17 Shvat 5782 / Wednesday, January 19, 2022 | Torah Reading: Va'era
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Dr. Emuna: Disconnect from the Past    

Dr. Emuna: Disconnect from the Past

Psychology teaches that there is cause and effect - for instance, trauma creates PTSD. The real truth of the matter might just shock you...


Most people walk around with a lot of pain and suffering from their past. Sometimes it is an abusive childhood, or a traumatic event, or a broken relationship. The pain is like a weight on their hearts. With such a lead weight on their emotions, it is no wonder that it takes its toll on their energy and physical health as well. In fact, many times a person will experience a sickness in the part of the body relating to the trauma. 



This begs the question: How do we move forward? This is especially important for the many people out there suffering from PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder. It can be difficult even to get through the day. 



Let’s start with a recent story from Rabbi Arush to help explain the answer: 



One of my students was clearly pained about the situation at home with his wife. I asked him, “What’s going on?” He answered, “My wife is a divorcee. She went through terrible suffering during her divorce. She is still traumatized!” I told him, “Call her right now.”  



I told her on the phone with her husband, “Do you know what you need? You need emuna!” She said to me, “Honorable Rabbi – I don’t understand. I do personal prayer every day. I say thank you to Hashem. I learn your books. What do you mean, that I need emuna?” I responded, “You need the emuna that everything that happened to you in the divorce was from Hashem. Your ex was just a stick in Hashem’s hands. You must work on your emuna that you needed to go through all this suffering. Why? I don’t know! You can’t always understand why. But you have to believe! Hashem decided this is what you needed. For sure it was some sort of rectification from a previous reincarnation. What I do know, is that if you will live with this emuna now, you will be healthy on the spot. Say to Hashem, “I don’t want anything in this world, I only want to believe in You. I want to truly say thank you with happiness on everything that I went through. Besides this, I don’t want anything! As long as I don’t live with the emuna that you wanted me to go through everything because everything that happened was for my ultimate best, and I can say thank you with happiness for everything that happened, then I don’t want anything. It doesn't matter what I have or what I don’t - I am living a lie!”  



That’s it. Pray like this every day, until you can really say thank you with happiness, and live with emuna. Then you’ll be emotionally healthy! Praying like this will completely disconnect you from the past. Right now you are still living in the past, because you aren’t connected to the fact that this was all from Hashem and for a purpose. 



Every moment remember – the most important thing is emunaEverything is good; Be happy! God sees what you don’t see, He knows what you don’t know. You are in the hands of God, and everything He does is good. 


Rabbi Arush is teaching us that healing from trauma, abuse, and similar experiences is not about reviewing the past. Specifically, it’s about disconnecting from the past, and living in the present! 


The key is the recognition that you are not suffering now because of a past event. You are suffering now because of your lack of emuna in real time! You didn’t believe then that it was for the best, or you would not have been traumatized. And you don’t believe now in real time that it, and its after-effects, are for the best – or you wouldn’t be suffering at all! 



Let’s explain that again. The first time I had this realization, I was totally blown away by it and it took me some time to really understand it. Here goes: 



One of the principle teachings of Rabbi Arush, and really the foundation of the entire book The Garden of Emuna, is that “there is no suffering without sin.” Modern psychology teaches that PTSD and other forms of emotional and mental imbalances are because of some event in the past – simple cause and effect. Sometimes this is clear, as in abuse, trauma, war veterans, etc. Other times the blame gets put on a parent’s disparaging comment, or birth trauma and the like. 



However, the real truth is that there is no suffering without sinThere is some reason why the original event happened. It might not have even been because of something done in this lifetime, but there IS a good reason. To not accept that truth is a sin, is denying the truth, and is a lack of emunaThe longer you continue living the lie that someone else caused you to suffer besides Hashem and that it was bad, the more of an accusation you have against you for not seeing Hashem, Who is all good. Therefore, you might just suffer! The key is to recognize that the real cause for your suffering now is not the event in the past, but your lack of emuna in the present! 



Generally, Hashem uses nature to make our suffering a direct result of the sin. This also gives us the free choice to choose the emuna to see Hashem as the cause of the suffering, or nature, or the perpetrator, or whatever else insteadHence, the traumatic event of the past creates suffering now, in the present, in the form of PTSD and whatever else. Hashem isn’t punishing you either. He wants you to suffer only because if you didn’t suffer then you would never recognize that you are doing something wrong!  



The good news is that most of us out there didn’t know anything about Rabbi Arush and emuna when the trauma happened, and you might even be learning about it now for the first time. So, when you choose to strengthen your emuna now and start saying thank you, the accusations against you go away really fast G-d willing, because it isn’t like you knew better and you were sinning willfully.  Now you have learned, now you are strengthening your emuna, and Rabbi Arush says that when you truly live that emunayou will be healed on the spot – because the underlying sin that caused the suffering is gone! 



Hence, the ability to open ourselves for Hashem to heal us in ways that by nature, are completely impossible. 



Next, we will delve into more detail about how to strengthen our emuna in practice, in order to merit the healing we need. 



Rachel Avrahami grew up in Los Angeles, CA, USA in a far off valley where she was one of only a handful of Jews in a public high school of thousands. She found Hashem in the urban jungle of university. Rachel was privileged to read one of the first copies of The Garden of Emuna in English, and the rest, as they say, is history. She made Aliyah and immediately began working at Breslev Israel. 

Rachel is now the Editor of Breslev Israel's English website. She welcomes questions and comments to her email: rachel.avrahami@breslev.co.il.





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