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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
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Getting The Best Messages

Three angels came to visit Avraham Avinu. The angel on the right, Michoel, had the pure energy of chesed – kindness, selflessness and compassion. On the left, was the angel Gavriel, with the gevurah – energy of strength, discipline and protection. Raphael, in the middle, brought healing. We all need to heal and it will come by finding the balance between chesed and gevurah – strength and compassion. Tiferes, harmony, results from the blending of the energy of chesed and gevurah in the unique amount that each individual needs.

There’s a note that has been stuck on the side of my fridge through many seasons. It says, Here is a test to find out if your mission in life is completed: If you’re alive, it isn’t.

Too many of us have this notion that there is a monstrous guy up in the sky cackling away as he watches us meet each new struggle in our lives. We may especially think that He’s smirking about the trials that seem uncannily similar to the ones we just suffered through last week. Blaming what happens to us on this narrow vindictive version of God, though, doesn’t help us inch any closer to becoming our full selves.

Recognizing that our souls are naturally and cosmically striving can help us embrace the struggles involved in our refinement. The egos covering our souls can become expert at resisting the repeated communications coming our way to help us grow. It isn’t at all comfortable to make the changes we need to become more balanced beings, and this resistance continues throughout our entire lifetimes. Again and again, as the learning opportunities keep presenting themselves, with remarkably identical themes and strikingly repetitive patterns, we can just keep responding the same old way that we always have.

There’s no escaping our purpose though. We’ll find ourselves right back here after this life, in a different form, but the same soul – and the exact same unique mission that still needs to be completed!

Yup, Suzanne, some “personal trainer” out there is bound to find us, and try to enlighten us (sometimes painfully) with the most vital insights for our perfectly individualized improvement program. Not showing up at the “gym” tomorrow won’t help. Our souls are not going to give up their intrinsic yearning for ultimate balance and actualization any time soon. ‘Cause it’s the most awesome pleasure possible.

Bracha Goetz is the author of 16 children’s books, including Remarkable Park, The Invisible Book and Let’s Stay Safe!.  She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and can be contacted for questions, comments or presentations at bgoetzster@gmail.com.

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One Response to “Getting The Best Messages”

  1. Hinda Bayla says:

    May we all be blessed to open to the joy of this balance that you speak of, and the capacity to change unhealthy patterns in our lives that keep repeating themselves so we can continue to grow. And to celebrate these achievements with gratitude to a loving G-d.

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So, didn’t she almost have it all?

Suzanne called me today about the newest humiliation she had just experienced. At the gym, a personal trainer loudly reprimanded her for trying to help another person with some equipment, and he did so in front of nearly everybody who was working out there.

This is a handy little jingle for parents to keep in mind, but even though it’s short, my rhyme is not for little children. In order to adequately prepare our children we must first be aware of the red flags ourselves. Then we need to schedule an “annual check-up” with our children and clearly and calmly bring up the subject of personal safety.

Over 30 years ago, Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum had not yet found the world of wisdom in the Torah.

Over 30 years ago, Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum had not yet found the world of wisdom in the Torah.

They’re usually especially friendly and charming. They often do plenty of public acts of chesed. This is done in order to look good and gain respectability and positions of authority – and unquestioned access to potential victims. And the fact is, they can do really nice things because they may actually be kind and intelligent people in some ways. But not in other ways.

Chaya’s older yeshiva-bochur brother told her that there was no problem with his touching her body. He told her it wasn’t against the Torah, and he seemed to know a lot more Torah than she did at the tender age of 6. He continued to touch her first over her clothes, but as the years passed, the abuse progressed to actual rape. Eventually he got married and started a family, appearing to function just fine to nearly everyone in the community. However, he left his younger sister, now in her late twenties, crippled – emotionally, sexually and spiritually.

I had recently had the opportunity to sit down with Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld, author of the new book, The Art of Kavana (Devora Publishing, July 2009) and discuss what it means to truly focus on yiddishkeit.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/getting-the-best-messages/2012/01/12/

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