Unlocking the highest level of the soul allows us to transform our base desires into divine service. * This is about a journey that changes not only the spirit but the way we relate to everyday life. * On the Hayom Yom entry for Tishrei 17.
Imagine a life where the material world holds no sway over us—a life where we find immense joy and fulfillment in spiritual growth and divine service. This ideal is not just a philosophical construct but a reachable goal.
The Hayom Yom for Tishrei 17 guides us through a spiritual journey, from initially "clinging and cleaving" to G‑d, to observing Torah and mitzvot "with self-sacrifice," and finally to experiencing a transformation of our base desires. "She, the One People (yechida), affirms Your Oneness" - the highest part of our soul can be revealed, and this revelation transforms even our animalistic tendencies into divine service.
Transformation isn't just about following rules or guidelines. It's about reaching a state where you're driven by "an inner enthusiasm, with a sense of great delight and tremendous pleasure in serving G‑d." Perhaps surprising to some, this is not just a lofty ideal, but an achievable reality, hinting at the level of connection we can attain, especially as we anticipate the coming of Moshiach.
How do we achieve this transformation in the here and now? It starts with prioritizing our spiritual connection to G‑d. It involves embracing the teachings and commandments, not just as obligations but as opportunities for self-sacrifice and deeper spiritual insight. It culminates in a shift in our priorities, redirecting our desires and energies away from the material and toward the spiritual. This transformation is not just personal but has the potential to impact the world around us, heralding a new era of universal spiritual awakening.
So, as we go about our day, let's consider how we can apply this teaching in our lives. Are we merely going through the motions of religious practice, or are we truly investing ourselves in it? Are we stuck in the pursuit of material gain, or are we able to focus on the joys and the fulfillment that come from a deeper spiritual connection? These are questions worth pondering as we strive to live a life of purpose, especially in these times that hint at the impending arrival of Moshiach.
Absolutely, contemplation or Hisbonenus in the Chassidic sense is often more about deeply thinking through concepts to internalize them emotionally. Here's how one might engage with the teachings of the Hayom Yom for Tishrei 17 in this way:
Step 1: Preparation
Find a quiet space where you won't be disturbed. Close your eyes or keep them open, as you prefer. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself.
Step 2: Innate Bond with G‑d
Contemplate the notion that your soul "clings and cleaves" to G‑d. Ask yourself what it means for your soul to have an innate connection with the Divine. How does this reality manifest in your life? How does it make you feel to consider that, at your core, you are intimately connected to something higher?
Step 3: The Joy in Observance
Think about the phrase "She bears your yoke" from the Hayom Yom. Reflect on your personal commitment to Torah and mitzvot (commandments). Do you view them as obligations, or can you see them as a joy and a privilege? How can a sense of joyful self-sacrifice elevate your religious practice?
Step 4: Transformation of Desires
Now, consider the idea that the highest level of your soul, the yechida, can transform your basic instincts and desires into a force for good. Ask yourself what desires or aspects of your life could be elevated by this transformation. How does it make you feel to know that even your base instincts can be sanctified?
Step 5: The Oneness of All
Lastly, reflect on the concept of affirming G‑d's Oneness. What does it mean for you to experience unity in all aspects of your life? How does the notion of unity relate to your inner transformation, and how does it make you feel?
Step 6: Integration
As you conclude, take a moment to think about how these contemplations make you feel. What practical steps can you take to bring these lofty ideas into your everyday life, and how can these steps help you anticipate the arrival of Moshiach?
By contemplating these ideas deeply, we can internalize the profound teachings of the Hayom Yom for Tishrei 17. This Hisbonenus aims to make these lofty concepts not just understandable but truly integrated into our emotional and daily lives.