Friday, October 11, 2013

The Mystical Wedding Dance

From “The Power of Psalms,” Volume II (Breslov Research Institute)
A work-in-progress by Dovid Sears

Posted in honor of the recent wedding of Sara Gittel and Yehuda Leib Sears (7 Cheshvan), with warm wishes of “mazal tov” to the Chosson and Kallah and both of their families.

“Kings of armies flee in haste”—these are the tzaddikim, who are “His angels, His mighty warriors.”[1] They flee speedily and hastily in order to “run the course” (Psalms 19:5).[2] This alludes to dancing at a wedding.

            And the one dwelling at home distributes the spoils—this is the Jewish people, who distribute charity at a wedding celebration. This shows that there is no need for money, since in the paradigm of the Ancient One, there is no left side. [The “left side” in the array of the sefirot is associated with din, the force of severity and division. This is the spiritual source of wealth.]

            This charity is given when the celebrants cry out, “Shabbos![3] The initial letters of the words bayit techalek shalal (“home / distributes / the spoils”) spell “ShaBbaT.” This is why they cry “Shabbos!”—because by rejoicing, we return to God and merit to experience the delight of Future Shabbat, when the “Torah of the Ancient One” will be revealed[4] (based on Likutey Moharan I, 49:9-10).

[1] The Zohar I, 90a, explains that these tzaddikim are “His angels, mighty warriors,” because they have overcome their evil inclination. Thus, they are like the angels that have no evil inclination.
[2] Rebbe Nachman is in the midst of a homiletical explanation of several verses from Psalm 19, with which he begins the present lesson.
[3] This was a common wedding custom in Rebbe Nachman’s day, which seems to have fallen into disuse. However, in Chassidic circles it is still customary for the “badkhn” (wedding jester) to end his grammen (rhymes) with “guht Shabbos” during the mitzvah tantz (dance before the bride) with which the wedding celebration concludes.
[4] Rebbe Nachman mentions this earlier in this lesson, in section 6. Elsewhere, in Likutey Moharan I, 21:9, he describes “Atika” as wisdom that is presently beyond the grasp of mortal intellect. In Likutey Moharan I, 13:2, he relates the “Torah of the Ancient One” to the divine loving-kindness that will proliferate throughout the world during the Messianic Age; thus “in the Ancient One, there is no left side.” Rabbi Moshe Cordovero states that this will only occur after the Resurrection of the Dead; see Ohr Yakar al ha-Zohar, Behaalotekha, sec. 4, Vol. 14, p. 11.

These concepts are found throughout Kabbalistic works, based on Zohar I, 219a; ibid. III, 152a, et al. Their Scriptural basis would seem to be Daniel 7:9, 13, 22. In the Gemara, see Pesachim 119a.

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