Monday, May 09, 2005

Ascending And Descending Wisdom From The Trumbum

In Likutey Moharan I,6, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches that one needs to be an expert in the ascent when serving Hashem (baki b’ratzo), and also be an expert in the descent from peak spiritual experiences when serving Hashem (baki b’shov). Without knowledge and ability how to proceed in both these directions a person can stumble. It can be likened to a person who climbs a tree or a mountain too quickly and then is unable to safely make his way back down.

While running on my treadmill (pronounced "trumbum" by my two year-old daughter) last Thursday night I came to a further understanding of this concept.

When one first starts running he needs to run at a slower speed so he can consistently run for a longer period of time. The more frequently he runs, the faster and farther he will be able to run. If one usually runs at a speed of 7, running on 8 or 9 will quickly tire him out. The person does not need to stop completely when he is out of energy, he only needs to decrease his speed since it is not an "all or nothing" activity.

What does the treadmill have to do with baki b'ratzo and baki b'shov?

Running on the treadmill can be likened to a person’s service of Hashem. We need to start out slowly, increasing our speed as we build up our spiritual muscles. If we run too fast and become exhausted, we don't need to turn off the treadmill and stop, rather we need to temporarily slow down until the time when we are ready to sprint again.


At May 9, 2005 at 9:14:00 AM EDT, Blogger torontopearl said...

FIRST, we have to get ONTO that treadmill/trumbum.

(but then again, I've also been on moving treadmills and have FALLEN OFF!)

But I love your analogy and think it to be most appropriate!

At May 9, 2005 at 12:58:00 PM EDT, Blogger Tamara said...

Nicely put, I think I am maybe on speed 3 with a small incline ;)

At May 10, 2005 at 6:55:00 AM EDT, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Great moshol. Rebbe Nachman was the king of this stuff.

I guess I've fallen off the trumbum and tried to get back onto it so many times that I am so dizzy and no longer know whether I am on or off, I just keep running (I have no idea what the nimshol is, maybe someone can help?)


At October 1, 2005 at 5:06:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's beter to just stay where you are, and not run at all.

Busy....., busy, why do you think you can do anything about it at all ?

Who says you should or even could ?
Only the fool understand the fool, only the deaf understand the mute, only he who loves and respect his G-d will hear and see Him.

MSohe Hai ben David.


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