Friday, October 26, 2007

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The Solution

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

Becoming Aware of the Spiritual Perspective

You asked about the prayer that I taught the Bar Mitzvah boy at the Kotel. In truth, it is not a prayer. It is a method.

The objective is to have the person open his or her heart and try to become aware of G-d’s Presence. One way to do this is to use their deepest emotions as the catalyst. These emotions are their feelings of love that they have for their family and friends. These feelings can be increased when they share their mitzvah moment with their loved ones. Then, the increased natural love that they have for their dear ones can be used as a springboard to move them toward spiritual awareness.

To do this you must lead them. It is not enough to command them. You cannot command someone to become spiritually aware. They must be taken by the hand and walked to the place that you are trying to bring them. You have to guide them, and utilize both their love and the strength of the particular mitzvah that you are showing them as fuel to move them higher.

I reminded the Bar Mitzvah boy (and his father) that he was standing in the holiest place in the world; that it was one of the four most important days of his entire life, [i] that he was wearing tefillin, and that this was the holiest thing he could possibly do. Then I told him to close his eyes and try to picture everyone he loves one at a time; his mother, his father, each of his family members and his friends. “Picture them with light on their faces and smiling. As each person comes to mind, say in your heart ‘G-d bless you, and you, and you.’ You can share this holy moment with them by asking G-d to bless them.”

When we do a holy deed we gain a spiritual bank account. And although the way to make a physical bank account grow is to hold onto it tightly, the way to make a spiritual bank account grow is to spend it, to share it with everyone you love.

I also told him to pray for his future; his education, that when he grows up he should get the right job so he can fulfill his greatest potential and become the best possible man he could, that he should marry the right girl, that G-d should protect our soldiers and everyone who is in danger. "Open your heart. Talk to G-d, and listen."

That's pretty much it. The rest is automatic. After hearing these instructions, they usually stand there with their eyes closed for some time, often with tears streaming down their cheeks.

Again, the objective is to teach them how to become spiritually aware by bringing their emotions into the mitzvah, and not just to teach them the mechanics of the mitzvah. Then, as they talk to G-d about their great desires, G-d becomes more real to them.

[i] The other three are the days of his Circumcision, wedding, and death.

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