The Power of Speech and Actions

There was a disagreement between Moses and Korach this week.

What was the argument about? The Zohar explains that Korach was chasing something that didn’t belong to him. When a person chases something that doesn’t belong to him even what belongs to him disappears.

What can we learn from this? Korach was challenging Moses with some questions. If a person is a holy and knowledgeable person does he still need faith and certainty in the Creator? And if a person has total faith in the Creator does he still need knowledge? For both questions, Moses answered absolutely yes.

Why? Because our spiritual knowledge, our Torah, the way we understand things has two paths. One is the certainty and belief system and the other is knowledge. We need both ways. If a person just believes, one day he may stop believing and everything will fall apart. If a person just has knowledge then as the Tikkunei Zohar says he will become dried out, he doesn’t have the warmth of faith.

What can we learn from this? Many times we get jealous. Where does the jealousy come from? We see that someone has a better life and we think the Creator forgot about us. We think they have a better life than us, a better house than us and it must be a mistake and we need to correct it. The Creator is everywhere! So when we get jealous the other person is not the problem! The punishment of jealousy is the jealousy itself! If I find myself getting jealous of another person it’s not that jealousy is wrong morally, it’s that moment I am losing faith and certainty in the Creator. A person has to make himself strong and say to himself that there is a reason for everything, that the pain that a person goes through is part of a bigger picture.

Korach in the end when the earth opened and started swallowing him up said something beautiful; he said Moses is real and the Torah that Moses is teaching is real. He was capable at the end of his life to see that all his suspicions were wrong. He realized that it wasn’t Moses’ idea to wake up one morning and decide to become a leader or to make his brother a Cohen. It was all an exact plan from the Creator.

What we want from this week is to get to a place where we get along with each other. Moses and Korach were the reincarnations of Cain and Abel and for many generations, they have come back to correct the same situation.

Love to you all,
Eliyahu

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As the sun gracefully set on the Santa Monica Mountains on the last night of Hanukkah, Eliyahu Jian, a spiritual adviser and rabbi, lit the last of the menorah’s candles, closed his eyes and recited the traditional blessings. Behind him, visible through a window, sprinklers cascaded on the Calabasas Country Club’s golf course. “We want to send out as much positive energy into Ventura County and the surrounding communities as we possibly can,” he said in a thick Israeli accent. “With this, we give those affected [by the fires and the Borderline Grill shooting], the light to turn misfortune into fortune, chaos into order and tears into laughter.” A hearty “Amen!” rang out from the nearly 30 people gathered inside the club’s restaurant. Their eyes were closed, as instructed. “Now open your eyes with a big smile on your lips,” Jian said. They did. “Now, please have something sweet to eat.” Guests sidled up to a table with trays of pastries, water bottles, free astrology-themed T-shirts, bags of goodies for kids and copies of “The Snail With No Shell,” a Jian-penned children’s book. The event, held for those affected by the November wildfires and the Borderline shooting, was part of Vital Transformation, Jian’s nonprofit that produces podcasts, teaches Torah and Kabbalah classes, and hosts services and spiritual lectures. Jian, who is also a motivational speaker who travels the world for professional engagements, delivered a PowerPoint-aided lecture on the power of positivity and how life’s challenges build strength, unity and character. “The kabbalists 2,000 years ago explained that the soul is divided into three levels: your action, your speech and your mind,” Jian said. “If you’re able to learn how to control those three things, your life around you will start changing. If you believe that you can make your life better, you’re right. Whatever you believe you can do, well, you’re absolutely right.” Jian’s wife, Debbie, filmed the talk on her phone and live-streamed it on social media for those who couldn’t attend the event. Throughout, Jian included talmudic references and encouraged audience participation, even leading a guided meditation. Afterward, he engaged with guests one-on-one and extended an open invitation for Shabbat dinner at his Pico-Robertson home that doubles as Vital Transformation’s headquarters. “Just give us notice so we have enough food,” he said. Jordan Schaul, 45, a zoologist who has traveled the world working with animals, recently settled in Marina del Rey and came at the urging of a friend to start getting involved with the local Jewish community and to show solidarity for friends affected by the wildfires. “I got so much from this,” Schaul told the Journal. “When [Jian] talked about taking time to be silly, spending time with kids, I thought that was profound because it’s so uplifting without any context needed. I always felt that Judaism was so focused on ritual, but this was the first time I realized there’s a spiritual component I’ve overlooked my whole life.” “We want to send out as much positive energy into Ventura to give [people] the light to turn misfortune into fortune, chaos into order and tears into laughter.” — Rabbi Eliyahu Jian David Levy, 19, who lives in Calabasas, came with his mother after a long shift at his retail job. During the height of the wildfires, Levy and his family were evacuated from their home twice, ultimately spending two short stints at a Hollywood hotel. “Most of Calabasas was evacuated at some point, probably all of Calabasas was affected in some way,” Levy told the Journal. “While [Jian] spoke, I was thinking about all the people I know who were affected. It’s nice to bring some spirituality into the mix and reflect on everything.” One of Jian’s Vital Transformation students, Michelle Alfi, 35, a West Hollywood resident, told the Journal she, too, has many friends and colleagues that had to evacuate. She also has connections to victims of the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks. “I wanted to be a part of something so beautiful here tonight and help prop up the community that has gone through something so devastating,” she said. “Finding the beauty in pain is the only way to create more beauty around us. One example that [Jian] spoke about is how the community has come together with so many amazing volunteers and first responders doing their part. If you can take that spirit and adopt it into your own life, well, that’s what creates change and makes the world a better place.” n

POV is, of course, short for "Point of View: We all have a POV based on our vantage point, whether, spiritually, physically, psychologically or emotionally. It all depends on where we are, figuratively, and/or actually. As Albert Einstein, among other great minds has explained, it is what we "see," or perceive. If I’m standing with my back to the light, I can’t see the source of light, but I can perceive light is present somewhere. If I turn my face towards the light, I can see, or discern its source. Yet, our physical eyes can deceive us too, like when we are sitting on a train that is not moving, and another train is traveling towards you, you will think that your train is moving, but it is an optical illusion. From here we learn that our point of view is what prompts us to respond, make decisions or actions, based on possible illusion and thus, we can sometimes make stupid, yet occasionally smart ones. We want to make sure our intelligent decisions repeat themselves and they are not random. If you look at holy people or people who have been successful in certain areas, the first change they did was to change their point of view. So, where do we start? Let’s start with room 207 in a hospital called Cedar Sinai, a woman is giving birth. Now let’s focus the camera on the POV on the husband and then the wife. And then the doctor, the nurses, and the cleaning staff. Then the man who comes to fix the elevator, the police who are taking care of the traffic flow, the parking attendant and the cafeteria waitress who is making sure the coffee is good today, and we can go on and on. I think it’s safe to say we all agree that everyone experiences different things based on their POV. The husband worries about the wife, the wife has concerns about the baby. The doctor is making sure that the delivery goes smoothly, we all see different pictures while we are in the same spot how can that be? Our human decisions are made based on our emotional experience and our sense experience. Based on the last example, you can see that not all of us experience the same thing, even if we are in the same room, because our foundation of emotions, plus the 5 senses that are feeding us information based on our need to survive, or past experiences, gives us the information we seek to know, or what we worry about. Based on that limited amount of information, I have to make decisions, and that’s very sad. What can I do to get out of my limited POV, which makes me protect my emotions? Or, what can I do to change my POV that I am being fed from my 5 senses at the moment into more information than exists in that second? In 1922, Rav Ashlag used the image of POV as a worm, living in an apple, complaining that life is stinky and dark. The worm is right, inside the apple all its life that’s all it can see. Once the worm broke out of the skin of the apple, all of a sudden, there was a very different reality. This old example shows us that there is another alternative or larger reality, but because of fear, the need to survive, emotional scars and limitation of the 5 senses, we are not capable of getting out of that stinky dark rotten apple! What would be the first thing to do if we wish to change our POV? Some famous psychologists will tell us to do a reality check. Meaning that you are asking yourself: what is indeed happening, and through that, you quiet down your subjective emotions and stick to your logical senses. That works as a solution to quiet your stormy emotions, but it doesn’t work to change your POV. So. I recommend to use this when you go through some rough and bewildering times, but it still brings us back to the same POV – our habitual way of viewing life all the time. Let’s go back to room 207 and choose one of the characters. For the story, I’m going to select the cleaning lady. She’s walking in, there’s a worried husband, an excited and nervous wife, a doctor who is talking to the nurse and all the other things happening from her points of view in the room. She’s the one supplying tissues and making sure the toilet is clean. Her point of view is now to create a decent atmosphere for a young mother. Can she see more than that? Can she feel the pain of the husband? Can she see the doctor talking to the nurse? She desires to help the woman. The first thing she needs to do to be able to change her point of view of her surroundings is to let go of her regular point of view, which is cleaning the room and immediately after that she will be able to observe in a very beautiful proactive way a different point of view and spark others point of view as well. This example can teach us and guide us that when you are going through various problems, you should look inside and say what am I serving now? What am I seeing? Am I seeing something based on my emotions, or what my 5 senses tell me that exists? The Kabbalists promise that when you change your point of view, you're not only changing what you see you are even changing the outcome of things. It’s almost like what comes first: the chicken, or the egg. Meaning what comes first. What you are drawing as a reality, or what you are declaring as a reality. The famous example is the burning bush of Moses. Moses is the first soul to meet with the Divine, a source of energy that has infinitive "Points of View" or POV. God is telling Moses not to be afraid of the fire that is burning the bush because from a lower reality point of viewing the fire is supposed to burn the bush. God is giving a gift to Moses to be able to see a different reality that exists through altering and trusting a higher POV. Just as when God converses with Moses and says: What’s the staff you are holding in your hand? Moses relinquished his POV when he threw it on the floor, and it turned into a snake. Moses ran away by the sheer power of that higher reality, but God told him to hold the snake by his tail and it became a staff once again, just to underscore how we can reverse what we see. What does this conversation between the Divine and Moses say to us? It’s basically a conversation between God and each and every one of us. It is showing us, if you want to change reality from chance to order, you have to change your point of view! The way to do it is you have to be able to look at something else that doesn’t seem to exist at that moment to help you release your subjectively perceived reality. If the cleaning lady would look through the window, while she’s cleaning the bathroom, she will find out that down in the street there’s a young girl holding a red balloon, a girl who is coming to give a gift to her mother in room 206 that just gave birth. Meaning you have to LIFT your eyes from what you are busy with in order to see a whole different reality. Begin reaching out to people who have similar types of problems, finding out what else is happening around you beside your specific problems, focus on that broader reality. Sometimes a need to solve a problem makes you dig into a problem. It doesn’t mean we have to live in denial and forget there’s not an issue, but at the same time, we need to remember there’s a lot of points of views going on around us. The lesson for all of us - the more we relate to the problem, and we prove that the problem is real, then from an emotional and 5 senses point of view, we dig a deeper grave, and eventually, what we will see is a grave reality and we are not wrong because that is the only thing that we are focused on: the grave, but if you look UP there is the Light above showing us a blue sky. What is POV? You choose!!! Do you want to see the 4 walls of a hopeless situation, and stay there forever, or do you want to resurrect yourself and see the bigger picture: a Light at the end of the tunnel. Eliyahu Jian

There was a disagreement between Moses and Korach this week. What was the argument about? The Zohar explains that Korach was chasing something that didn’t belong to him. When a person chases something that doesn’t belong to him even what belongs to him disappears. What can we learn from this? Korach was challenging Moses with some questions. If a person is a holy and knowledgeable person does he still need faith and certainty in the Creator? And if a person has total faith in the Creator does he still need knowledge? For both questions, Moses answered absolutely yes. Why? Because our spiritual knowledge, our Torah, the way we understand things has two paths. One is the certainty and belief system and the other is knowledge. We need both ways. If a person just believes, one day he may stop believing and everything will fall apart. If a person just has knowledge then as the Tikkunei Zohar says he will become dried out, he doesn’t have the warmth of faith. What can we learn from this? Many times we get jealous. Where does the jealousy come from? We see that someone has a better life and we think the Creator forgot about us. We think they have a better life than us, a better house than us and it must be a mistake and we need to correct it. The Creator is everywhere! So when we get jealous the other person is not the problem! The punishment of jealousy is the jealousy itself! If I find myself getting jealous of another person it’s not that jealousy is wrong morally, it’s that moment I am losing faith and certainty in the Creator. A person has to make himself strong and say to himself that there is a reason for everything, that the pain that a person goes through is part of a bigger picture. Korach in the end when the earth opened and started swallowing him up said something beautiful; he said Moses is real and the Torah that Moses is teaching is real. He was capable at the end of his life to see that all his suspicions were wrong. He realized that it wasn’t Moses’ idea to wake up one morning and decide to become a leader or to make his brother a Cohen. It was all an exact plan from the Creator. What we want from this week is to get to a place where we get along with each other. Moses and Korach were the reincarnations of Cain and Abel and for many generations, they have come back to correct the same situation. Love to you all, Eliyahu

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