The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review

Yaacov Dovid Shulman

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Volume V, Issue 37

B'haalotchah 5761 June 2001

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

* The Root of the Torah
--By Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

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

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

* The Sweetness
--By Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

* Nothing Is Left
--By Yaacov Dovid Shulman

by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

When a person rises to elevated thoughts and arranges his paths in accordance with them in the depths of his spirit, he comes to the root of the Torah in its elevated form, whose goal is to raise the world to its intended elevation.

Then of itself, all that he learns of the details of the Torah is not something new to him. Rather, it is like a remembrance of something that already exists in his potential.

And this is the inner meaning of the statement that "since they are pious, their Torah lasts."

Orot Hatorah 6:4

by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman (the Pieszesner Rebbe)

(Note: The following section actually belongs after Part II [issue 35], but was accidentally elided.)


And therefore, we proclaim that our group will only accept men who share these concerns. And as for those people who know in their souls that they do not fulfill these conditions and do not fall into this category, we ask them, "Do not enter our group and fool yourselves and us. Do not spoil the other members, who are pure in heart and clean in mind."

And even more, we are not so pleased that such a person should even read this booklet.

Perhaps this is alluded to in the words of the midrash that the Jewish nation did not reveal their "mysteries" in Egypt. [We are told explicitly that] they did not reveal the secret that when "a [Jewish] woman will request [something] of her [Egyptian] neighbor," [the Jewish woman had already discovered that item during the plague of darkness]. But even more than that, they did not reveal the "mysteries," all things having to do with the soul. These must be kept secret and hidden, for it is not right that when naked souls are cleansing themselves of their impurity that others should be watching. Consider this well.


Further on, God willing, we will set forth the regulations of the group. But at any rate, at the very beginning we must make it known that only the following may approach and enter this holy group:

1. He must be a person who truly feels pain and sorrow at his distance from God. He not only recognizes his low state intellectually--everyone knows this intellectually, unless he is insane or drunk--but he truly feels pain in his heart because his soul is embittered. And this causes him no less concern than do his physical problems, heaven forbid. And not only that, but at times this presses upon him so much that he cries over the sufferings of his soul and the lowliness of his being.

2. He must be a "ben Torah"--[a person dedicated to learning and keeping Torah]--whether a little or a lot.

3. He may be a merchant, a craftsman, or whatever--but he must meet with the group at least three times a week. And he must be meticulous regarding the regulations of the group, which will be described further on, God willing.

4. He must not be inconstant by nature, impetuously making a decision one day and treating it as nothing the next day, casually trampling upon it and "turning the pot onto its face."

5. He must not be a liar and dissembler who is immersed in his falsehoods. There is a person who lies occasionally, heaven forbid . This is very bad, God have mercy, but he can at any rate repent, after which he can be accepted by our group.

But this is not the case with a person who is in essence a dissembler and a liar, a man who fools both others and himself.

I heard my honored and holy father-in-law, my teacher, the pious, holy rabbi, quote a tzaddik to the effect that such person cannot even repent, because even his repentance is false, since he fools himself and imagines that in one moment he has become righteous in his acts and deeds But the truth is that he is not righteous and he has not acted [correctly] and has not accomplished anything.

Bnei Machshavah Tovah

by Rabbi Avraham Tultshiner


Once R. Nosson was sitting with the Hasidic students of R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditshov at a melave malka, the post-Sabbath meal. They cast a lot for who should go to buy bagels, and it fell to R. Nosson. He went, and on the way, he grew bitter because he was still experiencing ascents and descents, even after he had come close to the Hasidim.

And he was filled with penetrating thoughts: Was it for this that he had been created? To go and buy bagels? He found it difficult to encourage himself.

And[as time passed,] a bit of the illumination of the Baal Shem Tov sank for him. Over and over, R. Nosson would rise, but then fall, and he did not know what to do.

[One Friday evening (?),] he grew very envious when he saw the elders of Nemirov reciting "Shalom aleichem" in truth. He went to the women's section of the beis hamedrash and began to recite Tehillim, reaching Chapter Forty., With every verse, he rolled on the ground due to his great [spiritual] pain, until he grew exhausted and fell to the ground and slept and dreamt.

And "behold a ladder was in the ground and its top reached to the heavens." [He saw a ladder before him,] and he began to climb. He went up a little but then he fell. He went up a little more, and again he fell. He went up a little more and again he fell, time after time. And each time, the more he rose, the more he fell. And again he rose, [this time] to the top of the rungs. And then he fell, and he could no longer rise.

And a person came and told him, "Drape zich un halt zich. Be strong (?) and hold firm."

This took place about a year before he came to R. Nachman. And when he met R. Nachman, he recognized him as the man who had told him: "Drape zich un halt zich."


Afterwards, he again was supposed to go and live in his father-in-law's house, who would support him.

[His fellow-]Hasidim, who were traveling to tzaddikim, understood that in his father-in-law's company, he would not be free to be a Hasid. And so they advised him not to accompany his family to his father-in-law, but that his wife should go by herself. [In other words, that he should divorce his wife.]

But God inspired him not to listen to them. And [afterwards,] he would always praise and thank God that he had not listened to them, for if he had been no more than half a body, [as an unmarried man is called,] he would not have had the spiritual vessels to receive R. Nachman's wisdom. This is because as a result of a flaw in the "covenant," one's mind is damaged, God have mercy.

At that time, someone gave him a letter to deliver to R. Mordechai of Kreminitz [a rebbe?]. Because R. Nosson was afraid lest his father-in-law realize that he had become a Hasid, did not go to R. Mordechai until Passover, when everyone is sitting at home and no one will realize [where he had gone]. And so he then went to R. Mordechai. And R. Mordechai was astonished that the letter he was now receiving had originally been sent to him so long ago.

Avaneha Barzel

by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

A diminution of the sweetness of the pleasantness of Torah results from something lacking in the Jewish nature of the soul.

[The soul] must be rectified by means of self-growth directed toward this lack.

And when our mind is engaged in rectifying this lack, immediately the supernal light of the holy nature of our soul again shines, and the sweetness of the Torah again begins to be revealed.

Orot Hatorah 7:4

by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

Nothing is left but the black
Door that is not a door, spectral
Shiver that is not a shiver, turning out
The pockets of this sagging rag doll, finding shining

Stones that have attracted dust.
As long as the road is a road,
It cannot lead anywhere. And we stand here,
Stymied (good-hearted people), resolving good-hearted

Deeds and speech clean as bird bones.
But to turn our hearts into a
Crow whose black wings that flap, rising heavily,
Are a terror and the searing, shimmering heat of

Love, whose wings are a frozen
Vacuum of black space without sound
Or breath or light or space--our heart contracts, we
Leap into an abyss, ceasing to exist, we cry.

from the school of the Baal Shem Tov and Maggid of Mezeritch

God is found in every movement, for it is impossible to make any movement and say any word without the power of the Creator. This is what is meant by the verse, "The entire earth is filled with His glory" (Is. 6:3).

Maggid Devarav Leyaakov 41

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