last couple of days were kind of boring, time to start doing Tikunim
again. I walk over to my book case and rip out a Minchat Yehuda. I open
up to Yichezkel, he describes over there how to do short cuts for the
Ari's Tikunim. I would love to do the full Tikunim, however hundreds
of fasts for every sin I committed is just not possible. When I can,
I do the full Tikun but sometimes I just use the shortcuts even though
they are less effective. I review that section again, Rabbi Fetayah
writes that you must do a mini Yom Kipor, then redeem the rest of the
remaining fasts and give the money to charity. The fast must be for
the night and remaining day, a full 24 hours. One must keep all the
rules of Yom Kipur other then he is allowed to do work on that day,
I usually place a clause permitting me to rinse, so that I may go to
work in the afternoon until ten at night. I head out to the office,
with me I take a bag. The bag contains non leather shoes, a sackcloth,
a towel, a bag of ashes and some crackers. Forty minutes before sunset
I walk out of the office, they assume I am heading to Mincha. I already
prayed Mincha earlier today at the Kotel. Instead I head to Mikvah.
I undress and walk into the Mikvah room; there are three Mikvot, two
hot and one freezing cold. I force myself to walk past the two hot ones.
I begin trembling from just standing in front of the cold Mikvah. I
put my feet in and start walking down the steps. Each step becomes more
painful, my face is winching from the cold. If there weren’t another
two people in the Mikvah I would be yelling on top of my lungs.
reach the bottom step; the water is only up to my waist. I clench my
eyes shut and dunk into the water 1..2…3….4 …5..6…….7
times, each time accepting upon me the fast. I go out, take a freezing
cold shower. I go into the dressing room and put on my clothes. I turn
to see that no one is looking and quickly slip on the sackcloth under
my undershirt. The harsh material immediately starts scratching into
my skin. I put on my non leather shoes and get ready to leave the Mikvah.
Suddenly I see my friend, Chaim on the other side of the room. You are
not supposed to tell other people about the Tikunim you do for it can
lead to Haughtiness. I am very relieved when I realize Chaim is not
wearing his glasses, I know he had not seen me. I had forgotten that
Chaim likes going to the Mikvah before he prays Mincha or maybe he himself
was doing some Tikun.
walk into an alleyway and sit down on the floor. I pull out my bag of
ashes, pour some on my head, smearing some on my forehead. Next I verbally
accept upon myself the fast stating all the conditions. The way this
Tikun works is to do it for one particular action that you did. I state
the sin am trying to rectify, as well as the time and the place. I note
that I had done it in my stupidity before I had started learning the
wisdom of Kabbalah. Finally I take out the crackers cover it with ashes
and eat the Seudat Hmafseket (Last Meal). I head back to the office;
no one notices that I changed my shoes.
get home at night, no supper. I place a big wooden board on top of my
mattress. I toss away my pillow and blanket and place a rock on the
bed. I pull out the Kriyat Shmah of the Ari and start slicing through
the Klipot. I finish the Shma and the Meditations and lay down in bed.
It looks like I will have a good nights sleep, sackcloth and wooden
boards are very comfortable. I have gotten quite used to sleeping without
a pillow, soon I fall asleep.
little while latter my alarm goes off, I push the sleep from my eyes
and jump out of bed. I sit down on the floor, light a candle and start
reading Tikun Chazot. I burn a paper in the flame and spread the ashes
on my head. When I finish Tikun Layah I do a short meditation and the
go back to sleep.
Alarm goes off again; I grab my towel and run to the Mikvah, throw myself
in the water and start meditating. I do many Kavanot and Yichudim before
I get out. I go in the shower room and take a freezing cold shower.
Shachris is very intense as I climb the ladder of prayer. I finish and
take off my Tifilin. There is no breakfast today, I pull out some sefarim
and start studying Torah.
twelve thirty I get up and walk to the bus stop. The bus to the Kotel
pulls up I get on. A young man sits down next to me, he tells me he
is getting married today, he asks me if I can be his Shomer from the
bus station to the Kotel. I was not expecting this Tikun, but when you
try they help you out. At the Kotel I stand for a long time reading
Tehelim. When I am finished I say Tikun Klali and then pray Mincha.
I then go into the large cave; I find an empty spot by the wall. I sit
down on a chair and bend my head against the wall. I then start doing
Hisbodedute, I start confessing my sin in detail, stating how I regret
it, pleading with G-D to forgive me.
then walk up to Har Tzion to the Kever of King Dovid. Three day ago
I started a Tikun where for seven day I say Tehilim 51 seven times by
the Kever each day. I finish the Tikun and head back to my apartment.
I lock the door; take off my shoes and socks. I then walk four Amot
barefoot, facing the Temple I begin reciting the Viduy brought down
in the Minchot Yehuda. I reach the part where I have to redeem the remaining
fasts. With a heavy heart I pull the money out of my wallet, it is hard
to give up, but a commitment is a commitment. Tomorrow I will secretly
give the money to a poor Torah Scholar.
call-in to the Office they say that one of the teams is working overtime
using all the desk space; it is not worth going in today.
I sit down and begin thinking how to spend the rest of my day. Suddenly
my friend Nachman comes running through the door "Lets go dip in
"We were just there last week, also I just
got back from the Old City and I am not in the mood of going ten minutes
deep into the Arab Quarter" I reply.
Nachman refuses to give in.
"Alright lets go to Liftah instead"
I answer him.
We get to the city entrance and start climbing
down the hills. It is getting dark only twenty minutes until sunset.
"Lets stay underwater as it turns night, that way the Klipot can't
find us" jokes Nachman. He then cracks another one "Lets dip
in the water one day and come out the next".
reach the bottom; there are a number of men standing around the Mayan.
It looks like they are all afraid of the cold, I then begin to realize
how cold the water must be. I rip off my cloths, drape the towel over
my shoulder and walk to the edge of the pool. I place my hand over my
eyes and say to myself Mayim Karim (cold water) is equivalent to Mais
(death) may this be in place of a Karais. I throw my towel down and
leap into the middle of the Mikvah. I feel myself falling through the
freezing water, I hit the floor and jump up. I plunge back in…
Chail Bala Vyakeneah.. .. Umbitno Yoresheneah Kel…. GDS…Pas..
Kel Elok……. Bizroah Yikabetz…. Somewhere behind me
I hear Nachman yelling as he falls into the water, I tune out and continue
do many dips before I climb out of the Mikvah. Someone lights a fire,
I step near it to warm up. Two Bresslev guys jump into the water one
quickly redresses and puts on his Rabanue Tom Tifilen and starts a Shortened
Mincha with around thirty seconds left to Shkiah. There are ten men
by now, we answer Kedusha. I am very dizzy and weak by now and barley
able to drag myself up the mountain. I get back to my apartment and
I'm ready to make a feast after a day of fasting. Instead I sit on the
floor and break my fast on burnt crackers and ashes.
was I nice day but it looks like it is over, what more can happen today.
The door rings Yosi walks in, the poor guy fell deep into the Klipas.
He used to be a regular Yeshiva guy until he got hold of the internet;
they now play him like a puppet. He has now dropped out of Yeshiva and
is steeped in Pgam Habris. I make him a coffee and sit down, I begin
teaching him a little Kabbalah. The light of Kabbalah is the only thing
strong enough to pick such a guy up. We finish, Yossi leaves.
phone rings, it is my friend Moshe from the US. He wants to send money
to a mutual friend to fulfill the obligation of Matanot Levyonim for
Purim. Our mutual friend Chaim studies Torah and Kabbalah all day long
and has no real way of supporting his family. Moshe asks me to lay out
the money until the check reaches me. Gladly I agree I was not expecting
such a Mitzvah to pop up. He names a nice amount of money. I call up
Chaim and tell him about the call, he is very happy. He informs me that
just today he ran out of money, he had no idea where he was going to
get money from. Right before I called him he had just finished praying
his head off.
am very tired by now, I say Shema and lay down in bed. The board creeks
under me, only a couple hours until Netz.