Textual Revisions to Seeking the Divine Presence
DIVINE ATTRIBUTES: p. 14
The rabbis teach that man in himself is a small world or universe. The Baal Shem interprets this to mean that just as the ten attributes form the fundamental pattern of the universe, so these ten attributes form the foundation of the little universe that is a human being. When we awaken a Divine attribute in ourselves, we are drawing on the energy from its source in the world of the sephirot, which then flows down into us and out into the world.3 The Baal Shem, therefore, placed enormous importance on the daily work of developing our Divine attributes.
In the Zohar, the seven lower sephirot are each linked to a day of the week. The sixteenth century Kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria and his disciples, used to dedicate a portion of every day to contemplating the Divine attributes. The early Hasidim would also work on the sephirot every day, meditating on how they could purify and perfect the expression of each attribute in their lives.
The Hasidim followed the Baal Shem’s unique approach to work on the sephirot. They reflected on each of the seven lower sephirot or attributes in both a positive and a negative manner. This was the nature of their focus:
Chesed (mercy) – love of God and not love of material pleasures; gevurah (power) – fear (awe) of God and not of anything in this world; tifferet (beauty or glory) – to glorify God and not oneself; netzach (victory) – victory in conflict over oneself and not to be contentious with others; hod (splendor) – to add to the revelation of God’s splendor in the world through thanksgiving and praise (hodiyah); yesod (foundation) – attachment – to be attached to God and not to the objects of this world; malchut (kingship) – the power of speech – to have the thoughtful, measured speech of a king and not the rambling, coarse speech of a peasant. [i]
NEW FOOTNOTE[i] Nachum of Chernobyl, Meor Einayim, Torah portion Beshlach. See also Dov Baer of Mezeritch, Likutei Amarim, p. 18B and Tzavat Revash, p. 10A, quoted in Shimon Menachem Mendel Shub of Gavartshov, Baal Shem Tov al haTorah, Torah portion Bereshit # 36 []
TEXTUAL AND ENDNOTE REVISIONS
Humility: p. 17: paragraph 4, line 4: Dov Baer of Mezeritch replaced by Rebbe Meshullam Feivush of Zabarizh
Anger: p. 34: paragraph 6, line 3: change to: Moses lost his temper at Mai Merivah
The Strength of Our Weakness: p. 70: paragraph 3, line 1: Dov Baer of Mezeritch replaced by Asher Zvi of Ostraha. Also, paragraph 4, line 1: Rebbe Dov Baer replaced by Rebbe Asher Zvi
Plodding On: p. 84: paragraph 5, line 1: The Baal Shem replaced by the Hasidic Master, Yitzchak Yaakov of Biala.
Kavanah p. 114: paragraph 4, line 3: change to: the chirping of a bird can cut him off
Light in a Windless Place p. 126: paragraph 3, line 3: Bhagavad Gita 10:20 replaced by: Bhagavad Gita 6:19
Unitive Consciousness: p. 198: paragraph 6, line 2-3: Rebbe Dov Baer replaced by Rebbe Meshullam Feivush of Zabarizh. Also, p. 199: paragraph 2, line 1: “Reb Dov Baer says” replaced by “Reb Meshullam says”
Endnote 3: change to Yaacov Yosef of Polonya, Toldot Yaacov Yosef, Torah portion Lech Lecha and Mitzorah, as quoted in Shimon Menachem Mendel Shub of Gavartshov, Baal Shem Tova al haTorah, Torah portion Bereshit # 58,59, see hagaot 51
Endnote 4: Lekutei Amarim 3 changed to Lekutei Amarim 3, as quoted in Shimon Menachem Mendel Shub of Gavartshov, Baal Shem Tova al haTorah, Torah portion Bereshit # 37
Endnote 5: changed to Rebbe Meshullam Feivush of Zabarizh, Yosher Divrey Emet # 2
Endnote 8: changed to Tzavat Revash, Baal Shem, p.2
Endnote 15: add “in the name of the Baal Shem Tov”
Endnote 29: Lekutei Amarim 22 changed to Lekutei Amarim # 97, Edited by Rivka Shas Oppenhiemer, Magnus Press edition, Hebrew University, Jerusalem תשלו
Endnote 39: Likutei Amarim, Psalms changed to Likuteil Amarim # 159
Endnote 55: Likutim Yikarim, 10, 24 changed to Likutim Yikarim # 165, 178, Yeshivat Toldot Aharon, Menachem Ratah Press, edition, Jerusalem תשלד
Endnote 63: p. 131A (fifth tikkun) change to p. 133B, seventh tikkun
Endnote 83: Moshe Delinah changed to Moshe of Delinah
Endnote 106 and 107: Pinchas of Tchernovitz replaced by Dov Baer of Mezeritch
Endnote 117: Likutim Yikarim, p. 22 changed to Likutim Yikarim # 118
Endnote 127: p. 309, 205 changed to p. 631
Endnote 162: Likutei Amarim p. 34 changed to Likutei Amarim # 134
Endnote 170: Tchernovitz replaced by Dov Baer of Mezeritch
Endnote 178: Dov Baer of Mezeritch, Likutei Yikarim, p. 18 replaced by Rebbe Meshullam Feivush of Zabarizh, Yosher Divrey Emet # 12, partly in the name of Menachem Mendel of Premishlan
by Rabbi Yoel Glick
Seeking the Divine Presence is about how to live Judaism as a spiritual path that leads to God knowledge. Its approach encompasses the teachings of the Rabbis, Hasidic Masters and the Kabbalah, as well as wisdom taken from the teachings of other faiths and mystical traditions.