Emunah Based on the Teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

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The Holy Yeshivah

Meshivas Nefesh 31 – Elucidated

“Bring ruin to the speakers of falsehood. And as for me, in your abundant kindness I will enter your house” (Tehillim 5; 7-8). Our sages taught in the Medrash that “the speakers of falsehood” refers to Doeg, Achitophel and King David’s other opposers, and that with the continuing verse King David was in essence saying: “and I too have done as they did” but nevertheless “In your abundant kindness I will enter your house”. Every person must say the same regarding himself, specifically one who feels the great pain of his sins. He must enliven and strengthen himself greatly with the kindnesses that Hashem has done with him; that he merited to come close to the true Tzaddik and at least does not oppose him, that he has the merit of being included in the holy Yeshiva and holy Beis Medrash of the followers of the true Tzaddik. He should say to himself: “I too have done the same as the opposers, and nevertheless in the great mercy that You have bestowed upon me, ‘I will enter your house’” – this Beis Medrash, which is my hope for eternity.

For the truth is that in every generation there is a Beis Bedrash of students with a true teacher where they involve themselves with true Torah novelties which can bring close to Hashem all the distant souls that are very difficult to grasp and bring close to holiness. There are those who have even fallen to the depths of hell and the lowest pits because of their sins and filthy thoughts, especially sexual lust which is the main aspect of the evil inclination, as the Zohar teaches. There is an evil inclination that is truly vile, disgusting and exceedingly filthy, and whoever it comes in contact with, G-d forbid, has great difficulty escaping from it. It is very detestable and it chases after one who wishes to trap it, attacking him at every moment. This is the “evil encounter” which we pray every day to be saved from.

About this our sages said: “If this vile one encounters you, drag him to the Beis Medrash” (Kiddushin 15a), for this is the main rectification, to draw one’s thoughts into the holy Beis Medrash mentioned above. Through this itself; through reminding oneself that he is included in this group, “if [the evil inclination] is [as hard as] a stone, it will be melted”. For from this Beis Medrash emerges a holy and pure spring that can purify all the exceedingly fallen souls, through the deep and holy advice that flow from it. It can raise them from the depths and return them to Hashem.

Therefore, one who merits being included in this holy Beis Medrash, must strengthen himself tremendously. He must believe and know that every good point and every tiny holy arousal to break away from the evil thoughts and to draw himself to holiness; all that he struggles to the best of his  ability to do some good, even though he has many falls amidst this, even if it has been so thousands of times – nevertheless, not a single good point is ever lost. This is because the true Tzaddik, who is the Rosh Yeshiva, uplifts and gathers everything into the building of holiness and builds wondrous structures with them. He does this specifically by uplifting the aspect of ‘arousal from below’ from the lowliest places, for this is the main rectification of all the worlds which are dependant upon the arousal from below of man, specifically because he possesses free-will. The lower the place is, the more precious and dear is the holy arousal that arise from there; through this the true Tzaddikim build the aspect of the Mishkan and Beis Hamikdash in each generation. Eventually, through this, the last and eternal Beis Hamikdash will truly be built.

A man walks through the forest on a chilly winter night, raindrops beat upon the ground and the icy wind blows with cruelty upon his face. He is alone, amidst a seemingly endless muddy and dark swamp.  The only thing in his mind – the yearning for a warm cozy house and a bowl of hot soup to warm his bones….

According to what a person goes through in this world, it is impossible to describe just how much one needs to  strengthen himself in order to learn torah, to pray, and to stand up to all the difficult challenges. The soul screams out for a warm and sheltered house, a place to be refreshed, where it can find help, advice and salvation. Indeed, for this reason Yeshivas are established for the young, to serve as an Ark of Noach by providing protection from the flood of atheism and confusion that wash away all who stand in its path. But what should he whose time has come to leave the Yeshiva do? Who will come to his aid, to save him from all that he will endure in the future? If even in the Yeshiva itself one needs so much heavenly help to serve Hashem truly and to guard ones thoughts, what will be outside the shelter of its walls?

Does such a thing truly exist, a ‘Yeshiva’ that accompanies a person throughout his entire life, that gives him the ability to endure the ups and downs, that provides a feeling of warmth and that offers guidance for every situation.

Indeed it does, Reb Nosson teaches us above. This is the reason why drawing near to the Tzaddik is the foundation of Chassidus. On the one hand they reveal to us how to serve Hashem with truth and pure intention, to merit to love and fear of Hashem and to proceed gradually from level to level in D’veikus with The Creator. On the other hand, they provide us with shelter, warming our hearts in times of difficulty and reminding us that we belong to Hashem and can always bring Him joy. They instill us with the knowledge that through the power of the ‘Rosh Yeshiva’, every drop of good is gathered and raised into holiness.

Guidance is always available; there is not a moment without closeness to Hashem. Sometimes this closeness is achieved through exertion in Torah and tefillah, tasting the sweetness of every word, and sometimes it is through encouraging ourselves and rejoicing in our good points.

About this we should burst forth in praise and say “And I, in Your abundant kindness, will enter Your house” – I, however I may be, even if my actions seem exactly like those who oppose holiness, G-d forbid, nevertheless I have merited “In Your abundant Kindness” to be included in the building of holiness and to have a share in the rectification of the world.

 

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Holy Days of Chanukah – 1

The holy days of Chanukah are drawing nearer and it is fitting to begin preparing ourselves with the teachings of the Tzaddikim that pertain to them. In the coming weeks we will try to explain the general concept of the famous lesson: “The Days of Chanukah” (Likutey Tinyana 2) about which Reb Nosson exclaimed: “We must go with this torah” (Aleh Le’trufah 20). [This Lesson is extremely deep, we have explained only the main points, and anyone who wishes to explore it further is encouraged to study it inside.]

Part 1:

The days of Chanukah are days of thanksgiving, as is written: “they fixed these eight days of Chanukah for praise and thanksgiving”. Days of thanksgiving are an aspect of the delight of the world to come, for this is the main delight of the world to come, to thank and praise His Holy Great name, blessed be He, and to know Him, for the more we know and recognize Him, the closer we are to Him, blessed be He.

The main delight of the world to come, which we so greatly hope for, is that the mind and heart should be ignited with a tremendous illumination of knowledge of Hashem to the extent that we sing in thanks and praise to His great name until we merit through this to be truly close to Him. There is no greater pleasure than this – when the da’as (holy intellect) and dveikus ha’leiv (deep cleaving of the heart to Hashem) are ignited to understand the true meaning of ‘being close to Hashem’.

In this world there are days when the harsh judgments are sweetened, when darkness is dispelled and the wondrous ways of Hashem are revealed. Then a new illumination of the mind is born, similar to that which will be in the future, and we open our mouths in song and praise and merit to taste the awesome sweetness of closeness to Hashem. This is the light that shines forth on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

However, in contrast to this, there are days when a person experiences obstacles, confusion, suffering and emotional pain regarding both the needs of the body and those of the soul; the heart is terribly pressured and one cannot arouse his da’as to enliven himself with the knowledge that he is close to Hashem. This is the time of the main battle, to transform the sorrow and anguish into happiness and joy, to exert oneself greatly to encourage oneself specifically at a time of distress. This applies both in regards to physical distress – to find some aspect of how Hashem helped him even in the suffering that at least it should not be any worse, and both in regards to spiritual distress – to find some good points in oneself despite all the falls. Until one feels the kindness and wonders of Hashem and bursts forth in praise and thanks, thereby opening his heart to know how he is close to Hashem even from the depths of hell and amidst the difficulties.

This is the main topic of the lesson, to reveal that the holy days of Chanukah are the most auspicious time to transform the days of winter and darkness into ‘days’ of thanksgiving, to traverse the days of anguish the same way one would traverse a day in which he attained a fortune of wealth – The days of Chanukah are days of thanksgiving, as is written: “they fixed these eight days of Chanukah for praise and thanksgiving”, for in these days the sages “fixed” the root from which one can draw strength to encourage himself and seek out a way not to be drawn after the distress.

All the sacrifices will be nullified except for the Korban Todah (thanksgiving offering), for nothing will remain in the future besides gratitude and thanksgiving.

The Korban Todah is the only offering which is accompanied by a mincha-offering of chametz (leavened bread). This is because the sparking of the mind with recognition of the greatness of Hashem occurs when thanksgiving is revealed from within a situation of chametz and darkness. This is what will take place in the future and for this reason the Korban Todah will not be nullified. With the power of Chanukah we must strengthen ourselves to draw near to thanksgiving even while we are still in the darkness of exile.

…And the aspect of thanksgiving, which is the delight of the world to come, is an aspect of Halachos (the laws of the Torah), for the laws which we merit to learn, specifically one who merits to formulate novelties in them, are an aspect of the delight of the world to come, an aspect of [what the sages taught]: “anyone who studies halachos every day is guaranteed that he has a place in the world to come.”

Halacha is from the wondrous kindnesses of Hashem, who revealed to us paths and ways in every aspect of life how we can create a vessel to be close to Him from within the darkness. So too, through the study of Halacha, one can draw near to Him.

This is our main avodah (divine service), to believe in general that the fulfillment of every mitzvah makes us close to Hashem. So too in specifics, every mitzvah and halacha has a deeper meaning and a way in which specifically through this mitzvah one can come closer to Hashem, as we see in Likutey Halachos where Reb Nosson reveals the inner divine service contained in the mitzvos.

When a person involves himself in the study and clarification of the laws, whether pertaining to the parameters of what is forbidden and what is permitted, or the study of the practical ways of serving Hashem, how to conduct oneself properly and with good character traits; if this is done with a faith and contemplation of how this halacha is what Hashem desires of him, in order to draw close to Him, through this one can merit to a sparking illumination of holy intellect that he is truly close and near to Hashem – a taste of the thanksgiving that will be in the future. Especially one who merits innovating novelties in Halacha, to uncover the will of Hashem in a new situation that has not yet been clarified in halacha, through this is revealed a new da’as of how to draw near to Hashem through another thing in the world.

The kindness of Hashem is an aspect of Halachos, as the sages taught: “one who prevents his student from apprenticing him is as if he withholds from him Chesed (kindess).”

When a wise man allows a student to be an apprentice to him and to learn from him the exact ways of clarifying the law, through this he bestows kindness upon the student. On a deeper level a great piece of advice can be understood from this – that we need to be “apprentices” by Tzaddikim and to learn from them how to view the halachos as Hashem’s kindness, to fulfill them with joy and to believe that every mitzvah and halacha is what Hashem desires from me now in order to draw close to him. Through this one can merit to transform the days of suffering into days of thanksgiving and kindness.

This is what is said regarding King David: “and Hashem is with him”, upon which the sages expounded: “that the law is in accordance with him”. For regarding King David the verse states “the faithful kindnesses of David” – meaning, he involved himself in Halacha from amidst faith that every Halacha is kindness and that through it “Hashem is with him”. This is how the psalm of “hodu La’Shem Ki Tov (Praise Hashem for He is good)” (Tehillim 107) concludes: “He who is wise will fulfill these [laws] and they will contemplate the kindness of Hashem” – to study the laws together with contemplation of the kindness of Hashem that they contain, that through them it is possible to come close to Hashem from every place.

Holy Days of Chanukah – 2

Summary of Part 1:

Chanukah is the most auspicious time for transforming the days of suffering into days of joy and thanksgiving, to be close to Hashem as it will be in the world to come. This is achieved in two ways: A) through thanking Hashem and finding the aspects of relief that exist within the difficulties, and B) by learning halacha with contemplation that every law is a revelation of Hashem’s will. This enables us to be close to Him through all aspects of the world.

Part 2:

…through this comes giving birth with ease.

The main form of sweetening all the judgments and distress, as is known, is to ‘give birth’ to the holy intellect – to know and perceive Hashem. The way in which this takes place is that the recognition of Hashem’s greatness appears specifically when one emerges from distress, lack of enthusiasm and difficulty. For it is imperative that there be a lack of light in the lowly places in order that through this one can come to a new perception of Hashem when he is saved. However, the Rebbe revealed a segulah for ‘giving birth’ with ease – to say the chapter of Tehillim beginning “Mizmor L’etodah” (Tehillim 100) [unlike the prevalent custom to thank Hashem after the birth], for when a person thanks Hashem and learns Halacha even before the salvation, without falling in his spirit because of the distress, with this he causes the ‘birth’ to take place easily. Then, the knowledge that he is close to Hashem is born even before the physical salvation. This is the secret of the mystical intentions of Chanukah, to shine the light down to the ‘feet’ – to the lowest facets of the soul.

…Halacha too, is an aspect of giving birth…

The revelation of the law into the world takes place much in the same way as the process of giving birth. For the supporters of Torah scholars give away their money, which is an aspect of lack, and through this the halachos are innovated and ‘born’ [See inside the Lesson for a fuller explanation of the connection between Halacha and birth]. Since the halachos are an aspect of Hashem’s kindness, automatically the bounty is returned and their lack is filled. Just like the kindness that is revealed has the power to bestow monetary bounty in return, so too is it able to bestow a revelation of kindness in the form of closeness to Hashem from any place of deficiency.

This also provides us with a simple piece of advice, to support those learning Torah, for through this one merits to the light of kindness contained within the halachos and will thus be able to strengthen himself in every situation. On a deeper level, this relates to the Pidyon (monetary redemption) that is given to the Tzaddik, for the main miracle that is brought about through this is not only the physical salvation, but rather redemption of the holy intellect from exile, that one should be able to always be close to Hashem.

…The nature of the moon is cold, and in the future it will be filled like the light of the sun, an aspect of the filling of deficiency.

Until now we have spoken about the advice of giving thanks in order to take a person out of suffering. However, in truth, this is advice for all times when a person feels a coldness and lack in his service of Hashem. Through strengthening oneself in giving thanks and learning Halacha one can fill the lack of the moon that it should shine like the light of the sun. On a deeper level this is the secret of the unification of Hashem and his Divine Presence, the unification of the aspects of the sun and moon, which is the purpose of all the mitzvos, to become one with Hashem through performing the mitzvos. This is achieved by giving thanks and learning Halacha.

…originally, when the blood floods the heart, this is an aspect of a deficiency in truth, an aspect of “men of blood will hate one who is complete”(Mishlei 29)

When a person is in distress and the blood doesn’t flow properly, then one despises hearing words of truth, that there is surely always a point of good and things aren’t all bad. When one is ‘in the moment’ he desires only a manifest and complete salvation, he is not willing to understand that his main salvation is that he should receive the intellect to know that he is close to Hashem. This is the meaning of the verse: “men of blood will hate one who is complete” – when the blood and troubles take hold one hates the truth.

When one emerges from the distress, then the truth shines forth and brings completion to speech.

The weekdays, with all their obligations and responsibilities, jumble the mind and prevent a person from feeling close to Hashem. This ‘forgetfulness’ is mainly caused by one’s faculty of speech, for speech is that which connects a person with the light of truth, to emerge from distress through giving thanks and learning Halacha. Through this the faculty of speech is perfected in complete holiness and one’s faith can no longer be disturbed.

The faculty of speech is divided into four categories, two of a physical nature and two of a spiritual nature. [This is a very deep concept that contains much mystical depth; we have only explained that which practically emerges from it.]

One type of speech is that which that connects people – like pleasant words with the members of one’s household or with one relatives and friends. This is called ‘speech of charity’. With an abundance of speech in relation to physical needs one can forget Hashem and become ‘cooled off’ from the light of emunah. However, when one remembers the truth, even in the darkness, then these words do not distance him from Hashem and he can constantly remember that he is close to Hashem.

The second type of speech is that of confession, when one speaks words in order to rectify the past, this is known as ‘speech of repentance’, as the verse stated: “take words with you and return to Hashem” [This form of speech is the main rectification for the ‘speech of charity’, to arouse oneself to remember Hashem]. However, if one does not constantly involve himself in connecting to the truth by remembering Hashem’s infinite mercy, then when he sees how immensely far from Hashem he is, he can be drawn further away from Hashem and despair specifically because of this improper repentance. Yet with the light of truth one will remember Hashem’s mercy and believe that the words of repentance have the power to overturn everything from evil to good.

The third type of speech is that which is used for control and forceful commands and is called “the speech of the affluent”. This type of speech is used mostly for giving instructions in order to get things done as one desires. These words often contain a great deal of anger and can be the cause of much anguish which can distance a person from Hashem. Yet with the light of truth one will not be distanced by such words since he will remember that Hashem’s providence is in these words too.

The fourth type of speech is that which is used in serving Hashem through Torah and tefillah and is called “the speech of malchus (kingdom [of holiness])” because the main revelation of Hashem’s Kingship is brought about by words of holiness, as the Zohar teaches malchus is the mouth”. However, these words are only capable of bringing us close to Hashem in as much as we connect to the light of truth that Hashem hears every single word.

When the light of truth shines forth and speech is perfected, then one can be in this world without becoming bewildered and forgetting about the delights of the world to come. He will thus be truly close to Hashem, always.

 

There is no such thing as Despair

We have already explained that there is no such thing as despair at all in the world. Even when a person sees himself as being very far from Hashem, he can still revitalize himself with this itself, that he knows his distance. It’s possible that he could have been so far that he wouldn’t have even realized it. This, that he at least knows how far he has fallen, is very treasured by Hashem, even if he actually has fallen. And so, it is appropriate to rejuvenate himself with this awareness, and with it to find encouragement and strength to continue doing whatever he can still do in Avodas Hashem.

Meshivas Nefesh 40, based on Likutei Moharan II 68

There is No Such Thing as Despair

“There is no such thing as despair in the world” – sometimes it seems as if this cry which emerged from the Rebbe’s mouth was intended for heartbroken and miserable people who are fed up with their lives. But the truth is that despair takes hold of almost everybody. ‘Despair’ could mean a cooling down in Avodas Hashem, which a person has from seeing how his Torah study, prayers, and other Mitzvos don’t have any vitality to them. It might also be seeing how since he’s failed so many times to conduct himself in holiness, in his eating or in other matters, he abandons working on those things and he begins to perceive materialism as totally fine.

Even though he recognizes and admits to the importance of Avodas Hashem and the severity of sin, in practicality he’s given up on continuing to persevere. This is what is meant by despair – when it seems as if it’s impossible to connect to Hashem while unsuccessful in Avodah.

Why does a person cool off from his goals in Avodas Hashem? The reason why is because it’s difficult for a person to live with a deficiency and to admit to it. The lack obligates him in his life, and that breaks his spirit. To deal with these feelings, the Rebbe reveals the following awesome advice: One should know that just this, that he knows about his deficiencies and his distance from Hashem, with this alone he can already revitalize himself and find happiness, since at least he doesn’t allow himself to live in hiding from Hashem.

Therefore, the main toil of the Tzaddikim is to introduce new ways of thinking into a person’s mind, in order that he should know what Hashem really wants from him. Even if a person sees that it’s impossible that he should ever reach certain levels, still, “There is no such thing as despair at all in the world.” Don’t become cold, and don’t raise your hands in defeat, even if you see that you are failing and unsuccessful. There is an immense difference between somebody that already doesn’t want to enter into the ways of holiness, to someone who lives with the truth even if he sees that he is far from it.

When a person accepts the teachings of the Tzaddikim into his heart, on one hand he acquires the ability to see where he is really holding, and on the other hand, he reprimands himself properly when needed, by being very careful not to fall into unhappiness. He knows how to view his existence through other lenses.

With this he can connect to Hashem even in the midst of failure. He can be strong to start doing whatever he still can, to grab a few good deeds and to keep away from sin as much as he can, with the recognition that he is close to Hashem even if in truth he knows how far he still is.

Somebody who doesn’t actually try to climb from his fall, and allows himself to fall into despair and “coolness” in his Avodas Hashem, won’t understand the advice being offered here. What does it help him to know if he’s far from Hashem? But someone who tries to wage a battle feels what a powerful, essential message is contained within this advice. It reveals to us an incredibly deep insight as to how a person can bring himself to happiness specifically from being distant, by viewing the situation differently, and thereby being motivated to battle further.

Being sensible enough to make oneself joyous and know that he’s close to Hashem through knowing his distance and not denying it, in itself will give him the strength to break through all the curtains and enter the gates of Kedushah. He doesn’t become distant as a result of the fall; on the contrary, he starts to feel closer to Hashem with this new way of viewing his situation.

The Letter – Impossible Times & Perseverance in Avodas Hashem

A person must be very stubborn and persistent in his service of Hashem. This idea must be understood well. Every person who wants to enter into Avodas Hashem, even the lowest of the low, must undergo immeasurable amount of ups and downs and all sorts of falls, and sometimes even being thrown down intentionally, away from Avodas Hashem.

Concerning all of this it’s essential to have an inestimable amount of encouragement, as explained above. Often a person must be strong and to hold on with no more than stubbornness. An enormous amount of perseverance is needed. Remember this very well, because there will be many times that you will need to keep this in mind.

Meshivas Nefesh 31, Based on Likutei Moharan II 48

The Letter

This lesson in Likutei Moharan is referred to by Breslover Chassidim as “The Letter”, because the Rebbe conveyed it in first person, like someone writing a letter to his friend. You can see his pleasant words at length inside, which contain the foundations of Hischazkus in simple words, from where we can learn the great importance of accepting upon ourselves the teachings of Hischazkus, as he warns us, “Remember this very well, because there will be many times that you will need to keep this in mind.”

[Since this lesson contains many directives in Hischazkus, in Meshivas Nefesh it is split into several paragraphs, from paragraphs 31 until 38. In this essay we will explain paragraphs 31 and 32.]

We find two approaches throughout the teachings of Hischazkus. There are ideas which give a person the encouragement not to fall into sadness and how to always be happy. And there are others, such as this lesson, which teach us how to continue in our Avodas Hashem and to do what we have to do, even when we fall or when we see that things are not going good.

Impossible Times

Very often people are tested from above by not being allowed to achieve any sense of enlightenment or enthusiasm in Avodas Hashem. It may appear to him as if Hashem is pushing him away and it puts him in low spirits. He may think that maybe he doesn’t have a share in Avodas Hashem in general or even in a specific point of Avodas Hashem. But the reality is that having us fall into these feelings of smallness is the way that we are tested.

A person must always be telling himself, that there are times in which it’s impossible to be on an elevated state of mind. But still, he has to know that in every situation a person is always left with a small point deep inside his heart in which he knows the truth that the main thing is Hashem and we must serve Him. It’s just since he’s seeing that his heart is not drawn after Hashem or since he’s fallen and isn’t successful in getting up, that he therefore gets into the habit during low times of being lazy in Avodas Hashem and following his negative feelings.

Perseverance in Avodas Hashem

This is how the Rebbe seeks to encourage us through this letter. It is specifically in these low times that a person must strengthen himself to pursue that last small point of sense which he still has, in which he still is aware of the truth. He should go after it with tremendous stubbornness, even if at that moment he doesn’t know or understand for what and why he should be davening or learning or protecting himself from sins and trials. During these low times, a person must strengthen himself with stubbornness, just like a child who remains stubborn and unwilling to compromise about something, even after he’s already forgotten why.

The trait of stubbornness, when a person wants to forcefully accomplish exactly what he wants, is generally a negative character trait which is rooted in misplaced pride. But still, when it comes to holiness, stubbornness is a very necessary quality. A person needs to have pride when it comes to spirituality, and to be steadfast and to stand his own, even when he doesn’t have any energy, vitality or spirit.

One must be stubborn in practicing Hisbodedus daily, as the Rebbe taught us that we should make sure to have Hisbodedus even when we have nothing to say or no feelings. Stubbornness is also required concerning studying Torah every day, on which the Rebbe said that anyone who will study a set amount every day no matter what, will certainly leave all his sins, even if he is very far from Hashem. The same thing when it comes to davening, on which the Rebbe taught that we must be stubborn to daven and pray with enthusiasm, or to pray as if we really feel that passion.

This advice of stubbornness which the Rebbe is guiding us with is the greatest encouragement, because a person primarily falls because he feels bad when he sees that he doesn’t feel any passion in his Avodas Hashem. It’s therefore important to know this concept, which is that a person must go through many low days and times. It’s not because Hashem is distancing him, rather He is testing him to see how he will persevere and remain stubborn to do what he has to do no matter what, just not to give up on his holiness.

This is the advice of “Waiting” which is discussed elsewhere, that a person is steadfast not to leave the entrance to Avodas Hashem just because he sees that he’s unable to go in, rather he continues to do whatever he can, and to keep starting over again and again.

You should know that it’s necessary to go through all of these falls and lows and confusion, etc., before entering the gates of Kedushah, and all of the Tzaddikim experienced all of this.

Ibid. 32

The thing which most prevents a person from remaining persistent and steadfast is that he thinks that he is the only one who has to go through these experiences. It therefore seems to him as if he doesn’t have the ability to even start. It is for this reason that the Rebbe teaches us the important idea in the style of a letter, “You should know…”

A person must know very well that all the Tzaddikim experienced all this, and thereby strengthen himself with resoluteness to keep on starting again and again. No matter what’s happening, he continues to wait for the time that it will become easier, but in the meantime he does what he can and what he’s able. The main thing is not to give up, whatever might be, and not to see even a hint in what he’s going through of being pushed away, because he knows that all the Tzaddikim have already gone on this path.

Revealing the Honor of Hashem

Sefer Meshivas Nefesh – elucidated

A person sometimes falls from his spiritual level, and the fall and descent can be very immense. There are those who fall into disgraceful, impure situations. They fall into doubts about their faith and terrible, disgraceful, strange thoughts. The forces of Klippah warp and surround their hearts with bewilderment, as they become dizzy and all sorts of confusion overtake them.

Although in such situations it’s impossible to find Hashem, still, even then there is hope, through searching and seeking Hashem and asking, “Ayeh?, Where is the place of His glory?” As much as one sees himself distant from His glory and honor, he should use his distress to continue asking and seeking even more, “Where is the place of His glory?”

The searching, seeking and yearning for Hashem’s honor, and shouting and asking, “Where is the place of His glory?” in itself causes a tremendous ascent, up to the point of Ayeh, which is a very exalted and holy spiritual level.

This is the most important practice in Teshuvah, to constantly search and seek, “Ayeh, Where is the place of His glory?” and through this, all falls can be transformed into great climbs. This is the “going down for the purpose of climbing up” which is discussed in all the holy works.

This is a very deep concept which you should study in the original source and be sure to understand it well.

Based on Likutei Moharan II 12

This teaching, which is known as “Ayeh”, is amongst the principal directives of Hischazkus, together with “Azamra- Nekudos Tovos”, searching for the good points. Reb Nosson in Hilchos Eruvei Techumin 6, explains that these ideas are crucial for anybody who wants to be true and everlasting in his Yiddishkeit.

Revealing the Honor of Hashem

There are times when a person merits honoring Hashem. By studying Torah and performing Mitzvos, feelings for Hashem’s honor awaken with him, and his soul is spirited with love and awe of His Greatness. This is in fact the purpose of creation, as everything which Hashem created is only for His honor, meaning that people should recognize His glory in their hearts.

On the other hand, there are times when a person feels distant from Hashem’s honor. These are times when anguish overcomes him, and he falls into the illusion of feeling that he’s not accomplishing enough that day, or that ‘today is not a day.’

There are also personal needs which people need to take care of, such as eating, sleeping, running a family, as well as fiscal requirements. All of these are called ‘Klippas Nogah’, which refers to all things which are permitted activities, but are a ‘mixture’ of good and not. The holiness of these activities depends upon whether or not a person is thinking of Hashem when performing them. But there is a Klippah which surrounds and bewilders a person’s heart when occupied with these necessities which makes it difficult to think of and recognize Hashem at those times.

Sometimes, the Klippah overcomes a person to the degree that he actually causes a dishonor of Hashem, by falling into impure places of sin, G-d forbid.

The situation in which people find themselves most of the day is more or less one in which it’s hard to discover a possible way to draw close to recognizing Hashem’s honor. Darkness covers the world, and Hashem’s glory remains unrevealed. This klippah is the primary cause for the distance which people feel from Hashem.

Everything Receives its Life-Force from Hashem

The truth is, that a person must be very strong with the fundamental belief that Hashem’s honor is found everywhere in the universe, as ‘the whole world is full of His Glory’. The only thing, is that there are many levels in the revelation of His Glory.

It is imperative to know that in reality, all the klippah and forces of evil also receive their life-force from Hashem. The life-force which they get is actually from the highest levels of His glory and honor, which is called ‘The Hidden Utterance’, and from there is drawn energy for the entire world – including the powers of concealment and evil. The Ariza”l teaches that ‘sheviras keilim’ came about when the supernal light was too great, which teaches us that the life-force from Hashem gives existence even to those ‘broken’ places which are concealing Him, in the aspect of a ‘hidden utterance’.  It is impossible to truly understand how Hashem’s glory is really found in all evil places too, and we are forbidden from trying to comprehend it.

The ‘hidden utterance’ is referred to as ‘Ayeh, where is the place of His Glory’, which is the Sefirah of Kesser, from which infinite divine mercy and compassion comes forth. We don’t see or understand this, and therefore it’s called “Ayeh, Where?” because Hashem’s honor is hidden within it. On Shabbos by Mussaf when we recite the Kedushah of Kesser, we are elevated to this exalted plane, and we then ask, ‘Ayeh, Where is the place of His Glory?” because then the source of divine mercy is revealed – the great light which cleanses sin and brings a person close to Hashem even if he is now in the darkest places.

Searching Ayeh, Where is His Honor?

Thus, the Rebbe reveals to us this wonderful and crucial directive, that when a person sees that he is in a situation in which he has fallen into concealment and cannot discover Hashem’s honor, he should attach himself to this exalted place called Ayeh, which is the light of Kesser which shines every Shabbos morning. He should lift himself up from his feelings of distance and his habit of looking at and measuring his successes. He should know that Hashem’s honor is certainly to be found in these places, and the reality is that if not for Him sustaining them, they wouldn’t even have any existence.

He should cease to follow his own mind and understanding, in which he is accustomed to differentiating between ‘successful days’ and ‘days of failure’. Instead he should be constantly aware that Hashem is everywhere, and all his negative feelings are baseless. Hashem is certainly here, and He is very great. That a person doesn’t feel it is because he’s missed the mark in his ‘nogah’ activities, and he repairs himself through the discomfort which he is now experiencing and his asking “Ayeh – Why is my sin concealing His honor, I don’t want this concealment!” Through this searching he connects himself to the understanding that even in this emptiness and void, wondrous things are taking place, and he learns for the future that in every activity there is a wonderful way how to serve Hashem and come close to Him, by revealing His honor in every place where he’s been sent.

Being strong to continue to want to reveal Hashem’s glory even in those places, in itself rectifies the concealment, and draws upon a person great divine compassion, through which every fall can be transformed into a climb and ascent.

The power of Ayeh is very great, and it is the source of cleansing from sin. Everything depends and is rooted in a person not following his own understanding of the situation, and being ready to yield his own feelings.

The main thing to keep in mind is that in these places and situations it is impossible to see Hashem’s glory revealed, and the only solution is through searching and seeking Ayeh? This in itself will break the confusion he feels in his heart, and the concealment which is fooling him into thinking that Hashem’s honor can’t be found here.

This is amazing guidance through which a person can hold fast in any situation – it may be in days when he’s feeling down, or when he’s busy with nogah activities. No matter what, he can ask and seek, “Ayeh, Where is the place of His honor?” Hashem’s glory is certainly to be found here. He shouldn’t follow his own understanding and feelings which are tricking him. He should instead be aware that there are many levels of Hashem’s revelation, and the highest level is the honor which is hidden in Ayeh, and the way through which to connect with it is through searching and asking Ayeh.  Through this he ascends to exalted levels of holiness.

Meshivas Nefesh 30 – “Ayeh”

A person sometimes falls from his spiritual level, and the fall and descent can be very immense. There are those who fall into disgraceful, impure situations. They fall into doubts about their faith and terrible, disgraceful, strange thoughts. The forces of Klippah warp and surround their hearts with bewilderment, as they become dizzy and all sorts of confusion overtake them.

Although in such situations it’s impossible to find Hashem, still, even then there is hope, through searching and seeking Hashem and asking, “Ayeh?, Where is the place of His glory?” As much as one sees himself distant from His glory and honor, he should use his distress to continue asking and seeking even more, “Where is the place of His glory?”

The searching, seeking and yearning for Hashem’s honor, and shouting and asking, “Where is the place of His glory?” in itself causes a tremendous ascent, up to the point of Ayeh, which is a very exalted and holy spiritual level.

This is the most important practice in Teshuvah, to constantly search and seek, “Ayeh, Where is the place of His glory?” and through this all falls can be transformed into great climbs. This is the “going down for the purpose of climbing up” which is discussed in all the holy works.

This is a very deep concept which you should be study in the original source and be sure to understand well.

Based on Likutei Moharan II 12

This teaching, which is known as “Ayeh”, is amongst the principal directives of Hischazkus, together with “Azamra- Nekudos Tovos”, searching for the good points. Reb Noson in Hil’ Eruvei Techumin 6 explains that these ideas are crucial for anybody who wants to be true and everlasting in his Yiddishkeit.

Revealing the Honor of Hashem

There are times when a person merits honoring Hashem. By studying Torah and performing Mitzvos, feelings for Hashem’s honor awaken with him, and his soul is spirited with love and awe of His Greatness. This is in fact the purpose of creation, as everything which Hashem created is only for His honor, meaning that people should recognize His glory in their hearts.

On the other hand, there are times when a person feels distant from Hashem’s honor. These are times when anguish overcomes him, and he falls into the illusion of feeling that he’s not accomplishing enough that day, or that ‘today is not a day.’

There are also personal needs which people need to take care of, such as eating, sleeping, running a family, as well as fiscal requirements. All of these are called ‘Klippas Nogah’, which refers to all things which are permitted activities, but are a ‘mixture’ of good and not. The holiness of these activities depends upon whether or not a person is thinking of Hashem when performing them. But there is a Klippah which surrounds and bewilders a person’s heart when occupied with these necessities which makes it difficult to think of and recognize Hashem at those times.

Sometimes, the Klippah overcomes a person to the degree that he actually causes a dishonor of Hashem, by falling into impure places of sin, G-d forbid.

The situation in which a people find themselves most of the day is more or less one in which it’s hard to discover a possible way to draw close to recognizing Hashem’s honor. Darkness covers the world, and Hashem’s glory remains unrevealed. This klippah is the primary cause for the distance which people feel from Hashem.

Everything Receives its Life-Force from Hashem

The truth is, that a person must be very strong with the fundamental belief that Hashem’s honor is found everywhere in the universe, as ‘the whole world is full of His Glory’. The only thing is, is that there’s many levels in the revelation of His Glory.

It’s imperative to know that in reality, all the klippah and forces of evil also receive their life-force from Hashem. The life-force which they get is actually from the highest levels of His glory and honor, which is called ‘The Hidden Utterance’, and from there is drawn energy for the entire world, including the powers of concealment and evil. The Ariza”l teaches that ‘sheviras keilim’ came about when the supernal light was too great, which teaches us that the life-force from Hashem gives existence even to those ‘broken’ places which are concealing Him, in aspect of a ‘hidden utterance’.  It is impossible to truly understand how Hashem’s glory is really found in all evil places too, and we are forbidden from trying to comprehend it.

The ‘hidden utterance’ is referred to as ‘Ayeh, where is the place of His Glory’, which is the sefirah of Kesser, from which infinite divine mercy and compassion comes forth. We don’t see or understand this, and therefore it’s called “Ayeh, Where?” because Hashem’s honor is hidden within it. On Shabbos by Mussaf when we recite the Kedushah of Kesser, we are elevated to this exalted plane, and we then ask, ‘Ayeh, Where is the place of His Glory?” because then the source of divine mercy is revealed, the great light which cleanses sin and brings a person close to Hashem even if he is now in the darkest places.

Searching Ayeh, Where is His Honor?

Thus, the Rebbe reveals to us this wonderful and crucial directive, that when a person sees that he is in a situation in which he’s fallen into concealment and he cannot discover Hashem’s honor, he should attach himself to this exalted place called Ayeh, which is the light of Kesser which shines every Shabbos morning. He should lift himself up from his feelings of distance and his habit of looking at and measuring his successes. He should know that Hashem’s honor is certainly to be found in these places, and the reality is that if not for Him sustaining them, they wouldn’t even have any existence.

He should cease to follow his own mind and understanding, in which he’s accustomed to differentiating between ‘successful days’ and ‘days of failure’. Instead he should be constantly aware that Hashem is everywhere, and all his negative feelings are baseless. Hashem is certainly here, and He is very great. This that a person doesn’t feel it is because he’s missed the mark in his ‘nogah’ activities, and he repairs himself through the discomfort which he is now experiencing and his asking “Ayeh, Why is my sin concealing His honor, I don’t want this concealment!” Through this searching he connects himself to the understanding that even in this emptiness and void, wondrous things are taking place, and he learns for the future that in every activity there is a wonderful way how to serve Hashem and come close to Him, by revealing His honor in every place to where he’s been sent.

Being strong to continue to want to reveal Hashem’s glory even in those places, in itself rectifies the concealment, and draws upon a person great divine compassion, through which every fall can be transformed into a climb and ascent. The power of Ayeh is very great, and it’s the source of cleansing from sin. All depends and is rooted in a person not following his own understanding of the situation, and being ready to yield his own feelings.

The main thing to keep in mind is that in these places and situations it’s impossible to see Hashem’s glory revealed, and the only solution is through searching and seeking Ayeh? This in itself will break the confusion he feels in his heart, and the concealment which is fooling him into thinking that Hashem’s honor can’t be found here.

This is amazing guidance through which a person can hold fast in any situation it may be, whether in days when he’s feeling down, or when he’s busy with nogah activities. No matter what, he can ask and seek, “Ayeh, Where is the place of His honor?” Hashem’s glory is certainly to be found here. He shouldn’t follow his own understanding and feelings which are tricking him. He should instead be aware that there are many levels of Hashem’s revelation, and the highest level is the honor which is hidden in Ayeh, and the way through which to connect with it is through searching and asking Ayeh, and through this he ascends to exalted levels of holiness.

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