It is forbidden for a person to give up. Even if he has fallen to wherever it may be, and is lying in the deepest places, no matter what, he still should not despair of coming close Hashem. It is possible to draw near to Hashem from everywhere, for ‘the entire world is full of His glory’.
A true Tzaddik is only worthy of his name when he has this ability to revive and lift up those who have fallen very low, to encourage and strengthen them, to inspire them and to awaken them, and to reveal to them that Hashem is still with them, by them, next to them and close to them, ‘for the entire world is full of His glory’. The Tzaddik must also be able to do the opposite, to show those who are on a high level that they still don’t know anything about Hashem and serving Him.
Meshivas Nefesh 29, Based on Likutei Moharan II, 7 teaches:
The Rebbe revealed this teaching on the last Chanukah of his life. In it, he hints at his passing, and how he wanted the matter which he started to continue through his disciples who would in turn make new disciples. We also learn about a key in applying Hischazkus – a way through which Hischazkus can always be fresh and uplifting. What causes people to tire of hearing over and over, “Hashem is with you, by you and next to you” or “You have a Nekudah Tovah”, etc. is a lack of awareness of the lesson of this teaching.
The Compassionate Leader
When it comes to learning and understanding Torah, it’s understood that one must study from those who have toiled especially in that area of Torah which he wants to learn, whether it be Halachah, Gemara, Kabbalah and so on. The same thing applies in regard to the knowledge of Hashem. One must learn by Tzaddikim who have worked and put tremendous effort into achieving awareness of Hashem.
What’s needed is a compassionate leader who knows and understands the Jewish soul and where it stems from, and how pure they are at their essence; somebody who knows the fundamental nature of the Jew’s holiness, that a Jew is totally removed from sin. Sin has nothing to do with a Jew. The foremost sympathy on a Jew would be to remove him from sin, and to enlighten his mind, and to help him feel Hashem.
But even a compassionate person needs to know how to act with his compassion. He must know upon whom to have sympathy and how, in order to give everybody the message which he needs for his soul. Somebody of a smaller standing might need to be shown how “the whole world is full of His glory”, that Hashem is with him and by him. Someone on a higher level needs to be shown the greatness of Hashem, and how he hasn’t even begun to draw near to Him, and to be inspired to search, “where is the place of His glory?”
This is the foremost endeavor of the Tzaddikim. They are constantly ascending to highest sources of Divine Compassion to draw them upon every individual in Klal Yisroel, in order that everyone should be worthy to be called a “person” and not just an animal who doesn’t know of Hashem that just looks human. For although these ideas of how Hashem’s glory fills the world or that Hashem is very great and we must awaken ourselves to seek Him out are well known and found in all the books, and everyone is capable of repeating them, practically speaking, as long as a person’s sins cover up his heart, they don’t allow him to internalize these teachings in a way that inspire and ignite his heart with a longing and desire for Hashem. It comes to a point that he just tires of hearing about them.
Studying Chassidus is not enough when it comes to achieving awareness of Hashem. These ideas in and as of themselves don’t inspire people. On the contrary, they become ‘old’ very quickly. The solution is to for a person to enlighten himself with what is called a “surrounding awareness”. This means teachings and ideas which “surround” the mind which although he is unable to understand internally, he still realizes that there is something here, something awesome which is above his perception. This realization is what excites the heart and inspires longing for Hashem.
That is why it’s necessary to constantly arouse Heavenly Compassion upon people, in order to draw upon them this illumination which will blow entirely new life into them. This is constantly being done with the power of the great Tzaddikim, who are full of awesome compassion on Klal Yisroel, and want to open for them the light of knowledge of Hashem.
Speaking with Friends
The way through which we can draw upon ourselves the sympathy and compassion of the Tzaddikim, is through friends sincerely discussing between each other the teachings which are revealed by the Tzaddikim, with an honest desire to come to Yiras Shomayim.
Even though the lessons are well known, still, every day the Torah can be understood in a new light. And through becoming close to Tzaddikim and genuinely seeking to illuminate the heart with enlightenment of the mind, we merit experiencing new life in every teaching. The power of the words which a person speaks with friends about Yiras Shomayim helps a person internalize those teachings.
The main thing is to have faith in the power of the Tzaddikim who are constantly arousing Divine Kindness to help us internalize new light through their Torah. Through them, a person can always find novel counsel, which literally descends into his situation to awaken him to come to know Hashem. Each time in its own way, be it through realizing how far we are from Hashem or realizing how close He is. This is the basis of accepting the ways of Hischazkus.
The Light of Chanukah Through the Forgiveness of Yom Kippur
The days of Chanukah have a special power within them to help a person merit enlightening his mind. But in order to merit the flow of Divine Compassion through the Tzaddikim, it is necessary that a person first achieve forgiveness. This means that he should not give up, saying that he has already heard and knows about all the teaching of the Tzaddikim how Hashem is with him and by him. On the contrary, he should liven up and start seeking and searching in the depths of the Torah of the Tzaddikim, and to do Teshuvah, then request mercy and forgiveness from Hashem, and to merit being a ‘man’ – not an animal in the form of a person. As much as he arouses himself to pray for forgiveness and compassion, so too, he merits the light of Chanukah, to renew himself with the power of the Tzaddikim.