Peace First

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

Inner peace is the prerequisite to enjoying all of the goodness that there is in the world. (Rabbi Yeruchem Lavavitz). Lack of inner peace is also the main reason that masses of people feel so far from G-d. (Rabbi Nachman of Breslev).

Peace and connectedness to G-d are rooted in human nature. We return to a state of harmony with ourselves and the Creator when the obstacles to that connection are removed. The obstacles to inner peace are negative thoughts emotions and actions.

The most problematic emotion is anger. The most problematic trait is arrogance which is a prideful sense of entitlement. Anger, arrogance and their many variations, are the main impediments that block our experience of inner-peace and our ability to tangibly feel G-d’s Love and Power in our daily lives. A Yiddish saying is: “Man plans and G-d laughs”.

The root of anger is the false belief that life “should” or “must” go according to our narcissistic plans and expectations. Anger is always a type of rebellion against G-d. We make an unconscious claim that G-d should be giving us more control over situations and people than He does.

This process can be very subtle. Many people are unaware of how “quiet” anger is ruining their lives and distorting their perceptions of people and situations. The Talmud says, “Anyone who becomes angered, his wisdom departs from him…”(Talmud, Pesachim, 66b) King Solomon said, “Anger rests in the bosom of fools”. (Ecclesiastes, 7:10) Until we accept that life runs according to G-d’s Will and not according to our self-will, our unconscious minds tell us: “my way or the highway!”

The spiritual antidote for anger begins with what is called menucha (in the holy language) and develops into love. Menucha is usually translated as “rest” in English, but this doesn’t fully capture what it is. The Sabbath afternoon prayer mentions the great benefits of the day of rest. The Sabbath rest is described as: “…a rest of love and generosity, a rest of truth and faith, a rest of peace and serenity and tranquility and security, a perfect rest that finds favor therein." The prayer continues: "May Your children recognize and know that from You [G-d] is their rest and through their rest they will sanctify Your Name”.

According to Rabbi Lavavitz, in his book Daas Torah, literally “all of the good things in the world” come to a person whose mind and body are at rest. What are those things? The above prayer tells us. They are: love, generosity, truth, faith, peace, serenity, tranquility, security, some aspect of perfection, knowing that rest comes from G-d, and using the state of rest to sanctify G-d.

Rabbi Lavavitz emphasizes that from our experience of a deep sense of spiritual rest, we can reach a peak state of love and joy which comes from feeling close to G-d. But in order for us to channel G-d into our lives we first need to feel safe enough for our minds to quietly settle down and rest.

This is why the first week of the CARE Seminar, starting on Sunday, October 27, 2019, will be devoted to our fundamental need for rest and inner peace. At that time, I'll be teaching the six methods for achieving inner peace that have been most effective for myself and the thousands of others who I've had the privilege to teach.

Project CARE is a growing community of people who are committed to empowering people of all nationalities and ethnic groups to lead purpose-driven lives of Compassion, Acceptance, Responsibility, and Enlightenment (CARE). Project CARE disseminates a unique blend of teachings culled from spiritual and science-based sources. CARE offers dynamic online and onsite Seminars, a very supportive community forum, inspiring weekly videos, articles, free meditations, and other tools for healthy living.

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Have a wonderful day!

Speak again soon,

Dr. Zev Ballen

Founder, Project CARE