Selections from Entering the Light
End notes have been omitted from this online version.
The Tzaddikim Build the MishkanFrom Reb Noson’s Likutey Tefilot I, 70
“Draw me close (maskheini)—after You we shall hasten!”
Your great and holy glory, arouse and awaken!
Master of the Universe! Glorious King, Whose glory fills the entire universe! In Your abundant kindness, You gave us in every generation true tzaddikim, with whom Your glory resides. And in Your great mercy, You made known to us that there is no orphaned generation. Even in these generations, You have shown us wondrous kindness and given us great and awesome true tzaddikim. Holy and awesome are their names, for all holy glory resides with them! They are the Mishkan (“dwelling place”) of Your Glory, upon whom the holiness of the indwelling of Your Godliness is drawn forth and rests constantly. For they are truly humble, making themselves like the dust upon which the entire panorama of creation stands; and everything is elicited from them.
These tzaddikim are the “foundations of the world,” the very foundation of all creation, and all beings need to draw near to them, to receive their life and continued existence from them. Upon them everything stands, and all Jewish souls are “branches” extending from them and drawn toward them, receiving all life and bounty from them; for they give life to all, and they possess the “gravitational force” to draw Godliness to them, and to draw all humanity to them—to bring them all near to You, may You be blessed forever!
Master of the Universe! Master of the Universe! Lord God of Truth! You know these true tzaddikim, who possess this power. You know their greatness (Gedulah), their strength (Gevurah), their beauty (Tiferet), and their enduring might, as well as the tremendous power they possess to pull the entire world to themselves, to their holy teachings, and to their wondrous ways and advice. How much everlasting benefit already sprouted forth from this! The tikkun of all the worlds and the Complete Redemption that is destined to come all depend on this; for the arrival of the Mashiach depends on our coming close to the tzaddikim. Yet You know, Master of the entire world, the vast array of forces amassed against us, which strive with all their might to tear us away and distance us from coming close to the tzaddikim, for the “repelling force” constantly fortifies itself to create a rift and estrange us from the tzaddikim.
Master of the Universe! Lord God Who fights our battles! Lofty and holy One, Who performs mighty deeds, in constantly new ways! Mighty One Who wages our wars! You know the fierce and awesome battle that goes on constantly, from generation to generation, between the “gravitational force” of the true tzaddikim, who possess the ability to draw the entire world to themselves in order to bring them closer to the Creator, may His Name be blessed forever – and the “repelling force” that continually fortifies itself against the “gravitational force,” in order to cut us off and distance us from the tzaddikim and from God. How many souls have fallen in this war and lost both worlds, due to the “repelling force” that estranged them from the true tzaddikim! And as for us, “orphans of orphans,” what has taken place and what can be done? Who will wage war on our behalf, to conquer and destroy the “repelling force” that opposes the “gravitational force” of the tzaddikim?
Master of the Universe, “O God, the mighty and strong, O God, strong in battle!” We cast our burden upon You, that You will battle for us! O God, “take up our fight and wage our war,” for “You are exalted forever, O God,” and “Forever Your hand is uppermost!”
Have mercy upon us, and save us in the merit of the true tzaddikim, who possess the “gravitational force,” and enable the “gravitational force” to muster its strength to such a great and awesome degree that it will overcome and utterly defeat the “repelling force,” which seeks to cut us off from the tzaddikim and from God. All of the obstacles, estrangements, tricks to divert and thwart us, doubts, and all the various disputes and thorny questions, as well as all evil desires and traits, all barriers in the world—they all come from the “repelling force.” Make them all fall away and vanish completely before the power of the “gravitational force” of the true tzaddikim, until we and all of our children and all children of Israel – indeed, all creatures in the world – are brought close to the true tzaddikim. Then “they will cast away their false gods of silver and gold” and all of their passions, in order to follow and run after the true tzaddikim. May we all merit to draw near to the true tzaddikim with the greatest closeness, and hear their holy teachings, study their holy books, and completely fulfill all their holy words, advice, and even casual remarks, in truth and simplicity – until we return to You in perfect teshuvah, speedily, sincerely, with a whole heart, “with joy and a good heart from the abundance of everything!”
Enable us to destroy and nullify all evil desires and evil traits. May we succeed in nullifying the ego entirely, to the point that we attain true humility and embody the paradigm of “dust of the earth.” Then we, too, will possess the “gravitational force,” and draw down Your Godliness and holiness upon us. Thus, we will bring the entire world to Your holy faith, Your true tzaddikim, Your service, and Your holy Torah, which You revealed to us through Moses, Your prophet, and through all true tzaddikim of every generation.
In Your great mercy, give us the privilege of contributing tzedakah generously to worthy people in need, particularly the true tzaddikim and their children. Help us to give them tzedakah with the greatest honor and respect, and to provide for all of their needs with dignity. May we give all our charitable contributions to true tzaddikim who are truly humble, exemplifying the paradigm of dust; and through this, may our tzedakah produce “fruit” immediately, as it is written: “Sow for yourselves righteousness (tzedakah), and reap according to [God’s] kindness.” Through tzedakah, cause all goodness to sprout forth: “goodly bounty and blessing, compassion, life, and peace,” “children, life, and sustenance,” and all good things forever!
In Your great mercy, protect us and save us so that we may never stumble through unworthy poor people. May none of our charity be distributed to an undeserving person, whose life is devoted to destroying Your world and not to improving Your world. Rather, may we generously give charity to worthy poor people and true tzaddikim. Help us for the sake of Your Name, have pity on us in Your abundant mercy, and enable us to attain all this right away!
Help us to flee from honor to the utmost degree. Instead, may we draw upon ourselves glory from the side of holiness, for the sake of Your Name – glory elicited from the true tzaddik, who possesses the “gravitational force” by which he erects the “Mishkan” constantly. All sacred honor rests with him; and all elders of Israel, leaders, and officers, from the greatest to the smallest, receive their honor from him.
Grant us sacred honor such as this, through which Your great glory will be revealed, magnified, and sanctified in the world, constantly. “Rule over the entire world in Your glory” speedily, and let Your glory fill all the earth. As it is written, “Declare among the nations His glory; among all peoples His wonders. They shall recount the glory of Your dominion, and they shall speak of Your might. Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, Who alone performs wonders! May the name of His glory be blessed forever, and may His glory fill all the earth, amen!”
Beyond the Illusion of Nature
From Tefilot HaBoker, Tefilah 7, by Rabbi Ephraim ben Naftali
Master of the Universe! Grant me the trait of holy alacrity, so that I never become lazy in the performance of any mitzvah, God forbid. Rather. May I fulfill all of the words of Your Torah and Your mitzvot with eagerness, and not pay attention to worries over livelihood. Rather, may I believe that You will surely sustain me, and that the God Who watched over me until now like a shepherd will not abandon me. Through my alacrity, may my mind and soul be energized, and may I minimize the time wasted in sleep due to laziness. Instead, may I always serve You diligently and enthusiastically, and whenever it is possible to snatch a bit of Torah, or to perform a mitzvah, may I do so right away, without any procrastination or laziness.
Imbue in me the realization that time does not exist – for the gist of Divine Providence consists in knowing that God transcends time and space, and that He watches over the entire universe through His Providence, and what we take to be nature is an illusion. Through this, may we attain higher consciousness and awareness, and through our faith, may we privileged that You relate to us in wondrous and miraculous ways, utterly beyond the laws of nature. May we elicit the full manifestation Your Divine Providence from the spiritual plane known as the “World to Come.”
Let us receive the Shabbat in a joyous frame of mind, “with wealth and honor, and with the fewest possible sins.” For everything is elicited through the holiness of Shabbat—by virtue of our belief that God created all of the words, bringing them into being yesh me-‘ayin, “something from nothing”; and that everything reflects Divine Providence; and that nature has no autonomy whatsoever—for we know that the laws of nature, too, operate according to Divine Providence. And we believe in all of the miracles that You performed for us and for our Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, truly believing in all of them. And we remind ourselves of our Exodus from Egypt every day, in order to enlighten us with the realization that everything reflects Divine Providence.
Thus, may I be privileged to receive the holiness of Shabbat ha-Gadol, which immediately precedes the holiday of Pesach. Through this, may You put an end to all of our sufferings, destroy our oppressors, and eradicate evil forever!
Revealing Divine Providence
From Tefilot HaBoker, Tefilah 7, by Rabbi Ephraim ben Naftali
May it be Your will, O Lord Our God, to perform miracles and wonders for us, in fulfillment of the verse, “As in the days of your Exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders!”
Protect us from all harmful forces. May they be deprived of any ability to damage us, physically or spiritually. Save us from all forms of darkness, and shine upon us a glimmer of Your holy light, from which all other lights derive, both physical and spiritual. Enable us to transmit the holiness of Passover Night to the entire year, and thus be protected from all darkness and harmful forces, as well as all affliction and harsh judgments, which might overpower us due to our many sins and transgressions. Illuminate us with Your Infinite Light, and fulfill in us the verse, “And the darkness of night will shine like the light of day!” Watch over us with Your Providence, and remove all harm and harsh judgments from us, as well as from Your entire nation, Israel, forever.
Allow us each year to nullify the chametz from our homes and domains on the day before Passover by burning the chametz. Through this, may we eradicate all idolatry and evil from the world, in fulfillment of the verse, “For they came forth from the fire, and the fire shall consume them.”
Subjugate the “Luminaries of Fire” and reveal and strengthen the holiness of the “Luminaries of Light.” These are the true tzaddikim who reveal Divine Providence to the world, and subjugate and cancel all harsh judgments produced by the Luminaries of Fire, which are bound up with nature. You have already made known to us through Your true tzaddikim that the power of nature is elicited primarily from the paradigm of fire, which represents the full force of harsh judgment. And when one declares, “My power and the strength of my hand [made for me this wealth],” God forbid, this is elicited from the power of fire, which was created on Motza’ei Shabbat (Saturday night) by Adam, as our Sages of blessed memory declare. Thus, the power of nature derives from fire. However, in truth, nature itself reflects Your beneficent Providence. Our main task is to incorporate nature into Your Providence, and in so doing, to restore the paradigm of fire to the holy. Then we will perform all of the commandments with the warmth of holy fire, which consumes all fires from the side of klippah.
Through this, all idolatry and evil with be nullified and fall away, and we will merit to perform the ceremony of Havdalah (“Separation”) every Motza’ei Shabbat, and recite the blessing over fire. All harsh judgments will be nullified, as well as the Other Side and all idolatry, in fulfillment of the verse, “And the House of Jacob will be a fire; and the House of Joseph, a flame; and the House of Esau for straw.” They will be nullified and consumed by the fire of holiness.
We will attain all of this by burning the chametz on every Erev Pesach. Then we will merit to eat the matzah in holiness and to reveal Divine Providence, as we declare during the Passover Seder, “This matzah we eat—because the dough of our forefathers did not have time to rise before the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, was revealed to them, and redeemed them!”
Master of the Universe! You know that it is impossible for human beings of flesh and blood to be truly on guard against even the least speck of chametz throughout the days of Passover. It is only that in Your great kindness You watch over us, which makes it possible for us to succeed in our vigilance concerning the least speck of chametz throughout the days of Passover. By remaining steadfast in not eating chametz, we will nullify the illusion of nature completely, remove from ourselves all harsh judgments, and eat matzah in holiness and purity. Then we will attain true knowledge of God, and bring down a full manifestation of Providence upon ourselves and upon all Israel; and through eating matzah during the seven days of Passover, we will imbue ourselves with the holiness of the Exodus from Egypt every year. Divine Providence will be revealed until we realize that nature, too, operates according to Your beneficent Providence, and the natural order has no autonomous existence.
As a result, materialist philosophy will be refuted and negated, along with the Other Side and all forms of idolatry to which it gives rise; all enemies and antagonists will be put to shame. We will witness miracles, and believe in Your miracles: in the Exodus from Egypt, and in the crossing of the Reed Sea. We will know that all of this came about because You revealed Your Unity and Oneness in the world, and we will perceive that everything operates according to Divine Providence, utterly beyond the laws of nature.
Then after Passover we will be able to eat even chametz—for it will have been revealed that nature, which is an aspect of chametz, is entirely a manifestation of Your Providence alone. This is the essence of higher consciousness, which nullifies all sufferings and harsh judgments, and brings about the downfall of all evil regimes that dominate us in our exile. The “two tears” will fall into the Great Sea, and put an end to the wicked, while accomplishing miracles for our good.
We will sing a new song of thanksgiving to You for our redemption and the liberation of our souls: a song of Providence, a song of wonders and miracles. “From God this came about; it is wondrous in our sight!”
May we be privileged to drink the Four Cups on Passover night in holiness and purity, and to elevate our minds in sanctity, until we depart from foolish consciousness, impoverished consciousness. Through our drinking in holiness, may we be given the merit to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt all the days of our lives, in fulfillment of the verse “In order that you remember your Exodus from the land of Egypt all the days of your lives.”
Let us give thanks and praise unto Your great Name for the miracles and wonders that You performed for us in the past, and which You will perform for us in the future. By drinking the Four Cups, may we banish sleep and the lack of higher consciousness, which is comparable to sleep, and nullify all poverty and oppression, both physical and spiritual. May we be worthy of “wine that brings joy to God and man,” and speak holy words and sing songs and praises that come forth from sublime perception.
Reveal Your Providence over us, abolish the darkness, and grant us light, until “night shines like the day.” Correct the deficiency of the moon, and “may the light of the moon be like the light of the sun.” Remove all poverty and lack from our midst, and elevate our minds until we merit to speak holy words, in fulfillment of the verse, “And your palate is like vintage wine; it goes to my Beloved in righteousness, causing the lips of sleepers to speak.” Thus we will open our mouths in holiness, and we will sing, exalt, and praise You constantly.