The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review
Yaacov Dovid Shulman
|WINGS OF MORNING
Volume VII, Issue 1
Rosh Hashanah 5763, September 2002
Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2002 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (email@example.com).
by R. Nosson of Nemirov
Before Rosh Hashanah of 5569 (1808), the slaughterer from Teplik brought Rabbi Nachman a beautiful chair. At that time, Rabbi Nachman told of a vision or dream in which he had been brought a chair surrounded by fire, and everyone in the world–men, women and children–came to see it. When they left, connections formed between them, and marriages were arranged. Also, all the leaders of the generation went to see it.
Rabbi Nachman said:
I asked, "How far is it? And why were marriages arranged so quickly?"
I circled around them to go there, and I heard that Rosh Hashanah is coming.
I didn't know whether to return or to remain where I was. I said to myself, "How can I remain here on Rosh Hashanah? But because my body is so weak, why should I return?" So I remained.
I came to the chair and saw Rosh Hashanah itself, as well as Yom Kippur itself and Succot itself.
I also heard cries, "‘My soul hates your new month and holiday celebrations' (Is. 1:14). Why should you judge the world? Rosh Hashanah itself will judge."
Then everyone, together with all the leaders of the generation, fled.
I saw that all the images of all the creatures in the world were carved on the chair. Each one was carved together with its mate next to it. That is why marriage arrangements had been made so quickly. Every one found and saw his mate there.
Since I had previously been learning, it occurred to me that the verse, "His throne is flames of fire" (Dan. 7:9) was the acronym of shadchan, matchmaker. Via the chair, matches were made. Also, the word for throne is an acronym for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Succot.
That is why Shmini Atzeret is the marriage of the Matron.
I asked, "How will I make a living?"
I was told that I would be a matchmaker.
The fire surrounded the chair.
In truth, Rosh Hashanah is very good. It is the holiday during which the moon hides–which is why God says, so to speak, "Bring an atonement offering for My sake." This is very good for the world, for then we ourselves ask for atonement on Rosh Hashanah.
Chayei Moharan, p. 39, #4
by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook
A person finds himself within himself by means of the light of divine life that appears within him, that fills him with the good spirit of a feeling of thankfulness, of appreciation for divine goodness and its expression.
What value does a person have, with his weak capability, with his insignificance and dwarfishness, compared to the entirety of the great and mighty universe and the lordly and wondrous powers of creation that suround him? Feeling so desolate in comparison to them, a person loses the construct of his "I."
But when the light of recognizing the divine good shines upon him–together with all the holy tributaries, strong in might of holiness, that [this light] pours within him–he comes to recognize his own great worth, his "I," and the fact that his existence is not meaningless in the totality of existence.
And he finds himself delighted to express, without reservation, "I!"
Olat Harayah, p. 1
by Rabbi Nosson of Nemirov
Rabbi Nachman told us that he had had a dream and he didn't know what it meant:
One of my disciples had died (someone who had actually died). But I hadn't known about it until now. It seemed to me that everyone was standing around me and taking leave of me after Rosh Hashanah, as is the custom. That man who had died was also standing there. I asked him, "Why weren't you here on Rosh Hashanah?" The man answered, "Hadn't I already died?"
I replied, "Is that a reason? If a man dies, isn't he allowed to come for Rosh Hashanah?"
And the man was silent.
Because a few people were speaking with me about faith, I also spoke with him about this. (Apparently, Rabbi Nachman understood that this man had had problems with his faith [in tzaddikim].)
I told him, "Am I the only one in the world? If you don't believe in me, go to other tzaddikim. Since you still believe in others, go to them."
He said, "Whom shall I go to?"
I think that I told him to go to some well-known leader.
He answered, "I am far from him."
I told him, "Go to some other one." I mentioned all the famous leaders. But he said that he was far from every one of them.
I told him, "Since you are far from all of them and you have no one to approach, you should stay here and grow close to me." "To you?" he said. "From you I am really very far!"
I believe that it was mid-day, and the sun was directly overhead. The man rose up into the air until he reached the sun. He travelled with the sun and they sank bit by bit to the ground together, until he sank below the earth together with sunset.
He continued with the sun until midnight, when he was directly below me, for at midnight the sun is directly below a person's feet.
Then, when he had sunk far down until he was directly opposite me, I heard a cry calling to me, "Do you hear how far I am from you?"
And I do not know what this means.
Chayei Moharan, p. 46, #21
by Yaacov Dovid Shulman
I think I got a head of myself,
From the Aleutian Islands or Spain or Rome
Oh witch hazel! Oh bairn! Oh strife!
Oh here my hand beneath, and here my foot!
Toppling down upon my hoary head,
Hey! Hip hip! Catch that man's attention, if you please,
Oh this head of mine droops like lead
We have drunk the milk of trees' desire,
Burning on the beach still warmed our legs,
And the spinning record slowed to stillness,
by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook
Free thinking cannot touch that which is higher than knowledge.
The logic of supernal faith reveals God in the soul. This is higher than any knowledge. That is why untrammeled free thinking is not right for it.
Freedom from life–is death. But "the righteous lives by his faith."–Orot Ha'emunah, p. 32
Hebrew Reading Skills
Yaacov Dovid Shulman
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