Sparks of Light Webinar #3 – Coping with tragedy

In light of the current war that started as a result of more than 1,400 dead Jews, the third session will deal with coping with tragedy

In this session we learn what happens when tragedy strikes in a Kabbalistic sense. I tried to fix as much as I could about the transcription but it’s not perfect. Either way the recording is available here.

Freely edited transcript of the third session:

In this week after a little break, we’re going to be talking about coping with tragedy, which is unfortunately a fact of life and we hope life will be always sweet and happy.

But unfortunately we have to deal with certain situations that are unpleasant to us and to them. I’m going to discuss with you a little bit about some techniques and what is actually happening when tragedies strike chas v’shalom.

I’m sure you’re aware of that we have a war going on and there are all sorts of images that are floating around and videos as well. And first things to do to understand is that we should not shun our rise to that. But at the same time, we need to realize that images and videos are very bad for our souls, because the eyes are the portal to them.

So this is also actually part of literature and poetry and philosophy. Everybody agrees that the eyes are very important and this is why we have so many important laws in the Torah for men and women that emphasize in care of our eyes. So, of course we should try not to be angry and we should try to pray as much as we can because in the end I realize myself it’s way beyond me to deal with this.

According to our tradition, we don’t pray to remove obstacles. We pray receive obstacles in order to create our salvation. This a little different way of understanding how prayer should work because God doesn’t give us challenges unless it’s for us to pray, because he desires our prayers.

Praying is a very important skill, a very basic and fundamental skill of the human soul. And we all have our part to do in praying. As you all know, Judaism has a lot of laws, right? And mourning has plenty of laws as well. And there are technically speaking five stages of mourning.

Again, God forbid it should ever happen to anyone, but this is, there’s a very important reason for all that. The first time is when a person is just bearing that person and he’s actually exempt from any commandments in the Torah.

And this is also a time that he can’t function properly and it’s very understandable. And then after the person, the dead is buried. Then there are seven days of heavy morning, which is called the Shiva, which literally means seven.

And then there is up to one month of lighter mourning in which also a person has to take care with certain things. And then there’s a period of one year after which we’re supposed to move forward with life.

As I wrote in email, we have to realize that a life goes on and mourning has a point, which is actually according to Kabbalah, is meant to arouse mercy under that person. We mourn, not mourn, and I have to mourn, but people mourn in Kabbalah because they’re actual arousing God’s mercy. And this also helps the soul of the departed to find his way into the proper place where he’s supposed to be.

There’s very big, big subject around this. And more than one year, you should not mourn any more than that because I should say it can arouse serious acquisitions because a person cannot be more and merciful than God.

One year is more than enough. And as shocking as it is, life has to go forward. We’re in this world for a very specific reason. We have our missions to fulfill and we want to carry on with life. Now, most people don’t pay much attention to it, but the truth is our thoughts are full fledged constructs. They have real existence in the spiritual words and they’re very, very important. Ov the founder of Hasidic Hasidism, he says that you are wherever your thoughts are.

We should be very careful because our thoughts can be very powerful, especially when a person is mourning and especially when in love or angry, it can have very serious consequences. So when our people are mourning, God forbid again, they lose their Mokhin.

Fourth Slide Daat

This is the three of life with the Mokhin on top. And then we have the seven and below, which are the emotions. I’m going to go over this again because we’ve been there already, please check the previous first and second sessions.

So this is why actually the mourner is not liable for certain transgressions that he does in this state of mourning. And so trauma is actually stuck energy that is blocking our access to Mokhin. Mokhin are the energy that keeps us flowing, happy, keeps us in harmony, knowing that we have a purpose, that we have faith in God that helps us overcome our challenges.

It helps us just do about everything. Everything is happy. And then, but when tragedy happens, then the Mokhin leave us and then a person is subject to the Middot, which are the motions, the seven lower Sephirot that can take over him and make him angry and stingy and sad and everything. It’s a big mess.

So it’s essentially actually the whole work of Kabbalah that we’re doing with the and the Kavanot, which are my contentions, is to actually bring down the Mokhin we want to be to feel connected to God, we want to feel happy. We want to rectify the lower Sephirot. And when the Mokhin leaves, then the energy gets stuck.

If somebody, God forbid, suffers a loss or is let’s say abused, that’s the type of negative energy that keeps blocking his access to the Mokhin, to this energy that is the positive energy.

And this is actually why emotion is essentially energy in motion. Because when we are able to express this emotion, then that means that the energy is left and we can actually get this energy for ourselves.

It’s a very important thing to express emotions properly. And because it means that the energy is unblocked now, and sometimes a person can go an entire life with blocked energy, not even realizing that he has that.

So you can do it on your own afterwards and start harnessing your energy. Now when somebody else gets again, has a tragedy in the family and he loses all his Mokhin, the only way we can get through him, there’s only one way, and that is through compassion.

Compassion as you see here in the diagram, is highest Sephirah of Keter and this comes from the Zohar.

Why?

Compassion is actually helping the person is actually taking care of their needs. Without any judgment. Just say to them, I’m sorry for your loss. We’re here for you. I am in pain for you. You can count on me. We’re friends, we’re family. There’s nothing we can say more than that. Don’t try to be funny or don’t try to be judgmental. Don’t say have faith that everything is for the best. This is what Job’s (Yiov’s) friends did to him.

We have to be very careful with that because the mourner is in a very delicate mental state and only after he is recuperated that we can start rebuilding him up with ideas and encouragement and trying to help him with more practical advice. Now, that was for other people. Now, if somebody for us, we need to always realize that everything comes from God.

This is what’s called Emunah. Emunah is sometimes translated as faith, but it’s a lot more than that. It’s actually the felt experienced feeling that we’re connected to God, and it’s a spiritual tool that keeps our minds expanded so that our consciousness is not hijacked by the Middot by seven here, the seven lower attributes, which you saw in the previous lessons.

And so the light of Emunah came very powerful to keep us grounded and to shoot us from this shock. A person, there was one rabbi, I don’t remember his name, but he lost his son.

He was very old and he was the only selling thing. And still while it was Shabbat. On Shabbat, we have the commandment to be happy and it’s very difficult obviously to be happy. But he withheld himself back on Shabbat and then even helped people just to try to keep a composed stature until after Shabbat. And then he started crying. And then that is why we cry, because we’re letting energy go. We’re liberating energy, in fact.

There are many ways of strengthening our Emunah. One is through prayer and through studying, through meditating, talking to God, everything I hold personally that sometimes we don’t realize, and I’m guilty of that. Sometimes we don’t realize how close we are to God and we think he’s distant, but in reality he’s so, so close.

And if we just realize that, then our prayers and our thoughts would have all the more power because as I said before, imagination is actually a power of the soul. You actually think, well, sometimes I just imagine things. No, you’re actually not. It’s your soul.

It’s where you are. It’s in the spiritual world. Sometimes when you have these thoughts, it means that your soul is conveying to you something and that’s what we are going to do now.

So with your permission, I’d like to get comfortable there. I’d like you to start to relax and put your hands on your lap and to relax to see close your eyes a bit.

We’re going to start a little meditation exercise in order to see how we can release these energy. So let’s count from 10 to one with our eyes closed. Please follow me on this. It’s going to be very important so that you can do it on your own. The way to breathe, as you remember, is through your belly. This is the best way of bringing in air that will help you relax.

Okay, so let’s start counting. Ten

Feel all your muscles relaxing.

Nine, you have nothing to worry about or exactly where you’re supposed to be.

Eight. Feel all the tension living our body.

Seven. There’s nowhere else to be.

Time is melting away…

Now I think continuing this state, just relax and try to remember an episode to are hurt that you were abused. You don’t need to say anything. Just picture it in your mind. Try to remember it. Save, delay all the emotions that are there. What you felt angry or jealous. Just take some time to relive it.

I’m going to release that soon. I think two more breaths. Do it as vivid as you can. It’s very important. Now can feel in your body why it hurts the most. It’s probably one organ there in your body, which is tingling or pulsating and feel just hurting from that pain.

Take some time with that.

Let’s give you some more time.

Feel your breath for this is your soul telling you where you’re hurting. This is not imagining. If you are having trouble, just ask yourself, where is this pain coming from?

Try to examine your body. Is it my heart?

Is it my belly, my stomach, arms?

It must really hard. I know that, but it is a necessary step. It taking some time to feel. Have some compassion on yourself. It’s okay if you have found your pain point where it’s located. Try to imagine how that organ or member look like. What does it feel like?

Maybe just analyze that. Try to look at it without judgment. I sometime to feel it. How hard with this Now, how would you cure that organ? How would you bring healing to it and choose, have some healing water.

Some light can burn the spikes, melt the ice, can choose a way. Look at it. Choose a way to do with that to cure your organ. Make it real and feel yourself curing. Just use it. You can do it. Feel yourself releasing all that pain. Feel it going away and just away.

Burning away, melting away. Throw it away. Feel it.

So, all right, this is exactly the point of this exercise just now for a little more.

Do you feel that all this pain, organ, organ is healed? That feels pretty good.

Now, if you feel some electricity in this exercise, your body tingly that’s great. If you feel lighter at a great time, you should do this for all sorts of pain, all sorts of bad images, all our emotions, and this is real cure. Also, if you cry, that’s actually a very good sign.

This is how we deal with trauma, and I help people to also deal with their trauma. I can do one-on-one sessions for anyone interested, but this is the exercise that you can do, follow your pain, follow your emotions to just let go, can continue in this exercise for as long as you want, but our time is up here.

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Chaim Apsan

Chaim is a teacher and Kabbalah enthusiast. He loves helping Jews connect with true Torah teaching and enhancing their spiritual growth. With a focus on meditation, he guides individuals on transformative journeys of prayer, contemplation, and connection with Hashem. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and kids, and is committed to sharing the wisdom and power of Kabbalah in a genuine way.

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