Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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Hard Questions, Simple Answers - Part 2

by Reb Nati at Mystical Paths

Rebbe Nachman taught (Likutey Moharan II, 48) - 'When a person makes a start and tries to bring himself closer to Hashem, he usually experiences a feeling of rejection. It is as if forces beyond his control deliberately want to prevent him from entering Hashem's service. But in fact, this apparent rejection is nothing more than a way of bring him closer.'

As I joined the Marines many years ago, I was shipped off to boot camp (to Paris Island, basically hell). Recruits are sent to be trained, and part of this is a rejection process. A 120 young men come in, 60 Marines come out. It's simple, they weed out all those who aren't the right for the job.

To overcome this it takes quite a bit of stubbornness, desire, and discipline. It take sthe same stubbornness to come close to Hashem. You may say, 'but I don't want to be a Marine'. Well private, who asked you! In this, we do not have a choice. We are all Spiritual Marines. We've been drafted, no choice, better suck it up and make the grade or you'll get sent to the "motivational rehab platoon". This world is boot camp and we have no choice but to make it through.

Hashem loves us and gives us what we need to make it. We just have to start see, to have Daat. For this we have prayer, it's our special gift. It's like calling in "close air support", it's an airstrike that hits the target right in front of you! The key to making it through is 'TO IGNORE ALL THE EFFORTS TO DISCOURAGE YOU!'

My friends, the basic rule is to be firm and strong. Use all your strength to remain persistent. Pay no attention at all to discouraging thoughts. Take it one day at a time, and just make it through _this_ day. You can make through one day, right? I mean, there is food today and maybe enough money for today, you can have peace in your house for a day or handle that difficult job just for a day.

If you were to see the impact of the small effort you make here in this world, the light years in distance of that impact in the worlds above, it would make you very happy. And perhaps, by thinking about this, you can be happy. You should make a great effort to always be happy, because depression does tremendous damage. It is a very grave sin to be depressed. Depression comes from the other side and Hashem hates it. IT IS A SIGN OF TOTAL DISBELIEF IN HASHEM!

You will fall many times before you enter the gates of holiness. Even the greatest of Tzaddikim have experienced this. When a person is close to the gates, the forces of evil try to prevent him from entering. This opposition pushes some people into retreat, but not a Marine, we do not retreat - we fight on. When the negative forces see a person right next to the gates, the attacks are more powerful than ever.

This is why you need to be strong. Just say 'I'm a Marine for Hashem.' There is no such thing as quiting or giving up, I can make it! Just strengthen yourself every way you can, don't worry about the "big" picture, just make it through this day. This is a key to survival.

Eventually you will succeed and enter the gates with Hashem's help. All your efforts are added together. They will all come to help you when you really need it in times of pressure or trouble, Hashem forbid. Emunah.

Rebbe Nachman told his followers to "turn the lessons into prayers" (L.M.II, 25) This prescription acknowledged the integral relationship between prayer and study in the spiritual life of a Jew. Reb Nosson was the Rebbe's closest follower and scribe, he wrote a beautiful set of prayers which correspond to the lessons in Likutey Morharan which are called Likutey Tefilot. Only the first 40 are translated into English, but they are a real source of encouragement.

L.T. II,12 second paragraph - There is no despair. Master of the Universe, you have assured us time and again that there is no giving up, EVER. There is no despair. If so, then I still have the courage to spend out my hands to you and hope for your love and graciousness. You are a G-d of amazing wonders. Perhaps... perhaps you will show me new wonders and find new ways, ways never seen or known or created before, to bring me back to you with all my heart, truly and sincerely. Grant me success in my search to find You. Let me find You soon, so that I can bring myself genuinely close to You. Help me... because I'm relying on you. Master of the world, the pain of my heart is worse than ever. take me out of my distress. The pain is just to much... if I tried to describe it, no one would believe me. O L-rd my G-d, master of the world, my eyes turn to You, longing and hoping, because you know the truth. You know how utterly pitiful I am. Look on my affliction, because of the pain and torment of my heart are just too much to bear. See my misery. All my insides are in turmoil; my heart is confused. Bitter! Bitter! Help me succeed! Help me to search for Your glory... to search in sincerity and truth until I really find You... WHERE ARE YOU? Where are is my holiness, my purity? Where is my soul, my nefesh? My ruach? My neshamah? Where is the L-rd G-d of my fathers Who brought us out of Mitzrayim, the filthiest place on earth? ... By searching like this we can turn even the biggest downfall into a mighty rise... if only You will help us in Your lovingkindness to carry out all the details of this teaching in accordance with your will and the will of the Tzaddikim, who revealed it after it was concealed for so long. This way we will be able to find You at all times and transform all our failing into great successes. By following this teaching, I will be able to get up and pull myself out of the 'filthy places that I sunk to because of all my sins. I will be able to rise way above and return to You genuinely and sincerely with all my heart, which is what You want for me! I will be able to bring myself close to Your great Glory.' - A prayer of Rav Noson of Breslev

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! That prayer was phenomenal! Thank you for posting that Reb Nati!

SSGT USAF said...

Being prior USAF I really enjoyed your post! My family and I live in Eretz Yisrael now! Thanks for talking up ...the encouragement was really needed. As we used to say..I have been reblued..Aim High Reb and Semper Fi!

Anonymous said...

R'Nati:

This was a great piece. Thank you so much for the chizuk. We all need it.

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