7 Cheshvan 5781 / Sunday, October 25, 2020 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
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It's not the Intermediaries    

It's not the Intermediaries

We focus too much on the intermediary, and not on the main thing. When the intermediary doesn’t help us in the way we’d hoped it would, we collapse…


Rebbe Nachman tells us, “True you fall. But when you do, all you need to do is open your mouth and say a word of prayer, and you can get back up. Believe that Hashem hears every word. He understands you, whatever language you speak. Believe in your prayers. Say something, “Hashem, I know that You’re still here with me, even though I’m down in the dumps; I have a bit of Emuna, at least. I believe in the Torah. I have Tsitsit, I keep Shabbat. I'm talking to You right now. I do have some good points.”


Without emuna, a person comes to complete despair. “I’m nothing, and everything’s nothing.” Oy Oy! He doesn’t speak to Hashem anymore. This is what perpetuates the exile.


It is possible to get out of exile. People suffer. If only we knew how much Hashem loves us. It’s like a millionaire who has an only son, born to him in his old age – how much he loves him and wants to do everything for him! This is only a small morsel of how much Hashem loves each of us. But people have questions, and these questions distance them from emuna. All the things that go on in the world at large, and specifically within the Jewish People themselves, confuse us. Emuna is about believing so strongly in Hashem that we have no questions any more.


We trust in Hashem, because He promised us everything good if we follow the Torah. But what do we really do? When we need something, we put effort into some means to get what we want. We put our belief, not in Hashem, but in some idea we have – some intermediary means to get what we want. “If I do this, things will work out. This will save me. I’ll put all my efforts into this.”


So we have a cup of coffee or tea to wake us up, or make us feel good. “I’ll do this to have peace of mind, then I’ll be able to learn well.” We focus too much on the intermediary, and not on the main thing. When the intermediary doesn’t help us in the way we’d hoped it would, we collapse. The Baal Shem Tov came to help us get out of this. True - Hashem loves us and is only good to everyone, always. There’s nothing to worry about.


So why don’t things work out sometimes? Why don’t we see Hashem’s loving-kindness openly? The truth is that there is an abundance of blessings waiting to come down to us. But when there are spiritual obstructions opposing a person – kelipos - then the blessings get stolen along the way. Hashem is always with us, sustaining us, giving us everything, protecting us. There’s nothing but Him. He is always awake, always listening, always watching. No one can do anything that isn’t His will. No one can touch us. But if that’s the case, how is it that the kelipos are able to steal our blessings? What’s going on? The answer is, that this itself is for our good.


By not fighting against what we go through and by accepting it silently with emuna and trust – this itself is what brings the cure and salvation. Emuna means that there’s no nature. We don’t need anyone. When a person is far from emuna, he falls into exile, which means that he won’t be able to pray. He thinks that Hashem has forgotten him.


What is really happening here? Rebbe Nosson writes about this. He explains that if you would receive all these blessings and good now, it actually wouldn’t be good for you, so Hashem lets the kelipos take them for the meanwhile. Everyone understands the idea of pipes, and pipes getting blocked, and unblocking the pipes, etc. But it’s much deeper than this. A person’s salvation comes about through his own emuna; that's what sweetens the dinim, the stern judgments, and makes us worthy of the blessings. Now the blessings will be good for us.


Hashem is always here. What does He want from us? Prayer. Chizuk. Emunah. Bitachon. And for us not to get caught up with and believe in the intermediaries. The intermediaries are only there because we don’t deserve to see open miracles, so we have to work through intermediaries. The truth is that we all benefit from many miracles every day in our lives. But, as soon as we make the effort to overcome and we do see Hashem's hand, our emuna gets stronger and then all the accusing forces can't accuse anymore. Emuna is stronger than all of them.

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