mirrors for faces; voices not words

Ben Ish Hai, Hacham Yosef Hayyim, on parashath Bo (year 1), brings up the halachoth of Tefillin. It's clear, he says, that Tefillin shel rosh is meant to illuminate your mind, and Tefillin shel yad is meant to illuminate your heart, because hochmah (wisdom) dwells in your mind, and binah (understanding) dwells in your heart. He explains that all of your other middoth (attributes) derive from hochmah and binah. For this reason, if your heart and mind are pure, the rest of your body will follow. Especially your mouth. If you heart and mind are pure, your speech will be pure as well.

I find this interesting then, because רוח (spirit) is the level of the soul that dwells in the heart, and the Targum (aramaic translation) translates the life breathed into man as רוח ממללה a speaking spirit. So the heart is intimately related with speech from the moment of the creation of man.

On Shabbath I learned Likkutei Moharan I:19. Rebbe Nachman explains how all of us must go hear Tzaddikim face to face, because hearing them quoted second hand is not even remotely the same experience. Similarly reading from texts written by Tzaddikim isn't even on the level of hearing from someone who heard from a Tzaddik. He goes into the intricate wonders of the Holy Tongue (לשון הקודש) aka Hebrew, and how the Tzaddikim perfect their speech to such an extent that it undermines all the evil in the world. To such an extent that when one gazes upon the countenance of a Tzaddik, one sees a reflection of oneself and all of the sins one has done which results in immediate teshuvah. (This actually meshes nicely with an earlier post quoting the Notzer Hesed on wrongdoers blaming the Tzaddikim for their own sins.)

Rebbe Nachman also explains there that the key to drawing out this goodness is rooted in the heart of creation. He notes that there are 32 (לב heart has gematria 32) mentions of the name Elokim in the tale of the creation. From this point of the kollel of creation, all of the evil is uprooted. (As explained as well in Likkutei Halachot Hilchot Tzitzith:3 on the word Bereishith)

He goes into a long explanation of how Aramaic is the Tree of Knowledge and Hebrew the Tree of Life, but I'm not going to get into it now. In super-short he says that through raising up the good in the Targum - Aramaic - you return creative power to Hebrew and undermine the 70 languages which are the root of all evil. (and akin to the three klippoth of tumah)

Last night I was at a wedding here in Jerusalem. Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (former Rishon L'tzion (Chief Sepharadi Rabbi of Israel)) was the M'sader Kiddushin, Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl was there too, and all of Beit El. (the Mekubalim of the old city of Jerusalem) Talk about seeing Tzaddikim speak in person and being reflected in their faces. It couldn't have been higher unless all the Hassidic Rebbes of Jerusalem had shown up. (And if something like that ever happens, I definitely want to be there to see it!)

It's one thing to learn Rebbe Nachman's Torah on all of this, it's quite another (as Rebbe Nachman said in this very Torah) to experience it face to face. I'm so happy I got to be there, I'd been wanting to see Rav Eliyahu for a long time now. I got a brachah for my wife from him.

[There was actually an awesome encounter that very few people got to witness where (on the way from the tisch to the chupah) Rav Eliyahu stopped and asked Rav Nebenzahl to join him and walk beside him, but Rav Nebenzahl insisted on following humbly behind.]

ps. for anyone here in Jerusalem, the celebration of the Hillulah of the Rashash (רש"ש הקדוש) at Bet El (in the old city) will be sunday night and I wouldn't suggest missing it.


Related posts

Blog Widget by LinkWithin