The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review
Yaacov Dovid Shulman
|WINGS OF MORNING
Volume VI, Issue 37
B'ha'alot'khah, June 2002
Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2002 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
* WE HAVE TO TRAIN OURSELVES
* VISION OF THE MAN IN THE CIRCLE
* THE SERAPH (continued)
* TAKE THIS WHISTLE
by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook
We have to train ourselves to love others– in particular, to love those of superior quality: wise people, strong people, singers and artists, those who work on behalf of the public.
We must recognize the light of goodness amidst the most outstanding people. The light of God spreads in the world through them–whether or not they themselves recognize the importance of their mission.
by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
I will tell you what I saw. And you tell your children.
Someone was lying on the ground, and people sat about him in a circle. There was a second circle around the first, a third circle, and so on.
Around these circles sat some other people in no particular order.
The man who was sitting in the middle on his side was moving his lips, and everyone around him moved his lips like him. Then I saw that the man in the middle was no longer there, and all the people sitting about him stopped moving their lips. "What is going on?" I asked.
I was told that the man had grown cold and died. Since he had ceased to speak, the others had ceased to speak as well. Afterwards, everyone began running.
I ran after them. I saw two beautiful palaces.
Two ministers sat there.
The people ran to the ministers and began to complain to them, "Why did you fool us?" They wanted to kill the ministers. Finally, the ministers ran out.
When I saw the ministers, I very much liked them. I ran after them.
From afar, I saw a beautiful tent.
People shouted from there to the minsters, "Go back! Find all your merits. Take them in your hand and go to the candle that is hanging there. There you will be able to accomplish all that you want."
The ministers went back and took their merits. There were bundles of merits. They ran to the candle, and I ran after them. A lit candle was hanging in the air. The ministers came and threw the merits at the candle, and sparks fell from the candle into their mouths.
The candle [HaNeiR] turned into a river [NaHaR], and everyone drank from it.
Creatures were formed within them. When they opened their mouths to speak, the creatures emerged.
I saw these running back and forth. They were neither human nor animal–just creatures.
Afterwards, the ministers decided to return to their place.
They said, "How can we get back to our place?"
One of them said, "Let us send a message to the person who is standing there and holding a sword from the heaven to the earth."v They said, "Whom shall we send?"
They decided to send the creatures. The creatures went there, and I ran after them.
I saw a frightening being standing from heaven to the earth with a sword in his hand that reached from heaven to earth and that had many blades.
One blade was sharp for killing; another blade was for poverty; another blade was for weakness. And there were a number of other blades for other punishments.
They began, "It is a long time that we have suffered because of you. Now help us and bring us to our place."
He said, "I cannot help you."
They asked, "Give us the blade of death and we will kill the people."
But he did not agree.
They asked for another blade, but he did not want to give them any blade. So they left.
Meanwhile, an order was given to kill the ministers, and their heads were cut off.
Then things went back to what they had been previously.
A person lay on the ground and there were circles of people about him, and they ran to the ministers, and so forth, all over again.
But this time, I saw that the ministers did not throw their merits at the candle. Instead, they took the merits, went to the candle and broke their hearts and began to beg before the candle. Sparks fell from the candle into their mouths. They pleaded more and the candle turned into a river, and so on, and the creatures were formed. And I was told, "These will live. The first ones were guilty of death because they threw the merits at the candle and did not plead, as these had." I didn't understand this.
I was told, "Go to a certain room and you will be told what it all means."
I went there, and an old man was sitting there. I asked him about this.
He grasped his beard and told me, "This beard is the explanation of the story."
I answered him, "I still don't understand."
He told me, "Go to such and such a room, and there you will find the explanation."
I went there, and I saw a long, broad, endless room, full of writings. And every place that I opened, I saw an explanation of the story.
by Avraham Stern
The first tzaddik that R. Uri came to, he immediately wanted as his rebbe. But when R. Uri stated his condition–[that the rebbe had to accept him as a disciple for seven years]–the tzaddik sent him to someone else. That second tzaddik in turn sent him to a third tzaddik, and so forth.
At last R. Uri came to the beis medrash of Rav Yeiba in Austra (Austria?), just as Rav Yeiba and the congregation were reciting the silent Shmoneh Esrai of the afternoon prayers. The Strelisker stood behind the great oven.
When Rav Yeiba completed the Shmoneh Esrai, he told the cantor to wait before repeating it aloud. He searched amidst the guests for a long while until he found the Strelisker standing behind the oven. He took him by the hand and brought him to the front of the synagogue to stand next to him near the Holy Ark. And then he told the cantor to recite the Shmoneh Esrai. After the afternon and evening prayers were over, Rav Yeiba invited him for supper.
On the table, a huge loaf of rye bread was set down. As an entree, they were served a large bowl of mutton in gravy, and Rav Yeiba told him to join him. At first, the guest–[the Strelisker]–ate only a little bit, as he was accustomed to doing, but then he began eating desperately in order obey Rav Yeiba, since we are obligated to "heed the words of the wise."
Rav Yeiba ate everything up, and so more food was brought out: the same great bowl, this time filled with kasha and broth. Rav Yeiba again told him to join him in eating.
And so the guest–[the Strelisker]–prayed that Rav Yeiba would get so absorbed in his holy thoughts that he would forget about him. And so it was. Rav Yeiba feel into a deep, holy reverie and ate everything by himself, while his guest barely tasted each serving, and that only for the sake of the mitzvah. Afterwards, they were served the same bowl, now filled with meat, as well as a second, large loaf of rye bread. And Rav Yeiba ate this all by himself.
After they recited grace, Rav Yeiba said to the guest, "You must be tired from your journey. Lie down and take a rest." In the meantime, he himself took down from the bookshelf a Tur and Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim section), and learned the entire night, standing up.
"It was then," the Strelisker later said, "that I understood the meaning of the midrash, ‘just as you eat, so do you serve.' Just as you eat in a way that transcends nature, so do you serve God in a way that transcends nature."
The next day, the Strelisker presented [Rav Yeiba] with his condition. Rav Yeiba answered him, "I barely have enough to teach you for one year. But I will do you this favor, I will not send you any more from one tzaddik to the next, but straight to the root of your soul. Go to R. Shlomo Karliner, and as soon as you greet him, tell him, ‘I want to be your student for seven years'–and he will accept you." (to be continued)
by Yaacov Dovid Shulman
Take this whistle, and do not
Not be one of them. It then
Silence. Have we lived with God
Speech is a row of knockwurst
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