The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review
Yaacov Dovid Shulman
|WINGS OF MORNING
Volume VI, Issue 5
Noach 5762 October 2001
Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2001 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (email@example.com).
* The Society for Positive Mindfulness (continued)
* A Short History of R. Yaacov Dovid Kallush of Amshinov (5574-5638;
* The Dark Language
by R. SH. Glitzenstein
At the time of the aerial bombardments of London during the First World War, the Jews who lived in the neighborhood of Rav Kook (who was at that time living in London) took shelter in the cellar beneath the synagogue of the Machzikei Hadas congregation. Rav Kook went there as well--against his will, but to keep his family from worrying. The cellar was claustrophobic and suffocating. Children wailed and mothers complained. Some of the men gathered around Rav Kook and began reciting Psalms. As the explosions increased, the recitation of Palms was interrupted and those with good voices began to sing loudly in order to drown out the terrifying sounds. Some people protested, but Rav Kook encouraged the singers to sing even more loudly. After several hours, most people had dozed off. But Rav Kook sat in his place without a sign of fatigue or emotion. In his hand, he held his small volume of Tanach and recited Chapter 43 of Psalms, which begins with the words, "Judge me, God, and fight on my behalf...against a merciless nation."
I was accustomed to Rav Kook's recital of Psalms when he was alone in his room--recited in a loud voice, with bitter weeping and with an outpouring of the soul. But how different was this recital of Psalms. I paid no attention to the words, but to the tune with which they were crowned, completely soulful and soaked with spiritual freshness. From the depth of his soul, Rav Kook poured forth his murmurs before his Father in heaven, and it was as though the entire Congregation of Israel was pleading for compassion: "Send Your light and Your truth, they will guide me, they will bring me to Your holy mountain and to Your dwelling place." All of his senses were focused on the recitation. And even when it was announced that the danger had passed, he remained oblivious to the tumult of those gathered there, and continued reciting the chapter to the end.
Mazkir Harav, quoted in Shivchei Harayah
by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro (the Pieszesner Rebbe)
In all that you do, act simply and whole-heartedly. When you are whole-hearted, this indicates that you and your activities are ruled by your soul. And contrarily, guile indicates a lack of soul. A person is then governed by reasoning: not the reasoning that comes from the soul, but the reasoning of the world--its customs, states of being and its people, all of which fools consider "intelligence," and in accordance with which they act, speak, think and engage in their affairs.
Guile refers not only to falsehood, but even to the beginning of falsehood within it, which brings a person to speak and think falsehoods: i.e., the state of the soul and how it rots so that a person becomes a liar until his thoughts, words and all his affairs are convoluted--not alive, not in existence and not true.
The seal of the Holy One, blessed be He, is "Truth." This seal is stamped upon the entire world.
A growing plant contains within itself the existence of the life-force of its sprouting soul. That is truth.
On the other hand, an imagined plant or a wax representation of a plant is falsehood. Truth is reality and falsehood is a non-existent nothingness. Truth is in the category of life and falsehood is from the side of death, without a core, an existence, a reality.
Reality is truth. When all of a person's affairs, actions and thoughts contain a reality in which his soul is found, that is truth and whole-heartedness.
Plant life sprouts with whole-heartedness and simplicity, with no external intent and motive, but only because of the reality within it and because of its soul that is pressing it to spread and grow.
Similarly, in all his affairs a child acts with simplicity and whole-heartedness, in accordance with the existence of his soul as it spreads out. Were an adult also to act in all that he does and to engage in all his thoughts with his soul only, he would be whole-hearted and truthful. But as long as he does not act with simplicity, in accordance with that which flows from his heart and soul, there is no reality in him and in all his actions. He is already falsehood itself, even if he does not say that a tree is a stone. If someone claims that a tree is a stone, the basis and beginning of that falsehood actually began from something that comes from the Side of Death, and there is no reality or soul in any of his acts and thoughts.
The entire charm of a child is that he is whole-hearted and simple. When we speak with him, we feel as though we are speaking with his soul. When we ask him a question, it penetrates to his soul, and from his soul comes a reply that is whole-hearted and simple. The child puts his entire heart in his response.
Now we are not asking you to give up your awareness in order to be like a child, but only that you be whole-hearted.
For instance, when someone asks you a question, don't think about how to answer him: "etiquette demands that I answer him this way; if I answer him in this other way, he will think that I am intelligent; if I wish to fool and deceive him, I should answer him in such-and-such a manner." If you do this, your answer is a gathering of wind from the four corners of the earth. You may have answer ed in such a way that you fulfill the requirements of etiquette and you assure that he considers you intelligent, and so forth. But you and your soul are lacking. There is neither reality nor life force, neither soul nor truth, here. Instead, there is falsehood, nothingness and emptiness.
Rather, respond sincerely. Speak from your heart, with whole-heartedness and simplicity. Use your reasoning only to establish that you aren't making a mistake. This reasoning of yours should also be simple and sincere. It should serve as a type of tool helping the sincerity and simplicity of your heart and bringing it forth into action.
If responding in such a way would harm you or there is some other problem, simply reply, "I do not know" (as our sages tell us). Do not twist and bend things to produce a guileful response lacking sincerity and simplicity.
Bnei Machshavah Tovah
by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Bromberg
The Hasidic school of Amshinov is a branch of the Vorke dynasty. R. Yaacov Dovid, first-born son of the first admor (rebbe) of Vorke, founded the dynasty of Amshinov.
R. Yaacov Dovid was born to his father R. Yitzchak Kallush and to his mother Rachel in the town of Zarik, Poland, in the year 5574. His childhood passed in the town of Zarik, the village of Ruda, and finally Vorke. At the time that his father moved went to Vorke, Yaacov Dovid was about fifteen years old.
From his childhood, Yaacov Dovid was outstanding in his studies: constant and diligent. While still a young person, he gained a reputation amongst the great scholars. He was also whole-hearted and pious in all his ways, and beloved by others.
At first, he and his young brother Mendel were taught by their father. But when their father grew so involved with communal needs that he could no longer teach his sons, he hired a melamed, a teacher, for them. Every Friday, when the melamed would report to their father what they had learned, he would praise Yaacov Dovid highly, for he was very pleased with him.
Yaacov Dovid's scholarliness and piety gave him a glowing reputation, and many householders wished to take the pious, learned, brilliant young man as a son-in-law. He was engaged to the daughter of a well-known Hasid from Gur. Also after his marriage, while he was supported by his father-in-law, Yaacov Dovid spent all his days and nights learning Torah and serving God.
When the rabbi of Gur passed away, the community turned to the pious, brilliant young man and took him as their rabbi. This was before the time of the famous "Chidushei Harim," when Gur was not yet famous. (Its fame came afterwards, primarily with the foundation of the dynasty of the admorim of Gur through the Chidushei Harim and his grandson, the Sefat Emet.)
We do not know why R. Yaacov Dovid left Gur and went to Peshishcha. Nor did he remain long in Peshishcha: a bare year and a half. Then he was hired as rabbi of the town of Amshinov, where he remained to the end of his days. There, he became known as the rebbe of Amshinov.
Even when R. Yaacov Dovid's father was still alive, Hasidim wold come to him. But he did not want to act as an admor while his father was alive. After his father passed away, his place as rebbe of Vorke was taken by R. Shraga Feivel of Gritze, and R. Yaacov Dovid would travel to him. And when the Admor of Gritze passed away (in 5609), the Hasidim at last crowned R. Yaacov Dovid as their rebbe.
Migdolei Hachasidut III
by Yaacov Dovid Shulman
Of course you have entered the
Light. Of course your mouth is wine-
The might. You no longer stood
Burning air upon my eyes,
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