The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review
Yaacov Dovid Shulman
|WINGS OF MORNING
Volume V, Issue 9
Chayei Sara 5761 November 2000
Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2000 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (email@example.com).
* Redemption (Part I)
* The Horses' Flight
by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook
The holiness of certain times discloses supernal goodness.
Everything is drawn from the source of Sabbath-thanksgiving, from "it is good to give thanks to Hashem."
Because [these times] are unveiled on every festival and holiday as components of that supernal good, joy finds its place amongst them. That which is more encompassing contains more pleasure.
Israel knows that God is good, [Israel] knows of the hidden beloved [goodness] in the supernal treasury, in the house of treasures of the Holy One, blessed be He. The festivals reveal this knowledge, they elevate a person's ability to act, they make him equal to his Maker in beautifying being. "All your men shall be seen" [at the Temple on the holidays]. "Just as a person comes to be seen [by God], so does he come to see [Godliness]." And these are two states of knowledge. One is absolute good, from which joy and pleasure flow. The other is doing good, continuously improving everything in one's connection to all being, elevating it, beautifying it--with the commandments of God, with keeping the word of God and connecting one's consciousness and desire to the desire of God, supernal God, Maker of heaven and earth.
Great is the light of kindness in the world. Great is the joy in its dwelling place. Great is the light and the sweetness where it camps. But opposing this, great is the depth of the darkness and the depression and groaning.
A person takes lights of joy and greatness and scatters them in the depths and darkness, and there they shine and give joy to an infinite multitude of creatures. Then they immediately rise together with their lights, with a joyous flight and soaring, with singing, song and gladness, to the place of light and sweetness. There, joy is added to joy. And in the chambers of the heart, in the sensibility that sings within oneself, rivers of sweetness and holy joys are revealed, and the breadth of the spirit constantly rises, and the might of the soul grows glorious, and everything is glorified, and everything is embraced in love. Birds sing and children are filled with joy, those dismal in spirit awake from their drunkenness, the depressions of the broken-hearted are healed, and the foundation of life continuously pulses in the world.
The richness of the refined existence within everything depends upon how great is the refinement of a person's inner desire in regard to goodness, in his permanently establishing the seal of goodness upon his spirit and the quality of his life. The details of the good become many, the hues increase, their totality and details are ever more prominent--in [the performance of] God's commandments, in Torah [learning], in the expression of prayer and thanks, in the unifications of thought and the unification of [Divine] Names [engaged in] by those who are holy and supernal, those who rise beyond everything and raise everything.
"Happy is the nation that is thus, happy is the nation whose God is the Lord."
Orot Hakodesh II
by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto
"Do not rejoice, you who have hated me. Although I have fallen, I have arisen. Even as I sat in darkness, Hashem has been my light" (Michah 7:8). This verse expresses the secret of the confidence and hope of the Jewish people that they will be redeemed--completely, quickly and in our days, amen.
Redemption has many preparatory elements, and [consists of] very great and mighty acts, which are known to the wise who have had experience in walking upon the paths of wisdom, and who have arrived at the truth of this matter.
And when this wisdom will spread throughout the world, then everyone will see and know how greatly God has acted upon our behalf. This is because when the people of Israel thought that the Holy One, blessed be He, had hidden His countenance from them and abandoned them, it was then that He had prepared for them favor and blessing--for it was then that He prepared great treasuries for them whose breadth has no end and whose greatness no limit. And in these treasuries, He placed every precious and pleasant possession hon and every royal device at every time and moment, until those treasuries were so full that no mouth could speak, nor any ear hear, nor, even, any heart imagine it. And when the great tranquility which will one day be revealed in the world will arrive, all these treasuries will be opened, and from them will emerge all manner of lovely things, and these will be given to the people of Israel in exchange for the hard labor of their exile.
This great secret is alluded to in the words, "Give me joy like the days that You made me suffer, those years that I saw evil" (Tehillim 90:15). During all the days that the Jews were in exile and light did not illumine them, the light that should have [shone] then was not lost, Instead, the Holy One, blessed be He, hid that light in these treasuries. And when the time will come to open them, all the light will emerge at once, and then it will be a time of rejoicing for Israel, the like of which never before existed, and the world will be perfected with tranquility and quiet, and there will be no more sorrow in the world at all.
And if you say that this verse is only speaking about a few years, [I will respond that] in the six thousand years of the world there has never been any [time as evil as] the days in which we were in exile, to this very day.
You must know that the redemption from Egypt and the future redemption are identical in many respects, except that the future redemption will be even greater, for then creation will find tranquility that it never before found, from its inception until now.
I will explain various topics regarding the redemption from Egypt and many matters regarding the future redemption, and you will see truly wondrous things, although I cannot now go on at greater length, for these are very great and weighty matters, and the preciousness of wisdom dictates that one not speak with breadth about it, and so I will speak in brief. So I shall place before you many may principles that are very well-founded, and you may use your intellect to understand them and reach their conclusion, and "Hashem will give wisdom, from His mouth, knowledge and understanding."
And now I will first of all explain how much damage exile caused, so that you will be able to understand well aspects of the redemption, for in the future all the damage will be rectified. And here you will see a profound wisdom, for there is not the slightest occurrence in the world in which there cannot be found great secrets--to those who know truth.
by Avraham Stern
At that time there was a famous tzaddik, one of the students of the Baal Shem Tov, who also belonged to the company of Rabbi Dov Ber. He was a hidden tzaddik, a half-nistar. He had no Hasidim and did not lead any group. Nevertheless, he was known. He used to travel about secretly and often displayed great wonders, and then he would call himself R. Leib Sarah's. (Many wondrous things are told of him, a few of which have already been published.)
My mother, Sarah bas R. Yitzchak Dovid, may she rest in peace, told me that once, as a nistar, he came to a wealthy Jewish villager at a time that this Jew lacked a melamed, a teacher, for his children. The villager asked him if he wanted the position, and promised him a good salary. R. Leib agreed, on condition that every Friday he could stop teaching early and that the villager would arrange a ride for him to town and back, for he wanted to go to the mikvah in honor of the Sabbath. The very first Friday the villager had his gentile servant bring the melamed to town and then home again.
That Friday night, the servant told the family--when R. Leib was not present--that when they had left the village, the melamed had told him to tie the reins to the wagon and turn around so that his back would be to the horses, and that the horses would find their own way.
"When I obeyed," said the servant, "it felt as though the horses began flying through the air. Towns and villages flashed by before my eyes, until we stopped at a great city inn. There the melamed made me promise not to go into the street, so that I wouldn't get lost. And he told the innkeeper to give me as much food and as drink I wanted on his account. And he told me that I would have to wait two hours for him. He came back to the minute, and told me to climb back up on the wagon. I was so tired because I had eaten and drunk so much that I immediately fell asleep, and I only woke up as we were coming to the house."
The villager told his family to take care that the melamed not learn that their servant had told them this story. And he told one of his sons-in-law to persuade the melamed to take him along next Friday to the mikveh. And so the melamed took him along, and on the way they stopped at a mikveh. Afterwards, they traveled to the same inn (which the servant recognized) and the melamed made the son-in-law and servant promise to wait for him at the inn for two hours. But instead the son-in-law quietly followed the melamed, step by step, until they came to a royal palace, where an armed guard was standing watch.
There the melamed saw the son-in-law. So, in order to save him from certain death at the hands of the military guard, the melamed told the son-in-law to hold onto his belt. In this way they both passed by the guard unnoticed--"seeing and yet not seen"--until they came to the emperor's room. There, the son-in-law saw the melamed open a knife and threaten Kaiser Josef the First of Austria that he would cut strips from his flesh while he is still alive if he would not tear up the evil decrees against the Austrian Jews. The kaiser yelled for help, but the people around him thought that he was mad, for they saw no one. And so the kaiser was forced to tear up the documents with the evil decrees before R. Leib.
On the way out, they again passed the watch unnoticed, and returned to the inn. The son-in-law entered a store, bought himself a small knife and asked the store-keeper to write out a receipt with the date and exact address, with the shopkeeper's signature. How astonished were the villager and his family when they heard from the son-in-law and the servant, that on the way there they had both fallen asleep and only woken at the inn and they had also fallen asleep on the way home, only awakening by the villager's house. Even more wondrous in their eyes was the receipt for the small knife, which was dated that Friday's date, by a merchant of Vienna, with his exact address--which showed that the melamed had traveled from a village in the Volhina gubernia to Vienna and back in the course of a few hours, by means of the holy power of God's Name, which is used for "kefitzas haderech." The melamed had to admit that he is the half-nistar, R. Leib Sarah's." After the Sabbath, he took his leave, left the village, and went back to being a half-nistar.
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