by Rabbi Nati at Mystical Paths
Today, Rabbi Nati has entered the hospital in Jerusalem for some very serious medical tests. Please join us at Mystical Paths in davening (praying) that HaRav Natanel Levi ben Chana Sorah have a complete and speedy recovery, and the tests should find only minor and easily resolvable health problems. He wrote this extended article (broken into multiple parts) before leaving. May the merit of this Torah bring rachamim to the din.
This is a deep subject. I will try to explain it in easy terms, but please be patient and forgive me if it is not completely clear. Unfortunately I will not have time to answer your questions in depth. Though much of Judaism is legalistic and subject to thorough logical analysis, there are some things that come down to belief and truth. This is not a new revelation, it is the oldest of the old and is foundational Jewish belief. Here we go...
The problem with the concept of the tzaddik has do to western ideologies. It is tainted by those who have stolen and twisted and persecuted in the name of their lies.
We face the main test: To return to Hashem and His truth at a time when truth is considered insignificant and those who fear Hashem are looked down upon. This is the situation today due to our many sins. Therefore it is only right that a person whose eyes have been opened by Hashem, who is able to see even a modicum of real truth in the Torah's insights which the Tzaddik shows him, should cleave to them as one cleaves to life itself.
Yet those of us who are distant from the truth due to the overpowering influences of this material world and its struggles and enticements, find it very difficult to draw closer. We see that many other 'prestigious' and 'influential' people fail to draw closer, and fear the consequences of drawing closer on our own. This is why though knowing where the truth lies, we mistakenly wait for our comrades so that we will lose none of our own prestige by drawing closer on our own.
What none of us realize is that this is precisely the time to accede to the truth, when by doing so we will have to accept the accompanying embarrassment and ridicule. "We might be wrong", Reb Akiva and I discussed recently, "we said these things in the past and we wait still".
If we could but understand that this acceptance is actually a cleansing process for the sins which to this point have kept us from Hashem's closeness. Indeed, without the purification that comes only through anguish, how can we ever hope to be worthy of such illumination? This test is our rectification. But those relying on their own 'wisdom' and all who base their intellectual and spiritual pondering on secular ideologies and philosophical conundrums are unable to withstand such a test. Like the 'Wise men of Athens',(Bekhorot 8b) they wait for the whole world to be convinced so that they might the securely acquiesce to what in their hearts they already recognize as valid and true!
Continued with Part 2, G-d wiling tomorrow.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא