Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Path of Simplicity

“The fool goes in darkness…” (Koheles 2:14). The tzaddik Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sasov said, “The wise man—what does he do in darkness? He stands, and doesn’t go.”

This is what he meant: when the fool is in darkness, that is, in a state of spiritual apathy, sadness, or depression, he “goes” seeking greatness and awesomeness. He goes, chasing great rungs of G-d’s light. But when he does not attain to these rungs, then he begins to loathe Torah and prayer. He does not want to endure the yoke of Torah and service. He begins to pray late and hurriedly, rushing like a fast horseback rider. His learning and the rest of his service are like this too. All he wants is greatness.

But when the wise man is in darkness, in a state of wretchedness, he stands still—at least that is how it appears to him. Then he takes the path of the simple man. He learns and prays with simplicity. He connects with the love of Israel. And he returns to all the rungs. For the mercies of G-d are manifold: He has mercy on all, whatever level one is on, however much awareness or will one has.

(Rebbe Yitzchak Isaac of Komarna)