The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review
Yaacov Dovid Shulman
|WINGS OF MORNING
Volume VI, Issue 30
Tazria/Metzorah, April 2002
Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2002 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
*MENACHEM MENDEL OF KOTZK
*ELEVATING CAUSELESS HATRED
*THE CHILDREN OF THE "HOLY JEW"
by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook
The love of Israel requires the love of every individual. If it demands the hatred of any segment of humanity, that indicates that one's soul has not yet been purified of its pollution, and is therefore unable to unite with the rarified supernal love.
Orot (Ahavat Yisrael 5)
by Rabbi Yechiel Moshe (av beis din of Kamaravke and Yadimave)
I heard that one time before Rosh Hashanah, a Hasid had a private audience with the Kotzker rebbe, and told him that he wanted to go home for Rosh Hashanah.
When the rebbe asked him why, he replied that he would be leading services at home for pay.
At this, the Kotzker rebbe yelled at him, "How can you take money for praying?"
The Hasid grew very frightened.
But in the end, the Kotzker rebbe gave him permission to go. "Pray," he told him, and after a pause he added, "Take money."
Once the Kotzker rebbe said in Yiddish, "What is this phrase, ‘sincere prayer'?"
The Hasidism didn't understand his holy words until he told them (again in Yiddish), "After all, what should not be done sincerely?"
I heard that when the Kotzker rebbe was traveling to his rebbe together with someone else, it began raining very hard. The Kotzker said to his companion, "I wish that God would stop the rain."
To this, his companion replied, "Don't we find that the Cohen Gadol used to pray that the prayers of those who ‘pass on the roads' not be accepted by God?"
He replied, "That refers to those who ‘pass' on the roads, not to those who ‘go' on the roads." In other words, that refers to a person who transgresses the path of God, not to a person who is going on the path of God.
And I heard a different version as well: "Those who ‘pass on the roads' refers to people who are on the way to some destination. But for me, this road itself is my place." It appears to me that he meant to say that even as he traveled, he was cleaving to God. And so the road itself was his place.
by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook
Even the trait of causeless hatred must be elevated. It cannot [be allowed to] obstruct the re-integration (teshuvah) and complete redemption of the entirety of Israel. We must broaden the great [spiritual] lights in order that we will understand and realize that a comprehensive good results even from differing points of view. In the end, evil traits, which cling to the holiness of Israel as chaff clings to food, will no longer bind together. In the innermost part of our hearts, the connection [to holiness] will be great and mighty, so that the aspect of good will unite, whereas the aspect of evil will be scattered. "All workers of sin will be separated" (Tehillim 92:10).
More than that, even within the aspect of good itself, when there are disagreements, every individual bit of good attains its own particular hue. [Then another] hue that is transfusing another [bit of good] does not bear upon this one to blur its form. As a result, the Congregation of Israel is enriched with a multitude of lights. This multitude itself brings about the greatest and most meaningful peace.
Nevertheless, we must strive a great deal to bring about a peace that is externally discernable as well, so that "the booth of peace will be spread over all Israel." Still, differences–in particular, differences that have a spiritual source in predilections regarding faith and holiness–bring supernal lights into being. [It is possible for] the tzaddikim, these elevated people, to attain the greatness of the lights that come into being as a result of dispute between tzaddikim. With [those lights] they build worlds–i.e., each one perfects his path of ethics, justice, holiness and piety, with the entire depth of his feeling and thought regarding the innermost aspect of life.
[Then] "Your nation is entirely righteous": within every individual Jew resides a spark of holy light, an inheritance from the Patriarchs, from the holiness of Torah and the greatness of faith. And so every dispute between two Jews, between two groups, also builds worlds.
And since everything is improvement and building, there is no need to speak bitterly, but rather to proclaim the greatness that both sides are accomplishing, and [to proclaim] that together they are perfecting a building that will last forever and are rectifying the world.
Then, according to the breadth of this consciousness, love will grow, corresponding to the size of the [previous] hatred; a connection will grow, corresponding to the size of the [previous] division–[all this] in accordance with the principle that a good trait has a greater measure than a trait of unruliness. "The light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of the seven days, on the day that Hashem will bandage the fracture of His nation and heal the blow of its wound" (Yishayah 30). May it come quickly, in our day, amen.
The sin against Hashem alluded to by the diminishment of the moon (Chulin 60) will reveal its light, a light that comes from the inner nature of the dispute [and that manifests as] "an open rebuke based upon a hidden love." From within its concealment, [that light] will emerge into revelation with a broad and very mighty power, "its flames the flames of fire, a torch of God" (Shir Hashirim 8).
Orot (Ahavat Yisrael 6)
by Avraham Stern
The "Holy Jew" left three children behind. The oldest was R. Yerachmiel of Peshishcha, the second was R. Asher of Farisav and the third was R. Nechemiahle of Bechev.
With the Holy Jew's passing away, his student, R. Bunim of Peshishcha, took over the guidance of his students, who consisted not only of simple followers but also of the great leaders of the generation. At first, R. Yerachmiel himself counted himself one of R. Bunim's followers. But later, when R. Bunim introduced his sharp approach to intellectual Hasidism, R. Yerachmiel had a dispute with him and told him clearly, "This is not what my father had in mind." (Similarly, the Be'er Moshe–the son of the Maggid of Kashenitz–told R. Bunim that his path could at most help two people out of a hundred.) And at that time, R. Yerachmiel became a rebbe and leader in his own right. Nevertheless, [he later spoke up in defense of R. Bunim.] In 18??, the celebrated, great wedding in Ostilya took place, which was attended by over a hundred tzaddikim of the time, the eldest among them being the Apter rav (author of Oheiv Yisrael). A few great tzaddikim who opposed R. Bunim asked that the entire gathering of tzaddikim excommunicate him and forbid intermarrying with his followers, unless he would retreat from his path. But R. Yerachmiel defended R. Bunim and testified before the Apter rav, "R. Bunim was the core of my father's heart." And the situation was calmed.
R. Yerachmiel's two younger brothers, R. Asher and R. Nechemiahle, were his followers. But after some time had passed, a well-known Hasid, R. Yechiel of Warsaw, who used to travel regularly to Rizhin, came to visit R. Yerachmiel. The two younger brothers grew close with R. Yechiel and nachgefarsht [?] by him, and asked him about the Rizhiner's path. R. Asher, the older of the two, asked R. Yechiel to meet them outside Peshischa. There, R. Asher told him, "My holy brother, R. Yerachmiel is [preparing for] prayer. He can even sense our thoughts, not to mention our words, and he would grow very upset to learn that we are looking for another rebbe."
After speaking with R. Yechiel, the two brothers decided that they would travel to Rizhin. Conditions of the time made the journey from Peshischa in Great Poland to Rizhin in deep Volhin a long one. On the way, because they were so strapped for funds, one Friday they had to bring their bags into a beis medrash and set them down behind the great oven (as poor travelers used to do when they came late and couldn't get a place to stay [for Shabbos].) R. Asher and R. Nechemiahle prayed [out of sight of the other congregants] behind the stove. Because of their great piety and intense devotions, their afternoon prayer lasted so long that in the meantime the entire congregation recited the Sabbath eve prayers and the evening prayers, and went home. No one saw them, and so they received no Sabbath invitation. (to be continued...)
by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
At present, glory is in exile. The essence of glory rests with the gentiles, whereas we children of Israel are lowly and despised. But in the future, Israel's glory will be revealed from the midst of the darkness.
Likutei Moharan 14:2
Men's Learning Group: Hakhsharat Ha'avreikhim ("Spiritual Training"), step-by-step guidebook on how to develop an awareness of our souls and of God, by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro (the Pieszesner Rebbe), Sunday night. For information, call (410) 358-8771.
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