A Sacred Time – Adar #9
“This month shall be the first month for you” (Shemot 12:2)
Rebbe Nachman taught: “It is not good to be old. Even an old chassid or an old tzaddik is not good. One needs to renew himself by beginning fresh every day…” (Sichot HaRan, #51)
Reb Nosson z”l, explains that Parshat Hachodesh (we read this Torah portion this Shabbat) alludes to renewal, just like the moon is renewed each month. The main thing is to avoid the pitfall of feeling old. The Rebbe mentions that “even” a chassid and tzaddik needs to constantly renew himself; this is all the more true of a soul that is truly far from Hashem. If a person has fallen to the lowest place he must not rigidly remain stuck there. If a tzaddik is forbidden to feel complacent with the spiritual heights that he’s reached, how much more must a person on a lower level work on renewal? The foundation of Jewishness is to keep starting again regardless of one’s spiritual achievements or lack of them. We must all catch ourselves and continually ascend from level to level, wherever we find ourselves.
If only I understood that my efforts in serving God must never become stale, but always remain fresh! Even though I’ve gotten used to thinking that spiritual growth is toward some plateau of perfection where all struggle stops, I need to break away from that misconception. It’s exactly the opposite: being alive spiritually means renewing myself all the time, at whatever level I’m on. That is how I can generate closeness with my Creator. (Based on Likutei Halachot, Tefillin 5)
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