The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review

Yaacov Dovid Shulman

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Volume V, Issue 35

Bamidbar 5761 May 2001

Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright 2001 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (

* When Your Healthy Heart Expands
--By Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

* The Society for Positive Mindfulness (Part Ii)
--By Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman (The Pieszesner Rebbe)

* The Youth of Rabbi Nosson of Nemirov (Part Ii)
--By Rabbi Avraham Tultshiner

* The Unbordered Light
--By Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

* Hoard the Green Breath
--By Yaacov Dovid Shulman

by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

When your healthy heart expands with the might of the strength of the pulse, the flow of blood through the finest and most distant blood vessels, and when your mind is so strong that it can understand the foundation of Torah and its principles, how its many details are a necessary outcome of its totality, then your outlook grows clear and all-encompassing, and you attain a great love and feelings of respect and appreciation of holiness for every matter and precise detail in the Torah.

Orot Hatorah 3:4

by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman (the Pieszesner Rebbe)/i>

The Composition of the Group


The purpose of our group is not to attain power and be involved in political and communal matters, whether with a particular agenda or not [?].

Our goal is to ascend, to take a step that is higher than the entire world, its commotion and turmoil. Therefore, our group is not one to apportion honors to a president, a vice president, and so forth, because the foundation of our group is humility and exaltation: the humility of the essence of body and soul, and the exaltation of their holiness. And in a place where holiness is revealed, there is no place for honors and titles.


And also, we agree with a double bond of commitment that our group should not, heaven forbid, be in any way insular and isolated from those Jews who are not a part of our group. To the contrary, the first principle and basis of our group is the love of the Jewish people and the love of friends, in the strongest manner.

Imagine if a fire broke out in the city, and the fire company came to put it out and rescue people, using their professional techniques. Would they hate and drive away other residents who were also involved in rescue work and extinguishing the fire, each to the best of his ability? Certainly not. After all, they all have the same goal: to put the fire out and to save the people who are engulfed in its flames. The only difference is that everyone is doing rescue work in his own way. The fire company is most successful--for that which a group can do no individual can accomplish. Each one of us is constantly concerned and anguished about himself. " What will ultimately become of me? Day after day, I yearn to be close to God with my every thought, word and act--at the very least, not to be removed from Him and cast away, heaven forbid, into the thick mire. Yet nevertheless, every day with my own hands I break this desire of mine. I do not even wait for God to cast me away from His countenance, heaven forbid. Of my own initiative, I cast myself into unknown places of chaos and void, amidst donkeys, mules and dogs."

And what will our end be? In this way, our days and years pass by in poverty and groans. Will we only awaken when we come to our last day? Will we then beat our hearts and cry out, "Woe, what did we do? Why are our soul and body engulfed in polluted, disgusting trash? Our entire lifetime in this world was one bloc of uncleanness and disgusting, degraded desires, thoughts and lusts that now repel me. And in addition, plain foolishness and meaningless things occupied my soul constantly. With my own hands, I removed myself from the world of holiness and purity, the holiness of God, and I threw myself into the pit of pollution and ugliness."

In each one of us, this worry gnaws constantly at his heart and pierces his brain. Each one of us worries and sighs, and does not find a remedy for his broken heart.

For this reason, we have joined together to find a means appropriate for people as lowly in spirit as we are. And all of us together will serve the one God using these means. And may we at the very least hope that God will help us so that we will not waste our days in the low Sheol, and that we will be able to unify our hearts with the One, and take refuge in the shadow of the Almighty, even as we are still in this world.

B'nei Machshavah Tovah

by Rabbi Avraham Tultshiner


In connection with what was mentioned above about Moshe Rabbeinu, R. Nosson once said, "Before I drew close to R. Nachman, I couldn't imagine how Moshe Rabbeinu could be a human being like other people. But when I drew close to R. Nachman and saw how great he was, and yet that he was a human being, I understood that Moshe Rabbeinu had also been a human being.") R. Nosson said that when he eventually was drawn to the Hasidim of the Baal Shem Tov, he understood what a great difference there was between them and his father-in-law. Although his father-in-law was a tzaddik, his service was not impassioned like that of these other tzaddikim.

Once, R. Nosson said that the difference between a Hasid and a Misnaged is like the difference between a cold knish and a warm knish. Both have the same ingredients, but the one that is warm tastes much better.

(Similarly, one time R. Nachman Tultshiner was in Kirah, and was someone's guest for the Sabbath. The host served him soup and urged him several times, "Eat, eat, because it is hot." R. Nachman Tultshiner said that even though the soup was thin, nevertheless, because it was hot, it was good. And the same is true of Judaism: if it is hot, it is good. And R. Avraham said that this is discussed in Likutei Moharan 60: "There are people who sleep....").


Because R. Nosson was living amidst misnagdim, it was difficult for him to come close to Hasidim. But after two years of eating at his father-in-law's table, he returned home to eat at his father's table. And at that time, he made a personal connection with R. Lipa. R. Lipa argued with him and contended that the Hasidim are men of truth and that one should draw close to them and join them.

One time, a man from Hanipolye, where R. Zusha was living, came to Nemirov, and they hosted him. When he washed his hands to eat, he made the blessings on washing the hands and on the bread with great feeling, and they were very taken with this.

They asked him, "Do you know R. Zusha?"

He answered, "Certainly I know him. I go to see him regularly. I received all my inspiration in serving God from him." And he told them some of R. Zusha's practices. For instance, he told them that at midnight, R. Zusha casts himself from his bed and cries out, "Zusha, Zusha, heib zich shoyn oyf, di resht vestu shoyn dershlofn in kever. Zusha, Zusha, wake up. You'll get enough sleep in the grave." And he told them of other such practices. R. Nachman and R. Lipa were profoundly inspired to travel to the tzaddikim, the followers of the Baal Shem Tov, for they saw that these men are worthy.

This took place six years before R. Nosson became a follower of R. Nachman. At this point, he turned to the good, seeing that truth is with the Hasidim. From then on, he began to travel to the tzaddikim who went in the path of the Baal Shem Tov: to R. Mordechai of Kremenitz, to the tzaddik Meva Ditshov [?], and to other tzaddikim.

Due to the opposition of his father, father-in-law and wife, R. Nosson suffered a great deal. But he felt that he was gaining so much in his service of God that he paid them no mind. However, since he had as yet only gained a little, he was still not so strong in this regard.

Avaneha Barzel

by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

In every Torah matter, in every aspect of a particular decree, streams the supernal, unbordered light. The total divine lesson can be extracted from every individual law.

To the observer who accustoms his soul to the stream of light, within every legal matter is revealed the content of its innate being, which is filled from the world of bright illumination, until in regards to every law and chapter he can give breadth to a new song, a full song, a full exposition.

This song pours forth continuously even upon every detail of the law, upon every path of discussion within it, until a poetic commentary that gives pleasure and creates Eden can spread across all the Torah, entirely, upon all the Torah--even the this-worldly and legal Torah--besides extending across all the Aggadic material, which shines with an illumination of a fine spiritual light.

Orot Hatorah 4:4

by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

Hoard the green breath, the silver
Cord, hold the ocean, strain the fist
Of your mind to capture the mist-rolling gold
Melody, stroke it, do not let the swift prairie dogs

Scatter. Grasp wisdom, do not
Let it roll across the street, crouch
Above it, spread it on a sidewalk and watch
Carefully, only sell the old, the soiled, the lived-in.

Hoard the sun, stare at the night
And never close your eyes, grab scraps
Of joy or sadness. Your wisp of soul flees from
Your desperate key to a closet that holds the rags

Of straggled tatting--traces,
Reminiscences--all scattered
In a desert with no tabernacle, no
Pillar of cloud, no fiery finger that counts your soul.

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