Monday, November 27, 2017

Secrets of a “Jewish Heart”

(Painting by Jim Dine)

Likutey Moharan II, 56
Translation by Dovid Sears

When a person has a heart, he is unconstrained by “place.” On the contrary, he is “the place of the world…”

For G-dliness is in the heart; as it is written, “The Rock of my heart” (Psalms 78) [referring to G-d].[1]  And of G-d, it is said, “Behold there is a place with Me...” (Exodus 33) – “for He is the Place of the world, and the world is not His place.”[2]

Thus, for one who has a “Jewish heart”[3] it is unbefitting to say that a certain place is unfavorable for him, since “place” is entirely irrelevant to him. On the contrary, [due to the G-dliness that dwells within his heart,] he is “the place of the world, and the world is not his place.”

[1] See Tanya: Igeres ha-Kodesh, Letter 31, which relates this phrase to the Sheckhinah (Divine Presence) that dwells within the heart.
[2] Rashi, loc. cit., based on Midrash Rabbah.
[3] See Likutey Moharan I, 33:6, which discusses the principle that “the Merciful One desires the heart,” and the heart is the root of the emotions; when the heart is bound to Da’as / Higher Knowledge, it becomes a vessel for “ahavah she-bi-da’as,” the encompassing Divine love. 

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