Friday, July 1, 2011

The Power of Longing

Rav Nosson of Breslov, zt”l, explains that all avodah is predicated on lighting a fire in one’s heart and understanding that we can accomplish whatever spiritual goal we set for ourselves. In the words of the Alter of Kelm, zt”l, “Greatness of the heart is a foundation of every Jew’s avodah, since everything, both material and spiritual is predicated on it. Consider the manner in which the Mishkan was fashioned. How could these Jews, who had been slaves all their lives, craft such beautiful workmanship? The answer is that their hearts was filled with a fiery desire to build the house of Hashem. This was so powerful that they cried, ‘Yes, we can!’
“This took such surprising courage in the sense of strong-heartedness that Moshe himself was surprised to see it. As the verse states, 'וירא משה והנה עשו ככל הצוה ה''—‘And Moshe saw that, behold, they had done as all that Hashem had commanded.’ The word ‘behold’ is superfluous. It serves to express Moshe’s wonderment that such untrained laborers achieved results.
“Where did this strength come from? It emerged from the fiery longing in their hearts to do the will of Hashem at all costs. This desire stems from one’s understanding, since there is no longing without awareness. Yet arousing this fire also depends on how we act on our holy desire. As we push ourselves to act we will achieve siyaata d’Shmaya and expand our yearning and achieve more and more amazing results.”

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