“Got your ears on?” is CB/Citizens Band Radio slang for, “Are you listening?”
Today the world seems to be in turmoil, there is devastation and harsh violence all around us. Just recent in the USA alone there has been hurricanes slamming into areas where it is not normal; crazed people with guns shooting up schools, malls and theaters.
Natural man seeks to blame global warming and guns; they continue to look outward instead of inward for the answers.
All these issues we are facing today can be understood by what Rabbi Nachman of Breslev said over a 150 years ago, “The world is G-d’s message board.”
So I ask, “Got your ears on?”
In this blog we are going to attempt to hear what G-d is trying to tell us with the recent events that have not only struck the USA but also there have been events all over the world that have been escalating.
The message of the 2 Sandy’s
Within a short period of time the United States suffered two tragic events that contained a common name between them.
Hurricane Sandy and the horrendous shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary
In the Torah the revealed word of G-d given to Israel there are lessons that the sages of the Torah have taught down through history. Anywhere the Torah repeats itself the sage tell us that means there is an important message that G-d is wanting us to pay attention to.
So if the world is G-d’s message board and He sends us a double message using the same code word then we need to look into the matter and that is what this blog is attempting to do.
Rabbi Lazer Brody has answered publicly via a post on his site and a live lecture explaining some of the deeper meanings of this message.
To my knowledge there have been some that are misunderstanding what he wrote and are struggling with the message. It is my attempt to join Rabbi Brody in bringing some more thoughts on this subject for us to get a grasp on the message we are being sent from on High.
Does G-d send calamity on a nation that sin against Him?
The word of HASHEM came to me saying, “Son of Man, when a country sins against Me, acting with treachery, and I will stretch out My hand against it, and break its staff of bread, and dispatch famine against it, and eliminate man and beast from it…
Whose decree was ever fulfilled, if the Lord did not ordain it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that evil and good emanate? Of what shall a living man complain? A man sins!
The first Sandy to strike our nation represents the results of man or our nations turn away from the ways of G-d.
In an earlier blog I wrote about the weather related issues and how the sages of Israel taught us that because we are part earth and part heaven in our creation that when man turns from G-d that the earth turns from man and visa-versa, as man turns toward G-d the earth returns its service back to man.
Thus as man strays further from his Creator the more natural disasters will happen.
The second Sandy hits us on a much deeper spiritual level.
My fear for the nation is that it’s not only going to miss the first message but will miss this second message as well. The proof is by the reaction of the nation after the shootings, let me explain.
There is a principle that Rabbi Shalom Arush teaches in his books, The Garden of Emuna and The Universal Garden of Emuna .
When the owner of a dog uses a stick to correct the behavior of the dog by striking him, the dog will turn and bite at the stick not knowing that it is not the stick that is doing the correcting but the one wielding the stick.
The same here in the USA, Global Warming is blamed for the bad weather patterns and guns are blame for the shootings.
What is the message of the shootings not only at Sandy Hill Elementary but many places around our country here lately?
Let’s first look at further teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev.
He taught on the importance of guarding the mind. Below are a few experts from his teaching on guarding the mind.
“Man’s mind is his very essence. Wherever your thoughts are, that is where you are – all of you.
This is why it is so important to avoid all evil thoughts, because otherwise that is where your place will be.
You must force yourself to think good thoughts in order to be worthy of know ing God. Then your place will be with Him and you will be merged with Him. The greater your perception of God, the more fully merged with Him you will become, and then you will attain eternal life.”
Likutey Moharan I, 21
“Guard your thoughts very carefully, because thought can literally create a living thing.”
Sichot Haran #46
I will come back to these teachings but first let’s look at what Rabbi Lazer Brody revealed in his lecture on this very issue of the two Sandy’s
America has become a fantasy land; it is a land of endless video games, computers, movies, TV and amusement parks where people go to escape realities. Fantasy does not connect to holiness. (my paraphrase)
Now let’s look at Rabbi Nachman’s teachings in light of the shape America is in today.
We have become a nation absorbed in fantasy; even our reality shows are full of fantasy.
Rebbe Nachman instruct us that where ever our thoughts are so are we, our thoughts become the place in which we live. Then he admonishes us to be very careful because, “thought can literally create a living thing”
By our thoughts we literally become the sum of our thoughts.
So if our mind is occupied with evil we become evil, if it is occupied with that which is good we become good.
Next we are going to dive into a bit deeper and more spiritual look at what all this means.
From my own observation and learning I make the following assessment:
So is the soul of man, so is the soul of a nation.
Through the reading and study of the Hebrew Scriptures in Hebrew we find that the soul has three separate areas and each has a separate function.
In English we lose so much, the word soul does not describe everything it is but in the Hebrew we have three words that are used to describe what is going on.
The nefesh is the life source that is in our blood, not only does it give our body life it is our animal soul – it is tied to our hands and feet – what we do and where we go.
The ruach is wind or spirit – it is tied to our lungs giving us breath and speech – it is tied to our words
The neshama is the highest part, it is the Divine Spark that is in all humans, it is the eternal part of our soul that comes directly from our Creator, and it is the part of Him that is in all of us. It is tied to our brain where our thoughts are created and stored.
As a nation we have a soul that reflects what it does, where it goes, what it says and what it thinks; the thoughts of our nation is what we have become.
Remember the words of the Rabbi – our thoughts as a person or as a nation creates a living thing – it either creates a good thing or an evil thing – the thoughts take on life.
So many people absorb their life in to these video games of killing and fantasy, the watch all these horror movies about killing, vampires, zombies; they are filling their mind with evil thus why are we surprised when they become what is in their mind.
As a people and as a nation we no longer guard our minds we fill it full of fantasy and our nation is beginning to reap what it has sown into its mind.
So we can see that our nefesh our actions that have strayed from G-d has brought on the national disasters.
Our neshama which is tied to our thoughts has brought on the evil upon this nation for it has become the sum of its thoughts.
The neshama plays an important role on the judgment that is sent upon us as individuals and as a nation.
A man’s soul is the lamp of G-d, which searches the chambers of one’s innards.
Rabbi Yonah puts it like this, “By means of man’s soul, G-d searches man’s innermost thoughts and scrutinizes him.”
The Hebrew word in this passage is, nishmas, a form of the word, neshama.
So we see that the thoughts of a person or a nation are what G-d uses to bring blessing or curse upon them.
So in the recent events of the two Sandy’s we learn that as a nation we are being told that we have strayed from the Living G-d. We also see that because our nation and people have continued this process of filling its minds with fantasy we are reaping what is put in to the mind. We no longer guard our ways or our minds and thus we have reaped its results.
So many people are blaming Global Warming & guns as the problems – if we as a people made up as individuals and a nation made up of communities does not make a correction in these two areas – G-d is telling us to expect more of the same but the farther we travel down these 2 roads the worse it will get until G-d says enough is enough and sends a final strike on the whole nation as He has said, “when a country sins against Me, acting with treachery, and I will stretch out My hand against it.” Ezekiel 14:13
WE HAVE BEEN WARNED!
DO WE HAVE OUR EARS ON!
Terry W. Hayes
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Essential Rabbi Nachman
Treasury of sayings, teachings and stories