small words

The Noam Elimelech (פרשת שמות) continues a theme here (an old post about it can be found here a newer one here) about why Tzaddikim undergo a yeridah, a falling, for the purpose and need of the masses, so that they can rise up with the Tzaddik when s/he does so.

Instead of talking about the why, this time he describes another situation of how the Tzaddik lowers himself in order to raise us up:

Speech, the Noam Elimelech says, is a tremendous fall for pure intellect to take, because one can have many many (often exceedingly complicated) thoughts at once, but through speech only the smallest part of them may be shared. So, when the Tzaddik who is involved in lofty thoughts and perceptions lowers his intellect to the level of speech, such that we might glean some shining tidbits and experience tremendous elevations, the Tzaddik is lowering himself to raise us up.

In my mind it seems like the Tzaddik is going down to the well, to draw up our souls in the bucket of his words. So, in light of that image, it behooves us to jump into his words, so that he can lift us up out of the confines of the well, and into a much more spacious frame of mind, a broader service of God.


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