A little while back, Rabbi Erez Moshe Doron's book 'Warriors of Transcendence', was serialized here, on the Breslev Israel website. I couldn't really get into it electronically, so I picked up a hard-back copy, and read through it a few months ago.
It's a very powerful book.
In fact, it's so powerful that I nearly put it down after the first few chapters, because I could feel that there was so much spiritual energy in the book that I got scared to read it.
But I hate not finishing a book I've started (unless it's really, really bad) - so I continued reading, and I enjoyed it. But I wouldn't call it 'life-changing'.
A few weeks' ago, my husband picked up the book, and he read it cover-to-cover in a few short days. My husband has just finished the 'Shakuf' ('Transparent') course which is run by Rabbi Erez Moshe Doron's Breslev organization, Lev HaDvarim.
It's hard to explain Shakuf, but in a nutshell, it's been designed to introduce people to their own souls, and once they've made that connection to themselves, they are encouraged to connect themselves to G-d and to Rebbe Nachman, too.
The course was absolutely life changing for my husband. He's been doing hitbodedut, or personal prayer, for years, but Shakuf took him to a whole other level of insight, clarity and spiritual connection.
Back to the book.
When my husband finished reading 'Warriors of Transcendence', he started to discuss different parts of it with me, and showed me how a lot of the characters' experiences in that book paralleled his experiences on Shakuf.
One character, called 'Tzalaii', spends 10 days in a cave trying to tap into the inner force that's going to transform him into a real Warrior of Transcendence. My husband spent 10 weeks doing the same thing with Shakuf, so he could really relate.
So I decided to re-read the book, this time from a more 'spiritual' perspective.
It was amazing. Once the penny really dropped about what Rav Doron was trying to describe, I got insight after insight into praying, talking to our souls, connecting to G-d and being part of that global force of 'goodness' called the Warriors of Transcendence.
I've also been doing personal prayer for years. I've also had tremendous insights, and help and even open miracles. But after reading that book, I decided to try to make actual contact with my soul, or neshama, and to say hello.
It took quite a few days before I got an answer.
My neshama, it turns out, was quite angry with me. For years, it had been trying to tell me things to help me and protect me from harm, and I'd either been ignoring it, or actively shouting it down.
I had to make nice for a good week before she agreed to come and talk to me. But when she did - it was amazing.
It was amazing to realize that I had this tiny bit of Hashem, my soul, inside myself, trying to guide me along a good path, on my side, and readily accessible at all times.
Of course me being me, I didn't trust her for weeks and weeks. For weeks, I thought that maybe she was my evil inclination, pulling another nasty trick on me. But as I saw how much her advice was helping me, and how much her words were calming me down, and making me remember G-d, and His Goodness - I realized she really is the real deal.
It's probably weird to read this, and it's quite strange to write it, if I'm honest. All I can say is try it for yourself. Read the Warriors of Transcendence or sign up for Shakuf, and see for yourself how that little bit of Hashem called your soul is just waiting for the day that you come and say hello.
And if you can get past the 'weirdness' and 'strangeness' of it all - you'll never look back.
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Check out Rivka Levy's new book The Happy Workshop based on the teachings of Rabbi Shalom Arush