Friday, September 12, 2014

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Emuna and Disgrace

Some Torah from Rav Shalom Arush, shlita, is being made available to us to share.  We’ll be publishing, with some edits as appropriate for our audience.

on Mystical Paths, Torah by Rav Shalom Arush, shlita

This is the first and main test of emuna - that a person doesn’t persecute himself and doesn’t blame himself for his failures, rather he knows that this is my disgrace. My punishment is to fall in this or fail in that. When a person doesn’t want to sin, but even so does fall to sin, the sin itself becomes a punishment for him. His job is to receive it with love and without resentment, and surely not to be down on himself. He needs to say to himself: It’s true I have this bad trait and that bad trait, I’m far from learning Torah, I’m lacking emuna, and so on and so forth, but this is all from Him, may His name be blessed. If the Creator wanted, He would give me what’s lacking in the blink of an eye and bring me close to Him, to learn more, to have emuna, have good character traits, etc. There is nothing but Him! And certainly there is no “me”. What happens is exactly what Hashem wants to happen, also my being distant from Him is from Him, may His name be blessed. It’s because of His love for me, that he gives me the disgrace of this long wait in order to peel away the remaining arrogance that has been piled upon me layer after layer for so many years. All of the self persecution is totally ridiculous. Does what happened depend on me? There is nothing but Him! I just need to receive this disgrace with joy and to ask a free gift of Hashem’s mercy, that He forgive me for my sins and bring me close to Him.

This is the test of every moment, a person is always found in a test of emuna, whether he’ll fall to self persecution, whether he’ll hold his joy, whether he’ll know that there is no “me” - there is nothing but Him.

Also it’s understood that when he is being disgraced by other people, his wife, children that don’t listen, and so on, all of these are disgraces that need to be received with love. He shouldn’t look at his attackers at all. Rather he should just see that he is being watched over from heaven and that these disgraces are and being lovingly arranged for him. The main rectification and repentance is to receive everything with love and joy and not get angry with those who disgrace him. These disgraces come to him because of his sins, particularly sins relating to the brit (looking at lewd images, thinking lewd thoughts, or illicit relations, heaven forbid) and the repentance is to receive disgrace with love.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev writes in Torah 87 in Likutei Moharan part 2, that learning Torah 6 [about which we’ve been discussing until now] and serving Hashem according to it, is itself Tikun Ha Brit, rectifying the brit. When a person internalizes this reality – that all of repentance depends on receiving disgrace, to be tranquil and silent to the ones attacking him and to receive with love all of his mistakes and falls and prepares himself for it, this itself is already the rectification. From this it’s is understood why learning Torah 6 is itself a Tikun Ha Brit, because when you tell a person that his rectification is to receive disgrace, this itself is a disgrace. And when he actually merits receiving disgrace with joy, then he certainly enters the category of baal tshuvah.

As long as a person does not receive disgrace, even when he learns Torah or does mitzvot or hitbodedut (personal prayer), etc., even though it is wonderful what he does and this is also part of his tshuvah, repentance, still he doesn’t have the main part of repentance and he is near to being wasting his time in this world. All of the things we just listed are not called “tshuvah”, they are things that every Jew needs to do and are included in the essence of Jewish life. A person can learn Torah and just become more and more inflated with arrogance that he is a learned person. He can do mitzvot and holding on to his arrogance and honor- chasing. A person can do mitzvot with the whole intention of receiving honor. We see here that even a person that keeps all of the Torah and mitzvot and is exactingly careful with them and learns Torah and does hitbodedut at length, still needs repentance. This is what Rebbe Nachman of Breslev says in the continuation of the discourse “Everyone needs to hold to the trait of repentance” and the main rectification of repentance is to receive disgrace…

Really a person can never fulfill the Torah and mitzvot properly without repentance, because everything is closed before him. He won’t even be able to taste the taste of Torah learning, won’t merit holiness and so on. All because he didn’t yet merit repentance and his sins don’t allow him to come close to Hashem. We see that if a person ever wants to start living to taste the taste of life, the taste of prayer, the sweetness of the Torah, and so on, he needs to be disgraced and to receive it with love! Anyone who wants to really merit tshuvah, which means to merit a wondrous healing of the soul, joy, spirituality, Torah, attachment with Hashem and more has the job to prepare himself to accept disgrace happily, then he’ll really be a baal tshuvah.

May Hashem merit us to return in repentance and “circumcise the foreskin of our hearts” and merit the complete redemption, Amen V’Amen.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We had such great unity before the war in Israel and now, just before the Yomim Hanoraim we lose it again. We shift from unity to judgement so quick, it makes our heads spin. Not sure why we do this. We forget fast that we have to be unified to bring the ultimate redemption. How quickly we forget. I am sure everyone knows that they have a form of tikkun, but judging each other is not helping each other. Helping each other means that we accept each other, tikkunim and all and support each other with prayer--just as we did before the war.

Anonymous said...

We had such great unity before the war in Israel and now, just before the Yomim Hanoraim we lose it again. We shift from unity to judgement so quick, it makes our heads spin. Not sure why we do this. We forget fast that we have to be unified to bring the ultimate redemption. How quickly we forget. I am sure everyone knows that they have a form of tikkun, but judging each other is not helping each other. Helping each other means that we accept each other, tikkunim and all and support each other with prayer--just as we did before the war.

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