Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Steadfast Emunah - Rocklike Obedience

Hike to a Wellspring near Bat Ayin - part of the "Grow and Let Grow" Summer Eco Beit Midrash Program

We have entered the heat of Tamuz enjoying the last chances to play our instruments in happy rejoicing before the three weeks of semi-morning. As we come closer to the mourning for the destruction of the Temple we are called to purify our hearts from jealousy and anger, and strengthen our emunah. Parashat Chukat is about strengthening our emunah, even in the mitzvot that don’t make sense, like the mitzvah of the Red Heifer which opens our Torah portion.

Although I have been Torah observant for more than thirty years, I must admit that there are mitzvot which are still difficult for me to relate to. They are mostly things that that we can’t do on Shabbat, regarding putting things away and keeping the home tidy. I hope the meditation I designed, with the dual purpose of strengthening our emunah to prevent anger and accept trans-rational mitzvot, will help me too keep all of Hashem’s commandments with happiness.

Enjoy your summer!
With Blessings of the Torah and the Land
Chana Bracha Siegelbaum

Parasha Meditation Chukat
Bamidbar 19:1-21:35
Parashat Chukat is about trans-rationally accepting Hashem’s decrees through steadfast emunah. The word “chukat” from the root “chok” means “statute” – a law that cannot be fathomed by the human mind. The laws of the Red Heifer (Para Aduma), which opens our parasha, are likewise beyond rational logic. In our time and day, it is very difficult to obey laws that we don’t understand. Even the words “to obey” and “commandment” grate our ears, and are no longer political correct. The gematria (numerical value) value of the word chok is 108. This is the same gematria as in the phrase “זה בכל לבבי” – “this is with all my heart.”[1] When our mind has reached its limit, and can no longer relate, that is when we need to apply our full heart in love and commitment.

Rocklike Obedience
By hitting the rock instead of talking to it, Moshe defied applying all his heart to fulfill Hashem commandment, thereby forfeiting a precious opportunity to teach the Jewish people about the importance of desire to obey Hashem. For had Moshe spoken to the rock and it had brought forth water, Hashem would have been sanctified before the whole congregation, for they would have said: What is the case with this rock which cannot speak and cannot hear and needs no maintenance? It fulfills the bidding of the Omnipresent G-d! How much more should we do so?[2] Rocklike obedience derives from steadfast emunah. Hitting the rock was an expression of lack of emunah which Moshe was criticized for. “Because you did not believe in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel…”[3]

The Iron Curtain of Anger
According to Rambam, Moshe’s main sin was that he lost his patience and got angry with the children of Israel when he exclaimed: “Hear you now you rebels!”[4] G-d reproached him for this, for it is inappropriate for a man of his stature to lose his cool before the entire community of Israel. This behavior constituted chilul Hashem (profanation of G-d), since Moshe was supposed to be the model of good conduct for all the people.[5] Anger is an expression of lack of emunah. It constitutes an iron curtain against accepting Hashem’s will through every challenge we face. Sure the children can be obnoxious, and things don’t always go our way. However, rather than taking the staff in our own hand and hit with it, let us recognize Hashem’s power that the staff represents, and accept what comes our way.

This meditation is designed to help strengthen your emunah, prevent anger and accept Hashem’s trans-rational commandments. Close your eyes and make yourself comfortable in your seat. Breathe deeply several times. Imagine breathing into your eyes three times, relaxing all tension from them, relax your eyes, relax them even more. Allow the actions of your day or the previous day or two to flow through you, and think about a difficult situation that you faced, where you began to lose it.

Go through what happened in your mind’s eye. What did the person do or say that made you so upset? Which angry thought are you still harboring? Imagine your negative thoughts as clouds. Allow the clouds of all your negativity to pass by you without hanging on to them. Breathe into each of them, slowly and relaxed. As you breathe, visualize each of them dissolving, disappearing back into the bright blue sky. Now go back to the last interaction you recall where you fell short. Accept yourself completely where you were at. Make a fist with your hand and rub you’re your chest on the left near your heart while reciting three times: “Although I feel/did/said/ X (fill in the blank) I still love and appreciate myself.” Now imagine what happened again, but this time, reconstruct your act in the scene to the ideal way you would have liked to see yourself speak/behave. Imagine a circle of light around yourself acting/speaking the ideal way. This circle of light will guard the inner vision of your potential self, to bring you closer to fulfilling it, when the opportunity arises.

Now imagine a mitzvah from the Torah which is difficult for you to fulfill – A precept that doesn’t make sense to you. Visualize how this mitzvah emerges from the light of the Almighty G-d. Imagine Hashem’s powerful light zapping up all your resistance to the particular mitzvah you have a hard time with. Now it is time to transform our mental attitude to learn to surrender. Recite in your mind’s voice: “Oh Hashem, Thy will be done....” Imagine yourself opening your hands to receive and accept the gift of this mitzvah with grace. Mentally place it in your heart – and make a resolution to accept this mitzvah with your entire heart as you recite the following phrase three times: “זה בכל לבבי” – “this is with all my heart.” When you are ready, you can return back into your life with renewed acceptance and peace.

Even the master of the prophets stumbled in the matter of emunah, as it states in this week’s Parasha “Because you believed Me not…”[6] Maharal explains that Moshe’s anger derived from a lack of emunah. Steadfast emunah brings about song and happiness, thereby precluding anger. It was G-d’s will that Moshe speak to the rock. Therefore, He had prepared the miracle that the rock would respond to speech, because He desired that the children of Israel accept His precepts and be drawn to G-d through happiness rather than through force. Witnessing the rock happily deciding “on its own” to produce water, when softly requested to do so, rather than being hit, would inspire the children of Israel to likewise happily decide to do Hashem’s bidding without being forced to. [7] May we walk along the path of the true way of emunah, which is only through good will and happiness!

[1] I found this gematria in Dr. Yisroel Sisskind’s email comment to Parashat Chukat, July 2011.
Rashi, Bamidbar 20:12.
Bamidbar 20:12.
Bamidbar 20:10.
The Introductions of the Rambam, Shmoneh Perakim, Chapter 4.
Bamidbar 20:12.
Maharal, Gevurat Hashem, Chapter seven.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Testimonials, Endorsements and Credentials

for EmunaHealing™ for Women 
- Spiritual Healing from the Torah

For nearly a decade, Rebbetzin Chana Bracha trained extensively as a spiritual healer with her teacher, Chana Luke (a student of the Feldmans). Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum is endorsed by Rabbi Ben Zion Rabinowicz of Biala-Lugano, Rav Ephraim Greenblatt, and Rabbi Lazer Brody.

From Rabbi of Bat Ayin, Rav Daniel
Shalom Chana Bracha,
While I am not an expert in these realms, I am familiar with them enough and feel it appropriate that I assert my opinion.

Firstly, I appreciate your desire to integrate purity, authenticity and innovation into your work. Openness to new wisdom always comes with its dangers, but also its profits -- the redemption of sparks awaiting their return to a righteous path.. I believe that in your case, and in this specific instance, your use of techniques for opening different "energy centers" does not violate your desire to give over authentic Jewish teachings but, as you explained, is likely to enhance that effort.

I think that it is true that most people should stay away from eastern texts, like the Zohar teaches. Nevertheless, in the cases you've described of using specific techniques I see no harm likely to come from such uses, provided that your intentions and teachings remain pure, as I believe the case to be.

Regarding the use of the name "chakra," I agree with Rabbanit Chana Look and see no gain in using it and possible harm.

With blessings for your success,

Rav Daniel

Read further endorsements

Watch a Video Testimonial from Shoshanna Devorah

Watch a Video Testimonial from Chaiya Avigail

Headaches/problem with teenage children
Insecurity and Lack of Self-Confidence
Emotional Imbalance
Following recent release from intensive psychiatric rehab center
Self-Awareness and Inner Peace
Improved communication and Reconnecting with Friends
Reconnecting with Family
Husband and Wife Relationship

Headaches/problem with teenage children
“I came to Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum complaining of severe persistent headaches for the last three weeks. She suggested that the headaches were connected with a blockage caused by communication problems with a teenage child, with whom I had indeed experienced a lot of tension. During the session, we discussed the problem at length, coming to some deep and practical solutions. Afterwards, Rebbetzin Chana Bracha used guided imagery to help build my self-image and receive the spiritual and emotional strength to implement the solutions. She also worked on healing the root of the problem through energy work, removing fears and traumas energetically. I left the healing session feeling healed both energetically and psychologically. Sure enough the headaches went away, and my relationship with my teenage child improved.” (Rebbetzin Batya Kohn, Bat Ayin)
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Insecurity and Lack of Self-confidence
“The spiritual healing session was incredible and made a huge impact in some place deep inside my heart, right close to my core. I dealt with issues I had since a very early age, and being the sensitive person I am, it has been in my heart for a very long time, not being quite completely healed. I think it has made it easier to deal with situations or people that make me feel insecure or not good enough. And that is a huge thing, to me. I really deeply appreciate what you have done for me. There is still a lot of room for growth and healing, but I think there has been a tremendous amount of headway so far. I hope to get another session in the future. May you continue successfully to do more tipulim, with me and with others who can benefit from your healing gifts!” (Malka)
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Emotional Imbalance
“Rebbetzin Chana Bracha’s spiritual healing helped me in a way that I could never imagine myself. Reasons for emotional and physical issues that affected my life negatively on a daily basis were found within my childhood. Already after the first session, they were uprooted and healing was done within the spiritual framework of the holy Torah. I immediately felt relieved and cleansed. I did not expect any of this to happen. I got more energy and balance the next day. I don't know how this happened or how the Rebbetzin did it, but I know it works and I would suggest it to anyone who feels the need for inner healing.” (Esther)
Dear Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum,
“I want to thank you for the EmunaHealing Session.
It softened my heart and was beautifully sacred. It was what I needed so thank you. I hope you do the long distance EmunaHealing because I would be interested.” (Nancy)

Following recent release from intensive psychiatric rehab center
“Thank G-d, I'm feeling better, physically, emotionally and spiritually. And I attribute that very much to the EmunaHealing session with you. In recognition of the great work that we did this week in EmunaHealing, thank G-d, I feel like I don't want to lose the momentum and push off the next session for another 3 to 4 weeks when I'll next be in the Gush.”

“I had my first EmunaHealing session with the Rebbetzin right before class today. The session was way beyond my expectations, and I entered a different “awareness” state which was a totally new, unfamiliar experience for me that really opened up my channels for healing. I highly recommend the private EmunaHealing sessions where you learn, grow and gain a lot on all levels. The Rebbetzin is extremely perceptive and gifted!” (Cayla)
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Self-Awareness and Inner Peace
“I feel very thankful to Hashem and to you, for the session yesterday. It gave me insight and l know now what l can do. I feel a certain relieve and inner peace. Toda rabah! May Hashem bless you with healing many women and bring them close to Hashem!” (Sarah)
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Improved Communication and Reconnecting with Friends
“The week following the session has been so wonderful, full of pleasant surprises. I have reconnected with six of my good friends establishing improved communication and expressing my appreciation of them. My chavruta called unexpectedly and requested we resume learning, later that evening we had an excellent hour learning a sicha on the parsha. It felt like old times only new. Dear Rebbetzin Chana Bracha, I am so thankful to HaShem for your gifts and so grateful to you for your patience. I am very amazed at how simple yet complex this process is. I definitely will be wanting to schedule another session, hopefully before you start on your tour.” (Ednah)
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Reconnecting with Family
“I wanted to tell you I connected with my sister after not speaking for over 25 years. Remember you gave me special prayers and to write to her. My prayers were answered and we relate now again as sisters. You gave me the strength and courage to do this and I will be forever grateful to Hashem for the session I had with you.” (Rhoda)
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Husband and Wife Relationship
“I want to thank you so much for the EmunaHealing session this week, for the extra time that you gave me, and for all the tefilot and advice.

When I got home, I decided "if not now, when" and I cancelled the chevruta I usually have on Tuesday evenings. I wrote and decorated a wedding-style invitation to my husband, inviting him to a festive meal the following night. Baruch Hashem things went smoothly at work that day, I came home on time, cooked a nice meal, showered, and dressed in an old favourite outfit of my husband's, plus something new that is only for him. We lit candles and had a nice meal, he complemented me on the food and voluntarily did the washing up, then we spent quality time together for the rest of the evening. Baruch Hashem, everything went really well and we hope to make it a regular minhag!

That was the easiest part, now comes the real work! I also made a note of the things that we discussed and hope to devote more tefilot and thought to them, and also to discuss the issues with my husband when I can think of how to bring up the topics.

Once again, thank you for an amazing evening, May Hashem bless you with much hatzlacha in all your endeavors.” (Devorah)
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“In one hour session with the Rebbetzin, I could feel the release of life time blockages in my body that I'm certain affected my fertility. I could feel the release and a major shift in has occurred in my energy. I'm enthusiastic and grateful. She's amazing, warm and loving.” (Baila)
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“I was googling something on line and just came across your article: “Waiting 15 years for Baby Netanel.” It touched my heart and I just wanted to let you know that I could relate to a lot of what you were saying in your journal entries.

I am pregnant with our first child - after nearly 25 years of marriage 30 weeks tomorrow. It still feels surreal.

In fact, whilst I was attending EmunaHealing 2, I was in the midst of IVF. I missed the last session as I had the 3rd embryo transferred that day and was advised to "rest". We, too, didn't take any chances this time around. We had tried IVF in Australia 9 years prior with no success.

I am thankful for your teaching throughout the EmunaHealing courses and although I need to practice more, it has certainly helped in certain aspects of my life and therapies.

…Incidentally, I used the matching resonance whilst undergoing egg collection, fertilization and embryo transfer. Thank G-d, your teaching came at an opportune time when I thought to make use of it in my personal endeavor. I am also still handling wheat quite well!

May HaShem continue to bless you abundantly in all that you put your hands to! (Naomi)
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“The session with Chana Bracha was so incredible. I had no idea what to expect or what she was planning to do... so I was just there... present... anticipating something very elevated to take place.

It went by so fast I can hardly recall all of it ...but she began by doing some guided relaxation, meditation and visualization... then she asked me some questions about different periods of my life, possible trauma etc...

I have done a lot of serious and deep personal work over the years regarding my years with my ex... Even to the point this past year of seeing my part in it... but all of a sudden when Chana Bracha was asking me questions and I was really in a meditative state, I realized something very profound....

…The shame and fear I felt from a number of situations that happened to me in my life... then when I was in my 40s I began seeing a wonderful lady therapist who opened the first door in my journey of self-transformation, healing, and higher consciousness, however one of the things I never did was to access and process the guilt and shame that was deeply deeply buried (perhaps held in my chest/heart/lungs area where the pain and the hot shame and guilt was felt).... It wasn't until Chana Bracha was talking that I had this vision that the poison and toxicity of all that guilt and shame had been held and festering in my lungs and liver and heart all these years.... allowing disease to enter....

When she first called I was coughing so much.... had been for WEEKS.... I could barely talk to her without coughing a lot. but during the session, after I saw and thought about these things and after we spoke of and visualized negativity leaving my chest, I noticed that the coughing entirely subsided during the rest of the call.... that was so apparent.

...and from that point on my coughing has lessened and lessened... even though during the past 5 weeks... before the session, people would hear me coughing and be concerned about me.

She also did a really cool thing in where she had me do this verbal exercise where I actually pretended that I was talking to my ex and not only forgave him for the way he treated me but where I also told his pure neshama that I knew that he/it did not know better and that it/he was sick and broken and was doing the best he could to just survive and that I just got in the way of his pain and confusion.... I always knew who he was at his core and that all that behavior was not really him but I never quite had words to say it until then....

I am so glad that we had that time on the phone... I feel it was major help and healing and many levels. I am grateful that even long distance via the phone it was possible to create a space for her healing gifts to assist me.

I had an appointment with my Dr. the other day and she was surprised and puzzled that she could not find the lumps and enlarged nodes in my neck.... she had clearly felt them numerous times, as had several other doctors... I had had a cat scan that showed masses in the neck and even had a biopsy on one of them.... so they WERE there.... but now she cannot find them. hmmmmm....? Maybe this is a picture of what is happening in other unseen places in my body...” (Rivka)
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Click here for more information about EmunaHealing
Sign up for a personal EmunaHealing session, either in Gush Etzion or via long-distance (on-line or telephone)

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EmunaHealing Courses for Women

Upcoming Courses - click here

Workshops and Courses offered
One Time Workshops and Guest Lectures (details below)
  • The Healing Power of the Shema Yisrael
  • The Three Archetypal Fears
  • Introductory EmunaHealing Workshop
Request a Guest Lecture with Rebbetzin Chana Bracha in your community 

General EmunaHealing Courses (details below)

  • EmunaHealing Course 1.
  • EmunaHealing Course 2. 
  • Spiritual Protections from Negative Energy and Ayin Hara (Evil Eye)
  • Kabbalah and Spiritual Self-Healing Course 1 
  • Kabbalah and Spiritual Self-Healing Course 2 
  • Kabbalah and Spiritual Self-Healing Course 3

Request a Course or Workshop with Rebbetzin Chana Bracha

One Time Workshops and Guest Lectures
The Healing Power of the Shema Yisrael שמע ישראל
(2 hours)
The Shema Yisrael Prayer is a verbal mikvah, pouring into every level of our souls and aligning us to the truth of Hashem's Oneness, purifying doubt and the temptation to believe that there is anything in the world that is separate from Hashem. In this learning session we will delve into mystical Torah texts on the roots and deeper meaning of the Shema Yisrael prayer, and get a glimpse of why the Shema Yisrael Prayer is like a seed that contains the entire Torah, an alchemical formula directly to G-d. The workshop includes guided meditations and Spiritual Healing techniques such as spiritual energy balls, and how to access the power of the Shema Yisrael Prayer to nullify negative energy and entering Hashem’s light into a space.

The Three Archetypal Fears (2 Hours)
This workshop includes definition of spiritual, emotional and physical energy blocks, and how to overcome these energy blocks by means of tools for spiritual, emotional and physical health. The Workshop focuses on fears as spiritual blockages. Through appropriate Torah texts we learn about the underlying traumas Israel went through due to the three major exiles, which respectively brought about the three primal fears. We will learn how the archetypal fear of the wolf, lion and serpent each correspond to a body part and a group of Sefirot. The workshop also comprises spiritual tools for overcoming the primal fears including a practical guided meditation.

Introductory EmunaHealing Workshop

(2-4 hours)
This introductory workshop teaches the essential principles of EmunaHealing – a method, accessing the inner light within us by removing exterior layers, the klipot which block Hashem’s life-giving energy from flowing freely within all the parts of our psyche, emotions, and organs. Through spiritual healing we can unblock negative energy and infuse each part of ourselves and the people we treat with Hashem’s light. In addition, EmunaHealing promotes spiritual growth and closeness to Hashem.

Not everyone is destined to treat others, yet we all hold the key to self-healing. In addition, every mother has the ability to heal her family and children through the power of her connection with them. Learn practical tools for healing yourself and your family through connecting with Hashem’s light inherent in your own neshama. Learn new tools for healing and wellbeing through strengthening your emunah, letting go and allowing Hashem to act in your place.

General EmunaHealing Courses
of 5-6 two hour sessions 
(Individual classes can be selected for a one time guest lecture) 
EmunaHealing Course 1.
(10 hours: 5 meetings of 2 hours each)
Learn part one of the complete EmunaHealing technique in an organized form with the goal of becoming a practicing EmunaHealer. The Course includes:
  • Clarification of how EmunaHealing works
  • Torah sources on spiritual healing
  • Learning to open the spiritual channels, mastering the Basic Prayer based on Derech Hashem by the Ramchal used in EmunaHealing Techniques for identifying underlying spiritual blockages that prevents us from reaching our goals
  • Technics for removing spiritual and emotional blocks, and how to attract your ideal marriage partner, generate parnassa and possibly overcoming infertility Practice in the emunah-way of removing spiritual blockages through tefilah and energy work.
  • Guided meditations (visualizations) connecting you to the light of Hashem and empowering you to manifest your hidden potential
  • Spiritual healing exercises such as energy balls technique to remove spiritual blockages, and clearing the energy in a room or of an object by means of prayer formula. 

EmunaHealing Course 2. 
(10 hours: 5 meetings of 2 hours each)
If you are interested in developing your ability to heal others or perhaps even one day using EmunaHealing professionally, the second part of the complete EmunaHealing Course is essential. In the second part of the course you will receive more practice and confidence in your EmunaHealing, as well as learning new spiritual healing tools.

The Course includes:
  • Identifying and opening blockages that prevent women from attracting their true marriage partner
  • Relationship Therapy
  • Identifying and treating allergies and sensitivities
  • Identifying and treating viruses
  • Specific tools for treating headaches, ADD, Learning disabilities, and negative thought pattern.
  • The importance of Positive Affirmations and how to formulate them.
  • Spiritual and emotional Healing through using the energies of the Sefirot
  • Additional guided Meditations (visualizations) connecting you to the light of Hashem and empowering you to manifest your hidden potential

Spiritual Protections from Negative Energy and Ayin Hara (Evil Eye)
Four Part EmunaHealing Course
  • The Evil Eye (Ayin Hara) in the Torah 
  • Spiritual Protections against Ayin Hara and Negative Energy 
  • Ritual Healing with the Magen David (Star of David) 
  • Dream interpretation and amelioration according to the Torah 
  • Learn Torah sources on the power of the human eye to send energy 
  • Practice spiritual healing exercise to send positive energy from your eyes 
  • Participate in guided visualizations to protect yourself from negative energy 
  • Learn about the spiritual significance of the Magen David throughout the ages 
  • Practice spiritual healing exercises that access the protective power of the Magen David 
  • Study dream interpretation techniques from the Talmud 
  • Practice dream journaling and dream interpretation 
  • Learn to recognize secrets about your own psyche through your dreams

Kabbalah and Spiritual Self-Healing Course 1
  • The Ten Sefirot of Healing Part 1
  • The Ten Sefirot of Healing Part 2
  • The Sefirot versus Chakras – Differentiating between Jewish and Eastern Healing
  • Spiritual Forgiveness Workshop
  • Spiritual Perspective on Anger and Anger Management
  • The Powerful Healing of Verbal and Non-verbal Prayer 

Kabbalah and Spiritual Self-Healing Course 2
  • Melody and Music in the Torah and their Therapeutic Effect
  • Colors and Healing Crystals in the Torah
  • Angels and Spiritual Protections
  • Dream Interpretation in the Torah
  • The Kohanim Blessing and its Spiritual Healing Power
  • Torah and Astrology

Kabbalah and Spiritual Self-Healing Course 3
  • The Secret of the Ten Fingers in Spiritual Healing
  • The Healing Light of Candles in the Torah
  • The Torah of Eating – Elevating the Sparks
  • The Torah of Eating Part 2
  • Medicinal Plants in the Torah and how to use them
  • Tapping into the Spiritual Energies of the Hebrew Month and Holiday

EmunaHealing Workshop and Course Testimonials
“Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed yesterday's class and how much I am looking forward to the series. It has already infused me with a little bit more light and I look forward to more inspiration and healing, B”H!” (Shira)

“I went through a personal illness and was able to apply the EmunaHealing tecniques to get in touch with the underlying emotional and spiritual causes of the illness, and to heal myself.” (Devorah)

Yasher Koach! Your teachings continue to reverberate and grow within us. Some of us have already practiced EmunaHealing a bit and have witnessed its enormous power to heal, even at our beginning levels.

We also really loved the Wed. night teaching on the three primal fears. It was profound and tied together understandings in new ways that made tremendous sense and I believe it is of great importance both on personal as well as societal/civilization levels. I wish we had recorded it so I could listen to it again. We also really liked the 3 metal meditation with the Magen David shields. It’s a powerful meditation.

“The Emunah Healing Course has really enriched my life, I feel much more in touch with my neshama and closer to Hashem” (Yehudit)

“I’ve been an energy healer for many years, and the EmunaHealing has given me new tecniques and inspiration to apply to my healing work” (Meira)

“I really enjoyed your class; it helps me to understand how Hashem manifests himself through me. It allowed me to focus on the ideas and thoughts that I need to focus on such as Hashem's love and rachamim and his presence in this world.” (Sandra)

“I wanted to let you know, before Shabbat, that going over and over the Emuna Healing class replay from last week is bringing me so much joy. I have been studying Kabbalah with several teachers for several years, and your first class brought together many, many things I've absorbed. Things are coming into perspective and making a lot more sense as I listen to your teaching. It is so exciting!” (Flora)

“Thanks so very much for all the work you are putting into this class for us!” (Mia)

“BH’ Thank you so much for your online classes. Wow your insights of the spiritual wisdom of our physical bodies are amazing. Bless the favor you walk in and I look forward to listening in on future classes. If I may just have a bit of your time to understand what the scanning your Sefirot exercise revealed for me. I appreciate your discernment.” (Angela)

“Dear Teacher!
It was wonderful! Thank you for all the energy and time spent in preparation I know an endeavor of this kind takes to do. I "felt the link"--- an umbilical cord of sorts from my phone line to yours! Baruch HaShem! happy to continue with the teleconference the way it is and with a grateful heart!!! I really like having the recording to listen to with Drop Box. Much love and appreciation,” (Barbara)

“I want to thank you for the wonderful lessons. I wanted to give you a praise report which I sincerely believe manifested as a result of this week’s meditations you taught us…” (Bracha)

“I had the opportunity to use the prayer in the middle of the night with one of my kids who didn't feel good and was having a lot of anxiety over it. I tried natural measures --massage, talk, aromatherapy, bach remedies, tea -- to sedate and calm her nervous system, to no avail. Then I remembered the prayer you taught us. Next time I will bezras Hashem say this prayer certainly calmed ME down...anyway eventually we breathed together and both fell asleep.... (Chana)

“Thank you so much for the class, it was wonderful and very healing. I prefer the phone conference- call because I can relax and take notes and focus on listening to you, rather than having to look at the computer screen at everyone.” (Sharon)

“It was, as always, a unique and uplifting experience to hear your Torah... The many varied sources you utilize make for a rich, well-rounded, and thorough learning experience. When I first heard about the Emunahealing work you do, I must admit that a part of me was wary and skeptical, but I see that there is nothing phony or self-serving about it. Rather, your Emunahealing, and the general goings on at the Midrasha, are a more whole way of inculcating Torah, engaging aspects of our world and ourselves which are too often neglected.” (Rachel)

“I must tell you that I really found your course on ayin harah and protection to be fascinating. Your course was mind-opening and very meaningful, and I would highly recommend it for people who are spiritually inclined.

Thank you so much in advance! May you truly be blessed for all your amazing work.” (Hannah) 

A subgroup of class participants are arranging to meet on a monthly basis to support each other in learning and practicing EmunaHealing. Maybe we could arrange for you to Skype in if the timing works.

We look forward to your next visit (and hope that you will pursue a webinair). I would surely sign up if you decide to offer it! (Shoshanna)

Click here for more information
Click here to sign up for an EmunaHealing Course 

Cancellation Policy

All payments for any of our Emunahealing  courses are considered a donation to support Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin’s Holistic Torah in Israel and ma’aser money may be used to pay for the courses.  As such, once you commit to a course the payment for the course is considered like any other donation to our seminary.  Even if you decide to withdraw from the course, your payment simply remains a donation.
All online courses are recorded and you will receive the recording each week for your personal review, or if you missed a class, you can catch up with the course at a convenient time.

EmunaHealing™ FAQ

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) 
on EmunaHealing™ for Women 
– Spiritual Healing from the Torah

What is Emunah?
What is EmunahHealing?
How may EmunaHealing help me to heal?
What healing issues can I expect to resolve with EmunaHealing?
Is EmunaHealing appropriate for me?
Do I need to be a religious Jew, or even Jewish?
Can EmunaHealing be applied to couples or men?
What is uniquely Jewish about EmunaHealing as a modality for spiritual energy healing?
How do I know if EmunaHealing is kosher?
Who is Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum?
What can I expect during a personal EmunaHealing session?

What is Emunah?
The Hebrew word אמונה – “Emunah” means belief, and is related to the Hebrew word אמת –“Emet” which means truth. Emunah is believing in the truth of the existence of One Divine Being-- Hashem. Emunah (faith in Hashem) is the ultimate goal of every living soul to consciously believe in Hashem’s Oneness as the Divine source for all creation. Emunah is to accept that everything that happens in the world and in our lives is part of Hashem’s intricate plan to further the process of achieving tikun (rectification) in the world. Through Emunah, we believe that Hashem unconditionally loves all human beings, and cares about our wellbeing and growth. Emunah is pertinent to our healing process, through developing trust in the power of Hashem to bestow good and to heal. Emunah can profoundly enhance our healing, becoming our life-line for the future.
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What is EmunahHealing?
EmunaHealing is a Torah-based system of spiritual healing that teaches you to access Hashem’s healing light within. Both the Hebrew words בריאה (briya) --“creation” and בריאות (briyut) --“health” share the same Hebrew root ברא (bara). This is no coincidence, as the state of our health depends on the extent to which we allow Hashem to re-create us every moment. Since Hashem, the Creator of the world, continues to re-create and breathe life into everything in existence, every single moment, the key to taking care of our own health is removing the exterior layers (klipot) that block Hashem’s life-giving energy from freely flowing within all the parts of our being, through our organs, emotions and psyche. When done with the proper conscious intention (kavanah) by the EmunaHealer together with the person being treated, EmunaHealing enables the identification and dissolving of these klipot. Through the tefilah and meditative energy work of EmunaHealing, we unblock negative energy and infuse Hashem’s light into each part of the people whom we treat. In turn, we are letting go and allowing Hashem to run our lives, while implementing our free choice to choose life, light, and closeness to our Creator.
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How may EmunaHealing help me to heal?
EmunaHealing can help you realign with your true self and empower you to actualize your full potential, by removing the blockages that limit you from moving forward and truly healing. Negative emotions weigh most people down, poisoning them with stress, sadness, and resentment. Through EmunaHealing, you can finally let go of holding onto these negative emotions that block your healing process. EmunaHealing can help you acknowledge buried resentments that zap your drive and willpower, and release past hurts. The EmunaHealer will help you to remove the thorns – your fears, grudges and anger, and to then encourage you to walk on the cleared path, through guided meditation and positive affirmations.

Studies show that “unforgiveness” leads to stress, emotional eating, weight gain and illness. Through EmunaHealing, you can learn to truly forgive yourself, as well as people in your past and present life. By recognizing that Hashem accepts you with unconditional love, EmunaHealing can help open your heart to self-love, thereby facilitating your healing process. In addition, EmunaHealing will encourage you to implement positive changes in your self-image and lifestyle, in order to truly heal.
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What healing issues can I expect to resolve with EmunaHealing?
EmunaHealing has proven successful in dealing with spiritual, emotional and physical health issues. It has helped treat migraines, various chronic illnesses, aches and pains, allergies and sensitivities. EmunaHealing is also helpful in opening blockages that prevent people from finding their soul-mate, and treats problems with shalom bayit (husband and wife relationship), as well as interpersonal relationships, such as the relationship with one’s children, parents, siblings, boss, and students. EmunaHealing treats low self-esteem, self-hatred, childhood wounds, traumas, anger and depression. It deals with blocks that prevent people from receiving the flow of parnassa (financial livelihood), and finding their professional vocation. EmunaHealing can also help prevent and treat negative energy, ayin hara (evil eye), learning disabilities, ADD, eating disorders, coping with addiction and more.
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Is EmunaHealing appropriate for me?
If you are a spiritual person who recognizes that there are spiritual and emotional roots for all ailments, EmunaHealing may be appropriate for you. It can help you uncover these underlying roots of your problems, and facilitate you in the process of removing them. If you are aware that you carry stress, fears or worries, and you are looking for healing through spiritual and emotional growth, EmunaHealing can help you work through your unhealthy emotions, and guide you towards complete spiritual and emotional health.

For serious chronic illnesses, whether physical or mental, EmunaHealing is not to be relied on as a substitute for proper medical care. Yet, it may complement and aid you in the effectiveness of medical and psychological/psychiatric treatments.

If something in your life seems stuck and you are looking for spiritual guidance, then EmunaHealing will help you move forward in your life. EmunaHealing helps access Divine energy into your life, and ultimately dissolves whatever blocks you from experiencing total healing. The spiritual element of EmunaHealing strengthens your conscious choice to heal and to be healed, which in turn, affects your entire being, both mental and physical.
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Do I need to be a religious Jew, or even Jewish?
To receive EmunaHealing treatment, all you need is a desire to heal, and to grow spiritually.

EmunaHealing, as a Jewish spiritual system of healing, is designed to heal Jews. However, if you are in the conversion process, or you are a gentile interested in Jewish spirituality, receiving an EmunaHealing treatment might be suitable for you.

To become an EmunaHealer and prior to enrollment in the EmunaHealing training courses with Rebbetzin Chana Bracha, you need to be a Jewish woman who follows the Torah path, which includes keeping the Halacha (code of the Jewish law) especially Shabbat, kashrut and family purity.
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Can EmunaHealing be applied to couples or men?
EmunaHealing with Rebbetzin Chana Bracha is for women, as well as for couples who are looking for a spiritual Torah-based approach to relationship therapy. In the future, it may be possible to refer men individually to an appropriate male EmunaHealer. However, if you are a woman looking for EmunaHealing for your husband or another male family member, it is recommended to turn to the Rebbetzin with the problems, so she may aim to guide you to help them.
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What is uniquely Jewish about EmunaHealing as a modality for spiritual energy healing?
EmunaHealing is the modality of spiritual Jewish energy healing through Torah sources, tefilah and accessing Hashem’s light. EmunaHealing is based on the Torah, Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism and Chassidut. The main tenet of EmunaHealing is derived from the Kabbalistic approach mentioned in the Zohar, that distinguishes between אור (ohr) – “light” and קליפה (klipa) – “husk.” Rather than referring to universal energy or to a higher power, EmunaHealing recognizes the Oneness of Hashem as the source of all light and healing. The Kabbalistic approach to healing is to recognize that the root of every ailment and difficulty in life is caused by separation from the light of the One and only G-d. As Jews, we acknowledge that all healing comes from Hashem. As Jewish healers, we aim to connect with Hashem as the source of Jewish healing energy, and to be a vessel for Hashem's healing light. EmunaHealing facilitates healing by removing the klipot that separate us from Hashem, through tefilah, which is essential both in Jewish practice and EmunaHealing.
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How do I know that EmunaHealing is Kosher?
Spiritual healing was the main healing practiced during Biblical times. Yet, many religious Jews who have had experience with present-day energy healing are concerned that these modalities are not based on Torah, and therefore, may not be spiritually pure. In Jewish spiritual healing, it is essential that only kosher methods be practiced, such as verbal and non-verbal tefilah to Hashem, and that the EmunaHealer is yirei shamayim (G-d-fearing). This way, we ensure that the spiritual energy which is accessed is derived directly from the purest, holy source of Hashem’s light, and not G-d forbid from the impurity of the sitra achra (other side) – the side of darkness.

EmunaHealing has been developed from a spiritual healing system originally called “The Eight Sense,” conceived by the Feldmans in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. They decided to purify alternative energy healing from its non-Jewish elements and to create a Torah/Emunah based system of energy healing, channeling Hashem’s life-giving power.

EmunaHealing is based on Torah sources and Torah based tefilot, and the practitioners adhere strictly to Halacha (code of the Jewish law). This system of spiritual healing is endorsed by Rabbi Berkowitz of Aish HaTorah. Rebbetzin Neustadt, the daughter of Rabbi Ezrial Tauber, said about EmunaHealing, “This is the healing of the Geulah!”
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Click here to read endorsements and credentials for EmunaHealing

Who is Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum?
Rebbetzin Chana Bracha is founder and director of Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin: Holistic Torah for Women on the Land. She creates and teaches curricula emphasizing women's spiritual empowerment through traditional Torah values. The Rebbetzin is author of Women at the Crossroads: A Woman’s Perspective on the Weekly Torah Portion, and Ruth: Gleaning the Fallen Sparks. She also publishes a spiritual blog that is linked to the weekly Torah and Haftorah portions.

Rebbetzin Chana Bracha has been practicing spiritual counseling for women of all ages in Israel and the United States, for more than two decades. Recognizing the Rebbetzin as a strong female Jewish role model, hundreds of women come annually to learn from Rebbetzin Chana Bracha in Israel, as well as during her annual North America tour. Before beginning her own successful practice of EmunaHealing, Rebbetzin Chana Bracha studied, trained and apprenticed intensively as a spiritual healer with her highly regarded teacher, Chana Luke. Today, Rebbetzin Chana Bracha is known world-wide as a gifted Torah scholar, as well as a leader in Jewish spiritual healing.
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What can I expect during a personal EmunaHealing session?
An EmunaHealing session lasts about one hour.
Each intensive session includes:
  • Spiritual breathing exercises
  • Defining the main problem which needs spiritual healing
  • Identifying underlying emotional and spiritual roots of the current problem
  • Tefilah, energy work to connect with Hashem’s light and remove the underlying blockages
  • Guided imagery
  • Insightful counseling
  • Positive affirmation
  • Assignments of spiritual exercises, according to need

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Click here to sign up for a personal EmunaHealing session, either in Gush Etzion or via long-distance (on-line or telephone)
Click here for more information about EmunaHealing courses


EmunaHealing for Women – Spiritual Healing from the Torah
Envision Reaching Your Full Potential
 Mend Challenging Relationships
  Unravel Negative Thought Patterns
   Nurture Your Inner Child
    Actualize Your Goals & Clear Spiritual Blocks
     Heal Childhood Wounds

Click here to learn about Upcoming EmunaHealing Workshops and Courses

Private EmunaHealing Sessions
Envision freeing yourself of any excessive exterior layers (klipot) that limit Hashem’s life-giving energy from freely flowing within all of your being, through your organs, emotions and psyche. Completely remove any negative energy from blocking the unique auras (הלות) that surround your presence. Imagine that you can finally connect with and reveal the true inner light within yourself.

This is the aim of EmunaHealing, Jewish Spiritual Healing from the Torah – to infuse light into the body, mind and soul of every woman we treat. During each EmunaHealing session, Hashem guides us to understand the root of the problems and ailments. Then, with focused prayer (tefilah) and energy work, we remove spiritual blockages that stand in the way of receiving perfect healing. Strengthened by guided imagery and insightful counseling, each woman is further empowered to overcome her fears and insecurities, and to incorporate healthy changes into her life’s routines. By going through the deep EmunaHealing process, every precious neshama (Divine soul) is truly connecting with Hashem’s light.

For more than two decades, Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum has served as a powerful role-model for women of all ages, from the four corners of the world, including women who grew up in observant Jewish homes, those in the process of returning to Torah, as well as women converting to Judaism. Through the Rebbetzin’s unique Torah from a women’s perspective, together with her wisdom and spiritual insights, she helps ignite the spark in the neshama of each woman who comes to her for Torah learning, guidance and spiritual healing. Rebbetzin Chana Bracha practices EmunaHealing as a highly impactful way to fulfill the Torah commandment (mitzvah) to “Love your fellow as yourself…” As a gifted, yet humble teacher and a devout Jewish healing practitioner, Rebbetzin Chana Bracha imparts blessing and light to women who turn to her for Torah learning, spiritual growth and healing.

Watch a short video presentation on EmunaHealing by Rebbetzin Chana Bracha:

For more information on EmunaHealing, please visit our FAQ page
Click here to read credentials and personal testimonials for EmunaHealing Private Sessions
Click here for information and testimonials on EmunaHealing Courses 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eradicating the Energy of Korach from Within

Coming to the end of the day - Bat Ayin
As the heat wave is burning in Eretz Yisrael so is the fire of jealousy burning in Korach’s heart. Fire can warm and give light. It can be useful yet it can also be dangerous and burn you and your property. I overheard my friend who is celebrating her son’s wedding outdoor during this month of Tamuz exclaim: “I hope it’s not going to be too hot.” “Well at least it won’t be too cold” I encouraged. “If it’s too cold” she retorted, “you can put on a sweater, but if it’s too hot what can you do?” What can you do when the fire of jealousy burns in your heart like in the case of Korach? 
Read on about the nature of jealousy and how to eradicate Korach’s energy from our heart.

With Blessings of the Torah and the Land,

Chana Bracha Siegelbaum

Read The Feminine Role in Establishing True Kingdom - Rebbetzin's commentary to Haftorat Korach  

Parasha Meditation, Parashat Korach
Bamidbar 16:1-18:32
This week’s parasha is about machloket – Dispute and division between people caused by power-struggle and jealousy. The root of the Hebrew word מחלוקת – machloket, is חלק – chelek , which means “portion.” Ben Zoma teaches us: “אֵיזֶהוּ עָשִׁיר הַשָּׂמֵחַ בְּחֶלְקוֹ” – Who is rich? The person who is happy with his portion.”[1] Why is this simple statement so difficult to fulfill? We all desire to be rich – not having to worry about money – to be blessed with all our needs taken care of. We all yearn to enjoy both physical, emotional and spiritual wealth, yet it is still so difficult to follow the Talmudic recipe for attaining wealth and fulfillment – to be happy with what Hashem is giving us. If we could only learn to count our own blessings rather than looking with envy at the neighbor’s greener grass, we would experience the wealth of personal fulfillment in our lives.

The Strife of Korach: Power-greed & Jealousy
Korach’s dispute was spurred by his personal jealousy and greed for power. Korach was jealous because Moshe had appointed Elitzafan son of Uziel, prince instead of him. Therefore, Korach instigated a rebellion against Moshe in order to gain the high status he felt he deserved. Korach’s grandfather Kahath had three sons, Amram, Yitzhar and Uziel. Since Moshe and Aharon, the sons of Amram, Kahath’s oldest son, already had high positions, Korach the son of Kahath’s second son Yitzhar, felt that he was “next in line.”[2] Little did Korach know that had he not rebelled, he was going to be appointed the prince of the entire tribe of Levi, rather than just the prince of the house of Kahath.[3] This teaches us the great harm of jealousy which may cause someone to lose that which originally was coming to him.

Eradicating the Energy of Korach from Within
“Jealousy, lust, and honor-seeking remove a person from of this world.”[4] How exactly does jealousy form? The cause of jealousy, as in Korach’s case, comes when one feels as though he’s not receiving the proper amount of honor. If we were to truly be happy with our portion then we would never be jealous of others. In order to make peace with our personal allotment in life, and with the people around us, we need to eradicate the energy of Korach from our psyche.

Wealth and Honor Depends on Attitude
The majority of Americans would rather earn less money, as long as they earn more than everyone else.[5] Our desire for money isn’t to have as much as possible... Rather, our desire is to simply have more than others.

I remember when we lived in USA, we felt much poorer than now. Although we lived in a townhouse of two floors, had two cars and two wardrobes of fancy clothes, we had less than the rest of the Jewish community. So we were poor! When we returned to Israel, although we lived in a caravan, we were rich, because our son had a closet full of fancy toys from America! So wealth and honor depends greatly on our attitude. When we look at what others have, without realizing that Hashem has given us exactly the amount of wealth and possessions that we need in order to fulfill our destiny, we may lose so much more.

Jealousy Causes Bone-loss
Jealousy forms when a person wants more than he has. It can cause us to lose our happiness and our health, as jealousy eats away our bones. King Salomon teaches“…Jealousy is rottenness to our bones.”[6] I was thinking perhaps that jealousy is the underlying emotional cause for the prevalent osteoporosis in our time. Perhaps even more effective than dealing with all the physical causes such as chronic dehydration, medical conditions, and diet, we may be able to prevent osteoporosis by simply practicing overcoming jealousy and becoming happy with our lot in life.

The Secretive Weakness of Jealousy
Without doubt, jealousy harms both ourselves and others, even if it goes on only in the confines of our own minds. It states about Yosef’s jealous brothers that “they could not speak with him peacefully.”[7] Rashi explains, “from what is stated to their discredit we may infer something to their credit: they did not speak one thing with their mouth having another thing quite different in their hearts.”[8] However, in general, jealousy is a secretive weakness. Outwardly we may be friendly, to avoid being perceived as petty and malicious, whereas inwardly we may be thinking spiteful jealous thoughts. Eventually any hidden jealous feelings are bound to emerge to the surface somehow, by a bitter remark or intonation.

Distorted Worldview
If we want to consciously try to better ourselves and grow into our highest potential, indulging in the negative energy of jealousy can be a significant stumbling block to inner progress. Rather than working on ourselves, jealousy will cause us to blame others and exaggerate their bad qualities. Jealousy causes us to see the people around us in a distorted way, “And oft, my jealousy shapes faults that are not.”[9]Jealousy is hard to get rid of, because we tend to indulge in it without making any effort to root it out. Let us take this opportunity to uproot it before allowing Jealousy to make our bones rot and damage precious friendship.

Make yourself comfortable and enjoy resting in yourself. Take some deep breaths and relax. Imagine a golden circle of light surrounding you. This is your person domain. Visualize whatever is precious to you inside of this protective circle. Start with the people in your life that you hold dear, then your personal virtues, then your most precious possessions. Each time you enter a person, a character-trait or a possession inside your visual circle, thank Hashem for bringing these into your life and personal domain.

Imagine a person whom you may at times feel jealous at. Draw a protective visual circle around this person, imagine the things that belong to this person inside of his or her protective circle, whether people, character-traits and/or possessions. Try to send light and blessing to this person and his or her personal domain inside the circle. Recognize that Hashem has given each of you exactly what you need. Thank Hashem for your blessings. Thank Hashem for the other person’s blessings. Try to truly recognize the goodness in what the other person has and rejoice on his or her behalf. Now imagine a larger circle of light encircling both your and the other person’s personal domain respectably. You are together in this all-encompassing protective circle. You are all interconnected in Hashem’s greater oneness. Feel happy for your own and for your friend’s accomplishment together we will reach our mutual goals with love.

Jealousy comes from a feeling of separation – the mind tends to build barriers between ourselves and others. When we go beyond the mind and use our hearts of goodwill, we recognize how we are all inter-connected, all part of one cosmic family. When we feel that someone else who has achieved something great is part of our extended family, then we can feel the same joy as if we had done the thing. “When one part of my body does something, the other part does not feel miserable, because each knows that it belongs to the same body, and that the entire body is its reality. When I work with my mind, my feet do not feel miserable, because they have established their oneness with my mind….Unless and until we have realized others as our very own, we call them different personalities, different individualities. But if we can see and feel them inside ourselves as members of our own larger family, jealousy will disappear from our life of aspiration.”[10] The Chafetz Chaim[11] already explained this principle with the following parable: “If a person walked on the way, and one leg stumbled over the other leg, and caused him to fall to the ground and become hurt, obviously the person is not going to become angry on his leg. For the leg is part of his body, and everything is one even if it is divided into different limbs. In the same manner a person and his friend is really one being, they all derive from the same root.”[12] Meditating on the interconnectedness of all Israel, will help us eradicate hatred, resentment and jealousy from our hearts.

[1] Pirkei Avot 4:1.
Rashi, Bamidbar 16:1.
[3] Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Alter (A.K.A. Chidushei Harim) on Parashat Korach.
Ibid. 21. (רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר הַקַּפָּר אוֹמֵר, הַקִּנְאָה וְהַתַּאֲוָה וְהַכָּבוֹד מוֹצִיאִין אֶת הָאָדָם מִן הָעוֹלָם (פרקי אבות ד:כא
Survey conducted by Robert Frank, a professor of Economics at Cornell University.
Mishley 14:30. (וּרְקַב עֲצָמוֹת קִנְאָה (משלי יד:ל
[7] Bereishit 37:4.
Rashi ibid.
William Shakespeare, Othello, Act 3, Scene 3.
Nirbhasa Megee August 7,
Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, Dziatłava, 1838 – Radun 1933.
Chafetz Chaim, Shemirat Halashon, part one, Sha’ar Hatevuna, chapter 6.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Developing Inner Vision

The Land is very very good - Rebbetzin in her garden

Twenty years ago during Parashat Beha’alotcha we left USA, where we had to live for four long years. In Israel, when we arrived, it was Parashat Shalach during that week. So I can extend celebrating our twenty years anniversary of returning to the land, to this week as well. I remember it was really difficult to come back with a full heart and soul. It seems like everything in the land was so rough without any protective cushioning. I remember noticing walls with peeling paint, lights without lampshades, and lots of kids with runny noses. Even the sun seemed to be burning us with its uncovered brightness. It was then we noticed the Sefat Emet about the spies and about developing inner vision, which brought my husband and I back to seeing the land with other eyes. Hashem had told Moshe to send spies to לתור –“latur” – meaning to look for the good in the land, yet they became מרגלים – “meraglim” – meaning they looked for the negative. [1] During that first Shabbat back in Eretz Yisrael my husband and I worked on turning our eyes of “meraglim” into eyes of “latur.” It was a painful process to let go of our comfort zone, and shed external layers, but in the end we succeeded to crack the nut of Eretz Yisrael, and enjoy its fruit. 

Read on to learn the main gist of the Sefat Emet that changed our outlook on the Land. Following the meditation, I share a poem I wrote during my first week back in the Land, inspired by the Sefat Emet.

With Blessings of the Torah & the Land, 

Chana Bracha Siegelbaum

Read The Ability to Completely Turn Life Around
-Rebbetzin's Commentary to Haftorat Shelach Lecha 

Parasha Meditation Shlach L’chah
Bamidbar 13:1-15:41

Developing Inner Vision
This week’s Parasha teaches us to develop inner vision. Only through inner vision is it possible to see the goodness of the Land of Israel. Living in the land of Israel entails many obstacles. Life here can be tough and rough. The salaries are low, if we are lucky enough to get a job. The beds can be hard and uncomfortable, the people can be pushy, the bureaucracy can be frustrating, not to mention the apparent mess and disorganization etc. Yet, when we discover the hidden light of the land, although it can be so strong that it almost blinds us, our emunah leads us to overcome all the exterior obstacles, and connect with the holy essence of Divinity which is connected to this land like no other. This can be compared to discovering Shabbat. At the beginning, all the things which are forbidden might blind us from appreciating the gift of Shabbat. Yet, by keeping it we gradually sensitize ourselves to receive its blessings. Likewise, by living in the land of Israel we can open ourselves to receive the hidden blessings of the land.

Actualizing the Hidden Light of the Land
Kalev and Yehoshua told the people who complained about the Land of Israel: “The Land that we passed through to spy it, this land is very very good.”[2] In truth the land of Israel is prepared for the Jewish people alone, the good light which is hidden within it is revealed to them... For the Jewish people becomes rectified through the land of Israel, and the land of Israel becomes rectified through the Jewish people... “Your people, the children of Israel are all righteous, therefore, “they shall inherit the hidden land.”[3] The meaning of the word לְעוֹלָם – “l’olam,” is that although the holiness within it is hidden and concealed. (נעלם – ne’elam), the Jewish people have the ability to actualize the hidden light within the land. Therefore, it states: “The land was desolate and void…”[4] and only afterwards: “G-d said let there be light.”[5] In the same way, before Israel entered the land, its hidden goodness was not revealed within it. Therefore, the spies said, “The land through which we have gone to search is a land which eats its inhabitants.”[6]

The Land of Israel: Root of All Blessings
The spies should have understood that the land of Israel is prepared for the Jewish people alone. That is the reason why it spat out the nations who lived there before them. “The land will not vomit you out when you defile it, as it has vomited out the other nations that were before you.”[7] Only Kalev and Yehoshua said, “The land is exceedingly good…if Hashem desires us, then He will bring us into this land…”[8] They understood that Israel has the power to reveal the hidden light within it. The Land of Israel is similar to the Shabbat. Just as it states in the holy Zohar, that Shabbat is the source of all the blessings,[9] so is the praise of Israel not recognized on the surface, yet the root of all blessings in the world depends on the land of Israel.[10]


Make yourself comfortable, take several deep breaths and relax even more. Imagine one of your favorite places in the Land of Israel. It could be the sandy beach with blue frosty waves of water, or perhaps it’s the green mountains of the Galilee. You may really be drawn to the plane empty vast desert, or the fervent fiery stones of the Kotel (Wailing Wall), or another holy place or nature spot in Eretz Yisrael that you really love. Imagine how the place looks. Take it in visually, the colors, shapes and textures you see.
Now hear the sounds of your favorite place… The birds singing, the people praying, the water gushing, the wind blowing… Touch your favorite place and feel its textures, soft, tough, try moist…. Smell the fragrance of the flowers, the richness of the soil or the freshness of the grass after the rain, or perhaps the perspiration of the people next to you. Now taste the tastes of the place, the salty or sweet waters, the fruits growing in your chosen place, even the air has taste. Take in your favorite place with all your senses! Feel comfortable and enjoy. Mentally thank Hashem for having created this place that your soul yearns for – Eretz Yisrael!

1. Inhale א – Alef – One,
2. Exhale רץ Ratz – Run,
3. Inhale ישר Yeshar – (straight)
4. Exhale א-ל – E-l (to G-d).
Repeat this breathing imagery four times

Now imagine a place in Israel that you have a difficult time with. Perhaps it is noisy, smelly, tense. Perhaps you may feel it is disorganized, rough and tough. Perhaps in place of the red carpet, you encounter thorns. Tune into this place; notice the things that disturbs you about it. Breathe Hashem’s light into the things that challenge you about the place, and try to get in touch with the redeeming quality of each of them. Perhaps the roughness you are faced with is an expression of honesty and sincere directness. When you open your inner vision you can transform the tense to become intense.

Repeat the Eretz Yisrael breathing imagery again, as you imagine a place that is difficult for you to relate to in the Land of Israel. Imagine the difficulties burst one by one, as you breathe the letters of Eretz Yisrael into them. With practice you will develop your inner vision and actualize the hidden light of the Land even within its darkest places. When you are ready you can softly tap your hands and feet and open your eyes.


Here is a poem I wrote when I first returned to the Land of Israel twenty years ago:

The land of Israel is like a nut
which must be cracked.
We need faith to believe
that the fruit exists inside the shell.
The shell which blocks our vision
calls attention to the rough
and difficult life.
Yet, our faith will lead us
to see with other eyes.
When we let our eyes penetrate
beneath the shell,
then we will be ready to crack it open.
The shell is like nature,
the fruit is beyond..
If we try to exist in this land
according to the rules of nature
the shell becomes like a wall
which pushes us out.
Only when we surrender to the will of G-d
will we be able crack the nut open,
and see the hidden light,
which fills this land.
We discover that the shell
was only part of our own limitation
a reflection of our blocked vision
now penetrated and dissolved.
We need not discard the shell
but employ it in building bridges
above struggling waters
and channel them into canals and ditches
like love flows from the heart
transforming our lives
to nurture gardens of Eden.

[1] Haketav V'hakebalah, Parashat Shalach.
Bamidbar 14:7.
(.וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר עָבַרְנוּ בָהּ לָתוּר אֹתָהּ טוֹבָה הָאָרֶץ מְאֹד מְאֹד: (במדבר יד: ז
Yesha’yahu 60:21. The word לְעוֹלָם – “l’olam” is usually translated “forever.” I.e. “They shall inherit the land forever.” However, it can also mean hidden.
Bereishit 1:2.
Ibid. 3.
Vakikra 18:28.
Bamidbar 14:7-8.
Zohar, Part 2, P. 88a
Sefat Emet, Bamidbar, Parashat Shalach, year 5661.