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A Dvar Torah for Parshat Terumah

Our Dvar Torah: "O Generation, See the Word of God"

A Dvar Torah for Parshat Terumah: Exodus 25:1 - 27:19
and Likutey Moharan Book I Introduction
By Rabbi Shlomo Nachman ben Ya'akov © February 19, 2021

In our Thursday evening parsha discussion we learned some of the details concerning the making of the Mishkan or Tabernacle, along with the various sacred objects, including the Great Menorah as presented in the Parsha. We just read their description in Parshah Terumah.

What advantage did these wandering Israelites have that we today lack, other than the obvious, Moshe Rabbeinu is not personally present and so on?

They could SEE with their eyes the Presence of the Holy One. They saw the mishkan, the various accouterments, the “Pillar of Fire by night” and so on. We have never seen the like of such things. Not yet at least.

Well and good, but Jeremiah lived after that experience and he does not say hear the word of G-d, but see It! How? How in our spiritually darkened world can we SEE the Presence of the Word of HaShem?

Let's read from the introduction of Rebbe Nachman's Likutey Moharan. Beginning on page 5 in volume one of the three volume set.

[Read Likutey Moharan text *]

“O generation, see the word of God” (Jeremiah 2:31). The prophet does not say hear [the word of God], but see it. See that God has given you a precious gift, something which stands at the very summit of the world. As our Sages teach: v’limekhaseh atik (coverings of old)” (Isaiah 23:18)—this is the one who covers over that which Atik Yomin (the Ancient One) covered over. And there are those who maintain that this refers to the one who reveals that which Atik Yomin covered over” (Pesachim 119a).

Both are true of this holy work, [Likutey Moharan and is equally true of the utterances of all true Tzadikim]. [They] both reveal and conceal: revealing and explaining exalted and hidden matters, new insights, rudiments which are precious, awesome and wondrous; providing advice from afar, [these utterances are] “the work of a master craftsman” (cf. Isaiah 25:1). All these teachings stem from the very exalted and awesome source of living water, [so that] “a wise person scales the city of the strong, and brings down the stronghold in which it trusts” (Proverbs 21:22).

[These teachings are taught to us] through numerous constrictions and diminutions—from the Cause of Causes to the caused, from the upper intellect to the lower one [see Lesson #30]—until they have become clothed in these garments, the cloak of the Sages, in a clear and beautiful manner. They are in the form of pleasant, wondrous and sweet discourses, in the way of wisdom, reason, dialectic and logic, and the way of life—the reproof of ethical instruction, which is like a fire that burns to the very heart of heaven.

All the lessons which Rebbe Nachman [and the other true Tzadikim] revealed to the Chosen People are filled with wonderful and awesome counsel in the true service of the Blessed Holy One. This will be obvious to anyone who studies them, provided he does so in search of the real truth.

For this alone was the Rebbe’s holy intention: “to rouse the sleeping and waken the slumbering” (Shabbat Liturgy); to make straight the hearts of men, our Jewish brethren, with God’ “to tell the imprisoned, ‘Go free,’ to those residing in darkness, ‘Come out’” (Isaiah 49:9); “to give sight to eyes that are blind” (ibid. 42:7); ‘to redeem those bound in fetters’ (cf. Psalms 68:7), to “release the shackled from confinement, those who sit in darkness from [their] prison” (Isaiah 42:7)—those bound to their passions, trapped in their folly, cast out by their sins. [His desire was] to turn their hearts to the Holy One, to return them to God in truth, along the straight and true path, the path which our forefathers have followed from yore.

And so, even though these points are somewhat obvious and understood from the simple interpretations of the teachings, there is more to them—they are “twofold in insight” (Job 11:6). For the inner meaning of the teachings remain hidden and concealed from all. They are matter that Atik Yomin covered over, which we must cover over and reveal in order to bring them into this world.” *

And all of this we seek to do. Let 'the wise in their own eyes' teach each other and rejoice. May HaShem bless them! But let those who slumber awaken to the sublime truth of the Tzadikim and of the Torah of Moshe so that we can arise from our slumber, cast off our chains, and enter into the supernal realms of Devekut in simplicity and Love. This was desire of Rebbe Nachman!

With our EYES let us SEE the WORD of God AS IT IS, without the needless sophistications and word juggleries that so often lead to debate, sectarianism and "holier-than-thouisms." This is what Rebbe Nachman advocates at places like Sichot Haran #101:

"No sophistication is needed in serving God – only simplicity, sincerity and emunah [deep motivating faith].
Simplicity is higher than all else. For God is certainly higher than everything else, and God is ultimately simple!

And again at Likutey Moharan II, Lesson 44 he says:

Even after all the wisdom and sophistication – even if you possess true wisdom – you must cast aside all wisdom and sophistication and serve God with complete innocence and simplicity, with no sophistication whatever.
The greatest wisdom of all is not to be wise at all. The truth is that no one in the world is wise, for “there is no wisdom and no understanding before God” (Proverbs 21:30). The main thing God wants is the consciousness [the heart].

And one more from Likutey Moharan II, Lesson 5:

Throw aside all wisdom and clever ideas and serve God with simplicity. Make sure that your deeds are greater than your wisdom, because the main thing is not study but its practical application. This obviously applies to most ordinary people's clever ideas, which are mere folly, but it even applies to genuine wisdom. When it comes to serving God, even a person whose head is filled with genuine wisdom should set it all aside and serve God simply and innocently.
Sometimes it may even be necessary to behave in a way that seems foolish in order to serve God and carry out His will. We may have to roll around in mud and mire for the sake of serving God and keeping His commandments. This applies not only to explicit mitzvot. Anything that God want s us to do is also called a mitzvah. Sometimes one has to throw oneself into the very mud and mire to perform a certain deed that will be pleasing to God.
One whose love of God is sufficiently strong becomes His dearly beloved child. God will show him abundant love and kindness, permitting him to explore the King's hidden store chambers and even to understand what is beyond wisdom, including the deepest of all secrets, such as why the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper.

Like David let us exult and openly declare before all:

Taste and see how good the LORD is; happy the person who takes refuge in Him!
Hold the LORD in awe, you His consecrated ones, for those who stand in awe of Him lack nothing.

SEE this reality! Dwell deeply within this paradigm, and you will not only hear the Word of God, you will SEE It!

* This printed translation of Likutey Moharan is from Sefaria.org. We at Beit Emunah use the three volume set available at BreslovBooks.org

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