On Divine Inspiration – Chapter 35

However after thoroughly contemplating the causes of this sickness that infects most people, we must conclude that it comes from a different place of origin, this beingthat in essence many people are not truly brokenhearted. This is because from their youth they were not receptive to the teachings of Chassidus in the first place. They never accepted it out of true repentance from the inner depths of their heart, but rather, only in a passing way. Therefore, the effect was only temporary, so that by now even its residual effect has vanished and gone. This is so much so, that they regard themselves as flawless individuals (He feels fine about himself, without any sense of brokenness). Therefore, the teachings of Chassidus on attaining this perfection will not readily be accepted and absorbed in the inner depths of their heart and mind at all. It will only be in a passing way, like a person who hears or sees something outside of himself. Though he may temporarily become excited about it, it immediately starts to dissipate, until finally it is as if it never was etc.

Whoever has a broken heart by his essential nature because of his remoteness from G_d, should know that it is mostly due to his Divine soul, which is called, “The embittered soul imprisoned in the materiality of the body.” Though this broken-heartedness appears to be part of human nature, it is only so because the melancholy of the Divine soul is invested within the melancholy of the natural soul, which is called, “Natural Melancholy”. However, in truth, the natural soul is not the cause of this melancholy at all. This is because the nature of the natural soul is to be melancholy only about physical lacking or the absence of something, rather than a lacking of Divine light etc.

(Because of this, the sages stated concerning those who receive the secrets of the Torah that only a person whose heart is always anxious within him is worthy of it. This is the matter of the “natural” melancholy of the natural soul and the “essential” melancholy of the essence of the Divine soul. Without this melancholy the light of the secrets of Torah would not illuminate his soul and would not endure at all. On the contrary, he would enter the darkness of arrogance and casting off the yoke, as well known from experience.)

I personally heard this matter from my father, master, teacher and rabbi, of blessed memory, who heard these same words from the Rav, the Maggid of Mezerich; that a person cannot truly attain receiving the secrets of Torah and true depth of understanding in Ohr Ein Sof,[1] to the point that it is literally established in his soul, without having a natural and essential melancholy that is rooted in him specifically from his youth. Moreover, this melancholy must specifically be in the aspect of its general Heyulie (the essence), specifically to its true depth (In other words, true broken-heartedness by nature, to the point that he literally despises his physical life at every moment on a constant basis).

Only then will the Source of all life, the Source of all existence, dwell within himto revive the spirit of the despondent, as scripture states, “With whom do I dwell? With the despondent and the lowly of spirit”[2] In everything he does, such as contemplating the secrets of Torah, they will be given over to his soul in a truly revealed way, on condition that his heart is anxious within him. (Whereas, if the opposite is true, nothing is given over to his soul, even if he knows and understands the simple meaning etc.) Also, in all the particulars of Divine service, he will be desirable to HaShem.

Then all of his sighs and natural melancholy will be transformed into joy and delight, all because of the G_dliness that literally rests upon his soul. But without this, especially if he has the opposite, frivolousnature of natural gaiety, even if he is a vessel prepared to receive all secrets etc. it will not endure in his soul. Rather, he will always walk in darkness, completely deluding himself, since in no way will HaShem be with him etc. Thus far is the content of the Maggid’s words.



[1] Ohr Ein Sof is a Kabbalistic term meaning “The Limitless Light”.

[2] Isaiah 57:15

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