19 Adar B 5779 / Tuesday, March 26, 2019 | Torah Reading: Shemini
 
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The Mud of Emuna    

The Mud of Emuna



Rebbe Natan of Breslev teaches us that we have to incorporate emuna in everything we do. Better yet, we have to live not only with emuna, but immersed in emuna…

 



Translated by Aaron Yoseph

 

Reb Nosson teaches us that we have to incorporate emuna in everything we do. Better yet, we have to live not only with emuna, but immersed in emuna...

 

A person eats. He might do so with a good intent – he wants to have strength to serve Hashem. But if you believe that the food will give you strength, you’re still believing in intermediaries. And then the eating itself isn’t serving Hashem. Eating is to elevate the sparks that have fallen into this world. Hashem is the One who gives us the strength. Look deeper, cleave to Hashem. Trust in Hashem, that He’s there with you at the table. He’s brought you these particular foods to eat. That makes the table into an altar that atones for you.

 

Business – don’t trust in your efforts, trust in Hashem, and only in Hashem. This makes it something completely different. Believe that there’s a soul correction - a tikkun – in your business dealings. When doing a deal, tell yourself, "Hashem is here with me." Even when things look bleak, it's all for the best, Gam Zu L’Tova. Nachum Ish Gam Zu brought a present to the King. His chest was full of gold, but along the way, robbers stole the gold and replaced it with mud. When the chest was opened before the King, and he saw that it was mud, Nachum didn’t flinch. He knew straight away, “it's all for the best.” His emuna was so strong, that he merited having the mud become something worth far more than gold! When is immersed in such strong emuna, the ‘mud’ in his life can transform, not into gold, but into diamonds!

 

How do we get to this level of immersion in emuna to the point where life's mud and crud become diamonds? We need to believe and trust in Hashem – only! “Only Hashem is with me. I’m not afraid of anything. If I do get afraid, I’ll pray to Hashem to help me trust in him more.”

 

This is our task here – to know that Hashem is here. Avrohom Avinu was the first believer. Hashem told him that he would inherit Eretz Yisroel, and that everyone would live there with emuna and joy. But he wanted to know how there could be such an abundance of emuna and joy. How could it be that everyone would fix everything with emuna? Could everyone really live with emuna, Torah, and prayer? Avrohom Avinu asked how it would be possible for people to live like this. So, instead of going up to the highest level of mercy and making this into a reality, he asked what he asked, and we had to go down to Egypt. It became up to us to reveal and build emuna.

 

We all experience constrictions, like we're tied up in a straight jacket. Those are challenges and tests we must deal with. But we keep on trying every day; Rebbe Nachman tells us to make note of every little good that we manage to do.

 

The Rebbe says that Yaakov Avinu and his sons, representing the 12 styles of prayer, went down into exile. Why doesn’t the Rebbe just say that prayer went down into exile?

 

The point is that there are many things that we need – mercy, health, income, marital peace and much more. A person might  pray three times a day, but when it comes to asking Hashem for what he really needs, he can’t do it. Why not? Because he has questions. “I prayed before, and nothing happened.” Or he may feel that it’s too childlike to just speak to Hashem and ask Him for what he wants. But the Rebbe taught us innocence and simplicity – ask Hashem even if all you need is a new button. Connecting to Hashem is very simple.

 

When we let the intermediaries get in the way, we can’t speak to Hashem. Egypt – that's the sorrow and worries. Who can give us life? We can speak about emuna, work with it, but it comes really as a gift from the Tsaddikim. The Tsaddikim are the ones who reveal emuna. Moshe Rabeinu brought us out of Egypt and gave us emuna. Avrohom Avinu was the first person with emuna. Before him, nobody knew anything. Like today – without the Rebbe's teachings, people don’t know how to live with emuna.

 

To pray about what’s really bothering us – this is what the twelve tribes represented, and this is a gift we get from the Tsaddik. This is the one weapon we have that can overcome all enemies and bring us to real emuna, to believe that we can fix everything we need to.





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