I’m Shlomo And I’m A Soul

I very much enjoy talking with my chaveirim. Hearing about how they are and what they are up to.

I love meeting new people as well. It’s cathartic to hear about someone else’s narrative and unique perspective on life.

It’s pretty natural for me to connect to people.

But, there’s someone I’ve been trying to connect with for a while now and it hasn’t been so easy.

Sometimes I think he must simply be too different for me to relate to. But, we are mamesh into all the same things.

Both of us are thirsty for good niggunim, superbly healthy smoothies, and any and all teachings from Rav Kook. We’re both reading up on progressive calisthenics, Shulchan Aruch, raw food nutrition, and deep Hasidus.

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Once a week we meet for a little. We talk and schmooze and though we’re literally into all the same things, I’m mamesh so disconnected from him. I can’t seem to connect to his depth, I have trouble seeing the beauty in him.

You see what it is, the real me is so deep, so strikingly similar to who I am but yet so much deeper. I actually find it harder to get in touch with my own depth than to get in touch with my friend’s or my not-yet-friend’s depth. 

On Shabbos we get an extra dose of our souls. We get to see what we’re really all about. As Rav Shlomo Carlebach says so beautifully  ~  “On Shabbos, G-d gave the world a soul. On Shabbos G-d created the world of souls, of depth, of tasting that which is most real”  ~  I’ve been so focused on tasting everyone else’s depth while forgetting to taste my own. And so though I get my extra soul every Shabbos and I’m stuck as the ‘same old, same old’ me.

I can’t seem to face myself, my soul, the real me with the same interest as I can all my friends new  and old. This disconnect I’ve been having with the real me is something we all go through, but with the right friends and a bissle Torah and Tefillah you can easily get back to the real you.

A couple weeks ago I was blessed to learn in the pop-up, week-long, MON Kollel @ the IYYUN Center in Gowanus with Rav DovBer Pinson and this incredibly incredible chevra. Being with people who were focused on getting real, on tapping into their soul and the soul of the worlds, Torah and Tefillah, allowed me to finally experience the redemption of Shabbos, the disconnect from technology, the ability to finally embrace who I am without leaning on all the external expressions of who I am.  I finally connected to Shabbos b’emes, for real. The Shabbos post-MON Kollel with this gnarly crew of authentic chevra was the deepest Shabbos I’ve tasted in years. I was finally able to greet my extra dose of neshama, my extra dose of me and face myself with love and compassion and infinite interest.

This tune I am sharing with you this week came down to the words of Ana Hashem Hoshea Na, Ana Hashem Hatzlicha Na. It’s one of the little big prayers, short but so infinitely poignant and deep. “Please Hashem save me now” – from getting caught up on the shell of who I am, aka. plain old body + “Please Hashem help me be successful now” – in connecting directly to my essence, to my core, to the real me. Help me connect to my soul not just once a week, or even everyday, but rather help me connect to my soul now and in every moment and experience on planet Gashmi.