sukkoth (part 3 of 3) system of systems

[part 1 here] [part 2 here]

Truly leaving the Sukkah behind is an even more difficult task than leaving our permanent house behind in favor of the Sukkah.

In fact there are many levels, many systems for us to abandon, but before we can let go of them we must first reach them and truly pierce them to their essence.

Each level is higher, farther, and more subtle than the level above it.

Chazal tell us that Tzaddikim are called Shabbath because they live in a perpetual state of Shabbath. I heard a story about the Ohr HaHayyim haKadosh who let a simple Jew taste the smallest portion of his Shabbath experience and the simple Jew was catatonic from sunset to sunrise every Shabbath.

Some Tzaddikim dwell in the level of Shabbath, and hence are called Shabbath. There is a story of the Vitebsker, Rebbe Menachem Mendel one of the foremost students of the Maggid of Mezritch, that there was a cry in the streets claiming Moshiah had arrived and he stuck his head out the window to smell if the smell of Moshiah in fact permeated the air, afterwards he proclaimed that Moshiah had not arrived. They ask why he needed to stick his head out the window? Couldn't he just sniff the air in his room? The answer is no. He was in a constant state of receiving the Moshiah, in his own personal revellation of Moshiah, he needed to leave his own space to see if the rest of the world had achieved his state. So some Tzaddikim dwell even in a constant revellation of Moshiah.

There are even Tzaddikim who dwell in the level of Techiyath haMeitim, the Revival of the Dead, like the Prophet Eliyahu HaNavi.

At each level there are Tzaddikim trying to rise to new and further heights. Many people are caught up along the way at various levels, thinking they have accomplished enough, their share.

There are those Tzaddikim who are known as the Bnei Aliyah, who operate on the level of Ayin, of nothingness, total bitul. They run always to newer and higher levels for they have truly internalized the lesson that no level has any inherent value of its own. They are on the level of ayin--whatever level they are currently on, they recognise that that level is nothing, and run on to the next higher level.

The gaps between each of the levels get further apart as the levels themselves are more removed from human comprehension. For example, since we experience Shabbath every week, we can at least imagine what it would be like to be on the level of experiencing Shabbath all the time. Whereas since we don't know what it's like to have an annointed Jewish king, it's harder to connect to what living in the time of Moshiah involves. The distance between such a comprehension and the level of what it means to live in a world without death, the world of Techiyath haMeitim, is clearly vast. It goes on and on. Each of these levels divide into their own infinite number of levels, we have no chance of entering them all, our only hope is to place our hope in the only source of salvation.

May we always be able to recognise the bitul of every system and seek out HaShem in newer and higher places, may we merit to alight always to run after the deepest desire of our heart and soul, none other than the Master of the world.


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