Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Few Short Teachings

A Few Short Teachings
From the Breslov Research Institute Likutey Moharan, Vol. XI
Translated by Rabbi Moshe Mykoff
Annotated by Rabbi Chaim Kramer (see original)

Likutey Moharan I, 196

"When you pray, Al Taas Tefilatkha Keva (do not make your prayer routine), but compassionate pleas and entreaties [before the Omnipresent One]" (Avot 2:13).

It is forbidden for a person to be obstinate about anything. That is, in his prayer, it is prohibited to stubbornly insist that the Holy One must fulfill his request. This is like taking something by force, by robbing it.

Rather, a person has to pray and beseech God with compassionate pleas and entreaties. If God gives it, He gives it; and if not, not. This has been brought elsewhere.

This is the explanation of "do not make your prayer keva (routine)." The term KeVa connotes "stealing," as it is written (Proverbs 22:23), "and KaVA (rob) the life of those who rob them.”

That is, no matter what a person requests—be it livelihood or children or other needs—it is forbidden for him to stubbornly insist and be obstinate in his prayer; that God must fulfill his prayer. For this is a "keva prayer"—he takes the thing by force, by robbing it. Rather, as explained above, he is to pray "compassionate pleas and entreaties.”

Likutey Moharan I, 203

From women's conversations it is possible to know the status of the Shekhinah (Divine Presence)—i.e., how She is faring at that time. This is what is written about Mordekhai (Esther 2:11), "He would daily walk about in front of the harem courtyard to find out how Esther was faring." Esther is the Shekhinah. Mordekhai would comprehend this—to know how the Shekhinah was faring—from the "courtyard of the harem," i.e., through their conversations.

Likutey Moharan I, 210

By doing business honestly, a person fulfills [the mitzvah of] "You shall love [God]" (Deuteronomy 6:5). As our Sages, of blessed memory, said: "You shall love"—Heaven's name should become beloved through you (Yoma 86a).

And when a person fulfills "You shall love," his livelihood is without struggle or toil. As our Sages, of blessed memory, said: "A person's livelihood is as difficult as splitting the Red Sea" (Pesachim 118a). Splitting the Red Sea was in the merit of Avraham, aspect of "And you shall love." As our Sages, of blessed memory, said: "The sea returned just before morning" (Exodus 14:27)—this is the morning of Avraham (Zohar II, 170b).

Thus it is that when morning, the aspect of Avraham-- love-- arrives, the difficult becomes relaxed. For until the morning, splitting the Red Sea was difficult for Him. From this we may conclude that by doing business honestly, a person is linked to the aspect of "And you shall love"/Avraham, and as a result he has no difficulty earning his livelihood.

Likutey Moharan I, 222

A person needs to be cheerful always, and to serve God cheerfully. And even if he occasionally falls from his level, he has to strengthen himself with earlier times, when some small measure of light did shine on him.

This is as we see, that a number of blind people hold on to someone who is not blind, trusting him and following him. In addition, the blind man trusts his cane; he follows his cane, even though he does not see at all.

All the more so, a person ought to follow himself. That is, since in earlier times [the light] shone for him somewhat, and he strengthened himself and stirred his heart for God, even though now he has fallen from this and his eyes and heart are closed, nevertheless, he should hold on to those earlier times and follow them. That is, just as then he stirred his heart to strengthen his service of God, so too now, he should strengthen his heart greatly and follow the arousal and shining that he had then, even though now he has fallen from it. Until after a short while, God helps him and God's light again shines on him. Amen.

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