Monday, May 18, 2009

Powerful Chizuk

Hope to Hashem

Rebbe Nachman, zt”l, explains the verse “All who hope to Hashem, strengthen and empower your hearts!” This means that anyone—even if the only thing they have going for them is that they are hoping to Hashem—should feel encouraged. Even if, G-d forbid, they are completely bereft of any other holiness or avodah, they should not give up on themselves but instead follow the direction of the verse and be encouraged!
Reb Nosson, zt”l, explains that the main mitzvah of kriyas Shema is to have true faith that everything we are going through is because Hashem wills it to be so. He is the one who is running this world from moment to moment. We draw this emunah upon ourselves from day to day when we read the Shema. As we say in the Shema itself, “And these words that I command you this day...”—“They should be new to you every day, as if you had just received the Torah.” We can feel this newness because, in reality, the Torah is given to us anew every single day.
The main point of learning Torah is to connect to Hashem through the light of the Torah. Every day offers the opportunity of a different connection, according to that particular moment in creation. Each and every day we bind all our thoughts and all our desires and yearnings and our entire awareness to this fact. The natural outgrowth of this is true connection to our loving Creator. The Shema is a reminder to keep Hashem in our minds and hearts throughout every second of the day. We renew this yearning each day as if it’s the first time—it is fresh and new for us—and we increase this focus daily. Hashem causes deliverance to sprout forth all the time—He is “matzmiach yeshuah.” Every new days brings an increase of holiness which is revealed into the world. As Rebbe Nachman said, the world is always getting “shener und shener”—better and better. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be difficulties, but that there is a plan and the closer we are to the redemption the more holiness is revealed.
This is why there are various time limits on the process of ritual purification. Some need to wait until sunset, and others have to wait seven days until their deliverance from impurity. When we left Egypt we had to count forty-nine days until we could receive the Torah.
The same is true of every person. We must know that rectifying our various problems is a spiritual process that takes time. We cannot really change in a day. While we are “hoping” and waiting for salvation, we must continue to work to achieve closeness with Hashem. The stronger we yearn the faster we break through the barriers. For some people, purity is achieved only after their sun sets entirely. This refers to one who spends his whole life yearning for holiness and seems to achieve nothing in terms of spiritual advancement. Nevertheless, he yearns as much as he can. He can sometimes be delivered only after he leaves this world. This is one way to understand the halachah of a person who has to wait for the sun to set in order to eat kodshim. This symbolizes the ability to immediately partake of one’s portion in the world to come without needing to be reincarnated or endure gehinnom. Since the person truly yearned for holiness as much as he could, he does not suffer after leaving this world. After “sunset,” he is purified and can eat from kodshim. On a person’s last day, every single good desire from every day of his whole life joins together. This is all that remains from one’s entire life—this is the power of hope.


Anonymous said...

G-d bless you. thanks for a very inspiring article. its so easy to give up, and its the rabbis teachings and inspiring lessons from the holy scriptures and holy sages that keep us going, in what appears to be a very bleak world situation. as a believing gentile i do not have the capacity to look beyond and see the greater good in the difficult situations,however, when rabbis write they give us the inspiration to believe and trust that there is the greater good. thanks.

yaakov said...

R' Micha,
this is an essential topic. please expand on this as much as you can. i think many people relate to this these days. the part about increasing the feeling of closeness the more one yearns, this is essential. because, when people are suffering, it can be hard to yearn. when people suffer, they often feel that H' is estranged from them. often they don't even want to yearn, they just want relief. this is so true for many people.
please address this topic in more detail. it will be a very fine and helpful avodah.

Micha Golshevsky said...

Anonymous: I am glad you found this helpful. It is one of many favorite pieces of the peerless chizuk in Breslov.
But no one knows another's true level. The Zohar (and Chovos Halevaos) state that one who appears great in this world is often really small in the next. Conversely, one who seems small has a much better chance of being among those who are truly great.
Those who are honestly hoping to Hashem with their entire being will be the main players in the next world.
How much we yearn for Hashem is what determines who we really are. Of course, one who yearns for something with his or her entire being will also act in accordance with their longing when they can. Yet sometimes this is impossible. Each of us must do what he or she can and savor even the most meager seeming spiritual attainments. In truth even the smallest seeming good--and especially looking to Hashem when things are hard--is priceless beyond compare!

Micha said...

Yaakov: Thank you for the kind chizuk!
I will try to write some chizuk regarding as you wrote: "when people are suffering, it can be hard to yearn. when people suffer, they often feel that H' is estranged from them. often they don't even want to yearn, they just want relief. this is so true for many people."