Dvar Torah for Parshat Tetzaveh


Based on Tzaddik #94 (197)

As I'm sure you've noticed, Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses our teacher) is not mentioned in this week's parsha. This is the only parsha after the book of Bereishis (Genesis) in which this happens.

Rebbe Nachman writes in Likutey Moharan, I (Lesson #192) that the seikhel (intellect) of an author is contained in his works. In addition to Likutey Moharan, the Rebbe authored Sippurey Maasiot (Rabbi Nachman's Stories) and The Alef-Bet Book. Many more of his teachings were recorded by Reb Noson in Sichot Haran (Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom) and Chayey Moharan (Tzaddik). Reb Noson's magnum opus, Likutey Halakhot, is an eight volume work on Likutey Moharan. One can study and know what Rebbe Nachman said. With many years of dedicated study and prayer one might begin to think the way the Rebbe thought. But even then....

When I was in grade school we read a book in which the father was the major character. He didn't say anything. He didn't do anything. He was dead. Yet his absence was so profound that everything his family did was done with him in mind. 'What would Pa have done?Ó 'What would Pa have said?Ó 'Y'all can't do that. It's a disgrace to Pa's name.Ó

It's sometimes challenging being a Breslover. Unlike other chassidim, who can go to their rebbe, present him with a dilemma and receive a clear answer, a Breslover cannot. Rebbe Nachman is not here to answer a direct question as he would if he were still alive. So, as much as a Breslover may have oriented his thinking to Rebbe Nachman's, he must be honest with himself, often excruciatingly honest. And even then....

Even then, he may just have to live with the doubt about a particular choice. For even a chassid who can consult with his rebbe–and even a rebbe himself!–will sometimes be in a situation where there are no clear instructions as to what he should do.

'The Rebbe went on: ÔThe hard part of anything a person has to do for God is the part that is left to his own free will–the things he has to decide for himself without being explicitly commanded or asked. Then it is entirely up to him to do as he chooses. This is the concept of 'the day Moshe added on his own initiativeÓ (Exodus 19:11).

'ÔIn all acts of devotion there is always something that is left for the individual himself to decide without being instructed one way or the other...The area in which free will comes into play is where the main work lies.'Ó

So, make a spare moment for yourself and say a little prayer:

'God, my lapses of self-control are legion. It's a wonder I ever do any mitzvah. Help me to know right from wrong and help me to choose right over wrong, always. Thanks.Ó

agutn Shabbos!
Shabbat Shalom!