What do Rebbe Nachman, the Wu Tang Clan, the Abarbanel & Led Zeppelin have in common? Not much, but they all made their way into this week’s dvar/article;)

So much of emunah (faith) & connectedness revolve around sleep & dreams, at least for me. In moments of faithlessness & doubt, I sometimes get overwhelmed with anxiety & find it hard to sleep– thoughts are racing through my head, & I find it hard not to think of things from every angle. It’s a cycle that is sometimes tough to quiet, at least enough to slip into slumber. Dreams, too, however far out, are often connected to the state each of us are in at that time. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic approach to oneirology is that they are partially drawn from experiences & stimuli in the waking world. He says that dreams are our road map to the unconscious, reflecting our deepest desires & wishes.

Peirush HaRokeach says a person’s spiritual stature can be recognized through their dreams; even when we are doing nothing, our thoughts may still be that Hashem is standing over us. The way I see it, we can create sound sleep & healthy dreams by strengthening our emunah.

We see Yakov having his famous dreams where Hashem is speaking to him & standing over him, at the top of a ladder that reaches the heavens, upon which angels are ascending & descending.

This month of Kislev, we read the famous dreams (Yakov, Yosef, Chief Butler/Baker, Pharaoh…). Sefer Yetzirah associates Kislev with sleep, as the nights start to feel longer. At night, one can be drawn to their yetzer hara & busy themselves with desires that take them further away from being connected to the Light of the Infinite. As is stated in The Zohar, “When the night is split (at midnight), then a call goes out, ‘Like birds caught in a trap, so too are men caught.'”

But on the other end, there is an opportunity in the darkness to connect on a deeper level, to wake up from one’s spiritual slumber. The Chatam Sofer teaches that the first day of the month of Kislev falls exactly forty days after Sukkot. He calls it a mini Yom Kippur, containing in it the power to help us change our negative habits.

Thanks for reading! Much love & Shabbat Shalom!🤍🕊

– Erez

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