Thursday, October 10, 2013

The “One-Stop Center”

Woodcut by Helen Frankenthaler

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

 “God is good for everything, and His mercies are upon all His works[1] (Psalms 145:9). “God is good for everything”—this alludes to prayer. A person who believes in God knows that He is “good for everything”—healing, sustenance, or whatever one needs. Therefore, he will direct his efforts primarily toward God (such as through prayer) and not be preoccupied with various strategies. One who doesn’t believe in God, however, will pursue all sorts of worldly solutions to his problems. For example, if such a person becomes sick, he will pursue all sorts of medical treatments. The herbs required may not be available locally, or the local varieties may be of inferior quality. However, “God is good for everything.” No matter which ailment needs healing, God is always available.

            Prayer leads to universal peace. Thus, the verse concludes, “And His mercies are upon all His works.” When people turn to God as the ultimate power, Divine mercy will be drawn forth to all creatures. Consequently, all creatures will have mercy upon one another, and there will be peace among them. As it is written, “And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. … They shall not harm or destroy” (Isaiah 11:6, 9), for there will be peace between them. Thus, “His mercies are upon all His works.” [In other words, God will instill mercy in the hearts of all creatures, and they will treat each other accordingly.] As our Sages teach, “Whoever shows mercy to God’s creatures is granted mercy from Heaven.”[2] This is borne out by the verse, “And [God] will give you mercy, and He will have mercy upon you” (Deuteronomy 13:18) (based on Likutey Moharan I, 14:11).

[1] This verse is usually rendered, “God is good to all.” However, Rebbe Nachman homiletically interprets it as translated here.
[2] Shabbat 151b.

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