Look for the good points. In others. In ourselves. This brings us to joy. The joy washes over us and we are able to talk to God and create a relationship with Him. This is the essence of Azamra.
When we choose and collect these good points, we create a melody, much as a musician creates a melody when he chooses and then plays several notes. This is a conscious, even cognitive process, but also a spiritual one.
Azamra is the playing of our own soul-melody, the singing of the song of our soul.
In Azamra, Likutey Moharan 282, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches that one who is a prayer leader, such as the chazzan in a synagogue, must be a master of Azamra (or at least proficient.)
The prayer leader’s job is to collect all the good points from each person praying with the congregation, and carry them aloft with his own prayers. A beautiful voice or a snazzy singing style are not necessary. The spiritual talent is what’s counts.
And, the ultimate prayer leader is the Tzaddik.
A Tzaddik, or totally righteous Jewish person, such as Moses, the Baal Shem Tov, or Rebbe Nachman, is able to hone in on each and every Jew’s good points, no matter how “bad” they appear to be on the outside.
The Tzaddik is a heart-reader, a pray-er and a soul-musician beyond compare. And, he must be humble enough to be able to come close enough to see us (the people whose prayers he collects) for who we really are, no matter how lost we may be—and still find our good points.
The Tzaddik gave God his promise that he would repair the Universe, and the way he does this is to find our good points and lift up all devotions to Heaven. He inspires us to return to the true Source of All and he shows us that we are very, very precious in God’s eyes.
The concept of the Tzaddik is not the concept of someone speaking for us as if we are incapable of speaking to God ourselves, God Forbid. The Tzaddik is eminently, profoundly human, like us and capable of seeing and understanding our humanity.
The Tzaddik reveals the beautiful notes of our good deeds and strings them together to chime before the Heavens. He inspires us to see the beautiful goodness in ourselves and others, and reach out, with joy, to God.
Azamra is a foundational lesson of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. We carry it in our pocket and in our heart.
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