Equanimity – Removing Barriers
I stood between the L-rd and you at that time, to tell you the Word of the L-rd; for you were afraid because of the fire, and went not up into the mount Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5.5
אָנֹכִי עֹמֵד בֵּין יְהֹוָה וּבֵינֵיכֶם בָּעֵת הַהִוא לְהַגִּיד לָכֶם אֶת דְּבַר יְהֹוָה כִּי יְרֵאתֶם מִפְּנֵי הָאֵשׁ וְלֹא עֲלִיתֶם בָּהָר
Anochi ( I ) Moses tells the Israelites that he formed a barrier between G-d and them.
( I ) the ego, forms a barrier between G-d and ourselves.
With the acquisition of Equanimity we remove this barrier.
Who shall abide in your tent? Who shall dwell in Your Holy Mountain
He who walks uprightly, and does what is right, and speaks the truth in his heart
He who does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor. Tehilim ( Psalm ) 15.1-3
The first paragraph of the bedtime Shema goes:
Master of the universe, I hereby forgive anyone who angered or antagonized me or who sinned against me – whether against my body, my property, my honor, or against anything of mine; whether he did so accidentally, willfully, carelessly, or purposely; whether through speech, deed, thought, or notion;
We must settle accounts with G-d before we go to sleep at night. If we truly believe that there is an accounting of the soul when we sleep and when we die we must take to heart what the bedtime Shema is teaching us about equanimity.
As long as a man’s / woman’s mind is settled, his / her intellectual spirit ( neshamah ) quietly stands guard. A man’s / woman’s soul ( neshamat ) is the lamp of HaShem; it seeks out all the hidden recesses. Mishlei ( Proverbs ) 20.27 The Neshamah spreads it’s light as if it were a torch atop the edifice of his / her body. The nefesh ( animal soul ) is sent to spread this light of knowledge throughout the entire body via the brain ( the neshamah ). So now one has free choice and control over his / her thoughts. One can exercise sovereignty over his / her nefesh ( animal soul ) and devise strategies to restrain the nefesh for one’s benefit now and in the World to Come.
We are born with a nefesh ( animal soul ) but we must acquire our higher souls, those that can connect with G-d. The nefesh ( animal soul ) is concerned with meeting it’s needs. It is egoistic –
egoistic – limited to or caring only about yourself and your own needs -concerned chiefly or only with yourself and your advantage to the exclusion of others.
Attaining higher souls is accomplished by reevaluating our current life. We must turn from egoism to service of G-d. We must become part of the rectification, of tikkum, repairing those parts of the world that G-d has Surrounded us with.
So it remains that the one of the first steps to Equanimity is to get to that state where we can see all of our circumstances as opportunities and not let them be detrimental to our journey.
And the L-rd Said, I have Forgiven them in accordance with your word. However, as surely as I Live, and as the Glory of the L-rd Fills the earth that all the people who perceived My Glory, and the signs that I Performed in Egypt and in the desert, yet they have tested me these ten times and have not listened to My Voice, if they will see the Land that I swore to their fathers, and all who Provoked Me will not see it. Numbers (Bamidbar) 14.20-23
Do we sometimes feel that life is not fair? Is this attitude acknowledging that HaShem Is G-d? One Generation of the Israelites tested G-d 10 times and were denied entrance into the Promised land. They must have felt deep repentance when that judgment was pronounced. Is part of what we are experiencing a judgment for something in our past? How are we to know?
Are we praying, seeking G-d to get something or to spend time with Him?
Are we trying to improve out middot ( our character ) – or just coasting through life?
Do we want change or is the status quo ok?
Our Torah knowledge is what helps us want to change. Our Torah knowledge and prayer is where we receive the drive to change.
The view from high up in the sky and up close………………..
In every situation in life we should imagine ourselves from far above, from the clouds as it were and from up close ( our inner self ). What do we see of ourselves when we reflect objectively from a higher altitude? What do we see of ourselves when we reflect on our own personal perspectives, the inner self that we sometimes keep hidden from the world around us?
Is there balance in our lives?
Tradition says that the Nefesh belongs to the body, the Ruach (soul) belongs to Paradise and the Neshamah (Spirit) belongs to Heaven.
And you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father and worship Him with a whole heart and with an eager soul, for the Lord seeks all hearts, and He understands the thoughts of every creation; if you seek Him, He will be found to you, and if you forsake Him, He will abandon you forever. Divrei Hayamim 1 (1 Chronicles)28.9
The choice is ours
Blessings and Peace
Rebbetzin Revi Belk