Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today is the 148th birthday of the Rebbe Rashab. Last night the Shluchim here ate YHSTC had a Farbrengen with Rabbi Moshe Feller at his son Mendel's house. So I was planning on writing a couple of the ideas expounded upon at the Farby. For two reason though I have decided not to. The first is that he mostly told stories, which is great, but doesn't give me much to write (yes, I could write the stories. I'm not that dumb not to think of that). The second reason is that I decided to learn a Maamar of the Rebbe Rashab this morning, in honor of his birthday. The one I chose, totally at random, was "And Israel said to Joseph", said in Weisbaden in 1911. This Maamar was (is) so cool that I figured I had to share it with you, so I will.
What is the difference between Shabbos and the rest of the week? On Shabbos we rest, while during the week we work. Or at least some of us do. Anyway, the spiritual difference is in how the G-dly soul is enclothed in the animal soul. See, there are two ways. The first is when the G-dly soul totally dominates, and the animal in all of us is totally nullified. So that's pretty cool, and it's what happens on Shabbos, and for Tzaddikim, all the time. Have you ever noticed how everything looks better on Shabbos, the food tastes better, people are nicer, your favorite sports teams win (unless of course someone else's favorite teams win), even the grass is greener (on your side)? This is all because the G-dly soul is dominating.
And on the weekday? Sure, the G-dly soul is enclothed in the animal one, but now it's not dominating at all. In fact, it's in exile. But it still retains some power, and let's say it causes the animal soul to learn a little, or to do a Mitzva. Then the animal soul becomes nullified on its own, because it understands how great G-d is, and it wants to participate. Isn't that beautiful? Ah, but like everything in life there's a caveat: two people can hear the same exact thing, but one of them gets it, and feels the L-rd, and the other doesn't, so he just feels his own gross temporal existence. And this means that even the guy who gets it doesn't really get it, because he still feels himself, because He is nullified.
So what's the point of all this? Why not just have Shabbos all the time? In fact, when Moshaich comes, every day will be like Shabbos, in the sense that the G-dly soul will transform the animal soul, making it a partner in the fight for good and justice. Or something like that. But again, why not now? Why the long wait? Firstly, I have no idea. And secondly, man's whole purpose in this vale of tears is to transform this valley in the shadow of death into a place where you'll be happy to bring your kids up. That is of course if you have kids.
And how do we transform this world into a great place? By working hard. Through our struggle we can change the world.
Now, wasn't all the above inspiring? But it taught me at least one thing; that unless you get it you'll get nowhere, and the only way to get it is to try and get it. Deep, eh?


e said...

I've figured out the pattern of your blog: Chassidic discourses under a thin veneer of humor.