the place of the world whose place is not the world

Little holding much is a concept fleshed out in Rebbe Nachman's story The Seven Beggars. In Likkutei Halachoth, Rebbe Natan, Rebbe Nachman's spiritual heir, connects this idea of little holding much to Tzitzith. The strings point in every direction tying all of them together into the center, carrying them all in a sense.

The Beit HaMikdash, Rebbe Natan continues, is also a case of little holding much, in fact, the kodesh HaKodeshim is the most full expression of little holding much, in that God's divine presence descends to dwell within it. The infinite is descending into the finite.

(the womb that contains the neshamah is another example)

Further, the sense and concept of place is inherently tied to Da'ath. (knowledge) Therefore we bring an animal, something with no Da'ath, something totally tied to place. To the Beith HaMikdash where we offer it up, beyond place-ness, beyond little holding much, to the place of the world, God, whom the world is not his place.

This idea of place inversely related to knowledge is worth thinking about. When we recognize that HaShem is everywhere, we lose a little bit of the where in everywhere. When we recognize God in a place, we are returning that place to it's origin.

In fact, the Maor Eynayim explains that we are meant to serve HaShem wherever we happen to be, not to lament how far we are from where we may want to be. Not to get stuck up on how far we've fallen, but to find HaShem wherever we are, and in doing so, we connect that place back to God. He goes on to ask why it is that we fall? Why does God seemingly push us away when we are trying so hard to get close. He explains that there are fallen neshamoth, souls, that were plunged into the depths during the sin in Gan Eden. HaShem sometimes sends us to these faraway places, to these lost souls, so that we can discover HaShem there too, and lead these lost neshamoth back to their source.

Tzitzith connect us back, tie us to God, to the place of the world, the one who the world is not his place. Through Tzitzith we can even connect to the space of the Beith HaMikdash, even in its absence.

It occurs to me that this is the secret of why Tzitzith eliminate anger, because the Gemara teaches us that since the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash, anger entered into the world. When we put on Tzitzith and return the place of the Beith HaMikdash, anger leaves the world.


Related posts

Blog Widget by LinkWithin