ladders for prayers

The Noam Elimelech brings down that Tzaddikim work always on two levels. They make sure that all of their actions are necesary and for the sake of Heaven. On top of this (what would seem to us as an already impossible task) they also maintain intense focus that everything they are doing should effect tremendous unifications in the upper realms.

It seems as if on the level of their minds, they are off in another world entirely, performing intense meditations, while simultaneously, on the level of their body, unifying Godliness with the physical world.

To me this smacks of סולם מוצב ארצה וראשו מגיע השמימה (the ladder in Yaakov Avinu's dream is standing on the ground, its top reaching to the heavens) The Ba'al Shem Tov explains this passuk as referring to a Jew, whose body is based firmly on the ground, but whose soul reaches into the heavens. He goes on to say that the angels climbing the ladder are the prayers offered up to God, and the angels coming down the ladder are the blessings received from HaShem.

This is also a phenomenal ability to multi-task that the Tzaddikim show in their parallel actions. The Noam Elimelech actually says in the same parashah (מקץ) that Tzaddikim are seen to be insane because they have been endowed with unbelievable awe and love of God but it has been hidden in their hearts and only their actions are visible.


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