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Themes of Featured Articles

4:1 What You See is What You Get
A person can know his spiritual level via the way he views others.
It is written in the Zohar that in the realm of holiness there is a hall of innocence and virtue, and conversely, in the outer realm of evil there is a hall of guilt.

When one judges every man favorably, to find him good and virtuous, he is in a state of holiness wherein is the hall of innocence and virtue. But if he judges everyone to be bad and guilty, then he is on the outer realm of evil wherein the hall of guilt is found.
4:2 Mitzvah Rewards
The quality of our actions determines the outcome.
The reward and delight a soul receives in Gan Eden is radiated by the mitzvah itself. This is also the reason that the mitzvot are being called "candles" - when one lights candles, the house becomes filled with light, and when one performs a mitzvah its radiance is drawn down into the Garden of Eden.
4:6 Simple Honor
Proper intentions can elevate anyone above the spiritual level of even the most righteous.
Even a person knows nothing except the alef-beit who honors and stands in awe of the Torah, his prayers can ascend higher even above those who know the secrets and unite the supernal worlds with all the proper meditations, like the holy Arizal himself.
4:12 The Sum is Greater than its Parts
The three crowns that G-d gave to Israel relate to the three-part spiritual makeup of a human.
The Maharal says: "The three crowns that G-d gave to Israel - Torah, Kingship, and Priesthood, relate to the spiritual makeup of a person which includes three parts: his intellect, his nefesh, and his physicality." But the essence of a person far outweighs his or her composite parts; his "name," his essence that sits high above his distinct parts.
4:20 Old Wine in a New Vessel
Kabbalah emphasizes the need to look at the mystical root of everything in our lives.
The Ben Ish Chai intimates that we should concentrate on the inner mystical meaning of everything we encounter. By focusing on the underlying message or meaning, we are better able to interface with the ultimate Source of all, rectifying our own souls as well as the entire Creation.
4:21 A Deeper Force
One may think he wants material objects as ends in themselves, but his desire may actually be rooted in the depths of his soul.
Mankind must refine materiality and reveal its innate G-dliness. Every individual is destined to elevate certain sparks, this being necessary for his personal growth.

When one feels a desire for a material entity, he need not deem it bad and reject it entirely. He must, however, determine whether this desire stems from selfish motives, or is an expression of his soul's longing.
4:22 Delighting in G-d
Don't get too invested in This World.
Everything in the world was created for mankind, and when a person eats or drinks, occupies himself with business, and then learns Torah and prays, he elevates the material world to G‑dliness. When he discusses Torah, or prays, he also attaches himself to G‑d, and everything becomes imbued with divinity.
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