Monday, September 29, 2008

Be an Eved Hashem Where, When and As You Are

Before Rosh Hashana, we read Parshas Nitzavim. Rebbe Nachman MeBreslev in Likutei Moharan 1:44 (quoted in the Likutei Halachos Chumash) teaches that at the beginning of the Parsha, Moshe gathers the entire Jewish people together on the last day of his life. Rebbe Nachman teaches that this is because when the whole Jewish people gather together to the true Tzadik, the aspect of Moshe Rabeinu, they plug into a higher level of understanding, a higher consciousness. This, he says, is also the avodah of Rosh Hashanah, which is why it is a big inyan in Breslev to go to Rebbe Nachman, even today, in Uman to his kever for Rosh Hashanah.

He says that through the additional understanding that one gains through his connection to the Tzadik, he will have the ability, throughout the rest of the year to know how to serve Hashem from within his own circumstances, in the place where he is, at the time when he lives, and with all of the difficulties, challenges, foreign thoughts, etc. that he personally has.

The avodah of a Jew is not to think that if only I lived in some other era, or some other place, or with some other family, or with some other set of kochos hanefesh, then I could really be an Eved Hashem. Our avodah is to be Ovdei Hashem where, when and as we are. Shoin. That's it.

This does not negate the fact that if one is in an less than ideal situation, that he should not take steps to change that situation for the future if it is the Ratzon Hashem for him to do so. But for the present, while he is still in that situation, he must know that he can and must be a true Eved Hashem while he is still in that situation. You must ask yourself what the Ratzon Hashem is for me right now, at this moment, given the circumstances and kochos hanefesh that I have right now.

And Rebbe Nachman is teaching us that through connecting to a true tzadik, especially on Rosh Hashana (as hinted by Parshas Nitzavim's placement right before Rosh Hashana), we can gain the insight to know how to do this in all of our particular circumstances.

May this Rosh Hashana be an illumination to our eyes and imbue us with the wisdom to know how to be ovdei Hashem in our own particular circumstances!

-Dixie Yid

(Video is of a gathering in Uman near Rosh Hashana, singing one of the most awesome niggunim, "Hakadosh Baruch Hu, Anachnu Ohavim Otchah!" "Hashem We love you!")

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