Monday, March 11, 2013

Once Upon A Soul Mazal Time

Once upon a time, Soul Mazal used to look like this [and truth be told, not much has changed!]:

This was the Creation of Soul Mazal in 2008, unbeknownst to even myself.

The year was May of 2008, and Moshiach fever was flaming at that time, while I was getting ready to be a father for the first time. If you can remember the financial collapse didn't get heavy until towards the Olympics of that year, in what I perceived to be the biggest sign of Moshiach ever - The Bird's Nest [stadium] - Shooing the Mother Bird opportunity of a lifetime.

My brother Yehosef was visiting us in Tzfat, and he would leave an impression upon us in many ways during his visit that May, as he worked for a Big Bank; things would never be the same it seemed.

As we all know the bank fell, Yehosef was out of work obviously, and the financial crisis was fully on come that Rosh Hashsana, but Yehosef came to Tzfat to become grounded in something spiritual he said.

He had a Yiddish name, one that he hated, and he sought to change his name into something that would be more him, and as he had his son's Bar Mitzvah coming up [ironically it was Dec. 21 2012 no less, and scheduled to be in Israel] he wanted to connect to something more authentic, more Hebrew.

I was an Avreich in the Kollel, and people often asked, "can you do my name like you do?" [people saw that I had a style of learning Derech HaGra] and I usually politely said no, and went back to my learning.

So here came Yehosef, and asked the same question, "Dave, do my name" ; so as any younger brother would do, I gave in, wanting to give a healthy dose of spirituality to my older brother, who for some reason at that time it struck me, he needed some new insight to his mazal [who knew the bank was about to tank!]

I sat down with Yehosef, and I conceived my first ever Soul Mazal experience with him. The Graphic above is the Creation of Soul Mazal, there was more to it, but that was the essential info. I felt that he needed to know about his new name, one that he would eventually be called to the Bimah with for his son's Bar Mitzvah. [it should be noted I don't endorse name changes, but I obviously I was in position to help my brother as opposed to a stranger, and he is 100% non-religious, who I feel in his case he can always use a dose of ruchnius]

The bank fell, and Yehosef took a massive hit, and what struck me was that he said he felt it was his change of mazal, new name that helped identify his true character that would help him weather a vicious storm that rocked not only his World but The World.

It was then that Soul Mazal I guess was a reality in my mind, and when my world would undergo a relatively similar tragic experience and shakeup [in my personal family], I turned to the same inclination as Yehosef: a soul search that would result in the interest of Mazal exploration.

 Soul Mazal soon became a blog, a tool to help others, and a main cog in my teaching Torah to Noahides in the summer of 2011, something that is my passion today more than ever, one inspired at inception by my brother Yehosef

We talked yesterday, the first time after a new upheaval of events, and he made it very clear, he wanted an in-depth Soul Mazal experience! [I'm half joking]  - he said, ever since his new name has meant so much, and said, "Dave, I'm sending you the piece of paper that you sent me when we did my name, can you explain it to me again and go deeper with it?" - I said, "Yehosef! What do you think I do these days!" [and who ever would have thought!]

So that is Soul Mazal then, and now; I know I have helped people over the course of its existence, and it personally has effected me maybe the most, having a vantage point to learn from it firsthand, but when it hits family, it's different, as then you can see its power and know it definitely is worth all the World to be able to help someone on that level.

I will never forget my experience with Yehosef back then, as I saw for the first time that the Vilna Gaon's method really worked! For as I did Yehosef's name, it was just so divinely accurate, by the grace of the Gra's wisdom [like pumping water from a well based on wisdom]. I'll never forget how the hints were so accurate between my name and Yehosef's new name [my name is 346 compared to Yehosef's new name of 345; David naming Yehosef, Yehosef much like King David named Joseph that same way in Psalms, etc. etc. the hints back then seemed endless, and that served as all the inspiration I would need to see the effect of what would be Soul Mazal back then - in potential.

This is a dedication to my dear brother Yehosef, who I pray finds his way back to Yiddishkeit, and as fate would have it, he is looking to draw inspiration from his name. The funny thing is, he is bypassing me and going directly to his name as a tool to connect to God. That is how it is supposed to be [as I am not involved in the process, and rightly so], but for me to watch him do this, innocently is rather inspiring - as he is doing Soul Mazal the way it should be, naturally. It seems Yehosef is Soul Mazal on some level! To him, Soul Mazal, names, etc. is a devar pushut! B''H!

May Yehosef find what he is looking for in tough times, and I hope his merit serves him well, with all of the inspiration he has aroused in others; I speak personally, for perhaps Soul Mazal would not have been a reality if not for him. I know it has helped others, but I sometimes feel it has helped me the most, learning closely about how Mazal works. But then Yehosef comes, and takes it to a whole new level, and for that he truly is was and always will be big brother Yehosef, even if he seeks counsel derech haGra, by little brother David who ventured off to Israel, only to be able to return the favor to where it all began - with Yehosef [in many ways].

It's always interesting to see who takes what away from Soul Mazal, and I guess I'm surprised to see that it truly in every way began not with me alone, but through true brotherhood. I guess Hashem would have it no other way, and I could not be more proud to be involved with it, based on its truly humble beginnings, that only became more and more revealed as time goes on. What began as a hobby or interest of learning style in yeshiva, has not only changed my life today, but molded Yehosefs relationship to God. If Soul Mazal were to be only in the merit of Yehosef's yeshuot, it would be enough!

So for anyone who ever wanted to know where Soul Mazal came from or what it is, this should help clarify; to me it remains a chiddush bigger than ever.

This post is in dedication to יהוסף בן לייב הכהן - the last time he got involved with his name Moshiach almost came [2008]; may it be in Yehosef's merit that this time its finally for real, and not just another birth pang [5773].


Anonymous said...

It is very nice learning the journey .... that we're all on... not even realizing how connected we are with everything... very inspiring Rabbi Katz... may your brother find his Way back to.... THE Way...

Leah said...

Rabbi Katz,
Beautiful words, here. I can also say to others who may be reading that Rabbi Katz looked at and pointed out to my husband and I the spiritual components of our names.
It has given me greater insight to my Jewish heritage. I have a greater apprecitation to Hashem. Every Jew is unique(as all humans are), and I have even more love of Hashem with this.
Again, thank you, Rabbi Katz. May you go from strength to strength- you and your children!

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