Many people believe that they will accomplish great things spiritually, but when it comes to action they don’t get anything done. This is why a person must learn to unite the potential with the actual, and this is the very beginning of teshuvah—to resolve to complete that which one planned to accomplish in avodas Hashem. This is what the true tzaddikim taught us, and this is where we must begin. The entire redemption depends on this. This is what is meant when the Gemara states that in the ultimate future the shuls and batei medrash of Bavel will eventually ascend to Eretz Yisrael. These “minor sanctuaries” which symbolize all of the revelations of the tzaddikim that are presently in the diaspora state, will ascend to Eretz Yisrael, to the world of thought so that one’s mind can always consider them and their application.
In general, one must realize that all true spiritual growth depends on consistency; one cannot waver in one’s mind or actions, but must instead focus his thoughts on the Divine Names as taught in the Zohar and by the Arizal and the Baal Shem Tov. And the completion of this practice is in bringing it down to the level of action, to consider the teachings of the tzaddikim and learn them in order to fulfill them. Then the beauty of the tzaddikim shines forth. Until we see their teachings in a real light, we cannot possibly appreciate their greatness—our own sins make us insensitive to their holiness. The same can be said of a person who distanced himself from the sanctity of Eretz Yisrael; he cannot possibly honor the land properly. The more that we begin to honor and appreciate Eretz Yisrael, the more we will be able to really raise her up on her rightful pedestal.
 Megillah 29a
Toras Chochom on Ha'azinu
Toras Chochom on Parshas Ha'azinu in English
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