Wednesday nights - Rav Benzion's Tanya shiur..........Please continue to daven for the good health of the Rebbe (Yechiel Michel ben Devorah Leah) and Rebbetzin (Feiga bas Sarah).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Seder Hayom (6): Renewing Faith

In the First Thoughts post we mentioned that one of the main things we should be focusing on is the kabbalas ol malchus shomayim. See Seder Hayom (3): First Thoughts, from the Cherkasser and Reb Motele that a person should think about the fact that he was recreated in the morning for the sole purpose of revealing Hashem in every thing that we do, through acting in accordance with His will.

In another maamer in Pele Yoetz (Shelach, Reishis), Reb Motele, zy”a, quotes the Zohar Hakadosh (Behar, 108a) that one must accept the yoke of Heaven as does an ox when the yoke is placed upon it. Reb Motele explains, “Just like an ox cannot turn away from the yoke, not to the right nor the left, so too must a person accept upon himself the yoke of Heaven not to turn right or left from the will of Hashem.”

Reb Motele then goes on to say that even though the person is still in a state of spiritual slumber for he has not yet washed his hands and prepared himself to begin Divine service, and hence, he may not feel any liveliness or connection Hashem, he must still be sure to accept upon himself this yolk first thing in the morning, and that will begin the process of subduing the urges of the physical self.

Now, this can be done, continues Reb Motele, only through emunah, faith. He must believe with perfect faith that there is one Creator, single and unique, that there is no place devoid of Him and that He is sees all of the person’s actions.

And the best time for this is “immediately when he wakes up from his bed, he must consecrate his first thoughts, fortifying himself with emunah and to accept upon himself the yolk of Heaven.”

This is the meaning of the verse in Eicha (3, 23), “They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness" (חדשים לבקרים רבה אמונתך). Every morning when man is made a new creation, he must increase and “grow” his faith, to delve deeply with his first thoughts in this matter (that there is one Creator who sees his every action, etc.) and accept the yolk of Heaven.

The Baal Hatanya mentions (see Likutei Torah, Nitzavim) that the number of a person's days are determined, and he must reveal and increase the light of emunah every day, so that after the sum total of all his days he will arrive at complete emunah. This is what is meant by rabbah emunasecha. the emunah that one must have in You, Hashem, is vast. Every morning we deepen our faith in Hashem's sovereignty and omnipresence, the Oneness of Hashem, and add another piece to puzzle.

The order of day and night never ceases. One always follows the other, constantly, and it never changes. This unfaltering nature of day and night stems from the ohr hasovev kol almin, the light that transcends all worlds. (It is important to note that despite its lofty nature, this light a mere external revelation of Hashem's existence that He created for the sake of Creation.) This light is found at a stage where large and small are equal and light and darkness are the same. Hence the constancy of the order of the day, that they keep changing unhindered, are an expression of this very lofty light.

Emunah too corresponds to the light of sovev. If a particular concept is understandable with the mind, there is no need for emunah. Faith is only necessary when something doesn't make sense; that's when one needs to put aside the confines of human intelligence and try to discern if it resonates on a deeper level. Just as the light of sovev is above human comprehension for it transcends our world and our logic, emunah is the tool used to connect with that which is above our intellect. (Perhaps we will do a post one day on the whole concept of sovev kol almin another time.)

So in the morning, when we experience the constancy of "day and night", the light of sovev can be more accessible to us by focusing on this very phenomenon. Therefore, it is also the most opportune time to think emunah-generating and increasing thoughts. Yet another reason why the first thoughts of the day must not be squandered and certainly not filled with the opposite of kedusha.

Thank you all for reading; I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am. Also, thank you to all those who have been emailing me questions and comments. They are always welcome and appreciated.

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