I saw an upside down world
(Talmud Pesachim 50a)
After Rabbi Yoseph, a Sage of the Talmud had recovered from his dangerous illness, his father asked him, “My son, what did you see ?”
Rabbi Yoseph replied, ” I saw an upside down world… People who are considered of great worth in this world are of no account in the world to come.” “My son, you saw things the way they really are,” replied his father.
There are countless stories of unnamed martyrs and heroes of the holocaust, people who were considered at the very bottom of humanity’s ladder, who, with untold heroism understood the message of Rabbi Yoseph’s vision.and gave away their bread, or took the place of another on the forced labor.
Nowadays, in our own lives, we ask, “How can we find the way to live a true life with true values? Rabbi Ashlag teaches us, it is through the light of the Torah that we can begin to understand what is really worthwhile and what is false in our own world.
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Inspired by an article by Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag ztz’l Sefer haMa’amarim 5748, article 12 , “Mahem Torah U Melachah b’derech HaShem with grateful acknowledgement to my chevruta Dr. Susan Jackson
The Chanukah candle placed outside the house for all to enjoy and see the miracle
Rabbi Ashlag looks at the details of the laws of Chanukah as explained in the Talmud and teaches a wealth of inner work as he elucidates their inner meaning.
We are taught by the Sages of the Gemorrah that the Chanukah candle should be placed outside the house opposite the side of the mezuzah
in the doorway.
Rabbi Ashlag teaches that this detail actually teaches about the root of the spiritual light of Chanukah when God gave the people of Israel a miracle over the Greeks in those days. But what does this mean for us now? When we try to give to others or to God unconditionally we find that many obstacles lie in our path. But the most difficult to overcome is our own inner adversaries.Our own inner Greeks, who represent our rational mind that opposes faith. We find that much as we want to we are unable to overcome our own selves. Finally we realize we need God to reveal His light to us just as He did in these days to our forefathers and show us a miracle. The inner miracle of Chanukah.
From the Bircat Shalom Sefer HaMaamarim of Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag
Other talks on chanukah:
Faith: Torah from the Years of Fury
Chanukah: The Triumph of the Soul over the Ego
Chanukah: What is a miracle?