45th Day (Friday, 14 May)

Week of Malkhut, Third Day

Major sefirah: Malkhut/Royalty-Kingship; minor sefirah: Tiferet/Splendor

There’s a time to be frugal and a time to be lavish. For my family and myself, we don’t have to a tent made from crocodile skin, imported from the Far East. It’s enough if our tent is decent quality canvas from wherever—frugal.

But when it comes to making a tent for God—the Mishkan—then whatever it costs to import the finest giraffe hides from Africa is what we’ll pay. To publicize and enhance the splendor and glory of God’s kingdom, is where we ought to spend our money. If honoring God is going to cost a few more drachmas or gold dinars, let me know. I’ll untie my purse and give you what I’ve got.

I’ve noticed something beautiful about tzaddikim and budding tzaddikim. They’re balanced. They always seem poised, knowing that when making a decision they aren’t just figuring out what is the best option in front of them. They’re weighing more than just possible outcomes. They’re weighing what’s going into that decision, what parts of them are involved in choosing what should be done.

So they don’t let their anger or haste overwhelm other voices that are speaking. Nor do they let their pity run away with the show. They have some sort of internal debate or dialogue, “weigh” all the input and choose. That’s a golden balance! That’s a splendid way for a Jew to live.

Our patriarch Yaakov was known for his truthfulness and honesty. Even when he worked for Lavan, one of the biggest double-talking, bald-faced liars and cheats of all-time, Yaakov Avinu showed up on time for work, every day. Never took what wasn’t coming to him. I’m going to strive to be that honest. I’m going to keep my word in business. I want every shekel I give to charity to be 100% kosher!

When I daven (pray) the Shemonah Esrei blessing Refaeinu (Heal us #8) I will try to make amends for seeking perfection and glory at the expense of God’s honor. I now find that idea nauseating. My actually having done certainly makes Mashiach ill.

Author: Ozer Bergman

Ozer Bergman is an editor for the Breslov Research Institute, a spiritual coach, and author of Where Earth and Heaven Kiss: A Practical Guide to Rebbe Nachman's Path of Meditation.

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3 Comments

  1. Read the piece its absoloutely special. Honest and true. He chose the right mentschen. Reb Chaim and Reb Moishe.

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  2. I read Rabbi Breslov’s comment in my BeliefNet newsletter on honesty, and winning not always going hand in hand with one another, in our present world that is common sense I guess, but my question is so is it better to loose then and maintain your integrity to honesty, fellin that the LORD will know of your efforts to obey a commandment, and possibly fullfill the purpose of winning either in the present, or at a future date in time by yourself or another?

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  3. Ellen, as I’m sure you know, your question is so important and relevant hundreds of times a day. Maintaining honesty and integrity is itself a victory. Sacrificing them for some sort of other “win” is an overall loss. Our job is to do what God wants. He will bring about the results He wants in some other way.

    God will also bring about the results He wants even if we make the wrong choice.

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