I have been thinking about a conversation I had with an e-friend a few weeks ago. We were discussing how we both learned a very basic fact of life, that was previously unknown to us, in the sefer Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh.
In volume 1, in the 39th and 53rd Perakim, the author points out that most people think that even if they do not get very much enjoyment and ta’anug from the Deveikus with Hashem that comes from learning Torah and doing mitzvos in life, we will get pleasure from our Deveikus in the higher levels of the world to come. This is exactly what I thought before learning Bilvavi.
I learned in Derech Hashem that the purpose of life is to attain Deveikus with Hashem and that this is the ultimate pleasure. I learned from there in the Ramchal that this is attained by doing mitzvos and learning Torah. When he said that this was the ultimate pleasure, I figured that since learning Torah and doing mitzvos do not currently give me ultimate pleasure, that the pshat was as follows: One’s neshama gets closer to Hashem whether he feels it or not. Due to the clouded perspective of this world, I may not feel that pleasure of closeness with Hashem, but it is indeed there. And when I leave this world and my neshama is no longer encumbered by the confusion of my physical body, then I will feel this pleasure from the Deveikus with Hashem that is created by Torah and Mitzvos.
Boy was I in for a shocker when the Bilvavi author taught that this was an ultimate mistake! He taught that the ta’anug from Kirvas Hashem that results from Torah and mitzvos that we have learned about is meant to exist DURING OUR LIFETIMES! And that if you’re neshama is so desensitized that it cannot feel the ta’anug of Kirvas Hashem in this life, you will not attain the Kirvas Hashem and hano'oh meziv Hashechina in the higher levels of Gan Eiden either.
At first I thought that this bomb that the Bilvavi author dropped on me was the product of his own thinking and logic. However, my friend shared with me that he asked Rav Avraham Schorr and Rav Moshe Weinberger whether the yesod that whether or not one feels that ta’anug from Kirvas Hashem in THIS WORLD is the test to see whether or not that closeness is, in fact, even extant, in terms of enjoying the higher levels of Olam Haba. They both answered him that not only was it true, it was so pashut that they thought it virtually did not require proof!
I am sharing this information so that people understand that it is important for each person to take steps to bring themselves closer to the place where he can say that his greatest pleasure in his life in Olam Hazeh his Kirvas Hashem from Torah and Mitzvos. Hatzlacha raba in that journey. This is why I am working on the path outlined in the seforim Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh. Although other paths may work for different people, we’ve all got to work on it somehow!
(Picture of Melitzer Rebbe courtesy of R' Lazer Brody)
However see Sihot ha-Ran:
"I heard from someone, a choshuve person, a kosher man, who fears heaven, and truly serves HaShem who was told by Rabenu [Nahman] z.l. that there are people who serve HaShem that HaShem yitbarakh does not show them what they accomplished ever during their lifetimes - only after they die, in the World To Come. Then they will see what they accomplished. And I understood that Rabenu z.l. said this to strengthen him so that he should not be depressed that he has already been involved in the service of HaShem and he still does not see any effect on himself. Because there are those who can not see there entire lives what they accomplished only afterwards, as mentioned before." (Sihot ha-Ran no.244)
It seems to me that while devekut in this world should be a goal we should be careful not to use it as the sole yardstick to measure whether we have truly accomplished in Avodat HaShem. We should serve HaShem with temimut (simplicity). Only HaShem can decide whether we will "ro'eh olamkha be-hayekhah" (see our world in our lifetimes - i.e. experience a taste of the devekut of Olam ha-Ba in Olam ha-Zeh).iznis
Yankee Mike, is the handle that you are using meant to give a little shtoch to your Dixily oriented brother in arms? :-)
That is a great and highly releveant quote that you are bringing out. Big yasher koach. I'll have to see if I can track down how that would shtim, if at all, with what I'd quoted. Again, thank you very much for that source and translation.
A number of frum people work here.
Happy that's true of JTS. :-) But that fact combined with the nature of your comment really piqued my interest. :-)
I don't understand the connection between the discussion and that very interesting morris code chart though...
I am sorry for being unclear. I was referring to the phonetic part of the chart:
Y = Yankee
M = Mike
My intials are: YM
Hence: Yankee Mike
No shtoch to Dixie was intended.;-)
The Sfas Emes in the second ma'amar on Yom Kippur says that Yom Kippur is a day of joy because on it we are mevatel ourselves to HaShem. In other words, coming close to the Rebono shel Olam is joyful.
It follows that if our Torah and mitzvos are bringing us close to HaShem we will know it because we'll feel joy.
I hope to post the ma'amar tomorrow B'ezras Hashem.
Why is it a chidush that no one knows? It is a basic yesoyd found all around in sifrey talmidey Baal Shem Tov.
It may have been obvious to you but it wasn't obvious to me and I never heard this from any Rav so it was new to me. I had always thought that one didn't have to be conscious of the Deveikus for it to, nevertheless, be there. So this was a big paradigm shift for me.
But from what my friend said in the names of Rav Weinberger and Rav Avraham Schorr, they also thought it was obvious.
My question is why this idea is not known and not taught, if it's so obvious?
The idea that "Oylom haBo" is here is is explained by Baal Shem Tov based on Chazal in Pirkey Ovoys - "Skhar mitzvo - mitzvo". I.e. unlike the common perspective, the skhar of the mitzvo that is usually viewed in light of Oylom haBomo is the mitzvo itself (the dveykus to Hashem in this mitzvo).
Look for example in Likutey Moharan 5 which you are probably familiar with, which is based on this teaching of the Baal Shem Tov (the original source can be found in several places, for example in Toldoys Yakoyv Yoysef).
How conscious one is of this dveykus is the second issue. Since it is very hard (if not impossible) to describe verbally what dveykus is (as talmidey Maggid point out) this issue is pretty hard to "pinpoint". Look in Tzavoas hoRivash and "Oyr haGonuz leTzadikim" for some very deep insight into this subject.
It is really important to seriously learn these early sifey Chasidus, in order to start approaching these issues. (Which is noted by R' Isomor Shwartz in his shiur in Belzer Koylel which you put on-line too). What I liked there that he said that one has to have some view, or "program" of action to some degree, or at least a direction, because otherwise it his hard to progress. This is very much utilized by Ramchal in Mesilas Yeshorim for example.
Chasidus tends to be more sporadic and less formal, but there is a clear feeling that some sctructure must be formed to move forward. The only point is - it is probably a personal task, which comes out different for different people.
About "not being taught". How many methods/practices and etc. out of the core and importand yesoydoys of the Baal Shem Tov are being taught at all at large?
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