Eyes of the Congregation « Wonders from Your Torah
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Eyes of the Congregation

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.
In one verse King David says: "I place God before me always" ("????? ???' ????? ????"). But in another he says: "My sin is before me always" ("?????? ???? ????"). How do they go together?

First, let us note that the combined gematria of "God" (???', 26), and "my sin" (?????, 428) = "always" (????, 454), the concluding word of both phrases, of both states of consciousness. The word "always" is what creates the apparent mutual exclusion of the two phrases. How can one always place in the fore of his consciousness the Presence of God and simultaneously see his sin staring him in the face?

The answer lies in the way we just phrased the question.

I look at God, I look for Him in everything I see. But all the while my sin is also there in the background, staring at me and reminding me of my existential lowliness, my distance from God.

What does it mean to see God against the background of my sin, which is never ready to take its eyes off me?

Would it not be for the consciousness of my sin staring me in the face I would not experience God's infinite compassion towards me. Although I am far from Him He is so close to me, loving me and being compassionate no matter what.

In Kabbalah, this dual, paradoxical experience of closeness to God in virtue of His infinite compassion, together with a sense of existential lowliness and distance from Him, is called a "unification," - the unification of mercy and lowliness, the unification of the Holy One blessed be He and the collective soul of Israel (the Congregation of Israel).

God created the world the way He did for the sake of our achieving this unification in our consciousness.

Jeremiah expresses this unification in four words: "From afar God appears to me" ("????? ???' ???? ??"). "From afar" corresponds to "My sin is before me always"; "God appears to me" corresponds to "I place God before me always."

The gematria of the four words "From afar God appears to me", 676 = 26 squared (the average value of the four words = 13 squared), i.e. "God", Havayah, squared - a perfect manifestation of God in reality.
The sages are called "the eyes of the congregation." They are visionaries, page they are guides, advice and they open our eyes to see truth.

In the World of Creation, approved the realm of pure intellect, the sages are visionaries. They gaze into the future and convey to us, almost like prophets, what's in store for us – for the people as a whole and for each one of us – dependent upon whether or not we better our ways.

In the World of Creation, we, relative to the sages, are in the dark. We have to rely upon their judgment and follow their instructions, using our free choice whether or not to believe in the power of their eyesight and heed their words to the fullest. Absolute free choice functions optimally in the dark.

In the World of Formation, the realm of emotion, the sages are our guides. Here they do not guide the blind but rather serve as tour-guides so to speak, taking us through the Pardes, the orchard of paradise, revealing to our eyes the myriad of its delights, each of which is a Divine "form."

Each of our rectified emotions is a reflection of a Divine "form," which begins with a sense of wonder at experiencing the Divine "forms" of paradise.

In the World of Action, this lowest of worlds, the sages open our eyes to see ahead for ourselves and plan the strategies necessary to achieve our goals in life. They teach us to see the truth about ourselves, who we really are, and to see the truth about our surroundings, the people that influence us and the events that befall us.

But here, in the World of Action, it is crucial that we fully identify with the righteous sages of the generation, especially with that sage towards whom we feel the greatest spiritual affinity. He is our eyes and his eyes are our eyes.

2 Responses to “Eyes of the Congregation”

  1. saryl says:

    “Absolute free choice functions optimally in the dark.”
    I heard the Sages say a candle in a cave during the day time doesn’t give as much light as a candle in a cave by night… So darkness is what allows the light to shine,via free choice…once a good choice is made, the darkness is gone for that thing and that obstacle falls away. With powerful free choice the world is redeemed.

  2. sand says:

    ……. the child’s wonder reflects the presence of discovering G.ds wonders in our world with pure emotions …… to be as a ‘visionary’; requests the ‘adult’ imagination immersed within the wellsprings of Torah truth to go beyond the childs wonder and see all the possible transformations that may be in G.ds infinate world of goodness ……. then to actualize the visions we need to connect with the Nasi, the sage of our generation, our Teacher who demonstrates how to bring our visionary dreams to fruition ……. may each of us be successful in actualizing our Divinely inspired mission, now