real time justice, teshuvah included inside

The Notzer Hesed, in the end of his compilation on achdut, (in the middle of Avot 6) describes the phenomenon of Tzaddikim and the hecklers who deride, accuse, and disrupt them. I've noted in the past that he says that any report of anything negative about any Jew at all is utterly unfounded. Here he comes to teach a deeper lesson about the role of tzaddikim and their doubters.

The tzaddik's soul is connected with those of many other Jews. A tzaddik's actions affect all of those who share his soul-root. Most of the work cut out for a tzaddik is rectifying his soul, and along with it, those of those connected to him. In fact, if a tzaddik is presented with a failing in someone else, it hints at a similar failing in himself. Only through finding and fixing this failing in himself can he then fix it in the other people who are connected to him as well. The Notzer Hesed relates a story about the Baal Shem Tov that he was confronted with a Jew who accidentally violated the Shabbath in his presence. The Baal Shem prayed and cried for a long time until it was revealed to him that he had mistakenly used the services of a Talmid Chacham, a learned scholar, who the Torah also refers to as 'Shabbath'.

The Notzer Hesed illuminates this relationship a level further: Those things of which the nay-sayers accuse the Tzaddik are generally areas in which the nay-sayer him/herself has actually transgressed. The revellation here is that, because the Tzaddik has not perfected and rectified the nay-sayer's soul yet, he bears the responsibility for his critic's actions. The Tzaddik is being accused of the actions which he is responsible for, even if he didn't commit those actions directly.

Finally he explains that the Tzaddik who is criticised in this world is praised in the upper worlds because all of the commotion down here means that in the courts in the upper worlds there is no need to bring any claims against him. [Apparently they only intercede in the upper courts when justice isn't being carried out down here.]

What I find beautiful about all this: Everything is moving towards exactly the end that they need, as efficiently as possible. The Tzaddik is working to perfect himself. The trouble makers point out his flaws to him. By pointing out his flaws, the trouble makers actually shield him from any interference in the higher realms. (a point made by Rebbe Nachman in Likkutei Moharan) The end result is that the Tzaddik may more quickly and more wholly fix all of those souls that are connected to his own, hastening the rectification of all those who still have what to fix. The gravy is that the Tzaddik doesn't hold those who criticise him responsible, because he knows all this and forives them for their actions, minimizing their continuing transgressions, and he thanks them for the oppurtunity to purify his own soul.

a final note:
See my reference to supreme justice in this post. It isn't for nothing that the root of the word Tzaddik(צדיק), is Tzedek(צדק), justice. As illustrated here, even God's justice is kindness. This post is also heavily related to this post on sleeping our way to redemption.


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