The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review

Yaacov Dovid Shulman

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Volume V, Issue 38

Sh'lach 5761 June 2001

Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright 2001 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (

* This Flag Does Not Bear the Red
--By Yaacov Dovid Shulman

* Marked Borders
--By Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

* The Society for Positive Mindfulness (Part Iv)
--By Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman (The Pieszesner Rebbe)

* The Youth of Rabbi Nosson of Nemirov (Part V)
--By Rabbi Avraham Tultshiner

* "I Am the Soul of Reb Nachman"
--By Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Neriah

* Clear Atmosphere
--By Yaacov Dovid Shulman

by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

This flag does not bear the red
Of blood. Beneath the red-blood moon
We raise our hands in praise that we are men and
See, beyond our camp, the jackals with their bright hard eyes.

We see them raising their red hands
Hennaed with our blood. The light streams
From the sky, it will not cease. Even on our
Waterfronts, our eyes shine with a joy that wells from this:

That in our hearts is broadness,
That the very worst among us
Are guilty of being too much human, of
Loving the vulture, the scavenger, raging if we

Do not see the messiah
In the eyes of vultures. These men,
Our sinners, summon Ahab and Elijah,
Build a golden calf, then squeeze their bleeding eyes and dance.

by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

All spiritual concepts in the Torah are like borders that have been marked so that we may come to them. We do so by employing the means that lead to them with the proper preparations.

If we will want to come to them paying no mind to the fundamental nature of these preparations, we will attain not truthful but illusory matters. "The lazy man has hidden his hand in the plate; neither will he bring it to his mouth."

Orot Hatorah 8:4

by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman (the Pieszesner Rebbe)

The perfection, broadening and strengthening of mindfulness: that is the fundamental concern of our group, and the principle method by means of which we will be able to attain a link with the service of God. And we will not be only on the level of the maidservant's first-born standing behind the millstones [and far from the king], but we will be like the [king's] son who feels his closeness to his father, and senses his father speaking to him. Why is [attaining such] mindfulness difficult and heavy? Why does a person find it difficult to strengthen such mindfulness and not allow it to weaken? The reason is two-fold.

The first is lack of passion--that of flaming joy or of a broken heart. Whenever a Jew purifies himself, he is aflame. Even a modest awakening strengthens and purifies his mindfulness, so that it transcends physical images and its illusions (as we said earlier in regard to Yom Kippur). Only when a person's heart and mind are dulled does he lack an elevated, non-physical mindfulness. This is particularly so when he is depressed, heaven forbid. Depression is not a broken and bitter heart, but rather a type of lack and dullness (as Rabbi Shneur Zalman teaches). On the eve of Yom Kippur, when a Jew feels that his heart is broken, his heart and mind are open--whereas during the rest of the year, if he is depressed, heaven forbid, he sinks, lacking both heart and mind.

The second cause is that a person naturally lacks this strong mindfulness. [And when we encourage someone to strengthen his mindfulness,] it is as though we were to tell something complex to a person of limited intelligence--who, due to his natural limitations, cannot understand it. Since a person's mindfulness is by nature not as strong as it should be, even at a time of [spiritual] awakening (although then it does awaken and grow stronger), it is comparable to the understanding of a person of limited intelligence, who at times strains his mind to understand some information with his diminished understanding. All of this mindfulness exists only at that moment of awakening, and afterwards disappears.

But if a person possesses a strong mindfulness, when he awakens and is inspired, his mind strengthens and is clear, and in his thought and in his mind's eye--the mind's eye of the Jewish people, who are the children of prophets--he sees God, be He blessed, and His throne of glory--each person on his level. And even afterwards, when he is no longer aflame, he can access his previous state of mind without letting it weaken, and see even now God's glory standing before him. And this strong mindfulness that he has hold of can again awaken his flame at any time and moment in which he will prepare himself.

But this is not the case with the blemished person who lacks mindfulness.

Even when he awakens and is aflame, all his mindfulness is a mere a spark, comparable to the mind of a fool. And how much more is this true when he is no longer inspired, when he lacks every type of elevated thought and can think only of this-worldly matters: bread, potatoes, business, and the like. Therefore, the only way he can be inspired is when this inspiration comes of itself--on Yom Kippur, for instance, or at some other elevated time. Then he awakens. But to actively awaken his inspiration in his mind and to elevate himself--of this he is incapable.

Bnei Machshavah Tovah

by Rabbi Avraham Tultshiner


When R. Nachman came to Breslov, R. Nosson said, "Atzind kan zein az ich vel vern an erlicher yud. Now, perhaps, I will become a good Jew." And [at that time,] R. Nachman said to R. Yudl, "Az ich zeh a neshamah oyf der Ukreine samuch l'Breslov. I see a soul in the Ukraine near Breslov."

And he praised this soul highly.

Indeed, he praised this soul so highly that R. Yudl could not believe that R. Nachman had been alluding to R. Nosson. But after R. Nachman passed away, R. Yudl understood that R. Nachman had in fact meant R. Nosson. And R. Yudl sent his sons to R. Nosson, saying that the gift that R. Nachman had gtiven R. Nosson was to engage in business with young men: to engage young men in the business of fear of heaven."

And when R. Nachman came to Breslov, R. Nosson said, "I am going to Breslov."

At that time, people would say, "a pitke a guter yud," "a fortune for a tzaddik." That is, it takes a fortune to travel to R. Nachman. Indeed, when he had been distant, it had vbeen difficult for R. Nosson to travel to him, due to the external opposition of his father, father-in-law and wife, and the internal opposition within him, due to the fact that he did not feel satisfaction in his service of God. But now that R. Nachman was nearby, the obstacles would be alleviated.

Avaneha Barzel

by Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Neriah

In regard to the influence of Hasidism on Rav Kook, the author and thinker R. Hillel Zeitlin, writes, "It is clear to me that Rav Kook based himself not only on the works of Chabad but also on the Kedushas Levi, the writings of R. Mordechai Yosef of Izbitz and his son (Mei Hashiloach and Beis Yaacov) and the works of the Cohen of Lublin--but most of all, on Likutei Moharan, and the other works of the great seer of Breslov" (R. Hillel Zeitlin, Hatzofeh, eve of Rosh Hashanah 5699).

And we have added testimony regarding Rav Kook's connection with Breslov Hasidism from R. Yisrael Porat: "According to what [Rav Kook] told me personally...his heart was drawn to the ways of service of Hasidism, and in particular he was devoted to the mysterious teachings of R. Nachman of Breslov. He read and reviewed his works and talks a great deal, and studied his ideas" (R. Yisrael Porat).

I was told by Rabbi Shmuel Horowitz of Meron that he had heard from R. Meir Anshin, an elder Breslover who had lived for a while in Jaffa, where he would often visit the home of Rav Kook, that R. Nosson of Nemirov's Likutei Tefilos (based on the teachings of Likutei Moharan) was on the shelf of R. Kook's prayer stand, and he would occasionally look into it.

And a Breslover of Jerusalem, R. Yechiel Greenwald, told me that Rav Kook once said: "Ani nishmas Rebbe Nachman" ("I am the soul of R. Nachman").

Chayei Harayah, pp. 171-72

by Yaacov Dovid Shulman/i>

I will clean my mind
And place it before you like a plate
Of pineapples. What species, what kind

Of clear atmosphere do you crave?
I will clear this space,
This grass with the finality of the grave,

Here where the shadow falls,
With the rough, dark smell of horse
And the sudden bubbles of bird calls.

Here I shall say nothing that I would rue.
Say nothing then, and in the headlight's gold
Draw from this leaf-tinctured darkness a clue

To nothingness, as clean
As a plate of orange cantaloupe,
Bright red and yellow nectarine.

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