Just Another Day


Just Another Day

The 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 the Mikvah.
I 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.
I 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.
I 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.
I 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.
A 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.
The 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.
At 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.
I 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.
I 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 the Shiloach."

"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".

We 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 the Kavanot.
I 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.
It 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.
The 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.
I am very tired by now, I say Shema and lay down in bed. The board creeks under me, only a couple hours until Netz.