Emunah Based on the Teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Archive for February 24, 2012

Just Grab Onto the Rope

Translated and adapted from the lessons of Rabbi Nissan Dovid Kivak shlit”a

An “Ish Yisraeli”, a true Jewish person has to constantly look to find the deeper dimension, the innate wisdom of each thing, it’s “innate wisdom”, and attach himself to this innate wisdom. What does it mean to be a Jew? To go from one level to another, to live like a Jew. We’ve mentioned this already – that a Jew is someone who is continuously progressing, someone who is constantly battling forward. You have a person who climbs up a rickety ladder, but gets scared and comes back down again. An “Ish Yisraeli” is someone who keeps moving forward. He may not always feel that he’s progressing, but he is constantly moving forward. Someone who’s living a life of holiness – he needs this, so that there won’t be any break – that there shouldn’t be anything that holds him up or brings him down, whatever he goes through.

He has to constantly look for the innate wisdom and inner dimension of each thing, and attach himself to the innate wisdom and wisdom inherent in each thing. Then he can progress in life, and the innate wisdom of each thing will shine to him and show him how to come close to Hashem through that thing.

Even if we would talk about this for a hundred years, we wouldn’t finish. In these few words the Rebbe encapsulates the entire Torah of the Baal Shem Tov and all the light of the Zohar. All theeitzahs that the Rebbe himself revealed are all contained in these few words. How can we absorb this and really take it in? Soon the Rebbe himself says that it’s impossible to constantly live with innate wisdom. If that’s the case, why did he tell us that we have to, and that we can’t live without it? Soon the Rebbe will say that the innate wisdom is such a great spiritual light that we aren’t able to grasp hold of it properly. The answer is that what we need to do is firmly implant in everyone’s heart and soul that “This is what I want, this is what I’m yearning for – to know this thing and understand what it means for me.”

What are we living for? Where do we need to get to? The Rebbe reveals a way for us to grasp hold of this, even when we’re very far from it. The Rebbe opens up for us a gateway of Teshuvah. He throws us a rope, that stretches to the furthest reaches of the earth. Wherever you are, just grab hold of this – an “Ish Yisraeli” always has to look for the innate wisdom in each thing, and attach himself to the innate wisdom, this Divinely innate wisdom instilled in that thing. This is the source of truth. When a Jew merits believing in Hashem in his heart – he knows about Hashem – then he lives with holiness, and he starts to look at each thing with a more penetrating eye – he looks for its deeper aspect. Not like a person in the street, a businessman, who looks at everything superficially. The man of the world is always on the lookout for another opportunity to make money. He notices that he’s hungry, and searches for something to satisfy his appetite. He sees other things that he’d like, and he goes after them. He also notices when he’s uncomfortable, when something is paining him. That’s his whole life.

A Jew who has Emunah, on the other hand – he’s a deeper person. It’s easy for him to come to shul, to learn something, to feel inner peace and closeness to Hashem. He can pray. This is the simple thing that the Rebbe is coming to teach us – to raise up the true charm of Israel. With a bit of innate wisdom we can feel the true charm, the charm of being Hashem’s people, the charm of being close to Hashem – of being something eternal.

Every Jew already knows what this is to some extent, but how to do we hold onto it at all times? To look for the deeper dimension – this is something engrained in every soul, to look a bit deeper, to see the Emunah that Hashem created the world, to try and understand what it says in our prayers. But here the story starts – that we can’t do this all day long. How long is a person in shul or in the Beis HaMedrash? Most of our time is spent dealing with other things – it seems that we are bound to fall off this ‘looking for the deeper dimension’?

This is what is written between the lines here – that we have to look for the innate wisdom instilled in every creation and in every event to come close to Hashem. We have to find the way to overcome the problem we have, that whenever we have to be involved in this world, it shouldn’t pull us down. Not just things of this world, but even the problems we face, whether at home or in the street – all the things that aren’t as we’d want them to be. We very much need to find a way to believe that everything is Divine Providence. “Even if I really am so far away right now, still – how can I look for the deeper truth of my situation?” There are also the problems of the serious attractions and physical appetites that pull us, which are the main problem, which we’ll discuss in our next lesson, G-d willing.


Spirit of Purim

By Rabbi Micha Golshevsky shlit”a

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Chapter 141, 1: 1

From the onset of Adar one should magnify his joy. (Mishenichnas Adar marbim b’simcha.) If a Jew has an alter-cation with a non-Jew he should take him to court during Adar since it is an auspicious time.
The Ohev Yisrael, zt”l, writes that the word “b’simcha” has the same numeri-cal value as the word “shana,” year.[1] The more b’simcha, joyous, one is dur-ing Adar, the more joy one will experi-ence the entire year!
The Chidushei HaRim, zt”l, states that just as we go into the illumination of Tishrei through Elul, we attain the dveikus, or intimate connection with Hashem, of Nisan through Adar. In Adar, our repentance is born of love and is stronger than the teshuva of Elul which is rooted in fear.

The Divrei Shmuel explains the deeper meaning of the preference to take a gentile to court during this month. On a deeper level, this refers to judging the non-Jew within us which is the aspect of Amalek within. One who has difficul-ty struggling with the negative inside himself (and who doesn’t in our gener-ation?) overcomes this with much greater ease during Adar.
The Chidushei HaRim writes further that Adar is a conjunction of the phrase Aleph-Dar (א – דר=אדר) . Aleph refers to Hashem, sometimes known as Alufo Shel Olam, the lofty One of the uni-verse, and dar literally means dwells.[2] This means that during the month of Adar, due to the boundless joy we ex-perience, it is easier for us to become a
dwelling place for Hashem.

Chazal say, “One who wishes to pre-serve his property should plant an Adar on it,” which could mean either planting a type of tree known as an adar, which is usually understood to be a maple, or to plant the tree during the month of Adar. As it says in Tehilim (93:4,) “Adir bamarom Hashem”—“Hashem is All Powerful on High.” But what does the verse have to do with securing one’s material wealth? The Chashva L’teshuva, zt”l, explains that the needs of every Jew are allocated from heaven. The reason why people lack is because their heavenly allot-ment is being withheld. What should one do to avoid losing out, then? “Plant an adar.” Adar refers to one who is steadfast as a mighty maple in his faith that Hashem is All Powerful!

Once, two friends met and one com-plained to the other that things were very difficult financially. He was literal-ly at the end of his rope and didn’t know what to do or where to turn.
“Well,” responded his friend, “Rebbe Nachman writes that ‘one who is al-ways happy will succeed.’ So I recom-mend that you strive a to feel happy all the time.”
“But that is one of the most difficult things to do! How can I possibly work towards such a lofty goal?” complained the disgruntled man.
“Nu, what won’t people do to make a living?” his friend answered.

[1] Both equal 355. )ב= 2 ש= 033 מ= 03
) ח= 8 ה= 5 & ש= 033 נ= 53 ה= 5
]2[ To this day an apartment in Hebrew

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