Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Essential obligation of every Jew is to unquestionally accept everything the tzadik of the generation says - Rav Nachman

 Likutei Moharan (123) 1. The essence and foundation on which everything depends is one’s binding oneself to the tzaddik of the generation:accepting his word in whatever he says, “This is how it is,” in matters small and great; not deviating, God forbid, from his word “to the right or the left” (Deuteronomy 17:11), as our Sages teach: even if he tells you that right is left… (Sifri, op. cit.) ;casting off from oneself all pseudo-wisdoms;and dismissing one’s knowledge as if one had no intelligence other than what one receives from the tzaddik and rav of the generation, because as long as one retains some of one’s own intellect, one lacks completion and is not bound to the tzaddik. 2. When the Jewish people received the Torah, they possessed great pseudo-wisdoms. For then, the mistakes of those who served idolatry at that time stemmed from great pseudo-wisdoms and philosophies, as is known. Had Israel not cast off from themselves the pseudo-wisdoms, they would not have received the Torah. They might have denied everything, God forbid. All that Moshe Rabbeinu did with them would have been of no help to them. Even all the signs and awesome wonders which he performed before their very eyes would not have helped them. Today, as well, there are heretics who deny [God] based on the foolishness and error of their pseudo-wisdoms. 3. But Israel is a holy people. They saw the truth and cast off the pseudo-wisdoms, and “believed in God and in His servant Moshe” (Exodus 14:31). Through this, they received the Torah. Thus, Onkelos renders “a nation naval (foolish) and unwise” (Deuteronomy 32:6) as “a nation that received the Torah and did not act wisely.” They received the Torah primarily because they “did not act wisely”—i.e., because they cast off from themselves all the pseudo-wisdoms, as above. 4. This is NaVaL: an acrostic for LeV Netivot (thirty-two paths). These encompass the entire Torah—the true wisdom, vis-à-vis which all pseudo-wisdoms are nullified. Thus, NaVaL is an aspect of Torah, which is called “NoVLot (an incomplete version) of the Upper Wisdom” (Bereishit Rabbah 17:5). {Come and see that, now, this Aramaic translation is clear and in place. For it is really surprising, and everyone wonders about this: What reason is there for naval to be translated as “receiving the Torah”? But now, how sweet are these words of the Aramaic translation.} 5. Now, the essential devotion is to be ‘simple and upright, God-fearing and diverted from evil’ (cf. Job 1:1), without any pseudo-wisdoms. Thus King Shlomo, of blessed memory, though it was written of him that “he was wisest of all men” (1 Kings 5:11), he said, “For I am more brutish than a man and have not the understanding of man” (Proverbs 30:2). Likewise, Asaf said (Psalms 73:22), “I was brutish and unknowing, like an animal I was with You.” It is also written (Proverbs 21:30), “There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against God.”

No comments :

Post a Comment

please use either your real name or a pseudonym.