Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rav Nosson's Final Night

It was the tenth of Teves, 1844, the last night of the life of Rav Nosson of Breslov, zt”l. Although he had already been very ill for a number of years with a chronic and worsening intestinal illness, he still “strengthened himself like a lion” and arose at midnight to recite the chatzos service and spend an hour in heartfelt prayer to Hashem. Rav Nosson had adopted this practice in his youth, and never let go of it until the day he died.
Afterward his prayers, he committed his final words to writing: “We find in the beginning of Moed Katan that one may water crops on chol ha’moed if they would be otherwise ruined (beis hashlachin) and the owner will sustain a financial loss. This symbolizes how the true shepherds of the Jewish people are always trying to draw those who are weak closer to Hashem. And this is especially true of those neshamos that are completely exhausted and cannot go on. This is one way to understand the concept of davar ha’aved—it refers to those souls that seem on the verge of being completely lost, G-d forbid. These neshamos require an injection of new vitality that will help them blossom so that they can live the good life of emunah and closeness to Hashem.
“This is why the Targum renders the word shelachin as ‘Eretz ayefa utsemaya,’ a tired and thirsty land. These are the souls who are tired and thirsting for closeness to Hashem.
“The first step in slaking that thirst is to convince the person that it is never to late to do teshuvah. And this is true of even the biggest sinner who has done the worst things until it seems that they could sink no lower. The truly righteous do not give up hope that even such a person will return. And they try with all their might to encourage such people. We must never write a person off!”

2 comments:

Alice said...

You have such a lovely, informative, positive website. Thank you for that.

Micha Golshevsky said...

Thank you for the kind words of chizuk.