Falling to Rise

Rebbe Nachman teaches that the fall comes for the purpose of helping us to rise up. R’ Natan explains that the fall causes us to search Ayeh? — “Where is the place of His glory? In this world, there are many times when it appears as if we are far from Hashem’s glory. The Torah provides a firm base to fight the challenges in life and to find Hashem wherever we are.

When we have fallen down badly, we must search for Hashem in the exact place we have fallen to. As King David said, “If I ascend up into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in the Sheol, behold, You are here” (Tehillim 139:8). Although it may appear that we are far from Hashem after our fall, this is not so. As Isaiah said, “the whole earth is full of His glory” (6:3).

There is absolutely nowhere we can go to where Hashem is not actually there. Sure, it might appear otherwise, but Hashem is present everywhere. It is just that He is concealed at the moment.

So, the next time we fall, we must remember these words. After we fall and cannot find Hashem, we need to cry out, “Ayeh? Where are You, Hashem!” And we must believe that Hashem is even there, in the lowly place we have fallen to. This is the only way to climb out of our low and rise above.

Based on Likutei Moharan, II:12; Likutei Halakhot, Chosen Mishpat, Hilkhot Gevi’at Chov Mihayetomim 3; and Ayeh? Where?, BRI

Yearning to Serve Hashem

Pure actions without desire and will are rather shallow. Although the purely physical action of a mitzva, righteous deed, influences the spiritual channels above, an emotionally dead avodat Hashem, service to Hashem, out of rote is not desirable. The Mesillat Yesharim (Chapter 7), writes, “That which is truly desirable in avodat Hashem is the yearning of the heart and the longing of the soul.” Similarly, Rebbe Nachman writes (Sichot Haran 51), “The main thing is the desire!”

Based on Sparks from Berditchov, by Yaakov Klein

Is Your “Menorah” Pure?

According to the Zohar, the purity of the brain depends on the purity of the “Menorah,” the body’s seven entrances to the brain — mouth, two nostrils, two eyes, and two ears. Everything a person sees, hears, smells, and tastes are stored in the brain and influence the person. The purity of the brain is enhanced when the person hears, sees, and speaks words of Torah and holiness. The opposite is also true…

(Gates of Purity)