The Wings of Morning -
A Torah Review

Yaacov Dovid Shulman

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Volume V, Issue 23

Terumah 5761 March 2001

Unless otherwise noted, translations and original material copyright © 2000 by Yaacov Dovid Shulman (


* If You Desire
-by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

-by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

* Faith in One's Rebbe
-by Avraham Stern

* Oh, Let Us Learn
-by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

If You Desire
by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

If you desire, human being, look at the light of God's Presence in everything.
Look at the Eden of spiritual life, at how it blazes into each corner and crevice of life, spiritual and this-worldly, right before your eyes of flesh and your eyes of soul.

Gaze at the wonders of creation, at their divine life--not like some dim phenomenon that is placed before your eyes from afar.
But know the reality in which you live.

Know yourself and your world.
Know the thoughts of your heart, and of all who speak and think.

Find the source of life inside you, higher than you, around you.
[Find] the beautiful ones alive in this generation in whose midst you are immersed.

The love within you: lift it up to its mighty root, to its beauty of Eden.
Send it spreading out to the entire flood of the soul of the Life of worlds, Whose light is reduced only by incapable human expression.

Gaze at the lights, at what they contain.
Do not let the Names, phrases and letters swallow up your soul.
They have been given over to you.
You have not been given over to them.

Rise up.
Rise up, for you have the power.
You have wings of the spirit, wings of powerful eagles.
Do not deny them, or they will deny you.
Seek them, and you will find them instantly.
Orot Hakodesh I, pp. 83-84

by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Everyone must have the intent in prayer to bind himself to the tzaddikim of the generation.

Every tzaddik in each generation corresponds to Moshe Moshiach.

Tzaddikim call each other Moshe. As one said to the other in a passage of Gemara, "Moshe, you have said well" (Shabbat 101b). And Moshe corresponds to the Moshiach. The verse states, "until Shiloh comes" (Isaiah 52:10), regarding which the sages stated, "This is a reference to Moshe Moshiach" (Zohar Bereishit 25b, 27a).

A person's every prayer is a limb of the Shechinah, sections of the Tabernacle. The only Jew who can lift each limb, each section, to its place is Moshe. That is why it is necessary to bring and connect all prayers to the tzaddik of the generation. "They brought the Tabernacle to Moshe" (Shemot 39:33).

And he knows how to lift each section and construct it so that it becomes a complete structure. "Moshe set up the Tabernacle" (ibid. 40:18).

Likutei Moharan 2

by Avraham Stern

When Rabbi Aharon (the first Rabbi Aharon of Karlin, known as "the great Rebbe Aharon"), passed away, he left behind an orphaned girl. Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezeritch, made a match between her and the son of one of his followers. He wrote in the tenaim: "Rabbi Nachum (author of Meor Eynaim) stands at the side of his son, Rabbi Mordechai (who later became famous as Rabbi Motele Tshernobler). On the other side, Rabbi Dov Ber stands at the side of the orphaned maiden...daughter of the deceased Rabbi Aharon."

The rebbe gave the honor of reading the tenaim to his great student, Rabbi Mendele Vitebsker. When Rabbi Mendele came to the words "daughter of the deceased Rabbi Aharon," he fainted.

After he revived, Rabbi Dov Ber told him with a smile, "Mendele, I did not think that you would grow frightened at seeing Rabbi Aharon standing next to you."

Rabbi Mendele replied, "I was frightened because I saw that he was much greater than I had realized."

From this marriage were born the holy Rabbi Aharon Tshernobler and other holy Tshernobl offspring.

In a second marriage, Rabbi Motele became a son-in-law of Rabbi Dovid Leahkes. From this second marriage were born R. Dovid'l Talner, R. Yonchantshe Rachmistrivker, the Trisker Maggid, and others.

Once, R. Dovid Leahkes went to Tshernoble to see his daughter. At that time, he was the oldest tzaddik of the generation (yet still he chose to be a follower of the Baal Shem Tov). All the Hasidim of every shtetl on the way came before him and greeted him with great honor.

When he came to the neighborhood of Tshernobl, the Tshernoble Hasidim (who were in the majority) separated themselves from the other Hasidim and stood in a separate row. When R. Dovid Leahkes noticed this, he asked the elder Hasid of this group why they stood apart. He replied, "Because we are the Hasidim of your son-in-law, we wish to treat your with especial respect, so that you see what kind of Hasidim your son-in-law has."

R. Dovid asked him, "Do you have faith in your rebbe?"

The other man replied, "We believe that our rebbe has reached the highest level that a human being can reach."

R. Dovid said, "I will tell you what faith [in one's rebbe] means. One time a large group of us were sitting at the Baal Shem Tov's table at shalosh seudos. The Baal Shem Tov went on for so long that when evening prayers and Havdalah were over, it was already time for the melave malka (post-Shabbos meal).

"The Baal Shem Tov told us, ‘After today's shalosh seudos, I want a generous melave malka. But since it is too late to prepare one, I want each person to give a ruble (a hundred Russian kopikes), so that we can buy some food from the Mezshibezer restaurant.'

"We were all still wearing our Sabbath clothes, and so none of us was carrying any money. I was the first who believed that if the Baal Shem Tov says something, it will certainly come about. So I put my hand in my pocket, and I pulled out a silver ruble. And then everyone else did the same.

And so it was indeed a joyful melave malka. We began with our minds broadened by the physicality of the mitzvah, and from that we came to an expanded consciousness in spirituality. This is what having truth faith in one's rebbe means." Chasidishe Maasiyos

by Yaacov Dovid Shulman

Oh let us learn
the language of the gentiles
and their sciences
and sing with Yiddish eyes
in the sickly sweet jungle,
and fly upon the exhaust
of a heavy-bellied aircraft
releasing its wheels
upon a city of robust idols.
Their color turns to emptiness
and the words of this ancient chant
do not, to your surprise,
bring the final flood.

Oh let us sing the gladness
of this body, let us breathe
the forests that it brought us to,
let us climb upon its hands,
it is the field of souls,
and the heat of the hour
is honeycomb upon our snow palms'
invisible blue sphere.

Oh let us sink into the water
of this earth, our eyes shine,
We have not seen a holy tree
a heel whose thunder blazed a heart
that was a god
oh let this shining casket rise upon the skin
of black jaguar water.

This living casket sings green-scented words,
this body is the prayer of white-smoked words,
this language is a scroll of lines pricked out inside our veins,
this science is an unread night of liquid letters.

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