Teachings of the Sages 12th Elul 5769

 

Teachings of the Sages – 12th Elul, 5769

Two Tzadiks

ON GOOD AND EVIL

R’ Raphael said: “Nothing, great and small, could exist were it not for His help. We find that all the obstacles [to observing the] prohibitions, or even thoughts, are from the Almighty alone. And without His ‘help,’ I would become a meshumad [apostate]. But if you ignore this principle, you may think that you are ‘something’ and value yourself as a man of virtue [a sheiner yid]. [You say to yourself,] ‘I went away from sin and I am clean of sin.’ But the result is that G-d leaves him, for every haughty-hearted person is an abomination to G-d, and he and I cannot live [in the same place]. Then he finds himself in the grasp of his Urge and be caught in its trap and do whatever it tempts him to do. And [R. Pinhas] said that all this is because of the compassion of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His great kindness which is continuously over the soul, he is seduced in order to fail through a [small] thing in order to remind him that without the help of G-d he is worth nothing. [If] he does not remember through a small thing, he would stumble in a great thing until he comes to … [unclear] the belief in his own power … Then he must break himself very much, until he knows that he himself becomes nothing and very small, and then he becomes a vessel prepared to accept help and assistance from G-d, may He be blessed”.*

*Ms. Jerusalem 3759, fol. 127b (A), cited in Hasidism as Mysticism: Quietistic Elements in Eighteenth Century Hasidic Thought, by Rivka Schatz Uffenheimer, pp. 195-196. Reprinted with permission of Magnes Press (B)

By Rabbi Refael of Barshad zs”l

Source: Two Tzaddiks

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