / contemplation and ruchnius / spirituality. They have a very low ceiling. That’s what I’m concerned about, that’s what I wanted to shmues / discuss with you.

“Have you been able to reach your brother or not?”

Rabbi YY Jacobson:

“I couldn’t, I tried.”

Reb Zalman:

Nish geferlich / it’s not so bad; you’ll give over to him.”

Rabbi YY Jacobson:

“I’m sorry, I wanted him to be in on the conversation.”

Reb Zalman:

“So what’s happening? (You’re close by to 770 in New York; you see what’s going on.)

For instance, I was in Melbourne and I asked [if they would show me around] and, they did. And there’s a yeshiva / school for boys and a kollel / school for men. I came to the beis medrash / house of study of the kollel and I asked who is the mashpia / the one who provides spiritual direction for the students. They said they don’t have a mashpia. So vaksen yunge leit / raising the boys missing something essential for the yoshvei ohel / serious students.

“When you look at the way the Alter Rebbe / Reb Schneur Zalman of Liadi was writing about such things in the letters, about yoshvei ohel and what they have to do with their davvenen, etc. — I didn’t have the sense that any of that was happening there.”

Rabbi YY Jacobson:

“The way I see it, there’s two elements. First of all, I don’t feel that Chabad has, at the moment, that many individuals who have the ability to take chassidus / esoteric teachings, to take the maamorim / esoteric discourses and to apply  them in contemporary terms [so] that the 21st century teenager, or young man, or woman, can really get excited about it. They learn chassidus in the yeshivah, they learn the kontreisim / shorter articles, the maamorim / longer pieces, etc., but if you ask most eighteen or nineteen year olds, ‘Are you excited about such and such maamar?’, they say, ‘What’s there to be excited about? It doesn’t talk to me.’ I don’t think, on their own, they could find anything enthusiastic, inspiring or, certainly, overwhelming to actually spend time every day and davven with it or think about it. That’s number one.