"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Monday, November 17, 2008

Appreciating Chassidus

Some ask: “What is the point of investing so much time and effort to study Chassidus Chabad, which discusses Hashem’s greatness in such tremendous detail, if at the end of the day one can never truly understand Hashem? Whatever one understands is only ‘the tip of the iceberg’!”

I responded that Chassidus says that one of the tactics of the kelipa of Amalek is to come in a “silk kapote,” a guise of piety, and try to discourage the Jew from becoming excited from a miracle story. He says: “Big deal! Why are you so excited? Of course Hashem can perform a miracle—he created the entire world and has absolute power over it!”

However, in reality one should become excited from the miracle story, for although we understand intellectually that Hashem utterly transcends all of existence, on our level, which is superficial, that is not our experience. What we see around us is nature, ha’teva, which has the same numerical value as the divine name of Elokim. Thus, a miracle is a ray of light in a sea of darkness, and so it should excite and inspire usand this is the reason that it was shown to us.

The same goes for Chassidus. Granted, from Hashem’s perspective—“Da’as Elyon”—our grasp of His greatness and absolute unity is infinitesimal. Still, the teachings of Chassidus in general, and Chassidus Chabad in particular, represent a divine revelation of a staggering, unprecedented scale when compared with the amount that could be understood before this wisdom was revealed.

Thus, the true reason that this study is neglected is that we don’t appreciate what it is—of course, not fully, but to a significant degree. And even if we once did, we have allowed ourselves to forget, to become distracted by the routine of life.

“Hashem has exposed His holy arm” (Yeshaya 52:10), and if we neglect to study this sublime wisdom and make it part of ourselves, and then disseminate it further, we are neglecting to accept the priceless gift that Hashem has extended to us through His holy emissaries, the Rebbeim. On His initiative, out of His pure, infinite kindness, He has revealed His innermost dimension to us, with the hope that we will allow it to enter and permeate the innermost dimension of our souls. 

Let’s not disappoint Him.

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