Tuesday, April 14, 2009

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The 7th Day of Passover

by Rabbi Nati at Mystical Paths

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev taught: "Even if a person should fall to the lowest level, he must never assume that he is beyond hope."

Our forefathers found themselves in similar circumstances on the shores of Red Sea. Before them, the sea; behind them, the Egyptians; wild animals and wilderness on either side. In the worst possible situation they did not give up hope. They cried out to Hashem and were heard. Similarly, no matter how far one is from Hashem, there is still hope. Atik is the highest, most lofty spiritual level in existence (Etz Chaim, Sha'ar Atik).

It is from there that assistance comes to a person, even if he is to be found in the lowest levels. Thus, the miracle of splitting of the Red Sea can be summed up this way: even though all seems lost, there is still hope for a redemption (Likutey Moharan I, 21).

Reb Nosson teaches a further concept tied in with the splitting of the Red Sea is the breaking of haughtiness. Pharaoh said "Who is Hashem that I should listen to Him!" During this entire episode, Moshe Rabaynu tried to convince Pharaoh that Hashem rules the world and that He could destroy Pharaoh completely. However, the Egyptian ruler had declared himself a deity. Thus Pharaoh, like most people in a position of power, is characterized by arrogance and haughtiness.

The splitting of the Red sea demonstrated how this arrogance could be completely broken. Moshe turned the sea bed into dry land. Earth is associated with the concept of modesty. Great rushing water, with it's powerful waves 'sure of it's strength and unchallenged power' is everything that a person views as the epitome of greatness. Yet, within a short period of time, Hashem destroyed the water's arrogance by changing it into dry earth. Thus the song that Moshe and the Jews sang when the Red Sea split was one of praise to Hashem, for He is great and rules over all those who are arrogance and haughty (Likutey Halakhot, Orlah 4).

When the Jews left Egypt and came close to Hashem, they received great wealth. This is because wealth is rooted in the same source of holiness as the soul. However, there is one bad trait through which it is possible for a person to lose all his wealth. This trait is ANGER. When the opposing forces see that a person is about to receive wealth and blessings, they try to bring him to anger. CHeMaH, anger, creates a breach in his CHoMah, his protective wall, which is also his wealth (Likutey Moharan I,68).

It is forbidden to eat Chametz on Pesach, for chametz is the concept of anger. Chametz rises. Like arrogance and anger, it's blown up. Likewise, we must avoid exaggeration in our lifestyles. The way we live should not be arrogant and blown up. When the Red Sea split, the waters stood like a wall (chomah) for the Jews. Afterwards, the Jews were able to withstand any anger (chemah) and were permitted to have Chametz. This is why, after the Seventh Day of Pesach in Israel, the eighth day outside of Israel, Chametz is permitted (Likutey Halakhot, Harsha'ah 4).

Chag Samayach! Reb Nati

1 comment:

  1. Reb Nati (and Reb Akiva)

    Shalom, v'chag samayach, v'l'chayyim.
    Very nice summary.

    Kol Tuv,
    Yeshayahu Galluzzo


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