From "Entering the Light", pp. 166-171
Li’ilui nishmas Gittel bas Yitzchak (Grace Sears), a”h
Yahrtzeit: 5 Adar
Searching for the Moses of Our Generation
A Prayer for the Seventh of Adar
by Reb Noson of Breslov (Likutey Tefilos II, 28)
(Source references have been omitted for this online version.)
Like trusting sheep, the Jewish people only await the shepherd’s call to gather together and return home to their Master
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Who leads Joseph like a flock; [0 God] Who is enthroned upon the Keruvim, shine forth!”
Master of the Universe, Sovereign, Leader and Ruler All‑Merciful One! You had pity on us and sent us a deliverer and master, the “redeemer of Israel and its holy one,” Moses our teacher, may peace be upon him, who brought us out from darkness to light, gave us the Torah, enlightened our eyes, and made known to us the truth of Your holy faith. In his awesome and towering spiritual stature, he was able to enlighten even those who were most lacking in merit, such as us today, to make known to all Your greatness and Your might, to open the eyes of the blind and to give sight to the eyes of all Israel. He was even able to deepen the perception of those who personified the aspect of the “feet,” so that they too could grasp the true purpose of all existence—to know You through all created things, and to come close to You, and to cleave to You in truth.
Fortunate is the generation that had such a leader! Fortunate are the eyes that were privileged to behold him! Fortunate are the ears that were privileged to hear the “words of the Living God” from his awesome and holy mouth, for the very Shekhinah spoke through his throat!
Now, 0 Lord our God, our Father, heed our urgent plea! Open Your eyes and behold our devastation! Have mercy on us, and show us and teach us what we can do now, what we can accomplish now, and to whom we may turn for help. “Tell me, O You Whom my soul loves: Where will You graze Your flock? Where will You give them rest from the noonday sun?”
Let us know which path to follow in search of a true leader such as Moses. Owing to our profound lowliness and weakness today, when the inner light of our faces no longer shines, no one can help us except that exceptional master and true leader who will be an aspect of Moses our teacher, peace be upon him—one who will also be able to illuminate us with holy perceptions so that we might reach the true goal, which is to know and perceive You through the entire panorama of Creation. For You formed all things only so that, through them, man might come to know You. This is the essential purpose of all Creation.
How can we find such a leader as this? Where? Where is he? “Where is the place of God’s glory?” Where is the advice and strategy that will enable us to find him?
Today there are also tzaddikim and leaders, may God grant them life and length of days and years. Yet don’t they all admit to themselves, without exception and without shame, that they lack the power I have described before You? They lack the power of Moses to enlighten us with this higher perception, so that each one of us will recognize the true goal in this world through the panorama of all worldly existence, this being the purpose for which we were formed. Now, what can be done? Who will arise on our behalf? “Who will preserve Jacob, for he is small?”
Master of the entire world, Who has mercy on the earth, Who has mercy on all creatures, Who “led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron”—where is Your compassion for Israel, Your holy nation, now? For whom would You abandon this tiny flock? For whom would You repudiate us, powerless as we are, unworthy as we are today? “Behold, we stand before You, impoverished and empty,” our faces blackened from sin, our stature bent from transgression. To whom should we flee for help? “Do You thoroughly despise Yehudah? Do You loathe Zion?”
If You would renounce Your people, Israel, God forbid, have You not already promised us that even when we reach our lowest point of decline in this deep exile, in body and soul, as we have today, You will neither reject us nor despise us forever?
As it is written: “But despite all this, while they are in the land of their enemies, I will not be revolted by them, nor will I reject them to obliterate them, to annul My covenant with them, for I am the Lord their God.”
And it is written: “But God did not say to erase the name of Israel from under the heavens.” And it is written: “For God will not forsake His people for the sake of His great Name, because God has sworn to make you as a people unto Him.”
And it is written: “For God will neither forsake His people nor abandon His inheritance.”
With these and many other such promises, You assured our ancestors that You would help us and save us in every generation. Where is Your compassion now? Where are Your wondrous deeds? Why are we left “like a flock without a shepherd?“ Have mercy on us! Have mercy and compassion, and enable us to pray and plead before You at length, to cry out, scream bitterly, and weep profusely before You every day, until You graciously answer us, and pity us, and grant us a “Shepherd of Israel,” a true leader, a compassionate leader like Moses our teacher. Provide us with a faithful shepherd who can engage in our spiritual healing and bring us back to You in truth, who can illuminate even us with his holy perceptions and open the eyes of our minds in great holiness and purity, so that even we may grasp the ultimate purpose of all created things in the world and truly recognize You, come close to You and cleave to You forever!
Help us to receive Shabbat in a befitting manner, with great joy and gladness and wondrous deveykut, according to Your beneficent will, until we come to know and grasp the ultimate purpose of the creation of heaven and earth, even in this world. Let us know and perceive You through all created things, according to Your will and the will of those who truly revere You. Then we will be privileged to experience the “day that is entirely Shabbat and contentment for the eternal life.”
All‑Merciful One! O God, open our eyes so that we may see, understand and perceive the absolute truth. Show us how we should conduct ourselves now, in order to seek and find a true leader such as Moses, who can bring us to the ultimate true goal during this lifetime—for “we have none to rely on, except our Father in Heaven.
“We are the clay, and You are our Potter, and all of us are Your handiwork.”
“Upon You the helpless rely; for the orphan You have been the helper.”
You alone know the hidden recesses of our hearts, and how to help us now in all matters, particularly in this matter on which everything depends: to find that true leader who is an aspect of Moses our teacher, who is capable of bringing us to the ultimate, true and eternal goal, speedily during our lifetimes. Do what is good in Your sight, for we have cast our entire burden upon You!
“As for me, I shall always hope”—“until God looks down from Heaven and sees.”“ Then He will return to us, and have mercy on us; and like a father to a son, He will bestow His favor upon us. He will restore the crown to its former glory and give us a shepherd, according to His heart, and speedily fulfill the verse: “I will appoint for you shepherds according to My heart, and they will tend you with knowledge and perception.”
Speed and hasten our Redemption, and sent us our righteous Mashiach! Quickly fulfill the verse: “I will establish over them a single shepherd, and he will tend them—My servant, David. He will tend them, and he will be a shepherd to them. And I, the Lord, will be a God to them, and My servant David, a prince among them. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
And it is written: “They shall no longer be contaminated with their idols, with their abhorrent things, and with their iniquities. I will rescue them from all their dwelling places in which they had sinned, and I will purify them. They will be a nation unto Me, and I will be a God unto them. My servant David will be king over them, and there will be one shepherd for all of them. My ordinances they will follow and My decrees they will heed and perform.”
“God of Hosts, lead us back, and cause Your Face to shine, and we shall be delivered!”