Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Order of the Service

During korbanos we say the beraisa "Abaye mesader ma’aracha," which discusses the order of the service, which elements take precedence and why. The Likutei Halachos zt”l explains the relevance of these details to our personal service of Hashem. The service in the Beis HaMikdash alternated between “avodas penim” and “avodas chutz,” service both within and outside the heichal, which was the epicenter of spiritual life of the Jewish people. This fluctuation alludes to the phases of easier and more difficult times we all go through in our spiritual growth. Sometimes we feel so close to attaining our goals, as if we are really in close proximity to holiest place, but soon we suffer reversals that make us feel as though we’ve been pushed back, outside. All of our great leaders went through this kind of progress punctuated by setbacks, each in his own unique way and on his particular level. Only those who had the endurance to carry on despite these temporary reversals eventually grew into their potential greatness.

Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt”l would often discuss the challenges of his eight years alone in Sweden. “Even Rabbonim who were once chareidim gave dispensations for actions that entail a penalty of kareis!” In later life, he would say that it was only the merit of his regular mussar study that kept him committed to uncompromising Torah observance, and that gave him the strength to encourage others to do the same. But by his own admission, that mussar seder in Sweden did not come easily.

“After learning diligently for a period of time, I felt like I was making no progress at all, and felt that I should just give up. I wrote a letter to Rav Yechezkel Levenstein zt”l in Shanghai, and he answered me as follows: “First of all, you must accept that you are not an authority on the matter of your own spiritual growth—no one is! There is no doubt that the mussar is having a profound effect below the surface. If you will only hold strong and continue, you will eventually see yourself transformed!”


Spiritual Dan said...

I just discovered this blog from A Simple Jew. This is truly a beautiful blog! The collection of tales, insights into Halacha, etc, are inspiring. Shkoach, blessings.

Micha Golshevsky said...

Thank you so much for the chizuk! The entire purpose of the blog is to inspire. As Hashem has helped in the past, so should He help in the future!

Neil Harris said...

Very powerful words, thanks.

Micha Golshevsky said...

My privilege and pleasure!