Humans have far less power than we think!
Humans are far more powerful than we know!
Both of these statements are true. More and more people are feeling dis-empowered and depressed. What we for so long thought were givens are now becoming little more than dust in the ever-shifting winds. First Amendment? Gone. Second Amendment? Gone. The sacredness of the vote? Gone. The sacredness of life? Gone... So many of the fundamental rights and responsibilities that we all took for granted are now gone or going.
If We Can Destroy, We Can Surely Repair!
And yet, as we recite each day in our Siddur prayers, “The superiority of humans over animals is nothing! What are we?”
Why is this happening? In a word, “Tzara'at.” Tazria-Metzora goes into painful detail about Tzara'at. What is Tzara'at? Traditionally the condition has been translated as “leprosy.” But understand that Tzara'at is not Hanson's Disease, although it could manifest that way. No Tzara'at is something far more insidious, even more devastating than that.
Tzara'at is a spiritual corruption that sometimes manifests in human flesh and that eats away at the human conscience and consciousness! It may appear as leprosy, or as cancer, or diabetes, or as any number of illnesses, physical or mental! Now, this is not to say that everyone who suffers from such maladies are cursed with Tzara'at, G-d forbid, but many are! Tzara'at is NOT an affliction from biblical times only, no, today it is a relentless pandemic! Tzara'at is a pandemic worse than any other, real or manufactured!
Tzara'at testifies of our failings, of how far we are from HaShem and His Beneficent Will for us. In the Torah Miriam, Moshes' sister, was afflicted with Tzara'at after she and Aaron criticized Moshes' choice of a Cushite wife, as recorded at Numbers chapter 12. Our Mi Shebeirach “El Na R’fa Na La” is taken from the prayer of Moshe Rabbeinu for his sister. It is said that this plague of lashon hara is what caused the destruction of the Second Beit HaMikdash! The Tzara'at of Lashon Hara is almost everywhere felt today!
Back to the Siddur:
“Lord of all the worlds! Not on account of our righteousness do we offer our supplications before You, but on account of Your abundant mercy. What are we? What is our life? What are our acts of kindness? What is our righteousness? What is our deliverance? What is our strength? What is our might? What can we say before You, Lord our God and God of our fathers? Are not all the mighty people as nothing before You? Famous people as though they had never existed? The wise as if they were without knowledge? People of understanding, as if they were devoid of intelligence? Most of our actions are but a waste, and the days of their lives are trivial in Your presence. The superiority of humans over animals is nil, everything is futile.”
This is because of our Tzara'at! Its on US! WE are guilty! WE are all impure; both individually and collectively. BUT, the Siddur does not end here! It continues:
HOWEVER, we are Your people, the children of Your Covenant, the children of Avraham, Your beloved, to whom You swore on Mount Moriah; We are the seed of Yitzchak, his only son, who was bound on top of the altar; We are the community of Yaakov, Your firstborn, [whom]—because of Your love for him and Your joyous delight in him — You named him Yisrael and Yeshurun.
These two names, Yisrael and Yeshurun, symbolize Ya'akov’s descendants' wanderings throughout history proclaiming the sovereignty of HaShem; and the name Yeshurun indicates his task, and the task of his descendants, to fulfill the revealed and concealed Will of HaShem as directed, and to devote our lives to the execution of that which is right in the eyes of HaShem for the good of all life: To Tikun Olam.
This IS the prescribed cure for our individual and collective Tzara'at! Rebbe Nachman of Breslov reveals how we can infuse the world with emunah and thereby finally eliminate this Tzara'at pandemic from our midst and herald the coming of Mashiach ben David! May he come soon and in our lifetime!
Please turn with me now to Likutey Moharan Book II # Lessons 110-112 for this cure. In Saba Odeser's three volume set this is from Volume 3, Page 345 (available at Breslovbooks.com).
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