Teachings of the Sages – 21st Kislev, 5773

The Teachings of Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz and His Disciple, Rebbe Raphael of Bershad

ON SELF-NEGATION

R’ Pinchas said: “Great miracles can be performed for a man who truly considers himslf nothing [ayin]. For our Father Abraham, when he went to do battle with kings (Genesis 14), did not rely upon miracles. Rather, he went with sword and buckler, for he was on the level of ayin, and the Holy One performed miracles for him and took rocks [hardened soil] which He cast upon them, and so he conquered them. Therefore, it is stated of Nahum Ish Gam-zu that he took of the dust of Father Abraham (Ta’anit 21a), i.e., the quality of ayin which is symbolized by dust, for dust represents the most inferior level [of humility]. Therefore was that miracle performed for him. A man who is on the level of ayin is worthy of having the Shekhinah rest upon him. For of the Holy One we know that the whole world is full of His glory (Isaiah 6:3); therefore, when man considers himself to be ‘something,’ G-d is not within him”.

Midrash Pinhas, p. 27b, no. 38 (A), cited in The Religious Thought of Hasidism: Text and Commentary, by Norman Lamm, pp. 444-445 (B)

SOURCE: Two Tzaddiks

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