Compiled and edited by Ziv Ritchie
Before Moshiach is coming, when we come to the end of the exile, then Hashem's concealment will be so strong that really everything will be hidden. This will be the last thing, when we will really have to make G-d’s glory shine into the world. So, in order to really make His glory shine, we really have to ask for Him. And we will not ask for Him until He will be completely hidden. So Rav Nachman says, as much as G-d was hidden all the time since the creation of the world, it doesn’t compare to the way He will be hidden before Moshiach is coming, before the Great Day.
And, therefore, before Moshiach is coming, we will get our biggest chance.
And, therefore, before Moshiach is coming, most of the world will seem to be so ‘clever,’ suddenly everyone will be an intellectual.
This is the final stage of this asking “Where is G-d?” Because how do you come to ask, “Where is G-d?” When you put your mind aside. If your mind is completely perverted and turned upside down fifteen thousand times, then you need to mamash forget everything you know, and ask, “Where really is G-d?” You have to ask this in really the most simple way.
We need to get out of all of this so called knowing, intellectualizing.
The greatest covering up of G-d is that I think I know.
Before Moshiach is coming, we have to go through the strongest breaking through of the greatest covering up of G-d. Suddenly the whole world will be filled with great intellectuals, and, Rebbe Nachman says, all the people will give great speeches, they will even publish books, and they will speak in all the languages of the world, but woe to them! Woe to their souls. Because a little boy who believes in G-d knows more than all of them. G-d should save us from them.
Rebbe Nachman says, if they would at least speak in the name of lies, it wouldn’t be so bad - but they speak their lies in the name of truth. What’s going on here?
So, therefore, he says that the only thing you can do at this point is ask, “Where is G-d?” And if you ask where He is, you will see that He is right there.
When did we start building the holy Tabernacle? According to our tradition, if we hadn’t made the golden calf, we would never have built the little Tabernacle in the desert. That means, in a certain way we brought G-d’s holiness closer to the world because of the golden calf. Because after we made the golden calf, we started asking, “Gevalt, where is G-d?” We were crying so much for it, until we found a place for Him.
When you ask, “Where is G-d?” - when you ask, “Where is G-d’s glory?” - that means that you don’t know where G-d’s place is. And so then G-d reveals a place. And this is the holy Beis HaMikdash, the holy tabernacle.
So it is the same before Moshiach is coming. We will ask, “Where is G-d? Where is G-d’s place? Where is the place of His glory?” It will be such a strong asking, until, so to speak, G-d will have to build the Holy Temple.
Because, obviously, we didn’t really find G-d’s place yet, because otherwise the holy Temple would not have been destroyed. It must have only been a temporary residence.
If you really fell down to the lowest, and you really think, ‘G-d can’t be there because I’m too far gone,’ then you actually have a chance to reach the highest.
Just like before Moshiach comes, when it looks like G-d is completely absent, it’s then that we have to break through - then we will really find the place of G-d in the world.
G-d revealed Himself to us in the desert, because in the desert there are no clear paths. In the desert you don’t know where to go, you don’t know where you came from. You don’t know where your place is, and you don’t know where G-d’s place is. It is completely place-less. And there you start asking where G-d is, and you get close to His revelation. Because only when you have absolutely no place in the world, and you really ask where G-d is, then G-d can talk to you again.
When G-d told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, he didn’t tell him where to go. He didn’t tell him the place. So Abraham was walking around for three days looking for the place. Because, when do you reach the level that you are ready to sacrifice your soul to G-d? To reach that level you have to look for the place.
There is a way that I’m sitting down by myself, and talking to myself, and I can straighten myself out. I can do this if I can realize for one moment that, “I’m not as bad as I though I was,” so that I become enough of a master of my own mind, that my mind can begin to laugh.
And then, there is another level, if I can’t do that. What do I do then? I have finished trying all the tricks. I can’t do more. Then all I can do is yell, “Where is G-d? There has to be G-d somewhere!” And then, if I cry, “G-d has to be somewhere,” then G-d will be revealing Himself to me from beyond, beyond.
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Excerpt from “Rebbe Nachman Says”, The Teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev as Taught by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach z”tl
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s books are available online at the BreslevIsrael store.