Say no to numbing!

Thursday, 11 August, 2022 - 7:20 pm

Earlier this week, I was working through some inner emotions that were bogging me down. It was nothing earth shattering or life altering, just some “inner stuff” that has been kept locked away for a very long time in the recesses of my heart and were starting to surface. It wasn’t easy to talk about them with Chavie, I am a guy, and we don’t like to talk about feelings, and, truthfully, I’ve never really tried before, but it really felt good to stop talking about the periphery, the externalities, and get to the bottom of something I feel, as hard as it may be to do that.

In this week’s Torah portion, Va’eschanan, we read the Shema, in which we are commanded to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might”. If we are constantly suppressing how we feel and why we feel that way, do we really think loving Hashem is even a remote possibility? We want to create healthy emotions guided by our meditations and intellectual pursuit of G-dly ideals, but can we do that when we quash any attempt at feeling? In the words of Brene Brown “We cannot selectively numb emotion. If we numb the dark, we numb the light. If we take the edge off pain and discomfort, we are, by default, taking the edge off joy, love, belonging, and the other emotions that give meaning to our lives.”

In Tanya this week we read the words of the Alter Rebbe instructing his Chassidim to behave humbly and not with haughtiness, telling them that they are “to subdue your spirit and heart before everyone according to the attribute of truth unto Jacob”. The 4th Rebbe, Reb Shmuel, said that “if the Alter Rebbe had not inserted the three Hebrew words that mean ‘according to the attribute of truth unto Jacob’, he would have had another 50,000 disciples, but the Alter Rebbe demands truth”. We need to be true to ourselves, working through the sunny days and muddy waters, and when we do the work, we are in sync with our inner self, allowing us to be better human beings and better servants of our Creator.

Feeling can hurt, but quashing is deadly! 








May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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