From Entering the Light
Translation by Dovid Sears
Based on Rebbe Nachman’s teaching about Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, found at the beginning of Likutey Moharan, Part I, Reb Noson’s prayer discusses the predicament of the Jewish people in these times, which are described as the “double darkness” that precedes the dawn of the Messianic Age. Rebbe Nachman discussed the power of the tzaddikim even after their physical passing in numerous lessons. Thus, Reb Noson supplicates Rabbi Shimon and the other tzaddikim who “rest in the dust” to intercede for the sake of the living, so that we may overcome our many obstacles and fulfill our spiritual mission as the bearers of God’s Torah.
(LT II, 47)
[i] Daniel 4:10.
[ii] Zohar III, 124b. Rebbe Nachman discusses this declaration in the lesson "Lekhu Chazu Mifalot HaShem / Come, Behold the Wonders of God," printed immediately prior to the first discourse in Likutey Moharan.
[iii] This reflects the verse, "For I will surely hide (hastir astir) My Face on that day…" (Deuteronomy 31:18). That is, the light is hidden, and also the very fact of this hiddenness is hidden, as Rebbe Nachman explains in Likutey Moharan I, 56:3, s.v. ki yesh sh'ney hastarot. These two levels of divine concealment characterize this period of the "footsteps of the Mashiach." Reb Noson discusses this in connection with Rebbe Nachman's advocacy of our wearing both the Tefillin of Rashi and Rabbenu Tam in these times; see Likutey Halakhot, Tefillin 5:28-29, 32. Reb Noson also mentions "doubled and redoubled darkness" in Likutey Halakhot, Chadash 3:4, in describing the spiritual darkness of Egyptian society, in its obsession with hedonism.
[iv] Deuteronomy 31:18, 21.
[v] Cf. Sanhedrin 98b: "Let him [the Mashiach] come, but let me not see it!"
[vi] Deuteronomy 32:36, according to Rashi.
[vii] Cf. Amos 8:11. See also Sichot ha-Ran 259, 260; Chayey Moharan 554; et passim, on the importance of longing and thirsting for God.
[viii] Psalms 139:18.
[ix] Paraphrase of Psalms 69:3.
[x] Lamentations 1:16.
[xi] Paraphrase of Hosea 10:8.
[xii] Isaiah 22:4.
[xiii] Liturgy, Selichot.
[xiv] I Samuel 14:6.
[xv] Job 42:2.
[xvi] II Kings 2:12. These were the Prophet Elisha’s words when he witnessed the heavenly ascent of his master, the Prophet Elijah, on a fiery chariot drawn by horses of fire.
[xvii] Isaiah 26:19.
[xviii] An allusion to the Patriarchs and Matriarchs (with the exception of Rachel), who are buried together with Adam and Eve in the Cave of Machpelah in Chevron.
[xix] An allusion to the "Four Worlds" of Atzilut (Emanation), Beriah (Creation), Yetzirah (Formation), and Asiyah (Action).
[xx] Paraphrase of Isaiah 60:7.
[xxi] Paraphrase of Ezekiel 18:31, 36:26.
[xxii] Liturgy, Selichot.
[xxiii] Op cit.
[xxiv] Paraphrase of Psalms 107:11.
[xxv] Psalms 138:8.
[xxvi] Psalms 142:8, according to Rashi.