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HaShem says: "Better they should abandon Me, than forsake My Torah." (as reported in the Talmud)

The Noam Elimelech makes sense of this surprising turn of phrase: A Tzaddik wants nothing more than to be totally negated in the divine presence, totally united with HaShem. Sometimes though, in order to relate to the world, the Tzaddik needs to let go of HaShem, turn away from the blinding light of HaShem's infinite nature, and focus on the world, in order to perform mitzwoth, which are after all HaShem's Will. HaShem's quote is then understood like so: "In order to keep My Torah, [My mitzwoth] they need to turn away from Me [temporarily.]"


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