Good Days and Bad Days – The Immanence of the Divine in this World and How we Relate to it

In Likutei Halachos of Reb Noson on Hilchos Yom Tov (Halacha 2:2) he speaks about the Rebbe’s teaching concerning “Good days” and Bad Days” Likutei Mehoran Torah 33 first chelek (herein L.M. I:33). There also two types of love corresponding to two types of Torah…(for full explanation of these concepts see Breslov Research Institute’s translation p 27). Torah 33 is one of the most complex lessons in which Rabeinu articulates a deep theology of paradox regarding the immanence of the Divine in this world and how we relate to it .

What is of great interest is the way Reb Noson applies this to the difference between Shabbas and weekday and the intermediate role of Yom Tov. He focuses down on the difference between kodesh and chol relating to the dimension of time as follows:

“And in the weekday the bad days hold rule. Thus we have to do all types of work (melochos) as in “with the sweat of thy brow shall thee work”. And all the work (avodos) that Jews customarily do (are done specifically during the week because) during the week the “bad days” have dominion. (The purpose of all of this) To repair and rectify and extract the good and holy which is en-clothed (hidden) there for also in the “bad days” is clothed the good and holy however it is hidden with a number of layers of clothing. Thus it requires a lot of spiritual toil and effort before being able to expose the holy and good hidden in them which is the function of all the work and toil which jews customarily do during the weekday period where the “bad days” rule…

“Therefore Shabbos and Yom Tov which represents the “good days” where the “bad days” have no dominion over them it is forbidden to do any type of labor. Because on these days the “good” is revealed in its essence without any need for rectification or clarification or refinement (birur). . On shabbos no work or effort is required and thus all manner of labor is forbidden. For Shabbos has that quality of being “above time” and days and dimensions (middos)…

I was truly moved by this Torah which gets more complicated the further in one goes. But this point alone was an amazing insight for me.

All my life I was taught the dire consequences of chilul shabbes and developed this inne unconsious resentment. the od’s and dont’s of halachic Judaism which must be obyed on penalty of death of Koreis etc. you know the score! Shabbos was a time of fear and dread from the moment of its inception. I remember well being on Motzai Shabbos waiting with Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik in shul after maariv on motsai shabbes as was his custom to wait “an achtel” (meaning an added 40 minutes or so beyond Rabbeinu Tam) and when that moment arrived the palpable relief in his face that the very burden of shabbos had gone!

Here in this profound Torah Reb Noson applies Rabeinu’s Torah 33 and gives us an insight into the very notion of time itself. Time is a particular dimension that has flux and changes despite ourselves to control it. The curse of Adam condemns us work and toil the week since his sin caused great cosmic damage and holiness would be now trapped in the mundane world and need our rescue. This weekday activity does the work of rescuing those lost holy particles. but then comes Shabbos and now the very nature of time has changed. There is nothing for us a humans to actually do, rather we are to participate in the flux of time itself which is now on “good day” clock. During this 24 hours period (and Reb Noson goes on to qualify this for yom tov further into the Torah) all manner of labor is forbidden precisely because the existential work of rescue is not required. There is something about the dimension of time that passes into this different state where no work is needed to rescue since we are propelled into a different dimension of holiness as if the sin had never taken place.

This Torah affected me because of the way I was brought up to respect time and wasting time so here is a meditation based on this Torah:

In Likutei Halachos of Reb Noson on Hilchos Yom Tov (Halacha 2:2) he speaks about the Rebbe’s teaching concerning “Good days” and Bad Days” Likutei Mehoran Torah 33 first chelek (herein L.M. I:33). There also two types of love corresponding to two types of Torah…(for full explanation of these concepts see Breslov Research Institute’s translation p 27). Torah 33 is one of the most complex lessons in which Rabeinu articulates a deep theology of paradox regarding the immanence of the Divine in this world and how we relate to it .
What is of great interest is the way Reb Noson applies this to the difference between Shabbas and weekday and the intermediate role of Yom Tov. He focuses down on the difference between kodesh and chol relating to the dimension of time as follows:

“And in the weekday the bad days hold rule. Thus we have to do all types of work (melochos) as in “with the sweat of thy brow shall thee work”. And all the work (avodos) that Jews customarily do (are done specifically during the week because) during the week the “bad days” have dominion. (The purpose of all of this) To repair and rectify and extract the good and holy which is en-clothed (hidden) there for also in the “bad days” is clothed the good and holy however it is hidden with a number of layers of clothing. Thus it requires a lot of spiritual toil and effort before being able to expose the holy and good hidden in them which is the function of all the work and toil which jews customarily do during the weekday period where the “bad days” rule…

“Therefore Shabbos and Yom Tov which represents the “good days” where the “bad days” have no dominion over them it is forbidden to do any type of labor. Because on these days the “good” is revealed in its essence without any need for rectification or clarification or refinement (birur). . On shabbos no work or effort is required and thus all manner of labor is forbidden. For Shabbos has that quality of being “above time” and days and dimensions (middos)…

I was truly moved by this Torah which gets more complicated the further in one goes. But this point alone was an amazing insight for me.

All my life I was taught the dire consequences of chilul shabbes and developed this inne unconsious resentment. the od’s and dont’s of halachic Judaism whihc must be obyed on penalty of death of Koreis etc. you know the score! Shabbos was a time of fear and dread from the moment of its inception. I remember well being on Motzai Shabbos waiting with Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik in shul after maariv on motsai shabbes as was his custom to wait “an achtel” (meaning an added 40 minutes or so beyond Rabbeinu Tam) and when that moment arrived the palpable relief in his face that the very burden of shabbos had gone!

Here in this profound Torah Reb Noson applies Rabeinu’s Torah 33 and gives us an insight into the very notion of time itself. Time is a particular dimension that has flux and changes despite ourselves to control it. The curse of Adam condemns us work and toil the week since his sin caused great cosmic damage and holiness would be now trapped in the mundane world and need our rescue. This weekday activity does the work of rescuing those lost holy particles. but then comes Shabbos and now the very nature of time has changed. There is nothing for us a humans to actually do, rather we are to participate in the flux of time itself which is now on “good day” clock. During this 24 hours period (and Reb Noson goes on to qualify this for yom tov further into the Torah) all manner of labor is forbidden precisely because the existential work of rescue is not required. There is something about the dimension of time that passes into this different state where no work is needed to rescue since we are propelled into a different dimension of holiness as if the sin had never taken place.

Author: breslov.org

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