2 Cheshvan 5781 / Tuesday, October 20, 2020 | Torah Reading: Noach
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Surviving the Tough Times    

Surviving the Tough Times

Everything we go through, individually and communally – is all to bring us to have more Emuna. Every day, Emuna gets thrown down to the ground, and it’s our task to pick it up…


Translated by Aaron Yoseph


Everyone talks about Emunah. Everyone knows about Emunah – to believe in Hashem and the Torah and mitzvos. But what Emunah should mean to us, how Emunah should effect and change us – for that, we need Rebbe Nachman.


The Rebbe can bring us out of Gehinnom – from suffering and from feeling distant from Hashem. He can bring us out of meaninglessness and wasting time – from darkness to light. He helps us see the truth. Not just when the truth is shining. We start to understand and see the truth even when it’s dark – when we face tests and challenges. A storm may surround us on all sides – but we know that Hashem is the One who’s really surrounding us, and there’s nothing to worry about. But we need to seek this.


We think that Emunah is just a thought – it’s not something tangible, so how powerful can it be? So I thought about Hashem - so what? But the truth is that these thoughts are what create a revelation of holiness in this world. These thoughts change us completely and give us the Emunah that we are Hashem’s agents in this world. You can fix so much. You can give Hashem so much pleasure.


When we’re caught up thinking about our pain, or pursuing things that entice us, there’s no space in our minds for Emunah. That’s why we need a Rebbe. We all know about the Rebbe, but we need to make him into our Rebbe. The Rebbe teaches us what emunah is. The Rebbe said this idea the year Reb Nosson first came close to him. This is what the Baal Shem Tov revealed to us – that being a Yid is all about Emunah. A Yid always says “Baruch Hashem.” A Yid knows that Hashem is always present in his life. We can be in this world, but cleave to Hashem above.


The Baal Shem Tov revealed this to the Rebbe – that Emunah, Tefillah and Eretz Yisroel are all one thing. What does this mean? What is emunah? A person can think that he already has emunah, and it isn’t helping him. But he doesn’t understand.


Rebbe Nachman teaches that the exile is because of a lack of emunah. Slavery in Egypt – pain, suffering, confusion. It’s all for a lack of emunah. If we work on emunah, then we have something in our hands that no-one else has. We have a way to live in this world. We’re sitting on the treasure chest here – let’s put our hands in and take some.


Simply, everything we go through, individually and communally – it’s all to bring us to have more Emunah. Every day – start again, start Hisbodedus afresh. Every day Emunah gets thrown down to the ground, and it’s our task to pick it up.


The Midrash says that we will only come back to Eretz Yisroel in the merit of Emunah. There’s nothing greater than this. What does Hashem want from you the most? What do you want from your friend the most? Just to wish you a “Good morning!”? You want him to be faithful. To stick with you and believe in you. This is what Hashem wants of us, too. We have a holy neshomo that believes in Hashem. With emunah – we pick ourselves up and come to pray. “I believe that Hashem is here with me.” This is the greatest merit. This is the pipeline that brings down every blessing – health, wealth, etc. Everything depends on emunah. Emunah isn’t something you can learn once, and that’s that. It’s something you have to work on more and more, and talk about more and more. The Rebbe said to Reb Nosson, “When it comes to emunah, write and write and write. You never know which expression will hit the mark.” That’s why I’m going on about it so much!


We need to have faith in the hard times. When we can’t pray, and can’t learn. We’re cold. Our greatest merit is when we have emunah in these hard times. Truth – to seek the truth even in the hard times. We know that Moshiach will come. We’ll see Hashem. When we believe in this, we can see it now too. Hashem is here now just like He was in the time of Avrohom Avinu and Yetsias Mitzrayim. Nothing’s changed. With that in mind, we can get to work on strengthening our emuna - Hashem will be glad to help.

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