11 Kislev 5781 / Friday, November 27, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayeitzei
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High-Class Purgatory    

High-Class Purgatory

People see wealthy people and think that they are living the good life. The reality is that rich people just live in a high class Purgatory, but it’s still Purgatory…


Translated by Aaron Yoseph
People see wealthy people and think that they are living the good life. The reality is that rich  people just live in a different type of Purgatory – the high class Purgatory, but it’s still Purgatory. The chauffeurs get to hear all about it. I spoke with some in America. They pick up the big bosses of the big corporations in their limousines and drive them through the city to their various meetings. The chauffeurs aren’t allowed to talk – but they listen. What do these super rich people talk about? How many pills they’re taking for all their ulcers. How they can’t sleep at night. How much sorrow they have from their kids. The good life!
Rebbe Nachman does us a great kindness by letting us know that there is no Olam haZeh (this world). Most Rebbes speak of big things. Here the Rebbe teaches us something very simple. When we grasp it, we see how the Rebbe was thinking of us with our illusions and dreams.
When serving Hashem isn’t going so well, a person thinks that at least he’ll have this world. By some Chassidic sects they do seem to have a nice Olam Hazeh – they have friends, Shabbos, a tisch. It’s good, but it doesn’t tend to last that long.
The Rebbe wanted us to really have Olam haZeh - What was the argument against Breslov? There was absolutely no reason at all. All the Rebbes held of the Rebbe. People didn’t like that a person became a Breslover and then forgot about this world. He went off to the fields every day and learnt day and night. There weren’t Kollels like today, where everyone’s doing that.
The problem nowadays is that even when a person does cast off the life of this world, he still doesn’t get to Olam haba, because the Yetzer Hora discourages him and breaks his heart, to the point that he does nothing. Then he’s liable to fall into the trap of thinking that he can have good in this world – he’ll have some money, some phones, he’ll borrow some money and make something. And it never works out. This is the depth of the exile that we’re sunk in.
We need to live in this world. We need to be organised. We have to make an accounting and be cautious – not for the sake of it, but because this is also part of serving Hashem. If we don’t do this, we can get in such a mess. The present we get from the Tsaddikim is that all our interactions with this world are also Olam Haba they are a Tikkun, a rectification of something. The Baal Shem Tov taught us that whatever we do – Hashem is doing. Everything is Divine Providence. Live within this emunah. Don’t think that you haven’t succeded. You learnt something – you succeeded. Hashem has delight from you. The Tsaddikim teach us that we can serve Hashem always, He is always with us.
In the times of the Beis HaMikdash even the goyim felt the holiness and preciousness of being a Yid. They brought such presents to the Beis HaMikdash.  Everyone knew that these are the happiest and most fortunate people in the world. The Tsaddikim want to make us into those happy people even today.
We have to be strong in this. “This thing I’m going through, it’s a tikkun. No more, no less.”
The churban is that we won’t don’t see the tachlis, so we work towards the tachlis of the goyim – to be an animal. Our tachlis is to rejoice with Hashem and do as much as we can for His glory. The Zohar says that darkness rules over us and conceals Hashem from us. We get this in the form of the heretics and ignoramuses who teach us that the main thing is to learn a profession and make something of this world. Our real task is to rejoice with Hashem and do as many mitzvos as we can. Here in Eretz Yisroel we’re a bit closer to this. In Chutz LaAretz, the diaspora, people are so caught up in this world. They get up at five o’clock, run to shul, then to work, then they come back home at seven o’clock, worn out, and they’re still in debt!
The Rebbe comes along and tells us “Be very clear about this - THERE IS NO PEACEFUL LIFE IN THIS WORLD. Whoever shows you that there is, is a liar.”
This world tricks everyone. The bochrim, the avreichim. Life is about serving Hashem, to live with  emunah, to learn and pray. Our Rebbe isn’t worried that we’ll leave him for telling us this. You think there’s peace in this world – forget it! This world tricks us.
What does the Rebbe want a person to do? When a person is going through something – just shake it off. Don’t be afraid of it and don’t make a big deal of it. Don’t let it confuse you, not your learning or your davening. There are people who learned this lesson and lived such a good life.
We need strength not to deceive and trap ourselves with our own actions. Why don’t we get up for Chatzos? Because we didn’t go to sleep on time. Why didn’t we go to sleep on time? Because we drank a coffee? Why did we drink the coffee? Because we ate too much and wanted a hot drink to wash it down. So we can’t move or do anything. We trap ourselves!
The Rebbe says that the exile of the Divine Presence, the Shechina, is the exile of joy. The exile has caused us to lose our joy. We’ve forgotten how to rejoice with Hashem, how to be satisfied by our service of Him. We’ve forgotten how much Hashem loves us and needs us. We’ve forgotten how precious every good point is. We burn up our days with worries. We’ve lost our enthusiasm. This is why we need to cry about the Beis HaMikdash.
Why do we need to cry about the Beis HaMikdash, how does it help us? When someone loses something precious to him, he cries out. We need to feel what we’re missing. If we don’t feel it, it’s so hard to get out of the trap of chasing after this world.

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  1 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  This article was incredible! (only subject)
aliza10/27/2011 7:50:38 PM

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