The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review
Yaacov Dovid Shulman
|WINGS OF MORNING
Volume VI, Issue 48
Ki Teissei, August 2002
Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2002 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
I. Each one of us has to see to it that we become assimilated into the root of who we are, to return and be assimilated into the oneness of God, Who is the One Reality.
This can be achieved only when we make ourselves totally stop, when we cease our being. And we can only come to this cessation through hisbodedus. When we are in seclusion with God, we can cause all desires and bad traits to cease. We can cling to God and be drawn into the root of who we are.
Likutei Moharan 52
II. We must accustom ourselves to always experience that all things cease, and we are looking at the true and ever-being ultimate, which is good. We can only do this when we close our eyes from regarding this world, when we do not tolerate the desires and vanities of this world at all. Then we will not experience any sufferings or pain from anything of this world.
Kitzur Likutei Moharan 65:4
by Rabbi Shlomo Molcho
After I arose from my bed, I went to R. Dovid and told him, "My master, please speak with me and do not hide from me, for I have performed the commandment of my Creator, and I am circumcised like any other Jew."
But then he showed me an angry countenance and rebuked me and said, "What have you done? This has brought the both of us to great danger. If the king hears about this, it will be said that I persuaded you to do this, something which I never considered and which never occurred to me."
I was astonished at his words. Nevertheless, I thought that he was hiding things from me.
After I was sealed with this seal of my Creator, I was shown awesome, great and mighty things. Great mysteries were revealed to me. I was informed of the secrets of the wisdom of the holy Kabbalah and great permutations of the sefirot. I was shown treasures of wisdom, and my heart was illumined with the Torah of our God.
Then I was commanded to come to the kingdom of Turkey. And I was given permission to make known the reasons and to thus dissipate disputes against me and all sorts of questions and answers and investigations of the Jews.
And I came here to their camp, for R. Dovid sent me to Turkey on a secret mission. But now I will tell the truth before the Maker of the heavens and the earth: I did not circumcise myself and travel on account of any flesh and blood, but by the mouth of Hashem our God.
[The vision that he now proceeds to relate was translated a few weeks ago, and so will not be repeated here.]
And now I have come to tell you honest words of truth.
As soon as I arrived in Ancona, I was surrounded by a congregation of evil-doers, who denounced me to the bishop [or prince–"hegmon"], telling how I had dwelt with the god of Keidar [i.e., the days that he had been a Marrano], and was now at peace [as a Jew].
He sent for me, and [I went to him] accompanied by Jews who were local as well as from Turkey, who came to see what the outcome would be. When [the bishop] asked me about this, I said to him, "You were told the truth."
He replied to me, "What did you see in this [Judaism]?"
I said to him, "Hashem is God. He is true and His Torah is true, and there is no other." And he fell silent as a lifeless corpse. A great trembling fell upon the people with me, and I was allowed to go in peace. But he ordered me not to preach to gentiles against their religion. Nevertheless, whenever I preached, princes, priests and a great many people would come to the synagogue.
I also engaged in a public dispute with a bishop. That was why the duke of Urbono took me with him. I left my servants in his land and continued on the way to Tzar [Rome]. I was alone, accompanied by no one–for thus was I commanded. On the fifth day of my journey I saw from afar the place that is a stumbling block for us, because we sinned against Hashem our God and did not petition His countenance to return from our sin, listen to His voice and grow wise with His truth.
I raised my eyes to heaven, wept greatly for my sin and the sin of my people. I opened my mouth before the Gates of Tears, and I said [cf. Daniel 9] the following.
"Lord of Hosts, how much longer will You not have compassion on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, [in response to] all the evils that those who rule in this city have committed against us, hurting us and scattering us from our ? land? Because of our misdeeds and the sins of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your nation have become an object of scorn to those around us. And now, listen, our God, to the prayer of Your servant and to his pleas that the holy stone be opened: the one stone that You placed before Your holy cohanim. [May You] clothe them in justice and salvation, and cause the horn of Your messiah to sprout.
Please forgive the sin of Your land and the sin of Your children, the children of Your covenant, whom You have exiled amidst the nations. And remember on our behalf the covenant and kindness that You promised our forefathers from the earliest days. And illumine Your countenance upon Your desolate sanctuary for the sake of God and for the sake of Your name, afer which Your city and Your people are called."
And as I continued speaking and praying with these words, my eyes overflowed like a well, and I was left without strength and no soul left within me. I fortified myself and recited the afternoon prayer in the field before entering the city. When I reached the blessing, "Who redeems Israel," I heard a voice speak in my ears, that of my rabbi, and it said to me, "Seir will be the possession of his enemies"(Bamidbar 24:18). At the blessing of "Who gathered the scattered of His nation Israel," I heard the same voice say, "Israel acts with might" (ibid). At the blessing of "King Who loves charity and justice," I heard, "at the time that their foot stumbles" (Devarim 32:35). At the blessing, "support and confidence to the righteous," I heard, "He will relent regarding His servants" (ibid. 32:36). At the blessing, "Who builds Jerusalem," I heard, "Mine is vengeance and repayment" (ibid. 35). And at the blessing, "Who causes the horn of salvation to sprout," I heard "Edom will be His possession" (Bamidbar 24:18).
When I finished praying, I entered the city. I went to the house of the master of the camp and gave him my horse and fine clothing.
I said to him, "There is a woman here whom I love, whom I have loved forever, from all the way back, and my soul is tied to hers. But her father and mother have hidden her away and the only way that I can speak to her is to disguise myself in the clothing that poor beggars wear. Lend me [such clothes] and I will go."
The master of the house did so. I put the clothes on and blackened my face, and tied filthy linen rags, soiled with oil, on my feet.
And I went blackened, despised and the most lacking of men, like a man of pains and incurable illness. I passed through the streets of the city until [I reached] the bridge over the river Tiber, near the pope's palace, where the poor and sick live. And I dwelt in their midst like a person stricken by God for thirty days. I ate no fine food, nor did meat and wine come to my mouth (cf. Sanhedrin 98a).
And at the end of the thirty days, on the tenth of the gentile month, the twelfth [Jewish month,] which is the month of Adar, in the year 290, "he spoke to the youth at midnight." And a deep sleep fell upon me. And behold, the elder whom I had seen in my previous vision came to me and said, "My son, I have now come to explain to you what will happen to the nations in whose midst you are. Come with me to the ruin of Jerusalem, where you had previously been."
He took me and brought me to the place of the two mountains in the Land of Beauty–on the one hand, Mt. Zion and Jerusalem, and on the other, Tzefat and Damascus–that I had already seen in my previous vision. And [I had placed] their image upon my seal, upon the two lameds in my first and last name. From the day that I saw them, I had placed them on my seal as a sign. –to be continued...
Hebrew Reading Skills
Yaacov Dovid Shulman
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