Hold On! Endless Levels
Meshivat Nefesh #54
The greatest of tzaddikim spend their lives rising from level to level in their devotions and in their grasp of Godliness. They never rest on their laurels, but always begin again, fully aware that God’s infinite nature means that they have always only just begun. No matter how high they climb, they are still at the beginning, needing always to start fresh in their ever-expanding relationship with God.
Rebbe Nachman taught that it’s in the merit of those kinds of tzaddikim that people at the other end of the spectrum can draw the vitality that they need to pull themselves up from their fall, no matter how low down they’ve gone. Because if, at the upper end of the scale, there is no end to how high you can go…it also means that there is no end to how low one can go. The person who is in free-fall learns from the tzaddikim that, right now, where he is, is not the furthest place…which means that, in the big picture, it’s not that far at all.
Just like those tzaddikim feel like their upward climb has barely begun because of God’s infinite nature…even the lowest person is still not too far away to catch himself and return to his Creator.
This idea just blows me away, personally. God is so big that you can’t ever really apprehend Him as you go up. And he’s so big that you can’t ever really get away from Him as you go down!
Please allow the awareness that the tzaddikim have
of your endless light
to shine into me, so that I will follow their path,
always climbing toward You.
(LH – Hilchot Tefillin 5:9)