Tuesday, January 15, 2008
My Question to the Sudilkover Rebbe r.e. Meor Einayim & Gerim
When I spoke with the Sudilkover Rebbe, thanks to A Simple Jew, last week, we talked about my desire to better understand the Meor Einayim's statement that the Ohr ShebaTorah is not accessible to Gerim, who are not [biological] children of the Avos.
One of the things he said was that the explanation is that an eved of the King, no matter how intimate his relationship is with the King, will never have the same closeness that the child of the King has. Therefore, there is an aspect of the illumination within the Torah that is accessible to literal children of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov (b'ni bechori Yisroel).
He also said that Gerim all called "Tachas Mikanfei Hashechina," "under the wings of the Divine Presence." However, children of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov are "l'ma'aleh mi'kanfei Hashechina," above the wings of the Shechina." Although both are one with the Shechina, they are that way at different "levels" within the Shechina, and therefore the "Ezrach B'Yisroel" has access to some higher aspects that the Ger does not have access to.
Some of these explanations may not sit well with people who seek more apologetic explanations for concepts which are difficult for modern minds to understand. However, I much prefer understandings which are true to the sources, are are not apologetic approaches to understanding difficult topics.
All of that being said, he said that with Ratzon, desire, a Ger can break through that boundary and access the same intimacy with Hashem through the Torah that any other Jew can. (As Rabbi Golshevsky alluded to HERE on the same question)
He shared a teaching from the Baal Shem Tov (which I also saw in Tzidukus Hatzadik) that the nisayon of Elisha ben Avuya (A.K.A. "Acher") was not to listen to the heavenly voice when it said, "Shuvu banim shovavim, chutz me'Acher," "Return all wayward children, except for "Acher." Even though Elisha ben Avuya heard a heavenly voice explicitly tell him that he was not welcome back, Hashem's will was that he say, like the man from the airport that the Sudilkover talked about, "What you mean I shouldn't come back!? I am a Jew and I'm returning to You, Hashem! I don't care what You say!"
This is what Hashem wanted from him, for him not to listen to Hashem's message that he wasn't welcome. That was his nisayon and that was why Hashem sent him that message, davka so that he should not listen to the message.
This is also the message from Likutei Moharan 48, where Rebbe Nachman says that when you feel that in Shamayim, they are pushing you away and don't want to let you into the gates of holiness, the ikar is not to be discouraged and not to be afraid. Rather, Hashem is sending that message to you to get you to push harder to be closer to Hashem.
This is also like (l'havdil) what Randy Pausch (not Pauche) said over and over again in his "Last Lecture." "Brick walls are not there to stop you. They are they to make you prove how much you want it."
May we all merit to break through the barriers Hashem has placed before us to make us prove that we really want to get closer to Him!
(Picture courtesy of londondiscussionforums)
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