The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review

Yaacov Dovid Shulman

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Volume III, Issue 7

Noach 5759 / October 98

Translations and original material copyright (c) 1998 by Yaacov
Dovid Shulman (unless otherwise noted)

* In Memoriam

* Even When Your Body is Broken and Shattered

-by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

* The Sanctification of God's Name

-by Rabbi Shmuel of Sokhatchov

* Rabbi Nachman's Journey to the Holy Land (continued)

-by Hillel Zeitlin

* The Holy Mixture of Pleasure and Joy

-by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

* You Who are Hiding in the Cracks of This Building

-by Yaacov Dovid Shulman


This issue of Wings of Morning is dedicated to the memory of Itamar Doron and in the merit of a complete recovery of Ilan Mazon.

Itamar Doron and Ilan Mazon, two baalei teshuvah in their mid-twenties affiliated with Breslov Hasidim, were living in Moshav Ora, outside Jerusalem. There, they regularly immersed in a spring that had been blessed by Rabbi Yitzchak Kadourie.

On October 13, Arab terrorists attacked them as they were immersing, killing Itamar Doron and seriously wounding Ilan Mazon.

The terrorists fled in Doron's station wagon, abandoning it in the near-by Arab village of Walaja. The IDF sealed the village and is searching for the suspects, who they believe fled into a Palestinian Authority-controlled area.

"This was planned, in this place, during this time, in order to hurt these people," Jerusalem police chief Commander Yair Yitzhaki said.

Following the attack, blood stained the concrete border of the small, rectangular, 1.5-meter-deep mikvah, which is fed by an underground spring. The neglected spring was restored about three years ago by Breslov Hasidim, Doron among them. The spring, reached via a narrow, winding road some 15 minutes from the Moshav Ora junction, lies in a nature reserve in view of Bitar and Walaja.

"Arab children throw stones at us," said Aharon Boimel, a 20-year-old Breslover who bathes there every day. He described Doron as a "very good person, always happy to help. He would come out and dance with us after he bathed. Itamar donated money to someone who wanted to go visit Uman [in Ukraine where Rabbi Nachman of Breslov is buried]."

Boimel said he would continue to bathe in the spring and bring more people "in Doron's honor." (based on an article in the Jerusalem Post by Amy Klein)


by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

Even when your body is broken and shattered and your spirit is dismayed and maimed because of so many miseries--spiritual and physical--spiritual pleasantness does not cease giving its honey and sweet influence. These soothe your spirit and give it an inner pleasure even in the midst of its darknesses. This sweetness is drawn by every one of us from our own outpouring of Torah and mitzvos: from performing them and from our intent when we do so.

Just as this applies to each one of us, so does it apply to the entire Jewish nation, which draws constantly from the sweet goodness of the inner holiness of the pleasantness of God, which sweetens life and pours forth a pattern that has achieved honor and rectification.

Then life is filled with a content of inner satisfaction in the depth of the universal soul of the community of Israel, whose rays and sparks of light stream toward every one of us, according to how much we have cultivated on our soul's illumination, and according to the extent of our inner connection to the whole.

Oros Hakodesh III, p. 174


by Rabbi Shmuel of Sokhatchov

"God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it."

"Rabbi Yitzchak said, He blessed it with the manna [in the future, for a double portion fell on Friday]. And He sanctified it with the wood gatherer. [When the Jews were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on Shabbos, for which he received the death penalty]" (Bereishis Rabbah 11).

Why did this wood gatherer incur death? First of all, there is a tradition that he was acting for the sake of heaven. Secondly, one should not be liable to the death penalty when one does not need the work for itself [and he had no benefit out of the gathering of the wood per se].

The answer is that the wood-gather's death was not a punishment. Rather, it was an elevation.

This is similar to the message that Rabbi Yosef Kairo (author of the Shulchan Aruch) received from his maggid, his heavenly teacher: that he would be burned to death in sanctification of God's name.

A person killed in sanctification of God's name is absorbed into the holiness of His name.

Similarly, when the wood-cutter was killed for the sake of the holiness of Shabbos, he was absorbed into the holiness of Shabbos.

Since this wood-cutter, who was such a great man, achieved his elevation by being killed for the sake of the holiness of Shabbos, we see the extent of the greatness of Shabbos. [And thus the midrash says that God sanctified Shabbos with the wood- cutter.]


Shem Mishmuel


by Hillel Zeitlin

When the Jews of Tiberias and Tzefat heard that Rabbi Nachman was in Haifa, they sent messengers with letters from the great tzaddikim asking him to come to Tiberias for Succos. But Rabbi Nachman did not accede to this request. He acquired esrogim from the local Torah scholar, who brought him three choice and beautiful esrogim for twenty "paras" from an Arab's garden.

Rabbi Nachman's students tell of a very strange episode that occurred at that time. A young Turk sat down with Rabbi Nachman and spoke to him. Rabbi Nachman did not understand what he was saying. This happened in the morning, and again that night, and at every meal: he always spoke with Rabbi Nachman with great affection. However, one time he came armed, and he began angrily yelling. Rabbi Nachman said nothing in return, because he did not know what the Turk wanted from him.

When the Turk left, a woman from Walachia, who knew Turkish, told Rabbi Nachman, "Flee as quickly as you can, for the Turk has challenged you to a duel." Rabbi Nachman fled to Rabbi Zev of Tsharna-Astra, whom he had met in Istanbul. Rabbi Zev hid him in his house. The Turk came running to Rabbi Zev: "Where is that person who ran here? I love him very much. I want to give him my donkeys and my horse, and he will be able to join the caravan going to Tiberias. He has nothing to fear from me."

Rabbi Nachman returned to his lodgings. The Turk again came. This time, he said nothing but remained silent, smiled and showed Rabbi Nachman great affection.

Rabbi Nachman stated, "I suffered more from the Turk's affection than from his anger." Who was this Turk? Could it have been Satan?

On the middle days of Succos, everyone, including Rabbi Nachman, went to the cave of Elijah the prophet. Everyone was rejoicing greatly and dancing very much. But Rabbi Nachman sat, dejected and with a broken heart. Rabbi Zev Wolf of Tsharna- Astra told Rabbi Nachman's companion: "Why has Rabbi Nachman been so gloomy, from Rosh Hashanah until now? God knows if something good will come of this."

On Simchas Torah, everyone circled the bimah with joy and dance, as is the Jewish custom--particularly among Hasidim. But Rabbi Nachman did not participate in any of the dancing, but sat gloomily, his head down. After Simchas Torah, he told his companion, "Thank God, I have accomplished everything that I wanted, in the best possible way. I have only remained out of love for the land of Israel. Now I want to go home. Go now and hire a ship to Istanbul."

But his companion did not at all want to travel home. He insisted that he must visit Tiberias and other holy sites.

"If that is the case," Rabbi Nachman replied, "go hire donkeys." His companion did so. And toward evening, they arrived there.

The entire night, the Jews of Tiberias, wearing their Shabbos garments, came to greet Rabbi Nachman, one after the other. There were so many that he could not sleep the entire night.

At first, Rabbi Nachman stayed with his relative, who was a grandson of Rabbi Nachman of Horodenka. But people wished to find him a nicer and larger place to stay, where he could be at ease. Rabbi Tzvi Harker, a dedicated follower and assistant to Rabbi Avraham of Kalisk, had such an apartment. When Rabbi Nachman entered these new lodgings, Rabbi Avraham of Kalisk sent him a message telling that he himself would have quickly come to greet Rabbi Nachman, but couldn't, since he had just let blood and was very weak.

Rabbi Nachman responded, "It makes no difference. I always wanted to go to Rabbi Avraham." And so it was. Rabbi Nachman went to Rabbi Avraham of Kalisk. Rabbi Avraham greeted him with great respect and extraordinary affection, and asked Rabbi Nachman to remain with him.

Rabbi Nachman replied that he could not remain, but he could spend a Shabbos. And he spent Shabbos, parshas Noach, there.

On Friday night, Rabbi Nachman bowed his head to receive a blessing from Rabbi Avraham. Rabbi Avraham leaped back four cubits in great fear, and spoke with such violence that no one could understand anything he said. Only his last words could be understood: "How could we not be ashamed before the children of the Baal Shem Tov?" However, when Rabbi Nachman's companion bowed his head, Rabbi Avraham blessed him.

There was great joy during the meal of these two tzaddikim. Rabbi Avraham asked Rabbi Nachman to say words of Torah, but Rabbi Nachman did not want to. So Rabbi Avraham had to teach Torah himself. The same thing happened the next morning, and at Shalosh Seudos. Rabbi Avraham taught Torah with great enthusiasm. The words streamed out of his mouth with such awesome fieriness and speed that it was impossible to understand him.

Reb Nachman Braslaver


by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

When humility and awe are revealed, they bring forth pleasantness and joy. Refined pleasure comes from the foundation of humility, and pure joy from the foundation of awe. And the revelation of the countenances of these illuminated visions results from the influence of their lights upon each other: "I call to them [heaven and earth] to stand together" (Is. 48:13). From the holy mixture of these branches comes a supernal might, extremely powerful, which motivates all aspects of life with a holy grandeur.

Oros Hakodesh III, p. 187


by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

You who are hiding in the cracks of this building,
You whose hand emerges from two books on the bookshelf,
You whose face appears upside down in the stairwell,
You who have left footsteps in cake crumbs in the basement,
You whose frantic smile has remained imprinted on this window, looking in,
You whose stump of a hand has remained between the covers of a swiftly-closed book:
Come back in, there are letters that are dancing in your forehead,
Come back in,
Vowels are jumping in the palms of your hands.
If you feel an itch of discomfort,
It is because these spiky musical notations are under your clothing,
Because little crowns are racing up your arm, trying to fit on your head.

I know you are all right.
I saw you fall seven times.
Now, will you please, again, get up?

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