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The Seer of Lublin once said, decease “Between mentor and mentor (Rebbe and Rebbe) I can’t differentiate and I don’t want to differentiate. Between disciple and disciple (talmid and talmid) I can differentiate but I don’t want to differentiate.”

The two mentors he was referring to were the Arizal and the Ba’al Shem Tov. The two disciples he was referring to were Rabbi Chaim Vital (the greatest of the disciples of the Arizal) and Rabbi Dov Ber, approved the Magid of Mezritch (the greatest of the disciples of the Ba’al Shem Tov).

The classic example of a mentor and disciple in the Torah is Moses and Joshua. The relation between the two is portrayed by the sages, “The countenance of Moses is like that of the sun while the countenance of Joshua is like that of the moon.”

The moon receives its light from the sun and reflects it to earth, thereby illuminating the otherwise dark night, the time that the sun and its light have disappeared from our human eyes. The night remains night (no one would confuse it for day) but thanks to the moon and its light we can nonetheless see our way around.

Likewise, a disciple reflects the light of his mentor to the world in a time or situation that the world is unable to receive the great light of the mentor directly from the source.

In the beginning God created two great luminaries, the sun and the moon, but afterwards He diminished the light of the moon so as to distinguish between day and night. The prophet Isaiah says that in the future the light of the moon will once more become as brilliant as the light of sun, which itself will be more brilliant then it was at the outset of creation.

And so, as we approach the time of Mashiach, the level of the disciple raises to approach that of the mentor (until, ultimately, the Mashiach and his disciple will be at the same level). The faithful, devoted disciple continues to receive his light from his mentor, just as the moon receives its light from the sun, but he succeeds in shining all of the mentor’s light to the world (in a certain sense he even improves the quality of the light, making it more accessible to the general public).

3 Responses to “Shining the Mentor’s Light”

  1. Yvonne/Zafana says:

    the light of malkut is limited by the “reception” of the Sun (Jacob/ZA) in my perception: I was given the revelation that ZA has been finished in me for several years but the reception in me is very poor, like an outdated antenae that can’t pick up the brilliant light in my heart: I know Malkut is the final state of the “mind” that includes all those who have risen and all those who have not…….yet risen above the maschom/barrier/firmament/vail, whatever one calls it: David/Malkut wants to rule in his Kingdom but my inner Kingdom can’t fully grasp how to RECEIVE the light of the SUN to FULFILL THE MOON in me. For a long time I tried to speak to others about these things hoping to bring them into the same understanding and knowledge but then I finally relented and figured like the kabbalists of old, the work had to remain individual and when I am finished, it will be EVIDENT everywhere and I will see that everything is corrected already: I feel stuck……….I NEED TO SEE THE CORRECTION OF MALKUT or I feel I will loose my heart for lack of purpose: After the restriction (tzimtzum) and resistence to receiving the light for myself (malkut) that I did NOT control, but it was given to me, I don’t know how to start receiving again for myself, which is the last state of correction: Receiving to bestow: I know bestowal because it is not me, but above me…………or is it that I am stuck not understanding that this is NOW ME?

  2. Moshe M says:

    On the verse Deuternonomy 26:2 “And you shall take of the first fruits…” (describing the mitzvah of bikkurim) the question is asked – why does the verse state “and you shall take…” when the intention is clearly “you shall give…”? The answer is that in order to receive (“take of the first fruits”) you must first give. In other words, giving is the precondition for receiving. Furthermore, at a higher level, giving is itself its own reward; it is in itself receiving. I hope this helps you answer your question.

  3. Ron says:

    Dear Yvonne, I can suggest my understanding. All religions teach us that inside us are three main forces working on reaching or preventing from reaching our higher Self.
    We have our heart usually described as the woman. Our Mind, which is the man, and of course the :other side-satan-snake and many other names, which tries to keep us down. The woman is the receptive vessel and the mind is the giving vessel.
    When we receive a spark from above, from our higher self. Our Mind should fill the Heart and together in union bring us back to the spark source. In The kabbalah language I would say Zeir Anpin should unite with kingship to reach Aba and Imma and Ketter.
    All this is done while our lower self, the other side, inside us is working to prevent it.
    But this is ok, this is how it should be for one to evolve. What we should remember that while this is a life time work, it is done more in the moment, in the present time. When we take a bite of food, or take step or look out of the window, we have a choice to do it when we are connected to the higher self, or when we controlled by the other side. We should receive a spark bestowed upon us and than make the effort to use it in the that moment and a flame out of it, an internal flame of course.
    This is of course on “one leg” and each word can be explored deeper and deeper to understand how we work internally so we can better work at the moment. Let me know if this helps or if you need more explanation. Good Luck, Ron