Hitbodedut – Melech Ezra Berg

 Hitbodedut-Melech-Ezra-Berg
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About the Author:

Melech-Ezra-BergMelech-Ezra-Berg has studied in various Yeshivot, got married, and lives in Jerusalem . although observing the mitzvot, and learning the Holy TORAH, he had no direct contact with HASHEM until he began speaking with HASHEM for one hour every day, an activity that dramatically changed his life and brought him into true freedom. Visit our Channel

Hitbodedut #1 – speaking with Hashem

The more we do HITBODEDUT, privately speaking to HASHEM in a secluded place if possible, the more we see the connections between everything and then we experience HASHEM in the world since He is in everything because a creator’s soul is in what he creates. So there is an aspect of HASHEM in each piece of His glorious creation. We just need to realize this and to broadcast this knowledge to the world. That is our job. To tell the world about HASHEM, that HASHEM created it all, continually creates it, and is intimately involved in every aspect of it. When we realize all of this, we begin to thank HASHEM for what we have and even for what we do not have. It is easy to thank HASHEM for what we have, but the concept and idea that we need to thank HASHEM for what we lack and what we do not have is difficult to understand logically. For this, we need to increase our faith and believe that our present situation is the best thing for us right now. Then we can thank HASHEM sincerely for everything. The more we thank HIM, the more we appreciate HIM. The more we do HITBODEDUT we realize that he is helping us advance spiritually which means that we are coming to know HASHEM more and more because we experience his help.

In HITBODEDUT we learn that our main work is to guard our eyes. As we practice this, we become aware that HASHEM is helping us succeed. It is an on-going challenge and it takes a lot of concentration and focus, but we can succeed if we desire enough. Then when we have some small success, we feel happy. So we thank HASHEM more. It is a circle because when we are happy we want to keep that feeling, so we work harder the next time to guard the eyes which again if we succeed will lead to happiness. All this results directly from deciding with our will to speak to HASHEM one hour every day. While in HITBODEDUT we evaluate, audit, and judge ourselves, our behaviors, our middot, and we get advice from HASHEM on how to improve ourselves. We do this so HASHEM does not have to do it above. We see what we need to do teshuva on, what to fix, how to do better in our lives, and what to eliminate.

We see that pursuing holiness is the most worthwhile goal we can imagine. We realize the absolute emptiness of pursuing materialistic goals. Then we are content with what HASHEM has given us. We know it is exactly what we need right now for our spiritual growth. Our sages say in PIRKEY AVOT, “Who is rich? The one who is content with what he has”. Someone who wants only HASHEM wants nothing in this world and is not attached to anything in this world. In this state, he has no worries, no negative feelings, no anger over what he does not have, and no desires except to desire HASHEM. This state of only wanting HASHEM is a very lofty level, yet it is attainable. It takes desire and perseverance. As one strives for this state his faith in HASHEM increases. He believes more and more in HASHEM and in His goodness and kindness. More and more he sees HASHEM’S hand in everything. He gets excited and he is filled with fire for HASHEM. His feelings of love for HASHEM, for the HOLY TORAH, for the ZADDIK, for his family, and for himself dramatically increase. All this results directly from doing one hour of HITBODEDUT daily.

THIS IS THE MAIN ADVICE OF RABBI NACHMAN OF BRESLOV.

p.s. for any comments speak to HASHEM.

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Hitbodedut #2 – speaking with Hashem

ln Hitbodedut we are seeking and running after Hashem. When we consciously decide that Hashem is crucially important for our spiritual growth and we make Hitbodedut a consistent daily practice, then we can come close to Hashem. If we can seclude ourselves outside somewhere in nature, the same time, and at the same place everyday, this would be ideal. We are choosing a time and a place which are part of the physical ‘world and imbuing and infusing that spot in time and space with spiritual energy. We are making that place holy because we are speaking to THE HOLY ONE. When we put on tephillin, or we make a blessing over food, we are infusing ourselves or the food which are in the realm of the physical with sanctification, holiness, and spirituality. We are recognizing that‘there is a realm hidden behind the physical.

Hitbodedut reveals to us that there is more to life than meets the eye. There are worlds of light hidden behind the physical curtain. We can pull away the curtain through studying TORAH, doing good deeds, and most important of all, practicing Hitbodedut. We learn about ourselves and our untapped abilities and potentials. Our faith in Hashem, in THE HOLY TORAH, in the true TZADDIK, and in ourselves dramatically increases. We become joyful and we radiate happiness. In this state we are as RAV ARUSH shlita says, paraphrasing THE holy Rabbi Nachman, there are no worries, no anger, no questions, no doubts, and no negative feelings.

We know 100% that this present situation we are in is exactly what we need right now to bring us close to Hashem. We do not question the situation. we use it to bring us close to Hashem. How do we do this? We thank Hashem for this situation whatever it is. of course, this thanking must be done sincerely and truthfully. We need to believe with 100% faith that this present situation is the best for us right now, even if it concerns something we think we are lacking. If we really believe that it could not be better, because if it could be better, then it would be better, then we have reached a very high and lofty level where we are almost at one with Hashem.

HE is helping and guiding us every step of the way. We may fall sometimes, but HE is there to help us get back on our spiritual feet. We realize all this only by doing Hitbodedut daily for one hour. For most people this practice is not so easy. We live busy lives full of study, work, family obligations, etc. Yet, with determination, will, and

perseverance, we can do it. It is doable. Once we start to make a connection with Hashem, then Hashem helps us strengthen that connection. It does take a commitment. Wm This is where the will comes in. Assam as we start, we will see resdlts which will amaze and astound us. It is all in the merit of our holy Rabbi Nachman who emphasized Hitbodedut so much. ENJOY.

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Hitbodedut #3 – speaking with Hashem

Rabbi Nachman teaches in lesson 156 in part 1, that HITBODEDUT can bring a person to the level of holy spirit and divine inspiration-ruach hakodesh. This is an astounding claim. Through talking one hour every day to Hashem, we can reach a spirit of prophecy. Of course, we can only prove this statement if we begin to practice and take HITBODEDUT seriously. We also do not do HITBODEDUT in order to receive the reward of ruach hakodesh. That is an indirect benefit of our connecting to Hashem. Really we want to better ourselves, to live more happy fulfilled lives, to be able to do mitzvoth in the best possible way, to pray without foreign thoughts, and to study, learn, and to teach TORAH according to our unique abilities. HITBODEDUT helps us to do all the above.

We need Hashem in our lives. The only way for this to happen is by turning to HIM and talking to HIM. We have to make the first move. Our sages tell us that if we make the slightest move towards Hashem, HE will respond in a huge way. We are arousing Hashem to react.

Hashem made all of creation with HIS words. Yet, nothing grew until on the sixth day Adam Harishon began to pray to Hashem for rain. Rabbi Nachman emphasizes that the main key to life is to pray to Hashem. Throughout the 24 books of the TORAH, we see Hashem answering the prayers of our forefathers, our mothers, the prophets, and the sages. So we see that by including Hashem in our life, every day, we will benefit in a big way.

We can begin to do HITBODEDUT for a few minutes, and that is very very good. But, if we really want to experience Hashem’s goodness, beauty, bounty, and awesomeness, we must work up to speaking with Hashem one hour every day consistently, preferably at the same time, and at the same place. Something happens to us internally when we can discipline ourselves to incorporate this crucial advice in our lives on a daily basis.

It may appear difficult at first, and almost impossible. But it is not. It is doable. It is a must for any serious spiritual seeker who wants to experience for himself Hashem’s oneness.

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Hitbodedut #4 – Get up!

Talking to our Creator strengthens our faith in ourselves and in HASHEM us to be able to handle the down periods in our life, and the falls we inevitably experience. We, of course want to come closer and closer to HASHEM. We can do this by guarding the seven openings of our head, the two eyes, the two ears, the two nostrils, and the mouth, as our holy REBBI NACHMAN advises many times in his holy book LIKUTEY MOHARAN. But what if we try and fail. We have the desire to better ourselves, to fight the evil inclination, to refine and purify ourselves, but we do not always succeed. Then what? By doing HITBODEDUT which means secluding ourselves with HASHEM one hour every day and talking to HIM, we learn how to respond to these down times. We do not fall and stay down. By practicing HITBODEDUT, we come to realize that HASHEM is controlling everything, even our ups and downs. We realize that HASHEM directs HIS universe precisely. Everything that happens to us is a direct message from HASHEM. It is a test. It is a manifestation of HASHEM’S love and concern for us. He wants us to grow and progress spiritually.

So, if for example, we see something which we should have not seen, we need immediately to realize that this incident came from HASHEM, and HASHEM wants us to learn something from it. Maybe we need to guard our eyes more than we have been doing. Maybe we can learn that this fall is exactly what we need right now for our spiritual growth. When we realize the preciseness of HASHEM’S universe, we are in awe. We understand through HITBODEDUT that HASHEM is all good and wants to do good to all of HIS creatures.

So, when we respond to our falls by thanking HASHEM, we are moving up levels. We see the big picture, which is that HASHEM is doing everything for our own good, and to bring us closer to HIM. A fall means that we have temporally disconnected from HASHEM. But as soon as we are conscious of this, we have reconnected with HASHEM, and we can pick ourselves up and start climbing again. It helps to remember the analogy with a baby. He falls many times when he starts to walk, yet he does not cry. He gets up and tries again. It is the same with us. REBBI NACHMAN said about himself that from the time he was a child he fell thousands of times a day, but he kept getting back up . He kept climbing falling and climbing. We can do the same thing. We can then see our falls as stepping stones which help elevate ourselves. As we do HITBODEDUT more and more, we become aware of all this, and we can truly thank HASHEM for His loving kindness, for His precise creation, for His protection, His guidance, and His unbelievable miracles He does for us every second we are alive.
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Hitbodedut #5 Revelations | Preparing Ourselves

Rebbi Nachman (1772-1810) of Breslov says in LIKUTEY MOHARAN that there is nothing in the world more precious than spending one hour alone with HASHEM. This is called HITBODEDUT. It is a time of sweetness, of closeness to our Creator, and of specialness. Nothing compares to it, not gold, or diamonds, or a billion dollars in one’s hands. HITBODEDUT is the highest spiritual experience we JEWS can have in this physical world. HITBODEDUT helps us to fulfill the mitzvoth with true happiness. What could be better than talking to someone who sympathizes, empathizes, and cares about us and is the only one who can actually help us. He is the ultimate therapist.

Our sages say, one second of pleasure in the next world surpasses all the pleasures which are in this world now, plus all the pleasures which were in this world from the beginning of creation until now. Talking to HASHEM is an aspect of experiencing the next world. When we speak to our CREATOR we are disconnecting from this material world. Ideally we do not eat, drink, sleep, or look at our telephones, etc. We focus only on speaking to HASHEM. It is only HIM and us. We talk to HIM because we want HIS help and HIS guidance regarding becoming better people.. We reveal ourselves, not holding back anything. We are free to say anything without inhibitions. This is true freedom. As we talk more we let go of things which bother us and we say: YOU take care of the situation.

We try to rely on HIM 100%. It takes time to get to this level of having complete faith in HASHEM but this is our work if we are serious about coming close to HIM. How do we get to 100%? HITBODEDUT is the only way to bring us to this level. We have to learn from our sages who reached this level. Avraham, our father, at three years old, realized that there must be an intelligent CREATOR behind all of the creation. He had explored and searched like many of us are doing today looking for the truth, and came to this conclusion that there is a living Creator in the world, and then acted accordingly. He believed in HASHEM and in HIS goodness and tried to emulate HIM. He and his wife, Sarah, our mother, had much success in helping people to believe in HASHEM. In our holy TORAH, RASHI tells us that Joseph Hazadik always had the name of HASHEM on his lips. The BA’AL SHEM TOV and the SHULHAN ARUCH strongly recommend as an aid to reaching complete faith, to say “I PLACE HASHEM BEFORE ME ALWAYS”. So by focusing and concentrating on being consciously aware of HASHEM every moment, we can gradually develop more and more faith in HIM. Through practicing HITBODEDUT daily, we have the possibility and potential to reach complete faith.
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Hitbodedut #6 The Elixer Of Life

When a person makes Hashem a priority, then everything goes smoothly. He accepts all that happens to him with joy and thanks, and realizes it is all from Hashem and it is all good, and precise, and that it is all for his own spiritual benefit and spiritual growth.

What is spiritual growth? This means climbing higher on the ladder of holiness to come closer and closer to experiencing Hashem. That means that one can gain a true clear understanding that Hashem is really alive, exists, and is running the whole world. The realization that HE is the boss and we are his servants is awesome, wonderful, and beautiful. We can realize that HE is ONE, by seeing HIM, HIS glory, and HIS manifestation in everything in the world by practicing Hitbodedut, talking to Hashem one hour every day. This one of Rabbi Nachman’s fundamental points in his first lesson in Likutey Moharan, to see Hashem in everything.

Realizing and internalizing this idea, this insight, inside of us changes us. We become different people. We become humble before the KING. We want only to serve HIM, to do HIS will, to make our will HIS will. When we do this, then we will achieve happiness in this world and of course in the next world. We cannot be happy without establishing a solid connection with the CREATOR OF THE WORLD. This can only be done through consistently practicing Hitbodedut.

The more we do Hitbodedut using our own words to speak with HIM, the stronger the connection becomes. It is like talking to a good friend. The more we talk, the more we enjoy the talking, the more the relationship strengthens, and the more we come to appreciate each other and have faith in each other.

So, through Hitbodedut our faith and trust in Hashem increases daily. We see more and more HIS guiding hand in our lives, giving us advice, saving us, providing for us, shielding us, and more. So, we need to thank Hashem continually for all HE has done, is doing, and will do for us. HE NEVER STOPS. He heals us and sends us tests and challenges specifically to help us grow spiritually stronger and closer to HIM. He gives us talents to utilize for HIS benefit. He loves us and wants us to come close to HIM. We also want the same thing because we realize we are happier people when we are pursuing spiritual goals as opposed to material goals.

So, Hitbodedut leads to happiness, health, and holiness, and prepares us to be suitable receptacles to receive Hashem’s bounty, goodness, and loving kindness. It truly is the elixir of life.
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Hitbodedut #7 Guard our eyes

When we look at what we are supposed to look at, we can see Hashem behind everything. If we look at what we are not supposed to look at, we for sure will not see Hashem. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said that the main work we need to do in order to come close to Hashem, is to guard our eyes. HITBEDEDUT done on a daily basis gives us the will and the spiritual energy to do this. Why does he emphasize this so much? The reason is that the eyes are the windows of the soul. What we see influences our pure soul, our neshama, which is from Hashem, and wants to return to Hashem.

The neshama, since it comes from Hashem, is pure, good, and clean. When we look at Hashem’s beautiful magnificent creation, with spiritual eyes, we see and experience His incredible wisdom. We see the symmetry in the flowers, and the harmony among His creatures. We hear the musical songs of the birds thanking and praising Hashem. We see the plants, the flowers, bushes, and the trees growing upwards, trying to reach Hashem. They do not grow downward.

Rebbe Nachman teaches and advises us how to view the world. When we begin to look at Hashem’s creation with our spiritual eyes as well as our physical eyes, we come to appreciate Hashem more. This one of the main advantages of doing HITBODEDUT in nature, in the forests or the fields if possible.

It is much easier to connect with Hashem when we seclude ourselves with the trees and the birds. We feel more calm, rested, and healthy when we do HITBODEDUT this way. Then it is easier to thank Hashem for our eyes and our ears which are the vehicles through we can experience Hashem’s glory and beauty.

So, guarding the eyes is crucially important if we are serious and want to be successful when we do HITBODEDUT. When we decide to take the time one hour daily to speak personally to our very best friend, we are building a sanctuary for our neshama. We are creating a fortress, a protective area, a refuge, where we cannot be harmed by external forces. We have connected to Hashem and HE is our shield.

Once we are in our sanctuary, “HITBODEDUT”, and we experience a feeling of 100% security, we treasure it and want to return to it daily. Anyone can do this. Everyone, men, women, young, or old should do this. HITBODEDUT is for everyone without exception. We only need to use our willpower to decide to do it. Once we make the decision to do it, Hashem will help us and smooth our paths.
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Hitbodedut #8 Hitbodedut Harmony

Through doing HITBODEDUT one hour every day we learn to look at the world correctly, If we focus and concentrate using our willpower we will see the beautiful divine order in the universe. We see the sun, the moon, and the stars move in an orderly constant pattern that never deviates, The seasons have an order, numbers are ordered, there is an order to time, in fact the whole world is based on order.

When there is no order there is chaos, confusion, selfishness, greed, immorality among HASHEM’S creatures. HASHEM wants there to be order in His world, and in our lives, We feel good, healthy, happy, and holy when things are in order in our lives. We have to make time to speak,to HASHEM and to thank HIM for creating order. This is our purpose-to thank HASHEM, to recognize HIM, to communicate with HIM, and to tell others about HIM. But we can only do this if our lives are in order. There is an order to prayer, an order regarding getting dressed, an order, to starting the car, etc.

Another word for order is harmony. When all the instruments in an orchestra are playing properly together, the result is harmony, When two people in a marriage have peace in the house, there is harmony in their home. When there is order and harmony everything can function property. We see order and harmony in nature, with vegetation and with the animals. For the world to run smoothly which is what HASHEM wants and what each of us want, there needs to be order and harmony. By doing HITBODEDUT every day for one hour, we recognize the importance of order. We begin to order our lives with HASHEM’S help and we help order the world.

Nothing good takes place unless there is order and harmony. So, order and good go together. HASHEM is all good, so HASHEM, good, and order all go together. We cannot have one without the other. If we think we can, we are fooling and deluding ourselves, and we are living a lie. Really we are not living if any of these three elements are missing. We must believe that everything that happen to us is from HASHEM. and that it is good and for our own benefit. When we truly internalize this fundamental truth, then we can be considered alive, and then these three elements will be functioning together smoothly and properly.

We need the help of HASHEM and the help of the true TZADDIK to create harmony in our lives. So we talk to HASHEM in HITBODEDUT. The TZADDIK takes our prayers and orders them, and presents them to HASHEM so they will be accepted. The people had to ‘go to MOSHE for help often, to MORDACHAI, to each of the TZADDIKIM of the generations. The TZADDIK is there to help us and to guide us as to how we can come closer to HASHEM. Our goal is to connect to HASHEM through HITBODEDUT.
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Hitbodedut #9 Connect To The Light

We know that a little light removes a lot of darkness. Praying can be compared to shining a bit of light into the darkness of our lives. When we pray the three standard prayers, morning, afternoon, and evening, we are thanking Hashem who is light and our creator, and we are turning on a light so that Hashem’s blessings and bounty can flow into our lives, since Hashem is an inexhaustible source of blessings. So as we pray and acknowledge Hashem as our King, Guide, and Ruler, we are increasing the light in our lives.

Our mission is to spread the knowledge to the whole world that Hashem is One and is the Creator of all of creation. By doing that we are spreading the light of Hashem into the world. Through prayer we connect to Hashem, we make a pathway to Him, and this is exactly what he is waiting for. He is waiting on the other end of the line for us to dial His number. He is always on duty, 24/7. After we pray properly, meaning with intention, concentration, and understanding what we are saying, then we feel good about the words we said. We feel lighter emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. We have talked to our very best friend. In our daily prayers, we speak the holy words of our holy sages in the holy language, and we experience a feeling of satisfaction and serenity. All of this results from us choosing with our free will to pray to the Almighty One who has blessed us with free choice.

In addition to praying daily from our prayer books, we must speak in our own words to Hashem in a secluded place for one hour every day as the holy Rebbe Nachman emphasized. Hashem is ultimately our best therapist. In Hebrew, this practice is called HITBODEDUT. It is truly healing, special, beautiful, soul-satisfying, joyous, and uplifting. To be alone with Hashem is awesome and inspiring. There is nothing better. It is the best medicine for every problem, difficulty, trouble, suffering, pain, and obstacle. Hashem’s essence is light.

To experience this incredible goodness internally, one must practice this every day without skipping even one day. Our connection to Hashem and our faith in him becomes stronger, and we yearn to feel closer and closer to Him. We want to feel His holy presence, which is more intense at certain times and in certain places. Mincha on Shabbat and the Kotel (Western Wall) are but two examples. Through HITBODEDUT, we can without a doubt experience Hashem’s love, compassion, light, and divine guiding influence in our lives. Try it. You will like it.
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Hitbodedut #10 Mission Possible

There is nothing better in the whole world than going into a forest or a field alone and secluding oneself with one’s Creator for one hour and speaking to Him. In the forest or field, we hear the sounds of silence. We see and appreciate HASHEM’S magnificent creation .We sense HIM in every leaf, tree, rock, blade of grass, and clump of dirt. So naturally we thank HIM for creating all this beauty and we feel humbled by the experience. We are in awe. We remember to thank our Holy REBBI NACHMAN OF BRESLOV for stressing so much in his wondrous teachings, especially LIKUTEY MOHARAN, the incredible value and importance of this spiritual practice.

This discipline is called HITBODEDUT. We offer ourselves up to our MAKER like our father Avraham offered up his son Itzhak as a sacrifice to HASHEM. We submit ourselves completely to His will. Both Avraham and Itzhak only wanted to do HASHEM’S will. They nullified their own personal desires in order to serve HASHEM, THE ONE GOD. We do the same thing when we decide to talk to HASHEM everyday for one hour. We give ourselves over to HIM. Since we feel HIS greatness, HIS might, HIS loving-kindness to all of HIS creations including us, we feel very small and humble in comparison.

This is exactly what HASHEM wants. He desires that we humble ourselves before HIM. When we do this as a result of practicing HITBODEDUT, we realize that we have finally understood our purpose and mission in life. We are here to acknowledge HASHEM. We are here to spread the knowledge of HASHEM in the world. We do this by keeping HIS commandments, which are really 615 pieces of good advice, by studying HIS holy TORAH, doing good deeds, working on ourselves to eliminate unwanted character traits, and by instilling in ourselves positive character traits.

This work is not always easy. Sometimes it is a long process to change ourselves. We need to have a lot of patience with ourselves and with HASHEM. The main point and the essence of this work, is just to begin without any expectations and then we will not be disappointed. Nevertheless, we will experience a feeling of well-being and of serenity because we have started on the path of tranquility by talking in our own words to the greatest problem-solver in the world.
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Hitbodedut #11 How To Do It

We are all searching for the truth, the light, or happiness, whether we know it or not. We want to avoid pain and to experience pleasure. We are looking high and Low, here and there, from one end of the world to the other. Really we are looking for GOD, HASHEM. We just do not know what it is we are seeking and/or where to find it. REBBE NACHMAN of BRESLOV [1772-1810], saw this phenomenon over two hundred years ago. He saw that people were being pulled this way and that way by distractions, new movements, lusts, and addictions which were all leading them away from Judaism and the truth.

The Holy REBBE gave them and us incredible practical advice. He prescribed the cure, the healing for all the people of his generation and for all the people of all future generations wherever they might be and whatever circumstances they might find themselves in. He states in many places in his Holy book, LIKUTEY MOHARAN, that all serious seekers of the truth should take it upon themselves to be sure and do one hour of HITBODEDUT every day, secluding oneself with HASHEM establishing a close personal relationship with HIM.

During these sessions which are inspiring, invaluable, and therapeutic, RAV SHALOM ARUSH shlita, suggests in his beautiful book on HITBODEDUT, IN FOREST FIELDS, that first we must thank HASHEM for HIS endless beneficial kindnesses to us , and then we are encouraged to make a spiritual accounting of where we are at. This means looking realistically at where we are holding, what we need to work on, what behaviors we need to add or eliminate, and what mitzvoth we did today, and which ones we missed doing today. While doing all this we keep in mind our good points, always accentuating the positive.

Also during this one hour, which of course can be longer, we talk to HIM about our problems, upsets, sufferings, and anything that is troubling us. Then RAV ARUSH advises us to talk to HIM about faith and ask HIM to help us strengthen and increase our faith in HIM, in the true zaddik, in ourselves, and in the power of prayer. At the end of our session we can make requests, asking for whatever we need for ourselves, our family, our friends, and all of the Jewish people. This is only a suggested procedure but the main thing is just to begin speaking to our CREATOR. HITBODEDUT is user-friendly.
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Hitbodedut #12 – Opening Our Spiritual Eyes

REBBE NACHMAN of BRESLOV says we really can come close to our Maker. If we are sincerely serious about changing ourselves and yearning to come close we must ready ourselves to do the hard work that it takes. What is this hard work? This involves talking to HASHEM everyday for one hour. For some people this might seem nearly impossible and for them this is their hard work. For others the hard work might mean being willing to change the direction of their lives. This could mean giving up old habits or addictions. But by speaking to HASHEM we receive help and guidance in this endeavor. We get spiritual energy which motivates us.

The holy REBBE says to progress in our spiritual growth we need to concentrate on guarding the seven openings of our head. These are the two eyes, the two ears, the two nostrils, and the mouth. Guarding the eyes is emphasized the most because what the eye sees the heart wants. If we guard our eyes we will be guarding our morality and our mortality. The physical material world is full of sensational pictures and images in the movies, the magazines, the billboards, the television, the internet, etc. These all aim to stimulate us, to seduce us, to entice us so we will not go in HASHEM’S way.

HASHEM’S way is the way of the TORAH which is embedded in the 613 mitzvot which is the JEW’S moral compass. These divine rules of moral conduct enable us to live lives of peace, joy, and tranquility. In order to get to this level of serenity we must guard our eyes. We close our physical eyes in order to open our spiritual eyes. This means increasing our awareness of HASHEM’S presence and wisdom in everything in the physical world as the REBBE states in his opening Torah in LIKUTEY MOHARAN. We do not just look at what is on the surface, but we look deeper, inside, and see HASHEM hiding behind everything in creation. Since everything comes from HIM, a part of HIM is in everything.

A stoplight appears red, but behind the red lens is a white light. So, also, HASHEM is the white undifferentiated light behind everything in the universe without exception. When we open our spiritual eyes, we can actually experience HASHEM’S presence in everything that exists, mineral, vegetable, animal, and human. The more we practice HITBODEDUT, secluding ourselves and talking to our best teacher, the more we are able to open our spiritual eyes and receive bounty from the ONE who loves us unconditionally.
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Hitbodedut #13 Hitbodedut and Chanukah

When we spend one half hour looking at the Chanukah lights we just lit, we have a perfect opportunity to talk to HASHEM in our own words. Secluding ourselves with HASHEM and speaking out our most private thoughts is what HITBODEDUT is all about. This half hour is truly precious, special, and a very auspicious time . The light we look at during the first half hour is the same light that HASHEM created on the first day of creation. This light HASHEM hid away for the Zaddikim.

All the Jews are Zaddikim as the prophet Isiahu said. As we are looking at the beautiful lights of the candles we can actually access HASHEM’S creative light. We can imagine it filling us up, reaching into all the dark negative places in us, and vanquishing the evil inclination. This light is extraordinarily powerful. It can heal us in all kinds of ways. It is the same light that becomes available to us on the night of Peach.

While looking at the lights during this first half hour, we can communicate directly with HASHEM, with HIS oneness, HIS life energy, and vitality which permeates everything in the universe. The ball is in our court. It is up to us to take advantage of this wonderful gift, this half hour, and to thank HASHEM profusely for all HE has done for us in the past, for all HE is doing for us in the present, and for what HE will do for us in the future.

This incredible light penetrates the darkness which covers our souls, cleansing and purifying us, especially if we talk, praise, and pray to HASHEM during this time. We can ask HASHEM to help us in whatever way we need help, to give us whatever we think we need now, to help us learn and fulfill HIS Holy Torah, to do mitzvoth better, and to assist us in nullifying ourselves before HIM. Doing HITBODEDUT during these thirty minutes is an ideal time for us to grow closer to HASHEM , to appreciate HIM more, to increase our faith in HIM, to feel joy and happiness because we are basking in HIS light. Of course, we thank our Holy REBBE NACHMAN of BRESLOV for showing us the importance of this valuable practice of HITBODEDUT.
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