Root Treatment


 

Leshichno Tidreshu – Cleaving to the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land

These are the Words Moshe Spoke to All Israel

“Comfort HaShem our God the mourners of Zion and the mourners of Jerusalem…” In our last issue we discussed a specific contemplation on Tisha Bav quite pertinent to today’s events – the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif, which began on Tisha Bav. In this issue we would like to suggest two practical methods, one corresponding to man’s relationship to God and the second corresponding to man’s relationship to his fellowman, in rectifying the sin of the spies and that which has transpired with Gush Katif, as both of these episodes had deep ramifications in both of these topics. A method of rectifying the lack of faith in regard to God’s involvement with the Holy Land, i.e the Holy Presence, and the denial of God’s goodness upon us by giving us such a Land, is by thanking God for this Land and realizing the high spiritual potential of this Land stemming from the Holy Presence. This spiritual work can be seen as a continuation of what world-famous Rabbi Shalom Arush sets out in his books and audio-classes, already translated in numerous languages and disseminated across the globe. In his books and classes Rabbi Arush examines the source of the troubles of our People, Exile, etc. as being due to what our Sages teach in regard to the sin of the spies: “you cried for no reason, therefore I will cause you crying for generations.” Rabbi Arush concludes upon this that it is the trait of crying, taking things for granted, and the lack of gratitude for God’s abundant blessings upon us, that is the source of all our troubles – “I will cause you to cry for generations”. Not only has Rabbi Arush taught this important lesson, but he has also prescribed a set practice and methodology of gratitude to the public, with great success, showing through hundreds of stories how those who have taken on this practice of gratitude have literally seen miracles and great blessing in all fields of life. Not only has Rabbi Arush emphasized this method of thanksgiving, but also many Rabbis, leaders, and organizations of today have seen this method of gratitude, faith and service towards God as a prominent emphasis of our generation. Based on this, we realize that it is so befitting to thank God especially for the Land of Israel as this is a full rectification of the sin of the spies Rabbi Arush so much emphasizes. The truth is that this spiritual work and prayer surrounding the Holy Land is not novel at all; our Sages and the Halacha put the Holy Land at the basis of all our prayers, as a Jew is obligated to direct all his prayers towards the Holy Land, Temple, etc. The reason for this is that the Holy Presence rests in this Land, and thus our method of connecting to God and His blessings upon us is through this Presence and Land. It follows, therefore, that this method of gratitude not only brings blessing on the individual but to Israel and the world at large as all receive blessing through the Holy Presence in this Land. Does this mean that one’s individual wishes are erased or nullified? Not at all. Rather, one approaches this great endeavor before the Holy Presence through one’s personal experiences and wishes. For example, let’s say one has a physical sickness, God forbid. In this instance one would thank God for his/her previous health and health of other organs of the body, thank God for the sickness itself with the faith that God does the best for us, and thank God for the future cure of the sickness with His compassion. Then, this thanksgiving can be developed to a grander scale with the realization that one’s individual state is like a cell in the grand organism of the People of Israel, and that one’s pain in this sickness awakens one to self-recognition, love and compassion with the sick of the rest of Israel, which raises one to an even greater level of gratitude for being able to become one with the souls of Israel through this sickness, and that by doing such truly pray for these sick and bring blessing upon them all. Then, a further step to be taken is the realization that the “soul” of all these people one just connected to is the Holy Presence, as our Sages teach even upon a sinner who is hanged justly by the Jewish Court. Our Sages explain the term “for the curse of God is hanged” (p. Shoftim) to mean that so-to-speak the Holy Presence bemoans about the body of this hanged person: “woe is to Me from My head, woe to Me from My hand…” Similarly, R. Nahman of Braslav recommends one to see one’s personal pain as indicative of the “pain” so-to-speak of the Holy Presence, thereby reaching great joy with the knowledge that one becomes “one” with the Holy Presence through this matter. Ultimately, one of the highest levels of faith we are recommending here is to come to joy and thanksgiving through one’s “troubles” as they unite oneself to the Holy Presence of our Holy Land. This great faith in turn also brings great blessing upon oneself (in regard to one’s individual request), the world at large, and rectifies the sin of the spies, bringing the Redemption itself. “HaShem provided the cure before the blow” – this is Hebron, visited by Kaleb before the sin of the spies, for this is Hebron, Beacon of the Land of Israel, Beacon of the Common Roots of our People and Mankind, Beacon of the Holy Presence. (Second method in next week’s issue b”h)

 

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