19 Tamuz 5779 / Monday, July 22, 2019 | Torah Reading: mattot
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Rebbe Nachman on Music - Part 2    

Rebbe Nachman on Music - Part 2

When the prophet hears such a tune from one who knows how to play, he receives his spirit of prophecy from the tune that was gathered by the musician’s hand from the depressed...


When the prophet hears such a tune from one who knows how to play, he receives his spirit of prophecy from [the tune] that was gathered by the musician’s hand from the depressed spirit.
This is referred to by the verse, “He will play with his hand, and it will be good for you” (Samuel I 16:16). “It will be good for you”—for he is gathering the “good” from the bad. This process of gathering and building the spirit of prophecy is accomplished with the hand. Via the concept of the hand, souls come to God to be judged by Him. As the verse says, “In Your hand, I will place my soul” (Psalms 31:6).
This is related to the subjugation of fantasy, which is on the level of an evil spirit, a spirit of foolishness that desires to confuse the good spirit, the spirit of prophecy. This fantasy is subjugated by the joy that comes about through the music played by the musician’s hand.
Fantasy is strengthened by depression, since fantasy is on the level of a depressed spirit, an evil spirit, which confuses the good spirit, the spirit of prophecy.
One can only receive a spirit of prophecy and holiness via joy, which is the level of playing a musical instrument.
This is related to the verse, “I will recall my tune at night; I will speak with my heart, and my spirit shall search” (Psalms 77:7).
The night is the time that souls rise up to God to be judged by Him. That is the time to gather the good spirit from the evil spirit. That is the most propitious time to engage in hitbodedut, i.e., to pray to God in one’s own words, to speak out one’s heart and to seek the good spirit—i.e., the good points that one still possesses—to clarify them from the evil spirit. Apparently, the musical instrument symbolizes the practice of hitbodedut.
This is the level of the tune, through which one’s memory is guarded—i.e., one’s ability to keep one’s mind on one’s ultimate purpose, the world to come, and to cleave mentally to the supernal world. (Likkutei Moharan 54:6)
The Melody of Faith
Via his tune, the tzaddik raises souls from heresy.
Every wisdom has its own tune from which it is derived.
Even heresy has its special tune.
The higher a wisdom is, the higher is its corresponding tune. Ultimately, one rises to the very beginning of creation, the beginning of emanation. There is nothing higher than that level. It is surrounded by nothing but the light of the infinite God, within which is contained all creation and wisdoms.
That level also has a level of wisdom, but this level of wisdom cannot be apprehended, for the Infinite One is God Himself, and it is impossible to understand His wisdom. Only faith applies there—belief that the Infinite One’s light surrounds all the universes.
Faith has its own special tune. As we can see, even each idolatrous faith has its own tunes that it sings in its house of worship.
The opposite holds true for holiness. Each faith has its own tune.
As for the faith that is higher than all wisdoms and other faiths—i.e., the faith in the light of the Infinite One Himself that surrounds all the world—its tune is correspondingly higher than all the tunes in the world that correspond to each wisdom and faith.
All the tunes of all the faiths are themselves drawn from this one tune that is higher than all the tunes of all the wisdoms. This is because this tune relates to the faith in the light of the Infinite One Himself, Who is higher than everything.
In the future, “The nations will have a clear speech to call together in the name of God” (Zephaniah 3:9). Then everyone will believe in God.
Then the verse, “Come, gaze from the head of Amanah” (Song of Songs 4:8) will be fulfilled. The name Amanah is related to emunah—faith. The “head of Amanah” refers to this highest faith.
The word for “gaze”—tashuri—is related to the word for tune—shir. Thus, we can read the verse, “Come and sing the tune of the highest level of faith.”
[As for now, however], only the tzaddik of the generation is able to attain this tune of supernal faith. Therefore, via the tune of the tzaddik, all the souls who fell into the heresy of the “empty vacuum” rise and emerge. This is because the tzaddik’s tune is on the level of the supernal faith. Via this faith and its tune, all heresy is nullified. Then, all tunes are gathered and nullified within this tune, which is higher than everything, and from which are drawn all the wisdoms.
No intellectual, verbal wisdom is complete in itself. Rather, it is the finite expression of a spiritual state that transcends borders and words. This spiritual state exists on an objective spiritual level, and can be accessed by a human being’s soul and felt within him as a subjective feeling. The highest such wordless state of consciousness is higher than all wisdoms and intellect. This state is total openness to the awareness of God’s existence. When one has such a consciousness, a consciousness that transcends the boundaries of intellect and human limitation, one perceives God and Godliness in an ideal and ultimate manner. One is immediately aware that everything—all wisdoms and all other states of transcendent consciousness—are mere branches of the Godliness that permeates all creation. Everything else is nullified by and swallowed up into this light of infinite being.
Melody puts one in touch with this wordless, higher state of consciousness. A holy melody, like this state of consciousness, has both an objective spiritual status and a subjective, affective influence on a person. (Likkutei Moharan 64:5)
The New Song of the Future
In the future, when the world is renewed, the entire universe will operate on the level of wonders, according to providence alone; and not according to nature.
Then a new song shall arise. As the verse says, “Sing a new song to God, for He has done wonders” (Psalms 98:1).
This song of the future is a song of God’s providence, a song of wonders.
There is also a song of nature, as in the verse, “The heavens tell the glory of God, the work of His hands are proclaimed by the firmament” (Psalms 19:2). This is the song of nature, of the astronomical laws. This is the level of song and praise that is sung to God for the way the world is run now, via nature.
But in the future, there will be a new song, a song of wonders, of providence, for then the world will be ruled by providence alone. (Likkutei Moharan II 8:10)
To be continued
(From “Chambers of the Palace”, an anthology of Rebbe Nachman’s writings abridged and translated by Yaacov Dovid Shulman. Writer, translator, and editor Yaacov Dovid Shulman can be contacted at: yacovdavid@gmail.com) 

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