The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review

Yaacov Dovid Shulman

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Volume VI, Issue 34

Bamidbar, May 2002

Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2002 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (

--by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

--by Avraham Stern

--by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

--by Elchanan Yosef Hertzman

--by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

--by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

A love for God is deeply implanted within each healthy soul. When any civilized person who is well-acquainted with the historical record and with how the Jewish people have so positively affected divine thought in all humanity is inspired as a result of his love for God to shake off the drunken confusion of his senses and their coarse proclivities, a love of Israel is aroused in his heart. If he is a Jew, his inclination bonds with a love for the Source and as a result, it becomes a patriotic, warm, and shining flame.

Jewish divine thought has not allowed the world to merely [remain] immersed in metaphysical thought about the knowledge of God and the concept of Oneness in its purity. Rather, it has broadened the process of ethics and civilization under the umbrella of divine thought, in a form so significant that it cannot be forgotten throughout all the many changing eras. As a result, the ethical sense, which is deeply implanted in the heart of anyone who has not perverted his way comes and arouses us to a love of Israel that comes from the aesthetic aspect of ethics.

And since history teaches us clearly that the people of Israel attained these mighty accomplishments via their unique land, this love must spread as well to the land of Israel.

by Avraham Stern

First letter
Blessed be God. 3 Chukas 5684 (1924). Tishvitz.

To my sons, H. Yaacov Yitzchak Zipper, and H. Yechiel Menachem Stern.

You ask if I know about tzaddikim who ate a great deal.

R. Yitzchak Drobitsher, who was a great Torah leader when the Baal Shem Tov was not yet revealed, used to travel to Jewish communities and deliver sermons calling for repentance through fasting and self-affliction.

When the Baal Shem Tov revealed himself, he began to guide people on a new path of serving God through the joy of mitzvos, and he distributed amulets as well, R. Yitzchak was not pleased. He prayed that the Baal Shem Tov's amulets should be ineffective, and his prayer was accepted.

During an ascent to heaven, the Baal Shem Tov's soul was informed of R. Yitzchak's prayer, and that it had been accepted because he was the tzaddik of the generation.

One time, R. Yitzchak came to the vicinity of the Baal Shem Tov. The Baal Shem Tov prayed that R. Yitzchak should err in the morning prayers and recite the wrong "Song of the Day." Being mistaken about what day of the week it was, the advent of the Sabbath would take him by surprise, and he would end up being a guest of the Baal Shem Tov.

So it was. On Thursday R. Yitzchak recited the Song of the Day for Wednesday, and continued to be mistaken about the day of the week until the Sabbath arrived. He was forced to remain in the neighborhood.

When the Baal Shem Tov invited R. Yitzchak to be his guest, R. Yitzchak replied, "You do not eat much, but on the Sabbath, I eat a great deal." In response, the Baal Shem Tov promised that he would give him as much food as he needed.

At the Friday night meal, R. Yitzchak told his servant to put the challos into a bag on which was sewn the verse, "I have placed Hashem before me always." He ate the entirety of his challos and everything else on the table. When more food was brought from the neighbors, R. Yitzchak ate all of that as well.

When nothing more was brought, R. Yitzchak said to the Baal Shem Tov, "What about your promise?"

The Baal Shem Tov answered, "I was prepared for a regular angel, not for a seraph."

Then R. Yitzchak pushed the bag away, and did not continue eating.

After the Sabbath, the Baal Shem Tov asked, "Why did you take away the power of my amulets?"

R. Yitzchak answered, "Because I do not believe that one may make use of divine names,"

The Baal Shem Tov had his amulets opened before R. Yitzchak's eyes. All that was written in them was his name with his father's or mother's name: "Israel son of Eliezer" or "Israel son of Sarah."

R. Yitzchak exclaimed, "Master of the world! Why should it bother You that a Jew earns his bread with his own name?"

From then on, the Baal Shem Tov's amulets were once again effective.
Chasidishe Maasiyos

by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

At times the love of beings is so all-encompassing that even a wicked person enters this circle of love. This in no way detracts from the hatred of evil. To the contrary, this strengthens it, for it is certainly not the aspect of the wickedness of that evil that enters the circle of love, but the aspect of the good portion within it–which, love states, is found everywhere.

And since we are isolating the good portion in order to love it, there remains a penetrating, total hatred directed towards the portion of evil (cf. Tosafot Pesachim 113b, shera'ah).
Musar Avichah

by Elchanan Yosef Hertzman

R. Meir possessed a love for every individual and respected every person as the son of a king. He had a particularly warm love for those engaged in learning Torah.

R. Meir was never dismissive of anyone, nor of any creature. If the Holy One, blessed be He, created something, He doubtless had a reason to do so.

(As the Talmud states, "R. Yehudah quoted Rav: ‘Whatever the Holy One blessed be He created in His world was not without purpose'..." Shabbat 77).
P'nei Meir

by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Every Jew has a certain level of sovereignty and rule, on his level. One person rules in his house, another rules more, and yet another rules over the entire world. Every individual must take care not to use his sovereignty for his own benefit, but in order to serve God–to influence those below him to return to God. Likutei Moharan 56

by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

It's not a bad planet, as
Science fiction fantasies go.
There are cars, and electronic sensors, broad
Sunny streets and flashing lights, and electronic wands

At airports. And this loathsome–
How shall I put it?–this worm, this
Offal, this noisome–ugh!–stench, darkness, this fat
Canker is crawling grossly through our kitchens, as we

Listen to the piano, as
We prepare dinner, as we cut
Lemons, outside boys play on the thick, mint grass,
This worm, this stench, comes trundling through, and we keep cutting

Lemons, and the radio
Is playing, and sixteen children
Are dead, and the radio is speaking of
Realism, political compromise, its words hiss

Like Lethe, the computer screen
Shows immaculate white stars, on
The street people walk, talking into slabs of
Plastic, but oh, the worm trailing refuse, the sickness

Of heart, or the freezing sleep
That enfolds your thoughts, and you see
The headline: CIA Chief Sent to Strengthen
Palestinian Security Forces. What a

Planet! Oh, it is simply
Hilarious. You have to laugh.
And what else can you do but peel gnarled carrots
In the bright kitchen? Our orbit passes through the dust

Of this gargantuan worm,
The angels cannot bear it, pure
Souls recoil, this soiled globe wrapped in the hollow
Foul worm. Look, everything is shot through with light, and

In the cosmic structure of
The body that God has made, we
Are the dark bottom of the well, beneath a
Ladder rising into the brilliant, endless brightness.

Men's Learning Group: Hakhsharat Ha'avreikhim ("Spiritual Training"), step-by-step guidebook on how to develop an awareness of our souls and of God, by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro (the Pieszesner Rebbe), Sunday night. For information, call (410) 358-8771.

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Yaacov Dovid Shulman 410.358.8771;

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