The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review
Yaacov Dovid Shulman
|WINGS OF MORNING
Volume V, Issue 47
Re'eh 5761 August 2001
Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2001 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (email@example.com).
by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook
If something has a touch of idolatry, we may know that, although it may have a quality of physical or even spiritual beauty, this comes only from its superficial aspect. But within it lies the venom of a profound destructiveness.
If a person is bonded with a link to such a worthless faith, the site of his linkage lies within the innermost being of its content--the very thing that pours forth inner evil. This is because all idolatry is repulsed from the source of life and goodness, the source of living waters, and instead hews broken cisterns that will not hold water.
by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman (the Pieszesner Rebbe)
Also, when you feel joyful, even if this joy is the result of having been saved from some this-worldly problem, don't ignore this propitious moment, when the spark of the revelation of your soul has been struck. Stand to the side and recite some chapters of Psalms (justa few, not too many), such as Chapter Eighteen: "Hashem, my might, strengthen me... my Rock, I will take refuge in Him; my shield and horn of my salvation, my tower...."And when you finish reciting Psalms, say aloud, "Master of the universe, thank You for the Your great kindness, for taking care of me, for helping me in Your great compassion, for always guiding me for my own good--and , and in particular now that You have saved me in this way." And feel how this physical joy has brought you to an elevated state, in which you can rejoice in God.
When you undertake this practice, you won't ignore even a sigh, because even with a simple, slight sigh about this-worldly things, a sigh that comes from your heart, the heart of a Jew, you can attain a great revelation of your soul and bring her close to God. Your soul is like a sealed spring of water that must be searched for. Holes and cracks must be drilled into it.
And from every hole, you can bring forth a profusion of water. And with that water, you can water your own fields, and those of others as well. Besides that, reciting these prayers and feeling this breadth of emotion is in itself good. These two things are cleansing baths that purify the Jewish soul from every polluted desire, and bring her close to God. And also, they do not allow the soul to slumber lethargically and fall faint. Instead, they accustom your soul to be revealed more and more. Then these two things grow stronger: your spiritual passion and your image-less mindfulness. And it grows easier to arouse your soul to attain inspiration and passion at any time.
Bnei Machshavah Tovah
a Hasidic story of the nineteenth century
by Avraham Yitzchak of Zinkavitz
As soon as they came back to Istanbul, they told the Jews that they were saved. Then the messengers rushed to the king's palace. They came to the big courtyard in front of the palace, and told the king's guard to tell the king that they were here to see him.
At that very moment, the king fainted and fell to the floor. After a while, he got up, and he told his servants to let the two messengers in to him immediately.
As soon as the messengers came in to his room, the king said to them, "Where's the piece of apple that you brought me from King David?" The messengers quickly gave him the piece of apple. The king took it very happily. He sent the messengers out and declared that the Jews could continue to live at peace in Turkey--he wouldn't throw them out or take any of their property.
You see, when the messengers came in to the palace, the face of King David appeared to the king of Turkey. King David told the king of Turkey that he was sending back the two messengers with a present for him--part of an apple that came from Paradise. King David's face shone with a holy light (just as the face of Moses our teacher shone after he came down from Mount Sinai), and the king of Turkey was so frightened that he fainted. Then, as soon as the messengers came in to him, he asked for the part of the apple from Paradise.
The king of Turkey let the Jews live in peace, because he had seen King David before him, just as he had wanted. The king of Turkey saw that when the Jews say, "Dovid, Melech Yisroel, chai vekayum"--"David, King of Israel, is alive and well"--they are telling the truth.
This was the story that Rabbi Zalman, chief judge of Kamnitz, told. from Sipurei Tzaddikim
by R. Avraham Ben Nachman
Afterwards, R. Nosson traveled home. But he did not go to his father's house. Rather, he went to the house of his grandfather (his father's father), R. Yitzchak of Danzig.
After that, R. Dovid Tzvi, his father-in-law, went there, and he was told that R. Nosson had become a Hasid. Perhaps, they considered, R. Nosson should divorce his wife--something that she was willing to accept. In fact, R. Nosson's own father, R. Naftali Hertz, advised her to accept a divorce.
R. Dovid Tzvi asked, "Lernt er chatsh? Does he at least learn?"
R. Nosson's wife said that he was learning a great deal more now than he had before.
"If so," he said to her, "I advise you not to get divorced."
She said to him, "And how will I make a living?"
He answered her, "Bei azoy aman, vilstu parnassah? From such a man you want an income? Mit der noz zalstu akern in im geben broit with your nose you should plow [?] in order to supply him with bread. Take some salt and sell it in the market, and support him."
Afterwards they came to a compromise that R. Nosson would travel at intervals for business and that for now he would not travel to R. Nachman until Chanukah--that is, only at set times. And in order to maintain the peace, R. Nosson was forced to accede to this agreement.
by R. Avraham ben Nachman
Some time later, R. Nosson found that he was unable to pray properly. He wanted to travel to R. Nachman, but he was afraid to, because of the above-mentioned agreement. He grew bitter. He thought, "Nearby in Breslov sits a man who could illuminate me, yet I cannot go to him." He decided that when his father went to eat lunch, he would travel to R. Nachman, and if he returned home before supper, his father wouldn't even know.
With this plan, he set out. But on the way, there was a terrific downpour. And so he only arrived in Breslov at night. He came before R. Nachman after the evening prayers and told him of all the obstacles he was enduring. R. Nachman said to him, "Az es iz gar shlecht, tzit men zich tzum emes vi iz fart der emes. When it is truly bad, one pulls oneself to truth where truth really is." And then R. Nachman taught him the lesson, "Make a light..." (Likutei Moharan 112).
After this, R. Nosson went to the house of his grandfather, R. Yitzchak. R. Yitzchak told him, "Why are you endangering your father's life?" His father suffered from a disease of the belly (God have mercy). And because he was so angry at R. Nosson, this disease had flared up (God have mercy).
Every letter contains worlds and souls and Godliness. They rise and are connected and join with each other, with Godliness, and then the letters join and are connected together and a word is formed, and they truly unite in Godliness.
And a person must enclose his soul in every one of these levels. Then all the worlds join as one and they rise, causing an infinite joy and pleasure.
Tzavaas Harivash 75
"In all your ways, know Him." This is a great principle. "Know Him" means to cling to Him in all your acts, even in physical acts. Tzavaas Harivash 94
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