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The Unhappy Tzadik

I would like to be a true tzadik (consummately righteous), physician but I’m not. Is it because I don’t want enough, or is there some other reason?

Not all of us were created with the potential to become a consummate tzadik, only a select few. The more I want and the more I try, the closer I come (or so it seems), but most likely I will never reach my goal. All my finite steps will never take me to infinity.

I must learn to realize that my Creator desires and derives infinite pleasure as it were from my earnest attempts to become consummately good, although at the end of the day my attempts may appear to have been futile.

Some souls make it to the end in this world, but most don’t, no matter how hard they try. Each soul-type provides God with the pleasure of having created the world just as it is (i.e., not having created a perfect world). God has planted the evil inclination in our hearts, for a reason known only to Him, and it is virtually impossible to uproot it from our subconscious. The few that do in fact succeed are specially gifted from birth.

The sages teach that there are two levels of tzadik, the complete (consummate) ones and the incomplete ones, those who have not completely uprooted evil from their subconscious. A complete tzadik is called “a tzadik that good is to him,” whereas an incomplete tzadik is called “a tzadik that bad is to him.”

The phrase “good/bad is to him” has several interpretations. One is that he experiences good/bad in his life, in what befalls him. A second interpretation is that he has only good or still some bad in his subconscious, the interpretation described above.

But there is a third interpretation: One tzadik feels good about being a tzadik. He is happy and grateful to God for being a tzadik.

But another tzadik feels bad about being a tzadik! He doesn’t regret the fact that he is a tzadik, but still he feels bad about it. Why? Because all of his brethren and friends, all of us, are still so far away from his level. He suffers from existential loneliness, and never ceases to pray to God that all reach his level, and more.

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