the winds of the road

The Noam Elimelech asks a great question and answers it with a great parable. (There really isn't another sefer like the Noam Elimelech)

The question: Why is it that in the time of the Prophets, people had to undergo tremendous hardship and sacrifice to attain levels of prophecy and divine inspiration (ruach HaKodesh) when we know that in our day, simple people attain levels of divine inspiration significantly less effort?

The parable: When the King is at home in his castle, it is below his dignity to visit someone else in their home. To entice the King to visit requires extraordinary efforts sending diplomats and gifts all at tremendous expense. However when the King is on the road, travelling, He will stop in an inn if he finds it is clean and dignified.

The explanation: When the Beit HaMikdash existed, the Shechinah dwelled within it, and a person had to go to great lengths to entice the Shechinah to dwell upon him. Nowadays, that the Shechinah is in galut with us, on the road, the Shechinah will dwell upon anyone found adequately clean. Here, in this galut, we find that a fine attention to cleanliness of body and soul, being without sin, is sufficient to earn divine inspiration.


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