The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review

Yaacov Dovid Shulman

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues



Volume VI, Issue 35

Shavuot, May 2002

Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2002 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (

--by Chaim Eliyahu Sternberg

--by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

--by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

--by Rabbi Avraham Kook

--by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

--by Elchanan Yosef Hertzman

--by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

--by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

by Chaim Eliyahu Sternberg

Before the Baal Shem Tov was revealed, he taught schoolchildren. When he did so, he caused them to experience the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai, with the thunder and lightning.

When the holiday of Shavuot came and he taught them about the giving of the Torah, he asked them if they remember that event. All of them answered "yes" except for one, who in the end left the path of Judaism.
Kovetz Eliyahu

by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

When a person directs his heart and mind to cling to the divine light that shines in the totality of the Congregation of Israel–in all [its] souls and generations from beginning to end–he clings automatically to the light of divinity that rests within the totality of the structure of all humanity, whose center and distillation is the Congregation [of Israel].

As a result, he clings as well to the totality of the light of divinity that is revealed in all of existence, whose essence is seen in the elevated aspect of the soul of man.

Then automatically he connects his mind in this way to cling to the supernal divinity that transcends all existence, and his soul is filled with a life full of holiness and harmony, greatness and might.

And when his might is [thus] increased, he adds power to the totality of the Congregation of Israel, since he is a part of it.

Then he automatically adds strength to the structure of humanity and in [to?] all the universes. As the verse states, "Acknowledge the strength of God [lit., give strength to God]. Upon Israel is His pride, and His strength is in the heavens. You are awesome, God, from your Temple. The God of Israel gives strength and might to the nation. Blessed be God!"
Orot Yisrael 3:1

by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

There was a king who had an object shaped like a hand, with five fingers and lines, just like a real hand.

This hand was the map of all the worlds. Everything that existed since heaven and earth were created until the very end and even afterwards was illustrated on that hand. The lines and wrinkles of the hand illustrated in detail the structure of all the worlds, together with all the objects in each world. All of this was illustrated on the hand and in the lines and wrinkles of the hand, just like a map.

The lines of the hand formed letters. Just as letters are written on a map next to every object to identify it--a city, a river and so on--the lines of the hand were like letters. The letters stood next to every object that was illustrated on the hand and identified it.

Each state, each city, all the rivers, bridges, mountains and other things were illustrated in the lines and wrinkles of the hand. And next to each object stood letters telling what it is. All the people who lived in each state and everything that they lived through was illustrated on the hand. Even all the roads from one state to the other and from one area to another were there....

The pathway from one world to another world was illustrated there. There is a pathway on which one can go on from earth to heaven (people cannot go from earth to heaven because they do not know the way; but there the pathway by which one can go up to heaven was illustrated). All the pathways that exist between one world and the next were illustrated there.

Elijah went up to heaven on one pathway, and that pathway was illustrated there.

Moses went up to heaven on another pathway, and that pathway was illustrated there.

Enoch went up to heaven on another pathway, and that pathway was also illustrated there.

And so from one world to the next world, everything was illustrated in the lines and wrinkles of the hand.

Everything was illustrated as it had existed at the time that the world was created; as it is today; and as it will be in the future. For instance, there was an illustration of Sodom as it had been before it was overturned; and there was an illustration of Sodom being overthrown; there was another illustration of how Sodom looks today after having been overthrown.

Everything was illustrated on the hand: what was, what is and what will be.
from Sipurei Maasiyos

by Rabbi Avraham Kook

Love of [all] beings must be cultivated a great deal so that it will be broadened to the proper extent. The first, superficial glance by a person who is inadequately prepared will give the impression that this conflicts with Torah and customary ethics–[which seem to present] objections or, at the very least, indifference [to sch a love. But this love] must constantly fill all the chambers of the soul.

The most elevated stance in regard to love of [all] beings must be to take the love of people and [have it] spread to all humanity–despite all differences in opinions, religions and beliefs, despite all differences of race and climate. It is proper to discover all the views of nations and various groups, to learn as much as possible their character and makeup, in order to know how to base our human love upon foundations that [bring us to] action.

The love of the Jewish nation in the pride of its glory and greatness, [both] spiritual and this-worldly, can be uplifted only in a soul rich in the love of [all] beings and the love of humanity. [But] a jaundiced view that makes one see everything outside the bounds of this unique nation, even if it is outside the bounds of Israel, as only ugliness and uncleanness is a terrible species of darkness that causes a general destruction of the entire structure of spiritual goodness, for whose light every refined soul hopes.
Musar Avichah, Ahavah 10

by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

The difference between a Jewish soul–its essence, its inner longings, its yearning, its make-up and its stance–and a soul from any gentile nation on any level [whatsoever] is greater and more profound than the difference between a human spirit and an animal spirit.

In the latter case, the difference is merely one of degree. But in the former, there reigns an intrinsic, qualitative difference.
Orot Yisrael 5:10

by Elchanan Yosef Hertzman

Sometimes, those who spoke to R. Meir were nuisances. Nevertheless, he patiently listened to everything they had to say. No matter how long they spoke and bothered him, his attention never faltered, and he would listen with an encouraging interest. His unusual humility and discreetness made it possible for those who spoke with him to pour out their bitter hearts to him, as in the verse, "if a man has a worry in his heart, he should speak it out." And then he would offer good and intelligent advice.

R. Meir valued his time greatly. Time was more precious to him than gold, and he would take care not to speak an unnecessary word. Nevertheless, when he had to speak on someone's behalf, he did so at length, for he knew well that "[the Torah's] paths are the paths of pleasantness."

When he learned in Lakewood Yeshiva, people would come into his apartment to use the telephone throughout the day and night. R. Meir would always greet them pleasantly, even though this disturbed his privacy. Whoever entered his home sensed a pleasant atmosphere, even if he came late at night.

More than that, R. Meir's door was always open. If he went away, he would leave a note telling where the key could be found.
P'nei Meir

by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

When love is beset by many obstacles and contradictions–whether from nature or from the Torah–it grows more purified. It ultimately rises to the essence of the divine love that created all things and that gives life to them at every moment.
Musar Avichah, Ahavah 7

by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

It is appropriate to hate a degraded person only from the aspect of his imperfection. But from the aspect of the essence of his "divine image," it is appropriate to appreciate him lovingly, and to know in addition that his worthiness is more intrinsic to him than his degraded circumstances.

Therefore, although "one can rip apart a lowly person like a fish," one may only do so "from his back" (Pesachim 49b)--not from the aspect of his face, which contains the light of the "[divine] image."
Musar Avichah

To subscribe by e-mail (free) or to sponsor an issue ($18.00), please contact:
Yaacov Dovid Shulman 410.358.8771;

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues
Jerusalem, Israel