Retroactive Healing: It’s in Our D.N.A.
Essays 2017 / Finalists
MyLife Essay Contest 2018
Contemporary Issue: Challenges and Healing in all relationships
“Been there, done THAT!” “I wish I could go back to before that happened!” “If only I could do it all over again!” “I wish we could still be friends.” “I wish that never happened…!” This is wishful thinking, but not reality – or is it? Is it really possible for something that happened already to be retracted as if it never happened?
“As if” are the key words. The definition of “as if” is that the EFFECTS of which took place can be eradicated even if the event still occurred. Basically, the brain is rewired and the emotionally painful results and repercussions are now erased from the memory. There are no triggers when recalling the incident and the unhealthy belief patterns are removed. This would be the ideal scenario if retraction was a possible reality.
Dr. Victor Frankel(1), through Logotherapy, “tries to address the human spirit, as a further step to Psychotherapy(2) and seeks to bring to awareness the spiritual realities(3)”, in Man’s Search for Meaning.(4) This approach, although effective in erasing triggers, is limited. Through Chassidus, not only is our purpose in this world clearly defined(5) but we are given powerful tools on how to heal ourselves completely and others in this and other lifetimes!(6)
So, let’s go back to our question: Is it possible for the reality of Retroactive Healing to exist? Chassidus teaches us that yes, not only is it possible, but it is actually embedded in the D.N.A. of our world! This essay will extrapolate from various Chassidic sources, including numerous talks of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe and the Alter Rebbe’s Tanya, and will compellingly support this bold assertion. This essay will teach the D.N.A.(7) Chassidus Principles derived from the first Retroactive Healing, and provide the D.N.A.(8) Strategy, using Chassidus tools so regret and even traumatic effects, can now be totally erased and reversed.(9)
Retroactive healing in the D.N.A. of our world
The Earth trembled and then it shook, and then, it was calm and tranquil.(10) What caused these two extremes to happen and when? The world, when initially created, was actually given conditions that would allow it to remain in existence.(11) G-d said, “The purpose of your existence is for the Jews to be my nation, a light unto all other nations, through accepting our marriage contract – the Holy Torah. If they do not accept this privilege, then you, world, will not need to exist!” Now we can understand why, up until the giving of the Torah, the earth trembled! With the Jew’s historic proclamation of “We will do, we will hear,” thus accepting the Torah, the world was assured of its continuity, and now it could relax!(12)
Within this pivotal occurrence, the Rebbe helps us make a new discovery – one that can shake the core of any limitations in healing.
The Rebbe reveals to us that the earth RETROACTIVELY, L’MAFREAH, became tranquil!(13) It was as if the earth travelled back to the beginning of time and did a double take! Now, it was as if the earth had always been tranquil from the very day of creation. Since each person is a miniature world(14), a microcosm, and the world was retroactively healed, so too can we be healed!
In any building, we analyze and correct the original blueprint when there is a flaw in the resulting structure. So too, Torah is the blueprint of the whole world(15) and thus the blueprint of our personal world, as well! Therefore, all of our permanent breakthroughs and retroactive healing must come through Torah and Chassidus in particular.
D.N.A Principles in Chassidus contained within the first Retroactive Healing
Let’s examine the three D.N.A. Principles based in Chassidus, underlying this metamorphosis. The Chassidic concepts of Chidush Metzius, Cheshbon Tzedek, Teshuva Tata’a and Teshuva Ila’a, will be explained and applied below in the D.N.A. Strategy to retroactively erase any traumatic effects, allowing us to experience tranquility and inner harmony.
D.N.A. Principles in this Phenomenon
❖ DESTINY – Hashem is above time and space(16)
✓ Hashem is above time.(17)
The Alter Rebbe(18) teaches us that G-d’s name Havaya- contains in it the past, present, and future conjugation of the verb to be. Thus we see that G-d includes all time and is above time.
✓ Hashem is above space.(19)
To demonstrate this, we can take a piece of paper and draw two dots about two inches apart horizontally, depicting two time periods along a timeline. We then fold the paper in half vertically so that the two dots match up together. Now they are together as one. The two dots matched together represent the capacity to bypass the linear aspect of time, and space. This is a finite example of how Hashem can infinitely maneuver time, and space.
❖ NEVER HAPPENED – The effects are as if it didn’t happen
The Rebbe teaches us(20) that when a doctor heals, there may be some scar tissue or other effects remaining from the illness or physical trauma.(21) The Rebbe continues that when G-d heals a person, however, it is as if it never happened(22)! This is true on a physical level. The Chassidus concept of Chidush Mitziuschem(23), literally, renewal of your essence, teaches us that it also holds true on an emotional and mental level. The Rebbe teaches us that just as the moon, which we are likened to, is renewed, so too can our essence be renewed.(24) So our emotional and mental state can be totally revamped and we can feel like a new person.
We can essentially be healed!(25) Just as the world experienced it, we can! How can we activate this Retroactive Healing? The Rebbe explains that the way we heal is through a concept which he calls Cheshbon Tzedek(26), literally meaning a righteous accounting.
Here is how it works: (27)
If we’ve done something wrong or a situation occurred that we wish never happened, we can correct it in either of two ways.
1. Teshuva Tata’a – this is a lower level of return to G-d and repentance. It is characterized by heavy remorse with painful feelings for all the details.
For e.g., a businessman says, “I should not have embarrassed her like that at the meeting! Why did I not think, before I invalidated her opinion like that?!” I wish I could take it back! I was just thinking about how I was feeling, not thinking about her position at all! And now everyone sees how insensitive I can be. Even though she wounded my ego, I could have been bigger than that!”
2. Teshuva Ila’a – higher level of return to G-d. Through prayer or learning Torah, particularly Chassidus, both of which contain a high source of light, joy and pleasure, we reconnect with G-d.
Here the businessman does not address what he did. He has a set time to learn before work every day. He experiences an added level of calm, satisfaction, and joy because of it. He feels more deeply connected, returning closer to Hashem.
As we can see, both Teshuva Tata ’a and Teshuva Ila ’a are incomplete, each one lacking one component:
● Teshuva Tata’a lacks joy and pleasure while reconnecting to G-d
● Teshuva Ila’a lacks accountability for that particular action while reconnecting to G-d.
The Cheshbon Tzedek combines both Teshuva’s, and thus it brings real healing.(28) The Cheshbon Tzedek steps(29) are:
a. Focus on something that we want to change or heal
b. Add either prayer or learning Torah, while having the intention to heal the situation.
c. Anticipate the full healing with joy(30)
In our example, the businessman would address the situation with joy and tranquility. He would say, “I know better than that. This incident is a wake-up call for me to learn more about respecting fellow men and women. I can learn the portion on the chapter of human relations in Alter Rebbe’s code of Jewish law or I can delve into the Chassidic explanations of Ethics of our fathers,(31) especially, judging others meritoriously.(32) Now I can anticipate that when I’ll apologize I’ll be in a better place to understand and validate her.”
By saying we will do and we will hear, we acknowledged the purpose of the world, sealing its eternal existence! We validated our value and importance as G-d’s bride(33) who makes a fitting home for her husband (G-d’s ultimate desire.)(34) We recognize how important and loved we are and needed by G-d.(35)
Application of D.N.A. Strategy
Now that we understand the D.N.A. principles above we are ready to learn and apply the D.N.A. Strategy to help us erase effects of trauma and pain.
We can illustrate the above through a parable(36) as one last point of reference before sharing the 36 powerful D.N.A. Strategy Implementation of Retroactive Healing.
Parable: A nurse inserts an IV into a patient and administers the medicine. Halfway through the first bag, she realizes it is the wrong medicine! What does she do?
1. She Disconnects the IV tube from the patient immediately!
2. The doctor Neutralizes the medicine with an antidote
3. She Administers the new right medicine
Those who have used harmful words or actions towards us, at any time, have attached a subliminal, emotional IV, containing toxic energy. Holding resentment towards someone is like keeping the IV attached and ingesting the toxicity.
We definitely want to detach.
D.N.A. Strategy Implementation through Chassidus
STEP 1: Disengagement – We make a clear decision we are ready to disconnect from pain, trauma, chaos, or dysfunction.
We disconnect our emotional IV from those who have wronged us, focusing on the particular individual, while commencing a declaration containing five Aramaic words, written in the Alter Rebbe’s Code of Jewish Law, and the universal Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:(37)
“Sherai Lchol Mahn di Tza’aron.”
Translation: I release anyone who has caused me pain.
We say it three times.
We can even visualize the disconnection process, strengthening the experience. We have now disconnected emotionally from continuous pain through that individual.
Let’s visit the scenario with the businessman. He would think about the wounding of his ego (perhaps it wasn’t the first time, and that is why he was triggered) through this business associate and he would visualize the emotional IV being disconnected between them, while saying these words.
STEP 2: Neutralization: we take an antidote to nullify what we experienced
We entreat G-d, the ultimate doctor, to neutralize and heal the toxicity of the relationship through the following Cheshbon Tzedek:(38)
The prayer of the first paragraph in the recital of the nightly Shema(39), beginning with the words:
Ribono shel olam Master of the universe
Hareini mochel, behold I forgive (neutralize the effect)
L’chol mi anyone – having in mind the particular individual or group.
Shehich’is vhiknit Osi who angered or antagonized me
Within this paragraph, we pay special attention to the words:
ben bgilgul zeh ben bgilgul acher whether (this occurred) in this lifetime or another lifetime.
Our businessman would focus on any particulars during the exchange and realize that maybe there is a deeper soul connection that needs closure from past lifetimes, as well.
In continuation of this paragraph, we take responsibility for our actions:
Umah Shechotosi and where I have been inadequate in my actions
Mechok berachamecha harabim ERASE with your great compassion.” When G-d erases, there are no traces.
Here our businessman would focus on his particular behavior and attitude that need correction and anticipate full forgiveness(40) and closure, knowing that the ultimate Doctor will help him neutralize the toxic exchange(s).
As we see in the above scenario, we can have harm and pain that happened to us in this or any other reincarnation erase with these powerful few words. To reiterate, interactions between people are more complex and span across lifetimes and we realize there is more than meets the eye! Only G-d sees the whole picture and is above time and space so He can erase the effects of different life time experiences, without leaving a trace, through this Cheshbon Tzedek!
STEP 3: Administer good – We think, say or do positive things(41) that will strengthen us at deeper level and help restore balance
Affirmative thought, speech, and action for ourselves!(42)
We see this in this integral commandment, “Vohavto Lerayacho Komoicho”(43) – love your fellow as yourself. The Alter Rebbe teaches(44) that the way to fulfill this verse is through judging others favorably, just as we would do for ourselves.
It begins with us being non-judgmental of ourselves: valuing, and being compassionate with ourselves. We then have it within us to do this for others.
Our businessman would remind himself of his good qualities, and his intrinsic value. “I’m really a well- respected guy. My business associates enjoy hanging out with me and I generally try to be more aware of other people’s feelings. I know I will be more careful with my response in the future, and be more tolerant and respectful of other’s opposing views. I’m going to mark my calendar to learn the Chassidic teachings on the code of Ethics with my learning partner.”(45)
Affirmative speech and action for others(46)
● Believing and saying the words in Tanya of “Hakol Tov B’tachlis” – literally, everything is absolutely good!(47) Then the good is revealed!
● Saying a portion of Psalms(48) for the individual or group(49) that they can transform their pain into pleasure of fulfilling their purpose in this world.
Through using these Chassidus tools to bring inner and outer peace and tranquility we can be assured of receiving all the blessings we need.(50)
D.N.A in Summary:
Retroactive Healing: D N A
Principles supporting the phenomenon at Giving of Torah
Destiny – G-d is above time and place
Never happened – When G-d erases, there are no traces
Acknowledgement Purpose is for G-d to reside, here below with his bride
Disengage- Disconnect IV and toxicity
Neutralize with antidote through doctor
Administer right medicine
Disengage – say Sherai Lchol Mahn Di Tza’aron with intention
Neutralize – Cheshbon Tzedek- Ribono Shel olam-before Kriat Shema-
Administer Good – Love yourself first to truly love another.
To conclude, when we reach the state of “as if it never happened,” we can even anticipate that the offender will be accountable and make amends!(51)
Finally, we are assured that in the final redemption, Retroactive Healing will be our reality as it says(52) “When G-d will return us to Zion, we will have been like dreamers” (all along) – as if our exile never happened. Being that we now recognize that we have these tools in Chassidus, why wait till then? Let’s begin the process of Retroactive Healing NOW!
1 The Doctor and the Soul
2 Ibid pg. 11
3 Ibid pg. 25
4 Dr. Victor Frankel’s earlier publication
5 To make a dwelling place for G-d. Maamar Bosi l’Gani- I have come to my Garden. The Rebbe taught this when he accepted his leadership as Rebbe. In this Maamar many Chassidic concepts are discussed, and our true purpose is spelled out.
6 Sicha of Parshat Noach, 5736, Ch. 10, 3rd paragraph, the Rebbe teaches that at the time of the giving of the Torah, we became one Essence! Therefore we can do things on behalf of others Toras Menachem, vol. 12 Matos, 5714, Ch. 8, the Rebbe says that a person should do everything they can to leave their limitations because each Jew is responsible for the other and we will not want to delay another’s Spiritual growth!
7 The principles themselves are total Chassidus. They have been extrapolated from the occurrence by the author as a basis for the D.N.A. Strategy.
8 The tools themselves are true to Chassidus sources. The Strategy is formulated and ordered by the author
9 As will be sourced and demonstrated
10 Eretz Yoroh V’Shokoto, psalms, 76, 9
11 Shabbat, 88, 1, Rashi
13 Sicha of Parshat Bamidbar, 5751,ois beis, footnote 18
14 Midrash Rabbah, Kohelet Rabbah, ch.1
15 Midrash Rabbah, Bereishit, 1:2
16 Literally the Name. synonymous with G-d – will be used interchangeably through this essay
17 Tanya, Shaar Yichud Vhaemunah- chapter 4. Chapter 7, Adon Olam: haya, hoveh, Yihyeh, was is and will be constantly
19 Ibid- see at length chapter 7
20 Torat Menachem, vol. 49, Bamidbar 5727, Ch. 4
21 Torat Menachem, vol. 12 Matos, 5714, Ch. 8
23 in Sichat Parshat Toldos, 5752, chapter 2, 5th paragraph
25 Interesting to note: Dr. Frankel speaks about Existential healing. Essential healing is far deeper.
26 Sichat Parshat Noach, 5752, chapter 7, 9
27 Ibid- explanation in detail, chapter 9- uses the word lemafreah, in 3rd whole paragraph
28Ibid, chapter 9
30 And even more, if he rejoices ahead of time, it hastens the process! See: In Good Hands, SIE, 100 letters and talks of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on Trust, pg., 95, letter 58
31 Recommended : Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg memorial edition, Kehos publishers
32 Ethics of our fathers, 1:6
33 Maamar Bosi L’gani – I have come to the garden of my sister, my bride.
34 See a beautiful explanation from the Rebbe in Kuntres Becha Yevorech Yisroel, yitro, Mishpatim 5752, how to make a fitting home for G-d.
35 Ibid on how we affect G-d, so to speak
36 This is an original parable of the authors to illustrate the steps
37 Alter Rebbe’s code of law, Chapter 71:3
38 Sichat Pinchas, 5752, Ch. 13
39 Tehillat Hashem English Siddur, pg.
40 In the Sicha of Vayechi 5752, 3rd chapter, footnote 44, the Rebbe reminds us that sincere remorse is forgiven quickly.
41 See: In Good Hands, SIE, 100 letters and talks of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on Trust, pg., 53, letter 29
42 Ethics of our father: 1:14, if I am not for myself, who will be for me?
43 Part of One of the 12 versus from Ethics of our Fathers (Mishna). The Rebbe instructed us to say to heal and purify the atmosphere through verses of Mishna. See also hayom yom –Previous Rebbe’s talks- 11 Teves, 5 Shevat
44 Chapter 32 in Tanya
45 See Hayom Yom, from the previous Rebbe’s talks – 9th of Sivan- Mishna and Neshama have same letters, teaching us that reciting them strengthens our connection with G-d, as the soul is a part of G-d.
46 Code of Ethics: 1:14 continued. If I’m only for myself, what am I? a glimpse into Chassidus: We must teach others in a way that they become teachers. (Rebbe in Biurim)
47 Igeret Hakodesh, end of epistle 11,. Except it’s not apprehended by man, when one believes this truly, everything becomes good even on a revealed level, ……..by this faith the imagined evil is truly absorbed and sublimated in the concealed Supreme Good, and good becomes palpably revealed to the physical eye.
48 Likutei Diburim of Previous Rebbe, chapter 1: 2 in relation to one’s fellow, thinking is likewise potent. With a thought one can help another. Especially, since a concentrated thought is a basis for action. Whoever prays for his friend he is helped first. Our sages learn this from the fact that after Abraham prayed for Abimelech, Sara conceived.
49 Sichat Pinchas, 5752, Ch. 13, end of chapter discusses how our spiritual growth really includes everyone else’s Hayom Yom: from the Previous Rebbe’s talks.- 4th of Tamuz. One single student who devotes his soul, heart and mind to bolstering Torah, effects wonders, in a large city, in all its affairs.
50 Mishna of the tractate Uktzin- Rabbi Shimon ben Chalafta. “The Almighty does not have any other vessel to keep a blessing but peace!”
51 Source: Gutnick Chumash, Parshat Chukat, Chapter 24:7, in reference to the copper snake that was used for Yidden to do Teshuva. See Toras Menachem. Three Types of Forgiving. 3) The highest level of forgiveness is an emotion that is so strong and positive that it actually uproots the sins of the past, making it as if they never occurred at all. (cf Yoma 86A)… Further on page 169 … transgressions between man and his fellow man are not forgiven until… the person has been asked forgiveness (accountability). Only when the victim is completely forgiving- to the extent that the sin is uprooted, as If it never existed- can we be sure that the sinner has returned to be as close to G-d as he was prior to his sin.
52 Shir Hamaalot in Grace after meals