Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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Reconnection

by Reb Gutman Locks

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      Regarding my article, “Are You Connected,” one of our readers wrote:

The Sfas Emes [i]puts it in terms of הסתר/hiding and גלוי/revelation.  Our mission is to "reveal" Hashem in this world by doing His will consciously.  Although, I should say that he also uses the term התדבקות which can be interpreted as "connection". How do you understand דביקות? (Deveikus)

Gutman’s reply:

     The Sfas Emes said it very well, Hashem is hiding, and our task is to reveal His presence in this world. This is exactly why we have been created.

     As for deveikus; deveikus does not mean to connect. It means to cleave to (cling), or to adhere. Its root means, glue.

     G-d is Infinite. By definition the Infinite has to be all. If we find anything other than the Infinite, then what we thought was Infinite, would not have been Infinite. So the question is, since Hashem is all, including us, what are we supposed to cleave to? We are already one with Hashem. He is All.

     We are to try to cleave to His Shechina. Shechina is not simply G-d’s Presence as is most often thought. G-d is always present everywhere. When it is said that the Shechina was present (such as on Mt. Sinai, and in the First Temple) it means that G-d revealed His presence at those times in those places.

Shechina is the revelation of G-d’s presence. This is what we try to experience by living a life of Torah and mitzvahs. Then, if we could be so blessed, we are to try to cleave to, or adhere to that experience of His revealed Presence.

     While we are on this lofty subject; we are told that the Jew’s holy soul is a chelek of G-d.[ii] Chelek is often translated as “part.”[iii]

     “Part” is the wrong word here. The definition of part is, “a component of a whole.” The “whole” that the Jewish soul is made of (G-d) has no components. G-d is not made of components, parts, or elements. All these are found in the lower world, and are made of Him. G-d has no parts.

     So what would be a proper way to explain the Jewish soul’s unique place in creation? The holy soul is like a ray of Hashem coming down from on High, down into this lower world with almost no concealment (tzimtzum). It is like a beam, a portion, or area of the Most High being poured into the Jew’s physical body. 

     “The soul that You have given me is pure.” [iv] Take good care of it. It’s the most precious thing that you have.


[i] Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kasher 1895-1983  The Sfas Emes was Rav Yehuda Leib Alter (1847-1905)

[ii] Job 31:2

[iii] Likutei Amarim Chap. 2 (Bi-lingual edition)

[iv] Early morning prayer

1 comments:

yaak said...

Footnote i seems to be in error. The Sfas Emes was a Gerrer Rebbe in the 19th century - not Rav Menachem Mendel Kasher, who lived in the 20th century.

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