In an article written towards the end of his life, Rabbi Baruch Ashlag discusses the issue of what should we do when we have fallen away form our service to God in one way or another, and we are feeling low because of it. We want to make amends.
But the Sages teach us, ‘ Serve the Lord with happiness, come before Him with song.” How is a person meant to be able to serve God with happiness when he is feeling broken?
God is surely not asking us to do the impossible? But on what basis can a person feel happy when he is so sad?
The answer is unexpected. Although the person is feeling low and despairing when he considers how he is not able to do the work for God, nevertheless, he needs to know that just having the awareness that he wants to come to God to get closer to Him is already a positive step. Furthermore, having the desire to come to God is actually a gift of the Creator , because this desire cannot arise any other way.
This podcast is dedicated for a Refuah Shlema for Alla Bat Rifkah. May this Torah learning bring her a true healing.
Article excerpted from Sefer haMaamarim of Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag Vol 4 article 25
The Sages have taught that when the month of Adar comes in we increase our joy. But we must have a basis for this. A person cannot feel happy without a reason. Senseless happiness feels foolish and silly. The Sages are referring to the happiness of holiness, the happiness of being in unity with the Creator.
However to feel the presence of the Creator in our lives we need to first feel how empty our lives are when we don’t feel in connection with Him, otherwise we do not appreciate what we are given. Feeling happy and feeling empty are two opposite states of being.
Prayer and thanks or praise are our responses to God to these states. Rabbi Ashlag teaches us that for both prayer and praise to be real they have to come from the depth of the heart. How can we achieve this depth of feeling, and what does this have to do with the month of Adar?
From an article by Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag z”l (Sefer HaMa’amarim) Listen to podcast (15 minutes)
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