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Der Alte Weg Chassidus

Jewish Genetic Memory

By the RANBaCH (Shlit"a) © 19th of Iyyar, 5775 (May 12, 2015)

Every Jew has a genetic memory that goes right to their DNA. You may notice that some mitzvah that you perform just does not feel right. You know you are doing it the way you were told, but it is a struggle to get it right. This may not be what your heritage is, and you may need to "experiment" with other traditions to find the one that just feels right and you can perform it with ease.

Let me give you an example from my own life:

When I first started to lay tefillin every day (Ashkenazic method), it was a struggle; it didn't feel right and try as I might, I had to really pay attention to get it right. I came to the conclusion that this was not how I was to lay tefillin! I knew that there was a genetic memory within me of how this should be done according to my heritage. I experimented with the various types of wrapping until I found the one that seemed so natural that it was almost automatic once I did it the first time (Sephardic). Once I got to that point I really felt "plugged in". As I say, "My tefillin are my extension cord that plugs me into the upper realms!" Once I started wrapping this way, regardless of how I feel in the morning (bad, rundown, slow, unfocused.... etc.), I found that putting on the tallit and tefillin, and saying the prayers, I feel much better physically and more focused mentally.

I believe that each tribe had its own unique way of performing certain mitzvot based on the blessings they received from Yaakov. Since the diaspora, many of us have lost our tribal identity and that is why certain mitzvot we perform do not feel right or are a struggle - it goes against our genetic memory. So, do the research and experiment until you find the one that you know in your genetic memory that "This is the one!"

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